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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

Illinois community mulls investment in high speed rail

Monday, 24 February 2014 16:17 Published in Local News
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois county is weighing whether to commit $500,000 toward an East St. Louis station along an emerging high-speed Amtrak route.
 
The Belleville News-Democrat reports St. Clair County's governing board is considering the investment.
 
The state is working to connect Chicago and St. Louis with a 284-mile rail track capable of allowing trains to reach 110 mph.
 
The board will consider using the money to aid the Illinois Department of Transportation with the design and planning of the station.
 
Board Chairman Mark Kern last week asked the panel's other members to support the station.
 
The total cost of an East St. Louis station is unclear.
 
The project is expected to be completed in 2017.

Catholic health system's growth raises questions

Monday, 24 February 2014 15:17 Published in Local News
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The rapid growth of a St. Louis-based Catholic health care system that is branching out into for-profit ventures is raising questions about its charitable status.
 
Ascension Health was created 15 years ago with the merger of the St. Louis-based Daughters of Charity National Health System and the Michigan-based Sisters of St. Joseph Health System. It has since grown into the nation's third-largest health care system.
 
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the company is preparing to open a $2 billion "health city" complex in the Cayman Islands in cooperation with a for-profit hospital chain based in India.
 
The company reported $17 billion in revenue in the 2013 fiscal year but didn't pay corporate income taxes on its nonprofit operations. Financial statements show Ascension has $30 billion in assets.

Dan Akroyd remembers his friend Harold Ramis

Monday, 24 February 2014 13:58 Published in National News
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Actor Dan Aykroyd is mourning the passing of his friend Harold Ramis.
 
Ramis died of complications from an autoimmune inflammatory disease on Monday morning in his suburban Chicago home.
 
Aykroyd and Ramis knew each other for years. They both were alums of the famed Chicago comedy troupe, Second City. And they both starred in Ghostbusters with fellow Second City alum Bill Murray.
 
In a brief statement, Aykroyd calls Ramis his 'brilliant, gifted, funny, friend, co-writer/performer and teacher." He ends the statement with his hope that Ramis might "now get the answers he was always seeking."

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