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BC-IL--Illinois Weekend Digest, IL

March 1, 2019

AP-Illinois stories for the weekend of March 2-3. May be updated. Members using Exchange stories should retain the bylines and newspaper credit lines. If you have questions, please contact the AP-Illinois desk in Chicago at 312-781-0500 or chifax@ap.org.

ILLINOIS EXCHANGES:

Saturday:

EXCHANGE-OPIOID CRISIS

KANKAKEE, Ill. _ Dispatch gives him an address and a quick brief. A person is unresponsive and not breathing. That scenario is how Cory Chase begins his job. The 39-year-old Riverside Healthcare paramedic gets in an ambulance and heads to the scene, ready to save a life. When he hears “unresponsive” and “not breathing,” the scenarios run through his head. The past few years in Kankakee County have him thinking this could be an overdose. By John Dykstra. The (Kankakee) Daily Journal. SENT: 1,520 words.

EXCHANGE-BATTLING CANCER

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. _ Kim Drewes came up with the dance routine lying flat on her back in a hospital bed in Chicago, a little over a month after her second craniotomy. At the time, the music coursed through Drewes’ mind from the beeping sounds of a hospital room and the pulsing rhythm of a heartbeat to the strains of “All Time Low” and “No Tears Left” that segued to “I’m A Survivor.” By Steven Spearie. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register. SENT: 1,600 words.

Sunday:

EXCHANGE-ALOPECIA AFFLICTION

SUGAR GROVE, Ill. _ Leah Hayes is never so free as when she’s in the pool. At 13 and almost 5 feet, 7 inches tall, Leah has realistic dreams of making an Olympic Trials cut next year. The blue-eyed Sugar Grove teen loves to win, but her drive comes from more than the records and the accolades. It’s the support she gets from her teammates and coaches. It was right around the time Leah started swimming that she began to lose her hair. As a 6-year-old, she found it difficult to process the reality of her alopecia universales diagnosis. By Lauren Rohr. The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald. SENT: 1,320 words.

EXCHANGE-FEEDING THE COMMUNITY

CARBONDALE, Ill. _ Valarie Hodges knows plenty of kids in her town would go hungry if not for their schools. Between 60 and 65 percent of Harrisburg kids qualify for free or reduced price meals. But when summer comes and classes end, about 82 percent of them miss out on the school meals. However there’s hope in Harrisburg. Since it began seven years ago, Harrisburg’s summer program has grown well beyond its original goals. By Gabriel Neely-Streit. SENT: 1,120 words.