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July 17, 2015
How bad are roads and bridges in Illinois?
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Illinois and Connecticut are tied for last place in the state ranking of road and bridge conditions. Over the last six years, Congress has passed 33 short-term measures rather than funding transportation for the long term. In Illinois, 4,246 of the 26,621 (15.9%) of bridges are structurally deficient or functional obsolete; annual total extra vehicle repairs or operating costs due to driving on roads in need of fixing total $2.4 billion ($292 per motorist); and 73% of roads are in poor/mediocre condition.

Streator Native Discovered Pluto
Pluto was first called Planet X by Percival Lowell, the founder of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. He was sure a planet existed beyond Neptune, but he died in 1916 without finding the planet. Amateur astronomer Clyde Tombaugh of Streator, Illinois, continued the search and discovered Pluto on February 18, 1930. The New Horizons mission carries some of Tombaugh's ashes on board as it travels to Pluto and beyond. Although most famous for the discovery of the most controversial body in the solar system, Tombaugh also found a comet, hundreds of asteroids, and several galactic star clusters over the course of his career.

The 2015 National Rural Assembly will be held on September 8-10, 2015 in Washington, DC. Participants will include more than 200 leaders and advocates representing diverse geographies, cultures, ages, and issue areas. Other participants will include White House and other government officials, members of Congress and their staff. The final day of the conference will include a Congressional briefing and visits with members of Congress and Congressional staff on Capitol Hill. Young leaders will also have the opportunity to participate in a full-day strategic planning and action session.

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