BC-IL--Illinois News Digest, IL

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Associated Press

Posted on January 21, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 21 at 3:30 PM

The supervisor is Carla K. Johnson.

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.

CLOSER LOOK-DEADBEAT ILLINOIS

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Despite repeated failures, Democrats again are considering a multibillion-dollar loan to pay down the state's backlog of past-due bills, now hovering at a near-record $9 billion. Republicans, led by State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, continue to resist the short-term loan idea as a way for Illinois to pay down stacks of invoices overdue by as much as four months to businesses, charities and local governments performing some of the state's most essential services. But an influential Senate Democrat, John Sullivan, is working on a borrowing proposal to re-introduce in this spring's legislative session. A House budget leader, Rep. Frank Mautino, said a loan would mean "tremendous" savings and should be part of upcoming budget negotiations with Gov. Pat Quinn. By Regina Garcia Cano.

AP Photos.

BOEING-FAA

DALLAS — After two separate and serious battery problems aboard Boeing 787s, it wasn't U.S. authorities who acted first to ground the plane. It was Japanese airlines. The unfolding saga of Chicago-based Boeing's highest-profile plane has raised new questions about federal oversight of aircraft makers and airlines. Some aviation experts question the ability of the Federal Aviation Administration to keep up with changes in the way planes are being made today — both the technological advances and the use of multiple suppliers from around the globe. Others question whether regulators are too cozy with aircraft manufacturers. Even as they announced a broad review of the 787 earlier this month, top U.S. transportation regulators stood side-by-side with a Boeing executive and declared the plane safe — saying that they would gladly fly in one. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood repeated his endorsement Wednesday. A few hours later, the FAA issued an emergency order grounding the planes. By AP Airlines Writer David Koenig.

AP Photos.

With:

BOEING-BATTERY FIRE: WASHINGTON — The battery that caught fire in a Japan Airlines Boeing 787 in Boston earlier this month was not overcharged, but government investigators said there could still be problems with wiring or other charging components. An examination of the flight data recorder indicated that the battery didn't exceed its designed voltage of 32 volts, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a statement.

ALSO MOVING:

— INAUGURAL PARADE-ILLINOIS, from CHICAGO: Illinois will be well represented during today's Inaugural Parade, with an official float honoring the birthplace of First Lady Michelle Obama.

— COOK COUNTY LAND BANK, from CHICAGO: Cook County has a new tool to help return vacant and abandoned properties to the tax rolls. The Cook County Board voted unanimously to create the Cook County Land Bank Authority.

— IMMIGRATION REFORM-DURBIN, from CHICAGO: Sen. Dick Durbin says the chances are good that the U.S. Senate will pass comprehensive immigration reform.

— COLD WEATHER DEATH-WISCONSIN, from ARGYLE, Wis.: This weekend's cold weather is believed to be a factor in the death of a 77-year-old Illinois woman.

— ILLINOIS PENSIONS-LAWMAKERS, from SPRINGFIELD, Ill.: Illinois' multibillion-dollar pension crisis has prompted a rising number of lawmakers to say they won't accept their legislative pension.

— BOAT BUILDER-JOBS, from NEW BERN, N.C. : Another 40 employees at the Hatteras and CABO Yachts plant in New Bern are losing their jobs. The company is owned by Brunswick Corp. of Lake Forest, Ill.

— EMANUEL GUN INVESTMENTS, from CHICAGO: Mayor Rahm Emanuel is urging mayors nationwide to follow Chicago's lead and sever ties with companies that make or sell assault weapons.

—PRISONER-EPILEPSY LAWSUIT, from CHICAGO: A federal jury has awarded $12 million in damages to an inmate at a northern Illinois prison who was left severely disabled by an epileptic seizure he suffered while behind bars.

—DALEY NEPHEW-TRIAL, from ROLLING MEADOWS: A nephew of former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has made his first appearance before a new judge on involuntary manslaughter charges.

—OBIT-MADISON 'AL' SELF, from LAWRENCE, Kan.: Madison "Al" Self, a Kansas native who donated more money to the University of Kansas than any other individual donor, died Sunday in Hinsdale, Ill., where he and his wife had lived since 1966.

SPORTS:

HKN--BLACKHAWKS-COYOTES

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Phoenix Coyotes unveil their first division title banner before their home opener against the Chicago Blackhawks in a rematch of last year's playoffs. Starts 8 p.m. MT. By John Marshall.

BBA-WHITE SOX-LINDSTROM

CHICAGO — A person familiar with the situation says the Chicago White Sox have agreed to a one-year contract with free agent reliever Matt Lindstrom.

BKC-T25-INDIANA-NORTHWESTERN

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) Cody Zeller could sense panic setting in. Then, just in time, Indiana regained its composure. Zeller scored 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and the No. 2 Hoosiers beat Northwestern 67-59 on Sunday. By Andrew Seligman.

BKC-T25-NORTHWESTERN

EVANSTON, Ill. — Reggie Hearn realizes his time is winding down. He also insists Northwestern still could reach the NCAA tournament for the first time. "We think we can do it," said Hearn, a senior. "We think we have the guys to do it." Beating No. 2 Indiana would have been a nice step. Instead, the Wildcats came up short. By Andrew Seligman.

ILLINOIS SPOTLIGHT

CLASSY CLASSROOMS

Walk into Dave McMorris' classroom, and you hardly know where to look first. His room at Parkside Junior High School in Normal has been called the "T.G.I. Friday of classrooms," an apt description of the space that includes an artificial tree, a student-signed bowling pin, patio lanterns, and a couch. It looks like a giant seek-and-find game with hundreds of unusual items that reflect the sixth-grade teacher's personality and interest in his students. "I always knew I wanted to have an inviting environment," said McMorris, who many students call "Mr. Mc." ''The rest kind of snowballed." By Phyllis Coulter, The (Bloomington) Pantagraph

AP Photo ILBLOXXXX.

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