Court rules Saddam will pay with his life

The trial of former Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein was hardly a cliffhanger in the legal sense. His reign of terror has been well documented.

So it wasn't a surprise when an Iraqi court announced Sunday that Saddam faces the death sentence following his conviction for crimes against humanity. Although his henchmen stacked up dead bodies like cord wood for more than 20 years, Saddam technically was convicted of murder for the 1982 killings of 148 people in a Shiite Muslim town. Saddam ordered the slaughter in retaliation for an attempt on his life.

UI trustees to look at selling farm

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees on Thursday will consider selling some of the UI's farmland to pay for scholarships and cover the costs of moving the South Farms.

UI administrators have recommended trustees approve a request for a proposal to select a farmland broker.

Don't let negative campaign ads influence you

Strategists for both political parties in Illinois are predicting a low turnout in today's election, in part because of voter dissatisfaction with candidates who have spent millions of dollars on negative advertising that distresses and disgusts the electorate.

There's no question that some of the advertising, both in statewide races such as the gubernatorial campaign between Rod "Had enough?" Blagojevich and Judy Baar "What is she thinking?" Topinka, and in the local state Senate contest between Republican Judy Myers and Democrat Mike Frerichs, has been misleading at the least and downright erroneous at the most.

2 years later, defeat still stings

The election campaign in 2006 is almost history, but for some people the bitter experience of running for public office is never over.

Take Gordon Maag. He's angry because he claims his election opponents told lies about his record. Maag ran unsuccessfully for the Illinois Supreme Court in 2004, and he has yet to get over the experience.

1946 missive delivered at last

Neither rain nor sleet kept a 1946 letter from getting delivered for 60 years.

But a war did.

How long will voters tolerate corruption?

Chris Christie, a U.S. attorney who's disgusted by the level of corruption in his home state of New Jersey, recently gave a speech in which he implored the taxpayers in that state to take government back from the politicians who exploit their positions for personal gain.

Christie urged the public to "demand more" from their elected officials than politics as usual, and he warned that continuing to ignore corruption in government will cause even more serious problems down the road.

Police shouldn't get special treatment in investigation

Once again, a local police agency isn't being forthright in releasing information about an incident in which a man died while being pursued by police. This time, it's a case involving a Georgetown police officer who reportedly fell upon 47-year-old Curtis Sloan during a foot chase last Wednesday night. Mr. Sloan died of blunt force trauma to the chest, according to preliminary autopsy reports.

Vermilion County Sheriff Pat Hartshorn, whose department is investigating the incident, declined to release the name of the police officer who was pursuing Mr. Sloan. On the other hand, Hartshorn was eager to report that Mr. Sloan had been arrested 58 times in Vermilion County. With that kind of public relations spin being presented this early in the police probe, members of the public are left to question how legitimate an investigation will be.

A review of our endorsements

Following is a review of the candidates in Tuesday's general election who have been endorsed by The News-Gazette.

Teens, teachers taking steps to instill better road habits

Grant Bennett's seen too many deaths related to driving accidents, and he's not going to take it anymore.

The Unity High School junior, along with staff and other students at the Tolono school, are starting a program that will apply peer pressure to get teens and other drivers to act safer on the road.

Students provide blank canvas, Carey offers vision, encouragement

A group of second-graders is making pictures of butterflies on fabric in Shauna Carey's art classroom on a recent morning. They outline the butterfly wings with wax, then use fabric markers to color them after the wax dries.

Suddenly, Carey spots Israel Garza, who has colored a portion of his butterfly's wings brown.