Illinois Budget 3.31.09
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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Tuesday’s front page of the day: The Freeport Journal-Standard
Training video: Tips on getting better audio in your video reports.
Localization tip: Grocery shopping requires planning if you’re in frugal mode.
Vintage appliances keep carrying the load
PEORIA – They sure don’t make them like they used to. Based on the flood of responses the Peoria Journal Star got to its call for “workhorses” — appliances that have taken a licking and kept on ticking for 30, 40 up to 60 years and more — there is some truth to the cliche. Dozens wrote in about their old appliances — everything from refrigerators built in the 40s to washers and dryers handed down so many times who knows how old they are to a 30-year-old hair dryer still good as new. By Jennifer Davis of the Peoria Journal Star.
State Briefs. News from around the state.
GOVERNMENT REFORM: The top two Democrats who run the legislature propose sweeping changes to root out corruption on the state's pension boards, while the reform commission created by Gov. Pat Quinn comes out with its own ideas for improvements. By Adriana Colindres of the State Capitol Bureau. Will be posted this evening.
STATE CAPITOL Q&A: A closer look at the busy week facing state lawmakers, who are trying to meet a Friday deadline to get bills out of the House and Senate and why that's important. By Adriana Colindres of the State Capitol Bureau.
LOCAL LOBBYING: Local governments spent about $6 million on lobbyists to try to sway state government last year, a 15 percent increase from the year before, a new report from the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform found. By Andrew Thomason of the State Capitol Bureau.
Inmate found hanging in Tazewell County cell
PEKIN – A Tazewell County Justice Center inmate was found hanging in his cell Monday in what officials say may have been a suicide. Tazewell County Sheriff Robert Huston said Bradley Scott Alexander, 35, of Bloomington, was found by an inmate who shared a cell with him. By Sharon Woods Harris of the Pekin Times.
Bartering companies look for fair trade
PEORIA – Ric Kearbey has traded in his weather maps for business plans. The former WHOI-TV weathercaster is now an active partner in the I-Trade bartering firm that recently opened an office in Peoria. The company works to find trading partners for businesses so that both sides benefit.
Rain, snow leave farm fields too wet to work in
SPRINGFIELD – Heavy rain and a weekend snow that melted in hours has left more than 80 percent of area soils too wet to work just as the spring planting season is about to begin, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Tuesday. By Tim Landis of the State Journal-Register. To localize: Are farm fields in your area still too wet to work in?
House provides a river view from every room
CHILLICOTHE – Doing laundry in the laundry room/home office, Jeanie Ruhland has a view of the Illinois River. Washing dishes in the kitchen, she has a view of the river. Watching television in the family great room, preparing for bed at night, Jeanie and Terry Ruhland have a view of the river. The point of building an eight-room house on a narrow lot smack dab in the floodplain was, obviously, to take advantage of the river view - even when the river reaches scary floodstage levels. By Pam Adams of the Peoria Journal Star.
Medical facilities take a coffee break
SPRINGFIELD – James J. Flannigan didn’t eat breakfast before donating blood at Springfield Clinic on a recent Thursday morning. But as soon as he was done, the Springfield man sat down at the clinic’s first-floor coffee shop and ended his fast with a cup of coffee and a sugarless peach muffin. The small coffee shop is one of many located in medical buildings throughout Springfield. By Kathryn Rem of the State Journal-Register. To localize: Are coffee shops a fixture in medical facilities in your area?
Holocaust survivor lives to teach what happened
JACKSONVILLE – Several years ago, while addressing a gathering of activists intent on preventing genocide in Sudan, Holocaust survivor Nesse Godin said she stood “shoulder to shoulder” with those trying to stop the killing of innocent men, women and children. Godin’s support for peace in that region has been unabated through the years, though, she admits, it comes from a unique perspective. By Steven Spearie of the State Journal-Register.
Kathryn Rem: First Garden sets a good example
For foodies, the best news to come out of the Obama administration so far has to be the decision to create an organic garden on the south lawn of the White House. The burgeoning local foods/organic/sustainable agriculture communities led the charge for replacing some of the neatly manicured lawn at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. with an American pie of a garden.
BRITT: Local toon.
Phil Luciano: Boys’ final trip comes to awful conclusion
You wonder about the little boys’ last trip, along a narrow, winding road in the middle of nowhere. And you wonder about their final moments, and if this unfamiliar, rural locale allowed the last sights set upon by their bright, young eyes. Sunday, a passer-by called police about a 1991 Dodge Dynasty resting on Taylor Road about a half-mile from Route 26. Any unfamiliar car would gain notice in this remote area. Duncan Connolly, 9, and brother, Jack, 7, were found inside the car. Michael Connolly, 40, was found 60 yards away. Police, who are investigating it as a double murder-suicide, have not said how they died or where the boys drew their last breaths.
Editorial: Can we succeed in Afghanistan where others have stumbled?
Over the centuries, the area now known as Afghanistan has been invaded by everybody from Alexander the Great to Genghis Khan to the Soviet Union, with limited long-term success or none at all. So absolutely, it's fair to question President Barack Obama's decision last week to send 4,000 more soldiers. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.
BASKETBALL WRAP-UP: A look back at the Illini basketball season and a look ahead to next year. By John Supinie. Will be posted this evening.
FOOTBALL KICKOFF: Illinois football coach Ron Zook speaks on the first day of spring drills. By John Supinie. Will be posted this evening.