BC-IL–Illinois News Coverage Advisory,1st Ld-Writethru, IL

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 hdellios@ap.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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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. This version adds RETIREE HEALTH CARE-LAWSUIT.

UPCOMING TODAY:

ILLINOIS POVERTY-CENSUS

ST. LOUIS — New Census Bureau figures show that Illinois’ poverty rate last year stubbornly remained near 15 percent, and anti-poverty advocates say that’s a sign that an economic recovery isn’t trickling down to the least fortunate. The latest figures suggest that 14.7 percent of Illinoisans, or about 1.85 million people, were in poverty last year. That’s down ever slightly from 15 percent, or 1.88 million, in 2011. The national rate also remained at 15 percent. By Jim Suhr. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos.

SWELTERING SCHOOLS-DONATION

BEMENT, Ill. — Because of the heat, the tiny school district in this eastern Illinois town sent its pupils home eight times this year, so cash-starved it has little money for books, much less air conditioning. But after reading an Associated Press story about the predicament Bement shares with schools across the region, the owner of a Texas air conditioner company stepped up and donated window units for all eight of the school district’s elementary school’s classes. By David Mercer. UPCOMING: 550 words, photos.

ILLINOIS UNEMPLOYMENT

CHAMPAIGN — The state of Illinois plans to release the August unemployment data. By David Mercer. UPCOMING: 300 words.

SEVERE WEATHER-FATALITY

CHICAGO — A Chicago construction worker who was in a sewer died when he was swept away by a flash flood as a thunderstorm pelted the city. The man was a private contractor working to reline a sewer. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 250 words.

ILLINOIS-SENATOR-PEN PAL

SPRINGFIELD — After his stroke last year, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk became pen pals with an 11-year-old boy from central Illinois who told the Republican about his own recovery from a stroke and encouraged the senator not to give up on himself. By Kerry Lester. SENT: 380 words.

FROM AP MEMBERS:

RETIREE HEALTH CARE-LAWSUIT

CHICAGO — Lawyers representing retired state government workers told the Illinois Supreme Court that their clients shouldn’t have to pay health insurance premiums. Meanwhile, attorneys for the state say the benefits shouldn’t be protected by the state constitution because they’re separate from pension benefits. The state high court heard oral arguments in the case on Wednesday. UPCOMING: 350 words.

HONORARY DEGREE-NIU

DEKALB — A visiting Thai princess has received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from Northern Illinois University. Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visited the DeKalb campus Wednesday to receive the degree as the school marked the 50th anniversary of its Center for Southeast Asian Studies. The 58-year-old, who is second oldest daughter of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, is known as the “princess of technology” for her interest in science and technology. She already holds advanced degrees in history, languages and educational development and is the head of the history department at the Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy in Thailand. SENT: 200 words, photo request from The (DeKalb) Daily Chronicle.

SPOTLIGHT-YODELING TEEN

FORRESTON — While Forreston may be thousands of miles from the Alps, Emmi Hartman, 18, has adopted a form of musical voice that got her a high place in her first contest as a yodeler. A lover of music, this self-taught guitar player has always loved to sing. Growing up on the music of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, Hartman admits her musical tastes may differ from many teens. It is with this in mind, Hartman got herself into a challenging musical style, making her more competitive, and coming away with a second-place finish for yodeling at the Iowa State Fair in August. By Jane Lethlean. The (Freeport) Journal-Standard.

AP Photo ILFRE501.

BRIEFLY:

— CAR SEAT SAFETY: Only three out of five of car seats in Illinois are being used correctly.

— DANVILLE PRISON: Danville Correctional Center is back to normal operations after more than 100 inmates were sickened.

— MARION-TAVERN KILLING: A southern Illinois man has been ordered to spend 14 years in prison on a weapons charge.

— CHILD STRUCK-TRIAL: A suburban Chicago teen accused of killing a 5-year-old girl after inhaling computer dust cleaner is challenging the charges.

— FUNDRAISER FRAUD-CHARGES: A southern Illinois woman is facing charges for claiming a garage sale was raising money for a charity.

— GREAT RIVER ROAD: A 3,000-mile stretch of highway along the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico is turning 75.

— FEDEX-DISTRIBUTION FACILITY: FedEx will open a new distribution facility in Rock Island in 2015.

— ZOO ACCREDITATION-BLOOMINGTON: — A central Illinois zoo is once again fully accredited.

— WORKFORCE GRANTS-COMMUNITY COLLEGES: Four Illinois colleges and universities have been awarded about $8.5 million.

— AMA-HEADQUARTERS DEDICATION: A landmark Chicago skyscraper is the new headquarters of the American Medical Association.

— OCTAGONAL BARN-MOVE: The Fry Octagonal Barn near Carrollton is being moved to make way for a new housing development.

SPORTS:

BBN-CUBS-BREWERS

MILWAUKEE — Chicago Cubs righthander Jake Arrieta, 2-2, will start against Milwaukee Brewers righthander Kyle Lohse, 10-9. UPCOMING: 750 words following end of game that begins at 1:10 p.m., photos

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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 Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

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.

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