Local news shorts

The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) has won a couple for Illinois ratepayers in action at Springfield. Two measures passed through CUB’s efforts will benefit electricity customers and prepaid phone card users. The consumer group also hopes to see a cell phone bill of rights in the near future.

CUB also brought charges against NICOR Gas stating it overcharged its customers by $190 million. The Securities and Exchange Commission also is considering civil charges against the gas company, and a federal grand jury has convened to consider criminal charges against the utility.

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The Violence Prevention Collaborative had a busy year last year, conducting a number of community anti-violence initiatives. The organization aims at promoting a community-wide coalition of agencies, organizations, and individuals, including youth, to promote violence prevention.

Among the group’s activities last year: training of a neighborhood project team at Zion Lutheran Church; regional policy training for 10 agencies in five Illinois counties; provided Second Step training for 15 YouthBuild Americorp members; conducted a seminar on obtaining grants; and furnished more than 2,500 brochures to the Clinical Health Department and the Women’s Health Program.

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