* Employment signs pointing up in Illinois, officials say
The department called the trend toward month-to-month declines a significant sign of an improving job market. Through the first four months of the year, the state has added 51,000 jobs compared to the same period of 2009.
* Chicago’s unemployment rate fell to 10.7 percent in April
* Metro-east jobless rate falls by more than 2 percent
* 13 local counties see unemployment rates dip in April
* Decatur April unemployment at 12.8 percent
* Flags at half-staff to honor slain Chicago cop
* Illinois lags some states in combating hospital-acquired infections
* Ameren to seek rate rehearing Friday
Ameren Corp. plans to ask state regulators Friday for another hearing on its request for higher electric and natural-gas delivery rates after the original $130 million proposal was cut to $10 million.
At the same time, the company announced Thursday that it will pass cheaper wholesale electric costs on to Illinois customers June 1.
* Ameren dropping rates by 6 percent
A typical residential customer who uses 10,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year will save approximately $68, or about 6 percent on their total annual bill for electricity, said Johnson.
* No. 1 in felony drug cases
In Cook County, drug crimes represented a bigger share of felony cases than any other major county in the United States, according to a federal study released Thursday.
The Justice Department study — a snapshot of 39 counties in May 2006 — found that drug crimes were the most serious charge filed against 57 percent of felony defendants in Cook County.
Also in Cook County, only 9 percent of the felony cases involved violent crimes, the lowest percentage in the United States, according to the study. The percentage of property crimes and public crimes, such as driving under the influence, were in the average range among the 39 counties.
* Daley: ‘Understands’ what prompted home intruder shooting
* Daley blames beach arrests on drinking, texting high schoolers
* Daley blames suburbanites for city beach unrest
* Curfew breakers to be sent to parks
* New CTA L cars temporarily pulled out of service
Bombardier, the Pennsylvania manufacturer of the L cars, has been working on a modification tol improve the brakes, according to the CTA, which said the trains haven’t experienced any brake failures but that, under certain conditions a component was found to be affected by vibrations, whch the transit agency said could, over time result in a loss of braking friction.
* New CTA rail cars temporarily sidelined
* Chicago Teachers Union Election Gets Tougher for Incumbent
Just 500 votes separated CTU President Marilyn Stewart from her toughest challenger in last Friday’s election. More than 19,000 teachers cast ballots. Stewart didn’t get enough votes to avoid a runoff.
Last night, third place finisher Deborah Lynch announced she’s throwing her support behind challenger Karen Lewis. The fourth place finisher has also endorsed Lewis.
* Navistar critics say company wasn’t listening to them
* Southtown Star: No hiding the report, Oak Lawn
* Kane coroner makes first court appearance on misconduct charges
* Winnebago County Board freezes 3 salaries, some bonuses cut
* [Quad Cities] businesses prepare to bid for Thomson contracts
* Video: Inside [Normal’s] new baseball stadium
* Blagojevich judge says he won’t start over with jury screening
* American Blagojevich Idol: The Awesome Reality Show That Could Be