Business stockpiles rise, but sales fall

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses boosted their stockpiles slightly in December, as sales dropped sharply. This combination has stoked anxieties about weakening economic growth, as sales over the entire year dropped for the first time since the Great Recession.

Retail sales rise as consumers shrug off stock price drop

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales rose modestly in January, evidence that Americans kept shopping despite sharp drops in stock prices.

The Commerce Department said Friday that retail sales increased a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent last month, the same as in December. Excluding the effect of falling gas prices, sales rose 0.4 percent.

U.S. markets dive amid global selloff

ALEX VEIGA, AP Business Writer

Local governments focus on state changes

Local governments across Champaign County are working together to lobby for legislative changes at the state level.

Last week, administrators from Champaign, Urbana, Savoy, Rantoul, Mahomet and Champaign County met with state Sens. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, and Scott Bennett, D-Champaign, and State Rep. Carol Ammons, D-Urbana.

Chamber challenges businesses to increase local purchasing

CHAMPAIGN — After years of encouraging consumers to shop locally, Champaign County businesses are now challenging one another to do their own purchasing with local businesses.

It's all part of the Local Purchasing Challenge, an effort undertaken by the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce.

Government report: 8 states had significant drop in uninsured


Northern Illinois enrollment drops during spring semester

DEKALB, Ill. (AP) — For the first time in at least four years spring enrollment at Northern Illinois University didn't surpass 19,000 students.

Obama to release $4 trillion-plus budget for 2017

ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press Writers
MARTIN CRUTSINGER, Associated Press Writers

Building permits, Feb. 7, 2016

Listed are permits for all commercial and industrial work, all new single-family and multifamily residences and all residential remodeling over $50,000. Permits are listed by applicant, description, site and cost.


Jeff Tock, remodeling and addition to single-family home at 412 Ells Ave., $67,000.

Rally at EIU over state budget draws 2,000

CHARLESTON — Gathered on the campus library Quad on a chilly, late Friday afternoon, about 2,000 people rallied to press Gov. Bruce Rauner and state legislators to pass a higher education budget and keep their university open.

Because of a political standoff, no public colleges or universities in Illinois have received any state funding since the fiscal year began July 1.