Economy's growth in first quarter 'disappointing'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy began 2017 with a whimper — though not quite as weak a whimper as the government had first estimated.

Why aren't more people borrowing?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Alicia Johnson and her husband wanted to renovate their home last fall but ran into a roadblock: When they tried to refinance their mortgage and borrow against their equity, five banks said no.

Problem was, the Johnsons' mortgage covered their home in Christiansburg, Va., and some adjacent land — a deal-breaker.

C-U's April jobless rate down almost a full percentage point over 2016

CHAMPAIGN — The local unemployment rate has fallen below 4 percent for the first time in a decade.

In the Champaign-Urbana metro area, unemployment dropped from 4.7 percent a year ago to 3.8 percent in April, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

It was last below 4 percent in May 2007, when it was at 3.5 percent.

Women CEOs get big pay, but there's not as many of them

NEW YORK (AP) — Women CEOs earned big bucks last year, but there's still very few of them running the world's largest companies.

The median pay for a female CEO was $13.1 million last year, up 9 percent from 2015, according to an analysis by executive data firm Equilar and The Associated Press. By comparison, male CEOs earned $11.4 million, also up 9 percent.

Hampton Inn coming to Carle at the Fields

CHAMPAIGN — A new hotel will be joining the Carle at the Fields development at Curtis Road and Interstate 57.

Construction will begin on the 80-room Hampton Inn & Suites in June, according to the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce.

Home sales fell in April amid supply squeeze

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans pulled back their pace of home-buying in April, as shrinking inventories and rising prices are putting them in a bind with fewer and fewer options.

AP/Equilar survey: Median CEO pay up 8.5% in 2016

NEW YORK (AP) — The typical CEO at the biggest U.S. companies got an 8.5 percent raise last year, raking in $11.5 million in salary, stock and other compensation last year, according to a study by executive data firm Equilar for The Associated Press. That's the biggest raise in three years.

Sensors replacing soil sampling at UI's Morrow Plots

URBANA — Researchers are trying something new on the country's oldest experimental crop field.

Instead of using soil probes, workers are measuring the soil at the University of Illinois' Morrow Plots with sensors.

While each probe only took a small amount of dirt from the ground, that added up over the years.

Champaign County home sales down 17% in April over 2016

CHAMPAIGN — After a strong March, home sales were down in April compared with the same month a year ago, according to the latest Champaign County Association of Realtors' housing report.

Total home sales decreased 17 percent compared with April 2016, representing a drop from 229 to 190.

Year-to-date sales are also down slightly compared with 2016, from 645 to 630.

Google aims to connect online ads to real-world sales

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google already monitors your online shopping — but now it's also keeping an eye on what you're buying in real-world stores as part of its latest effort to sell more digital advertising.