Daily dose: Local history, great news for Rockford area, UI called gay-friendly

Daily dose: Local history, great news for Rockford area, UI called gay-friendly

Local history

In 1912, work on the new switch being placed by the streetcar company at the corner of Main and Neil streets is progressing rapidly, and if all goes well, the cars will be using the newly installed apparatus by Monday. It will do away with the congestion caused by the turning of the trolley. On Monday, the cars from Church Street will slide around the curve, take on passengers and move along. There will be no tiresome waits, which sometimes lead to delays of as much as five minutes.

In 1962, proposals for extending toll-free service between Champaign-Urbana and 15 other Champaign County communities will be presented soon to the Illinois Commerce Commission. The proposal would allow for increases in the flat rate for monthly service and allow unlimited calls between Champaign-Urbana and the other communities, including Bondville, Ogden, Philo, Rantoul, Mahomet and St. Joseph. Information presented to the commerce commission shows that 513,800 calls per year are placed from 14 of the smaller communities to Champaign-Urbana and 475,000 a year from Champaign-Urbana to the smaller towns.

Some good news for Illinois

From the Chicago Tribune ...

Aerospace and energy firm Woodward Inc. will invest more than $200 million to build a new manufacturing plant and offices near Rockford, which it says will create 660 jobs over the next five years.

The plans are expected to be announced later this morning by company executives and Gov. Pat Quinn, who courted the expansion in Loves Park, which already is home to Woodward facilities. The state is providing a package of financial incentives with a potential worth of nearly $50 million.

A number of Illinois-based universities that produce engineering graduates also participated in the effort to keep the expansion in-state. The Fort Collins, Colo.-based company considered other possible sites, including in South Carolina and Wisconsin. 

The new campus will house Woodward's Aircraft Turbine Systems business, including about 300,000 square-feet of production and office space on 60 acres. The company plans to break ground this fall, with initial occupancy planned for late 2013.

"Our success in gaining new business created numerous investment opportunities," Woodward Chairman and CEO Thomas A. Gendron said in a prepared statement. The new business stemmed from projected growth in the airline industry and heightened demand for next-generation narrow body jets, the company has stated. 

Factors in its decision to expand in Illinois included the state's support, the proximity to its current campus in the area and the availability of aerospace engineering and manufacturing talent, Gendron said.

The 142-year-old company plans to double its work force in the Rockford area by 2021. Rockford had an unemployment rate of 11.5 percent in June, according to preliminary non-seasonally adjusted figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


UI among top LGBT-friendly schools

From Campus Pride ...

Campus Pride’s 2012 Top 25 LGBT-friendly Colleges and Universities include (in alphabetical order): Carleton College; Cornell University; Emory University; Indiana University; Ithaca College; Oberlin College; Portland State University; Stanford University; The Ohio State University; The Pennsylvania State University; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Riverside; University of California, Santa Barbara; University of Chicago; University of Illinois at Chicago; University of Maryland, College Park; University of Massachusetts, Amherst; University of Michigan; University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; University of Oregon; University of Pennsylvania; University of Utah; University of Vermont; and University of Washington.

“Praise and accolades are deserved for these ‘Top 25’ colleges and universities. Each has demonstrated in policy, program and practice inclusion and safety for LGBT and ally student populations,” said Campus Pride Executive Director Shane Windmeyer. “It is also important to recognize the 300 plus additional colleges that have ‘come out’ as LGBT-friendly on the Campus Pride Index, regardless of their star-rating. Every student deserves to feel safe on campus, and all of these colleges are committed to creating a more LGBT-friendly campus.”





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