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Top News & Analysis Illinois

  • 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.

  • GLENVIEW, Ill.-- Illinois Tool Works Inc. said on Monday that CEO David Speer is taking a leave of absence because of health concerns, and it named Vice Chairman E. Scott Santi as acting CEO. Spokeswoman Alison Donnelly declined to provide any details about Speers' condition.

  • NEW YORK-- Walgreen Co. advertised free flu shots for members of the NYS Empire health plan but ended up sticking many of them with the bill. Walgreen runs the Walgreens drug store chain. Walgreen will also pay roughly $15,000 in costs to New York.

  • 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.

  • THE JUMP: Shares of Abbott Laboratories Inc. rose Monday after the company said an experimental five-drug regimen cured 99 percent of patients in a 12- week mid-stage clinical trial. THE DATA: The North Chicago, Ill., company said the regimen worked on patients with the most common and hardest-to-treat type of the disease.

  • NEW YORK-- Abbott Laboratories said Monday that its experimental hepatitis C drug regimen cured 99 percent of patients in a midstage study with the most common and hardest-to-treat type of the disease. Abbott shares rose $2.77, or 4 percent, to close at $72.05 Monday.

  • CHICAGO-- Electronic health records company Allscripts Health Solutions Inc. on Monday said Richard Poulton will soon be its new chief financial officer. Poulton most recently worked as the treasurer and CFO of defense contractor AAR Corp. He previously held executive positions at UAL Corp., the parent of United Airlines.

  • CHICAGO-- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has ordered an independent audit of the city's 75- year, $1.15 billion parking meter deal. The audit will look at the agreement with Chicago Parking Meters LLC to make sure the company's revenue collections match the number of parking meters used around the city.

  • TOPEKA, Kan.-- Several Kansas food companies have been working to boost their export opportunities. The Kansas Department of Agriculture says in a release Friday that five Kansas food companies participated in a forum this month in Chicago where to develop business with representatives from 30 countries.

  • An analyst upgraded shares of wheel and tire supplier Titan International Inc. Monday after the recent slump in its shares, saying there could be stock gains ahead. Jefferies& Co. analyst Stephen Volkmann lifted Titan to "Buy" from "Hold," with a $23 price target. Still, he cut his earnings estimate for the year, to $2.40 per share from $2.50 per share.

  • MILAN-- U.S. farm and industrial vehicle group CNH has rejected a merger proposal from its parent, Fiat Industrial, the Italian company said in a statement Monday.

  • CHICAGO-- Economists foresee only tepid growth for the coming year, with unemployment back above 8 percent for the first half of 2013.. The quarterly survey by the National Association for Business Economists released Monday predicts growth will be weak overall but should slowly accelerate through 2013..

  • While Virginia escaped the worst of the recession _ unemployment peaked at 7.3 percent _ uneasiness about the future is in the air. For good reason: The state's fortunes are tied to the outcome of the deficit debate on Capitol Hill and its outcome could dramatically alter its economy. Virginia is home to the Pentagon, the CIA, Naval Station Norfolk, Fort A.P.

  • NEW YORK/ WASHINGTON, Oct 12- U.S. regulators granted a last-minute reprieve to CME Group Inc. By saying that a swathe of widely traded energy, metals and agricultural swaps would not be counted toward a threshold triggering costly new regulations until Dec. 31, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission brought relief to big traders like BP.

  • CHICAGO, Oct 12- The widening outbreak of fungal meningitis that has infected 184 Americans and killed 14 people is a new phenomenon for doctors, who typically only see such infections in patients with compromised immune systems.

  • NEW YORK/ WASHINGTON, Oct 12- U.S. regulators granted a last-minute reprieve to CME Group Inc and big energy traders on Friday, giving them until the end of the year to convert billions of dollars in commodity swaps to futures contracts.

  • NEW YORK/ WASHINGTON, Oct 12- U.S. regulators granted a last-minute reprieve to CME Group Inc and big energy traders on Friday, giving them until the end of the year to convert billions of dollars in commodity swaps to futures contracts.

  • Oct 12- CVS Caremark Corp said on Friday it has not been contacted by the U.S. government regarding alleged claims the drugstore chain refilled prescriptions and sought reimbursement for them without the approval of patients.