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Walmart, the largest private employer in the U.S., announced Friday that customers are no longer required to wear masks in its more than 5,000 stores nationwide.

The retail super store changed the rules one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared it was safe for fully vaccinated adults to resume most activities, indoors or out, in groups or individually, mask free and without social distancing.

President Biden has revoked a number of executive actions taken by former President Donald Trump in the last year of his administration, mostly in response to the protests over systemic racism and police violence.

When the CDC announced on Thursday that fully vaccinated people can safely take off their masks in most settings, one group that did not necessarily breathe a sigh of relief was the parents of young children.

Some noted that the CDC's new guidance does not have any specific advice for vaccinated parents with unvaccinated kids in their households.

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COVID-19 Pandemic

A Moultrie County man died overnight after being hit by a tractor trailer as he walked along Interstate 64 in White County.

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Illinois State University

The Board of Trustees of Illinois State University has chosen Terri Goss Kinzy to be the school’s 20th president, effective July 1.

The announcement was made Friday.

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Carbondale Police

The Carbondale Police Department is asking for help in locating a missing teenager.

15-year-old Esperanza Slattery of Carbondale was last seen on Thursday in Nashville, Illinois.  

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C-SPAN

A southern Illinois congressman spoke on the House floor Wednesday night about the struggles of small businesses unable to hire enough workers because the federal government is often paying them more in unemployment benefits.

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Brehm Preparatory School

A boarding program for post-secondary students with learning disabilities, attention disorders and language based disorders is getting a new home.

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City of Carbondale

The new roundabout intersection at Chautauqua and McLafferty Roads in Carbondale opened on Thursday.

The Illinois Department of Transportation is alerting those traveling on Route 14 near the Franklin - Hamilton County line of a road closure this weekend.

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City of Cape Girardeau

The City of Cape Girardeau's Historic Preservation Commission is out with its 2021 endangered building list

The list is highlighted by the Esquire Theater on Broadway, which closed in 1984, and on the same block, the Broadway Theatre, which was damaged by a fire in March.

Inside The Blanket Fort logo
SIU Press

This week on Inside The Blanket Fort we continue our discussion with Author and SIU professor Josh Vossler on his book "Snake Road."   This week we talk with some folks we met while walking along a section of Snake Road in LaRue-Pine Hills.

Also, catch the latest podcast of "Survived by One" from Blanket Fort Radio Theater, a storytelling project from SIU Press in collaboration with the SIU Creative Writing Program and WSIU Radio.

Current And Proposed District Map
Jackson County Board / Jackson County Board

Every county in the state is in the process of redistricting, but in Jackson County some people are not happy with the proposed map.

Jackson County Chair Keith Larkin presented his redistricting map to the Jackson County Board Executive Committee during their May meeting committee for consideration and discussion.

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SIU Press and WSIU present Blanket Fort Radio Theater, a project highlighting works published by SIU Press, featuring work from SIUC's Creative Writing Program.

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