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A Publication of WTVP

ANOTHER RECORD YEAR AT CATERPILLAR
Caterpillar Inc. reported record 2004 sales and revenues of $30.25 billion and record profit of $2.03 billion or $5.75 per share, up 85 percent from one year ago. "Without question, 2004 was one of the most remarkable years in our proud history," said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jim Owens. "In 1997, with sales and revenues less than $19 billion, we set the goal of becoming a $30 billion company by the middle of this decade. While many thought it was overly ambitious, today we’re able to celebrate that tremendous accomplishment ahead of schedule."

Readers of Minority Engineer magazine ranked Caterpillar Inc. among the top 10 places they would most like to work.

For the fifth consecutive year, Caterpillar Inc. was selected as a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. The index recognizes leading sustainability-driven companies
worldwide.

Caterpillar Inc. announced the formation of a new Remanufacturing Division to support the company’s commitment to sustainable development and to achieving growth goals. The company, one of the world’s largest remanufacturers, launched the business in the 1970s with engines and now offers remanufacturing services for a variety of products and components.

"When I started with the company in 1972, our sales were $2.6 billion with profit of $206.4 million. Based on our current outlook, sales and revenue for 2005 should be about $36 billion with a midpoint in the range of profits at about $3.75 billion. In 1972, Caterpillar spent about $100 million on research and development; we will spend about $1 billion for R&D in 2005."
-Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Jim Owens

  • STS Consultants completed its acquisition of Clark Engineers, Inc., of Peoria.
  • Dewberry Companies LLC, an engineering company based in Fairfax, Va., acquired Peoria-based PSA. The new operation, headquartered in Peoria, is called PSA-Dewberry Inc.
  • Advanced Technology Services marked its 20th anniversary with an open house and ceremony on April 21st at its U.S. headquarters in Peoria.
  • Jones Bros. Jewelers announced it will build a 10,000-square-foot plaza called Jones Bros. Plaza at The Shoppes at Grand Prairie.
  • Owner/chef Jill Grube opened a new restaurant, Jill’s on Galena, on May 27th.
  • The 182nd Airlift Wing will remain in Peoria, according to the Base Realignment and Closure list released by the U.S. Department of Defense.
  • CEFCU President and CEO Eldon Arnold is retiring after eight years as CEO. Executive Vice President Mark Spenny will replace Arnold in April.
  • Craig Harlan Hullinger was hired as the new economic development director of the City of Peoria.

ILLINOIS RIVER COUNTRY
"It’s getting difficult to pick up a newspaper and not read a story about what communities along the Illinois River are doing, planning or hoping. ‘Ecotourism’ is the key phrase these days. We’re told that more than ever, vacationers are looking for parks, history and/or culture as they plan their travels…

"We’re part of the Illinois River Country Nature Trail, a 140-mile stretch that meanders from Ottawa to Havana…The PACVB is playing a key role in seeking designation as a National Scenic Byway. If that happens, the entire area will be eligible for grants-and the resulting publicity won’t hurt, either. Hey, the bridge may be closed this summer, but the river isn’t."
-Jan Wright, Publisher

The Illinois River Road was designated a National Scenic Byway by the U.S. Department of Transportation at an official ceremony in Washington, D.C. on September 22nd. The Illinois River Road Scenic Byway spans 271 miles on both sides of the Illinois River from Ottawa to Havana.

GOVERNMENT MOVES
Peoria County Board Chairman Dave Williams was re-elected in December to a third consecutive term, making him the first chair to serve three consecutive terms.

Illinois Senate President Emil Jones appointed Peoria Democratic State Senator George Shadid to an assistant majority leader, one of the chamber’s top leadership posts. Shadid is one of five assistant majority leaders and the only one from downstate. Representing the 46th District, he’s been in the Illinois Senate since 1993 and previously served as the majority whip.

Local Mayors Share Their Visions
"It is my hope that by the year 2015, local government and businesses, working together, will have fully implemented and advanced current Peoria NEXT initiatives and created a sustainable regional economy focused around technology-related jobs. These jobs will be a result of commercializing technology and innovation conceived locally and advanced from incubator to accelerator stages and beyond."
-East Peoria Mayor Charles Dobbelaire

"Collaboration and teamwork will be two keys for success if the Tri-County Area is to grow and prosper in the next 10 years. The days of parochialism should be a thing of the past. City and business leaders in Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties need to strengthen our relationships and work toward the common good of the region. Business gains in East Peoria or Metamora or Peoria are gains not just for that city, but for our entire region. The sooner we begin communicating and collaborating, the sooner our region will grow and, hopefully, improve our quality of life along the way."
-Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis

Dave Koehler announced his candidacy for the seat to be vacated by Illinois State Sen. George Shadid.

92nd District State Representative Aaron Schock officially opened his new legislative office in September, marking the first major building renovation in the Med-Tech District in Peoria.

OPENINGS, EXPANSIONS & UPGRADES
On April 19th, President George W. Bush, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Barack Obama, Gov. Rod Blagojevich, U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, as well as other state and local leaders, welcomed hundreds of visitors from around the nation to the official opening of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

The Peoria Civic Center has begun a $55 million expansion and upgrade, with groundbreaking set for this summer, a two-year construction timeframe, and a grand opening slated for fall 2007. This project will add 45,000 square feet of continuous exhibit space plus 27,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, giving the facility 110,000 square feet of exhibit space and more than 40,000 square feet of meeting rooms.

Hotel Pere Marquette general partners Dave Aull and Ron Samples unveiled a nine-month, $6 million hotel restoration and modernization project on May 12th. The project is the first phase of a targeted $12 million project for the historic Peoria landmark.

Several new restaurants and retail stores are scheduled to open in northwest Peoria near The Shoppes at Grand Prairie. T.G.I.Friday’s, Culver’s and Longhorn Steak House are being planned for the retail area. Gordmans Inc., an Omaha-based apparel and home fashions retailer, is scheduled to open a 60,000-square-foot store in 2006 at The Plaza at Grand Prairie.

The YWCA GlenPerry Apartments grand opening ceremony took place on July 7th at the corner of Wayne and Glendale.

Modular home manufacturer Homeway Homes hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony August 5th, marking the official opening of the $5 million production facility and addition of 51 new jobs in central Illinois.

Pekin Riverfront Park, a joint project between the City of Pekin and the Pekin Park District, hosted a grand opening celebration September 18th.

During a groundbreaking ceremony for GEM Terrace in East Peoria, Gary Matthews, owner of EM Properties LTD, announced the building’s first tenant, Heritage Bank of Central Illinois. The development will be situated atop a bluff at Main Street and Interstate 74 and include a five-story structure featuring a glass curtain wall construction. iBi

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