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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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Peoria Journal Star photo editor involved in efforts to help Haiti
Haitian twins start new lives in Rochester
ROCHESTER – Mike and Sandy Hurtubise carried their newly adopted 5-year-old Haitian twins Angela and Angelo through the front door of their Rochester home Sunday night, bringing the children into a starkly different world than the orphanage they have called home for nearly three years. The homecoming ended a two-year adoption process. The couple was nearing the end of that process when a devastating Jan. 12 earthquake leveled the House of God’s Children orphanage, where the children were staying. By Rhys Saunders of the State Journal-Register.
State Briefs. News from around the state.
This week at the statehouse:
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Renewable energy development facility ready for next phase
ROCKFORD – With a solar thermal heating and cooling system “99 percent done,” officials running the Freedom Field project are preparing for the next phases at the renewable-energy development facility. The goal is to have a biomass project, a wind power project and a solar project completed by fall, in time for the International Bio Energy Days event in September. By Mike Wiser of the Peoria Journal Star.
Travel agents see shorter vacations
PEORIA – Central Illinois residents may be cutting back on what they spend but they're still taking vacations and they are heading to perennial travel favorites like Orlando and Las Vegas, said Peoria travel agent Shelley Wilson. By Steve Tarter of the Peoria Journal Star. To localize: Check with local travel agents to see how vacation plans have changed due to the economy.
Economy not affecting zeal for overseas mission work
SPRINGFIELD – Despite the economic downturn, area church leaders say their congregations still have a yen for mission work, both foreign and domestic. And it’s not just about giving money, they say. Church members are more willing than ever to do mission work themselves, like the 30 people — including 15 high school students — from Calvary Temple Christian Center in Springfield who are headed to Calcutta, India, this May. By Steven Spearie of the State Journal-Register. To localize: Check with local churches to see if their congregations are still supporting mission work.
Russian Orthodox cathedral to become monastery
BENLD – The doors aren’t closing at 103-year-old Holy Dormition Cathedral – they’re opening to new possibilities, says the church’s pastor, the Rev. Paul Waters. Mindful of Holy Dormition’s rich history, but acknowledging a declining membership and church rules that say an unused building must be torn down, Russian Orthodox officials have decided to convert the Macoupin County church and surrounding structures into a monastery. By Debra Landis of the State Journal-Register.
The key to happiness is closer than you think
SPRINGFIELD – Apparently, we’re not in a happy state. Illinois ranks 45th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in how satisfied people are with their lives, according to a recent report. Of course, our economic difficulties and political problems don't help things. But that shouldn't preclude a person's well-being and contentment. By Tamara Browning of the State Journal-Register.
If you're short of time, here's how to get some back
SPRINGFIELD – The 21st century finds us as busy as ever; people log many hours at work, and often take work home with them. And when they get home, there may be more tasks associated with the house or the family that need to be handled. By Shannon O’Brien of the State Journal-Register.
Julie Kaiser: Disney World, $40 kajillion later, was worth it
Silly me to think that escaping to Florida in January would involve balmy temperatures, warm breezes and tropical living. After we spent our first night watching fireworks at SeaWorld, huddled in our windbreakers with hundreds of whining Floridians, I realized this was not going to be the vacation I had packed for.
BRITT: Toon on the mudslinging between Gov. Pat Quinn and Comptroller Dan Hynes.
Jeff Vrabel: You can run, but you can’t hide from age
If you page back through human history, you'll find a pretty short list of reasons that people have had to run for long distances, which are all basically some variation of "I was being chased by this thing with blood in its teeth and meat-tearing claws, and what's with all the questions anyway, Glunk?"
Chuck Sweeny: You say there’s an election coming up?
This is the strangest primary election campaign I’ve ever seen. People are having a hard time adjusting to the decision of the Democrat-ruled General Assembly to move the primary up from the traditional March date, something they did to aid Barack Obama’s presidential hopes in 2008.
Jim Kilchermann: Stiffer laws for poachers needed
Every year I hear the same old story about this guy or that guy getting arrested for illegally harvesting deer, more commonly known as poaching. In several instances, it is not the violator’s first offense and most likely it will not be their last. I am not talking about someone out trying to feed his family. In these trying times, I would find it hard to fault someone taking a deer if it was the only means of feeding their children.
WITH THE ILLINI: If you need a vote to select a team captain, then you already have a problem, Illinois coach Bruce Weber said. After he picked captains earlier this year, Weber will allow the team to vote on them. Lead to multi-sport column. By John Supinie.