Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up in Illinois at 1:30 p.m. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-Chicago bureau at 312-781-0500 or Tom Davies is on the desk, followed by Ken Kusmer.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change. Expected stories may not develop, or late-breaking and more newsworthy events may take precedence. Advisories and digests will keep you up to date. All times are Central.



CHICAGO — Attorneys for a white Chicago police officer charged with murder in the 2014 fatal shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald announced Friday that they will stick with a jury for the trial rather than have a judge decide the case. Judge Vincent Gaughan had set a Friday deadline for Jason Van Dyke to say whether he wanted to switch to a bench trial in which the judge would have decided the officer's fate. Opening statements are planned for Monday. By Michael Tarm. SENT: 400 words, photos.



CHICAGO — Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's campaign has hit the Illinois airwaves with a new claim that Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker wants to tax drivers for the mileage they log by using a tracking device. It's the latest in a string of Rauner ads that accuse Pritzker of harboring plans to raise taxes. The candidates are wealthy businessmen who are locked in an expensive spending campaign; Rauner has put $50 million of his own cash into the race this cycle while Pritzker has poured in $100 million of his money. By Amanda Seitz. SENT: 750 words, photo.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Lawyers of an Illinois man exonerated of murder charges say he deserves a chance to present his case against a city and three former officers. Attorneys argued Thursday before the Illinois Supreme Court regarding Alan Beaman's lawsuit against the city of Normal and the retired officers. Beaman served more than 12 years of a 50-year sentence on murder charges related to the 1993 death of his ex-girlfriend Jennifer Lockmiller, who was an Illinois State University student. SENT: 300 words.


HAMMOND, Ind. — Chicago attorneys and a surfing organization have told a judge that a proposed federal settlement over U.S. Steel's repeated chemical spills into Lake Michigan is inadequate. The Chicago Law Department and the Surfrider Foundation urged the federal judge Thursday to impose tougher penalties on the steelmaker for last year's chromium discharges from its Midwest Plant in Portage, Indiana, into the region's primary source of drinking water. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words.


— POLICE OFFICER-SHOT: An official is hailing a licensed gun owner who joined suburban Chicago police in a shootout with a man suspected of shooting an officer. Cicero police Superintendent Jerry Chlada says a driver fired on two officers as he fled on foot after an attempted traffic stop Thursday near Interstate 55.

— BRADBURY STATUE: A group raising money for a 12-foot-tall statue honoring author Ray Bradbury has almost reached its goal. The statue could be erected outside the Waukegan Public Library by next summer.

— CHICAGO-PLANNED PARENTHOOD: The city of Chicago has joined 19 other local governments in a legal brief supporting Planned Parenthood's challenge of federal changes to funding requirements.

— SECOND MURDER-CONVICTION: A Chicago man who served time in prison for the murder of a girlfriend has been convicted in the death of another woman, an ex-girlfriend. Douglas Askew was found guilty Thursday of first-degree murder in the 2016 death of Sylvia Brice and aggravated battery for an attack on a second woman.



CHICAGO — Cole Hamels looks to continue his surge since the trade to Chicago as the Cubs open a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds. The game got moved back from an afternoon start because the Cubs had to travel to Washington for a makeup that interrupted their homestand. Chicago beat the Nationals 4-3 in 10 innings on Wednesday. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game time 7:05 p.m. CT.


BALTIMORE — Right-hander Luis Ortiz makes his first major league start for the Baltimore Orioles in the opener of a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox and 16-game loser James Shields. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game time 6:05 p.m. CT


CHICAGO — Chicago's Connor Murphy will miss the start of the season with a back injury and fellow Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook is out with an abdominal injury. Team physician Dr. Michael Terry says Murphy will be sidelined for about eight weeks. Seabrook is expected to miss about one week. Chicago already had announced that defenseman Gustav Forsling will miss the start of the season because of a right wrist injury. By Jay Cohen. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.


EVANSTON, Ill. — Northwestern hopes to avoid a different kind of streak. The Wildcats will try not to make it back-to-back losses when they host Akron on Saturday, after having their nine-game win streak last week. A 21-7 loss to Duke stopped the longest run among Power Five schools. And coach Pat Fitzgerald sure sees potential trouble against Akron. By Andrew Seligman. SENT: 650 words, photos.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — South Florida, coming off a tough win over Georgia Tech, faces a young Illinois team looking to go 3-0 for the first time since 2011 when they meet at Soldier Field in Chicago on Saturday. It's likely to be an uphill battle for Illinois, which struggled in its first two starts against teams it was expected to easily beat. Starting quarterback AJ Bush is questionable with a hamstring injury and coach Lovie Smith may wait until Saturday to announce his starter. UPCOMING: 600 words.


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