GHNS Illinois Budget (4/2/08)
Here are the top Illinois stories coming today from GateHouse News Service. Stories are available at www.gatehousenewsservice.com. Please check www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/news in the evening for changes to story lineup, including breaking news.
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Writing coach: Read Casey Laughman’s writing coach blog at http://www.ghnewsroom.com/blogs.php?aid=16. Updated every Monday afternoon.
Little letter from Lincoln expected to draw big bid
SPRINGFIELD – An 86-word letter Abraham Lincoln wrote in 1864 to the widow of education reformer Horace Mann could fetch $3 million to $5 million at auction Thursday in New York, which would make it the most expensive Lincoln document ever sold. By Pete Sherman of the State Journal-Register.
STATE BRIEFS: News from around the state. Will be posted this evening.
AIDS LOBBY DAY: A couple hundred people were at the State Capitol Wednesday for AIDS/HIV lobby day to seek legislation and money to help people with those conditions. By Adriana Colindres of the State Capitol bureau.
ROADKILL: Looking to address a stinky problem, the Illinois Senate has passed legislation that would let the city of Peoria dispose of roadkill such as skunks and opposum at the animal crematorium it uses for dogs and cats that have been run over. By Adriana Colindres of the State Capitol bureau.
Remaining Smart Talk shows in Rockford canceled
ROCKFORD – The Smart Talk series, which kicked off March 18 with Erin Brockovich, has been canceled for its two remaining appearances because of slow ticket sales.
Cocktail creation explored in unique fundraiser
PEORIA -- Tim Laird knows a poor Manhattan is nine times out of 10 the result of bad Sweet Vermouth. He knows the easiest way to correct the problem is to use Chambord liquor instead. As the CEO of Canadian Mist — and by CEO, we’re talking the chief entertaining officer — Laird knows the cocktail history better than most encyclopedias.
Former coach pleads guilty to sex with underage girl
PEORIA – A former girls basketball coach at Peoria High School pleaded guilty Tuesday to having sex with a 15-year-old student. By Andy Kravetz of the Peoria Journal Star.
Payton children encourage organ donation
SPRINGFIELD – Secretary of State Jesse White unveiled a new commercial to kick off organ and tissue donor month Tuesday. The commercial, which features Brittney and Jarrett Payton, children of former Chicago Bears football player Walter Payton, encourages Illinoisans to sign up and become a donor. By Meagan Sexton of the State Capitol bureau.
Illinois casinos push to stay open 24 hours
SPRINGFIELD – Gamblers could bet on the slots, roulette and other games of chance 24 hours a day if the Illinois Gaming Board authorizes a request from the state’s casino industry to expand operating hours. By Adriana Colindres of the State Capitol bureau.
Film production in central Illinois on the rise
SPRINGFIELD -- While most movies are still shot in Hollywood or some other large city, more and more film projects are finding their way to central Illinois. With sidebar. By John Reynolds of the State Journal-Register.
BRITT: Toon on Big Oil profits. Will be posted this evening.
Editorial: Beijing not singing ‘Kumbaya’
China is reportedly spending $40 billion to host the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, making them the most expensive Summer Games ever. The communist nation is determined to project itself and its citizens as orderly, prosperous, clean and content as party leaders prepare to throw open their doors to the world come August. But with the Games little more than four months away, China increasingly finds itself fighting global public relations battles. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.
Elizabeth Davies: Moms’ bosses the most demanding
On any weekday morning, in any mall across America, there are mommies. They are the referees, the chief financial officers, the time managers and the psychologists for the many mini-people who tend to take over the mall while their siblings are at school and their daddies are at work.
Blue Man 2.1 a minor upgrade from last year’s version
PEORIA -- Blue Man Group brought its “How to be a Megastar Tour 2.1” to the Peoria Civic Center on Tuesday night. And if this reviewer’s memory is serving her correctly, the show was strikingly similar to “How to be a Megastar Tour 2.0,” which made a stop here last April. By Danielle Hatch of the Peoria Journal Star.
MIKE NADEL: CHICAGO – As poorly run as any franchise in the universe for the last several years, the Blackhawks actually are watchable again thanks to a crew of talented young players and ownership willing to embrace modern times. Will be posted by 10:30 p.m. and updated later if necessary.
ILLINI: Bruce Weber’s name has been mentioned by some as a possible candidate for the Marquette job. But with things looking up for Weber at Illinois, it doesn’t make much sense for him to leave. By John Supinie. Will be posted this evening.