BC-IL--Illinois News Digest, IL

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Associated Press

Posted on November 7, 2012 at 1:30 PM

The supervisor is Caryn Rousseau, followed by Herbert G. McCann.

If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to chifax(at)ap.org or fax them to the Chicago bureau at 312-781-1989. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please transmit them to AP's Chicago photo desk. If you have questions about the Illinois AP news report, please call the Chicago bureau supervisor at 800-572-2585 or 312-920-3626. For questions about the photo report, please call the Chicago photo editor at 888-276-3804.

ILLINOIS ELECTION-LEGISLATURE

CHICAGO — Democrats are likely to claim supermajority control of both houses of the General Assembly after Tuesday's election, meaning they can adopt legislation with enough votes to override any veto by the governor. Top Democrats say they aren't planning drastic changes in strategy for major issues like dealing with pension debt or expanded gambling, but the overwhelming power they hold will change the legislative scenery and could help or hinder Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. By Political Writer John O'Connor.

WITH:

—ILLINOIS LEGISLATURE-OBERWEIS, from SUGAR GROVE: The sixth time turned out to be the charm for dairy industry magnate Jim Oberweis. The Sugar Grove Republican was elected to the Illinois Senate on Tuesday after five failed runs for public office. AP Photo ILARL101.

ILLINOIS ELECTION

CHICAGO — The state's new Democratic congressmen were out thanking voters and making plans Wednesday as their vanquished Republican foes considered life after Washington, and two trailing candidates still refused to concede. Nationally, Democrats fell short of their goal of taking back the U.S. House, but Illinois Democrats did their part — picking off four of the 10 GOP freshman who lost nationally. By Sophia Tareen.

AP Photo CX101.

WITH:

—FASHION-MICHELLE OBAMA, from NEW YORK: As Michelle Obama stepped on stage with her husband in Chicago early Wednesday morning, she accepted her role not only as first lady but fashion tastemaker for four more years — this time, wearing a Michael Kors magenta silk chine pin-tucked dress. AP Photo CX102.

BARTENDER BEATEN

CHICAGO — Jurors began deliberating Wednesday at a potentially landmark civil trial confronting head on one of the most sensitive questions about Chicago police: Is there a secret code of silence in the department where officers protect fellow officers accused of wrongdoing and has the city effectively condoned it? The 12 panelists withdrew to a jury room at a federal courthouse in Chicago to consider evidence in a case that stems from off-duty officer Anthony Abbate's notorious 2007 beating of a bartender half his size. A video of the attack later went viral and became a major embarrassment to the department. The issue of an alleged code of silence in Chicago's police department has cropped up at other trials, but legal experts say this is the first trial where the issue has been front and center and the focus of nearly all testimony. If jurors find against the city, the case could be precedent-setting and open the floodgates to similar legal action. By Michael Tarm.

AP Photo ILCHS101.

EGG DONORS-FDA WARNING LETTER

CHICAGO — Federal regulators have sent a warning letter to a Chicago fertility doctor citing his failure to screen egg donors for sexually transmitted diseases. The Food and Drug Administration's letter to Dr. Martin Balin was posted on the agency's website Tuesday night. FDA spokeswoman Lisa Misevicz said nobody got sick, but the FDA's goal is to "prevent anyone from becoming sick in the future."

BOEING-DEFENSE CUTS

CHICAGO — Boeing is shaking up its shrinking defense division, putting some executives into new roles and reducing the number of managers. Boeing makes military helicopters and planes, in addition to commercial jets used by airlines. The commercial airplane business has been expanding. But the defense business is suffering because of tight government spending in the U.S. and other countries.

SPRINT-US CELLULAR

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Sprint is buying U.S. Cellular markets in the Midwest for $480 million to boost its network capacity in that region. Sprint Nextel Corp., the third-largest U.S. cellphone carrier, said Wednesday that it is buying spectrum and 585,000 customers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. That covers about 10 percent of U.S. Cellular's customer base and includes its key Chicago and St. Louis markets.

EARNS-KRAFT FOODS

NEW YORK — Kraft Foods is embracing the spirit of a startup and betting that innovation will help it grow, as the maker of household names such as Oscar Mayer, Miracle Whip and Velveeta looks to redefine itself after splitting from its more glamorous global snack foods business. The Northfield, Ill.-based company, which was established in 1903, said Wednesday that its net income rose 13 percent in the third quarter, as a mix of new products, increased advertising and productivity improvements lifted results. By Candice Choi.

AP Photo NYBZ129.

ALSO MOVING:

—MCLEAN COUNTY-RECORDER, from BLOOMINGTON: Officials in McLean County are moving forward with plans to have the county clerk's office take over the functions now held by the recorder's office.

—KIRK-STROKE, from HIGHWOOD: U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is setting his priorities for his return to Washington. Kirk tells WLS that banning sewage dumping in the Great Lakes will be his priority for this Congress.

—STRANDED IN MIDEAST, from CHICAGO: A former Islamic charity director from suburban Chicago has been removed from the U.S. government's "specially designated terrorist" list.

—FORT KASKASKIA-FIRE, from ELLIS GROVE: Two groups are working to raise money to rebuild a World War II-era picnic shelter destroyed by fire at a historic southwestern Illinois site.

—MADISON-SHOOTING DEATH, from EAST ST. LOUIS: Two men are jailed after being accused in a southwestern Illinois shooting that killed a 23-year-old East St. Louis man.

—NATIONAL GUARD-SANDY RECOVERY, from SPRINGFIELD: The former director of the Illinois State Military Museum is headed to New Jersey to help the National Guard in that state clean up and preserve military artifacts damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

—ILLINOIS-BIRD HOARDING, from AURORA: Misdemeanor animal hoarding charges have been filed against an Aurora man whose home was filled with more than 400 birds.

SPORTS:

FBN-BEARS-GETTING OFFENSIVE

LAKE FOREST — The Chicago Bears envisioned an explosive offense. They'll try to get it in gear against a dominant defense that's being a bit overshadowed this week by some Monsters of the Midway when the Houston Texans visit Soldier Field. By Andrew Seligman.

WITH:

—SOC-FIRE-FRIEDRICH, from CHICAGO: The Chicago Fire have re-signed German defender Arne Friedrich.

ILLINOIS SPOTLIGHT: LATINOS IN MCLEAN COUNTY

BLOOMINGTON — Pedro Chavez was 18 when he left his home in Mexico in 1910 and walked 1,000 miles to El Paso, Texas, in search of a better life. His country was going through a revolution while the United States offered the promise of jobs building a railroad line. "There were posters (in Mexico) encouraging workers to come to work on the railroad," said Mary Trunnell, Chavez's granddaughter. Once in the U.S., Chavez traveled to Kansas, where he met and married Graciana Salazar, and then followed a railroad job to Chenoa in northeast McLean County. The couple later moved to Bloomington to raise their six children (one child died at birth). By Mary Ann Ford. The (Bloomington) Pantagraph.

AP Photos ILBLO501-502.

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