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

March 22, 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, 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.



CHICAGO _ An overseas trip by R. Kelly is in limbo after his attorney asked a judge Friday for more time to provide details to the court about up to five concerts the R&B singer wants to perform next month in Dubai. A Chicago pretrial hearing only briefly touched on a defense motion asking the judge in the sexual abuse case to approve Kelly’s travel, portraying him as desperate for concert income to pay bills amid his legal troubles. By Michael Tarm. SENT: 400 words, photos.


CHICAGO _ A strategy seems to be emerging for how R. Kelly’s legal team intends to defend him against charges he sexually abusing three girls and a woman. At trial, they’re likely to question the veracity of his accusers. Both Kelly and his attorney have said they are lying. Other statements indicate they’ll argue that, even if Kelly had sex with them, it was consensual and he thought they were of age. Prosecutors will try to corroborate the accusations, including with DNA evidence. By Michael Tarm. SENT: 1,010 words, photos.


CHICAGO _ More than 100 Chicago Symphony musicians are picketing in shifts in front of the orchestra’s historic downtown building as they strike over wages and retirement benefits. Congressmen, mayoral candidates, musical theater performers and their own maestro Riccardo Muti have visited the picket line offering support since the strike started March 11. There are no future negotiation sessions planned. Both sides have taken a break in discussions. By Caryn Rousseau. SENT: 500 words, photos.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. _ Final grant season for an endangered federal program that’s helped preserve the historic Route 66 Highway for two decades is ending next month. The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program is accepting grant applications until April 12 and it’s not clear if Congress will continue the project credited with old tourist spots in struggling towns. By Russell Contreras. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words.



JAKARTA, Indonesia _ Indonesian airline Garuda wants to cancel of a multibillion dollar order for 49 Boeing 737 Max 8 jets following two crashes in the space of a few months involving the plane. The company said Friday that the airline, which had ordered 50 Max 8 jets in 2014 and received just one, has written to Boeing requesting to cancel the order worth $4.9 billion. It says passengers have lost confidence in the jet. By Niniek Karmini. SENT: 470 words, photos.


—SEMI-AUTOMATIC FIREARMS-DEERFIELD: A Lake County judge has ruled that the Chicago suburb of Deerfield can’t enact a ban on assault weapons.

—CHICAGO VIOLENCE-CLUB SHOOTING: A man has been charged with murder in the shooting death of a security guard outside a Chicago nightclub earlier this month.

—CHILD DEATH-CHICAGO FIRE: Authorities say a 5-year-old girl was found dead in a bunk bed in a house fire on Chicago’s South Side.

—DUPAGE COUNTY-CANCER RISK: The federal Environmental Protection Agency says no spikes in a cancer-causing chemical were detected after a suburban Chicago plant that uses the gas was shut down.

—STATE FAIR-SHINEDOWN: Alternative rock band Shinedown will appear at the Illinois State Fair in August.

—LAKE COUNTY-VOTING PRECINCTS: Election officials in northwestern Indiana’s Lake County have approved a state-mandated consolidation of the county’s small voting precincts.



AMES, Iowa _ Third-seeded Iowa State looks to get back to the Sweet Sixteen with the help of some Hilton Coliseum magic. By Luke Meredith. UPCOMING: 500 words.


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.