CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has asked President Barack Obama to declare 15 counties in Illinois major disaster areas after tornadoes and strong storms hit the state last week.
Quinn also said Monday that state and federal assessment teams found the storms damaged more than 2,400 homes in Illinois. That includes nearly 800 homes that were destroyed.
State agencies continue to help Illinois communities recover from the Nov. 17 storms. Illinois Department of Transportation equipment and Illinois Department of Corrections inmate crews are working to remove debris. The state will have resource centers in the hard-hit areas of Washington and Brookport through Tuesday.
The governor's office says state and federal emergency officials will meet with local governments early next month to document storm expenses.
Illinois State Police are preparing to step up traffic enforcement for the holidays.
This year, the officers are dedicating the push a fallen officer. "Operation Kyle" is a 24 hour traffic enforcement push between Tuesday and Wednesday. Trooper Kyle Deatherage was hit and killed by a semi-truck during a traffic stop on November 26, 2012. The truck driver, 52-year-old Johnny Felton Junior faces multiple charges and 14-years in prison if convicted.
The Illinois State Police will have increased patrols through the New Year, they will place an emphasis on speeding, use of seatbelts, DUI's, and distracted driving.
The co-founder and current CEO of the Mathew-Dickey Boys and Girls Club is retiring next year.
Martin Matthews will retire, effective November 1, 2014. Matthews and Hubert Dickey Ballentine started to club in 1960. The club created programs that were adopted nationwide. The "Earn and Learn" program gave kids the chance to earn money working as managers, coaches, and umpires in youth baseball. President Ronald Reagan recognized the club in 1982.
The Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club provides services to more than 40,000 each year. A successor has not been named.
The community came together Monday morning for a food donation, just days before Thanksgiving.
The holiday carols added to the festive spirit at The St. Patrick Center in downtown St. Louis. Turkeys and other Thanksgiving dishes were handed out by volunteers to more than 400 clients and their families. Tom Etling is CEO of the St. Patrick Center, "This is just one way that the St. Louis community and the St. Patrick center reward our clients for their extraordinary efforts and hopefully they will have the safest holiday season they've ever had."
As folks were leaving Monday, they were wished a Happy Thanksgiving with food in their hand and a smile on their face, like Robyn:
---Robyn cut :04 I'm getting ready to eat nice, real nice.