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Representatives Tony McCombie (Savanna) and Terri Bryant (Murphysboro) met the Future Farmers of America leadership team in Chicago at the Illinois Farm Bureaus Annual meeting. The
state officers include President Sophia Hortin of Fisher, Vice President Eliza Petry of Rochelle, Reporter Shaylee Clinton of Ina, Secretary Miriam Hoffman of Earlville, and Treasurer Taylor Hartke of Teutopolis.

The Future Farmers of America boosts an all women leadership team. According to the FFA website, female membership in the FFA had been a major issue since 1933, and women were finally allowed into the organization in 1969.
The United States Postal Service will suspend mail
service to honor President Bush on Wednesday.

Today the entire State of Illinois celebrated 200 years of statehood. On December 3, 1818, less than a year after legislation was introduced in Congress to allow the Illinois Territory to move toward statehood, President James Monroe signed the authorization making Illinois the 21st State in our Union.

In 2018, the legislature highlighted Illinois’ rich history, our incredible resources. Our people have given us all a reminder that our potential is greater than our challenges and that there are innovative, important, and incredible things being built, born, and grown here every day.

The Governor held a ceremony at Chicago's Navy Pier, but our communities have been celebrating and looking back on our history the entire year. 

Several municipalities in the 71st District have passed resolutions in honor Illinois' 200th birthday - including: 
  • Albany
  • East Moline
  • Moline
  • Morrison
  • Rock Falls
  • Rock Island
  • Tampico
  • Thomson 
#IllinoisProud #Illinois200



2018GovernorsHometownAwardIllinois presented 23 localities with honors for the 2018 Governor's Hometown Awards program, during a special reception at the Governor's Mansion on Tuesday, November 20, 2018.

Morrison Loft 112 was represented by Kim Ewoldsen, left, Executive Director of Morrison Area Development Corporation; Jerry Lindsey, MADC President; Barry Dykhuizen, right, Morrison City Administrator. Ewoldson and Dykhuizen displayed the sign for Lindsey.

Morrison Loft 112, a local artist retail cooperative, was created by the Morrison Area Development Corporation (the City's economic development partner) in 2017. The community's strong connection to the arts, combined with an annual arts-community event, became the major reasons the group considered creating a retail art gallery.

The project received strong support, and Loft 112 opened December 15, 2017. The Loft opened with ten artists and is now home to more than 50, including several alumni.

Read more at: TheCity1 by clicking here!

MORE THAN 9 million vehicles expected to travel
the ILLINOIS Tollway SYSTEM this THANKSGIVING WEEKEND
Drivers reminded to slow down in work zones and Give Then Distance when traveling

DOWNERS GROVE, IL – Anticipating increased traffic over the Thanksgiving holiday, the Illinois Tollway reminds drivers to stay focused on the road, slow down in construction work zones and “Give Them Distance” when vehicles are on the side of the road with lights flashing.

“With more than 9 million vehicles turning to the Tollway system over the extended Thanksgiving holiday weekend, we’re asking our customers to do their part to stay safe when driving,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Liz Gorman. “Construction is ongoing on parts of the Tollway as we continue our work to deliver roadway improvements to improve travel and mobility.”

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Wednesday, November 21, through Monday, November 26, the heaviest travel is expected on Wednesday, when nearly 1.9 million vehicles are projected to use the 294-mile Tollway system. On an average day, more than 1.6 million vehicles use the Illinois Tollway.

As construction continues, prior to Thanksgiving the Tollway expects to reopen two lanes in both directions on the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) between Illinois Route 56 in Sugar Grove and Peace Road in DeKalb. Ongoing lane reductions will be in place on the I-88 corridor from Peace Road to Illinois Route 251 in Rochelle.

In addition, the Tollway anticipates restoring Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) mainline traffic to its original configuration between Balmoral Avenue in Rosemont and Wolf Road in Franklin Park, as well as reopening the ramps connecting Irving Park Road to northbound I-294, in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

What’s Travel Like?
To prepare for trips short or long, drivers can check out Traveler Quick Links on the Tollway’s website to sign up for and access Tollway Trip Tweets with roadway incident information and weather conditions at Tollway Trip 90, Tollway Trip 88, Tollway Trip 355, Tollway Trip 94/294 and Tollway Trip 390.

To accommodate Thanksgiving holiday travel on the Illinois Tollway, construction activity will be restricted to better serve Tollway customers. Temporary construction and maintenance lane closures will be suspended from noon on Wednesday, November 21, through 9 a.m. on Monday, November 26. Work may continue behind barriers with long-term lane closures remaining in place to keep construction projects on schedule. Ongoing construction includes:

Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80)
·        On the Edens Spur, between Pfingsten Road and the Edens Expressway, traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction.
·        On I-294, traffic is shifted in both directions at the Cermak Road Toll Plaza.
  • At 159th Street Interchange the ramps carrying traffic from westbound 159th Street to southbound I-294 and from northbound I-294 to westbound 159th Street are closed with posted detours.

Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88)
·        Between I-290 and York Road, traffic is shifted in both directions. Westbound drivers must travel in the right lane on I-88 to access the cash side of the York Road Toll Plaza as well as the 22nd Street exit ramp.
·        On the ramp connecting eastbound I-88 to northbound I-355 one lane is closed.
·        Between Peace Road and Illinois Route 251, traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction in segments.

Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355)
·        Between Boughton Road and Butterfield Road, traffic is shifted in both directions.

While traveling this holiday weekend, whenever drivers see any vehicle on the side of the road with emergency or hazard lights flashing, they are required by law to slow down and change lanes. The Illinois Tollway, along with other transportation agencies and safety groups, is asking drivers to remember to Give Them Distance to help reduce the number of traffic deaths occurring every year in the state.

Illinois State Police Urges Safe Driving  
Illinois State Police Troopers patrolling the Illinois Tollway will help keep roadways safe by increasing patrols to enforce violations for driving under the influence, as well as enforcing violations for speeding and distracted driving. Illinois State Police is also stepping up patrols and seatbelt enforcement zones as part of the statewide “Click It or Ticket” campaign, which began on November 16 and runs through November 26.

About the Illinois Tollway
The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations. The agency maintains and operates 294 miles of roadways in 12 counties in Northern Illinois, including the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88), the Veterans Memorial Tollway (I-355), the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90), the Tri-State Tollway (I-94/I-294/I-80) and the Illinois Route 390 Tollway.


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Renewable energy agreement is projected to cover 21 sites in Illinois, including Walmart Distribution Center in Sterling.

Walmart recently announced that it has reached an agreement with SunPower to have the commercial energy provider install solar systems at 19 stores and two distribution centers in Illinois.

As part of the project, a mix of rooftop and ground-mount solar systems are expected to account for 23 megawatts, with start of construction targeted for the first half of 2019. This commitment moves Walmart closer to its 2025 goal of supplying its global operations with 50 percent renewable energy. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, the amount of anticipated annual carbon offset by this initiative will be equal to the amount of carbon sequestered by over 24,000 acres of U.S. forest in one year – the size of Elgin, Ill.

“Solar is a vital component of Walmart’s expanding renewable energy portfolio,” said Mark Vanderhelm, vice president of energy for Walmart Inc. “Walmart plans to tirelessly pursue renewable energy projects that are right for our customers, our business and the environment. These planned projects with SunPower are moving us in the right direction toward our renewable energy goals.”

Walmart is financing the solar projects through a power purchase agreement (PPA) arranged by SunPower, allowing Walmart to buy power at competitive prices and hedge against future utility rate increases with no upfront capital costs. Walmart will own the renewable energy credits associated with the system.

“We commend Walmart for its leadership in driving corporate renewable energy adoption in the United States and for partnering with SunPower to deliver high-efficiency, high-quality solar to so many of its stores and facilities,” said Nam Nguyen, SunPower Executive Vice President, Commercial Americas. “As the top U.S. commercial solar provider and with over 30 years of experience, SunPower is well positioned to help Walmart increase its renewable energy investments in a cost-effective manner.”

In Illinois, smart state policy and rising utility rates make solar a smart investment for commercial customers. These installations will represent a 25 percent increase in Illinois’ current solar capacity and will generate enough electricity to power nearly 30,000 homes.

“Illinois Solar Energy Association is committed to advancing solar locally, enabling companies like Walmart – with stores and employees across our great state – to realize the economic and environmental value of renewable energy,” said Lesley McCain, Executive Director of the Illinois Solar Energy Association. “These projects will create hundreds of jobs for Illinois’ growing solar workforce while reducing pollution across the state.”