Associated Press

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

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Chicago State University officials say they will work to boost enrollment, resolve financial concerns and improve the reputation of the institution in the coming year.
 
Interim President Rachel Lindsey was appointed to the post last month. As part of a leadership shake-up, university trustees also appointed former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas to a top administrative post.
 

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The Illinois Senate has approved a measure intended to protect abortion rights … and expand access to the procedure.

The legislation would allow for coverage of abortion under state health plans to include government employees and women on Medicaid.
Senator Toi Hutchinson, a Democrat from Chicago Heights, made what she called an “economic argument” for the legislation.

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CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) - Southern Illinois University trustees are poised to choose a new chancellor to lead the Carbondale campus.

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A railway says it has implemented new security measures at a Chicago rail yard where thieves stole 150 guns in recent years, most of which ended up in the hands of drug dealers and gangs.  Norfolk Southern wrote a letter to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin that describes measures put in place for the South Side yard as of April 1, including rules requiring better train-cargo locks.

A Chicago tax policy and research group is urging Illinois lawmakers to pass a full budget instead of "piecemeal" solutions in the final weeks of the legislative session.  The Civic Federation says in order to close an estimated $4.6 billion deficit, Illinois needs spending restraints, increased revenues, and borrowing for unpaid bills. 

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New bylaws from the University of Illinois fraternities' governing board will require all chapters to train their members on how to intervene to prevent sexual assault.  The change from the university's student-run Interfraternity Council requires all 42 campus fraternities to teach every second-year member about "bystander intervention" in addition to the two sexual-assault-prevention programs already mandated for all students on campus.

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Authorities in the Philippines have arrested an American suspected of exploiting dozens of Filipino children using webcams to sell videos, images and livestreams.  

Northern Illinois University officials say there will be 150 staff position reductions as the school tries to cut expenses.  NIU president Doug Baker says most cuts will be achieved through attrition however 30 of the affected jobs will be active positions. He says most of the affected employees were notified by Monday.

Three people are in jail after Will County authorities pulled over a car and found the trunk held several bricks of cocaine with a street value of more than $1 million.  The Will County Sheriff's Department says the discovery happened Monday night after deputies pulled over a car they'd spotted swerving on a road in Green Garden Township. 

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois officials have released detailed plans for how they'll reintroduce a giant fish that was thought to be extinct from the state's waters. 

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Former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has unveiled his formal portrait in the state Capitol. The 68-year-old Democrat who stepped into the job when his predecessor was ousted donated the first "interactive" portrait.  The portrait depicts Quinn in his "lucky" purple-striped tie. He stands in front of a background of 44 representations of people, issues and events from more than four decades in public service.

Authorities say the house where a toddler was found dead has burned to the ground one day after her funeral.  East Joliet Fire Chief Robert Scholtes says fire crews were called about 3 a.m. Saturday to the Joliet Township home where 16-month-old Semaj Crosby was found dead under a couch April 26.

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New Illinois tourism figures show about 110 million tourists from around the country visited the state last year, a more than 1 million increase compared to 2015.  Eighty three percent of visitors came for leisure and 17% came for business. 

Officials with the American Association of University Professors say an academic censure of the University of Illinois over a professor who lost his job offer over a series of anti-Israel tweets could end next month.  Delegates to the national AAUP meeting in June are scheduled to take up the Steven Salaita case again after voting last year to leave the 2015 censure in place.

Pekin high school is recovering from a cyberattack on its computers last month, and officials say they're trying to determine how to prevent future attacks.  When officials at Pekin Community High School turned on their computers on April 24, they were unable to access files and student information. 

Some Illinois school districts are revamping their summer school programs this year with virtual programs designed to allow students to complete lessons outside of the classroom.  But some education experts worry that online learning programs aren't the best approach for younger students. 

Data from Chicago police show that the number of tickets officers have issued for distracted driving has plummeted over the last three years.  Chicago police gave out 25,884 tickets for motorists using mobile devices in 2015. That number was 186 tickets in 2016 and 24 tickets through April 16 of this year.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is pushing legislation aimed at protecting Illinois students who take out college loans.  The plan would establish a "student loan bill of rights" outlining information companies have to provide, including all repayment options. 

Attorneys for former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock have asked a judge to drop a charge against him, saying it's too broad.  Schock's attorneys say a charge alleging theft of government funds contains too many allegations, makes it too difficult to prepare for trial, and is therefore improper. They say prosecutors have bundled five years' worth of alleged thefts into a single count.

A Chicago-based federal appeals court is looking into allowing TV cameras to cover some of its proceedings. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals could join state high courts and several federal appellate courts in permitting live broadcasts.

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CHICAGO (AP) - A suburban Chicago unit has begun deploying drones to help with investigations of major traffic accidents. 

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CHICAGO (AP) - An anti-crime group that first gained national attention by naming Chicago gangster Al Capone Public Enemy No. 1 will meet with Department of Justice officials about current high rates of city violence. 

A wireless phone company must give refunds to customers who were still owed wireless services when it went out of business.  In a news release, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says her office has reached a settlement with PlatunumTel Communications. 

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This year's University of Illinois commencement has become a big draw.  Officials say students have already picked up more than 33,000 tickets for the May 13 graduation ceremony at Memorial Stadium. The keynote speaker is actor and humorist Nick Offerman.

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Northern Illinois University officials say cuts and deferred maintenance will be necessary to save money as the school faces a $35 million funding gap from the lack of a state budget.  University President Doug Baker says the school must prepare for a worst-case scenario until the next fiscal year.

Eight maximum security inmates at Cook County Jail in Chicago have been charged with aggravated arson after they allegedly set fire to their uniforms last month.

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The future of a state building housing about 2,200 employees is sparking the latest disagreement between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  Republicans pitched plans earmarking future property tax receipts of a possible James Thompson Center sale for Chicago schools. 

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton's plan to protect undocumented immigrants from what proponents consider federal harassment has won approval.  The Democratic-controlled Senate voted to approve the "TRUST Act." It prohibits local or state police from cooperating with federal authorities who are investigating immigrants but do not have a criminal warrant. 

Illinois senators have narrowly approved legislation to give individuals the right to find out what information online companies collect on them.  It would also allow internet users to determine which third party companies, like Facebook or Google, they are sharing their personally-identifying details with. 

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A celebration of life will be held this weekend for a 22-year-old soldier from central Illinois who was killed in Afghanistan.  The public visitation for Sgt. Josh Rodgers of Bloomington begins Saturday morning at Eastview Christian Church in Normal. Afterward there'll be a celebration of life, followed by a procession at 2:30 p.m. 

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