Daily Archive : Wednesday August 10, 2011

News

  •  
    Downtown Neighborhood Association volunteer Victor Gonzalez, left, sells Pub Crawl passports and lanyards at the entrance to the Martini Room, 161 E. Chicago St., during last year’s Downtown Elgin Pub Crawl.

    Tour downtown Elgin bars during pub crawl

    Eight bars will be featured in the Elgin Pub Crawl Friday night. The event showcases the downtown area and benefits the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin's revitalization efforts.

  •  

    Arlington Hts. celebrates Million Week

    It's Million Week, and in downtown Arlington Heights the live music and entertainment goes straight through from Thursday to Saturday.

  •  
    Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, holding a pork chop on a stick, talks to visitors as he campaigns at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on Thursday.

    Romney gets GOP debate warmup

    Iowa Seven Republican presidential contenders hope to use Thursday’s debate in the leadoff caucus state of Iowa to cast themselves as Mitt Romney’s strongest rival. Front-runner Romney’s day, meanwhile, got off to a rough start with a confrontation with voters at the Iowa State Fair.

  •  

    Vernon Hills police employee charged with sex crimes

    A Vernon Hills Police Department employee has been charged with attempted aggravated criminal sexual abuse after soliciting a 7-year-old girl to perform a sexual act in McHenry, according to a criminal complaint.

  •  

    Mortgage rates fall again, 30-year near record low

    Fixed mortgage rates fell to at or near record lows. That’s good news for the few who can afford to buy a home or are able to refinance.

  •  
    Nunu Sung

    Imprisoned Wheaton mom fights to keep son she abandoned

    A woman who abandoned her newborn son under a bush in Wheaton is petitioning a court to stop prosecutors from interfering with her plans to take custody of the child upon her release from prison. Nunu Sung, 26, is scheduled to be paroled in January 2012.

  •  
    Doug Ghim, 15, of Arlington Heights, won the 42nd Illinois State Junior Amateur Championship in June at Makray Memorial Golf Club in Barrington.

    Arlington Heights teen headed toward PGA

    There’s that silent spectacle that envelops the first tee before a golfer starts his backswing, and Doug Ghim, a 15-year-old from Arlington Heights, thrives in it. “You learn to embrace moments like that,” he says.

  •  
    A volunteer scarecrow from the Des Plaines Optimist Club serves up freshly popped corn before the club’s 2010 “Wizard of Oz” movie night at Lake Park in Des Plaines.

    Their creed means seeing the positive everywhere

    Market plunges, flag-draped coffins, London riots and suburban murders pile onto a bad-news week already burdened with unemployment, illiness and foreclosures. So why are these folks smiling?

  •  

    N.W. suburban K-9 handlers fundraising for family

    A group of Northwest suburban police K-9 handlers is raising funds to help the family of a Terre Haute, Ind., police dog handler who died on the job last month. K-9 officers with Elk Grove Village, Arlington Heights and Bolingbrook police departments are collecting funds through the end of this month.

  •  
    Anthony Shiner

    Sex offender arrest in Grayslake

    A 45-year-old sex offender who recently moved to the Grayslake area faces charges for being present in a school zone, Grayslake authorities said. Anthony Shiner, 45, formerly of Indiana, was arrested Friday after he was spotted sitting on a bench across the street from 4 Kids Child Care and Learning Center on Center Street, said Grayslake interim Police Chief Matt McCutcheon.

  •  
    Alexi Giannoulias said community colleges play a vital role in creating the well-trained work force that is essential to America’s success and they can help low-income people get the skills they need for better jobs.

    Giannoulias tapped to head community college board

    Former Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, who lost a Democratic bid for the U.S. Senate last year, was named Wednesday as the new chairman of the Illinois Community College Board by Gov. Pat Quinn. Giannoulias still must be confirmed by the Illinois Senate for the part-time, unpaid post.

  •  

    Elgin council puts off senior rebate decision

    Elgin City Council members decided during their committee of the whole meeting Wednesday to delay a decision about the senior citizen property tax rebate program until the winter.

  •  

    Elgin struggles to address graffiti

    A rising graffiti problem in Elgin has prompted the city government to rethink its approach to removing the vandalism. Instead of community restitution groups cleaning up the vandalism, Public Works employees will take over the job.

  •  

    Palatine Dist. 15 board passes deficit budget

    Acknowledging that several financial unknowns remain and numbers will change, the Palatine Township Elementary District 15 board unanimously approved a $145.3 million budget that leaves the district $5.1 million in the red.

  •  

    56 air conditioners stolen from ISU

    Officials of Illinois State University are reporting the theft of 56 air conditioning units. The theft, which Illinois State Police Chief Aaron Woodruff says represents a $25,000 loss, was reported earlier this week by the university’s facilities management staff.

  •  
    Steven Cole

    Murder suspect to be evaluated for fitness

    Steven Cole, charged with first-degree murder in the June 13 slaying of his father, Stuart, 69, in the family's Arlington Heights home, is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges in Rolling Meadows. However, the hearing was postponed after defense attorneys expressed concern over their client's mental health and sought an evaluation of same.

  •  
    The Cavaliers perform at the Cavalcade of Brass this past June in Lisle.

    Rosemont-based corps is 3rd going into DCI championships in Indianapolis

    The Cavaliers of Rosemont are going into this weekend's Drum Corps International championships in an unusual place -- third -- but have every hope of advancing and winning the 2011 title. The three-day extravaganza sarts Thursday in Indianapolis, and the winner will be crowned Saturday night.

  •  
    Bob Chwedyk/bchwedyk@dailyherald.com Sen. Mark Kirk is calling for Congress to return to Washington D.C. to address the nation’s debt issue. He met Wednesday with the Daily Herald editorial board.

    Kirk: Congress needs to step up, head back to Capitol

    With financial markets sharply down in the wake of the country’s credit downgrade, Sen. Mark Kirk is calling for Congress to return to Washington to address the debt issue.

  •  

    Document shredding event in Elk Grove Village

    The Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County will host a document destruction event from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at Elk Grove Village Hall, 901 Wellington Ave.

  •  

    Mussman hosts tax, healthcare meetings

    Democratic state Rep. Michelle Mussman of Schaumburg will host citizen advisory committee meetings on taxes and health care during the evening of Thursday, Aug. 18 at Schaumburg Township Hall, 1 Illinois Blvd. in Hoffman Estates.

  •  
    Drew White lunges and throws a medicine ball during Wednesday’s first day of football practice for Geneva High School at the former Broadview Academy site in La Fox.

    Geneva offense could be a force as Vikings go for eighth conference title

    It's the opening of high school football pratice, and Geneva's offense is expected to be potent. Both St. Charles schools look to get back to postseason play, and Batavia and West Aurora high schools welcome new coaches.

  •  
    A “victim” is wheeled to triage by paramedicsduring a mock disaster exercise Wednesday afternoon on Harper College’s main campus in Palatine. About 100 volunteer victims faked injuries in the drill.

    Disaster drill draws 200 personnel to Harper

    More than a dozen area fire departments are expected to take part in a massive emergency response drill taking place Wednesday afternoon at Harper College.

  •  
    Crews began chewing up Fort Hill Drive Wednesday at 75th Street in Naperville. The work is scheduled to include lane closures through August.

    Fort Hill Drive lane closures to cause delays

    Reconstruction of portions of Fort Hill Drive in Naperville is likely to cause some additional traffic woes for motorists, but city officials say they'll do everything they can to lessen the impact on rush hour.

  •  
    Melissa Calusinski, of Carpentersville, is charged with murder in the death of a Deerfield toddler.

    Woman’s second confession of toddler’s death played in court

    A video and audio recording of Melissa Calusinski admitting for the second time that she threw 16-month-old Benjamin Kingan to the floor in a fit of frustration was played Wednesday in Lake County Circuit Court.

  •  

    Bond reduced for Barrington visitor charged with rape

    A Cook County judge reduced bail from $300,000 to $100,000 for a 20-year-old Barrington man charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl. Prosecutors say Santiago Farias-Alvarez assaulted the girl in July following a power outage.

  •  

    Upgrades on horizon for Carol Stream’s McCaslin Park

    An estimated $3.7 million project to upgrade McCaslin Park in Carol Stream is set to begin by the end of the month. The work will add amenities and make the park more user-friendly, officials said.

  •  
    Senior Chandler Crary lifts one of his teammates during a drill Wednesday on the first day of Burlington Central football practice.

    Are you ready for some football?

    Are you ready for some football? Fox Valley high school football teams hit the gridiron Wednesday to prepare for the upcoming season.

  •  
    Wheaton Warrenville South quarterback Thaddeus Armstrong works out Wednesday on the watchful eye of coach Ron Muhitch.

    Pigskin practices open at all 27 DuPage high schools

    A perfect August day was made even better when all 27 DuPage County high schools officially opened practices for the coming prep football season. You didn't have to look far to find the optimism that always comes with a new campaign and a fresh start.

  •  

    Cary school board says no to union

    The Cary Elementary District 26 school board and teachers union met Tuesday night to continue contract negotiations. The teachers offered a list of new concessions, but the district was unwilling to budge from its impasse declaration.

  •  
    Jeffrey T. Burke

    Elmhurst cops: Thief took 400 vases from graveyards

    A Hometown man is being held in DuPage County jail on charges he stole more than $100,000 worth of brass vases from graves at several area cemeteries, including two in Elmhurst and at least one in Will County.

  •  

    Dist. 12 names new member
    The Roselle Elementary District 12 school board voted unanimously this week to appoint Anthony Cruz to a vacant seat on the board.

  •  
    Lori Bein

    Dist. 12 Superintendent gets $21,000 raise

    Roselle Elementary District 12 Superintendent Lori Bein received a new three-year contract that calls for a nearly 21 percent raise in base salary. But officials say much of the cost of that raise will be offset because Bein no longer will receive health insurance through the district.

  •  
    The parking lot of the Szechwan Restaurant at the southeast corner of Main Street and Route 31 in St. Charles has been fenced off.

    St. Charles’ Main St. fully open near endangered building

    Traffic on Main Street in St. Charles is back to normal, now that a building that was in danger of collapsing has been stabilized. St. Charles officials expect to let Rx Cafe and Steel Beam Theatre back in to their buildings later Wednesday after an engineer finishes determining they aren't in danger of collapse due to the partial collapse the interior of a building next door at 117 W. Main St.

  •  

    Island Lake carnival opens Friday:

    Island Lake will host a Lakefest carnival on Friday and Saturday at Water Tower Park, which is on Route 176 at Waterford Way.

  •  

    Bestselling author at Stevenson:

    New York Times bestselling author Brad Thor will appear and sign copies of his new novel, “Full Black” at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12 at the Stevenson High School West Auditorium in Lincolnshire.

  •  

    Car Fun on 21 in Libertyville:

    MainStreet Libertyville’s next Car Fun on 21 is from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 17.

  •  

    Mosquito spraying in Lindenhurst:

    Visitors to Lindenfest, which runs Thursday through Sunday in Lindenhurst, should be a bit more comfortable, as a series of mosquito abatement treatments are planned for the festival grounds.

  •  

    Police reports

    John M. Gutierrez, 25, homeless of Elgin, appeared in bond court Tuesday on felony charges of home invasion while armed and trespass to a residence knowing people were home, as well as misdemeanor charges of domestic battery, aggravated assault and damage to property, according to court documents. Bail was set at $500,000.

  •  

    Police reports

    A DeKalb man was charged with DUI and several other charges after he struck a stop sign and crashed near Route 47 and Green Road near Elburn, according to Kane County sheriff's police.

  •  
    Quarterback Noel Gaspari rears back to pass during the first day of football practice for Batavia HIgh School Wednesday.

    Images: First day of prep football practice
    The 2011 prep football season officially kicked off Wednesday as suburban teams took the the field for the first practice of the season. The first games of the year start on Friday, August 26th.

  •  

    Rabattini says Island Lake voters will “feel betrayed” by compromise

    The Island Lake village board could settle Mayor Debbie Herrmann’s controversial lawsuit against two trustees Thursday, but one trustee at the heart of the controsersy isn't happy with most of the terms. “I feel betrayed, and the voters feel betrayed,” Trustee Laurie Rabattini said.

  •  
    Patrick J. Dunham of Lindenhurst has announced he will run for the Lake County Board District 3 seat in the March Republican primary.

    Lindenhurst trustee announces Lake County Board bid

    Lindenhurst Trustee Patrick J. Dunham said he will run for a seat on the Lake County Board. Dunham said he will be a candidate for the District 3 seat, which doubles as a commissioner on the Lake County Forest Preserve District board.

  •  

    Precautionary boil order in Round Lake Beach

    A precautionary order to boil water in Round Lake Beach is expected to continue until Thursday afternoon. Village officials issued the order Wednesday after pressure in the system dropped when a water flow regulator failed.

  •  

    Randy’s Vegetable stand hosts Special Olympics fundraiser

    Randy's Vegetable stand on Randall Road in Sleepy Hollow will become the site of a large fundraiser Sunday for Illinois Special Olympics. There will be carnival rides, corn roast, a dunk tank and law enforcement officers and firefighters raising money.

  •  
    The dolphin show at Brookfield Zoo is always a family favorite.

    Libraries help with free Museum Adventure Pass

    How would you like to take your kids to Brookfield Zoo this summer for free? These opportunities and more are availabl to anyone holding a library card who lives in the districts of multiple libraries participating in the Museum Adventure Pass program, presented by Macy's.

  •  
    Workers are preparing the track at Lombard’s Montini Catholic High School to be coated with a new rubber surface. On Wednesday all of the dust and dirt was removed but the actual coating will begin today.

    Classes almost ready to start in some DuPage schools

    Summer is drawing to a close for some area teens and it has nothing to do with the departure of the sweltering heat that gripped our region.By this time next week, students at several DuPage County parochial high schools already will be back in class — a week ahead of most of their public school peers.

  •  
    In honor of Teen Appreciation Week Aug. 14-20, Spectrum will host a free barbecue picnic for teens from noon-3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at Maple Park, just north of township hall, 1 Illinois Blvd., in Hoffman Estates.

    Groups say thanks to teens with games, treats

    Area organizations are saying thank you to area teens during the week of Aug. 14-20 with barbecues, games, freebies and store discounts. Teen Appreciation Week acknowledges all the positive things that teens do.

  •  

    Wauconda Bowl wants to expand - outdoors

    Wauconda Bowl owner Lori Kmiecik has fenced off a 1,760-square-foot section of pavement outside the business. Now, she is asking village trustees to permit outdoor drinking, smoking and bean-bag and horseshoe tournaments.

  •  
    Karen Jordan performing at Viking Park for the final Children’s Concerts show sponsored by the Gurnee Park District.

    Folk singer entertains kids in Gurnee concert

    On a hot and steamy August morning, children’s performer Karen Jordan strummed out catchy, upbeat tunes on her Taylor acoustic guitar in front of nearly 300 kids, moms and dads at the Viking Park Bandshell in Gurnee.

  •  
    Robin Friday

    Lisle Visitors Bureau picks sales boss

    The Lisle Convention & Visitors Bureau has picked a 25-year veteran of the hospitality industry as its new director of sales. Robin Friday will assist efforts to bring events to the village.

  •  
    The band Libido Funk Circus entertains earlier this year in Lake in the Hills.

    Mane Event, Taste add flavor to Million Week

    Whether you are fond of horse racing or not, the highlight of Million Week — the annual celebration of the Arlington Million horse race — is Friday and Saturday, Aug. 12-13, when Arlington Heights turns its downtown into a two-day party zone.

  •  
    Jack Daniel McCullough has been charged in the 1957 murder of Sycamore girl Maria Ridulph.

    Documents turned over in 1957 murder case

    A man charged in the 1957 kidnapping and murder of a young Sycamore girl will fight the charges, his attorney said Wednesday, the same day more than 1,000 pages of evidence were turned over to the defense.

  •  
    Crystal Lake Toastmasters contest Chairman Duane Lahti, left, congratulates Joan Walton of Huntley and Eric Antens of Cary on their wins in the recent Humorous Speech and Evaluation Speech Contests.

    Crystal Lake Toastmasters to compete in Lake in the Hills
    Two of Crystal Lake Toastmasters’ finest are headed to Lake in the Hills for the Area Level contest after winning the recent Humorous Speech and Evaluation Speech Contests held by the club.

  •  

    Aurora OKs contract for Indian Trail widening

    Widening of Indian Trail between Lake Street and Highland Avenue in Aurora will cost $774,688 under a contract with Geneva Construction Company the city council approved Tuesday.

  •  
    From left, Ryan, Grace and Dylan Dougherty.

    Sibling suspects captured in Colorado

    Two men and a woman — siblings who were being sought for crimes in Florida and Georgia — have been captured in Colorado, the FBI confirmed Wednesday. The Colorado State Patrol said the trio was captured in southern Colorado after a short chase that ended in a crash.

  •  

    Boy says fish that got away looked like a foot

    A boy fishing in the northern Illinois community of Antioch is telling authorities that he thinks he was reeling in a human foot before his catch fell back in the lake water.

  •  

    Pingree Grove considering tax, fee increases

    It may soon get a bit more pricey to live in Pingree Grove. On Monday, village board members will consider raising the telecommunications tax and imposing a new tax on natural gas to plug a $50,000 deficit in the general fund. And trustees will decide whether to increase a flat sanity sewer rate to maintain an irrigation system for the wastewater treatment plant.

  •  

    1 in 4 Peoria public school students suspended

    Almost one in every four students in the Peoria school district was suspended at least one time last year and officials say that total is down from previous years.

  •  
    Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican, has been named co-chair of the powerful new committee that will try to come up with a bipartisan plan this fall to reduce the federal budget deficit by more than $1 trillion.

    Debt panel members prompt doubts

    A conservative Texas Republican congressman has been chosen by House Speaker John Boehner to co-chair a powerful new committee tasked to find a bipartisan plan to slash the federal budget deficit by over $1 trillion.

  •  
    Republican Sen. Alberta Darling speaks to supporters at her recall election results party in Thiensville, Wis., Tuesday night, after she successfully fended off a vote meant to unseat her.

    Wisconsin GOP’s stand could reverberate elsewhere

    A stand by Wisconsin Republicans against a massive effort to oust them from power could reverberate across the country as the battle over union rights and the conservative revolution heads toward the 2012 presidential race.

  •  
    Rock Burman

    McHenry swim instructor sentenced to jail

    A former swim instructor from McHenry was sentenced to 180 days in jail Tuesday for sexually abusing two students during swim lessons last year. Rock J. Burman, 22, will serve 30 days of the 180 day sentence he was issued in jail immediately, officials said, and the remainder of his sentence will be stayed if he successfully completes the terms of his two year probation.

  •  

    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Thieves removed the lock on a storage locker at Public Storage, 708 W. Central Road, Mount Prospect, between June 10 and Aug. 2 and stole an encyclopedia set, clothes, three dining room sets with 12 chairs, and a 3-piece china cabinet set. Value was estimated at $4,600.

  •  
    BRIAN HILL/bhill@dailyherald.com Fire personnel look over what had been Karyn Pearson’s Gilberts townhouse after Frank Hill killed her and burned her home back in 2007.

    Man gets 90 years for Gilberts murder, arson

    Frank Hill is sentenced to 90 years in prison for killing his girlfriend and then burning down her Gilberts townhome in January 2007. Hill was convicted earlier this year.

  •  

    Quinn uses veto pen on legislative scholarships

    Gov. Pat Quinn is trying to use his veto power to end the long practice of Illinois lawmakers handing out college scholarships.

  •  

    Brief seeks hearings for inmates who allege abuse

    Attorneys have filed a brief with the Illinois Supreme Court seeking new hearings for 15 incarcerated men who claim they were tortured by convicted Chicago Police Lt. Jon Burge and his officers.

  •  

    Inquest set 5½ years after Ottawa woman's death

    The sister of an Ottawa mother of two who was found dead in a bathroom 5 1/2 years ago says a coroner's inquest is scheduled in the woman's death.

  •  

    Girl Scouts sell western Illinois camp

    The Girl Scouts of Central Illinois has sold a 1,000-acre camp in western Illinois.

  •  

    Daley fights to be dismissed from torture lawsuit

    Former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is fighting a judge's ruling that he remain as a defendant in a lawsuit over police torture.

  •  
    Skeeter (Emma Stone), left, befriends “The Help” — Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer) and Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) — so she can write an expose on the snooty, racist white women in a Southern town during the Civil Rights era.

    ‘The Help' works with sharp humor, excellent acting

    "The Help" uses crisp humor and well-drawn characters to empathize with the plight of black women working as housekeepers for snooty, self-centered white women during the Civil Rights era in Mississippi.

  •  

    Firm charged with defrauding school districts

    The federal Securities and Exchange Commission has charged a St. Louis brokerage firm and a former executive with defrauding five Wisconsin school districts by selling them risky investments funded mainly with borrowed money.

  •  

    Join the Hoffman Estates Jaycees 10th anniversary celebration

    The Hoffman Estates Jaycees will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the start of the chapter during its regular monthly meeting, which is open to the public, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, at the Hoffman Estates village hall, 1900 Hassell Road.

  •  
    Members of the Elgin Golden K Kiwanis Club volunteer with the All Peoples’ Interfaith Food Pantry in Elgin. In addition to helping food pantry clients, they collect $2,000 to $3,000 worth of canned food, bring it back to the pantry and stock the shelves for future distribution.

    Elgin Golden K Kiwanis aid food pantry

    The Elgin Golden K Kiwanis Club offers not only information and fellowship, but also service to its community. Members raise several thousand dollars each year, which they distribute to community-focused charities.

  •  
    BYFS 2011 Soccer Tournament Middle School Champs, from left, are: Roy Tinajero (BYFS), Ian Ford (FCB), Ryan Ford (FCB), Jack Wilson (FCB), Chance Phillips (FCB) and Eric Coepsel (FCB); back row: Brian Garibaldi, counselor BYFS and John Gillett, Barrington Noon Rotary. Not pictured: Jesus Ramirez (BYFS).

    Kids have a kick at Barrington agency soccer tournament

    Barrington Youth & Family Services hosted its annual Summer Soccer Program Tournament from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, at Faith Lutheran Church, in Carpentersville.

  •  

    ‘Bulldogs Unleashed’ at Art in Your Eye festival

    Batavia is celebrating the 7th Annual Art in Your Eye festival Aug. 13-14. The festival features an outdoor art show, musical entertainment and a city hall exhibit. Visitors also can visit the "Bulldogs Unleased" tour.

  •  
    Holly Ricker of Batavia browses the work of Hoffman Estates photographer Shelly Lawler at last year’s Art In Your Eye festival in downtown Batavia. Lawler, who is returning to this year’s show, photographs different scenes in her own backyard.

    Art in Your Eye is more than just an arts show

    Batavia is celebrating the 7th Annual Art in Your Eye festival Saturday and Sunday. The festival is dedicated to the residents of Batavia -- not just artists -- with wide range of activities like an outdoor art show, musical entertainment and a City Hall exhibit.

  •  

    Boehner to fundraise for Schock in Illinois

    Another high-profile Republican is coming to central Illinois to fundraise for U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock.

  •  

    Man to get $6.33 million in priest-abuse case

    A man sexually abused by a priest in the 1970s may now be getting more than $6.3 million as part of a lawsuit he won against a southern Illinois diocese that had resisted the payout.

  •  
    Judge F. Keith Brown

    Kane County looking to increase even more court fees

    Chief Judge F. Keith Brown pitched the increase of a litany of court fees in Kane County to help fund the costs of the department and raises for assistant state's attorneys. County board members expressed outrage over a starting Kane County Sheriff deputy having a higher salary than an assistant state's attorney.

  •  
    Jack Daniel McCullough

    Documents turned over to attorney in 1957 killing

    The defense attorney for a man charged in the 1957 kidnapping and murder of a 7-year-old Illinois girl has received about 1,300 pages of documents related to the case.

  •  

    Route 66 site seeks restoration aid

    Terri Ryburn's love affair with Route 66 started when she was only 5 and her family traveled from Bloomington to California on the Mother Road.

  •  
    It cost Illinois taxpayers more than $1.7 million in 2010 to cover daily allowances and trips by state legislators to and from the Capitol building in Springfield.

    You paid $1.7 million for legislators' mileage, daily allowance

    Every time a legislator spends the day in Springfield, it costs Illinois taxpayers an extra $111. Every mile those legislators drive to and from the state capital costs another 39 cents. Those costs totaled $1.7 million last year. "A democracy isn't cheap to run," said Rep. Mike Tryon of Crystal Lake.

  •  

    Cutbacks force retreat in war on meth

    Police and sheriff's departments in states that produce much of the nation's methamphetamine have made a sudden retreat in the war on meth, at times virtually abandoning pursuit of the drug because they can no longer afford to clean up the toxic waste generated by labs.

  •  

    Healthy guidelines urged for non-school programs

    Guidelines have just been issued for nutrition and physical activity in camps and after-school programs.

  •  

    Soul Cookin’ closes Hoffman concert series

    The Hoffman Estates Arts Commission and the Hoffman Estates Park District welcome Soul Cookin’ to the Village Green at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, as the last band in the 2011 “Summer Sounds on the Green” concert series.

  •  

    Man gets probation for stabbing friend in neck

    A judge in southwestern Illinois has sentenced a 37-year-old man to 30 months of probation for stabbing a friend in the neck during a night of drinking.

  •  

    Parents reminded about back-to-school vaccines

    Illinois health and education officials are reminding parents to update their children's immunizations as they head back to school.

  •  

    Thousands attend job fair hosted by congressman

    Thousands gathered on the campus of Chicago State University to take part in a job fair hosted by Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush.

  •  

    Marine honors Chicago-area fire firefighters

    An American flag flown over a Marine camp in Afghanistan to honor a suburban Chicago fire department has been given to village leaders.

  •  

    Ill. veterans department hosting resource forums

    Illinois veterans can get one-stop shopping when it comes to help with their benefits.

  •  

    Man gets probation for mailed substance to family

    A southwestern Illinois man who threatened a family with a white substance he mailed them with a letter saying they should seek immediate medical treatment has been ordered to spend three years on probation.

  •  

    4 Illinois conservation grants awarded

    The Illinois Conservation Foundation has awarded four grants to get young people interested in outdoor activities.

  •  

    New hearings sought in Chicago police torture case

    Fifteen incarcerated men who claim they were sent to prison by confessions that were beaten, burned and tortured out of them by convicted Chicago police Lt. Jon Burge and his officers are getting some high-profile help — including from a former Illinois governor.

  •  

    Chicago man sentence in Valentine's Day stabbing

    A Chicago man will serve a 27-year prison term for stabbing a woman and her daughter with a kitchen knife on Valentine's Day two years ago.

  •  

    Beyers named new southwestern Ill. judge

    A former prosecutor in southwestern Illinois' Madison County is now a judge.

  •  

    Aurora churches plan two school supply giveaways

    Six Aurora churches share one mission this back-to-school season: provide free book bags full of supplies to area students. “There’s nothing worse than going to school and not having the paper and the pencils and all the other things you need in order to function as a student,” said Rich Brown.

  •  

    Police: Man shot after injuring 2 cops with bat

    Illinois State Police are investigating a disturbance in southwestern Illinois in which a man wielding a baseball bat attacked and injured two officers before being shot.

  •  
    Barrington car show.

    It’s not too late to catch a summer car show

    Summertime means car shows — some local and small, others huge. Randy Guenin is a big fan, and he volunteered this list of suburban shows he believes no fan should miss.

  •  
    Steven Chin, a freshman at Mundelein High School, placed fifth at the Future Business Leaders of America national competition in Orlando, Fla.

    Mundelein freshman places at business competition
    Mundelein High School freshman Steven Chin placed fifth at the Future Business Leaders of America national competition held in Orlando recently.

  •  
    Hoffman Estates Mayor William D. McLeod, right, presents a certificate of recognition to representatives from Mary Kay, Inc., which is headquartered in the village’s Prairie Stone Business Park, for their focus on green business practices.

    First ‘green’ businesses recognized in Hoffman Estates

    In March 2011, the village of Hoffman Estates unveiled the Green Business Recognition Program. The program recognizes Hoffman Estates businesses that are focused on sustainable environmental and economic practices.

  •  
    Cantigny Park celebrates French Connection Day with an open-air market, music, French food, exhibits and children’s activities Sunday in Wheaton.

    French Connection Day honors Cantigny founder’s history

    Stroll past the Eiffel Tower, shop an open-air market or marvel at a street mime as Cantigny Park celebrates French Connection Day. The event pays tribute to park founder Col. Robert McCormick's love for the city he helped liberate during World War I.

Sports

  •  
    Quarterback Noel Gaspari rears back to pass during the first day of football practice for Batavia HIgh School Wednesday.

    Images: First day of prep football practice
    The 2011 prep football season officially kicked off Wednesday as suburban teams took the the field for the first practice of the season. The first games of the year start on Friday, August 26th.

  •  

    Eagles agree to terms with Smith

    The Philadelphia Eagles agreed to terms with former New York Giants wide receiver Steve Smith on a one-year deal Wednesday.

  •  

    Soriano’s bat heating up

    The Cubs won’t mind a bit if Alfonso Soriano goes on one of his hot streaks. Perhaps all the better if it makes him attractive to some other team in the off-season.

  •  
    Associated Press Baltimore Orioles' Nolan Reimold, center, is hit in the face with a shaving cream pie by teammates Vladimir Guerrero, left, and Robert Andino after hitting a walkoff home run in the tenth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox in Baltimore, Wednesday. Baltimore won 6-4.

    Suggestions for Sox to keep it interesting
    Adam Dunn and Phil Humber are causes for concerns after the White Sox' 5-game winning streak ended at Baltimore Wednesday night.

  •  
    Quarterback Noel Gaspari gets ready to fire a pass during the first day of football practice for Batavia HIgh School Wednesday.

    Piron, Eimer take over at Batavia, W. Aurora

    Batavia's Dennis Piron is among the area's high school football coaches making their head-coaching debuts this season.

  •  

    Bears work through another glitch

    BOURBONNAIS — The Bears already had a practice cut short by heavy rain and lightning Monday, and last Friday they had an entire practice moved back to home base here when the new sod at Soldier Field was deemed dangerous.So Wednesday, when the lights went out on all the practice fields at Olivet Nazarene University at 8:10 p.m., it seemed somewhat fitting.After a delay of about 30 minutes, practice was moved a few blocks, over to Bradley-Bourbonnais High School, which coincidentally has new FieldTurf, the artificial surface that a majority of Bears players favor.“It’s been a weird series of events here,” quarterback Jay Cutler said. “There’s nothing we can really do about it; we just have to work through it and try to get our work in. Who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow now?”Players were bused over and practice resumed about 9:15, about the same time power was restored to the part of campus that was affected, and it finished by 10:15.“Every once in awhile things like this happen,” coach Lovie Smith said. “That’s not all bad. In training camp you want to put the guys in different situations. We’re going to London, and we’ll have to get out of the routine (for that).“We’ve got a normal size field here, and we were able to get in the same work we would have got in over there. We got better tonight. That’s what we wanted to do.”Asked how he liked the playing surface, Cutler laughed and said, “Nice. I think it’s something we could get used to.”Apples and oranges:Mike Martz was at the Hall of Fame ceremonies in Canton, Ohio, last weekend, the guest of inductee Marshall Faulk, who put up some extraordinary rushing and receiving numbers under Martz when both were with the St. Louis Rams.Martz believes that Matt Forte has some of the skills that made Faulk a Hall of Famer but that he should not yet be compared to Faulk.“I think Matt has terrific receiving skills,” Martz said. “Marshall could immediately go outside and line up (as a wide receiver). Matt can do those things.“He’s a tall guy who has that exceptional speed and the quick change of direction, so there are some things we can do — we did them last year, put him outside, for instance, in the Dallas Cowboy game. We’ll continue to do things like that with Matt.“And he’s really terrific inside. He has a great jump cut, he’s still learning the run reads, and he’s refining his skills, but he’s got terrific skills and I think he could be absolutely exceptional.”Forte tied for the team lead last season with 51 receptions (547 yards) and also rushed for 1,069 yards, averaging a career-best 4.5 yards per carry. But he’s not in the same league as Faulk.“I don’t know if anyone is on Marshall’s level,” Martz said. “That’s a whole different stratosphere.”Johnny on the spot:Even though last year’s leading receiver Johnny Knox is listed on the second team behind free-agent addition Roy Williams, quarterback Jay Cutler said the third-year player from Abilene Christian has a huge role.“We’ve got a lot of receivers, and it’s fun to have all those guys and all those weapons,” Cutler said. “Johnny’s definitely going to be a part of this offense, and he’s got to prepare like that.”Bumps and bruises:Defensive tackle Anthony Adams was wearing a protective boot on his left foot Wednesday to protect his injured calf, and he did not practice and is not expected to play Saturday.“It’s frustrating, but that’s part of football,” Adams said. “You can’t climb the mountain if it’s smooth, right?”Wide receiver Sam Hurd limped off with a foot/ankle injury during practice, but after icing for a few minutes he walked back to the sideline without a limp.ŸFollow Bob’s Bears reports via Twitter @Bob LeGere and check out our Bear Essentials blog at dailyherald.com.

  •  
    Associated Press Chicago Cubs' Alfonso Soriano hits a solo home run in the sixth inning against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday in Chicago.

    Homers help Cubs beat Nationals

    Reed Johnson, Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto each homered Wednesday night and the Chicago Cubs kept up their power surge in a 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals.

  •  

    Orioles beat Sox with two-run homer in 10th

    Nolan Reimold hit a two-run homer off Jason Frasor in the 10th inning, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the White Sox 6-4 Wednesday night to end Chicago's five-game winning streak.

  •  
    Fans gather outside Wrigley Field for the unveiling ceremony of the Ron Santo statue.

    Winning evening for Santo

    The Cubs unveiled a stunning likeness of Ron Santo in statue form Wednesday outside of Wrigley Field. Santo's former teammates as well as many members of the current Cubs team attended the pregame ceremony.

  •  
    Head coach Randy Kuceyeski talks to the team during the first day of football practice Wednesday at Libertyville High School. Kuceyeski is retiring at the end of this season.

    Libertyville greets challenging season with hard work

    Libertyville High School began fall football practice aiming to meet some big challenges. The Wildcats would love to win a conference title this fall, especially as longtime head coach Randy Kuceyeski continues to coach while battling cancer.

  •  
    Lake Villa resident Felicia Stancil, an incoming junior at Grayslake North, recently won her 10th world title in BMX racing.

    Stancil’s priority is BMXcellence

    Despite winning her 10th world title July 28, when she captured the BMX World Cup in Copenhagen, Denmark, and despite her 18 national championships overall, Felicia Stancil is hungry for more.

  •  

    72-year-old jockey Cruguet won’t ride

    Team Legends took a big hit Wednesday when it was announced that 72-year-old Jean Cruguet wouldn’t be competing in Friday’s running of the Arlington Jockey Challenge due to an illness.orse racing stories, photos and graphics

  •  
    Mike Thomas

    Illinois’ new AD Mike Thomas has history of success

    Illinois hired the University of Cincinnati's Mike Thomas on Wednesday to replace Ron Guenther as athletic director. Considering Thomas succeeding wildly when he hired Brian Kelly for U of C, what might his arrival mean to Ron Zook and Bruce Weber?

  •  

    Billo stays stingy for Cougars

    Greg Billo pitched was perfect through 5 innings Wednesday night as the Kane County Cougars cruised past the Peoria Chiefs 6-0 at Elfstrom Stadium.

  •  
    Fans gather near a staute of former Chicago Cub player and broadcaster Ron Santo after its unveiling before the Chicago Cubs played the Washington Nationals on Wednesday in Chicago. Santo died in December 2010.

    Santo’s statue on display at Wrigley

    The Chicago Cubs unveiled a statue of Ron Santo during a pregame ceremony outside of Wrigley Field on Wednesday honoring the beloved player and broadcaster who died last winter.

  •  
    Tex Winter is honored during a halftime ceremony at a Kansas State game last November.

    Ex-Bulls assistant Winter finally a Hall of Famer

    Jerry Krause, a vocal supporter of Tex Winter’s inclusion in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, ranks Winters among the great basketball minds. “If Tex had been a biology teacher, he would have gotten the Nobel Prize,” Krause said.

  •  

    Martz likes Bears’ offensive ‘depth’

    The Bears' starting offense looks a lot different than it did at the end of the 2010 season, but coordinator Mike Martz is excited about the changes.

  •  

    Soon enough, Bears will claim line better without Kreutz

    At the first sign of opportunity, expect Bears brass to crow about their new offesnive line, and let you know how smart they were to let Olin Kreutz walk.

  •  

    The potential roadblock to the three-peat

    As practice for the 2011 football season begins in DuPage County, the storylines remain similar to the end of the 2010 season. For starters, the rivalry between two-time defending Class 7A state champion Wheaton Warrenville South and Glenbard West continues with immediacy. The perennial powers meet in the regular-season opener for the first time since 2006 in a game to be nationally broadcast on ESPN2 at 11 a.m. Aug. 28.

  •  
    Running back Parker Woodworth takes a handoff during the first day of football practice for Geneva High School at the former Broadview Academy site in La Fox Wednesday.

    Plenty of storylines to follow heading into new season

    Football practice opened Wednesday, and in 15 short days Friday night lights will return with season openers around the area. From that Friday, Aug. 26, until Week 9 of the regular season on Oct. 21, teams will battle to be first and bring home a conference championship as Geneva did last year and has the past seven. There’s no doubt who was first on the practice field Wednesday, and that would be Brian Casey’s Chargers in his second year as Aurora Central coach.

  •  
    Junior quarterback Garrett Ryan runs through drills with his teammates Wednesday at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville.

    Football practice begins in the Fox Valley

    Football practice opened for high school teams throughout Illinois Wednesday, including the 13 programs in the Fox Valley from Bartlett to Crystal Lake. Change is inevitable as time marches on. Accordingly, three area teams have new faces at the helm: Former Grayslake coach and Glenbrook North assistant Vito Andriola seeks to build a winning tradition as the new leader of the Dundee-Crown Chargers.Rich Crabel now directs the Rockets of Burlington Central, who have missed the playoffs three straight years after slumping to 8-19. And former Cary-Grove sophomore coach Brad Seaburg steps into the big shoes left by highly successful, now-retired coach Bruce Kay.

  •  

    Northwest notes / Plenty of opening changes

    Football notes from the Northwest suburbs including opening-night schedule changes, Fremd's celebration of 26 of its greatest players and events being held by Barrington.

  •  
    Rolling Meadows offensive line coach Jim Rucks, left, and new head coach Matt Mishler work with Nick Leidecker during Wednesday’s practice. Mishler played quarterback for Rucks at Hoffman Estates.

    New faces ready to keep rivalry relevant

    The Prospect-Rolling Meadows football rivalry takes a new twist with two new coaches in Mike Sebestyen at Prospect and Matt Mishler at Meadows.

  •  
    A 7-pound largemouth bass recently caught (and released) at Bangs Lake in Wauconda shows this body of water is regularly producing big fish.

    Mike Jackson on Bangs Lake’s big bass

    Bangs Lake, a favorite of Daily Herald outdoors columnist Mike Jackson, is producing bigmouth bass with regularity this summer.

  •  
    Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly says the offensive line is one of the team’s strengths this season.

    Irish have experience on offensive line

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Everywhere Trevor Robinson looks, he sees familiar faces. And for the veteran Notre Dame guard, that’s really a good thing.For Notre Dame to get where it wants to go this season — a BCS bowl — the Irish will rely on an offensive front that returns four starters. On the day before camp began last week, Coach Brian Kelly quickly pointed to the line as one of the team’s strengths.“There are times where it’s tough for an offensive lineman to be a team leader. Just by the nature of what you do,” Robinson said. “It’s kind of a point we want to get to. We know we can be successful and we want to be the group that takes the team to success.”Robinson, who has made 27 starts as he enters his fourth season, will be joined by three other returning starters — center Braxston Cave and tackles Zack Martin and Taylor Dever. The only missing piece from last season is left guard Chris Stewart, who played a year ago while attending law school and has used up his eligibility.The Irish have veterans ready to step in for Stewart in fifth-year senior Andrew Nuss, who played in 13 games a year ago and can also play tackle, and Chris Watt, who can play guard or center.“This is the most continuity we’ve had from year to year since I’ve been here,” Robinson said, crediting the system that Kelly implemented upon his arrival in December 2009. “Everything was different and now everything is almost the same. ... Where we are now compared to where we were last year, it’s really night and day.”The Irish allowed only 20 sacks through 13 games a year ago in a spread offense in which the quarterback is often moving.Robinson and his buddies will be blocking for the likes of Cierre Wood and Jonas Gray when the season opens Sept. 3 against South Florida. On Wednesday, the Irish put on their pads and concentrated on the running game. Kelly said it was obvious that his two most experienced quarterbacks, Dayne Crist and Tommy Rees, were ahead of sophomore Andrew Hendrix and freshman Everett Golson in this segment of practice. Kelly hopes to announce his starter after the first 19 practices, which would fall around the third week of August.“Everett and Andrew would obviously show better if we were just playing faster,” Kelly said. “And right now Dayne and Tommy have shown the ability to play smarter, getting into the right run checks, making sure that we’ve got the right plays called. ... Those guys have pushed themselves up a little bit because of the way we are playing right now.”

  •  
    Jerry Kill, Minnesota’s new coach, has taken careful steps to instill a sense of discipline in his players and a sense of connection from the alumni and fans.

    Kill starts from ground up with Gophers

    MINNEAPOLIS — Jerry Kill has spent the better part of a busy nine months putting his personal touch on the struggling Minnesota program.Now he’s arrived at the fun part: actually coaching football.MarQueis Gray is taking over as the starting quarterback, one of the few certainties surrounding this year’s team. Before Kill will set starting lineups and discuss some of the competitions taking place at various positions, he’s focused on simply getting the guys to play, study and act the right way.Kill has said more than once after taking over that he has a lot of work to do to turn the Gophers around.

  •  
    A flag flies over the stands Wednesday on the 18th hole during a practice round for the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Ga.

    Woods in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons

    JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Even as he took the high road Wednesday in a nasty split with his longtime caddie, Tiger Woods lowered his standard of success on the eve of the PGA Championship.It wasn’t long ago that Woods said it couldn’t be a great year without winning a major.Now he would consider the year a success because he no longer hurts.To be clear, he is thinking only about winning when the PGA Championship gets under way Thursday in the stifling heat at Atlanta Athletic Club. That much hasn’t changed, and probably never will.Asked for a realistic expectation in the final major — remember, this is only his third time teeing it up since April and he hasn’t won any tournament in 21 months — Woods said a “W.”“Do you want me to elaborate?” he added. “A nice W.”But he sounded as though he were looking at the bigger picture. Success is measured differently these days because of injuries to his left knee and Achilles tendon that have made it difficult to walk, play and even practice as much as he would prefer. At least now he is able to hit balls as long as he wants after his rounds. He no longer has to put ice on his leg.For Woods, that’s a victory in itself.And that’s why when asked if the season could end without a win and still be a success, Woods replied, “Yeah.”“In order to win, I had to be healthy,” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to get to. Now I can go. Now I can do the work. I can do the practice sessions, and I think that’s the only way that my game will get to where I need to get to.”He doesn’t seem to be going anywhere at the moment.Woods remains the central figure at the PGA Championship, as he has been at the majors since his career began, only this time it’s for all the wrong reasons. If it’s not the longest drought of his career, or a bum leg that kept him out of the last two majors, the latest soap opera involves his ex-caddie.Steve Williams, whom Woods fired last month, is now working for Adam Scott and took a dig at Woods on Sunday when his new boss won a World Golf Championship at Firestone. Williams, on the bag for 13 of Woods’ majors, called it the “best win” of his career.Woods refused to nibble.“I was happy to see Stevie and Adam win,” Woods said, adding that he sent Williams a “nice text” after the round. Then there was the photo taken Tuesday of Williams and Mark Steinberg, Woods’ agent, having a chat under a tree (next to a fire hydrant, of all things). Woods confirmed they spoke, offering no other details.He later said any text messages between him and Williams were private, and asked what caused Williams to sound so motivated, Woods said he wasn’t going to speculate.Williams, meanwhile, posted a statement on his website — he also is a race car drive in New Zealand and runs a charity — that he was surprised to be interviewed after the round at Firestone and his emotions got the best of him.“I apologize to my fellow caddies and professionals for failing to mention Adam’s outstanding performance,” Williams said. “I would like to thank all those fans at Firestone who made this victory the most special of my career.”So if nothing else, the “best win” was downgraded to “most special.”None of this matters to the other players at Atlanta Athletic Club, least of all U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy. The 22-year-old from Northern Ireland is among the favorites as he tries to turn a great year into a stupendous one.McIlroy, who made it clear at the British Open last month that he prefers to play when it’s warm, sunny and 80 degrees, must really love Atlanta. It’s hot, sunny and pushing 100. The kid had a four-shot lead going into the final round of the Masters, and shattered the scoring record when he won the U.S. Open at Congressional. As for the PGA?“I felt as if this and the Masters would probably be the two that suited me most,” McIlroy said.

  •  

    Mike Jackson’s weekly fishing outlook

    With cooler air temperatures now upon us in the area, outdoors writer Mike Jackson says he expects to see more fishermen out on the water. Local angling results have been outstanding, with excellent catches of bass and large panfish.

  •  
    Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew says he won’t apologize for critical comments he posted on his Twitter account about Bears quarterback Jay Cutler last January.

    Jones-Drew won’t apologize for Cutler tweets

    Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who essentially called Bears quarterback Jay Cutler a quitter in a Twitter message after the NFC championship game last January, says he won't apologize for his remarks.

  •  
    After Sunday’s 4-2 loss Sunday at Vancouver, the Chicago Fire has been outscored by expansion teams 9-4 this season, and has managed only two wins in its last 22 games. The Fire’s Patrick Nyarko, left, took a ball to the face as he battled Vancouver’s Jordan Harvey on Sunday.

    After 14 seasons of soccer, Fire has finally hit bottom

    After Sunday’s embarrassing 4-2 loss at expansion Vancouver, the Chicago Fire Soccer Club has just two victories in 22 games and may have reached the lowest point in the team's 14-season history.

Business

  •  
    Specialist Stephen Steinthal works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday. If he looks perplexed, maybe it’s because the market has been a roller-coaster of unpredictability the last several days.

    Dow plunges 519 points amid European worries

    Stocks slid, dragging the Dow Jones Industrial Average to the lowest level since September 2010, and Treasuries rose for a third day amid concern the European sovereign debt crisis is worsening. The Dow sank 519.83 points, or 4.6 percent, to 10,719.94 at the close in New York.

  •  

    Stocks plunge as attention returns to weak economy

    NEW YORK — Stocks plunged again Wednesday as investors turned their attention back to the weak economy and Europe’s debt problems. More than half of the big gains that followed a Federal Reserve pledge to extend super-low interest rates vanished. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 232 points, or 2.1 percent, to 11,007 in afternoon trading. The average plummeted more than 300 points within minutes of the opening bell and was down as many as 468 points by late morning.On Tuesday, the Dow gained 429 points after the Fed said it planned to keep interest rates extremely low at least through the middle of 2013. It was the first time the Fed announced such a timetable. But the day’s gains were likely just a blip caused by computerized trading based on programs that dictate when to buy or sell, some investors and analysts said. The rally was “so unbelievably fast, it’s as though every computer on Wall Street hit the point where the program said `buy, buy, buy, buy, buy’,” said Daniel Alpert, managing partner of investment bank Westwood Capital. “Machines don’t read Fed announcements, people do — and they were reacting in a negative way.” That was more evident Wednesday, as investors focused on the Fed’s pessimistic assessment of the economy: The central bank expects it to stay weak for at least two more years.“Now it gets back to the fundamentals” of the economy, said Mark Lamkin, founder of Lamkin Wealth Management, which manages $250 million. The Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 13 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,160. The Nasdaq fell 24, or 1 percent, to 2,458. Gold rose above $1,800 per ounce for the first time as money poured into investments considered safe at a volatile time for the financial markets. Gold was up $41.70 per ounce to $1,784.90 in afternoon trading after earlier climbing as high as $1,801.The 10-year Treasury note, which has also served as a haven, also rose sharply. Its yield fell to 2.20 percent from 2.26 percent late Tuesday. It had reached a record low of 2.03 percent on Tuesday. A bond’s yield falls when its price rises.Investors have bought U.S. government debt even after S&P stripped the United States of its top credit rating, AAA, late last week.On top of concerns about the U.S. economy, attention is still on Europe, where investors worry that Italy and Spain may be the next countries unable to repay their debts. The European financial system has been battered by fears about banks’ holdings of bonds issued by heavily-indebted countries, such as Greece and Portugal. This week, those concerns have evolved into fears about banks’ exposure to other banks, analysts say. Societe Generale, France’s second largest bank, was down more than 20 percent at one point.“It’s the same game of Old Maid playing out in Europe that was played out here during the subprime mortgage crisis,” said Quincy Krosby, an economist and market strategist with Prudential financial. As the contagion hits ever-larger countries, such as France, “the ramifications for the banks are more detrimental,” Krosby said.In Asia, the concern is that higher inflation in China could lead to slower growth. China, Brazil and other less-developed countries have provided the strongest economic growth since the world began to recover from recession in 2009.Financial stocks led the U.S. market lower. Bank of New York Mellon Corp. fell 6.8 percent after it said it will cut 1,500 jobs, or about 3 percent of its global work force, to lower costs. As a group, financial stocks in the S&P 500 fell 5.4 percent, the biggest decline of the 10 industries that make up the index.

  •  

    Italian borrowing costs drop sharply in auction

    Italian borrowing costs drop sharply in auctionMILAN (AP) — The Italian Treasury saw borrowing costs drop sharply in its latest bond sale Wednesday.Italy easily raised (euro) 6.5 billion ($9.27 billion) through the sale of 12-month bonds. Yields dropped to 2.9 percent from 3.67 percent a month ago.Demand was nearly double the offer, compared with a 1.5 percent cover rate last month.Pressure on Italian yields has eased this week as the European Central Bank began buying the country’s debt in the secondary markets, bringing the 10-year spread between Italian bonds and the German bund below 280 basis points. It had risen some 100 basis points higher.Italy previously canceled the mid-August medium- and long-term bond auction due to a favorable cash position and reduced funding needs.

  •  

    Commerzbank takes $1.1 billion Greek writedown

    FRANKFURT, Germany — Germany’s Commerzbank AG reported Wednesday that net profit fell sharply in the second quarter as the bank wrote down (euro) 760 million ($1.1 billion) in bonds issued by financially troubled Greece.The bank otherwise showed improved results from trading securities and from its business financing medium-sized companies in a growing German economy.Net profit fell to (euro) 53 million from (euro) 361 million in the same quarter a year ago.The bank took the large writedown on Greek bonds effective June 30, the last day of the quarter. The Greek government has asked bondholders to take new bonds with longer maturity and lower interest as part of its effort to solve its debt crisis. That exchange is expected to reduce bond value by 21 percent.Financial institutions agreed to the exchange plan as creditors’ contribution to a second, (euro) 109 billion bailout of Greece by eurozone governments aimed at solving the country’s financial problems and preventing them from spreading to other countries. An earlier (euro) 110 billion package of bailout loans last year failed to put the country back on its feet.Frankfurt-headquartered Commerzbank had the biggest holdings of Greek debt among German commercial banks with (euro) 3.0 billion as of the end of last year. German competitor Deutsche Bank AG also wrote down Greek bonds during the second quarter by (euro) 155 million.Commerzbank showed improvement in other areas thanks to Germany’s growing economy. It was able to reduce set-asides for bad loans to (euro) 278 million from (euro) 639 million a year ago, and the bank’s business focusing on small and medium-sized German companies increased its operating earnings 29 percent to (euro) 501 million.Income from trading securities rose 82 percent to (euro) 576 million.“The core bank segments performed gratifyingly,” CEO Martin Blessing said in a statement. “This demonstrates that the efforts we have made over the past two years have resulted in an efficient business model.”The bank raised (euro) 11 billion in new capital during the quarter and used other available capital to repay (euro) 14.3 billion in government aid it received during the financial crisis. The government’s rescue fund retains a 25 percent stake.Commerzbank shares rose 2.6 percent to (euro) 2.19 in mid-morning trading German time.

  •  

    Fitch downgrades Cyprus credit rating to BBB

    The Fitch ratings agency has downgraded Cyprus’ credit rating by two notches to BBB with a negative outlook, leaving it two notches above junk status.Wednesday’s downgrade from A- came after a similar move in May, when the agency cut the Mediterranean island’s rating by three notches due to Cypriot banks’ exposure to Greek sovereign debt.Fitch said Wednesday’s move reflected “actual and anticipated fiscal slippage” and its expectation that the country will be unable to raise funds on the international debt market to refinance its debt.

  •  

    Bank of England cuts growth forecast

    LONDON — The Bank of England has downgraded its growth forecast for 2011, blaming a deteriorating global economy.The Bank said Wednesday in its quarterly inflation report that it now predicted growth of 1.4 percent this year but that it would rise to an annual rate of around 2.7 percent in two years time.It says inflation in Britain has a “good chance” of hitting 5 percent this year as higher utility bills feed through but that it will likely fall back sharply next year.Though inflation is well above the Bank’s 2 percent target, rate-setters have kept the main interest rate unchanged at the record low of 0.5 percent as economic growth remains subdued, especially at a time when the government is enacting big austerity measures.The Bank warned in its report that “the squeeze in households real incomes is likely to continue to weigh on domestic demand.”Governor Mervyn King said the biggest risks for the world economy are coming from the eurozone, which is grappling with a severe debt crisis that has already seen three countries bailed out and has recently threatened Italy and Spain.King said the Bank has room to ease monetary policy further, including expanding its asset purchase program. On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve said it would also consider a further monetary stimulus if the economy continued to be weak.

  •  
    Abbott said it has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for a new renal stent for the treatment of renal artery stenosis .

    Abbott receives FDA approval for renal stent system

    Abbott said it has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the RX Herculink Elite Renal Stent System for the treatment of renal artery stenosis -- narrowing of the main arteries supplying blood to the kidneys -- in patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure.

  •  
    Bank of America Corp. won a $5.2 million judgment against Irish developer Garrett Kelleher and his Shelbourne Development Group Inc. for defaulting on a loan for the planned 150-floor Chicago Spire condominium tower.

    BofAmerica wins $5.2 M in Chicago 'Spire' default case

    Bank of America Corp. won a $5.2 million judgment against Irish developer Garrett Kelleher and his Shelbourne Development Group Inc. for defaulting on a loan for the planned 150-floor Chicago Spire condominium tower.

  •  

    Column Technologies to partner with Aveksa

    Column Technologies announced a global strategic alliance with Aveksa, a provider of enterprise Access Governance automation solutions. Under the terms of the agreement, Column Technologies will resell Aveksa’s Access Governance automation solutions as part of its IT Service Management solution and services offerings

  •  

    TOMY International Acquires Boon Inc. and Keen Distribution
    TOMY International said it has acquired Boon, Inc. and Keen Distribution LLC. Boon/Keen is a privately-held, developer, marketer and distributor of innovative mother, infant and toddler products.

  •  

    Old Second Bancorp named a Healthiest Company for 2nd year

    For the second consecutive year, Old Second Bancorp has been named one of The Healthiest Companies in America.The 2010 group of 44 companies out of 1,200 is recognized to have significantly reduced health care costs through

  •  

    Pay TV industry loses record number of subscribers

    The weak economy is hitting Americans where they spend a lot of their free time: at the TV set.They're canceling or forgoing cable and satellite TV subscriptions in record numbers, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of the companies' quarterly earnings reports.

  •  
    The weak economy is hitting Americans where they spend a lot of their free time: at the TV set.

    Pay TV industry loses record number of subscribers

    The weak economy is hitting Americans where they spend a lot of their free time: at the TV set. They're canceling or forgoing cable and satellite TV subscriptions in record numbers, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of the companies' quarterly earnings reports.

  •  
    Baby boomers have increasingly sought help with their 401(k) planning, and that helps improve their accounts' annual return.

    Boomers quickly change 401(k) accounts, but should they?

    Baby boomers who thought their 401(k) had recovered from the 2008 crash made big switches after Monday. “A lot of people say I can't handle that again,” one expert said. But most 401(k) accounts typically fare better than the broader market in a downturn.

  •  
    Wholesale companies added to their stockpiles of autos, machinery and computers in June. Inventories rose for the 18th consecutive month and sales rebounded after a May decline.

    Wholesale inventories rose in June for 18th month

    Wholesale companies added more autos, machinery and computers to their stockpiles in June, pushing inventories up for the 18th consecutive month.

  •  
    Capital One Financial Corp. said Wednesday that it will buy the U.S. credit card arm of Britain's HSBC for a premium of about $2.6 billion as a way to expand its domestic credit card business.

    Capital One to buy HSBC U.S. credit card arm

    Capital One Financial Corp. said Wednesday that it will buy the U.S. credit card arm of Britain's HSBC for a premium of about $2.6 billion as a way to expand its domestic credit card business.

  •  

    Oil above $82 as Fed pledges low rates to 2013

    Oil prices rose above $82 a barrel Wednesday in Europe after the U.S. central bank said it will keep lending rates at record low levels for the next two years.

  •  
    La Puesta del Sol restaurant in Elgin is closed — for now.

    Elgin restaurant closed, but maybe not for long

    La Puesta del Sol Mexican restaurant closed its doors Sunday in Elgin but it will probably be more of a break than a true goodbye. Joey Diaz, a co-owner of the business, said the goal is to restructure the business strategy and cut down costs as much as possible before potentially reopening sometime in November.

  •  
    Macy's Inc. reported a 64 percent increase in its second-quarter profit as its strategy of tailoring merchandise to local markets is helping to overcome an overall sluggishness in the economy. The department store chain is also boosting its full-year profit outlook.

    Macy's 2Q profit surges, boosts yearly outlook

    Macy's Inc. reported a 64 percent increase in its second-quarter profit as its strategy of tailoring merchandise to local markets is helping to overcome an overall sluggishness in the economy. The department store chain is also boosting its full-year profit outlook.

  •  

    U.S. stock futures fall after best day since 2009

    U.S. stock futures are falling in the wake of the market's best day since 2009. Stocks surged Tuesday after the Federal Reserve pledged to keep its key interest rate at nearly zero into 2013. The central bank also said it considered other "policy tools" to spur economic growth.

Life & Entertainment

  •  
    The unhandymen-themed show debuts Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Central Time

    Craftsman plans reality show on nhandyman with no tool skills

    If you don't know the difference between a hammer and a plumb bob, a monkey wrench and vice grips, you may be the exact person Craftsman tools is looking for for their new reality show that thrusts unhandymen into difficult, possibly dangerous situations with nothing but a little training and a bevy of, you guessed it, Craftsman tools.

  •  
    Comic and sci-fi fans crowd a previous edition of Wizard World Chicago Comic Con. The 2011 edition makes a stop this weekend at Rosemont's Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.

    Rosemont under siege by Comic Con fans

    The biggest pop culture convention in the suburbs returns this weekend. Guests for Chicago Comic Con in Rosemont include Bruce Campbell ("Evil Dead"), Patrick Stewart ("Star Trek") and an Arlington Heights man with a rare comics collection.

  •  
    An executive producer for “American Idol” announced Wednesday that Jennifer Lopez will return as a judge for another season of the reality singing competition series.

    ‘Idol’ producer says Lopez will return as judge

    An executive producer of the hit musical reality TV show “American Idol” says celebrity judge Jennifer Lopez will return for another season. Lopez hasn’t said anything.

  •  
    Starring as Jedi master Shaak Ti in two "Star Wars" films changed Orli Shoshan's life. The Chicago actress appears this weekend at Comic Con in Rosemont.

    The force still with Chicago's Orli Shoshan

    Chicago's Orli Shoshan didn't realize that when she auditioned for a role in a “Star Wars” movie, she was making a deal for life. “With some jobs, you do it, get paid and then move on and forget about it,” said Shoshan, who starred as Jedi master Shaak Ti. “‘Star Wars' is different. I live it now.”

  •  
    Cartoonist Nate Powell will appear at the Chicago Comic Con with his new book, “Any Empire.”

    Local artists at Comic Con draw outside superhero realm

    Most of the comics creators at this weekend's Chicago Comic Con specialize in superhero stories, but there will be a few, like Nate Powell and Chicago's own Ivan Brunetti, who explore much different topics in their work.

  •  
    Smoothies filled with empty calories leave you wanting more, but throw in spinach, yogurt or cottage cheese, fruit and flaxseed and you have a healthful snack.

    Blending up the nutrients in easy smoothies

    Whipping up a quick smoothie is a fun way to slip in some nutrients and an easy way to use up any lingering fruits about to spoil. However, with the overload of smoothie options from bars to McDonalds to pre-made mixes, not all smoothies are made equal. Fruit smoothie bars can top the charts around 600-900 calories yet still leave your kids hungry and looking for more.

  •  
    Fire & Ice Melon Salad relies on cilantro and ginger, not salt, for seasoning.

    Herbs, spices boost flavor sans the sodium

    How much sodium do you consume each day? Most likely, too much. Summer is a great time to get into the habit of putting down the salt shaker. It's easy now because so many fresh, garden-grown herbs are available. At first you might miss the salt, but over a few weeks you'll grow to enjoy the lively flavors of herbs and spices.

  •  

    DVD set marks 10th anniversary of 9/11

    A new DVD collection recalls the events of Sept. 11 as America moves toward the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

  •  
    Steve Carell and Julianne Moore are shown in a scene from “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” When Carell's character learns that his wife (Moore) has cheated on him, they split and he starts sleeping all over town. But he, taking inspiration from his young son, eventually realizes his true love for his wife and their reunion seems promising.

    In movies, no marriage woes are irreconcilable

    Hollywood adheres to many clichés, but one of its more interesting habits is its insistence on reuniting divorced or separated parents. On the big screen, exes are magnetically pulled together, much to the glee of their children.

  •  
    courtesy of PBteen.com When kids outgrow the room of their youth, they look for an arrangement that provides a hangout space.

    Tweens look for easy-to-switch style changes

    Who doesn't love a change, especially when it means looking at old spaces in a new way? Kids who are older than tots but not quite teens particularly like this idea. No longer young enough to appreciate the paper plane mobiles and peony-painted walls of a primary space, these youngsters crave ways to define their bedrooms with unique and innovative updates.

  •  
    Jockey William T. Buick won the 2010 Arlington Million riding Debussy. The Arlington Million returns to Arlington Park on Saturday, Aug. 13.

    Best bets: Ride, jockey, ride!

    High-stakes horse racing returns to Arlington Park with the Arlington Million. If that's not your speed, take in the Tall Ships, as they meander toward Navy Pier.

  •  
    Dennis Edward and Lucy Zukaitis star in Janus Theatre's production of “The Importance of Being Earnest.” It's running in repertory this summer with “Twelfth Night.”

    Decade-old dream realized for Janus founders

    When Terry Domschke co-founded Janus Theatre with Sean Hargadon 10 years ago, they dreamed of running two full-length shows at once in what is called rotating repertory. They finally get their chance with both Oscar Wilde's “The Importance of Being Earnest” and William Shakespeare's “Twelfth Night” sharing the stage on a rotating basis in Elgin.

  •  
    The Cowsills enjoyed a meteoric rise in the 1960s and were the inspiration for “The Partridge Family” television show.

    Cowsills to perform after documentary screening

    The surviving members of The Cowsills are scheduled to perform Wednesday evening in Providence, R.I. It’s a rare onstage reunion in the state where they saw their beginnings.

  •  
    An attack Sunday left Gavin DeGraw with a broken nose, a concussion and other injuries.

    Gavin DeGraw home from hospital after NYC beating

    Singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw has been released from a New York City hospital after an attack that left him with a broken nose, a concussion and other injuries. DeGraw tweeted Tuesday afternoon that he didn’t remember much of Sunday’s beating.

  •  

    First day of senior year: beginning of the end
    My oldest child, Haley, is entering her senior year in high school. I'm not ready. The moment you become a parent, you know these days are coming. The end of days. You don't think of it then, and you really don't think about it much between then and the moment it hits you square in the face.

  •  
    “If I Could Keep You Little” by Marianne Richmond, 2010, Sourcebooks, $15.99, 32 pages.

    Whether you want to freeze or hurry up time, this book’s for you

    Big Kids are so lucky, and you wish you were one of them. Chances are, your Mama doesn’t, though. She wishes you could be a baby forever, but in the new book “If I Could Keep You Little” by Marianne Richmond, you’ll both see that, if that would happen, you’d miss out on a lot of things.

  •  

    A mom’s point of view: Outsourcing parenting: Knowing when to step back

    Is it bad parenting to offer to pay your older child $10 to teach your younger child how to ride a two-wheeler? My friend did this, and I was tempted at first to judge her for being a lazy parent.

  •  
    Christopher Hankins Dried mango and pineapple mix with M&Ms and flaked coconut for an after-school snack everyone can enjoy.

    Tropical Trail Mix
    Tropical Trail Mix: Jerome Gabriel

  •  

    Quick Caramel Brownies
    Caramel Brownies: Erica Varela

  •  

    Banana Nut Bread
    Banana Bread: Erica Varela

  •  

    Baked 5-Cheese Macaroni & Cheese with Bacon
    5-Cheese Mac and Cheese: Erica Varela

Discuss

  •  

    No state subsidies for discrimination

    The state is correct in mandating civil union same-sex couples be treated the same as married couples when state dollars are used to find foster or adoptive homes for children, a Daily Herald says.

  •  

    Mr. Cool turns cold

    President Obama’s communications handicap, his loathing for the pornography of politics, could cost him a second term. Only the GOP can save Obama.

  •  

    When cuts make the vulnerable even more so

    A simplistic philosophy of “shared sacrifice,” focused mainly on cuts in discretionary spending, requires disproportionate sacrifices of the most vulnerable. If religious people do not make this case, it is difficult to determine what distinctive message they offer.

  •  

    Animal control not a drain on taxpayers
    Letter to the Editor: We support the recommendations to increase the amount of veterinary services and establish an advisory board to serve as a resource to Kand County Animal Control. Because of severe municipal budgetary restraints, we do not support a significant expansion of services to municipalities.

  •  

    Society belongs under God’s guidance
    Any society and its members including its governing body that does not place itself under the guidance of our Supreme Being’s moral compass will falter if not fail.

  •  

    Give Congress same rules as rest of us
    Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

  •  

    Cook County a model for austerity
    We are very pleased to see Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle follow through on her promise to lower the county’s high sales tax rate by 0.25 percent. This is great news for retailers and consumers who feel the brunt of that tax every day.

  •  

    Alternative-energy program valuable
    Island Lake letter to the editor: With rising cost of energy alternative energy needs to become more accessible. PACE (property assessed clean energy) programs provide long-term private funding for solar power and energy efficiency, with no burden to taxpayers or ratepayers.

  •  

    Dist. 70 doesn’t need new administrator
    Libertyville letter to the editor: I was shocked to learn that Dist. 70 judged it cost effective to hire a third administrator (a dean!?) to serve and protect three classes at Highland Middle School.

«Jul

Aug 2011

Sep»
S M T W T F S
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31 1 2 3