"Perhaps at no other time have national and local events converged to shatter our sense of well-being and security. Just when we were finally able to tear ourselves away from the media coverage of the Attack on America, when the memorial services for fallen New York City police and firefighters had just begun, we were stunned by the news of the tragic shooting death of Peoria Policeman Jim Faulkner, and our emotions bubbled once again. Five children and a loving wife lost their leader, and a community lost one, too. Night in and night out, Faulkner took on the worst of the worst on Peoria’s streets to rid the community of drugs and crime. A leader who was anonymous to the community at large, until, as one of his sons said, ‘Daddy made the front page of the paper.’"
-Jan Wright, Publisher
The National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR) is internationally known as a major research laboratory, yet much about this Peoria facility is a local mystery. Some of that mystery will be revealed when the Ag Lab opens its doors to the public this summer for the first time in more than a decade. The cornerstone event of the open house is its designation as an International Historic Chemical Landmark for its work in the development of penicillin. It was in Peoria that methods were developed to make the drug commercially available, opening the door to the modern era of antibiotics.
The Regional Bioscience Strategy was unveiled in September. The outgrowth of a study by Battelle Memorial Institute, the collaboration is an effort to marshal the twin pillars of medical and agriculture research and position the region as a center for the life sciences. It’s making partners of some traditional competitors such as OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Methodist Medical Center and Proctor Hospital. It’s joining resources of the best-kept secret in town-the USDA Ag Lab-with Bradley University, the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria and Illinois Central College. Best of all, it’s recognizing the potential we have to take advantage of the enormous resources that exist here, build on existing assets and collaborate for a common purpose.
O’Brien Automotive Team President and CEO Joseph O’Brien and Peoria Chiefs President and GM Rocky Vonachen confirmed the naming rights to the new downtown baseball stadium were awarded to the O’Brien Automotive Team. The ballpark will be known as O’Brien Field.
THEY SAID IT…
"The U.S. automotive sector is in for a
rough ride in the near future, with sales projected to fall from 17.5
million units this year to potentially 15.8 million next year. The
situation will be even more difficult for U.S. automakers because their
share of the market continues to decline. Pressures on suppliers to
reduce costs are becoming much more intense, with Chrysler demanding
suppliers to cut prices by five percent starting in January."
-Mike Waight, IMEC
are no full-time, permanent jobs. None. Not any. The ‘permanent’
description is a misnomer that the working world created to give
employees a feeling of job security. However, one only has to look at
the news lately to watch so-called permanent workers lose their jobs
much like a contract or temporary employee. The reality is that every
job is a temporary job regardless of who you work for."
-David Smith, Manpower Professional
RIBBON CUTTINGS & GRAND OPENINGS
The grand opening of the newly-created St. Jude Run office took place on February 23rd. It’s located on Knoxville Avenue in the Northpoint Shopping Center.
On March 20th, developer Pat Sullivan cut the ribbon on a free parking lot across from his Le Vieux Carre at State and Water streets.
Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Glen Barton joined a group of customers, dealers and company executives to celebrate the grand opening of a new, 80,000-square-foot indoor arena at the demonstration center near Edwards.
A ribbon cutting ceremony took place on June 7th at the newly-opened Peoria campus of Robert Morris College at One Technology Center. The 13,000-square-foot campus is the first extension of the college’s Springfield campus.
A ribbon cutting for the RiverWest revitalization project, a 200-unit residential neighborhood, at MacArthur Highway and Jefferson took place on September 4th. The neighborhood is scheduled for completion by spring.
- Commerce Bank established the Commerce Trust Company, a division dedicated to providing trust, investment management and private banking services.
- The Pekin City Council approved a measure clearing the way for Cullinan Properties to buy the Pekin Mall.
- The St. Jude Memphis to Peoria Run celebrated its 20th anniversary when runners left Peoria City Hall on July 31st.
- Two RLI Corp. executives advanced to new positions. Company founder Gerald Stephens will become chairman of the board, and Jonathan Michael was named president and CEO.
- CEFCU, central Illinois’ largest locally-owned financial institution, surpassed $2 billion in assets.
- The Shoppes at Grand Prairie is being developed at the northwest corner of I-474 and War Memorial. The upscale mall will encompass more than 800,000 square feet of retail when it’s completed in 2003.
PLANS FOR A REGIONAL MUSEUM
"Forty-eight Peorians boarded a Peoria Charter bus on September 6th, bound for the Cincinnati Museum Center. Peoria’s mayor and a state legislator were aboard-as were a Park Board member and three staffers from Congressman LaHood’s office. Riders included local media and representatives of seven central Illinois museum-related entities.
"Why did they go? To get a close-up look at how several Cincinnati museums first gathered together in a huge, renovated train terminal in 1990…and then merged into a single brand-new organization in 1995.
"One year ago, Congressman Ray LaHood-noting he’d been approached for funding by several museum groups-said, ‘There aren’t enough dollars, public or private, to satisfy all these separate requests. So your organizations should be talking to each other, sharing plans.’ Out of this emerged the Museum Collaboration Feasibility Study."
-Byron DeHaan, Museum Collaboration Feasibility Study
HONORS, AWARDS & APPOINTMENTS
Gov. George Ryan selected Peoria Fire Chief Ernest Russell to serve as the state’s top fire service executive. Russell, a 33-year veteran of the Peoria Fire Department, has been chief since 1993.
Dr. Donald Rager was named regional dean of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria.
The Peoria-Pekin Metropolitan Statistical Area was listed among Expansion Magazine‘s top 100 logistics-friendly cities in the nation, ranking 42nd out of the 328 MSAs considered.
The Boy Scouts of America, W.D. Boyce Council, named Robert McCord the Distinguished Citizen of the Year 2001. The Morton Chamber of Commerce named William Morton, chairman and CEO of Morton Industrial Group, this year’s Distinguished Service Award Winner.
"This year’s holiday season will have special meaning for many of us. This is usually a time of reflection and thanks, but the American people have a deeper sense of purpose this year. The events of September 11th, the threat of anthrax in our mail system, and our heightened sense of vigilance in the face of terrorism have led the American people to some soul searching and a re-evaluation of many of our priorities. As we have gone through Thanksgiving and approach Hanukkah, Christmas and the New Year, we realize there is much for which we should be thankful."
-Congressman Ray LaHood iBi