NEWS

Illinois budget 7.23.08

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

GHNS Illinois Budget (7/23/08)

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.

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

Contacts:

Casey Laughman is on vacation. He’ll also be on vacation next week.

Jean Hodges: (630) 348-3350 or (630) 956-8834, jhodges@gatehousemedia.com

ILLINOIS BUDGET ONLINE

The daily Illinois budget can be found online at http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/budget. Budget updates will be posted there.

ILLINOIS NEWS

http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/news

BUDGET CUTS-SENATORS -- They disagree with the severity of Gov. Rod Blagojevich's state budget cuts and what to do about them next. But local Democratic and Republican state senators do agree they won't be back at the state Capitol anytime soon to deal with the budget mess, leaving more uncertainty for the next few months. Keith /

STATEHOUSE

STRIP MINE-DNR -- After about a monthlong hiatus, an administrative hearing resumes today in which opponents of a proposed strip-mining operation near Banner are trying to make the case that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources erred when it granted a permit for the project. So far, today's testimony has been limited to a guy who has studied eagles for more than 40 years and who fears the mining operation would contaminate the birds' water supply and disrupt their nesting habits. Colindres / STATEHOUSE

BOMBERS: WWII bombers, B17 and B24, are returning to Illinois today, flying into Rockford from Valparaiso, Indiana. Spectators can buy rides on the classic planes for 30 minutes or one hour. At the Rockford Airport around 1:30 p.m.

PREPARING FOR BUSH. (w/pic?) Advancing the sealed-shut Bush fund-raiser for Aaron Schock. We'll see what preparations are being made at Weaver Farm to host a U.S. president. Are they repainting all the fence? Scooping out the barns? Also checking in with Alwan's to see what type of preparations are being done on a presidential

lunch. (merits, by 5 p.m.) SCOTT HILYARD.

ROCKIES EXPRESS: Going out with one of the local union construction crews today on the Sangamon County portion of the Rockies Express Pipeline; work began this week on what is the final section of a more than 1,600-mile pipeline from Colorado to Ohio. Looks as if it'll create a few hundred construction jobs; also will talk to Farm Bureau to make sure any issues there have been settled. Landis photo planned/T.J.Salsman SPRINGFIELD

W/construction jobs: The pipeline, CWLP plant, hospitals, roads; despite slow economy seems to be an awful lot of major construction work going on this summer. Will check with state employment on latest numbers. Landis

W/breakout: Stats on the project

W/map: Online and we have a hard copy.

??IDOT HEARING - The Procurement Policy Board meets at 11:30 a.m., with the IDOT division move to southern Illinois on the agenda. Finke. Doug is staffing this to see what comes of it but notes there may not be a story since the board doesn't have any real say over this anymore. STATEHOUSE / TENTATIVE

ILLINOIS BUSINESS

http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois_business

GATEHOUSE PUBLISHERS: Rockford Publisher Fritz Jacobi announces his retirement, effective Aug. 1. He'll be replaced by Springfield Publisher Scott Bowers and Tom Lasley as general manager. Bowers will remain as publisher in Springfield. Mike Kreppert named general manager of sj-r. LEGUE

http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/business/x1542098551/GateHouse-publisher-changes-announced

COMMODITY BUBBLE: The bubble hasn’t burst, but it’s shrinking. The record run-up in corn and soybean prices this spring has ended for now — corn down more than 26 percent and soybeans down nearly 14 percent since mid-June — with expectations of a larger-than-average fall harvest, according to a University of Illinois forecast released Tuesday. SPRINGFIELD

WITH:  2 breakout boxes

http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1470910549/Commodity-bubble-hasnt-burst-but-its-shrinking#

ILLINOIS LIFESTYLES

http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois_lifestyle

HISTORY MEETS HARMONY: Presented by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library and featuring an ensemble cast of locals, "The Civil War" is the first of what stage director / producer Phil Funkenbusch hopes will be many outdoor stage productions at adjacent Union Square Park. SPRINGFIELD

http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1346890764/History-and-harmony-combine-in-The-Civil-War-production

NICK ROGERS: Whether it's boot-scootin' or tube-snake, people want to boogie at the Illinois State Fair Grandstand this year. The double bill of Brooks & Dunn / ZZ Top has doubled up on the Dutchess - Fergie - for first place in tickets sold thus far. SPRINGFIELD

http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x544091948/Nick-Rogers-ZZ-Top-Brooks-Dunn-tops-in-ticket-sales

GRASS-FED COWS: Arguments for going back to the old-fashioned way of raising cows (from grain-fed to grass-fed) range from better taste to better for your health. PEORIA

WITH: pics, recipes

http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/agriculture/x223014784/Against-grain-No-matter-how-you-slice-it-cattle-that-eats-grass-said-to-be-the-tastiest

ILLINOIS OPINIONS

http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/opinions

PHIL LUCIANO COLM. Possible solution to The Case of the Lonesome Leg. Is there any mystery this columnist can't solve? Next: Jimmy Hoffa. PEORIA

EDITORIAL: Shoddy work endangers troops. PEORIA

http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/opinions/editorials/x1470910635/Editorial-Shoddy-work-endangers-troops

EDITORIAL: Legislating fashion isn’t the way to may the bad stuff go away. GALESBURG

http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/opinions/editorials/x1768852644/Editorial-Attempt-to-outlaw-low-hanging-pants-misguided

BRITT CARTOON: How pest-like lawmakers are hurting the state. SPRINGFIELD

http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x2043514588/Britt-Cartoon-about-how-pest-like-lawmakers-are-hurting-the-state

ILLINOIS SPORTS

http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/sports

MIKE NADEL: BOURBONNAIS, Ill. - The Bears go into training camp

with the usual optimism, but it sure would be easier to get on board knowing they had a quarterback they could count on and the right pieces around him. FILED BY 9 P.M.

BEARS IN BOURBONNAIS: Matt Trowbridge will write from Bourbonnais. No. 1 draft pick Chris Williams has signed. So far, only 7 of the 31 first-round picks have signed, including only one of the eight offensive tackles, but Lovie Smith was fairly firm yesterday in saying Williams needs to be here for the very first practice or he is setting himself back. ROCKFORD/ FILED BY 8 P.M.

WITH BEARS NOTES