Stephen Pierzchala / Creative Commons

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.

Like many trendy boutiques, there is a definite minimalist flair. Soft sweaters rest on antique tables and the hardwood floors gleam.

But this boutique in Huntington Beach, Calif., is owned by a name more well known for treasure hunting than couture shopping: Goodwill.

"Look at some of these great dresses here. We have Development, which is a great brand, we have Lee — these are ones kind of more known in the fashion industry than on the street," says Eric Smissen, the store's visual specialist.

Massachusetts gaming industry regulators are soliciting public comment on MGM’s proposed changes to the Springfield casino project.

In its most recent regulatory filing on the design changes, MGM says it expects as much as an 8 percent drop in casino traffic.

Gaming Commission Chairman Stephen Crosby and the other commissioners want to know the reasons for the proposed changes and the possible impact on jobs and revenue.

Zeetz / Creative Commons

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. 

Nate Gagnon / WNPR

More than two truckloads of contraband tobacco products and $120,000 have been seized by Connecticut tax officials, after a four-month investigation into illegal tobacco sales. 

 A Vermont boot brand is coming back after several years off the market — a return that is a déjà vu experience for the boots' creator.

Vstock LLC/iStock / Thinkstock

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.

Goody Clancy

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy is making efforts to figure out how to develop land in certain parts of the state to encourage more use of public transportation.

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.

Wal-Mart, thought to be the largest seller of firearms in the U.S., will stop selling military-style modern sporting rifles, such as the the AR-15, this fall.

Wal-Mart spokesman Kory Lundberg said the decision to phase out the controversial semi-automatics was based in business, not politics, citing declining demand.

James Williams / Creative Commons

The owner of the Mystic Pizza restaurant made famous in a 1988 film was sentenced to prison for tax evasion and concealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in income. 

The Ethan Allen furniture company is under pressure from one of its investors to either sell itself or divest some of its real estate assets. Sandell Asset Management, which owns 5.5 percent of Ethan Allen, said the company's stock is underperforming. 

Steven Depolo / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s annual sales tax-free shopping week begins on Sunday, but some shoppers might need to plan their purchases carefully to qualify. Only clothing and footwear items under $100 are eligible for tax-free purchase this year; in previous years, items could be up to $300.

Connecticut Craft Beer: A New Industry is Brewing

Aug 7, 2015
Chion Wolf

To say Connecticut is known for its world class craft beers is not accurate-- at least not yet. But a bold band of merry (and quite innovative) beer brewers from cities all around are on a mission to change that, one small batch at a time. With nearly 40 in-state breweries currently in operation-- a ten fold increase from the number we had only six years ago -- the Connecticut craft beer industry is booming.

One of the nation’s most recognizable coffee chains, Dunkin’ Donuts, is expanding in the United States and abroad.

Dunkin’ Brands announced today that it opened 80 new Dunkin’ Donuts stores in the U.S. and 154 worldwide in the second quarter. The company is making a push into the coveted West Coast market, where the competition is brutal. / Creative Commons

Greetings card maker Hallmark says it will close its Connecticut distribution center with the loss of 570 jobs. The one million-square-foot facility in Enfield has been open for more than 30 years, and Hallmark has been a presence in the town for over 60. 

R0Ng / Creative Commons

Handgun purchasing laws in Connecticut have resulted in a 40 percent drop in statewide gun deaths, according to a new study out of Johns Hopkins University. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The stadium being built for the minor league Hartford Yard Goats now has a sponsor and a name, and the Yard Goats will play baseball at Dunkin' Donuts Park.

Tanger Factory Outlets

The Tanger Outlet mall that opens at Foxwoods on Thursday morning could bring two to three million new visitors to the casino each year. That’s the bet that the casino’s owners are making with the new $120 million destination retail venue. 

Mark Walerysiak

The "cultural ninjas" are back at it, weeks after stealthily transforming five empty storefronts into beautiful, impromptu art installations. Now, Bristol's Art Squad is tackling abandoned properties.

Wikimedia Commons

A compromise has been worked out between the state's automotive dealers and electric-vehicle manufacturer Tesla. That's according to the co-chair of the state's transportation committee. 

The unpredictable schedules of retail and fast-food workers is a big issue in workers rights campaigns. Now, the New York attorney general is investigating the way some of the country's biggest retailers handle scheduling.

In New York, if a worker shows up for a shift that he doesn't end up being needed for, the law says he still is due four hours of pay. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says retailers, especially, rely heavily on systems that require workers to be ready to work a shift — regardless of whether they end up working. It's called on-call work.

Ginger Grant

The town of Bristol is in the midst of marketing their new logo and brand: Bristol - All Heart. A group of artists, calling themselves the Bristol Art Squad, are doing their part to showcase the new brand by transforming five vacant storefronts throughout the city into temporary art installations. 

The most visible part of Starbucks' campaign to get customers talking about race — putting the slogan "Race Together" on coffee cups — has come to an end.

In a memo sent to all Starbucks employees Sunday, CEO Howard Schultz wrote: "This phase of the effort — writing 'Race Together' (or placing stickers) on cups, which was always just the catalyst for a much broader and longer term conversation — will be completed as originally planned today, March 22."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Hartford is investing in a $350 million development in the North End of the city that will include housing, shopping, and a minor league baseball stadium, dubbed Downtown North. But will investment in Downtown North translate into economic prosperity to the rest of the North End?

Wikimedia Commons

A group representing automotive dealers in Connecticut said it will continue to oppose Tesla selling its cars directly to customers, but if the legislature does decide to move forward with a bill allowing direct sales, car dealers are calling for a two year moratorium on it.

drivebysh00ter/flickr creative commons

Paris sculptor Tatiana Trouve agreed to do a major public art installation for Central Park, which is opening now and involves miles of colored rope. Now we have a mission for you… design a store for children with objects or a playscape that will entertain kids and adults, and make them all say "Wow!" walking in the door.

Creative Commons

Owners and managers of Connecticut car dealerships are urging state lawmakers to abandon legislation that would allow an electric car maker to sell vehicles directly to consumers.

About 70 auto dealers were at the state Capitol on Wednesday meeting with legislators to protest a bill benefiting Tesla Motors. Current state law prevents car manufacturers from selling their cars to consumers.

A bill before the legislature's Transportation Committee would make an exception for Tesla. 

Some key Connecticut lawmakers say they are willing to pursue a compromise that would allow Tesla Motors sell its electric cars directly to consumers, but with some provisions that address the concerns of the state's independent franchise dealerships.

Wikimedia Commons

When Art Linares wanted to buy a Tesla, it wasn't as easy as walking into a store and taking a test drive. Instead, he had to go to New York -- because in Connecticut, it's illegal for a car manufacturer to sell directly to a customer.

"It prevents companies like Mercedes and BMW from creating their own stores, so they have to go through a dealership," said Linares, who's no ordinary customer -- he's a state senator for the 33rd District.

Linares wants to change those dealership laws for at least for one company, Tesla, which has a world-wide policy of selling directly to customers. "What we're trying to do here in Connecticut is make an exemption for Tesla to be able to open up their own stores and sell their cars," he said.