GHNS Illinois Budget (3/25/08)
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.
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'Perfect storm' of price surges making food more expensive
PEORIA -- The broad spectrum of vendors on hand at the food show Tuesday in the Peoria Civic Center had one thing in common: Concerns about rising food prices. Recent U.S. Labor Department statistics indicate that prices on staples such as bread, milk, eggs, and flour surged last year, increasing at double-digit rates for the first time in 20 years.
STATE BRIEFS: News from around the state. Will be posted this evening.
LASER REGULATION: The state wants stiffer regulations of laser removal procedures by restricting it to licensed nurses and physicians. By Meagan Sexton of the State Capitol bureau.
HELICOPTER LANDING: A state helicopter carrying Department of Corrections officials and two representatives of the governor's office landed inside of a perimeter fence at a maximum-security prison in Pontiac. Staff wasn't notified that the helicopter was coming and could have fired on it, per Corrections procedure. They didn't, but the prison guards' union is complaining about what could have been a catastrophe. By Doug Finke of the State Capitol bureau.
BANKRUPT MAUSOLEUM: A bankruptcy hearing was held Tuesday morning concerning American Mausoleum, which declared bankruptcy last week, leaving loved ones of those interred there in limbo. By Andy Kravetz of the Peoria Journal Star. Will be posted this evening.
DEAD CATTLE: The man who owns the farm where several dead cattle were found Monday was given until Tuesday morning to clean up the farm and have a veterinarian check the rest of his herd. By Leslie Fark of the Peoria Journal Star.
Hugs all around at White House for piano prodigy
ROCKFORD – “I said, ‘Hi,’ and I gave him a hug,” Emily Bear, 6, of Rockford said of meeting President Bush after she’d played piano in front of about 300 people at the White House before the traditional annual Easter Egg Roll. By Georgette Braun of the Rockford Register Star.
Railway says new traffic pattern wouldn't be disruptive
A proposed railway purchase has come under fire from local and national leaders due to the increase in train traffic it would bring to towns in western DuPage County and other suburbs, but the railway looking to make the purchase is promoting the fact that it would result in fewer trains running along its existing lines. By Dan Petrella of Suburban Life Publications.
Man caught with fake IDs suspected in 2004 Galesburg shooting
GALESBURG – When the FBI picked up Freddie Collins in Chicago for possession of a fake California driver’s license and fake Social Security card on March 3, they also found a suspect in a 2004 Galesburg shooting. By Michelle Anstett of the Galesburg Register-Mail.
BRITT: Toon on Hillary Clinton’s adventures with snipers in Bosnia. Will be posted this afternoon.
Editorial: Illinois still blocking too much Sunshine
Last week was Sunshine Week, a time for reflecting on the importance of open government and the Freedom of Information Act. Illinois in recent years has had its share of open government successes. But for all these gains, there remains one aspect of Illinois state government still almost completely hidden from public view. An editorial from the State Journal-Register.
Editorial: Sorry, kids: Mom and Dad need to know about tickets
We can picture the scene and feel the tension already: The teenager arrives home from school and is greeted by Mom holding The Letter. The envelope bears the official logo of the Illinois State Police, and comes from District 9 headquarters in Springfield. The Letter has just informed Mom about the speeding ticket the teen had so carefully tried to hide from the previous weekend. An editorial from the State Journal-Register.
Elizabeth Davies: Companies should offer more help to electronic users
I might be a member of Generation X, but I’m a tech dummy.
Welcome back, Big Daddy: Garlits returns to Byron for first time in 25 years
Drag-racing great “Big Daddy” Don Garlits makes his first appearance at Byron Dragway in 25 years on May 4 as grand marshal of the fifth annual Spring Nationals. By Doug Goodman of the Rockford Register Star.
ILLINI: CHAMPAIGN – The Illinois football team would prefer to make history instead of repeat it. The Illini haven't had back-to-back winning seasons or bowl trips in nearly 20 years. Spring practice begins Wednesday. By John Supinie.
CHAMPAIGN –- Sidebar on board of trustees meeting Wednesday, where a contract extension for athletic director Ron Guenther is expected to be approved. By John Supinie.