News briefs: Former Illiniwek portrayer to sign copies of new Chief book

Dan Maloney, the portrayer of Chief Illiniwek for the symbol’s final season, will discuss and sign the book “Chief Illiniwek: A Tribute to an Illinois Tradition,” next Thursday, Aug. 2 at 7 p.m. at Borders, 802 W. Town Center Blvd., Champaign.

The book is a tribute prepared by the Champaign News-Gazette and shows the history of the portrayal of Chief Illiniwek at the University. Fans will have the opportunity to meet Maloney and learn about the training, tradition and history of the icon and have their books signed.

Illinois senate takes another step toward FutureGen

The Illinois State Senate announced Thursday that it has passed a bill that would make concessions to bring the proposed eco-friendly FutureGen power plant to the state.

Senate Bill 1704 would offer the developers of FutureGen $82 million dollars in economic incentives as well as legal protection against accidents or injuries that could be associated with the new technology of the plant.

The proposed FutureGen plant is a $1.5 billion ecologically-friendly coal-burning power plant that would minimize air pollution by storing carbon emissions deep underground in a new process called carbon sequestration.

Illinois is one of two states being considered for the project. Two sites, one in Mattoon and one in Tuscola, are vying for the plant against two towns in Texas.

The 275-megawatt power plant is expected to create 200 permanent jobs and would be the world’s first zero-emissions fossil fuel plant.

The bill now heads to Gov. Blagojevich’s desk for approval. A decision on the plant’s location is expected in November.

University library to make Urbana Daily Courier available online

The University of Illinois Library has produced a digital version of the Urbana Daily Courier available from the University library Web site. The unveiling will be held from 10 a.m. to noon this Saturday at the Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green St., in the auditorium. For more information, contact the History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library at (217) 333-1509.

Illinois House OKs protections from predatory lenders

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – People applying for a mortgage in Illinois might get some extra protection against corrupt lenders.

The Illinois House has approved legislation cracking down on brokers who provide loans to people who can’t afford them and then foreclose on their property. The measure passed 70-43 on Wednesday and now goes to the state Senate.

Representative Lou Lang says one key safeguard requires lenders to study what the consumers can afford and then provide an appropriate mortgage. That means brokers would have to do what’s best for the client – not what’s most profitable. The rules would replace a predatory lending program in Chicago that was suspended by Governor Rod Blagojevich early this year.

Compiled by Jenette Sturges. National briefs by The Associated Press.