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

December 29, 2018

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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

TOP STORY:

ILLINOIS-NEW LAWS

SPRINGFIELD _ Illinois lawmakers completed the state’s 100th General Assembly in its bicentennial year, and will ring in 2019 with 253 new laws on the books. The youngest children in cars will be required to ride in rear-facing seats, blaze pink will be acceptable for hunters’ wardrobes, opioid abuse and school safety take center stage and a Route 66 centennial planning commission will convene. Here’s a look. By John O’Connor. SENT: 800 words, photos.

BUSINESS:

SEARS

NEW YORK — A hedge fund run by Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert said it submitted a last-minute bid Friday to keep the struggling Illinois-based retailer from being liquidated. The bid, valued at $4.4 billion, still needs to be approved. A court date is scheduled for the middle of January. Transform Holdco LLC, an affiliate of Lampert’s ESL Investments hedge fund, said it hoped to keep 425 stores open and 50,000 people working. The bid includes $1.3 billion in financing from three institutions, ESL said in a statement. SENT: 350 words, photo.

AROUND THE STATE:

ILLINOIS-FARMER UNCERTAINTY

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois farmers are hoping tensions between the U.S. and its trade partners dissipate after record-yielding harvests in 2018. Illinois produced the most soybeans of any state in the country while ranking second in corn production, The State Journal-Register reported. But farmers have been significantly affected by President Donald Trump’s tougher stance on trade and retaliatory tariffs from China, Canada, Mexico, the European Union and other key trade partners. SENT: 450 words.

2018 ELECTION-VETERANS-WOMEN

WASHINGTON — It had been months since retired Lt. Cmdr. Michele Fitzpatrick paid attention to news coverage. She was turned off by President Donald Trump’s tweetstorms and attacks on critics such as the late Republican Sen. John McCain, a war hero. But as the November midterm elections approached, she fired up her laptop. A member of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy’s Class of 1980, the first to include women, Fitzpatrick began researching candidates and poring over issues. On Election Day, she voted without hesitation: all Democrat. SENT: 1300 words, photos. Editors, please note story references Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth.

With: BC-US--2018 Election-Veterans-Glance

EXCHANGE-LOCAL ART SHOWCASE

URBANA, Ill. _ It seems like a place you’d go to invest in great art, not view it. As part of a new initiative to showcase local art, more than 30 pieces now hang upstairs in the public spaces of Busey Wealth Management’s corporate headquarters on Main Street in downtown Urbana. By Tracy Crane. The News-Gazette. SENT: 600 words, photo.

EXCHANGE-CASE IH FACTORY REBOUND

GOODFIELD, Ill. _ It’s been a decade since one of Woodford County’s biggest employers bounced back from the brink of closure. The rebound of the Case IH plant in Goodfield faced the same obstacles to growth as other manufacturers of heavy equipment across the country, and it has not restored the employee population to the historic highs of decades before the 2006 announcement that CNH Industrial would shutter the facility. By Matt Buedel. Journal Star. SENT: 450 words, photo.

IN BRIEF:

_ POST OFFICE-SOLDIER: The father of a U.S. Army Ranger killed in Afghanistan says it’s a “tremendous honor” to have a post office in the community of Normal renamed in honor of his son.

_ HOUSE FIRE-BODY FOUND: Authorities say a body was discovered in the rubble of a Decatur home more than 14 hours after it was destroyed by fire.

_ U OF I-TEACHER TRAINING: The University of Illinois has launched a new initiative to educate and certify high school computer science teachers.

SPORTS:

HKN--Blackhawks-Avalanche

DENVER _ To break out of a three-game funk, the Colorado Avalanche are breaking up their top line Saturday night against Chicago. The trio of Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen have been one of the most feared lines in hockey. To generate more scoring, Matt Nieto will replace Landeskog while the Avalanche captain joins the second line with Alexander Kerfoot and J.T. Compher. By Dennis Georgatos. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game time is 9 p.m. EST.

FBN-BEARS-LONG

LAKE FOREST _ The Chicago Bears have activated right guard Kyle Long from injured reserve, clearing the way for the three-time Pro Bowl lineman to play in the regular-season finale at Minnesota. SENT: 150 words.

BKC--Florida Atlantic-Illinois

Florida Atlantic plays Illinois at State Farm Center. Game starts at 2 p.m. CST. UPCOMING: 600 words, more on merits.

BKC--Xavier-DePaul

Xavier plays DePaul at Wintrust Arena. Game time is 1 p.m. CST. UPCOMING: 150 words, more on merits.

___

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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