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February 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. Ken Kusmer 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.



AURORA, Ill. _ The man who killed five co-workers and wounded another and five police officers at a suburban Chicago manufacturing warehouse brought his gun to a meeting in which he was going to be fired, authorities said Saturday. Martin likely knew it was possible he was about to lose the job he had held for 15 years, police Chief Kristen Ziman said at a news conference. By Don Babwin and Caryn Rousseau. SENT: 870 words, photos, videos. With: WAREHOUSE SHOOTING-AURORA-THE LATEST.


CHICAGO _ No charges are being filed and two Nigerian brothers arrested in the assault on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett are free, but police said questioning of the men led them to new evidence. Authorities provided no details of the new evidence. Smollett, who is black and gay, has said two masked men shouting racial and anti-gay slurs and “This is MAGA country!” beat him and looped a rope around his neck early on Jan. 29 before running away. He said they also poured some kind of chemical on him. By Don Babwin. SENT: 380 words, photos.




CHICAGO _ Reform is not a concept Chicago candidates typically embrace in a city known for its patronage. But corruption charges against a powerful alderman and a court-ordered consent decree aimed at eliminating police misconduct has placed the word on the lips of many of the 14 people running for mayor this year. By Herbert McCann. SENT: 950 words, photos.

With: CHICAGO MAYORAL ELECTION-CANDIDATES: A snapshot of the candidates. SENT: 500 words.



WEST CHICAGO, Ill. _ A kennel in suburban Chicago that took in troublesome dogs is being criticized after a fire on the property killed 31 animals. The Chicago Tribune reports that rescue groups often took their most difficult animals to Bully Life Animal Services in West Chicago. Fire officials say the dogs killed in last month’s fire were trapped in cages inside a building. Dogs living in outdoor kennels survived. Investigators have yet to say what caused the fire. SENT: 380 words.


INDIANAPOLIS _ Supporters of an Amtrak line that runs between Indianapolis and Chicago are lobbying for continued public funding of the rail service, while recognizing the route’s travel times and ridership levels need improvement. The state has contributed $3 million annually to support Amtrak’s Hoosier State Service, which runs between the cities four days a week. The Indianapolis Business Journal reports Gov. Eric Holcomb didn’t include Hoosier State funding in his proposed budget. SENT: 390 words.


—PRITZKER-VETERANS AFFAIRS DIRECTOR: Gov. J.B. Pritzker has appointed a state lawmaker as director of the state’s Veterans Affairs department after his first choice stepped down.

—XGR--LEGISLATIVE INSPECTOR GENERAL: The Illinois General Assembly has approved a former appellate judge to be permanent legislative inspector general and investigate complaints against lawmakers.

—DUPAGE COUNTY-CANCER RISK: A suburban Chicago plant that sterilizes medical instruments with a chemical believed to be cancer causing has been shut by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.



MESA, Ariz. _ After the Cubs lost two straight games at Wrigley Field to give up the NL Central Division title and fall in the wild card game to end the 2018 season, reasons as to why a 95-win season finished short of equaling expectations began to surface. One that was echoed by the front office and the players was the level of leadership that seemed to walk out of the clubhouse with David Ross’ retirement after the 2016 World Series. To address it, the Cubs signed veteran Daniel Descalso. SENT: 800 words.


GLENDALE, Ariz. _ Shortstop Tim Anderson took a big step forward for the White Sox last season, reaching career highs in homers and steals and improving his defense. Even as rumors swirl about Manny Machado, Anderson is concentrating on his role as a 25-year-old veteran on a very young team. UPCOMING: 600 words.


CHICAGO _ Artemi Panarin and the Columbus Blue Jackets meet Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 7:30 p.m. CT.


CHARLOTTE, N.C. _ The NBA is bringing a pro league to Africa. The Basketball Africa League, a new collaboration between the NBA and the sport’s global governing body FIBA, was announced Saturday. It’s yet to be determined which existing club teams will be part of the league. Qualification tournaments will be held later this year to determine those clubs, with teams from Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia expected to be among those taking part. By Tim Reynolds. SENT: 610 words, photo.


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.