Tom's #Mailbag, May 27, 2016

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Area update: Air Force to test land for chemical warfare agents

RANTOUL — This summer, the Air Force will begin testing for chemical warfare agents that were used on the former Chanute Air Force Base.

UPDATED: Report says Eagle Creek should be demolished

SPRINGFIELD — The 27-year-old Eagle Creek Resort, closed by a court order in 2009 after mold was detected, should be demolished, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday.

Thousands rally for Exelon; Madigan calls bill a 'bailout'

SPRINGFIELD — On the same day that thousands of people came to the Capitol to rally for Exelon Corp.'s Next Generation energy plan, Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued another statement opposed to the legislation that she called a "bailout."

Family Checkbook: What's the payback for home energy improvements?

By Kathy Sweedler

After months of cold winter days and paying to heat my home, I'm ready in the spring for new ways to make my home more energy efficient. This time of the year is also when many homeowners like myself scramble to put home-improvement plans into action, especially those plans that require hiring expertise to do the work.

Tom Kacich: Pending legislation a ball of confusion

Pity the poor Illinois legislator who may be asked to make a far-reaching decision within the next week on an extraordinarily complicated issue that would touch all of the following issues: higher electric rates for virtually everyone in Illinois and possibly significant new costs on big businesses.

Rob Kanter/Environmental Almanac: A day full of bird calls

The hour before sunrise on the first Saturday in May finds me in the same place most years. That's standing on a bridge over the Sangamon River north of Mahomet with my friend Greg Lambeth, playing a recording of a whippoorwill's call in hopes we'll get one to call back.

Champaign considers expanding items to be recycled

CHAMPAIGN — Curbside recycling companies in Champaign could soon be required to accept more items, including more types of plastic, cardboard and empty aerosol cans, as the Champaign City Council is set to weigh in on proposed changes at a study session on Tuesday.

Groups urge Ameren to join energy proposal

SPRINGFIELD — Ameren Illinois, environmental and consumer groups say, should embrace energy efficiency and rate structure proposals included in Exelon Corporation's proposed Next Generation energy plan.

Exelon decision elusive as talks continue

SPRINGFIELD — With about week until Exelon Corp. says it needs a decision from the Legislature on a controversial financial aid package to help two of its Illinois nuclear plants, the company said that negotiations continue.

But it's unclear if there will be a decision by June 1, the date that Exelon says it needs a commitment from the General Assembly.