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Sears Hometown Stores in Sterling, Plano and Moline will be closing during the current business quarter, the company announced over the weekend.

The websites for all three stores already are announcing “Store in liquidation” sales.

They are among “90 to 100” underperforming Sears Hometown locations remaining after 21 stores were closed in the previous quarter, President and Chief Executive Officer Will Powell said in the quarterly earnings announcement.

neindiana.com

A northern Illinois economic development group is working on what’s being called a “code of ethics” for its member communities.  They’re not alone. In this WNIJ Friday Forum, Guy Stephens looks at  codes that are being created and what they can mean to economic development.

Striking a balance between competing local interests to achieve a benefit of all long has been a mantra of regional economic development. No one involved seems to disagree. Still, it has been deemed necessary to “get it in writing.”

The East State Street Kmart in Rockford and four Sears stores elsewhere in Illinois have been targeted by Sears Holdings to close in early September.

The Kmart store on Sandy Hollow Road in Rockford closed in early April this year. A Kmart store formerly located at Riverside Boulevard and Forest Hills Road closed more than a decade ago and was replaced by a Sears Essentials store, which closed in 2011.

Chase Cavanaugh/WNIJ

The German Deputy Consul General of Chicago paid a visit to Rochelle Wednesday.  It’s the latest development in a trade mission initiated by Gov. Bruce Rauner with Germany and Poland.

Dr. Andreas Goetze was pleasantly surprised by the city’s infrastructure, particularly when it came to transportation, and said the visit fits well into the consulate’s work.

"Politics plays a certain role, because we can work on the framework for economic activities," he said.

Goetze says the visit is another part of his country’s involvement in the state.

A dozen department stores across northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin -- including the Bergners store at CherryVale -- may be closing soon following a federal bankruptcy auction held Tuesday.

A group of lienholders and two capital finance firms proffered the winning bid for the assets of The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., which operates roughly 250 stores under the names in 23 states in the Midwest, upper Great Plains, and the Northeast.

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