Illinois Budget 11.20.08
Here are the top Illinois stories coming today from GateHouse News Service. Stories are available at www.gatehousenewsservice.com. Please check www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/news in the evening for changes to story lineup, including breaking news.
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Thursday’s page of the day: The Rockford Register Star.
GOOD IDEA: How much will new school uniforms cost parents?
Lost Boys of Sudan hope to use American opportunities to help those left behind
SPRINGFIELD – Peter Makuach, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, lived the nightmares that haunt him now. He and others like him, now living in the United States, hope to use their educational and work opportunities to make a difference in their war-torn home country. By Steven Spearie of the State Journal-Register. May not be posted online until Friday, Nov. 21.
STATE BRIEFS: News from around the state. POSTED.
STATE BUDGET -- Lawmakers look to vote on Gov. Rod Blagojevich's Emergency Budget Act and wrap up their fall veto session, but its fate and what happens next on budget cuts and money shortfalls remains a real mystery. By Ryan Keith of the State Capitol bureau. Will be posted this evening.
VETO SESSION -- Lawmakers approve jumpstarting a clean-coal power plant in Taylorville and handle several other issues on the final day of their fall veto session. By Doug Finke and Adriana Colindres of the State Capitol bureau.
PEORIA MUSEUM: Gov. Rod Blagojevich signs into law a piece of legislation that will allow Peoria County to ask voters this spring if they want to approve a special sales tax to help fund a new riverfront museum. The tax also could be used for other improvements, such as a new county nursing home. By Adriana Colindres of the State Capitol bureau.
Anti-smoking groups say ban might be helping smokers quit
PEORIA – In the wake of Illinois' ban on smoking, health professionals said it’s still too soon for predictions about the law's impact on public health. Anecdotal evidence suggests, however, the ban may be nudging more smokers to snuff out their habit for good. By Frank Radosevich II of the Peoria Journal Star.
Oil changers find slick energy solution
Oil. It's almost become a dirty word. Evoking painful thoughts of high gasoline prices, associated with terrorism, war and synonymous with the rising cost of nearly everything that depends on it. It's also associated with America's seemingly unquenchable thirst for the stuff. But after it's been used to keep the motors moving, what happens to the gallons that get left behind? Many car dealerships and oil-change shops are putting the waste to good use, coming up with some "green" uses for a product so black. By Kevin Sampier of the Peoria Journal Star.
Fairgrounds ready for 2009 season, but many improvements still needed
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Fairgrounds is still in need of major improvements such as roof repairs and replacing the aboveground electrical system, but the facilities are ready for the 2009 exhibit and event season, the newly named head of the Illinois Department of Agriculture said. By Tim Landis of the State Journal-Register.
Mitsubishi in better economic position than Big Three
NORMAL – Mitsubishi Motors North America feels the pain that's being experienced by General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. Like its Big Three brothers, Mitsubishi is dealing with a U.S. auto industry-wide decline of 30 percent in vehicle sales this year. But the company is not burning through cash like Big Three. By Steve Stein of the Peoria Journal Star.
Springfield to play Springfield
SPRINGFIELD – On a recent Wednesday afternoon, Rick Springfield was on his way to Miami for a cruise. The Rick Springfield cruise. Yeah, life is good for the actor and musician behind the ’80s hit “Jessie’s Girl,” who performs in Springfield on Sunday. By Brian Mackey of the State Journal-Register.
Author urges students to share stories
GALESBURG – Writing is not something that happens in a vacuum, Lombard Middle School students learned Wednesday. A true writer writes all the time, with some successes and failures. “The writing that I did when I was 10 years old and 12 years old and 14 years old really impacted the writing I did as an adult,” nationally known author Esmé Codell told the students. Codell, the author of such young adult novels as “Sahara Special” and “Vive La Paris,” was in town for two days as part of Galesburg District 205’s Reading @ the Crossroads middle school literacy initiative. By Michelle Sherman of the Galesburg Register-Mail.
Couple finds convenience in living above shop
KEWANEE – Sue and Will Sagmoen no longer commute to their business in Kewanee and no longer have lawns to mow and leaves to rake around their suburban home. Frequent trips to Chicago start with a walk down the block to the Amtrak station to catch the Illinois Zephyr. If there are trade-offs for the couple, it’s hard to see the disadvantages of their move from a two-story, 1960s home with a large, demanding yard to once-abandoned space over their retail store, Heartfelt Gift Shop & Framing. By Clare Howard of the Peoria Journal Star.
BRITT: Toon on the move of the Maisenbacher House. POSTED.
Pam Adams: Hudson ‘link’ a red herring in prison saga
Prisons don't die easy. Pontiac Mayor Scott McCoy has made the strongest accusations yet against a state prison system and a governor accustomed to strong accusations. The horrible situation in Pontiac goes much farther than the state's plan to close the century-old prison there. Basically, he said, state officials are deliberately allowing dangerous parole violators free to roam the streets, rather then returning them to prison, in a cynical scheme to make the governor's prison-reduction programs look successful.
Editorial: Work together to fix latest state budget hole
Gov. Rod Blagojevich is the most unpopular, least trusted public official of any stature in Illinois, and perhaps America, if his dead-last 13 percent approval rating is any indication. For that reason, count us among the skeptical that Blagojevich will be given any more power than he already has to address the state's budget crisis. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.
Editorial: Bill to help coal study deserves Senate approval
You can't have a conversation about America’s energy future these days without “green” technology coming into the picture. For coal-rich Illinois, that means any mention of clean coal technology makes our ears perk up. An editorial from the State Journal-Register.
Editorial: Fruits and vegetables not just for school trash cans anymore
A week from today, children’s plates will be piled high with turkey, dressing and some food items they may find tough to identify, much less eat. Could those mounds be — gulp — vegetables? No offense to sweet potato casserole lovers out there, but there’s a whole world of goodness kids don’t know about. A once-a-year appearance of green, leafy and deeply colored stuff on the Thanksgiving plate is not enough. An editorial from the Rockford Register Star.
MIKE NADEL: CHICAGO - The onus is on Kyle Orton to prove that he’s the quarterback who was outstanding in October and not the one who looked stiff and unsure against the Packers. The Bears' season is on the line these next six weeks, and so is Orton's financial future. POSTED.
ILLINI: Illinois travels to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt in men’s basketball. Tipoff 7 p.m. Story with quotes and report card moving by 10:30 p.m. By John Supinie.
LAKE FOREST – A couple of weeks ago everyone was excited because Chicago had scored more points than any team in the NFL. Now, the offense is lower ranked than the defense in the NFL's official rankings. By Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star. POSTED.
Bears Quick Shots. By Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star. POSTED.