Currents

Co-op sponsored students meet with state leaders

During the Illinois Electric and Telephone Cooperatives Youth Day on Wednesday, April 13 in Springfield more than 225 students from around Illinois had an opportunity to visit the State Capitol, view state government in action and question their legislators on key issues. They heard from their local state senators and representatives and some even met […]

SIU receives $1 million grant to fuel energy scholarships

A national research agency has awarded Southern Illinois University Carbondale a new $1 million grant aimed at helping community college ­students prepare for careers in the energy sector. The National Science Foundation awarded the grant from its Division of Undergraduate Education to SIU, said Lizette Chevalier, associate dean of the College of Engineering. Students can […]

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 […]