News Minute: Here is the latest Illinois news from The Associated Press at 5:40 p.m. CST

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PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - Lawyers for the man charged with kidnapping and killing a Chinese University of Illinois scholar have argued the case should be heard in state court, where the death penalty isn't an option. Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against former graduate student Brendt Christensen. He's charged with the 2017 abduction and death of 26-year-old Yingying Zang. Authorities have not found her body.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The city of Springfield is the winning bidder for a historic neon sign that's one of the city's remaining Route 66 landmarks. The State Journal-Register reports an online auction was held for the Sonrise Donuts sign, which went up along Route 66 in 1949. Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau director Scott Dahl revealed Friday the city made the winning bid of $22,000. The money will come from city hotel-motel tax.

VALMEYER, Ill. (AP) - Environmentalists in southern Illinois have raised concerns that a proposed wind turbine project will diminish the area's natural beauty and hurt animal habitat. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that developer Joe Koppeis hopes to construct 50 wind turbines along 15 miles of bluffs south of Valmeyer and Waterloo. Environmental conservation organizations and local residents have raised concerns that the wind farm could change the character of the rural landscape or lessen property values.

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) - A central Illinois community may nearly double the next mayor's salary and also give raises to city council members. The Pantagraph reports Normal's mayor makes $18,000 annually. The city council on Monday will consider increasing the salary to $32,000 starting May 1, 2021. Officials say it would be the first increase since 2009 and that it would reflect inflation and increased demands of the job, which has typically been part-time.

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