GHNS Illinois Budget (6/23/08)
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.
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Writing coach: Read Casey Laughman’s writing coach blog at http://www.ghnewsroom.com/blogs.php?aid=16.
Doctor hopes 'hobby' will be his legacy
PEORIA – Dr. Andy Chiou is a surgeon, husband, father, investor, inventor and now a developer. He hopes that his involvement with the community will help make Peoria a better place to live. By Ryan Ori of the Peoria Journal Star.
STATE BRIEFS: News from around the state. POSTED.
BANNER MINE: A hearing started Monday on whether the attorney general's office can make a strong enough case to rescind a permit that the Department of Natural Resources granted to permit strip mining at Banner, near Peoria. By Adriana Colindres of the State Capitol bureau.
AFSCME RALLY: The AFSCME held a rally in Springfield Monday to protest the progress of contract negotiations with the state. By Doug Finke of the State Capitol bureau. Will be posted this evening.
State budget still a mess with a week to go
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers left Springfield three weeks ago and the state’s new budget year will start in about a week. Yet the state still doesn’t have a spending plan in place and no one is sure when it will be, what it will end up looking like, and whether lawmakers will be forced back to Springfield to fix the mess they’ve made. By Doug Finke of the State Capitol bureau.
Still no progress in state employee contract talks
SPRINGFIELD – The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is about a week away from setting a record it would rather not set. The union’s contract covering about 35,000 state workers expires June 30, and seven months of negotiations have not produced a new agreement. By Doug Finke of the State Capitol bureau.
Just when things were looking up, along came the flood
MACHESNEY PARK – It’s been a brutal year for Kedrick Hawthorne. The 19-year-old father of three spent the first part of the year in jail awaiting trial on a home invasion and aggravated battery charge. Then came the flood. By Mike Wiser of the Rockford Register Star.
Family 'still fighting for justice' one year after man's death
PEKIN – Friends and family of Jason Harmon have struggled with the thought of going through life without the 34-year-old father of two. One year after he died, there has been no movement in the case, despite his brother being arrested and charged with murder. By Erinn Deshinsky of the Peoria Journal Star.
Curfew forces some teenagers to call it an early night
PEORIA – Kristen Williams doesn't normally make a habit of breaking the law. But the 17-year-old admits she hasn't been following the statewide teen curfew. By Erin Wood of the Peoria Journal Star.
Supporting the troops, one backpack at a time
GALESBURG – Bill and Jane Dickerson are using backpacks and hugs in hopes of impacting war-torn Afghanistan. They are sending backpacks filled with school supplies and toys for children in Afghanistan.
Rockford airport bucks trend, pursues more flights
ROCKFORD – At a time when many airports are fighting just to keep the flights they have, Chicago Rockford International Airport officials are fighting for more. If it takes financial incentives, increased marketing efforts and even a year or so of breaking even or losing a little money on an airport-operated route, so be it, they say. By Thomas V. Bona of the Rockford Register Star.
For families, 'worst factors coming together at once'
ROCKFORD – When a local business adds staff, services and hours to keep up with demand, it’s celebrated as a success. Not this time. By Alex Gary of the Rockford Register Star.
Wet weather a different kind of butterfly effect
The long, cold and wet spring and stormy June that together have dampened spirits — not to mention croplands and river communities — have affected some wildlife as well. By Chris Young of the State Journal-Register.
New crop of ‘gardens’ accommodates smokers
Summer is officially here, and gardens are in full bloom. Beer gardens, that is. Almost six months after the statewide smoking ban went into effect, resourceful bar owners are embracing the warm weather and making the most of "the 15-feet law."
BRITT: Toon on George Carlin cussing his way into heaven. POSTED.
Because his mom's talents are often needed elsewhere and because I have become - and I don't want to gloat here -- but because I have become somewhat gifted at cooking, specifically the portion of cooking that involves microwaving things, which is like cooking for people who occasionally get out of the car without putting it in park, I am often responsible for the Little Man's dinners.
Editorial: Bailout, sweet bailout
Congress wants to have a nationwide housing bill ready by July 4. That's ironic, since not much about its bipartisan legislation seems to foster independence. Quite the opposite. Capitol Hill's attempt at helping Americans saddled with mortgage debt amounts to little more than a bailout. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.
Paul Gordon: Where there’s smoke, there’s conflict
Is it hypocrisy or perhaps irony? Either way, the United Auto Workers say it's unrelated. The issue is that the union, which is fighting Caterpillar Inc. on the issue of a smoking ban at all Caterpillar campuses, was one of the driving forces behind a new smoking ban at all Atlantic City casinos, effective in October.
MIKE NADEL: CHICAGO - It's intracity-rivalry time, which means I either hate or love the Cubs or White Sox ... depending upon who is keeping score. Let's dive into the mailbag to see what readers think. POSTED. Nadel will also be writing on the Bulls draft Thursday night and from all three games of this weekend’s White Sox-Cubs series.
SPRINGFIELD – For Quincy resident Virgil Frese, discovering a specially designed golf cart that allows wheelchair users to tee it up was like opening the world’s best Christmas present. By John Reynolds of the State Journal-Register.