Co-op leaders discuss issues on Capitol Hill

Joining nearly 1,500 electric cooperative leaders, including Illinois co-op managers and board ­members, discussed key co-op issues with ­members of Congress and their staffs at Capitol Hill meetings during the 2016 NRECA Legislative Conference, held May 1-3 in Washington, D.C. At one meeting, the Illinois co-op ­delegation met with Rep. Cheri Bustos’ Legislative Director Lyron […]

Electrifying Africa Act passes Congress

You don’t hear much about bipartisan support on anything these days, which makes passage of the Electrify Africa Act one bright spot. The U.S. House of Representatives in February passed S. 2152, the Electrify Africa Act, with strong support from electric cooperatives and the NRECA. The Senate passed the legislation unanimously and the bill was […]

USDA and Norris Electric Cooperative offer job-creating loan

Colleen Callahan, USDA Rural Development Director for Illinois, presented Norris Electric Cooperative with a symbolic check for $102,845 to promote rural economic development in Cumberland County. The funds will be loaned at zero percent interest to business start-up Ag Underground. Ag Underground is owned by Justin Holsapple, who grew up on a farm in Cumberland […]

Illinois pioneers of rural electrification

Raymond W. Rusteberg Raymond W. Rusteberg played a vital role in rural elec­trification in Illinois. As President of the Board of Directors of the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives from 1964-1969, Rusteberg was part of the cooperatives’ negotiating team on the Electric Supplier Act legislation. Illinois House Bill 2105 was designed to end disputes between […]

Fixing Illinois’ loss of jobs

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Oppor­tunity and business stake­holders are forming a newly-formed private, non-profit ­organization focusing exclusively on ­increasing Illinois’ competitiveness for job ­creation and investment. “Illinois is at a critical crossroad,” Illinois Department of Commerce Director Jim Schultz said. “We have among the best assets in the world, including unparalleled access […]

Electric co-op leaders meet with Rep. LaHood

Congressman Darin LaHood (left) discussed rural Illinois issues with electric co-op ­leaders ­including Dennis Fredrickson, Corn Belt Energy Electric Corporation ­director and Vice Chairman of the AIEC Board of Directors; and Warren Goetsch, Menard Electric Cooperative director and Secretary of AIEC Board of Directors. LaHood, one of the newest ­members of Congress, brought Congressman Mike […]

Co-ops Vote campaign to help rural voters

This year, electric ­cooperatives across the country are ­working to buck the trend of ­diminishing votes from rural America by ­fanning out across the ­country to encourage co-op members to ­register to vote, and get to the polls on Election Day. The Co-ops Vote campaign is a ­nonpartisan effort to ­educate rural voters on issues […]

Prepared for the worst in 2016

Illinois communities around the state dealt with record and near-record winter flooding, winter storms and now we are heading into ­tornado season. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency and local emergency ­management agencies throughout Illinois are encouraging people to “Resolve to be Ready” for emergencies in 2016. “The floods we saw this ­winter are the types […]

Three electric co-ops bringing fiber-based broadband to the heartland

Calix, Inc. in February announced that Illinois Electric Cooperative, Barry Electric Cooperative and Callaway Electric Cooperative are all transforming their businesses by expanding into broadband service delivery within their respective service areas in Illinois and Missouri. Now, residential and business subscribers alike will be able to take advantage of fiber-based voice, video and high-speed Internet […]

Illinois pioneers of rural electrification

Robert R. Wagner served as the AIEC Board President from 1959-64. Following the ­retirement of AIEC General Manager A.E. Becker, in December 1960, Wagner acted as the interim manager ­during the management search. Under Wagner’s ­leadership, the AIEC and its programs were broadened and ­strengthened to better serve its member cooperatives. Wagner was also ­instrumental […]