CHICAGO SCHOOL CLOSINGS-PROTESTS
Protesters to school closures storm meetings
CHICAGO (AP) - Protesters of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel's plan to close dozens of city schools have been removed from a school board meeting in Chicago and from the State Capitol in Springfield.
The Chicago Board of Education was discussing the issue today and planned to vote. About a dozen protesters were taken away from the meeting by security and Chicago police. Some linked arms and began singing, refusing to leave.
In Springfield, a handful of protesters blocked the entrance to the House, where lawmakers were meeting. An Illinois State Capitol Police spokesman says eight protesters were led away and agreed to leave the Capitol. There were no arrests.
Emanuel says the closures will help the district close a roughly $1 billion budget shortfall. But opponents say they'll create safety problems for students.
Illinois Senate approves sex education bill
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A plan to revamp sex education in Illinois' public schools that teaches about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases has cleared the state Senate.
Current state law says sex education should focus on abstinence as the "expected norm." Schools can opt out of teaching sex education altogether.
The bill senators approved today says sex education curriculum would still stress abstinence but include information on protection and sexually transmitted diseases. Districts would still have the option of not teaching sex education and parents could chose to opt out their children.
Senators voted 37 to 21. The House approved it last month and a spokeswoman says Gov. Pat Quinn supports it.
Opponents say it's an issue of losing local control and abstinence-only programs teach valuable principles.
DEADLY VAN CRASH-ILLINOIS
5 dead in Ill. van crash part of Christian group
VANDALIA, Ill. (AP) - Five Baltimore men killed when their van careened off of a southern Illinois freeway and overturned several times were members of a Christian ministry returning from a weeklong international conference in California.
Philip LaCrue of San Dimas, Calif.-based Victory Outreach International says the victims of Monday's wreck on Interstate 70 near Vandalia east of St. Louis took part in the Mighty Men of Valor 2013 event in Ontario, Calif.
The coroner of Illinois' Fayette County has identified the dead as 54-year-old Emerson Baldwin, 53-year-old Andrew Canada, 42-year-old Antonie Mitchell, 52-year-old Mark William and 29-year-old Thomas Coleman. The six others in the 15-passenger van were injured.
Illinois State Police aren't saying what may have caused the crash, citing their ongoing investigation.
Doctor: Beason attack survivor's injuries severe
PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - The doctor who treated the lone survivor of an attack that killed five members of a central Illinois family says the young girl's injuries were severe and required extensive treatment.
Dr. Channing Petra said 1 of Tabitha Gee's ears was almost severed in the 2009 attack. The doctor said the girl also had a skull fracture that caved deep into her brain.
Petra testified in the trial of Christopher Harris. He is charged with beating the girl's parents, Rick and Ruth Gee, and three other children to death.
Tabitha was 3 at the time of the attack in her family's home in the small town of Beason.
Harris admits killing an older child. But he claims he walked in as the teen boy killed his own family.
Defense: Personal attacks on Trump not evidence
CHICAGO (AP) - Donald Trump's attorney says lawyers for an 87-year-old who claims the "Apprentice" star cheated her resorted to personal attacks on Trump because of a weak case.
The comments came today as Trump's attorney delivered his closing at a civil trial focused on a condo deal at Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago.
Goldberg alleges Trump wooed her into buying condos by promising her a profit-sharing plan, then reneged after she committed to buying.
Goldberg attorney Shelly Kulwin said in his closing he was repulsed by Trump. He told jurors, "The thought of my grandma being in the same room with that guy. Yuck!"
But Trump attorney Stephen Novack said such personal attacks reveal an absence of evidence. He said Goldberg knew a contract stipulated the profit-sharing could be canceled.
Baby wallaroo goes missing in northern Illinois
KINGSTON, Ill. (AP) - A baby wallaroo has gone missing in northern Illinois.
Officials today asked anyone who sees the animal to call the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office or DeKalb County Animal Control. The Daily Chronicle reports the pet wallaroo is named Willow and she's 14-months-old. She's about 2-feet tall, gray and weighs between 15 and 20 pounds.
Willow belongs to a family from Kingston in DeKalb County. She disappeared from near their home on Tuesday.
Kingston is about 10 miles north of DeKalb.
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