Daily Archive : Sunday July 22, 2012


    Drew Peterson is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the drowning death of his former wife Kathleen Savio who was found dead in an empty bathtub in 2004. Jury selection is scheduled to begin in his trial Monday.

    Judge in Peterson case could throw out hearsay

    The judge presiding over the Drew Peterson trial is leaving open the possibility that he could throw out hearsay statements that are at the heart of the prosecution's case against the former Bolingbrook police officer.

    The last soccer games have been played at Meadow Glens Park in Naperville. The facility will be closed until the end of the year for a large-scale renovation.

    Naperville's Meadow Glens Park ready for $1 million makeover

    Meadow Glens Park on Naperville's east side will be closed for the rest of the year as it undergoes a nearly $1 million renovation. Project Manager Mike Piszynski said the makeover will be worth the wait, as the 19-acre park will be transformed from primarily basketball courts and softball fields into a modern recreation area.


    Group home regulations under scrutiny in McHenry Co.

    At least seven municipalities in McHenry County are either in violation of or not consistent with federal Fair Housing Act provisions regarding group homes for people with disabilities, according to the draft report of a consultant's study.

    The victims of Friday morning's movie theater shooting include, top row from left, Jonathan Blunk, Jesse Childress, Gordon Cowden, and Jessica Ghawi; and bottom row from left, John Larimer, Micayla Medek and Alex Sullivan.

    Colorado shooting: The victims' stories

    A U.S. Navy veteran who served three tours of duty in the Middle East. A 6-year-old girl excited about her swimming classes. A Target employee who shielded his girlfriend and her brother with his own body. They and nine others were killed in the shooting rampage during a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" in a Denver suburb.

    Nathan Saavedra attended a fundraiser Sunday with his mother, Tina, that was organized by Kalin Koychev, 33, of Wheeling. Koychev donated a kidney last month to Nathan.

    Carpentersville toddler attends fundraiser to help cover medical costs

    About 30 people gathered at Lynfred Winery in Wheeling Sunday night to help raise money for Nathan Saavedra, a 3-year-old boy from Carpentersville who has an ailment that weakened his kidneys and required a transplant. The fundraiser was organized by Kalin Koychev, 33, of Wheeling, who donated his left kidney last month to Nathan.


    Durbin urges railroads to do more inspections

    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is urging railroad companies to conduct frequent track inspections to prevent rail derailments resulting from heat-related track buckling. The Illinois Democrat's remarks during a Sunday news conference come as investigators continue to examine the cause of a July 4 train derailment that killed a Glenview couple.


    Moviegoers undaunted by shootings; studios show respect

    LOS ANGELES — A Warner Bros. executive emailed a fact sheet about “The Dark Knight Rises” to Hollywood reporters a few days ago and ended with two hopeful syllables for the film’s box-office prospects: “Ka ching.”

    Dylan Bowen, 13, right, holds onto his mother Lorri Hastings as they pray Sunday in Aurora, Colo., during a prayer vigil for the victims of Friday’s mass shooting at a movie theater.

    A day of remembrance in Colorado

    Amid the continuing investigation of Friday morning's mass shooting at a movie theater, Sunday was a day for healing and remembrance in Aurora, with President Barack Obama arriving to visit with families of the victims and a vigil planned later in the evening.

    Lake Villa Fire Chief Frank Slazes, right, judges the battle between Team Chain Crawl and Team Merlins during the water fights at the Fox Lake Fireman’s Festival Sunday near the Fox Lake bingo hall.

    Fox Lake festival raises money for firefighters, community groups

    Even though there weren't any storms Sunday afternoon, some streets in Fox Lake were wet, courtesy of the Fox Lake Volunteer Fireman's Festival.

    Former pastors of the Addison Bible Church, Dennis Gleason, Al Kurz and Don Lake, gather with more than 200 members for a reunion Sunday in Medinah.

    More than 200 turn out for Addison Bible Church reunion

    Addison Bible Church may not have survived as a congregation, but it has survived the test of time. The church held its final service nearly 10 years ago at its building at Addison Road and Fullerton Avenue, after serving parishioners since the 1950s. On Sunday, more than 200 former members showed up for a reunion at Medinah Baptist Church and it was clear that memories of the church remain...

    In-line skaters get ready for a skating marathon Sunday during the Alexian Brothers Fitness for America Sports Festival at the AT&T campus in Hoffman Estates.

    In-line skaters race through Hoffman Estates

    Hundreds of runners and in-line skaters from around the U.S. blazed through Hoffman Estates this weekend during the fourth annual Alexian Brothers Fitness for America Sports Festival. Sunday's events included multiple in-line skating races, the nation's second-largest in-line marathon, and award presentations.

    Marco Benjamin, 32, second from right, who is HIV positive, walks in the AIDS March in Washington Sunday. More than 1,000 people marched to call attention to the ongoing struggle against HIV and AIDS, the subject of an international conference being held in that city.

    Battle against HIV ready to take on prevention

    From dark days to a critical turning point in the AIDS epidemic: The landscape has changed dramatically in the two decades since the world's largest AIDS conference last met in the United States.


    State teacher-training program costly

    It sounds like something that would pop up on a math test: A teacher-training program gets $19 million in state aid. Over six years, it produces only 70 teachers. How much has the state spent for each teacher so far? The answer: More than $271,000 each.


    19 accused of stealing unemployment benefits

    A nearly yearlong investigation in Illinois has led to indictments against 19 people accused of stealing unemployment benefits worth between $11,000 and $40,000 each.


    Sun-Times Media fires photojournalist

    Sun-Times Media says one of its photographers has been fired after admitting to fabricating names and quotes in a recurring feature that appeared in at least eight of its publications.


    St. Charles dad gets probation after DUI that injured daughter

    A 32-year-old St. Charles man accused of felony DUI and endangering the life of his 4-year-old daughter after a crash in March has avoided prison. Jair Martinez, of the 1700 block of Cumberland Green, pleaded guilty last month to aggravated DUI and was sentenced to two years probation.


    Court employee accused of shredding documents

    A Cook County circuit court employee has been accused of removing court files and shredding them at her home. Jeannette Neibauer was ordered held in lieu of $750,000 bail.


    Mundelein Night Out on Aug. 7

    The Mundelein Police Department will hold the town's 29th annual National Night Out crime- and drug-prevention event on Tuesday, Aug. 7.


    Palatine chamber hosts Rockin’ the Blocks

    The Palatine Area Chamber of Commerce will host its first Rockin' the Blocks event on Saturday, July 28 in the BMO Harris parking lot at the corner of Brockway and Slade streets. Rockin' the Blocks' will include live entertainment, food booths, a beer garden and a host of other activities. The event is free and open to the public.


    Barefoot Hawaiians coming to Hoffman Estates

    As part of the "Summer Sounds on the Green" concert series, the Hoffman Estates Arts Commission and Hoffman Estates Park District are bringing the Barefoot Hawaiians to the Virginia Mary Hayter Village Green, 5510 Prairie Stone Parkway, Thursday, July 26 at 7 p.m. The 25-member ensemble specializes in Polynesian dance and song.


    Ela cemetery walk

    The Ela Historical Society and Museum, in cooperation with St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Hawthorn Woods, is hosting a cemetery walk on Aug. 4.


    ‘Fill the boot’ in Round Lake

    Round Lake Firefighters Union Local 4235 will host a "Fill the Boot" collection for the Muscular Dystrophy Association on Aug. 11 and 12.

    Penn State will remove the statue of the late football coach Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium following a report that showed he helped cover up child sex-abuse allegations against former assistant Jerry Sandusky.

    Paterno statue removed; NCAA sanctions pending

    The famed statue of Joe Paterno was taken down from outside the Penn State football stadium Sunday as the NCAA announced it would be issuing sanctions against the university whose top officials were accused in a scathing report of burying child sex abuse allegations against a now-convicted retired assistant.

    Unprepared for his own divorce and the aftermath, Joost Allard teamed with new partner Christine McQueen to launch The Divorce Expo, which is coming Aug. 18 to Naperville.

    Expo for exes? Divorce event coming to Naperville

    Wedding expos let you do one-stop shopping for everything you'll need to get married. And if the marriage doesn't work out, next month's Divorce Expo in Naperville features booths and speakers offering everything you'll need to part ways.

    A train passes over Shermer Road while the Glenview train derailment cleanup continues.

    Derailments fact of life in the suburbs

    Derailments are an unfortunate reality in the suburbs. An average of 35 annually occur in Illinois on mainline track, with about one-third of those in the metropolitan area, a 10-year analysis of Federal Railroad Administration data shows. Most are minor, but a few are disruptive at best or tragic at worst. What's being done to prevent or mitigate them?

    This June 1, 2012, file photo shows Romney Campaign senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom at Republican presidential candidate’s, Mitt Romney’s, campaign headquarters in Boston, Mass. A former newspaper reporter, Fehrnstrom has served as Romney’s spokesman since he was governor. He frequently travels with Romney and is considered an authority on Romney’s record in Massachusetts.

    Romney’s inner circle: Close-knit, loyal

    BOSTON — One word defines Mitt Romney’s inner circle: loyal. For years, the GOP presidential candidate has stuck with a core team of advisers who eschew backbiting and value secrecy. But that close-knit culture could be tested as Romney’s campaign staff expands to compete against President Barack Obama in the general election.

    This Jan. 28, 2011, file photo shows David Axelrod, outgoing senior White House adviser to President Barack Obama, during an interview with the Associated Press at the White House. Axelrod, who is a former political reporter for The Chicago Tribune, has known the president since the early 1990s and was a driving force behind Obama’s message of change during the 2008 campaign. He is a calming influence on the Obama 2012 campaign team and has helped focus on middle-class voters.

    Obama’s inner circle: Tight-knit, no drama

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has made “change” the hallmark of his presidency. For his team of advisers, a more operable term may be “continuity.”Obama has surrounded himself with a tight-knit group since he first ran for the White House in 2007. This core team is marked by a “No-Drama Obama” credo and loyalty to Obama’s message and unconventional path.


    AIDS on decline, millions still waiting for drugs

    LONDON — When the AIDS epidemic erupted nearly three decades ago, experts feared it would be impossible to stop the disease’s spread or to provide enough of the costly drugs needed to treat it. Today, the number of new cases has leveled off and deaths are at their lowest since peaking in 2005.


    The U.S. team’s Kobe Bryant drives against Argentina’s Emmanuel Ginobili during their exhibition game Sunday in Barcelona, Spain.

    U.S. ekes out 6-point win over Argentina

    The U.S. Olympic men's basketball team held on for an 86-80 exhibition victory over Argentina on Sunday, insisting it didn't expect an easy game and not believing there's benefit to one, anyway. "I love it. You hate to breeze through exhibition games and then you get into London, and then you start getting competitive," U.S. forward LeBron James said.


    Cougars power past Dayton

    Two home runs from Jorge Bonifacio backed a stellar effort by Aaron Brooks as the Kane County Cougars defeated the Dayton Dragons with a 6-2 victory on Sunday afternoon at Fifth Third Field.


    Boomers snap losing streak

    The Schaumburg Boomers belted 3 home runs to put the brakes on a five-game losing streak and take down the West Division-leading Windy City ThunderBolts 5-3 in the opener of a series Sunday night.

    The Rangers’ Josh Hamilton strikes out swinging for the final out as Angels catcher Bobby Wilson begins to celebrate a 7-4 win Sunday in Anaheim, Calif.

    Angels top Rangers 7-4

    Dan Haren (7-8) pitched effectively for the Angels in his first start off the disabled list, batterymate Bobby Wilson hit his first homer of the season, and Mike Trout scored a run in his 14th consecutive game to set an AL rookie record Sunday in a 7-4 win over Texas.

    Toronto’s Brett Lawrie, left, celebrates with J.P. Arencibia after Arencibia hit a three-run home run off Red Sox starter Jon Lester in the second inning Sunday in Boston.

    Blue Jays hammer Lester to sweep Red Sox, 15-7

    Brett Lawrie hit the game's first pitch for one of Toronto's four homers, and the Blue Jays tagged Jon Lester for a career-worst 11 runs in a 15-7 victory that completed a three-game sweep over the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.

    Twins players congratulate teammate Ryan Doumit, left, after his solo home run during the sixth inning Sunday in Kansas City.

    Doumit homers from both sides in Twins’ victory over Royals

    Ryan Doumit put his name in the Twins' record book Sunday, accomplishing something no Minnesota player had done in 20 years. Doumit homered from both sides of the plate and drove in four runs to lead the Twins to a 7-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.

    Baltimore closer Jim Johnson, left, congratulates J.J. Hardy after the Orioles defeated the Indians 4-3 Sunday in Cleveland.

    Orioles down Indians 4-3 for fifth straight win

    Jim Johnson somehow saved the Baltimore Orioles from what could have been a discouraging loss. The All-Star closer yielded one run in Cleveland's three-run ninth inning before striking out Asdrubal Cabrera with two Indians on base to close out a 4-3 win Sunday.

    The Astros’ Chris Johnson gets caught in a rundown between Arizona’s Lyle Overbay and Stephen Drew, who would eventually tag Johnson out, in the sixth inning Sunday in Phoenix.

    Diamondbacks finish sweep of Astros

    The Diamondbacks wrapped up their best offensive series of the season with an 8-2 victory at home on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep of the staggering Astros. Jason Kubel homered for the sixth time in five games and Chris Young added a three-run shot.

    The Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman watches his second home run during Sunday’s game with the Atlanta Braves in Washington.

    Zimmerman’s 2 HRs lead Nationals over Braves 9-2

    Ryan Zimmerman homered twice and drove in three runs, and Danny Espinosa and Roger Bernadina each had three hits and two RBIs as the Nationals beat the Braves 9-2 Sunday in the finale of the series between the top two teams in the NL East.

    Brandon Inge, right, hits teammate Coco Crisp with a shaving cream pie Sunday after Oakland beat the New York Yankees at home. Crisp drove in the game-winning run.

    A’s complete 4-game sweep of Yankees

    Seth Smith hit a tying homer in the ninth inning, Coco Crisp singled home the winning run in the 12th and the surging A's rallied from four runs down to stun the New York Yankees 5-4 on Sunday and complete a four-game sweep.

    Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Blake Beavan struck out five and walked none Sunday in a road win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

    Beavan goes 8 innings as Mariners beat Rays 2-1

    Blake Beavan scattered four hits over eight innings and the Mariners beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Sunday to finish a 5-2 trip. "A great performance," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "I'll tell you what, he did a great job with his fastball."

    San Diego closer Huston Street makes the flip to first to get Colorado’s Jordan Pacheco for the final out of the Padres’ 3-2 victory Sunday at home.

    Padres edge Rockies 3-2

    Will Venable made the most of one of the few at-bats he had over the weekend, and Everth Cabrera's aggressiveness paid off again for the San Diego Padres. Venable drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and Cabrera had two hits and twice beat throws to the plate as the Padres beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 on Sunday.

    Pittsburgh starter Jeff Karstens allowed five hits, struck out three and walked two in Sunday’s win at home over Miami.

    Pirates beat Marlins 3-0 for 5th straight win

    Baseball is fun in Pittsburgh again, enough so that Jeff Karstens said he's pitching as if he's a kid again. Karstens pitched seven strong innings, Pedro Alvarez homered and the surging Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Miami Marlins 3-0 on Sunday for their fifth consecutive win.

    Jimmy Rollins, center, celebrates with teammates Kyle Kendrick, left, Hunter Pence and John Mayberry Jr. after hitting an RBI single to win the game against the San Francisco Giants in the 12th inning Sunday at home in Philadelphia.

    Rollins leads Phillies over Giants 4-3 in 12

    Jimmy Rollins got the opportunity he wanted and delivered. Rollins hit an RBI single to lift the Philadelphia Phillies to a 4-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants in 12 innings Sunday.

    Cincinnati starting pitcher Johnny Cueto walks off the field in the seventh inning Sunday at home against Milwaukee Brewers. The Reds won 2-1.

    Reds win 2-1, sweep Brewers

    Wilson Valdez drove in the tying run and scored the go-ahead run to back Johnny Cueto's gritty pitching as the Reds wrapped up one of the best homestands in franchise history with a 2-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday.

    Mets first baseman Ike Davis protests after first base umpire Mike Dimuro called the Dodgers’ Tony Gwynn Jr. safe on a 12th-inning bunt single Sunday in New York.

    Dodgers rally in 12th to sweep fading Mets, 8-3

    An overworked Mets bullpen held the Dodgers to one hit for four innings until Los Angeles broke it open in the 12th with contributions from several late-inning replacements. New York has lost nine of 10 to fall under .500 (47-48) for the first time this season.

    Elliott Sadler celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series auto race Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet.

    Sadler holds off Stenhouse, wins at Chicagoland

    Weakened by a stomach virus, Elliott Sadler held off a charge by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on a green-white-checker finish to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series race Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet.

    This April 5, 2002, file photo shows former Cubs third baseman and now Hall of Famer Ron Santo throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the home opener at Wrigley Field.

    Kasper: Many arguments support Santo’s spot in Hall

    As I checked the front page of Baseball-Reference.com the other day, Ron Santo's career was encapsulated nicely: a nine-time all-star and five-time Gold Glover, he hit 342 home runs (many of which came during a pitcher-tilted era), played in the eighth-most games among all third basemen and put up 67 Wins Above Replacement, good for 93rd all time.

    Newly acquired reliever Brett Myers, right, should be a big help to the White Sox’ young bullpen, says Chris Rongey.

    Rongey: Sox just need to stay close to first place

    Chris Rongey has a difficult time thinking the Sox will continue their uneven play for the remainder of the year, but it could persist long enough to create a gap between the Sox and the division lead.

    Former Cincinnati Reds star Barry Larkin holds his plaque after Sunday’s induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.

    Emotional Larkin enters baseball’s Hall of Fame

    Barry Larkin lost it before he even started. Baseball's highest honor always seems to leave a special impression on those directly involved. Larkin, the former star shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds, was inducted Sunday into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum alongside Cubs great Ron Santo.


    Hawks’ Bowman optimistic about labor peace ... but should he be?

    It's not easy to be optimistic about there being labor peace in the NHL considering the history of the leaders involved. On the Players Association side there is executive director Donald Fehr, who led baseball into a strike on several occasions when he worked for that union. And then there's a commissioner working for the owners in Gary Bettman who wasn't afraid to miss an entire season the last time there was a need for a new collective bargaining agreement.


    White Sox scouting report
    Scouting report: White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins


    Cubs scouting report
    Cubs scouting report

    White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers walks back to the dugout after striking out during the ninth inning of Sunday’s 6-4 loss at Detroit.

    White Sox situation sure does feel familiar

    As the anniversary of the White Flag deal approaches, maybe the White Sox should consider pulling off another before next week's trade deadline.


    Many perfect things about day for Santo

    Ronald Edward Santo: Hall of Famer. At last. And in case you weren't sure of the gravity of the honor, watching the likes of Sandy Koufax, Frank Robinson and Willie Mays parade to their seats onstage before the ceremony certainly did the trick.

    From left, fans Linda Medo of Kearney, N.J., Shelly Ladd of Rock Hill, S.C., Sue Schwerin of Naperville and Donna Wakefield of Chicago hold a sign for the late star Cubs third baseman and team broadcaster Ron Santo during the induction ceremony Sunday at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

    Now is the time to rejoice for Santo

    No longer do Cubs fans and supporters of Ron Santo have to state his case for the Hall of Fame. No longer do they have to compare his numbers with those of other third basemen in the Hall of Fame. The fight is over. Santo is in. All that's left for Cubs fans to do is rejoice.

    Vicki Santo, widow of star Cubs third baseman and team broadcaster Ron Santo, delivers a speech Sunday during his National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum induction ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y.

    Santo's widow gives Hall of Fame speech

    The late Ron Santo, star third baseman for the Cubs and later a broadcaster for the team, has been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Santo didn't live to experience the day he always dreamed of. Plagued by health problems, he died Dec. 3, 2010, at the age of 70. His long battle with diabetes cost him both legs below the knees, but he ultimately died of complications from bladder cancer.

    The St. Louis Cardinals’ Matt Holliday (7) crosses home plate after scoring with Allen Craig on a double by Jon Jay as Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger looks for a throw in Sunday’s first inning.

    Cardinals shut out Cubs, complete sweep

    Lance Lynn won his 12th game with six spotless innings, and Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran homered on consecutive pitches to put the finishing touches on the St. Louis Cardinals' 7-0 victory Sunday that completed a three-game sweep of the Cubs.

    White Sox starting pitcher Philip Humber, right, stands at the mound Sunday as the Detroit Tigers’ Brennan Boesch rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run in the third inning.

    Sox swept away by division-leading Tigers

    Miguel Cabrera homered twice, reaching the 300 mark for his career and helping the Detroit Tigers finish a three-game sweep of the White Sox with a 6-4 victory Sunday. Detroit wrapped up a 6-1 homestand against the White Sox and Los Angeles Angels and now leads the AL Central by 1½ games over Chicago. The White Sox have lost five straight.

    Ernie Els of South Africa holds the Claret Jug trophy Sunday after winning the British Open Golf Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes golf club, Lytham St Annes, England.

    Els takes British Open after Scott’s epic collapse

    Ernie Els felt something special could happen at the British Open, and it did. All because of a collapse by Adam Scott that no one imagined. Four shots ahead with four holes to play — after eight straight holes with nothing worse than par — Scott bogeyed them all and had to fight back tears on the 18th green Sunday as the magnitude of his meltdown began to sink in.

    Second place Christopher Froome of Britain, left, Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins of Britain, center, and third place Vincenzo Nibali of Italy, right, on the podium of the Tour de France.

    Wiggins 1st British cyclist to win Tour de France

    Bradley Wiggins became the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France by protecting the yellow jersey during Sunday's final processional ride into Paris. He also helped Sky teammate Mark Cavendish earn his fourth straight sprint victory on the Champs-Elysees.

    Aston Villa’s goalie Brad Guzan, left, gets a pat the head by Chicago Fire’s Rafael Robayo after making a last-second save during the second half of a friendly soccer game on Saturday, July 21, 2012, at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. Aston Villa won 1-0.

    Fun night for Downers Grove’s Lichaj

    Suburban natives Eric Lichaj and Brad Guzan returned home with English Premier League side Aston Villa to shut out the Chicago Fire 1-0 in an international friendly Saturday night at Toyota Park. It was the third consecutive match the Fire has been shut out.


    Boomers lose fifth straight

    SAUGET, Ill. — The Schaumburg Boomers failed to hold a lead for the third time in as many games at Gateway, falling for the fifth straight time by a final of 6-3 on Saturday night.The Boomers struck for an unearned run in the first inning and built a 2-0 lead when Frank Pfister homered in the third. The homer was the 12th of the season for Pfister.Alex Rivers cruised through 5 shutout innings and left with the lead after allowing 4 hits with a pair of strikeouts.Gateway clawed within a run at 2-1 in the seventh, but Adam Tollefson left the tying run at third. The Grizzlies struck for 5 runs in the bottom of the eighth, taking advantage of an error to grab the lead.Schaumburg brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth after an RBI single from Jereme Milons but could not even the game. Chad Mozingo had 3 hits for the Boomers.



    Ohio pizza chain moving into Wheeling

    Glenview-based Family Video has reached a deal with Ohio-based Marco's Pizza to open an estimated 350 franchises on property owned by Family Video, primarily in the Midwest. The first new location under the $100 million deal, the pizza franchise's 300th, will be at 1990 South Wolf Road in Wheeling.

    In this Nov. 12, 2011, file photo, workers in protective suits gather near their lockers inside the emergency operation center at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station in Okuma, Japan. Japanese labor officials said Sunday they are investigating subcontractors on suspicion they forced workers at the tsunami-hit nuclear plant to underreport their dosimeter readings so they could stay on the job longer.

    Japan probes alleged cover-up at nuclear plant

    Japanese authorities are investigating subcontractors on suspicion that they forced workers at the tsunami-hit nuclear plant to underreport the amount of radiation they were exposed to so they could stay on the job longer.

    Carolyn Eberhard of Brooktondale, N.Y., holds a sign during a rally against hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region of New York, at the Capitol in Albany, April 11, 2011.

    Experts: Some fracking critics use bad science

    In the debate over natural gas drilling, the companies are often the ones accused of twisting the facts. But scientists say opponents sometimes mislead the public, too.

    Protesters gather outside the Elliniki Halyvourgia as riot police guard the entrance of the plant at Aspropyrgos, 12.5 miles west of Athens, Friday. It was the first confrontation between Greece’s new conservative-led government and left-wing opposition parties opposed to the countryís bailout agreements with international rescue lenders.

    German minister: Greek euro exit has lost `horror’
    Germany's vice chancellor questioned whether Greece can fulfill the conditions for receiving further international aid and said Sunday that the idea of the country leaving the euro has "lost its horror."

    Laura Fritz, 27, left, with her daughter, Adalade Goudeseune, fills out a form at the Jefferson Action Center, an assistance center in the Denver suburb of Lakewood. Fritz grew up in the Denver suburbs, a solidly middle class family, but she and her boyfriend, who has struggled to find work, and are now relying on government assistance to cover food and $650 rent for their family.

    US poverty on track to rise to highest since 1960s

    The ranks of America's poor are on track to climb to levels unseen in nearly half a century, erasing gains from the war on poverty in the 1960s amid a weak economy and fraying government safety net.


    Consumer bureau to police credit reporting bureaus

    The companies that determine Americans' credit scores are about to come under scrutiny by the country's new consumer watchdog. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said that it will start supervising the 30 largest firms that make up 94 percent of the industry. That includes the three big credit reporting firms: Equifax Inc., Experian and TransUnion.

    U.S. banks and auto finance companies are once again welcoming all kinds of customers, even those with less-than-stellar credit. The average credit scores of new and used car buyers, which spiked during the economic downturn, have fallen to nearly the same level as 2008.

    Auto loan terms continue to loosen for all buyers

    For car buyers seeking auto loans, happy days are here again. U.S. banks and auto finance companies are once again welcoming all kinds of customers, even those with less-than-stellar credit. The average credit scores of new and used car buyers, which spiked during the economic downturn, have fallen to nearly the same level as 2008.

    Areas of Elgin have limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The former Eagle Country Market in Tyler Creek Plaza is now a Home Plus Outlet.

    Elgin’s north sides have low access to grocery stores

    For residents on Elgin's north side hoping for a grocery store closer to home, the wheels are turning at the government level and within the community to make that a reality. "How we can make healthy choices easier for people is really what we should be thinking about," said Beverly Henry, northwest side resident and associate professor of nutrition at Northern Illinois University.

    Instead of monitoring the work habits of a dawdling employee, start building false-bottom deadlines into your tasks. If she dawdles but still finishes on time, no problem. If she blows the padded deadline, you won’t have jeopardized your clients’ needs, and you’ll have legitimate cause to complain — respectfully, of course.

    Work advice: What’s like got to do with it?

    I recently transferred from a large, prestigious corporation to a small boutique shop. I am the only woman, except for our administrative assistant. She has a great deal of clout and is young, bright and attractive. I have tried to be friendly, but she seems to want nothing to do with me.

    Brian Seifried, owner of the Wing Shack, stands next to a sign advertising special prices at his new restaurant in Windsor, Colo. Seifried was just 20 when he opened a hole-in-the wall chicken wing shack eight years ago in Greeley. He expanded during the recession and in June 2012, opened his fourth place in a 30-mile range. “There were times when I was self-conscious talking to neighbors and fellow business owners,” he says. “I kind of played down our success just not to come across as bragging.” Politically, Seifried says he agrees with the president’s position that the top 1 percent should contribute more taxes, but “I don’t feel the federal government is efficient with the money that they do bring in. ... I’m only 28. In consider myself socially liberal Ö, but I don’t think Democrat or Republican is the answer.” (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

    Will Colorado economy turn purple state red or blue?

    Colorado, a state split by the Continental Divide, is also emblematic of the national divide. It is a battleground state where President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are saturating the airwaves, parachuting in and dispatching surrogates to snag nine all-important electoral votes. The debate here over the governmentís role in economy mirrors the polarized attitudes across the country.

    Jim Christy moves a five-paneled door after staining at a new home July 10 in Pepper Pike, Ohio. Confidence among U.S. homebuilders is swelling to a five-year high, with many now anticipating that sales of new homes will strengthen this year even as signs point to a slowing economy. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index surged six points this month to 35, the highest reading since March 2007, the trade association said July 17.

    Home builders’ confidence higher, but still down from peaks

    Confidence among U.S. homebuilders is swelling to a five-year high, with many now anticipating that sales of new homes will strengthen this year even as signs point to a slowing economy. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index surged six points this month to 35, the highest reading since March 2007, the trade association said Tuesday.

    A businessman in Springfield, Ore., says it’s time for the city to embrace its most famous fictional residents and create a shopping district with a “Simpsons” theme.

    Oregon businessman wants ‘Simpsons’ shopping in Springfield

    A businessman in Springfield, Ore., says it's time for the city to embrace its most famous fictional residents and create a shopping district with a "Simpsons" theme.


    U.S. would lose 710,000 jobs from tax rise, study says

    The U.S. would lose 710,000 jobs and economic output would fall by 1.3 percent, or $200 billion, if tax cuts for high earners are allowed to lapse, said a report prepared for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other supporters of the tax breaks.

    More than 1.5 million older Americans already have lost their homes, with millions more at risk as the national housing crisis takes its toll on those who are among the worst positioned to weather the storm, a new AARP report says. Older African Americans and Hispanics are the hardest hit. “The Great Recession has been brutal for many older Americans,” said Debra Whitman, AARP’s policy chief. “This shows that home ownership doesn’t guarantee financial security later in life.”

    Housing crisis sees 1.5 million older americans lose their homes

    More than 1.5 million Americans aged 50 or more have lost their homes since the collapse of the housing market in 2007 as delinquency rates and foreclosures soar, according to advocacy group AARP.About 3.5 million loans, or one in six to people in the age group, had balances that were higher than the value of the property being purchased as of December, according to a report by Lori Trawinksi for the Washington-based lobby.“More older Americans are carrying mortgage debt than in the past, and the amount of that debt is also increasing,” Debra Whitman, AARP’s executive vice president for policy, said in a statement. “Their economic situation is worsening.”The percentage of loans to older Americans that are in foreclosure or at least 90 days delinquent increased to 6 percent in December from 1.1. percent in 2007. That’s faster than the rise to 7.5 percent from 1.6 percent for people younger than 50. Last year, the foreclosure rate on prime loans for older Americans was 23 times higher than the 0.1 percent rate in 2007, the report found.Foreclosure rates for blacks and Hispanics who are 50 or older were 3.5 percent and 3.9 percent in 2011. That’s nearly double the 1.9 percent rate for white buyers, it found.“This crisis is far from over,” Whitman said. “Many loans remain in danger of falling into foreclosure.”

    In this July 12, 2012 photo, a customer signs a petition on the Duck N Roll food truck, right, arguing for the elimination of a proposed ban on food trucks parking within 200 feet of restaurants in Chicago. The proposed ordinance would finally allow food trucks to cook and prepare food but continue to ban them from setting up shop any closer than 200 feet away from restaurants and capping the time they can stay put in one spot at two hours. The full City Council could vote on the proposal as soon as next week. (AP Photo/Sitthixay Ditthavong)

    Chicago lags behind in food truck craze, for now

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to catch Chicago up to the national food truck craze. He proposed an ordinance to lift several restrictions on the mobile eateries, but brick-and-mortar restaurants are fighting back. "I think what's going to happen more than anything is there are going to be confrontations between restaurant owners and the food truck operators," a restaurant owner said.

Life & Entertainment

    Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson of the “Twilight” saga accept the award for Ultimate Choice at the Teen Choice Awards on Sunday.

    'Twilight,' Swift add to Teen Choice Awards hauls

    "The Twilight Saga" is gonna need a bigger garage. It was announced at Sunday's Teen Choice Awards that the supernatural franchise has won 41 surfboard-shaped trophies since 2008, including awards earned this year for the penultimate film installment, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1." Other multiple winners included "The Hunger Games," Emma Stone, One Direction, "The Vampire Diaries," Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift.

    Justin Bieber performs onstage at the Teen Choice Awards on Sunday in Universal City, Calif.

    Images from the Teen Choice Awards
    134 million votes were cast for the 14th annual Teen Choice Awards, which honor film, TV, music and sports stars in such silly categories as choice hottie, villain, liplock and hissy fit. Here are images from Sunday's show.

    This Feb. 16, 2010 file photo originally released by www.Drive4COPD.com shows 1976 Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner during an event to raise awareness about the risks of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at the DRIVE4COPD “Race for the Missing Millions” pit stop in Los Angeles. “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” family patriarch Bruce Jenner, the 1976 decathlon gold medalist, will head to London to be part of the E! team there later this month.

    E! Entertainment plots first Olympics coverage

    The E! Entertainment network didn't have to look hard to find a Kardashian connection for its upcoming Olympics coverage. "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" family patriarch Bruce Jenner, the 1976 decathlon gold medalist, will head to London to be part of the E! team later this month.

    In this image taken on April 5, 2011 provided by PAWS/Zoocheck Canada, an African elephant, Toka, age 41, is shown in the Toronto Zoo in Toronto, Canada. Toka is being retired from the zoo after 37 years, and will be flown on Aug. 2, 2012 to PAWS’ 2,300-acre sanctuary in San Andreas, Calif. (AP Photo/PAWS/Zoocheck Canada, Jo-Anne McArthur)

    What’s it take for elephants to fly? A lot

    After years of planning and training, three African elephants are being retired from the Toronto Zoo and flown to a sanctuary in California. The 10,000-pound elephants will be flown in a Russian cargo plane. Zookeepers have been teaching the animals to walk in and out of their travel crates, finished in January. "We rattle the crates and make all kinds of sounds so they are used to noise," Derby said, because "there are no test flights."

    Celebrities’ images are pasted onto a homemade sash for the winner of the “Celebrity Wonks & Wonkettes” draft league gathering in Washington, D.C. Fantasy sports leagues are big business online, drawing more than 33 million fans of football to cricket. Now, celeb watchers have a handful of their own websites to draft “teams” and trash talk their friends.

    Fantasy sports widows: Don’t get mad, get celeb-ed

    Widowed by hubby's fantasy sports obsession? Don't get mad, get Kim Kardashian. Or Tom Cruise. Or Kate Middleton. Fantasy sports leagues are big business online, drawing more than 33 million fans of football to cricket. Now, celeb watchers have a handful of their own websites to draft "teams" and trash talk their friends.


    Scientists, seminarians debate evolution online

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Public discussion of evolution often turns into a nasty debate between young-earth creationists on one side and atheists who believe science disproves the existence of God on the other. But it doesn’t have to be that way.Witness the gracious dialogue taking place between Southern Baptist seminary professors and evangelical scientists on the BioLogos website.In a series of essays titled “Southern Baptist Voices,” the two groups consider questions such as whether the existence of a historical Adam and Eve created in the image of God is compatible with the gradual development of humans through evolution.While there is disagreement, the authors are quick to emphasize places where they do agree, such as the reality of the miracles described in the Bible, including the bodily resurrection of Jesus. And there is room for give-and-take on both sides.The series came about after Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Academic Dean Kenneth Keathley and BioLogos President Darrel Falk met at a Christian scholars conference last year. Keathley agreed to invite seminary professors to contribute essays describing their disagreements with BioLogos, a nonprofit foundation “committed to exploring and celebrating the compatibility of evolutionary creation and biblical faith,” according to its website.Keathley begins the first essay by noting that the Southern Baptist statement of faith is silent on how God created the universe. But he goes on to say that Southern Baptists’ very literal interpretation of Scripture leads many in the denomination to hold the view that God created the world in six, 24-hour days less than 10,000 years ago.Many Roman Catholic and mainline Protestant Christians today see parts of the Bible such as the creation as metaphorical, but for many evangelical Christians such a belief is untenable.Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler, a young-earth creationist, has called the attempt to reconcile evangelicals to evolution a “direct attack upon biblical authority.”Keathley, meanwhile, calls himself an old-earth creationist who accepts that the universe is billions of years old, but also believes that God directly intervened at certain points in natural history.In an introductory essay to the series, Keathley lays out several points where he believes Southern Baptists are at odds with the BioLogos model. Among them is whether Adam and Eve were real people who experienced a real fall from grace with God that brought sin into the world. The concept is also central to the idea that Jesus saved the world from sin through his death on the cross.Falk and two other writers state respond that science tells us “there was never a time when the human population from which all modern humans descended was as small as two individuals.” Instead, they suggest the possibility that “God began a covenantal relationship with a real, historical first couple who brought about spiritual death as a result of their disobedience.”Keathley also points out that for some Christians, evolution presents a problem because it implies that suffering and death have been with the world from the beginning, rather than resulting from rebellion against God.“Young-earth creationists ask, `What does this do to the nature of God if God created the world with pain and suffering from the beginning?”’ Keathley said in an interview.Another essayist, Bill Dembski, who is a research fellow at the Discovery Institute and one of the leaders of the Intelligent Design movement, takes it a stretch further when he says, “In terms of strict logic, nothing takes you from natural selection to atheism, but, as a practical matter, many people find that Darwin makes atheism seem plausible.”


    Legion revamps girls’ school program after abuses

    VATICAN CITY — The troubled Legion of Christ religious order says it is revamping a specialized high school program for teenage girls after dozens of alumni denounced psychological abuses they say they endured that resulted in eating disorders, stress-induced ailments and depression.The Legion’s lay branch, Regnum Christi, posted a statement on its website Thursday outlining the changes after The Associated Press reported that 77 alumni had written to the Vatican calling for the program in the U.S., Mexico and Spain to be closed because of the harm done to them in the 1990s and early 2000s.Girls in the program now have more contact with their families, more exposure to the “realities of the world,” more freedom from rigorous work schedules and, for the first time, assistance in getting into college, the statement said. Many of these changes began some time ago, but some are more recent.The problems in the program are the latest blow to the troubled, cult-like Legion, which was discredited in 2009 when it revealed that its founder was a pedophile and drug addict who fathered three children. The Legion suffered subsequent credibility problems following its recent admission that its most famous priest had fathered a child and the current Legion superior covered it up for years.The Legion saga represents one of the greatest scandals of the 20th century Catholic Church since its late founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel, had been held up as a living saint by his followers and a model of holiness by Pope John Paul II because of his ability to recruit men and money to the priesthood, even though the Vatican knew for decades he had sexually abused his seminarians.Pope Benedict XVI took over the Mexico-based order in 2010 and appointed an envoy to reform the Legion and Regnum Christi. But the reform hasn’t progressed smoothly, with defections from disillusioned members and criticism that some superiors remain resistant to change.The high school program, called the precandidacy, is a specialized religious high school for girls who are considering joining Regnum Christi’s consecrated branch, where women live like nuns making promises of poverty, chastity and obedience and working in Legion-run schools and youth programs.In a letter to papal envoy Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, and on a new blog, www.49weeks.blogspot.com, dozens of former students described the anorexia, stress-induced migraines, gastritis and back problems, clinically diagnosed depression and suicidal thoughts that some still struggle with even years after leaving.They blamed these problems on the spiritual, emotional and psychological abuse they say they suffered while students at the Immaculate Conception Academy, for 20 years headquartered in Wakefield, Rhode Island, but recently transferred to Oxford, Michigan. They described an environment where counselors slightly older than they insisted they follow the most minute of rules governing how they walked, talked, prayed and ate, telling them they would be violating God’s will if they erred.The girls said the program’s directors and counselors read and withheld the girls’ mail, barred close friendships, isolated the girls from their families 49 weeks a year and insisted that they confide only in them. That garnered the girls’ trust but also gave directors an easy way to manipulate those they wanted to keep on as potential consecrated leaders and those they decided didn’t have a vocation and should go home.The head of the consecrated women in the United States, Monica Trevino, said in a statement she was “saddened to think that some of the former pre-candidates were hurt, and I would love for us to be able to reach out to them and for them to have peace that some of these changes are in fact being made.”

    The Hell's Creek site, found in Montana in 2011, has yielded fossil turtles from the same ancient time period as a juvenile Tyrannosaurus Rex and a teenage triceratops.

    A chance to search for prehistoric treasures

    Imagine being able to uncover a piece of history millions of years old. Scott Williams, director of Exhibits and Science at the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, has been helping to lead expeditions since 2000 to sites in Montana and Utah to search for dinosaur fossils and other prehistoric artifacts.

    The 46th annual Nordic Fest takes place in Decorah, Iowa, Thursday through Saturday, July 26-28.

    On the road: Fiesta del Sol heats up

    Nordic Fest celebrates its anniversary under the theme "Return to the Nest for the 46th Fest" with food, traditional crafts, a parade, live entertainment and dancing, sporting events and Saturday night fireworks display.

    The B-17F “Memphis Belle” sits in the restoration hangar at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. The most celebrated American aircraft to emerge from the great war rests these days in a cavernous hangar at a southern Ohio Air Force base undergoing restoration.

    Memphis Belle bomber getting restored

    The buffed silver fuselage of the Memphis Belle now belies the famed B-17 bomber's six punishing months of World War II air combat and the subsequent decades of neglect that left the plane battered by the elements and stripped by souvenir hunters while on public display in its namesake city. The most celebrated American aircraft to emerge from the great war rests these days in a cavernous hangar at a southern Ohio Air Force base undergoing a loving and fastidious restoration.


    Fuel gauge malfunctions can be misleading

    Q. When we turn the ignition on, the fuel gauge always reads full, no matter how much fuel is in the tank. While driving, it still reads full. However, when we come to a stop, about a minute later the gauge drops to empty and the low-fuel indicator comes on.

    Hydrangeas are among Susan Brunstrum's favorites.

    Plants thrive in differing growing seasons

    One secret makes Susan Brunstrum's garden look more mature than its tender age: She moved 35 bushes and 750 perennials from her old house when she downsized to a 1920s cottage in the heritage area of Libertyville. This from a woman who "wanted a new, fresh look" so badly her daughter's bedroom set was the only furniture that made the move.

    R&B and soul singer Seal, pictured above, is set to headline in a concert at Ravinia Festival.

    Sunday picksSeal in concert at Ravinia

    Soul and R&B singer and songwriter Seal takes to the pavilion stage for a concert at Ravinia Festival with special guest Macy Gray. Also check out, the music, carnival and fun at Vernon Hills' Summer Celebration in Century Park.

    A suspension bridge over the Manistee River southeast of Mesick, Mich., where the North Country Scenic Trail follows the river for miles. Closing the 40-mile gap is a priority for the Michigan-based North Country Trail Association, the group responsible for the trail.

    Effort to link North Country, Appalachian trails

    The longest hiking trail in the United States stops 40 miles short of its most famous cousin, but a group is trying to bridge that gap. The North Country National Scenic Trail runs 4,600 miles from North Dakota to New York's eastern border. From there, it's about 40 miles across Vermont fields and mountains to the Appalachian Trail, the famous 2,170-mile hiking trail that runs from Georgia to Maine.


    Home repair: Can solar panels be used to shade a deck?

    Q. The narrow cedar slats in the pergola/shade roof we built over our large deck 15 years ago are now peeling, warping, shrinking and deteriorating. It's a hefty 18-foot-square frame made up of about 250 slats, so the cost of materials and labor to replace them will be substantial.


    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.

    Upgrading to a glass shower door can add beauty to a bathroom and value to a home.

    Homeowner wants to install a shower door

    Q. Our master bathroom has had a shower curtain since we moved in. It's a "shower only" stall and we've changed curtains over the years, but now I want to install a glass door and finally be rid of the curtain.

    Sure, St. Joseph was the father of Jesus, but did you know many believe he can help you sell your house?

    Trouble selling your house? Try burying a saint

    Don't look now, but St. Joseph might be buried in your backyard. Not the saint, of course, but a statue of him. Through the years, St. Joseph has become the patron saint of real estate. People across the country, if not the globe, often bury a small St. Joseph statue in the yards of properties they hope to sell.

    A double arbor is framed by Laburnums at Bayview Farm & Garden near Langley, W.A.

    Before planting, consider vines’ ups and downs

    Few plants adorn arbors or trellises as beautifully as flowering vines. --- But be careful which varieties you choose. Some vines can be thugs.



    The antidote to getting dumber

    Columnist Kathleen Parker: What about rising generations who have spent a frightening percentage of their lives consuming data in a random world of tweets, blogs and food-fight commentators, for whom fame is a goal and reality a show?


    A new perspective on the heat wave
    A Palatine letter to the editor: I found a positive in the recent heat that has received so much negative publicity. My golf score Thursday was less than the high temperature that day.


    Teachers have paid their fair share
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Teachers have "given back" during their entire careers by faithfully educating our youth and have "given back" by paying 9 percent of their salaries to the pension system.


    Maybe writer jealous of Romney’s wealth
    A Rolling Meadows letter to the editor: But to blame Romney and make him a bad person for doing what makes good sense and is what any sane person would do is pure political hogwash.


    Obama busy playing the blame game
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: Several years ago, President Obama reminded us that "the buck stops here." I am sure most of us thought that meant he would take responsibility for any and all actions of his administration. As usual that was just another empty promise.


    Firing back at Roskam on health care
    A Winfield letter to the editor: Peter Roskam has stated his commitment to repealing the health care reform act because: 1. it creates massive new taxes; 2. it will push health care costs up, and 3. families who want to keep their current medical coverage will not be able to do so.


Jul 2012

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31 1 2 3 4