The Midwest - Cities of the United States
Area: 57,914 square miles (2000; U.S.
Thirty-five miles west of Chicago, Aurora is the largest city in the Fox River Valley. Aurora developed as an independent city and still sees itself as such, but suburban sprawl has reached westwards from Chicago, and Aurora is now considered part of the broader "Chicagoland" area.
Aurora is located in northeastern Illinois, straddling both the east and west sides of the Fox River. The Fox River Valley runs fairly north-south around the river.
Originally, Aurora was home to a village of 500 Potawatomi Native Americans, who traded peacefully with white settlers in the area. In 1834, Joseph and Samuel McCarty came west from New York to look for a site to build a sawmill, and they found the Fox River.
Aurora has a mayor-council form of government. The mayor is elected at large every four years and is a full-time position.
Heavy industry helped build Aurora, with the Fox River being used for power to run saw and textile mills. As the Industrial Revolution progressed and the railroad came to town, Aurora became a manufacturer of railroad cars, including some of the first dining cars built in the United States.
Three school districts operate in the city of Aurora: West Aurora District #129, East Aurora District #131, and Indian Prairie District #204. Aurora is also home to the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, a public residential high school for grades 10-12.
Aurora is home to two hospitals: Provena Mercy Medical Center and Rush-Copley Medical Center. Provena, a 356-bed facility, has a family birthing center, an emergency medicine center, behavioral treatment, and orthopedic services.
Aurora is home to many historic buildings and residences. A self-guided walking tour of the architecture of the downtown area is available, with historic facts sent to your cell phone, at the Aurora Area Visitor and Convention Bureau.
In nearby St. Charles, Illinois, the Pheasant Run Resort & Spa is the area's largest conference facility.
Aurora Municipal Airport is for private and corporate aircraft, with 6,500 and 5,500 feet runways. Helicopter services are also supported.
The Beacon News is Aurora's daily newspaper, with a daily circulation of over 27,000. It is published by the Suburban Chicago Newspaper group of papers, owned by The Chicago Sun-Times.
Head Official: Mayor Richard M.
Chicago, the seat of Illinois's Cook County and the third largest city in the country, is the focus of a consolidated metropolitan statistical area that covers the primary metropolitan statistical areas of Gary, Indiana; Kankakee, Illinois; and Kenosha, Wisconsin. "Brawling" was the word Carl Sandburg applied to Chicago in his poem about the city.
Chicago extends westward on a plain along the southwest shore of Lake Michigan. The climate is continental, with frequently changing weather bringing temperatures that range from relatively warm in the summer to relatively cold in the winter.
The earliest known inhabitants of the area they called "Chicaugou" were Native Americans of the Illinois tribe. The meaning of the word "Chicaugou" is variously interpreted to mean great, powerful, or strong, depending on the dialect.
The Chicago city government is headed by a strong mayor and a nonpartisan, 50-member council; the mayor and council members are elected to four-year terms. Mayor Daley has indicated that creating a good climate for business is an essential goal of his administration.
Chicago's diversified economy is based on manufacturing, printing and publishing, finance and insurance, and food processing (the city is still considered the nation's "candy capital") as primary sectors. A substantial industrial base and a major inland port contribute to the city's position as a national transportation and distribution center.
With 613 elementary and high schools, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system is the largest public elementary and secondary educational system in Illinois. Several initiatives, such as the Chicago Reading Initiative and the Chicago Math and Science Initiative are programs that have been implemented district-wide to ensure students meet minimum achievement standards in basic subjects.
Chicago ranks among the country's leading centers for health care and referral as well as for medical training and research, generally due to the university hospitals, teaching centers, and medical facilities. Hospital facilities in Chicago have undergone major changes in the past 25 years, however.
Chicago is an ethnically diverse, architecturally important, and culturally rich city. It can be appreciated from the observation floor of the Sears Tower, at 110 stories the third-tallest manmade structure in the world.
Chicago, one of the most popular convention cities in the United States, is home to McCormick Place, the largest exhibition center in North America. Set on the edge of Lake Michigan, McCormick Place contains more than 2.2 million square feet of exhibit space.
The destination of the majority of air traffic into Chicago is O'Hare International Airport, located 17 miles northwest of downtown, where most major domestic and international commercial carriers schedule more than 880,000 flights annually. One of the busiest air facilities in the world, O'Hare accommodates more than 190,000 passengers who pass through the gates of the architecturally impressive terminal each day.
Chicago's major daily newspapers are the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times, both of which are distributed in morning and Sunday editions and maintain an Internet presence. A number of African American and ethnic newspapers circulate regularly.
Head Official: Mayor David P.
Peoria is the seat of Peoria County and the center of an urban complex consisting of Peoria Heights, West Peoria, Bartonville, Bellevue, East Peoria, Creve Coeur, and Pekin. The city is considered the oldest continuously inhabited American community west of the Allegheny Mountains.
Peoria is set in a level tableland surrounded by gently rolling terrain on the Illinois River. The continental climate produces changeable weather and a wide range of temperature extremes.
Native Americans lived in the area surrounding present-day Peoria for 12,000 years before the coming of Europeans. They took fish from the fresh waters of Peoria Lake and hunted for game in the surrounding valley.
The city of Peoria operates under a council-manager form of government. One council member is elected from each of five districts and five members are elected at large.
Located at the center of a fertile agricultural region, with corn and soybeans as principal crops, Peoria is an important livestock and grain exporting market. Farm production and livestock sales in the three-county area are among the highest in the nation.
The Peoria Public Schools District #150 is the fifth-largest public elementary and secondary school system in the state of Illinois. A seven-member, nonpartisan board of education appoints a superintendent by majority vote.
The Peoria metropolitan area is served by seven hospitals supplying nearly 2,600 beds. Among health care professionals affiliated with hospitals, clinics, and other facilities are 836 physicians, 190 dentists, and more than 2,000 nurses.
Visitors can get the best experience of the city during the months of May through October, when CityLink provides a two-hour historic trolley tour with narration provided by the Peoria Historical Society.
Peoria's principal meeting site is the Peoria Civic Center, located in the revitalized downtown district. It features a 12,145-seat arena, 63,668 square feet of exhibit space, and a theater with seating for 2,244 people.
The Greater Peoria Regional Airport schedules 30 daily flights on 6 airlines to 5 major hubs throughout the country. All parking at the airport is free.
The major newspaper in Peoria is the Journal Star, which is published every morning. Content and archives of past stories are available on the paper's website.
Head Official: Mayor Timothy J.
Springfield is the capital of Illinois and the seat of Sangamon County, which is included in the Springfield metropolitan area. The city is the commercial, health care, financial, and cultural center for a wide agricultural region.
Springfield is located south of the Sangamon River on level to gently sloping terrain in a fertile agricultural region in central Illinois. The city is 190 miles southwest of Chicago, 95 miles northeast of St.
At the time Illinois was admitted to the Union in 1818, the city of Springfield did not exist. In that same year Elisha Kelly of North Carolina, attracted to the fertile Sangamon River valley, built the first homestead at a location that is now the northwest corner of Springfield's Second and Jefferson streets.
Springfield operates under an aldermanic form of municipal government. The 10 aldermen and the mayor, who is the head official and a member of council, serve four-year terms.
Springfield's diversified economic base is balanced between the public and private sectors; government, services, and retail trade are the principal industries. A central location and a highly developed transportation and communications network contribute to the city's position as a center of business and professional activity, particularly health care and finance.
Springfield Public School District #186, the ninth-largest in the state of Illinois, is administered by a seven-member, nonpartisan board of education that appoints a superintendent. Almost 54 percent of the district's teachers have bach-elor's degrees, and 46 percent hold master's degrees or above.
Springfield is a primary health care center for the central Illinois region. Two major hospitals, a world-renowned heart surgery institute, a medical school, more than 40 clinics, and 30 nursing homes provide diagnostic, treatment, and care services.
Historic sites associated with Abraham Lincoln memorialize his presidency and his life in Springfield. The Old State Capitol Hall of Representatives, where Lincoln tried several hundred cases prior to the Civil War, has been reconstructed and completely furnished to re-create Lincoln's Illinois legislative years.
The Prairie Capital Convention Center, conveniently located in downtown Springfield, is the city's principal meeting and convention facility. It contains 66,000 square feet of space, and includes 44,000 square feet of column-free exhibit space.
The Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport is the major air transportation facility in the Springfield metropolitan area. The airport is served by the commercial carriers United and American, which make 23 daily commercial flights to and from airports in St.
The State Journal-Register is Springfield's major daily (morning) newspaper, and Illinois' oldest newspaper. The Illinois Times appears weekly and is available for free at hundreds of locations in the area.
Area: 36,417 square miles (2000; U.S.
The seat of Vanderburgh County, Evansville is the center of a metropolitan area that includes Warrick, Gibson, and Posey counties in Indiana and Henderson County in Kentucky. Well-positioned in the days of the steamboat, the city occupies a unique prospect on a U-bend of the Ohio River.
Evansville lies along the north bank of the Ohio River in a shallow valley at the southwestern tip of Indiana. Low hills surround flat, rolling land to the north, east, and west; the valley opens onto the river to the south.
The identity of the city of Evansville evolved from its location on the Ohio River at the spot where the river makes a dramatic U-bend. Evansville's founder was Colonel Hugh McGary, who purchased 200 acres from the federal government and built a cabin at the foot of present-day Main Street, where he started a ferry boat service.
The city of Evansville is governed by a mayor and nine-member common council, all of whom are elected to a four-year term. The mayor, who is not a member of the council, and appointive boards oversee all municipal operations; the council approves city appropriations.
Evansville is the industrial, agricultural, retail, and transportation center for the Tri-State region of Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. The city is situated in the heart of rich coal fields.
Education is taken seriously in the Evansville area, and the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation works to make sure the school system runs at or above state standards. On the State Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills and the Indiana Test of Educational Proficiencies, local students typically score above the national average in basic skills and above all Indiana urban school corporations on the proficiency tests.
The Evansville medical community provides health care for the metropolitan region with three general hospitals, diagnostic and rehabilitation clinics, and 16 nursing and convalescent homes. Mental health care is a primary specialty offered by several public and private facilities.
A visit to Evansville might begin at the Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse, a fine example of Beaux-Arts architecture. Completed in 1891, the courthouse exterior features statuary groups, bas-relief limestone carvings, and a giant clock housed in a bell tower; interior touches include marble floors, wainscoting, oak woodwork, brass handrails, and silverplated hardware.
The convention and tourism industry, which brings in millions of dollars annually, is an integral part of the Evansville economy. The Casino Aztar Executive Conference Center offers more than 11,000 square feet of meeting space, with many high-tech amenities.
The Evansville Regional Airport is served by major airlines American, Delta, and Northwest, providing nonstop service to international hubs like Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Memphis, Dallas, Cincinnati, and Atlanta.
Evansville's major daily newspaper is the Evansville Courier & Press. Evansville Living is a bi-monthly city magazine showcasing the people, businesses, and community of Evansville.
Because of its location at the confluence of three rivers and near the geographic center of the United States, Fort Wayne has from its earliest days been an important marketplace—first as a fur-trading post and now as the headquarters of major corporations. The outpost for "Mad" Anthony Wayne during the Indian struggles after the Revolutionary War and later the resting place of John Chapman, known also as Johnny Appleseed, the city figures prominently in the history of the settling of the western frontier.
Fort Wayne, located at the junction of the St. Mary's, St.
In ancient times, North American Indians hunted the mastodon and other wildlife in a hostile environment after the retreat of the glaciers in the area where Fort Wayne now stands. Later, the Moundbuilders constructed an advanced civilization before mysteriously dying out around the time of the European Middle Ages.
The head official of the city of Fort Wayne is a strong mayor who administers the government with a nine-member council. The mayor and council members—six elected by district and three elected at large—all serve four-year terms; the mayor is not a member of the council.
Health care, manufacturing, and insurance have traditionally been the primary industries in Fort Wayne. The city's hospitals form a regional medical center that serves the tri-state area.
Fort Wayne Community Schools is the second-largest district in the state of Indiana. The superintendent is selected by a seven-member, nonpartisan board of education.
As the largest single industry in Fort Wayne, the health care community serves a three-state region. Approximately half of the admissions to Allen County hospitals are from outside the county.
American history, exotic animals, and beautiful botanical gardens highlight sightseeing in Fort Wayne. Eleven museums and historical sites are within walking distance in the downtown area.
Fort Wayne offers meeting planners high-quality site choices. A major facility is the Grand Wayne Center, which is undergoing a $39 million renovation and expansion that is scheduled for completion in mid-2005.
Fort Wayne International Airport is the destination for most air traffic into Fort Wayne. It is one of only a handful of airports in the Midwest with a 12,000-foot runway.
The principal daily newspapers in Fort Wayne are the Journal-Gazette, published mornings and Sundays, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning News-Sentinel, published Monday through Saturday evenings. An African American community newspaper, Frost Illustrated, and the Macedonian Tribune, are also published in Fort Wayne.
The fourth-largest city in the state, Gary is also the largest U.S. city founded in the twentieth century.
The city of Gary is located at the southern tip of Lake Michigan approximately 28 miles southeast of Chicago in an area known as the Calumet region, which includes the northern portions of Lake and Porter counties. Toledo is 210 miles east, Indianapolis is 153 miles southeast, Detroit is 237 miles northeast, and St.
Prehistoric studies indicate that the swamps and sand dunes of the Calumet region presented hostile conditions which discouraged any permanent settlers. Migrant tribes of Miami, Ottawa, Wea, and Potawatomi hunted, fished, trapped, and sometimes farmed the area.
Gary's city government consists of a mayor and nine council members, six of whom are elected by district, the other three at large. Terms for all are four years.
Manufacturing, especially of steel, has been the heart of Gary and northwest Indiana. Although hard hit by decline of employment in the steel mills, part of that decline was due to automation, and the steel industry is still an integral part of Gary's economy.
Indiana's public school standards were retooled in 2000 after an education group criticized the state for not challenging its youth. The standards are applied in Gary by the Gary Community School Corporation, which offers two special education facilities: Norton Park Academy and Lincoln Achievement Center; one career center, Martin Luther King, Jr.
The major health care organization serving Gary is The Methodist Hospitals, Inc., with more than 700 beds total between its Gary facility (Northlake campus) and its Merrillville facility (Southlake campus); the organization also operates Midlake, an outpatient medical center. A full range of services is provided; special facilities include a Rehabilitation Institute, Center for Interventional Cardiology, Child and Adolescent Program, Women's Health Resource Center, Healthy Start prenatal program, and a sleep disorder center.
For those interested in architecture, there is plenty to see in Gary, including two Frank Lloyd Wright houses. The Genesis Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore runs for approximately 25 miles along southern Lake Michigan.
The strikingly designed Genesis Convention Center is the largest such facility in Northwest Indiana and can accommodate up to 7,000 people, with 11 separate meeting rooms for 40 to 400 participants. Besides being home to the Steelheads basketball team, Genesis Center is a multi-function venue for weddings, seminars, conferences and the like.
Located about 28 miles southeast of Chicago, Gary is accessible from Interstate 65 which runs north and south, and I-94/80, which runs east and west. The Indiana Toll Road I-90 connects to the Chicago Skyway to the west and the Ohio Turnpike to the east.
Published in Gary are the general daily paper the Post-Tribune and the community newspapers Gary American and Gary Crusader.
Indianapolis is the capital of Indiana and the seat of Marion County; the Indianapolis metropolitan statistical area includes Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Morgan, and Shelby counties. Decreed by proclamation in the nineteenth century as the state capital and carved out of the wilderness where only a settlers' camp had previously stood, Indianapolis redefined itself by the end of the twentieth century.
Situated on level or slightly rolling terrain in central Indiana east of the White River, Indianapolis has a temperate climate; because of even distribution of precipitation throughout the year, there are no pronounced wet or dry seasons. Summers are very warm, and the invasion of polar air from the north often produces frigid winter temperatures with low humidity.
The city of Indianapolis was established not by settlers but by proclamation when Indiana was granted statehood in 1816. The United States Congress set aside four sections of public land for the site of the capital of the Union's nineteenth state.
Indianapolis and Marion County operate as a consolidated governmental functions to form Unigov, with jurisdiction including all of Marion County except the town of Speed-way and the cities of Beech Grove, Lawrence, and South-port. The mayor, who serves a four-year term, holds executive powers; the 29 members of City-County Council are elected to four-year terms by district and at large.
Indianapolis is a primary industrial, commercial, and transportation center for the Midwest. Situated in proximity to the vast agricultural region known as the corn belt and to the industrialized cities of the upper Midwest and the East, Indianapolis is supported by a diversified economic base.
Indiana's public school standards were retooled in 2000 after an education group criticized the state for not challenging its youth. The standards are applied in Indianapolis by the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) system, the largest district in the state.
Indianapolis is a Midwestern health care hub and home to the state's only medical school. Indianapolis's four major health care systems are Community Health Network, with five hospitals and several outpatient facilities; Clarian Health, with three hospitals including the Riley Hospital for Children and the Indiana University Hospital; St.
Easily within driving distance for more than half of the country's population, Indianapolis has set out to make itself an attractive tourist destination by combining diverse cultural opportunities with first-class hotels and fine shopping and dining. Revitalization of the downtown core, where modernized nineteenth-century buildings stand adjacent to futuristic structures, has made Indianapolis an architecturally interesting city.
Indianapolis is gaining in prominence as a convention destination. The number of convention delegates is well over 1 million annually.
The Indianapolis International Airport is located 8 miles southwest of downtown and is accessible to the city via the Airport Expressway and I-70. Eighteen airlines schedule 280 daily departures to 38 non-stop destinations; more than 7 million passengers were served by the airport in 2003.
The major daily newspaper in Indianapolis is the morning The Indianapolis Star. The Indianapolis Business Journal, the Indianapolis Recorder, a newspaper with an African American focus, and several neighborhood and suburban newspapers are published weekly.
Head Official: Mayor Stephen J.
South Bend is the seat of St. Joseph County and the focus of a region known as "Michiana" that extends over six counties in Indiana and two counties in Michigan.
South Bend is located on the Saint Joseph River on mostly level to gently rolling terrain and some former marshlands. The proximity of Lake Michigan—the city is within twenty miles of the nearest shore—produces a moderating effect on South Bend's climate.
The first European explorer to reach the region surrounding present-day South Bend was Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, who in 1679 passed near the spot where today the University of Notre Dame's administration building is located. Two years later, La Salle met with Miami and Illinois chiefs under a tree named Council Oak in what was then the heart of the Miami nation; they signed a peace treaty that involved a pledge from the Miami and the Illinois to fight the Iroquois.
The city of South Bend operates under a mayor-council form of government. The mayor and nine council members are elected to four-year terms; the mayor is not a member of council.
South Bend's diversified economic base consists principally of educational and health services, wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, and government. In 2004 Expansion Management magazine ranked South Bend—for the first time—among the 40 hottest real estate markets for business.
The South Bend Community School Corporation is one of the largest school districts in the state. The district has a strong technology program with computers available to every student.
Hospitals in the South Bend area offer a total of more than 1,500 beds. The three major hospitals are Memorial Hospital, St.
South Bend is noted for the University of Notre Dame, for its industrial heritage, and for its municipal parks. A good place to begin a campus tour is at Notre Dame's Eck Visitors' Center, which has historical displays and a 20-minute movie about the university.
South Bend/Mishawaka offers excellent meeting facilities, totaling more than 300,000 square feet of combined meeting space, and the community has nearly 4,000 hotel rooms. The principal meeting site in South Bend is the Century Center, situated on an 11-acre downtown riverfront park with direct access to major hotels and five miles from South Bend Regional Airport.
Six commercial airlines schedule direct and connecting flights into South Bend at the South Bend Regional Airport from all major United States cities and points abroad. The airport, which is the second-busiest in Indiana, is the only one in the nation to have developed a multimodal transportation center offering air, intercity rail, and interstate bus service at one convenient location.
The major South Bend daily newspaper is the South Bend Tribune, which has a circulation of more than 63,000. Other South Bend publications include the weekly Tri-County News, and the monthly magazine Culture Wars, which explores issues from the point of view of the Catholic Church.
Head Official: Mayor Paul D.
Cedar Rapids preserves a small-town atmosphere in a metropolitan setting. The industrial and cultural center of eastern Iowa, the city has undergone growth and development as it gains prominence in high-technology industries and in export trade.
Cedar Rapids is situated on the Cedar River, which flows through the city, on rolling terrain in eastern Iowa. The surrounding area is laced with rivers and lakes and dotted with limestone bluffs.
The Sac and the Fox, Native American tribes, hunted and trapped along the Cedar River before the arrival of Osgood Shepherd, the area's first permanent settler of European descent. Shepherd lived in a cabin on the river's east side in 1838 at what is now the location of First Avenue and First Street.
Cedar Rapids is administered by a commission-mayor form of government. The City Council has executive, legislative and administrative authority.
The economy of Cedar Rapids has traditionally been based on the manufacture and processing of agricultural and food products, steel fabricating, tool and die making, and radios and electronics. Manufacturing, which continues to be an important economic sector, has been augmented by high-technology industries and transportation.
The Cedar Rapids Community School District is the second-largest of Iowa's 397 public school systems. The average composite ACT score for Iowa high school students is 22.0, ranking Iowa second in the nation; Cedar Rapids' average score is 23.5.
Two major medical centers serve Cedar Rapids: Mercy Medical Center and St. Luke's Hospital, both of which have been recognized to be among the 100 top orthopedic hospitals in the United States.
A trip to Cedar Rapids might include a visit to Brucemore Mansion and Gardens, which is a National Trust Historic Site. A 21-room Queen Anne-style mansion on a 26-acre estate, Brucemore is the ancestral home of three prominent families who used it as a center for culture and arts.
Cedar Rapids offers a variety of convention facilities depending on one's needs. The multipurpose Cedar Rapids Education and Conference Center, in downtown Cedar Rapids, houses different sized rooms with up-to-date multimedia equipment.
The Cedar Rapids Airport, just south of the center of the city off of I-380, handles an average of 80 commercial flights daily. It offers direct service to Minneapolis, Denver, Las Vegas, Dallas, Chicago, Detroit, St.
The major daily newspaper in Cedar Rapids is the Cedar Rapids Gazette, a locally owned morning paper. Also published in the city is Iowa Farmer Today, a weekly agricultural newspaper; Iowa Pork Today, an agricultural magazine published monthly; and Buildings, a monthly magazine about facilities construction and management.
Head Official: Mayor Charles W.
Davenport is the seat of Scott County and the largest of four cities in Iowa and Illinois that comprise the Quad Cities metropolitan area; the other three cities are Bettendorf, Iowa, Rock Island, Illinois, and Moline, Illinois. Because of its location on the Mississippi River, Davenport played an important role in western expansion during the nineteenth century; along with the other Quad Cities, Davenport continues to be a world leader in the production of farm equipment.
Davenport is set on a plain on the north bank of the Mississippi River, where the river forms the boundary between Iowa and Illinois. Davenport's section of the generally north-to-south-flowing river flows from east to west.
In the early 1800s the land now occupied by the city of Davenport was the site of bloody fighting between Native Americans and settlers from the eastern United States. This location was valuable in the westward expansion beyond the Mississippi River, serving as a trading center of the American Fur Company.
Davenport, the seat of Scott County, is administered by a council-mayor form of government. Ten aldermen—eight chosen by ward and elected at large—and the mayor serve two-year terms; the mayor appoints a city administrator.
The Davenport economic base is diversified, with a relatively equal distribution among the manufacturing, wholesale and retail, and services sectors. Manufacturing has traditionally been a principal industry in the city.
Public elementary and secondary schools in Davenport are part of the Davenport Community School District, which also serves the communities of Buffalo, Blue Grass, and Walcott. Iowa consistently ranks among the top states in the country for average ACT composite scores.
Davenport is a health care center for the Quad City metropolitan area. Genesis Medical Center is a 502-bed facility in two campuses; the West Central Park and East Rusholme Street facilities offer more than 450 physicians and 3,100 staff members.
The Village of East Davenport was founded in 1851 and prospered from the logging industry along the Mississippi River, playing a significant role in western migration. Today, the village is 60 square blocks of more than 500 preserved and redeveloped homes and businesses; small shops, new businesses, and one-family residential homes are combined in a variety of historical styles.
The RiverCenter, located in downtown Davenport and accessible to the airport and interstate highways, is a complex consisting of an exhibition hall, a theater, and a luxury hotel. The exhibition hall contains 13,500 square feet of multipurpose space to accommodate up to 1,800 participants in convention, trade show, banquet, and concert settings.
The Quad City International Airport, 15 minutes from downtown Davenport in Moline, Illinois, is served by 5 airlines offering 40 daily direct flights to and from Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Orlando, Memphis and Minneapolis-Saint Paul. Davenport Municipal Airport handles corporate aircraft and acts as a reliever airport for Quad City International Airport.
The Davenport daily newspaper is the morning Quad-City Times. Weekly newspapers are The Catholic Messenger and The Davenport Leader.
Des Moines is the capital of Iowa, the seat of Polk County, and the center of a metropolitan area consisting of West Des Moines, Urbandale, Ankeny, Johnston, Clive, Windsor Heights, Altoona, and Pleasant Hill. Des Moines is fixed in the national consciousness as the place where the Presidential race begins every four years.
Des Moines is situated on rolling terrain in south-central Iowa along the banks of the Des Moines River, the longest river in the state and an important tributary of the Mississippi River. Good drainage to the southwest produces fertile farmland, which is surrounded by coal fields.
The city of Des Moines originated with the building of Fort Des Moines in 1843, at the confluence of the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers, as a military garrison to protect the rights of Sak and Fox tribes. Debate surrounds the correct origin of the name of Iowa's largest city.
Des Moines operates under a mayor/council form of government. The seven-member council is comprised of six council persons and a manager, who are elected to staggered terms in non-partisan elections.
The Des Moines economy consists of a balance among the manufacturing, services, government, wholesale and retail trade, medical, insurance and financial services, printing, publishing, and agribusiness sectors. Manufacturing, while comprising a relatively small percentage of the city's total employment base, has a significant impact on the area economy.
The Des Moines Independent Community School District, the largest in the state, is governed by a seven-member board of directors who are elected at large to three-year staggered terms. The head administrator is the superintendent of schools.
Providing all levels of care in more than 50 specialty fields, the health care network in metropolitan Des Moines consists of 8 hospitals with more than 3,000 beds. A regional trauma center and a helicopter ambulance service are also based in Des Moines.
The starting point for a tour of Des Moines is the State Capitol, one of the nation's most beautiful public buildings and one of the largest of its kind. The 275-foot main dome is covered with 23-karat gold leaf and is flanked by four smaller domes.
Several meeting and convention facilities serve Des Moines. Opened in 1985, the Des Moines Convention Center offers the Polk County Convention Complex and the new Hy-Vee Hall, opened in 2004.
Des Moines International Airport, 10 minutes from downtown, is served by 12 commercial airlines with daily flights handling nearly two million passengers annually. The airport recently added direct flights to Washington, D.C.
The daily newspaper in Des Moines is the morning The Des Moines Register, many time Pulitzer Prizewinner. Des Moines Business Record, a weekly newspaper, covers local business news and banking and financial information.
Kansas City, Kansas, is part of a metropolitan complex that also includes Kansas City, Missouri. The seat of Wyandotte County, Kansas City is the center of a metropolitan statistical area that covers the counties of Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami, and Wyandotte in Kansas, plus seven Missouri counties.
Gently sloping terrain and forested hills surround Kansas City, which is located on the Kansas-Missouri border at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers. The area is laced with lakes, streams, and small rivers.
Kansa Native Americans were the first inhabitants to occupy land near both banks of the Kansas (Kaw) River at its confluence with the Missouri River, the site of Kansas City. The explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark camped on Kaw Point, the land between the two rivers and now part of Kansas City, in 1804 during their exploration of the Louisiana Purchase.
The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas serves as the local government for Kansas City, Kansas, while providing county services for the Cities of Bonner Springs and Edwardsville.
Wyandotte County, which once could claim the second largest meat packing industry in the world, has diversified into a transportation, medical, and manufacturing center. Principal industrial activity involves automobile manufacturing, food production and distribution, railroads, bakery products, and meat processing.
The Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools District is responsible for public education in Kansas City. It recently implemented a Great IDEAS award program to fund innovation in teaching.
With two major hospitals and a county health department, Kansas City is a regional leader in health care. The 418-bed University of Kansas Hospital is a teaching hospital for the University of Kansas Medical School.
The National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs was chartered by Congress in 1960 to honor the nation's farmers. Funded by private contributions, the 172-acre facility traces the history of agriculture in the United States with exhibits on rural life, customs, and material culture.
The Jack Reardon Convention Centre in downtown Kansas City is the site of conferences, meetings, banquets, and conventions. The facility contains 20,000 square feet of exhibit space with 12 meeting rooms and 60 booth spaces.
Kansas City International Airport is just 16 miles north of downtown in Kansas City, Missouri. Its 15 commercial airlines serve more than 10 million domestic and international travelers each year.
The Kansas City, Kansas daily newspaper is the Kansas City Kansan, published Tuesday through Saturday. Several neighborhood, ethnic, and suburban newspapers are distributed weekly and monthly, including Wyandotte West and the Kansas City Record.
Head Official: Carl R.
Growing up in the shadow of Kansas City, Overland Park has found myriad ways to distinguish itself as an affordable community populated by well-educated professionals. In 2003 Overland Park was ranked 3rd in Money magazine's "Hottest Towns" with more than 100,000 people in the central region.
Located in the sub-basin of the Missouri River, Overland Park exists in the transition area between rolling green hills and the eastern edge of the Great Plains. Ice Age glaciers scoured the land and left silt deposits that have contributed to the rich agricultural history of Kansas.
The Kansas of long ago was wide open—plains scoured by a series of Ice Age glaciers and wandering rivers had become vast, level expanses under a limitless sky. Prior to the 1700s the area was sparsely populated; gradually, a growing number of native tribes discovered the richness of the glacial silt soil and the abundance of bison.
Overland Park operates through the Mayor-Council-City Manager form of government, with the mayor and 12 council members forming the governing body for the municipality. The city is divided into six districts, each of which elects two council members who serve four-year terms with staggered elections.
Overland Park is famous for its high percentage of citizens with baccalaureate or advanced degrees, making education a growth industry for the area. Professional service professions, whether in Overland Park or nearby Kansas City, make up a significant portion of employment in the area.
In a 2001 report by Population Connection, Overland Park was chosen the number one "Kid Friendly City" in the nation, based on factors such as education, health, and public safety, which all impact overall achievement in the K-12 population. Overland Park is served by four public school districts: Blue Valley, Shawnee Mission, Spring Hill, and Olathe.
The Overland Park Regional Medical Center is licensed for 244 acute care beds, serving southern Johnson County and surrounding areas with emergency services, a diabetes center, a neonatal intensive care unit, a cardiac rehabilitation program, outpatient pharmacies, and a sleep disorder clinic.
Peace and tranquility are a bargain at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens located on 179th Street about a mile west of U.S. Highway 69.
The Overland Park Convention Center hosts trade shows, corporate meetings, conferences, and social events. The facility boasts 60,000 square feet of exhibit space, a 25,000 square foot ballroom, 15,000 square feet for meetings, and a 25,000 square foot outdoor courtyard.
Situated in almost the center of the United States, Kansas City International Airport is a busy transportation hub that serves approximately 10 million passengers every year. The airport was developed with an innovative "drive-to-gate" design that gets passengers to the departure area efficiently and quickly.
Since 1880, The Kansas City Star has been delivering the news to eastern Kansas, with coverage of local, regional, national, and world events. The Star publishes three editions daily, including one edition specific to Johnson County.
Head Official: Mayor William W.
Topeka is the seat of Shawnee County, the capital of Kansas, and center of a metropolitan statistical area that includes all of Shawnee County. Throughout its history, Topeka has been at the forefront of progress; created as a principal link in the westward expansion of the railroad and settled by New England antislavery supporters in the nineteenth century, the city was in the twentieth century a world leader in the treatment of mental illness.
Topeka lies on both banks of the Kansas River about 60 miles upriver from the point where the Kansas joins the Missouri River. Two tributaries of the Kansas River, Soldier and Shunganunga Creeks, flow through the city.
Two historic nineteenth-century movements combined to create the city of Topeka—one was the antislavery issue and the other was the westward expansion made possible by the railroad, which connected the East with the vast unsettled territory in the West. Before the Kansas frontier was opened by the federal government to settlement, the first people of European descent to live on the site of present-day Topeka were the French-Canadian Pappan brothers.
Topeka adopted a City Manager form of government in 2005. Council members from each of nine districts are elected to staggered four-year terms; the mayor is elected at large and sets the council's agenda (but does not vote).
Government and services comprise more than 50 percent of the metropolitan Topeka economy; total state, county, and city government employment accounts for almost one quarter of the work force, and more than 30 percent of area employees are on the service industry payroll. Nearly 15 percent of workers are employed in wholesale or retail trade.
Public elementary and secondary schools within the Topeka corporation limits are administered by Topeka Public Schools (TPS) United School District #501. The school superintendent is appointed by a nonpartisan, seven-member board of education.
The Topeka medical community has expanded with renovation and new construction at the city's major facilities, which include two general and five specialized hospitals. St.
Historic Ward-Meade Park overlooks the Kansas River valley from its position on a bluff. At the center of the park is the ancestral home of the Anthony Ward family, a Victorian mansion built in 1870.
The Kansas Expocentre, a multipurpose complex which houses an arena, concert hall, and a convention center accommodates meetings, conventions, trade shows, and entertainment events. The arena seats up to 10,000 people and contains 210,000 square feet of unobstructed space.
Commercial airlines fly into Forbes Field, 7 miles south of downtown Topeka. Daily commuter service is available from Kansas City International Airport, 75 miles from Topeka.
Topeka's major daily newspaper is The Topeka Capital-Journal. The city is also a center for magazine publishing.
Wichita, the largest city in Kansas and the seat of Sedgwick County, is the focus of a metropolitan statistical area that includes Butler and Sedgwick counties. The city's history reflects the major stages of western U.S.
Wichita is located on the Arkansas River in the Central Great Plains. The collision of moist air from the Gulf of Mexico with cold air from the Arctic produces a wide range of weather in the Wichita area.
The city of Wichita is named after the Wichita tribe, who settled on the site of the present-day city along the banks of the Arkansas River during the U.S. Civil War to avoid conflict with pro-Southern tribes in Oklahoma.
The city of Wichita operates under a council-manager form of government, with six council members and a mayor elected to four-year terms.
Wichita's principal industrial sector is manufacturing, which accounted for 21.6 percent of area employment in 2003. Aircraft has long since dominated the industry, and plays such an important role that it has the ability to influence the economic health of the entire region.
Unified School District #259, or Wichita Public Schools, is the state's largest elementary and secondary public education system. It is administered by a nonpartisan, seven-member board elected to four-year staggered terms.
Wichita is a regional center for medical treatment and referral as well as training and research, employing more than 28,000 health care professionals. The region supports 19 acute care and specialty hospitals with approximately 3,000 beds, as well as more than 50 nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Wichita has retained its frontier roots while developing a cosmopolitan ambiance. The Old Cowtown Museum capitalizes on Wichita's past as a stop on the Chisholm Trail with forty-four original, restored, or replica buildings and displays depicting life between 1865 and 1880, along with programs celebrating Wichita's cattle-driving beginnings.
The principal meeting and convention facility in Wichita is the Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center. With 19 meeting rooms and 3 performance halls, this complex offers 198,000 square feet of exhibit space.
Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, a 12-minute drive from downtown, is the destination for most air travelers to Wichita. Thirteen commercial carriers provide 47 daily flights from most cities throughout the United States.
Wichita's daily newspaper is the morning Wichita Eagle. The Wichita Business Journal is the city's weekly business newspaper.
The seat of Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor is part of a metropolitan statistical area that includes Detroit. Ann Arbor is the home of the University of Michigan, nationally recognized for a tradition of excellence in education.
Ann Arbor is located on the Huron River approximately 40 miles west of Detroit in the heart of southeastern Michigan. It is surrounded by rivers, lakes, forests, and farmland.
By some accounts, Virginians John and Ann Allen and New Yorkers Elisha and Ana Rumsey arrived in the southeastern Michigan Territory in 1824 at a place named Allen's Creek. The men built an arbor for the wild grapevines they found there and named their settlement Anns' Arbor in honor of their wives.
The City of Ann Arbor operates under a mayor-city manager form of government. Half of the ten council members are elected annually by ward (two per ward) to two-year terms.
The University of Michigan is Ann Arbor's largest employer, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the work force. The majority of remaining jobs are split between manufacturing, health care, automotive, information technology, and biomedical research fields.
The Ann Arbor School District serves the city of Ann Arbor and parts of 8 surrounding townships covering an area of 125 square miles. The district's two conventional high schools, Pioneer and Huron, are among the highest-rated in the state of Michigan.
A vital part of the metropolitan Ann Arbor health care community is the University of Michigan Medical Center, ranked in a 2004 U.S. News & World Report article as the nation's 11th best hospital.
A number of museums and buildings of architectural significance are located on the University of Michigan campus. The Rackham Building, which covers two city blocks, is made of Indiana limestone, with bronze window and door frames, a copper-sheathed roof, and Art Deco interior.
The major convention and meeting facilities in metropolitan Ann Arbor are situated on the University of Michigan campus. The ballroom of the Michigan Union, containing 6,000 square feet of space, can accommodate 30 exhibit booths and seat 420 people for a banquet and 600 people in a theater setting.
The destination of the air traveler to Ann Arbor is most likely Detroit Metropolitan Airport, which is only 15 minutes east of the city. Served by 14 major commercial airlines, Detroit Metropolitan serviced more than 32 million passengers in 2003, making it the 10th busiest terminal in North America and 17th busiest in the world.
The Ann Arbor News, which appears evenings Monday through Friday and on Saturday and Sunday mornings, is Ann Arbor's daily newspaper. The student newspaper is The Michigan Daily, published daily during the academic year.
Detroit is the seat of Michigan's Wayne County, the center of a consolidated metropolitan statistical area that includes Ann Arbor and Flint, and the center of a metropolitan area that includes Oakland County, third wealthiest in the country. One of the oldest settlements in the Midwest, Detroit played an instrumental role in the development of the Northwest Territory.
Detroit is set on the Detroit River; the metropolitan area includes the St. Clair River, Lake St.
In July 1701, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac and his party landed at a riverbank site chosen because the narrow strait there seemed strategically situated for protecting French fur trading interests in the Great Lakes. The river was called d'Etroit, a French word meaning "strait." Cadillac and his men built Fort Pontchartrain on the site, naming the fort after Comte de Pontchartrain, French King Louis XIV's minister of state; soon a palisaded riverfront village developed nearby.
The government of the city of Detroit is administered by a mayor and a nine-member council. The mayor, who is not a member of council, and councilpersons are elected to four-year terms.
Automobile manufacturing continues to be a primary force in the Detroit economy, and Detroit is the nation's only older city that is home to a state-of-the-art auto assembly plant. In recent years, however, dependence on the auto industry has decreased—the city lost 39 percent of its manufacturing jobs in the 1980s—while the services sector has increased.
Like many large urban school districts, the Detroit Public School District has struggled mightily to maintain a quality level of education in the face of such daunting problems as loss of population, budget shortfalls due to a dwindling local tax base and state-supplied resources, political infighting, and the enormous social implications of a largely impoverished city population. In 1999 the Michigan state legislature authorized the Detroit mayor's office to take control of the Detroit Public Schools after years of failed efforts at reform by the school board.
Detroit is the primary medical treatment and referral center for southeastern Michigan. Vital factors in the health care industry are the education, training, and research programs conducted by the city's institutions of higher learning.
Signs of Detroit's revitalization are particularly apparent in the downtown district. The People Mover, an elevated computerized rail transit system, features 13 stations with some of the most impressive publicly commissioned works of art in the country, all viewable from the train cars.
Detroit's principal meeting facilities are clustered in the Detroit Civic Center, which stands at the edge of the Detroit River on the approximate site where the city's founder landed in 1701. The Civic Center consists of five complexes: Cobo Conference/Exhibition Center, Cobo Arena, Joe Louis Arena, Hart Plaza, and the Veterans Memorial Building.
Served by 14 major commercial airlines, Detroit Metropolitan Airport serviced more than 32 million passengers in 2003, making it the 10th busiest terminal in North America and 17th busiest in the world. The major hub for Northwest Airlines, Metro has more than 100 national and 20 international nonstop flights daily.
The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press are the city's two major daily newspapers; they publish joint editions on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays. Hour Detroit is a glossy metropolitan lifestyle and interview magazine that aims "to feature Detroit in its finest hour." Real Detroit and Metro Times provide weekly entertainment schedules as well as reviews, humor, and commentary.
The seat of Kent County, Michigan, Grand Rapids is the center of a metropolitan statistical area that includes Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, and Allegan counties. The Grand River, on which the city is located, shaped the future of Grand Rapids first as a leader in the logging industry, then as one of the world's primary furniture manufacturing centers, and now as the office furniture capital.
Bisected by the Grand River, Michigan's longest river, Grand Rapids is located in the Grand river valley approximately 30 miles east of Lake Michigan. The region's climate is influenced by the lake, which tempers cold waves from the west and northwest during the winter and produces a regulating effect on both frost and vegetation during the growing season.
About 2,000 years ago, the Hopewell Indians planted roots at the rapids near the Grand River. Their presence is still seen in the preserved burial mounds southwest of the city.
Grand Rapids operates under a "weak mayor," commission-manager form of government, in which the seven council members—one of whom serves as mayor—are elected to four-year terms. The city manager, who runs the government, is appointed.
The furniture industry has been a mainstay of the Grand Rapids economy since the late 1800s. Today the metropolitan area is home to five of the world's leading office furniture companies: Steelcase, Herman Miller, Haworth, Knoll, and American Seating.
Grand Rapids Public School District is the largest in the area. The distict's goal is that by 2007 all students will be at or above grade level in reading, writing, and math, and that 80 percent of incoming ninth graders will graduate.
Spectrum Health is ranked as one of the top 100 hospitals in the country, especially in orthopedics and cardiac bypass surgery. The hospital also serves as the western Michigan regional center for cancer, diabetes, poisons, sleep disorders, and burn treatment.
The Gerald R. Ford Museum in Grand Rapids honors the 38th President of the United States; permanent exhibits, including a replica of the Oval Office, highlight the significant events of the Ford presidency, such as the Bicentennial celebration, President Nixon's resignation, and the Cambodian conflict.
Grand Rapids was one of the first cities in the country to build a convention center. The 1933 Art Deco-style Civic Auditorium, renamed Welsh Auditorium, was demolished in 2003 to make way for expansion around De Vos Hall, a performing arts venue, which reopened as part of De Vos Place in 2003.
Michigan's second-largest airport, Gerald R. Ford International Airport is located 30 minutes from downtown Grand Rapids.
The Grand Rapids Press is the city's daily newspaper, appearing in the evening. Other newspapers circulating in the community include The Grand Rapids Times, targeted to African American community interests, and Grand Rapids Business Journal.
Head Official: Mayor Robert B.
Kalamazoo, whose name has inspired songs and poems by Carl Sandburg, Glenn Miller, and others, is a small Midwestern town whose several colleges, symphony orchestra, and arts institute lend it a sophistication not usually found in a town its size. The seat of Kalamazoo County, Kalamazoo is an industrial and commercial center in a fertile farm area that produces fruit, celery, and peppermint.
Kalamazoo lies on the lower reaches of the Kalamazoo River at its confluence with Portage Creek, 35 miles east of Lake Michigan, 107 miles west of Ann Arbor, and 70 miles west of Lansing. The city also represents the halfway point between Chicago and Detroit.
Sometime before the early seventeenth century, the Potawatomi Indians moved from the east coast of the United States and established settlements in southern Michigan, where they fished and hunted for wild game. They called the river that flows through present-day Kalamazoo "Kikalamazoo," which means "boiling water" because of the hundreds of bubbling springs in it.
Kalamazoo, seat of Kalamazoo County, has a commission/manager form of government. The city commissioners are elected on an at-large basis during odd-numbered calendar years.
Kalamazoo is located close to the automobile manufacturing center of Detroit, Michigan, and the Kalamazoo area has automotive components companies and plastics firms that make automotive testing equipment and hydraulic systems. Eaton Corporation's North American truck component headquarters and Checker Motors are also based in the city.
The students in Kalamazoo's schools have access to the Education for Employment (EFE) program, which helps them in planning for their future careers, as well as the Education for the Arts (EFA) program, which enhances their art education with dance, literary arts, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts classes. The Kalamazoo Area Mathematics & Science Center offers accelerated programs in math, science, and technology to public and private high school students.
Kalamazoo is home to three major health care facilities. Borgess Medical Center, with 426 beds, has special units in coronary, cardiac surgery, intensive, and neuro-intensive care and offers a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic facilities.
Kalamazoo's Bronson Park is the centerpiece of the city's downtown and features sculptures, war monuments, and historical markers and hosts various festivals and cultural events. Maps for self-directed walking/driving tours of three historic districts throughout Kalamazoo are available from the Convention Bureau and at City Hall.
Among Kalamazoo's major conference facilities are Bernhard Center at Western Michigan University, which has 25 meeting rooms with a maximum capacity of 1,700 people in meeting-style and 1,250 in banquet-style rooms. The John E.
Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport is located on Portage Road in Kalamazoo, just south of Interstate 94. The airport serves about 500,000 passengers annually on American Eagle, ComAir, Continental Express, Northwest Airlines, and United Express.
Kalamazoo's daily paper is the Kalamazoo Gazette. Western Michigan University's The Western Herald student newspaper is published Monday-Thursday throughout the academic year.
Lansing is the capital of Michigan and the focus of a metropolitan statistical area that includes the city of East Lansing and Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties. Virtually a wilderness when the site was designated for the building of the state capital, Lansing was slow to develop until the arrival of the railroad.
Lansing is located on the Grand River at its junction with the Red Cedar. The area climate alternates between continental and semi-marine.
The original settlers of Lansing arrived at the junction of the Grand and Red Cedar rivers expecting to find New Settlement, a city that turned out to exist only on paper. Most of the pioneers were from the village of Lansing, New York, and some decided to settle the area, deciding to call it Lansing Township in honor of their former home.
Lansing city government is administered by an eight-member council and a mayor, who does not serve as a member of council; all are elected to a four-year term.
The state government is naturally the most significant employer within the city. Services, wholesale and retail trade, education, and manufacturing (primarily of transportation products) comprise the economic base of the Lansing metropolitan area.
The Lansing School District, one of the largest in the state of Michigan, is administered by an elected nine-member, non-partisan board of education that appoints a superintendent. Board members serve six-year terms and receive no salary for their positions.
Six hospitals, with a total of about 1,500 beds, serve metropolitan Lansing. Ingham Regional Medical Center (formerly the Michigan Capital Medical Center) is a general acute care, nonprofit hospital with 338 beds.
Completed in 1879, Lansing's Capitol was one of the first state edifices built to emulate the nation's Capitol, and this National Historic Landmark is the center of attraction in Lansing's downtown sector. Two blocks southwest of the Capitol is the Michigan Library and Historical Center, a modern facility with an outdoor courtyard.
Meeting and convention planners can choose among several facilities in the Lansing area. The Lansing Center is situated downtown on the Grand River and Riverwalk near the Capitol Complex.
Seven commercial airlines schedule regular daily flights into Capital City Airport, located 15 minutes from downtown Lansing. The airport has experienced increasing passenger numbers since 2003; in March 2005 more than 54,000 traveled on its airlines.
The major daily newspaper in Lansing is the morning Lansing State Journal. A number of trade publications originate in Lansing, aimed at farmers, florists, grocers, and small business owners.
Head Official: Mayor Herb W. Bergson, Jr.
The seat of St. Louis County in Minnesota, Duluth is the focus of a metropolitan statistical area comprising both St.
Duluth is located on a natural harbor at the western tip of Lake Superior and at the base of a range of hills overlooking the St. Louis River.
The western Lake Superior area was originally occupied by members of the Sioux and Chippewa tribes. One of the first explorers of European descent to arrive in the area now occupied by Duluth was Frenchman Pierre Esprit Radisson, who explored the region in the 1650s or 1660s.
The city of Duluth operates under a mayor-council form of government. The mayor and nine council members are elected to a four-year term.
Principal manufacturing firms in Duluth include heavy and light manufacturing plants, food processing plants, woolen mills, lumber and paper mills, cold storage plants, fisheries, grain elevators, and oil refineries. The city is also a regional center for banking, retailing, and medical care for northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, northern Michigan, and northwestern Ontario, Canada.
The Duluth School District (ISD #709) covers 337 square miles, including Duluth. It offers K-12 education, special services for students with handicaps and special needs, an Early Childhood Family Education program, Head Start, alternative schools, and community education.
Duluth is a regional health care center for the northern sections of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan and for northwestern Ontario, Canada. The St.
The St. Louis County Heritage and Arts Center is housed in the 1892 Union Depot, a renovated railroad depot with four levels of history and arts exhibits.
The Duluth Entertainment Convention Center is the principal site for conventions and a wide range of other functions. Attracting more than one million visitors each year, the complex houses 200,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space along with an 8,000-seat arena and a 2,400-seat auditorium.
The Duluth International Airport, located six miles from downtown, is the destination for most air traffic into the city. Domestic and international commercial carriers schedule daily flights into the passenger terminal.
Duluth's major daily newspaper is the morning Duluth News-Tribune. Several suburban newspapers and shopping guides circulate weekly.
Head Official: Mayor R. T.
The largest city in Minnesota, Minneapolis is the seat of Hennepin County and the sister city of Saint Paul, with which it forms the 15-county Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan statistical area. Strategically located on the navigable head of the Mississippi River, Minneapolis traces its history to the early exploration of the Northwest Territory.
Minneapolis is part of a 15-county metropolitan statistical area. (In addition to Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, Washington, Dakota, Scott, Carver, Wright, Sheburne, Chisago, and Isanti counties in Minnesota, and Pierce and St.
The area where Minneapolis is now located was farmed and hunted by the Sioux tribe before the arrival of Father Louis Hennepin, a French Franciscan missionary who explored the Mississippi River in 1680. Father Hennepin discovered the future site of Minneapolis at a waterfall on the navigable head of the Mississippi River; the falls, which he named after St.
Minneapolis, the seat of Hennepin County, is governed by a mayor and a 13-member council, all of whom are elected to four-year terms. The mayor, who is not a member of council, shares equally-distributed powers with council members.
Manufacturing is the primary industry in Minneapolis's diversified economic base. Principal manufacturing areas are electronics, milling, machinery, medical products, food processing, and graphic arts.
The Minneapolis Public Schools, the largest school district in Minnesota, provides students with a truly international education that will better prepare them for life in a global community. Students in the districts who are currently learning English also speak one of 90 other languages in their home.
A vital force in the Minneapolis medical community is the University of Minnesota Medical Center, where the first open heart surgery was performed in 1954. The hospital is also known as a leading organ transplant center.
Sightseeing in Minneapolis might begin with the Chain of Lakes—Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun, and Lake Harriet—just a few miles west of downtown; in all, 16 lakes are located within the city limits and more than 1,000 are in close proximity. Minnehaha Falls, the point at which Minnehaha Creek plunges into the Mississippi River, was made famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem The Song of Hiawatha.
The primary meeting and convention site in Minneapolis is the Minneapolis Convention Center, which opened in 1990 and underwent major renovations in 2002. More than 5,000 guest rooms are located downtown, nearly 3,000 of which are connected to the Minneapolis Convention Center via the skyway system.
Located southeast of downtown Minneapolis, the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport is in the midst of a three-phase, $860 million expansion in 2005. In 2004, Minneapolis-St.
The major daily newspaper in Minneapolis is the Star Tribune. Several neighborhood and suburban newspapers are distributed weekly in the city.
Head Official: Mayor Ardell F.
Rochester, the seat of Olmsted County, is known worldwide as the home of the famed Mayo Clinic. The city is the business and cultural hub for southeastern Minnesota, and its local health care facilities are among the finest in the world.
Rochester is located 76 miles southeast of Minneapolis/Saint Paul, 41 miles north of the Iowa border, and 36 miles west of the Wisconsin border. The Zumbro River flows through the city, which is set on rolling farmland.
Long before the coming of Europeans, members of the Chippewa and Sioux nations lived in the area of the Minnesota Territory. Rochester was founded in 1854 when a group of U.S.
Rochester has a strong council/weak mayor form of government with an executive city administrator. The city council is comprised of seven council persons, the mayor, and the city administrator, each of which serve a four-year term.
The health care industry dominates Rochester's economy, with more than 2 million people coming to the Mayo Clinic each year to seek treatment. The clinic admitted 127,300 patients in 2003.
Independent School District #535 covers 205 square miles and has the sixth-largest enrollment in the state. Rochester students consistently rank higher than average on standardized test scores.
The world famous Mayo Clinic is a one-stop shop for the diagnosis and treatment of just about any medical problem. The clinic admitted 127,300 patients in 2003, who were served by a staff of more than 40,000 physicians, scientists, and administrative and support staff.
Mayo Clinic, Rochester's most famous institution, offers general tours Monday through Friday. Self-guided tours of St.
Rochester's primary meeting place is the Mayo Civic Center, which houses the 11,000-square-foot Grand Lobby and the 25,000-square-foot Taylor Arena, accommodating 4,500 theater-style and 1,000 classroom style. The civic center's 15,700-square-foot auditorium can seat 1,700 theater-style and 600 classroom-style, while its theater can handle 1,340 theater-style and provides up to 17 breakout rooms.
U.S. Highway 14 and State Highway 30 run east and west through Rochester, while U.S.
The Post-Bulletin, Rochester's daily, is an evening newspaper. The Agri-News is a farm newspaper that appears weekly.
Saint Paul is the capital of Minnesota and the seat of Ramsey County. Along with Minneapolis, it occupies the center of the fifteen-county Twin Cities metropolitan statistical area.
Saint Paul occupies with Minneapolis the center of the 15-county Twin Cities metropolitan statistical area. (In addition to Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, Washington, Dakota, Scott, Carver, Wright, Sheburne, Chisago, and Isanti counties in Minnesota, and Pierce and St.
Jonathan Carver, a New Englander, was attempting to find a northwest passage to the Pacific Ocean in the winter of 1766 when he stopped near the future site of Saint Paul, where he discovered a Native American burial ground (now known as Indian Mound Park). When the Louisiana Purchase became part of United States territory in 1803, federally-financed expeditions explored the new territory, which included present-day Saint Paul.
Saint Paul, the seat of Ramsey County, operates under a mayor-council form of government, with strong power being delegated to the mayor, who serves for four years. The seven council members are elected by ward to two-year terms.
The principal economic sectors in Saint Paul are services, wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, and government. Along with Minneapolis, Saint Paul is the site of one of the largest concentrations of high-technology firms in the United States and ranks among the major commercial centers between Chicago and the West Coast.
Public schools in Saint Paul are administered by Independent School District 625, the second-largest school system in Minnesota. A superintendent is chosen by a seven-member, nonpartisan board of education.
Minneapolis-Saint Paul is a regional health care center. Six hospitals are based in Saint Paul.
Landmark architectural structures provide unique space for Saint Paul's arts institutions. The state Capitol was designed by Ice sculptures, parades, and winter sporting events are a few of the activities revolving around the Winter Carnival.
River Centre Convention and Entertainment facility, providing a total of 68,000 square feet of exhibit space and 15 meeting rooms, accommodates events such as seminars, banquets, and conventions. Saint Paul's skyway system connects the facility to more than 700 downtown hotel rooms.
The principal destination of most air travelers to Saint Paul is the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, 15 minutes from downtown Saint Paul. It is the hub of locally headquartered Northwest Airlines and is the ninth largest airport in America.
Saint Paul's major daily newspaper is the Saint Paul Pioneer Press. Other newspapers appearing daily in the Twin Cities area are the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Minnesota Daily, and Finance and Commerce.
Known as "College Town U.S.A.," Columbia is the seat of Boone County in central Missouri, about midway between Kansas City and St. Louis.
Columbia is located halfway between St. Louis to the east and Kansas City to the west, with the state capital, Jefferson City, about 25 miles directly south.
Before the coming of Europeans, Osage and Missouri tribes roamed the area of Columbia and Boone County. The "Missouri," meaning "people with dugout canoes," were originally from the Ohio River Valley, prehistoric evidence shows.
Columbia has a council-manager form of government, with a mayor and six council members elected by ward, who serve three-year terms. The mayor is also elected every three years as a council member at-large.
Columbia, whose thriving economy has always been based on the education, health care, and insurance industries, is known as a recession-resistant community. Columbia has 13 banks and saving and loans with assets totaling more than $1.6 billion.
The Columbia Public School District is the seventh largest in the state of Missouri. Local students rank in the 80th to 95th percentile on the Missouri Mastery and Achievement Tests for elementary schools.
Columbia's hospitals provide the best health care for Central Missourians, comparable to that of cities many times its size. Nine major hospitals serve the area, with specializations such as a children's hospital, a Ronald McDonald house (hospices for families of children undergoing long hospital stays), residential schools for the mentally handicapped, rehabilitation services, many full service nursing homes or assisted living facilities, and a large corps of visiting nurses.
Downtown Columbia itself is a stunning sight to see, where four massive columns stand in front of the stately Boone The University of Missouri-Columbia, founded in 1839, was the first public university west of the Mississippi River. County Courthouse.
There are 34 hotels and motels in and around Columbia with more than 3,500 rooms. The largest facilities for conventions and exhibitions are at Boone County Fairgrounds with 107,300 square feet, the Hearnes Center with 70,000 square feet, the Midway Expo Center with 66,000 square feet, and the Holiday Inn Executive Center with 20,000 feet.
Columbia is located on Interstate 70, which runs east and west, and U. S.
Columbia's two daily newspapers are the Columbia Daily Tribune, which appears every weekday evening and Saturday and Sunday evening, and the Columbia Missourian, which is the morning paper. The weekly Missourian Weekend is a general interest newspaper.
Jefferson City, the seat of Cole County, is named after the esteemed third president of the United States. It is a genteel, conservative city full of charming and refurbished old homes.
Jefferson City lies in the geographical center of Missouri, extending east, south, and westward from a bluff on the Missouri River. The city spreads inland across finger-like ridges and valleys paralleling the river.
Before the coming of white settlers, the region surrounding Jefferson City was home to an ancient group known as the Mound People. In fact, America's largest prehistoric city was located only 160 miles away at what is now Cahokia, Illinois.
Jefferson City is the capital of Missouri and the seat of Cole County. The city itself has a mayor-council form of government; there are ten councilmen, each of whom serves a two-year term and may be elected to serve a total of up to eight years.
The major business in Jefferson City is government, which provides more than 28,000 local jobs; nearly 17,000 of these jobs are for the Missouri state government. Much of the state government business is carried on in the city, home of the Missouri Legislature, Missouri Supreme Court, and many offices that house the different state departments.
Jefferson City School District elementary schools offer instruction in language arts, social studies, science, math, fine arts, and physical education. Two middle schools, identical in physical design, feature innovative curriculums for grades 6-8.
Capital Region Medical Center is a 100-bed facility affiliated with the University of Missouri Health Sciences System. The affiliation combines the strengths of an academic medical center with the strengths of a community-based hospital.
The State Capitol, which houses the Missouri State Museum, is the third state Capitol building, the first two having been destroyed by fires in 1837 and 1911. The stone building, built between 1913-1917, sits on a limestone bluff on the south bank of the Missouri River.
Jefferson City is located at the crossroads of U.S. Highways 54 and 63, which run north and south, and U.S.
The Jefferson City Post Tribune is published weekday afternoons; the Daily Capital News is published Tuesday through Saturday mornings, and the Sunday News Tribune is a combination of both publications.
Kansas City is a thriving cultural and economic center at the heart of the United States. The largest city in Missouri, Kansas City is the center of a bi-state Metropolitan Statistical Area composed of 15 counties: Platte, Clinton, Caldwell, Clay, Ray, Jackson, Lafayette, Cass, and Bates counties in Missouri and Leavenworth, Wyandotte, Johnson, Franklin, Miami, and Linn counties in Kansas.
Surrounded by gently rolling terrain, Kansas City is located near the geographical center of the United States. It is situated on the south bank of the Missouri River at the Missouri-Kansas state line.
The area along the Missouri River now occupied by Kansas City was originally territory within the domain of the Kansa (Kaw) Native Americans. The first persons of European descent to enter the region were Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who camped at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers in 1804 during their Louisiana Purchase expedition.
Kansas City operates under a council-manager form of government, with the mayor and 12 council members all elected to four-year terms. The city manager serves and advises the mayor and council.
Both the geographic and population centers of the United States lie within 250 miles of Kansas City, making the metropolitan area a natural hub for intermodal transportation, warehousing, manufacturing, and distribution. The Kansas City area economy is a diverse one.
Kansas City 33 School District is a major provider of public elementary and secondary education in Kansas City. It is also one of the most comprehensive magnet school systems in the country.
Among the primary health care facilities in Kansas City are more than 20 hospitals providing over 5,000 beds. The 508-bed Research Medical Center, founded in 1896, offers general and specialized care in such areas as arthritis, cardiac, and pulmonary rehabilitation, pain management, and speech and hearing disorders.
Kansas City is regarded as one of the most cosmopolitan cities of its size in the United States. Second only to Rome, Italy, in the number of its fountains (more than 200), Kansas City also has more miles of boulevards than Paris, France.
Kansas City is a popular convention destination, ranking among the top meeting centers in the nation. The Kansas City Convention and Entertainment Centers, site of most major functions in the city, consist of H.
Kansas City International Airport, 17 miles northwest of downtown, is served by 15 commercial carriers with daily direct and connecting flights from all major United States cities and from points abroad. In 2005 Kansas City International is currently undergoing a 10-year, $1.2 billion improvement program.
The major daily newspaper in Kansas City is the morning The Kansas City Star. Several community newspapers also circulate weekly and monthly, including Dos Mundos bilingual newspaper.
Head Official: Mayor Francis G.
St. Louis, the second largest city in Missouri, is the center of the metropolitan statistical area comprised of Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, St.
Located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, St. Louis is near the geographic center of the United States.
The first known attempted settlement near present-day St. Louis was the Jesuit Mission of St.
St. Louis functions with a mayor-council form of government; the mayor and 29 aldermen are elected to four-year terms.
St. Louis is the world headquarters of 19 Fortune 1000 companies, including Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., Emerson Electric, May Department Stores, Graybor Electric, and Monsanto Company.
Education in the St. Louis area was ranked fourth by Forbes magazine in its list of 'Best Places With the Best Education' in February 2003.
As one of the country's leading medical care centers, St. Louis is served by more than 50 hospitals, two of which—the Washington University Medical Center and the St.
The Gateway Arch, which rises 630 feet above the banks of the Mississippi River, is the starting point of a tour of St. Louis.
The major convention facility is the America's Center convention complex. The America's Center offers 502,000 square feet of contiguous, one-level exhibit space that can be broken down into six separate exhibition halls, including the 162,000-square-foot domed stadium/exhibit hall, the Edward Jones Dome.
One of the busiest airports in the country, Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, provides non-stop service to 81 cities and is the 23rd largest airport in the country.
The city's major daily newspaper is the morning St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Springfield is the seat of Missouri's Greene County and the center of a metropolitan statistical area that includes Christian and Greene counties. Called the Gateway to the Ozark Mountains, Springfield is part of a resort area whose primary attractions are the largest cave in North America, an outdoor exotic animal park, and Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, one of the most-visited tourist attraction in the state.
Surrounded by flat or gently rolling tableland, Springfield is set atop the crest of the Missouri Ozark Mountain plateau. The climate is characterized as a plateau climate, with a milder winter and a cooler summer than in the upland plain or prairie.
Pioneer Thomas Patterson attempted, in 1821, to make the first permanent settlement on the site of present-day Springfield; however, the Delaware people arrived the following year to claim the land as a federal Indian reservation. James Wilson was the lone settler to remain, and after the further relocation of the Delaware in 1830 he farmed land in the area.
The city of Springfield, which is also the seat of Greene County, is administered by a council-manager form of government. Eight council members are elected for a four-year term on a non-partisan basis, and a mayor is elected for a two-year term.
Principal industries in Springfield include agriculture and dairy farming; trade, transportation, and utilities; educational and health services; government; and manufacturing. The Springfield area is rich in natural resources such as stone, lime, zinc, barium, coal, marble, sand, gravel, and lead.
Public school education began in Springfield in 1867; today, Central High and Lincoln School are on the National Register of Historic Places. Public elementary and secondary schools in Springfield are part of the School District of Springfield R-XII, the third-largest public school system in Missouri.
Springfield's health care community serves the area with more than 1,000 medical doctors practicing in all fields of specialization. The city's major hospitals are St.
One of Springfield's major sightseeing attractions is Wilson's Creek National Civil War Battlefield, the site of the first battle between Union and Confederate armies in Missouri and west of the Mississippi. An automobile tour of nearly five miles encompasses all the major points with historic markers and exhibits.
Several meeting sites in Springfield cater to a full range of meeting needs, from small parties to merchandise shows. A new expo center at Jordan Valley Park and improvements to an existing trade center were completed in September 2003, and include 40,000 square feet of exhibition space and 13,000 square feet of pre-function space.
Several commercial airlines schedule regular daily flights into Springfield-Branson Regional Airport. Principal highway routes into Springfield are I-44, U.S.
Springfield's daily newspaper is The News-Leader, which appears in daily and Sunday morning editions. The Springfield Business Journal is a weekly publication.
Area: 77,353 square miles (2000; U.S.
Head Official: Mayor Coleen J.
Lincoln is the capital of Nebraska and the seat of Lancaster County. Lincoln and Lancaster County form a metropolitan statistical area, which serves as a commercial, educational, and government center for a grain and livestock producing region.
Set near the center of Lancaster County in southeastern Nebraska, Lincoln is surrounded by gently rolling prairie. The western edge of the city lies in the valley of Salt Creek, which flows northeastward to the lower Platte River.
As early as 1853, salt companies were sending men to study the possibility of salt manufacture in the salt flats northwest of the present city of Lincoln. Actual processing by any salt company did not start until the early 1860s, but it was never commercially successful, and efforts to manufacture salt were abandoned around 1887.
The city of Lincoln is governed by a mayor and seven-member council, all of whom are elected to four-year terms on a nonpartisan ballot.
In May 2005, Forbes chose Lincoln as the seventh "Best Smaller Metro" area for business and careers with a third place ranking for income growth. Located in a grain and livestock producing region, Lincoln has since its founding been a communications, distribution, and wholesaling hub.
The Lincoln Public Schools system is the second largest district in the state of Nebraska. A seven-member, non-partisan board of education selects a superintendent.
In 2001 Lincoln was declared a "Well City USA" by the Wellness Councils of America along with receiving an "A" for air quality from the American Lung Association in 2004. BryanLGH Medical Center, with 583 beds, specializes in cardiac and pulmonary care and rheumatology, oncology, dialysis, and ophthalmology services and operates the BryanLGH College of Health Sciences.
The Nebraska State Capitol Building was designed to reflect the spirit of the state of Nebraska; its large square base represents the Plains and its 400-foot tower is meant to convey the dreams of the pioneers. Described as the nation's first state Capitol to be designed to depict the state's cultural heritage and development, the building features an interior enhanced with mosaics, paintings, and murals portraying the history of Nebraska.
Meeting and convention planners may choose from several major facilities that accommodate a full range of group functions. Pershing Center, located downtown on Centennial Mall, houses an arena with more than 28,000 square feet of exhibit space and a capacity for 200 booths.
Lincoln Municipal Airport is served by three commercial air carriers with regularly scheduled daily direct and connecting flights from major United States cities as well as points throughout the world. Commuter service is also provided from cities in central and western Nebraska.
Lincoln's daily newspaper is the Lincoln Journal Star. Several neighborhood newspapers and shopping guides are distributed weekly.
Omaha, the seat of Douglas County, is the focus of a metropolitan statistical area that includes Douglas, Sarpy, Cass, and Washington counties in Nebraska and Pottawattamie County in Iowa. The city's development as a railroad center was augmented by the Union Stockyards and the meat-packing industry.
Omaha is located on the bank of the Missouri River and is surrounded by rolling hills. The area's continental climate, which produces warm summers and cold, dry winters, is influenced by its position between two zones: the humid east and the dry west.
The first people to live in the area surrounding present-day Omaha were the Otoe, Missouri, and Omaha tribes, who roamed and hunted along the Missouri River, which divides Iowa and Nebraska. The Mahas, a Nebraska plains tribe, lived where Omaha now stands.
The city of Omaha operates under a mayor-council form of government. The mayor, who does not serve on the council, and seven council members are all elected to four-year terms.
There are more than 20,400 businesses located in the metropolitan statistical area, with total employment approaching 375,000. The city is home to five Fortune 500 companies: ConAgra, Peter Kiewit Sons, Berkshire Hathaway, Union Pacific, and Mutual of Omaha.
Omaha Public Schools is the largest elementary and secondary public education system in Nebraska. A nonpartisan, twelve-member board of education appoints a superintendent.
The health care industry, which consists of nine hospitals, several clinics, and a number of other medical facilities, is one of Omaha's largest employers. The city is a center for medical education and research, with medical schools at Creighton University and the University of Nebraska Medical Center, a dental school, and a number of schools of nursing.
Omaha received national attention when the Hollywood movie Boys Town, starring Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney, was released in 1938. Today Tracy's Academy Award Oscar is on display in the Hall of History Museum on the Boys Town campus.
Centrally located downtown, within easy access of sightseeing, entertainment, shopping, dining, and lodging, the Omaha Civic Auditorium is a popular site for regional events as well as national conventions, trade shows, and meetings and has 122,000 square feet of floor space. The main exhibition hall, with more than 67,800 square feet of space, accommodates up to 300 booths and can be partitioned into separate meeting rooms.
The terminal at Eppley Airfield, four miles northeast of downtown Omaha, is served by nine national air carriers and three regional airlines with direct flights to most major United States cities and connecting flights to points throughout the world. Located on 2,650 square feet of land, it served nearly four million passengers in 2004.
Omaha's daily newspaper is The Omaha World-Herald, published daily in the morning and evening and on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Several special-interest newspapers and magazines are also published in Omaha.
Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota, seat of Burleigh County, and part of the metropolitan statistical area that also includes Mandan, is known as the hub city for the Lewis and Clark Trail. Since the time that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark explored the region's rolling plains in 1804-05, the Bismarck region has remained a center for outdoor adventures, from hiking and canoeing to mountain biking and boating, offering some of the finest fishing and hunting opportunities in the country.
Bismarck is located on the east bank of the Missouri River in south-central North Dakota. It is situated on butte-like hills overlooking the river, and lies within one of the country's leading wheat-producing areas.
Long before white settlement of the Northern Plains began, a natural ford on the site of present-day Bismarck was known to Plains Indian tribes as one of the narrowest and least dangerous crossings on the Missouri River. Stone tools and weapons found in the vicinity indicate that the area was used thousands of years ago by prehistoric big-game hunting tribes.
The city of Bismarck operates under the commission form of government. Four commissioners and a president (who also serves as mayor) are elected at large to four-year terms.
Bismarck has a strong, diversified economy that has been continually expanding since the 1980s. As the capital city of North Dakota, it serves as a major hub for government, business and finance; it is also a major distribution center for the agricultural industry.
The Bismarck Public School system is the second-largest school district in the state. The drop-out rate in 2002-2003 was only 1.5 percent.
St. Alexius Medical Center was opened in 1885 by a group of Benedictine Sisters and was the first hospital in Dakota Territory.
Visitors to the grounds of the North Dakota State Capitol, also known as the "Skyscraper on the Prairie," can tour the building and also enjoy the arboretum trail that winds among various state buildings, and features 75 species of trees, shrubs, and blooming flowers. Also on site is a statue of Sacajawea, the Indian woman who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition through Bismarck.
The Bismarck Civic Center features 16 meeting rooms, 84,000 square feet of exhibit space and arena seating for 10,000 in two separate but connected buildings. The Pavilion at Prairie Knights Casino and Resort seats 2,000 and offers 34,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space.
The Bismarck Airport has daily commercial service via Northwest, United Express, Big Sky, and Allegiant airlines to Minneapolis, Denver, and Las Vegas. The airport is served by three major national auto rental chains.
The Bismarck Tribune, North Dakota's oldest newspaper still publishing, appears every morning. Other newspapers published in Bismarck are the biweekly Farm and Ranch Guide, and the monthly Dakota Catholic Action.
Fargo is the largest city in North Dakota and the seat of Cass County. It is the focus of a metropolitan statistical area that extends over Cass County, North Dakota, and Clay County, Minnesota, where Fargo's sister city, Moorhead, is located.
Flat and open terrain surrounds Fargo, which is situated on the eastern boundary of North Dakota opposite Moorhead, Minnesota, in the Red River Valley of the North. The Red River, part of the Hudson Bay drainage area, flows north between the two cities.
The city of Fargo was founded by the Northern Pacific Railway in 1871 in expectation of the railroad track to be built across the Red River of the North. This particular location was selected as a safeguard against flooding because it represented the highest point on the river.
Fargo, the seat of Cass County, is governed by a city commission comprised of five at-large members, one of whom serves as mayor. Commissioners are elected to a four-year term.
The Fargo economy is based on education, the medical industry, agricultural equipment manufacturing, retailing, and services. The city is a retail magnet for the entire Upper Plains; its per capita retail spending is usually among the nation's highest because so many people from the region go to Fargo to do their shopping.
Public elementary and secondary schools in Fargo are part of Fargo Public School District #1. A superintendent is appointed by a nine-member, nonpartisan school board.
Fargo is the primary health care center for the region between Minnesota and the West Coast. The major health system is MeritCare Health System, which is the largest group practice and largest hospital in the state.
A visit to Fargo might begin with a stop at the Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau's Visitors Center, where the Walk of Fame has been providing a little bit of Hollywood in the Midwest since 1989 with hand prints or footprints of more than 80 musicians, athletes, movie stars and dignitaries, including Neil Diamond, Bob Costas, Garth Brooks, President George W. Bush, and the Eagles.
Fargo's main convention/multipurpose facility, the $48 million FARGODOME, opened in 1992. It is the largest multi-purpose facility of its kind between Minneapolis and Spokane.
Hector International Airport is situated 10 minutes northwest of downtown Fargo. United Express and Northwest Airlines offer daily flights to Minneapolis, Chicago, and Denver.
Fargo's daily newspaper is The Forum. The paper's Internet website also provides daily coverage as well as archives of previous stories.
Head Official: Mayor Michael R.
Since the 1870s when the juncture of the Red River of the North and the Red Lake River became a crossroads for people and their river-oriented business, the cities of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks have been a focal point of trade and services between the plains of North Dakota and the pine forests of northern Minnesota. Located 75 miles south of the Canadian border, the city is centered in one of the world's richest agricultural regions.
Flat and open terrain surrounds Grand Forks, which is just 75 miles south of the Canadian border, and situated on the western boundary of the Red River Valley of the North. Seventy-five percent of precipitation accompanied by electrical storms and heavy rainfall in a short period of time occurs during the growing season, April through September.
Located at the junction of the Red Lake River and the Red River of the North, the area of Grand Forks served as a camping and trading site for Native Americans for centuries.
Grand Forks has been a home rule city since 1970; it was the first city in the state to adopt home rule. Home rule means that cities may act on local matters without going to the state legislature for specific authority.
Grand Forks has a stable, agriculturally-based economy that has been expanding and diversifying since the early 1980s. Abundant moisture assists the growth of the hard spring wheat, corn, oats, sunflowers, durum, barley, potatoes, sugar beets, dry edible beans, soybeans, and flax that represent its major crops.
The Grand Forks Public School District is a progressive school district, with both standard and non-traditional subjects covered in the curriculum. Students routinely use computers and other technologies in the classroom, and all students receive some foreign language instruction prior to high school.
Altru Health System of Grand Forks serves the more than 200,000 residents of northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota. Altru is an integrated health system with headquarters on a 90-acre medical campus.
The Grand Forks County Historical Society grounds feature the Myra Museum, which displays the heritage of the Grand Forks area. Exhibits and displays include the Quiet Room, which contains furnishings from the 1700s; the Chapel, with its stained glass windows and objects from historic local churches; and the Lake Agasssiz display, which offers a history lesson in the ancient lake that produced the rich Red River Valley soil.
Grand Forks is the largest sports, convention, and entertainment center between Minneapolis and Seattle. Its Alerus Center is the largest sports, entertainment, and convention facility in the upper Midwest.
Grand Forks is accessible by two major highways, Interstate 29, which runs north and south, and U.S. Highway 2, which runs east and west.
The city's daily newspaper is the Grand Forks Herald; although its building burned to the ground in April 1997 during the great flood, the newspaper managed to win a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the flood. The paper maintains an Internet website with daily news, a week's worth of archived news, local classified ads, and "online extras." The Dakota Student, the student-published campus newspaper of UND, is published twice weekly during the fall and spring semesters.
Head Official: Mayor Donald L.
Akron is the cradle of the rubber industry in the United States, home of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous and current site of the leading edge of polymer engineering and research. Akron's history has been one of adaptation, of seeing opportunity and developing a response, all of which has led to the community becoming an industrial power.
Akron's natural surroundings provide a little of everything—to the south and east lie the gently rolling Appalachian Foothills, to the north is the glacial legacy of Lake Erie, and Akron itself sits on the Cuyahoga River in the Great Lakes Plains region. The Plains are renowned for their fertility, while the Appalachian Plateau is not only beautiful but a concentrated repository of minerals.
The last Ice Age left northern Ohio a priceless gift—a mammoth body of water to support fish, game and agriculture, along with rich soil and mineral deposits. Lake Erie was named for a tribe of native people who lived on its shores; other early inhabitants attracted by the bountiful flora and fauna included Iroquois, Miami, Shawnee, Wyandot, Delaware, and Ottawa Indian tribes.
The City of Akron operates under the council-mayor form of government, with the 13-member council and the mayor working together to establish administrative departments and to oversee the city finances. The city is divided into 10 wards, each of which elect a council member for a two-year term of service.
From its former honor as the "Rubber Capital of the World," Akron has moved forward into the world of liquid crystal and polymer research, development, and technology. More than 400 companies in the area are at work on one aspect or another of polymers, creating what is now referred to as "The Polymer Valley." The University of Akron supports the industry with both a College of Polymer Engineering and a specialized laboratory and research facility accessible by Akron area business partners.
In 2001 Akron Public Schools committed to a 10-point contract with the community, vowing to heighten academic standards, raise test scores and graduation rates, keep schools safe, cut costs and limit growth, execute and enforce contracts with parents of students, move students into alternative school programs as necessary, provide continuing education for teachers and administrators, work closely with community partners, monitor the budget closely, and delay requests for more operational monies until the 10 points of the contract were met (which happened as of the 2004-2005 school year). Akron Public Schools is a large district that boasts a student body that is approximately half African American and half Anglo-American, along with representation from Asian, Pacific Islander, Latino, and American Indian cultural and ethnic groups.
One of the Akron area's largest employers, Summa Health System operates two medical facilities for a total of 694 licensed beds in the city. Akron City Hospital specializes in diagnosis, treatment and ongoing care in the areas of orthopedics, oncology, cardiovascular issues, geriatrics, and obesity.
Sightseeing in Akron might start where the city itself started—with the Ohio & Erie Canal. The original canal route has been transformed into a recreational and historical education zone called the CanalWay, which was designated as a National Heritage site in 1996.
The John S. Knight Center has served downtown Akron since 1994, greeting conventioneers and meeting participants with its dramatic glass rotunda and spiral staircase in the 22,000 square foot lobby.
The Akron-Canton Airport is located just south of Akron proper and is accessed by Interstate 77. The airport offers a range of commercial flight options, with carriers such as AirTran, Delta, Frontier, Northwest, United, and US Airways Express.
The mainstream daily paper in the area is the Akron Beacon Journal, which is available in both home delivery and digital versions. The newspaper covers international, national, and local news, along with sports, entertainment and business happenings.
Cincinnati, the seat of Hamilton County, is Ohio's third largest city and the center of a metropolitan statistical area comprised of Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren counties in Ohio, Kenton County in Kentucky, and Dearborn County in Indiana. Praised by Charles Dickens and Winston Churchill among others, Cincinnati is noted for its attractive hillside setting overlooking the Ohio River.
Cincinnati is set on the north bank of the Ohio River in a narrow, steep-sided valley on the Ohio-Kentucky border in southwestern Ohio. The city is spread out on hills that afford beautiful vistas of downtown and give the city a picturesque landscape.
The Ohio River basin first served as a crossing point for Native Americans traveling south. It is believed that Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, was the first explorer to reach this spot on the Ohio River as early as 1669.
Since 1926, the top vote-getter of city council had automatically become mayor, but as of 2001, the mayor is elected independently. A city manager is appointed by the mayor and the city's nine-member council.
Cincinnati's diversified economic base includes manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, insurance and finance, education and health services, government, and transportation. Known worldwide for Procter & Gamble soap products and U.S.
The Cincinnati Public School (CPS) district is spread across the city plus Amberley Village, Cheviot, Golf Manor, most of the city of Silverton, parts of Fairfax and Wyoming, and parts of Anderson, Columbia, Delhi, Green, and Springfield townships, with a total area of about 90 square miles. It is the third-largest public school district in the state.
The Cincinnati medical community, a regional health care center, has gained prominence for education, treatment, and research. The University of Cincinnati maintains the oldest teaching hospital/medical center in the country and is the place where Albert Sabin developed the first polio vaccine and Leon Goldman performed the first laser surgery for the removal of cataracts.
A tour of Cincinnati can begin downtown at Fountain Square, the site of the Tyler Davidson Fountain, one of the city's most revered landmarks, which was made in Munich, Germany, and erected in 1871. Several historic monuments, including statues in honor of three United States presidents—James A.
The Dr. Albert B.
Nearly 1,200 flights depart and arrive and depart daily at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Located only 15 minutes from downtown Cincinnati, it is one of the fastest growing airports in the world.
Cincinnati's major daily newspapers are The Cincinnati Enquirer, circulated every morning, and the evening The Cincinnati Post. The Cincinnati Herald, an African American oriented newspaper, appears weekly.
The seat of Cuyahoga County, Cleveland is Ohio's second largest city and is at the center of a metropolitan statistical area that encompasses Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, and Medina counties. The city's location on Lake Erie accounts for its success as a transportation, industrial, and commercial center.
Extending 31 miles along the south shore of Lake Erie, Cleveland is surrounded by generally level terrain except for an abrupt ridge that rises 500 feet above the shore on the eastern edge of the city. Cleveland is bisected from north to south by the Cuyahoga River.
U.S. General Moses Cleaveland was sent in 1796 by the Connecticut Land Company to survey the Western Reserve, a one-half million acre tract of land in northeastern Ohio, which was at that time called "New Connecticut." General Cleaveland platted a townsite on Lake Erie at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, named from a Native American term for crooked river because of the unusual U shape that causes it to flow both north and south.
Cleveland city government is administered by a mayor and a 21-member council. Councilpersons and the mayor, who is not a member of council, are elected to four-year terms.
Diversified manufacturing is a primary economic sector, resting on a traditional base of heavy industry in particular. Consistent with a nationwide trend, the services industry—transportation, health, insurance, retailing, utilities, commercial banking, and finance—is emerging as a dominant sector.
The Cleveland Municipal School District, administered by a seven-member nonpartisan board that appoints a superintendent, enrolls the largest student population of any Ohio school system. It is one of 31 districts in Cuyahoga County.
Cleveland is home to a number of the nation's top institutions providing health care, medical education, and medical research and technology. The Cleveland metropolitan area is served by 50 hospitals; 23 are affiliated with medical schools, including Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
One of Cleveland's most popular attractions is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the world's only facility dedicated to the living heritage of rock and roll music. Situated on the shores of Lake Erie, the museum houses six floors of costumes, interactive exhibits, and original films, along with the most extensive collection of rock and roll artifacts and memorabilia in the world.
The Tradeshow Week Major Exhibit Hall Directory ranks the International Exposition & Conference Center ninth in the nation for exhibition space. Situated on a 175-acre site next to Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport, the center contains 902,000 square feet of exhibit space, 800,000 of which is contained in a single room.
Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport, the Midwestern hub for Continental Airlines, is served by 12 national, two international, and 11 commuter carriers that schedule direct and connecting flights throughout the United States and to major foreign cities. A rapid transit system connects the airport to downtown.
Cleveland's major daily newspaper is the Plain Dealer, which is also Ohio's largest daily newspaper. Numerous community newspapers, including the Call & Post, an African American community newspaper, also circulate in the city.
Head Official: Mayor Michael B.
Columbus, the capital of Ohio and the state's largest city, is the seat of Franklin County. The focus of an urban complex comprised of Grandview Heights, Upper Arlington, Worthington, Bexley, and Whitehall, Columbus is the center of the metropolitan statistical area that includes Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Pickaway, and Union counties.
Situated in central Ohio in the drainage area of the Ohio River, Columbus is located on the Scioto and Olentangy rivers; two minor streams running through the city are Alum Creek and Big Walnut Creek. Columbus's weather is changeable, influenced by air masses from central and southwest Canada; air from the Gulf of Mexico reaches the region during the summer and to a lesser extent in the fall and winter.
After Ohio gained statehood in 1803, the General Assembly set out to find a geographically centralized location for the capital. Congress had enacted the Ordinance for the Northwest Territory in 1787 to settle claims from the American Revolution and a grant was given to Virginia for lands west of the Scioto River.
The city of Columbus is governed by a mayor and a council comprised of seven members who are elected at large to a four-year term.
Columbus's diversified economy is balanced among the services, trade, government, and manufacturing sectors. State government, education, banking, research, insurance, and data processing in particular have helped the city to resist recession.
The Columbus Public Schools (CPS) are administered by a seven-member board of education that supports a superintendent. The system's Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School for the hearing impaired is considered one of the nation's finest.
The Columbus and Franklin County metropolitan region is served by 15 hospitals and three nationally recognized medical research facilities including The Ohio State University's Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Research Institute.
At the center of Columbus's downtown is the State Capitol Building, an example of Greek Doric architecture. Several blocks south of the Capitol, German Village, one of the city's major attractions, is a restored community in a 230-acre area settled by German immigrants in the mid-1800s.
Convention and meeting planners are offered a wide range of facilities in the metropolitan Columbus area. The Greater Columbus Convention Center, which opened in 1993 and underwent expansion in 2001, hosting more than 2,500,000 attendees and delegates that year.
Twenty-one commercial domestic and international airlines schedule daily flights into Port Columbus International Airport, which recently underwent a $92 million improvement to celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2005. Port Columbus, just eight minutes from downtown, is serviced by 21 airlines and has more than 350 arrivals and departures daily.
The principal daily newspaper in Columbus is The Columbus Dispatch (morning). Business First, a business weekly, presents current news as well as analyses of local commerce.
Head Official: Mayor Rhine D.
Dayton, the seat of Ohio's Montgomery County, is the focus of a four-county metropolitan statistical area that includes Montgomery, Miami, Clark, and Greene counties and the cities of Kettering, Miamisburg, Xenia, Fairborn, Oakwood, and Vandalia. World-famous through the pioneering efforts of the Wright brothers, today Dayton is an aviation center and home of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, headquarters of the United States Air Force bomber program.
Surrounded by a nearly flat plain that is 50 to 100 feet below the elevation of the adjacent rolling countryside Dayton is situated near the center of the Miami River Valley. The Mad River, the Stillwater River, and Wolf Creek, all tributaries of the Miami River, join the master stream within the city limits.
The point where the Mad River flows into the Great Miami was a thoroughfare for native tribes on their way from Lake Erie to Kentucky and for frontier heroes such as George Rogers Clark, Simon Kenton, Daniel Boone, and Anthony Wayne. Revolutionary War veterans General Arthur St.
The Dayton City Commission is comprised of the mayor and four commissioners, who serve part-time. They are elected at large on a non-partisan basis for four-year overlapping terms.
Dayton's balanced economy is supported principally by manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and services. In recent years, Dayton has suffered from many of the ills plaguing the national economy.
The Dayton City Schools system, the sixth largest district in the state of Ohio, is administered by a seven-member, non-partisan board of education that appoints a superintendent. The system supports magnet schools, a Partners in Education program, and a Challenger Learning Center.
Eighteen hospitals, four of which are teaching hospitals, and a medical community that comprises the third-largest employment sector in the Miami Valley combine to make Dayton a primary health care center for southwestern Ohio. Miami Valley Hospital, providing 827 beds, is the city's largest medical facility; Miami Valley operates an air ambulance service and maintains a Level 1 regional trauma center as well as units specializing in kidney dialysis, burn treatment, maternity services, and women's health programs.
The Dayton Museum of Natural History maintains a planetarium and observatory, and operates SunWatch, a twelfth-century Native American village restoration south of the city, which is considered the most complete prehistoric settlement of any culture east of the Mississippi. The United States Air Force Museum is the world's largest military aviation museum.
Situated in the central business district, the Dayton Convention Center is within walking distance of hotels, restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. The Convention Center offers two exhibit halls, with capacities of 47,000 square feet and 21,300 square feet, which can be combined to accommodate from 3,600 to 9,970 people in a variety of settings.
The destination for the majority of air traffic into Dayton is the Dayton International Airport, near the junction of I-70 and I-75 north of the city. Dayton International is served by nine airlines.
Established in 1808 and merged with the Journal Herald in 1988, the Dayton Daily News is the city's daily morning newspaper. More than 20 suburban newspapers plus local college and university publications circulate weekly.
Toledo, the seat of Ohio's Lucas County, is the focus of a metropolitan complex comprised of Ottawa Hills Maumee, Oregon, Sylvania, Perrysburg, and Rossford. The city played a strategic role in the War of 1812, after which the victorious Americans enjoyed unimpeded settlement of the Northwest Territory.
Toledo is located on the western end of Lake Erie at the mouth of the Maumee River, surrounded by generally level terrain. The soil is quite fertile, particularly along the Maumee Valley toward the Indiana state line.
As early as 1615 Etienne Brule, Samuel de Champlain's French-Canadian scout, discovered the Erie tribe of Native Americans living at the mouth of the Maumee River, the largest river that flows into the Great Lakes. Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, claimed the territory in the name of France's King Louis XIV in 1689, and French trading posts were subsequently established in the Maumee Valley.
The city of Toledo is administered by a strong-mayor form of government. The mayor and 12 council members are elected to four-year terms.
Manufacturing comprises about one-fifth of Toledo's economic base. Nearly 1,000 manufacturing facilities are located in the metropolitan area.
Public elementary and secondary schools in Toledo are administered by the Toledo Public Schools system, the fourth largest public school system in the state of Ohio, with just over 35,000 students. Five partisan board of education members select a superintendent.
Eight hospitals serve the metropolitan Toledo area with complete general, specialized, and surgical care. The largest facilities are Toledo Hospital, with 620 beds, and St.
Fort Meigs, located near Toledo along the southern bank of the Maumee River west of Perrysburg, was the largest walled fortification in North America. Built in 1813 under the direction of General William Henry Harrison (who later became president of the United States), Fort Meigs is an impressive structure of earthworks and timber.
The principal meeting and convention site in Toledo is the SeaGate Convention Centre, situated downtown one block from the Maumee River; connected to the convention center is the University of Toledo at SeaGate Center facility. When combined, the three-level complex features 75,000 square feet of multipurpose space, which can be divided into three separate halls, and 25 meeting rooms.
Toledo Express Airport is served by five commercial airlines providing direct and connecting flights to major cities throughout the United States. The airport also handles corporate and private aircraft.
The major daily newspaper in Toledo is The Blade. The Toledo Journal is a weekly African American newspaper.
Pierre (pronounced peer) is the seat of Hughes County and the second smallest capital city in the United States. Pierre is located on the east bank of the Missouri River in central South Dakota.
Pierre is located in the center of South Dakota on the Missouri River, 105 miles west of Huron, South Dakota, and 2 miles from the geographical center of the United States.
The first white men to see the Pierre area were the two LaVerendrye brothers. They were the sons of the French explorer who first claimed the region for France in 1743, Pierre Gaultier de Varennes.
Pierre is the seat of Hughes County and the state capital of South Dakota. The city has a mayor-commission form of government.
Pierre serves as the major trading center for central South Dakota. Its economy is supported by government, agriculture, and recreational activities tied in with the Missouri River reservoirs.
The Pierre School District has always held itself to high academic standards and the community has long been a source of support for its schools. Increased communication through the use of the Oahe Cable Channel by airing drama, chorus, band performances, and activities and lessons is a current focus of the district.
Pierre is served by St. Mary's Healthcare Center, an 86-bed acute care facility.
A must-see for Pierre visitors is the beautiful 1910 state capitol, one of the most fully restored in the nation. Its rotunda reaches 96 feet and features a brightly colored Victorian glass top.
Pierre is the meeting headquarters for many South Dakota organizations. The King's Inn Hotel and Conference Center, located downtown, provides meeting and banquet space for up to 750 people.
The Pierre Regional Airport, located three miles from central Pierre, includes offices, and boarding and baggage terminals. It is served by Mesaba (a Northwest Airlink) and Great Lakes Aviation.
The Capital Journal is Pierre's daily paper; The Times appears weekly, and there are two weekly trade papers: The Farmer & Rancher Exchange and the Reminder Plus. Local magazines include Dakota Outdoors and the South Dakota High Liner.
Rapid City, the seat of Pennington County, is a diverse and thriving small Midwestern city that refers to itself as "The Star of the West." Tourists are drawn to the area, which was celebrated in the 1990 award-winning film Dances With Wolves, to see the presidents' busts carved into Mount Rushmore and to visit the Black Hills. The city enjoys a thriving economy based on the farmers who have been raising beans, wheat, and alfalfa since the turn of the last century.
Rapid City, the natural eastern gateway to the great growing empire known as the West River Region, is surrounded by contrasting land forms. The forested Black Hills rise immediately west of the city, while the other three edges of the city look out on the prairie.
The discovery of gold in 1874 brought an influx of settlers into the Black Hills region of South Dakota. Rapid City was founded in 1876 by a group of disappointed miners, who promoted their new city as the "Gateway to the Black Hills." John Brennan and Samuel Scott, with a small group of men, laid out the site of the present Rapid City, which was named for the spring-fed Rapid Creek that flows through it.
Rapid City has a mayor-council form of government with an elected, full-time mayor and two part-time council members from each of the city's five wards, who are elected to staggered two-year terms. All positions are non-partisan.
Agriculture, tourism, mining, logging, professional services/retail, and Ellsworth Air Force Base are the major factors in Rapid City's economy. The area is also known for the manufacture of high-value, low-bulk items that can be swiftly shipped to market or assembly centers in other parts of the nation.
The Rapid City School District, second largest in the state, covers 419 square miles. The district offers services to special education and academically gifted children as well as technology staff development and Indian education programs.
Rapid City Regional Hospital provides comprehensive acute care services to South Dakota and portions of North Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana. The hospital is the main health care center between Minneapolis and Denver with 42 specialties including radiation, cardiology, and emerging medicine.
The Black Hills Visitor Information Center has maps and brochures and is a good first stop on a trip to Rapid City. Visitors may wish to begin with a trip to Storybook Island, an 11-acre park with free attractions for youngsters.
The Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, located near the heart of downtown Rapid City, provides an 11,500-seat arena, 120,000 square feet of exhibit space, a luxurious 1,774-seat theater, meeting rooms, and catering facilities. Seventy-five motels/hotels provide 4,400 rooms.
The Rapid City Regional Airport, 9 miles east of the city, is the third most active airport in the Northern Rockies. It offers flights to and from Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Chicago, and Denver via four carriers.
The city's daily newspaper is the Rapid City Journal. Other local newspapers include the weeklies The Plainsman and Indian Country Today.
Sioux Falls, seat of South Dakota's Minnehaha County, is the largest city in the state and the center of the metropolitan statistical area that includes Sioux Falls as well as Lincoln and Minnehaha counties. The city first grew during the Dakota boom years of the late nineteenth century as the arrival of the railroad made possible the nationwide transportation of granite quarried in Sioux Falls.
Located in the Big Sioux River Valley in southeast South Dakota, Sioux Falls is surrounded by gently rolling terrain that slopes to higher elevations approximately 100 miles to the north-northeast and to the south. The city's climate is continental, exhibiting frequent weather changes from day to day and from week to week as differing air masses move into the area.
Attracted by the economic potential of the Sioux Falls on the Big Sioux River, Dr. George M.
Sioux Falls is governed by a full-time mayor and eight part-time council persons. Voters elect the mayor and council persons to staggered four-year terms.
In May 2005, for the third consecutive year, Forbes magazine named Sioux Falls the best small city for business and careers, a ranking based on employment, job and income growth, cost of doing business, labor pool, crime rate, housing costs, and net migration. The Sioux Falls economy is comprised of a diversity of sectors, including finance, healthcare, retailing, agriculture, tourism, and distribution and trade.
South Dakota boasts one of the highest graduation rates in the country. Public elementary and secondary schools in Sioux Falls are in Sioux Falls School District 49-5, which enrolls the highest number of students in the state.
Sioux Falls has emerged as a major center for health care in a four-state region of the Upper Midwest. Central to the health care community is the University of South Dakota School of Medicine; several of the city's practicing physicians serve on the faculty of the School of Medicine, which maintains an association with five hospitals in the area.
Local sightseeing revolves around the natural beauty and history of Sioux Falls. A good place to begin a sightseeing tour is at the Visitor Information Center and 50-foot observation tower at Falls Park.
With more than 50,000 square feet of column-free exhibit space on the main floor and an additional 11,000 square feet in meeting rooms, the Sioux Falls Convention Center is the largest in the state. It hosts major national and regional conventions, meetings, and trade shows.
The largest air facility in South Dakota, Sioux Falls Regional Airport at Joe Foss Field is the destination for air traffic into Sioux Falls. The airport reported 92,482 landings and takeoffs in 2003, serving more than 300,000 passengers.
The Sioux Falls daily newspaper is the Argus Leader, which is distributed every morning. Other newspapers, including a farm tabloid and college publications, appear weekly and bimonthly.
Area: 65,498 square miles (2000; U.S.
Appleton, once known as the "woodland city" and later "the Lowell of the West" (after the city in Massachusetts) grew up along the Fox River, which provided water power and transportation for the paper manufacturing industry that still dominates the area. Today, fourteen Wisconsin communities including Appleton refer to themselves as Fox Cities.
Appleton is located on rolling terrain that was carved out by glaciers. The city has a continental climate and experiences four distinct seasons, with cold winters and warm summers.
Long before the coming of the Europeans, the area that is now Appleton was inhabited by the Menominee Indians. The Outagamie Indians, also known as the Fox, lived nearby, as did the Winnebago.
Appleton has a mayor-council form of government, made up of 16 city council members plus the mayor. Each term, council members elect a Council President.
Since the mid-nineteenth century the paper industry and its allied industries have been the foundation for Appleton's economy. In fact, the Fox River Valley is home to the highest concentration of paper-making facilities in the world, and accounts for more than 10 percent of the area's total employment and one-third of all manufacturing employment.
The Appleton Area School District (AASD) is Wisconsin's sixth largest school district and is one of its fastest growing. The district encompasses the city of Appleton, and the towns of Grand Chute, Buchanan, Harrison, and a small part of Menasha.
The city of Appleton is served by two hospitals with a total of 700 beds—St. Elizabeth Hospital and the Appleton Medical Center (which, along with its regional partner Theda Clark Medical Center, was named one of the nation's top 100 hospitals in 2003 by HCIA-Sachs).
Visitors learn about the life of what may be Appleton's most famous citizen, Harry Houdini, by taking the Houdini Walking Tour of the city, and observing the collection of his many magic feats. From mid-May through mid-September tours are available to the grand log home of James Doty, Wisconsin's second territorial governor.
The Radisson Paper Valley Hotel and Conference Center has 390 guest rooms and 25 meeting rooms. Overall the Fox Cities region has more than 80 meeting rooms, a 2,000 person capacity theater style room, a 1,000 person capacity banquet style room, more than 30 hotels and motels, and nearly 3,000 hotel rooms.
Located two miles west of the city, Outagamie County Airport, one of the fastest-growing airports in Wisconsin, offers service by United Express, Comair/Delta Connection, Northwest Airlink, and Midwest/Express/Skyway Airlines. The airport has nonstop flights to Milwaukee, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Chicago.
The Post-Crescent, Appleton's daily paper, appears in the evenings. The Milwaukee Journal & Sentinel also covers news in the city.
Head Official: Mayor James J.
Green Bay, named for the green-tinted streaks that stripe its bay in springtime, is the seat of Wisconsin's Brown County and the center of a metropolitan statistical area that includes the entire county. The oldest permanent settlement in Wisconsin, Green Bay began as a French fur-trading post and mission that was important to the exploration of the Upper Midwest in the early seventeenth century.
Green Bay is located at the mouth of the Fox River, one of the largest northward-flowing rivers in the United States, which empties into the south end of Lake Michigan's Green Bay. The surrounding topography—the bay, Lakes Michigan and Superior, and to a lesser extent the slightly higher terrain terminating in the Fox River Valley—modifies the continental climate.
On a mission for Samuel de Champlain, the governor of New France, Jean Nicolet was charged with finding a route from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River. In 1634 he arrived at La Baye des Puans, where the Fox River empties into Lake Michigan, and claimed the region for France.
The Green Bay city government is administered by a mayor and 12 alderpersons. The mayor is elected to a four-year term; the alderpersons are elected for two years.
Green Bay's economy is highly diversified. The majority of jobs in the area are service providing—following sectors are goods producing; trade, transportation, and utilities; manufacturing; and government.
The Green Bay Area Public School District, the fourth largest school system in the state of Wisconsin, includes, in addition to the city of Green Bay, the towns of Allouez and Scott and parts of the towns of Bellevue, DePere, Eaton, and Humboldt. A seven-member nonpartisan board hires a superintendent.
Green Bay is served by three major hospitals providing more than 1,200 beds, several clinics and health care agencies, and 20 nursing homes. St.
The recently expanded, 25,000 square-foot Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame was moved to the Lambeau Field atrium as part of the newly renovated stadium project. One of Green Bay's most popular attractions, the museum has trophies, memorabilia, and mementos of the Green Bay Packers, including the Vince Lombardi collection and displays on the club's league championships and Super Bowl victories; tours of Lambeau Field are also available.
With the recent opening of the KI Convention Center, Green Bay has established itself as a leading regional meeting and convention destination. Offering more than 46,000 square feet of flexible meeting and convention space, the KI is connected to the Regency Suites hotel and is within walking distance of the downtown business and shopping district.
Three commercial airlines schedule daily flights into Austin Straubel Airfield, operated by Brown County and located in Ashwaubenon on the outskirts of the city.
The major daily newspapers in Green Bay are the Green Bay Press-Gazette, published evenings and Saturday and Sunday mornings, and the Green Bay News-Chronicle, published every morning except Sunday. Several neighborhood and regional newspapers appear weekly.
The capital of Wisconsin, Madison is also the seat of Dane County and the focus of a metropolitan statistical area that includes the entire county. The city was founded as the state capital, where no other permanent settlement had previously existed, on a unique geographic site, a narrow isthmus of land called Four Lakes Isthmus between two lakes.
Set on a narrow isthmus of land between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona, Madison is surrounded by a network of lakes and rivers. The topography is rolling.
The Winnebago tribe were the first inhabitants of the area where the city of Madison now stands; these Native Americans lived off the land's bounty and camped alongside Lake Monona and Lake Mendota. Madison owes its founding to James Doty, a native New Yorker who served as circuit judge of the Western Michigan Territory, which included Wisconsin and points as far west as the Dakotas and Iowa.
The city of Madison operates under a mayor-alderperson form of government; 20 alders, representing 20 city districts, are chosen for a two-year term in a nonpartisan election. The mayor, who is not a member of council, is chosen for a four-year term in a non-partisan election.
The principal economic sectors in Madison are manufacturing, services, and government. Meat packing and the production of agriculture and dairy equipment have long been established industries in the city; among other items produced by area manufacturing firms are hospital equipment, advanced instrumentation, storage batteries, and air circulating fixtures.
Madison was recently singled out by Money magazine as the country's "best place for education." Public, elementary, and secondary schools in Madison are part of the Madison Metropolitan School District, the third-largest system in the state of Wisconsin. The Madison Metropolitan School District serves about 25,000 students in 46 schools, including 30 elementary schools (grades K-5), 11 middle schools (6-8), four comprehensive high schools and one alternative high school.
Madison, home to the University of Wisconsin Medical School, is a major center for medical research and testing. The University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics is comprised of 60 clinics throughout the state, with 44 in Dane County alone, including the UW Comprehensive Cancer Center, which has a national reputation for excellence in cancer care and research.
The starting point for sightseeing in Madison is the State Capitol building, located between lakes Mendota and Monona. The dome is topped with Daniel Chester French's gilded bronze statue, Wisconsin.
In all, the Madison area has more than 8,000 hotel rooms and 400,000 square feet of meeting space, which makes it an annual gathering place for such conventions as the World Dairy Expo. Located on the shore of Lake Monona and inspired by a design created by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1938, Monona Terrace is two blocks from Capitol Square, to which it is linked by a pedestrian promenade.
The Dane County Regional Airport, east of the city, is an international airport served by 11 commercial airlines with 75 regularly scheduled daily flights. Renovations and expansions to be completed in 2005 are to double the airport's square footage.
Daily newspapers in Madison are the morning and Sunday Wisconsin State Journal and the evening (Monday through Friday; mornings on Saturday) The Capital Times. Several other newspapers also circulate in the city; among them are the alternative weekly Isthmus, and University of Wisconsin student dailies.
Milwaukee, the seat of Milwaukee County, is the largest city in Wisconsin and the center of a metropolitan statistical area comprised of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha counties. Mid-nineteenth century German immigration laid the foundation for Milwaukee's "golden age," when cultural and political life flourished, culminating in the election of the country's first socialist mayor in 1912.
Situated on the western shore of Lake Michigan at the confluence of the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic rivers, Milwaukee experiences a continental climate characterized by a wide range of temperatures. The frequently changeable weather is influenced by eastward-moving storms that cross the middle section of the nation.
Mahn-a-waukee Seepe, a Native American word meaning "gathering place by the river," was the name given to the land next to the natural bay where the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic rivers flow into Lake Michigan and where a number of tribes met to hold counsel. The Potawatomi was the largest of the local tribes and they, along with the Menominee, were under French control in the seventeenth century.
Milwaukee is governed by a 15-member council and a mayor, who is not a member of council; all are elected to a four-year term. The council holds all policy-making and legislative powers of the city, including the adoption of ordinances and resolutions, the approval of the city's annual budget, and the enactment of appropriation and tax levy ordinances.
Milwaukee, a commercial and industrial hub for the Great Lakes region, is home to six Fortune 1000 manufacturers (including Harley-Davidson Inc., Rockwell Automation, and Johnson Controls), banks, and diversified service companies as well as one of the nation's ten largest insurance firms. The metropolitan area places among the top manufacturing centers in the United States, ranking second among major metropolitan areas in the percentage of its workforce in manufacturing.
The Milwaukee Public Schools system, serving almost 100,000 students, is administered by a nine-member, non-partisan board of school directors that appoints a superintendent. The system employs more than 6,700 full-time, part-time, and substitute teachers.
The metropolitan Milwaukee area has been a leader in developing managed care programs to control health care costs while providing quality care. Forty percent of residents belong to a health maintenance organization or point of service plan, more than double the national average.
Milwaukee successfully mixes old and new architectural styles that tell the history of the city from its beginning to the present. Kilbourntown House, the 1844 home of one of the city's founding fathers, was built by Benjamin Church and is an example of temple-type Greek Revival architecture.
The Midwest Airlines Center opened in 1998; the $170 million, 667,475-square-foot center is located in the heart of Milwaukee and features 188,695 square feet of exhibit space, a 37,506-square-foot grand ballroom, and 28 meeting rooms, as well as cutting-edge technology and $1.2 million in public artwork. More than 3,000 hotel rooms, a theater, shopping, nightlife, the RiverWalk, restaurants, and museums are within walking distance of the Midwest Airlines Center.
General Mitchell International Airport is the destination for most air traffic into Milwaukee. Situated adjacent to I-94, 8 miles south of downtown, Mitchell Airport is served by 14 commercial airlines and is the largest airport in Wisconsin.
The major daily newspaper of the Greater Milwaukee area is the morning Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, with a daily circulation of 258,000. Several other newspapers, including the Business Journal of Milwaukee, circulate biweekly or weekly.
Located on Lake Michigan in the corridor between Milwaukee and Chicago, the lakeside city of Racine has been primarily manufacturing-oriented for at least a century. With the construction in the 1980s of the largest recreational boat harbor on Lake Michigan, Racine diversified its economy from one based on durable goods to one that embraces tourism.
Racine is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan in southeastern Wisconsin about 75 miles north of Chicago and 30 miles south of Milwaukee. Racine's weather is influenced to a considerable extent by Lake Michigan, especially when the temperature of the lake differs markedly from the air temperature.
The first known visit by white men to the Root River area, the site of present-day Racine, occurred in 1679 when explorers LaSalle and Tonti stopped there on their search for a route to the Mississippi River. Prior to the 1830s, the area of southeastern Wisconsin was inhabited by the Potawatomi tribe, whose rights to the lands were recognized by the federal government.
The city of Racine has a mayor-council form of government.
The recent history of the city of Racine is a story of downtown revitalization. During the 1980s Racine County lost an average of 1,000 jobs per year and many downtown retailers closed or moved to new outlying malls or elsewhere.
The Racine Unified School District is a composite of city, suburban, and rural areas contained in a 100-square-mile area. Racine County is known for having outstanding schools, and many innovative, state-wide models have been developed in the school districts.
Racine's two hospitals are St. Luke's Memorial Hospital and Saint Mary's Medical Center, which are part of the All Saints Healthcare System, Inc.
Racine's Southside Historic District has an impressive collection of more than 14 blocks of homes and buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. The district contains many architectural styles, including Tudor, Victorian, Federal, Italianate, and Queen Anne.
Situated on five acres along the shores of Lake Michigan, Racine On The Lake Festival Park is the city's newest multiuse facility. Opened in 1987, Festival Park can accommodate conventions, trade shows, meetings, art exhibits, and concerts.
General Mitchell International Airport, located seven miles north of the city in Milwaukee, is the nearest commercial airport. Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is 60 miles to the south.
The daily paper is the morning Journal Times. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel publishes a multi-page tabloid Racine section that is inserted into the Sunday paper.
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