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Preserving Our Rural Heritage

Some people might call Pinckneyville’s Charlie Greer a hoarder. After all, he’s collected for years and his accumulation ranges from antique tractors to tools and telephone equipment. But unlike those for whom gathering can become a serious problem, Greer’s collection instead is a source of preservation, education and remembrances. Greer and his wife Mary are […]

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Bucket Trucks at sunset Source Dave Behle Dawson Public Power District 2007

Built by the people, for the people

For more than 75 years the electric cooperative business model, when utilized effectively by engaged members, has served as a valuable instrument to improve the quality of life in rural areas. Cooperatives – democratically governed businesses that operate on an at-cost, not-for-profit basis – are unique in their ability to focus on the needs of […]

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SMART GRID the next greatest thing

At the beginning of the rural electrification movement during the Great Depression, a Tennessee farmer stood up in church one Sunday and said, “The greatest thing on earth is to have the love of God in your heart, and the next greatest thing is to have electricity in your house.” That was 75 years ago […]

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Ministering on the Mississippi

Kempton Baldridge doesn’t dress like most pastors. He doesn’t wear a formal robe or even a suit and tie. Instead, his attire includes steel-toed boots, a baseball cap and life vest. What Baldridge does isn’t what most pastors do, either. He’s not one to preach from a pulpit or deliver sermons from the front of […]

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Photo courtesy of Gregory Thorp.

Ministering on the Mississippi

Kempton Baldridge doesn’t dress like most pastors. He doesn’t wear a formal robe or even a suit and tie. Instead, his attire includes steel-toed boots, a baseball cap and life vest. What Baldridge does isn’t what most pastors do, either. He’s not one to preach from a pulpit or deliver sermons from the front of […]

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Illinois Country Father of the Year

Wearing fish-adorned suspenders, a well-worn Polo-style shirt and a pair of jeans, Jack Graves blends into the crowd as one of the good ol’ boys with a penchant for fishing. The look may not be GQ in terms of today’s fashion police, but it speaks volumes for this comfortable but genuine father, grandfather and businessman. […]

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Nomination Letters

Father of the Year – Jack O. Graves William Jesse AyersLyle BarnesBill BrauerMichael Shawn ClaridaMatthew J. ClaytonCorey DasenbrockCharles DePriestChet DobbinsGreg DolbeareJohn DonhamJim EndresKarl FraleyRay GrimsleyEric HartmannLindell HeringEddward HerronDonald HubnerRoy KlingelhoeferMark KraftPhil LawrenceBob ListerFred MarlingAllen McKnightChester PasiewiczLes ReelDale G. SiverlyDavid SteadMarvin SwigerRodney TravisDouglas L. VaughnJack Yates, Sr.   Nominee: Jack O. GravesTown: ElizabethNominated by: Jennifer Redfearn […]

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Fair season ahead

Where can you find 815,000 people, 10,000 farm animals and all kinds of food on sticks? It’s a fair question. Really, it is. The season is set to begin and attendance is expected to remain high, having increased steadily for the last eight or nine years. In 1853 the first four-day Illinois State Fair took […]

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Time to remodel?

Americans are staying put. A down economy is driving most people to hunker down in their homes instead of moving, and many wonder whether to finish that attic or replace the front door as they try to out-wait hard times. Only 10 percent of the general public feels that now is the time to sell […]

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Oh, so natural

18-month-old Sawyer was comfortably perched and playing on a stack of organic bananas in a grocery store he regularly visits – a cooperative grocer that carries 80 percent organic produce, as much locally grown as it can get. Sawyer and his mom, Alto Pass residents, visit Carbondale’s Neighborhood Co-op Grocery every Wednesday. She said she […]

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