'Moral character' gone from Ill. Senate gun carry
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Legislation in the Illinois Senate allowing people to carry concealed weapons no longer would require applicants to show they have "good moral character."
Senator Kwame Raoul (KWAH'-may rah-OOL') says the concession to gun-rights supporters who called the provision vague still isn't enough for approval. The Chicago Democrat called off a floor vote on the matter Friday before the Senate adjourned, postponing it until Monday.
A federal appeals court has ordered Illinois to dump its prohibition on concealed carry by June 9th. Illinois ban is the last remaining in the nation. The court ruled in December the ban is unconstitutional.
Raoul's plan initially required police issuing permits to determine applicants have "good moral character" and a "proper reason" to carry.
The "proper reason" requirement remains.
Karen Lewis re-elected teachers union president
CHICAGO (AP) - Karen Lewis says she and her slate of candidates have been re-elected to top offices of the Chicago Teachers Union.
Lewis, the union's president, said she and others running with her received about 80% of Friday's vote. About 25,000 union members were eligible to cast ballots in the race between Lewis, vice president Jesse Sharkey and opponents Tanya Saunders-Wolffe and Mark Ochoa.
Lewis led Chicago's teachers on a 7-day strike that kept more than 350,000 students out of school last year. It was Chicago's first teachers strike in 25 years.
In recent weeks, Lewis has harshly criticized plans to close dozens of schools that city and board of education officials say are underutilized.
The union has backed two lawsuits seeking an injunction that would block closure of 53 schools.
After Trump blasts 87-year-old, she takes stand
CHICAGO (AP) - An 87-year-old woman who sued Donald Trump in civil court for allegedly cheating her told jurors she invested with him because of his business reputation and celebrity.
Jacqueline Goldberg began testifying in Chicago on Friday, two days after Trump. He told reporters this week that Goldberg was trying to "rip me off."
Goldberg says Trump's representatives promised her profit sharing if she bought condos in the Trump International Hotel and Tower. But she says they withdrew the promise after the purchases. She says Trump's businesses successes gave her confidence to pursue the investment. She'd also remembered seeing him in a movie with actress Whoopi Goldberg. Goldberg also remembered small details from meetings with Trump's agent.
She's slated to continue testifying when the trial resumes Monday morning.
4 injured in Chicago elevator mishap
CHICAGO (AP) - Authorities say four people were injured when an elevator at a Chicago parking garage dropped five floors.
A fire department spokesman says the elevator fell from the 15th to the 10th floor, where it became stuck.
2 of the injured were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, with the other two sent to Advocate Illinois Masonic Center. All were reported in fair to serious, but stable, condition.
Officials say mechanics were on the scene to determine the cause of the mishap. Other elevators in the building on Chicago's North Side continued to operate.
Tinley Park man fit to stand trial in wife's death
TINLEY PARK, Ill. (AP) - A suburban Chicago man has been found mentally fit to stand trial on charges he beat his wife to death with a weightlifting curling bar.
Lawyers for 47-year-old Bahaa Sam and prosecutors accepted a psychological evaluation Thursday that found Sam is sane enough to go to trial. The Tinley Park man is charged with first-degree murder in the December 19th death of his wife, 38-year-old Nermeen Sam. The Herald-News in Joliet reports that Sam hit his wife more than ten times and left her to die. Authorities say the couple's 4-year-old son watched the beating and was splattered with blood.
He is being held in lieu of $5 million bail and is next due in court June 28th.
Expert: Blood linked to beating victims
PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois State Police expert says DNA tests show that blood found in a truck and on a shoe belonging to a man charged with killing five members of a southern Illinois family matches 2 of the victims.
DNA analyst William Frank testified Friday that blood in Christopher Harris' truck came from Rick Gee, and that blood found on Harris' shoe was from Gee's stepson, 14-year-old Dillen.
Harris is accused of killing them, along with Gee's wife and two other children in the family's home in Beason in 2009. Harris was once married to Gee's daughter.
Harris has said he killed Dillen after walking in on the boy as he killed his family. But Harris' brother testified that he admitted killing all five family members.
Aurora police find man drowned in retention pond
AURORA, Ill. (AP) - Police in Aurora say a 36-year-old man apparently drowned in a retention pond.
Police said Friday afternoon that a witness jogging by the pond saw the man in the water and notified authorities. Police say the man was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Police say they don't suspect foul play but that alcohol may have been a factor in the drowning.
The man's identity wasn't immediately released pending notification of family. An autopsy has been requested.
16 Illinois counties on request for flooding aid
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Governor Pat Quinn has asked for 16 more Illinois counties to receive federal aid after flooding last month.
Quinn announced his request on Friday. Previously 11 Illinois counties were deemed eligible for federal aid. Counties receiving federal aid are eligible for grants and loans to assist with flood-related losses.
Quinn's Friday request includes Bureau, Crawford, Henderson, Knox, Livingston, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, Warren and Woodford counties.
The governor says he'll continue to request disaster assistance as damage assessments are done throughout the state.
Police ID man killed in Duluth bike crash
DULUTH, Minn. (AP) - Duluth police have released the name of a 36-year-old man who died after crashing his bicycle into a pole.
Officers saw Koantonio Dean Farley of Duluth riding his bicycle at a high rate of speed in downtown Duluth Wednesday. Police say Farley had crossed the street and was trying to go up a ramp when he hit a pole.
The officers provided first aid and the cyclist was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he later died.
Police say Farley was not wearing a helmet. He originally was from the Chicago area.
Bears, Kyle Long agree to deal
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - The Chicago Bears and first-round draft pick Kyle Long agreed to a 4-year contract Friday.
The deal includes a fifth-year option. It also puts all of the Bears' picks under contract.
A 6-foot-6, 313-pound lineman from Oregon, Long was taken with the 20th pick as the Bears try to beef up a line that ranked among the worst in recent years and give Jay Cutler the protection he needs.
Chicago also has added Pro Bowl left tackle Jermon Bushrod from New Orleans and guard Matt Slauson from the New York Jets this offseason.
Long is the son of former Raiders star Howie Long and brother of St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long.
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