Illinois Budget 7.23.09

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.
 
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

Videos: GateHouse Media switching to Google Analytics.
http://ghnewsroom.com/article/videos-gatehouse-media-switching-google-analytics

Front page gallery for July 23.
http://ghnewsroom.com/article/front-page-gallery-july-23-2009

TODAY’S SPOTLIGHT:

Feat of clay: Volunteers build pits for national horseshoe tournament

SPRINGFIELD – Two men overturned a 750-pound barrel of blue clay outside of the Prairie Capitol Convention Center on Wednesday, packing it into more manageable five gallon buckets. The National Horseshoe Pitchers Association trucked in more than 40,000 pounds of blue clay from Chenoa for its world championship tournament, which starts Monday and runs through Aug. 8. That’s enough Chenoa blue to fill 100 regulation pits, one for each end of the 50 temporary horseshoe courts set up in the convention center. A crew of 50 worked for two days to prepare the pits and turn the convention center into a destination spot for more than 1,000 horseshoe enthusiasts from 45 states, four Canadian provinces and Norway. By Elle Moxley of the State Journal-Register.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/features/x639773405/Feat-of-clay-Volunteers-build-pits-for-national-horseshoe-tournament

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

State Briefs. News from around the state.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1543599131/State-Briefs-7-23-09

Jail phone costs draw criticism

PEKIN – Over the one-and-a-half-month period that Cameron Crawford was incarcerated in the Tazewell County Justice Center, his father, Francis, spent nearly $200 to speak with his son on the telephone. Cameron Crawford is now serving seven years in the Statesville Correctional Facility in Joliet, where the telephone provider charges a much cheaper rate. Francis Crawford says that the rates charged for calls to and from prison are exorbitant and an unfair burden on families. By Sharon Woods Harris of the Pekin Daily Times. To localize: Check with local jails and prisons to see what the charges are for phone calls to and from inmates.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1543599015/Jail-phone-costs-draw-criticism

ILLINOIS BUSINESS
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois_business

Pool attendance dives in cold July

PEORIA – Late July heat usually has swimmers lining up to dive into the pool, but this year record-breaking cool weather is in the way. Attendance at park district pools is down 55 percent so far in July, said Sue Wheeler, supervisor of aquatics for the Peoria Park District. And it is down 40 percent for the entire summer. By Stephanie Gomes of the Peoria Journal Star. To localize: Check with local pools to see how much attendance has dropped this year.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x540127447/Pool-attendance-dives-in-cold-July

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

‘The Last Five Years’ follows relationship from beginning to end — and end to beginning

SPRINGFIELD – It takes a little work to wrap your mind around “The Last Five Years.” The musical, which opens Friday at the Hoogland Center for the Arts, tracks the rise and fall — and fall and rise — of a five-year relationship. Jamie and Cathy — the show’s only characters — move in opposite timelines throughout the show. Jamie starts five years ago and advances to the end of a relationship; Cathy starts in the present and moves five years back to the beginning. By Brian Mackey of the State Journal-Register.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1641093711/-The-Last-Five-Years-follows-relationship-from-beginning-to-end-and-end-to-beginning

Reggae royalty The Wailers to play Reggae on the Riverfront

PEORIA – Bob Marley is no longer around to spread his message or his music, but his songs will be blaring throughout the Peoria riverfront on Saturday. The late reggae legend's band, The Wailers, will perform at this year's Reggae on the Riverfront festival. The band will perform the album "Exodus" in its entirety. By Danielle Hatch of the Peoria Journal Star.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1641093708/Reggae-royalty-The-Wailers-to-play-Reggae-on-the-Riverfront

38 Special ready to take aim at Ham 'N Jam audience

PEORIA – Don Barnes and the rest of 38 Special learned a long time ago that their success or failure depended on live shows. When the Jacksonville, Fla.-based outfit formed 34 years ago, the Southern rock scene was glutted with competition - as was the rest of rock's touring circuit. To stand out from the pack, Barnes & Co. realized they'd have to blow it out on stage. The band plays Saturday at Expo Gardens as part of the annual Ham 'N Jam fundraiser. By Phil Luciano of the Peoria Journal Star.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x889022139/38-Special-ready-to-take-aim-at-Ham-N-Jam-audience

Brian Mackey: Weighing the worth of movies watched

In which Brian poses the question: Is life too short for “Rashomon?”
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/entertainment/dvds_cds/x2141118901/Brian-Mackey-Weighing-the-worth-of-movies-watched

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

BRITT: Toon on the arrest of Henry Louis Gates.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/opinions/cartoons/x639774140/Britt-cartoon-On-the-right-to-be-white-at-Harvard

Kevin Haas: You won’t find ‘real news’ here

People often ask me, “Kevin, how did you end up with your own newspaper column?” Sometimes they mean this as an insult. I can tell because they insert the phrase “on earth” between the words “how” and “did.”
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1641093562/Kevin-Haas-You-won-t-find-real-news-here

Bernard Schoenburg: One legislator made progress getting students into U of I

A lot has been made recently of legislators and University of Illinois trustees who have helped nudge the state’s flagship university to admit certain students. Of course, this is generally viewed as a bad thing.But in the state’s not-so-long-ago history, a member of the General Assembly was very proud of the work he did to help certain students get into the U of I. And what he did, clearly, marked positive progress.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1543598794/Bernard-Schoenburg-One-legislator-made-progress-getting-students-into-U-of-I

Chuck Sweeny: Amid controversy, the F-22 Raptor heads to AirFest

A postcard came Tuesday. It’s a bright blue, eye-catching card proclaiming “The Year of the Raptor,” a reminder that Rockford AirFest 2009 happens Aug. 22 and 23 at Chicago Rockford International Airport. The top attraction is the F-22 Raptor, billed as the world’s most advanced jet fighter.The postcard’s arrival was ironic because at the time I read it, the U.S. Senate was voting 58-40 to halt production at the current level of 187, instead of spending $1.75 billion to buy seven more Raptors in fiscal 2010, as the Senate Armed Services Committee had recommended.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1641093559/Chuck-Sweeny-Amid-controversy-the-F-22-Raptor-heads-to-AirFest

Editorial: Health-care cure requires changes not yet proposed

A chronic disease is not cured overnight, and so Congress should not try to reform health care before its recess in August. President Barack Obama has backed off his insistence on an immediate vote on health-care reform. He has also shown willingness to include more provisions for cost reductions. Such concerns are at least as important — if not more so — than the festering problem of the millions of people without health insurance in this country. An editorial from the Rockford Register Star.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/opinions/editorials/x1543598791/Editorial-Health-care-cure-requires-changes-not-yet-proposed

Editorial: Bradley faces long fight to quell irresponsible drinking

A year after rolling out a new, comprehensive program to fight alcohol overindulgence at Bradley University, officials there were more than happy last week to tout numbers suggesting things are improving. From a surface-level perspective, that's welcome news. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x540127307/Editorial-Bradley-faces-long-fight-to-quell-irresponsible-drinking

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

ILLINI:
 
John Supinie is on vacation.