GateHouse News Service Regional Budget (11/29/07)
Here are the top Illinois stories coming today from GateHouse News Service. Stories are available at www.gatehousenewsservice.com
*Please check this Web site in the evening for changes to story lineup, including breaking news.
Contacts:
Regional Editor Jonie Larson, (217) 816-3343, jlarson@gatehousemedia.com
National Editor Jean Hodges, (630) 348-3350, jhodges@gatehousemedia.com

News

UNCLAIMED RETURNS: CHICAGO – As the holiday shopping season unfolds, thousands of Illinoisans have state and federal tax refund checks that have gone unclaimed. With a breakout of key websites and phone numbers. RAMSEY/CHICAGO BUREAU
 
STATE BRIEFS: A collection of briefs from GateHouse newspapers across the state. Posted by 6 p.m. Illinois and Illinois News.

LEGISLATURE: Illinois House and Senate meet in special session to discuss mass transit. FINKE/SPRINGFIELD/Illinois

DCFS MEMO: A memo from the director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services urges direct service staff to try to refrain from bidding on 187 open jobs because open positions are often filled "in house," creating rolling vacancies. Checking with DCFS critics and union, which says workers must have first dibs on open positions. HEUPEL/Illinois

NEW TASERS: Winnebago County is replacing its outdated Tasers with 21 new Tasers. Once reserved just for the on-duty supervisors, there will be one Taser per beat cop. The guns, which cost a total of $32,214, was paid for with grant money. ROCKFORD/Illinois/posted.
 
RFD MEETS: Rockford School Board puts brakes on plan to create elementary school zones. Says things were moving to fast. ROCKFORD/Illinois/posted.
 
RAPE TRIAL: There may be more victims in the criminal sexual assault case against a 22-year old rockford man. Jury selection was stalled today after prosecutors informed the court that new information surfaced this morning that could cause them to add last minute witnesses. The new victims came after our story in Tuesday's paper. ROCKFORD/Illinois/posted.
 
LUMINARIA SAFETY: Don't the bags fly away? The plastic jugs burn? What a few local luminaria decorators have to say. ROCKFORD/Illinois News/posted.
 
HOLIDAY TIPPING: (w/factbox) As the holidays approach, many people will be thinking of tipping service providers, such as baby-sitters and dog-walkers. Will look into what's appropriate and who plans on tipping
what this season.  ANSTETT/PEORIA/Illinois

SEINFELD PEORIA: The Civic Center has announced that tickets will be sold on Saturday for just the 7 p.m. Seinfeld show on Jan. 11. Originally, they announced two shows: 7 and 9:30 p.m. Now they say
they'll add the 9:30 p.m. show if ticket sales for the 7 p.m. show are good. (brief; by 8 p.m.) HATCH/PEORIA/Illinois

ELECTION FILING: Filing period begins for Republican presidential candidates and
national convention delegates at 8 a.m. today. Continues through Dec. 5. SCHOENBURG/SPRINGFIELD/Illinois

HOME SALES: Springfield-area home prices continued to rise last month - 11.5 percent to be exact - even as statewide prices fell slightly and prices nationwide were down by a record amount for the month of October.It's a trend that's continued through much of the year, though homes sales have slowed and the number of homes on the market is unusually high."It really has to do with where you are. The Midwest, in
fact, has remained the most affordable region. It didn't see the big, double-digit gains during the price boom. Prices did not run away from income, and those areas are doing better now," said Walter Maloney of the National Association of Realtors.
LANDIS w/breakout.

PESTICIDE POISONING: Two brothers have been fined a total of $90,000 for poisoning protected birds by injecting a pesticide into animal carcasses on their farm in Champaign County. Norman Wachstetter, 46, and Michael Wachstetter, 48, of Foosland admitted to poisoning four turkey vultures, four red-tailed hawks and two American crows when the injected Furadan 4F, a restricted use pesticide, into animal carcasses that were placed on and around their property in 2004 and 2005.


Sports

ILLINOIS vs. MARYLAND: Game coverage of Illini-Maryland basketball game in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge. Tipoff is 6:30 p.m. Story with quotes will be sent about 10:15 p.m. With report card. SUPINIE. College Park, Md. Illinois sports and Big Ten.

METAMORA FOOTBALL: State championship football squad from Metamora High School visits the State Capitol to be honored in the Illinois House and Senate. With photo. COLINDRES/CAPITOL BUREAU.
 
BEARS QUICKSHOTS: News and opinions about Bears ahead of tomorrow's Dallas game. ROCKFORD/Illinois Sports, Pro-Football and Bears.

NADEL: With Rex and Eli at the helm, the football figures to be up for grabs often in Sunday's Bears-Giants game at Solider Field. Mike Nadel, Pro Football and Bears.
 
 
Opinion

BRITT: Toon relating Cheney's heart problems and police tasers. CHRIS BRITT/Illinois Opinions and GHNS-Opinions.