Decatur Tribune Online



AFL-CIO To Host Labor Day Parade And Picnic
    In a tradition of celebrating the achievements of working families and celebrating everyday people in Decatur, Illinois – Decatur Trades & Labor Assembly, a central labor council of the AFL-CIO, is hosting the annual Labor Day Parade at 10:00 AM on Sept. 3, 2018 in downtown Decatur.
    The parade will feature Grand Marshal, Harold Reynolds, retired union member, and labor unions from throughout the Macon County and surrounding areas.    
    The theme is “UNION YES”.
    Other events include a “Picnic in the Park” immediately following the parade which will be held in Fairview Park.  The event is free to sponsoring organizations and costs $20 for the general public.  The fee will purchase a wristband good for food, refreshments, entertainment and bounce houses.
    Working families strive to keep our community strong.  This will be demonstrated at 1:00 PM, as labor unions present $20,600 in grants from the We Are One Community fund.  This fund is a charitable giving fund for working families housed at The Community Foundation which gives 100% of all individual donations directly to local charity. 
    “As a celebration of working families the We Are One Community fund demonstrates just one more way that union members care about the community where they live, work and raise their families.  Not only do they give financially but through volunteering on community projects,” stated Bill Francisco, President of Decatur Trades & Labor Assembly.

Labor Day Events:

    10:00 AM:  Labor Day Parade in downtown Decatur (lineup at 8:30 AM on Franklin Street)
    11:30 AM: Labor Day Picnic (cost is $20 per person) at Fairview Park
    1:00 PM: We Are One Community $20,600 in grant distributions to local charities at Fairview Park. 

Working Families To Grant $20,600 To Local Charity on Labor Day 2018 Through We Are One Community Fund

    We Are One Community, the charitable giving fund of working families, will be distributing $20,600 in grants to local charity on Labor Day 2018 – a 24% increase from last year.  The presentation will be done at 1:00 PM under the large pavilion at Fairview Park in Decatur.
     Decatur Trades & Labor Assembly and Decatur Building & Construction Trades Council joined forces in 2011 to create the We Are One Community fund, which promotes collective giving and philanthropy among working families.  The donor-advised fund is housed at The Community Foundation and the advisory board promises that 100% of all individual donations go directly to local services.  In 2018, grants will be provided to twelve (12) local charities at the 6th annual picnic in Fairview Park following the annual Labor Day parade.  
    These charities include:
$3,500: Old Kings Orchard Community
$2,000:  Decatur Family YMCA
$2,000:  Good Samaritan Inn
$2,000:  Meals on Wheels
$1,500:  Big Brothers Big Sisters
$1,000:  Boy Scouts
$1,000:  Child First Center – Advocacy
$1,000:  Decatur Power Tumblers
$1,000:  Homework Hangout Pre-Apprentice Program
$1,000:  Northeast Community – Building Fund
$1,000:  Webster Cantrell Hall
$1,000:  CASA
     An additional $2,600 in designations will be mailed to the following agencies:  Boys & Girls Club ($520), Salvation Army ($500), DOVE ($500), American Cancer Society ($260), American Red Cross ($260), St. Mary’s Hospice ($260), Shriners Hospital ($100), Special Olympics ($100), and Macon County Animal Shelter ($100).
    In addition to community partnerships, the distribution of grants will kick off a new year of giving to the We Are One Community fund.  Local unions will be encouraged to host fundraising campaigns and promote payroll deduction with employers.  Donations collected in the 2018 calendar year will be granted on Labor Day 2019.
     To give donations to the charitable fund of working families, mail to:  We Are One Community, c/o The Community Foundation, 125 N. Water, Suite 200, Decatur, IL  62523.  Visit our website at or “LIKE” us on  For more information, contact We Are One Community Chair - Amy Rueff, 217-433-5126.

EPL Bio Analytical Services, LLC joins
the Tentamus global network of laboratories

      Berlin/Decatur (Aug. 13) -- The Tentamus Group today welcomes its newest family member: EPL Bio Analytical Services, (EPL BAS). Specialized in the group’s key competencies of agricultural science, the acquisition of EPL BAS further expands Tentamus’ global reach.

        Abgar Barseyten, CEO of Tentamus Group, says, “Our labs and offices throughout the world strive to deliver high-quality, regulatory, R&D and advisory services. Together with Symbiotic Research in New Jersey (USA), Renolab (Italy) we are truly a global market leader in agricultural science services with more than 200 highly-trained dedicated specialists.”
       Robin King, CEO of EPL BAS, added, “Our long-term cooperation and working relationship binds Tentamus and EPL BAS together. We are absolutely thrilled to be part of the Tentamus Group which will give us the chance to further develop and strengthen our ability to provide excellent testing services yet preserve a personalized service to our customers. Together with the existing expertise and knowledge within the Tentamus global network of laboratories, we are sure to meet all of the requirements of our customers and furthermore offer our staff a range of exciting career opportunities.”
      “Decatur’s global presence grows with the addition of Tentamus to the community.  Their industry experience, resources and connections will bring great value to the Decatur economy,” said Ryan McCrady, president of the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur – Macon County.  Home to a $9 billion crop business, bio-seed products market, and a leading producer of corn and soy, Illinois has become a juggernaut in the bioscience and technology industry.  With a rich heritage of agriculture and food sciences, Decatur and Macon County is a major contributor to this industry in the state.

About EPL Bio Analytical Services 

      Since the company’s inception in 1987, EPL BAS has focused exclusively on agricultural science, building a reputation in the industry for quality, compliance, and customer service. At the core of the company is an outstanding team of more than 30 experienced scientific professionals with a passion for excellence. They provide the exemplary contract analytical laboratory services that local, national, and international clientele have come to expect from this leading laboratory facility.  For further information please visit

About Tentamus Group 

     Tentamus Group was founded a decade ago. Tentamus is a global product and safety group with a core presence in Europe, UK, Israel, Greater China, Japan and the USA. Accredited and licensed Tentamus Group tests, audits and consults on all products involving the human body. Tentamus Group is represented in over 50 locations worldwide. More than 2,500 highly-trained staff members work in over 1.5 million square feet of laboratory and office spaces.
For further information  visit

The Howard G. Buffett Foundation Commits $30 Million 
to Build a Community Care Campus in Decatur to Improve Public Health

Decatur, IL (August 8, 2018) - The Howard G. Buffett Foundation today announced a $30 million commit- ment to construct a new 17-acre healthcare and social services “Community Care Campus” in downtown Deca- tur to address public health needs and treat the growing drug addiction epidemic in Macon County.

The campus will be home to four new facilities that will be owned by Crossing Healthcare. Situated on 17 acres of a 21-acre parcel of land between Central Avenue and Marietta Streets, the site is currently home to Crossing Healthcare and the future site of Northeast Community Fund. Three state-of-the-art facilities will be operated by Crossing Healthcare: a 31,000 square foot detox and residential rehabilitation building with 8 detox beds and 48 rehabilitation beds; an 18,000 square foot outpatient treatment center; and a 17,000 square foot transitional housing facility with 64 beds. Baby TALK will also relocate to and operate an 18,000 square foot building sup- porting their core mission of early childhood development.

“In the six years I have been involved with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, I have seen firsthand the enor- mous human toll caused by drug addiction,” said Howard G. Buffett, Chairman and CEO of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. “Drug addiction is devastating our communities and affecting people at every age and in- come level. Drugs are killing more of our neighbors than firearms and auto accidents combined. It is clear to me that it will take a significant investment of public and private resources to stop the trajectory of addiction rates and it will take a comprehensive approach to reverse current trends and heal communities. I hope the Commu- nity Care Campus can serve as a model for how we do that.”

The Community Care Campus will bring together a multidisciplinary, multi-agency approach to addiction treat- ment, and will be among the first of its kind in the United States. Unlike many other rehab facilities, the campus will go beyond offering detox support and will provide quality of life benefits and additional services to assist clients in regaining their independence while living in a sober environment. The campus will feature a dental clinic, cafeteria, classrooms, a computer training lab, transitional housing, an industrial kitchen, a three-quarter mile walking path, a garden and orchard, a park and outdoor pavilion, an indoor exercise facility and a movie theater.

“Sheriffs see the increasing impact of opioids and opioid-related crime in their communities, and because of a lack of treatment resources, sheriffs must deal with the problem of addiction and mental illness inside their jails,” said Chuck Wexler, Executive Director of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). “Sheriff Howard Buf- fett’s unprecedented commitment to create a 17-acre, state-of-the-art Community Care Campus to combat drug addiction in Macon County will meet an urgent need to get treatment to those who desperately need it. The type of comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach that Sheriff Buffett has taken will change the lives of countless people in his community, and Sheriff Buffett’s leadership will be a model for other communities looking for new and innovative ways to battle this national epidemic.”

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois saw an increase of 48.8% in all drug overdose deaths and a 76.2% increase in opioid deaths between 2013 and 2016. The Community Care Campus will signifi- cantly increase treatment options for Macon County residents suffering from all types of drug addictions, includ- ing opioids, regardless of their ability to pay.

“Making the decision to seek treatment for a substance use disorder is very difficult,” said Tanya Andricks, CEO of Crossing Healthcare. “When access to treatment is not available to someone seeking treatment, the oppor- tunity is often lost. We want to be sure that when people in our community are ready and willing to seek treat- ment for their addiction problem that we can give them the help they need.”

Currently, there is a statewide shortage of both detox and residential rehabilitation beds for those suffering from the effects of opioid and other drug addictions. Medicaid recipients seeking treatment can face a waiting list of many weeks. In Macon County, there are currently only 16 licensed residential rehabilitation beds as compared to the more than 90 beds in Sangamon County and the more than 30 beds in McClean County.

The partnership with Baby TALK will also support the needs of the broader Decatur community. “Currently, Baby TALK is spread out in Decatur at four location sites,” said Cindy Bardeleben, interim Executive Director of Baby TALK. “The new location will provide significant cost savings to include additional space for the Early Head Start program, child care center based care, home visiting offices and family literacy classrooms. By being housed at one location strategically located near Crossing Healthcare, Baby TALK can provide families with in- tensive immediate support to ensure that families struggling with substance abuse and in need of medical and mental health services receive wraparound support to begin to build healthy family relationships.”’

In addition to supplementing vital social services in Macon County, the project will also have a major economic impact. The construction phase will support approximately 200 jobs and have a total economic impact of $40.6 million. Once the campus is operational, the facilities will employ approximately 200 people and have an esti- mated annual economic impact of $13.7 million.

This project will be developed through a collaborative effort involving many individuals and with support from local law enforcement, the City of Decatur, and many area agencies. "This is another great opportunity for Deca- tur to work with Mr. Buffett,” said Julie Moore Wolfe, Mayor of the City of Decatur. “His support and willing- ness to help make Macon County a healthier community is deeply appreciated. It is my hope that the entire City Council will offer their support as well as we move forward with this project.”

Construction is projected to take 18 - 24 months and is being led by Romano Company. 

Next Land Of Lincoln Honor Flight Aug. 21  

    Land of Lincoln Honor Flight (LLHF), serving central and mid-southern Illinois, will take its next Honor Flight on Tuesday, August 21, 2018, departing from Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport. 
    On board LLHF Mission #51 to Washington, DC will be 1 World War II, 19 Korean War and 65 Vietnam War Era Veterans - all excited to visit and reflect with their comrades at their national memorials. These veterans represent all branches of military service: 9 Air Force, 49 Army, 8 Marine and 18 Navy and 1 Coast Guard.
    Eighty- five (53) Veterans and their Guardians will arrive at the airport Tuesday morning at 4:15 AM, having traveled from the 40 Illinois cities and communities of Bethalto, Brighton, Bulpitt, Champaign, Chatham, Chesterfield, Clinton, Coulterville, Danville, Decatur, Dwight, Effingham, Fairbury, Franklin, Girard, Godfrey, Greenfield, Havana, Hillview, Jacksonville, Kampsville, Kincaid, Lincoln, Macon, Mattoon, Mt. Zion, New Berlin, Normal, Oakwood, Onarga, Palmyra, Perry, Philo, Roodhouse, Shelbyville, Springfield, Taylorville, Tilden, White Hall and Winchester as well as Frohna, MO.
    The veterans will board three (3) luxury motor coaches upon arrival at Ronald Reagan National Airport in DC. Their most important stops will be at the World War II, Korean and Vietnam War memorials, as well as Arlington National Cemetery for the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Other stops include the Lincoln Memorial, the National Air & Space Museum (Chantilly, Virginia) and the US Air Force Memorial.  This day of honor is provided at absolutely no cost to our Veterans.  They have paid enough; it is our turn to pay them back.
    The return to Springfield airport is planned at 9:30 PM and the general public, along with friends and family, are encouraged to “pack the ‘port” to Welcome Home these heroes. Come early.  All are encouraged to wear red-white-blue patriotic colors, bring balloons, posters, etc. to show appreciation and support to these Veterans who served and sacrificed so much for our country. Words of thanks, handshakes, hugs and kisses are also allowed!
    Veteran applications continue to be accepted with flight priority given in the following order:  World War II (enlisted by 12/31/1946), then Korean War Era (01/01/1947 to 12/31/1957), followed by the Vietnam War Era (01/01/1958 to 05/07/1975). Any certified terminally ill Veteran should contact LLHF directly. Veteran or Guardian Applications may be obtained at by clicking on Applications tab.
    LLHF is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that receives no government funding. It is only able to honor the Veteran with a trip to DC due to the generous donations, sponsorships, fundraising events, merchandise sales and supporting efforts of the many local businesses, individuals and organizations within our service area. Please visit the web site to make a donation, consider holding a fundraiser, book a board member speaker or obtain more information on the Honor Flight mission. 
    Also consider following LLHF on Facebook page to stay current on upcoming events and future flights.

Decatur Ranked 1st in Nation for
Agricultural Bioscience Employment

by Nicole Bateman

Business Facilities Magazine’s 14th Annual Metro Rankings are in and the Decatur area received a first-place ranking in their Agricultural Bioscience Employment category. Their editors based their ranking on agricultural feedstock employment leaders from the 2018 BIO Report. The agricultural feedstock and industrial biosciences subsector applies life sciences knowledge, biochemistry and biotechnologies to the processing and production of agricultural goods as well as organic and agricultural chemicals. The subsector also includes activities around the production of biofuels and feedstocks for biobased polymers. Examples of such products include: corn and soybean oil, ethanol and biodiesel fuels, plastics and textiles synthesized from plant-based feedstock, and biobased ingredients for cosmetics, personal care products, flavors and fragrances.

“People are astounded when they learn about the array of products that are produced by Decatur, Illinois companies,” said Ryan McCrady, president of the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur-Macon County. “A first-place ranking highlighting our prominence in the agricultural bioscience sector recognizes Decatur’s strong workforce and grabs the attention of companies looking to expand their businesses into the Midwest.”

The Decatur Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had twice the number of people employed in the feedstock and biosciences subsector compared to second-place finisher Houston, Texas and three times that of the Chicago MSA. Decatur is home to global companies like ADM and Tate & Lyle, and a broad-based network of ancillary and supporting businesses.

“ADM’s operations in Decatur — and our people here — have been instrumental to our company’s success for generations,” said Chris Cuddy, ADM senior vice president and president of the company’s Carbohydrate Solutions business unit. “Today, while our company is doing business in more places around the world than ever before, Decatur remains home to more ADM colleagues than any other single location in our global network, and we will continue to work with community leaders to promote Decatur as a great place to live, work and do business.”

The Economic Development Corporation of Decatur & Macon County is a nonprofit public-private partnership responsible for non-retail business attraction, expansion and retention efforts in Decatur & Macon County. Composed of a combination of leading private sector employers, labor, educational institutions and a variety of governmental bodies, the EDC is uniquely positioned to address the needs of Macon County’s existing business and employer base along with prospective businesses looking to locate in and around the Decatur, Illinois area. The EDC works with local, state and federal partners to provide economic, technical and training assistance to businesses in the Macon County area.

Tourism In Macon County Contributing
To Local Economy
    The Illinois Office of Tourism announced both international and domestic travel expenditures reached $39.5 billion in 2017 which is a $1.1 billion boost to the state’s economy since 2016. Visitors to the state hit an all time high in 2017 with an additional 1.6 million travelers from 2016 contributing to an increase of visitor spending, tax revenue and local jobs.
    Macon County played a role in the state’s added economic domestic growth, with $150.07 million in travel expenditures – a 5.6% increase, and $2.89 million in local tax revenue – a 5.8% increase. More than 6,000 jobs were created across the state as a result of visitor spending, with 4.3% of them in Macon County.
    “Illinois is the perfect destination for anyone looking for a new experience – whether it’s an outdoor adventure, a scenic road trip, incredible nightlife, or a family-friendly activity – there truly is something for everybody,” said Cory Jobe, director of Illinois Tourism. 
    Macon County contributed through travel expenditures – $150.07 million (5.6% increase) and local tax revenue – $2.89 million (5.8% increase)
    “With visitor growth continuing its upward trend, Macon County locals will have a lot to look forward to as work continues developing the region, said Teri Hammel, executive director, Decatur Area CVB.
     “2017 was a great year for the tourism industry in Macon County” said Hammel. “It was a Farm Progress Show year which is always fills our hotels and restaurants, plus the area hosted numerous meetings, conventions, events, and sporting tournaments–all of which play a significant role in boosting the local economy.”
    Every $1 invested in Illinois tourism generates $9 in economic impact for the state.

Commerce Commission To Be Geographically
Balanced Under Manar Proposal

    Appointments to the Illinois Commerce Commission – the panel that approves electric rates and monitors railroad crossing safety – would be geographically balanced to ensure the interests of rural and downstate taxpayers are represented under a measure introduced today by State Senator Andy Manar.
    Senate Bill 3626 requires that at least two commissioners on the five-member panel live outside of Chicago and the collar counties. Of the remaining three members, one would be appointed from Chicago, one from the suburbs and one would be an at-large member who could live anywhere in the state.
    “The consumers I represent in the Senate work hard and want to know someone will represent their interests when the state approves electric rates or fails to address problems with rural cell phone coverage. The families in my district want to trust their teenagers will be safe driving home at night because someone on the ICC board understands the dangers of rural rail crossings where the corn is high,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat.
    “But right now, the 4.5 million Illinoisans who live outside of Chicago and the collar counties have no one representing their interests on this commission.”
    For the first time in a century, no downstate member sits on the Illinois Commerce Commission, the powerful five-member state panel that regulates utilities, approves utility rates, licenses trucking and towing companies and oversees railroad safety and crossing improvements.
    Since taking office in 2015, Gov. Bruce Rauner has appointed five members to the commission; none live outside of Cook and DuPage counties.
    In May, Manar, who is vice chairman of the Senate Executive Appointments Committee, was the only committee member to vote no on two of Rauner’s pending appointments to the commission: D. Ethan Kimbrel and Anastasia Palivos. Kimbrel’s recommendation was forwarded to the full Senate for approval, and Manar was the only senator to vote no. The appointment was approved 45-1. Palivos’ recommendation did not go to the full Senate for a vote in May.
    Senate Bill 3626 does not change the existing requirement that no more than three commissioners can be of the same political party at the time of appointment. Commission terms are five years.

ADM Expands Range Of Vanilla Capabilities

With Agreement To 
Acquire Rodelle

    Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) has announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Rodelle Inc., a premium originator, processor and supplier of vanilla products.
    Rodelle, founded in 1936 and based in Fort Collins, Colorado, originates, processes and sells premium vanilla products, including organic and traditional extracts, beans, alcohol-free flavor and paste. The company also sells non-vanilla products, including flavorings, extracts, spice blends and organic spices. Rodelle provides ingredient solutions to major food and beverage makers, as well as directly to consumers, with a premium retail brand that can be found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores in North America. 

City Of Decatur’s 2018 Citywide 
Cleanup Dates Set

    The City of Decatur, in partnership with Advanced Disposal, has set its 2018 citywide cleanup dates. Cleanup dates will be held on:
    Tuesday, June 19, from 2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
    Wednesday, Sept. 12, from 2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
    Thursday, Oct 11, from 2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
    All events will be held in the Decatur Civic Center parking lot.
    Residents will be allowed to dispose of large items for no charge. Items must be placed in roll off bins located within the parking lot.
    Items such as old furniture, mattresses and household items can be disposed of during this cleanup. Limited amounts of tires from residents will also be accepted. No electronics, appliances, paint or yard waste will be allowed.
    The City of Decatur’s citywide cleanups are part of the City’s initiative designed to reinvigorate and improve neighborhoods.
    Contact Richelle Irons at (217) 424-2864 or Raymond Lai, (217) 424-2335 for additional information.