Rep. Wright attends governor’s briefing on domestic preparedness

[OCT. 17, 2001]  State Rep. Jonathan Wright, R-Hartsburg, attended a briefing Monday on the state of Illinois’ preparedness for a potential terrorist attack.

Gov. George Ryan conducted the briefing in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania to update legislators and state and local officials on Illinois’ emergency response plan should a terrorist attack occur in our state. Rep. Wright said the governor’s main message was, "We are prepared."

"While our lives may never be the same following the tragic events of Sept. 11, local families should be reassured that our state emergency and health officials are on alert and prepared to respond to any terrorist threat in Illinois," Wright said.

Wright said the governor reported on the progress of the state’s Terrorism Task Force, created last year to assess the strengths and weaknesses within our response plan and to coordinate response efforts at the local level. The task force includes 64 special response teams, 32 of which are specially trained to respond to a biological, chemical or nuclear incident. Wright also noted that the state’s Department of Health has activated its statewide Health Alert Network so that any indication of biological or chemical threats can be immediately detected and reported.


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On the Monday the governor also proposed additional measures to increase preparedness statewide, including a series of regional training seminars to be conducted by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency for local government and residents, and a soon-to-be-announced emergency spending package to help identify and address security needs in cities and rural areas.

"While it’s impossible to be completely prepared for any possible type of attack a terrorist could devise, I’m confident that the state is doing everything possible to safeguard the public," Wright concluded. "And we must remember that the best way we can all help defeat the terrorist threat is to simply go on with our daily lives."

[News release from Rep. Jonathan Wright]

Logan County Board

Final budget meeting set for Oct. 25; zoning issue returns to appeals board

[OCT. 17, 2001]  Facing a deficit of approximately half a million dollars in its fiscal year 2002 budget, the Logan County Board voted Tuesday night to ask all officeholders and department heads to review their budgets for possible cuts. Board members will meet with their auditor at 7 p.m., Oct. 25, in the first-floor boardroom to set figures in the approximately $5 million budget. Final action will be taken at the November board meeting.

Additions to the proposed budget discussed Tuesday night include a 3.4 percent increase in the Oasis and CIEDC portions of the senior citizens tax, $3,000 each for extra part-time help for the board’s secretary and the county treasurer, $12,000 in additional requests for the Logan County Health Department and $23,333 for non-union salary increases of 3.4 percent. Tentative deletions include $15,000 previously slated for economic development, $147,500 for county offices and $10,000 for a 4x4 for ESDA.

After reviewing these and other changes requested since Thursday’s work session, Finance Committee Chairman Rod White said, "We’re still faced with a deficit budget of about $500,000." In the first year the county is fortunate enough to have a surplus, and no personnel or programs will be eliminated, he said, but if the deficit continues for a second year, board members will have to consider cuts.


White also pointed out that the tentative budget contains no money for extra security or for new economic development initiatives. A memo read at the meeting announced formation of a Homeland Security Committee consisting of Sheriff Tony Soloman, board Chairman Dick Logan, Law Enforcement Committee Chairman Doug Dutz and Insurance Committee Chairman Dale Voyles. The committee is charged with improving security in the seven county buildings. In addition, Logan County Economic Development Director Mark Smith announced an informational meeting at Lincoln College on Oct. 24. The meeting, to be at 7 p.m. in the McKinstry Library lecture room, will present a proposal for economic development.

In a zoning matter, an issue on which a straw vote was taken at Thursday night’s meeting was returned to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Amending a motion by Planning and Zoning Committee Chairman David Hepler, the board voted 7-6 to return to the appeals board Carol Litwiller’s request to rezone 2.1 acres of agricultural land so it can be divided for building two homes. Voting in favor of the amendment were Roger Bock, Paul Gleason, Dick Logan, Gloria Luster, Dale Voyles, Terry Werth and Rod White, while Tom Cash, Doug Dutz, Jim Griffin, David Hepler and Clifford Sullivan opposed it.

Normal procedure is for the Planning and Zoning Committee to hear a zoning request first, but Litwiller was unable to attend the scheduled meeting. The appeals board then considered the case and voted 5-0 to deny the request. Later it was discovered that the term of one appeals board member, Wilbur Paulus, had expired in December 2000.


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County Board member Cash charged that the "Zoning Board of Appeals acted more or less out of order" when it met before the Planning and Zoning Committee had acted. State’s Attorney Tim Huyett said that while hearings by both bodies are required, the reversed order was not necessarily illegal. Voyles made the motion to send the issue back to the appeals board.

Later in the meeting board Chairman Dick Logan’s reappointment of Paulus to the Logan County Zoning Board of Appeals was approved by an 11-2 margin, with Dutz and Griffin opposing. The five-year term was made retroactive to December 2000. Paulus has served on the appeals board since 1970.

Two other appointments were unanimously approved. Judith S. Emrick will fill L.K. Buckles’s unexpired term on the Housing Authority of Logan County. Buckles resigned the position. Alderman Dave Armbrust will serve on the Regional Planning Commission. At the request of Mayor Beth Davis, Armbrust replaces fellow Alderman Michael Montcalm, who was unable to attend the meetings.

A unanimous vote authorized Airport Chairman Roger Bock to bid on a tractor and bat-wing mower at an Illinois Department of Transportation surplus sale Oct. 25.


ESDA Director Dan Fulscher said that police are to be trained Wednesday to collect and seal suspicious mail. Sheriff Tony Soloman and Police Chief Rich Montcalm will determine case by case whether there is a credible threat and, if so, send the sample to a lab for testing. Fulscher echoed Soloman, "Let’s not succumb to panic."

County resident Pete Fredericks protested to the board about having to pay for a second septic system permit when the first system, installed according to Logan County Health Department dictates, failed in 2½ years. Fredericks said he did not put undue demand on the system. "There are only two of us and the dog," he said, "and we make the dog go outdoors." Fredericks was advised to consult the Health Department board.

Regional Superintendent of Schools George Janet and Logan County Supervisor of Assessments Rosanne Brosamer have moved into the John A. Logan County Building, according to board member Terry Werth. He thanked Soloman for assisting in the move.

Board member Paul Gleason reported his work on computerizing information contained in county documents from the 1850s and ’60s. He said he will make copies of relevant documents for display in county offices.

[Lynn Shearer Spellman]

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Gifts to benevolent fund will be dedicated Thursday

[OCT. 17, 2001]  A candlelight service at 7 p.m. Thursday will dedicate money collected for the benevolent fund for the families of New York City emergency workers killed in the terrorist attack. Members of the police and fire departments and Emergency Services Disaster Agency will participate, and the public is invited to the service, to be in the third-floor courtroom at the Logan County Courthouse.

Sewer rates will go up on Jan. 1

[OCT. 16, 2001]  Bowing to the inevitable, the Lincoln City Council voted unanimously Monday night to increase sewer rates so it can qualify for a state loan to upgrade the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

"I think it is necessary," Alderman Michael Montcalm, chairman of the ordinance committee, told the council. "This is probably the most important vote we will have here for quite a while."

The resolution mandates that the first tier of rate increases will go into effect by Jan. 1, 2002. For residents who live inside the city limits, monthly rates will go from $11 to $14. For those who live outside the city, rates will go from $12 to $17.52 a month.

Charges based on actual usage will go up for commercial, industrial and institutional users as well, some of them substantially.

The first tier of increases is expected to be in effect for 18 months; then, if the city does not find any other funding and has to finance the full $9.8 cost of the upgrade, a second tier of raises will have to be made.

Under the final plan, or "worst case scenario," which would take effect 18 months later, city residents would pay $16.39 monthly, and out-of-city residents would pay $22.31. Commercial, industrial and institutional users would also pay more.

[For more details, see Oct. 10 LDN article:  "Two-step plan suggested for sewer rate increase."] 


The "worst case scenario," could be lower than predicted if the city can tap some other sources of funding. Grant Eaton, sewer plant manager, said he is applying for various funds that could help defray the cost and is also hoping to get an Illinois FIRST grant.

The sewer plant must be upgraded to keep it in compliance with Illinois Environmental Protection Agency requirements. If the plant violates state requirements, the IEPA can refuse to permit new hookups and will stop residential, commercial and industrial growth in the city.

Last week the Lincoln wastewater plant had its first state violation because of a large input of ammonia, Eaton said. If the new plant had already been upgraded as planned, it would have been able to handle the extra load, but the city now has its first violation on the books. New standards for ammonia, which went into effect Oct. 1, will make it even harder for the present plant to comply with state regulations, he said.

Unless it raises sewer rates, the city will not qualify for the 20-year loan from the IEPA. It hopes to get the loan sometime in January 2002 and begin work on the plant upgrade in March, but delays are possible. If red tape keeps the project from being funded in January, the city will have to wait until October 2002 or even January 2003 to get the money.



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Zoning change approved for mental health facility

The council also voted unanimously to approve a zoning change from R-2 to C-2 for property at 2018 N. Kickapoo St. This will permit Logan-Mason Mental Health to use the facility as a adult day treatment center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.

The zoning change was recommended by the planning commission, and none of the property owners in the area have objected to the change, according to City Attorney Bill Bates. The property, formerly a day-care center, has been vacant for many years. It will be remodeled at a cost of about $140,000 and will serve 25 to 30 clients with a staff of seven, health center officials said.

Logan-Mason Mental Health Director Marcia Stoll thanked the council for their vote, saying the new facility will be much appreciated by those who use it. She said that since 1975 the adult day treatment center has been located in a basement with no windows and with no opportunity for clients to go outside and walk on the grass.

$750 fine set for possession of drug paraphernalia

In other business, the council approved a new ordinance prohibiting the possession of drug paraphernalia, with a fine of $750 plus court costs for any violation. One-half of all fines will go to the Police Department for the DARE anti-drug program and the other half to the city, also to be used for the prevention of alcohol and drug abuse by minors.

The council also approved an ordinance which will allow Bates some leeway in levying fines when prosecuting minors convicted of drug or alcohol abuse. By requesting court supervision instead of an immediate conviction, Bates can set fines higher or lower than the minimum $400 plus court costs for alcohol consumption.


Other business

In other business, the council agreed to prohibit parking on the west side of Union Street north of Woodlawn for about 72 feet. After hearing complaints that the traffic lights at that intersection were malfunctioning, Street Superintendent Donnie Osborne discovered that cars parked too close to the intersection were interfering with the sensors in the pavement.

The council also approved placing a stop sign at the intersection of Pulaski and LaDue streets, and gave Fire Chief Bucky Washam permission to sell a 1995 firetruck which is no longer in use, for $45,000.

[Joan Crabb]

Logan County agencies meet to discuss protocol for suspicious mail

[OCT. 16, 2001]  "Don’t get in a big panic. Continue your lives as you normally do! Don’t let these people get us running scared," says Sheriff Tony Soloman. He continued, "We have to show them we are better and stronger than them. We are going to deal with this, and we are going to overcome this."

Sheriff Tony Soloman also warns that any kids thinking of playing a joke on the principal, a teacher or a friend had better not do it. This is a serious situation, and he has conferred with the state’s attorney and judges on this. They are together saying that they will prosecute any copycats or pranksters to the full extent of the law.

Logan County Sheriff’s Department, Lincoln Police Department and Lincoln Fire Department are prepared to handle any suspicious mail received in Logan County.

Protocol for responsible handling of mail was announced this morning at a press conference with the sheriff, police and fire departments, Emergency Services Disaster Agency and the Logan County Health Department presenting information.

Illinois and Logan County have been preparing for terrorism for over a year. Logan County finished the domestic preparedness class at the end of August and followed that completion with written requests for aids.

How to handle suspicious mail

If you receive mail that is suspicious, if you do not know where or whom it is from, then use the following procedure:


•  Unusual or absent return address; restrictive markings

•  Excessive postage; postage and return address do not match

•  Suspicious because of how it is addressed: addressed to title only, incorrect title, or someone who no longer lives or works there

•  Oily stains, or discolorations

•  Wires sticking out

•  Odd shipping, packaging; excessive tape

•  Anything unusual

If you believe your mail is suspicious based on the above information, then the following protocol is in effect in accordance with the FBI advisory:

•  Double bag the mail in sealable plastic bags (freezer bags are preferred).

•  If it is simply bulk mail that you do not feel comfortable opening, double bag it and throw it away.

•  If you believe it is something that needs examination, call 911.

•  If you just want general information, call your local police or sheriff’s department.

What to expect if you call in a suspicious package and it is deemed credible for pickup:

The dispatcher will stay on the line with you until someone comes to pick up the package. They may come with an apron or mask on. It will take time for them to get there.




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After the package is picked up, an officer will come to the house. Do not be alarmed. You need to be prepared to answer questions such as: Who has been in the house with you? Who else was in the room when you opened it? How did you react when you opened it?

If you have your mail picked up:

•  You will not get the mail back.

•  Your mail will not be read to you; it is gone.

•  The lab results will not be available for some time. The labs will be very busy.

The Lincoln Fire Department is the lead agency in Logan County in responding to hazardous materials. They have a trained hazmat rescue team that knows what to do and can respond to any situation. The team has equipment that includes sealed, self-contained suits with breathing apparatus. They also have decontamination equipment.

If you should open something that has suspicious contents:

Remain calm. The only serious threat from the anthrax microbe is when it is airborne and it is inhaled. So remain calm if you should encounter a powdery substance. Do not disturb it. Wash your hands with soap and water; then call 911.

Lloyd Evans, administrator of the Logan County Health Department, said that the chance of contracting inhaled anthrax is slim. The anthrax must be airborne and must be inhaled to contract disease. Anthrax is a poor choice of a contaminating agent. It settles down very quickly. Exposure does not ensure contraction of the disease.

"We will be monitoring the physical condition of people who have a credible exposure," said Evans. "Lab testing and early detection, and a course of antibiotic treatment will be given to those who have a credible exposure."

The health industry is facing a concern for excessive use and rush on antibiotics. We are in the flu season, and if you are having flulike symptoms, that is probably what you have: the flu. Do not insist on having antibiotics if you are told you have the flu.

While this protocol may change, and it already has since yesterday’s state meeting in Springfield, Dan Fulscher of ESDA says he will notify Lincoln Daily News, and he will keep all the media current.

[Jan Youngquist]


[See FBI advisory below]

Police Department phone #: 732-4159

Fire Department phone #: 732-2141

Board to vote on proposed
$5 million county budget

[OCT. 15, 2001]  As the Finance Committee continues to review the proposal for a new county budget, brought forth to the board Thursday night, the question of necessity takes center stage. Although it has been almost nine years since Logan County has actually experienced a deficit in the budget, board members all agreed that, realistically, it appears that revenues are in the beginning stages of a serious decline. At a time when, on the federal level, earnings are doing the same, the board is looking to not only maintain an even financial state and avoid a coming reduction, but also to give Logan County a positive future fiscally. So a proposal of $5 million it is.

In a structured, spend-money-to-make-money standpoint, a deficit of $583,105 for the year ending 2002 could not be avoided as a part of the proposed budget increase. The highly publicized statue of Abraham Lincoln, along with a nine-hole golf course to be located within the limits of the Logan County Airport, were given a cursory reference in regard to bringing in revenue through this particular budget.

Board member and Finance Chairman Rod White presented the board with the budget address, which also included the matter of salary increases for the offices of probation, public defense and for the state’s attorney, who was on hand, often fielding questions and providing input upon request. The proposed budget will be re-examined in final discourse among the board members and will then be voted on Tuesday night at 7, with final adoption in 30 days. The new fiscal year begins Dec. 1.


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An exchange on another issue, which brought on an impromptu straw vote, was the rezoning of a local 7-acre agricultural property. The vote went through on a tight 6-5 passage, splitting the board, but in doing so, allowing two separate country homes to be built on rural Lincoln land.

The issue had already seen a recent rejection in an earlier vote, due to incompatibilities within the county’s ordinance in regard to rural homes. But the board’s Planning and Zoning Committee, led by David Hepler, claims the request to rezone does in fact comply with the statutory requirements of the ordinance, citing that those requirements were established in the first place so that smaller lots could be used for residential properties.

A motion from board member Dale Voyles, declaring that by denying the request, the Zoning Board of Appeals Committee was out of order, helped the proposal to pass this time around.

The property under dispute is located on Old Illinois 121 and is owned by Carol Litwiller, who reverentially presented his case to the board.

[Colin Bird]

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Task force holds area hearings
on funding for nursing homes

Rep. Wright hears testimony from state officials, local providers

[OCT. 15, 2001]  The House Republican Long-Term Care Funding Task Force held its first two public hearings Oct. 3, taking testimony in Springfield and Bloomington. State Rep. Jonathan Wright, R-Hartsburg, said he was pleased with the input task force members received today from state agency officials as well as a number of local long-term care providers.

"There are currently about 85,000 seniors and disabled people living in Illinois nursing homes. The majority of those, 64 percent, rely on public assistance to help pay for their nursing home stays. But in many cases, Illinois has failed to provide adequate reimbursement for Medicaid residents. Today, we heard firsthand from the care providers in our area the extent of the financial hardship this state funding shortfall has created for them," Wright said.

According to Wright, the mission of the task force is to research possible solutions to a looming funding crisis in the state’s long-term care industry. He said testimony Oct. 3 included presentations from representatives of the Jackson Heights facility in Farmer City, the Apostolic Christian Timber Ridge facility in Morton and LeRoy Manor in LeRoy.

"These providers’ comments are invaluable to helping us find a solution, and every member of the task force took them to heart,"' Wright said. "I’m looking forward to hearing directly from other providers throughout the state as we continue our hearings."

Locations for future scheduled hearings of the task force include Carbondale, Chicago, Decatur, Mattoon, Danville, Carol Stream and Palos Hills.

[News release]

City won’t lower fines for alcohol use

[OCT. 11, 2001]  Even though many aren’t paying them, the ordinance committee of the Lincoln City Council doesn’t plan to recommend lowering the fines for minors caught consuming alcohol.

The present ordinance calls for a minimum fine of $400 plus court costs, about $135, for a first offense, with a maximum fine of $750 possible. City Attorney Bill Bates said he thought the total $535 minimum fine was so far out of reach of most young people that they continue to put off paying it, reappearing in court time after time to tell the judge they don’t have the money.

Bates suggested a minimum fine of $200 plus costs, which would be somewhat less than $135, with a $300 fine for a second offense and a $400 to $750 fine for further offenses. He said he thought the city would be able to collect these fines more effectively than the present ones.

"The tendency is if they can’t pay it all, they won’t pay any," he said. "If they look at something achievable, they will make more effort to pay it." Lowering the fines would also lessen the congestion of the court system, he noted.

Fines for the same offense in the rest of Logan County are only $200, the amount set by state law, he told the council.

"It’s a little tough when you’ve got the $200 fine every place but the city," he said.

The city has no recourse against those who don’t pay, because once the fine is imposed it is in the hands of the judiciary. After a number of returns to court, a judge may order an offender to pay the fine in installments. The offender can’t be sent to jail for not paying, Bates said, only for violating a court order. If the judge orders the offender to pay and he or she does not, then that person may be sent to jail.

Alderman Steve Fuhrer said he was opposed to lowering the fine because it is "sending the wrong message."

Alderman David Armbrust, however, said he thought it might be easier for a young person to pay the $200 fine than to keep going to court to put it off..

Bates said the city ordinance has a pr ovision for a public service alternative to the fine but has no public service officer. Any such work would have to be supervised, and that would be an additional cost to the city.

Although the committee will not recommend changing the ordinance to lower the fine, they plan to give Bates some leeway. The fines are imposed upon conviction, and Bates may ask that an offender be given court supervision for 60 to 90 days, which is not a conviction, and he can then impose a lower fine. He can also impose a higher fine if he believes it is warranted.

The policy will be reviewed in six months to see if lower fines result in more payments.




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Proposal on drug fines

The "stay tough" policy for underage drinking became "get even tougher" in a proposed new ordinance for possession of drug paraphernalia.

That ordinance originally called for fines of $200 plus court costs for a first offense, $300 for a second and a minimum of $400 to $750 for further offenses, the same level of fines proposed for underage drinking. On learning that the city’s ordinance was less restrictive than the state law, Michael Montcalm suggested that the city ordinance follow state law, which requires a fine of $750 plus costs for any possession of drug paraphernalia.

Several other council members agreed. "What message are we sending if our drug fines are lower than our alcohol fines?" Glenn Shelton asked.

The new ordinance on drug paraphernalia, with a fine of $750 for the first offense, will be on the agenda at the next voting session of the council, on Oct. 15.

Rezoning at 2018 N. Kickapoo

Also on the agenda Oct. 15 will be a recommendation from the Lincoln Planning Commission to rezone property at 2018 N. Kickapoo from R-2 to C-2. The rezoning, requested by the Mental Health Center of Illinois, will allow Logan-Mason Mental Health to operate an adult day treatment center at the facility from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. five days a week.

The adult treatment program has been in the community for the past 25 years, according to Logan-Mason Director Marcia Stoll. "The people who use the facility already live in our community, shop in our community, and some even work in our community," she said.

Bates reported that the commission recommended approval of the change 7-0 and that no home or property owners in the neighborhood objected to the change.

Covers of videos

On the subject of a possible obscenity ordinance that would restrict suggestive pictures on covers of videos, Bates said if the council’s goal was to take boxes containing R-rated movies off the wall, that would be called censorship and would be a touchy subject.

Alderman Pat Madigan reported that the city’s two video stores had done a "pretty good job" of self-policing, and the more suggestive video covers were now partly concealed.

[Joan Crabb]


You can do something

LDC support letters urged

[OCT. 11, 2001]  In light of the recently revealed difficulties at the Lincoln Developmental Center, many members of the community are concerned about the impact that would be deeply felt if the facility should be closed. LDC is at risk of losing its federal certification.

Gov. George Ryan declared on Friday that they have 30 days to move 90 residents to other facilities and make patient care reforms. Gov. Ryan is quoted as saying, "Any decisions we make about the future direction of the facility will be made with the best interests of the residents in mind."

Not only would the closing of LDC be a devastating economic loss, but also, having been here a hundred years, this facility has been a significant part of our history.

If you would like to respond to this situation, you are urged to write a simple support letter to the governor and state representatives. You should state that as a member of this community you believe in keeping this important facility in operation here.

You can send your signed letters to:

Honorable George H. Ryan

Governor of Illinois

207 State House

Springfield, IL  62706


Claude "Bud" Stone

Illinois State Senator

618 N. Chicago St.

Lincoln, IL  62656


119 Capitol Building

Springfield, IL  62706


Jonathan C. Wright

Illinois State Representative

407 Keokuk St.

Lincoln, IL  62656

U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood

3050 Montvale Drive

Springfield, IL  62704


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Model letter

Dear Governor Ryan,

I am writing in reference to the recent difficulties at Lincoln Developmental Center. As a member of the community I would like to express my great concern for keeping the facility operating in Lincoln...

I am not only concerned for the residents, but for the economic impact and potential loss of a historically valued institution.

I am in favor of remedying the patient care problems at the LDC facility, preserving the existing facility and jobs for Lincoln and Logan County.

Please make your decisions to make this a win-win situation for everyone concerned: the patients and the people of Logan County.




Your Name


Phone Number


Electric rates going down

[OCT. 11, 2001]  At their Sept. 28 meeting, the board of directors of Corn Belt Energy Corporation approved new rate schedules for central region members. Corn Belt’s new rate structure has been calculated following an extensive cost-of-service study. Each rate class was reviewed and evaluated as it relates to the cost to provide electric service. The last adjustment to Corn Belt’s central region rates was on Jan. 1, 1991.

Residential members on Rate 1 with average monthly usage of 784 kilowatt hours would experience an average annual savings of 19 percent. Approximately 19,000 Rate 1 members will be affected by this rate change.

Another popular residential program is Rate 11. This special rate is interruptible during peak use periods in the summer. Rate 11 members will continue to have a 12.5 percent advantage over Rate 1. In fact, Rate 11 has a 21 percent advantage for the average customer during the summer billing periods. Rate 11 continues to be the lowest residential rate, because it allows the cooperative to interrupt members’ electric service during peak summer periods. Corn Belt Energy Corporation has 3,300 members on Rate 11.

Rates 1 and 11 savings will depend on a number of factors, primarily the usage by the member as dictated by the weather. Farms and businesses also will see a rate reduction for those on Rates 2, 3, 5 and 6. The large commercial members, Rates 5 and 6, will have an average 14 percent reduction, depending upon use and power factor.

Only one commercial rate will not decline. Rate 9 members will have a slight increase. There are only four customers on this interruptible rate.



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Corn Belt President-CEO Jeff Reeves said, "The cooperative is very fortunate at this time to provide lower rates, due to obtaining lower-cost wholesale power contracts. The cooperative currently has an all-requirements contract for fixed power prices for four more years."

Cooperative residential members will notice rate reductions for their October usage that is billed in November, and business accounts will see a change on their December billing statement.

Northern region members are scheduled for a rate change Jan. 1, 2003, barring any unforeseen expenses such as a major storm.

Corn Belt Energy is a 26,000-member cooperative, which has provided electricity for over 60 years. The cooperative also supplies natural gas and propane to specific service areas.

[News release]


America strikes back

As promised, the United States led an attack on Afghanistan. The attack began Sunday, Oct. 7. American and British military forces made 30 hits on air defenses, military airfields and terrorist training camps, destroying aircraft and radar systems. The strike was made targeting only terrorists.

More than 40 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East have pledged their cooperation and support the U.S. initiative.

Online news links

Other countries









Saudi Arabia 


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United States


New York

Stars and Stripes
(serving the U.S. military community) 

Washington, D.C.


More newspaper links 


Landfill to be open seven days a week for leaf and brush disposal

[OCT. 12, 2001]  The city landfill on Broadwell Drive will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for leaf and brush disposal, beginning on Oct. 15, according to Donnie Osborne, street superintendent. Plans are to keep the new schedule in place until Dec. 15, he said. 

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