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Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Over the past year, through three iterations of route proposals, many landowners were outraged when they learned their homes and farms were in the path of a railroad that would divert freight traffic around the Chicago area. They took that anger to a series of sometimes raucous public hearings.

But it’s easy to lose sight of the individuals in a crowd. This isn’t just a gang of rabble-rousers; these are real people. So we met with opponents of the Great Lakes Basin Railroad on their own turf: turf that the rail company would like to sink its tracks into.

Milken Institute

The Rockford area moved up substantially in a nationwide ranking of the cities released Wednesday.

The 2016 Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index rated the Rockford area 125th among 200 large metropolitan areas. Last year the city was rated 176th. The index cited growth in short-term jobs, as well as in high-tech jobs, like those at aircraft component maker Woodward, Inc. The institute also looks at capital investment and other factors.

ADP

A new report says Illinois added 8,600 private sector jobs in November. That’s a rebound after two months of much smaller increases.

The increase in the November ADP Regional Employment Report® comes after previous reports showing only 3,600 nonfarm private sector jobs were added in October and 2,100 in September.

Freeport Launches New "All In" Brand Campaign

Nov 16, 2016
Collaborate Freeport

“All In” – that’s the main concept for a new brand campaign Freeport recently launched.

The idea is to create a story unique to the Freeport and Stephenson County community – with the help of residents – and use that story to spread that brand inside and outside of the city and county.

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.”

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