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On Illinois farms, where labor is tight, foreign workers are welcomed

On Illinois farms, where labor is tight, foreign workers are welcomed
Written by Brad Walters on 2017-08-19


Wayne Sirles parks his dusty pickup amid rows of peach trees, where Mexican pickers pluck fruit that a few years ago dropped to the ground to rot for lack of hands to harvest it.Not this year. Sirles, whose great-great-grandfather founded Rendleman Orchards in the tiny town of Alto Pass in southern Illinois, has for the second season hired temporary foreign workers through the government's H-2A...(Read More)

Soda tax rollout leaves Chicago-area shoppers grumbling, confused

Soda tax rollout leaves Chicago-area shoppers grumbling, confused
Written by Brad Walters on 2017-08-02


Cook County's long-delayed tax on sweetened beverages took effect Wednesday amid confusion, leaving retailers grumbling and shoppers plotting soda runs to neighboring counties.The penny-per-ounce tax applies to both sugar- and artificially sweetened drinks. That goes beyond just pop — bottled and canned beverages, diet soda, ready-to-drink sweetened coffees and teas, sports and energy drinks, and...(Read More)

From overtime rules to worker protections, 5 ways Trump is shifting labor policy

From overtime rules to worker protections, 5 ways Trump is shifting labor policy
Written by Brad Walters on 2017-07-18


Whether you call it a weakening of worker protections or an easing of over-regulation, labor policy is in the midst of a shift under President Donald Trump's administration.A Senate committee is set to vote Wednesday on nominees to the National Labor Relations Board who would give the agency a Republican majority expected to reverse major pro-labor decisions issued during the presidency of Barack...(Read More)

Care about every inch of airline legroom? Do your homework.

Care about every inch of airline legroom? Do your homework.
Written by Brad Walters on 2017-07-01


When American Airlines announced the layout for its new Boeing 737 Max aircraft earlier this year, it flirted with achieving a decidedly unflattering milestone: becoming the first mainline U.S. airline to sell seats with dimensions bordering on what flyers have come to expect from its budget competitors. Three rows would have had just 29 inches of pitch, the distance from the back of one seat to...(Read More)

Chicagoan, 98, donates Walgreens shares he bought decades ago — now worth $2 million

Chicagoan, 98, donates Walgreens shares he bought decades ago — now worth $2 million
Written by Brad Walters on 2017-06-04


Nearly 70 years ago, a young Russ Gremel decided to buy about $1,000 worth of stock in a Chicago-based pharmacy chain.He figured people would always need medicine and women would always buy makeup. He planned to hold onto that stock for a long time, as an investment.As Gremel grew older, that pharmacy chain, Walgreens, grew exponentially. By the time Gremel hit his late 90s, the stock was worth more...(Read More)

Midway food court changes: Goodbye, Potbelly and Harry Caray

Midway food court changes: Goodbye, Potbelly and Harry Caray's. Hello, Home Run Inn and Schaller's Pump
Written by Brad Walters on 2017-05-11


If you're flying out of Midway over the next week or so, the airport could look very different when you get back in town.Most existing restaurants, bars and cafes at Midway Airport will close over a nine-day period starting Friday and be replaced with new venues as part of a $75 million renovation of the airport's concession area. The overhaul is part of the larger Midway Modernization program, announced...(Read More)

Big apartment tower planned south of the Chicago River on Michigan Avenue

Big apartment tower planned south of the Chicago River on Michigan Avenue
Written by Brad Walters on 2017-05-03


Two well-known Chicago developers and a Chinese investor plan a big apartment tower on a once-drab stretch of Michigan Avenue that recently has sprung to life with a wave of real estate developments.Chicago-based Sterling Bay and Magellan Development Group are drawing up plans for a tall apartment tower at 300 N. Michigan Ave., where a four-story building would be demolished, according to sources.Wanxiang...(Read More)

Macy

Macy's puts State Street flagship up for sale — at least the top half of it
Written by Brad Walters on 2017-04-29


More than a year after first dropping hints about cashing in on its State Street store, Macy's is making it official: It's ready to sell.The Loop flagship is formally for sale — or, to be more precise, the top half of the building is available to potential buyers or joint venture partners. The deal could generate as much as $130 million for Macy's at a time when it is slashing costs and closing...(Read More)

United scores lowest among legacy airlines in customer satisfaction; JetBlue tops survey

United scores lowest among legacy airlines in customer satisfaction; JetBlue tops survey
Written by Brad Walters on 2017-04-25


The bad news for United Airlines: The Chicago-based carrier had the lowest customer satisfaction level of any legacy airline in a newly released annual survey.The worse news: The survey was completed in March — before the viral video of a passenger being violently dragged off a United Express flight to make room for late-arriving employees sent the airline's reputation into a nosedive.Overall passenger...(Read More)





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