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  • Local leaders and lawmakers in attendance of Wednesday ceremony for the signing of the nuclear energy legislation in Illinois were ecstatic.
     
     
    For lawmakers, they are happy for the DeWitt County community and for local leaders, they are relieved the Exelon Nuclear Power Station will remain a part of the community for another ten years.
     
    Communications Manager at the Clinton Power Staiton, Brett Nauman, calls it a great day for DeWitt County and was very pleased with the turnout of the community.
     
     
    Executive Director of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce, Marian Brisard calls this the best day for DeWitt County. She says this is the start of the work ahead to continue bring jobs to DeWitt County.
     
     
    DeWitt County Board Chair said the ceremony was awesome. He calls it a start of a new future.
     
     
    State Sen. Chapin Rose (above) says the bills passage has everything to do with the local leaders and citizens spurring this on and the Governor stepping in to get it to the finish line.
     
     
    Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Curt Nettles (above) says the Governor stepped up and kept his word in a meeting several months ago where he told local leaders he was committed to keeping the power plant open and the jobs in the community.
     
     
     
    Wednesday's ceremony marked the culmination of almost two years of work in getting the legislation passed and was attended by several hundred community members, leaders, Clinton High School students and Exelon employees. 

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  • The community showed up in full support of legislation that will allow the Exelon Nuclear Power Station in Clinton to remain open and viable.
     
    Over a half-dozen speakers addressed a crowd of several hundred made up of community members and Exelon employees and officials. Exelon CEO Chris Crane (right) says the issues for the company started a couple years ago and calls it landmark legislation.
     
     
    Vice President of Clinton Power Station, Ted Stoner (bottom right), says it was amazing to watch the General Assembly work to get the legislation passed. He thanks Representative Bill Mitchell and Senator Chapin Rose for their leadership in getting the bill through.
     
     
    Executive Director of the Illinois Environmental Council, Jen Walling says the bill is not what some have called a bailout. She calls it the most significant piece of climate and energy policy in the State's history. 
     
     
    Governor Bruce Rauner says this bill received mass opposition but they were able to get it passed. He says it was about protecting good paying jobs in the state of Illinois.
     
     
    The Governor also adds, this bill will allow businesses to grow and thrive in Illinois, something his administration is committed to.
     
     
    The Citizens Utility Board spoke in favor of the legislation along with lawmakers Jim Durkin, Chapin Rose, Bill Mitchell and Bob Rita.
     

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  • The DeWitt County Board re-organized earlier this week following the November election.
     
    DeWitt County Board Chair David Newberg was re-appointed the Board's leader and Vice-Chair Camille Redman keeps her post as well. Newberg says they also swore in three new members.
     
     
    Newberg indicates at the reorganization meeting, they made committee assignments. He calls this a very experienced board.
     
     
    Newberg notes the Board also approved a resolution to begin County Board meetings at 6 pm rather than 7 pm. He indicates this will allow County employees already in the building a little more flexibility with their meeting nights.

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  • A local organization aimed at community development has until the end of the month to rally enough support to get a grant through State Farm.
     
    David Torbert with the DeWitt County Development Council indicates their efforts to raise $25-thousand, which would be matched by State Farm, are still ongoing and they are just a few thousand dollars short of their goal.
     
     
    As leaders of the DCDC get out into the community rallying support, Torbert says the big theme they hear is they want to see results from the DCDC. 
     
     
    For Torbert, he and others within DCDC envision the organization working alongside businesses in the community to help meet their needs.
     
     
    Torbert indicates the deadline to meet the $25-thousand challenge through State Farm is the end of the month. He hopes business owners that might be interested in participating in the challenge and becoming involved in DCDC further will visit their website, www.dcdc-illinois.org. 

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  • Lincoln High School's school leaders are analyzing the annual school report card data and overall are pleased.
     
    Superintendent Robert Bagby says data analysis can often times tell any story someone wants but is pleased with some of findings in this year's report. He says the school's ACT scores stand out to him.
     
     
    Bagby indicates he'd like to see an improvement in the daily attendance. He explains it is low in comparison to the state average and cannot pinpoint a reason for it.
     
     
    He also indicates the school's graduation rate is low but he points out, that doesn't take into account the alternative education program they've created within the school has allowed students recover credits and still graduate.
     
     
    Bagby says the comparisons between schools is something he doesn't put a lot of stock in. He explains his perspective is he knows how hard the teachers and students work each day and he's pleased with the education at Lincoln High School. 

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  • Each month Purdue University, in cooperation with the CME group, issues the Ag Barometer. It’s a little like the government’s survey of consumer confidence, but the barometer surveys farmers views of the ag economy.
     
    Jim Mintert, Ag Economist at Purdue, compiles the survey data each month, and says the November report, issued this week, shows a sharp uptick in farmer economic confidence in November
     
     
    The November election of Donald Trump may have encouraged hopes for tax and regulatory reform, as well as concern over trade relationships, says Mintert, but the real driver of the rise in confidence was due to stronger commodity prices and record or near record yields.
     
     
    To read the full Ag Barometer report, google Purdue Ag Barometer.

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  • The Selective Service System needs a little help. While there are no signs of a military draft on the horizon, they not only need to have potential military candidates on file, but they also need volunteers who serve on what could become local draft boards. 
     
    Tony Libri (Lee-Bree) with the Illinois Selective Service program says there's no shortage of openings.
     
     
    If anyone is interested in serving on their local Selective Service Board, call Libri at 217-836-7669.

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