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This Hour: Latest Illinois news, sports, business and entertainment

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Medical examiner IDs man in Chicago work shooting

CHICAGO (AP) - The local medical examiner has identified the man accused of shooting and wounding his boss before fatally shooting himself inside a Chicago high-rise office building.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's office identified the man Thursday as 60-year-old Anthony DeFrances.

Police say a demoted worker pulled a gun after entering a 17th-floor office to meet with his company's CEO. Police say there was a struggle, and the CEO was shot in his head and abdomen before the gunman committed suicide.

Police haven't released the men's names. But the website for technology firm ArrowStream, which is in the same building, lists an Anthony DeFrances as the chief information officer and Steven LaVoie as its CEO.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital says a 54-year-old man named Steven Lavoie is in critical condition.


Man accused of putting needles in packaged meat

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - Federal prosecutors are accusing an Illinois man of inserting sewing needles into packaged ground beef for more than a year at a supermarket in his hometown.

Sixty-eight-year-old Ronald Avers of Belleville was charged Wednesday with seven felony counts of tampering with consumer products.

The FBI alleges in court filings that a Shop 'n Save grocery store reported on July 9 at least seven cases since May of last year in which sewing needles were found in packaged meat products.

The criminal complaint alleges one customer found a needle in her mouth while eating and another reported being stuck in the hand. Other customers said they found needles in the meat they bought but were not injured.

A message left with Avers' federal public defender wasn't returned.

Avers remained jailed Thursday.


Jefferson's aide named replacement in Ill. House

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - Winnebago County Democrats have named a replacement for state Rep. Chuck Jefferson, who resigned.

The Rockford Register Star reported Thursday that Jefferson's former chief of staff, Litesa Wallace, won the nod among 11 candidates.

The 36-year-old single mother has a background in education and human services. The Democrat plans to campaign despite having no opponent on the November ballot.

Jefferson, a House member since 2001, resigned July 1. The 69-year-old said he needed to focus on his health.

Wallace says she backs Gov. Pat Quinn's proposal to raise the minimum wage in Illinois to $10 an hour. She also supports a bill in the state Senate that would alter the way state funding for schools is distributed.

The 67th District covers most of the northern Illinois city of Rockford.


Rauner says he'll be 'champion' for Ill. farmers

LINCOLN, Ill. (AP) - Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur) says a coalition of supporters from Illinois' agricultural community is backing his bid to unseat Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

Rauner stopped Thursday at a farm in the central Illinois community of Lincoln. The Winnetka businessman says he will be "a champion" for Illinois agriculture. He says he'll reduce regulatory burdens on farmers and travel the world on his own dime to promote Illinois products.

Len Corzine is a farmer and a co-chairman of Rauner's agriculture coalition. He says: "Family farms like ours need new leadership in Springfield."

But Quinn spokeswoman Izabela Miltko says farmers "know a pig in a poke when they see one."

She says under Quinn, Illinois has been a national leader in soybean and corn production and agriculture exports.


Driver's license site in Belvidere faces eviction

BELVIDERE, Ill. (AP) - A driver's license office in the northern Illinois city of Belvidere soon may be bounced because the agency hasn't paid the rent for the past year and a month.

The Rockford Register Star says the office run through the Illinois Secretary of State's Office is facing eviction over the unspecified amount of overdue rent.

A spokesman for that office, Dave Druker, says the state wants to pay the building's owners but want them to first extend the lease, but the landlords won't sign a rental contract.

Diana Toft and her husband own the building that's been rented to the state for 15 years. She says the couple doesn't agree with the lease the state has presented.

Toft says the state's monthly rental payments have been inconsistent since 2009.


'American Idol' to have auditions at state fair

SPRINGFEILD, Ill. (AP) - Officials say the popular television talent-search program "American Idol" will conduct open auditions at the Illinois State Fair next week.

State Fair manager Amy Bliefnick (BLEEF'-nik) told reporters Thursday that the Fox television show will have open calls Aug. 8th and 9th at the entrance to the carnival midway.

Illinois officials also unveiled plans for the annual agricultural extravaganza at the fairgrounds in Springfield.

Other firsts include a "Golden Abe" awards program for food vendors. That's designed to encourage new, creative culinary delights from the fried-on-a-stick crowd.

The theme of this year's fair is "Making Memories." Featured at the fair this year will be the family of Larry Moffett, eastern Illinois cattle breeders who have shown their stock at the expo for more than 60 consecutive years.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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