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BELLEVILLE, IL, (SWI-News.com), March 9, 2014 - The September 11 Memorial Walkway of Southern Illinois Committee has planned a Ground Breaking Ceremony for Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 11am. The ceremony will be held at the site of the planned September 11 Memorial Walkway at 1125 S. Illinois Street, Belleville, Illinois, in front of Belleville's Fire Department Administration Office. The public is invited.
The first phase of construction on the memorial will begin within the next few weeks, weather permitting. When completed, the memorial will honor the victims and survivors of September 11, 2001 and will feature an actual steel column from the World Trade Center in New York that measures 35.25 feet long and weighs 7,106.9 pounds.
Additional features will help to depict the tragic events that also occurred at the Pentagon and on Flight 93, making it an important historical and educational resource in Southern Illinois for generations to come.
The concept for the memorial walkway been several years in the planning, according to Linda Weisenstein, who grew up in Southern Illinois and now lives in St. Louis.
"I read in the New York Times that they were offering pieces to towns and communities if the request was written on letterhead by a mayor. So, I approached the Mayor of Belleville several years ago. We submitted an application and asked for several large pieces. We now have the largest piece from the World Trade Center. It took two years with lawyers and all kinds of legal stuff."
The 35-foot-long, 7,100-pound twisted steel remnant was prominently displayed during the Great Fire Engine Rally at Soldiers' Memorial, last year, in downtown St. Louis to bring awareness to the planned memorial and raise funds by selling T-shirts and taking donations.
Jon Brough, former policeman with the Belleville Police Department, accompanied Weisensten to the rally to greet participants and share his support of the memorial.
When asked what this artifact meant to him, Brough responded, "This beam repesents a lot to all the first responders, including the firefighters, policemen and emergency EMS workers. It's our chance to provide a memorial from the actual debris from Ground Zero that the generations being born now will still be able come to Belleville in Southern Illinois and learn about what happened that day."
"So many people, such as myself learned about Pearl Harbor, but we never had the money to go to Hawaii to see the memorials there. So the New York Port Authority decided that with the amount of debris that they had left such our beam, to put it all across the country so that students on field trips, young people and older people could come to that memorial and get a feeling of what it was like there on that day."
"It's for all of Southern Illinois and it's for Missouri as well. It's for the people," addeed Weisenstein. The committee hopes to have the memorial completed by September 11, 2014.
New Christmas Movie "Expect Delays" to be Filmed in Belleville
BELLEVILLE, IL, (SWI-News.com), March 5, 2014 - Auditions for the new Christmas Movie, "Expect Delays", will be held, April 25 - 26, at the Lincoln Theatre, home of of the "Belleville" premiere.
This isn't the first time Ted Trent brought national camera crews to his hometown of Belleville, Illinois for a Christmas shoot. "I wanted to bring movie industry excitement from Los Angeles back to where it all started for me - my home of Belleville," Trent explained in a release. "The first time it happened was in 2006 with the USA Network following me home in a reality show - style TV movie called 'The Great American Christmas.'"
Eight years later, Trent is starring in "Expect Delays" - a fictional movie about those interesting family dynamics that come into play around the holidays. "I'm so thrilled to be following up the premiere of 'Belleville,' the week of April 22, with another two week film shoot," stated writer/director Dan Steadman.
"I was so inspired by the artistic talent in the Southern Illinois and St. Louis area I wanted to write larger roles for many of the actors from 'Belleville.' But there are still smaller parts - acting and musical roles - up for grabs. That is why we will be auditioning," said Steadman.
"This is yet another exciting opportunity for our town to showcase its talent," said Cathleen Lindauer, Belleville's Tourism Director. "Charter Cable will also be attending, scouting for local actors and performers for their TV commercials. It's a great opportunity to be discovered."
The Lincoln Theatre at 103 E. Main Street (home of of the "Belleville" premiere) will host the auditions on both Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
MARISSA, IL, (SWI-News.com), March 4, 2014 - Despite a winter storm that led to many cancelled flights at nearby airports, Sunday, March 2, proved to be a pretty magical day for 8-year-old Nicholas from Quincy, Ill., who is living with a life-threatening neurological disorder.
Recipient of the latest wish trip to be granted by Allegiant and Make-A-Wish, Nicholas and his family were the VIP guests at a special send off celebration hosted by MidAmerica St. Louis Airport and Pyramid Electrical Contractors, as they prepared to depart on an Allegiant flight to Orlando for a magical wish experience.
Pyramid Electrical Contractors, a local Fairview Heights business, heard about Nicholas' story and stepped up to ensure that his sendoff was as magical as his wish trip. The company worked with MidAmerica to provide the family with the full "Red Carpet" treatment at the airport.
Nicholas and his family were greeted upon arrival by a long red carpet lined with balloons, and a personal assistant was on hand to escort them through check-in to their gate and to ensure that all of their needs were met. Each family member also received a gift bag, including T-shirts, water bottles, autograph books, photo albums, toys and more. To truly make Nicholas feel special, he also received a portable DVD player and one of his favorite movies to watch during the flight.
Representatives from Allegiant, MidAmerica St. Louis Airport and Pyramid Electrical Contractors were at the airport to share this moment with Nicholas and his family.
"Our goal was to show support for Nicholas, make him and his family feel welcome and start his wish trip out with a bit of a splash," stated Tim Cantwell, Director at MidAmerica Airport. "We were delighted to host them and I commend Pyramid Electrical Contractors for going above and beyond and adding the red carpet touches to make this sendoff even more memorable."
Since the 1980s, Make-A-Wish has been granting the wishes of children with life- threatening medical conditions to enrich their lives with hope, strength and joy.
"Allegiant Airlines' generous and enthusiastic support is a wonderful way for the community to come together in supporting our wish children with hope, strength and joy at a time they need it most", said Stephanie Springs, Chief Executive Officer of Make-A-Wish Illinois.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SWI-News.com), February 23, 2014 - The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has cleared the way for the nearly 400-mile-long Illinois Rivers electric transmission project that will create jobs, facilitate the delivery of low-cost power and improve the reliability and efficiency of the electric power grid.
Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Ameren Corporation, has received siting approval of final routes and substations from the ICC to build the estimated $1.1 billion Illinois Rivers transmission project. This is Ameren's largest-ever transmission project and the longest single transmission line project in Illinois history.
"Today's action by the ICC is welcome news for Illinois," said Maureen Borkowski, chairman, president and chief executive officer of ATXI. "This project will benefit the state's economy, create jobs and provide Illinois electricity customers greater access to a variety of low-cost energy sources, including wind energy."
Last August, the ICC approved the need for the project and some of the project routes and substations. Today, the ICC resolved all remaining routes and substation location issues.
The 345,000-volt transmission line, using steel poles with a single shaft, will run from Palmyra, Mo., crossing the Mississippi River at Quincy. It will then run east past Meredosia, Pawnee, Pana, Mt. Zion and Kansas, ending at Sugar Creek, Ind., with additional lines running from Meredosia to Ipava and between the Sidney and Rising substations near Champaign.
Following last August's action by the ICC, ATXI began the real estate process on those portions of the project with final route approval, including surveying work and negotiations with landowners to secure 150-foot-wide easements. Substation construction is already underway. Line construction is expected to commence later this year.
The project previously received approvals from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO), a regional transmission organization serving a 15-state region and the Canadian province of Manitoba.
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