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Daily Archive : Tuesday August 16, 2011

News

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    Leonard W. Besinger Jr., seen here with his son Leonard W. Besinger III, was killed in a car accident near his home in New Mexico.

    Designer of Meadowdale racetrack dies in car accident

    Leonard Besinger Jr., who designed the Meadowdale International Raceway in Carpentersville, was killed in a car accident Sunday near his ranch in New Mexico.

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    Police: Cary teen stabbed brother in the back

    A 17-year-old Cary boy has been charged as an adult after police said he stabbed his brother in the back in their family home late Tuesday afternoon.

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    Cracking down on fake pot, the government moved to outlaw five chemicals used in herbal blends to make the synthetic marijuana sold in head shops and on the Internet to a growing number of teens and young adults.

    Palatine rejects smoke shop amid synthetic marijuana concerns

    Three mothers of children struggling with drug addiction implored Palatine officials this week to bar a tobacco shop from opening, out of fear their teens and others would have even greater access to a legal herbal incense that mimics marijuana.

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    Edith Westerfeld visited Madison Junior High School in May to thank students, including eighth-graders Annika Lee and Amy Miller, for re-uniting her friend Gerda Katz.

    Naperville students surprised by reunited Jewish refugees

    A group of Naperville students got the surprise of a lifetime when two women they reunited earlier this spring showed up at Madison Junior High School. The women met on board a ship 73 years ago when they were sent to America to escape the Nazis.

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    Naperville redistricting map to be presented by New Year's Eve

    Naperville residents should have a first look at what the five new voting districts could look like by the end of the year.

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    Carpentersville gives feedback on 24-home development

    The Carpentersville village board on Tuesday gave Habitat for Humanity of the Northern Fox Valley permission to create a preliminary plan to build 24 homes on a western fringe near town. But there were a few minor issues trustees raised, ones they said they’ll likely be able to work out.

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    Garibaldi's restaurant in Carpentersville has closed, with its license revoked by the state for failing to pay sales taxes.

    Garibaldi's closed in Carpentersville over unpaid taxes

    The state has shut down Garibaldi's restaurant in Carpentersville because it failed to pay its sales taxes for almost a year, documents show. Garibaldi's restaurant, an Italian eatery on the west side, had been open for 7½ years before its late-July closure.

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    Juan Ocampo of Chicago was charged with felony theft after police said he bought $80,000 in music equipment that was stolen from a band that played at Lollapalooza.

    Lollapalooza band's stolen gear recovered

    The Portland band whose van and trailer full of equipment were stolen after playing at Lollapalooza plans on sending Chicago detectives who recovered more than $80,000 worth of gear a "pile of doughnuts" in gratitude.

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    Explosives unit detonates ‘suspicious' package in Winfield

    A DuPage County explosives unit detonated a suspicious package after a resident found it near Winfield's pedestrian underpass, authorities said Tuesday.

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    The Glen Ellyn Park District board voted Tuesday to authorize temporary repairs to the leaking roof at the Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center.

    Glen Ellyn Park District OKs temporary roof repair

    Glen Ellyn Park District officials have decided on a temporary solution to fix the leaking roof at the Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center. Park board President Melissa Creech said the repairs won't solve all roof problems, but they would mitigate the worst leakage that occurs in the winter.

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    The Lake County Forest Preserve District now has an application available for smartphone users.

    Lake County Forest Preserve District introduces free app

    Nature lovers can now use their smartphones to connect with a new application offered by the Lake County Forest Preserve District. “We want the information to more immediate and useful in the moment,” said Kara Martin, a marketing specialist for the district.

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    John Regan

    Roselle priest avoids prison in gambling scandal

    A DuPage County judge said he aimed to teach a Roman Catholic priest “a little humility” Tuesday in sentencing him to a mix of jail, probation and menial labor for gambling away hundreds of thousands of dollars belonging to a Roselle parish.

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    Arlington Heights to consider waiving permit fees for flood victims

    Waiving permit fees for flooding victims looking to rebuild or repair damaged homes is a good idea, members of the Arlington Heights Village Board agreed this week, but without taking any immediate action on the proposal. The idea came from Rosemary Harth, who said she is the last original resident of the Westgate neighborhood hit by flooding from last month's record rainfall.

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    Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe who is in town shooting the next installment of the “Superman” franchise, stopped by the Batavia Library cafe on Tuesday for lunch.

    Russell Crowe lunches at Batavia Library cafe

    Yes, that really was Russell Crowe having lunch at the Batavia Library Tuesday afternoon, astonishing library employees and patrons. The actor is in the area to film his role as Jor-El in the new "Superman" movie. “He was as cordial and nice as anyone I've ever met,” a library employee said.

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    With the nation preparing to observe the 10th anniversary of hijacked airliners crashing in New York and Washington and along the Pennsylvania countryside, Obama said the government is in a state of heightened awareness.

    Obama: ‘Lone wolf’ terror attack biggest concern

    President Barack Obama said Tuesday that a “lone wolf” terror attack in the U.S. is more likely than a major coordinated effort like the Sept. 11 attacks nearly a decade ago. “The biggest concern we have right now is not the launching of a major terrorist operation, although that risk is always there,” the president said in an interview with CNN.

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    Pingree Grove raises sewer fee, staggers telecom, gas tax

    Tempers flared in Pingree Grove before the board voted to raise residents’ taxes Tuesday night. The village board unanimously voted to raise the sanitary sewer fee to $19.79 a month from $16 a month. Village President Greg Marston cast the tiebreaking vote after the six board members voted 3-3 to stagger telecommunication and natural gas taxes.

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    Dist. 211’s tentative budget in the black

    The $229 million 2011-12 tentative budget to be presented to the Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 board Thursday evening is in the black, with $585,000 in excess revenue over expenditures.

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    Swimmers enjoy Harold Hall Quarry Beach in Batavia in July. The Batavia Park District is ready to fix a water loss blamed for keeping water temperatures too cool for swimmers to enjoy.

    Company chosen to fix leaky Quarry Beach

    The Batavia Park District is raring to go on fixing the leak at Harold Hall Quarry Beach. It hired a construction firm Tuesday night to do the work, and is just waiting on a permit from the state health department to start.

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    Prosecutors said at a status hearing Tuesday that they want to stick with an Oct. 21 sentencing date for Tony Rezko.

    Sentencing still on for Rezko

    A convicted influence peddler remains on track to be sentenced weeks after his one-time benefactor, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Prosecutors said at a status hearing Tuesday that they want to stick with an Oct. 21 sentencing date for Tony Rezko.

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    Houston Astros' J.B. Shuck (8) slides into home plate as Chicago Cubs catcher Koyie Hill chases the ball Tuesday during the seventh inning in Houston. Shuck scored from third base on a Humberto Quintero sacrifice fly.

    Marmol blows 8th save; Houston wins 6-5

    Pinch hitter Brian Bogusevic hit a grand slam in the ninth inning to propel the Houston Astros to 6-5 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night and break a season-long seven game losing streak.

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    Negotiations continue Tuesday with a man on a tower in Tulsa, Okla.

    Tower sitter leaves perch after six days

    A man who scaled an Oklahoma TV tower last week resisted attempts to coax him down Tuesday, as the stalemate lasted into a sixth day.

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    Molly Day takes her sons Brady, 3 and Shane, 11 months, to the voting poll Tuesday at Pleasant Prairie, Wis., Village Hall.

    Wisconsin Democrats keep their Senate seats

    Both of the Democratic Wisconsin state senators up for recall elections have survived.

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    Philip Garcia from Albuquerque was arrested for suspicion of kidnapping. Police say Garcia was thwarted by a man who witnessed a 6-year-old girl being pushed into a van.

    Police: Child abduction thwarted by neighbor

    On one 911 call, a frantic 12-year-old says her little sister is missing. On the other is the wife of the man who would be credited with saving the 6-year-old from every parent’s nightmare.

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    Sidewalk slope causing headache for Cook Memorial board

    The slope of a sidewalk at the recently renovated Cook Park Library in downtown Libertyville is causing a bit of friction between library leaders and the village’s building department. Some measurements have shown a roughly 30-foot-long stretch of sidewalk on the south side of the building is slightly steeper than local building code allows.

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    Nate Smith and his dad Pat Smith, second from right, pose for a photo after the 11-year-old sank a trick shot Thursday during a charity hockey game.

    Impossible $50,000 shot comes with a payoff snag

    An 11-year-old Minnesota boy has made an astounding hockey shot sending a puck into a tiny hole 89 feet away.

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    Paul Douglas Peters, left, of Sydney, Australia, is escorted Tuesday from the Federal Courthouse in Louisville, Ky., after he was arraigned in connection with a bomb hoax in A

    Australian ‘collar bomb’ suspect to stay locked up

    An email address helped lead police all the way from a Sydney suburb to a well-heeled Louisville suburb where they arrested an investment banker, Paul Douglas Peters, and charged him with a fake bomb extortion plot.

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    A flag flies at half-staff Monday near the collapsed stageat the Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis.

    Indiana Fair’s emergency plan one page, lacks details

    An emergency plan outlining what to do if severe weather threatens the Indiana State Fair takes up a single page and does not mention the potential for evacuations.

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    Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry makes a campaign stop Tuesday at the Iowa 80 Group in Walcott, Iowa.

    Perry’s colorful tongue takes the national stage

    Just four days after launching his GOP presidential run, Rick Perry already is showing off a colorful tongue. He may emerge as the most quotable candidate in the Republican field.

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    Edward Hospital to appeal tax exemption denial

    Edward Hospital officials pledged Tuesday to mount a “vigorous defense” against an Illinois Department of Revenue decision to deny the Naperville facility’s property tax exemption. But city officials say the ruling could provide a much-needed shot of additional revenue for Naperville taxing districts.

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    David P. Maish, 40, of Spring Grove, entered a negotiated plea of guilty to reckless homicide and DUI in the Feb. 6 crash on Route 59. A prosecutor said the plea was endorsed by the family of the victim, Santiago “Jimmy” Balderas.

    Victim’s family tells Antioch restaurant owner to ‘honor’ the man he killed

    Antioch restaurant owner David Maish, 40, entered a negotiated plea of guilty to reckless homicide and DUI in a fatal Feb. 6 crash on Route 59 that killed a Round Lake man. A prosecutor said the negotiated plea was endorsed by a family “seeking justice, but has compassion for the defendant and his family.”

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    Winfield’s acting police chief gets job full-time

    A longtime Winfield police officer emerged from a field of more than 100 applicants and will be sworn in Thursday as the new chief of police. Stacy Reever, a 22-year veteran who has served as interim chief since March, will take over the post left vacant when former chief Frank Bellisario retired after 30 years with the department.

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    Investigators study the scene behind an Elk Grove Village restaurant where authorities say a 60-year-old Chicago man attacked two co-workers with a meat cleaver Monday. A judge set bond Tuesday at $100,000 for Xiubin Mei, who is charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery.

    Prosecutor: Fired cook attacked boss with cleaver

    A Chicago man attacked his boss and co-worker with a meat cleaver Monday after being fired from his job as a cook at an Elk Grove Village restaurant, a Cook County prosecutor said. Details of the attack emerged Tuesday during a bond hearing for suspect Xiubin Mei, 60, who faces charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery.

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    Carolyn Cipolletti

    Warren Township woman pleads not guilty in fatal crash

    A Warren Township woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges she was under the influence of drugs when she caused a car crash that killed a 75-year-old Lindenhurst man. Carolyn Cipolletti, 59, is charged with aggravated driving under the influence and reckless homicide in the March 12 crash on Sterns School Road.

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    Elections board continues hearing on Indian Trails

    The State Board of Elections continued a hearing Tuesday afternoon to review Buffalo Grove activist Rob Sherman’s complaint against Indian Trails Public Library District over the campaign for approval of a property tax increase that was narrowly approved in a referendum last spring.

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    DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin says he would like to see the youth home in Wheaton stay open.

    DuPage’s youth home debate continues

    If DuPage County wants to keep its youth home and restore the facility’s award-winning reputation, officials must raise least $630,000 to pay for it, according to the county’s chief judge. And while DuPage Chief Judge Stephen Culliton isn’t taking a position on what should happen to the DuPage County Juvenile Detention Center, others are lobbying against a possible closure of the Wheaton...

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    Fred Crespo

    Quinn to sign mental-health legislation in suburbs

    Gov. Pat Quinn Thursday is expected to be at the Alexian Brothers facility in Arlington Heights to sign legislation that creates a mental health task force.

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    Former Chicago police Lt. Jon Burge was convicted last year of lying about whether he’d ever seen or participated in torture.

    Chicago still paying for police torture claims

    A former Chicago police commander imprisoned for lying about the torture of suspects decades ago is still costing the cash-strapped city money as it defends itself — and him — against lawsuits from men who claim he and his men beat, suffocated and shocked confessions out of them.

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    Raymond Steil, one of the last farmers to till land in the Des Plaines area, died Saturday. He was 97. Steil sold the last part of his Des Plaines area farm in 1961, but continued to farm on property he later bought in Harvard.

    Last of Des Plaines’ farmers dies

    One of the last surviving farmers from the Des Plaines and Niles area, one whose grandparents settled the area before the Civil War, has passed away. Raymond Steil died on Saturday. He was 97.

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    Townships host senior job fair Tuesday

    The Schaumburg and Palatine Township Senior Job Club will meet at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23 at Schaumburg Township Hall, 1 Illinois Blvd. in Hoffman Estates. The company ADP will attend to recruit for various open positions it currently has.

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    Bensenville Fire Chief Mike Spain displays the department’s Helping Hands banner along with the group’s Executive Director Liz Delvalle and President Denise Gallagher. Helping Hands is a volunteer organization that aims to help fire victims with food, clothing and comfort.

    Helping Hands aids Bensenville fire victims

    When the ashes settle and the firefighters leave, some homeowners must pick up the pieces alone after a fire. A group of volunteers called Helping Hands has partnered with the Bensenville Fire Protection District with a mission to change that.

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    Concerns over parking along Lincoln Avenue just north of the former Alcoa Flexible Packaging plant, which has been rezoned to allow a church to move in, could lead to further parking restrictions on narrow streets across town.

    Wheaton to consider new parking restrictions

    A concern over parking at a new church in Wheaton has led to city officials to review parkingon narrow roads throughout the city. Instead of adopting a proposed six-hour closure on Sundays for the church, the city will instead suggest restricting parking 24 hours a day on certain streets.

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    Libertyville police get grant:

    The Libertyville police department has been awarded $7,867 by the Illinois Department of Transportation to fund additional traffic enforcement during the Labor Day “You Drink. You Drive. You Lose” Campaign.

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    Grayslake Central senior in state role:

    Aaron Jackson, a senior at Grayslake Central High School, recently was selected to the Illinois State Board of Education’s State Advisory Council for the 2011-12 academic year.

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    Hoops player out:

    Former Waukegan High School and University of Illinois basketball player Jereme Richmond was released from jail on Friday after posting $10,000 for bond, Lake County jail officials said.

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    Mount Prospect men admit to attacking cabbie

    Two Mount Prospect men admitted beating a cab driver after he drove them from Rolling Meadows to Mount Prospect last month. A Cook County judge sentenced Miguel Salas, 24, to two years in prison and Juan Martinez, 25, to 24 months probation on Tuesday in exchange for their guilty pleas to aggravated battery, a Class 3 felony.

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    District 59 facing nearly $2 million deficit

    Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59 school board recently approved spending roughly $94 million for the 2011-2012 academic year. The plan includes a nearly $2 million deficit.

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    Cook County now plans to transfer the last nine long-term care patients out of Oak Forest Hospital by Sept. 1. The county will start implementing its three-year plan to turn the facility into an outpatient health center.

    State board allows Oak Forest Hospital closing

    A state board agreed Tuesday to allow Cook County to close a South suburban hospital where nine long-term care patients remain and turn the facility into a regional outpatient center.

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    Kane County sees increase in new construction

    New home construction is up for the first time in a long time in Kane County. Officials are feeling so good about the numbers they are preparing to stake more money into farmland preservation.

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    Lowe’s addresses pending orders, rehiring

    Following the abrupt closing of stores in Schaumburg and Elgin, Lowe’s officials Tuesday addressed questions about how customers with pending orders can receive their merchandise, as well as the chances of laid-off employees catching on at other locations.

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    Laurie Rabattini

    Island Lake mayor’s lawsuit dropped

    It's official: The legal battle between Island Lake Mayor Debbie Herrmann and two trustees is over. Less than a week after the village board approved a litany of policy changes that undid much of the actions Herrmann claimed illegally eroded her executive powers, Lake County Associate Judge Mitchell Hoffman on Tuesday dismissed the case.

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    Algonquin attorney indicted in murder-for-hire

    An Algonquin attorney was indicted Tuesday in federal court and charged with using his cellphone and car in what authorities said was a scheme to kill his girlfriend’s ex-husband.

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    Gov. Pat Quinn said Tuesday he sees “serious shortcomings” in a bill to expand gambling. He could use his veto power to suggest changes that would guard against corruption in the new casinos and slot machines.

    Quinn to Emanuel: Don’t count on gambling money

    Gov. Pat Quinn says the plan to expand gambling in Illinois has serious problems, so the mayor of Chicago should be cautious about counting on gambling revenue.

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    Police reports
    A Mesa, Ariz., woman was charged with disorderly conduct Sunday. She is the landlord of a house in the 43W200 block of Empire Road near St. Charles, and the tenants have accused her of twice entering the house without their permission.

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    Quinn defends redistricting as ‘most open’ process

    Gov. Pat Quinn's comments Tuesday came after the League of Women Voters filed a lawsuit claiming the maps are unconstitutional because they assign voters to districts based on their political views and voting histories.

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    In this photo taken Aug. 23, 2010, a kayaker paddles along the Chicago River in Chicago. A new commission will ensure minorities and the poor aren’t disproportionately affected by environmental pollution.

    New law creates environmental justice commission

    The Environmental Justice Act creates a commission that will analyze state laws and policies to ensure no population bears the brunt of pollution risks. The panel will make recommendations to the governor and legislature.

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    A new law creates a task force to make recommended farmers market regulations.

    Governor OKs 2 new farmers market laws

    Quinn signed the measures Tuesday during Agriculture Day at the Illinois State Fair. One law allows certain homemade foods to be sold at farmers markets. The other new law creates a task force to make recommended farmers market regulations.

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    Amber Alvarez

    18 charged in Aurora drug probe

    Authorities have charged 18 people and seized 335 grams of cocaine, 22 grams of cannabis, 2 grams of Ecstasy and two vehicles and in a two-month investigation of drug dealing in Aurora, the city’s police department announced Tuesday.

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    Kelsey Nolan, 17, center, is proud of her sisters, Lindsey, left, and Brittany, for participating in the Rock 'n Roll marathon.

    Teens run to support Down syndrome siblings

    Brittany and Lindsey were among seven siblings of teens with Down syndrome to run in the Chicago Rock 'n' Roll half marathon. “I've never even run a mile before,” concedes Lindsey.

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    Cary school board imposes ‘last-best’ offer for teachers

    The Cary Elementary District 26 school board will impose its last-best contract offer to start the 2011-2012 school year. That means teachers will start the new school year under the conditions of the board's final offer, which includes reductions in retirement and health care benefits, salary freeze and longer school days.

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    Police reports
    Elgin police believe someone may have used a slingshot to shoot rocks at two passing vehicles that sustained damaged windows at about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday at the corner of South and DePaul streets in Elgin, according to police reports. The rear driver’s side window was broken on a Ford Expedition and the front passenger’s side window was broken in the cab of a semi truck, reports said.

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    Find stylish kids’ clothes at Trendy Tots

    A new children’s consignment shop is open along the Randall Road corridor, helping parents save money and maybe make a little money at the same time. Trendy Tots Consignment Shop opened this week at 7020 Huntley Road, Suite 4, in Carpentersville.

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    Many parents will be feeling a rush of emotion as their children return to school, whether it be for their first day of kindergarten or their freshman year of college. Experts say there are several ways for families to ease into the transition.

    Tips to help battle the back-to-school blues

    The Back to School Blues can strike whether your child is going off to kindergarten or to college for the first time. Experts say it's perfectly normal, but they've also got some tips that might get you smiling again.

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    A building was damaged by an explosion at Natural Gas Pipeline of America in Herscher, Ill., Tuesday morning, Aug. 16, 2011. The explosion, during a welding job, injured at least five people, company officials said

    5 injured in Kankakee County plant explosion

    An explosion during a welding job injured five people Tuesday at a gas pipeline company's plant in northeastern Illinois, company officials said.

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    Police investigating Elk Grove crash that injured three

    Elk Grove Village police are investigating the cause of a crash in which two teenagers and a 21-year-old driver were injured after their car struck a tree. No charges have been filed at this time.

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    Lake County sheriff’s deputy injured in Lake Villa crash

    A Lake County sheriff’s deputy suffered minor injuries in a two-car accident while responding to a call near Lake Villa, authorities said. “It could have been a lot worse,” Lake Villa Police Chief Ron Roth said. “But the deputy did a great job of swerving to try and avoid the crash.”

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    Countryside Association expanding Palatine campus

    Countryside Association for People with Disabilities will host a groundbreaking ceremony at its Palatine campus Aug. 26 to mark the start of construction for a $2.5 million, 9,000-square-foot expansion and renovation of Countryside Center.

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    A 21-year-old from Arlington Heights, an 18-year-old from Schaumburg and a 21-year-old from Hoffman Estates were arrested around 12:40 a.m. Aug. 14 in a car at Frontier Park on marijuana possession and alcohol charges.

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Thieves stole 29 cases of beer valued at $350 out of an unlocked delivery truck at the Streamwood Walmart. A security agent recognized the pickup truck as the same one that had been involved in several prior thefts of old batteries.

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Vandals hurled rocks that smashed two large windows at Arlington Car Wash, 2031 N. Rand Road, Palatine, between 10 p.m. Aug. 5 and 7:30 a.m. Aug. 6.

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Wheeling blotter items include:a man lying on the ground exposing himself to a 54-year-old woman jogging in Heritage Park and on thieves who stole copper and aluminum tubing from the air conditioning unit on a village storage building for a loss of $1,200.

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    Edward among 3 hospitals denied property tax exemptions

    The Illinois Department of Revenue has denied property tax exemptions to three hospitals, including Edward Hospital in Naperville and Northwestern Memorial’s Prentice Women’s Hospital, in a move that signals the state’s plans to get tough on nonprofit hospitals that operate more like businesses than charities.

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    A flag flies at half-staff near the collapsed stage Indiana State Fair in Indianapolis where five people were killed Saturday night in the accident.

    Indiana fair officials quiet about stage inspection

    As the Indiana State Fair reopened after a deadly collapse of a concert stage, questions lingered about the structure's safety, why fans weren't evacuated as a storm moved in and whether anything could have been done to prevent the tragedy.

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    Palatine teen charged with attacking woman

    A 16-year-old boy from Palatine has been charged with attempted criminal sexual assault and aggravated battery in connection with an attack on a woman Sunday. Palatine police said he forcefully grabbed the 34-year-old woman, demanded she undress and struck her before she escaped.

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    Round Lake Beach man charged with murder in crash

    A Round Lake Beach man has been charged with reckless homicide and first degree murder for causing a traffic crash in McHenry County on Aug. 8.

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    Retired Army Col. Charles P. Murray Jr., Medal of Honor recipient, dies

    Retired Army Col. Charles P. Murray Jr., who received the Medal of Honor for single-handedly overcoming a force of 200 German soldiers during a World War II battle in France, died Aug. 12 at his home in Columbia, S.C. He was 89 and had congestive heart failure.

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    Ore. mother gets probation in home circumcision

    PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon woman who tried to circumcise her 3-month-old son at home after reading the Old Testament and watching YouTube videos has been sentenced to five years of probation.Keemonta Peterson pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal mistreatment. The 30-year-old Portland woman must also undergo mental health treatment.

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    Slider Frank’s puts a spin on hot dogs

    Columnist Dave Heun says any restaurant with "sliders" in its name has to be a winner, and Slider Frank's on the east side of St. Charles fits the bill, he says.

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    Josh Stumpenhorst, a big believer in the use of technology as a learning tool, moves equipment into his sixth-grade classroom at Lincoln Junior High in Naperville to get ready for the school year.

    Student-directed learning pays off for Naperville students

    Josh Stumpenhorst believes in student-directed learning that aims to stimulate youngsters' curiosity. It seems to be paying off for his sixth-graders at Naperville’s Lincoln Junior High.

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    Dist. 62 to open school year with new look classrooms

    Seeing friends, meeting new teachers and classmates, and finding classrooms are a few of the activities that School District 62 students will encounter on Monday, Aug. 22, the first day of the 2011-2012 school year.

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    Participants in the 2010 Walk included: Back row: Linda Osikowicz, Walt Preucil, Ginger Hellwarth and Grant Hellwarth; front row: James Preucil and Betty Reed.

    Barrington CROP Walk set for Oct. 16

    Representatives of area churches, schools, businesses and civic organizations are preparing for the 29th annual Barrington Area CROP Hunger Walk, an annual community hunger education and fundraising event sponsored by Church World Service.

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    Try tennis for free during Schaumburg Park District’s Play Tennis Schaumburg on Aug. 20.

    Play free at Schaumburg tennis club Aug. 20

    Try tennis for free and learn to rally in one hour! Schaumburg Park District’s Schaumburg Tennis Plus, 1416 N. Payne Road, will host Play Tennis Schaumburg on Aug. 20.

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    Jeremiah Lee Wright, 30, father of 7-year-old Jori Lirette, who was disabled and wheelchair-bound from cerebral palsy and was found decapitated outside his home.

    Police: Disabled La. boy, 7, decapitated by dad

    NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana man told investigators he decapitated his disabled 7-year-old son because he had grown tired of caring for the boy, who had cerebral palsy and heart problems, needed a feeding tube and used a wheelchair, police said.

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    Prison photo of Angel Facio, convicted of attempted murder in the stabbing of Elgin High School teacher Carolyn Gilbert.

    Isolation: The constant for Angel Facio

    He was about to snap. Though he didn't know when, or how. In the months leading up to his stabbing Elgin High School teacher Carolyn Gilbert, Angel Facio said he'd felt angry and alone. "When I stabbed Ms. Gilbert, I stepped away from the church," he said.

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    Belinda Pulver looks at her husband William as he makes a statement regarding the arrest of a 50-year-old man, in Sydney, Australia Tuesday.

    Australian ‘collar bomb’ suspect ordered detained

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. A federal judge has ordered the detention of an Australian man accused of attaching a fake bomb to a teenager’s neck in an extortion ploy until a hearing in October. U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Whalin on Tuesday ordered 50-year-old Paul “Doug” Peters detained pending an extradition hearing set for Oct. 14 in Louisville.

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    EPA awards $2.6M for Great Lakes restoration

    The Great Lakes are getting a boost through more than $2.6 million in grants that have been awarded to protect and restore Lake Michigan.

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    Another West Nile virus case in Will County

    Will County public health officials have turned up another case of West Nile virus-infected insects. For the second time this year, mosquito samples collected in Joliet have tested positive for West Nile virus.

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    Downers Grove native Sean Wallitsch, 27, works as a Hollywood computer effects wizard called a “Flame artist.”

    Downers Grove artist fires up a career in special effects

    Downers Grove native Sean Wallitsch works as a Hollywood Flame artist, but his hot special effects job has nothing to do with fire. “What I really am is a composito," said the artist who worked on "The A-Team."

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    Syrian forces seal off Latakia

    BEIRUT — Syria’s military closed off access to the Mediterranean port of Latakia by land and sea and stormed the suburbs of the city of Homs in an effort to prevent further anti-government protests, activists said Tuesday.

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    Authorities recover a Rembrandt drawing believed to be called “The Judgement” that was stolen Saturday evening from a private art exhibit in California.

    Authorities recover stolen Rembrandt worth $250,000

    MARINA DEL REY, Calif. — It wasn’t some bold theft carried out by burglars breaking into a heavily-fortified museum with high-tech alarms to swipe a masterpiece. It was a low-tech caper involving a distraction, an accomplice or two and a small sketch — an 11-by-6-inch drawing.What was remarkable was the signature on the artwork: Rembrandt.

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    A 16-year-old boy was ordered Tuesday to stand trial for the murder of a retiree attacked when he confronted rioters in London, as British judges and prosecutors used tough punishment and name-and-shame tactics against hundreds of alleged participants in the mayhem.

    Police charge teenager with London riots murder

    LONDON — A 16-year-old boy was ordered Tuesday to stand trial for the murder of a retiree attacked when he confronted rioters in London, as British judges and prosecutors used tough punishment and name-and-shame tactics against hundreds of alleged participants in the mayhem.

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    President Barack Obama’s bus drives among corn fields, Monday, Aug. 15, 2011, as it approaches Decorah, Iowa, during a three-day economic bus tour.

    Obama fences, parries at start of Midwestern tour

    DECORAH, Iowa — President Barack Obama’s Midwestern tour is offering a mix of offense and defense that signals both his governing approach for the remainder of his term and the evolution of a campaign message for his re-election bid.

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    Downstate man burned during wire theft dies

    EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — A southwestern Illinois man has died two months after being severely burned while allegedly trying to steal wire from an Ameren electrical substation.Madison County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Brad Wells says 30-year-old Dusty Austin of Alton died Saturday at a hospital.

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    Jury seated in downstate double-murder trial

    VANDALIA, Ill. — Prosecutors and defense attorneys are ready to address jurors in the murder trial of a southern Illinois teenager accused of gunning down two of his sleeping neighbors in their tiny community.A jury has been seated in Fayette County in the first-degree murder trial of 16-year-old Clifford Baker.

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    Emanuel favors settling police torture lawsuits

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he’s working toward settling a series of civil lawsuits filed over decades-old allegations of torture by Chicago police

  •  
    Maine East students work on the mural.

    Maine East High School unveils new mural at noon

    For a school that prides itself on its ethnic and cultural diversity and its hospitable ambience, it is hard to imagine a much better summer project than this: Maine East High School students painting a mural that greets visitors by proclaiming “Welcome” in more than a dozen languages.

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    Carpentersville seeks former firefighters to attend 9/11 ceremony

    Authorities at the Carpentersville Fire Department are looking for past firefighters to attend the dedication service of the department’s 9/11 memorial. The department will hold its ceremony at 10 a.m. Sept. 11 at 213 Spring St. An open house follows at the fire station. The memorial is dedicated to firefighters who served Carpentersville throughout the 96 years of the department’s existence and...

  •  

    Tae Bo star Blanks leads Libertyville fitness event

    Want to work out with Tae Bo Fitness legend Billy Blanks? The fitness star visits the Libertyville Sports Complex for a series of fitness events, highlighted by his 11th annual Billy Blanks Tae Bo Fitness Challenge Sunday Aug. 21

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    Schaumburg library grant to help small businesses

    Schaumburg Township businesses will benefit from new free resources available from the Schaumburg Township District Library, thanks to a grant from Secretary of State and state librarian Jesse White.

  •  
    Grayslake Colts cheerleaders filled the street last year for the Summer Days parade. The parade steps off at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, from Grayslake Central High School.

    Grayslake’s Summer Days returns with music, parades

    Grayslake’s annual street party returns this weekend in the village’s historic downtown area. Summer Days 2011 will run Friday, Aug. 19 and Saturday, Aug. 20. One of the highlights will be the Saturday evening parade with the theme “Grayslake Summer Days — It’s Electric.”

  •  
    The St. Charles school board addressed a parent's challenge of use of the social studies textbook “Social Studies Alive!” by saying it can say, especially after hearing the book was slated to be replaced in the 2013-14 school year.

    St. Charles District 303 to keep textbook, for now

    St. Charles Unit District 303 school board members decided Monday night to keep using a text that's drawn local and national criticism from conservatives. The “Social Studies Alive!” textbook reads: “Immigrants might have to take jobs no one else wants."

Sports

  •  

    Like White Sox fans, all GM can do is wait

    Tuesday night commenced a 42-game referendum on White Sox GM Kenny Williams’ method of building a ballclub. Jake Peavy, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios are his costly mistakes, at least to this point of this season and their Sox careers. All will be forgiven if the trio contributes big time the rest of the season.

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    Carlos Quentin catches a fly ball in foul territory from Cleveland Indians’ Jason Donald during the third inning Tuesday.

    White Sox finally climb over .500

    A.J. Pierzynski is on the disabled list with a fractured left wrist. The White Sox aren't looking for an outside replacement; Tyler Flowers is getting a shot to show what he can do.

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    The Astros’ Brian Bogusevic delivers a game-winning pinch-hit grand slam off Carlos Marmol in front of Cubs catcher Koyie Hill in the ninth inning Tuesday in Houston.

    Bogusevic’s slam leads Astros past Cubs

    Brian Bogusevic hit a pinch-hit grand slam of Carlos Marmol in the ninth inning to propel the Houston Astros to 6-5 win over the Cubs on Tuesday night.

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    Juan Pierre celebrates his game-winning single off Cleveland’s David Huff, scoring Gordon Beckham in the 14th inning early Wednesday in Chicago. The White Sox won 8-7.

    Pierre lifts White Sox over Indians in 14th inning

    Juan Pierre’s game-ending single in the 14th inning capped a wild, five-hour marathon as the Chicago White Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 8-7 on Tuesday night.

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    Tuesday’s girls golf scoreboard
    Summaries of Tuesday's girls golf meets.

  •  

    Tuesday’s boys golf scoreboard
    Summaries of Tuesday's boys golf results.

  •  
    After leading the team in receiving yards last season, Bears wide receiver Johnny Knox finds himself fighting for playing time with the acquisition of veteran Roy Williams, who was given a spot with the first team offense.

    Bears’ Forte, Knox cast distractions aside

    Matt Forte and Johnny Knox were two of the key performers in the Bears' offense last season, but both are dealing with distractions in training camp by keeping their focus on the field.

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    Burlington Central golfer Matt Weber parlayed a hot start Tuesday

    Burlington Central golfer Matt Weber shot a 66 to medal at the Glenbard North Invite in Glendale Heights Tuesday.

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    Hanie back at No. 2 QB for Bears

    Backup quarterback Caleb Hanie was back with the second team Tuesday night following a one-day benching, but he continued to struggle.

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    Sox united in admiration of Thome

    The White Sox were collectively happy Jim Thome hit his 600th career home run Monday night in the Twins’ win over the Tigers. On the flip side, there was some sadness that Thome didn’t hit the milestone homer when the Sox played in Minnesota the first weekend of August.

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    Tuesday’s Fox Valley roundup

    Hampshire's Connie Ellett fired a high school girls course record of 3-under-par 33 at the Oak Club of Genoa Tuesday.

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    VH’s Dickman off to winning start

    Vernon Hills' boys golf team shot a school-record 295 in winning the Glenbard North invite Tuesday.

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    Rick Rypien was found dead Monday in his Coleman, Alberta, home.

    Rypien dealt with depression

    Rick Rypien was scheduled to fly to Winnipeg on Sunday night to have his knee checked out. He left a message for a Jets official that morning asking whether there was ice he could skate on. But he never boarded the flight.

  •  
    Larry Hight

    Hight steps down as Larkin softball coach

    Larkin softball coach Larry Hight is stepping down from that position after 16 seasons and 304 victories, he announced last week.

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    Record effort from Prospect girls

    Prospect's girls golf team set a school record with a 308-317 win over Loyola at the Mt. Prospect Gollf Course on Tuesday.

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    Wheeling’s boys cross country team prepared for the upcoming season with an all-night relay near Indiana University.

    Wheeling hopes for big benefits from long run

    A group of Wheeling boys cross country runners hope the experience of running a 100-mile relay race this summer helps lead to a successful season.

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    Penn State coach Joe Paterno holds a news conference from his golf cart at the school’s indoor football training facility during media day Tuesday.

    Penn State’s Paterno expects to bounce back

    Joe Paterno says he’s in a little pain after a blindside hit in practice sent him to the hospital, though Penn State’s 84-year-old leader expects to coach from the sideline for the season opener.

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    Ex-Wheeling wrestlers succeed nationally

    Former Wheeling state champion wrestlers Max Nowry and Luke Smith had a big summer on the national level. The Mark Leonhard Alumni Baseball Game is also Saturday at Alexian Field and the Suburban Chicago Connie Mack Baseball League added two teams.

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    New basketball court design for Northwestern

    Northwestern University unveiled its new design today for the basketball court at Welsh-Ryan Arena for the 2011-12 school year. The new design features the Ncat logo at midcourt with the three-point arcs and frame of the court draped in purple.

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    White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski reacts to getting hit by a pitch from Kansas City Royals starter Bruce Chen last Friday. The team put Pierzynski on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured left wrist.

    White Sox put Pierzynski on DL

    The first-place Detroit Tigers added outfielder Delmon Young in a trade from the Twins Monday. On Tuesday, the White Sox lost a key player when workhorse catcher A.J. Pierzynski was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Aug. 13, with a fractured left wrist.

  •  
    Dustin Johnson was all smiles after winning the 2010 BMW Championship golf tournament at Cog Hill’s Dubsdread course last fall. Several PGA Tour pros, however, were critical of the course, particularly of the greens, which prompted owner Frank Jemsek to hire Scott Pavalko to oversee improvements as course superintendent.

    BMW a huge test for Cog Hill’s renovations

    The biggest tournament of Chicago’s golf season is less than a month away, and the pressure is mounting at Cog Hill, which will host its 20th PGA Tour event when the BMW Championship returns Sept. 12-18.

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    Philadelphia Eagles’ Pete Pihos (35) posed in Philadelphia, Pa.. Eagles officials say the Hall of Fame receiver, who helped the team to a pair of NFL championships, died Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011, at a nursing home in Winston-Salem, N.C. He was 87.

    Eagles Hall-of-Fame receiver Pete Pihos dies at 87

    PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Eagles officials say Hall of Fame receiver Pete Pihos, who helped the team to a pair of NFL championships, has died. He was 87.The team says Pihos died early Tuesday at a nursing home in Winston-Salem, N.C., after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.Pihos was a member of the Philadelphia teams that captured consecutive championships starting in 1948. He made the game-winning catch in the 1949 game against the Rams.Pihos finished his nine-year career with 373 catches for 6,519 yards and 61 touchdowns. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970.

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    The Irish-bred Cape Blanco goes through the paces at Arlington Park in preparation for today's Arlington Million. Cape Blanco is the morning-line favorite in the prestigious race.

    Strong international field among Arlington favorites

    Saturday's three Grade I stakes at Arlington Park are billed as the International Festival of Racing, which is fitting since some top international horses are among the morning-line favorites for the Arlington Million, Secretariat and the Beverly D.

Business

  •  
    Scoot ‘n Zoom

    Scoot ‘n Zoom, air pistols recalled

    The following recalls have been announced:AIR PISTOLSDETAILS: Browning 800 Mag Air Pistols imported by Umarex USA Inc. of Fort Smith, Ark.; sold at sporting goods stores and gun shops nationwide from July 2006 through February 2008. The air pistols were manufactured in Turkey.WHY: Under a variety of circumstances, the safety will not prevent the gun from firing, posing a risk of serious injury to the user or bystanders.INCIDENTS: The firm has received one report of the pistol discharging while the safety was engaged. No injuries have been reported. HOW MANY: About 9,500.FOR MORE: Contact Umarex USA 866-503-3389 or visit the firm's website at www.umarexusa.com. CHILDREN'S RIDING TOYDETAILS: Scoot ‘n Zoom children's four-wheel plastic riding toy distributed by Radio Flyer of Chicago, Ill.; sold at retailers nationwide and online at Amazon.com and Target.com from August 2010 through August 2011. The toys were manufactured in the United States.WHY: The riding toys can tip over, allowing a child to fall forward while riding and posing a fall hazard to young children. INCIDENTS: The firm received reports of 10 incidents with six injuries, including three where teeth were loosened or removed, and three with chin lacerations requiring stitches. HOW MANY: About 165,000.FOR MORE: Contact Radio Flyer at 800-621-7613 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday or visit the company's website at www.radioflyer.com.

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    In this May 11 file photo, attendees chat at the Google IO Developers Conference in San Francisco. Google is buying cell phone maker Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., for $12.5 billion in cash.

    S&P says sell Google's shares after Motorola deal

    Standard & Poor's is saying investors should sell Google's stock because it believes the search leader's decision to buy Motorola Mobility increases the risk to the company and its shares.

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    Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., headquartered in Libertyville, has been accused in a lawsuit of not getting enough from Google, which bought the company for $12.5 billion in its biggest deal Monday, gaining mobile patents and expanding in the hardware business.

    Suit against Motorola Mobility: $12.5 bil. from Google too little

    Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. and its chief executive officer, Sanjay Jha, were sued by a shareholder claiming they failed to get the best price when they agreed to sell the company for $12.5 billion to Google Inc. Investor John W. Keating’s complaint, which was filed yesterday at the state courthouse in Chicago, also names Google and nine members of Motorola Mobilty’s board as defendants.

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    President Barack Obama talks with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and his wife, Christie, during the Rural Economic Forum on Tuesday at Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta.

    In Midwest, Obama seeks ideas for jolting economy

    President Barack Obama on Tuesday implored Iowans to share ideas with him about how leaders can give an economic jolt to the nation’s heartland. He promised better days in a time of relentless joblessness, saying, “We’ll get through this moment of challenge."

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    Obama says strong recovery will begin with small businesses

    President Barack Obama told an audience in rural Iowa that the U.S. economy will come back “stronger than before” after the worst recession in decades, as he sought to regain the initiative on the economic debate that likely will dominate the 2012 campaign.

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    Oil Drops as Slowing German Economy Signals Demand May Falter

    Crude oil dropped, bring its decline this month to 9.5 percent, after Germany’s economy almost stalled in the second quarter, bolstering concern that fuel consumption will diminish.

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    Ireland’s noonan welcomes new sarkozy-merkel initiative

    Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said he welcomes an initiative by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to shore up the euro.While Merkel and Sarkozy proposed debt limits to be written into national laws, Noonan said today “any proposal for a constitutional amendment is a matter for government consideration.” “While I note that French and German finance ministers will table a joint proposal at the EU level next September for a tax on financial transactions, this issue was considered at last European council meeting and was not included in the final agreement,” Noonan said in comments e-mailed by a finance ministry spokeswoman.

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    U.S. Company credit-default swaps climb as homebuilding slows

    A gauge of U.S. corporate credit risk rose after France and Germany’s leaders said they would back a financial transaction tax and as fewer homebuilding projects got started in the U.S.The Markit CDX North America Investment Grade Index, which investors use to hedge against losses on corporate debt or to speculate on creditworthiness, climbed 3.5 basis points to a mid-price of 112.9 basis points as of 1:34 p.m. in New York. Perceived credit risk worsened for real estate companies Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. and Simon Property Group Inc.The cost to protect corporate debt from losses climbed after French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said they would support a financial transaction tax for the region. Earlier traders pushed the index higher as European and U.S. economic data worsened the outlook for global growth in the second half of the year.“The economy is going to be the focus going forward and the data that’s coming out is mixed at best and in some areas it’s very weak,” said Rich Gordon, a fixed-income market strategist at Wells Fargo & Co. “There’s just no upward push from housing in this economic cycle,” he said.U.S. housing starts in July fell 1.5 percent to a 604,000 annual rate, Commerce Department figures showed. Second-quarter gross domestic product in the 17-nation euro area rose by less than economists estimated, the European Union said.The gauge, which typically rises as investor confidence deteriorates and falls as it improves, climbed 12.3 basis points last week on concern that Europe’s debt crisis was deepening and the U.S. economic recovery was faltering. The index trimmed gains the past two trading days, dropping 5.8 basis points yesterday in the biggest decline since November.Hovnanian CDSCredit-default swaps on Hovnanian rose 349.8 basis points to 4933.6 basis points, according to data provider CMA. The cost to protect the debt of the Red Bank, New Jersey-based homebuilder climbed after builders began work on fewer homes in July.Contracts on Indianapolis-based real estate investor Simon Property Group increased 7.8 basis points to 113.1 basis points, CMA data show. CMA is owned by CME Group Inc. and compiles prices quoted by dealers in the privately negotiated market.Credit swaps pay the buyer face value if a borrower fails to meets its obligations, less the value of the defaulted debt. A basis point equals $1,000 annually on a contract protecting $10 million of debt.

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    Bain, Avista said to study bid for kinetic concepts to top Apax

    Bain Capital LLC and Avista Capital Partners LLC are seeking to raise financing for a takeover offer for Kinetic Concepts Inc. that would top Apax Partners LLP’s $5 billion bid, said two people familiar with the plan.Bain and Avista, owner of wound-care maker ConvaTec Inc., may make an offer as early as next week, said one of the people, who declined to be identified as negotiations are private. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, Citigroup Inc. and Jefferies Group Inc. are in talks to arrange the financing, said the people.The buyout firms may drop the plan if they can’t obtain financing at terms that are economically viable as borrowing costs for U.S. leveraged buyouts climb to the highest level since December, said one person. By partnering with Avista, Bain aims to attract Kinetic’s board with the benefits of a combination with ConvaTec, which could lead to cost savings, said two of the people.A higher offer from the two New York-based firms may come without committed financing, though would include a letter from lenders expressing confidence in obtaining the funds, said one of these people. Kinetic’s board would then have to determine whether it prefers Apax’s offer, whose financing is committed.Spokesmen at Bain, Kinetic and Goldman Sachs didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment. James David, a spokesman for Avista, said he couldn’t immediately comment. Spokesmen at Jefferies, Citigroup, Apax and Deutsche Bank declined to comment.Apax, a London-based private-equity firm, and its partners announced the takeover of San Antonio-based Kinetic July 13. The so-called go-shop period, in which Kinetic can seek other offers for 40 days, expires next week.Kinetic PerformanceKinetic, led by Chief Executive Officer Catherine Burzik, got about 70 percent of its $2 billion in revenue from the wound-treatment business last year. The company, founded more than 30 years ago, also makes hospital beds and tissue- regeneration products used in surgeries.Buyout firms rarely attempt to poach targets from their rivals. If Apax’s deal for Kinetic goes through, the transaction would be the the largest buyout since New York-based Lehman Brother Holdings Inc. filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2008.

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    Bachmann reports income from family farm that received u.S. Aid

    Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, a critic of federal spending, received between $5,000 and $15,000 in income last year from a family farm that has received more than $250,000 in federal subsidies.Bachmann, winner of the Aug. 13 Iowa Straw Poll for Republican presidential contenders, reported in her House financial-disclosure form that her interest in the farm was valued at between $500,000 and $1 million in 2010; a year earlier, she assigned the value of Bachmann Farm Family LP at between $100,000 and $250,000. Lawmakers can list income and assets in broad ranges.The farm in Independence, Wisconsin, received $259,332 in federal subsidies from 1995 to 2008, according to U.S. government data compiled by the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based research and advocacy organization focusing on public health and environmental issues. The farm received no federal subsidies in 2009 or 2010, said Sara Sciammacco, a spokeswoman for the organization.Bachmann said in an April interview that the farm belongs to her in-laws and that her husband administers it for his mother and brothers. She also said the farm is rented out.“My husband and I have never received a dime from the farm,” she said. “We list it because he’s a trustee, but we don’t receive any income at all from the farm because he is the trustee and it’s in what’s called a family limited partnership.”Bachmann voted against raising the U.S. debt ceiling and called for deep cuts in federal spending, including supporting the House Republican plan to end traditional Medicare.‘Shut Down’ Spending“What we do need to do is dramatically shut down the level of spending,” she said on Aug. 12 on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt.” “We can’t accept the new normal in spending.”Bachmann, 55, received an extension from the May 15 deadline for submitting the annual disclosure forms. She reported that her husband’s psychotherapy practice and clinic was valued at $600,000 to $1.25 million.The clinic received $30,000 in government money, which Bachmann said on “Fox News Sunday” in June went to train employees.“The clinic did not get the money,” she said. “And my husband and I did not get the money either.”She reported taking three trips with expenses paid by organizations, including one to the anti-tax Club for Growth’s economic conference in Palm Beach, Florida, in November.-

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    Agility pleads not guilty to government contract fraud

    Agility, the Kuwaiti storage and logistics provider, pleaded not guilty to charges it defrauded the U.S. government on a multibillion-dollar contract to feed troops overseas.Agility, also known as Public Warehousing Co., denied today in federal court in Atlanta accusations that it filed false invoices or conspired to pay premium prices to inflate its profit. Prosecutors said Agility encouraged companies it did business with to inflate costs through practices such as putting hamburgers in unnecessarily expensive packaging.“Agility welcomes the opportunity to clear its name by having an impartial jury examine its work,” Agility said in a statement. “In bringing this case, the U.S. Department of Justice has criminalized what is, at most, a civil contract dispute.”The estimated cost of the U.S. contract with Agility at the time it was signed was $4.66 billion, according to the November 2009 indictment. The final bill came to $8.6 billion, the government said. Agility bought food and transported it to U.S. soldiers in Kuwait and Iraq, prosecutors said.The investigation into the company and its suppliers is continuing, federal prosecutors have said. Lawyers for both sides declined to comment after today’s hearing.‘Dangerous Conditions’The case against Agility had been slowed by the company’s claim that it wasn’t properly notified of the charges it faced in the U.S. Agility recently lost a federal appeals court decision on that issue.Agility maintains that it was open and transparent with the government, which approved its prices, suppliers and business practices for seven years and continued to do so after the indictment, according to the statement.“From 2003 to 2010, Agility operated under the most dangerous conditions to provide American troops with plentiful, high-quality food,” the company said in its statement. “No military has ever been as well fed in a time of conflict.”The case is U.S. v. Public Warehousing Co., 09-cr-490, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta).

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    Mexican peso weakens on U.S. And European growth concerns

    Mexico’s peso fell as slower-than- forecast European growth and a drop in housing starts in the U.S. tempered confidence in the global economy and demand for riskier assets.The peso declined 0.4 percent to 12.2776 per dollar at 1:39 p.m. New York time, from 12.2296 yesterday. The currency has gained 0.5 percent this year against the dollar.Housing starts declined 1.5 percent to a 604,000 annual rate, in line with the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, from June’s 613,000 pace that was less than previously estimated, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Germany’s economy, Europe’s largest, expanded 0.1 percent from the first quarter, while growth in the euro area was a less-than-forecast 0.2 percent, reports showed today, adding to concern nations will struggle to curb budget deficits. The peso earlier pared losses after the Federal Reserve said that industrial production in the U.S., Mexico’s largest trading partner, climbed in July by the most this year.“The U.S. numbers are more influential given the proximity between both economies, but the fact that the German figures were horrid as well, that also lends credibility to this slower growth trajectory within the developed bloc,” Aryam Vazquez, an emerging markets economist at Wells Fargo & Co. in New York, said in a telephone interview. “The underlying strength in the peso is now under the threat of the global economic cycle and the fear of a more pronounced economic deceleration in the U.S.”The yield on Mexico’s peso bonds due in 2024 fell seven basis points, or 0.07 percentage point, to 6.31 percent, according to Banco Santander SA. The price of the security rose 0.80 centavo to 133.17 centavos per peso.Mexico sold all 5.5 billion pesos of the 28-day Cetes it offered at auction today, the central bank said in an e-mailed statement. The government sold 6.5 billion pesos of 91-day Cetes and 7 billion pesos of 175-day Cetes, the statement said.

  •  

    Oil falls on concern about German economy

    Oil fell Tuesday on concerns about Europe’s biggest economy.

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    Allstate sues Goldman Sachs over toxic investments

    Allstate Corp. is suing Goldman Sachs Group Inc., saying more than $122 million in mortgage-backed securities the insurance company bought beginning in 2006 were fraudulent.

  •  
    The Lowe's store in Elgin has closed its doors, with signage already beginning to come down.

    Elgin mourns Lowe's closing, looks ahead to Walmart, Sam's Club

    As 84 Elgin Lowe's employees plan their next steps after losing their jobs, Assistant City Manager Rick Kozal said the closing is a commentary on the national chain more than on Elgin. “This is just reflective of what is happening with Lowe's on a broader scale,” Kozal said. “They needed to find areas to cut, and it makes sense they're going to take the lower-performing stores.”

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    NYC court upholds trustee’s calculation of losses

    Investors who lost billions of dollars in Bernard Madoff’s massive multi-decade fraud are not entitled to recover fake profits that were described to them in phony statements, a federal appeals court said Tuesday.

  •  

    UL to acquire quality assurance business of STR Holdings

    UL announced Tuesday it will acquire the quality assurance business of STR Holdings, Inc., an Enfield, Connecticut-based company.

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    PharMEDium unveils new web site with focus on patient safety

    PharMEDium Services LLC launched its new website, www.pharmedium.com, which provides updates on drug shortages, patient safety and ready-to-use pharmacy compounding services.

  •  

    Fitch Ratings keeps US at top credit rating

    NEW YORK — Fitch Ratings said Tuesday it will keep its rating on U.S. debt at the highest grade, AAA, and issued a “stable” outlook, meaning it expects the rating to stay there.That’s better than the other two main ratings agencies: Moody’s lists the U.S. debt at AAA but says its outlook is negative. And Standard & Poor’s set off a maelstrom in the stock market last week after it took its rating on the U.S. down to the second-highest grade, AA-plus, for the first time. The S&P cited bickering in Congress over the debt ceiling earlier this summer, as well as the country’s rising proportion of debt, for its downgrade. But Fitch said that it decided to keep its rating because the “key pillars” of U.S. creditworthiness remain intact, including its “flexible, diversified and wealthy economy.” It also said that the country’s flexibility in monetary policy gives it the ability to absorb economic shocks. The dollar’s central role in the world economy allows the U.S. to hold a higher proportion of debt to gross domestic product.Fitch said it would revisit the rating after the congressional committee that is supposed to figure out how to cut government spending presents its findings, due by the end of November. The rating, which measures the possibility that the U.S. will default on its debt, has been a hot-button issue in the past two weeks. Standard & Poor’s downgrade on Aug. 5 ignited a volatile week on Wall Street, with the Dow rising or falling by at least 400 points for four days. The government and some analysts have criticized the S&P’s decision, calling it unjustified and based on faulty math.The S&P has defended the move, and some analysts have said it is a necessary wakeup call for a government that has been spending too much. The S&P said its downgrade was based on political grandstanding this summer over the debt ceiling. The S&P analysts also said they predict that the country’s debt a portion of output will continue to rise.The S&P has also pointed out that its downgrade is only to the second-highest rating, saying that the psychological effects are deeper than the practical ones. “It’s like going from indigo to navy blue,” S&P analyst John Chambers said in a call after the downgrade. Moody’s assigned a negative outlook to its rating of U.S. credit last week. Analysts there said they were uncertain how much the congressional committee will be able to agree on cutting spending.

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    Rescuers saved 21 people after their U.S.-registered racing yacht capsized off the Irish coast.

    Ex-United Technologies chair among yacht crew rescued off Ireland

    HARTFORD, Conn. — Yachting race officials say 21 crew members of a capsized vessel who were rescued off the coast of Ireland included the former chairman of United Technologies Corp.Officials of the Rolex Fastnet Race say on the event’s website that George David’s 100-foot yacht, the Rambler 100, capsized in the Celtic Sea on Monday evening after its keel broke. David, who lives in Connecticut, and his partner, Wendy Touton, were among five people swept out to sea. The others managed to hang onto the hull.Race officials say David and Touton were in the water for 2 1/2 hours. Touton was treated for hypothermia.Mick Harvey, a veteran sailor from Australia who now lives in Newport, R.I., also was among the crew.United Technologies is based in Hartford.

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    Robert Schriesheim

    Sears Holdings names new CFO

    Sears Holdings Corp. said Tuesday that Robert Schriesheim will join the company as executive vice president and chief financial officer.

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    Euro falls amid concern over European grown

    The euro weakened against the majority of its most-traded peers after a report showing European growth slowed more than economists forecast added to concern that nations will struggle to rein in budget deficits.The dollar advanced versus the Swiss franc, yen and euro as Fitch Ratings affirmed the its top credit rating for the U.S. after saying on Aug. 2 the nation was under review.“The fact that the euro-zone economy all but stagnated is troublesome, and I’m not sure what the policy makers can do,” said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. in New York.The euro declined 0.4 percent to $1.4392 at 10 a.m. in New York, from $1.4445 yesterday, when it reached $1.4477, the highest level since July 27. The European currency fell 0.3 percent to 110.62 yen. The dollar was little changed at 76.88 yen, from 76.83 yen.Gross domestic product in the euro area rose 0.2 percent from the first quarter, the least since 2009, when it increased 0.8 percent, the European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg said today. Economists had forecast the economy to expand 0.3 percent, according to a Bloomberg survey.-

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    Polish centrl banker says inlation has peaked

    Poland’s inflation rate “has peaked” and will slow in the coming months, while not sharply, Jan Winiecki, a member of the central bank’s rate-setting Monetary Policy Council, said today on Tok FM.To contact the reporter on this story: Monika Rozlal in Warsaw at mrozlalbloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Katya Andrusz at kandruszbloomberg.net

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    Budget rate-expectaion swings since 2009 fade

    The biggest swings in Australian interest-rate expectations in more than two years have left bond investors concluding the central bank will hold borrowing costs to sustain economic growth amid quickening inflation.The implied yield on September interbank cash-rate futures climbed 16 basis points this week to 4.56 percent, the biggest two-day advance since Oct. 7, narrowing its discount to the central bank’s 4.75 percent benchmark. Traders of interest-rate swaps pared bets on a September reduction in the policy rate since those wagers peaked Aug. 5 at the end of the biggest weekly change since Feb. 6, 2009.Australian government bonds, the developed world’s second- best performers this year, extended the biggest rally since 2008 this month even after policy makers considered increasing benchmark borrowing costs with underlying inflation poised to breach the RBA’s 3 percent cap. Governor Glenn Stevens must weigh price gains against financial turmoil that may deepen the worst slump in consumer confidence since 2009.“Things are just settling down after the last two weeks where we’ve seen a pretty big adjustment to expectations surrounding growth both in Australia and globally,” said Simon Doyle, who oversees the equivalent of $6 billion in assets as head of fixed income and multi-asset at Schroder Investment Management Australia Ltd. in Sydney. “We’re still some way away from the point where the RBA feel they can ease policy.”Rate Rise ConsideredRBA policy makers looked past the strongest annual inflation in 2 1/2 years to keep the overnight cash rate target unchanged for an eighth meeting on Aug. 2, according to minutes of the gathering published yesterday. The central bank decided against a rate increase as contagion from Europe’s sovereign bond sell-off spread to Italy and Spain and the U.S. government’s struggles to avert a default roiled markets.The MSCI World Index of equities is headed for an 8.3 percent drop in August, extending three months of declines, after tumbling 5.1 percent Aug. 8 in the biggest slide since December 2008. The yield on the September future for the RBA cash rate fell to 4.29 percent on Aug. 9.Following Standard & Poor’s Aug. 5 downgrade of the U.S. credit rating from AAA, traders increased bets the RBA would be forced to slash rates as it did after the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008 when the benchmark was cut from 7.25 percent to 3 percent in the space of eight months.Government bond yields of all maturities held below the cash rate yesterday after falling to that relative level this month for the first time in more than two years.Expectations FluctuateExpectations for the next RBA move shifted 204 basis points in the week ended Aug. 5, the biggest change since the five days to Feb. 6, 2009, according to a Credit Suisse Group AG index. The gauge moved from indicating an 8 percent chance the RBA would raise rates at its next meeting to a certainty that the next move would be a reduction of 25 basis points and a better than 90 percent chance for a 50-basis-point cut.“The case against tightening at this meeting was that the downside risks to demand had probably increased, as a result of the acute uncertainty in global financial markets,” the RBA minutes showed yesterday. “This in turn could weaken the outlook for demand relative to the central forecast and, over the medium term, dampen the inflation outlook.”Volatility in Australia’s bond market reached record highs this month as investors tried to reconcile a global equities slump with the RBA’s talk of higher borrowing costs. The difference between daily high and low prices on three-year government bond futures was at least 20 basis points for 10 straight trading days through Aug. 15, the first time that has happened since Bloomberg began compiling the data in 1989.

  •  
    The reflection of security officer Terry Green and the store closing sign were that was left on the facade of the Lowe's in Schaumburg on Monday, one day after employees learned the store was one of seven being closed nationwide by the home improvement chain.

    Lowe's closing catches Schaumburg by surprise

    A day after the abrupt closing of the Lowe's home improvement store in the Prairie Towne Shopping Center, Schaumburg officials are working to fill the 116,000-square-foot vacancy. “We were taken by surprise when we heard the news,” one official said.

  •  
    Chicago is among the top ten destinations for Labord Day travelers according to an Orbitz survey released today. New York and Las Vegas also toop the list.

    Chicago among top 10 Labor Day weekend destinations

    Chicago is among the top ten destinations for Labord Day travelers according to an Orbitz survey released today. New York and Las Vegas also toop the list.

  •  

    US stock futures fall on global economic worries

    NEW YORK — U.S. stock futures fell Tuesday after more evidence pointed to a slowing global economy and threatened to end the market’s three-day rally.Germany’s economy stalled last quarter, dragging down growth for Europe. That offset strong profit reports from blue-chip U.S. companies, and it may also erase hopes that the market had finally calmed down since Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S. credit rating less than two weeks ago. Europe’s economy and debt problems have been among global investors’ main concerns over the last year and a half. On Tuesday, the European Union reported that economic growth in the 17 countries that use the euro slowed to 0.2 percent between April and June from 0.8 percent in the previous quarter. Germany’s growth fell to 0.1 percent from 1.3 percent. That will make it even tougher for Spain and other countries to raise revenue. Some European countries have borrowed so much that they may need help repaying debt. The leaders of France and Germany, the eurozone’s biggest economies, are meeting Tuesday in Paris to talk about the region’s debt problems. About 10 minutes ahead of the opening of trading, Dow Jones industrial average futures are down 75 points, or 0.7 percent, to 11,328. S&P 500 futures are down 12.40, or 1 percent, to 1,186. Nasdaq 100 futures are down 22, or 1 percent, to 2,184.50. Stock futures don’t always accurately predict how markets will open. Futures pared their losses after a report showed that U.S. industrial production rose 0.9 percent last month on a pickup at auto factories, utilities and mines. Manufacturing had been one of the strongest industries since the recession ended in 2009, but its growth has slowed this year.Home Depot Inc., the country’s largest home-improvement retailer, rose 2.4 percent after it said second-quarter net income rose 14 percent and raised its profit forecast. Yet the housing market itself remains depressed, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Homebuilders broke ground on new homes at an annual pace of 604,000 last month, Commerce said. That’s down from 613,000 in June. In 2005, before the housing bubble burst, housing starts were typically above 2 million. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. rose 3.6 percent in premarket trading after it said net income rose 5.7 percent last quarter from a year ago on strong overseas sales. Earnings growth was stronger than analysts expected, and the world’s largest retailer raised its profit forecast for the year. A separate report on the U.S. economy showed that prices for imports rose 0.3 percent in July because costs rose for fuel and fertilizers. Prices for U.S. exports fell 0.4 percent, the first drop in a year. Stocks have been particularly volatile since last week, after S&P chopped the U.S. from its top AAA credit rating to AA+ on Aug. 5. The Dow rose or fell by 400 points in the first four days of last week, the first time that has happened. But the Dow rallied 213 points on Monday after a flurry of acquisitions, highlighted by Google’s $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility. It marked the Dow’s first three-day gain since July 1. Its rise of 763 points over the three days was the Dow’s biggest since November 2008, during the depths of the financial crisis. .

  •  
    A newly constructed home for sale in Springfield, Ill.

    July home building slips after early-summer bump

    WASHINGTON — Builders broke ground on fewer single-family houses in July, leaving home construction at depressed levels.The Commerce Department said Tuesday that builders began work on a seasonally adjusted 604,000 homes last month, a 1.5 percent decrease from June. That’s half the 1.2 million homes per year that economists say must be built to sustain a healthy housing market.Single-family homes, which represent 70 percent of home construction, fell 5 percent. Apartment building rose more than 6 percent. Building permits, a gauge of future construction, declined 3.2 percent. Jill Brown, vice president of economics at Credit Suisse, said that decline suggests “very little forward momentum.”The number of homes under construction is the fewest in 40 years. Just 413,000 homes are under construction, after accounting for seasonal factors. A decade ago, roughly 1.6 million homes were built. Though new homes represent just 20 percent of the overall housing market, they have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and about $90,000 in taxes, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Cash-strapped builders are struggling to compete with deeply discounted foreclosures and short sales. A short sale is when a lender allows the owner to sell for less than what is owed on the mortgage. Over the past year, the number of finished apartments in the United States has surged nearly 63 percent, the biggest percentage jump since 1996. Renting has become a preferred option for many Americans who lost their jobs during the recession and were forced to leave their rapidly depreciating homes. New-home sales fell in June to a seasonally adjusted pace of 312,000 homes per year. That’s less than half the 700,000 per year that economists consider to be healthy. One reason for the slow pace is that previously occupied homes are a better deal than new homes. The median price of a new home is more than 30 percent higher than the median price for a re-sale. That’s more than twice the markup in healthy housing market.After previous recessions, housing accounted for 15 percent to 20 percent of overall economic growth. This time around, between 2009 and 2010, housing contributed just 4 percent to the economy. Despite historically low mortgage rates, few Americans are prepared to buy a home as the economy fizzles and job growth is stagnant. “The now-extended period of ultra-low interest rates is not squeezing any new demand out of the rock,” said Pierre Ellis, an analyst at Decision Economics. U.S. homebuilders are just as pessimistic about the depressed housing market as they were two years ago.The National Association of Home Builders said Monday that its survey of industry sentiment was unchanged at 15 this month. The index has been below 20 for all but one month during the past two years. The index is just seven points above the lowest reading on record, in January 2009. Any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market. The index hasn’t reached 50 since April 2006, the peak of the housing boom.Home construction in July was uneven across the country. Apartments fueled gains in the Northeast and South, with construction rising in those regions 34.7 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively. Despite an uptick in single-family homes, construction fell in the West by 3 percent. The Midwest saw a big 37.7 percent drop in construction activity.

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    Astellas names Barretto-Ko senior vice president of corporate strategy and government affairs

    Deerfield-based Astellas U.S. has named Percival Barretto-Ko as senior vice president, corporate strategy and government affairs, a new position added to the company’s leadership team.  Barretto-Ko will be responsible for corporate planning, business development, government policy and external affairs and state government affairs.“This realignment brings key strategic functions closer together at the corporate level,” President and CEO Masao Yoshida said.  “Percival has an outstanding track record both in the pharmaceutical industry and at Astellas’ European operations.  He will be a great addition to our senior management team.”Barretto-Ko will move from the position of executive director, corporate strategy and communications at Astellas Pharma Europe Ltd.  While there, he led the global launch of Astellas’ new pipeline drug, Advagraf (tacrolimus prolonged release) in 20 countries. He was promoted to lead the organization’s corporate planning function and ultimately directed corporate strategy, corporate planning, corporate communications, crisis management and corporate social responsibility.Before joining Astellas, he held increasingly more senior marketing and sales positions with the Roche Group in the United States and United Kingdom. Barretto-Ko earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University, an MBA from Yale School of Management, and an MS from MIT Sloan School of Management, where he recently served as a Sloan Fellow for Innovation and Global Leadership.

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    Six corporate teams to compete for CSCMP’s 2011 Supply Chain Innovation Award

    LOMBARD — Six corporate teams that demonstrated how their supply chain practices reduced costs, streamlined processes, saved energy, and improved operating efficiencies are finalists in the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ seventh annual Supply Chain Innovation AwardT competition.The teams will present their case studies in the Supply Chain Innovations of the Year educational track at CSCMP’s Annual Conference 2011, October 2-5, in Philadelphia, Pa. Last year’s presentations in San Diego received the highest rating of all of the conference’s education sessions.Each team will discuss the creative and nontraditional approaches, operations and cost-saving initiatives that resulted in their unique supply chain achievements. Finalist teams and their innovations include:Ÿ ADT Security Services, Inc. and Inmar, Inc. collaborated in the development of a centralized return model, which delivered improvements in efficiency and return on investment. The results produced improvements in cycle time, and a reduction in administrative time and shipping costs.Ÿ Ahold USA, Del Monte, and ES3, LLC implemented a direct-to-store (D2S) program that provides a shared, collaborative warehouse for manufacturers and retailers. Implementation results indicated a reduction in costs and carbon usage, improved speed to shelf, and increased on-shelf visibility.ŸThe Dow Chemical Company collaborated with Dr. Timothy Pettit of the Air Force Institute of Technology to research and develop a new way to assess business resilience. This collaboration resulted in a methodology to test supply chain capabilities against vulnerabilities, and was successfully applied to Dow’s glycol ethers P-series business, resulting in significant benefits.Ÿ IBM Corporation developed and deployed the Total Risk Assessment Tool to assess supply and supply chain risk. The Tool considers a wide range of external factors and returns a risk rating for each major groupingŸ Motorola Mobility innovatively used supplier sales and operations planning (S&OP) to better meet customer demand and improve supplier/customer relationships. This created more revenue opportunities, improved gross margin, and reduced excess and obsolescence (E&O) exposure.ŸPolo Ralph Lauren’s deployment of an international vendor routing portal to extend inbound control resulted in a reduction of costs by alignment of air services, as well as an extension of handover visibility and reduced cycle times.The presentations will be judged by a panel comprised of members of CSCMP’s Research Strategies Committee and representatives from SupplyChainBrain. The team judged to have achieved the most outstanding supply chain innovation will receive the Supply Chain Innovation AwardT at Wednesday’s Closing Session.The award was established by CSCMP’s Research Strategies Committee and SupplyChainBrain to recognize a supply chain team’s outstanding innovations as demonstrated by quantifiable and sustainable cost-savings, revenue-generating, or customer-satisfaction achievements.

  •  

    Lifeway Foods announced 2Q results

    Morton Grove-based Lifeway Foods, Inc., , a leading supplier of cultured dairy products known as kefir and organic kefir, today announced results for three and six months ending June 30, 2011.Second quarter of 2011 gross sales increased 28% to $19.9 million compared to $15.5 million for the second quarter of 2010.  This increase is primarily attributable to increased sales and growing awareness of benefits of Lifeway’s flagship line, Kefir, as well as ProBugs Organic Kefir for kids, and the successful introduction of new product lines such as Bio KefirT.  In addition, Lifeway Frozen Kefir contributed approximately $0.2 million in sales during the second quarter of 2011.  The frozen kefir line was launched in April 2011.Second quarter total consolidated net sales increased $3.9 million, or approximately 27%, to $18.2 million from $14.3 million in the second quarter of 2010.

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    Germany economy grew only 0.1 pct in Q2
    FRANKFURT, Germany — Germany’s economic growth nearly ground to a halt in the second quarter, in another downbeat sign for the global economy.Its quarterly growth of only 0.1 percent was way below market expectations for a 0.5 percent increase, and follows similarly disappointing readings for France and the United States.Until now Germany’s economy, Europe’s biggest, had been growing strongly as its world-renowned companies tapped export markets all around the world, particularly in faster-growing emerging countries. Its industrial prowess had in many ways cushioned it from a government debt crisis that’s afflicting the 17 countries that use the euro.Germany’s state statistical agency said Tuesday that lagging consumer spending and construction investment were largely behind the growth slowdown in the April-June period.“Let’s face it, the second quarter marks a turning point in the German business cycle,” said Unicredit chief German economist Andreas Rees. “The period of exuberant growth is now behind us. Less dynamic momentum will be in the pipeline in coming quarters, given the slowdown of the global economy.”Rees said that the up-and-down nature of quarterly figures meant a rebound in the third quarter couldn’t be ruled out. He said German companies have large industrial order backlogs that will keep them busy and help output in coming months. The second-quarter figure was way down on the 1.3 percent growth recorded in the first quarter, when the economy was boosted by strong exports of cars and industrial machinery. That figure itself was revised down from 1.5 percent in earlier releases.Top German corporate executives have cautioned that growth could be less impressive in the second half of the year due to volatile raw material prices and economic and financial turmoil over the heavy levels of government debt in Europe and the U.S.The second-quarter figure looked better compared with the same quarter a year ago, rising 2.7 percent.Slowing growth in Germany weighs on overall growth in the eurozone. A slowdown in the zone’s biggest country would give the European Central Bank more reason to avoid more interest rate increases this year. Analysts said the German figures may mean that eurozone economic growth for the quarter — due later — could well be below the 0.3 percent forecast.“The weak data for Germany follow recent numbers showing zero growth in France in the second quarter, and raises concerns that the euro area’s hitherto strong core countries are undergoing a much deeper than previously thought soft patch,” said Chris Williamson, chief economist at financial information company Markit.It’s not just Europe that’s slowed down. The U.S. economy is growing at a far slower rate than previously thought while figures Monday showed Japan contracted further in the second quarter in the wake of March’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.

  •  
    Tom Malone lashes building materials down to his truck at a Home Depot store in North Little Rock, Ark.

    Home Depot 2Q net income rises on storm repairs
    Home Depot Inc.’s second-quarter net income rose 14 percent as shoppers picked up lawn and garden products and made storm-related repairs during the summer, company said Monday. It also raised its earnings guidance.

  •  
    Chief executive of News Corporation Europe and Asia, James Murdoch

    UK panel may recall James Murdoch in hacking probe

    British lawmakers say they may ask James Murdoch to answer more questions about phone hacking at the News of the World tabloid.

  •  
    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says its second-quarter profit rose 5.7 percent, fueled by strong international sales and expense cutting. But the world's largest retailer still wasn't able to reverse a two-year U.S. sales slump.

    Overseas strength lifts Wal-Mart 2Q profit 5.7 pct

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says its second-quarter profit rose 5.7 percent, fueled by strong international sales and expense cutting. But the world's largest retailer still wasn't able to reverse a two-year U.S. sales slump.

Life & Entertainment

  •  

    Don’t toss leftover buns
    You’d rather have too many hamburger buns than not enough. But when there are some leftover buns, you’re faced with a keep-or-toss decision. Don’t let them sit on the counter until they mold or hide them in the back of the freezer. Don’t throw them away, either.

  •  
    On Tuesday, Gene Simmons and Kiss were dropped from the Michael Jackson tribute show that's set for October, concert organizers said.

    Kiss dropped from Michael Jackson tribute concert

    Organizers of a Michael Jackson tribute concert dropped Kiss from the lineup after receiving widespread criticism for booking the band despite critical comments toward the late pop singer by bassist Gene Simmons.

  •  
    “The Submission” by Amy Waldman

    ‘Submission' looks at how 9/11 left U.S. fragmented

    Ten years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, former New York Times reporter Amy Waldman bases her fictional debut novel on the simple, yet emotionally charged, idea that the winning design for the World Trade Center memorial was shockingly created by a Muslim.

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    Fresh Salsa with Roasted Corn
    Fresh Corn Salsa

  •  

    Sampling fruit from the Achatz family tree

    The culinary gene runs strong in the Achatz family. And in the span of a week I was fortunate enough to sample contemporary Thai cuisine served at Grant Achatz's Next and savor homespun pies baked by his second cousins at their Michigan bake shop.

  •  
    Mason Cook in a scene from “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D.” Viewers are given scratch-and-sniff cards with circles numbered 1 to 8. When a number appears on screen, they rub the corresponding circle on their cards, which give off a whiff matching what the characters are smelling.

    ‘Aroma-Scope' lets movie goers catch a whiff

    Director Robert Rodriguez deliberately tried to make his latest “Spy Kids” adventure a bit of a stinker. Rodriguez is billing “Spy Kids: All the Time in the World” as a 4-D flick, adding scent cards so audiences can follow along on the action with their noses.

  •  
    This easy pancake and bacon breakfast-lunch lets kids assemble their own meal.

    Breakfast Lunch
    Lunch pancakes

  •  
    Pack tortellini and vegetable skewers with a side of your child’s favorite salad dressing.

    Tortellini Veggie Skewers
    Pasta and veggie skewers

  •  
    Cold ham and cheese casserole is a great way to use up leftovers. Chicken, steak and even chopped cooked hamburgers are fine substitutes for the ham.

    Cold Ham and Cheese Casserole
    Cold ham and cheese casserole

  •  
    These Carrot Cake Cookies are plenty moist thanks to a small amount of oil (instead of butter) for healthier fats and supplemented with crushed pineapple.

    Carrot Cake Cookies
    Carrot cake cookies

  •  
    The apple-filled quesadillas are a fun treat for days when something warm and comforting is called for after school.

    Sweet Quesadillas
    Apple quesadillas

  •  
    Blueberry blendies are a quick, healthy frozen beverage that appeals to both kids and adults.

    Blueberry Blendies
    Blueberry blendies

  •  
    When peanut butter and crackers or a piece of fruit just isn’t enough for the kids after a long day of learning, these peanut butter and jelly cubes fill the bill.

    Peanut Butter and Jelly Cubes
    pb&j cubes

  •  
    For an easy and versatile summer dessert, turn to Creamy Tart with Pecan Crust and Berries.

    Creamy Tart With Pecan Crust and Berries
    Creamy Berry Tart: Desperation Dinners

  •  
    Sweet, juicy plums encased in a butter almond cream are “simply too perfect to ignore,” says Romney Steele in her book “Plum Gorgeous.”

    Plum Gorgeous Almond Tart
    Plum Gorgeous Tart -- Eat in and save

  •  
    This Tuesday, June 28, 2011 photo shows Wagyu cattle in a pasture at Meadows Farm in Cazenovia, N.Y. Kobe beef from the United States can’t be called Kobe. Because of an import ban, Kobe-style or Wagyu beef is the closest most Americans can come to tasting the legendary meat.

    US grows version of pricey Japanese Kobe beef

    Half a world away from the secretive farms that produce Japan’s legendary Kobe beef, Jerry Wilson raises the American version of the meat that will become $50 steaks and $13 burgers. The chocolaty brown cattle at Wilson’s Meadows Farm in Cazenovia, N.Y. don’t technically produce Kobe beef — that term is reserved for the Japanese super high-end cut famous for its succulent taste and eye-popping prices.

  •  
    The chicken roll comes with fries at Moonstruck in South Elgin.

    Moonstruck balances contemporary, classic fare

    Moonstruck is one of those rare non-chain full-service gems that you wouldn't expect to find in a strip mall. This three-meal-a-day family-owned restaurant offers something special on the Randall Road corridor in South Elgin.

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    While her kids have been out of school for the summer Julie Szimon has been in class, taking culinary arts classes en route to a new career.

    Mom visits Italy on road to new career

    Julie Szimon's career path has taken its turns. After working several years as an office manager, she stayed home to raise her three children and opened an embroidery business.At 45, Julie is navigating another road that includes stops in culinary school and in Italy before she reaches her final destination: chef.

  •  
    Netflix has made it easier for families to instantly watch a range of kid-friendly TV shows and movies with its new "Just for Kids" tab.

    Netflix gets kid-friendly amid subscriber backlash

    Netflix Inc. is giving kids and their parents a new reason to embrace its Internet video subscription service amid an outcry over an upcoming price increase. Starting Tuesday, Netflix is adding a "Just For Kids" tab listing kid-friendly recommendations.

  •  

    TLC cancels 'Kate Plus 8'; last show airs Sept. 12

    TLC says it is canceling "Kate Plus 8." The reality specials focusing on Kate Gosselin, her twin daughters and set of sextuplets morphed into a weekly series in its second season. But TLC announced Monday that its final episode will air Sept. 12.

  •  
    Charlotte Stone of Griffin, Ga., wipes tears from her eyes as the song "Can't Help Falling In Love" is played during a candlelight vigil Monday night marking the 34th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley at Graceland in Memphis.

    Fans flock to Graceland to remember Elvis Presley

    Silent mourners with heads bowed and yellow-orange candlelight leading the way paid their respects to Elvis Presley at his grave at Graceland, his longtime Memphis home, to remember the 34th anniversary of his sudden death.

Discuss

  •  

    Positive change coming to Island Lake?

    A Daily Herald editorial says the agreement struck in Island Lake last week could end a divisive political battle and help the village focus on serious issues.

  •  

    Untrending Palin

    Time will tell, but what recent history already confirms is that Palin isn’t a serious person. If she had been serious about running for president, she would have completed her term as governor.

  •  

    Clueless in Washington

    Jobs. The issue is jobs. Yet the president and Congress have spent months focused on the national debt — a problem that needs to be addressed, to be sure, but not when unemployment is at staggering levels and the “recovery” is beginning to look like a mirage.

  •  

    Help me stop bus center on Randall
    Letter to the Editor: I believe the bus maintenance and distribution facility planned for Randall Road in St. Charles will create a traffic nightmare. The extra traffic will make this entire corridor undesirable for consumers and they will avoid it. I believe this will have a negative effect on my business and the others around us. The council will meet to decide on it Tuesday, Aug. 16.

  •  

    I want a real tea party revolt
    Letter to the Editor: It’s time for a real tea party revolt, not the right wing extremist ones who stole the name. Taxes are to be used for helping the people with roads, schools, bridges, electricity, water and protection from the businesses that are trying to take the country from us. I want my country back.

  •  

    Aurora parade an unqualified success
    I would like to thank all the people who came to the celebrate Independence Day at the Fourth of July parade in downtown Aurora. The crowd was spectacular and the largest I have seen in all my years participating. I would also like to thank the parade committee, which met every Monday morning for months in planning and organizing the day.

  •  

    Don’t just blame pols on immigration
    I can understand Americans having different opinions on issues such as abortion, gun control, death penalty. There are some issues, however, where I don’t understand why there isn’t unanimous agreement that something is wrong and an outcry to fix it. For example, if I were to tell you that during the night unwanted strangers would enter your home and refuse to leave, my guess is that most, if not all, would consider this unacceptable. You would be outraged when government officials would do nothing to remove these strangers. These same officials would later decide that you have to provide financial support for these unwanted strangers by helping to feed them, provide an education for their children and provide medical care. These strangers could also disregard laws that you yourself must obey (driver’s license, car insurance, etc.) Sound familiar? I have no problems with legal immigration, as that’s the way my grandparents came here. I do have a problem with the government ignoring illegal immigration for the past 30 years. Sadly, it’s too easy to blame the mindless politicians who are elected to serve the people. We need to go no further than the nearest mirror for we the people elect politicians and then do not hold them accountable. Too many voters fail to vote at all and some seem to vote for candidates only after looking for a D or R adjacent to their name, not having a clue where the candidate stands on issues. Unless we wake up and start electing officials who have American citizens best interested at heart we’ll end up like the lyrics from a song from the 60s suggests, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” Bill Kostal Naperville

  •  

    Catch the irony in tea party’s stance
    Am I the only person who has noticed that our tea party patriots who so steadfastly proclaim the sanctity of the Constitution as the Founders wrote it are now insisting on a Constitutional amendment as a condition of their support of an increase to the debt limit?

  •  

    Walsh is doing what he promised to do
    Just when the Northwest suburbs get Joe Walsh as their congressman to lead the fight in changing the out-of-control spending in Washington, the Daily Herald sees fit to run a front-page story chronicling a personal matter having zero to do with Mr. Walsh’s congressional performance.

  •  

    Shortsighted to cut federal workforce
    Once again, federal employees are proposed to be tapped as the answer to resolving the country’s deficit problems. Federal employees did not create the nation’s deficit.

  •  

    Positive change coming to Island Lake?

    A Daily Herald editorial says the agreement struck in Island Lake last week could end a divisive political battle and help the village focus on serious issues.

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