Daily Archive : Thursday July 7, 2011



    Fireworks cause blaze that destroys ‘67 Chevelle

    A classic 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle was destroyed in a Fourth of July fire, which started when fireworks hit the outside of the Schaumburg garage where it was stored.

    Emily Bacich, 11, of Bartlett watches a baseball game Thursday across from where Bartlett firefighters hoisted a 75-pound American flag atop a fire truck's tower to honor Sept. 11 emergency workers.

    Patriot Flag stops in Bartlett as part of tour

    The Patriot Flag flew high Thursday in Bartlett as veterans, police officers, boy scouts and residents from all over the suburbs gathered at Apple Orchard Park to honor the armed forces and first responders to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


    Veto raises questions as new school year nears

    Gov. Pat Quinn has taken away the salaries of Illinois' regional education superintendents but not their many duties, creating confusion about who will do the work as schools plan for the coming academic year.

    People react near the scene in Grand Rapids, Mich., where three bodies were found Thursday, July 7, 2011. Police say seven people have been fatally shot at two locations in the western Michigan city and the victims include a child. (AP Photo/The Grand Rapids Press, Chris Clark)

    Police: Michigan shootings suspect commits suicide

    A gunman opened fire in two Michigan homes Thursday, killing seven people before leading police on a high-speed chase through downtown Grand Rapids and taking two hostages in another home, authorities said.

    Mark Teahen reacts after being called out on strikes during the third inning Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

    Mauer OK at 1st base, Twins beat White Sox

    Joe Mauer had three hits, drove in two runs and was flawless in his first game at first base as the Minnesota Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 6-2 on Thursday night.Mauer, the 2009 AL MVP, had started 714 games in the major leagues in the field, all at catcher. He last played first base in 2002 in Class A.

    Members of the Bartlett Fire Department hoist the 75lb flag up their fire truck’s tower getting ready to display old glory in all her splendor honoring September 11th emergency workers.

    Images: The Patriot Flag in Bartlett
    The Patriot Flag was raised Thursday evening in Bartlett. The flag honors those who died on 9/11 and the armed forces who continue to serve in the global war on terror.

    Fire burns in dry brush just north of Carbon Canyon Road, west of Olinda Village in Brea, Calif. on Thursday. Firefighters say small fires have burned brush in Malibu and Pinion Hills in Los Angeles County and in Brea in Orange County. A half-acre fire at noon Thursday burned brush along Encinal Canyon Road in western Malibu, two miles from Pacific Coast Highway. Supervising Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatcher Melanie Flores says no structures are threatened and no cause has been determined.

    Brea fire burns 399 acres, but no damage, injuries

    BREA, Calif. — Orange County officials say they don't believe a 399-acre fire in Brea will force an evacuation of a nearby housing community. Fire Chief Wolfgang Knabe says the fire is now 50 percent contained and is expected to be fully contained late Thursday or early Friday.

    Amanda Mattson, 5, of Mount Prospect holds her candy bag while watching the Mount Prospect Fourth of July parade Monday.

    Mt. Prospect fest was record-breaker

    After a successful five days, Lions Club members are estimating the 73rd annual Mount Prospect Lions Club Festival brought record-breaking attendance and profits. The festival, which started June 30 and ended with a Fourth of July celebration, featured more than ten vendors, live music, carnival games and rides, as well as a few new attractions.


    Boy, 6, dies after jumping in pool at Pa. resort

    ELYSBURG, Pa. — A 6-year-old boy who jumped into a swimming pool at an amusement park in eastern Pennsylvania did not resurface and later died.George S. Roberts III, of Wilkes-Barre, was found under water on Wednesday afternoon at Knoebels Amusement Resort in Elysburg, police said.


    3rd victim in Pa. shooting rampage dies of wounds

    PHILADELPHIA — A woman who was among five people shot during a rampage at her weekend home in eastern Pennsylvania died Thursday, the third victim in a home invasion that police said was orchestrated by an ex-convict later shot dead in a standoff.


    Ex-US Rep. Mark Foley treated for prostate cancer

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley will have his prostate removed after being diagnosed with cancer.The 56-year-old Republican will have the surgery Friday in Orlando, eight weeks after learning he had cancer. He said the disease has not spread beyond his prostate.


    Mexican trucks seeking US access face obstacles

    McALLEN, Texas — It will be at least two months before any Mexican truckers pass safety, English and national security checks and win approval to cruise middle America’s highways under a long-awaited cross-border trucking agreement between the two countries, U.S. Department of Transportation officials said Thursday.


    Yellowstone park rangers: Bear in mauling only protecting cubs

    YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — A grizzly bear that mauled a 57-year-old hiker to death in Yellowstone National Park was only defending its cubs and had not threatened humans before. So park officials on Thursday decided to leave it alone to wander the backcountry.

    Lisa VanBogget

    Ex-Westmont official going to jail for embezzlement

    Westmont’s former finance director was sentenced to 120 days in jail Thursday for stealing more than $46,000 in village funds, some of which she spent on hair gel and a Japanese sword. "I have no excuses," Lisa VanBogget said.


    Palatine market to feature bike checks

    In addition to the fresh produce, sweets, meats and cheeses offered each week, the Palatine Farmers Market will feature a bicycle safety check and obstacle course this Saturday courtesy of Mikes Bike Shop.


    Help plan Schaumburg bike paths

    The village of Schaumburg will be hosting a public participation community workshop for the planning of new bike and walking paths from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, July 25 at the Prairie Center for the Arts, 201 Schaumburg Court in Schaumburg.


    Palatine fire district board has vacancy

    The Palatine Township board of trustees is accepting resumes from residents of the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District to fill a current fire board vacancy following Tom Donohue’s resignation.

    A 37-foot vessel sits in the water after colliding with the break wall Wednesday in Milwaukee. Coast Guard Station Milwaukee, Air Station Traverse City, Mich., and Milwaukee Police Department personnel responded to the scene after Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan was notified of the accident.

    Former Antioch mayor’s son dies in boating crash

    An Antioch man was killed in a boating accident in Lake Michigan, off the shores of Milwaukee, officials said Thursday.

    May Her, with Project Exploration, looks like she’s about to be devoured by a Herrerasaurus, which roamed the earth 228 million years ago and is 13 feet in length.

    Arlington Hts. dinosaur exhibit opens Friday

    The dinos are here. The Arlington Heights Memorial Library has prepared the Hendrickson Room for a nearly month-long exhibit, “Origins: The Dawn of Dinosaurs,” which opens Friday, July 8.

    Gov. Pat Quinn, left, walks alongside Des Plaines city officials during the July Fourth parade shaking hands of spectators. Des Plaines Mayor Marty Moylan leads the group waving a flag with 2nd Ward Alderman John Robinson to his right, and 1st Ward Alderman Patricia Haugeberg and 4th Ward Alderman Dick Sayad walking behind him.

    Moylan, Quinn talk gambling plan

    Des Plaines Mayor Marty Moylan and the mayors of seven other riverboat casino towns recently met with Gov. Pat Quinn to discuss the merits of the state’s massive gambling expansion plan.


    Cary teachers respond to impasse decision

    The Cary Education Association has responded to the Cary Elementary District 26's announcement that both sides have reached an impasse, and it says the school district has been putting the blame for district finances on the teachers.


    Tri-Cities police reports

    A Maple Park man was charged with driving under the influence and transportation of open alcohol last Friday in Maple Park, police said.


    Prosecutors charge man in 1993 Glenview slaying

    Prosecutors have charged a man already facing charges in two killings, including the death of actor Ashton Kutcher's former girlfriend, with the 1993 slaying of a suburban Chicago woman.


    Pingree Grove tax district audited by IRS

    Pingree Grove will contract an outside law firm to deal with an IRS audit of one the village’s special service area taxing districts.

    Daniel Kellogg

    5 years for St. Charles health club car thefts

    Daniel Kellogg, a former West Chicago resident who now lives in St. Charles, gets a 5-year prison sentence for breaking into cars outside a St. Charles health club. Kellogg, who has a long history of theft and writing bad checks, has mental health issues and was burglarizing cars to get money for alcohol and drugs to self medicate, according to his attorney.


    Comfort food on menu for new Batavia restaurant

    The owner of the Gammon Coach House received his liquor license Monday night from the Batavia City Council. The restaurant will move into the former Ona’s on the Avenue, at 3 S. Batavia Ave.

    Gurnee police Sgt. Brian Smith, right, explains the Care Trak equipment Thursday morning in Gurnee during a news conference. From left, Mayor Kristina Kovarik, Warren Township supervisor Sue Simpson and Gurnee police chief Bob Jones also participated in the announcement.

    Warren Township, Gurnee partner on program

    Warren Township and the village of Gurnee are partnering on a program designed to help police locate at-risk children and adults with special needs who may become lost.


    Downtown Lombard getting new crosswalk

    An extra crosswalk is coming to downtown Lombard this construction season. It won’t be at a traffic signal where crosswalks traditionally are located, but many say it could help create a more pedestrian-friendly atmosphere along St. Charles Road.

    The parsonage at First United Methodist Church in West Dundee remains the subject of debate. Preservationists want to save the historic building, but church leaders have said they want to tear it down because it’s in bad shape and of no use.

    W. Dundee waiting to meet with church about house

    The fate of a historic West Dundee home that dates back to the 1840s remains in limbo. After a little more than three weeks, village officials are still waiting to meet with leadership from First United Methodist Church to save the house.


    Police identify man found strangled near S. Barrington

    Investigators have identified a man found strangled in a forest preserve near South Barrington as a Waukegan resident.

    Justin Gulas, 7, of Wonder Lake hands out flags at Barrington’s fourth annual Freedom Festival in 2007.

    Organizer cancels Barrington Freedom Festival

    The organizer of the annual Barrington Freedom Festival and Freedom Run has canceled this year's events, which would have coincided with the 10th anniversary of 9/11.


    Palatine teen gets case transferred

    A Cook County judge agreed to transfer the case of DeQuante Parker out of the Rolling Meadows courthouse. The Palatine resident is charged with threatening a judge. The case will be heard in Maywood.


    Lake County wants to fine-tune snow routes

    Lake County transportation officials are considering an agreement with the University of Illinois department of civil and environmental engineering to design a software tool to analyze its 25 snowplow routes.

    This Monday, Nov. 25, 2002 file picture shows the space shuttle Endeavour over New Zealand as it approaches the International Space Station for docking.

    Images: Space Shuttle memorable moments
    With the final launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis scheduled for Friday, July 8th, we take a look back at some of the memorable Space Shuttle moments.

    Casey Anthony at her sentencing hearing today in Florida.

    Casey Anthony to be free next Wednesday

    Casey Anthony will be freed next week after spending nearly three years in jail on accusations she murdered her 2-year-old daughter, a case that captured the nation's attention and divided many over whether a killer had been acquitted.


    Temple-Inland staying in Carol Stream

    A business that appeared to be leaving Carol Stream for good is staying put — and upgrading its operations.

    A replica Herrerasaurus which is part of the exhibit “Origins, The Dawn of Dinosaurs,” at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library. Herrerasaurus roamed the earth 228 million years ago and is 13-feet in length.

    Images: Dinosaurs at the Arlington Heights Library
    The Arlington Heights Memorial Library is setting up the exhibit, “Origins: The Dawn of Dinosaurs,” in the Hendrickson Room. The exhibit starts Friday and will be here through July 29.

    Christopher Kennedy announced on Thursday that he will run for Lake County state’s attorney in 2012.

    Kennedy announces run for state’s attorney

    A Libertyville Democrat on Thursday became the first person to announce his candidacy for Lake County state’s attorney in 2012.

    Frederick Tapley

    Romeoville man gets 2 years for stealing dead woman’s wedding ring

    A Romeoville man is sentenced to two years in prison for stealing a wedding set off the finger of a woman who died at a hospital in DuPage County. The man pawned the ring to pay his cable bill.


    Police briefs
    Abel P. Zavala, 53, of the 0-99 block of Devonshire Circle in Elgin, appeared in bond court Wednesday on charges of financial exploitation of an elderly person and home repair fraud, according to court documents. A Carpentersville woman contracted Zavala to put in a concrete driveway for the cost of $7,500. She paid $4,000, he tore up the old driveway and then failed inspection, according to...


    St. Charles gives raises to electrical workers

    Electrical workers in St. Charles have successfully negotiated raises for the next four years.

    State Rep. Carol Sente, left, tours the simulation lab with Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science Professor Jim Carlson in the new Interprofessional Education Center on the North Chicago campus Thursday. The building will also house the College of Pharmacy.

    Lake County medical school celebrates new facility

    Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science celebrated the opening of its new College of Pharmacy on Thursday.

    Ben Kanute of Geneva is a recent Marmion High School graduate and one of the top junior triathletes in the country.

    Marmion student, top triathlete has Olympic dreams

    Ben Kanute of Geneva graduated among the top of his class from Aurora's Marmion Academy while competing as one of the nation's top junior triathletes. The 2016 Olympics are his ultimate goal.


    Library, Libertyville agree on lot changes

    After months of discussion, Cook Memorial Public Library District officials have come to terms with Libertyville village leaders about proposed changes to the parking lot at the Cook Park Library.


    Art of Green opens Sunday

    Friends of Ryerson Woods will open Art of Green on Sunday, July 10. This exhibition surveys regional artists and designers who are making art and designing objects in sustainable ways or addressing issues of sustainability in their work.


    Heart of Buffalo Grove seeks nominations

    The Buffalo Grove Area Chamber is sponsoring the Heart of Buffalo Grove Awards and is seeking nominations for those caring individuals and businesses who serve the Buffalo Grove community.


    Dodgeball Days in Schaumburg July 15-16

    The National Amateur Dodgeball Association’s 12th annual Dodgeball Days will take place late next week at Schaumburg’s Olympic Park. And there’s still time to enter a team before the registration deadline on July 12.

    Baklava will be on the menu at this weekend’s Greek festival at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in Elgin.

    Grab Greek style food without leaving your car

    The opportunity to get fast food, Greek style, is available this weekend. For the first time in 32 years, the 33rd annual St. Sophia Greek Festival will offer a drive through area for customers who do not wish to enter the festival, located on the church grounds of the St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in Elgin.

    Dave Sinker, owner of The Comedy Shrine, says his new venue will have a true theater feel when it reopens today in Aurora.

    Comedy Shrine opens two stages in Aurora

    When The Comedy Shrine reopens tonight in Aurora, improv and stand-up comedy each will have a stage to perform at the same venue. The theater is reopening after closing its Naperville location in January.

    Cast members rehearse their roles in “Bye Bye Birdie” at Kaneland High School. The musical, which is part of the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival, features children and adults of all ages.

    Kaneland welcomes former stars in Fine Arts theatre production

    The 2nd Annual Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival Summer Theatre Production will be held on July 8-10 and July 15-17 at the Kaneland High School auditorium. They will perform "Bye Bye Birdie" featuring all different ages in this Tony award winning musical.


    Palatine’s Movie Night set for Aug. 21

    Next month’s Movie Night in downtown Palatine will have a little something for everyone. Sponsored by the The Palatine Area Chamber of Commerce, the original “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” will be shown on Aug. 21.

    Ken Schaffer, Naturalist at Oakton Community College, explains outdoor composting with plant matter, leaves and tree branches/twigs.

    Worms go to middle school, college

    Under the direction of Ken Schaffer of Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Oaks preschool students house and maintain an indoor worm composting bin.

    Cyclists race in last year’s Mill Race Cyclery Classic in Geneva. This year there will be approximately 100 to 125 cyclists in each of seven races of the Geneva Cycling Grand Prix, which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday. The event is sponsored by Bicycle Heaven in Geneva.

    Cyclists from around the country, Europe race in Geneva

    A busy two weeks await professional and amateur cyclists from all over the country and Europe as they race in the Illinois and Wisconsin area in the International Cycling Classic. Saturday's stop will be in downtown Geneva.

    Boeing has forecast a $150 billion market for passenger airplanes in India over the next 20 years driven by a booming economy, a top Boeing official has said.

    Boeing: India will need 1,320 new planes

    Chicago-based Boeing has forecast a $150 billion market for passenger airplanes in India over the next 20 years driven by a booming economy.

    Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Murdoch are seen in Sun Valley, Idaho, Thursday. A Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid in London was found to have hacked into the phone messages of a teenage murder victim and was suspected of possibly targeting the relatives of slain soldiers in its quest to produce attention-grabbing headlines.

    London tabloid shutting down amid scandal

    The Murdoch media empire unexpectedly jettisoned the News of the World on Thursday, the best-selling tabloid at the center of an ugly phone hacking scandal.


    Obesity rates still rising in many states

    In 1995, no state had an obesity rate above 20 percent. Now, all but one does. The U.S. obesity rate isn't slowing down.

    House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio listens as President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with congressional leadership to discuss the debt Thursday at the White House.

    Obama calls debt talks ‘constructive’

    President Barack Obama described a debt-crisis session Thursday with congressional leaders as “very constructive” but said the parties were still far apart on deficit reduction proposals.

    Monica Knight, a dental hygienist and mother of two, shows her coupon binder at her home in Boise, Idaho. Knight used to spend spent $600 a month on groceries. Thanks to extreme couponing she’s down to $100 to $150 a month.

    Extreme coupon cutters save cash

    Shoppers, most of whom have watched the television series “Extreme Couponing,” use it as a tutorial for how they can whittle a $555.44 grocery store bill down to $5.97 to cite one extreme example.

    The Sousa National Community band, hosted by the Naperville Municipal Band, will perform at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 10, at the Community Concert Center, 104 E. Benton Ave. The annual concert attracts musicians from across the country and is conducted by the acclaimed Col. John Bourgeois, formerly of the U.S. Marine Band.

    Naperville to host Sousa National Community Band

    Instrumentalists who love playing Sousa music are flocking to Naperville this weekend for the annual John Philip Sousa Festival, running today through Sunday, July 8 to 10. After a weekend of rehearsing, they'll perform a public concert at 7 p.m. Sunday.

    Keith and Judy Rogers of Winfield display their 1931 Ford Model A Coupe, during the Downtown Wheaton Association's Vintage Rides event, running Friday nights through Aug. 26.

    Swapping stories at the Wheaton vintage car show

    The Downtown Wheaton Association's Vintage Rides car show series gives owners and enthusiasts a chance to share memories about cars of the past. Shows are Friday nights through August. As he spot-shines his 1963 Corvette Stingray, he reminisces about his youth. Every year, he and his pals would hop into a 1964 Corvette and tackle the open road on a trip to California.

    The Round Lake Area Park District’s logo will be cut into one of the corn mazes at Richardson Adventure Farm near Spring Grove.

    Round Lake park logo to be cut in corn maze

    Round Lake area residents used to seeing the park district logo on program brochures will soon find it in a new location - cut into the corn at Richardson Adventure Farm.

    The Patriot Flag, flying in San Diego

    Bartlett unfurls 75 pounds of U.S. flag

    There will be 75 pounds of American red, white and blue flying from the Bartlett Community Center Thursday night. Bartlett is one of the many stops the large Patriot Flag is making as it tours the country, stopping in 50 states over 50 weeks before concluding in New York City, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa., on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

    7th Heaven will perform as a main stage act at Schaumburg’s Septemberfest at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 5.

    7th Heaven will close the fest on Labor Day

    Local band 7th Heaven has been announced to join radio rock star Eddie Money among the main stage acts for this year's Septemberfest in Schaumburg.

    Using color pencils and common poster board, self-taught artist Raul Maldonado of Hanover Park is exhibiting his work in a show at this museum for “outsider” art.

    Hanover Park tree-trimmer emerging as artist

    As a kid in Guanajuato, Mexico, Raul Maldonado taught himself to draw what he watched on TV. Now the Hanover Park artist is exhibiting his work in a major show curated by Susan Matthews of the Hanover Park Park District.


    Treat small tasks with same respect as large responsibilities
    Removing a small stone or piece of sand from your shoe makes a huge difference and it seems like such an insignificant thing. Makes one wonder about the other little things we consider totally insignificant. By removing them, we could take a giant leap toward improving our life.


    ECC works to close achievement gap

    I reported this week on a recent survey by “Community College Week.” In the survey, Elgin Community College was ranked third in the state in awarding one-year certificates.

    Hannah Hudson of Downers Grove plays Sandy and Vince Soto of Chicago plays Danny in Summer Place Theatre’s production of “Grease.” The show opens at 8 p.m. Friday, July 8, and continues on weekends through July 24 at Center Stage Theater, 1665 Quincy Ave., Suite 131, Naperville.

    ‘Grease’ is the word at Naperville’s Summer Place Theatre

    The Summer Place Theatre presents the musical "Grease." The show opens Friday, July 8, and runs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through July 24.

    Lake County Forest Preserves’ Ribfest is July 10 at the Greenbelt Forest Preserve.

    Lake forest preserve district to host Ribfest

    Bring your appetite and a lawn chair to the Lake County Forest Preserves’ Ribfest from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, July 10 at the Greenbelt Forest Preserve, Shelter B, North Chicago. Admission is free.


    Lisle parade welcomes beauties for pageant

    Before crossing the stage in the U.S. All World Beauties National Pageant, the contestants will be celebrated with a parade and block party in downtown Lisle.

    Glen Ellyn officials say they plan to keep a commercial storefront at 810 N. Main St., but demolish an attached century-old house.

    Glen Ellyn looking at Stacy’s Corners improvements

    Stacy’s Corners – as the intersection of Main Street and St. Charles and Geneva roads is known in Glen Ellyn – serves as a gateway to the north end of the community. That may underscore the importance of the task village officials have in finding new uses for two nearby properties.

    The beer flows at the Barrington Brew Fest.

    Barrington Cork, Brew fests for the over-21 crowd

    The Brat Tent in Barrington is getting a real workout this week. It continues Friday and Saturday with events for the over-21 crowd: Uncork Barrington on Friday and the Barrington Brew Fest on Saturday.

    Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle met Wednesday with the Daily Herald Editorial Board to outline performance measurements for all county agencies.

    Judge Evans holds out on Cook Cty. reorganization

    Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans is the lone holdout of county board President Toni Preckwinkle's planned management overhaul of government operations. Evans argued that his office isn't under the purview of the county board and he has already launched his own reforms.

    /Kellie DeFosse uses a trowell to search for artifacts several feet beneath the ground's surface with Kelsey Booth Alton during a 2007 archeological dig on the homestead of Jospeh Naper.

    Park to showcase Naperville’s first homestead

    Naperville officials broke ground Wednesday on the Naper Homestead Historic Interpretive Site at the southeast corner of Jefferson Avenue and Mill Street. When it's finished, the site will honor the city's founders.

    Joe McMahon

    Kane ethics law review: Key portions invalid

    A Kane County assistant state’s attorney delivering a fresh review of the county’s ethics law said several areas of the law can’t be enforced. Like blocking political contributions.

    Gov. Pat Quinn

    Quinn on gambling, pay raises and ethics

    Gov. Pat Quinn goes one-on-one with the Daily Herald on gambling, pay raises and ethics.


    Paul Konerko reacts as he looks up during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins Friday, July 8, 2011, in Chicago.

    Good start, bad ending for Sox
    The White Sox' offense finally showed some life Friday night, but starting pitcher Gavin Floyd was ineffective and the Twins won yet another game, this time 8-5.

    I've proposed trading Carlos Quentin in each of the past two seasons and was widely met with ridicule. But Quentin did proceed to go on impressive hitting streaks both times, so perhaps that was the problem.

    White Sox' Quentin on trade block?

    The slumping White Sox cant afford to add more salary in a trade, but they could move a player like Carlos Quentin and bring up hot-hitting Dayan Viciedo from Class AAA Charlotte.

    Dick Williams holds out baseball hats of the opposing teams at the National Baseball Hall of Fame Legends Game at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, N.Y., on June 19.

    Hall of Famer Dick Williams dead at 82

    Dick Williams, one of only two managers ever to lead three teams to the World Series, died Thursday from a ruptured aortic aneurysm at a hospital near his home in Henderson, Nev., the Hall of Fame said. He was 82.


    Cubs scouting report
    Cubs scouting report


    Twins put the lumber to Humber

    The Twins continued to have their way with the White Sox Thursday night and not even top starter Phil Humber could prevent yet another loss.

    Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney reacts after his double drove in the winning run the ninth inning Thursday night.

    Some Cubs fun: Down 8-0, they rally to top Nats

    The Cubs were down, but not out, in the nation's capital Thursday night. After falling behind the Nats 7-0 in the third and 8-0 in the fourth, they staged their biggest comeback in three years to post an improbable 10-9 victory.


    Owners, NFLPA members talk for 12 hours in NYC

    NEW YORK — NFL owners and players' association leaders met for more than 12 hours Thursday, failing to reach a deal to end the league's months-long lockout but returning to try again in the morning."We still have a lot of work to do," NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith said as he emerged from the Manhattan law office where talks went deep into the evening. "We spent all day working hard for a deal that is fair and in keeping with what the players deserve."While Smith stressed the gaps in the deal, players involved in a lawsuit against the league had a conference call during which it became clear the two sides were close to agreement on the rules for free agency, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the labor talks are not being announced publicly, said even with the progress in the negotiations another long day of talks was expected Friday.NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell led the league's group, which also included owners Robert Kraft of the Patriots, John Mara of the New York Giants and Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys. NFLPA president Kevin Mawae was among the players' representatives.U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur J. Boylan, who has served as a mediator between the two sides, also was involved. He is scheduled to go on vacation Saturday, but talks are expected to continue in his absence.Lawyers for both sides gathered on Tuesday and Wednesday to put together some of the paperwork that will be needed when a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement is struck.Players and owners have been holding meetings around the country over the last six weeks, with pressure mounting to break the labor impasse. A major sticking point has been how to divide revenues for a $9 billion business that is easily the most popular professional sports league in America.Some training camps are set to open in less than three weeks and the first exhibition game, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, is Aug. 7. Hall of Fame president Steve Perry has said the plan now is that the game will go on as scheduled.The Buffalo Bills still appear on track for holding training camp at St. John Fisher College in suburban Rochester. Todd Harrison, a faculty member who works with the Bills in overseeing camp, said school officials, in consultation with the Bills, "continue moving forward" with their plans.The college issued an email invitation Thursday to training camp staff to attend an annual orientation session on July 18, but Harrison cautioned "not to read too much into that as a signal the Bills are coming." Harrison said organizers need to be proactive in training staff should a labor agreement be reached next week. The pressure on players and owners to reach a deal has been turned up another notch by the New York attorney general's office, which has launched an investigation into whether the lockout violates state antitrust laws. The players' lawsuit, filed in federal court in Minnesota, also is an antitrust case.New York Assistant Attorney General Richard Schwartz said in a letter to Goodell this week that the lockout will "inflict significant economic injuries statewide." The New York Jets have canceled their planned training camp in the small upstate city of Cortland, he noted.


    Turkish team in talks with Williams

    ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish team Besiktas says it is close to reaching a deal with locked out NBA all-star guard Deron Williams.Besiktas manager Murat Murtezaoglu told The Associated Press on Thursday that talks are under way with the New Jersey Nets player, U.S. Olympian and former Illinois star.Coach Ergin Ataman told the state-run Anatolia news agency that a deal was close. He also told The New York Times that an agreement had been reached. Jeff Schwartz, Williams’ agent, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.The Nets were not able to comment because the NBA has told teams not to comment on players during the lockout, which the owners initiated last week after the old collective-bargaining agreement expired.Ataman said “our negotiations with this player are continuing. If he does come, it would be an even greater transfer than that of Allen Iverson.”Iverson, the NBA’s MVP in 2001, joined Besiktas after no NBA team offered him a contract. His time in Besiktas was cut short because of injury.Williams, who the Nets acquired in February in a deal with Utah, was supposed to earn $16.36 million with New Jersey next season. His performance with the Nets was hindered by a wrist injury that required surgery.It is uncertain how his contract with the Nets would be affected if he were hurt playing for another team.

    Matt Garza throws against the Washington Nationals during the second inning Thursday night.

    Barney's double gives Cubs wild 10-9 win over Nats

    Darwin Barney's tiebreaking ninth-inning double, capped off a wild comeback and the Chicago Cubs rebounded from an eight-run deficit to beat the Washington Nationals 10-9 on Thursday night.


    Kerr, Anderson lead as play called at Women’s Open

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Instead of teeing it up when she comes back to the Broadmoor, Cristie Kerr's next shot at the U.S. Women's Open will be a blast out of the bunker on the front, right side of the seventh green.A difficult shot. It could be worse.A quirky day of thunder and lightning — but only spits of rain — suspended play Thursday with 25 players making it through the first round. It was a bad break on the opening day of the toughest test in golf — balky weather that figures to turn one of the most difficult weeks on the schedule into an even bigger grind."That's part of the gamble," said Christina Kim, who will try to squeeze in 36 holes on Friday.The rain halted a mini streak for Kerr, who had made two straight birdies to get into a tie for the lead at 2-under par with amateur Amy Anderson. After her second birdie, Kerr, who opened her round on the back, teed off into the right rough on No. 7, then hit her approach into the sand. That's when the siren sounded and the players headed to the clubhouse."At least I'll get to practice some long bunker shots before we go out, so maybe it's a good thing for me," she said.After halting play, the USGA kept the players in the clubhouse for 2 1/2 hours, but with the thunder still rumbling and the radar blinking red, officials called play. There were 75 players on the course and 66 who hadn't hit a shot. That means nearly half the field, including defending champion Paula Creamer and Yani Tseng, trying to complete her career Grand Slam, could face 72 holes in three days.The Broadmoor is the first U.S. Women's Open course to measure more than 7,000 yards — quite a haul, even at 6,700 feet in altitude."We were actually sitting here debating, what's the better draw?" Kim said. "Is it the one we have and we try to get 36 in in one day, or the one where you have 19 hours between shots in the same round?"Sarah-Jane Smith of Australia falls into the latter category, but only barely. After hearing her name announced on the first tee box, Smith striped her first shot down the middle of the fairway and started walking. Suddenly, the sirens blared and she made a U-turn back to the clubhouse."I've not teed off at all before," she said. "But I've never hit one, then walked straight back in. I'm looking forward to it."Then, pointing to her husband and caddie, Duane, she said, "He should have the yardage figured out by tomorrow morning."For the record, Duane Smith says it will be a 150-yard shot when play resumes at 7:45 a.m. local time Friday.And while Smith is sleeping on one good shot, Anderson will join Kerr in sleeping on the lead.The second-team All-American from North Dakota State hit her approach on the par-5 ninth to tap-in range for her second birdie of the day. That put her at 2 under."The first-day leader," she said. "That's way more than I could have imagined."She needs to hold onto the lead for six more holes to make it official.The only other players under par when play was suspended were Inbee Park (through 17), Ai Miyazato (15) and Silvia Cavalleri, who birdied her first hole before play was halted. Karrie Webb was in a group of nine still on the course at even. Michelle Wie was 7 over through 17 holes.The best score posted among the 25 players who had finished belonged to Kristy McPherson, who shot 2-over 73. That was one shot ahead of Aree Song and seven-time major winner Juli Inkster. Before the clouds rolled in, Inkster stood for about five minutes on the fairway of the par-5, 17th hole, waiting for the green to clear before she tried a 250-yard approach shot on a hole that had been unreachable during the practice rounds.The shot came up about 20 yards short and Inkster settled for par."It's nice" to be done, Inkster said. "It's been a while since I've been on the good side of the switch. It's going to be a long day for them."

    The United States’ Abby Wambach and Sweden’s Sara Larsson challenge for the ball on Wednesday.

    Americans: Quarterfinals or final, bring on Brazil

    The Americans can read a draw as well as anyone else. To win a third World Cup title, they were going to have to see Brazil at some point. OK, so it’s happening earlier than they expected. But quarterfinals or the final, the Americans insist they’re ready for Brazil and dynamic playmaker Marta.

    United States coach Pia Sundhage, pats Amy Le Peilbet after she was substituted during Wednesday’s Group C match between Sweden and the United States. Sweden won 2-1 to win the group.

    World Cup demands better performance

    They probably didn’t need it, but the United States women’s soccer players got another reminder that their never-say-die attitude and athleticism aren’t enough to win World Cups anymore.

    White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko points to fans at U.S. Cellular Field on Thursday after being selected as the final player for the American League all-star team.

    White Sox’ Konerko voted into All-Star Game

    With over 8.4 million votes, White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko won the American League Final Vote and is headed to Tuesday's All-Star Game at Chase Field in Phoenix.

    Mark McNeill, here putting on a jersey after being drafted by the Blackhawks in the first round last month, is looking to make a good impression at prospects camp this weekend.

    Hawks’ prospects trying to make an impression

    Blackhawks first-round pick Mark McNeill came to prospects camp Thursday looking to open eyes like Nick Leddy did a year ago.

    Kerry Collins, 38, was facing free agency after his contract expired in March, though he said as recently as last month that he still wanted to play.

    Titans veteran QB Kerry Collins retires

    Quarterback Kerry Collins is retiring from the NFL after 16 seasons in the league, his agent announced Thursday. Collins, 38, was facing free agency after his contract expired in March, though he said as recently as last month that he still wanted to play.

    The breakaway group with Anthony Roux of France, Adriano Malori of Italy, Leonardo Duque of Colombia, Johnny Hoogerland of The Netherlands, and Lieuwe Westra of The Netherlands, from left to right, passes world heritage site Mont Saint Michel, rear, a rocky tidal island which holds a monastery, during the sixth stage of the Tour de France Thursday.

    Favorites take no risks at rain-lashed Tour

    Alberto Contador knew it made little sense to take risks on a day when blinding, torrential rain lashed riders in the Tour de France. The 141-mile course Thursday — the sixth and longest stage in the three-week race — made for a dangerous trip. And the field was fortunate to avoid a major crash, a day after riders went tumbling everywhere.


    George Brett on Jeter: Tough to get 3,000th hit

    NEW YORK — George Brett predicts the 3,000th hit of Derek Jeter’s career will be harder to get than the first.“That first at-bat will be a little tough,” the Hall of Fame third baseman, one of the 27 players in the 3,000 Hit Club Jeter is seeking to join, said of Thursday night’s Yankees game.“He’ll get a standing ovation in anticipation,” Brett said on a conference call Thursday afternoon. “But the one thing about Derek Jeter is he’s been the star of that team for a long time; he’s been the focal point of that team for a long, long time. As many World Series as he’s played in — there’s more pressure playing in the World Series than getting three hits in a four-game series.”Brett said it would probably take a couple of at-bats for Jeter’s nerves to calm enough for him to get a hit.“I think he’ll really, really have to breathe and relax and not really think about it,” Brett said. “Once he does that, I think he’s going to be able to do it.”The shortstop doubled Wednesday in Cleveland to reach 2,997, then returned home to face the Tampa Bay Rays. “The second hit will be easier to get than the first, but that 3,000th is going to be a hard one,” Brett said.Brett said he’d never met Jeter. If he were to congratulate New York’s captain on joining the club, he’d tell him: “I admired you throughout your whole career. You’ve kept your nose clean in an era where it’s really hard to keep your nose clean.”“I’m more impressed with the consistency he’s gone out and played with,” Brett said. “Obviously, it’s a lot more pressure playing in New York than in any other city in the country.”Like Jeter, Brett got all his hits with one team — with the Kansas City Royals from 1973-93. He had extra pressure as he approached No. 3,000: Brett was hurt with a few games left in the 1992 season, unsure if he’d play another year.He reached the milestone in time and added 154 more hits before retiring.“I’m sure he has many, many more hits to come with him,” Brett said of Jeter, noting his own batting title as a 37-year-old, Jeter’s current age.Brett isn’t sure how many more guys will join him and Jeter in the club. Players of his era stayed in the game longer because they made less money and wanted to “continue to build that nest egg.”“Is that desire still going to be there when they’re worth $250 million when they’re 37 years old?” Brett said.


    Some in Clemens jury pool critical of Congress

    WASHINGTON — Prospective jurors screened Thursday for the Roger Clemens perjury trial were more critical of Congress for spending time investigating drugs in baseball than they were of the star pitcher on trial for lying to lawmakers about ever using them.The sports legend watched intently but didn’t speak as members of the jury pool faced intense questioning from the judge and lawyers from both sides for a second day. Nearly as many have been turned away as qualified to be considered for the panel that will eventually be seated, including two who were excused after they said they weren’t sure they could be fair because of their feelings about Congress.“Even members of Congress have lied to Congress and they have not been prosecuted,” said one of the panelists who was excused. Clemens faces six felony counts on accusations he lied to Congress under oath when he testified that he never used steroids or human growth hormone. His statements came during a deposition and a hearing at the House Government Reform committee, which took up the issue after a report to Major League Baseball accused Clemens and 85 other current and former players of using performance-enhancing drugs. Clemens’ longtime trainer, Brian McNamee, testified to the committee that he injected the seven-time Cy Young Award winner repeatedly with both substances. And Clemens’ former teammate and close friend Andy Pettitte said Clemens once told him he used human growth hormone. Clemens says Pettitte misheard him and that McNamee lied.Committee leaders asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Clemens committed perjury. One potential juror said he saw the documentary “Bigger, Stronger, Faster(asterisk)” that questioned whether steroids should be illegal and suggested the Clemens investigation was a waste of congressional resources. The man, who is chief financial officer at an accounting firm, called the film convincing and said he agreed Congress should have higher priorities than steroids. “Given all the problems the country faces, it wouldn’t have been high on my list,” the CFO said. A woman who works as a federal contracting officer had a similar opinion, although she expressed reluctance to question lawmakers’ decisions. Prosecutor Steven Durham pressed her on whether she believes the investigation was a waste of taxpayer money. She paused, smiled and acknowledged, “Honestly, yes.” But she said she could still fairly judge the case and was told to return as a possible juror.Clemens’ attorney, Rusty Hardin, pressed potential jurors on their feelings about steroids in baseball. “I’ve never gotten hate mail as intense as I have than while representing him because baseball fans feel so intensely about the subject,” Harden told one prospective juror who is a fan. Jury selection moved slowly, and U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said as the afternoon wore on that it was clear the screening process wouldn’t be finished Monday as he hoped but more likely would take until Tuesday or Wednesday because the trial is in recess on Friday. He urged lawyers to move quicker. “Please be prudent in what you ask,” Walton said.Others were excused because they had trouble with the English language or medical issues. Thirty-six need to be qualified to accommodate the cuts that both sides are allowed to make without explanation as they seat a final panel of 12 jurors and four alternates. The trial is expected to last into August. One woman, a former estate attorney, retired legal writer and “die-hard” Washington Nationals fan, acknowledged she wants to be a juror and said she could help keep the panel focused on the legal decisions they need to make. “I feel like this is a situation where it’s important to get it right,” she said. She was qualified to return for the next step in selection.———Follow Nedra Pickler’s coverage of the Clemens trial at http://twitter.com/nedrapickler


    World Series of Poker main event starts in Vegas

    LAS VEGAS — Hundreds of poker players began a trek toward potential card-playing fame as the World Series of Poker main event started in Las Vegas on Thursday.The $10,000 buy-in, no-limit Texas Hold `em tournament kicked off with the first of four starting days, expected to attract thousands of players to combine for millions in prize money for the winner.The field already included many well-known players, including poker icons Johnny Chan and Doyle Brunson, as well as 2007 champion Jerry Yang, 2004 champ Greg Raymer and “Seinfeld” actor Jason Alexander.“World Series of Poker, day one, my journey to glory,” Alexander said on Twitter before play started. “Heaven help me. Here we go.”Brunson wished players good luck as he gave the famous order to start play: “Shuffle up and deal.”The tournament comes at the end of a 58-tournament series on pace to set new highs in registrations and prize money. But even as poker’s most prestigious tournament begins, it’s unclear whether the main event will grow given legal turmoil affecting websites that awarded entry fees in past years.“This past spring, many critics speculated that poker was going to fade and die, but then a funny thing happened — you all showed up at the 2011 WSOP day after day after day,” tournament director Jack Effel said in welcoming players.“All is right in the world,” he said.Alexander said he’s not sure whether the series will be affected, though he believes it’s clear American players are angry about not being able to play poker online.“It’s been a boon for the card rooms, but everybody walks in with their jaws around their knees,” he said. The actor is sponsored as a celebrity by PokerStars, one of several online poker operations whose executives are facing federal charges of running an Internet gambling business illegally.The first two flights of starting players were expected to be lighter than the final two, as players in the past have tended to play later to shorten trips to Sin City by a few days. Series spokesman Seth Palansky said that over the past few years fewer than one-fifth of the entrants in the main event started during its first two days.To win the event, players would have to make it through 10 hours of play on their starting day, then navigate seven additional marathon sessions in hopes of becoming one of nine final players. The final table, to be determined July 20, will take a four-month break before settling the title in November, allowing episodic television coverage of the tournament to catch up.Canadian professional Jonathan Duhamel won the tournament last year, topping a field of 7,319 players to win $8.94 million.


    Baltimore Colts Hall of Famer John Mackey dies

    BALTIMORE — John Mackey revolutionized the tight end position, his incomparable ability to catch passes off the line of scrimmage helping to usher the NFL into the pass-happy modern era.After his retirement, Mackey remained on the forefront of change in professional football. He pushed for better health care and championed the cause of former players, even as he battled the dementia that ultimately forced him into an assisted-living facility.The Hall of Famer for the Baltimore Colts died at age 69. Mackey’s wife notified the team about her husband’s death, Ravens spokesman Chad Steele said Thursday. No cause was given.“John Mackey was one of the great leaders in NFL history, on and off the field,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “He was a Hall of Fame player who redefined the tight end position. He was a courageous advocate for his fellow NFL players as head of the NFL Players Association. He worked closely with our office on many issues through the years, including serving as the first president of the NFL Youth Football Fund. He never stopped fighting the good fight.”Mackey played for the Colts from 1963-71, during a time when tight ends were viewed as additional offensive tackles. His breakaway speed, soft hands and bruising running made him difficult to cover, giving Johnny Unitas another top target in the passing game.Together, they helped the Colts beat the Dallas Cowboys in the 1971 Super Bowl by connecting on a pass after it deflected off two other players for a 75-yard touchdown. Mackey also played for the San Diego Chargers in 1972, and finished his 10-year career with 331 catches for 5,236 yards and 38 TDs.His efforts after his playing days were just as important as his performance on the field.An NFL labor agreement ratified in 2006 includes the “88 Plan,” named for Mackey’s number. The plan provides up to $88,000 a year for nursing care or day care for former players with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, or $50,000 for home care.“John Mackey is still our leader. As the president of the NFLPA, he led the fight for fairness with a brilliance and with ferocious drive,” union executive director DeMaurice Smith said. “His passion continues to define our organization and inspire our players. His unwavering loyalty to our mission and his exemplary courage will never be forgotten.”Mackey has become closely associated with the plight of many former players who took to the field in an era before million-dollar contracts, safer equipment and better health care coverage.He suffered from frontotemporal dementia that is believed to have been caused by the contact associated with playing football. The costs associated with his care, which far outpaced Mackey’s pension, led the push toward better health care for former players.The issue has gained prominence in recent months during negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement. An NFL lockout has been going on since March.“John Mackey has inspired me and will continue to inspire our players,” Smith posted on his Twitter feed Thursday. “He will be missed but never forgotten.”Mackey was drafted in 1963 out of Syracuse — twice, actually. He was selected by the NFL’s Colts in the second round and the rival AFL’s New York Jets in the fifth round.He wound up playing for the Colts just as the passing game was taking on a major role in pro football. His size, speed and ability to catch the ball while also blocking in the running game made him the prototype for future generations of tight ends.“John revolutionized the tight end position during his Hall of Fame career, and he laid the foundation on and off the field for modern NFL players,” Ravens general manager and fellow Hall of Fame tight end Ozzie Newsome said.Mackey caught 35 passes for 726 yards as a rookie in 1963, when he was selected to the first of five Pro Bowls. He also was voted first-team All-Pro by The Associated Press in 1966, ‘67 and ‘68.


    Pat Quinn

    Quinn signs Chicago-area universal fare card bill

    Suburban commuters transferring from Metra to CTA or Pace to Metra know the frustration of having to provide separate fares.But by 2015, the region's three transit agencies should offer a seamless way to ride with a universal pass system.For riders who use CTA, Metra and Pace, the idea is a no-brainer.“Love it,” Cathleen Kelly of Elk Grove Village said Thursday at the Charles J. Zettek Transportation Center in Schaumburg. “I work all over the area and transfer from Pace to CTA. This will make my life a lot easier.”“Sounds like a good idea,” said Hung Chin Fang, who commutes from his home in Wilmette to his job in Schaumburg.Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation requiring a universal fare system Thursday. It would allow riders to use credit or debit cards or prepaid cards on all transit systems effective Jan. 1, 2015.The law also mandates that Metra provide web-based, real-time train arrival information, which the Chicago Transit Authority currently does, and offer free Wi-Fi provided it can at no cost to the agency.In addition, it directs the Regional Transportation Authority to study the cost and feasibility of having free Wi-Fi on all buses and trains and the need for Metra to provide defibrillators on trains. The idea of a universal fare card has been around for years but getting all three agencies on board hasn't been easy and former administrations at Metra balked at updating technology.“Now it's the law and everyone will work toward that date,” RTA deputy executive director of communications Diane Palmer said. “This is obviously a key priority for the RTA.”Because Metra has a distance-based, open system where riders can get on trains without paying first and conductors collect fares on board, there are some logistical issues to figure out regarding universal cards, senior director of media relations Judy Pardonnet said. “We're dedicated to working with the RTA to come up with a way riders can move seamlessly between systems,” she said.Metra staff are already reviewing bids from companies to install Wi-Fi systems with the caveat it come at no cost. That could mean allowing the company that provides the free service to advertise on trains as a trade-off, Pardonnet said.Regarding real-time train arrival information, Metra bought GPS units that will allow it to meet that goal by July 2012.Pace officials said they support a universal fare system.“We already have full integration of our electronic fare equipment with the CTA and the PlusBus pass has been a simple, low-cost solution to integrate our monthly passes with Metra,” spokesman Patrick Wilmot said. “We don't foresee any challenges on our end moving to a universal fare system and are looking forward to working with the other agencies.”


    Decomposed body found in Champaign is identified

    CHAMPAIGN — Authorities now say that a decomposing body found in Champaign is a 50-year-old resident of the city.Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup told the (Champaign) News-Gazette Thursday that he still isn’t sure how Nathaniel Cater died or how long he had been dead.The results of an autopsy aren’t yet available.Police Chief R.T. Finney says a man found Carter’s body Wednesday in some knee-high weeds in Champaign.Finney says the body was so decomposed that after Carter was found, officers couldn’t even be sure of his race.


    Indiana beach fight kills 1, Chicago man surrenders

    LONG BEACH, Ind. — A Chicago man has surrendered to northwestern Indiana authorities in connection with the death of a teenager injured in a July Fourth beach fight.The LaPorte County Jail said 19-year-old James Malacek was expected to be released on $25,000 bond after processing following his surrender Thursday on a warrant charging him with voluntary manslaughter, aggravated battery and battery. Jail records did not indicate if he had an attorney.The Lake County coroner’s office says 17-year-old Kevin Kennelly died of blunt force trauma to the head at a Crown Point hospital Wednesday, two days after the fight at Long Beach, about 30 miles southeast of Chicago. Kennelly was believed to have been assaulted while trying to break up a fight on the beach.


    Senators propose immediate end to ethanol credit

    WASHINGTON — Two senators from ethanol-producing states proposed Thursday to immediately end a tax credit for the corn-based fuel and agreeing to support shifting some of that money to debt reduction. Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and John Thune, R-S.D., along with ethanol opponent Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., have proposed diverting $1.3 billion of the money remaining for the tax break this year to pay for debt reduction. And $668 million will be used for incentives for the ethanol and biofuels industries.If accepted by the House and the Obama administration, the compromise could provide a quick path to end the ethanol credit as part of budget negotiations between Congress and the White House. The Senate last month adopted an amendment to end the $5 billion subsidy, but the fate of the legislation to which it’s attached — a bill renewing a federal economic development program — is uncertain.The White House signaled support for the deal. “Consistent with the Administration’s goals, this deal provides a roadmap for the American biofuels industry to navigate their own future expansion — addressing infrastructure needs while supporting innovation for the next generations of biofuels,” said White House spokesman Matt Lehrich. The ethanol industry once enjoyed strong support from Congress, but it has suffered as lawmakers have looked for ways to cut budgets and have started to question why the industry still needs government help after three decades of production. The Senate vote last month signaled that the tax credit, scheduled to expire at the end of the year, was probably doomed.The compromise between the three senators would end the tax credit at the end of this month and redistribute the $2 billion left over for the year. It also would allow the ethanol industry to salvage at least some of the federal subsidy money.Critics say ethanol subsidies are no longer needed for an industry that is already supported by a mandate from Congress that requires refiners to blend 36 billion gallons of biofuels into auto fuel by 2022. As that criticism has become louder, Klobuchar and other farm-state members have worked with the industry to find alternate ways to spur production without spending as much taxpayer money. “The better thing to do is to end it now and go on a more prudent course going forward,” said Klobuchar. The $668 million in incentives will go to help gas stations deliver the fuel to consumers, to the smallest producers who may be hurt the most by the elimination of the tax credit and to producers trying to make ethanol from materials other than corn. Ethanol industry groups praised the agreement Thursday, signaling it is the best they can do as Washington has trained a skeptical eye on their business. Just last year, many in the industry were hoping the full $5 billion tax break could be diverted for industry incentives. “This proposal will benefit consumers at the pump, reduce our dependence on foreign oil by investing in next-generation biofuels, and make a significant contribution to reducing our nation’s budget deficit,” said Tom Buis, the head of industry group Growth Energy. ———Follow Mary Clare Jalonick on Twitter at http//www.twitter.com/MCJalonick


    Bank sets up fund for Ill. pair hurt in stabbings
    LEAF RIVER, Ill. — A fund has been set up to help a northern Illinois water department worker who police say was stabbed by a man upset over water quality.David Zellers and his wife Denise were attacked at their home in Leaf River on Sunday.Zellers works for the Leaf River Water Department.Ogle County Sheriff Michael Harn says 26-year-old Michael Mitchell called the couple Sunday afternoon to complain about water quality, then attacked them about four hours later.Mitchell is charged with home invasion and two accounts of aggravated battery. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he has an attorney. WREX-TV reports that Forreston State Bank has set up a fund to help the Zellers cover medical bills during their recovery.Both have been released from the hospital.


    Unions asks arbitrator to decide canceled raises

    A major state employee union asked an arbitrator Thursday to decide whether Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn can cancel scheduled raises for thousands of workers.The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees sought the ruling after Quinn announced last week he was ditching the $75 million in raises for 30,00 workers to help deal with the state’s budget crisis.“By refusing to pay state employees in accordance with the contract, Governor Quinn has violated an agreement that was fairly bargained and legally binding,” AFSCME Council 31 executive director Henry Bayer said. “This is about integrity. What is the value of the governor’s word if he can break it? What is the value of a contract if it can be ignored? Bringing this matter before the arbitrator is our union’s first step in seeing that the contract is upheld and integrity is restored.”The union has asked state workers to hold informational pickets throughout the state on July 12.Quinn’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He has said he wasn’t concerned about what could potentially be a long and costly legal battle over the raises.“If they decide to sue that’s their right and we’ll be happy to meet them in court,” he said earlier this week.His administration has notified 14 state agencies and employee unions that raises won’t be paid as required by contract because lawmakers didn’t include enough money in the new state budget. The union said the arbitrator, Edwin Benn, has ordered both the state and the union to submit briefs regarding the dispute by July 16. He could rule then or have an evidentiary hearing, AFSCME said. An arbitrator’s ruling can be appealed in state court.AFSCME said going to an arbitrator doesn’t prevent a possible lawsuit later.Quinn’s insistence that lawmakers didn’t set aside money in the budget to pay the raises is not entirely accurate. Lawmakers cut spending for salaries despite the scheduled raises, but budgets don’t distinguish between regular salaries and raises; they simply give the governor a certain amount of money for employees. The governor decides how to spend the money. Quinn could have cut some jobs and used the limited money available to pay the full raises to remaining employees. Or he could have paid everyone the higher salaries and come back to lawmakers in October and requested more money. He also had the option of vetoing the budget and telling legislators they failed to include enough money for personnel.

    orld markets managed modest gains Thursday, shrugging off a weak U.S. growth report and an interest rate hike in China.

    Dow closes up 93 points on good retail news

    A rebound in June retail sales combined with strong jobs reports to push stocks near their highest levels of the year. The number of people who made first-time claims for unemployment benefits dropped last week to 418,000, the lowest in seven weeks.

    A shopper leaves Costco in Mountain View, Calif. Retailers are reporting robust sales as deep discounts on summer merchandise pulled in shoppers in June. But the concern is that the momentum may not continue heading into the back-to-school shopping season when consumers are likely to find higher prices on everything from clothing to handbags.

    Discounts help US retailers post strong June sales

    American consumers that were enticed by warmer weather and deep discounts of up to 80 percent on summer merchandise went on a buying binge in June, helping many retailers deliver robust revenue gains for what is typically the second-biggest shopping month of the year.


    Locals want oldest US nuclear plant to stay open

    LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. — It’s the oldest nuclear power plant in America, and it recently leaked radioactive water into the ground that threatened drinking water in its southern New Jersey neighborhood.But people living near the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station packed a public hearing on its future Thursday, dismissing environmental concerns as “pseudoscience” and focusing on the jobs and tax revenues the plant provides.The hearing was called to discuss a key element of the deal reached last December to shut the plant down in 2019, a decade earlier than called for under its federal license. A water quality permit the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection proposes to give the plant’s operators, Chicago-based Exelon Corp., would let the plant operate until Dec. 31, 2019, without having to build costly cooling towers. The towers would prevent the deaths of millions of fish and tiny marine organisms each year, and reduce the temperature of water flowing back out into the endangered Barnegat Bay.One environmental group said that water is as super-heated as the average backyard hot tub.“The nuclear plant has been an excellent neighbor here,” said Neil Marine, a Lacey resident who said he has seen no evidence of radiation or chemical contamination leaving the plant.“We hear a lot of pseudoscience here,” he said. “We have the best fishing on the East Coast in my lifetime right here — with the nuclear plant. A little bit of warm water is not killing our bay.“I swim in that outflow,” he said. “I eat the fish. I eat the crabs. I live the life.”He and others said the real problem with Barnegat Bay is nitrogen from lawn fertilizer runoff, not the plant’s warmer waters.The plant is located about 60 miles east of Philadelphia and 75 miles south of New York City. It produces 636 megawatts of electricity per hour, enough to power 600,000 homes, and provides about 9 percent of New Jersey’s electricity.Bob Dunlap, a member of the Fish Hawks, a local anglers group, also called Oyster Creek a good neighbor that cares for the environment.“We fish and clam in that bay,” he said. “I ask everybody to stand behind them and let them do their jobs.”Peter Lachawiec, mayor of neighboring Waretown, called on Exelon to scrap its agreement with the state to shut down in 2019 and negotiate a new plan to extend the life of the plant, or build a new one near its existing site, provided cooling towers are part of the plan.“I’m a proponent of nuclear energy,” he said. “I want a new nuclear plant. I also want cooling towers. I think they should be here for the next 50 years. Build a new nuclear plant, build the cooling towers, you can make all the money you want, and we still all have our jobs.”Mike Sowa of Lacey says he looks out his kitchen window each evening to watch the sun set over the plant.“I love it,” he said. “I fish and clam in the bay. I eat all that stuff and it didn’t hurt me. Exelon has been a great neighbor. I wish they would stay here a heck of a lot longer. I caught two keeper fluke in the bay today; the fishing is still very nice.” Last year, the administration of outgoing Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine told Oyster Creek it needed to build one or more cooling towers in order to qualify for a water permit. But in December 2010, the administration of Republican Gov. Chris Christie reached a deal with Exelon to drop its insistence on cooling towers in return for the plant shutting down 10 years earlier than planned. Exelon said building the cooling towers, whose cost estimates have ranged from $200 million to $800 million, would be unprofitable.


    Judge denies Dodgers effort to get MLB documents

    DOVER, Del. — A Delaware judge on Thursday denied a request by the Los Angeles Dodgers to order Major League Baseball to turn over a vast array of documents in the team’s bankruptcy case.The Dodgers sought a wide range of records they believed would bolster their argument that Commissioner Bud Selig and MLB have treated the team unfairly and should not be allowed to serve as its bankruptcy lender.But Judge Kevin Gross agreed with MLB attorneys that the information the Dodgers were seeking was irrelevant to the immediate issue of the team’s proposed bankruptcy financing plan, which is subject to a July 20 hearing.“The discovery is really at this point overbroad and burdensome,” Gross said. “... This is clearly in my mind not an appropriate occasion to turn the hearing into a trial of the commissioner.”Gross also indicated that the Dodgers’ request to depose Selig was improper, saying depositions should be limited to people most knowledgeable about the major leagues’ analysis of the Dodgers’ proposed financing plan and MLB’s competing loan offer.The information sought by the Dodgers included records regarding MLB’s investigation of the team and owner Frank McCourt, its decision to reject a broadcast rights deal between the Dodgers and Fox Sports, communications between Selig and the monitor he appointed to oversee the Dodgers, and communications between the league and McCourt’s ex-wife, Jamie, who is seeking half of his ownership assets.The Dodgers also sought league records regarding last year’s bankruptcy filing by the Texas Rangers and the league’s recent dealings with the New York Mets, whose owners are embroiled in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme scandal.“The best evidence of what Major League Baseball will be doing going forward is what it did in the past,” said Dodgers attorney Bruce Bennett.The loan offer by the league has better financial terms than the team’s financing arrangement with hedge fund Highbridge Capital. But the Dodgers argue that the league’s offer is simply a veiled attempt to take control of the team and force a change of ownership, and that they should not be required to accept financing from an entity “overtly hostile” to the team’s best interests.“We concede that cheaper is normally better, but it isn’t always better,” Bennett said.Glenn Kurtz, an attorney for Selig’s office, said the league has agreed to produce documents regarding its offer to provide debtor-in-possession financing to the Dodgers, but that much of the information sought by the team was irrelevant to the financing issue and instead related to McCourt’s individual disagreements with Selig and the league.“This is generally not the time or venue for Mr. McCourt to try to litigate with the commissioner,” Kurtz said.Gross, who has given interim approval to the Dodgers’ proposed $150 million financing arrangement with Highbridge, acknowledged that many of the issues involving the team’s relationship with the league may come before him at some point, but that he was not going to turn the financing motion into a hearing on collateral matters.In a statement released by a spokeswoman after the judge’s ruling, the Dodgers said they still expect their financing proposal to be approved at the July 20 hearing.“As the court indicated, there will be other opportunities in this bankruptcy case for the Dodgers to obtain the discovery that MLB does not want to share with the Dodgers and the court,” the statement read.


    Minnesota shutdown a battle over big-spending legacy

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — The weeklong shutdown of Minnesota’s government stems from a deep conflict about the state’s tradition of generous public assistance programs. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton says the state’s long practice of caring for the vulnerable is at risk in the budget dispute that led to the shutdown. Republicans who control the Legislature say that safety net has been fueled by high taxes that stifle job growth. The two sides had no overall budget talks scheduled Thursday.Even Dayton’s allies agree the state spends generously. But they say that’s led to decades of high test scores, strong incomes and a desirable quality of life. Republicans say the state can no longer afford to be known as a place where newcomers have fast, long-term access to a long menu of benefits.


    Johnson & Johnson signs as 2014 World Cup sponsor

    FIFA says health care firm Johnson & Johnson has bought the final global sponsorship slot for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.


    Wells Fargo buys benefits consultant Edify

    NEW YORK — Wells Fargo & Co. said Thursday that its insurance services unit bought Edify LLC, an employee benefits consultant based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

    The Department of Transportation said Thursday that a total of 16 planes waited on runways for more than three hours that month, the most recent for which statistics are available. That's four times the highest number of any month since the rule threatening huge fines for such delays was implemented on April 29 of last year.

    Flight delays swell in May due to Chicago storms

    Fourteen American Eagle flights were stuck on the tarmac at Chicago O'Hare for more than three hours on one day in May when thunderstorms led to hundreds of cancelled flights.

Life & Entertainment



    State’s ethics math does not compute

    At what price, justice? A Daily Herald editorial says the $2 million spent to levy $28,350 in fines over seven years doesn't add up to efficient use of taxpayer dollars.


    The dream of home ownership gone awry

    The book "Reckless Endangerment" is another cautionary tale about government’s terrifying self-confidence. It is, the authors say, “a story of what happens when Washington decides, in its infinite wisdom, that every living, breathing citizen should own a home.”


    The cultic tendencies of the GOP

    If you are a GOP presidential candidate who believes in global warming, revenue enhancement, stimulus programs, the occasional need for abortion or even the fabulist theories of the late Charles Darwin, then either stay home — or lie.


    Tough limits on coal bad for consumers
    To gain the public interest and support, the president, Congress and the EPA must make the carbon-based energy so expensive that the green technology looks more promising, and that’s where we are now. Keep an eye on your energy bills.


    Flag a reminder of unity we should seek
    I miss the times of more political and neighborhood unity. Times when state and federal political leaders made concerted efforts to cooperate, get along with one another and truly work with the common goal of building a strong, prosperous country whose peoples had good jobs, good healthcare and a retirement worth living through.


    Deal would benefit youth and taxpayers
    If I felt Kane’s facility and programs for troubled youth were inferior to those in DuPage, and this move would harm these kids, this discussion would not have gone anywhere.


    Skip appeal, Rod; take your lumps
    Blago after the sentencing hearing should immediately go to federal prison to stop the destruction of his family and save what remains of his wealth for his family.


    Why life is better north of the border
    There were thousands of cars, campers, SUVs, pickup trucks and recreational vehicles headed north into Wisconsin July 1 for the Fourth of July weekend, and any of theses vehicles that needed fuel along the way were warmly welcomed by gasoline and fuel prices that were 30 to 40 cents a gallon less than what was being charged in the great state of Illinois. This certainly softened the blow to travelers on their way to catch the big muskie or water ski in the land of cheddar.


    U.S. companies hardly at a disadvantage
    Republicans are fond of saying that the United States has a high corporate tax rate, and because of this our corporations operate at a competitive disadvantage in the world marketplace. If you have read this and believed it, you have been made a fool.


    Limited's key revenue figure jumps in June

    Strong sales at Limited Brands Inc.'s Victoria's Secret chain helped the retailer post a 12 percent rise in June revenue at stores open at least a year compared with a year ago, more than triple the growth that analysts expected.


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