Illinois Budget 10.22.08

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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Illinois roots don't guarantee support for presidential hopefuls

Abraham Lincoln. Paul Simon. Jesse Jackson. Adlai Stevenson. Barack Obama. John B. Anderson, Hillary Clinton and Ulysses S. Grant. They’re among an elite group of presidential candidates (and three presidents) who Illinoisans can, by varying degrees, call favorite sons and daughters. But what does that actually mean? By Chuck Sweeny of the Rockford Register Star.


STATE BRIEFS: News from around the state. POSTED.

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION: Every 20 years, Illinois voters are asked whether a constitutional convention should be called. A package of stories will be available from GateHouse News Service for use Sunday, Oct. 26 and beyond. Stories will be available Thursday.

NO MONEY GOVERNOR: Gov. Rod Blagojevich is known for bringing in big campaign bucks, but he's sitting out this campaign season. The governor's campaign this week filed a non-participation report, meaning he's not donating money to help other candidates this fall. It also means he doesn't have to disclose how much money he's been taking in until early next year. By Ryan Keith of the State Capitol bureau. POSTED

Oberweis, Foster face off again for Hastert's old seat

ST. CHARLES – Democrat Bill Foster and Republican Jim Oberweis will go head to head again in November for the 14th Congressional District seat. In March, Foster, a former scientist at Batavia’s Fermilab, beat Oberweis by taking 52 percent of the vote in a special election to fill former U.S. Rep. Dennis Hastert’s seat. The Oberweis campaign is hoping for a different result this time around. By Erin Sauder of Suburban Life Publications.

Pilot flies patients to far-away treatment

SPRINGFIELD – Larry Harman, a pilot from Chatham who volunteers to transport medical patients free of charge, was on his computer, scrolling through a list of patients who needed to get to a far-away hospital, when he saw Mission 13222-1. Mission 13222-1 was a patient with a “lower leg injury from lawnmower” who had to get from Springfield, Mo., to Mount Vernon, Ill., on Monday. That is how Harman came to be hauling his Grumman Tiger from its hanger at Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in the predawn darkness. By Dave Bakke of the State Journal-Register.

Fire victim's family to start scholarship fund

BELVIDERE – When Barb Carlson misses her daughter, who died in a fire two years ago, she hugs her grandson, a 6-year-old she’s now raising as her own. Carlson’s daughter, Jennifer, was one of four Belvidere natives killed in an apartment fire on March 10, 2006, in Chicago’s Wrigleyville. Memorial services, vigils and fundraisers have been held in honor of the victims. This weekend, the week that Jennifer would have turned 26, the family decided to create a legacy for Jennifer. Something that will help single mothers in college, like she was. By Kevin Haas of the Rockford Register Star.

Sometimes the perfect pumpkin is downright ugly

MORTON – White pumpkins, blue pumpkins, warty pumpkins, and even giant pumpkins dot the piles of traditional orange pumpkins at Ackerman Farms' pumpkin patch. And for most people, the uglier the pumpkin, the better the Jack-o'-lantern. By Jewels Phraner of the Peoria Journal Star.


Energy prices trend lower — for now

SPRINGFIELD – The cost of natural gas should be down by as much as 35 percent this winter for Ameren customers in Illinois. By Tim Landis of the State Journal-Register.

Mega-dairy prevented from operating, but construction can continue

NORA – A proposed mega-dairy in northwest Illinois has been temporarily prevented from operating, but construction can continue on the facility. Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Judge Kevin J. Ward issued a preliminary injunction Monday in Jo Daviess County restraining and enjoining Traditions Dairy owner A.J. Bos from operating his dairy, stabling or confining more than 199 animals or dairy cows, and operating any of the waste storage structures. By Tony Carton of the Freeport Journal-Standard.


Church tweaks services to appeal to multiple generations

MORTON – Imagine your son or daughter text messaging on their cell phone, drinking a cup of coffee or watching television while the preacher is trying to give his sermon on a Sunday morning. Now imagine the preacher and church actually encouraging and embracing the behavior. By Nick Stroman of the Morton Times-News.

Couple says time in Peace Corps strengthened marriage

ROCKFORD – For Duane and Sue Wilke, it was quite the honeymoon. Just young newlyweds, the pair left the world they knew and headed around the globe to work as Peace Corps teachers in Korea. It was the early 1970s. The Vietnam War was raging and a military draft in effect. Working in Asia, the Wilkes knew, would be an experience unlike any they could fathom. They agreed early on that if their work began to take a toll on their marriage, they would be quick to return home. As it happened, their time overseas did just the opposite. By Elizabeth Davies of the Rockford Register Star.

Cardiologist supports continuous chest compression CPR

ROCKFORD – OK, so you don’t know the formula for chest compressions-to-breaths recommended in standard cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Rockford cardiologist Dr. Robert Harner prefers that you just remember 100 — the number of chest compressions recommended for a victim of sudden cardiac arrest in Continuous Chest Compression CPR. By Mike DeDoncker of the Rockford Register Star.


BRITT: Britt is off until Friday.

Phil Luciano: Rays fan faces Web site fight

Chris Dunne's timing seemed perfect. He picked the ideal time to set up a Web site capitalizing on the uncanny success of the Tampa Bay Rays. They've gone from baseball's worst team to the favorite to win the World Series. The site,, leans on the name of the Rays' stadium. But PepsiCo Inc., which owns Tropicana Products, claims a trademark infringement. The company demands that Dunne hand over the site by Friday.

Editorial: Fix elevator inspection law

In 2002, the Illinois General Assembly passed a law designed to ensure the safety of all elevators in the state. But a recent State Journal-Register examination showed that the new law may have had the opposite effect, creating a system in which three inspectors are responsible for 22,000 elevators throughout the state — including 700 in Springfield. And, as it turns out, the state agency responsible for keeping track of the inspections hasn’t been doing so. This is a dangerous situation that must be resolved by the General Assembly. An editorial from the State Journal-Register.

Editorial: Governor descends into delusion

For quite awhile now, State Sen. Dale Risinger (R-North Peoria) has been spreading his opinion that Gov. Rod Blagojevich is a hypocrite. Risinger’s criticism has never really been easily dismissed as political rhetoric because it has always had more than a ring of truth. But Risinger’s barbs do not even come close to being enough now. It appears Blagojevich has slipped into a state of being delusional as well. An editorial from the Peoria Times-Observer.


ILLINI: TAKING A HIT: Wisconsin's Bret Bielema suffers through the first rough stretch of his head coaching career as Wisconsin carries a four-game losing streak into a home game against Illinois Saturday. With capsule on Wisconsin. By John Supinie. POSTED.

Kirk Wessler: Rays manager Maddon goes from Chiefs to World Series

Back in 1984, when Pete Vonachen threw his first lifeline to minor league baseball in Peoria, bought the California Angels’ Class A franchise here and renamed it the Chiefs, his first manager was Joe Maddon. Now Maddon is managing the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series.

At the World Series, his opinion on the umpires actually matters

The Tampa Bay Rays will be in the World Series. So will the Philadelphia Phillies. Larry Young will be, too, in his new role as an umpire supervisor for Major League Baseball. After a 25-year career as a major league umpire, the Roscoe resident retired this past season because of an injury he suffered a year ago at Wrigley Field. Instead of calling balls and strikes, Young sits high above the field, observing the work of the umpires on the field. By Paul Anthony Arco of the Rockford Register Star.