Illinois Budget 1.27.10

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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Photo gallery feature gets columnist/reporter snapping city images

Poynter/APME to host online credibility Webinar


Doc switches gears to help folks invest

ROCKFORD – As a physician, Dr. Brian Knabe encourages his patients to be proactive about their health. It’s easier, he says, to prevent an illness than to treat one. On the surface, that advice might not seem applicable to financial investing. But Knabe, who also works as a wealth manager, takes that approach with his clients as well. By Elizabeth Davies of the Rockford Register Star.


State Briefs. News from around the state.  Will be posted this evening.
This week at the statehouse:
For Thursday:
BLAGOJEVICH PORTRAIT: Every single governor in Illinois history has an official portrait hanging in the Capitol. Except for Rod Blagojevich. A year after he was impeached and removed from office, opinion is split on whether the now-notorious Chicago Democrat will take his place in the Hall of Governors on the Capitol's second floor. At least one vehement Blagojevich critic thinks he should have a portrait like anyone else, if nothing else than to remind voters of the pitfalls of bad electoral decisions. Another lawmaker has introduced a bill to prohibit the state from ever having a portrait of Blagojevich. Others think Blagojevich will have a portrait sometime, but not now. By Doug Finke of the State Capitol Bureau. Will be posted this evening.
CAMPAIGN LIMITS: The ink is still a little wet on the state's first-ever limits on donations to political campaigns. But with those limits on hold until next year, candidates for governor keep bringing in the bucks in a big fashion. A GateHouse News Service review of state campaign disclosures found the eight candidates for governor have brought in millions of dollars in cash since last summer above the limits allowed by the law taking effect next January – and in some cases they account for as much as a third of candidates' fundraising. We look at who's bringing in those large donations and who's giving them. By Brian Feldt of the State Capitol Bureau. Will be posted this evening.
AFSCME DEAL: Looking closer at the details available on the deal struck between AFSCME and Gov. Pat Quinn yesterday to avoid hundreds of layoffs in state government, and how both sides got most of what they wanted from the agreement. By Matt Hopf and John Guidroz of the State Capitol Bureau. Will be posted this evening.
For the weekend:
State's problems don't deter gubernatorial candidates

SPRINGFIELD – It's fair to wonder why anyone would want to be the next governor of Illinois. Unemployment is soaring and tax receipts are tanking. The state's budget deficit is hovering in the $11 billion to $13 billion range and nearly every day brings new stories of public institutions, social service providers and businesses stretched to the limit because the state is not paying its bills. Despite the daunting challenges, the race for Illinois governor has drawn the largest field of candidates the state has seen in decades. By Doug Finke of the State Capitol Bureau. For use Friday, Jan. 29 and beyond.


Pawnbrokers see upside to online inventory reports

Bobby Dahlberg has been in the pawn business for 23 years, making 50 to 60 deals a day. In the past, the owner of Bobby’s on Broadway and Bobby’s West has taken down information from the seller of every item and faxed it to local police agencies. A city ordinance passed Monday, requiring local pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers to submit inventory reports online, will make his job easier. By Matt Williams of the Rockford Register Star. To localize: Do local pawnshops report their inventories online?


Eating out can be dangerous when a diner has food allergies

More than 12 million Americans – about 4 percent of the population – suffer from food allergies. A true food allergy is an immune-system response to a food that the body mistakenly believes is harmful. Here are some tips for eating safely in restaurants. By Kathryn Rem of the State Journal-Register.

Grammy Awards: Picking the winners

Movies dominate the winter entertainment awards season, but don’t forget the soundtrack of our lives. The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, honoring the best the recording industry offered in 2009, will be given Sunday night. Three of The State Journal-Register's biggest music buffs — A&E editor Brian Mackey, staff writer Rhys Saunders and features editor Brien Murphy — listened to the nominees in some of the bigger categories and share how they would cast their ballots.

Kathryn Rem: Cucumber sandwiches and raspberry tarts

A bit of Victorian England graced Springfield on Sunday, with about 100 people experiencing a proper afternoon tea at Temple Israel. Although it was billed as a high tea, Sunday’s event was really an afternoon tea. Regardless of the time of day, there is a proper way to make the tea.

Oxtails, popular worldwide, may just surprise you

PEORIA – Oxtail soup was a staple during Pixie Jacquin's college days. Oxtails - that's the actual tail of a cow, steer or bull - were cheap, available, tasty, but, most importantly, cheap in the early 1960s when she was in school. She and her roommates would buy a few, then simmer up a big pot of soup with the help of Knorr Swiss' packaged oxtail soup mix. But oxtails are no longer the starting point for a cheap meal. By Pam Adams of the Peoria Journal Star.

David Robson: Planting seeds of excellence

The year 2010 will go down as one of the largest classes of All-America Selection winners. Typically, we see three or four winners. This year, there are nine.


BRITT: Toon on America speaking out on Obama’s first year. Will be posted this evening.
Jerry Moore: A slice of humble pie makes a nice ending for rigged election

This seedy tale of ballot-stuffing would make former members of the Nixon administration proud. In recognition of Jan. 23 as National Pie Day, one business in DuPage County surveyed its employees about their favorite pies. Some staff members bragged about voting multiple times. Hearing this was appalling. “Hey, that’s Chicago politics,” one employee said.


ILLINOIS-PENN STATE: The Illini try to snap a three-game losing streak when they take on Penn State. Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m. By John Supinie.