GHNS Illinois Budget (4/30/08)

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,


Redesign: Ohio weekly newspaper unveils its new look.

Writing coach: Read Casey Laughman’s writing coach blog at Updated every Monday afternoon. This week’s topic: An excellent example of using anonymous sources well.


Kid stars of human wax museum actually enjoy learning, standing still

CREVE COUER – With the push of a button, LaSalle Elementary School students became history's most influential people, ranging from Elvis to Einstein, and created a living wax museum Tuesday. By Kevin Sampier of the Peoria Journal Star.


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

PAY TO PLAY: Lawmakers are making a new push to restrict contributions from state contractors, an idea that has been stalled at the state Capitol but is getting new attention because the Rezko trial is awash with pay-to-play schemes. Democratic state Sen. Don Harmon of Oak Park said the House and the Senate have agreed in principle on a bill that lawmakers could consider as soon as today. By Doug Finke of the State Capitol bureau.

ABE LINCOLN AREA: Federal legislation to create the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area in Illinois is on its way to the president. By Adriana Colindres of the State Capitol bureau.

Ethanol plant in limbo with financing mess

ROCKFORD – Neighbors of a proposed ethanol plant are hoping a foreclosure suit filed this month will signal a death knell for the project. By Sean F. Driscoll of the Rockford Register Star.

4-H’ers plead case with Hynes

ROCKFORD – Emily Chappell’s summer wouldn’t be the same if she couldn’t show her horses in the Winnebago County Fair. The horse show is a tradition for the 16-year-old 4-H’er, one she fears might die with Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s decision to withhold money from the University of Illinois Extension Service, which provides money to 4-H clubs and other agriculture-related programs. By Sadie Gurman of the Rockford Register Star.

New system lets people know how long they'll wait at ER

PEORIA – In a nation where it seems there are never enough hours in the day, patience is not an American strong suit. Especially when we're in pain. So getting people in, treated and out of emergency rooms has become a challenging but obligatory task for health care providers. By Frank Radosevich II of the Peoria Journal Star.

Bradley releases plan to fight drinking

PEORIA – With the alcohol-related deaths of two Bradley students over the past eight months and the memory of senior Robert Schmalz, who literally drank himself to death in September 2003, still fresh in the minds of some on campus, the uses and misuses of alcohol by college students and how to alter that culture are now being magnified. By Dave Haney of the Peoria Journal Star.

CDB will give lawmaker a look at fairgrounds' maintenance data

SPRINGFIELD – The state’s Capital Development Board will meet with Rep. Raymond Poe to review material on the condition of buildings at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. By Doug Finke of the State Capitol bureau.


BRITT: Toon on Obama/Wright.

Editorial: McCain’s stand against N.C. campaign ad a hopeful sign

GOP presidential candidate John McCain has our attention. No, it’s not his stance on the war or the economy, it’s because he opted for the political high road. And that’s a road seldom traveled in an election year. An editorial from the Galesburg Register-Mail.

Elizabeth Davies: Are you a fuel-efficient driver?

If you were planning a summer road trip this year, you had better put back those Sun Chips and Oreos: The extra cost of gasoline is eating into your snack budget.


Female drag racers enjoy weekend success

ROCKFORD – Ashley Force and the young girls at Byron Dragway provided examples last weekend of how female drivers are excelling in their sport. Force, 25, made national news Sunday when she became the first female to win an NHRA Funny Car race, beating her father, John, in the finals. By Doug Goodman of the Rockford Register Star.

Youth baseball manager's suspension for alleged lewd gesture reduced

WESTMONT – A Westmont Youth Baseball Association manager’s suspension for allegedly making an inappropriate gesture before practice has been reduced. By Annie Reed of Suburban Life Publications.