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A blood drive is being held in Salem today in honor of Nicole Jenkins who is recovering from a double lung transplant after one doctor in St. Louis told her she would not survive.  Jenkins calls the people of Salem really special and says was overwhelmed by the support of the community and churches when her lungs shutdown from a still unknown cause.  She remembers the darkest days when she was hospitalized in St. Louis and the remarks of one of the doctors.

"'We've extended your time in the ICU...and you're really not going to make it, to be blunt' [the doctors said]. My pastor came in and said 'This is not the will of god', and I really took that to heart. I waited for a few weeks, and not a few weeks later...on Christmas eve, I had the surgery" Jenkins told WJBD.

Jenkins says she could breathe right away with her new lungs, but she is still in the recovery process.   Jenkins, who was a nurse at Salem Township Hospital and had work with patients since the age of 16, is looking forward to eventually returning to work.

"I'm so ready to go back to work and take care of patients. My doctors say 'Nicole, you're not ready for that yet'...but it's such as passion for me, to take care of people" said Jenkins.

Jenkins isn't ready to accept her doctors recommendation that her future work be confined to an office and not in helping patients in a hospital setting.   

Jenkins agreed to have the blood drive done in her behalf because blood is the gift of life that she had to utilize.

"It really is an important thing, because I received a lot of blood in the hospital and without that, my condition would have been very, very bad" Jenkins said.

The blood drive will be held from noon to six Wednesday at the Salem Community Activity Center.  The goal of the blood drive is 125 units.  Nicole plans to be on hand to greet those at the blood drive from noon to three.   

First-Generation College Students, Low Income Students, and students with physical or learning disabilities may qualify for the Kaskaskia College TRiO/Student Support Services Program, which is currently accepting applications for the Fall 2014 Semester.

The TRiO/Student Support Services grant is a federally-funded program that provides services for eligible students. The U.S. Department of Education has awarded KC $213,180 for the 2014-2015 academic year to help students overcome financial, social, and cultural barriers to higher education. Under the grant, KC has established the Student Support Services program that will serve 140 eligible students with a goal of increasing their graduation, retention, and transfer rate. TRiO/SSS is located on the main campus in the Success Center and provides services tailored to the needs of program participants. Some of the services available include: tutoring, peer mentoring, academic advising, help with financial aid, cultural experiences, college visits, workshops, assistance to transfer to a four-year institution, and referral to important services on campus and in the community.

To qualify for the TRiO/SSS program, students must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and must meet one of the following guidelines:  A first-generation college student (which means neither parent has a four-year college degree), meet economic need guidelines established by U.S. Department of Education, or have a verifiable physical or learning disability.

For more information, contact the TRiO office located in the KC Success Center or call 618-545-3037.

Cardboard Boat Races Held

A Cardboard Boat makes its way across the vast ocean of the Salem Aquatic Center

The cardboard boat champions. From left to right: Mallory Daniels (SFAC ATTACK), Eric Barham (SS Barham), Ethan Eyman and Jonathan Eyman (Insta-Gator), Dennis Wollin (The Silver Seal)

The Salem Aquatic Center had several participants in the cardboard boat races in the pool on Saturday.  

Mallory Daniels in command of the SFAC Attack took first placein the 12 to 17 year old age division.  Ethan Eyman and Jonathan Eyman took first place in the 7 to 11 year old division with their entry Insta-Gator.  Eric Barham in SS Barham took second and also won the award for Fan Favorite.  

Dennis Wollin in the Silver Seal won the Titanic Award for the most spectacular sinking.   

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A large crowd has gathered at the site where St. Louis police officers shot and killed a knife-wielding man after a reported convenience store robbery.

The shooting Tuesday happened just a few miles from Ferguson, where a police officer's fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old, Michael Brown, has touched off days of protests.

St. Louis Police Capt. Ed Kuntz says police responded Tuesday after a report of a robbery at the store. Kuntz says the suspect had a knife and refused to drop the weapon.

Police Chief Sam Dotson says the man was acting erratically and told responding officers to "shoot me now, kill me now."

Kuntz says officers opened fire when the man raised the knife and moved toward them.

Kuntz says the suspect was black.

The Regional Coalition dedicated to halting the closure of the Murray Developmental Center met again Tuesday at Centralia City Hall to flesh out details of upcoming fundraising efforts to benefit groups fighting to keep the Murray Center open in court.

State Representative Charlie Meier said during the meeting that it was a crucial time for fundraising as the Murray Center case moves forward in federal court. 

"We've come a long way and fought a long hard fight, and we're not done. [We can't] run out of steam right between third base and home plate, and we're going for the win...but we need the funds to get across home plate" said Meier.

Meier says that in addition to fundraising efforts, voter registration needs to be part of the ground game for Murray Supporters. Salem Economic Development Director Jeanne Gustafson (Guss-Tuff-Son) told the coalition that the Murray issue could be solved at the polls in November.

A "Murray Center Week" will be recognized by several area municipalities and counties on the week of September 20th to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Murray Center, and with it will come a slew of fundraising efforts by area non profit organizations and businesses alike.

One of the first events during the week will be a meal for Murray Center supporters at Centralia High School. Centralia High School Superintendent Chuck Lane says that a meal prepared by high school staff will be offered for a donation, and various games and activities will take place for children in the high school gymnasium.

Kaskaskia Workshop and People's National Bank are aiming to raise $5,050 during the "50/50 challenge" on Friday, September 26th. For a $5 suggested donation, lunch, including a Bo's BBQ Sandwich, Pasta Salad, Baked Beans, and a desert will be delivered to your business. To submit your order, call People's National Bank at 533-3122 with your businesses name, address, phone number, number of lunches, and delivery time before September 24th.

One of the biggest events planned for the month of September is the Save Murray Center Benefit in Albers on September 5th at Jaycee Park. Music from the Avery Hill Band and the Beaucoup Bottom Boys will accompany food during the event, which starts at 7:30. Tickets are available at the Germantown Bank Locations in Germantown, Breese, Carlyle, Albers, Damiansville, and at the Hoffman Bank. In Centralia, tickets are available at Monken Dodge, the Body Shoppe, and Entourage Tanning.

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