Illinois Budget 1.19.10

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

Peoria Journal Star sportswriter Dave Reynolds named Illinois Sportswriter of the Year
http://ghnewsroom.com/article/peoria-journal-star-sportswriter-dave-reynolds-named-illinois-sportswriter-year

Reader callout: Seek Boy Scouts memories and photos
http://ghnewsroom.com/article/reader-callout-seek-boy-scouts-memories-and-photos

TODAY’S SPOTLIGHT:

Couple worries for adopted Haitian twins

ROCHESTER – For two long years, Mike and Sandy Hurtubise have worked to adopt a set of 5-year-old twins from Haiti. All they needed was one last passport stamp and a couple of visas, Sandy said Monday. But last week’s devastating earthquake derailed those plans, and now the Hurtubises fear for their children’s safety. Both children survived the disaster, but the orphanage was destroyed. The 135 orphans have little shelter or access to food and clean water. By Amanda Reavy of the State Journal-Register.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/features/x201791132/Couple-worries-for-adopted-Haitian-twins

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

State Briefs. News from around the state.  Will be posted this evening.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1689213747/State-Briefs-1-19-10

This week at the statehouse:
 
For Wednesday:

STATE CAPITOL Q&A: A closer look at the state's accelerated bid for more than $500 million in federal Race to the Top money for school reform and what's at stake. By Brian Feldt of the State Capitol Bureau.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x745466821/State-Capitol-Q-A-A-closer-look-at-Illinois-bid-for-more-federal-education-money

For the weekend:
 
TREASURER RACE: A preview of the primary election for state treasurer. By John Guidroz of the State Capitol Bureau. Will be posted Thursday for use in weekend editions.
 
COMPTROLLER RACE: A preview of the primary election for state comptroller. By Matt Hopf of the State Capitol Bureau. Will be posted Thursday for use in weekend editions.
 
ILLINOIS BUSINESS
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois_business

Reinventing itself? Company has an app for that

As iPhones, iPod Touches (which provide the Internet connection without the phone) and other devices proliferate, the market for apps has exploded. Apple's iPod store offers more than 100,000 applications, with more coming available every day. A Peoria company looks to help in that development.  
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x201791006/Reinventing-itself-Company-has-an-app-for-that

Need a career? Desk jobs not bad

ROCKFORD – The folks at Careercast.com have released their annual survey of the best and worst jobs to have. Shockingly, sitting at a desk crunching numbers came up a lot rosier than risking death working on an oil rig. The survey looks at several factors — including salary, potential for growth, job stress and physical demands — and ranked 200 jobs. By Sean F. Driscoll of the Rockford Register Star.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/business/x532586123/Need-a-career-Desk-jobs-not-bad

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

Baker helps Christian groups, one cookie at a time

SPRINGFIELD – One dozen at a time, in a small kitchen on Lincoln Avenue in Springfield, Lisa Burris baked ... and baked … and baked more than 10,000 dozen cookies in 2009. The cookies are the center of a ministry Burris calls “the batch.” Since May 2008, she has raised more than $67,300 for various charities. By Theresa Grimaldi Olsen of the State Journal-Register.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x532586158/Baker-helps-Christian-groups-one-cookie-at-a-time

13-year-old shows spunk after losing eye in BB gun incident

WILLIAMSFIELD – Choose your adjective to describe 13-year-old Grace Miller. Tough, gutsy, gritty. Ornery is another that comes to her family’s mind. Three years ago, upon finding out that the 254-student Williamsfield School District didn’t offer girls basketball at the middle or high school levels, Miller insisted on playing with the boys and hasn’t stopped since. That’s even after she lost her left eye in a November BB gun accident, in which a dropped gun discharged a BB into her eye. By Chris Mouzakitis of the Register-Mail.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/features/x1672017196/13-year-old-shows-spunk-after-losing-eye-in-BB-gun-incident

New system for counselors meets with mixed reactions

SPRINGFIELD – In Springfield, the public high school guidance departments have their hands full. For years, guidance deans have helped thousands of students get through high school and prepared them for what came after graduation day — whatever that might be. But changes the Springfield school district says were mandated by the federal government significantly changed what guidance counselors do, with a stronger emphasis on improving test scores and paying attention to students in all grade levels. By Aimee LaPlant of the State Journal-Register. To localize: Check with local high school guidance counselors to see how new requirements have changed their jobs.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/news/education/x1672017192/New-system-for-counselors-meets-with-mixed-reactions

Step aside, powdered cocoa: It’s time for real hot chocolate

When the temperature dips and the snow falls, nothing warms the body quite like a cup of hot cocoa topped with marshmallows. But after a while, packaged cocoa mixes get boring. Who needs a watery drink made from a chalky-tasting powder when there is real chocolate out there, just waiting to be consumed? Step aside, Swiss Miss: It’s time for the real thing. By Lainie Steelman of the McDonough County Voice.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/lifestyle/food/beverages/x532584978/Step-aside-powdered-cocoa-Its-time-for-real-hot-chocolate

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

BRITT: Local toon.
 
SHERMAN: Toon on Gov. Quinn fixing cemetery regulation problems.
http://www.gatehousenewsservice.com/regional_news/midwest/illinois/x1689213238/Sherman-cartoon-On-Gov-Quinn-fixing-cemetery-regulation-problems

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

ILLINI:
 
PURDUE-ILLINOIS: Illinois hosts No. 13 Purdue. Tipoff is 8 p.m. By John Supinie.