Governor got off to an early start

Federal subpoenas raise the possibility that Gov. Blagojevich started bending the rules even before he took office.

It's probably impossible for the hole Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is in to get much deeper, even though he, for reasons known only to him, keeps trying to dig deeper.

A subdued welcome to 2009

There doesn't seem to be a lot of reason to be optimistic about the new year – but the American people are, a poll found.

It's hard to feel good about what lies ahead in 2009. Everyone from respected economists to "futurist" Faith Popcorn say it will be a difficult year. Popcorn, in fact, says it's "the end of the world as we know it."

Blagojevich's latest embarrassment

It's a tough call about which is more shameful: Gov. Rod Blagojevich's pointless appointment of Roland Burris to the U.S. Senate or sad sack Burris' willingness to accept the tainted appointment.

Just when you thought he might be going away quietly, Gov. Rod Blagojevich rises from the political critical care unit to embarrass himself and the state of Illinois again with the futile appointment of Roland Burris to the vacant U.S. Senate seat most recently occupied by President-elect Barack Obama.

Caroline Kennedy's bid for Senate seat no sure thing

Caroline Kennedy is learning the hard way that there's a difference between being a celebrity and being a politician.

The Kennedy name still carries a lot of political heft, so much so that Caroline Kennedy may yet end up as a U.S. senator from New York.

Illinois on the reapportionment bubble

Illinois' population growth in the last year – just 0.6 of 1 percent – is small enough to continue a decade-long trend that could mean the loss of another seat in Congress in 2010.

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau says that the nation's population continues to shift to the west and the south, meaning that Southern and Western states will continue to gain congressional representatives and the Midwest and Northeast will continue to lose them. Illinois is right on the bubble, in danger of losing one congressional representative, but perhaps with enough growth to hold onto its 19 seats in the U.S. House.

Area banks participating in U.S. Treasury program

Most – but not all – of the larger banks serving East Central Illinois have elected to take part in the U.S. Treasury's Capital Purchase Program.

The parent companies of Chase, Regions Bank, First Midwest Bank and Old National Bank have already sold preferred stock with warrants to the Treasury Department.

Impeachment panel has hands full

Gathering sufficient evidence to justify removing a governor from office is a hugely complicated business.

It's important for the public to remember that the ongoing impeachment process involving Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is a political, not a judicial, process. There are huge differences.

Hoopster stays on road to recovery

It can be a long, bumpy road for alcohol abusers.

Former University of Illinois basketball player Jamar Smith was back in Champaign County Circuit Court last week, winning plaudits all around for his so-far successful battle with alcoholism.

Plea deal in cop's DUI case raises questions

Why did a Champaign police officer charged with drunken driving get kid-gloves treatment in the court system?

Elizabeth Drewes remains in the Champaign County Jail, where she's being held on $5 million bond in connection with her involvement in a terrible car crash that killed a 24-year-old Ogden woman.

Gambling board stoops to conquer

State regulators passed up higher bids to avoid uncomfortable questions about the operators of a proposed casino in Cook County.

Suddenly, in Illinois government, appearances and substance matter – and nowhere more than in the lengthy, controversial fight over the state's unused 10th license to operate a land-based casino.