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

January 31, 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.



CHICAGO _ The painfully cold weather system that put much of the Midwest into a historic deep freeze is expected to ease. But temperatures still tumbled to record lows early Thursday in northern Illinois. Disruptions caused by the cold will also persist, including power outages and canceled flights and trains. Crews in Detroit will need days to repair water mains that burst Wednesday, and other pipes can still burst in persistent subzero temperatures. By Michael Tarm and Corey Williams. SENT: 720 words, photos, video.


—WINTER WEATHER-ILLINOIS: Two all-time low temperature records have been broken in Illinois, with Moline dropping to minus 33 and Rockford hitting minus 31. Photos.

—WINTER WEATHER-SALVATION ARMY: A good Samaritan offered to pay for hotel rooms for 70 homeless people who were camped out in tents in the bitter cold that blanketed Chicago.

—WINTER WEATHER-RAILROADS: Amtrak is beginning to restore service out of Chicago after cancelling dozens of trains this week because of the extreme cold.

—WINTER WEATHER-THE LATEST: The Latest on a major snowstorm and frigid weather in the Midwest. Will be updated as developments occur. Photos. Videos.


CHICAGO _ Security footage from “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett’s apartment building shows that he arrived home with a rope around his neck after he says he was attacked by two masked men. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says investigators are still poring over surveillance video from the downtown Chicago neighborhood in search of footage of the early Tuesday attack. Smollett, who is black and gay, says the men beat him, hurled racial and homophobic insults at him and wrapped a rope around his neck. By Don Babwin. SENT: 750 words, photos, video.


—EMPIRE CAST MEMBER-ATTACK-THE LATEST: The Latest on the attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. Will be updated as developments occur. Photos. Video.

—BENNETT COLLEGE-DONATIONS: A historically black women’s college in North Carolina is trying to raise $5 million to stave off losing accreditation. Bennett College has reported sizeable donations as it closes in on its Friday fundraising deadline, aided by supporters of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. _ Southern Illinois University’s medical school has opened a specialty clinic to serve children in the foster care system with the goal of reducing disruptions in their health care. The State Journal-Register reports that the university’s Center for Family Medicine opened the Kids Health Harbor clinic earlier this month. The clinic’s primary provider says children in foster care can experience gaps in health care when they’re moved from home to home. SENT: 270 words.



NEW YORK _ For Grammy-nominated singer Joe, singing the hit song R. Kelly wrote and produced for him is out of the question. In the wake of multiple allegations against R. Kelly, which hit a new height this month with the release of the Lifetime documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly,” performers like Lady Gaga and Celine Dion are denouncing songs the R&B hitmaker created with them. By Mesfin Fekadu. SENT: 1,090 words, photos.


NEW YORK _ “I Am Your Woman” marked a major milestone for then-20-year-old singer Syleena Johnson: It was her debut single on a major record label and was written and produced by R. Kelly, but today she says she can’t sing the song anymore because of some of the lyrics. Johnson is also releasing a new song called “Woman,” a powerful, hard-hitting jam which is a reflection of the current state of our times. It was released Thursday. By Mesfin Fekadu. SENT: 1,090 words, photos.


—ILLINOIS GOVERNOR-CABINET APPOINTMENTS: Gov. J.B. Pritzker has tabbed a Cook County pediatrician and an Army combat veteran to lead the state’s public health and veterans’ affairs departments.

—U OF ILLINOIS-TRUSTEES: Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has appointed five people to the nine-member University of Illinois board of trustees.

—SIU-INTERIM CHANCELLOR: Southern Illinois University’s new Carbondale interim chancellor says improving student retention is top priority to address the school’s declining enrollment.

—PRIEST-DISORDERLY CONDUCT: Pope Francis has disciplined a northern Illinois Catholic priest who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in 2015.

—HEALTH CENTERS-FEDERAL GRANT: Nine community health centers in Illinois will receive more than $31 million in federal funding.



The game of the week in the Big Ten pits No. 21 Maryland against No. 24 Wisconsin. The Terrapins won the first meeting two weeks ago. By Eric Olson. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos.


EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. _ The SIU-Edwardsville Cougars host the Morehead State Eagles on Thursday. UPCOMING: 150 words. Game starts at 7 p.m. CT.


CHARLESTON, Ill. _ The Eastern Kentucky Colonels are in Charleston on Thursday to take on the Eastern Illinois Panthers. UPCOMING: 150 words. Game starts at 7:30 p.m. CT.


Center Antoine Vermette is retiring after 14 NHL seasons. He established himself as one of the best faceoff men of his generation. The 36-year-old from Quebec won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015. Vermette won 56.6 percent of his faceoffs, the ninth-best mark since the league began tracking the statistic in 1997-98. He most recently played for the Anaheim Ducks, but didn’t sign with a team after becoming a free agent last summer. By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 460 words, photos.


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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