Secondary Feature


Casey’s General Store

In rural communities across the Midwest, you are likely to spot a Casey’s General Store, sometimes even more than one in the same community. Illinois is Casey’s second largest state, only behind Iowa, where you’ll find the corporate offices of the convenience store chain. Second is still impressive considering there are 1,770 stores in 14 states and Illinois has 410 ...Read More

Judging Table

Finest Cooking Holiday Recipe Contest Winners

Christmas offers much to celebrate - the opportunity to gather with family and enjoy the familiar sights, sounds and smells we have come to cherish. One of the things we most associate with the holidays is food. It seems like everyone has a favorite dish they want to see on the table. Back in August, we challenged our electric cooperative ...Read More

IMW 7 and RECC turbine

Illinois innovation

Many times innovation comes out of a backyard garage, not a big company. That’s the story of “Seven,” an electric 207 MPGe dream car that was born in an Illinois co-op member’s pole barn. Much has happened in the three years since Illinois Country Living last interviewed Illuminati Motor Works (IMW), the team that built an electric car from scratch ...Read More


World-class performer

Last month POWER Magazine named Prairie State Energy Campus as one of the top five coal-fired plants in the world. This 1,600-MW mine-mouth plant located in Washington County, Ill., is the largest U.S. coal-fired plant to be built in three decades. The supercritical plant’s state-of-the-art emissions controls result in emissions that are one-fifth the national average for coal-fueled plants. The ...Read More

Professional home energy auditors use infrared cameras to picture energy leaks.

Extreme Efficiency Makeover

By Magen Howard Extreme home makeovers can update your living space, but an energy efficiency makeover will ensure your home performs at its peak. Everything from “low-hanging fruit” like ­swapping out lightbulbs to ­“bigger ticket” items such as ­replacing appliances with newer, energy-­saving models is fair game. Finding ‘energy hogs’ If you’re ready to take on a home ­efficiency makeover, ...Read More


Fire sparks volunteers

The call comes requiring immediate action. You hop in your truck and rush to the firehouse, quickly throw on 70 pounds of equipment and head out to the emergency. Time is of the essence and others are depending on your quick action. That is the life of an emergency responder, never knowing when that call will come, day or night, ...Read More

Personal relationships are at the core of what locally owned and operated cooperatives are all about, which makes them perfectly
positioned to foster economic development projects. - Source: Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives

Energizing our communities the co-op way

During October each year we celebrate Co-op Month along with all the other 29,000 member-owned cooperatives in the United States. But this year electric cooperatives are doing more than celebrating the co-op business model. After 75 years of providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity to rural areas, the nation’s electric cooperatives are taking a look in the mirror and asking ...Read More


Two girls with a dishwasher and a dream

By Valerie Cheatham It’s an especially tough economic time out there for small businesses, but two sisters, Lauren and Annie Murray of rural Fisher (the L. and A. of L.A. Gourmet), have managed to wade through those rough waters and come out with a very successful business. Who knew an $85 commercial dishwasher would have such an impact!    Lauren and ...Read More

Enyrt_Bustos_Davis (1)

Working together for Illinois

Our state and nation are facing very tough issues that require the good faith effort of our leaders and a willingness to work across the aisle. Illinois’ freshmen Representatives, William Enyart, Cheri Bustos and Rodney Davis, who together represent more than 40 counties, all emphasized the importance of ­creating jobs for their districts and bipartisanship in Congress.       ...Read More

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Telling fish stories

Long before anyone had ever heard of the television programs, “Hillbilly Handfishin’,” “Mudcats” or “Dirty Jobs,” the Williams and Campbell families had been hand-fishing (or hoggin’) in the Mackinaw and Kickapoo Rivers and Salt Creek in north central Illinois. In fact, both families have three generations of hoggers, as they refer to themselves. “Catfish” John Campbell taught his buddy Bob ...Read More