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Business

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 many older Americans. “What is it going …

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, …

Nor’easter Could Test FairPoint

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A nor’easter that arrived Tuesday could deliver the first major test for replacement workers hired by FairPoint Communications in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, with driving rain and strong wind gusts possibly causing service disruptions as more than 1,700 workers remain on strike. The company, meanwhile, accused striking workers of intimidating contractors and employees and said an automated phone-jamming effort attempted to disrupt …

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 …

Twitter Sues U.S. For Right to Disclose

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

San Francisco — Twitter has joined the tech industry assault on the federal government’s national security surveillance programs, suing Tuesday to strike down rules that bar the blogging giant from publicly disclosing the scope of demands for user information. Twitter’s lawsuit, filed in San Francisco federal court, alleges …