Illinois Budget 10.28.09

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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Casey Laughman: (217) 816-3343,


Casey Laughman: Take a step back to add depth to coverage

Niche 2010 schedule: Check out the Niche products planned for next year.

Photo gallery idea: Daily smile makes nice online gallery

Video of the week: Quite the quilt show


Musician offers lyrical learning with music therapy

SPRINGFIELD – Rachel Rambach has a song for almost every occasion or teachable moment, from "Yummy Summer" and "Friendly Words" to "Fall into Fall" and "Under, Over, In and Out." The 26-year-old Springfield native has composed more than 100 melodies, using them in her work as a music therapist for the Hope Institute for Children and Families, and in her private practice. By Ann Gorman of the State Journal-Register.


State Briefs. News from around the state.

VETO SESSION: State lawmakers advance approval of several directors in Gov. Pat Quinn's Cabinet and work on other issues in the start of the final week of the fall veto session. State Capitol Bureau. Will be posted this evening.
CHESTER WEGER: Chester Weger, the so-called "Starved Rock Killer," on Wednesday told a state parole official that he deserves to be freed from prison after more than 40 years because he isn't guilty. By Adriana Colindres of the State Capitol Bureau.


Bidders snatch up delinquent taxes

ROCKFORD – Property owners snubbed Winnebago County when it came time to pay more than 3,000 property tax bills this year, but more than two dozen savvy middlemen hope to make a tidy profit helping the county recoup the lost revenue. By Isaac Guerrero of the Rockford Register Star. To localize: Does your county hold tax sales to recoup lost property tax revenue?


Halloween is a sweet season at Del's Popcorn Shop

SPRINGFIELD – The fall season at Del’s Popcorn Shop starts the last week of August when the first harvest of Jonathan apples are dipped in caramel. It continues with all sorts of popcorn options for Halloween. By Kathryn Rem of the State Journal-Register.

Oh, baby: 911 dispatcher guides delivery

ROCHELLE – Lisa Bloom usually dispatches an ambulance upon receiving a call of a woman in labor. If Junior is in a hurry to enter the world, the Ogle County Sheriff’s Department 911 dispatcher may have to do a bit more. That was the case Friday. By Chris Green of the Rockford Register Star.

Educators honor their religious beliefs while embracing research

SPRINGFIELD – A growing number of scientists, medical professionals and academicians say there doesn’t need to be a conflict between religion and science. There has long been tension between science and religion, but many claim the din is getting louder and more uncivil in the bicentennial birth year of Charles Darwin. By Steven Spearie of the State Journal-Register.

The evils of tooth decay on Halloween

SPRINGFIELD – Kids will be chomping, chewing and sucking on all sorts of candy during Halloween, so does that make a trip to the dentist inevitable?  Parents should know that some candies are worse than others for the teeth. By Todd Smith of the State Journal-Register.


BRITT: Toon on the H1NI vaccine. Will be posted this evening.
Phil Luciano: Marge's house: Where everybody knows your gang

Eighty-some years later, Virginia Smith recalls a particularly scary houseguest. Dark hair. Long scar. Good dancer. Al Capone. That's the caliber of visitor you might get when you run a speakeasy out of your home, as did Smith's mother, Marge Taylor. And Capone, one of her hooch suppliers, sometimes would drop by.

Editorial: A compassionate choice on medical marijuana

Last week, the U.S. Justice Department rolled out what was touted as a major policy change, that it would no longer target and arrest severely ill folks who legally use medical marijuana with a doctor's prescription in states that allow it. It's a significant shift, but one that sensibly prioritizes what's important for Uncle Sam - stopping drug dealers and drug addicts, not law-abiding sick people. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.

Editorial: Money matters in Illinois going in wrong direction

Gov. Pat Quinn said Tuesday that Illinois’ fiscal state is so bad, he’ll need to borrow $1 billion to keep the government running this winter. That’s $1 billion on top of the $1.25 billion the state borrowed in August just so it could pay its bills. Even with all that borrowing, the state is $2.9 billion behind on bills and faces a nearly $12 billion deficit. An editorial from the Rockford Register Star.


Former Phillies ace Roberts reflects on last time team took on Yankees in World Series

SPRINGFIELD – Former Philadelphia Phillies ace Robin Roberts doesn’t always remember the birthdays of his children, but if you ask the Hall of Fame pitcher and 1944 Lanphier High School graduate about the 1950 World Series … “I remember all the games I pitched like that,” the 83-year-old Roberts said Tuesday afternoon by phone from New York, where he is doing some public relations for the Philadelphia Phillies in a reprise of the 1950 World Series against the Yankees. By Jim Ruppert of the State Journal-Register.

Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star will be writing a mainbar and notebook from Halas Hall. Will be posted this evening.
MICHIGAN MEN: After a 4-0 start, the wheels came off at Michigan. The Wolverines have lost their last three Big Ten games, including a 25-point loss against visiting Penn State last week that changed the perception of the season. Add an NCAA investigation, and Michigan isn't having any fun either. By John Supinie. With fact box.