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BC-IL--Illinois News Digest 3 pm , IL

May 4, 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. Sara Burnett 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.



CHICAGO _ Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Saturday he’s reached an agreement with key lawmakers on a plan to legalize recreational marijuana in the state starting next year. The legislation, which would take effect Jan. 1, would allow adults 21 and older to legally buy cannabis for recreational use from licensed dispensaries. Illinois residents could possess up to about an ounce (30 grams) of marijuana, while non-residents could possess about half an ounce (15 grams). The measure also would automatically expunge some marijuana convictions. By Sara Burnett. SENT: 500 words, photo.


SPRINGFIELD — Fifty years ago, new Republican Gov. Richard Ogilvie pushed through the state’s first income tax to shore up Illinois finances. It was a flat 2.5% applying to all levels of income. Requiring a flat-rate income tax was hotly contested a year later among those rewriting the state Constitution. The Constitution enshrined it in 1971, Ogilvie lost re-election in 1972, but the debate over the system’s fairness never abated. Enter Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a multibillionaire who campaigned on dumping the flat-rate structure for a so-called “fair tax,” a graduated scale that duns wealthy taxpayers at greater percentages. The Illinois Senate approved the inaugural steps to that goal last week. Here are some questions and answers on the subject. By John O’Connor. SENT: 900 words.



WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — An explosion and fire at an Illinois silicone factory was believed to have killed three people, authorities said Saturday, as they recovered the body of one victim while suspending the search for the other two. Crews suspended their search due to concerns about the stability of the structure, and Waukegan Fire Marshal Steven Lenzi said they would not resume searching until what remains of the plant is torn down. SENT: 300 words.


CHICAGO — A 90-year-old great-grandfather is about make history by becoming the oldest student to earn a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University since the school started keeping records in 1962. Bob Dwyer, a great-grandfather, Army veteran and retired widower, will graduate with a degree in interdisciplinary studies on Monday. “Education is always a plus and we can never have too much of it,” Dwyer told the Chicago Tribune. SENT: 350 words, photos.


OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Rainfall in the coming days could raise water levels in the Mississippi River higher than expected and lead to more flooding, the National Weather Service at St. Louis said Saturday. At some points, including Davenport, Iowa, the past week’s levels were the highest ever. Davenport saw a large part of its riverfront and downtown flooded when a section of a temporary flood barrier broke after it had held back the swollen river for 38 days.


PORTER, Ind. — Northwestern Indiana tourism officials are hoping the recent elevation of the Indiana Dunes to national park status will lure more visitors to the scenic stretch of dunes, woods and beaches. The dunes are huge mounds of sand that reach altitudes of up to almost 200 feet (60 meters). They were formed over 10,000 years ago when glaciers passed over the area, leaving behind 15 miles (24 kilometers) of white sand beaches. The former national lakeshore, considered North America’s most biodiverse area, became Indiana’s first national park in February. SENT: 400 words.


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. _ When you want to make things difficult, this is the perfect team. In the whole country, no team could make a more complicated engine for performing a task that should be effortless, a concept created by the cartoonist Rube Goldberg. A local group of home-school students called the Homeschool STEAM Alliance sent four teams (three high school and one junior high) to the national Rube Goldberg Machine Contest tournament. By Paul Wood. The (Champaign) News-Gazette. SENT: 510 words, photos pursuing.


GRIGGSVILLE, Ill. _ Griggsville-Perry first-grader Sadie Buss has her future all figured out. She plans to farm, and she wants to raise pigs and cows. Sadie and classmate Aubrey Kirgan got some hands-on experience recently feeding a marshmallow to Petunia the pig. Petunia and alpacas named Sleven, Sweetness and Pearl, along with other livestock, helped Griggsville-Perry pre-kindergarten through fourth-grade students learn more about agriculture at Ag Education Day. By Deborah Gertz Husar. SENT: 420 words, photos pursuing.







CHICAGO _ The Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox continue their four-game series. Eduardo Rodriguez starts for Boston, with Manny Banuelos pitching for Chicago. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. Game starts at 7:10 p.m. ET.


CHICAGO _ The second-place Chicago Cubs try to extend their season-high win streak to six when they continue their weekend series against the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.


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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