GHNS Illinois Budget (6/25/08)
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.
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Read a Q&A with Matt Hutton, the new editor of the Monmouth Daily Review Atlas, at http://www.ghnewsroom.com/news.php?newsid=1214401081
Multimedia blog: No time to get video when covering spot news? Try this. http://ghnewsroom.com/blogs.php?bid=185
Writing coach: Read Casey Laughman’s writing coach blog at http://www.ghnewsroom.com/blogs.php?aid=16.
Summer jobs few and far between for teens
PEORIA – Teens are discovering that finding employment is harder than in previous summers as they compete with job-seeking adults who have been fired or laid off. By Joe Crawford of the Peoria Journal Star.
STATE BRIEFS: News from around the state. POSTED.
KILLER BEETLES: Wonder what that bright purple box hanging next to a patch of trees is on the side of the road? It's a trap to catch the highly destructive beetle known as the emerald ash borer, a metallic-green bug that feeds on ash trees, eventually killing them. Experts worry it could wipe out the country's ash trees. The beetle has been spotted in parts of Chicago and LaSalle County. By Erin Wood of the Peoria Journal Star. Will be posted this evening.
BODY FOUND: A man's body was pulled this morning from the Illinois River by the members of the Peoria Fire Department's dive team. Early reports are that a Pekin man was seen walking into the river near the McNaughton Bridge about 12:45 a.m. Crews began searching for the man about an hour later but had to quit due to the storms. By Joe Crawford of the Peoria Journal Star. Will be posted this evening.
AFSCME requests mediator, current contract extended
SPRINGFIELD – Negotiations between the state and its largest employee union ended Wednesday with the union requesting that a mediator be brought into the talks. By Doug Finke of the State Capitol bureau. Will be updated.
Closure looms for public TV station
SPRINGFIELD – Springfield’s public television station is in a financial crisis so serious that the station’s chief executive officer is warning it could go off the air. By Bruce Rushton of the State Journal-Register.
Shooter walks into jail, turns himself in
SPRINGFIELD – A man who walked into the Sangamon County Jail on Monday night, gun in hand, to surrender after allegedly shooting another man, already was on parole for a gun crime. But the same man also was honored by the Illinois Department of Public Health in 1997 for rescuing and resuscitating a drowning boy. By Sarah Antonacci of the State Journal-Register.
Residents worried about having veterans for neighbors
ROCKFORD – Carpenter’s Place closed Friday on a three-bedroom ranch home in Rockford. It moved in furniture over the weekend, and on Tuesday, a group of employees and volunteers stood in a circle in the living room, held hands and prayed for the people who will live in the house and the neighbors. The only thing missing now is the tenants, and that’s what has neighbors worried. By Chris Green of the Rockford Register Star.
Unbalanced budget could lead to cuts, special sessions
SPRINGFIELD – The stage has been set for another long, hot summer in Springfield. Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced Tuesday that he’ll make $1.5 billion in painful cuts from the $59 billion state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 unless the legislature approves ways to raise more money. By Bernard Schoenburg of the State Journal-Register.
Harmonica maker hits right notes, walks away with first prize
ROCKFORD – Brad Harrison entered the Stateline FastPitch Competition on a whim six days ago with the idea to mass-produce custom harmonicas, which he’s been making for about 12 years. So you can imagine the 38-year-old’s surprise when he was handed an oversized check for $5,000 and named the second-year competition’s winner. By Melissa Westphal of the Rockford Register Star.
Contractor hired to build federal courthouse named in 3 lawsuits
ROCKFORD – The Alabama company hired to be the primary contractor on Rockford’s $100 million federal courthouse has three federal lawsuits pending from subcontractors who say they weren’t paid on other projects. By Sean F. Driscoll of the Rockford Register Star.
Parents of triplets enjoying new baby chores times three
MACHESNEY PARK – Joshua and Kalie Kuhl are changing at least 30 diapers a day, mixing and administering 24 bottles, and getting their sleep in one-and-a-half to two-hour chunks. They’re perfectly happy with that. By Deborah Austin of the Rockford Register Star.
‘John Brown’s Body’ comes alive at Theatre in the Park
SPRINGFIELD – At Theatre in the Park, “John Brown’s Body” won’t really sound like an epic poem, but it is. It’s a musical, but not always in a burst-into-song sense. It’s a drama with two love stories. It’s a tragedy with a Greek chorus. It’s a readers’-theater presentation using three actors as storytellers. By Nick Rogers of the State Journal-Register.
BRITT: Toon on how state government works – or doesn’t work. POSTED.
Jerry Moore: Suspicion of legislators erodes trust in government
How infuriating is it to see lawmakers accused of running afoul of the law State Rep. Bob Biggins, R-41st District, of Elmhurst is the latest elected official caught in a legal quandary. He was charged May 28 with driving under the influence, improper lane use and not having proof of insurance.
Editorial: Governor makes his move; now it’s Madigan’s turn
Gov. Rod Blagojevich has made the latest move in the political game of chess that features the Illinois budget as a prize. Now we’ll see how Speaker of the House Mike Madigan counters. An editorial from the Rockford Register Star.
Editorial: DNR needs stable revenue
As Wildlife Prairie State Park celebrates its 30th year, Illinois lawmakers want to give the nature sanctuary near Peoria an anniversary present: $828,000 for park operations out of the state's general revenue fund. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.
Editorial: Officer violated victims and the public trust
Last week, former Bloomington police sergeant Jeff Pelo was convicted of raping four women and stalking a fifth. The verdict brought resolution to a trial two years in the making, as jurors found the 43-year-old guilty on 35 criminal counts, including aggravated sexual assault. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.
MIKE NADEL: Nadel will be writing on the Bulls draft Thursday night and from all three games of this weekend’s White Sox-Cubs series.
Feisty fowl a nuisance on the golf course
PEORIA – Margaret Gibson likes to play golf, and the Mt. Hawley Country Club member enjoys looking at the wildlife on her golf course when she does play. Recently, however, Gibson and the rest of the members at Mt. Hawley have one fewer species to admire. By Greg Stewart of the Peoria Journal Star.
Kirk Wessler: Suspicious minds aside, relationships do matter
Cubs GM Jim Hendry played a part in the hiring of Bradley’s new baseball coach.