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

June 5, 2018

Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up in Illinois at 6 p.m. 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 A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.



BELLEVILLE, Ill. — The trial of a St. Louis man charged in the 2005 stabbing deaths of three people at a southwestern Illinois beauty salon was unexpectedly stopped in a dispute over evidence in the case. Jury selection was to continue Tuesday for Samuel L. Johnson’s trial on murder charges when prosecutors said they wanted an appeals court to review the judge’s decision on messages they want to present. Johnson is charged with killing 79-year-old Doris Fischer, 82-year-old Dorothy Bone and 62-year-old hairdresser Michael Cooney at Cooney’s home-based salon in Belleville. SENT: 365 words.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois officials are working to preserve artifacts from the 1908 Springfield Race Riots that were found at the site of a railroad improvement project. U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis tells the State Journal-Register that he’s working with officials to move the items to museums, such as the Smithsonian or the Library of Congress. Engineer Jim Moll says crews working on an underpass in 2014 discovered seven homes, including five that were burned during the riots, along with artifacts from a mid-1800s immigrant neighborhood. SENT: 160 words. UPCOMING: 300 words.


MURPHYSBORO, Ill. — The trial of a man accused in the 2014 death of a Southern Illinois University student is scheduled to get underway. Gaege Bethune of Eldorado is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Pravin Varughese. A jury was selected late Monday in Jackson County to hear the case against Bethune. Opening statements are scheduled for Tuesday. SENT: 130 words. Will be updated on merits.


MADISON, Wis. — The family of late comedian and film star Chris Farley has filed a federal lawsuit against Trek Bicycle for naming its fat-tired bikes Farley, saying the Wisconsin-based bike company misappropriated Farley’s name and traded on his “fat guy” brand of comedy. Chris Farley was born and raised in Madison, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from Waterloo, where Trek is based. He died in 1997 in Chicago of a drug overdose. SENT: 325 words.



CHICAGO — A major credit ratings agency says Illinois’ new budget is “more of the same” from the worst-rated state in the U.S. S&P Global Ratings released an analysis Tuesday of the $38.5 billion budget. The agency says the budget passing on time — unlike in previous years — may have positive implications for the state’s credit rating, which is one level above “junk” status. But the agency says the plan continues Illinois’ past practices of banking on revenue and savings that may not materialize. SENT: 130 words.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services is leaving her role for a job in the private sector. Gov. Bruce Rauner confirmed that Director Felicia Norwood will step down June 15. Norwood will become executive vice president of the for-profit health care company Anthem. SENT: 120 words.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — An Army brigadier general who served in Afghanistan and Iraq has been named director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Stephen Curda is a Ph.D. in educational psychology and serves as professor and veterans’ education expert at National Louis University in Chicago. SENT: 130 words.


— WHEATON COLLEGE HAZING-PLEA: A second former Wheaton College football player arrested on felony charges after an alleged hazing incident has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery charges.

— TRUMP-BLAGOJEVICH: Illinois’ imprisoned ex-governor, Rod Blagojevich, has filed paperwork asking President Donald Trump to commute his 14-year prison term for corruption that included seeking to sell an appointment to the Senate seat Barack Obama vacated to become president.

— CHICAGO VIOLENCE-VIDEO BLOGGER: An organization that promotes press freedom is condemning the shooting death in Chicago of a founder of a YouTube website that features local musical talent and is urging police to investigate if he was targeted because of his work.

— APARTMENT FIRE-JUMPING DEATH: Officials say a woman died after jumping from an upper floor of a burning four-story apartment building in Chicago. The fire department says a trash fire reported about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday quickly spread to the wooden rear porches of the building in the north side Rogers Park neighborhood.

— FORMER LAWMAKER SHOPLIFTING: A former Illinois lawmaker arrested on a shoplifting charge has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor retail theft. The sentence for former state Rep. Sandra Pihos of Glen Ellyn includes 50 hours of community service and a year of court supervision.

— ARMY FORT-DISCOVERY: Anthropology students at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale have discovered remnants of an army fort near the community of Chester that was once visited by the Lewis and Clark expedition.

— CHILDREN’S MUSEUM EXHIBIT: The Children’s Museum of Illinois will open a pro-law-enforcement themed exhibition next month. The two-story, 7,000-square-foot exhibit is called “Heroes Hall.”

— ROCKWELL AUTOMATION-INDIANA: A company that specializes in industrial automation and information plans to establish operations in central Indiana to consolidate the work of existing distribution centers in Illinois and Tennessee. The plans by Rockwell Automation include moving current operations in Champaign, Illinois, to Indiana.

— U OF ILLINOIS-MICROSOFT: The University of Illinois and Microsoft are launching a new partnership to help students with autism pursue science and technology careers. Microsoft is investing $200,000 in the Accessibility Lighthouse Program.



LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The Chicago Bears have placed veteran tight end Zach Miller on the physically unable to perform list one day after he signed a one-year contract. The team announced the move Tuesday. Miller is attempting to return from a gruesome injury last October that nearly cost him his left leg. Miller tore an artery while dislocating his knee trying to make a touchdown catch during the Week 8 game at New Orleans. He has undergone at least eight surgeries since then, but was walking on his own by late December. By Andrew Seligman. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 600 words.


CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs send Kyle Hendricks to the mound as they open a six-game homestand against the struggling Zach Eflin and the Philadelphia Phillies. Chicago is coming off a four-game sweep at the New York Mets. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game time 7:05 p.m. CT.


MINNEAPOLIS — Eduardo Escobar hit a three-run home run with two outs in the eighth inning to power the Minnesota Twins past Chicago 4-2 on Tuesday in the first game of a doubleheader, spoiling a stellar start by White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez. Miguel Sano’s RBI single set up Escobar for his latest clutch hit against his original team. Traded to the Twins in 2012, Escobar is batting .321 with seven doubles, four homers and 14 RBIs in his past 22 games against the White Sox. By Dave Campbell. SENT: 505 words, photos. Second game starts at 7:10 p.m. CT.


— FBC--WRIGLEY FIELD-NORTHWESTERN: Northwestern will play Wisconsin at Wrigley Field in 2020. The Wildcats and Chicago Cubs announced Tuesday the Big Ten schools will meet at the Friendly Confines on Nov. 7, 2020.

— FOOTBALL PLAYER ARREST: A former Ohio State and Chicago Bears offensive lineman has been charged with felony assault of a police officer. Charges against 33-year-old Kirk Barton were filed Monday after his arrest outside the Bogey Bar & Grill in Dublin, Ohio.


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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