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Daily Archive : Wednesday July 20, 2011

News

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    MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews, and Eighth Illinois District Rep. Joe Walsh.

    Walsh: No regrets over "Hardball" tussle

    In his seven months on the job, 8th District Rep. Joe Walsh hasn't been shy about speaking his mind through the media. But nothing, perhaps, has garnered as much publicity as a heated exchange over the debt ceiling debate with MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews Tuesday, a video which has gone viral over the past 24 hours.

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    Charlene Whitaker reaches out to touch a barrel as her horse charges around it during a Barrel Racing at the Kane County Fair Wednesday in St. Charles.

    Kane County Fair opens; does heat wave matter?

    Ticket salesman John Bosco succinctly summed up Wednesday's opening of the Kane County Fair. "The heat is killing the business," said Bosco, of Oswego, a longtime fair worker. "It's very slow."

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    Guns, cash taken in Arlington Heights burglary

    Arlington Heights police are seeking information on a residential burglary between 8:20 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 1800 block of N. Windsor Drive.

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    Shea, a Border Collie, stands up to catch a Frisbee during a performance Wednesday by the FlyDogs at the Palatine Park District's Community Center Gym.

    FlyDogs wow Palatine crowd with aerial stunts

    The FlyDogs entertained children and parents alike Wednesday during a high-flying performance at the Palatine Park District's Community Center Gym.

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    D'Andre Howard

    Hoffman Estates triple murder defendant says it was self defense

    "Self-defense." That's D'Andre Howard's explanation for the stabbing deaths of three members of the Engelhardt family in Hoffman Estates, for which he stands accused. "I didn't kill anybody. I didn't stab anybody."

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    Woodstock man gets 6 years for $5M investment scam

    Scott Ross, 42, of Woodstock, is sentenced to six years in federal prison after pleading guilty to bilking 150 people from Chicago and the suburbs out of about $5 million in a ponzi scheme. Ross was ordered to repay $3.7 million, but it's unlikely investors will see any of it.

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    Would-be robber leaves Prospect Heights bank empty handed

    Prospect Heights police are looking for the suspect in an attempted bank robbery from Tuesday. The man, police say, tried to rob the Village Bank & Trust off Rand Road, but walked out empty handed because the manager showed him an empty register and said they had no cash.

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    Roadside bomb kills 2 in Baghdad

    BAGHDAD — Iraqi officials say a roadside bomb targeting a security patrol has killed one policeman and a passer-by in western Baghdad.An Iraqi policeman says the blast Sunday morning also wounded three people in the Sunni-dominated Amariyah neighborhood near the capital's airport. A medic at the al-Yarmouk hospital confirmed the casualties.

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    A sheriff's deputy removes Jack Daniel McCullough's handcuffs as he stands for a court hearing Wednesday in Seattle. McCullough, a former police officer accused in the 1957 slaying of a Sycamore girl, has agreed to return to Illinois to face charges after waiving his right to fight extradition.

    Suspect in 1957 slaying OKs return to Illinois

    A former police officer accused in the 1957 slaying of a Sycamore girl agreed Wednesday to return to Illinois to face a murder charge. Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, waived his right to fight extradition in a brief hearing Wednesday in King County Superior Court in Seattle. Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for the county prosecutor's office, said he would be transported to DeKalb County within 30 days.

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    Wauconda Fire Department Chief Dave Dato, right, and Jeff Giacinto, command unit leader, explains the equipment in the Unified Command Post, an emergency mobile communications van, housed at the Volo fire substation.

    Lake County first responders working toward better communication

    Police, fire and public works agencies in Lake County started their march toward increasing collective safety more than three years ago, and report tangible progress is being made to improve communications for first responders.

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    Gay military couples won't get benefits

    SAN DIEGO — Gay service members from Army soldiers to Air Force officers are planning to celebrate the official end of the military's 17-year policy that forced them to hide their sexual orientation with another official act — marriage.

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    Aurora Roundhouse owners close to purchasing home for warehouse

    The new owners of the Roundhouse in Aurora are finalizing their purchase of an Aurora home for their beer distribution warehouse - and an agreement the city council approved Tuesday should help in the process.

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    Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross filed suit Wednesday to try to upend Democrats' legislative political map.

    Illinois GOP challenges Democrats' political map

    Illinois Republicans led by the suburban leadership of the House and Senate challenged Democrats' new legislative political map in federal court Wednesday, saying new boundaries are unfair to minorities.

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    Palatine Township Elementary District 15 Superintendent Scott Thompson, who took over on an interim basis in July 2010 and recently received a multiyear contract, says he's optimistic about the district's future after a series of community meetings he dubbed Navigate15.

    A year after shakeup, superintendent sees Palatine's District 15 back on track

    Deficit spending, changing demographics, upcoming teacher contract negotiations ... the challenges for Palatine Township Elementary District 15 are numerous. But Superintendent Scott Thompson says the district has come a long way.

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    2 injured, 1 critically, in Waukegan crash on Green Bay

    Two people were injured, one in critically, in a major crash that shut down a stretch of Green Bay Road in Waukegan Wednesday night, according to police.

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    Firefighters battle Crystal Lake blaze

    Firefighters remained at the scene of a 3-alarm blaze in Crystal Lake late Wednesday, hours after the house went up in flames.

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    DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFLPA, is asked a question as he arrives at the NFL Players Association offices in Washington on Wednesday. An end to the NFL lockout appears close, with both sides preparing to vote on a proposed deal once it is finalized.

    AP Source: No player vote Wednesday on NFL deal

    NFL players didn't vote Wednesday on a full proposal to settle the league's labor dispute, citing several outstanding issues, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

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    Ice forms around a rainbow at the base of Vernal Falls on the Mist Trail in Yosemite National Park in a photo from April 2009. Search and rescue rangers at Yosemite National Park were scouring an area below the popular waterfall after witnesses reported seeing at least three people swept over the falls.

    Search for memorable photo ends in death at Yosemite falls

    Three visitors were presumed dead Wednesday after being swept over a raging waterfall in Yosemite National Park, authorities said.

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    Sen. Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, speaks during a news conference to denounce House Republicans’ “Cut, Cap, and Balance Act” Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

    Bipartisan tax plan trims mortgage deduction

    A new bipartisan plan to reduce government borrowing would target some of the most cherished tax breaks enjoyed by millions of families those promoting health insurance, home ownership, charitable giving and retirement savings in exchange for lowering overall tax rates for everyone.

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    Four youths linked to Des Plaines vehicle burglary spree

    Four juveniles have been charged with multiple counts of burglary in Des Plaines.

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    A TSA employee at O’Hare views the images from the full body scanner in March 2010. The whole body imaging machines have sparked outrage among passengers and privacy advocates.

    TSA introduces new technology to protect privacy

    The Transportation Security Administration says it’s installing new technology in 40 airports nationwide, including in Chicago, so when a traveler goes through security, a generic outline of a person’s body will be shown instead of the image of a naked body.

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    Lutheran split shakes up social service network

    One of the largest social service networks in the United States, working in areas ranging from adoption to disaster relief, faces a shake-up because of Lutheran divisions over the Bible and homosexuality.

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    The U.S. District Court in Chicago Wednesday opened 26 documents from the terror trial of businessman Tahawwur Rana. More will be made public later. Rana was cleared of involvement in the Mumbai attacks, but he was convicted of lesser charges, including providing material support to the Pakistani militant group blamed in those attacks.

    Court unseals Mumbai terror trial documents

    A federal court has released previously sealed court papers from a recent trial in Chicago related to the deadly terror attacks in Mumbai, India, in 2008.

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    Fox Valley police reports

    An Elgin couple reported the theft of their canoe sometime between Monday and Tuesday from their home in the 500 block of Wellington Avenue, according to police reports. The 14’ Potomac plastic canoe is usually stored in the backyard, reports said. The couple found a chunk of meat on the ground in the dog kennel, also in the backyard, reports said.

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    In March, a federal judge found Unviersity of Illinois was wrong to use a privacy law to withhold the names of college applicants involved in an admissions scandal. The university has appealed the ruling.

    Justice Department backs U of I

    The U.S. Department of Justice is supporting the University of Illinois’ appeal of a court ruling in a case involving the release of names in an admissions scandal.The Justice Department filed an amicus brief Wednesday, joining colleges and other groups in supporting the university’s appeal to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

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    Carpentersville public works employees ink new deal

    The village of Carpentersville and its unionized public works employees have hammered out a new contract, one that offers minimal raises and gives management new rights to crack down on sick leave abuse.

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    Waukegan man’s body recovered from lake

    Authorities in northeastern Wisconsin have recovered the body of a Waukegan man who presumably drowned earlier this week.

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    Round Lake Park man charged in crash that killed rival gang member

    A 20-year-old Round Lake Park man faces criminal charges for throwing a landscaping brick through the window of an SUV that triggered a crash and killed a rival gang member, police said Wednesday. Bond was set at $1 million.

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    Vernon Hills man gets four years in house burglary

    A Vernon Hills man was sentenced to four years in prison Wednesday after admitting he broke into a house in Deerfield.

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    Round Lake Beach woman charged with taking lewd pictures of child

    A Round Lake Beach woman was ordered held on $150,000 bond Wednesday after being charged with taking lewd photographs of a 5-year-old boy.

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    Buffalo Grove Park District’s “The Wedding Singer” opens Friday

    The Buffalo Grove Park District summer musical, “The Wedding Singer,” opens this weekend with performances held at the Stevenson High School West Auditorium, 2 Stevenson Drive, in Lincolnshire.

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    Dan Duffy

    Lottery to determine how long Illinois Senate terms will be

    Suburban candidates are beginning to line up to run for a seat in the Illinois Senate. What they don’t know yet is how long they’d serve if elected, since a lottery to determine the length of their terms hasn't been held.

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    The Minnesota Twins’ Alexi Casilla, left, is congratulated by teammate Tsuyoshi Nishioka after scoring the go-ahead run on Danny Valencia’s single to take the lead against the Cleveland Indians during the eighth inning on Wednesday in Minneapolis. The Twins defeated the Indians 7-5.

    Indians let another game slip away to Twins

    Instead of burying the Twins in the AL Central race, the Cleveland Indians left town with their lead over Minnesota no worse than when the sweltering four-game series started.

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    Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive talks with reporters during Southeastern Conference Football Media Days in Birmingham, Ala., on Wednesday.

    Slive: College sports loses benefit of the doubt

    SEC Commissioner Mike Slive says recent headlines show that college athletics "has lost the benefit of the doubt."

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    Mt. Prospect spending $275K upgrading police, fire facilities

    The Mount Prospect Village Board on Tuesday approved spending $194,085 to repair the parking deck ramp at the Police and Fire Headquarters Building and another $81,510 to replace the flat roof of Fire Station 13.

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    State Rep. Crespo hosting town-hall meeting in Streamwood

    State Rep. Fred Crespo is hosting a town-hall meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, July 25 at the VFW 5151, 520 S. Bartlett Road, Streamwood.

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    St. Charles tobacco shop feud with landlord heats up

    A dispute between Shodeen and the Bull & Bear Tobacco shop in St. Charles likely will be decided by a judge next month. Shodeen says cigar and tobacco odors are in violation of the lease, but the Bull & Bear says the lease allows it.

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    Free concert in Round Lake Beach

    lake county news digest for thursday, july 21

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    Cool off at Island Lake village hall

    lake county news digest for thursday, july 21

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    Pay increases in Vernon Hills

    lake county news digest for thursday, july 21

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    Suburban teen found in trunk was shot

    Police in Virginia say a South suburban teen found dead in the trunk of a North Carolina man’s car was an 18-year-old friend who was reported missing with him. Clifton Forge Police Chief Barry Balser says 18-year-old Danielle Dennis-Towne of Steger died of a gunshot wound to the head.

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    New commission to oversee charter schools

    Illinois is getting a commission to decide when charter schools should be created and then make sure they’re running properly.The commission gives advocates a new path for approval of charter schools instead of having to go through local school boards or the State Board of Education.

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    Chicago boy drowns in Iowa river

    Iowa officials say an 11-year-old boy from Chicago has drowned in the Nodaway River in southwest Iowa.

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    A Batavia girl lights one of the approximately 3,000 luminarias placed along the Batavia Riverwalk Sept. 11, 2002, during a rite marking the anniversary of a terrorist attack on the United States. Mayor Jeff Schielke has proposed re-creating the rite this year for the 10th anniversary.

    Batavia may repeat 9/11 luminaria ceremony

    Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke proposes re-creating a luminaria ceremony on Sept. 11 to honor the victims of the terrorist attacks on the United States.

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    Palatine Twp. Republicans host Proft at Aug. 6 meeting

    The Palatine Township Republican Organization will feature WLS radio host Dan Proft at its regular monthly meeting, which is free and open to the public. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6 at the PTRO office, 839 N. Quentin Road, Palatine.

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    Round Lake Beach to use credit card for rewards

    Round Lake Beach will be using an American Express credit card to pay some bills, which would return the equivalent of up to $5,000 per year in reward points. The points would be used for capital items, such as computer equipment.

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    Winfield trustees may ease ethics code

    It’s no secret in Winfield that there’s no love lost among some village trustees. That lack of trust could end up blocking a move by some trustees to open direct communication between themselves and prospective developers.

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    Stocks mixed after biggest day in a year

    One day after the Dow Jones industrial average had its best day this year, the stock market edged lower Wednesday, when a rally over hopes for a debt-limit deal turned into a waiting game for investors.

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    COD, Glen Ellyn still at odds over building jurisdiction

    College of DuPage officials met a village-imposed deadline Wednesday to submit certificates of compliance to Glen Ellyn for four new or renovated buildings they plan to open next month for classes. But the ongoing dispute over jurisdiction of building projects on the school's campus isn’t close to being over.

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    Amy LePeilbet signs autographs before the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team's appearance on "Good Morning America." The team finished second to Japan at the FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.

    Crystal Lake player looks ahead after World Cup loss

    After returning to the United States with the memory of Sunday's heartbreaking loss to Japan fresh in her mind, U.S. women's soccer team defender Amy LePeilbet, a former Crystal Lake high school standout, has a lot of future games to worry about. That and, of course, a gold medal.

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    Tri-cities police reports

    A Batavia woman was charged Saturday with disorderly conduct, accused of screaming obscenities at other patrons at 10:24 p.m. at Lodge on the Fox, 35 N. Water St., Batavia.

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    Wauconda discusses wind and solar energy

    While Wauconda officials haven’t yet settled on a plan for allowing wind and solar energy systems in the village, they’re clarifying what they might be open to considering.

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    Fred Koehler, co-founder of the Lynfred Winery, signs a bottle at the winery in Roselle in 2004.

    Roselle winery founder Koehler was ‘visionary’

    Fred Koehler, founder of Lynfred Winery in Roselle, died Saturday at age 83. Colleagues say realizing his unconventional dream of opening a successful winery in the suburbs made him an industry pioneer.

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    Lydia Runyan, 8, keeps hydrated during the Lake County Forest Preserve District's Eco Adventurers Day Camp on Tuesday at Van Patten Woods near Wadsworth. Below, Elizabeth Klann, 7, douses Rebecca Runyan, 6, in a game of "Drip, Drip, Drench."

    Lake County pools, shade key to staying cool

    At summer camps across Lake County, water seems to be the key for beating the scorching heat and humidity this week. Kids are drinking it, splashing it, spraying it and - of course - swimming in it at public and private camps throughout the region.

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    Cheryl Luchetta

    Elmhurst mom pleads not guilty to drugging son

    An Elmhurst mom accused of giving her 7-year-old son a potentially lethal dose of Valium and Tylenol PM pleaded not guilty Wednesday to aggravated battery and attempted murder. Cheryl Luchetta, 41, entered the formal plea one day after she was indicted by a grand jury.

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    Dexter G. Robinson Jr.

    Aurora man charged in North Aurora robbery

    North Aurora police have arrested a man in connection with the June 6 the robbery of the Dollar General store.

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    Similac baby formula is displayed on the shelves of a supermarket in Olmsted Falls, Ohio. Drug and medical device maker Abbott Laboratories said Wednesday its second-quarter profit jumped 48 percent on lower expenses and a one-time tax benefit.

    Abbott Labs profit grows with emerging markets

    Drug and medical device maker Abbott Laboratories reported Wednesday that sales of drugs and nutritionals in emerging markets led to an 11 percent rise in its second-quarter profit, leading the company to raise its full-year earnings guidance.

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    Madison, a black lab mix, leaps back into the pool during “pool time” with Luke Terrell at The Dog House, a cage-free boarding and doggy daycare, in Bloomington, Ind. The large pool is a great way to cool off in the extreme heat.

    Heat ‘dome’ traps much of U.S. in pressure cooker

    For millions of people enduring this week’s extreme heat and humidity, it feels like they’re living in a pressure cooker. And in a sense, they are. Much of the United States is trapped under a heat “dome.”

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    Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Downing Street in London Wednesday. He cut short a trip to Africa to answer to questions about his government’s involvement in the phone hacking scandal.

    British PM drags opponents into hacking scandal

    Prime Minister David Cameron dragged his political foes into Britain’s phone-hacking scandal Wednesday, as he sought to distance himself from his former aide at the heart of the allegations and denied that his staff had tried to thwart police investigations.

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    Real estate website Zillow soars in IPO

    Shares of real estate website Zillow have more than doubled in their trading debut Wednesday. It’s the latest Internet company to climb sharply in its first day of trading.

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    Donate goods to Environmental Defenders
    Get rid of unwanted and unused items at the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County's summer garage sale. The group is seeking donations of gently used items.

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    Kids can explore “Geodes and Gems” during a July 23 program at Elgin Public Museum.

    Crack open a rock with surprise inside at Elgin Museum
    In “Geodes and Gems,” discover geode formation on Saturday, July 23 at the Elgin Public Museum.

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    During in-service training before the 2011 pool season, lifeguards practice created emergency life-saving scenarios at Mystic Waters.

    Des Plaines lifeguards earn safety award

    The Des Plaines Park District's 2010 Aquatic staff has been awarded the prestigious Gold International Aquatic Safety Award by Jeff Ellis & Associates Inc., International Aquatic Safety and Risk Management Consultants.

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    Timothy Suter, Dean Hewson and Eric Dewitt pose near the finish line after completing the Splash, Pedal, Dash Triathlon. Hewson was the overall male triathlon winner at 1:03:54. Dewitt finished at 1:06:14 and Suter at 1:09:09.

    Triathletes take top spots for a second year

    Two triathletes repeat as top finishers in Schaumburg Park District’s Triathlon: Splash, Pedal, Dash.

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    Hematology/oncology Nurse of the Year — nominations open

    The Leukemia Research Foundation seeks nominations of nurses who treat patients of leukemia, lymphoma and myelodysplastic syndromes for its annual Nurse of the Year Award.

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    The band 10,000 Maniacs will be the big act Saturday night on the music stage.

    ‘Summer Fling’ taking place of Taste of Des Plaines

    Des Plaines Summer Fling is putting a spotlight on the music stage, where 10,000 Maniacs will be the highlight on Saturday; and Modern Day Romeos and 7th Heaven will anchor the stage on Sunday night.

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    About 100 kids join in dancing at the 2010 Downtown Block Party, sponsored by the Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce.

    Crowds expected downtown Mt. Prospect on Saturday

    Downtown Mt. Prospect will be buzzing with people Saturday afternoon and evening for the 12th annual Midsummer Block Party. Go for the live bands, the food and drink, and if you have kids, for the variety of children's entertainment.

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    It’s Military Day at Arlington Park Saturday

    Arlington Park racetrack will honor living Medal of Honor winners and celebrate the U.S. military in many ways -- including free admission for military personnel -- Saturday, July 23, at the track in Arlington Heights.

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    Former Naperville resident takes walk through time

    Former Naperville resident Andy Richter returns and gets a unique walking tour of his hometown accompanied by our own Stephanie Penick.

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    Third Street in downtown Geneva is packed by shoppers attending the seventh annual Geneva Arts Fair. The fair features 150 juried artists and their work.

    Art fair continues steady tradition with returning artists

    Voted “Best Craft or Art Show” by West Suburban Living magazine, the Geneva Arts Fair, which takes place Saturday and Sunday, July 23-24, will showcase more than 150 artists from around the country.

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    U-46 hires 2 CPS veterans for leadership roles

    Elgin Area District U-46 Superintendent Jose Torres has named a pair of Chicago Public School veterans and a current U-46 staff member to key positions within the district’s administration.

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    Suburbs under heat advisory

    Heavy overnight storms will be replaced by heat as Wednesday moves along, meteorologists stated. The heavy storms knocked out power to about 3,600 ComEd customers overnight. But, the heat this afternoon could top out at 100 degrees.

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    "Oh, Rhett! Where shall I go? What shall I do?" "Frankly, my dear, you can go to Cantigny and hear the symphony play music from our movie and several others."

    DuPage Symphony to play musical 'Treasures of the Silver Screen'

    The DuPage Symphony Orchestra has a theory: Music can transport you to another time and place. The upcoming "Treasures of the Silver Screen" concert at Cantigny Park in Wheaton promises to take audiences to some of their favorite movie moments.

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    Comics will compete at Zanies in St. Charles for the chance to advance to the World Series of Comedy.

    Comics up to bat for World Series of Comedy

    Zanies comedy club in St. Charles will play host to 40 comics who will compete July 27-30 for a chance to go to Las Vegas and face off in the World Series of Comedy.

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    Des Plaines voted to allow a cell tower 180 feet from the nearest homes in the Cumberland Estates subdivision in Des Plaines.

    Des Plaines council changes mind on cell tower

    The Des Plaines city council Tuesday night reversed an earlier decision to deny a 100-foot cell tower on city property that neighbors oppose because they believe it would lower their property values and pose health risks.

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    Give your dog an inch and he'll take a mile in the car, AAA cautions.

    AAA: Pets distract 1 in 5 drivers

    Don't let your pooch cause a car crash, AAA warns, while releasing survey results that show one in five pet owners have taken their hands off the wheel to handle a pet in the car.

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    American orders 460 new planes from Boeing, Airbus

    American Airlines is buying at least 460 new planes over the next five years and splitting the order between Boeing and Airbus.

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    A "quiet lounge" at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights. The hospital was ranked in six specialties by U.S. News.

    Suburban hospitals fare well in U.S. News annual rankings

    A number of suburban hospitals ranked highly, both nationally and locally, in U.S. News & World Report's annual listing of the top hospitals which published Tuesday.

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    Carpentersville board won't cut water rate increase

    The Carpentersville village board refused to repeal the water rate increases it approved in April, but three trustees still won't take "no" for an answer. Now, trustees Paul Humpfer and Doug Marks will offer alternatives to the water rate ordinance they say will be more "transparent" and affordable for Carpentersville.

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    Officers, during a court hearing Tuesday, described what they found when they arrived at Engelhardt home in Hoffman Estates and found three people murdered.

    Hoffman cops describe scene of '09 triple murder

    A police officer who arrived first at the scene of a 2009 triple homicide in Hoffman Estates testified he walked past five people lying on the floor, some dead, some injured, before coming to Marie Engelhardt sitting on a sofa, holding her wounded granddaughter's hand.

Sports

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    Coach Frank Klopas, right, and Chicago Fire player Christian Nazarit share a laugh after practice Tuesday. The Fire hosts Manchester United on Saturday at Soldier Field.

    Time for Chicago Fire to Man up

    It's not a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Fire veterans like Gonzalo Segares or Dominic Oduro to play Manchester United, but Saturday's international friendly will still be special. The two sides face each other Saturday afternoon at Soldier Field.

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    Statement by Ricketts denies Gillick rumors

    Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has denied he's talked with former big-league executive Pat Gillick about a possible job with the Cubs.

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    Nine fine for Palatine

    Palatine rallied to beat Northbrook, Arlington topped Mount Prospect and top seed Elk Grove was stunned 10-0 in 7 innings by Portage Park in the first day of the Cook County American Legion baseball tournament. Barrington rallied to win its Second Division game 9-6 against Fulton on Justin Dragos' pinch-hit 3-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

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    Giesel fuels Neuqua Valley in narrow victory over Benet

    After baseball victories on Wednesday, Neuqua Valley and Naperville Central will play in Thursday's Glenbard South regional final with a chance to play in the Elite Eight of next week's Phil Lawler Summer Classic.

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    McElroy in command for St. Viator

    Tim McElroy threw a complete-game 4-hitter with 8 strikeouts as eighth-seeded St. Viator topped No. 12 Elk Grove 4-1 in Wednesday's Lake Park regional semifinal of the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association Phil Lawler Summer Classic.

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    Harlem ends Batavia’s season

    Batavia’s summer season came to an end Wednesday at the St. Charles East regional of the IHSBCA 2011 Phil Lawler Summer Classic, the second straight year the Bulldogs have bowed out in the semifinals. This year, however, the Bulldogs did so after reaching a milestone coach Matt Holm and his players were quite proud of. No. 2 seed Rockford Harlem scored 5 runs in the sixth inning to break a 3-3 tie on its way to an 8-5 victory over No. 6 Batavia. That left Batavia’s final summer record at 21-8, a 20-win season that meant a lot to the program.

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    Geneva knocks out No. 1 St. Charles N.

    In Geneva's wild 5-4 win over St. Charles North in summer league baseball action, the teams combined for 11 walks, 4 hit batters, 6 errors and just 6 base hits, all singles. The win sends Geneva into a summer regional championship game for the first time in school history. The No. 4 seeded Vikings (19-9-2) will play No. 2 Harlem (17-1) at 1 p.m. Thursday at St. Charles East.

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    The Royals' Alex Gordon, bottom right, steals home on a wild pitch from White Sox relief pitcher Sergio Santos to Billy Butler with umpire Jerry Meals watching with two out in the bottom of the 11th inning to win 2-1 Wednesday night.

    Guillen erupts after tough loss to Royals

    It was a tough night all the way around for the White Sox on Wednesday. You just had a feeling it was going to be another in a long series of struggles for the offense, and it was.

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    Ozzie Guillen, center, argues a call against Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko (14) with home plate umpire Jerry Meals, left, in the ninth inning of their baseball game against the Kansas City Royals in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, July 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

    Santos' wild pitch hands Royals victory

    Sergio Santos threw a wild pitch in the 11th inning that allowed Alex Gordon to score, giving the Kansas City Royals a 2-1 victory Wednesday night.

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    It’s official: Hawks, Campoli part ways

    The Blackhawks formally walked away from defenseman Chris Campoli's $2.5 million arbitration award on Wednesday.

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    Hagen wins stage; Voeckler clings to lead

    Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway won the 17th stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday, the first of three days in the Alps, while Thomas Voeckler retained the yellow jersey but lost time after riding off course on the final descent.

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    Tiger Woods and caddie Steve Williams on the third tee during a practice round for the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wis., last summer. Woods announced Wednesday that he and Williams would no longer be working together.

    Woods-Williams duo is done

    Tiger Wood and longtime caddie Steve Williams will no longer be working together, ending a long and successful golf partnership.

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    Starlin Castro reacts after striking out during the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies won 9-1.

    Quade steams about Castro's misplay in 9-1 loss to Phillies

    The Cubs suffered a 9-1 defeat in the heat against the Phillies Wednesday at Wrigley Field. Many things went wrong, but manager Mike Quade singled out young players Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney for a mistake in the first inning.

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    Starlin Castro reacts after striking out during the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies Wednesday at Wrigley Field. The Cubs lost 9-1.

    Cubs struggle against Worley, Phillies

    Vance Worley dominated over eight innings, Jimmy Rollins homered from both sides of the plate and the Philadelphia Phillies pounded Ryan Dempster and the Chicago Cubs 9-1 on a scorching Wednesday at Wrigley Field.

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    A draft-day snafu by the Bears and GM Jerry Angelo continues to confound Ravens coach John Harbaugh, who suggested this week that the Bears hand over some sort of compensation.

    Enough of Ravens' whining about Bears, Angelo

    The Ravens complaining about the Bears and Jerry Angelo's draft day debacle is now officially over the top.

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    Yes, you really can clean up in the slop

    July and August are sometimes known as "excuse months," in that some fishermen would rather make excuses during these hot periods as to why they're not catching fish. But a little know-how can keep you in the game, especially with regard to big bass.

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    EX-Bears QB Jim McMahon OK after limo crash

    RENO, Nev. — Former Bears quarterback Jim McMahon has been released from a Nevada hospital after he was injured in a crash in a limousine on the way from Lake Tahoe to the airport.McMahon and girlfriend, Lori Navon, who were injured along with the driver on Monday when the limo swerved off U.S. Highway 395 in Pleasant Valley and crashed through a barbed-wire fence into a drainage ditch.McMahon's agent Vincent Calo told the Reno Gazette-Journal on Wednesday that the former Chicago Bear tore ligaments in his foot and suffered trauma to his head, neck and back. Navon suffered a concussion.Calo says both have returned home to Scottsdale, Ariz. McMahon played over the weekend in a celebrity golf tournament at Tahoe. McMahon played in the 1986 Super Bowl.

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    NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski is seen during qualifying at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. Keselowski was named to Sports Illustrated's "Twitter 100" as a must-follow athlete on the social media site.

    Keselowski knows time running out to make Chase

    LOUDON, N.H. — Brad Keselowski has provided fans about every way to contact him except his cell number.Want an autograph? He'll stand and sign.Have a question? Click in the box at his sponsor's "Ask Brad" website and fill in the space with whatever is on your mind. Be quick, or else a videotaped message from Keselowski pops up, needling the slow typers.Demand a more instant response? Try him — where else, these days? — on his Twitter account (at) Keselowski. Favorite songs, favorite races, or just the hot topics of the day are all open for debate among Keselowski and his nearly 28,000 followers. His popularity on the social media site prompted Sports Illustrated to recently name him to "The Twitter 100." SI said Keselowski was, "Perhaps the most active Sprint Cup driver on Twitter. Regularly converses with fans and has even engaged in debates with media."He's attracted a growing fan base, the sponsorship of Miller Lite, and the attention of the sport as one of the most talented young drivers around. He finished 25th in his first full season in Sprint Cup last year and won the Nationwide Series championship as proof he can develop into a driver who could contend down the road for a title in NASCAR's top series.It just won't be this year.Time is running short for Keselowski to even make the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship field. Stuck in 23rd place, he won't clinch one of the guaranteed 10 spots in the field. The last two slots are reserved for drivers 11 to 20 with the most victories. That's where Keselowski sees his sliver of hope. Only David Ragan, in 13th place with one victory, meets those criteria. Keselowski won at Kansas Speedway last month, giving him a big edge if he can crack the top 20. He's 25 points behind veteran Mark Martin for 20th.Keselowksi has only two top-fives and four top-10 finishes this year, blaming a "lack of execution combined with poor speed."Before last Sunday's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Keselowski gave his Penske Racing team "a little bit over 50 percent" shot at making the Chase field. "Ready to go racing here in new Hampshire. Think we can run well, i'd say we are top-5 car on short run and top-15 on long run. (hash)Letsdothis," he posted shortly before the race.He blew a right tire and finished 35th, crippling his chance at moving up the standings.Like so many NASCAR drivers who have embraced Twitter, Keselowski refused to wait until the next race weekend to address his failure."2 team is back to work today. Not gonna let a blown tire hold us back! On a positive note, think we figured out what was wrong with our car," he posted Monday.Keselowski said he became a frequent Twitter user because he doesn't like the way the media cover his sport."Twitter is a way for me to set the record straight on anything I feel like setting straight," he said.He defended five-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson when NFL player Golden Tate criticized the Hendrick Motorsports' driver's inclusion on the ESPY male athlete of the year awards list. Tate hit Twitter to claim drivers aren't athletes.Keselowski, who played football, wrestled and ran track growing up, stuck up for the drivers-as-athletes side. "What separates racing from those sports is that being a physical freak of nature is not an advantage," Keselowski said.He's gotten personal on Twitter, revealing things like his favorite three-man band as Rush.But mostly, he's a country music fan. He hummed a few bars to an Elton John song outside his hauler, having some fun after cutting a promo for an upcoming race at Michigan ("Time for my serious face," he said, smiling.)His two favorite songs: "Fancy," by Reba McEntire and "Lonesome, On'ry and Mean," by Waylon Jennings.

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    Shin looking for best form at Evian Masters

    EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France — Defending champion Jiyai Shin is still looking for her best form and first title of the year entering the Evian Masters.Shin birdied the 18th hole to win in dramatic style last year, becoming the first South Korean to capture the event.The 23-year-old Shin maintains she will be confident when play starts Thursday.“Actually, last year, before this week, before Evian, I didn’t win,” Shin said. “I think it’s time to win. I know a lot of my fans (are) waiting, and I’m also waiting for the win.”Shin finished second at the ShopRite LPGA Classic last month and was runner-up at the Kia Classic in March, where she lost to Sandra Gal after the German sank a 2-foot birdie putt on the final hole.Otherwise, Shin’s best was an eighth place at the LPGA State Farm Classic and a tie for 10th at the U.S. Open.“I think I played well, just a little bit up and down,” Shin said. “Just my putting, sometimes my putting doesn’t work. But I’m practicing a lot, so maybe the good feeling is coming.”Shin faces a strong field, including Ai Miyazato of Japan. She earned her first LPGA Tour victory at the Evian Masters in 2009 and finished sixth at the recent U.S. Open.“I played very good at the U.S. Open, and my confidence is coming back,” Miyazato said. “I’m feeling good, I’m in good shape.”Two years ago, Miyazato clinched the Evian Masters with a birdie on the first sudden-death playoff hole, beating Sophie Gustafson of Sweden.“I have such a great memory from this tournament. I can’t believe it’s already two years,” Miyazato said.Players had to put up with drizzly rain and muggy conditions as they practiced on Wednesday.“It’s so cold and rainy. Feels like it’s Scotland,” Shin said. “But hopefully no rain in the next few days.”Meanwhile, Michelle Wie hopes to find some form in Evian — which is set to become a major in 2013. The LPGA announced Wednesday that it would become the fifth major of the tour and be held in September 2013.Wie, who finished 55th at the U.S. Open, has not finished in the top three since she was runner-up to Yani Tseng at the LPGA Thailand in February.Wie rebuffs recent claims by Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam that she has become distracted by getting her degree at Stanford. Speaking during the U.S. Open this month, Sorenstam even questioned whether Wie is “mentally strong enough to finish at the top” of the game.“I want to win majors, I want to win tournaments, and I’m working very hard at that. Right now that’s my No. 1 goal,” Wie said. “And even if I’m at school, you know, I don’t go to school full time.”The 21-year-old Wie plans to graduate, and says going to school provides balance to her life.“I think education has always been very important to me, especially ever since I was young,” Wie said. “So I’ve been playing on LPGA tournaments and going to regular high school and all of that, so it’s been very important.”

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    McDonald’s builds biggest branch for Olympics
    LONDON — McDonald’s is super-sizing for the 2012 London Olympics by building its biggest restaurant.The 32,000 square-foot, two-story building in the Olympic Park will have 1,500 seats.It’s one of four temporary McDonald’s to be constructed on the site, including one in the athletes’ village.The burger chain, which has been an Olympics sponsor since 1976, hopes to serve more than 1.75 million people during the 29 days of the Olympics and Paralympics.

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    75 NFL retirees sue league over concussions

    LOS ANGELES — Mark Duper, Ottis Anderson and 73 other former players sued the National Football League, claiming it concealed information about the danger of concussions for decades.The negligence, fraud and liability suit was filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. Many players’ wives also are plaintiffs.The suit alleges the NFL knew as early as the 1920s of the harmful effects of concussions but concealed them from coaches, trainers, players and the public until June 2010. It also names helmet-maker Riddell, the NFL’s official helmet supplier.It seeks unspecified damages.“We have not seen the complaint but would vigorously contest any claims of this kind,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement.Riddell spokeswoman Laura Moore said the company had not yet reviewed the complaint and its policy was to not comment on pending litigation.Concussions are movements of the brain inside the skull from an impact. The former players contend that they suffered repeated concussions from hits and tackles during their years in the NFL that caused brain damage. They contend the injuries left them with problems such as dementia, headaches, memory loss, blurred vision, sleeplessness and ringing in the ears. Some claim the injuries caused depression, anxiety, “explosive mood changes,” poor judgment and substance abuse.According to the suit, the NFL knew for decades that multiple blows to the head can cause long-term brain injury but fraudulently denied it, even as independent evidence showed that players were at risk.The Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee was established by the NFL in 1994 to study the risk of long-term brain injury to players. The suit contends that the committee published “false, distorted and deceiving” findings that the risk was minimal in order to deceive Congress, players and the public.The NFL only warned active players in June 2010 of the risks associated with multiple concussions and Riddell failed to warn active players until around the same time, the suit claims.The NFL has never warned past players, according to the suit.

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    A.J. Foyt to stick with Honda engine in 2012

    INDIANAPOLIS — A.J. Foyt will do anything to win next season -- even if it takes a Japanese engine manufacturer to put him in Victory Lane.Yes, IndyCar’s career leader in victories and a major proponent of American racers said Tuesday his team will go with the Honda engine in 2012.It’s the first time since 2005 that IndyCar owners have had a choice of engines, and Foyt is the third prominent team owner to announce his choice. He joins Chip Ganassi as the second to go with Honda, the sole engine supplier for the IndyCar Series since 2006. To the Houston native, the reasoning was simple.“The people at Honda have been very good to us through the years and when I asked them a question, they always answered honestly,” Foyt said during Tuesday’s conference call with reporters. “So you want to stay with people who are truthful with you. I did talk to Chevy and they have been very good to us through the years, too, but we have to find a way to get back to Victory Circle.”The selection is a philosophical shift for Foyt, who embraced Tony George’s intention to create a predominantly American oval series in the mid-1990s. Some thought Foyt’s roots would compel him to choose the only American manufacturer in the mix, Chevrolet.But the four-time Indianapolis 500 winner decided to stick with the company that has proven it can build an engine to withstand the toughest racing conditions and almost never breaks. The advantage, of course, is that Foyt’s team can spend more time fine-tuning the team’s No. 14 car rather than starting over.Foyt even acknowledged the irony in his choice.“Well, every now and then you’ve got to make changes and we’re trying to make changes for the best,” he said. “You either make a good choice or a bad choice. Any time you have competition, I don’t care what it’s in, I think it makes it good.”While Foyt and Ganassi have both announced they will use Honda, Roger Penske’s team has chosen Chevrolet, which produced IndyCar engines from 1986-93 and again from 2002-05. Lotus, which makes the other engine package, has not had a team commit yet.The competition for engines could be heating up soon, too.Erik Berkman, president of Honda Performance Development, said the company will likely provide engines for about 10 cars in 2012. Ganassi’s team has four of those spots locked up. Foyt has taken at least one more and possibly a second -- if he can find enough sponsorship to add another car to his stable. Foyt said his team has already discussed two or three drivers who could fill the second spot. Brazil’s Vitor Meira has been Foyt’s primary driver the past three seasons.Berkman believes another team is on the verge of announcing it will stay with Honda, too, though he did not identify the team.“We’ve got a lot of team owners talking to us, trying to figure out what’s going to happen,” Berkman said.Team owners also are trying to figure out what to do with new aerodynamic packages that series officials still have not approved and any other potential changes for 2012.That’s one reason Foyt’s team decided to stick with a known quantity.“You could tell all the Honda teams kind of worked together,” said Larry Foyt, A.J.’s son and the team director. “They were all part of the Honda family, and I think that’s something else Honda brings. I feel like we’ll have a lot of great teammates now, too. We’re racing against them, but we’re racing with them, too.”A.J. Foyt still holds IndyCar records for most wins (67), most wins in a season (10) and was the first of the three four-time Indy 500 winners. He won another Indy title as a team owner in 1999, when Kenny Brack took the checkered flag, and Foyt remains the only driver to win the Indy 500, Daytona 500 and 24 Hours of Le Mans.His team, however, hasn’t won since Airton Dare took the 2002 Kansas title.

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