U.S. Steel to idle Gary Works coke plant, displacing 300

GARY, Ind. (AP) — U.S. Steel has announced it will close the coke-making plant at its Gary Works, displacing about 300 workers.

Assisted-living facility moving forward, hotel still stalled in Rantoul

RANTOUL — Plans are progressing for an assisted-living facility on Rantoul's west side, Village Administrator Jeff Fiegenschuh told members of the Rantoul Economic Development Advisory committee.

U.S. home sales plunge 4.9 percent in January

JOSH BOAK, AP Economics Writer

Building permits, Feb. 22, 2015

Listed are recent 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.


Updated: Rauner's pension plan not exactly popular at UI

URBANA — The headlines over the pension debate in Springfield focus on billion-dollar shortfalls, last-minute legislative deals, court challenges and an outcry over six-figure pensions.

For Denise Jayne and her co-workers, it's about having a livable income when they retire.

Rose: Make more fireworks legal, tax their sales

Nanny state or safety risk? Tell Tom Kacich here.

Greece sends bailout compromise proposal to its creditors

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece requested Thursday a six-month extension in its rescue loan agreement — but not the associated budget measures — in a last-moment bid to break a deadlock with European creditors over its bailout program and end uncertainty over its future in the euro.

Average U.S. rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.76 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates have risen for a second straight week yet remained near historically low levels.

Dems: Rauner proposal doesn't match rhetoric

SPRINGFIELD — In general, Republicans welcomed Gov. Bruce Rauner's straightforward budget address and plans, while Democrats said they were stunned by it.

A starting point

SPRINGFIELD — For all the aggressive talk in Gov. Bruce Rauner's budget speech about the need for billions of dollars in cuts, and reforms in public pensions, workers compensation, unemployment insurance and other areas, the changes have to be approved by the Democratic-dominated Legislature.

And that will require negotiation.