November 30, 2015

Ronda Sauget
This week's Good NewsLink demonstrates Southwestern Illinois' deep regional commitment and coordination in attracting the NGA (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency) to the Scott AFB (St. Clair County) site. With special thanks to all of you who attended the NGA hearing and took time to send your comments to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, we strongly feel your efforts are making a difference in highlighting why the NGA should select Southwestern Illinois as its future home.
Also, this Good NewsLink highlights the positive economic advancement of many other projects throughout our region. As we look back over 2015, our region has many accomplishments to be proud of and to build from looking forward.
We hope you enjoy this edition of Good NewsLink and please read on!

Ronda Sauget

Executive Director
Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois
Top Pentagon leaders called for NGA's move to Scott Air Force Base a decade ago
(Belleville News Democrat ,11/28/2015)
Highly detailed plans to move the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency from its current home near downtown St. Louis to a $1.6 billion facility at  Scott Air Force Base  have been on the drawing board for more than a decade.
(Read More)

St. Clair County offers 200 more acres by proposed Scott AFB, legislators support plan Site for future for intelligence agency expansion
(The Telegraph, 11/16/15)
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., joined with St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern Monday to announce that the county is prepared to offer an additional 200 acres to the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency for future expansion.
(Read More)

Defense leaders recommended moving NGA to Illinois in 2005
(St. Louis Business Journal, 11/20/15)
A council of top military leaders in 2005 recommended moving the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's(NGA) St. Louis and Arnold facilities to land near Scott Air Force Base, according to meeting minutes reviewed by the Business Journal.
(Read More)

Rallying businesses to develop the Metro East
(St. Louis Post Dispatch, 11/20/15)
The Metro East has more than 500,000 people, heavy industry, a river port, rail and highway connections that make it a hub for making and shipping things.
(Read More)

Supply chain transportation discussion
(St. Louis Post Dispatch, 11/18/2015)
What about the St. Louis region and the location of America's Central Port give it a unique advantage to manufacturing and distributing companies?
(Read More)

Gauen: Metro East is no magnet for region's glitz, but it feels like top contender for spy agency
(St. Louis Post Dispatch, 11/21/15)
I once mistakenly thought I was winning a five-kid foot race in a junior high gym class. Over my shoulder, I could clearly see four guys behind me. No, wait. Five. How could that be? And how could I be leading when I hadn't passed anybody?
(Read More)

Eight years in the making: Metro East levee reconstruction to be completed next summer, officials say
(The Telegraph, 11/23/15)
A $72 million levee reconstruction project eight years in the making is nearing completion, and area officials gathered Monday to tour a construction site where the Wood River Creek meets the Mississippi River.
(Read More)

'Gateway to sunshine': Allegiant, MidAmerica Airport announce flights to Ft. Myers, Florida
(Belleville News Democrat, 11/19/15)
Starting in February, when cold temperatures are settled in over the metro-east, there will be another warm destination for travelers to fly to from MidAmerica Airport.
(Read More)

West Gateway at 50th annual luncheon
(Illinois Business Journal, 11/2015)
The East-West Gateway Council of Governments presented its annual Outstanding Local Government Achievement Awards Wednesday to six recipients during its 50th annual meeting, recognizing area governments and officials for their achievement in the areas of public service, leadership, and productive collaboration among local governments.
(Read More)

Enterprise zone gets state approval
(The Intelligencer, 11/23/15)
An enterprise zone that hopes to attract jobs and investors to Glen Carbon, Maryville and four other area municipalities has finally been approved by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
(Read More)

United Way raises more than $1.8 million
(AdVantage News, 11/20/2015)
People in the Southwest Illinois Division area have once again demonstrated their generosity and caring by raising $1,809,328 for the 2015 fundraising campaign to help their neighbors and strengthen their community.
(Read More)

Local officials tour levee construction
(Illinois Business Journal, 11/2015)
Eighty-six miles of levees separate the Metro East from the waters of the Mississippi River, and those levees are receiving much needed upgrades.
(Read More)

MFT funds, roads top Alton Committee of Whole's agenda
(The Telegraph, 11/23/15)
Much of the business at Monday's aldermanic Committee of the Whole meeting dealt with 2016 motor fuel tax-funded street and road maintenance issues.
(Read More)

Oates Associates engineering marks 35th year with expansion
(Illinois Business Journal, 11/2015)
Oates Associates, a civil and structural engineering and architectural services firm based in Collinsville, is marking its 35th year in business with a St. Louis office expansion.
(Read More)

Bridge Replacement Approved
(Riverbender, 11/23/15)
The North Rodgers Avenue Bridge replacement project will be moving forward in the new year, following Alton City Council approval. 
(Read More)

Shock: Illinois improves in business tax ranking
(St. Louis Business Journal, 11/20/2015)
llinois improved to 23rd from 31st among the 50 states in a business tax climate ranking from the Tax Foundation.
(Read More)

Templar's temple nearly complete: Brewing company sets up shop in Milton Schoolhouse Brewing company sets up shop in Milton Schoolhouse
(The Telegraph, 11/21/2015)
Owners of wholesale craft brewery Templar Brewing have just about finished setting up shop in the company's new location at the Old Milton Schoolhouse.
(Read More)

New pre-owned Apple device business Experimac opens in Shiloh
(Illinois Business Journal, 11/2015)
Scott Markovich has brought the rapidly expanding concept Experimac to Illinois.
(Read More)

Grafton eyes business development program
(Alton Telegraph, 11/28/2015)
As a way to stimulate economic  growth  and small business development, individual business owners may have an opportunity to apply for 50/50 grants through a tax increment financing (TIF)-related program.
(Read More)

St. Louis single-family home market has a solid year
(St. Louis Post Dispatch, 11/29/2015)
Solid - not spectacular, but solid - is Jim Dohr's description of the St. Louis area's single-family home market this year. 
(Read More)

Nursing home and assisted living housing at former Ursuline convent in Alton gains approval
(Alton Telegraph, 11/24/15)
The vacated Ursuline Convent of the Holy Family and Queen of Peace infirmary may soon have new tenants.

Transportation logistics company opens in Godfrey
(Alton Telegraph , 11/28/2015)
Before a bag of road salt makes it to a store where consumers can pick it off the shelves, a transportation logistics company has to organize how much goes where, when and how.
(Read More)

Burger King opens in Swansea
(Belleville News Democrat, 11/22/15)
The home of the Whopper has opened a new metro-east location in Swansea.
(Read More)

Jet Aviation Basel, St. Louis, Perform Avionics Firsts
(AIN Online, 11/17/15)
Jet Aviation Basel has signed an agreement to perform the first installation of a Ka-band satcom system on a Boeing 747-400, using Honeywell's JetWave fuselage-mounted MCS-8200 antenna.
(Read More)

Wind Power Project Approval
(Alton Daily News, 11/14/15)
All aboard the Grain Belt Express? The Illinois Commerce Commission Thursday approved a "certificate of convenience and necessity," which the company overseeing the overhead wind power transmission proposal says is the final regulatory approval in Illinois.
(Read More)

Illinois Metros see minimal job growth; seven metro areas lose jobs
(RiverBender, 11/25/2015)
Unemployment rates continue downward trend. 
(Read More)


Guest viewpoint: Art of compromise is needed now in Illinois, reminiscent of Lincoln
(Belleville News Democrat, 11/22/15)
Illinois is proud of our connection to Abraham Lincoln. His leadership brought our country through its darkest days of the Civil War and preserved the nation.
(Read More)

Metro-east employers struggle to fill construction jobs
(Belleville News Democrat, 11/15/15)
Wanted: Construction workers. Will pay $30 or more an hour. No college diploma or experience required.
(Read More)

Bristow receives chamber Executive of the Year award
(AdVantage News, 11/17/15)
Monica Bristow, president of the RiverBend Growth Association, was recognized by her peers at the Illinois Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Awards Dinner during the 100th annual Fall Conference Nov. 5.  
(Read More)

HSHS Hospice Southern Illinois adds southern counties to service area
(Illinois Business Journal, 11/2015)
HSHS Hospice Southern Illinois is now accepting patients into its hospice program in St. Clair, Madison, Monroe, Randolph and Washington counties.
(Read More)

SIUE's first five look back over 50 years
(Alton Daily News, 11/14/15)
Fifty years ago this fall SIUE opened its doors and registered students for the first time. 
(Read More)

Bank opens bilingual branch in Fairmont City
(AdVantage News, 11/23/15)
The Bank of Edwardsville introduced the first full-service, fully bilingual banking center in the St. Louis metro area on Thursday, Nov. 19, with the grand opening ceremony of its Fairmont City Center, inside the Fairmont City Library at 2870 N. 44th St.
(Read More)

Diel & Forguson promotes CPA to principal
(Illinois Business Journal, 11/2015)
Diel & Forguson, LLC has announced that Jamie R. Dressler, CPA, MBA has been promoted to principal.
(Read More)

The tools for teen tenacity
(AdVantage News,  11/28/2015)
Beginning in 2016, local students will have the opportunity to participate in a new program, designed to give high school seniors the chance for an alternative learning experience outside of the classroom.
(Read More)

Spray & Play groundbreaking now set for Tuesday, Dec. 1
(Illinois Business Journal, November 2015)
A groundbreaking ceremony delayed by rain has now been rescheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 1.
(Read More)
Small Business Saturday, SpendRiverbend campaigns will boost local merchants, region
(, 11/28/2015)
Today is Small Business Saturday and throughout the River Bend area, residents are spending their dollars supporting local businesses and retail shops.

Centerstone gets $4.8 million for integrated care programs
(AdVantage News, 11/16/15)
Centerstone, one of the nation's largest nonprofit providers of behavioral healthcare, announced it has been awarded three grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration totaling $4.8 million to support the integration of primary and behavioral health services at locations in Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee.
(Read More)
Task force looks to shrink Illinois government
(Belleville News-Democrat, 11/29/2015)
Gov. Bruce Rauner pledges to eliminate nearly 7,000 units of government .
(Read More)
SIUE pharmacy school, Senior Services Plus join on hospital-to-home grant
(Illinois Business Journal, 11/2015)
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy and Senior Services Plus have jointly received a grant for a two-year project that is in search of improving the safety and effectiveness of medication use during care transitions from hospital to home for older adults treated for venous thromboembolism.


aders hip Council member s associated
with p rojects
 in this issue 

Madison County IL

America's Central Port Logo

Scott Credit Union Logo

BARBERMurphy Group

Holland Logo

Riverbend Growth Association

St. Elizabeth's Hosp

Learn more about Scott Patriot at





Contact Information

Ronda Sauget, Executive Director, Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois


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