Daily Archive : Sunday September 18, 2011


    President Barack Obama called for $1.5 trillion in new taxes Monday, part of a total 10-year deficit reduction package.

    Obama offers his own deficit reduction package

    In a blunt rejoinder to congressional Republicans, President Barack Obama called for $1.5 trillion in new taxes Monday, part of a total 10-year deficit reduction package totaling more than $3 trillion. "We can't just cut our way out of this hole," the president said.


    Children’s advocates receive $500,000 grant for kids in need

    To develop innovative new systems that alleviate the length of time abused children have to wait for mental health services, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded the CCAC a $500,000 grant to spearhead the Providing Access Toward Hope and Healing Collaboration.

    A P-51 Mustang airplane approaches the ground right before crashing during an air show Friday in Reno, Nev. The vintage World War II-era fighter plane piloted by Jimmy Leeward plunged into the grandstands during the popular annual air show.

    Air show crash scene reflects violence of impact

    The scene of a Reno air race crash that killed nine people reveals the violence of the plane’s missile-like impact a crater in the tarmac roughly 3 feet deep and 8 feet across with debris spread out over more than an acre.

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund in a television interview on acknowledged “moral failings” in a fling with a maid but denied rape.

    Strauss-Kahn acknowledges moral failings with maid

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, acknowledged Sunday his sexual encounter with a New York hotel maid was a “moral failing” on his part, but didn't involve any violence. Strauss-Kahn told France's TF1 television channel what happened between him and the maid, Nafissatou Diallo, “did not involve violence, constraint or aggression.”

    As a Catholic schoolgirl who grew up in Itasca and is studying to be a dentist, Christina Rafidia says her new role as Miss Arab USA will allow her to change some stereotypes of Arab women.

    Itascan Miss Arab USA wants to challenge stereotypes

    As a girl in Itasca, Christina Rafidia introduced hummus to classmates in her Catholic grade school. Now, as the newly crowned Miss Arab USA, the 22-year-old is still educating folks about what it means to be an Arab woman.

    British Embassy staff look on after the embassy’s compound wall collapsed reportedly killing three pedestrians following an earthquake in Katmandu, Nepal, Sunday. A strong earthquake shook northeastern India and Nepal on Sunday night, killing at least 50 people, damaging buildings and sending lawmakers in Nepal’s capital running into the streets.

    India-Nepal-Tibet earthquake death toll up to 50

    Rescue workers used shovels and their bare hands to pull bodies from the debris of collapsed buildings Monday, as the death toll from an earthquake that hit northeast India, Nepal and Tibet rose to 50.

    “Glee” star Lea Michele made quite a stir in her Marchesa gown as she walked the red carpet at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles.

    Bold fashion choices on the Emmy Awards' red carpet

    There were no shrinking violets on the Emmy Awards red carpet Sunday night, with stars wearing bold red as well as strapless necklines and more than a little bit of glitter.


    Gen X: All revved up, no place to go

    Generation X, 46 million Americans born between 1965 and 1978, are ambitious, squeezed by debt and frustrated by people who aren’t retiring on schedule. More than a third hope to leave their jobs in three years, a survey found.

    Then-President George W. Bush, right, talks with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, as he arrives in Houston to tour damage in Galveston from Hurricane Ike on Sept. 16, 2008.

    Dispute still burns at Perry, Bush camps

    Here’s the still-beating heart of the rift between Texas Gov. Rick Perry and his predecessor, George W. Bush: When Bush was governor he refused to appoint Perry’s brother-in-law to the Texas appeals court bench.


    Questions about Valerie Percy murder outlive her father

    If you believe in heaven, then Chuck Percy, the former Illinois senator who died over the weekend, finally can answer the questions he never could in life: who murdered his daughter, Valerie, and why? Percy died in Washington on Saturday, almost 45 years to the day after his daughter was brutally murdered in the family's Kenilworth home.

    A P-51 Mustang airplane approaches the ground right before crashing during an air show in Reno, Nev., Friday. The vintage World War II-era fighter plane piloted by Jimmy Leeward plunged into the grandstands during the popular annual air show.

    Quest for air show thrills endangering public?

    The World War II-era plane that plummeted into an air-race crowd like a missile in Reno, Nev., bore little resemblance to its original self. It was rebuilt for speed, if not for stability.


    State trooper injured in I-94 crash near Deerfield

    An Illinois State Police vehicle was involved in a crash on the Tri-State Tollway near Deerfield this afternoon, a police spokesman confirmed.


    Officer recognized for rescue of elderly woman, dog

    A 20-year veteran of the North Aurora Police Department will be awarded with one of the highest honors an officer can receive from the department. Patrol Officer Randal Voss will be presented with the Medal of Distinguished Service tonight for rescuing an elderly woman and her dog after a downed power line sparked a fire in her home July 11.

    Runners are a colorful blur of motion Sunday as they start the Fox Valley Marathon Races in St. Charles. While spectators may not have been big fans of the damp weather during the races, runners said they appreciated the cool temperatures.

    Rain keeps runners cool at Fox Valley Marathon Races

    While spectators who lined the course Sunday for the Fox Valley Marathon Races may have preferred sunny skies and warmer temperatures, the morning's cool, damp weather was appreciated by the estimated 1,550 runners who took part in the second annual event.

    Dave Lloyd of Brookfield entertains those attending Prairie Days at Terrace View Park Sunday by flying past the prairie plants. The event was sponsored by the Lombard Park District and the Lombard Garden Club.

    Festival celebrates prairie work in Lombard

    The eighth annual Prairie Days Festival took place Sunday at Terrace View Park. The event served as a showcase for, and celebration of, efforts by the Lombard Garden Club and Lombard Park District to restore a prairie site at the park.


    American Indian culture honored at Busse Woods powwow

    Busse Woods resounded with the beat of drums Sunday, as the Forest Preserve of Cook County and the American Indian Center of Chicago held their first Traditional Pow-Wow at the Busse Boating Center Grove #24.

    Umbrellas fill Grafelman Park as local bands play on the pavilion during a rainy Heritage Festival Sunday in West Dundee. The weather canceled the parade, but the festival remained open.

    Rain cancels several suburban events

    Sunday’s rain, while not of the catastrophic variety, did spoil a few suburban events planned for the day, including West Chicago’s Mexican Independence Day Celebration and a skateboarding competition in Batavia.

    Apple has a long list of highly successful products, including the iPad, above, but its record with security isn’t as stellar.

    Lost iPhone just one headache for Apple security

    A day after a recent report surfaced that an Apple employee had lost a prototype for a new but unreleased iPhone at a Northern California watering hole, two job listings appeared on Apple’s website for managers of “new product security.”

    Dancing the chicken dance are Nicole Warnstedt, 14, and Rachel Lucas, 14, both of Hoffman Estates, with Charley Warnstedt, 5, showing the girls how to get down as the band at Palatine’s Oktoberfest entertains the packed house.

    Images: Weekend Festival Review
    There were no shortages of festivals in the suburbs over the weekend. The festivals we photographed this weekend were Palatine Oktoberfest, Hoffman Estates Germanfest, Des Plaines Fall Fest, Lake Villa Civil War Days, Aurora's Parade of Nations, West Dundee Heritage Fest, and Lombard Prairie Days.


    Illinois poverty growing as state help shrinks

    Illinois legislators chopped the Department of Human Services budget by hundreds of millions of dollars, including $4.7 million for homeless services. The result is that many of the state’s poorest and most vulnerable are left with fewer options and more uncertainty even as census data shows Illinois grappling with its highest poverty rate in nearly two decades as the jobless rate rises.

    Actress Eleanor Mondale, daughter of former Vice President Walter Mondale, arrives at the 56th annual Golden Globes in Beverly Hills, Calif. Mondale, a vice president's daughter who carved out her own identity as a broadcast journalist and gossip magnet, died at her home in Minnesota, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011, according to a family spokesperson. Mondale was 51.

    Eleanor Mondale, daughter of Walter Mondale, dies

    Eleanor Mondale, the vivacious daughter of former Vice President Walter Mondale who carved out her own reputation as an entertainment reporter, radio show host and gossip magnet, has died at her home in Minnesota. She was 51.

    Michael A. Haugen

    Antioch man arrested on multiple drug felonies

    A 24-year-old Antioch man faces felony drug charges after police say officers found him with heroin, OxyContin and marijuana during a traffic stop last week. Michael A. Haugen could face up to five years in prison if convicted of the most serious of the allegations.

    State Treasurer Dan Rutherford

    State treasurer's mailing sent to big-name donors

    A state-funded mailing was sent to 850 Illinois residents this summer touting the accomplishments of new state Treasurer Dan Rutherford. Most of those who who got the brochure were his campaign donors, a fact that Rutherford says is just a coincidence.


    Post-WWII plane pilot dies in W.Va. air show crash

    MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The pilot of a post-World War II plane died Saturday after crashing into a runway and bursting into flames, the second deadly air show crash in 24 hours.

    Then-President George W. Bush, right, talks with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, as he arrives in Houston to tour damage in Galveston from Hurricane Ike.

    Bush, Perry rift roots in nixed in-law appointment

    AUSTIN, Texas — Here’s the still-beating heart of the rift between Texas Gov. Rick Perry and his predecessor, George W. Bush: When Bush was governor he refused to appoint Perry’s brother-in-law to the Texas appeals court bench. With Perry now running for president, the spotlight is shining on the tense relationship between the two Texans and their allied camps.


    Officials: Suspected US drone crashes in Pakistan
    Associated PressDERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan — Pakistani intelligence officials say a suspected U.S. drone has crashed in northwestern Pakistan near the Afghan border.The officials say the drone crashed Saturday night near Jangara village in the South Waziristan tribal area and that the Taliban got hold of the drone debris.

    Oswald Gruebel, CEO of Swiss Bank UBS, speaks during a press conference in Zurich, Switzerland, in this file photo dated Tuesday, July 26, 2011.

    UBS CEO not resigning in trading scandal

    GENEVA — Oswald Gruebel, the chief executive of Swiss banking giant UBS, says he feels responsible — but not guilty — for the $2 billion loss allegedly incurred by a rogue trader that plunged the bank back into scandal just as it was rebuilding its tattered reputation.


    Oldest child of late Sen. Ted Kennedy dies

    WASHINGTON — Kara Kennedy, the oldest child of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, died at a Washington-area health club, her brother said Saturday. She was 51.Patrick Kennedy, a former congressman from Rhode Island, said his sister died Friday.“She’s with dad,” Patrick Kennedy said. Their father died in 2009 at age 77 after battling a brain tumor.

    American hikers Shane Bauer, left, and Josh Fattal in Tehran, Iran.

    Deal to free 2 Americans jailed in Iran hits snag

    TEHRAN, Iran — A bail-for-freedom deal for two Americans jailed as spies in Iran hit a snag Sunday because a judge whose signature is needed on the bail papers was on vacation, the prisoners’ lawyer said, dashing hopes for their immediate release.


    Hanover Township hosts Health and Wellness Expo

    Hanover Township, Cook County Commissioner Timothy Schneider and Victory Centre of Bartlett will host the fourth annual Health and Wellness Expo from 2 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22. It will take place at the Victory Centre and township Senior Center, southwest corner of Bartlett Road and Route 59, Bartlett.


    Palatine Jaycees cancel Sept. 24 garage sale

    The Palatine Jaycees announced it canceled the garage sale that was set to take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 on the fourth floor of the Gateway Center parking garage.


    Foreclosure seminar Oct. 5 in Hoffman Estates

    To assist local families who are struggling with mortgage payments, and possible foreclosure, state Rep. Fred Crespo, a Hoffman Estates Democrat, has arranged a foreclosure seminar featuring people from the Illinois attorney general’s office, Bank of America and Chase Bank 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, at the Schaumburg Township Administration building, 1 Illinois Blvd., Hoffman Estates.

    Traffic stops at the intersection of Miller Road and Providence Drive in Carpentersville as students and parents from nearby Liberty School cross after school. Authorities are going to put yield signs by the crosswalk in lieu of a crossing guard.

    Carpentersville motorists to yield for Liberty students

    A Carpentersville study that examines the feasibility of placing speed tables near the four schools that lost their crossing guards this school year, concludes the devices are not the answer to helping children safely cross the street in school zones.

    Backstretch workers at Arlington Park don’t know what their future holds as business continues to decline at the racetrack.

    Uncertain future on the Arlington Park backstretch

    The stalemate over slots at Arlington Park threatens a way of life for the largely invisible backstretch workers. Betting is down almost 20 percent over the last two years. "No one's given up hope," said Dee Poulos, a Palatine resident and trainer for nearly four decades.

    Inspired by sightseeing in Chicago, Tad and France Mitchell collaborated on a book that features the city’s landmarks in a story about a traveling pigeon.

    Aurora couple’s children’s book highlights Chicago landmarks

    The husband and wife writing team of Tad and France Mitchell recently published their first children’s book, “Where Is the Sears Tower?,” following the story of Peter Pigeon, who flies from the University of Notre Dame to Chicago to visit his grandfather.

    Cmdr. Dan Shanower

    Former boss recalls character of Cmdr. Dan Shanower

    Naperville business owner Basim Esmail hired Dan Shanower as a stock boy in the 1980s and was impressed with him - as an employee and as a man - long before he became a Naval intelligence officer who died in the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon.

    Barrington artist Kelly Stachura poses with one of her art pieces, “Life Is But A Dream,” currently on display at the Barrington Area Library.

    Artist lauds the past in Barrington library exhibit

    The latest art exhibit at the Barrington Area Library’s Gallery is provocative, funny and one-of-a-kind. “Opposing Forces” is the title of the new exhibit created by Barrington photographer and artist Kelly Stachura. The exhibit is part of a series in which various artists “take on the library,” addressing the role of libraries within communities.


    Sometimes our felines need our attention to play

    Do you have a pile of cat toys that your feline simply ignores? Perhaps the missing ingredient is your company. Even in a multi-cat household where the animals have each other to play with, they still expect our interaction at playtime. I often tell my pride of felines to play together, but often they just ignore my advice and start bringing me toys instead.

    Soviet primary school pupils were required to wear these Little Octoberist badges depicting Vladimir Lenin, leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution, as a toddler.

    Soviet childhood: a journey from Lenin to the Bible

    This autumn sees a slew of 20th anniversaries for the once mighty Soviet Union a failed coup, the end of Communist rule, and finally the breakup of the superpower itself. AP's Nataliya Vasilyeva reflects on her Soviet childhood and the epic final months of 1991

    Carletha Currie, a participant with Mothers on the Move for Success, or MOMS, welcomes Justin Hinton to a rewards program for students who had two weeks of great behavior in the school.

    Single moms seek way out of poverty

    Carletha Currie is determined to escape what she calls “the poverty mentality.” She had her first child at 17 and applied for a Link card, subsidized housing, Medicaid and any other benefit for which she qualified. Now 28, she created an organization called Mothers on the Move for Success, or MOMS. Members of the group met recently to craft a mission statement: “To empower mothers to reach their...

    Model railroader Jerry McRoberts stands inside his HO gauge layout at his home in Charleston, Ill. (AP Photo/Journal Gazette, Ken Trevarthan)

    Collection shows love of trains

    Memories ride the rails of the HO gauge model train layout in a room of Jerry McRoberts’ Charleston home that was specially built for what has been a hobby of a lifetime. “I’ve been building models since I was a kid,” the retired Eastern Illinois University professor said. And since he was a kid, his life has revolved in some manner around the railroad and the trains he grew up riding.

    Former President Alvaro Uribe speaks during an August conference about terrorism at the Nueva Granada military university in Bogota, Colombia.

    Colombia’s ex-president makes waves, in and out of office

    Presidents typically quit the limelight when their terms end, ease into contemplative repose, perhaps pen a memoir, and stay out of their successors’ hair. Not Alvaro Uribe. Thirteen months after leaving office, the feisty conservative barnstorms around Colombia like a candidate, picks fights in combative Twitter blasts and heaps criticism on his successor.

    The now-closed pulp mill was the economic engine for Berlin, N.H., over many decades. Berlin has seen its population shrink along with its old prosperity. But that doesn’t stop boosters from brimming with dreams and schemes to revive the town.

    Mills closed, New Hampshire city seeks new options

    For decades, life in Berlin, N.H., involved a trade-off: Its giant pulp mill provided abundant jobs but also polluted its river with noxious-smelling chemicals. The rotten-egg smell is gone now, but so are the mill jobs. City leaders are scrambling to sustain community spirit and conjure up new economic options in the face of relentless bad breaks.


    Jay Cutler listens to Bears quarterback coach Shane Day during a timeout Sunday in New Orleans. For Cutler, it was a rough afternoon.

    Painful experience for Cutler, Bears

    If you can't protect your quarterback in passing situations, you better be able to run the ball. That's a lesson the Bears had better learn soon or they'll have many more games like the 30-13 butt-kicking they took Sunday from the Saints. Quarterback Jay Cutler was beaten and beaten up. “We'll find out tomorrow,” Cutler said when asked the obvious question: How do you feel? “I'm probably going to be pretty sore.”

    Running back Matt Forte breaks free for a 42-yard gain during the first quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Saints. Forte accounted for 166 of the Bears’ 246 total yards on offense.

    Forte’s efforts not enough for Bears

    Matt Forte was outstanding in his homecoming, but his Bears teammates were not.

    Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is sacked by Saints defensive end Junior Galette during the fourth quarter Sunday in New Orleans.

    At this pace, Cutler will never survive Bears season

    Though it seemed like it couldn’t possibly be worse than last year for Jay Cutler, the beating he's taking is already worse than a year ago. Despite the cheerleading for an offensive line that was dreadful a year ago and reportedly world class after a couple of meaningless preseason quarters, the truth is the line was nothing special against Atlanta and truly horrible against New Orleans.


    ‘Weird’ day for ex-Bear Kreutz

    Former Bears center Olin Kreutz remained true to his personality when he refused to turn the matchup against his old team into a circus.“It was no more than we needed a win,” Kreutz said Sunday after his new team, the New Orleans Saints, buried the Bears 30-13.

    Justin Rose, left, his wife Kate and his son Leo pose with the J.K. Wadley trophy, right, and the BMW trophy after Rose won the final round at the BMW Championship at Cog Hill on Sunday.

    Rose completes wire-to-wire run, claims BMW Championship

    As he did the first three days of the BMW Championship in Lemont, Justin Rose finished the day atop the leader board. His final-round, even-par 71 on a rainy day and 13-under total, good for a 2-shot win over John Senden, gave the 31-year-old from Johannesburg, South Africa his third PGA Tour win.

    With his third-place finish, Geoff Ogilvy advanced to The Tour Championship next week.

    BMW winner Rose drives one home for Dubsdread

    The last man standing — or at least the last golfer to enter the BMW Championship media room — got in one last critique on Cog Hill's Dubsdread course.And guess what?Justin Rose gushed about it.The tournament will be played at Crooked Stick in Indiana next year, and there are no definitive plans to bring it back to Cog Hill. The course was criticized repeatedly by the players during the week.“Yes, I will miss it (if it doesn't return),” said Rose, after his 13-under total gave him a 2-stroke win over John Senden. “I really don't (understand) the criticism that it gets. I don't think it's that justified. I think the course is a very strategic golf course. It tells you to play it a certain way, and if you don't play it that way, you will get punished out there.“It was in phenomenal shape this year,” Rose added. “They did a great job righting the ship from last year, when it wasn't in such good shape. I think everybody here at Cog Hill actually deserves praise.”They're in: The top 30 players in the FedExCup playoffs are moving on to The Tour Championship in Atlanta.Those who moved up in the standings were champion Justin Rose (from 34th to third), John Senden (55th to ninth) and Geoff Ogilvy (69th to 24th).Ogilvy, who finished third (3 shots behind Rose), was the only player to shoot in the 60s all four rounds. He book-ended a pair of 68s with 69s. He also made the Presidents Cup team.“I was viewing the week as a win-win, really,” Ogilvy said. “If I did well enough to get to Atlanta, then there was a bonus: I get another golf tournament. And finishing in the top 30 is always a feather in your cap because it's very hard to do.“If I didn't, then I get an extra week to spend with my kids next week at home and get an extra week off and start my vacation a little bit early.”They're out: Those players failing to advance to Atlanta included Rory Sabbatini, who dropped from 26th to 35th, Charl Schwartzel (27th to 32nd) and Kyle Stanley (30th to 34th).Super Spiderman: Camilo “Spiderman” Villegas stuck a Sunday-low 66 on the board. He had 9 birdies and 4 bogeys, including on No. 18, when he missed a putt from just inside 4 feet.“An easy putt,” said Villegas, who fired a 32 on the back nine. “I just pushed it a little bit. (But) it was a fun day. It's a challenge out there.”Villegas tied for sixth at 6 under. The 2008 BMW Championship winner finished 33rd in the playoffs.

    Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher (54) takes to the field with defensive end Julius Peppers (90) and defensive tackle Amobi Okoye (91) before the start of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday.

    Bears’ Urlacher just talks football

    Brian Urlacher attended his mother’s funeral in Lovington, N.M., on Saturday and was in his usual spot at middle linebacker on Sunday.The seven-time Pro Bowl player did not want to address personal questions after the game but acknowledged the support he received in the days since his mother’s passing last Monday. “I’ve got great teammates,” Urlacher said. “It was a football game, you know? I came to get ready, just like I normally do."


    Grading the Bears in Week 2

    Grading the Bears in Week 2

    Bears rookie wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher snares his first NFL touchdown reception during the first quarter Sunday against the Saints in New Orleans. Sanzenbacher caught 3 passes for 33 yards.

    Receivers fall short in Bears loss

    Among other things, Bears wide receivers weren’t so hot at hot reads in Sunday’s 30-13 beating at the hands of the blitzing New Orleans Saints in the Superdome.The Saints and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams figured to bring every blitz known to man in their quasi-46 defensive scheme, and it was up to Bears wide receivers to know when and where to shorten their routes for quarterback Jay Cutler. The 6 sacks taken, a critical lost fumble on a sack, and only 8 passes completed to the five wide receivers active for the game testify to the fact that some pre-snap reads were missed by either receivers or Cutler.


    Blackhawks’ Morin feeling ‘pretty good’

    The Blackhawks are playing it safe with rookie winger Jeremy Morin as he recovers from a concussion suffered last January.

    Ray Emery

    Emery just happy to have a chance with Blackhawks

    Goalie Ray Emery, in training camp on a tryout with the Blackhawks, has gone through a lot to play hockey again since undergoing radical hip surgery in April 2010.


    Cubs lose 3-2 after video replay
    Cubs manager Mike Quade made a pretty good show of objecting to a call in the eighth inning. After Chicago’s 3-2 loss to the Houston Astros on Sunday, he was humble in admitting he was wrong.

    Paul Konerko homered Sunday at Kansas City and has 30 homers and 103 RBI this season. Konerko has hit 30 or more homers and piled up 100 or more RBI five times in his career.

    Amid all the turmoil, Paul Konerko stands tall

    Don't blame Paul Konerko for the White Sox' miserable season. The veteran first baseman has 30 or more home runs and 100-plus RBI for the fifth time in his career after going deep in Sunday's 10-5 win at Kansas City.

    Saints tight end Jimmy Graham is tackled by Bears free safety Major Wright on Sunday, but Wright suffered the worst of it as he left the game with an injury.

    This Bears season not so pain free

    Last year's luck with injuries has run out for the Bears. Now they're actually going to have to rely on having enough depth to survive a 16-game regular season. Sunday they weren't deep enough or good enough and the Saints hammered them.


    Bears-Saints scoring plays

    How they scored: Saints 30, Bears 13

    Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is helped up after being sacked during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011. The Saints won 30-13.

    Images: Bears vs. Saints
    The 1-0 Chicago Bears headed south to face the 0-1 New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome on Sunday. The Saints won the game 30-13.


    Cubs scouting report
    Cubs scouting report

    White Sox third baseman Brent Morel makes a throw to first to retire the Kansas City Royals’ Alex Gordon during Sunday’s third inning at Kauffman Stadium.

    A.J., Paulie help Sox snap losing streak

    A.J. Pierzynski homered twice among his four hits and drove in four runs as the Chicago White Sox snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 10-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

    Bears running back Matt Forte (22) is tripped by New Orleans Saints cornerback Jabari Greer (33) during the first quarter.

    Brees' 3 TDs lead Saints past Bears, 30-13

    Drew Brees kept New Orleans' offense rolling, and Jay Cutler had little chance of keeping up against a Saints defense determined to regain an intimidating edge. Brees threw for three touchdowns, New Orleans' defense beat up on Cutler with six sacks, and the Saints defeated the Chicago Bears 30-13 on Sunday.



    Free financial advice hitting 30 cities in October

    Help from a financial expert doesn’t have to cost a dime. For the second year in a row, a series of free clinics called “Financial Planning Days” will hit 30 cities around the country in October. Organizers say the goal is to provide guidance to the growing number of individuals struggling with money problems in this difficult economic climate.The Details The day-long clinics will feature workshops on topics such as budgeting, foreclosure, taxes, managing debt and paying for college. The events will also feature one-on-one sessions with financial planning professionals. To register, call 877-861-7826 or go to go to www.FinancialPlanningDays.com, which also lists the cities where events are planned. Registration isn’t required but is encouraged so organizers can plan accordingly. Organizers say event volunteers will not pitch financial products, including their own services. Background The events are being sponsored by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, the Financial Planning Association, the Foundation for Financial Planning and The U.S. Conference of Mayors. If you’re not able to attend one of the sessions this year, keep in mind that free or low-cost financial help is available year-round from nonprofit credit counselors. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling maintains a database of counselors around the country at www.nfcc.org.

    Smart cards with built-in chips, are the equivalent of a safe: they can hide information so it can only be unlocked with the right key. Because the important information is hidden, the cards canít be copied. The cards are recognizable by the fingernail-sized gold contacts embedded on one side. Through the contacts, a chip inside the card can transmit information to a terminal when slid into a slot.

    Why your credit/debit cards are security risk

    The next time you swipe your credit card at check-out, consider this: It’s a ritual the rest of the world deems outdated and unsafe. The United States is the only developed country still hanging on to credit and debit cards with those black magnetic stripes, the kind you swipe through retail terminals. The rest of the industrialized world has switched — or is in the process of switching — to “smart” chip-based cards.

    Traders work the New York Stock Exchange last week. News about Europe’s debt crisis has been the key factor driving U.S. stock prices in a volatile first half of September.

    Fund managers have bleak outlook on European crisis

    Mutual fund managers who invest abroad say the key reason is that Greece’s struggle isn’t the only crisis the European Union faces. It’s merely the most imminent one, and a default could ripple throughout European banks. Here are four things that investors need to know.

    Retail sales in the U.S. unexpectedly stagnated in August as a lack of employment and limited income growth restrained demand, highlighting the risk the economy will stall.

    Poll: 72% see economy on wrong course

    Americans’ pessimism about the economy has deepened and confidence in both political parties has fallen with only 20 percent saying the country is on the right course even as they remain divided over solutions. A majority say it will take at least six more years for home values in their community to recover to pre-recession levels.

    Car buyers can get their loans from a variety of sources, including credit unions, local banks and online banks. But about 80 percent of borrowers get their loans from dealerships.

    Biggest blind spot for car buyers? Financing

    Car buyers are getting smarter about negotiating prices. Securing cheap financing is another matter. It’s a common blind spot for consumers, who tend to fixate on the sticker price without giving much thought to the back end of the deal. Yet high interest rates and add-on services can sharply push up the cost of owning a car.

    William Scott, 79, enters a post office to mail a letter in Worthington, Ohio. Scott said he usually visits the post office three times a week to send mail.

    No more mail? What would Ben Franklin think?

    Imagine a nation without the Postal Service. No more birthday cards and bills or magazines and catalogs filling the mailbox. It’s a worst-case scenario being painted for an organization that lost $8.5 billion in 2010 and seems headed deeper into the red this year. “A lot of people would miss it,” says Tony Conway, a 34-year post office veteran who now heads the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers.

    Passengers go through the Transportation Security Administration security checkpoint in August at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. With the busy summer travel season over, airlines are cutting seats available in the U.S. by about 2 percent this fall.

    Armrest wars: Flights are fuller than ever

    Don’t expect much elbow room on flights this fall. Planes have never been so full. There was barely a spare seat this summer, and the next few months should be the same. To the list of things airlines have taken away — hot meals, blankets, headphones — you can add personal space.


    Credit card defaults, late payments continue slide

    It was a bumpy summer for credit card issuers, but most of the top banks reported that their customers continued to make their payments on time. Default rates were down at four of the six largest credit card issuers, which reported their August results in regulatory filings this week. Citibank and Capital One Financial Corp. had upticks in the rate of write-offs of uncollectible balances.

    Traffic backs up heading south toward Lake Mead on Interstate 93 in Boulder City, Nev. The Hoover Dam, one of the world’s great engineering feats, is marred by roads with traffic so jammed along the Nevada-Arizona border that it tells a different story about the political will to maintain 21st-century infrastructure.

    States struggle for financing to meet road needs

    The phrase “you can’t get there from here” is increasingly apt nearly everywhere one turns. America’s roads, highways, bridges and transit systems are falling apart. Even those not in disrepair are often so crowded that a horse and buggy might seem faster. Cities and suburbs are outgrowing their infrastructure far faster than local governments can find the money to fix them.

Life & Entertainment

    Emmy host and nominee Jane Lynch poses on the red carpet with "Glee" co-star and nominee Chris Colfer.

    Images: Emmys red carpet style
    The stars put their best (and in some cases worst) fashion foot forward Sunday night for the 63rd Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. See how your favorite fared along the Emmy red carpet.

    “Mike & Molly” cast member and Plainfield native Melissa McCarthy holds the Emmy for best lead actress in a comedy series backstage at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday.

    Plainfield native Melissa McCarthy calls Emmy win 'amazing'

    Plainfield's Melissa McCarthy of “Mike & Molly” was honored as best lead actress in a comedy series with an Emmy and a glitzy prom queen's crown. “Holy smokes. Wow, it's my first and best pageant ever,” said a beaming McCarthy. “I'm from Plainfield, Ill., and I'm standing here and it's kind of amazing.”

    “Glee” star and Emmy host Jane Lynch kicks off the show at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles.

    Images: Inside the Emmy Awards
    Although the Emmy Awards are all about television, not every special moment during the ceremony happens in front of the cameras. We've got an insider view on the ceremony and the winners.

    A dog takes a break in the Rover Rest Area as part of a past edition of the CSBarks Dog Festival at Armstrong Park in Carol Stream.

    Weekend picks: Get out and wag that tail

    CSBarks Dog Festival incorporates all kinds of canine agility activities, demonstrations and even a fashion show in Carol Stream. But if you're looking to wag your own tail, American Tango Institute dancers will demonstrate some smooth moves at the Round Lake Area Public Library.

    Evanston native Elizabeth McGovern, who now lives in London, is up for an Emmy award for actress in a miniseries or movie for her role in the British period drama ‘Downton Abbey.”

    For Elizabeth McGovern, Emmys mark a homecoming

    For Evanston native and American expat Elizabeth McGovern, Sunday's Emmys mark something of a home-away-from-homecoming. The actress is a nominee for her lead in the British period drama “Downton Abbey.” Some 20 years ago, McGovern left the U.S. to live in London. “I feel particularly emotional about (the nomination). It's been emotional for me just to come back even just for these couple of days, and remind myself where I come from.”

    Minocqua's Beef-A-Rama will feature a Parade of Beef, Rump Roast Run, Beef Eating Contest, Moo Calling Contest and a famous beef sandwich sale.

    On the road: Where's the Beef-A-Rama? Wisconsin, of course

    Minocqua's Beef-A-Rama, with its Parade of Beef, Rump Roast Run and Moo Calling Contest running Friday and Saturday, Sept. 23-24, in Minocqua, Wis., is just one of the unique upcoming events in the coming weeks. If you want to stay closer to home, celebrate all things German at Germany's Best and Oktoberfest held at Chicago's Navy Pier from Sept. 23-Oct. 10.

    The new exhibit “Trains — Get on Board” at the DuPage Children's Museum includes a variety of displays geared to young visitors.

    Kids can hop aboard new train exhibit

    For years, children visiting the exhibits on the second floor of the DuPage Children's Museum would run to the window to watch every time the train pulled into the adjacent Metra station. So when the museum was looking for ideas for a new temporary exhibit, it wasn't a hard decision. “Trains — Get on board!” which opened last Monday and will run for the next two years, is so large that it spilled beyond the usual temporary exhibit space and into the museum's Math Connections area.

    With the help of an Elgin historical grant, Decker will complete the two-phase porch project this fall.

    Century-old sketch helps Elgin man restore his porch

    When an old sketch book with bid documents from the late 1800s got into the hands of the Elgin Area Historical Society Museum, it gave Bill Decker the opportunity to restore his front porch. Since he and his family moved into the home on Liberty Street in Elgin, he wanted to change what he called an ugly, modern porch, but didn't know how. With the help of an Elgin grant, Decker will complete the two-phase project this fall.

    All kinds of cheese are for sale at the Dane County Farmers' Market in Madison, Wis.

    Say cheese when touring Wisconsin's Dairy Land

    Only at an airport in Wisconsin can the phrase “half my bag is cheese” attract nothing more than a shrug. But in the Dairy Land these days, there's a lot of cheese to be had and tourists are eating it up. The state's milk marketing board keeps adding more dairies on its cheese map for tourists who want to tour the state on a sojourn of cheese.

    Highway patrol officers, tow-truck company owners, the American Automobile Association all recommend driving a disabled vehicle off the highway whenever possible. And if it isn’t possible, pull as far as you can onto the right shoulder, into the grass if you can.

    Roadside safety begins with getting off road

    If you spend any time behind the wheel, you know it takes one mistake, one flat tire or one erratic driver to ruin your whole day. But if something does go wrong, experts agree: Do not stop your car on the highway unless you must. Even for a flat tire.

    The Stevenson family uses aminivan to transport their children and friends to games in Greer, S.C. Front row, from left to right, are: Peyton Stevenson, 6; Emery Stevenson, 8; family friend Charlie Wright, 10; Cooper Stevenson, 10; and Bill Stevenson. Back row is Allison Stevenson. With three kids who need to get to soccer, lacrosse, football, cheer and swim team — not to mention school — Allison Stevenson says her eight-seater minivan is crucial for carpooling.

    The carpool: a staple of modern parenting?

    Sure, carpooling has been around for decades. Kids got carted around in the big station wagons of the ’70s and early ’80s, then the minivans of the ’ 90s and, most recently, the SUV. But the carpool has become an important piece of the parenting puzzle for some parents of heavily scheduled kids.

    A generation that grew up with more graphic language and sexual images in the media is forgoing the decades-old practice of tiptoeing around female genitalia in favor of more open dialogue about it. To reach digital-age 20- and 30-somethings, who also have shortened attention spans, marketers are using ads that are edgier, more frank and sometimes downright shocking.

    Feminine hygiene turning into big business

    A generation that grew up with more graphic language and sexual images in the media is forgoing the decades-old practice of tiptoeing around female genitalia in favor of more open dialogue about it. To reach digital-age 20- and 30-somethings, who also have shortened attention spans, marketers are using ads that are edgier, more frank and sometimes downright shocking.


    Grandparents with webcam become new online stars

    Grandparents Esther and Bruce Huffman unwittingly pressed “record” on their new laptop’s web camera in mid-August and have become YouTube stars.

    “SpongeBob SquarePants” is in hot water from a study suggesting that watching just nine minutes of “SpongeBob SquarePants” can cause short-term attention and learning problems in 4-year-olds.

    SpongeBob in hot water from study of 4-year-olds

    The cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants is in hot water from a study suggesting that watching just nine minutes of that program can cause short-term attention and learning problems in 4-year-olds. The problems were seen in a study of 60 children where those who had watched “SpongeBob” did measurably worse than the others in tests.

    Pope Benedict XVI prayed for the victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks and called on world leaders and others to resist what he calls the “temptation toward hatred.” The Vatican also has told a breakaway traditional Catholic group that its members must accept some core church teachings if they want to be brought back into the Roman Catholic fold.

    Vatican lists core teachings for traditionalists

    The Vatican has told a breakaway traditional Catholic group that its members must accept some core church teachings if they want to be brought back into the Roman Catholic fold. The Vatican didn’t say what the disputed teachings were, but a top official of the group recently made clear it remains opposed to the church’s decades-long outreach to Jews, Muslims and members of other faiths.


    Religion in the news: NC to vote on gay marriage

    North Carolina voters will get to decide next May on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage after the Legislature gave final approval to the question, despite protests that the question promoted intolerance and discrimination.

    Chelone, also known as pink turtlehead, grows good in partially shaded sites. Clusters of pink-hooded flowers form in late summer into fall.

    Art in the garden: The right perennial can perk up late-summer gardens

    One way to beat the September doldrums is to add some fantastic late-summer blooming perennials to your garden. While fall mums and ornamental cabbages are pretty, there are some perennial choices that will breathe new life into your landscape. Here are some suggestions of plants that begin blooming in August and continue well into fall.

    This lovely carved and pierced panel may have come from a Chinese bed.

    Treasures in your attic: Carved Chinese panel likely part of romantic ritual

    Q. I am enclosing pictures of what I have learned is a panel from a Chinese opium bed. I have no idea how old it may be, but it is 25 inches high by 18 inches wide and 2 inches deep. It is three-dimensional and carved from one piece of wood. I would like to know more about its age and value.


    Home repair: Puddles in garage can be eliminated

    Q. My family has a beautiful home that we love, except for one thing. The concrete in the garage was poorly done and is uneven. I’ve been unsuccessfully looking for years to find a solution short of having the entire floor torn out and repoured. Any ideas?


    Doug McAllister/Under the Hood: Most vehicles have two air filters

    Q. The dealer I always take my car to sent me an email saying On Star had emailed them about a problem I’m having with my car. The problem is with the engine air filter. The check engine light never came on. What is the engine air filter? Is that the regular air filter that you change every six months?

    A beverage faucet, at right, has a replaceable cartridge filter under the sink. It provides quality drinking water, which can both save you money and help the environment.

    Ask the plumber: Beverage faucet can fill your bottled-water needs

    Q. I want to cut down on buying bottled water by the case and start using our tap water to fill reusable bottles. Can you please give me some information on filter choices that will be easy to install in our present plumbing system?


    Rental forum: Overnight guest to fight towing charge

    Q. My son parked in his girlfriend’s assigned parking space at her apartment complex. The property manager had his car towed claiming he was not the tenant and that parking is for tenants only. The tenants are not provided with parking stickers. There is a sign posted outside the complex labeled “Tenant Parking Only.”

    Gardeners at Presbyterian Church of Palatine are learning how to grow a few new crops this year, including tomatillos, which can be used in salsa verde.

    Garden ministry keeps food pantry clients stocked with produce

    For six years, church members have tended the plot exclusively for the purpose of donating fresh vegetables to clients served by the Palatine Township Food Pantry. They have averaged donating 400 pounds each summer, but this year they expect to reach 500.


    Everyone’s pregnant, but she leaves crying

    Q. Two of my employees are expecting and three more collaborators are pregnant. I am truly, truly happy for them ... but, I am unable to have children (and still struggling with this after 11 years), and I have gone home in tears more than once.


    John Lampinen

    The reality behind Subscriber Total Access

    A Daily Herald editorial challenges the romantic notion that news and information on the Internet ought to be free.


    Republicans and one fact of life

    The decision to vaccinate — for HPV or any infectious disease — is not just a personal, family choice. It is also a matter of public health. And it is not unreasonable for public authorities to strongly encourage responsible parental choices.


    Blunting the effects of video bombardment

    Awareness is just about all we can hope for now that contemporary American life has become full of overstimulation, some of which we can’t control, some that’s too valued to do away with.


    A.G. Holder should resign
    Letter to the Editor: On Attorney General Holder’s watch, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives launched Operation Fast and Furious, an illegal pipeline of thousands of arms to Mexican drug cartels. Two of the guns that were allowed to “walk” across our border were found at the murder scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent. Holder should be fired.


    Is privatizing right for Winchester House?
    A Libertyville letter to the editor: In 2007, the Lake County Board voted to continue public support of Winchester House, but economic issues have arisen which may be playing into the hands of those who feel insulated from the needs of vulnerable elders who need quality, affordable, skilled care.


    War on terrorism is not over
    A Fox Lake letter to the editor: In response to Mr. Robinsons column on Sept. 12, “Recognize war is over and move on.” I could not believe what I was reading. It’s an insult to my intelligence, my common sense and the reality of the world we live in.


    Privatization might get us back on track
    I am prompted to write this after reading an article entitled “Crisis of confidence” and subtitled “Bank of America prepares to eliminate 30,000 jobs in bid to win investor’s faith.” This is the problem. They put 30,000 people out of work to woo “investors” and don’t realize that unemployed people can’t buy things or put money in their bank or take out loans.


    Put NASA back to work, not to pasture
    How about putting one of the government’s most innovative and productive agencies to work instead of out to pasture? In July when the space shuttle Atlantis touched down on it final flight thousands of NASA workers got their pink slips. Since the 1950s NASA has more than lived up to its promise as a technology leader.


    Put a stop to all the disinformation
    The president tried to get us to believe that he wants to cut more debt than anyone else after he emphatically called for a new debt ceiling without any spending limitations. How gullible does he think we are?


    Marriage definition is time tested
    It is through such a union that families, the cornerstone of society, are created. The traditional family is under constant pressure from a society willing to overlook the religious definition of marriage and from individuals who fail to live up to the commitment they make when entering a marriage covenant.


    Learn something from Freedom Riders
    Letter to the Editor: As we honor those who served bravely and gave up their lives on Sept. 11, 2001, we would do well to reflect back on those few hundred Freedom Riders, little known and seldom honored, who endured violence, hatred and imprisonment — not because it was their duty or job but for the love of freedom and the hatred of injustice.


    Police drama? It helps if you’re the beholder

    Columnist Jim Davis: What looks like an intense police situation could be SOP to our local police, even in the relatively pristine suburbs.


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