GHNS Illinois Budget (6/24/08)

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,


The Hannibal (Mo.) Courier-Post shows off its first redesign in 15 years.

Writing coach: Read Casey Laughman’s writing coach blog at


Business booming for pawn shops

PEORIA – There have been plenty of new faces at R & J's Northside Pawn Shop in the past few weeks. More and more working class Peorians are stopping in to hock their jewelry or electronics at the Jefferson Avenue business so they can keep driving until the next payday, said John Balaco, the shop's owner. By Joe Crawford of the Peoria Journal Star.


STATE BRIEFS: News from around the state. POSTED.

ARMORY’S FUTURE: With the Illinois State Police almost moved out of the state armory in Springfield, the question becomes what will happen to that building. It would cost millions to prepare for another use and much of the interior is taken up by a massive auditorium that used to host the city basketball tournament, rock concerts and presidential banquets. Plus, you can't drink the water. Is there really any practical use for the building any longer? By Doug Finke of the State Capitol bureau. HELD.

MINE HEARING: Mine Hearing. Second day of administrative hearing on whether to rescind a permit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources granted to a proposed strip-mining operation in Fulton County. No decision, and probably no conclusion, expected today. By Adriana Colindres of the State Capitol bureau. Will be posted this evening.

BURN VICTIM SUED: Valerie Edwards, who was severely burned in a house fire in December, is being sued for wrongful death of the 11-month-old baby who was in her custody and died in the fire. Edwards suffered severe burns because she repeatedly entered the house in an attempt to save the baby. Now the mother has filed a civil lawsuit against Edwards for $50,000. By Erin Wood of the Peoria Journal Star. Will be posted this evening.

Nader, Libertarians file for president in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – The campaign of independent presidential contender Ralph Nader and his running mate Matt Gonzalez filed petitions Monday to get on the Nov. 4 Illinois ballot. By Bernard Schoenburg of the State Journal-Register.

Experts say education key to stopping kids from setting fires

GALESBURG – Children playing with fire causes hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries and millions of dollars in damages nationwide. An estimated 40 percent of all incendiary fires in Galesburg are attributable to juvenile firesetting. By Susan Kaufman of the Galesburg Register-Mail.


Summer break sliced for Chrysler, extended for GM

ROCKFORD – Workers at Chrysler’s assembly plant in Belvidere will get fewer days off this summer while the work force at General Motors’ assembly plant in Janesville, Wis., will see more than it expected. By Alex Gary of the Rockford Register Star.

Work continues at old Pillsbury site, but owner won’t reveal plans

SPRINGFIELD – A local salvage dealer continues to pull materials out of the old Pillsbury/Cargill plant on the northeast side of Springfield — including at least some asbestos — but the future of the facility remains a mystery. By Tim Landis of the State Journal-Register.

Floods sure to strain crops, keep prices high

PEORIA – This year's corn crop is already flooded with concerns about the economic impact of heavy rains and the floods that have hit parts of the Midwest. By Steve Tarter of the Peoria Journal Star.


Camp aims for smiles on kids’ faces

GALESBURG – Bradley Melton sat flipping through Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards Monday morning. Meanwhile, a group of children sat on the floor watching “Monsters Inc.,” others played a quick game of baseball outside and a few constructed small buildings out of Legos. Melton, a 17-year-old Galesburg High School student, and 32 other area children with disabilities began the second week of Camp Kidz on Monday. By Michelle Anstett of the Galesburg Register-Mail.


BRITT: Toon on Illinois’ do-nothing lawmakers. POSTED.

Tom Martin: Obama should be clear: Private money gives him an edge

Barack Obama’s decision last week not to use public financing money for his campaign made him different from every presidential candidate in a general election since Watergate. But it also makes him like just another politician.

Terry Bibo: Try to be thankful for sunshine

Somewhere between the mulch and the muck, it hit me. "I'm not sure if gardening is the therapy for work," I muse out loud to my patient spouse. "Or if I have to work to afford the garden."

Editorial: Obama’s decision hurts campaign finance reform

Last week, Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, did what many expected and opted out of the public financing system that has funded every major-party presidential nominee since Watergate. An editorial from the State Journal-Register.

Editorial: Get state to reel in payday loan sharks

Payday loan establishments are odious businesses that prey upon vulnerable people - often poor, undereducated, desperate for whatever reason. They do so by charging outlandish interest rates and fees that should be considered usurious, trapping customers in debt that's nearly impossible to repay. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.


MIKE NADEL: Nadel will be writing on the Bulls draft Thursday night and from all three games of this weekend’s White Sox-Cubs series.

Olympics could feature Devine intervention

PECATONICA – Michael Devine’s first bounce on a competitive trampoline was taken 13 years ago at J&J Tumbling and Trampoline School in Pecatonica. But now, Devine, who is ranked No. 1 in men’s trampoline, has just one final obstacle standing between him and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. By Brenda Young of the Rockford Register Star.

Some dreams on delay for pro softball players

LOVES PARK – Audrey Rendon has two dreams — to be a pro softball player, and to be a mom. The Rockford Thunder infielder has reached one, but like the rest of her teammates, her dreams of starting a family will wait. By Emily Tropp of the Rockford Register Star.