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The newspaper publishing company Tronc has moved to slash the the New York Daily News newsroom, announcing cuts of 50 percent to the paper's editorial staff, according to an internal memo obtained by NPR and other news outlets.

The staff learned of the cuts Monday morning from a memo emailed from the paper's "talent engagement" account. It said the moves were necessary to seize the opportunities of digital news and financial challenges ahead. A Tronc spokeswoman confirmed the veracity of the memo.

Mesut Ozil is widely viewed as one of the most talented players on the German national soccer team. But he says his days of playing for Germany, the country he was born in, are over.

In a lengthy statement posted on his Twitter account, the midfielder said he is quitting due to racism that flared up most dramatically after he posed for a photo in May with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The ideal Italian pizza, be it Neapolitan or Roman, has a crisp crust flecked with dark spots — marks left by a blazing hot oven. The dough is fluffy, moist and stretchy, and the toppings are piping hot. A pizzeria's brick oven pops these out to perfection, but intrepid home cooks attempting to re-create Italian-style pizzas have more than likely discovered facsimiles are nigh impossible to produce.

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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.

Galena, IL – THERE MAY BE SOME GOOD NEWS FOR MOTORISTS LOOKING FOR RELIEF FROM SOARING GAS PRICES.

GALENA-BASED OIL MARKET ANALYST JIM RITTERBUSCH SAYS THE WEAK DOLLAR AND THE SHORT SUPPLY OF OIL - A SUPPLY WHICH IS EXPECTED TO REMAIN SHORT OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS - ARE DRIVING PRICES UP. BUT THAT MEANS CONSUMERS ARE USING LESS OIL, AND THAT WILL EVENTUALLY BEAR ON THE PRICE.

HE SAYS GASOLINE PRICES ARE LIKELY TO DECLINE TO AROUND $3.50 PER GALLON IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR.

Carbondale, IL – AS A NEW BUDGET YEAR BEGINS IN ILLINOIS... LAWMAKERS AND THE GOVERNOR CONTINUE TO BUTT HEADS OVER A NEW SPENDING PLAN.

PUBLIC OPINION POLLS HAVE SHOWN DISDAIN FOR BOTH THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE OVER THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS... BUT MANY STILL WONDER WHAT WILL SPUR A CHANGE IN THE POLITICAL CLIMATE.

PAUL SIMON PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE DIRECTOR MIKE LAWRENCE SAYS IT TAKES A SHIFT IN ATTITUDE AMONG VOTERS.

Carbondale, IL – IT MAY NOT BE PERFECT, BUT THE WAY CAPITAL SPENDING BUDGET WERE CRAFTED IN YEARS PAST WORKS TO GET THINGS DONE... ACCORDING TO ONE LOCAL POLITICAL ANALYST.

JOHN JACKSON WITH THE PAUL SIMON PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE ADMITS THERE IS A STRONG LACK OF TRUST BETWEEN ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS AND GOVERNOR ROD BLAGOJEVICH.

JACKSON SAYS WITHOUT A GUARANTEE THAT THEY CAN GO BACK TO THEIR DISTRICTS WITH ROAD AND BUILDING PROJECTS, LEGISLATORS ARE RELUCTANT TO PASS A MAJOR CONSTRUCTION BILL.

Carbondale, IL – A FORMER PROFESSOR AND DEPARTMENT HEAD AT SIU-CARBONDALE PASSED AWAY LAST WEEKEND.

JOHN E. KING, RETIRED PROFESSOR AND CHAIRMAN OF WHAT FORMERLY WAS KNOWN AS THE HIGHER EDUCATION DEPARTMENT AT SIU-C, PASSED AWAY SUNDAY IN WEST COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA. HE WAS 94.

KING CAME TO THE SIUC CAMPUS IN 1967 AS A VISITING PROFESSOR. HE SERVED AS PROFESSOR AND CHAIR OF EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND FOUNDATIONS FROM 1968 TO 1970, BEFORE BECOMING CHAIR OF THE HIGHER EDUCATION DEPARTMENT IN 1970. HE RETIRED IN 1983.

Chicago, IL – ILLINOIS STATE TREASURER ALEXI GIANNOULIAS IS SEARCHING FOR APPROXIMATELY $45,000 DOLLARS IN UNCLAIMED MONEY AND PROPERTY FOR JACKSON COUNTY RESIDENTS.

THE 35 CLAIMS WERE FILED JUNE 23RD DURING THE STATE TREASURER'S CASH DASH OUTREACH EVENT AT THE JACKSON COUNTY TREASURER'S OFFICE.

THIS WAS THE FIFTH CASH DASH EVENT HELD BY THE STATE IN CONJUNCTION WITH JACKSON COUNTY TREASURER SHIRLEY BOOKER'S OFFICE. THERE IS CURRENTLY MORE THAN $5 MILLION IN UNCLAIMED MONEY AND PROPERTY OWED TO THE RESIDENTS OF JACKSON COUNTY.

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