Currents

State Fire Marshall launches “Be Alarmed!” program

The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) and the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance (IFSA) launched ‘Be Alarmed!’ – a joint smoke alarm instal­lation ­program that ­provides smoke alarms to Illinoisans through their local fire ­departments. The OFSM will ­distribute smoke alarms with 10-year sealed batteries and fire safety ­educational ­materials to ­participating fire departments, at […]

Don’t miss your chance

Illinois’ electric cooperatives are invested in youth education and engagement programs throughout their communities. High school students with a passion for leadership and government are encouraged to contact their electric cooperative to apply for an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. in June. Electric cooperatives will bring youth to Springfield to participate in the Illinois Electric […]

Bright spots in rural America’s finances

Rural America’s finances improved a bit in 2017, but it’s far from a healthy picture according to Creighton University’s Rural Mainstreet Index which rose 11.4 ­percent from December 2016 through December 2017. The monthly index surveys bank CEOs in rural areas of 10 states. For the period from November 2017 to December 2017, the index edged up […]

Concern for community

With the assistance of Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative (CMEC), Charleston Stone Company, a limestone quarry in CMEC service territory, received $400,000 through the Rural Economic Development Loan/Grant (REDLG) program. The funds are ­provided to rural ­utilities by the USDA Rural Development Program which then provides no-­interest loans to ­borrowers in their areas for economic development. Charleston […]

USDA highlights $906,000 in infrastructure investments in rural Illinois

More than $40 million was invested by the United States Department of Agriculture in FY2017 to help construct or improve infrastructure and boost economic growth in rural communities. More than $900,000 was directed to Illinois. “These investments in rural Illinois infrastructure strengthen our com­munities by providing essential ­facilities, and ensuring safety and ­economic ­viability,” said […]

Growing your social security benefits beyond retirement age

As more Americans reach retirement age, it no longer means the end of an active working life. According to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, many people are choosing to work past age 65. If you’re willing and able, main­taining gainful employment later in life could go a long way toward ­ensuring a […]

IDNR warns landowners to check the value of their trees

Illinois forest landowners stand to be paid record-high prices for their mature forest trees and logs on farm and forest holdings, thanks to outstanding market prices for hardwood logs and ­lumber. The Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Division of Forest Resources is urging forest landowners to ­consult with a professional ­forester before agreeing to sell. […]

Dairyland Power adds 98 MW of wind energy

Dairyland Power officials flipped the switch on the 98-megawatt Quilt Block wind farm project located in southwest Wisconsin in November. The wind farm is expected to provide enough energy for more than 35,000 households. Dairyland has a 20-year contract to purchase electricity generated by the 49 turbines spread across rural Lafayette County. Dairyland CEO Barbara […]

Metal thefts still a problem despite drop

Insurance claims for metal theft ­continue to fall, but the problem is far from over for electric cooperatives and others, a new report shows. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) said 28,040 claims were processed from 2014 through 2016. That’s down 22 percent from the period of 2013 through 2015. Throughout all four years, copper […]

Wabash Valley and Hoosier Energy sign wind pact

Wabash Valley Power Association and Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc., located in Indiana, will soon be ­recipients of a ­combined 100 MW of wind energy for their ­members. Hoosier Energy and Wabash Valley are ­cooperative ­generation and transmission (G&T) providers with a ­combined 41 distribution ­cooperatives located in Indiana, parts of Illinois and Missouri. More […]