Allentown: Electronic billboard network coming

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By Scott Kraus | The Morning Call | July 21, 2012

Few would confuse Ed Pawlowski with Don Draper.

But Allentown’s mayor and the dashing lead character of AMC’s hit series “Mad Men” will soon be linked by a common business: advertising.

While Draper dreams up the ads, Pawlowski is just hoping to place them on any manner of city-owned stuff.

If all goes as planned, the city will soon begin squeezing revenue out of ads plastered on everything from public trash receptacles to digital billboards built on city property.

With a pensions-fueled financial cliff looming, Allentown launched an all-out search for cash this spring, capped by the announcement Tuesday that the city hopes to raise as much as $100 million by leasing out its water and sewer systems. Read More

Nippon Sharyo opens rail car plant in Illinois

Credit: Chicago Tribune

By Richard Wronski and Alejandra Cancino | Chicago Tribune | July 20, 2012

This tiny town west of DeKalb is nicknamed “the Hub” because it’s the center of a wheel with spokes made up of two interstates and two major U.S. railroads.

But it also became a hub of state, federal and international attention Thursday with the opening of Nippon Sharyo Manufacturing LLC’s $35 million passenger rail car plant.

For Illinois and Rochelle, the facility represents a multimillion-dollar investment — incentives to lure the Japanese manufacturer to build its first U.S. manufacturing plant amid the cornfields and create an anticipated 250 jobs.

For the Chicago area, the facility will produce a fleet of 160 “Highliner” rail cars for Metra Electric Line customers. The new cars will replace ones that date back decades, to the days of the old Illinois Central Railroad. Read More

Joan Fitzgerald appointed Interim Dean

Joan Fitzgerald

Professor Joan Fitzgerald has assumed the post of Interim Dean of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. Georges Van Den Abbeele, Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities announced the appointment. Joan will lead the continued development and expansion of the Policy School. She follows in the footsteps of Founding Dean Barry Bluestone who will continue to be part of the strategic planning team for the school as well as remain director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy.

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