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BC-IL--Illinois News Digest 1:30 pm, IL

March 16, 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. Caryn Rousseau 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.



OMAHA, Neb. _ Authorities are using boats to rescue and evacuate residents in parts of the Midwest where a recent deluge of rainwater and snowmelt was sent pouring over frozen ground, overwhelming creeks and rivers, and killing at least one person. Rescue efforts in eastern Nebraska have been hampered by reports of levee breaches and washouts of bridges and roads, including part of Nebraska Highway 92, leading in and out of southwest Omaha. By Margery A. Beck. SENT: 500 words, photos.


—WINTER WEATHER-FLOODING-ILLINOIS: Rising waters along the Pecatonica and Rock rivers have flooded some homes in northern Illinois cities like Freeport, Rockford and Machesney Park. Photos.

—WINTER WEATHER-FLOODING-THE LATEST: The latest on flooding in the Midwest. Will be updated as developments occur.


DETROIT _ The dilemma of separating the sides of R. Kelly, who faces 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse, now confronts millions who listen to or perform his music. It’s perhaps most acute when it comes to “I Believe I Can Fly.” The Grammy-winning ballad has made its way into movies and been performed in countless reality shows, church services, as well as school concerts and graduation ceremonies. Children are even singing it bilingually. Some say the song has a life beyond its creator. By Jeff Karoub. SENT: 970 words, photos.


CHICAGO _ New state data shows Illinois high school graduates have increasingly enrolled in out-of-state colleges and universities in recent years. The Chicago Tribune reports that the Illinois Board of Higher Education figures reveal the exodus continues. More than 48 percent of public high school graduates who enrolled in four-year universities in 2017 decided to attend schools that aren’t in Illinois. That figure has climbed from about 46 percent in 2016 and 45 percent in 2015. SENT: 320 words.


Ten trumpet students at a Louisiana university are offering to play Taps at veterans’ funerals, rather than leave the haunting farewell bugle call to a recording. Music education major Kody Jernigan says that even a recorded call is meaningful. But he says that when a person plays and the horn rings over the field, it takes the breath out of your chest. By Janet McConnaughey. SENT: 690 words, photos. Editors note Illinois interest.



URBANA, Ill. _ You may have seen a player piano, but it’s unlikely you ever saw one like this. The 1927 piano is a treasure of the University of Illinois Music and Performing Arts Library and has a room of its own, along with about 1,500 player-piano rolls, some of which were created by well-known musicians. It may be one of the last to survive. Visitors can make appointments to view the piano and its extensive collection of rolls (each one a song, usually a dated one). By Paul Wood. The (Champaign) News-Gazette. SENT: 810 words, photos.


NORMAL, Ill. _ Ashley Green of Mackinaw, by her own description, was “a very active child,” involved in competitive gymnastics, volleyball, surfing, snowboarding, softball and track, until complications from surgeries on her ankle resulted in amputation of her leg below the knee. Now she is helping others with a nonprofit organization and motivational speaking and has her eyes on the Paralympics. She also is studying physical therapy at Bradley University. By Lenore Sobota. The (Bloomington) Pantagraph. SENT: 650 words, photos.


—BRIBERY INDICTMENT: Federal prosecutors say the owner of Pennsylvania debt collection company faces charges he tried to bribe county clerks in Illinois and Florida to obtain business from their offices.

—CHICAGO HOSPITAL-SHOTS FIRED-SCHOLARSHIP: The University of Illinois at Chicago has created a scholarship in memory of an emergency room doctor who was killed in a shooting at a Chicago hospital last year.

—EBERTFEST-ARETHA FRANKLIN: The Aretha Franklin concert film “Amazing Grace” will open this year’s Roger Ebert film festival in Champaign-Urbana.

—INDIANAPOLIS CHILDREN’S MUSEUM-MICHAEL JACKSON: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has removed three Michael Jackson items from exhibits after a new documentary renewed allegations of child sexual abuse committed by the late singer and Gary native.



CHICAGO _ No. 6 Michigan State plays No. 19 Wisconsin on Saturday for a spot in the Big Ten Tournament final. The top-seeded Spartans beat the Badgers 67-59 on Feb. 12 in their only meeting this season. By Jay Cohen. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 12 p.m. CT.


CHICAGO _ Zavier Simpson and No. 10 Michigan face Jordan Murphy and surprising Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals Friday. The Wolverines beat the Gophers twice during the regular season. By Andrew Seligman. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 2:30 p.m. CT.


MONTREAL _ The Chicago Blackhawks visit the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 6 p.m. CT.




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.