GateHouse News Service Regional Budget (10/27/07 and weekend)
Here are the top Illinois stories coming today from GateHouse News Service. Stories are available at
*Please check this Web site in the evening for changes to story lineup, including breaking news.
Regional Editor Jonie Larson, (217) 816-3343,
National Editor Jean Hodges, (630) 348-3350,

ANNIVERSARY OF MURDER: THE SHELTONS, 60 YEARS LATER. (w/pics)  This week marked the anniversary of the unraveling of the infamous Shelton Gang, when brother and family leader Carl Shelton was shot to death in an ambush near his farm in southern Illinois, Oct. 23, 1947. His death remains unsolved. Now, 60 years later, what is the legacy of this bloody and once-notorious family? (30-40 inches) RADOSEVICH/PEORIA/this afternoon. (For publication Saturday, Sunday or Monday)

HAVE TROUBLE WITH PESKY BIRDS IN YOUR TOWN? THIS STORY IS WORTH A LOOK. BIRD WHISPERER UNMASKED: The Bird Whisperer has been contracted by cities for a number of years and would not reveal his secrets. As it turns out, This fabled, and mysterious Decatur bird expert uses Avitrol, a poison, and maybe a pellet gun or .22 rifle. Plus a fast-moving cleanup crew. RUSHTON/SPRINGFIELD/this evening. (For publication Sunday and after)


CHICAGO FEATURE: WINDY CITY HAUNTS - RESURRECTION MARY. CHICAGO – The story usually goes something like this: A motorist traveling on a dark, desolate road picks up a mysterious woman hitchhiker who - wouldn't you know it - turns out to be a ghost. Folklorists say its a common urban legend, but Chicago has its own variation and a name for the roaming spirit: Resurrection Mary. RAMSEY/CHICAGO BUREAU. W/art. W/ breakouts on other Chicago ghost stories and ghost tours. Posted/Illinois, Illinois News and Midwest

STATEHOUSE REPORT – PRESCHOOL FOR ALL: The much-touted, state-funded "Preschool for  All" program doesn't really live up to its  name, at least not yet. But the program's supporters say that if all goes according to plan during the next five  years, any Illinois parents who want to enroll  their 3- and 4-year-olds in state-subsidized, high-quality preschool will be able to do just  that. Parents retain the option of sending their kids to private preschools or of keeping  them out of preschool.
BREAKOUT: Chart (posted on same file after main bar)
COLINDRES/CAPITOL BUREAU/posting early Friday/Illinois, Illinois News

CAMPAIGN DISCLOSURE. (all) Illinois residents have a better view of how campaign dollars are collected and spent than most of the rest of the country. Our state ranks among the top 10 in campaign disclosure laws compared to all 50 states, according to a study released by the Campaign Disclosure Project, with a weakness in the campaign disclosure law itself. The study ranks states on campaign disclosure laws, electronic filing programs (for which Illinois got an A+), public access to campaign finance data and web site usability. MCDONALD/PEORIA/this evening/Illinois and Illinois News and GHNS-News

RENOVATION AWARD. The multimillion-dollar renovation of the House of Representatives and Senate chambers has won an award from a national group of architects. FINKE/CAPITOL BUREAU/this evening/Illinois and Illinois News

MUSEUM REBOOT. Construction has resumed on a broadcast museum project that has been stalled for more than a year. The project, however, still awaits $6 million in state assistance. RAMSEY/CHICAGO BUREAU.

MYSPACE HYSTERIA. Farmington police and school officials have identified the students involved in creating a MySpace page that caused concern this week. The students requested other students to be their friends on the social networking site, then refused to identify themselves. Police officers were present at the high school today as a precaution. KOCH/PEORIA/this evening/Illinois and Illinois News

PEORIA-TO-PHOENIX. Inaugural flight takes off Saturday from Peoria to Mesa-Phoenix. Will recap all the Allegiant Air expansions, including next month when Orlando restarts and December when Peoria gets direct service to Fort Lauderdale. HANEY/PEORIA/this evening/Illinois

ROBBERY FOLO: Police have arrested Dustin L. Frint, 19, the second of two armed robbers who held up a private card game at a Kishwaukee Street business Oct. 16. This was the incident that led to the death of Curly Fitzgerald. Police aren't commenting on the gambling issue, but they did say there's a possibility of more arrests in the incident. Police said they'd get us mug shots today. CORINA CURRY/SADIE GURMAN/ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR. Illinois News/this evening.

ANNIVERSARY OF MURDER: See budget item at top. PEORIA


CONSULTANTS: While overcrowding continues to be a problem at the Sangamon County Jail, officials say there are no plans to expand the existing jail or build a new facility. Instead, they have implemented a variety of measures to reduce the daily jail population, and have hired a consultant to advise them on possible long-term solutions. REYNOLDS/SPRINGFIELD/Illinois (For publication Sunday and after)
INMATE:In well-written letter and subsequent interview, guy who spent a week in jail for driving violation details problems he saw. Jail officials say the guy is wrong. REYNOLDS/SPRINGFIELD w/photo/S.Kirshner. (For publication Sunday and after)

FILING: For most state offices starts Monday at state board of elections. It's early because primary has been moved up. SCHOENBURG/SPRINGFIELD/Illinois (For publication Sunday and after)

TRAIN FATAL: Grief-stricken mother of a Girard teen who died two weeks ago when his SUV was struck by an Amtrak train wants to get the word out that drivers should be more cautious around railroad crossings. New details on the accident: State police says the teen was on his cell phone at the time. The train was going 79 mph, and it dragged the SUV a third of a mile before it could stop. Conductor said the driver didn't yield before crossing the track. BOLINSKI/SPRINGFIELD/Illinois (For publication Monday and after)


RETAIL CONFERENCE COVERAGE: Rockford, Roscoe, and Cherry are going to the International Council of Shopping Centers conference in Chicago Thursday and Friday. Bridget and photographer will be there all day Thursday. Bridget will follow-up with officials to see how the Friday went. This is the deal-making version of the Vegas conference that is more like a speed dating event for retailers and municipalities. Cherry Valley Village Administrator David Nord credits this conference with some of the newer retailers and restaurants coming to his area. BRIDGET THARP/ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR. This evening/Illinois News and Illinois

CHRYSLER VOTE: Belvidere union workers cast their votes today for the new contract. They start at 6:30 a.m. Friday and run through 6:30 a.m. on Saturday. Checking in with union leaders and union members, trying to see if they'll talk about the vote. MELISSA WESTPHAL/ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR/Keep checking Web site as updates occur/Illinois


ILLINOIS vs. BALL STATE PREVIEW: Illinois' success earlier this football season not only sold more tickets but also rebuilt interest with former Illini, who were staying away in recent years. Serves as game preview. With preview capsule. SUPINIE. Champaign. Moving early evening/Illinois Sports and Big Ten

PILGER NOTEBOON ON RAMS – The expected return Sunday of St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson, who has been out of action since suffering a groin tear after rushing for 115 yards on 30 carries Sept. 23 at Tampa Bay, couldn't come at a better time for the punchless, winless club. PILGER/SPRINGFIELD/Illinois Sports and Pro Football/posting this afternoon.

STATEHOUSE INSIDER: Doug Finke, capitol reporter gives readers his take on capitol happenings this week. DOUG FINKE/STATE CAPITOL/Illinois Opinions

CAPITOL NOTEBOOK: Five quick takes from the week at the capitol. CAPITOL BUREAUS/Illinois Opinions

BRITT: Toon depicting the 'Global Warming Hall of Extinction,' which includes an odd-looking Republican. CHRIS BRITT/SPRINGFIELD/Illinois Opinions and GHNS-Opinions.

Moving on cycle this weekend

For Sunday
ILLINOIS vs BALL STATE. Package moving late afternoon/early evening.
Game story. Coverage of the homecoming game. Kickoff is 11 a.m.
Report card. Analysis of Illinois' performance on offense, defense, special teams and overall.
Notebook. News and notes from the locker room.
Blog. Available through   and .

MIKE NADEL:  Illinois vs. Ball State. COLUMN/MIKE NADEL and Illinois Sports
For Monday
BIG TEN BASKETBALL: Media day story will likely center on Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson's latest problems with NCAA rules. SUPINIE. Chicago. Early evening.

ILLINOIS BASKETBALL: Coverage of Illinois' preseason scrimmage in Assembly Hall. SUPINIE. Champaign. Moving late evening.

ILLINOIS FOOTBALL: Short follow. SUPINIE. Champaign. Moving early evening.

MIKE NADEL: Bears vs. Lions. COLUMN/MIKE NADEL, Illinois Sports, Bears.