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

March 12, 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. Caryn Rousseau is on the desk, followed by Herbert McCann.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

EMPIRE CAST MEMBER-ATTACK

CHICAGO _ A lawyer for Jussie Smollett says she would welcome cameras in the courtroom during the “Empire” actor’s trial on charges accusing him of lying to police about being the victim of a racist and homophobic attack. Attorney Tina Glandian said during a brief hearing Tuesday in Chicago that there has been a lot of leaked misinformation and that cameras would allow the public to “see the evidence and the lack thereof.” Both sides agreed to allow cameras at Thursday’s hearing in the Smollett case. By Don Babwin. SENT: 260 words, photos.

With:

—EMPIRE CAST MEMBER-ATTACK-THE LATEST: The Latest on the case against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. Will be updated as developments occur.

ILLINOIS-TEACHER SHORTAGE

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. _ A study has found that an Illinois’ teacher shortage has become particularly acute in central and southern sections of the state. The Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools has released a study showing that 89 percent of school districts in central Illinois have trouble filling teaching positions with qualified candidates. Southern Illinois fared worse, with 92 percent having staffing issues. Association president Mark Jontry notes the pay for new teachers is not high. SENT: 390 words.

IN BRIEF:

—HOTEL SHOOTING-ILLINOIS: The half-sister of an Illinois man accused of fatally shooting a sheriff’s deputy says he is “not a monster.”

—ILLINOIS GOVERNOR-GRADUATED INCOME TAX: Gov. J.B. Pritzker has launched an online calculator that he says will let Illinoisans know how his proposed graduated income tax will affect their families.

—CHICAGO SYMPHONY: Renowned Italian conductor Riccardo Muti has joined striking members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, saying: “I am here with my musicians.”

—DRUG TRAFFICKING-CHARGES: Nearly three dozen people are facing federal or state charges in connection with heroin and fentanyl trafficking in Chicago.

—THEATER-BRITNEY SPEARS: A musical about pop star Britney Spears will have its world premiere this fall in Chicago at the James M. Nederlander Theatre. Previews begin in October.

SPORTS:

BKN--LAKERS-BULLS

CHICAGO _ LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers meet Lauri Markkanen and the Chicago Bulls. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 7 p.m. CT.

BKC--AP ALL-BIG TEN

Michigan State’s Cassius Winston is The Associated Press player of the year in the Big Ten Conference and Purdue’s Matt Painter is its coach of the year. Winston, Purdue’s Carsen Edwards and Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ were unanimous picks to the AP All-Big Ten team in voting of 15 journalists covering the conference. Michigan freshman Ignas Brazdeikis was picked newcomer of the year. By Eric Olson. SENT: 660 words, photos.

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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.