BODY IN LAKE
Chicago Police pull man's body from Lake Michigan
CHICAGO (AP) - The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office has identified a body pulled from Lake Michigan as that of a University of Chicago student who went missing a week ago.
The body of 20-year-old Austin Hudson-LaPore was recovered from the lake early Wednesday by Chicago police after the body was spotted by a fisherman. The third-year student was last seen around 8:30 p.m. on June 12 at his apartment near the university's campus.
Family members and friends have said they believe Hudson-LaPore went to Lake Michigan's shore to observe storms that swept the area the day he disappeared. He had taken his final exams the same day.
Authorities have yet to announce a cause of Hudson-LaPore's death.
ILLINOIS CONGRESSMAN-SUPPORTER EMAIL
Davis disavows email calling rival 'street walker'
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Republican Congressman Rodney Davis is distancing himself from a GOP supporter who made harsh remarks about a Davis challenger.
An email reportedly from Montgomery County GOP Chairman Joe Allen called Erika Harold of Urbana a "street walker" and "love child" of Democrats. It predicted she will be hired by a Chicago law firm meeting a minority-hiring quota.
Harold is bi-racial, a former Miss America and a Harvard law school graduate. The Republican is challenging Davis in next year's primary.
Davis spokesman Andrew Flach says the email was "misguided and wrong." It was published on a website maintained by a former GOP official Doug Ibendahl, who called it "racist."
Allen told The News-Gazette in Champaign what he wrote "was completely wrong." Harold's campaign didn't respond to calls or emails.
STATE WORKERS CONTRACT-FUNDING
APNewsBreak: Ill. state workers to see pay raises
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Associated Press has learned that Gov. Pat Quinn's administration will begin July 1 to pay union workers at the contractual wage rate called for in 2011.
There will also be some money for back wages owed, but not all of it.
An email from the executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Wednesday says employees in six government agencies will get at least 7.25% more in the new fiscal year.
That's the level they would have been at if Quinn had not reneged on raises in 2011 and 2012. AFSCME (AFSK'-mee) sued and won.
AFSCME director Henry Bayer (BAYR') says a legislative request for $140 million in back pay would cover all the shortfall. But the General Assembly didn't act on it.
CHICAGO SCHOOL CLOSINGS
Last day for some Chicago schools slated to close
CHICAGO (AP) - It is the last day of class for more than two dozen Chicago public schools that are closing their doors for the last time.
Wednesday was the last day of class for about a third of the city's schools. Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman Becky Carroll says that among those are 28 of the 50 schools and programs that the Board of Education voted last month to close. Classes for the rest of the city's schools will end next week.
At Lafayette Elementary School on the city's West Side, fifth grader Amy Romero said goodbye to the only elementary school she's ever attended. She says she is upset about her school closing and worried about how she will fit in at her new school.
Quinn sets July 9 deadline for pension reform deal
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has set a July 9 deadline for a bipartisan committee to come up with a solution for Illinois' pension crisis.
The Chicago Democrat says lawmakers must move quickly to address the $97 billion unfunded pension liability. He says lawmakers' lack of action is hurting the state's economy.
The Legislature voted Wednesday to form the conference committee in an attempt to end a stalemate between the House and Senate.
Lawmakers expressed skepticism that a compromise can be reached by Quinn's deadline. They say it takes time to crunch the numbers on various proposals.
But Quinn says it's sufficient time and there should be "no excuses."
It's not the first deadline Quinn has set for lawmakers to address the problem.
Legislators have missed every prior deadline he's set.
Aurora bookkeeper admits stealing nearly $300,000
AURORA, Ill. (AP) - An Aurora man has pleaded guilty to stealing nearly $300,000 from a suburban Chicago staffing and consulting firm where he worked as a bookkeeper.
The Daily Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1au9vN0) that 32-year-old Shaun Horan entered the plea on Wednesday to a felony theft charge. He worked at Resource 1 in Oak Brook. Prosecutors say Horan would write himself unauthorized checks and use a CEO signature stamp to fill them out. He altered paperwork to make it look like someone else received the money. Prosecutors say Horan used the money for a car and a down payment on a house.
Police investigated after a co-worker noticed a questionable $2,500 check.
Horan faces up to 15 years in prison. But his defense attorney, Rick Kayne, says he is a good candidate for probation.
EAST AURORA SCHOOLS-BULLYING
East Aurora schools enter into federal agreement
AURORA, Ill. (AP) - The East Aurora School Board will enter into an agreement with the federal government after two students filed complaints alleging they were bullied.
The Beacon-News in Aurora reports (http://bit.ly/19iOqne) the board unanimously voted to enter into the agreement on Monday. The agreement will require the district to develop more detailed anti-discrimination and harassment policies. It also must examine the district's student conduct code and issue reports to the federal government.
Two female students filed complaints earlier this year with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. They said they were bullied because of their race at two East Aurora middle schools. The students said staff did not do enough to stop the bullying.
A district lawyer says there already are policies and procedures to prevent discrimination and harassment.
Metropolis church destroyed for 2nd time in a year
METROPOLIS, Ill. (AP) - A southern Illinois congregation says they plan to rebuild - again - after their church was destroyed for a second time in 13 months.
The 159-year-old Upper Salem Baptist Church in Metropolis burned down in May 2012. After that, the congregation merged with another church and became Weaver Creek Baptist. Together, congregants were working to build a new church, but that building was destroyed by strong winds on Monday.
Former Upper Salem Pastor Paul McCormick tells WSIL-TV that the church will rebuild again. He says they'll "keep going as long as the Lord wants us here."
The new church about 65% finished and McCormick says builders had just put up rafters.
The building wasn't insured. The church is accepting donations to pay for another round of construction.
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