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Workers unload packages and letters from mail trucks at the United States Postal Service sorting and processing facility, Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo / Charles Krupa)

Postal workers who recall packages and letters piled up in distribution hubs are better prepared this time as they gear up for another pandemic crunch. But low product inventories, and port and supply chain disruptions are creating new uncertainty about getting gifts delivered.

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Daniel Ramon, 55, of Livonia, talks about his purchase of led lights for his daughters outside the Best Buy store in Novi, Mich., on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (Clarence Tabb, Jr. / Detroit News via AP)

Buoyed by solid hiring, healthy pay gains and substantial savings, customers are returning to stores and splurging on all types of items. But the spike has also resulted in limited selection across the board as suppliers and retailers have been caught flat-footed.

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FILE - An oil well works at sunrise Aug. 25, 2021, in Watford City, N.D., part of McKenzie County. (AP Photo / Matthew Brown, File)

The long-awaited report by the Interior Department stops short of recommending an end to oil and gas leasing on public lands, as many environmental groups have urged. But officials said the report would lead to a more responsible leasing process that provides a better return to U.S. taxpayers.

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(WTTW News)

Food insecurity continues to be far above pre-pandemic levels. Advocates say supply chain issues and inflation are worsening this problem — higher grocery bills make it even harder for some to afford food.

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(WTTW News)

Former Parlor Pizza employees say they were forced to work overtime without pay and under toxic working conditions, according to Block Club Chicago. The restaurant is now under investigation for possible labor and anti-discrimination violations.

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Storage tanks are shown at a refinery in Detroit, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. The White House on Tuesday said it had ordered 50 million barrels of oil released from strategic reserve to bring down energy costs. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

The U.S. action is focused on helping Americans coping with higher fuel and other prices ahead of Thanksgiving and winter holiday travel. Gasoline prices are at about $3.40 a gallon, more than 50% higher than a year ago, according to the American Automobile Association. 

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(WTTW News)

Jamila Trimuel founded the nonprofit a decade ago and has made it her mission to help young Black girls go to college. “I see myself in the girls that I serve.”

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A Target store is shown in Philadelphia on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke)

Target will no longer open its stores on Thanksgiving Day, making permanent a shift to the unofficial start of the holiday season that was suspended during the pandemic.

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In 2017, federal and state leaders heralded a massive new factory in southern Wisconsin to be built by Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer Foxconn. The facility was supposed to create thousands of jobs and spur economic development, but a new book argues those promises have come up short.

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Design rendering of the Obama Presidential Center. Plaza in foreground. (Courtesy of The Obama Foundation)

As part of the $100 million gift to the Obama Foundation, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has asked for the plaza at the Obama Presidential Center to be named the John Lewis Plaza.

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Local engineering and construction firms are gearing up for big business after President Joe Biden signed the $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law. (WTTW News)

The $1 trillion infrastructure plan was signed into law by President Joe Biden. Nationwide, the plan will send billions to state and local governments for long-needed upgrades. 17 billion of those dollars are headed to Illinois, adding to the 45 billion the state is already spending on infrastructure thanks to the 2019 Rebuild Illinois bill. 

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Volunteers Joe O'Connor, left, and Eric Leuck prepare boxes that will be filled with food at the Northern Illinois Food Bank and delivered by DoorDash drivers for area residents who are homebound Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, in Park City, Ill. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

In 2021, U.S. Food Banks are serving about 55% more people than they did in 2020 before the pandemic, according to Feeding America. The increased demand is straining many food banks, a problem that is worsening as supply chain disruptions, diminished inventories and labor shortages magnify food costs.

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Washington Park is nestled between Hyde Park, Woodlawn and Englewood. It’s home to the DuSable Museum of African American History and to the former Schultz Baking Company. (WTTW News)

Washington Park is nestled between Hyde Park, Woodlawn and Englewood. It’s home to the DuSable Museum of African American History and to the former Schultz Baking Company. Now closed, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places and there are plans to turn it into a data center.

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Overhead view of the bypass during construction. (Chicago Transit Authority / Facebook)

The rail bypass goes into service Friday, carrying CTA Brown Line trains over Red and Purple line tracks and eliminating a 114-year-old transit bottleneck. 

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(Courtesy of National Turkey Federation)

The cost of a Thanksgiving feast for 10 is up 14% from 2020, according to an annual survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation.

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Heritage Bikes & Coffee in Lakeview (WTTW News)

Michael Salvatore, a fifth-generation Chicagoan, opened Heritage Bikes & Coffee in Lakeview in 2012. The business combines two things he loves while paying homage to his family and the city’s cycling history.