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

December 20, 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. Rick Callahan is on the desk, followed by Ken Kusmer.

A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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

TRAIN STRIKES OFFICERS

CHICAGO _ A man who fired a gun that prompted two Chicago police officers to run onto train tracks where they were killed by a train told detectives he’d found the weapon and took it to a remote area to see if it worked, police said Thursday. Detectives believe Edward Brown’s account and said he likely didn’t know police were looking for him when the two officers were fatally struck by a commuter train Monday evening on the city’s South Side. The officers _ Conrad Gary and Eduardo Marmolejo _ likely didn’t see or hear the train that hit them because they were focused on another train heading toward them from a different direction, police said. By Don Babwin. SENT: 480 words, photos.

WAFFLE HOUSE SHOOTING

NASHVILLE, Tenn. _ The man accused of killing four people in a Nashville Waffle House used to send his father text messages in which he punctuated everyday chitchat with delusional rants. Police say the 29-year-old Travis Reinking was nearly naked, only wearing a green jacket, when he opened fire outside the restaurant on April 22 and then stormed inside. By the time of the shooting, Reinking’s erratic behavior had already come to the attention of law enforcement, including the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office in Illinois, where he lived part-time. By Travis Loller. SENT: 870 words with photo.

OIL TRAIN ACCIDENTS

BILLINGS, Mont. _ The Trump administration miscalculated potential damages from train derailments when it canceled an Obama-era rule requiring the installation of more advanced brakes by railroads hauling explosive fuels, The Associated Press has found. A government analysis used by the administration to justify the cancellation omitted up to $117 million in estimated future damages that could be avoided by using electronic brakes, and the error could stoke renewed criticism from supporters of the rule who say the analysis was biased. There have been fiery crashes and fuel spills in Illinois and several other states. By Matthew Brown. SENT: 760 words.

AROUND THE STATE:

EARNS-WALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE

DEERFIELD, Ill. _ Walgreens Boots Alliance topped Wall Street forecasts for its fiscal first quarter, helped partially by a sales boost provided by stores acquired from smaller rival Rite Aid. Revenue for the drugstore chain jumped about 10 percent to $33.8 billion, with the Rite Aid stores accounting for much of that growth in the global company’s U.S. division. Walgreens spent more than $4 billion to acquire nearly 2,000 stores from Rite Aid in a deal it closed last year. SENT: 400 words.

IN BRIEF:

_ STUDENT GOVERNMENT PRESIDENT SLAIN: Two 19-year-olds have been charged with dealing drugs in the Missouri neighborhood where a college student from Chicago was gunned down.

_ COLD CASE-WOMAN: A northeastern Illinois coroner’s office has exhumed the body of woman found dead in 1976 for a forensic analysis that could help identify her. The Grundy County Coroner’s office says the body was exhumed Tuesday from an unmarked grave at a Braceville cemetery.

_ SPRINGFIELD-PANHANDLING: A federal judge has ordered the city of Springfield to pay another $54,000 to civil rights attorneys who represented two panhandlers in a legal fight over the city’s anti-panhandling laws. UPCOMING: 130 words.

_ GRAND JUNCTION-CHICAGO FLIGHT: Travelers in Grand Junction, Colorado, will soon be able to fly directly to Chicago.

_ CAHOKIA MOUNDS-HUMANITIES GRANT: The support group for the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site has been awarded a $100,000 grant for digital projects from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

_ TRAIN SAFETY-FUNDING: A suburban Chicago commuter rail agency will get more than $2 million from the federal government to implement a computerized system that will make train travel safer for passengers and rail workers.

_ DEA AGENT CHARGED: Federal prosecutors have offered fresh details in the rare case of a Chicago DEA agent accused of serving as a mole for Puerto Rican-based drug traffickers, saying he sought the prestigious agency job solely to protect the crime syndicate.

SPORTS:

HKN--BLACKHAWKS-STARS

DALLAS _ The Stars face Chicago after opening an extended stretch of mostly home games by beating Calgary to stop a four-game losing streak. Dallas swept the season series with the Blackhawks last season for the first time in more than 10 years. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 7:30 p.m. CT.

BKC--NORTHERN ILLINOIS-NORTHERN KENTUCKY

Northern Illinois plays Northern Kentucky at BB&T Arena at Northern Kentucky.

BKC--CHICAGO STATE-WESTERN ILLINOIS

Chicago State plays Western Illinois at Western Hall.

USSF VP-PARLOW CONE

CHICAGO _ Former U.S. forward Cindy Parlow Cone is the only candidate running to become vice president of the U.S. Soccer Federation. The election takes place Feb. 16 at Scottsdale, Arizona, during the U.S. Soccer Federation’s annual general meeting. The USSF said Thursday she was the only person to complete the nomination process. The position became vacant when Carlos Cordeiro was elevated to president in February, and Cone will serve a one-year term. A full four-year term will be decided in 2020. SENT: 150 words.

___

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