Correspondent, Chicago
James's Feed
Apr 22, 2013

Caterpillar cries “uncle” on mining; investors cry “buy”

CHICAGO (Reuters) – An odd thing happened on Monday when Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s largest maker of earth-moving equipment, posted disappointing profits and cut its full-year forecast, blaming weakness in the mining industry it bet on so heavily in recent years.

Its shares rallied.

When other big U.S. companies, including General Electric (GE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Textron Inc (TXT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), have warned of slowing profit growth in recent days, the news has unnerved investors and sent their stock prices lower.

Apr 22, 2013

Caterpillar profit misses, cuts outlook on weak mining

CHICAGO, April 22 (Reuters) – Caterpillar Inc posted
disappointing quarterly results and cut its 2013 profit forecast
on Monday to reflect a drop in demand for heavy equipment from
its mining customers, and its shares turned lower in early
trading.

But Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman
said the mining sector has hit bottom and production was
expected to ramp up in the second quarter, based on lower
inventories in China and the United States.

Mar 28, 2013

Winnebago results show confidence rebound among seniors

March 28 (Reuters) – Winnebago Industries Inc
reported surprisingly strong profit on Thursday, suggesting the
growing confidence among U.S. consumers is shared by the 50 and
older crowd, the prime demographic for the No. 1 U.S. maker of
motorhomes.

The company said renewed momentum in the broader economy -
from surging stock prices to signs of recovery in the housing
market – helped push its order backlog to pre-recession levels
and its profit past market expectations for the third quarter in
a row.

Mar 27, 2013

In Chicago, thousands march to protest proposed school closings

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Thousands of demonstrators rallied in downtown Chicago on Wednesday to protest the city’s plan to close 54 public schools, primarily in Hispanic and African-American neighborhoods.

The closings, which the school board plans to vote on in May, would be the biggest one-time shutdown ever by a U.S. city. Wednesday’s demonstration, organized by the teacher’s union, drew parents, students and other critics of the plan.

Mar 21, 2013

Chicago announces mass closing of elementary schools

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Chicago will close 54 schools and 61 school buildings by the beginning of the next academic year in the country’s third-largest public school district, a move that education experts called the largest mass closing in the nation.

The district will shutter 53 elementary schools and one high school, primarily in Hispanic and African-American neighborhoods. The district, which has a $1 billion annual deficit, has said it needs to close underutilized schools to save money.

Mar 9, 2013

Illinois home care program for elderly is almost out of money

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois warned that it will run out of money next week to pay for a program that allows 80,000 elderly and disabled people to live at home, the latest illustration of the state’s fiscal crisis.

The Illinois agency that oversees home healthcare providers said in a letter on Thursday that the money was “projected to be exhausted by March 15,” 3-1/2 months before the fiscal year ends on June 30.

Mar 5, 2013

Deadly snowstorm slams road, air travel in Midwest

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A deadly late winter storm dumped heavy snow on the Midwestern United States on Tuesday, contributing to numerous automobile accidents on highways and flight cancellations as it moved east toward the Ohio Valley and the mid-Atlantic states.

In Chicago, where the National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning effective through midnight, residents girded for between 4 to 8 inches of snow – much of it expected to fall during the evening commute.

Feb 28, 2013

Armstrong’s charity says bowed, not crippled by doping scandal

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A top official with the cancer charity founded by disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong acknowledged on Thursday that the athlete’s doping scandal had tarnished its reputation and created “headwinds that were not only stiff but heartbreaking.”

But Andy Miller, executive vice president of the Livestrong Foundation, said the group was “bigger than its founder” and insisted its fund-raising and outreach programs for those diagnosed with cancer had not been irreparably damaged by the scandal.

Feb 27, 2013

Storm that buried U.S. Plains slams Great Lakes region

CHICAGO, Feb 26 (Reuters) – A powerful winter storm that
buried the U.S. Plains moved on Tuesday into the southern Great
Lakes region, where it snarled the evening commute in Chicago
and Milwaukee, created near-whiteout conditions and forced
hundreds of flight cancellations.

Wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour (56 km per hour)
hurled a potent blend of wet snow and sleet on north-central
Illinois, southern Wisconsin and northern Indiana and Ohio,
according to the National Weather Service.

Feb 22, 2013

Court says Illinois must rewrite curbs on carrying concealed guns

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois lawmakers will have to rewrite the nation’s toughest restrictions on carrying a concealed weapon in public by mid-June after a court on Friday ruled that the controls cannot remain in place.

Illinois was the only one of the 50 states to ban most residents from carrying concealed weapons until a U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago in December ruled the law violated the Second Amendment to the constitution protecting the right to bear arms.