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Top News & Analysis Illinois

  • JOLIET, Ill.-- For the first time on a key Midwestern route between Chicago and St. Louis, an Amtrak passenger train topped 110 mph Friday, ripping through fog-shrouded farm fields and blowing past cars on a parallel highway. Illinois and the country was a wasteland when it came to high speed rail, "said U.S.

  • PEORIA, Ill.-- Caterpillar Inc. shares fell Friday after the company reported a slowdown in sales of its heavy equipment and engines last month. Caterpillar said worldwide sales of its heavy equipment rose 6 percent in September, down from gains of 13 percent and 14 percent in August and July, respectively.

  • JOLIET, Ill.-- An Amtrak passenger train has reached a speed of 110 mph for the first time in Illinois. The five-car, two-locomotive train zipped through the central Illinois countryside, hitting its high speed between the towns of Dwight and Pontiac.

  • ROCKFORD, Ill.-- Passenger numbers continue to climb at the Rockford airport, which recorded its busiest September on record for passenger traffic. The Chicago Rockford International Airport had more than 13,000 passengers last month.

  • PEORIA, Ill.-- Ameren Illinois officials say they're expecting natural gas prices this winter will be similar to last season. Ameren Illinois, part of Ameren Corp., serves 1.2 million electric and more than 800,000 natural gas customers in central and southern Illinois.

  • OMAHA, Neb.-- An index of economic conditions in 10 Midwest and Western states jumped this month after three months of drought-induced doldrums. "Our survey indicates that the negative impacts of the drought are being more than offset by the positives of very strong incomes from high agriculture and energy prices," said Creighton University economist Ernie Goss.

  • The hard-rocking country music star made a whirlwind run around the eastern U.S. on Thursday, announcing shows at Boston's Fenway Park, Chicago's Wrigley Field and on the University of Georgia campus in the space of 12 hours. Aldean will make the first appearance by a country music performer at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.

  • NEW YORK-- Agribusiness conglomerate Archer Daniels Midland, seeking to acquire Graincorp, said Friday that it now owns nearly 15 percent of the Australian grain handler. Archer Daniels Midland Co. purchased a 10 percent stake in GrainCorp Ltd. Thursday night, adding to its existing 4.9 percent holding.

  • By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for November delivery was up 36 cents to $92.46 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which many U.S. refiners use to make gasoline, was up 40 cents to $112.82 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

  • NEW YORK-- ABC News said it wanted to step beyond reporting on the gang violence in Chicago to explore ways of reducing it. There have been more than 400 murders in Chicago this year, with the murder rate four times what it is in New York, ABC said.

  • NEW YORK-- Tough competition in the U.S. and the weakening economy abroad was a double whammy for McDonald's in the third-quarter, sending the burger chain's net income down nearly 4 percent.

  • NEW YORK-- The fungus found in tainted steroid shots matches the one behind the national meningitis outbreak that has killed 20 people, federal health officials said Thursday.

  • CHICAGO-- In a modest milestone for President Barack Obama's high-speed rail vision, test runs will start zooming along a small section of the Amtrak line between Chicago and St. Louis at 110 mph Friday. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Illinois Gov.

  • WASHINGTON-- President Barack Obama has presided over a heyday for the gun industry despite predictions by the National Rifle Association four years ago that he would be the "most anti-gun president in American history."

  • TransCanada has reaffirmed its plan to restart the Keystone oil pipeline from Canada to the Midwest on Saturday, although rainy weather is hampering the company's on-site work. TransCanada shut down the 2,100- mile pipeline Wednesday after tests showed possible safety issues.

  • KANSAS CITY, Mo.-- TransCanada Corp. has temporarily shut down its existing 2,100- mile Keystone pipeline after tests showed possible safety issues, a federal agency said Thursday.

  • ALBANY, N.Y.-- Aspen Dental Management and the private equity firm that controls it illegally operate dental clinics across the country and engage in aggressive, misleading profit-driven practices that cause patients economic harm, claims a federal lawsuit filed Thursday in New York.

  • CHICAGO-- Shares of USG Corp. rose Thursday after the building products maker said its third-quarter loss shrank. In the three months ended Sept. 30, the Chicago company reported a loss of $29 million, or 28 cents per share.

  • TRENTON, N.J.-- Shares of RR Donnelley fell and then partially recovered Thursday amid news the printer and communications consultant had mistakenly filed a draft version of client Google Inc.' s third-quarter financial results to the Securities and Exchange Commission hours before the final version was to be submitted.

  • CHICAGO-- Railcar leasing company GATX Corp. said Thursday that its third-quarter earnings rose on a surge in orders for tank cars to haul oil, gas and chemicals. The company earned $53.8 million, or $1.13 per share, compared with $32.9 million, or 70 cents per share, a year ago. But stripping out those one-time items, GATX still topped Wall Street expectations.