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,


(Please note that this news list is not all-inclusive; other stories will move in Illinois News as well.)

STATE BRIEFS: A collection of briefs from GateHouse newspapers across the state. By 5 p.m. / Illinois and Illinois News

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

WHAT'S UP WITH THE MARKET? Series of reports on Illinois and the market effect:

-- Treasurer's morning money room: A look at how it works. Three people invest from three funds, including the state's general portfolio, primarily in various treasury securities. This morning's round of investments was done when interest rate cut was announced, but there was discussion of the implications for the state - namely, the state will make less off its cash investments. Colindres, photo planned

-- State debt: does interest rate cut make any difference in state bond ratings? Or open the door to cheaper refinancing? Finke

-- Pensions and the market: How do state pension systems react in down markets? How do they hedge? What kinds of investments do they have, and what kinds do they never consider? (Have they dabbled in CDOs, which have tanked in the subprime crash?) Who is on the state investment board, which manages SERS money? What are the funds' biggest positions & types of investments? How much does NAV fluctuate in this kind of atmosphere? Etc. Finke

-- State mutual funds: where stand the major funds that state employees can put their 401k money in? What has happened to their value in the past few months? Colindres

-- Interest rates: How long does it take, really, for an interest rate cut to have an effect on rates consumers pay? Which consumer rates are most responsive to fed actions? Dettro

GIRAFFE DEATH FOLO: Federal officials could investigate Brookfield Zoo. Chicago Suburban.

LEAD-FILLED TOYS: Chicago-area toy company clashes with state over lead toys. Chicago Suburban.

HUSKIES! Meet and pet huskies, watch them pull sleds at special Morton Arboretum event. Chicago Suburban.

TAZEWELL SMOKERS. The Tazewell County state's attorney has reportedly banned smoking on all county property, not just within 15 feet of buildings, and fines can be leveled against employees and the county if the rule is violated. The county's property committee has this issue on the agenda today and a lot of employees are expected to show up to complain. (by 9 p.m.) KEVIN SAMPIER, Peoria. / Illinois and Illinois News

PELO IN COURT. Pretrial for Jeff Pelo, the Bloomington cop charged in four rapes. Defense said plans to file change of venue. Trial set for April 17. (merits) MATT BUEDEL, Peoria / Illinois and Illinois News

TICKET MANIA: Rockford police write 89 tickets in special patrol. Register Star.

HIDDEN VIOLATIONS: The special series from the Small Newspaper Group still is available. Story links are packaged here:


(if your paper would like to submit an editorial or other opinion piece that would work statewide (or nationwide), please e-mail it to

EDITORIAL: 35 YEARS AFTER ROE: No matter which side of the abortion debate Americans lean toward, maybe they've been looking in the wrong places for answers. Peoria.

EDITORIAL: Lies and misconceptions still a part of election game. Register-Mail.

JEFF VRABEL: I'm going to take a brief break from delivering the hard-boiled, well-researched and extremely tasty news that generally appears in this space to talk about something that's near and dear to my heart right now: pain.

TOM LOEWY: Hole in ground is at the heart of the rift. Register-Mail.


MIKE NADEL: Even if he had to play in his now-famous boot cast, Tom Brady probably could beat the Giants in the Super Bowl. Capping the greatest season ever for a quarterback with his fourth championship would put Brady in the discussion of the best QBs of all time. / Evening / In Mike Nadel, Illinois Sports, Sports Columns

ILLINOIS BASKETBALL: The Illini play at Ohio State. Tipoff at 8 p.m. First story at 10:30 p.m. Second story with quotes and report card about 11.45. SUPINIE. / Illinois sports and Big Ten.

PACKERS: Season wrap-up and where Packers need to go from here. Reed Schreck, RRS. / Evening / Illinois Sports and Pro Football


SURVIVOR PREVIEW: (w/mug and box) Talked to Rupert Boneham, a “Survivor” fan favorite, about his experience on the show, how he got on and what he thinks it takes to make it. Auditions for “Survivor” and “Big Brother” are this weekend at the Peoria Civic Center. Talked to WMBD about what people can expect at auditions, how to prepare. (15 inches by 10 p.m.) ERIN WOOD, Peoria. / Illinois and Illinois News

and in case you missed it…

LOST PARTY: ‘Lost’ is found just in time to save the TV season -- let’s celebrate! Register Star.