Thursday, November 7, 2013

Editorial: Illinois and solar, a perfect match

The future is looking bright in Illinois.

Setting aside, of course, the problems of over-spending, under-revenuing and pension problem-ignoring.

We’re talking about the growing use of solar energy in the Land of Lincoln.

Part of the increase is the result of reductions in costs associated with such components as photovoltaic cells. Another key to the new-found interest in using the power of the sun for energy is the explosion of the green movement during the past few years.

Click here to read the full article from Journal Courier.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mac, IC both make list of magazine’s top colleges

Both MacMurray College and Illinois College have been named to Washington Monthly magazine’s annual list of top colleges.

MacMurray College was ranked No. 18 among baccalaureate colleges. Illinois College was No. 25 among liberal arts colleges.

The ratings are part of the magazine’s September/October issue, which is available today. They are intended to measure how much a college or university gives back to the country. Rankings are based on such things as social mobility, research and service.

Illinois College — which moved up 63 places from last year — ranked high in…click here to read the full article from Journal Courier.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Morgan home sales show 12.3% increase over previous year

The region’s housing market continues posting double-digit increases in most counties, with Morgan County’s 12.3 percent increase in sales through July leading the way in west-central Illinois.

Another positive sign of a strengthening market has been a substantial decrease in the amount of time houses stay on the market before they sell, according to the latest figures from the Illinois Association of Realtors.

More than 180 houses were sold in Morgan County in the first seven months of the year, which marked a 12.3 percent increase over the same period in 2012. The median sale price of $88,000 since January was down slightly, but by July had topped $101,300. The median is not an average, but rather the point at which half the houses sold for more and half sold for less.

The statewide median through July was…click here to read the full article from Journal Courier.

Monday, August 12, 2013

FutureGen 2.0 Means Hundreds of New Jobs, $12 Billion Economic Boost to Illinois

Study estimates 1,600-plus state-wide jobs at peak construction

JACKSONVILLE – In addition to global prestige and attention, FutureGen 2.0 will bring $12 billion in overall economic benefits to the State of Illinois, including hundreds of well-paying jobs to Jacksonville, Morgan County and the nearby region over the next 20-plus years, according to an independent study by the University of Illinois (U of I).

The world-leading clean-coal project will create an average of 620 well-paying jobs for the next 20 years. Of those jobs, an average of 400 will be in Jacksonville, Morgan County and the surrounding counties. The Jacksonville Region is also where the majority of the long-range economic impact will occur – nearly $8.8 billion. The report also estimates total wages and salaries of $655 million, of which $436 million will be paid, within this same region, through 2037.

In addition, a brisk construction period will see the project generate as many as 1,610 total jobs (direct and indirect) for the state of Illinois as work reaches its peak on the power plant retrofit, the carbon dioxide (CO2) pipeline that will stretch from Meredosia to the northeast corner of Morgan County, the CO2 injection well system and the construction of the new visitor-research-training facility.

The statewide and regional figures come from a new analysis — “Economic Impacts of FutureGen 2.0 on Illinois and Local Economies” — done by the respected U of I Regional Economic Applications Laboratory (REAL) at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

“The number of good paying jobs and the huge, positive financial impact that FutureGen 2.0 will have on our Region is tremendous!” said Terry Denison, President of the Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation. “We are so glad and proud that the FutureGen Alliance chose our Region…click here to read the full press release from JREDC.

Click here to read the Economic Impacts of FutureGen 2.0 on Illinois and Local Economies (June 2013).

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Editorial: City’s pride shines when people work hand in hand

city-pride-news-picPerhaps it’s human nature to be critical. Without being willing to look in the mirror and curse the reflected image, it’s impossible to improve.

The problem lies is becoming so fixated on those shortcomings that it becomes hard to recognize the positive things.

So let’s put aside those bumps and scars for a minute or two and pull back a little of the veneer of negativity to see what is there, Jacksonville.

First is an undercurrent of pride. The people who have been here for any length of time — whether the latest in a long generational line or the first of new generations to come — know there are reasons for that feeling. Small cities often live in the shadow of their larger counterparts, but Jacksonville manages to stand its own ground. Not many cities its size can boast two well-respected colleges, an orchestra and professional theater group or a thriving arts scene.

Click here to read the full article.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Census stats show impact of local retail

census-news-picRetail remains king in west-central Illinois, providing the majority of the jobs and accompanying payroll in the region, according to new statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.

In the 11-county west-central Illinois region — which includes Morgan and surrounding counties and those west to the Mississippi River — retail trade provides the majority of jobs for the region’s 119,081 workers, who take in more than $4.3 billion a year in payroll.

In Morgan County, for example, retail trade accounts for 17 percent of the 12,670 employees at 881 businesses in Morgan County. Retail is followed by health care and social assistance at 14 percent and construction at 11 percent.

Click here to read the full article.

Monday, May 13, 2013

IREC sets solar effort in motion

irec-news-picIllinois Rural Electric Cooperative broke ground Friday for a 500 kilowatt solar facility to be built on Ill. 106 near Winchester, the first of its kind among Illinois electrical cooperatives.

The photovoltaic solar energy system will cover 4 acres and consist of 2,223 panels.

At full capacity, it could provide enough electricity for around 170 homes on the hottest day of the year. The facility is expected to produce around 840,000 kilowatts a year.

Click here to read the full article.

Monday, May 6, 2013

TJHS scholars taking game to state



The students at Turner Junior High School lined against the classroom walls about 3 p.m. Thursday. Their job was to clap for all 21 students in the Scholastic Bowl team as they walked through each hallway. It’s a tradition the school does for all state-bound teams.

Click here to read the full article.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released a video statement today following an announcement by the U.S. Department of Energy that a new cooperative agreement with the FutureGen Industrial Alliance has been finalized, allowing Phase II of project development on begin on FutureGen 2.0.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Video: U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) Discusses FutureGen 2.0 Progress

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) discusses the progress of FutureGen 2.0 after meeting with Ken Humphreys, CEO of the FutureGen Alliance. Recently, the FutureGen Alliance announced it will move forward with FutureGen 2.0 by purchasing portions of the Meredosia Energy Center from Ameren Energy Resources.