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BC-IL--Illinois Weekend Digest, IL

May 24, 2019

AP-Illinois stories for the weekend of May 25-26 and Memorial Day, May 27. May be updated. Members using Exchange stories should retain the bylines and newspaper credit lines. If you have questions, please contact the AP-Illinois desk in Chicago at 312-781-0500 or chifax@ap.org.

UPCOMING SATURDAY:

ILLINOIS-BIG ISSUES

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. _ The Illinois General Assembly enters the final week of its spring session with a host of unsettled issues, including an annual spending plan, decisions on marijuana legalization, a graduated income-tax plan, a multibillion-dollar state construction program, and more. And those are among the easier issues facing Springfield, where Democrats who control the General Assembly with extraordinary majorities this spring welcomed a Democratic governor. By Political Writer John O’Connor. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos.

UPCOMING MONDAY:

XGR--ILLINOIS-GAMBLING

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. _ A long-debated plan to expand casino gambling in Illinois gets a new look with a scheduled House committee hearing Monday. Blue Island Democratic state Rep. Robert Rita’s plan to add casinos in places such as Chicago, Rockford and Danville, separate from a plan to legalize sports betting in the state, has new urgency as lawmakers look to it to help finance Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed multibillion-dollar state construction program. By Political Writer John O’Connor. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos. Developing from 8:30 a.m. CT hearing.

MOVING FRIDAY AND AVAILABLE FOR WEEKEND USE:

AP WAS THERE-AMERICAN AIRLINES CRASH-ANNIVERSARY

CHICAGO _ Decades later, the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 moments after it took off from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport remains the deadliest aviation accident in U.S. history. The DC-10 was destined for Los Angeles when it lost one of its engines on May 25, 1979, killing 273 people, including all 271 people onboard and two others on the ground. The AP is republishing its original report to mark the 40th anniversary of the disaster. By Marc Wilson. UPCOMING: 1,320 words, photos.

ILLINOIS EXCHANGES:

Saturday:

EXCHANGE-LINCOLN BOOK

GALESBURG, Ill. _ Spend a few hours with Dr. Fred Hord and you’ll learn we are defined by many forces. As the publication of “Knowing Him by Heart: African-American Makings of Abraham Lincoln” draws near, Hord took some time to talk about how he defines his own life. “One of my first memories, really, is being poor. Dirt poor,” Hord said recently as he sat in a small library inside the office of the Association for Black Culture Centers on the campus of Knox College. By Tom Loewy. The (Galesburg) Register-Mail. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.

EXCHANGE-MUSIC THERAPY

DECATUR, Ill. _ Tracy D. Osborne, 58, has a fan base made up of people a bit older than him. Osborne’s shows are often in senior living facilities. He said he likes to perform for the crowds. Fortunately, they have similar taste. The musician plays his guitar to what he refers to as oldies, or music from the 1950s to the 1990s. “And even country and pop,” he said. “Also Christian or religious music.” Osborne has introduced his fans to original music as well. “They seem to like it,” he said. By Donnette Beckett. (Decatur) Herald and Review. SENT: 550 words, photos.

Sunday:

EXCHANGE-ENDING HOMELESSNESS

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. _ Getting the kids out of bed and ready for school -- a familiar morning struggle for most moms -- was exceptionally stressful for Blanca Pascual-Gomez. For nearly a year, Pascual-Gomez was homeless, living with her three young children in a shelter. But with the help of a new program offered by Wheaton-based HOPE Fair Housing Center, the family is on a path to self-sufficiency and renting a three-bedroom home in South Elgin. By Madhu Krishnamurthy. SENT: 740 words.

EXCHANGE-FINDING PURPOSE

CARBONDALE, Ill. _ On Jan. 10, 2017, Solomon Muhammad was released from his second long stint in prison and returned home to Southern Illinois. His 20s and half of his 30s were gone. But he had found clarity and purpose. He returned to the workforce, determined to make an honest living in construction and manufacturing jobs. But those opportunities quickly began to look like dead-ends. Over and over, Solomon returned to the dream he had in prison: becoming his own boss. By Gabriel Neely-Streit. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan. SENT: 1,540 words, photos.

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