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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 1:00 am


Stephen Hawking, famed physicist, dies

News services

LONDON – Stephen Hawking, whose brilliant mind ranged across time and space though his body was paralyzed by disease, has died at 76, a family spokesman said early today.

“He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years,” his children Lucy, Robert and Tim said in a statement.

The best-known theoretical physicist of his time, Hawking wrote so lucidly of the mysteries of space, time and black holes that his book, “A Brief History of Time,” became an international bestseller, making him one of science's biggest celebrities since Albert Einstein.

Trump's personal assistant ousted

President Donald Trump's personal assistant, John McEntee, was fired Monday, according to three White House officials.

The president's re-election campaign announced Tuesday that McEntee had been hired as a senior adviser. It wasn't clear why McEntee, a well-liked figure in the White House, had been dismissed, and campaign aides weren't given a reason. McEntee told fellow Trump aides that he had resigned.

McEntee, Trump's “body man,” was one of his closest aides and had been at his side since the start of his campaign. He was known for being prepared to supply Trump with whatever he might need while aboard his campaign plane, on Air Force One and around the White House – a drink, his jacket, or hair spray. McEntee always had hair spray and a comb at the ready, people close to him said.

Illinois governor vetoes gun measure

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed legislation Tuesday that would have required gun retailers to be licensed by the state of Illinois, calling it “unnecessary, burdensome regulation” that would have hurt small-business owners and wouldn't have made communities safer.

The veto comes a week before the state's primary election in which Rauner faces a challenge from conservative state Rep. Jeanne Ives, who says Rauner has betrayed Republicans with his actions on several issues.

The bill had the backing of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, as well as the three leading Democrats seeking their party's nomination for governor March 20. On Tuesday, Emanuel called Rauner's veto “a slap in the face to crime victims, faith leaders and police” who pleaded with him to sign the legislation.

3rd nor'easter brings 2 feet of snow

The third powerful nor'easter in two weeks slammed the Northeast on Tuesday, bringing blizzard conditions and 2 feet of snow to some communities and knocking out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses.

High winds and blowing snow led meteorologists to categorize the storm as a blizzard in parts of New England, including Boston. By afternoon, power outages climbed to more than 250,000 just in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

3 Illinois men accused in mosque blast

Federal authorities announced Tuesday that three men from rural central Illinois have been arrested on gun charges and that they are suspects in the bombing of a Minnesota mosque and an attempted bombing of an Illinois abortion clinic.

A statement from the U.S. attorney's office in Springfield says the men were arrested on charges of possession of a machine gun, but it later adds that the three men are suspects in the Aug. 5 explosion at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, and an attempted bombing of the Women's Health Practice in Champaign on Nov. 7.

The statement identifies the suspects as Michael B. Hari, 47; Joe Morris, 22; Michael McWhorter, 29. All are from Clarence, a rural community 35 miles north of Champaign-Urbana.