Judge sentences would-be bar bomber to 16 years

A federal judge handed an Illinois man a 16-year prison sentence for trying to kill hundreds of people by detonating what he thought was a car bomb outside a Chicago bar in 2012, saying she factored in his mental health in imposing the sentence. (May 6)

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Residents deal with Mississippi River flooding

Iowa, Illinois residents along the Mississippi River fill sandbags to slow rising floodwaters. (May 2)

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Life After Release From ICE Detention (HBO)

With thousands of Central American migrants turning themselves in to Border Patrol to ask for asylum each day, the U.S. is running out of space to hold them. So starting this winter ICE has been releasing them from detention into communities on the border.

Dropped into a country they know nothing about, often with no resources, their fate is left in the hands of good samaritans, nonprofits, churches, and even helpful bus station employees.

VICE News followed Brenda Del Carmen, a young mother who had never before left the Honduran village where she was born, in the days after she was released. With her four-month-old infant in tow, she tried to make her way from El Paso to Chicago, where her husband and five-year-old daughter had gone two months earlier. Like many others in their small farming community, their coffee crops had fallen sick that year.

“Honduras is really poor right now,” she said. “There is no hope.”

Facing destitution, the family gathered funds to pay a coyote to bring them to the U.S. Brenda traveled for a week with her infant Kimberly, presented herself to Border Patrol, and after a week in ICE custody, was released. She then spent more than 24 hours straight traveling through Texas, Arkansas, and Illinois to reach her family.

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Large polar bear gets checkup at Illinois zoo

Veterinary staff performed a medical exam on a polar bear this week at an Illinois zoo. They also extracted semen to help sustain the population of the bears, which are threatened in the wild. (April 25)

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Missing boy’s buried body found, parents charged

Authorities say they have found what they believe is the body of a 5-year-old Illinois boy who went missing last week, and that his parents have been charged with murder in his death. (April 24)

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Bald eagle trio raises eaglets in Ill. nest

It’s an example of eagle co-parenting on a nest in Illinois. Two males and one female bald eagle are caring for three eaglets born this month in a nest along the Upper Mississippi River near Fulton, Illinois. (April 15)

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ShowBiz Minute: ACM Awards, R. Kelly, Box Office

Keith Urban named entertainer of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards; R. Kelly makes paid appearance at club in Springfield, Illinois; DC superhero movie “Shazam!” powers its way to U.S. box office top spot. (April 8)

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Man making false claims in missing boy case charged

A 23-year-old ex-convict from Ohio was accused of pulling a cruel hoax of pretending to be a long-missing Illinois boy Friday. Brian Rini of Medina, Ohio, was charged Friday with making false statements to authorities. (April 5)

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Man’s claim to be missing boy upsets neighbors

A close friend of a missing boy says it’s “sickening” a man would claim to be her missing friend.  The FBI said DNA tests showed a young man found wandering the streets of a Kentucky town was not the Illinois boy who disappeared eight years ago. (April 4)

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DNA results show teen is not Timmothy Pitzen

Authorities have rejected a teenager’s claim that he is Timmothy Pitzen, an Illinois boy who disappeared in 2011 at age 6. Relatives of missing boy expressed their heartbreak to reporters Thursday. (April 4)

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