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

December 31, 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. Tom Davies is on the desk, followed by Corey Williams.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. _ Proposed plans for the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Illinois have shifted from “when” to “how.” Democratic Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker campaigned on the legalization issue and its corresponding tax revenue of as much as $1 billion a year. And Democratic Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is on board. Marijuana has been federally outlawed since 1937, but its surrounding stigma has been eased in the past few decades. President Jimmy Carter called for its national decriminalization 40 years ago, and 10 states now allow the recreational use of marijuana after voters in Michigan approved such a measure last month. By Political Writer John O’Connor. SENT: 600 words, photos.

_ STATE LEGISLATURES-2019: Big-dollar decisions about health care and education will top the agenda in many state capitols as lawmakers convene for their 2019 sessions with a closer balance between Republicans and Democrats. By David A. Lieb. SENT: 1,400 words, photos.



CHICAGO _ A church official says an Illinois priest under criminal investigation for sexual abuse has gone “absent without leave” from his Augustinian order. Officials say the Rev. Richard McGrath moved out of the St. John Stone Friary in Chicago sometime in the last couple of months on his own accord. The 72-year-old McGrath was removed from public ministry in 2017 and assigned to the friary while police investigated “potentially inappropriate material” on his cellphone. The investigation closed after McGrath refused to turn in his phone. SENT: 130 words. Will be updated.


LOS ANGELES _ The origins of a suspected computer attack that disrupted the Los Angeles Times and Tribune Publishing newspapers remained unclear Sunday after causing delivery delays and being brought to the attention of federal investigators. The suspected attack prevented the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun and other papers from publishing paid death notices and classified ads Saturday. But Tribune Publishing has said no news websites were affected and no customer information was compromised. SENT: 350 words, photo. Moved late Sunday and available for use.


_ POLICE SHOOTING-ROCKFORD: Authorities say a man was fatally shot by police officers following a standoff at a northern Illinois house. Rockford police say a SWAT officer shot the man when he assaulted officers who entered the house Sunday night after several hours of negotiations seeking his surrender.

_ THEME PARK-ATTEMPTED KIDNAPPING: An Illinois man has been charged with attempting to kidnap a 9-year-old girl from a Harry Potter ride at Universal Orlando Resort.

_ SIUC-NEW PLANES: Southern Illinois University Carbondale is going to get some new flying classrooms. The university is about to spend more than $2 million to purchase five new Cessna 172 planes to teach students how to fly.

_ PRIVACY LAWSUIT: A federal judge in Chicago has refused to toss a lawsuit accusing an Illinois investigator of violating privacy rights of two patients by seizing their files from their psychotherapist.



LAKE FOREST, Ill. _ The Chicago Bears are headed to the playoffs for the first time in eight years. Just don’t expect the NFC North champions to change their routine much. In that sense, it’s business as usual to coach Matt Nagy. By Andrew Seligman. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.


SOUTH BEND, Ind. _ The Winter Classic is going back to college, and it’s bringing along two familiar foes. The Chicago Blackhawks face the Boston Bruins at Notre Dame Stadium in the 11th edition of one of the NHL’s showcase events. By Jay Cohen. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.


SAN DIEGO _ Already the school’s winningest quarterback, Clayton Thorson can become Northwestern’s leading passer when the Wildcats face No. 20 Utah in the Holiday Bowl. Utah coach Kyle Whittingham won’t disclose whether he’ll start junior Tyler Huntley, who’s coming off a broken collarbone, or redshirt freshman Jason Shelley at quarterback. By Bernie Wilson. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game time 6 p.m. CT.


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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