Daily Archive : Sunday June 26, 2011

News

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    Woman pleads guilty to salon burglaries

    A Mount Prospect woman who police say attempted to burglarize three suburban salons last month has pleaded guilty to the charges.

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    Mark Babicz of the 500 block of See-Gwun Avenue throws another log onto the brush along his street Sunday, as Mount Prospect residents continue to clean up from Tuesday's storm that destroyed a large number of trees in the neighborhood.

    Cleanup continues in Mount Prospect

    Cleanup efforts from Tuesday's tornado continus in Mount Prospect as residents prepared for a village debris-removal effort.

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    Cars are seen piled up in a plaza along Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago last summer during the filming of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”

    ‘Transformers' invade Chicago in new film

    The hotly anticipated film "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," opens Tuesday with the city of Chicago among its stars. Director Michael Bay spent time shooting several sequences of the third entry in the series in Chicago, so local viewers are bound to recognize a few of the sights in the film.

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    National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Earl Weener answers questions Sunday regarding Friday's Amtrak train wreck during a press briefing in Sparks, Nev.

    Amtrak crash: Truck firm has unsafe history

    A Nevada trucking company under scrutiny for a fiery crash with an Amtrak train that left at least six dead has been cited repeatedly by state authorities for crashes, unsafe driving and operating a truck with tires so bald the vehicle had to be taken off the road.

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    1 killed, 1 seriously injured in Romeoville plane crash

    Two people were seriously injured in a single-engine plane crash near a Romeoville airport Sunday afternoon, officials said.

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    Vandals hit Chicago pride parade floats

    Reports of vandalized floats didn’t appear to dampen the festivities Sunday, as massive crowds energized by Illinois’ recent law allowing same-sex civil unions celebrated Chicago’s annual Gay Pride Parade.

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    State borrows $1M in tax funds intended for charities

    Illinois has borrowed more than $1 million this year to help cover its own expenses from money taxpayers give to charity. The $1.17 million comes from money that Illinois taxpayesr designate on their tax returns for charitable use. Lawmakers signed off on the plan to help deal with a multibillion-dollar state budget deficit.

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    Joseph “Joey the Clown” Lombardo

    Mob bosses find out in the open is often best place to hide

    As a couple of reputed mob bosses have shown, out in the open just might be the best place to hide when you're on the run from the FBI.

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    The “Geneva Public Library Book Cart Drill Team” amused the crowds by pushing library book carts on Sunday at the Swedish Days Parade. The 62nd annual parade concluded the six-day festival run in Geneva.

    Crowds pack route for Swedish Days parade

    Swedish Days concludes its 6-day run. Highlight of the day could be the 1 p.m. parade down State Street toward the center of town. KIESEL

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    Longtime church members Edith Anderson and Elisie Ruth Dietrich Wagner, 98 years old, reminisce about Aurora’s first church, First United Methodist. The church celebrated its final worship service Sunday after 174 years as a congregation.

    Members past and present say goodbye to Aurora’s first church

    First United Methodist Church in Aurora, the city's first religious congregation, celebrated its final service on Sunday, 174 years after it was founded. Past and present members hugged, laughed and cried as they relived memories.

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    An Amtrak car is seen at the site of a collision between an Amtrak westbound train and a truck about 70 miles east of Reno, Nev.

    Truck firm in train wreck had citations

    A Nevada trucking company under scrutiny for a fiery crash with an Amtrak train that left at least six dead has been cited repeatedly by state authorities for crashes and unsafe driving.

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    Former Barrington man get prison time for dragging man with car

    A 68-year-old former Barrington man was recently sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of dragging a man about 40 feet with his car.

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    Police reports

    Donald R. Ledbetter, 39, homeless, was cited for public intoxication after being pulled out of the Fox River drunk and unresponsive at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday south of National Street in Elgin, according to police reports. Ledbetter was taken to Provena St. Joseph Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

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    2 southern Illinois disaster centers to reopen

    MARION, — State and federal emergency management officials say two southern Illinois disaster centers will reopen to help victims of spring flooding.A center will open at Emerson Elementary School in Cairo on Wednesday and at Gallatin School in Junction on Thursday. The centers will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, and both will close on Saturday.

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    Pennsylvania gas field shows potential

    Two unexpected gushers in northeastern Pennsylvania are helping to illustrate the enormous potential of the Marcellus Shale natural gas field.

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    Trucks carry loads of oil-laden sand after being loaded by huge shovels at the Albian Sands oils sands project in Ft. McMurray, Alberta, Canada. The oil sands of this Canadian province are so big that they will be able to serve both of the world’s largest economies as production expands in the coming years.

    U.S., China eye Canadian oil

    In the northern reaches of Alberta, Canada, lies a vast reserve of oil that the U.S. views as a pillar of its future energy needs -- and China is also coveting.

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    Home Depot accused of Buy American violation

    The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether Home Depot is providing Chinese-made products in violation of the Buy American Act, a San Francisco lawyer said.

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    Hacker says group is ‘bored’

    A member of a publicity-seeking hacker group that sabotaged websites over the past two months and has announced it is dissolving itself says his group wasn’t disbanding under pressure from the FBI or enemy hackers.

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    Elgin man drowns after jumping in lake near Antioch

    The body of a man who disappeared in Lake Marie near Antioch was recovered in the water late Saturday, authorities said. Oscar Sanchez, 25, of Elgin likely drowned, Lake County Coroner Artis Yancey said Sunday.

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    Man fished out of Fox River cited for intoxication

    A homeless man was cited for public intoxication Saturday evening after Elgin police and fire officials pulled him from the Fox River with the help of a local boater.

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    Mt. Prospect appoints mayor pro tem

    The Mount Prospect Village Board appointed Trustee John Matuszak as the next mayor pro tem, his term beginning July 1 and ending June 30, 2012.

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    Senior job club in Hoffman Tuesday

    Schaumburg, Palatine and Wheeling townships will host their monthly Senior Job Club at 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 28 at Schaumburg Township Hall, 1 Illinois Blvd. in Hoffman Estates.

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    Youths fly free in Wheeling

    Young people ages 8-17 are invited to take to the skies free on Saturday, June 25, as Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Field Representatives host a Young Eagles Flight Rally at Signature Flight Support’s executive headquarters, 1100 S. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling, at Chicago Executive Airport.

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    Architectural rendering of the new Kylemore Greens Park slated for completion soon.

    New playground in Des Plaines accessible to all kids

    Construction on the new playground at Kylemore Greens neighborhood park in Des Plaines is slated to be completed soon, with a grand opening event to be held in July.

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    Libertyville merchants hold First Friday

    lake county news digest for monday, june 27

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    Lake Zurich surveys residents on water use

    lake county news digest for monday, june 27

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    U of I offers video gardening tips

    lake county news digest for monday, june 27

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    Lake Zurich historic tours

    lake county news digest for monday, june 27

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    This photograph provided by Old West Show and Auction shows a photograph of a tintype of Billy the Kid taken in 1879 or 1880 in Fort Sumner, N.M. It shows the outlaw standing with his hand resting on a Winchester rifle on one side and a Colt revolver holstered on his right side. The tintype is to be auctioned in Denver on Saturday night and expected to bring between $300,000 to $400,000

    Billy the Kid image sells for more than $2M

    What is believed to be the only surviving authenticated portrait of Billy the Kid went up for auction in Denver on Saturday and sold for $2.3 million.

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    Nick Charles. Charles, the former taxi driver who became CNN’s first sports anchor and served in that role for nearly two decades, died Saturday, June 25, 2011, after a two-year struggle with bladder cancer. He was 64. Charles grew up in Chicago, working late-night jobs in high school to help his family, according to CNN. He eventually went to Columbia College Chicago to study communications and drove a taxi to help pay his tuition.

    CNN sportscaster, Chicago native Nick Charles dies of cancer

    ATLANTA — Nick Charles, the former taxi driver who became CNN’s first sports anchor and served in that role for nearly two decades, died Saturday after a two-year struggle with bladder cancer, the cable network reported. He was 64.He died peacefully at his New Mexico home, his wife Cory, a CNN International producer, told the network.

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    In this March 2011 photo, the front side of a souvenir coin from the U.S. militaryís intelligence center in Kandahar, Afghanistan, is shown, illustrating the shift in focus from helping the population to targeting the enemy. A year ago at this time, military intelligence officers were scrambling to collect and analyze a new form of intelligence _ the social, economic and tribal ins and outs of each valley and hamlet seen as crucial to helping commanders tell the good guys from the bad guys, learn what local Afghans really needed from their government and undermine the Taliban-led insurgency by gradually winning hearts and minds.

    Intelligence shift shows change in Afghan war aims

    WASHINGTON — Military intelligence officers were scrambling a year ago to collect and analyze the social, economic and tribal ins and outs of each valley and hamlet in Afghanistan.

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    Amtrak passenger cars sit still smoldering after the train was struck by a semi truck on US 95 north of Fallon, Nev., Friday June 24, 2011. The driver of the truck and a passenger were killed, and officials must let the wreck cool off before they continue their search.

    Drivers, engineer watched Amtrak crash unfold
    Associated PressSPARKS, Nev. — Two truck drivers and a train engineer watched helplessly as a semitrailer skidded the length of a football field before it smashed through crossing gates and into two double-decker cars of an Amtrak train at a highway crossing, killing at least six people.

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    Rahm Emanuel to hold meeting via Facebook

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he’ll hold town hall discussions with residents — and they won’t even have to leave home.Emanuel says he’ll hold a telephone town hall meeting at 6 p.m. Monday and a live online chat via Facebook at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.

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    Big crowds expected at Chicago Gay Pride parade

    Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to converge on Chicago for the 42nd annual Gay Pride Parade.Parade coordinator Richard Pfeiffer says many participants in the Sunday event will be celebrating Illinois’ new civil unions law and New York’s passage of a law allowing gay marriage.Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be at the front of the parade, and Gov. Pat Quinn also will participate.

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    Cherokee Nation elects new leader in close race

    OKLAHOMA CITY — In a close election that ran overnight, the Cherokee Nation elected a new principal chief Sunday, with final results posted on the tribe’s website showing longtime councilman Bill John Baker defeating three-term incumbent Chad Smith by 11 votes.More than 15,000 votes were cast, and the margin between the men had been fewer than 30 since late Saturday.

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    Bruce Lee museum proposal shelved in Hong Kong

    HONG KONG — The Hong Kong government says plans to build a Bruce Lee museum at the former home of the late kung fu movie star have been shelved because negotiations with the owner of the property have broken down.The government said in a statement on Sunday that officials were “unable to reach a consensus with the property owner over the scope of the restoration.”

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    2 teens arrested in San Franscisco shootings

    SAN FRANCISCO — Police say two teens are under arrest after five people were shot and injured in San Francisco. Police spokesman Lt. Troy Dangerfield says an 18-year-old man and 16-year-old boy are in custody on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and gang charges.

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    Indiana basketball standout survives plane crash

    DETROIT — A standout Indiana high school basketball player with the promise of playing at the University of Michigan is fighting for his life after surviving the second plane crash of his young life.

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    A 1911 dedication ceremony at Great Lakes Naval Station near Ross Field.

    Great Lakes Naval Station celebrates 100 years

    More than 100 years ago, President Theodore Roosevelt had what many thought was a crazy idea that eventually made Chicago’s suburbs home to one of the most vital Navy bases in the country — with no ocean in sight. Great Lakes Naval Station has big plans for its 100th anniversary celebration this week.

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    Even when it involves famous rich people such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, divorce doesn’t have to be the scorched-Earth battlefield where a husband and wife set out to terminate each other.

    Fox Valley lawyer: Not all divorces have to be nasty

    June may be the most-popular month for weddings, but it also sets the stage for many of the divorces that follow. A lawyer from Lake in the Hills says the Collaborative Divorce process eliminates some of the nastiness and expense of traditional divorce.

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    Employees of Dick's River Roadhouse of Mount Prospect grill up burgers at the 2009 Taste of Des Plaines. This year's festival has been replaced by Summer Fling, run by an outside company.

    Des Plaines takes heat for outsourcing festival

    With tighter budgets and increasing demand on municipal services, Des Plaines got rid of its signature festival, the Taste of Des Plaines. But the decision to hand over its community festival to Chicago-based Special Events Management has caused bad blood.

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    The St. James’ River City Boys’ Band

    ‘Music Man’ cast gives preview with Mount Prospect Community Band

    On Monday, June 13, St. James Community Theatre joined Ralph Wilder and the Mount Prospect Community Band for its opening concert at Lions Park in Mount Prospect.

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    Jessie Mueller, Brooke Jacob, Tammy Mader, Raena White and Carey Anderson comprise the singing ensemble of the refashioned 1960s musical revue “SHOUT!” at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire.

    Lincolnshire theater launches reimagined ‘Shout!’

    The musical revue of 1960s British pop hits called "SHOUT!" gets reimagined at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire.

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    Tri-City Youth Football stays true to its mission

    Tri-Cities Youth Football program stays true to its roots by helping out in the community, says columnist Dave Heun.

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    Syrian children gather at the house of their Lebanese relatives in April after fleeing the unrest in their country in the Wadi Khaled area, less than a mile from the Lebanon-Syria border, north of Lebanon.

    Chaos feared as Syria crisis nears bloody impasse

    As the early success of the Arab Spring has bogged down in turmoil — civil war in Libya, repression in Bahrain and anarchy in Yemen — Syria has become mired in its own bloody grind of protests and repression.

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    A suspect, bottom, is photographed and checked for his immigration status with a fingerprint scanner by a Maricopa County sheriff’s detention officer last year in Phoenix.

    Border security carries huge costs with mixed results

    As Congress debates border funding and as governors demand more assistance, The Associated Press has investigated what taxpayers spend securing the U.S.-Mexico border: $90 billion in 10 years.

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    Sierra Eaves, co-owner of Golden Oldies Farm near Elwin, Ill., makes her morning rounds through the chicken house to collect organic eggs.

    Downstate farm bans chemicals

    Golden Oldies Farm forsakes the standard corn and bean monotony in favor of rows and rows of vegetables grown naturally. No pesticides, no chemical fertilizers and no genetically modified Frankenseeds cooked in a lab.

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    A kayaker paddles along the Chicago River in Chicago last summer. Illinois waterways have undergone dramatic improvement in recent decades, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says too much pollution still is overflowing from communities with antiquated sewer systems that route sewage and stormwater through the same pipes. Those communities must find ways to limit future overflows to no more than four per year or capture 85 percent of the volume.

    Dozens of Illinois towns must curb sewer overflows

    Communities from Chicago to Belleville to Galesburg to Peoria have been ordered to deal with antiquated sewer systems, many built more than 100 years ago, that route sewage and storm water through the same pipes.

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    Rosanne Cash, daughter of country music legend Johnny Cash, will perform for one night only Saturday, Oct. 8, at Elgin Community College.

    Tickets on sale at ECC for Rosanne Cash performance

    Rosanne Cash, daughter of country music legend Johnny Cash, will perform for one night only Saturday, Oct. 8, at Elgin Community College.

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    The Schaumburg Park District will host Sunday at Safety Park from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 26, at 421 N. Springinsguth Road in Schaumburg. Visit parkfun.com.

    Spend your Sunday at Schaumburg’s Safety Park

    The Schaumburg Park District will hold Sundays at Safety Park from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, June 26 and July 24.

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    Scream

    Find your feline a safe haven from loud noises

    Cats are nervous when loud noises occur. Save them the stress and find a safe room in your house where they can go for comfort.

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    The Naperville Millennium Carillon Foundation is conducting a raffle to give 22 lucky people the chance to watch this year’s July 4 fireworks display from near the top of Moser Tower along the city’s downtown Riverwalk. Four winners will get four seats each; one grand prize winner will get six.

    Want to watch fireworks from Naperville’s carillon?

    The Naperville Millennium Carillon Foundation is selling raffle tickets for the chance to view the Fourth of July fireworks from the top of the carillon. Four winners will get four seats each; one grand prize winner gets six.

Sports

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    Former Nationals manager Jim Riggleman felt disrespected and took matters into his own hands last week when he resigned.

    Riggleman just did what any working stiff dreams of doing

    Belated congratulations to Jim Riggleman for doing what so many working stiffs in this country would love to do. He's being demonized but should be canonized.

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    Cougars’ offense hot

    The Kane County Cougars’ red-hot offense continued its work Sunday, knocking out 16 hits and leading the team past the host Peoria Chiefs 6-1 at O’Brien Field.

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    Kick returns seal deal for Rush

    A strong fourth quarter secured the Chicago Rush’s 10th win of the season as it defeated the Iowa Barnstormers 58-48 before 9,063 at the Allstate Arena on Sunday.

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    Adam Dunn walks back to the dugout after being called out on strikes in the first inning Sunday. Dunn struck out three more times in the White Sox’ loss to the Nationals.

    He’s come un-Dunn, and Sox DH getting too much advice

    Here's the best advice for Adam Dunn, who was 0-for-4 with 4 more strikeouts in the White Sox' 2-1 loss to the Nationals Sunday: Quit listening to advice.

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    White Sox starter Phil Humber reacts during the seventh inning when he allowed his only runs on a homer by the Nationals’ Danny Espinosa.

    For White Sox’ Danks, being on DL for first time ‘stinks’

    In what comes as no surprise, White Sox starter John Danks is on the disabled list for the first time in his career with a strained right oblique.

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    Bulls make statement with draft moves not made

    What made draft night interesting for the Bulls is a couple moves that didn’t happen. They had chances to address their most obvious need – an upgrade at shooting guard – and passed.

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    Randy Wells wipes his face Sunday after giving up an RBI double to Alex Gordon in the Royals’ 4-run first inning.

    Wells worked over in Cubs loss

    Randy Wells was still on the mound at the start of the seventh inning for the Cubs, even after it appeared he wouldn’t make it through the first.

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    It should be easier now for the Hawks to lock up Patrick Sharp before he becomes an unrestricted free agent a year from now.

    Campbell trade should help Hawks keep Sharp

    With Brian Campbell's monster contract off the books there should be plenty of money for the Blackhawks to re-sign Patrick Sharp before next summer.

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    Abby Wambach of the U.S. team shoots on goal during a training session for the Women’s World Cup at Dresden, Germany.

    Captain Rampone leads U.S. into World Cup

    At 36, Christie Rampone is in a place she’d never imagined: leading a talented U.S. national team from the top end of the generation gap.

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    Fire ties Red Bulls; fitness an issue for Chaves

    When Diego Chaves scored his fourth goal of the season on April 23, it looked like the Fire might finally have found a double-digit scorer, the club’s first since Damani Ralph notched 11 goals in 2004.

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    Cubs scouting report
    Cubs scouting report

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    White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, left, talks with starter Phil Humber during Sunday’s seventh inning.

    Sox waste Humber’s effort

    Sox pitcher Phil Humber (7-3) carried a no-hit bid into the sixth, but a two-out walk in the seventh was followed by Espinosa’s 14th home run, handing Humber his first loss since April 30.

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    Crowds will pack Medinah Country Club for thethe 2012 Ryder Cup as they did for the PGA tournament in 2006. Tickets will be hard to come by.

    Medinah Ryder Cup is one tough ticket

    Hoping to get tickets for the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah? Well,unless you register for the random draw at rydercup.com, which opened this week and runs through September 30, chances of getting tickets are pretty much nil.

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    Benet Academy’s Maeve McGuire rounds third base heading for home after she plaster one over the left-center field fence for a second inning grand slam in the girls softball game against Neuqua Valley High School on Monday.

    Benet’s McGuire commits to Georgia

    Benet softball player Maeve McGuire has made a verbal commitment to Georgia.

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    Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz, left, must get better play up front to maximize the talents of quarterback Jay Cutler.

    There’s work to be done for Bears’ offense

    The Bears' offense has much work to do, especially along the offensive line, as soon as the NFL's labor situation is resolved, which could be in the next couple of weeks.

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    USA Track and Field’s women’s head coach Amy Deem

    Coach eager to lead women’s track team into London

    A kid from West Virginia whose competitive career was cut short by a bad knee is going to lead the red, white and blue onto track and field’s biggest stage.

Business

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    Germany expects Greek austerity package

    BERLIN — Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned Sunday that Greece will not receive its next tranche of international aid unless its parliament passes a fresh austerity package next week.At the same time, Schaeuble said he was “confident” that a majority of Greek lawmakers would pass the next raft of spending cuts and tax hikes and called on the opposition to support the government in Athens.“It would be nice to see the opposition in Greece support the government, as we saw in Portugal and Ireland,” Schaeuble said in comments to the Bild am Sonntag weekly.Greek lawmakers are to vote next week on a (euro) 28 billion ($39.8 billion) midterm austerity plan and an implementation law.“If the package is rejected, which nobody expects, it would be a reason for the IMF, the eurozone countries and the European Union not to release the next tranche of aid,” Schaeuble said. If the package fails to pass, “the stability of the entire eurozone would be in danger,” he added.“We are doing everything to prevent an escalation of the crisis for Europe, but must at the same time be prepared for everything,” he said.

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    Egypt sells 750M pounds in 9-month bills

    Egypt sold three-month and nine- month treasury bills at an auction today, falling short of its fund-raising target for the nine-month securities.The Arab country’s Ministry of Finance sold 750 million Egyptian pounds in nine-month notes, below its target of 3.5 billion pounds, at an average yield of 12.983 percent.The yield on three-month bills rose to 12.095 percent, according to data posted on the ministry’s website.To contact the reporter on this story: Ahmed A Namatalla in Cairo at anamatallabloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedlerbloomberg.net

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    Alex Moore, left, joins environmental protesters gathered across from the White House during a February rally against the 1,900-mile oil pipeline being planned to bring crude from the oil sands in Alberta, Canada, to Texas. Now a second pipeline may be laid, from Alberta to the Pacific, to ship oil to energy-hungry China.

    China eyes Canadian oil, U.S. energy nest egg

    In the northern reaches of Alberta lies a vast reserve of oil that the U.S. views as a pillar of its future energy needs. China is ready to spend big money for a big piece of it.

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    Happy relaxes with Ellie Greenbaum at the Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center in College Station, Texas. The center, which offers lifetime care for animals whose owners have died, was established by the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine.

    Books, web, lawyers make pet estate planning easy

    There are retirement homes for pets all across the country, and at least 45 states allow for pet trusts, agreements that specify how an owner wants a pet to be cared for.

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    The government offers travelers little protection on flight plan changes.

    What to do if an airline changes your flight plan

    With airlines cutting schedules due to high fuel costs, travelers who booked flights in advance now might find their plans upended. And it’s likely to get worse for the fall.

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    Comcast is using new dispatch technology and equipping all technicians with laptops and handheld devices to guarantee on-time arrival within shorter windows.

    Comcast to cut service wait times

    Comcast says it will shorten its cable repair and installation windows in all markets from as much as four hours to two hours or less by 2012.

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    Auto thefts fall to lowest since 1967

    New security devices are making it harder for thieves to steal cars.

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    For many people without bank accounts, prepaid debit cards have become essential.

    Prepaid-card users facing higher fees

    Under a rule to take effect in July, companies that issue debit cards must reduce the fees they charge retailers. To recoup their lost revenue, banks that offer the cards are raising fees for people who use them.

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    Bill Nygren, co-manager of the Oakmark Global Select Fund

    Top fund managers predict Japanese stock comeback

    Three of the Oakmark Global Select fund’s top six holdings are Japanese. Semiconductor manufacturer Rohm, automaker Toyota and brokerage Daiwa Securities make up nearly 19 percent of the portfolio.

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    Graduate Evana Michelsohn adjusts her tassel during commencement exercises in May at Emory University in Atlanta. Tuition and fees at private, nonprofit U.S. colleges and universities for the 2011-12 academic year will rise an average of 4.6 percent, exceeding inflation, according to a survey of 429 institutions.

    Private college tuition increases 4.6%, exceeds inflation

    An increase in financial need, employee health care, information technology and utilities contributed to rising tuition at private colleges across the country.

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    M&T Bank offers credit scores for $2.99 a month

    The credit score is accessible whenever M&T customers sign on to their accounts online. If there’s a change in the score, customers are told the two main factors that contributed to the fluctuation.

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    Many Americans are unprepared for a financial emergency at a time when both job security and the economy pose concerns.

    Poll: Most consumers short on emergency savings

    Only 24 percent of consumers have the recommended cushion of at least six months’ expenses set aside. The vast majority aren’t ready for contingencies; another 24 percent don’t have any emergency savings at all.

Life & Entertainment

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    A set of 70 Belgian wooden spoons hangs above a hand-painted French sideboard at Matthews House and Garden in Upperville, Va.

    Designer creates her own style sanctuary

    Three years ago, while searching for space to open a home-furnishings shop, Wanda Crossley wandered into a vacant church in Upperville, Va., about 50 miles west of here. The 175-year-old structure had sat unoccupied for five years. It was infested with termites, the exterior stucco was falling off and the inside was dreary, damp and architecturally dated.

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    Invest in a chest of drawers, which can be used as an entry hall table, wet bar, bedside table or storage space, Louis XVI natural wood chest, $750, from Wisteria, www.wisteria.com.

    Furnish your first place by investing in one or more ‘forever’ pieces

    When furnishing your first apartment, there can be an overwhelming urge to rush out to the nearest chain store and blow your budget outfitting the entire place. Resist that temptation.

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    “Multi piece” tub and shower units work well for most remodeling jobs.

    Ask the plumber: Getting a big tub into a little space

    Q. We have an old tub/shower unit with tile walls that we want to rip out. I want the new unit to be made of materials like fiberglass, complete with built-in walls. I know this will lead to a major remodeling job where I'll end up changing all my plumbing fixtures. It's a normal-sized bathroom, but it's at the end of a long narrow hallway on the second floor. I'll get a toilet and sink up there with no problem, but how can I get a big tub/shower unit into such a small area?

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    New 3-D architectural software makes renovations come to life

    Home remodeling using computer-aided design.

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    Rental forum: Can security deposit cover last month’s rent?

    Q. One of my tenants did not pay rent for the month of May, and when I called him to ask where the rent check was, he told me he was giving notice and would be out on or around May 31. I told him I still needed May rent. He told me to use his $1,200 security deposit. The rent is $1,255, and I served him with a three-day notice to pay or quit.

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    Treasures in your attic: Cupboard’s value depends on which ‘Revival’ period it imitates

    We have to make our judgments about age and origins based on the style and quality of the carvings, the type of hinges used and the overall look of the piece. We feel fairly comfortable that this cupboard is from the first quarter of the 20th century say, circa 1920.

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    Kids can experience their first pedicures and manicures at the Enchanted Lagoon spa at KeyLime Cove in Gurnee.

    Gurnee spa gives kids a taste of pampering

    If kids need a break from all the fun at the indoor water park at KeyLime Cove in Gurnee, they can now opt for a visit to Enchanted Lagoon, a specialized spa just for them.

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    Coreopsis will bloom again if cut back after blooming

    Art in the garden: Deadheading is worth the effort

    Plan to spend an hour or so on the next cool day engaging in an activity that will refresh your landscape and reward you with a second display of blooms from some of your favorite perennials.

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    Pop/rock superstars Daryl Hall and John Oates headline Ravinia Sunday.

    Weekend picks: Hall and Oates rock Ravinia

    Legendary 1980s rock duo Daryl Hall and John Oates play their hits at 7 p.m. Sunday in the Pavilion at Ravinia Festival in Highland Park.

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    Home repair: Tub gurgle perplexes reader

    Q. I have a problem with my roof vent, and I don’t know how to correct it. In the early winter, we started to notice a sewer odor in the lower level of our raised ranch, and when we flushed the toilet, we could hear a gurgle in the tub. So I went up on the roof and removed the charcoal-vent cap. I noticed that it was frozen solid and no air was getting through, so I left it off for the remainder of the winter and it seemed that the venting was OK — no gurgling and no odor within the house. But we could smell that offensive odor outside.

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    Use love when disciplining children

    I was a foster parent for 20 years, taking in underloved and unlovable children of all ages.Over and over I learned (from family therapists) the value of positive reinforcement and of teaching by example, as well as of setting the mood and attitude in my home.

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    The Silverado Trail winds through the Stags Leap District in this view from Silverado Vineyards in Napa, Calif.

    Learning the basics of Napa Valley

    Blessed with lavish scenery and luscious wines, the Napa Valley is the kind of place you could spend days exploring. But it's compact enough that even if you only have an afternoon, you can still get a taste of wine country. Located about an hour's drive northeast of San Francisco, the valley starts south of Napa and stretches about 30 miles north to Calistoga.

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    Dance under the stars with lessons and open dancing at Chicago SummerDance.

    On the road: SummerDance the night away

    Shake your groove thing at the 15th annual Chicago SummerDance, which includes a free one-hour dance lesson followed by two hours of dancing to live music on an open-air dance floor in Grant Park.

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    Adding even a drop of yellow to your decor will give your home a sunny feel.

    Add a drop of yellow to give your home a sunny feel

    One of the hottest hues right now is wonderful, sunny yellow. From edgy citron to happy marigold to whisper-soft pale yellow, designers are showing yellow in a big way this season. If you’d like to add just a drop of yellow to your decor, or let the sun shine in and flood your rooms with this happy color, here are some tips for making room for yellow.

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    Amy Amdur uses a few brightly colored sculptures in her back yard, including these flowers.

    Art enthusiast brings a bit of fun into her outdoor space

    Amy Amdur admits it. She puts artwork in her garden because the house can't hold much more. A great example in the back yard of her Highland Park home is a bright, incongruous piece, a large, lavender fiberglass character that looks like something Dr. Seuss dreamed up.

Discuss

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    Act, don’t wait, when tornado spotted

    A Daily Herald editorial agrees with Mount Prospect and Downers Grove officials that their tornado siren policies need review after tornadoes struck last week without sirens going off.

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    Give credit for promises kept

    - Imagine. A president who does what he says he’ll do: universal access to health insurance, gays in the military, diversity on the courts, even an improving economy.

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    Who takes us to war?

    No one declares war anymore. Since World War II, we’ve been involved in five major wars, and many minor engagements, without ever declaring war. But it’s not just us. No one does. Declarations of war are a relic of a more aristocratic era.

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    A retreat by any other name

    “It is time to focus on nation-building here at home,” Obama said, in a line that would be trite and cynical at a campaign rally. In a wartime presidential address, it is beyond precedent and belief. A president provides for the common defense and promotes the general welfare, instead of positing a dangerous choice between the two.

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    Why does the war go on?

    There will be three more years of war followed by a long-term presence of unspecified magnitude. Why? After a decade of war, what can we possibly gain by slogging ahead?

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    Has more questions on Harper finances
    The front page story. “Harper’s frugal, but is Ender? (May 22)” was revealing, but does not tell the full story.

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    Let’s crack down on texting while driving
    If the Village of Schaumburg wants to make a lot of money and fast, they should start posting police officers along the north end of Meacham Road. As someone who drives this stretch every day, I see countless people looking down at their phones, texting.

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    Story a good lesson about humanity
    Thank you so much for Eric Peterson’s story, “Left without a home.” The story broke my heart and gave me continued empathy for those who just need a little extra “hand up” and not a “hand out.”

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    Liberty Bash held, hardly anyone came
    Hanover Township spent a lot of time and money on the Liberty Bash for troops and vets, and hardly anyone came.

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    Township pantry benefits from carriers’ drive
    The annual letter carriers “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive held on Saturday, May 14, was once again a huge success! The Schaumburg Township Food Pantry received more than 9,750 pounds of groceries.

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    Step up to help a veteran in need
    Our country has never had more men and women who need our help. The next time you see a veteran remember that people like Bill are still out serving our country and helping others. The least we can do is to help these brave men and women who answered our country’s call.

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    Village should reject Binny’s application
    Jerry Rosen, executive director of the Beverage Retailers Alliance of Illinois, is asking Arlington Hts. to deny Binny's a license to sell package liquor.

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    Carefully consider U.S. energy policy
    Every little advantage that our competitors abroad can take, they do, costing us dearly. Ending these tax incentives will hurt our ability to compete, thus costing us jobs and damaging our economic recovery.

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    Lower swipe fees will lift interest rates
    The Government Accountability Office has found raising fees will decrease benefits like rewards programs and result in higher interest rates, making credit less accessible. While retailers may see higher profits, there’s no assurance the savings will be passed on to consumers.

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    Ex-racing dogs need compassion
    As short-term investments, overbred so there is always another greyhound to use as a replacement, the racers are valued only as long as they generate a profit. The welfare of injured or slow greyhounds falls to devoted volunteer adoption groups.

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    Expansion unfair to existing casinos
    Doubling the number of casinos in Illinois will only kill jobs in current casino communities and future ones like Des Plaines. The bill will exacerbate an already saturated Illinois gaming market.

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    He’s ready to take on task of leadership
    As I sat in attendance at Barrington High School’s graduation to support my friends and teachers, a classic feeling of sadness lingered over my head as I began to realize that some of my closest friends would not be sweeping through the halls next year. As an incoming senior, it is with both honor and excitement that I will begin to take it upon myself to fill the shoes of my peers.

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    President needs history lesson
    The idea put forth by President Obama that Israel must withdraw to its 1967 boundaries is worse than folly, it’s borderline ridiculous. The president, whom I often admire, is in this case demonstrating a serious lack of historical understanding.

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    Why weren’t the assessors there?
    There was a meeting June 18 at Sun City’s Drendal Hall to review the tax discrepancy between Rutland and Grafton townships. The hall was filled to capacity, approximately 300 attendees. In my opinion it was very noticeable that neither assessor — Siers or Ottley — felt it necessary to attend and address the needs of those who pay their salaries.

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    Selling guns to cartels is bad policy
    Operation Fast and Furious, established by our current administration, allows gangsters and cartel members from Mexico to come into the U.S., buy weapons and take them back to Mexico. Does this sound absurd?

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    Lay to rest the mission in Libya
    Mr. President, when are you going to admit that it was a mistake? Stop spending precious taxpayer dollars on behalf of nations that are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary changes to be serious and capable partners.

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    Be proud of our athletes’ character
    It’s good to see Chicago represented by such good young men of character, who are also so highly blessed with supreme athletic abilities that haven’t gone to their heads. We know too well how rare this is in the business of sports.

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    Who told ‘lie’ on Ryan plan?
    In Mr. Steve Quick’s letter to the Daily Herald on Jun. 15th, he comments on Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposal about what he says is “the lie” spread by opponents: that the proposal takes away Medicare benefits from senior citizens who already have them. As one who has followed this issue very closely, I know of no one on either side of the debate who claims that those over 55 would have their present or future Medicare benefits affected.

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    Most know, obey Wooster rules
    Let’s set the facts straight regarding Wooster Lake,

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    Is anyone out there listnening to this?
    Two major components of genus “Human” are its reasoning organ and its communication aperture, commonly referred to as Brain and Mouth. These two must work in sync with one another or chaos ensues.

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    Lombard stands behind texting effort
    At the village of Lombard, we are spreading the message to all of our residents to “Drive Now. Text Later.” In Illinois, preliminary data indicates that cellphone distractions, including texting, were the primary or secondary cause of more than 500 vehicle crashes in the first half of 2010 alone.

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    Kudos to longtime WDSRA exec
    As prime mover and executive director of Western DuPage Special Recreation Association for 30 years, Jane Hodgkinson’s career has been a remarkable story. Her deep commitment to people with disabilities, combined with her incomparable administrative ability, has created more than just opportunities for competitive sports and recreational opportunities foe people with special needs. The success of WDSRA has served another equally important function — public awareness and acceptance of the physical and social potential of this special population. Although Jane deserves an opportunity for retirement, it is safe to say that her contributions to the world of disabilities will be ongoing.Marjorie Lee Glen Ellyn

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