(SPRINGFIELD) The economy should continue growing slowly in rural parts of ten Plains and Western states, but the most recent survey of bankers in the region does not reflect all the recent tough trade talk. Economic officials at Creighton University says farmers are concerned that new tariffs could hurt exports at a time when their profits appeared lean, at best. The overall index for rural parts of the region slipped to 56.1 in June, down from May’s 56.3, but it did remain in positive territory over 50. Any score above 50 suggests a growing economy in the months ahead, while a score below 50 indicates a shrinking economy. The bankers surveyed were from Illinois and nine other Plains and Western states, including Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Wyoming, and Colorado.
(CHICAGO) Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White is reminding us that entry forms are still available for the statewide 14th Annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition, with winners to receive the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award. Co-sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book, the contest is open to Illinois residents age 18 and over, and the entries must be postmarked by June 30, 2018, a week from today, with cash prizes to be awarded for first ($500), second ($300), and third place ($100). Entry forms with details and more information can be found online at www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/center_for_the_book.