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    Central Illinois police fatally shot a person as officers were responding to an alert sent by gunshot detection technology. The Peoria Police Department says officers had responded to a ShotSpotter alert about 10:10 p.m. CDT Monday when “upon arrival, officers were involved in a shooting with one person.” Police said that person was pronounced dead at the scene. No additional details of the shooting were immediately provided by police, including what prompted the shooting. Police said the shooting victim’s name and manner and cause of death will be released by the Peoria County Coroner. Illinois State Police are investigating the shooting.

      A judge has thrown out eight more convictions tied to a notorious former Chicago police sergeant who regularly framed people for drug crimes they didn’t commit. Cook County Judge Erica Reddick vacated the convictions and sentences for the men in response to motions filed jointly by their attorneys and the Cook County State’s Attorney Office. State's Attorney Kim Foxx says it brings to 237 the number of vacated convictions in recent years linked to former Sgt. Ronald Watts and his unit. Watts led a team that for nearly a decade planted drugs or falsely accused residents of a public housing complex, others who were visiting or simply happened to be in the area.

        Chicago police say an officer fatally shot a man early Sunday following a foot chase with a suspect who had reportedly pointed a gun at another person. Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown says the man, believed to be in his 20s, was shot by an officer in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood about 5:05 a.m. CDT. Chicago Fire Department officials say the man later died at a hospital. Brown says that before shooting, a person told two officers on parole that someone had pointed a gun at them. Officers chased that suspect on foot but temporarily lost sight of him before one officer opened fire, fatally wounding the man.

          Police in northern Nevada say thousands of people in hundreds of cars took over parking lots and intersections Friday night, performing stunts and leading to crashes and arrests. Police say the event advertised on social media brought people to Reno and Sparks from as far away as San Francisco and Portland, Oregon. The disturbances started late Friday with several hundred cars in the parking lot of a still-open Walmart store. Drivers fled police and met up again at several intersections and industrial parks into Saturday morning. A dozen people were arrested, 14 cars impounded and 33 people were issued citations.

            This week, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Zion, Illinois, opened its doors to the city's first mosque. Members view this as a significant event because of their faith's century-old connection to Zion's founder and faith healer John Alexander Dowie. The evangelist envisioned Zion as a Christian theocracy and made hostile remarks about Muslims. This drew the ire of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community's founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The Ahmadis view Zion as the site of a holy miracle where their founder defended Islam and defeated Dowie in a prayer duel that ended with the latter's death in 1907.  They have named the mosque Fath-e-Azeem, which means “a great victory” in Arabic.

              A northern Illinois man has died more than two weeks after a house explosion that also has killed his wife. The Winnebago County Coroner’s office says 66-year-old Alan Bawinkel died Friday. His wife, 60-year-old Bonnie Bawinkel, died Monday. Both Alan and Bonnie Bawinkel sustained thermal injuries in the Sept. 13 explosion at the couple’s home in Freeport, located about 110 miles northwest of Chicago. The cause of the explosion remains under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Stephenson County Sheriff’s Office.

              Chicago police say a 3-year-old boy was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting. They say the boy was riding in an SUV with his mother and three other children around 8:40 p.m. Friday on Chicago’s southwest side when someone in the rear seat of a car opened fire, striking the boy in the head. Police say the boy was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead hours later. No other injuries were reported. Police say no arrests have been made in the case.

              Rich Koz is keeping the grandly eccentric tradition of the horror movie host alive on MeTV’s “Svengoolie.” Koz will get a monthlong salute in October dubbed “Svengoolie’s Halloween BOOnanza.” The salute includes “Svengoolie Uncrypted,” described by Koz as a documentary-entertainment special about his career. It will air Saturday at 9 p.m. Eastern on the MeTV broadcast network. It will be preceded at 7 p.m. by the airing of “Trilogy of Terror,” the 1975 TV movie starring Karen Black that became a cult classic. On Sundays throughout October, MeTV will feature scary episodes from shows including “The Brady Bunch” and “Kolchak: The Night Stalker," with appearances by Svengooli.

              Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker warned that his Republican opponent is a far-right politician who would take the state backward while state Sen. Darren Bailey asked voters to consider whether the Democratic incumbent’s first term has improved their lives as the two candidates met for an online forum. Friday's event hosted by the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors largely focused on questions of public safety, economics and abortion rights that have already dominated the campaign for months. The Democrat is heavily favored in the race and spent millions on attacks against one of Bailey’s competitors in the June GOP primary election.

              A former suburban Chicago mayor in failing health is set to be released from federal prison just three months into a one-year sentence for taking $5,000 to help a red-light camera company. U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin on Thursday ordered former Crestwood Mayor Louis Presta’s release from Federal Medical Center-Kentucky in Lexington. A petition from Presta’s lawyers said his already poor health had declined rapidly since reporting to prison in late June. Presta, who is in his early 70s, will be under home confinement supervised by federal probation officers for the remainder of his sentence and must repay $70,000 in restitution. Presta pleaded guilty last November to official misconduct and other crimes.

              Parts of the Mississippi River are so low from weeks of drought that barge traffic is being limited at the worst possible time — as crop harvests begin. Some Mississippi River communities between St. Louis and New Orleans may see record low water levels in the coming days, including Caruthersville, Missouri, and Osceola, Arkansas. Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say that normally, tows are able to move 36 barges at a time. With the water level so low, shippers have voluntarily agreed to cut that to 25 barges. Corn and soybeans harvested in the early fall need to be moved, and barges are vital in getting the commodities from one place to another.

              Federal prosecutors say two former executives of a Missouri-based health nonprofit pleaded guilty for their roles in a corruption scheme that involved several Arkansas officials. Sixty-three-year-old Bontiea Bernedette Goss and her 66-year-old husband, Tommy Ray Goss, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy charges. They were executives at Springfield, Missouri-based Preferred Family Healthcare, which provided health-related services to five states. Prosecutors say the couple and others paid bribes and kickbacks to Arkansas lawmakers in exchange for legislation and other actions that helped the charity. The scheme involved millions of dollars and ensnared several Arkansas legislators and lobbyists since the investigation began.

              This Thanksgiving, your pumpkin pie might have a lower carbon footprint. Farmers in central Illinois who supply 85% of the world's canned pumpkin are adopting regenerative techniques to reduce emissions, attract bees and other pollinators and improve soil health. The effort is backed by Libby's, which is owned by Nestle. It's one of several big companies that have started regenerative farming programs in the last few years, including General Mills, PepsiCo and Walmart. Arohi Sharma, who studies regenerative farming for the Natural Resources Defense Council, says companies see drought and other impacts from climate change and know they must act.

              The Environmental Protection Agency says an Illinois company has agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle safety charges from an explosion that killed three welders at a Louisiana containerboard mill in 2017, and for other alleged safety violations. A news release Thursday said the blast at the Packaging Corporation of America plant in DeRidder launched a 100,000-gallon storage tank over a six-story building. The proposed settlement and charges against the company based in Lake Forest, Illinois, were filed Thursday in federal court in Lake Charles, Louisiana. As is common in agreements reached before charges are filed, the company does not admit any liability. A judge will decide whether to approve the settlement after a 45-day comment period.


              Officials say a northern Illinois woman has died about two weeks after she was seriously injured when her house exploded and caught fire. The Winnebago County Coroner’s Office says 60-year-old Bonnie Bawinkel of Freeport died Monday evening as a result of thermal injuries from the Sept. 13 explosion. Bawinkel and her husband, Al, were initially treated at a Freeport hospital before being airlifted to OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford. The Rockford Register Star reports that Al Bawinkel is in critical condition at the medical center. The cause of the explosion remains under investigation.

              A former Chicago police officer has been indicted on a federal civil rights charge for allegedly kidnapping and sexually abusing someone while on duty. Sixty-four-year-old James Sajdak is charged with one count of deprivation of rights under color of law, according to an indictment unsealed Wednesday in Chicago federal court. He pleaded not guilty during his arraignment. The charge is punishable by up to life in federal prison. Sajdak allegedly attacked the victim on March 5, 2019. WBBM-TV reports Sajdak and the city of Chicago also face a federal lawsuit from the incident.

              Several lawsuits in Illinois accuse gun-maker Smith & Wesson of illegally targeting young men at risk of violence with ads for firearms. Lawsuits filed Wednesday cite the 22-year-old gunman accused of opening fire on a July Fourth parade in suburban Chicago and killing seven people. The lawsuits are the latest bid by victims of mass shootings to hold gun manufacturers legally accountable. One survivor who is among those filing lawsuits in Lake County is Liz Turnipseed. She says she is determined to speak for those who did not survive mass shootings in the United States. Smith & Wesson is based in Springfield, Massachusetts.

              Members of U.S. congregations unite each week in prayer and worship, but that doesn’t mean they agree in the voting booth. In some houses of worship, these political divisions are becoming more pronounced as midterm election season heats up. That leaves clergy trying to keep the peace and urging congregation members to show respect to those with different views. A rabbi in Los Angeles says one member left the synagogue because the rabbi would not preach sermons criticizing Donald Trump. A Black pastor in Columbus, Ohio, says his congregation is bitterly divided over whether abortion should be legal.

              Chicago police have filed eight felony counts against a man who infiltrated a police facility while officers were undergoing a SWAT training exercise. Police say 47-year-old Donald Patrick of Waukegan was charged Tuesday with five counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer and three counts of burglary. He’s due in bond court Wednesday. It's not clear whether Patrick has an attorney who might comment on the charges. Police say Patrick grabbed at least two guns during the incident Monday before he was shot and wounded by an officer. Patrick was treated at a hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

              Police say a Chicago-area toddler has been hospitalized in critical condition after finding an unsecured gun and shooting himself in the head. Officers were called to a Joliet home around 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, found the boy inside and began efforts to save his life. Police say the boy was taken to a hospital. They say it appeared the child found the gun in a bedroom. The child’s mother was at the home at the time and is cooperating with investigators. No further details were immediately available.

              A former graduate student has been convicted of spying for the Chinese government. A federal jury in Chicago convicted 31-year-old Ji Chaoqun on Monday. He was accused of gathering information on scientists and engineers in the U.S. who had knowledge about aerospace technology and other technologies. The Chicago Tribune reports that jurors acquitted the Chinese national of two wire fraud counts alleging he lied to the U.S. Army when he applied to become a reservist in 2016. A sentencing date was not immediately set. Ji could face as many as 10 years in prison for his conviction for acting as an unregistered Chinese agent.

              Illinois' governor says the state’s relatively low jobless rate will help him keep his promise to eliminate debt in the state fund that pays unemployment benefits. Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Tuesday that he'll transfer $450 million from the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to pay down the federal loan. The loan was necessary when COVID-19 shut down businesses in 2020 and unemployment soared. New jobs and decreasing unemployment has eased pressure on the fund. The debt stands at $1.8 billion and Pritzker promises to eliminate it by year's end.

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