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May 13, 2016

The University of Illinois Flash Index, which tracks economic activity in the state, fell for the second consecutive month in April, dropping to its lowest level since December 2012. The April index of 104.7 is a decline of four-tenths of a point from March, and represents a fall of nearly one full point since February. While remaining above the 100 mark, which divides economic growth and contraction, the decline indicates growth is slowing significantly.

New bike design for all weather
 
A new bike design from Sweden is small enough for bike lanes, big enough to carry a few groceries, and comfortable enough to ride in all seasons. The PodRide bike features four wheels for added stability, a waterproof fabric body mounted on an aluminum frame, and a seat height that offers the same visibility as that of a small car. The designer has been using the prototype as a daily commuter for the past year in all four seasons, and found it to be "a very practical and comfortable little vehicle."
The picture of how local food can spur both urban and rural revitalization is getting clearer in the Bluegrass State. Louisville has led the way with a strategic focus on finding and connecting entrepreneurs along the regional supply chain from farm to table.  “It’s all about relationships,” said Kentucky’s Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles. “Often times markets can be created when a restaurant or a distributor develops a relationship with a farming family and grows to have trust and confidence in them to meet quantity and quality needs.”
UPCOMING EVENTS

May 19 - Illinois Local Government webinar
June 13 - Farm Dreams, Epiphany Farms, Bloomington, IL

June 14 - Southern Illinois Economic Development Conference, John A. Logan College, Carterville, IL
June 27 - Farm Dreams, Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery, Champaign, IL
July 11 - Farm Dreams, Blue  Yonder Organic Farm, North Salem, IN
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