• Vermont Gas proposes 3 percent rate decrease

    Updated: 15 hr ago

    SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Gas Systems has proposed a 3 percent rate decrease that would lower costs for the company's customers. The company, Vermont's only provider of piped natural gas, says the move would save the average household about $30 a year. CEO Don Rendall said Monday this is the 12th time the company has filed for a rate decrease since January 2012. Customers have seen a more than 15 percent reduction. Vermont Public Radio reports that the change comes as the company continues to build a major pipeline into Addison County. Rendall says those costs are not yet factored into the rates but declined to say if gas rates will increase once they are. If it's approved by the Public Service Board,

  • Tech Tips: Windows 10 privacy settings worth checking

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Microsoft's new Windows 10 system offers more personalization than before, but it also collects more data than people might be used to on PCs, from contacts and appointments to their physical location and even Wi-Fi passwords. The information is used by Cortana, Microsoft's voice-activated digital assistant, and other new features that try to be helpful by remembering a user's likes and habits. Apple and Google have developed similar services for smartphones in recent years. Microsoft's new features are a big part of its strategy to make Windows more relevant in a world where people use multiple devices throughout the day. Most of these features get turned on when you set up Windows 10 with the "Get goi

  • Wobbly euro economy may get bigger push from central bank

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — When is a trillion euros not enough? Could be soon, in Europe's shaky economy. Analysts are already talking about when and how the European Central Bank might extend its 1.1 trillion-euro ($1.2 trillion) stimulus program that has been running for the past six months in an attempt to boost the modest recovery in the 19 countries that use the euro. They say ECB President Mario Draghi will likely use his news conference Thursday to underline the bank's willingness to increase its efforts, if needed, to push up stubbornly weak inflation or limit any damage from the economic troubles in China. The stimulus program is slated to run through September 2016, in monthly purchases of 60 billion euros of

  • In Alaska, Obama depicts stark future without climate action

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Submerged countries, abandoned cities and floods of refugees await the world barring urgent action on climate change, President Barack Obama warned Monday, painting a doomsday scenario as he opened a historic visit to Alaska. In a bid to further his environmental legacy, Obama brought the power of the presidential pulpit to Anchorage and called on other nations to take swift action as negotiations for a global climate treaty near a close. His speech to an Arctic climate summit set the tone for a three-day tour of Alaska that will put the state's liquefying glaciers and sinking villages on graphic display. "On this issue — of all issues —there is such a thing as being too late," Obama said. "And

  • Harvard launches 'virtual classroom' for students anywhere

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    BOSTON (AP) — Harvard University's business school is unrolling a high-tech classroom that lets professors teach live lectures to students around the world. Housed in a TV studio, the classroom puts professors in front of a towering, wall-to-wall video screen that fills up with live feeds of up to 60 students. From their computers, students can see the classroom and interact with the professor and other classmates, like a larger-than-life video conference. Initially the room will be used to host classes for business students while they're on study trips around the world, and to host virtual research presentations. Eventually officials said they will consider offering new programs taught entirely online through t

  • NextEra defends plans, commits to Hawaii energy goals

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    HONOLULU (AP) — Florida-based company NextEra Energy is defending its plans to acquire Hawaiian Electric, saying that it is committed to Hawaii's renewable energy goals. Executives from the company filed written responses to the Public Utilities Commission addressing concerns raised by Gov. David Ige, the Consumer Advocate and others on Monday, outlining 50 new promises on issues including retaining local management. Ige said in July that he opposed the deal because he was concerned that NextEra may not be able to fulfill Hawaii's goals that its utilities use 100 percent renewable energy by 2045, among other reasons.

  • Shell resumes operations after storm force Arctic stop

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell PLC has resumed operations after high winds and rough seas north of Alaska's northern coast put a temporary stop to exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean. But Shell spokesman Curtis Smith says in a Monday email to The Associated Press that full operations, including drilling, will start again once a systems check is complete and the company is satisfied it's safe to start drilling again. He says there's no timeline for that to be completed. Shell has resumed drilling in the Arctic Ocean for the first time since 2012. Bad weather has postponed previous drilling operations, and Shell has said it plans for it. Bad weather affected previous drilling in both the Chukchi a

  • Coast Guard: Barge sinks in Mississippi River; no injuries

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    CONVENT, La. (AP) — The Coast Guard says a barge broke free from its mooring and sank near this town on the Mississippi River. Petty Officer Jonathan Lally, a Coast Guard spokesman, says the river was briefly closed Monday as investigators determined whether the barge posed a danger to river traffic. The barge sank at about 5:20 a.m. Aboard the sunken barge was an excavator crane and backhoe. Officials say the barge contained as much as 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The Coast Guard says an oil spill response firm is working to contain the spill. Meanwhile, a salvage company plans on raising the barge. No injuries were reported and the cause of the incident is under investigation.

  • Business interests donate $2.1 million for Pence travel

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence's travel at home and abroad to promote Indiana as a haven for business has been paid for by a collection of powerful interests that also stand to benefit from having close ties with the Republican governor. Donation information from Indiana Economic Development Foundation show big business — notably energy companies regulated by the Pence administration — dominate the list of those who have given over $2.1 million to the state's economic development efforts over the past two years, state figures show. Fort Wayne-based Indiana Michigan Power donated $424,000 to the fund, according to figures released to The Associated Press under a public records request.

  • NY ethics board drops Trump complaint about attorney general

    Updated: 22 hr ago

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's ethics commission has dropped Donald Trump's complaint that the state attorney general engaged in misconduct during an investigation of the former Trump University. Trump's December 2013 complaint accused Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of soliciting campaign donations from Trump's daughter even as his office was investigating the mogul's business school. Schneiderman had sued Trump four months earlier, seeking $40 million. He alleged that the school violated consumer protection law, engaged in fraud and that most students never got their promised apprenticeships. The lawsuit is still pending. Trump, currently seeking the Republican presidential nomination, said most studen

  • Correction: Man Shocked story

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    LEHI, Utah (AP) — In a story Aug. 30 about a man who was injured when he came into contact an overhead powerline, The Associated Press reported erroneously in the slug and headline that he was electrocuted. He was critically injured, but did not die. A corrected version of the story is below: Man shocked while putting up pole in Lehi Man critically injured putting up pole that touched power line in Lehi LEHI, Utah (AP) — Utah authorities say a man was critically injured when the metal pole he was erecting touched a power line. Police say it happened as the man was trying to hang an advertising banner near a housing development in Lehi on Saturday afternoon.

  • Man who ran popular eatery pleads guilty to disability fraud

    Updated: 23 hr ago

    MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — A man who ran a popular restaurant in western Michigan while telling the government he couldn't work because of a bad back has pleaded guilty to disability fraud. Pablo Fierro was in federal court Monday. Social Security investigators became suspicious after Fierro was featured in a Muskegon Chronicle story in 2008 about his restaurant, Pablo's Tacos. He was quoted as saying he worked long hours nearly seven days a week. At that time, he had been receiving disability benefits for 12 years. The 66-year-old Fierro fled to Mexico in 2012 but eventually returned to Michigan. He was arrested in June in Twin Lake.

  • Permit extension for much-delayed Wyoming power plant denied


    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A Campbell County power plant that has been in the works for almost 20 years without being built on Monday got dealt one of its biggest regulatory setbacks yet when a state review council refused to agree to yet another extension to the project's start date. The Wyoming Industrial Siting Council previously had granted extensions for the Two Elk power plant a few miles east of Wright. The council vote in Douglas means Greenwood Village, Colorado-based North American Power Group now is out of compliance with its state industrial siting permit, said Keith Guille, spokesman for the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. Guille said the state would move toward terminating the company's permit.

  • US fines Triumph Motorcycles up to $2.9 million


    DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government has fined Triumph Motorcycles up to $2.9 million for violating safety reporting requirements. Under an order issued to United Kingdom-based Triumph, the company must pay a $1.4 million cash penalty and spend at least $500,000 to improve safety practices. An additional $1 million in penalties could be levied if additional violations emerge. Triumph recalled more than 1,300 motorcycles in September 2014 because of a defect that could reduce steering capability and increase the risk of a crash. An investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that the company failed to report the defect for more than a year.

  • Wal-Mart cutting back on hours for workers at some stores


    NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart says it is asking some stores to schedule workers for fewer hours, although it says the directive is only being given to stores that are assigning more hours than they were expected to. The world's largest retailer said the instructions apply only to a small number of its 4,500 U.S. locations that are scheduling workers for more hours than expected. Wal-Mart said Monday it spoke to store managers about controlling costs earlier this month at a holiday-season planning meeting. Managers who have been scheduling workers for too many hours were reminded to schedule closer to their allotted hours.

  • Judge sides with anti-abortion group in birth control case


    WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge on Monday sided with an anti-abortion group in its challenge of a key birth control provision of the Obama administration's health care overhaul. The decision from U.S. District Judge Richard Leon adds to the legal debate surrounding the law's requirement that contraceptives for women be included among a range of cost-free, preventive benefits offered to employees. The 29-page opinion held that March for Life could be exempt from the requirement, known as the contraceptive mandate, even though it is a non-religious organization that opposes abortion on ethical grounds rather than religious ones. March for Life, which holds annual anti-abortion marches in Washington, was founded in 197

  • Apple aims to boost mobile device sales with Cisco's help


    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple is leaning on Cisco Systems' Internet networking expertise in its latest attempt to sell more iPhones and iPads to corporate customers. The alliance announced Monday calls for Cisco to ensure that corporate Internet connections relying on its gear deliver content quickly and securely to iPhones and iPads. Cisco will also help Apple develop ways for iPhones to interact more smoothly with workers' office phones. Financial terms of the partnership weren't disclosed. This is the second time in two years that Apple has teamed up with a major technology company that focuses on business customers. Apple joined forces with IBM Corp. 13 months ago to build and sell business applications for the iPhon

  • India's antitrust probe into Google moves into next phase


    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A lengthy investigation into whether Google has been abusing its dominance of Internet search to stifle competition in India is moving into its next phase. The preliminary findings of the three-year-old probe have been submitted to the Competition Commission of India and to Google. The inquiry revolved around complaints filed by several websites contending that Google has been unfairly highlighting its own services in its influential search results at the expense of its rivals. The allegations are similar to other accusations of illegal self-promotion in the U.S., Europe and other parts of the world. Google has until Sept. 10 to respond to the preliminary findings in India, although that dea

  • Tubman, Susan B. Anthony win support for redesigned $10 bill


    SENECA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) — Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony were the names most mentioned Monday as women who should be considered for a redesigned $10 bill during a town hall meeting with U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios. Eleanor Roosevelt and Elizabeth Cady Stanton also had support as Rios took suggestions and answered questions during the hourlong session inside the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, site of the first women's rights convention in 1848. The chapel is now part of the Women's Rights National Historical Park.

  • Samsung unveils circular smartwatch, but are apps available?


    NEW YORK (AP) — Samsung is juicing up its smartwatch with a circular face and more battery life than the Apple Watch, but it's unknown how many apps will be available for it. The limited selection of apps is one of the main challenges facing Samsung's smartwatches. They have been around for longer than the Apple Watch but haven't generated as much interest or sales. Samsung promised a variety of apps designed for the new watch's circular face, but it didn't provide details Monday. It says demos of new apps will come Thursday at the IFA tech show in Berlin. The Korean electronics company didn't announce a price or release date.