Early voting numbers reach record high for Cook County midterms

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Raise Illinois members came together Thursday in front of the Chicago Board of Elections to call for an increase in the minimum wage.

By Rachel White

Illinois early voting numbers are at a record high for midterm elections in Cook County and some community organizations believe the surge in voter turnout is largely a result of the proposed minimum wage increase on the ballot.

“Lots of people vote in presidential election years but stay home for midterm elections,” said DeJaun Jackson, a lead organizer for Chicago Votes.

Chicago Votes is dedicated to engaging young voters in the democratic process. The group lobbied in Springfield to pass legislation that allowed people to register to vote and cast their ballot in the same day during early voting.

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Halloween on a Friday is spooky good for retailers

By Yinmeng Liu

Fake blood drips off a grisly-looking mask at the Halloween Store in the Chicago Loop

Fake blood drips off a grisly-looking mask at the Halloween Store in the Chicago Loop

It’s Wednesday afternoon but things are just warming up in the makeshift costume store in Chicago’s Loop. A line of shoppers clutch plastic bags of costumes, chat and gesture animatedly as they wait to check out. Store clerks, some wearing rainbow-colored wings, flutter about the store. A customer snatches a grizzly mask from the rack and soundlessly sneaks up on a friend.

It’s turning out to be a spooky good holiday for the Halloween Store on East Adams Street. The fact that the holiday fell on Friday this year has fueled sales, said Marty Aver, the store’s manager.

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Wallenda, Chicago get ready for walk on high-wire

Marina City towers, visible from Wacker Drive will be the site of Nik Wallenda's high-wire walk Sunday night.

Marina City towers, visible from Wacker Drive will be the site of Nik Wallenda’s high-wire walk Sunday night.

By Lyndsey McKenna

Preparations have come down to the wire for Nik Wallenda’s high-wire walk across the Chicago River Sunday, as area residents prepare for street and sidewalk closures.

That evening Wallenda plans to walk across a wire suspended on a 15-degree incline over the Chicago River from the West Tower of Marina City at 300 N. State Street to the Leo Burnett Building at 35 W. Wacker Drive. Shortly after he will return to the Marina City complex to walk from the West Tower to the East Tower of Marina City, while blindfolded, 60 stories high.

For Sunday’s stunt Wallenda does not intend to use a harness or protective net. The high-wire artist has previously crossed the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls. During his walk across Niagara Falls, Wallenda was required by television producers to wear a safety harness.

Wallenda is seventh-generation member of the Wallenda family, whose members perform across the globe as the Flying Wallendas.

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With consensus divided, Deere caught in analysts’ headlights

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By Nicholas Heinzmann

Deere & Co. shares have slumped this year following a collapse in grain prices, and Wall Street is sharply divided on whether the stock can turn around. 

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MGM continues to improve but earnings remain below expectations

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Texas Hold ‘Em. / megan k. rauch / MEDILL

By Megan K. Rauch

MGM Resort International’s earnings remained in the red for the third quarter, but the casino operator continues to rebound from a bankruptcy scare in 2009.

Net loss for the third quarter narrowed to $20.3 million, or 4 cents per diluted share, from $22.3 million, or five cents per diluted in the year-ago quarter. Revenue increased one percent to $2.49 billion from $2.46 billion.

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Domestic violence report shows little improvement in high-crime neighborhoods

Chicago Police receive between 30 and 49 domestic violence calls in 25 Chicago neighborhoods daily.

Chicago Police receive between 30 and 49 domestic violence calls in 25 Chicago neighborhoods daily.

By Mary Cirincione

Chicago has made substantial headway combating domestic violence in the last few years, a feat supported by crime statistics. The Chicago Police Department reported an 11.5 percent reduction in domestic crimes and a 3.8 percent drop in the number of calls citywide through the first six months of 2014. The numbers show overall improvement but 25 of the city’s high-crime neighborhoods are not sharing in that success.

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U.S. economy grew at 3.5 percent pace in third quarter, boosted by defense

By Janel ForteReal GDP Chart

The U.S. economy grew at a stronger-than-expected rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter, bolstered by a surge in defense spending and a sharp narrowing of the trade deficit, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

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