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AP-IL--Illinois News Digest 6pm, IL

September 24, 2018

Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up in Illinois at 6 p.m. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to the AP-Chicago bureau at 312-781-0500 or chifax@ap.org. Herbert McCann 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.

TOP STORY:

CHICAGO POLICE-LAQUAN MCDONALD

CHICAGO — A defense expert in the trial of a white police officer charged with murder in the death of Laquan McDonald on Wednesday criticized the official autopsy results in testimony that seemed to contradict what video of the 2014 shooting shows. Forensic pathologist Shaku Teas testified that she believes at least 12 of the 16 shots fired by Officer Jason Van Dyke on Oct. 20, 2014, hit McDonald before the 17-year-old was on the ground. By Don Babwin. SENT: 530 words, photos.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS:

POLITICAL ICE CREAM

MONTPELIER, Vt. — The founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Bernie Sanders’ home state are putting their ice cream expertise to work to support seven congressional candidates in the midterm elections who they call progressive, including one in Illinois. Vermont’s Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, known for their clever marketing and quirky flavors, are working with political action committee MoveOn to create ice cream flavors that reflect the values of each of the candidates. They are seeking the public’s help in naming the flavors. By Lisa Rathke. SENT: 370 words.

AROUND THE STATE:

TAINTED OFFICER-CONVICTIONS

CHICAGO — An Illinois judge on Monday vacated the convictions of 18 more men investigated by a corrupt Chicago police sergeant, with a state’s attorney later in the day apologizing for what they had to go through. The latest dismissals, which prosecutors had requested, bring to 42 the total number of individuals investigated by then-Sgt. Ronald Watts who have had their convictions tossed in recent years. Watts and his crew of tactical officers allegedly shook down drug suspects, planted evidence and arranged false testimony to secure convictions. SENT: 340 words, photos.

TRAFFICKING ACT-SEX WORKERS

NEW YORK — Recent crackdowns targeting the sex-for-hire industry have reduced the number of commercial ads on the internet and helped fight online trafficking. But activists and police say the efforts may have had unintended consequences — landing women and girls back on the streets, where dangers also lurk. The impact was almost immediate after the seizure of Backpage.com by the federal government in April and President Donald Trump’s signature the same month on the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act. Yvonne Ambrose’s 16-year-old daughter Desiree Robinson was trafficked in Chicago on Backpage and was killed by a buyer on Christmas Eve 2016. By Alexandra Villarreal. SENT: 800 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

— CHILD KILLED-NEW TRIAL: The third trial in the 1990 killing of a 9-year-old girl has ended in a mistrial after jurors failed to reach a verdict after three days of deliberations.

— FATAL GO-KART CRASH: Authorities say a woman driving a go-kart on a rural northern Illinois road was killed when hit from behind by a car.

— SEARS-ESL: The hedge fund owned by Sears Holdings Corp. CEO Eddie Lampert is urging the retailer’s board to sell more of its real estate and restructure its debt, as it seeks to avoid bankruptcy. ES Investment Hedge Fund said Monday that Sears should sell $1.5 billion more in real estate and restructure $1.1 billion in debt.

— RAIL SAFETY-ILLINOIS: Illinois State Police will be out this week issuing tickets and handing out safety literature in a bid to bring down numbers of railroad-crossing deaths in the state. A greater emphasis on the problem in Illinois comes during U.S. Rail Safety Week this week.

— FIRE COMMISSIONER-CHICAGO: A 35-year veteran of the Chicago Fire Department has been named the city’s new fire commissioner. Richard C. Ford II has been the acting commissioner since Sept. 1.

— INDIANA-BRIBERY CHARGES: An indicted northwestern Indiana mayor is maintaining that prosecutors used a confidential informant to improperly know they had more time to investigate the case.

— CLIMATE ADAPTATION CONFERENCE: A conference at the University of Michigan is bringing together experts to share ideas on dealing with a warming climate in the Great Lakes region. The biennial Great Lakes Adaptation Forum runs from Monday through Wednesday at the campus in Ann Arbor.

SPORTS:

BBN--PIRATES-CUBS

CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs, closing in on the NL Central championship, meet the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a seven-game homestand to close out the regular season. Cole Hamels starts for the Cubs, who have a 2 1/2-game lead over Milwaukee, while Jameson Taillon pitches for the Pirates. By Andrew Seligman. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game time 7:05 p.m. CT.

BBA--INDIANS-WHITE SOX

CHICAGO — Corey Kluber goes for his career-high 20th victory as the AL Central champion Cleveland Indians meet the White Sox. Dylan Covey starts for Chicago. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game time 7:10 p.m. CT.

FBN--FIRST-PLACE BEARS

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — It’s not exactly a comfortable feeling for the Chicago Bears, despite their current lofty status. Alone in first place in the NFC North for the first time since late in the 2013 season, the Bears (2-1) know they’ve shown enough flaws for concern about upcoming games. And most of their problems revolve around the offense, and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. “Offensively after watching the tape, again, red zone-wise yesterday wasn’t good enough,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said Monday, following Sunday’s 16-14 win over the Arizona Cardinals. SENT: 735 words, photos.

FBN--MEDIA DAY-BULLS

CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls signed Jabari Parker and drafted Wendell Carter Jr. with the No. 7 overall draft pick. But they enter training camp largely banking on improvement from within to climb in the Eastern Conference, whether it’s Lauri Markkanen building on a strong rookie season or a healthy Zach LaVine solidifying himself as a foundational piece. UPCOMING: 600 words.

FBC--NORTHWESTERN-LARKIN RETIRES

EVANSTON, Ill. — Northwestern leading rusher Jeremy Larkin is retiring from football after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis, a condition that causes narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck and upper back. Northwestern said Monday that Larkin’s condition is not life threatening, but prevents him from playing. SENT: 300 words.

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