January 6, 2014

Ellen 2



Happy New Year! The region is off to a great start in 2014. New businesses and buildings are opening up, and additional investments are making their way into the region. Even though it's cold outside, it warms my heart to know the amazing things happening with our members. Continue reading for some Good News!


Ellen Krohne

Executive Director, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois


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Ameren plugging big money into Metro East  (Illinois Business Journal, December 2013)

The Metro East area is playing a crucial part in Ameren Illinois' elaborate, billion-dollar plan to improve natural gas and electric service for years to come. From a new, $6 million, 11-acre worker training facility in Belleville to the 600 hiring's anticipated as part of its smart grid infrastructure plan, the utility will provide a solid boost to the region, said Richard J. Mark, president and chief executive officer. (Read More)


Big science project: SIUE moves to next phase  (Illinois Business Journal, December 2013)

Future scientists and others are taking advantage of the science that permeates the newest building on the SIUE campus, Bill Retzlaff says. And more moves are on the way. The associate dean of arts and sciences and chairman of the Department of Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences Program said both faculty and students are enormously pleased with the new Science Lab Building West, a $52 million project formally christened Nov. 4. (Read More)


Planned fish plant lures wide interest (Illinois Business Journal, December 2013)

A partnership of local businessmen hopes to launch a $3 million to $4 million Asian carp processing facility in February, promising an environmentally safe project they say could salvage the freshwater fishing industry.The effort by American Heartland Fish Products LLC is being keenly watched by cities across the United States, who, like Illinois, are fighting to rid their freshwater supplies of the invasive species, which is threatening commercial fishing. (Read More)


Lewis and Clark to use grant to train workers (Belleville News-Democrat, 1/1/14)

Gov. Pat Quinn announced that Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey is leading a consortium of nine community colleges in eight states that have been awarded $23.8 million in federal money to train and place workers in high-skill transportation, distribution and logistics jobs. Lewis and Clark will receive $4.9 million. The announcement is part of Quinn's commitment to driving Illinois' economy forward and ensuring all people have the opportunity to follow their dreams and reach their full potential, he said. (Read More)


Lindenwood adding dorm, new sports (Illinois Business Journal, December 2013)

Lindenwood University-Belleville expects to have the ability to house 1,000 students on campus by late next year when the second of two residence halls is completed. It is the latest in a series of positive developments for the decade-old facility, which continues to see record enrollment.  (Read More)


It's another good sign for our community (The Edwardsville Intelligencer, 12/13/13)

With Edwardsville being home to a 14,000-student university, the county seat and serving as a hub for athletics and arts, it seems strange that it has just three hotels. Apparently, developer Bob Plummer thought so, too. So he's doing something about it.  (Read More)


County Oks $21 M for levees (The Alton Telegraph, 12/18/13)

The Madison County board Wednesday approved more than $21 million in construction contracts for iffy area levees, bringing the end in sight to a thorny economic development problem. The board approved bids to build relief wells, berms, drains, ditches and other structures along the Mississippi River from Alton to Prairie du Chien, likely preventing the Federal Emergency Management agency from declaring vast areas of bottomland flood hazard areas. (Read More)


Alton to refinance bonds (The Alton Telegraph, 12/31/13)

The city plans to refinance $4.6 million remaining in its Series 2004 general obligation bonds, which officials say should save Alton about $210,000 in interest the next four years. Greg Caffey, director of development and housing, said Mayor Brant Walker next week would sign an engagement agreement with Bernardi Securities Inc. of Fairview Heights to start the underwriting process. (Read More)


Q&A with Ellen Krohne, executive director, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois (Illinois Business Journal, December 2013)

Krohne: The Leadership Council has helped to grow the region. It's worked diligently to make sure that we have investments in the area's infrastructure such as Interstate 255 and the new Mississippi River Bridge. Certainly it's done a lot of work with Scott Air Force Base over the years through the last two BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) efforts, but also in non-BRAC periods by building good relationships with the military and strong connections between the community and the base. (Read More)


Businesses, volunteers fix homes of those in need (Belleville News-Democrat, 12/19/13)

Rebuilding Together is a nonprofit organization that works to preserve affordable home ownership and revitalize neighborhoods by providing home repair and renovation services to those in need. It was created in 1973 by a group of handymen in Midland, Texas, who decided to take one day in April of that year to help out their less fortunate neighbors. From that simple beginning, it grew into an organization called Christmas in April, later changing its name to Rebuilding Together in 1988. (Read More)


New metro-east restaurant focuses on Italian, Mediterranean dishes (Belleville News-Democrat, 12/30/13)

A new metro-east restaurant features Italian and Mediterranean food.Paul Batsios has just opened The Olive Branch at 2642 Madison Ave. in Granite City, which is open for breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. (Read More)


Schnucks buys Columbia Centre Market Place (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1/2/14) 


Schnuck Markets Inc. has purchased the Columbia Centre Market Place, a 25-year-old grocery in Columbia, Ill. The store will close at noon Sunday, Jan. 12 and will reopen as a Schnucks store at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16. (Read More)

Leadership Council members associated with projects in this issue

Ameren IL Logo

Pyramid Electic

BRiC Partnership Engineers

JF Electric

Lewis & Clark Logo

Cassens Transport Co

Lindenwood U
Madison County IL  
Keller Construction

Scheffel & Co. PC

Contact Information

Ellen Krohne, Executive Director, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois


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