GHNS Illinois Budget (4/11/08)

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.

If your paper has a story, digest item, opinion piece or standalone photo to share, please e-mail it to


-    Casey Laughman: (217) 816-3343,

-    Jean Hodges: (630) 348-3350,


Best GateHouse Headlines of the Week:

Writing coach: Read Casey Laughman’s writing coach blog at Updated every Monday afternoon. This week’s topic: Bad ledes.


If you have Illinois stories planned for Earth Day (4/22), please e-mail Illinois Regional Editor Casey Laughman at

MIKE NADEL AT THE MASTERS: The Masters is unlike any other major golf tournament. It’s always at the same course and is famous for more than just world-class golf. The azaleas in bloom. The cheese sandwiches. “Patrons” instead of “fans.” “Second cut” instead of “rough.” And, of course, raging paranoia by the tournament organizers that leads to them declaring anyone who criticizes any aspect of the tournament persona non grata. In other words, it’s the perfect place for Mike Nadel. He’s at Augusta National for the first time. In addition to a daily column, he will also be writing Masterful Observations, a look at the lesser-known aspects of the Masters.


Kenseth's son looks like schoolboy, drives like dad

LOVES PARK – Ross Kenseth looks the part of a 14-year-old schoolboy with his mouth full of braces and his Indiana Hoosiers baseball cap shading his eyes. And, he would rather talk about the recent NCAA men’s basketball tournament than himself and his famous father, NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Matt Kenseth. But when he's behind the wheel, his racing genes take over. By Doug Goodman of the Rockford Register Star.


STATE BRIEFS: News from around the state. Will be posted this evening.

AMBASSADOR VISIT: The Chinese ambassador to the United States visited Peoria Friday – but didn’t appear publicly. He spoke to the Peoria Rotary Club. By Terry Bibo of the Peoria Journal Star. Will be posted this evening.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: The situation in Illinois has improved so much – thanks to malpractice cap legislation – that the state’s largest insurer of medical liability for physicians is issuing policyholder dividends totaling $11.5 million. By Meagan Sexton of the State Capitol bureau. Will be posted this evening.

PREMISES ID: Legislation is floating around the General Assembly which would either weaken or kill the Department of Agriculture's new requirement that anybody who wants to show livestock or horses at state, county, 4-H or FFA fairs now must provide a "premises identification number" that specifies where the animal usually is kept. The main lawmakers on this are Rich Myers of Colchester and John Sullivan of Rushville. By Adriana Colindres of the State Capitol bureau. Will be posted this evening.

For the weekend:

GENERAL ASSEMBLY HALFWAY THRU: The spring session is nearly at its halfway point, and many of the big issues aren't getting much public discussion. Issues include the budget itself, income taxes (both a straight bill and a constitutional amendment), gambling, a capital bill, the tax rebate plan, a lottery lease, guns, recall amendment, smoking clean-up, moment of silence clean-up. By Doug Finke of the State Capitol bureau. Will be posted this evening.

Statehouse Insider column. By Doug Finke of the State Capitol bureau. Will be posted this evening.

State Capitol Notebook column. State Capitol Bureau. Will be posted this evening.

Teen knew home was filled with guns

STILLMAN VALLEY – Police say an 18-year-old man was the ringleader in a fatal weekend home invasion that claimed the life of a 14-year-old boy. The man knew the homeowner was in the hospital and had numerous guns at the house. By Chris Green of the Rockford Register Star.

Retired bishop barred from conducting son's funeral

PEORIA – A retired bishop of the Peoria-based Episcopal Diocese of Quincy has been banned by The Episcopal Church from performing any rites until a trial on charges that he broke canon law can be held. By Michael Miller of the Peoria Journal Star.

Parvovirus puts halt to dog adoptions

ROCKFORD – Dogs will not be available for adoption at the Winnebago County Animal Shelter until Wednesday after two puppies at the kennel tested positive for parvovirus, a highly contagious and often fatal disease. By Isaac Guerrero of the Rockford Register Star.

Former detective cleared of fraud allegations

SPRINGFIELD – A former Springfield police detective who had been charged with wire fraud and official misconduct has been formally cleared and will face no future charges stemming from an Illinois State Police investigation. By Sarah Antonacci of the State Journal-Register.

Creativity key to bypassing flight cancellations

SPRINGFIELD – Get creative. Be determined. Expect more. Such is the advice from fliers and area airport officials as the Federal Aviation Administration warns the hundreds of flight cancellations at American Airlines this week likely will spread to other carriers in coming weeks. By Tim Landis of the State Journal-Register.

State fairgrounds repair work proceeding on schedule

SPRINGFIELD – State construction officials said Thursday the rewiring project at the Illinois State Fairgrounds is running slightly ahead of schedule, and that they expect work to be completed by the May 16 contract deadline. By Doug Finke of the State Capitol bureau.


BRITT: Toon on the Springfield sewer board. Will be posted this evening.

Phil Luciano: Little news value in reporting on big winners

As I read a newspaper story about a Lotto winner, two thoughts suddenly came to mind: Why do media report this? Why do we care?

Editorial: FAA, airlines breach public trust

Testimony from federal whistleblowers paints a very unsettling picture of the cozy relationship between the FAA and the airlines. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.

WOOD ON WORDS: Jargon and gibberish. Will be posted this evening.


New Midway Village exhibit has purse-onality

Opening on Sunday, April 20, at Rockford's history museum, the 10-week exhibit "Purse and the Person" includes 500 purses and accessories. Vignettes examine purses and their contents, as a reflection of women in the 20th century. Photo murals are backdrops for the exhibit’s 13 sections. By Edith C. Webster of the Rockford Register Star.


MIKE NADEL: AUGUSTA, Ga. – A column from the second round of the Masters.

WITH: Masterful Observations. A behind-the-scenes look at the Masters.


For Sunday:

ILLINOIS FOOTBALL: Coverage of Illinois' scrimmage in Lemont. Topic TBA. By John Supinie. Moving Saturday evening.

For Monday:

ILLINOIS GOLF: The Illini men host their first in-season tournament since 1987. The field is essentially a de facto state tournament. By John Supinie. Moving Sunday evening.

SUNDAY QUICK SHOTS: Bears best move is no move with Urlacher

Brian Urlacher wants more money. The Bears have three options. Also includes items on Kansas basketball coach Bill Self, Marion Jones, the Cubs and the White Sox. For use in Sunday editions. By Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star.

Jeff Lampe: A turkey hunt unlike any other

First-time turkey hunts don't get much better than the one Joe Mount experienced last weekend.


Feature stories that have moved this week:

If singing doesn’t work out for Underwood, there’s always TV

If Carrie Underwood hadn't decided on a whim to drive from Oklahoma to St. Louis to try out for "American Idol" in 2005, she likely would have gone on to a career as a television newscaster instead. By Danielle Hatch of the Peoria Journal Star.

Physicist by day, designer by night embroiders her way to wearable art runway

Eve Kovacs approaches her couture runway creations the same way she tackles her scientific undertakings as a physicist at Argonne National Laboratory — with technical precision. By Jessica Young of Suburban Life Publications.

Weight-loss facility touts 'common sense' approach

DOWNERS GROVE – When Kim Sullivan went back to school last year to become an esthetician, she quickly gained 30 pounds. And then another 10. After hitting her frustration threshold, Sullivan decided to try out Hy-Tech Weight Loss, a new physician-directed program in Downers Grove, to drop the extra pounds forming her belly and love handles. After just a month, she already has lost 10 pounds “effortlessly.” By Jessica Young of Suburban Life Publications.

Zhou Brothers depart from classical to rock out with Nielsen

ROCKFORD – For their next (cheap) trick, the Zhou Brothers are incorporating a five-neck guitar. A live art performance June 13 at the Coronado Performing Arts Center in Rockford by the Zhou Brothers will feature Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen and Donald Fraser, a classical composer from Rockton. By Georgette Braun of the Rockford Register Star.