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  • This weekend, we learned the DeWitt County Board has approved to take to referendum a proposal for electric aggregation for unincorporated areas of the County.


    According to Board Chair David Newberg, this proposal failed a few years ago, however, this time around they have approved Good Energy to lead the charge to educate the community on what electric aggregation is all about.



    Newberg explains this only is voted on by those in unincorporated areas of DeWitt County. He adds it also does not effect those who are with CornBelt Energy.



    Newberg also points out, with the uncertainty of the Exelon Power Plant in Clinton and the effect it would have on electric rates in Illinois, this would be a way for residents to not feel that as much.

    He says it would keep electric rates frozen at the agreed to price. 


  • Since the announcement of the closure of the Clinton Power Station, the amount of funding in the Clinton School district budget that comes from Exelon has been highlighted maybe more than ever before.


    With nearly half the budget for Clinton Schools made up of Exelon tax dollars, those figures are generally agreed to by both sides. The agreements in recent years have not come to fuition and therefore the amount of dollars the district gets are very fluid.

    According to Superintendent Curt Nettles, those negotiations are stalled as they have been in years past.



    Nettles indicates the district will receive the dollars for what the plant is worth, however there is the possibility they will have to repay money back based on several factors.



    While the Exelon situation is fluid, the state situation might be more fluid than what it appears. Nettles has said he is apprehensive the state will follow through on their commitment to fully fund education, and notes for now, they are budgeting like  education will be fully funded.



    Nettles says the last fiscal year ended about where they thought they would. He says this upcoming budget looks pretty good and has the district in the black. 


  • Lincoln Mayor Marti Neitzel is excited about what is happening with the Lincoln Depot renovations and the progress happening.


    It's been a couple years in the works but the renovations at the Lincoln Depot, just off the downtown square, are nearly finished. Mayor Neitzel says final construction is about underway.


    According to Mayor Neitzel, the renovation has seen the removal of a couple of the rail cars removed and will take it back close to it's original form.



    $120-thousand is roughly the cost of the project for the City of Lincoln. Mayor Neitzel notes around $4-million is coming from government funding.



    Mayor Neitzel adds there has been street work done in the surrounding area making it a complete project. She looks forward to the completed product. 


  • Citing an outpouring of public concern, the U-S Surface Transportation Board has asked Great Lakes Basin Transportation to explain its proposed railroad route through northern Illinois, and provide alternative alignments.


    The S-T-B received more than 3,500 comments about the proposed rail line during the last few months. The president of the Illinois Farm Bureau, Richard Geubert (hard “G” GEE-burt) explains why his group is concerned;



    Great Lakes officials say the proposed rail line that could cut through several northern Illinois counties seeks to relieve rail congestion in the Chicago area. Geubert says the group has never operated a rail line and some major railroads have stated publicly they wouldn’t use it. The Farm Bureau wants the S-T-B to conduct a full review of the proposal.


  • The Illinois Supreme Court has decided to take up an appeal by a group seeking to reform how Illinois draws its legislative maps.


    A Cook County Circuit Court declared the effort last Wednesday unconstitutional. The Illinois Supreme Court then decided late Friday that it would expedite an appeal by the Independent Map Amendment coalition. The group’s chairman, Dennis FitsSimons (fitz-SIGH-muns) says the group wants to explain why the lower court running needs to be overturned.



    The group collected more than 550-thousand voter signatures to put the redistricting reform question to voters in November. It wants the Illinois Supreme Court to rule before late August. That's a deadline the group says set by the Illinois State Board of Elections to draw up statewide ballots.


  • If you’re a veteran of or active duty National Guard a new program will let you get a special designation on your driver’s license.


    The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs says that make sure you have a few documents in hand before you come to a Driver’s License Facility to receive an identification of your status on a license. IDVA Spokesman Dave MacDonna.



    If you’re over 65 the designation on the license is free or if you wait till a new license is issued. Otherwise it will cost you $5 to get a new one to put in your wallet. 


  • The weekend heat wave has been well publicized but State Climotologist Jim Angel says it will be slightly cooler next week.



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