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Illinois quick hits: Rideshare drivers picket; American Water requests rate increase

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Rideshare drivers picket

Finding a ride with an Uber or Lyft rideshare to O’Hare airport Wednesday will be difficult.

Thousands of U.S. ride-hailing workers plan to park their cars and picket at major U.S. airports in what organizers say is their largest strike yet in a drive for better pay and benefits. Uber said its U.S. drivers make an average of $33 per hour.

American Water requests rate increase

Illinois American Water has requested a rate increase with the Illinois Commerce Commission. The company is seeking a $152 million rate increase, which would raise monthly household water bills by about $24 and wastewater bills by about $5.

Officials point to infrastructure improvements totaling nearly $560 million. The Citizens Utility Board is calling the rate increase request “excessive.” The watchdog group also notes the costs associated with the company buying municipal water systems, which is 100% paid by customers.

Hungry dog allegedly starts fire

A hungry pooch is being blamed for starting a fire in Des Plaines. Fire officials said it appears a dog turned on the stovetop when it was jumping to gain access to the food that was on top of the stove.

The plastic containers then melted and caught on fire. Firefighters quickly put out the blaze and rescued a woman and three dogs from the home, including the one that may have started the fire.