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Top News & Analysis Illinois

  • SMASHING SUCCESS: Farmers in a stretch of Illinois where most of the nation's pumpkins are grown say their crop is likely to be one of the few successes in a year when severe drought baked most of the nation's heartland.

  • WASHINGTON-- Stronger housing markets helped boost economic growth at the end of the summer in nearly every region of the United States, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday. The Fed said growth improved in 10 of its 12 regional banking districts from mid-August through September, while leveling off in one region and slowing in another.

  • *AMG/Permira plan to split up Robeco- sources. *Robeco could fetch more than 2 bln euros- sources. is weighing three offers for its asset management arm Robeco, facing a choice between bids to split the 2 billion euro- plus business or sell it in one piece, people familiar with the situation said.

  • The weeklong program of panel discussions, speakers and demonstrations, which opened Monday, was the brainchild of Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell, who regards Chicago Ideas Week as a startup, albeit one that will never be publicly traded on Wall Street. The Chicago- based entrepreneur was briefly a billionaire after Groupon Inc.' s IPO last year.

  • NEW YORK-- Downbeat reports from Alcoa and Chevron at the start of a critical corporate earnings season pulled stock indexes lower for a third straight day Wednesday. Alcoa, the aluminum producer, beat Wall Street earnings estimates on Tuesday night but said it expects a slowdown in China to weaken demand for aluminum.

  • *Seller Rabobank evaluating the offers for Robeco- sources. *AMG/Permira plan to split up Robeco- sources. *Robeco could fetch more than 2 billion euros- sources.

  • CHICAGO, Oct 10- Wal-Mart Stores Inc:. *CEO says gaining share in almost every country Wal Mart- operates in. *CEO says international business will continue to be a growth engine.

  • Oct 10- Toys R Us Inc said it will open toy departments in 24 Macy's Inc stores this holiday season as the world's largest specialty toy retailer looks to reach more shoppers in the biggest selling season of the year.

  • The video was shot using a hidden camera by a member of Mercy for Animals who got a job at Bettencourt Dairies' Dry Creek Dairy in Hansen for a few weeks this summer.

  • ST. LOUIS-- Farmers in a stretch of Illinois where most of the nation's pumpkins are grown say their crop looks relatively smashing and is likely to be one of the few successes in a year when severe drought baked most of the nation's heartland. But John Ackerman said most of the pumpkins he planted fared "fantastic" for a simple, single reason: Pumpkins dig dry weather.

  • TOKYO, Oct 10- Japan's Nikkei share average is expected to open down on Wednesday and test a one-month low on concerns over companies' latest quarterly earnings results as global growth slows. "The Alcoa results were above market forecast but they were still in the red," said Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist at Monex Inc..

  • "The IGB's staff has done a tremendous job to... bring this new industry to Illinois," board Chairman Aaron Jaffe said in a written statement. Jeff Glover, manager of Chino's Pizzeria in the Chicago suburb of Justice, said he'd just finished mopping when he saw the restaurant's three terminals activated around 11:30 a.m..

  • Oct 9- Jack Welch, the former chairman of General Electric who sparked an outcry with a tweet last week suggesting the White House manipulated job numbers for political gain, is no longer writing for Reuters or Fortune. "Unbelievable jobs numbers... these Chicago guys will do anything... can't debate so change numbers," Welch tweeted.

  • Oct 9- Jack Welch, the former chairman of General Electric who sparked an outcry with a tweet last week suggesting the White House manipulated job numbers for political gain, is no longer writing for Reuters or Fortune. "Unbelievable jobs numbersï¿ ½th ese Chicago guys will do anythingï¿ ½ can't debate so change numbers," Welch tweeted.

  • OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill.-- Vasco Data Security lowered its full-year revenue forecast Monday due to lower orders from the banking industry. Vasco said that it expects revenue in the range of $150 million to $157 million for 2012. That's down from its forecast of revenue of $175 million or more that it issued in July.

  • CHICAGO-- Grain prices mostly rose Tuesday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for December delivery rose 11.75 cents to $8.7275 a bushel; December corn rose 4 cents to $7.46 a bushel; December oats were unchanged at $3.7050 a bushel; while November soybeans jumped 14 cents to $15.65 a bushel.

  • CHICAGO-- ComEd has started an energy efficiency program that is taught by people with developmental disabilities for those with similar issues. ComEd is partnering with eight nonprofit organizations in Chicago and the suburbs that work with the developmentally disabled. ComEd is part of Chicago- based Exelon Corp..

  • A statement from the Austin, Ky., company on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's website says the varieties are Kentucky Rose, Kentucky Bleu, Awe-Brie and Tomme de Nena. The cheeses were sold to farmers markets, restaurants, distributors and retail stores in Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia between Aug. 22 and Sept. 25.