Illinois Budget 3.24.09
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.
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News Service localization tip: ‘Recession gardens’ growing in response to economic downturn.
Weekend recap: Rockford tackles TIF districts, Register-Mail on women farmers and Peoria’s tourney coverage.
Doctor treats laid-off patients for free
GREENFIELD – Truck driver Lanny Peacock lost his health insurance when he was laid off in December, but thanks to a longtime physician in Greenfield, he didn’t lose access to health care. Dr. Gary Turpin, 71, who has practiced in the Greene County community for more than 40 years, treated Peacock for free Monday after Turpin took out an advertisement in the local newspaper offering free treatment through the end of the year to patients affected by the recession. By Dean Olsen of the State Journal-Register.
State Briefs. News from around the state.
GOVERNMENT REFORM: The legislature's Joint Committee on Government Reform spars again over campaign contribution limits and discusses ethics guidelines for state pension systems. By Doug Finke of the State Capitol Bureau. Will be posted this evening.
STATE CAPITOL Q&A: A closer look at the state's income tax, from when it developed to how it's changed over the years. By Andrew Thomason of the State Capitol Bureau.
Integrated care clinic focuses on prevention as well as treatment
PEORIA – Methodist Medical Center is giving patients a more integrated way to approach their health care. The center opened its first integrated medicine clinic earlier this month. The Methodist Center for Integrative Medicine will ultimately have two holistic physicians and a number of specialists including a chiropractor, massage therapist, nutritionist and acupuncturist. Biofeedback may also be added as a treatment option. By Clare Howard of the Peoria Journal Star.
Rolling layoffs at Cat mean long lines at unemployment offices
PEORIA – Don Weidner figured he had plenty of time to get some fresh air. "They just called number nine. I'm number 69," he said while standing outside the Illinois Department of Employment Security office on Elm Street. Weidner, a welder at Caterpillar Inc. in East Peoria, was among a large crowd of people hoping to claim unemployment benefits on Monday. By Erin Wood of the Peoria Journal Star. To localize: How are local unemployment offices dealing with an increase in applicants?
Former TV weatherman turns to ag forecasts
PEORIA – When it comes to weather forecasts, no one is more interested than a farmer. That's why Mike McClellan, owner of the Mobile Weather Team based in Washington, looks to do for agriculture what he's done for professional golf tournaments. A meteorologist who left WMBD-TV in 1999, McClellan tracked weather at major PGA tournaments across the country before selling that portion of the business in 2008. While McClellan and two other meteorologists still cover the European PGA scene, he wants to "integrate more ag things to the business." By Steve Tarter of the Peoria Journal Star.
Artist breaks barriers by painting with light
PEORIA – The world of art is changing. There's digital. And then there's Polage. Austine Wood Comarow's paintings in polarized light, a medium in which she has been working for more than four decades, go on view Saturday in a retrospective exhibit at Lakeview Museum. By Theo Jean Kenyon of the Peoria Journal Star.
Easter goes to the dogs with canine egg hunt
MORTON – Something got lost in the translation last year when the Pet Pantry decided to fashion an event for dogs after a children’s Easter egg hunt. But when the police showed up to control traffic, Pet Pantry owner Bill Hantak knew he had a winner. By Jennifer Towery of the Peoria Journal Star.
Churches struggle with decrease in giving
PEORIA – Pastor William Lee of the Peoria Outreach Center is keenly aware of how hard this recession is hitting Peoria. He sees it every day. “Most of our congregation and people we reach out to are low income to start with and have a hard time meeting ends themselves,” says Lee, who oversees an inner city ministry at the top of Main Street. By Jennifer Davis of the Peoria Journal Star. To localize: Are local churches seeing a decrease in donations? If so, how are they coping?
BRITT: Toon on drug violence in Mexico.
Phil Luciano: All eyes on Peoria
When did Peoria become the nexus of national news stories? Maybe I overstate the case. But never in my 20-plus years of living here have I seen "PEORIA, Ill." in so many datelines, under so many national headlines.
Editorial: Signs of hope as Iraq war enters the final stretch
Six years in and clearly winding down, the Iraq war continues to present challenges for the United States. The difference today is that those challenges center less around winning the peace than they do around maintaining and guaranteeing it so that American troops can come home without fear of having to return. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.
Editorial: Take the next step toward high-speed rail
Will 110 mph trains from Chicago to St. Louis through Springfield help Illinois’ economy? We hope to find out soon. An editorial from the State Journal-Register.
Editorial: Federal court should protect reporter
Lawyers for former Springfield police Lt. Rickey Davis believe the city of Springfield intentionally leaked personal information about Davis to Illinois Times reporter Dusty Rhodes to humiliate their client. They want a federal judge to force Rhodes to testify under oath and name her source for a 2006 story that said Davis had applied for a duty-related disability pension due to depression. We believe Rhodes should be protected. An editorial from the State Journal-Register.
John Supinie is off today.