GHNS Illinois Budget (7/10/08)

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,


Headlines of the Week:

Writing coach: Read Casey Laughman’s writing coach blog at This week’s topic: The overused “tragic” and the underused “said.”


Patience is a virtue this year for sweet corn fans

SPRINGFIELD – The sweet corn crop that usually appears at farm stands and farmers markets around the Fourth of July is slightly behind schedule this year because of the cool, wet weather. By Chris Dettro of the State Journal-Register.


ADDED: President Bush will be in Peoria on July 25 to attend a fundraiser for State Rep. Aaron Schock, who is running for Congress. By Karen McDonald of the Peoria Journal Star. Will be posted this evening.

STATE BRIEFS: News from around the state. POSTED.

BLAGOJEVICH INTERVIEW: In an exclusive interview with the State Journal-Register, Gov. Rod Blagojevich says he's disappointed House Democrats forced him to make major budget cuts but will keep fighting for a $34 billion capital construction program. By Ryan Keith of the State Capitol bureau. Will be posted this evening.

BUDGET BATTLE: Lawmakers wrap up their special session without helping Gov. Rod Blagojevich fill the $2 billion budget gap, but the House plans to return next week to decide what to about the governor's deep cuts. By the State Capitol bureau staff. Will be posted this evening.

WILDLIFE PRAIRIE MONEY. An official with the Forest Park Foundation, which operates Peoria County's Wildlife Prairie State Park under a contract with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, says the nature park conceivably could close if an $800,000 budget cut is allowed to stand. But he thinks "the last word" on this has not been written yet. By Adriana Colindres of the State Capitol bureau. Will be posted this evening.

A bird's eye view of Balloons on the Prairie

PEORIA – In advance of Balloons on the Prairie, Peoria Journal Star reporter Erin Wood got a unique view of the countryside - from the basket of a hot air balloon.

Marion prison’s first female warden says she’s enjoying the challenge

MARION – A prison warden is more like a mayor than a prison guard, Lisa Hollingsworth says. Hollingsworth should know after serving a few months as the first female warden of the United States Penitentiary at Marion. By Tom Kane of the Marion Daily Republican.

Bones keep coming to Burpee from Utah dig

ROCKFORD – When a 1,500-pound block containing a nearly complete juvenile dinosaur skeleton arrives next week, staff members at the Burpee Museum of Natural History will have collected close to 5,000 pounds of bones at a massive dig site in Utah. By Melissa Westphal of the Rockford Register Star.

Commission argues to keep lawyer list private

SPRINGFIELD – An attorney for the state Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission has told the state Supreme Court it should not release a list of licensed attorneys in Illinois to a company that grades lawyers and puts the results online. By Bruce Rushton of the State Journal-Register.

Homemade hybrid makes big difference in mileage

WEST FRANKFORT – Robert Swafford likes his pickup truck. As a construction worker, he gets quite a bit of use out of it, and when gas prices began climbing precipitously over the last year, he came up with a bold plan to fight the rising cost of fuel. His not-so-simple solution? A hydrogen supplement for his engine. By Nathaniel Smith of the West Frankfort Daily American.


Top Illinois pork producer buys Iowa company

SPRINGFIELD – Be it banking, airlines or pork, big just seems to keep getting bigger. A deal by The Maschhoffs Inc., the largest pork producer in Illinois and seventh largest in the nation, for a buyout of an Iowa company comes less than two weeks after another of the country’s largest pork processors announced nearly 5 percent of its business would be sold to the largest producer in China. By Tim Landis of the State Journal-Register.


Artist brings beauty from flames

ROCKFORD – Robert Sunday skillfully massages each bowl and vase from a shapeless lump of clay into a graceful work of art. Then he sets it on fire. By Elizabeth Davies of the Rockford Register Star.

Ex-Skid Row singer Bach still rocking like it’s 1988

ROCKFORD – As the lead singer of Skid Row, Sebastian Bach was one of the most charismatic and sometimes controversial frontmen in rock ‘n’ roll. Skid Row’s self-titled album, released in 1989, was an instant success, with chart-topping anthems “18 and Life,” “Youth Gone Wild” and rock ballad “I Remember You.” He will be the special guest of Poison on July 19 at the MetroCentre in Rockford. By Kelley Simms of the Rockford Register Star.

Nick Rogers: Kid flicks take top ’08 honors so far

At the midway mark of 2008 movies, animated robots and pandas, a titanium-clad superhero, a massive monster and cannibalistic punks with Mohawks find themselves the year’s top 5 so far. By Nick Rogers of the State Journal-Register.


BRITT: Toon on FISA and the Democrats who helped it pass. POSTED.

Phil Luciano: Legend of the ‘Caveman’

Larry "Caveman" Freeman scared a lot of people with his thick tongue and freakish strength. He didn't mind. He liked them anyway. Well, most of them. And even society sometimes push him away as different, he always found ways - all sorts of whacky ways - to get by.

Editorial: Politics still hindering efforts to lessen global warming

Finally, after nearly two terms, President Bush gets it. Not only does he acknowledge global warming is occurring, but he’s finally joining world leaders in an effort to lessen man’s impact on it. Or, at least he’s going though the motions, which for him is progress. An editorial from the Galesburg Register-Mail.

Editorial: Lenders, lawyers and losers

Having studied America's mortgage meltdown and the parties who struck the match, it's hard to resist cheering the reckoning for Countrywide Financial Corp. Call it subprime schadenfreude. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.

Editorial: Get down to state business

Day one of the Illinois Legislature special session was just as predicted: expensive and meaningless. An editorial from the Freeport Journal-Standard.


MIKE NADEL: Nadel will be writing from this weekend’s Cubs-Giants series.

Big hitter in a small package

ROCKFORD – Everyone wanted to talk to Brett Quigley in 2001. And they all had the same question: What club was he swinging off the tee? That was a familiar feeling for the 5-foot-11, 160-pound Quigley, who will play Monday in the Rockford Pro-Am at Forest Hills Country Club.