Hannukah 2Happy Hanukkah! This evening marks the beginning of the Jewish Festival of Lights. The holiday is celebrated with nightly menorah lighting, special prayers and other cultural traditions.

Hanukkah is a variation of the Hebrew word Chanukah, pronounced with a guttural “kh” sound, which means dedication. The holiday is thus named because it celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple.

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university 2540633 960 720In 2020, enrollment in Illinois’ public universities have seen an increase of 417 new students. That is a 0.2% increase from 2019, while most states saw decreases. The chair of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, John Atkinson, complimented the resilience of Illinois’s institutions of higher education and their leadership.

It was predicted that University enrollment would drop a whopping 25% nationwide in the summer and fall. Illinois beat those odds and managed to increase its university enrollment.

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Emiquon Wildlife RefugeRight outside Lewistown in central Illinois lies Emiquon, one of the Midwest’s largest floodplain restoration projects. At nearly 6,000 acres, the wildlife refuge contains a diverse array of native plant and animal species in a complex system of wetlands and lakes. Additionally, Emiquon’s proximity to Dickson Mounds and its own 149 documented archaeological sites make it one of the richest Native American cultural sites in the country.

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Truck transporting the U.S. Capitol Christmas TreeThe Christmas tree that will sit on display this holiday season on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building will be traveling through Southern Illinois starting around 1:15 p.m. on Nov. 16.

The tree will be met by Illinois State Police at the Illinois-Missouri state line, where it will be escorted on Highway 64 East to Interstate 57 South before continuing onto Interstate 24 East. From there, it will be handed off to a different escort for the next leg of its journey.

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Midshipman 1st Class Sydney BarberMidshipman leadership positions have been announced for the spring semester of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and the list includes Illinois’ own Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber, who hails from Lake Forest. Barber will become the Academy’s first African American female brigade commander.

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