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Low gas prices are fueling more Americans to drive long distances to celebrate Thanksgiving with family and friends.

Consumers seeking health policies with the most freedom in choosing doctors and hospitals are finding far fewer of those plans on the insurance marketplaces. And the premiums are rising faster than for other types of coverage.

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Are you wondering whether to buy or rent a home? Or how much to save for your child’s education? How much should you set aside for retirement, depending on your age? 

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In an era awash in the rollout of brand new gadgets, gizmos, fashions, and fads, it's easy to think of obsolescence as part of the natural order: Remember popped lapels, pay phones and laserdisc players? But the idea that an object should quickly fall from favor, lose functionality, and find itself in a landfill somewhere is quite new -- and it didn't come about by accident.

The U.S. economy grew at a considerably slower pace during the third quarter as companies cut back on the size of their inventories, the Commerce Department said.

Growth came in at an annual rate of 1.5 percent — a sharp slowdown from the 3.9 percent gain recorded in the preceding quarter. The economy has grown at about 2 percent so far this year.

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Whole Foods Market has recalled curry chicken salad and deli pasta salad sold in its stores in seven Northeast states because of possible listeria contamination. 

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Are you wondering whether to buy or rent a home? Or how much to save for your child’s education? How much should you set aside for retirement, depending on your age? 

Volkswagen admitted it intentionally cheated on federal emissions tests. The German automaker now faces billions of dollars in fines and litigation, plus the cost of fixing some 11 million diesel cars worldwide.

That's just the company. The scandal is costing owners, too — at least those who are trying to sell their VW diesels. Not surprisingly, resale prices for the affected cars have been falling.

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Look around Connecticut. We don't have fracking for natural gas. There aren't underground oil deposits, and solar energy is just now starting to get popular. All that means when it comes to managing energy that’s often produced out-of-state, Nutmeggers have historically been pretty thrifty. 

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Unemployment among teenagers and young people in Connecticut stands at historic highs. New research suggests that those who suffer periods of unemployment early in their careers pay a penalty in terms of lowered earnings decades into their careers.

Every other Saturday, a huge semi truck with a 42-foot trailer pulls up in a parking lot in Putnam, Connecticut. Amid the barking of dogs in the background, a burly man named Greg Mahle hops out.

For the past 10 years, Mahle has made it his mission to find homes for rescue dogs. He brings them up from the South to what he calls “forever families” here in the North. He estimates he has saved some 50,000 dogs.

Uber Pushing To Expand To Upstate, Long Island

Oct 21, 2015

  The ride sharing service Uber, which already operates in New York City, is making a big push to move into upstate and Long Island. But that would require state lawmakers to take action.

Uber officials, armed with a study that says 13,000 new jobs could be created if Uber is allowed in all of New York, came to the State Capitol to make their case. They have started an online petition and ad campaign to help convince the state legislature to pass laws to allow the service to operate .

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Connecticut's Consumer Counsel is advising that Connecticut residents who buy electricity from third-party retail electric suppliers should take a close look at their bills this month.

Americans collectively are losing billions of dollars a year out of their retirement accounts because they're paying excessive fees, according to researchers studying thousands of employer-sponsored retirement plans across the country.

The rearchers say part of the trouble is that many employers that offer 401(k) plans to their workers are outgunned by financial firms that sell them bad plans loaded with hefty fees. That's especially true, they say, for small and midsize employers that don't have much financial expertise in-house.

David DesRoches / WNPR

As a junior in high school, Michael Beale had a candy business that was pretty successful. But it wasn't exactly a school-sanctioned activity.

"Let's just say it was off the school's books," Beale said, speaking at a recent financial literacy event in East Hartford. Eventually the school shut down his black market sweets operation, but it didn't stop his desire to learn more about personal finance.

Four companies running urgent care centers in New York have agreed to disclose more fully which insurance plans they accept, following an inquiry by the state's attorney general that found unclear or incomplete information on their websites that could result in larger-than-expected bills for consumers.

On Thursday, German authorities issued a mandatory recall of all Volkswagen diesel cars outfitted with emissions-cheating software.

Shortly after the German Federal Motor Transport Authority ordered the recall of 2.4 million diesel cars in Germany, Volkswagen announced it would be recalling 8.5 million cars across Europe.

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The price to put a solar panel on your home has dropped in recent years, spurring a growth in residential solar energy installations. But at least one researcher said consumers still need to be diligent before deciding to put a panel on their house.

Tonight, as you plop down on the couch to watch the Democratic presidential debate or the baseball playoffs, consider for a moment what you're waving your remote at. If you're like millions of Americans, your cable box sits on a shelf under your flat screen, gathering dust, easy to overlook.

It's also easy to overlook the rent you're paying for that box month after month.

Hackers have stolen the personal information of about 15 million T-Mobile customers and potential customers in the U.S., including Social Security numbers, dates of birth and home addresses.

Experian says it notified law enforcement as soon as it discovered the breach, NPR's Laura Sydell reports:

She also says:

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There are lots of tools to help us gauge the quality of nearly any product or service we wish to buy, from cars to computers to restaurants. Yet there's no easy way to assess the quality of the doctors who take care of what's most important to us -- our health. 

A schoolteacher is believed to be the first person in Connecticut to sue Volkswagen over its admission that it rigged its diesel cars to cheat emissions tests. 

Do You Know Where Your Cheese Comes From?

Sep 30, 2015

Americans love cheese. According to the USDA, we ate about 34 pounds of cheese per person last year. But how often do we think about who makes our cheese, or about its journey from France or Vermont to our crackers?

Well, some local cheese mongers are waging a campaign to raise awareness about cheese origins, cheese integrity and cheese abuse.

A Subterranean Education

At Volkswagen, damage control is in full swing after it was revealed the automaker had, for seven years, equipped its vehicles with software capable of fooling emission tests.

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Having health insurance is a near necessity, but paying for it is getting increasingly hard for consumers.

When Apple recently updated its TV box the redesign included a remote that also functions as a game controller. Apple isn't trying to compete with powerful consoles such as Microsoft's Xbox or Sony's PlayStation. But, Apple is competing with Google and Amazon to attract a much bigger but different gaming audience.

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Every week for the past seven-and-a-half years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has identified an average of two dietary supplements being sold to consumers that were “tainted” and “potentially hazardous,” a Connecticut Health I-Team analysis of data revealed.

Apple's latest press event wasn't really filled with surprises: Though the rumor mill always has churned before Apple events since the death of Steve Jobs, the rumors have gotten more accurate, so it wasn't a surprise that Apple upgraded its iPhones, iPads and Apple TV.

Here are a few impressions of the new offerings:

Apple TV

Of the products announced Wednesday, this was the most interesting, and, just maybe, the most revolutionary.

The campaign to force America's farmers to change the way they handle their animals celebrated a victory this week.

McDonald's USA announced that in the near future, it will no longer buy eggs from chickens that live in cages.

Those cages are still the industry standard, and 90 percent of America's eggs come from chickens that live in them.

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One of the top economic issues for voters is the vast economic inquality in the country, according to Gallup polling.