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Master pastry chef Jacques Torres is betting Americans can’t kick their chocolate habit even after the price of cocoa surged to the highest in three years: He spent more than $3 million on a Brooklyn plant in 2013 and doubled his eponymous shops in New York to eight from four. Torres is shown making chocolates in February in Brooklyn. Illustrates CHOCOLATE (category f) by Marvin G. Perez and Luzi Ann Javier © 2014, Bloomberg News. Moved Thursday, October 23, 2014. (MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg News photo by Ron Antonelli).

Cost of Cocoa No Concern in U.S.

Friday, October 24, 2014

New York — Jacques Torres is betting Americans simply can’t kick their chocolate habit, even after the price of cocoa surged to the highest in three years. Torres, a former pastry chef at New York’s swanky Le Cirque restaurant who dubbed himself Mr. Chocolate, spent more than $3 million on a Brooklyn confection-making plant last year and doubled his eponymous shops in New York to eight from four. He said 2014 sales will top last year’s record of $10 million. “People love chocolate,” Torres said from his Hudson Street store, where a 12-piece box of popular treats sells for $19.20 and three monthly deliveries of …

Small Increase for Social Security

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Washington — Come January, nearly 60 million Social Security recipients will get benefit increases averaging $20 a month, the third straight year of historically small pay hikes. The 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, will also boost government benefits for millions of disabled veterans, federal retirees and people drawing disability payments for the poor. Year after year of tiny increases are weighing on …

Commuter Race

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Vital Communities held a bike vs. bus vs. car race from Dan and Whit’s in Norwich to the Hopkins Center in Hanover to compare commute times on different modes of transport during morning rush hour on Tuesday. Bikers Hilde Ojibway, of White River Junction, left, Sharon Racusin, of Norwich, middle, and Scot Drysdale, …

Big Yellow Taxi Bids Farewell

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Big Yellow Taxi is fading to black. The around-the-clock Lebanon-based taxi service, which has been ferrying passengers around the Upper Valley since 1996, will shut down on Oct. 20, said Kirby Ogle, the company’s owner. Ogle, who also …

Barge Fees Limit Exports As Crops Battle for Space

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Chicago — As U.S. farmers begin the biggest corn and soybean harvests ever, the bins at Elburn Cooperative in Illinois remain almost empty. It simply costs too much to send Midwest crops by barge to New Orleans export terminals. Shipping fees along the Mississippi River, the world’s busiest …

For Whitman, Old HP Deals a Cautionary Tale

Sunday, October 12, 2014

New York — As Meg Whitman gets ready to embark on deals, the challenge is to not repeat the mistakes of her predecessors at Hewlett-Packard Co. In the decade before she took over as chief executive officer, Hewlett-Packard …

S&P 500 Caps Worst Week in Two Years

Sunday, October 12, 2014

New York — The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index posted the biggest weekly drop in two years as concern about chipmaker earnings fueled a rout across the technology industry. The Dow Jones industrial average erased gains for the year as Intel, Microsoft and Cisco Systems fell more than …

RV Sales Gain Traction As Recovery Accelerates

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Milwaukee — Sales of travel trailers and motor homes continue to improve, with demand for some models nearing the peak volume before the recession, a Robert W. Baird & Co. report shows. Dealers reported solid retail trends in motor-home sales, up about 25 percent, and towable trailers, up …

Maine Harvest Schools Teens in Hard Work

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Blaine, Maine — In the gentle hills of northern Maine, far from the rocky coastline and lighthouses, teenagers trade warm classrooms for cold potato fields every fall, just as they have for generations. Schools shut down — sometimes …

Bankers Slam Inversion Action

Sunday, October 12, 2014

New York — Congress and the president regularly decry companies moving headquarters abroad for tax benefits but two top Wall Street bankers said Friday that lower taxes do not drive the deals. The shifting of corporate headquarters generally involves a merger of two companies, with the foreign company …

Money Talk: Timing Counts in Gift to Grandchild

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Question: Our grandson’s stellar high school performance and his family financial situation were such that he was admitted to his state university with grants sufficient to pay all school fees, including room and board, with no loans or work-study. His grandmother and I have a 529 account in …

Keystone Be Darned: Canada Finds Oil Route Around Obama

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Toronto — So you’re the Canadian oil industry and you do what you think is a great thing by developing a mother lode of heavy crude beneath the forests and muskeg of northern Alberta. The plan is to send it clear to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast …

Expanding the Harvest: Vermont Law School Studies How to Get Local Food to Needy

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

This time of year, Heather Bagley cobbles together a handful of volunteers and heads out to the fields and orchards for the leftovers. Generally, the groups are small, and frequently the faces are the same, but the results …