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  • *Storm causes deaths in Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica. NASSAU, Oct 26- Hurricane Sandy pounded the Bahamas with battering winds and rain on Friday, sweeping over the island chain after killing 21 people across the Caribbean and posing a menacing threat to the U.S. East Coast.

  • WASHINGTON-- The pre- Halloween hybrid weather monster that federal forecasters call "Frankenstorm" is looking more ominous by the hour for the East Coast, and utilities and local governments are getting ready. The stage is set as Hurricane Sandy, having blown through Haiti and Cuba, continues to barrel north.

  • *Storm causes deaths in Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica. NASSAU, Oct 26- Hurricane Sandy pounded the Bahamas with battering winds and rain on Friday, sweeping over the island chain after killing 21 people across the Caribbean and posing a menacing threat to the U.S. East Coast.

  • HAVANA, Oct 25- Hurricane Sandy swelled into a major threat to much of the U.S. East Coast on Thursday after lashing Cuba with heavy rains and tree-toppling winds and swirling through the Bahamas, U.S. forecasters said.

  • *At least three storm-related deaths in Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba. HAVANA, Oct 25- Hurricane Sandy swelled into a serious threat to much of the U.S. East Coast on Thursday after hammering Cuba's second-largest city and taking aim at the Bahamas, U.S. forecasters said.

  • WASHINGTON-- All the spare parts appear to be coming together to create what forecasters are calling "Frankenstorm," a monster combination of high wind, heavy rain, extreme tides and maybe snow that could cause havoc along the East Coast just before Halloween next week. Hurricane Sandy, having blown through Haiti and Cuba on Thursday, continues to barrel north.

  • *At least three storm-related deaths in Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba. HAVANA, Oct 25- Hurricane Sandy grew into a major potential threat to the east coast of the United States on Thursday after hammering Cuba's second-largest city and taking aim at the Bahamas, U.S. forecasters said.

  • SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine-- One of the Maine's largest publicly traded companies is changing its name. Wright Express Corp. announced Thursday that its new name is WEX Inc.. The company will continue to be listed under the symbol WXS on the New York Stock Exchange.

  • EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine-- Great Northern Paper is holding a celebration marking the one-year anniversary of the reopening of its East Millinocket mill. Cate Street Capital of Portsmouth, N.H., bought two shuttered paper mills in East Millinocket and Millinocket last September.

  • MONTCLAIR, N.J.-- Across New Jersey, most communities approached about hosting one of the state's first legal medical marijuana dispensaries in out-of-the-way industrial zones have just said no, after outpourings of public opposition.

  • PORTLAND, Maine-- The four-day Harvest on the Harbor food and wine festival is kicking off in Portland. The festival in the Maine city gets under way Wednesday evening with the Grand Tasting on the Harbor gala, where 20 of the area's top restaurants prepare tastings of their favorite dishes.

  • *Brands want to stop unauthorized discounting on Amazon. *Amazon's 3rd- party selling platform a high-margin business. SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 23- Amazon.com Inc is grappling with a problem that eBay Inc has struggled with for years: The proliferation of unauthorized third-party sellers that undercut the world's top consumer brands.

  • PORTLAND, Maine-- Southwest Airlines Co. says it will fly to Baltimore-Washington International Airport when it begins service next spring out of Portland, Maine. The airline says it will initially offer nonstop flights each day between Portland International Jetport and Baltimore-Washington when it starts flying out of Portland on April 14.

  • NEW YORK-- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is poised to spend $500,000 of his personal fortune on gay marriage campaigns in Maine, Minnesota and Washington state, he said Monday, following up on a major political spending push the billionaire businessman-turned-politician announced last week.

  • WASHINGTON-- Unions are shifting more of their political resources to state and local races this year as they try to head off passage of laws that could undermine bargaining rights, make it harder to organize or reduce their political muscle. In Maine and Minnesota, labor leaders hope to overturn Republican majorities in state legislatures.

  • WASHINGTON-- Unions are shifting more of their political resources to state and local races this year as they try to head off passage of laws that could undermine bargaining rights, make it harder to organize or reduce their political muscle. In Maine and Minnesota, labor leaders hope to overturn Republican majorities in state legislatures.

  • AUGUSTA, Maine-- Maine finance officials are giving some dreary fiscal news to lawmakers, but also point to some positive trends that could brighten the picture.

  • AUGUSTA, Maine-- The Maine Labor Department says the preliminary unemployment rate for September was 7.6 percent, down slightly from August's 7.7 percent. Figures released Friday are adjusted to reflect seasonal fluctuations in the labor market.

  • KENNEBUNK, Maine-- The lawyer for a high school hockey coach who gave up his job because of the Zumba prostitution case said Thursday that his client's name never should have been made public and contended law enforcement agencies have engaged in "reckless and outrageous behavior."