Employers warily eye guns in the workplace
- Written by DENNIS GRUBAUGH
Conceal carry prompting liability questions
A man walks into a business and pulls a pistol, threatening chaos. Suddenly, an employee with his own gun intercedes, managing to wrestle the intruder down without firing a shot.
Who faces arrest?
The answer may surprise you, but both assailant and hero could be in for the third degree.
That’s one of many broad effects of a new state law allowing licensed concealed carry of firearms in Illinois. Such are the unknowns that it is likely to take many legal challenges to determine how the law will fare when it is finished rolling out later this year.
“Is a person at risk of arrest for carrying a weapon where it’s not permitted? The answer is yes. Unlike some states, it is a misdemeanor for any person with a concealed-carry license to enter a premises with a concealed weapon if it’s been banned at the premises,” said Todd Sivia, an attorney in Edwardsville.
Sivia spoke to a large group of businesses recently in a session sponsored by the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Judging from the questions of his audience, the issue of a gun-toting society weighs heavily on the minds of employers. They wonder not only about their workplace but the places they send their employees, who often go into the field to perform their jobs.
- See GUNS
Edwardsville relishes growing rep as dining destination
- Written by DENNIS GRUBAUGH
Illinois Business Journal photos
The new Texas Roadhouse in Glen Carbon and the 1818 Chophouse in Edwardsville are among several popular restaurants to open in the communities in recent times. Some people say the area’s attraction as a dining destination has reached a place that now rivals anything in Metro East. Others wonder if the market has reached a saturation point.
Sam Guarino remembers well the first time he predicted Edwardsville’s food future.
He was sitting with Carol Foreman, former director of the Edwardsville-Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce, about eight years ago during a marketing committee meeting.
“I told her, ‘In the next few years, Edwardsville’s going to become a dining destination’,” he recalled.
Guarino was, and still is, a partner in Bella Milano Inc., one of the city’s premier restaurants. Since it opened in December 2003, it has been looked upon as a catalyst for what has become a mecca of fine food.
In the 10 years that followed Bella’s opening, the city and neighboring Glen Carbon landed several notable dining establishments — 1818 Chophouse, Cleveland-Heath, 54th Street Grill and Bar, Wang Gang, Mike Shannon’s Grill and Peel Wood Fired Pizza, among them.
The competition is good, Guarino said, because it forces owners to stay on their toes.
“Now, you could eat at a different place that you could enjoy every day for weeks,” he said.
But, he adds, there is a “flip side” to all this, and the city may have reached the saturation point. Guarino believes that only the strong are going to survive.
“Today, we’re in the opposite situation, and we’re pretty bloated in terms of restaurants,” he said. “Now, we are a dining destination. Going forward, I think it will be a zero sum game.” In other words, for every restaurant that opens, another will close.
The latest player is a Texas Roadhouse steak restaurant in the Glen Carbon portion of the Edwardsville Crossing shopping center, which opened to packed crowds in December.
Still on the horizon is Hendricks Smokehouse, which has announced plans to remodel and move into the former Rusty’s restaurant on North Main Street, although not much visible has occurred to the site for months.
- See EDWARDSVILLE
Alton Attorney Partners with Elementary School to Feed Low-Income Children
By SARAH PATSAROS
When teachers see Sarah Burns walking down the hallway at an elementary school in the Alton School District, they recognize her as the person who organizes the district’s Blessings in a Backpack program. Since school started in August, Burns has coordinated the shopping, delivery and packing of food for approximately 200 low-income students to take home with them each weekend.