Organizers of a southwest Louisiana drive to help tornado-stricken Harrisburg, Illinois, says four pickup-and-trailer loads of goods delivered over the weekend are just a partial return for help after Hurricane Rita in 2005.  Phil Thibodeaux of Lake Arthur says a tractor-trailer load of supplies will probably leave nearby Lake Charles about midweek, and Lafayette-area residents are also collecting a lot of goods.  Strong storms and a tornado hit Harrisburg Wednesday, killing six people and injuring about 100.  Thibodeaux says the relationship between the two communities began when Lake Arth

Quinn Asks for Federal Assistance

Mar 2, 2012

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has asked federal emergency officials for recovery help after Wednesday’s deadly tornado struck Harrisburg. Quinn says he asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help with damage assessments. Those assessments begin Monday and will provide documentation needed to support requests for federal assistance.  The assessments are expected by the end of next week.  They will include Massac, Saline and Union counties. Quinn already has issued a state disaster proclamation for southern Illinois.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn wants to eliminate the state's contributions toward health insurance benefits for retired school teachers and community college professors across the state.  Those cuts are part of the budget proposal he unveiled last week. They target two insurance programs and would save the state about $92 million.  About 77,000 retired teachers and their dependents are covered under the Teachers Retirement Insurance Program and the Community College Insurance Program.  If Quinn's plan is approved, retirees could be forced to pay higher premiums.

Cairo, Illinois has seen boom and bust. It was a massive hub for river travel in the early 20th century and boasted a population some say up to 20 thousand, now it's a fraction of that size. Once beautiful buildings and homes that are still standing are now in disrepair, and the poverty level has sky rocketed. An industrial exodus and fall out from the civil rights movement are mostly to blame for the state of Cairo today.

Nine years of war in Iraq is symbolically coming to an end.NPR reports the number of troops in Iraq has fallen from 20,000 to 4,000. Hopefully the real end is on its way as well.