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WASHINGTON — Fueled by vaccinations and government aid, the U.S. economy grew at a solid 6.5% annual rate last quarter in another sign that the nation has achieved a sustained recovery from the pandemic recession. The total size of the economy has now surpassed its pre-pandemic level.

Today is Friday, July 30, the 211th day of 2021. There are 154 days left in the year.

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SPRINGFIELD – Students with special needs will be able to finish their last year of high school regardless of when their birthday falls on the calendar, while those who lost a year or more of in-person schooling due to the pandemic and have since aged out of special education eligibility wil…

Today is Wednesday, July 28, the 209th day of 2021. There are 156 days left in the year.

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The Unit 40 school board met this week to discuss its plan for returning to in-person learning. Though the board reviewed a draft plan put together by district staff and a survey of community members’ opinions about the draft, it did not approve the plan.

Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White has awarded over $1.4 million in FY21 School District Library Grant Program awards to 649 public school districts. More than 1.5 million Illinois students served by school library media programs will benefit from the grants.

WASHINGTON — The signs and banners are dotted along suburban commercial strips and hanging in shop windows and restaurants, evidence of a new desperation among America’s service-industry employers: “Now Hiring, $15 an hour.”

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A judge in the fourth judicial circuit of Illinois has ruled in favor of the City of Effingham in the ongoing legal battle surrounding Village Square Mall, a mostly empty shopping center on South Banker street.

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The state of California. New York City. Hospitals and nursing homes. Colleges and universities. Employers are putting COVID-19 vaccine requirements into place and it’s getting attention. But what happens if workers refuse?

NEW YORK — R. Kelly’s lawyers said Monday they would fight prosecutors’ bid to tell jurors about allegations beyond the actual charges at his upcoming federal sex trafficking trial.

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SPRINGFIELD – The state will have new COVID-19 guidance on face coverings after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance Tuesday to reflect that even individuals vaccinated against COVID-19 should wear masks while indoors in areas of the country where the viru…

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WASHINGTON — “This is how I’m going to die, defending this entrance,” Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell recalled thinking, testifying Tuesday at the emotional opening hearing of the congressional panel investigating the violent Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

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Robert Parris Moses, a civil rights activist who was shot at and endured beatings and jail while leading Black voter registration drives in the American South during the 1960s and later helped improve minority education in math, has died. He was 86.

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INDIAN FALLS, Calif. — California’s largest wildfire merged with a smaller blaze and destroyed homes in remote areas with limited access for firefighters, as numerous other fires gained strength and threatened property across the U.S. West.

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WILMINGTON, Del. — The United States is in an “unnecessary predicament” of soaring COVID-19 cases fueled by unvaccinated Americans and the virulent delta variant, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert said Sunday.

Today is Monday, July 26, the 207th day of 2021. There are 158 days left in the year.

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WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday named a second Republican critic of Donald Trump, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, to a special committee investigating the Capitol riot and pledged that the Democratic-majority panel will “get to the truth.” Kinzinger said he “humbly accepted” the appoi…

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Although the pandemic disrupted family life across the U.S. since taking hold in spring 2020, some parents are grateful for one consequence: They’re now opting to homeschool their children, even as schools plan to resume in-person classes.

Today is Saturday, July 24, the 205th day of 2021. There are 160 days left in the year.

Effingham Unit 40 officials will discuss the district’s draft plan for COVID-19 mitigation at the Monday school board meeting, to be held at the district office at 6 p.m.

MIAMI — Firefighters on Friday declared the end of their search for bodies at the site of a collapsed Florida condo building, concluding a month of painstaking work removing layers of dangerous debris that were once piled several stories high.

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Members of the Effingham County Board this week discussed how to handle Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

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This week the Effingham County Health Department reported 22 new positive cases of COVID-19 – the highest number of weekly cases since early May.

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