The News-Gazette, Champaign-Urbana, Ill., business briefs column
Mar 11, 2013 (The News-Gazette - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
COLLINSVILLE -- Ameren Illinois customers with past-due balances have a limited-time opportunity to establish a repayment plan by making a 10 percent down payment.
Until March 31, customers can pay 10 percent of their outstanding balance and then the remaining amount in monthly installments, according to an Ameren Illinois release.
But after April 1, customers with outstanding balances will be required to pay 25 percent of what they owe before they can establish a monthly payment plan.
After March 31, residential customers with past-due amounts who have failed to establish a payment plan -- or have broken a payment plan agreement -- will be subject to service disconnection.
To establish a payment plan, customers can call the company's customer service number, 1-800-755-5000.
Environmental grants available
BELLEVILLE -- Monday is the deadline for applying for Illinois American Water environmental grants.
The company awards grants of up to $10,000 to support activities such as watershed cleanups, reforestation, biodiversity projects, wellhead protection initiatives and hazardous-waste collection efforts.
To qualify, projects must be located in an Illinois American Water service area and:
-- Address a source water or watershed protection need.
-- Be completed between May 1 and Nov. 29.
-- Be a new or innovative program for the community or be a significant expansion of an existing program.
-- Be carried out by a partnership between two or more organizations.
-- Provide evidence that the efforts can be sustained after the grant.
Last year, the company received more than 20 grant applications and awarded six grants totaling more than $25,000.
UI team up for Honda Challenge
CHAMPAIGN -- The University of Illinois is one of 20 schools nationwide fielding a team of marketing students in the Honda Civic Marketing Challenge.
Students in the UI's Advertising 495 course have created an in-class marketing agency, Output, that will put together a marketing campaign for the 2013 Honda Civic sedan. Their target: the 18- to 24-year-old student demographic.
At the end of the term, students will prepare a formal presentation for Honda summarizing the campaign's results.
If selected as one of the top three teams, Output members will travel to Torrance, Calif., to make a presentation at American Honda Motor Co. headquarters.
Consolidated reports 4Q profits
MATTOON -- Consolidated Communications Holdings on Thursday reported net income of $2.23 million for the fourth quarter of 2012.
For shareholders, that translated to diluted earnings of 5 cents per share.
The Mattoon-based company provides voice, video and Internet service to customers in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Missouri and Kansas. It merged last year with California-based SureWest Communications.
CEO Bob Currey said the merged companies saw revenues increase by 1.8 percent from a year earlier. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization were up 5.8 percent from a year earlier.
Currey said the integration of SureWest "is on plan and going well." He said 74 percent of the company's revenues now come from the business and broadband growth areas.
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