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This Hour: Latest Illinois news, sports, business and entertainment

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6 residents, 2 firefighters, hurt in Chicago fire

CHICAGO (AP) - Two Chicago firefighters and a police officer were among eight people injured when a fire engulfed a two-story frame building on the city's South Side.

Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford says the two firefighters suffered smoke inhalation Tuesday, with one being taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. The other firefighter was taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers in Evergreen Park. Neither suffered life-threatening injuries.

A police officer also suffered from smoke inhalation, and was taken to a nearby hospital in good condition.

Authorities say several residents were trapped briefly in the building by flames.

According to Langford, at least five residents of the building suffered smoke inhalation and other injuries and were taken in good condition to area hospitals.


Man pleads guilty to 2012 sexual assault of child

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) - A suburban Chicago man has pleaded guilty to a criminal sexual assault charge in a 2012 attack on a 7-year-old girl.

Nyasha Mbawa of Grandwood Park entered his plea Tuesday before Lake County Circuit Judge James Booras, who set a sentencing date of June 18.

The Daily Herald in Arlington Heights reports Mbawa was facing 18 counts of sexually assaulting two victims in 2012. He was arrested in July 2013, after the mother of one victim reported the assault to authorities. As part of the plea deal, the remaining charges against Mbawa were dropped.

Had the case against him gone to trial and he was found guilty, Mbawa would have faced a mandatory life sentence. With the plea deal, Mbawa faces up to 30 years in prison.


Church: No evidence of abuse by reinstated priest

CHICAGO (AP) - The Archdiocese of Chicago has returned a priest to active ministry after the Cook County Sheriff's Department concluded there's no evidence the man sexually abused a minor nearly 20 years ago.

Father Michael W. O'Connell stepped down as pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish in Chicago in December 2013 after allegations he engaged in sexual misconduct while assigned to Our Lady of the Woods Parish in Orland Park.

Archdiocese officials reported the alleged abuse to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County state's attorney's office. In a Tuesday statement, the archdiocese said a church investigation also didn't find evidence O'Connell engaged in sexual misconduct.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests President Barbara Blaine says organization officials are disappointed by O'Connell's return to church duties.


Illinois St. ex-president admits yelling at worker

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois State University Police report indicates former President Timothy Flanagan admitted he yelled at an employee, but denied he spat on or made contact with the man.

The Pantagraph in Bloomington reports Flanagan, who resigned last month, voluntarily went to the ISU police the morning of Feb. 28. That was a day after superintendent of grounds Patrick Murphy made a report about a Dec. 5 incident at the university-owned president's house.

Flanagan, who became ISU president in August, resigned days before being charged with a misdemeanor for an altercation with a grounds crew worker. Flanagan's lawyer has called the disorderly conduct charge unfounded.

The Pantagraph reports Flanagan told police Capt. Nichol Bleichner he yelled at an employee and shouldn't have. He then said he was seeking a lawyer.


Rutherford: Dismiss sexual-harassment lawsuit

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Lawyers for Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford (ROOTH'-ur-furd) are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by an ex-employee alleging sexual harassment and forced political work on state time.

The motion in U.S. District Court in Chicago seeks to end the lawsuit by Edmund Michalowski (mik-oh-LOW'-skee).

Michalowski worked for the former Republican candidate for governor for three years before leaving in January and filing the lawsuit.

The document contends Michalowski's claims that he was disciplined for not doing campaign work on state time are not plausible.

It says he does not show that he was discriminated against or harassed.

And it says Rutherford is entitled to government immunity because of insufficient evidence.

Michalowski's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A hearing is scheduled for Thursday.


Quinn, GOP's Rauner announce campaign donations

CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican gubernatorial challenger Bruce Rauner (ROW'-nur) have filed their latest campaign reports with the state.

Rauner on Tuesday announced he raised more than $9 million in the first three months of the year.

Quinn says he raised $5 million in the first quarter, much of it from labor unions. He spent little of it defeat a little-known challenger in last month's Democratic primary. Quinn finished the quarter with $8.8 million in his campaign fund.

Rauner defeated three rivals in the March primary. His fundraising total includes millions of his own money. But the wealthy businessman from Winnetka says he's received more than 6,900 individual donations since he announced his bid last year.

The campaign says Rauner carried more than $1.3 million into the second quarter.

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

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