2018 June Issue

Gas prices up in recent months and here’s why

By ALAN J. ORTBALS    Oil prices have largely been on the rise for the last year and in May briefly topped $70/barrel for the first time since 2014, and you can look to OPEC for the reason, says Matt Schrimpf, president and CEO of HWRT Oil Co. in Alton.    “Back in November of 2014 the…

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Contractors say tariff talk driving building material costs higher

By ALAN J. ORTBALS    The cost of goods used in construction jumped in April at the fastest year-over-year rate since 2011, with ongoing increases for a wide range of building materials, including many that are subject to proposed tariffs that could drive prices still higher and cause scarcities, according to an analysis by the Associated…

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Amy Kempfer, Senior Branch Manager, Associated Bank, Fairview Heights

By RITA DUCKWORTH    Amy Kempfer got a job at a bank while in college at Oregon State University. A native of Belleville, she returned home to finish her business degree at Lindenwood University. She has been in the banking industry ever since. She is now senior branch manager of Associated Bank’s Fairview Heights Branch. She…

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Diane Sinn, Senior Vice President Columbia Branch, First Bank

By DENNIS GRUBAUGH    Diane Sinn’s passion for her career, like interest on a good bank account, has grown through the years. Today, she’s hooked.    Sinn is senior branch manager/vice president at First Bank’s Columbia, Ill., location. She arrived there in November after 22 years in banking.    She started as a part-time teller with Boatmen’s National…

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POINT: Should the U.S. Constitution be amended to reverse Citizens United?

Yes: People, not corporations, should have ultimate say in a democracy By GEORGE PENN    In the wake of the horrendous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United and other campaign finance cases, we desperately need to amend the U.S. Constitution not just to clarify the regulations in this field, but much more importantly,…

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Q&A with Jim Nussle, president and CEO of Credit Union National Association

    IBJ: How much of an impact will the newly signed Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155) have on credit unions?         Nussle: The law will create targeted regulatory relief for community financial institutions, allowing them to dedicate more resources to serving Main Street consumers.        Specific regulatory relief…

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IMRF pension succeeding where others in Illinois have not

By DENNIS GRUBAUGH    While state-funded pensions around Illinois are floundering, another retirement plan that benefits many of its residents is leaving most pensions in the dust.    That plan is the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, and it is doing quite well, thank you.    The IMRF’s members are employed by taxing bodies, meaning the plan itself is…

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