Currents


SmallTown

USDA awards more than $8 million in REDLG funds

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded $8,447,840 in Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) funds to Illinois co-ops during fiscal year 2020. One grant and 12 loans, including one in a persistent poverty county, were allocated. The REDLG monies are granted to cooperatives which in turn loan the funds to rural businesses […]

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MCEC helps local business

Thanks to assistance from Monroe County Electric Cooperative (MCEC) and the USDA Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program, the Maeys Creek Pumping District (MCPD) will be able to purchase much needed equipment. The $103,000 zero-interest loan will help finance soft start equipment for the pumping district’s three 900 horsepower pump motors. The new […]

Rural Broadband

Rural Illinois ReConnect funding to help hundreds

Adams TelSystems, Inc. [Adams Fiber] will use a recent $1.6 million ReConnect grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network which will connect 440 people, 34 farms and 18 businesses within its new service area. The Adams Fiber expansion will provide service to the Columbus area northeast of Quincy Regional Airport. The monies are part of the […]

HolidayTravel

Traveling this holiday season?

Before you leave for the holidays, safeguard your home. Put lights on an automatic timer. Ask a neighbor to watch your home, shovel snow and park in the driveway now and then. Be sure to have your newspaper and mail delivery stopped. Nothing says you’re gone like a pile of papers on your porch and […]

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December Checklist

Live Christmas tree? Always place live trees away from heat sources and keep the base filled with water. Warm and toasty. Consider placing a large heating pad on your bed for 15 minutes before retiring. Don’t forget to turn it off. Give the gift of time. Instead of buying a gift, give a loved one […]

Jo-Carroll Energy receives broadband grant

Jo-Carroll Energy receives broadband grant

A $14 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will accelerate buildout of high-speed fiber internet to rural areas by Jo-Carroll Energy’s (JCE) broadband division, Sand Prairie. The grant is part of the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect program. Jo-Carroll and Sand Prairie will use the grant to […]

Social Security

SSA announces 2021 benefit increase

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for approximately 70 million Americans will increase 1.3 percent in 2021 according to the Social Security Administration. The 1.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2021. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI […]

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Help build the future of housing in Illinois

As our communities change, our housing needs and preferences change too. While some housing needs are common throughout Illinois, many others are tied to the unique conditions of life in urban, suburban and rural communities. To understand and address these varied needs, the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) is creating a Housing Blueprint: a new […]

Another look at ENERGY STAR

When it comes to consumer technology, innovation not only can mean more and better features, it can also mean more efficient energy use designed to save money. That’s been the goal of the government-backed ENERGY STAR program since 1992. “When it comes to heating and cooling costs, savings are driven by local climate conditions,” said […]