The Russia Investigations: More Pleas, More Charges — Any More Preparation?

This week in the Russia investigations: More newcomers join Mueller's roll of honor; the feds meet with state officials on election security; and Washington starts thinking about considering some potential planning to defend the 2018 midterms. Guilty Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller broke his own record this week for guilty pleas. On Tuesday, Dutch attorney Alex van der Zwaan appeared in federal court and admitted he had lied to investigators about his contacts with Donald...

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scottdrury.org

An appellate court has ruled that Democratic attorney general candidate Scott Drury can remain on ballots for the March 20 primary.

The court ruled Friday. A judge had previously determined that the state legislator running for statewide office couldn't be on the ballot over paperwork issues. Drury immediately appealed.

The case is one reason that early voting has been delayed in parts of the state with election officials awaiting a final decision before they print ballots. 

Senior Airman Areca T. Wilson/ U.S. Air Force

Health officials across the country report flu cases are starting to match numbers seen from the H1N1 outbreak nearly a decade ago.

File photo by Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy said this week House Speaker Michael Madigan should step down as head of the Democratic Party at least temporarily, while state Sen. Daniel Biss said he hopes Madigan’s firing of the aide accused of harassment isn’t just political damage control. Frontrunner J.B. Pritzker has been more tentative in his response. 

The speaker fired Kevin Quinn earlier this week after Madigan’s lawyer spent three months investigating accusations that Quinn harassed a campaign staffer.     

WNIJ continues to review important races in the upcoming Illinois Primary Election on March 20.  In this Friday Forum, we take a look at both the 14th Illinois Congressional District, where there is a primary competition, and the 17th District, where there isn’t.

President Trump expressed grief Thursday over the school shooting in Florida and sought to comfort victims and their families in his first public address since the mass killing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 people dead and many others injured.

"To every parent, teacher and child who is hurting so badly, we are here for you whatever you need, whatever we can do to ease your pain," he said.

Sessions from Studio A - The Vince Chiarelli Band

Feb 15, 2018
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

WNIJ’s Sessions from Studio A recently asked The Vince Chiarelli Band to stop by and give us a taste of some traditional Italian-American styled music. This Rockford-based group is connected through their Sicilian ancestry and influences, while also finding themselves exploring and incorporating increasing amounts of Latin elements. The band includes Vince Chiarelli's vocal and guitar stylings, Frank Calvagna filling out melodies on lead guitar, Tony Chiarelli playing bass guitar and occasionally Tim Austin on the drums.

CREDIT CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT

A judge has denied bond for a man with a long criminal history who is charged in the fatal shooting of a Chicago police commander.

 

A Cook County courtroom was filled with police officers at 44-year-old Shomari Legghette's hearing Thursday, including Superintendent Eddie Johnson. Legghette wore sweatpants and a Chicago Bears shirt along with shackles around his wrist and ankles. Legghette is charged with first-degree murder, felon in possession of a firearm and possession of narcotics in the death of Cmdr. Paul Bauer.

Renovations Are In The Final Stages At Rockford's Cliffbreakers

Feb 15, 2018

The banquet and meeting facilities at the Cliffbreakers Riverside Hotel and Conference Center are open for business again.

The 30,000 square feet of events space was renovated as part of a $2.5 million overhaul of the complex along the Rock River in the north end of Rockford. The facility’s management group said it was already accepting reservations for 2018.

Drug Enforcement Administration

A northern Illinois coroner is growing increasingly worried about the breakdown of drugs related to overdose deaths.

According to Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz, 124 deaths were attributed to drug overdose last year compared with 96 in 2016.

Of those, he says there was a noticeable increase in deaths involving fentanyl with seven in 2016 and 63 in 2017. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid which the Drug Enforcement Administration says is 50 times more potent than heroin.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

Court documents say the suspect in the shootings at a South Florida high school has confessed to investigators. Nikolas Cruz, 19, has been booked on 17 charges of premeditated murder at Broward County's Main Jail in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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News From NPR

In a new biopic from filmmaker Raoul Peck, the central character is a 19th century revolutionary who'd probably have plenty to say about the 21st century.

Peck's film, The Young Karl Marx, centers on the German philosopher, journalist and economist famously known for championing an economic system based entirely on uniform distribution of wealth. In 1848, Marx penned his most famous work, The Communist Manifesto.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's not called a snail's pace for nothing, but just how slow is too slow for the mollusk to move? According to a pub in England, hibernation is where they draw the line.

The Dartmoor Union Inn in Devon was promoting a snail racing championship for Saturday, promising guests, "each thrilling race will last about 4 minutes with guests able to bet on their favourite snail."

Proceeds would go toward city emergency services.

Except it's so cold in the United Kingdom that even the snails are hunkering down.

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