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IN THE NEWS
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World Trade Center Remnant Coming to Belleville
BELLEVILLE, IL, (SWI-News.com), August 28, 2011 - A World Trade Center Steel Beam will be on display for the first time in a procession during the SouthWestern Illinois Center Labor Council's Labor Day Parade, on September 5, 2011, at 10:00 a.m., in downtown Belleville.

Soon after the attacks of 9/11, efforts were made throughout the United States and across the world to memorialize the victims, offer expressions of solidarity and tribute, and document the impact of this historic event.

The City of Belleville took possession of the artifact, weighing approximately 7,100 lbs for the creation of the September 11th Memorial Walkway of Southern Illinois for future public viewing at Belleville's Fire Department Administration Office, located at Illinois Rt. 159 & Illinois Rt. 15.

The Memorial Walkway will tell the story of what happened on 9/11, including the timeline of events at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and of Flight 93.


Extra Help Among Nation's Fastest Growing Companies
MARION, IL, (SWI-News.com), August 28, 2011 - Extra Help, Inc., a St. Louis area employment and workforce services firm, has made Inc. Magazine's prestigious 500/5000 List for 2011. The list profiled the top 500 and 5,000 privately held, employee-based firms in the United States lead by independent entrepreneurs.

"We are honored to be recognized by such a respected organization and to be among such remarkable company," said Teresa Katubig, president, chief executive officer and founder of the company. The company has offices in Edwardsville and Marion, Ill., and downtown St. Louis.

The magazine publishes the annual list of the 500 and 5000 fastest-growing companies among nearly 7 million private firms in the United States. Privately held, U.S. companies make the list, based on percentage growth when comparing 2007 to 2010.

Extra Help ranked 89 in growth among human resources industries with a three-year growth rate of 58 percent. The company's 2010 revenue was $12.9 million and sales may exceed $20 million in 2011. The company also ranked 3,271 among 5,000 firms listed.

In the past, the list has included Microsoft, Timberland and Vizio. Inclusion on the list was the first national recognition for some of the most successful companies in the country.

A certified public accountant, Katubig, 46, started Extra Help in 1995 as a temporary staffing agency but her focus on serving clients in demanding growth industries improve workforce efficiency lead to more opportunity for her own firm. Extra Help has strategically broadened by adding services such as direct hiring, contingency staffing, workforce tools, and payroll services that help clients improve the efficiency of their staff.

Katubig began the company in Johnson City, Illinois, across the street from a Dairy Queen, armed only with a CPA certification and management experience at McDonald's restaurants.

"I know what it's like to start, grow and run a company," Katubig said. "That understanding of the ins and outs of business helps me and my staff partner with our clients to improve the efficiency to their workforce. And, that efficiency is a key to helping companies not just survive but thrive in this economy."

The company now has 31 employees and was recognized in 2010 by the St. Louis Business Journal as the 17th largest women-owned business in the St. Louis area. The company and Katubig have also been recognized by other business, civic and other charitable organizations.

The company received the 2008 "Good Neighbor of the Year Award" for its donation of time and money to charitable organizations in Southern Illinois. In April, Katubig was honored as one of the St. Louis region's outstanding female business leaders as an award recipient at the Winning Women's 4th Annual "Women Influencing Now" Regional Economic Development Award Dinner.

Extra Help's listing will appear in the 2011 Inc. 500/5000 online at Inc.com on Aug. 24, and in the magazine's September issue. Honorees are invited to the 30th Annual Inc. 500/5000 Conference and Awards Ceremony on Sept. 22-24 in Washington, D.C.


Swansea MetroLink Station Bike Trail Opens
SWANSEA, IL, (SWI-News.com), August 21, 2011 - Area cyclists, walkers and joggers have a new trail to enjoy with the opening of the newly extended MetroBikeLink Trail that connects the Swansea MetroLink Station to Belleville's North End Park.

The bike and walking trail, which generally parallels the MetroLink alignment, will now allow a 4.7 mile ride between Southwestern Illinois College and the Swansea MetroLink Station.

The new segment features a new 240 foot bridge which spans Richland Creek and the Norfolk Southern Railroad. A second bridge also carries the trail over IL Rt. 159. It has decorative features that give the look of a stone arched bridge, along with arched fencing and accent lighting.

"We wanted a signature bridge that will be a continual reminder to area residents that the trail is there," said St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern. "Hopefully, it will prompt people to think about getting out from behind the wheel, and biking or walking instead, whether as an opportunity for exercise, or the commute from point A to point B."

Cost of the project was a little over $4.6 million dollars. Of that $3.7 million came from Federal TEA-21 funds, $927,000 from the St. Clair County Transit District and $50,000 from the Metro East Parks and Recreation District (MEPRD).

Construction is already underway on the next section of MetroBikeLink which will further extend that trail from the Swansea MetroLink Station to the Memorial Hospital MetroLink Station. That 2.2 mile segment will be built for an estimated cost of $3.3 million and will include a major bridge over Fullerton Road. The Transit District hopes to extend the trail further westward 3.5 miles to the Fairview Heights MetroLink Station and eastward 3.5 miles to the Shiloh - Scott MetroLink Station.


World's Largest Catsup Bottle
The Catsup bottle-shaped water tower in Collinsville has been selected as one of 40 preservation success stories in Illinois.
World's Largest Catsup Bottle Selected As One of 40 Preservation Success Stories
COLLINSVILLE, IL, (SWI-News.com), August 21, 2011 - As a commemoration of its 40th anniversary, Landmarks Illinois has announced its list of the top 40 "preservation success stories" that have taken place in Illinois over the past four decades.

"These projects represent a cross section of some of the very best grassroots preservation efforts in Illinois," notes Jim Peters, President of the statewide nonprofit advocacy group. "We also hope that these 'old' ideas will encourage communities to help save other important historic buildings."

The projects in the "40 Over 40" list are scattered throughout Illinois, stretching from Galena to Carbondale. Two dozen communities, over all, are represented. Chicago tops the list with 11 projects, with another four in Springfield. The listings also are well distributed between each of the past four decades.

Efforts during the 1970s include: the saving of a key section of downtown Galena, the preservation of a Civil War-era school in Pittsfield, and the creation of one of the nation's first Main Street revitalization programs in Galesburg.

The decade of the 1980s included the rescue of an 1850s railroad roundhouse in Aurora, the protection of a Native American site in LaSalle County, and the creation of the Broadway Historic District in Rock Island.

Projects from the 1990s included Frank Lloyd Wright's Dana-Thomas House in Springfield, a Catsup bottle-shaped water tower in Collinsville, and the Black Metropolis Historic District in Chicago.

The most recent decade (2000-10) featured the purchase of the modern glass Farnsworth House in Plano, the restoration of Union Station in Springfield, and a citywide effort in Chicago to save its historic bungalows.


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