Illinois Budget 10.31.08
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.
If your paper has a story, digest item, opinion piece or standalone photo to share, please e-mail it to Illinois@gatehousemedia.com.
Casey Laughman: (217) 816-3343, firstname.lastname@example.org
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THE NICHE DIVISION: Three holiday sections – a gift guide, a cookbook and a songbook – are available from the GateHouse News Service nice division. Download links:
GOOD IDEA: Create a sample ballot primer for readers
David Arkin: News Now rolling out in Central Illinois
ELECTION DAY BANNERS – Get out the vote with these strips for your front page http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/ghns_pages/x1197766608
Dwindling bee population may put a scare into pumpkin lovers
PEORIA – Carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns is a traditional fake scare for Halloween. In the future, the real scare may be what happens to the pumpkins themselves. If an eerie malady demolishing the nation's honeybees takes hold in Illinois, there may be a lot fewer jack-o'-lanterns glowing in the night. By Terry Bibo of the Peoria Journal Star.
STATE BRIEFS: News from around the state. POSTED.
CON-CON MONEY -- Millions of dollars have been raised by the "yes" and "no" sides in the debate over whether Illinois should have a constitutional question. Almost all of it is being raised by the "no" side, which is attracting some big money from business and labor groups. The "yes" side says it always knew it would have less money, but it thinks its message is superior and helps offset the imbalance. By Adriana Colindres of the State Capitol bureau. Will be posted this evening.
LEGISLATIVE MONEY -- An update on fundraising by local legislative candidates in the final days of the election. By Doug Finke of the State Capitol bureau. POSTED.
OBAMA EFFECT-STATEHOUSE -- Barack Obama's presidential run has shone an unusually bright spotlight on Illinois state government and the Legislature, exposing -- and in some cases distorting -- how state lawmakers work in public and behind the scenes for an international audience. Here is a look back at what the former state senator's bid for the nation's top seat has highlighted the Statehouse, and how an Obama presidency could affect his former colleagues and the institution he left behind in Springfield. By Ryan Keith of the State Capitol bureau. POSTED.
Statehouse Insider: By Doug Finke of the State Capitol bureau. POSTED. For use Sunday.
Capitol Notebook. Compiled by the State Capitol bureau. NOTE: Starting the week of Nov. 11, the Notebook will be replaced by a midweek Q&A. There will be no notebook next week. POSTED.
Postal Service unveils new Lincoln stamps
SPRINGFIELD – Abraham Lincoln, once a postmaster, then a president, would have appreciated four commemorative stamps unveiled Thursday at the Old State Capitol. By Bruce Rushton of the State Journal-Register.
Ethanol plant may squeeze farmers again
CANTON – Farmer shareholders who lost thousands of dollars in a bankrupt ethanol plant outside Canton are getting letters this week telling them they'll have to pay more. HWS Energy Partners, the Champaign company that built a water treatment plant at the ethanol plant site, wants members of the defunct Central Illinois Energy Cooperative to make good on a lease agreement - to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. By Brenda Rothert of the Peoria Journal Star.
Company turns scrap wood into fuel
PEKIN – In a world gone "green," a new company in Tazewell County is taking the eco-friendly concept one step further with grind. Midwest Bio Fuels Inc. is accepting wooden pallets, shipping crates, used lumber, sawdust and other wooden materials from businesses to grind down and turn into fuel. By Kevin Sampier of the Peoria Journal Star.
Horace Mann CEO says company is healthy
SPRINGFIELD – Horace Mann Educators Corp. president and CEO Louis Lower II remained upbeat about the insurer’s liquidity, investments and future prospects in a conference call with analysts Thursday despite a $30.8 million loss for the third quarter. By Chris Dettro of the State Journal-Register.
Ghost stories live long after their subjects
ROCKFORD – Emma misses her home. Sheriff Taylor still is doing his job. And the girls laughing at the Adams Arch on the campus of Rockford College are expressing decades of joyful memories. The stories of Emma, the sheriff and the girls are just part of Rockford’s rich history of hauntings, which covers most major landmarks in the city and dozens of private residences where ghosts are believed to dwell. By Corina Curry of the Rockford Register Star.
Warm up to corn with an alternative heating choice
Earl Rogers has found that firing up a corn stove on a porch can warm a house — with savings. Rogers had a corn stove installed three years ago in the enclosed front porch of his two-story, approximately 1,500-square-foot house in Bloomington. By Tamara Browning of the State Journal-Register.
'Dessert with the Doctors' puts new face on physicians
PEORIA – On Thursday night at the Methodist Atrium Building, patients had the chance to converse with a cardiologist, sit down with a surgeon or nosh with a neurologist. The evening, billed by the hospital as "Dessert with the Doctors," offered new patients the opportunity to meet face-to-face with roughly two dozen medical specialists and get to know the physicians outside of a clinical setting. By Frank Radosevich II of the Peoria Journal Star.
BRITT: Toon held.
Wood on Words: Treat yourself to a post-Halloween language lesson
By the time this is published, all of the Halloween treats should have been collected, although I hope they haven’t all been consumed. As a noun, a “treat” is a good thing, specifically something paid for by someone else or generally “anything that gives great pleasure.”
Elizabeth Davies: Please – make an educated vote
Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is it stipulated that we can partake in our right to vote only if we’ve read at least one election summary article in Newsweek. We don’t have to know the candidate’s views on major issues, be able to spell their names or even be able to pick their faces out of a lineup. Is that how the system was intended?
Phil Luciano: Kid outgrowing Halloween? Now that's scary
The school's Halloween parade snakes along, the meandering loop of scary and fanciful costumes seemingly without end. But there will be an end. There's always an end. And that's worrisome this time. Because this might be the last Halloween - well, at least, Halloween as you've known it for the past 12 years. That's the number of times the kid has been in costume.
Dave Bakke: Baby boomers may find ‘retirement’ isn’t just sitting around
It is a bad time for a crisis in retirement accounts. But, then, what would be a better time? Baby boomers are starting a trickle of retirees that will soon become a flood. People who are reaching retirement age this fall or next year have to be thinking twice and three times as they see their nest egg scrambled and fried.
Pam Adams: A fitting tribute for next week's historic election
The election was nowhere near decided when Arnitria Karen Shaw declared Nov. 5, 2008, "National Formal Wear Day" in honor of Barack Obama. Neither Sarah Palin nor her wardrobe's worth was in question. Hillary Clinton had not yet mentioned her "sisterhood of the traveling pantsuit."
Endorsement: State Journal-Register endorses Dick Durbin for U.S. Senate
In October 2002, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., was one of only 23 U.S. senators to vote against authorizing President Bush to go to war in Iraq. We mention this prescience because it shows Durbin’s deep knowledge and thoughtful, principled way of leading. We strongly urge his re-election on Tuesday.
MIKE NADEL: Nadel is on vacation.
With shot at greatness gone, Illini now hoping for respectable
CHAMPAIGN – Like nearly everyone else wearing orange and blue, Illinois senior center Ryan McDonald assumed that trip to the Rose Bowl 10 months ago would be just the beginning. It hasn't gone as planned. By John Supinie. Stands as preview of Saturday’s Iowa-Illinois game. With preview capsule.
ILLINOIS-IOWA: Game story with quotes and report card moving by 8 p.m.
Report card. Analysis of Illinois' performance. Moving with game story.
Notes: Notebook from Illinois locker room. Moving by 8:45.
ILLINOIS BASKETBALL: Illinois sophomore center Mike Tisdale gets a big challenge from Division I Florida Southern. The Mocs bring 7-0, 280-pound center Rashaad Singleton, a transfer from Georgia. Illinois opens the exibition season Sunday. With brief capsule.
ILLINOIS FOOTBALL: Follow. A look back at Iowa game and a look ahead at Western Michigan.
ILLINOIS BASKETBALL: Game coverage with quotes from Illinois' basketball exhibition opener vs. Florida Southern.
INSIDE THE LINES: Peoria Journal Star sports editor Bill Liesse takes an irreverent look at this weekend’s NFL games.
SUNDAY QUICK SHOTS: By Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star. Will be posted Saturday for use Sunday.
Winless Lions making small strides
LAKE FOREST – The Detroit Lions have been here before; 0-7 isn’t a huge stretch for a team that’s experiencing its eighth consecutive losing season and that has won only one playoff game in 56 years. But it is a huge comedown for a team that started 6-2 last year. By Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star.
--Lions-Bears preview. By Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star. Will be posted this evening.