Illinois Budget 2.17.10

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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Leadership Series 2010: The LEDE


Bull charges into Peoria home

PEORIA – Excuse anyone who heard about Sally Joyner's weekend and figured she was full of bull. Even she didn't expect to be taken seriously when calling for help Saturday morning. "I called 911 and said, 'Please don't think I'm crazy, but a bull just crashed through my front door,' " Joyner said Tuesday. By Ryan Ori of the Peoria Journal Star.


State Briefs. News from around the state.

This week at the statehouse:
For Thursday:
BUDGET LOBBYING: Groups of 3,000 or more advocates for a tax increase descended on the Capitol on Wednesday to push lawmakers for a budget solution now. But after pushing back the governor's budget address and with a history of waiting to deal with problems, lawmakers see little evidence that anything will be done right away. They applaud the groups for trying to build pressure but don't think it will really work. By John Guidroz of the State Capitol Bureau.

BUDGET WOES: The National Conference of State Legislatures has a press briefing, after meeting with state senators, to talk about the national economy and the poor shape of budgets in Illinois and other states. By Matt Hopf of the State Capitol Bureau.

SENATE MEETING: Talking with GateHouse-area senators about the closed-door meeting with officials with the NCSL on budget matters and how they explain it. By Brian Feldt of the State Capitol Bureau.


Cat says resolve on clean air hasn't wavered

PEORIA – Caterpillar Inc.'s decision to withdraw from a clean air coalition does not signal any change in the company's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the company said Tuesday. What it does, said spokeswoman Kate Kenny, is enable Caterpillar to move its time and resources to other efforts - efforts it believes will be more tangible in the long run, such as the FutureGen clean coal project Caterpillar recently joined. By Paul Gordon of the Peoria Journal Star.


Kathryn Rem: Wonder bread changes with the times

Nearly 90 years ago, Wonder bread was gently marketed as the soft bread with red, yellow and blue balloons on the package. Now the iconic brand has gone mobile with an iPhone application that calculates the nutrition values on various sandwich combinations. It’s an example of what old brands need to do to keep pace in a hectic marketplace.

From field to table: Sugar makes everything sweet

Now that Mardi Gras is over, it seems fitting to think about the sugar used to make the holiday’s traditional King Cake. In particular, Louisiana cane sugar. By Kathryn Rem of the State Journal-Register.

Trading Post: Healthful recipes from Oprah’s former chef

Chicago-based chef Art Smith, James Beard award-winning cookbook author and former personal chef to Oprah Winfrey, came to Springfield, Ill., on Saturday to discuss healthful eating. His talk was sponsored by Prairie Heart Institute at St. John’s Hospital. The restaurateur attributed his recent 90-pound weight loss to exercise, drinking lots of water and eating in moderation.

Would you buy it? Wintergreen-flavored Altoids Smalls breath mints

The State Journal-Register staff tests Wintergreen-flavored Altoids Smalls breath mints.


BRITT: Local toon.
Amy Gehrt: February is no time for quitting

Here it is, halfway through February, and already my New Year’s resolution is on the verge of imploding. More than five weeks of die-hard dieting have left me with few results, and, like many who are struggling to keep a resolution in 2010, I am feeling very discouraged.

Editorial: Bayh's departure latest sign of broken system

If someone with Evan Bayh's DNA now hates politics, that speaks volumes. A Capitol Hill that could not afford to lose even one more centrist will now suffer the departure of one of its best. The system is broken, and perhaps beyond repair with the fringes running the show on both sides. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.

Editorial: Another low grade for Illinois

We doubt anyone was surprised by a recent report that gave the state of Illinois low marks for the condition of its infrastructure. The reason for the low grade is simple: Illinois had been without a capital construction plan since 1999. An editorial from the Rockford Register Star.

Editorial: Where there’s smoke, there’s usually more to tax

If you could prevent 110,100 children from becoming smokers, persuade 57,100 adult smokers to quit, save 50,300 residents from premature, smoking-related deaths and save $2.4 billion in health care costs, would you do it? Seems like a no-brainer, but nothing is simple when it comes to smoking and taxes. An editorial from the Rockford Register Star.


No daily stories planned.