Daily Archive : Friday June 22, 2012



    DuPage Children's Museum celebrates 25 years

    Twenty five years ago, Louise Beem and Dorothy Carpenter stored their homemade exhibits and files in boxes, carting them around in a station wagon and traveling from school to school. That was the beginning of the DuPage Children's Museum Today, their vision has grown into a 46,800-square-foot museum that attracts 300,000 visitors a year.


    Group meeting on drugs in Buffalo Grove

    Link Together, a coalition dedicated to promoting healthy communities in the Buffalo Grove and Wheeling High School areas, provides information and resources about working toward being a drug-free community. Events are 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, June 27, July 25, and Aug. 29 at Buffalo Grove High School.


    Quinn OKs new rules for early prison release

    Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Friday that gives the General Assembly's blessing to resume early release of inmates from the state's overcrowded prisons, but with some new restrictions. Anyone getting early release must be nonviolent, display good behavior and serve at least 60 days in prison.


    Illinois’ sex-offender fee generates little money

    When the Illinois Sheriffs Association pushed two years ago to raise by tenfold the annual fee law enforcement agencies charge registered sex offenders, Executive Director Greg Sullivan hoped he was about to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for a new statewide tracking system. That hasn't happened.

    Mugly, a Chinese crested dog owned by Bev Nicholson of Peterborough, England, won the title of “World’s Ugliest Dog” Friday at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, Calif.

    8-year-old Mugly wins World’s Ugliest Dog title

    A Chinese crested's short snout, beady eyes and white whiskers earned it the title of World's Ugliest Dog at the annual contest in Northern California on Friday. Competing for fame, $1,000 and a year's worth of dog cookies, Mugly won the honor by beating out 28 other ugly dogs from around the world.

    Donald Ratcliff

    Ex-Wheaton College professor can move during his child porn case

    Former Wheaton College professor Donald Ratcliff can move to a new home in Villa Park while his child pornography case is pending, a judge ruled Friday. Ratcliff's electronic home monitoring can be tranferred to a residence on Roosevelt Road. Ratcliff, 61, and his wife of 33 years are divorcing and selling their house in Carol Stream., his attorney said.


    Traffic delays as woman jumps off 290 bridge near Itasca

    Traffic was completely blocked for about 20 minutes Friday on westbound Interstate 290 near Itasca, after a woman jumped off the Irving Park Road bridge just after 3 p.m. The 34-year-old woman may have been struck by a vehicle, but she is expected to recover from her injuries, police said.

    Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse Friday after being found guilty in his sexual abuse trial, in Bellefonte, Pa. Sandusky was convicted of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years Friday, accusations that had sent shock waves through the college campus known as Happy Valley and led to the firing of Penn State's beloved Hall of Fame coach, Joe Paterno.

    Sandusky convicted of 45 counts in sex abuse trial

    Jerry Sandusky was convicted Friday of sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years, accusations that had sent shock waves through the college campus known as Happy Valley and led to the firing of Penn State's beloved Hall of Fame coach, Joe Paterno. The accuser known in court papers as Victim 6 broke down in tears upon hearing the verdicts in the courtroom. Afterward, a prosecutor embraced him and...

    Video gambling machines like this one made by Incredible Technologies in Arlington Heights soon could appear in suburban bars.

    Gaming Board approves suburban video gambling licenses

    The Illinois Gaming Board has approved video gambling licenses for several suburban locations, including in Hoffman Estates, Port Barrington and Lakemoor. After years of wrangling over the issue and a long regulation process, the batch of 18 licenses approved this week is the first from the Gaming Board for such establishments, setting up a path for video gambling to be in the suburbs soon.

    South Korean Air Forces’ KF-16 fighters fire flare shells during a South Korea-U.S. joint military live-fire drills held in a show of combat readiness ahead of the 62nd anniversary of the start of the Korean War on Sunday.

    U.S. military eyes return to bases in Southeast Asia

    As the Obama administration revamps its Asian strategy in response to a rising China, the U.S. military is eyeing a return to some familiar bases from its last conflict in Southeast Asia — the Vietnam War.In recent weeks, the Pentagon has intensified discussions with Thailand about creating a regional disaster-relief hub at an American-built airfield that housed B-52 bombers during the...


    Gurnee fishing derby July 14

    Gurnee Park District will sponsor a free fishing derby Saturday, July 14. It's geared for children 5 to 11 years old.


    Group to debate Dimucci proposal

    The Lake County regional planning commission will meet Monday to debate a proposal to rezone 109 acres near Hawthorn Woods as commercial property.


    Bridges named circuit court judge

    Associate Lake County Judge George Bridges has been appointed circuit judge, officials announced Friday.


    Civil War Days set for July 7-8

    The Lake County Forest Preserve District's annual Civil War Days event is set for July 7-8 at the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda.


    Diabetes research patients sought

    The Rosalind Franklin University Department of Interprofessional Studies is looking for individuals age 55 or older who have diabetes to participate in a free research study. Call (847) 578-8503 by July 1.

    A piranha bit off the fingertip of an 18-month-old toddler who was playing near the family fish tank earlier this week in Maine Township, authorities said Friday.

    Piranha bites off Maine Township toddler’s fingertip

    A piranha kept as a pet by a Maine Township family bit off the fingertip of an 18-month-old toddler who had stuck her hand in the family's fish tank, authorities said Friday. The toddler's parents originally thought the family's pit bull had nipped off the girl's fingertip, but after she was transported to nearby Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, an emergency room doctor recognized it...


    Chicago airports getting free Wi-Fi

    You'll get free Wi-Fi at Chicago's airports, but only to select sites, under a deal the Chicago Aviation Department has struck with the company that provides wireless service at O'Hare and Midway. Another component of the deal could eventually lead to full free web access.

    Michael Pitchford

    2 charged in Aurora outlet watch store robbery

    Two men are charged with holding up a store in the Chicago Premium Outlets shopping center in Aurora Thursday during which police say they stole watches and cash. Kevin Jones, 34, of the 200 block of Springfield Street in Chicago, and Michael Pitchford, 31, of the 1100 block of Lawler Street in Chicago, were each charged with aggravated robbery, robbery and possession of a stolen motor vehicle,...

    Associated Press/Dec. 22, 2010 Paraguay’s President Fernando Lugo laughs as Hector Lezcano, a government employee, touches his head during a year-end meeting with government employees in Asuncion, Paraguay.

    Lawmakers vote to oust Paraguay’s president

    Paraguay's Senate voted to remove President Fernando Lugo from office on Friday in an impeachment trial that plunged the South American country into a crisis.After a quick, five-hour trial, 39 senators voted to dismiss Lugo, while four senators voted against and two were absent.

    Associated Press This National Park Service photo shows climbing ranger Nick Hall on Mount Rainier in Washington state.

    Park rangers try to recover body of colleague

    The family of a Mount Rainier National Park ranger who died while helping rescue four climbers both grieved and celebrated his life Friday, as authorities faced the grim task of recovering the body of one of their own.Nick Hall, 33, slid more than 3,000 feet to his death Thursday.

    Kofi Annan, right, Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League for Syria, and Major-General Robert Mood, left, head of the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria and Chief Military Observer, look on during a news briefing Friday at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Annan said he continues to hold out hope that his six-point peace plan might succeed eventually in Syria.

    Turkey says Syria downed its air force jet

    Turkey said its air force jet that disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea on Friday was shot down by Syria. Turkey "will determinedly take necessary steps," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

    Associated Press/Sept. 11, 2006 Mary Cheney, right, the openly gay daughter of then-Vice President Dick Cheney, stands with Heather Poe, left, during a memorial observance on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. Cheney married her longtime partner, Poe, on Friday.

    Former VP Cheney’s daughter marries partner

    Mary Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, has married her longtime partner, Heather Poe.In a statement, Cheney and his wife, Lynne, said the couple got married in Washington on Friday.


    Hampshire ratifies police contract

    In a nod to the dire economic straits Hampshire is facing, its patrol officers have agreed to a contract that includes modest raises but forces some to pay more into their healthcare plans.

    Lauren Kiefer

    Willowbrook 5K memorializes Lauren Kiefer

    When Janice Kiefer chose to plan an event to honor her daughter, Lauren, who was murdered in 2006, she knew it had to be something active and focused on fitness. "Lauren was such a fitness queen," Kiefer said. "I wanted to have something for her that celebrated that." That is why she and two colleagues formed the Lauren Kiefer Memorial Foundation, Inc., which will host its sixth annual...


    Glen Ellyn teens face vandalism charges

    Two Glen Ellyn teens are facing multiple counts of criminal damage to property in connection with a rash of vandalism to vehicles and a home, DuPage County sheriff's police announced Friday.

    Associated Press/Jan. 20, 2010 Waves pound a wall near buildings in Pacifica, Calif., during a rain storm. A new federal report gives the West Coast its best look yet at what to expect from rising sea levels.

    Report: Ocean level could rise a foot off California coast

    Global warming may push sea levels as much as a foot higher in California in the next two decades, threatening airports, freeways, ports and houses, according to a report examining risks along the U.S. West Coast.


    Antioch Rescue Squad accused in lawsuit of not paying contractor

    The Antioch Rescue Squad is being sued by its former paramedic contractor for not paying for services, breaking its contract and stealing employees, according to a lawsuit filed this week. Metro Paramedic Services of Elmhurst filed the suit in Lake County circuit court, claiming the rescue squad terminated its three-year contract without warning on June 15.


    Attack submarine USS Illinois appears in Chicago

    The secretary of the Navy and the governor of Illinois attended the naming ceremony Friday for the first modern Navy vessel to be named for the state. The USS Illinois is a nuclear-powered, next-generation attack submarine designed for deep ocean warfare and shallow water operations.


    Man who shot father of 2 sentenced to 45 years

    A Joliet man has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for opening fire on a group of men and shooting to death a father who was walking nearby with his two young sons. Daniel Huizar was convicted of first-degree murder last year in the slaying of Alfredo Lopez.

    Lance, a 45-pound, 44-year-old African spurred tortoise has been missing since Sunday from Lombard. His owners are offering a $500 reward for his safe return.

    Reward offered for missing tortoise

    The owners of the 45-pound tortoise missing from Lombard since June 17 are offering a reward for the safe return of their pet, Lance. Susan and Andy Lechner said they will provide a $500 reward to anyone who arranges for Lance's return to their home.


    Fertility race Saturday in Palatine

    The first Illinois Race for the Family to raise funds for families undergoing infertility treatment or pursuing domestic adoption is being held from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday, June 23, at Deer Grove Forest Preserve, 1898 N. Quentin Road, Palatine.

    Two peahens were spotted on the roof of Marsha Caccamo’s home in Rolling Meadows Thursday night. Rolling Meadows police said they’ve received some calls, but no one has reported them missing.

    Peahens spotted in Rolling Meadows

    Rolling Meadows residents spotted peahens Thursday night, and police say they've been getting calls for a week and a half. "I've never seen one outside of a zoo," said Marsha Caccamo, after being alerted they were on her rooftop. “I thought she was kidding,” Caccamo said when her neighbor called around 8:15 p.m. about the peacocks. “I’ve never seen one outside of a zoo. It...

    Clifford McIlvaine

    St. Charles man a no-show for sentencing in home project case

    A St. Charles man who recently was found in contempt of court for not following a schedule to complete a home construction project that has lingered since the 1970s was a no-show for his Friday sentencing. A judge has given Clifford McIlvaine one last chance to show up on July 6 before an arrest warrrant is issued.

    A barn is surrounded by corn swept over by strong winds moving through the Midwest Wednesday, near Kenney, Ill.

    Report: Drought covers 70 percent of Illinois

    About 70 percent of Illinois is in a drought, the U.S. Drought Monitor said Friday, and northern Illinois is "extremely dry," prompting the state to activate its Drought Response Task Force for the first time since 2005.


    Cook Memorial Public Library board gets new trustee

    A Vernon Hills resident will fill a vacancy on the Cook Memorial Public Library District board, officials said Friday. Tommy Koo was tapped this week to replace Mary Ann Phillips, a longtime board member from Libertyville who resigned in February.

    Jonathan Willard

    Palatine man charged with battery to infant

    A 4-month-old boy was released from the hospital Friday and into protective custody after Palatine police said a man repeatedly hurt him over a four-week period. Jonathan Willard, 30, of the 1900 block of Cambridge Drive in Palatine, has been charged with aggravated battery of a child.

    Tony Reyes

    Winfield trustee scolds board in 17-minute monologue

    A Winfield trustee gave a 17-minute speech where he blamed the village's lack of funding for roads and various other projects on the town being run "like a club." Trustee Tony Reyes says the village needs to move in another direction.

    Abraham Salgado

    After Aurora standoff ends peacefully, three teens charged

    A police standoff in Aurora ended peacefully Thursday evening after at least one offender running from police holed up inside a home in the 600 block of East Downer Place.

    Residents along Winfield Road show their opposition to a plan to disband the police department and use the savings for road repairs.

    Winfield trustees quash road funding talk

    A majority of Winfield trustees showed their disdain for two proposed road funding alternatives by adjourning Thursday night's meeting before either idea could be discussed. The four trustees — Tim Allen, James Hughes, Jay Olson and Tony Reyes — decided to end the meeting rather than consider vehicle stickers and a sales tax increase to raise money to maintain the village's nearly 35...


    Fox Valley police reports
    Dimitrius Bell, 25, of the 300 block of Kathleen Drive, Elgin, man was charged with aggravated battery and unlawful use of a deadly weapon after he stabbed another Elgin man in the abdomen with a pocket knife after a fistfight broke out about 5:15 p.m. Thursday in front of the Kathleen Drive residence reports said. Police said the victim was taken to Provena St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin with...


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Edward R. Arbet, 53, of Batavia was charged with criminal trespass and criminal trespass to state supported property at 3:02 p.m. Wednesday at Quarry Beach, 400 S. Water St., according to a police report.

    Island Lake Mayor Debbie Herrmann

    Island Lake mayor still searching for right trustee candidate

    Island Lake Mayor Debbie Herrmann said she hasn't yet found the right candidate to fill the village board vacancy created when Donna O'Malley resigned unexpectedly in May.

    Nadia Palacios

    Waukegan man tortured before being killed, police say

    The Waukegan man whose body was found in a Barrington-area pond had been tortured and killed in retribution for a crime that police say he didn't commit. David Campbell, 27, was hit in the head with a hammer, had his groin burned by a blowtorch, then was strangled before being encased in plastic and dumped in the pond last July, authorities said. Four people were arrested and charged with the...


    Explorers holding South Barrington car show

    Hoffman Estates Police Explorer Post 806 is hosting its first annual car show fundraiser on Saturday, June 30, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will take place at The Arboretum, 100 W. Higgins Road, in South Barrington.


    Sale at Indian Trails Library this weekend

    The Friends of the Library will hold a sale of used DVDs, CDs, videos, and audiobooks Saturday, June 23, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, June 24, 12 to 3 p.m., at the Indian Trails Library, 355 Schoenbeck Road, Wheeling. Admission is free. Call (847) 459-4100 for information.

    Liz Chan, 19, of Des Plaines screams with delight as she watches her boyfriend ride the Freak Out at Elk Grove’s Rotaryfest on Friday.

    Images: The Week In Pictures
    This edition of The Week In Pictures features a variety of events but mostly local festivals.

    In this cellphone video image taken from YouTube via AP video, bus monitor Karen Klein reacts Monday to several seventh-grade students mercilessly taunting her on a bus.

    Video of bus monitor’s misery strikes a nerve

    The pebble was tossed when a middle-school student in upstate New York posted a 10-minute video on his Facebook page.The video, showing four other seventh-grade boys cruelly taunting 68-year-old bus monitor Karen Klein, was quickly uploaded to YouTube.And the ripples began.Millions of viewers from around the world watched her humiliation.

    Donald G. Siuchninski Jr,

    Texas fugitive arrested in Naperville

    A man wanted for stealing more than $10,000 from his employer in Texas was arrested at a Naperville motel Saturday. Donald G. Siuchninski Jr, 54, who has recently had addresses in Downers Grove and St. Charles, remains in DuPage Couty jail in lieu of $250,000 bond.


    Summit to cover natural gas fleet possibilities

    [No Paragraph Style]NewsTo get a natural gas filling station in Elgin, people need to be driving vehicles that run on natural gas. To get people interested in buying or converting vehicles to run on the alternative fuel, they need to know they'll have a place to fill their tanks. Members of the Elgin Area Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition are hoping a June 27 summit will help solve that conundrum and...


    Union posts rat at Arlington Hts. school
    The huge rat by Thomas Middle School in Arlington Heights is a union protest because District 25 has hired a masonry contractor with non-union labor, officials said.


    Former Grayslake man takes plea deal in 2010 dog shooting case

    A former Grayslake man accepted a plea deal for shooting and killing a dog that wandered onto his property in January 2010. Elvin Dooley, 59, now living in Alabama, admitted through an Alford plea there was enough evidence to convict him of aggravated cruelty to animals following the attack on the dog. The plea means he does not admit guilt.

    Sarah Jerome

    Arlington Hts. Greenbrier School parents fight to keep librarian

    Greenbrier parents continued their efforts to preserve a full-time librarian at the school despite Superintendent Sarah Jerome's indication that, unless enrollment numbers change, the decision is final. "You chose to take away from Greenbrier's successful program, a program that should be considered the district standard, the district model," said Erin Perkinson, the parent of a third-grader at...


    Arlington Heights Mariano’s building employee parking lot

    Mariano's Fresh Market in Arlington Heights has proved so popular that the company needs a parking lot just for employees.


    Barrington HS grad now Houston radio producer

    A 2000 Barrington High School graduate has landed a job as the producer of highly rated "Walton and Johnson" morning radio talk show based in Houston. Ken Webster, Jr., started producing for the show in May.


    Moylan receives leadership award

    The Illinois State Crime Commission/Police Athletic League of Illinois recently presented Des Plaines Mayor Marty Moylan with the Municipal Leader of the Year Award and Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart with the 2012 Sheriff of the Year Award.


    Palatine nursery’s Art in the Garden set for July 7

    Knupper Nursery's most popular summer event is quickly approaching. Art in the Garden, which features live entertainment and local artists displaying and selling their work, will take place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 7.


    Prospect Heights holds shortened summer festival Saturday

    The Prospect Heights Park District hosts the village's Summer Block Party from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, June 23, on Elm Street.


    Help school with tuition by shooting free throws

    Shoot for Scholarships takes place from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 26, at Immanuel Lutheran School, 200 N. Plum Grove Road in downtown Palatine. Each free throw you make earns scholarship money for the Immanuel Lutheran School Educational Foundation through a donation from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

    Monsignor William Lynn walks Friday to the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia before a scheduled verdict. Lynn is the first U.S. church official charged for allegedly helping an archdiocese cover up abuse claims.

    Pennsylvania Catholic official convicted of endangerment

    A Roman Catholic church official was convicted Friday of child endangerment but acquitted of conspiracy in a groundbreaking clergy-abuse trial, becoming the first U.S. church official convicted of a crime for how he handled abuse claims.Monsignor William Lynn helped the archdiocese keep predators in ministry, and the public in the dark, by telling parishes their priest was being removed for...

    Associated Press/June 19, 2012 An aircraft drops a load of fire retardant slurry above the High Park wildfire about 15 miles west of Fort Collins, Colo. The ammonium phosphate dropped from airplanes to slow the spread of raging wildfires can turn a pristine mountain stream into a death zone for trout.

    Fires force evacuations at 250 homes in Utah

    Residents of about 250 homes in northern Utah were being evacuated Friday after high winds kicked up a fire started by target shooters.The 750-acre blaze started Thursday near the Saratoga Springs landfill and high winds helped fan the flames onto tinder-dry grasslands.

    Associated Press/April 19, 2012 Bank of America’s corporate headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. Moody’s Investors Service lowered the credit ratings on some of the world’s biggest banks, including Bank of America, but it had little effect on opening stock prices Friday.

    Little effect from Moody’s bank downgrades

    Moody's Investors Service suffered a downgrade of its own as markets responded to the company's rating cuts of 15 of the world's largest banks by bidding up the value of their stocks and bonds.


    Next week’s IPOs
    NEW YORK — The following is a list of initial public offerings planned for the coming week. Sources include Renaissance Capital, Greenwich, CT and SEC filings.

    While Mississippi is losing its abortion clinics, Virginia health officials managed to amend its regulations last week that could have severely harmed the clinics there. Anna Jeng, of the State Board of Health, holds her hands to her heart as she speaks during a meeting of the State Board of Health in Richmond. Jeng proposed an amendment that loosened permanent regulations to abortion clinics. The amendment passed.

    Mississippi may be first state with no abortion clinic

    Abortion will still be legal in Mississippi next month. It's just that women who live there probably won't be able to get one. Beginning July 1, all abortion-clinic physicians must have admitting privileges at a local hospital under a law passed by the Republican-led Legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Phil Bryant in April. At the Jackson Women's Health Organization, the state's sole...

    A Muslim convert from Brooklyn was sentenced Friday to nearly 12 years in prison for posting online threats against the creators of the “South Park” television show and others he deemed enemies of Islam.

    Man sentenced for online 'South Park' threat

    A Muslim convert from Brooklyn was sentenced Friday to nearly 12 years in prison for posting online threats against the creators of the "South Park" television show and others he deemed enemies of Islam.The sentence — largely in line with the term sought by prosecutors — came after Jesse Curtis Morton, 33, offered an apology for his conduct, saying he "contributed to a clash of...

    Larry Hartwig

    Addison Mayor Hartwig honored by DuPage mayors conference

    Addison Village President Larry Hartwig said he was "humbled" to be chosen this month by The DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference for its annual Intergovernmental Cooperation Award. Hartwig has served in several roles for the group, including as president from 2004-06.

    Representatives from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Temple near Bartlett are hoping to have almost 39 acres, which include a Hindu temple and number of other buildings, annexed into the village. They hope to be connected to the municipal water supply and eventually develop the remaining land for religious and commercial purposes.

    Hindu temple wants annexation into Bartlett

    Representatives from BAPS Shri Swaminarayn Mandir Hindu temple in unincorporated DuPage County expressed their desire to be annexed into Bartlett during a village meeting this week. The reasoning behind the request is two-fold: to get tap into the village's water supply to help with future development and to have an address in the village, which BAPS has felt like a part of for years.

    On the last day of his trial, Anders Behring Breivik’s defense lawyers on Friday tried to cast the confessed mass killer as a political militant motivated by an extreme right-wing ideology rather than a delusional madman who killed 77 people for the sake of killing.

    Norway killer calls for acquittal as terror trial ends

    OSLO, Norway — The trial of Anders Behring Breivik ended Friday with the confessed mass killer demanding to be set free and vowing that history would exonerate him for a bomb-and-gun rampage that killed 77 people.


    Key moments in trial of Norway mass killer

    OSLO, Norway — A trial that has riveted Norway for 10 weeks is coming to an end Friday. Confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik must then wait a month or two for a ruling by the Oslo district court.

    The Arkansas Supreme Court struck down the state’s execution law Friday, June 22, 2012, calling it unconstitutional.

    Arkansas Supreme Court strikes down execution law

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Supreme Court struck down the state’s execution law Friday, calling it unconstitutional.In a split decision, the high court sided with 10 death row inmates who argued that, under Arkansas’ constitution, only the Legislature can set execution policy. Legislators in 2009 voted to give that authority to the Department of Correction.


    DuPage forest launches transparency portal

    The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County on Thursday began rolling out its transparency initiative announced early this year with the launch of a "Transparency Portal" on its website, dupageforest.org. Available as a link from each page of the district's website, the portal serves as a centralized source of frequently-requested information, including district budgets, employee salaries and...

    Two pieces of wood are glued together to form the backing, the beginnings of a violin.

    Moving Picture: Buffalo Grove man crafts instruments

    "When you apply the varnish to the instrument and string it up, it's a magical moment," says Buffalo Grove's Bill Hoffman, a luthier, or maker of stringed instruments, who, has a child growing up in Glenview, preferred to take his violin apart rather than practice it.

    Karen Klein, 68, of Greece, N.Y., talks about the verbal abuse she endured from Greece middle school students while she was school bus monitor. Since the incident was captured in a 10-minute video posted to YouTube, more than $400,000 has been raised to send the grandmother on vacation. The Greece School District is investigating the incident.

    Online video of NY bullying stirs passion, anger

    A video of four seventh-grade boys mercilessly taunting a 68-year-old bus monitor in New York state that went viral has turned the victim into an international fundraising juggernaut and opened her tormentors to an onslaught of threats and abuse.

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, speaks at the NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials) conference in Orlando, Fla., Thursday, June 21, 2012.

    Fact check: Romney’s immigration promises hard to deliver

    WASHINGTON — Courting Hispanic voters, Mitt Romney is promising to ease the path to a green card, fix a complicated and cumbersome system to let farm workers into the United States and finish a high-tech fence along the Mexican border.

    The west entrance to Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State. A Mount Rainier ranger slid more than 3,000 feet to his death Thursday June 21, 2012, as he helped in efforts to rescue four injured climbers who fell on a glacier, a National Park Service spokesman said.

    Mount Rainier ranger killed in climbers’ rescue

    LONGMIRE, Wash. — A Mount Rainier ranger slid more than 3,000 feet to his death as he helped in efforts to rescue four injured climbers who fell on a glacier, a National Park Service spokesman said. Ranger Nick Hall was helping prepare the climbers to be taken from the 14,411-foot Washington state peak when he fell shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday, spokesman Kevin Bacher said.


    Dawn Patrol: Wanted Elgin man on the loose; pension delay

    Police are hunting for an Elgin man they say eluded them during a chase through a state park. A wounded veteran from Sugar Grove receives a new home in Antioch. A Barrington Hills man who died in Afghanistan is being remembered as a hero. And the Blackhawks have the 18th pick in the first round of tonight's NHL draft.


    Syrian TV says gunmen kidnapped and killed 25

    BEIRUT — A video emerged Friday showing more than a dozen bloodied corpses in Syria, some of them piled on top of each other and in military uniforms, in what the government said was a “massacre” by rebels in the northern province of Aleppo.

    Afghan policemen stand guard outside of the Spozhmai Hotel on Lake Qurgha where security officials say Taliban insurgents killed nearly two dozen people, most of them civilians, in an attack just north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, June, 22, 2012. It was the latest in a string of attacks this week that suggest the insurgent group is pushing hard with its summer offensive rather than waiting for international forces to draw down.

    Taliban storm Afghan hotel, killing 18 people

    KABUL, Afghanistan — Heavily armed Taliban insurgents stormed into a lakeside hotel north of Kabul and opened fire on guests inside, killing 18 people — most civilians — before the 12-hour long rampage ended Friday morning, Afghan officials said.

    Egyptian supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate for president, Mohammed Morsi, attend Friday prayers in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Friday, June 22, 2012. Egypt’s ruling military council on Friday blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for raising tensions by releasing presidential election results early and insisted its recent decisions that granted the generals sweeping powers were necessary for running the country.

    Egypt military blames Muslim Brotherhood for woes

    CAIRO — Egypt’s ruling military council on Friday blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for raising tensions by releasing presidential election results early and insisted its recent decisions that granted the generals sweeping powers were necessary for running the country.

    Raja Pervaiz Ashraf leaves the Parliament in Islamabad, Pakistan, after filing his nomination as a candidate for the premiership. The announcement of Raja Pervaiz Ashraf as premier-designate followed a week of turbulence that pitted the Supreme Court against the government. The crisis was triggered earlier this week when the high court disqualified the current prime minister over a corruption probe.

    Pakistan’s ruling party names new premier nominee

    ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s ruling party named a loyalist tainted both by corruption allegations and failure to end the country’s energy crisis as its candidate for prime minister, setting up what is likely to be a short and turbulent premiership.


    Baghdad market bombs kill 14, wound more than 100

    BAGHDAD — Two bombs tore through a market full of shoppers in Baghdad on Friday, killing 14 people and wounding more than 100, authorities said, the latest attack in the second-deadliest month since U.S. troops withdrew at the end of last year.

    Lisle’s 19th annual Trash and Treasures will feature collectibles, clothing, crafts and other yard-sale items from up to 60 vendors.

    Lisle “Trash and Treasures” an opportunity to find good deals

    Residents of Lisle and surrounding areas will get the chance to browse among hundreds of items from up to 60 vendors at the 19th annual Trash and Treasures sale. The sale features collectibles, clothing, crafts and other yard-sale items and will run 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 23, in the Lisle commuter parking lot on Burlington Avenue.

    Eric Brandt, this year’s recipient of the Barb Basl Award for Disabled Citizens, with the village board, members of the Commission for Disabled Citizens and his parents.

    Hoffman Estates honors disabled citizen

    At a village board meeting this past Monday Eric Brandt, 32, was surprised with the Barb Basl Award by the Hoffman Estates Commission for Disabled Citizens. Commission Chairwoman Michelle Pliafas said the award is given to one disabled citizen each year who "had a special something that added to the community."


    Waukegan Park District goes tobacco free

    The Waukegan Park District has made its property tobacco-free, joining Gurnee, Grandwood Park, and the Round Lake Area Park districts with tobacco-free policies.

    A 1953 Cadillac Fleetwood, modified from a four-door sedan by its owner, Bruce Phelps, stands parked in front of the Uptown Cafe, opened by Shawn and Rita Jones in August, 2011, in downtown Elmwood.

    2 years after tornado Elmwood rebuilds

    The fact that the tornado that tore into this Peoria County town two years ago has led to economic development doesn't surprise Dick Taylor."It would have been different if someone had been hurt or there had been loss of life, but the tornado helped us look at things," said Taylor, who coordinated reconstruction in Elmwood and now directs the town's economic development program."We were...

    Emerald ash borer.

    Ash borer found in Champaign for first time

    The emerald ash borer is working its way across Illinois with confirmation of the insect's spread to Champaign. The city of Champaign confirmed this week that one of the insects has been found in the city. Ash borer larvae feed on the bark of ash trees and are believed to have killed tens of millions of the trees since the bugs were first discovered in Detroit in 2002.


    Illinoisans who filed paper tax returns see delays

    The Illinois Department of Revenue says many Illinoisans who filed their 2011 tax returns the old-fashioned way are still waiting for their refund checks.


    EPA: Illinois public water supplies meet standards

    The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency says the state's public water supplies consistently met state and federal health standards last year.


    Federal $2M grant to help laid-off Wis. workers

    MILWAUKEE — The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a $2 million grant to help about 755 workers affected by the closure of four Wisconsin manufacturers.The grant is awarded to the state Department of Workforce Development. The money is intended to provide job training, placement services and career counseling.


    Lebowski Fest descends on Milwaukee this weekend

    MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee bars better stock up on white Russian drink ingredients.Lebowski Fest is hitting Milwaukee, starting Friday with a free outdoor screening of “The Big Lebowski” — the film that started it all.


    Police torture commission makes final decisions

    A commission that investigates alleged police torture cases in Illinois has made its last batch of decisions before a June 30 deadline from lawmakers to cut off its funding.

    Bob Geier of Elgin died last year of esophageal cancer. His family is holding a 5K fundraiser in his honor on Saturday in Elgin.

    Daughters organize Elgin 5K in father's memory

    When the family of Bob Geier of Elgin was given the news that he was dying of esophageal cancer, they were shocked. At 52, Geier was just as active and healthy as ever, but in January 2011, he was told the disease was in its fourth stage and already had spread through his body. Bob Geier decided to fight his cancer, as he said, with dignity, and shortly after his death in May 2011, his two...

    On a recent trip to the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, I spotted these two Cedar Waxwings sharing a perch along the shore of Meadow Lake on a hot June day.

    Images: Photo Contest Finalists
    Each week you submit your favorite photo. We pick the best of the bunch and select 12 finlaists. Here are the finalists for the week of June, 18th.

    Sand and surf and family bonding combine for a memorable summer vacation. But there are lots of other options.

    Poll Vault: Where are you going on summer vacation?

    School's out, and you need a break from work. It's time to pack up for a family vacation. What's your destination this year?


    The Giants’ Brandon Belt hits a two-run double off Athletics relief pitcher Ryan Cook during the ninth inning Friday in Oakland, Calif.

    Giants rally past A’s 5-4 in 9th

    randon Belt hit a tying two-run double and scored on Hector Sanchez's single during a four-run ninth inning, and the San Francisco Giants rallied past the Bay Area rival Oakland Athletics 5-4 on Friday night.

    The Angels’ Mike Trout, right, and Bobby Wilson high-five after they scored on a single by Torii Hunter in the sixth inning Friday against the Dodgers in Anaheim.

    Trout caps Angels’ comeback with go-ahead homer

    Rookie sensation Mike Trout hit a go-ahead homer and scored from first base on a single as the Los Angeles Angels rallied from an early five-run deficit against Chad Billingsley to beat the Dodgers 8-5 Friday night.

    Frank Francisco (48), David Wright (5) and Ike Davis (29) celebrate with teammates Friday after a win at home against the Yankees.

    Mets defeat rival Yankees 6-4

    Frank Francisco closed out the Mets' 6-4 victory over the Yankees Friday, a couple of days after calling their crosstown rivals "chickens."

    Rangers pitcher Roy Oswalt throws against the Colorado Rockies during the second inning Friday in Arlington, Texas.

    Rangers’ Oswalt impressive in 1st start of the season

    Roy Oswalt looked right at home in his debut with the Texas Rangers. Making his first major league start in over eight months, Oswalt pitched effectively into the seventh inning and the Rangers won their seventh straight game, beating the slumping Colorado Rockies 4-1 on Friday night.

    Padres pitcher Clayton Richard watches his second RBI double of Friday’s home game against the Mariners.

    Richard leads Padres to 9-5 win over Mariners

    Starting pitcher Clayton Richard settled down after a rough start and drove in three runs to lift the San Diego Padres to a 9-5 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.

    The Astros’ Carlos Lee gets the ball before tagging out Cleveland’s Jason Kipnis during the ninth inning Friday in Houston.

    Indians beat Astros 2-0 in 1st meeting since ’01

    Shin-Soo Choo hit a leadoff triple and Michael Brantley drove in a run late to back up a strong start by Ubaldo Jimenez, and the Cleveland Indians got a 2-0 win over the Astros

    The Cardinals’ Carlos Beltran hits a two-run double off Royals pitcher Vin Mazzaro during the first inning Friday in Kansas City, Mo.

    Beltran powers Cardinals to 11-4 win over Royals

    Carlos Beltran hit two-run doubles his first two times at the plate, leading a St. Louis Cardinals offense that matched a season high with 17 hits to an 11-4 victory over their I-70 rivals.

    Atlanta Braves starter Jair Jurrjens struck out four against the Red Sox Friday in Boston.

    Jurrjens sharp in return to Braves

    Jair Jurrjens showed the skill that made him an All-Star last season — before knee problems and two months in the minors sidetracked his outstanding career. In his first start since being called up, Atlanta's winningest pitcher in 2011 allowed one run on three hits and shut down the hot-hitting Boston Red Sox, leading the Braves to a 4-1 win on Friday night.

    White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale worked 8 scoreless innings Friday night agiants the Brewers but came away with a no-decision.

    Sale, Greinke battle, but Brewers come up on top

    There was supposed to be a pitcher's duel at U.S. Cellular Field Friday night, and White Sox starter Chris Sale and Brewers counterpart Zack Greinke did not disappoint. Neither Sale nor Greinke allowed a run, and Milwaukee finally broke through against reliever Jesse Crain in the 10th inning to emerge with a 1-0 win.

    Teuvo Teravainen, a winger from Finland, pulls on a Chicago Blackhawks cap after being chosen 18th overall in the first round of the NHL hockey draft on Friday, June 22, 2012, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

    Hawks thrilled: Skilled Teravainen nabbed in first round

    Teuvo Teravainen was supposed to be long gone by the time the Blackhawks made the 18th selection in the first round of Friday’s NHL entry draft. But the skilled Finn was still there, so general manager Stan Bowman jumped at the chance to draft him. “We didn’t expect him to be there,” Bowman said. “Anytime a player of that caliber is available, you’ve got to take him. He’s a dynamic player who can make plays.”

    Epiphanny Prince will miss 6-8 weeks with a broken foot, but the Chicago Sky guard will return after the Olympics.

    There’s a silver lining to Prince’s injury

    Friends and family make meals for Epiphanny Prince. They drive her around and clean her apartment, too. he Chicago Sky guard has also gotten so many special goodies from well-wishers, like chocolate-covered strawberries and cheery arrangements that are supposed to look like flowers but are made out of fruit, that she can barely keep up.


    Cougars fall 6-1 at Clinton

    CLINTON, Iowa — A 4-spot off starter Angel Baez in the bottom of the first put the Clinton LumberKings on top, and they never looked back in a 6-1 victory over the Kane County Cougars on Friday night at Ashford University Field.Clinton (25-45, 1-0) grabbed the advantage in the home half of the first after the Cougars (34-37, 0-1) picked up a run in the top half.Justin Trapp reached on an error by shortstop Anthony Phillips to begin the contest. Trapp advanced to third on a double by Danny Mateo and scored on a grounder to short off the bat of Jorge Bonifacio.Jamal Austin led off the bottom of the first with a double off Baez (1-2). Austin scored on a single to right from Steve Baron to tie the game at 1-1.Baron wasn’t on the bases long as Ramon Morla blasted a 2-run homer to left, giving the LumberKings a 3-1 cushion. An error by Jack Lopez allowed Guillermo Pimentel to score the fourth run of the inning.Clinton added another in the third as Dan Paolini doubled and scored on the front end of a double steal. Robinson Yambati replaced Baez after four innings and worked 4 innings of his own while giving up a run on 3 hits.Trevor Miller (4-5) was solid for the LumberKings as he tossed 7 innings while limiting the Cougars to 2 hits. Josh Corrales allowed a pair of singles in the eighth while Steven Shackleford worked a perfect ninth.

    Dayan Viciedo, here robbing the Cubs’ Geovany Soto of a hit Monday, won’t be moving from left field to third base.

    Ventura won’t move Viciedo to third base

    While Kevin Youkilis to the White Sox trade rumors heated up Friday night, manager Robin Ventura said Dayan Viciedo will not be moving from left field to third base.

    Philip Humber has gone 2-4 with a 7.47 ERA over his past 10 starts.

    Elbow strain forces Sox’ Humber to DL

    Philip Humber pitched a perfect game for the White Sox on April 21, but the right-hander was 2-4 with a 7.47 ERA in 10 starts since the gem. On Friday, Humber landed on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow flexor strain.


    Boomers lose lead, game 5-4

    The Schaumburg Boomers failed to hold a 4-0 lead in the rubber game of a road series with the Joliet Slammers, leaving the tying run at third base in the ninth in a 5-4 defeat on Friday night.Schaumburg (20-13) exploded to a 4-0 lead with 3 third-inning runs. Frank Pfister was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force home the first run.Steve McQuail added a 2-run single to extend the margin. Gerard Hall, who had 3 hits, doubled home a run in the fourth inning to stretch the margin.Starter Tyler Watkins cruised through 4 innings but ran into problems in failing to make it through the fifth as the Slammers scored five times.Josh Lyon led off with a home run, and Zach Mandelblatt capped the inning with a 2-run single against Adam Tollefson to give Joliet (16-17) the lead.Watkins (1-4) tossed 4 innings and suffered the loss, his fourth consecutive defeat.Jake Renshaw (1-1) earned the win for Joliet despite allowing 4 runs, working through 5 innings.

    White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale delivers Friday during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at U.S. Cellular Field.

    Greinke, Brewers beat White Sox 1-0 in 10 innings

    Zack Greinke pitched three-hit ball over nine innings, Rickie Weeks drove in the lone run with a single in the 10th and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the White Sox 1-0 on Friday night. That gave Greinke (8-2) the win on a night when Sox pitcher Chris Sale pitched eight scoreless innings for the second time in three starts.

    The Minnesota Twins’ Ben Revere, right, scores as Cincinnati Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco waits for the throw Friday during the third inning in Cincinnati. Revere scored on a sacrifice fly by Josh Willingham.

    Twins send Reds to 4th straight loss

    CINCINNATI — Ryan Doumit and Ben Revere each had four hits Friday night, leading the Minnesota Twins to a 5-4 victory that gave the Cincinnati Reds their season-high fourth straight loss.Doumit hit a solo shot off Homer Bailey (5-5), who angrily left the field after failing to get through the sixth inning. Revere broke an 0-for-15 slump with four singles.Chris Heisey and Scott Rolen had two-run homers off Nick Blackburn (4-4), who lasted only five innings. Glen Perkins escaped a threat in the ninth for his second save in place of Matt Capps, out with a sore shoulder.Plate umpire Jerry Layne left in the fourth inning after the barrel of a broken bat hit him on the left side of the head, going to a hospital for tests.

    Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jason Hammel throws to the Washington Nationals Friday during the first inning in Baltimore.

    Hammel leads Orioles over Nationals 2-1

    BALTIMORE — Jason Hammel pitched eight innings of five-hit ball and had a career high-tying 10 strikeouts to lead the Baltimore Orioles past the Washington Nationals 2-1 on Friday night.Coming off a one-hit shutout against Atlanta, Hammel (8-2) allowed an unearned run in improving to 5-0 lifetime against Washington. The right-hander has gone 19 straight innings without giving up an earned run, a streak that began on June 10 against Philadelphia.Hammel did not walk a batter and was removed after 96 pitches. He came within one inning of becoming the first Oriole to throw two straight complete games since Sidney Ponson in May 2004.Jim Johnson got three outs for his 21st save.Mark Reynolds homered, and J.J. Hardy contributed offensively and defensively in helping Baltimore end a three-game losing streak.Washington’s Ryan Zimmermann (3-6) allowed two runs and eight hits over seven innings.

    The Toronto Blue Jays’ Rajai Davis leaves the batter’s box on a second-inning double Friday against the Miami Marlins in Miami.

    Bautista, Johnson lead Blue Jays past Marlins 12-5

    MIAMI — Jose Bautista homered and drove in three runs, Kelly Johnson also had three RBIs and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the skidding Miami Marlins 12-5 on Friday night.Brett Lawrie had three hits and scored four times to help the Blue Jays end an eight-game losing streak to the Marlins, who own a 17-5 advantage in the series. Miami has lost five straight and 14 of 16 overall.Ricky Romero (8-1) provided the Blue Jays with seven much-needed innings after Toronto placed three starters on the disabled list in the last week. Romero allowed four runs and struck out five.Kyle Drabek was lost for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and Drew Hutchison (elbow sprain) and Brandon Marrow (strained rib cage muscle) also went on the DL.

    Pittsburgh Pirates starter A.J. Burnett delivers a pitch Friday against the Detroit Tigers in Pittsburgh.

    Burnett, Pirates shut down Tigers 4-1

    A.J. Burnett pitched six shutout innings to win his seventh consecutive start and the Pittsburgh Pirates won for the fifth time in six games, 4-1 over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.

    Nail Yakupov, left, a winger from Russia who was chosen first overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the NHL hockey draft, stands with Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini on Friday in Pittsburgh.

    Yakupov taken by Oilers with top pick in NHL Draft

    The Edmonton Oilers have selected winger Nail Yakupov with the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft. The Oilers, picking first overall for the third straight year, opted for the dynamic 18-year-old forward of the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League on Friday night. Yakupov scored 31 goals in 42 games last season and broke Steven Stamkos' franchise rookie scoring record in 2010-11 when he finished with 49 goals and 101 points. "There's no pressure now, I'm just excited," Yakupov said.

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. signs an autograph for a fan prior to taking practice laps for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Sonoma, Calif.

    Road at Sonoma might be welcoming for Earnhardt

    SONOMA, Calif. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. knows exactly where he stacks up on road courses. “I don’t really take them lightly, but I know that’s not my forte,” he said Friday. “That’s not really where my bread is buttered.”The statistics speak for themselves: In 12 career starts at Sonoma, Earnhardt has never finished higher than 11th. At Watkins Glen, the only other road course on the Sprint Cup Series schedule, he has three top-10 finishes — but none since 2005. But he’s running so well this season, Earnhardt believes he has a shot Sunday on the 10-turn, 1.99-mile scenic Sonoma course. “We have had such a good season, and we come in here and we want to continue that,” he said. Earnhardt ended his four-year losing streak last weekend at Michigan. He’d been steadily working his way toward Victory Lane all year, the most consistent driver through the first 15 races. He leads the series with 12 top-10 finishes, and he’s the only driver to complete every lap this season. He’s wary, though, of what the good results mean.“I don’t know really, momentum, whether it’s real or not,” he said. “You just kind of keep going to the racetrack and keep studying and keep testing and keep trying to learn and take the best thing you can to the racetrack each week. If you have a bad week, you’ve got to put it behind you and focus on what’s been working. We’ve got a lot of confidence and we are feeling really good about what we have been doing, and this is the best I’ve felt in a really long time.”He appreciated the visits to Victory Lane from other drivers last weekend. Earnhardt is NASCAR’s most popular driver, and the pressure grew during his 143-race winless streak. His rivals seemed genuinely happy that the streak was over.“I think it was good for us to see him in Victory Lane, and for him to get out of that media category of talking about losing more than (the) people who are winning is good,” Kevin Harvick said. “I think for him to get that pressure off of himself, to be able to get back in Victory Lane with the way that they have run all year is fun to see and obviously everybody wanted to see him win.”Earnhardt said Friday there were several touching moments in the days following the victory. He was flattered musician Charlie Daniels tweeted about the race. He also was told a story by his brother-in-law, L.W. Miller, about a friend’s father who is too ill to recognize his sons but was aware of Earnhardt’s victory. “All he was talking about was the race and us winning,” Earnhardt said. “That really kind of brings it home and makes you realize how something like that affects a lot of people you know and makes a big difference in a lot of people’s lives. Pretty amazing to hear a story like that.”


    Fire scouting report vs. Columbus Crew

    Orrin Schwarz breaks down the scouting report as the Chicago Fire hosts the Columbus Crew at Toyota Park Saturday night.

    The Chicago Sky travels to Minnesota to take on the 11-1 Lynx and forward Maya Moore (23) in a nationally televised game Saturday. The Sky, however, will be without leading scorer Epiphanny Prince, who will miss 6-8 weeks with a broken right foot.

    Sky scouting report vs. Minnesota Lynx

    Patricia Babcock McGraw breaks down the Sky scouting report vs. the Minnesota Lynx in a battle between the two conference leaders in the WNBA.

    Miami’s LeBron James now has an NBA Championship Trophy to go with his MVP hardware. Daily Herald NBA writer Mike McGraw says time, not another title, will help change LeBron’s images as a player some fans love to hate.

    Time, not a title, will help repair LeBron’s image

    With a good chunk of America rooting against him, LeBron James finally won an NBA championship with Miami on Thursday. So what will this do for James' legacy and popularity? Our NBA expert, Mike McGraw takes a look at the situation.

    Germany’s Marco Reus reacts Friday after he scored his team’s fourth goal during a Euro 2012 quarterfinal match between Germany and Greece in Gdansk, Poland.

    Germany beats Greece 4-2 to reach semifinals

    Germany scored three second-half goals to reach the European Championship semifinals for a record seventh time Friday after a 4-2 win over Greece. Philipp Lahm gave Germany the lead in the 39th minute before Georgios Samaras equalized for Greece in the 55th. But Sami Khedira, Miroslav Klose and Marco Reus all scored to pull Germany clear. Greece got a consolation penalty in the 89th by Dimitris Salpigidis.

    The Miami Heat celebrate Thursday after they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in game 5 of the NBA Finals at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.

    Heat took the tougher road to this title

    A year ago, with an easier path, the Miami Heat fell short of their championship goal. This time, things seemed much tougher to the Heat — which made the reward only that much sweeter. The Heat are the NBA champions, after taking an unlikely, uneasy road to the top of the pro basketball world. "You come together," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "You can either go the other way or come closer together, and you start to build some toughness."

    In 17 career games at Allstate Arena, Rush head coach Bob McMillen has led his AFL team to a 15-2 record.

    Rush again hope to straighten out road woes

    The Chicago Rush hit the road against the Kansas City Command on Saturday and hope to overcome the struggles the team has had away from Allstate Arena.

    Tour de France winner Cadel Evans will defend his title when the 99th Tour starts on June 30 in Liege, Belgium, and will cover 2,162 miles over three weeks.

    Evans, Wiggins expected to contend in Tour de France

    PARIS — With Spanish superstar Alberto Contador suspended for doping, the Tour de France looks wide open. Australian veteran Cadel Evans will defend his title, and Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins hopes to give Britain its first victory at cycling’s biggest event — just days before the London Games.The 99th Tour starts on June 30 in Liege, Belgium, and will cover 2,162 miles over three weeks. Race planners have given slightly more weight this year to time trials compared to mountains, generally seen as the twin pillars in cycling races that separate title hopefuls from the stragglers.The Olympics, which start less than a week after the Tour ends, is casting a shadow on this year’s race — forcing some to choose one event or the other. Belgian sprinter Tom Boonen and promising American Taylor Phinney are skipping the Tour to focus on the London Games. American Tyler Farrar — who plans to ride in both — has said it’s “a little frustrating” that cycling has two of its biggest events nearly back-to-back.Once again, cycling’s longtime doping scourge looms large. Contador, the biggest name in cycling since the Lance Armstrong era, had one of his three Tour titles stripped in February and was banned from racing through August this year after he tested positive for the banned stimulant clenbuterol in the 2010 Tour.Pre-race injuries and illness also have depleted the cast of contenders. RadioShack Nissan leader Andy Schleck of Luxembourg, who inherited Contador’s 2010 title and is also a two-time Tour runner-up, will be at home after injuring his spine this month in the Criterium du Dauphine race. Norway’s Thor Hushovd, who won two Tour stages last year, is out while he recovers from a virus. At least one Tour record will be rewritten this year. American veteran George Hincapie, a BMC teammate of Evans and Armstrong’s longtime lieutenant during his run of seven Tour titles, will begin his 17th Tour de France — breaking the record he had shared with Dutch legend Joop Zoetemelk for the most Tour starts in history. This race also looks like one of the most promising in years for Britain, in particular through Team Sky. Mark Cavendish, one of the world’s top sprinters who already has 20 Tour stage victories, recently joined the team. But he has said he expects to be less dominant in Tour sprints this year because he has changed his training and lost weight with an eye to the Olympics, where bookmakers see him as a favorite to win gold. He also will be without his longtime lead-out man, Mark Renshaw of Australia, who is on Dutch squad Rabobank.Plus, Sky has put the lion’s share of its resources behind Wiggins, who crashed out of last year’s Tour and wants to give Britain at least its first podium finisher at the Tour — if not an outright winner. This season, the three-time Olympic track champion has again proved his success at morphing into a road racer, winning three competitions, including this month’s Dauphine Libere. Evans, who was third in that race, remains a question mark: The 35-year-old didn’t race in May and this year has won only the three-day Criterium International in April. The BMC team leader still has a strong cast of supporters including Hincapie, Philippe Gilbert of Belgium, and young American rider Tejay Van Garderen.This year’s race features three uphill finishes, which is relatively few by recent Tour standards. The first comes on the eastern Vosges range in Stage 7, with a short, steep ride up the Planche de Belles Filles — a plateau named for a legendary mass suicide of French damsels faced by the threat of Nordic invaders centuries ago. The others are rides up to ski stations: La Toussuire in the Alps in Stage 11, and Peyragudes in the Pyrenees in Stage 17.


    Myers in as BG’s girls athletic director

    Mark Schaetzlein, the assistant principal/student activities at Buffalo Grove High School, has announced girls golf coach Matt Myers as the school's girls athletic director. Myers is replacing Marianne O'Shea, who retired following the school year. Also, Matt Priban has been named as BG's girls varsity volleyball coach, replacing O'Shea, who directed the program for the last six years.

    The three-game series with the Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field recorded the lowest attendance in the history of the City Series.

    Sox should know they shouldn’t blame the fans

    The White Sox are quick to point out they need more fans at games in order to add more talent to the team, but Mike North says its wrong to blame the customers. There are a lot of reasons, but the Sox front office should get its share of the blame.


    Team-first attitude fuels Mount Prospect

    A team-first attitude helped Mount Prospect leave Danville with an American Legion baseball tournament title last weekend. Plus a look at what's happening with Palatine, Elk Grove, Arlington, Barrington and Northbrook in the American Legion scene.



    California voters reject new tobacco tax

    A California initiative to increase the tax on tobacco to pay for cancer research has failed by less than a percentage point after remaining too close to call for more than two weeks.With about 5 million ballots cast, opponents of Proposition 29 led by about 28,000 votes.

    The Atlantic magazine cover from the July/August 2012 issue.

    Record hits on mag’s ‘Can’t Have It All’ story

    A first-person lament by a former State Department official on "Why Women Still Can't Have It All" has attracted more visitors to The Atlantic website in a 24-hour period than any magazine story the site has ever published.The piece by Anne-Marie Slaughter described her struggles balancing a high-powered career with raising her two sons.

    Trader Jason Harper works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Friday. Banks made a strong showing despite Moody’s downgrade on Thursday.

    Stocks bounce back; big banks creep higher

    The stock market is bouncing back, a day after suffering its second-worst loss this year. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 71 points to close at 12,644 Friday.


    GM to recall Cruze cars over risk of engine fire

    A risk of engine fires is forcing General Motors to recall its popular Chevrolet Cruze compact car. The recall covers the 2011 and 2012 model years and affects more than 475,000 cars, which have ranked among the top-selling U.S. compacts over the past two years. The fires can ignite when fluids, mainly oil spilled when it is being changed, drip onto a hot plastic shield below the engine, the company said Friday.

    2011 Ford Explorer

    Feds probe Ford Explorer power steering problems

    Federal safety investigators are looking into complaints that the power steering can fail on 2011 Ford Explorer SUVs.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the problem could affect 83,000 Explorers from the 2011 model year.

    2011 vs Chrysler 200 sedan

    Feds probe engine stalling in Chrysler 200

    Federal safety regulators are investigating complaints about engine stalling in some Chrysler 200 midsize sedans. The probe includes about 87,000 of the cars from the 2011 model year that have 3.6-liter V-6 engines.


    Camping World acquires Lee’s RV in Oklahoma City

    Camping World said it will acquiree Lee's RV Superstore, a dealership in the Oklahoma City area. Terms of the acquisition were not announced.


    Developments in case against Apple, publishers

    On Thursday, the U.S. government said Apple wants to rush its antitrust lawsuit over the price of electronic books. Apple acknowledges it has a "special urgency" in ending the case. The government sued this year, joining 15 states in saying Apple and several publishers conspired in the fall of 2009 to force e-book prices several dollars above the $9.99 charged by Amazon.com on its popular Kindle device.


    Internet group picks little-known executive as CEO

    A businessman with experience in building consensus will be the next CEO of the Internet agency in charge of contentious policies surrounding Internet addresses, The Associated Press has learned.The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which is pushing through a major change in the way Web and email addresses are structured and assigned, plans to announce Fadi Chehade's appointment in Prague on Friday. He will replace former U.S. cybersecurity chief Rod Beckstrom as chief executive.

    Benjamin Ripstein, owner of Midwest Motors Inc., who went before the Lake Zurich planning commission Wednesday, said his business is not the typical used car lot with ribbons and banners, but an Internet operation that sells luxury cars averaging $50,000.

    Lake Zurich car dealer critics turn into supporters

    Benjamin Ripstein appears to have won over Lake Zurich residents with his plan to replace Capaccio Bros. Furniture with his luxury auto dealership. After hosting two public forums, traveling door-to-door, and making a list of promises, Ripstein met locals demands and won praise from several. "I'm thrilled with the support," Ripstein said at a public hearing Wednesday by the Lake Zurich planning commission.

    Microsoft Corp.'s Surface tablet computer

    Microsoft's Surface tablet said to be wi-fi only

    Microsoft Corp.'s Surface tablet computer, unveiled this week to compete with Apple Inc.'s iPad, will initially go on sale without a connection to mobile-phone networks, according to two people familiar with the matter. Microsoft is equipping the device with a Wi-Fi short-range connection, said the people, who declined to be named because the full specifications of the new product have yet to be made public.


    Berkshire adds Waco newspaper as Buffett expands journalism bet

    Berkshire Hathaway Inc. agreed to buy the Waco Tribune-Herald to expand in Texas as Chairman Warren Buffett extends his bet on community newspapers.The purchase from the Robinson family for the 34,000 circulation daily is expected to be completed by July 31, according to an emailed statement today from Berkshire’s Omaha World-Herald that didn’t disclose terms.


    European Central Bank eases lending to banks

    FRANKFURT, Germany — The European Central Bank is making it easier for banks to take out its loans by allowing more kinds of securities to be offered up as collateral, a crisis measure that could support Spain’s hard-pressed lenders but means more risk for the central bank’s own finances. The step, announced Friday, gives Europe’s banks greater access to ready cash amid the turmoil of the region’s debt crisis. The ECB has been offering unlimited loans at its 7-day, one-month and three-month credit offerings to steady the banking system — but banks must have something they can put up as collateral.It said the measure would enable banks to keep providing credit to households and businesses. That’s key to keeping the economy going. Troubled banks across Europe are having trouble borrowing money normally from other banks so they can continue making loans and doing business. Other banks are reluctant to lend to them for fear they may not repay the money. Some banks have fallen back on the ECB’s credit window as a last resort.The ECB says its governing council has decided to reduce credit-rating thresholds and widen eligibility for asset-backed securities and mortgage-backed securities. Those are investments made from batches of auto loans, consumer credit, loans to companies and commercial and residential mortgages.The ECB has already handed out some (euro) 1 trillion in long-term crisis loans at low interest, a measure that helped calm some of the turbulence from the eurozone crisis over too much government debt.Commerzbank analyst Michael Schubert said the eased collateral conditions could be used by all banks in the 17 countries that use the euro — but appeared aimed at supporting the banking system in Spain, where the banks have large amounts of such securities that could now be used to tap added credit. Spain’s troubled banks have suffered heavy losses from bad real estate loans and are a key focus of the eurozone crisis. The government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says it will ask the eurozone rescue fund for up to (euro) 100 billion in loans from the eurozone bailout fund to bail them out. Schubert said the ratings permitted for the securities were “significantly lower” than before and that the ECB was taking on more risk of loss. The ECB insures itself against risk of default by loaning less than the face value of the collateral, a practice known as a haircut. For instance, asset-backed securities with at least two ratings and a second-best rating of at least “A” from rating agencies would be subject to a haircut of 16 percent. That means only 84 cents of credit for every euro of face value.A security with a second-best rating of BBB would see haircuts of 26 percent for those backed by loans to companies, resident mortgages and consumer credit, while those backed by commercial mortgages would face a bigger slice of 32 percent.The bank loosened its collateral standards in December ahead of making the (euro) 1 trillion in emergency loans to banks in order to make sure that a wide range of banks could take advantage of that money. Germany’s Bundesbank, whose head, Jens Weidmann, sits on the ECB’s governing council, has pointed out the additional risks that the bank is taking on by loosening collateral standards. ECB President Mario Draghi has said that wider collateral standards adopted by the central bank during the crisis do mean added risk, but said the bank was managing those risks by imposing large haircuts to protect itself. The ECB would suffer losses if a bank did not repay the ECB credits and the ECB found that the collateral had fallen in value and no longer covered the amount of the loan.


    Crate and Barrel introduces 3-D room-designing tool in stores

    Northbrook-based Crate and Barrel has launched its 3D Room Designer, a furniture and design tool that converts a customer-supplied digital photo of a room into a 3-D room model. Developed in partnership with NedSense, the new application will be available at Crate and Barrel home stores beginning Wednesday, June 27, with a consumer web and an iPad version coming soon.

    Fiscal fourth quarter earnings for Darden Restaurants Inc. climbed 10 percent as new restaurant revenue helped balance a decline from established Olive Garden and Red Lobster locations. The Orlando, Fla., company also said Friday, June 22, 2012, it will raise the quarterly dividend it pays shareholders by 16 percent.

    Olive Garden, Red Lobster strain for turnaround

    NEW YORK — Darden Restaurants Inc. is struggling to revive sales at its flagship Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants. A key sales figure fell at the chains during the company’s fiscal fourth quarter, and revenue came up short of expectations.The Orlando, Fla.-based restaurant operator has been reworking its menu and pricing to reverse declining sales at Olive Garden, which is the company’s biggest chain and accounts for almost half the company’s revenue. The company’s 10 percent rise in net income for the quarter came primarily from opening new restaurants.Darden said Friday that revenue at Olive Garden restaurants open at least a year nevertheless fell 1.6 percent in the quarter. At Red Lobster, the figure fell 3.9 percent. The metric is a key indicator of health because it strips out the effect of newly opened and closed stores.Darden attributed the drop at Olive Garden to its “Taste of Tuscany” promotion, which it said didn’t offer diners enough value at a time when people are watching their budgets and have so many more casual dining options. Executives noted that a new promotion starting next week — two meals for $25 — will go back to underscoring value. A new core menu and advertising campaign are also slated for next year.For 2013, Darden forecast a profit of $3.86 to $4 per share, which fell short of Wall Street expectations of $4.06 per share, according to FactSet. Given expectations for slow economic recovery, the company forecast sales at established restaurants to grow just 1 percent to 2 percent. “Still, because of the strong collective long-term prospects for our portfolio of brands, we are accelerating new restaurant growth in fiscal 2013,” said Chief Financial Officer said Brad Richmond. He said about 100 net new restaurants will open in fiscal 2013. The company has 89 more restaurants at the end of the fourth quarter than it did a year earlier.For the three months ended May 27, Darden said revenue from newly opened restaurants lifted its profit by 10 percent. The company reported net income of $151.2 million, or $1.15 per share, in line with Wall Street expectations. That compares with $137.4 million, or 99 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue was $2.07 billion, up from $1.99 billion a year ago but shy of the $2.11 billion analysts were expecting, according to FactSet. Darden’s shares fell $1.64, or 3.3 percent, to $48.75 in premarket trading. At Red Lobster, the company noted that a $1 price hike, to $12.99, for its popular “Festival of Shrimp” in April scared off diners.Sales at the company’s LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants open at least a year climbed 3 percent. The company said it added 11 Eddie V’s restaurants in the quarter. Darden raised its dividend to 50 cents per share from 43 cents. The new quarterly payment will be made Aug. 1 to shareholders of record on July 10.


    American lowers savings sought from pilots, some TWU groups

    American Airlines has reduced to $315 million from $370 million the amount of concessions sought from its pilots union to help reach an agreement, a spokesman for the bankrupt carrier said today.


    U.S. futures rise, buck global market trend

    U.S. stock futures bucked a sell-off on global markets Friday and banks were among the biggest gainers. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 60 points to 12,562. Standard & Poor's 500 futures gained 6.5 points to 1,324.80 and Nasdaq futures rose 8 points to 2,559.75.


    Deadly bird flu may be five steps from pandemic

    Five genetic tweaks made a deadly strain of bird flu that can infect humans spread more easily, according to a study that the U.S. government had first sought to censor on concerns it could be used by bioterrorists.The genetic changes made the H5N1 virus airborne among ferrets, the mammals whose response to flu is most like that of humans, researchers from the Netherlands wrote in the journal Science yesterday. The likelihood of those changes occurring naturally is difficult to estimate but there is “no fundamental hurdle to that happening,” said Derek Smith, a University of Cambridge researcher who led a second study.Scientists have been monitoring for pandemic-inducing changes in H5N1 since the strain was recovered from a farmed goose in China’s southern province of Guangdong in 1996. The virus has since spread across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and parts of Africa, devastating poultry flocks and causing sporadic infections in people, among whom it doesn’t efficiently transmit.“We now know that we’re living on a fault line,” Smith said on a conference call with reporters. “It’s an active fault line, it really could do something, and now what we need to know is, how likely is that?”Publication of the paper was delayed after a U.S. biosecurity panel in December asked the scientists to censor some parts of their work to prevent it being used by bioterrorists. Researchers meeting at the World Health Organization in February agreed the full findings should be published to help scientists design vaccines and drugs, and public health officials prepare for a pandemic.Vaccine MakersNovartis AG, Sanofi and CSL Ltd. make vaccines against H5N1 avian influenza. GlaxoSmithKline Plc applied for European Union approval of its vaccine in March.More than 600 people have been infected with H5N1 since 2003, and almost 60 percent have died, according to the Geneva- based WHO. Most had direct contact with infected poultry, prompting scientists to question what it would take for the virus to become easily transmissible between humans.While influenza viruses mutate constantly in a process called antigenic drift, the flu pandemics of the past century, including the 1918 Spanish flu that killed as many as 50 million people, have all been triggered by so-called antigenic shift, the mixing of human and animal flu viruses to create new pathogens to which people have no preexisting immunity.Scientists led by Ron Fouchier at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam set out to test whether H5N1 could become more transmissible by antigenic drift alone. The answer: yes.Infected FerretsFouchier and colleagues examined mutations in viruses responsible for previous flu pandemics, and made three such changes to a strain of H5N1 from Indonesia, the country with the most cases and deaths, which they used to infect a ferret. They later took swabs from its nose and throat and used that to infect another ferret, and so on up to 10 animals, to see how the virus evolved.Sure enough, it developed the ability to replicate in the animals’ respiratory tract, suggesting the potential for airborne transmission.The researchers then put the virus to the test by putting the infected animals next to healthy ferrets in neighboring cages. Six out of eight of the healthy ferrets became infected.In addition to the three genetic changes introduced by the scientists, they identified two other mutations that enabled the virus to spread, the researchers wrote. Those mutations are now the subject of further research.The five changes have all been observed in nature, but not in the same virus, they wrote. The mutant viruses were susceptible to Roche Holding AG’s antiviral drug Tamiflu.

    Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling says the collapse of his 38 Studios video game company has probably cost him his entire baseball fortune, and he put part of the blame on Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

    Schilling: Company crash cost me baseball fortune

    BOSTON — Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling says the collapse of his 38 Studios video game company has probably cost him his entire baseball fortune, and he put part of the blame on Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.Schilling said during an interview on WEEI-FM in Boston on Friday that he put more than $50 million of his own money in the company and that the money he made playing baseball is “probably all gone.”Schilling also says Chafee’s public comments last month questioning the firm’s solvency harmed the company as it tried to raise private capital to stay afloat.38 Studios filed for bankruptcy protection on June 7. It had been lured to Rhode Island from Massachusetts in 2010 after Rhode Island offered a $75 million loan guarantee.


    Ice cream maker plans Fort Wayne plant expansion

    FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Edy’s Grand Ice Cream plans on expanding its Fort Wayne plant to handle the employees that it has added in recent years.The company says it expects to spend $1.5 million on the project that will include new entrances, a renovated 2,000-square-foot cafeteria, men’s and women’s locker rooms, meeting rooms and office space.Company spokeswoman Diane McIntyre tells The Journal Gazette says the plant is busting at the seams with more employees than ever anticipated.Work on the project is expected to start in August. It will be in addition to about $28 million in equipment and building upgrades the company expects to make over the next five years.Edy’s has about 460 production workers and 90 management employees at the plant.—

    Ademonstrator holds a life saver in front of the headquarters of Bankia bank during a protest against the Spanish bank in Madrid, Spain. Europe’s finance ministers meeting Thursday tried to find common ground on whether to soften Greece’s austerity terms, possibly clear a bank bailout request from Spain and discuss new ways to boost confidence in the 17-country eurozone.

    Key European leaders meet to ease debt crisis

    The leaders of Germany, France, Italy and Spain will gather in Rome to seek agreement on ways to ease the widening debt crisis in their currency union. Any proposals agreed at Friday's summit will be brought to a wider gathering of EU leaders on June 28 and 29. Among the items on the agenda are a proposal by Italian Premier Mario Monti to use a bailout fund to buy sovereign debt to bring down interest rates for countries like Spain and Italy .

    Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

    Texas AG accuses Google of withholding evidence

    The Texas attorney general is accusing Google of improperly withholding evidence to stymie an investigation into whether the company has been abusing its dominance of Internet search.The allegations surfaced in a court filing earlier this week as part of Texas' 2-year-old probe into Google's business practices.


    A battle for Internet freedom as UN meeting nears

    Secret negotiations involving dozens of countries preparing for a United Nations summit on international telecommunications could lead to changes in a global treaty that would diminish the Internet's role in economic growth and restrict the free flow of information.

    Google’s shareholders haveo approved the company’s plan to issue a new class of stock.

    Google stock split wins approval; CEO loses voice

    Google shareholders gave CEO Larry Page what he wanted Thursday by approving an unconventional stock split meant to cement his authority, but he wasn't around to hail the victory. Page missed the Internet search leader's annual shareholders meeting because he has lost his voice, a previously undisclosed problem. Google didn't provide any other details about co-founder Page's condition except that whatever is ailing him isn't serious enough to prevent him from fulfilling his duties as CEO.

    Nintendo has upgraded its 3DS handheld to sport a screen nearly twice as big as the previous model amid hot competition against smartphones and tablets that are wooing people away from dedicated gaming machines.

    Nintendo to start selling 3DS with larger screens

    Japanese game maker Nintendo Co. has upgraded its 3DS handheld to sport a screen nearly twice as big as the previous model amid hot competition against smartphones and tablets that are wooing people away from dedicated gaming machines.The Kyoto-based maker of the Super Mario games and Wii home console said Friday the Nintendo 3DS LL, called 3DS XL in overseas markets, goes on sale in Japan and Europe July 28, and in the U.S. from Aug. 19.

    Cars line up for gasoline at an advertised cash price of $3.19 at Super Mart in Oklahoma City, Thursday.

    Oil near $78 amid global economic growth worries
    Oil hovered at an eight-month low near $78 a barrel Friday in Asia after signs of slowing global economic growth triggered a sharp plunge in the oil price this week. Benchmark oil for August delivery was down 7 cents to $78.13 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $3.25 to settle at $78.20, the lowest since October, in New York on Thursday.


    World stocks fall amid US jobs, housing gloom

    World stock markets fell Friday as gloomy economic reports from the world's two biggest economies heightened fears of a sharper global downturn. In Europe, leaders were set to weigh options for fixing the continent's debt crisis.The leaders of Germany, France, Italy and Spain are gathering in Rome on Friday to try to hammer out proposals for easing the widening financial crisis spreading across the 17-member euro currency union.


    Judge delays ruling on American Airlines contracts

    A federal bankruptcy judge has delayed a ruling scheduled for Friday on whether American Airlines can break its contracts with unions and impose cost-cutting steps including thousands of layoffs. Judge Sean Lane in New York postponed a decision until June 29.

    Sari Feldman, deputy director of the Cleveland Public Library, holds a PDA containing Michael Crichton’s book “Prey,” at the downtown Cleveland branch.

    Study released on library e-book borrowing

    E-book readers have been relatively slow to borrow digital works from the library, frustrated by a limited selection and by not even knowing if their local branch offers e-releases, according to a new study. The Pew Research Center published a survey Friday that reports around 12 percent of e-book users 16 years and older downloaded a text from the library over the past year. Earlier in 2012, Pew issued a study showing that around 20 percent of adults had read an e-book recently.

    Moody’s Investors Service has lowered the credit ratings on some of the world’s biggest banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, reflecting concern over their exposure to the violent swings in global financial markets.

    Moody’s sees big banks’ risks of ‘outsized losses’

    Moody's Investors Service has lowered the credit ratings on some of the world's biggest banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, reflecting concern over their exposure to the violent swings in global financial markets.The downgrades late Thursday ultimately are a measure of Moody's view on the ability of the banks to repay their debts. The ratings agency also cut its ratings on Barclays, Deutsche Bank and HSBC, some of the largest banks in Europe,

Life & Entertainment

    Musician Chris Errera of Schaumburg is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent.

    20 finalists to take the stage in Suburban Chicago's Got Talent

    The top 20 finalists have been named for the Suburban Chicago's Got Talent competition, chosen from nearly 200 acts that auditioned for the chance. Tickets are now on sale to see the top 20 finalists perform on Sunday, July 8, at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.

    Steve Martin has teamed up with no less than William Shakespeare to add music to the playwright's lyrics for a smattering of tunes at the Public Theater's production this summer of “As You Like It” in New York City's Central Park.

    Steve Martin teams up with William Shakespeare

    Steve Martin has a new writing partner, a guy even more famous than the comedian, actor, writer and banjo player. Martin has teamed up with no less than William Shakespeare to add music to the playwright's lyrics for a smattering of tunes at the Public Theater's production this summer of "As You Like It" in New York City's Central Park. Of his writing partner, Martin deadpans: "He's very difficult to work with."

    Emily Mortimer and Jeff Daniels star in the new HBO series, “The Newsroom,” premiering Sunday, June 24, at 9 p.m.

    A big story developing on HBO's 'The Newsroom'

    Kids hear it from their elders all the time: "Use your words." In the case of Aaron Sorkin, that childhood lesson clearly stuck. Having worked his verbal magic on the nation's capital (in "The West Wing"), sports talk ("Sports Night") and the backstage world of TV comedy ("Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip"), Sorkin has turned his attention to television news. "I consider it a valentine," he says. It's also an entertaining exercise in tough love.


    We need to take care of each other

    As the post-war generation moves into ­— and through — middle age, we are confronted more and more with our limits and our mortality, our Ken Potts says. We work and play with a bit less energy. We can see more signs of wear and tear and our bodies, minds and souls. The serious illness, even death, of someone "our age" is not as unusual as it used to be. We are no longer convinced that we can change the world for the better. And we sometimes feel caught between our children, who still need us, and our parents who seem to need us more and more.

    Lookingglass Theatre Company presents the world premiere of “Eastland: A New Musical” about the 1915 capsizing of the Lake Michigan excursion boat that claimed the lives of more than 800 people, most of them Western Electric Company employees.

    From Eastland to Gacy, local history inspires new plays

    Much has changed about Chicago over time. But one thing hasn't: The power to inspire. In recent years, local playwrights have found inspiration in the city, penning slice-of-life dramas rooted in the area's often troubled history. Case in point: the cop drama “A Steady Rain,” by Arlington Heights native Keith Huff that returns next month. The summer theater season boasts several such productions.

    Oprah Winfrey with Paris Jackson, daughter of the late pop icon Michael Jackson in Los Angeles. Winfrey interviewed Jackson for an “Oprah’s Next Chapter” special.

    Who’s landing the big interviews after Oprah?

    Since Oprah Winfrey packed up the couch that Tom Cruise jumped on and ended her daytime talk show last year, no one has truly filled her role as the top go-to person in television for major celebrity and news interviews. Now someone is trying to claim that spot — and would you believe it's Oprah again?

    San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker is suing a New York City club and its operators for $20 million.

    Spurs’ Tony Parker sues NYC club over eye injury

    San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker is suing a New York City club and its operators for $20 million over a scratched retina he says he suffered during a fight involving singer Chris Brown and members of hip-hop star Drake's entourage. The suit was filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Thursday. It says the W.i.P club in SoHo and its operators were negligent in security and supervision, which allowed the fight to take place.

    Doug Hara, from left, Monica West, Clair Wellin and Tiffany Topol play ordinary people caught up in an extraordinary disaster in Lookingglass Theatre's haunting and poignant "Eastland: A New Musical," running through July 29.

    Lookingglass' 'Eastland' exceptional theater, superb memorial

    Lookingglass delivers a poignant, highly theatrical retelling of one of the worst disasters in the nation's history in "Eastland: A New Musical" about the 1915 capsizing of the excursion boat the S.S. Eastland in the Chicago River which claimed more than 800 lives.

    Cirque du Soleil's “Dralion” features acrobats and a pack of costumed “dralions” (a combination dragon and lion creatures) to balance perilously on oversized balls and a teeter-totter. The arena-scaled version of the circus spectacular returns to the Windy City area with engagements at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont and the United Center in Chicago.

    Cirque's re-scaled 'Dralion' still designed to dazzle

    East is beautifully conjoined with West in the return of Cirque du Soleil's arena-adapted circus spectacular "Dralion," which plays back-to-back engagements at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont and the United Center in Chicago through Sunday, July 1.

    Buffalo Grove's Jonah Rawitz stars in "Hero," his third Marriott Theatre production.

    Buffalo Grove’s Jonah Rawitz heading into third Marriott production

    Buffalo Grove's Jonah Rawitz won't start high school for a couple more months, but already he's starred in some of the most-acclaimed suburban musicals of the last couple years. In fact, this week he started previews for his third Marriott Theatre production, the world premiere of "Hero."

    Kings Lanes in Rosemont serves up food options like the house smoked baby back ribs and the sushi sampler.

    Lots of pin action at Kings Lanes in Rosemont

    Kings Lanes, Lounge & Sport operates two locations in Massachusetts and opened its first Midwest spot in May. Not your typical bowling alley, Rosemont's Kings Lanes offers a full evening of entertainment under one roof.

    “Strindberg’s Star” by Jan Wallentin

    ‘Strindberg’s Star’ is intriguing thrill ride

    World War II, Jules Verne and secret societies mesh in journalist Jan Wallentin's debut thriller, "Strindberg's Star." Erik Hall loves to cave dive. He learns of an abandoned mine near his home and decides to take the plunge. While exploring the dark and damp cavern, he stumbles onto a well-preserved body wearing an ankh, an ancient Egyptian symbol of life. The news spreads about his discovery and Hall becomes a celebrity, until his dead body is discovered.


    Home inspector: Buyers can fight fine for unpermitted building

    Q. We bought our home 7 years ago. Recently, the county building department informed us that the studio apartment in our backyard was built without a permit. Neither the sellers nor our home inspector informed us about this. Is this something that we should be liable for, or should we hire a lawyer?


    Super handyman: Here’s how to create your own mosaic

    Mosaics have been around for thousands of years. They are both beautiful and fun to make. Here's how to create one of your own.


    A matter of appreciation

    Are some appraisers failing to see the improvements in real estate values under way in local markets that have recently bottomed out and turned positive?


    About real estate: Contractors usually aren’t liable for delays caused by unexpected problems

    Inclement weather is just one factor that a builder or remodeler can cite for missing a deadline without suffering a penalty.

    Nature Ridge Elementary School is in the heart of Bartlett’s WestRidge neighborhood.

    WestRidge in Bartlett is neighborhood of the week

    Lindi and John Walters enjoy spectacular views of prairie and wildlife from their WestRidge home that overlooks the James "Pate" Philip State Park in Bartlett. While living in town and loving Bartlett, Lindi Walters went on a country bike ride and happened upon construction of the new subdivision on the far west side of the village.

    Miscanthus floridulus showing fall color

    Ornamental grasses add texture to the garden

    Ornamental grasses have become a must-have in Midwest gardens. They can be used as accent plants among other perennials, ground covers on sloping terrain, or edging along pathways. They add fine texture, statuesque form, and attractive flowers and seed heads. There are several outstanding grasses ready to add multi-season beauty to your garden.



    Editorial: Keep a sharp focus on Medicaid integrity

    A Daily Herald editorial urges state officials to ensure funds spent on investigating Medicaid fraud lead to true cost savings.


    The other war on women

    Columnist Kathleen Parker: To say that Laura Bushhas never done anything for women suggests either willful ignorance or malicious revisionism.


    Beach Boys: They get around

    Columnist George Will: Elvis has been dead for nearly 35 years but the Beach Boys play on, all of them approaching or past 70, singing "When I Grow Up (to Be a Man)" without a trace of irony.


    Holder probe hardly a witch hunt
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: An immigration officer was murdered with weapons ultimately supplied through an idiotic scheme of the U.S. Justice Department, and a justice-loving nation wants to know who was responsible. The two highest law-enforcement men in the U.S. government, the president and the attorney general, now hiding behind the claim of executive privilege, are not willing to allow elected government representatives to investigate.


    Trickle-down theory still isn’t working
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: While watching the Sunday morning talking heads, I listened quite intently to one of the advocates from the conservative side of the aisle.This person was expounding upon how corporations should not be taxed, as taxes on corporations are not good for American business and, therefore, are detrimental to the country's regrowth.


    How the left-leaning media labels people
    A Wood Dale letter to the editor: It's interesting how the left-leaning mainstream media is defining people these days. A person who stands up for morals, values, religion, truth and common sense is labeled "extreme," "radical," "out-of-touch," "intolerant" and "phobic."


    Where are the jobs the GOP promised?
    A Hoffman Estates letter to the editor: Those of us who aren't among the billionaires of America have to take a stand and keep the Republicans out of office.


    President’s record is frightening
    A Des Plaines letter to the editor: What I do find frightening is the current Democratic candidate named Barack Obama. Other than the name there is no similarity between the 2008 and 2012 candidate.


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