Regional budget 8/09/07

Jonie Larson, Regional Editor

GateHouse News Service Regional Budget (8/10/07)

Here are the top Illinois stories coming today from GateHouse News Service. Stories are available at http://ghns.ghnewsroom.com

*Please check this Web site in the evening for changes to story lineup, including breaking news.

Contacts:

Regional Editor Jonie Larson, (217) 816-3343, jlarson@gatehousemedia.com

National Editor Jean Hodges, (630) 348-3350, jhodges@gatehousemedia.com

AVAILABLE FOR SUNDAY PUBLICATION

During the draft-era Vietnam War, the average age of combat troops

was 19. The volunteer force in the fight against terrorism

finds the average age of soldiers to be 26,

with many soldiers even older.

What does this mean in terms of skill and the chance of coming home alive?

A veteran who served in both wars shares his opinions with readers.

WAR COMES HOME – Evidence of war is scattered across the state: here, nourishing a local economy through a defense contract; there, in the tears of those who mourn 177 dead.

A two-day package, available for publication Sunday and after, examines the impact of the war on Illinois. Check out the multi-part package, complete with graphics, photos and war stories from around the state on www.gatehousenewsservice.com. Find it under News: Special Reports.

News

AFSCME SUIT. CHICAGO (GHNS) – State government’s largest employees union filed suit today in an attempt to force Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes to cut paychecks amid the continuing budget stalemate. RAMSEY/Illinos

MOTORCYCLIST DYING, AGING. (w/pic and graphic) Despite reaching the lowest number of motor-vehicle deaths in five years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says motorcycle deaths rose in 2006. That increase marks the ninth straight year that these deaths have increased. Illinois bucked the trend and had a decline. The Tri-County area sees its fair shares of deaths but it's not leading the state in numbers. There has also been a surge in sales of bikes to Baby Boomers since the 90s. We'll localize and talk to dealers or biker groups to see if the ‘graying' of motorcyclist is taking place and whether or not they're responsible for the spike in deaths. RADOSEVICH/PEORIA/moving this evening/Illinois

OPERATING BUDGET: Illinois House today passed an operating budget for the fiscal year that started in July. Further developments likely through the day. FINKE AND STAFF/CAPITOL BUREAU/moving this evening/Illinois

SIDEBAR: Accompanying the above story: A list of selected "member initiative" projects, AKA pork, that are itemized in the budget bill. compiled by Colindres.

WHAT’S IT MEAN?: What the House-Democrat-proposed state budget means for human services and public health. Senate may run the stripped-down version of the governor's plan  to offer health insurance for everyone. HEUPEL/Illinois News

WIND FARM ASSESSMENTS: Senate has OK'd legislation setting up a statewide standard for doing property assessments on wind farms. House also still could vote on this today. COLINDRES/CAPITOL BUREAU/moving this evening/Illinois News

STATE FAIR KICK-OFF WITH GOV?: Parade kicks off this evening in hot, steamy conditions. Unsure if governor will show.REYNOLDS/SPRINGFIELD/this evening/Illinois

SIDEBAR – BUTTER COW – The annual unveiling of the butter cow (with art). SPRINGFIELD

Sports

DAILY SOUTHTOWN

SOX NOTEBOOK — WHALEN

CUBS NOTEBOOK — VORVA

US WOMEN’S SOCCER ADVANCE — FIRCHAU

BEARS: MAIN — CHAMBERLAIN OR AMIDON (will post if it's by Amidon)

PEORIA CHIEFS:  With the Great Lakes Loons in Peoria this week, Chiefs fans may recognize a couple of names. Scott Van Slyke and Preston Mattingly, sons of former major leaguers Andy Van Slyke and Don Mattingly, are on the Loons’ roster.  We’ll featurize. J. WESSLER/PEORIA/moving this evening/Illinois

BEARS: Feature from training camp. REED SCHRECK/ Rockford Register Star, mainbar 7 p.m., notes 9 p.m./PEORIA

WILDCAT CLASSIC: Basketball tournament arrives in town this weekend where 204 teams are scheduled to compete from across the country including 24 local teams. BRENDA YOUNG/Rockford Register Star, 300-360 words/PEORIA

Coming this weekend

STATION UP FOR RENOVATION: Even with portable fans noisily gushing air, the historic Great Hall of Union Station was hot and muggy on Wednesday afternoon. But at least there was space, lots of space, to sprawl onto one of its long varnished benches – unlike the boarding lounge for Amtrak passengers, which is closer to the trains. Few seats were available there. That is expected to change ...RAMSEY/CHICAGO BUREAU/posted/Illinois

CAPITOL NOTEBOOK – A look at the week in Springfield. BUREAU

5 THINGS TO KNOW – Five things worth noting out of Chicago. RAMSEY

STATEHOUSE INSIDER – Column by DOUG FINKE.

CAPITOL ANALYSIS – Weekly feature out of the capitol bureau on state issues.