VIDEO: Chicago ordinance against puppy mills may hurt small pet shops

By Adam Banicki

Story updated on Feb. 19 with details about federal lawsuit.

The Chicago City Council voted 49-1 to ban the resale of certain animals in an attempt to rid the city of puppy mills.  The ordinance goes into effect next month.

Owners of small neighborhood pet shops, such as Jim Sparks who owns Park Pet Shop in Mount Greenwood, feel it unfairly targets their sales of properly cared for animals.

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U.S. Producer Price Index Dropped January due to Cheap Oil Prices

by Jin Wu

U.S. Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures changes in prices received by domestic producers, posted a decline in January mainly due to plunging energy costs and a strengthening of the U.S. dollar, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Wednesday.

The Producer Price Index (PPI) for final demand decreased a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent in January from December. It’s the biggest drop since the new PPI calculation system was begun experimentally in November 2009. Continue reading

Momentum growing to legalize sports gambling

By Kulwant Saluja

The notion that American sports fans could legally gamble on sporting events would have been deemed absurd even a year ago.

But once a taboo subject, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s shocking pro-gambling comments in a Nov. 13 op-ed piece in the New York Times, has stimulated discussion on the subject, prompting other pro leagues and state legislatures to re-consider their stance on legalized sports betting. Continue reading

Potbelly Corp. stock rises after profitable quarter

By Alysha Khan

Potbelly Corp. stock jumped 12.85 percent to $16 – the highest since June – after the company swung to a profit for the fourth quarter, beating analyst expectations.

Sharon Zackfia, equity research analyst at William Blair, maintained an outperform rating for the stock, stating in a research note that the company “still represents a near 40 percent discount to its peer group,” even after the surge in price.

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Electronic health records help the healing

By Mary Lee

Ocean-themed décor splashes the walls of La Rabida Children’s Hospital in a room filled with bright, plush chairs contoured like the candy Dots. But perky colors can’t erase the worry on Maria Gallegos’ face as she sits in the room waiting for her 6-year-old daughter to finish her appointment.

She’s lost count of the routine check-ups after dipping in and out of hospitals since her daughter’s conception. Born seven weeks premature, Lindsey championed through multiple surgeries including a tracheostomy, which helped her breathe; and a gastrostromy (G-Tube), which channeled nutrients through her body via an inserted tube. At eight months old, Lindsey and her twin Mackenzie were diagnosed with Achondroplasia dwarfism, a form of short-limbed dwarfism. Continue reading

Chicagoans waste 55 million pounds of food each month

By Sarah Kramer

Picture your fridge – the leftovers from last night’s dinner, the half-finished meal from the corner deli, the bag of avocados trucked in from California, the loaf of multigrain bread slowly getting stale.

How much of the food in your fridge and the rest of your kitchen at this moment will you eat before you throw it out? If you’re anything like most Americans, you throw out at least a quarter of everything that comes through your kitchen. Continue reading

Extension denied: Pet coke piles must be covered by June 2016

By Sarah Kramer

The Chicago Department of Public Health denied a request on Monday to extend the deadline for covering the piles of petroleum coke stored at terminals along the Calumet River on Chicago’s Far South Side.

Koch Industries subsidiary KCBX Terminals asked the city in December to allow an 18-month extension – with a new deadline of December 2017 – for completion of the 1,000-foot-long enclosure to cover the pet coke storage piles. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the public health department have mandated that the piles be fully covered by June 2016. Continue reading

Allscripts still lags amid healthcare technology rise

By Jin Wu

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: MDRX), the Chicago-based healthcare information technology provider, is getting divided ratings from analysts.

There are currently 28 analysts that Bloomberg tracks covering Allscripts. Of those 28, 11 have a buy rating, 16 have a hold rating, and one has a sell rating.

Since the fourth quarter of 2012, Allscripts has been posting losses in net income while the whole healthcare technology industry is growing steadily, boosted by federal subsidies that encourage hospitals and doctors to digitize medical records. In the third quarter that ended September 30, Allscripts lost $25.8 million.

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MATTER officially opens, boosting healthcare innovation

By Jin Wu

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the number of health care entrepreneurs that had begin working in MATTER’s incubator. The correct number is now included below.

Governor Bruce Rauner, Senator Dick Durbin and Mayor Rahm Emanuel marked the official opening of MATTER, Chicago’s new entrepreneurship and innovation incubator in the Merchandise Mart for digital healthcare, medical devices, diagnostics and biopharma start-ups, to “get Illinois’ healthcare technology booming.”

MATTER, the not-for-profit incubator, has already got its first groups of members; more than 100 healthcare entrepreneurs moved into the open space last week and dozens more will move in in a couple weeks, according to MATTER’s CEO Steven Collens.

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VIDEO: Automakers target new demographics at the Chicago Auto Show

By Joe Musso

The Chicago Auto Show is the largest of its kind on the continent, where automakers from around the world descend upon McCormick Place to debut the newest models.  This year, a prevailing theme is “hi-tech,” with companies like General Motors enticing potential buyers with tech-driven in-car advancements. And some are designed to reach a new demographic of car buyer.

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