Illinois Budget 10.13.08

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,

EMBARGOES: Please note that if a story has an embargo in the short story or editor’s note field, it cannot be published online or in print until that date. If you are unclear about an embargo note, please contact Casey Laughman.


HALLOWEEN: Three ways to involve readers in your Halloween coverage.


Farmers reaping strong demand

PEORIA – The world has one request of U.S. farmers in 2009: Keep it coming. Corn, soybeans and other crops are needed for food but also for fuel, clothing, pharmaceuticals and dozens of other uses. With demand spiking due to an increase in the production of biofuels, particularly ethanol made from corn, has come a rise in commodity prices. An ethanol-fueled spike in grain prices will likely hold, yielding the first sustained increase for corn, wheat and soybean prices in more than three decades, according to University of Illinois researchers. By Steve Tarter of the Peoria Journal Star. With sidebars on Illinois soil and corn production in Illinois.


STATE BRIEFS: News from around the state. POSTED.

Family races to find late animal lover's parrots

CARLINVILLE – Del Nejmanowski loved animals. Through the years, he had doves, a hawk, a monkey — even a black bear — all of which he kept at home in Carlinville, opinions of neighbors notwithstanding. Eventually, he settled on macaw parrots. The big kind. Nejmanowski died Aug. 27 at 83. But his two parrots, all that remain of a flock that once numbered eight, are still at large. By Bruce Rushton of the State Journal-Register.

Injunction may prove costly to farm opponents

A group of residents who oppose Robert Young’s 3,600-animal hog farm could be forced to pay more than $250,000 in legal fees and other damages. Tom Immel of Springfield, Young’s attorney, said he expects to file a petition within a week in Sangamon County Circuit Court seeking to recoup legal fees and other expenses. He’ll do so under a decades-old state law with roots in British common law that allows individuals who have successfully challenged court injunctions to pursue such action. By Debra Landis of the State Journal-Register.

Fire survival a matter of degrees

PEKIN – In less than three minutes, the bedroom was engulfed in flames. Firefighters in full gear soaked the blaze with a fire hose, but the 1,100-degree heat was enough to keep them from encroaching too closely on the flames' territory. The room next door simultaneously caught fire, but because it was equipped with a sprinkler, even the curtains on the wall remained unscathed in the controlled blaze, in which the room reached only about 100 degrees. The fires were demonstrations intended to show what steps can be taken to increase fire safety. By Erin Wood of the Peoria Journal Star.

Kable News relocation to cost Ogle County hundreds of jobs

MOUNT MORRIS – The New York-based parent company of Kable News Co. will move the vast majority of the work done in Mount Morris to Florida by 2010. The announcement by Amrep Corp., made Friday, means Ogle County will lose more than 425 jobs. By Alex Gary of the Rockford Register Star.


Restaurants' appetite for hiring almost disappears

ROCKFORD – In a typical year, the holiday season is hopping for Kiki and Paul Benson, owners of Kiki B’s restaurant and A Movable Feast catering. Like many in America, Kiki Benson expects this holiday season to anything but typical. By Alex Gary of the Rockford Register Star.

Risky business: How developers succeed with unproven territory

ROCKFORD – Any real estate development faces risk. But being one of the first to plant a shovel in an untested market carries its own special brand of chance. By Sean F. Driscoll of the Rockford Register Star.

Talking business in the 21st century: It's more than just English

ROCKFORD – For at least a decade, Rock Valley College has taught educators and health-care workers Spanish to use on the job. But these days, demand is growing. And RVC has added classes for bankers, manufacturers, police officers, firefighters and others. The college has even sent teachers to companies for special classes. By Thomas V. Bona of the Rockford Register Star.

One man's scrap is a family's treasure

PEORIA – The view from southwest Adams Street does not do justice to the towering pile of scrap at A. Miller & Company. The family-owned company is a rarity in a scrap metal business that has been taken over by corporations. By Pam Adams of the Peoria Journal Star.

Postseason runs end early for retailers, too

ROCKFORD – October usually means a few weeks of brisk sales for sellers of sports merchandise. But add three teams within about 90 miles of Rockford to the mix, and it promised to be a great run for baseball fans and retailers alike. Then, the perfect storm: Three teams, only two wins, and neither the Cubs, the Brewers nor the White Sox made it past the first round. By Sean F. Driscoll of the Rockford Register Star.

Therapists: Education is key to coping with economic anxiety

While the tension of the current economic crisis is acutely felt on Wall Street, therapists and doctors say the financial woes are spreading beyond the trading-room floors to workers and retirees, who are watching with worry as their 401(k)s wither and their assets diminish. By Frank Radosevich II of the Peoria Journal Star.


Young widows group provides support after loss of husbands

FREEPORT – Sabrina Schultz of Galena belongs to Females In Need of Empowerment, a young widows’ group formed in April. At 25, Schultz now provides and cares for her 15-month-old son, Logan, alone. The pain of loss remains fresh for her. Her husband, David Schultz, a U.S. Army captain, was deployed to Iraq June 8, and their son was born nine days later – on Father’s Day. David Schultz saw his son for the first and only time when he was given 18 days of leave at Christmas. He returned for duty Jan. 10 and was killed in a mortar attack on Jan. 31. By Hillary Matheson of the Freeport Journal-Standard.

Brown bag it for health and savings

ROCKFORD – In these days of rising costs and expanding waistlines, the old standby brown bag lunch can be a handy answer to both problems. By Mike DeDoncker of the Rockford Register Star.

Chilly nights call for hearty, belly-warming dinners - no fork required

Connie Randall and Barb Hobin are huddled over a notebook, trying to write down exactly how much of this and that they used for the pot of soup simmering on the burner in the back of the shop. By Pam Adams of the Peoria Journal Star.

Vaccination recommendations may add to mercury debate

New recommendations from the federal government that all children receive flu shots should help more kids and their families avoid getting sick this fall and winter, one infectious-disease specialist says. But because flu shots routinely contain trace amounts of mercury in the form of the preservative thimerosal, the CDC recommendations may prompt more debate about whether childhood vaccinations are connected with complications such as autism and whether kids really need flu shots. By Dean Olsen of the State Journal-Register.

Technology allows patients to see tangible evidence of progress after stroke

Even after three strokes affecting his left side, Bob Clements believes he has suitable balance for daily activities. The 62-year-old negotiates stairs, avoids two dogs and three cats that often dart under his feet, and does all of his household chores. By Ryan Ori of the Peoria Journal Star.


BRITT: No new toon today. Toons from the last week are available at

Jeff Vrabel: Rallying the crowd with pieorogi pride

It has been 12 full months since I first attempted to wield my considerable power and influence as a pinhead columnist in the newspaper (the inky, easily wettable thing that contains all those stories you can get online for free) to swing the results of the annual Mrs. T's Capital of the Pierogy Pocket of America competition.

Chuck Sweeny: To win, McCain must get control of his campaign

Some people at John McCain’s and Sarah Palin’s campaign rallies are becoming so unhinged that I wouldn’t be surprised if folks soon begin unfurling Confederate flags and raising pitchforks in the air. It’s getting rowdy out there in Republican land, my friends.

Terry Bibo: Debt clock sounding an alarm

Good timing, Ross Perot. On Sept. 30, the Times Square ticker that keeps track of the nation's debt ran out of room.

Editorial: Governor shirks responsibility on restoring cuts

Passing the buck, as in avoiding responsibility, not as in giving money to those who really need it, is an Illinois tradition. An editorial from the Rockford Register Star.

Editorial: Confront problems before they become meltdowns

In all of about a week, Congress passed a massive bailout package for Wall Street amid warnings of another Great Depression. It's amazing what the federal government can accomplish when the pressure's on. But when the pressure's off, Uncle Sam seems content to procrastinate on solving any number of problems that haven't yet hit crisis stage, but eventually will. Several big, angry elephants sit in the room. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.


ILLINI: With the Illini: Notebook column led with football. By John Supinie. Will be posted this evening.

Matt Trowbridge: Berrian emerges as Vikings’ force after slow start

Bernard Berrian, after a slow start, has been everything Minnesota hoped when it signed the ex-Bear to a six-year, $42 million contract. Quick Shots column that also includes items on the Packers, the Bengals and the underused quarterback draw.