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

May 23, 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. 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.



JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. _ An outbreak of nasty storms spawned tornadoes that razed homes, flattened trees and tossed cars across a dealership lot, injuring about two dozen people in Missouri’s capital city and killing at least three others elsewhere in the state. The National Weather Service confirmed that a large and destructive twister moved over Jefferson City shortly before midnight Wednesday. Storms and torrential rains have ravaged the Midwest, from Texas through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois, in the past few days. By David A. Lieb. SENT: 1,080 words; photos and video.



NEW ORLEANS _ With high water setting longevity records on the Mississippi River, officials say they may have to open a spillway west of Baton Rouge for the third time ever. A spillway north of New Orleans is already open. The Mississippi River has set records for the number of days at flood stage at Baton Rouge and at Natchez, Mississippi, National Weather Service hydrologist Kai Roth said. The Ohio River has done the same at Cairo, Illinois. By Janet McConnaughey. SENT: 430 words.

SEVERE WEATHER-THE LATEST: The Latest on severe weather moving across the central United States.


NEW YORK _ A banker who prosecutors say tried to buy himself a senior post in President Donald Trump’s administration by making risky loans to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty Thursday to a financial institution bribery charge as his lawyer said he’s done nothing wrong. Stephen M. Calk, 54, was released on $5 million bail after making a brief appearance in Manhattan federal court. Calk, who lives in Chicago where The Federal Savings Bank is headquartered, was told by Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman to have no contact with bank employees except for his brother until prosecutors next week submit a list of individuals he cannot communicate with. By Larry Neumeister. SENT: 845 words, photos.




NEW YORK _ Brittany K. Barnett and MiAngel Cody are warrior attorneys with a mission: freeing drug offenders serving life in a federal system the lawyers are working to reform. When it comes to the cause, their energy is boundless, Barnett through her Buried Alive Project and Cody as founder of The Decarceration Collective. And they’re immensely grateful to Kim Kardashian West for joining the fight, catching some headlines in the process. Barnett, who lives in Dallas, and Cody, based in Chicago, have spent years in the prison reform struggle, both after spending time in corporate law. By Leanne Italie. SENT: 980 words, photos.



CHICAGO _ A judge in Chicago has ordered the file in the Jussie Smollett criminal case unsealed. Cook County Judge Steven Watkins said Thursday that while there are good arguments in favor of keeping the file sealed, the “Empire” actor forfeited his rights to keep the case sealed to protect his privacy by talking to the media before and after prosecutors dismissed the charges against him. Smollett had been charged with 16 counts alleging he lied to police when reporting he’d been the victim of a racist, anti-gay attack in January. Police insist the actor, who is black and gay, staged the attack because he was unhappy with his salary and wanted publicity. By Don Babwin. SENT: 300 words, photos.


JUSSIE SMOLLETT-THE LATEST: The Latest on a judge’s order unsealing the file from actor Jussie Smollett’s criminal case.


CHICAGO _ A northern Illinois man accused of killing a 2-year-old son of his daughter’s friend and dumping the dismembered remains in a Chicago lagoon was acquitted Thursday of murder charges. Kamel Harris of Rockford was found not guilty of first-degree murder, dismemberment and concealment of a homicidal death by a Cook County jury, one day after he took the witness stand and proclaimed his innocence. Parts of Kyrian Knox’s body were found amid a weed- and debris-strewn lagoon in Garfield Park on Chicago’s West Side. SENT: 400 words.



WASHINGTON _ President Donald Trump rolled out another $16 billion in aid for farmers, including those in Illinois, hurt by his trade policies, and financial markets shook Thursday on the growing realization that the U.S. and China are far from settling a bitter, year-long trade dispute. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said that the first of three payments is likely to be made in July or August and suggested that the U.S. and China were unlikely to have settled their differences by then. “The package we’re announcing today ensures that farmers do not bear the brunt of unfair retaliatory tariffs imposed by China and other trading partners,” Perdue said. By Paul Wiseman and Christopher Rugaber. SENT: 1,075 words, photos.


FORT WORTH, Texas _ Representatives from more 30 countries met with Federal Aviation Administration officials Thursday to hear the U.S. regulator’s approach to determining how soon the Boeing 737 Max can resume flying after two crashes that killed 346 people. Before the meeting, acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell declined to give a timetable for the plane’s return. He hinted it could be several months, saying that even October — a later return than airlines expected — might not be realistic. By David Koenig. SENT: 535 words.


DURHAM, N.C. _ Democratic presidential contender Julian Castro joined a march to a McDonald’s restaurant in North Carolina on Thursday to draw attention to workers’ efforts to raise the minimum wage and secure other protections. Nearly all the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have expressed support for the idea that the federal minimum wage should be more than doubled, to $15 an hour, and several were joining actions around the country Thursday. The McDonald’s annual shareholder meeting is also Thursday in Dallas. Striking cooks and cashiers planned to travel to the shareholder meeting, where they’ll attend a video town hall hosted by Sen. Bernie Sanders, another Democratic presidential candidate. Castro, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development and current San Antonio mayor, marched with roughly 200 activists, minimum wage workers and union representatives from a park in Durham to a nearby McDonalds. He joined them in chants of, “Put some respect in my check,” and “What do we want? 15! When do we want it? Now!” By Amanda Morris. SENT: 440 words, photos.


_COMMUTER TRAIN-TWO KILLED: Two people have been killed after being struck by a suburban Chicago commuter train.

_CHICAGO-VIOLENCE PREVENTION: Chicago police officials say the department will boost its deployment of officers over the Memorial Day weekend in an effort to prevent an outbreak of violence that has occurred in past years.

_ FOOD TRUCKS-LAWSUIT: The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Chicago’s food truck regulations.

_ CHICAGO SUBURBS-CANCER RISK: A medical equipment manufacturer is proposing the installation of pollution control equipment to reduce toxic air pollution from its plant in suburban Chicago.

_ OFFENSIVE YEARBOOK QUOTES: A suburban Chicago high school has stopped distributing copies of its yearbook after administrators learned two offensive quotes -- one associated with Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany -- were printed beneath the photos of two seniors.

_ CENSUS-ILLINOIS: U.S. Census Bureau estimates say the majority of municipalities in the Chicago region, including the city itself, lost population last year.

_ STATE FAIR-ADMISSION: The Illinois State Fair is cutting the cost of daily admission in half for adults attending in August on Sunday through Thursday.

_ TICK RESEARCH: Researchers involved in an Illinois tick research and surveillance program are hoping the public will be generous in passing on to them the little bloodsuckers.



CHICAGO _ Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto homered off Jon Lester, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Chicago Cubs 9-7 on Thursday for a split of the four-game series between division leaders.

Andrew McCutchen added two hits and two RBIs as Philadelphia won for the fifth time in seven games. Aaron Nola (5-0) pitched 5 1/3 innings of three-run ball in his second straight victory. By Jay Cohen. SENT: 670 words, photos.


HOUSTON _ Lucas Giolito is scheduled to pitch for the White Sox as they try to split a four-game series with the Astros. Rookie Corbin Martin will start for Houston, which lost 9-4 Wednesday after winning the first two games of the series. By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 7:10 p.m.


HOMER GLEN, Ill. _ Scores of retired NHL players are still grappling with the effects of head injuries they suffered during their careers. Daniel Carcillo is one of them. He chose not to participate in an $18.9 million settlement between the league and players who sued over the issue. He says he wants his days in court as he struggles to live day to day against depression and suicidal thoughts. By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 2,300 words; photos and video.


OMAHA, Neb. _ Jordan Nwogu drilled a two-run double with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to push Michigan past Illinois 5-4 on Thursday in the Big Ten Tournament. Ako Thomas also had a pair of RBIs for Michigan (39-17), which rallied from a 3-0 hole to solidify its at-large NCAA Tournament hopes. SENT: 130 words.


NEW YORK _ It’s been a busy offseason for the WNBA with big names changing places, a new commissioner and a few injuries to some of the sport’s greatest players. The league will tip off its 23rd season on Friday with many teams hoping to win the championship this year. The defending champion Seattle Storm may be extremely hard-pressed to repeat. Reigning MVP Breanna Stewart suffered an Achilles injury in the winter while playing for a Russian club team. She’ll be sidelined for the season. The Storm took another hit this week when it was announced that veteran point guard Sue Bird was going to be sidelined indefinitely with a knee injury. Seattle is also missing coach Dan Hughes for an indeterminate amount of time as he battles cancer. By Doug Feinberg. SENT: 730 words, photos.


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