Thursday, December 10, 2009

Preparations being made for sale of Abraham Lincoln Hotel

state treasurer’s office reports more than 30 bidding packets have been picked up ahead of Monday’s public auction of the Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Springfield.

Approximately 15 potential buyers have walked through

state took over the property in a foreclosure proceeding in 2008

Click on the following for more details: Preparations being made for sale of Abraham Lincoln Hotel - Springfield, IL - The State Journal-Register

Illinois Ranks Third in the Number of Foreclosure Filings in November

RealtyTrac, a foreclosure data firm, says Illinois had more than 16,000 foreclosure filings. Only California and Florida had more. In the Chicago metro area, DeKalb and Kane counties saw the biggest percentage jumps. Foreclosure filings tripled in both of those places compared with a year ago

prices in the region have slipped 20 percent from a peak in late 2006

Click on the following for the rest of the story:  City Room™ - Business - Illinois Ranks Third in the Number of Foreclosure Filings in November

Illinois' bond rating takes hit from S&P | Crain's Chicago Business

 Standard & Poor's Issues ...Standard & Poor's Ratings Services slicing the state's general obligation rating on Thursday to A-plus from AA-minus.

That followed Moody's Investors Service cut of the state's rating on Tuesday to A2 from A1

S&P said the negative outlook was retained because of the state's "questionable" willingness to implement difficult and politically unpopular measures to restore a budget balance.

Illinois' bond rating takes hit from S&P | Crain's Chicago Business

Once-Struggling Fiat Could Become No. 3 World Automaker With GM, Chrysler Deals

  Sergio MarchionneFiat has cut a deal to take over management of Chrysler, the bankrupt U.S. automaker. It is expected to acquire a 20 percent equity stake that could lead to majority ownership in a few years.

Fiat is also negotiating with ailing General Motors to absorb GM's European and Latin American operations. If successful, Fiat will oversee a new company with the capacity to build almost 6 million cars a year -- triple what Fiat produced last year.

Read the rest of the story by clicking on the following:  Once-Struggling Fiat Could Become No. 3 World Automaker With GM, Chrysler Deals - washingtonpost.com

Belvidere presentation to Fiat highlights cooperation

 Williams said representatives from Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky were among those at a summit in Italy making similar cases for Chrysler plants in their respective communities.

if he had not taken the trip, the region would have been at a disadvantage in the competition to be one of the plants that produces the Fiat-designed vehicles.
“We would have been playing catch up,” Williams said.

RAEDC President Janyce Fadden said the high-level summit in Turin organized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Center for Automotive Research presented a chance for Fiat executives, who have been difficult to meet with, to get to know Americans who want their busin

Click on the following for more details:  Belvidere presentation to Fiat highlights cooperation - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Regional Transportation Authority projects $385M deficit

... Chicago IllinoisRTA is projecting a $385 million deficit in the coming year

The majority of our funds come from sales tax for the operating side of things. The economy is bad so our revenues have significantly declined.”

To make up for the shortfall, the RTA proposed layoffs, salary freezes and unpaid furlough days for RTA, CTA, Metra and Pace employees and reducing CTA routes in addition to the Metra increases. Pace has suggested reducing or eliminating service on some fixed bus routes, but so far the service changes will have no effect on McHenry County routes.

Click on the following for more details:  Northwest Herald | Regional Transportation Authority projects $385M deficit

West Dundee to see higher burden in taxes

property tax levy would be a 14 percent increase over the previous total of $2.6 million, and would cost the average homeowner an additional $833 per year

Sales tax revenues are projected to be $2.2 million for the year, which is down 13 percent from last year and 26 percent from two years ago.

Even with the increased tax levy and additional taxes, West Dundee's municipal tax rate remains the second lowest in the area; only Sleepy Hollow's is lower.

West Dundee to see higher burden in taxes :: The Courier News :: Local News

Just one family inhabits ghost neighborhood

AMCORE’s Parkside at Prairie Ridge, Hampshire,  Il 

the first — and only — occupants of a complex of planned developments that is expected some day to hold 1,837 more families, spread over 1,277 acres.

A block away stand two model homes erected by U.S. Shelter in summer 2008, when that developer bought Parkside from Crown and began offering to build homes there. But only the one house was ever ordered, and U.S. Shelter finally surrendered the development to Amcore Bank. The model homes now sit locked up,

Just one family inhabits ghost neighborhood :: The Courier News :: Local News

Hampshire officials worry about bank's future

More AMCORE Bank problems in the news.

Hampshire officials worry that a similar situation could develop in the next few weeks at two other subdivisions — the half-finished Lakewood Crossing north of Big Timber Road, and the barely-started Parkside at Prairie Ridge along the south side of Allen Road.

Village officials say Amcore Bank of Rockford took over Parkside a few months ago and then foreclosed on Lakewood Crossing in October. On Nov. 10, Amcore officials revealed that the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency had judged that Amcore doesn't have enough capital to be stable. The comptroller gave Amcore until Dec. 4

bank submitted a new plan for its reorganization before the Dec. 4 deadline and is awaiting a response from the banking regulators.

"While this is a confidential document between the bank and its regulator, we can tell you that it contains concrete action plans to restore capital and maintain liquidity

the bank is aggressively trying to sell the projects to another developer

Click on the following for more details:  Hampshire officials worry about bank's future :: The Courier News :: Local News

Uneasy Engagement - China’s Economic Power Unsettles the Neighbors

During the 1997 Asian economic crisis, the values of many regional currencies collapsed, making their goods cheap to foreign buyers. The Chinese then won the gratitude of their neighbors — and cast their country as a responsible power — by keeping the renminbi’s value fixed. That prevented a competitive spiral of devaluations that many economists feared might make the crisis much worse.

The latest financial crisis tells a different story: China’s exchange rate controls are cited as a leading cause of huge global imbalances that contributed to the collapse of 2008.

Until 2008, Mr. Pettis said, “most of these countries ran trade surpluses, and the U.S. was the countervailing trade deficit.”

“The entire model depended on the ability of an external agent — the United States — to absorb trade deficits,” he added.

Indonesia is especially vulnerable to the shift. It is the most populous and arguably the least economically advanced

Most analysts say China has too many steel mills. Its excess steelmaking capacity equals the entire annual production of the world’s No. 2 steelmaker, Japan.

“China is China, you know?” he said, shrugging. “Even the U.S. cannot talk to China.”

Click on the following for more details:  Uneasy Engagement - China’s Economic Power Unsettles the Neighbors - Series - NYTimes.com

GOP candidate stays on ballot after voting Democrat last year

It ought to be interesting how this plays out. 

The board voted Thursday along party lines, 4-4, on a challenge to Rauschenberger's candidacy. Five votes were required to kick him off the ballot.

Democrats have been trying to get Rauschenberger off the ballot by claiming he is not a qualified Republican because he pulled a Democratic ballot in this year's local elections.

Ironically, the challenge is based on case law that came out of a Republican appeal last year to kick a Democratic challenger out because he voted in the Republican primary.

Both sides expect the case to end up in the courts, where a final decision may not come for weeks. The primary is Feb. 2.

Click on the following for more detailsDaily Herald | GOP candidate stays on ballot after voting Democrat last year

NKD Explosion—another local blog has this wonderful picture

Ready the story on Curtis Clegg’s blog:  http://cleggphoto.blogspot.com/2009/12/explosion-at-ndk-plant-kills-trucker.html

Explosion at NDK America plant kills trucker a quarter mile away

Justice News—a magazine for trial lawyers tells of the NDK explosion.

Legal news for Illinois personal injury attorneys. An explosion fatally injured a trucker who was hundreds of feet away.

Illinois personal injury attorneys alert- An explosion at a NDK America plant killed a trucker hundreds of feet away.

Click on the following for more detailsExplosion at NDK America plant kills trucker a quarter mile away | Justice News Flash | JusticeNewsFlash Release

Computer May Offer Insight to NDK Explosion

We have recovered one of the computers that we expect will have the process data, the condition at the time of the event,

Officials now believe the explosion happened inside one of the pressurized vessels, causing a 8,000 pound piece of the cylinder to fly into Grupo Antolin.

12 to 24 months to complete their report

Click on the following for the full TV report:  Computer May Offer Insight to NDK Explosion

Obama Accepts Nobel Peace Prize: Full Speech - ABC News

Nobel Peace Prize Winners Speech Transcript: President Barack Obama Accepts Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway

Written transcript is available here.  Long commentary about the trip and various reactions to President Obama’s award from Norway.

Click on the following for more of the details:  Obama Accepts Nobel Peace Prize: Full Speech - ABC News

Hoffman Estates may need 2011 tax hike for Sears Centre

Rockford’s Metro Center is not the only arena with economic problems. 

Officials project it will cost $1.2 million to $1.9 million in 2010 to simply run the Sears Centre. The village has set aside $3 million in the 2010 budget for arena operations.

Ryan Companies used a village-backed $55 million loan in 2005 to build the 11,000-seat arena near I-90 and Route 59.

Ryan, a Minn.-based developer, set up a separate company to run the facility. Events haven't been as plentiful as predicted, and the Sears Centre posted a $512,000 operational loss in 2008.

Click on the following for more details:  Daily Herald | Hoffman Estates may need 2011 tax hike for Sears Centre

Federal Eye - Federal employees earn 2% pay raise

The pay increase will take effect once the House and Senate pass the FY'10 omnibus appropriations bill.

Congressional appropriators agreed Tuesday night to give civilian federal employees a 2 percent pay increase -- which includes a locality pay increase President Obama didn't want.

Click on the following for more details:  Federal Eye - Federal employees earn 2% pay raise

Grant to help Crusader build Loves Park facility

ROCKFORD — Crusader Community Health will build a fourth facility in Loves Park after winning a $5.3 million grant.

The health care organization has two sites in Rockford — its main site at 1200 W. State St. and the Broadway location — and one in Belvidere. Crusader sees a few thousand patients from Loves Park and Machesney Park each year, and the interest in the fourth site was based on results from a phone survey of residents in that area.

Click on the following for more of the story:  Grant to help Crusader build Loves Park facility - - BusinessRockford.com

Mc Henry County Loan’s to help small business