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The big picture in Southwestern Illinois: There’s no mistaking progress

By DENNIS GRUBAUGH    Change can be good. Progress even better. And when the progress is growth, continuing and prosperous, what community doesn’t like to see change?     Producing our Year in Review section each year gives me a chance to refresh myself on the goings-on in Metro East, and it allows community leaders a moment…

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Governor, legislature must work together on real turnaround agenda

By ALAN J. ORTBALS    The last four years have been dreadful for the people of Illinois. Some 45,000 people left the state between July 2017 and July 2018, the fifth straight year of population loss. In the battle between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Speaker Mike Madigan, we became collateral damage.     Now that we have…

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