Daily Archive : Thursday July 28, 2011


    Anthony Cerone

    Antioch man charged with abducting, raping teen

    An Antioch gang member has been arrested 19-hours after he abducted a 16-year-old girl at knifepoint outside a Wal-Mart Tuesday night and proceeded to sexually assault her in a hotel parking lot, police said.

    It has been six months since Winfield installed its first red-light camera and officials project a revenue of $212,400 next fiscal year.

    Winfield expects $212,400 in red light camera revenue

    Six months after Winfield's first and only red light camera installed, the village has made about $20K/month and projects $240,000 in revenues next fiscal year. So far, 2,085 citations have been issued by Winfield police and, of those, 1,577 have been paid in full.

    Lake Street is the west end of the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway; the road would at least extend east to O'Hare International Airport under IDOT's 15-year capital plan.

    Tolls would almost double to fund $12 billion board wish list

    Tolls would almost double for motorists as part of a 15-year, $12.1 billion capital plan that includes extending the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway and building a western bypass around O'Hare International Airport, and widening and rebuilding I-90.

    Tony Tinaglia, president of the Lake Zurich Area Chamber of Commerce, opens the organization's Breakfast with the Villages on Thursday, at which leaders in several southeast Lake County communities discussed ongoing business development efforts.

    Lake County leaders talk business, future

    Leaders of southeast Lake County communities shared information about new businesses, road improvements and plans to improve local sales tax revenues Thursday as part of the Lake Zurich Area Chamber of Commerce's Breakfast with the Villages.

    Illinois U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh has been sued by his ex-wife for more than $117,000 in what she says is unpaid child support and interest.

    Walsh calls child support story a 'hit piece'

    U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh says he understands why his child support debt is an issue, and why it's coming out just days before a historic vote on the debt ceiling, but he insists it's a private matter that he'll deal with privately with his ex-wife.

    Palatine-based Kerry M. Lavelle lobbied the state to remove terms like "mentally retarded" and "crippled" from state satute books. “These are two very archaic, bad, nondescriptive words,” he said.

    Offensive terms stripped from Illinois law books

    Illinois' law books will soon be washed of some terminology offensive to the disabled, a plan pushed by a Palatine-based attorney and signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn. The new law removes from state statute books phrases like “mentally retarded” and “crippled.”


    Rain sets July record, more on the way

    Overnight rain proved to be just enough to break a record for the most rain recorded in July, snapping a record that had stood for 122 years for the most rain recorded at O'Hare.

    House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, accompanied by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill Thursday.

    House puts off debt plan vote for night

    An intense endgame at hand, House Republican leaders put off a vote Thursday night on legislation to avert a threatened government default and slice federal spending by nearly $1 trillion.

    Bob Nelson of Sebert Landscaping Co. unhooks a chain from one of the many downed trees at an industrial park in Carol Stream. The crew was working fast to clear the streets and parking lots of the complex.

    Carol Stream, Glendale Heights are storm disaster areas

    Carol Stream and Glendale Heights leaders declared their towns disaster areas Thursday following heavy overnight storms that left tree limbs in roadways and knocked out power to thousands.

    A warning sign is placed on McClure Avenue as area residents are concerned with more rain forecast Thursday and the Des Plaines River in Gurnee overrunning its banks.

    Gurnee, Lake County keeping eye on swollen river

    All eyes are on the sky, especially in Gurnee, where many are hoping Mother Nature slows down the rain long enough to keep the Des Plaines River in its banks.

    Sarah Fisher, 8, of Zion holds her sheep, Diva, as Ryan Harris, 5, of Gurnee shears it during a demonstration Thursday at the 83rd annual Lake County Fair at the fairgrounds in Grayslake.

    Lake County Fair features shear entertainment

    A sheepshearing demonstration that let kids try their hand at giving a trim was among the highlights Thursday at the Lake County Fair.


    Naperville junior tennis champs named

    About 100 youth competed in the Naperville Park District’s All-City Junior Tennis Tournament recently at the Knoch Park tennis center.

    Naperville Police are hoping to identify this man who was seen attempting to enter several residential garages earlier this month.

    Naperville police seek help identifying man
    Naperville police say a man was seen approaching several garages on the 3000 block of Avena Circle after 11 p.m. July 13. The man entered numbers into garage keypads while looking at his cellphone.


    Chicago City Council approves earlier curfew
    The Chicago City Council has approved an earlier curfew for children younger than 12. Under the new measure, the curfew for children younger than 12 is 8:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

    Mark Black/mblack@dailyherald.com Pig races entertain spectators, on second day of the 2011 DuPage County Fair in Wheaton.

    Pigs race for fun, Oreos at DuPage fair

    The rainy weather didn’t deter the pigs — nor the people who came out to watch them at the DuPage County Fair on Thursday. And the man who holds the races has a pretty good time. Pigs, you see, are his life. “I was raised in it,” said Matt Schopbel, owner of Swine Time Pig Racing. “My parents bought the company in 1989 and I took over in 2009.”


    Villa Park fire roars for more than 2 hours

    Firefighters battled a Villa Park box-alarm blaze for more than two hours late Thursday afternoon, which left the home uninhabitable, according to fire officials.

    Greg Ebert, a salesman at a gun shop in Kileen, Texas, called the police to report a suspicious transaction with Pfc. Naser Abdo, an AWOL soldier who later was arrested with bomb making materials.

    Army: Soldier admits to Fort Hood attack plan

    An AWOL infantry soldier caught might have succeeded at carrying it out an attack on the Army base at Fort Hood, police said, if a gun-store clerk hadn’t alerted them to the man’s suspicious activity.

    Joey Motarnicooa of Algonquin, 14, competed for team “The Frey Freys”

    Images: Founders’ Days Cardboard Regatta
    Opening night of the 51st Annual Algonquin Founders' Days featured a Cardboard Boat Regatta on the Fox River Thursday night.

    One of the many roosters at the fair.

    Images: Thursday at the DuPage County Fair
    Day two of the 2011 DuPage County Fair featured pig races, carnival rides, musical group Rebelmann, and much more.


    Bail set in Prospect Heights robbery case

    A Cook County judge set bail at $200,000 Thursday for a Chicago man charged with robbing a Prospect Heights bank employee on July 19. Antonio Crawford, 21, has been charged with armed robbery in that incident.


    Lake Barrington man sentenced to 4 years in prison for attempted armed robbery

    A Lake Barrington man pleaded guilty Thursday to the attempted armed robbery of a Palatine drug store. A Cook County judge sentenced a contrite Justin K. Poly to 4 years in prison in exchange for his guilty plea.


    Rolling Meadows man gets 17 years for trying to kill wife

    Jose Antonio Aparicio was sentenced to 17 years in prison - one year for every stab wound he inflicted on his wife - in exchange for his guilty plea to the 2010 attempted murder of his wife.


    Elk Grove officer suspended over gun placement

    The Elk Grove Village Police and Fire Commission Thursday suspended police officer David Klingsporn for eight days without pay for violating the police department’s rules of conduct.


    Prospect Heights will collect flood-damage items

    Prospect Heights residential garbage collection will include flood-damaged items Friday, July 29, and Saturday, July 30.


    Barrington area soccer tourney is Saturday

    Barrington Youth & Family Services will host its annual Summer Soccer Program Tournament, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, July 30 at Faith Lutheran Church, 2525 Helm Road, Carpentersville. More than 60 students, grades 4-12, are playing in BYFS’ free program,


    Police reports

    • Aaron R. Bright, 20, of the 1800 block of Chandler Avenue, St. Charles, was arrested at about 4 a.m. Tuesday and charged with home invasion, criminal damage to property, criminal trespass, battery and resisting arrest, police said. Bright is accused of forcing his way into a home in the 1800 block of Chandler and spraying a former friend with a fire extinguisher after a dispute over money, St.


    Police reports

    • Luis A. Quintero, 27, of the 2800 block of West 23rd Street in Chicago, appeared in bond court Wednesday on felony charges of theft of more than 50 T-Mobile cellphones on May 1, according to court documents. Bail was set at $50,000 Wednesday, of which Quintero must pay 10 percent to be released before his next court date, scheduled for Aug. 3 in St. Charles.


    Mount Prospect holding Concert on the Green Friday

    Mount Prospect will be hosting its second Friday Concert on the Green 6 p.m. Friday, July 29.


    Buffalo Grove announces National Night Out plans

    Buffalo Grove will celebrate National Night Out 5-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2, at Willow Park South on Old Checker Road. Attractions will include games and free hot dogs, chips and drinks while supplies last.


    Schaumburg Township hosts anger management group

    An eight-week Anger Management Group for adults over the age of 18 will be offered from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays from Aug. 11 through Oct. 6 by Spectrum Youth and Family Services at Schaumburg Township Hall, 1 Illinois Blvd. in Hoffman Estates.


    College of Lake County receives $1.5 million grant

    The College of Lake County has been awarded a $1.5 million competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Education over five years to continue its Talent Search program, which serves at-risk students at high schools in North Chicago, Round Lake, Waukegan and Zion.


    Lake forest preserve hosts Des Plaines River Trail ride

    Bike riders can enjoy a leisurely, organized group ride on the Des Plaines River Trail’s south section on Aug. 20 hosted by the Lake County Forest Preserve District.


    Women warned to hide purses after new string of SUV break-ins

    Purse thefts from vehicles parked at health clubs were a scourge throughout the area in January. Now, the problem has resurfaced with a series of thefts in Palatine and Buffalo Grove.

    Susan Bartucci

    Bloomingdale clerk resigns to focus on career

    Bloomingdale village clerk Susan Bartucci will step down at the end of the week after 10 years with the village, saying she needs more time to focus on her full-time job.


    Lightning causes fire in Fox River Grove

    Lightning struck the roof of a Fox River Grove home late Wednesday night and the ensuing fire caused up to $200,000 in damages.

    Toni Preckwinkle

    Preckwinkle talks layoffs as revenue shortage looms

    Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's preliminary $3.4 billion budget for the coming year anticipates a shortage of about $315 million and she is talking layoffs.

    James Ealy

    Lindenhurst murder investigator: Call, coins tie suspect to crime

    Two key pieces of evidence - cellphone records and coins - pointed to James Ealy as a suspect in the days following the 2006 murder of Lindenhurst Burger King manager Mary Hutchison, a detective testified Thursday.


    Prosecutors dismiss drug charges against Schaumburg man

    Prosecutors dismissed drug charges against a Kelley R. Altom, of Schaumburg, after a judge found the warrant to search his home had no probable cause

    Ohio State coach Luke Fickell talks to reporters during the Big Ten football media day on Thursday in Chicago.

    Big Ten celebrates change, OSU faces challenge

    The Big Ten gathered in its Midwestern hub city to usher in and celebrate a new era in one of college football’s most tradition-rich conferences.


    Stock rally fades ahead of debt vote in House

    A late sell-off wiped out the stock market’s gains Thursday as investors worried that a bill headed for a vote in the House of Representatives would fail to break a stalemate over raising the country’s debt limit.


    Lightning sparks fire at building in Aurora’s Phillips Park

    The Aurora Parks and Recreation building in Phillips Park sustained about $250,000 in damage after an overnight lightning strike apparently sparked a fire. Contents of the building, 901 Ray Moses Drive, suffered about $50,000 in damage, according to Aurora Fire Department estimates.

    Traffic signals connected to Aurora’s traffic management system have cameras to monitor vehicles near the intersection and send the views to a traffic control center inside Aurora’s city hall.

    Aurora reworks traffic signals for better flow

    If the drive from one Aurora location to another takes less time than it used to, thank the city’s interconnected traffic signal system. Since September, 54 signals have been upgraded and added to the system, which lets traffic engineers monitor congestion remotely from city hall and turn red lights green to keep cars flowing.


    Schaumburg man facing 4th DUI charge

    A Cook County judge set bail at $50,000 for Hector Lopez, 35, of Schaumburg, who was charged with aggravated DUI following an accident early Wednesday at the corner of Schaumburg Road and Knollwood Drive.


    Waukegan Wine & Art Stroll Saturday

    Downtown Waukegan will be buzzing with wine tasting, art viewing and live music from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday during the 4th Annual Wine & Art Stroll.

    Rick Hucker of Barrington finds a Ron Santo card from sports card dealer Gary Rapata of Elk Grove Village on the first day of the Barrington Sidewalk Days.

    Barrington sidewalks crammed with goods
    The Barrington sidewalk sales opened Thursday, and will continue from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday in downtown Barrington by the Metra station. Sales are ongoing on Main Street, Cook Street, Station Street, at the Jewel-Osco, the Ice House Mall and The Foundry, Hart Road and Route 14.


    Schaumburg’s ‘Got Talent!’ show Aug. 13

    Discover Schaumburg's treasure trove of talent or show off your own at "Schaumburg's Got Talent!" on Aug. 13 at the Schaumburg Park District's Community Recreation Center.


    New taxicab voucher program for seniors, disabled

    Starting Monday, Des Plaines will implement a new Subsidized Taxi Cab Voucher Program providing a $3 discount to eligible senior residents 65 years or older and people with disabilities.


    Record golf outing turnout helps Inverness agency raise $30,000

    Thanks to some charitable and talented golfers, the Society for the Preservation of Human Dignity, based in Inverness, now has an additional $30,000 in its coffers to provide pregnancy help and education.

    Deanna Williams

    Carpentersville sitter pleads guilty in death of baby

    Deanna Williams of Carpentersville pleads guilty to reckless conduct for leaving an 8-month-old unattended at her home for more than 5 hours in spring 2009. The baby died with a temperature of 106 degrees while she was out shopping. Williams faces up to 3 years in prison when she is sentenced in late September. She initially faced up to 10 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter and...

    A previous year's opening night.

    7th Heaven at Streamwood's Summer Celebration

    Summer Celebration in Streamwood gets into full swing on Friday, July 29. The three-day festival at Hoosier Grove Park comes complete with a carnival, live music, games, food and drink -- all the makings of a great community event.

    The parade during the 40th annual Aurora Puerto Rican heritage celebration will be about double the length of previous parades, organizers say. The parade steps off at noon Sunday, July 31 from the corner of River and Benton streets in downtown Aurora.

    Aurora festival hosting musicians from Puerto Rico

    Festival organizers and Aurora Puerto Rican Cultural Council members want the 40th annual celebration of Puerto Rican heritage taking place this weekend to be a positive event for Aurorans any ethnicity. “I’m looking for a welcoming spirit from the community,” said parade marshal and Aurora resident Lourdes Ferrer. “This is about making Aurora better and stronger.”

    Julie Morrison

    Deerfield’s Morrison will make Senate bid

    A day after longtime Sen. Susan Garrett announced she wouldn’t run for re-election, West Deerfield Township Supervisor Julie Morrison said she’d seek the 2012 Democratic nomination for Illinois Senate.

    A replica of Michelangelo’s La Pietà will be available for public viewing at St. Anne Catholic Community in Barrington.

    Replica of Michelangelo’s La Pietà to be at Barrington church

    A Vatican-approved, full-sized replica of Michelangelo’s La Pietà will be available for public viewing at St. Anne Catholic Community in Barrington from Sunday, Aug. 21, through Wednesday, Nov. 2.


    Hoffman Estates offers home energy inspections

    Hoffman Estates is offering energy assessments for single-family homes older than 1995. The assessment will help determine how much energy your home uses, and it will give you tips to help you save energy.

    A Civil War exhibit at the Wheaton Center for History includes life-size scenes to make museum visitors feel as if they’ve been transported back to the 1800s.

    Hastert to kick off Civil War exhibit in Wheaton

    Dennis Hastert, the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and also a former history and government teacher, will kick off the opening of a Civil War exhibit at the Wheaton Center for History. Visitors to the museum will feel like they have gone back in time to 1861, with the 2,000-square-foot exhibit bringing scenes from the war to life.


    Dist. 214 wins award for budget

    Northwest Suburban High School District 214 has won a top award for its budget -- one that praises its clarity and the district's commitment to sound fiscal management practices.


    Boomers worry about finances, health costs

    The “golden years” may lose some luster for many baby boomers worried about the financial pressures that come with age

    A line worker assembles a 2012 Ford Focus at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. Ford Motor Co. can’t build as many hot-selling Focus compacts as it wants to because of equipment problems at a parts factory.

    Sources: Parts problem hurts Ford Focus sales

    Ford can’t make enough Focus cars to keep up with rising demand because of equipment problems that have caused a shortage of dashboards, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

    The maximum dose for Extra Strength Tylenol is being reduced to lower the risk of accidental overdose.

    J&J cuts maximum Tylenol dose to prevent overdoses

    Johnson & Johnson said Thursday it’s reducing the maximum daily dose of its Extra Strength Tylenol pain reliever to lower risk of accidental overdose from acetaminophen, its active ingredient and the top cause of liver failure.

    JetBlue is offering unlimited flight plans in an attempt to snare more higher-paying business travelers.

    JetBlue introduces unlimited flight plans
    JetBlue introduced several new three-month, unlimited flight plans Thursday in an attempt to snare more higher-paying business travelers.

    Manual Rogelio Reyes, a Round Lake area schoolteacher, pleaded not guilty Thursday to six counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Reyes, 55, was arrested at his Kenosha home in April on the allegations, which stem from claims involving four children under the age of 13.

    Round Lake Beach teacher denies molesting children

    A Round Lake Beach schoolteacher pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges he molested four children under the age of 13.Manuel Reyes, 55, faces up to seven years in prison per victim if convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges filed earlier this year after parents contacted police.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Burglars broke into five vehicles at the Midtown Athletic Club in Palatine the evening of July 20 and stole a purse out of each vehicle. Loss was estimated at $4,500.

    A rally is planned for 6 p.m. today to protest the firing of Sugar Grove Library Director Beverly Holmes Hughes.

    Rally planned to protest firing of Sugar Grove library director

    Fans of the fired Sugar Grove library director, including the president of the Friends of the Library and a former library trustee candidate, are organizing a protest rally before tonight's board meeting.


    Shot Iranian said to be nuke expert

    Officials say that a man shot dead in Tehran last weekend was a scientist involved in suspected Iranian attempts to make nuclear weapons and not a student as officially claimed.


    Egypt’s Mubarak trial to be held in Cairo

    The trial of Hosni Mubarak, his sons and former interior minister will be held in Cairo, a top judiciary official said Thursday after the health minister declared the ousted president well enough to be brought to the capital from a hospital in the Sinai.


    ‘Lend Me a Tenor’ Cast
    For eight years now, the Church of the Holy Ghost has put on a summer play to raise money for the church. The play will run July 29-31 and August 5-7.

    Caron Buinis, left, who plays Maria, argues with Peter Verdico, playing Tito Merelli, in Stage Right Production’s performance of “Lend Me a Tenor.” The annual summer play is a fundraising event for the Church of the Holy Ghost in Wood Dale.

    Summer production delivers laughs for good cause

    For eight years now, Wood Dale's Church of the Holy Ghost has put on a summer play to raise money for the church. This year's offering is "Lend Me a Tenor" July 29-31 and Aug. 5-7.

    Tammy Duckworth

    8th Congressional race presents tough choices for Dems

    The newly drawn Democratic leaning 8th Congressional District has two candidates gunning hard for a 2012 election bid - Raja Krishnamoorthi, who lost a statewide bid for comptroller last year, and Tammy Duckworth, the Iraq War veteran who lost a close and dirty race to Peter Roskam in 2006. What does having two strong candidates like this mean for the district, and for Democratic leaders who hope...


    Tonight’s Elgin movie screening canceled

    The Movie in the Park screening of "How to Train Your Dragon" scheduled for tonight at dusk has been canceled because of the weather. It will be rescheduled for Aug. 18.

    Mark Mesa, left, and Jorge Avina carry soaked possessions to the curb Saturday morning at Mesa's brother's house in Mount Prospect.

    Tips for dealing with flooded basements in suburbs

    What can I do to make sure this doesn't happen again? What should my insurance cover? Who should I be mad at? Experts give suburban homeowners advice on dealing with flooding.

    In past years James Barry’s entries to the DuPage County Fair have included elaborate items like the handmade, fully operational Ferris wheel, made from Baltic plywood and over 300 hours of labor.

    From woodworking to photography, DuPage puts hobbies on display at county fair

    Naperville resident James Barry has won the title of Grand Champion in the adult woodworking class of the home economics division at the DuPage County Fair numerous times.He'll enter 15 to 20 pieces this year.“To me the Grand Champion (title) is nice and that, but I just like to show my stuff to the public,” he said.

    A thunderstorm rolls across Boone County Wednesday morning after passing through the Rockford area. The storm was tracking toward McHenry County and northern Lake County, producing heavy rains and lightning.

    Forecast: More rain could mean more flooding in next 24 hours

    Weather officials are warning that if more than an inch and half of rain falls in the next 24 hours, more floodwaters could be recorded along the Des Plaines River.

    For the first time, the DuPage County Fair will feature a Monster Truck Thrill Show as its Grandstand entertainment. Shows will be at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and cost $7 per person.

    Monster trucks roll into DuPage County Fair

    For the first time, a Monster Truck Thrill Show will wow fans at the DuPage County Fair. “It’s a lot of excitement and a lot of things being run over because people seem to enjoy that,” Fair President Jim McGuire said.


    Calif. woman charged in Philly over flight threats

    Authorities say a California woman was arrested at Philadelphia International Airport after she made threats on board a flight arriving from London.

    An art piece decorates South Grove Avenue at the second annual Art and Soul on the Fox festival in downtown Elgin last year.

    Elgin arts festival looks to be bigger than before

    The third annual Art and Soul on the Fox festival returns this Saturday and Sunday to the Elgin riverfront. More than 95 artists and 85 booths will fill the grounds on DuPage Court and South Grove Avenue in downtown Elgin.“It’s really well attended and a lot of fun,” said festival coordinator Sigi Psimenos.


    Firefighters get damages in bias case

    A group of firefighters who won a reverse discrimination case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009 have been awarded about $2 million in damages from the city of New Haven,


    Polygamist leader fires attorneys as trial begins

    Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs dismissed his legal team on Thursday at the start of his sexual assault trial and told the court he wants to represent himself. Opening arguments were to have begun Thursday.

    Lake Zurich police have narrowed their search for the vehicle involved in a hit-and-run crash Friday that killed 18-year-old Gabriella “Gabby” Drozdz, right, and injured friends, Vanessa Fitts, left, and Rosie Fitts, center.

    Police narrow search in fatal Lake Zurich hit-and-run

    Lake Zurich Police have narrowed their search to one of two specific vehicle makes and models in the hunt for a hit-and-run driver who killed an 18-year-old woman last week. Evidence indicates the vehicle is either a GMC Safari or a Chevy Astro van.


    Huntley police completing radio upgrade

    The Huntley Police Department has reached the final stage of a comprehensive radio upgrade that once completed will not only comply with a federal mandate but also will allow police to communicate with firefighters and public works employees to better coordinate their efforts.


    Evacuations ended at Calif. train derail site

    People living near the site of a freight train derailment in rural northern Los Angeles County were allowed back in their homes Thursday morning as crews continued righting 21 toppled cars.


    Flooding rains may have shifted SKorean land mines

    South Korea’s military warned Thursday that buried land mines may have slid down mountains eroded by flooding rains this week as the death toll from the torrential downpours rose to at least 57.


    Bond set at $3 million downstate in ’57 murder

    Bond has been set at $3 million for a man charged in the 1957 kidnapping and slaying of a 7-year-old Illinois girl.

    A 2011 Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association softball game played at Margate Park in Chicago. Seven area teams have advanced to the World Series.

    Gay Softball World Series is coming to suburbs

    For the first time since 1986, the Chicago area will host the Gay Softball World Series Aug. 29-Sept. 4. Games will be played in Schaumburg, St. Charles and Elmhurst. The series is expected to draw 4,000 athletes and fans to the Chicago area.


    Boeing rivals pitch cheaper radios for $39 bil system

    Boeing Co. and General Dynamics Corp. face a challenge from rivals offering less costly radios for troops and armored vehicles as part of a military-wide system estimated to cost $39 billion.


    Rain cuases flooding in Iowa

    DUBUQUE, Iowa — Storms dumped a foot or more of rain on parts of eastern Iowa, flooding streets, homes and buildings and forcing the rescue of stranded motorists, officials said Thursday.The National Weather Service lifted its flash flood warnings at 4:15 a.m. but was still alerting officials and residents about the flood danger.


    Quinn to sign student concussions law

    Student athletes from elementary to high school will get better safeguards against concussion injuries under a law Gov. Pat Quinn is set to enact.A 10 a.m. signing ceremony was set for Thursday at Chicago's Soldier Field.

    This year Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez became judges on “Idol,” marking the first time the panel had singers still putting out music.

    Celebrity judges enjoy boost in careers

    While “The Voice,” “American Idol” and other talent shows are designed to make stars out of unknown talent, they've also had the effect of boosting the fortunes of some of the contest's singing celebrity judges.


    Skateboard competition comes to Antioch

    Skateboarders of all ages will head to Lake County on Saturday for the fifth annual Antioch Skateboard Competition. The action begins at 4 p.m. at the Antioch Skatepark on Williams Street, behind the Antioch library.


    Negotiations could restart in District 26

    It’s the final month of summer vacation, but there’s no end in sight to the contract negotiations between the Cary Elementary District 26 teachers union and school board.

    Demolition Derby drivers will chase each other through the mud on Sunday at the DuPage County Fair, hoping to disable the other vehicles on their way to victory.

    Demolition Derby always a smash hit at DuPage County Fair

    There’s something about a Sunday afternoon in the Grandstand at the DuPage County Fair that turns mild-mannered suburbanites into a throng cheering for mayhem and destruction. It’s the crunch of metal, the churning of wheels, the revving of engines. It’s the Demolition Derby.

    State Sen. Susan Garrett

    Lake County's Garrett to retire from state Senate at end of term

    Saying she has no second thoughts about the decision, veteran state Sen. Susan Garrett on Wednesday announced she won't seek re-election in 2012. “I'm not a career politician,” she said.

    From left, Glen Ellyn twins Matt and Jake Howard; South Haven, Mich. police Det. Michael Knizewski; and Davis Anderson stand on a boat dock where the three teens helped rescue and revive a man who had fallen into water on Tuesday.

    Glen Ellyn teens pull elderly man from river, performs CPR

    17-year-old Jake Howard of Glen Ellyn put his lifesaving skills to use while on a family vacation in Michigan, helping to rescue and revive an elderly man who had fallen into water.


    Chicago to add more patrols around CTA

    Chicago’s adding 50 full-time police officers to patrol Chicago Transit Authority trains and bus stations. City officials say the officers will be drawn from the Chicago Police Academy and should be in place by next spring. The CTA says it’s kicking in $10 million for the security upgrade.


    Preckwinkle wants to end low-level pot charges

    BC-IL — Marijuana Charges-Preckwinkle, 112Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is asking Chicago’s police superintendent to stop making arrests for low-level marijuana possession.


    Quinn gives daughter of contributor a state job

    Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has appointed the daughter of Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke and a powerful Chicago alderman to a highly paid position in state government.Attorney Jennifer Burke on Wednesday was named to the Illinois Pollution Control Board, a post that pays $117,043. The 41-year-old Burke’s previous job was assistant corporation counsel supervisor for the city of Chicago.


    Quinn signs bill to let semis drive 65 mph

    There are new rules for trucks traveling Illinois’ roads due to legislation signed by Gov. Pat Quinn.One of the new measures will let trucks travel 65 mph like other vehicles on four-lane highways outside the Chicago metropolitan area starting Jan. 1. Trucks inside the Chicagoland area — in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, McHenry and Will counties — will continue to drive 55 mph.


    Lake Forest man accused in sleep disorder scam

    A suburban Chicago man has been accused of defrauding investors of a now-defunct sleep disorder business of $4 million. Federal prosecutors say 52-year-old Kenneth Dachman spent much of the money on a Lake Forest mansion, a tattoo parlor and family vacations to Italy, Nevada, Florida and Alaska.


    U of I heads $121 million research project

    The University of Illinois will lead a new $121 million effort to build a better technology network to link researchers.The News-Gazette in Champaign reports the National Science Foundation is providing the money over five years with the possibility of funding for five more years to build a secure environment for research to happen.


    Toll board meets on new projects today

    The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority’s board of directors is planning to discuss maintenance and expansion of its road system. The board meets at its headquarters in Downers Grove on Thursday.

    Curious onlookers get a closer look at the 3-year-old Albino Burmese Python snake held by Rachel Fessler, a handler for the exotic animal show at the DuPage County Fair.

    County fairs connect past with present

    The smell of corndogs and the sound of squealing pigs mean only one thing in the suburbs: It's county fair time. “It’s not every day the kids are able to do things like this,” Tom Cecchin of Des Plaines said after holding an albino Burmese python.


    Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell talks to reporters during Big Ten football media day, Thursday, July 28, 2011, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

    Delany delivers message to Big Ten coaches

    With Ohio State and Michigan running afoul of the NCAA in recent months, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany wants his coaches to be on the right side of the law as part of his larger agenda to improve college football.


    Elk Grove eliminated from state Legion

    Elk Grove was eliminated from the American Legion state baseball tournament with a 4-2 loss to Alton on Thursday in Galesburg.

    Cubs GM Jim Hendry and his staff will set up operations in St. Louis this weekend to ready for possible trade-deadline deals.

    Cubs hunker down in trade mode

    The Cubs will be open for trade business this weekend in St. Louis as GM Jim Hendry and his staff convene while the Cubs play the Cardinals. Hendry said Thursday he wasn't sure if the Cubs could pull of any more deals before Sunday's nonwaiver deadline.


    Cubs searching for a new leadoff man

    With Kosuke Fukudome having been traded to Cleveland, the Cubs will need someone to fill in as the primary leadoff hitter. Manager Mike Quade said Thursday he has several options.


    Wisniewski ready to make some noise at Libertyville

    Libertyville has named former Stevenson star Elissa Wisniewski its new softball coach.


    Elgin loses at state Legion tourney

    Elgin saw a rally fall short and its eight-game winning streak end as Rock Island pulled away late to a 10-4 victory in the second day of the American Legion baseball state tournament in Galesburg.


    Patriots take on projects: Ochocinco, Haynesworth

    There goes Albert Haynesworth, heading from Mike Shanahan’s Redskins to Bill Belichick’s Patriots — where he’ll be joined by New England’s other big pickup Thursday: Chad Ochocinco. Reggie Bush? The Saints sent him to the Dolphins. And the Kevin Kolb saga ended the way pretty much everyone expected, with a trade from the Eagles to the Cardinals. NFL clubs made a move a minute Thursday — and those big-name deals were only the beginning.


    White Sox scouting report

    Scouting report: White Sox vs. Red Sox


    Chicago Rush scouting report
    By Jayna JohnsPlayoff scouting reportDallas Vigilantes at Chicago Rush, Allstate Arena, 7:30 pmScouting the Rush: Defensive lineman Martin Parker signed a contract with the New York Giants and will not play. The defense is hoping to get a boost from star DB Vic Hall, who is looking to come off IR in time for the game. Quarterback JJ Raterink played just over a quarter last week before being pulled in favor of Dominic Randolph, but will likely be under center.Scouting the Vigilantes: Coming off back-to-back home losses vs the Rush and the league-leading Arizona Rattlers last week, the team is hungry. In both losses to the Rush, the Vigilantes started strong but faded in the end; to some degree they gave the games away. They feature the league’s second best rushing attack with rookie fullback Derrick Ross setting a new AFL season rushing record. Their passing defense is ranked 16th out of18 teams, though that may not be an issue against the Rush’s 17th ranked passing offense.

    Sylvia Fowles, left, shoots in front of Tulsa Shock center Abi Olajuwon in the third quarter Thursday in Tulsa, Okla. Chicago won 64-55.

    Sky hand Shock 11th straight loss

    For a year, Sylvia Fowles played big sister and mentor to Abi Olajuwon. They faced off again Thursday night, with Fowles and the Chicago Sky staving off a late surge to hand the Tulsa Shock their 11th straight loss with a 64-55 victory.

    The Bears released tight end Brandon Manumaleuna, here making a catch against the Buffalo Bills last season, after he failed a physical Thursday.

    Bears sign TE Spaeth, release Manumaleuna

    In a prelude to what will be an even more frantic Friday around the NFL today, the Bears on Thursday agreed to contract terms with players who should become their new punter and new blocking tight end.


    Cougars pop the Kernels

    The Kane County Cougars scored 6 runs in the first two innings Thursday night, and that was enough. They held on to defeat the visiting Cedar Rapids Kernels 6-5 at Elfstrom Stadium, evening the three-game set at one win apiece.The Cougars trailed 2-0 in the bottom of the first when Cheslor Cuthbert drilled a two-out, 3-run homer off P.J. Jang (2-1).The blast pushed Cuthbert’s hitting streak to 10, the longest by a Cougar this season.The Kernels tied the game in the second with a run off Jason Adam, but the Cougars scored 3 more in the bottom half and never gave back the lead.Kevin David drew a bases-loaded walk, and Yowill Espinal and Geulin Beltre scored on a throwing error for a 6-3 lead.Adam (4-6) earned the win after yielding 4 runs on 6 hits over 5 innings. He walked one and struck out one.Mike Giovenco gave up a run in 2 innings of relief, and Nick Rogers notched his fourth save by working the final 2 innings.The Cougars’ offense went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight.Fielders lose two:After a two-day break (a scheduled day off and a rainout), the Fielders went into Tuesday’s doubleheader looking to improve after winning just 2 of their last 10 games.Instead, they dropped the doubleheader to the host Calgary Vipers, falling 13-4 and 4-0.


    Wisconsin, Nebraska the favorites to win division titles

    Who are the favorites in the Big Ten's first year of divisional play? How's the health of Northwestern QB Dan Persa? What does Nebraska coach Bo Pelini say about his team's first Big Ten go-round?


    Have Bears done all they can for Cutler?

    For the third straight summer, one has to wonder if the Bears have done all they can to maximize Jay Cutler’s talents.

    The Bears traded Greg Olsen to the Carolina Panthers for a player and draft pick.

    Bears trade TE Olsen to Carolina

    After more than a year of insisting there was room for the pass-catching talents of tight end Greg Olsen in Mike Martz’s offense, which usually ignores that position, the Bears bid adieu to their former No. 1 draft pick.


    Rush primed for playoffs

    The Chicago Rush will be facing the Dallas Vigilantes in Rosemont on Friday in the first round of the AFL playoffs. This will be the third time the teams have played this season.

    Adam Dunn has the worst batting average in the American League this season.

    For Dunn, here’s a little friendly advice

    If White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn wants to raise that .163 batting average, he'd be wise to heed the advice from three area hitting instructors.


    Cubs scouting report
    Cubs scouting report

    Geovany Soto, right, reacts after popping out to Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, left, during the sixth inning Thursday in Milwaukee.

    Braun homers to lead Brewers to 4-2 win over Cubs

    MILWAUKEE — Ryan Braun feels he's at full strength at just the right time for the Milwaukee Brewers.One day after losing All-Star second baseman Rickie Weeks to a severe ankle sprain, Braun had three hits, including a home run, to lead the Brewers to a series sweep with a 4-2 win over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.Braun had a nagging calf injury in the days before the All-Star game and missed playing in the game in Phoenix, but since he came back he's heated up with five homers in 12 games."I feel good," he said. "I'm swinging better. I feel like my approaches have been good and I've been swinging at strikes. When I do that, the results are usually pretty good."Braun said the entire team needs to step up with Weeks out for between two and six weeks. The Brewers put Weeks on the 15-day disabled list before the game."Whenever you lose someone like Rickie, you can't replace him with one player," he said. "Collectively, we all have to play better. It is not something we wanted to happen, but it did and we have to move on and hope he gets back quickly."Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Braun has looked fully recovered in recent games."He's really swinging the bat well now," he said.The Brewers' pitching was also strong in the three-game series, holding the Cubs to just four runs."Our starting pitching has been really good the last three or four weeks and they are the reason we are where we are right now," Braun said.Shaun Marcum (10-3) pitched six innings to win his third straight for the Brewers, giving up two runs on seven hits. LaTroy Hawkins and Franciso Rodriguez each pitched a scoreless inning and John Axford closed out the game to record his 30th save in 32 chances. Axford, who has now converted a team-record 27 straight save opportunities, saved all three wins against the Cubs.Marcum struggled in the first inning, giving up one run, in part because of his throwing error on a pickoff attempt. He settled down and only gave up one more run."I fell behind early in the counts, but the guys battled back and gave me the lead," he said. "Then I was able to get in a groove and pitched pretty well."Randy Wells (2-4) took the loss for the Cubs, giving up all four runs on eight hits.Cubs manager Mike Quade said Braun was the main reason for Wells' troubles."Wells wasn't too bad, (but) he struggled to figure out Braun," Quade said. "That was his nemesis all day."The last time the Brewers swept the Cubs in Milwaukee was May 3-5, 2005.Troy Campana, who started in right field for the Cubs after Kosuke Fukudome was traded to Cleveland Thursday morning, led off the game by beating out an infield grounder and went to second on a throwing error by Marcum. He then stole third base and scored on Aramis Ramirez's sacrifice fly to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead.The Brewers came back to grab a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning on Casey McGehee's sacrifice fly and Yuniesky Betancourt's RBI double.Braun's 21st home run of the season in the third inning gave the Brewers a 3-1 lead.Milwaukee extended its lead to 4-1 in the fourth inning. After a single by Nyjer Morgan, Braun crushed a pitch from Wells off the center field wall to score Morgan.Alfonso Soriano's sixth inning RBI double cut the lead to 4-2.Notes: To replace Weeks on the roster, the Brewers recalled INF Eric Farris from Triple-A Nashville. Farris made his major league debut in a pinch-hit appearance in the seventh inning and grounded out. ... The Cubs recalled OF Tyler Colvin from Triple-A Iowa to replace Fukudome on the roster. ... Brewers IF Craig Counsell went 0 for 3 to extend his hitless streak to 41 at-bats, setting a new Brewers record for consecutive at-bats without a hit by a position player. The record had been 38, which was set by Greg Vaughn in 1990.

    After four seasons with the Cubs, outfielder Kosuke Fukudome is now the property of the Cleveland Indians. The Cubs acquired two minor league prospects in the deal.

    Cubs deal Fukudome to Cleveland for prospects

    The Kosuke Fukudome era for the Chicago Cubs is over. The Cubs announced before Thursday's game against the Brewers that they received two prospects from the Cleveland Indians for Fukudome and a cash consideration.

    United States head soccer coach Bob Bradley has been fired as head coach of the U.S. men’s national team after five years, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati announced Thursday.

    US Soccer fires men’s national coach Bob Bradley

    For U.S. soccer fans, the scene was tough to watch: Archrival Mexico celebrating a Gold Cup victory on American soil, cheered on by a largely pro-Mexico crowd at the Rose Bowl.A little more than a month later, Bob Bradley has been fired as coach of the U.S. men’s soccer team.Bradley led the team to big moments during his tenure, including Landon Donovan’s heart-stopping goal to secure a place in the round of 16 at last year’s World Cup in South Africa and an unforgettable victory over Spain in 2009.But to some, the disappointing Gold Cup loss to a Mexico team that seems to be on the upswing was another sign that the U.S. team’s progress has stalled under Bradley.“We want to thank Bob Bradley for his service and dedication to U.S. Soccer during the past five years,” Gulati said in a statement. “During his time as the head coach of our Men’s National Team he led the team to a number of accomplishments, but we felt now was the right time for us to make a change. It is always hard to make these decisions, especially when it involves someone we respect as much as Bob. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”Now another coach will be given the chance to lead the Americans into another World Cup qualifying cycle beginning next year. The next World Cup is in Brazil in 2014.With a Mexico rematch looming, an Aug. 10 exhibition in Philadelphia, U.S. Soccer likely will move quickly to select Bradley’s replacement. The federation said it will have a “further announcement” on Friday but did not provide details. The United States has long been linked with a move for Juergen Klinsmann, former coach and player for the German national team. Other foreign coaches might be in the mix. But the federation also might consider an up-and-coming coach in MLS, Real Salt Lake’s Jason Kreis.The dismissal comes nearly a year after Bradley was given a contract extension to continue coaching the team through 2014. But even as Bradley was given a new deal, there were concerns that the team had hit its ceiling. Yes, the U.S. made it to the round of 16 in last year’s World Cup — but it needed Donovan’s last-minute heroics to make it out of what was seen as a relatively easy group, then was eliminated by Ghana in a game many thought was winnable.Bradley’s supporters would point out that he has made the most of a group of players who generally can outwork rival teams, but lack the technical skills and finishing touch of the world’s elite.U.S. Soccer is in the middle of overhauling its youth development system, an effort led by former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna. The hope is to grow a new generation of elite soccer players by identifying and nourishing players’ potential at an earlier age.Although many current U.S. national team players have proven themselves good enough to join European club teams, too many get stuck on the bench when they make it overseas.Bradley was chosen as coach in January 2007 and went 43-25-12 overall. Highlights include the victory over Spain and near-upset of Brazil in the 2009 Confederations Cup, along with last year’s World Cup. But the U.S. team is having a rough 2011. First came Spain’s 4-0 rout of the U.S. in an exhibition, followed by a head-scratching 2-1 loss to Panama early in the Gold Cup. The U.S. rallied to make it to the Gold Cup championship game, but the 4-2 loss was seen as a setback for U.S. soccer after the team blew a 2-0 lead.———Connect with AP Sports Writer Chris Jenkins: www.twitter.com/ByChrisJenkins


    AP Source: Eagles send Kolb to Cardinals

    PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Eagles have agreed to a deal that sends quarterback Kevin Kolb to the Arizona Cardinals for cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick, a person familiar with the trade told The Associated Press.Kolb began last season as the heir-apparent to Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia, but he went down with a concussion in the opener, losing his job to Michael Vick in the process. The Cardinals have been looking for an answer at quarterback since Kurt Warner retired following the 2009 season.The deal was highly anticipated for several months during the NFL lockout. Neither team officially announced the trade, but it was confirmed to the AP on Thursday.Kolb reportedly will sign a $63 million, five-year contract with the Cardinals.Rodgers-Cromartie, who went to the Pro Bowl in 2009, will play opposite four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel. The Eagles struggled against the pass last year, allowing a franchise-record 31 touchdowns in the air.


    Top US marathoner in Chicago Marathon for 1st time

    Top American marathoner Ryan Hall plans to run his first Chicago Marathon later this year as a crucial part of his training leading up to the 2012 Olympics.Hall announced his plans Thursday and said he would also like to set a U.S. record in the debut. Hall, 28, is coming off what he described as the best marathon of his life in Boston this year, finishing fourth in 2 hours, 4 minutes and 58 seconds. That’s the fastest any American has run 26.2 miles, though course conditions meant it didn’t qualify as a U.S. record.“I’d be icing on the cake to get an official American record on this course,” he said of the Oct. 9 race. In a nod to Chicago’s famously flat course, he added: “You come to Chicago to run fast.” Hall said the deciding factor in his decision to run in Chicago was that it fit into his planning schedule as he prepares for 2012 Olympics in London. The U.S. Olympic qualifier in Houston is only three months after the Chicago Marathon.“I look at it as the perfect amount of time between the Chicago Marathon and the Olympic trials,” Hall said. He said he would recuperate by taking a week off with no training after Chicago and then another week of light workouts before resuming a full training regimen.Hall’s entry sets up a possible showdown with another elite marathoner taking part, Moses Mosop of Kenya, who placed second in Boston this year with a jaw-dropping 2:03:06, just four seconds behind fellow Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai. Hall, of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., said one thing he enjoys about his high profile as this nation’s best marathoner is trying to dispel the notion that Africans inevitably win all the big marathons.“It’s fun for me to start to shift that stereotype (and show) that Americans, we can run with these guys,” he said. At the Boston Marathon, Ryan said he played the role of the rabbit, setting a blistering fast pace that helped lead to a winning time well under the world-record time, though Mutai’s 2:03:02 also didn’t qualify as an official record.As the pace setter, Ryan said he didn’t have the juice for the crucial last minutes in Boston to have a viable shot at first. In Chicago, he wants to practice a strategy involving occasional surges but also conserving energy to allow for a home-stretch push. The Chicago Marathon is considered among the world’s top five marathons, and it’s one of the biggest, drawing around 45,000 participants and more than a million spectators. Another reason he decided to run in Chicago, Hall said, was to honor his friend — two-time Chicago Marathon champion Sammy Wanjiru, who died earlier this year. Hall said he would donate any prize money in Chicago to help fight poverty in Wanjiru’s native Kenya.


    Packers G Colledge says he’s done in Green Bay

    GREEN BAY, Wis. — Daryn Colledge, the starting left guard for the Super Bowl champion Packers, is waving goodbye to Green Bay.Colledge tweeted Thursday that after contract talks with the Arizona Cardinals, his time with the Packers has come to an end after starting 76 games over five seasons.“Thanks for the love guys,” Colledge tweeted. “It truly breaks my heart to leave. It has been my greatest honor.”Colledge then embraced his new team, changing his Twitter profile photo to a Cardinals logo.Amid multiple reports that Colledge had agreed to terms on a deal with Arizona, there was no immediate word from the Packers or Cardinals. Free agents may negotiate deals this week but are not permitted to sign with their new teams until Friday.Green Bay still has decisions to make on other free agents, including wide receiver James Jones — who may be attracting interest from division rival Minnesota — and running backs Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn. Packers general manager Ted Thompson was careful to avoid discussing any free agents during his presentation at the Packers’ annual shareholders meeting at Lambeau Field on Thursday morning. He skipped his usual position-by-position analysis of the roster, saying it wouldn’t be “appropriate or fair” to talk about players who might not be there when the team reports to training camp Friday.Thompson did assure the estimated 11,700 shareholders in attendance that the team intends to contend for another Super Bowl this season. “We’ll be fine,” Thompson said. “We’ve got a good core of players with good heads on their shoulders.”Earlier this week, the Packers told veteran linebacker Nick Barnett that he would not be returning, and more cuts were expected later Thursday.


    Crown Royal becomes Brickyard 400 title sponsor

    INDIANAPOLIS — Crown Royal is taking its shot in NASCAR by sponsoring the Brickyard 400.The whiskey maker says it has a multiyear deal with Indianapolis Motor Speedway to rename the race the Crown Royal “Your Hero’s Name Goes Here” 400 at the Brickyard, starting in 2012. Financial details were not released. The company plans to hold a contest to select the fan’s name that will be incorporated into the title.The announcement came Thursday at the historic 2.5-mile oval, which is hosting its annual Cup race Sunday.Speedway CEO Jeff Belskus says he expects a race day crowd that will be about the same size as last year’s, more than 100,000, though five sections of grandstands will be closed. He says ticket sales have been better over the last month.

    Toronto FC player Dan Gargan, right, is now a member of the Chicago Fire, which got Gargan and a draft pick in exchange for defender Dasan Robinson.

    Fire swaps Robinson for defender, draft pick

    The Chicago Fire has acquired defender Dan Gargan and Toronto FC's second-round selection in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft in exchange for defender Dasan Robinson, the club announced Thursday.

    The Bears have reportedly agreed to a five-year deal with former Jacksonville punter Adam Podlesh. The 27-year-old punter was a Pro Bowl alternate last season.

    Report: Bears to sign punter for $10 million

    According to published reports, the Bears have agreed to terms with punter Adam Podlesh on a contract worth $10 million over five years, which would make him one of the five highest-paid punters in the NFL.



    Groupon fires back, seeks to move lawsuit to Cook County

    Groupon seeks to have a lawsuit filed by a Riverside man who says gift cards should be valid for years - not months - moved from Kane to Cook County. The Chicago company also fires back, saying plaintiff Adam Dremak could have gotten his money back as part of Groupon's guarantee. The two sides are due in court in late September.

    Libertyville-based Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. posted a loss for the latest quarter and forecast earnings for the current quarter well below analyst expectations.

    Motorola Mobility disappoints on smartphones

    Libertyville-based Motorola Mobility Holdings, the maker of cellphones and cable set-top boxes that split off from the rest of Motorola in January, posted a loss for the latest quarter and forecast earnings for the current quarter well below analyst expectations.

    Motorola Solutions CEO Greg Brown

    Motorola Solutions sees Schaumburg as growing hub

    Motorola Solutions Inc. CEO Greg Brown said Thursday he’s forming a new global services organization, aiming to further grow the company and continuing to staff the 400-or-so employee workforce that will be based locally.


    JetBlue offers new 3-month unlimited flight pass

    JetBlue introduced several new three-month, unlimited flight plans Thursday in an attempt to snare more higher-paying business travelers. BluePass is available only for departure from Boston Logan International Airport or Long Beach Airport for travel between Aug. 22 and Nov. 22.


    Details of rival plans on spending and debt

    House Republicans and Senate Democrats are pressing competing but broadly similar plans to pair an increase in the nation’s $14.3 trillion borrowing cap limit with spending cuts and to create a special committee to recommend bigger savings for a vote later this year. The chief difference is the size of the immediate increase in the debt limit. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid’s $2.7 trillion debt increase plan would keep the government afloat into 2013, while Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s $900 billion increase would require action next year.Highlights of the competing plans:DEBT INCREASEHouse GOP: Immediate $900 billion increase in the debt limit; $1.6 trillion more would be made available after enactment of up to $1.8 trillion in future spending cuts.Senate Democrats: Immediate $2.7 trillion debt limit increase.SPENDING `CAPS’House GOP: Cuts $756 billion over 10 years from the day-to-day operating budgets of Cabinet agencies. Caps new spending at $1.043 trillion in 2012, $7 billion below 2011 levels. Total cuts of $917 billion, including interest savings.Senate Democrats: Nearly identical caps on agency budgets. Saves $1 trillion more by assuming steep cuts in war funding. Total cuts of $2.2 trillion, including interest savings.SPECIAL COMMITTEEHouse GOP: Creates a 12-person, House-Senate bipartisan committee evenly divided between the political parties; charged with producing up to $1.8 trillion in deficit cuts. If a majority of the committee agrees on a plan, it would receive a vote in both the House and the Senate.Senate Democrats: Nearly identical provisions. The panel would be instructed to seek deficit cuts sufficient to bring the deficit down to about 3 percent of the size of the economy. OTHERHouse GOP: Requires a vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution; “program integrity” initiatives aimed at stemming abuses in benefits programs like Social Security; $17 billion in funding for Pell Grants for low-income college students, financed by curbs in student loan subsidies.Senate Democrats: Similar Pell Grant provisions and more extensive program integrity initiatives; reduced “direct payments” to farmers; $15 billion in revenues from auctions of electromagnetic spectrum.


    Greek FM: Athens bond swap talks ‘encouraging’
    Associated PressATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek officials launched talks with international bankers Thursday on the details of a complex plan to restructure the loan-dependent country’s privately held debt under a new bailout deal.Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said the Athens negotiations started “in a most encouraging manner.”“We have started (the talks) and will conclude very soon because we face specific bonds maturing in August and September and want either to have finished before that or to have formulated a transitional framework until we have finished,” Venizelos told parliament.Last week, European leaders agreed on a second bailout for Greece worth a total (euro) 109 billion ($155 billion) — on top of a (euro) 110 billion deal in 2010 — to protect the country from looming default and ease its massive debt burden.The agreement called for banks, pension funds and other private institutions that hold Greek debt to voluntarily swap their bonds for new ones with lower interest rates or slightly smaller face value.On Thursday, the French finance ministry said local lenders will participate with all their Greek bonds that mature by 2020, worth “about (euro) 15 billion.”Provided overall private sector participation meets a targeted 90 percent, the swap will involve some (euro) 135 billion worth of bonds that mature by the end of 2020, with bondholders taking a net 21 percent loss.“We want the process to be immediately implemented and we want the duration of its implementation to be the shortest possible,” Venizelos said.Greece is unable to borrow from international money markets as the interest rates currently demanded exceed 15 percent, with its bonds designated barely above the level of default by all three major international ratings agencies.The duration of the bond swap process is crucial, because for that period Greece will most likely be rated in default — a humiliating first for a country using the euro.However, provisions in the bailout that secure Greek banks’ credit lines mean the default rating should have limited practical repercussions.“There will be no problem for Greek banks,” Venizelos said. “There is no issue with their liquidity, and ratings have no practical significance.”Despite strong opposition from trade unions and even some of its own lawmakers, Greece’s Socialist government has implemented harsh austerity measures for more than a year, cutting pensions and public sector salaries while increasing taxes and retirement ages.Other measures include an ambitious (euro) 50 billion ($71 billion) privatization program by 2015, and a series of reforms to open up tightly regulated professions such as lawyers, pharmacists and truck drivers.Taxi drivers, who are also affected by the reforms, have been on strike for the past 11 days, alarming Greece’s tourism industry — a key earner — by periodically blocking airports and harbors.On Thursday, hundreds of protesting taxi drivers clashed with the police in Greece’s largest port of Piraeus, which adjoins Athens, after preventing thousands of foreign cruise ship passengers from boarding tour coaches to the capital’s ancient sites. No injuries or arrests were reported. Strikers also held a peaceful protest at the northern port of Thessaloniki.Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos appealed for calm.“The situation at the harbor this morning is extremely dangerous for tourism,” he said. “Every Greek family lives from tourism, and I believe it is a sector that everybody must protect.”Greek police said in a statement late Thursday they were seeking the prosecution of about 5,500 taxi drivers from all over Greece on charges of hindering traffic. It did not give any further details.On Friday, taxi unions are due to hold new talks with the government in an effort to break the deadlock.


    Time Warner Cable posts higher 2Q net income
    Associated Press— Time Warner Cable Inc. posted a 23 percent jump in its second-quarter earnings Thursday, boosted by strong results in its business services and higher revenue from residential users even as it continued to lose subscribers to its cable TV service. Like other cable companies, Time Warner has been working on growing its Web-based video service to better compete for customers who are increasingly turning to the Internet to watch movies and television shows. Cable TV providers have been losing subscribers to satellite TV companies and phone-company TV services for years. But in the second quarter of 2010 the overall pay-TV industry lost customers for the first time. The nation’s second-largest cable company behind Comcast Corp. said its net income rose to $420 million, or $1.24 per share, in the three months ended June 30, up from $342 million, or 95 cents per share, a year earlier. Earnings in the most recent quarter were boosted by a gain of 4 cents per share, but even without it they were better than what analysts had expected.Revenue rose 4 percent to $4.94 billion from $4.73 billion.Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of $1.16 per share on revenue of $4.94 million, according to FactSet.Glenn Britt, president and CEO, said the company’s core business is healthy, “despite competitive pressures and the continuing weakness in the economy.” Time Warner Cable’s advertising revenue rose 4 percent to $225 million. Revenue from its largest segment, residential services, climbed nearly 3 percent to $4.3 billion. Business services revenue jumped 35 percent to $361 million.The company lost about 130,000 residential video subscribers during the quarter, ending the period with nearly 12.1 million — roughly in line with analysts’ expectations. In the same quarter last year, it lost 111,000. It also gained about 2,000 business video customers. Time Warner is working on delivering more video content over the Internet, betting that it can stay competitive even as it continues to lose traditional cable subscribers.The company gained about 67,000 residential and business high-speed Internet subscribers and 45,000 voice subscribers in the latest quarter, but this wasn’t enough to offset the loss of video customers and both figures fell below analysts’ expectations. Time Warner Cable had announced a $4 billion stock buyback late last year. Nomura Equity Research analyst Mike McCormack estimates that there is about $1.8 billion remaining of the authorization, which would imply two more quarters of the current pace of share repurchases. The company bought back about $863 million of its shares in the second quarter. Shares of Time Warner Cable fell $2.88, or 3.7 percent, to $74.22 in midday trading. The stock has traded in the 52-week range of $50.41 and $80.86.


    Nike CEO’s compensation down 16 percent
    Associated PressPORTLAND, Ore. Nike Inc.’s CEO Mark Parker saw his compensation fall 16 percent to about $11 million during fiscal 2011 largely due to a drop in his pay based on the company’s performance, which has hurt during the economic downturn.Parker has helped lead the world’s largest athletic shoe and clothing company through some of its most profitable years. But the Beaverton, Ore., company didn’t grant any of its executives long-term incentive pay in the 2011 fiscal year because of the company’s performance during the three years prior, which was dampened by a combination of the economic downturn and costs from its acquisition of soccer goods maker Umbro PLC.Nike weathered the tough economic times better than others. Its revenue slowed during the downturn but it remained profitable as consumers continued to flock to its popular brand worldwide. The company reported a 23 percent increase in its most recent fiscal year net income to $2.13 billion, or $4.39 per share. But the cumulative three-year growth results fell short of the company’s goals. The move to not grant executive long-term incentive pay was one of the biggest reasons behind the decline in Parker’s pay from the $13.1 million he received in the 2010 fiscal year. Parker’s salary rose by 4 percent to about $1.5 million. The value of his stock awards held steady at $3.5 million, while the value of his options fell 17 percent to $2.9 million. His incentive compensation, which was absent the long-term incentive he typically receives, was down 38 percent to $2.7 million. Parker’s other compensation, which includes perks such as contributions to retirement funds, rose 79 percent to $343,395.The Associated Press formula calculates an executive’s total compensation during the last fiscal year by adding salary, bonuses, perks, above-market interest the company pays on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock and stock options awarded during the year. The AP formula does not count changes in the present value of pension benefits. That makes the AP total slightly different in most cases from the total reported by companies to the Securities and Exchange Commission.The value that a company assigned to an executive’s stock and option awards for 2010 was the present value of what the company expected the awards to be worth to the executive over time. Companies use one of several formulas to calculate that value. However, the number is just an estimate, and what an executive ultimately receives will depend on the performance of the company’s stock in the years after the awards are granted. Most stock compensation programs require an executive to wait a specified amount of time to receive shares or exercise options.


    Siemens U.S. Sales Up 15%

    Siemens AG today announced that it will reach its profit and growth targets for FY2011.“We continued to grow in the third quarter and are on track to reach our targets for fiscal 2011. New orders again rose sharply, driven by a large order at Mobility. We’re vigorously tackling operating challenges. Our markets are still robust, although risks are tending to increase in the global economic environment,” said Siemens AG CEO Peter Loescher.Orders in the third quarter climbed 25%, to approximately $32 billion on an adjusted base, and the order backlog reached a new high of approximately $134 billion. Revenue rose 8% on an adjusted basis, to approximately $25 billion, with increases in all regions.In the U.S., on an adjusted basis, sales were up 15% and orders grew 6% over the last quarter.“After three quarters of our fiscal year, orders were up 9% and sales by 10% and we are showing strong growth in our Energy, Industry and Healthcare sectors so far,” said Eric Spiegel, president and CEO of Siemens Corporation. “Siemens is a good barometer for the U.S. economy because we are in so many industries. We are a trailing indicator on sales and a leading indicator on orders.”In the U.S. Industry sector, order growth in the first nine months of fiscal 2011 was broad-based but especially strong in the Mobility division. Siemens was awarded a $17.2 million contract from Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), on behalf of the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, to provide Atlanta with four new streetcars. The first car is expected to be delivered in September 2012 with revenue service beginning in early 2013. These will be the first streetcars in Atlanta since 1949 and will mark Siemens entry into the streetcar market in the United States.  The streetcars will be built at Siemens’ railcar and locomotive plant in Sacramento, Calif., with major components including the propulsion system built at Siemens’ manufacturing facility in the metro-Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta.The U.S. Energy sector had double-digit order growth in the first nine months of fiscal 2011. Recently, the company won a contract to install a turnkey back-to-back link to connect the power supply networks of New Jersey and New York. In the future it is estimated that an additional 660 megawatts of controlled electric power will be transmitted via a high-voltage cable link across the Hudson River from New Jersey to boost the power supply of New York. The total contract value for Siemens and its partner Prysmian is approximately $400 million.  Order growth in the U.S. Healthcare sector was broad-based in the first nine months of fiscal 2011. Siemens Healthcare received the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) clearance for the Biograph mMR, which represents the integration of diagnostic-grade magnetic resonance (MR) and positron emission tomography (PET) into a single-gantry whole-body scanner. The Biograph mMR features an incorporation of Siemens Healthcare’s 3T MR technology and Avalanche photodiode solid-state PET detector technology. It enables simultaneous whole-body acquisition of data from magnetic resonance (MR) and positron emission tomography (PET).The Biograph mMR allows a combined approach to imaging anatomical, functional and biochemical characteristics of disease.  Potential clinical applications for molecular MR include the early identification and staging of malignancies, therapy planning and treatment.  With the Biograph mMR, patients can be scanned in as few as 30 minutes for a combined whole-body exam, compared to one hour or more for sequential MR and PET exams.  Additionally, Biograph mMR has a footprint comparable to a standard, high-field MR scanner and can be sited in a typical MR room, eliminating renovation costs for facilities seeking to replace an existing MRI.  


    Parts problem hurts Ford Focus sales
    Associated PressFord can’t make enough Focus cars to keep up with rising demand because of equipment problems that have caused a shortage of dashboards, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.Machinery that makes the skin that covers dashboards at a Ford parts factory outside Detroit works intermittently. That is forcing the company to take the unusual and costly step of flying in parts from Europe to keep its assembly lines moving, the people said. Despite those efforts, the Focus plant near Detroit can’t run at full speed, they said.The problem comes at a time when high gas prices and shortages of Japanese small cars have driven up demand for the Focus. Dealers say they’re having trouble getting the newly redesigned compacts, and they’ve been forced to put customers on waiting lists.The people, who didn’t want to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak about the matter, said Ford is working to fix the equipment problem at the parts plant in Saline, Mich., but so far the company hasn’t found a solution.Ford spokesman Todd Nissen said company policy is not to comment on internal workings at its plants. But he said the Saline factory continues to make dashboards for the Focus.Despite the problem, Ford sold more than 21,000 Focuses last month, making it the company’s top-selling passenger car. But its sales were 3,500 below rival General Motors’ Chevrolet Cruze compact. The Cruze is made at a factory in Lordstown, Ohio, that is operating three shifts around the clock to meet demand. Ford’s assembly plant in Wayne, Mich., where the Focus is made, is running on two shifts.GM has been better able to capitalize on small-car shortages at Honda and Toyota, which have had to slow their factories due to parts shortages caused by the March earthquake in Japan. GM and Ford have been largely unaffected by earthquake-related problems.Jim Gillette, an analyst with the firm IHS Automotive who advises auto parts suppliers, said the problem could hit Ford’s bottom line because it’s expensive to fly in the parts. He said it is relatively rare to have such an equipment problem, and there would be a lot of pressure on the equipment maker to fix it quickly.The five-seat Focus has a starting price of $16,500 and can run more than $27,000 depending on how it’s equipped. With an automatic transmission, most models get 28 miles per gallon in the city and 38 miles on the highway.


    Kellogg’s 2nd-quarter net rises on higher prices

    BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- Kellogg Co.’s second-quarter profit rose 14 percent as the world’s largest cereal maker benefited from higher prices, new products and improved cereal sales. Kellogg’s results also were boosted by a comparison from last year when it was hobbled by slow sales and major product recalls. The company, based in Battle Creek, Mich., raised its revenue guidance for the year but left its earnings forecast intact. “We are beginning to rebuild our momentum following a very difficult 2010,” Kellogg’s CEO John Bryant told investors. Kellogg, like many food companies, raised prices to offset soaring costs for ingredients and fuel. But unlike some of its competitors, it’s beginning to benefit from those adjustments. Its major competitor, General Mills Inc., has also raised prices and posted modestly profitable quarterly results, but the company told investors last month that its price hikes would not be enough to offset higher costs for the remainder of the fiscal year. Kellogg, which makes products that include Frosted Flakes cereal and Nutri-Grain bars, said it will need to continue to raise prices through the remainder of the year. Kellogg reported net income of $343 million, or 94 cents per share, for the quarter that ended July 2 compared with $302 million, or 79 cents per share, last year. Revenue rose 11 percent to $3.39 billion.The results beat analyst expectations of 91 cents per share on revenue of $3.28 billion. Kellogg’s revenue in North American rose 8 percent as cereal sales grew and new products, such as its gluten-free Rice Krispies, caught on with consumers. International revenue rose 16 percent, helped by higher prices and growth in Latin America while consumers in the U.K. continued to struggle due to the economic downturn. The company also benefited from a reduced number of shares outstanding as a result of its share repurchase program, which helped its per share earnings for the quarter. Kellogg raised its revenue growth guidance to a range of 4 to 5 percent for the year, based on higher prices to offset increasing costs. That’s up from earlier guidance of 4 percent. The company reaffirmed its earnings guidance for the full year of $3.42 and $3.49 per share. Analysts expect $3.48 per share.Shares of the company rose sharply in morning trading on the news but fell 29 cents to $55.26 in midday trading.

    Chicago-based Boeing Co. and General Dynamics Corp. face a challenge from rivals offering less costly radios for troops and armored vehicles as part of a military-wide system estimated to cost $39 billion.

    Boeing rivals pitch cheaper radio for $39 billion combat system
    Chicago-based Boeing Co. and General Dynamics Corp. face a challenge from rivals offering less costly radios for troops and armored vehicles as part of a military-wide system estimated to cost $39 billion.

    Motorola Solutions Inc., the maker of bar-code scanners and walkie-talkies, will buy back as much as $2 billion worth of its shares and begin paying a dividend after selling its networks unit and cutting debt.

    Motorola Solutions to buy back $2 billion in stock

    Motorola Solutions Inc., the maker of bar-code scanners and walkie-talkies, will buy back as much as $2 billion worth of its shares and begin paying a dividend after selling its networks unit and cutting debt. The Schaumburg-based company will start paying a quarterly payout of 22 cents a share in October, according to a statement today.

    CEO Sally J. Smith

    Sally Smith's (chicken) wings are soaring

    Sally Smith became CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. after the other guy didn't show up. It was 1996 and Smith was the top finance officer for the chicken wings chain, which was still relatively small, with about 70 restaurants.


    Hyatt Hotel workers file complaint over heat lamps

    Hotel workers say they are filing charges with the government against Hyatt for turning heat lamps on striking workers at the Park Hyatt Chicago during the heat wave last week.Workers claim 10 heat lamps in the awning above the Park Hyatt front entrance were turned on striking workers when the strike began Thursday morning and were left on for about an hour. That day, an excessive heat warning was issued by the National Weather Service, with heat index readings climbing above 100 degrees in downtown Chicago. Charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board by UNITE HERE Local 1, the union representing housekeepers, dishwashers, bellmen and other hotel workers at the Park Hyatt Chicago, contend,


    Fortune Brands CEO to retire
    Deerfield-based Fortune Brands Inc., which makes a variety of products from security items to Jim Beam liquor, said Wednesday that its Chairman and CEO Bruce Carbonari will retire at the end of the year, as plans for its separation into two separate public companies continue. Carbonari said in a statement that he will serve as an adviser during the transition period and will then take some time off before deciding what to do next in his career.He has served as Fortune Brands CEO since 2008. Last month Fortune said its separation plans, which are expected to finish early in the fourth quarter, were on track. Matt Shattock is set to serve as Beam’s CEO, while Chris Klein will become CEO of Fortune Brands Home & Security. Shattock has served as CEO of Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc. since April 2009, while Klein has been CEO of Fortune Brands Home & Security LLC since January 2010, according to CapitalIQ. The company said once the planned separation is complete, Fortune board member David Mackay will become Beam Inc.’s nonexecutive chairman.


    Abbott test detects HIV earlier
    Hospital and public health laboratories are now detecting early-stage HIV infections sooner than previous tests since the launch of Abbott’s Architect HIV Ag/Ab combo assay, a combination antigen-antibody test, in 2010. Researchers reported finding early stage infections in places not known for high HIV prevalence like Sioux Falls, S.D., where HIV infections are believed to be low.  Experts presented their observations this week at an Abbott-sponsored workshop at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry annual meeting. Abbott is based in Lake Forest.


    Illinois worker dies at W. Virginia coal plant

    A worker has died in an accident at a coal processing plant in southern West Virginia.The state Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training says the accident occurred at 8:44 p.m. Wednesday at the Superior Processing Plant in Maitland.The office says the 39-year-old man was an employee of Marion, Ill.-based Mike Dover Corporation, an independent contractor.Details of the accident weren’t immediately available.The state office is investigating the accident.


    Avon Products 2nd-quarter net income rises

    Cosmetics seller Avon Products Inc.'s second-quarter net income rose 23 percent, helped by higher revenue in Latin America, its largest region. Avon said net income rose 23 percent to $206.2 million.

    Job seekers join a line of hundreds of people at a job fair sponsored by Monster.com in New York.

    Jobless claims in U.S. fell last week to three-month low

    Applications for unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest level since April, a sign the weakness in the labor market is fading.


    Sprint posts widened loss, teams with LightSquared

    Sprint says its loss widened in the second quarter due to investment losses and a tax expense, but its subscriber figures showed a fragile turnaround is continuing.


    Oil hovers above $97 following big drop

    Oil prices held steady above $97 a barrel Thursday a day after they tumbled over $2 following confirmation that the U.S. has released emergency crude reserves.


    Stock futures hold steady ahead of House debt vote
    Stock futures are little changed as House Republicans prepare a vote on a new plan to avoid a U.S. debt default. The legislation, set for a vote Thursday, faces steep opposition with Senate Democrats. The White House has also threatened to veto the proposal.


    Public hearing held on birth center rules in Illinois

    Rules for the first free-standing birth centers in Illinois are the subject of a public hearing that’s one of the final steps before the centers can open.The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board holds the hearing Thursday in Oak Forest.A 4-year-old law allows 10 free-standing birth centers to open in Illinois, but establishing regulations took longer than expected.Birth centers provide women with low-risk pregnancies an alternative to hospital births.Margie Schaps of the Health and Medicine Policy Research Group says birth centers are safe and cost-effective for low-risk pregnancies. Her organization’s birth center task force has been working to change Illinois policy on birth centers for more than 20 years.Schaps says the state’s first birth centers could open before the end of the year.


    Walgreens settles billing lawsuit

    Walgreen Co. has settled a civil lawsuit with Connecticut and federal officials who alleged the company double billed the government for some prescription drugs.State Attorney General George Jepsen says Walgreen submitted duplicate or multiple claims to Medicare, Medicaid and ConnPACE for drugs provided to people eligible for both the state and federal programs.U.S. Attorney David Fein and Jepsen say the Illinois-based pharmacy company has reimbursed the government for billing errors made between June 1, 2006, and Aug. 31, 2008. Company spokesman Robert Elfinger says Walgreen did not admit to any wrongdoing and agreed to the settlement to avoid further litigation.

Life & Entertainment

    Dennis (Daniel Yelskhy) and Laura (Jenna Fischer) participate in the radio singalong cliche in the comic domestic drama "A Little Help."

    Reel life: Family on the decline needs 'Help'

    Dann reviews the dysfunctional family drama "A Little Help" and the time-jumping, historic "Sarah's Key." Also, suburban students get a world premiere and Elgin gets its short films on.

    Try Cherry Almond Chicken Salad for an easy summer meal.

    Summertime means cool chicken salad

    I'm pretty picky when it comes to chicken salad because I've been surrounded by really great recipes my whole life. I grew up with mom-and-pop soda shops serving homemade chicken salad for the lunch special.


    Theater events: Aurora U. brings 'Brigadoon' to life

    The professional ensemble Music by the Lake, in residence at Aurora University, presents “Brigadoon” — the Lerner and Loewe musical about a disaffected New Yorker who finds romance with a Scottish lass whose town reappears once every 100 years.

    Alex Trebek says he snapped his Achilles tendon while running after a burglar who had stolen items from his San Francisco hotel room.

    Alex Trebek injured after chasing burglar

    "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek says he snapped his Achilles tendon while running after a burglar who had stolen cash, a bracelet and other items from his San Francisco hotel room.

    Singer Kenny Chesney is poised to reach a milestone as he has already sold more than 44,000 tickets, making it the hottest country ticket in the New York City-New Jersey area since Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard and Linda Ronstadt drew more than 51,000 in 1983.

    Country star Kenny Chesney chugs to touring milestone

    Already secure as country music's king of the road, Kenny Chesney is really flexing his muscle now. Chesney is poised to reach a milestone — and perhaps clear a path — as he readies for an Aug. 13 visit to New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey. Chesney has already sold more than 44,000 tickets, making it the hottest single paid country show in the New York City-New Jersey area since Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard and Linda Ronstadt drew more than 51,000 in 1983.

    Boy Scout Alex Boyle of Naperville planted a garden to grow produce for the Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry in Naperville for his Eagle Scout project.

    Eagle Scout project will turn out tomatoes, peppers

    Earlier this year, Boy Scout Alex Boyle of Naperville turned to the Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry for ideas about a potential Eagle Scout project. Their answer surprised him. They didn’t need help sorting donations or even refurbishing their space. Instead they came up with a more hands-on project: developing a garden to grow fresh vegetables for their food pantry clients.

    The Windy City Burger is just one option at the newly opened Smashburger in Wheaton.

    Dining events: Wheaton’s Smashburger now open

    Smashburger, which just opened its doors in Wheaton, serves up the Windy City Burger on a pretzel bun. Wash it down with a Green River float or a specialty craft beer.

    The Conservation Foundation's 20-mile Chase the Moon Midnight Bike Ride starts in Warrenville and goes through the grounds around Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

    Best bets: Take a moonlit ride

    Cycle past prairies, woods and wetlands near Fermilab as part of The Conservation Foundation's Chase the Moon Midnight Bike Ride starting in Warrenville.

    Lady-killer Jacob (Ryan Gosling), left, gives dating advice to a nerdy separated family man (Steve Carell) in the smart and funny comedy “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”

    ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love.' a wise, funny rom-com

    Want to see a smart and funny movie about sex, love and soul mates? "Crazy, Stupid, Love." celebrates both the transformative nature of romance and the messy chaos it causes.

    The wall puzzles in “Catherine” are quite challenging, especially while the clock is ticking.

    Original ‘Catherine' game combines romance, puzzles

    In video game, genre-bending can get weird. Take “Catherine,” which mixes a sort of dating simulation and a puzzle game with a splash of survival horror. It doesn't fully succeed, but it's completely original.


    Adele, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne to perform at VMAs

    Chris Brown and Lil Wayne are returning to the MTV Video Music Awards stage, while Adele will make her first appearance. The trio are the first performers announced for the Aug. 28 ceremony in Los Angeles, at the Nokia Theatre. The announcement was made Thursday.

    Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford), left, and Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) take on some critters from outer space in the genre-busting action film “Cowboys & Aliens.”

    Miscast star mars fun, effects-laden ‘Cowboys & Aliens'

    "Cowboys & Aliens" starts out strong with mystery, action and suspense, then slowly devolves into a bloated, special effects extravaganza featuring a hilariously surly Harrison Ford and a wincingly miscast Olivia Wilde.

    Actress and singer Selena Gomez has been nominated for three ALMA Awards for favorite comedy/movie actress for her role in "Monte Carlo," favorite TV actress for her role in "Wizards of Waverly Place," and favorite female music artist.

    Christina Aguilera, Selena Gomez top ALMA nominees

    Christina Aguilera and Selena Gomez are the leading nominees for the ALMA Awards, which honor the artistic accomplishments of Latinos in music, television and film. The National Council of La Raza announced the nominations Thursday.

    All kinds of unreleased music was left behind by British singer Amy Winehouse who was found dead Saturday.

    Amy Winehouse left trove of unreleased music

    Amy Winehouse left a trove of unreleased music, but no decision has been made about whether it will be released, people close to the singer say. The soul diva, who had struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, was found dead of unknown causes at her London home on Saturday. She was 27.


    Beans, not their sprouts, protein powerhouses

    Q. If beans like kidney and garbanzo beans are good sources of protein, does this include bean sprouts?A. No. A half-cup of mung bean sprouts supplies only 1 to 2 grams of protein. A half-cup serving of most dried beans supplies about 7 grams of protein, about equal to the protein in one ounce of meat or poultry.



    Compromise not a bad word on debt

    A Daily Herald editorial says that congressmen, like McHenry Republican Joe Walsh, stubbornly insisting on their positions in the debt ceiling controversy are inhibiting real debate on solutions and threatening the financial health of everyday Americans.


    ‘Legal’ fake pot doesn’t mean it’s safe

    Laws banning harmful mixes of herbs for smoking can't keep up with the manufacturer. But legal doesn't mean safe, a Daily Herald editorial asserts, and greater public awareness about potpourri incense and other fake marijuana is crucial.


    Reporting skills play key role in news photography

    Columnist Jim Slusher: News stories develop in many different ways. And some, like many involving the weekend flooding, don’t come from reporters at all. They come from photographers.


    Teachers learning the drill

    Project Lead the Way is just one example of how schools are solving the problem of providing crucial subject matter in environments where teachers may not know enough to make such challenging material come alive and students rarely get opportunities to immerse themselves in highly demanding lessons.


    Stand by your man

    Loyalty is about tough times, tough decisions, standing by your man on the hard days. I don’t like the economy any more than the next person.


    Reasons against Glenbard lights
    Months ago, we heard about controversial proposed upgrades to Memorial Field at Glenbard West. We learned about proposals to install six 70-foot-tall light towers, 250 stadium seats and loudspeaker system, to extend evening hours of field usage, to lease space to outside groups for revenue, and to pave over a small, historic park (Soldiers’ Memorial) to create a new parking lot.


    Wheaton’s music in park a huge success
    A huge thank you needs to be given to the sponsors of the Fourth Annual Music in the Park held on July 22 at Memorial Park in Wheaton. I was astounded with the level of expertise and talent shown by the three groups performing.


    GOP not working for the common good
    How dare the Republicans and tea partyers refuse to raise the taxes on these very same corporations and the wealthy. We the middle class have paid dearly for the Republicans game plan


    Corn for food; hemp for fuel
    Letter to the Editor: Hemp for making ethanol can replace the use of corn, which is expensive to grow and is needed worldwide to fight hunger. This would be a boon to the building industry, save on energy, and create lasting and meaningful jobs.


    Saving energy takes patience
    Letter to the Editor: We have raised the average temperature of the earth one degree Celsius — about two degrees Fahrenheit — by using fossil fuels. Doesn’t sound like much? One degree already has had far-reaching effects from the melting of the polar caps to the melting of glaciers worldwide to more extreme weather we have all seen lately.


    Money is there for the truly needy
    If you are a hardworking American who pays his taxes, you have probably noticed that the taxman has been chipping away at your pocketbook to the point where you’re wondering when it’s going to stop.


    Put nation’s good over self-interest
    It is not patriotic to blackmail Democrats and take the American people hostage by letting the country default on its obligations for what their own political gains.


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