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  • Michele Bachmann's tendency to cause a ruckus on Capitol Hill made her a tea party sensation. Allen West of Florida, Steve King of Iowa and Joe Walsh of Illinois are all embroiled in tough and expensive races that are drawing plenty of spending by friends and foes from around the country.

  • CHICAGO-- A leading venture capital firm is opening an office in Chicago, giving a boost to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's efforts to attract high-tech businesses and entrepreneurs to the city.

  • NEW YORK-- The Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of " Clybourne Park" says he recently withdrew permission for a Berlin theater company to produce the play after learning that one of the actors would perform the roles in blackface.

  • LOS ANGELES-- The Beverly Hilton's International Ballroom will soon be filled with flowers, chiffon, fine china and crystal stemware for a starry black-tie ball costing couples as much as $20,000 to attend.

  • CHICAGO-- As Chicago struggles to quell gang violence that has contributed to a jump in homicides, a top elected official wants to tax the sale of every bullet and firearm _ an effort even she acknowledges could spark a legal challenge.

  • PARIS-- The burglars dashed out the back door with seven masterworks, then sped on screeching tires into the night. If the thieves who robbed Rotterdam's Kunsthal exhibition this week don't have a plan, the stolen art could quickly become a burden.

  • CHICAGO-- Grains futures rose Wednesday on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for December delivery gained 8.5 cents to $8.5625 per bushel; December corn rose 7.25 cents to $7.455 per bushel; December oats increased 3.25 cents to $3.9575 per bushel and November soybeans gained 15.5 cents to $15.0925 per bushel.

  • CHICAGO-- Grain prices rose Wednesday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for December delivery rose 3.25 cents to $8.51 per bushel; December corn gained 0.75 cent to $7.39 per bushel; December oats were unchanged at $3.9225 per bushel and November soybeans increased 4.25 cents to $14.98 per bushel.

  • CHICAGO-- A for-profit nursing home company owned by a politically connected Chicago businessman is a partner in a project Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced Tuesday that aims to control health spending for high-cost Medicaid recipients.

  • CHICAGO-- Northern Trust Corp. said Wednesday that its third-quarter net income rose 5 percent due to higher fees from clients for managing their money. The wealth management firm, which is based in Chicago, earned $178.8 million, or 73 cents per share, in the three months through Sept. 30, up from $170.4 million, or 70 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

  • CHICAGO-- Houston, San Francisco and South Florida are bidding for the 2016 and 2017 Super Bowls. NFL owners will vote next May between San Francisco _ the 49 ers are building a new stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., _ and South Florida for the 50th Super Bowl in 2016. The loser of that race will then compete with Houston for hosting the 2017 game.

  • CHICAGO-- The NFL is doubling down on London. The league announced Tuesday that the Minnesota Vikings will host the Pittsburgh Steelers at London's Wembley Stadium on Sept. 29, 2013. This is the first time the NFL will play two regular-season games in London in the same season.

  • ABC, NBC and the CW all debuted new dramas last Wednesday to varied receptions. It finished a strong second behind CBS' long-running "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" at the 10 p.m. ET slot. Despite that showing, long-slumping NBC can boast about its best showing for an early TV season in a decade.

  • ABC, NBC and the CW all debuted new dramas last Wednesday to varied receptions. NBC's " Chicago Fire" was a disappointment in the same time slot. NBC continued its best start in a decade in the ratings.

  • CHICAGO-- Northern Trust Corp. said Tuesday that it added Jose Luis Prado, president of Quaker Oats North America, to its board. Prado has been head of Quaker Oats North America, a division of PepsiCo Inc., since 2011. He has held a number of leadership positions at PepsiCo since 1984..

  • New Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III said Tuesday that Holmgren was out as team president, although the Super Bowl-winning coach will remain with the franchise to help in the transition. Haslam was introduced as the Browns' new boss after the 32 NFL owners unanimously approved his $1 billion purchase of the team from Randy Lerner.

  • HEMPSTEAD, N.Y.-- Republican White House challenger Mitt Romney conferred with his debate practice partner while President Barack Obama exercised before his final study review for Tuesday's debate, both hoping it would help them pull ahead in the razor-tight race.

  • CHICAGO-- W.W. Grainger Inc., which sells power tools and other industrial equipment, said Tuesday that its third-quarter net income fell 15 percent, in part because it set aside money for an anticipated settlement related to some government contracts.

  • CHICAGO-- The city of Chicago released a new cultural plan on Monday _ its first in more than 25 years. It also included developing a theater district in downtown Chicago. Funding for the plan came from the Chicago Community Trust and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council.

  • BOSTON-- College savings plans offered through the states of Alaska, Maryland, Nevada and Utah earned top marks from Morningstar Inc. in the company's annual update to ratings of so-called 529 plans.