AP Exclusive: Legal marijuana stirs hope in Illinois town

By CARLA K. JOHNSON AP Medical Writer ALBION, Ill. (AP) — A skunky aroma fills the room in which hundreds of lush marijuana plants grow, some nearly ready for harvest. Grower Ashley Thompson, a former high school agriculture teacher in this rural part of southeastern Illinois, takes the scent of weed home with her. She […]

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Verizon moving center to Rolling Meadows, adding 200 jobs

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. (AP) — Verizon Wireless says it plans to add 200 workers at a new call center in Chicago’s western suburbs beginning next year. The company says it will begin hiring the new workers over a year’s time after moving 900 workers from a call center in Elgin to a larger office in […]

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Deere says UAW members approve labor agreement

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Farm equipment manufacturer Deere & Co. says United Auto Workers members have approved a new six-year labor agreement that covers facilities in three states. Deere and UAW reached a tentative agreement last week. The company said in a statement Sunday it received notification that UAW members had ratified the deal. Negotiations […]

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Plymouth cheese plant to close, eliminating 300 jobs

PLYMOUTH, Wis. (AP) — Dairy Farmers of America has announced plans to close a cheese plant in Plymouth, eliminating 300 jobs. The plant that makes Borden cheese and private-label products is expected to be closed in January because it has out-of-date technology and infrastructure. It’s been operating since 1954. “Business decisions that impact the lives […]

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Deere has tentative labor agreement with UAW workers

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Farm equipment manufacturer Deere & Co. said Thursday it has reached a tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers union, averting a possible strike by 10,000 employees at 12 factories in three states. The new contract, which still requires approval by union members, replaces a six-year agreement that expired at midnight […]

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ConAgra cuts 1,500 jobs; moving HQ from Omaha to Chicago

By JOSH FUNK AP Business Writer OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — ConAgra Foods will eliminate 1,500 jobs — which represents 30 percent of its office-based workforce — and move its headquarters to Chicago from Omaha, Nebraska, with the goal of creating a more-efficient packaged food company. Company officials said Thursday that its new Chicago headquarters will […]

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Joy Global to lay off 109 union employees in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Joy Global Inc. plans to lay off 109 union workers and terminate four non-union employees at the company’s mining equipment factory in Milwaukee. The company notified the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development on Wednesday that it plans to temporarily close the operating unit, called Original Equipment. Joy Global expects to begin taking […]

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Grainger moving up to 60 jobs to Janesville

Neil Johnson Writer JANESVILLE-W.W. Grainger has confirmed it’s relocating warehousing and distribution operations for one of its subsidiaries from Green Bay to Janesville, a move the company says will add about 60 jobs at Grainger’s sprawling facility on Wright Road. Grainger spokesman Joe Miccucci said subsidiary Imperial is moving warehousing operations for Green Bay-based Imperial […]

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Gas station planned at Rockton Walmart

Construction to be complete by end of fall By HILLARY GAVAN Senior staff writer ROCKTON — A Walmart gas station is being built on the west side of the Rockton Walmart store near the garden center, according to Rockton’s Planning and Development Administrator Tricia Diduch. A permit was pulled about a week ago and Walmart […]

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‘Irasshaimase!’ Welcome to Zen Sushi

Downtown Beloit ready to dine on Japanese cuisine By WHITNEY HELM Staff writer BELOIT — Irasshaimase. That’s what you hear immediately when walking into Zen Sushi inside the Phoenix Building in downtown Beloit. The word means “welcome” in Japanese and is used dually, to welcome customers and to alert staff of their arrival. “Chefs are […]

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