Illinois Budget 12.23.09
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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BEST OF 2009: The news service is looking for end-of-year content that works on a national scale. For example, Best Movies of 2009 or Top 10 Songs of 2009. If your paper is planning lists, columns or the like, please let us know by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll compile all year-end content in a links package and will post a budget when we know what items are expected.
POLL IDEA: Each week we’ll post a national poll idea you can use on your own Web site to allow your readers to weigh in on a topic of interest, whether it’s a news story, a pop culture story or a sports story. Check out our first question, with embed code.
GateHouse Media’s Countdown to 2010: 12 Days of Successes
Hynes: No more borrowing
SPRINGFIELD – Comptroller Dan Hynes has all but ruled out any additional short term borrowing by the state to ease the enormous backlog of unpaid bills. Meeting Wednesday with the State Journal-Register editorial board, Hynes said borrowing more money in the short term now will only exacerbate payment delays next spring when the state must begin repaying the loans. By Doug Finke of the State Capitol Bureau. Early version posted; will be updated.
State Briefs. News from around the state.
This week at the statehouse:
For the weekend:
Statehouse Insider. By Doug Finke. Will be posted Thursday evening for use Sunday.
Gubernatorial candidates: State has a long way to go on reform
SPRINGFIELD – Reform was the mantra of state government in 2009. Ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich's impeachment forced government officials to take ethical cleanup more seriously and send a message the state would run a tighter ship. Those running for governor say there's more work to do. GateHouse News Service asked Democratic and Republican candidates for governor to explain how they would prioritize ethics and government reform in their administration and what specific proposals they would be pushing. Here is what they had to say. By Ryan Keith of the State Capitol Bureau. For use in weekend editions.
Cat unveils first electric drive tractor
PEORIA – Caterpillar Inc. unveiled the first-of-its-kind electric drive track-type tractor in ceremonies Tuesday. Caterpillar Group President Doug Oberhelman, who takes over as Caterpillar CEO next year, praised the technical advances of the D7E model along with the workers at the Building SS plant where the tractor was assembled. By Steve Tarter of the Peoria Journal Star.
Hark! The art of Christmas cookie decorating
SPRINGFIELD – Snowflakes. Wreaths. Angels. Christmas trees. Bells. These are the targets of the metal-tipped pastry bags, filled with colorful icing, wielded by the members of the women’s society of St. John Vianney Catholic Parish in Sherman as they gather for two days each December for a marathon cookie-decorating session. By Kathryn Rem of the State Journal-Register.
Hospitals providing faster heart attack care
SPRINGFIELD – For heart patients, "time is muscle." So by treating heart attack patients faster, doctors can reduce the severity of cardiac muscle damage. A key measure is "door to balloon" time, the time from when a patient arrives at the hospital until their arteries are unblocked. By Todd Smith of the State Journal-Register. To localize: How are local hospitals working to speed up heart attack treatment?
Store offers some truly unique items
PEORIA – Deena Warner of Chillicothe checked out a Victorian casket stand and tried to picture it in her home. It didn’t work. But the snowman ornaments made out of test tubes? Totally different story. By Jennifer Towery of the Peoria Journal Star.
BRITT: Britt is on vacation.
Amanda Jacobs: Snow does not get better with age
When I was little, I used to get really excited when it snowed. As soon as the flakes started falling, I would start gearing up to go sledding and build a snowman and just generally frolic in the winter wonderland that had previously been my backyard. Even more importantly, snow meant that there was a possibility that I wouldn’t have to go to school the next day. There are no snow days for grown-ups.
Editorial: Making the skies a little friendlier for travelers
Last week when Peoria's own Ray LaHood appeared on "The Daily Show," comedian Jon Stewart got a laugh describing the transportation secretary's job as the "least glamorous Cabinet position" in Washington. If only he'd known then the announcement the secretary had up his sleeve. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.
Editorial: Reasons to go green besides global warming
So the world's leaders went all the way to Copenhagen and all they brought back home was this lousy non-binding agreement to set some goals for curtailing greenhouse gas emissions and maybe work up an agenda for the next climate summit. Arguably your average, bickering neighborhood association accomplishes more at one of its meetings. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.
Editorial: Senate is on the brink of a historic vote
After a lengthy, contentious debate that provided the best contemporary example of the old cliché about legislating being as pleasing to watch as sausage-making, history will be on the line with members of the U.S. Senate on Thursday. An editorial from the State Journal-Register.
Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star will be writing a mainbar and notes from Halas Hall. Will be posted this evening.
ILLINOIS-MISSOURI: The annual Braggin’ Rights game tips off at 8:30 p.m. Game story and report card by John Supinie.