State Briefs 11/05/09

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Anhydrous spill diverts traffic

PRINCEVILLE – Two trailers filled with anhydrous ammonia tipped onto their sides Thursday morning, causing traffic to be diverted for hours.

About 10:10 a.m., a pickup truck towing two trailers filled with the farming chemical attempted to turn north onto Duncan Road from Route 90, according to Capt. Dave Briggs of the Peoria County Sheriff’s Department. While turning, the trailers tipped sideways, causing a mist of the chemical to be released by a relief value on one tank.

No one was injured, and the amount of chemical released was so small, people were able to safely approach the scene, Briggs said. As a precaution, the Akron-Princeville Fire Department and a hazardous materials team from the Peoria Police Department were called to the scene.

Traffic was further snarled when one semi rear-ended another nearby on Illinois Route 91 as vehicles slowed while approaching the site of the original incident. No one was injured in that crash, either.

Peoria Journal Star

Railroad hall of fame board member says project tied to national economy

GALESBURG – A new member of the board of the National Railroad Hall of Fame is optimistic about the project, although he admits its fate is closely tied to a national economy mired in a downturn that has made fundraising difficult.

Owen Muelder was appointed to the NRRHOF’s board recently and said he understood frustrations with the pace of progress to raise money for the proposed $30 million project. The plan would create jobs and provide a major tourism development for downtown Galesburg.

Muelder said despite the challenges caused by the economic downturn and a shortage of public funds, the NRRHOF had been “encouraged” by the reception the project has received from private donors and the railroad industry. But many potential donors are waiting for the economy to pick up and lift the values of their investment portfolios before committing money to projects, Muelder said.

The NRRHOF raised $1.4 million from 700 local donors from its Community Founders Campaign in 2006, which helped get the project off the ground.

If the NRRHOF’s $30 million funding target is reached, the development would be between 32,000 and 40,000 square feet and would create an estimated 420 temporary jobs, according to research conducted by the NRRHOF, and 30 full- and part-time positions.

Galesburg Register-Mail

Caliber, Compass, Patriot to be discontinued in 2012

BELVIDERE – Fiat CEO and new Chrysler leader Sergio Marchionne’s leadership team spent seven hours Thursday detailing changes and improvements to Chrysler Group LLC and its vehicle lineup.

Among the announcements were that the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot, all built in Belvidere, will be discontinued in 2012.

For Belvidere and the 1,700 workers at Chrysler’s assembly plant there, it means at least three more years of production. Beyond that, however, the future isn’t so clear. In the short term, Chrysler plans to improve the interiors of the Dodge Caliber this year and make major modifications on the Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot.

In 2012, those models will be replaced by vehicles using Fiat architecture although the company would not specify if those new models will be built in Belvidere. The Dodge Caliber will eventually be replaced by a compact sedan, similar to the Dodge Neon.

Rockford Register Star