CHICAGO -- Impoverished East St. Louis, Ill., and its new mayor appear to be making some progress toward alleviating the financial and social ills that plague the city.

Mayor Gordon Bush said in an interview last week that the city is starting to get its affairs in order. City employees have been paid on time since he took office in May, a state financial watchdog group last week lent the city $3.75 million to ensure that essential services will be provided, and a state-funded 13-member special drug enforcement unit has cut down on overt drug-dealing.

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