GateHouse News Service Regional Budget (9/22, 23, 24/07)

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

GateHouse News Service Regional Budget (9/22, 23, 24/07)

Here are the top Illinois stories coming today and this weekend from GateHouse News Service. Stories are available at www.gatehousenewsservice.com.

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

Contacts:

Michael Toeset, 630-348-3356, 630-835-8870, mtoeset@gatehousemedia.com

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

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

NEWS

DEATH TO DIAMOND. CHICAGO – Billie Tucker’s husband, Kenneth, died suddenly in August 2006, but a part of him is always with her – literally. The 64-year-old widow from Hoffman Estates had a small portion of her spouse’s ashes turned into a blue-colored diamond. A private Chicago-area company, LifeGem, handled the transformation for a little more than $6,000, Tucker said. RAMSEY w/sidebar on other options, plus ART. On wire now

RARE BIRD: Bird watchers/lovers flock to Beloit, Wis., to get a look at hummingbird that’s rarely seen in the U.S. – and probably never seen this far north. On wire now/Illinois, News

5 THINGS: Ramsey. Evening/Illinois

CAPITOL ANALYSIS: Illinois can do its part to combat global warming with more efficient cars, expanded and improved mass transit and cleaner burning power plants, among other strategies. Chambers. Evening/Illinois

INTEREST RATES: Talk to local bankers, mortgage, economic experts about just how soon, if at all, Fed cuts will translate into lower mortgage rates, ARMs etc. Landis, Springfield. Evening/Illinois

VIDEO FOR THE DEAD: What do you want on your tombstone? How about a television? If just carving a name and dates in granite isn’t enough to tell the story of your life, a funeral home will let you use a short video, too. Rockford. Afternoon/Illinois

STUDENT ASSAULTED. Seeking comment from District 150 officials about the sexual assault of one of their students last week. We hope to today, specifically asking them if they alerted parents of the attack. We'll also give police a hard time for not releasing the information sooner and try to learn more details about the attack. (merits; by 4 p.m.) FARK. Peoria

OKTOBERFEST. The German-American annual celebration featuring dancing, food, exhibits and beer kicks off tonight. Will featurize. (merits; by 9 p.m.) RADOSEVICH. Peoria

POW/MIA CEREMONY. Today is national POW/MIA recognition day. A full POW/MIA ceremony is planned in Parkview Cemetery. Will attend. (merits; by 5 p.m.) HILYARD. Peoria

VETERANS EXPO. With more and more veterans coming home every day, most probably don't know what kind of services are out there. Will advance a veteran's open house on Monday, where about a dozen different local and state agencies. (10-12 inches) HANEY. Peoria.

METHODISTS-CAT. A United Methodist Church agency recommends divestment from companies providing products or services used for 'illegal destruction' in Palestinian areas or that are doing business with Sudan. Action is a week old. Cat was specifically cited in the resolution. (merits; by 4 p.m.) MILLER. Peoria

STARK KID. The 9-year-old boy who shot another kid with a toy gun on the way to Stark County Elementary School in Wyoming is due in court this morning. He was originally charged with reckless conduct by police, but the first appearance should reveal what the state's attorney has formally filed, and also may produce some comments from the judge on the very limited options for dealing with a juvenile offender under 10. (8-10 inches) by 7 p.m. SMITH. ALL. Peoria.

For Monday:

Bernard Schoenburg: political column

Doug Finke: Statehouse Insider column

BUSINESS

CHECK SCAM: AMCORE and Better Business Bureau stepping up efforts on fraudulent lottery scams. GARY/ROCKFORD, words 450-600. Evening/Illinois

CANDY TRENDS: Extreme flavors, healthier alternatives and a certain twisted snack are among the trends consumers will begin seeing on candy and snack aisles. Here's our list from the international candy expo, held this week in Chicago. WEBSTER/ROCKFORD, words 450-540. Evening/Illinois

SPORTS

QUICK SHOTS: Reed Schreck’s NFL roundup. On wire now/Pro Football

NADEL:

- No column for Saturday

- Cubs for Sunday

- Bears for Monday

BEARS:

- Bears focus on turning Moose loose, Rockford/On wire now

- Bears look to go on offensive (with NFL picks), Rockford/On wire now

- Gould gets no kick out of punting, Rockford/On wire now

RAMS NOTES: Rookie nose tackle Clifton Ryan, a fifth-round draft pick out of Michigan State, was a bright spot for the St. Louis Rams in last week's 17-16 loss to San Francisco. In 18 plays, he made eight tackles (including a pair of sacks), recovered a fumble and forced a fumble. HAL PILGER, Springfield. Evening

DAILY SOUTHTOWN:

For Saturday:

- ARVIA COLUMN: at Cubs. Evening/Illinois Sports, Columns

- CUBS NOTEBOOK: Vorva. Evening/Illinois Sports, Cubs

For Sunday:

- INTERVIEW WITH FIRE PRESIDENT/CEO JOHN GUPPY. Illinois Sports

- CUBS NOTEBOOK: Ladewski. Evening/Illinois Sports and Cubs

- ARVIA COLUMN: On Cubs. Illinois Sports

- NOTRE DAME: Hosting Michigan State. Game story and notebook, Cronin. Evening/Sports

SUPINIE

For Saturday

ILLINOIS PREVIEW: While Illinois fans debated the ability of QB Juice Williams and the passing game, Rashard Mendenhall and two other running backs reminded everyone that Illinois can still run the ball. Illinois vs. Indiana preview. With preview capsule. SUPINIE. Moving Friday. Illinois and Big Ten.

For Sunday

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Illinois vs. Indiana. SUPINIE. Moving Saturday late afternoon/evening.

- GAME STORY. Coverage of Illinois' conference opener in Bloomington, Ind.

- REPORT CARD. Analysis of Illinois' performance against the Hoosiers.

- NOTEBOOK. News and notes following the game.

BLOG. Available at www.sj-r.com and www.pjstar.com.

For Monday

ILLINOIS FOLLOW: A look back at the Indiana game and a look ahead to the Penn State game. SUPINIE. Champaign. Illinois and Big Ten.

OPINIONS

EDITORIAL: WANTED: A BETTER AG: President Bush said retired federal judge Michael B. Mukasey 'knows what it takes to fight' terrorism and 'how to do it in a manner that is consistent with our laws and our Constitution.' Skeptics may note the president made similar claims about outgoing attorney general Alberto Gonzales. Senators charged with vetting Mukasey should make sure he's not Gonzales II. Peoria, On wire now

BRITT TOONS: Check Illinois Opinions for the latest Britt offerings.