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Daily Archive : Tuesday July 12, 2011

News

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    Paul Brittain will join the "Saturday Night Live" case this fall.

    Naperville native makes mark on SNL

    When he got the phone call saying he'd been chosen to join the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” Paul Brittain didn't react. “I was more in the speechless and in-amazement mode rather than screaming ‘Yay!' in the streets,” said the 34-year-old Naperville native.

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    A local architect wants to convert the former Ace Hardware store at 118 S. First St. in West Dundee into a regional cultural arts theater.

    Architect wants to turn W. Dundee hardware store into theater

    A local architect with ambitious plans to turn an abandoned West Dundee hardware store into a regional cultural arts theater hopes the project would breathe new life into the downtown. The building would become a haven for theater, music, photography and dance groups, while reserving performance space for high school and local theater groups.

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    7 overcome by fumes in Round Lake Park

    Seven people are recovering after being overcome by fumes from a gas-powered generator in their Round Lake Park house late Monday, authorities said.

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    The current Walgreens store in Batavia Plaza in downtown Batavia. The company is proposing to build a replacement store just to the east, on the site where Prairie Path Cyclery stands.

    Walgreens wants larger downtown Batavia store

    Walgreens wants to build a new store in downtown Batavia, larger than its existing one and including a drive-through. The proposal was unveiled Tuesday to the Batavia community development committee.

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    Carol Stream complex replacing balconies after collapse

    All 144 balconies will be replaced at an aging Carol Stream condominium complex, where an overhang canopy collapsed last summer.

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    Restaurant gets OK to serve on Arlington Hts. plaza

    Javier's, Sabor Mexicano, will expand its outdoor seating into a new public plaza Arlington Heights officials created by closing a small stretch of Miner Street just north of Northwest Highway and west of Dunton Avenue.

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    Amos Ramon connects with the ball as the Lake County Fielders played the Kansas City T-bones in the first night game at a Zion diamond in the 2010. Last year was the Fielders' inaugural season.

    Lake County Fielders manager quits — via email

    The Lake County Fielders say manager Tim Johnson quit the team just before Saturday's home game, but didn't inform the front office until after he had already left the diamond. Johnson and 11 players have reportedly quit because they were not getting paid.

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    The new Rivers Casino in Des Plaines opens Monday with more than 1,050 slots machines starting at a penny.

    Rivers Casino clearing final hurdles to opening

    Illinois Gaming Board representatives did a final practice session at the Rivers Casino Tuesday and are expected to grant a temporary license to open in the next day or two.

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    Alejandro Garduno

    Naperville man gets 12 years for sexually assaulting teen

    A Naperville man who presented a teen girl with a bouquet of flowers before he sexually assaulted her was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in prison. Alejandro Garduno, 58, pleaded guilty to criminal sexual assault in connection with the February 2006 attack in Naperville.

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    Kane County unemployment agency quickly reorganized

    Concerns about a Kane County unemployment agency sparked fears of a lack of transparency in Kane County government Tuesday as officials pushed through a last-minute reorganization to keep federal dollars.

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    New candidate for Lake state's attorney

    Lake Barrington attorney Bryan Winter announced Tuesday he intends to run for the Republican nomination for Lake County state's attorney in next year's election.

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    Cary looking into economic development, arts

    Cary officials are looking into the possibility of creating an economic development committee and an arts commission, after such bodies were disbanded years ago.

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    Patricia Black of Downers Grove rests Tuesday at the Krasa Center on the Benedictine University campus in Lisle. Black, whose home was without power, had stayed overnight at the center.

    300,000, mostly in Lake, McHenry, remain without power

    ComEd offcials said they restored power within 24 hours to more than half of the 868,000 customers who experienced outages after Mondays's storm.

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    A police officer directs traffic at busy Route 14 and Cary-Algonquin Road Tuesday morning in Cary. The traffic signals are not working because of the power outage.

    Fox Valley cooling centers open amid heat concerns

    Public works crews and utility personnel worked to restore power and clear roadways a day after a major storm battered the area.

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    Forestry crew member Seth Westberg saws off a broken limb Tuesday morning on Busse Avenue just east of Maple Street in Mount Prospect. Though Monday’s storm downed trees and limbs, damage was minimal compared to what was left after a tornado hit town last month.

    Northwest suburbs cleaning up, waiting for power

    Many Northwest suburban residents continued to display large reserves of patience and practicality Tuesday in the wake of an unprecedented power outage caused by Monday’s destructive storms.

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    Downed power lines and fallen trees remain Tuesday morning along Grand Avenue in downtown Lake Villa.

    Clean up continues in Lake County

    ComEd crews slowly turned on power for thousands of Lake County homes as residents set about the task of assessing storm damage, finding a place to cool off or searching for some of life’s essentials — like a bag of ice.

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    First phase of RiverEdge Park to cost Aurora $1.2 M

    The first phase of RiverEdge Park construction is guaranteed to cost the city of Aurora no more than $1,255,360 under a price ceiling agreement the city council approved Tuesday. And after years of planning, construction on the park’s Fox River shoreline site is set to begin with a groundbreaking ceremony July 15.

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    Having to buy a squiggly fluorescent light bulb is an affront to personal freedom, some lawmakers are saying. But not enough apparently, now that House Republicans failed to vote down a law setting new energy-efficiency standards for the bulbs.

    House GOP fails to kill light bulb rules

    House Republicans on Tuesday failed to stop the enactment of new energy-saving standards for light bulbs they portrayed as yet another example of big government interfering in people’s lives.

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    East Dundee postpones Torco development project

    The East Dundee village board has delayed approving an annexation agreement with a group interested in developing the Torco property because the village has not yet secured a piece of land adjacent to it on Route 25. The village is still in the midst of negotiations with the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation, which owns a sliver of land between the Torco property and the village limits in...

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    Eddie and Brittany McKee tie the knot at Superdawg in Wheeling.

    Wheeling Superdawg hopes to host more weddings

    Brittany and Eddie McKee of Chicago became the first couple to get married at the Wheeling Superdawg on Friday. “You are only supposed to get married once and you want it to be special and fun,” Brittany said.

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    Smoke evacuates Crystal Lake nursing home

    A Crystal Lake nursing home was evacuated late Tuesady afternoon after an overheated generator began filling the basement with black smoke, according to fire officials.

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    AP sources: Rebels gaining on Gadhafi regime

    Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is facing dramatic shortages of fuel for his soldiers and citizens in Tripoli, and he is running out of cash to pay his forces and what is left of his government, according to the latest U.S. intelligence reports. In France, the foreign minister reported that Gadhafi is prepared to leave power.

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    A military honor guard carries the casket of former first lady Betty Ford into her funeral at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, Calif., on Tuesday.

    Betty Ford remembered at bipartisan memorial

    First ladies, past and present, and others who called the White House home remembered Betty Ford on Tuesday, not just for her decades-long work against substance abuse but for her contributions to a political era when friendship among lawmakers helped them govern.

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    Veteran’s Memorial benefit:

    lake county news digest for wednesday, july 13.

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    Venetian Night rescheduled:

    Fox lake Venetian Night fundraiser scheduled for Wednesday has been rescheduled due to the heavy storms.

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    Stevenson teacher dies:

    A longtime Stevenson High School teacher in the communication arts division died Monday. Jeffrey Mayer, who was 50, taught English and World Masterpieces courses to sophomore and senior students and was a core leader in the. “He inspired many students and easily connected with all students,” District 125 Superintendent Eric Twadell and Principal John Carter said in a statement. A memorial service...

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    Actress Mila Kunis has agreed to accompany Marine Sgt. Scott Moore at the Marine Corps Ball in November after Moore posted a YouTube video asking Kunis to join him.

    Mila Kunis says yes to Marine YouTube date request

    Marine Sgt. Scott Moore has a big date coming up when he returns from military service in Afghanistan.

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    Wheeling sprinkler project still alive

    A Wheeling fire station gets the OK to continue on the road to installing sprinklers.

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    This is a sketch of the man who Palatine police tried to lure a boy into his truck July 7 in the 100 block of South Ash Street.

    Palatine police searching for man who tried to lure a boy into his truck

    Palatine police are looking for a man they say tried to lure a young boy into his car last week.

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    Fire investigators say an electrical malfunction sparked an early Monday morning fire on the 500 block of Carriage Drive in the Aspen Ridge Apartment complex in West Chicago.

    West Chicago fire was electrical

    An electrical malfunction caused the six-alarm fire in West Chicago that displaced more than 100 residents early Monday morning, fire officials said Tuesday. The fire started in the walls of a first-floor bathroom, behind either an outlet or the bathroom fan. Officials with the DuPage County’s fire investigations team saw charring in both areas.

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    McLeod named VP of Northwest Municipal Conference

    Hoffman Estates Mayor William McLeod last week was named vice president of the Northwest Municipal Conference.

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    Hanover Twp. to discuss mental health grants

    The Hanover Township Mental Health Board will hold an informational meeting regarding fiscal year 2013 mental health grants Tuesday, July 19 at the Poplar Creek Public Library in Streamwood. Agencies that provide services to residents with developmental disabilities can learn about the grant process, funding and application.

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    Chicago man sentenced to 18 years for human trafficking

    A Chicago man arrested in August 2010 at an Elk Grove Village hotel and convicted last March of human trafficking, was sentenced to 18 years in prison Tuesday. Troy Bonaparte's conviction marks the first in Cook County on this charge.

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    Robert 'Bobby' L. Bostic in a 2011 police mug shot.

    Defense in 1982 murder wants charges dropped because of delay

    Defense attorneys for a man accused of a 1982 murder argued Tuesday that the case should be dismissed because of the “extraordinary pre-indictment delay of 28 years.”

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    Bishop R. Daniel Conlon

    Followers can meet new Joliet Diocese bishop

    Before Joliet Diocese officials install the Rev. R. Daniel Conlon as the new bishop on Thursday at a ticket-only event, the Diocese will host a service Wednesday night that welcomes all local Catholics can meet the new diocese leader.

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    Ireland downgrade topples stocks

    Ireland’s government bonds were downgraded by ratings agency Moody’s to junk status shortly before U.S. markets closed Tuesday, sending stocks sharply lower and erasing the day’s gains.

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    Ill. Catholics dispute foster-care law in court

    A Sangamon County judge has granted a preliminary injunction that keeps the foster-care and adoption contracts between the state and Catholic Charities in place.

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    Slaying suspect's Air Force exam records destroyed

    Military records that a former police officer insists would help exonerate him in the 1957 slaying of an Illinois girl burned in a 1973 archives fire that destroyed millions of military personnel records, The Associated Press learned Tuesday.

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    Mother sentenced to 7 years in child burning

    A 25-year-old Springfield woman convicted of burning her 16-month-old son has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

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    Jury deciding trial of woman accused of killing 2

    Jurors in southern Illinois' Franklin County are deliberating in the murder trial of a woman accused in the shooting deaths of two women in their West Frankfort home.

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    Geneva 5K benefits Cancers Society

    Graham's Fine Chocolates and Ice Cream in Geneva will sponsor a 5K race to benefit the American Cancer Society. Participants get an ice cream sundae at the end of the run.

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    Building collapse briefly traps Bloomington woman

    A Bloomington bridge that was closed after the collapse of a nearby century-old building has been reopened.

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    Police reports
    • Three vehicles were entered between 9 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m. Monday while they were parked in the 300 block of Buckingham Circle in Elgin, according to police reports. Approximately $50 in change as well as a wallet that had a license and credit card inside were taken from one vehicle; an iPod was taken from a second vehicle and nothing was taken from the third, reports said.

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    Police reports
    A person was hit in the eye by a paintball shot through the open driver’s-side window of a vehicle at 10:44 p.m. Sunday at Western Avenue and McKee Street. The person suffered a black eye, but refused medical attention, according to police.

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    Should parents lose custody of super obese kids?

    Should parents of extremely obese children lose custody for not controlling their kids' weight? A provocative commentary in one of the nation's most distinguished medical journals argues yes, and its authors are joining a quiet chorus of advocates who say the government should be allowed to intervene in extreme cases.

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    Motorcycle gang members face murder, drug charges

    A nationwide motorcycle gang was responsible for killings, robberies, drug distribution and other crimes, according to a federal indictment unsealed in St. Louis on Tuesday.

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    Quartet struggles on way forward for Mideast peace

    U.S. and other Mideast peace envoys scrambled Tuesday to salvage fading hopes of a breakthrough in Israeli-Palestinian talks, a day after their bosses couldn't even agree among themselves how to arm-twist the two sides back into negotiation.

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Seventeen car burglaries, thefts and criminal damage to property were reported overnight July 2-3 to unlocked vehicles and at homes, with the loss estimated at $8,000.

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    Casey Anthony's mother could face perjury charges

    A sheriff in Florida says Casey Anthony's mother could face perjury charges for her testimony during her daughter's murder trial.

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    Obama honors troop who fought in Afghanistan

    President Barack Obama awarded the nation's highest military honor Tuesday to Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Arthur Petry after describing how the soldier took enemy fire in Afghanistan but still grabbed a live grenade to save his comrades. "This is the stuff of which heroes are made," the president declared.

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    ComEd worker Jason Schmidt is part of a Highland Park crew working to restore power in Lake Villa Tuesday morning.

    Images: Cleaning-up in the suburbs after Monday’s storm.
    Throughout the suburbs, efforts to clean up debris and restore power continue after Monday's severe storms.

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    US aid to Palestinians in jeopardy over Hamas link

    American aid to the Palestinians is in jeopardy over their ties to the terrorist group Hamas, unwillingness to restart negotiations with Israel and push for statehood at the United Nations over U.S. resistance, congressional Republicans and Democrats warned on Tuesday.

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    6-year-old Illinois girl quietly sinks hole in 1

    A 6-year-old golfer sank a hole in one on a course in central Illinois and calmly walked back to her cart.

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    Ahmad Wali Karzai, half brother of Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai, is seen here in April 2010. An Afghan official said Tuesday that Karzai, who had become a political liability for his brother’s government, was shot and killed.

    Afghan president’s half brother killed

    President Hamid Karzai’s half brother, the most powerful man in southern Afghanistan and a lightning rod for criticism of corruption in the government, was assassinated Tuesday by a close associate.

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    Ill. union pickets over Quinn canceling raises

    The fight over Gov. Pat Quinn's decision to cancel raises for thousands of public employees hit the streets Tuesday, with state workers across Illinois walking picket lines, chanting and hoisting signs.

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    Jack Daniel McCullough, a former police officer was arrested in the 1957 killing of a Sycamore, Ill., girl.

    Military records of suspect in Illinois slaying destroyed

    Military records that a former police officer insists would help exonerate him in the 1957 slaying of a Sycamore, Ill, girl were burned up in a 1973 archives fire that destroyed millions of military personnel records, The Associated Press learned Tuesday.

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    US says Assad failed to prove himself legitimate

    The United States said Tuesday that Syrian President Bashar Assad has failed to prove himself a worthy leader nearly two months after being challenged by President Barack Obama to guide his country toward a democratic transition or leave power.

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    Javier Tellez of Round Lake Beach

    Suspect in police standoff ordered held on $250,000 bond

    A Round Lake Beach man police said held them at bay for close to three hours Monday in an armed standoff has been ordered held on $250,000 bond.

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    A dragonfly rests on a flower in a restored prairie field on the property of Rachel and Aubrey Neville of Elgin.

    Idyllic gardens open to public for one day

    Rachel and Aubrey Neville live on a little piece of paradise. And this weekend, they’ll share it with the world. The couple owns 55 acres that, on July 16, will be a featured garden stop on the Garden Conservancy Open Days program.

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    A veteran rides past cheering schoolchildren from the Hattendorf Center Day Care during the Heart Of a Marine Foundation’s “Meet the Athlete” media day event Tuesday, June 28.

    Tour of Elk Grove Cycling Classic to feature adaptive athlete race

    Heart of A Marine Foundation is sponsoring a race for adaptive athletes at the Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove International Cycling Classic .

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    New members of the Barrington Area Senior Citizens Hall of Fame, from left, are: Front row: Carol Nelson, Sylvia Boeder, Connie Schofield, Carol McGregor and Bonnie Murray; back row: Gerald Barry, Ginger Underwood, Art Rice and Harry Logue. Not pictured: Donald Semla.

    Barrington-area residents in seniors Hall of Fame

    Ten Barrington-area residents were inducted into the 16th annual Barrington Area Senior Citizens Hall of Fame at a recognition tea at Lake Barrington Woods.

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    Decatur couple jailed after stray-bullet death

    Two Decatur residents are jailed after the death of a man who was shot in his apartment by what police say was a stray bullet.

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    Artist’s rendering of the proposed art space facility to be built on the former ECC Fountain Square property in downtown Elgin.

    Elgin Artspace project needs extra $250,000

    Elgin City Council members will consider allocating an extra $250,000 of tax increment financing (TIF) money for the Artspace project at their committee of the whole meeting Wednesday. Financing for the project is set to close July 31, pending the receipt of the extra funds.

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    Quinn signs bill to streamline permits

    Gov. Pat Quinn went to a Chicago chocolate factory to sign a bill that streamlines the permitting process at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

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    American white pelicans cruise over the field during a minor-league baseball game.

    Birders find baseball fields ideal spots

    Jeff Reiter's baseball trip through Missouri and Iowa provides a perfect opportunity to sneak in a little birding. And, no, we don't mean just watching Albert Pujols and the Cardinals.

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    The purchase of a pink flower — or any pink item — on Thursday, July 14, at Wasco Nursery and Garden Center will result in a donation to breast cancer research.

    Wasco Nursery goes pink for breast cancer

    The Wasco Nursery & Garden Center is going to be very pink Thursday, July 14. The nursery is part of a nationwide Invincibelle Spirit campaign working to raise $1 million for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

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    Life-like models of Abraham and Mary Lincoln, with their sons, Willie, Tad and Robert, pose in front of the 1861 White House facade in the central plaza area of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, Ill.

    Slavery, states’ rights were behind Civil War

    “How did the Civil War start?” asked students in Jennifer Janik’s third-grade at Big Hollow Elementary School in Ingleside.

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    ISU athletic director wants long-term focus

    New Illinois State University Athletic Director Gary Friedman says he wants the school's football team to build a winning tradition but he's looking for ideas to increase student interest in sports.

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    Passenger causes flight from Chicago to be diverted

    CLEVELAND — Authorities say a United Airlines flight headed from Chicago to Frankfurt, Germany, has been diverted to Cleveland and a passenger arrested after an onboard disturbance.United says Flight 944 landed in Cleveland about 5:30 p.m. Friday.

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    The Salvation Story Steel Orchestra is part of an outreach program sponsored by the Salvation Army in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood.

    Wheaton Band Festival creates a rainbow of sounds

    If sound came in color, the music at this year’s Wheaton Band Festival would create a rainbow over Memorial Park. For the first time ever, five very different types of bands will take the stage during the fest, Friday and Saturday, July 15 and 16.

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    A sweeping plan that would put video gambling machines in bars throughout the suburbs and Illinois remained on track Monday after the Illinois Supreme Court ruled the law could stand.

    Court upholds video gambling, but suburbs aren’t so sure

    An Illinois Supreme Court ruling Monday keeps controversial video gambling machines in play as a way to pay for billions of dollars in construction projects, but many suburbs have already declared the idea a loser.

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    Woman, 29, killed outside Dominican University

    Police in suburban Chicago are investigating the death of a 29-year-old woman who was shot in a parking lot near Dominican University in River Forest.

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    Woman blames ex-boyfriend in double killing

    A murder trial in southern Illinois is nearing an end after the defendant testified that she wasn't the one who fatally shot two West Frankfort women during a suspected home invasion.

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    Traditional dance and music are regular features of Lombard’s Sacred Heart Germanfest, which opens Thursday and continues through Sunday.

    Lombard church to host 44th Germanfest

    Sacred Heart Church in Lombard is holding its 44th annual Germanfest this weekend to celebrate the village's heritage. “Originally, Lombard was a German community,” said Dolores Chantos. “The church decided to have a parish get-together 44 years ago, and over that time it has evolved into a big fest.”

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    Services set for boy killed in ATV wreck

    Family members and schoolmates of a 13-year-old southern Illinois boy killed in an all-terrain vehicle accident are saying their goodbyes.

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    Grandmother charged with giving baby fatal drugs

    A Milwaukee grandmother is charged with reckless homicide in the drug death of her 10-month-old grandson.

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    AO Smith increases dividend by 14 percent

    A.O. Smith Corp. is raising its quarterly dividend by 14 percent to 16 cents per share.

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    Milwaukee Public Museum to host Cleopatra exhibit

    The Milwaukee Public Museum is hosting an exhibit on Egypt's legendary queen Cleopatra.

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    European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton, left, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, and Russian Ambassador Sergei Yakovlev, attend a dinner at the State Department in Washington, on Monday, July 11, 2011.

    Mideast mediators fail to agree on new peace talks

    Already dim prospects for any quick resumption to Mideast peace talks have been dealt a blow as international mediators failed to reach agreement on how to restart Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and a confrontation that is likely to set back efforts even further looms at the United Nations.

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    Report: CIA targeted bin Laden with phony program

    The CIA ran a phony vaccination program in the Pakistani town where Osama bin Laden's family was believed to be living in an effort to obtain DNA evidence indicating whether the al-Qaida leader was there, The New York Times reported.

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    Obama administration defends aid to Palestinians

    The Obama administration is defending U.S. aid to the Palestinian authority, telling Congress the assistance is critical to peace and stability in the Mideast.

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    2 arrested in Ill. after holdup outside Mo. casino

    Two St. Louis men are each jailed on $100,000 bond after being accused of robbing another man outside a St. Louis County casino before leading police on a chase into Illinois, where they were caught.

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    Power lines droop under the weight of fallen trees at Schoenbeck and Hintz roads in Prospect Heights.

    Outage means updating Facebook by candlelight

    A generation ago, the loss of electricity gave rise to an adventure, not a catastrophe. Today, without electricity, we can't cook, cool, communicate or complain about it on Facebook.

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    Chicagoan dies after crashing through glass door

    Authorities in Chicago say a gunman died after he tried to run from police and crashed through a glass door.

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    Collinsville outlaws saggy pants

    Retailers who sell belts in Collinsville may want to stock up.

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    SPOTLIGHT: Historian notes Grant's Caseyville time

    Bob Stephens thought he knew all the highlights of Caseyville's past until recently.

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    Man sentenced to fed prison in identity-theft case

    A St. Louis man has been ordered to serve four years and nine months in federal prison for an identity-theft operation authorities say was helped by a worker at a southwestern Illinois restaurant.

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    Grants awarded to encourage smoke-free apartments

    An anti-tobacco advocacy group is working to increase the number of smoke-free apartment buildings and condos in Chicago.

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    Man whose car struck passing train charged

    A suburban Chicago man has been charged with one felony count of aggravated drunk driving after the passenger in his car was killed when the vehicle struck the side of a passing train.

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    Simon says food stamp use rises at farmers markets

    Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon says more people who use food stamps are shopping at Illinois farmers markets.

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    Metal products company cited for safety violations

    An Illinois metal products company has been cited with safety violations after two workers suffered amputation injuries at the firm's Watseka metal stamping facility.

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    Wires are down on Kennicott Avenue at Wing Street after a thunderstorm capable of producing 70 mile per hour winds hit the area Monday morning in Arlington Heights.

    ComEd working to restore power to more than 500,000

    ComComEd says it's working to restore power to more than 500,000 customers after Monday's storm knocked out electricity to a record number of area homes and businesses.

Sports

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    Chicago White Sox’s Paul Konerko, right, smiles with hitting coach Greg Walker before a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on July 7.

    White Sox’ Konerko a true professional

    There isn't much to be happy about concerning Chicago baseball right now. But there are these two words: Paul Konerko.

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    Flanked by his sons Haven, left, and Jaden, right, Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers holds his MVP award Tuesday after hitting a home run in the MLB All-Star game in Phoenix. The National League won 5-1.

    NL brews up an All-Star victory

    Pitching, speed and a little bit of power. The National League is back on top in the All-Star game, using the same formula that worked during its dominating run in the 1970s and ’80s.

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    Fire plays to win against Red Bulls

    :The Fire had to win Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal. The Open Cup just means more to the Fire than it does to the New York Red Bulls, and it showed.

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    Sky scouting report
    sky scout summary for wednesday

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    U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo stops a shot during Tuesday’s practice for today’s match against France.

    U.S. ready for semifinal vs. France

    MOENCHENGLADBACH, Germany — The Americans feel just fine, thank you, not tired a bit. The high they were on after that epic Brazil game? That’s so yesterday.The U.S. women are one game away from reaching their first World Cup final since 1999 — the last time they won soccer’s biggest prize — and the only thing on their minds now is beating France.“Losing is not an option,” Abby Wambach said Tuesday. “We want to win this thing, and France is standing in our way right now.”The Americans are the top-ranked team in the world and defending Olympic gold medalists, yet they were almost afterthoughts when the tournament began two weeks ago.Two-time defending champion Germany was considered the heavy favorite, sure to get a boost playing on home soil. Then there was Brazil, runner-up at the last three major tournaments and led by Marta, FIFA’s player of the year five years running.And the U.S.? The Americans had to win a playoff with Italy just to get here, and they’d been uncharacteristically inconsistent with 3 losses in a five-month span.But the Germans are now spectators, stunned by Japan in the quarterfinals. Brazil is gone, too, losing to the U.S. team in a penalty shootout in one of the most exciting games ever at the World Cup, men’s or women’s.And the U.S.? They’re still playing, and they go into Wednesday’s semifinal (10:30 a.m., ESPN) with more than a touch of swagger.“We have what it takes,” Wambach said. “It’s just a matter of putting it all together.”The biggest uncertainty for the Americans isn’t their fitness, it’s their backline. Rachel Buehler has started all but one game the last two years, and her bruising style of defense — she isn’t called the “Buehldozer” for nothing — has been vital.But she’s suspended for the semifinal after getting a red card for taking down Marta in the box in the 65th minute Sunday.While U.S. coach Pia Sundhage wouldn’t say who will play in Buehler’s place, Becky Sauerbrunn was working with the starters during training Tuesday.“I’ve been fortunate enough to play with her (with the WPS’ magicJack) so we’re very connected that way,” said Christie Rampone, the U.S. captain and its other central defender.“Becky and I feel confident together. We’ll watch some film on France today, see what little tactics they have, what little tendencies they have with their forwards, communicate with each other and we’ll be fine.”They will have to be because, much like Brazil, France has creativity and flair.Playmaker Louisa Necib, she of the silken touch and deft passes, has been likened to Zinedine Zidane, the highest compliment a French player can get.Her control of the midfield is masterful, the driving force behind France’s quick, fluid offense. Les Bleues often appear seamless — no surprise considering 10 of the 21 players are teammates at Olympique Lyonnais, which won this year’s women’s Champions League final.“For us, it’s very important to be patient,” Sundhage said. “We need to pick up the rhythm and dictate the tempo, and we need the midfield to get more involved. I don’t want to make it a stretch game. Or make it a (physical) fight.”But France has struggled against bigger, more physical teams in the past, and they don’t come much stronger than the Americans.“It’s true we’ve had one additional day” of rest, French coach Bruno Bini said. “I think it’s quite fair because the American team is in better shape.”While the Americans have their quickest turnaround of the tournament, getting just two days’ rest between games, France hasn’t played since Saturday. But Les Bleues had an emotional doozy, too, beating England 4-3 on penalties after scoring in the 88th minute to tie it at 1-1.“It’s very easy after a victory to be in shape again, especially when you’ve already seen yourself packing to go home,” Bini said. “After that, it is very easy to get highly motivated for this match.”

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    A storm shows the the power of neighborly aid

    Reaction to the record-breaking power outage left after Monday's storm is a testament to the kind of neighborly cooperation for which the suburbs are known, a Daily Herald editorial says.

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    The asterisk of video gambling

    In the realm of “good news for Illinois,” Monday’s Supreme Court decision upholding the funding plan for a $31 billion capital works program has a huge asterisk — video gambling. A Daily Herald editorial says that dulls the celebration for a needed construction program.

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    Making a progressive case

    There is, indeed, a way to eliminate these strangling deficits with fairness and an eye toward a brighter future. It just happens to be the progressive way.

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    The just-vote-no crowd

    Republicans have made enormous advances toward government reforms that were viewed as unachievable a year ago. Voting no may have become the aphrodisiac of small-government conservatives, but it is not necessarily an act of bravery or wisdom.

  •  

    Reduce spending; don’t raise taxes
    We need to live within our means by reducing government spending rather than raising taxes or we and our children may be paying for the choices they make for another 35 or more years.

  •  

    Hultgren’s party line support bad for 14th
    Rep. Randy Hultgren has gone too far in his support of the Republican leadership’s agenda. He is now a champion in an effort to role back protection of America’s water supplies.

  •  

    Let the GOP deal with a default
    Now, Mr. President, since the only way you can be defeated in 2012 is a failure on your part to get the economy and job creation right, you must know there will be no support from Big Business. I urge you to put the onus on the opposition.

  •  

    GOP not about personal freedom
    I’m not saying the Democrats are fully in support of freedom, either, but it’s clear that the current Republican Party does not support freedom. Personal, legal, economic and international freedoms are all things the Republicans have actively worked against in the past 10 years.

  •  

    Proposed merger makes sense for Illinois
    By combining spectrum and infrastructure, a merged AT&T/T-Mobile will be able to build its 4G LTE network to more places more quickly than either company could on its own or any public/private entity could do.

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