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 email@example.com.
A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.
Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.
HEALTH OVERHAUL-SOCIAL MEDIA
CHICAGO — Inside a command center at the FleischmanHillard PR firm, a team of social media experts monitors online chatter, answers questions on Facebook from discouraged consumers and posts information to Twitter. As Illinois pivots away from a full-force marketing barrage because of problems with the new health care law’s website, a specially-created social media team is holding down the fort, hunkered down to assume responsibility for educating consumers and tending to their frustrations. By Carla K. Johnson. UPCOMING: 750 words by 2 p.m., photos.
SHUTDOWN-THE AVERAGE DAY
CHICAGO — Our food was a little less safe, our workplaces a little more dangerous. The risk of getting sick was a bit higher, our kids’ homework tougher to complete. The federal government shutdown may have seemed like a frustrating squabble in far-off Washington, but it crept into our lives in small, subtle ways — from missed vegetable inspections to inaccessible federal websites. Here’s a look at the tiny ripples it caused in an average day. By Don Babwin. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.
NEW YORK — A division of Europe’s HSBC has been ordered to pay about $2.46 billion in a class action lawsuit claiming it violated federal securities laws. Lawyers for the plaintiffs said that the judgment, which includes $1.48 billion in damages and nearly $1 billion in prejudgment interest, was the biggest ever following a securities fraud class action trial. A jury in Chicago found in favor of the plaintiffs in May 2009. In the final judgment entered in the U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division on Thursday, Household International, former executives William Aldinger, David Schoenholz are held jointly and severally liable for the judgment. Ex-executive Gary Gilmer is held severally liable for 10 percent of the judgment. SENT: 330 words.
LAW FIRM APPEAL
JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday threw out a $103 million jury verdict to businessman Lavon Evans Jr. who claimed a Chicago law firm defrauded him. The Supreme Court ordered a new trial on the issue of damages in the lawsuit that Evans filed in Jones County in 2008. Evans argued the Baker & McKenzie firm defrauded his oil and gas business. The Supreme Court upheld the jury’s verdict that Baker & McKenzie did not play fair with Evans. But the Supreme Court also found that faulty instructions confused the jury about the legal issues. By Jack Elliott Jr. SENT: 450 words.
FROM AP MEMBERS:
SPRINGFIELD — School administrators in Illinois are being warned to prepare for even less state funding for the next fiscal year. The Springfield Bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports the Illinois State Board of Education is telling school districts to prepare to receive about 85 percent of normal general state aid payments. This year, the qualifying districts are getting 89 percent of the money. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 300 words.
BRIDGEPORT MAYOR-FRAUD CHARGES
BRIDGEPORT — A former southern Illinois mayor has been sentenced to a year and a half in federal prison for using bogus invoices to skim money from his Lawrence County community of Bridgeport. Fifty-six-year-old Max Schauf on Thursday also was fined $5,000 and ordered to repay more than $54,000 to Bridgeport, a 2,200-resident farming and oil town about 170 miles east of St. Louis. Schauf pleaded guilty in March to three counts of mail fraud and one count of obstruction of justice. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 250 words.
NEW CAR ADDICT
DECATUR — Everybody likes that new car smell. But Bill Davies not only likes it, he’s addicted to it. And he doesn’t want it to drive away. Ever. At the last count, and it’s difficult to keep up, he’s driving his fifth new car for 2013. In 2012, he changed his ride twice (that he remembers), and he did it multiple times in 2011. “How many vehicles have I had in the last four or five years?” the 65-year-old asks of himself. “Oh, probably, conservatively, about 15. How many in my lifetime? I’ve got no idea.” He’s got a particularly soft spot for sports cars and Ford Mustangs, and Chevrolet Corvettes have figured prominently in his older motoring history. By Tony Reid. (Decatur) Herald and Review. SENT: 790 words, photos.
MISSISSIPPI RIVER TURBINES
VICKSBURG, Miss. — A company has dropped plans to sink power-generating turbines in the Mississippi River. Retired Brig. Gen. Robert Crear has told a Vicksburg civic club that Free Flow Power will place the turbines on existing dams, such as recreational lakes maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Crear is a member of the Boston-based company’s board of directors and says that officials decided to scrap the project based on the “economics.” SENT: 420 words.
— MOTHER DEATH-SENTENCE: A central Illinois woman was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the beating death of her mother. SENT: 130 words.
— DORM DEATH-SERVICES: Services are being held for an 18-year-old southwestern Illinois man who died after visiting a University of Missouri dorm. SENT: 130 words.
— SKELETAL REMAINS FOUND: Investigators say skeletal remains found in a Champaign home likely belong to a 47-year-old man who may have died last August. SENT: 130 words.
— SHUTDOWN-LINCOLN HOME: It was business as usual at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield after the end of the partial federal government shutdown. SENT: 130 words.
— WWII VETERAN-HONORARY DIPLOMA: A 91-year-old World War II veteran finally got a high school diploma. SENT: 130 words.
— STATE FARM-OPERATIONS CENTER: State Farm Insurance Co. plans to build a national operations center in the Atlanta suburb of Dunwoody. SENT: 130 words.
— ILLINOIS HOSPTIALS-REPORT: The Illinois Hospital Association has issued a report on efforts to improve care by reducing the number of patients who get infections in the hospital and other conditions.
— MEDICAID FRAUD-CHARGES: A southwestern Illinois woman faces up to a decade in federal prison after admitting she schemed to defraud the federal government while providing home assistance to disabled adults.
— MURDER FOR HIRE-ARREST: A Chicago man has been charged with trying to hire someone to kill two people believed to be witnesses against his son in a murder trial.
— FARM ACCIDENT-SEVERED FOOT: A southern Illinois farmer says he’s doing OK after a farming accident that severed one of his feet.
— BOARD OF TRADE-VAULT: A Chicago man has been charged with trying to hire someone to kill two people believed to be witnesses against his son in a murder trial.
— ILLINOIS HISTORY-WRITING WORKSHOP: Two Illinois historic sites are hosting workshops for aspiring writers. Springfield’s Dana-Thomas House and Vachel Lindsay Home will feature a total of five fiction and poetry writing sessions through December.
CHAMPAIGN — Illinois linebacker Jonathan Brown says No. 25 Wisconsin’s offense has it all. Big offensive line, a pair of big-game backs and a passing game that can make a defense loosened up by the run game pay. But when the Badgers (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten) come to Illinois Saturday night, there are two things they’ll be missing: a road win and first place in the Big Ten’s Leaders Division. One of their losses was at division leader Ohio State. By David Mercer. SENT: 820 words.
T25-N ILLINOIS-C MICHIGAN
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — Northern Illinois got national attention with its offense, then topped Akron last weekend with a lot of help from its defense. The 23rd-ranked Huskies (6-0, 2-0 Mid-American) hope to tip the balance back where it started when they travel to Central Michigan on Saturday. Northern Illinois converted just one of its 15 third-down attempts, but got a blocked extra-point and interception, as well as a late fourth-down stand to keep itself perfect. SENT: 630 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.c