Stories by Associated Press

Chicago Police, Fox Dispute Reports About Smollett Attack

In this May 20, 2016 file photo, actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the “Empire” FYC Event in Los Angeles. (Richard Shotwell / Invision / AP, File)

Chicago police say local media reports that allege the attack against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was a hoax are unconfirmed.

Illinois Set to Hike Minimum Wage to $15, Highest in Midwest

Illinois state Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, testifies before the Labor and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019 on his proposal to increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2025. (AP Photo / John O’Connor)

Illinois legislators moved quickly Thursday to deliver one of new Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s top campaign promises, a gradual hike in the statewide minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 an hour.

Lawsuit Means Chicago Obama Library Plan No Sure Thing

This illustration released on May 3, 2017 by the Obama Foundation shows plans for the proposed Obama Presidential Center with a museum, rear, in Jackson Park on Chicago's South Side. (Obama Foundation via AP, File)

Odds may still favor the eventual construction of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park, but it’s no longer a sure thing in the face of a formidable legal challenge by a parks advocacy group.

Police Questioning ‘Persons of Interest’ in Smollett Case

In this May 20, 2016 file photo, actor and singer Jussie Smollett attends the “Empire” FYC Event in Los Angeles. (Richard Shotwell / Invision / AP, File)

Detectives are interviewing two “persons of interest” who surveillance photos show were in the area of downtown Chicago where “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett said he was attacked last month, police said Thursday.

Theo Epstein: Joe Ricketts Emails Don’t Reflect Cubs’ Values

In this Feb. 14, 2012 file photo, online brokerage TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts speaks during a ceremonial unveiling of his portrait which will hang in company headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. (AP Photo / Nati Harnik, File)

“The emails were upsetting to read, and especially upsetting to think that some of our fans were put into a position where they had to consider their favorite team and some of those types of views,” Theo Epstein said Tuesday.

Smollett Says He Redacted Phone Files to Protect Privacy

In this May 14, 2018 file photo, Jussie Smollett, a cast member in the TV series “Empire,” attends the Fox Networks Group 2018 programming presentation after-party in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini / Invision / AP, File)

Actor Jussie Smollett says he redacted some information from his phone before giving it to Chicago police investigating a reported attack on the “Empire” actor in order to protect the privacy of contacts and people who are not relevant to the attack.

Analysis: $15 Minimum Wage No Windfall for Illinois Workers

In this Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019 photo, Laquesha Russell, a 36-year-old home health care worker who makes $10.78 an hour, speaks during an interview as she shops for groceries for her four children in Springfield, Illinois. (AP Photo / John O’Connor)

Illinois is poised to join Washington, D.C., and at least four other states with a $15-an-hour minimum by 2025, an 82-percent spike in current base pay. But it may not be the momentous impact on low-wage workers that some supporters expected.

Man Accused in Orland Park Mall Slaying Charged with Murder

This photo provided by the Orland Park Police Department shows Jakharr Williams of University Park. Police identified Williams as the suspect in the fatal shooting of a teen at Orland Square Mall on Jan. 21, 2019.  (AP Photo / Orland Park Police Department)

Authorities say Jakharr Williams was indicted last week by a grand jury on murder, attempted murder, battery and other charges stemming from the Jan. 21 fatal shooting at Orland Square Mall.

Judge: R. Kelly Can Spend More Time in Recording Studio

A judge who last month ruled that R. Kelly could only enter the Chicago warehouse he uses as a recording studio between 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. now says he can stay until 9 p.m.

Bankruptcy Judge Gives Sears Another Chance, OKs $5.2B Plan

Jan. 8, 2019, file photo of a Sears store in Hackensack, N.J. (AP Photo / Seth Wenig, File)

A bankruptcy judge has blessed a $5.2 billion plan by Sears chairman and biggest shareholder Eddie Lampert to keep the iconic business going. The approval means roughly 425 stores and 45,000 jobs will be preserved.

Illinois Senate Backs $15 Hourly Minimum Wage Within 6 Years

Gov. J.B. Pritzker gives his opening remarks along with state Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, left, on Senate Bill 1, a bill sponsored by Lightford to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, after it passed the Illinois Senate during a press conference in the governor’s office at the Illinois state Capitol, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. (Justin L. Fowler / The State Journal-Register via AP)

The Illinois Senate voted Thursday to hike the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour within six years, quickly advancing a top campaign promise of newly elected Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Bloody Handprint Among Evidence in Chinese Scholar’s Case

Yingying Zhang disappeared on June 9, 2017. (University of Illinois Police Department). Inset: Brendt Christensen (Macon County Sheriff’s Department)

Prosecutors are building a case, partly on a bloody handprint and the responses of a cadaver-sniffing dog, that a former University of Illinois physics student killed a 26-year-old Chinese scholar in 2017 at his off-campus apartment.

Smollett Told Police Attackers Knew He Was on ‘Empire’

In this Aug. 8, 2017 file photo, Jussie Smollett participates in the “Empire” panel during the FOX Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan / Invision / AP, File)

“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett told Chicago police that his attackers seemed to know who he was before they beat him and tied a rope around his neck.

Cubs Family Patriarch Apologizes for Racist Emails

In this Feb. 14, 2012 file photo, online brokerage TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts speaks during a ceremonial unveiling of his portrait which will hang in company headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. (AP Photo / Nati Harnik, File)

The patriarch of the family behind the Chicago Cubs has apologized after an online media outlet published emails in which he took part in racist comments and conspiracy theories.

FAA: Chicago’s O’Hare Airport Was Busiest in US Last Year

O’Hare International Airport had more than 903,000 arrivals and departures during 2018, according to data released Monday by the Federal Aviation Administration. Atlanta’s airport came in second.

Midwest Awaits Spring-Like Thaw Just Days After Bitter Cold

Icicles hang from the Harrington Inn in Geneva, Ill., as commuters pass by on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. (Jeff Knox / Daily Herald via AP)

Forecasts say temperatures will climb as much as 80 degrees. Experts say the rapid thaw is unprecedented, and it could create problems of its own — bursting pipes, flooding rivers and crumbling roads. 

Boeing Soars and Lifts Markets with It

In this Feb. 5, 2018, file photo a Boeing 737 MAX 7, the newest version of Boeing's fastest-selling airplane, is displayed during a debut for employees and media of the new jet in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo / Elaine Thompson, File)

Boeing reported annual revenue of more than $100 billion for the first time and shares soared after the company easily beat Wall Street’s profit and sales expectations for the fourth quarter.

McDonald’s Logs Strong Growth Globally

(Mike Mozart / Flickr)

The world’s biggest hamburger chain said sales rose 4.4 percent at established locations in the fourth quarter and 4.5 percent for the year.  

Flights Canceled, Mail Suspended Amid Frigid Midwest Weather

Reflections of a snowy city are seen in the 110-ton stainless steel Anish Kapoor sculpture called “Cloud Gate” at Millennium Park in Chicago, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh)

A deadly arctic deep freeze enveloped the Midwest with record-breaking temperatures on Wednesday, triggering widespread closures of schools and businesses, and the canceling of more than 1,500 flights from Chicago's airports. 

Illinois Braces for Brutal Cold, Schools and Courts Closing

Pedestrians cross an icy Chicago River on Madison Street near the Civic Opera House on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. (Rich Hein / Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

Chicago Public Schools announced that Wednesday’s classes have been canceled. The University of Chicago, DePaul and Northwestern Universities will close their campuses from Tuesday until Thursday morning.

Caterpillar Stumbles; China’s Slowing Growth Begins to Show

In this Monday, July 24, 2017 file photo, Caterpillar loaders are parked in Middleton, Massachusetts.  (AP Photo / Elise Amendola)

Caterpillar fell well short of fourth-quarter profit expectations and the machine maker said that sales have begun to slow in China. Shares tumbled 10 percent at the opening bell Monday, the worst sell-off in more than seven years.

Much of Illinois to Get Snow, Record-Breaking Cold

The National Weather Service says northern and central Illinois will see record-breaking low temperatures of 18 or 19 degrees below zero or colder on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Manteno Veterans’ Home Resident with Legionnaires’ Dies

Colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) with moderately-high magnification depicts a large grouping of Gram-negative Legionella pneumophila bacteria. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

A Manteno veterans’ home resident who contracted Legionnaires’ disease has died, state officials said Friday, becoming the 15th resident of a state veterans’ facility killed by the flu-like illness.

Bitter Cold Brings -30 Wind Chills to Northern Illinois

The National Weather Service says Friday's deep freeze is a preview of next week, which could bring more than a half-foot of snow and the potential for the “coldest stretch in years.”

Suspect Wanted in Fatal Orland Park Mall Shooting Arrested

This photo provided by the Orland Park Police Department shows Jakharr Williams of University Park. Police identified Williams as the suspect in the fatal shooting of a teen at Orland Square Mall on Monday.  (AP Photo / Orland Park Police Department)

Orland Park Police say Jakharr Williams of University Park was arrested Wednesday without incident. He was wanted in connection with Monday's fatal shooting of Javon Britten of Richton Park.