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Daily Archive : Sunday July 29, 2012

News

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    Tammy Zywicki in August 1992. It has been 20 years since Tammy was stabbed to death while returning to college in Iowa, and her mother, 70-year-old JoAnn Zywicki, who now lives in central Florida, has managed to get through the onslaught of birthdays, holidays and special occasions that often torment families of the murdered. What gnaws her mother is the elusiveness of whoever killed her daughter in August 1992 after her car broke down along an Illinois freeway. Tammy's body was found more than a week later hundreds of miles away in southwestern Missouri, wrapped in red blanket sealed in duct tape.

    Tammy Zywicki: 20-year hunt for a killer

    Two decades since her daughter was stabbed to death along an Illinois highway while headed back to college, JoAnn Zywicki has weathered the onslaught of birthdays, holidays and special occasions that often torment families of the murdered. "You just go into a pattern of maybe acceptance that that's the way it is," she said. "I feel fortunate we were able to get through this, and I can see why...

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    Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. is at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., being treated for depression.

    Rev. Jesse Jackson: No timetable on son's recovery

    The Rev. Jesse Jackson said there is "no timetable" as his son, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., recovers from depression and gastrointestinal issues at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

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    New Illinois laws aim to protect elderly

    New laws signed by Gov. Pat Quinn this weekend are aimed at protecting the elderly in Illinois by increasing oversight of caregivers and making it easier for authorities to respond to cases of abuse or neglect.

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    Dan Rutherford

    Treasurer's 'new' I-Cash program carries big pricetag

    State Treasurer Dan Rutherford's office is paying nearly $2 million to a Chicago consulting firm to rebrand and market a program the Pontiac Republican said just months ago was exceeding expectations. The state will pay Henson Consulting a total of $1.98 million over three years to "re-brand and market the Cash Dash program in the state treasurer's unclaimed property division" between now and...

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    One of five riders in a U.S. FMX Championship Series motocross competition pulls a trick as he glances toward the crowd Saturday at the DuPage County Fair in Wheaton.

    DuPage fairgoers cheer motocross ‘showmanship’

    Motocross riders at the DuPage County Fair make no bones about it: Their sport is all about showing off and playing to the crowd. Their midair twists, turns, even back flips are all for audience enjoyment — especially because more crowd noise translates into a higher score.

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    Racers in the Spartan Death Race in Vermont carry water-filled plumbing pipes, kayaks and tractor tires over their heads as part of a 25-mile hike challenge.

    Athletes from suburbs survive Death Race

    Near the 37th hour of the Spartan Death Race, Anthony Matesi of Carol Stream wanted to quit after carrying a dozen logs down from a mountain in rural Vermont. "My negative thoughts were getting the best of me," he said. He was one of three suburbanites to compete in the event.

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    Competitors in the women’s category 3/4 of the Sammy’s St. Charles Prairie State Criterium race across the Fox River Sunday in downtown St. Charles. The race began and ended at Sammy’s Bike Shop using 1st Street, Illinois Avenue and Riverside Avenue as the course.

    First-time cycling race a success for St. Charles

    The Sammy's St. Charles Prairie State Criterium event brought cyclists from all over the Chicago area and beyond to St. Charles on Sunday for a day of intense racing near the Fox River. Organizers say the event was conceived as a kickoff to the Prairie State Cycling Series, a new event expected to hit multiple Illinois communities in 2013.

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    Competitors hit each other hard during the demolition derby Sunday at the DuPage County Fair in Wheaton.

    Crash! Crunch! Demolition derby again a hit at DuPage fair

    Hundreds of people filled the grandstand at the DuPage County Fair Sunday afternoon, eager to watch a dirty competition. That's dirty as in muddy — the competition was the fair's demolition derby, an event in which roaring cars slam into each other inside a mud pit. "It's always a popular event," DuPage County Fair Association President Jim McGuire said with a smile.

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    Alexis Celentano, 7, of Cary gets help from her father, David, while putting the roof on a birdhouse in the crafts area of the 52nd Algonquin Founders Days Sunday in Algonquin’s Towne Park.

    Battle of the Bands part of Founders’ Day finale

    Two bands will head to the Illinois Battle of the Bands finals next month, after winning Sunday's competition at Algonquin's Founders Day. This was the second year Founders' Day hosed the regional contest. "There were so many good bands all in one regional," said Jared Hoey, 17, of Stillman Valley, drummer for the band, Desolation Road, which took top honors.

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    Fire damages Hoffman Estates townhouses

    A fire in the back of a Hoffman Estates townhouse complex left two unit uninhabitable late Sunday afternoon, officials said.

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    Tony Borcia

    Libertyville boy identified as victim of fatal boat accident

    Authorities Sunday identified a 10-year-old Libertyville boy as the child killed Saturday when he fell from an inner tube in the Chain O' Lakes and was struck by a motorboat. Tony Borcia died as a result of traumatic injuries suffered in the accident, which occurred about 4:40 p.m. on Petite Lake, near Lake Villa.

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    Team USA and Team Mexico battle for the ball against the wall during Auto Soccer at the Lake County Fair Sunday in Grayslake.

    It’s Team USA vs. Team Mexico in Lake County auto soccer match

    The Lake County Fair hosted its inaugural auto soccer match Sunday, pitting Team USA against Team Mexico, names used for arbitrary reasons than as a reflection of the drivers' nationalities. Some of the cars were fresh from the junkyard, which was only natural, since Team USA consisted of drivers who worked at nearby Auto Parts City, which furnished the cars for Team USA.

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    14 Aurora cops honored for saving men in burning car

    If a Baker's Dozen is 13, what's a catchy phrase for 14? That might be needed in Aurora after the city's police department honored 12 officers and two sergeants for helping two people whose car caught fire after crashing into a tree.

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    West Chicago reopens storm-damaged Reed-Keppler Park

    The West Chicago Park District reopened the south end of Reed-Keppler Park on Friday, nearly four weeks after the July 1 storm pummeled parts of DuPage and Cook counties. Five surrounding park districts helped with the cleanup."What's important is that now people can start to use that area of the park again and be safe," parks Superintendent Jesse Felix said in a prepared statement.

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    Linda Topel of Bensenville helps auction off her Best in Show decorated table at Day 2 of the Art & Soul on the Fox in Elgin Sunday.

    Fox Valley art display raises more than $1,200

    Local artists raised thousands of dollars for neighborhood projects through an auction at the Art & Soul on the Fox and Passeggiata Sunday. More than 30 original pieces, each painted on to a bistro table and chairs, had been displayed throughout the Elgin area. The public voted for the 10 favorite sets, which were put on the block during a live auction Sunday, while the remaining pieces were part...

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    Civil War-era baseball in Grayslake

    Grayslake Heritage Center will stage a Civil War-era baseball game at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19, at the softball field near Grayslake Aquatic Center at Central Park.

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    SHS board to interview candidates

    The Stevenson High School board will have a closed-door meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday to interview candidates for a vacancy on the panel.

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    Bradbury Creative Contest in Waukegan

    In honor of author Ray Bradbury, who died June 5, the Waukegan Public Library is seeking creative submissions that express how Bradbury has inspired each participant's life or work.

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    Chole Shinofield, 4 of Aurora pets a sheep on the final day of the DuPage County Fair, Sunday.

    Images: The DuPage County Fair
    Photo gallery of pictures from Saturday and Sunday at the DuPage County Fair in Wheaton.

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    Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney pauses next to the Western Wall, in Jerusalem, Sunday, July 29, 2012.

    Romney voices aggressive stance toward Iran

    Mitt Romney would respect an Israeli decision to make a unilateral military strike against Iran aimed at preventing Tehran from obtaining nuclear capability, a top foreign policy adviser said Sunday as he outlined the aggressive posture the Republican presidential candidate will take toward Iran in a speech in Israel later in the day.

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    President Barack Obama walks from Marine One after returning to the White House on the South Lawn in Washington, Friday, July 27, 2012. Obama attended fundraisers in Virginia.

    In Obama era, have race relations improved?

    In the afterglow of President Barack Obama's historic victory, most people in the United States believed that race relations would improve. Nearly four years later, has that dream come true? Americans have no shortage of thoughtful opinions, and no consensus. As the nation moves toward the multiracial future heralded by this son of an African father and white mother, the events of Obama's first...

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    In this Dec. 1, 2011 file photo, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson greets supporters after formally launching his bid for U.S. Senate, at a manufacturing facility in Waukesha, Wis. Democrats have their thumbs heavily on Republican scales in Senate primaries in Missouri and Wisconsin this summer, hoping to tip the balance and improve their own chances of maintaining a majority in November. The idea isn't as far-fetched as it might sound.

    Dems advertising in several GOP Senate primaries

    Democrats have their thumbs on Republican scales in Senate primaries in Missouri and Wisconsin this summer, hoping to improve their own chances of maintaining a majority in November. The idea isn't quite as far-fetched as it might sound.

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    Joey Suyeishi, left, wears a bat T-shirt and is held by his wife Heidi Suyeishi, as they and others hold a moment of silence to honor Jessica Ghawi in the Penalty Box Bar during a fund raising event at the Edge Ice Arena, Saturday in Littleton, Colo. Ghawi was one of the 12 people killed in the July 20 shooting attack.

    Colorado theater lacked security, unlike some peers

    The Colorado movie theater complex that was the scene of a gunman's massacre this month didn't have any uniformed security guards on duty the night of the shooting, even though other theaters operated by the same company did provide such protection for the busy premiere of the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises."

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    Spectators sit amongst empty seats before Egypt’s group C men’s soccer match against New Zealand at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday at Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester, England.

    Troops, students, teachers to fill Olympic seats

    Troops, teachers and students are getting free tickets to fill prime seats that were empty at some Olympic venues on the first full day of competition.

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    Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney talks to American businessman Sheldon Adelson, who has said he will donate millions to Romney’s campaign, after he delivered a speech in Jerusalem, Sunday.

    Romney: Overpaying taxes disqualifies president
    Mitt Romney says that if he paid more taxes than were required, he wouldn't be qualified to be president.

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    Sisters Audrey, 2, left, and Grace Routh, 5, of Hoffman Estates, play in the sprinklers at the Growing Grace Landscape Association exhibit at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show during the last day of the 84th Annual Lake County Fair Sunday in Grayslake.

    Images: Weekend fun at the Lake County Fair
    The 84th Annual Lake County Fair "A Fair to Remember" is enjoyed by fairgoers from Wednesday, July 25 through Sunday, July 29. Rides, food, animals, entertainment and queen crownings are all part of this annual fair in Grayslake.

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    Panetta heads to Mideast; Syria high on the agenda

    ABOARD A US MILITARY AIRCRAFT — U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta began a five-day Mideast trip Sunday to consult with the new Islamist leaders of Tunisia and Egypt and to meet with long-standing allies Israel and Jordan.

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    Report: US presents Israel with Iran strike plan

    JERUSALEM — An Israeli newspaper reported Sunday that the Obama administration’s top security official has briefed Israel on U.S. plans for a possible attack on Iran, seeking to reassure it that Washington is prepared to act militarily should diplomacy and sanctions fail to pressure Tehran to abandon its nuclear enrichment program.

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    Officials: US drone strike kills 4 in NW Pakistan

    ISLAMABAD — Pakistani intelligence officials say a suspected U.S. missile strike has killed four people near the Afghan border.The officials say the missiles hit a car in Khushali village near Mir Ali in North Waziristan.They spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because they were not authorized to talk to reporters. They say the identity of the four dead is not yet clear.

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    Kalin Koychev of Wheeling, who donated a kidney to Nathan Saavedra, 3, of Carpentersville, continues to help the Saavedra family by raising funds.

    Fundraiser for kidney recipient raises nearly $1,000

    A weekend fundraiser that Wheeling resident Kalin Koychev held for the Saavedra family so far, has raised about $850. Moreover, that dollar amount is expected to increase because there are more donations coming Koychev's way.

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    Augie Hirt of Wheaton was a world-class racewalker whose Olympic dreams were dashed in 1976 and by the 1980 boycott. He still holds several American records in the sport.

    Racewalk records still held by Wheaton man, 61

    A world-class racewalker whose Olympic dreams were dashed in 1976 and 1980, Augie Hirt of Wheaton still holds American records and has introduced the sport of racewalking to tens of thousands of people. "I think just the fact that it looks silly to people is why it's never caught on," he said of the sport's limited popularity.

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    Casey, a male Labrador retriever, weighs about 21 pounds and is 9 months old.

    Names we pick say a lot about our pets

    My niece Priscilla adopted a second dog about two weeks ago. He's a 3-pound Chihuahua, who joins his sister, also a Chihuahua. He came from a shelter that rescued him in Puerto Rico. My niece changed his name to Jersey, reflecting the state where they live. I got to thinking, how do we name our dogs?

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    Dr. Jeremiah Lowney, center, started the Give a Goat program 11 years ago. Roughly 600 goats are distributed to rural families a year.

    DuPage fair to help Haitian families with goats

    At this year's fair, the DuPage County Fair Assocation will have jars in barns and tents to collect change for the Haitian town of Jeremie. But the money won't be going to buy food, clothing, shelter or supplies. Instead, it will buy families a goat. For every $150 collected, the Haitian Health Foundation will purchase a pregnant goat for a family in Jeremie. "It gives the people the opportunity...

Sports

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    The Cubs' Alfonso Soriano, who has been a defensive liability the past few seasons, is a strong candidate for a Gold Glove in left field this year, according to Len Kasper.

    Dempster exercised his rights ... and must deal with backlash

    Q. What is your take on the failed trade of Ryan Dempster to Atlanta?A. I think my friend Bruce Miles put it best when he wrote that it's not Ryan Dempster's job to fix the Cubs. That's what Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are paid to do. Dempster's 10/5 rights gave him all the leverage. The old adage, “It's just business,” works both ways. Having said that, Ryan is paying the price in the blogosphere and on Twitter among Cubs fans who think the reportedly nixed trade could have helped the team long-term. I understand both sides. He doesn't owe anybody any explanation for exercising his rights, but he also now has to deal with the consequences in terms of public perception as a result.Q. Did we hear you correctly the other day when you said Alfonso Soriano is having a Gold Glove caliber season?A. You did. Remember, the Gold Glove voting for outfielders has changed — no longer do the top three outfielders win the award. Votes are based on specific position now — left, center, right field. And that makes this a fun debate because left field is considered one of the the easiest of the defensive positions on the so-called defensive spectrum. If you rank all the positions by general difficulty to play, only first base would be considered an easier position to play. And this season, Soriano has been statistically among the elite. I won't bore you with the details, but his fielding percentage and Ultimate Zone Rating/150 (which is a good Fangraphs.com stat) stack up really well. Then there's the eye test. He has shown way better range this season, especially on balls hit over his head. As Bob Brenly has said, he's made several plays that other left fielders wouldn't make. Alfonso gets most of the credit for his improvement, but give an assist to new outfield coach Dave McKay, who has really meshed well with all the outfielders. I'm not claiming Soriano will win the Gold Glove. I'm just saying that if I had a vote, he would get it.Q. Who's your NL Central favorite?A. It has to be Cincinnati right now, based on (and you might want to be sitting down for this) the Reds' pitching staff. Yes, the Cincinnati Reds are among the leaders in the majors in team ERA. I do think the Pirates can hang around for a while, but I just don't know if their offense is good enough beyond Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker. The Cardinals intrigue me because of their high-powered offense, which has done a ton of damage this year without Albert Pujols and, for the most part, Lance Berkman, due to all his leg problems. Plus, they've been there before. My wild guess in terms of the final standings in the division: Reds, Cardinals, Pirates.Q. What's the best and worst part of your job?A. The best part is just about all of it — getting paid to watch big-league baseball, doing what I dreamed about as a kid, traveling to fun cities and ballparks, and on top of it all, working for the greatest fan base in the best city in the country. The only downside is being away from my family on the road. The travel and accommodations are always first-class, so those things are never an issue. Being gone for over 100 days a year is hard at times. This job can cause a strain on your family life and I hate missing big moments in my son's life. But, the flip side is that I get to be home all winter, so that makes up for it.Ÿ Len Kasper is the TV play-by-play broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs. Follow him on Twitter @landandbob and check out his blog entries at www.wgntv.com/blogs/lenandbob.

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    Rongey: Liriano not a game-changer like Greinke

    I don't believe newly acquired Sox pitcher Francisco Liriano is a game-changer in the way that someone like Zack Greinke would be. A pitcher like Greinke would be like adding another Jake Peavy: a guy that has a better likelihood of giving his team a chance to win on a more regular basis — an ace, if you will.

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    Boomers’ rally falls short

    The visiting Schaumburg Boomers left the tying run on base in the ninth inning, falling to the Rockford RiverHawks 6-5 on Sunday evening to snap a franchise-best five-game winning streak.

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    Cougars’ Brooks notches distance win

    Aaron Brooks went the distance as the Kane County Cougars cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Quad Cities River Bandits on Sunday evening at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva.

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    White Sox starting pitcher Gavin Floyd delivers during Sunday’s second inning in Arlington, Texas.

    Sox give Floyd zero run support

    Scott Feldman tied a career high by pitching eight shutout innings in helping the Texas Rangers snap a two-game skid with a 2-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

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    Cubs’ 3B prospect still waiting for a shot

    Even though the Cubs aren't getting much offensive production from third baseman Luis Valbuena, they seem in no hurry to bring up prospect Josh Vitters from Class AAA Iowa. Vitters, the Cubs' first-round draft choice in 2007, is enjoying a breakout season offensively at Iowa.

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    Defensive end Israel Idonije’s credentials against the run are more than solid. He led all Bears linemen by a wide margin with 57 tackles last season, 30 more than Julius Peppers — although that’s partly because offenses usually choose to avoid Peppers. But the Bears want more from their defensive ends in the pass rush this season.

    Bears have a sad lack of sacks

    It's no secret the Bears used their first draft pick this year on defensive end Shea McClellin because they didn't get an acceptable level of pass rush last year from left end Israel Idonije or backup Corey Wootton. Despite the double-team attention that Julius Peppers attracts, Idonije's sack total fell from 8 in 2010 to 5 last season, and Wootton struggled to even dress on Sundays, playing briefly in just seven games with a total of 7 tackles and no sacks.

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    Bears fans like Don Wachter hope Brian Urlacher is right when he says “we have the talent now to reach our expectations. ... I really think we can do it this year.”

    Bears CB Moore wants to do something special

    Nickel cornerback D.J. Moore led the team with 4 interceptions last season, but he's expanding his role this season to include more special teams. Special teams coordinator Dave Toub is looking for a gunner on the outside of the coverage teams to replace departed Pro Bowler Corey Graham, and Moore is one of several players getting a look.

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    Fans unabashedly root for the Bears, as evidenced by the thousands who made the trek to Bourbonnais on Saturday night for a practice.

    Fans’ football appetite insatiable

    The crowd over the weekend at the Bears' first practice in pads indicates that football is in no danger of becoming extinct.

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    The Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo admires his 2-run walkoff home run in the 10th inning Sunday at Wrigley Field.

    Rizzo proving to be the real deal

    Break up the Cubs? Not so fast, but the new regime feels it is well positioned for the future, with players such as Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro. Rizzo made Sunday a special one, as he hit a walk-off 2-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Cubs a 4-2 win over the Cardinals.

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    Cubs starter Paul Maholm delivers a pitch Sunday against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning at Wrigley Field.

    Cubs triumph in ten innings

    Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning Sunday that lifted the Cubs over the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2. Starlin Castro led off the 10th with a single against Trevor Rosenthal (0-1) and Rizzo followed with his seventh homer. James Russell (5-0) worked an inning for the win. The Cubs are 12-3 in their last 15 home games.

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    The Friday July 27, 2012 photo shows a cast member walking with the Indian team during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. The woman stood out during India's walk through Olympic Stadium at the opening ceremony. That's because she wasn't supposed to be there. Friday night's party crasher was not wearing the yellow and white dress that every other Indian woman was wearing in the group, yet still managed to situate herself next to flag bearer Sushil Kumar at the front of the line as they walked around the stadium.

    India's Olympic team abuzz about mystery woman

    A mysterious woman in red has caused an international incident at the London Olympics. Indian officials are mystified — and miffed — after an unknown young woman managed to march with the country's athletes and officials during the opening ceremony Friday night. Games organizers on Sunday downplayed security concerns around the unscripted moment

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    United States’ Dana Vollmer poses with her gold medal for the women’s 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Sunday. Vollmer set a new world record with a time of 55.98.

    U.S. swimmer sets world record in 100M butterfly

    American Dana Vollmer took down another record in the 100-meter butterfly Sunday night, then Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa beat another in the 100 breaststroke — denying Japan's Kosuke Kitajima an Olympic threepeat. After the second night of the London Games, three world records have already been set.

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    France’s men’s relay swim team members — from left, Yannick Agnel, Amaury Leveaux, Fabien Gilot, and Clement Lefert — hold their gold medals after their win in the men’s 4x100-meter freestyle relay final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

    French swim past Phelps, Americans in 4x100M relay

    Payback. This time, it was France chasing down the United States — and Ryan Lochte, no less — to win another riveting relay at the Olympics. With Michael Phelps looking much stronger than he did the night before, the Americans built a commanding lead over the first three legs of the 400-meter freestyle relay and never really had to worry about the defending world champions from Australia.

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    U.S. gymnast Jordyn Wieber cries Sunday after failing to qualify for the women’s all-around finals during the Artistic Gymnastics women’s qualification at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

    U.S. women lead, but champion gymnast misses the cut

    The U.S. women were atop the Olympic gymnastics standings, as expected, with little standing in their way — except themselves. More than the Russians, Romanians and Chinese, the biggest challenge for the gold medal may come from how they deal with world champion Jordyn Wieber losing out on the all-around event Sunday and how she lost it — bumped by her best friend on the very last routine.

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    The Friday July 27, 2012 photo shows a cast member walking with the Indian team during the Opening Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 27, 2012, in London. The woman stood out during India’s walk through Olympic Stadium at the opening ceremony. That’s because she wasn’t supposed to be there. Friday night’s party crasher was not wearing the yellow and white dress that every other Indian woman was wearing in the group, yet still managed to situate herself next to flag bearer Sushil Kumar at the front of the line as they walked around the stadium.

    India’s Olympic team abuzz about mystery woman

    A mysterious woman in red has caused an international incident at the London Olympics. Indian officials are mystified — and miffed — after an unknown young woman managed to march with the country's athletes and officials during the opening ceremony Friday night. Games organizers on Sunday downplayed security concerns around the unscripted moment

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    4 charged for cyclist protest outside Olympic Park

    LONDON — London police arrested 182 activists on bicycles who tried to breach the Olympic Park’s security cordon during the Olympics opening ceremony, officials said Sunday.Four people have been charged with various offenses during Friday night’s protest, while the rest were released pending further questioning, Scotland Yard said.Police said that they were aware that a monthly protest by cyclists was planned for Friday but ordered the protesters to remain south of the River Thames. That was to keep them from blocking more than 80,000 ticket-holding guests from attending the Olympics opening ceremony.Police said around 400 to 500 people gathered for the demonstration attempted to cross the Thames to the Stratford area, where the Olympic Park is located, defying police warnings and attempts to stop them. The cyclists split into small groups and some managed to reach Stratford.In a statement, Metropolitan Police said it respected the right to protest but officers must stop protesters who affect athletes, spectators, and ordinary Londoners. It said officers began arresting the cyclists only after they ignored verbal warnings to leave the area.The anti-capitalist group Occupy London, part of a global movement that has waged demonstrations against financial institutions and capitalist policies, said some cyclists were members of their organization. They said police cordoned off more than 100 cyclists at one road junction near the stadium as Friday’s ceremony was beginning and held them there several hours.

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    United States’ Michael Phelps competes in the men’s 400-meter individual medley swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, July 28, 2012.

    5 Olympic things to know for Sunday

    Swimming is among the five things to watch for at the London Olympics on Sunday. The United States, Australia and France go for gold in the final of the 4 x100m freestyle relay, a day after Michael Phelps was stunningly defeated by teammate Ryan Lochte.

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    Chris Sale’s velocity was down in his last start, raising a “red flag” according to sports injury expert Will Carroll.

    Sale’s loss of velocity should concern Sox
    Chris Sale earned his 12th win of the season Friday night at Texas, but the bigger news was his noticable drop in velocity. Should the White Sox be worried about their ace starter? According to baseball injury expert Will Carroll, the answer is yes.

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    Northbrook employs a lot of Hart to eliminate Arlington

    Over the course of a tournament, championship teams need different players to step up.In the championship game of the American Legion's Cook County tournament Saturday, it was the bottom part of Northbrook's lineup that delivered as the Braves' final four hitters contributed 7 hits and 8 runs. Combined with a gutty pitching performance from Matt Hart, it all added up to a 9-6 victory over Arlington and a berth in the state tournament in Mattoon.

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    Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall, right, catches a ball against cornerback Jonathan Wilhite, left, during NFL football training camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill., Saturday, July 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Bears’ Marshall puts on quite a show

    Brandon Marshall gives the 10,000 fans watching Saturday's night's practice a scare ... and then puts on a show.

Business

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    General Motors said its head of marketing, who decided to end advertising on Facebook and the Super Bowl, resigned as the automaker’s U.S. market share declines.

    GM’s marketing chief resigns

    General Motors Co. says that its global chief marketing officer, Joel Ewanick, has resigned from the Detroit auto maker. The announcement comes following several major changes to the company's advertising approach and just ahead of its second-quarter earnings report on Thursday.

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    Boeing, General Electric and U.S. officials are investigating a malfunction that spewed metal debris from a GE engine on a 787 Dreamliner and caused an airport grass fire in South Carolina. A 787 Dreamliner is seen in the photo above.

    NTSB investigating Dreamliner engine issue

    Boeing Co. says federal regulators are investigating after one of its 787 jets had an engine issue that sparked a fire in South Carolina, but the company remains confident in its safety.

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    Confidence in large banks is eroding, according to a survey.

    Fewer than 1 in 4 Americans trust big banks

    A survey finds fewer than 1 in 4 Americans trust the financial system and that confidence in large banks is eroding. The latest quarterly survey issued Tuesday by the Chicago Booth/Kellogg School says the 21 percent of respondents who said they trust the system is the lowest level since the school's March 2009 poll.

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    Merkel, Monti: will do all to protect eurozone

    BERLIN — The German and Italian leaders have pledged to do everything to protect the eurozone, the German government said Sunday — further underlining European politicians’ determination to get a grip on the continent’s debt crisis, but again offering no details of any action.Chancellor Angela Merkel and Premier Mario Monti spoke by phone Saturday and “agreed that Germany and Italy will do everything to protect the eurozone,” German government spokesman Georg Streiter said in a statement.That was near-identical to the wording of a statement issued Friday by Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, which in turn came a day after Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, said the ECB would do “whatever it takes” to preserve the euro.None of the leaders have said anything about any specific action. But the comments raised expectations that the ECB might step in to buy Spanish and perhaps Italian government bonds to lower the countries’ borrowing costs, which have been worryingly high in recent weeks. Another possibility might be for the eurozone’s temporary rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, to buy bonds — though Merkel’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, has dismissed talk Spain might apply to the fund for such help. He told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that “there is nothing to this speculation.” Italy and Spain have the eurozone’s third- and fourth-biggest economies respectively, behind Germany and France.Merkel and Monti agreed that decisions made by last month’s European Union summit “must be implemented as quickly as possible,” Streiter said, again echoing Friday’s Merkel-Hollande statement.Those included allowing Europe’s bailout fund — once a new, independent bank supervisor is set up — to give money directly to a country’s banks, rather than via the government. Countries that pledge to implement reforms demanded by the EU’s executive Commission also would be able to tap rescue funds without having to go through the kind of tough austerity measures demanded of Greece, Portugal and Ireland.Merkel invited Monti to visit Berlin in the second half of August and he accepted the invitation, the German government said.The assurances come as concern flares again about Greece. International debt inspectors are scrutinizing Greece’s finances and its progress in implementing unpopular budget cuts and reforms demanded in exchange for the rescue loan program that is keeping the country afloat. Greek officials have called for more time to implement the measures, but patience among creditors is running short. If the inspectors’ report, expected in September, is damning, Athens could stop receiving loans and face bankruptcy and an exit from the 17-nation euro. “The aid program is already very accommodating. I cannot see that there is still scope for further concessions,” Germany’s Schaeuble was quoted as telling Welt am Sonntag. As part of its austerity efforts, Greece has achieved a remarkable reduction of its budget deficit from 15.8 percent in 2009 to 9.1 percent last year. However, the country is considerably off-target in other areas of reform. Athens largely blames this on a deeper-than-anticipated recession. However, a political crisis sparked by fierce rivalry between Greece’s main political parties stalled the reforms for three months, and a three-party coalition finally emerged in June after two inconclusive elections. Schaeuble said that “the problem did not arise because of flaws in the (rescue) program but because it was insufficiently implemented by Greece.”“It doesn’t help to speculate now about more money or more time,” he said. Germany’s vice chancellor, Economy Minister Philipp Roesler, openly questioned last week whether Greece would satisfy the conditions to receive further aid and said the prospect of a Greek exit from the euro has “lost its horror.” He defended those comments in an interview broadcast Sunday.

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    Drug-makers are finding themselves limited in producing new drugs this year.

    Drug-makers take hit as patents lapse with few replacements

    Fewer new prescription drugs will get approved in the U.S. this year than the 30 approved in 2011, a ratings agency forecasts, adding to the many stresses on the pharmaceutical industry. The Food and Drug Administration approved only 14 innovative drugs in the first half of this year, down from 18 in the first half of 2011, according to a report released Wednesday by Fitch Ratings.

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    Tourists stop to watch the canopy light show at the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas on March 22. Despite some recent diversification, Nevada's economy is more concentrated than virtually any other state. The tourism/gambling sector accounts for more than one-quarter of Nevada's 1.14 million nonfarm jobs, and 13 of the 20 largest employers are casino/hotel companies. Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, have visited the state, competing strenuously for Nevada's six electoral votes in what has become one of the most intense swing-state contests.

    Nevada's high unemployment makes election a toss-up

    Despite some recent diversification, Nevada's economy is more concentrated than virtually any other state. The tourism/gambling sector accounts for more than one-quarter of Nevada's 1.14 million nonfarm jobs, and 13 of the 20 largest employers are casino/hotel companies. Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, have visited the state, competing strenuously for Nevada's six electoral votes in what has become one of the most intense swing-state contests.

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    Sandy Weill, chairman of Citigroup, exits Carnegie Hall in New York where the annual shareholders meeting was held. Weill, the aggressive dealmaker who built Citigroup on the idea that in banking, bigger is better, said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday that he believes big banks should be broken up. It’s an idea that’s traditionally more in line with the banking industry’s harshest critics, not its founding fathers. It’s an ironic twist coming from an empire-builder who nursed Citigroup into a behemoth.

    Banking behemoth makes radical proposal: Split them up

    Sandy Weill is having a change of heart. Weill, the aggressive dealmaker who built Citigroup on the idea that in banking, bigger is better, said Wednesday that he believes big banks should be broken up. "Our world hates bankers," he said.

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    One way to deal with a constantly nagging co-worker is provide meaningless feedback. The feedback might fill their need for attention, or it could make them more self-aware.

    Work advice: Curbing the curmudgeonly co-worker

    I work in a university environment and share the reception area with a woman who constantly complains, loudly, behind the walls of her cubicle about every issue under the sun. What is the best way to handle her never-ending rants against delivery companies, incompetent people and life in general?

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    Fresh fruit, New York clover honey and Greek olive oil are on display for sale at the Chobani yogurt bar in the Soho neighborhood of New York on July 23. Chobani, opened its first “yogurt bar” in New York City on Wednesday as it looks to strengthen its position in a rapidly growing market.

    American yogurt tastes getting could be more cultured

    Yogurt companies are looking to cultivate Americans' taste for dairy. The country's top Greek yogurt maker, Chobani, is opening up its first "yogurt bar" in New York City on Wednesday as it looks to strengthen its position in a rapidly growing market. Dannon, a longtime industry giant, also opened up a shop in New York City earlier this month called The Yogurt Culture Company, which serves both fresh Greek and traditional varieties.

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    Overlooking disability insurance can be costly

    Long-term disability insurance is the forgotten insurance. The importance of auto, health, homeowners and life insurance is well known. But disability coverage, which replaces lost earnings if you can't work, tends to be ignored — until you need it. "It could be argued that the disability of a breadwinner is worse than the death of a breadwinner," says James Hunt, insurance actuary for the Consumer Federation of America, "because the disabled person is still soaking up money."

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    Gary Greenberg, co-manager of the Payden GNMA mutual fund, which primarily invests in government-backed mortgage bonds known as Ginnie Maes. Greenberg says Ginnie Mae bonds offer the potential for significantly greater investment yields than Treasury bonds with only slightly more risk.

    Ginnie Mae funds: 5 things investors need to know

    Investors continue to place an unusually high premium on safety. How else to explain the record low yields they're willing to accept for lending to Uncle Sam? The rate on the 10-year Treasury note sank as low as 1.39 percent this week. That's paltry payback for locking up their money for a decade. Investors can earn significantly more by taking on just a bit more risk.

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    U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is urging colleges and universities to adopt an easy-to-understand financial aid form to help students determine where to study, how to pay and what they’ll owe.

    Feds urge colleges to adopt new student aid form

    U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan is urging colleges and universities to adopt an easy-to-understand financial aid form to help students determine where to study, how to pay and what they'll owe. "All of us share a responsibility for making college affordable," he said. "And for keeping the middle class dream alive."

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    John Arensmeyer is CEO of Small Business Majority, an advocacy group for small business owners that is backing President Obama’s health care overhaul.

    Small Business Majority breaks away from pack, supports Obamacare

    When John Arensmeyer owned a high-tech company, he didn't think the organizations that lobbied on behalf of small business really represented him — or many other business owners. "They put forth a monolithic view of what small business wants," Arensmeyer said. "So I felt there was an opportunity and a need for a new voice."

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    The University of Illinois is teaming up with an online education company called Coursera to offer free online classes. The Urbana-Champaign campus is joining schools such as Princeton, Stanford and the University of Michigan, who already have partnerships with Coursera.

    Why top universities are putting classes online for free

    It just got easier to get a free education. The startup Coursera, which was launched by two Stanford professors last year, is partnering with 12 major research universities to offer more than 100 free online courses in topics ranging from computer science to poetry.

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    Advertisers are getting more clever by inserting commercials inside shows featuring stars of the show currently airing. Stacy has appeared in commercials for makeup and shampoo that air during episodes of “Drop Dead Diva.”

    How TV shows trick you into watching ads

    Alyssa Rosenberg had an interesting post on her ThinkProgress blog this week about a report that shows fewer DVR viewers are fast-forwarding through ad breaks. Rosenberg wonders if TV viewers are actively choosing to watch more ads as a way to support the shows they care about — though she admits it might just reflect their growing laziness. I have another theory: I've been a devoted TiVo user for more than a decade, and my fast-forwarding habits haven't changed a bit. But I am watching more commercials these days — because advertisers are using lowdown, sneaky ploys to trick me into it.

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    Zillow believes the real estate industry has bottomed out and brighter days are ahead.

    Zillow: Home industry’s worst days are over

    U.S. home values have risen four consecutive months, Zillow.com said, a trend that led the housing website to declare that the market has turned the corner from its five-year slump. "After four months with rising home values and increasingly positive forecast data, it seems clear that the country has hit a bottom in home values," a Zillow official said. "The housing recovery is holding together despite lower-than-expected job growth, indicating that it has some organic strength of its own."

Life & Entertainment

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    Clark Kayler made this elm table from a tree that fell during a storm.

    Some fallen trees are too beautiful to discard

    On a rain-drenched day in early 2008, a large elm tree tumbled over, destroying a house in Sacramento, Calif. Before long, Clark Kayler was on the scene, eager to give the majestic tree a second act — as highly sought-after tables, benches, desks and countertops.

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    Singer Tom Jones performs during a concert in Beirut, Lebanon. Jones has apologized to fans after pulling out of an Olympic celebration concert in London after contracting bronchitis. The 72-year-old Welsh crooner had been due to entertain tens of thousands of people at the outdoor concert in Hyde Park on Saturday, July 28, 2012. He was replaced by British singer Will Young.

    Illness forces Tom Jones to cancel Olympic gig

    LONDON — Tom Jones has apologized to fans after pulling out of an Olympic celebration concert in London after contracting bronchitis.The 72-year-old Welsh crooner had been due to entertain tens of thousands of people at the outdoor concert in Hyde Park on Saturday. He was replaced by British singer Will Young.Jones tweeted “sorry to all,” adding that doctors had ordered him to cancel gigs scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.He later added: “Thanks for all the lovely messages, I don’t know if everyone’s understanding and support is making me feel better or worse! You’re the best!”The concert was part of the BT London Live series that is offering fans without Olympic tickets an opportunity to listen to music and watch sports on big screens.

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    Travis Morrison performing with the Dismemberment Plan at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago in 2011. “As I’d watch him do things like play the keyboard by smashing it with his forehead, spit water all over the audience or writhe convulsively on the ground, I would think, ‘I can’t believe this is the same man who likes to go to bed at 10 o’clock and sweetly brings me coffee in bed every morning,’” writes the author.

    How I ended up marrying a rock star

    NEW YORK — As a kid, I imagined many things for my life. Marrying a rock star was not one of them. I appreciate and enjoy music, but have no passionate or fanatical interest in it. I don’t know any obscure bands and can’t talk knowledgeably about any artist’s “catalog.” I don’t particularly like going to see live music that much — it’s too loud, and I get too tired. I don’t hang out in rock clubs wearing leather miniskirts or do anything else featured in Almost Famous. I am a normal-looking brunette.I started dating Travis Morrison, a computer programmer who worked at my company in early 2010. We got to know each other through chatting at the lunch table. We were the only people in our small office who regularly brought in food from home. I had the vaguest recollection that I had heard from a colleague he had been in some kind of famous band, but I didn’t really know the details.The first time we socialized outside the office, I was shocked when one of the people attending a small dinner party lit up when she recognized him. “I LOVE your band, I saw you all play at least three times in high school!” She squealed with glee. I had never heard of his band, “the Dismemberment Plan,” and it didn’t really sound like a band I would like.As we started dating, I naturally inquired about his musical past. He had been the lead singer of the Dismemberment Plan, but they had broken up in 2003 and hadn’t played a show together since 2007. He’d put out some albums as a solo artist and then decided to leave the industry and go into computer programming full time. He worked at The Washington Post and then the Huffington Post, where I met him. I asked him about his albums, and he told me that I should just listen to the one he considered the best, “Emergency & I.” When I asked about the others, he said he didn’t have any copies, and that I would have to buy them on iTunes. So I downloaded and listened. I enjoyed them, although I didn’t memorize any lyrics or listen to them on repeat. But that chapter of his biography didn’t play much part in our lovely blossoming romance. At the time, Travis got his singing joy largely from an Episcopal church choir. I would attend the monthly services to support him, and we’d go to brunch afterward.Our first year together proceeded in the usual way: we cooked dinners for each other, hung out with friends and worked hard at our demanding jobs. I brought him to my grandma’s 90th birthday party, and he introduced me to his extended clan of Minnesota cousins.About a year into our relationship, Travis told me that the Dismemberment Plan was planning to re-release “Emergency & I” on vinyl and that they would likely play some shows together in early 2011 to promote it. It all sounded like good fun. To everyone’s surprise, all the tickets sold out within hours. They announced more shows, which were received with equal enthusiasm. I was excited to get to see him play. I imagined my role in all this would be supportive partner, in the same way I would be if he had decided to go to grad school or take up a new hobby.But it became clear pretty early in the tour that returning to play with your famous rock band that has a cult following is different from going to grad school. Usually when you go to grad school, you don’t appear on Jimmy Fallon. Or have your photo in The New York Times. Or have people tweet sightings of you at brunch. After years of relative anonymity, for a moment, he became someone people spotted.There were moments of extreme cognitive dissonance when I saw him up there. He’s a wild and expert showman on stage. As I’d watch him do things like play the keyboard by smashing it with his forehead, spit water all over the audience or writhe convulsively on the ground, I would think, “I can’t believe this is the same man who likes to go to bed at 10 o’clock and sweetly brings me coffee in bed every morning.”

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    Faith and Whisky

    Suburban Chicago's Got Talent down to Final Five

    It's now down to the final five for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent. Making the last cut are: country duo Faith and Whisky, beatboxing vocal duo iLLest Vocals, country singer/songwriter Woody James, yo-yo artist Shane Lubecker and jazz pianist Robert Osiol.

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    Don’t get upset if someone in London wants to take a piss with you. There are some variances between British and American English that could lead to some misunderstandings during the Olympics. (By the way, take a piss means to play a joke on someone.)

    ‘Oy tink:’ Primer on British English for Americans
    Don't get upset if someone in London wants to take a piss with you. There are some variances between British and American English that could lead to some misunderstandings during the Olympics. (By the way, take a piss means to play a joke on someone.)

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    Non diet beverage selected for a soda taste test. The Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc. and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. have worked to come up with sodas that have fewer calories but still taste good.

    Soda taste test: How the new diets stack up

    Ask five strangers to taste five new diet sodas and you might get one opinion: Try again. As soda consumption has declined over the past several years amid worries about the nation's obesity rates, The Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc. and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. have worked to come up with sodas that have fewer calories but still taste good.

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    A brown bear catches a salmon at Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park in Alaska. A new video initiative will bring the famed brown bears of the park directly to your computer or smartphone. In a partnership with explore.org, a live webstream will be unveiled Tuesday that will allow the public to log on and see the brown bears in their natural habitat, including views of the bears catching salmon at Brooks Falls.

    Webcams make Alaska bears accessible

    A new video initiative is bringing the famed brown bears of Alaska's Katmai National Park directly to your computer or smartphone.Without having to go there, you'll be able to watch mature bears compete for salmon at Brook Falls and other sites and cubs tumbling over each other as they play. Starting Tuesday, a live Web stream will allow the public to see the brown bears in their natural habitat.

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    Jodi Polanski, founder and executive director of Lost Our Home Pet Foundation, stands outside her business in Phoenix. Lost Our Home helps people facing foreclosure place their pets with other families or in foster environments until their owners can get them back. Lost Our Home Pet Foundation rescue and food bank relies primarily on fosters although it did open a small shelter in April. It has 35 to 40 animals in the shelter and 220 in foster homes and has placed over 2,000 animals in four years.

    Charities help pets when foreclosure victims can’t

    Various charities around the country help pets when foreclosure victims can't. Some also work with the unemployed and those too ill or old to handle their pets, but about 30 percent of their pets are foreclosures.

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    The Club des Chefs des Chefs — a club of chefs for political leaders — toured Paris after a trip Berlin that included a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    Chefs of world leaders boost diplomacy with food

    They feed the powerful and are most at home in the kitchen. But French President Francois Hollande contends that the chefs who cook for the leaders of the world have a behind-the-scenes role at the negotiating tables of international diplomacy.What could be the world's most exclusive gastronomic association, the Club des Chefs des Chefs — a club of chefs for political leaders — brings these gastronomic masters together each year in a different country.

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    An embankment slide is built into a constructed hill at an elementary school as shown here in Glens Falls, N.Y. The embankment slide is safer than tower slides with ladders. Scattered boulders, random dirt steps, rough terrain, and varied plantings add to the rich textures and varied experiences on Natural Playgrounds.

    Playground design goes on a nature hike

    Architect and playground builder Ron King is part of a robust movement to bring back more natural play, with environments that serve up some messiness and risk-taking along with exercise. Kids may play on equipment for a short time, he says, "but then they want to run around. They want to climb a hill, scramble over rocks, listen to the wind and play in the rain. They want to explore and discover rather than have their play experience defined by a piece of equipment."

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    Fairgoers enjoy a previous edition of the Lake County Fair in Grayslake.

    Sunday picks: Who doesn't love a county fair?

    The 84th Annual Lake County Fair lets you be a kid again, if only for a day. Enjoy carnival rides, games, fair food, music and more. Come out to Elk Grove Park District's Annual Block Party and stick around for the Elk Grove Idol competition at 6 p.m. If you prefer theater outside, then Elgin's fifth annual Walkabout: Theater on Your Feet is for you.

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    A track used for warm-ups during the 2000 Olympics is shown at the Athletic Centre in Sydney. This track and an adjacent track are open for recreational use when there isn’t an event.

    Run, swim and pose where Olympic champs reigned

    In Sydney, you can swim in the same pool where Ian Thorpe won five Olympic medals in 2000. In Berlin, you can pose for photos in the stadium where Jesse Owens won four gold medals in 1936. In Lake Placid, N.Y., you can skate on the same rink where Eric Heiden speed skated his way to five golds in 1980. You don't have to go to London to enjoy the Olympics.

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    Visitors to the Hudson River Park in New York play miniature golf.

    Manhattan's Hudson Park now a recreation destination

    In the last decade, the decrepit piers and industrial zones along five miles of the Hudson River on Manhattan's West Side have been utterly transformed. Hudson River Park is now a destination that gets 17 million visits annually, with a bike path, green spaces, playgrounds and recreation ranging from mini-golf and skateboarding to kayaking and even stand-up paddleboarding.

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    Sausage is king during Brat Days in Sheboygan, Wis., Aug. 2-4.

    On the road: Let Brat Days begin

    Sheboygan, Wis., on the shores of Lake Michigan, is wienie heaven during Brat Days. Expect wall-to-wall free musical performances, a carnival and all kinds of beer to wash down brats and tons of other specialty items. Jazz fans also will be in their element Thursdays in August for the Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz series in Millennium Park.

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    Home repair: Special hardware affixes grab bars to fiberglass

    Q. My elderly mother is coming to live with us. We have a beautiful, sunny bedroom with private bath for her, and the bathtub/shower unit is fiberglass. We asked a handyman to install grab bars, but he said he couldn't because the fiberglass can't hold the screws to fasten the bars. Do you know of a solution?

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    In this publicity photo provided by Wild River Fishing Guides Company, chef and seafood sustainability advocate, Barton Seaver, tosses a fish back into the Stuyahok River in southwestern, Alaska.

    National Geographic grows mission with chef fellow

    Aviators, mountain climbers, deep sea divers and jungle trekkers are getting some company at National Geographic from an explorer known more for his skill with a paring knife than a machete.Officials at the Washington, D.C.-based society that since its 1888 founding has sponsored expeditions to the South Pole, the bottom of the ocean and the deepest jungle, say the selection of chef and seafood sustainability advocate Barton Seaver as a National Geographic fellow fits perfectly with the organization's pledge to inspire people to care about the planet.

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    Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) takes to the streets to protect New Yorkers in “The Amazing Spider-Man” — at least he remained in America.

    Why aren’t American movies set in America anymore?

    America is having a moment at the movies — an absent moment, a Scarlet Pimpernel moment, a rain check. It used to be one of the great advantages of being a filmmaker working in North America: North America. As a setting and a subject, a material source and myth bank, America was in a class of her own. But now, not always.

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    Claustrophobic driver wants to avoid power windows, locks

    Q. In the next year or two I will be in the market for a new car. Because I'm claustrophobic, I don't want power windows or the doors to automatically lock when I start the engine. Are there manufacturers that will make a car to a person's specifications?

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    Communication is key in sticky relationships

    My mother has recently decided she wants to move in with my family. My husband and I are not so happy about this decision. We have expressed our feelings to her about this, but she doesn't seem get that my husband and I would like to raise our son alone. She has different ideas from ours about parenting. What should we do without hurting her feelings?

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    House colors establish comfort, personality

    Is it time to recolor your home? The colors you pick are important, as they not only reflect your personality, but also help you feel comfortable in your surroundings.

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    Hank Brinzer grows plants using a technique called aquaponics. Water from a fish tank is pumped up to a tray of plants to feed them. The water then slowly drains back into the tank.

    Recycled aquarium water benefits goldfish and seedlings

    The relaxing sound of trickling water echoes through Hank Brinzer's attached greenhouse in the Pittsburgh suburb of Clinton. Underneath a bench filled with lush plants, goldfish unknowingly feed seedlings as the water splashes into their tank. It's hydroponics with a fishy component.

  •  

    Request lower assessment after a decline in home’s value

    Q. We bought our house, which is in Lake County, for $205,000. The 2011 real estate tax bill is $8,200. This seems very high to us. Is there somewhere we can check and see if there is a mistake somewhere?

Discuss

  •  
    Motorola Mobility will be moving out of its headquarters in Libertyville. Photographer: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg

    Editorial: Quinn bows to another Emanuel raid on the suburbs

    Yes, it is good that Motorola Mobility is staying in Illinois, a Daily Herald editorial says, but it's a shame and a bit of skulduggery that it's leaving Libertyville.

  •  

    Romney -- not innocents -- abroad

    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: Unlike Barack Obama, Romney abroad will not be admonishing his country, criticizing his president or declaring himself a citizen of the world. Indeed, Romney should say nothing of substance, just offer effusive expressions of affection for his hosts.

  •  

    Choose to use more positive words
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Your paper uses the pro-choice title for pro-abortion groups, so why use the anti-abortion label, which is demeaning, for pro-life groups?

  •  

    President making all the wrong decisions
    A Schaumbug letter to the editor: Why aren't we hearing more screaming from Congress over the president's attempt to extend his powers beyond the constitutional limitations?

  •  

    Walsh’s best isn’t good enough
    A Hoffman Estates letter to the editor: Thank you, Joe, for doing your best to make sure that millions of Americans stay unemployed. Thank you, Joe, for working to make our deficit worse by making sure that millions continue to need to rely on unemployment checks and food stamps to survive.

  •  

    Letter to McConnaughay
    An Elburn letter to the editor: Open letter to Kane County Board Chairman Karen McConnaughay: I can see firsthand that any citizen in the county that would dare at this critical economic juncture to question 14 raises given that could cost us collectively, adding pension considerations, up to $20 million in salary hikes you brand as "political" in nature. It simply is "about the money."

  •  

    Relay For Life almost hits goal
    A Batavia letter to the editor: Thanks to your support, Relay For Life of Kane County had 75 teams participate, celebrated alongside more than 200 survivors and caregivers and watched as nearly 500 luminaria were lit to honor loved ones. While the event was a great celebration of survivors, remembrance of those we have lost and an all-around success, we are still $60,000 short in reaching our goal.

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