Rural Partners Website
View this email in your browser
Partnership News
January 10, 2014
Our Mission:
Rural Partners is a member-driven forum that links individuals, businesses, organizations and communities with public and private resources to maximize the potential of rural Illinois.

Share information about your community, businesses, and organizations
through the Rural Partners newsletter!
Add your voice to support issues important to Rural Illinois . . .
Join Rural Partners!
Upcoming Events!

◊ Jan. 16, 2014: Downtown Revitalization Workshop, Dwight, IL

◊ Jan. 27, 2014: Downtown Revitalization Workshop, Alton, IL

◊ March. 5-6, 2014: 25th Annual Rural Community and Economic Development Conference, Peoria, IL

Most Innovative States

One new trend in innovation and entrepreneurship data is to produce a comprehensive picture of the ecosystem. Bloomberg followed this practice and recently analyzed data from each U.S. state and the District of Columbia to rank them on innovation. Illinois ranks 16th among states in this assessment of innovation.
The Scientific Odds That Using a Cell Phone Will Make You a Bad Driver

Here are some awfully specific risk ratios: An experienced driver dialing a cell phone is about 2.5 times more likely to get in a crash or have a near-miss than if they weren't fumbling with a phone at all. And the crash risk for novice drivers goes up more than eight-fold. Just reaching for a phone makes a novice driver 7 times more likely to have a crash or close call.
Project on Student Debt

Seven in 10 college seniors (71%) who graduated last year had student loan debt, with an average of $29,400 per borrower. From 2008 to 2012, debt at graduation (federal and private loans combined) increased an average of 6% each year. State- and college-level data can be found in the full report and on this map!
Rural Partners Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the membership of Rural Partners and elections to officer positions and to the Board of Directors will occur on March 5th, 2014 at the annual Rural Community and Economic Development Conference. The conference will be held on March 5 -6, 2014 in Peoria, IL. More details to come.
Rural Partners welcomes your comments and feedback. If you have information to share with the
members of Rural Partners, send comments and/or press releases to
Statements of opinion in this newsletter are not necessarily endorsed by Rural Partners.