Burnsville native shares Illinois prosperity

CORINTH – When Alcorn County supervisors approved the purchase Monday of a two-year-old police cruiser from Hodgkins, Ill., it continued a relationship between the two jurisdictions that has helped the sheriff’s department’s strapped budget.
Hodgkins Village President Noel B. Cummings offered the cruiser at a purchase price of $3,500, but before the supervisors had gotten to that item on their Monday agenda, he had called Sheriff Charles Rinehart to lower the asking price to $3,000.
The county is replacing a cruiser that was totaled in a wreck earlier this year, and the $3,000 insurance settlement will cover the cost of the replacement car purchase.
“This cruiser has only 15,000 miles on the engine because the engine was replaced recently,” Rinehart told the county board.
Cummings, a native of Burnsville, holds the position that is the equivalent of mayor of his village. He met the sheriff when he brought his wife, a native of the Farmington community, home for burial a couple of years ago.
“Since then he ‘adopted’ us, and I told him I’d be the best son he ever had,” the sheriff said.
In more than three decades as village president, Cummings has helped the community achieve an extraordinary level of prosperity.
“Our village is about 15 miles outside Chicago and has a population of about 2,000,” Cummings said, “but we were able to attract the world’s largest United Parcel Service package sorting facility that employs more than 9,000 people.”
Not only UPS, but also Walmart and Sam’s Club, Target and other major retailers have distribution centers in Hodgkins, leading the community to import about 15 busloads of workers from Chicago each day.
“The village had total sales of $850 million in 2009,” Cummings said.
His strong emotional connection to Northeast Mississippi brings Cummings home for periodic visits, as it did this week, and he’s eager to share with his native state.
“I was born and raised around Burnsville, and being from this area I’m well aware of what’s going on,” Cummings said. “The village is so successful we buy new squad cars every two years, so instead of selling to people we don’t know I wanted the benefit to come back here.”

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.

Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal

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