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Clinton boyhood home dedicated as national park

HOPE, Ark. | Former President Bill Clinton dedicated his boyhood home in Hope on Saturday as part of the National Park Service, and he used the occasion to say that the country is having hard times because people are too focused on money and not enough on each other.

Mr. Clinton told about 400 people on a windy and sunny afternoon that growing up without a television led him to focus on people and the stories they told.

“We here of a certain age were raised to see everyone. My grandfather taught me to see people without regard for the color of their skin,” Mr. Clinton said.

Mr. Clinton lived in the white, two-story home with his mother, Virginia, and her parents, Eldridge and Edith Cassidy, though the home remained the focus of Clinton’s family life for years afterward. Mr. Clinton recalled that his grandfather would serve black and white customers at his grocery store, an uncommon business practice during segregation.


State weary of drama surrounding Blagojevich

He was fired by Donald Trump, sent his wife to the jungle of Costa Rica to eat a tarantula on a reality show and sat there smiling as the likes of David Letterman ridiculed him.

But to many Illinois residents, Rod Blagojevich is more than a punch line.

As Illinois braces for a rerun of the ex-governor’s sensational corruption trial that ended last summer with a conviction on a single charge, many here are tired of the drama they say has dragged down the state’s reputation. They feel anger, betrayal and, in some cases, sympathy.

Some residents think Blagojevich hasn’t paid enough for what U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald called a “political corruption crime spree” that would “make Lincoln roll over in his grave.” Others, though, see him as a victim being steamrolled by prosecutors who, they say, aren’t satisfied that he was found guilty of only one charge - lying to the FBI.

Together, these mixed emotions add up to a state that doesn’t think all the jokes are so funny.

“I know the good book says forgive and you will be forgiven, but I don’t see how the good people of Illinois can forgive what he’s done,” said Bob Butler, 83, who has been mayor of the Southern Illinois town of Marion since 1963.


Final vote tally shows conservative judge in lead

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