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Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The much-heralded Dodge Dart should be in dealerships by the end of next month. To celebrate, Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne visited the home of the Dart Thursday -- the Belvidere Assembly Plant.

Facebook's much-publicized first sale of stock to the public started with a bang late this morning as the price per share jumped. But though the volume of shares sold was a record for an initial public offering, the stock's price gave up its gains as the day continued.

By the end of trading in the U.S., Facebook had settled right at the $38 initial offering price that had been set before shares went on sale.

The April unemployment rate in Illinois fell for the eighth consecutive month to reach8.7 percent, according to federal and state preliminary data released today.

The last time the unemployment rate was below 8.7 percent was February 2009, when it was 8.5 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The United States Postal Service announced Thursday that it will soon begin consolidating dozens of mail processing facilities across the country. Part of Rockford's operations will be transferred to the Carol Stream distribution center. The other half will be absorbed by the facility in Palatine.

DeKalb County treasurer predicts additional rate increases and lower assessments for the next couple of taxing cycles.

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Illinois hospitals are bracing for Medicaid reimbursement rate cuts at the state level. This issue entered the spotlight after a Rockford-area health-care provider announced budget cuts. NIU's Jim Ciesla says other hospitals could take similar steps amid uncertainty over state and federal policy matters. 

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Construction is nearing for an 80-room, four-story Hampton Inn along I-88 and Annie Glidden Road in DeKalb. Mayor Kris Povlsen says the hotel may keep visitors from leaving the city to stay overnight in neighboring towns. 

There's a push in northern Illinois to introduce more young people to the world of finance. Some young adults in the Rockford-area will get a chance to learn about such careers. 

Rockford-based Swedish American Health System has announced layoffs and job position eliminations to stay in the black,  citing potential reductions to reimbursement rates under the state's Medicaid program. 

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