File Photo by Brian Mackey

Gov. Rauner Promotes Illinois Universities, Infrastructure During Japan Trip

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is in Japan to promote the state’s universities and transportation infrastructure in hopes of attracting businesses. Rauner had repeatedly asserted that the state’s political system is broken - and that hurts the state’s business climate. Speaking from Tokyo last night, Rauner said one Japanese company looking to grow in Illinois considers local property taxes to be a hindrance. "They were excited to hear that, because they’d like to invest and grow in Illinois," he...

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News From NPR

There's good news on three primary U.S. economic benchmarks: the poverty rate, income level and the number of people covered by health insurance.

New figures released by the Census Bureau Tuesday show median household income in 2016 was $59,039 – more than three percent higher than in 2015.

And because last year also saw income growth, "these are two consecutive years of strong income gains," the Census Bureau's Trudi Renwick told reporters.

When the worst of Irma's fury had passed, Gene McAvoy hit the road to inspect citrus groves and vegetable fields. McAvoy is a specialist on vegetable farming at the University of Florida's extension office in the town of LaBelle, in the middle of one of the country's biggest concentrations of vegetable and citrus farms.

It took a direct hit from the storm. "The eyewall came right over our main production area," McAvoy says.

Roughly half of Florida's homes and businesses remained without electricity on Tuesday, two days after Hurricane Irma plowed through the state. A lot of the business recovery efforts there will depend on how quickly power can be restored.

On her way to work Tuesday morning, Carol McDaniel, vice president of human resources for the Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, made her way through darkened neighborhoods.

Now that Hurricane Irma has left Florida, gasoline supplies are slowly coming back into the state. But thousands of gas stations remain closed anyway.

That's because, with electricity out throughout the peninsula, even stations that have access to gas have no way to get it into people's vehicles.

"Power is the issue. Most of these gas stations don't have backup generation that can allow the pumps to work," says John Kilduff, founding partner of Again Capital, an energy investment firm.

Early leaks of new designs had stirred anticipation for Apple's new smartphone — and on Tuesday Apple delivered on all the predictions with a $699 iPhone 8 and a $999 special-edition iPhone X (as in "ten"). The 10th-anniversary iPhone is the biggest redesign in years, with an all-screen front that eliminates the home button and can use facial recognition to unlock the display.

But it was the new Apple Watch that got Wall Street — and many tech observers — excited on launch day.

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