2018 February Issue

Boondoggle pushes new Amtrak cars two years down line

By ALAN J. ORTBALS    The $1.5 billion high speed rail project between St. Louis and Chicago is substantially complete, and new locomotives will be powering the Lincoln Service within the next 30 days. But they’ll be pulling passenger cars that are nearly a half century old.     New cars won’t be received until sometime in…

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Officials hope Swansea complex lures more development

By DENNIS GRUBAUGH    Work has begun on the Metro East’s second transit-oriented senior apartment complex, the $10.9 million Metro Landing of Swansea, which officials hope becomes a catalyst for more development.    Ground was broken last month at the Swansea MetroLink Station. The project is a partnership of Southwestern Illinois Development Authority, Bywater Development Group and…

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Businesses, individuals will see changes under Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

EDITOR’S NOTE: This column details changes under the new federal tax reform low. Our Point/Counterpoint columns in this issue offer a debate on the reforms’ effect on the economy. By PHILIP SPEICHER    The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law by the president on Dec. 22, 2017, brought a long list of modifications to…

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POINT: Are tax cuts the answer to long-term economic growth?

Yes, history proves that tax relief generates more jobs and larger paychecks. By MIKE BOST    In 1986, Americans flocked to theaters to see the year’s No. 1 movie, “Top Gun.” A lot has changed since Maverick and Ice Man prepared to do battle with Soviet MiGs, as Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone” blared in the background.…

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COUNTERPOINT: Are tax cuts the answer to long-term economic growth?

No, look for businesses’ ‘extra cash’ to go to stock dividends, not capital investment By ARIEL BELASEN    On Nov. 14, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn met with several dozen CEOs and asked for a show of hands whether they would increase capital investments if the corporate tax rate was cut. Very few hands went…

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McKendree University home to oldest Sigma Zeta National Honor Society in nation

By ALAN J. ORTBALS    Not only is McKendree University the oldest college in the state of Illinois, it also boasts the oldest chapter of the Sigma Zeta National Honor Society. The society’s purpose is to foster the attainment of knowledge in the natural and computer sciences and mathematics. McKendree hosted the society’s national convention two…

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Leadership Council campaigns to ‘Manufacture/Craft/Cyber Your Future’

By ALAN J. ORTBALS    Over the last two years, representatives of the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois have spoken to more than 12,000 students, parents and teachers regarding STEM education and employment opportunities.    Ronda Sauget, executive director of the council, said one of the first things she did when she began the job was to go…

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SIUE approach gets students, parents and teachers involved in STEM

By ALAN J. ORTBALS    On March 24, about 300 middle and high school students from across 10 Southern Illinois counties will be presenting their research projects at the annual Science and Engineering Research Challenge at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.     SIUE initiated this competition in 1984 to stimulate students’ interest in science and technology while…

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Madison County Regional Schools stress STEM ed for students, teachers

By ALAN J. ORTBALS    STEM education is all about how science, technology, engineering and mathematics work together to solve problems, according to Madison County Regional Superintendent of Schools Bob Daiber.    “There are no silos of knowledge in technology,” Daiber said. “You don’t just have science; you don’t just have math. It takes all four working…

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