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(Courtesy of Suburban Express)

The Illinois attorney general’s office has been so inundated with payment requests stemming from its consent decree with a former Champaign-based bus operator that they’ve asked a federal judge to amend the agreement itself.

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

Two University of Illinois social workers who once treated the man convicted of kidnapping and killing a visiting Chinese scholar claim they cannot be held legally responsible for his “random and incomprehensible actions.”

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In this Monday, June 24, 2019 file photo, Lifeng Ye, the mother of slain University of Illinois scholar Yingying Zhang, cries out in grief as her husband Ronggao Zhang, left, addresses the media after a jury found Brendt Christensen guilty of Yingying Zhang’s murder, at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Peoria, Illinois. Consoling her is family friend Dr. Kim Tee, center. (Matt Dayhoff / Journal Star via AP, File)

The parents of a University of Illinois scholar from China who was abducted and killed are giving at least $20,000 to people who provided authorities with crucial information that led to the arrest and conviction of their daughter’s killer.

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(U.S. Department of Agriculture)

As urban agriculture programs expand in Chicago and other cities, a new project aims to unearth data on one of the biggest potential obstacles to city-based farming efforts: soil contamination.

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(Tony Webster / Flickr)

A new report from a group of UIC students claims at least 450 predominantly international students received incomplete ballots or were erroneously told they were ineligible to vote in April’s student government election.

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A memorial stone engraved with Yingying Zhang’s name in both English and Chinese on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Aug. 7, 2019.  (Matt Masterson / WTTW News)

After killing the Chinese scholar, Brendt Christensen says he put her body in three separate garbage bags, which he tossed in a dumpster outside his Champaign apartment.

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Yingying Zhang, center, takes a photo with her father Ronggao Zhang, left, mother Lifeng Ye and fiance Xiaolin Hou. (U.S. Attorney's Office)

Yingying’s Fund, created with the support of Yingying Zhang’s family, will serve international students across campus and their families “during times of hardship, when they need it most,” according to the fund’s donation page.

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

The body of Yingying Zhang was never recovered after former University of Illinois doctoral student Brendt Christensen kidnapped and killed her. 

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A file photo of Chicago State University. (WTTW News)

A two-year budget impasse had many college students fleeing Illinois. Will a boost in funding now help persuade them to stay?

Jury fails to reach unanimous decision in death-penalty case

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A memorial stone engraved with Yingying Zhang’s name in both English and Chinese on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in June 2019, two years after her disappearance. (Photo by Mark Van Moer) Inset, top: Yingying Zhang (Courtesy University of Illinois Police Department). Bottom: Brendt Christensen (Courtesy Macon County Sheriff’s Department).

A 12-person jury deliberated for more than eight hours over the course of two days in Peoria’s federal courthouse, but failed to reach a unanimous decision in the death-penalty case. 

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

A 12-person jury is in the process of deciding whether the former Ph.D. candidate will live out the rest of his natural life behind bars or if he’ll be put to death for the kidnapping and killing of Yingying Zhang.

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(fancycrave1 / Pixabay)

Mandated screenings for perinatal depression may overlook a significant portion of women who are struggling with suicidal thoughts, according to a new study from the University of Illinois. 

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Brendt Christensen (Macon County Sheriff's Department)

More than a month after they first began hearing testimony, jurors in the trial of Brendt Christensen are likely to begin deliberating this week over his appropriate sentence: life in prison or death.

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Yingying Zhang, center, stands with her parents at a train station in China in 2017. This marked the last time they saw their daughter alive. (U.S. Attorney's Office)

Defense attorneys called a juror’s actions this week “unprecedented” and sought a mistrial on Wednesday. That request was denied, but the walkout marks one more oddity in the high-profile case.

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Yingying Zhang, center, takes a photo with her father Ronggao Zhang, left, mother Lifeng Ye and fiance Xiaolin Hou. (U.S. Attorney's Office)

As he looked down at a photo of his daughter, Ronggao Zhang could not contain himself. He turned away, inhaled sharply and began crying on the witness stand. Then the man convicted of killing Yingying Zhang did the same.

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

Until this week, jurors knew little about Yingying Zhang, other than how she died. Federal prosecutors on Monday sought to paint a better picture of the visiting Chinese scholar through the words of her friends and loved ones.

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