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Daily Archive : Friday July 6, 2012

News

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    Burton Lindner, 69, and Zorine Lindner, 70, of Glenview were killed about a block from their home in a train derailment on July 4.

    Victims’ family sues Union Pacific in bridge collapse

    The family of a Glenview couple killed Wednesday when a railroad overpass collapsed following a coal train derailment have sued the railroad. A Cook County judge ordered Friday that cleanup work be halted so the victims' family can have its own investigators study the crash site. "The family is completely shocked something like this could happen," attorney Michael LaMonica said.

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    Andre Davis

    Chicago man regains freedom after murder case dropped

    A Chicago man who spent more than 30 years behind bars before DNA evidence helped overturn his conviction in the rape and killing of a 3-year-old girl was released from prison late Friday, just hours after prosecutors dropped the case against him. An Illinois appeals court in March had ordered a new trial for 50-year-old Andre Davis after tests found that DNA taken from the scene of the 1980...

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    Tanker truck leaks nonhazardous chemical in Elgin

    The high temperatures Friday may have contributed to a nonhazardous chemical leak from a semitrailer truck in Elgin Friday morning, fire officials said. Tanks inside the trailer were filled to capacity with a petroleum-based product, and it's likely the heat caused the containers to pop their tops.

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    Janet Nothnagel of the South Elgin Parks and Recreation Department waters the plants and trees as the sun beats down on her outside the village hall Friday.

    Prolonged heat wave could have deadly consequences

    Chicago tied a heat record Friday when the thermometer at O'Hare Airport recorded triple-digit temperatures for the third day in a row. It's only the third time in the city's history this weather feat has occurred, but some are worried the prolonged heat wave could trigger health ailments for the elderly and those suffering from a variety of chronic illnesses. “Over the past couple weeks...

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    Lindenhurst to residents: Stop watering lawns

    Recent drought-like conditions have prompted Lindenhurst officials to urge residents to stop watering their lawns. The village, which draws water from only shallow wells, has been pumping a record-breaking 2.4 million gallons of water a day and more. The previous high was 2.2 million gallons. "For us, (a limited water supply) becomes an even more pressing problem because of the fact that it's all...

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    Associated Press/Oct. 6, 1974 Syrian President Hafez Assad, right, and Gen. Mustafa Tlass, then-war minister, center, take part in ceremonies in Damascus honoring Syrian dead on the first anniversary of the last war with Israel.

    Top Syrian general defects

    A top Syrian general's defection is the first major crack in the upper echelons of President Bashar Assad's regime, buoying a 100-nation conference Friday meant to intensify pressure for his removal.

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    A Libyan election official works at a polling station Friday in Tripoli, Libya. The Libyan National Assembly elections — the first free election since 1969 — will take place Saturday.

    Libya at crossroads with Saturday election

    Fears of militia violence and calls for a boycott threatened Friday to mar Libya's first nationwide parliamentary election, a milestone on the oil-rich North African nation's rocky path toward democracy after the ouster of dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

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    Associated Press/June 14, 2012 Then presidential candidate Enrique Pena Nieto, right, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, greets retired Colombian Gen. Oscar Naranjo during a press conference in Mexico City.

    Elite counterdrug units proposed for Mexico

    The top security adviser for Mexico's next president said Friday that he is recommending the creation of elite units of police and troops who will target not just major drug traffickers but also lower-level cartel hitmen as a way of swiftly reducing violence.

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    More suburban roads buckle in heat

    Friday's triple-digit temperatures contributed to buckling on more suburban roads, state officials said. In total, about 30 roads have buckled in the last two weeks on the state highway system.

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    Rob Blagojevich, brother of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, leaves the federal court building in Chicago after opening arguments in their federal corruption trial on June 8, 2010.

    Blagojevich’s brother writing book on legal saga

    Robert Blagojevich told The Associated Press on Friday that his working title is "How I Survived the Federal Justice System." He hopes to finish the book by year's end.

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    Chain O’ Lakes Fireworks ready for its fourth season Saturday night over Fox Lake

    If you missed Fourth of July fireworks because of the heat, you have another chance to catch an aerial display Saturday with the fourth annual Chain O' Lakes Fireworks over Fox Lake. Noreen Michael, director of the organization, said $15,000 has been raised to a 15- to 20-minute fireworks show set to begin at dusk.

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    Tyler Cook

    Lincolnshire teen charged in Fourth of July wildfire in Long Grove

    An 18-year-old Lincolnshire man has been charged with causing the 18-acre wildfire in Long Grove on the Fourth of July, officials said Friday. Tyler Cook, of the 0-100 block of Kings Cross Drive, was lighting illegal fireworks in the slough while attending a party on the 3400 block of Hidden Valley Road in Long Grove, Lake County sheriff's office Chief Wayne Hunter said.

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    Quinn ditches campaign finance caps he championed

    Gov. Pat Quinn, champion of post-Blagojevich campaign finance reforms, signed legislation Friday that ditches those limits when super PACs enter a campaign. The law allows candidates to ignore the state's caps on campaign contribution if a super PAC — a political action committee operating independently of a politician — pours money in on the other side.

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    Harwood Heights truck driver killed in Nebraska crash

    The Nebraska State Patrol said 25-year-old Strahinja Krupnikovic of Northwest suburban Harwood Heights and 35-year-old Thomas House of Fremont died in Tuesday's collision on Route 30 near Silver Creek.

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    Clifford McIlvaine

    Construction scofflaw gets one more week to show plans

    A judge gives Clifford McIlvaine, a St. Charles man with a home construction project that has been lingering since the 1970s, a week to submit and have the city approve plans for McIlvaine's roof. McIlvaine was found in contempt of court for failing to adhere to a construction timeline and faces fines or possibly jail time.

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    Naperville man’s body found on side of road

    A 74-year-old Naperville man was found dead on the side of the road Friday morning. Authorities said James C. Hobbs had gone to get something to eat at a convenience store, and on his return trip, he was discovered lying in the grass by a passer-by.

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    Quinn signs bill spotlighting business tax breaks

    Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation requiring the publicizing of details of corporate tax breaks as soon as they're completed. The legislation Quinn signed Friday is a watered-down version of a bill sponsored by Rep. Jack Franks, a Marengo Democrat and critic of tax breaks.

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    Quinn orders more protections for disabled

    Gov. Pat Quinn has issued an executive order to increase state oversight of investigations into the deaths of adults with disabilities following a newspaper report that uncovered problems.

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    Lucca walks through the American Airlines concourse with Marine Cpl. Juan Rodriguez at O’Hare International Airport Thursday. The retired military dog arrived in Finland on Friday.

    Hero dog reunites with first trainer

    Lucca, the military working dog, reunites with her first trainer in Finland, after a tumultous few months recovering from injuries suffered in Afghanistan. Lucca's leg had to be amputated after she was hit by an explosive device but now she's headed for an easier life as a family pet.

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    Kazakhstan’s Hazrat Sultan Mosque — the largest mosque in Central Asia — has opened just six months after the building was damaged in a fire during which a construction worker died. The mosque spans an area of 188,000 square feet, and is topped by a 167-foot central dome and eight smaller domes.

    Kazakhstan unveils Central Asia’s largest mosque

    ALMATY, Kazakhstan — The largest mosque in Central Asia has opened in Kazakhstan, just six months after the building was damaged in a fire during which a construction worker died.President Nursultan Nazarbayev attended the Friday opening of the mosque in the capital, Astana — timed to coincide with the 14th anniversary of the city’s foundation.

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    Susan Garrett

    Local public workers salaries could go online soon

    The salaries of local government workers could soon be posted online through a state transparency website after Gov. Pat Quinn signed the requirement into law Friday.

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    Chicago sets antother heat record
    Chicago keeps breaking records as a heat wave moves across the region. The National Weather Service said the temperature his 103 at O'Hare International Airport on Friday, breaking the record of 99 degrees set in 1988. That's the third-straight day with a triple-digit reading in Chicago. That's only happened twice before, in July 1911 and August 1947.

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    Josephine “Ann” Harris, 70, owner of Ann’s Place 24-Hour Restaurant, poses for a photo in Akron, Ohio where President Obama dropped by for breakfast on his bus tour on Friday.

    Ohio restaurant owner dies hours after Obama visit

    A restaurant owner who hosted President Barack Obama for breakfast on Friday became ill and died hours later.

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    Fireworks explode over the Vernon Hills Summer Celebration in 2002.

    Vernon Hills fireworks finale fizzles, but makeup planned

    A mechanical problem caused by heat and a small fire silenced the most anticipated part of the Vernon Hills fireworks show Wednesday. Bystanders may have wondered what happened to the grand finale but they will get another shot, so to speak, as there is expected to be a little extra oomph at the July 19 show marking the beginning of Summer Celebration.

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    The Elgin-O’Hare Expressway’s east end now is at Rohlwing Road, but plans are in the works to extend it to O’Hare International Airport.

    Elgin-O’Hare competing for federal transportation funds

    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said an extension of the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway could be a top Illinois candidate for a share of $500 million in federal funding, but so are a lot of other transportation projects. "It's fiercely competitive, and the funds are limited," the Springfield Democrat said Friday.

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    Mosquito traps at Naperville parks show West Nile virus

    Mosquito traps at two Naperville parks have tested positive for incidence of West Nile virus, parks officials said Friday. Recent tests at Seager Park, 1163 Plank Road, and Pioneer Park, 1212 S. Washington St., showed there to be one instance of West Nile virus at each location.

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    Round Lake Beach residents to receive information on electricity savings

    Round Lake Beach residents can expect information within the next week about the village's new electricity supplier, First Energy Solutions. Village residents are expected to save about $350 per year. Round Lake Beach was among many municipalities last March that approved elecctric aggregation referendums.

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    In May, Julia Bluhm of Waterville, Maine, holds petitions to “Seventeen” magazine as she leads a protest outside Hearst Corp. headquarters in New York. Bluhm delivered the petition of about 25,000 names and met with officials from the magazine urging them to publish one spread a month of model photos that have not been altered. She says images of young girls in the magazine present an impossible ideal for today's teens. Seventeen's Editor-in-Chief Ann Shoket responded to the campaign in the August issue with a letter acknowledging readers' and giving Bluhm more than she'd asked for.

    Teen gets Seventeen to see body image her way

    A 14-year-old Maine ballet dancer who led a crusade against altered photos in Seventeen magazine now has a promise from top editor Ann Shoket to leave body shapes alone, reserving Photoshop for the stray hair, clothing wrinkle, errant bra strap or zit. "I didn't think it would get this big," said the young activist, Julia Bluhm. "It's a really great surprise for me."

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    Susan Boyle, whose 2009 performance on the television show “Britain’s Got Talent” wowed the judges, was awarded an honorary doctorate from Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University Friday.

    Susan Boyle gets honorary degree from university

    Singing sensation Susan Boyle has been awarded an honorary doctorate from a Scottish university. Boyle, who shot to fame on a TV talent show, wore blue-and-white academic robes as she accepted the degree Friday from Edinburgh's Queen Margaret University in recognition of her "contribution to the creative industries."

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    Cars in Metra lot vandalized:

    Five vehicles were vandalized between July 2 and July 5 as they wereparked at the Schaumburg's Metra station on Springinsguth Road. Windows werebroken on all five. Schaumburg police said there has been no pattern of criminal damage to vehicles in the area apart from these two nights.

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    Rolling Meadows raises funds for events:

    The Rolling Meadows Community Events Foundation will hold two fundraisers in July to raise money for future city celebrations. The foundation was formed this year to collect money for events such as the Fourth of July parade, which the city no longer is paying for.

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    Smart Cycling’s Meghan Lapeta of Downers Grove takes first in the women’s category 3/4 race during last year’s Geneva Cycling Grand Prix.

    International bike race comes to Geneva Sunday

    The annual Mill Race Cyclery Classic bicycle criterium race will spin around downtown Geneva Sunday. Watch racers go as fast as 40 mph on South Third and South Sixth streets.

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    Chicago man accused of hauling drugs through South Dakota

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A Chicago man has been indicted for trying to haul 250 pounds of packaged marijuana through South Dakota, authorities said.Police allege that 19-year-old Angel Maldonado Peraza was hauling the drugs from Utah to Chicago when he was stopped on Interstate 90 in Minnehaha County on June 21. The Argus Leader newspaper reported that he had bond set at $50,000 the next day.

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    Illinois’ first auditor general dies at 87

    A memorial service is planned Sunday for Robert Cronson, Illinois' first auditor general. He died Tuesday at a Springfield hospital at age 87.

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    Guide to places to play and stay:

    Tollway customers can get a free copy of the Illinois Tollway's Guide to Lodging and Attractions at all manned toll plazas and Tollway Customer Service Centers or download it at www.illinoistollway.com.

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    Celebrate YMCA centennial:

    Lake County Family YMCA is looking for memories and stories to include as part of its centennial birthday party from 3 to 6 p.m., Wednesday, July 18, at Northern Lake YMCA, 2000 Western Ave., Waukegan.

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    Lake Villa blood drive:

    The Millburn United Church of Christ will host a blood drive from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday at the church on Grass Lake Road and Route 45.

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    Video gambling could come to Carpentersville

    After Tuesday, video gambling could become the law of the land in Carpentersville. The village board is scheduled to take a vote that night on whether to overturn a previous ordinance that prohibited video gambling in town. Video gambling in Illinois became a law in 2009, but machines haven't been allowed to go live while the long regulation process moves on.

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    Firefighters host blood drive:

    The Mundelein Fire Department will hold its fourth annual "Firefighters Challenge" blood drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 7 at Fire Station 1, 1000 N. Midlothian Road, Mundelein.

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    Low-interest loans available to repair storm damage

    Residents whose homes, businesses or farms were damaged in Sunday's strong storm may be in line for some help.A program administered by the state treasurer's office is offering HYPERLINK "http://www.treasurer.il.gov/programs/community-invest/consumer-loans/disaster-recovery.aspx"disaster recovery loans to owners of properties damaged in the storm. The loans come at a maximum interest rate of 3...

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    Associated Press/ay 20, 2012 A Yahoo sign stands outside the company’s offices in Santa Clara, Calif.

    Yahoo, Facebook settle patent dispute

    Facebook and Yahoo have agreed to settle a patent dispute. This averts a potentially bitter battle over the technology running two of the Internet's most popular destinations.

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    Daniel Modaff

    Sex offender charged with illegally visiting Quarry Beach

    A Warrenville man was arrested at Harold Hall Quarry Beach Thursday, accused of being there illegally because he is a sexual predator.

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    The Glenwood Academy campus on Silver Glen Road in St. Charles has been sold to an unidentified buyer.

    Kane County risk level minimal regarding Glenwood bonds

    The closing of the Glenwood Academy campus in St. Charles means the school will have to pay off bond debt. Even though Kane County helped secure some of the bonds, taxpayers are almost certainly not on the hook if any debt remains after the sale.

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    DuPage housing group, feds nearing repayment deal

    The DuPage Housing Authority won't be required to pay a lump sum amount to the U.S. government after mismanaging more than $10 million in federal funding. Instead, the Wheaton-based agency is expected to use its nonfederal sources of revenue to gradually return money to its operating fund so it can "benefit the people who need it most," federal officials said.

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    Theatre-Hikes performs shows outdoors at Morton Arboretum, using natural settings as a backdrop for the action. Audiences follow the actors from scene to scene, covering about two miles during a performance.

    Mother Nature sets the scene for Theatre-Hikes at Morton Arboretum

    A howl tears through the deep greens of the Morton Arboretum's foliage. Conversations lull, children look up from play. Weekends in July, the sounds of a menacing hound may be heard as Theatre-Hikes performs "The Hound of the Baskervilles." "The description is so much more terrifying than anything we create," said Artistic Director Bradley Baker. "The imagination is more wild than anything."

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    Blue Whiskey film fest returns to Palatine

    The competition at the third annual Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival is shaping up to be intense as organizers of the festival, which runs July 24-29 in Palatine, said there were twice as many film submissions to review as last year.

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    Tri-Cities police reports
    Three lockers were broken into Thursday at Harold Hall Quarry Beach, between 3:30 and 5 p.m. Taken were three cellphones, a wallet, clothing and a belt, police said

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    Fox Valley police reports
    Michael T. Casey of Blanbury, Pa., was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of hypodermic needles and syringes after a traffic stop at Interstate 90 and Randall Road near Elgin at 10:12 p.m. Sunday, according to a sheriff's report.

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    Neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman was released from jail Friday for a second time while he awaits his second-degree murder trial for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin.

    George Zimmerman leaves Florida jail on $1M bond

    Neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman was released from jail Friday for a second time while he awaits his second-degree murder trial for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin.

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    Crews work Thursday to clean up Naperville's Ribfest grounds. Festival organizers say extreme heat and the aftermath of severe storms combined to cut attendance by nearly 25 percent.

    Heat cuts into attendance at many area fests

    Extreme heat and, in some cases, the aftermath of serious storms combined this week to stifle attendance at many festivals and other outdoor events from Naperville to Wauconda, organizers say. The good news is forecasters are predicting more normal temperatures for this weekend's celebrations. But for some fests, the cooler temperatures will arrive too late.

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    A Ricci/Welch construction crew works on a water main along Route 137 and Milwaukee Avenue in April, in advance of a road widening project that hasn't gotten under way.

    Libertyville seeks delay in Milwaukee Avenue project

    Libertyville is asking the Illinios Department of Transporation to delay widening the intersection of Route 137 and Milwaukee Avenue until next year to avoid having lanes closed during the winter. Much of the work associated with the $23 million project has involved utility relocations rather than road work. “It'll be a mess for residents over the winter,” Mayor Terry Weppler said.

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    The Glen A. Lloyd House, constructed in 1936, is the estate house in the Lloyd's Woods portion of the Lake County Forest Preserve's 612-acre Daniel Wright Woods.

    Expansion planned for Lake County's Wright Woods Preserve

    One of Lake County's oldest forest preserves will expand by a few acres as part of a planned deal. Lake County Forest Preserve District officials are expected to approve buying a 3.4-acre parcel for the Wright Woods Forest Preserve near Mettawa on Wednesday, July 11. The land will cost the district $327,000.

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    Hanover Park names new village manager

    Hanover Park officials said they have found a leader capable of continuing the village's efforts to revamp its image and spur economic development. Juliana Maller, acting city manager of Park Ridge, has been appointed village manager. "I believe the village is on the right track, and we couldn't be more excited to find someone with the skills and experience we need," Mayor Rod Craig said.

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    Four arrested in Arlington Heights prostitution case

    Four people were arrested Wednesday morning in Arlington Heights after two men solicited a prostitute and did not pay for her services, police said. Those arrested included the two men, the woman and a friend of the woman's who tried to help her recover her purse, authorities said.

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    Ghida Neukirch

    Buffalo Grove deputy manager going to Highland Park

    Buffalo Grove Deputy Village Manager Ghida Neukirch has resigned to take a similar position in Highland Park, Highlland Park City Manager David Knapp said Friday. "I'm really looking forward to it," Knapp said. "She has a great resume and great experience there in Buffalo Grove. She is a good match for the kinds of things we're looking to have done here. She comes across very well and was highly...

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    Trevor Steinbach of Batavia hammers down a flag holder as he sets up for Civil War Days at Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda. Steinbach is part of the 17th Corps Field Hospital, Inc. The event runs all weekend.

    Images: Friday’s Heat in the Suburbs
    Images of 100-degree heat in the suburbs of Chicago on Friday. A heat advisory is in effect until Saturday as residents endure the latest day of oppressive temperatures.

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Eight partygoers were arrested around 1:40 a.m. July 3 on the 1500 block of Spruce in Hanover Park. Charged with unlawful consumption of alcohol by a minor were: teens from Elk Grove Village, Hanover Park and Schaumburg and two juveniles.

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    Associated Press/Sept. 7, 2011 U.S. Marines sweep for land mines in the Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan.

    U.S. troops score win against IEDs in Afghanistan

    Almost afraid to say it out loud, lest they jinx their record, U.S. troops in Afghanistan achieved one small but important victory over the past year: They found and avoided more homemade bombs meant to kill and maim them than a year ago, thanks to a surge in training, equipment and intelligence.

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    Britain’s Lewis Hamilton, a McLaren-Mercedes Formula 1 car driver, smiles as he walks along pit lane Friday during practice at the Silverstone circuit, England.

    Flood alerts in Britain as heavy rain sweeps across country

    Torrential rain pelted a large swath of Britain on Friday, flooding roads, canceling concerts and turning practice for the British Grand Prix into a puddle-churning ordeal.

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    Associated Press/July 3, 2012 Grass and weeds grow on rail tracks leading to the Tahawus mine in Newcomb, N.Y. A railroad company is renovating rusty, overgrown tracks, one of a number of short line railroads popping up around the country.

    How Abraham Lincoln helped shape our modern economy

    This month marks 150 years since President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act, committing the federal government to support a transcontinental railroad.

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    A helicopter drops water Thursday on hotspots of the Quail Fire near Alpine, Utah.

    Firefighters gaining control of wildfires

    Firefighters around the West were taking advantage of improved weather on Friday to make inroads against wildfires that have destroyed homes, forced evacuations and scorched hundreds of thousands of acres of timber and brush.

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    Lucca walks through the American Airlines concourse with Marine Cpl. Juan Rodriguez at O'Hare International Airport Thursday.

    Military dog gets hero's welcome at O'Hare

    Lucca may only have three legs but she has an unbroken spirit. The bomb-finding dog saved soldiers' lives in Afghanistan but an explosion sidelined her. Now she's flying to a new life with an old friend — and stopped at O'Hare on her way.

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    Chris Salituro and his daughter, Livia, with Service Manager Mary Kuehling, who held an envelope of money they had lost at the Vail Street Jewel in Arlington Heights.

    If you found close to a $1,000, would you turn it in?

    Somewhere out here, there's a Good Samaritan who frequents the Vail Street Jewel-Osco in Arlington Heights. He found nearly $1,000 in money given to a little girl for her first communion, and turned it into the service desk. "We'd really like to thank him," said the girl's father. "It was so kind and selfless."

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    McConnaughay said raises for some employees done legally

    Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay is enlisting the help of county board members in a pending lawsuit that targets her personally for raises given to county employees several years ago. Jim MacRunnels, a political rival of McConnaughay, filed the lawsuit last year. The suit claims McConnaughay doled out raises to 13 high-level employees without the consent or knowledge of county board...

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    Baseball umpire James Benedict, of Lake Zurich, tries to stay hydrated during the Lake Zurich Cougar Travel Team Wood Bat Tournament Thursday at Heritage Oaks Park in Hawthorn Woods. The 100-degree weather caused players, coaches, and spectators to seek shade and drink lots of water.

    Canopies, water, sweltering heat part of Lake Zurich youth wooden bat baseball tournament

    The closest thing to resemble a desert this summer could be a baseball diamond. The Lake Zurich Cougar Travel Team, hosting their first wooden bat tournament for travel baseball teams, kicked things off Thursday with temperatures near 102 degrees. "We tell him to aim to slaughter the other team in four innings," said Megan Adam, whose 11-year-old son Griffin is playing. "It gives him a little...

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    Dodgeball Days return to Schaumburg

    The biggest outdoor dodgeball tournament of the year is coming to Schaumburg's Olympic Park July 13 and 14. The 13th annual National Amateur Dodgeball Association's Dodgeball Days Outdoor National Championships will feature the crowning of the outdoor national champions.

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    Arlington Hts. to replace brick sidewalk

    New pavers are coming to the sidewalk on the west side of Arlington Heights Road from Sigwalt Street to the railroad tracks. The village board approved a contract for the project this week.

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    UK agency opens criminal probe of bank rate fixing

    Britain's Serious Fraud Office said Friday that it has formally opened a criminal investigation of the manipulation of a key market interest rate that has shaken Barclays.

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    Mike Meissen stepped down last week after six years as superintendent of Glenbard High School District 87, which encompasses four high schools, including Glenbard West. He says he plans to pursue an interest in urban-based education with a focus on a prekindergarten through college model.

    Departing superintendent strove to create 'one Glenbard'

    Mike Meissen, who became superintendent of Glenbard High School District 87 in 2006, once faced a daunting task of forming a common curriculum in the face of pressures from parents, teachers and students who warned that such a move would tarnish the individuality of each school. "He's not afraid to tackle issues you know don't have 100 percent support," said one colleague. Six years later,...

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    President Barack Obama speaks at James Day Park in Parma, Ohio, Thursday, July 5, 2012. Obama is on a two-day bus trip through Ohio and Pennsylvania.

    Obama: Economy has to grow ‘even faster’

    A sobering economic snapshot intensified the presidential campaign on Friday as President Barack Obama rolled through two vote-rich battleground states and Republican Mitt Romney fended off conservative complaints about his plan for winning. A standpat jobless report that left the unemployment rate unchanged at 8.2 percent set a new standard from which to judge the president and for Romney to...

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    UK: 7 terror suspects arrested after guns found

    LONDON — Seven men have been arrested on suspicion of terrorist offenses in Britain after a routine vehicle search in northern England turned up firearms and weapons, police said Friday.

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    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks about job numbers, Friday, July 6, 2012, at Bradley’s Hardware in Wolfeboro, N.H.

    Romney blames Obama for sluggish job growth

    WOLFEBORO, N.H. — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says the nation’s ongoing sluggish job growth is unacceptable and his policies would work better than President Barack Obama’s.Romney said Friday’s report that only 80,000 jobs were created in June is evidence that Obama’s tax, energy and regulatory policies are hampering growth.

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    Feed My Starving Children volunteer Rich Direnzo shares a lighthearted moment at the Schaumburg facility.

    Moving Picture: Lombard man fights to stop hunger

    Rich Direnzo of Lombard is a 'super volunteer' at Feed My Starving Children in Schaumburg, helping to pack meals for malnourished kids around the globe.  "This seemed like a much more needed organization, this was immediate, if these people aren't fed today, they could be dead tomorrow, and that's what kind of hit me," Direnzo said.

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    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks about job numbers, Friday, July 6, 2012, at Bradley’s Hardware in Wolfeboro, N.H.

    GOP critics attack Romney’s safe approach

    WOLFEBORO, N.H. — A chorus of prominent conservative voices is worrying aloud that Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s play-it-safe strategy is jeopardizing his chance to win the presidency.

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    A woman holds a sign that reads in Spanish “Give the children back” outside a court where Argentina’s historic stolen babies trial is being held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, July 5, 2012. Former dictators Jorge Videla and Reynaldo Bignone and a handful of other retired military and police officials are accused of systematically stealing babies from leftists who were kidnapped and killed when a military junta ran the country three decades ago.

    Argentina convicts 2 former dictators of stealing babies

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — The conviction of two former dictators for the systematic stealing of babies from political prisoners 30 years ago is a big step in Argentina’s effort to punish that era’s human rights abuses, though certainly not the last.Following Thursday’s convictions of Rafael Videla and Reynaldo Bignone, at least 17 other major cases are before judges or are nearing trial.

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    Diplomats press Assad, top Syrian general defects

    PARIS — France’s foreign minister says a top general who defected from Syria is en route to France, where international diplomats are meeting to put pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad.French minister Laurent Fabius told the international Friends of Syria conference Friday that Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlass “has defected.”

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    Two police boats are stationed near the opening to the Long Island Sound in Lloyd Harbor, N.Y., Friday, July 6, 2012. Investigators are trying to learn more about the crucial seconds before a yacht capsized off Long Island, killing three children and leaving 24 others scrambling for their lives. Efforts to raise the boat might begin as early as Friday.

    Officials seeking cause of NY yacht capsizing

    OYSTER BAY, N.Y. — Investigators are trying to learn more about the crucial seconds before a yacht capsized off Long Island, killing three children and leaving 24 others scrambling for their lives.

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    Boat crash on central NY lake kills father, 2 sons

    SYLVAN BEACH, N.Y. — Authorities say divers have recovered the bodies of a father and two of his sons who were killed when their boat struck a buoy on a central New York lake.

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    2 dead as violent storm lashes Great Smokies

    TOWNSEND, Tenn. — At least two people have been killed as a violent thunderstorm struck the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.Park spokeswoman Melissa Cobern says a man on a motorcycle was killed as was a 41-year-old woman who was struck by a falling tree. The names of the victims were withheld while their family members were told.

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    Police: Potato chip trail led to burglary suspect

    WASHINGTON, Pa. — Police say they followed a trail of potato chips to catch a southwestern Pennsylvania burglary suspect.Washington police say 21-year-old Benjamin Sickles was arrested early Thursday after he allegedly broke into a Subway restaurant and stole several bags of snacks.

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    Mass. man pays off mortgage with pennies

    MILFORD, Mass. — A Massachusetts man who pledged to make the last mortgage payment on his home with pennies has fulfilled that promise.After warning his bank, Thomas Daigle dropped off about 62,000 pennies weighing 800 pounds in two boxes for the final payment on the Milford home he and his wife, Sandra, bought in 1977.

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    Calif. fire forces evacuations, 5 homes saved

    REDDING, Calif. — Authorities say a 1,200-acre wildfire near Redding in northern California is 30 percent contained and has destroyed two outbuildings. Officials say five homes were damaged but firefighters were able to save them all.

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    U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, center, visits with students in St. Louis. Two more states — Wisconsin and Washington — have been granted relief from key requirements of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law.

    Wisconsin, Washington exempted from No Child Left Behind law

    The Obama administration said Friday that two more states, Washington and Wisconsin, will be exempted from many requirements of the federal “No Child Left Behind” education law.

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    Lawyer says Gadhafi’s son can’t get fair trial

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands — An International Criminal Court defense lawyer held in Libya for more than three weeks said Friday her detention shows that Moammar Gadhafi’s son, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, cannot get a fair trial in his home country.

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    Candidates write aptitude tests for the studies of medicine and dentistry at the University of Vienna, in Vienna, Austria, on Friday, July 6, 2012. The university’s policy is apparently unique in Europe. Those responsible for giving women a grading edge are aware that it could expose the institution to EU legal action, on charges of discrimination. But they argue that it is needed to even the playing field. Since the Vienna medical school introduced its current entrance exam six years ago, they say, women on average have scored significantly lower each time than men.

    Austria med school gives women grading edge

    VIENNA — Antonio Bandera took a last nervous drag on his smoke Friday as he readied himself for the grueling eight-hour entrance exam for elite Vienna Medical University. Making the cut’s hard enough, he said, and this year his chances may be even smaller: The university is grading men and women differently based on gender.

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    Story of youngest Civil War veteran told in song

    Joseph Henry Monroe was 12 when he became the Civil War's youngest enlistee. He was captured at the Battle of Shiloh, escaped and rejoined his regiment for 26 more battles.Now the drummer's story will be told on July 14 in original music and popular period songs by performer Barry Cloyd at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

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    Wis. smoking ban marks second year

    Wisconsin's workplace smoking ban is 2-years-old. And restaurant officials say overall sales in the hospitality industry are up slightly.The ban includes state or local government buildings, taverns, restaurants, stores, hotels, day care centers, state institutions, college residence halls, hospitals and more.

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    Air pollution will be high Friday in Chicago area

    Chicago-area residents are being warned about high levels of air pollution as the searing heat persists. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has declared an Air Pollution Action Day in the metro Chicago area for Friday because of elevated ground-level ozone.

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    Wis. gov raised $7 million in weeks around recall

    Republican Gov. Scott Walker raised nearly $7 million in the weeks surrounding last month's recall election, extending his already astonishing fundraising record, campaign finance reports filed Thursday show.Bolstered by a quirk in state law that allows recall targets to raise unlimited funds and his new status as a GOP hero, Walker has now raised more than $35 million since he took office.

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    Man spent years building tiny railroad

    A hobby that has grown and grown over the years takes up most of the basement in Tom Thompson's DeKalb home.At 22 feet in one direction and 20 feet in another, Thompson's G-scale model train setup - a recreation of a European village in the Alps - has taken on a life of its own. It's all about the stories for Thompson: He finds joy in imagining the possibilities with the villagers, businesses and...

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    Python found wrapped on foot of Mattoon baby

    Police in east-central Illinois say a 2-foot-long ball python entered a Mattoon apartment and wrapped itself around the foot of a sleeping 1-year-old boy.

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    Wheaton Symphony opens new-look season

    The Wheaton Symphony Orchestra opens its new season Saturday, July 7, with a new emphasis on popular music as opposed to more traditional classical pieces.

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    Dawn Patrol: Murder-for-hire arrest; train derailment probe

    Lombard businessman arrested after FBI says he tried to hire a hitman. Initial reports say Wednesday's fire in Long Grove was caused by illegal fireworks. A former Des Plaines teacher was arrested after police say he sexted a 15-year-old former student.

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    John Rohlfing takes a drink as he works on the construction of his new home Thursday in North Aurora. He started at 6 a.m. and quit at 11 a.m. because of triple-digit temperatures. Oppressive heat is slamming the middle of the country with record temperatures that aren’t going away after the sun goes down.

    Poll Vault: Is this heat wave a result of global warming?

    There's no debating that it's hot. Blistering hot. But what's the reason? Is it global warming or just a freak extreme? “This is certainly what I and many other climate scientists have been warning about,” said Jonathan Overpeck, professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences at the University of Arizona. Share your opinion with us in today's Poll Vault.

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    Moisture, heat a recipe for buckling roads in the suburbs

    There have been a handful of reports of roads buckling in the suburbs over the past few days, and with consistently high temperatures and scattered rain, it is likely that more roads will continue to be damaged. "I would not term them as severe," said Guy Tridgell an IDOT spokesman, adding that none of them caused accidents and they were all repaired in three to six hours. "It's basically been a...

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    Chuck West

    With West’s death, county chairman must appoint Republican

    The death of Kane County Coroner Chuck West triggered a 30-day clock for the county to appoint a replacement to run the office for four months until the November election. Chairman Karen McConnaughay said, out of fairness, she won't appoint anyone currently on the ballot, but she'll start taking applications immediately.

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    Seen along US 2 outside Minot, ND. This car is one of about 200 vintage cars for sale in an apparent junk yard. I took about 300 photos of 50 cars and liked this the best because of the colorization, the focus on the rust and the curves of this classic Chevrolet car.

    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 July 2nd.

Sports

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    Chapman not happy with Sky fundamentals

    Sky head coach Pokey Chapman was happy with the shots her team created against the New York Liberty on Friday night. The execution was a different story.

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    Ray Allen will take less money for a chance at another NBA championship. Allen told the Miami Heat on Friday night that he intends to accept their contract offer and leave Boston after five seasons, even though the Celtics could pay him about twice as much as the reigning NBA champions will be able to next season. Miami could only offer Allen the mini mid-level, worth about $3 million a year.

    Allen chooses to sign with Miami Heat
    Ray Allen will take less money for a chance at another NBA championship. Allen told the Miami Heat on Friday night that he intends to accept their contract offer and leave Boston after five seasons, even though the Celtics could pay him about twice as much as the reigning NBA champions will be able to next season. Miami could only offer Allen the mini mid-level, worth about $3 million a year.

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    White Sox starter Jake Peavy waves to the crowd as he walks back to the dugout during the eighth inning Friday night. Peavy allowed 5 hits in 7 innings as the White Sox won 4-2.

    Sox finally get Peavy a win

    In his 4 starts before Friday, Peavy logged 30 quality innings and allowed only 9 runs. But the Sox scored only 2 runs over the stretch, and Peavy lost all four outings. It looked the same Friday, but finally, in the fifth, the White Sox' offense broke through for the veteran right-hander. Taking advantage of some poor defense by the Blue Jays, the Sox scored 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 errors and went on to 4-2 victory.

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    Liberty upend Sky 64-59

    Cappie Pondexter scored a team-high 19 points, including a pair of key late free throws, and New York held off a late Sky comeback for a 64-59 victory on Friday night.

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    New York’s Mark Teixeira follows through on a two-run triple as Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia watches in the seventh inning Friday in Boston.

    Teixeira helps Yankees beat Red Sox 10-8

    The two-run single in the first inning was nice. What Mark Teixeira really enjoyed, though, was his seventh-inning triple off longtime nemesis Vicente Padilla.

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    Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo allowed singles to rookie Yasmani Grandal, Will Venable and Chase Headley while striking out eight and walking one Friday in San Diego.

    Cincy’s Arroyo throws three-hitter in win over Padres

    Bronson Arroyo pitched a three-hitter, and Ryan Hanigan, Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart homered to give the Cincinnati Reds a 6-0 victory over the San Diego Padres Friday night.

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    Detroit rookie Drew Smyly fanned 10, improved to 4-3 and helped get the Tigers back to .500 for the first time since May 15.

    Smyly strikes out 10 in Tigers’ win over Royals

    Every 94 years, a Tigers rookie has a game like Drew Smyly. In 1918, Eric Erickson struck out 12 without walking a batter in a 16-inning complete game. Until Friday night, no other Tigers rookie had been able to hit double-digit strikeouts in a game without walking a batter. Not only did Drew Smyly do that against Kansas City in a 4-2 win, he needed 10 fewer innings than Erickson.

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    Tampa Bay’s Luke Scott is congratulated by B.J. Upton, left, after hitting a two-run home run off the Indians’ Justin Masterson in the fifth inning Friday in Cleveland.

    Scott snaps hitless streak as Rays beat Indians

    Luke Scott changed his pregame meal and got his first hit in more than a month. Tampa Bay's designated hitter broke his team-record hitless streak at 41 at-bats with a two-run homer and the Rays snapped out of their slump by routing the Cleveland Indians 10-3 Friday night.

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    The Marlins’ Logan Morrison celebrates as he reaches home after hitting a solo home run during the eighth inning Friday in St. Louis.

    Marlins beat Cardinals 3-2 for 3rd in row

    Ricky Nolasco allowed an unearned run in six innings while scattering nine hits and a walk and Jose Reyes got the go-ahead RBI with an infield hit in the seventh, leading the Miami Marlins to a 3-2 victory on Friday.

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    Colorado’s Tyler Colvin hits a single against the Washington Nationals during the sixth inning Friday in Washington.

    Colvin’s 2 HRs lead Rockies over Strasburg, Nats

    The way Tyler Colvin has been hitting lately, no pitcher appears capable of nullifying his torrid bat. Not even Stephen Strasburg. Colvin became the first player to homer twice off Strasburg in the same game, and the Colorado Rockies beat Washington 5-1 Friday night to end the Nationals' four-game winning streak.

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    The Giants’ Melky Cabrera, right, rounds third to greetings from coach Tim Flannery after hitting a two-run home run in Pittsburgh.

    Cabrera powers Giants past Pirates 6-5

    The Giants rebounded from a gut-punch loss to Washington on Thursday in which they squandered a late four-run lead by riding red-hot Melky Cabrera and getting just enough from the bullpen to seal it.

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    Arizona’s Justin Upton connects on a two-run triple during the sixth inning Friday against the Dodgers in Phoenix.

    Upton has big hit for D-backs in win over Dodgers

    Justin Upton earned a break from the fans' jeering Friday night. Upton broke out of a 3-for-19 slump with a key two-run triple and the Arizona Diamondbacks rallied to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 and snap a six-game losing streak.

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    Milwaukee’s Norichika Aoki rounds third base on a solo home run against the Astros in the first inning Friday in Houston.

    Brewers hit 3 HRs, send Astros to 9th straight loss

    The Milwaukee Brewers hoped to cruise Friday night after four of their previous five games were decided by one run, including two that lasted 10 innings. And the struggling Houston Astros provided the perfect remedy to pick them up after their recent grind.

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    Baltimore’s Miguel Gonzalez yielded three hits and a run while striking out six to win his first major league start Friday in Anaheim, Calif.

    Pearce, Gonzalez lead Orioles past Angels

    Steve Pearce hit a three-run homer, Miguel Gonzalez pitched seven stellar innings in his first career victory, and the Baltimore Orioles hung on to beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 Friday night.

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    Oakland’s Chris Carter hits a three-run home run during the 11th inning Friday at home against Seattle.

    Carter’s HR powers A’s past Mariners in 11th

    Chris Carter hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the 11th inning, leading the Oakland Athletics past the Seattle Mariners 4-1 on Friday night to match a season-high five-game winning streak.

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    Connecticut family selling Gehrig home run ball

    Elizabeth Gott, a Stamford resident, says she's selling the ball on behalf of her 30-year-old son, Michael. She says the proceeds will be used to pay off his medical school debt.

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    Taylor Phinney, second from left, wears the overall leader’s pink jersey as he rides through a corner during the third stage of the Giro d’Italia on May 7.

    U.S. cyclist Phinney creating a name for himself

    For the longest time, Taylor Phinney was simply the son of Olympic medalists Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter-Phinney. That started to change when Phinney emerged as a track cycling prodigy a few years ago, and the full transformation finally occurred at this year's Giro d'Italia, where one of America's top young riders raced to victory in the opening time trial. "Now," Carpenter-Phinney said, "everybody calls me, `Taylor Phinney's mom."' It is sure to be that way at the London Games, too, where the 22-year-old Phinney has been chosen to ride both the time trial and road race for the U.S. team.

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    Sarah Finnegan competes in the floor exercise event during the final round of the women’s Olympic gymnastics trials July 1 in San Jose, Calif. Finnegan was named to the U.S. Olympic team.

    Art, athleticism fighting it out in gymnastics

    Whenever Bela Karolyi watches Sarah Finnegan's floor exercise, it's all the godfather of U.S. women's gymnastics can do to contain himself. The way the 15-year-old glides to the music, her arms and legs a study in grace and fluidity, the man who coached Nadia Comaneci and Mary Lou Retton to Olympic gold gets lost in the moment. "So beautiful, so elegant, my heart is growing," he says wistfully. Then Finnegan's score comes up. And Karolyi knows she's "dead meat."

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    Siblings Zach and Paige Railey have both qualified for the London Olympics. Zach knows the drill. He made his Olympic debut at Beijing, winning the silver medal in the Finn class. Paige didn’t make those Olympics. She flipped her boat in the trials and lost to Anna Tunnicliffe, who went on to win the gold medal in the Laser Radial class.

    Sailing siblings Zach, Paige Railey off to London

    When it's time to line up to march into the stadium for the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, Zach Railey will make sure little sister Paige is at his side. It's the moment the sailing siblings from Clearwater, Fla., have been waiting years for.

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    Canadian horseman set for record 10th Olympics

    Ian Millar will appear in a record 10th Olympics this month when the 65-year-old equestrian enters the show jumping ring at the London Games. Millar is about to surpass Austrian sailor Hubert Raudaschl, a nine-time Olympian from 1964 to 1996.

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    World-record holder Usain Bolt talks to journalists after losing to Yohan Blake in the 200-meter final at Jamaica’s Olympic trials July 1 in Kingston.

    Bolt can’t forget roots on the fast track to fame

    Finding out where Usain Bolt might be on any given day on his home island of Jamaica in advance of his trip to the London Olympics — that's not so difficult. Finding out who Bolt really is — that's a trickier task.

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    Spain’s Jordi Alba celebrates scoring his side’s second goal past Italy’s Leonardo Bonucci during the Euro 2012 soccer championship final July 1 in Kiev, Ukraine.

    Spain looks to wins football gold at London Games

    Spain wants to follow up its European Championship victory by winning football gold at the London Olympics. The World Cup champions won a third straight major title on Sunday after defeating Italy in the Euro 2012 in the final in Kiev, Ukraine. That triumph is providing extra incentive for the Olympic squad.

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    China’s Qui Bo performs during the men’s 10-meter platform diving event at the FINA Swimming World Championships in Rome in 2009. The Chinese diver, competing in his first Olympics, is the likely favorite in the event in London.

    China poised for golden sweep in Olympic diving

    China asserted its position as the world's diving superpower at the 2004 Athens Olympics, winning six of eight events. The Chinese have only gotten better. Four years ago at the Beijing Games, they won seven of eight gold medals on home soil. At last year's world championships — again on home soil in Shanghai — they won all eight golds for the first time. They'll try to match that golden sweep at the London Games.

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    Michael Phelps swims to victory ahead of Ryan Lochte, rear, in the men’s 200-meter individual medley final at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials June 30 in Omaha, Neb.

    Swimming’s greatest rivalry will take center stage in London

    At the Olympic pool in London, get ready to savor Michael Phelps vs. Ryan Lochte. They are the world's two greatest swimmers, and their head-to-head races at the U.S. Olympic trials were downright epic. Of course, that was merely a tantalizing warmup for the events that really matter in Britain.

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    Larry Doby made his debut for Cleveland on July 5, 1947, breaking the American League color barrier. He died in 2003.

    Indians honor late Hall of Famer Larry Doby

    Jim "Mudcat" Grant says Hall of Famer Larry Doby, his first roommate with the Cleveland Indians, deserves the same recognition as Jackie Robinson. Grant proudly participated in ceremonies Friday as the Indians commemorated the 65th anniversary of Doby breaking the AL's color barrier by renaming a street in his honor.

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    Jonathan Byrd watches a chip shot on the 11th green Friday during the second round of the Greenbrier Classic PGA Golf tournament at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. Byrd finished at 8-under-par for the two rounds.

    Mickelson, Woods miss cut at Greenbrier

    Phil Mickelson is getting a chance to start packing early for the British Open. Mickelson shot his second straight 1-over 71 Friday at the Greenbrier Classic. With the projected cut at 1 under, it's likely Mickelson will miss weekend play for the second straight year.

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    Rush face must-win challenge against first place San Antonio Talons

    With playoff hopes on the line, the Chicago Rush face another must-win game at home, and the first-place San Antonio Talons stand in the way. The Talons enter Sunday afternoon's contest in Rosemont on a nine-game winning streak and will be looking to clinch the National Conference Central Division with a win.

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    The Cubs had a season-high 18 hits including this 3-run blast by Anthony Rizzo to top the New York Mets 8-7, Friday in New York.

    Rizzo homers, Marmol and Cubs hold off Mets 8-7

    Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run homer and Cubs closer Carlos Marmol caught a line drive and started a game-ending double play that blunted the New York Mets' bid for another ninth-inning comeback, giving Chicago an 8-7 win Friday night.

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    Cougars fall 6-1

    A pair of 2-run homers and a stellar start from lefty Kyle Hald pushed the Quad Cities River Bandits to a 6-1 victory over the Kane County Cougars on Friday night at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.

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    White Sox not getting swept up in results

    After shuttling pitchers from the minor leagues to Chicago all season, the White Sox picked up another young arm Friday. The Sox claimed left-handed pitcher Daniel Moskos off waivers from the Pirates and assigned the 6-foot-1, 210-pounder to the Charlotte Knights, their Class AAA club.

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    Jake Peavy pitched one-run ball into the eighth inning for his first victory since May 26, A.J. Pierzynski homered and the White Sox won their fourth straight by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 on Friday night.

    Peavy ends skid as Sox win again

    Jake Peavy pitched one-run ball into the eighth inning for his first victory since May 26, A.J. Pierzynski homered and the White Sox won their fourth straight by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 on Friday night.

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    Free-agent options limited for Bulls

    With little money to spend, the Bulls aren’t setting the market in NBA free agency this summer.So they’re forced to wait while the list of available players changes daily.Late Thursday, former Portland shooting guard Brandon Roy agreed to a two-year, $10 million deal with Minnesota, according to reports. Then early Friday, Clippers shooting guard Nick Young settled on a one-year, $6 million contract with Philadelphia.The Bulls were said to be one of five finalists for Roy, who retired because of knee problems a year ago but feels ready to attempt a comeback. They had little chance of competing monetarily with the Timberwolves’ offer.The Bulls have only the $3 million taxpayer midlevel exception to offer free agents and can also sign players to the league minimum.Even if Roy had agreed to join the Bulls for $3 million, it would have been a gamble, because if his knees didn’t hold up, they wouldn’t have much left to add other players.The situation is fluid in both directions, though. Another guard joined the list of possibilities when Toronto rescinded its qualifying offer to Jerryd Bayless, making him an unrestricted free agent.Bayless averaged 11.4 points and 3.8 assists for the Raptors last season but missed more than half of it because of injuries.The Bulls are chasing a variety of players, but their dream scenario figures to be signing Houston shooting guard Courtney Lee for $3 million and somehow convincing Kirk Hinrich to play for the minimum salary of $1.2 million for a nine-year veteran.Other free agents who have been linked to the Bulls are Phoenix shooting guard Michael Redd, Clippers shooting guard Randy Foye, Oklahoma City point guard Derek Fisher and Brooklyn forward Gerald Green.There probably are a dozen others who have heard from the Bulls.One reason the Bulls are forced to wait is several teams still have significant cap space to spend, including Dallas, Indiana, Portland, Phoenix, Houston, Cleveland, Toronto and Charlotte.Most agents want their clients to wait for that money to be spent before moving on to the teams that offer smaller paydays.The Bulls are among the few who can sell a winning situation, at least when Derrick Rose returns from knee surgery sometime next season.A couple of new names became available to claim the free-agent dollars.After signing Young, the 76ers made it clear they won’t re-sign guard Lou Williams. Philadelphia also is expected to use the amnesty clause on ex-Bulls forward Elton Brand.The Bulls won’t be in the running for either of those players, but they might help move along the process by signing elsewhere.NBA teams can officially sign free agents starting Wednesday. That’s when the Bulls figure to see the offer sheet Houston has planned for center Omer Asik.In the meantime, the Bulls must decide before Wednesday whether to pick up contract options on Kyle Korver, C.J. Watson and Ronnie Brewer.Because the Bulls are so close to the luxury-tax threshold, it seems likely none of those three will return next season.mmcgraw@dailyherald.com

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    Sebastian Grazzini's announcement Friday that he will take an indefinite leave of absence from the Chicago Fire to attend to family matters in Argentina puts the soccer club in a bind, on the field and off. Our soccer expert, Orrin Schwarz, explains what's at stake as the Fire prepares to host the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday at Toyota Park.

    Grazzini's departure puts Fire in a bind

    Sebastian Grazzini's announcement Friday that he will take an indefinite leave of absence from the Chicago Fire to attend to family matters in Argentina puts the soccer club in a bind, on the field and off. Our soccer expert, Orrin Schwarz, explains what's at stake as the Fire prepares to host the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday at Toyota Park.

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    Sky rookie Sonja Petrovic is starting to feel at home on and off the court. Last weekend she had 12 points against the Atlanta Dream, the defending Eastern Conference champions.

    Sky’s Petrovic enjoying her taste of Chicago

    While Serbia is home for Chicago Sky rookie Sonja Petrovic, the 23-year-old has found a second home in Chicago, which boasts the second-largest Serbian population in the world next to her hometown of Belgrade. Now the 6-foot-1 sharpshooting small forward, who has nine years of pro experience in Europe, is starting to comfortable on the court as well. Patricia Babcock McGraw has more on this talented import, who is one of Europe's most decorated young basketball stars.

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    New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey has walked just 26 batters in 120 innings. His 123 strikeouts are 11 shy of his career high, established last year in 208 innings.

    Eccentric R.A. Dickey masters the unpredictable

    R.A. Dickey has been known to place books around the New York Mets' clubhouse, selected from the little library lining the top shelf of his locker. When the mood suits him, he might reach into the stall and pull out his "Star Wars" stormtrooper helmet. He says he would love a small role on the HBO fantasy saga "Game of Thrones." A nerd with a knuckleball.

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    Andy Murray reacts Friday during his semifinal match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at Wimbledon.

    Federer, Murray set for Wimbledon final

    For Roger Federer, it's Wimbledon final No. 8. For Andy Murray, it's No. 1 — and the first for a British man since 1938. Federer, a 16-time Grand Slam champion, beat defending champion Novak Djokovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 Friday under the closed roof at Centre Court to reach a modern-era record eighth final at the All England Club. He is now one victory from equaling Pete Sampras' record of seven titles.

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    The Knicks and Jason Kidd were still working Friday on terms of the deal that will get him from Dallas to New York, according to a person familiar with the details. Kidd would be able to make a higher salary if the teams are able to work out a sign-and-trade arrangement, rather than him signing in New York as a free agent.

    After landing Kidd, Knicks can move to keeping Lin

    The New York Knicks view Jason Kidd as a teammate of Jeremy Lin, not a replacement. And once they finish the deal that would bring Kidd to New York, they can move on to keeping Lin there as well. The Knicks and Kidd were still working Friday on terms of the deal that will get him from Dallas to New York, according to a person familiar with the details.

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    76ers use amnesty clause on Brand

    The Philadelphia 76ers have used the amnesty clause on veteran forward Elton Brand and will get about $18 million in salary cap relief for next season. Sixers president Rod Thorn confirmed the move in an email to The Associated Press on Friday.

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    Peter Sagan, wearing the sprinter’s green jersey, crosses the finish line Friday ahead of Andre Greipel, right, and Matthew Harley, left, to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France.

    Sagan wins crash-filled 6th stage of Tour

    Peter Sagan of Slovakia claimed a third stage win by edging Andre Greipel of Germany in a sprint finish on Friday, escaping another day that involved a huge pileup. Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland retained the yellow jersey for a seventh day after the 129-mile sixth stage from Epernay to Metz through the Champagne region.

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    Chicago Sky scouting report

    It’s a big, back-to-back weekend for the Sky, which has the chance to knock off two Eastern Conference rivals in New York and Indiana on consecutive days. It is the second of four back-to-backs for the Sky this season.

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    White Sox scouting report

    After sweeping a three-game series against the Rangers, the White Sox close out the first half against the Blue Jays. The Sox lost two of three home games to the Blue Jays in early June.

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    Cubs scouting report

    The Cubs took two of three from the Mets last week at Wrigley Field, getting blown out 17-1 in the finale. They’ll face the same three pitchers they faced in Chicago, meaning they’ll again miss knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.

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    Thoughts on La Russa, the White Sox and Blackhawks

    I don't know how Fox Sports is going to do it, but you know somehow, some way they're going to paint a warm and fuzzy picture of National League guest manager Tony La Russa during Tuesday's All-Star Game. Ahh, the magic of television.

Business

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    Dan Richard, chair of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, paces outside the Governor’s office Friday as he talks on his cell phone at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., before lawmakers approved an ambitious plan for connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco with the nation’s first dedicated high-speed rail line.

    California OKs funding for high-speed rail line

    California lawmakers approved billions of dollars Friday in construction financing for the initial segment of what would be the nation's first dedicated high-speed rail line, eventually connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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    This is the inside of U.S. Renal Care's new dialysis facility, opening Monday, July 9, at 149 Irving Park Road in Streamwood. Each of the 12 chairs have heat and massage settings.

    Dialysis facility opening in Streamwood

    A dialysis facility is opening Monday in Streamwood. Dr. Gordon Lang, medical director, said this will help cut travel time for patients. "It's going to be close; I could walk there if I have to," said Tom Pullia, a 69-year-old Streamwood resident, who now travels to Schaumburg for dialysis.

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    AMR sues retired workers over health benefits

    American Airlines and its parent company are suing to win the right to stop providing health care and life insurance to retirees.

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    Best Buy to cut 2,400 jobs

    Electronics retailer Best Buy Co. is laying off 600 staffers in its Geek Squad technical support division and 1,800 other store workers as it seeks to restructure operations and improve results.

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    This frame grab from video shows Assaria, Kan., brothers, from left: Nathan; Greg and Kendal Peterson in their video parody on LMAFO's “Sexy and I Know It.”

    Farm parody of 'Sexy and I Know It' goes viral

    Kansas State University student Greg Peterson and some friends were unwinding at a drive-in restaurant when LMFAO's song "Sexy and I Know It" came on the radio. He groaned. But as the chorus droned on, the 21-year-old found inspiration. He switched "sexy" to "farming" as he began rapping. Then he started coming up with lyrics. It would be fun, he thought, to do a video parody with his brothers when he returned home to the family farm in central Kansas.v

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    Tressa Miller, right, helps military veteran Roger Porter, of Detroit, with resume career counseling in Detroit. U.S. employers added only 80,000 jobs in June, a third straight month of weak hiring that shows the economy is still struggling.

    U.S. stocks plunge after weak June jobs report

    Stocks plunged on Wall Street Friday after the U.S. government reported that only 80,000 jobs were created in June, the third straight month of weak hiring.

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    Oil drops on more signs of economic trouble

    Oil fell to near $86 a barrel Friday in Asia amid doubts that Europe and China's interest rate cuts will be enough to halt an economic slowdown.Benchmark oil for August delivery was down $1.12 at $86.10 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude fell 44 cents to settle at $87.22 on Thursday in New York.

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    Rodolpho Mendez prepares tacos on the assembly line at Por Que No? in East Portland, Ore.U.S. service companies grew in June at the slowest pace in nearly two and a half years, a troubling sign for the economy.

    How bad is the job market? Depends on your state

    U.S. employers added only 80,000 jobs in June, a third straight month of weak hiring that shows the economy is still struggling three years after the recession ended. Job creation is the fuel for the nation's economic growth. When more people have jobs, more consumers have money to spend — and consumer spending drives about 70 percent of the economy. So how bad is it out there?

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    Airbus said to market improved a330 to bolster range of aircraft

    Airbus SAS will start offering an improved version of its twin-engine A330 wide-body that extends its range or payload, two people familiar with the plan said.Airbus management has signed off on the proposal, which may be unveiled at the Farnborough Air show starting next week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plan hasn’t been announced yet. The new version would have a maximum takeoff weight of 240 metric tons, extending the range by about 400 nautical miles, the people said.The company completed a detailed resource study this month and determined it could go ahead with the A330 enhancement, overcoming concerns that it may stretch its engineering capabilities too far. Airbus has already said it’s talking with Rolls-Royce Plc, General Electric Co. and Pratt & Whitney about incremental improvements to the engines on the A330.“Airframe makers always believe you can never have enough range, and they’ve largely been proved right,” said Paul Sheridan, the head of consultancy Asia at Ascend Worldwide Ltd., an aviation advisory company in London.Airbus is working to boost production of its A330 to 11 a month from 9.5, as airlines buy more of the aircraft partly because Boeing Co. was late with its competing 787 Dreamliner. Airbus and Boeing have both announced improved versions of their best-selling single-aisle aircraft to make them more fuel efficient, and Airbus is also extending the range of its A321 jets with so-called sharklets that sit on the end of the wings.Airbus, based in Toulouse in southern France, declined to comment.More WeightBoosting the maximum takeoff weight to 240 tons from 238 would allow airlines to accommodate more fuel or passengers and let them book additional revenue from more seats or new destinations. AirAsia X, the long-haul arm of Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia Bhd., is one airline interested in such a plane, as it would allow direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to Paris, Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes said in May.Airbus wants to maintain the momentum of the A330 after the Boeing Dreamliner entered service. The U.S. company is studying plans to extend the 787 family with another version, the 787-10. Airbus has won 1,199 orders for the A330, and delivered 871. The A350-900, seating 300 passengers instead of about 250 on an A330, is scheduled to enter service by mid 2014.A330 customers include AirAsia X, Korean Air, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, a unit of Air France KLM Group, Deutsche Lufthansa and Iberia, a unit of IAG International.

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    Amazon said to plan smartphone to vie with apple’s iPhone

    Amazon.com Inc. is developing a smartphone that would vie with Apple Inc.’s iPhone and handheld devices that run Google Inc.’s Android operating system, two people with knowledge of the matter said.Foxconn International Holdings Ltd., the Chinese mobile- phone maker, is working with Amazon on the device, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. Amazon is seeking to complement the smartphone strategy by acquiring patents that cover wireless technology and would help it defend against allegations of infringement, other people with knowledge of the matter said.A smartphone would give Amazon a wider range of low-priced hardware devices that bolster its strategy of making money from digital books, songs and movies. It would help Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos -- who made a foray into tablets with the Kindle Fire -- carve out a slice of the market for advanced wireless handsets. Manufacturers led by Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple shipped 398.4 million smartphones in the first quarter, according to researcher IDC.Drew Herdener, a spokesman for Amazon, declined to comment.Mark Mahaney, an analyst at Citigroup Inc., said in November that Amazon is planning to release a smartphone.Seattle-based Amazon considered buying wireless patents from InterDigital Inc. before the King of Prussia, Pennsylvania- based company said in June that it will sell the assets to Intel Corp. for $375 million, two people said. Amazon is taking pitches and setting up briefings with other sellers, the people said.Patent ProtectionAmazon increased 0.6 percent to $228.30 at 9:44 a.m. in New York. Foxconn gained 3.7 percent in Hong Kong.Amazon beefed up its patent prowess recently by hiring Matt Gordon, formerly senior director of acquisitions at Intellectual Ventures Management LLC, the company that was founded by former Microsoft Corp. Chief Technology Officer Nathan Myhrvold and owns more than 35,000 intellectual property assets. Gordon will be general manager for patent acquisitions and investments at Amazon, according to his profile on LinkedIn.Adding patents would help Amazon protect itself against lawsuits alleging illegal use of technology. Amazon has been involved in five patent-related cases this year, and 20 cases last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Demand for mobile patents has increased, as shown recently by Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. and its thousands of patents, which closed this year.

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    Heidi Gauthier, left, helps jobseeker Jennifer Thomas look at job postings online at the education and employment area of N Street Village community center in Washington, D.C

    U.S. payrolls rose 80,000 in June, less than forecast

    Employers in the U.S. hired fewer workers than forecast in June, showing the labor market is making scant progress toward reducing joblessness. Payrolls rose 80,000 last month after a 77,000 increase in May, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Economists projected a 100,000 gain, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. The unemployment rate held at 8.2 percent.

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    Office workers walk by the electric stock index display of a securities firm in Tokyo.

    Growth fears stalk markets ahead of U.S. jobs data

    Concerns over the global economy weighed on markets Friday ahead of key U.S. jobs figures that often set the market tone for a week or two after their release.A week after a European Union summit that was generally seen as a step in the right direction to resolve Europe's debt crisis, investors have turned cautious once again. Instead of cheering the rate cuts in Europe and China on Thursday,

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    Rents and occupancies at U.S. shopping centers rose in the second quarter amid little development of properties, research company Reis Inc. said.

    U.S. shopping center rents increase as few properties developed

    Rents and occupancies at U.S. shopping centers rose in the second quarter amid little development of properties, research company Reis Inc. said.Occupied space rose by a net 2.06 million square feet (191,000 square meters), the third-largest addition since the slump for neighborhood and community shopping centers began in the first quarter of 2008, according to a report today by New York-based Reis.

  •  
    Li Yonghui, founder of AutoChina

    AutoChina tycoon baffled by U.S. probe

    One of China's biggest commercial vehicle dealerships is among the dozens of Chinese companies with shares listed in the U.S. that have been targeted by short-sellers for alleged financial abuses or probed by regulators. Its case highlights how gray shades of business dealings in China can run afoul of American rules in black and white.

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    Xanty, a Mexican street artist, performs in Milan, Italy.

    Italy’s government agrees to save $32 billion

    The Italian government has approved plans to save up to (euro) 26 billion ($32.2 billion) over the next three years.Premier Mario Monti's Cabinet approved a decree law that includes a temporary hiring ban on civil servants and a gradual reduction of high-level bureaucrats, cutbacks in hospitals and judicial offices and a 50 percent reduction in use of official cars.

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    Exelon building in Warrenville.

    Exelon Corp. reduces production by Dresden 3 reactor

    Exelon Corp. trimmed output from the Dresden 3 reactor in Illinois to 84 percent of capacity from full power yesterday, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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    Lisle-based Navistar International Corp., the maker of International brand trucks, said it’s introducing a new engine to meet 2010 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emission regulations.

    Navistar to introduce new engine to meet 2010 emission standards

    Lisle-based Navistar International Corp., the maker of International brand trucks, said it's introducing a new engine to meet 2010 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emission regulations.Navistar said the engine, called In-Cylinder Technology Plus, includes "urea-based aftertreatment." The company expects the new engine to be available in early 2013, Navistar said in a statement.

Life & Entertainment

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    Think broadly about what to do with different issues at hand

    I have some relatives who never arrive on time for family functions. When my parents were alive they chose to wait until the couple arrived, but after a few times the folks decided to start without them.

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    Suburban Chicago's Got Talent top 20 finalist Shane Lubecker, 16, of Algonquin.

    It's getting down to the wire to vote for your favorite suburban talent star. The top 10 will perform at the Metropolis in Arlington Heights on Sunday, July 22. The top five will perform on Sunday, Aug. 5, and the winner will be crowned during the Taste o

    It's getting down to the wire to vote for your favorite suburban talent star. The top 10 will perform at the Metropolis in Arlington Heights on Sunday, July 22. The top five will perform on Sunday, Aug. 5, and the winner will be crowned during the Taste of Arlington Heights on Saturday, Aug. 11.

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    Home repair: No need to climb on roof to remove moss

    Q. I have to remove the moss buildup on the roof. It appears to be growing under the shingles and, in some cases, to be lifting the shingles. Is there an alternative to removing the moss by hand, shingle by shingle?

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    Local theater: Summer Theater Festival returns to St. Charles

    St. Charles' second annual Summer Theater Festival features Fox Valley Repertory's Collider New Play Project, which partners playwrights with scientists from Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory in the development of new works. Readings are at 1 p.m. Saturdays, July 7-21, at Pheasant Run Resort. First Folio Theatre's "The Merchant of Venice" is another among this week's suburban theater events.

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    Eric McCormack and Rachael Leigh Cook star in the new TNT series “Perception,” premiering at 9 p.m. Monday, July 9.

    Eric McCormack returns in crime drama 'Perception'

    Eric McCormack is bracing himself. He's starring in "Perception," a new TNT drama he's very proud of. On the series, which premieres at 9 p.m. Monday, he plays a character he loves -- Dr. Daniel Pierce, a brilliant neuroscience professor with paranoid schizophrenia who is recruited by the FBI for a side job: to help solve cases that call for expertise in human behavior and the workings of the mind.

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    Cady Leinicke and Robert Richardson star in Janus Theatre Company's entertaining production of "Pride and Prejudice," adapted by Jon Jory from Jane Austen's timeless comedy of manners and marriage.

    Austen's 'Pride' gets an enjoyable revival at Elgin's Janus Theatre

    Janus Theatre begins its summer repertory season with an entertaining adaptation of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice." Purists will note that while Austen's satire is softened in this production, what has been retained is her trademark wit and the sparkling dialogue that sustains “Pride and Prejudice's” appeal and its message that marital happiness really has nothing to do with chance.

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    Suburban Chicago's Got Talent top 20 finalist AJ Lubecker of Algonquin.

    Images: Suburban Chicago's Got Talent Finalists
    Get to know the top 20 finalists of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent, see them all perform at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre on Sunday, July 8, and vote for your favorites online.

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    Suburban Chicago's Got Talent top 20 finalist Rodriguez Dance Theatre. Jamie Hayden of Oak Park, Diana Corral of Woodridge, Brittany Vujasin of Des Plaines, Amy Echols of Algonquin and Julia Dostal of Des Plaines.

    Meet the top 20 Suburban Chicago's Got Talent finalists

    It's said that the cream rises to the top, and a group of contestants were named to the top 20 from nearly 200 acts auditioning for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent, a summerlong contest. Get to know the top 20 finalists, see them perform at the Metropolis on Sunday, July 8, and vote for your favorites online.

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    What’s new in theaters
    A commercial remount of Keith Huff's acclaimed "A Stread Rain," with its original cast and director; a 10th anniversary remount of the gospel musical "Crowns;" Rasaka Theatre's local premiere of "Gruesome Playground Injuries" and newcomer Dead Writers Theater revival of Noel Coward's "The Vortex" are among this weeks' Chicago area theater openings.

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    New album “Overexposed” finds frontman Adam Levine and Maroon 5 at the peak of their commercial success.

    'Jagger,' new album a turning point for Maroon 5

    Maroon 5's new album "Overexposed" finds the five-man group at its commercial peak. Last year's single "Moves Like Jagger" stayed at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 for a month. Frontman Adam Levine and guitarist James Valentine speak about the band's "identity issues," educating young fans and why Levine doesn't plan to go solo.

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    Metric’s “Synthetica”

    Metric missteps on 5th album ‘Synthetica’

    Canadian rock band Metric is known to grace their albums with at least one standout song. Unfortunately, "Synthetica" — the foursome's fifth album — doesn't seem to have an "it" track.

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    Taylor Kitsch plays a California marijuana dealer in the movie “Savages,” battling a vicious Mexican cartel that aims to take over their business growing primo weed.

    Taylor Kitsch moves on from pair of flops to 'Savages'

    Taylor Kitsch struck out twice this year in the failed films “John Carter” and “Battleship,” spoiling the “Friday Night Lights” actor's hopes to leap from TV to big-screen star. Now, Kitsch has a third time at bat with Oliver Stone's drug-war thriller “Savages,” opening Friday.

  •  
    Chris Smither’s “Hundred Dollar Valentine”

    Fine set of bluesy folk from Chris Smither

    Wise words pour forth from Chris Smither — observations and aphorisms, similes and internal rhymes, run-on sentences and concise quips, all in a conversational flow. Smither is a New Englander from New Orleans who's hardly new at songwriting, and "Hundred Dollar Valentine" suggests he has mastered the craft. The careful construction of Smither's lyrics is a thing of beauty and the bedrock of his bluesy folk music.

  •  

    Book notes: Meet Penn Jillette at signing

    Comedian and magician Penn Jillette, of the Penn & Teller magic duo, discusses and signs copies of his new book, "God, NO! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales," at 7 p.m. Friday, July 6, at Meiley Swallow Hall at North Central College in Naperville. The event is sponsored by Anderson's Bookshop of Naperville.

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    Georgia Middleman will perform July 13 at the Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake for the “Nashville Backstage series: A Country Cabaret.”

    Country songwriters headed to Raue Center in Crystal Lake

    Country fans who crave a little bit of Nashville can get their fill during a new concert series planned by Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake. "Nashville Backstage Series: A Country Cabaret" will kick off Friday, July 13 and will continue with three more dates through June 2013. “It's really about giving a little bit of the behind-the-scenes type of magic that happens in Nashville,” Richard Kuranda said.

  •  

    What to do when sellers unwilling to repair foundation

    Q. We are in escrow on a house, and the sellers' disclosure statement listed no defects. But our home inspector found major foundation and drainage problems, and the contractor bid is over $40,000. Our Realtor says that the sellers can refuse to cover these costs. Is that possible?

  •  

    Looking at real estate’s history around the nation’s ‘birthday’

    With Independence Day around the corner, it's a good time to think about the way U.S. real estate has evolved through the centuries.

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    Vines such as clematis should be trained to their supports on a regular basis.

    Monitor garden’s water needs in hot, dry weather

    If hot and dry weather persists, monitor your garden's water needs. How much you should water will depend on a variety of factors such as the soil, types of plants, weather, and exposure (sun and shade). Plants that need water will show symptoms such as wilting, changing color and dropping leaves.

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    Hanging a bold piece of contemporary art over the fireplace mantel is one way to give this all-important spot a new look.

    Make your fireplace mantel a hot focal point

    As the unrivaled focal point in a room, your fireplace mantel is the star of the show. So it's fun to give this all-important spot a new look every so often.

  •  

    Government agencies try to get mortgage spigots open

    Two federal agencies with far-reaching influence over the mortgage market are working on a problem that could affect the ability of many people to obtain a home loan: How to encourage private lenders to ease up on their underwriting restrictions for credit-worthy borrowers.

  •  

    Jazz up that plain old concrete with these ideas

    Plans "set in concrete" are considered pretty permanent. That's because concrete is pretty tough stuff. If you are installing the concrete yourself, consider jazzing it up a little with some of these super ideas.

Discuss

  •  

    Editorial: Fight corruption, yes, but prudently

    A Daily Herald editorial says a suburban inspector general's office could help root out corruption, but the idea brings up many questions.

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    Selective morality in America

    Columnist Cal Thomas: The health care ruling is an example of the "Oprahfication" of America in which feelings trump truth and personal experience and class guilt rule, not the Constitution.

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    On pensions, what about the rest of us?
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: Our jobs in the private sector are going overseas; do public employees care? They tell us they have "earned" all their overly generous pensions and benefits.

  •  

    Obama abused executive privilege
    A Prospect Heights letter to the editor: Much like the Watergate cover-up, President Obama's exercise of executive privilege in the Fast and Furious debacle may turn out to be a greater violation of the law than the gunrunning episode itself.

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    Marriage is about equality, love
    A Palatine letter to the editor: My husband and I agree with and applaud your view on gay marriage. We support equal rights for all and stand on the side of love.

  •  

    Looking forward to July 9 health vote
    A Bartlett letter to the editor: I have said from the time I first began looking at the Obamacare plan that it is the largest piece of tax legislation to be passed during my lifetime. The Supreme Court verified that it is all about taxes. In my business we deal with insurance companies all day every day. We encounter many problems attempting to get paid for the mental health care services we provide. The rules change almost daily when dealing with insurance companies. There are many things that need improvement.

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