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Consumers may like the ability to shop online and avoid paying state and local sales taxes, and many online retailers may like the competitive advantage the arrangement provides them over “bricks and mortar” businesses across the country; but U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. says the situation has a significant price.

“It’s really not fair to say to that store down the block that’s paying rent and paying property taxes and collecting sales tax [that] we’re going to put them at a disadvantage to their Internet counterparts,” Durbin said.

Good News On Illinois Job Front

Dec 14, 2015
ADP Research Institute

Non-farm jobs increased in Illinois during November.

Illinois added 6,200 private-sector non-farm jobs during November, according to the ADP Regional Employment Report. That’s more than any of the other five Midwest states.

Wisconsin added only 2,540 jobs last month.

The bad news is that the November Illinois growth is 580 jobs lower than the six-month average … but Wisconsin’s number dropped 1,140 jobs below that rolling average.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A massive project at the Chicago-Rockford International Airport is back on track, thanks to a collaboration by five local banks. 

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

As we enter the holiday season, many workers are thinking about the extra days off. 

The State Chamber of Commerce keeps tabs on paid holidays by employers across the state. The average number of paid holidays in Illinois comes in at nearly nine days a year with an average of nearly three personal paid days thrown in.

Looking ahead to the next year, nearly 98 percent of employers will give paid holidays for New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day … along with Thanksgiving.

Artwork provided

The multi-purpose indoor athletic facility under construction in downtown Rockford got a financial boost and a new name Thursday, thanks to UW Health.

What originally was called the Downtown Sportscore now will be known as the UW Health Sports Factory.

The parent company of Rockford’s SwedishAmerican Health System will pay roughly $1.9 million over a 10-year period to have its name and logo emblazoned on the building and various associated materials.

Clean-Up For Canadian Pacific Train Derailment Continues

Nov 9, 2015

Contractors for Canadian Pacific Railway are working to clear more than a dozen derailed train cars in southern Wisconsin after hundreds of gallons of crude oil spilled from one tanker.

Watertown fire chief Gregory Michalek said Monday that residents who evacuated dozens of homes following the spill a day earlier cannot yet return home as cleanup continues.

Thirteen of 110 cars derailed in Watertown Sunday afternoon. It’s the second derailment in Wisconsin in two days.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

America needs more aircraft mechanics and avionics technicians. Rockford is now home to one of the nation’s only registered apprenticeship programs aimed at filling that need. The U.S. Department of Labor and Rockford aircraft maintenance company Emery Air signed an agreement Wednesday to create a training pipeline for the career that’s in heavy demand.

University of Illinois

The Illinois economy continues to grow … but at a slower rate than a few months ago. That’s according to a monthly economic report from the University of Illinois.

The U of I Flash Index fell to 105.8 in October from 106 in September. Though any number over 100 indicates growth in the state's economy, this is the third month of decline for the index.

The report's author Fred Giertz says the slower growth is a reflection of a bigger global trend -- including slowdowns in Europe and China.

Mercy Rockford Health System

OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center could be forced to cut the equivalent of 200 full-time jobs if the Rockford Health System Riverside Campus is built on the east side.

That is one of several objections raised about the project in a letter from St. Anthony CEO and President Paula Carynski filed last week with the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board.

WNIJ’s Gas Price Monday: Oct. 26, 2015

Oct 26, 2015
Carl Nelson/WNIJ

Gas prices in Illinois fell a little from last week ... but only about a dime.

According to AAA, gallon of regular gas in the Rockford area costs $2.31 on average. That’s 7 cents less than a week ago and about 70 cents less than a year ago.

Chicago prices are at $2.80 per gallon. That's about a dime less than a week ago and about 75 cents less than a year ago.

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