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Search and rescue teams worked through the night in Florida to find people who need help, after Hurricane Michael hit the Panhandle as a historic Category 4 storm on Wednesday. More than 400,000 electricity accounts had lost power in Florida as of Thursday morning.

Michael wrecked buildings and tore down trees in Panama City and nearby towns. The city of Tallahassee, known for its extensive tree canopy, says "thousands of trees are down," causing widespread damage and blocked roads.

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It's hard to make time for history books when there is so much history crashing down on us every single day — and especially when that history is divisive, aggressive, and seemingly never-ending.

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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.

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.

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