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Pere Marquette Lodge to Host 9th Annual Peach Festival
GRAFTON, IL (, July 8, 2016 - Pere Marquette Lodge is set to host the 9th Annual Peach Festival, Sunday, August 7, from 11am to 3pm.

Peach Pit Pitching sounds like a good way to break a window but at the Peach Festival it will be one lucky person's ticket to a free nights stay. The rules are simple enough. Purchase a peach and enjoy the juicy mess until all that is left is a soggy pit. Then line up to make the toss. Land the pit in a colored cup and win a prize. Toss into a specially designated cup and patrons can walk away with a free nights stay at the historic Pere Marquette Lodge.

Local peach growers from all over the area will be presenting their carefully tended peaches for visitors to sample and purchase. Festival goers can also pick up a variety of other fresh produce, shop craft vendors, enjoy live music, sample peach wine and grab some lunch in the Lodge Restaurant which is known for its perfectly prepared fried chicken. Kids can participate in special activities while others can learn about the history of peach farming from a documentary that will be playing during the festival.

The Peach Festival will take place at the historic Pere Marquette Lodge and Conference Center in Grafton, IL. The Lodge is a popular local tourist destination and is currently celebrating its 76th year in business after opening its doors in 1940. Call 618-786-2331 for more information.

Get Up & Go! Biathlon Features Wheelchair Divisions
BELLEVILLE, IL (, July 8, 2016 - The sixth annual Get Up & Go! Biathlon will take place, Sunday, August 7, at the Belleville High School West, in Belleville, Illinois. The event will feature wheelchair divisions for the biathlon, biathlon teams and 5-milerun.

In a release, Meghan Morgan, program director of the Disabled Athlete Sports Association, said: "Our community has numerous different races, but not all are accessible for athletes who have disabilities. The Belleville Get Up & Go! Biathlon team has made a concerted effort to show the importance of including athletes of all abilities in community race events."

"Everyone can benefit from being physically active," said Get Up & Go! board member and biathlon race director Mark Peters. "We've added the wheelchair divisions to provide athletes of different abilities the opportunity to be active, compete, and help raise awareness of the benefits of physical activity." The Get Up & Go! Biathlon, sponsored by Allsup, is a 5-mile run followed by a 20-mile bicycle race along relatively flat country roads. Athletes who don't cycle can register for the 5-mile run only.

Register online at: or by calling 618-444-2967 for more information.

Registration fees support Get Up & Go! programs that include community garden grants, neighborhood, school, workplace and faith community health initiatives, and an annual health policy summit.

Amazon to Open Two Fulfillment Centers in Edwardsville, Illinois
EDWARDSVILLE, IL (, May 29, 2016 - has announced plans to open two fulfillment centers in Edwardsville, Illinois, and create more than 1,000 full-time jobs between the facilities when they open.

The company also recently announced plans for a new fulfillment center in Joliet, Illinois, and the creation of 2,000 full-time jobs. Amazon has an existing fulfillment center in Joliet where it currently employs 1,500 full-time employees.

"Illinois has been a great place to do business for Amazon and we look forward to adding two additional fulfillment centers and creating another 1,000 full-time jobs with benefits on day one in the state," said Akash Chauhan, Amazon's vice president of North American operations. "The elected officials throughout the city and state have been very supportive of Amazon and we thank them for helping make this possible. We're excited to soon call Edwardsville home and become an active member of this vibrant community."

"Amazon's newest investment in Illinois is a commitment to the future of our state," Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner said. "Amazon brings more than a thousand great paying jobs to Madison County and strengthens Illinois' position as a national hub for distribution and logistics. We are excited Amazon has again chosen our state and continues to be a growing partner in economic development in the Land of Lincoln. This growth represents the type of results possible when state economic development is focused on a long-term strategy, as the newly formed ILBEDC is doing with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity."

Both fulfillment centers will span more than 700,000 square-feet each where employees will pick, pack and ship items for customers. One of the buildings will specialize in handling larger items like big-screen televisions, sports equipment or kayaks and the other building will handle smaller items such as books, toys and electronics.

Full-time employees at Amazon receive competitive hourly wages and a comprehensive benefits package, including healthcare, 401(k) and company stock awards starting on day one, as well as generous maternity and parental leave benefits.

Amazon also offers employees innovative programs like Career Choice, where it will pre-pay 95 percent of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon. Since the program's launch, employees are pursuing degrees in game design and visual communications, nursing, IT programming and radiology, to name a few.

In a release, Mayor Hal Patton of Edwardsville stated, "We would like to thank Amazon for selecting Edwardsville as the location for their newest fulfillment centers. The construction of these two enormous warehouse buildings in the Gateway and Lakeview Commerce Centers will employ hundreds of construction professionals and bring over 1,000 full-time jobs to our region. The professional staffs from the City of Edwardsville, Madison County and the State of Illinois worked seamlessly with our local developers to deliver a much needed employment opportunity for our talented workforce. We are excited to show Amazon the quality of life that makes Edwardsville a great place to live, work and play."

Amazon is now hiring for management positions at the Edwardsville fulfillment centers. Additional details can be found at To learn more about working at an Amazon fulfillment center, visit

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