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Rockford Register Star

Unemployment rates in Rockford tend to be among the highest in northern Illinois. For African Americans, that rate is nearly double.

WNIJ’s Susan Stephens spoke with former Rockford Register Star reporter Brian Leaf about what’s being done to remedy that.  It was one of Leaf’s last stories as a reporter for the paper and is part of our collaboration “Race in the Rock River Valley.”

WNIJ's Gas Price Monday: October 3, 2016

Oct 3, 2016
Carl Nelson/WNIJ

The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded in Illinois is $2.28.  This is three cents cheaper than last week's state average.  

AAA reports the most expensive gas can be found in the city of Chicago, at $2.62 per gallon.  The cheapest gas is available in Danville, at $2.08.   

Rockford's average gas price is $2.16 per gallon.  

Dixon is a city of around 16,000 people in Lee County.  It’s best known as the boyhood home of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, and also hosts IDOT’s Region 2 headquarters. 

However, for a city of its size, NIU economics scholar Brian Richard says Dixon’s seen major growth in the manufacturing sector.

“Lee County, Dixon, manufacturing employment is growing over the last five years 37%, 30-40%, whereas statewide it’s closer to five percent." 

This is based on economic date compiled from 2010-2014. 

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

A village official in Cary says America’s first drive-through-only Burger King that opened last week may be a game changer – for the community and restaurant chains.

The fast-food chain approached the Cary village board last year with the drive-through-only concept as a solution for working with more challenging development sites. That’s according to Brian Simmons, the village’s community development director.

done in collaboration with summer 2016 data visualization course, Department of Computer Science, Northern Illinois University (Mohammed Jaffer Ali)

Video gaming machines have been popping up in Illinois bars and restaurants for nearly four years. For the most part, the increase in gaming machines and in revenue across the state has been steady.

Database: Check revenue reports in your community

There are nearly 24,000 video gaming machines in Illinois, and the amount played over the last few years is in the billions of dollars -- with a b. 

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