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When Boeing and North Bay Produce expand their operations at MidAmerica Airport, they'll get a little help from St. Clair County to pay for it.

The County Board approved $3.65 million dollars in bonds to finance the expansions on Monday. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that both companies will repay the county through renewed lease agreements at the Mascoutah airport.

County Board Chairman Mark Kern told the paper that the companies expect to add a combined 60 jobs at the site.

The bonds are part of an upcoming $30 million bond sale, which will also fund more than $20 million in road projects and refinance bonds previously issued by the county.
Tuesday, 26 March 2013 03:39
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Washington, DC (AP) - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is asking energy drink companies to stop marketing their products to children.

The Democratic senator from Illinois sent a letter Monday to the CEOs of Red Bull, Rockstar and Monster asking for an explanation for the companies' sponsorship of sporting events that target children.

Durbin says the companies have often claimed they do not market their drinks to youngsters. But he says he is aware of multiple situations that contradict their claims.

Durbin cites several examples in his letter, including a high school football tournament and a motorcycle race for children as young as thirteen endorsed by Red Bull.

Durbin says his letter stems out of growing concerns during the past year about the potential health risks posed by energy drinks.
Tuesday, 26 March 2013 03:07
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Some south county drivers may face delays the rest of this week because of railroad work. St. Louis County Highway officials say Ringer Road will be closed between Royal Hills Drive and Viento in Oakdale beginning Tuesday morning at 7:00 a.m. It will remain closed through Friday, March 29.

The closure will allow crews from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad can make extensive repairs to the crossing.
Tuesday, 26 March 2013 02:53
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CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says any overhaul of Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension problem should have a funding guarantee.

He spoke yesterday just days after House lawmakers approved their third pension-related bill. The latest would reduce and delay cost-of-living increases in state employees' retirement pay.

Pensions have been Quinn's top issue for more than a year. He says lawmakers' work last week was a step in the right direction but there's further to go. Quinn says any reform package should address retirement age and pensionable salary.

Illinois has nearly $100 billion in unfunded pension debt because lawmakers skipped or shorted pension payments for years.

House lawmakers recently OK'd bills that would cap the salary on which benefits are based to the limit set for Social Security and delay the retirement age incrementally.
Tuesday, 26 March 2013 02:23
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