05232018KS6261PEORIA – One of nation’s largest steel manufacturers has reached a deal to purchase a Peoria steel mill that has served the area since 1889.

The Dallas-based parent company of Keystone Steel and Wire, which is located on the south side of Peoria and employs nearly 1,000 people, announced this week that it will become part of Liberty Steel USA.

“The news today is great for the thousands of employees of Keystone Steel and the entire Peoria area,” State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) said. “We have always been and will continue to be immensely proud of our manufacturing traditions in Peoria as well as the thousands of workers that make it possible.”

Liberty Steel USA is owned by GFG Alliance, a UK-based company which has a presence in more than 30 countries. Its chairman, Sanjeev Gupta, said Keystone is a key piece to the company’s sustained success.

“The Keystone acquisition is a core part of GFG’s GREENSTEEL vision to become a leading U.S. producer of high quality, cleanly produced steel,” Gupta said. “As we look ahead to the future, GFG will benefit from Keystone’s century-long history, its robust operations, and its reputation for producing top quality steel.”

Koehler, who has a long track record of fighting for Keystone Steel and its workers, said he is excited at the Peoria plant’s prospects.

“GFG Alliance has a goal of becoming the nation’s leading steel producer, and a track record of reinvigorating local steel operations,” Koehler said. “The bottom line is this is good news for our area.”

The steel workers at KSW are represented by the Independent Steel Workers Alliance, an independent union based in Bartonville.

Category: Press Releases

ChildLibrary350SPRINGFIELD – Public libraries in Bartonville and Peoria are the recipients of mentoring grants from the Illinois secretary of state, State Senator Dave Koehler announced.

Recipients and grant amounts include:

  • Alpha Park Public Library District in Bartonville — $21,935
  • Peoria Public Library — $12,500

The grants were awarded through the 2019 Project Next Generation program, which is a mentoring program administered through Illinois public libraries. Mentors work with middle and high school students to help them develop skills needed to use technology and find success through project-based learning. Mentors also help with developing life skills, such as effective communication, goal setting and conflict resolution.

Peoria and Alpha Park are two of 31 public libraries in the state to receive the grants.

“There is never a down side to investing in mentoring and engaging at-risk youth to find their potential,” Koehler (D-Peoria) said. “I appreciate that the secretary of state understands the value of public libraries and continues to provide support for them and the work they do.”

In all, the secretary of state awarded more than $526,000 in Project Next Generation grants statewide. The money is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Grants are awarded to public libraries that serve culturally diverse, low-income and underserved populations.

“I am committed to improving the lives of at-risk youth in Illinois,” said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. “I established this innovative program when I first became secretary of state to give students an opportunity to receive hands-on experience with the latest technological tools at their local library.”

For more information, visit http://bit.ly/PNGgrants.

Category: Press Releases

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Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – Legislation protecting students with asthma by allowing their schools to keep backup inhalers on hand was signed into law today.

The measure, Senate bill 3015, allows school nurses or other personnel to administer asthma medication that is registered in the name of a school district, public school, charter school or nonpublic school to a person in respiratory distress. Similar laws already apply to life-saving EpiPens, which are applied to combat severe allergic reactions.

State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) said the legislation will help build on the progress the state has made thus far in combating asthma.

“We have to do more to help kids suffering with asthma in school,” Koehler said “This legislation will help so many young kids focus more on school and less on their next inevitable asthma attack.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health, approximately 8.4 percent of children in the United States and 13.6 percent of children in Illinois currently have asthma. Asthma is one of the leading causes of school absenteeism with an estimated 13.8 million school days missed due to asthma in the United States in 2014 alone.

Category: Press Releases

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