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Southwest Illinois News is a weekly news publication spotlighting attractions, events, entertainment, tourism, jobs and business developments in Southwestern Illinois
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MidAmerica Airport Postpones Open House
MASCOUTAH, IL (, November 14, 2018 - Due to the forecasted winter storm, MidAmerica St. Louis Airport is postponing the Open House originally set for November 15 and will instead host it Thursday, November 29 during the same timeframe, 1 - 5 p.m.

At that time, the public is invited to learn more about proposed improvements to the passenger terminal building and other airport facilities at an Open House.

The improvements are being considered as part of the process to update the existing Airport Master Plan and in the wake of significant growth in passenger traffic at MidAmerica Airport. In the past three years alone, total annual air passengers at BLV have increased from 65,000 in 2015 to over 244,000 in 2017, making BLV one of the fastest growing passenger airports in the United States. Allegiant now flies to a total of nine amazing destinations from MidAmerica, and future plans need to address how the facilities can handle continued growth, explore options to provide additional passenger amenities and identify ways to create new revenue opportunities.

Airport representatives will be available in the passenger terminal building's baggage claim area to provide details on plans for future improvements to the passenger terminal and other airport facilities. There will be no formal presentation, so people can stop by at any time during the Open House. Exhibit boards and handouts will be available at the event for all to review.

Participants in the Open House can provide comments in writing at the event and/or through the Airport Master Plan website. Free 1-Hour Parking is available for those who wish to attend the Open House and the terminal building is ADA compliant.

'Seed to Table' Concept Restaurant Opens in Godfrey
GODFREY, IL ( - The long-awaited new venture for partners Rex Hale and Kelsi Baker Walden is open at 7120 Montclaire Avenue in Godfrey, Illinois.

Hale describes the restaurant concept for Bakers & Hale as "seed to table," where all of the food is grown either onsite or is sourced from local producers. In fact, the hallmarks of the space are the small farm next to the patio and the substantial herb garden on the other side of the property. Both have been growing since late spring and been producing a bounty of fresh produce for recipe testing and soft launches. In the years to come, the farm will be expanded.

Anything not grown on site and all proteins are almost entirely sourced from a 50-mile radius (with the exception of the sea scallops, sockeye salmon and white fish from Michigan, all currently on the opening-day menu).

Some of the local farms Hale is working with include EarthDance Farms in Ferguson, Missouri; Rain Crow Ranch in Doniphan, Missouri; Double Star Farms in Benton, Illinois; Marcoot Jersey Creamery in Greenville, Illinois; Bohlen Family Farms in Perryville, Missouri; Such and Such Farms in Desoto, Missouri and The Mill at Janie's Farm in Ashkum, Illinois.

The fare is American comfort food with a twist. The menu features dishes familiar to many, but some of them have been simplified, to let the hyper-fresh ingredients shine, and some will be more complex, as a nod to the partners' fine dining roots. All of it will change frequently to follow the ever-changing seasonal harvest.

An inventive cocktail menu also features local produce prominently, whether it's in a carrot-juice based concoction with local honey and herbs, a peach-based creation with peaches from Calhoun County garnished with grilled peaches or a lighter drink of fresh cucumber juice and lime.

Bakers & Hale seats a whopping 255: 120 at the outside bar, 75 at the inside bar and 60 in the restaurant dining room and is open for dinner Monday through Saturday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Call 618 433 9748 for more information.

"From Illinois to the White House: Lincoln, Grant, Reagan, Obama" Exhibition
SPRINGFIELD, IL ( - The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum celebrated the state's 200th birthday with a major new exhibit about the four presidents who have called Illinois their home.

The exhibit, entitled "From Illinois to the White House: Lincoln, Grant, Reagan, Obama," explores their connections to the Prairie State, their political battles, the first ladies who helped them succeed and much more.

Visitors will see amazing documents and artifacts, including Ronald Reagan's yearbook from his high school days in Dixon, the table where Ulysses S. Grant's accepted Robert E. Lee's surrender during the Civil War, an original draft of Barack Obama's speech at the 50th anniversary of the Selma civil rights march, and the briefcase Abraham Lincoln used as president.

"From Illinois to the White House" runs through the end of 2018.

"Illinois helped shape these leaders, and they in turn helped shape Illinois and the entire country. As we celebrate the state's bicentennial, it seems appropriate to take a close look at their lives and legacies," ALPLM Executive Director Alan Lowe said.

"We're bringing together artifacts from more than a dozen institutions and private collectors for what will truly be a once-in-a-lifetime exhibit," Lowe added.

Items in the exhibit come from, among others, the U. S. Grant State Historic Site, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Barack Obama Presidential Library, National Portrait Gallery, Chicago History Museum and Wayne Whalen, chair emeritus of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation. The John Ullrich Foundation of Decatur has provided generous support.

The exhibit is housed in the ALPLM's Illinois Gallery, a space dedicated to rotating exhibits on state history. There will be no extra fee to see "From Illinois to the White House: Lincoln, Grant, Reagan, Obama." It is provided as part of regular admission to the Lincoln museum (212 N. 6th Street, Springfield).

For more information, visit

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