Illinois Budget 7.25-27.08
GHNS Illinois Budget (7/25-27/08)
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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Casey Laughman is on vacation. He’ll also be on vacation next week.
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ILLINOIS BUDGET ONLINE
The daily Illinois budget can be found online at http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/budget. Budget updates will be posted there.
PREZ COMES TO TOWN (to be updated). (w/pics, w/video, w/timeline?) We'll recount the presidential visit from touchdown at the Air Guard Base, to Schock's Weaver Farm fundraiser and back to the Guard base for departure. There may be a surprise stop, too. From the Presidential Pool Reporters vantage point, we'll describe the scene, the protocol, the local dignitaries, the handshakes, the crowds along the way, banners, protests, etc. (w/Web update ASAP after 2:30 p.m.; 15 inches by 4 p.m. for Web; 40-50 inches by 8 p.m.) KAREN MCDONALD / PEORIA
CHURCH GRANT -- Atheist Rob Sherman challenges the Blagojevich's administration over a $1 million grant it gave to help rebuild a Chicago church and appears in a Sangamon County courtroom to begin proceedings on the lawsuit. Colindres. (Adriana is staffing a 1:30 p.m. status hearing that we don't expect to produce much news but it gives us a chance to let people know about the suit and his arguments.) / STATEHOUSE
IDOT MOVE-Q&A -- Gov. Rod Blagojevich made quite a splash with his decision to move a Department of Transportation division to southern Illinois, and lawmakers are reviewing the move in a hearing Thursday at the state Capitol. Here are some questions and answers about the move and what happens next. Keith / STATEHOUSE For Sunday papers.
With IDOT VIGNETTES -- personal stories of four IDOT employees who say their lives will be destroyed by the move south / STATEHOUSE.
STATEHOUSE INSIDER - Finke. For Sunday papers. / STATEHOUSE
STATE CAPITOL NOTEBOOK - Bureau. For Monday papers. / STATEHOUSE
PRISON OVERTIME -- Guards at two state prisons were recently told they would have to take their lunch breaks at their posts, preventing them from getting out of cell blocks for a 30 minute break. They were to be paid time and a half for essentially working through their lunch break. Corrections says it is within the department's purview to require guards to work through lunch in selected cases. However, AFSCME said it is because prisons are short-staffed, a long-time complaint of the union. The problem isn't going to get better, either. Finke/ STATEHOUSE. For Monday papers.
IGUODALA WEEK: Back in the early 1990s, NBA player Kevin Gamble, a Lanphier High School graduate, would come back to Springfield every summer and set up his basketball camp at the Lanphier gym. A couple of the wide-eyed campers in 1992 were the Iguodala brothers, Frank and Andre. "We've still got a piece of one of the trophies they won that year," says Linda Shanklin, Andre Iguodala's mother. Both Gamble and Andre Iguodala led Lanphier to the Illinois High School Association Class AA State Tournament game in their senior years, Gamble in 1983 and Iguodala in 2002. Both played Division I basketball, Gamble at Iowa and Iguodala at Arizona. Both made it the highest level, the NBA. And this week, the two teamed up for the Andre Iguodala and Kevin Gamble Basketball Camp at the University of Illinois at Springfield, where 100 young basketball players learned the fundamentals of offense and defense. It's all a part of Andre Iguodala Celebrity Weekend, which concludes today. Ruppert w/photos/Salsman / SPRINGFIELD
UPS STRIKE? UPS, union no closer on contract. CHICAGO SUBURBAN
GAS TAXES: State and local government is raking in sales tax receipts from gas and diesel, but other sales tax proceeds are dropping ... so it's no net gain. Basically, people are buying about as much stuff total, just more of it is gas. BONA / ROCKFORD
OIL PRODUCTS: We’ve spilled plenty of ink on how much the price of a barrel of oil is dinging us at the gas pump. But there are plenty of other products that are made from petroleum, including hot-mix asphalt, plastics, aspirin, shampoo and Vaseline. How is the run-up in price affecting them? LEGUE / ROCKFORD
ART MEETS LIFE: Artist transform downtown building into modern loft. PEORIA
X-FILES REVIEW: X-Files should have remained closed. ROGERS / SPRINGFIELD
‘STEP BROTHERS’: 'Step Brothers' is a step up for Ferrell. ROGERS / SPRINGFIELD
BRITT CARTOON: McCain feels he's neglected by the media
ELIZABETH COL: I swear, I did not want her to fall. But I will admit that, the minute I read an Internet story about Miss USA taking a tumble at the Miss Universe pageant, one thought popped into my mind. "Oooh, please let there be a picture!” DAVIES/ ROCKFORD
WOOD ON WORDS: The many meanings of ‘liberal’ and ‘liberty.’ Barry Woods / ROCKFORD
QUICKSHOTS: Devin Hester's contract woes are unusual; second-round draft picks have virtually no choice except to sign what is offered, and teams usually demand players sign for four years. But his unproven receiver skills make his next contract tricky. ... The Packers' Ryan Grant, who ran for 1,159 yards in his last 12 games, counting the playoffs, is wrong to hold out. ... Mark Cuban would be the perfect owner for the Cubs. ... Thoughts on the White Sox trading Josh Fields for pitching, etc. Matt Trowbridge ROCKFORD
BEARS CAMP: Trowbridge covering.
HESTER’S AT CAMP: Bears are all smiles when Hester reports to camp. To be updated after practice with his quotes. TROWBRIDGE / ROCKFORD
DEFENSE REBOUND: Feature story on the defense and whether it can return to 2006 and 2005 levels now that everyone is healthy again. TROWBRIDGE / ROCKFORD
MIKE NADEL: Off until Monday when he’ll cover Cubs-Brewers series.
JUICE TAKES OVER: J Leman and Rashard Mendenhall are busy in NFL camps, so now junior quarterback Juice Williams knows the Illini are his team. Living with his girlfriend and 11-month-old daughter have helped Williams mature and gain more responsibility. That may also help Williams on the football field. By John Supinie. Moving Friday afternoon/early evening. SUPINIE
WITH BREAKOUT: Williams stats
TAKING FLIGHT: Before putting his degree in aerospace engineering to work, Illinois senior center Ryan McDonald will finish his college career and give the NFL a shot. McDonald missed spring drills with a neck injury before starting for the fourth season this fall. By John Supinie. Moving Saturday afternoon. SUPINIE