Illinois Budget 11.20.09

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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Casey Laughman: (217) 816-3343,


David Arkin: How about an entire edition of nothing but good news?

Web Cube moments of the week


Group sessions a different way to do prenatal care

ROCKFORD – Part prenatal health care, part true confessions, and part girls’ afternoon out, the Centering Pregnancy program at Rockford Health Physicians is all about supporting mothers-to-be as they go through one of the happiest and most stressful times in their lives. Women with about the same delivery date are grouped to meet for two hours every other week with a certified nurse midwife, social worker, licensed practical nurse and a hospital office representative to receive information about the physical and emotional changes they are going through.  By Mike DeDoncker of the Rockford Register Star.


State Briefs. News from around the state.

This week at the Statehouse:
For the weekend:
STATEHOUSE INSIDER: Doug Finke is off this week and next week.
REFORM REPORT CARD: What lawmakers considered on reform of state government in several areas and what they actually put into law. Will cover areas such as campaign finance, FOIA, ethics and purchasing. By Adriana Colindres of the State Capitol Bureau. For use Monday, Nov. 23.


Law keeps genetics out of personnel matters

SPRINGFIELD – Genetics is about to join race, religion, sex, color and national origin among workplace protections against discrimination. The Genetics Information Nondiscrimination Act, signed into law by President Bush in 2008, prohibits employers from discriminating based on genetic testing or history of workers or job applicants, including as part of health coverage. Civil rights, ethics and business groups say the change, which will take effect Saturday, is the most significant civil rights legislation since the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1991. By Tim Landis of the State Journal-Register.


Brewed tea loaded with health benefits

PEORIA – Hong Ji came to Peoria two years ago and was surprised to learn that Americans drink tea made from leaves so old they have lost much of their nutritional value. Ji grew up in Harbin in the northeast region of China. Her family operates a tea business there, and she grew up believing in the medicinal value of tea. Now in the U.S., Ji teaches classes on Chinese tea tasting at the Peoria RiverPlex, where she is an exercise specialist for OSF Saint Francis Medical Center's medical and arthritis program. By Clare Howard of the Peoria Journal Star.

Turkey or turducken? Your guide to Thanksgiving's main meal

As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s time to think about how you will prepare your bird. Preparing a whole turkey is a complicated endeavor. A whole bird involves at least 10 pounds of meat, skin and bone. Something has to be done with that cavity. A meat thermometer must be procured. By Lainie Steelman of the McDonough County Voice.

Video Vault: For its 10th anniversary, 'Fight Club' gets a high-def makeover

Ten years ago this week, “Fight Club” was released to theaters. I was there on that opening weekend, sure I’d see something special, and I wasn’t wrong. Like few movies in my life, “Fight Club” seemed to reach right down into my brain and scratch a nagging itch I didn’t know was there. By Will Pfeifer of the Rockford Register Star.

Elizabeth Davies: Football commentators need some skills

I’ll admit it: Sometimes I don’t watch football purely for the love of the game. In fact, a lot of the time, I just want to hear ESPN commentator Chris Berman yell that someone just got “jacked up!” Or I’m listening for the ever-popular “He could … go … all … the … way!” that signals a big play. Lately, though, it seems like I could just as easily watch football with the mute button on.


BRITT: Toon on Sen. Roland Burris.

Wood on Words: Judging the many meanings of the word ‘peer’

The recent announcement that five Sept. 11 terrorist attack suspects would be moved from the Guantánamo detention center to be tried in New York City has caused quite a stir. One of the concerns of critics of the move was addressed in a political cartoon earlier in the week. Under the headline “By a jury of his peers?” was a jury box containing 10 caricatures of the chief defendant. In other words, such a person has no peers.

Lori Kilchermann: Use a computer, cotton swab to save a life

After leukemia began mercilessly sapping the life out of her young body, Joey Stott of Lena, Ill., knew she needed a miracle to survive. That miracle turned out to be Tom Wilhelm of Colorado. Tom had signed up as a marrow donor through, joining a growing registry of 12 million people willing to give a small piece of themselves to save the life of someone they have never met.

Chuck Sweeny: Manzullo wrong about Thomson prison threat

As readers know, I’ve been generally supportive of U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo, R-Egan, over the years. I especially applaud his hard work aimed at restoring America’s manufacturing sector to prominence. But today, I will disagree with him. I can’t support Manzullo’s position on an Obama administration plan to move al-Qaida and Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Thomson prison, 70 miles from Rockford. I think Don and the staff are suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome, a common Republican virus.

Editorial: New breast cancer study ignores human element

For all the disagreement and debate over health care lately, it ought to be satisfying that many Americans can still find some common ground on which to unite. Unfortunately being united in confusion isn't necessarily a good thing. Such was the case earlier this week when a federal panel, the Preventive Services Task Force, issued a new set of recommendations for women on the type of screening they ought to undergo to test for breast cancer. An editorial from the Peoria Journal Star.


INSIDE THE LINES: Peoria Journal Star sports editor Bill Liesse takes an irreverent look at this weekend’s NFL games. Will be posted this evening for use Sunday.
Sunday Quick Shots: Silence not golden for Bears

First the Bears played poorly. Now they’re acting poorly, refusing pregame interviews with NBC. That looks childish. Man up and talk. By Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star. Also includes items on Dolphins running back Ricky Williams, going for it on fourth down and the Philadelphia Eagles getting conservative when they should be aggressive.

Aromashodu may finally get his chance with Bears

LAKE FOREST – The Dolphins waived Devin Aromashodu. The Colts waived him. The Texans let him go. The Colts dropped him a second time. The Redskins picked him up and dropped him. At last, though, Aromashodu was going to get a shot with the Bears. He's still waiting, but his time may be coming soon. By Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star.

For Sunday:
Bears getting big plays, but sustained drives still a problem

NFL teams crave big plays, and the Bears are finally getting them. But teams also need to sustain drives, and the Bears are still struggling with that. Eagles-Bears preview. With Bears keys to the game. By Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star. For use Sunday.

For Monday:
EAGLES-BEARS: Game story and notebook. By Matt Trowbridge of the Rockford Register Star. Kickoff is 7:20 p.m.
MAMA’S BOY: Illinois freshman guard Brandon Paul takes after his mother, Lynda, who played basketball at Ball State and served as Paul's AAU coach and main basketball mentor. Paul is off to a hot start, averaging 21.5 points in the first two games. Serves as Illinois-Presbyterian preview. With preview capsule. By John Supinie.

JORDAN BACK: Short sidebar/notebook on Jeff Jordan being eligible to play and likely to take some of the ballhandling load of Illinois guards. By John Supinie.

For Sunday
PRESBYTERIAN-ILLINOIS: Illinois hosts Presbyterian in a Las Vegas Invitational basketball game at Assembly Hall Saturday. Tipoff 7 p.m. By John Supinie.
For Monday
FLU BUG: Illinois has already been hit twice by the flu bug. Now the Illini training staff and coach Bruce Weber wants to make sure influenza doesn't wipe out the Illini this winter. By John Supinie.