Illinois Budget 8.19.09

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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Video of the week: Bear takes reader’s peaches.


Museum preserves history of state fair
SPRINGFIELD – Pam Gray was hooked 15 years ago, when she first helped display some old photos in a tiny exhibit that has grown over the years into what is now the collection shown at the State Fair Museum, in the north end of the Grandstand. The museum has become a treasure trove of fair ribbons and books, pins, pennants, photos, mugs and brochures that help tell the story of the fair over the years. By Bernard Schoenburg of the State Journal-Register.


State Briefs. News from around the state.

GOVERNOR'S DAY: Democrats stress unity and staying together to beat Republicans and gain even stronger control of government in the 2010 elections. But Governor's Day at the Illinois State Fair lives up to its name, with both candidates for the office taking shots at each other and setting up an intense battle over the next few months. By Doug Finke and Adriana Colindres of the State Capitol Bureau. Will be posted this evening.

New business hopes to meet need for multilinguists in global village

ROCKFORD – A new interpreting and translation business is looking to train more people in the field and reach out to businesses seeing an increased need for language services. Employment of interpreters and translators is projected to increase 24 percent between 2006 and 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And rule changes in Illinois are requiring more local interpreters. By Melissa Westphal of the Rockford Register Star.


Old family recipes honored at Illinois State Fair

Baked beans with hot dogs. Butterscotch pie. Rolled round steak. Brown sugar cookies. Potato soup. Rhubarb cake. Recipes of the past are the focus of a new Illinois State Fair competition ­- Family Heirloom Recipes Contest  – designed to celebrate the culinary heritage of the Midwest.

Kathryn Rem: Let's put more "wow" in the butter cow

So the butter cow at the Illinois State Fair this year is accompanied by Abraham Lincoln. Yawn. I wish the Illinois fair was more adventurous, more daring, more fun in the way the cow is presented. Having Abe in the Dairy Building this year is a bit different than past years, but, then again, it’s his 200th birthday. He’s all over Springfield in 2009. The choice was predictable.

'Extreme Makeover' returns to Illinois

PEORIA – Bob Brady usually takes 90 to 120 days to build a home; he's only got 106 hours to build this one. The owner of Bloomington-based Brady Homes starts Tuesday on construction of a house for "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," the ABC-TV show that provided a Pekin family with a new house earlier this year. This time, the show will be replacing the house of Philo resident Nathan Montgomery and his family. By Steve Tarter of the Peoria Journal Star.


BRITT: Local toon.
Phil Luciano: Big Z's hatred of sit-ups gains him a new fan

I have a new hero, and his name is Carlos Zambrano. Non-fans of sports should note that Mr. Zambrano flings baseballs for the Chicago Cubs. Readers might find that shocking, as I've repeatedly expressed disdain for all things Cubbie. But my newfound affection for Zambrano has nothing to do with his team or pitching.

Jerry Moore: Video gambling a bad choice

The drive to ban video poker machines has gained momentum in the last few weeks, and it’s obvious legislators didn’t gauge their constituents well enough about how unpopular this idea has become. That so many people have come out against the devices is yet another example of our state legislators using poor judgment.

Editorial: Make reporting rules for banks more stringent

When Congress passed the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act in 1994, its chief goal was to motivate banks to get involved in community development in the communities where they operated. The act also sought to eliminate some banking regulations that at the time had long been seen as obsolete. With 72 American banks having failed so far in 2009, Congress is considering returning to the pre-1994 standard and requiring banks to regularly publish statements on their overall condition. We believe it is critical that Congress pass this bill. An editorial from the State Journal-Register.

Editorial: Brinker earns Presidential Medal and our applause

It was a long road between Nancy Brinker's famous "$200 and a box of names" - with which she started what would become the Race for the Cure - and the day she received the nation's highest civilian honor, but through it all was one constant: fulfilling a promise to her sister, Susan G. Komen, to do everything she could to prevent other families from losing a loved one to breast cancer. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.

Editorial: Cullerton weighs in on issues facing Illinois

In any other state, Senate President John Cullerton’s goals would sound unremarkable: cooperate with the House, cooperate with the governor and cooperate with the opposing party. But this is Illinois, where even modest political goals become mountains to climb. An editorial from the Rockford Register Star.


Smith takes reins of Bears’ defense after recent struggles

BOURBONNAIS – The Bears drastically remade their offense the last two years. The defense, though, remains virtually intact. Seven defenders are set to begin their sixth season together as starters. The difference is they are under new leadership. A coaching purge brought in veterans Rod Marinelli and Jon Hoke to coach the defensive line and secondary and put head coach Lovie Smith in charge of the defense. By Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star.

Bears notes. By Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star. Will be posted this evening.
ILLINI NOTES: A notebook from Camp Rantoul, including update on cornerback Miami Thomas' knee injury and how that affects the depth chart. By John Supinie. Will be posted this evening.
ILLINOIS BASKETBALL: The Illinois men's basketball schedule is expected to be released this afternoon. Schedule and comments from coach Bruce Weber. By John Supinie. Will be posted this evening.