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Holiday Season Proves Big For Illinois Merchants
(Springfield, IL) -- The holiday shopping season is officially here and according to the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, many of the state's businesses will bring in about 30-percent of their revenues between now and the end of the year. Long lines formed outside stores like Walmart, Sears, and Best Buy as shoppers hoped to cash in on some of the biggest deals of the shopping season. And even though customers will get some of the best deals today, IRMA Communications Director Peter Gill says the sales will continue for the rest of the year as retailers fight for their business. And with an improved unemployment rate over this time last year, Gill says people may be looking to spend more money.
Online Shopping May Not Be Best
(Springfield, IL) -- Some shoppers may be turning to the internet for holiday deals but that may not be the best way to go. According to the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, local businesses have found a way to compete with the online venders. IRMA Communications Director Peter Gill says the stores are catering to customers by opening their doors
earlier than ever, giving customers more time to shop. And many retailers offered in-store only deals. The local stores have also built up their websites and learned to promote social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter.
Metro Unemployment Down
(Springfield, IL) -- Unemployment is down in all of Illinois' metro areas from October 2011 to October 2012. Rockford saw the biggest improvement in its jobless rate, going from 12-point-six-percent in October 2011 to ten-point-eight-percent in October of this year. The Kankakee, Bradley, and St. Louis areas saw the a one-and-a-half-percentage-point decline with the Chicago, Joliet, and Naperville area coming in a close third with a one-point-four-percentage point drop. State officials say this is positive news for Illinois because it shows that the state's economy is on the right track.
Woman Killed During Thanksgiving Day Dispute
(East St Louis, IL) -- Thanksgiving ended in a very tragic way for an East St. Louis family. One woman was killed after a reported domestic dispute with her husband. It happened just after 6 p.m. on North 75th Street. Police say the man opened fire during an argument with his wife and daughter. He allegedly shot the daughter two times in the leg before she escaped and called police. The daughter is expected to survive. The man allegedly shot his wife in the head and then turned the gun on himself. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Man Charged With Wife's Murder
(Rockford, IL) -- A Rockford man has been arrested and charged with killing his wife. Todd Smith is facing four counts of first-degree murder and another for concealing the death of Katrina Smith. That means he could be responsible for dumping Katrina's body in the Rock River, where she was found November 9th. Katrina had been missing since October 23rd. Todd reported her missing, claiming she had left home to run errands but never returned. He was arrested Wednesday and is being held on four-million-dollars bond.
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