A halfhearted salute to Illinois' favorite son

Illinois might not be able to present the big bicentennial birthday bash it had planned for Abraham Lincoln. There's not enough money in the state treasury to recognize the greatest president and the greatest Illinoisan of all.

Well, at least it was a good idea to have Illinois – Land of Lincoln, as it says on our license plates – do all kinds of things to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of our favorite president.

More confusion from the governor

So many people to alienate, so little time.

It's apparently not enough that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has alienated most of Illinois' statewide officers (excluding Secretary of State Jesse White), House Speaker Michael Madigan and most Democratic state legislators.

Cruisin' into Clinton: Ted's Garage the right route to tasty food

CLINTON – Going through the front door of Ted's Garage is like heading through a time machine that takes you back into the 1950s.

Located in the heart of Clinton, Ted's Garage is much more than a restaurant. It's like a museum that allows diners to be part of the exhibits.

Storms bring power outages to area

Area utilities reported widespread power outages through East Central Illinois Monday morning, but predicted most would be restored quickly.

Gifford and Fisher are hardest hit.

Quite a feet

The Champaign County team got trampled in its first Moon Walk competition, but that's no reason not to try again next year.

Champaign County's Moon Walk 2008 group finished third out of the three competing communities in this year's competition, but the folks at the University of Illinois Extension, which sponsored and promoted the local walkers, say they're not discouraged. They plan on doing it again next year, and they hope it will be bigger and better.

Illinois Constitution is in need of changes

An unusual union of disparate groups has combined to oppose the call for an Illinois Constitutional Convention. They're happy to maintain the status quo, even as bad as it is.

An intriguing coalition announced last week that it would campaign – and spend a great deal of money – to defeat a question on the Nov. 4 ballot to call for a constitutional convention in Illinois.

Illini fans, get ready for feast at new Web site

For those who truly bleed Orange and Blue – and you know who you are – there's no such thing as too much information about the Fighting Illini. It's as popular as anything we provide at both The News-Gazette and WDWS, and we provide a lot of it. But no matter how much we put out there, there always seems to be an appetite for more. Just imagine the suffering of those poor Illini souls starving each day outside our reach.

Well, you can all belly-up. A smorgasbord of all things Illini is on its way to anyone anywhere in the vast Illini Nation.

Attention given Garden Hills neighborhood is worth it

The city of Champaign and other local governments are right to focus their attention and resources on the Garden Hills area. It's important to preserve and maintain the infrastructure and the investment made in neighborhoods that provide affordable housing for families.

The Garden Hills neighborhood in northwest Champaign is a product of Champaign's big postwar growth spurt of the 1950s and '60s – that period when the demand for new homes combined with construction of a nearby interstate highway and the opening of two major employers, the HumKo and Kraft plants. Garden Hills was a new and robust community, full of young, middle-class families.

A nonsensical energy plan

Congressional Democrats had better come up with a better energy plan than the laughable one offered by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Politically, it makes sense for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to oppose drilling for off-shore oil and natural gas. There is significant opposition to the idea in California (and in Florida as well) and particularly in her overwhelmingly Democratic district that takes in most of San Francisco.

Schools as power generators

Soaring energy costs have everyone looking at imaginative ways to cut costs. An increasing number of Illinois school districts are examining not only how they can cut energy costs but also become net generators of electricity.

Wind energy isn't going to work everywhere, but they're pretty sure it's going to work in their favor in the Erie school district northeast of the Quad Cities. And the Petersburg Porta school district in Sangamon County, west of Springfield, is taking a look as well. Other school districts are considering the option too, said James Mann, director of the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.