State cuts blamed for falling Springfield hotel occupancy

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The impact of Illinois' budget impasse has reached Springfield's hotel industry, which is reporting a four-year low in bookings.

Hotel industry officials say daily revenue and occupancy last year of the 4,000 hotel rooms in the Springfield market are expected to decline 3 percent to 5 percent, pending figures from December.

$1 billion deal to help modernize Chicago transit lines

CHICAGO (AP) — Officials say a $1 billion funding agreement with the federal government will help modernize Chicago's Red and Purple lines as part of a public transit construction project to create an estimated 6,000 jobs.

Plans for new Reagan statue stall after mayor's death

DIXON (AP) — A plan to erect a statute of President Ronald Reagan as a young lifeguard is on hold in his hometown.

The Chicago Tribune reports ( ) Dixon Mayor Jim Burke was leading the effort to place a statue along the Rock River. But Burke died in February, and the project has stalled.

Springfield businessman faces fraud charges

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Springfield man has appeared in court on allegations that he cheated Medicaid by filing false claims through a company that supplies incontinence products.

Ex-Mitsubishi plant now owned by Rivian Automotive

NORMAL (AP) — Rivian Automotive has completed its purchase of the former Mitsubishi plant in the central Illinois city of Normal, where it plans to manufacture electric vehicles.

4 charged in Facebook Live attack to appear in court

CHICAGO (AP) — The two 18-year-old men had been schoolmates, police say. After meeting at McDonald's, they spent two days together, driving around visiting friends. Then a pretend fight escalated into a brutal beating of one of the men, a mentally disabled teenager, in an attack that stirred racial tensions and outrage after being broadcast on Facebook Live.

30 from Illinois National Guard back from Afghanistan

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — About 30 Illinois Army National Guard members who served in Afghanistan during the past year have returned home during the past few weeks.

Officials say members of the 233rd Military Police Company based in Springfield came home after completing a post-mobilization program at Fort Bliss, Texas.

Trial delayed for man accused in quadruple murder case

ROCKFORD (AP) — The trial of a northern Illinois man accused in the shooting deaths of four people has been pushed back to April.

Calvin Carter has pleaded not guilty in the December 2014 deaths of 24-year-old Martia Flint, 24-year-old Demontae Rhodes, 6-year-old Tyrone Smith III and 4-year-old Tobias Smith.

Charges coming in Chicago beating aired on Facebook

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police don't believe a man beaten in an assault broadcast live on Facebook was targeted because he was white despite profanities made by the accused assailants about white people and President-elect Donald Trump, a police spokesman said Thursday.

Gov. Rauner at Clinton High School

Gov. Bruce Rauner visited Clinton High School Wednesday to sign the Future Energy Jobs bill — legislation that keeps the Clinton nuclear power plant open for at least 10 more years.