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Caleb Putnam hangs sheets of cheesecloth on the line after washing them at his family's farm on August 25, 2014. The fabric is used to remove the curds from the whey. (Valley News - Ariana van den Akker)

North Pomfret Farm Family’s Two Sons Return for the Summer to Help Make the Cheese

Sunday, August 31, 2014

North Pomfret — Between haying, cheesemaking and the myriad chores required of a dairy farmer, warm weather days at Thistle Hill, an organic farm in North Pomfret, are packed full. Luckily, owners Janine and John Putnam have some experienced help. The couple raised their four children, all now grown up, on the hilly 80-acre farm, and their sons, Caleb and …

Social Security Q&A: What Information Do I Need to Apply for SSI?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Question: What information do I need to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? Answer: Here are some of the things you will be ask for when you apply for SSI. Even if you do not have all of the things listed below, apply anyway. The people in the Social Security office can help you. But keep in mind that the more information you …

Bigger Down Payments Add to Buyers’ Blues

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Washington — The challenges facing prospective buyers of the nation’s least expensive homes are getting harder to overcome. Already beset by stagnant wages, growing student debt and competition from investors who are snapping up listings, those looking to purchase moderately priced houses must also provide more cash up front. The median down payment for the cheapest 25 percent of properties sold in 2013 …

Consumer News Updates: Internet Tax, FICO Scores

Sunday, August 24, 2014

In the bustle of everyday life, it can be difficult to keep up with all the trends and issues that affect your wallet as a consumer. For example, did you know there’s potential for a new tax on your Internet service and that the formula for calculating credit …

Honda Bolsters Fit to Boost Crash Resistance

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Detroit — When the subcompact Fit failed a crash test, Honda went back to the drawing board. The tiny Fit, redesigned for the 2015 model year, initially flunked the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s small overlap test, earning …

S&P 500 Falls From Record High

Sunday, August 24, 2014

New York — The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell after reaching an all-time high as investors weighed comments from central bank leaders for clues to monetary policy amid rising geopolitical tension. The S&P 500 fell 0.2 percent to 1,988.40 as of 4 p.m. Friday in New York. …

Wheels: With the E250 BlueTEC, Mercedes-Benz parses wealth and luxury

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class represents a field of excellent automotive dreams. Thus, the “E” is appropriate. The lineup includes practical luxury, evidenced by the subject of this column, the diesel-fueled 2014 E250 BlueTEC Sport sedan. At the very top …

Nuts & Bolts: Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTEC

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bottom line: It is hard to beat if you are shopping for luxury that makes sense. Compare with Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, Cadillac CTS and Lexus GS. Ride, acceleration and handling: Excellent marks in all three. Head-turning quotient: Mercedes-Benz is to be congratulated for a clean, sleek, thoroughly …

U.S. Housing Recovery Appears Back on Track

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Washington — A fourth straight monthly increase in sales of existing homes provided the latest evidence that the U.S. housing market is rebounding from a weak start to the year. Housing has been a drag on an otherwise …

Bank of America’s Mortgage Aid Could Leave Homeowners With Tax Bill

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Washington — The $17 billion settlement that Bank of America reached with the Justice Department on Thursday sets aside billions in aid for some troubled homeowners. But those who accept the help could get hit with a hefty tax bill later. As part of the settlement, Bank of …

Road Closures, Roadblocks Set for Windsor Thursday

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Windsor — With roadwork underway in Windsor, motorists should expect roadblocks on Interstate 91 and a temporary closure of Route 44. Rolling roadblocks will be used to divert traffic on Interstate 91 northbound and southbound while girders are being set, beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday and continuing throughout …

Official: Hackers Hit 25,000 Fed Workers

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Washington — The internal records of as many as 25,000 Homeland Security Department employees were exposed during a recent computer break-in at a federal contractor that handles security clearances, an agency official said Friday. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details of an incident …

Hanover’s 3 Guys Basement Barbecue Closes

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hanover — 3 Guys Basement Barbecue had its last day this past Sunday, as its owner, Nigel Leeming, has shuttered the restaurant, which despite good reviews hadn’t been making enough money over the summer. “It wasn’t performing the way I wanted it to, financially, and I didn’t want …