Credit, crops and corndogs!

Millions of Illinoisans impacted by the 2017 Equifax breach could soon be in line for a cash payment, as the credit monitoring company announced during the week a federal lawsuit settlement that includes restitution for consumers impacted by the breach.

In other news, farmers are still facing the effects of the cold, wet spring as crops continue to remain significantly behind schedule.

And the Illinois State Fairgrounds is prepping for the 2019 Illinois State Fair, which kicks off August 8.

Those impacted by Equifax breach to receive restitution

The 147 million consumers in the United States and the 5.4 million Illinoisans who were impacted by the 2017 Equifax breach could be in line for a cash payment. The credit monitoring company is settling a federal lawsuit, which is expected to be approved by a federal judge.

Equifax has created a website for consumers to check and see if they qualify for any benefits, which can include a $125 payment or free credit monitoring, or even up to $20,000, depending on how much time someone took to address identity theft.

The benefits will not be distributed or available until the settlement is officially approved by the court. Equifax announced July 22 that the company will pay $425 million in restitution, including more than $7.3 million for Illinoisans.

Illinois crops still lagging behind

After a late start due to a cold, wet spring, Illinois farmers are facing crops that remain significantly behind schedule. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, as of July 21, only 36 percent of Illinois corn has reached the silking stage, which is the first step in the process of producing corn kernels.  This compares to 96 percent at the same point in 2018, and 84 percent for the four-year average.

Soybeans aren’t faring much better, with only 30 percent of the soybeans blooming. At the same time in 2018, 87 percent of soybeans were blooming, and the five-year average is 72 percent.

The overall crop quality has taken a hit, as well. On July 21, 2018, 82 percent of the corn crop was rated as good or excellent, with 78 percent of soybeans receiving the same rating.  At the same time this year, however, only 43 percent of corn and 45 percent of soybeans received the good or excellent rating.

Farmers who grow winter wheat haven’t fallen as far behind though. The state wheat crop currently stands at 94 percent harvested, just slightly behind the five-year average of 97 percent.

Illinois State Fair runs August 8-18

The 2019 Illinois State Fair gets under way August 8 in Springfield. The 11-day event brings hundreds of thousands of people through its gates in celebration of agriculture, the state’s number one employer and driver of the state’s economy.

This year’s Fair will feature livestock shows, harness racing, carnival rides, a wide variety of live music and entertainers, and dozens of food and product vendors from across the state.

The Illinois State Fair runs August 8-18. Admission is $10 for adults on Fridays and Saturdays, and $5 all other days; $3 for senior citizens (60+); and free for kids (0-12).  Fairgoers looking to get the most bang for their buck on carnival rides have until July 31 to purchase a $70 mega pass, which is good for unlimited rides all 11 days of the Fair.

For daily schedules and lists of vendors, competitions, attractions, and the Grandstand lineup, check out the Illinois State Fair website.

Jil Tracy

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