Daily Archive : Wednesday August 1, 2012


    Jerry Zimmerman, also known as Mr. Freeze of Fermilab, covers up as a soda pop explodes after being placed in liquid nitrogen. Zimmerman demonstrated the fun properties of cryogenics for children at Ela Area Public Library.

    Kids have fun with Mr. Freeze and cryogenics at Ela library

    Jerry Zimmerman, also known as Mr. Freeze of Fermilab, demonstrated fun properties of cryogenics for children at Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich. Zimmerman discussed the properties of liquid nitrogen and its effects on air, liquids and solids. "I want kids to think that science is exciting, science is fun, and that science is fun to learn in school," he said.

    Samantha Bolet of Lake in the Hills wins the crown in the 2012 McHenry County Queen pageant Wednesday at the McHenry County Fair.

    Miss McHenry: 'I'm just freaking out right now'

    This year's Miss McHenry County loves roller coasters, was an English tutor in Venezuela, and believes that Illinois has so much to offer that it can be anyone's playground. Samantha Bolet, 17, of Lake in the Hills prevailed among 16 contestants in the Miss McHenry County Fair Queen contest on Wednesday evening at the county fairgrounds in Woodstock. "I'm exuberant. I'm just freaking out right...

    In this courtroom sketch, Drew Peterson, foreground, looks on, as Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow gives his opening statement before Judge Edward Burmila and jurors Tuesday in Joliet in Peterson's murder trial. Peterson is charged in the 2004 death of his third wife Kathleen Savio.

    Judge puts off ruling on mistrial in Peterson case

    The judge in the Drew Peterson murder trial has adjourned early and delayed a decision on declaring a mistrial. A legal drama erupted Wednesday after a state witness let slip testimony that defense lawyers claim irreparably tainted jurors.

    Workers use a cable-cutting system to section the giant Japanese dock that was torn away by last year’s tsunami and washed ashore on Wednesdayin Newport, Ore.

    Workers start cutting up Oregon tsunami dock

    With a crowd of spectators lounging in lawn chairs and snapping photos, workers on Wednesday started cutting up the boxcar-sized Japanese dock that was torn away from a fishing port by last year's tsunami and washed up on an Oregon beach.

    Kenneth Cooper

    Police: Men charged in fatal chase connected to McHenry Co. robbery

    Two Rockford men who were charged with armed robbery after a high-speed chase through Antioch that killed their accomplice, have been charged with additional counts out of McHenry County.


    Gas leak forces St. Charles residents from homes

    A number of St. Charles residents evacuated their homes Wednesday afternoon after a construction crew ruptured a natural gas main.


    Chicken-keeping gets cool reception from Geneva officials

    The Geneva City Council is not inclined to let residents raise chickens in their back yards any time soon, judging by a straw poll taken Monday night.

    Boris Johnson, mayor of London, dangles above the crowd Wednesday after his trip down a zip wire suffered a premature halt. The jovial mayor laughed it all off — and never dropped the two British flags he carried.

    London’s mayor has major hang-up

    Some are calling it the best moment at the Olympics so far: London Mayor Boris Johnson stuck on a zip wire.

    House Speaker John Boehner, accompanied by fellow GOP leaders, meets with reporters at the Republican National Committee on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

    House GOP passes own tax-cut plan
    With the government heading toward a year-end "fiscal cliff," House Republicans approved a full plate of Bush-era tax cuts Wednesday that they said could help shore up a still-frail national economy.

    Anthony Porter speaks to the media after his release from death row in 1999. Now he’s headed back to prison.

    Exonerated inmate back in prison for theft

    A former death row inmate whose wrongful conviction was the spark that helped end the death penalty in Illinois is headed back to prison for stealing deodorant from a Chicago pharmacy. Cook County state's attorney's office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton says Anthony Porter pleaded guilty Tuesday to retail theft and Judge Diane Cannon sentenced him to a year in prison.

    Elgin police on Wednesday took this booking photo of George Martinez, who is charged in a 2008 Halloween murder.

    Elgin man charged in 2008 killing extradited from Mexico

    A now 21-year-old man charged in the 2008 Halloween murder of an Elgin teen is in custody following his extradition from Mexico Wednesday. Police obtained a first-degree murder arrest warrant for George Martinez about a month after the shooting of 16-year-old Elgin resident Jaime Benitez, and Mexican authorities arrested the former Elgin man at his father's home in June 2011.

    United States women’s water polo athletes Tumua Anae, left, and Melissa Seidemann react during a preliminary women’s water polo match against Spain at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in London.

    Images from the 2012 Summer Olympics on Wednesday, August 1, 2012
    Athletes from the United States competed in water polo, gymnastics, cycling and many other sports at the 2012 London Olympics Wednesday August 1st.


    Man accused of killing former prep basketball star

    A Chicago man has been charged in the shooting death of a former public school basketball star who recently committed to play for Iona College. Cinque Lee is accused of shooting to death 22-year-old Michael Haynes on July 26 as he was trying, according to his family, to break up a fight over a stolen necklace.

    Fuel costs dipped in July compared to 2011 levels, but the cost per gallon rose at the end of the month.

    Refinery issues, oil spill aid late July fuel spike

    Stomach-churning, highs and lows, instability. No, not the roller coaster ride at a county fair last month, but rather the painfully volatile cost of gas. Illinois actually had a relatively good month in July, AAA reported Tuesday, with the cost of a gallon of regular gas averaging $3.60, a dip of 8 cents from June. And if you compare $3.60 with $3.87 a gallon in July of 2011, it’s definite...


    Three Geneva businesses fined after liquor law check

    Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns on Wednesday issued fines of $1,000 to two bars and a liquor store and suspended their liquor licenses for the first Thursday of Swedish Days in 2013. All three served alcohol to an underage woman during Swedish Days this past June.

    Barb Lauff of Sterling will be among the athletes competing this weekend at the USA Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Lisle.

    USA Masters track and field championships coming to Lisle

    More than 1,000 athletes ranging in age from 35 to 90 will be competing this weekend when the USA Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships come to Lisle. "We expect to have a myriad of world records and national records set at this meet," organizer Bob Weiner said.


    Paralyzed Chicago Hts. man shot to death

    Police are investigating the shooting death of a paralyzed Chicago Heights man who was a registered sex offender. Authorities say Kevin Allison, 42, was found in his wheelchair in the driveway of his South suburban home late Monday, with a single gunshot wound to his head.

    The iconic Alma Mater statue at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign was dedicated in 1929 and has gone decades without proper maintenance.

    Alma Mater will be taken down next week

    The Alma Mater sculpture that's greeted students at the University of Illinois' Urbana campus for more than 80 years is going on break. The iconic sculpture by Lorado Taft will be taken down next week, disassembled and shipped to a conservation studio in suburban Chicago for $100,000 worth of renovations.

    Before Minnesota officials announced a settlement with Chicago medical revenue company Accretive Health, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, above, sent a letter to the Minnesota attorney general asking to “resolve the matter privately.”

    Emanuel asked Minnesota AG to resolve lawsuit privately

    A newspaper reports that before Minnesota officials announced they'd settled a lawsuit against a Chicago medical revenue company, Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked the Minnesota attorney general to "resolve the matter privately."

    Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law Wednesday that prohibits employers asking job applicants for passwords to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. A law professor said some research has shown that 75 percent of employers require human resources departments to look at online profiles before offering applicants a job. The law goes into effect Jan. 1.

    New state law prohibits employers from asking for Facebook passwords

    Seeking to guard the privacy rights of the social networking generation, Illinois is making it illegal for employers to ask job applicants for passwords to their online profiles. "We're dealing with 21st-century issues," Gov. Pat Quinn said. "Privacy is a fundamental right. I believe that and I think we need to fight for that."

    Sarah Zelenka

    Itasca rower finishes just shy of claiming bronze medal

    An Itasca native finished just shy of claiming an Olympic medal in England today. American roweer Sarah Zelenka and her partner Sara Hendershot finished fourth behind New Zealand, Australia and Britain in the women's pairs rowing final in England.


    Man found electrocuted on el tracks

    Investigators in Chicago are trying to figure out what happened to an unidentified man who was found electrocuted on the Chicago Transit Authority's train tracks. Police said the man's body was found near the Blue Line station in the city's Logan Square neighborhood early Wednesday.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Burglars broke into a construction trailer in Buffalo Grove July 25 or 26 and stole a green generator. Value was estimated at $2,300.

    A cicada killer wasp.

    ‘Killer’ wasps not really all that dangerous

    Large, scary-looking wasps are turning up in sandboxes, lawns and playgrounds, but while deadly for cicadas they don't pose a big threat to humans. Cicada Killer Wasps have turned up in several Arlington Heights parks. "They are not an aggressive form of wasps," said a spokeswoman. "It does have an intimidating name, but that's just to describe what they feed off."


    DuPage election panel considers ethics change

    The DuPage County Election Commission is expected to vote Thursday on an agreement that would give the county the authority to handle future ethics complaints filed against the agency.

    Preliminary designs have been completed for road work that would add a traffic signal and allow left turns at the intersection of Route 53 and Madison Street in Lombard. The village will hold an open house about the project from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22, in the community room at village hall, 255 E. Wilson Ave.

    Traffic changes designed for Madison, 53 in Lombard

    Design work for adding a traffic signal at Route 53 and Madison Street has been completed and the village has scheduled a public meeting about the project for later this month.


    Antioch chicken BBQ and auction fundraiser

    The Antioch Lion's Club will hold its 53rd Annual Chicken BBQ in conjunction with the Antioch Rescue Squad's Auction on Sunday at Williams Park, 807 Holbek Dr. Auction items will be available for viewing starting at 11 a.m., when chicken will also start being served.

    10th District U.S. Congressman Robert J. Dold is part of a congressional caucus working to curb the prescription drug abuse epidemic. He’s pictured here earlier this year at a round-table discussion concerning the dangers of heroin in Lake County. School officials, law enforcement agencies, and substance abuse authorities attended the session.

    Congressional group takes on prescription drug abuse

    In 2010, doctors prescribed enough painkillers to medicate every American adult around-the-clock for one month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


    Cops: Crystal Lake teens injured in alcohol-related crashes

    Two Crystal Lake teens had alcohol in their systems before crashing their vehicles early Wednesday morning, resulting in injuries to both drivers, according to police. Police said one of the teens veered off the roadway on a curve and into a number of trees and the other teen followed him.


    Lakemoor beach closed by high bacteria levels

    Lakemoor's Morrison Park Beach was closed Tuesday pending further testing after water samples of Lily Lake showed high bacteria levels, the McHenry County Department of Health announced. Another round of water testing is scheduled for Thursday, according to the department

    Desiree Cortes

    Bensenville woman indicted in $200,000 credit union theft

    A DuPage County grand jury has indicted a Bensenville woman accused of stealing nearly $200,000 from her former employer. Desiree Cortes, 31, faces five counts of misappropriation of financial institution property and one count each of theft and continuing a financial crimes enterprise, according to court records released Wednesday. She was indicted on her birthday Tuesday, the records show.

    Dee Beaubien

    Beaubien not counting on House Republicans for support

    Independent Dee Beaubien, running against David McSweeney for the 52nd House District seat, is touting support from a long list of Republicans, Democrats and community leaders. But absent from the list are any of the House Republicans she'd be working with if elected.

    The Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills could soon be equipped with panic buttons for employees that would alert police to emergencies.

    Cook Memorial officials weighing panic buttons for libraries

    Cook Memorial Public Library District officials may purchase panic buttons for employees as a safety precaution. The buttons, if activated, would alert police to an emergency at the district's libraries.


    Boy in car surfing accident in stable condition

    A Pingree Grove teen is in stable condition with head injuries and a crushed ankle after he was accidentally hit by a car driven by his older brother Monday night. The teen had been car surfing on the hood of the car.

    Edward T. O’Neil

    Streamwood police looking for missing man

    Streamwood police are looking for a missing 45-year-old resident, who reportedly has the mental age of a 10-year-old due to a brain injury. Edward T. O'Neil is believed to have left his residence at 9 a.m. Monday, July 30 after an argument.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    At 5:01 p.m. Monday, a resident of the 800 block of South River Street in Batavia reported that $150 was stolen from the person's residence, according to a police report.


    Kane County to hire temporary budgeting help

    A Joliet-based auditing firm will fill the role of departed finance director Cheryl Pattelli. Meanwhile, the county will use a headhunter to find candidates for a permanent replacement, which will await the new chairman.

    James Ealy

    Courts bars evidence of link between '82, Lindenhurst killing

    Lake County prosecutors will not immediately be allowed to bring up the similarities between a 2006 killing at a Lindenhurst Burger King and 1982 slayings in Chicago that authorities believe were committed by the same man. That suspect, James Ealy, is scheduled to go to trial Oct. 1.

    Nadia Palacios

    Waukegan killing suspects plead not guilty

    Three Waukegan residents charged with killing a man and dumping his body in a Cook County pond last year pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder charges. Jose Horta, 19, Roberto Guzman, 24, and Nadia Palacios, 22, all of Waukegan, appeared in court facing a combined 12 counts of first-degree murder in connection with the July 5, 2011 slaying of 27-year-old David Campbell.

    This is a rendering of what the old Ziegler’s Ace Hardware store in West Dundee would look like if it’s developed as the Fox Performing Arts Center.

    Money for West Dundee theater not raised by deadline

    Although Rick Browne says he was able to collect another $50,000 in pledges over the weekend for the proposed Fox Performing Arts Center, he still fell way short of a deadline to raise $500,000 by Monday. To date, Brown, a local architect has raised $171,000 to finance his $1.8 million dream of turning an old, West Dundee hardware store into a regional performing arts center.


    Organized crime expert at Waukegan Public Library

    Hipolito Acosta, one of the most highly decorated officers in the history of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, will speak about his new book at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4 at the Bradbury Room at the Waukegan Public Library, 128 N. County St., Waukegan.


    Summer Splash in Vernon Hills

    Vernon Hills resident are invited to the annual Summer Splash from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3 at the Vernon Hills Park District's Family Aquatic Center, 635 N. Aspen Drive, Vernon Hills. Poolside games, music, kids carnival games, food and other family activities, including duck races, are featured. Ducks are $1 in advance or six for $5.

    David Martin of McHenry and his son, Isaac, 2, look at tractors at the Lake County Farm Heritage Association Inc. exhibit during last day of the 84th Annual Lake County Fair Sunday in Grayslake. Fair organizers say attendance was up this year for the first time since moving to a new fairgrounds in 2009.

    Lake County Fair sees more visitors in fewer days

    Despite being open one less day than usual, attendance at the 2012 Lake County Fair was up from last year. A reported 91,548 atteneded the five-day event that wrapped up Sunday, compared with about 89,000 last year. Fair officials say a lot of attention to detail is paying off.

    Gregory D. Flesher

    Former Waukegan mayoral candidate to serve three years for arson

    A former Waukegan mayoral candidate will spend three years behind bars for burning down an iconic city building more than a year ago. Gregory Flesher, 49, accepted a plea deal admitting he set fire to the vacant Salvation Army facility in the 100 block of Genessee Street on May 3, 2011.

    More than 2,000 athletes will compete in the Naperville Sprint Triathlon at 7 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 5, in downtown. The event consists of a 400-meter swim, a 22K double-loop bike course and a 5K run.

    Athletes gear up for Naperville Sprint Triathlon

    For area triathletes, there's no such thing as a lazy Sunday. More than 2,000 competitors from 22 states will demonstrate that this weekend when they swim 400 meters, bike a 22K double-loop course and run a 5K in downtown Naperville. The ninth annual Naperville Sprint Triathlon will begin at 7 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 5, in the water at Centennial Beach.

    Tony LaFrenere

    New Schaumburg parks director grew up in town

    The Schaumburg Park District has found its new executive director — right next door. Tony LaFrenere, 46, has been serving as deputy director of the Hoffman Estates Park District since 2006. Schaumburg park commissioners are expected to appoint him executive director of their district at a special meeting on Friday.

    Sheep judge Dan Spilde of Stoughton, Wis., looks at the teeth of a Dorper Hair sheep held by Josh Koukol of Pingree Grove during the second day of the Kane County Fair on July 19. Koukol was helping show sheep for Stephanie and Dennis Larson of Woodstock. Stephanie is behind Koukol.

    Blue Ribbon Sale a big hit with Kane 4-H’ers

    The annual Kane County Fair's 4-H Blue Ribbon Sale was held July 22 as the culmination of the event. Approximately 21 cattle, 47 hogs, 25 sheep, and 36 miscellaneous items were sold at this year's auction. Numerous businesses, community organizations and individual families turned out to support the Kane County 4-H program through the annual auction.

    More than 150 brews will await patrons Saturday afternoon at the second annual Wheaton Ale Fest to be held in Memorial Park.

    Suds will flow at Ale Fest in Wheaton’s Memorial Park

    And to think, Wheaton used to be a dry town. Craft brew lovers heading to the second annual Wheaton Ale Fest on Saturday are saying thank goodness that ban was lifted in the 1980s because more than 150 brews await their taste buds. "The array of beer products is unique," said Curt Foreman, whose company, BrewFest Partners, produces the event.

    In this May 5, 2003, file photo, author Gore Vidal arrives for the Film Society of Lincoln Center's gala event in New York. Vidal died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 86.

    Celebrated author, playwright Gore Vidal dies

    Gore Vidal, the author, playwright, politician and commentator whose novels, essays, plays and opinions were stamped by his immodest wit and unconventional wisdom, died Tuesday at age 86, his nephew said. Along with such contemporaries as Norman Mailer and Truman Capote, Vidal was among the last generation of literary writers who were also genuine celebrities.

    U.S. Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, facing camera, speaks with Polish World War II veterans and a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp after laying a wreath at the Warsaw 1944 Uprising monument in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, July 31, 2012.

    Romney gaffes contrast with Obama in ’08

    BERLIN — The British were offended, the Palestinians accused him of racism and even in friendlier Poland, Mitt Romney’s union policies drew criticism from the current leaders of the movement that toppled Communism.Romney’s visit to Britain, Israel and Poland was never expected to produce the same media frenzy as then-candidate Barack Obama’s extravagant, eight-country tour of 2008.

    A Somali man raises his hand in favor of Somalia’s new draft constitution, in Mogadishu, Somalia, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. Somali leaders voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to adopt a new constitution that contains new individual rights and sets the country on a course for a more powerful and representative government. The vote came after two thunderous blasts at the gates of the meeting site from a failed suicide attack.

    Somali leaders pass constitution as bombers attack

    MOGADISHU, Somalia — Somali leaders voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to adopt a new constitution that contains new individual rights and sets the country on a course for a more powerful and representative government. The vote came after two thunderous blasts at the gates of the meeting site from a failed suicide attack.


    Teddy bears drop in, bring down 2 Belarus generals

    MINSK, Belarus — It’s probably the first time in history that teddy bears have defeated generals.Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s office says two generals have been sacked after a Swedish light plane intruded on the authoritarian state’s airspace and dropped hundreds of teddy bears carrying slogans supporting human rights and media freedom.

    Hans Kristian Rausing has pleaded guilty at London’s Isleworth Crown Court Wednesday Aug. 1, 2012, to preventing the proper burial of his wealthy wife, Eva, whose decomposing body lay in their luxury home for two months before it was discovered.

    Hans K. Rausing gets 10-months suspended sentence

    LONDON — For more than two months, Hans Kristian Rausing, a son of a billionaire, acted as if everything was fine, even though the corpse of his wife Eva was decomposing in their luxury home in central London.He went about his routines as normal, and when friends or family asked about Eva, he would give vague replies, never suggesting that anything was awry.

    People go past a power pole with high-voltage cables coiling around in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. Vast amounts of power bleeds out of India’s antiquated distribution system is pirated through unauthorized wiring. An estimated 620 million people were left without electricity Tuesday afternoon after India’s northern, eastern and northeastern grids cascaded into failure.

    Power restored in India, but outage cause unclear

    NEW DELHI — Factories and workshops across India were up and running Wednesday after major electrical grid collapses caused the world’s two worst power blackouts.


    Syria’s Assad urges his army to step up fight

    BEIRUT — Syrian President Bashar Assad urged his armed forces Wednesday to step up the fight against rebels as the U.N. reported a significant escalation in the civil war with the military using warplanes to fire on opposition fighters in the battle for Aleppo.


    Police: Drunken man gets into dozing couple’s bed

    PUTNAM TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Authorities say a Michigan couple got an unexpected visit from a drunken 27-year-old neighbor who wandered into their cottage and climbed into bed with them.The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus of Howell reports that the man showed up in their Putnam Township bedroom around 3:30 a.m. Sunday.


    Police: Pa. man stole kitchen utensils, small dog

    CORAOPOLIS, Pa. — A Pittsburgh man allegedly broke into a woman’s apartment while drunk and stole a potato peeler, a kitchen knife and a small dog.Online court records don’t list an attorney for 24-year-old Garrett Stauber, who was arrested shortly after the burglary was reported about 3 a.m. in Moon Township.

    From left, Conor Dwyer of Winnetka, Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Ricky Berens celebrate Tuesday on the medal stand after winning gold in the men's 4x200-meter freestyle relay.

    Update on suburban athletes in Olympics
    Where to watch suburban Olympic atheletes today and a recap of how they competed Tuesday.

    Angelfish trophies waited to be someone’s catch of the day at one of many of last year’s garage sales held in conjunction with North Aurora Days.

    North Aurora Days has something for everyone

    North Aurora Days will feature beer and wine tasting events, a French Market, a kids' fishing derby and much more Friday through Sunday. "I've been in North Aurora my whole life, and I've really enjoyed it," said Mark Gaffino, festival chair the past four years. More than 4,000 people go to the fest every night, he said. Each year he tries to incorporate new activities to keep people interested...

    Families and residents enjoy food, rides, and entertainment during Lake Villa Days in Lehmann Park.

    Waterfights, raffles, rides ahead for Lake Villa Days

    Lake Villa Volunteer Fire Department will once again be sponsoring the 79th annual Lake Villa Days at Lehmann Park in downtown Lake Villa on Aug. 2-5.


    Company executive pleads not guilty to fraud

    A memorabilia company executive accused of improperly hiking baseball card auction prices and selling hair advertised as belonging to Elvis Presley even though its authenticity was in doubt has pleaded not guilty to the charges.


    Illinois Lottery warns of ongoing scams
    Illinois Lottery officials say residents of the state should be on guard against a number of ever-present scams related to lotteries. The Illinois Lottery has announced that scams typically try to dupe people into believing they have won a large lottery prize.


    Emanuel picks new deputy Chicago mayor

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has picked a longtime Credit Suisse executive to serve as the city's deputy mayor.Emanuel's office announced Wednesday that Steven Koch is taking over the position being vacated by Mark Angelson, effective Sept. 4.

    The $START_URL$Red Cliff Chippewa;http://redcliff-nsn.gov/$STOP_URL$ plan to unveil Frog Bay Tribal National Park on Friday.

    Tribe in northern Wis. to open 89 acres to public

    A tribe in far northern Wisconsin is preparing to open 89 acres of tribal land to the public.The Red Cliff Chippewa plan to unveil Frog Bay Tribal National Park on Friday. The move will mark the first time that a national park that's tribally owned or controlled has opened to the public.

    Marco Rubio

    Illinois GOP delegates want Rubio as Romney VP

    A majority of respondents to a Daily Herald survey of delegates to the Republican National Convention say Florida Senator Marco Rubio should be Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick. The analysis of the 49 responses comes as former Vice President Dick Cheney called the selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in 2008 a mistake.

    Round Lake Beach homeowner Derek Monroe filed an appeal of his property tax assessment in May and was told it could take more than two years for a decision and a couple months to determine if his paperwork was even received.

    Why you could wait 2 years for tax appeal board answer

    Property owners who aren't satisfied with their tax assessments after appealing through local channels can always take it a step higher to the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board. However, they shouldn't hold their breath. The state agency is so overwhelmed, officials there acknowledge it takes about two years for a decision from the board.


    Dawn Patrol: Police say boy hurt car surfing; assault weapons ban?

    Drew Peterson murder trial continues today. Gov. Quinn proposes state assault weapons ban. Pingree Grove boy in hospital after what police call a car surfing accident. Winnetka's Dwyer helps Phelps make Olympic history. Dog saved from Elk Grove house fire. Dempster traded to Rangers. Danks done for the season.


    The historic clubhouse at the Medinah Country Club will be the focal point for the 2012 Ryder Cup in late September.

    Ryder Cup: Groundskeeper battles drought, heat

    "Panic mode" is precisely what Curtis Tyrrell wants to avoid in the hot, dry weeks leading up to the 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club. Instead, the Huntley resident and director of golf course operations is getting creative to make sure the course is in top shape. "I would say that panic mode is the mode I want to avoid at all costs for sure," he said.

    United States' Kerri Walsh, left, and Misty May-Treanor chat during a beach volleyball match against Austria's Doris Schwaiger and Stefanie Schwaiger at the 2012 London Olympics on Thursday. The defending champion Americans won their match, but waiting until NBC's prime-time show to find out was difficult, since the match was played hours earlier.

    Is there any avoiding Olympic spoilers?

    Mandy Hauck turned 25 on Wednesday, but she's avoiding Facebook and her happy birthday messages to steer clear of Olympic spoilers about her favorite sport, fencing. Hauck has also deleted her iPhone apps for CNN and ESPN, opting for news from the London Games the old-fashioned way. “I enjoy the experience of sitting with my family and friends in front of the television and cheering for the athletes as if they were competing live.”

    While Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks have had a quiet offseason, it hasn’t been a bad one like it has been in Detroit, Nashville and Columbus.

    Hawks’ summer quiet, but not awful

    The Blackhawks may not have gotten better this summer, but they also haven't gotten worse, and several teams in their division can't make the same claim.

    Bears safety Major Wright is expected to start the season at the strong safety spot.

    Bears safety spots scream for continuity

    At no position are the Bears more desperate for continuity than at safety. Since Lovie Smith became head coach in 2004, he has made 56 lineup changes at the two safety positions. There are players on the team who haven't changed their socks that often. The plan is for this year's combination to be Chris Conte at free safety and Major Wright at strong safety. But, if history is any indication, top backups Craig Steltz and rookie Brandon Hardin not only will get playing time but will also see the starting lineup at some point — maybe at both positions.

    The Mariners’ John Jaso singles in a run against the Toronto Blue Jays in the sixth inning Wednesday in Seattle.

    Mariners notch 7th straight victory

    Seattle won its seventh consecutive game and completed a series sweep thanks to John Jaso's go-ahead single in the sixth inning and Blake Beavan's strong pitching performance in a 5-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.

    American gymnast Gabby Douglas hugs teammate Aly Raisman during the women’s team final on Tuesday at the Summer Olympics. On Thursday, both will compete in the all-around final.

    Women’s all-around, Lochte-Phelps II highlight Thursday’s Olympic slate

    Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman will try to keep the remarkable run going for USA Gymnastics on Thursday in the women's all-around final. In the pool, it's Michael Phelps-Ryan Lochte Take II with the 200-meter individual medley final.

    The Mets’ Jonathon Niese struck out five and walked two Wednesday in San Francisco.

    Niese spoils Pence’s debut with Giants

    Jonathon Niese scattered three hits over seven innings and Ruben Tejada homered for the first time in almost two years and singled twice, leading the New York Mets past the San Francisco Giants 2-1 on Wednesday night.

    Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo congratulates Matt Holliday on his first-inning homer Wednesday in Denver.

    Holliday hits 2 homers as Cardinals beat Rockies

    Matt Holliday homered twice and drove in five runs and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Colorado Rockies 9-6 on a rain-soaked Wednesday night.

    Team USA’s Kevin Durant, left, drives to the basket against Tunisia’s Amine Rzig during Tuesday’s game in the London Olympics. Thursday’s game against Nigeria is the second straight, and perhaps last, lesser opponent for the Americans.

    U.S. superstars likely will sit most of Nigeria game

    U.S. men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski gave plenty of time to his subs on Tuesday in a 110-63 victory over Tunisia. He will probably do more of the same Thursday night against the Nigeria.

    Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus (hands up) celebrates with teammates Monday after hitting a clutch two-run single that drove in the winning runs in the team’s 11-10 victory in 10 innings over the Angels at home.

    Andrus, Rangers win wild game over Angels

    Elvis Andrus had a game-ending two-run single in the 10th inning, and the Texas Rangers rallied from six runs down to beat the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night.

    The Tigers’ Prince Fielder watches his home run in the fifth inning Wednesday in Boston.

    Cabrera, Fielder belt consecutive HRs in Tigers’ win

    Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder homered on consecutive pitches to cap a five-run fifth inning Wednesday night, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Boston Red Sox 7-5 to avoid a three-game sweep. Delmon Young added a solo homer for Detroit, which won for just the second time in seven games.

    The Royals’ Alcides Escobar beats the tag by Cleveland catcher Carlos Santana during the fifth inning Wednesday in Kansas City, Mo.

    Royals down Indians 5-2

    Luis Mendoza pitched into the eighth inning, Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson stroked two hits each and drove in a run and the Kansas City Royals beat the Cleveland Indians 5-2 on Wednesday night.


    WR Prater eligible for Northwestern

    Northwestern says the NCAA has ruled receiver Kyle Prater eligible for this season after he transferred from Southern California. A Proviso West product, Prater redshirted as a freshman and had just one catch for 6 yards last year in an injury-plagued season for the Trojans.


    Cougars rally but fall

    BELOIT, Wis. — Trailing 6-0, Kane County battled back to tie the host Beloit Snappers at 6-6, but the Cougars eventually fell 8-6 on Wednesday night at Pohlman Field.In the fifth, the Cougars (53-55, 19-19) began their rally against Snappers starter Taylor Rogers when Dean Espy hit a solo home run. The Cougars collected 3 straight singles after Henry Moreno was hit by a pitch to score 3 more runs. Justin Trapp delivered a 2-run hit and scored on Danny Mateo’s fielder’s choice. Mateo tied the contest at 6-6 in the seventh with a bloop RBI single that drove home Tim Ferguson. But the Cougars’ Cody Fassold (1-3) walked the first man in the seventh, Kennys Vargas, who scored on a sacrifice fly by JD Williams. Tyler Grimes tripled and scored on Roberts’ single in the eighth to put the Snappers ahead by a pair.Zach Jones earned a save by helping Mason Melotakis (2-1) out of a jam in the eighth, recording the final five outs in a row. Miguel Sano had launched a 3-run homer in the bottom of the first off Bryan Brickhouse to give the Snappers (57-51, 18-20) the lead. Sano added a 2-run double in the bottom of the second to drive home Nate Roberts and Wang-Wei Lin. Brickhouse lasted 4 innings, allowing 6 runs.


    Boomers handcuff the Freedom

    Schaumburg Boomers baseball coverage


    Rollins hits 2 HRs as Phillies beat Nationals 3-2

    WASHINGTON — Jimmy Rollins hit two solo home runs, Nate Schierholtz connected in his Philadelphia debut, and the Phillies received a sharp pitching performance from Vance Worley in a 3-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.After hitting the first pitch of the game to the warning track, Rollins homered in the third inning and again in the fifth. Both drives went into the seats in right field, unlike his inside-the-park homer on Tuesday night.Rollins and Schierholtz homered on successive pitches in the fifth against Edwin Jackson (6-7) to give Philadelphia a 3-2 lead. One day after being traded by San Francisco in the deal that sent Hunter Pence to the Giants, Schierholtz started in right field and went 2 for 5.

    Miami Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes, right, and center fielder Emilio Bonifacio celebrate Wednesday after the Marlins defeated the Atlanta Braves 4-2 in Atlanta.

    Marlins score 3 in 1st, beat Braves 4-2

    Miami broke out for three runs in the first inning against Ben Sheets after scoring just three total in two losses to Atlanta, and the Marlins ended the Braves' seven-game winning streak with a 4-2 victory Wednesday night. Carlos Lee, Greg Dobbs and Bryan Petersen had consecutive run-scoring singles in the first inning for Miami.

    San Diego Padres third baseman Chase Headley, second from left, is congratulated by third base coach Glenn Hoffman after hitting a two-run home run off Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo Wednesday during the first inning in Cincinnati. Reds third baseman Scott Rolen looks on.

    Ludwick, Reds stay hot with 6-4 win over Padres

    Ryan Ludwick homered and drove in four runs for the second consecutive game, and the Cincinnati Reds kept rolling along with a 6-4 win over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night. Ludwick drove in the go-ahead run twice to lead the Reds (63-41) to their 19th victory in 22 games. Despite playing without Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips, they moved 22 games over .500 for the first time since Sept. 5, 2010.


    Does Webb have early edge at LT for Bears?

    It looks like J'Marcus Webb has the inside track on the starting job at left tackle, but Bears coaches haven't awarded the title to anyone just yet.

    Cubs relief pitcher Shawn Camp reacts after Pittsburgh Pirates’ Clint Barmes hit a single Wednesday during the eighth inning at Wrigley Field.

    Eighth-inning collapse sinks Cubs

    The Cubs found themselves in a tight ballgame against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday at Wrigley Field.Until the eighth inning, that is, when the Pirates scored 5 runs before the first out was even made. The Pirates ended up beating the Cubs 8-4.Things started well for the Cubs, as shortstop Starlin Castro hit a solo homer in the first. The Pirates scored twice in the third, on a solo homer from Starling Marte, and on a balk by Cubs starter Travis Wood.The scored stayed at 2-1 until the Pirates’ eighth-inning rally.Wood pitched until the sixth. After relief stints from Manny Corpas and James Russell, Shawn Camp started the eighth inning.The Pirates produced 7 straight hits against Camp, scoring 5 runs. “I guess sometimes the law of averages will catch up to you,” said Cubs manager Dale Sveum of Camp’s struggles. “He’s been pretty good all year; I don’t even know if he’s had one of those all year. He’s had a couple 2-runs or something like that, but not a quick 5-spot like that, that’s for sure.”Rookie Alberto Cabrera, called up from Iowa earlier in the day, replaced Camp and made his major-league debut. And Cabrera made it look easy, getting three straight outs to finish the eighth.“It was nice to see Cabrera and his stuff today,” said Sveum, “and obviously the power-out pitch he had today was awesome.”The Cubs switched pitchers one last time in the ninth, and Carlos Marmol allowed the final Pirates run.In the bottom half, the Cubs finally gave their fans something to cheer about. Right fielder Bryan LaHair doubled and scored on second baseman Jeff Baker’s triple. Baker then scored on catcher Welington Castillo’s homer.Baker started at second base as the Cubs held out Darwin Barney, who was hit in the helmet by a pitch from A.J. Burnett in the eighth inning Tuesday night, as a precautionary measure.Baker had an injury scare of his own in the seventh inning when he went for a groundball and rolled his body over his left wrist. “No one really likes to roll up over their wrist,” he said. “Out there when I first did it, you know, it kind of grabbed a little bit and it was pretty stiff there. But it got better when it went on.”


    Summer continues to bear down

    If it's not the major drought that has kept Illinois and the rest of the Midwest reeling from a lack of rainfall, the current dilemma of wildlife mixing poorly with humans is too often capturing newspaper headlines. Black bear encounters have been especially troubling in Kentucky and Colorado the last two months.


    Barney quickly bouncing back

    Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney did not play Wednesday, one day after being hit on the batting helmet by a pitched ball. Barney said he did not suffer a concussion and that he checked out well medically, but the Cubs say they were being precautionary.

    Stevenson golfer Stephanie Miller has had an achievement-filled summer, and it isn’t over yet.

    Stevenson’s Miller racking up big-tournament experience

    It's been an achievement-filled summer for Stevenson golfer Stephanie Miller, and it's far from over. She'll be competing next week in the U.S. Women's Amateur in Cleveland.

    United States beach volleybal player Kerri Walsh, left, returns the ball as Austria’s Stefanie Schwaiger looks on Wednesday during match at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

    US beach women lose their first Olympic set

    One streak is over. The unbeaten streak continues for two-time defending Olympic beach volleyball gold medalists Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor. The Americans lost the first set of their preliminary round match against Austria on Wednesday night — the first time they've lost a set in three Olympics. But after the 21-17 loss in the first, they came back to win the second by a dominating 21-8 and took the third 15-10 to remain unbeaten in this and every other trip to the Olympic Games.

    Cubs president Theo Epstein said Wednesday that criticism of Ryan Dempster for nixing a trade to the Braves is unwarranted. “It’s not fair for anyone to criticize Ryan unless they’ve been in that spot, Epstein said. “It’s a right that he earned. That Atlanta deal we had lined up I felt was an outstanding deal for the organization. Would we have liked to have executed it? Absolutely.”

    Cubs’ Epstein not bitter about Dempster dealings

    Cubs president Theo Epstein gave his version of the Ryan Dempster trade saga Wednesday. Epstein said Dempster does not deserve to be criticized for nixing a trade to the Atlanta Braves before finally accepting a deal to go to Texas. “I don’t think Ryan deserves any criticism,” Epstein said. “It’s not fair for anyone to criticize Ryan unless they’ve been in that spot. It’s a right that he earned. Do we wish he would’ve had 12 places that were an ideal destination for him instead of one? Sure."


    Gear affordability crucial to fly fishermen

    I was treated to a very encouraging scenario the other day.My schedule was ultra-light so I decided to drive around the western and northwest suburbs looking for fly fishing opportunities.Even though I was not going to do any actual fly casting (because of a torn bicep), I wanted to explore potential hot spots for future outings.And lo and behold, standing on the bank of one pond was an adult and a youngster. I watched for close to a half-hour as the youngster whipped a fly rod back-and-forth, laying out line, and then slowly stripping it back in.I walked over to the duo and asked the kid how he liked learning how to fly fish? His answer wasn’t what I expected.“I’ve seen television, fly fishing shows, and everything looked good to me, so I asked my dad to help get me started,” he explained.And that’s exactly what happened.His father wanted to start his son off with a moderately priced rod and reel but the only place he could find something affordable was in a catalog. Before he placed his order he went shopping at some of the area tackle stores. In that same week I discovered a half-dozen more youngsters fly fishing on other ponds. Their tutoring came from a parent or neighbor, and all said they had more fun catching bluegills and bass on fly gear than “working” the ponds with spinning gear.For the record, I have both high-end as well as low-end fly equipment, collected over a 40-year period. On the low end I have several South Bend rods and reels, and on the slightly higher end, I have Grandt Custom fly rods.My new Orvis fly reel falls into the category of “moderately” priced. I recently wrote about the new Orvis reel because I was thrilled that the company now makes and distributes affordable reels that most anyone wanting to get in to this phase of fishing, can afford.And that brings me to the most recent discussion regarding the future of fly fishing.I recently met a tackle representative, or rep as they are often called, who sells fly fishing gear and clothing to the more up-scale shops in our area.My friend Paul Melchior splits his work day between selling the higher end of fishing tackle and arranging trips to some great fishing destinations with his service Angling Escapes (www.anglingescapes.com). I love this guy because I’ve been able to learn a lot about trout fishing with a fly rod as well as creating fly patterns that will attract fish. But despite my “coaching” and urging, Paul still holds on to some snobbish attitudes when it comes to the high-end labels adorned on most of his gear and clothing.My recent conversation with the tackle rep mainly focused how the fly industry continues to shoot itself in the foot, so to speak (my description), by creating rods and reels that most people can’t afford.This rep also admitted how warm water fly angling has helped open the eyes of some fishermen who never would have tried the long rods had it not been for a very select few people talking about and writing about smallmouth bass on. He agreed this facet of the sport has helped expand the industry, be it in a very small way.Fly fishing is loaded with traditional ways and means. For decades it has been touted a “rich man’s sport,” with equipment saddled with retail price tags only a select few could afford. And fly fishing had also been dubbed as a sport for snobs. In fact, I once showed up at a Florida Keys fly gathering. I wore my inexpensive vest and carried a fly rod and reel that ran about $50.00 total. Some of those schmoes turned their noses at my gear.My new rep friend told me the fly industry needs to make quite a few adjustments in order to open the flood gates and doors to more people so as to help ensure the industry will be around for generations to come. I just wonder if the brain trusts in the industry have enough vision to understand what’s in store for the future?

    Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton, left, and Miguel Montero celebrate as both score on Montero’s home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday during the eighth inning.

    Corbin pitches Diamondbacks past Dodgers 4-0

    Patrick Corbin pitched two-hit ball over six innings following his promotion from the minors Wednesday, and the Arizona Diamondbacks got home runs from Miguel Montero and newcomer Chris Johnson in a 4-0 victory that completed a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    The Tampa Bay Rays’ Carlos Pena, right, is congratulated by teammates after hitting a solo home run off Oakland Athletics pitcher Jordan Norberto Wednesday during the eighth inning.

    Rays cap strong road trip with 4-1 win over A’s

    Alex Cobb shut down Oakland for seven innings and Carlos Pena homered to help the Tampa Bay Rays complete a successful nine-game road trip by beating the Athletics 4-1 on Wednesday.

    The Baltimore Orioles’ Mark Reynolds, left, slides home safely past New York Yankees catcher Russell Martin Wednesday during the eighth inning.

    Cano hits slam, Yankees rout Orioles to stop skid

    Robinson Cano hit a grand slam in a seven-run third inning, and New York sent Zach Britton to another shellacking at Yankee Stadium in a 12-3 rout of the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday that stopped a four-game losing streak.

    The Milwaukee Brewers’ Nyjer Morgan steals second base as the throw gets away from the Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve Wednesday during the first inning.

    Braun hits 29th HR as Brewers sweep Astros 13-4

    Ryan Braun hit his NL-leading 29th homer and the Milwaukee Brewers connected four times Wednesday, beating the sloppy Houston Astros 13-4 to complete a three-game sweep. Rickie Weeks and Cesar Izturis each homered in the fifth inning. Jonathan Lucroy added a two-run shot in the seventh, helping rookie Mike Fiers (5-4) win consecutive starts for the first time this season.

    White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy throws against the Minnesota Twins Wednesday during the second inning in Minneapolis.

    Peavy pitches White Sox to 3-2 win over Twins

    Jake Peavy's strong start for the White Sox reached a critical point with runners at the corners and Twins All-Star Joe Mauer at the plate. After paying Peavy a visit, Chicago manager Robin Ventura liked what he heard — and what he saw after their talk. Peavy struck out eight over eight smooth innings, Alejandro De Aza hit a go-ahead infield single off Scott Diamond's leg in the eighth and the White Sox beat Minnesota 3-2 on Wednesday.


    Pac-12 teams get top PSU transfers Redd, Fortt

    Penn State's loss could turn into a big gain for Southern California. Star tailback Silas Redd bolted Happy Valley for Los Angeles in a season of great expectations for the Trojans. A 1,200-yard rusher, Redd will join heralded quarterback Matt Barkley on a team already favored to win the Pac-12 and return to the Rose Bowl. Another Pac-12 school also took in a Nittany Lion on Wednesday as top reserve linebacker Khairi Fortt said he was transferring to California.

    Wisconsin running back Montee Ball is among the Heisman favorites heading into this season.

    Big Ten heads into unusual season with PSU, OSU

    Montee Ball has changed the pronunciation of his first name — it's Mon-tay instead of Mon-tee, if you don't mind. That's OK with the Badgers as long as their hard-charging tailback and Heisman finalist of a year ago keeps rolling up points and finding the end zone as Wisconsin aims for a third straight Big Ten title.


    Notre Dame LB Calabrese enters diversion program

    Notre Dame linebacker Carlo Calabrese has entered into a pretrial diversion program that calls for a misdemeanor intimidation charge against him to be dismissed if he performs 20 hours of community service and isn't arrested again in the next year.

    Former U.S. Olympic basketball and NBA player Christian Laettner, left, talks with current U.S. Olympic team member Anthony Davis, Monday during practice.

    Anthony Davis: From college star to US Olympic sub

    Anthony Davis stopped dribbling, tucked the ball under one of his long arms and shook hands with the tall reporter whose face seemed so familiar. "He had no idea who I was," Christian Laettner said. "But he's seen The Shot." Two players — one from Kentucky, the other from Duke — separated by 20 years yet so intertwined in U.S. men's basketball history.


    Wisconsin running back Montee Ball attacked

    Five men roughed up star Wisconsin running back Montee Ball in an unprovoked attack near campus early Wednesday, inflicting head injuries serious enough to send him to the hospital, authorities said. Witnesses said Ball may have exchanged words with the men before they attacked him, but the motive for the assault remains unclear.

    United States swimmer Michael Phelps reacts Tuesday after receiving his gold medal for the men’s 4x200-meter freestyle relay swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park. The medal pushed Phelps past Soviet-era gymnast Larisa Latynina for most Olympic medals in history.

    Michael Phelps has 19 medals, but is he the Greatest?

    The greatest? When it comes to Michael Phelps, the answer seems obvious with just a cursory glance of the medals table. The guy has won 15 golds — "insane," says Serena Williams, who certainly knows a thing or two about winning — and now he's got more total Olympic medals than anyone, with a few more races to extend the record into almost unfathomable territory before he's done in London.

    Colorado has seen its share of pain this year with a mass movie theater shooting and deadly wildfires that destroyed hundreds of homes. But when Missy Franklin cinched her first gold medal at the London Olympic Games this week, it was finally time to cheer.

    Colo. swimmer’s gold gives state reason to cheer

    AURORA, Colo. — Colorado has seen its share of pain this year with a mass movie theater shooting and deadly wildfires that destroyed hundreds of homes.But when Missy Franklin cinched her first gold medal at the London Olympic Games this week, it was finally time to cheer.After days of mourning the mass shooting, Coloradans are celebrating the triumphs of the 17-year-old swimmer who attends Aurora’s Regis Jesuit High School and lives in the nearby Denver suburb of Centennial. Following the July 20 shootings in Aurora, she dedicated her Olympic races to her home state.“It’s such a terrible thing, and I’m so shaken by it,” Franklin said last week. “They’re in my thoughts this entire process.”Franklin won a gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke Monday after having opened her games with a relay bronze.“For Missy to take time in the midst of her finest moment to think about her hometown and how she can help in its healing is an incredible statement about her character,” Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan said Tuesday.“It certainly means a lot to Aurora to know that Missy cares, and we are proud of her achievements.”Franklin has become a much-needed cause for celebration in a state that was still reeling from destructive wildfires when the movie theater massacre occurred. This summer’s High Park Fire in northern Colorado burned about 260 homes, while the Waldo Canyon Fire near Colorado Springs destroyed more than 340 homes and killed a husband and wife. Franklin’s steady rise has been chronicled by Colorado news media, and on Tuesday The Denver Post emblazoned her gold medal triumph on its front page under the headline, “Missy’s American grit.”Friends, coaches and followers embraced that grit — a symbol of perseverance shared by many after authorities say James Holmes killed 12 people and injured 58 others at a midnight screening of the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises.”“I know our entire state just has heartache right now, and for her to dedicate her work and success to us, it just helps that much more,” said Madeline Cordier, a recent Regis graduate.“She helps us push forward and she gives us something to look forward to,” added Cordier’s sister, Grace, who still attends Regis Jesuit. “She’s putting a lot of smiles on a lot of Coloradans’ faces.”Noah Utesch, a member of the boys’ swim team at Regis Jesuit, praised Franklin’s dedication of her races in the London spotlight as “something positive for the city of Aurora.”“It’s got to do something to cover up that terrible tragedy,” Utesch said.Franklin’s high school swim coach, Nick Frasersmith, was effusive in his praise of her determination and ebullient outlook on life.“What Missy’s doing in dedicating her events, really, I think, just kind of brings something we can all focus on that’s positive and an enjoyment of some good things that happen in this world,” Frasersmith said.“And there’s no better person like Missy Franklin with her wonderful attitude.”

    Eight female badminton doubles players, including China’s Yu Yang, left, and Wang Xiaoli, were disqualified Wednesday from the London Olympics after trying to lose matches to receive a more favorable place in the tournament.

    8 badminton players tossed from Olympics for playing to lose

    Eight female badminton doubles players were disqualified Wednesday from the London Olympics after trying to lose matches to receive a more favorable place in the tournament. The Badminton World Federation announced its ruling after investigating two teams from South Korea and one each from China and Indonesia. It punished them for "not using one's best efforts to win a match."


    Mike North video: New uniforms for Penn State football

    NewsBill O'Brien, new football head coach at Penn State, wants to change the uniforms. How far are we going with adjustments there? When will cooler heads prevail?


    Chick-fil-A supporters turned out at this Schaumburg restaurant Wednesday in a show of support for the company, which has come under fire because of its president’s stand against gay marriage.

    Chick-fil-A customers in Lombard, Schaumburg turn out in support

    Chicken sandwiches, waffle fries and the First Amendment: so went lunch for hundreds of people Wednesday at Chick-fil-A restaurants in Lombard, Schaumburg and across the nation. Customers stood in support of free speech, religious expression and Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy's opposition to gay marriage as they waited for food on what was informally dubbed "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day."


    11 Elgin businesses to face fines for not paying for license

    Three years into its business license program, the City of Elgin took its first official steps Wednesday to hold business owners liable for noncompliance. The 39 business owners who still had not paid the license fees in 2011 or 2012 received letters in July saying they should make the late payments or show up for an administrative adjudication hearing Wednesday morning. The vast majority paid before the court date with a few showing up at city hall and 11 facing fines for their absence.

    Dry shriveled roots of corn plants are exposed in a field near Yutan, Neb., this week, as drought continues to damage the corn crop. The drought covering two-thirds of the continental U.S. had been considered relatively shallow, the product of months without rain, rather than years. But a report last Thursday showed its intensity is rapidly increasing, with 20 percent of the nation now in the two worst stages of drought ó up 7 percent from the week before.

    Half of US counties now considered disaster areas

    Nearly 220 counties in a dozen drought-stricken states were added Wednesday to the U.S. government's list of natural disaster areas as the nation's agriculture chief unveiled new help for frustrated, cash-strapped farmers and ranchers grappling with extreme dryness and heat.

    NBC is set to “break even” on its Olympics coverage, rather than lose money as previously expected, the head of NBCUniversal said Wednesday. The company had expected at one point to take a $200 million loss on the London Olympics. NBC paid $1.2 billion for the rights to show the games on TV and online in the U.S. It has said that it sold more than $1 billion in ads, breaking the record of $850 million set during the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

    Comcast: Olympics far exceeding expectations

    Television viewers are so excited about the Olympics that NBC's corporate owners said Wednesday they now expect to break even on the London games after once predicting they'd take a $200 million loss.

    Stocks traded mostly higher in the morning at the New York Stock Exchange as investors awaited word from the Federal Reserve in the afternoon on possible steps it might take to assist the economy.

    On a chaotic day, Fed, glitches push stocks lower

    The stock market wavered between gains and losses for much of Wedensday, yanked around by technical problems, an ambiguous statement from the Federal Reserve, and mixed reports on U.S. companies that made it difficult to decipher just where the economy is headed.

    Mickey Finn’s restaurant and brewery next year plans to relocate to this building just south of Church Street in downtown Libertyville.

    Mickey Finn’s to relocate and expand in downtown Libertyville

    Mickey Finn's Brewery plans to relocate about a block away from its current location in downtown Libertyville. The $2.5 million investment in the purchase and renovation of a new location is expected to be complete in fall 2013. Mickey Finn's is billed as Lake County's largest microbrewery and is considered an anchor business of Libertyville's downtown.

    The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it would take new steps as needed to boost the weakening expansion and reduce unemployment.

    Fed says US economy has slowed, takes no new steps

    The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the economy is losing strength and repeated a pledge to take further steps to stimulate growth if the job market doesn’t show sustained improvement. The Fed took no new action after its two-day policy meeting. But it acknowledged in a statement released after the meeting that economic activity had slowed over the first half of the year, unemployment remains elevated and consumer spending has weakened.

    Chrysler says its U.S. sales rose 13 percent in July on strong demand for the Chrysler 200 sedan and other models. Chrysler says it sold more than 126,000 new cars and trucks last month, the company’s best July in five years.

    Ford, GM sales lose ground to Japan rivals in July

    General Motors and Ford lost ground to Japanese automakers last month as their rivals made a strong comeback from last year's earthquake.

    The Arlington Theaters opened in 1998 and closed on July 11, 2012, leaving holders of gift cards in limbo and for now out their money.

    Closed theater's patrons waiting to hear about refund

    The former operators of The Arlington Theaters, which closed last month, said residents with unused gift cards can call the company for refund information, and offered a phone number that when the Daily Herald tried it, went to voicemail and allowed us to leave a message. “If this is something they'd been dealing with for months, he should have stopped selling the gift cards or put an expiration date on them at least,” said Kathy Spiess.

    Another strong gain in homebuilding pushed U.S. construction spending up for a third straight month in June, a further indication that the battered housing industry is showing signs of life.

    U.S. construction spending rose 0.4 percent in June

    Another strong gain in homebuilding pushed U.S. construction spending up for a third straight month in June, a further indication that the battered housing industry is showing signs of life. Construction spending rose 0.4 percent in June following an upwardly revised 1.6 percent gain in May that was the biggest one-month increase since December, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

    MasterCard reported a 15 percent increase in quarterly income Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, after recording a $13 million expense related to a settlement with merchants over credit card fees.

    Strong dollar chips away at MasterCard’s revenue

    The strong U.S. dollar swallowed a chunk of MasterCard's earnings from overseas, leading to revenue growth that was slower than investors were hoping for.

    Harley-Davidson Inc. said Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012 that its second-quarter net income jumped 30 percent, as demand for its motorcycles continued to grow both at home and abroad.

    Harley-Davidson 2Q profit up 30 pct on U.S. demand

    Harley-Davidson Inc. said Wednesday that its second-quarter net income jumped 30 percent, as demand for its motorcycles continued to grow both at home and abroad. But the Milwaukee-based company's revenue for the quarter fell short of expectations.


    Hyatt Hotels 2Q net income up on broad growth

    Hyatt Hotels Corp.'s second-quarter net income rose 5 percent on strong growth in both the U.S. and abroad, and higher room rates and occupancy.

    The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, announced Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, that manufacturing shrank for the second straight month in July, further evidence of an economy growing at a sluggish pace.

    U.S. manufacturing sector shrank for second month

    U.S. manufacturing shrank for the second straight month in July, further evidence of an economy growing at a sluggish pace. The Institute for Supply Management said its index of manufacturing activity ticked up to 49.8, from 49.7 in June. A reading below 50 indicates contraction. June was the first time the survey showed manufacturing contracted in three years.


    Defense official: Cuts hit warfighters, weapons

    Warfighters heading to Afghanistan would receive less training while the Navy would be forced to buy fewer ships if lawmakers fail in the next five months to come up with an alternative deficit-reduction plan, a Pentagon official said Wednesday. Imploring Congress to act, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and the White House's acting budget chief, Jeff Zients, outlined the devastating effect on defense and domestic programs if $110 billion in across-the-board reductions begin on Jan. 2.


    A look at cable, satellite TV earnings reports

    Cable and satellite TV companies have begun releasing their earnings reports for the latest quarter. Here is a summary of earnings reports for selected companies and what they reveal about the industry’s prospects:— July 19: Verizon Communications Inc. says it added 120,000 FiOS video customers to end with 4.5 million in June.Dish Network Corp. says it lost a net 10,000 subscribers, which was smaller than analysts predicted in a typically week quarter for pay TV operators. It ended the quarter with 14.06 million subscribers in the U.S.— July 24: AT&T Inc. says it added 155,000 U-verse TV subscribers to end with 4.1 million.— Wednesday: Comcast Corp. says it lost 176,000 video subscribers, though the rate of decline has slowed. It ended the quarter with 22.1 million to remain the nation’s largest.Coming up:— Thursday: Time Warner Cable Inc., DirecTV Group Inc.— Aug. 7: Charter Communications Inc., Cablevision Systems Corp.— Aug. 8: Dish Network Corp.


    Subscriber data from Internet service providers

    Companies that provide Internet access services have begun releasing their earnings reports for the latest quarter. There are subscriber figures and other data from selected Internet service providers:— July 19: Verizon Communications Inc. gained just 2,000 broadband customers in the latest quarter — the worst result in four years. Verizon says the weak showing was in part due to Verizon ending the sale of DSL connections to people who don’t have a landline phone account. The effort is part of an attempt to improve profitability. Verizon has upgraded part of its phone network with optical fiber, a service it sells as FiOS. It has raised prices, also to improve profitability, resulting in fewer new FiOS subscribers — 134,000 during the quarter, to end with 5.1 million.— July 24: AT&T Inc. says it gained 553,000 U-verse Internet customers to end the quarter with 6.5 million. That helped offset losses in customers who get DSL, a slower and older technology.— July 25: AOL Inc. says it had 3 million access subscribers as of June 30, down 84,000 during the quarter.— Tuesday: Frontier Communications Corp. says it added 5,442 broadband customers to end with 1.78 million.— Wednesday: Comcast Corp. says it added 156,000 high-speed Internet customers during the second quarter to end with 18.7 million.Coming up:— Thursday: Time Warner Cable Inc.— Aug. 7: Charter Communications Inc., Cablevision Systems Corp.— Aug. 8: CenturyLink Inc.— Aug. 9: Windstream Corp.


    A look at recent tech-industry earnings

    Comcast became the latest tech company to report earnings as it recorded increases in net income and revenue despite the box-office flop “Battleship.” Here is a summary of recent earnings and reports for selected technology companies and what they reveal about the state of spending and the overall economy: — July 2: Microsoft Corp. says it is absorbing a $6.2 billion charge to reflect that one of the biggest deals in its 37-year history, for online ad company aQuantive, turned out to be a dud. — July 6: Samsung Electronics Co. estimates its second-quarter operating profit at 6.5 trillion won to 6.9 trillion won ($5.7 billion to $6.1 billion), a 79 percent jump from a year earlier based on the midpoint of that range. Analysts say the sharp rise in operating profit was driven by the success of its Galaxy line of smartphones. However, Samsung’s stock fell as lower-than-expected overall sales underlined the threat from Europe’s economic malaise. — July 9: Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. lowers its quarterly forecast, blaming weaker-than-expected sales in China and Europe and lackluster demand overall from consumers. AMD says it expects revenue to fall by 11 percent from the previous quarter, below its earlier forecast of a 3 percent decline. — July 10: BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. asks disgruntled investors at a shareholders meeting for patience as it develops new devices to rival the iPhone and Android smartphones. The company reiterates a warning that the next several quarters will be challenging. It also expects to book another operating loss in the current quarter as the company cuts prices to sell its older BlackBerry models. — July 17: Yahoo Inc. reports another lackluster quarter on CEO Marissa Mayer’s first day on the job. It continues years of financial lethargy that has plagued the one-time Internet pioneer as Google and Facebook have prospered. Net income fell 4 percent from a year ago, and adjusted earnings were short of expectations.Intel Corp., the world’s largest chipmaker, says revenue for the current quarter is likely to come in below Wall Street forecasts as it blames “a more challenging macroeconomic environment.”— July 18: IBM Corp. reports its 38th consecutive quarter of earnings increase. Net income rose 6 percent despite a 3 percent drop in revenue amid Europe’s economic jitters. IBM revenue in Europe, the Middle East and Africa fell by 9 percent from last year. The turmoil in Europe hurt IBM’s results as currencies there weakened, translating into fewer U.S. dollars. IBM says revenue would have been slightly higher than last year if currency-exchange rates had remained the same.EBay Inc. more than doubled its second-quarter net income thanks to higher revenue from its PayPal online payments business and its e-commerce websites. Its marketplaces business, which includes its flagship website, saw the strongest growth rate since 2006. — July 19: Google Inc. says its second-quarter earnings rose 11 percent despite a deepening decline in the prices paid for its Internet search advertising. The results included Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of cellphone maker Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. for the first time. Revenue climbed 35 percent from last year to $12.2 billion. If not for Motorola, revenue would have increased by 21 percent.Microsoft Corp. says a $6.2 billion accounting adjustment to reflect a weak online ad business led to its first quarterly loss in its 26 years as a public company. The company had a loss of 6 cents a share, compared with earnings of 69 cents a share a year ago. Adjusted earnings beat expectations, and the stock rose.


    What financial reports reveal about movie studios

    Companies with movie studios have begun releasing their earnings reports for the latest quarter. It generally covers the April-June period, though some companies have fiscal quarters that depart from that.Here’s a look at reports for selected movie industry companies. — Tuesday: DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. says net income fell 63 percent, to a level below analysts’ expectations. Revenue fell 25 percent. Results for the movie studio were driven by the box office receipts from the movie “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.” The movie has grossed more than $500 million in theaters worldwide since its June 8 release. — Wednesday: Time Warner Inc. says revenue at its Warner Bros. studio fell 8 percent to $2.6 billion because last year’s quarter had strong releases. The blockbuster Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises” didn’t open in theaters until the quarter ended. In the second quarter last year, Time Warner Inc. had “The Hangover Part II” in theaters and the next-to-last Harry Potter movie on home video. Comcast Corp. says its Universal movie studio lost money on its would-be summer blockbuster, the expensive and critically skewered “Battleship.” Revenue in the filmed entertainment division fell 2 percent to $1.2 billion.Coming up: — Thursday: Sony Corp. — Friday: Viacom Inc. (Paramount) — Aug. 7: The Walt Disney Co. — Aug. 8: News Corp. (20th Century Fox)

    A spokesman for Dutch police investigating how needles got into six turkey sandwiches on Delta Air Lines flights from Amsterdam to U.S. cities last month says it’s too early to say whether there is any connection with a new incident on Air Canada.

    Dutch: unknown if Delta-Air Canada needles related

    A spokesman for Dutch police investigating how needles got into six turkey sandwiches on Delta Air Lines flights from Amsterdam to U.S. cities last month says it’s too early to say whether there is any connection with a new incident on Air Canada. Air Canada said Tuesday a passenger found what appears to be a sewing needle in a catered sandwich on board a flight from Victoria, British Columbia, to Toronto.

    Maria Adele Carrai, 26, got her bachelorís degree in Chinese language and culture in Rome, graduating at the top of her class, and went on to complete a masters in Venice focusing on Asian languages, economics and legal institutions.

    Europe's young pursue dreams abroad

    Santiago Oviedo, a lanky 24-year-old from Madrid, is on track to get his master's in physics in October — a crucial milestone in his dream of becoming a researcher probing the origins of the universe. Spain won't benefit from his big brain. Because of education spending cuts and Spain's downward economic spiral, Oviedo is planning to emigrate to Britain, France, the Netherlands or Germany to get his Ph.D. or work at a company that lets him do research. He's afraid he may never work or raise a family in his country.


    Stronger dollar, weak sales weigh on Avon 2Q

    Avon Products says its second-quarter net income fell 70 percent, hurt by the stronger dollar and lower demand globally for its makeup and skin care products. The maker of beauty products including Skin So Soft lotion and mark cosmetics says net income fell to $61.6 million, or 14 cents per share. That compares with $206.2 million, or 48 cents per share, a year ago.

    Burger King Worldwide Inc.’s net income surged 60 percent in the second quarter, as the fast food chain reworked its menu and focused on expanding overseas.

    Burger King 2Q profit rises, focuses on overseas

    Burger King Worldwide Inc.'s net income surged 60 percent in the second quarter, as the fast food chain reworked its menu and focused on expanding overseas.

    “Battleship” failed to sink Comcast’s second-quarter earnings as strong results from cable operations overcame returns the box-office flop.

    ‘Battleship’ dud hits Comcast earnings in 2Q

    "Battleship" failed to sink Comcast's second-quarter earnings as strong results from cable operations overcame returns the box-office flop.The Philadelphia-based cable company, the country's largest, is reporting net income of $1.35 billion, or 50 cents per share, for the April-to-June period. That's up 32 percent from $1.02 billion, or 37 cents per share, a year ago Analysts polled by FactSet have been expecting earnings of 48 cents per share for the latest quarter.

    European stocks rose as speculation central banks will take further steps to support the economic recovery outweighed a contraction in U.K. manufacturing. U.S. index futures advanced, while Asian shares retreated.

    European stocks gain amid speculation of central bank assistance

    European stocks rose as speculation central banks will take further steps to support the economic recovery outweighed a contraction in U.K. manufacturing. U.S. index futures advanced, while Asian shares retreated.Next Plc jumped 5.7 percent as the retailer increased its annual profit forecast after reporting first-half sales that rose more than analysts estimated. Arkema SA climbed 8 percent as second-quarter earnings beat projections.


    Medicare fraud busters unveil command center

    Medicare fraud busters invited the news media to visit their new $3.6 million command center and see high-tech tools being deployed to track down scammers. While the action Tuesday wasn't real, the problem is. At least $60 billion a year is lost to fraud.

Life & Entertainment


    Chopped Summer Salad with Grilled Chicken and Herbs
    Chopped Summer Salad with Grilled Chicken and Herbs

    Chopped salad with grilled chicken and herbs makes a healthy and filling summer meal.

    A salad that doesn’t need fat to be satisfying

    Salads can be a great way to pile on the vegetables, not to mention serve as a fine canvas for showing off summer's bounty. But sometimes — OK, a lot of times — eating a plate full of greens can be a bit boring. Then there are the toppings. Too often, we are tempted to pile on fatty toppings like cheese, bacon, seeds and nuts, or rich dressings, all in an attempt to amplify the flavor.


    Summertime Macaroni Salad
    Summertime Macaroni Salad

    American English performs as part of this weekend's Rockin' in the Park outdoor music fest in Rosemont.

    Weekend picks: Go Rockin' in the Park in Rosemont

    If you didn't score tickets to Lollapalooza this weekend, don't worry. There are tons of other music options, including the free Rockin' in the Park outdoor music fest in Rosemont featuring American English. Or there's Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias in concert at the United Center. Plus, Demi Lovato makes her Ravinia debut Saturday. And, of course, don't forget about the McHenry County Fair and all the other fests this weekend.


    From the Food Editor: Catching up to the RumChata trend
    If you haven't heard of RumChata, you're in the minority. The spirit, a mash up of Caribbean rum, horchata (a milky Spanish beverage) plus cinnamon and other proprietary spices, debuted earlier this year and has sold more than 1 million bottles.

    These blueberry and banana muffins are just the thing to get you going in the morning.

    Juicy berries give boost to delicious summertime muffins

    Motivate Me Muffins are a treasure — whether you are a sleepy college student, a weary parent or a working person in need of an energy boost in the summer heat.


    Motivate Me Muffins
    Motivate Me Muffins: Kitchen Scoop

    Katherine Jackson announced she will spend what would have been her son Michael's 54th birthday in the family's hometown of Gary, Ind., which is planning a candlelight vigil, concert and other events to honor the pop superstar and his mother.

    Michael Jackson's mother plans events in Indiana

    Michael Jackson's mother says she is returning to her family's Indiana hometown to celebrate what would have would have been her son's 54th birthday. An announcement released Tuesday by a representative of Katherine Jackson states the events in Gary, Ind., will be attended by the singer's three children as well.

    Demi Lovato

    The Suburbs This Weekend: Dog Days at Cantigny, a Venetian night, Demi Lovato and the Wiggles

    Dog Days at Cantigny Park, Venetian Night on Fox Lake, Demi Lovato at Ravinia and disappearing Wiggles are this weeks selections by Richard Battin and Sean Stangland for The Suburbs This Weekend.

    The Lollapalooza music festival returns to Grant Park this weekend.

    Lollapalooza returns with mix of new and veteran acts

    The Grand Poo-bah of local music festivals rolls into Chicago this weekend! Suburban music fans will be able to choose from more than 140 bands, from heavyweight headliners like Jack White to any number of up-and-coming artists (including Wheeling native Haley Reinhart!).

    Tim Piper portrays legendary musician and Beatles member John Lennon in “Just Imagine” on Saturday, April 6, 2013, at the Elgin Community College Arts Center.

    ECC Arts Center announces new season
    The Elgin Community College Arts Center has announced the acts for its 2012-2013 season. Performers include vocalists Mavis Staples and Victor Wooten, a production of "The Things They Carried" by The American Place Theatre, comedian Robert Klein and more. Tickets for all performances go on sale to the public on Wednesday, Aug. 1.

    Grammy and Emmy Award-winner Cyndi Lauper has written the music and lyrics for the new musical “Kinky Boots.” The show will have its pre-Broadway world premiere beginning Tuesday, Oct. 2, at Chicago’s Bank of America Theatre.

    ‘Kinky Boots’ tickets go on sale Friday
    Single tickets for the pre-Broadway premiere of "Kinky Boots," a musical written by four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein, with music and lyrics by Grammy and Emmy Award-winner Cyndi Lauper, will go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 3. "Kinky Boots" will play at Chicago's Bank of America Theatre from Tuesday, Oct. 2, through Sunday, Nov. 4.

    Michael Jackson’s siblings are leading the charge that the singer’s will, which benefits only Prince Jackson, left, Prince Michael II “Blanket” Jackson, Paris Jackson and Katherine Jackson, is a fake.

    Michael Jackson’s siblings resume attack on will

    More than three years after Michael Jackson's death, his youngest brother continues to raise questions about the validity of the pop superstar's will. On Twitter and cable TV, Randy Jackson has called the five-page document signed in 2002 a fake. The one place he hasn't made the claims is a courtroom, where legal experts say he faces almost insurmountable hurdles to invalidate the will and stiff odds against ousting the men who run the lucrative estate.

    Yes, you can enjoy cottage cheese without pineapple pieces. Try it in this spicy pepper dip.

    Artisans make high-end cottage cheese

    Artisanal cottage cheese? The phrase trips off the tongue much the way "organic corn dog" or "hand-crafted diet soda" might. But a small number of curd-loving cheese crafters are challenging that blase image, creating cottage cheeses that are different from the stuff in tubs in the dairy aisle.

    Don't pass on the salad dressing. Turns out our bodies need a bit of fat to get the nutrients from healthy greends into our system. Just don't overdo it.

    Lean and lovin' it: Cutting all fat from salad dressing not a healthful choice

    For years I've been pleased with my method for removing the majority of fat from salad dressing, but recently I read a study that stated: "If you have a salad with a fat-free dressing, there is a reduction in calories, but you lose some of the benefits of the vegetables." So I started to rethink my approach.

    Smoking shrimp cocktail makes a grand entrance at Eddie Merlot’s in Warrenville.

    Eddie Merlot’s brings casual, luxe dining to Warrenville

    Eddie Merlot's, which opened in March in Warrenville's Cantera complex, bills itself as a premier steakhouse serving only the finest prime-aged steaks and a wide selection of carefully chosen wines. And on most points we agree. Pretentious it’s not — service is laid back and there are plenty of things to charm diners, including a fun cocktail program and inventive sides.

    “The Man Who Sold the World: David Bowie and the 1970s” by Peter Doggett

    Doggett's book on Bowie meticulously researched

    Peter Doggett's "The Man Who Sold the World" is not so much a book as it is a project — meticulously documenting the whole of David Bowie's oeuvre during the 1970s, when his star burned brightest. Doggett convincingly argues that Bowie was the emblematic performer of the 1970s in much the same way the Beatles and Rolling Stones were emblematic of the 1960s.


    Night life events: Wednesday is half-price pizza day at Pizzeria Bombola

    Wednesday nights are half-price pizza night and $15 buckets of craft brews at Pizzeria Bombola in Lisle. Or grab a $4 craft beer draft on Thursdays and Saturdays. Don't forget to try the restaurant's namesake, the bomb-bolas — homemade meatballs wrapped in pizza dough with a garlic herb sauce.

    Chef Dan Jacobs holds a plate of shishito peppers at Roots Restaurant and Cellar in Milwaukee. Jacobs has noticed this summer’s extreme heat has helped make some peppers extra-spicy.

    Jalapeno Poppers
    Jalapeno Poppers

    A shopper looks at a table of root vegetables for sale at the West Allis Farmers Market in West Allis, Wis. The heat and drought across the upper Midwest have taken a toll on corn and soybeans, but other farmers have noticed the hot, dry weather concentrates flavors in some produce making it the spiciest in years.

    Heat, drought make for more flavorful produce

    Temperatures above 100 degrees and droughtlike conditions have baked parts of the upper Midwest for weeks, taking a severe toll on corn and soybeans. But the heat brought an unexpected benefit for peppers and other crops: Their flavors became unusually concentrated, producing some of the most potent-tasting produce in years.



    Editorial: In brutal summer, recommit to water safety

    After seeing an uptick in area drownings, we all must be diligent in preventing further tragedies, a Daily Herald editorial says.


    The right’s blind eye on government spending

    Columnist Richard Cohen: My boyhood friend Jack became a doctor -- and a conservative. He had gone to public schools, attended college with the help of a government scholarship, went to medical school on the Army's dime, and learned his specialty in military hospitals. He insisted that the government had done nothing for him.In that way, he is both the soul and the wit of the Republican Party.


    Busted: Mr. Pfeiffer and the White House Blog

    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: In my previous column about Mitt Romney's trip abroad and U.S. foreign policy, I wrote that Barack Obama "started his presidency by returning to the British Embassy the bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office."Within hours, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer had created something of a bonfire.


    Loss of wind tax credit will cost jobs
    A Grayslke letter to the editor: Unfortunately, jobs and the future are up in the air due to the expiration of a particularly important wind energy bill,


    Old-fashioned county fair has its appeal
    An Antioch letter to the editor: Sometimes old-fashioned traditions are the best of life. My family and I, once again, visited the Lake County Fair this weekend.


    Why all the lawsuits over accidents?
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Oh, for the day where we are not such a litigious society and have to seek someone to blame for acts of nature.


    Writer’s arguments not convincing
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: He makes an appeal to religious authority. However, that argument won't convince anyone who doesn't subscribe to his beliefs, and that's a significant chunk of people.


    Riverside Plaza one big failure
    An Algonquin letter to the editor: Algonquin's Riverside Plaza development was doomed to fail from the start, if you ask me. Our village planners took the busiest intersection in all of McHenry County and, instead of planning something small, they allowed a 4- story, 54-unit condo building to go there.


    Vote for tougher gun laws
    A Lake in the Hills letter to the editor: What does it take to change our weak gun laws in America? What does it take to start an end to senseless killings of innocent Americans by the hands of deranged semiautomatic gun toters? It takes courage. It takes courage on the part of the presidential candidates and all politicians running for office.


    Trees can be hurt by poor drainage, too
    A Carol Stream letter to the editor: Many trees will suffer due to the anaerobic (lack of oxygen) soils. Many trees and evergreens especially need this oxygen in the root zone. If the soil is poorly drained the tree's life will be shortened. So, when one waters their lawn often, the tree planted in poorly drained soil is really whammied and basically drowns.


    Real terrorism can be found here
    A Glen Ellyn letter to the editor: While we have spent billions and depleted this nation's coffers to fight global terrorism, the real massacres we have endured over the past decade were caused by mad U.S. citizens with no affiliation to Islamic terror groups.


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