Money Matters - Simplified


New tax doubles cigarette prices in Illinois

The prices of cigarettes have skyrocketed in Illinois as the new tax on the commodity came into effect Sunday. The new levy has meant that an average smoker who shelled out 98 cents for a pack has to now dole out $1.98, an increase in excess of 100 percent.

Hackers destroy Illinois water utility pump -- expert

In what is being seen as a cyber attack on a U.S. public utility, Joe Weiss, an industry security expert, reported that hackers, apparently from Russia, cracked into a critical computer system and damaged a water pump in central Illinois last week.

Michaels PIN pad tampering spreads across 20 states

Michaels Stores Inc. has found that the breach of debit card numbers from PIN-pad tampering is limited not just to their outlets in the Chicago region but is spread nationwide.

Teacher suspended for calling first-graders 'future criminals' on Facebook

A first-grade teacher at Paterson, N.J. school district was suspended Thursday following a Facebook post criticizing her students.

Mitsubishi gets tax incentive for Illinois plant

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has announced that it will be investing $45 million to produce the new Outlander Sport crossover at its Normal plant in Illinois starting from 2012.

Nearly 100 fall prey to staph food poisoning in US

Think twice before feasting on a tempting cake this new years' eve as around 100 people have fallen sick due to Staphylococcus aureus food poisoning during the past two months in the nation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Monday.

Police: Convicted burglar hits same house

Bolingbrook, Ill. -- Police in Illinois said a man on probation for burglary returned to the same home and took many of the same items.

Bolingbrook police Lt. Mike Rompa said "a laptop computer, camera, Wii and Xbox video game systems, a platinum and diamond engagement ring, other jewelry, stocks, bonds and $50 in change -- roughly $20,000 worth of property" was stolen during the Nov. 30 break-in, The (Joliet, Ill.) Herald reported Tuesday.

Investigators said similarities to a May 28, 2009, burglary at the same residence led them to interview Robert Osewski, 20, who was on probation for the crime.

Ill. man makes White Castle hall of fame

Oak Park, Ill. -- An Illinois man who gave out White Castle burgers at his wedding is being inducted into the restaurant chain's hall of fame.

Dale Bemis, 33, of Oak Park, said he submitted a short essay to the chain's Web site explaining how his father instilled him with a love of sliders with extra pickles and he bonded with his then-girlfriend over the same food, the Chicago Southtownstar reported Monday.

Bemis said he and his wife gave White Castle sliders to guests as they left their wedding. A picture of the couple in their wedding garb with a White Castle case was submitted along with the essay.

Caterpillar Inc. to scoop up Bucyrus

Milwaukee -- Two U.S. mining equipment makers said Monday they would join forces in $7.6 billion deal.

Caterpillar Inc. of Illinois said it would buy Bucyrus International Inc. of Wisconsin in a $92 per share, cash agreement. The price represents a 32 percent premium over Bucyrus's closing price Friday, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

The deal, which could close next year, will require approval from anti-competition regulators and shareholders, the newspaper said.
It is "an outstanding and financially compelling transaction for our shareholders,"said Bucyrus President and Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan.

"I am confident we have found an excellent partner," he said.

COL BKB: Illinois 79, UC-Irvine 65

Champaign, Ill. -- Brandon Paul came off the bench for No. 16 Illinois Monday to sink six 3-pointers and finished with 18 points in a 79-65 win by over California-Irvine.

Paul went 6-for-8 from long range and Demetri McCamey added 13 points and eight assists for the Illini in the season openers for both schools as part of the 2K Sports Classic.

Mike Tisdale and Mike Davis proved a powerhouse tandem on the boards, with each collecting eight rebounds. Tisdale scored 12 points and Davis added 11 for the winners.

Illinois shot 50 percent for the game and put the contest away early, jumping out to a 42-18 lead at the half.

Darren Moore led the Anteaters (0-1) with 18 points and Eric Wise added 11 points and 12 rebounds in the setback.