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 people to fill them. According ...Read More


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 self-sufficiency in Christian, Clay, Effingham, ...Read More

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 still recalls how seeing that ...Read More

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 as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). ...Read More

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 a story embodying the cooperative ...Read More


Paddlewheel Steamboats Return to Illinois

Photos and story by Jim Winnerman The first indication something is approaching is a low hiss and rumble that causes you to stop what you are doing and listen intently to see if it ceases. Instead, it slowly builds in volume, getting so loud the noise becomes an intense guttural shriek echoing across the countryside. Then the sound stops abruptly, ...Read More

Galena Country Fair

Where there’s smoke … There might just be a festival!

The smell of BBQ smoke and popcorn can make a mouth water. Brightly colored hot air balloons take form as they inflate and float up into the awakening dawn. The sounds of music and people. All of these are just a few of the sights, sounds and smells you can find at local festivals. Festivals are more than just a ...Read More


The road to recovery

Ronald Reagan once remarked, “To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last - but eat you he will.” There are many memorable quotes associated with business, or the economy, or the recession. And, even though at first glance the quote above does ...Read More

Child on horse

Who rescued whom?

Tranquility. Peace. Love. Like a warm blanket on a cold day, you’re immediately enveloped by it as you head up the dusty lane to Refuge Ranch, near Pawnee. With a menagerie of horses, ponies, goats, sheep and even a pig milling about, this may look like just another small ranch that dots the Illinois landscape, but it’s so much more. ...Read More

lectric co-ops across the country have been preaching and teaching energy efficiency for years. Bob Dickey, manager of marketing and economic development for Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative took his “sermon” to congressional staffers on Capitol Hill using the co-op’s energy wall. The 18 foot-long energy wall uses compressed air flowing through the display to demonstrate potential energy losses that could easily be plugged with proper caulking, insulation and various sealants. Co-op officials gave policymakers an opportunity to experience the same energy-efficiency messages more than 300,000 co-op consumer-members in the nation’s heartland have been able to share. “We know we can reduce the energy costs on the vast majority of homes by 20 to 40 percent,” says Dickey. “Many homes were built decades ago and they leak like sieves.”
Source: Kevin Bernson

Getting comfortable with home energy efficiency

Melanie wants her home to be comfortable, cheerful, and bright. Winter gusts blowing across the Kansas prairie send her to the thermostat to fight the chill. In the summer, she nudges the temperature down to keep cool, all while avoiding her husband’s detection. Melanie’s husband, Scott, frowns on tweaking the thermostat. He canvases the home, turning off lights. While his ...Read More