Rudy leaves Gardiner to direct Waterville Creates

The head of Gardiner’s economic development program, who helped oversee a two-year planning project that culminated in a new comprehensive plan, has left to lead a Waterville nonprofit organization.

Nate Rudy served as director of economic and community development for the city for about three-and-a-half years. Rudy, 39, is set to start next week as executive director of Waterville Creates, a collaborative group established to promote Waterville as an arts destination. During his time in Gardiner, Rudy helped secure hundreds of thousands in grant funding from the Orton Family Foundation for the two-year planning project, and from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to assess possible containments in the downtown area.

McDonald’s to trim menu, examine its ingredients

McDonald’s is planning to trim its menu, review its cooking methods and maybe even get rid of some ingredients it uses to change perceptions that it serves junk food.

CEO Don Thompson sought to reassure investors Wednesday that such changes will help strengthen the chain’s appeal as it fights to hold on to customers. The discussion in Oak Brook, Illinois, came after the company earlier this week reported yet another monthly decline in U.S. sales. It said the figure fell 4.6 percent at established locations in November.

Instagram now has more users than Twitter

Instagram, the photo-sharing mobile application, now has more users than Twitter and will improve the quality of its service by deleting fake accounts.

Instagram, owned by Facebook, said Wednesday that its monthly active users rose to 300 million this month from 200 million in March, not counting spammers. That exceeds the 284 million users Twitter said it had in October. Instagram will also begin to verify public figures as well as brands.

– From staff and news services