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ILLINOIS ELECTION-CONCEAL CARRY
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - With most voters focused on the economy or health care when they vote on Tuesday, some in Illinois will get a chance to send a message about gun control. Gun-rights advocates in at least nine mostly rural counties have placed measures on ballots asking voters if they want Illinois to allow its residents to carry concealed weapons. Currently, it is the last U.S. state where it's entirely illegal. The measures are non-binding, since no local law can override state law. But advocates hope the votes help build pressure on lawmakers to support so-called "concealed carry," an issue that resonates in much of Illinois, and highlights the divide between Chicago's powerful anti-gun forces and the rest of the state. By David Mercer.
AP Photos: CX301-303.
NAPERVILLE, Ill. - More than 100 students and parents held a candlelight vigil for a 5-year-old girl found stabbed to death along with a 7-year-old boy in suburban Chicago. The vigil was Friday night with members of Brookdale Elementary School in Naperville, where Olivia Dworakowski was a student. The girl was found on a bed and 7-year-old Justin Plackowska on the floor nearby.
CHICAGO - Chicago fire officials said Saturday that they're investigating a blaze that left a firefighter dead. Capt. Herbert Johnson died Friday in the house fire on Chicago's South Side, suffering second and third-degree burns. Officials say it's possible he was hit by a flashover of flames. Two cross memorials already were outside the home on Saturday. The 54-year-old father of three had been on the Chicago Fire Department for more than 30 years. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called Johnson a "larger than life person."
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ILLINOIS US HOUSE-8TH DISTRICT
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS - Illinois' most hotly contested congressional territory could scarcely have been designed better for Tammy Duckworth. Her fellow Democrats in the Legislature had someone like her in mind when they drew up her suburban Chicago district to be majority Democrat. The district includes some heavily immigrant, Latino and Asian communities where her life story should play well: Biracial, grew up in Thailand in a military family, served and badly wounded in Iraq, and worked for the state and federal veterans affairs departments. But with less than a week before Election Day, Duckworth is still battling it out with incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, an outspoken tea party hero who only reluctantly decided he should seek re-election in his radically different district. Polls show her leading, but Walsh still has the backing of loyal admirers who appreciate his unapologetically brash style, which contrasts sharply with Duckworth's low-key approach. By Sophia Tareen.
AP Photos CX401-402.
-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE-REJECTED, from CHICAGO: A judge in Chicago has ruled against an Illinois man who filed a lawsuit accusing officials of violating his rights by refusing to put his name on the presidential ballot after he fell short of the 25,000 petition signatures required.
-PEORIA-STEAKHOUSE SICKNESS, from PEORIA: Dozens of people have gotten sick after eating at a banquet this week at a Peoria steakhouse.
-SUPERSTORM-ILLINOIS ROADS, from SPRINGFIELD: Illinois transportation officials are allowing larger loads on state roads to help with emergency relief after Hurricane Sandy.
-ROCKFORD-DOUBLE HOMICIDE, from ROCKFORD: The coroner in Winnebago County says two men found dead in a Rockford home died from multiple gunshot wounds.
-U OF ILLINOIS-RESEARCH CENTER, from CHAMPAIGN: A research center that will be based at the University of Illinois has been awarded $30 million over the next five years.
-U OF ILLINOIS-SOLAR ENERGY, from CHAMPAIGN: The University of Illinois plans to build a solar-energy complex that could eventually supply about 2 percent of the campus' power.
-CHICKEN GIVE AWAY, from CHICAGO: A south-side Chicago church will give out frozen chickens to needy families Saturday.
-CHICAGO-SKATING PARKS, from CHICAGO: The Chicago Park District plans to open its outdoor ice rinks on Nov. 23 - the day after
Thanksgiving - if the weather cooperates. Skating season runs through Feb. 24 at most of the rinks.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Jay Cutler wanted to stick around Music City after leaving Vanderbilt for the NFL, and he worked out for the hometown Tennessee Titans a few times even while suspecting owner Bud Adams wanted to draft Vince Young all along. Now Young is gone from Tennessee, and the Titans had to use another first-round pick on a quarterback since that 2006 draft. Cutler holds no grudges as he brings the high-flying Chicago Bears to town Sunday to play the Titans in his first regular-season game in Nashville, just a couple miles from where he played in college. By Teresa M. Walker.
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CHICAGO - The Chicago Bulls look to make it three straight wins without the injured Derrick Rose to start the season when they meet the New Orleans Hornets. They got 19 points each from Richard Hamilton and Carlos Boozer in a lopsided win over Cleveland on Friday. The Hornets lost by two to Utah on Friday and played the second half without No. 1 pick Anthony Davis after he took an inadvertent elbow to the temple from fellow rookie and teammate Austin Rivers in the second quarter. 7 p.m. CT. By Andrew Seligman.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - No. 6 Ohio State hosts struggling Illinois, looking to clinch a share of the title in its Big Ten division and can keep alive any flickering hopes of being the last unbeaten standing when the final poll votes are cast. 2:30 p.m. CT. By Rusty Miller.
Eds: With hometown lead on losing team.
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CLINTON - For the first decade of his post-college life, Clinton native Joseph Spencer worked as a sports reporter and copy editor and didn't put word one of any creative writing project on paper. Outside of high school English courses, he never had written so much as a short story. But after a few years of working a new job as a 911 emergency communications center supervisor, he found the kernel of a story had emerged in his mind and wouldn't go away. "It sounds weird to say, 'One day, I just sat down and wrote a book,' but that's kind of what happened," said Spencer, who also worked briefly as a sports copy editor for the Herald & Review. "Of course, it took quite a bit longer than a day, but I had never done anything like it before. I just had a burning desire to write a novel, so I started building off a scene that I had in my head and kept building from there." By Jim Vorel. (Decatur) Herald & Review.
AP Photos ILDEC301-302.
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS - He was a national figure - a congressman, U.S. senator, three-time presidential candidate and decorated bomber pilot who championed peace and an end to hunger. But before becoming widely known as a liberal Democrat, George McGovern spent a brief period in a resort area near Mundelein crafting sermons and tending to a modest congregation. As a student pastor at Diamond Lake Community Methodist Church for parts of 1946 and 1947, McGovern early on demonstrated a knack for engaging and connecting with others. "He was a great guy," recalled Marilyn Gillies, who was 12 at the time. Her family joined the congregation in 1938 and would remain members until the church dissolved in late 2004. "I never, ever heard anybody say they didn't like him." By Mick Zawisiak. (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald.
AP Photos ILARL301-303.