2017 January Issue

COUNTERPOINT: Should the U.S. repeal the federal inheritance tax?

No, estate tax should be strengthened, not eliminated By BRENDAN V. DUKE    One reason Donald Trump was elected president is that throughout his campaign, Trump did not sound like a typical Republican. He didn’t deliver bland praise to “job creators” — instead he talked about his dream of transforming the Republican Party into a “workers’…

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POINT: Should the U.S. repeal the federal inheritance tax?

Yes, ‘death tax’ is especially onerous to farmers, small businessmen By JOHN SHIMKUS    It is an exciting time for our country right now. After six years of divided government, Republicans now have a huge opportunity to fix bad policies of the past that have made life more difficult for many hard-working Americans. The American people…

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Commerce Bank bolsters workforce throughout Southwestern Illinois

By ROBERTA CODEMO    Commerce Bank has been an industry leader for more than 150 years and is committed to serving the Southern Illinois area. Commerce employees live in the communities where they work and understand the needs of their customers.     “Our senior management team is located in the Metro area,” said Matt Gomric, senior…

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America’s Central Port increases its rail capacity by 30 percent

By ROBERTA CODEMO    America’s Central Port, located in Granite City and Madison, completed two major rail projects in 2016, increasing rail capacity by 30 percent.     “We laid 4.25 miles of new track,” said Bill Stahlman, director of engineering and construction for America’s Central Port. “That’s a lot of track to put in.”    The port…

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Growth Association aims to expand popular high school CEO program

By DENNIS GRUBAUGH    Alton area high school students are getting a real-world view of business through Riverbend CEO, a program that supporters want to bring to more schools in the next year.    “I have a fantastic group of students, very eager to learn and enthusiastic,” class facilitator Katie McBee said of her first-year cohort, comprised…

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Associated Bank completes $3 million renovation project

By ALAN J. ORTBALS    Associated Bank completed a year-long, $3 million renovation of its branches in Fairview Heights, Alton, East St. Louis, Glen Carbon, Columbia, Millstadt and the one on West Main Street in Belleville in 2016.    “The investment reflects Associated Bank’s long-term commitment to the region,” said Phillip Hickman, Southern Illinois Community Market president.…

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Illinois American Water Co. honored by J.D. Power for customer satisfaction

By ALAN J. ORTBALS    Illinois American Water received the J.D. Power award for ranking highest in customer satisfaction among water utilities in the Midwest according to J.D. Power’s 2016 Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study. The utility also achieved the highest score in the region for price and communications.    The first-time, national study was based…

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Highland programs invest in residences, workforce

By DENNIS GRUBAUGH    The city of Highland made progress on multiple fronts this past year that bodes well for the community’s workforce and quality of life.    Assistant City Manager Lisa Peck says the city’s home buyer program was very successful, with evidence that home values are starting to rise and conditions stabilizing in the historic…

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