6 counties in 60 seconds.
Chicago police are investigating the death of a man whose body was found inside a clothing donation box that had caught fire. Police say firefighters were called to the fire in the Ravenswood neighborhood on Thursday morning. By the time they arrived, the fire was out. During a search of the box, firefighters found the body and called police. The body appears to be that of a black man who was about 60 years old. Police say an autopsy will be conducted to determine a cause of death.
Man sentenced in gun heist:
A federal judge has sentenced a Chicago-area man to 12 1/2 years in prison for helping to steal around 100 new guns from a freight train stopped in the city. The judge called Terry Walker "a serial train robber" during Wednesdays sentencing in Chicago, noting earlier stints behind bars hadnt deterred him from stealing the Sturm, Ruger & Co. guns from a Norfolk Southern yard in 2015. Judge John Tharp rebuked Walker for only thinking about making a "quick buck" and not about how selling the stolen weapons added to Chicagos gun violence. But Tharp also said the 36-year-old showed signs hes willing to change and that Walker would have time to turn his life around once hes free. Several of Walkers co-defendants have also already been sentenced.
Youll pay blended tax rate:
Illinois taxpayers will be paying an in-between rate on 2017 income as a result of the state's tax increase. The Illinois Department of Revenue has calculated that the "blended" rate will be 4.35 percent for individual returns that are due in April, the (Springfield) State Journal-Register reported. The basic tax rate increased in July from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent. Department spokesman Terry Horstman said the rate is based on the number of days under the 3.75 percent and the days under the 4.95 percent rate. Horstman said the state tax forms will use the blended rate to make it easier for taxpayers. He said the rate on returns applies to income earned from January through December. The new rates combined with sales tax and other changes are expected to raise a little more than $5.1 billion for fiscal 2018. Revenue from personal income withholdings increased by $1.4 billion from July through November, excluding refunds, while corporate receipts were up $218 million.
NIU trustees OK severance:
Trustees at Northern Illinois University have again voted to approve a $600,000 severance agreement with former President Doug Baker. The (DeKalb) Daily-Chronicle reports that Thursday's vote comes after a DeKalb County judge declared the contract null and void. The judge agreed with a lawsuit filed by NIU student and DeKalb County Board member Misty Haji-Sheikh. She argued that the board of trustees violated the Open Meetings Act by using vague terms on an agenda that didn't inform the public that Baker would resign or a vote would be taken on his severance. Baker announced June 15 he was stepping down amid a state investigation accusing him and other administrators of mismanagement with the hiring of consultants. Board Chairman Wheeler Coleman says the board thinks it complied with the act.
Emergency landing made:
Officials say a passenger airplane heading from Chicago made an emergency landing in Michigans Upper Peninsula after an alarm indicated possible smoke in a cargo area. No one was injured in Wednesday nights landing of SkyWest Airlines flight 5061 at Houghton County Memorial Airport near the cities of Houghton and Hancock. SkyWest says in a statement that the plane, operating as United Express flight from OHare International Airport, received a "cargo indication" before its scheduled landing. The airline says the plane landed without incident and all 31 passengers left the plane at the gate. Officials are investigating what tripped the alarm.