Illinois Budget 8.31.09

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

Job postings: Rockford Register Star seeks reporter, Local and State editor
http://ghnewsroom.com/article/job-postings-rockford-register-star-seeks-reporter-local-and-state-editor

Video: What’s happening this week with the News & Interactive Division
http://ghnewsroom.com/article/video-whats-happening-week-news-interactive-division-4

David Arkin: A high school football advance package that works
http://ghnewsroom.com/article/high-school-football-advance-package-works

TODAY’S SPOTLIGHT:

School nurses first line of defense for sick students

SPRINGFIELD – School is back in session, so that means school nurses are again seeing students and their various afflictions and medical needs. But life as a school nurse is much more than tending to scraped knees and tummyaches and passing out medication.  By Tamara Browning of the State Journal-Register.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/features/x1566718263/School-nurses-first-line-of-defense-for-sick-students

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

State Briefs. News from around the state. Will be posted this evening.
 
State retirees angry about dental insurance hikes

SPRINGFIELD – Retired state workers are angry, but Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration still plans to impose modest monthly premiums for retiree dental insurance beginning Oct. 1. The plan will save the state $12 million a year, officials say. Until now, state retirees didn’t have to pay premiums for dental coverage. The new premiums — $11 monthly for members, $17 for a member and one dependent, and $19.50 for members plus two or more dependents — are the same amounts paid by active employees. By Dean Olsen of the State Journal-Register.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1886195228/State-retirees-angry-about-dental-insurance-hikes

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

Tax rate’s trickle-down could wipe out smaller companies

ROCKFORD – Ken Brown doesn’t have the luxury of planning for 2010 just yet. He’s too busy wondering whether his machine shop and its dozen or so employees will be open next week and the week after that. But if Datum Machine Works can hang on until the new year, he knows another blow is looming. Even if the Rock River Valley’s economy starts to rebound, Datum and others will be feeling a new pinch in their pocketbooks: the state’s depleted unemployment trust fund. By Sean F. Driscoll of the Rockford Register Star.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x357696920/Tax-rate-s-trickle-down-could-wipe-out-smaller-companies

More people seek technical retraining

EAST PEORIA – While unemployment has been on the rise in central Illinois, so, too have the number of people looking to get retrained for new positions.At Illinois Central College, where enrollment is up more than 13 percent this fall, instructor Lani Greenway has had to add classes covering heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration. Other job-related centers are also bustling at ICC. By Steve Tarter of the Peoria Journal Star. To localize: Check with local technical schools to see if they've seen an increase in interest.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/business/x1373215732/Hooking-up-with-your-next-job-is-all-about-relationships

Hooking up with your next job is all about relationships

ROCKFORD – Networking has become a vital tool for job hunters who find blind calls, employment fairs and online resume applications insufficient in their quest for work. But building relationships takes time, experts say. The best networking starts when you don’t need it. Then when you do need it, those contacts are available. By Sean F. Driscoll of the Rockford Register Star.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x357696917/More-people-seek-technical-retraining

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

Couple's 300,000 honeybees keep farm buzzing

NORRIS – While some areas of the world have seen disastrous declines in honeybee populations, a small farm in central Illinois is a veritable bee haven. Linda Prescott, operations manager at Wildlife Prairie State Park, and her husband Pat manage their 34 acres near Norris in Fulton County with bees in mind. Nothing is done that might harm bees. By Clare Howard of the Peoria Journal Star.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1373215770/Couples-300-000-honeybees-keep-farm-buzzing

Girl Scouting gives ‘sense of belonging’

As many times as Ruth Little moved around as a child — and it was a lot — she knew she’d always fit in. That’s because the first thing she’d do when she landed in a new town was join the local Girl Scout troop. And there is little doubt that Girl Scouts helped shape who Little is today. Little has worked for the Girl Scouts of the USA for nearly 40 years, 30 with the Rock River Council. In a month, Little will retire, and the Rock River Council will merge with three other councils in northern Illinois.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1566718184/Girl-Scouting-gives-sense-of-belonging

Blackboard reveals snapshot of 1987

MORTON – During the summer of 1987, a science classroom at Morton Junior High School was converted into District 709's special education office. As part of the renovation, the classroom blackboard was covered by a wall. What was written on the blackboard stayed hidden for 22 years. Like the opening of a time capsule, the blackboard's contents were revealed this summer when the office was converted into a special education classroom. By Steve Stein of the Peoria Journal Star.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1886195197/Blackboard-reveals-snapshot-of-1987

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

BRITT: Britt is off today.
 
Jeff Vrabel: Even the Colonel knows that bread sucks

I know what you're thinking: "Jeff, bread is stupid. It is chewy and grainy and sometimes there is entirely too much crust for my comfort. Moreover, I find myself more displeased each time I am confronted with toast. And do not even GET ME STARTED ON SESAME SEEDS, or I will punch each and every member of this litter of baby chicks in the beak right now." OK, you probably don't think things in pointlessly lengthy paragraphs, but I'm the one with the word count.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/features/x1886194537/Jeff-Vrabel-Even-the-Colonel-knows-that-bread-sucks

Jerry Moore: Wrigley Field mayhem not unwelcome sight

It’s not that I’m advocating unruliness at sporting events. But if it has to occur, it’s nice to see parity between fans of Chicago’s two baseball teams. I’m sure many Cubs fans were righteously appalled by the unsportsmanlike conduct on the part of one of their own. It’s not easy watching a fellow fan do something stupid because it unfairly reflects on this team’s other fans. As a native South Sider, I’ve winced on more than one occasion at the antics that fans have carried out during White Sox games.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1886194956/Jerry-Moore-Wrigley-Field-mayhem-not-unwelcome-sight

Editorial: Veto the first step, now give campaign bill some teeth

Hard to say what happened between late May and last Thursday, between Gov. Pat Quinn labeling as "landmark" the campaign funding reform legislation - House Bill 7 - he endorsed last spring and his taking his veto pen to it now. In that not-even-three-month span Quinn went from "the best we can do at this time" to suggesting Illinois can do better. But we'll take it, so long as the governor and the four legislative leaders stick to their word and come up with an improved version by the veto session in October. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x357696759/Editorial-Veto-the-first-step-now-give-campaign-bill-some-teeth

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

ILLINI:
 
WITH THE ILLINI: The Illinois defense understands that the critics will be keeping a close eye on the unit. The first test is Missouri. The Tigers scored 52 on Illinois last season. Will also include basketball. By John Supinie.