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Statewide: Growing concerns over food deserts

Joe Green Flickr:

Grocery store closures happen everywhere. But in some lower income and minority neighborhoods, the impact can be devastating. Activists argue companies are purposely disinvesting in these communities.

We hear more on Statewide.

This week:

* A reporter tells the story of United Airlines Flight 553, which crashed into a southwest side Chicago neighborhood 50 years ago this month. 45 people died, including two on the ground.

* Michelle O'Neill of WVIK has more on concerns about low water levels on the Upper Mississippi Rover and how it could affect fish.

* Maureen McKinney speaks with Gateway Foundation's Mercedes Kent about increased drinking over the holidays.

* Rich Egger tells how afficionados of one instrument horned their way into the holiday season.

* Tim Shelley sits down with outgoing Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, just a few weeks before she leaves office.

* Melissa Renee Perry of WBEZ explains how some researchers want a more comprehensive lens applied to what have become known as food deserts.

Joe Deacon/WCBU
Urban Artifacts co-owner Jon Walker shows off the Bergner's Talking Christmas Tree on display at the store on Sheridan Road in Peoria.

* Joe Deacon reports from Peoria where a bit of holiday history is back on display.

* Holden Abshier of Side Effects Public Media has more on travel nurses. They help fill critical needs in hospitals. But the cost is forcing some facilities to reduce their reliance on those health care workers.

* Peter Medlin reports on what is considered the most crucial year for high schoolers. He finds out what some schools are doing to help freshmen succeed.