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BC-IL--Illinois News Digest 6pm, IL

February 6, 2019

Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up today in Illinois. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-Chicago bureau at 312-781-0500 or chifax@ap.org. Herbert McCann is on the desk.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.

TOP STORY:

OFFENSIVE EMAILS-JOE RICKETTS

CHICAGO _ The patriarch of the family behind the Chicago Cubs has apologized after an online media outlet published emails in which he took part in racist comments and conspiracy theories. Some of the emails Splinter News published Monday featured Joe Ricketts making Islamophobic comments, such as “Islam is a cult and not a religion.” Others included conspiracies about former President Barack Obama’s birthplace and education. Joe Ricketts and two of his sons, Pete Ricketts and Todd Ricketts, have long been influential figures in conservative politics. SENT: 320 words, photo.

AROUND THE STATE:

EMPIRE CAST MEMBER-ATTACK

CHICAGO _ “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett told police that two men seemed to know who he was before they beat him, shouted racial and homophobic slurs, and looped a rope around his neck during an early-morning attack in Chicago, according to a recently released police report.

Smollett told police that two men dressed in black got his attention by mentioning the name of the TV show as he walked downtown early on Jan. 29. Smollett said the more aggressive man wore a black mask to conceal his face. By Don Babwin. SENT: 510 words, photos.

INTERSTATE SHOOTINGS-ILLINOIS

OAK FOREST, Ill. _ A longtime postal worker was fatally shot along an interstate in suburban Chicago several hours after a separate shooting along the same freeway wounded a man and two boys, authorities said Tuesday. Illinois State Police declined to say whether investigators believe the two Monday shootings are linked. Officers are investigating “and have come to no conclusions,” Trooper Woodrow Montgomery, a spokesman for the agency, said Tuesday. SENT: 360 words.

With: BC-US--Interstate Shootings-Illinois.

PLANE CRASH-NEIGHBORHOOD

YORBA LINDA, Calif. _ A small plane shook homes and “sounded like a missile” as it broke apart and rained chunks of metal into a Southern California neighborhood, igniting a house fire that killed four people, witnesses said Monday. The pilot, a retired Chicago police officer living in Nevada, also died Sunday. Investigators were collecting pieces of the plane that fell into homes across about four blocks in Yorba Linda, a community southeast of Los Angeles. By Amy Taxin. SENT: 770 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

_ FRAUD CHARGE: A 45-year-old accountant is accused of embezzling tens of millions of dollars from a wealthy Chicago-area family to buy 25 homes, four yachts and two private planes.

_ WINTER WEATHER-ILLINOIS: The National Weather Service has issued an ice storm warning for Chicago and a swath of northern Illinois that could see significant ice accumulations from an approaching storm system. UPCOMING: 130 words.

_ EARNS-ARCHER DANIELS MIDLAND: Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter profit of $315 million. The Chicago-based company said it had profit of 56 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were 88 cents per share.

_ MEGA MILLIONS WINNER: An Illinois man who bought a Mega Millions ticket in central Iowa’s Jasper County has claimed a $1 million prize. Iowa Lottery officials say 60-year-old Danny Lovett, of East Moline, Illinois, took his winning ticket Monday to lottery headquarters in Clive.

_ METRA TRAINS-AUTO SHOW: Metra is adding trains that will run directly between Blue Island and McCormick Place on weekends during the Chicago Auto Show.

_ METH AND GUNS-PRISON SENTENCE: A central Illinois man will serve 17 ½ years in federal prison for drug trafficking and possession of firearms.

_ ROBOCALLS-GUIDE: An Illinois consumer-advocacy group is offering new tips for reducing those pesky computer-generated phone calls.

SPORTS:

BBO--HALL OF FAME-SMITH

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Lee Smith had seen the Hall of Fame several times. This visit was completely different. ``I’m still in awe,” Smith said after the tour Tuesday, in preparation for his July induction. “Whenever I sign an autograph and someone says, ‘Hey, put Hall of Fame on it,’ I don’t know if the Hall of Fame goes first or the year goes first.” Smith, who emerged as an ace reliever with the Chicago Cubs in the 1980s, and former White Sox star Harold Baines were voted into the baseball shrine in December by a select committee. SENT: 570 words, photos.

FBN--PACKERS FAN-BEARS LAWSUIT

CHICAGO — The Chicago Bears have ended a pregame perk that prompted a federal lawsuit by a lifelong Green Bay Packers fan who wanted to wear the Wisconsin team’s green and gold apparel to warmups at Soldier Field. Bears attorney Paul Greenwalt told The Chicago Tribune that the team is eliminating the program that allows season ticket holders to attend pregame warmups in a marketing reorganization. SENT: 390 words.

HKN--BLACKHAWKS-OILERS

The Chicago Blackhawks visit the Edmonton Oilers. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.

BKC--T25-MICHIGAN ST-ILLINOIS

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. _ No. 9 Michigan State looks to bounce back against Illinois after losing to Indiana. The Spartans are starting to struggle on offense without guard Josh Langford, who is out for the season with a foot injury. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m. ET.

ALSO:

_ BKC--BALL STATE-NORTHERN ILLINOIS

Ball State plays Northern Illinois at NIU Convocation Center. UPCOMING: 150 words, more on merit.

_ BKC--DRAKE-LOYOLA (IL)

Drake plays Loyola (IL) at Joseph J. Gentile Center. UPCOMING: 150 words, more on merit.

___

If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to chifax@ap.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

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