Illinois Budget 10.15.08

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,


See the GateHouse headlines of the week at


Farmers go high-tech for high yields

Farming will always require some guesswork. But as technology improves, fear of the unknown decreases every year. By Ryan Ori of the Peoria Journal Star.


Cost-effective farming all in the machine

BRIMFIELD – Ask any farmer - with the costs of farming increasing exponentially, it's as important as ever to plow, plant, spray and harvest as efficiently as possible. And equipment - really, really expensive equipment - plays an important role in getting the job done fast and accurately. By Scott Hilyard of the Peoria Journal Star.


STATE BRIEFS: News from around the state. POSTED.

Illinois Central College considers hard stand on smoking

EAST PEORIA – Illinois Central College officials are expected to take up discussion on a possible smoking ban Thursday that takes Illinois law a step further by prohibiting smoking campus wide. The new ban, which could take effect as soon as next year, would make ICC only the second college in the state to do so. By Dave Haney of the Peoria Journal Star.

'Thome town' designation put on hold

PEORIA – Thome Town? Not so fast. The Peoria City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to table a motion to approve an honorary designation naming Peoria "Thome Town" for the entire month of October. By John Sharp of the Peoria Journal Star.


Family works to breed a better pig

VARNA – Zack "Bubba" Siwinski realizes Berkshire pigs are more challenging to raise than crossbreeds. But the payoff is pork that beats anything you can buy in the supermarket. By Ryan Ori of the Peoria Journal Star.

Startup out to change heating game

PEORIA – EcoThermics, a new startup company in Peoria, wants to pump life into the nation's energy sector as well as the area economy. Located at the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center, the Eco-Thermics team has developed a more efficient thermal pump, a device able to heat and cool with marked energy savings, said chairman and CEO Merle Rocke.


Wildlife Prairie Park eagles spread their wings in new digs

EDWARDS – It was like "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," but instead of hundreds of volunteers building a house for a family in need, it was two bald eagles who got the new digs. After nearly a year of construction, Tuesday marked the opening of the Wildlife Prairie State Park's newest exhibit for its two bald eagle residents. By Jewels Phraner of the Peoria Journal Star.

Kitties go from 'death row' to cat show

SPRINGFIELD – H-3 nuzzled into the nook of Cindy Willoughby’s neck and purred when Willoughby picked up the fuzzy white cat to play with her. H-3 was the white cat’s identification at Sangamon County Animal Control. But H-3 is now known as Julia, and she and 24 other cats now are slated to be show cats and, with just a little more luck, to get — literally — new leases on life. With the help of three local women, the 25 Animal Control cats will compete this weekend at the 43rd Annual Illinois Feline Fanciers Cat Show at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The goal is to exhibit the cats in hopes of finding homes for all. By Andrea Zimmerman of the State Journal-Register.

Kathryn Rem: Tips for restaurant customers

Frank Kalmar was talking to restaurateurs, but his advice can help diners have a good restaurant experience, too. Kalmar is a San Francisco-area food-business consultant, restaurant owner and a partner in Tepper Kalmar Associates. His topic in these days of narrow profit margins was an ear-perker: “How to Lower Your Food Cost by 5% in 30 Days.” But his advice can work for customers as well.

Woman refuses to be defined solely as breast cancer survivor

ROCKFORD – One month a year Dani Kelly tries to draw attention in an attempt to educate woman about breast cancer. After being deemed cancer free in 2003, she spent about a year giving inspirational speeches, urging women to have mammograms and draping herself in pink. That was five years ago. Now the 42-year-old refuses to let cancer run her life, and she has a different mantra. “Yes, I’m a breast cancer survivor,” Kelly said. “But that’s not all I am.” By Cathy Bayer of the Rockford Register Star.


BRITT: Toon on 401(k) accounts taking a beating. POSTED.

Michelle Teheux: Debating the real issues

My son and I recently listened to part of a presidential debate on the radio during a long car ride, and afterward we discovered the techniques used by these candidates can work around the house, too.

Dave Bakke: A shoe tree like no other

Leaves are falling like 401(k) values. At Bob Sutphin’s house in Ashland, the falling leaves mean he can get a better view of the 65 pairs of shoes in his catalpa tree. In-line skates, running shoes, tennis shoes, hunting boots, flip-flops and ladies pumps — they’re all in Bob’s tree. Add a few soccer balls and a basketball or two to the mix and you have a very unusual tree.

Editorial: Candidates still duking it out on TV

With the political debates dominating the nation's front pages these days, it seems appropriate to return to Sept. 26, 1960, when Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard Nixon squared off in the first of four debates to help determine who would become the next president of the United States. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.

Editorial: Governor must stop games with site closures

It was only two weeks ago that employees of many state parks and historic sites, plus patients and workers at many social service agencies across the state, breathed a heavy sigh of relief. But now the governor is playing games again. An editorial from the State Journal-Register.



NO HURRY IN HOOSIERS: After ending the Big Ten's longest bowl drought last fall, Indiana found it difficult to keep the momentum despite a schedule that includes eight home games. Illinois hosts Indiana Saturday. By John Supinie. Will be posted this evening.


With four members of Chicago's secondary on the injured report, a greater burden falls on Chicago's healthy and well-paid defensive line, especially after the Bears had zero sacks in last week's loss at Atlanta. By Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star. Will be posted this evening.

--Bears notebook. By Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star. Will be posted this evening.