GateHouse News Service Regional Budget (11/01/07)
Here are the top Illinois stories coming today from GateHouse News Service. Stories are available at www.gatehousenewsservice.com
*Please check this Web site in the evening for changes to story lineup, including breaking news.
Regional Editor Jonie Larson, (217) 816-3343, firstname.lastname@example.org
National Editor Jean Hodges, (630) 348-3350, email@example.com
Political Storms – this Sunday
... Check out http://www.ghnewsroom.com/news.php?newsid=1193838806
The site indicates all kinds of ways to localize this national package focusing on whether your state gets money in the case of a natural disaster.
CHRYSLER CUTS: Detroit News is reporting Cerberus will cut another 1,000 salaried workers and the move is tied into other cost-cutting efforts that will include reducing shifts. The third shift in Belvidere isn't specifically noted but rumors are flying that that cut will come very soon. ROCKFORD/Illinois/this evening.
AMTRAK RIDERSHIP RISES. Amtrak has released state figures on "ridership" numbers for Illinois-based passenger trains. Ridership has supposedly more than doubled within the state, after the state transportation department and Amtrak added five new round-trip trains. We'll sort through the numbers. RAMSEY w/breakout on some cities' ticket sales.
BYRON STARTUP: The Byron nuclear plant is expected to go back online some time today.
Details as to what was fixed, etc. ROCKFORD/Illinois/this evening.
DEADLY FORCE: What will the grand jury decide on the Vaughn Fitzgerald shooting?
Also, what's the latest on charges in the case? Will the state's attorney recuse
himself after rumors of personal connections to the case? ROCKFORD/Illinois News/this evening.
SWEENYCOLUMN: Local development group brings "site locator" to town to speak; but the question remains:
Who would locate in a place with three "dropout factories?" ROCKFORD/Illinois News/this evening.
READY, SET, PRAY. The city of Peoria has extended an invitation to pastors of all church denominations to attend a meeting to discuss the city's crime problem and how to combat it with prayer. It raises red flags, considering it seems exclusive to churches (excluding synagogues and mosques) and was sent out on city letterhead, which brings up questions about church and state. Will talk to Mayor Ardis and religious leaders. MILLER/PEORIA/Illinois
PLEASE REMOVE YOUR MASK. That rubbery Richard Nixon mask might kill at the office on Halloween, but at the teller window at your local credit union? Not so funny. Commerce Bank has a “remove your costume please” sign out front of its downtown bank and we'll check with others to see what their Halloween policies are. Some banks even ask customers to remove hats and sunglasses. HILYARD/PEORIA/Illinois News
HOMELESS OUSTED: Beginning Thursday, the city of Springfield will no longer let homeless citizens spend the night outside municipal buildings, including Lincoln Library. The ban will be in place from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. Mayor Tim Davlin announced the change Wednesday during a news conference to announce the opening of additional shelter space for the homeless. ANTONACCI/SPRINGFIELD/Illinois
TROOPER FUNERAL: PANA — Approximately 250 police officers, including from as far away as Texas and California, turned out today at the funeral mass for Illinois State Police Trooper Brian McMillen. The Pana native, 24, died early Sunday when his squad car was involved in a three-vehicle accident as he was responding to a call for assistance at an Illiopolis bar. BOLINSKI/SPRINGFIELD/with art/Illinois and Illinois News
JD’S CLOSED/FOR SALE: JD’s Tavern near Illiopolis may have seen its last fight. Long a trouble spot for police, the tavern is up for sale. “I’m meeting with a Realtor tomorrow,” said owner Donyal Banning. “I’m tired of the things going on out there. I just cannot be a part of that place anymore.” Also checking on future of the 3 a.m. liquor license, and why a place with such a troubled history managed to hang onto the license for so long. RUSHTON/SPRINGFIELD/Illinois News
NO BID: Checking tip that company that has supplied feed and other supplies to horse shows etc. at the state fairgrounds has lost the contract after 20 some years. Blagojevich administration apparently decided it should be bid out. HEUPEL/CAPITOL BUREAU (tentative)/Illinois News on merits
JUDGE CHALLENGES METHODS: Using the case of an Eldorado woman who pleaded guilty to methamphetamine distribution as his case-in-point, Judge J. Phil Gilbert on Tuesday took federal prosecutors to task for their practices in honoring plea agreements. Saying the U.S. Attorney's office dangles plea agreements that are "illusory" in front of defendants, Gilbert challenged the internal workings of the prosecutor's office. FODOR/BENTON/posting this afternoon/Illinois and Illinois News.
STATE BRIEFS – A collection of briefs from GateHouse newspapers across the state. Posted by 6 p.m./Illinois and Illinois News.
SURVIVING TOUGH TIMES: Nicholas Licari considers each person who gets in one of his Careavan vehicles from Madison and Milwaukee in Wisconsin to Belvidere and all parts of Winnebago County to be “a part of my family.” As a small-business owner, Licari is in the somewhat enviable position of having “a family” that is growing so quickly his challenge in the future will be to have enough vans and drivers to meet the demand. GARY/ROCKFORD/Illinois News and GHNS-Business/posted (with art)
Season opener ... GateHouse sports columnist writing from New Jersey.
MIKE NADEL: Bulls season opener at New Jersey. (Will be posted by 10:30 p.m.) COLUMN/MIKE NADEL, Pro Basketball and Bulls.
NOT OVER YET: Where’s John Belushi when you need him? If it wasn’t over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, then it’s not over after the Lions bombed the Bears for a second time. TROWBRIDGE/ROCKFORD/posted/Illinois Sports and GHNS – Pro Football and Bears.
ILLINOIS FOOTBALL: Minnesota coach Tim Brewster is a former Illini tight end who
wanted to Illini coaching job when it was vacant in 2004. Even though he denied it,
this is a big game for him as the Gophers attempt to salvage the season. The teams
meet Saturday in Minneapolis. SUPINIE. Champaign. Illinois sports and Big Ten.
Moving early evening.
ILLINOIS BASKETBALL: Illini host Quincy in the exhibition opener. Game coverage.
Tipoff is 8 p.m. First story moving about 10:30 p.m. Re-write moving about 11:45
p.m. SUPINIE/Illinois Sports.
BRITT: Toon showing "Crazy Uncle Dick" Cheney repeating "Attack Iran" over and over. CHRIS BRITT/SPRINGFIELD/Illinois Opinions and GHNS-Cartoons.
Coming later in the week:
GAMBLING OPPONENTS. A look at the gaming-expansion issue from the perspective of anti-gambling activists. Do they think a Chicago casino is a done deal, now that House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, has signaled he could support one? RAMSEY/CHICAGO BUREAU
ILLINOIS BASKETBALL PREVIEW PACKAGE:
Illinois preview. Senior Brian Randle hopes for a healthy, happy final year with a
Illinois expanded schedule.
Illinois roster. Bios on all 16 Illini. With color mugs.
Big Ten Conference capsules. A quick look at all 11 teams in the league in predicted
order of finish.
Big Ten preview. After slipping into the middle of the pack for much of the decade,
Michigan State is back on top.
Illinois women's preview. Sophomore center Jenna Smith is a big part of the plans
for first-year coach Jolette Law.