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BENLD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Supreme Court says a southern Illinois school district can't sue an architectural firm for building a school over an underground coal mine that later collapsed, causing the school to be torn down.
 
   In a unanimous decision, justices ruled Friday that Gillespie Community School District's "fraudulent representation" claims against Wight & Company came after a statute of limitations passed.
 
   The elementary school in Benld (ben-ELD') was built in 2002. It closed in 2009 after being damaged and declared unsafe because of mine subsidence, which occurs when land moves or sinks because of a collapsed underground mine.
 
   Justices say the district's 2010 suit was filed too late. That upholds decisions by lower courts.
   A reconstructed elementary school opened this fall.
 
   Benld is about 40 miles northeast of St. Louis.
Friday, 24 January 2014 13:47
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BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois judge is taking up an activist's lawsuit that seeks the ouster of East St. Louis' mayor and four council members for alleged misconduct.
 
The Belleville News-Democrat reports the lawsuit by Matt Hawkins of Civic Alliance of East St. Louis was to be the subject of a St. Clair County Circuit Court hearing Friday afternoon.
 
Hawkins wants the judge to fine the city $435,000. City officials have requested that the lawsuit be dismissed, claiming it was improperly filed.
 
Hawkins alleges that city officials violated state law related to the Freedom of Information Act and related to the administration of tax increment financing districts.
Friday, 24 January 2014 13:46
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CHICAGO (AP) - The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the state's unemployment rate dropped in November for a fourth straight month. But the 8.6 percent rate is still one of the highest in the country.
 
The department said Friday that the state lost a net 3,200 jobs in December. Officials blamed brutal cold for decreases in, among other areas, construction jobs.
 
But Department Director Jay Rowell says Illinois' economy remains on track for moderate expansion.
 
The unemployment rate fell from 8.7 percent in November. The national unemployment rate for December was 6.7 percent. That's the lowest figure since late 2008.
 
Construction jobs were reduced by 4,500 in December. Government, labor and hospitality and educational and health services employers also all cut jobs.
 
Trade, transportation and utilities firms added a net 4,500 jobs.
Friday, 24 January 2014 13:30
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - As the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks prep for their showdown in the Super Bowl, a legal fight is playing out over the turf installed last summer at the NFL title game's venue.
Missouri-based Taylor Turf Installation Inc. is suing the MetLife Stadium's operators over $292,000 the St. Louis-area company says it is still owed for installing the stadium's playing surface.
Taylor Turf's suit in New Jersey names New Meadowlands Stadium Co. LLC and Georgia-based Turf Industry Inc., the company that hired Taylor for the job.
Taylor's president, Kelly Taylor, says his crew took special pride in hustling to complete what he said was a $417,000 job, only to be paid $125,000 so far.
   
 
Friday, 24 January 2014 11:31
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