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ATHLETE SHOT-LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT

$1.2 million may go to family of teen shot by cop

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago could pay $1.2 million to the family of a high school athlete who was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer.

The City Council's Finance Committee on Tuesday approved the settlement in the Sept. 11, 2009, shooting death of 17-year-old Corey Harris. The entire City Council will vote Wednesday on the settlement.

Police said the captain of Dyett High School's baseball and basketball teams was shot after he pointed a gun at the off-duty officer. They say he was being chased after being seen firing shots at someone else.

The police version of events was undermined when the Cook County medical examiner ruled Harris was shot in the back.

Harris' family filed a lawsuit accusing Officer Darren Wright of "wildly" shooting at a group of students that included Harris.

BALLOT INITIATIVES-LAWSUIT

Group files appeal in term limits decision

CHICAGO (AP) - A group pushing for lawmaker term limits has filed a court appeal to get their question on November's ballot.

The Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits filed a motion Tuesday with Illinois' First District Appellate Court asking it to reverse a June Cook County Circuit Court ruling.

The circuit court said the measure didn't meet constitutional requirements and ruled it invalid.

Committee spokesman Mark Campbell believes the appellate court can rule in the group's favor.

If the appellate court doesn't reverse the ruling, the committee wants the court to urge the Illinois Supreme Court to change an earlier decision. The high court declined to immediately hear the lower court's ruling.

The term limits group is led by Republican Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur), who's trying to unseat Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

CTA CRIME

Chicago Transit Authority reports drop in crime

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago officials are releasing figures that show violent crime and thefts on Chicago Transit Authority trains, buses and platforms has dropped significantly.

In a news release, issued days after a July 16 armed robbery of several passengers aboard a train, the CTA says that violent crime fell more than 30 percent between the first six months of last year and the same period this year. The numbers are also lower than those for the first six months of 2011 and 2012.

Officials attribute much of the drop to increased police patrols and undercover police operations targeting pickpocket rings and other criminals. Transportation officials say another key factor is the addition of thousands of surveillance cameras that have helped police make arrests and prosecutors secure convictions.

JANE BYRNE-PLAZA

Chicago committee OKs naming plaza for ex-mayor

CHICAGO (AP) - A Chicago City Council committee has advanced a plan to name a plaza next to a downtown landmark in honor of former Mayor Jane Byrne.

Byrne held office from 1979 to 1983. She was the city's first and only female mayor.

Byrne's daughter testified before the finance committee on Tuesday in support of renaming the park next to the Historic Water Tower. It'd be called "Jane M. Byrne Plaza." Kathy Byrne says the Michigan Avenue location is special to her mother because she lived nearby while mayor.

In a Tuesday statement, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says Byrne was a trail blazer for women and for the city of Chicago.

The full City Council is expected to take up the matter on Wednesday.

RESCUED BOY-COAST GUARD

Illinois boy meets Coast Guard rescuers again

WHEELING, Ill. (AP) - A nine-year-old Illinois boy has reconnected with the Coast Guard helicopter crew who rescued him earlier this month from Lake Michigan.

Tommy Alter of Highland Park on Tuesday said thank you to the crew that rescued him from the lake near Peninsula State Park in Door County, Wisconsin. The boy, his mother, Leslie, and other family members met the crew at Wheeling's Chicago Executive Airport.

Coast Guard officials say Tommy, his aunt and a cousin had gone out on Lake Michigan in rented kayaks July 11, but did not return as expected.

After an all-night search, officials say a crew from the Royal Canadian Air Force located Alter and his family around 6 a.m. the next day about 10 miles offshore. The Coast Guard crew took them to Menominee, Michigan.

ILLINOIS RIVER-ISLAND

Illinois River's man-made island now complete

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - A man-made island in the Illinois River built to provide habitat for fish and a place for birds to call home will officially be complete this week.

The Army Corps of Engineers plans to mark the end of the five-year project with a ceremony Friday in Peoria.

Anthony Heddlesten is an environmental engineer with the Army Corps. He tells the Journal Star in Peoria that the 24-acre island is already thick with cottonwoods and willows. Ducks, geese and heron also are being seen.

The island is built of material dredged from the river.

John Marlin of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center at the University of Illinois says he would like to see the island built up another 10 feet to accommodate trees such as pin oaks.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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