GHNS Illinois Budget (5/30/08)
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
- Jean Hodges: (630) 348-3350, firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday’s front page of the day: The Geneva (Ill.) Republican.
Writing coach: Read Casey Laughman’s writing coach blog at http://www.ghnewsroom.com/blogs.php?aid=16. This week’s topic: Setting the scene.
The following categories have been added to the GateHouse News Service Web site: Illinois Cartoons, Illinois Lifestyle, Illinois Business, Illinois Photos, Illinois Travel, Illinois Gardening and Illinois Video.
FOR WEEKEND AND BEYOND: Another in our Money Squeeze series.
FRUGAL IS COOL: Coupons are back in vogue, thanks to rising food and gas prices, and young bloggers dedicated to turning thrift into a game and removing its old-lady stigma. By Lauren FitzPatrick/GHNS. WITH: art, breakouts
Woman lays husband to rest, saves best friend's life in same day
PEORIA – On Oct. 19, Gail Douglass was attending a burial in Belleville and almost ended up being laid to rest herself. Douglass, a nurse working at the time in the emergency department of Methodist Medical Center, was preparing to leave the funeral of her friend’s husband when she felt dizzy and blacked out. By Frank Radosevich II of the Peoria Journal Star.
STATE BRIEFS: News from around the state. POSTED.
BUDGET: Negotiations continue toward a new state government budget. Lawmakers face a key deadline at the end of the day May 31. After that, Republican support would be needed to pass a new budget. By Doug Finke of the State Capitol bureau. Will be posted this evening.
IDOT MOVE: Springfield-area legislators, fighting the governor's plan to move some Department of Transportation jobs out of Springfield, say a provision in state law might make the move illegal. By Meagan Sexton of the State Capitol bureau. Will be posted this evening.
HOTEL TAX: Legislation that would let East Peoria and Morton boost their hotel tax rate so it matches Peoria's passes the Illinois House and now is on its way to the governor. This is part of a plan by the area convention bureau to have all communities in the area setting up a uniform hotel tax rate. With "how they voted" box. By Adriana Colindres of the State Capitol bureau. Will be posted this evening.
LANGUAGE SPAT: The fate of proposed laws to help build new Peoria schools and the long-anticipated Peoria riverfront museum could get entangled in a legislative spat over a phrase of little more than 200 words. With the idea of discouraging future meddling by the governor, the House has inserted "rulemaking" language in many of its bills, including the Peoria ones, but the Senate has been removing the language before it votes on the same bills. By Adriana Colindres of the State Capitol bureau. Will be posted this evening.
For the weekend: Statehouse Insider. By Doug Finke of the State Capitol bureau. Will be posted this evening.
--Capitol Notebook: Due to the legislature being in session this weekend, the Capitol Notebook will be posted Sunday. By the State Capitol Bureau.
FAIRGROUNDS BAN: Bill Mitchell, former vendor of hay, straw, feed and other livestock stuff at the state fairgrounds, thought he'd found a loophole that would allow him to keep selling his wares to livestock owners. He set up in three semi-trailers parked across the street from the fairgrounds and started underselling the official vendor. Now, he's been banned from the fairgrounds and threatened with arrest. It's the first time in memory that anyone has been permanently banned from the fairgrounds. By Bruce Rushton of the State Journal-Register. HELD.
OZINGA PIT: Follow-up story on concrete magnate and congressional candidate Marty Ozinga's deposition issues in the Marshall County lawsuit in which his company is suing an 83-year-old Granville farmer in a land dispute. Ozinga was ordered about three weeks ago to give a deposition in the case against Raymond Kunkel after five other witnesses directly contradicted his affadavit claiming he had 'no relevant knowledge' of the real estate contract in dispute. He submitted to a deposition last week, but refused to answer some key questions, and now Kunkel's lawyer is trying to force him to do so. A judge may decide Friday morning whether to order that. By Gary Smith of the Peoria Journal Star. HELD.
PAROLE POLITICS: Democrats tried but failed Thursday to remove Salvador Diaz from the Prisoner Review Board, even as Republicans accused those Democrats of attempting to reconstitute the PRB in advance of the board's upcoming vote on whether to parole Ted Bacino. Sen. Rickey Hendon, D-Chicago, led the fight to oust Diaz, and he said his campaign had nothing to do with Bacino. But the Republicans claimed that Hendon's move is part of a larger, long-term effort to shift the PRB to the left by removing tough-on-crime members like Diaz, who is a former Chicago police officer. By Aaron Chambers of the Rockford Register Star. Will be posted this evening.
Aunt: Stacy Peterson wanted out of her marriage
JOLIET – After more than three hours of testifying before the grand jury, Stacy Peterson’s aunt Candace Aikin emerged Thursday from the Will County Court Annex building dabbing tears away. By Danya Hooker of Suburban Life Publications.
Medical examiner's office rules Roselle shootings a murder-suicide
ROSELLE – The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office has ruled the Wednesday morning shootings of a Roselle family a murder-suicide. By David Heitz of Suburban Life Publications.
UAW files unfair labor practice against Caterpillar over smoking ban
EAST PEORIA – Caterpillar Inc.’s decision to ban smoking on all of its U.S. properties beginning Sunday, including on its manufacturing campuses, goes against guarantees in the company’s contract with the United Auto Workers, the union says. By Paul Gordon of the Peoria Journal Star.
BRITT: No new toon today.
Phil Luciano: Energy drinks and kids don't mix
As a grandma, Connie Owens didn't like what she'd been seeing. Owens, the manager at the Apollo Mart in Peoria, witnessed a daily parade of kids coming into the shop every morning before class at neighboring Bartonville Elementary School. The kids, mostly seventh- and eight-graders, would dash in just before first bell to grab a caffeine-laden energy drink.
Editorial: Require that all gun thefts be reported
Following the arrests of Lee Boyd Malvo and John Allen Muhammad in the Beltway sniper shootings in 2002, authorities discovered that the rifle used in the shootings was one of 238 weapons that had mysteriously gone missing in the previous three years from a gun dealer in Washington state. An editorial from the State Journal-Register.
Michael Miller: Will politicians ever learn to check supporters’ history?
Politicians should do a little more checking before accepting ministers' endorsements.
MIKE NADEL: LAKE FOREST – Brian Urlacher reported to minicamp Friday, temporarily averting one reason for hysterics and freeing us to concentrate on the hysterics involving who will throw, run and catch the football. Will be posted this evening.
SATURDAY: Nadel will be writing from Saturday’s Rockies-Cubs game.
SUNDAY QUICK SHOTS: Bulls make strange coaching hire. … Urlacher makes good choice to show up at minicamp. … Baseball Prospectus says both Cubs and Sox now have at least a 60 percent chance of winning their divisions. … Pitching coach Don Cooper deserves lion's share of the credit for the White Sox' success. By Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star. For use in Sunday editions.
Kirk Wessler: Scrambling to name a Starting Five
I do not own a Blackberry, but page 48 of my pocket DayMinder indicates there is still time to name a Starting Five before May runs out.
Jeff Lampe: Unwelcome surprise for campers
Campers arriving at state sites last Friday were treated to an unwelcome surprise. Unbeknownst to many, camping fees had increased without much fanfare. Sites with electrical service cost $5 more. And there's a new $10 fee for premium weekends. If you missed that news you were not alone.