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Gasoline prices are at their lowest level in four years. The price at the pump in many states is almost a full dollar cheaper than it was last spring.

So some politicians think this is a good time to raise gasoline taxes. Several states are tired of waiting for Congress to fix the federal highway trust fund, so they're considering raising gas taxes themselves to address their crumbling roads.

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The Wall Street Journal is the first to take a guess at the mystery surrounding the departure of United Technologies CEO Louis Chenevert.

The paper reported this weekend that the company board engineered his abrupt ouster because of concerns that he was spending too much time on his private interests.

The Patrick administration has awarded funding to help train people for jobs in the new Massachusetts casino industry. 

Holyoke Community College is getting a $1.75 million grant to build a Center for Hospitality and Culinary Excellence that will be used in part to prepare people for casino-related jobs.  HCC President William Messner has led the effort to partner with the casino industry on workforce development.

" We see this as simply an extension of our tradition, of our mission to provide first class training for businesses and organizations."

Here's a fact that might surprise you: All of the top 10 U.S. companies that were born on the Internet — including Google, Amazon and eBay — have overseas corporate headquarters in Ireland.

The American tech sector is huge in Ireland. It's growing rapidly — and having a huge impact on life there.

But the tax system that's fueling the growth is also infuriating some people in the U.S. and Europe — and has Ireland reconsidering its tax code.

A City, And Country, Transformed

As 2014 winds down, you might want to save that calendar hanging next to the fridge.

Maybe even frame it.

After so many years of misery for the middle class, 2014 is now looking like the one that finally brought relief. The November jobs report, released Friday by the Labor Department, had blowout numbers showing a surge in job creation, an upturn in work hours and a meaningful boost in wages.

Library of Congress

A bill that would make Hartford’s Coltsville into a national park has passed in the U.S. House. 

Turner Construction

A group of small, independent hospitals in Connecticut said the increasing cost of providing health care coupled with lower reimbursement rates from insurance providers and the government is making it harder for them to survive, and they’re seeking help from state lawmakers.

Kate Ter Haar / Creative Commons

A West Hartford law firm has filed suit against several independent electric suppliers in the state, accusing them of price gouging and deceptive business practices. 

When Ronaldo Mouchawar was working in a Boston engineering firm he dreamed of moving back to the Arab world. Born and raised in Aleppo, Syria, he had come to the U.S. to study, then got a high-paying job, but he believed he "owed something" to his home region.

It turned out his ticket back was a smart idea at the right time.

It's one of the biggest ironies of NBC's gamble tonight with the blockbuster production Peter Pan Live!

This incredibly earnest TV musical just might succeed if enough people hate it.

Farmington Avenue Alliance

Will a McDonald's open in Hartford's West End? Not if neighbors and the city of Hartford have their way. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Consumers who are scrambling to lower their electric rates in the new year are being urged to exercise caution. Looming rate increases from Connecticut Light and Power and United Illuminating have many considering signing up for an alternative supplier for the first time. 

This weekend, Will Falls decided to skip the local mall near Raleigh, N.C., and shop online instead.

"No standing in line, no finding a parking spot," he says. "Just get comfortable and go at it."

Millions of Americans did the same — Falls helped contribute to an 8.5 percent increase in online shopping Monday compared with 2013, according to data from IBM.

That growth stands in contrast to an 11 percent drop in sales reported by the National Retail Federation at brick-and-mortar stores over the Black Friday weekend compared with a year ago.

Saying it wants to build "a safer Twitter," the company is announcing changes to two areas: how it handles harassment and the tools that let users block people who've sent abusive messages. One woman who has experienced such abuse calls the change "a big step up."

Twitter announced the changes in a blog post Tuesday, which reads in part:

When it needs to serve 75,000 raw oysters to 3,000 people in one weekend, Washington D.C.'s landmark Old Ebbitt Grill calls in reinforcements. It hires expert oyster shuckers to help out with its Oyster Riot event each year. And for most of the last 20 years, those experts have included 59-year-old George Hastings.

Since Tim Cook has been CEO of Apple, the company's market capitalization (or the value of its outstanding shares) has increased by more than $300 billion. On Nov. 26, it reached its highest level yet, almost $698 billion.

Numerically, this is a feat. Quartz says, "In nominal terms no company has ever been as big as Apple." Of course, Quartz goes on to say that, adjusted for inflation, Microsoft was bigger at its 1990s peak.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Attorney General George Jepsen has welcomed the cut that regulators look likely to make to Connecticut Light and Power’s requested rate hike, but he said they should go further. 

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State regulators, in a draft ruling, have reduced the permanent rate increase proposed by Connecticut Light and Power, slashing the number from $221 million to about $130 million. It’s big news in the ongoing controversy over the energy company’s plan to increase electric rates.

Thin Mints, Do-si-dos and Samoas just became easier to buy: Girl Scouts will now be able to use Digital Cookies to sell the treats online.

"Girls have been telling us that they want to go into this space," said Sarah Angel-Johnson, chief digital cookie executive for the Girl Scouts of the USA. "Online is where entrepreneurship is going."

Her comments were reported by The Associated Press.

Black Friday shopping at brick-and-mortar stores in the United States was down about 7 percent from a year ago, according to ShopperTrak, but more purchases on Thanksgiving Day nearly made up the difference. Meanwhile, online retailers recorded double-digit year-on-year increases in sales.

ShopperTrak says Friday store sales hit $9.1 billion, but that shoppers spent $3.2 billion on Thanksgiving — a 24 percent increase for sales on that day from over last year. Overall, it represented a 0.5 percent drop from last year.

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As the state hunkers down for a pre-Thanksgiving storm, Frontier Communications is assuring its customers that it will keep them connected. 

The Stamford-based company issued a statement saying it has teams standing by to restore service quickly if the weather causes outages. 

It's a busy time of year for turkey farmers around the country. And these days, with the growth of the local food movement, small family farms are struggling to keep up with all the orders for birds. So, we went to find out what one New England farmer is doing to get her gobblers from the field to the table. Enter the "abattoir."

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United Technologies' stock has bounced back just a day after the departure of CEO Louis Chenevert. Shares in the Hartford based conglomerate ended Monday down 1.4 percent, following the shock announcement that former CFO Greg Hayes would take over the top slot. 

UTC

Investors and employees have been left baffled by the sudden resignation of Louis Chenevert, the chief executive of United Technologies. 

Louis Chenevert, the chief executive officer of United Technologies Corporation, has announced his retirement.

He will step down immediately, and he'll be succeeded by current chief financial officer Greg Hayes.



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The maker of a new vehicle called the Slingshot is meeting with state motor vehicles officials to discuss whether they may sell the three-wheeler in Connecticut. 

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Connecticut lawmakers say they want to make another effort to save Thanksgiving. In the face of widespread store openings, Representative Matt Lesser said he’ll once again introduce a bill that would make stores pay their employees 2.5 times their normal rate on Thanksgiving. 

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Connecticut employers added 3,600 jobs in October, with the biggest gains coming in the retail sector. The state’s unemployment rate, which is based on a separate survey, remained steady from September at 6.4 percent. In the first ten months of the year, Connecticut has added 18,300 jobs, up from 13,700 in the same period of 2013.

State of Connecticut

Connecticut's insurance commissioner is moving on for a job in the financial services industry. Thomas Leonardi will leave the agency in December.

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Connecticut officials are seeking public input on a proposal to create a state-administered retirement plan for private sector workers. 

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