Illinois starts 2nd year of private school scholarships

ROCKFORD (AP) — Illinois' taxpayer-funded private school scholarship program is beginning its second year, though the new governor has criticized the initiative.

The Rockford Register Star reports that the second year of the Empower Illinois program began Tuesday. The program's first year ran into technical issues after the online registration system shut down following high demand.

Up to 30 dogs killed in fire at Illinois kennel

WEST CHICAGO (AP) — As many as 30 dogs have died in a fire at a suburban Chicago kennel. About two dozen dogs were rescued.

Authorities say a sheriff's deputy on patrol spotted the fire around 5:30 a.m. Monday at D&D Kennels near West Chicago. When firefighters arrived they found flames shooting out of the second-floor windows of the two-story building.

Report: Black motorists stopped, searched more than others

CHICAGO (AP) — A report by the American Civil Liberties Union says African-American motorists in Illinois are more likely than others to be stopped and searched for routine traffic violations.

Prosecutors seek more time to indict Chicago alderman

CHICAGO (AP) — Federal prosecutors have asked a judge for more time to indict a Chicago alderman accused of attempting to extort two local businessmen.

Probation revoked, sex offender sent to prison

SYCAMORE (AP) — A 22-year-old northern Illinois man has had his probation revoked and must serve out a five-year prison sentence after failing to register as a sex offender.

The (DeKalb) Daily Chronicle reports that 22-year-old Cody P. Lynch, of Sycamore, was charged with rape of a 13-year-old girl in 2015 and pleaded guilty the next year to aggravated criminal sex abuse.

Pritzker takes oath as Illinois' new governor

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Billionaire J.B. Pritzker took the oath Monday as Illinois governor, giving Democrats nearly unprecedented power at the Statehouse after four years of divided government only worsened the economic woes of a state billions of dollars in debt.

11-year-old boy rescued from icy retention pond

NAPERVILLE (AP) — First responders rescued an 11-year-old boy who fell through an icy suburban Chicago retention pond.

Gunman to be sentenced in honor student's killing

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago man faces decades in prison for fatally shooting a 15-year-old honor student a week after she performed at then-President Barack Obama's inauguration festivities in 2013.

Tom Kacich | Reps. Davis, Kinzinger crossed aisle versus shutdown

Two Illinois Republican congressmen last week joined with Democrats to pass spending bills to reopen parts of the federal government.

Chicago saw record 57.6 million visitors in 2018

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago set a new tourism record last year, attracting more than 57.6 million visitors during 2018.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the new numbers Friday morning, saying the increased number of visitors has meant more jobs and economic opportunities for the city. Chicago tourism-related employment was estimated at more than 150,000 jobs last year, up 1.2 percent.