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So many words to describe Opa

Honorable, veteran, loving, wise, funny, compassionate, strong, supportive, generous, irreplaceable, encourager and greatest cheerleader. These are just a few of the words his grandchildren used to describe Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative member Ernest Sjuts of rural Urbana on his 80th birthday. Sjuts is Opa (a German nickname for grandfather) to 15 grandchildren and three great […]

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Preserving tradition

I still fondly remember as a child playing in my Uncle Ray Herscher’s basement in Gilman, Ill. Behind one of the doors was a room where my Aunt Lucille stored all of the foods she had canned. It seemed so big then, those rows and rows of jars filled with every color of the rainbow. […]

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A million miles from Monday

Whether pitching a tent in your own backyard, at a local campground or hauling a fifth-wheel camper hundreds of miles, both are done with one idea in mind – rest and relaxation. The need to get away from the demands of a fast-paced lifestyle and kick back while reconnecting with family and friends compels more […]

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Recycling Revolution

Shelby Electric Cooperative The Power of Green Shelby Electric Cooperative officially opened its Power of Green program July 10, 2010, in Shelbyville. “We saw a need and are filling it,” says Josh Shallenberger, COO at the cooperative. Among the items accepted are newspapers and magazines, office paper, steel and tin cans, aluminum cans, #1 and […]

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Agriculture

Agriculture and farming aren’t usually considered a woman’s world, but that trend is changing. It’s often brains over brawn when it comes to women in farming, and increasing numbers of females are enrolling in ag-related university programs which include everything from agribusiness to agronomy, crop science and animal science. From 1996 to 2012, females enrolling […]

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Manufacturing Job

Where the jobs are

These days you can’t open a newspaper, watch television or turn on your computer without hearing about the downturn in the economy, and how there are no jobs available. It all seems so hopeless. But, it’s not true. In fact, there are plenty of jobs available in the U.S. Unfortunately, there are not enough qualified […]

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Hometown groceries

Edgewood Store is home away from home Carla Sowers purchased the 117 year-old Edgewood Store, in Edgewood, Ill., population 434, a little over a year ago through a CEFS Economic Opportunity Corporation (www.cefseoc.org) small business revolving loan program. CEFS is a not-for-profit community action agency that helps assist economically – and socially-disadvantaged people attain greater […]

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Photo by Rich Mattas

Return of the eagles

Bob Motz will never forget the first time he saw a bald eagle in its natural habitat. The semi-retired teacher from Rock Island High School was eight years old, ice skating with his father on the hidden waters of the Hennepin Canal, an abandoned waterway in northwestern Illinois. Even though it was decades ago, Motz […]

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November 2013 Feature

A veteran’s best friend

Loyal, faithful, vigilant and always ready to help a buddy. Qualities found in an American soldier. They are qualities that come in handy in combat situations, but all too often, these same qualities can work against veterans returning home, especially those with traumatic injuries. Often, there are wounds are on the inside — conditions such […]

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Oct13 feature

Cooperation Innovation

We teach our children to share, encouraging them to work together while playing, at school, and even at home. We ask them to cooperate in order to make their worlds more peaceful, better places to live. Yet all too often as adults, we find ourselves struggling to hold on to those same values. So, when […]

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