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New Illinois film office head Peter Hawley hopes to attract a Netflix production hub to Chicago

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- In the fall, Netflix acquired a major soundstage complex in Albuquerque. Last month came news that the streaming service is opening a new production hub in Brooklyn, as well. Peter Hawley, who now heads up the Illinois Film Office under Gov. J.B. Pritzker, says one of his goals is to persuade Netflix to consider the same for Chicago. ...Read more

Warren, Ocasio-Cortez question Steven Mnuchin about his ties to Sears

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CHICAGO -- Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday challenged Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over his role in Sears' bankruptcy.

In a four-page letter to Mnuchin, who was on the retailer's board until December 2016, the two Democrats said they were "deeply concerned by the financial ...Read more

Philadelphia Inquirer offers buyouts to employees citing declining revenues

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Citing declining revenue across the news industry, Philadelphia Media Network, which publishes The Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com offered buyouts to an unspecified number of union and nonunion employees Thursday.

The terms of the buyout offer and how many employees would be eligible, based on age and years with the company, were not ...Read more

FAA will move first to approve the Boeing 737 Max to fly again, possibly within weeks

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FORT WORTH, Texas -- During a break from an international gathering of air safety regulators from around the world, the head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) made clear Thursday that his agency will move first to lift the order grounding Boeing's 737 Max and that such clearance could come as early as late June.

"When we get to the ...Read more

Lawmakers to vote on making 'wage theft' a felony crime in Minnesota

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Minnesota lawmakers and labor groups hailed a bipartisan agreement Thursday to hold employers responsible for holding back workers' wages, one of the nation's firmest policies to beat back wage theft.

For the first time, refusing to pay workers would be a felony under an agreement lawmakers plan to vote on in special session. The law would also...Read more

With anti-American movies and memories of the Long March, China digs in for a struggle bigger than the trade war

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BEIJING -- The 10-minute segment that ran on Chinese state television this week showed cadet trainees of the People's Liberation Army scrambling over towering walls, dragging enormous tires, crawling through mud and shouting motivational slogans as President Xi Jinping exhorted the academy to be ready to fight and win a modern war.

The trade ...Read more

Uber boosts in-app 'panic button,' expanding new technology to Sacramento 911 calls

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Uber is bringing an improved "panic button" system to Sacramento users, giving 911 dispatchers real-time GPS and details about the driver's vehicle, the Police Department announced as the system went live Thursday.

The partnership between the city, Uber and tech company RapidSOS will enhance features of Uber's in-app ...Read more

Do marijuana dispensaries drive up home values? At least one study says yes

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CHICAGO -- Illinois residents could see their home values increase if the state legalizes recreational marijuana, and the bump could come as soon as a law is passed.

A recent study from Clever Real Estate, a St. Louis-based platform that matches homebuyers with agents, found the prospect of new cannabis industry jobs brings residents to town, ...Read more

Developer plans affordable housing on more than 100 vacant lots in Chicago, using modular construction

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CHICAGO -- The developer Sterling Bay plans to build affordable housing on more than 100 vacant lots on Chicago's South and West sides, as the developer known for larger and glitzier projects takes a crack at Chicago's affordable housing shortage.

The plan is part of a broader effort, led by Chicago construction firm Skender, to manufacture ...Read more

Trump's $16 billion farm aid package gets tepid reception

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump's new $16 billion aid package for farmers raises the federal government's bill for the trade war but isn't easing anyone's concerns about damage to the U.S. economy.

Farmers would prefer a resumption of normal trade over government handouts. Several farm-state lawmakers say the payments are too meager. And ...Read more

Owners apply to demolish early, significant Frank Lloyd Wright home in Illinois

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The new owners of a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed cottage in the Chicago suburb of Glencoe, Ill., have formally requested permission to tear down the 106-year-old home, a village official confirmed Wednesday.

Wright, widely considered America's greatest architect, designed the Sherman Booth Cottage, a flat-roofed, one-story frame house, in 1913. ...Read more

Engineer falsified reports on critical SpaceX parts, prosecutors say

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A New York employee of a now-defunct aerospace-machining supplier has been charged with falsifying at least three dozen quality-assurance reports for parts that went into SpaceX rockets, prosecutors said Wednesday.

James Smalley, 41, of Penn Yan, N.Y., forged signatures on source-inspection reports for parts that were used for the workhorse ...Read more

Even as tariff pressure built, Best Buy saw its sales, profits rise this spring

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Under a cloud of tariffs on Chinese-made goods, Best Buy Co. reported higher-than-expected results for the first quarter, led by sales of appliances, wearables and tablets.

The Richfield, Minn.-based retailer blew past analysts' profit expectations and were in line on other measures, pushing its stock up 2% in premarket trading.

Executives ...Read more

Consumer Confidential: In policy switch, Spectrum and AT&T say if you cancel early, they're keeping your cash

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The most-hated businesses in the country, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, are pay-TV companies and internet service providers, which frequently are one and the same.

Impressively, these industries have found yet another way to make customers despise them.

Charter Communications' Spectrum, the biggest pay-TV provider in ...Read more

Wall Street skeptical over Nordstrom turnaround strategy

Business / Business News /

A day after Nordstrom sent investors running with sharply lower first-quarter profits, Wall Street showed little willingness to forgive the beleaguered retailer.

On Wednesday, shares in Nordstrom were still down more than 9%, to $34.35 -- the biggest drop for the Seattle-based retailer since the Great Recession.

The crash came after Nordstrom ...Read more

Key takeaways from Best Buy's we-can-handle-tariffs results

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Best Buy reported strong first quarter earnings Thursday, a sign the company has been able to pass along the effects of tariffs to consumers. Here are some takeaways:

-- Higher prices boost sales: Comparable sales at U.S. stores rose 1.3% and executives said the biggest gains came in appliances, wearables and tablets. All three of those ...Read more

Rotten Tomatoes launches audience verification tool

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Rotten Tomatoes, which relies on credible ratings to drive traffic to its website, on Thursday took a step to prevent fake movie reviews.

The Beverly Hills, Calif.-based company said it would offer a new feature that shows reviews and ratings by verified moviegoers.

The push is part of an effort by Rotten Tomatoes to increase consumer ...Read more

Once the Boeing 737 Max is cleared to fly again, United CEO Oscar Munoz vows to be on his airline's first Max flight

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz, in an effort to assure passengers, vowed to be aboard the airline's first flight on a Boeing 737 Max once regulators agree to let the aircraft begin flying again.

Regulators around the world grounded the 737 Max in March after the plane was involved in deadly crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia. Boeing ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: How do I get back money I loaned to relative for house renovation?

Business / Business News /

Q: I loaned a family member some money to renovate his house. He has not repaid me yet but says he will pay me back over the next few years. We signed a simple letter about the loan. Can I put a lien on his house to be protected? -- Mick

A: In my law practice, a sizable minority of the cases I handle involve family members or close friends ...Read more

Chicago's city center faces huge office vacancies, ownership changes and new competitors

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- Corporate moves from the suburbs, record tourism and booming real estate development are fueling downtown Chicago's economy, but the good times have produced one big unexpected challenge.

Office owners are staring down a wave of upcoming large vacancies that could alter how the city's core works in the decades to come.

Part of the ...Read more

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