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ILLINOIS
COUNTRY LIVING

December 2001
Volume 59
Number 8


Published by
Association of Illinois
Electric Cooperatives

www.aiec.org

John Lowrey
Editor

Jack D. Halstead
Senior Editor

Nancy R. Nixon
Catrina McCulley Young
Michelle Reed

Associate Editors

Sandy Wolske
Advertising Editor

Erin Weller, Kara Henning,
Kathy Feraris
Graphic Designer

Derek Squires
Graphic Technician/Designer

Angie Bingenheimer
Circulation Coordinator

Illinois Country Living is a monthly publication serving the communications needs of 21 locally owned, not-for-profit Illinois electric cooperatives. More than 160,000 families receive the magazine as part of their electric cooperative membership. Monthly columns and stories provide information about topics and issues that affect the quality of their lives.

Illinois Country Living (ISSN number 1086-8062) is published monthly and is the official publication of the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives, 6460 South Sixth Frontage Road, Springfield, IL62707. The cost is $2.40 plus postage per year for members of subscribing cooperatives and $5 per year for all others. Periodical postage paid at Springfield, Illinois, and additional mailing offices.

POSTMASTER; Send address changes to: Illinois Country Living, P.O. Box 3787, Springfield, Illinois 62708.

COOP MEMBERS: When requesting an address change, please include the name of your cooperative. Telephone: (21 7) 529-5561

Advertising and editorial inquiries should be directed to Illinois Country Living, P.O. Box 3787, Springfield, Illinois 62708. National advertising representative: The Weiss Group, 14826 North 54th Place, Suite 101, Scottsdale, AZ 85254 (602) 482-8844. Acceptance of advertising by ICL does not imply endorsement by the publisher or the electric cooperatives of Illinois of the product or service advertised. Advertisers are screened by the publisher and every effort is made to protect the subscriber, but ICL is not responsible for the performance of the product or service advertised.

EDITORS: Articles appearing in Iliinois Country Living may be reprinted upon consent of the editor. For permission phone (21 7) 529-5561 or write to John Lowrey, editor, Illinois Country Living, P.O. Box 3787, Springfield, IL 62708.

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COVER STORY

10   Rural mail carriers - everyday heroes

Karen Pope, a rural mail carrier in Petersburg, helps keep her customers connected to the world by delivering and mailing information safely and securely.

DEPARTMENTS

4   ILLINOIS COMMENTARY

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director, Michael Chamness discusses how Illinois is ahead of the curve in terrorism preparedness.

6   ILLINOIS CURRENTS

Touchstone Energy pays tribute to America's heroes.

14   SAFETY AROUND YOUR HOME

Bill Brink from the Springfield Extension Center gives you farm safety tips for kids.

16   YOUR YARD AND GARDEN

Find out what other holiday plant may be giving Poinsettias some competition this year.

18   TODAY'S TECHNOLOGY AND YOU

Find out more about super efficient geothermal heating.

22   ILLINOIS' FINEST COOKING

Delight your family and friends this Christmas with one of these delicious holiday recipes.

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DECEMBER 2001 ILLINOIS COUNTRY LIVING 3


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