Illinois

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Illinois Mom Wakes to House Fire That Masked a Horror

As Pamela Ringenberg slept, her husband murdered their young sons

(Newser) - An Illinois mother of two woke to the sound of her smoke alarm going off in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. But Pamela Ringenberg couldn't find her phone to call 911—nor could she find her husband and two young sons. The Bloomington Police Department says there was... More »

Police Release Kenneka Jenkins Video

Surveillance footage shows her alone in kitchen

(Newser) - Police have released surveillance video of Kenneka Jenkins, the Chicago teen whose death in a walk-in hotel freezer after a party last weekend has led to protests and theories that she was murdered. The footage , which appears to be from a motion-activated camera at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Rosemont,... More »

Activist: Video Shows Kenneka Jenkins Walk Into Freezer Alone

(Newser) - A Chicago activist says he has seen proof that some of the darker theories surrounding the death of teenager Kenneka Jenkins are untrue. Andrew Holmes says he has watched surveillance video that shows the 19-year-old walk into the Crowne Plaza hotel's walk-in freezer by herself, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.... More »

Cops Make Concession in Case of Teen Found Dead in Freezer

Surveillance video will be released to Kenneka Jenkins' mom

(Newser) - There are still more questions than answers in the death of Kenneka Jenkins, the Chicago 19-year-old found dead in a hotel's walk-in freezer over the weekend, but officials have agreed to release surveillance video from the Crowne Plaza hotel in Rosemont, Ill., to Jenkins' mother. The move came amid... More »

Harvey Victims Could Get Free Home ... in Harvey

Officials in Harvey, Ill., say 10 homes are up for grabs

(Newser) - "Harvey" might now be associated with death and devastation, but one Midwestern city is doing a little something to change that. Harvey, Illinois, is offering 10 homes for free to families who lost their homes as a result of Hurricane Harvey. City spokesman Sean Howard tells NBC Chicago the... More »

Prosecutors: Men's Twisted Fantasies Led to Stabbing

Professor allegedly flew man to US to help him kill

(Newser) - Two men from the academic world joined forces to live out their twisted murder fantasy, prosecutors said at a hearing for Wyndham Lathem and Andrew Warren in Chicago Sunday. Prosecutors said Lathem, a microbiology professor at Northwestern University, and Warren, a treasurer at Oxford University, communicated for months in an... More »

Can You Read This Witch Spell? A Chicago Library Needs You

The Newberry is asking for public's help in translating 17th-century charms manuscript

(Newser) - In the market for some 17th-century spells written by (possible) real-life witches? The Book of Magical Charms, a handwritten manuscript penned by two unknown Brits in the 1600s, is shelved at Chicago's Newberry Library, along with two similar books, Quartz reports. The charms manual includes everyday tips and remedies,... More »

Guitar, Pill Bottles, Blood: Pics From Cornell's Hotel Room

Police report includes photos, details of what bodyguard and emergency workers found

(Newser) - A guitar lying on a chair. A plane ticket in pieces. A bathroom floor stained with blood. These are just some of the images contained in a Detroit Police Department report regarding the May death of Chris Cornell, obtained from an FOIA request by the Detroit Free Press . The Press... More »

Illinois Ends Budget Standoff, Ups Income Tax Rate 32%

It was nation's longest fiscal impasse since the '30s

(Newser) - The Illinois House voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's vetoes of a budget package, giving the state its first spending blueprint in more than two years and ending the nation's longest fiscal stalemate since at least the Great Depression, the AP reports. Thursday's action eases some financial... More »

As Suspect Joined Vigil for Missing Student, FBI Listened

He described 'ideal victim,' made threats: prosecutors

(Newser) - When friends gathered last week at a vigil for missing University of Illinois scholar Yingying Zhang, they had no idea the man suspected of killing her was in their midst. But Brendt Christensen not only attended the June 29 event at the university's Urbana-Champaign campus while under FBI surveillance,... More »

FBI: Grad Student Taken by Man Who Visited Kidnapping Sites

Authorities believe 26-year-old Yingying Zhang is dead

(Newser) - Authorities believe a Chinese grad student missing in Illinois is dead, abducted by a man who researched kidnappings on a fetish website, CNN reports. Yingying Zhang, 26, was last seen on surveillance video June 9 getting into a black Saturn Astra on the University of Illinois campus. According to the... More »

Trump Promised to Send the Feds Into Chicago. He Just Did

President tweets 'crime and killings' have reached 'epidemic proportions'

(Newser) - Because of "crime and killings" now at "epidemic proportions," President Trump has sent the feds into Chicago, he tweeted Friday morning. His announcement aligns with previous tweets in which he called the city's murder rate "record setting" and the situation "totally out of control,... More »

Illinois Heads Toward Unwanted First Among States

'Junk' status looms amid budget impasse; Powerball sales suspended

(Newser) - Illinois residents just got a tangible reminder about their state's budget impasse: As of Wednesday night, they can't buy Powerball tickets. And after Friday night, they won't be able to buy Mega Millions tickets. State lottery officials are suspending sales for a simple reason: They don't... More »

FBI Believes Missing Illinois Student Was Kidnapped

$50K reward offered in search for visiting scholar

(Newser) - The Champaign County, Illinois, branch of Crime Stoppers is offering the biggest reward in its history in the search for a visiting student from China who disappeared more than a week ago. Yingying Zhang, a 26-year-old who was a month into a yearlong appointment at the University of Illinois, was... More »

His $1K Investment Became $2M. Then He Gave It All Away

'You have to do some good in this world,' says Russ Gremel

(Newser) - It cost Chicago's Russ Gremel $1,007 to buy almost 28,000 shares in local company Walgreens some 70 years ago. Today, those shares are worth $2 million, but Gremel isn't enjoying the payoff of his good investment—at least not in the traditional sense. Instead, he's... More »

Teen Leaps to His Death After Sex Video Accusations

Corey Walgren's parents say school officials, cop literally 'scared him to death'

(Newser) - Corey Walgren was a popular hockey player and fisherman with good grades, a close-knit family, and plans to apply to college soon. And yet, on Jan. 11 , soon after an ordinary text exchange with his mom about his class schedule for the following year, the 16-year-old high school junior jumped... More »

Tragedy at Wrigley as Lifelong Cubs Fan Falls to His Death

Richard E. Garrity, 42, suffered head trauma after falling over a railing

(Newser) - A man who struck his head after tumbling over a railing at Chicago's Wrigley Field has died, reports the AP . The Cook County medical examiner's office says 42-year-old Richard E. Garrity of Wheaton was pronounced dead Wednesday at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Authorities say Garrity fell over... More »

Woman Accused of Trying to Poison Husband's Baby

Andrea Vazquez-Hernandez wanted to 'punish' him, toddler's mom: prosecutors

(Newser) - An Illinois toddler who was a "constant reminder of a forbidden relationship" escaped serious injury at the hands of her stepmom, and now that woman will stand trial for her alleged actions, prosecutors say. The Chicago Tribune reports that 37-year-old Andrea Vazquez-Hernandez is accused of spiking her 17-month-old stepdaughter'... More »

Cops: Teens' Phone Theft Leaves Father of 7 Dead

Three are charged after victim was dragged by fleeing car, say Chicago police

(Newser) - A 43-year-old Chicago man trying to sell his old iPhone instead ended up dead at the hands of three teenage girls, police say. Trinidad Bueno-Sanchez, also identified as Javier Bueno, had arranged to sell an iPhone 6 using the Offer Up app and met a prospective buyer in a Chicago... More »

Body of Missing Toddler Found in Mother's 'Deplorable' Home

Police are calling the girl's death 'suspicious'

(Newser) - The body of a 1½-year-old girl was found at a "deplorable" Illinois home that she and her mother shared with squatters after her mother reluctantly allowed detectives inside to search and a day after she reported her daughter missing, police said Thursday. Deputy Chief Rick Ackerson said Semaj... More »

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