Daily Archive : Friday July 20, 2012


    Steve Ostergaard

    Suburban man carried injured teen from theater

    Cary native and Lake Bluff resident Steve Ostergaard was watching the midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" at the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., when about a half-hour into the movie, smoke and gunfire erupted on the screen.“At first we thought it was special effects. We saw the floor smoking ... then something flew past my neck,” he said.

    Wheaton native Marian Cardwell completed her swim of the English Channel Friday after having trained for nine months.

    Wheaton native swims English Channel

    Wheaton native Marian Cardwill arrived on the shores of France Friday afternoon, having accomplished her goal of swimming the English Channel. The 22-year-old swimmer spent more than 12 hours in the cold water to raise money for the Chicago Diabetes Project in honor of her uncle, Wally Filkin of Wheaton, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 15.

    Law enforcement officials talk near the apartment of the alleged gunman Saturday, July 21, in Aurora , Colo. Authorities reported that 12 died and more than three dozen people were shot during an assault at a movie theatre midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" early Friday

    Bomb squads prepare to enter Colo. suspect's apartment

    Authorities on Saturday began the intricate process of disarming booby traps in the apartment of the suspect behind the Colorado movie theater rampage, hoping to find clues inside to the motive for the shootings without causing an explosion that could destroy key evidence.

    People gather outside the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., at the scene of a mass shooting early Friday morning, July 20.

    Crystal Lake native confirmed dead in theater shooting

    A former Crystal Lake man has been confirmed dead, according to the family, in the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shootings early Friday morning. John Thomas Larimer was in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Colorado, and went to see the midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" with others, a family member said.

    Antonio Finley

    Video shows beating, robbery at Lisle convenience store

    Security footage captured the strong-arm robbery of a Lisle 7-Eleven clerk who was repeatedly punched as four men looted the shelves of booze and cigarettes. Authorities said four suspects admitted involvement, including one who pointed himself out on the video as a judge watched it in court Friday.

    Bob Metzen, of Prospect Heights, and his crew aboard Tide the Knot, during last year's race.

    Suburban skippers hope for a safe, calm Race to Mackinac

    As more than 350 boats launch from near Navy Pier Saturday morning in the 104th Race to Mackinac, they'll be sailing under stricter rules and more training than ever before. Last year, the race suffered its first fatalities and organizers have spent 12 months looking at how to make it safer. "Sailing is a very dynamic thing. We've made some changes that will provide less chance of something going...

    Associated Press Christopher Nolan on the set of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

    How Hollywood reacted to theater tragedy

    The movie industry grappled Friday with the deadly Colorado shooting at a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises," as one of the most anticipated films in years became enmeshed with a massacre. The film's director, Christopher Nolan, speaking for the cast and crew, expressed their "profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy," lamenting the violence brought into the cinema, where moviegoers...

    Si Budagher, the pastor of First Baptist Church of Rio Rancho, N.M. speaks Friday with a 9-year-old Juarez, Mexico-born boy suffering from massive tumor who U.S. Homeland Security identified only as “Jose.”

    U.S. agents take ailing boy from tough Mexican city

    A 9-year-old boy with a massive tumor was whisked from a dangerous gang-infested neighborhood in Ciudad Juarez in an armored vehicle by U.S. agents and taken across the border for treatment in New Mexico, his family said.

    Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture veterinarians Dr. Nan Hanshaw, left, and Dr. Danielle Ward offload some of the nearly 200 Chihuahuas Friday seized from a home in northeastern Pennsylvania.

    Hoarding cited in seizure of 185 Chihuahuas

    The scene was shocking — 185 Chihuahuas were being kept at a home in northeastern Pennsylvania. The corpses of 30 more were packed in a freezer.Acting on multiple tips, state dog wardens and state troopers executed a search warrant Thursday night, removed the animals and transported them to temporary quarters.

    Dan and Misty Morrissey wave off the media as they walk out of the command center Thursday in Evansdale, Iowa.

    Iowa missing girls case now considered abduction

    Investigators reclassified the disappearance of two missing Iowa cousins as an abduction case Friday after an FBI dive team failed to find their bodies in a lake near where they were last seen a week ago.

    Iraqi soldiers stand guard in Qaim, near the Syrian border, located in the Euphrates river valley 200 miles west of Baghdad.

    Iraqis flee Syria in droves by land and air

    Thousands of Iraqi nationals have fled by land and air from Syria over the last two days to escape an escalating civil war, officials said Friday, as troops were rushed to seal the border across from a post seized by rebels. The country's prime minister called for the U.N. to help protect the refugees and get them home.

    Patrons walk out of the AMC 30 theaters in South Barrington after having attended an opening day showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Theaters across the suburbs spent Friday addressing security concerns raised by the mass shooting at a Denver-area showing of the new Batman film.

    Suburban theaters increase security in wake of Colorado shooting

    Suburban movie theaters scrambled Friday to address security concerns raised by the mass shooting that killed 12 people during a midnight screening of the latest "Batman" film in Aurora, Colo. Two theater companies moved quickly to ban patrons from wearing costumes or masks that might hide their identity, a response to reports the Colorado shooter wore a gas mask during the attack.


    Theater victim wrote about surviving earlier incident

    AURORA, Colo. — A sports blogger who recently wrote of surviving a Toronto shooting was among those killed in the deadly rampage in suburban Denver, the woman’s brother said Friday.Jessica Ghawi, who was also known as Jessica Redfield, was fatally shot when a gunman barged into a crowded theater and began firing at spectators during the midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

    D'Andre Howard

    Howard’s new defense attorneys get extra time to review evidence, reports

    New defense attorneys appointed in January to represent D'Andre Howard, charged in the 2009 deaths of three members of the Engelhardt family in their Hoffman Estates home, say they have received 69 boxes of reports and evidence from Howard's previous attorneys. Cook County Assistant Public Defender Deana Binstock requested additional time from the court to read the information before filing any...


    Children’s program at Great Lakes

    Great Lakes Naval Station's museum hosts a lookout duty and ship identification program for children at 1 p.m. Saturday.


    St. Bede open house

    St. Bede Catholic School in Ingleside hosts an open house on Wednesday, July 25 from 5 to 7 p.m., at 36399 Wilson Road in Ingleside.


    Top Chef visits Ela Library

    Top chef's Amanda Rockman comes to Ela Public Library in Lake Zurich to demonstrate and share her favorite desserts.


    Cook County lauded for budget document

    Cook County's Department of Budget and Management Services has been recognized for meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada has given Cook County its annual Distinguished Budget Presentation Award,


    Funeral services for Helen Casey, 100, Saturday in Libertyville

    Helen Morse Casey was known to be so full of vigor, that at the age of 90, she could be seen driving a tractor on a steep slope on her Libertyville-area property. Casey, one of the most prominent land owners in Libertyville Township, died July 8, in Bartow, Fla. She was 100.


    Aurora mentoring group to host first fundraiser

    Triple Threat Mentoring in Aurora has existed as a nonprofit since 2007 without ever holding a fundraiser. That will change Monday as the organization seeks funds to provide more after-school activities and positive role models for children. "When I started it, I didn't come out of the gates with some big massive idea of how I could help all these people at once," Luper said. "I just figured if I...


    Naperville Park District wants to hear from golfers

    With golf course revenues continuing to be a concern, Naperville Park District wants to hear from those who know its two facilities best about what will keep them coming back. The district is conducting three focus groups on Aug. 6 and 8 to hear what golfers have to say about Springbrook and Naperbrook golf courses.


    St. Charles tax money down for mental health agencies

    About $588,000 of St. Charles taxpayer money will go to fund 22 mental health agencies this fiscal year.

    Christian Phillips, 14, of Mundelein and a member of Boy Scout Post 198 hands out a prize to a raffle winner during his volunteer project to put on a musical revue at the Winchester House nursing home in Libertyville. It was his final step to become an Eagle Scout.

    Mundelein Boy Scout stages show at Winchester House as Eagle project

    Patients at the Winchester House nursing home in Libertyville were treated to a musical revue Friday afternoon, courtesy of a Mundelein teen aiming to become an Eagle Scout. With help from friends and other Boy Scouts in Troop 198, 14-year-old Christian Phillips organized and then hosted the show at the Lake County-owned facility.


    Arlington Heights woman, Brookfield man sentenced for teacher’s murder

    A Brookfield man and an Arlington Heights woman pleaded guilty to the 2010 murder of Brookfield librarian Marilyn Fay today in a Maywood courtroom. The judge sentenced both Steven Kellmann, 32, and Bonnie Shelesny, 25, to 35 years in prison in exchange for their guilty pleas.


    Cause of Round Lake Beach infant death unknown, under investigation

    Authorities said there are no signs of foul play surrounding the death of a 5-month-old child in Round Lake Beach. Lake County Coroner Artis Yancey said an autopsy performed on the unidentified infant Thursday showed no signs of violence, trauma or disease.


    Two Carol Stream men face burglary charges

    Two Carol Stream men who admitted to stealing $10,000 worth of merchandise from a nutritional supplement store in Glendale Heights now are charged with two counts each of burglary, authorities said. Samier A. Mahdi, 23, and Duy T. Nguyen, 23, were discovered at the store in the 2100 block of Bloomingdale Road about 4 a.m. Thursday, police said.


    Drug charges dismissed against Streamwood woman

    A Cook County judge dismissed drug charges against a Streamwood nurse who authorities say kept nearly 700 hydrocodone pills prescribed for residents of a Bartlett retirement community for herself. Delores Gigiello, 59, successfully completed the Cook County State's Attorney's Office deferred prosecution program which prompted the dismissal of the charges.


    Kane County group has two weeks to get 6,000 signatures

    A dedicated group rushing to gather enough signatures to get an advisory public question on the Kane County ballot by Aug. 6 is hopeful but aware success may be a long shot. The group is asking Kane County residents to put a question on the ballot asking voters if they think the U.S. Constitution should be amended to limit the use of corporate, special interest and private money from any...

    The Batavia High School Class of 1954 has donated “The Arts Together” to the Batavia Fine Arts Center at the school.

    Sculpture gift from alumni to grace Batavia High’s arts center

    The Batavia High School Class of 1954 is giving its alma mater's newest addition, the Batavia Fine Arts Center, a present _ a sculpture by Guy Bellaver.

    Nicole K. Wiesner

    Geneva woman charged with DUI in May crash

    Nicole Wiesner of Geneva has been charged with felony driving under the influence of an intoxicating compound, for a May 7 one-car crash that injured her and a passenger, according to police and court records.

    Photo gallery curator Anna Wolska presents a photo Friday of Marylin Monroe by the late celebrity photographer Milton H. Greene, in Warsaw, Poland.

    Poland to auction Marilyn Monroe photos

    Poland plans to auction off part of a photographic collection that includes hundreds of photographs of Marilyn Monroe.


    Streamwood board approves bond refinancing, expects to save $410,000

    Streamwood trustees this week approved a plan to borrow up to $8.8 million to refinance a 2005 bond issue, a move officials say will save the village an estimated $410,000 through lower interest payments.

    Mundelein officials will debate whether residents should be allowed to raise chickens in their backyards.

    Chicken coops, beehives being considered in Mundelein

    Mundelein residents would be able to keep chickens and bees at their homes under a proposal being considered by the village board Monday. The regulations have been included in a revised, comprehensive zoning ordinance that village staffers have been developing for years, Planning and Development Director Victor Barrera said.

    Fenton alumnus Richard Oruche, shown during one of his games at the high school, will represent Nigeria in the Summer Olympics in London. He is a dual citizen of Nigeria, his parents’ homeland, and the United States where he grew up in Bensenville.

    Fenton alum to play for Nigeria in Olympics

    A Fenton High School basketball alumnus will represent Nigeria this month at the summer Olympics in London, and his former coach from said he could not be more proud of Richard Oruche. "I was just ecstatic," former Fenton varsity coach Dennis Cromer said. Oruche is a dual citizen of Nigeria, his parents' homeland, and the United States, where he grew up in Bensenville and attended Fenton from...

    Gilbert R. Boucher II/gboucher@dailyherald.com, 2011 A demolition derby is on tap again this year at the Lake County Fair in Grayslake.

    84th Lake County Fair to feature traditional events, new attractions

    Some people come to the Lake County Fair each year to check out the livestock barns, get excited at the demolition derby or to dine on corn dogs. This year, what about checking out some flowers, watching monster trucks or eating pig wings? The 84th Lake County Fair opens Wednesday.

    Nicki Skogfeldt, left, and Laurel Bault are heading up the local It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard campaign leading up to the November elections. They are targeting women ages 18 to 30 with help from an American Association of University Women grant and are looking for volunteers across Kane, DuPage and suburban Cook counties to help with outreach.

    Get out vote effort focuses on young women, restore democracy

    Laurel Bault's father became a U.S. Citizen when she was 10 years old and she grew up with a very clear understanding of the importance of voting. Unlike some of her friend's parents, Bault's father - a Canadian immigrant - treated voting as a right and a duty, instilling in her a fascination with civic engagement. Her latest project is coordinating an AAUW-sponsored get out the vote campaign...


    Naperville golfers wanted for focus groups

    Naperville Park District seeks golfers to give input on its two golf courses during focus group sessions in early August.


    Aurora one of two cities chosen for BBC immigration documentary

    Aurora will become one of only two cities in the U.S. to be featured in a BBC documentary about immigration after correspondents descend upon the city this weekend to conduct interviews. "BBC picked Aurora because of the growth in the Latino population," said Jerry Campagna, interim executive director of the Aurora Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The documentary is meant to explain "how the immense...

    Naheed Umar of Hoffman Estates and her children, Zahid, 11, and Nameera, 10, shop for foods they will eat when they break their fast.

    Muslims prepare for long, hot days of Ramadan fasting

    As Muslims begin their month-long Ramadan fasts on Friday, nutritionists and others warn that the brutally hot and dry days will take a physical toll unless people commit to healthy eating during the dark hours. "When you do eat, your food has to be fuel and you have to get all of your nutrients whenever you can," said Mubarakah Ibrahim, a personal trainer and founder of FitMuslimah.com

    The Glen Ellyn Park District has sued three additional firms involved in the construction of the Ackerman Sports and Fitness Center, where work to fix the facility's leaking roof continued this week.

    Lawsuits piling up over Ackerman Fitness Center

    The Glen Ellyn Park District is suing three more firms hired as part of the construction of the Ackerman Sports and Fitness Center, which has experienced roof leaks since opening in 2010. The construction firm hired to build the $11.2 million, 88,000-square-foot facility, filed suit against the park district last year. The district counter-sued and has now added three more to that suit.

    Jessica Nicholson, 13, of Streamwood, uses potholders as she shakes up a fresh batch of ice cream in the “Kids vs. Wild” class offered by Elgin Community College’s Kids’ College program last week. The ice cream ingredients were placed in a plastic bag, then transferred to another bag containing ice and salt, which they shook until the ice cream had solidified.

    Kids’ College gives students a chance to expand their horizons

    In a fast-paced writing class at Elgin Community College, Jolie Guime of Elgin writes a riveting tale of a young girl faced with hard choices after she experienced tragic losses. Jolie's story is complex in both thought and style as she uses flashbacks and other techniques she learned from the course. Not bad for a 12-year-old. No, Jolie didn't skip middle school to get to ECC. She wrote and...

    Des Plaines resident Manoj Sunny, 16, gazes at his Nintendo DS during the Pokémon National Championships in Indianapolis earlier this month. Sunny, who finished in fourth place, will travel to Hawaii for the world championships next month.

    Video game skills earn Des Plaines teen shot at world title

    A Des Plaines teen is one of 36 Americans to represent the nation at the 2012 World Pokemon Championships in Hawaii this August. Manoj Sunny, 16, earned the trip by placing fourth in his division at the national tournament for the popular handheld video game. “If you don’t predict what your opponent will do, you will lose,” he said.

    Suspected shooter James Holmes

    Official: Suspect's family's 'hearts go out' to victims

    A former medical student in a gas mask barged into a crowded Denver-area theater during a midnight showing of the Batman movie on Friday, hurled a gas canister and then opened fire, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others in one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history. The California family of the suspect says their hearts go out to those involved.


    Bridge work big part of proposed Kane transportation budget

    The new list of Kane County transportation projects for 2013 shows a whole lot of bridge work is on its way.

    K-Hits 104.3 radio hosts “Eddie and Jobo,” aka Ed Volkman and Joe Bohannan, broadcast from the Dunton House in Arlington Heights on Friday morning.

    “Eddie and Jobo” visit Arlington Heights restaurant

    Radio hosts "Eddie and Jobo" appeared at the Dunton House restaurant in downtown Arlington Heights Friday to broadcast their morning radio show on WJMK, 104.3 K-Hits. The duo, whose full names are Ed Volkman and Joe Bohannan, are going on the road this year so fans can see them in person.

    Swimmers are not allowed to hit the water at Breezewald Beach in Lake Zurich without a lifeguard on duty.

    Drowning deaths rise with the temperature

    Along with soaring temperatures and rising humidity, the ongoing heat wave has contributed to a spike in drowning deaths in some suburban areas, authorities say. In Lake County, the coroner reports that accidental drownings have nearly doubled since last year, averaging about one a week this summer. Other counties also have had drownings this summer. And it's only mid-July.


    Mt. Prospect library happy with response to new website

    A month after launching a redesigned website, Mount Prospect Public Library leaders say they're happy with the overall response from the public. "A few people have told us they like the old one better, but overall, the reaction has been very positive," said Cathy Deane, deputy director for public service.


    Reaction to deadly Colorado theater shooting

    Reaction to the shooting at a crowded Denver-area movie theater, where 12 people were killed and dozens more injured Friday in one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history:


    Security increased at movies following shootings

    Some theaters and police around the U.S. stepped up security at daytime showings of the new Batman movie Friday after the massacre in Colorado, and while many fans were undeterred by the tragedy, others were nervous about going to see the film.

    Bob Schwartz, author of “Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog,” speaks Sunday, July 22, at Naper Settlement.

    Hot dog! Author to highlight one of Chicago’s favorite foods at Naper Settlement

    Bob Schwartz talks to people about hot dogs. The senior vice president of Vienna Beef and the author of "Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog," Schwartz is more than professionally involved — he is a genuine Chicago dog fan who will speak about his passion Sunday in Naperville. "The Chicago hot dog stand is such an important part of not only our culture, but our community," Schwartz said. "It's...

    Veterinarian Dr. Bob Esbensen stops to look at an X-ray of a kitten at the Arlington Cat Clinic.

    Moving Picture: Palatine pet doc turns photographer

    Bob Esbensen of Palatine always knew he wanted to care for animals, and with that purpose, he became a veterinarian. But later in life, that interest in animals led him down another path — to develop his photography skills and become a wildlife photographer. "I just enjoy being outside and getting into nature, especially with the animals and the wildlife," Esbensen said.

    This undated film image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Tom Hardy as Bane in a scene from the action thriller “The Dark Knight Rises.” A gunman in a gas mask barged into a crowded Denver-area theater during a midnight premiere of the Batman movie on Friday, July 20, 2012, hurled a gas canister and then opened fire, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 others in one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent U.S. history.

    Is there a link between the film and the shooting?

    With the deadly shooting in Aurora, Colo., inside a packed movie theater showing “The Dark Knight Rises,” questions are being raised as to whether there is any connection between the killings and the movie’s plot and the character of Batman.

    President Barack Obama walks down the steps after speaking about the Aurora, Colo., shooting at an event at the Harborside Event Center in Ft. Myers, Fla., Friday, July 20, 2012. Obama, who was scheduled to spend the day campaigning in Florida, canceled his campaign events to return to Washington to monitor the shooting aftermath.

    Obama calls for reflection after ‘senseless’ Colorado massacre

    President Barack Obama suspended campaigning and said the nation should take a day for reflection in the wake of the "senseless" mass shooting in Colorado. "We may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this," Obama said in Fort Myers, Florida. "Such violence, such evil is senseless. It's beyond reason."

    Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan

    Lawyers for George Ryan before appeals court

    Attorneys for imprisoned former Illinois Gov. George Ryan are going before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to contest his conviction on several corruption charges.Ryan’s lawyers will begin their arguments Friday.

    A group of friends are overcome with emotion as they gather outside Gateway High School, Friday July 20, 2012, in Aurora, Colo. They recieved news that their friend was killed during a shooting early Friday inside the Aurora movie theater.

    Images: Colorado movie theater shooting
    Twelve people have been killed and 38 hurt in a shooting in Aurora, Colorado during a showing of the new Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises."

    A statue of former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno stands outside Beaver Stadium on the Penn State campus, Thursday, July 19, 2012, in State College, Pa. After an eight-month inquiry, former FBI director Louis Freeh’s firm produced a 267-page report that concluded that Paterno and other top Penn State officials hushed up child sex abuse allegations against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky for more than a decade for fear of bad publicity, allowing Sandusky to prey on other youngsters. The revelations contained in the report have stirred a debate over whether the statue should remain.

    Paterno statue sculptor wants decision to wait

    Joe Paterno still greets visitors to Beaver Stadium. Forever looking spry, and pointing toward the sky with his jacket flown open and tie whipped around as if it was hit by the wind of another brisk Penn State football Saturday, Paterno is still there.Amid a cascade of controversy, of course.

    In this photo taken during a government-organized tour, a Syrian man walks on a damaged street after the Syrian troops regained control of the district of Midan, in the southern part of Damascus, Syria, Friday, July 20, 2012. Syrian troops and tanks on Friday drove rebels from a Damascus neighborhood where some of the heaviest of this week’s fighting in the capital left cars gutted and fighters’ bodies in the streets. Hundreds of people were killed in a single day, activists said, as the military struggles to regain momentum after a stunning bombing against the regime’s leadership.

    Syrian troops seize Damascus neighborhood

    DAMASCUS, Syria — Syrian troops and tanks on Friday drove rebels from a Damascus neighborhood where some of the heaviest of this week’s fighting in the capital left cars gutted and fighters’ bodies in the streets. More than 300 people were killed in a single day, activists said, as the military struggles to regain momentum after a stunning bombing against the regime’s leadership.

    Relatives and friends fill the grave of Kochava Shriki, 44, who was killed in a suicide bombing in Bulgaria Wednesday, in Rishon Lezion, Israel, Friday July 20, 2012. Israeli and American officials have blamed the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah for the bombing which killed five vacationing Israelis in a blast in the popular Black Sea resort town of Burgas, along with a Bulgarian bus driver and the bomber.

    Burials held for slain Israelis of Bulgaria attack

    JERUSALEM — The five Israeli victims of a bombing in Bulgaria were laid to rest in a series of funerals Friday, two days after the bloody attack on a tourist bus at a popular vacation spot set off a new round of charges aimed at Iran.

    A seven-member jury of military personnel is set to hear closing arguments in a case considered the cornerstone of a massive sex scandal at an Air Force base in Texas. U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Luis A. Walker is among 12 instructors at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio who are being investigated, and faces the most serious charges — seven counts, including rape and aggravated sexual assault. If convicted, Walker could get life in prison.

    Air Force base sex abuse trial heads to closings

    SAN ANTONIO — Closing arguments were planned Friday in the trial of a Texas Air Force base instructor facing the most serious charges in a broad military sex abuse scandal.

    Part of a 110-foot commercial dredge, the Arthur J, can still be seen above the waters of Lake Huron after it sunk about 2 miles off Lakeport, Michigan, spilling an unknown amount of diesel fuel, early Thursday morning, July 19, 2012. The barge was carrying about 1,500 gallons of diesel fuel but it is uncertain how much escaped. St. Clair County Hazardous Material Team crews are working to contain the fuel with booms.

    Crews secure fuel on sunken barge in Lake Huron

    LAKEPORT, Mich. — Crews have plugged all fuel valves and vents on a barge that sank in stormy Lake Huron, preventing more fuel from spilling, and people nearby are being warned to stay indoors as much as possible to avoid fumes, the Coast Guard said Friday.


    Navy SEAL shot in Afghanistan loses chance to bid on VA work

    Mark Lilly retired from the Navy SEALs with a Purple Heart, a Silver Star and five Bronze Stars after 23 years of service that included combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Penn State University board of trustee member Steve Garban has resigned, the first board member to do so in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

    Former chairman of Penn State trustees board quits

    A member and former chairman of the Penn State board of trustees has resigned, saying his presence on the board had become “a distraction and an impediment” to the university’s efforts to move forward following the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.Steve Garban’s resignation Thursday night made him the first board member to leave since the crisis engulfed Penn State.


    Russia opposes ending UN observer mission in Syria

    Russia says it will veto a British resolution that would extend the 300-strong U.N. observer force in Syria for a final 30 days.Russia supports a rival Pakistani resolution that would extend the mission for 45 days, with the possibility of further renewals.


    Tech in hepatitis C case says he ‘fabricated’ life

    CONCORD, N.H. — A traveling hospital technician accused of infecting 30 people with hepatitis C with tainted needles in New Hampshire told investigators he “lied to a lot of people” and “fabricated” his life, but denied taking or selling drugs.


    5 teens charged in Philly with raping girl, 12

    PHILADELPHIA — Police in Philadelphia say they have arrested five teenagers accused of raping a 12-year-old girl at a busy recreation center.Authorities wouldn’t identify the suspects because they are juveniles, all 14 or 15 years old. Police said Thursday that the teens have been charged with rape, simple assault and other offenses.


    UN fears for safety of Iraqi refugees in Syria

    GENEVA — Tens of thousands of Iraqi refugees in Syria are feared to be increasing targets of violence in Syria after the discovery of an Iraqi refugee family of seven shot dead in their Damascus apartment, the U.N. refugee agency said Friday.


    Some of the deadliest mass shootings around world

    Some of world’s worst mass shootings:—— July 20, 2012: At least 12 people are killed when a gunman enters an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, releases a canister of gas and then opens fire during opening night of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.”


    Blagojevich prosecutor leaves for private practice

    Another leading government attorney who helped prosecute former Gov. Rod Blagojevich is leaving the U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago to become a private defense attorney.In 12 years as a prosecutor, Chris Niewoehner played key roles in convicting onetime political insiders for corruption, including Tony Rezko and William Cellini.


    Husband-and-wife team charged in Chicago robbery spree

    A Chicago couple is accused of going on a three-month armed robbery spree that targeted women who walked alone.Charles Edwards on Thursday was ordered held without bond after being charged with armed and aggravated robbery. His wife, 38-year-old Karena Edwards, was ordered held in lieu of $1 million after also being charged with armed and aggravated robbery.


    Ind. sweet corn could be scarce later in year

    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Hot weather is creating plenty of Indiana sweet corn from irrigated farms, but a Purdue University expert says the drought might shrink the supply over the long term.Purdue Extension horticulture specialist Liz Maynard says high temperatures cause sweet corn to mature faster. Plantings that would normally take about another week to mature are ready now.


    Coast Guard launching paddlesports safety effort

    The U.S. Coast Guard is launching its third annual Great Lakes safe boating awareness effort focused on paddlesports.The Coast Guard Ninth District’s “Paddles Up Great Lakes” educational outreach campaign begins Saturday and runs through July 28.


    Amboy man charged in killing, home invasion

    Authorities in northern Illinois have made an arrest in the homicide of a 79-year-old Amboy man.Officials in Lee County say Delmar Leroy Daniels was found dead in his home Wednesday after a concerned relative went to check on him. Daniels’ wife was treated for minor injuries at Mendota Community Hospital.

    Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band headline the annual Rockin' for the Troops concert to benefit Operation Support Our Troops, one of many performances the band gives to support the military.

    Rockin' for the Troops concert supports programs for military, families

    At more than 13,000 feet above southern Florida, Mary Kubik prepared to jump. The New Jersey woman joined other families of fallen troops in a tandem sky-dive — putting action to things like letting go, trust and courage. The sky-dive is the culmination of a two-day Leap of Faith seminar, a grief program offered by Operation Support Our Troops-America and funded in part with proceeds from...


    New monument honors 10-time Indiana Olympic gold medalist

    LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A central Indiana city now has a monument to a 10-time Olympic gold medalist who grew up there and was one of the world’s top athletes a century ago.The granite monument emblazoned with an image of Ray Ewry and a list of his accomplishments was unveiled during a ceremony Thursday at Lafayette’s Jefferson High School.


    Indiana storms force end to marching band contest

    MUNCIE, Ind. — Organizers called off a high school marching band contest at a central Indiana county fair as a thunderstorm moved across the area.The storm that hit the Delaware County fairgrounds in Muncie Thursday evening was among several that raked the state, leaving thousands of homes and businesses without power for a time.


    Indiana woman badly hurt in crash after police chase

    INDIANAPOLIS — Police in Indianapolis say a 22-year-old woman fleeing from officers was critically injured when she crashed her car into a utility pole several blocks after officers had broken off the chase.


    Vote on Terre Haute dance regulations put on hold

    TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Terre Haute officials have delayed a vote on proposed new regulations for some dance events that promoters argued are misdirected and unnecessary.


    Special prosecutor named in Wisconsin triple homicide case

    RIVER FALLS, Wis. — A special prosecutor will lead the case against a father charged with killing his three young daughters in River Falls. Assistant Attorney General Gary Freyberg will prosecute Aaron Schaffhausen. The St. Croix district attorney asked for help because of the complexity of the case.


    Jury rejects self-defense in Wisconsin Walmart shooting

    SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — A man convicted in a fatal shooting outside a Walmart store in Sheboygan could be sentenced to a maximum 78 years in prison. A jury in Sheboygan County rejected Kou Yang’s argument that he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Pheng Lee and severely wounded Chenglung Moua last January.


    Wisconsin vehicle titles will go to lien holders

    MADISON, Wis. — A change in vehicle titles is effective at the end of July in Wisconsin.


    Dawn Patrol: Dispatcher trouble, shooting arrest

    Northwest Central Dispatch union votes 'no confidence.' Many in western suburbs still without power. Homeless man charged with shooting Des Plaines teen. 14 shot in Colorado. Cops stop suspect from swallowing heroin bag. Detroit gaining ground on White Sox.


    Hawthorn Woods police replace ‘outdated’ equipment

    Sometimes the best backup a police officer can have is a video camera, something most Hawthorn Woods cops haven't had in years. In order to keep up with neighboring police departments that are fully-equipped with the video technology, Hawthorn Woods village officials this week approved the purchase of nearly $40,000 worth of video equipment for squad cars and the police station.

    On July 6, the third straight day of over 100 degrees, this little red squirrel came down from a Sycamore tree in the back yard to cool off on a shaded patch of slightly dampened concrete under a just watered planter on our patio. We thought this nicely summed up how we were all feeling at the time. After about 5 minutes, he got up, took a little yawn and a scratch, and scampered off apparently refreshed.

    Images: Photo Contest Finalists
    Each week you submit your favorite photo. We pick the best of the bunch and select 12 finlaists. Here are the finalists for the week of July 16th.


    White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy reacts after hitting Detroit Tigers’ Quintin Berry during Friday’s third inning in Detroit.

    Sox’ Peavy outdueled by Verlander

    Justin Verlander shut down the White Sox after the third inning, and the Detroit Tigers backed their ace with timely hitting in a 4-2 victory over Chicago on Friday night in the opener of a big three-game series.


    Cougars suffer road sweep

    Resuming Thursday night's suspended game turned into an 8-5 loss for the Kane County Cougars before they dropped a 4-1 contest as well to the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Friday night at Bowling Green Ballpark.


    Hawks’ Hossa feeling better after time at home

    A very tanned and healthy- looking Marian Hossa showed up at the Blackhawks convention Friday. It was a stark contrast to the last time Hawks fans saw Hossa, leaving the United Center ice strapped tightly to a stretcher April 17 after he was crushed by Raffi Torres in Game 3 against Phoenix.


    Boomers fall 8-6 on road

    The Schaumburg Boomers took an early 2-0 lead, but the Gateway Grizzlies scored 8 straight runs against starter Cameron Roth and held off the Boomers 8-6 on Friday night.

    The Cubs’ Luis Valbuena walks back to the dugout Friday after striking out to end the game.

    Cubs come up short in St. Louis

    Kyle Lohse worked seven strong innings and the St. Louis Cardinals' slumbering offense ended Ryan Dempster's 33-inning scoreless streak with a three-run first in a 4-1 victory over the Cubs on Friday night. Matt Holliday added a home run estimated at 469 feet, the longest at 7-year-old Busch Stadium, in the third inning.

    Earlier this year, pictures of Blackhawks star Patrick Kane apparently drinking with college students in Madison, Wis., made quite the splash.

    Blackhawks’ Kane calls pictures ‘embarrassing’

    Despite another misstep earlier this summer, Patrick Kane does not believe he has a drinking problem. Kane was asked directly Friday at the opening of the Blackhawks convention at the Hilton Chicago, and he took the question head on. "I don't think I do," Kane said.

    Evan Jager celebrated after winning the men's 3000 meter steeplechase on June 28 at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. Now the Olympics-bound Jager has another reason to celebrate: he set a U.S. record Friday at a meet in Monaco.

    Algonquin’s Jager sets U.S. mark in steeplechase

    In his first international steeplechase race ever, Olympics-bound Evan Jager of Algonquin set an American record.Jager, a Jacobs High School grad who now trains in Portland, Ore., competed in the Herculis meet in Monaco Friday night in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and finished third with a time of 8:06.81, breaking the U.S. record by 2.01 seconds. The time was exactly 11 seconds faster than he ran earlier this month to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. "I thought it (the U.S. record) might have been a possibility, judging on how workouts have been going and how I felt at USA's," Jager said in a video interview shortly after the race. "

    Scott Bailey, Chicago Rush director of Player Personnel / Special Teams coach & coordinator, keeps boards in his office with names of potential football players. He has to find several each week to fill out the team's roster.

    For Rush personnel director, its more than name game

    Chicago Rush player personnel director Scott Bailey's office walls are covered in names. From Arena League players to undrafted college players to NFL cast-offs, Bailey scouts them all. In the AFL, where players sign just one-year contracts and roster turnover is second nature, he needs to be ready to fill a spot at any moment. Chad Thornburg has more on the inner workings of the Rush and the AFL in this report.

    From left, Philadelphia Union's Chris Albright tries to head in the ball past Aston Villa's Nathan Baker and Andreas Weimann in a friendly soccer match Wednesday. Aston Villa, which won that match 1-0, plays the Fire at Toyota Park Saturday night.

    Chicago Fire scouting report vs. Aston Villa

    Orrin Schwarz previews the international friendly with the Chicago Fire hosting Aston Villa at Toyota Park on Saturday night.

    NASCAR driver Justin Allgaier, who won inaugural STP 300 Nationwide series race at the Chicagoland Speedway last summer, will try to defend his crown this weekend at the Joliet track.

    For Chicagoland repeat, Allgaier has work to do

    Justin Allgaier has some ground to make up to catch the four-driver breakaway atop the NASCAR Nationwide Series. And for Allgaier, there's no better place than his home track at Chicagoland Speedway.

    Tiger Woods plays a shot off the 11th tee at Royal Lytham & St Annes golf club Friday during the second round of the British Open.

    Steady Snedeker surges to lead at British Open

    Amid plenty of wayward swings, Brandt Snedeker and Adam Scott were steady as can be at the British Open. And look who's lurking right behind them: Tiger Woods. Snedeker, a 31-year-old Tennessean who had never even made the cut in golf's oldest major, surged to the lead with another bogey-free round Friday, shooting a 6-under 64.



    Chicago bank among five seized Friday

    Regulators closed two small banks in Georgia on Friday and one each in Florida, Kansas and Illinois, bringing to 38 the number of U.S. bank failures this year.

    Machine operator Ed Snyder works in the cell assembly line at General Electric’s battery plant in Schenectady, N.Y. General Electric Co., said Friday that net income fell 16 percent in the second quarter, but that was mainly due to lingering charges from financing companies that were sold off four years ago. Its energy infrastructure business, meanwhile, reported double-digit growth.

    Europe continues to hold back markets

    U.S. stocks fell sharply as escalating problems in Spain jolted investors. Spain's stock market plunged 6 percent and its borrowing costs spiked after a regional government asked for a financial lifeline.

    Associated Press/July 14, 2012, courtesy of Capt. Kristjan B. Laxfoss A Shell drilling ship drifts toward shore near Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island, Alaska. The Coast Guard says an inspection of the Shell drilling ship that lost its mooring shows no signs of damage or grounding.

    Arctic drilling close for Shell

    Seven years and $4.5 billion after it bought leases to explore for oil off Alaska's Arctic coast, Royal Dutch Shell is finally close to drilling a well in the pristine Chukchi Sea, confident that it will discover a vast oil reservoir buried thousands of feet below the seafloor.


    Illinois tourism show at Schaumburg Boomers stadium

    The Woodfield Chicago Northwest Convention Bureau will host Illinois Office of Tourism Deputy Director Jan Kostner and her colleagues at the 2012 Illinois Road Show to be held at Schaumburg Stadium, home of the Schaumburg Boomers, at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 26. Kostner will present the latest visitor and economic impact numbers and the statewide tourism initiatives intended to promote travel to the state of Illinois.


    U.S. Cellular wants you to ‘break up’ with other providers

    Kukec's eBuzz column focuses on U.S. Cellular's new Hello Better campaign where they say most people have a dysfunctional relationship with their phone provider and even hired a relationship expert to help you.

    Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), testifies to the Senate Agriculture Committee in Washington, D.C. The CFTC reviewed operations at Peregrine Financial Group Inc. at least twice since 2006 without detecting the fraud that led to the collapse of the futures broker and a $200 million shortfall in client funds.

    Peregrine receiver can identify, secure Wasendorf assets

    The receiver for Peregrine Financial Group Inc., hired on request of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission that is investigating missing customer money, was given wide authority by a judge to identify and secure assets of Russell Wasendorf Sr. or his companies.

    Demonstrators protest against austerity measures announced by the Spanish government in Madrid, Spain.

    Spain’s woes deepen as region seeks financial aid

    Spain's financial woes deepened ominously Friday after a heavily indebted region asked Madrid for help and the government predicted more recession next year, prompting investors to dump stocks and government bonds.Just as European ministers approved a rescue of Spain's troubled banks, the region of Valencia revealed it would become the first to tap a new, week-old fund designed to provide liquidity to the country's 17 semi-autonomous regions.


    Rothschild anoints Alexandre heir as family cements bank dynasty
    Alexandre de Rothschild said his father always told him to "do what you want -- if you want to play tennis, go ahead." Alexandre, now 32, did not devote his life to perfecting his serve, breeding horses, or the other pursuits one might imagine are available to a scion of the world's biggest family-owned bank.Instead, he took jobs at other financial firms before joining the family business four years ago, becoming the seventh generation of a banking dynasty that can be traced to the 18th century.


    U.K. second-quarter GDP seen falling 0.2% As recession deepens

    The U.K. economy probably shrank for a third consecutive quarter in the three months through June as a double-dip recession deepened, economists said.Gross domestic product fell 0.2 percent, according to the median estimate of 36 economists in a Bloomberg News survey completed today. It shrank 0.3 percent in the first quarter and 0.4 percent in the last three months of 2011. The Office for National Statistics will publish the data on July 25.


    Unemployment rates rose in 27 U.S. states in June

    Unemployment rates rose in 27 U.S. states last month, the most in almost a year and a reflection of weaker hiring nationwide. The Labor Department says unemployment rates fell in 11 states and Washington, D.C. — the fewest since August. Rates were unchanged in 12 states.


    Jpmorgan ordered to identify witness in len blavatnik lawsuit

    JPMorgan Chase & Co. was ordered to identify the person with the most knowledge of possible regulatory probes of its J.P. Morgan Investment Management and Chase units related to the labeling of residential real estate- backed securities as part of a lawsuit by billionaire Len Blavatnik, according to a court filing.

    General manager Matt Stringer, right, and operations manager Jerry Montgomery talk about the Butternut bread plant in Peoria as thousands of loaves of bread pass by on the cooling racks in the background. The bakery has been in Peoria since the 1890s originally as Shulze’s Buttercrust Bakery.

    Tastes change, Peoria's Butternut remains

    Names and tastes may change but bread is still getting made in this South Peoria neighborhood as it has for more than a century. Today, the Butternut bakery in Peoria runs two shifts a day, producing bread and buns for a sales area that serves much of the state. The building’s 29 truck docks stay busy day and night with deliveries to Chicago, Indianapolis and Waterloo, Iowa, among the most frequent stops, he said.


    Oil below $92 as weak demand, Iran tension weighed

    Oil slipped below $92 a barrel Friday, after a big jump the day before, as weak demand was weighed against rising Middle East tensions.

    Gan Golan, of Los Angeles, dressed as the “Master of Degrees,” holds a ball and chain representing his college loan debt, during Occupy DC activities in Washington.

    Study: Private student loans parallel subprime

    Risky lending caused private student loan debt to balloon in the past decade, leaving many Americans struggling to pay off loans that they can't afford, a government study says.Private lenders gave out money without considering whether borrowers would repay, then bundled and resold the loans to investors to avoid losing money when students defaulted, according to the study, which is being released Friday.

    The raft of bad economic news may be starting to hurt U.S. auto sales.

    Auto sales weaken a bit in early July

    The raft of bad economic news may be starting to hurt U.S. auto sales.Industry analysts and dealers are saying sales during the first half of July slowed a bit from the robust pace in June. But they're still expected to exceed sales for July of 2011."It's a bit slower than where we want it to be," said Inder Dosanjh, owner of several General Motors dealerships in the San Francisco-Bay area.


    Venture funding falls 12 percent in 2Q to $7B

    Funding for startups fell 12 percent in the April-June period as venture capitalists poured less money into fewer deals than a year earlier. But the number of companies getting funded in the earliest stages of development reached the highest level in more than a decade — a hopeful sign for the broader economy and an indication that investors are willing to wait for returns.

    People walk by an electronic stock board outsdie a securities firm in Tokyo, Friday.

    Concern over U.S. economy keeps markets in check

    Evidence that the U.S. economic recovery remains weak kept global markets in check on Friday despite continued hopes for new stimulus measures.In late morning trading in Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 was down 0.4 percent at 5,701.05 while Germany's DAX was off 0.18 percent at 6,746.56. France's CAC 40 slipped 0.6 percent to 3,243.99. Asian indexes mostly fell, and Wall Street was poised to lose ground on the open. Dow and S&P 500 futures were both down 0.1 percent.

    A truck driver delivers Heineken beer and other drinks in New York. Heineken, a Dutch brewing company based in Amsterdam, said Fridayit is offering $4.1 billion to buy out its partner in the Singapore-based maker of Tiger beer.

    Heineken makes $4.1B bid to raise Tiger beer stake

    Heineken said Friday it is offering $4.1 billion to buy out its partner in the Singapore-based maker of Tiger beer, attempting to neutralize a Thai tycoon's competing bid for influence over the brand as the Dutch brewer expands in emerging markets. Heineken said it has made a proposal to the board of Fraser & Neave Ltd., which shares ownership of the Tiger beer brewer Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd. with Heineken, to pay 50 Singapore dollars ($40) a share for F&N's nearly 40 percent stake.

    General Electric says its net income fell 16 percent in the second quarter because of losses in businesses it has divested and an increase in pension costs.

    GE 2Q earnings drop 16 pct; reaffirms outlook

    General Electric says its net income fell 16 percent in the second quarter because of losses in businesses it has divested and an increase in pension costs. The conglomerate, with businesses ranging from appliances to financial services to wind and gas turbines, posted net income of $3.11 billion, or 29 cents per share, compared with $3.69 billion, or 35 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding pension costs and losses from discontinued businesses, GE earned 38 cents, a penny better than analysts were expecting.

Life & Entertainment

    Heloisa “Helo” Pinheiro is the woman who inspired the classic bossa nova song, “The Girl From Ipanema.” The quintessential tune was inspired by Pinheiro when she passed the songwriters in a beach side bar on her way to the sea, 50 years ago.

    Popular ‘Girl from Ipanema’ now a mature 50

    "Tall and tan and young and lovely ..." You've heard of her. The Girl From Ipanema. You might have come across the bossa nova classic while on hold on the phone, during a long elevator ride, or in a cafe in Beirut or Bangkok — but you've heard it. The quintessential bossa nova tune is turning 50.

    While on tour, Gary Sinise strives to meet active and retired servicemen and women and their families to express his support personally as well as through performances by his Lt. Dan Band.

    Gary Sinise's Lt. Dan still standing up for veterans

    In an Academy Award-nominated role, he played a double amputee injured in Vietnam. Now, Gary Sinise is a crusader for service members severely injured in wars who routinely recognize him as Lt. Dan Taylor in "Forrest Gump." Sinise's Lt. Dan Band headlines Rockin' for the Troops, a concert benefiting Naperville-based Operation Support Our Troops-America, Saturday at Cantigny Park in Wheaton.

    Singer Camille Eiseman and guitarist/singer Terry Tank (both of Crystal Lake) make up the duo Faith and Whiskey, a top 10 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent.

    Competition heats up among top 10 in Suburban Chicago's Got Talent to prove

    Come Sunday the top 10 finalists in Suburban Chicago's Got Talent will try to prove they are more than one-trick ponies. Beginning at 7 p.m., the ten finalists will be reduced to a field of five before a live audience at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights. The pressure is on.

    Marian Colliander waters plants at the Schaumburg Garden Club's Giving Garden, a 5,000-square-foot garden dedicated to growing produce for the Schaumburg Township food pantry.

    Garden club members work to fill food pantry with produce

    An unusual garden stood out among the many stops on last month's garden walk, hosted by the Schaumburg Garden Club: a 5,000-square-foot vegetable garden, whose sole purpose is to raise fresh produce for the local food pantry.


    Don’t allow tenants to use cleaning deposit as last month’s rent

    Q. My wife and I moved out of our home last year and rented it to a couple. The property has many upgrades and was in excellent condition when we moved out. The tenants are on a month-to-month lease and I just received their 30-day notice of moving out for the end of next month.


    Don't forget to keep voting!

    In the Fan Favorite competition, round one goes to ... Woody James. The singer received the highest number of online votes among the top 20 finalists in Suburban Chicago's Got Talent. Voting resumes Tuesday, and the ultimate winner is anyone's guess.

    Shylock (Michael Goldberg, standing center) prepares to exact payment from the merchant Antonio (Michael Joseph Mitchell, kneeling center) to the horror of best friend Bassanio (Kevin McKillip, right) and a disguised Portia (Melanie Keller, left) in First Folio Theatre's production of Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice."

    First Folio reveals 'Merchant's' humor, dark heart

    First Folio Theatre tackles "The Merchant of Venice" - one of Shakespeare's most problematic plays - with a healthy dose of comedy.

    “Die a Stranger” by Steve Hamilton

    ‘Die a Stranger’ a suspenseful tale

    n the years since Vinnie Red Sky LeBlanc's father killed three people in a drunken driving accident and got himself banned from the Bay Mills reservation, the young Ojibwa tribal member has never once picked up a drink. So Vinnie's best friend, Alex McKnight, is understandably concerned to learn Vinnie has been knocking back scotches at a local bar. The concern turns to alarm when Vinnie suddenly disappears in Steve Hamilton's "Die a Stranger."


    On stage: SNL member Jay Pharoah hits Zanies

    "Saturday Night Live's" Jay Pharoah headlines the new Zanies in Rosemont this weekend, while Chicago storefronts revive classics by Tennessee Williams and Eugene O'Neill.

    Agapanthus Peter Pan blooms all summer.

    Keep your garden feeling blue all season

    From the first glimpse of grape hyacinths in spring to the statuesque splendor of morning glories in September, blue flowers capture our hearts. It may be the scarcity of botanical true blue or the role blue flowers play as they create harmonious partnerships in the border that make them so appealing.

    Valentine (Dean Gallagher), the man who mocked love, finds himself smitten with the spirited Silvia (Melissa Scheele) in Janus Theater’s production of Shakespeare’s “The Two Gentlemen of Verona.”

    Janus’ breezy ‘Two Gents’ solid summer entertainment

    Janus Theatre delivers a breezy, la dolce vita-inspired take on “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” that almost makes one forget the plot inconsistencies and unsettling, penultimate scene that place Shakespeare’s first play firmly among his second-tier efforts.

    Kyra Sedgwick exits her role as police interrogator Brenda Leigh Johnson when “The Closer” finale airs next month on TNT.

    Sedgwick wraps seven-season run as ‘The Closer’

    Sooner or later, every drama series must close. Even "The Closer." Emmy winner Kyra Sedgwick talks about her seven-season TNT run as police interrogator Brenda Leigh Johnson as she braces for the show's August finale.


    Super handyman: Projects for your family’s best friend

    Man's best friend deserves a little love from the DIY'er in the house. Here are some of our pet projects for our dogs and cats.


    Home inspector: Sellers failed to make repairs

    Q. We purchased our home six months ago. The inspector identified a list of problems involving plumbing leaks, roof damage, ungrounded electrical outlets, a faulty heater, and more. The agent promised in writing that these issues would be repaired before the close of escrow. That was months ago, but none of the defects have been addressed.


    Taking a shine to lacquer and high-gloss paint

    Virginia designer Raji Radhakrishnan, who recently participated in New York's Kips Bay Decorator Show House, answers questions from Washington Post readers about design trends.


    The nation’s housing: Green can indeed be green

    It has been a controversial question in the home real estate market for years: Is there extra green when you buy green? Do houses with lots of energy-saving and sustainability features sell for more than houses without them? If so, by how much?


    About real estate: How sellers can cope with ‘unpermitted’ conversion

    Millions of homeowners have made changes to their homes without first getting the local government's approval. Asking for an "as built" permit can save money when planning a sale.



    Editorial: Learning to eat our fruits and veggies

    A Daily Herald editorial lauds a statewide school program that offers fresh fruits and vegetables to low-income students, but the battle to get kids to eat them continues.


    Our politics of polarization

    Columnist Michael Gerson: The gap between partisans' approval ratings of President Obama has been "historically high." It means Obama has made Washington more broken and continues to make it more broken — both responding to grievances and creating new reasons for grievance.


    Rise in property tax is astounding
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: Knowing that our governor and the rest of Illinois' crooked politicians are depending upon me to help dig them out the financial mess into which they have sunk our pathetic state, I went over to Chase Bank today and paid the darn thing.


    Health care solutions need both parties
    An Elk Grove Villageletter to the editor: I like what Rep. Judy Biggert said. "With or without the unpopular health mandate, the cost of care continues to rise and it's up to Republicans and Democrats alike to work across the aisle to find solutions."


    Don’t disrespect flag by wearing it
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: Many a veteran has swallowed and turned the other way when witnessing American flag material used for T shirts, hats, neckties, bow ties or bathing suits. Enough! This is the symbol of our country.


    Missed point about Church doctrine
    A Huntley letter to the editor: This is in response to Walter Naaf's letter of July 11 in which he complained about the bishops' ad and suggested that the Catholic Church wants everyone to adhere to its doctrine. You missed the point entirely. The Church does not want anyone outside the Church to accept its doctrine. However, it should not be penalized for observing its own doctrine.


    Thanks for the money tip, Burt
    A Hampshire letter to the editor: Thank you, Burt Constable, for the article on "I-Cash." While the Illinois treasurer's office didn't have any money waiting for me to claim, my retired mother had two items. My sister, who has relocated to Arizona, was pleased to find out she was listed as well.


    Make sure renters know condo plan
    An Algonquin letter to the editor: There is talk of changing the condo units into apartments at Riverside Plaza in Algonquin. But there has been mention that "if" the condos can be converted into apartments, the plan is to revert to condos once the housing market improves. If you plan on advertising the place as apartments will you disclose to the renters that eventually you plan on changing their rental unit into a condo?


    Roberts should have recused himself
    An Aurora letter to the editor: Justice John Roberts is to Obamacare what Justice Blackmun is to Roe v. Wade, the abortion decision. Scuttlebutt says Blackmun, in conjunction with Mayo Clinic, drafted the "right to privacy" statement to uphold a doctor's right to terminate the life of the unborn. Legal scholars all agree that the privacy right is not found in the Constitution.


    Three cheers for Danada horse award
    A Lombard letter to the editor: Congratulations to Danada Equestrian Center for receiving site accreditation from the Certified Horsemanship Association. CHA, based in Lexington, Ky, horse capital of the world, evaluates equestrian programs and facilities on compliance with CHA standards for equestrian programs.


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