CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has recognized thousands of first responders and other state employees who have helped Illinois residents during a "historic" winter storm.
At a news conference Monday, Quinn said Illinois State Police, the National Guard and the Department of Natural Resources' conservation police worked through the night to rescue stranded motorists.
He says one conservation police officer used a snowmobile then hiked on foot to rescue seven people and two pets near the central Illinois community of Mahomet (muh-HAH-met).
Quinn on Sunday activated the State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield to coordinate the response to the storm, which brought record-breaking cold temperatures and up to 15 inches of snow to some areas.
The Chicago Democrat is urging people to stay home and to check on their neighbors.