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  • Illinois woman charged in shooting of pit bull Sep 9, 2014 8:41 AM
    A southwestern Illinois woman was charged with a felony Monday after police said she shot her boyfriend’s pit bull in the face and paw. St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly charged Angela Willig, 32, with aggravated cruelty to animals, the Belleville News-Democrat reported .

  • Kokomo council rejects ban on smoking in bars Sep 9, 2014 8:41 AM
    The Kokomo City Council has rejected a proposal to ban smoking inside bars and social clubs. Council members voted 5-4 Monday night to defeat the proposed ordinance after one councilman who voted to support it last month switched his vote.

  • Lawsuit filed for woman killed by falling masonry in Chicago Sep 9, 2014 8:42 AM
    The boyfriend of a woman killed by falling masonry has sued the landmark Chicago church from which the debris fell. Sarah Bean was struck in the head Thursday by a piece of decorative stone outside the Second Presbyterian Church. The 34-year-old mother of two was later pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

  • A Chicago visit yields man $200,000 Lottery prize Sep 9, 2014 8:42 AM
    Kevin Loftus visited Chicago for a friend’s wedding and left with a whole lot of cash. The 28-year-old Washington, D.C. man won $200,000 in the Illinois Lottery’s “Queen of Hearts” scratch-off game recently.

  • Chicago, Cook County get part of $2 million Justice grants Sep 9, 2014 8:42 AM
    In a news release, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said the largest award — $500,000 — went to a program called Life-Span, which provides representation to victims of domestic violence, dating violence and sexual assault in Cook County. The Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago received more than $483,000 to provide similar services in the county.

  • Wisconsin’s fall turkey season starts Sept. 13 Sep 9, 2014 8:43 AM
    Wisconsin wildlife officials are reminding hunters that the state’s fall turkey season begins Saturday. The state Department of Natural Resources says more than 80,000 hunters have applied for a fall permit.

  • Enterovirus not yet found in Wisconsin Sep 9, 2014 8:45 AM
    Health officials say there’s no evidence that a severe respiratory illness that has sickened hundreds of children in more than 10 states has been found in Wisconsin.

  • Lawsuit over Walker-related probe to be argued Sep 9, 2014 8:48 AM
    Prosecutors investigating Gov. Scott Walker’s recall campaign and more than two dozen conservative groups hope to convince a federal appeals court to overturn a judge’s ruling that temporarily blocked the probe. The arguments Tuesday before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals come exactly two months before Walker faces re-election against Democrat Mary Burke.

  • Court hears arguments over gay marriage’s impact Sep 9, 2014 10:02 AM
    A debate over whether children would be harmed or helped by legalizing gay marriage was the main focus when a federal appeals court in San Francisco waded again into the issue of the constitutionality of gay marriage. Regardless of how the court ultimately rules, many legal observers — including one of the judges on the panel — believe the issue of gay marriage is heading for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide.

  • Immigrant sanctuary gains popularity in Arizona Sep 9, 2014 10:03 AM
    Rose Robles Loreto is the third immigrant to take sanctuary in a church this year in Arizona, reviving a popular movement from the 1980s that sought to help Central American migrants fleeing civil wars stay in the U.S. by letting them live inside churches, where immigration officials generally do not arrest people. Although the latest version of the movement so far appears to have only taken place in Arizona, national immigration advocates say it’s about to grow, propelled by activists hoping the sanctuary movement will draw attention to the lack of immigration reform.

  • Ikea Group plans to resume online rollout after yearlong pause Sep 9, 2014 7:54 AM
    Ikea Group plans to extend the reach of its online business to all its markets within the next few years as the world’s largest furniture retailer resumes expansion after a 12-month pause. Ikea hasn’t added to the 13 countries in which it offers Web shopping over the last year, though still harbors an ambition to reach all 27 in which it has stores, the company said today after reporting a 3 percent gain in full-year sales. The focus over the past year has been on improving the online offer in existing markets, Chief Executive Officer Peter Agnefjaell said in a telephone interview. Critics have argued that the retailer’s approach to online expansion has been too conservative since it opened in 1997. “Ikea was slow to embrace the online channel, but has been investing heavily over the past couple of years,” said Maureen Hinton, an analyst at researcher Conlumino in London. “Integrating an online offer, meeting the expectations of the modern online shopper, keeping prices low and making a profit is not easy for big ticket items, so it is understandable that it is honing its service before rolling it out to all markets.” Ikea’s business model is less suited to online selling than for many retailers, as it has mostly relied on shoppers driving to its out-of-town outlets, collecting purchases themselves from warehouses, and spending time figuring out how to transfer flat- packs into furniture. Maze-Like Stores The model has allowed the retailer to keep prices low, while also making money by tempting customers to pick up items such as Jubla candles and Fantastisk paper napkins when navigating through the aisles of its maze-like stores. Ikea is also cashing in on Swedish meatballs at its in-store restaurants and on purchases of jars of lingonberry jam at its Swedish food markets in outlets across the world. Attracting more Web visitors and having more products available for purchase at existing online shops helped Ikea’s sales increase to 28.7 billion euros ($37 billion) in the 12 months through August, the retailer said today in a statement. Its box-like stores had 716 million visitors during the year, while 1.5 billion people visited the retailer’s websites. Ikea Group, which with 315 outlets owns the majority of the world’s Ikea stores, is seeking to double sales by 2020 by improving stores, opening new outlets, expanding the online offer and introducing new collections more frequently. The flat-pack furniture retailer’s same-store sales gained 3.6 percent in the year. Growth was fastest in China, while North America continued to perform well and Europe improved.

  • Historical marker points to once-secret corn plot Sep 9, 2014 10:43 AM
    After months of research, historians have discovered a once-secret plot of farmland that served as a testing ground for the first hybrid corn breeding experiment in northern Illinois. On Monday, that small patch of land along Nelson Road in DeKalb was recognized with a state historical marker. The experimental plot was created in 1925 and produced a yield 35 percent greater than the open-pollinated variety, The (DeKalb) Daily Chronicle reported .

  • Marriage of newlyweds, ages 96 and 95, questioned Sep 9, 2014 10:03 AM
    In some ways, Rebecca Wright doesn’t understand all the fuss over her 96-year-old mother’s recent marriage. After all, she says, “Anybody who wants to get married must have a little dementia.” The courts, though, and some of Wright’s other relatives aren’t amused. And the future for newlyweds Edith Hill, 96, and Eddie Harrison, 95, is very much uncertain.

  • Google’s Schmidt says right to be forgotten is a balancing act Sep 9, 2014 7:51 AM
    Google Inc. Chairman Eric Schmidt started a European roadshow about the right to be forgotten, saying the world’s biggest search engine must weigh privacy and citizens’ right to know before cutting links to search results. “We need to balance the right of information” against privacy, Schmidt said before a forum with an “amazing” panel of what he described as “genuine experts” invited to give evidence on how to apply a May ruling by the European Union’s top court. The experts include the head of Spain’s Huffington Post website, a Spanish supreme court magistrate and a human rights lawyer.

  • Trump casinos file Ch. 11, threaten Taj closure Sep 9, 2014 9:34 AM
    Trump Entertainment Resorts filed for bankruptcy Tuesday and threatened to shut down the Taj Mahal Casino Resort in November. The company owns Trump Plaza, which is closing in a week, and the Taj Mahal, which has been experiencing cash-flow problems and had been trying to stave off a default with its lenders.

  • Music notes: ’80s rocker Lita Ford to play Arcada in St. Charles Sep 9, 2014 5:45 AM
    Lita Ford and Foreigner's Lou Gramm make for a rockin' 1980s weekend with shows Friday (Ford) and Saturday (Gramm) at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. Also, experimental hip-hop group Shabazz Palaces plays Lincoln Hall in Chicago on Saturday.

  • Professor demands U of I job Sep 9, 2014 7:16 PM
    A professor who lost a job offer from the University of Illinois over dozens of sometimes-profane Twitter messages that critics deemed anti-Semitic demanded Tuesday that he be given the position and threatened to take legal action otherwise.

  • Quinn, Rauner spar over supposed lawmaker “bribes” Sep 9, 2014 7:23 PM
    Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn accused Republican opponent Bruce Rauner of giving lawmakers campaign cash in exchange for votes against legislation Tuesday, but Republicans argue it was Quinn who gave Democrats state jobs after they voted to raise taxes.

  • Dollar General’s Family Dollar campaign said to hang on Wal-Mart Sep 9, 2014 1:02 PM
    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. may be the deciding factor in whether two of its discount rivals can merge. Family Dollar Stores Inc. says Dollar General Corp.’s proposal to buy the company will have a tough time getting past regulators. Dollar General, whose interest in Family Dollar has been rebuffed twice, has data showing that its buyers shop at a range of rivals, especially Wal-Mart.

  • Motorcycle fatalities down statewide Sep 9, 2014 5:03 PM
    Motorcycle fatalities decreased by nearly 30 percent so far in 2014, according to Illinois Department of Transportation data. Sixty motorcycle riders were killed between January and July of this year, compared to 84 fatalities during the same time period in 2013.

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