Illinois Budget 8.4.09

Illinois Budget 8.4.09

Here are the top Illinois stories coming today from GateHouse News Service. Stories are available at Please check in the evening for changes to story lineup, including breaking news.

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- Casey Laughman is on vacation this week
- Michael Toeset, 630-835-8870,
- Jean Hodges, 630-956-8834,


The daily Illinois budget can be found online at Budget updates will be posted there.


Seeking applicants for the GateHouse Newsroom Leadership Series.

Seeking applicants for the GateHouse Newsroom Your Big Idea Series.

Complicated city proposal story easy to understand with breakouts.


FAITH & GRIEF: Mothers find faith through grief of losing a child - Any mother who’s lost a child will tell you that it’s the most distressing pain a mother can experience, but there are ways to cope, and many turn to God in their hour of need. By Jeniece Smith.


STATE BRIEFS: News from around the state. Will be posted this afternoon.

HYNES ON BUDGET: Comptroller Dan Hynes said Gov. Pat Quinn's handling of budget cuts is "chaos and confusion" and that he is cutting teh wrong programs.  Hynes said there are 1,600 people hired during the Blagojevich administration making over $70,000 a year whose jobs should be reviewed before front line employees are laid off.  He also said advertising/marketing contracts for the Lottery and tourism should be cut before human service programs. By Doug Finke. Will be posted this evening.

STATE CAPITOL Q&A: The 2010 election season officially got under way Tuesday with the beginning of the period when candidates can circulate the nominating petitions they need to file for office. Q&A takes a look at the process and at the State Board of Elections' latest work prompted by a new law aimed at curbing "pay to play" by businesses seeking state government business. By Adriana Colindres. Will be posted this evening.

POST OFFICE CLOSING? The list of offices that the U.S. Postal Service is considering for closure includes the branch in the basement of one of the buildings in the State Capitol complex. Includes reaction to the possible shuttering of the branch, which handles mail directed to state agencies and lawmakers in the Capitol and nearby buildings. By Adriana Colindres. Will be posted this evening.

NOOSE HATE CRIME: Springfield mayor mum on noose incident, says hate crimes not tolerated - Although declining to talk specifics about the case of a noose found in a black city employee's workstation, Mayor Tim Davlin told reporters Tuesday morning that hate crimes won't be tolerated. By Deana Poole.

VAN GIFT: Dillon man donates van to family of boy with cerebral palsy - Pekin resident Bradley Alexander was born with cerebral palsy. Now 13 years old, he is unable to walk and uses a wheelchair. Taking Bradley anywhere is a challenge for his mother, Karla, who has to lift him from his wheelchair into his car seat on her own before wrestling the wheelchair into the back of their van. Purchasing a lift, and a new van equipped for one, would cost between $40,000 and $80,000, Karla said, and as a single working parent, there is no way she could afford those expenses. But now someone has stepped in to help the family. By Tara Mattimoe, Pekin Daily Times.

PBS SHOW: PBS films in Mason City for 'Illinois Stories' - Mark McDonald, producer and host of the Emmy-winning PBS program “Illinois Stories,” traveled to Mason City on Saturday with his camera operator to interview residents and obtain footage for an upcoming episode of that show, which will air within the next few weeks. By Larry Crossett, Pekin Daily Times.


CATERPILLAR: Caterpillar Inc. chairman says company expects growth in 2010, but uncertainty still exists - Caterpillar Inc. believes the global economy will see moderate growth in 2010, then return to pre-recession growth by 2012, Wall Street analysts were told Monday. But that belief is fraught with uncertainty heading into the second half of 2009 and beyond because of problems - and risks - that still exist that could fuel a deeper recession, Caterpillar Chairman Jim Owens said. By Paul Gordon, Journal Star.

CLUNKERS: ‘Cash for Clunkers’ gives big boost to Belvidere-built vehicles - Chrysler dealers in the United States in July had their best month since May 2008 selling the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot because of the wildly popular "Cash for Clunkers" program designed by the federal government to push buyers into new, more fuel-efficient vehicles. All three of the models made at Chrysler’s assembly plant in Belvidere are capable of getting 28 mpg under optimum conditions. By Alex Gary, Register Star.


ORGAN DONATION: Sisters aim to educate on organ donations - Denise Snelling says it was an easy choice to give her kidney to sister Michelle Vronch. With a successful transplant in the books for about a month, the sisters say they want to spread the message to encourage more people to choose to be living organ donors. By Kevin Haas.

P.I.: Behind the scenes: The life of a private investigator - The world of private investigator Greg Yelencich bears little resemblance to that portrayed in movies and television series. In fact, the Johnston City resident thinks his life is better than scripted lives. By Matt Hawkins, Marion Daily Republican.


BRITT CARTOON: Obama's health care plan and lying Republicans


ILLINI: GROWING UP FAST: The basketball roster says Illinois guard D.J. Richardson is a freshman. His game and his leadership make it look like he's much older. By John Supinie. Moving by 6 p.m.

BEARS: Feature on rookie defensive tackle Jarron Gilbert (Bears highest draft pick) and notes. By Matt Trowbridge. Will be posted this evening.