Good morning! Here’s a look at how AP’s general news coverage is shaping up today in Illinois. Questions about today’s coverage plans are welcome, and should be directed to News Editor Hugh Dellios at 312-781-0500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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, digests and digest advisories will keep you up to date.
24 HOUR GAMBLING
CHICAGO — The state’s gambling regulatory board begins hearing testimony Thursday on a push by casino owners to eliminate a mandatory state rule requiring them to close for at least two hours a day. The push to allow 24-hour gambling at the state’s 10 casinos comes from the Illinois Casino Gaming Association, which represents the gambling houses’ interests, and is addressing ways to fight decreased revenue. The group says extending the 22-hour maximum levels the playing field with video gambling at 24-hour truck stops and keeps Illinois competitive with Indiana, Wisconsin and other surrounding states. But anti-gambling advocates say the two hour closure rule is a last barrier to keep gambling addicts from playing non-stop. By Sophia Tareen, photos. SENT: 940 words, photos.
CHICAGO — A Cook County Circuit Court judge will hear arguments Wednesday in a lawsuit over Gov. Pat Quinn’s decision to halt lawmakers’ pay. Quinn used his line-item veto to cut money for legislators’ salaries from the state budget because they hadn’t fixed Illinois’ nearly $100 billion pension crisis. House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton sued, saying Quinn’s actions were unconstitutional and violated the state’s separation of powers. They asked a judge to order paychecks be issued. Quinn says if lawmakers want to be paid, they can vote to override his veto — a move he acknowledges could be unpopular with voters. By Sara Burnett. SENT: 400 words. UPCOMING: 500 words.
CHICAGO — Gov. Pat Quinn makes his first public appearance since being the presumptive Democratic nominee for 2014. Former White House chief of staff William Daley has dropped his primary challenge. Daley, who insists he could have won but didn’t have the heart for a prolonged battle to fix the state’s monumental problems, got in some parting shots by predicting the incumbent will lose next year to a Republican. By Sophia Tareen. UPCOMING: 400 words.
CHICAGO — State Rep. Tom Cross, the outgoing Republican leader of the Illinois House, makes his treasurer bid official. Campaign officials say Cross will make the announcement Wednesday at the Chicago Sheraton Towers before starting a two-day fly around across Illinois. Stops include Rockford and Moline on Wednesday and Peoria, Quincy and Springfield on Thursday. The announcement tour will conclude at a Plainfield restaurant. By Sophia Tareen. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 400 words.
HEALTH BENEFITS-EMPLOYEE SHOPPING
Walgreen Co. will become the latest big employer to send its workers shopping for their health insurance coverage instead of providing a few plan choices for them. The nation’s largest drugstore chain said Wednesday that it will start giving workers a contribution toward the cost of coverage and then send them to a private health insurance exchange where they will pick from as many as 25 plans. The Deerfield-based company currently offers its workers two to four options depending on where the employee lives. By Tom Murphy. SENT: 450 words. UPCOMING: 850 words.
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CHICAGO — The Illinois State Police are spending $1.4 million to outfit every patrol trooper and sergeant with a video-equipped Taser that will capture video any time the high-voltage device is used, officials said. The agency plans to buy about 800 Tasers, while the Illinois Tollway is buying another 118 for troopers to use when they patrol the northern Illinois highway system. ISP spokeswoman Monique Bond says troopers are often alone in “remote areas,” and says the Tasers can be a “valuable resource.” SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 200 words.
AUTO PARTS PLANT-LAYOFFS
FAIRFIELD — A southern Illinois maker of auto parts is laying off some 200 workers as it eliminates two operations and outsources some of that work. AirTex told employees Tuesday of the job cuts affecting the plant in the 5,400-resident Wayne County city of Fairfield, where the company makes fuel pumps. The layoffs will cut the site’s workforce by roughly half and be based on seniority, with the most recent hires affected first. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 200 words.
SPOTLIGHT: SKATEBOARDING FILMMAKER
LIBERTYVILLE — Libertyville teenager Max Kollman holds his video camera low as he flies on his skateboard around a dilapidated, outdoor basketball court. He’s trying to capture his friend Scotty Brooke as he nosegrinds on a metal bench, heelflips his board, lands a nollie 360, hits a 5-0 and ends with a hard flipback 50/50. If that last sentence didn’t make any sense to you, don’t feel bad. You’re just probably not familiar with lingo used to refer to skateboard tricks. By Gilbert R. Boucher II. (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald. SENT: 430 words, photos.
—GUN RANGE-DEATH: A man died after being shot several times at suburban Chicago gun range.
—PEORIA-SCHOOL SECURITY: Security’s being increased at Peoria High School after a teenager was shot several blocks from the campus.
—CAMPERS KILLED-CONVICTION: A southern Illinois man was sentenced to more than 50 years in prison for the shooting deaths of two people.
—CHEMICAL PLANT-SMOLDERING: Lightning may have been to blame for a fire at a north-central Illinois soybean plant.
—AUTO PARTS PLANT-LAYOFFS: A southern Illinois auto parts maker is laying off some 200 workers.
—ILLINOIS-LOW INCOME HEALTH: A new report says Illinois ranks 36th among the states for delivering health care services to its low-income residents.
—EEOC-RESTAURANT DISCRIMINATION: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is accusing a Chicago restaurant chain of racial discrimination for hiring few black workers.
—FRAUD CHARGES-BUSINESSMAN: A 60-year-old suburban Chicago businessman has been charged with defrauding a client out of more than $700,000 after allegedly promising to help save on wireless costs.
—CHICAGO-TECHNOLOGY PLAN: Chicago has drafted a technology plan intended to help the city maintain an edge in innovation and modern infrastructure.
—DURBIN-YOUTH VIOLENCE: The city of Chicago is getting more than $245,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice to help implement strategies to reduce youth violence.
—ARSON-INVESTIGATOR DOG: She’s just three years old and already she is a valued arson investigator with the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office.
—BROOKFIELD ZOO-SNOW LEOPARD: A snow leopard cub born at the Brookfield Zoo is set to make his public debut.
CHAMPAIGN— A lot of Big Ten defenses are giving up big passing yards so far this season. Six are allowing at least 250 yards a game and three — if you include Nebraska’s 299.7 a game — have been slashed for 300-plus a game. All but three Big Ten offenses, meanwhile, are piling up well over 400 yards a game. Is a conference scoring explosion coming up? “As a defensive guy, I hope not,” said Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald. The Wildcats are allowing almost 320 passing yards a game. By David Mercer. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos.
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MARKETPLACE: Calling your attention to the Marketplace in AP Exchange, where you can find member-contributed content from Illinois and other states. The Marketplace is accessible on the left navigational pane of the AP Exchange home page, near the bottom. For both national and state, you can click “All” or search for content by topics such as education, politics and business.