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

January 18, 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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 STORIES:

CHICAGO POLICE-LAQUAN MCDONALD

CHICAGO _ A judge on Thursday acquitted three Chicago officers of trying to cover up the 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald, dismissing as just one perspective the shocking dashcam video of the black teenager’s death that led to protests, a federal investigation of the police department and the rare murder conviction of an officer. In casting off the prosecution’s entire case, Judge Domenica Stephenson seemed to accept many of the same defense arguments that were rejected in October by jurors who convicted officer Jason Van Dyke of second-degree murder and aggravated battery. He is scheduled to be sentenced Friday. By Don Babwin and Michael Tarm. SENT: 1,045 words, photos.

With: CHICAGO POLICE-LAQUAN MCDONALD-THE LATEST. Will be updated as developments occur.

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR-GUN DEALER LICENSING

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. _ Gov. J.B. Pritzker authorized state regulation of firearms dealers Thursday in a reversal of his predecessor’s policy and prompting a gun owners group to threaten legal action against Illinois. Pritzker, sworn in on Monday, chose an elementary school in Chicago to sign legislation meant to cut down on illegal purchases of firearms through video monitoring, tighter inventory control and gun-shop employee training. By John O’Connor. SENT: 590 words, photo.

FOSTER PARENTS-LOADED GUN

KANSAS CITY, Mo. _ A Kansas City couple is suing the state of Missouri over rules for foster parents who own guns. James and Julie Attaway allege in the lawsuit that the Missouri Department of Social Services’ firearms policies violate their constitutional rights. An Illinois lawyer representing the couple says similar lawsuits have been filed in Michigan and Illinois. SENT: 310 words.

BUSINESS:

SEARS-SURVIVAL

NEW YORK _ A group of Sears creditors are challenging Chairman Eddie Lampert’s hedge fund’s winning $5.2 billion bid to buy the business in a bankruptcy auction and wants to air their grievances in court. Sears confirmed Thursday that Lampert’s hedge fund won tentative approval for the plan to buy 425 stores and the rest of its assets. The move preserves 45,000 jobs and is subject to court approval on Feb. 1 and is expected to then close Feb. 8. By Anne D’Innocenzio. SENT: 375 words, photos.

With: SEARS SURVIVAL-THE LATEST.

BRIEF:

__STABBING DEATH-MAN CHARGED: Murder charges have been filed against a Chicago man in the stabbing death of an autistic high school student.

__BANKER SURVEY: A monthly survey of rural bankers in parts of 10 Plains and Western states suggests banks are growing increasingly concerned about farm loan defaults in 2019.

—WINTER WEATHER-ILLINOIS: Illinoisans are beginning to brace themselves for a storm the National Weather Service says could bring a half-foot of snow to parts of the state.

—SPRINGFIELD PANHANDLING: The city of Springfield says it will appeal a federal judge’s ruling that the city’s anti-panhandling ordinance is unconstitutional.

—GACY INVESTIGATION: News coverage of last month’s 40th anniversary of serial killer John Wayne Gacy’s arrest has meant dozens of more tips for Illinois investigators trying to identify victims.

—BLACKMON-MURDER CASE: Cook County prosecutors have vacated the murder conviction of a Chicago man and dropped all charges against him after he spent nearly 16 years in prison.

—ELECTRONICS SCHEME: A former government employee in northwestern Indiana has been convicted in a scheme to use funds from the City of Gary to buy computer equipment that she then resold.

SPORTS:

BKN--BULLS-NUGGETS

DENVER _ The Chicago Bulls have lost eight straight heading into their game against Denver on Thursday night. What’s more, the Bulls haven’t won in the Mile High City since Feb. 8, 2006. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts at 8 p.m. CT.

HKN--BLACKHAWKS-RANGERS

NEW YORK _ The Chicago Blackhawks visit New York on Thursday to take on the Rangers. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 6 p.m. CT.

BKC--ILLINOIS-CHICAGO-MILWAUKEE

MILWAUKEE _ Illinois-Chicago takes on Milwaukee in a Thursday road game. UPCOMING: 150 words, more on merits. Game starts at 7 p.m. CT.

BKC--MURRAY STATE-EASTERN ILLINOIS

CHARLESTON, Ill. _ Eastern Illinois hosts Murray State on Thursday. UPCOMING: 150 words, more on merits. Game starts at 7 p.m. CT.

BKC--AUSTIN PEAY-SIU-EDWARDSVILLE

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. _ SIU-Edwardsville hosts Austin Peay on Thursday. UPCOMING: 150 words, more on merits. Game starts at 7:30 p.m. CT.

BKC--NEBRASKA-OMAHA-WESTERN ILLINOIS

MACOMB, Ill. _ Western Illinois hosts Nebraska-Omaha on Thursday. UPCOMING: 150 words, more on merits. Game starts at 7 p.m. CT.

BKC--CHICAGO STATE-GRAND CANYON

PHOENIX _ Chicago State plays a Thursday road game against Grand Canyon. UPCOMING: 150 words, more on merits. Game starts at 8 p.m. CT.

Also:

—SOC--US-GARZA: Cincinnati defender Greg Garza has left the U.S. national team training camp because of a strained quadriceps.

___

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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