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

January 1, 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. Rick Callahan 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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 _ Preliminary numbers show homicides in Chicago fell by about 100 last year compared to 2017, though the number again eclipses the total number of homicides in Los Angeles and New York combined, according to data released Tuesday. Police in Chicago, the nation’s third largest city, report that 561 homicides were committed between Jan. 1 and Dec. 18, 2018. There were 660 homicides in 2017, which followed an especially deadly year in 2016, when the tally topped 770 _ a 19-year high that put a national spotlight on the city’s persistently high rates of gun violence. Although the decreases in 2018 are significant, the homicide total is a repeat of 2016 and 2017 when the number of killings in Chicago was higher than the combined total in the country’s two other largest cities. President Donald Trump has often singled out Chicago’s high homicide rate. UPCOMING: 650 words.



BISMARCK, N.D. _ The developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline missed a year-end deadline to plant thousands of trees along the pipeline corridor in North Dakota, but the company said it was still complying with a settlement of allegations it violated state rules during construction. Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, which built the $3.8 billion pipeline that’s now moving North Dakota oil to Illinois, is falling back on a provision of the September 2017 agreement that provides more time should the company run into problems. The company must provide 20,000 trees to county soil conservation districts along the pipeline’s 359-mile (578-kilometer) route across North Dakota. By Blake Nicholson. SENT: 510 words, photos.


SEATTLE _ Washington on Tuesday joined a handful of other states that ban anyone under 21 from buying a semi-automatic assault rifle after voters passed a sweeping firearms measure in November that has drawn a court challenge from gun-rights advocates. The ballot initiative seeks to curb gun violence by toughening background checks for people buying assault rifles, increasing the age limit to buy those firearms and requiring the safe storage of all guns. Four other states _ Hawaii, Illinois, Vermont and New York _ also prohibit anyone under 21 from buying all firearms. By Martha Bellisle. SENT: 600 words, photos.


_ CLEMENCY REQUEST-ILLINOIS GOVERNOR: A private investigator wants Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to free a man serving life for a woman’s 1989 slaying. Jan. 14 is Rauner’s last day as governor.

_ POSTAL WORKER SHOT: A U.S. Postal Service worker has been shot in suburban Chicago’s Elk Grove Village. Police say the man was driving an unmarked vehicle around 6 p.m. Monday when he was wounded.

_ LEAD CONTAMINATION-EAST CHICAGO: EAST CHICAGO _ The federal government shutdown has forced the cancellation of a public hearing on a cleanup proposal for the site of a former housing complex in northwestern Indiana

_ SCRAPPED BRIDGE-CHARGE: A northwestern Indiana scrap-metal dealer convicted of demolishing a historic railroad bridge and selling the metal is seeking a new trial.

_ HISTORIC COURTHOUSE: A historic southern Illinois courthouse once visited by Abraham Lincoln is getting an $83,000 renovation with help from a private donor. The Old Thebes Courthouse overlooking the Mississippi River was built in the 1840s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.



SOUTH BEND, Ind. _ Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks face David Pastrnak and the Boston Bruins at Notre Dame Stadium in the 11th edition of the NHL’s Winter Classic. By Jay Cohen. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. Game starts 1 p.m. ET


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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