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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, …

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 …

Lowering Interest Rate On Credit Cards Is Easier Than You Think

Sunday, October 5, 2014

A new report suggests that credit card holders could get lower interest rates and late fees waived if they ask. The report, released this month by, found that nearly 90 percent of cardholders who asked their credit card issuers to wave a late payment fee were successful. …

Social Security Q&A: How to Begin Steps to Retirement

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Question: I’ve decided I want to retire. How do I begin? Answer: The fastest and easiest way to apply for retirement benefits is to go to To use the online application to apply for Social Security retirement or spouse’s benefits, you must: ∎ Be at least 61 …

Money Talk: Cans Full of Coins Not an Effective Saving Method

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Question: My husband recently told me that he has saved many coffee cans full of loose change over the years. When I suggested we might at least roll the change to make it easier to count should we ever need it, he was not interested! I understand he …

Companies Are Helping Workers Fight Burnout

Sunday, October 5, 2014

For the overworked modern American employee, the policies and perks offered by some of the most generous companies sound like manna from the corporate gods. Onsite climbing walls. Free housekeeping. Chef-catered meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yet however nice such benefits may be, they can also end …

Consumer Confidential: Despite Obamacare, U.S. Health Care System Still Dysfunctional

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Obamacare was supposed to make our health care system friendlier to patients, and in many ways it’s succeeded. But we still have a long way to go. For almost her entire life, Maria Rogers has been the picture of health. She’s worked for years as a personal trainer, …

Owners of Small Businesses Scramble to Keep Top Staffers

Sunday, October 5, 2014

New York — People are quitting their jobs at a faster clip and that’s pushing small business owners to work harder to hold onto top talent. Dance studio owner Andrea Bisconti has experienced the challenge firsthand. When Kellie …

High-Tech Halloween Horror

Sunday, October 5, 2014

To re-create a bloody scene from the 1981 horror flick American Werewolf in London, crews at Universal Studios Hollywood installed computer-controlled strobe lights behind the walls of a dark maze to simulate the flash of bullets. An actor …

Battle Brewing Over iPhones And the Law

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Apple is no stranger to disruption, having upended the music business with iTunes and the mobile industry with the iPhone. But now, some law enforcement officials are warning that the company is threatening to disrupt their efforts to fight crime. With its new iOS 8 software, Apple is …

At the Hospitals: Oct. 5, 2014

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunapee Talk Explores Aging Parents’ Needs Sunapee — A free talk about caring for an aging parent is set for Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. at Sunapee Cove Assisted Living, 1250 Route 11, Georges Mills. Dennis McCullough, a …