Illinois Budget 11.04.08

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.

If your paper has a story, digest item, opinion piece or standalone photo to share, please e-mail it to Illinois@gatehousemedia.com.

Contacts:
Casey Laughman: (217) 816-3343, claughman@gatehousemedia.com

GATEHOUSE NEWSROOM

6 things you can do tonight with your election coverage http://ghnewsroom.com/blogs.php?bid=258

VIDEO: Springfield cartoonist talks about his art; timelapse offered http://ghnewsroom.com/news.php?newsid=1225810106

ELECTION DAY:

ELECTION DAY PHOTOS: If you have photos from Election Day coverage, please send them to GHNS. Photos can be e-mailed to national@gatehousemedia.com, Illinois@gatehousemedia.com or submitted through Zope.

TODAY’S SPOTLIGHT

ELECTION DAY: The following stories will be available from GateHouse News Service Tuesday night:
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1720638402
CON-CON: Voters decide whether to call a constitutional convention or not. By Ryan Keith of the State Capitol bureau. First version to be posted by 9 p.m.; will be updated.
SENATE: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Springfield) faces challenger Steve Sauerberg. SPRINGFIELD. First version to be posted by 9 p.m.; will be updated.
18TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: Colleen Callahan and Aaron Schock face off to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood. By Karen McDonald of the Peoria Journal Star. First version to be posted by 9 p.m.; will be updated.
14TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: Rep. Bill Foster, who won a special election earlier this year against Jim Oberweis, faces Oberweis again in an election for former Rep. Dennis Hastert’s seat. SUBURBAN LIFE.
ROUNDUP: A roundup of Congressional race results and other races that may have statewide interest. Compiled by GHNS.
ELECTION DAY PHOTO GALLERY: Photos from around the state.

ILLINOIS NEWS
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/news

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

Experts say economy better prepared to handle crash than during Depression

ROCKFORD – The shock wave that sent the global financial markets into a tailspin in September has sparked a number of comparisons to the Great Depression. And the good news, experts say, is that a modern version is highly unlikely. Still, the parallels between the October 1929 stock crash and last month’s sell-off — including missed warning signs before the crash and faltering investor confidence in the aftermath — are enough to give casual observers and learned economists pause. By Sean F. Driscoll of the Rockford Register Star.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1720638240

Speed cams net few tickets, but accidents down in construction zones

SPRINGFIELD – Fewer than one in four motorists whose photo was taken while speeding through a construction zone in the Springfield area this past spring and summer got a ticket. But Illinois State Police say the numbers — 505 possible violations spotted, 116 citations mailed since the program began in March — don’t tell the real story. It’s the reduction in construction-zone crashes, the agency says, that proves speed-enforcement cameras are slowing people down. By Rhys Saunders of the State Journal-Register.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1720638425

Agreement ensures future of Starhill Forest Arboretum

Guy Sternberg has been growing trees ever since he found some silver maple seeds on his way home from kindergarten. Silver maples grow fast, and the young Sternberg was delighted when the trees sprouted in his sandbox in just a few days. Sternberg told that story as he and his wife Edie signed an agreement with Illinois College on Oct. 27 that one day will transfer Starhill Forest Arboretum to the college. The agreement created a trust and endowment so the college will be able to care for the private arboretum near Petersburg far into the future. By Chris Young of the State Journal-Register.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1196573754

Hidden Gems: Where to watch for birds

In central Illinois, the challenge is the same for both birdwatchers and hunters. Waiting. Waiting for the all-too-short hunting season to roll around, and then hoping for good weather and plentiful game. Or waiting for the brief window of opportunity when migrating birds — from tiny songbirds to raptors — pass through Illinois. But there are plenty of places where wildlife can be viewed and enjoyed without the fear of straying into hunting areas. By Chris Young of the State Journal-Register.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1197773341

ILLINOIS BUSINESS
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois_business

Transport companies invest in alternative ways to stay on road

ROCKFORD – As diesel prices soared past $4 a gallon this year, Silver Arrow’s truck drivers were told to conserve fuel by driving slower and idling less. But just because diesel prices have dropped more than $1.30 a gallon since July doesn’t mean Silver Arrow is going back to its old ways. By Thomas V. Bona of the Rockford Register Star.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/business/x1720638242

Corn harvest lagging behind

SPRINGFIELD – The soybean harvest is nearing completion in Illinois, while high-moisture content continues to slow the corn harvest, according to a report Tuesday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. By Tim Landis of the State Journal-Register.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x199487405

Biodiesel plant may grow like a weed

PEORIA – A new plant may grow soon in Peoria, a biodiesel plant that will make use of a whole new energy source: a weed called pennycress. Biodiesel Manufacturers of Illinois plans to build a $40 million manufacturing plant near Mapleton, 10 miles southwest of Peoria, that would produce 45 million gallons of fuel annually. That's the equivalent of 10 percent of all the biodiesel fuel produced in the United States last year. By Steve Tarter of the Peoria Journal Star.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1588603895

ILLINOIS LIFESTYLES
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois_lifestyle

Creator of comic-book monsters finds joy in storytelling

BYRON – It’s been years since he thumbed through his first comic book, but 26-year-old Richard Pulfer is more into the genre today than ever. He loves comics so much that he’s making a side career out of writing them. The Byron man recently was named the first U.S. winner of a Canadian comic competition, and his comic is due to be published on the company’s Web site. Publisher Zeroes2Heroes has left open the possibility that the comic, called “Bat & Wolf,” could be made into film or adapted for television. By Elizabeth Davies of the Rockford Register Star.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/entertainment/x1772932186

ILLINOIS OPINIONS
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/opinions

BRITT: Toon on the winner of the presidential election. Will be posted tonight.

Dave Bakke: Long-lost relatives’ reunion holds big surprise

Irene Willis took the call. It was one she will never forget. An Oklahoma man named Gary Rollins was calling. “I think you and your husband, Norm, are my cousins,” he said. When Gary and his wife, Pam, drove to Springfield to meet their new cousins, it was another unforgettable moment. The Rollinses are white. The Willises are black. Until they saw each other, neither couple knew.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1720636307

ILLINOIS SPORTS
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/sports

MIKE NADEL: CHICAGO - Mike's Mailbag is bursting with letters about the Bears, Cubs and Illini. Here's what readers had to say, with Nadel's comments on the various subjects. Will be posted this evening.

ILLINI:

ILLINOIS NOTES: A football notebook from coach Ron Zook's weekly press conference. By John Supinie. Moving this evening.

BROKEN JAW: Will update the story on running back Mikel Leshoure's jaw as warranted. By John Supinie. TENTATIVE.

BEARS:

Matt Trowbridge: It's now or never for Bears' Grossman

Things change. Even in Chicago. Even at quarterback. Rex Grossman is no longer the crown prince, who plays quarterback because he inherited the position when the Bears drafted him in the first round six years ago. He’s now back on the throne by default, thanks to Kyle Orton’s ankle sprain.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/sports/pro/football/bears/x1720638429