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Consumer News

Irma Salazar, left, of Santa Ana, Calif., loads plastic grocery bags into her car as her son Miguel looks on, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014 in Santa Ana, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation on Tuesday imposing the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Calif. bans plastic bags

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed the nation’s first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores, driven to action by pollution in streets and waterways. A national coalition of plastic bag manufacturers immediately said it would seek a voter referendum to repeal the law, which is scheduled to take effect in July 2015. …

Safety agency looks anew at freak Toyota acceleration

Monday, September 29, 2014

DETROIT — A U.S. safety agency is looking into a car owner’s allegations that older Toyota Corollas can accelerate unexpectedly at low speeds and cause crashes, reviving a problem that appeared to be in the automaker’s past. The inquiry by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers about 1.69 million Corolla compact cars …

Teen crash victims’ families drop GM suit, seek settlement

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

DETROIT — The families of two Wisconsin teenagers killed in a car crash involving a faulty General Motors ignition switch have dropped their lawsuit against the company and are seeking a settlement with the automaker. The Oct. 24, 2006, crash that killed Natasha Weigel, who was 18, and Amy Rademaker, who was 15, …

Backstory: Food for Thought Books Collective closes in Amherst

Monday, June 2, 2014

AMHERST — The Food For Thought Books Collective on North Pleasant Street is closing after nearly four decades in business, despite fundraisers last summer and winter and reducing the size of its quarters. Members sent an email to …

Christina Cavallari, owner of Serio’s Market in Northampton, dies at 57

Saturday, May 31, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Christina A. Cavallari, owner of Serio’s Market, believed to be the longest continuously run, family-owned business in the city, died unexpectedly Friday night. She was 57. Her husband, Gary Golec, with whom she ran the popular … 6

Scandihoovians closing, Moti moving and El Rinconsisto Cuscatleco coming to Amherst

Friday, May 30, 2014

AMHERST — Boltwood Walk will lose its lone retail shop this summer, but will add two restaurants, including one relocating from North Pleasant Street. Scandihoovians at 49 Boltwood Walk, which focuses on jewelry and clothing, is expected to close by the end of July, when its lease expires. …

No human needed: Google aims to build driverless car

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

LOS ANGELES — Google plans to build and launch onto city streets a small fleet of subcompact cars that could operate without a person at the wheel. Actually, the cars wouldn’t even have a wheel. Or gas and …

Tranquility Day Spa & Salon in Florence offers free services for clients with cancer

Sunday, May 25, 2014

FLORENCE — Tranquility Day Spa & Salon in Florence is offering free services for clients with cancer. They can make a 30-minute appointment for the first Monday of every month, starting June 2, for a service ranging from facial treatments, to manicures to wig styling. Lynn LaFountain, who … 1

Fast-food protests spread overseas

Thursday, May 15, 2014

NEW YORK — Labor organizers turned up the pressure on McDonald’s and other fast-food chains to raise worker pay on Thursday, with plans to stage actions in more than 30 countries. The demonstrations build on a campaign by …

GM recalls 2.7 million more vehicles

Thursday, May 15, 2014

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors recalled an additional 2.7 million vehicles Thursday as a deep dive into safety issues at the nation’s biggest automaker turned up more problems with some of the cars it built over the past …

Bluebonnet Diner owner James Greco assures customers the restaurant’s signature train will return

Thursday, May 15, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — One night last week a young boy visiting the Bluebonnet Diner with his family could not believe his eyes — the train that he loved to watch circle overhead while he ate had vanished. Despite assurances …

Owner of Zoe’s Fish House a partner in steak and seafood restaurant planned in Greenfield

Thursday, May 15, 2014

GREENFIELD — The downtown will soon add a steak and seafood restaurant to its list of eateries. Jim Sands, owner of Zoe’s Fish House in Hadley, said he has teamed up with Paul Cheng, who has owned The … 1

Target’s Chairman and CEO out in wake of data breach

Monday, May 5, 2014

NEW YORK — Target’s massive data breach has now cost the company’s CEO his job. Target announced Monday that Chairman, President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel is out nearly five months after the retailer disclosed the breach, which has …