GHNS Illinois Budget (8/7/08)

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.

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FOR SUNDAY: TRAFFIC STOPS: It's all over the news and roadways these days. Police throughout Illinois are regularly cracking down on seat belt violations, construction zone speeding, drunk drivers and other no-nos behind the wheel. Despite the high-profile enforcement, traffic stops statewide are down over the last few years - in some cases, significantly. An analysis of state-compiled data found that traffic stops by all police departments declined a little under 2 percent from 2004 to 2007, a perplexing trend in light of the focus on traffic safety. By Ryan Keith of the State Capitol bureau. With breakouts. For use Sunday, Aug. 10 and beyond.


Growing Indian community celebrates new Hindu temple

CHATHAM – The opening of a Hindu temple in Chatham this week not only gives local worshippers a new place to meet and pray, it’s another indication that the Indian community in central Illinois is growing. By Rhys Saunders of the State Journal-Register.


STATE BRIEFS: News from around the state. POSTED.

Lawmakers express skepticism over capital spending

GALESBURG – State Rep. Don Moffitt and state Sen. Dale Risinger voiced their continued support Thursday morning for a capital spending bill. Neither has any confidence, however, in the special session called for next week by Gov. Rod Blagojevich doing much to advance such a measure. By John R. Pulliam of the Galesburg Register-Mail.

Durbin says Obama has tough fight ahead

JUNCTION – Sen. Dick Durbin said Wednesday night that Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, still has a tough challenge facing him before November's election. By Eric Fodor of the Harrisburg Daily Register.

Ex-wife confronts Sheley at courthouse

GALESBURG – Monica Rodriguez exchanged words with her ex-husband Nicholas Sheley at his arraignment Wednesday. Rodriguez, who has two young children with Sheley, said her questions to him in the courthouse were not meant out of concern for him but rather for their children. By Susan Kaufman of the Galesburg Register-Mail.

Report says Pontiac prison closure would be detrimental to state and prison system

SPRINGFIELD – Closing the Pontiac Correctional Center, as Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration wants, would weaken the regional economy and force hundreds of employees to move away or lose their jobs, according to a report issued Wednesday. By Adriana Colindres of the State Capitol bureau.

Monmouth College chef faces Olympian task

Monmouth College chef Kim Fornero is in Beijing, China, supervising meal preparations for thousands of athletes, officials, media staff, coaches and others in the Olympic Village. By Marty Touchette of the Monmouth Daily Review Atlas.

New addresses a big hassle

Tazewell County is forcing several Green Valley residents to change their street addresses, which means they'll have to change everything from their driver's licenses to checking accounts at their own cost. By Kevin Sampier of the Peoria Journal Star.

Flood-ravaged properties home to criminal activity

ROCKFORD – In a quiet neighborhood just north of Keith Creek, a car will park curbside at night and wait. Moments later, another car will pull up behind it, a brief conversation will take place, and both cars quickly drive off. “They’re doing drug tradeoffs,” Sixth Avenue resident Loraine Murphy said. “We never used to see that before.” Murphy’s street and the Churchill Park neighborhood have changed drastically since two devastating flash floods occurred on Labor Day 2006 and Aug. 7, 2007. By Chris Green and Sean F. Driscoll of the Rockford Register Star.


OLYMPIC GLOVES: The Bejiing Olympics kick off Friday, heralding the start of the time-honored international games and ... a shortage of vinyl glove for Methodist Medical Center? Well, maybe. Apparently glove manufactures within 200km of Bejiing have been closed until after the Olympics to cut down on the city's choking smog. While none of the hospital's suppliers have been closed, some of the competition have been impacted, which has tightened the market for vinyl gloves. It doesn't appear Methodist, or any other local hospital, will run out of supplies but the situation shows the ripple the games can have on places as far removed as central Illinois. By Frank Radosevich II of the Peoria Journal Star. POSTED.


TOPS clubs take off weight the old-fashioned way

ROCKFORD – When you’ve tried all the quick fixes and every fad diet out there, there’s always TOPS. That’s what Betty Rayburn discovered in March 2006 when pictures taken at her daughter’s wedding and feeling uncomfortable about what she would wear to an upcoming graduation told her it was time to do something positive about her weight. By Mike DeDoncker of the Rockford Register Star.

Fergie kicks off Grandstand acts at state fair

SPRINGFIELD – The Grandstand concert series at the Illinois State Fair kicks off this weekend with a current chart-topper, a chart-topper of the ’80s and a man who’s made a career out of mocking chart-topping musicians. Fergie gets it started on Friday, “Weird Al” Yankovic will wield his mighty accordion on Saturday and Huey Lewis and the News (with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts opening) rounds out the weekend lineup on Sunday. By Brian Mackey of the State Journal-Register.

Jett embraces her signature hit, but she’s no one-trick pony

SPRINGFIELD – It’s not just a clever lyric — Joan Jett really loves rock and roll. That could be why the Arrows’ original version of “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll” languished as a B-side for several years before Jett turned it into an anthem. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, who are opening for Huey Lewis and the News on Sunday night at the Illinois State Fair, have seen nearly three decades of music-making swallowed by one hit. By Brian Mackey of the State Journal-Register.


BRITT: Britt is on vacation. He will return Wednesday.

Phil Luciano: Reeboks worth the fight

How does it feel when 20 thugs pummel you for your shoes? Robert says it hurts. And he's got the bruised and battered body to prove it. But at least he held on to his shoes.

Dave Bakke: McCartney sighting sets off Beatlemania

Things have gone all Beatlemania since The State Journal-Register published a story about the Paul McCartney sighting at the Springfield Circle K gas station and convenience store on Saturday.

Bernard Schoenburg: Session forces politicians to change fundraising plans

The special sessions Gov. Rod Blagojevich has called for next Tuesday and Wednesday — during the Illinois State Fair — have caused some change in plans for some other politicians who had planned to raise money those days.

Editorial: Special session not time for education talk

With his call for two more special legislative sessions next week, Gov. Rod Blagojevich has again demonstrated his lack of respect for the smarts of Illinois citizens. An editorial from the State Journal-Register.

Editorial: Tourists on Leakin' Ship of Lincoln

More than 100 visitors, many of them out of state, to Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site met a locked gate Monday morning. Well, good. It's about time the rest of America got a taste of just how dysfunctional Illinois government really is. Maybe those folks can go back home and advise others not to waste their time or their money cruising on the Lousy Ship Leakin' Lincoln. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.

Editorial: Here we go again

Gov. Rod Blagojevich wants lawmakers back in Springfield next week to tackle education funding and a capital construction bill. The guy must be an eternal optimist. We don’t see how anything will get done with Speaker of the House Mike Madigan feuding with the governor and Senate President Emil Jones trying to avoid Springfield so members of his chamber can get a pay raise. An editorial from the Rockford Register Star.


MIKE NADEL: Nadel will be writing from Thursday’s Chiefs-Bears exhibition game. Column will be posted about 10:30 p.m.

CHIEFS-BEARS: The Bears open the preseason against the Kansas City Chiefs. By Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star. Story will be posted about 10:30 p.m.

ILLINI: BACK IN STRIDE: Illinois redshirt freshman Troy Pollard, who underwent season ending knee surgery last fall, is a key player in Illinois' attemtp to fill the gap created by Rashard Mendenhall's jump to the NFL. By John Supinie. Will be posted this evening.