Business

Employment Statistics
4:04 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Connecticut Posts Biggest Monthly Jobs Gain in 20 Years

Credit Sujata Srinivasan

Connecticut posted its best month for job gains in 20 years in September, adding 11,500 positions to its workforce. That’s the largest monthly improvement since 1994. 

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Electricity Market
3:15 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Connecticut Protests Power Auction That Will Drive Up Future Rates

Credit Невідомий (Wikimedia Commons)

Connecticut officials are once again demanding an investigation of an electricity auction earlier this year which they claim artificially drove up prices for the entire region. 

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Lowering the Bills
1:51 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Small Retailers in Connecticut Urged to Get Smart About Energy Efficiency

Credit unkas_photo/iStock / Thinkstock

Small retailers in the state are being urged to save money on utility bills this winter, beginning with a free energy audit. The Connecticut Retail Merchants Association is running a program in conjunction with the state’s electric utilities, designed specifically for independent stores. 

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Technology
6:23 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Will Apple's Mobile Wallet Replace Your Leather Wallet?

Apple Pay is demonstrated at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 3:27 pm

On Monday, Apple is rolling out a new way to pay: a digital wallet called Apple Pay. Millions of people with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will be able to tap — rather than swipe — at the register.

The move could be a major change in how we shop. Or it could end up as a blip on the map that fades away, as other "mobile wallets" have in the past.

Here are some questions you might be asking:

I have a leather wallet in my back pocket. Am I going to have it a year from now, given this mobile-wallet revolution?

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Where We Live
8:31 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Exploring Polish Culture in Connecticut

Broad Street, New Britain
Chion Wolf

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama went to Poland to celebrate the 25th anniversary of democratic elections in Poland. The speech signaled a continued strong relationship between the countries - something forged by the decades of immigration from Poland to the US - a connection that created large Polish-American communities in places like New Britain, CT. 

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Seasonal Jobs
2:29 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Amazon To Hire 80,000 Holiday Workers

Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 7:44 am

An increase in customer demand is spurring Amazon.com to create 80,000 seasonal positions at its network of distribution centers across the U.S.

That's a 14 percent increase over the number of temporary workers it hired last year at this time.

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Technology
6:41 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Microsoft Windows Flaw Let Russian Hackers Spy On NATO, Report Says

Microsoft says it's patching a Windows security flaw cited in a report on alleged spying by Russian hackers.
Ted S. Warren AP

A group of hackers, allegedly from Russia, found a fundamental flaw in Microsoft Windows and exploited it to spy on Western governments, NATO, European energy companies and an academic organization in the United States.

That's according to new research from iSight Partners, a Dallas-based cybersecurity firm.

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Health Care
1:22 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

Doctors Question Anthem's Market Dominance

Credit Nathan & Jenny / Creative Commons

The American Medical Association says it’s greatly concerned that a single insurance company dominates many health care marketplaces across America. It says the populations of several major cities in Connecticut are overly reliant on Anthem for health insurance.

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Technology
3:39 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Microsoft CEO Nadella's Remarks Add To Tech's Sexism Problem

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella addresses the media during an event in New Delhi in September. This week, he was criticized for comments he made about women asking for raises.
Adnan Abidi Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 3:08 pm

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's comments on women asking for raises triggered an instant backlash, but they also raise more questions about the tech industry's male-dominated culture and spotlight the challenges women in tech face.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Connecticut's Slow Housing Recovery

Deb Chamberlain.
Chion Wolf WNPR

It’s been years since the housing market crashed. But in that time, increased job insecurity and the rising cost of living have left many questioning whether the American dream of homeownership is still a practical one, especially for the nation’s low- and middle-wage earners.

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Business
4:07 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Connecticut Shares National $105 Million AT&T Settlement

iStock Thinkstock

State officials say Connecticut will receive $268,252 as part of $20 million in penalties in national settlement with telecom giant AT&T. 

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Keeping the Lights On
2:16 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Church Leaders, Community Activists Oppose Utility Rate Request

Credit Jeff Kubina/flickr creative commons

Church and community leaders have added their voices to the calls for Connecticut Light and Power to withdraw its latest rate request. CL&P has caused uproar by proposing to increase the fixed fees that it charges customers to raise an additional $221 million. 

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Affordable Health Care
3:10 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Connecticut Health Care Programs Meet Resistance Among Small Businesses

Credit scyther5/iStock / Thinkstock

The state’s health insurance marketplace has been congratulated for its success in getting individuals enrolled, but insurance brokers say small businesses aren’t signing up. 

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Manufacturing
9:09 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Made Locally, Sought Globally: Connecticut Small Town Products a Big Hit

Bovano of Cheshire has crafted glass enamel sculptures since 1952.
Sujata Srinivasan WNPR

The city of Waterbury claims many firsts. The first brass in America was rolled here. It’s where the first pewter buttons were made, and the first Mickey Mouse watch was produced. One historic store on Bank Street sells products that are still uniquely made right here in Connecticut. 

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New Jersey
10:16 am
Sat October 4, 2014

Atlantic City Falls From Glittering Resort To Bargain Basement

The Revel was one of four Atlantic City casinos to shut down this year.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 1:36 pm

The U.S. may have added jobs to its payroll last month, but the losses are still huge in Atlantic City, N.J., where four casinos have closed this year. A fifth teeters, and more than 7,000 people — dealers, greeters, cooks and maids — have been laid off.

The job losses could mean a future of boarded windows and abandoned buildings.

In the 1970s, Atlantic City had lost the glitter of its golden years — the 1940s and '50s, when it was a favored summer spot with a broad beach, the Boardwalk, pastel resort hotels and the home of the Miss America Pageant.

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Bioscience Expansion
10:04 am
Fri October 3, 2014

Jackson Lab Readies for Farmington Debut

Construction workers putting finishing touches to Jackson Lab's Farmington premises
Harriet Jones WNPR

Jackson Laboratory is putting the finishing touches to its new facility in Farmington. The $100 million building opens for business next week, and the non-profit says there are already plans for further expansion. 

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American Made
7:06 am
Fri October 3, 2014

U.S. Manufacturing: A Remembrance And A Look Ahead

A worker cuts slabs of steel at a mill in Cleveland in 2004.
Ron Schwane AP

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 11:28 am

If it weren't for American manufacturing, I wouldn't be here today.

Literally.

A century ago, my grandfather moved from Poland to Youngstown, Ohio, to work in a steel mill. At the time, Ohio factories were cranking out steel slabs, tires and cars — building a mountain of wealth that the next generation could climb. And the generation after that.

But what will happen in the 21st century? Is the path that led to higher ground blocked now?

The answer is complicated.

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Business of Defense
7:48 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Sen. Murphy: Pentagon Spends Billions Overseas, Costs Jobs

Big contractors like Pratt & Whitney should be required to source more of their parts in the US, according to Senator Chris Murphy
Pratt & Whitney

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said that in the past seven years, the Pentagon has spent more than $160 billion of taxpayer money on foreign-made goods. He’s accusing the defense department of abusing legislation that requires it to buy American.

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Social Media
7:46 am
Wed October 1, 2014

'Ello' Aims For A Return To Ad-Free Social Networking

Ello is a new, invitation-only social network that aims to thrive and survive on a business model that does not include selling user data or advertising.
Ello.co

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 4:35 pm

Vermont is known for its green pastures, farmsteads and roads free of billboards. The founders of the new social network Ello live in the state, and they want to bring Vermont-like serenity to the Internet.

"We set out to prove that a social network will survive and thrive that doesn't have a business model of selling ads to its users," says CEO and co-founder Paul Budnitz.

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New York City
5:31 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

New York Boosts Pay For Thousands With Hourly Wage Hike

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signs an executive order raising the city's living wage law Tuesday. The move will require some employers to pay their employees between $11.50 and $13.13 an hour, depending on whether the employee receives benefits.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order Tuesday that effectively raises the hourly wage for thousands of workers in New York City. The city says its expansion of the Living Wage provisions will boost yearly earnings for the lowest-paid workers from $16,640 to $27,310.

From New York, NPR's Joel Rose reports:

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East Windsor
1:10 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Ed Thrall and the Story of His Most Contentious Dance Hall

Chion Wolf

You might say that the two great loves of Edwin Thrall’s life were his wife, Flicka, and his daughter, Janett -- his only child, who he wanted to protect --  so he built his third great love, a square dance hall, a place where his wife could dance, and his daughter could be safe.

In a 1997 documentary, Ed Thrall said that he wanted a place to call square dancing. "I wanted a place for Janett to have her friends, and give them recreation that we thought was civilized, and moral, and helpful, and would last them as long as they lived."   

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State Taxes
12:58 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Connecticut Tax Panel Looks at Simplicity, Affordability

Credit Flickr Creative Commons, Tax Credits

Connecticut’s tax code comes under scrutiny on Monday as the state’s new tax panel meets for the first time.

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American Made
3:27 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Rochester Focuses On A New Picture Of American Manufacturing

Tom Worden works on a fixed-abrasive grinding table at Exelis Inc. in Rochester, N.Y. Exelis is an aerospace and defense company, and employs numerous former Kodak workers in its facility.
Mike Bradley for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 7:17 am

Rochester, N.Y., was once the imaging capital of the world, home to Kodak, Xerox and the eye care company, Bausch + Lomb.

Led by these companies, the manufacturing sector once employed 60 percent of Rochester's workforce. Now, that's less than 10 percent. And so, like many cities in this country, Rochester is trying to build something new from its manufacturing heritage.

If you want to understand the story of Rochester, says historian Carolyn Vacca, you need to come to High Falls, where from a bridge visitors see a waterfall and a panoramic view of downtown.

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Film Production
12:07 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Lights, Camera, Drones: Hollywood's Lens Gets A Little Larger

A Parrot Bebop drone flies during a demonstration in May in San Francisco.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 4:08 pm

Hollywood is getting the green light to fly its own drones.

The Federal Aviation Administration is giving approval to six movie and TV production companies to use drones for filming. And the move could pave the way for the unmanned aircraft systems to be used in other commercial ventures.

The FAA will permit the six companies to use remote-controlled drones to shoot movies and video for TV shows and commercials, but there will be certain limitations.

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Food Retail
5:33 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Supermarkets Waste Tons Of Food As They Woo Shoppers

Ready-to-eat meals found in the prepared food aisle are a growing source of waste, as it is difficult to reuse meals that aren't sold but are fully cooked.
Kristofor Husted Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 11:23 am

Supermarkets and restaurants serve up more than 400 million pounds of food each year, but nearly a third of it never makes it to a stomach.

With consumers demanding large displays of unblemished, fresh produce, many retailers end up tossing a mountain of perfectly edible food. Despite efforts to cut down on all that waste, in the U.S., the consumer end of the food chain still accounts for the largest share. It comes down to shoppers demanding stocked shelves, buying too much and generally treating food as a renewable resource.

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Next Generation Weapons
10:20 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Replacing Ballistic Missile Subs "Key to National Defense"

The new subs would replace Ohio Class boats including the USS Alaska

The Groton shipyard of Electric Boat may be looking forward to making two Virginia Class submarines per year, but members of the state’s congressional delegation say they’ll continue to push for an additional major building program.

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Entrepreneur Education
1:24 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Bond Commission Snubs Connecticut Innovations

CI has written to its contractors telling them they won't get paid till January.

Connecticut Innovations, the state’s tech investment agency, has run short of money, and says it will delay funding some of its key programs. The issue — it can’t get onto the Bond Commission agenda.

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Beer Distribution
8:32 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Yuengling Beer Returns to the Nutmeg State

Yuengling devotees in Connecticut have been known to bring back six packs of the beer from Pennsylvania.
Steve Winton Creative Commons

For the first time in decades, Yuengling beer is being served in Connecticut restaurants and bars.

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Hardware City
8:19 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Remembering New Britain's Industrial History

Fafnir Bearing Company.
New Britain Industrial Museum

What was Hardware City like in its heyday? Today, it’s hard to imagine: a packed downtown, with 35,000 factory workers, and life revolving around the factories.  

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U.S. Economy
6:26 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Federal Reserve To Markets: Nothing To See Here; Move Along

Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen.
Susan Walsh AP

The Federal Reserve's policy makers just eyeballed the economy, and saw nothing new.

On Wednesday, they announced wage-and-price hikes remain low and growth continues at a moderate pace. That means interest rates can stay super low for a "considerable time," while the Fed's bond-buying program can wrap up next month, as expected.

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