Currents

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Illinois pioneers of rural electrification

Abram E. “Abe” Becker, ­former manager of Menard Electric Cooperative in Petersburg was selected in 1942 to coordinate activities for the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives (AIEC), while continuing his duties for the cooperative. As the activities of the AIEC grew, the Petersburg native became its first full-time ­manager and oversaw construction of a new […]

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos receives a golden hard hat and the 2015 Illinois Electric Cooperatives’ Public Service Award. With Bustos are (l-r) Michael Hastings, President and CEO of Jo-Carroll Energy; David Senn, Chairman of the Jo-Carroll Energy board of directors; Duane Noland, President and CEO of the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives and Bill Dodds, President and CEO of Spoon River Electric Cooperative.

Rep. Bustos receives 2015 Illinois Electric Cooperatives’ Public Service Award

Leaders from the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives, Jo-Carroll Energy and Spoon River Electric Cooperative presented U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-East Moline, 17th Congressional District) with the 2015 Illinois Electric Cooperatives’ Public Service Award. The award was made in recognition of her dedicated public ­service to all citizens of the state of Illinois and for […]

Pictured from left are: Josh Bullock, Lake Land College President, Nancy McDonald, Marketing Administrator, AIEC; Gary Cadwell, Lake Land College Board Chairman; Kim Leftwich, President and CEO, Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative; and Sam Adair, Member Services Representative, Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative.

Lake Land College receives $50,000 geothermal grant

Lake Land College recently received a $50,000 GeoAlliance grant to help fund the installation of a highly energy efficient and environmentally friendly geothermal heat pump heating and cooling system in the college’s Northeast Building, which is used for employee offices and student housing. The GeoAlliance geothermal grant program, which is now closed, was funded through […]

Cooperatives congratulate Senate on approving bill to strengthen cybersecurity

Following Senate passage of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA) on October 27, Kirk Johnson, senior vice-president of government relations at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, thanked Chairman Richard Burr and Vice Chair Diane Feinstein for bipar­tisan leadership on a bill to promote multi­directional voluntary infor­mation sharing by the government and ­businesses […]

Helping dedicate the Prairie Power Spoon River Solar Farm on Friday were nearly 100 students from Astoria. They joined (l-r) Prairie Power Board Chairman Jim Thompson, Interim President/CEO Dan Breden, U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, State Rep. Michel Unes and Spoon River Electric Cooperative President/CEO Bill Dodds. The 500 kW solar farm includes a unique interactive learning center that is open to the public. It is located 3 miles northeast of Summum, Ill. along Highway 24.

Illinois electric cooperatives dedicate two solar farms

Prairie Power, Inc., a Springfield, Ill. based generation and transmission cooperative providing wholesale power to ten Illinois electric distribution cooperatives, dedicated two 500 kW solar farms in October. The Spoon River Solar Farm, located between Havana and Astoria on Highway 24, also includes a unique learning center. The Shelby Solar Farm is located along Highway […]

The Carthage, Ill., facility, referred to as Maple Grove Apartments, gives patients with dementia and other cognitive issues a home-like and family-oriented environment with a small number of residents per building and central common areas for socializing and meals.

USDA helps two Illinois co-ops with rural economic development

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in October announced $12.5 million in loans and grants for 39 ­projects that will help rural businesses in 21 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Two of the projects are in Illinois electric ­cooperative territories. “Supporting small, rural businesses helps create jobs and helps promote entrepreneurship,” Vilsack said. “USDA Rural […]

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Controlling your home with a smartphone

For busy families juggling to keep up with the pace of life, technology brings convenience and peace of mind to home life, making things easier for all of us. It is now possible to control lighting throughout the interior and exterior of your home using your smartphone. With the proper bulbs, in-home Wi-Fi network and […]

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Carbon monoxide poisoning dangers increase during winter

This winter the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is stepping up its efforts to raise ­awareness about fire safety as well as the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Be proactive and check batteries on the carbon ­monoxide detectors to make sure they will work when needed. Don’t let this silent killer take […]

Old coal plant converted to renewable biomass shutting down

In October, DTE Energy Services said it was closing its wood-burning Stoneman biomass generating ­station for economic reasons, including lower natural gas prices and higher transportation costs for the biomass fuel. The plant provides renewable power to Dairyland Power Cooperative, a generation and transmission ­cooperative serving Jo-Carroll Energy an Elizabeth, Ill. based ­distribution co-op. The […]

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18th Annual Lineman’s Safety Rodeo held in Springfield

The flag was raised to the top of a pole by hand, in lineman fashion, at the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperative’s 18th Annual Lineman’s Safety Rodeo held in Springfield, Sept. 18. At the rodeo, 14 co-op lineman teams were judged not just on their skill, but their safe practice of those skills. The winning team this year […]