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The Trump administration's school safety commission held its first public listening session Wednesday, a day after the panel's chair, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the commission wouldn't focus on guns.

Alessia Modjarrad, a graduating high school senior from Montgomery County, Md., spoke at the day-long event at the Education Department in D.C. She said the few solutions being offered by the administration were "misguided and insufficient."

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau continues to come under fire by the man running the watchdog agency — Mick Mulvaney, the interim director appointed by President Trump.

In his latest action, Mulvaney moved on Wednesday to effectively dismantle the agency's consumer advisory council. "It's quite clear that we've been fired," said Kathleen Engel, a law professor at Suffolk University and a member of the CFPB's Consumer Advisory Board.

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Carbondale, IL – THE ILLINOIS CLEAN COAL REVIEW BOARD WILL FUND THREE NEW STUDIES THAT IT HOPES WILL HELP KEEP THE FUTUREGEN PROJECT ALIVE IN MATTOON.

BOARD MEMBERS MET TODAY (Wed) IN CARBONDALE AND APPROVED FUNDING THE STUDIES BY RESTRUCTURING A TWO MILLION DOLLAR GRANT INITIALLY INTENDED FOR FUTUREGEN.

BOARD CHAIR AND STATE REPRESENTATIVE DAN REITZ SAYS THE MOST IMPORTANT PROJECT IS GEARED TO STUDYING HOW FUTUREGEN CAN TURN ILLINOIS COAL INTO A SYNTHETIC GAS CAPABLE OF BEING USED IN PETROLEUM PRODUCTS.

Washington, D.C. – THE NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION BEGINS ITS ANNUAL CONVENTION TOMORROW IN WASHINGTON... AND ILLINOIS LEADERS ARE EXCITED TO HELP TEACH THEIR FELLOW MEMBERS ABOUT THE PRAIRIE STATE'S JUNIOR SENATOR.

I-E-A PRESIDENT KEN SWANSON SAYS HE FULLY EXPECTS THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION TO ENDORSE BARACK OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT... AND SAYS HE'S BEEN PLEASED WITH THE ILLINOIS DEMOCRAT'S WORK BOTH AS A STATE LAWMAKER AND U-S SENATOR.

Springfield, IL – LEGISLATION RESTORING SPECIAL EDUCATION FUNDING TO SEVERAL SOUTHERN ILLINOIS SCHOOLS WAS SIGNED INTO LAW ON MONDAY.

THE GOVERNOR SIGNED THE $21-MILLION APPROPRIATION BILL TO MAKE SURE FUNDING IS MADE AVAILABLE TO HELP SCHOOLS WHO HAD PREVIOUSLY LOST FUNDING.

Pinckneyville, IL – THE ILLINOIS HEALTH FACILITIES PLANNING BOARD HAS ACCEPTED PINCKNEYVILLE COMMUNITY HOSPITAL'S APPLICATION TO CLOSE ITS SKILLED CARE UNIT.

HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATOR TOM HUDGENS SAYS THE STATE BOARD VOTED YESTERDAY IN SPRINGFIELD. HE SAYS THE HOSPITAL'S BOARD OF DIRECTORS WILL TAKE FINAL ACTION MONDAY NIGHT.

HUDGENS SAYS THIS HAS BEEN A LONG, ANGUISHING PROCESS FOR THOSE ASSOCIATED WITH PINCKNEYVILLE HOSPITAL.

Bloomington, IL – IF ILLINOIS' JUNIOR U-S SENATOR WINS THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION THIS FALL, THE SENIOR SENATOR HOPES THE GOVERNOR CAREFULLY WEIGHS HIS CHOICES BEFORE SELECTING A SUCCESSOR.

ONE OPTION FOR ROD BLAGOJEVICH IS TO PICK HIMSELF TO SUCCEED BARACK OBAMA IN THE SENATE.

EARLIER THIS WEEK BLAGOJEVICH REFUSED TO DISCOUNT THAT OPTION. DEMOCRATIC SENATOR DICK DURBIN SAYS THE GOVERNOR SHOULD PICK SOMEONE ELSE.

Jackson County, IL – JACKSON COUNTY'S ELECTRONICS RECYCLING PROGRAM IS RECEIVING STATEWIDE ACCLAIM.

THE ILLINOIS RECYCLING ASSOCIATION RECENTLY HONORED THE COUNTY WITH ITS OUTSTANDING GOVERNMENT ELECTRONICS RECYCLING PROGRAM AWARD.

JACKSON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT SOLID WASTE MANAGER BART HAGSTON SAYS THE COUNTY BECAME THE FIRST GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED PERMANENT ELECTRONICS RECYCLING PROGRAM IN ILLINOIS IN THE FALL OF 2002.

HE SAYS THEY ACCEPT MOST ELECTRONICS ITEMS POWERED BY BATTERIES OR CORDS.

Chester, IL – ILLINOIS COMMUNITIES ALONG THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER SOUTH OF ST. LOUIS ARE FARING BETTER THAN EXPECTED AS THE RIVER CRESTS THERE.

LARRY WILLIS OF THE RANDOLPH COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY REPORTS NO STRUCTURAL OR PROPERTY LOSS SO FAR IN CHESTER. BUT HE SAYS A PRESSURE RELEASE WELL INSIDE A LEVEE WAS SPEWING WATER.

IN ALEXANDER COUNTY, SEVERAL HOMES ON THE RIVERFRONT ARE FLOODED DUE TO SEEP WATER. BUT COUNTY POLICE SERGEANT DAVID SEALS ON TUESDAY SAID FLOODING IS ONLY MODERATE.

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