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AP-IL--Illinois Weekend Digest, IL

AP-Illinois stories for the weekend of March 24-25. Members using Exchange stories should retain the bylines and newspaper credit lines. If you have questions, please contact the AP-Illinois desk in Chicago at 312-781-0500 or




STERLING, Ill. — Suzy Shortbread, Penelope Pringles, Francis Frogs and others invite you along as they wage an epic battle between dark and white magic in a struggle to control the lands of Morada. Teacher and self-published author Joplin James Crossland-Sell, 44, of Sterling, is releasing the first book in his young readers fantasy trilogy, "Tales from Mushroom Manor: The Sorceress Returns." By Gavin T. Jensen. Sauk Valley Media. SENT: 560 words, photos.


DECATUR, Ill. — Like many students, Millikin University junior Alicia Cunningham struggled as a freshman to fit in and feel comfortable in her new surroundings. The ladies of the Sister Circle quickly welcomed her, and it made a big difference, she said. Begun in 1996, Sister Circle's original focus was to help African-American women adjust to college life, but its mission grew over the years to accept any woman who needs support. By Donnette Beckett. (Decatur) Herald and Review. SENT: 520 words



QUINCY, Ill. — Quincy native Bob Havens, 87, has been on TV somewhere in the country every Saturday night for more than half a century. From playing jazz in the clubs on New Orleans' famed Bourbon Street to becoming a fixture on the Lawrence Welk Show, playing the trombone with Welk's band each week for a national audience, music and chance encounters drove Havens' career. By Matt Dutton. The Quincy Herald-Whig. SENT: 1,250 words, photos.


URBANA, Ill. — In four years assigned to a helicopter unit, Cpl. David Steinfels experienced a lot of hard landings, fast-roping off the "helos" with up to 100 pounds of gear when it wasn't safe enough to come down. He served in the Marine Corps infantry from 2011 to 2015, and received advanced medical and leadership training. Steinfels served in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. By Paul Wood. The (Champaign) News-Gazette. SENT: 480 words, photo.

DENVER (AP) — Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber each had a homer and four RBIs, and the Chicago Cubs rode a seven-run...
CHICAGO (AP) — Justin Verlander pitched six sparkling innings, Carlos Correa homered twice and the Houston Astros...
CHICAGO (AP) — White Sox reliever Danny Farquhar has been taken to a hospital after he passed out in the dugout...
CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago woman involved in a beating of a mentally disabled teen that was shown on Facebook Live...
PINCKNEYVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A southern Illinois man whose murder conviction was vacated has been sentenced to 26...