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CHICAGO, Oct 23- Illinois has dug itself into such a huge financial hole that it may not be able to provide basic services to residents or meet employee benefit obligations, according to a national task force that is due to release a report about the state's finances.
BOSTON, Oct 23- The pharmacy tied to a deadly U.S. meningitis outbreak escaped harsh punishment from health regulators several times in the years leading up to the health crisis that has raised questions about oversight of the customized drug mixing industry, newly released state records show.
Steve Murdock, former director of the U.S. Census Bureau and ex-state demographer of Texas, said studies are nearly unanimous in concluding that improved education is the key to bolstering earning power _ and thus could reverse the trend.
AUSTIN, Texas-- A fourth Texas high-tech startup that received taxpayer dollars through Gov.
NEW YORK-- U.S. oil output is surging so fast that the United States could soon overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest producer. The Energy Department forecasts that U.S. production of crude and other liquid hydrocarbons, which includes biofuels, will average 11.4 million barrels per day next year.
NEW ORLEANS-- Oil giant BP has asked a federal judge to disregard objections from a fraction of claimants and give final approval to a proposed multibillion-dollar settlement over economic damages from the Gulf oil spill.
IMPERIAL, Pa.-- Southwest Airlines Co. is launching daily, nonstop service from Pittsburgh International Airport to Houston starting April 14. The flight will leave Pittsburgh at 11:50 a.m. weekdays and arrive at Houston's William P. Hobby Airport at 2 p.m. The flight will follow a similar schedule on Sunday but will leave Pittsburgh at 9:15 a.m. on Saturdays.
GENERAL ESCOBEDO, Mexico-- Even before the tour bus comes to a stop, the women rise from their seats and wait in the aisle to exit. "The goal is to come to look for them," said Virginia Olcot, 42, of Chimaltenango, Guatemala, who last heard from her husband in September 2009 when he arrived at the U.S. border in Sonora. "
WICHITA, Kan.-- When Candida L. Gutierrez's identity was stolen, the thief didn't limit herself to opening fraudulent credit and bank accounts. The scheme has been linked to illegal immigrants who use stolen Social Security numbers to get paid at their jobs, and authorities fear the problem could soon grow to ensnare more unsuspecting Americans.
NEW YORK-- Even in an era of $500 hotel rooms and $18 cocktails, the $442 that a Texas family paid for a ride in a New York City pedicab has become notorious. "It was not good for us," Souleymane Toure said as he hawked riders for his pedicab in Central Park. "
DALLAS-- Heelys Inc., maker of wheeled shoes for kids, said Tuesday it has agreed to sell its operations to a group led by the private equity firm Evergreen Group Ventures for $13.9 million in cash and then dissolve what is left of the company.
J.C. Penney Co. said Tuesday that for the entire month of November families can have a portrait done for free. The free portrait service is available at 530 Penney stores that have portrait studios. Penney operates more than 1,100 stores.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-- Regions Financial Corp. on Tuesday posted sharply higher third-quarter earnings, as the regional bank set aside less cash to cover loan losses. Regions reported net income of $301 million, or 21 cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30.
One of the reports adds that the Marcellus reserves that lie below parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New York are far larger than recent government estimates, while another said the powerful combination of resource, cost and location is altering natural gas prices and market trends across the nation.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.-- Drive through the coalfields of Central Appalachia, and signs of the siege are everywhere. Only a few generations ago, coal miners were literally at war with their employers, spilling and shedding blood on West Virginia's Blair Mountain in a historic battle for union representation and fair treatment.
NEW YORK-- Standard& Poor's Ratings Services on Friday lowered its rating on solid waste services company Waste Connections Inc. because of its plan to acquire R360 Environmental Solutions Inc. for about $1.3 billion in cash. S&P lowered its corporate credit rating on Waste Connections one step from "BBB" to "BBB-," which is still investment grade.
Texas- based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 1,410 rigs were exploring for oil and 427 were searching for gas. A year ago, Baker Hughes listed 2,013 rigs. Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Alaska gained five rigs while Arkansas, Colorado and North Dakota rose by two each.
AUSTIN, Texas-- The Texas Supreme Court on Friday upheld the state's much-maligned business tax that provides the second-biggest source of general revenue, preserving current rules for now before lawmakers potentially overhaul the law next year.
AUSTIN, Texas-- The Texas unemployment rate has fallen sharply to 6.8 percent in September, down from 7.1 percent in the largest one-month drop in nearly 30 years. The Texas Workforce Commission said Friday that the state added 21,000 nonfarm jobs, led by a gain of 13,600 jobs in professional and business services.