Currents

Illinois camping and hunting website

You can now make reservations for campsites and shelters for many Illinois Department of Natural Resources sites for 2013. Reservations can be made online through the ReserveAmerica website at www.reserveamerica.com using a Visa or MasterCard. For more information, check the IDNR website at http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/Landmgt/Programs/Camping/ Illinois fishing and hunting licenses for 2013 are also available online. Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman’s ...Read More

Court won’t rehear EPA on air rule

A federal appeals court will not reopen a decision that struck down the Environmental Protection Agency’s sweeping Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. In a two-sentence order released Jan. 24, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied EPA’s request for reconsideration by the full court. A three-judge panel of the circuit court last August said the EPA ...Read More

Sen. Kirk says never ever give up

Almost exactly a year after ­visiting with Illinois electric cooperative ­leaders and then days later suffering a serious stroke, Illinois Republican Senator Mark Kirk returned to work. Kirk battled back through what he describes as “some of the darkest hours of my life.” “In an instant my world changed and I faced the prospect of never walking again,” said Kirk. “I’m ...Read More

Volunteers needed for Shawnee National Forest spring workdays

This spring volunteers will be joining Shawnee National Forest employees in stewardship efforts at several locations on the Hidden Springs and Mississippi Bluff Ranger Districts. Each workday will encompass fun, hands-on teamwork with a backdrop of budding trees, ­blooming wildflowers and much more. The workdays are scheduled in March, April and May. Call the Shawnee Volunteer Corps at 618-833-8576 (ext. ...Read More

Ameren leaving the generation business

Ameren Corp. operates five coal-fired and three gas-fired generating plants in Illinois, but it recently announced its intentions to exit the merchant generation business because of weak power prices and the increasing cost of environmental compliance. The merchant generation business is operated by the Ameren Energy Resources subsidiary, which was formed in 2000 with Illinois’ deregulation of the electricity market. ...Read More

Postal Service announces move to a five-day mail delivery

Today in a bold move that was surprising for many, the Postal Service announced its intent to shift to a five-day mail and six-day package delivery schedule starting the week of August 5, 2013. The new schedule would consist of mail delivery Monday through Friday, and package delivery Monday through Saturday. Further, mail addressed to PO Boxes will continue to ...Read More

Shown at the Savanna Museum and Cultural Center GeoAlliance geothermal check presentation from left, front row, are: Heidi Weber, Jo-Carroll Energy Manager of Member Relations and Marketing; John LeComte, Savanna Historical Society (SHS) Board Member; Jeannine Mills, SHS Board Member; Nancy McDonald, Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives Marketing Administrator; and Larry Stebbins, Mayor of Savanna. Pictured from left, back row are: John Scott, Jo-Carroll Energy, Inc. Energy Advisor; Jean Jones, SHS Treasurer; State Senator Mike Jacobs; Gene Wright, SHS Board Member; Carol Wright, SHS Board Member; and Keith Brown, SHS Vice-President.

Museum saves $1,200 a month with geothermal system

A $44,758 GeoAlliance grant was recently presented to the Savanna Museum and Cultural Center, Savanna, to help in funding the installation of a geothermal heat pump heating and cooling system. The grant program is funded by the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (ICECF) and administered by the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives (AIEC). The purpose of the grant program is ...Read More

Consumer energy efficiency tax credit extended

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 passed by Congress on January 3 provides extensions of energy tax credit provisions for homeowners seeking energy-efficiency improvements. Under section 25C, homeowners can claim a $500 maximum tax credit to cover material costs of energy-efficient upgrades to existing homes for all taxable years. The credit is only redeemable if the upgrades are in ...Read More

U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), right, NRECA CEO-designate, meets with 2011 Rural Electric Youth Tour students from the Show Me State outside House chambers at the U.S. Capitol.

Rep. Emerson named as next NRECA CEO

During its Winter Board Meeting on December 3, 2012, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Board of Directors announced that U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) will assume the role of NRECA CEO effective March 1. Emerson, who will become the fifth CEO in NRECA’s 71-year history, will officially join the ­organization on February 11. NRECA Board President Mike Guidry ...Read More

Illinois Wind for Schools accepting applications

Now in its second year, the Illinois Wind for Schools (ILWFS) program is accepting applications from highly motivated middle school and high school teachers in Illinois public school districts. Three to five middle and/or high schools are selected each academic year as ILWFS partner schools for intensive support through on-site teacher training and classroom resources. Those who are sincerely interested ...Read More