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p01 Kansas City SouthernA Kansas City Southern train makes its way up the line.

p01 RussellRussellBy DENNIS GRUBAUGH
    Federal and state officials are cheering plans for a Jersey County transmodal logistics facility that could employ more than 1,000 people and represent a private investment of more than $500 million.
    Mid-American International Gateway Business Park is the newly unveiled formal name of what privately has been referred to as “Project Panther.” The idea has been kept tightly under wraps the last three years as Kansas City Southern railroad and city of Jerseyville leaders worked to link up with a developer to turn the project into reality.
    The developer is Stonemont Financial Group of Atlanta, Ga., represented by CEO and Managing Principal William “Zach” Markwell III. Stonemont is a privately held firm with $2.3 billion in projects and real estate under management, Markwell said.

    Zach Markwell’s commitment to a half-billion-dollar transmodal logistics business park in Jerseyville shows in the passion with which he talks about it.
    He’s in this project, as railroaders might say, for the long haul.
    “We would never have a ceremony to announce something, then ultimately decide it isn’t for us. What we bring to our projects across the globe is certainty of execution,” he said.
p01 MarkwellMarkwell    William “Zach” Markwell III’s Stonemont Financial Group is privately funding what has the potential to become one of the Midwest’s largest construction projects – a 1,400-acre rail and trucking center to be located just south of Jerseyville.
    It is Stonemont’s second project with Kansas City Southern, the first being the 540-acre El Campo, Texas, multimodal development underway near Houston. At capacity, the El Campo site is expected to accommodate up to 8 million square feet of Class A warehouse, manufacturing, and rail-serviced distribution facilities, according to marketing information.
    The Jerseyville location would further serve the partners’ mission to move goods from Mexico to the north. Once in Jersey County, the products can then be shipped by railroad and trucks to millions of people within a day’s drive. Or, those products can be offloaded for assembly in warehouses, then distributed.

p01 NaselloNaselloBy DENNIS GRUBAUGH
    Charles “C.J.” Nasello’s career path to CEO may not have been routine, but he’s years ahead of most of his peers.
    After all, he’s only 18.
    The Alton area teen hopes someday to turn a delivery business he began in high school into a franchise concept.
    Nasello created his business, “Nasello’s Errand and Delivery,” as part of coursework he completed in CEO — Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities, the Effingham-based program that encourages leadership and business skills in high schools. Several Metro East schools have added the program in recent years.


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    ALTON – A Madison County judge granted final approval for a $4.26 million class action settlement on behalf of thousands of Granite City residents who said they endured years of pollution from a neighboring steel mill and coke plant.