Regional budget for 9/18/07

Jonie Larson, Regional Editor

GateHouse News Service Regional Budget (9/18/07)

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

EDITORS: Budget, stories, photos and graphics for this weekend’s release of the Farm Bill package – Fields of Green - will move later this afternoon.  Please look to www.gatehousenewsservice.com under News: Special Reports to find the package.

News

HARVEST TIME. (w/pic) Central Illinois farmers are taking advantage of warm September weather to get a big corn crop out of the field. Some farmers are already seeing yields of 20 bushels or more an acre over last year. With dry weather in the forecast, looks for farmers to be harvesting over the next several weeks throughout the region. TARTER/PEORIA/Illinois

POWER PLANTS. Lisa Madigan is challenging the issuance of Air Pollution permits to six coal-fired power plants in Illinois, including the Powerton facility near Pekin. The issue is how much pollution the plant is releasing. SAMPIER/PEORIA/Illinois

ILLINOIS SENATE. State Senate has returned to State Capitol. Unclear if the Senate will do anything today, however. Session was slated for noon, but now has been delayed until at least 2 p.m. Story on merits. FINKE/COLINDRES/CAPITOL BUREAU/Illinois News

GOVERNOR LAWSUIT. Sangamon County court hearing slated for this afternoon in the lawsuit that Gov. Blagojevich filed against House Clerk Mark Mahoney, alleging he didn't properly file the governor's budget vetos with the House. Story on merits. FINKE/CAPITOL BUREAU/Illinois

AMEREN RELIEF. Ameren today announced it will provide $15 million in assistance to Illinois residential electric customers over the next four years through two programs. This is part of the $1 billion relief plan recently signed into law. COLINDRES/CAPITOL BUREAU/Illinois

Business

ROCHELLE ANNOUNCEMENT. The Fortune 100 company building a data center in the Hub City is named Monday night. THOMAS BONA/ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR, 480-540 words, 7:30 p.m. ROCKFORD/Illinois News

URBAN STARBUCKS. Starbucks Coffee is ubiquitous in many areas of Chicago, but not within the city's transitional South Side. City officials cut the ribbon on a Starbucks where a public housing high-rise once stood – proof, they say, that the neighborhood has turned a corner for the better. RAMSEY/CHICAGO/Illinois News

Sports

PLAY BALL. A group of community leaders studying the idea of bringing an independent professional baseball team to Bloomington-Normal will discuss the issue at tonight's Normal City Council meeting. The franchise would be privately owned, but no owner has been secured. The committee has talked to Heartland Community College about a possible partnership to build a baseball stadium. DOUBET/PEORIA/Illinois Sports and Illinois News

HARRIS. Former Bear Chris Harris comes through as promised with tickets to Bears game. REED SCHRECK/ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR/Illinois Sports and Bears

MUGS: Chris Harris

BEARS. Column on Bears lack of ability on third-and-long situations. MATT TROWBRIDGE/ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR/Illinois Sports and Bears

BREAKOUTS: Update on next game

WITH THE ILLINI: Illinois notebook column. Led with football. Likely to include men's basketball. SUPINIE/CHAMPAIGN. Moving this evening./Illinois Sports and Big Ten

DAILY SOUTHTOWN:

CUBS AND SOX NOTEBOOKS – Watch Web site for postings.

Opinions

BIRD-BRAINED MANIPULATION OF SCIENCE. Murrelet & Friends are just more evidence that, when it comes to policy-making, politics and ideology have too often trumped the truth. PEORIA JOURNAL STAR/posted/Illinois Opinion