SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A new state report that Illinois coal once shunned for its high sulfur content is enjoying record demand overseas.
The Illinois Office of Coal Development said Wednesday that the report it had done by Energy Ventures Analysis Inc. showed that 13 million tons of Illinois coal was exported last year. That's a five-fold increase from the 2.5 million tons shipped out of the U.S. in 2010.
Officials attribute the increase to the state's wealth of coal, competitive pricing and Illinois' proximity to shipping routes including the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.
Total Illinois coal output rose 25 percent to 47.2 million tons in 2012, up from 37.8 million tons in 2011.
The Office of Coal Development is a division of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - SSM Health Care, one of the largest Catholic health care providers in the U.S., plans to purchase the Dean Health Systems group in Wisconsin.
The merger announced Tuesday is pending approval of Dean physician shareholders and regulators. SSM says the transaction could be complete by this summer. Terms were not disclosed.
St. Louis-based SSM is a non-profit organization with 18 hospitals and other health care operations in Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Oklahoma.
Dean Health Systems is a Madison, Wis.-based physician-owned organization with more than 60 clinics, plus eye care and pharmacy operations. It already partners with SSM for the Dean Health Plan insurance provider in Wisconsin.
Senator Claire McCaskill, business solutions company Intuit, and search giant Google are in St. Louis Friday, and they are all here to help area small businesses.
The Internet can be a great launching pad for businesses, but Google's Rebecca Ginsberg tells me it is vastly underutilized by business owners, "We (Google) did some research last year that while 97% of Internet users go online to look for local products and services, 64% of small businesses in Missouri still do not have a website.'
Attendees at the Get Your Business Online workshop on Friday will get a free website and hosting for one year. The event starts at 8:30 at the Third Degree Glass Factory on Delmar just north of Forest Park.
If you can't make the event, the same offer is available at MissouriGetOnline.com, or by clicking here.
WASHINGTON, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon says a new rail transfer facility in eastern Missouri has already helped local employers expand.
Nixon was in Washington, Mo., on Monday to help dedicate the $4.2 million rail transfer project.
Nixon says the project helped two local businesses expand their operations and create about 330 jobs. He was joined at the event by officials from those businesses - CG Power Systems and Canam Steel.
The state awarded $2 million in Community Development Block Grant funding to the city of Washington for the project, which is also using nearly $1 million in federal funds and $1.1 million from the city.
Washington is located in Franklin County, about 40 miles west of St. Louis.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Several southern Illinois counties are sampling the fruits of a land rush linked to a debated drilling practice, even as state lawmakers wrestle with how to regulate it.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars of fees have flowed in recent years into the coffers of Wayne and Hamilton counties from searches of title records, often by out-of-state people seeking prime parcels for exploration.
Locals believe the best is yet to come from the drilling technique commonly called "fracking."
Hydraulic fracturing uses high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack rock formations and release oil and natural gas.
Some environmentalists worry that could pollute. But Governor Pat Quinn and the industry believe it could create by some estimates some 40,000 jobs.
MELROSE PARK, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says the focus of his upcoming trip to Mexico is jobs and increasing trade and Illinois tourism.
The Chicago Democrat departs tomorrow for the three-day trip. He'll be the first Illinois governor to visit Mexico in 13 years.
His meetings will focus on water treatment and technology in Mexico for Illinois companies.
He'll also meet with Mexico's secretary of agriculture, mayors and state governors.
Quinn told reporters Tuesday that Illinois and Mexico have many ties and it's important to strengthen them.
The delegation will include representatives from Motorola Solutions, GSG Consultants and Elan Technologies.
Quinn says he's paying his own way for the trip through his campaign fund.
The St. Louis Business Journal reports that BJC HealthCare wants to demolish four buildings near Forest Park to add one million square feet of office space. The work is set to begin sometime in late-summer and should be complete by the middle of 2014. Employees will start to move in by 2017.
Local contractors have been awarded the contract to complete the work of the next ten years.
Officials at Antennas Direct say Charter Communications' refusal to air the ads is evidence of cable's growing concern over antennas.
At issue are 60 second spots that Antennas Direct of Ellisville sought to air in the St. Louis market.