Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up in Illinois at 6 p.m. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-Chicago bureau at 312-781-0500 or 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.



CHICAGO — Opening statements are expected to begin Monday in the murder trial of a white Chicago police officer charged in the 2014 shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald after prosecutors and defense attorneys settled on the final jurors and alternates on Thursday. Jury selection wrapped up much more quickly than expected, with question of prospects taking just three days. The 12-person jury is made up of seven whites, three Hispanics, one African-American and one Asian-American. Attorneys also picked five alternates on Thursday afternoon. SENT: 335 words, photo.



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A humbled Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, one of the most endangered state executives in the country, promised Thursday to be less confrontational and more understanding of his political opponents' views if voters give him a second chance in the November election. Fighting an uphill battle for re-election in a Democratic-leaning state, the first-term Republican delivered an unorthodox address that was part apology, part State of the State address, and part stump speech. By John O'Connor. SENT: 540 words, photos.


CAMPAIGN FINANCE-LAWSUIT: A federal appeals court has upheld Illinois' campaign contribution limits.


CHICAGO — Chicago's mayor and Illinois' attorney general unveiled an updated plan Thursday to reform the city's police, saying it will ensure permanent, far-reaching changes within a 12,000-officer department that has a long history of committing serious civil rights abuses. The more than 200-page document was submitted to U.S. District Judge Robert Dow for his consideration. If he approves it, an independent court monitor would ensure that the city meets the plan's benchmarks, which are laid out over several years. By Michael Tarm. SENT: 445 words, photos.


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday rejected the official conclusion that nearly 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico from last year's Hurricane Maria, arguing without evidence that the number was wrong and calling it a plot by Democrats to make him "look as bad as possible." As Hurricane Florence approached the Carolinas, the president picked a fresh fight over his administration's response to the Category 4 storm that smashed into the U.S. territory last September. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat whose parents were Puerto Rican immigrants, spoke on the House floor in front of a printout of the Puerto Rican flag, saying Trump is "delusional" and incapable of "empathy or basic human decency." By Catherine Lucey, Zeke Miller and Jonathan Lemire. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.



CHICAGO — The owner of the Willis Tower has unveiled a five-level expansion project designed to lure thousands of additional visitors to Chicago's tallest building each day. The Chicago Tribune reports that Blackstone Group announced Thursday its plan for a 300,000-square-foot addition to the skyscraper's base. The new space will be called Catalog as a nod to the 110-story building's original namesake tenant, Sears, Roebuck & Co. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words.



NEW YORK — Sears Holdings Corp., the struggling department store operator, said it key sales figure improved and its stock soared in after-hours trading Thursday. The company, which owns both Sears and Kmart, said sales fell 3.9 percent at established stores in its second quarter. That's an improvement from the same period a year ago, when it fell 11.5 percent. SENT: 225 words, photo.


— POLICE OFFICER-SHOT: A suburban Chicago police officer has been shot while conducting an investigation on the city's southwest side.

— CHIEF ILLINIWEK: A University of Illinois report suggests that the school consider adopting a new sports mascot to help quell ongoing turmoil over the 2007 decision to do away with its longtime Chief Illiniwek portrayal.

— WATERLESS VILLAGE: Volunteers have been distributing bottled water around a southern Illinois community after a water main break left its taps dry. The leak in the Wayne County village of Sims was discovered on Monday and soon drained its water tower.

— JUDGE-FRAUD CHARGES: An Illinois judge who was convicted of fraud is stepping down from the bench. The attorney for Cook County Circuit Judge Jessica O'Brien said Wednesday that she has signed the necessary paperwork to end her judicial career.

— CHICAGO AIRPORT-STABBING: A man has been charged with aggravated battery after authorities say he stabbed another man during an argument near a parking area at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

— POLICE SHOOTING-ILLINOIS STUDENT: A former University of Illinois student who was suicidal and wanted police to shoot him has been sentenced to two years of probation. Samuel Applebaum pleaded guilty Wednesday to disorderly conduct in the Champaign County Circuit Court.

— GENITAL MUTILATION: Federal prosecutors have added three Illinois girls as victims in a criminal case against Detroit-area doctors accused of female genital mutilation.

— DRUG TRAFFICKING-SENTENCE: A California man has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for taking part in a drug-trafficking ring that used Amtrak trains to ship heroin and cocaine to Chicago from Los Angeles.



WASHINGTON — Mike Montgomery starts as the Chicago Cubs return to Washington on Thursday complete their series against the Nationals that was marred by rain last weekend. The Cubs are not happy about losing a scheduled day off because it means going 30 straight days without one. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game time 3:05 p.m. CT.


WASHINGTON — Unusual scheduling spawned even more atypical travel attire for Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo. The three-time All-Star wore a uniform, complete with a blue jersey and gray pants, on the Cubs' early Thursday morning flight for a makeup game against the Washington Nationals, then arrived in the clubhouse with the same outfit. "It's all I got," Rizzo said. SENT: 330 words, photo.


LAKE FOREST, Ill. — A shaky performance in a season-opening loss at Green Bay on Sunday night wasn't the way Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky wanted to start his second season. He vowed not to let it define him, though he understands the rush to judge. "That's how it is on the outside, but for me I can't let any game, any play define who I am as a player or as a person," he said. By Andrew Seligman. SENT: 755 words, photo.




The last two seasons, the Big Ten champion was left out of college football's playoff, in part because it had lost early during the nonconference portion of the schedule. This year, Michigan State and Michigan are already facing the same possible predicament. The 25th-ranked Spartans already have a loss after falling 16-13 at Arizona State last weekend. That means if Michigan State wants to be in the national title hunt, its margin for error is slim the rest of the way. The same is true for No. 19 Michigan, which dropped its opener at Notre Dame. This week, the pressure is on No. 4 Ohio State, which faces a tough test against No. 15 TCU. By Noah Trister. SENT: 980 words, photos.




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