BC-IL–Illinois New Coverage Advisory, IL

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 AP-Illinois 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A reminder this information is not for publication or broadcast, and these coverage plans are subject to change.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.

Some TV and radio stations will receive shorter APNewsNow versions of the stories below, along with all updates.

UPCOMING TODAY:

HEALTH OVERHAUL-ILLINOIS

CHICAGO — On the first business day for health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act, Dr. John Venetos, a Chicago doctor, described the “tremendous uncertainty and anxiety” among patients who are calling his office who think they signed up for coverage but haven’t received insurance cards yet. Others who had insurance policies that were canceled aren’t sure if the coverage was reinstated. He’s decided to take a risk and provide care for these patients. “We feel it’s the right thing to do,” Venetos said. “We may end up stuck holding the bag and not getting paid on these claims.” By Carla K. Johnson. UPCOMING: 300 words by 3 p.m.

WINTER WEATHER

HARTFORD, Conn. — Light snow was falling Thursday in parts of the Northeast as a winter storm bore down on the region, promising significant snowfall, strong winds and frigid temperatures that will make commutes hazardous for the first work day of the new year. Snow began falling overnight in parts of New England and New York, but the real brunt of the storm wasn’t expected to hit until later Thursday. As much as a foot of snow or more was forecast for some areas overnight Thursday into Friday, and temperatures were expected to plummet, with some areas seeing highs just above zero, according to the National Weather Service. By Pat Eaton-Robb. SENT: 730 words, photos.

With:

WINTER WEATHER-ILLINOIS.

FROM AP MEMBERS:

SUPREME COURT-CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A published report says six of Illinois’ seven supreme court justices have received campaign contributions from groups or people who are tied to the state’s pension debate. The Chicago Sun-Times says the justices have received a combined $3 million in campaign contributions from groups connected to both sides of the pension debates, including labor unions, business groups and a political committee affiliated with House Speaker Michael Madigan. Litigation filed over the pension plan could wind up before the state’s highest court. Illinois’ five public retirement systems are $100 billion short of meeting the state’s obligations to workers and retirees. UPCOMING: 450 words.

TEEN VOTING

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Some teenagers in Illinois can now register to vote in the state’s March primary, even if they’re still 17 when they cast their first ballots. A new law that went into effect on Wednesday lets 17-year-olds register to vote if they turn 18 before the general election in November. The primary will be held March 18. Megan Wilson is a 17-year-old sophomore at Tri-Valley High School in Bloomington. She tells The (Bloomington) Pantagraph that she’ll cast her first vote in March and plans to work as an election judge in McLean County. SENT: 130 words. UPCOMING: 200 words.

EXCHANGE-DYING WISH

EFFINGHAM, Ill. — Ron Henderson’s dying wish to have his 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo restored became more about the effect he had on those around him than about the project itself. During his yearlong battle with melanoma, Ron served as an inspiration to many around him. “When he first got diagnosed, I was a mess,” said his wife, Cathy Henderson. “I had separation anxiety, but Ron took care of me.” Cathy credits Ron’s spirituality and approach to life as the strength he needed to deal with the diagnosis. “Ron started every day with a cup of tea and his Bible,” she said. By Tony Huffman, Effingham Daily News. SENT: 670 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

— SPEED LIMIT-ILLINOIS: Motorists who are happy the speed limit is now 70 mph on many highways in Illinois might want to ease up on the gas going through Peoria and the Springfield area.

— PREGNANT GIRL SHOT: A 19-year-old suburban Chicago man is expected to appear in court after being charged with first-degree murder for the Christmas Eve shooting death of a pregnant teenager.

— TRAIN COLLISION-MICHIGAN: Authorities say the driver of a vehicle was injured after a collision involving a Chicago-bound Amtrak train in suburban Detroit.

— HUNTER DROWNS: The body of a Fort Riley soldier who disappeared while duck hunting on Christmas Eve has been recovered from a Kansas lake.

— WIFE KILLED: A suburban Chicago has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife.

— INDIANA FLOODING-MISSING WOMAN: Conservation officers are preparing for a fifth day of searches for an Illinois woman who was swept away by floodwaters in southwestern Indiana.

— LINCOLN MUSEUM: Officials at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum say attendance was up more than 7 percent in 2013.

— DISPATCHERS-CONTRACT: St. Clair County officials say they’ve reached a tentative contract with emergency dispatches after years of negotiations.

— BELLEVILLE BICENTENNIAL: Residents of Belleville have begun marking the city’s 200th birthday.

— STUDENT KILLED-SCHOLARSHIP: Friends of a slain University of Missouri-Columbia student have raised more than $5,000 to help his family and create a scholarship fund.

— FOREST PRESERVE-PICNICS: People who want to have a picnic in a Cook County forest preserve this year can start buying the necessary permits.

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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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