Football 2

Daily Archive : Wednesday July 6, 2011

News

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    Stonegate Kids goof around while rehearsing “Toy Story 3.” Standing: Emily Burger, left, Katie Shaughnessy, Emily Lasky, Julia Conway, Brendan Moore, Maddy Robertson and Colin Moore. Sitting: Katie Burger, left, Quinn Williams and Chloe Simons.

    Stonegate Kids prepare ‘Toy Story 3’ for Friday shows

    Stonegate Kids will present “Toy Story 3,” in two performances on Friday, July 8. The neighborhood backyard theater troupe has been a staple for 11 years in Arlington Heights, and donates its proceeds to charity.

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    The “Origins” exhibit opens at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library on Friday, July 8.

    Arlington Hts. library hosts dino exhibit

    Learn about Dinosaurs at the exhibit, “Origins: The Dawn of Dinosaurs,” hosted by the Arlington Heights Memorial Library throughout July.

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    1 dead, 5 hurt in chopper crash at Camp Pendleton

    CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — A Marine Corps helicopter crashed Wednesday afternoon at the sprawling coastal base of Camp Pendleton, killing one and injuring five others aboard.

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    Mexican national hoping to delay Texas execution

    HUNTSVILLE, Texas — The 1994 rape and murder of 16-year-old Adria Sauceda was so brutal it shocked even prosecutors in Texas, where capital punishment is popular and put to use more than any other state.

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    Man killed by grizzly at Yellowstone National Park

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A grizzly bear killed a man who was hiking with his wife in Yellowstone National Park’s backcountry after the couple apparently surprised the female bear and its cubs on Wednesday, park officials said.

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    Patrick Taylor

    Guilty verdict in Rolling Meadows murder case

    A Cook County jury found Patrick Taylor guilty of the first-degree murder of Marquis Lovings of Rolling Meadows.

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    Gov. Pat Quinn was in DuPage County Wednesday to sign legislation that gives suburban county boards more oversight over the various governmental agencies they appoint.

    Quinn signs bill giving county boards more oversight authority

    Gov. Pat Quinn was in DuPage County Wednesday to sign legislation that gives suburban county boards more oversight over the various governmental agencies they appoint.

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    Dist. 26 board and union at contract impasse

    Cary elementary District 26 and its teachers union have reached an impasse in contract negotiations.

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    Island Lake trustee proposes ads on car stickers

    The stickers Island Lake residents affix to their cars’ windshields each year would bear advertisements for local businesses under a plan proposed by a trustee Wednesday night.

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    Dist. 95 drug testing plan concerns Lake Zurich residents

    A Lake Zurich resident said he and a dozen other parents plan to speak out against a proposal to start random drug testing at Lake Zurich High School.

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    More Dist. 300 schools meet healthy challenge

    The USDA recently announced that all 16 elementary schools in Community Unit District 300 have been awarded the gold distinction in the Healthier U.S. School Challenge. At the end of the month, members of District 300 will travel to Washington, D.C., for a special reception with first lady Michelle Obama. The USDA established the challenge to recognize schools that take specific steps to improve...

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    Gurnee police looking for male who touched teen girls

    Two teenage girls told police a man in his late teens inappropriately touched them in a large wave pool at Six Flags Great America theme park Sunday, authorities said.

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    Attorney to know whose blood is at murder scene

    A Lake County judge on Wednesday said an attorney for a man doing life in prison for the 1994 murder of a Waukegan businessman may have the identity information of another man whose blood was found at the crime scene.

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    CSX train derails, disrupts Amtrak service

    The derailment of a freight train near Indianapolis is causing disruptions to Amtrak service between New York and Chicago.

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    Edwin J. Hernandez

    Mundelein man convicted in 2009 fatal firebombing

    The second of two Mundelein brothers accused of the 2009 firebombing of a house that killed a 12-year-old boy and severely injured two others was convicted of murder Wednesday in Lake County Circuit Court.

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    Federal investigators say pilot error was to blame for the fatal crash that killed two people the night of Feb. 21, 2010.

    Pilot error blamed in double-fatal plane crash

    Pilot error and nothing mechanical caused year's fiery crash of a small plane that slammed into a southwestern Illinois house and hangar in rain and fog, killing a banker and another man on board, federal investigators have concluded.

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    Janey O'Connor, the step daughter of Jack Daniel McCullough, speaks to reporters following a hearing for McCullough, which he declined to attend, Wednesday, July 6, 2011, in Seattle. The former police officer arrested in the 1957 killing of an Illinois girl is being charged with being a fugitive from justice, a charge expected to keep him in custody pending his return to Illinois.

    Man charged in 1957 Sycamore murder faces fugitive charge

    A former police officer arrested in the 1957 killing of an Illinois girl was charged Wednesday with being a fugitive, a charge designed to keep him in custody pending his return to the Midwest. Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, declined to appear in court for his arraignment, but a lawyer entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf, and the judge kept his bail at $3 million. Another hearing was set for...

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    Departing Kane Co. Metra representative proud of tenure

    Kane County releases Caryl Van Overmeiren’s letter of resignation from the Metra board in announcing her would-be replacement, Mike McCoy.

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    Construction in 2008 of the new waste water treatment facility in Antioch.

    Antioch residents to pay higher water/sewer bill

    Antioch residents will soon see a 50 percent increase on their water and sewer bills.

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    Police reports

    Jolie M. Bray, 27, of the 1100 block of East Taylor Street in DeKalb, was charged with driving under the influence of drugs after a crash at 8:09 a.m. June 28 in Maple Park, according to a sheriff’s report. A witness told deputies they saw Bray’s car, a Nissan Versa, cross the centerline while eastbound in the 50W000 block of Route 38. It then entered a ditch, hit a culvert, flew up and rolled...

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    MHS student scores at national event

    Mundelein High School freshman Steven Chin placed fifth at the Future Business Leaders of America national competition in Orlando, June 27 to July 1. Chin competed against about 130 other students in an event called “Introduction to Technology Concepts.” The students had to show their knowledge of computers and other technology. More than 8,000 students participated in the competition.

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    Palatine Twp. hosts coyote seminar July 22

    Palatine Township is hosting a “Coping with Coyotes” seminar in response to resident concern over recent attacks that killed a couple area dogs. The seminar is at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 22 at township offices, 721 S. Quentin Road, Palatine. A representative of the Crabtree Nature Center will help explain what can and can’t be done to keep coyotes away.

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    Schaumburg phone drive for troops

    State Rep. Michelle Mussman of Schaumburg is asking local residents and businesses to join her in a cellphone drive for servicemen and women overseas. The drive started in recognition of Independence Day and will continue through July. Drop-off boxes are available during normal business hours at Mussman’s office at 15 W. Weathersfield Way in Schaumburg; Schaumburg village hall at 101 Schaumburg...

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    Back in court:

    A pair of North Chicago men whose convictions for the murder of a woman and wounding of two other men in 2007 were reversed by the state appellate court appeared Wednesday in Lake County Circuit Court. William Fillyaw, 34, and Johnny Parker, 28, were each sentenced to 75 years in prison for the June 29, 2007 slaying of Lasondra Shaw, 28, and the shootings of Lebraun Graham and Ernst Hughes after...

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    Ride a kayak at Independence Grove

    You can take a moonlit kayak ride on July 23 at the Independence Grove Forest Preserve near Libertyville. The “Paddle at Dusk — Kayak in the Moonlight” activity will run from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the north bay. The event is open to adults and families with kids at least 14 years old. Admission is $12 for county residents or $16 for anyone else. To register, visit lcfpd.org or call (847)...

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    IMRF retiree workshop

    Seniors are invited to attend the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund’s free retiree workshop on Tuesday, July 12 in Libertyville. The free public workshop is partnered between the IMRF and the University of Illinois Extension to help Illinois retirees lead healthier, happier lives. Developed through a research-based program at the University of Illinois Extension, IMRF’s 2011 retiree workshop,...

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    What’s a fair wage for a good teacher?

    A Daily Herald editorial questions how much is too much when paying a teacher. A study of the salaries of 14,217 public schoolteachers in 89 area school districts showed 10 percent earned more than $100,000. Quality teaching is important. But if education isn't affordable to the community, it won't be sustainable.

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    Carol Stream man charged in wife’s roadside shooting

    Prosecutors charged a Carol Stream man with the attempted murder of his estranged wife Wednesday for allegedly shooting her after he forced her vehicle to pull over Tuesday in Oakbrook Terrace. Ronald D. Smith, 35, of the 700 block of Bluff Street, faces one count each of attempted murder and aggravated battery, and two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm

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    A riverwalk in Winfield has been proposed and could soon move into the engineering phase after a committee presents a recommendation at the village’s July 21 meeting.

    Winfield Riverwalk likely to take step forward

    Winfield's Riverwalk plans likely will take a step forward later this month with the selection of an engineering firm.

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    Donald Rattanavong

    Elgin man charged in shooting death

    An Elgin man was charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm in connection with the shooting death of an 18-year-old Monday night, police said. Donald Rattanavong, 57, of the 800 block of Arthur Drive, told police he thought the teen was burglarizing his car.

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    No Elburn Day in the Park

    There will be no fireworks in Elburn this year since there is no Day in the Park party. The chamber of commerce canceled the event due to lack of funds.

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    Long lines Wednesday at Great Lakes Naval Station where celebrity chefs with connections to Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” were cooking.

    Great Lakes sailors get celebrity chef treatment

    Military veterans who grew to detest chipped beef on toast would have been amazed by the food served Wednesday at Great Lakes Naval Station.

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    OSHA fines truck firm in 2010 Batavia death

    The back-up alarm and lights were not working on a truck that backed into and killed a man at the Aldi distribution center in Batavia last Christmas Eve, OSHA investigators say.

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    NFL labor: Lawyers handling paperwork again

    Lawyers for the NFL and the players’ association are again sorting out contract language and details that could speed the process in reaching a new collective bargaining agreement.

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    Ryan LeVin

    Hoffman Estates native’s parole revoked

    A Hoffman Estates native who pleaded guilty in Florida to running over and killing two British businessmen during a drag race will serve eight months in prison in Illinois, but not in connection with the crash.

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    Arlington Hts. cops to get 6 percent hike over 3 years

    The Arlington Heights village board approved a new contract for police officers that will net them a 6 percent salary increase over the next three years.

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    Eric Barth

    Ex-South Elgin man pleads guilty in Plato Twp. DUI crash

    Eric Barth, a former South Elgin resident who lives in Ohio, pleaded guilty to a December 2010 DUI that severely injured a Hampshire couple. He could get up to 12 years when sentenced in mid-August.

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    Dr. Anthony Galea, center, arrives at federal court in Buffalo, N.Y., Wednesday, July 6. The Toronto doctor was indicted in October on charges he smuggled in human growth hormone and other substances and lied to border agents to avoid getting caught. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

    Galea admits bringing unapproved drugs to US

    A Canadian sports doctor whose high-profile clients have included Tiger Woods and Alex Rodriguez pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to bringing unapproved drugs, including human growth hormone, into the United States to unlawfully treat professional athletes.

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    Stephen D. Gallagher

    Teen faces homicide charge in ‘car-surfing’ accident

    The teen driver behind the wheel in last week’s fatal car-surfing accident in Crystal Lake now faces a reckless homicide charge.

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    Major banks, including Bank of America, fell sharply after Moody’s lowered Portugal’s credit rating to “junk” status late Tuesday.

    Stock market shrugs off weak report

    Stock indexes managed slight gains Wednesday as investors shrugged off slower growth in the U.S. service sector.

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    The former Value City department store building at 1175 N. Gary Ave. in Carol Stream will be converted to a multi-tenant shopping center, anchored by Direct Import Home Décor. At the north end of the building, a 35,000-square-foot space remains available for a “mid-box” tenant.

    Carol Stream finds tenant for vacant building

    The former Value City department store building at 1175 N. Gary Ave. in Carol Stream will be converted to a multi-tenant shopping center, anchored by Direct Import Home Décor, an importer and wholesaler of granite and cabinets.

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    Lake County Health Department official Thomas Job surrendered this afternoon to charges of theft of government property and official misconduct.

    Ex-Lake Co. health official to undergo mental health evaluation

    The former Lake County Health Department official sentenced to a jail term last week was ordered Wednesday to undergo a mental health evaluation.

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    Lagarde takes helm of IMF amid major challenges

    The new chief of the International Monetary Fund pledged Wednesday to diversify the global lending organization and give developing nations a greater voice on its board.

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    OWI suspected after Wis. motorist drives wrong way

    Milwaukee County authorities have arrested a man accused of driving the wrong way down a freeway with a blood-alcohol level nearly four times the legal limit.

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    Body recovered in Milwaukee park pond

    Authorities have recovered the body of a man who disappeared in a pond in a Milwaukee park.

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    5 arrested in Decatur dispute that left 1 man dead

    Police in Decatur say they have five people in custody in connection with a dispute that left one man shot to death and his father wounded by a machete.

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    US pullout from Afghanistan starting slowly

    The pullout of major U.S. combat units from Afghanistan may not start until the peak fighting season ends in late fall, U.S. military officials said Wednesday, although 800 National Guard soldiers will go home this month.

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    Tri-Cities police reports

    Lynne Diane Burtner, 66, of the 36W400 block of Lancaster Road, St. Charles, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, DUI with a blood alcohol concentration greater than .08 and leaving the scene of an accident at 7:15 p.m. Friday, according to a sheriff’s report.

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    U of Ill. president: Money available for raises

    University of Illinois President Michael Hogan says cost-cutting measures have helped create a pool of money to use for employee raises at the school's three campuses.

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    Johnny McCaskill

    Lombard cops: Man bought car with fake check

    An arrest warrant has been issued for a man accused of forging a $36,500 check to buy a luxury car in Lombard, police said Wednesday. Johnny McCaskill, 28, was being sought on felony charges of forgery and theft.

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    Man’s body found at Barrington-area pond

    The unclothed, unidentified body of a black man who appeared to be in his 20s was discovered Wednesday morning at the edge of a pond in a Cook County Forest Preserve near South Barrington.

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    US: Mideast talks the way forward, not UN votes

    With the chief Palestinian peace negotiator in Washington, the Obama administration on Wednesday repeated its opposition to any unilateral attempt to secure U.N. recognition for an independent Palestine and prepared for a difficult meeting of Middle East mediators next week.

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    Treasury prices rise on European debt concerns

    Treasury prices rose Wednesday, sending their yields lower, after a downgrade of Portugal's debt sent investors looking for safer places to put their money.

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    9-year-old Chicagoan shot in head

    A 9-year-old boy is listed in critical condition after being shot in the head outside his father's Chicago home.

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    Pilot error blamed in double-fatal plane crash

    Pilot error and nothing mechanical caused year's fiery crash of a small plane that slammed into a southwestern Illinois house and hanger in rain and fog, killing a banker and another man on board, federal investigators have concluded.

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    Thousands flock to Dalai Lama in US as he turns 76

    Thousands of expatriate Tibetans joined a 76th birthday celebration Wednesday for Buddhist spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who told followers he is happy and proud to be giving up his political power.

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    GOP leader criticizes handling of Somali suspect

    The Senate Republican leader on Wednesday accused the Obama administration of undermining U.S. national security by bringing a Somali man facing terrorism charges to New York for trial.

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    Federal appellate court upholds Ryan convictions

    A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld former Illinois Gov. George Ryan's corruption convictions, flatly rejecting arguments from lawyers for the imprisoned former Illinois governor that the charges should be overturned because prosecutors never proved he took a bribe.

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    Attorney for ex-Ill. Gov. Ryan vows to 'fight on'

    An attorney for George Ryan says the imprisoned former Illinois governor won't give up his legal fight despite a federal appeals court ruling upholding his corruption convictions.

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    Charlotte Terrell, 1, of Batavia waits for her dad, Dave, to pass the finish line in his first 5K in the Windmill Whirl 5K at Batavia's Windmill City Festival last year.

    Batavia festival offers activities for all ages

    Variety is the key word at Batavia's Windmill City Festival, which has activities ranging from a 5K race to an ice cream eating contest to a bags tournament. The festival will kick off at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 8, and continue through Sunday.

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    Illinois drops writing from standardized exam

    Illinois will assess only reading and arithmetic now that high school juniors will no longer be tested on their writing skills during standardized exams every spring, according to a published report.

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    Kevin Curtis, a 25-year-old man, has been arrested in connection with an Antioch home invasion in which a large amount of money was stolen.

    Man pleads not guilty in home invasion

    A Warren Township man accused of forcing his way into a house and robbing an occupant at gunpoint pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Lake County Circuit Court.

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    Ingleside man arrested on gun charges

    An Ingleside man has been charged with unlawful use of a weapon after brandishing a pistol at a person who was trying to pick a fight with him, Lake County Sheriff’s police officials said Wednesday.

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    Chicago City Council votes to allow firing ranges

    Chicago's City Council has approved an ordinance that allows gun ranges to set up shop in the city.

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    Quinn aide: Pay superintendents from local tax

    Gov. Pat Quinn wants to pay regional school superintendents with tax money that comes from business and goes to local government.

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    Ill. revokes man's parole after Fla. racing deaths

    An Illinois man who pleaded guilty in Florida to running over and killing two British businessmen during a drag race will serve prison time here, but not for the car crash.

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    Ill. police: No charges in fatal bike accident

    Illinois State Police won't pursue charges against a motorist who hit and killed a Missouri bicyclist last weekend in southwestern Illinois' Jersey County.

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    Diane Cluxton, center, attends orientation with her fellow classmates in Roosevelt University’s new College of Pharmacy Wednesday.

    Roosevelt’s Schaumburg campus opens college of pharmacy

    Diane Cluxton is turning to higher education for something it’s no longer as known for as it once was — the promise of employment and a good salary upon graduation.

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    British actor Hugh Grant outside the Houses of Parliament in London, where a debate was being held into the allegations of phone hacking by journalists Wednesday. “Newspapers were using phone hacking on a widespread and industrial basis ... (with) the apparent collusion of parts of the Metropolitan Police,” actor Hugh Grant told BBC radio.

    Ads pulled from scandal-rocked tabloid

    Companies rushed to pull ads from British tabloid News of the World on Wednesday amid public outcry over alleged phone hacking.

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    Juggling convention hits Springfield

    There's a whole lot of juggling going on in Springfield.

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    Auto industry on hiring spree

    Two years after the end of the Great Recession, the auto industry is hiring again and much faster than the rest of the economy. As an employer, it’s growing faster than airplane manufacturers, shipbuilders, health care providers and the federal government.

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    Aging boomers strain cities built for the young

    America's cities are beginning to grapple with a fact of life: People are getting old, fast, and they're doing it in communities designed for the sprightly.

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    Terrorists to implant bombs in humans?

    The U.S. government has warned domestic and international airlines that some terrorists are considering surgically implanting explosives into humans to carry out attacks, The Associated Press has learned.

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    Marion Hubbard

    Barrington loses one of its most dedicated volunteers

    Marion Hubbard was one of those volunteers any organization would have loved to have. “She was a progressive person,” says Joyce Palmquist, executive director of the Barrington Area Council on Aging. “She was not one to sit around. She had to be doing things.” Mrs. Hubbard passed away peacefully on June 27. The longtime Barrington resident, was 82. Nearly every...

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    The sidewalks were filled Sunday for the Bartlett Lions Club Independence Day Parade.

    Bartlett gives thumbs-up to just-ended fest

    It took an hour and a half for the large crowds in Bartlett’s Apple Orchard Community Park to exit after the fireworks Monday night. It was a fitting cap to this year's Fourth of July festival in Bartlett.

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    Emmett’s Tavern is one of three stops on a pub crawl set for Saturday afternoon in downtown Dundee.

    Explore downtown Dundee on pub crawl

    Dundee Township’s Young and Restless group plans to make the historic streets of West Dundee its first outing Saturday when members will stroll through the downtown area and stop into a handful of businesses. While they are looking at century-old buildings, members will be embarking on their inaugural West Dundee Crawl.

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    Arlington Hts. offers tetanus vaccine

    The tetanus vaccine is available at the Arlington Heights Wellness Clinics and the monthly Immunization Clinic.

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    Volunteers installing bricks along Naperville’s Riverwalk

    At least 10 volunteers took to the Naperville Riverwalk's western edge to lay the path's trademark wavy, red bricks where asphalt formerly sat. Volunteer paving will continue each Wednesday morning in July.

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    Pictured, from left, at the city hall grant presentation are: Des Plaines Fire Prevention Bureau secretary Mary Gouskos; Fire Prevention Bureau inspector Matt Matzl; Fire Chief Alan Wax; Deputy Fire Chief Ron Eilken; Illinois American Water senior manager for field services and production Michael A. Smyth; Illinois American Water municipal advocate Susan Gram; and Illinois American Water supervisor for nonrevenue water Timothy W. Morris.

    Des Plaines Fire Dept. awarded grant

    The Des Plaines Fire Department was the recent recipient of a $1,500 grant from Illinois American Water, Woodridge. With the grant funds, it will purchase an iPad system that will enable fire personnel to use real-time data entry during building inspections.

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    Harper starts course to encourage political debate

    Harper College is encouraging political discussion this summer will the launch a new open-to-all course that uses current political events as its guideline.

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    Ricardo Meza of Arlington Heights

    State ethics board levied $28,350 in fines

    A little known state ethics adjudication board costs taxpayers almost $340,000 a year in salaries for its nine members, but has only levied $28,350 worth of fines in its seven-year existence.

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    ‘Patriot Flag’ comes to Bartlett Thursday evening

    The Patriot Flag will be in Bartlett for a special event at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 7 at the Bartlett Community Center, 700 S. Bartlett Road Attendees will be able to sign a trimmed section of the flag, a guest book, and banners to honor 9/11 responders.

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    Study: Long commutes could fatigue airline pilots

    One in five airline pilots lives at least 750 miles from work, according to a study by scientific advisers to the government, raising concerns that long commutes to airports could lead to fatigue in the cockpit.

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    Matthew A. Outlaw

    Addison man admits stabbing robbery victim

    An Addison man faces up to 15 years in prison after admitting he repeatedly stabbed a local gas station clerk in a Jan. 23 robbery attempt. Matthew A. Outlaw, 21, pleaded guilty Wednesday.

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    Obama comments on new policy on condolence letters

    President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he's decided to reverse a long-standing policy of not sending condolence letters to the families of service members who commit suicide while in a combat zone.

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    Ill. National Guard unit's mission called off

    The Illinois Army National Guard says a suburban Chicago medical unit that had been training for a yearlong stay in Kuwait won't go because of the Army's drawdown of troops in Iraq.

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    Guest artists and writers will talk about their work Saturday at the second annual comic book convention at the Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin.

    Gail Borden brings back comic book convention

    Comic book and gaming enthusiasts will be able to channel their energies this weekend in the second annual comic book convention at Gail Borden Public Library. Last year the convention complemented the summer reading program theme at Gail Borden. This year, it’s back by popular demand.

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    The Fine Craft Exhibition features work by 90 juried artists on display Saturday and Sunday at Oakbrook Center in Oak Brook.

    Artists offer rare delights at Oakbrook Center show

    The Oakbrook Center Fine Crafts Exhibition, “A Conservatory of Rare Delights,” features 90 juried artists set up within the outdoor shopping mall Saturday and Sunday, July 9-10, in Oak Brook.

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    The Schaumburg Township District Library, at Schaumburg and Roselle Road.

    Schaumburg, EG libraries end tax-sharing

    The Schaumburg Township District Library board has ended a more than 25-year-old tax-sharing agreement with the Elk Grove Village Library first established to stop some residents from being double-taxed for library service. As such, the Elk Grove library will lose annual payments that had lately risen above $200,000.

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    Veteran Duckworth to file to run for Congress

    Iraq War veteran and former Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth said Wednesday that she's running for Congress.

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    Pvt. Blake Lewis of the 11th Illinois Cavalry cleans his pistol before the afternoon battle against the Confederates during Civil War Days at Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda.

    Civil War Days comes to Lake County

    Hear the crack of gunfire and the boom of cannons at the Lake County Forest Preserve Districts’ 20th annual Civil War Days at the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda.

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    With a carnival and car show, West Chicago Railroad Days celebrates modes of transportation and all things that go.

    Now approaching: West Chicago Railroad Days

    West Chicago's Railroad Days pays tribute to the town's beginnings and celebrates other transportation modes along with a carnival, music, fireworks and a parade.

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    Mother accused in fire that kills son, 6

    A southwestern Illinois woman is accused of felony child endangerment related to an East St. Louis townhouse fire that killed her 6-year-old son.

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    Competency test OK'd for Ill. teen jailed in death

    An eastern Illinois teenager charged with murder in his mother's stabbing death will be examined to see if he is mentally fit to stand trial.

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    Bill Balling retired as village manager of Buffalo Grove after 29 years in 2006.

    Interim EG fire chief to make $168 per hour

    The former Buffalo Grove village manager who has been contracted as the interim Elk Grove fire chief will be paid $168 per hour for his services. William “Bill” Balling, who starts the job on Friday, was the Buffalo Grove village administrator for 39 years, retiring in 2006. While it’s unknown how much time his new oversight position will require, it could be for up to the full...

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    West Chicago Railroad Days schedule
    West Chicago Railroad Days schedule of events

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    Twitter comes to White House for Obama town hall

    President Barack Obama will take on the Twitterverse during a town hall at the White House Wednesday hosted by the popular social media service Twitter.

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    Coast Guard searches for missing boater

    The Coast Guard is searching for a missing boater in Lake Michigan just off the Summerfest grounds.

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    Robbery suspect dies in police custody

    Milwaukee police say a suspect has died after being arrested on suspicion of robbery.

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    Lagarde pledges to diversify IMF after sex scandal

    The new chief of the International Monetary Fund is pledging to diversify the staff and make the institution more open for developing countries.

Sports

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    Mike Jackson on the outdoors

    I have always been a big fan of the Rock River. And because of a recent conversation with Outdoor Notebook publisher Bob Maciulis, my thoughts about fishing expeditions to different sections of this river went into high gear.

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    Patrick Kane and the Philadelphia Flyers' Mike Richards go for the puck during game one of the Stanley Cup finals at the United Center in Chicago Saturday.

    Will Blackhawks contend for Stanley Cup?

    At this point in the off-season, the Blackhawks are as good as anyone in the Western Conference and maybe the team to beat.

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    Steve Stricker is trying for his third straight victory at the John Deere Classic.

    Stricker shoots for third straight Deere title

    SILVIS, Ill. — On just about any other day, Steve Stricker’s 60 in the opening round of last year’s John Deere Classic would have left him comfortably ahead and soaking in the adulation.But July 8, 2010, wasn’t your routine day on the PGA Tour. Even after shooting 11 under, Stricker found himself a shot off the lead, because Paul Goydos had fashioned what then was just the fourth 59 in tour history.“It was pretty hard to believe that he shoots 59 and has a one-shot lead, where I shoot 60 and I’m down by one,” Stricker said Wednesday. “Whatever way you want to look at it, it’s pretty remarkable.”Never before had two scores that low been recorded on a single day in a PGA event. Stricker went on to win the tournament for the second straight year, beating Goydos by two strokes, and now faces the task of winning a tournament three years in a row, another rare feat.It’s been done only 20 times on the tour, most recently by Tiger Woods, who completed a three-peat at the Bridgestone Invitational in 2007Adding to the challenge Stricker will face when he tees off Thursday is one of the strongest fields at the Deere Classic, which many of golf’s marquee names skip because it falls a week before the British Open.Still, the last two British Open champions are here, Stewart Cink (2009) and Louis Oosthuizen (2010). Also playing are Mark Wilson, a two-time winner on the tour this year, Zach Johnson, David Toms, Davis Love III and Jason Day, the 23-year-old Australian who finished second at this year’s Masters and U.S. Open.Oh, yes, Goydos is back, too, re-igniting some of the buzz he created with his iconic round a year ago, a score duplicated later that summer by Stuart Appleby at the Greenbrier Classic.“I was not ready for the national story it became, quite frankly,” Goydos said. “I thought it was a cool thing to accomplish personally, but I really didn’t think it would be that big of a deal. I was wrong.”More surprising to Goydos than leading by only one after his magical round was what he saw the next day, when he played in the afternoon.“I went to Starbucks and got a hot chocolate and a pastry of some sort, came back to my room, flipped on the computer and I was three back,” he said. “That was more of like, what? I’m not even leading or part of the story anymore.”Stricker will be part of the story until he falters on the TPC Deere Run course, which hasn’t happened recently.“You like that extra pressure,” Stricker said. “Hopefully, I can get an opportunity again coming down the stretch on Sunday. But it’s a long road. You got to play good. There’s a lot of good players here this week, so it’ll be tough.”At No. 5 in the world, the 44-year-old from Madison, Wis., is the highest-ranked American. He won the Memorial last month, leads the tour in birdies and putting average and is fourth in scoring.“He’s a machine,” Johnson said.He certainly was last year, when he set a tournament record for 36 holes and broke the PGA record for 54 holes after a third-round 62. Given the condition of the course, scores like that aren’t likely to be repeated this week.Last year, rain softened the course and left it vulnerable to low scores. It’s drier now, so the greens and fairways are firmer.“Fairways are bouncing a little bit,” Love said. “The greens are bouncing a little bit, which is nice. And you’ve got to watch out for Steve Stricker again and the guys that usually play well here.“But if it stays like it is now, scores probably won’t be as low.”Oosthuizen is playing in the Deere Classic for the first time and came partly out of curiosity. He bought a John Deere tractor for his farm in South Africa after winning the British Open and wanted to see what the company was all about, so he toured a Deere assembly plant Tuesday.Wouldn’t he have been better off playing in the Scottish Open this week instead of checking out the cab of a combine?

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    Randy Wells gave up four runs and 10 hits and was removed after the first four batters reached base in the fifth.

    Cubs lose to Nationals by one run again

    Wilson Ramos decided a game of two-run homers with a suicide squeeze, driving in Michael Morse in the seventh inning to lift the Washington Nationals to a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night.

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    Schumacher hopes homefield advantage paves way to Joliet victory

    With runner-up finishes at Gainesville and Atlanta and a trio of semifinal finishes and No. 1 qualifying performances highlighting his 2011 scorecard, Tony Schumacher is confident that his U.S. Army team is on the verge of making it to the winner’s circle.And it sure won’t hurt having a little home field advantage this weekend at Route 66 Raceway.

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    Cubs manager Dusty Baker was fired the day after the 2006 season ended.

    Who will pay for Cubs' wretched season?

    The 2011 season is beginning to rival other miserable years in recent Cubs history. The one common thread running through each of those season is that somebody paid with their jobs. Will that happen this year if the Cubs continue their losing ways?

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    Blackhawks invite McNeill, Danault and 44 others to prospects camp

    The Blackhawks’ annual prospects camp begins today at Johnny’s Ice House West and runs through Monday. A total of 46 prospects have been invited, including 2011 first-round draft picks Mark McNeill and Phillip Danault, 2010 first-rounder Kevin Hayes and 2009 first-round selection Dylan Olsen.

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    Twins, healthy or not, have owned White Sox lately

    The Twins come to U.S. Cellular Field Thursday night for a four-game series against the White Sox. Recent history says it could be ugly.

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    White Sox scouting report

    Scouting report: White Sox vs. Twins in a four-game set at U.S. Cellular Field.

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    As part of an All Star Game voting promotion, fans hold up the words Paul Star, as the White Sox’s Paul Konerko bats during the fourth inning Wednesday at U.S. Cellular Field.

    Sox’ hitting remains off course

    Even Paul Konerko fails to deliver in the clutch as the White Sox drop another game to the last-place Royals Wednesday.

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    Alex Rios trots home to score after Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Bruce Chen walked Adam Dunn with the bases load Wednesday at U.S. Cellular Field.

    Punchless White Sox struggle again in loss to Royals

    Even before the game started, manager Ozzie Guillen ran down a list of things the White Sox have tried this season to get their inconsistent offense rolling. None of them have worked. And they didn't again Wednesday when Chicago ran into crafty 34-year-old veteran Bruce Chen of the Kansas City Royals.

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    Abby Wambach and Sweden's Lisa Dahlkvist, left, challenge for the ball during the group C match between Sweden and the United States at the Women's Soccer World Cup in Wolfsburg, Germany, Wednesday.

    Dahlkvist, Fischer lead Sweden to 2-1 win over US

    Lisa Dahlkvist converted a penalty, Nilla Fischer scored on a free kick and Sweden beat the Americans for the first time in World Cup play on Wednesday night, a 2-1 victory that forces the U.S. to play Brazil in the quarterfinals.

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    Mark Cavendish of Britain celebrates winning the fifth stage of the Tour de France cycling race Wednesday.

    Cavendish wins crash-marred 5th Tour stage

    Mark Cavendish of Britain won a windy and crash-marred fifth stage of the Tour de France in a mass sprint on Wednesday, while Thor Hushovd of Norway kept the leader's yellow jersey.

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    South Korea's Pyeongchang wins 2018 Winter Olympics

    South Korean city of Pyeongchang wins right to host 2018 Winter Olympics.

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    Roger Clemens' perjury trial opened Wednesday with both sides raising the prospect of calling a roster of former baseball stars as witnesses and the judge angrily criticizing Congress for withholding an audiotape of Clemens' deposition at the heart of the case.

    Clemens trial selecting jury; judge raps Hill

    Roger Clemens' perjury trial opened Wednesday with both sides raising the prospect of calling a roster of former baseball stars as witnesses and the judge angrily criticizing Congress for withholding an audiotape of Clemens' deposition at the heart of the case.

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    NBA players: ‘Adequate basis’ to question financials

    NEW YORK — The NBA players' association maintains that there is an "adequate basis" for doubting the NBA's losses, citing the inaccurate financial projections the league made in 2009-10.The union's assertion Wednesday came a day after a report questioned whether the league indeed lost money two seasons ago.Though the NBA says it lost $340 million in 2009-10, a New York Times blog post Tuesday titled "Calling Foul on NBA's Claims of Financial Distress" called the league "fundamentally a healthy and profitable business" with an estimated operating income of $183 million that season.Union spokesman Dan Wasserman said the NBA projected a decline in revenues that season but they actually rose, so the final losses should have been much less than the league said."In 2009-10, the NBA repeatedly offered projections that league revenues would decline as much as 5 percent, or $180 million, while also projecting losses of $370 million. Revenues were actually up in '09-10 and the revenue projections were off by as much as $200 million. Yet, the loss figures were only adjusted by $30 million. So yes, we feel there is more than adequate basis for questioning their projections and financials," Wasserman said.Because of the projected losses, the league forecast a steep drop in the salary cap for the 2010-11 season, saying it could fall as low as $50.4 million. Instead, it was set at $58 million after the higher-than-expected revenues.The Times story was based on estimates prepared by Forbes and Financial World magazines. NBA spokesman Mike Bass said Tuesday the information was inaccurate, saying Forbes "does not have the financial data for our teams and the magazine's estimates do not reflect reality.""Precisely to avoid this issue, the NBA and its teams shared their complete league and team audited financials as well as our state and federal tax returns with the players union," Bass said. "Those financials demonstrate the substantial and indisputable losses the league has incurred over the past several years."The league projected losses of $300 million last season after losses of several hundred million dollars in each season of the CBA, which was ratified in 2005. Owners locked out the players last week after they could not agree on a new deal.The union has frequently questioned the league's financials, acknowledging losses but not anywhere near what the NBA has stated. The players offered to give up $100 million in salary costs annually in a recent proposal for a new five-year deal, believing that was more in line with the true losses.The story was also skeptical, saying perhaps about $250 million of the purported losses results "from an unusual accounting treatment related to depreciation and amortization when a team is sold." The NBA responded that it uses the conventional and generally accepted accounting (GAAP) approach and does not include purchase price amortization from when a team is sold, with Bass saying "put simply, none of the league losses are related to team purchase or sale accounting."The league followed up with another response Wednesday, arguing that "the notion that $250 million of losses is due to 'accounting procedures' is patently false and so vague an assertion as to be meaningless as a matter of financial analysis."Because the NBA had such a successful 2010-11 season, with growth in TV ratings, and merchandise and ticket sales, the league has struggled to convince fans it needs the massive financial changes owners are seeking from the players.But Bass said the league never had a positive net or operating income in the last CBA, and that 11 teams had net losses of more than $20 million in the 2009-10 season. He added 23 of the 30 teams lost money that season. Forbes estimated there were 17."We do not know how they do their calculations," Bass said.

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    Joey Lagano has three wins in three Nationwide Series starts at Kentucky Speedway. The Sprint Cup Series is running its first event at Kentucky Saturday night.

    Logano rolls into Kentucky looking for a victory

    Joey Logano probably knows his way around Kentucky Speedway better than any other driver headed there this weekend.

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    Mickelson to change approach at British Open

    INVERNESS, Scotland — Phil Mickelson is banking on a change in strategy on the greens in the next two weeks to break his tournament drought in Britain.The American left-hander has finished in the top 10 at the British Open just once — at Troon in 2004 — and is using this week’s Scottish Open, on a links course at Castle Stuart, as preparation for the year’s third major.Mickelson acknowledged Wednesday that his failure to master British greens is the root of the problem.“The biggest reason is the greens,” the sixth-ranked Mickelson said. “I have not putted well. The grass is a little bit more coarse, a little thicker, has a little bit more effect, and you need to putt with less break and more aggression is what I’ve come to find.“I’m going to try to do that this week and next week and see if that doesn’t combat some of the issues that I’ve had putting here.”With the British Open starting at Royal St. George’s in southeast England next week, Mickelson also will use the warm-up event in Scotland to try out new strategies in his famed short game.“Having a week now to be able to see the way the ball reacts, get my mind adjusted to the short-game shots, as well as the full shots, how the ball reacts, I think is going to play a big effect — a big positive effect — in my performances,” he said.Mickelson has won four major titles — three at the Masters and one at the U.S. PGA Championship — and is widely considered one of the greats of modern golf despite never having held the No. 1 spot. That is mainly because of playing in the Tiger Woods era.His aim is to seal the Grand Slam of the four majors, but he also said improving his record in Britain and in links conditions will help him to become a more “complete player.”“It’s something that I am really starting to enjoy the challenge of succeeding over here,” the 41-year-old Mickelson said. “The Scottish Open and the British Open mean a lot to me because it’s a real challenge for me to overcome the obstacles. I always play high through the air; to be able to play along the ground, keep the ball under control, drive it well through crosswinds, those challenges I’ve embraced these last few years.“There’s only one year that I played well, in 2004, where I was a shot out of the playoff. I’ve not performed to the level that I have week in, week out in the states. I want to change that and I’m planning on doing that.”

Business

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    Visa sees debit card rules slowing growth in 2012

    NEW YORK — Visa Inc. on Wednesday warned that its revenue and earnings growth will slow in 2012 after new regulations on the fees banks can charge for debit card transactions kick in.The San Francisco payments network operator repeated an earlier forecast for its current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, for revenue growth between 11 percent and 15 percent and earnings-per-share growth of greater than 20 percent. Next year, however, Visa said it expects its revenue growth to slow to the high-single-digit to low-double-digit range. The company expects earnings-per-share growth to slow to the mid-to-high teens.Analysts, on average, were forecasting 11 percent revenue growth and 16 percent earnings growth for 2012.The slowdown will reflect the rules announced by the Federal Reserve last week that kick in on Oct. 1 and next April. The first will limit the fees that banks can charge retailers for processing debit card transactions. The second will give merchants the power to decide which network handles their transactions.Together, the two could drive down the revenue for the banks that are Visa’s customers. While transaction fees are not paid directly to Visa, it’s expected that the network operator will have to reduce some of the fees it charges banks. And since it operates the biggest debit card networks, giving merchants choice to go to other processors will also have an impact.“We expect that fiscal 2012 will bear the weight of the regulations financially, and in fiscal 2013 revenue growth will regain momentum off of 2012s level,” CEO Joseph Saunders said during a conference call to discuss the forecast.Because Visa’s fiscal year ends in September it was able to keep its forecast for the current year. Since the Fed moved the date the fee cap will kick in from July 21 to Oct. 1, it will have no impact on Visa’s results for fiscal 2011.U.S. debit revenue accounts for about 20 percent of the company’s overall revenue, Saunders said during the call.The CEO said Visa prepared for different scenarios while it waited for the Fed to decide on the new debit rules. Now that they are in place, Visa can go forward with its plans.But Saunders declined to spell out how the company will respond, deferring specifics to late July, when it reports fiscal third-quarter financial results, and October, when it reports for the full year.He did say, however, that “providing some level of incentives to specific merchants may be an effective strategy” to ensure Visa receives profits from their ability to choose processing networks.“We will compete vigorously to maintain (the) Visa routing preference and have several strategies we will put into action to achieve this outcome,” Saunders said.For the current year, Visa’s forecast translates to revenue of between $8.95 billion and $9.11 billion and earnings of at least $4.84 per share.That is, however, short of Wall Street’s forecasts. Analysts, on average, are looking for $9.16 billion in revenue, with estimates ranging from $9 billion to $9.3 billion, according to FactSet. They are expecting earnings of $4.91 per share, with estimates ranging from $4.75 to $5.04.Visa also said that it has completed its $1 billion share repurchase program announced in April. It bought back about 12 million shares at an average price of $77 per share.Shares in Visa slipped 57 cents to $87.63 in extended trading Wednesday. They ended the regular trading session off 12 cents at $88.20.

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    Exxon said failed Montana pipeline was deeply buried

    BILLINGS, Mont. — Exxon Mobil Co. had reassured federal regulators and officials from a Montana town since December that an oil pipeline beneath the Yellowstone River was safe, buried deep enough to avoid any accidental ruptures.Then, on Friday night, the pipe failed, spilling an estimated 42,000 gallons into the flooded river. The cause of the accident remains under investigation, but the prevailing theory among officials and the company is that the raging Yellowstone eroded the riverbed and exposed the line to damaging rocks or debris.There is still no definitive word on how far downriver the spill could spread.Oil has fouled miles of the waterway that flows from the famed Yellowstone National Park, upriver from the spill, and across farmlands and prized fishing grounds, to North Dakota. Crude has been reported as far as 240 miles downstream, although most appears to be concentrated in the first 25 miles. As residents along the river deal with an oil-smeared shoreline and workers clean up the mess, the accident has raised concerns about the impact that the season’s floods may be having on the network of pipelines buried under riverbeds. “It’s too early to tell whether this is an isolated incident or there might be other types of increased damage or erosion based on a year of flooding,” said Brigham McCown, a former federal pipeline safety official who now advises pipeline companies at a Dallas firm.Officials in Laurel, near the site of the spill, raised questions last year about erosion along the riverbank threatening the Exxon Mobil line. The company in December surveyed the pipe’s depth and said it was at least 5 to 8 feet beneath the riverbed.The line was temporarily shut down in May after Laurel officials again raised concerns that it could be at risk as the Yellowstone started to rise. The company restarted the line after a day, following a review of its safety record.The company said in a June 1 email — just a month before the spill — that the line was buried at least 12 feet beneath the riverbed, according to documents from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which oversees pipelines.Exxon Mobil Pipeline Co. president Gary Pruessing said Wednesday the company did not know where the 12-feet figure came from but was looking into the matter.The documents also contained additional details that raised new questions about the company’s response. Exxon Mobil took almost an hour to fully seal the pipeline after the accident — nearly twice as long as it had publicly disclosed. The company said that did not change its estimate of how much crude entered the river.“The best thing they could do at this point is be completely honest,” said Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer. “It is clear that their veracity has not been 100 percent to this point.”Company representatives initially said the spill lasted “at most” 30 minutes, and then later said workers began shutting down the line within six minutes of the break. On Tuesday, Pruessing said in response to a question from Schweitzer that it took 30 minutes to seal off all the valves needed to stop the flow of crude into the river. DOT records indicate the pipeline was not fully shut down for 56 minutes after the break at 10:40 p.m. local time. Emergency responders at the National Response Center were notified of the spill at 12:19 a.m.McCown said the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, where he was an acting administrator, will look at Exxon Mobil’s records to make sure they were adequately prepared for a spill.Federal regulations require that pipelines be buried more than four feet beneath the riverbed at stream crossings.McCown said he believes most pipelines are buried at about that depth, although there are some exceptions.

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    US music sales rise for first time since 2004

    LOS ANGELES — U.S. music album sales grew in the first six months of the year from a year ago, the first gain since 2004, thanks to rising sales of digital tracks and albums.Tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan said Wednesday that overall album sales rose nearly 4 percent to 221.5 million units, from 213.6 million a year ago. The figure includes compact discs and digital albums. Nielsen also counts 10 tracks sold individually as one album.The top-selling album was Adele’s “21,” with 2.5 million albums sold, while Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” came second with 1.5 million albums, thanks largely to a promotion on Amazon.com that sold her album for a heavily discounted 99 cents.

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    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, left, watches a demonstration of Video Chat during an announcement at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., Wednesday, July 6, 2011.

    Facebook launches video calls, group chat features

    Quick on the heels of Google's launch of its latest social-networking venture, Facebook said Wednesday that its 750 million users will now be able to make video calls on the site.

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    Stock market shrugs off weak service sector report

    Stock indexes are mixed in afternoon trading Wednesday as investors shrug off a setback in the U.S. service sector.

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    Obama: Don't use debt as a gun against Americans

    President Barack Obama says the debt ceiling should not "be used as a gun against the heads" of Americans to retain breaks for corporate jet owners or oil and gas companies.

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    Iconic computer game 'Civilization' joins Facebook

    Long before "FarmVille" there was "Civilization," the iconic computer game in which players build a civilized world over thousands of years. Now, the game's designer, Sid Meier, is bringing his creation to Facebook.

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    Review: Google Plus thoughtful answer to Facebook

    My first thought about Google Plus: "Here we go again." After Google's earlier attempts at social networking failed spectacularly, it was easy to scoff at this seeming Facebook wannabe.

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    Obama kicks off Twitter town with a tweet

    President Barack Obama is kicking off his first Twitter town hall with — what else? — a tweet.

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    Founder Noel Hunwick talks to Associated Press sitting by the table with interactive menu projected onto the table in an Inamo restaurant in central London, Monday. Want a virtual bite of what you’ll eat before ordering from the menu? An Asian-themed restaurant in London’s theater district is giving its customers just that, projecting images of dragon rolls, black cod, and other dishes directly onto diners’ plates.

    Restaurant puts virtual food onto diners’ plates

    LONDON — Want a virtual bite of what you’ll eat before ordering from the menu?An Asian-themed restaurant in London’s theater district is giving its customers just that, projecting images of dragon rolls, black cod, and other dishes directly onto diners’ plates.Ready to place your order? Just tap the touchpad — your sashimi will be with you shortly.Entrepreneur Noel Hunwick says he came up with the idea for the restaurant, named Inamo, several years ago while eating at a busy pizza parlor with his friend and future business partner, Daniel Potter.“We were desperately trying to attract a waiter’s attention,” Hunwick said. “We thought: Wouldn’t it be great if we could press a button and get our food?”The idea had legs. Hunwick, who spoke at a table across from Inamo’s onyx-topped bar, explained how the system worked: A projector above each table beams down a virtual, interactive tablecloth, with icons for browsing the menu, ordering food, and checking up on the bill.The plate stays blank until customers use a touchpad to open the menu and click on items, when the projector beams down images of, say, crispy pork belly or Thai beef salad.Once a dish is chosen, the order’s sent to the kitchen. A waiter will greet a customer before a meal, but the next time he or she makes an appearance it’s to bring the food.The concept is a high-tech, high-end take on picture menus long common to Asian restaurants. But Hunwick, a 29-year-old Oxford graduate, said the addition of a click-to-order menu has had several big benefits since this branch of Inamo opened six months ago.Having customers compose their own orders meant the restaurant could cut back on staff, while not having to rely on waiters running to and from the kitchen shaved about 15 minutes off the length of an average meal. And Hunwick said the system encouraged customers to make spur-of-the-moment orders.“They can impulse buy,” he said. “They don’t have to attract a waiter’s attention. They can order that drink NOW.”The whole restaurant experience is streamlined. Customers waiting for their food can even play games — like battleship — while those wrapping up their meals can order a taxi or browse the interactive subway map.Head chef Sebastian Francis said there were benefits for those working in the kitchen too. For one, having the customer communicate directly with the cooks meant there’d be less in the way of bungled orders.“It cuts out the middleman — and human error,” he said.So what happens to “Can I take your order?” If virtual menus and push-button ordering spreads (Hunwick says he’s hoping to license the concept to restaurants in Europe, the Middle East and North America) will waiters become obsolete?Charmaine Mok, a freelance food critic who dined at a branch of Inamo, in London’s Soho neighborhood, said she found the experience “rather depressing after the initial novelty wore off.”“Sometimes I feel like you do want some human interaction — a bit of banter, a few questions about what’s on the menu, what recommendations your server might have,” she said in an email.Jakub Kiss, Inamo’s 27-year-old head waiter, argued that the system actually lets staff be more social. He took a break from his job navigating the restaurant’s wood-and-onyx partitions to point out that ditching the pen and notepad gave waiters “free hands to actually give more true service to the guests.”Customers sharing lunch at Inamo on Monday seemed to agree.“Really quick,” was 48-year-old Mark Smith’s verdict. “It’s great to be able to see what you’re ordering.”Smith recommended the restaurant for first dates, saying that the whole interactive experience made for a great conversation piece. That failing, the couple can play battleship while waiting for their food. And if the evening really goes awry, he joked, “you can order a cab from the table.”

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    Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi, left, and Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti arrive for a press conference following a cabinet meeting in Rome, Thursday. The Italian government is planning a Ä47 billion ($68 billion) austerity sweep to show financial markets and the European Union it is serious about balancing its budget. The three-year-plan aims to bring the government’s budget deficit of 3.9 percent this year to near balance by 2014. Ratings agencies have recently issued worrisome reports about Italy’s low growth and public debt, which, at around 120 percent of its GDP, is one of the highest in Europe.

    Italy to cut hefty bureaucracy to balance budget

    MILAN — Italy’s finance minister on Wednesday called cuts to the country’s notoriously hefty bureaucracy the most “revolutionary” element of the (euro) 48 billion ($68.7 billion) three-year austerity budget.Among the measures are plans to reduce the number of official government cars from tens of thousands to 1,600. Compensation for lawmakers also must fall in line with the European average, and each year figures tallied by government and European statistical experts will be officially published, under the new plan.“I believe the most radical and revolutionary changes are those regarding the costs of the political and administrative apparatus,” Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti told a news conference after the plan was signed by Italy’s president.It still needs parliamentary approval, and Tremonti did not rule out changes by lawmakers.The government approved the measures last week in a bid to convince markets and the European Union that it can reduce its deficit. While Italy has seen its borrowing costs rise, it so far has escaped contagion that has forced bail outs of other so-called periphery nations, like Portugal and Greece.However, the Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s ratings agencies have put Italy on warning that it must clean up its finances or face possible downgrades that would make it even more expensive for it to borrow money. Both will be watching not only the announcements of budget cuts, but also their implementation.Italy aims to balance the budget by 2014, from a deficit of 3.9 percent of GDP this year.“We are totally convinced that this plan will put us linearly and structurally on the path to a balanced budget. And once the budget is balanced, debt will automatically decline,” Tremonti said.Italy’s debt, at around 120 percent of GDP, is one of the highest in Europe.Premier Silvio Berlusconi on Tuesday hastily withdrew a measure that would have allowed his family investment company to delay paying a hefty fine, following public outcry. Tremonti declined to comment on the controversy.The measure would have forced judges to delay payment of especially high fines until all appeals have been exhausted. Berlusconi’s family Fininvest investment company has been ordered to pay (euro) 750 million ($1.1 billion) to a rival for alleged corruption in the takeover of the Mondadori publishing house in the 1990s. A verdict in the appeal of the two-year-old decision is expected this week.The austerity plan also includes cuts to Italy’s local governments — raising protests from the entities.“Cuts of (euro) 9 billion or (euro) 10 billion to city administrations and regional governments is worse than a tax on bread,” said Paolo Cento, an opposition politician involved overseeing local government policies.

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    Ohio health care law opponents to file petitions

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Opponents of the new federal health care overhaul say they’ve gathered enough signatures to ask Ohio voters this fall whether the state should amend its constitution to keep people from being required to buy health insurance or face penalties.The amendment’s backers acknowledge that approval of the measure won’t automatically exempt the state from the mandate in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul. But they say they hope to use the amendment to legally challenge the law.A coalition of tea party groups called the Ohio Liberty Council is among the amendment’s supporters who planned on Wednesday to file more than 546,000 signatures with Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. They need roughly 385,000 valid signatures for the amendment question to get on the Nov. 8 ballot.The amendment would prohibit any federal, state or local law from forcing Ohio residents, employers or health care providers to participate in a health care system.The Obama administration has argued that the coverage requirements rest on a solid constitutional foundation: the power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce.But critics say that does not give the government the right to direct people to buy specific goods or services.Last week, a federal appeals court in Cincinnati affirmed the merits of the health care law, agreeing that the government can require a minimum amount of insurance for Americans. Timothy Jost, a professor at Washington and Lee University law school in Virginia, said unless reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court, the ruling by the three-judge 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals already settles the question of whether Ohio residents would be required under the federal law to buy health insurance. “At this point it serves no legal purpose,” Jost said. “It’s just a political statement.”Chris Littleton, a co-founder of the Ohio Liberty Council, contends the amendment would provide the best chance for a case over whether the mandate is constitutional. He said it also would ban any future state-passed mandates from being imposed on Ohio residents.Such amendments are being pushed in other states. Lawmakers in Alabama, Florida and Wyoming are putting similar measures before voters next year, the National Conference of State Legislatures says.More than 30 legal challenges have been filed over the health care overhaul, some focusing on different issues such as states’ rights. If the Ohio amendment meets state requirements, voters in the political bellwether could have a chance to weigh in on two divisive new laws this November.Last week, opponents of Ohio’s new collective bargaining restrictions delivered nearly 1.3 million signatures to Husted’s office. Proponents of the referendum, which would invalidate the entire bill, need just over 231,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot. Husted’s office has until July 26 to verify both sets of signatures.

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    ComEd linemen John Grandfield, left, and Rob Pait work on a pole in Mundelein. Even though other companies are selling electricity to consumers, ComEd will still own and maintain the lines.

    Does it pay to switch from ComEd?

    The list of alternative electricity suppliers is growing in Illinois, giving consumers a choice. Here's what you should consider if you're thinking of switching.

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    Morgan Stanley was sued for fraud by Allstate Insurance over residential mortgage-backed securities in which the insurer invested, according to a complaint filed in New York.

    Allstate sues Morgan Stanley on mortgage fraud claim

    Morgan Stanley was sued for fraud by Allstate Insurance over residential mortgage-backed securities in which the insurer invested, according to a complaint filed in New York.

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    In this May 9, 2011 photo, graduates of the School of Theology celebrate during Emory University's commencement ceremony, in Atlanta. School isn't over just yet for new college graduates. The next test is figuring out how to repay those student loans.

    5 ways to take control of student loan bills now

    School isn't over yet for recent college graduates. Their next test is figuring out how to repay student loans.

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    Rules lets FDIC recover pay from failed bank execs

    Federal regulators will be able to take back two years of pay from executives deemed responsible for a large bank's failure.

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    Oil stays below $97 a barrel

    A stronger dollar and higher interest rates in China are keeping a lid on oil.

  •  

    No manslaughter convictions in ground zero fire

    A toxin-cleanup director and a company were acquitted Wednesday of manslaughter in an August 2007 blaze that killed two firefighters at a condemned tower at ground zero, although the firm was convicted of a misdemeanor.

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    Walgreen plans to expand area produce stores

    Walgreen Co. said Wednesday that by the end of 2013, it plans to have nearly 50 Chicago drugstores with large offerings of fresh fruit and vegetables and other groceries.

  •  

    Questions to ask before you switch

    When considering an alternative supplier for electricity, you should ask plenty of questions. The Illinois Commerce Commission and the Illinois attorney general’s office both offered ways to deal with suppliers.

  •  

    The power list
    The list of alternative electricity suppliers is growing in Illinois, giving consumers a choice. But they're confused on what to do. We provide some insight and advice from experts.

  •  
    The voluntary guidelines would attempt to shield children from ads for sugary and fatty foods such as General Mills' 'Lucky Charms' and Kellogg's "Frosted Flakes."

    GOP pushes back on effort to limit kids' food ads

    House Republicans are siding with food companies resisting the Obama administration's efforts to pressure them to stop advertising junk food for children.

Life & Entertainment

  •  

    Night life: Porter's brings martini flights to Elgin

    Have it your way daily at Porter's Pub in Elgin, where martini flights are $15 and beer flights are $14.

  •  
    Noah Wyle, left, and Drew Roy in the new sci-fi series “Falling Skies” on TNT.

    Summer becomes prime time for cable networks

    If September is what first comes to mind when considering new television shows, there are some 82 reasons to think again. That's the number of new programs that have or will premiere on cable networks post-Memorial Day through August, based on an informal survey.

  •  
    “The Silent Girl” by Tess Gerritsen

    Rizzoli & Isles return in ‘Silent Girl’

    "The Silent Girl," Tess Gerritsen’s latest novel featuring homicide Detective Jane Rizzoli and coroner Maura Isles, gives readers another great thrill ride with her two popular characters.

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    Reggae maestro Damian Marley, from left, Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart, Rolling Stones rocker Mick Jagger, composer A.R. Rahman and singer Joss Stone are collaborating in a new band called SuperHeavy.

    Jagger rolls with SuperHeavy collaboration

    Mick Jagger isn't sure where his latest musical creation will end up on iTunes. The Rolling Stones rocker has teamed up with Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart, reggae maestro Damian Marley, soul songstress Joss Stone and “Slumdog Millionaire” composer A.R. Rahman for SuperHeavy, a new group fusing their different styles on an as-yet untitled album set for release Sept. 20 in the United States, and a day before in the rest of the world.

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    Jennifer Aniston says her raunchy role in “Horrible Bosses” is a departure for her.

    Aniston shows her raunchy side

    In her new film, “Horrible Bosses,” Jennifer Aniston's character is one you haven't seen her play before. She's a dentist who sexually harasses her assistant, complete with lewd dialogue, revealing outfits and outlandish advances.She's the latest actress to take on a raunchy role usually reserved for men, following the recent trail of trash talk from Cameron Diaz in “Bad Teacher” and the cast of “Bridesmaids.”

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    Singer Hillary Scott from the band Lady Antebellum is engaged to boyfriend, Chris Tyrell, who popped the question over the Fourth of July weekend.

    Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott is engaged

    Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott is engaged.The 25-year-old singer's boyfriend, Chris Tyrell, popped the question over the Fourth of July weekend at a family getaway in East Tennessee.

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    Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint and their many young co-stars have maneuvered through 11 years of fame without any whispers of Lindsay Lohan-style meltdowns that can derail child actors.

    Potter class graduates with no child-actor woes

    If the young cast of the "Harry Potter" films received report cards for their school days at Hogwarts, they'd all probably earn the notation, "plays well with others." Cast as impressionable children in Hollywood's biggest fantasy franchise, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and their many young co-stars have maneuvered through 11 years of fame — and the temptations it brings — without any whispers of Lindsay Lohan-style meltdowns that can derail child actors.

  •  
    Celery is all too easy to waste because of how supermarkets sell it. But some stores, especially in markets with high numbers of single shoppers, are changing that.

    Celery takes a ribbing

    I've gotten serious mileage out of joking about celery. At events promoting my new cookbook, I've been saying that in a dozen years of writing about food, I've looked at thousands of recipes and have never seen one that uses anywhere close to the minimum amount of celery you usually have to buy — no matter how much you want.

  •  
    “The Girl in the Blue Beret” by Bobbie Ann Mason

    ‘Girl in Blue Beret’ is masterful

    Inspired by the experiences of her father-in-law, Bobbie Ann Mason weaves a spellbinding tale of war, love and survival in “The Girl in the Blue Beret” that alternates seamlessly between World War II and modern Europe.

  •  
    J. Alexander's rattlesnake pasta gets its bite from a creamy Cajun sauce.

    J. Alexander's pleases even picky eaters

    J. Alexander's may be a chain, but its attention to detail, well-executed fare and warm, woody, low-lit setting could just win over the most cynical (or picky) diner.

  •  
    The Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust performs “Transposition” at Millennium Park's Harris Theater for Music and Dance as part of the Eye on India Festival.

    Best bets: Chicago hosts Eye on India Fest

    The best of Indian music, theater, literature, film, visual art and more will be celebrated during the nine-day Eye on India Festival starting Friday, July 8, at various Chicago locations ranging from the Harris Theater for Music and Dance to the Chicago Cultural Center.

  •  
    Dave Wakeling, lead singer of The English Beat, will try to get the crowds dancing during two suburban shows this weekend.

    Fans still dancing to English Beat's sound

    Dave Wakeling, the lead singer and guitarist in '80s new-wave favorites The English Beat and General Public, is touring again and will stop on July 9 in Rosemont.

Discuss

  •  

    Our robotic assassins

    There has been virtually no public debate about the expanding use of unmanned drone aircraft as killing machines — not domestically, at least. In the places where drone attacks are taking place, there has understandably been great uproar.

  •  

    No more ‘Right Stuff’?

    "As to space exploration, nobody is more committed to manned space flight, to human exploration of space than I am,” President Obama said. That remains to be seen.

  •  

    Enough is enough with Dist. 304 taxes
    Geneva Unit District 304 administrators and some school board members are oblivious to the sacrifices seniors and many families in the community are making to maintain their homes. Seniors have not received increases in their Social Security benefits, working men and women have not received raises for the past few years due to the economy.

  •  

    Spending cuts must be well thought out
    Do we need to reduce wasteful and redundant government spending? Yes, we do. It does not need to be done as an act of political brinkmanship. It does not need to be done on the backs of our poor and elderly.

  •  

    An idea to promote goodness in people
    We have annual days of recognition all around the world that we share — no smoking days, vegan days, Earth days and others. How about one day, the longest day of the year, the first day of a new season, when people plan to say good things, when people plan do good things, and when people plan to serve for the sake of others?

  •  

    Republican policy won’t create jobs
    A policy of nontaxation to hopefully create jobs is iffy at best; it can do nothing immediately and may perhaps take years if ever to effect.

  •  

    Pension system breeds excess
    If the pension plan is the reason for employment and a reduction in wages is accepted for benefits, the taxpayer will be paying far more since people are living longer. It doesn’t make any sense to me when a government employee retires and needs to be replaced the funding to support one position is nearly double.

  •  

    Politics trumps national security
    Stealing petroleum from Strategic Petroleum Reserves might lower the price of gasoline at the pump by fifteen or twenty cents a gallon in the short-term, but it does nothing to solve this nation’s critical, long-term energy problem.

  •  

    Shootings show failure of justice system
    Last night, I saw a TV interview of a mom on the Chicago South Side after her 7-year-old daughter had been shot and wounded in the leg. The mom said “I’m OK because she’s OK” No she’s not OK; she’s been shot at 7 years old.

  •  

    Religion infringes on a civil right
    If no other civil liberty requires a singular religious prerequisite, why does marriage?

  •  

    Village’s lake needs attention
    Thank you, Daily Herald, for your recent comment on our village’s legal fees. As I asked months ago, what is the price of being right? Sadly we now know.

  •  

    Lake County casino would need special safeguards

    Because of its proximity to the Great Lakes Naval Base, a casino in Lake County could present significant problems with gambling addictions, a Daily Herald editorial warns.

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