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

February 9, 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. Corey Williams 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.



In the year since the deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school, more and more states have passed laws making it easier to take guns away from people who may be suicidal or bent on violence against others, and courts are issuing an unprecedented number of seizure orders across the country. Supporters say these “red flag” laws are among the most promising tools to reduce the nearly 40,000 suicides and homicides by firearm each year in the U.S. Gun advocates, though, say such measures undermine their constitutional rights and can result in people being stripped of their weapons on false or vindictive accusations. Nine states have passed laws over the past year allowing police or household members to seek court orders requiring people deemed threatening to temporarily surrender their guns, bringing the total to 14. Several more are likely to follow in the months ahead. By Ryan J. Foley. SENT: 1,000 words; photos and graphic.


CHICAGO _ A Chicago woman whose biological father was an anonymous sperm donor has discovered via a DNA testing service that she has 15 half siblings. Morgan Richardson, 31, discovered her half siblings over the last four years after submitting a DNA sample to 23andMe, The Chicago Tribune reported . The website analyzes DNA to provide information about a person’s ancestry, health and other traits. “It’s exciting, but it is a little bit jarring,” Richardson said. “I always wonder: ‘What do they do?’ ‘Where do they live?’ ‘What are they like?’ ‘What’s their experience as a donor-offspring child?’” Morgan Richardson and her twin sister Lauren Richardson, who lives in Michigan, have known for years that they were conceived through in vitro fertilization. Their mother was divorced and single when she decided to have children. SENT: 315 words, photo.



NEW YORK _ The U.S. and dozens of other countries may have declared that Nicolas Maduro is no longer the legitimate president of Venezuela, but that has not loosened his grip on power. Maduro still controls the military, despite scattered defections. He has the loyalty of the Supreme Court. And he has rendered the opposition-controlled National Assembly powerless by setting up a rival constitutional assembly. But Maduro stands to lose one crucial lever of power: Houston-based refining company Citgo, a wholly owned subsidiary of Venezuelan state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, known by its acronym PDVSA. Americans know Citgo for its familiar red triangle logo at its more than 5,000 branded gas stations and the iconic sign visible from Fenway Park in Boston. Venezuelans know it as one of their collapsing economy’s last lifelines. The Trump administration is moving to help transfer its control to Juan Guaido, the National Assembly leader recognized by the U.S. and other countries as Venezuela’s legitimate president. By Alexandra Olson. SENT: 1,300 words, photos.


ELKHART, Ind. _ A federal appeals court has thrown out a 1994 attempted murder conviction, finding that an Indiana prosecutor concealed evidence by not disclosing that the state’s sole eyewitness underwent hypnosis to sharpen his memory before testifying at trial. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago announced the decision in Mack Sims’ case on Feb. 1. Sims was sentenced to 35 years after he was convicted in Elkhart County in the shooting of security guard Shane Carey. The prosecution’s case relied on Carey identifying Sims as the shooter and had no physical evidence linking Sims to the attack. Sims appealed the conviction after learning in 2012 that Carey had undergone hypnosis before the trial. SENT: 270 words.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. _ It might not occur to many men and women who sign up to be firefighters that they could have to rescue a horse, a pig or a cow in addition to dousing flames. But occasionally, first responders have to round up livestock from semi wrecks on interstates or lead animals from burning barns. And the Illinois Fire Service Institute in Champaign, based at the University of Illinois, wants them to have the skills to succeed. By Mary Schenk. The (Champaign) News-Gazette. SENT: 1,130 words, photos.


QUINCY, Ill. _ Colby Rainbolt has no trouble explaining his attraction to baseball cards. “I started collecting when I was a kid, when I was 7,” the Quincy resident said. Rainbolt is now 47, and just as fixated on baseball cards as he was all of those years ago. “It’s a life-long hobby,” he said. Many of those with a similar passion -- dare we say, “love?” -- of baseball cards gathered at the Quincy Mall over a January weekend to buy, sell and barter. By Steve Eighinger. The Quincy Herald-Whig. SENT: 660 words, photo.


_ INNOCENCE PROJECT-EXONEREE BAND: The headliner at a March fundraiser for the Illinois Innocence Project will be a band made up of wrongfully convicted musicians.

_ DISMEMBERED BOY-TRIAL: A judge has set a trial date for a man charged in the death of a 2-year-old boy whose dismembered remains were found in 2015 in a Chicago park lagoon.



CHICAGO _ The Chicago Bulls host the Washington Wizards just three days after they completed a multiplayer trade. Chicago acquired Otto Porter Jr. from Washington for Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker on Wednesday. By Jay Cohen. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 8 p.m. ET.


YPSILANTI, Mich. _ Northern Illinois plays Eastern Michigan at Convocation Center in Ypsilanti, Michigan.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. _ Illinois looks to avoid a letdown when it meets Rutgers after stunning No. 9 Michigan State on Wednesday. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 4 p.m. ET.


CINCINNATI, Ohio _ Xavier (11-12, 3-7 Big East) tries to end a five-game losing streak when it hosts DePaul (11-9, 3-6). By Joe Kay. Tip-off 8 p.m.


CARBONDALE, Ill. _ Evansville plays Southern Illinois at SIU Arena.


CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. _ Eastern Illinois plays Austin Peay at Winfield Dunn Center.


PEORIA, Ill. _ Indiana State plays Bradley at Carver Arena.


INDIANAPOLIS _ Illinois-Chicago plays IUPUI at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.


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