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AP-IL--Illinois Weekend Digest, IL

October 11, 2018

AP-Illinois stories for the weekend of Oct. 13-14. May be updated. Members using Exchange stories should retain the bylines and newspaper credit lines. If you have questions, please contact the AP-Illinois desk in Chicago at 312-781-0500 or chifax@ap.org.

Moving Sunday:


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Republicans, who made gains in the General Assembly in 2016 with substantial financial help from wealthy Gov. Bruce Rauner, go it alone this year because their benefactor is trailing badly in his re-election bid against a Democratic challenger in what experts believe will be a big Democratic year. By John O’Connor. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos.




DECATUR, Ill. — Aaron Napier wasn’t wearing a chef’s hat, but he clearly knows his way around a grill. The (Decatur) Milligan Academy seventh-grader was chief cook at the school’s hot dog lunch, held in the empty field across from the Macon-Piatt Special Education District office on Cerro Gordo Street on Sept. 21. Inspired by a book from class, he and his classmates were there to serve the community’s homeless population. By Valerie Wells. Herald & Review. SENT IN ADVANCE: 550 words, photos.


BELLEVILLE, Ill. — The little girl from East St. Louis first made a name for herself when, as a 14-year-old high school freshman, she broke the state record in the 100-meter hurdles. For champions, that’s not where dreams end. It’s where they begin. A six-time All-American at UCLA, Dawn Harper-Nelson reached the pinnacle of her dream in 2008 when she took gold in the 100-meter hurdles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. More than 20 years after going over that first hurdle, Harper-Nelson, 34, decided to pursue other dreams. Citing a desire to start her family, the 2002 graduate of East St. Louis Senior High School has announced her retirement from track and field competition. By Dean Criddle. News Democrat. SENT IN ADVANCE: 2,200 words, photos.



BRADLEY, Ill. — Some people complain about commercials. Bradley resident Connie Wietrzykowski gets things done. When she returns home from work, she watches shows such as “General Hospital” and “Bewitched.” During breaks, she has a mission — writing Christmas cards for U.S. servicemen and women around the country and overseas. Meanwhile, husband Tom Vince Wietrzykowski cooks and washes dishes. During an interview in her house, Wietrzykowski, 64, said she counted 4,450 cards with her messages. By David Giuliani. The Daily Journal. SENT IN ADVANCE: 330 words, photos.


FAIRBURY, Ill. — A 21st century GPS device resting atop a tombstone from the 19th century connects with a satellite orbiting more than 12,000 miles above the Earth so high school students can map the grave’s location. This joining of space-age technology with the past is all part of an ongoing project involving Prairie Central High School students in Andrew Quain’s Human Geography class. Their mission: to map locations and record other information from graves in all 21 cemeteries in the school district. By Lenore Sobota. The Pantagraph. SENT IN ADVANCE: 680 words, photos.

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