Illinois News

30 Oct 2019

MasterCraft Boat Appoints Frederick Brightbill as CEO

Image: MasterCraft Boat Holdings

MasterCraft Boat Holdings announced that its Board of Directors has appointed current Board Chair, Frederick A. Brightbill, as Interim Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.Brightbill’s appointment follows Terry McNew’s decision to step down as President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of the Company to pursue an opportunity outside of the boating industry. Brightbill is expected to serve until the Company completes a search and appoints a new Chief Executive Officer.“On behalf of the Board and the entire organization…

15 Oct 2019

OP/ED: Farm Facts

AdobeStock / © Igor Strukov

USDA Study Underscores Value of Inland Waterways to U.S. Agriculture.On August 28, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Assistant Secretary of the Army (ASA) for Civil Works R.D. James toured Mel Price Locks and Dam in Alton, Illinois, and held a Town Hall Meeting to discuss the importance of the waterways,  agriculture and the U.S. economy. At the event, Secretary Perdue briefed agricultural and waterways stakeholders on a newly released study – Importance of Inland Waterways to U.S. Agriculture – from the U.S.

14 Oct 2019

Wrangling Big Data Into Actionable Intel

Photo by Randy Montoya

Social media, cameras, sensors and more generate huge amounts of data that can overwhelm analysts sifting through it all for meaningful, actionable information to provide decision-makers such as political leaders and field commanders responding to security threats.Sandia National Laboratories researchers are working to lessen that burden by developing the science to gather insights from data in nearly real time.“The amount of data produced by sensors and social media is booming — every day there’s about 2.5 quintillion (or 2.5 billion billion) bytes of data generated…

09 Oct 2019

Illinois Waterway Closures: Look for the Workaround

Starved Rock Lock, ACE Rock Island District (Credit: USACE)

A set of complicated lock-and-dam projects on the Illinois Waterway, from Chicago to the Mississippi, has yellow lights flashing throughout the Midwest freight industry. In effect, the entire Waterway will be shut down next summer as the Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island Division, starts some hefty replacement and maintenance projects, from LaGrange to Brandon Road locks and dams.Officials advise maritime, freight and agricultural businesses to look ahead now, to prepare a logistics scenario that will be ready by July 1, 2020.

17 Sep 2019

ARC to Christen 3 Vessels on Friday

Image: American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier

American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier (ARC) will christen the ARC Resolve, ARC Integrity and the ARC Independence, welcoming three of the most versatile and militarily-useful ships to the U.S.-flag commercial fleet, on Friday in the Port of Baltimore.ARC’s three, new vessels will be enrolled in the Maritime Security Program (MSP), the bedrock Congressional maritime readiness program, and the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA).Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby will deliver the keynote address at the ship naming ceremony.

30 Aug 2019

U.S. Agriculture Needs Waterways Upgrades

Image: USDA

U.S. farmers and agribusinesses, as well as the overall U.S. economy and balance of trade, depend upon and benefit from the inland waterways and its infrastructure, which provide the safest, lowest-cost and most environmentally sustainable and fuel-efficient way to move grain and other agricultural products.The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) have commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for releasing a significant new study…

29 Aug 2019

USDA Releases Powerful Inland Waterways Study

File Image: WCI

WCI/NGFA Urge NESP Infrastructure Project to Move Forward.The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) today commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for releasing a significant new study that quantifies the cost-savings and competitive advantages that would accrue from investing in long-delayed improvements to inland waterways locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois River system.The study, entitled, Importance of Inland Waterways to U.S.

28 Aug 2019

Creative Approach Keeps Commerce Flowing Amidst Historic Flooding

Aerial view of the Jerry F. Costello Lock & Dam on the Kaskaskia River. CREDIT: St. Louis Freightway

Operational changes keep Jerry F. Costello Lock and Dam open for 17 days longer than typical during high water events.While the record flooding in 2019 disrupted barge traffic throughout the inland waterways in the Midwest for extended periods this spring and summer, a little out-of-the-box thinking helped limit the number of days the Jerry F. Costello Lock and Dam was forced to close, keeping commerce flowing on the Kaskaskia River in Southern Illinois for several additional days during the persistent high water.The Kaskaskia River is a critical transportation link for several commodities…

19 Jul 2019

Coast Guard Responds to Tugboat Casualties

The salvage operation on the Illinois River is now complete. Image: USCG

The Coast Guard has transitioned from pollution response to the investigation phase of a major marine casualty that occurred July 5, 2019, involving three vessels that sank in the Illinois River near Hardin, Illinois.Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River received a report of three tugboats and a deck barge that were tied together and began taking on water at mile marker 20.7 on the Illinois River. Sector UMR responded to the scene to find all three vessels fully submerged.The vessels were identified as Chatty Sue Smith…

17 Jul 2019

St. Louis Regional Freightway: Prepare now for Lock Closures

File Image: St. Louis Regional Freightway

Lock Closures Starting on the Illinois Waterway This Summer May Result in  More Freight Flowing Through St. Louis Region.Businesses that move or handle commodities on the Illinois Waterway system are being encouraged to start making alternative plans due the scheduled closure of locks on that inland waterway system. With a two-week closure planned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers beginning as early as August 2019 and closures of 90 to 120 days expected in the summers of 2020 and 2023…

08 Jul 2019

USCG Responds to Three Tugboats Sinking

Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Alexandria Preston

The Coast Guard is responding to three vessels that sunk on the Illinois River near Hardin, Illinois, Sunday.Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River received a report Friday of three tugboats and a deck barge that were tied together and began taking on water at mile marker 21 on the Illinois River.The sinking tugboats are holding approximately 4,850 gallons of diesel and oil.Sector Upper Mississippi River dispatched personnel to work with the tugboat company…

03 Jul 2019

Maritime Simulation & Training: a partnership that pays off

Delgado Maritime & Industrial Training Center and Florida Marine Transport collaborate closely to ensure that all FMT wheelhouse personnel are ready for every eventuality ahead.

It is truly no accident that Delgado Maritime & Industrial Training Center and Florida Marine Transport collaborate so closely.Zero incidents, zero injuries and eliminating critical barge and equipment failures doesn’t just happen by osmosis. It’s a result of continual safety training that breeds operational awareness and confidence to anticipate a difficult situation on an inland waterway before it actually occurs.With a high school education, Capt. Shelden Detrafford started out making $25/day in the 1960s.

16 May 2019

INSIGHTS: Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Executive Director, America's Central Port

Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Executive Director, America's Central Port

Dennis Wilmsmeyer was appointed Executive Director at America’s Central Port on July 1, 2010, prior to which he served 11 years with the Port District, six as General Manager.With over 30 years of experience, Dennis brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table in the areas of transportation, planning, and economic development. His responsibilities include developing the Port’s 1,200-acre industrial park and business campus, redeveloping a former military logistics center…

02 May 2019

Kirby Posts 2019 Q1 Results

David Grzebinski, Kirby’s President and Chief Executive Officer

Kirby Corporation announced net earnings attributable to Kirby for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019 of $44.3 million, or $0.74 per share, compared with earnings of $32.5 million, or $0.54 per share, for the 2018 first quarter. Excluding certain one-time charges, 2018 first quarter net earnings attributable to Kirby were $37.9 million, or $0.63 per share. Consolidated revenues for the 2019 first quarter were $744.6 million compared with $741.7 million reported for the 2018 first quarter.David Grzebinski…

13 Mar 2019

President's Request Cuts Funding for USACE

Mike Toohey  (Photo: WCI)

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) reacted to the Trump Administration’s release of an outline of its top-line FY20 budget numbers yesterday. Today, the Corps of Engineers released its account and project-specific funding levels. For the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program, the FY20 budget proposes $4.827 billion, a 31% cut from the FY19 appropriated amount of $7.0 billion. Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) proposed funding in FY20 is $55.5 million, with a total of $111 million requested for the Lower Mon Project (Monongahela River, Pittsburgh), funding it to completion.

13 Mar 2019

Ports of Indiana: Big Successes, with Big Projects in the Wings

Vanta Coda, CEO at Indiana Ports

For Indiana’s state-established, but autonomous Ports of Indiana, 2018 was a record setting year, both for system-wide numbers and among the three individual Ports. These consist of Burns Harbor, on Lake Erie; Jeffersonville, on the Ohio, across from Louisville, KY; and Mount Vernon, also on the Ohio River, about 140 miles downriver from Jeffersonville.Not only were actual numbers robust, but Port officials reported “unprecedented tonnage increases” within the three-port system.

13 Mar 2019

Waterways Council Reacts to Budget Numbers

Donald J. Trump

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) reacted to the Trump Administration’s release of an outline of its top-line FY20 budget numbers yesterday. Today, the Corps of Engineers released its account and project-specific funding levels.For the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program, the FY20 budget proposes $4.827 billion, a 31% cut from the FY19 appropriated amount of $7.0 billion.Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) proposed funding in FY20 is $55.5 million, with a total of $111 million requested for the Lower Mon Project (Monongahela River, Pittsburgh), funding it to completion.

01 Mar 2019

USCG Slaps Illegal PV operator with Fine

Photo: U.S. Coast Guard

Representatives from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago announced that the owner of two recreational pleasure boats has been fined $80,000 for operating as an illegal passenger vessel business on Lake Michigan for at least the past two years.Robert Glick of Chicago, owner of the 35-foot boats Allora and Fun, was charged with violating three separate federal regulations for each boat while operating a business that involved transporting paying passengers.The fine represents…

28 Feb 2019

U.S. Army Corps Selects 10 Beneficial Use Pilot Projects

River Raisin Dredging, Monroe, Michigan

At the end of December, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) announced its selection of ten dredging projects that will form the core of a pilot program to advance the beneficial use of dredged material.The recent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ announcement culminated a program required by Congress, established within the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016, specifically Section 1122. Congress directed that the ten pilot projects selected were required to present environmental…

27 Feb 2019

OP/ED: Structuring Infrastructure

Michael J. Toohey is President and CEO of the Waterways Council, Inc.

The Inland Waterways View.At the start of any new year, we are often asked what our challenges will be or what we are going to do differently in the year ahead. However, in 2019, just like each year since Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) was founded in 2003, we intend to stay the course to advocate for full and efficient funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue its Civil Works mission to construct and maintain navigation projects on the inland waterways.The Corps’…

15 Feb 2019

WCI Honors Senator Duckworth

Photo: WCI

On February 12, 2019, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) received Waterways Council, Inc.'s (WCI) 18th Annual Leadership Service Award for her continual championing of ports and inland waterways. She was presented the award by Wade Beasley, Business Representative, Carpenters Local 174, Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters. WCI President & CEO Mike Toohey said, “Senator Duckworth is an American hero, and a stalwart advocate for the inland waterways in her state of Illinois, and throughout the United States.

12 Feb 2019

Sherwin-Williams' Schultz Honored

Photo: Sherwin-Williams

SSPC (The Society for Protective Coatings) named Mark Schultz, Government Marine Project Development Manager for Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings, winner of the 2018-2019 John D. Keane Award of Merit. The award recognizes Schultz’s 25 years of significant contributions to the development of the protective coatings industry and to SSPC.Schultz was recognized with the award February 11, 2019, at the SSPC Coatings+ Conference in Orlando, Florida.Schultz, an SSPC Protective…

03 Jan 2019

Norfolk Southern Invests in Automation

Pic: Kalmar Americas

American transportation company Norfolk Southern has signed a deal with Kalmar, part of Cargotec, for supply of four Kalmar SmartPower rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs) equipped with a suite of process automation solutions.According to a press release, the order was booked in Cargotec's 2018 Q4 order intake with delivery scheduled to be completed by the end of Q4 2019. Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 19,500 route miles in 23 states, serves every major container ports in the eastern United States and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Nov 2019 - Workboat Edition

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