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PupDog Bakery has a very popular peanut butter bar coated in carob with a yogurt drizzle.

Bakery business is going to the dogs

There’s nothing quite like being greeted with joy as you return home after a long day at work. Feeling the love from having someone so happy to see you just lifts the ­spirits, and that wagging tail says it all! That’s right, I’m talking about the four-legged companion that is rightfully referred to as man’s best friend. Research has shown ...Read More

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Classroom Empowerment grants receive high marks from teachers

All too often, the news we hear about school finances isn’t good. Budgets have been cut to the bone, and teachers must spend a portion of their hard-earned money on supplies for their classrooms. But here’s good news for a change. Help has come to many Illinois classrooms through Touchstone Energy® Classroom Empowerment grants. The grant program, created in 2006 ...Read More

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Living securely in a Facebook world

By Dan Gerard Charles Caleb Colton once said, “Imitation is the ­sincerest form of flattery.” However, when it pertains to your digital identity, I would have to disagree. We live in a digital world consisting of Facebook, Twitter, Google Places, online banking, digital ­versions of credit cards, and cell phones that do all this and more. Today, more than ever, ...Read More

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In-floor electric heating options

Dear Jim: I often feel chilly in my home, especially during the winter months. I know electric resistance heating can be expensive to use, but I really like the idea of in-floor heating. Does it only work with tile flooring, or can it be used under carpet? What types are available? - Ron A. Dear Ron: You’re absolutely right. Electric ...Read More

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Make your holidays greener

While the holidays are festive and fun, they can take a toll on the ­environment. All that shopping, decoration, food ­preparation and travel adds up to more carbon emissions and more waste. But there are ways to ­minimize our impact and still celebrate the season in grand style. For starters, buy fewer gifts. Homemade, personal gifts are always appreciated as ...Read More

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The legend of the Christmas tree

The custom of a Christmas tree, ­undecorated, is believed to have begun in Germany, in the first half of the 700s. The earliest story tells how British monk and missionary, St. Boniface, was preaching a sermon on the Nativity to a tribe of Germanic Druids ­outside the town of Geismar. To convince the town’s people that the oak tree was ...Read More

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Open ears, open hearts, open doors

“God literally woke me up and said ‘Feed my ­children.’ ” That was about 20 years ago, and Kenny Mayner knew it was God’s voice. The only thing he did question was what it meant at that time. He and wife, Marsha, have a family of two boys. They were well loved and well fed. What they discovered was the ...Read More

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Trip of a lifetime opens up a world of opportunity

You could tell as they approached the building that some were a bit hesitant, while others had that air of adventure about them. Very few knew anyone else taking the trip. As they dropped off their suitcases and milled around, the noise of nervous excitement filled the meeting room. And, as some of them said goodbye to parents, there were ...Read More

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Cooperative careers

The men and women who don hard hats and climb poles to work on power lines might be the most visible employees of electric utilities, but it takes a host of other professions to keep power flowing. From accounting to communications, engineering to human resources, customer/member service to line work, the job opportunities at electric cooperatives are numerous and will ...Read More

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The Cowboy Co-op

By Tom TateOctober is National Co-op Month, so it seems fitting for co-op members to look back to our ­beginnings and reflect on the ­reasons for the creation of electric cooperatives. This is a remarkable story that demonstrates the exceptional nature of the Americans who ­populated rural America, then and now.Nineteen hundred and thirty five. It’s hard to imagine what ...Read More