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Volkswagen's use of a "defeat device" to fool U.S. regulators has resulted in a federal lawsuit against the company. Volkswagen has acknowledged that millions of its diesel cars worldwide relied on a ruse to skirt emissions controls.

The civil complaint was filed in federal court in Detroit, with the Department of Justice acting on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency — which says it hasn't yet reached an acceptable agreement with Volkswagen over how to handle a recall.

The sale of the Block Island Times is expected to become final on January 1st. The weekly’s owners for the last decade, Fraser and Betty Lang, are selling the paper to Michael Schroeder, who owns several Connecticut newspapers, including the New Britain Herald.

Once he takes over, Schroeder says he plans to spend one or two weeks a month on Block Island.

How The Mass. Casino Industry Stands As 2016 Begins

Dec 30, 2015

It’s been a big year for the casino industry in Massachusetts. The state’s first expanded gambling facility opened in June. The Plainridge Park Casino has 1,250 slot machines and a racetrack. And bigger casino proposals in Boston and Springfield are closer to becoming realities.

Here’s what’s changed over the past year:

Falling Revenues In Plainville

MGM Resorts International is planning to start demolishing buildings in mid-January to clear the site in downtown Springfield where the company intends to build the first casino in western Massachusetts.  2015 was a year of delay and downsizing for the casino project.

When MGM held the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Springfield casino in late March with the former Zanetti school building as the backdrop for photographs with construction workers and machinery no one would have predicted the building would still be standing nine months later.

Senado Federal / Flickr

It goes by many names: the sharing economy, the collaborative economy, the peer economy, just to name a few. Whatever you want to call it, one thing's for sure: this new way of doing business -- where idle assets equal big profits, and the hard-earned currency of trust comes through user reviews -- is changing the economic landscape of our country.

Owen Byrne flickr.com/photos/ojbyrne / Creative Commons

Airlines are shifting the timing of thousands of flights, even adding dozens of redeyes, as they try to avoid delays while hauling millions of passengers from now through the Christmas weekend.

Steup / Flickr Creative Commons

To the list of things you can't avoid -- death and taxes -- we now add losing your job to a machine. A worry typically reserved for those in manufacturing, automation in the workplace is now a reality of nearly all occupations, and it's only getting worse... or is it?

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

A gun manufacturer in Connecticut has plead guilty to violating federal firearms laws. The owner of Stag Arms has been banned from the firearms business, and must now sell the company.

Paul Jerry / Creative Commons

Serta Simmons Bedding is planning to relocate its Massachusetts operations across the border to Windsor Locks, according to Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy. 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

General Electric is going to make us wait a little longer. The conglomerate had promised a decision on its potential headquarters move by the end of this year, but recently said it won’t announce until January.

Michael Iamele / Soul de Cuba Café

American Airlines and Jet Blue have announced plans to offer scheduled flights to Cuba. This follows last week’s new agreement on commercial flights between the island nation and the United States. 

Rennett Stowe / Flickr Creative Commons

Young people coming out of college today have a strong desire to do good in the world, but it’s not easy to find jobs with a social purpose. Instead, many are starting their own businesses, combining an entrepreneurial spirit with a social mission.

One day after he was arrested on fraud charges, controversial drug executive Martin Shkreli has resigned his post as the leader of Turing Pharmaceuticals. Shkreli is currently free on bail.

Turing announced the change Friday, naming Ron Tilles, its current board chairman, as the interim chief executive officer.

"We wish to thank Martin for helping us build Turing Pharmaceuticals into the dynamic research focused company it is today, and wish him the best in his future endeavors," Tilles said in a statement about the move.

Mohegan Sun is showing off progress on its new hotel development in Uncasville, a project that tribal chairman Kevin Brown said proves its commitment to its roots. 

The mysterious new owner of the Las Vegas Review-Journal was revealed in a statement printed on page 2 of Thursday's edition: "We are proud to announce that the Adelson family has purchased the Las Vegas Review-Journal through a wholly-owned fund, as both a financial investment as well as an investment in the future of the Las Vegas community."

Martin Shkreli, the drug executive who was widely criticized for sharply raising the price of a drug used by HIV patients, was arrested Thursday by federal agents on charges that he misused funds at the company he founded.

avangrid.com

Iberdrola USA and UIL Holdings Corporation have closed on the Spanish firm's $3 billion purchase of the Connecticut parent company of several local energy firms.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday announced liftoff for short-term interest rates — a launch that may send many borrowing costs higher in 2016.

The 0.25-percentage-point increase — to a range of 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent — in the federal funds rate was small but important because it signals the beginning of the end of easy money; the Fed wants to get back to normal after years of fighting economic stagnation with supercheap loans.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The effort to revive the neighborhood around downtown Hartford’s new minor league baseball stadium is gaining some big name support -- and a new hotel.

Hard Rock Hotel Hartford will open near the Dunkin’ Donuts Park, the new home of the Hartford Yard Goats, the developers said. 

Warm Winter Weather Affecting Recreation Business

Dec 14, 2015

Break out the sandals and shorts – it’s nearly 60 degrees outside.  Many folks are grabbing their irons and are out playing the links — which wouldn’t be so unusual if it wasn’t mid-December in northern New York and Vermont. But the winter sports industry is holding its breath. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley takes a look at how the warm temperatures are affecting recreation habits.

UTC

United Technologies said it wants to save $1.5 billion through closures and layoffs. But CEO Greg Hayes told The Hartford Courant that Connecticut is likely to be spared the worst of the cuts. 

The two largest chemical companies in America will become one entity named DowDuPont, as Dow Chemical and DuPont say they're joining in a "merger of equals." The new company will have a market capitalization of around $130 billion.

After the merger, the resulting behemoth would be split into what Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris calls "three powerful new companies," with a combined revenue of around $83 billion.

Is it those holiday parties filled with people eating together? We're not sure, but we keep hearing about new clusters of people getting poisoned by their meals.

The latest outbreak sickened at least 120 people in Boston, most of them students at Boston College.

This included eight members of the college's basketball team. The team is scheduled to play Providence this evening, and as of this morning, it's unclear whether the game will happen.

DonkeyHotey / Creative Commons

Business leaders are digesting the changes that will be introduced by the budget bill passed in special session by the General Assembly on Tuesday night. 

One of the state’s largest employers is about to undergo a major change in ownership. Keurig Green Mountain, the Waterbury-based coffee company that employs more than 600 people statewide, is to be bought by an investor group for $13.9 billion. But state officials say they’re confident that Vermont workers will keep their jobs.

Ending a run of more than 30 years on the air, talk show host Diane Rehm plans to retire, according to WAMU, the NPR member station where the show is produced in Washington, D.C.

Rehm's exit from the show will not take place immediately; she is expected to remain as its host through the 2016 presidential election. A date for her exit has not been established.

Pepperidge Farm / Trader Joe's

Norwalk, Connecticut-based commercial bakery Pepperidge Farm, one of the most popular snack brands in the U.S., is being a "tough cookie" and taking the grocery chain Trader Joe's to court over a cookie that looks too much like their Milano brand. Pepperidge Farm has filed suit against the grocery chain for trademark infringement.

Dean Hochman flickr.com/photos/deanhochman/

An Associated Press analysis has found that no large food retailers opened supermarkets from late 2011 to early 2015 in areas of Connecticut deemed by the federal government to need them the most.

MARK M.MURRAY / THE REPUBLICAN

MGM continues to defend design changes for its Springfield casino, this time before the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, which held a public meeting in the city Thursday.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

A plan to expand commuter rail service from New Haven, Connecticut, to Springfield, Massachusetts, will take about a year longer and $135 million more than expected, but Connecticut officials said they've secured a crucial commitment from Amtrak to keep work on schedule.

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