Illinois Budget 9.25.08
Here are the top Illinois stories coming today from GateHouse News Service. Stories are available at www.gatehousenewsservice.com. Please check www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/news 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 Illinois@gatehousemedia.com.
Casey Laughman: (217) 816-3343, email@example.com
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.
GOOD IDEA: Tell census figures in short, alternative format
Students give DUI a try
EAST PEORIA – Students and others were given the opportunity to step into the shoes of a drunken driver on Wednesday. Illinois Central College's student lounge was the site of a stop on the "Save A Life Tour," a government-sponsored effort to promote awareness of the dangers and consequences caused by intoxicated drivers. By Rob Dale of the Peoria Journal Star.
STATE BRIEFS: News from around the state. POSTED.
IDOT LAWSUIT: A Sangamon County judge is allowing a lawsuit over the move of an Illinois Department of Transportation division from Springfield to southern Illinois to proceed, despite opposition from Attorney General Lisa Madigan. By Doug Finke of the State Capitol bureau. UPDATED.
PARK PAROLE: The Illinois Prisoner Review Board today rejected the latest parole request from Chester Weger, the so-called "Starved Rock killer." But some board members acknowledged that there are unanswered questions about whether he was properly convicted in the first place more than 40 years ago. By Adriana Colindres of the State Capitol bureau. Will be posted this evening.
DNR fund questions jeopardize federal grant
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will not receive a $1 million federal grant until it tells the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service what happened to nearly $600,000 in hunting and fishing license money that may have been spent improperly. By Chris Young of the State Journal-Register.
Belvidere to be first school in Illinois to offer students chance to earn associate degree
BELVIDERE – Rock Valley College and the Belvidere School District have partnered to allow students to complete their final two years of high school and first two years of college simultaneously. The “running start” program is the first of its kind in Illinois and modeled after similar partnerships in Washington, and almost a dozen other states. By Kevin Haas of the Rockford Register Star.
Schock says repayment demand is political
PEORIA – Aaron Schock says demanding repayment of an estimated $38,000 in city costs for President George W. Bush's visit is just politics. "The stunt that's being pulled right now could have been done weeks ago," the Republican candidate for the 18th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives told the Journal Star editorial board Wednesday. By Terry Bibo of the Peoria Journal Star.
Peoria police overwhelmingly vote no confidence in chief
PEORIA – Peoria police union members showed up in huge numbers during a recent vote of no confidence against Police Chief Steven Settingsgaard. By Erinn Deshinsky of the Peoria Journal Star.
Illinois woman indicted in alleged multistate prostitution network
SPRINGFIELD – A Pleasant Plains woman is among 16 women and one man indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Peoria on charges they participated in operating a multistate prostitution network. By Chris Dettro of the State Journal-Register.
Looking for cheap parking? Try Springfield
SPRINGFIELD – Affordable housing, low utility costs, the Lincoln sites — cheap parking. It might not be in the five-year economic development plan or tourism brochures, but a just-released national survey ranks parking costs in Springfield among the lowest of more than 130 communities in the United States and Canada at an average of $1 for the first hour and $6.75 for the day. By Tim Landis of the State Journal-Register.
Company honored for hiring veterans
MACHESNEY PARK – Think your company has plenty of veteran workers? You’ve got nothing on a Machesney Park company. Midwest Aero Support, which specializes in commercial aircraft repair and manufacturing electronics, recently received an Employer of Veterans Award from the National Economic Commission of the American Legion. By Sean F. Driscoll of the Rockford Register Star.
Former boxer still an exercise knockout
ROCKFORD – “I’m only 73,” Jim Darnell said, looking up from the mat where he has been doing sit-ups and crunches for the past 15 minutes. “I’ve still got a long way to go.” Exercising, the former Colonial Bakery driver and part-time baker said, has always come easy for him. It became an essential part of his life while he was training to win three consecutive Golden Gloves boxing titles in the lightweight division from 1954 to 1956 after winning in the welterweight division in 1952 and finishing as the runner-up in 1953. By Mike DeDoncker of the Rockford Register Star.
Bang on a Can Marathon brings show to Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – A new music festival of the type and stature not usually seen outside New York is coming to central Illinois on Saturday. The Bang on a Can Marathon is staging a 12-hour performance at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Guest stars for the performance are Glenn Kotche, the percussionist and drummer for Wilco; and Lee Ranaldo, a co-founder of Sonic Youth. By Brian Mackey of the State Journal-Register.
Woman’s road to recovery leads to role in A&E project
SPRINGFIELD – Trina Diedrich’s life changed forever on June 19, 1992. She was a social worker for pregnant and parenting teenage mothers, but she was doing it high and drunk, day after day. On that day 16 years ago, her boss suggested she get help. Diedrich’s story has gotten the attention of the A&E Network. By Deana Poole of the State Journal-Register.
BRITT: Toon on President Bush and the economy.
Phil Luciano: Councilwoman shows very little respect for the badge
Barbara Van Auken is lucky she didn’t go to jail. If I poke a cop or you poke a cop, we’re going to the calaboose — especially if we’re hurling insults and curse words. But Van Auken, a Peoria city councilwoman, caught a break from Bradley University police, the same force she slams as being lax and ineffective.
Pam Adams: Prisoners as dollar signs
Guards and the ad hoc committees trying desperately to keep the governor from closing the prison in Pontiac and moving most inmates to a newer, more modern, practically empty prison in northwestern Illinois say the inmates are the "worst of the worst." But mostly, Pontiac inmates are dollar signs.
Editorial: Education key to responsible use of credit
State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias didn’t time it this way, but his proposal to limit credit card companies’ marketing activities on Illinois college campuses arrives just as the country faces its greatest financial crisis since the Depression. An editorial from the State Journal-Register.
Editorial: Ethics law in Illinois? That's not a typo
Illinois didn’t become the pay-to-play state overnight, and it won’t become an ethical Eden overnight, either. But the Illinois Senate is at least walking toward the garden — it has taken an important step toward a more ethical, accountable and transparent government. An editorial from the Rockford Register Star.
Editorial: North Korea's about-face is alarming
The North Koreans are at it again, kicking international inspectors out of a nuclear reprocessing plant and saying they plan to start making weapons-grade plutonium again soon. That act of defiance follows recent news that the nation's leader, loony toon Kim Jong Il, had suffered a stroke and is gravely ill. As such it's difficult to know what to make of this latest development, other than the North Koreans are wildly unpredictable no matter who's in charge. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.
MIKE NADEL: Nadel will be writing from Thursday night’s White Sox-Twins game in Minnesota. Column will be posted about 10:30 p.m.
Bears defense needs to make it a numbers game
LAKE FOREST – The Bears dominated the Colts on opening night. But what if Peyton Manning had five more cracks at Chicago’s defense? By Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star.
Bears Quick Shots. By Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star. Will be posted this evening.