Clinton nuclear plant sets record for refueling

CLINTON — The Clinton nuclear power plant has set a U.S. record for the shortest refueling outage for a boiling water reaction: 11 days.

Ironically, the 29-year-old plant, located about 30 miles west of Champaign in DeWitt County, could be closed by Exelon Corp.

Forest preserve district marks a half-century

DANVILLE — As a kid growing up in Westville, Ken Konsis would go with his dad east of town to a rugged, wooded area to hunt squirrels. In the summertime, they'd pick blackberries, then cool off with a swim in a nearby creek.

"You'd be so hot and sweaty after picking blackberries," Konsis said.

Sponsor: No vote on Exelon bill; future of Clinton plant unclear

SPRINGFIELD — The sponsor of a bill aimed at remaking Illinois' electric utility landscape and saving the Clinton nuclear power plant said Monday the legislation won't be passed before today's deadline set by Exelon Corp.

And Exelon officials said they'd reveal "within the next few days" how the failure to pass the bill would affect the future of the power plant and its 700 employees.

Tom's #Mailbag, May 27, 2016

Got a question for Tom? Ask it here

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.