Illinois budget for 12.21.07

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

GateHouse News Service Regional Budget (12/21/07)

Here are the top Illinois stories coming today from GateHouse News Service. Stories are available at

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

Contacts:  Note: Jonie is on vacation until 12/26.? Regional Editor Jonie Larson, (217) 816-3343,

National Editor Jean Hodges, (630) 348-3350,



THE GREAT INFLATABLE DEBATE. Good to localize: Ask residents what they think. Love them or hate them, the inflatable Christmas decoration trend seems to be proliferating - like a Superbug impervious to the strongest antibiotics known to man – instead of waning. WHY? We'll talk to people who show their love of inflatable decorations by cramming several into their small yards. And we'll talk to those who hate them, preferring the 'classy' all-white-light approach on ubiquitous display in the suburbs. (15-20-inches by 5 p.m.) SCOTT HILYARD/ Peoria


HOLIDAY TRAVEL. Putting together the annual numbers, only an estimated .7 percent increase over last year, which for many will actually begin today when kids rush out at the last bell; Got high gas prices; more state police will be patrolling; travel tips, etc. (merits; by 4 p.m.) DAVE HANEY. / Peoria

AND:  CHRISTMAS TRAVEL: Despite higher gas prices and airfares, a few more people will travel this Christmas season than last year. We talk to AAA Chicago, airport officials and gas industry experts about what to expect  /ROCKFORD

PHOTO: taken at airport of holiday travelers

EXHUMED REMAINS YIELD SURPRISE: New information has developed in the 59-year-old unsolved homicide of Mary Jane Reed. A forensic anthropologist says the skeletal remains exhumed from her grave in 2005 are from two different people. NOTE: Will update as events warrant. ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR


VETERANS REMINDER:  Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth reminds veterans and their employers about upcoming deadlines for filing for new tax exemptions. Colindres.

CARLOCK INQUEST: Death of Paul Carlock in jail will be subject of inquest at 1 p.m. coroner susan boone presumably now knows that he was tasered before he died. SPRINGFIELD

GIULIANI: Possible verification today that he’ll be in Springfield Feb. 2 for Lincoln Day lunch. Bernie, SPRINGFIELD

ASTRONAUT’S MOM HIT BY TRAIN: The 90-year-old mother of Lombard astronaut Daniel Tani died Wednesday afternoon after she drove around a lowered crossing gate and was struck by a freight train, police said. CHICAGO SUBURBAN / in / illinois news

ART: pics of messed up car; mug of her


NADEL COLUMN: Why Pete Rose, who is still begging for Hall of Fame enshrinement, is a professional slimeball. Also, Mike Nadel discusses the Hall possibilities of those named in the Mitchell Report and makes his choices for this year's Hall ballot. MOVING THIS EVENING

BEARS/PACKERS SUPERSTITION: Feature story from Rockford.

ILLINOIS BASKETBALL: Illinois vs. Miami (Ohio). Game coverage. Story with quotes and report card moving by 10:30 p.m. SUPINIE. Champaign. Illinois sports and Big Ten. SUPINIE


SMOKING BAN: The state needs time to sort out nuances of the 'Smoke Free Illinois' act, and bars need a grace period for compliance. PEORIA / in / illinois opinions

ALL THINGS RAD: Celebrity autographs are big business. Anyone want mine? ROCKFORD / in / opinions

Coming this weekend and beyond


Package on Illinois' first appearance in the Rose Bowl in 1947 in lead-up to the present-day team’s appearance on New Year’s Day. SUPINIE

MAIN STORY: How Mr. Illini inspired the conference championship team of  WWII veterans mixed with younger.

WITH: Vignettes on several players from the 1947 team, who provide personal insight into the meaning of the game, the return from World War II and a life full of memories.

BREAKOUTS: List of Illinois' appearances in Rose Bowl, 1947 box score and Illinois' results from that season.?

Embargo until Dec. 25.

ART: photos and video.??


Saturday, Dec. 22:

ALREADY SMOKE-FREE:  (w/pic) The hospitals went smoke free in July. Look at how it is going and what suggestions they offer to make the transition easier. (10-12 inches by Dec. 19)

Sunday, Dec. 23

SMOKING LAW: (w/chart) A blow out story spelling out the new law and what changes people can expect to see as Illinois goes smoke-free on Jan. 1. (15-20 inches by Dec. 20) PEORIA

Monday, Dec. 24

POLICING THE LAW: How do police entities plan to handle complaints. And who is ticketed, the smoker or the business allowing them to smoke. Also look at to whom

do people report violations? (15 inches by Dec. 21)

Tuesday, Dec. 25

HOW IT HAS WORKED AT WORK: A look at how big companies, such as Mitsubishi, State Farm, ISU handled the smoking ban. See how these companies handled the policies in their city and if they need to do anything more when the state ban goes into effect. (10-12 inches by Dec. 20.)

Thursday, Dec. 27

SMALL TOWN ADAPTATION - A look at how smaller municipalities plan to handle this change. It could be tough in towns with part-time city hall hours and one-man

police departments. (15 inches by Dec. 23)

Saturday, Dec. 29

GAME PLAY: Bingo parlors and casinos are known to be smoky scenes, so what will

patrons do when they can't light up. Will they head outside for a smoke and risk losing that lucky machine? (10 inches by Dec. 26)

Sunday, Dec. 30

STILL SMOKING? Will talk to the American Cancer Society and offer tips to make the

transition easier. Try to find someone planning to quit as a result of the law. (CHARTICLE by Dec. 26)

Monday, Dec. 31

WHERE CAN YOU ACTUALLY LIGHT UP? A look at where people can still enjoy a cigarette, including private residences, nursing homes hotels and tobacco stores. (10-12 inches by Dec. 26)

Tuesday, Jan. 1 - (blastoff)

REHASH OF LAW:. A chart of the new laws. (merits; by Dec. 26)

Wednesday, Jan. 2

THE DAY AFTER: How did the first day go? Will look at how things went, talking to police, restaurants and bars. (15 inches by Jan. 1)



NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND -- Story looking at how it's been good/bad for Illinois

education, based on interviews with state school superintendent and others. Colindres.

CYBERBULLING: New initiative by attorney general Lisa Madigan targets computer-based bullying tactics. Heupel.