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    Flooded suburban homeowners ready to be bought out

    Heather Roppel looks through the wall between two bedrooms in her flood-damaged Des Plaines home this week, a year after floods struck her neighborhood. Roppel's home is one of 21 in Des Plaines eligible for a federal buyout.

    Apr 18, 2014 5:09 AM

    When Heather and Matthew Roppel were told early last year their Des Plaines home on Big Bend Drive was eligible for a voluntary federal flood buyout program, they were among the first to sign up. A year after the April 18, 2013, flood, the Roppels and 20 neighbors learned there's now funding available from FEMA to buy out their homes. “Quite honestly I can't live through it anymore,” Heather Roppel said.

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    Blarney Island being raised above Chain flood levels

    Blarney Island had about 2 to 3 feet of water inside the bar during Chain O' Lakes flooding in spring 2013.

    Apr 18, 2014 5:14 AM

    When floodwaters crested on the Chain O' Lakes a year ago, Blarney Island owner Rob Hardman said the only place he was able to walk inside the century-old Grass Lake tavern was on the bar top. But the final phase of a plan to raise the whole bar above flood levels is set to begin. “When it's completed, it would take an absolutely catastrophic event for it to flood," Hardman said.

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    Blagojevich makes one final campaign donation

    Rod Blagojevich

    Apr 18, 2014 5:16 AM

    More than a decade after he served in Congress and two years into his prison sentence, Rod Blagojevich’s federal campaign account made its final donation this week. In closing down, the federal fund Friends of Rod Blagojevich gave $709.85 to the Serbian Orthodox Church’s New Gracanica Monastery in Third Lake on April 14.

    News

    Moving Picture: Man portrays Jesus every Good Friday

    Romualdo Alvarado, center, portrays Jesus in Via Crucis, The Way of the Cross, at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines.

    Apr 18, 2014 10:17 AM

    For the past twelve years on Good Friday, tens of thousands have watched and walked with Hoffman Estates resident Romualdo Alvarado, who portrays Jesus in the final moments of his life before his crucifixion. Via Crucis, The Way of the Cross, takes place at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the Maryville Campus in Des Plaines.

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    Gun owners pack lawmakers' Roselle forum

    Dan Kotowski

    Apr 18, 2014 5:23 AM

    A debate about gun control never materialized during a Thursday night town hall meeting after the crowd dominated by gun rights activists instead vented about pensions, incomes taxes and other state issues. It was the outcome state Sen. Dan Kotowski was hoping for after the Illinois State Rifle Association this week released an alert that called the gathering at Roselle Village Hall a “gun control recruitment meeting.”

    News

    Record Store Day expected to rock in the suburbs

    Rich Wagner, owner of Rediscover Records in Elgin, said he hopes visitors during Saturday’s Record Store Day are reminded of how much fun it is to visit a record store and talk music with employees and fellow customers. “It’s a huge day — busy but fun,” he said.

    Apr 18, 2014 6:22 AM

    The lines could start forming as early as 6 a.m. on Saturday as dozens of suburban music fans eagerly wait for their local record store to open. Such a sight would have been all but unthinkable a decade ago. But it happens every year now on the Saturday in April known as Record Store Day.

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