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State wire briefs

Pipeline connecting Chicago to Detroit now in service

PORTAGE, Mich. – Officials said a fuel pipeline running from the Chicago area to the Detroit area is now in service.

The Wolverine Pipe Line Company has announced that the first commercial volume for the Detroit Metro Access Pipeline shipped earlier this month. The roughly 34 miles of pipeline connects to an existing Wolverine pipeline to transport refined petroleum products.

Construction was completed in January, and the final testing was conducted in February.

Company President Saul Flota said the pipeline responds to a demand for gasoline and diesel fuel in the Detroit metropolitan area. It will create four to six new permanent jobs and generated 250 to 300 construction jobs.

The Michigan-based company operates nearly 700 miles of pipelines in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois.

Chicago creates immigrant entrepreneurs program

CHICAGO – Chicago officials are creating a program to help draw immigrant entrepreneurs they have said will help grow companies and create jobs.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the formation of the Global Entrepreneur in Residence program earlier this month. Five area universities will participate in helping sponsor immigrants for H-1B visas, which apply to highly skilled workers like in the technology industry.

The consortium will let the universities sponsor 10 to 20 visa slots. Companies could create around 150 jobs within three years. Currently, there are limited options for immigrant entrepreneurs. Many enter the H-1B visa lottery, but only about 35 percent are accepted.

Those participating in the program are DePaul, Loyola and Northwestern universities along with Columbia College and the Illinois Institute of Technology. Massachusetts started a similar program in 2014.

Ebert Film Festival announces first 2 films

CHAMPAIGN – Roger Ebert’s film festival this year will include 2016 psychological thriller “Elle” and a film delving into the life of TV icon Norman Lear.

Guest appearances associated with the films will include “Elle” actress Isabelle Huppert and “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, producer Brent Miller and Norman Lear himself. They will participate in Q&As after their respective screenings.

Roger Ebert was a Pulitzer Prize-winning critic for the Chicago Sun-Times who died in 2013.

His wife, Chaz, has continued to host the film festival and said this year’s event will be dedicated to empathy, compassion, kindness and forgiveness.

The slate of screenings at the 19th annual “Ebertfest” also will include 10 other films to be announced later. It runs from April 19 to 23.

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