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 Tom Davies is on the desk, followed by Herbert McCann.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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 — Defense attorneys are expected to announce Friday whether they want a jury or a judge to hear the murder trial of a Chicago police officer who fatally shot Laquan McDonald. The last of the 12 jurors were selected Thursday along with five alternates. Officer Jason Van Dyke's attorneys have said that they don't think Van Dyke can get a fair trial in Cook County because of media coverage of the 2014 shooting. Dashcam video shows the white officer shooting McDonald 16 times as the black teenager walks away from police with a knife in his hand. By Michael Tarm. SENT: 130 words, photo. Will be updated from scheduled 9 a.m. court hearing.


— 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 — The health of Corey Crawford looms over the Chicago Blackhawks ahead of their first practice of training camp. The Stanley Cup-winning goaltender missed the final part of last season with an upper-body injury, and not much is known about his progress at the moment. By Jay Cohen. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Developing from 10 a.m. practice.


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. UPCOMING: 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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