St. Louis

Maria Altman/St. Louis Public Radio

The steel gray KC-135 Stratotankers are massive.

The Boeing jets, first deployed way back in 1956, can carry up to 83,000 pounds of cargo with the thrust of four turbofan engines.

The plane also is capable of carrying 33,000 gallons of fuel and off-loading it in mid-air.

That’s the primary mission of the Illinois Air National Guard’s 126th Air Refueling Wing, assigned to Scott Air Force Base near Belleville.

tylerdurden1/Flickr

Consumer rights groups in Illinois are leading the opposition to proposals before the state legislature that they say could end traditional landline phone service. They claim that AT&T wants to shift customers to more expensive plans. But the telecommunications company says that conclusion is not accurate.