Average gas price rises another 2.4 cents in Maine

The average retail cost of a gallon of gas in Maine is up another 2.4 cents.

Price-monitoring website GasBuddy.com reports Monday that the price at the pump has risen to an average of $3.60 per gallon in the past week, 13 cents above the national average.

Even though prices in Maine are 14.2 cents higher than they were a month ago. They are 19.4 cents lower than at this time last year.

The average is based on a survey of more than 1,200 Maine gas stations.

McDonald’s cites winter weather for decline

McDonald’s saw a key sales figure drop in the U.S. again last month as the world’s biggest hamburger chain struggles to beat back competition and adapt to changing eating habits.

The company, based in Oak Brook, Ill., cited bad winter weather for a 1.4 percent decline at established U.S. locations. But it also conceded that “challenging industry dynamics” played a role. Globally, the company said sales declined 0.3 percent at locations open at least 13 months. It warned that its muted performance so far this year could hurt first-quarter profit margins.

Prescription program to be spared from changes

The Obama administration says it’s pulling the plug on proposed changes to the Medicare prescription program that ran into strong opposition on Capitol Hill.

Among other changes, the regulation proposed to remove three classes of drugs from a special protected list that guarantees seniors access to a wide selection of critical medications.

The three classes of drugs facing removal were antidepressants, anti-psychotics and drugs that suppress the immune system to prevent rejection of a transplanted organ.

The administration hoped to save a total of $729 million by 2019 with the change. But patient groups including the National Kidney Foundation and the National Alliance on Mental Illness pushed back hard.

– From news service reports