Illinois Budget 4.29.09
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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Mass trend: Latin making a comeback in Catholic services
SPRINGFIELD – At precisely 7 a.m., the lights burst on at Blessed Sacrament, the bells chime and the Rev. Arnaud Devillers, flanked by the servers, comes out and heads immediately to the back altar near the tabernacle. Kneeling, with his back toward the congregation, he begins: “In nomine Patris, et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.” Largely hidden from Roman Catholics since the late 1960s as a result of Vatican II — a period of sweeping reforms in the Catholic church — the Latin Mass is slowly creeping back onto the scene. By Steven Spearie of the State Journal-Register.
State Briefs. News from around the state.
DORMANT COMMITTEES: There's only about a month left in the scheduled spring legislative session, but a few legislative committees haven't even met this year. Two House committees don't even have members, with some blaming ties to ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich for the stalling. And a Senate committee on redistricting won't have any real work to do until the next Census is done in a couple of years. By Eric Naing of the State Capitol Bureau.
STATE AUDITS: A House committee puts agency directors who served for ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich under some grilling, while Rockford Rep. Chuck Jefferson pushes to make the auditor general review all the damage caused to state government by the former governor's administration. By Andrew Thomason of the State Capitol Bureau. HELD; the committee did not take action on the bill.
AG Madigan’s office orders ISP to turn over requested arrest records
SPRINGFIELD – Turn the records over. That’s what Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office has told Acting Illinois State Police director Jonathon Monken, who has refused to release reports chronicling the drunken driving arrest of Springfield parks director Michael Stratton. By Bruce Rushton of the State Journal-Register.
Attorney general’s office says FOIA improvement proposal coming soon
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois attorney general’s office says it expects by week’s end to unveil revised bills designed to improve public access to government records. While Lisa Madigan’s staff tweaks a FOIA rewrite and pushes a bill creating a public-access counselor who would help referee disputes over government records, groups on all sides of the issue are waiting anxiously. By Bruce Rushton of the State Journal-Register.
Project JumpStart helps participants read their way to better job prospects
ROCKFORD – The economy isn’t making it easy for anyone to find a job, but for those with no high school education, a felony record or low literacy levels, it can be nearly impossible. That’s where Rock Valley College’s Project JumpStart comes in. The free eight-week program, in its second year, helps adults with low literacy levels develop the skills to seek a job. The topics include goal setting, communication, social skills and career development. By Sean F. Driscoll of the Rockford Register Star. To localize: Do colleges in your area offer similar programs?
Business plan competition winners hope to revolutionize way college students buy, sell
PEORIA – Tatenda Furusa didn't come to Bradley University as an exchange student. Instead the 21-year-old Zimbabwe native established his own exchange program. As the leader of the winning team in the third annual Project Springboard Business Plan Competition held earlier this month at the university, Furusa wants to set up "U-Exchange," an online marketplace for college students. By Steve Tarter of the Peoria Journal Star.
'Corny' hobby keeps shed full of memorabilia
BELVIDERE – Metal signs depicting old advertisements for corn companies, antique canvas corn bags and cast-iron equipment furnish a nearly 3,500-square-foot shed at a Belvidere farm. Dennis Rehn of Kirkland avidly collects corn memorabilia that ranges from antique equipment to advertisements. By Katie Backman of the Rockford Register Star.
SIU scientists study how genes affect flu infection
SPRINGFIELD – It’s too late to affect the current swine flu outbreak, but people infected with influenza in the future may benefit from the work of scientists at Springfield’s Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. SIU scientists Linda Toth, Rita Trammell and Teresa Liberati want to know whether and how genes matter when it comes to who is likely to get sicker or die from the flu and who will benefit from certain medicines. By Dean Olsen of the State Journal-Register.
Kathryn Rem: Springfield chef gets Executive invitation
It’s not often that a guest chef gets to cook in the kitchen of the Executive Mansion. But that’s what happened last month to Carlos De Leon, the owner of Springfield’s Maya Buffet restaurant.
Trading Post: Tempt 'em with a carrot cheesecake
Carrot cake plus cheesecake equals a tasty springtime dessert. Here's a recipe for a carrot cheesecake which is topped with icing and cinnamon-toasted walnuts. By Kathryn Rem of the State Journal-Register.
BRITT: Toon on Day 101 for Obama.
BONUS BRITT: Toon on acting ISP director Jonathon Monken shooting up the Freedom of Information Act.
DAVE MANLEY: Toon on swine flu turning “American Gothic” into “American Pandemic.”
Phil Luciano: Stay home from work? That's sick
Swine flu? Yawn. Public-health scares come and go so often, we feel inoculated to media overhype. You know what would actually frighten me? To see a West Nile mosquito riding a killer bee sitting on a SARS-infected bird atop a flu-ridden swine straddling a mad cow.
Amanda Jacobs: Russell Crowe fights for newspapers
I never thought that I would identify with Russell Crowe. After all, I’m not a burly Australian man who dabbles in rock music, and I’ve never thrown a phone at anyone. But when I saw “State of Play” this weekend, I felt a certain kinship with Crowe’s character, seasoned newspaper man Cal McAffrey.
Jerry Moore: League of Women Voters must stay true to original cause
Could the League of Women Voters be working against itself? Last week, members of several local chapters hosted a forum on “sensible laws for gun violence prevention” at the Wheaton City Hall. But by having police officers remove people who were considered disruptive, the League made itself look foolish.
Editorial: We need 1,000 days, not 100, to judge Barack Obama
One hundred days represent less than 7 percent of the 1,461 days allotted to any president in a four-year term, so it's hard to figure why folks make such a fuss about it. But here we are, writing this editorial, so we're as much to blame as anybody. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.
Editorial: Swine flu risk still low here, but take precautions
The outbreak of a deadly strain of swine flu is making a lot of news this week, and rightly so. There is cause for concern, due to the severity of the flu’s symptoms and its rapid spread. But this is not 1919. Health care and communication advancements allow us to better combat deadly flu viruses. An editorial from the Galesburg Register-Mail.
Editorial: Automatic raises for lawmakers should be abolished
Do nothing and get paid more. It’s a nice gig if you can get it — and you can get it if you run for the Illinois General Assembly. An editorial from the Rockford Register Star.
LIVING UP TO THE HYPE: After a slow start, freshman Luke Guthrie is ranked among the top 10 golfers in the Big Ten heading into the conference meet this weekend. Ranked No. 1 nationally for three weeks in the fall, Illinois shoots for its first Big Ten title since the 1980s. By John Supinie.