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Daily Archive : Thursday July 19, 2012

News

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    Tony Patti, left, owner of Rosati's Pizza in Lakemoor, watches carpenters Brian Allen and Phil Olsen work on the new video gambling room being built at the restaurant. It is one of the first locations to receive a gambling license from the Illinois Gambling Board.

    Gaming Board approves 70 more licenses, including 12 in suburbs

    Just as the first establishments to receive video gambling licenses make preparations to fire up their games, the Illinois Gaming Board has issued 70 new licenses. The second batch includes Richard's Chicken and Ribs in Round Lake Heights, Caliendo's Restaurant and Bar in Winfield and Moretti's Pizza in Lake in the Hills among the 12 suburban sites where licenses were approved.

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    Women affected by AIDS share stories of survival at the Reach Out clinic on the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda. The clinic receives money from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR. There is no cure yet and no vaccine. But recent research suggests it finally may be possible to dramatically stem the spread of the AIDS virus, even in some of the hardest-hit and poorest countries, such as Uganda.

    AIDS rise in Uganda shows need for more resources

    KAMPALA, Uganda — Once every month, John Robert Engole checks into a clinic on the outskirts of the Ugandan capital to collect his medication before quickly returning to the village in northern Uganda where he is a teacher.

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    Janet Bradley, union president at Illinois Youth Center St. Charles, talks to reporters about safety concerns at the Illinois Capitol Thursday.

    St. Charles youth center worker fears Joliet closure

    A worker and union leader at Illinois Youth Center St. Charles said Thursday that Gov. Pat Quinn's plans to close a similar facility in Joliet could cause problems for the suburban juvenile prison. The Joliet youth center — set for closure later this year — houses more violent offenders than the St. Charles facility, sometimes young people waiting to be tried as adults.

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    Oakwood Hills resident Mark Alfrejd looks over his neighbor's Cottonwood tree Thursday morning. The tree was struck by lightning during Wednesday night's storm.

    2,190 still without power; western suburbs hit hardest

    About 2,190 ComEd customers remained without power Thursday night in the Chicago area, with the majority in the western suburbs, following a strong thunderstorm that rolled through the region. In the utility's west region 1,050 customers remained without power as of 9:30 p.m. Thursday, according to a ComEd spokesman.

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    Ray Millington

    Grayslake District 46 weighs in on state charter school funding

    Grayslake Elementary District 46 has gone on record asking Illinois lawmakers to change how state-created charter schools are funded. District 46's resolution mirrors a document created by neighboring Woodland Elementary District 50 in Gurnee. Woodland has solicited support from nearby districts because of cooncerns over the flow of its state money to Prairie Crossing Charter School in Grayslake.

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    Surveillance footage captures a suspect robbing a TCF Bank Branch inside a Bartlett Jewel-Osco, 125 E. Stearns Road, at about 5 p.m. Thursday.

    Bartlett bank robbed for second time in two months

    Bartlett police are investigating a bank robbery that occured at a TCF Bank branch inside a Jewel-Osco early Thursday evening. The robbery was the second at the bank branch since June 6, according to police. Bartlett Police Sgt. Geoffrey Pretkelis said police do not believe the suspect in Thursday's robbery was involved in the June robbery.

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    Round Lake Beach infant death investigated

    Authorities are investigating what's been labeled as a suspicious death of an infant in Round Lake Beach.

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    “Glee” star Chris Colfer visits Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville on Thursday to promote his new book, “The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell.”

    'Glee' star Chris Colfer inspires teens at Naperville bookstore

    Casey Cogan came all the way from Canada to meet her idol. The Ontario native, 17, wants "Glee" star Chris Colfer to know that no matter what life brings him, his fans will always be there to support him. "It's a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for me, so I needed to make the trek," she said. Cogan was one of 600 fans who came to Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville on Thursday night to see the...

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    Traffic near proposed pawnshop worries officials

    The Streamwood board of trustees was concerned about an exit to a possible pawnshop at Thursday's meeting, with most trustees questioning the redevelopment at Irving Park Road and Lincoln Avenue. "I can't accept the development without that safety concern being addressed," trustee William Carlson said.

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    Wine shops, kayaking suggested to improve downtown Algonquin

    About 65 people attended a public workshop held Thursday night in Algonquin, which gave residents the chance to tell consultants what kind of new businesses and developments they envision for downtown, as well as pick from a visual buffet of architectural choices. ""It's important to have a say in the type of improvements needed," said Phyllis Koeppel, an Algonquin resident of 50 years..

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    Paden Thompson, 8, of St. Charles, gets smothered with kisses from four-month-old Jersey calf, Peanut, while they wait for their turn to show in the Jersey Junior Hefer category at the Kane County Fair on Thursday. Peanut’s sandpaper-like tongue left Paden’s cheek a rosy color afterward. Peanut and her sister, Clover, are calves from Primrose Farm in St. Charles. Paden and his sister, Emily, 11, are volunteers and have taken care of the calves ever since they were born. Peanut happened to be born on Paden’s birthday. “I just like sitting with them and working with them,” says Paden. The 4-H program at Primrose Farm gets suburban kids who don’t live on a farm a chance to be involved in the farm program.

    Images: Day Two of the 2012 Kane County Fair
    It's Day Two of the 2012 Kane County Fair in St. Charles, and the images are all about animal judging and truck pulls!

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    The Rev. Eugene J. Faucher

    Funeral Friday for former St. Edna, St. Colette priest
    Funeral services will be held Friday for Father Eugene Faucher, whose 61 years in the Chicago Archdiocese included a long association with both St. Edna Church in Arlington Heights and St. Colette in Rolling Meadows. "He was the happiest, most loving priest," said Fr. Jerry Jacob, pastor at St. Edna's. "He loved being a priest, he loved saying Mass and he loved ministry and preaching."

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    Homeless man charged with shooting Des Plaines teen in head

    A homeless man is accused of shooting a 19-year-old Des Plaines man in the temple during an altercation in a Mount Prospect parking lot early Monday morning, according to police.

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    President Barack Obama opened a two-day trek through Florida by making appeals to the retirees, Hispanics and middle-income voters who are key to winning the nation’s most populous swing state.

    In Florida, Obama criticizes Romney over Medicare

    Wooing Florida voters, President Barack Obama warned Thursday that Republican challenger Mitt Romney would gut his health care reform law and turn Medicare into a voucher program, driving up costs for the elderly on fixed incomes.

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    This is a vaccine for tetanus, diphthera and pertussis, also known as whooping cough. Nearly 18,000 cases of whooping cough have been reported so far this year, more than twice the number seen at this point a year ago.

    Whooping cough cases on the rise in U.S.

    The U.S. appears headed for its worst year for whooping cough in more than five decades, with the number of cases rising at an epidemic rate that experts say may reflect a problem with the effectiveness of the vaccine.

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    Egypt’s state news agency said former spy chief and Vice President Omar Suleiman died in a U.S. hospital Thursday.

    Egypt’s ex-spy chief Omar Suleiman dies

    Democracy activists denounced plans for a military funeral honoring Egypt's former spy chief Omar Suleiman, who was the ousted President Hosni Mubarak's closest lieutenant, a key pillar of his authoritarian regime and holder of so many secrets he was known as "the black box."

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    Leaking insecticide triggered Barrington-area hazmat call

    Insecticide in a leaking, unmarked container was to blame for a hazardous materials response at a Barrington-area home that left one firefighter hospitalized Thursday morning. The pesticide later was identified as Malathion, commonly used to control mosquitoes and other types of insects, Barrington Fire Chief Jim Arie said.

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    This image taken from CCTV was provided by the Bulgarian Interior Ministry Thursday, which claims it shows the unidentified bomber, center, with long hair and wearing a baseball cap, at Burgas Airport in Burgas, Bulgaria, Wednesday.

    Police seek bomber identity, Israel blames Iran

    Israel was quick to blame Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah for the terror attack against Israeli tourists in Bulgaria Wednesday. The victims included the Bulgarian bus driver and five Israelis, including a pregnant woman.

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    Christopher Owen

    Arlington Heights teen accused of punching teen, stealing phone

    A 19-year-old Arlington Heights man is accused of punching a Mount Prospect teen in the face and stealing the victim's cell phone, according to police.

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    In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, meets with Fahd Jassem al-Freij, Syria’s new Defense Minister, in Damascus Thursday.

    Syria’s Assad appears on TV after bombing

    Syrian President Bashar Assad made his first appearance Thursday since a bomb killed some of his top lieutenants, looking calm and composed on state TV even as his forces turned parts of Damascus into combat zones and rebels seized two of the country's border crossings.

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    Rick Tracy, an executive board member of the Metropolitan Alliance of Police, the union representing Northwest Central Dispatch System dispatchers, presented a vote of no confidence in the agency's management Thursday.

    Northwest Central dispatchers vote “no confidence”

    The union representing dispatchers for the Northwest Central Dispatch System this morning presented a vote of "no confidence" in the agency's management. The vote stems from dispatcher frustrations with a new computer-aided dispatch system installed April 24 and administrative policies leading to stressful working conditions, a union leader said.

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    Cook County Forest Dist. looking for ideas:

    The Forest Preserves of Cook County is looking to reinvigorate interest in outdoor recreation, and is asking the public for ideas. Twp public meetings will be held later this year, and meanwhile, Cook County residents are asked to fill out a survey, offering ideas for new facilities and new programs. "It just may be time to add something fresh — we don't know what yet," said General...

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    Gospelfest comes to Lake County:

    Hear uplifting gospel music by award-winning artists and praise dancers from 3 to 7 p.m., Sunday, July 22 at the Greenbelt Cultural Center's free Gospelfest.

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    Antioch Fine Arts Foundation sale:

    The Antioch Fine Arts Foundation hosts a fine arts sales event featuring various artists and their work, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 22. The event will be on the lawn at the Foundation's gallery at 983 Main St., Antioch.

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    Island Lake village hall plans:

    The Island Lake village officials said they will include the cost of design plans for the new village hall and police station in the lease agreement for the project.

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    Ethan Cutkosky, 12, of St. Charles, second from right, standing, landed the role of Carl in the Showtime network series “Shameless” three years ago. The incoming seventh-grader returns home to attend school when not filming in California.

    St. Charles boy wows 'Shameless' producers

    When Ethan Cutkosky landed a part on the Showtime network show "Shameless" three years ago, the producers thought the 9-year-old had just the perfect mischevious face for the role. What they didn't expect was for Ethan, now 12, to blossom into a talented actor with a real shot at a Hollywood career.

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    Julian I, King

    Cops: Zion man charged after trying to swallow hidden heroin

    Detectives rushed into an interview room and stopped a 22-year-old Zion man from swallowing a bag of heroin that he had hidden on him, according to the Lake County sheriff's office.

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    Gordon E. Zaeske

    Former East Dundee trustee loved fixing vehicles

    An ex East Dundee trustee, who served three terms in office and whose life revolved around vehicles, has passed away. Gordon E. Zaeske, 85, died Wednesday at St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates, surrounded by his family. His second oldest daughter Marylou Zaeske said he suffered from congestive heart failure and aortic valve stenosis. He died nine days before celebrating his 64th...

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    The Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Henry J. Kaiser, left, delivers a 50-50 blend of advanced biofuels and traditional petroleum-based fuel to the guided-missile cruiser USS Princeton during the Great Green Fleet demonstration July 18 in the Pacific.

    Military spending fight hits foreign oil, biofuel
    Some 100 nautical miles northeast of Oahu in the Pacific Ocean, a fleet of U.S. Navy fighter jets slings from the deck of the U.S.S. Nimitz aircraft carrier, leaving thin trails of smoke on the tight runway.

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    Science students to display work at symposium

    Community members are invited to a symposium at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday that will feature students from across Community Unit District 300 hosted by Jacobs High School in Algonquin. The students of this summer's "STEM Research in Science" class will proudly showcase the results from their research conducted at the Schweitzer Woods Forest Preserve.

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    Gov. Pat Quinn, flanked by area mayors and legislators, signed legislation Thursday in Wheaton to strengthen the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

    Gov. Quinn adds teeth to Open Meetings Act

    Illinois residents soon will be able to make better decisions about whether to attend meetings held by public bodies thanks to new legislation signed by Gov. Pat Quinn Thursday in Wheaton. The new law requires public bodies conducting public meetings to ensure a copy of the meeting notice and agenda is available to the public at least 48 hours in advance, including a posting on the agency's...

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    Ann Kennedy

    Carol Stream Library board botches firing

    Ann Kennedy started cleaning out her desk Wednesday night after the Carol Stream Public Library board of trustees voted to dismiss her as library director. Turns out, she wasn't really fired, the library's attorney said Thursday. The board botched the dismissal because it didn't have enough votes.

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    Jeffrey G. Bennett

    Trucker charged with soliciting child in DuPage

    A 51-year-old man was charged after he traveled into DuPage County believing he was about to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex, prosecutors said Thursday. Instead, Jeffrey Bennett was met by undercover Carol Stream police detectives who had posed online as his would-be victim, Assistant State's Attorney Joe Baumann said in bond court.

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    Nicholas P. Beaudoin

    Lombard couple charged after convenience store stabbing

    A Lombard couple appeared in bond court Thursday on charges stemming from a fight near Glen Ellyn in which two men were stabbed, one of them repeatedly. DuPage County prosecutors said an investigation into the July 1 altercation was ongoing as Nicholas Beaudoin and Alyssa Cortese were held on bail of $100,000 and $60,000, respectively.

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    Police arrest David A. Ziesel at his home in Elburn April 20, after a high-speed chase from Indiana. Ziesel pleaded guilty July 3 to aggravated bank robbery for the robbery of the LaPorte, Ind., Savings Bank.

    Elburn man pleads guilty to bank robbery

    An Elburn man has pleaded guilty to robbing an Indiana bank in April. He will be sentenced in October, and is facing up to 25 years in prison.

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    Schaumburg seeks Miss Septemberfest 2012

    Schaumburg has begun the search for Miss Septemberfest 2012. The winner and all five members of the court will participate in Septemberfest activities throughout the Labor Day weekend.

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    Esteban Figueroa

    2 years probation for ex-state worker guilty of misconduct

    A South Elgin man and former state public aid worker pleaded guilty to felony misconduct Thursday and was sentenced to two years probation and fined nearly $2,200.

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    Dana Holladay’s 1938 Piper J-3 Cub, which mainly served as a trainer in its day, has minimal gauges and must fly below the clouds.

    Former Island Lake man, wife on nationwide plane journey

    Most pilots say that there is nothing in the world like flying. Former Island Lake resident and flight instructor Dana Holladay has a caveat — there is nothing like flying in an open cockpit, like he gets to do on his 1938 Piper J-3 Cub. He and his wife are on a mission to touch down in all 48 continental states by Labor Day.

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    Fire damages Lombard residence

    A fire early Thursday morning caused between $30,000 and $50,000 in damage to a multi-family residential building in Lombard, authorities said.

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    Kline Creek Farm’s signature windmill was damaged during the July 1 storm, and now the DuPage County Forest Preserve District is hoping to raise more than $4,100 for repairs to the living-history site near West Chicago.

    Kline Creek Farm raising funds for storm recovery

    Crews at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago are still working to repair damage from the July 1 storm, including to the farm's signature windmill. Organizers have started a fundraising effort to generate more than $4,000 for the windmill. "Our blacksmiths asked if they could help repair it, but with a 53-foot tower it's something we're going to have to leave to the professionals" Keith McClow, Kline...

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    Fox Valley police reports
    A thief used an unauthorized debit card at three Elgin businesses and one in Oak Brook Terrace on Tuesday, according to police reports. Two purchases were made on the 1100 block of Dundee Avenue, one at a Blockbuster Express and one at a BP gas station. The third Elgin charge was made at a BP gas station on the 400 block of Dundee Avenue.

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    Vincent Dee

    Get out the vote effort focuses on immigrants

    If you see Vincent Dee on the streets of Elgin, Schaumburg, Bartlett or Bloomingdale in the next few months trying to tell you about immigration issues and the November election, he hopes you'll be nice to him. The 24-year-old Bartlett native and Columbia College graduate is one of 20 fellows in the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights' New Americans Democracy Project. About half...

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    Storm damage slows preparations at DuPage fairgrounds

    The show's ready to go on at the DuPage County Fairgrounds in Wheaton where downed power lines and damage from storms earlier this month complicated preparations. "Two weeks of energy that would normally be used setting up to get the fair in order was spent in the recovery mode trying to get the lines reset and buildings repaired," said Jim McGuire, president of the DuPage County Fair...

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    Bradley Wiggins of Britain, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, rides in the pack during the start of the 17th stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 143.5 kilometers (89.2 miles) with start in Bagneres-de-Luchon and finish in Peyragudes, Pyrenees region, France, Thursday July 19, 2012.

    Wiggins holds yellow jersey, 3 days left in Tour

    Britain's Bradley Wiggins overcame the mountains and challengers to retain the yellow jersey, while Spain's Alejandro Valverde won the 17th stage of the Tour de France on Thursday.

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    Tri-Cities police reports
    Earrings, a gold necklace, a wedding ring and other jewelry — worth a combined $1,900 — were stolen from the 0-99 block of Margaret's Lane near Aurora between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. July 8, according to a sheriff's report.

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    Barrington Strings free concert Friday

    Members of the Barrington Strings Summer Camp will hold a free concert at 1:30 p.m. Friday, July 20 in the air-conditioned Jewel Tea Pavilion at Citizen's Park, just north of the Barrington Public Library on Northwest Highway.

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    Lightning starts Aurora townhouse fire

    A lightning strike caused a fire and $80,000 in damage early Thursday morning at an Aurora townhouse, authorities said.

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    Talk with the Editor: Making a better newspaper

    In this Talk with the Editor, John Lampinen provides an update on the status of suggestions to improve the Daily Herald.

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    Moseley, a Chihuahua-beagle mix, is one of the dogs available at the Animal House Shelter in Huntley, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

    Huntley's Animal House Shelter celebrates 10 years

    The inspiration to open the Animal House Shelter came from a phone call. "In my junior year in college, I got a phone call that a dog was dumped in the Barrington area and was dodging cars," said Lesley Irwin, the shelter's executive director. "It kind of ended up being a life changer."

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    God wants us to have a good life

    God wants us to have a good life and points out we have the right to choose, columnist Annettee Budzban says.

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    Strikes and security trouble before UK games

    There's nearly a week to go before the Olympics kick off in London and British officials are stuck playing defense. On Thursday, the country's Olympics secretary said 1,200 extra troops were put on standby in case embarrassing manpower shortages get any worse, while U.K. border agents announced a strike for the day before the games begin.

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    Large cracks are seen along the shoreline of the harbor in Hickman, Ky., where the Hickman Ferry sits idle, in background, Wednesday. Low water levels in the harbor and in the Mississippi River have stopped the ferry from traveling between Dorena, Mo., and Hickman.

    US forecast: Hot, dry weather to linger into fall

    Federal weather forecasters predict the unusually hot dry weather that has gripped much of the nation will linger into fall, especially for the parched heartland.

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    A white bison calf walks in a field with other bison at the Mohawk Bison farm in Goshen, Conn., Wednesday. Hundreds of people, including tribal elders from South Dakota, are expected to attend naming ceremonies later this month at the farm where the animal was born June 16.

    Native Americans to celebrate white bison

    The birth of a white bison, among the rarest of animals, is bringing Native Americans who consider it a sacred event to celebrate at one of the least likely of places, a farm in New England.

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    Ron Moser

    Sugar Grove hires interim police chief

    Sugar Grove has hired an interim police chief while it looks for a new one to replace retired Brad Sauer.

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    Bill and Nancy Tsapralis and the Dunton House will host Eddie and Jobo Friday morning.

    'Eddie and Jobo' show coming to Arlington Hts.

    The morning team from WJMK-FM will be entertaining the early risers at the Dunton House restaurant in downtown Arlington Heights on Friday. The "Eddie and Jobo Show" will broadcast live from the restaurant from 5 to 9 a.m.

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    Fun times abound at the annual Round Lake Heights parade and festival. This year’s event is Saturday, July 21.

    Round Lake Heights celebrates community with festival

    Round Lake Heights is throwing a party that'll start with a morning parade and roll into the evening with a fireworks extravaganza Saturday, July 21. Action begins at 11 a.m. with the 19th annual festival parade stepping off on Black Cherry Drive and working its way to village hall, 619 W. Pontiac Court.

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    Tammy Duckworth, left, opposes Joe Walsh in the 8th Congressional District for the 2012 General Election.

    Walsh to skip GOP convention

    Congressman Joe Walsh will not attend the Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay, Florida. Walsh will instead campaign in the district. His opponent, Tammy Duckworth, has not said whether she'll attend the Democratic National Convention. The two are competing in the 8th Congressional District.

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    District 200 names principal at Edison

    An educator who has worked in Oswego, Rachel Bednar, has been named principal of Edison Middle School in Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200. She begins work July 19.

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    Arie Friedman and Julie Morrison.

    Friedman has big quarter, still playing catchup to Morrison in 29th

    Although Republican Arie Friedman was able to raise half again as much money as Julie Morrison in the second quarter of in their race for the 29th state Senate district, the Highland Park pediatrician is still playing catchup in fundraising.

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    School lobbyist provides insight to Grayslake District 46 board

    An official from a public school lobbying organization appeared before the Grayslake Elementary District 46 board a little more than a month after an elected official criticized some of the group's positions. Education Research Development Executive Director Erika Lindley on Wednesday explained why the group supports or opposes certain proposals floated by state legislators, such as school...

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    Judy Biggert and Bill Foster

    Foster gets closer to Biggert in money race

    Democrat Bill Foster is closing the gap in the money race with Congresswoman Judy Biggert, as both look to forge ahead in the race for the 11th Congressional District seat. The money race has been tight between the two throughout the campaign. Through June, Foster has about $1.27 million in his war chest moving forward compared to about $1.5 million for Biggert.

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    Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says he hasn’t had a “falling out” with Chief Justice John Roberts over the Supreme Court’s landmark 5-4 decision validating much of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

    Scalia says no ‘falling out’ with Roberts

    WASHINGTON — Justice Antonin Scalia said he hasn’t had a “falling out” with Chief Justice John Roberts over the Supreme Court’s landmark 5-4 decision validating much of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

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    More than 1,000 turtles slowly escape captivity

    SUMMERVILLE, Ga. — More than 1,000 turtles made a slow-speed escape from their turtle farm in northwest Georgia.Turtle farmer David Driver tells sheriff’s officials he suspects vandals might be to blame for tearing down fences around his turtle ponds in Summerville.

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    Message in bottle resurfaces after 35 years in Vt.

    BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. — A long-lost message in a bottle has resurfaced 35 years after a Vermont boy sent it off in a favorite swimming hole.The glass bottle with a note was found recently near the Bellows Falls dam by 14-year-old Justin Shepard. It was missing its cork, but there was still enough information inside it to track down the writer, Sean Keown.

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    For rent: NYC flat where Obama crashed in 1980s

    NEW YORK — The New York City apartment where Barack Obama lived in the 1980s is available for rent. But there’s no guarantee it’ll inspire presidential aspirations in the next occupant.

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    Penn State’s Peetz to evaluate school’s ‘fundamental culture’

    Penn State University Board Chairman Karen Peetz said a special task force of trustees and school administrators will ensure that recommendations of the Freeh Report are implemented.“Progress will be about much more than responding to recommendations, but about evaluating the fundamental culture that is Penn State,” Peetz said in an emailed statement to alumni.

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    For six years, the self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in America has vehemently denied allegations that his deputies racially profile Latinos in his trademark immigration patrols. Now, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio will have to convince a federal judge who is presiding over a lawsuit that heads to trial on Thursday, July 19, 2012 and is expected to last until early August.

    Ariz. sheriff faces racial profiling allegations at trial

    PHOENIX — For years, the self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in America has vehemently denied allegations that his deputies racially profile Latinos in his trademark immigration patrols. Joe Arpaio would dismiss his critics in his signature brash style at countless news conferences and in numerous appearances on television.

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    Dad of Ohio cancer patient, 4, denies Disney trip

    BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — An Ohioan says he blocked his 4-year-old daughter’s Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World because he doesn’t believe donations to the wish-granting organization should be spent on a child who appears clear of illness after two years of cancer treatments.

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    NZ company recalls meats after listeria kills 2

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A New Zealand meat company has recalled several of its products after tests showed a possible link to a listeria outbreak that left two patients dead at a hospital in the island nation.

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    Warrants: Fetishes led to Marine’s wife slaying

    SAN DIEGO — Three roommates involved with a “sex dungeon” at their home may have murdered a Marine’s wife as they tried to satisfy their fetishes, investigators say in newly unsealed search warrants.

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    North Aurora considers new lawn watering regulations

    North Aurora is considering changing its watering restrictions a bit, in part to even out demand on the water system.

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    Local establishments in town show support with signs for the family and the missing cousins Elizabeth Collins, 8, and Lyric Cook-Morrissey, 10, Wednesday, July 18, 2012, in Evansdale, Iowa.

    Lake, landfill searched for missing Iowa cousins

    DES MOINES, Iowa — As the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a pair of young Iowa cousins enters its seventh day, the search has moved to a landfill and a closer look into the lake near where the girls’ bicycles were found last week while a congressman calls for more FBI involvement.

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    Japan men’s team in business, women in economy

    TOKYO — Japan’s world champion women’s football team has taken exception to flying economy while their male counterparts sat in business class on a flight to Europe for the Olympics.The women’s team was assigned seats in premium economy for the 13-hour flight to Paris while the nation’s under-23 men’s team was up front on the same flight.

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    In Florida, Obama aims to keep pressure on Romney

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is trying to keep the pressure on rival Mitt Romney, opening two days of campaigning in Florida in search of military veterans, seniors and unaligned voters in the state’s crucial midsection.

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    Associated Press Former NBA star Dennis Rodman, left, shakes hands with his estranged father Philander Rodman Jr. after an exhibition game in Manila, Philippines. The two finally met after 42 years of separation. Philander said he was happy and surprised that his son agreed to meet him late Wednesday.

    Dennis Rodman finally meets father after 42 years

    Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has finally met his estranged father after 42 years of separation, following an exhibition game in the Philippines.

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    Dawn Patrol: Storms hit; college sues over contraception

    42,600 remain without power. Bob Chinn's named highest-grossing restaurant in U.S. Wheaton College sues federal government over contraception mandate. Cops: Elgin man struck squad car during motorcycle pursuit.

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    The 24th annual Hot Jazz — 6 Cool Nites jazz concert series, in conjunction with the Janice Borla Vocal Jazz Camp, will take place at North Central College July 21-27.

    Annual concert series, camp fills void in vocal jazz education

    Janice Borla believes the heart and soul of jazz music is its improvisatory nature. "What each person plays could sound considerably different than what's on the album," Borla said. Borla's Hot Jazz — 6 Cool Nites concert series will run Saturday, July 21, and Monday through Thursday, July 23-26, at North Central College in Naperville.

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    30 Ind. counties get money to help veterans

    INDIANAPOLIS — Thirty Indiana counties are receiving a total of more than $1 million in federal grants to help low-income veterans gain better access to public benefits and other aid to avoid homelessness.

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    Sentencing is set in Blagojevich-linked case

    A man who admitted to perpetrating frauds and being a longtime drug addict is to appear before a federal judge for sentencing in a corruption case linked to imprisoned ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Stuart Levine pleaded guilty in 2006 to mail fraud and money laundering as part of a scheme with Blagojevich crony Tony Rezko to solicit kickbacks.

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    Chicago schools hope to boost first-day attendance

    The head of the Chicago Public Schools is pushing to make sure public school students attend the first day of fall classes.

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    Winfield residents Steve Romanelli, left, and Harold Besch congratulate each other after submitting petitions calling for a referendum in November on video gambling and keeping the local police department intact.

    Winfield voters demand voice on police, video gambling

    Winfield residents upset about the village board legalizing video gambling and possibly outsourcing police services want to take both issues out of trustees' hands. And they already got a third of small town's roughly 6,600 registered voters to sign a pair of petitions to make that happen. “We wanted to put the matter completely out of reach of a challenge by them or members of the 'gaming...

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    Teresa Drozdz of Lake Zurich rests her head on the headstone of her daughter, Gabriella Drozdz. Gabriella died a year ago when she was struck by a hit-and-run driver while walking along Church Street in Lake Zurich.

    Lake Zurich teen’s killer remains at large

    It has been nearly one year since Gabriella Drozdz was hit and killed by a van while she was walking to Alpine Days in Lake Zurich. Police and family members are working hard to make sure people don't forget and hope the publicity will produce new leads to help bring to justice the driver of the van. "We would just love to solve this so the family can try and put it all behind them," Lake Zurich...

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    After months of researching professional athletes, retired actuary and Westchester native Philip J. Lehpamer discovered that baseball players live longer than football players, but both live longer than the typical male fan.

    Cubs live longer than Bears; both outlive fans, actuary says

    Retired actuary Philip J. Lehpamer, a Westchester native, has found that NFL men don't live as long as baseball players and that gap is growing. But the news isn't all bad for football players. “It's getting worse for them, but they are still better than couch potatoes,” Lehpamer says, noting his research shows that former NFL players continue to outlive the typical male fan watching...

Sports

  •  
    New York Jets football coach Rex Ryan, a Stevenson High School grad, tells the Associated Press about his 105-pound weight loss and the lap-band surgery that helped him achieve it.

    Rex Ryan breaks his silence on huge weight loss

    Rex Ryan, the New York Jets coach with the big, boisterous personality, never hid that he underwent weight-loss surgery in March 2010. Normally happy to talk — and talk — about anything, the former Stevenson High School student was tight-lipped about the details for more than two years. He wanted to reach the milestone of shedding 100 pounds before he opened that famous mouth. From a peak of 348 pounds, Ryan is now down to 243.

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    Abbott’s no-hitter helps Bandits snap skid

    Monica Abbott fired a no-hitter with 14 strikeouts as the Chicago Bandits snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-0 victory over the Carolina Diamonds at the Ballpark at Rosemont on Thursday.

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    Fremd, Maine West bow out in regional final round

    Fremd and Maine West saw their summer baseball seasons end in different ways Thursday in regional championship games of the Phil Lawler Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association tournament. For Fremd, it was a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Maine South on a bases-loaded hit by pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning in the Palatine regional. Maine West hoped to continue its run through some of the state's powerhouses but lost to Lyons Township 10-0 in 6 innings in the Fenwick regional.

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    Cody Ross hit a three-run homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth to give the Boston Red Sox a 3-1 win over the White Sox on Thursday night.

    Quintana gets another no-decision, White Sox lose

    Eight-inning starts are becoming routine for rookie Jose Quintana. So are no-decisions. The White Sox left-hander watched another gem get spoiled Thursday night when closer Addison Reed surrendered a walk-off, three-run home run to Cody Ross with one out in the ninth inning of a 3-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox.

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    Justin Verlander takes the mound for Detroit tonight.

    Tigers ready to sink teeth into reeling White Sox

    With 10 wins in their last 12 games, the Detroit Tigers are finally playing good baseball, and they are putting some serious heat on the first-place White Sox in the AL Central. The Sox and Tigers square off in a big series this weekend at Comerica Park.

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    White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers
    White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers at Comerica ParkTV: Comcast SportsNet today and Sunday; FOX SaturdayRadio: WSCR 670-AMPitching matchups: The Sox’ Jake Peavy (7-6) vs. Justin Verlander (10-5) today at 6:10 p.m.; Chris Sale (11-2) vs. Rick Porcello (6-5) Saturday at 3:10 p.m.; Philip Humber (4-4) vs. Jacob Turner (0-1) Sunday at 12:05 p.m.At a glance: The White Sox have been on the road since the second half started, and they wrap up a 10-game trip with a big series against the Tigers. The Sox are 4-4 vs. Detroit this season. Over his last eight starts, Peavy is 1-5, but he owns a 3.18 ERA and has 2 complete games. The Sox get their first look at Verlander this season. The Tigers’ ace was 5-1 with a 2.91 ERA in 6 starts vs. the White Sox last year.Next: Minnesota Twins, Monday-Wednesday at U.S. Cellular Field— Scot Gregor

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    Grizzlies go deep, come back to best Boomers

    The Gateway Grizzlies hit 3 homers to overcome a 3-0 deficit to top the Schaumburg Boomers 4-3 in the opener of a six-game roadtrip Thursday night in Sauget, Ill.

  •  
    While Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has been working to get Chicago's help with a major renovation plan for Wrigley Field, the Cubs amd Mayor Rahm Emanuel remain far apart on how it would be financed.

    Time to break the Wrigley Field standoff

    Mike North suggests Chicago Cubs owners, the Ricketts family, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel cut through the red tape and just take care of keeping the Cubs right where they belong at Wrigley Field. Otherwise everyone comes up a loser.

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    CL South puts the hurt on St. Charles East

    The numbers displayed on the scoreboard looked more like something you might see in mid-October on a football field rather than in mid-July on a baseball diamond. Final score: Crystal Lake South 20, St. Charles East 7. And no, there weren't any missed extra points. The sixth-seeded Gators (20-3) basically made life miserable for Saints pitchers throughout, bashing 22 base hits while capturing their first summer regional tournament title Thursday afternoon at St. Charles East. Crystal Lake South advances to the Elite Eight portion of the Phil Lawler Illinois Baseball Summer State Tournament where it will face St. Laurence at 12:30 p.m. Monday at North Central College in Naperville.

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    Kane County Cougars outfielder Jorge Bonifacio is the younger brother of Emilio Bonifacio, who plays for the Miami Marlins.

    Cougars’ Bonifacio motivated by older brother’s success in the Majors

    Kane County Cougars outfielder Jorge Bonifacio is striving to one day join his brother Emilio in the Major Leagues.

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    Wauconda tops Carmel for Final Eight berth

    By holding off Carmel Catholic 7-5 Thursday to win the Libertyville regional, Wauconda secured a berth in the Final Eight of the Phil Lawler summer tournament, which is co-hosted by North Central College in Naperville and Benedictine University in Lisle. Wauconda begins play in the double-elimination tournament Monday.

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    Montini marches to regional victory

    Mired in a baseball regional loaded with state-caliber programs from Class 4A power conferences, Montini wasn't exactly an overwhelming favorite to emerge as the champion. But there were the Broncos Thursday afternoon, posing for pictures at home plate after winning the Glenbard South regional and advancing to the Elite Eight of next week's Phil Lawler Summer Classic. With a 7-4 win over Wheaton Warrenville South in Glen Ellyn, Montini advances to double elimination play at 10 a.m. Monday at Naperville's North Central College. The Broncos will play Jacobs, the champion of the Lake Park regional after beating the host Lancers in Thursday's regional final.

  •  
    The Big Ten Conference is considering a plan to give commissioner Jim Delany the power to punish schools with financial sanctions, suspensions and even the ability to fire coaches.

    Big Ten may give commish power to fire coaches

    In the wake of the scandal at Penn State, the Big Ten Conference is considering a plan to give its commissioner the power to punish schools with financial sanctions, suspensions and even the ability to fire coaches. An 18-page plan being circulated among Big Ten leadership raises the possibility of giving Commissioner Jim Delany such authority.

  •  
    Mike Spellman says Ozzie Guillen was always interesting and good for the White Sox but it was time for him to move on.

    Guillen moves on, Hawks move in, London calling

    Mike Spellman drops some more names and observations in his weekly Scorecard column. See what he has to say about Ozzie Guillen, Marian Hossa, the 2012 Olympics, Kevin Youkilis and jockey Jerry LaSala. And yes, LOL is allowed.

  •  
    In a crisply paced game that took 2 hours and 18 minutes, Cubs starter Paul Maholm worked 8 innings, giving up 5 hits and 1 run. He's now the winningest Cubs pitcher.

    Maholm does his best Buehrle; Cubs keep clicking

    The fast-working lefty on the mound Thursday at Wrigley Field was sure to make quick work of the opposition. Mark Buehrle? Nah. The Cubs had their own up-tempo southpaw going in Paul Maholm, and he proved to be a lot longer-lasting than Buehrle in a 4-2 victory over the Miami Marlins.

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    If Thursday was starter Ryan Dempster's last day in a Cubs uniform, he didn't let on, playing catch with his son and insisting he didn't know of any trade rumors.

    Demp still a Cub — for now

    Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster spent much of Thursday's pregame playing ball with his son, Brady, on Wrigley Field. A farewell lap around the park before he's traded? Dempster didn't make it sound that way, even though he's been the subject of numerous trade rumors.

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    Cubs scouting report
    Cubs scouting report

  •  
    Former Atlanta Hawks forward Vladimir Radmanovic, a 6-foot-10 NBA veteran with a strong outside shot, has signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bulls.

    Bulls ink veteran forward Radmanovic to one-year deal

    The Chicago Bulls signed Vladimir Radmanovic to a one-year deal Thursday. The 11-year-veteran forward averaged 4.5 points, 2.9 rebounds in 15.4 minutes per game last season with the Atlanta Hawks.

  •  
    Paul Maholm allowed one run and four hits to win his fourth consecutive start, matching a career best. Including his first career relief appearance July 8 against the Mets, the left-hander has allowed just three runs in his last 30 1-3 innings for an impressive 0.89 ERA over his last five games.

    Maholm wins again as Cubs top Marlins 4-2

    Paul Maholm pitched eight innings, Alfonso Soriano homered and the Cubs beat the Miami Marlins 4-2 Thursday, ruining Mark Buehrle's return to Chicago.

  •  
    The Indianapolis Colts have signed No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck.

    Colts sign top pick QB Andrew Luck

    Rest easy, Colts fans. The Andrew Luck era can now officially begin. The Colts have signed the Stanford quarterback who was the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, brought in to help the proud franchise rebound after last year's horrible skid. The injured Peyton Manning never played a down and now he's gone, off to Denver for a fresh start with the Broncos.

  •  
    The Great Britain’s Luol Deng, right, looks for a pass under pressure from USA’s Kevin Durant Thursday against the USA at the Manchester Arena,

    US men’s Olympic basketball beats Britain by 40

    Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams responded to lineup change with 19 points apiece, and the U.S. men's Olympic basketball team beat Britain 118-78 on Thursday in an exhibition game. LeBron James added 16 points and Russell Westbrook had 15 for the Americans, who built a 40-point lead early in the fourth quarter against their inexperienced and overmatched opponent, and every basket from there seemed to be a dunk.

  •  
    The Baltimore Orioles’ Chris Davis looks for the call as he slides in to score on Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer, left, after third baseman Trevor Plouffe’s throwing error Thursday during the seventh inning in Minneapolis.

    Reynolds comes through, O’s beat Twins 4-3

    MINNEAPOLIS — Mark Reynolds’ two-run single in the eighth inning backed a strong performance from Wei-Yin Chen and rallied the Baltimore Orioles to a 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday. Chen (8-5) gave up three runs and six hits with five strikeouts in seven innings for his first win since June 17, and Jim Johnson picked up his 28th save in 30 chances for the Orioles. Cole De Vries allowed one run and five hits with five strikeouts in six innings for the Twins, who led 3-2 going into the eighth inning. But Minnesota’s normally reliable bullpen faltered, with Anthony Swarzak giving up a soft single to Reynolds that put Baltimore in front. The Twins had a chance to tie it in the bottom of the frame, but Brian Dozier popped out with a runner on third to end the inning.

  •  
    The Arizona Diamondbacks’ Ryan Roberts, left, dives safely back to first as Cincinnati Reds first baseman Miguel Cairo catches a pickoff throw Thursday during the fourth inning in Cincinnati.

    Phillips’ 5 RBIs help Reds rally past D-Backs 7-6

    Brandon Phillips homered and had five RBIs, then scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning on Todd Frazier's single to help the Cincinnati Reds rally from a six-run deficit to pull out a 7-6 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday.

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    Detroit Tigers starter Max Scherzer throws against the Los Angeles Angels Thursday during the first inning.

    Max Scherzer has 9 Ks as Tigers beat Angels 5-1

    Max Scherzer struck out nine and got plenty of run support as Miguel Cabrera and Alex Avila homered to help the Detroit Tigers beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-1 Thursday. Detroit won the four-game series and has 10 victories in its last 12 games. The Angels have won just five of their last 13 games.

  •  
    Adam Scott shakes hands with Lance Bennett, the caddie of Matt Kuchar, at Royal Lytham & St Annes golf club after the first round of the British Open at Lytham St Annes, England.

    Scott ties course record with 64 at British Open

    Adam Scott had a chance at history. He gladly settled for tying a course record. Scott equaled the lowest British Open score at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, taking advantage of prime conditions to rip off eight birdies on the way to a 6-under 64 in the opening round Thursday. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were among a logjam at 67.

  •  
    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price delivers to the Cleveland Indians Thursday during the first inning in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays defeated the Indians 6-0.

    Price wins 13th; Rays beat Cleveland

    David Price became the AL's first 13-game winner, B.J. Upton had three RBIs, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Cleveland Indians 6-0 on Thursday.

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    A person with knowledge of the decision says the Philadelphia Flyers have signed Shea Weber to a 14-year offer sheet worth more than $100 million. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday on condition of anonymity because the Flyers hadn’t announced the offer.

    AP Source: Flyers give Weber 14-year offer sheet

    Shea Weber is on the brink of becoming the dominant blueline force the Philadelphia Flyers desperately need. Weber signed a staggering offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers and the restricted free agent could be a week away from bolting the Nashville Predators.

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    Cougars shut down 5-0

    BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Stifled on a season-low 2 hits, the Kane County Cougars were defeated 5-0 in the opener of a three-game series by the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Wednesday night at Bowling Green Ballpark.Alejandro Segovia started the scoring for the Hot Rods (53-42, 15-10) in the bottom of the third as he blasted his 10th home run of the season against Kellen Moen (3-7) to lead off the inning.Moen lasted 5-plus innings while surrendering just 4 hits. He did give up 1 more run in the sixth on an RBI single from Jake Hager to score Ryan Brett.Jason Mitchell replaced Moen in the sixth and coughed up a two-out double to Todd Glaesmann before Jeff Malm ripped a 2-run homer, his 11th.Mitchell only worked 1 inning before giving way to Andrew Triggs, who pitched the final 2. Triggs allowed an unearned run in the eighth as Hager reached on a Jack Lopez error before scoring on a single from Drew Vettleson.Jake Floethe (9-1) got the start for the Hot Rods and limited the Cougars (48-47, 14-11) to just 1 hit in 5 innings of work. Floethe walked three and struck out just one but kept the Cougars off the board as did Jason McEachern in his 3 relief innings.Stayton Thomas fired up a zero in the ninth inning to preserve the shutout as the Cougars never had a runner reach third base in the ballgame.

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    Mike North video: Rahm, Ricketts need to relax

    The Chicago Cubs and Rahm Emanuel need to put political differences aside. There is too much at stake for the city of Chicago; both sides need to do what’s best for the city. Theo Epstein is jumping into the fray to see if he can smooth things along. Tiger Woods started out hot at the British Open, but has faltered a bit. Everyone knows his presence equals better ratings and if he’s doing well, all the better.Ÿ For more, see www.northtonorth.com . Listen to Mike on Foxsportsradio.com, XM channel 169, or your iHeart application Sat 6 p.m.-9 p.m. and Sun 9 p.m. to midnight. You can also hear him Sunday evenings on WIND 560AM. Look for Mike on WIND on Tuesday at 7:45 a.m. and on Fridays at 5:50 p.m. Listen to Mike’s podcasts at foxsportsradio.com/podcast/mikenorth.xml

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    3 hurt horses put down after Saratoga’s open house

    SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Three horses have been euthanized after suffering injuries during non-betting steeplechase races held at Saratoga Race Course’s annual open house.National Steeplechase Association Director of Racing Bill Gallo says the injuries occurred separately in each of the first three races during last weekend’s 32nd-annual event.Two of the horses sustained injuries while on flat ground, while the third was injured during a hurdle.Despite the three deaths, Gallo says fatalities among steeplechase horses are uncommon.Non-wagering steeplechase and flat course races have been part of the open house festivities for years. The New York Racing Association operates the track, along with Aqueduct and Belmont.Saratoga holds steeplechase races on Thursdays during its annual summer meet. The track’s 144th thoroughbred racing season opens Friday.

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    If the Cubs wind up trading top pitchers Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza, it will be up to Jeff Samardzija and others to step up and fill the void. Samardzija started Wednesday night against the Marlins. Cubs team president Theo Epstein said the organization needs "waves and waves" of pitching prospects.

    Epstein looking at building Cubs' pitching depth

    If the Cubs wind up trading top pitchers Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza, it will be up to Jeff Samardzija and others to step up and fill the void. Samardzija started Wednesday night against the Marlins. Cubs team president Theo Epstein said the organization needs "waves and waves" of pitching prospects.

  •  

    Boomers drop 10-7 slugfest

    Schaumburg Boomers baseball coverage

Business

  •  
    Sam’s Club in Elgin is set to open later this summer and is preparing to hire almost 200 employees. A temporary hiring center has been set up in South Elgin to collect applications for a range of positions, including full-time, part-time and supervisor jobs. Most employees will start this month to get the store ready for its grand opening.

    Sam’s Club looking to hire for new Randall Road store

    Sam's Club will need almost 200 employees to staff its Elgin store, slated to open later this summer. The retailer, which will open next to Elgin's new Wal-Mart at 1000 S. Randall Road, is looking for full-time and part-time employees for the gamut of positions, including supervisors. A temporary hiring center is accepting applications seven days a week from a South Elgin storefront.

  •  
    Walgreen Co., the largest U.S. drugstore chain, renewed a contract to provide Express Scripts Inc. customers with prescriptions, ending a dispute that contributed to an 11 percent decline in the retailer’s quarterly profit.

    Walgreen, Express Scripts sign new agreement

    The Deerfield-based Walgreen pharmacy chain will begin filling prescriptions from customers in the Express Scripts network again starting in September under a new multiyear contract that ends a costly impasse between the companies.

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    IBM sustained its nearly decade-long streak of earnings growth as it shook off the economic jitters that have undercut several other technology companies. Earnings rose 6 percent in the April-June period, despite a 3 percent decline in revenue, to mark the 38th consecutive quarter that IBM’s net income has climbed from the previous year.

    US stocks creep up; IBM, other tech stocks rise

    Strong earnings from IBM and other technology companies nudged the stock market higher Thursday, but a trio of weak economic reports kept the gains in check.

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    Burger King faces a public relations embarrassment now that a photo purported to be of an employee stepping on lettuce bins at one of its restaurants has been posted online.

    Lettuce photo gets 3 Burger King workers fired

    Burger King says three workers were fired after a photo posted online appeared to show an employee stepping on lettuce in bins at a northeast Ohio restaurant.

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    A Barrington Police officer patrols in downtown Barington on a Segway.

    Court tells Disneyland to study Segway use

    A California appeals court told Disneyland it must consider allowing use of two-wheel Segways by disabled people.

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    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures during a campaign stop on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 in Bowling Green, Ohio.

    Congress can’t resist allure of presidential race

    The Senate is spending this week debating, and summarily rejecting, Democratic-written bills to disclose the names of people who give more than $10,000 to help elect people such as, say, Mitt Romney, and to take away tax breaks from companies taken over by people such as, say, Mitt Romney, who move operations overseas. Their latest effort would make candidates for federal office, like, say, Mitt Romney, disclose any of offshore holdings.

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    US stocks waver; IBM, other tech stocks rise

    NEW YORK — Stocks on Wall Street are moving between small gains and losses in midday trading. IBM and other technology companies are up after reporting strong earnings, but economic reports came in weaker than analysts had expected. The Dow Jones industrial average is up 15 points at 12,924 shortly before noon. IBM is the top stock in the Dow. The technology giant’s stock is surging 3 percent after the company posted a 6 percent jump in profits late Wednesday even as its revenue sank. It was the 38th consecutive quarter that IBM’s net income rose over the previous year. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is up four points to 1,376. Technology stocks are up more than the rest of the market, sending the Nasdaq composite index up 24 points to 2,966.

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    NY insider trading witness gets 2 years’ probation

    A former financial consultant-turned-government witness was spared prison time Thursday and given only two years of probation after prosecutors credited him with helping convict a pair of Wall Street titans on insider trading charges.

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    The National Association of Realtors said Thursday, July 19, 2012, that sales of previously occupied homes fell 5.4 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.37 million homes. That’s the fewest since October.

    U.S. home sales drop 5.4 pct., fewest since October

    Americans bought fewer homes in June than May, indicating the weak economy could make a modest housing recovery choppy. The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that sales of previously occupied homes fell 5.4 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.37 million homes. That's the fewest since October.

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    Career center specialist Sun Gaddis, left, helps jobseeker Kaston Joshua, center, while Rudy Martin looks on at WorkSource Oregon Tuesday, in Tualatin, Ore. number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose by 34,000 last week, a figure that may have been skewed higher by seasonal factors.

    U.S. jobless claims rise to 386K on seasonal factors

    The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose by 34,000 last week, a figure that may have been skewed higher by seasonal factors. Applications for benefits increased to a seasonally adjusted 386,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The gain followed a drop of 24,000 the previous week and was the biggest jump since April 2011. Economists view the recent numbers with skepticism.

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    Morgan Stanley said Thursday, July 19, 2012, its revenue fell sharply in the second quarter, dragged down by weak results from its investment banking unit. Its net income missed Wall Street expectations, and its stock dropped sharply.

    Morgan Stanley closes a tough bank earnings season

    It's tough being a big bank these days. Morgan Stanley, the storied Wall Street firm, said Thursday that revenue fell sharply in the second quarter, dragged down by dismal results from its investment banking unit. Its net income missed expectations, and its stock dropped sharply. Morgan closed a bleak series of earnings reports for the country's six megabanks. The quarter was marked by choppy financial markets, growing concern about the global economy and one scandal after another.

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    Higher prices lift Union Pacific 2Q profit 28 pct

    Union Pacific said Thursday that its second-quarter net income surged 28 percent, as the nation's largest railroad collected higher prices and fuel surcharges and handled slightly more cargo.

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    Associated Press Verizon Communications Inc., parent of the country’s largest cellphone carrier, on Thursday, July 19, 2012, said its net income rose 13 percent in the second quarter as its wireless arm pulled in record profits.

    Verizon’s wireless grows, broadband hits wall

    Verizon Communications Inc., parent of the country's largest cellphone carrier, on Thursday said its net income rose 13 percent in the second quarter as its wireless arm pulled in record profits. Verizon has one foot in the wireless world and one in the traditional, wired phone-company world. In the latter, results were notably weaker. Like other phone companies, Verizon is losing landlines, but has been compensating to some extent by signing up broadband customers.

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    CEOs of AMR, US Airways discuss merger options

    DALLAS — The CEOs of American Airlines parent company and US Airways are talking to each other about potential merger scenarios.AMR Corp. CEO Thomas Horton and US Airways’ Doug Parker met Thursday over breakfast in Washington.A person familiar with the discussion says Horton spelled out the process his company will follow in weighing whether it remains independent or merges with another airline. Horton neither favored nor ruled out a deal with US Airways. AMR has been in bankruptcy protection since November.This person requested anonymity because the details of the discussion haven’t been made public. Parker has conducted a very public campaign to merge with AMR. US Airways confirmed that the meeting took place, adding in a statement that it hoped the discussion represents “the start of a meaningful, fair and transparent process.”

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    The Walgreen pharmacy chain will begin filling prescriptions from customers in the Express Scripts network again starting in September under a new multiyear contract that ends a costly impasse between the companies.

    Walgreen, Express Scripts sign new agreement

    The Walgreen pharmacy chain will begin filling prescriptions from customers in the Express Scripts network again starting in September under a new multiyear contract that ends a costly impasse between the companies. The agreement announced Thursday follows a series of disputes between Deerfield-based Walgreen and Express Scripts that ended with the discontinuation of the contract between the drugstore operator and the pharmacy benefit manager last year.

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    Ford recalls new Escape SUVs for engine compartment fire risk

    Ford Motor Co. is recalling 11,500 new Escape sport-utility vehicles in North America because of a risk of engine fires.Ford, based in Dearborn, Michigan, said today in a statement posted on its website that it is recalling model year 2013 Escapes with 1.6-liter engines because engine compartment fuel lines can split and leak fuel, causing fires under the hood.“Our intensive investigation and testing has identified the area of concern and we are moving as quickly as possible to repair vehicles for our customers,” Ray Nevi, assistant director of Ford’s automotive safety office, said in the statement. “In the meantime, it is extremely important that affected customers not ignore this recall and immediately contact their dealer.”No injuries have been reported from the defect, the company said. The recall doesn’t apply to Escapes with other engines. Most of the vehicles in the recall were produced for sale in the U.S., Ford said.The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on July 17 announced it was opening an investigation of about 730,000 older Escapes after receiving 99 complaints about unintended acceleration.

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    A model wears a creation by French fashion designer Jean-Paul Gaultier for Hermes. Hermes International SCA, the French maker of silk scarves and leather goods, reported second-quarter sales that beat estimates on surging demand in Asia and said first-half profit growth matched the improvement in revenue.

    Hermes sales beat estimates on surging luxury demand in Asia

    Hermes International SCA, the French maker of silk scarves and leather goods, reported second-quarter sales that beat estimates on surging demand in Asia and said first-half profit growth matched the improvement in revenue.Sales rose 22 percent to 814.5 million euros ($1 billion), the Paris-based company said today, exceeding the 799.3 million- euro average of three analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue increased 13 percent excluding currency shifts.Hermes, in which LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA owns a 22.3 percent stake, today repeated its goal of revenue growth of 10 percent a year, excluding currency shifts. The shares gained as much as 1.9 percent. European luxury stocks fell last week after Burberry Group Plc reported sales that missed estimates, fueling concern that the debt crisis and slowing growth in China are taking a toll on demand for high-end goods.First-half recurring operating income should be in line with the 22 percent rate that sales grew in the period, Hermes said in a statement. Its full-year operating profit margin should be between that achieved in 2010 and 2011.Hermes rose 1.8 percent to 234.35 euros at 9:43 a.m. in Paris. Before today, the shares were little changed this year.Second-quarter sales surged 27 percent in the Asia region at constant exchange rates, accelerating from the first quarter, the company said. That excluded Japan, where revenue fell 1.1 percent on the same basis.Sales climbed 6.8 percent in France and 16 percent in the rest of Europe at constant exchange rates, Hermes said. Overall in Europe, revenue advanced 12 percent, slowing from the first- quarter’s 21 percent rate.In the Americas region, sales gained 8.2 percent at constant exchange rates, the company said.Leather-goods revenue advanced 7.4 percent, and silk and textiles gained 16 percent, while ready-to-wear and fashion accessories grew 22 percent.--Editors: Paul Jarvis, Celeste PerriTo contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Roberts in Paris at aroberts36bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperribloomberg.net

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    Electrolux profit beats estimates following price increases

    Electrolux AB, the world’s second- biggest appliance maker, reported profit and sales that beat analysts’ estimates after it raised prices in North America. The company’s shares rose the most in almost three months.Second-quarter net income rose to 761 million kronor ($110 million) from 561 million kronor a year earlier, Stockholm-based Electrolux said in a statement today. Twelve analysts on average estimated a profit of 604 million kronor in a Bloomberg survey. Sales climbed 15 percent to 27.8 billion kronor, topping the average estimate of 26.6 billion kronor.“North America, where price increases came through more than expected, impressed on the margin side,” said Johan Dahl, an analyst at Erik Penser Bankaktiebolag in Stockholm who recommends that investors buy Electrolux’s shares. “Europe, where Electrolux is growing more than the overall market, impressed as well.”The maker of Frigidaire refrigerators and AEG vacuum cleaners has suffered from a decline in consumer confidence in mature markets and high raw-material costs, leading it to push for higher prices in North America and Europe over the past year and plans to close plants in the regions.Electrolux rose as much as 7.1 percent, the biggest intraday gain since April 25, and was up 4.4 percent at 151.10 kronor as of 11:04 a.m. in Stockholm. The shares have jumped 38 percent this year, beating the 5.5 percent rise of the OMX Stockholm 30 Index.Daewoo bidOperating income for Electrolux’s North American major appliance business more than tripled to 512 million kronor from 138 million kronor, and the operating margin in the region rose to 6 percent from 1.8 percent. The operating margin for Europe, Middle East and Africa rose to 2.6 percent from 2 percent.“It’s pretty good work by the team in a macro environment where some of the mature markets like Europe are struggling,” Chief Executive Officer Keith McLoughlin said in a phone interview.Shipments of dishwashers and refrigerators rose 2.2 percent in North America in June, compared with a gain of 0.9 percent a month earlier, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers said July 17.Electrolux is potentially interested in buying Daewoo Electronics Corp., which is for sale again, McLoughlin said. The South Korean appliance maker was set to be sold to Iranian company Entekhab Industrial Group before that deal collapsed last year. Electrolux made a bid for Daewoo at the time.Closing factories“Given that a major manufacturer of appliances is for sale somewhere around the world, we are paying attention,” McLoughlin said, declining to say if Electrolux has placed a new bid. “We are aware of the situation and looking at it.”Electrolux, which has about 50 factories, plans to close several in North America and Europe, McLoughlin, an American who took over at the start of 2011, reiterated today. The company, which competes with Benton Harbor, Michigan-based Whirlpool Corp., today reiterated its forecast that its raw material costs will increase by no more than 500 million kronor this year. Whirlpool, the world’s biggest appliance maker, is scheduled to report earnings on July 24.

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    Motorola developer faces prison for secrets theft

    A Chinese-born software developer is set to be sentenced for stealing trade secrets from Motorola Inc. Hanjuan Jin was found guilty in February of taking more than 1,000 confidential documents from the Motorola office where she worked before attempting to board a flight to China.

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    Sherman Hospital, which completed a 2009 expansion to Randall Road in Elgin, is considering partnering with another health system in Illinois. Its two top choices at this point are Advocate Health Care and Cadence Health.

    Sherman Health narrows field in search for a partner

    Sherman Health has been looking into partnership opportunities with area health care systems since 2011, recently narrowing a field of five potential partners to two: Advocate Health Care and Cadence Health. Sherman Health spokeswoman Tonya Lucchetti-Hudson said federal health care reform encourages consolidation and while Sherman so far has functioned successfully on its own, it is considering partnership opportunities to remain viable.

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    Japan property billionaire bets $202 million on China

    Billionaire Akira Mori, the owner of Japan’s most profitable closely held developer, said he has formed a company to invest in China and advise Japanese companies on expanding there.“Japan’s environment is getting difficult; I want to build a company that is willing to take risks,” said Mori, 76, in an interview in Tokyo. Mori said he plans to expand the assets of MA Platform Group, set up with 16 billion yen ($202 million) of capital, to 50 billion yen in five years. MA Platform has invested 18 billion yen including financing so far.Mori seeks to invest in educational services and mass media in China, he said. The company became the second-largest shareholder in closely held Beijing-based Tsingda eEdu Corp., which offers classes over the Internet.Japan’s more than a decade of deflation and sluggish economic growth has forced the Bank of Japan to keep interest rates near zero. In contrast, China surpassed Japan as the world’s second-largest economy in 2010 and has introduced a series of tightening measures to keep its economy from expanding too rapidly. Mori plans to take advantage of the near-zero interest rates in Japan to invest in one of the world’s fastest- growing economies.Mori’s company can borrow at 1 percent whereas corporations in China will need to pay at least 6.5 percent for debt, he said.“It’s easy to invest in China and other places because the financing is cheap and the yen is strong,” said Mori.Yen advantageThe Japanese yen has strengthened 35 percent against the dollar in the past five years, from 122.96 on July 18, 2007. The yen rose 0.2 percent to 78.61 per dollar today in Tokyo.Tokyo-based MA Platform, or MAP, will generate about 1 billion yen of profit this business year, he said. MK Trust, a Tokyo-based consulting firm, will work with MAP to provide advice on potential mergers and acquisitions for Japanese and Chinese companies.MAP also has placed capital in CICC Growth Capital Fund I, which invests in companies in Greater China, an area that includes Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. China International Capital Corp., the fund manager, is 43.4 percent owned by Central Huijin Investment Ltd., the investment arm of China Investment Corp.Mori said he set up the company to follow investment opportunities amid growing difficulties in the domestic market. Japan’s current-account surplus was the smallest for the month of May since at least 1985 and machinery orders fell the most in more than a decade.Office vacanciesTokyo’s office vacancy rate has been rising due to an increase of new supply. The vacancy rate in June rose for a third straight month, to 9.43 percent, a record high, according to Miki Shoji Co., a closely held office brokerage company.“Japan’s real estate market is getting difficult,” said Mori. “We can continue as it is, but it’s better to invest in China and in other sectors.”The Topix Real Estate Index was the second-worst performer among the Topix index’s 33 industry groups today, declining 0.3 percent. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 0.8 percent in Tokyo.Mori Trust, of which Mori is chief executive officer, made 16 billion yen of profit for the year ended March 31. That is almost double the profit generated by Mori Building Co., which was run by his older brother, Minoru Mori, who died on March 8, even though the Mori Trust revenue was half of Mori Building’s for the same period.Mori Trust manages 68 buildings in Japan, including the Tokyo Shiodome Building in a commercial district near Tokyo Bay, and operates about 30 hotels, the company said on its website. Mori has no plan to combine the two companies in the near term, he said.Quicker decisions

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    EBay Inc., the world’s largest Internet marketplace, gained in German trading after reporting second-quarter sales and profit that beat analysts’ estimates as more U.S. consumers shopped for new items on the site. Chief Executive Officer John Donahoe has increased spending on advertising and new technology to expand beyond EBay’s auction roots and let shoppers buy more items in instant sales.

    EBay shares rise after revenue, profit top estimates

    EBay Inc., the world's largest Internet marketplace, gained in German trading after reporting second-quarter sales and profit that beat analysts' estimates as more U.S. consumers shopped for new items on the site. Chief Executive Officer John Donahoe has increased spending on advertising and new technology to expand beyond EBay's auction roots and let shoppers buy more items in instant sales.

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    Audi AG, the world’s second-biggest maker of luxury cars, plans to complete the 860 million-euro ($1.06 billion) purchase of Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati Motor Holding SpA later today.

    Volkswagen’s Audi plans to complete Ducati acquisition

    Audi AG, the world’s second-biggest maker of luxury cars, plans to complete the 860 million-euro ($1.06 billion) purchase of Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati Motor Holding SpA later today.“We expect the announcement this afternoon from our colleagues in Bologna,” the motorcycle maker’s headquarters city, said Juergen De Graeve, a spokesman at Ingolstadt, Germany-based Audi.Ducati sold about 42,000 of its sporty, luxury motorcycles last year. Revenue at the maker of the Monster, Diavel and Superbike models amounted to 480 million euros in 2011. The company employs about 1,100 people.Audi announced plans on April 18 for Ducati’s acquisition from Investindustrial Advisors SpA and was waiting for antitrust approval. After the deal’s completion, non-executive board members from Investindustrial will leave and be replaced by Audi managers, De Graeve said, reiterating earlier comments from July 10, when he said Audi Chief Executive Officer Rupert Stadler is likely to join the Ducati board.Current Ducati managers “will stay on board and remain responsible for business operations,” De Graeve said today.Audi is owned by Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen AG, Europe’s biggest carmaker. Audi’s other Italian assets include sports-car brand Lamborghini and design and technology unit Italdesign, founded by Giorgetto Giugiaro, who sketched the first Volkswagen Golf model.

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    Oil rises for a seventh day on U.S. gas stockpiles

    Oil rose a seventh day in New York, the longest run of gains since February, after U.S. gasoline supplies unexpectedly shrank and housing starts climbed, signaling fuel demand may increase amid an economic recovery.Futures advanced as much as 0.7 percent to the highest level in seven weeks. Gasoline stockpiles decreased 1.8 million barrels last week, the Energy Department said in a report. They were forecast to climb by 1.2 million, according to a Bloomberg News survey. Crude inventories also fell and a measure of petroleum consumption rose for the third week. New U.S. home construction increased in June to the highest level in almost four years, figures from the Commerce Department showed.“Market sentiment has turned more optimistic across the board,” said Victor Shum, the managing director of IHS Consulting in Singapore. “The U.S. oil inventory report showed draws in both crude oil and gasoline inventories. That is supportive for prices.”Oil for August delivery gained as much as 61 cents to $90.48 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $90.47 at 12:53 p.m. Singapore time. The contract expires tomorrow, and the more-active September future was up 51 cents at $90.68. Front-month prices gained 65 cents to $89.87 yesterday, the highest close since May 29, and are 8.5 percent lower this year.Brent crude for September settlement was at $105.90 a barrel, up 0.7 percent, on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark contract was at a premium to West Texas Intermediate of $15.13, from $14.99 yesterday.Oil stockpilesU.S. oil demand in the last four weeks averaged almost 19 million barrels a day, up 0.4 percent, for the third consecutive year-on-year increase, the Energy Department report showed yesterday. Consumption in the last seven days rose 0.3 percent week-on-week to 18.6 million barrels a day.Crude stockpiles dropped 809,000 barrels, according to the report. They were forecast to slip 1.3 million barrels, the median estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News showed. Distillate inventories, a category that includes heating oil and diesel, increased 2.6 million barrels, compared with a projected gain of 1.3 million.Housing starts climbed 6.9 percent to a 760,000 annual pace after a revised 711,000 rate in May that was faster than initially estimated, the Commerce Department reported in Washington yesterday. The median forecast of 79 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for 745,000.Technical resistance“U.S. inventory figures are doing the right thing,” said Ric Spooner, a chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney. “Housing is an area of the U.S. economy where we have seen what looks to be quite a step-up in growth in recent months, so that’s a mild positive.”Oil in New York has technical resistance along its upper Bollinger Band, about $90.67 a barrel today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sell orders tend to be clustered near chart-resistance levels. Crude’s 30-day stochastic oscillators have risen above 70, a level that signals gains in futures are exaggerated. Today’s reading is 81.1, the highest since March 6.Crude’s decline this year has slowed a record expansion of U.S. oil drilling. The nation’s rig count rose 7.8 percent in the three months ended June 30, down from 18 percent a year earlier and the third-lowest quarterly increase since March 2009, according to Baker Hughes Inc., a Houston oil-services company. Horizontal rigs dropped last week for the first time since May, said Smith Bits, a unit of Huston-based Schlumberger Ltd., the world’s largest oilfield-services provider.

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    Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gestures during a session at the Spanish Parliament, in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, July 18, 2012. Rajoy was defending a euro 65 billion austerity package that includes tax hikes and spending cuts announced last week after winning approval from euro zone partners for a huge bailout of Spainís troubled banks.

    Spain pays high rates to raise $3.7 bln in bonds

    MADRID — Spain has managed to sell about (euro) 3 billion ($3.67 billion) in medium-term debt, though at high interest rates due to worries about the government’s ability to right its finances.The Treasury sold (euro) 2.96 billion Thursday in bonds maturing in 2014, 2017 and 2019. Its target range was (euro) 2 billion to (euro) 3 billion. Demand was roughly two times the amount on offer for each issue.But the interest rate on the five-year debt rose sharply to 6.46 percent, from 5.54 percent at the last such auction on July 5. There were no comparable rates for the other maturities.The auction comes as Parliament debates a package of tax hikes and civil servant pay cuts that have triggered daily protests. A nationwide wave of rallies is planned for Thursday evening.

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    House backs military sports sponsorships

    NASCAR and bass fishing can count on the military to keep the sponsorship money coming. The House voted Wednesday night to continue spending millions for the military to back sports to attract recruits for the all-volunteer force. On a vote of 216-202, the House rejected an amendment by Reps. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., and Betty McCollum, D-Minn., that would have trimmed $72.3 million for sports sponsorships from a $608 billion defense bill for fiscal 2013.

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    Hitachi ready to sign U.K. train contract

    Hitachi Ltd., the preferred bidder for an order to replace U.K. trains, said it’s prepared to sign a contract to provide the vehicles soon.“We’re ready to sign a contract to replace existing trains in the U.K. very soon,” President Hiroaki Nakanishi said at a Hitachi Innovation conference in Tokyo today.Hitachi, which provided the U.K. with high-speed trains for the British-side of the Channel Tunnel, is bidding to supply 600 trains as part of the Agility Trains group, which includes Henderson Group Plc’s John Laing infrastructure unit, for an Intercity Express Program to succeed aging cars. Hitachi restarted talks with the U.K. last year after the country froze discussions the previous year amid a change in government.The 7 billion-pound ($11 billion) Intercity Express Program was approved by the U.K.’s previous Labour government before being put on hold amid cost concerns. The plan includes electrification of the Great Western line from London Paddington station to the city of Bristol, allowing replacement of 30-year- old InterCity 125 diesel expresses.Hitachi shares rose 2.4 percent to 465 yen at close of trading in Tokyo today. The stock has gained 15 percent this year, compared with a 4 percent increase in the Nikkei 225 Stock Average.The maker of nuclear reactors and air-conditioners has said that it aims to build a factory to make trains in Newton Aycliffe in County Durham, U.K.

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    Software developer Hanjuan Jin will to appear before a federal judge to be sentenced for stealing trade secrets from Motorola Inc.

    Sentencing set for Motorla espionage suspect

    Software developer Hanjuan Jin will to appear before a federal judge to be sentenced for stealing trade secrets from Motorola Inc.U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo in February found Jin guilty of taking more than 1,000 confidential documents from the Motorola office where she worked before attempting to board a flight to China. She was stopped during a random security search at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Feb. 28, 2007. Prosecutors alleged that among the secrets she carried were descriptions of a walkie-talkie type feature on Motorola cellphones that prosecutors argued would benefit the Chinese military. The trial highlighted persistent fears about China pilfering vital information from U.S. companies. Jin’s lawyers say she merely grabbed the files to refresh her technical knowledge after her long absence from work.

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    The ruble gained for an eighth day against the central bank’s target euro-dollar basket, heading for its longest streak of advances since December 2010 as crude rallied on bets the global economic recovery is on track.

    Ruble headed for longest winning streak in 1 1/2 years

    The ruble gained for an eighth day against the central bank’s target euro-dollar basket, heading for its longest streak of advances since December 2010 as crude rallied on bets the global economic recovery is on track.The Russian currency added 0.4 percent to 32.1697 per dollar by 10:09 a.m. in Moscow and appreciated 0.3 percent to 39.5197 per euro. Those movements left it up 0.2 percent at 35.5158 against the basket which Bank Rossii targets to smooth currency movements that can curb the comptetiveness of Russian exporters. The ruble rallied for 10 days versus the basket in December 2010.Brent crude jumped 0.8 percent to $105.96 per barrel today, increasing for a seventh day. Oil and gas contribute about 50 percent of Russia’s state revenue. New U.S. home construction increased in June to the highest level in almost four years, figures from the Commerce Department showed yesterday. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke yesterday outlined options to ease policy further should the flagging economic recovery fails to lower unemployment.Investors pared bets on the currency weakening, with non- deliverable forwards showing the ruble at 32.6815 per dollar in three months, compared with expectations of 32.7637 per dollar Wednesday.

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    Duke Energy intrigue to receive fresh airing

    RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina utilities regulators are shedding a rare light on whether secret decisions at Duke Energy might undercut expected consumer savings from its takeover of Progress Energy.The North Carolina Utilities Commission holds a hearing Thursday featuring the Duke Energy CEO ousted within hours of becoming the top executive of the country’s largest electric company. Progress Energy Inc. CEO Bill Johnson was scheduled for a year and a half to take over the combined company serving 7 million electricity customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. But hours after the deal was done July 2 and he got the job, Johnson was out. Johnson is expected to address criticism of his leadership style and costs at a troubled Florida nuclear plant.

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    A currency trader passes by a screen showing the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at the foreign exchange dealing room of the Korea Exchange Bank headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, July 19, 2012. South Korea’s Kospi rose 1.56 percent, or 28.05 points, to close at 1,822.96.

    World stocks up on US recovery signs, earnings

    World stock markets climbed Thursday as a rise in U.S. housing starts and solid corporate earnings cheered sentiment. Investors saw hints of an economic recovery in the housing report, which provided an antidote to the recent stream of downbeat news about growth in Europe, China and the U.S. The Commerce Department said the number of new homes and apartments that builders started in June hit the highest level since October 2008.

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    Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II stands with Prince Philip, second left, in the parade ring before the Diamond Jubilee Coronation Cup race at Epsom Derby, Epsom, southern England, Saturday June 2, 2012 the first official day of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

    U.K. retail sales rise less than forecast as weather hits food

    U.K. retail sales rose less than economists forecast last month as the wettest June for a century curbed food sales and the extra public holiday for the queen's Jubilee didn't give a major boost to demand. The U.K. suffered the most rain for a June since 1910, hampering demand on high streets.

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    Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, right, is escorted into a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., Monday, July 16, 2012, for a pre-trial hearing. Manning is charged with aiding the enemy by allegedly causing hundreds of thousands of classified documents to be published on the secret-sharing website WikiLeaks. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

    Lawyers argue over harm in military WikiLeaks case

    An Army private charged in the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history wants to be able to defend himself at trial by arguing in part that the leaks didn't do much harm. Military prosecutors say the consequences of the leaks — big or small — aren't relevant. A leak is a leak, they say, and 24-year-old Bradley Manning is guilty of sending hundreds of thousands of documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

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    Food prices in Wis. nudge upward in 2nd quarter

    A survey by the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation says the average price of groceries nudged upward slightly during the period from April to June.The bureau's `marketbasket' survey totals the cost of 16 common food items. In the second quarter of 2012, the total was $50.32. That's up 1.6 percent from the previous quarter, and up 1.7 percent from the same quarter last year.

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    Wisconsin community banks changing names

    Community banks operating in cities across Wisconsin are changing their names.

Life & Entertainment

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    Comedian John Pinette comes to the new Zanies location in Rosemont on Friday and Saturday, July 20 and 21.

    Weekend picks: Comic John Pinette in concert

    Check out Comedian John Pinette ("Seinfeld," "Hairspray") playing a rare club appearance Friday and Saturday at the Zanies comedy club in Rosemont.

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    Sigourney Weaver plays Elaine Barrish in the six-part miniseries “Political Animals.” She’s a feminist icon with a frosty image, and savvier than any man in her orbit.

    Sigourney Weaver’s faux-Hillary deserves more votes

    Is "Political Animals" just too Hillary? USA's political soap opera stars the terrific Sigourney Weaver as a Secretary of State with a philandering ex (ex- husband, ex-president). The Sunday debut earned mediocre ratings despite campaign-style publicity and decent reviews. That's a shame. The six-part miniseries deserves a vote of confidence.

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    J.H. Wyman, Anna Torv, Lance Reddick, Jasika Nicole, John Noble and Joshua Jackson take a final bow at the “Fringe” screening and panel at Comic-Con earlier this week.

    ’Fringe’ cast bids tearful goodbye to Comic-Con<

    SAN DIEGO — There were no doppelgangers at the final panel for “Fringe” at Comic-Con, but there were plenty of tears.“Fringe” stars Jasika Nicole, Anna Torv and Lance Reddick cried while reminiscing about their favorite scenes at the pop-culture convention.“You can’t go out and tell anybody this happened,” joked a weepy Reddick after recalling a few heartfelt scenes with Nicole’s character, Astrid, and her double.“Fringe” actors Joshua Jackson and John Noble were also on hand for the panel, which kicked off with a trailer for the final installment that was filmed last season and served as a sales pitch to garner the ratings-challenged series a final bow.“This was a testament to how much everybody loves the show,” said executive producer J.H. Wyman.The new season will jump ahead to the year 2036 when the mysterious, pale Observers have taken over the world. After a group of female fans asked why there were no lady Observers, Wyman told the crowd that the reason would “become apparent this year.” He also said he let the actors in on how the show would wrap up, a departure from past seasons when the cast was left in the dark. “Just as much as you want the show to end well, we want the show to end well,” said Jackson.The fifth and final season of “Fringe” debuts Sept. 28.

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    Australian pop star Olivia Newton-John is set to perform at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10.

    Paramount adds Newton-John, Poi Dog to lineup

    The Paramount Theatre in Aurora is adding more shows to its 2012-13 season, including the likes of Olivia Newton-John, Poi Dog Pondering and the boys from Jersey in Under the Streetlamp.

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    In this Sept. 22, 2011 photo, singer Kelly Clarkson poses for a portrait in Los Angeles.

    Clarkson lists Texas mansion
    Singer-songwriter Kelly Clarkson could live anywhere in the United States, but since her "American Idol" win in 2002, her primary residence has been in Mansfield, Texas, just 25 minutes outside Burleson, Texas, where she grew up.

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    Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes and Will Sasso play “The Three Stooges,” now on DVD.

    ‘Stooges’ movie now out on DVD

    Peter and Bobby Farrelly pay tribute to The Three Stooges with a film that offers something both for a new generation and those of us who grew up laughing at their antics. "The Three Stooges" is now available on DVD.

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    Actor Fred Willard, who starred in such films as “Best in Show’’ and “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,’’ was arrested in a Hollywood theater on suspicion of engaging in a lewd act, police said.

    Actor Fred Willard accused of lewd act

    Actor Fred Willard, perhaps best-known as a dog-show announcer in the movie "Best in Show," has been arrested on suspicion of committing a lewd act at a Hollywood adult theater. Los Angeles police Sgt. Mark Ro says uniformed vice officers were conducting a routine investigation of the theater shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday and saw Willard engaging in a lewd act.

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    Cameron Clarke, left, Jacky Dustin, Tim Good and Wojtek Krupka come together as The August. They're playing two upcoming shows in Lake County.

    Country band returns home to play Lake County fests

    Nashville is a place that can make or break a career. That's why the suburban natives who make up the country/pop band The August decided to make Nashville their home base. "We kind of fell into playing country," says Wojtek Krupka, bassist and former resident of Lake Villa. "There's something about the story telling and the melodic style of country that we really like."

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    What is the value of these spoons I inherited?

    At age 85 and 10 months, I seek your expertise in identifying the value of these four spoons that I inherited from my mother-in-law. I received them many years ago, and she claimed they were very old then.

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    Friends Angus (Robert Jordan Bailey) and Morgan (Jonathan Kraft) listen to the rantings of actor Miles (Jacob Abbas, seated left) in Buffalo Theatre Ensemble's production of Michael Healey's comic drama “The Drawer Boy” at College of DuPage's McAninch Arts Center.

    Past, present collide in Buffalo Theatre Ensemble's 'Drawer Boy'

    Dark secrets get exposed in Buffalo Theatre Ensemble's three-actor comic drama "The Drawer Boy," now playing at College of DuPage's McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn through Sunday, July 29.

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    Nathan Dawson of the Thunder Bay Tugboat Co. in Canada hauls a line. He will be featured in an eight-part reality series called “Great Lake Warriors,” which chronicles tugboat captains and crew as they sail across the Great Lakes. George Houde of East Dundee is one of the show’s executive producers.

    East Dundee man has hand in ‘Great Lake Warriors’ show

    There's a lot of folklore and legend surrounding the Great Lakes, which are responsible for more than 30,000 mariner deaths and 6,000 shipwrecks. George Houde of East Dundee dives into part of that mystery and life on the water with "Great Lake Warriors," an eight-part History Channel reality series that chronicles the lives of captains and their crew as they navigate tugboats through those treacherous waters or, as Houde says, live "the tug life."

  •  
    Jon Hamm portrays advertising executive Don Draper in “Mad Men,” which was nominated for an Emmy award for outstanding drama series on Thursday.

    ‘Mad Men’ leads Emmy nominations

    "Mad Men," a piercingly bleak portrait of a 1960s American anti-hero, earned a leading 17 Emmy nominations Thursday and the chance to set a record as the most-honored drama in television history. "Mad Men," which has won four best drama series trophies and is tied with "Hill Street Blues," "L.A. Law" and "The West Wing," received a fifth bid in the category.

  •  
    Professor Fitz Quadwrangle has discovered a way to switch among four dimensions with unusual physics in “Quantum Conundrum.”

    'Quantum Conundrum' blinds with science

    Many industry pundits believe that by 2020, if not sooner, you'll download all your games. Right now, though, the download-only market is still somewhat of a laboratory for game designers who want to experiment with new ideas. And no lab is wackier than the one you'll visit in "Quantum Conundrum." Professor Fitz Quadwrangle has discovered a way to switch among four dimensions with unusual physics.

  •  
    A dodgeball player shows his muscles in the Chicago-made mockumentary "Red Balls," part of Palatine's third annual Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival.

    Rob Reiner misses his magic touch with ‘Belle’

    Dann reviews Morgan Freeman's new beige comedy "The Magic of Belle Island" (with Chicago's own Virginia Madsen), previews the upcoming Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival in Palatine (including a couple of Chicago-made movies and a feature hailing from Australia). He also chats with indie actor Paul Dano about his movie "Ruby Sparks" and supplies Reel Life notes for suburban filmgoers.

Discuss

  •  

    The 33rd time around

    Columnist Susan Estrich: Earlier this month, the House of Representatives, in a colossal waste of time, voted for the 33rd time to repeal President Obama's health care plan.

  •  

    On seeing and believing both sides

    Columnist William Raspberry: If you are convinced that your position is the correct one, why wouldn't you want to examine it and explain it in a way that might win a convert or two?

  •  

    The GOP’s crime against voters

    Columnist Eugene Robinson: In a previous column I wrote that voter ID was a solution in search of a problem. I was wrong: The problem seems to be that too many of the wrong kind of voters — low-income, urban, African-American, Hispanic — are showing up at the polls.

  •  

    Emanuel’s about-face on immigration

    Columnist Ruben Navarrette: If Chicago follows Cook County's lead and puts more restraints on local law enforcement, it could wind up facing punishment of its own by the Obama administration. That would be awkward, to say the least.

  •  

    GOP must attack taxes in health care act
    A Batavia letter to the editor: The GOP must start attacking the tax increases in the new health care act, the 1,200 waivers and the "pork" projects that have nothing to do with health care.

  •  

    State shouldn’t keep estate dividends
    A Sleepy Hollow letter to the editor: Having dealt with the state on a claim for stock and dividends for an estate, I would give their employees gold stars for helpfulness and follow up. I would give these employees platinum stars for candor. But there is a class of funds that are not returned to the rightful owners despite court rulings declaring as illegal the state's practice of not returning them.

  •  

    We can’t legislate integrity, work ethic
    A Villa Park letter to the editor: I have always tried to be receptive and respectful concerning the concept of an America for all, but this election upcoming in November is surely to be one of a different view of "hope and change."

  •  

    Who’s really the loser here?
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: Two events took place that prompt me to write this letter: My car, which is liberally decorated with liberal leaning bumper stickers, apparently offended a conservative so much that he or she felt compelled to put a sticky note on my side view mirror. It read, "Don't continue to be a loser! Vote Republican!"

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