Illinois Budget 12.24.08
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.
Casey Laughman: (217) 816-3343, email@example.com
David Arkin: How to involve readers, look at 2009 issues in year-end packages.
IDEA: Tell readers what’s open on Christmas Day.
Thousands wait for hours in hopes of something to put under the tree
BELVIDERE – Snow fell almost constantly and temperatures hovered around 28 degrees Tuesday afternoon, but that didn’t stop Shavontay Fluker and Stephanie Mendoza from waiting four hours outside His Glory Belvidere Outreach Mission. The reason? “Hard times,” said Mendoza, who lined up with Fluker around 2 p.m. for a 6 p.m. toy giveaway. The pair of friends weren’t alone. Hundreds more gathered in front of the mission to await the start of the annual Joy of Christ gift giveaway. By Kevin Haas of the Rockford Register Star.
State Briefs. News from around the state.
State senator says he gave info on Pontiac prison closing to FBI
PONTIAC – After visiting with U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and meeting with FBI agents, Sen. Dan Rutherford, R-Chenoa, is urging Illinois Department of Corrections staff and staff members of Gov. Rod Blagojevich to come forward with information which may be questionable or could fit into a larger scheme relating to the closure of Pontiac Correctional Center. By Sheila Shelton of the Pontiac Daily Leader.
Teen heals after saving girl from fire
Go ahead. Ask Cyndi Houston if she believes in angels. The answer will be a resounding “absolutely.” Houston’s 16-year-old son, Dakota Hanlin, suffered second- and third-degree burns on his arms, hands, back and legs when a fire erupted Dec. 4 in the house where the family was staying in Milford in east-central Illinois. Dakota was burned while saving an 11-year-old girl from the fire. By Jayette Bolinski of the State Journal-Register.
Kathryn Rem: Housewares industry feeling the pinch
Although it’s not as splashy as the auto industry or the world of finance, the housewares industry is also taking a hit in the challenging economic climate.
’09 brings challenges for health care
ROCKFORD – Health-care organizations will continue to battle with increased demand for services and decreased financial stability well into 2009. By Melissa Westphal of the Rockford Register Star.
Fondue a meal that plays with fire
PEORIA – Fondue - the mere mention of the word conjures thoughts of a night of exotic entertainment. A flickering flame warming a pot of molten cheese or smooth, rich chocolate. Friends sharing in the fun - dipping everything from traditional bread and fruit in Gruyere to seafood and meat seared in hot oil. By Jennifer Davis of the Peoria Journal Star.
What would Jesus eat?
SPRINGFIELD – What would Jesus eat? A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, breads, beans, legumes, milk, fish and some meat would have been available 2,000 years ago in the Holy Land — the Fertile Crescent between Egypt and ancient Mesopotamia.
BRITT: Toon on the true meaning of Christmas.
Phil Luciano: Longtime employee gets unjust Christmas surprise
The marketing motto for United Way of America is "Live United." Pat Elam would disagree. After decades of service to the United Way, the 77-year-old got booted just a few days before Christmas. The reason? As she tells it, the agency was afraid - erroneously - she might take off some time occasionally to look after her severely ailing husband.
Editorial: Governor’s inability to do job is the issue
We are neither surprised nor particularly concerned that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald has declined the Illinois House impeachment committee’s request for details about his criminal case against Gov. Rod Blagojevich. An editorial from the State Journal-Register.
Editorial: Even in lean times, let's count our blessings
There is no shortage of coal in central Illinois stockings this year, not because we've been bad - excluding you, Gov. Blagojevich - but because we'll be needing it to heat the house through this long winter of economic frost. Greenhouse gas emissions? What greenhouse gas emissions? An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.
MIKE NADEL: Nadel will be writing a year in review column that will be posted Thursday for use Friday. He will also be writing from Sunday’s Bears-Texans game in Houston.
Meacham, Frazier get satisfaction from Braggin' Rights sweep
ST. LOUIS – The fingers usually point at Illinois senior guards Trent Meacham and Chester Frazier when things go wrong. Against a Missouri team that reached the rankings Monday, Meacham and Frazier finished their Braggin' Rights careers with an undefeated record. And some inner satisfaction. By John Supinie.
Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star will be writing a story on Bears punter Brad Maynard and the punt coverage team.