Economy & Innovation

Illinois Unemployment Data
1:13 pm
Thu June 23, 2011

Illinois metro areas see May jobless rates drop

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

State officials say unemployment in all 12 Illinois metro areas dropped in May, and all but three of those regions added jobs or were unchanged.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security put out its monthly metro and county-level unemployment stats Thursday. The department says the biggest decreases last month were in Peoria, Rockford, Danville and the Kankakee-Bradley area.

Rockford remains the area with the highest unemployment rate at 10.7 percent. But that's down from 14.2 percent a year earlier.

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Business: Prescription benefits dispute
11:08 am
Tue June 21, 2011

Walgreen Co. announces plans to drop Express Scripts

A processing floor at Express Scripts in north St. Louis County. Walgreen Co. announced today it's dropping Express Scripts in a dispute over fees.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The nation's largest drugstore chain is locked in a contract fight with one of the St. Louis area's  largest employers.

Walgreen Co. revealed during an earnings call today that it's planning to end its $5.3-billion-per-year relationship with Express Scripts Inc. on Jan. 1, saying it cannot reach a deal on the fees the pharmacy benefits manager pays to fill the prescriptions of Walgreen's customers.

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Illinois Unemployment Data
3:05 pm
Thu June 16, 2011

Ill. unemployment climbs in May to 8.9 percent

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the state's unemployment rate increased to 8.9 percent in May. That's up from 8.7 percent just a month earlier and the first monthly increase since January 2010.

The department said Thursday in its monthly release on the statewide unemployment picture that:

Business
5:41 pm
Wed June 15, 2011

US Fidelis founders face multiple felony indictments

Darain and Cory Atkinson
St. Charles County Department of Corrections.

The millionaire brothers who ran US Fidelis, the country’s largest auto-warranty service provider have been indicted on multiple felony charges.

Darain and Cory Atkinson founded US Fidelis in 2003 selling the kind of extended auto warranties often advertised in junk mail or TV.

Over a three-year period the Better Business Bureau received over a thousand complaints and 33,000 inquiries.

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Arch Coal
11:25 am
Tue June 14, 2011

Arch Coal completes tender offer for ICG stock

(via Arch Coal)

Arch Coal says it's completed a $14.60 per share tender offer for stock in rival International Coal Group.

The offer closed Tuesday and Arch says it expects to complete the acquisition of Scott Depot-based ICG Wednesday. Arch offered to buy ICG for $3.4 billion in May.

Arch says ICG shareholders tendered nearly 188 million shares in the offer. It intends to purchase additional shares from ICG to push its ownership stake above 90 percent, enabling the deal to close.

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Business
4:57 pm
Fri June 10, 2011

Los Angeles courting Rams for possible return to California

rendering of Farmers Field in Los Angeles
courtesy AEG

A sports and entertainment company seeking to build an NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles has spoken to the St. Louis Rams.

AEG President Tim Leiweke told the Orange County Register that he is reaching out to the Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Rams future in St. Louis may hinge on the status of their downtown stadium, The Edward Jones Dome.

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Economy
5:11 pm
Thu June 9, 2011

St. Louis to provide employment services for homeless veterans

St. Louis City Hall
via Flickr/Richie Diesterheft

The City of St. Louis has received $600,000 to provide homeless veterans with services.

The money will be split between the St. Patrick Center, which offers housing services, and Employment Connection which provides job training skills.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says that as approximately 12 percent of the city’s homeless are veterans.

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Economy
5:00 pm
Wed June 8, 2011

Missouri River flooding compounding misery for Mo. farmers

Rising water levels on the Missouri River are expected to swamp hundreds of thousands of acres of crops and halt barge traffic. 

The threat of decreased crop acreage in the Dakotas, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri is driving prices for corn and soybeans on Wednesday.

Ron Plain is a Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri.  He says flooding along the Missouri River could be devastating for bottomland farmers. 

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Business
4:43 pm
Fri June 3, 2011

NFL players, owners appeal labor dispute in St. Louis

Rams offensive tackle Adam Goldberg attended the hearing on behalf of the NFL Players Assoc.
Adam Allington St. Louis Public Radio

Adversaries in the contentious pro football labor battle convened in a Federal Appeals Court in St. Louis on Friday.

The National Football League is appealing an April injunction from a Minnesota Judge that temporarily lifted the lockout.

The NFL Players Association is in the process of suing the league, claiming that the lockout in violation of federal anti-trust laws.

Paul Clement is an attorney for the NFL team owners; he told a three-judge panel that the issue before them is one for labor laws to decide.

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MSD
4:14 pm
Fri June 3, 2011

MSD hearings to begin on rate increase

Brett Berthold, the manager of the MSD Bissell Point Wastewater Treatment Plant in north St. Louis, gives reporters a tour of the facility Friday.
(Bill Raack, St. Louis Public Radio)

Hearings will begin in about a week on a $276 million rate increase request for the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District. MSD says the rate hike is needed to comply with stricter regulatory requirements and to reduce wastewater overflows into area creeks and streams.

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