Illinois Budget 1.22.10

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

David Arkin: A look back at Week 1 of News Cube meetings
http://ghnewsroom.com/article/column-look-back-week-1-news-cube-meetings

Web Cube moments of the week
http://ghnewsroom.com/article/webcube-moments-week-20

BEST OF GATEHOUSE: Contest submissions are due Feb. 1.
Contest details: http://www.ghnewsroom.com/article/seeking-entries-best-gatehouse-2009-editorial-contest
Contest FAQ: http://ghnewsroom.com/article/faq-answers-five-best-gatehouse-contest-questions

TODAY’S SPOTLIGHT:

Playing tasty: Harmonica musicians air it out

SPRINGFIELD – The harmonica draws people with a unique combination of traits: one must be a showman and great listener, but formal music training is strictly optional. It’s no longer a common instrument, but it seems to inspire great dedication among the men — and they all seem to be men, at least around Springfield — keeping it alive. By Brian Mackey of the State Journal-Register.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/features/x1643197112/Playing-tasty-Harmonica-musicians-air-it-out

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

State Briefs. News from around the state.  Will be posted this evening.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1090816775/State-Briefs-1-22-10

This week at the statehouse:
 
For Sunday:
 
Statehouse Insider. By Doug Finke of the State Capitol Bureau. For use Sunday.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1643197534/Statehouse-Insider-Dropouts-endorsements-and-pensions-oh-my

For the weekend:
 
Candidates in low-profile race for treasurer say they don't want to use office as springboard

SPRINGFIELD – The race for Illinois treasurer has largely flown under the radar when compared with other high-profile statewide contests. While the office doesn't have the same appeal as the governor or U.S. Senate, it offers potential for the future. Its current holder, Alexi Giannoulias, is a Democratic favorite for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Roland Burris. By John Guidroz of the State Capitol Bureau. For use in weekend editions.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1920333508/Candidates-in-low-profile-race-for-treasurer-say-they-dont-want-to-use-office-as-springboard

Transparency in state spending is common theme for comptroller candidates

SPRINGFIELD – The comptroller may not be the most recognizable position in state government. It doesn't have the glamour or political attraction of other statewide offices, such as governor and attorney general. Many voters don't really know what the comptroller actually does.  But its position at the heart of state finances has strong interest from a mixed group of candidates who want to be the next "taxpayer watchdog." By Matt Hopf of the State Capitol Bureau. For use in weekend editions.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1643194744/Transparency-in-state-spending-common-theme-for-comptroller-candidates

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

Elizabeth Davies: A word to the haters: Haiti needs our help

If you’ve turned on your television set for something other than the NFL playoffs in the past 12 days, you¹ve likely seen at least one devastating image coming out of Haiti.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/opinions/columnists/elizabeth_davies/x1090815707/Elizabeth-Davies-A-word-to-the-haters-Haiti-needs-our-help

Kelly Epperson: Generations serving generations, 2010 and every year

This year, 2010, is the year of the engaged older adult. The idea is to celebrate the contributions of older adults and expand civic engagement of all ages. As the baby boomer demographic becomes “older adults,” we have many people to learn from and many people to “engage” in community life.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1090815539/Kelly-Epperson-Generations-serving-generations-2010-and-every-year

Give your recipes a jolt with Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew, that nuclear yellow beverage with more sugar and caffeine than any other soda on the market, sparks a love or hate kind of reaction. For most health care professionals and the parents of small children, it¹s the root of all evil.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/food/beverages/x1643196618/Give-your-recipes-a-jolt-with-Mountain-Dew

David Robson: Baptisia adds burst of color

Many native perennial flowering plants make great landscape plants. Goldenrod, given a bad rap because it flowers at the same time as allergy-producing ragweed, can brighten up the fall garden with yellow when all you have are mums. The only problem is that most of the natives that stand out tend to bloom in August, September and October. Fortunately, most isn¹t all. There are other great bloomers in the spring.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/home_and_garden/x1090812700/David-Robson-Baptisia-adds-burst-of-color

Movie Man: Let DVDs teach you about Che, late-night TV

It’s in two parts. It’s more than four hours long. It’s mostly subtitled. And it¹s about a Marxist revolutionary remembered, if at all, for appearing on a T-shirt. It¹s no wonder Steven Soderbergh’s “Che” didn’t set any box office records.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/entertainment/dvds_cds/x1920333956/Movie-Man-Let-DVDs-teach-you-about-Che-late-night-TV

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

BRITT: Topic TBD. Will be posted this evening.
 
QUAST: Toon on Groundhog Day in Illinois. For use Sunday.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/opinions/x867960575/Quast-cartoon-On-Groundhog-Day-in-Illinois

SHERMAN: Toon on budget holes.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/opinions/cartoons/x231951704/Sherman-cartoon-On-budget-holes

Wood on Words: Understanding all those ‘under’ terms

“Understood.” It was my last word last week, so it¹s only fair that it be the first word this week.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/opinions/columnists/barry_wood/x1920335067/Wood-on-Words-Understanding-all-those-under-terms

Kevin Haas: At reunion, stick with the ‘facts’

I have eight months to think of a good lie. That’s how far away I am from my high school class reunion, 10 years since I graduated from Rockford Boylan Central Catholic Suit-and-Tie Every Day Tuck Your Shirt In High School. Things haven’t changed much. I work at the same place, I still wear a tie every day, and I would probably still run a basketball line drill at the drop of a hat, if Coach Steve Goers yelled at me.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x231951701/Kevin-Haas-At-reunion-stick-with-the-facts

Editorial: Election didn’t change need for health reform

There are many things that did not change with the loss of the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday: Thousands die each year because they lack access to affordable health care. 46 million Americans remain uninsured. Unless there is fundamental change, the growth in health-care spending will consume this country’s economic growth. An editorial from the State Journal-Register.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/opinions/editorials/x1643197020/Editorial-Election-didn-t-change-need-for-health-reform

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

Sunday Quick Shots: Interceptions key to playoff wins, fixing Jay Cutler

My favorite NFL Web site, coldhardfootballfacts.com, reports interceptions determine playoff success. That’s why the Packers were correct to let go of Brett Favre to play Aaron Rodgers. It’s also why the Bears’ No. 1 priority is to make Jay Cutler play safer.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/sports/x231951854/Sunday-Quick-Shots-Interceptions-key-to-playoff-wins-fixing-Jay-Cutler

ILLINI:
 
ANOTHER SHOT: If former Illinois guard Chester Frazier had it to do over again, he would have stayed at Illinois and possibly given the Illini some toughness and leadership as a graduate student assistant coach. Serves as Illini-Northwestern preview. By John Supinie. With preview capsule.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/sports/big_10/x1920335716/Former-Illini-guard-Frazier-dishing-out-long-distance-assists-by-providing-advice

For Sunday

ILL-NU: Illinois vs. Northwestern. Tipoff 7 p.m. Game story with report card moving by 10.30 p.m. By John Supinie.
 
For Monday

ILL Q&A: Looking back at last week and looking forward to the next week. By John Supinie.