Outlook dim for Exelon's deal

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate approved legislation Thursday designed to help Exelon purchase Illinois Power, but it was a shallow victory for the utilities, as the bill is unlikely to get called for a vote in the House.

The tally was 39 in favor, 10 against and five voting "present."

Parent: Son might press for charges

The father of a University of Illinois student says that at least two suspended UI basketball players were among a group of people that broke into his son's apartment and stole about $3,000 worth of merchandise.

Randy Brown, whose son is a junior at Illinois, said Thursday that Luther Head and Aaron Spears were two of a group of men who broke into his son's Champaign apartment the morning of Nov. 2 and stole electronic equipment and clothes.

Bill to study water supplies becomes law

SPRINGFIELD – Concern for the future of the state's groundwater supply outweighed the General Assembly's budget worries Thursday.

The Illinois House successfully overrode the governor's veto of a bill to study the Mahomet Aquifer and other sources of drinking water throughout the state.

Lawmakers at odds over IP controversy

SPRINGFIELD – Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan called Exelon's bluff Wednesday night, and the company responded by threatening to call off its plans to buy Illinois Power.

Illinois Power President Larry Altenbaumer said that canceling the deal would put 400 people out of work and jeopardize the reliability of electricity in East Central Illinois and the rest of his company's service area.

Early rate review request dropped

SPRINGFIELD – Exelon on Monday backed off its insistence that early approval of a rate hike was essential to its purchase of Illinois Power, after Gov. Rod Blagojevich said he would veto any bill to speed up the rate review process.

"If they feel this is the only way they can buy Illinois Power, then I guess they shouldn't buy Illinois Power," Blagojevich said.

Governor against IP legislation

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Rod Blagojevich said today he would veto any bill that changes the way power rates are set, dealing a significant blow to Exelon's attempt to purchase Illinois Power from Dynegy.

The $2.2 billion deal hinges on early approval of a rate hike for Illinois Power's 700,000 customers that would take effect in 2007. Exelon has reserved the right to back out of the purchase if the increase is not granted.

It's Your Business: Rejuvenis medical day spa opens in Champaign

Dr. Ronald Russo, a facial plastic surgeon, has opened a medical day spa called Rejuvenis next to his medical practice offices in Champaign.

Through the spa, he and a nurse esthetician are offering a variety of nonsurgical, cosmetic procedures on an outpatient basis.

Exelon bill faces fight next week

SPRINGFIELD – As the General Assembly prepares to return to Springfield for the final week of veto session, Exelon Corp. must convince an increasingly skeptical governor and the General Assembly to pass legislation it says it urgently needs to facilitate its purchase of Illinois Power.

The measure would allow the Illinois Commerce Commission to approve a rate hike now that Illinois Power's 590,000 customers would pay in the four years after the mandatory rate freeze ends Dec. 31, 2006.

Fired up to help

David Pavlik was at his parents' house in Chicago watching CNN when he first saw the destructive wildfires burning down homes and trees in California. In the back of his mind, he remembered wanting to volunteer in New York after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but the American Red Cross had enough.

"They had an outpouring of volunteers, and they really didn't need me," said the University of Illinois senior. "My cousin was in New York, and I felt so bad for those people. I always regretted not going out there because I know I could have helped in some way. I vowed if some disaster on a national level happened again, I was going to help."

Exelon unveils revised measure

SPRINGFIELD – In response to opposition from Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and others, Exelon Corp. has dropped its legislative request to set future rates for Commonwealth Edison, but still wants early approval for a rate hike for Illinois Power customers.

Exelon failed to win the necessary support for House Bill 2200 last week, but hopes the dramatically retooled version it released Monday afternoon will help it become law before the six-day veto session ends Nov. 20.