Social Security announces 2.0 percent benefit increase

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase 2.0 percent in 2018, according to the Social Security Administration. The 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits ­payable to more than 61 ­million Social Security ­beneficiaries in January 2018. Increased payments to more than 8 […]

Percentage Sign with Downward Arrow

Rural economy continues to struggle

There was little to cheer about in the Rural Mainstreet Index report issued Sept. 21, as the index sank to 39.6 on a scale of 0 to 100. That’s down from 42.2 in August and the lowest it’s been since last December. Farmland prices fell for the 46th consecutive month. And it’s now 49 months in a […]

Senator Sieben bird hunt

Hunting Works for Illinois

Does blaze orange equal lots of green for the economy? Sportsmen, retailers and business leaders throughout Illinois say yes and getting that message out far and wide is the goal of a new organization called Hunting Works for Illinois. “When looking at the economy of Illinois, it’s hard to ignore the size, scope and impact […]

EnerStar unveils Co-op Solar program

EnerStar Electric Cooperative unveiled its new solar program thanks to a collaboration with Wabash Valley Power Association (WVPA), the co-op’s wholesale power supplier. The new Co-op Solar program is part of a larger-scale local solar program from WVPA. It consists of five solar arrays located in Illinois, Missouri and Indiana and will generate up to […]

Why broadband isn’t like 1930s electrification

Rural broadband in 2017 might sound similar to the mission of providing electricity for rural America in 1937. But an NRECA Board leader says it’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. “When we started 80 years ago, we were investing in poles and wires and transformers that had a very long shelf life. We’ve got some […]

Carson addresses

NRECA president highlights how co-ops use farm bill to boost communities

NRECA Board President Phil Carson urged congres­sional ­leaders to ensure that electric co-ops ­continue to have farm bill resources to ­provide affordable, reliable power and ­support economic development efforts that ­contribute to the quality of life in rural communities. Speaking at a House Agriculture Committee ­listening session in Illinois, Carson said co-ops like Tri-County Electric […]

CMEC hurricane recovery

Illinois cooperatives help restore power after Hurricane Irma

In advance of Hurricane Irma, the Georgia Electric Membership Cooperative reached out to the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives (AIEC) for storm recovery help. The AIEC activated its Emergency Work Plan and ­dispatched 123 linemen from 21 rural electric cooperatives from across the state to help restore electricity in Georgia and North Carolina. The hurricane […]

Social Security announces new service for card replacements

The Social Security Administration recently introduced the expansion of online services for residents of Illinois available through its my Social Security portal at Residents can use the portal for many replacement Social Security number (SSN) card requests. This will allow people to replace their SSN card from the comfort of their home or office, […]

New report finds electric power industry supports more than 7 million American jobs

The electric power industry ­supports more than 7 ­million American jobs, equivalent to about 5 percent of all jobs in the U.S., according to a detailed analysis of the role that electric ­companies play in the nation’s labor force and economy. M.J. Bradley & Associates released the report and analysis was conducted for the Edison Electric […]

New locomotives serving Amtrak riders in Illinois

Illinois has received 12 ­locomotives that are being put into service on Amtrak routes in Wisconsin, Michigan and Missouri, including the Illinois Zephyr/Carl Sandburg ­service between Chicago and Quincy, the Hiawatha service between Chicago and Milwaukee, the Saluki/Illini service between Chicago and Carbondale, and the Lincoln Service between Chicago and St. Louis. A total of […]