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$10 Billion Smoking Case Reheard By State Supreme Court

May 20, 2015

A $10 billion dollar lawsuit was back before the Illinois Supreme Court yesterday.

A group of smokers say Philip Morris defrauded them into thinking light cigarettes were safer than regular. Back in 2003, a court ruled "yes" and granted smokers a monster $10 billion judgment,  but they lost the case a decade ago when the state’s sharply divided highest court overturned the verdict in 2005.

senatorjuliemorrison.com

The Illinois Senate may vote on a plan this week to create a "one-stop shop" for people wanting to set up businesses in the state.

The measure would require the state to set up a website that provides details on the costs and links to the forms and information for setting up a business in Illinois. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

It’s the end of an era in DeKalb: Duck Soup Coop is closing. Last night, the natural foods market’s members voted to shut down after forty years. 

Members packed the small store to hear just how bad the co-op’s finances are and learn their options. $45,000 in the hole. They overwhelmingly chose an “orderly closure” as soon as possible over bankruptcy or trying to raise 100-thousand dollars to stay viable.

Rock Valley College

A business incubator based in Rockford is going regional under its new owner. 

EIGERlab opened a decade ago as a place budding entrepreneurs could get help launching their products from concept to customer. Now the mission is the same, but the reach is getting bigger through Northern Illinois University, which acquired EIGERlab from the Rockford Area Economic Development Council. 

Kraft Recalls Batch of 'Mac & Cheese'

Mar 18, 2015
Kraft Foods Group

Kraft is voluntarily recalling about 242,000 cases of its Original Macaroni & Cheese. 

Some boxes may contain small metal pieces.

The recall is limited to boxes with “Use By” dates of September 18th through October 11th and the code “C2″ directly below the stamped date. 

Some products were also in multi-packs that have a range of different code dates and manufacturing codes on the packaging.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A railcar factory in Rochelle hit a major milestone Tuesday -- it completed its one-thousandth passenger rail car since opening in 2012. 

Jacquilyn Stephens / WNIJ

A new DeKalb-area group is looking into ways to connect small farms with a big regional market.

Restaurants, stores, and even schools say they want more locally raised food. A growing number of farmers say they want to supply it. The trick is getting them together -- and at a price that works for everyone. That’s where a regional food hub could help.

Dan Kenney convened the first meeting on the idea Thursday in DeKalb. He sees it as an economic engine that could include commercial kitchens, a distribution center, and great training opportunities.

Flickr user Todd / "You buys your ticket" (CC BY 2.0)

If you like to attend shows, chances are you've bought tickets online. Problem is, if you're doing a search and buying from the first site that pops up, there's a chance you're getting ripped off. 

These brokers have crafted legitimate looking websites, and often sell tickets at inflated prices, adding "service" fees. It's nothing new, but Carly Shank who works with Sangamon Auditorium in Springfield says 2014 has been the worst year for it yet:

"We've had a lot of high-profile events, and those are events that kind of help egg that problem along."

The “Fight For 15” movement rallied in Rockford again this week as the campaign marked its second anniversary. “We’ve been fighting and we’ve been doing whatever it takes to try and get a living wage,” said local spokesman Denzel Baldwin.

The rally begin at the McDonalds on Auburn Street and migrated to the Unitarian Universalist Church in Rockford. It included workers from industries other than fast-food. “This particular protest we are actually celebrating the Wal-Mart workers and home-care workers.” Baldwin said, “They are joining our campaign.”

Illinois Economy Keeps Growing

Dec 2, 2014
University of Illinois / illinois.edu

A measure of Illinois economy has been steadily growing this year. 

The University of Illinois Flash Index was at 106.6 in November. Any reading over 100 indicates growth and the index has been steady since February.

U of I’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs releases the index every month. It uses corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income to track Illinois' economy.

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