Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald


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

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


Jean Hodges, 630-348-3350, 630-956-8834,

Michael Toeset, 630-835-8870, 708-785-4355,


STATE BRIEFS – A collection of briefs from GateHouse newspapers across the state.

-NOTE: If your paper has a digest item to share, please email it to

CHRYSLER: Despite losing shift, Caliber, Compass, Patriot deliver for Chrysler. RRS.


- Most property owners will have damage covered by insurance. RRS.

- Videos from the tornado are here:

DISTRACTED DRIVERS: Task force conducts public hearing on "distracted driving"-- people who use cell phones, or text, while driving. Sexton. / Illinois and Illinois News

SMOKING RULES: Legislative committee rejects rules detailing how to implement the new state law banning smoking in public, indoor spaces. Colindres. / Illinois and Illinois News

LEGISLATURE: General Assembly meets today; could act on school-funding legislation and/or on mass-transit bailout for Chicago area. Finke. / Illinois and Illinois News

ATTENTION HOMES FOR YOUTH: local after-school/summer care agency for kids closing due to tardy state aid payments. Checking into whether other social service agencies are facing the same dilemma. Colindres. Evening / Illinois and Illinois News

MCCARRON DAY 3: (w/mug or sketch) The Karen McCarron murder trial continues today. She is accused of smothering her autistic daughter (by 7 p.m.) KEVIN SAMPIER. PJS / Illinois and Illinois News

WATCH YOUR KIDS: (w/pic) A lifeguard at the daily "Fun Splash" at Five Points Washington recently fished the same 2-year-old out of the pool in a span of a couple of minutes. We'll use the story, and other close calls and cautionary tales, as an opportunity to remind parents about children and pool safety during the indoor season and why parents shouldn't let their guard down, just because a lifeguard's on duty. (by 5 p.m.) SCOTT HILYARD. PJS / Illinois and Illinois News

BIODIESEL: The County Board will decide Thursday to allow rezoning of 33 acres in southern Peoria County for a proposed biodiesel manufacturing plant that in its first phase is expected to produce 45 million gallons per year and within 4 years grow to produce 120 million gallons annually. This $40 million development is on property owned by Caterpillar. The Zoning Board of Appeals has given its nod already. (18 inches by 6 p.m.) DAVE HANEY. PJS / Illinois and Illinois News

ETHANOL BANKRUPT: Bankruptcy hearing concerning the Canton ethanol plant. There are more than 20 creditors listed in court documents. (10-15 inches by 7:30 p.m.) BRENDA ROTHERT, PJS / Illinois and Illinois News

HDTV: Digital broadcasting converter coupons going fast. Chicago Suburban.

HANNAH MONTANA: Hannah’s brother to appear in Rockford at hockey game.

CHOO-CHOOSE TO JOIN: Railroad Museum seeking new members. Galesburg.

ELECTION ’08: Knox College Dems believe youth turnout will be crucial to presidential race. Galesburg.

WHEELCHAIR: Northern Illinois grad student helps wheelchair-bound find just the right fit. RRS.


MICHELLE TEHEUX: The television-crazed HDTV groupies, not satisfied with ordinary broadcast transmissions and picture tubes, are forcing everyone onto the digital bandwagon. Great. Now my TVs are scheduled to stop working on Feb. 18, 2009. I can remember this date pretty easily because that’s also the day I will turn 43. Not only will half my body parts probably no longer work right due to age, but now my TVs won’t either.


NADEL is on vacation. He will return will a column Sunday for Monday.

ILLINOIS BASKETBALL: While the pieces haven't fallen together easily for the Illini, Wisconsin bounced back from losing its two stars from last season to return to the top 25 and the top of the Big Ten standings. Illinois plays at Wisconsin Thursday. Serves as preview. With preview capsule. SUPINIE. Champaign. Illinois sports and Big Ten. Moving this evening.

ILLINOIS FOOTBALL: Rashard Mendenhall will announce his intentions to jump to the NFL draft during a news conference Thursday at Niles West High School, his alma mater. The short story will update the events leading up to the announcement. SUPINIE. Champaign. Illinois sports and Big Ten. Moving this evening.

PACKERS VS. SEAHAWKS: It’s big news whenever Green Bay, with Brett Favre, and Seattle, with coach Mike Holmgren and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, meet. With this time being in the divisional round of the playoffs Saturday at Lambeau Field, the scrutiny is that much greater. Reed Schreck.