Good judgment key to avoiding debt

UI students should look in the mirror if they wish to find someone to help them avoid running up big credit card debts.

Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, who wants to be the state's next governor, paid a visit to college campuses this week, including the University of Illinois, to tell students that he was there to protect them from predators.

Illinois Senate defies public on budget issues

The Illinois House acted last week to restore money to prevent the closing of state parks and historic sites in October and November, but the state Senate, according to Senate President Emil Jones, isn't going to act until Nov. 12.

The dimwitted squabbling among Illinois' top three Democrats continues, and now its effect has extended to vital social services as well as the operation of state parks and historic sites.

The cost of cleaning up after past generations

The cost to clean the site of a relic of 19th century Champaign-Urbana will be as much as $15 million, and we're all paying for it.

We can thank the early residents of Champaign-Urbana – and the technology they used to heat their homes and light the community – for a big cleanup project in north Champaign and for a monthly surcharge on our natural gas bills.

The do-anything Legislature

In one energetic day, the Illinois House took care of three big issues. Or did it?

As the Illinois House adjourned Wednesday after one action-packed day in session, Speaker Michael Madigan congratulated lawmakers on their work. "We should do things like this more often," he said.

Governor out of hiding

With corruption-related headlines temporarily disappearing from the news, Rod Blagojevich has his mojo back.

It was just a few months ago that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was the state's invisible man, rarely showing his face in public and mostly refusing to answer questions from the news media.

No 'change' in political rhetoric

For all the talk this year about change in Washington, D.C., and in the presidential campaign there has been, sadly, very little of it.

For a while the presidential candidates said this year's campaign was going to be different. Unfortunately some of us believed them and now we are again left disappointed and disillusioned.

New-look stadium welcomed

Workers labored into the early morning hours Sept. 6 at the University of Illinois' Memorial Stadium as they put on the finishing touches necessary to open the stadium to thousands of fans a few hours later.

Later, more than 60,000 people showed up to see just how much difference a $120 million renovation can make. Turns out it makes a lot of difference. Whether it was the glass-covered luxury boxes on the west side of the upper deck, the redone Great West Hall inside this mammoth structure or the north end zone that was closed in last year, Memorial Stadium has a whole new look.

Boeing, union spoiling for fight

Prosperity has its pitfalls for Boeing as employees walk off the job.

Although the economy continues to grow slowly, there's no doubt this country has hit a rough patch and that times are hard for a lot of people.

Champaign land buy could pose a problem

Government officials are courting trouble when they add the role of private property development to their traditional responsibilities.

A 9,000-square-foot Family Dollar store is under construction on Bradley Avenue and Market Street, a few blocks east of Neil Street, and it's the result of the city's collaboration with a private developer to bring retail shopping to the area.

Tough decision ahead on Crystal Lake Pool

It now appears there may not be a phased refurbishing of Crystal Lake Pool in Urbana. An engineering report seems to indicate the pool either has to be rebuilt entirely or closed.

Things are not getting any easier for the members of the Urbana park board. They had planned to spend much of this fall discussing the details of another property tax increase referendum next April, including whether there could be a phased refurbishing of the 28-year-old pool at Crystal Lake Park. A 25-cent tax increase proposal, including money for pool improvements, failed last February.