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Daily Archive : Sunday July 24, 2011

News

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    Bettendorf Castle is in a small neighborhood off Northwest Highway in Fox River Grove, so neighbors don’t like tour buses going by it.

    Fox River Grove neighbors say they’re not OK with bus tours

    A tour bus with senior citizens from Minnesota visited Bettendorf Castle in Fox River Grove last week, angering neighbors and prompting village officials to look into whether any ordinances were violated — and how to regulate any future bus tours.

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    By the time the Plain White T's took the DuPage County Fair stage in 2007, they had risen to of the top of the Billboard charts with their hit single “Hey There Delilah.” Not bad for a group that fair organizers originally booked to be an opening act.

    Top 10 DuPage County Fair memories

    From a "scary' performance by Motor City Madman Ted Nugent to a beyond-the-call effort by country legend Willie Nelson to a touching gesture by Charlie Daniels, the DuPage County Fair has seen its share of moments. We put together a top 10 list of them.

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    Suburban Norwegians still in shock over attacks

    Suburban Norwegians say they're devastated and bewildered by the bombings and shootings that took place in their home country.

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    Phyllis Siegel, 77, right, kisses her wife, Connie Kopelov, 85, after exchanging vows Sunday at the Manhattan city clerk's office with New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn in attendance, back left, on the first day New York State's Marriage Equality Act goes into effect.

    Couples wed on first day gay marriage is legal in N.Y.

    Hundreds of gay couples dressed in formal suits and striped trousers, gowns and T-shirts recited vows in emotion-choked voices and triumphantly hoisted their long-awaited marriage certificates on Sunday as New York became the sixth and largest state to recognize same-sex weddings.

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    Police: Wauconda crash kills motorcyclist, alcohol a factor

    Alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor to a three-vehicle Wauconda crash that killed a motorcyclist and injured three others on Route 176 early Sunday evening, according to police.

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    Robert Zapfel, 24, warns of the sewage-contaminated furniture he left along the road outside his Mount Prospect home on Emerson Street on Sunday. Saturday's record downpour caused water and sewage to back up into Zapfel's basement.

    As floodwaters in retreat, cleanup in high gear

    Despite morning rainfall, floodwaters were receding Sunday along the Des Plaines River. But lots of cleanup work remains from another damaging storm in the Northwest suburbs. "Everything that goes down a toilet filled up the basement,” Robert Zapfel said.

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    Naperville water rescue unfounded in DuPage River

    Naperville dive teams are searching the DuPage River after a report that a 20-year-old man who was swimming at around 7 p.m. Sunday did not surface.

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    Norway’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, center, pays tribute Sunday to victims of the twin attacks before a memorial service at Oslo Cathedral, Sunday, July 24, 2011. The man blamed for the attacks said he was motivated by a desire to bring about a revolution in Norweg.

    Suspect: Norway attacks ‘marketing’ for manifesto

    Anders Behring Breivik, the Norway explosion and shootings that killed at least 93 people were a “marketing method” for his manifesto, which not only lays out his extreme nationalist philosophy but reveals his attack methods and encourages like-thinkers to do their own mass killing

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    Norway suspect borrowed from Unabomber's manifesto

    Parts of the manifesto written by the suspect in Norway's terrorist attack were taken almost word for word from the writings of “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski.

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    Norway suspect: Serbia bombing ‘tipped the scales’

    Anders Behring Breivik said he was a boy when his life’s path began to turn. It was during the first Gulf War, when a Muslim friend cheered at reports of missile attacks against American forces.“I was completely ignorant at the time and apolitical but his total lack of respect for my culture (and Western culture in general) actually sparked my interest and passion for it,” the...

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    Afghan flees war zone home, shot 4 times in Norway

    Hussein Kazemi has faced danger many times before. Maybe that’s why the teenager still can smile as he sits in his hospital bed, bullet wounds in both legs and an arm, and images of a crazed gunman in his head.

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    The White House is seen through a keyhole in the fence as debt talks continue Sunday in Washington.

    Boehner: GOP ready to act alone on debt deal

    With bipartisan talks stalled, House Republicans and Senate Democrats readied rival debt-limit emergency fallback plans in hopes of reassuring world financial markets on Monday the U.S. government will avoid an unprecedented default in barely a week.

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    Marge Hall of Winfield works on one of her “photo realism” oil paintings while displaying her art at the 10th annual Geneva Arts Fair Sunday.

    Browsing the Geneva Arts Fair

    A group of 150 artists from across the state and country offered masterpieces in sculpture, fused glass, fiber, furniture, jewelry, photography and painting for sale in the 10th annual Geneva Art Fair. A pattern of rain and then heat marked the weekend as more than 20,000 people strolled through, some just soaking in the beauty of the artwork, others taking advantage of the chance to buy.

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    Lightning sparks 2 Naperville, 3 Aurora fires

    Lightning-packed overnight and morning storms sparked two house fires in Naperville that caused a combined$500,000 in damage, according to fire officials.

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    For Obama, it has always been about the next election

    Amid the nasty rhetoric between Congress and the White House over the debt ceiling crisis, Chuck Goudie takes a fresh look at the 2004 speech that made Barack Obama a household name.

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    Search continues for Des Plaines gunman

    The Major Case Assistance Team has joined forces with the Des Plaines police to find the gunman who shot and killed a 26-year-old man over the weekend. Police said the shooting occurred during a fight between rival gangs. On Sunday, Police Chief Jim Prandini said investigators were following up on leads and making some progress on the case.

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    Nathaniel Goldman, 2, poses for a photograph as his dad, David, gets stuck sideways trying to get his other son, Zachary, 4, out of the beach party amusement spinning exit during Alpine Festival at Lions Park in Lake Zurich.

    Images: Weekend festival review
    There were no shortages of festivals in the suburbs over the weekend. Some of the festivals we photographed this weekend were Des Plaines Summer Fling, Mount Prospect's Midsummer Downtown Block Party, Village Tavern of Long Grove's veterans concert and pig roast, Lake Zurich Alpine Festival, Hoffman Estates/Alexian Brothers Fitness For America Sports Festival , Dupage airport's Community Days...

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    Has polo lost its luster in Oak Brook? Here, the Silver Spur and Villa Del Lago Polo teams play the first match of 2008, the last real season for the sport in the village.

    Spring’s heavy rains force Oak Brook to cancel 2011 polo matches

    Is polo still popular in Oak Brook, or is it a relic of the past? For the second year in a row, Oak Brook won't be hosting any polo matches this season due to conditions on the playing fields. A village-wide survey asks residents how likely they are to attend a future match.

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    Could speed bumps replace crossing guards in Carpentersville?

    When Carpentersville trustees laid off five crossing guards in the spring, it was an emotionally charged decision around town and one that had ramifications at three elementary schools. But now, the village board is mulling whether speed bumps, speed tables or roundabouts would help make up for their loss.

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    Karen McConnaughay

    Lobbyists a hot topic in Kane County

    An argument over the use of lobbyists by Kane County's Division of Transportation is fueling an ongoing war over the employment of a firm with publicly acknowledged political ties to County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay.

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    Rick Majewski/rmajewski@dailyherald.com Kevin Lue's and his wife Maureen Lue's on their front porch in Bartlett. They met through their passion for running, which both of them still do even after Kevin's heart transplant surgery two years ago. Friday July 1, 2011

    Bartlett man in triathlon after heart transplant

    Triathlete Kevin Lue wears a T-shirt that reads, “Powered by a Donated Heart.” The 51-year-old Bartlett man is alive today because of his physical fitness, the care of his Mayo Clinic medical team and the love from his wife.

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    Ex-Rolling Meadows football coach gets probation

    A former Rolling Meadows High School football coach was sentenced to 2 years probation and 240 hours of community service for his second DUI.

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    Elgin police blotter

    Approximately $10,000 in damage was reported because of a cut to a ceiling drain that occurred between 5:30 p.m. Friday and 3 a.m. Saturday in a building currently under construction in the 2600 block of Galvin Drive, according to police reports. The cut caused flooding to a gravel floor that had been prepared for concrete, reports said.

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    Flooding, thunderstorm, excessive heat warnings

    An excessive heat warning remains in effect throughout the suburbs until 9 p.m. according to the National Weather Service.

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    Morgan Haught

    A baby girl’s death sparks a growing charity for others

    “No matter what happens, I want to do something for this unit,” Mike Haught of Gilberts told his wife as their newborn daughter lay ill at Advocate Hope Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn. Eleven years later, their efforts have grown to benefit hospitals across the suburbs.

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    Jamie Vargo

    New dance studio in Geneva

    Downtown Geneva getting another dance studio, according to columnist Dave Heun.

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    Kim Pohl/kpohl@dailyherald.com The Anthem Grill in Palatine has closed.

    Palatine's Anthem Grill closes after 2-year run on Euclid Avenue

    The Anthem Grill in Palatine has closed its doors a little more than two years after it opened, making it the latest in a long line of restaurants unable to thrive in an again vacant Euclid Avenue building.

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    Elgin mayor wants to offer more kids city jobs

    Mayor David Kaptain is trying to give Elgin teenagers the same opportunity he had when he was young: employment with the city. Kaptain said his first job was cutting grass at Bluff City Cemetery.

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    A portion of the harvest from the Antioch Community Garden will go to Open Arms Mission in Antioch.

    Antioch community garden opens

    Now that Antioch’s new community garden is open, organizers are gearing up for its first project — a “grow and give mission” to donate a portion of the harvest to the needy in mid-August through September.

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    Arlington Hts. plans for National Night Out

    The Arlington Heights Police Department, Park District and Target are teaming up to work on the town’s National Night Out 2011 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, at North School Park, 410 N. Arlington Heights Road.

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    North Korean soldiers, foreground, and traffic police, background, tour the birthplace of Kim Il Sung to pay their respects at Mangyongdae, North Korea, in March.

    A glimpse into daily life in North Korea

    Jean H. Lee, The Associated Press bureau chief in Seoul, and David Guttenfelder, AP’s chief Asia photographer, have made numerous reporting trips to North Korea in recent years. They were granted unprecedented access on their latest journey to Pyongyang and areas outside the nation’s showcase capital.

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    Fourth-grade student Colton Givens, 9, works in his math class at Sparkman Elementary School in March. In an effort to save their dying town and school system, residents in Sparkman are banding together to send their high school graduates to college.

    Dying town invests in children to save itself

    Sparkman, Ark., has been dying for decades, losing more than half of its population since 1950. It has virtually no jobs. And its lone school is on the brink of closing. Now the community is trying to save itself by tapping into the economic-development potential of its most precious resource: its children.

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    A memorial to lost pets will include 9/11 steel

    A pet meomorial in Calhoun, Ky., will offer a place to thank firefighters and other first-responders, both for what they’d done in New York on Sept. 11 and locally, rescuing animals from the burning shelter.

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    Dave Murry, left, the public works superintendent for Wauseon, Ohio, and the town’s firefighters drape an American flag on a piece of 9/11 steel before it is trucked from Hangar 17 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The steel is headed to Wauseon for a 9/11 memorial.

    A decade later, firefighters bring 9/11 home

    By this September — the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks — the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey plans to dispatch more than 1,100 artifacts to fire and police departments, schools and churches, museums and military bases in every state and seven countries beyond.

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    Workers in Tuscon, Ariz., finish shoveling dirt toward a boulder from the 9/11 crash site in Pennsylvania next to a metal sculpture of an angel by Lei Hennessy-Owen. The sculpture and the boulder are part of a public art piece to honor Christina-Taylor Green, who died in the Jan. 8, 2011, shootings in Tucson. Christina-Taylor was born on Sept. 11, 2001.

    An angel rises from Trade Center steel

    An angel sculpture and pieces of Sept. 11 wreckage are part of a public art piece to honor young shooting victim Christina-Taylor Green in Tuscon.

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    Your news ‘Jersey Boys’ cast to return to ECC for concert
    After two consecutive seasons of sellout performances, Michael Ingersoll and the recent stars from Chicago’s long-running production of the hit Broadway musical Jersey Boys are returning to Elgin Community College’s Arts Center for another curtain call.

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    Hasbrook Park flooded nearly to top of the embankment.

    Images: Readers’ storm pictures
    Flooded streets, parking lots and basements, submerged vehicles, delays in air travel and lightning-sparked fires all struck the North, Northwest and West suburbs throughout the day. And our readers were out in force documenting the aftermath.

Sports

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    Maria Alomar, left, kisses her husband Sandy Alomar Sr., as their son Roberto Alomar gives his Baseball Hall of Fame induction speech at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, N.Y., on Sunday.

    Alomar, Blyleven and Gillick enter baseball’s Hall

    Roberto Alomar stared at the adoring crowd and was nearly rendered speechless, the tawdry episode of his stellar career long since forgotten. Bert Blyleven was more composed but moved nonetheless as he stared at his 85-year-old mother and reminisced about his late father. Both men were inducted on Sunday into the Baseball Hall of Fame along with front-office guru Pat Gillick.

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    Experts say Clemens likely to go on trial again

    Baseball star Roger Clemens’ battle against perjury charges likely is far from over and probably will be the subject of a second trial, according to many legal experts.

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    Phelps, U.S. men start with disappointing bronze

    Michael Phelps got off to a losing start at the world championships, and it wasn’t all his fault. He put his teammates in second place on the opening leg of the 4x100-meter freestyle relay. They just couldn’t move up. Phelps, kicking off the first of his seven events at the eight-day meet, led off a stunning bronze-medal showing in the relay Sunday at the Oriental Sports Center. It was the first time since 2007 that the American men lost a relay of any kind at worlds or the Olympics.

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    Timing of players’ vote remains unclear

    A vote on a settlement to the lockout is what every NFL fan wants. Nobody is sure when that might happen. The players’ executive committee will meet Monday in Washington after lawyers have worked through the weekend on issues that are holding up an agreement with the owners. Several people with knowledge of the meeting have told The Associated Press that no vote to recommend a deal is certain Monday.

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    Scouting report: White Sox vs. Tigers
    Scouting report: White Sox vs. Tigers

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    Evans keeps Australia up late

    Cadel Evans has been keeping fans back home up all night watching him become the first Australian to win the Tour de France. It’s a victory that’s been a long time coming. “I hope I brought a great deal of joy to my countrymen, my country,” Evans said Sunday after climbing onto the winner’s podium on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. “It’s been a pleasure and an honor to fly the flag over here.” The 34-year-old Evans, the oldest champion since before World War II, stood on the podium wrapped in his national flag, his eyes tearing up as he listened to the Australian national anthem.

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    Matt Garza is 4-7 with a 3.72 ERA on the season. Six times he’s left the game with the Cubs leading, only to come away with a no-decision.

    Garza just can’t catch a break

    Matt Garza has turned into the hard-luck starter on the Cubs pitching staff this season. He has pitched well most of the year, but events have conspired to keep his record at 4-7 but with an ERA of 3.72.

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    Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, top, jumps after forcing out the Houston Astros’ Jason Michaels at second during Sunday’s 10th inning at Wrigley.

    Finally, Cubs own 3-game winning streak

    News flash: The Cubs pulled off their first three-game winning streak of the season, beating the lowly Houston Astros 5-4 in 10 innings Sunday. Manager Mike Quade explained a lot of curious decision making during the victory.

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    If the White Sox are serious about trading for the Cardinals' Colby Rasmus, it may be to free up money to make other deals.

    Are Sox serious about being ‘all-in'?

    Even if the White Sox still are considered by many as favorites to win the American League Central, they need roster additions to compete in the playoffs with the likes of the Red Sox and Yankees. A rumored trade with the Cardinals could be the first of a couple moves in that direction.

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    Mike Small is going after his fifth Illinois Open this title.

    Small has another chance to make history

    Mike Small's drive for five begins Monday at Hawthorn Woods Country Club when the 62nd Illinois Open kicks off with a field of 156, including 58 amateurs tees off in the three-day event. Play begins at 7:30 a.m.

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    Cubs pinch-hitter Jeff Baker runs to first base after hitting a game-winning single against the Houston Astros in Sunday’s 10th inning.

    Cubs sweep Astros on Baker’s single

    Pinch-hitter Jeff Baker’s game-winning single in the 10th inning helped the Cubs complete their first three-game sweep at Wrigley Field in nearly two years as they beat the Houston Astros 5-4 on Sunday afternoon.

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    Cook County Legion finals postponed to Monday

    The Cook County American Legion baseball tournament finals were postponed Sunday for a second straight day and rescheduled for Monday.

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    NFL players, owners couldn’t care less about the fans

    So you thought NFL owners boxed players into a situation where public opinion would force them to hastily approve the terms of a collective bargaining agreement. You know, to keep from being viewed as the bad guys. Sorry, but neither the owners or players truly care what fans think about their labor dispute.

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    White Sox reliever Sergio Santos, right, is congratulated by catcher A.J. Pierzynski after earning his 20th save of the season Sunday against Cleveland.

    Sox capitalize on Cleveland’s mistake

    Edwin Jackson beat Cleveland for the ninth straight time after Indians rookie Ezequiel Carrera dropped an easy fly ball in center field to give the White Sox two runs in a 4-2 victory Sunday.

Business

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    For the moment, it appears that most investors will ride out any volatility that may arise as the debt ceiling deadline approaches.

    Retirement investors await debt ceiling solution

    They have one eye on Washington and the other on Wall Street. Investors are paying close attention because the contentious debate in Congress could have very serious implications for their 401(k) accounts.

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    Franco Castagliuolo, a co-manager of the Fidelity Government Income Fund, expects any failure to quickly reach a credible debt ceiling deal will widen the difference in yields between short- and long-term bonds.

    Fund managers can’t ignore debt ceiling politics

    Mutual fund managers are trying to take a measured approach while talks to resolve the government’s debt ceiling dispute plod along. They’re bracing for the off-chance that political leaders fail to reach a deal by Aug. 2, possibly triggering a default that could send stock and bond markets off a cliff. Yet they’re also trying to avoid becoming overly defensive.

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    Wayne B. Meyer, president of Sunroad Automotive, leans on a car at his Chula Vista, Calif., dealership, where a diminished inventory for small cars is evident in his near empty lot.

    Thinking of getting a smaller car? Wait until fall

    Small car prices, which have set record highs this year, are expected to come down this fall. Lower gas prices will make people comfortable driving something bigger. Honda and Toyota, which were hurt by the Japan earthquake, will crank up production of small cars. And Japan and Detroit will offer big discounts on smaller models as their lots fill up.

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    Registrar of Deeds Curtis Hertel displays documents filed in Ingham County, Mich., containing signatures of well-known robo-signers that are known to be fraudulent.

    Mortgage ‘robo-signing’ still goes on

    Mortgage industry employees are still signing documents they haven’t read and using fake signatures more than eight months after big banks and mortgage companies promised to stop the illegal practices that led to a nationwide halt of home foreclosures.

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    This is a good time to remember Warren Buffett’s famous advice: “Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.” As more fear creeps into the market with the deadline approaching, it may be a prime time to snap up bargain stocks.

    With default looming, what investors should do now

    So what should you do if you’re worried about a U.S. government default? Here are five things to keep in mind.

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    President Barack Obama has nominated former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to serve as the first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    Consumer-finance watchdog agency launches

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau began last week to enforce dozens of rules that were part of last year’s overhaul of financial regulations. It will help ensure that credit card holders have a clear understanding of the plastic in their wallets, borrowers are protected from unfair lending and military families have a dedicated financial watchdog.

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    The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday that it will mail refund checks to 450,177 Countrywide borrowers. The action is part of a settlement agreement the agency reached last year with Bank of America Corp., which acquired Countrywide in 2008.

    FTC paying nearly $108M to Countrywide borrowers

    Hundreds of thousands of homeowners who took out mortgages with Countrywide Financial Corp. will soon receive their slice of a $108 million settlement over claims that the lender charged outsized fees to borrowers facing foreclosure.

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    Israelis sleep in a protest tent encampment in central Tel Aviv, Israel. Between December 2007 and August 2010, housing prices jumped an inflation-adjusted 35 percent.

    Economic gaps widening in affluent Israel

    With consumer rage mounting over what is widely seen as a staggering cost of living, tent camps have sprung up across Israel to protest housing prices that climbed while costs fell globally amid the world’s financial meltdown.

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    DealsGoRound.com lets consumers sell daily deals from sites like Groupon and LivingSocial that they no longer want. The resale market emerged in the past year on the heels of the exploding popularity of daily deals.

    Groupon remorse? Sites let users unload deals

    Wish you hadn’t bought that daily deal for a hot air balloon ride? You’re not alone. A growing number of shoppers with buyer’s remorse are tapping an emerging resale market to unload the coupons they no longer want from sites like Groupon and LivingSocial.

Life & Entertainment

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    Everyone polkas at Pierogi Fest, which runs from Friday to Sunday, July 29-31, in Whiting, Ind.

    On the road: It’s short drive to Pierogi Fest

    Don your favorite babushka and get ready to enjoy three stages of nonstop entertainment from polka bands and international dancers to clown antics and magic shows at Pierogi Fest from July 29-31 in Whiting, Ind. Join in the Polka Dance Off, watch the Polka Parade, or just enjoy the beer garden and authentic food.

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    A graffiti-covered wall is shown in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami. Once derided as vandalism, graffiti in the form of artistic murals has become an accepted art form in Miami's Wynwood neighborhood.

    Touring Miami's graffiti art murals

    Graffiti was once considered a sign of urban decay. Now, not only is it an accepted art form, but it's also the subject of a new tour in one of Miami's trendiest neighborhoods.

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    Followers surround Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, center right, during a wedding in Lod, central Israel. Some of Israel’s wealthiest and most powerful come seeking Pinto’s blessing or his counsel on their business deals and personal lives.

    In Israel, rich and famous flock to wonder rabbi

    Some followers see Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto simply as an unusually wise man. Others believe his wisdom is supernatural, that his blessings have power and that he can see the future and heal the sick. His fame has extended into the upper reaches of Israeli society.

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    Agapanthus can add color to a mid- to late-summer garden. It thrives in large containers and in full sun.

    Art in the garden: Heat-loving plants for a tropical look

    Although a lot of plants start to wind down when the thermometer goes up, some plants revel in the high temperatures of mid to late summer. Among these plants are many exotic looking tropical beauties.

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    Concocting a healthy “soup” is one of the hands-on activities at Kohl’s “Science + You” exhibit.

    Kids become scientists at Kohl’s new hands-on exhibit

    “Science + You” at the Kohl Children's museum gives kids a hands-on way to learn about the tools scientists use to understand the world. “The idea is to really get children into the framework of mind of being scientists,” said Kohl president Sheridan Turner.

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    This six-drawer, side-locking chest was made in England.

    Treasures in your attic: Old bureau often known as ‘Wellington chest’

    Q. I would like to know the history and value of my old bureau. It has descended in my family, and has a hinged strip on the side that locks all six drawers.

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    Commemorate International Bog Day on Sunday with activities at the Volo Bog State Natural Area in Ingleside.

    Weekend picks: International Bog Day is here!

    Walking tours, art displays and even a "bog dog picnic" are all part of International Bog Day Celebration activities Sunday at the Volo Bog State Natural Area in Ingleside. Don't forget the sunscreen!

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    Inexpensive and easy to install, wall decals like this Little Boutique Wall Decal of a tree are popping up on walls in every room of the house.

    Decals becoming a popular way to transform a room design

    Wall decals have quickly become the fast food of home decorating. Inexpensive and easy to install, these peel-and-stick pieces of vinyl are popping up on walls in every room of the house.

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    Home repair: Smoke-stench furnace needs to be replaced

    Q. I get a smoke odor in my house when my oil-fired, forced-air furnace runs. Five of my neighbors either heat with wood or burn wood in their fireplaces, and the neighborhood smells of smoke most of the time. Is this something we must live with? Can it be corrected?

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    Doug McAllister/Under the Hood:

    You may have noticed it’s been hot lately! So what does this mean for your car? Generally when the weather goes extreme, either hot or cold, we see anything on your car that is marginal can fail.

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    High water pressure can put excessive stress on fixtures made for residential use.

    Ask the plumber: Checking water pressure an easy DIY project

    Q. My plumber has done our work for years and recently installed a new faucet for us. We love the faucet and he did a great job on the install. Then he checked our water pressure with some kind of tool and said our house pressure was on the borderline of being “too high.” Ask the plumber by Ed Del Grande.

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    How to ensure security deposit is returned upon move-out

    Q. I am subleasing a room from a renter of an apartment unit. She has a lease with the owner of the property and I just rent one room. But the renter did require me to pay her a security deposit. I am very concerned that when I move out, the renter who I sublease the room from will not return my security deposit to me because she irresponsibly spent it. I need to know my rights.

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    This Queen Anne-style home was voted 2010 Grand Prize winner in Schaumburg-based Chicago Paint and Coatings Association's annual contest.

    Giving vintage homes a colorful paint job worth the cost, effort

    Thinking about turning your old home into a "Painted Lady"? Several suburban contractors with experience in completing these complex painting projects offer some advice.

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    Boyfriend causes dilemma for divorcee at friends’ wedding

    I’m having an ethical dilemma related to my ex-husband. We’ve been divorced a year, separated for two. We were together more than five years. We were both very hurt by the breakup, but ultimately it was my decision to leave. There was no infidelity, no abuse. It was complicated but not vicious. Since the divorce, we’ve talked only to work out tax/financial issues, since we have no children together. It was always amicable, but awkward.

Discuss

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    A cool idea to maintain, just in case

    Last week's heat wave illustrate why it's so important for the suburbs to be prepared with cooling centers and to communicate their whereabouts, a Daily Herald editorial says.

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    Reflections on the closing of Borders bookstore chain

    With the closing of the Borders bookstore chain, a Daily Herald editorial reflects on the benefits printed books have provided civilization: They have been what separates humans from the rest of the animal kingdom.

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    Too many women are sedentary and at real risk

    Here are two realities completely at odds with each other: millions of Americans celebrated last week’s Women’s World Cup final during which some of our strongest, fittest female athletes battled it out for on-field supremacy, and yet we disregard the millions of American women whose health is deteriorating to the point that they’ll have shorter lives than did their mothers.It’s shocking that 39 years after the landmark Title IX legislation that effectively made it possible for our soccer goddesses to be celebrated on the world stage, there is still a common perception among some women that sports or any kind of physical activities are out of the question.This terrible mind fog isn’t the result of some unfortunate lack of childhood opportunities or gender discrimination but an increasingly common symptom of motherhood. Women who either participated in sports as children or stayed physically active in their young adult lives hit a wall when they start combining careers with relationships and families.“That’s what happened to me,” said Barbara Hannah Grufferman, a Manhattan-based feminist and author of “The Best of Everything After 50.” “In my late 30s I was the quintessential workaholic and gym bunny, but then I met my husband, started my family, had my second child at 41, and was still working, still wanting to have friends, be involved in the community and do it all. Exercising was the first thing that dropped out of my life because it was just impossible to fit it in. Had I really stopped to think about it then and realized how really important it was to look ahead to my future, I would have made the time.”American women’s lives depend on them making that time. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington recently released data showing that, in a major reversal of public health progress, women’s life expectancy is shrinking in 313 U.S. counties. Other public health statistics show that more than 60 percent of women are overweight, about 35 percent are obese, and, even worse, less than half of all women 25 and older meet the federal physical activity guidelines for aerobic exercise compared to 51 percent of men.That’s a function of either lack of resources or overwork. Women are more likely to live in poverty — which alone makes them less likely to have adequate resources for exercise — than men, and married working women spend an hour more than men performing household activities and caring for household members, including children and parents, and half an hour less per workday engaged in leisure and sports than their husbands.“All of a sudden you turn around and you’re 50, the kids are gone, you have osteoporosis or going through a difficult menopause you say ‘Oh my God, what am I going to do?’” Grufferman told me. “The only answer is to prevent that by making yourself a priority now, today, without feeling guilty about it.”Women of all shapes and weights are reducing the quality and length of their lives because of a lack of physical movement. By the same token, women of all ages, sizes and income levels can benefit from even the tiniest additions of exercise into their lives, especially because so many work at desk jobs that keep them on their rears all day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone with a completely sedentary lifestyle can realize health benefits from as little as five to 10 minutes of activity such as walking every day.

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    Confessions of a hoarder of light bulbs

    I’m an environmentalist who’s been hoarding old incandescent light bulbs before they become illegal in January. But it was all unnecessary, so I learn.

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    Would you miss the federal government?
    Letter to the Editor: Perhaps we need to test the adage, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” In other words, let’s not increase the debt ceiling and see what happens. Will anyone notice if Social Security payments stop? Will anyone notice if our soldiers don’t get paid? Will anyone notice, or even care, if children in poverty get food?

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    Protect Americans while reducing debt
    - We must support rather than undermine efforts to create and sustain jobs as well as strengthen our overall economic recovery.

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    Des Plaines tag days help History Center
    Letter to the editor: The annual Des Plaines History Center “Tag Days” fundraiser in June raised an amazing $2,700 from local businesses and generous drivers and passers-by. There's a lot of good we can do with that money.

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    Many contributed to BG’s great arts weekend
    Leter to the editor: It was hot, no doubt about that. But the Buffalo Grove Invitational Fine Arts Festival was a triumphant weekend, thanks to everyone who helped organize it, volunteered to run it, and the artists who brought their wares.

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    Too many drivers blocking fire station
    Letter to the editor: Writer is appalled at the lack of consideration drviers show the firefighters in Inverness, by routinely pulling into the path of emergency vehicles or blocking the station exit.

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    Palatine siren system needs major review
    Letter to the editor: What or who is responsible for warning Palatine residents of weather peril? At no time during either major storm in 2011 have the sirens been activated. I have lived in Palatine since 2000 and the Storm Warning System has been comical at best. 

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    Too much trouble at Tree House complex
    Letter to the editor: Writer lives near the Tree House complex in Schaumburg; he complains there is too much trouble going on there and that Section 8 housing is to blame.

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    Rainbow Falls pool a disappointment
    Letter to the editor: Woman surprised and disappointed by all the garbage she says she saw around Rainbow Falls pool in Elk Grove Village.

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    Des Plaines Mayor Martin J. Moylan and his wife, Lisa.

    Des Plaines mayor: Casino had great opening
    Letter to editor: Des Plaines Mayor Martin Moylan writes that the opening of the Rivers Casino last week was both memorable and historic.

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    Suburban fests can be whole lot greener
    Letter to the editor: The Daily Herald would be doing the public a favor if you investigated just how green our area summer festivals are. What is recycled? What goes to a landfill? I’m sure we could do better. Now is the time to discuss how to make our festivals the greenest they can be in time for summer 2012.

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    Arlington Hts. gets smart on sprinklers
    Letter to editor: Last week the Arlington Heights trustees unanimously voted to reject a building code provision mandating sprinklers in all new one- and two-family homes. The vote was a statement that cost-benefit analysis and common sense can overcome undue influence.

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    Why a light charge for Elgin shooter?
    Letter to the Editor: I was horrified to read in the Daily Herald July 15 that 57-year-old Donald Rattanavong of Arthur Drive in Elgin had, on July 4, shot an Elgin High School student in the head and killed him in the street where the boy was riding his bicycle. What was also surprising was that Rattanavong had been charged only with involuntary manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm.

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    Farnham, Madigan helping consumers
    Letter to the Editor: In this day and age, everyone needs to be cautious of increasingly sophisticated con artists and their schemes to steal money from the average hardworking American family. That’s why I’m glad to see State Rep. Keith Farnham teaming with Attorney General Lisa Madigan to educate his constituents about the latest scams and how to protect themselves against them.

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    ‘Job porly done’ on Medicaid issue
    Letter to the Editor: I am outraged that the Illinois Medicaid reform that was enacted this year to tighten eligibility review was denied by the federal government. Another example of how Obamacare is giving away the country in an effort to gain support from additional voters.

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    Look which party’s hurting middle class
    Which party has proposed cuts that adversely affect only the middle class, the working poor and the absolute poor? Which state governors have only cut employees, salaries, retirements and left untouched their own and their staffs’ salaries?

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    Pundits can’t speak for real people
    I suggest those highly-paid pundits and guests sit back and try to learn something about the real world. All they have to do is turn those conversations over to real people, the ones who are actually experiencing this economic disaster.

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    Addressing some issues about P.E.
    After reading Nicolas Flamel’s July 13 Fence Post item about gym teachers’ pay is excessive, I would like to respond and clear up many of the misconceptions he has stated. 1. A gym is a room/facility/space, where “teaching” takes place. Therefore the teachers there are “physical educators,” not gym teachers.

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    Why not write U.S. Treasury a check?
    This is in response to Tom Teune’s letter of July 16 (“Time for liberals to stand firm”). He said, “I want my taxes to increase” to support the various government programs. Mr. Teune, the U.S. Treasury takes donations. If you feel they would use your funds more wisely than you do, please write them a check.

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    Republican Party serves whom?
    I am not surprised that our economy is faltering or that the Republicans have brought us to the brink of financial collapse with their refusal to increase the debt ceiling. After all, they have told us proudly that their number one priority is to have the president fail.

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    What the heck is platform tennis?
    After reading the July 20 paper, I have two questions. What is platform tennis and why is a warming hut needed?

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    Despite risks, Obama delivered for gays in military

    Columnist Susan Estrich: There are many issues on which politics triumphs over principle. For many years, military policy on gays was one of those issues. Obama ran on a platform of hope and change. In this, he delivered on that promise.

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    Dare Obama to veto ‘half-trillion plan’

    The debt ceiling looms. Confusion reigns. Schemes abound. We are deep in a hole with, as of now, only three ways out: the McConnell plan, the G6 plan and the Half-Trillion plan.Ÿ The McConnell essentially punts the issue till after Election Day 2012. A good last resort if nothing else works.Ÿ The G6, proposed by the bipartisan Gang of Six senators, reduces 10-year debt by roughly $4 trillion. It has some advantages, even larger flaws.Ÿ The Half-Trillion raises the debt ceiling by that amount in return for an equal amount of spending cuts. At the current obscene rate of deficit spending — about $100 billion a month — it yields about five months respite before the debt ceiling is reached again.In my view, the Half-Trillion is best: It is clean, straightforward, yields real cuts, averts the current crisis and provides until year-end to negotiate a bigger deal. At the same time, it punctures President Obama’s thus far politically successful strategy of proposing nothing in public, nothing in writing, nothing with numbers, while leaking through a pliant press supposed offers of surpassing scope and reasonableness.As part of this pose, Obama had threatened to veto any short-term debt-ceiling hike. Which has become Obama’s most vulnerable point. Is the catastrophe of default preferable to a deal that gives us, say, five months to negotiate something more significant — because it doesn’t get Obama through Election Day?Which is why Obama is already in retreat. On Wednesday, press secretary Jay Carney showed the first crack by saying the president would accept an extension of a few days if needed to complete an already agreed-upon long-term deal.Meaning that he would exercise his veto if that larger deal required several months rather than several days? Call his bluff. Let the House pass the Half-Trillion. Dare him to put America into default because he deems a short-term deal insufficiently grand. After all, it dovetails perfectly with parts of the G6, for which the president has expressed support and which explicitly allocates roughly the same amount of time — six months — to work out the grander $3-$4 trillion deal.The G6 conveniently comes in two parts. Part One puts immediately into effect, yes, a half-trillion dollars in cuts, including a more accurate inflation measure (that over time greatly reduces Social Security costs) and repeal of the CLASS Act (the lesser-known of the two new Obamacare entitlements, a fiscally ruinous, long-term care Ponzi scheme).Part Two of the G6 is far more problematic. It mandates six months of committee negotiations over the big ones — Medicare, Social Security, discretionary spending caps and tax reform. Unfortunately, the Medicare and Social Security parts are exceptionally weak — no mention of any structural change, such as raising the eligibility age to match longevity. As for the spending caps, I wouldn’t bet my dog’s food bowl on their durability.On tax reform, the G6 calls for eliminating deductions, credits, exclusions and exemptions to reduce rates across the board. The new tax rates — top individual rate between 23 percent and 29 percent — would bring us back to Reagan levels (28 percent). This would be a good outcome, but the numbers thus far are fuzzy and some are contradictory. Moreover, those negotiations have yet to begin.In principle, however, if the vast majority of the revenue raised by closing loopholes goes to rate reduction, and if the vast majority of the net revenue raised comes from the increased economic activity spurred by lowering rates and eliminating inefficiency-inducing loopholes, the trade-off would be justified. We shall see.

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