Daily Archive : Saturday July 16, 2011


    Brian Schnurstein, diagnosed with ALS last year at age 29, is savoring all the moments he has with his wife, Lindsey, and their daughter, Kylie, now 2. ALS sufferers typically live just three to five years after diagnosis.

    Golf outing helps Wheaton athlete fight ALS

    Brian Schnurstein was known as "The Horse" in his playing days in Wheaton. Stricken with ALS at age 29, Schnurstein is fighting his own battle with the disease while inspiring others.

    Casey Anthony walks out of the Orange County Jail with her attorney, Jose Baez, during her release in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday. Anthony was acquitted last week of murder in the death of her daughter, Caylee.

    Casey Anthony slips out of sight after freed from jail

    Casey Anthony walked out of jail a free woman under heavy guard early Sunday, facing shouts of "baby killer" from a heckling crowd only days after a nation in rapt attention watched as she was acquitted of murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.


    Firefighters injured in Downers Grove house fire

    Two firefighters were injured while combating a house fire that took nearly six hours to extinguish in Downers Grove Saturday afternoon, a fire department spokeswoman said.Firefighters from at least 10 fire departments responded to a fire at 5310 Meadow Lane at 4:35 p.m., said public information officer Marsha Giesler.


    Fire damages Streamwood home

    A house fire in Streamwood caused about $45,000 in damages on Friday afternoon, according to Streamwood Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeff Swanson. Firefighters responded to a fire at 609 Oltendorf Dr. at 5:07 p.m., Swanson said. Upon arrival they discovered the rear surface of the house and rear deck on fire, he said.

    While praising the crews that worked Saturday to restore his power, Barrington resident Warren Frank said ComEd executives should have done a better job in the aftermath of a storm that left him without power for five days.

    Lake County power outages down to a trickle

    After replacing more than 350,000 feet of cable and wire, roughly 400 poles and 200 transformers, ComEd has restored power to almost all of the 858,000 customers who were shut down by Monday's fierce storm.

    Racing the debt clock, Congress is working on dual tracks while President Barack Obama, shown here with Ohio Republican John Boehner, appeals to the public in hopes of influencing a deal that talks have failed to produce so far.

    Congress seeks debt solution, Obama goes to public

    Racing the debt clock, Congress is working on dual tracks while President Barack Obama appeals to the public in hopes of influencing a deal that talks have failed to produce so far.

    Justin Durbin

    Police: ‘Bentley Bandit’ in custody

    A 22-year-old man who police say stole a car from a Naperville car dealership in early June and cars in at least seven other states was being held without bond Saturday in a Louisiana jail.


    Chase the Moon on midnight bike ride

    Just in case this summer hasn’t quite lived up to expectations yet, kick yours into high gear by registering for one of the best biking experiences in the Midwest.

    Dan Groves, from St. Charles, deflects a ball.

    Schaumburg hosts dodgeball championships

    When the Schaumburg Park District created the National Amateur Dodgeball Association about a dozen years ago, it was with the idea of bringing players together for a championship tournament. On Saturday, the 2011 season ended in triumph, as teams from all over the Chicago area flooded Olympic Park in Schaumburg and competed for the Adult outdoor title.

    Shannon Kenney, age 4½, of Barrington, front, works on an paper Irish hat with park district intern Mallory Volocyk, while her twin sister, Samantha, works with intern Chrissy Tiske.

    Arlington Hts. Irish Fest a success

    Irish Fest in Arlington Heights had the luck of the Irish, or at least the blessing of Mother Nature, for its two-day run that ended Saturday night.


    Bartlett home damaged by fire early Saturday

    A Bartlett family has been displaced from their home on the 800 block of Sheridan after an early morning Saturday fire.

    Shawnna Hayes-Tavares, a mother of three Atlanta public school students, speaks to reporters at a news conference in Atlanta, Wdnesday July 213, 2011. Two of her children schools identified a state investigation in cheating on a standardized test. A new state report reveals how far some Atlanta public schools went to raise test scores in the nation's largest-ever cheating scandal. The scandal first came to light two years ago. Now, investigators have concluded that nearly half the city's schools allowed cheating to go unchecked for as long as a decade, beginning in 2001.

    Atlanta schools created culture of cheating, fear

    Teachers spent nights huddled in a back room, erasing wrong answers on students' test sheets and filling in the correct bubbles. At another school, struggling students were seated next to higher-performing classmates so they could copy answers.

    Allyson Oberfield of Hawthorn Woods holds her daughter, Ashley, 2, as she views stone mosaic tables and mirrors displayed by a vendor during the Buffalo Grove Invitational Arts Festival Saturday.

    Buffalo Grove opens the Fine Arts Fest

    The Buffalo Grove Invitational Fine Arts Festival opened Saturday to rave reviews, and returns from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 17. The annual fest hosts more than 160 juried artists from around the country, with live music, food and kids’ activities.

    Charlie Lowy, from Arlington Heights, throws a pitch during the annual Terry Moran Softball Tournament Saturday morning in Rolling Meadows.

    Rolling Meadows softball tournament lives on

    Around 30 softball teams, including six coed teams, played nonstop ball Saturday at Kimball Hill Park in Rolling Meadows for Terry Moran Day, the annual event honoring the memory of the softball hall of famer from Rolling Meadows who died in a car accident 16 years ago.

    Turbo Turtle Race second place $250 winners the Meyers Family: Samantha, Mary, Frank, and Morgan Meyers.

    Bartlett Parks Foundation Turbo Turtle Race fundraiser a success

    On July 4, over 500 plastic turtles took the plunge into the Bartlett Aquatic Center in hopes of securing a prize for their corresponding ticket holders. With a first place cash prize of $1,000 and second place at $250 as well as 54 other donated prizes there was a reason to cheer.

    Crime Stoppers of Mount Prospect

    Mount Prospect Crime Stoppers to host mini-golf fundraiser

    The Mount Prospect Crime Stoppers board announced its second fundraiser of the year, looking for 50 participants and sponsors for their mini-golf outing Wednesday, July 20.The goal is to raise funds for the financial awards that are provided to those calling the tip line at (847) 590-7867.

    Community leaders unfurl the worlds-largest Indian flag in the parking lot of the Sears Centre, part of the Vibrant India fest in Hoffman Estates.

    Vibrant India fest at Sears Centre kicks off

    The Sears Centre will host the unfurling of the world's-largest Indian flag, part of the Vibrant India fest in Hoffman Estates. The flag weighs 551 pounds.


    Lake County foundation announces grants

    The Lake County Community Foundation, an affiliate of The Chicago Community Trust, recently announced $213,600 in grants to local nonprofit organizations.


    ComEd hopeful it can restore power to 5,000 final customers today

    ComEd executives say they expect by day's end that power will be restored to the last of about 5,000 customers, most of whom are in Lake County.


    Storms damage 3,849 Mt. Prospect trees

    All the numbers aren’t in yet, but Mount Prospect estimates that the two severe storms that passed through in June and July damaged 3,849 parkway trees, or about 1 in 6. At least 322 parkway trees will need to be removed, the village added in a news release on Saturday. The repair and removal of parkway trees is likely to last several months.


    Marshals: Escaped killing suspect captured

    Authorities searched Saturday for a man charged with first-degree murder who allegedly swapped identities with another prisoner and walked out of a Washington courthouse.

    Interstate 405 is free of traffic, seen looking south from the Skirball Drive bridge at dawn Saturday, as the demolition of two lanes on the Mulholland Drive bridge continues in Los Angeles.

    Early ‘Carmageddon’ traffic moving smoothly

    Traffic in the Los Angeles area was flowing freely Saturday morning following the shutdown of a 10-mile stretch of one of the nation's busiest freeways.

    Pfc. Lowell Stevens, 20 of the Bronx borough of New York, with the U.S. Marines 1st Tank Battalion out of Twentynine Palms, Calif., jumps down off a M1A1 Abrams tank Saturday.

    Shooter in Afghan army uniform kills NATO trooper

    A man in an Afghan army uniform shot and killed a NATO service member Saturday, and the Taliban said the assailant was a sleeper agent who had infiltrated the Afghan military.

    A view from the International Space Station, looking past the docked space shuttle Atlantis’ cargo bay, and part of the station including a solar array panel. Aurora Australis, or the Southern Lights, can be seen on Earth’s horizon.

    Astronauts fix, haul gear on last shuttle flight

    Astronauts kept busy fixing and hauling gear aboard the linked Atlantis and International Space Station on Saturday, as the last shuttle flight drew closer to an end.


    Get bus info online in District 158

    Transportation update from District 158, including news the district has again linked its bus routing software to E-Link, which gives parents updates on routes and bus stops, as well as other news from our local school districts.

    Let the games begin as Des Plaines Mayor Martin Moylan throws the dice right at 5 p.m. to signal the opening of the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines to VIPS on Friday.

    So far, so good for new casino in Des Plaines

    There was live music, a man in a spacesuit with a bubble machine and plenty of slot machines lighting up the room as Rivers Casino in Des Plaines welcomed roughly 3,500 residents and their guests in its private invitation party.

    John, Eli and Cheryl Miller of Bolingbrook unveil a memorial sign Friday on Naperville/Plainfield Road. The sign memorializes the 2008 death of John and Cheryl's son, Adam, after a collision involving a distracted driver.

    Boy's memorial in Naperville warns of distracted driving

    A sign in honor of a 5-year-old Bolingbrook boy killed by a distracted driver in a 2008 crash was unveiled Friday on Naperville/Plainfield Road. “Two years ago, I asked for a sign to show respect of Adam's life,” said his mother, Cheryl Miller said. “I was denied. ... Adam was not recognized as a victim, and I was outraged.”

    Since aides and advisers resigned in early June, Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid has been on life support. And his first campaign finance disclosure provided little reason to be optimistic. Gingrich has raised $2.1 million since getting into the race earlier this year, badly trailing front-runner Mitt Romney.

    Gingrich's presidential campaign on life support

    Since aides and advisers resigned in early June, Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid has been on life support. And his first campaign finance disclosure provided little reason to be optimistic. Gingrich has raised only $2.1 million.


    Hearing scheduled for suspect in Atlanta shootings

    ATLANTA — The 22-year-old security guard charged in a shooting spree that left one woman dead and two others wounded in Atlanta is scheduled to appear before a judge.Nkosie Thandiwe was arrested Friday after authorities say he opened fire in a parking deck in the busy Atlanta district where he worked as a security guard.

    A United Launch Alliance Delta IV that launched successfully Saturday July 16, 2011, heads to orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The rocket carried an Air Force Global Positioning System IIF-2 satellite.

    New GPS satellite launched into space

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A Delta 4 rocket has rumbled into the sky from Cape Canaveral carrying a GPS satellite.The rocket lit up the sky at 2:41 a.m. Saturday after two consecutive days of delays for technical and weather issues. The rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.


    2 men kidnapped boy, glued mouth shut

    MANCHESTER, N.H. — Police in Manchester, N.H., say two men held a 15-year-old boy at knifepoint, glued his lips shut and burned him while filming the incident with an iPod.The men were arraigned Friday and held on $100,000 bail each.


    Woman charged in son’s death investigated before

    BELLEVILLE — There are reports a southwestern Illinois woman was investigated by the state for possible child neglect four months before a town house fire killed her 6-year-old son.Thirty-two-year-old Maria Ware is charged with felony child endangerment related to the January death of Kenyartte Griffin Jr. in East St. Louis.


    Crews rescue man who climbed downstate water tower

    MILLSTADT, Ill. — Firefighters, officers and a state police negotiator have rescued a man who climbed the water tower in the southwestern Illinois community of Millstadt.Officials say the man scaled the water tower Friday night, and several police officers climbed up after him to secure him.


    Downstate sex offender gets life in prison

    MOUNT VERNON — A former southern Illinois corrections officer convicted of sex offenses with children continued to maintain his innocence when sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison.


    Quinn meeting with nation’s other governor

    SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Pat Quinn is in Utah this weekend for a meeting of the National Governors Association.Quinn says he plans to share Illinois innovations like data.illinois.gov, the new website for sharing detailed information about government operations. Quinn says he hopes to learn about new ideas in other states, too.


    Disaster assistance still available in S. Ill.

    MARION, Ill. — Disaster assistance is still available for southern Illinois residents and businesses who suffered damage and losses during recent severe weather.The application deadline for assistance is Aug. 8.State and federal recovery officials say more than $14.5 million in disaster assistance has already been approved for southern Illinois residents and businesses.


    Little City ‘Bash’ talent show is Monday

    Join Fremd High School senior Jessie Miller and fellow students as they present the first Little City Summer Bash talent show, from 7-9 p.m. Monday, July 18 at the Willow Recreation Center, 3600 Lexington Drive, in Hoffman Estates. The show will feature Fremd and Harper College students.


    It’ll rain golf balls at SBA Golf Classic

    Come Wednesday, July 20, it’s going to be raining golf balls at the Schaumburg Golf Club. As part of the Schaumburg Business Association’s 10th annual Golf Classic, 500 golf balls, all numbered, will be dropped from a helicopter hovering over the course. It’s just one of several special events at the Golf Classic, for which golfers can still sign up.

    Maria (Park Ridge native Ali Ewoldt, in blue) sings “I Feel Pretty” to her friends (Kathryn Lin Terza, Dea Julien and Lori Ann Ferreri) in “West Side Story.” The new national tour plays the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago from July 19 through Aug. 14.

    Park Ridge actress stars in ‘West Side’ tour

    Park Ridge native Ali Etwold stars as Maria in the tour of the Broadway hit revival of "West Side Story."

    Cowboys stand on the chutes just before the start of the Championship Bull Riding event at the Kane County Fair.

    Kane County Fair celebrates 143rd year

    A bull rider enters a ring with anxiety, fear, adrenaline and excitement. He is about to take on a 2,000 pound bucking bull that is trained to escape the passenger on its back. The bull riders will perform at the 143rd Annual Kane County Fair at the Fair Grounds, at Route 64 and Randall Road in St. Charles. The festival begins Wednesday, July 20 through Sunday, July 24.

    Mundelein Summer Theatre will stage “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at Mundelein High School.

    Mundelein Summer Theatre to stage first musical

    Now, for the first time since its inception, Mundelein Summer Theatre will be producing a musical - "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee."

    U.S. Army Pfc. Michael Olivieri

    Patriotism thrives along fallen soldier’s funeral procession

    U.S. Army Pfc. Michael C. Olivieri, 26, died serving his country in Iraq. As his funeral procession passed, Americans of all ages lined the route with flags and hand-made signs to honor the fallen hero.

    Back row: Three Bird Girls. Middle row, from left: Katherine Smail, Kent Joseph, Katherine Parker. Front row, from left: Desiree Gonzolez; Peter Sisto; Daisy Anderson; Matt Bonadona and Lauren Hagan.

    ‘Seussical The Musical’ opens Friday in Des Plaines

    The Des Plaines Footlighters' summer production is the whimsical 'Seussical The Musical', opening Friday, July 22 at the Prairie Lakes Theater in Des Plaines.

    Members of Team Rainbo, one the country’s oldest and most successful inline skating clubs, participate in a previous sports festival.

    Hoffman Estates hosts 3rd Fitness For America Sports Festival this coming weekend

    The third annual Alexian Brothers Fitness For America Sports Festival will take place from Friday to Sunday, July 22-24, near the AT&T campus in the village of Hoffman Estates. This is a full weekend of running and skating events for all fitness levels, drawing from 35 states and five countries.


    TNT cancels 'Men of a Certain Age,' cites ratings

    Ray Romano's award-winning TV series "Men of a Certain Age" has been canceled after two seasons.

    After dating for more than five years, Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo are married, on July 15.

    Vanessa Minnillo and Nick Lachey are married

    After dating for more than five years, Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo are married.


    Ill. officials take mortgage help to Chicago areas

    Illinois and local officials will be available Saturday for residents of the Little Village and Pilsen neighborhoods of Chicago to discuss the mortgage crisis.

    On July 5, Casey Anthony holds hands with her defense attorney Jose Baez as they listen to the verdict at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Fla. Baez was a little known attorney with not much experience, a high school dropout who turned his life around after a stint in the Navy. He took on one of the nation's highest profile murder cases and won it against all odds. His defense strategy was roundly criticized by experts, but with hindsight some are calling it brilliant.

    Security experts: Casey Anthony needs a safe house

    Online and elsewhere, Casey Anthony has been vilified, and security experts say if her lawyers are smart, they'll arrange for her to be in a house protected by bodyguards for maybe weeks in case one of those who have threatened tries to make good on a death threat.

    A view of Interstate 405 freeway seen from north of the bridge at Palms Boulevard after it closed for construction at mid-night July 15 in Los Angeles.

    'Carmageddon': Los Angeles freeway shuts down

    A 10-mile stretch of one of the nation's busiest freeways has turned into a virtual ghost road.


    Court: ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ will stay in place

    The military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy is back in place for the time being, with one major caveat: the government is not allowed to investigate, penalize or discharge anyone who is openly gay.

    Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner speaks Friday at the future site of RiverEdge Park. Construction is set to begin by July 20.

    RiverEdge Park construction begins in Aurora

    As ground was broken Friday afternoon on RiverEdge Park in Aurora, talk among the park's planners and supporters painted the park as a central gathering place, regional entertainment site and job creation engine. Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner said the 30-acre park will become a centerpiece to draw people downtown.


    New life for Route 53 extension

    Interest in the Route 53 north extension project has ebbed and flowed in the last half century, but the attention it will get from a powerhouse new panel suggests a decision will be made to pursue or scrap the idea in a timely fashion.

    Old Sledge, the Virginia folk string band, will be one of the featured performers on Sunday, July 17 at Woodstock Folk Festival.

    Woodstock puts out welcome mat for 26th annual Folk Festival

    The 26th annual Woodstock Folk Festival will be held from 12:30 to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 17 on the Woodstock Square. Admission to the all-day festival is a suggested donation of $15 for adults, $25 for a family and $10 for students and seniors.


    Huntley police wait tables for charity
    Members of the Huntley Police Department will serve as waiters in support of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Illinois Special Olympics from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 16 at Culver’s of Huntley, 13240 Route 47.


    Volunteer with CASA Kane County

    CASA Kane County will hold informational meetings for individuals interested in becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteer for abused and neglected children.


    Save-A-Pet comes through for abused cat

    Save-A-Pet Adoption Center, Lake County’s largest no-kill rescue and full-time adoption facility, recently rescued a local cat from what appears to have been systematic abuse and neglect.


    The Portland Timbers’ Jack Jewsbury (13) is congratulated by teammates Rodney Wallace and Darlington Nagbe after scoring against the Chicago Five in the first half Saturday at Toyota Park.

    Timbers withstand frustrated Fire

    No longer are ties the problem for the Fire (2-6-12, 18 points). Now the problem is losses. The Fire has two straight MLS losses after Saturday night’s 1-0 defeat to the Portland Timbers at Toyota Park. That’s the expansion Portland Timbers, which have beaten the Fire twice this season, including their first road victory in club history Saturday.


    Sky comes up shy against Dream

    The Chicago Sky got 20 points, 11 rebounds and a franchise-record 8 blocked shots from Sylvia Fowles, but it wasn't enough to beat host Atlanta on Saturday as the Dream topped the Sky 76-68.


    Sorry, I get no kicks from soccer

    It would be nice to be excited about the American women playing in today's World Cup final. However, odds remain that the Cubs will win a World Series and the Bears will have a franchise quarterback before I become a soccer fan.

    DeMaurice Smith foreground center executive director of the National Football League Players' Association arrives for labor talks in New York Friday.

    AP Sources: Lawsuit, NFLPA's status unresolved

    Re-establishing the union and figuring out exactly what it will take to for nine NFL players, including Tom Brady, to settle their antitrust suit against the league are among key issues blocking a deal to end the lockout.

    Havelock wins the Arlington Sprint by a neck with Jermaine Bridgmohan up.

    Younger Bridgmohan sprints to victory at Arlington

    Havelock, with Jermaine Bridgmohan aboard, outsprinted Country Day and older brother Shaun Bridgmohan to win the $100,000 Arlington Sprint on Saturday at Arlington Park.

    White Sox starter Edwin Jackson (6-7) recorded the third complete-game shutout of his career Saturday over the host Tigers.

    White Sox rebirth for real this time?

    Edwin Jackson pitched a complete game shutout and Juan Pierre sparked the offense with his first 4-hit game of the season. That was more than enough for the White Sox to win their second straight game over the Tigers Saturday at Comerica Park.


    Bowman comes to Carcillo’s defense

    Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman defended the signing of Dan Carcillo when asked by a fan at Saturday's convention why the controversial winger was brought in as a free agent.

    Jonathan Toews signs autographs for fans during the Blackhawks’ fan convention.

    Scott welcomes help in the toughness department

    Blackhawks enforcer John Scott is happy for the help with the additions of scrappers Dan Carcillo, Steve Montador, Sean O'Donnell and Jamal Mayers.

    Edwin Jackson threw his third career shutout Saturday, allowing nine hits in the win.

    Jackson, White Sox shut down Tigers 5-0

    Edwin Jackson pitched his first complete game since his no-hitter last year, and Juan Pierre added four hits to lead the Chicago White Sox to a 5-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday. Jackson (6-7) allowed nine hits in his third career shutout.

    Starlin Castro reacts after striking out in the first inning Saturday at Wrigley Field. The Marlins beat the Cubs 13-3.

    Cubs have Marmol working on his grip

    Manager Mike Quade didn't have to worry about choosing a closer on Saturday, since the Cubs trailed the Marlins for the full nine innings. Quade plans to give Carlos Marmol a break after two poor performances.

    Carlos Zambrano reacts after giving up a solo home run to the Florida Marlins’ Mike Stanton during the fourth inning Saturday at Wrigley Field. The Cubs lost 13-3.

    Cubs’ run of good starting pitching ends in loss

    The Cubs received 15 scoreless innings from starting pitchers Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster in the first two games of the Florida series. That streak ended in a hurry Saturday when Carlos Zambrano returned from the disabled list.

    Carlos Zambrano reacts after giving up a solo home run to Florida Marlins' Mike Stanton during the fourth inning Saturday at Wrigley Field.

    Quade happy to see Zambrano back on the mound

    Cubs manager Mike Quade was just happy to see his ace, Carlos Zambrano, on the mound. Zambrano gave up eight runs in his return from the disabled list Saturday, and Chicago lost 13-3 to the Florida Marlins.

    United States head coach Pia Sundhage talks to the media Saturday during a training session in preparation for Sunday’s final match against Japan of the Women’s Soccer World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany.

    Americans took bumpy road to World Cup final

    FRANKFURT, Germany — The bumpy, windy road got the Americans right where they wanted to go all along.Eight months after having to win a playoff just to get to Germany, the Americans face Japan in the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday. A win would be the ultimate finish to their improbable journey, making the United States the first three-time champions and delighting a country of newfound fans.“I believe all the way we’ll find a way,” Carli Lloyd said Saturday after the team’s last training session. “It’s going to be a tough match like every other match has been, but I believe that we will find a way and it’s our destiny to get it done.”For a long time, the Americans were about the only ones who believed that.The U.S. is the No. 1-ranked team in the world and defending Olympic champion, and the Americans have dominated the women’s game for the better part of two decades now. But they arrived at the World Cup looking, well, kind of average. They were stunned in regional qualifying in November in Mexico, a team that hadn’t managed a win in its first 25 tries against its neighbor to the north, and had to beat Italy in a two-game playoff for the very last spot in the World Cup.They opened the year with a loss to Sweden, then fell to England for the first time in 22 years — so long ago Alex Morgan hadn’t even been born yet. Then, after easy wins in their first two games in Germany, the Americans lost to Sweden again, their first loss ever in World Cup group play.“In the past, we’d always won everything,” captain Christie Rampone said. “Those losses made our team what it is today. We need each other and you feel that, from the locker room to the time we step on the field.”Never was that faith in each other more evident than in their quarterfinal against Brazil. Down a player for almost an hour and on the verge of making their earliest exit ever from a major tournament, Abby Wambach’s magnificent, leaping header in the 122nd minute tied the game and sparked one of the most riveting finishes ever in a World Cup game — men’s or women’s.The Americans beat Brazil in a penalty shootout and, just like that, the folks back home were hooked.Hollywood celebrities, fellow pro athletes and people who don’t care about any sport, let alone soccer, have adopted the players. The Brazil match drew the third-highest ratings ever for a Women’s World Cup game, and Wednesday’s semifinal victory over France did almost as well — despite being played in the middle of the workday back home.The Empire State Building is lit with the red, white and blue this weekend, along with Japan’s colors. And the White House is sending an official delegation led by Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Jill, and Chelsea Clinton, who just happened to be part of that massive Rose Bowl crowd 12 years ago, the last time the Americans won the title.“We’ve proved everyone wrong,” Lloyd said. “Now I think everyone is starting to believe in us. We’ve won everybody over, which is tremendous because the support back home has been unbelievable.”While part of the U.S. appeal is its success here, it’s the team’s spunk that has really charmed fans, a can-do attitude uniquely — proudly — American.This might not be the best team the U.S. has ever had, but none will try harder.“We are disappointed in the kind of soccer we played in last few games. It’s just not the kind of soccer we want to play,” Wambach said. “Sometimes games turn into what games turn into and you have to deal with what you’ve got and somehow find a way and figure it out. And that’s what we did and that’s something to be proud of and that’s what we take away from it.“But against Japan, we want to do and play the way we’ve been training. We don’t want it just to be a dogfight. We want it to be a game people can watch and be excited about.”Japan will have something to say about that, of course.

    David Millar of Britain, left, and Adriano Malori of Italy, in second position, ride in the breakaway group as they climb Col de la Core pass during the 14th stage of the Tour de France Saturday.

    Belgium’s Vanendert wins Tour de France 14th stage

    PLATEAU DE BEILLE, France — French cyclist Thomas Voeckler retained the lead of the Tour de France on Saturday after the last stage in the Pyrenees, which was won by Jelle Vanendert of Belgium and failed to be as significant as expected for the main contenders.Vanendert clinched the 14th stage — the first Tour stage win of his career — after finishing 21 seconds ahead of Samuel Sanchez of Spain and 46 seconds in front of third-place Andy Schleck of Luxembourg.“I never imagined this would happen to me on my first Tour de France,” Vanendert said. “I have been feeling good in the mountains.”The contenders were expected to launch attacks in the most grueling stage of the Pyrenees so far — which featured a 10-mile climb to Plateau de Beille — but Schleck only gained 2 seconds on defending champion Alberto Contador and Cadel Evans despite several attempts from the two-time runner-up.Evans crossed the line fourth ahead of Colombia’s Rigoberto Uran and Contador. They all were 48 seconds behind Vanendert.“It wasn’t possible to make a big difference, I need a steeper stage than this,” said Schleck, who rides for the Leopard Trek team with his older brother Frank. “We worked hard, we climbed well. But when you attacked today, you could only get 50 meters ahead because there was a bit of wind. But still, I got a few seconds at the end.”Voeckler is 1 minute, 49 seconds ahead of Frank Schleck, 2:06 clear of Evans, 2:15 ahead of Andy Schleck and 4:00 in front of Contador, who is seventh behind Sanchez and Italy’s Ivan Basso.“I’m not interested who is stronger than who,” Voeckler said. “My objective was to keep the jersey.”Voeckler keeps predicting he will lose the yellow jersey and is stunned by his impressive form.“It’s hard for me to believe that I’m in yellow after the Pyrenees,” he said. “It’s like a dream.”Contador praised Voeckler, but does not expect him to keep going at this rate for much longer.“We know he’s a great rider, but if he ever cracks one day he will really lose a lot of time,” Contador said.The 105-mile trek from Saint-Gaudens to Plateau de Beille finished with a famed and tortuous ascent.Schleck kept shooting glances at Contador when next to the three-time champion early in the last climb, looking to see if the Spaniard was struggling. Contador beat Schleck to win the Tour the past two years.With about 6 miles remaining, Schleck, Contador and Evans accelerated ahead of the main pack.“I tried to keep things under control,” Evans said. “It was a long, but not a steep climb. It’s at this point in the race that the contenders are pretty evenly matched, so it’s really hard to make a big difference.” Schleck launched another attack soon after, with Contador struggling to follow until he sat on Frank Schleck’s wheel and caught up a few seconds later.“I am satisfied because I didn’t lose any time today,” Contador said. “I can’t say I was good, because good means winning.”Contador banged his knee twice in crashes on stages 5 and 9, but feels he can hit top form when the race reaches the high Alps on Wednesday.“I hope that I can recover between now and then to get some time back,” Contador said. “I hope to be even better over the next few days.”When Andy Schleck attacked for the third time with 5 miles left, he could not get away from Contador and Evans, who was Tour runner-up in 2007 and ‘08.Having waited for his moment, Vanendert timed his attack perfectly with 4 miles left, and Sanchez left it too late to reel him in.“The favorites had already attacked several times,” said Vanendert, who won in 5 hours, 13 minutes, 25 seconds. “I thought they might already be on the limit and it was the perfect time to attack.”As the small group of contenders and outsiders jostled for position, Basso and Voeckler tried to slip away from the Schleck brothers and Contador, but their attacks kept petering out.

    NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer takes a break from practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. Saturday July 16, 2011. Bowyer is racing in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Lenox Industrial Tools 301. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

    Bowyer moves on from New Hampshire penalty

    LOUDON, N.H. — Clint Bowyer put the trophy from last year's victory at New Hampshire in his house.The rest of his memories from that weekend, well, they're not so good.Bowyer's winning car in the Chase opener flunked inspection and NASCAR levied crippling penalties that ended his Sprint Cup championship hopes days after he had positioned himself as a top contender.The 150-point penalty from his September infraction was so devastating that not even another Chase race victory at Talladega could budge him out of last place in the 12-driver field.But that trying episode is far from Bowyer's focus in his New Hampshire return this weekend — even as he's pestered with reminders of his fantastic-to-flop tale.Bowyer is stuck in 12th place again, a spot that, thanks to NASCAR's revamped points system, puts him outside the Chase field. "This is a crucial time for us," Bowyer said. "We're still within reaching distance of the cars in front of us, so this is a good time to get things pointed back in the right direction points-wise."There are eight races remaining until the Chase field is set, giving Bowyer time to make a move.For 10 races, Bowyer was inside the top 10 and a string of five straight top-10 finishes made it look as if he put the crushing end to last year behind him and was poised to stay in contention. But consecutive poor finishes (36th at Daytona, 35th last week at Kentucky) knocked him out of the Chase field and behind 11th-place driver Tony Stewart.Like any slumping driver, Bowyer and his Richard Childress Racing team have huddled at the shop for solutions."Everybody across the board, driver, crew chief, the pit crew, over the wall guys; it can very easily become a negative and spiral out of control," Bowyer said. "But there are so many positives about our season. We've run well and that's what has put us in this situation."The 32-year-old Bowyer, who is eligible for free agency at the end of this season, hits a milestone Sunday when he makes his 200th career Cup start. He's led more than 400 laps at New Hampshire and has two wins."He just has a kind of unique feel and setup for this particular race track as to what he likes in the car," RCR teammate Kevin Harvick said.It's the car that got him in trouble last year.He entered the race as the last seed in the field, then led a race-high 177 laps and stretched his final tank of gas 92 laps to win the race when Stewart ran out of fuel right before the final lap. The victory snapped an 88-race winless streak for Bowyer. His celebration seemed to last only slightly longer than the race. NASCAR said the No. 33 Chevrolet had been altered and did not meet its strict specifications.Bowyer was penalized 150 points. NASCAR also fined crew chief Shane Wilson $150,000, and suspended him for six Cup races. Car chief Chad Haney also was suspended for six races, and Childress was docked 150 owner points. When he rolled into Dover the next week, Bowyer gave a defiant defense of his team. Other drivers openly mocked his excuse — that a wrecker hit the rear bumper when it pushed the car into the winner's circle — and the penalties clearly tarnished his victory.Bowyer again stuck up for his team this weekend at New Hampshire and insisted the incident was behind him.He just didn't understand the process NASCAR put his car through that struck him with the severe penalties."The biggest thing that I don't understand about it is, that it passed post-race inspection and it gets back to something that nobody understands or knows a lot about; which is fine," he said. "I was OK. A penalty is a penalty and if you're caught, you're caught. It doesn't matter what I think at the end of the day."

    Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke reacts in front of the scoreboard on the 18th green after his round during the third day of the British Open Golf Championship at Royal St George's golf course Sandwich, England, Saturday, July 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

    Clarke avoids the weather, takes the lead

    SANDWICH, England — Darren Clarke escaped the worst of the raging weather Saturday in the British Open, leaving him far less traffic on his unlikely road to a claret jug.Clarke was dressed in full rain gear when he walked to the first tee for a third round that had been crowded with contenders.When he walked off the 18th green in short sleeves, he was blinking in the bright sunshine over Royal St. George’s after a 1-under 69 gave him a one-shot lead over Dustin Johnson. The majority of the field was still drying out from the brunt of such harsh conditions.There were 44 players within five shots of the lead going into the third round.Now there are 12.“If somebody had given me 69 before I was going out to play, I would have bitten their hand off for it,” Clarke said. “Saying that, we did get very fortunate with the draw. Sometimes to win any tournament, the draw can make a big difference. But in The Open Championship, it makes a huge difference. We got very lucky.”He also was very good.Clarke missed only two greens in regulation, and was one of only three players who managed to break par. It was his third round in the 60s, and it put him at 5-under 205 and into the final group of the British Open for the first time since 1997 at Royal Troon.Fewer contenders doesn’t make it any easier.Johnson, the powerful 27-year-old American, managed to make six birdies on his way to a 68 that puts him in the final group for the third time in the last six majors. The other two aren’t exactly glorious memories — an 82 to lose a three-shot lead at the U.S. Open last year, a two-shot penalty on the last hole of the PGA Championship when he didn’t realize he was in a bunker.“I’m going to be pretty comfortable out there tomorrow because I know what to expect, I know how to approach it, and I know what I do in those situations,” Johnson said. “So hopefully, I can go out tomorrow and play some solid golf like I’ve been doing the last few days.”Only four other players were under par, and while U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy isn’t one of them, in his place is another 22-year-old who plays without fear and makes it look fun. And no one played better than Rickie Fowler on this wild day of weather.Fowler was soaked, zipped up in a cream-colored rainsuit for two-thirds of his round, yet it never seemed to bother him. He hung around par during the worst of the conditions — a remarkable feat — and when the rain went away, he took off to higher ground. Fowler made three birdies over the last six holes for a 68 and was two shots behind, along with Thomas Bjorn (71).Lucas Glover, a U.S. Open champion who played in the final group Saturday, made 10 straight pars early in his round only to lose his way, but not his hopes over the final hour. Glover missed two birdie putts inside 6 feet on the back nine, and made two bogeys. He shot 73, but still was within four shots. He was tied with Miguel Angel Jimenez, who didn’t make a birdie in his round of 72.Also still in the mix is Phil Mickelson, who has only contended once in the British Open. He rallied when the sun began to break through the clouds and salvaged a 71, leaving him five shots back in a group that included Anthony Kim (68), PGA champion Martin Kaymer (73) and Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III, who tied for fourth at Royal St. George’s in 2003 and had a 72 to stay in range.But it starts with Clarke, a 42-year-old from Northern Ireland who has been watching the youngsters from Ulster celebrate golf’s biggest events, from Graeme McDowell at Pebble Beach last summer to McIlroy at Congressional last month.Is it his turn at this stage in his career?“Did I ever doubt I would get myself back in this position? No,” Clarke said. “Did I know it was going to happen? No. Did I hope it was going to happen? Yes. But did I ever doubt? No.”

    White Sox starter Gavin Floyd worked 7⅔ innings Friday, allowing 2 runs, 1 earned, to defeat Justin Verlander and the host Tigers.

    Justin who? White Sox have some fun
    The White Sox got the second half of the season off to a surprising start Friday night with a lopsided win over Justin Verlander and the Tigers at Comerica Park.


    Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza, a graduate of Syracuse University with a master’s from Princeton University, has spent his career working for airlines.

    Spirit Airlines CEO king of airline fees

    Spirit Airlines is the frat boy of the airline industry, known for provocative ads and a no-apologies attitude. But its CEO is more like the captain of a marching band.


    Iraq may increase crude reserves by 21%

    Iraq may raise its proven oil reserves by 21 percent after adding those from the semi- autonomous Kurdish region, Hussain al-Shahristani, deputy prime minister for energy affairs, said Saturday.

    Rupert Murdoch, Chairman of News Corporation, center, stands with Les Hinton, now ex-CEO of Dow Jones and Wall Street Journal publisher, left, and Robert Thomson, Wall Street Journal Managing Editor during a gala launch party in New York.

    ‘We are sorry’ Murdoch tells Great Britain in full-page ad

    "We are sorry" the full-page ad began Saturday, as Rupert Murdoch tried to halt a phone-hacking scandal that has claimed two of his top executives with a gesture of atonement.

    Chevron executives said they donated $999,000 to the Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership because Rep. Donald Payne, a New Jersey Democrat, sits on the board.

    Companies use charities to expand influence

    For companies seeking influence, donations to lawmaker's charities is "a win-win,” said Wright Andrews, a lobbyist and board member of the American League of Lobbyists. “Give to charities and get a tax deduction.”

    Facebook and Time Warner are ganging up on bullies to address a problem that torments millions of children and young adults. The partnership announced calls for Facebook and Time Warner to use their clout to raise awareness about bullying and encourage more people to report the abuses when they see them.

    Facebook, Time Warner to fight online bullies

    Facebook and Time Warner are ganging up on bullies with a new program. Facebook’s participation reflects a growing recognition that its online social network consisting of more than 750 million people has become an outlet for harassment as well as friendship.

    LG Electronics Inc., the world’s third-largest mobile-phone maker, lowered its full-year smartphone sales target by 20 percent after losing customers to competitors led by Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.

    Apple, Samsung cut into LG sales

    LG Electronics Inc., the world’s third-largest mobile-phone maker, lowered its full-year smartphone sales target by 20 percent after losing customers to competitors led by Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.


    Spotify offers new digital music service in U.S.

    Digital music service Spotify arrived in the United States on Thursday, aiming its addictive, free song service at American listeners in the hope that they will then pay for more features, just as nearly 2 million have done in Europe. Spotify gives people access to more than 15 million songs on computers for free as long as they listen to a few 15-second ads.


    Obama to cut Warren as consumer bureau nominee

    President Barack Obama has chosen a candidate other than Elizabeth Warren as director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to a person briefed on the matter.The president’s choice is a person who already works at the consumer agency, the person said yesterday. Obama may make the nomination as soon as next week, another person briefed on the administration’s plans said.The people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the process isn’t public, didn’t name Obama’s choice.Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard professor, was appointed last fall by Obama to set up the consumer bureau until a director was named. Warren previously was head of the congressional watchdog panel overseeing the bank bailout.Raj Date, a top deputy to Warren at the consumer bureau, was on a short list of candidates to become director, Bloomberg News reported last month, citing a person briefed on the process. Date, currently the bureau’s associate director for research, markets and regulations, is a former banker with Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial Corp.Consumer bureau spokeswoman Jen Howard declined to comment, as did Jen Psaki, a White House spokeswoman.The consumer bureau, which is to begin formal operations on July 21, was established by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial- regulatory overhaul to fill what lawmakers said was a gap in oversight of financial products such as mortgages and credit cards whose abuse contributed to the 2008 credit crisis.The bureau’s director requires confirmation by the Senate. After 44 Republican senators announced in May that they wouldn’t vote to approve any candidate to run the bureau without changes in its structure, analysts said the White House might have to resort to a temporary appointment during a congressional recess. Sixty of the 100 senators are required to vote for a nomination because of procedural rules.The legislation requires a director confirmed by the Senate or appointed in recess before the bureau has authority to supervise and regulate non-bank financial firms such as mortgage originators, payday lenders and credit bureaus. It also isn’t able to enforce rules against “abusive” consumer products, a legal standard Congress created in Dodd-Frank.Obama didn’t nominate Warren last fall after then-Senator Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat who headed the Banking Committee, said she couldn’t win confirmation.Since then, several potential candidates have rejected overtures, including Jennifer Granholm, the former governor of Michigan, and Ted Kaufman, a former Democratic senator from Delaware, people briefed on the search said.Warren has clashed with House Republicans repeatedly about the agency’s mandate and about her role in settlement talks between banks, state and federal agencies over problems with the foreclosure process. One hearing, on May 24, turned into a dispute about scheduling during which Representative Patrick McHenry, a North Carolina Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, accused Warren of lying.Date earned an engineering degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a law degree from Harvard University. He was senior vice president for corporate strategy and development at Capital One and a managing director in the financial institutions group at Deutsche Bank. During the debate over Dodd-Frank, Date headed the Cambridge Winter Center for Financial Institutions Policy, a research group he founded.When she appointed Date to the unit that will draft rules for credit cards, mortgages, student loans and payday lenders, Warren said that he and his team would “bring a wealth of experience in the financial services industry, government, non- profits, community banking and academia that will help us build a world-class” research and regulations unit.

    If you don't want to pay Netflix's fee increases, you might check out Amazon.com, Blockbuster or Hulu.

    Where to get your flick fix beyond Netflix

    If you don't want to pay Netflix's fee increase, there are a growing number of options for watching movies and TV shows online, on DVDs or through cable TV's on-demand services. The right option for you will depend on your appetite for video. Here's a rundown of what's out there.

    Samsung’s new Chromebook laptop offers a new approach in portable computing. It presents all of the user’s experience, from websites to apps to gaming to productivity tools, through Google’s Chrome browser and underlying Linux-based operating system.

    Review: Google all the time on Chromebook

    Chromebook is a lean, mean browsing machine primarily because it urges users to move away from the local storage of content and data. Google’s approach is to have you store your photos in a Web-based album such as Picasa, rather than in your “My Pictures” folder on your machine. Google Docs can store your writings and Google’s Music beta (still invite-only at this stage) is positioned to handle your music collection.


    Video game retail sales drop 10 percent

    A market research firm says U.S. retail sales of video game hardware, software and accessories dropped 10 in June to $995 million compared with the same month a year ago.

    If it succeeds, Plus represents Google’s best shot yet at muscling into a market that has threatened to topple the Internet search and advertising leader, as Facebook leads the way in making the online world social.

    Will Plus make Google king of the online world?

    If it succeeds, Plus represents Google’s best shot yet at muscling into a market that has threatened to topple the Internet search and advertising leader, as Facebook leads the way in making the online world social.

    Michael Ian Black, Joshua Malina and Michael Panes are shown in an ice cream truck in a scene from the web series “Backwash.” Around 2007, TV networks made a veritable land rush to the Web, looking to lay down digital production studios. Four years later, many of those networks have pulled up stakes, shunning original Web content and reorienting their online outlook.

    After early zeal, TV networks pull back on Web series

    Around 2007, TV networks made a veritable land rush to the Web, looking to lay down digital production studios. Four years later, many of those networks have pulled up stakes, shunning original Web content and reorienting their online outlook.


    Obama caught in the middle of phone company mergers

    AT&T’s $39 billion bid for T-Mobile is a deal that consumer advocates hate but labor unions love. And that puts the Obama administration squarely between two powerful constituencies that typically support Democratic presidential candidates.A vast array of public interest groups and a growing number of state officials fear that the deal will lead to too much concentration in the wireless industry and higher cellphone bills for Americans.But the Communications Workers of America union says the transaction will create jobs - and give it more members. If the administration blocked the merger, it would risk upsetting a key union at a time when the labor movement is facing an erosion of its influence and is looking to Democrats to help reinforce its flagging ranks.“The administration is in a tricky spot,” said Paul Gallant, a research analyst at investment firm MF Global. “Labor is often an under-appreciated ally of the major phone companies, and they are undoubtably playing an important role in this merger.”The CWA has been among the most vocal supporters of the merger. As the communications industry’s biggest union, with 700,000 members, it has lobbied regulators at the Federal Communications Commission to approve the deal. CWA chief Larry Cohen has testified at congressional hearings that the joined resources of AT&T and T-Mobile could bring high-speed Internet connections to rural areas more quickly and create more jobs. Last week, CWA members met with Justice Department officials to reiterate that message.The merger would put eight out of 10 cellphone contracts in the hands of AT&T and its biggest competitor, Verizon Wireless. But the CWA says the new AT&T would generate about 100,000 jobs through a promised $8 billion in investment to expand its high-speed wireless network - a powerful argument at a time of soaring unemployment.Several state governors, as well as Web giants including Facebook and Microsoft, have expressed support for the deal. An A&T spokesman said the company has little doubt of the outcome.“The FCC and DOJ processes are fact-based, and we are confident that after a thorough review they will recognize the merger’s significant benefits,” said AT&T spokesman Michael Balmoris.But some antitrust experts are dubious about the benefits.Critics say combining the two wireless carriers will probably lead to layoffs at T-Mobile, which has a workforce of 38,000. AT&T will try to eliminate overlapping engineering, sales and customer service positions, experts predict.“I’ve never seen a merger that has produced new jobs,” said Albert Foer, president of the American Antitrust Institute, a research and advocacy group.Consumers are also concerned about the deal. They have complained to state public utilities commissions that their bills will be higher with fewer carriers to choose from. They’ve filed thousands of comments to the FCC saying that fewer carriers means fewer choices for handsets.The merger would reduce the number of national carriers from four to three - or even fewer, because next-biggest Sprint Nextel says it probably wouldn’t survive as a stand-alone firm with such huge competitors.Such concerns have sparked investigations by attorneys general in nine states, including Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New York and Texas. Sprint revealed last week that it had been subpoenaed by those states and the Justice Department to explain its concerns with the transaction.And the deal comes amid growing criticism by left-leaning public interest groups that the Obama administration has been too lax on corporate mergers.

    China is expected to buy 5 million metric tons of corn this year, up from about 2 million tons in 2010. That would top the 4.3 million tons in the year ended September 1995, according to U.S. government data.

    Corn imports by China more than double

    China, the world’s second-largest corn user, may more than double purchases to a record as it seeks to boost stockpiles and cool the fastest inflation in three years.


    Debt crisis threatens Italy

    Europe’s escalating debt crisis is on the verge of engulfing by far its biggest victim: Italy, the world’s seventh-largest economy, whose sheer size could thwart any international attempt to bail it out.


    French banks on front line of Italian risk

    French banks, including BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole, have the most at risk from the euro-region’s debt crisis infecting Europe’s largest borrower, Italy.


    Apple files complaint against Samsung

    Apple Inc has filed a U.S. trade complaint to block Samsung Electronics Co from importing a variety of electronic devices, less than one week after Samsung sought to stop imports of Apple’s popular iPads and iPhones.The complaint filed Tuesday with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. escalates a patent infringement battle also being waged in South Korea, where Samsung is based.Apple began the fight, contending in an April 15 complaint filed in a San Jose, California federal court that Samsung’s Galaxy line of tablets and mobile phones infringed several patents and “slavishly” copied its iPads and iPhones.“Samsung chose to copy Apple, not to innovate,” Apple said in a court filing. It said Samsung is trying to trade off Apple’s popularity by calling products, such as the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet and Galaxy S 4G smartphone, “just like an iPad” or “just like an iPhone.”But Samsung countered that Apple infringed five patents, and asked the ITC to block imports of such products as the iPhone 4, iPad 2 3G and iPod Touch.Galaxy products use Google Inc.’s Android operating system, which competes with Apple’s mobile software.Apple had in 2010 been Samsung’s second-largest customer, accounting for $5.7 billion of sales tied mainly to semiconductors, according to Samsung’s annual report.Sony Corp is Samsung’s largest customer.

Life & Entertainment

    Moviegoers wait for the midnight showing of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II” in Merrimack, N.H..

    ‘Harry Potter' conjures first-day record of $92.1million

    Harry Potter has cast his biggest spell yet with a record-breaking first day at the box office for his final film.

    Jazz singer Janice Borla is one of the headlining acts of the Hot Jazz — 6 Cool Nites series at North Central College's Meiley-Swallow Hall.

    Weekend picks: Cool off with Hot Jazz in Naperville

    Jazz vocalists and recording artists Janice Borla, Jay Clayton and Rosana Eckert headline the Hot Jazz — 6 Cool Nites series starting Saturday night at North Central College's Meiley-Swallow Hall in Naperville.

    Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, wowed fashionistas during her visit to the U.S.The running theme amount the outfits was a ladylike figure-flattering silhouette, in luxurious neutral fabrics with knee-length hems. The dresses nipped in at the waist, either with darts, a waist tie or a waistband, as with the light-gray frock by London-based designer Roksanda Ilincic that Kate changed into during the flight from Canada.

    Kate brings feminine, tried-and-true looks to U.S.

    To many, the former Kate Middleton’s sartorial fashion choices in California hit just the right notes — even though she didn’t pack any surprises. She brought all feminine looks, among them: a pleated lilac floor-length gown designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen.

    People who consumed tea and coffee carried methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, in their noses half as often as those who didn’t, according to a study released in the Annals of Family Medicine.

    Coffee protects against drug-resistant germs, study finds

    Drinking tea and coffee may be linked to reducing antibiotic resistant bacteria carried by healthy people in their noses, a potential benefit of the beverages that baffled researchers.People who consumed tea and coffee carried methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, in their noses half as often as those who didn’t, according to a study released in the Annals of Family Medicine.MRSA can live in people’s noses without infecting them. It grows and multiplies there, in a process called colonization. Colonized people can spread MRSA to others or become infected through a break of the skin. It is considered a risk for contracting the infection, said Eric Matheson, the study author and a doctor in the department of family medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.“Oral consumption, which is the way most of us drink our tea and coffee, does seem to help, but no one is sure why,” said Matheson in a telephone interview.Coffee and tea may activate the immune system, or directly damage cells of the bacteria, Matheson said. Both also decrease iron absorption, and MRSA needs iron to grow.Coffee has been linked in studies to a lower risk of prostate cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Type 2 diabetes, liver cancer, cirrhosis and gallstone disease, Harvard University researchers said in a May 17 analysis in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. It also contains compounds that can reduce inflammation and regulate insulin.Nose SwabsResearchers in the study, of 5,000 people, swabbed bacteria from people’s noses to see if they carried MRSA and asked them to answer questions about their beverage consumption. Iced tea and soda had no effect on MRSA, the study found. That may be because the antimicrobial parts of coffee and tea are carried to the nose through steam, the authors wrote.If the findings hold true in further studies, coffee and tea may prove inexpensive ways to keep MRSA to a minimum in the population, the authors wrote.MRSA is the most common drug-resistant strain of bacteria, often acquired in hospitals, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The hospital-acquired strain sickens about 90,000 people a year in the U.S. and kills about 15,000, according to the Atlanta-based CDC.

    Luxury giant LVMH has appointed Tuesday July, 12, 2011 the duo behind the Opening Ceremony retail boutiques to replace Italian designer Antonio Marras, here, as creative directors at Kenzo; The appointment of Humberto Leon and Carol Lim takes effective immediately.

    Concept store duo replace Marras at Kenzo

    The American duo behind the Opening Ceremony concept stores are replacing Italian designer Antonio Marras as creative directors of Kenzo, the Paris-based fashion house’s parent company LVMH said.

    This two-story Medinah home was built on a 1.3-acre lot in 1969.

    Within a tee shot of Medinah club

    There isn’t a more famous golf course in Illinois than the historic Medinah Country Club in West suburban Medinah, so the homes surrounding it are much sought-after for their country club atmosphere and serene surroundings.

    This product image courtesy of West Elm shows Mediterranean tilework-patterned lacquered trays from David Stark’s collection. In his summer collection for West Elm, Stark has returned to his roots as a painter.

    Mediterranean decor evokes sun, sea

    Mediterranean décor influenced by Spanish, Italian, French, Turkish, Moroccan and Greek seaside lifestyles is simple and relaxed, and easily adapted to Western homes.

    This semi-custom cabinet is made in Addison by Hardwood Furniture and Design.

    Industry Insider: Hardwood Furniture and Design

    As technology evolves, so does the furniture made to accommodate it. Huge wall cabinets once made to hold both televisions and stereo systems are becoming a thing of the past. So are large computer desks with hutches above them and sliding keyboard trays, said Gerry Peterson, owner and founder of Hardwood Furniture and Design in Addison.


    Mortgage Professor: Home loan shopping still far from perfect

    “Are consumers making better decisions about the kinds of mortgages they select than they did before the financial crisis?”


    On homes and real estate: Expensive home next door

    Q. How do I find out about foreclosures without having to subscribe to a weekly/monthly service? What are the qualifications (earnings as well as price range of the house) to get a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan on one of their foreclosed properties?


    Secure your home before leaving on vacation

    Lock the doors, close the shutters, back up the hard drive, trim the trees. And make friends with your next-door neighbor. School's out and the heat's on. Before you grab your suitcase for family adventures, make sure your home is safe and secure.


    Ask the broker: More payments, less cost?

    Q. If it's true that a bi-weekly mortgage lowers the interest cost for a mortgage then why not get a bi-weekly mortgage and reduce annual costs, too?

    Visitors picnic at the top of the Grand Canal, with the chateau — the centerpiece of Versailles — visible a mile in the distance at the Palace of Versailles, outside of Paris.

    Beating the Versailles crowds by bike

    I was riding along trails laid out for French monarchs at the Palace of Versailles, a bottle of wine and a day's lunch on my back. But where Louis XIV rode a horse, I had a humble beach cruiser.

    In 1951 the Experimental Breeder Reactor I became the first nuclear reactor in the world to generate electricity from atomic energy. Tours of the facility are open to the public during summer.

    Tour offers glimpse inside nuclear reactor

    The Idaho National Laboratory, one of the nation's first nuclear research labs, was built deep in a vast desert for a reason. Its founders wanted isolation as they experimented with the new technology of splitting atoms. Sixty years later, civilization hasn't crept much closer. The INL is a full hour from Idaho Falls, the nearest good-size town, and desert stretches in every direction.



    The Soapbox

    The Daily Herald Editorial Board offers brief reflections on suburban events from Rolling Meadows to Villa Park, Carpentersville to DuPage County -- with a nod to the Women's FIFA World Cup final and much more.


    Unions don’t put kids first
    We all know that a major criticism of teacher’s unions is that they seem to protect tenured staff who have lost their passion and are “running out the clock” until retirement. A concern of mine is the abuse of union power especially when it affects the children.


    Neighborliness is special in hard times
    I live in a small neighborhood (Waterview Estates) in Round Lake Park. The neighborhood is a large circle. Houses on the outer part of the circle had power after last week’s storm. Houses in the inner circle were without power. It was nice to see all of the extension cords running from the houses with power to the houses without power. I am proud of my neighbors helping our less fortunate neighbors that didn’t have power for days. Every time I drive in and out of the neighborhood, I feel very fortunate that I live in such a nice place. When I feel the thump thump under my tire as I drive over the extension cords I feel a little more pride each time. Thank You, Steve Peirce Round Lake Park


    Inflation measurements are deceptive
    Knowing that the public reacts to inflation by voting out politicians, they do anything to keep us from realizing how markedly inflation has been eating away at our earnings and savings over the decades.


    Recovery requires shared sacrifice
    A few short years ago a Republican Congress under a Republican president led us into two unfunded wars, an unfunded Medicare drug benefit and tax cuts for the super rich. The vice-president at that time responded “deficits don’t mean anything, Reagan proved that.”


    Thanks, Mundelein for blood drive support
    On behalf of the Mundelein Fire Department and the Mundelein Blood Committee, we would like to thank our community for the overwhelming support and turnout for our annual Firefighter’s Challenge Blood Drive held July 3 as part of the Mundelein Community Days kickoff.


    Driving’s a right, not just a privilege
    It may only be a question of semantics, and a traffic violation still remains a punishable transgression. However, in an age when human rights seem to be slowly squeezed, correct terminology would be comforting.


    Quinn applauded for tight budget
    For the first time since the recession, Gov. Pat Quinn signed Illinois’s fiscal budget June 30 without new borrowing. Line, by line, Gov. Quinn carefully examined the budget passed by the General Assembly and identified areas for improvement and reduction. He made several line item vetoes, by eliminating double appropriations, and reduced state spending by another $376 million. He reduced bureaucracy costs by more than $11 million. His vetoes bring this year’s total spending cuts to more than $7 billion.


    Which side of mouth do you believe?
    This July, out of one side of their mouths, Republicans are demanding spending cuts. Out of the voting side of their mouths, in control of the House, they increased the military budget by $17 billion over its currently level. Maybe they did not get the memo that there is a pending troop drawdown


    Tax breaks have led to job outsourcing
    Let’s ask the tea party Republicans to ask their supporters to show some real patriotism and pay for the wars they started, the troops and money we’ve given to NATO and the foreign aid to Pakistan.


    Corporate jet tax is a smokescreen
    Mr. Obama, that jet-tax loophole that you proudly proclaimed as one of your ideas to reduce the debt is one that you proposed as part of the failed stimulus approved by a Democratic Congress. It’s your example of how the rich should pay more taxes or necessary things such as food safety face your budget ax.


    Elgin knows how to party patriotically
    It’s great to live in a city that recognizes the significance of our nation’s history and makes an effort to honor it on special occasions. Kudos to everyone who worked so hard to plan and carry out the multitude of details involved in these events, and thanks those who showed up to support them. I especially appreciated the attention and respect for the U.S. flag that was shown on both occasions. What a great visible reminder of this great nation and its special role as guardian of liberty.


    Wrong in 1968, still wrong today
    U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam and the House Republicans are wrong. Roskam has always been politically wrong. He and I argued on the school playground in second grade about the 1968 presidential election — he was for Nixon and I was for Humphrey.


    What’s with sign theft at Glenbard West?
    Why are our Glenbard West students afraid of free speech? In the last couple of weeks they have been stealing, destroying and vandalizing signs that have a different point of view from theirs about lights going into Memorial Field. They’ve even destroyed property while getting at those signs.


    Appalled by plans for Social Security
    I am responding to the July 8 article by Stephen Ohlemacher. He obviously doesn’t receive Social Security or else he would have known that there was no annual increase for the past two years.


    Time for liberals to stand firm
    I have had it with our president. He gave in to the extreme right wing Republicans (well, all Republicans are extreme right). Now he gives in to the Republicans on regulations affecting our environment, health care and financial system.


    Crime-free housing law not what it seems
    “Crime-free housing.” Is that what we are getting? Illinois legislators would like you to think so. They have sent SB1766 to the governor, claiming this “feel good” legislation will reduce crime in rental property.


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