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Business - Chicago Tribune

Business news from the Chicago Tribune. Get money tips, stock market updates and the latest Chicago business news.

Last Build Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2018 01:46:31 -0500

Copyright: ©2018 Chicago Tribune

'We did not sign up to work at a strip club': Former servers allege sexual harassment at Twin Peaks 'breastaurant' in Orland Park

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 05:05:00 PDT

When Sarah Blaylock joined the staff of Twin Peaks in Orland Park, she signed an agreement that laid out the expectations for a “Twin Peaks Girl.”

She said she understood that the lodge-themed restaurant chain wanted its all-female waitstaff to be physically fit and well-groomed. She said she felt...


As Ford phases out most cars, Chicago plant will produce a new SUV

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 13:30:00 PDT

The Ford assembly plant on Chicago’s Southeast Side is not expecting any layoffs as the company phases out most cars — including the signature Taurus sedan built there — in favor of SUVs and trucks.

The Torrence Avenue plant, Ford's oldest in continuous operation, will end production of the Taurus...


A 48,000 percent return on a painting may be Illinois' best investment

Thu, 26 Apr 2018 09:34:00 PDT

Art may not save the world, but it could help a municipal authority in Illinois.

The Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority voted this week to sell a painting by Chicago artist Kerry James Marshall, estimated at $8 million to $12 million, at a Sotheby's auction next month. The MPEA purchased...


Gemstones believed to be safe after Jewelers Row fire; tenants await damage assessment

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 13:30:00 PDT

An extra-alarm fire in the Mallers Building on Jewelers Row in the Loop early Wednesday morning left those with businesses in the building worried about damage to their records and equipment, but most of the gemstones were believed to be secure in fireproof safes.

Two firefighters hurt, two people...


United picks up pace on luxury Polaris rollout, and adds more seats to economy class

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 12:05:00 PDT

It’s been nearly two years since United Airlines announced the launch of its Polaris long-haul international business class, with more luxurious seats, new airport lounges and revamped in-flight service. But most passengers have so far only gotten a piece of that experience.

Chicago-based United...


Self-destructing emails, A.I. and nudges to reply: Gmail begins rolling out updates

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 06:43:00 PDT

Gmail is getting a major update starting Wednesday. A certain amount of hyperventilation is to be expected when a service used by 1.4 billion people changes anything.

I'm here to report it's going to be OK.

Truth be told, when Google first showed me the redesign, I thought: Who asked for this?...


Sinclair to sell additional TV stations in bid to win approval for Tribune Media acquisition

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 15:35:00 PDT

Sinclair Broadcast Group announced Tuesday it has agreed to sell additional TV stations in a bid to win approval for its proposed acquisition of Tribune Media.

Sinclair is filing revised plans with the Federal Communications Commission to divest 23 stations in 18 markets, including Tribune-owned...


Restaurant in McDonald’s new Chicago headquarters will feature food from its menus around the world

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 13:40:00 PDT

Globe-trotting fans of the Golden Arches may find some of their favorites in the new McDonald’s opening Wednesday in Chicago’s booming Fulton Market district.

McSpicy Chicken Sandwich from Hong Kong, anyone? The new location will feature a rotating menu of food served in McDonald’s restaurants...


Caterpillar shares sink on good-as-it-gets earnings guidance

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 10:38:00 PDT

Caterpillar began the day euphorically, with shares rallying as the machinery giant beat earnings estimates and raised its own forecast. That all changed when management signaled the first quarter might be as good as it gets.

In its earnings statement, the biggest maker of construction and mining...


In safety rankings, Chicago-area hospitals earn A's, and one F

Tue, 24 Apr 2018 05:34:00 PDT

Illinois is 15th in the nation for hospital safety, according to a ranking to be issued Tuesday by a nonprofit group, but at least two Chicago-area hospitals are questioning the report’s methodology.

The report, produced by The Leapfrog Group twice a year, grades hospitals on 27 measures of safety,...


Sears' CEO proposes breaking up troubled retailer with offer to buy Kenmore brand, other assets

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 13:15:00 PDT

The hedge fund run by Sears CEO Edward Lampert has offered to buy the retailer’s popular appliance brand Kenmore and other Sears divisions, moving to break up the company after it failed to find other buyers for the assets.

Sears said it has received a letter from ESL Investments suggesting that...


Reddit to open Chicago office as part of advertising push

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 11:00:00 PDT

Reddit is opening an office in Chicago, the tech company’s first outside the coasts.

The website, known for its massive community of users that can make content go viral, is building out its advertising platform. There are major brands and advertising agencies with a presence in Chicago, and opening...


Solar farms set to sprout across Illinois

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 04:00:00 PDT

A new crop is ready to sprout on Illinois farms, with gleaming solar panels supplanting rows of corn and soybeans.

Drawn by new state requirements and incentives, renewable energy developers are staking out turf on the rural fringes of the Chicago area and beyond, looking to build dozens of solar...


Polished makes perfect: Nail salon targets busy working women

Mon, 23 Apr 2018 04:00:00 PDT

In 2016, while students at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Ale Breuer and Kim Marsh teamed up to launch Ezza Nails, a pop-up nail salon aimed at keeping busy professional women looking polished by offering a membership-based manicure experience with the option to book and...


E. coli outbreak warning expands to all romaine lettuce

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:23:00 PDT

Public health officials are now telling consumers to avoid all types of romaine lettuce because of an E. coli outbreak linked to the vegetable that has spread to at least 16 states and sickened at least 60 people, including eight inmates at an Alaska prison.

The Centers for Disease Control and...


Carson's closures may mean deals for shoppers, more challenges for hard-hit malls

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 09:05:00 PDT

When Carson’s stores ring up their final sales — likely by late summer — they will leave behind a 164-year history as one of Illinois’ iconic homegrown department store chains. They will also leave their landlords with millions of square feet of empty retail space to fill.

Parent company Bon-Ton...


Why Tyson, the largest meat processor in the U.S., is investing in fake meat

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 12:50:00 PDT

Beyond Meat burgers — plant-based patties made to resemble, sizzle and even bleed like meat — have the potential to wean wavering carnivores off animal-based proteins.

Encouraging such a trend would seem to pose a serious financial threat to Tyson Foods, the largest U.S. meat processor.



Soil contamination puts South Works project, which would turn old U.S. Steel site into 20,000-home development, on hold

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 04:00:00 PDT

More than eight months after two European developers unveiled a project to build 20,000 homes on Chicago’s south lakefront, the prospects of the ambitious project are in question.

Plans to buy South Works, the 440-acre former U.S. Steel factory site are “currently on hold because of soil contamination...


As pay and benefits stagnate, nontenured faculty and graduate students in Illinois, Chicago look to unions

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 03:00:00 PDT

Amaia Gabantxo has taught at the University of Chicago for seven years, but her job is hardly stable.

Gabantxo is an adjunct instructor, meaning she is paid per course and does not receive any benefits. Her pay has stagnated. She also works on a short-term contract and must hope her appointment...


Women fighting cancer ask, 'why won't Illinois insurers cover egg, embryo freezing?'

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 04:00:00 PDT

At the age of 23, Erin Keith didn’t know if she wanted kids, but the New Lenox woman knew she wanted a choice.

So before embarking upon months of chemotherapy to treat Hodgkin lymphoma — treatments that could leave her sterile — she had her eggs frozen. She did it despite being unsure whether her...


Carson's to close after parent company fails to find buyer

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 04:56:00 PDT

Carson’s will shut down its department stores by late summer after more than 160 years in operation.

After parent company Bon-Ton Stores failed to find a bidder willing to keep the business going, a bankruptcy judge on Wednesday approved the sale of the company’s assets, including Carson’s and...


Tribune Tower plans would energize an old landmark, but don't yet create a new one

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 12:20:00 PDT

Holy architecture, Batman! Two developers want to build a skyscraper next to Tribune Tower that would be Chicago’s second-tallest building and more than three times taller than the neo-Gothic landmark. As one of the developers acknowledges, the flaring walls of the skyscraper’s top would resemble...


The people have spoken: Heinz will bring 'mayochup' condiment to U.S. stores

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 11:00:00 PDT

If you want to see “mayochup” — a pre-mixed mayonnaise-ketchup product made by Kraft Heinz — on store shelves, you are clearly not alone.

The company, based in Chicago and Pittsburgh, asked Twitter users last week if it should bring the hybrid condiment to the U.S., and the response was overwhelming....


Fulton Market land could go from trash heap to cash heap

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 10:55:00 PDT

What once was trash is now treasure in the Fulton Market district, where a waste hauler is looking to sell 2.5 acres of gritty land now believed to be worth tens of millions of dollars.

Republic Services is putting four parcels up for sale along Metra train tracks on the northern edge of the fast-changing...


Chicago aldermen propose office to enforce city's wage, sick time laws

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 10:10:00 PDT

A group of Chicago aldermen is proposing the creation of an Office of Labor Standards to better enforce city labor laws approved in recent years governing minimum wage, paid sick time and wage theft.

The proposed office would be organized within the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer...


Facebook could be forced to pay billions of dollars over alleged violations of Illinois biometrics law

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 14:20:00 PDT

A federal judge’s ruling this week means Facebook could face billions of dollars in damages if the court finds the company violated Illinois residents’ privacy rights with its facial tagging feature.

The potential penalty stems from a federal lawsuit filed in Illinois in 2015 that alleges the social...


Tribune Tower's $1 billion redevelopment plan: Developers face price point, deadline challenges

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 14:55:00 PDT

After unveiling ambitious plans for Tribune Tower’s redevelopment, owners of the Michigan Avenue landmark are facing the question that’s been posed for decades in the building: Can you meet deadlines?

Chicago-based Golub & Co. and Los Angeles-based CIM Group on Monday night held the first community...


Starbucks to close all U.S. stores afternoon of May 29 for anti-racial bias training

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 16:00:00 PDT

Starbucks has announced plans to close all U.S. stores and corporate offices on the afternoon of May 29 to train employees against racial bias after the arrest last week of two black men waiting at one of the company’s Philadelphia stores.

The training, which will close the more than 8,000 company-owned...


IRS gives all taxpayers an extra day to file after website issues

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 17:40:00 PDT

Americans are getting an extra day to file their taxes after key elements of the IRS website crashed on deadline day.

The IRS said that individuals or businesses with a filing or payment due Tuesday now have until midnight Wednesday to complete the task.

Earlier Tuesday, Americans who had waited...


Developers plan city's second-tallest skyscraper next to new Tribune Tower condos

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 04:42:00 PDT

Developers on Monday unveiled plans for Chicago’s second-tallest skyscraper, a tapering shaft of metal and glass that would soar above historic Tribune Tower, resemble the top of Batman’s black mask and be only 29 feet shorter than Willis Tower.

If completed, the $1 billion-plus project to repurpose...


Elgin's Grand Victoria Casino to sell for $327.5 million

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 11:40:00 PDT

Elgin’s Grand Victoria Casino is set to change hands later this year, and the prospective new owner is eyeing land near the casino for future development.

Reno, Nev.-based Eldorado Resorts said it entered into a definitive agreement to pay $327.5 million for the casino now owned by equal partners...


Chicago sports tech firm Stats looks to bring A.I. to the broadcast booth and sideline

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 05:35:00 PDT

When a baseball announcer rattles off your favorite player’s batting average with two outs and runners on first and third, he’s not pulling that figure from the back of his mind. There’s a good chance that timely information was provided by Stats, a Chicago-based sports data and technology company.


T-Mobile to pay $40 million over faked outgoing phone calls

Mon, 16 Apr 2018 13:20:00 PDT

The Federal Communications Commission announced a $40 million settlement with T-Mobile US over accusations the carrier made it seem that outgoing calls were ringing at their destination when they weren't.

T-Mobile admitted that it violated a prohibition against inserting false ringing sounds, and...


Supreme Court could decide fate of online shoppers' sales tax free ride

Sun, 15 Apr 2018 13:40:00 PDT

In Illinois, shopping on Amazon used to feel like it came with a discount: no sales tax charged at checkout. That ended three years ago, when the Seattle e-commerce behemoth opened its first distribution centers in the state, gaining an obligation to collect taxes like any bricks-and-mortar retailer.


Michael Ferro sells stake in Chicago Tribune parent Tronc to McCormick Media for $208.6 million

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 18:45:00 PDT

Michael Ferro, who resigned last month as chairman of Chicago-based newspaper chain Tronc, has struck a deal to sell his entire stake in the company, according to a filing late Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Ferro, who as the largest shareholder owned more than 25 percent of...


Riverwalk rising: City banking on boom to pay off cost of river transformation

Sat, 14 Apr 2018 06:10:00 PDT

As the weather warms, tourists and locals alike will descend on the Chicago Riverwalk, one of the most ambitious and acclaimed new public spaces in Chicago.

They will spend money on wine and beer, kayaking rentals and gelato, all part of an upswell of business along the increasingly popular and...


Fewer ballgames, more steak dinners: Corporate entertaining changes after tax deduction goes away

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 05:35:00 PDT

In Darryl Jacobs’ line of work, it’s a tough year to be a sports fan.

It has nothing to do with the performance of the Chicago tax attorney’s favorite teams. Instead, a tax code change that strips away a popular business entertainment deduction has cut into his ability to hobnob with clients at...


Amid growing interest in halal food, Navy Pier festival to celebrate Muslim lifestyle

Sat, 14 Apr 2018 04:00:00 PDT

Thousands of Muslims and non-Muslims alike are expected to attend the inaugural I Heart Halal festival on Navy Pier this weekend, an event that’s billed as the first halal lifestyle festival in America.

Both nationally and in Chicago, the population of Muslims is increasing, and there’s a heightened...


Sears to close last store in Chicago, the city that helped launch its growth into a major retail presence

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 05:59:00 PDT

Sears opened its first-ever store in Chicago 93 years ago. This summer, it will close its last department store in the city.

The embattled retailer informed employees at the Six Corners store on the edge of the Portage Park neighborhood Thursday of its plans to close in mid-July. With the store’s...


Dems ask if military job was dangled to Chicago banker ensnared in Manafort probe

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 11:25:00 PDT

In the days after Donald Trump was elected president, a Chicago banker and campaign economic adviser named Stephen Calk called U.S. Army personnel to discuss the confirmation process for a high-level position, according to Defense Department documents obtained by congressional Democrats.



Heinz teased 'mayochup,' a new mayo and ketchup condiment. A contentious online debate ensued.

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 10:50:00 PDT

“Mayochup” is already available internationally, but U.S. consumers have yet to find the condiment — a pre-mixed mayonnaise-ketchup product made by Kraft Heinz — in stores.

The company, based in Chicago and Pittsburgh, proposed changing that Wednesday on Twitter, surveying “saucy Americans” about...


Trump weighs rejoining Trans-Pacific Partnership he once called 'disaster'

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 17:38:00 PDT

President Donald Trump ordered top administration officials Thursday to look at rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the sprawling trade pact he rejected three days after taking office.

The move would mark a stunning reversal for Trump, who sharply criticized the pact as a "disaster" and made...


Uber to up its background checks for drivers

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 06:20:00 PDT

Uber will start doing annual criminal background checks on U.S. drivers and hire a company that constantly monitors criminal arrests as it tries to do a better job of keeping riders safe.

The move announced Thursday is one of several actions taken by the ride-hailing company under new CEO Dara...


To boost gender pay equity, Emanuel bans city departments from asking job applicants for salary history

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 14:00:00 PDT

Applicants for jobs with the city of Chicago can no longer be asked about their salary history, part of a growing effort nationwide to improve pay equality between men and women.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel signed the executive order Tuesday to mark Equal Pay Day, which symbolizes how far into the year...


Rush, Little Company of Mary Hospital call off merger plan

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 15:00:00 PDT

The Chicago-based Rush hospital system and suburban Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers have called off their plan to merge.

Representatives of the health systems on Wednesday declined to answer questions about why discussions ended or make their CEOs available. The organizations...


Proposed changes to Illinois' biometric law concern privacy advocates

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 14:55:00 PDT

State lawmakers are considering a proposal that opponents argue would gut protections for data on people’s individual biological characteristics, just as the nation’s attention turns toward online privacy in the wake of Facebook’s massive data exposure scandal.

Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy...


Chicago grocers ramp up hiring, while balancing online growth and brick-and-mortar upgrades

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 10:41:00 PDT

Nearly all major grocery retailers in Chicago now offer some form of delivery or pickup for increasingly tech-savvy consumers on the go.

But they’re also sinking capital into their bricks-and-mortar stores and bolstering their workforces in order to survive in the area’s fiercely competitive grocery...


Paying a penalty for no health insurance? Not in 13 Illinois counties.

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 09:03:00 PDT

Consumers who chose to pay a penalty rather than sign up for health insurance are getting a break, depending where they live.

Most consumers have been required under the Affordable Care Act to have health insurance or pay a federal penalty of $695 per adult or 2.5 percent of household income for...


First blowback, then feedback: United won't implement employee bonus lottery program

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 15:55:00 PDT

United Airlines won’t be making any changes to its employee bonus program this year after halting plans for an unpopular lottery-style system.

United told workers last month that it would switch from a program allowing eligible employees to receive a bonus of up to $300 per quarter if the company...


Did Cambridge Analytica get your Facebook data? Chicago-area users are starting to find out

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 15:40:00 PDT

Hope Bertram is in digital marketing. She knows what can be done with a Facebook user’s data and is careful to protect her own. If she takes a quiz through the social media platform, she makes sure it’s only collecting basic information about her.

Her Facebook friends — or at least one of them...


Zuckerberg tells Congress 'we didn't do enough' to prevent privacy crises that rock Facebook

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 18:09:00 PDT

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg endured an hours-long grilling by dozens of U.S. senators Tuesday during which he repeatedly apologized and promised privacy reforms but also pointedly defended his company against the threat of new legislation.

Zuckerberg invoked Facebook's unlikely journey...


$25 million Trump University fraud lawsuit settlement finalized

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 07:15:00 PDT

A federal judge has closed the book on President Trump's $25 million class-action settlement with Trump University students who claimed his real estate school was a towering fraud.

U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel signed off on a "final" version of the deal Monday after ex-student Sherri Simpson...


Retailers are keeping closer tabs on returns. Here's what that means for shoppers.

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 07:30:00 PDT

Retail therapy is but one technique that a consumer may utilize to brighten their disposition or to serve as a reward after a long day. And if the therapy went a bit overboard, the consumer may opt to return items they didn’t want or need without a second thought.

But now some retailers are using...


'I am sorry': Facebook's Zuckerberg faces congressional inquisition

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 09:01:00 PDT

After privately assuring senators that his company will do better, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is undergoing a two-day congressional inquisition that will be very public — and possibly pivotal for the massive social networking company he created.

Zuckerberg visited with senators in closed-door...


For-profit colleges struggle despite administration support

Mon, 9 Apr 2018 12:25:00 PDT

The for-profit college industry is struggling under the weight of declining enrollment, stiff competition from traditional universities and an image battered by past misdeeds, even as the Trump administration tries to offer a helping hand.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has hired several industry...


U. of C. trauma center gains final state approval, set to open May 1

Mon, 9 Apr 2018 13:55:00 PDT

For the first time in 27 years, Chicago’s South Side will soon have a Level I adult trauma center, now that University of Chicago Medicine has gained the final stamp of approval from the state.

The program, scheduled to open May 1, will treat people with traumatic injuries, such as from gunshots,...


A year after a passenger was dragged off a United flight, everyday indignities remain

Mon, 9 Apr 2018 06:15:00 PDT

It started with a passenger refusing to give up his seat aboard a Sunday evening United Express flight from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to Louisville, Ky., last April to make room for airline employees.

Within 24 hours, cellphone video of the bloodied 69-year-old man being dragged down...


Still haven't filed your taxes? Here's how to maximize your refund and keep your data safe

Fri, 6 Apr 2018 09:15:00 PDT

Good news for tax procrastinators: You have a little more time than you think to file your federal income tax forms.

Tax day this year is on Tuesday, April 17 because the usual deadline — April 15 — falls on a Sunday. And Monday, April 16 is Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in Washington, D.C.


Holes in federal law to protect insurance coverage put mentally ill at risk, advocates say

Sun, 8 Apr 2018 04:00:00 PDT

When his adopted son, then 10 years old, started to hear voices and act violently, Matthew Timion knew the boy needed psychiatric help. He did not realize how difficult it would be to pay for it.

Timion, a computer programmer who at the time lived in Oak Park and now lives in Moline, said he was...


Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting online retailers. Here's how to protect yourself.

Fri, 6 Apr 2018 09:20:00 PDT

Cybersecurity can be a cat-and-mouse game. Fix one weakness, and the criminals find another target.

It’s a lesson industries from retail to restaurants to airlines are learning as consumers’ data increasingly draws the attention of online thieves. Just this week, Sears and Kmart, Panera Bread and...


Tribune Tower sign spat lands in court

Thu, 5 Apr 2018 18:30:00 PDT

The Chicago Tribune will leave its namesake tower by midyear, but the building’s owners want the newspaper’s exterior signage to stay put.

A venture of Los Angeles-based CIM Group and Chicago’s Golub & Co. on Wednesday sued the Tribune, alleging that as the tower’s owner, it has the right to buy...


'L' cars, whiskey, soybeans and more: Illinois products could be socked by Chinese tariffs as trade dispute escalates

Thu, 5 Apr 2018 05:14:00 PDT

In an escalating trade dispute with President Donald Trump, China on Wednesday proposed an additional round of tariffs on $50 billion worth of U.S. exports, a move that could affect Illinois businesses ranging from downstate soybean farmers to Chicago whiskey-makers and a host of other companies.


Facebook hackers could have collected personal data of 2 billion users

Wed, 4 Apr 2018 18:19:00 PDT

Facebook said Wednesday that "malicious actors" took advantage of search tools on its platform, making it possible for them to discover the identities and collect information on most of its 2 billion users worldwide.

The revelation came amid rising acknowledgment by Facebook about its struggles...


Chicago Stock Exchange to be sold to NYSE parent

Thu, 5 Apr 2018 11:20:00 PDT

The Chicago Stock Exchange's two-year sale process is finally ending.

The New York Stock Exchange's parent company, Intercontinental Exchange Inc., agreed to acquire the tiny 136-year-old market operator for an undisclosed amount, according to a statement Thursday.

The deal follows a lengthy sale...


Amazon HQ2 competition could be 'monument to high-tech arrogance and tax-break favoritism,' group warns

Wed, 4 Apr 2018 06:42:00 PDT

Amazon’s search for a location for its second headquarters has been unusually public, but the secrecy surrounding the incentives state and local governments are offering to lure the Seattle-based e-commerce giant could set a troubling precedent for taxpayers, a group that tracks corporate subsidies...


China raises tariffs on $50 billion list of U.S. goods including soybeans, aircraft, beef, whisky and autos

Wed, 4 Apr 2018 04:12:00 PDT

China on Wednesday issued a $50 billion list of U.S. goods including soybeans and aircraft for possible tariff hikes in an escalating technology dispute with Washington that companies worry could set back the global economic recovery.

The country's tax agency gave no date for the 25 percent increase...


Wall Street's patience with Trump has its limits

Thu, 5 Apr 2018 05:29:00 PDT

For more than a year, Wall Street has largely ignored the unpredictability and chaos that has plagued Donald Trump's administration, confident that the businessman-turned-president's policies would juice the economy and that a team of mainstream advisers would keep more controversial proposals...


'Cow Fitbits' and artificial intelligence are coming to the dairy farm, but some farmers aren't impressed

Thu, 5 Apr 2018 07:46:00 PDT

In the two months since Richard Watson strapped 200 remote-control-sized transmitters around his cows' necks, an artificial-intelligence system named Ida has pinged his phone with helpful alerts: when his cows are chewing the cud, when they're feeling sick, when they're ready for insemination.


Police say YouTube shooter was calm in interview before attack

Wed, 4 Apr 2018 17:22:00 PDT

Just hours before she shot and wounded three people at YouTube headquarters, Nasim Aghdam calmly told police who found her sleeping in her car that she was having family problems and had left her home.

During the 20-minute interview with officers early Tuesday, she did not mention being angry with...


Loop's Citadel Center getting $100 million-plus upgrade

Tue, 3 Apr 2018 13:00:00 PDT

The Citadel Center in the Loop is getting a $100 million-plus upgrade, a sign that even Chicago’s most prestigious office buildings must adapt to the fast-changing preferences of tenants.

Owners of the 37-story tower at 131 S. Dearborn St., said they are in the process of adding a rooftop deck,...


Main bank for Illinois' medical marijuana industry is pulling out, leaving some operators to deal in cash

Mon, 2 Apr 2018 14:20:00 PDT

The main bank serving Illinois medical marijuana companies is pulling out of the industry, leaving operators with few options other than dealing in cash.

Bank of Springfield sent a letter to its cannabis clients late last month informing them that their accounts will be closed May 21. The decision...


Illinois pork farmer on Chinese tariffs: 'Our worst fears seem to be coming true'

Mon, 2 Apr 2018 14:00:00 PDT

Brian Duncan, an Illinois hog farmer, had hoped the tough trade talk in recent weeks between President Donald Trump and China amounted to saber-rattling.

On Monday, he discovered otherwise, when the Chinese government imposed tariffs on 128 U.S. products, including pork and various fruits, in retaliation...


Organizers of last summer's Pokemon Go Fest where thousands were unable to play agree to settle for nearly $1.6 million

Mon, 2 Apr 2018 12:15:00 PDT

The organizers of last summer’s ill-fated Pokemon Go Fest in Grant Park have agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit with attendees for nearly $1.6 million.

Niantic, the augmented reality game’s developer, is set to shell out $1.575 million to a class of 18,771 festivalgoers, many of whom stood...


Chicago celebrates tech jobs, but sector sees only modest growth

Mon, 2 Apr 2018 05:13:00 PDT

When Joe DeCosmo took over the analytics team at Chicago-based online lender Enova International four years ago, he was in charge of less than two dozen people. Now he looks through the glass wall of his office at more than 60 employees.

And analytics was only the second-fastest-growing team at...


Chicago hospitals partner with Apple to put medical records on your phone

Fri, 30 Mar 2018 13:25:00 PDT

Forget bulky paper medical records or large electronic files available only upon request.

Patients at two Chicago hospital systems will soon be able to see, and carry, their health records on their iPhones.

Rush University Medical Center and University of Chicago Medicine are among 39 health systems...


Illinois woman files suit over Junior Mints packaging, asking, Where's the candy?

Fri, 30 Mar 2018 13:00:00 PDT

Junior Mints, the chocolate-peppermint candy that made a memorable star turn in a hospital operating room during a “Seinfeld” episode, now finds itself in a Chicago federal courtroom after an Illinois woman filed a consumer fraud lawsuit over allegedly deceptive packaging.

While Kramer declares,...


Landscape photographer LIK Fine Art opening Michigan Avenue gallery

Fri, 30 Mar 2018 09:25:00 PDT

Australian landscape photographer Peter Lik is opening a shop on North Michigan Avenue, a Chicago street known more for retail flagships than art galleries.

LIK Fine Art has leased 3,052 square feet on the ground floor of an office building at 444 N. Michigan Ave., where the gallery is expected...


At Amazon's Monee warehouse, robot co-workers are the new normal

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 10:50:00 PDT

While President Donald Trump was tweeting his “concerns” about Amazon on Thursday morning, accusing the company of “putting many thousands of retailers out of business,” the Seattle-based e-commerce giant was preparing to give public officials and the press a sneak peek at its first warehouse in...


Goose Island aims to shake off rough year with new beers, ad campaign

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 11:55:00 PDT

When Todd Ahsmann became president of Goose Island Beer Co. in November, the brewery was in the midst of picking a new creative agency to help turn around struggling sales.

Ahsmann, who is 52 but can pass for 10 years younger in his jeans and flannel shirt, sat through presentations from four agencies....


From wax packs to mobile apps: Baseball card collecting goes digital to reconnect with kids

Sun, 1 Apr 2018 04:00:00 PDT

Elite Sports Cards and Comics has been in the same simple Ravenswood storefront for 23 years. Owner John Merkel has seen baseball stars come and go: Sammy Sosa and Mark Grace, Mark Buehrle and Paul Konerko. And he’s watched as his competitors have closed up shop, one by one.

“Oh my gosh. There...


New Wrigleyville development unveils rooftop pool, apartment amenities

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 08:31:00 PDT

As baseball season begins, the owners of a retail and apartment development across the street from Wrigley Field are making their opening pitch to prospective residents.

The developers of Addison & Clark, which will have 148 apartments and 150,000 square feet of retail, have released new renderings...


Boeing hit by WannaCry virus, but says attack caused little damage

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 05:29:00 PDT

Boeing was hit Wednesday by the WannaCry computer virus, and after an initial scare within the company that vital airplane-production equipment might be brought down, company executives later offered assurances that the attack had been quashed with minimal damage.

Though news of the attack triggered...


Scrambling to travel to the Final Four? Prepare to spend a pretty penny

Wed, 28 Mar 2018 13:35:00 PDT

If you’re scrambling to get to San Antonio for the NCAA Final Four this weekend, don’t expect it to be cheap, especially if you plan on flying.

Local travel agents say that for the few flights to San Antonio that are left, prices have doubled compared with the same time last year.

Trips that involve...


Pepperoncini vs. batteries: Chicago-area businesses on opposite sides of tariff battle

Wed, 28 Mar 2018 10:05:00 PDT

Tariffs the Trump administration imposed last week have left observers speculating about whether the U.S. is on the brink of an international trade war and economists debating the merits of free trade versus protectionism.

Closer to home, it may come down to pepperoncini versus battery packs as...


$4 billion bond approval earns Emanuel key victory as council green lights O'Hare overhaul

Thu, 29 Mar 2018 04:20:00 PDT

The City Council on Wednesday approved major pieces of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s O’Hare International Airport overhaul proposal, giving him a key win as he heads into his re-election bid.

Aldermen cleared Emanuel to borrow up to $4 billion for his $8.5 billion plan to add gates, concourses and an updated...


Mall owner GGP set to be sold, leaving fate of 700-person Chicago HQ unclear

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 18:20:00 PDT

The planned sale of GGP to a Canadian real estate behemoth pushed down share prices of the real estate investment trust and other big shopping mall landlords Tuesday, while creating an uncertain future for GGP’s more than 700-person headquarters in Chicago.

The fall in stock values came a day after...


Apple draws tech world's eyes to Chicago's Lane Tech with launch event for new school-focused iPad

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 15:40:00 PDT

Chicago public schools are on spring break this week, but one company has the power to draw some students back to the classroom.

Apple held a product launch event Tuesday at Lane Tech High School in Lakeview, announcing a new iPad with a slew of software and features that cater to students and...


Many Chicago businesses would have to offer sexual harassment training under alderman's plan

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 13:25:00 PDT

Chicago aldermen could expand the city’s sexual harassment protections to businesses under a proposal that would require training at companies with at least 50 employees.

The measure from Northwest Side Ald. Margaret Laurino, 39th, also would require businesses to post signs warning sexual harassment...


Final Four fame: Loyola OKs 'Sister Jean' T-shirts, bobbleheads

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 17:15:00 PDT

As the Loyola Ramblers prepare for Saturday's Final Four game against Michigan, makers of fan apparel are scrambling to release merchandise featuring the breakout star of the men’s basketball team’s Cinderella run: Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt.

Interest in licensing the 98-year-old team chaplain’s...


AbbVie ordered to pay $3.2 million after retrial of lawsuit claiming low-testosterone drug AndroGel caused heart attack

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 12:15:00 PDT

A federal jury on Monday ordered AbbVie to pay $3.2 million to an Oregon man who claims the testosterone replacement drug AndroGel caused him to suffer a heart attack, a far smaller penalty than the north suburban drugmaker was dealt the first time the case was tried.

The verdict in Chicago federal...


Chicago-based mall owner GGP to be acquired for $9.25 billion

Mon, 26 Mar 2018 16:35:00 PDT

Brookfield Property Partners LP agreed to acquire the portion of GGP Inc. it doesn't already own and take over the second-largest U.S. mall owner.

The real estate unit of Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management Inc. will pay $9.25 billion for GGP, the companies said Monday in a statement. GGP...


Chicago seeks to add prescription drug discounts to ID card

Mon, 26 Mar 2018 13:40:00 PDT

Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants Chicagoans to be able to use new municipal ID cards to get discounts on prescription drugs.

Emanuel and City Clerk Anna Valencia on Monday announced a request for proposals to add the benefit to the CityKey cards. Chicagoans also will have the option of getting a separate...


Cook County sues Facebook, Cambridge Analytica after alleged misuse of millions of Illinoisans' data

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 04:30:00 PDT

Cook County is suing Facebook and Cambridge Analytica for allegedly violating an Illinois fraud law after reports that the political consulting firm used ill-gotten Facebook data in an effort to influence voter behavior.

Cambridge Analytica, which was hired by President Donald Trump’s campaign,...


Groups turn up pressure on McDonald's chicken policies: 'It’s just not right'

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 04:00:00 PDT

ShaRhonda Knott-Dawson, a west suburban mother of two young girls, takes her family to McDonald’s semiregularly because it’s an indulgence they all enjoy.

But she’s put those trips on hold for now. Knott-Dawson plans to launch an online petition this week in coordination with the nonprofit Compassion...


Graffiti cleanup 'blitz' ahead of Amazon visit wipes out street art at Cards Against Humanity HQ

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 13:31:00 PDT

A Chicago alderman is planning to introduce an ordinance letting property owners protect graffiti as art after a cleanup blitz near a site being pitched to Amazon claimed an unintended target.

A work by a French street artist on the side of Cards Against Humanity’s headquarters was blasted away...


Facebook users have been giving away their data for a decade. Is it too late to get our privacy back?

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 04:00:00 PDT

Facebook users have been pouring personal data into the social media platform for more than a decade, often without realizing what they were giving up.

When third-party games or quizzes came along, users jumped on board with those too. Many of them were free, but what some users didn’t realize...


Parking lots disappearing in ride-sharing era as downtown construction booms

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 13:25:00 PDT

They may have paved paradise and put up a parking lot, as Joni Mitchell once sang, but these days the lots themselves are Chicago’s real estate utopia.

Years into a residential construction boom downtown, and amid broader adoption of ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft, real estate developers...


Grossinger Auto Group sells 9 Illinois dealerships to Canadian company for $86 million

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 13:30:00 PDT

Grossinger Auto Group, the oldest family-operated dealership chain in Illinois, is being acquired by one of Canada’s largest car dealers.

AutoCanada said Thursday it has agreed to pay $86 million for eight dealerships in and around Chicago — three in the city, three in Lincolnwood and two in Palatine...


More people are seeking out mental health care, but psychiatrists are in short supply: 'It's getting worse'

Sat, 24 Mar 2018 04:00:00 PDT

Medical student Mila Grossman had just begun her first clinical rotation when she started to get an idea of what kind of doctor she wanted to be.

Working at a women’s mental health clinic, she met a new mom who appeared put-together but inwardly suffered from painful postpartum depression.



After delay, Toys R Us liquidation sales begin Friday. Here's what to know before you shop.

Fri, 23 Mar 2018 05:55:00 PDT

Toys R Us is kicking off its going-out-of-business sales on Thursday, a week after announcing plans to sell or close all of its U.S. stores. Hundreds of Toys R Us and Babies R Us locations are scheduled to close in the coming months, which means the company has a lot of inventory to sell. Here's...