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

March 7, 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.



ROCKFORD, Ill. _ Police say a gunman has fled an Illinois hotel after shooting an officer. Rockford police Lt. Andre Brass says the suspect was wanted on several warrants when a regional fugitive task force tried to arrest him Thursday. Brass says the suspect fled in a vehicle after the shooting and is considered armed and dangerous. Brass says investigators believe the suspect is still armed. He says: “We just want to end this situation peacefully with his surrender.” SENT: 250 words, photos. Will be updated. This story is developing.


—HOTEL SHOOTING-ILLINOIS-THE LATEST: The Latest on a shooting at an Illinois hotel. Will be updated as developments occur.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. _ Gov. J.B. Pritzker is rolling out a proposed graduated income tax structure that would start at 4.75 percent and top out at 7.95 percent for those making more than $1 million. The Democrat plans to discuss details of the plan _ his key campaign pledge _ Thursday afternoon at the state Capitol. Pritzker’s office released information contending that 97 percent of Illinois taxpayers would see a tax decrease under his plan. By John O’Connor. SENT: 140 words. Will be updated. Developing from 2 p.m. CT news conference.


CHICAGO _ R. Kelly blames his ex-wife for “destroying” his name and says others have stolen from his bank account. The R&B star’s comments came Thursday in the second installment of an interview with “CBS This Morning” about the sexual abuse charges he faces in Chicago. Kelly shouted and cried about his financial situation and his relationship with his three children. He was jailed Wednesday after telling a court he could not afford to pay $161,000 in back child support. By Tammy Webber and Don Babwin. SENT: 1,140 words, photos, videos.


—R KELLY-THE LATEST: The Latest on the sexual abuse case against R&B singer R. Kelly. Will be updated as developments occur.


CHICAGO _ R&B singer R. Kelly, who rose to fame from an impoverished upbringing on Chicago’s South Side, should be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, but years of bad business deals amid allegations of sexual abuse have left his finances in shambles and rendered him unable to pay $161,000 in back child support to keep himself out of jail. By Corey Williams, Don Babwin and Jeff Karoub. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos.



ROCKFORD, Ill. _ A new study has found that Fiat Chrysler’s decision to cut almost 1,400 jobs from a plant in northern Illinois could trigger the loss of nearly 2,300 additional jobs across the region. The Rockford Register Star reports that the Northern Illinois University study found that the total loss of wages stemming from the automaker’s layoffs at the Belvidere Assembly Plant could reach nearly $215 million. SENT: 140 words. UPCOMING: 250 words.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. _ Springfield has approved an ordinance that would allow the city spend up to $50,000 to keep Abraham Lincoln’s home open during a federal government shutdown. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports the new law gives the city the option of using lodging taxes to keep the Abraham Lincoln Home National Historic Site open for about a month. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 250 words.


PORTAGE, Ind. _ The Environmental Protection Agency says two counties in northwestern Indiana have seen the highest number of toxic releases in more than a decade, despite a national decline. The Post-Tribune reports a national analysis found Lake County had 378 toxic releases in 2017, while Porter county had 134. Those are the largest amounts the counties have seen since 2003. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 250 words.


—FOOTBALL PLAYER-DEATH: Authorities in East St. Louis say a 16-year-old high school football player has died after passing out while lifting weights.

—VRDOLYAK-TOBACCO CASE: A former prominent member of the Chicago City Council has pleaded guilty to tax evasion in a scheme to help a lawyer foil the Internal Revenue Service. 

—CHICAGO VIOLENCE-CLUB SHOOTING: Chicago police have shut down a private social club where six people were seriously wounded in a weekend shooting.



LOS ANGELES _ When LeBron James surpassed Michael Jordan’s career points total, he did it in a pair of Nikes with “Thank You M.J.” written neatly on the side. That tribute doesn’t begin to encompass what Jordan meant to James while he grew up. James idolized Jordan and strived to be like the Chicago Bulls superstar throughout his youth, even studying the little details of the way Jordan wore his sneakers and shorts. By Greg Beacham. SENT: 1,060 words, photos.


CHICAGO _ Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks host Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday evening. Chicago and Buffalo each has dropped four of five. By Jay Cohen. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts at 7:30 p.m. CT.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. _ After back-to-back victories over ranked teams, Indiana looks to avoid a letdown against Illinois. The Hoosiers are coming off wins over No. 19 Wisconsin and No. 6 Michigan State. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m. CT.


No. 7 Michigan and No. 9 Michigan State meet in East Lansing on Saturday with the winner earning at least a share of the Big Ten regular-season championship. Defending champion Michigan State handed the Wolverines their only home loss of the season with a 77-70 win on Feb. 24. Both teams could be without key players because of injuries. Back-to-back home wins over ranked opponents put Indiana on the NCAA Tournament bubble. By Eric Olson. SENT: 660 words, photos.


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