Daily Archive : Wednesday September 14, 2011

News

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    RTA hires consultant to help suburban development

    Regional Transportation Authority leaders disagree on spending $30,000 to help towns trying to stimulate economic growth near their downtown Metra stations.

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    District 214 issues policy for staff use of social media

    District 214 adopted a social media policy to address the approriate way these technologies in interacting with students. “The wall between the role of a public educator and personal friendships with students should always be visible and strongly communicated,” reads the policy.

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    John Steitz, third generation owner of Steitz's Restaurant in Antioch, discusses German Fest & The People's Fireworks on Saturday. The festival on Bluff Lake will continue despite the cancellation of the fireworks.

    German Fest canceled in protest of county fee

    The German Fest & The People's Fireworks near Antioch celebration has attracted thousands of people for the past seven years to Steitz's Restaurant on shores of Bluff Lake, but this year it won't be held -- a protest against a new fee Lake County is charging for public events held on the local lakes.

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    The planned installation of artificial turf at Mundelein High School’s stadium won’t interfere with the Mustangs’ 2011 season. It will begin after the last home game in October.

    Mundelein High board firms for turf, track work

    Preparations are under way to replace Mundelein High School’s grass football field with artificial turf, but the work won't interfere with this season's football games. The school board on Tuesday agreed to hire a company to remove the grass and dirt at the school stadium and to build the base for the eventual artificical turf field.

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    Dawn Patrol: Quick hits as you head out the door

    News you need as you walk out the door today: Minnesota fire smoke could clear, Aurora bans synthetic pot, Cook tax bills are late, pizza worker injured in fire, your tips pay off and both Cubs and Sox lose.

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    In this aerial photo, an area of the Pagami Creek wildfire shows active burning and creates a large smoke plume on Tuesday in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northeastern Minnesota. The haze from the fire was heavy enough that some people reported burning eyes and difficulty breathing in the Chicago area, 600 miles south of the forest fire, the National Weather Service said.

    Meteorologists: Don't expect more smoke from Minnesota

    The air quality in the Chicago suburbs is definitely better this morning as smoke from the Minnesota wildfires begins to dissipate, but the IEPA has nevertheless issued an Action Alert and is sking people with respiratory problems to take precautions.

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    Rolling Meadows firefighters retrieve gear after a house fire on the 0-99 block of Fieldstone Road in Rolling Meadows on Wednesday.

    Rolling Meadows garage fire causes $30,000 in damages

    A fire that started inside a Rolling Meadows home's attatched garage caused about $30,000 in damage, but firefighters were able to prevent the flames from spreading to the inside of the house Wednesday afternoon.

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    Waukegan residents latest victim of home burglary ruse

    The Waukegan Police Department is the latest suburban force to warn its residents of a widespread burglary ruse targeting elderly homeowners.

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    Robert Lyons

    Prosecutors: No concert tickets, so Carol Stream man kills mom

    Prosecutors say 39-year-old Robert Lyons counted on his mother for just about everything, from buying his shoes to driving him around because he didn’t have a license. But when Linda Bolek refused her son’s demands to ask a friend for Avril Lavigne concert tickets, he reacted violently, authorities said – bashing her head with a liquor bottle before repeatedly stabbing her and...

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    Forum set on nuclear energy

    The Adlai E. Stevenson Center on Democracy, an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit organization, sponsors a program called “Dialogues in Democracy” each month at the Stevenson Historic Home in Mettawa. This Sunday, the program will be “Nuclear Energy: Risks, Benefits, and Alternatives.”

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    Fine arts festival in Grayslake

    The Lake County Art League will hold the annual Prairie Crossing Fine Arts Festival, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at The Shops at Station Square, 970 Harris Road, in Grayslake — off Route 137 near the Metra station.

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    Hear history of county’s oldest church

    The history of Ivanhoe Congregational Church, the oldest in Lake County, will be discussed on Monday, Sept. 19 as the Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society launches another season of programming.

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    Fire rips through Grayslake home

    A Grayslake home was nearly destroyed by fire during a late Wednesday morning blaze that started while the residents were out of town, according to fire officials.

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    Lance R. Portzen, 25, of Wonder Lake was charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography.

    Wonder Lake sex offender faces child pornography charges

    A 25-year-old Wonder Lake man who is a registered sex offender has been charged with numerous counts possession of child pornography.

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    Kane County looking to clean up animal control with new director

    The county's Animal Control Committee sets the parameters for the next animal control director, and it could include a six-figure salary.

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    DuPage County Board members could be asked to vote soon on a proposal to close the county's youth home in Wheaton and transfer detainees to a facility in Kane County, officials said.

    Cronin pushes for DuPage youth home closure

    Despite putting an additional $400,000 in next year's budget to operate DuPage County's youth home, county board Chairman Dan Cronin says he hopes it's money that won't be spent. Cronin said DuPage and Kane officials are continuing to negotiate a plan to close the DuPage County Juvenile Detention Center and transfer its detainees to Kane's regional facility in St. Charles.

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    Joe Pignone, a master personal trainer at the Pavilion Fitness Club in Elk Grove Village, saved the life of a man who had collapsed Saturday on the facility's indoor track. It is the second time in two years Pignone is being credited with saving a club member's life.

    Elk Grove personal trainer saves a second life

    For most, saving another person's life would be a rare and monumental feat. For Joe Pignone, a personal trainer at the Pavilion Fitness Club in Elk Grove Village, it's almost become just another part of the job. For the second time in two years, Pignone is being credited with reviving a person who collapsed in cardiac arrest while working out at the fitness club.

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    Joe Walsh's ex-wife says the freshman congressman owes about $117,000 in back child support.

    Judge wants Walsh to prove he doesn't owe child suport

    A Cook County judge said 8th District Rep. Joe Walsh must “show cause” explaining why his ex-wife says he owes $99,480 in child support, before interest. Judge Raul Vega also questioned why Walsh, of McHenry, wasn't in court in Chicago Wednesday alongside his attorney, Janet Boyle, his ex-wife, Laura Walsh, and her attorney, Jack Coladarci.

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    Palatine teen charged with sexual assault

    A teenage resident of Little City, a Palatine facility for people with developmental disabilities, has been charged with sexual assault. Eddie Blue, 15, has been charged as an adult with the assault, which authorities say took place Monday at the facility.

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    Annette Boban places electrodes on Chawkeen Graham, 21, of Grayslake, pareparing him for an EKG.

    CLC hosts heart checks for young adults

    For the first time, the Max Schewitz Foundation has brought the Screens for Teens cardiac check-up program to students at College of Lake County. On Wednesday, the first 500 students between 18-28 who registered online got a free heart screening, including an EKG.

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    Aretha Franklin, ice show free for Hoffman Estates residents

    Hoffman Estates residents can obtain free ticket vouchers for Aretha Franklin’s upcoming appearance at the Sears Centre Arena during the “Fashion on Ice” event. “Fashion on Ice” takes place Saturday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. at the arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway. Besides the “Queen of Soul,” the event will feature Olympic and world-class figure skaters and top fashion designers.

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    Police reports

    Johnny Cajigas, 51, of the 600 block of Columbia Avenue in Elgin, appeared in bond court Wednesday on charges of failure to register within three days as a sex offender and failure to report annually as a sex offender, both felonies, according to court documents. Bail was set at $25,000, of which Cajigas must pay 10 percent to be released before his next court date, scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 20...

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    Teacher Judy Ronaldson, left, is acknowledged by Superintendent Kathy Birkett, right, for her service during the 30th Anniversary Celebration Breakfast at Thayer J. Hill Middle School in Naperville.

    Naperville’s Hill Middle School celebrates 30 years

    In 1981, Thayer J. Hill Junior High School in Naperville broke new ground when it opened to alleviate the crowding at Waubonsie High School, which was also housing seventh and eighth graders. Thirty years and a conversion to a middle school later, Indian Prairie Unit District 204 and school officials say the “Trailblazers” nickname still fits. “We’re breaking new ground in the areas of pedagogy...

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    Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle speaks at the GOA Regional Business Association, formerly the Greater O’Hare Association.

    Preckwinkle: Sales tax repeal a step in right direction

    A partial rollback of the controversial penny-on-the-dollar county sales tax is expected to cost Cook County $53 million in revenues next year, board President Toni Preckwinkle told a group of suburban business officials. Despite that, the Chicago Democrat said, she doesn’t regret the pledge she originally made on the campaign trail, even if it increases the county’s deficit in the...

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    Buffalo Grove man pleads guilty to sexual assault

    A Cook County judge sentenced a 43-year-old Buffalo Grove man to five years in prison for fondling a teenage girl when she was 15 and 16 years old. Phil Kalas was also ordered to register as a sex offender and to pay more than $1,300 in fines.

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    Gas leak snarls Itasca traffic

    Lanes were closed for several hours Wednesday on Rohlwing Road, near Irving Park Road in Itasca, as workers repaired a damaged gas line. Police Police said construction crews accidentally struck a gas line after 10 a.m. while doing roadwork along Rohlwing, between Army Trail Road and the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway. No injures or traffic accidents were caused as a result, officials added.

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    The 71-year-old motorist who drove into this patio of a Warrenville restaurant will not be cited. Police say she mistakenly hit the gas pedal instead of the brake when entering a parking space. Five people were injured in the Sept. 7 accident.

    No charges in Warrenville restaurant crash

    A 71-year-old St. Charles woman won’t be ticketed for running her car last week into the outdoor dining area of a Warrenville restaurant and injuring five people, authorities announced Wednesday. Warrenville police said their investigation found that the woman “inadvertently stepped on the gas rather than the brake,” which caused the Sept. 7 lunchtime crash at the Rock Bottom Brewery restaurant,...

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    Jereme Richmond

    Judge: Former hoops star Richmond can’t leave Illinois

    A Lake County judge said Wednesday that at least for the time being, a former Waukegan basketball standout charged with a pair of felonies will be playing strictly on his home court. At Jereme Richmond’s arraignment on aggravated battery and gun charges, Richmond’s attorney said his client has offers to “work out” with members of NBA teams in anticipation of Richmond being allowed to enter...

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    Winfield Road closed for hours after accident

    Lanes were closed for more than four hours after a morning vehicle crash shut down the intersection of Winfield and Mack roads on Wednesday near Winfield. Four people were injured in the accident that happened just before 7:30 a.m., said DuPage County Sheriff officials. The injured were taken to Central DuPage Hospital with unknown injuries, officials added.

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    Charles Denofrio wanted to turn the first floor of his historic West Dundee house into a coffeehouse, but many neighbors are opposed to the plan.

    West Dundee grounds coffeehouse

    A coffeehouse tucked inside a charming, quaint Victorian house in West Dundee sure sounded like a good idea to some. But it was one the village board ultimately had to turn down Monday, due in part to strong residential opposition.

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    Elk Grove Village officials voted this week to reinstall red-light cameras at the intersection of Devon Avenue and Busse Road after the number of accidents there sharply increased when the cameras were removed last year.

    Elk Grove study finds when red-light camera went down, crashes went up

    Elk Grove Village took a look at what the intersection of Devon Avenue and Busse Road would be like without red-light cameras. The results of the experiment are in, and, at least for red-light camera opponents, the news is not good. The intersection, which dropped out of the village's top 10 crash sites after the camera's installation, is now the No. 1 accident location in town.

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    Naperville may charge for some fire department services

    Naperville City Council members are considering charging for some fire department services. The proposal, which came during Tuesday’s budget workshop, would include charging for special services, such as extrications, performed by the fire department. Such “user fees” would lesson the overall burden on taxpayers, said Finance Director Karen DeAngelis.

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    Barrington area hospital produces cancer video

    Cancer survivors or those with loved ones who have lost their battle with cancer are invited to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital’s overflow ambulance bay between 1-3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, for an event in support of breast cancer awareness. As part of the campaign Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital is producing a music video called the “Pink Glove Dance.”

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    Ellen Correll

    Another Grayslake District 46 business boss leaving

    Grayslake Elementary District 46 has lost a business manager, again. Chief School Business Official Todd Covault is leaving the district after a little more than two months on the job for a similar post in downstate Decatur. Covault was the district's fifth business manager in three years, and Superintendent Ellen Correll said a decision has yet to be made whether the board will fill the job at...

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    Gas from McDonald’s soda fountain caused Georgia death

    Carbon dioxide from a soda fountain leaked in a McDonald’s in Georgia and sickened 10 people, including an woman who later died after being found unconscious in a restroom, police said Wednesday.

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    Anne M. Tannenbaum

    St. Charles woman Tasered in police standoff faces weapons charges

    Charges are filed against a 49-year-old St. Charles woman who sparked a police standoff on Sept. 2. Anne M. Tannenbaum, who also has a domestic violence conviction from 2005, is due in court on Monday and faces up to three years prison on charges of aggravated assault.

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    Fishing derby Saturday at a park in Mount Prospect

    The Mount Prospect Park District brings recreational fishing to youngsters age 4 to 14 on Saturday, September 17, from 9-11 am at Robert T. Jackson Clearwater Park. The fishing derby will open at 8:30 a.m. with an educational clinic on water and safety presented by Ron Aichholzer.

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    Dan Hampton at Woodfiled Sears store Friday

    Former Chicago Bear Dan Hampton will be at the Sears store at Woodfield Shopping Center in Schaumburg from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, for autographs and photos as part of a special promotion offering lower prices on Kenmore appliances in the Chicago area through Saturday, Sept. 17. The event will include chances to win gift cards and merchandise.

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    Police reports

    Someone used a silicone caulking gun in an attempt to seal the doors shut on two work vehicles parked in the 2N200 block of Denny Drive near St. Charles between 10 a.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

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    Senior transit changes hit snags but should generate cash

    The RTA estimates big bucks coming in now that not all seniors get a free ride on transit.

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    Raises for county attorneys delayed for new board

    Fees and fines increases in the court system that would fuel raises for state’s attorneys and public defenders in Kane County were put on hold this week. Board members expressed concern about vague wording in changes that don’t specifically tie the fees to the raises and the push to pass a change that won’t take effect until December 2012. By then there will be a new board, and possibly a new...

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    Daily Herald file photo Help clear a nearly 1-mile stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline at Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve near Highland Park on Saturday, Sept 17, from 9 a.m. to noon.

    Volunteers needed for beach cleanup at Ft. Sheridan preserve

    Help clear a nearly 1-mile stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline at Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve near Highland Park on Saturday, Sept 17, from 9 a.m. to noon. It is part of the Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-a-Beach Cleanup.

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    Lloyd Karmeier, Illinois Supreme Court justice

    Appeal questions state Supreme Court justice’s fairness

    Attorneys want the Illinois Supreme Court to restore a billion-dollar verdict against State Farm, claiming the insurance company wrongly hid how much it donated to the campaign of a justice who later cast a key vote in tossing out the award.

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    Woman accused of killing mother-in-law, burying body near Des Plaines

    A Bloomington woman is charged with choking her mother-in-law and then leaving the woman to gasp and die.

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    A woman passes next to screens showing stocks at the Athens Stock Exchange in Athens on Wednesday. Fears subsided Wednesday that Greece is headed for a chaotic default.

    Stock indexes jump on optimism over Greece

    A promise by European leaders to help Greece avoid default sent stocks sharply higher Wednesday, the third day of gains in a row.

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    In this aerial photo, an area of the Pagami Creek wildfire shows active burning and creates a large smoke plume on Tuesday Sept. 13, 2011 in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northeastern Minnesota. The haze from the fire was heavy enough that some people reported burning eyes and difficulty breathing in the Chicago area, 400 miles south of the forest fire, the National Weather Service said.

    Images: The Pagami Creek wildfire in Minnesota
    The Pagami Creek wildfire continues to burn in northeast Minnesota, in the popular Boundary Waters canoe area of the state. Although it's been burning for several weeks, suburban Chicago residents may have become aware of the blaze only when smoke blanketed the suburbs Tuesday. The blaze was touched off by a lightning strike during a storm mid-August.

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    Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced Wednesday that 114 police officers will be reassigned to beat patrol.

    Chicago puts 114 more police on beat duty

    There will soon be dozens more police officers on beat patrol in Chicago. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced Wednesday that 114 police officers assigned to special units and administrative jobs in the department will be reassigned to beat patrol.

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    Brett Goldstein, Chicago’s chief data officer, works at a bank of computers in his office. Starting today, Chicago will post online millions of crime statistics dating back to 2001. Experts say the department will be a national leader in making that information available online.

    Chicago to publish crime stats online

    Long a city with a reputation for withholding information, Chicago now wants to make public every crime over the past 10 years a highly unusual move among the nation’s major police departments. Starting today, millions of crime statistics dating to 2001 will be posted online in a searchable database.

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    Chicago man gets new trial after 21 years behind bars

    A Cook County judge has ordered a new trial for a Chicago man who has served 21 years in prison for the gang-related killing of a 16-year-old in 1988. Witness Orlando Lopez was 13 when he testified he watched Jacques Rivera shoot a rival gang member. Lopez now has recanted that testimony

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    University suspends research in lab after illness

    The University of Chicago has suspended research in a lab after a scientist developed a skin infection from the same kind of bacteria being studied there. The scientist was hospitalized late last month and had surgery to remove the infected tissue but has been released.

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    The Stearns Road bicycle and pedestrian bridge spans the Fox River near the Jon Duerr Forest Preserve in South Elgin.

    South Elgin bike bridge hosts grand opening

    Want to learn more about the Stearns Road bicycle bridge and other good hiking and biking spots? Join the Forest Preserve District and Kane County to celebrate new trails, bike bridges and open space at “Walk the Rock!,” Saturday, Sept. 17.

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    Bruce Conley Memorial Walk set for Saturday in Elburn

    The Conley Outreach Community Service is sponsoring the first Bruce Conley Memorial Walk on Saturday, Sept. 17, in memory of Bruce Conley who died one year ago. Bruce Conley, who served as a funeral director in Elburn for four decades, died at 60 of liver cancer, but is remembered for his work helping grieving adults and children in all facets of community life.

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    Theatre-Hikes performers use the natural settings of Morton Arboretum as the backdrops for productions and rely heavily on costuming rather than props.

    Theatre-Hikes take adventurous audiences ‘Around the World’

    Morton Arboretum goers can expect a breezy forecast on weekends in September — a byproduct of the whirlwind of characters, costumes and continents associated with the current Theatre-Hikes production. “Around the World in 80 Days” takes chaos to the hills and dales of Lisle’s outdoor museum to tell the story of an adventurer, Phileas Fogg.

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    Last Eclipse model to be auctioned for charity in St. Charles
    Calling all car enthusiasts. Collectors will be interested in a special edition Mitsubishi Eclipse that will be on the auction block Sunday in St. Charles. Proceeds of the sale will go to Japanese Red Cross earthquake relief.

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    Junior Kevin Schreiber, a member of the track and cross country teams, brought the idea of EKG testing to St. Viator.

    EKGs available to St. Viator students

    Saint Viator will be one of the first Northwest suburban high schools to make electrocardiograms available to all students as part of their proactive stance on detecting undiagnosed heart ailments.

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    Visitors gather on the Riverwalk for an arts and crafts show during a previous West Dundee Heritage Fest. This year's festival starts today and runs through Sunday.

    Heritage Fest comes to West Dundee

    The days are cooler; Friday night's fireworks display shine brighter over the Fox River, and Sunday's parade celebrates the homecoming of area high schools -- timing is everything when it comes to Heritage Fest in West Dundee. More than 10 years ago when organizers planned the first three-day festival, they decided to sandwich it between summer's unofficial end, Labor Day, and October's...

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    Healthier habits for kids urged

    The Lake County Family YMCA is reminding parents about the importance of incorporating regular physical activity and healthier eating habits into their children’s lives during September, national childhood obesity awareness month.

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    The Lombard Garden Club and the Lombard Park District will sponsor Prairie Days from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, in Terrace View Park. The event is meant to be educational as well as fun, organizers say.

    Lombard’s Prairie Days spotlights flatland ecosystem

    When the first settlers came to what’s now the Chicago suburbs, every day was a prairie day. The suburban landscape has changed, but Lombard still harkens back to its prairie heritage each fall with the annual Prairie Days celebration, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18.

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    Maureen Lydon of Chicago waits for her dog, Molly, as she going through an agility tunnel last year at the CSBarks festival at Armstrong Park.

    CSBarks offers festival of fun for Fido

    It’s clear Fido has a special place in Carol Stream. A new three-acre dog park opens this fall at North Avenue and Kuhn Road. And for the third year, the park district is hosting the CSBarks Dog Festival, a free event for dogs, their owners and non-pet owners alike on Sunday, Sept. 18.

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    Kate Diaz

    ‘Sing’ finalists perform in Deer Park on Saturday

    The local finalists in the national talent competition, "Sing!" will perform live on two successive Saturday afternoons, Sept. 17 and 24, at the Deer Park Town Center. The finalists are both soloists and groups, and come from all over the North, Northwest and West suburbs.

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    Dist. 204 hopes to jump start home building

    Indian Prairie Unit District 204 board members have agreed to delay their collection of fees from a developer of a subdivision to spur on the project. Pulte Homes is planning to build 223 houses at 248th Street and Wolves Crossing. “It really is our very own local stimulus program,” board President Curt Bradshaw said. “This is a development that would not happen otherwise.

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    Huntley 5K, other races to benefit Shop with a Cop

    The fourth-annual Coach Tomaso Celebration one-mile walk, a 5K fun run and children’s 50-yard dash, is set for Oct. 8 in Huntley. It will support the McHenry County’s Shop with a Cop program helping kids secure school supplies and Christmas gifts at Walmart.

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    Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner speaks at the future site of RiverEdge Park, where hiring guidelines imposed by funding grants are being met.

    Aurora downtown park on track to meet hiring guidelines

    Donors who gave $13 million to jump start construction of RiverEdge Park in Aurora also laid down some rules about what type of companies can get the gig of building the city's outdoor gathering place of the future. So far, the project is on track to meet or exceed the requirements.

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    School districts might ice floor hockey in gym class

    Despite its popularity among students, floor hockey in gym class could soon be eliminated at a handful of Northwest suburban high schools. Officials from Districts 211 and 207 are weighing their options after the Secondary School Cooperative Risk Management Program, a risk-sharing insurance pool they govern along with Districts 214 and 225, declared floor hockey without proper gear and equipment...

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    The second installment of Cook County's property tax bills will be mailed out late for the 34th consecutive year, but earlier than the past few years.

    Cook County tax bills late for 34th straight year

    The second installment of Cook County's property tax bills are expected to be sent out at the start of next month and due in early November. But that's still late and marks the 34th years in a row that such bills haven't been distributed on time. The late date could end up costing taxpayers more money if school districts have to borrow if their portion of the money is late getting to them.

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    Palatine man pleads not guilty to molesting 15-year-old

    A Palatine man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he molested a girl inside some apartments he owns in Buffalo Grove on Aug. 1. Bin Zhou, 57, is charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Lake County Circuit Court.

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    The Metra train station is on Railroad Avenue, accessible via Keslinger Road east of Main Street.

    Elburn going to permits for Metra lot

    Beginning Tuesday the village of Elburn will begin issuing parking permits for the Metra commuter lot. Permits for the remainder of the year will be $85.

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    A beggar holds a poster reading, “I’m hungry,” in Thessaloniki Wednesday. Greek leader George Papandreou has promised to greatly speed up public sector cuts and impose more blanket taxation to plug budget shortfalls.

    Europe pressured to do more to help euro

    International pressure grew on Europe to find a lasting solution to the debt crisis that is shaking global financial markets, as the leaders of Greece, Germany and France held talks Wednesday in an emergency teleconference.

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    Hiroshi Kawano, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, displays the PlayStation Vita portable video game player as he speaks at a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday.

    Sony sets PlayStation Vita sale date for Japan

    Sony’s upgraded portable video game machine PlayStation Vita is going on sale in Japan on Dec. 17 with 26-game software going on sale on the same date, but it’s still not available overseas until next year.

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    In this April 21, 2010, file photo taken in the Gulf of Mexico more than 50 miles southeast of Venice on Louisiana’s tip, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig is seen burning.

    Report: BP ultimately responsible in Gulf spill

    A key federal report goes further than other investigations and puts ultimate responsibility on BP for the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history and the deaths of 11 rig workers, especially regarding the cement seal that was put in place the day before the explosion that triggered the spill.

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    SAT reading scores fall to new low

    SAT reading scores for the high school class of 2011 were the lowest on record, and combined reading and math scores fell to their lowest point since 1995.

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    Trails, picnic areas, accessible features on tap at Vaughan in Aurora

    The ponds designed to hold stormwater north of the Vaughan Athletic Center in Aurora aren’t going away. But the Fox Valley Park District will work around them, with a plan to improve the 19-acre area and make it more inviting to nearby residents, disabled people and athletic center users. Park trustees approved a master plan envisioning outdoor recreation and relaxation areas for people of all...

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    Paul Cameron

    Lombard recruiter helps unemployed find jobs

    Paul Cameron of Lombard helps give the jobless some hope while hosting JobTalk on Elmhurst-based WJJG Radio. He also is the founder and president of the IT search firm DriveStaff Inc., which has offices in Elmhurst and Wheaton.

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    Ending AIDS would cost another $6 billion a year

    Michel Kazatchkine and Eric Goosby may be able to halt the spread of HIV. They just need the money.

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    Senate may not be able to vote on FAA bill this week, Reid says
    Bloomberg NewsThe Senate may not be able to vote on a bill to keep aviation and highway programs operating before the aviation funding expires Sept. 16 because one lawmaker is blocking the measure, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said today.The House yesterday approved funding for the Federal Aviation Administration, packaged with money for highway and transit programs.

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Burglars reached through an open window of a car and stole a purse valued at $250. Offenders used a credit card in the purse to buy a laptop computer valued at $400 at Walmart. Attempts to use a debit card in the purse at the Walmart and two gas stations were denied.

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    Republican Bob Turner smiles Tuesday as he leans in to kiss his wife, Peggy, while addressing the supporters during an election night party in New York. The retired media executive and political novice defeated Democratic state Assemblyman David Weprin.

    GOP wins in NY, Nevada House races

    Republican Bob Turner, with voters dealing a rebuke to President Barack Obama in a traditionally Democratic district, won the New York City House seat that scandal forced Anthony Weiner to give up.The Associated Press reported that with 88 percent of the vote counted in yesterday's special election, Turner had 54 percent and Democrat David Weprin had 46 percent.

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    Vatican lists core teachings for traditionalists

    VATICAN CITY — The Vatican told a group of breakaway traditional Catholics on Wednesday that they must accept some core church teachings if they want to be brought back into the fold of the Roman Catholic Church.

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    Woodstock networking group helps start your green business
    The Woodstock-based networking group ECOmmunity Public Action Network will hold its first Green Bag Lunch Meetup of the fall season from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15.

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    Teachers at 6th Chicago school OK longer day

    Teachers at two more Chicago schools have voted to lengthen the school day in exchange for cash from the district.

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    The Ohio Valley Refinery & Roadshow is making a stop in Elgin this week in search of rare and unique collectibles.

    Bring your collectibles to roadshow in Elgin
    If you have gold, silver, antiques or other rare collectibles lying around your house, bring it to the Ohio Valley Refinery & Roadshow, which continues from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, at the Holiday Inn, 495 Airport Road in Elgin.

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    Jimmy Bestman, of the oompah band Jimmy’s Bavarians, takes a break at last year’s festival to try a cider spice doughnut. The band is back this year.

    Keg rolling to open Oktoberfest in Palatine

    The Rotary Club of Palatine will host Oktoberfest Friday through Sunday, Sept. 16-18, in the Fireman’s Memorial parking lot, Brockway and Slade in downtown Palatine. Plenty of music, beer (you can even try some German wine), lots of food and activities. Hours are 4 p.m.-midnight Friday; noon-midnight Saturday; and noon-6 p.m. Sunday.

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    Fiestas Patrias brings Mexican culture to Aurora

    A corner of downtown Aurora is soon to become a bit like Mexico during Fiestas Patrias, a three-day celebration of Mexican independence hosted by the Aurora Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

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    Wisconsin construction worker killed at Elmhurst construction site
    A road construction worker has died at an Elmhurst construction site after being struck by a semi-tractor trailer.

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    Members of the 2011-12 Stevenson High School hockey teams raised more than $2,000 for the Christopher Steele Foundation, named for a Stevenson graduate who died in 2006.

    Stevenson hockey teams run 5K to cancer research
    Members of the 2011-12 Stevenson High School hockey teams participated in a 5K run for the Christopher Steele Foundation. The team raised more than $2,000 in honor of Christopher Steele, a Stevenson graduate and hockey player who died of an inoperable brain tumor in 2006.

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    Son, 17, charged in deaths of Palos Park couple
    PALOS PARK — Authorities in suburban Chicago have charged a high school student in the deaths of his parents, who were found beaten in their Palos Park home.

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    Stinky flower blooming at Western Illinois

    MACOMB— A giant flower found in the rainforests of Indonesia is blooming at Western Illinois University and ready for visitors. But you may want to pack some nose plugs. For the third time since last year, a Titan Arum or “Corpse Flower” is on display at the university’s greenhouse. The flower got the nickname because when it blooms it smells like rotting meat.

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    6-ton chocolate bar school-lesson bound

    Chicago-based World’s Finest Chocolate on Tuesday made a chocolate bar that weighs 12,000 pounds and measures 3-feet high and 21-feet long. The big bar is actually meant to be an example of “portion distortion” for school children. The chocolate company will feature the candy bar on a tour of schools called “Think Big. Eat Smart.”

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    Emanuel scales back Daley’s security team
    $PHOTOCREDIT_ON$Associated Press$PHOTOCREDIT_OFF$Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is scaling back the security detail for retired Mayor Richard Daley.Emanuel says cutting Daley’s detail from six police officers to three will save taxpayers money.He says the three officers will work on patrol when they aren’t needed for Daley and his wife, who live near downtown.

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    Ill. gets fed grant for substance-abuse treatment

    SPRINGFIELD — Illinois will get a $694,370 grant from the federal government to provide inmate substance-abuse treatment. The U.S. Justice Department grant will pay for programs in the state Departments of Corrections and Juvenile Justice. The program requires six to 12 months of treatment in a residential setting away from the general inmate population.

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    Arlington Heights Nurses Club scholarship recipients, from left, are: Kimberly Nylec, Mary Katherine Trunk, Jaclyn Kanners and Tim Kuypers.

    Arlington Heights Nurses Club names scholarship recipients

    The Arlington Heights Nurses Club introduced its 2011-2012 scholarship winners to members at a recent meeting. A total of four nursing students were honored.

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    Foundation to host Ryan’s Run 5K in Vernon Hills

    The Ryan Briere Foundation announces the first Ryan's Run 5K run/walk Sunday, Sept. 18 at Century Park North, Vernon Hills. Proceeds from this event will benefit the teachers at Goddard School in Vernon Hills.

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    Elgin's budget and financial planning task force is recommending Elgin cut back on snow removal and leaf pickup.

    Cut leaf, snow removal costs, Elgin task force says

    Elgin's budget and financial planning task force made its first steps toward official policy recommendations Tuesday, agreeing to cut snow removal and leaf collection costs but putting off a recommendation on what to do with the city's riverboat money. Task force members at least agreed to avoid any expansion of the riverboat policy, which governs use of funds collected from the Grand Victoria...

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    Gurnee Police Robert Jones will receive a package worth $139,602 from a "retirement/separation agreement" approved by the village board. Monday night's deal came in the wake of Jones being on administrative leave with pay after employee complaints led to an investigation of his conduct by a Chicago law firm.

    Gurnee police chief departs with $139,600 package after employee complaints

    Gurnee Police Robert Jones will receive a package worth $139,602 from a "retirement/separation agreement" approved by the village board. Monday night's deal came in the wake of Jones being on administrative leave with pay after employee complaints led to an investigation of his conduct by a Chicago law firm.

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    Kelly Farley started a push to amend the Family Medical Leave Act to allow 12 weeks unpaid time off for a child’s death. A bill to that end called the Parental Bereavement Leave Act now is in the U.S. Senate.

    Aurora man goes to D.C. to get votes for grieving parents act

    An Aurora man’s idea of amending the Family Medical Leave Act to allow unpaid time off when a child dies now is more than an idea — it’s a bill in the U.S. Senate. The man behind the bill, Kelly Farley of Aurora, is in Washington, D.C. this week meeting with staff members for 19 legislators in both houses of Congress seeking their support of the Parental Bereavement Leave Act.

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    Mohsin Dada

    What your tips helped our suburban watchdog find

    Today's Suburban Tax Watchdog column is a compilation of smaller investigations some readers asked us to look into. From $10,000 staff retreats in Schaumburg District 54, not to mention a pension double dip from a former well-paid Dist. 54 administrator, to campaign contributions by lottery management officials, it's a regular potpourri of government spending and receiving.

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    Holocaust survivor Joyce Wagner speaks to students at Glenbard East High School. Wagner survived several work camps and the Auschwitz Nazi death camp in Poland.

    Holocaust survivor shares story at Glenbard East

    Holocaust survivor Joyce Wagner still has the number “5779” tattooed on her arm - a permanent reminder of her experiences at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp in World War II. She says it's her responsibility to the 6 million people who perished during the Holocaust to share her story, and make sure they’re not forgotten.

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    Naperville’s budget process off to a brighter start

    Naperville council members kicked off their annual budget process with a bit of “pretty good news” Tuesday evening. Several belt-tightening measures combined with better than expected retail sales tax receipts appear to have trimmed the anticipated $11.2 million fiscal year 2013 budget gap by $7.8 million.

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    Suburban agencies see doom in new human services cuts

    The state’s Human Services Commission met with local service agencies at Waubonsee Community College to talk about the impact of FY2012 budget cuts on their programs. Local human service groups said if other state homes/services are closed, they can handle the extra patients as long as the money saved from closing facilities goes to the service groups that would be taking on some of the extra...

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    Rolling Meadows already preparing for winter weather

    Rolling Meadows council members approved buying salt for the winter at their meeting Tuesday. Salt will cost the village a little more than $60 per ton, a slight increase from last year.

Sports

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    Another multi-tool gets a solid first test

    Daily Herald outdoors columnist Mike Jackson gives his latest multi-tool a field test in the northern woods, and he likes the end results.

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    Roberto Garza's move to center has been a rousing success so far, and he has drawn the praise of offensive line coach Mike Tice.

    Garza: Seeing Kreutz in Saints' uniform will be strange

    Former linemate Roberto Garza has mixed emotions about the Bears facing former teammate Olin Kreutz Sunday in New Orleans.

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    Wednesday’s girls volleyball scoreboard
    High school varsity results from Wednesday's girls volleyball matches, as reported to the Daily Herald.

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    Wednesday’s girls tennis scoreboard
    High school varsity results from Wednesday's girls tennis meets, as reported to the Daily Herald.

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    Wednesday’s boys golf scoreboard
    High school varsity results from Wednesday's boys golf meets, as reported to the Daily Herald.

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    Wednesday’s girls swimming scoreboard
    High school varsity results from Wednesday's girls swimming meets, as reported to the Daily Herald.

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    Wednesday’s girls golf scoreboard
    High school varsity results from Wednesday's girls golf meets, as reported to the Daily Herald.

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    Wednesday’s girls cross country scoreboard
    High school varsity results from Wednesday's girls cross country meets, as reported to the Daily Herald.

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    Wednesday’s boys soccer scoreboard
    High school varsity results of Wednesday's boys soccer matches, as reported to the Daily Herald.

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    Wednesday’s boys cross country scoreboard
    High school varsity results from Wednesday's boys cross country meets, as reported to the Daily Herald.

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    Big night for Fire’s Pineda

    Victor Pineda’s family hails originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, so making his Chicago Fire first-team debut against Chivas del Guadalajara was extra special for the kid from Bolingbrook.For Pineda and many of his younger teammates, the friendly wasn’t about the result, a 1-0 Chivas victory Wednesday night in front of 18,224.It was about the experience.The Fire’s first homegrown signee, the 18-year-old was one of nine Fire halftime substitutions, along with Arlington Heights native Pari Pantazopoulos, who also got in a first-team game at Toyota Park for the first time.“It was a great experience, especially having my debut game being against a team like Chivas,” said Pineda, whose grandparents made the trip from Mexico for the game. “Growing up I loved watching them play.”Pineda played right midfielder, earning a 75th-minute corner kick and an 81st-minute yellow card.“It was good,” he said. “My teammates gave me a lot of confidence. Whenever I did lose the ball, made a mistake, they would always encourage me to keep working, do better, and get after the next one.”“Games like this, the young guys, it’s great for them, for their experience, for their development, their growth and stuff,” said Fire interim coach/technical director Frank Klopas. “It was a good opportunity for all the players to get in.”After an even first half, Chivas scored the game’s only goal against the Fire’s second unit on a 61st minute free kick by Jorge Mora.The Fire also waived Croatian midfielder Marko Maric on Wednesday.Maric played just once, a 17-minute stint at Portland on April 14, before suffering an injury. He has been on injured reserve since. Maric was paid $200,000 in guaranteed compensation this season, according to MLS Players Union numbers.ŸFollow Orrin Schwarz on Twitter @ [URL]orrinsoccer.;http://twitter.com/#!/orrinsoccer[URL][/URL]

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    Antioch outlasts Lakes in 3

    Jessica Ploss and Brianna Grant slammed 8 and 7 kills, respectively, Marissa Grant rang up 20 assists and 11 digs, and Antioch’s girls volleyball team outlasted visiting Lakes 25-21, 22-25, 25-20 in a North Suburban Prairie Division showdown Wednesday night.

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    Prospect’s Hamann wins No. 100

    Prospect girls golf coach Jim Hamman won his 100th dual meet in seven years with the program as the Knights topped Buffalo Grove at the Mt. Prospect Golf Course.

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    St. Edward outlasts IC

    It was a night of comebacks and close matches at Immaculate Conception Wednesday, as the St. Edward Green Wave defeated the IC Knights in a Suburban Christian Conference girls volleyball matchup.

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    Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah returns a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown in the second half Saturday against Fresno State. He came to Nebraska as the least heralded of the three running backs in the 2011 recruiting class. No doubt, his Q rating has shot past that of those other backs, Braylon Heard and Aaron Green, since he returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown to break open last week's 42-29 win over Fresno State.

    Huskers' Abdullah coming up big as return man

    Hanging in Nebraska freshman Ameer Abdullah's bedroom is a sign reading, "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog."

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    Stricker says demanding Dubsdread favors long hitters

    Steve Stricker doesn't think it's too hard to figure out what kind of player a demanding course like Dubsdread favors. Just look at the past two champions.

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    Harper women’s soccer squad battles injuries

    After dropping the season opener to College of DuPage last week, the Harper College women’s soccer team was able to bounce back with a 2-1 victory over South Suburban two days later. Injuries have been a challenge for the Hawks.

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    Geovany Soto leaves the plate after striking out against Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Logan Ondrusek in the seventh inning Wednesday night. Cincinnati won 7-2.

    Reds overcome loss of Cueto, beat Cubs 7-2

    Johnny Cueto missed the beginning of the season with an injury. Now he's hurt again. The major league ERA leader left the Cincinnati Reds' 7-2 win over the Cubs after 3 2-3 innings Wednesday night because of a strained muscle in the upper right side of his back.

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    The White Sox’ Dylan Axelrod allowed 2 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings with 8 strikeouts Wednesday against the Tigers in his first major-league start.

    Dylan Axelrod has ‘a blast’ in first big-league start

    There was one highlight from the White Sox' loss to the Tigers Wednesday - Dylan Axelrod pitched very well in his first major-league start. The right-hander was discovered while pitching for the Windy City Thunderbolts in the independent Frontier League.

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    Tyler Colvin has been all but forgotten in September by Cubs manager Mike Quade.

    Tyler Colvin has morphed into Cubs' invisible man

    Tyler Colvin has all but vanished from the Cubs' scene in September. Whether he is in the plans at all for 2012 will be up to the new general manager. Colvin played a lot in August, sitting out only two games. But in September, Colvin already has six DNPs — to use an NBA term for “did not play” — and has made just 3 starts.

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    Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish, middle, celebrates with teammates after a touchdown against Kansas.

    Huskies not a team to slow things down

    When a midmajor football program takes on a talented and highly ranked opponent, a typical goal is to shorten the contest with long, slow drives that keep the clock running. Northern Illinois is thinking the opposite heading into Saturday's matchup with No. 7 Wisconsin at Soldier Field. “Our biggest asset is going fast,” NIU quarterback Chandler Harnish said this week.

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    White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen doesn’t like what he sees from his team these days, and he includes himself in his assessment.

    Guillen’s just about had it with White Sox

    Forget the raging debate about manager Ozzie Guillen’s future with the White Sox for a moment. Let’s talk about the present. After another gut-wrenching loss, this one a 6-5 decision to the Detroit Tigers in 10 innings Wednesday at U.S. Cellular Field, Guillen almost sounded like he was ready to quit.

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    Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, named NFC defensive player of the week for his play against Atlanta, has left the team to deal with the unexpected death of his mother at her home in Texas. Teammate Jay Cutler said that when Urlacher gets back to Chicago, “we'll be here for him.”

    Bears comfort Urlacher after mom's death

    The Bears could be without the reigning NFC defensive player of the week and seven-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker Brian Urlacher when they face the Saints' explosive offense in the raucous, earsplitting Louisiana Superdome on Sunday. Urlacher left the team Tuesday to be with his family following the death of his mother, Lavoyda Lenard, 51.

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    Jimmie Johnson says he has no problem finding motivation after winning five consecutive Sprint Cup championships. His quest for No. 6 begins this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway with the first race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. .

    NASCAR Chase set to begin, and Johnson's ready

    The 2011 season has been atypical for Jimmie Johnson. His only win in the first 26 races came at Talladega, a restrictor-plate racetrack. Late in the Sprint Cup Series' regular season, however, Johnson began to string together top-five finishes.

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    Phil Mickelson chips to the eighth green Wednesday during the Pro-Am at the BMW Championship golf tournament.

    Cog Hill still not winning over players

    Somewhere, the hair on the back of Rees Jones' neck had to be standing at full attention Wednesday afternoon. That's because Jones, the man in charge of the $5.2 million redesign of Cog Hill's Dubsdread, was in the cross hairs — yet again — of a number of big-name golfers who came out swinging following a soggy Pro-Am tournament in Lemont.

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    Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings has her best chance ever to win a WNBA title.

    Catchings chases elusive WNBA title

    INDIANAPOLIS — Tamika Catchings has one goal left in her career: winning a WNBA title. In pursuit of that goal, she also could claim her first MVP award.The 32-year-old forward has finished in the top five in the MVP balloting eight times.She’s a four-time defensive player of the year who has led the Fever to the playoffs seven straight years, the Eastern Conference Finals three times and the WNBA Finals once.She’s a two-time Olympic gold medalist and was a collegiate national champion at Tennessee.Catchings, who played two years at Stevenson High School, blames herself for not yet having a WNBA ring, and she carries that burden into Thursday’s first-round opener against the New York Liberty.“Being the leader for this team and being at the forefront, everybody looks to my direction,” she said. “Maybe there’s something else I need to be doing.”Catchings doesn’t have much room for improvement. She averaged 15.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.5 assists this season while ranking in the top 10 in scoring, rebounding, free-throw percentage and steals.Indiana finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference, giving the Fever homecourt advantage in at least the first two rounds of the playoffs and Catchings perhaps her best shot at reaching the top.“The potential that we have, the players that we have — we have all the pieces, it’s just a matter of putting it all together,” she said.While Catchings avoids newspapers and websites so she can stay focused on team business, all-star Fever guard Katie Douglas has no problem touting her teammate as a worthy MVP.“I think it would be a great credential,” Douglas said. “I know she says she’d rather win a championship, and that’s great, but there’s so many things that she does show up on a stat sheet, and then there’s so many intangibles.”After Catchings tied a career high with 32 points in a win over the Liberty on Aug. 13, Fever coach Lin Dunn started an unofficial campaign.“Catch is a multidimensional player,” Dunn said that night. “I think sometimes she’s not given enough credit for all the different things she can do. She gets assists, she gets steals, she gets rebounds, she scores, and she defends like nobody else in the league.”Catchings has picked up another advocate along the way — Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird.“The one thing I notice about her that you don’t find in very many basketball players, men or women, is she never gives up on a play,” he said. “She’s always digging, always going after it, always trying to get her hands on the ball.”Bird, who coached the Indiana Pacers, appreciates Catchings’ consistency and versatility. The three-time NBA MVP and three-time world champion for the Boston Celtics said Catchings’ tenacity reminds him of himself.“She’s so consistent, and you know what you’ll get out of her every day,” he said. Catchings appreciated the support but made it clear that she’s focused on the task ahead.“I’m really honored that a lot of people have gone to bat for me and want to see me win it,” she said. “I want to focus on playing and doing what it takes to help this team win,” she said.Handling the Liberty and their MVP candidate, Cappie Pondexter, will be a challenge. Pondexter finished sixth in the league with 17.4 points per game this season. The guard averaged 19 points and 4 assists in four regular-season games against the Fever.“She’s an amazing player,” Catchings said. “She’s the kind of player that I would love to play with someday. You know what she’s capable of doing.”Catchings said no player or team can shut Pondexter down.“You can’t leave it to one person to guard her the whole game,” she said. “It’s definitely a team effort. You just have to find a way to slow her down and keep the ball out of her hands.”

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    Michigan wide receiver Junior Hemingway, pursued by Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, gains 77 yards on a pass play during the third quarter Saturday in Ann Arbor. Michigan won 35-31.

    Irish try to put past behind them

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Harrison Smith was involved in the final play of last year's loss at Michigan State and it is something the Notre Dame captain doesn't care to revisit.Smith and linebacker Carlos Calabrese were knocked to the ground when the Spartans faked a field goal and holder Aaron Bates threw a game-winning touchdown pass to Charlie Gantt in overtime.Smith, a fifth-year senior safety, wasn't reflecting on the stunning loss of a year ago or how difficult times were in 2007 when the Irish lost their first five games. Lose on Saturday and Notre Dame will be 0-3 for the first time since that season four years ago.Smith says the time has come to turn the season around with better play on the field."I'm not worried what happened a couple of years ago, a week ago, yesterday," Smith said. "We're not thinking in the past. ... We have moved on."If that 34-31 loss was crushing a year ago in East Lansing, so was the 35-31 defeat at Michigan last Saturday when the Wolverines scored 28 fourth-quarter points, including a game-winning TD with 2 seconds to go."Similar to last week, I mean, it was hard to take it," receiver Michael Floyd said, comparing the two losses.He called the experience at East Lansing "shocking." ''You never want to end a game like that. ... We want to get revenge."First of all, the Irish want to stop making the mistakes that have plagued them in two games and put their season on the brink already. There have been 10 turnovers and 17 penalties.Coach Brian Kelly made it a point Wednesday during a rainy practice that it's time for the Irish to wake up. He even had his team tackle during the practice, saying it was the first time Notre Dame had done that in regular season drills since he arrived. It was high energy and physical."I think everybody is a little bit — I don't want to say annoyed. Nobody is happy. And I'm OK with that. Nobody should be in a great mood," Kelly said. "We got work to do."They will be facing a physical Spartans defense featuring linebackers Max Bullough, Denicos Allen and Chris Norman, one that allowed only one first down, 22 yards rushing and 48 yards total against Florida Atlantic last week. In two games, the 2-0 Spartans have given up six total points, although they've done it against Youngstown State and Florida Atlantic.Quarterback Kirk Cousins doesn't run as often as B.J. Daniels of South Florida or Denard Robinson of Michigan, but he has a strong arm and is 18-9 in 27 career starts. Running backs Edwin Baker and Le'Veon Bell and receivers B.J. Cunningham and Keshawn Martin will give the Irish defense a different kind of test.Cornerback Gary Gray had a tough day against the Wolverines. He was burned several times, including that game winning TD toss. Whether Michigan State goes at him Saturday could be an interesting sidelight."He's a veteran. He is one of the best players we have on our defense. We love Gary and have a massive amount of respect for him," defensive coordinator Bob Diaco said.Diaco took the blame for the fourth-quarter meltdown that included Michigan completing a 64-yard pass to set up the winning score after the Wolverines started from the 20 with only a half-minute to go."No one in this organization is interested in placing blame on any of the players. That's for sure," Diaco said.For Smith, conversing with his teammates about where the Irish are or how they've lost their first two games and how they're going to turn it around, won't do any good. It's time to lead by example."Talking doesn't mean anything. So for me and to the rest of the team, it's about what we do from this point on," he said. "We are going to go harder in practice than we ever have, things like that. And just, you know, get the message across to the players through action instead of just talking about it."

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    Burlington Central’s Hayley Brake goes above the defense of Genoa Kingston’s Tori Hensley Wednesday in Burlington.

    Gritty win for Burlington Central

    Burlington Central got more credit for grit than for style. The Rockets fought through some rough patches to defeat Genoa-Kingston, 25-22, 25-15, in the Big Northern East girls volleyball opener for both teams Wednesday on Rocket Hill.

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    Lake Zurich’s Amanda Orchard leaps for a kill in front of Fremd’s Lane Hindenburg.

    Greedy Lake Zurich nets Self-centered victory

    Junior Layne Self jump-served four straight aces to help Lake Zurich earn a nonconference girls volleyball victory at Fremd on Wednesday.

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    South Elgin Stadium opens Thursday

    South Elgin High School will officially open its new on-campus stadium Thursday, with the first varsity event being the Storm’s boys soccer team taking on Hoffman Estates at 4:30 p.m.

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    Carmel manages to edge Nazareth

    Carmel's boys soccer team bounced back from a 1-goal loss to Benet earlier this week by edging Nazareth 3-2.

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    Victorious Palatine aims to stay No. 1

    Palatine's boys cross country team aims to hang on to the state's No. 1 ranking, and based on Wednesday's victory over Fremd, that looks very likely.

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    NIU’s Doeren sticks with tradition

    Dave Doeren and Bret Bielema go fishing...Rashaan Melvin goes pass-picking...Scott Wedige goes by bus...and Jim Cornelison goes a-wassling. NIU football notes for your reading pleasure.

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    Dundee-Crown’s Colleen Champa swims the 100-yard breaststroke at last year’s IHSA state finals.

    Dundee-Crown’s Champa seeks more success

    Dundee-Crown senior Colleen Champa doesn’t like to be told she can’t do something. Champa missed her entire freshman season and half of her sophomore season while battling a hip injury. She was told she could no longer do the breaststroke — one of her key events. That also, theoretically, would put the kibash on the 200 IM, which includes the breaststroke.

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    Fremd finds strength in numbers at Palatine

    Erica King provided an example of the talent level in Fremd's freshman class, cruising to victory in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:38.95 as Fremd topped host Palatine 97-77 on Wednesday in a Mid-Suburban League dual.

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    Glenbard East's Lindsay Rakosnik (So.) finished second in the 400 meters during Saturday's IHSA girls track state finals at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.

    Either way, Rakosnik can go the distance

    Need a fast conversion from meters to miles? Try Glenbard East senior Lindsey Rakosnik.

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    West Aurora’s boys soccer squad is a small world unto itself. Pictured are World Relief students on the Blackhawks (from left): Do Thieu, Olivier Dasilveira, Haitham Al Rubai, Milomir Suvira, Omar Adnan and Ibo Kibarov.

    Several World Relief refugees enjoy playing soccer at West Aurora

    One of the West Aurora boys soccer assistants was wondering why last month it seemed that a couple players were dragging.

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    Aurora Central Catholic’s Reed chips onto the green during the Aurora City golf tournament at Phillips Park in Aurora.

    Waubonsie Valley wins Aurora title

    Alex Koulos is suddenly the elder statesman of the Waubonsie Valley team. Wednesday afternoon at the Aurora City Tournament, Koulos’ steadfastness was ever apparent in helping the Warriors’ boys golf team win their third straight city championship

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    Wasowicz, Palatine extend winning trend

    Palatine’s girls cross country team lost three seniors from last years team that finished second in Class 3A, including top runner Courtney Brown. But with junior Tess Wasowicz leading the charge, the Pirates haven’t missed a beat this season.

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    A few FedExCup numbers to digest

    Even though there’s not supposed to be math in sports, sadly there is.Everywhere.That’s especially true in the FedExCup playoffs.Thanks to the PGA Tour, we have some numbers for you that are relatively easy to digest when it comes to the 70-man BMW Championship field and what they need to do to advance to the playoff-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta:

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    PAUL MICHNA/Pmichna@dailyherald.com ¬ Adam Dansdill of Wheaton pulls down Avery Balogh of Glen Ellyn during the Glenbard West and Wheaton Warrenville South game Sunday.

    Another option for Glenbard West

    The rich are about to get richer. Glenbard West’s vaunted running game will receive a boost in Saturday’s West Suburban Silver football matchup against Hinsdale Central with the return of explosive junior Kendall Johnson, who missed the season’s first three games.

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    White Sox scouting report

    Scouting report: White Sox vs. Royals

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    Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio says he’s ‘completely healthy,’ almost a year after he suffered a mild heart attack after beating Notre Dame on a fake field goal.

    Michigan State’s Dantonio facing Irish a year after heart scare

    Mark Dantonio feels strange looking back. It's been a year since the Michigan State coach was hospitalized because of a mild heart attack after calling a memorable fake field goal to beat Notre Dame. Now, only days from a rematch with the Irish, Dantonio can't avoid the memories from that whirlwind of a night.

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    A.J. Pierzynski reacts after grounding into a double play Wednesday to end the ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers won 6-5 in 10 innings.

    Tigers rally past White Sox for 12th straight win

    Carlos Guillen singled home the go-ahead run in the 10th inning and the Detroit Tigers extended their longest winning streak in 77 years, rallying past the Chicago White Sox 6-5 on Wednesday for their 12th straight victory.Guillen also hit a solo homer for Detroit, which hadn’t won 12 in a row since 1934 — when Hank Greenberg, Charlie Gehringer and the Tigers lost a seven-game World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals’ famous Gas House Gang.Jose Valverde finished up in the ninth to remain perfect in 44 save opportunities this year.Closing in on an AL Central title, the surging Tigers rallied for three runs in the ninth off Chicago’s bullpen to prevent rookie Dylan Axelrod from earning his first career win.Ryan Raburn’s pinch-hit homer with one out off Chris Sale brought the Tigers within two. Magglio Ordonez walked, chasing Sale. Alex Avila pinch-hit for Andy Dirks and hit Sergio Santos’ second pitch into the seats in right-center to tie it.The Tigers have won 22 of their last 26 games overall and 21 of 27 against the White Sox.Axelrod struck out eight and threw six strong innings in his first career start just two years after pitching for the independent Windy City ThunderBolts.Santos (4-5) blew his sixth save of the season.Miguel Cabrera singled, doubled and scored a run for Detroit.Alexei Ramirez laced a two-run double and Paul Konerko added a two-run single during Chicago’s four-run second. Konerko reached 100 RBIs for the sixth time in his career.Tigers starter Brad Penny allowed five runs — one earned — and eight hits over six innings. Phil Coke (3-9) threw a scoreless ninth for the win.Ramirez doubled, singled, walked and scored a run. Alejandro De Aza doubled, reached base four times, scored two runs and stole a base.The 26-year-old Axelrod struck out at least one batter in each of his six innings and walked just two. He was starting in place of Jake Peavy, who was shut down by Chicago for the remainder of the season.Axelrod allowed Guillen’s leadoff homer in the second and another run in the sixth but was sharp throughout his outing.The 6-foot righty was a 30th-round pick by San Diego in 2007, but bounced around the minors, falling out of affiliated ball in 2009, when he threw for Windy City of the Frontier League. He was signed by the White Sox before the 2010 season.Chicago’s four unearned runs in the second were set up by Penny’s error on Brent Morel’s sacrifice bunt, loading the bases.Gordon Beckham struck out looking and Alex Rios was forced out at home, leaving the White Sox 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position to that point. Chicago entered the game just 5 for its last 45 in those situations, but Ramirez snapped the skid with a bloop double down the right-field line, scoring two runs.Konerko followed with his two-run single.Chicago tacked on a run in the sixth when Beckham doubled home De Aza.NOTES: The Tigers can clinch the AL Central during their four-game series at Oakland this weekend. In Thursday’s opener, Detroit will send Max Scherzer to the mound to face Brandon McCarthy. Scherzer has allowed just two runs in 14 innings this month. ... The White Sox travel to Kansas City for a four-games series. On Thursday, Chicago’s Mark Buehrle will square off against fellow lefty Jeff Francis. Buehrle has allowed 14 runs in nine innings over his last two starts.

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    Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish, middle, celebrates a touchdown with teammates DeMarcus Grady (3) and Scott Wedige (71) Saturday during the first half against Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.

    Northern Illinois coach faces friends at Wisconsin

    DeKALB — Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren insists this week’s game against No. 7 Wisconsin is no different from any other on the Huskies’ schedule.Never mind that he spent the last five years in Madison, the longest stop in his professional career. Or that he’s been friends with Wisconsin’s co-defensive coordinators so long he considers them brothers. Or that he knows the Wisconsin players so well he refers to them by their first names instead of their last names or uniform numbers.When the game starts, Doeren says, his only concern will be Northern Illinois. He’ll resume his friendships with the Wisconsin players and staff after the game. But this week, Doeren says, “is about us playing against them.”

  •  
    Here’s a look at the drivers who clinched spots in the NASCAR playoffs, the “Chase for the Sprint Cup” series, which begins this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway in Juliet. Back row (left to right): Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, Kurt Busch, driver of the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Toyota, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Power of Pride Chevrolet, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet. Front row (left to right): Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Budweiser Chevrolet, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kellogg’s/Cheez-it Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #39 U.S. Army-9/11 Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Amp Energy/National Guard Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #17 Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Ford, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota.

    6 who could stop Johnson’s 6th Chase title

    Jimmie Johnson is a realist — he knows another driver will end his streak of consecutive Sprint Cup championships that reached five with his 2010 title run. Here are six favorites who could stop Johnson’s drive for six championships.

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    The ‘other six’ in the NASCAR Chase

    Here's a look at the other six drivers in the NASCAR Chase to the Sprint Cup.

  •  
    St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford throws during the second quarter against Philadelphia. Bradford says he will play on Monday night.

    Bradford good to go for Monday night game

    ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford made all the throws during a short practice, making a fast recovery from a bruised index finger.Coach Steve Spagnuolo said Wednesday that having a healthy Bradford was a big relief. There are plenty of other concerns, though.Running back Steven Jackson, who strained his right leg early in the opening loss to the Eagles, has not been counted out for Monday night’s game at the New York Giants. Jackson was among a large group of players getting treatment during a workout that lasted just over an hour.Wide receiver Danny Amendola wore a brace on his left elbow after dislocating Sunday and is out for at least this week. Backup defensive end C.J. Ah You will undergo wrist surgery.

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    Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, and Oakland Raiders defensive backs Matt Giordano (27) and Chris Johnson reach for the ball that Lloyd fumbled in the fourth quarter Monday night in Denver. The Raiders won 23-20.

    Broncos could be without 6 key players Sunday

    ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos are practicing without a half dozen of their key players.Pro Bowlers Champ Bailey (hamstring) and Brandon Lloyd (groin) missed Wednesday’s workout along with fellow starters Knowshon Moreno (hamstring) and Elvis Dumervil (shoulder). All of them were hurt Monday night against Oakland. They might join D.J. Williams (elbow), Marcus Thomas (pectoral), Demaryius Thomas (foot) and Ty Warren (triceps) on the sideline Sunday when the Broncos (0-1) host the Cincinnati Bengals (1-0).The eight players who missed practice Wednesday have a collective 55 years of NFL experience. Bailey, Williams, Dumervil and Marcus Thomas represent four of the five players on the roster who have been with the Broncos the longest. The other is Chris Kuper, who had a toe injury in the preseason but is healthy again.

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    Indianapolis Colts quarterback Kerry Collins is knocked to the ground after throwing a pass in the second quarter Sunday against Houston.

    Colts’ Collins ready to make up for rough start

    INDIANAPOLIS — All Kerry Collins really wants is a chance to make things right.He’s been studying the playbook, refining the timing with receivers, getting acclimated to shotgun formations and Indianapolis’ no-huddle offense. By Sunday, the Colts quarterback hopes all of his overtime will help him make a better impression in his home debut with the Colts.“I feel more and more comfortable every day running the offense, making decisions,” Collins said Wednesday. “It (more practice) is really going to help me, no question. We just have to keep grinding away and get better than we were last week.”Hey, it couldn’t get much worse.The Colts were manhandled by AFC South rival Houston in their opener last Sunday, losing 34-7 in a flat, mistake-filled outing that has fans wondering if Indy will win at all without Peyton Manning. The Colts went scoreless in the first half for the first time since September 2008, the last time Manning was recovering from an injury. And though Collins wound up with decent passing numbers at Houston — 16 of 31, 197 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions and a higher quarterback rating than Houston’s Matt Schaub — they paled in comparison to the glaring miscues.Behind a revamped offensive line, Collins was sacked twice in the first quarter. He lost two fumbles in less than 15 minutes, both inside the Colts’ 20 and both of which led to Houston touchdowns. The Colts recovered Collins’ third fumble, in the second half, and the Colts were left with their first single-digit point total in a meaningful game since a 20-3 playoff loss at New England in January 2005.Nobody expected Collins to be Manning, but few expected this kind of start, either.It’s led to a hot debate about whether Collins — or anyone other than Indy’s four-time MVP — should be replaced as soon as possible. Maybe with former Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard or retired Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer. Others simply hope Manning will return from his latest neck surgery by mid-November, the short end of the projected recovery. Colts vice chairman Bill Polian said during his weekly radio show that the Colts would keep Manning on the active roster unless doctors rule him out for the season.A few fans have even suggested the Colts tank the season so they can draft Manning’s eventual heir in April. They’re hoping to get Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.Collins and teammates have ignored the comments, focusing instead on trying to get things right against Cleveland on Sunday.“We played about as bad as we could play offensively,” Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday said. “We really didn’t give ourselves a chance to get drives going, and when we did get drives going, we got penalties. I know what we did. I watched the film. I know what we can do, and I know we need to get better.”Collins, a two-time Pro Bowler and former Super Bowl starter, is trying to get up to speed quickly.Coach Jim Caldwell said the 38-year-old quarterback, now in his 17th NFL season, has been cramming relentlessly since the Colts brought him out of retirement Aug. 24. He arrives early in the morning, works all day and stays late at night.Before Sunday’s opener, however, Collins had less than a dozen practices with his new teammates, which forced the Colts to adjust. Instead of running the usual no-huddle offense, one of Manning’s trademarks, the Colts slowed things down.Collins did look better as the game wore on, and with six more workouts this week, perhaps the offense will start to look more normal by Sunday. At least that’s the hope in Indy.“I think it’s huge. The more confidence he gets, the better we get as an offense,” tight end Dallas Clark said. “Everyone needs to focus individually on their effort and if everyone improves collectively, then we’ll improve as an offense.”It starts with Collins, who blamed himself for not taking care of the ball at Houston.

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    Jaguars TE Lewis misses practice with calf strain

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis should know later this week whether he will be able to play against the New York Jets.Lewis injured his right calf in Sunday’s opener against Tennessee. He initially thought it was a cramp and got intravenous fluids before determining it was a strained muscle. He sat out practice Wednesday and probably will do the same Thursday.He says it’s “getting exponentially better every day.”He plans to test the calf Friday. If he can run without pain, he should be able to play against the Jets.Lewis made the Pro Bowl last season and knows the Jaguars need him. He says, “When I’m at my best, I give our team a better shot at winning. That’s why it’s annoying and frustrating.”

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    Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway stops San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates during the first half Sunday in San Diego.

    Vikings’ defense to be challenged by big Bucs

    EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings have a back-to-basics approach on defense this week.Tackling was a problem in the season-opening loss at San Diego, negating some of the solid pass coverage the Vikings applied downfield. Even the best tacklers like cornerback Antoine Winfield and linebacker Chad Greenway missed on a few plays, and the Chargers were able to move the ball by running after the catch and completing short throws in the middle of the field.This week, the Vikings host Tampa Bay, and the Buccaneers feature a couple of big bodies to bring down in quarterback Josh Freeman and running back LeGarrette Blount.

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    Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick scrambles for a 19-yard gain during the second quarter Sunday against St. Louis.

    Vick facing Falcons for 1st time as Eagles starter

    FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Michael Vick isn’t about to declare the Georgia Dome his house, even though he’ll surely hear plenty of cheers and see plenty of No. 7 jerseys Sunday night.Vick will be returning to Atlanta for the second time since his release from federal prison. Unlike two years ago, when he threw for one touchdown and ran for another in a backup role, he’s now the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles.Speaking on a conference call Wednesday, Vick was asked if he would follow the infamous lead of Deion Sanders in declaring the Dome “my house” when returning as a visiting player.Vick graciously declared, “That’s Matt Ryan’s house. I’m just a visitor.” Ryan took over as the Falcons quarterback after Vick went to prison for running a dogfighting operation.

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    New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is sacked by Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher, left, and nose tackle Chris Neild, right, during the second half Sunday.

    Nearly ‘Mr. Irrelevant,’ Redskins’ Neild has 2 sacks

    ASHBURN, Va. — Chris Neild laughs and says he has “a lot to live up to” this week as he prepares for his second NFL game. Certainly it’ll be hard for the Washington Redskins rookie to top what he did in his first one.The nose tackle from West Virginia University was the next-to-last overall pick in the draft in April. Not only did he make the team, he had two sacks on Sunday in the win over the New York Giants.Now everyone wants to know about Neild, who has a shaved head and a reddish-brown busy beard. His nickname is “Truck” — which he’s had since the sixth grade. He says when he used to play basketball, he would foul out with lots of charging calls.Washington hosts Arizona on Sunday.

  •  
    Ohio State’s Luke Fickell coaches against Akron earlier this season. An Ohio State booster says he’s responsible for giving cash to three players who were suspended for two games by the NCAA.

    Booster says he’s responsible for NCAA violations

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A booster says he’s responsible for envelopes containing $200 in cash given to three Ohio State football players that led the NCAA to suspend them for two games apiece, a newspaper is reporting.Robert “Bobby” DiGeronimo told The Columbus Dispatch that he was behind former Buckeyes quarterback Terrelle Pryor giving the three players the envelopes.Says DiGeronimo: “I handled it wrong.”The NCAA suspended the players — tailback Jordan Hall and cornerback Travis Howard, both set to start Ohio State’s opening game, and backup safety Corey Brown — for accepting improper benefits. They were reinstated on Tuesday and could play in the 17th-ranked Buckeyes’ game on Saturday at Miami.Pryor, the focus of an NCAA investigation, left the team this summer and is now with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders.

  •  
    The White Sox will host the Detroit Tigers for their April 13 home opener in 2012, but they'll begin the season on the road at Texas on April 16.

    White Sox announce 2012 schedule

    The Chicago White Sox will open the 2012 season on the road, starting with a three-game series at Texas and then traveling to Cleveland. Opening Day at U.S. Cellular Field will be April 13 against Detroit.

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    The Cubs will welcome the Washington Nationals to Wrigley Field for the 2012 home opener on April 5, followed by a series against Milwaukee. The team's first road trip will be to St. Louis on April 13.

    Cubs to open 2012 season at home vs. Nats

    The Cubs will open the 2012 regular season on Thursday, April 5, at Wrigley Field against the Washington Nationals, Cubs officials announced Wednesday.

  •  
    Joe Crede reacts after being called out at 2nd trying for a double in one of the White Sox-Cubs games in 2005.

    Could Joe Crede come home to coach?

    Joe Crede, a key cog on the White Sox' 2005 World Series championship team, returned to U.S. Cellular Field for a visit before Tuesday night's 5-0 loss ot the Tigers. Crede's standout career was cut short by three back surgeries. Now 33, Crede isn't sure about his future plans. He might like to get into coaching at some point, and the White Sox do like to bring back their own.

Business

  •  
    Dona Blunt, left, of Newport Promotions in Long Grove, receives a check for $500 Wednesday from Shirlanne Lemm, president and CEO of the GOA Regional Business Association, and Paul Gennuso, GOA chairman, for winning the association’s logo competition.

    Greater O’Hare Association unveils new name, logo

    The Greater O’Hare Association unveiled its new name — GOA Regional Business Association — during the association’s monthly luncheon Wednesday at Belvedere Banquets in Elk Grove Village

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    AAR to provide cargo loading systems to EADS

    AAR has been selected by EADS EFW to manufacture main deck cargo loading systems for its Airbus A300-600 & A310-300 freighter conversion program.

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    American to expand Gogo streaming video on aircraft

    American Airlines announced it will expand Gogo’s new streaming video product onboard approximately 400 American Airlines aircraft.

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    Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday.

    New airport security policy for kids under 13

    Children 12 years old and younger soon will no longer be required to remove their shoes at airport security checkpoints, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Congress on Tuesday. The policy also includes other ways to screen young children without resorting to a pat-down that involves touching private areas on the body.

  •  
    Motorola Mobility in Libertyville.

    Google raised Motorola bid by $3B to get deal done

    Google prized Libertyville-based Motorola Mobility’s patent portfolio so much that it threw in an extra $3 billion to get its takeover offer accepted last month.

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    Corn crops are harvested near Farmingdale, Ill.

    Wholesale prices flat, as inflation pressures ease

    Companies paid the same amount for wholesale goods last month as a drop in energy prices offset higher food costs. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core wholesale prices edged up 0.1 percent, the smallest increase in three months. The figures indicate that inflation pressures are easing.

  •  
    Gayle Strickland Jones shops for back-to-school supplies for fifth-grade son and seventh-grade daughter at staples in Chestnut Hill Plaza in Delaware, Del.

    Retail sales flat in August, auto demand declined

    Consumers spent less on autos, clothing and furniture, leaving retail sales unchanged in August. The lack of growth in retail sales during a month of wild stock market fluctuations may increase recession fears.

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    Airline passengers go through the Transportation Security Administration security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in Atlanta.

    Avoiding thefts while traveling by air

    Travel is often hectic rushing to make a plane, keeping an eye on young children, maybe schlepping too much baggage. Distractions can create opportunity for thieves looking for an easy target in a crowded terminal or airplane cabin.

  •  
    Edward Zelles, left, and William Bott, both of Barclays Capital, work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Stock markets rose Wednesday.

    Stocks edge up in another day of choppy trading
    Stocks are closing higher for the second day in a row, led by gains in General Electric Co. and other industrial companies.

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    Moody’s downgrades SocGen, Credit Agricole

    Moody’s on Wednesday downgraded the credit ratings of French banks Societe Generale and Credit Agricole following a period of huge volatility in the markets as investors fretted about their potential exposure to the debts of Greece.

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    Judge rejects Wamu reorganization plan

    A Delaware judge has refused for the second time to approve a plan from bank holding company Washington Mutual Inc. for its reorganization.

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    German lawmaker: nobody seeking Greek bankruptcy
    A top lawmaker from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s junior coalition partner is defending comments by his party’s leader that an “orderly insolvency” for Greece should be considered in the future if Athens cannot get its finances in order.

  •  
    Hasbro’s newest version of their famous “Easy Bake Oven”

    This is not your mother’s Easy-Bake Oven
    The latest version of the famous toy oven first marketed in 1963 with a carrying handle and a fake stove top is now all curves and purple and snazzy graphics. And perhaps most shocking of all it comes with a new instruction: No light bulb necessary.

  •  
    Greg Weismantel

    Co-op gives homeowners leverage in getting best price for services

    Greg Weismantel, owner of Global Pavilion Ltd. in St. Charles, runs a business that serves as a co-op to give homeowners leverage in getting the best prices for everything from tree trimming to plumbing repair.

Life & Entertainment

  •  
    Travel back in time to the '50s when Sha Na Na headlines the Viper Alley in Lincolnshire Friday.

    Music notes: Sha Na Na rocks 'n' rolls at Viper Alley

    Do you like leather jackets, pompadour haircuts and 1950s tunes? Then Friday's 40th anniversary performance by pop-culture legends Sha Na Na at Viper Alley in Lincolnshire is right up your alley, Daddy-O!

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    An evenhanded approach guided Lady Antebellum — Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley — through one of the most difficult periods any band must navigate — instant stardom. Their latest album, “Own the Night,” was released Tuesday.

    Lady Antebellum drops much-anticipated new album

    The members of Lady Antebellum get asked a difficult question all the time: When are you going to write another hit like “Need You Now”? As they released their third album, “Own the Night,” Tuesday, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood are philosophical about their expectations. “Whether we have that smash, the record is a collection of better, stronger songs, for me,” Kelley said. “Only time will tell if the fans feel that way.”

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    Lindsey Buckingham, who released his new solo album, “Seeds We Sow,” on Sept. 6, headlines the Vic Theatre in Chicago on Sunday, Sept. 18.

    Lindsey Buckingham sows his own ‘Seeds' on album, tour

    Though Fleetwood Mac rose to fame in the swinging 1970s, guitarist-singer Lindsey Buckingham says he's having the time of his life right now. The 61-year-old musician says he is at a creative and personal peak with his sixth solo album, “Seeds We Sow.” And he just embarked on a national solo tour, which includes a stop at the Vic Theatre in Chicago on Sunday, Sept. 18.

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    The reconfigured cast of “Two and a Half Men,” includes, from left, Jon Cryer, Ashton Kutcher and Angus T. Jones.

    Will new ‘Two and a Half Men' add up?

    Ashton Kutcher, Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones seem to be a comfortable fit for the revamped “Two and a Half Men,” which returns at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, for its ninth season. Charlie Sheen, of course, is out of the picture. Executive producer Chuck Lorre and the Warner Bros. studio clashed bitterly with their erratic, hard-partying star before dumping him last March and cutting the season short. The task now is to salvage what has reigned as TV's top-rated comedy.

  •  
    Chef Keith Willis, SugarToad, Naperville

    Cook of the Week Challenge judges are …
    hagopian, willis, gand, stoller

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    Guns N’ Roses aims for Rosemont

    1980s hair metal band Guns N' Roses is set to play the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

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    Chef Bruce Williams serves skate wing with garlic potato chips and summer salad to diners at Mon Ami Gabi Restaurant in Oak Brook.

    Mon Ami Gabi Skate with Crispy Garlic Chips, Vegetable Salad and Caper Lemon Butter
    Mon Ami Gabi Skate with Crispy Garlic ChipsVegetable Salad, Caper Lemon Butter

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    Lady Antebellum's “Own the Night”

    Lady Antebellum's 'Night' a solid release

    At a time when young country stars typecast themselves into roles that border on caricature, Lady Antebellum presents an engaging anomaly steeped in sophistication and subtlety, rather than stereotypes and superficiality, on "Own the Night."

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    Michael Lalagos' Macadamia-Crusted Tilapia with Mango-Cherry Salsa with Black-Eyed Pea Brown Rice and Butternut Squash Salad

    Contestant comments to tilapia challenge
    Cook of the Week Challenge contestants Ann Marie Nordby and Michael Lalagos talk about the tilapia, cherries, butternut squash and brown rice recipe challenge.

  •  
    Producer and blues artist Dave Specter headlines the Blues & Barbeque Birthday Bash to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn.

    Best bets: Blues at MAC's birthday bash in Glen Ellyn

    Bluesman Dave Specter helps College of DuPage celebrate the McAninch Arts Center's 25th anniversary with a Blues & Barbeque Birthday Bash in Glen Ellyn. For more music, Liz and Ann Hampton Callaway perform their New York cabaret "Boom!" Or if you'd rather hit the road, Wheels Rallye Team has another Puzzler Road Rally starting off at Woodfield.

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    The Kennedy Center in Washington has announced a lineup of star comedians who will perform in Will Ferrell’s honor for the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

    Jack Black, Conan to salute Will Ferrell

    Jack Black, Conan O’Brien and Larry King will honor Will Ferrell with the nation’s top humor prize, along with Maya Rudolph and Molly Shannon from his “Saturday Night Live” days. On Wednesday, the Kennedy Center in Washington announced a lineup of star comedians who will perform in Ferrell’s honor for the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

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    Singer Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam participates in an Aug. 28, 2010, news conference before the Voices for Justice concert in support of the West Memphis Three in Little Rock, Ark. Vedder and the rest of Pearl Jam have supported Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin, known as the West Memphis Three, who were convicted in 1993 for the murder of three 8-year-old boys in Arkansas. The men were recently released from prison.

    Pearl Jam support for West Memphis Three continues

    Even though they've now been released, the three men who comprise the so-called “West Memphis Three” are still getting support from Eddie Vedder and the rest of Pearl Jam. The three men were convicted in the slayings of three Cub scouts nearly two decades ago, but were recently released after spending 18 years behind bars after years of questions about the evidence in the case. “Now we are helping them regain their footing, and it's fascinating to see them on the outside world,” Vedder said.

  •  
    “The Cut” by George Pelecanos

    Pelecanos' crime novel ‘The Cut' doesn't disappoint

    George Pelecanos, proclaimed our greatest crime novelist by Stephen King, fashions his lean, muscular prose again in “The Cut,” the first book in his new series featuring Spero Lucas, a 29-year-old Iraq War veteran who returns to his native Washington, D.C., to straddle both sides of the law.

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    Mitch Winehouse, father of the late singer Amy Winehouse, is launching the Amy Winehouse Foundation in the United States.

    Winehouse’s dad says he fought to get her clean

    Amy Winehouse’s father says the fight to get her off drugs often turned physical, as he tussled with the drug dealers and gangsters who were supplying his daughter with them. “I spent my time fighting with drug dealers, and I mean proper fighting,” Mitch Winehouse said. He said his daughter finally budged once she saw how hurt her family was.

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    Michael Jackson’s mom, kids get $30 million payment

    Michael Jackson’s estate has generated more than $310 million in the two years since the pop singer died deeply in debt, enabling executors to distribute a preliminary payment of $30 million to Jackson’s mother and children, and to unnamed charities, according to recently filed court documents. Executors also disclosed Tuesday that Jackson’s mother, Katherine, is putting the family’s fabled Encino compound up for sale.

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    Kirsten Fitzgerald, left, stars with James Vincent Meredith in “Clybourne Park.”

    Lake County native juggles two jobs — and two roles — on the Chicago stage

    Kirsten Fitzgerald is very busy these days juggling two rather demanding jobs. The Lake County native is the artistic director of one of the more noteworthy storefront theaters in Chicago, A Red Orchid Theatre. And she currently plays one of the leads in Steppenwolf Theatre’s production of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Clybourne Park.”

  •  
    Michael Lalagos’ Macadamia-Crusted Tilapia with Mango-Cherry Salsa with Black-Eyed Pea, Brown Rice and Butternut Squash Salad

    Macadamia-Crusted Tilapia with Mango-Cherry Salsa with Black-Eyed Pea, Brown Rice and Butternut Squash Salad
    Macadamia Crusted Tilapia with Mango-Cherry Salsa on top of Black-Eyed Pea, Brown Rice and Butternut Squash Salad. :Michael Lalagos

  •  
    Ann Marie Nordby’s Tilapia with Cherry Sage Red Wine Reduction, Cherry Pecan Rice and Butternut Squash Soup

    Tilapia with Cherry Sage Red Wine Reduction, Cherry Pecan Rice and Butternut Squash Soup
    Tilapia with Cherry Sage Red Wine Reduction, Cherry Pecan Rice and Butternut Squash Soup:Ann Marie Nordby

  •  

    Newcomers win first-round recipe challenges

    Former Cooks of the Week TerrieAnn Jones and Diane Hagopian narrowly edged their culinary competition in online voting, yet still narrowly lost the opportunity to advance to the next round in the Daily Herald Cook of the Week Challenge.

Discuss

  •  

    Community college a valuable resource

    Acknowledging the recent decline in attendance at area community colleges, a Daily Herald editorial offers the reminder that the highly regarded colleges in the suburbs offer economic value and high educational standards that ought to be considered, whether a prospective student is unemployed and looking for a new skill or entering college for the first time.

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    Too rich, too poor, too bad

    Columnist Esther J. Cepeda: Joblessness, the general economic malaise and a never-ending stream of depressing statistics -- the number of people in poverty, the millions of dollars that corporate CEOs are being paid in bonuses or severance -- have made 2011 the year when it became OK to hate both the rich and the poor.

  •  

    A lot is slipping backward for Israel

    Columnist Richard Cohen: Israel’s dilemma is that the Middle East, for all the talk of revolution, is slipping backward.

  •  

    We’re suffering due to abortion choices
    Knowing that over 50 million lives have been aborted since abortion has been legal, the prospective customers would be now applying for college. Doesn’t it seem logical that schools, housing and all of the economy are experiencing the effects of the choice of abortion?

  •  

    Weekends in jail didn’t fit the crime
    You may have read about a pretty little lady named Tami Brown who embezzled nearly a million dollars from the firm at which I work, Engineering Systems Inc. And you may have read that the higher-ups at my firm were satisfied with the “punishment” that was meted out by DuPage State’s Attorney Bob Berlin’s office.

  •  

    Big Ten standout a great example
    A Lake Zurich letter to the editor: It is very refreshing to see that Kirk Cousins, this year’s Big Ten “wunderkind” is very conscious of his privilege as a Big Ten team member.

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    Rt. 45 should move east, not west
    A Lindenhurst letter to the editor: I am writing this letter to state my utter disappointment in the LCDOT’s decision to move IL Rt. 45 west of its current location at Grass Lake Road

  •  

    Get fact straight in tea party attacks
    Letter to the Editor: Sometimes people take quotes out of context in order to make their argument. But the Kendall County Democratic Women have gone beyond context and taken their quote right out of thin air.

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    Moved by paper’s 9/11 coverage
    Letter to the Editor: I was dreading the rehash of the 9/11 tragedy that propelled our country into a decade of disastrous wars, but the Daily Herald anniversary edition corrected my mood. Your journalists put a human face on all of it and highlighted the talents and contributions of many individuals we lost.

  •  

    Obesity battle begins at home
    It’s our responsibility as parents, not the restaurants and schools, to make sure our families are healthy. Grade schoolchildren are generally quite happy to spend time with their families and be “part of the action,”

  •  

    Writer ignored facts in Walsh criticism
    I support Rep. Joe Walsh and will vote for him every time he chooses to run for office. I am insulted that others would attack him on such a personal basis.

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