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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

ANNA, Ill. (AP) — Officials at a southern Illinois food pantry say they're in dire need of help to keep their shelves stocked.

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reported Saturday that the Shawnee Development Food Pantry in the Union County town of Anna suspended operations for two weeks earlier this month because there was no food to give away.

Officials say that's the first time in 20 years that the pantry has had to close its doors.

A truckload of food arrived a few days ago, and should last until the end of the week. But officials say they'll have to close again if no more food arrives.

They say the pantry typically serves about 200 households monthly, but that number has climbed as high as 335 households as more young families seek help.

As health marketplaces open, Vermont eyes bigger goal

Saturday, 26 October 2013 09:28 Published in National News

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — While states implement health insurance marketplaces this fall, Vermont is also eyeing a bigger goal that more fully embraces government-funded health care.

The state plans a 2017 launch of the nation's first universal health care system. It's a sort of a modified Medicare-for-all.

The plan is seen as especially ambitious in the current atmosphere surrounding health care in the United States, with some states and some in Congress balking at the federal health overhaul.

National experts say Vermont's plan has gone unnoticed amid the national debate over the federal law.

Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin is continuing to vow to make Vermont a place where "health care is a right and not a privilege."

Cops: Mom lit candles before NY fire killed 3 kids

Saturday, 26 October 2013 09:26 Published in National News

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City authorities say a fire at a Bronx apartment building that killed three boys may have been started by candles after electricity was cut.

Fire officials say Friday's fire started in a second-floor apartment of a six-story building just blocks from Yankee Stadium. Five-year-old Elijah Artis, 2-year-old Jeremiah Artis and 4-month-old Michael Turner were pronounced dead at a hospital.

Police say their 25-year-old mother and her two other children, a, 4-year-old girl and 4-month-old girl, are stable.

Fire marshals are still investigating the blaze, but authorities said Saturday she had been using candles to light the home. Con Edison says the power was cut because of unpaid bills.

The building is about 10 blocks from the site of a 2007 fire that killed 10 people, including 8 children.

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