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Top News & Analysis Chicago

  • CHICAGO-- A growing number of retirees are looking to pass along more to the next generation than money and possessions. "There's an element regarding money, but it is really more about affirming your life as a legacy," says Neal Van Zutphen, a certified financial planner in Mesa, Ariz..

  • WASHINGTON-- A federal strike force has charged 91 people, including a hospital president, doctors and nurses, with Medicare fraud schemes in seven cities involving $429 million in false billings. The law enforcement effort focused on fraudulent Medicare schemes in Baton Rouge, La.; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Chicago; Dallas; Houston; Los Angeles and Miami.

  • Google acquired Motorola in May for $12.5 billion to bolster its patent portfolio as its Android mobile operating system competes with rivals such as Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. But many investors and analysts have questioned Google's need to be in the hardware business, where profit margins are lower and Google has little experience.

  • NEW YORK/ SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 4- Amazon.com Inc. Take Apple Inc, for example. Now Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Amazon, Microsoft Corp and other tablet and smartphone makers are stepping up with big spending on TV spots, print ads, guerilla marketing stunts and over-the-top launch events.

  • AUGUSTA, Maine-- Kaplan University has opened a new campus in Augusta. It's Kaplan's third campus in Maine, joining other ones in South Portland and Lewiston. Kaplan University is based in Chicago and serves nearly 50,000 online and campus-based students.

  • CHICAGO-- The final case to stem from the corruption investigation into imprisoned former Illinois Gov. William Cellini, 77, was convicted last year for his role in trying to get a $1.5 million campaign contribution for Blagojevich from the Oscar-winning producer of "Million Dollar Baby" in exchange for state business.

  • CHICAGO-- Members of the Chicago Teachers Union overwhelmingly have approved a new three-year contract that includes pay increases and a new evaluation system, union officials announced late Wednesday.

  • *Sales at Costco and Gap top expectations. *Macy's, Target, Kohl's sales miss analysts' forecasts. "I think September overall is going to be OK; I don't think it's going to be great," said John Rooney, national retail& distribution sector lead for Deloitte Consulting.

  • *Macy's, Target sales miss analysts' forecasts. Retailers including Costco Wholesale Corp, Victoria's Secret operator Limited Brands Inc and teen chain Zumiez Inc posted bigger-than-expected gains in September sales at stores open at least a year. Target Corp and Macy's Inc posted same-store sales increases that missed analysts' expectations.

  • Claire McCaskill touted a $5.8 million fundraising haul for her re-election campaign Wednesday as Republican challenger Todd Akin sought to raise cash amid new attention to his remarks about abortion.

  • *Sales from Costco, Limited, Zumiez top expectations. Retailers including Costco Wholesale Corp and Victoria's Secret operator Limited Brands Inc posted bigger-than-expected gains in September sales at stores open at least a year.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 4- Exchange-traded funds are waging a price war that may save investors money on fees, but cheaper fund choices pose a greater risk because they may rely on new, more-opaque indexes.

  • Oct 3- American Airlines and its pilots union resumed contract talks Wednesday, but other problems continued to beset the bankrupt carrier. "I will never ride on American Airlines ever again," said Tony Palm, who was stranded when a connecting flight on American from Chicago to New York's LaGuardia airport was canceled last month.

  • TOKYO, Oct 4- Japan's Nikkei share average is set to rise on Thursday after more data showed the U.S. economic recovery is gathering steam, but gains will likely be capped by wariness ahead of European Central Bank and Bank of Japan meetings starting later in the day. Nikkei futures in Chicago closed at 8,790, up 0.5 percent from the close in Osaka.

  • Oct 3- American Airlines and its pilots union resumed contract talks Wednesday, but other problems continued to beset the bankrupt airline. "I will never ride on American Airlines ever again," said Tony Palm, who was stranded when a connecting flight on American from Chicago to New York's LaGuardia airport was cancelled last month.

  • By Olivia Oran Oct 3- Container maker Berry Plastics Group Inc. Berry Plastics, based in Evansville, Indiana, is the latest in a slew of companies that Apollo is trying to take public this year. Berry Plastics intends use its IPO proceeds to redeem notes due in 2016, it said in its registration filing.

  • *China, Europe services PMI disappoint. NEW YORK, Oct 3- Oil prices fell sharply on Wednesday as disappointing economic data from China and Europe reinforced concerns about slowing growth and a weakening demand for petroleum, even as supportive U.S. data strengthened the dollar.

  • PHOENIX-- The city of Phoenix and a developer who was poised to demolish a Frank Lloyd Wright- designed home have reached an agreement that will put any work on hold while a search continues for a buyer, a city official confirmed Wednesday.

  • *China, Europe services PMI disappoint. NEW YORK, Oct 3- Oil prices fell sharply on Wednesday as disappointing economic data from China and Europe reinforced concerns about slowing growth and a weakening outlook for petroleum demand, even as supportive U.S. data strengthened the dollar.