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Failed field goals and R. Kelly’s warehouse: The stories that mattered this week

Accused killer knew trans woman, prosecutors say

Valerie Griffin, the mother of Dejanay L. Stanton, speaks at an LGBTQ rally on Oct. 25 calling for more resources into solving her murder. | Alice Yin / Chicago Sun-Times

Text messages between 17-year-old Tremon T. Hill and Stanton revealed that their alleged sexual relationship began in July, when they arranged to meet after Hill indicated he was 18-years-old. The pair continued to text up until the morning of Stanton’s death, David Struett reports. She was shot in the head and left for dead: https://bit.ly/2sBuAVs.

How Illinois bet on video gamblings — and lost

Illinois now has more locations to legally place a bet than Nevada does. More than 30,000 video slot and poker machines are in operation at restaurants, truck stops, fraternal organizations and storefront parlors across Illinois. Here, customers gamble at Huck’s, a truck stop in downstate Mount Vernon. | Whitney Curtis / ProPublica Illinois

Lawmakers pushed the gambling industry on Illinois, claiming it would brighten the state’s gloomy financial picture. But with more than 30,000 video slot and poker machines in operation across Illinois, the rise of video gambling has proven to be little more than a botched money grab, Jason Grotto and Sandhya Kambhampati of ProPublica Illinois report: https://bit.ly/2FDL8F1.

R. Kelly ordered to pay $173K in back rent, fees

Department of Buildings employees going into warehouse

City employees from the Department of Buildings on Wednesday morning going into a warehouse being rented to singer R. Kelly. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

R. Kelly had a week to pay more than $173,000 in back rent to his landlord and other court fees or face eviction from the warehouse he rents on the Near West Side, Sam J. Charles reported. Then building code violations were discovered: https://bit.ly/2TYmK3L.

More cities add Obama’s name to landmarks

Former President Barack Obama headlines a Get Out The Vote rally in November 2018. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

As former president Barck Obama becomes even more of an elder statesman, his fame could rank right up there with Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Theodore Roosevelt, historians suggest: https://bit.ly/2T2GMdg.

Fans fail at Cody Parkey’s 43-yard field goal

A man falls after attempting to kick a football 43 yards to win NFL tickets to any game, outside Goose Islands Tap House, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, in Chicago. Goose Island sponsored the event encouraging participants to attempt a similar field goal that Chicago Bears Kicker Cody Parkey missed in a playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles which resulted in the Bears losing the game. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

A man falls after attempting to kick a football 43 yards to win NFL tickets to any game, outside Goose Islands Tap House, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, in Chicago. Goose Island sponsored the event encouraging participants to attempt a similar field goal that Chicago Bears Kicker Cody Parkey missed in a playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles which resulted in the Bears losing the game. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Goose Island Brewing Co. called “armchair kickers” to bring their best in a contest for a pair of tickets to any 2019 regular season NFL game. The fans were supposed to flaunt their athletic prowess, besting the Bears’ Cody Parkey with a successful 43-yard field goal attempt — similar to the one that knocked the team from advancing in the Playoffs — but that’s not how it went down, Madeline Kenney reported: https://bit.ly/2TJK1Xd.