Illinois Budget 2.25.10

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: (217) 816-3343,


Reader callout idea: With Easter and Passover near, what do you believe?

Video: How LEDE training program will help editors lead into next decade.

Leadership Series 2010: The LEDE


Second City anniversary tour mines 50 years of funny

SPRINGFIELD – For The Second City’s 50th Anniversary Tour, coming this weekend to Springfield’s Hoogland Center for the Arts, actors mined the legendary comedy troupe’s archives for the best skits from the past half-century. With so much to choose from, it wasn't easy. By Brian Mackey of the State Journal-Register.


State Briefs: State Briefs have been eliminated due to lack of use. If you have questions, contact Casey Laughman.
This week at the statehouse:
For Thursday:
No daily stories planned.

'Antiques Roadshow' files infringement suit against Illinois company

SPRINGFIELD – The producer of the popular PBS television show “Antiques Roadshow” is accusing an Athens-based company of illegally trading on the TV program’s name and trademarks. A lawsuit filed by Boston-based WGBH Educational Foundation in federal court in Springfield on Tuesday says Jeffrey A. Parsons, THR & Associates and their operation, Treasure Hunters Roadshow, are usurping the public television show’s goodwill, trademarks and treasure-chest logo. By Chris Dettro of the State Journal-Register.

Jobless benefit extensions to run out soon

ROCKFORD – About 14,800 Illinoisans’ unemployment benefits will lapse every week without congressional action, according to a new analysis by the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Starting in March, state residents will begin to lose their benefits by the thousands unless funding for federal unemployment insurance extensions is reauthorized, IDES spokesman Greg Rivara said Wednesday. By Sean F. Driscoll of the Rockford Register Star.


Year of sweat pays off for Marine vet

BELVIDERE – Workers at Anytime Fitness have grown accustomed to looking out the front windows of the Belvidere gym around 3 p.m. for a navy blue Ford pickup truck featuring a Chicago Bears magnet on its rear. Day after day, it’s Dave Slezak they’re waiting to see arrive. A year ago, Slezak, 53, made a vow to himself to get in better shape after an injury left him unable to work out for six months. He started with the goal of going to the gym for 90 days straight, moved the goal up to 365 days, and now hopes for 500 days in a row. Thursday marks his 365th day in a row. By Betsy Lopez Fritscher of the Rockford Register Star.

Hunting show will return to Peoria

PEORIA – One of the country's largest gatherings of trophy whitetail deer is coming back to Peoria in 2011. The Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic returns to the Peoria Civic Center next March after spending 10 years at Bloomington's Interstate Center. By Jeff Lampe of the Peoria Journal Star.

Brian Mackey: A pair of earplugs is worth a lifetime of hearing

I’ve been to a lot of big concerts in my life, for business and pleasure, and the one thing that unites country stars, alt-rockers, rappers and oldies acts is an unwavering commitment to sonically punishing audiences with ear-splitting sound levels.

David Robson: Giving buds on branches a kick start

The snow has been covering and insulating the ground, making it difficult for some of our early spring bulbs to make themselves known. Without the snowdrops and winter aconite showing, we’re limited in what we can bring indoors. Sure, we can purchase some tulips or paper white narcissus to go along with the amaryllis. But there may be another option.


BRITT: Toon on the state budget and education. Will be posted this evening.
Jerry Moore: GOP race for governor shows a desire for change

State Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale and Illinois Republican Party chairman Pat Brady of St. Charles believe the narrow gap between Dillard and state Sen. Bill Brady in GOP gubernatorial race demonstrate a high level of interest in this campaign. Republicans are hopeful they'll be able to use this to their advantage this fall.

Editorial: Near-bankrupt Illinois needs someone to do the right thing

It's not exactly like the Civic Federation is some leftist organization, eager to tax Illinoisans into oblivion. Indeed, the 116-year-old institution headquartered in Chicago is officially non-partisan, though it's always had a pretty pro-business, conservative slant. So when that group recommends raising the state's individual income tax from 3 to 5 percent, taxing pensions and Social Security checks in Illinois, and higher taxes on tobacco to avoid "Doomsday," well, citizens should pay attention.

Editorial: A momentous time for Scouting

There's no denying that the Illinois House chamber in recent years has become more renowned for its partisan bickering than for its more lofty ideals. On Monday night, though, the House was packed to capacity with not a whiff of acrimony or cynicism as more than 60 young men from throughout central Illinois were recognized for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. The annual ceremony was especially poignant this year because it came as the Boy Scouts of America marks a yearlong celebration of its 100th anniversary. An editorial from the State Journal-Register.


No daily stories planned.