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March 18, 2012 | By John Hoeffel
The family, spread across Illinois, picked a convenient location for a Sunday lunch to celebrate Kathy Sondgeroth's 59th birthday. Turns out, it was convenient for Mitt Romney too. When they found out Romney was campaigning at the restaurant, they held on to their table, which was right in front of a fake barn and also the photo-perfect backdrop for the Republican presidential front-runner. Romney, noticing they were celebrating a birthday, led the restaurant in singing. And when he left, he hoisted 7-month-old Stryder.
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SPORTS
March 20, 2014 | Nathan Fenno
When Henry V. Porter died in 1975, funeral notices mentioned his induction to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as one of the game's pioneers. Back in the day, Porter had pushed to adopt a ball without laces to make it substantially easier to dribble. And those fan-shaped backboards that are common on schoolyards and playgrounds? Porter designed them. The obituaries also mentioned that he led the band and orchestra at Athens High in central Illinois, and that for decades he worked as an executive for state high school athletic associations.
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SPORTS
November 20, 2012 | By Lisa Dillman
Something has to give after an opponent finishes the half by hitting its final 11 shots, right? Well, only slightly. Illinois managed to overwhelm USC on Monday in nearly every department, winning, 94-64, at the Maui Invitational, handing the Trojans their first loss of the season. It was more points than USC allowed in any game last season. Brandon Paul led Illinois with 26 points, hitting six three-pointers, added six rebounds and two steals. For USC, Eric Wise had 13 points, J.T. Terrell 11 and Jio Fontan 10. USC reserve center Omar Oraby, who had a combined  21 points and 12 rebounds in the first two games, was limited to two points and one rebound in five minutes of action and did not play in the second half.
NATIONAL
February 24, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
I-N-D-E-F-A-T-I-G-A-B-I-L-I-T-Y. Indefatigability means tireless determination, but these students almost certainly know that. Two spelling bee competitions in the Midwest over the weekend had to be suspended and rescheduled when their brilliant young contestants dueled for hours to a temporary tie, having mastered dozens of bizarre and foreign words at an early age. After more than 60 rounds of the Jackson County Spelling Bee in Missouri and...
SPORTS
November 20, 2013 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Verbum Dei senior defensive end-linebacker Jabril Frazier has picked up a scholarship offer from Illinois. He previously had offers from Arizona, Utah, San Diego State and Houston. He had 17 sacks this season. Servite junior receiver Equanimeous St. Brown picked up three more offers this week from Utah, Northwestern and Arizona. He also has offers from Indiana, San Diego State, Washington State and Illinois. Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com  
NEWS
March 21, 2012 | By Mark Z. Barabak
Six times in the last 36 years the Illinois primary has settled a presidential nominating fight. It is too soon to declare this year's turbulent GOP contest over. But the end may be visible from the top of Chicago's John Hancock Tower. Mitt Romney's commanding win in the Illinois primary stamps him -- once and for all -- as the overwhelming, indisputable and probably uncatchable favorite to lead Republicans into the fall campaign against President Obama. There are two tracks to the GOP race, now in its third month of balloting, and the former Massachusetts governor is winning both.
NEWS
March 19, 2012 | By Alana Semuels
This city has been named among America's fattest, most miserable and most dangerous in the course of the last year, and Rick Santorum started his last day of primary campaigning in Illinois pledging to make things better. The Republican presidential candidate said Monday he could improve the country by uniting it, and then proceeded to attack his main GOP opponent as "uniquely disqualified" to beat President Obama.   In a full day that is scheduled to include 19 TV, radio and public appearances in an effort to capture a primary that seems to be slipping away, Santorum stayed close to his main talking points, which include repealing the president's healthcare law, getting more aggressive on Iran and focusing more closely on the Constitution, a promise that got especially loud applause from the audience in the Venetian Club, an Italian American meeting hall here.
NATIONAL
March 17, 2012 | By Mark Z. Barabak and Paul West, Los Angeles Times
There's something about Mitt Romney that, to use her words, creeps LaDonna Talbert out. She doesn't trust the Republican presidential hopeful and isn't convinced by his jeans and open-collar shirts that Romney relates to the people of small-town and rural America. Her dismissive advice: "Just go back to the suit, dude. " On Tuesday, Talbert plans to vote for Rick Santorum in the Illinois primary, even though she knows it will be tough for him to overtake Romney and wrestle the nomination away.
NATIONAL
December 10, 2012 | By Matt Pearce
More than half a century later, the case is closed. Seventy-three-year-old Jack McCullough received a life sentence Monday for the 1957 abduction and killing of 7-year-old Maria E. Ridulph of Sycamore, Ill. A lifetime ago, the two had been neighbors. In those days -- when Dwight D. Eisenhower was president and Elvis dominated the airwaves -- Ridulph's disappearance one night, while playing with a friend in the dark on a December evening, horrified the state and the country. Eisenhower himself was reported to have asked for updates on the case.
NATIONAL
September 26, 2009 | Manya A. Brachear and Ron Grossman
Although Erla Feinberg's final act might have disappointed most of her grandchildren, it carried out her late husband's dying wish in a way that held up in court. In a unanimous decision, the Illinois Supreme Court this week ruled that Max Feinberg and his wife could legally disinherit any grandchildren who married outside the Jewish faith as long as the method of doing so did not encourage divorce. "Although those plans might be offensive to individual family members or to outside observers, Max and Erla were free to distribute their bounty as they saw fit and to favor grandchildren of whose life choices they approved," Justice Rita Garman wrote.
SPORTS
December 18, 2013 | By Chuck Schilken
Southern Illinois basketball Coach Barry Hinson delivered a rant for the ages Tuesday night following a 73-65 loss to Murray State that dropped the Salukis to 2-8. Remember when Oklahoma State football Coach Mike Gundy had the meltdown to end all meltdowns in defense of one of his players? (Of course you do.) Well, this was kind of the opposite. Though Hinson reached Gundy's level of intensity at certain points during his five-plus minutes of public venting, he actually ripped into his players, taking no prisoners along the way. "It's unbelievable how our starting guards played," he said during the loudest, angriest portion of the tirade.
NATIONAL
November 29, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo
Nine days after a tornado destroyed Jacob Montgomery's apartment in Washington, Ill., rescue workers found his 6-month-old pit bull in the wreckage, coaxing him out with hot dogs, Illinois National Guard officials reported. Montgomery, a military police officer with the Illinois National Guard, survived the Nov. 17 disaster but couldn't find his dog Dexter after searching several times in the rubble of what used to be his third-floor apartment, the National Guard reported on Facebook.
SPORTS
November 20, 2013 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Verbum Dei senior defensive end-linebacker Jabril Frazier has picked up a scholarship offer from Illinois. He previously had offers from Arizona, Utah, San Diego State and Houston. He had 17 sacks this season. Servite junior receiver Equanimeous St. Brown picked up three more offers this week from Utah, Northwestern and Arizona. He also has offers from Indiana, San Diego State, Washington State and Illinois. Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com  
NATIONAL
November 20, 2013 | By Michael Muskal
Illinois has joined 15 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing same-sex marriage after Gov. Pat Quinn signed the legislation on Wednesday. The signing, in front of a wildly cheering crowd at the University of Illinois, had been expected after the House gave final passage to the bill Nov 6. The law becomes effective June 1. Surrounded by dignitaries including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel,  Quinn started by asking for silence for the six residents of his state who died recently in severe storms that swept through the Midwest.  “In our great country we are all in this together,” he said, setting the tone of working together that marked the celebration of the law. There was a mood of euphoria as public officials praised efforts by grass-roots groups to pass the law. The theme among the officials is that the state has finally taken a long-overdue step in extending civil rights to gays.
NATIONAL
November 18, 2013 | By Matt Pearce, Michelle Manchir and Bonnie Miller Rubin
WASHINGTON, Ill. - The tornado that leveled Beth and Dennis Doolans' home scattered their belongings like trash, a fate shared by many residents in the twisters' path. Sometime later and some 80 miles away, a photograph fluttered into a yard. It was one of the Doolans' favorites, taken on their 40th anniversary. A friend spotted it on a Facebook page for lost possessions and contacted the Doolans' daughter Monday. "There were tears of joy when I told them," said their daughter, Lisa Hoffman.
NATIONAL
November 17, 2013 | By Matt Pearce, Carlos Sadovi and Michelle Manchir
At least six people were killed and dozens more hurt when an unusual November tornado outbreak hopscotched through the Midwest on Sunday, leaving destruction in its wake. Twisters and thunderstorms more reminiscent of spring than fall savaged communities in Illinois, Missouri, Indiana and Kentucky with punishing winds and heavy hail. Survivors poured into hospitals with broken limbs and other wounds from flying debris. An NFL game at Soldier Field in Chicago had to be suspended as football fans evacuated to the concourses, taking shelter from a line of storms.
NATIONAL
April 8, 2008 | From the Associated Press
Illinois will award its presidential electoral votes to the winner of the nationwide popular vote -- but only if several other states follow suit. A bill signed into law Monday by Democratic Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich made Illinois the third state, after Maryland and New Jersey, ready to bypass the Electoral College in November. The three states, with a combined 46 electoral votes, won't act unless states totaling 270 electoral votes -- enough to elect a president -- sign on.
NATIONAL
December 23, 2003 | From Associated Press
Hoping to save money on prescription drugs, Gov. Rod Blagojevich asked for federal permission Monday to set up a pilot program that would import medications from Canada. Blagojevich said the Medicare reform law gave the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services authority to waive the rules against bringing in drugs from outside the country to set up a pilot program. He sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson asking for a decision on the waiver within 30 days.
NATIONAL
November 17, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
A rare November tornado destroyed homes as it ripped through at least two central Illinois towns Sunday, as authorities moved quickly to respond. There were reports of some three-dozen injuries and residents were said to be trapped in the wreckage. In Tazewell County, Ill., county spokeswoman Sara Sparkman told The Times that there were “whole neighborhoods where there's nothing left” in the towns of Washington and Pekin. “We have heard of minor injuries," Sparkman said, an assessment echoed by county emergency personnel immediately after the twister, which uprooted trees and power lines while smashing homes into rubble.
NATIONAL
November 17, 2013 | By Matt Pearce, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
At least five people were killed Sunday in a tornado outbreak that left dozens more injured across the Midwest, and officials feared the toll could rise as emergency responders sifted through the wreckage. Illinois has suffered the brunt of the storms' wrath, which swept through communities in Missouri, Indiana and Kentucky, smashing homes, toppling cell towers and tossing cars in a rare November tornado outbreak. One twister was estimated to be half a mile wide. An elderly man and his sister were found dead after a tornado struck their farmhouse in New Minden in southern Illinois, Washington County coroner Mark Styninger told the Associated Press.
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