Daily Archive : Friday August 10, 2012

News

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    An Elk Grove Village woman was charged with battery, assault and disorderly conduct after she reportedly became angry when told her account at a Schaumburg bank had a negative balance. Repors said she threw a wood end table at an employee, striking him in his right thgh, turned over tables with pamphlets, knocked over display cases, threw a garbage can toward the teller line, hitting an employee...

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    Emily Sobacki of Lake in the Hills, gets in some push-ups at Town Center Park in Gilberts as 11-month-old Skylar Guge of Gilberts watches with curiosity.

    Moving Picture: Gilberts trainer combines family, fitness

    Stephanie Murphy of Gilberts has combined her two passions, her family and physical fitness, into a new career. She started Momma Workout to help other moms get in their exercise while keeping young children nearby. "My two biggest passions are my family and fitness and I know in my own experience that it was really hard to find the time for fitness" Murphy says.

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    Congressman Joe Walsh

    CAIR blasts Walsh for ‘bigoted’ comments

    Controversy over comments about "radical Islam" sprouting up in the suburbs is one political fire that's showing no signs of being doused for Congressman Joe Walsh. "When he says radical' Muslim, who is he talking about? Who gets to define who? Radical is a subjective term," said Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Chicago office of the Council on...

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    Thousands of people attend Arlington Heights celebration of the Arlington Million on Friday.

    Arlington Heights Mane Event off to a busy start

    Is there such thing as cabin fever — in the summer?Arlington Heights residents sure thought so, as thousands turned out for the Mane Event on Friday, the traditional block party that celebrates the end of summer and the upcoming Arlington Million.“I like being outside — and not sweating,” said Jim Szymczak of Arlington Heights.

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    U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin was with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, right, at a Culver’s fast food restaurant in Johnson Creek, Wis., in April.

    Sources: Paul Ryan is Romney’s choice for running mate

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has picked Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan to be his running mate, according to a Republican with knowledge of the development. They will appear together Saturday in Norfolk, Va., at the start of a four-state bus tour to introduce the newly minted GOP ticket to the nation.

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    St. Charles firefighters check the roof after extinguishing a house fire on the 0-100 block of North 12th Street in St. Charles Friday night. Several fire departments — including St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia and South Elgin — responded to the fire, which was contained within 30 minutes. No injuries were reported, but the home was left uninhabitable.

    Discarded smoking materials spark St. Charles house fire

    Discarded smoking materials sparked a fire that left a St. Charles home uninhabitable Friday night, authorities said. The fire broke out about 8 p.m. at a house on the 0-100 block of North 12th Street, and after firefighting crews arrived, it took about 30 minutes to extinguish. No injuries were reported.

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    Brush pile catches fire in Lombard

    A pile of brush collected during July storms in Lombard ignited into flames Friday afternoon, and took crews 90 minutes to bring under control, authorities said. The fire broke out about 3:20 p.m. where the pile was being kept at the end of Lombard Road in the northern part of the village.

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    Lakemoor decides against electric aggregation question

    Lakemoor residents will remain on their own if they want an alternative power supplier, as the village board has decided not to put the question on the November ballot.Lakemoor trustees on Thursday voted 4-1 against an ordinance that would have authorized the question of whether voters wanted the village to have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity.

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    The library will have a new “living room,” where visitors can relax in front of a fireplace.

    Arlington Heights Library hopes to become ‘community hub’

    Arlington Heights Memorial Library is facing its biggest makeover in decades, making it a more organic and open place in the style of a high-end bookstore. The $2.8 million renovation will start as soon as the board members authorize the plans, which is expected to happen at a meeting Tuesday. "As soon as we'll have the authorization, we will start," library Executive Director Jason Kuhl said.

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    St. Charles rec center mold gone, but costs remain

    A leaky roof, bad architectural design and years of deferred maintenance caused the mold problem at the Norris Recreation Center, St. Charles Unit District 303 officials said Friday. The mold is now all gone, at a cost of about $100,000. Now district officials have to figure out how much they want to spend to restore a rarely used portion of the building.

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    Joseph Ziegler

    Elmhurst man faces arson charge in house fire

    An Elmhurst man who authorities say set fire to a house in an unincorporated area near McHenry may have missed his target. McHenry County Sheriff's officials on Friday charged Joseph Ziegler, 22, with setting the blaze on the 5100 block of Westwood Drive on Thursday. But authorities say the house "was not the intended target and may be a case of mistaken identity."

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    Associated Press Six hearses carrying the deceased leave the Oak Creek High School after the funeral and memorial service Friday for the six victims of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin mass shooting in Oak Creek, Wis.

    Sikhs leave bullet hole to mark mass shooting

    As thousands Friday mourned the six victims gunned down before a prayer service, the temple's members worked late the previous night to remove all but the one trace of the shooting. The waist-high bullet hole in a door jamb near the main prayer room was left as a memorial to the six slain worshippers.

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    Associated Press/March 2, 2012 Air Force Col. Glenn Palmer, commander of the 737th Training Group at Lackland AFB, speaks to trainees in San Antonio.

    Air Force relieves commander over sex scandal

    The fallout from a sex scandal at Lackland Air Force Base widened Friday, when the military ousted the top commander over the basic training unit where investigators say dozens of female recruits were sexually assaulted or harassed by their male instructors.

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    A truck sits parked outside of grain bins Thursday at Kahle Supply and Feed Mill Inc.’s facility in Kalida, Ohio.

    Grain harvest estimates drop amid deepening drought

    A deepening drought in the nation's farm states has cut further into this fall's harvest, with farmers now expected to pull from their fields the lowest corn yield in more than a decade.

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    Stabbed Villa Park man fires gun to scare off attacker

    A Villa Park man was stabbed during a home invasion early Friday but managed to frighten off his attacker by firing several gunshots into the air, police said. The suspect remains at large. "Residents are encouraged to keep their homes secure at night and to report any suspicious activity to police," authorities said.

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    Russia’s Daria Dmitrieva performs during the rhythmic gymnastics individual all-around qualifications at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012, in London.

    Images from the 2012 Summer Olympics on Friday, August 10
    Athletes competed in BMX cycling, kayaking, basketball, and many other events at the 2012 London Olympics Friday, August 10th.

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    Two juveniles questioned in Naperville burglary probe

    Naperville police were questioning two juveniles Friday who were apprehended after a resident reported a burglary in progress. Police said they responded about 12:37 p.m. Friday to the 3500 block of Scottsdale Circle, in the White Eagle subdivision.

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    Southwest baggage handler charged with laptop thefts

    A baggage handler at Midway International Airport faces charges of stealing laptops from passengers.

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    Marengo man sentenced to 5 years for fatal DUI crash

    A Marengo man was sentenced to five years in prison for a drunken driving crash that killed a 77-year-old man who was walking across the street, McHenry County State's Attorney officials said Friday. Daniel Bending, 49, was found guilty by a jury June 18 of causing a death while driving under the influence of alcohol.

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    Outgoing President of The Leadership Conference of Women Religious Sister Pat Farrell, right, and president elect Sister Florence Deacon, left, listen to questions from reporters Friday.

    Nuns under Vatican rebuke agree to talks

    Sister Pat Farrell, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, called a Vatican assessment charging the sisters with tolerating dissent a "misrepresentation." But she said the more than 900 women who attended the group's national assembly this week decided they would stay open to discussion for now with three bishops the Vatican appointed to oversee them.

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    Appeals court reinstitutes parking ticket lawsuit against Palatine

    A federal appeals court this week reinstituted a motorist's lawsuit against Palatine for printing private information on a parking ticket. In a 44-page decision, the appeals court ruled 7-to-4 that the police department's placement of protected personal information in public view violates the Driver's Privacy Protection Act of 1964. "There are very real safety and security concerns at stake...

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    Library employees enjoy a mini-concert by musician Jim Peterik during his visit Friday to the Eola Road Branch Library in Aurora.

    ‘Eye of the Tiger’ singer visits Aurora Public Library

    When Maggie Perez auditioned for the Aurora Public Library's Teen Talent Show, she sang Colbie Caillat's "Bubbly" while wearing a pink flower in her hair. She could never guess that a short while later singer Jim Peterik, who wrote hits like "Eye of the Tiger," would be watching part of her audition and telling producers of his upcoming music video, "That's our girl." "It's just crazy how it all...

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    Rosemont woman gets probation for obstruction in abuse case

    The oldest case pending in the Third Municipal District's domestic violence courtroom was resolved Friday when a Rosemont woman pleaded guilty to misdemeanor attempted obstruction of justice. Cook County prosecutors reduced the harassing a witness charges against Patricia Cooper, 72, who was charged in connection with a crime committed by her son, Christopher Cooper. He was convicted last year of...

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    “By most measures, real incomes look better over the past several months,” said Dean Maki, chief U.S. economist in New York for Barclays Plc. “We expect that’ll translate into better consumer spending as we move through the year.”

    Growing paychecks boost purchasing power

    Americans' paychecks in the first half of 2012 grew at the fastest pace in five years, pointing to an improvement in purchasing power that may help propel the economic expansion.

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    Apple sold 8.3 million iPhones in 3Q

    pple Inc., the world's largest technology company, sold 8.34 million iPhones in the U.S. in its most recent quarter, according to a court filing in its trial against Samsung Electronics Co.U.S. sales accounted for 32 percent of the 26 million it sold worldwide, according to an exhibit in a court filing yesterday in federal court in San Jose, California. Apple, which is suing Samsung for patent...

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    Kathleen Savio

    Savio's boyfriend testifies at Peterson's trial

    A man who dated Drew Peterson's third wife told jurors Friday at the former police officer's murder trial that he saw no bruises on her naked body days before she died — potentially key testimony meant to support the state's claim she was attacked before her death. Peterson, 58, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Kathleen Savio's 2004 death, which was initially ruled an...

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    Peter A. Mazzara

    Campton Hills house theft suspect fails to show in court

    Peter Mazzara didn't show up Thursday for his arraignment on charges that he looted the Campton Hills house from which he was being evicted.

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    Lynn Cameron of Algonquin was left alone in a Tennessee bar, police said.

    Tennessee grand jury deliberates on Algonquin mother’s case

    The outcome of Friday's deliberations by a Tennessee grand jury regarding Eva Cameron, of Algonquin, who police say abandoned her disabled adult daughter at a bar in Tennessee will be made public on Monday, authorities said.

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    The American Coaster Enthusiasts honor the Whizzer Roller Coaster at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee with the ACE Roller Coaster Landmark award. The coaster was built in 1976 and still remains operable.

    Whizzer at Six Flags Great America named landmark coaster by American Coaster Enthusiasts

    On Friday, the American Coaster Enthusiasts honored the 36-year-old Whizzer with the ACE Roller Coaster Landmark award, marking it as the second ride at Great America to receive that status. "Rides like the Whizzer give theme parks character," ACE President Dave Altman said during the ceremony.

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    Traders work Friday on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

    Wishy-washy stock market ends slightly higher

    Friday, the Dow ended up 42.76 points at 13,207.95. The S&P 500 rose 3.07 to 1,405.87. The Nasdaq composite rose 2.22 to 3,020.86.

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    Gavin Mendeck, member of MSL entry, descent and landing team, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Devin Kipp, member of MSL entry, descent and landing team, JPL and Steve Sell, member of MSL entry, descent and landing team, JPL, describe the timing of the MSL parachute deployment during Curiosity Mars landing.

    NASA: Mars rover snapped pic of rocket stage crash

    Space enthusiasts have been abuzz for days over whether the Mars rover Curiosity captured an extraterrestrial crash. On Friday, NASA declared the mystery solved.

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    Free concert in Island Lake

    The rock band Industrial Drive will perform in a free outdoor concert Friday, Aug. 17, at Converse Park in Island Lake.

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    $1 million Lotto winners

    Two, $1 million Powerball tickets were sold at suburban retailers this week.

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    Bond set in sex assault

    Matthew Bilecki, 40, of the 43000 block of Mary Avenue, is held in Lake County jail in lieu of $250,000 bail, officials said Friday.

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    Antioch gallery open house

    Sharon Rollings and Paul Weber will be the featured artists at the Antioch Fine Art Gallery for the month of August. Their open house is Saturday, Aug. 11 at the not-for-profit gallery at 983 Main Street, Antioch, from 1 to 4 p.m.

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    Retired teachers luncheon

    The Lake County Retired Teachers Association (LCRTA), will meet at noon on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at Lambs Farm, which is at Route 176 and the Tri-State Tollway in Libertyville.

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    Mel Stuart, director of the 1971 film, “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.”

    Mel Stuart, director of ‘Willy Wonka,’ dies at 83

    Mel Stuart, an award-winning documentarian who also directed "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory," has died. He was 83.

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    Round Lake Area Park District Ranger police officer Terry Kaminski and his dog, Nadja.

    Round Lake Area Park District officer told to stop using dog on duty

    Round Lake Area Park District officials have decided to temporarily retire Nadja, the German shepherd and personal pet of Ranger police officer Terry Kaminski. At Thursday's park board meeting, commissioners postponed the issue of liability insurance for the dog pending further discussion with their attorney and staff. In the meantime, they directed Kaminski to stop using Nadja while on duty.

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    John Downey of Sussex, Wisconsin cleans a Sharp’s rifle during last year’s Annual Lake Villa Civil War Days Sunday at the Lehmann Mansion. Downey was an infantryman with the Confederate 2nd Kentucky Cavalry.

    Lake Villa Historical Society to focus on new building, discontinue Civil War Days

    The cannons won't go off this year at the Lehmann Mansion in Lake Villa. Dresses from resident Ainsley Wonderling's 1860s collection will remain in her closet at home, and President Abraham Lincoln won't show his face. Lake Villa Historical Society officials have decided to discontinue Civil War Days, a nine-year tradition in the village.

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    Block parties help neighbors become friends

    Across communities, block parties bring people out of their homes to mingle with neighbors and develop friendships. You may already chat at the mailbox, wave as you drive down your street and offer to remove flyers scattered by the front door for a vacationing neighbor. However, our Joan Broz says a block party is still one of the best ways to get to know all your neighbors within the shortest...

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    Quinn: Do pension reform for history

    As he opened the Illinois State Fair Friday, Gov. Pat Quinn said tackling the state's enormous $83 billion pension debt would make the state's most famous president proud. "I think that it's imperative that we do something for history," Quinn said. "I think Abraham Lincoln would be very proud of us if we use government of the people to solve the problem for the people."

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    Hundreds of people crowd downtown Arlington Heights at a previous year’s Mane Event party.

    Arlington Heights kicks off Million Week with Mane Event, Taste

    Thousands are gearing up for what officials say will be an exciting weekend of festivities in Arlington Heights as the village kicks off Million Week with the Mane Event, Taste of Arlington Heights and Community Day at Arlington Park. "It's a wonderful whirlwind of activity for the entire family," said Nancy Kluz, community relations coordinator for the village. "It's just a great time to come...

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    63-year-old Jim Windass started his journey at Loving Heart Hospice in Los Angeles and will end Aug. 27 at Rainbow Hospice in Mount Prospect.

    63-year-old Brit cycles 2,500 miles to Mt. Prospect hospice

    A British cyclist is riding from Los Angeles to Mount Prospect, raising money for the English hospice that took care of his wife as she was dying from cancer in 2010. Jim Windass expects to reach Rainbow Hospice on Aug. 27.

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    Lauran Kellam, right, and Rachael Hillmar, left, of the William and Mary Center for Archaeological Research sifts through soil dug up from a Civil War excavation site on the campus of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

    Civil War remnants discovered beneath Virginia college

    The College of William and Mary has long claimed fame as the "Alma Mater of a Nation," pre-dating the American Revolution. Now archaeologist say weeks of fresh excavation have uncovered the remnants of earthworks apparently dug by occupying Union troops — new evidence that the colonial-era school had an outsized role in the Civil War.

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    Teens cited for parking lot chalk drawings

    Police in suburban Philadelphia say two teens have been cited for doodling on the street with chalk.The Doylestown Intelligencer reports Friday that 18-year-old Connor Logan and a 17-year-old friend drew a whale and sea turtles in a parking lot.

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    Boeing fills sales chief job

    Boeing Co. named John Wojick as the planemaker's new sales chief, filling a post vacant for more than a month after a management shake-up in June.

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    Buffalo Grove sells $6 million in road bonds

    Buffalo Grove trustees this week approved issuing general obligation bonds to fund $6 million in road improvements. The interest rate will be 2.21 percent. "People wanted your bonds," said Kevin McKenna of consultant Speer Financial.

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    Polish priest charged with pedophilia found dead

    A charred body was found at a cemetery in eastern Poland and is believed to be that of a priest suspected of pedophilia in Germany and in Poland, a prosecutor said Friday.

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    Sambha Malgewkav walks in the 2011 Indian Independence Day parade, sponsored by the Chicago-based Federation of Indian Associations.

    India Independence Day celebrations planned in suburbs

    The Chicago-based Federation of Indian Associations will host two days of colorful celebrations - including a dinner and parade — in honor of India's 66th Independence Day on August 18 and 19 in Rolling Meadows and Hoffman Estates. "It's going to be quite a big event," said FIA President Sunil Shah.

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    Cyrenthia Williams

    Chicago woman charged in Batavia stabbing

    A Chicago woman has been charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, accused of stabbing another woman Thursday night.

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    A water fountain doubles as a no-touch water bottle refill station.

    Randall Oaks Rec Center readying for debut

    Twenty years ago, officials within the Dundee Township Park District started talking about building a new recreation center. And evidence of those talks has finally come to fruition.Next week, the 53,000 square foot Randall Oaks Recreation Center will open its doors to the public on Monday, a full month ahead of schedule, said Jim Miller, deputy director of the Dundee Township Park District.

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    Lollie Guiney, a Hoffman Estates Park District board commissioner, won eight medals in a Senior Olympics competition in July in Ohio.

    Hoffman Estates park district commissioner wins in Senior Olympics

    Hoffman Estates Park District board commissioner Lollie Guiney recently won eight medals in the Senior Olympics for swimming and track and field events. The 82-year-old qualified for, and plans to attend, the Summer National Senior Games next year in Cleveland, Ohio. "I find it a challenge to try to improve and to see how I can make (the sports) work for me," she said.

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    Robert Roth

    Upgraded DUI charges filed against son of Lake Villa’s police chief

    The son of Lake Villa's police chief was slapped Thursday with upgraded felony charges for his involvement in a June 14 DUI-related crash that injured three passengers. Robert Roth, 23, of the 20000 block of San Rem Avenue in Venetian Village, an unincorporated area near Lake Villa, now faces six counts of felony aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol — causing great bodily harm,...

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    Des Plaines to offer free CPR/AED training for residents

    The Des Plaines Fire Department will offer free CPR and automated external defibrillator use training to residents who want a basic knowledge of these lifesaving techniques.

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    The judge ruled that feral cats are wild animals, not strays, and therefore come under state authority.

    Feral cat colonies can continue in Mount Prospect

    A Cook County judge has ruled in favor of a Mount Prospect couple who were cited by the village for caring for feral cats. The couple were doing so according to a Cook County ordinance, and the judge said the village can't supersede that law."I do hope that this case will stop other villages from suing residents who care for these cats properly," said Serena Fried, president of Wheeling-based...

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    Mourners attend the funeral and memorial service for the six victims of the Sikh temple of Wisconsin mass shooting in Oak Creek, Wis., Friday, Aug 10, 2012. The public service was held in the Oak Creek High School. Three other people were wounded in the shooting last Sunday at the temple.

    Hundreds gather for Sikh temple shooting memorial

    Hundreds of people streamed into a Wisconsin high school Friday to pay their final respects to six worshippers gunned down by a white supremacist at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee. Mourners, most with scarves on their heads in the Sikh tradition, greeted victims' family members with hugs inside the Oak Creek High School gymnasium, where six caskets stood as a large video screen flashed...

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    Pat Martens Balke, of St. Louis, rallies with other supporters of The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) at a vigil Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012 in St. Louis. The LCWR, the largest U.S. group for Roman Catholic nuns, are meeting to decide how they should respond to a Vatican rebuke and order for reform. The organization represents about 80 percent of the 57,000 U.S. sisters.

    U.S. nuns consider response to Vatican censure

    At a pivotal national meeting, members of the largest group for American nuns have been weighing whether they should accept or challenge a Vatican order to reform. The national assembly is the first since a Vatican review concluded the Roman Catholic sisters had tolerated dissent about the all-male priesthood, birth control and homosexuality, while remaining nearly silent in the fight against...

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    For months, Mitt Romney has had one main focus — bludgeoning President Barack Obama on the economy. Now, the Republican presidential candidate has started poking at Obama from all sides as he looks to gain ground. In recent days, Romney has criticized Obama in TV ads and speeches on topics that include farm policy, transparency, military voting rights, welfare reform and religious freedom.

    Romney now assails Obama on more than just economy

    DES MOINES, Iowa — For months, Mitt Romney has had one main focus — bludgeoning President Barack Obama on the economy.

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    Melvin L. Morse

    Del. doctor accused of ‘waterboarding’ daughter

    DOVER, Del. — The daughter of a Delaware pediatrician who has appeared on national TV for his research on near-death experiences told investigators he “waterboarded” her several times by holding her face under a running faucet.

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    Vendors try to recover their chairs after high waves dragged their beach stalls into the sea in Veracruz, Mexico, Thursday Aug. 9, 2012. Tropical Storm Ernesto headed into Mexico’s southern Gulf coast as authorities in the flood-prone region prepared shelters, army troops and rescue personnel for drenching rains.

    Ernesto weakens over Mexico, still a flood threat

    VERACRUZ, Mexico — Ernesto weakened to a tropical depression as it moved inland early Friday, though forecasters warned it could still dump dangerous rains in the mountains of Mexico’s flood-prone southern Gulf region.In Tabasco state, two fishermen drowned when the stormed passed through the area Thursday, Gov. Andres Granier told reporters.

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    Syrian troops bomb rebel positions in Aleppo

    BEIRUT — Syrian government forces bombed rebel positions from the ground and air in the northern city of Aleppo on Friday as protesters across the country appealed for anti-aircraft guns for opposition fighters to offset the regime’s increasing use of aerial attacks.

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    3 US troops killed by man in Afghan uniform

    KABUL, Afghanistan — A man in an Afghan uniform shot and killed three American troops Friday morning in southern Afghanistan, the U.S. military command said, in the third attack on coalition forces by their Afghan counterparts in a week. The Taliban claimed the shooter joined the insurgency after the attack.

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    US prepares new sanctions on Assad regime

    ACCRA, Ghana — The Obama administration is readying new sanctions on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime and its allies as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton heads to Turkey for weekend talks with top Turkish officials and Syrian opposition activists.

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    1873 dime costs a pretty penny: Nearly $2 million

    PHILADELPHIA — A dime made in 1873 has cost someone a pretty penny: It sold for nearly $2 million at an auction in Philadelphia.The unique coin was minted in Carson City, Nev., during a one-day run of dimes.The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the anonymous winning bidder paid $1.6 million for the pristine coin, plus a 15 percent buyer’s fee.

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    Hundreds of cyclists from throughout the Midwest are expected to compete a series of races this weekend as part of the 13th annual Winfield Criterium.

    Winfield gearing up for criterium weekend

    The sight of cyclists with colorful uniforms pedalling at high speed on residential streets will dominate Winfield this weekend as the town plays host to its annual criterium-style bicycle races. The Winfield Criterium is expected to attract about 1,000 people to watch hundreds of riders compete in professional and amateur races. "Many people look forward to this," organizer Gary Bernard said.

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    Make more summer memories in Schaumburg

    Summer's already winding down, but there's still time to add some more good memories to replace those of the blistering heat and drought. If you haven't yet had the opportunity to indulge in a summer picnic this year, the Schaumburg Park District has one already planned out for you.

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    Who watches the money in Arlington Heights?

    Twice a month the Arlington Heights Village Board approves without comment the payment of bills usually totalling between $1 million and $2 million. Are trustees paying attention to how all this money is spent? You bet, says Village President Arlene Mulder.

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    Sindy Main, left, Erica Nieto, center, and Stephanie Garner, three teachers from Carl Sandburg High School in Freeport, Ill., show off the underwater robot they built in July during a robotics workshop at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.

    Freeport teachers build robot

    Three teachers from Carl Sandburg School spent part of their summer vacation building an underwater robot. This unique "gizmo" is the creation of Sindy Main, Erica Nieto, and Stephanie Garner, who spent a week building a robot at Shedd Aquarium at the end of July. The robot is designed to pick up trash in lakes and rivers.

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    New strain of swine flu detected in Illinois

    A child who contracted a new strain of swine flu has become the first Illinois case of the illness. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced the case Thursday, encouraging state and county fairgoers to wash their hands frequently around pigs.

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    Ill. elderly struggle with prescription drug costs

    Joanne Capretti is in a fix. The 78-year-old widow needs an inhaler to breathe well enough to continue working part-time as a restaurant hostess, which supplements her paltry Social Security retirement benefits.

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    Armed man found near bar linked to missing student

    A mental evaluation has been ordered for an armed man who police found watching the bar where an Indiana University student was last seen.

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    Illinois State opening new apartment complex

    About 900 Illinois State University students will move into brand-new apartments next week. The university is opening its new Cardinal Court apartments in time for the start of the new school year.

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    Heat blamed in Fairmont City woman’s death

    Authorities say the death of a 60-year-old Fairmont City woman is the fourth related to heat in southwestern Illinois this year.

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    Dawn Patrol: Muslims speak after Walsh comment; Antioch firefighter charged

    Suburban Muslims say they are becoming GOP "punching bag." Former Antioch firefighter charged with sexually assaulting teen. Des Plaines man who beat dog sentenced to 30 months. Mundelein man dies in river rafting accident. Cubs rookies get taste of Wrigley Field.

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    Patricia Grund of Arlington Heights leads the official Chicago Architecture Foundation river cruise as it passes beneath the Van Buren Street bridge. Grund, an Arlington Heights resident, has been guiding the tours for seven years.

    Docents from suburbs love to lead Chicago architecture boat tours

    A handful of suburban residents, including two from Arlington Heights, are docents for the Chicago Architecture Foundation boat tour, and they love the unpaid job that requires extensive time in training."Unless it's 40 degrees and raining, every time I get out there it feels good," Patricia Grund said. "It's an hour and a half of my life where I haven't thought about anything else and people...

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    Scarlet Spider (Bill Higa of Palatine), left, and Spider-Man (Paul Heid of Chicago) make their rounds at last year’s Wizard World Chicago Comic Con.

    Poll Vault: Who is your favorite comic book superhero?

    Wham! Thwack! Bffft! The Wizard World Chicago Comic Con is under way in Rosemont. Who's your favorite superhero?

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    A rose garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden in May when the roses were blooming unusually early.

    Images: Photo Contest Finalists
    Each week you submit your favorite photo. We pick the best of the bunch and select 12 finlaists. Here are the finalists for the week of August 6th.

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    St. Charles residents envision Charlestowne’s future

    About 50 St. Charles residents met with city officials Thursday night to share their visions for what a struggling Charlestowne Mall can become. The ideas included plans for demolishing the mall completely.

Sports

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    White Sox outfielder Jordan Danks celebrates his walk-off home run off Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Pat Neshek Friday at U.S. Cellular Field.

    Danks hits 1st career HR in 9th, White Sox top A’s

    Jordan Danks hit his first major league homer in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Chicago White Sox overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Oakland Athletics 4-3 on Friday night. With two outs in the ninth, Danks sent the first pitch he saw from Pat Neshek (1-1) deep into the right-field seats for a solo shot.

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    Northwestern RB Treyvon Green injured at practice

    Northwestern running back Treyvon Green was taken from the field in an ambulance after absorbing a hard hit to the chest during practice Friday.

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    Beach Bums walk all over Boomers

    TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The Schaumburg Boomers’ pitchers issued 8 walks and hit a pair of batters, helping the host Traverse City Beach Bums post a 6-1 victory Friday night in the opener of a three-game series.Steve McQuail blasted his 15th homer of the season in the top of the second the opposite way to right against a strong wind that staked the Boomers (43-33) to a 1-0 lead.Cameron Roth started for the Boomers and took the loss in 5 innings. Roth, who walked five and hit a batter, issued a bases-loaded pass to Kyle Eveland to force home the tying run in the fourth. A pair of doubles helped the Bums grab a 3-1 lead in the fifth, but Roth struck out three consecutive batters to leave a pair of runners in scoring position.The Bums added a run in the seventh on 3 straight walks with two outs to force home a run. The Boomers allowed 2 unearned runs in the eighth.The series continues at 6:05 p.m. today when Boomers right-hander Alex Rivers (2-2, 5.18) faces righty Scott Dunn (4-3, 3.38).

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    United States sprinter Carmelita Jeter reacts Friday as she crosses the finish line to win the women's 4x 100-meter relay. The United States relay team set a new world record with a time of 40.82 seconds.

    Felix, Jeter help US break 1985 record in 4x100

    Eyeing the trackside clock as she approached the finish line, Carmelita Jeter pointed the black baton in her left hand at those bright orange numbers. She wanted to make sure everyone saw what she saw: The United States was breaking the world record in the women's 4x100-meter relay — and it wasn't even close. "As I'm running, I'm looking at the clock and seeing this time that's like 37, 38, 39. In my heart, I said, 'We just did it!' I definitely knew we ran well," Jeter said.

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    Tiger Woods watches his drive from the seventh tee Friday during the second round of the PGA Championship.

    Tiger Woods shares lead at PGA Championship

    The major known as "Glory's Last Shot" turned into one last chance for Tiger Woods. On the toughest scoring day in PGA Championship history, Woods made putts from one end of Kiawah Island to the other Friday for a 1-under 71 that gave him a share of the lead with Vijay Singh and Carl Pettersson going into the weekend. "It was tough out there — wow," Woods said. Wow, indeed.

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    Alfonso Soriano, left, and Starlin Castro can't make a play on a single hit by the Reds' Brandon Phillips during the ninth inning Friday at Wrigley Field.

    Cubs bumble their way to another loss

    Growing pains? Oh, yeah, on some days it feels like those pains are growing inside the Cubs. Take Friday's 10-8 loss to the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field. Manager Dale Sveum didn't say, “Please, take it,” but he was irritated aplenty after the Cubs made 5 fielding errors and shortstop Starlin Castro appeared guilty of a mental gaffe. “I'm a little upset today,” Sveum said.

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    Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco, left, tags out Alfonso Soriano during the third inning of the Cubs’ 10-8 loss to Cincinnati on Friday at Wrigley Field.

    Clevenger apologizes for Thursday ejection

    Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger said he apologized to manager Dale Sveum after getting ejected from Thursday night’s game by home-plate umpire Jeff Nelson. Interestingly, Clevenger was tossed out after complaining about a pitch called a ball while he was at-bat in the fifth inning. He had been upset by previous calls by Nelson. But Sveum said he was not happy with Clevenger for getting tossed. “Dale is right,” Clevenger said. “I can’t get ejected in that situation. I went up and apologized to Dale last night for getting ejected and said it won’t happen again, can’t happen.“I thought the ball was outside, and the next pitch was the same exact pitch, I thought. He called it a ball. I said, ‘You can’t hit like that.’ You don’t know when he’s going to call a strike and when he’s going to call a ball. You can’t hit like that. Yesterday was yesterday, and today’s a new day.”Tough day to pitch:Starting pitcher Justin Germano suffered the defeat in Friday’s 10-8 loss to the Reds. Germano (1-2) worked 5 innings and gave up 7 hits and 6 runs, 4 earned. The Cubs made 5 errors while Germano was in the game. “It was a tough game all-around for everybody,” Germano said. “The offense really stepped it up and kept us in that ballgame. New man on board:The Cubs’ front office got another key new person Friday when the organization announced the hiring of Jaron Madison as director of amateur scouting. Madison has held that job with the San Diego Padres. Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer previously served as GM of the Padres. Jason McLeod came in with Hoyer and new team president Theo Epstein last fall to serve as senior vice president of scouting and player development. Tim Wilken, the director of amateur and professional scouting, will see his duties expanded as a special assistant to Epstein and Hoyer. Wilken ran the Cubs’ 2006-11 drafts under former GM Jim Hendry. He is highly valued by the new management team.A Cubs news release says Wilken “will continue to scout players for the amateur draft while adding major league, international and professional scouting responsibilities. Wilken will also now contribute player evaluations throughout the club’s entire major-league and minor-league system.”The quote: Former Cubs manager Dusty Baker, now skipper of the Reds, had the best line about the 24-mph wind. On an infield popup by the Cubs’ Welington Castillo, Reds infielders moved toward the middle of the diamond, but the ball blew into the stands behind the first-base dugout. “There was a popup to second base, and it ended up 30 rows in the stands, then that ball that Castillo hit ... ball was doing the Salsa, Merengue, La Cucaracha out there ... everything,” Baker said.

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    United States' center Sylvia Fowles, left, goes for a basket during a women's quarterfinal basketball match against Canada at the 2012 Summer Olympics on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Mark Ralston, Pool)

    Quite an Olympics for American women

    The women of Team USA are providing the perfect tribute to the 40th Anniversary of Title IX.

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    Chicago Bears Shea McClellin walks off the field during the second half against Denver in their preseason opener at Soldier Field in Chicago.

    Bears do some things well, others not so much

    The scoreboard notwithstanding, there were some positive developments in the Bears’ preseason-opening “snooze fest” that resulted in Thursday night’s 31-3 loss to the Broncos.And there were a lot of negatives, too.Strong safety Major Wright’s goal line interception might be an indication that he is becoming more aware in situations, a problem that has prevented him from performing as well as his physical abilities would dictate.“I’ve been working on my alignment, my assignment, my technique and me just honing in to the defense and knowing what I’m doing every play,” said Wright, who downplayed his hamstring injury that coach Lovie Smith call “just a tweak.” “I think I’m pretty comfortable right now,” Wright said. “My coach (Jon Hoke) has been on me. We meet extra, and things are coming along.”Even more encouraging was the pass-rush performance of rookie defensive end Shea McClellin, even more crucial given the heightened scrutiny he’s been subject to as the Bears’ first-round pick.“It’s a start,” McClellin said. “There’s always pressure on any first-round pick, but you’ve just got to go out there and play and have fun. I did some good things and some bad things. I have a lot to learn and a lot to work on.”McClellin’s confidence can only improve practicing against the Bears’ offensive line, especially if it plays as it did against the Broncos. The Bears ran the ball 21 times for 36 yards and the O-line allowed 6 sacks. “There are no excuses,” center Roberto Garza said. “It’s up to us to do a better job of executing, protecting our quarterback and creating running lanes for our running backs.”While most starters on both teams played less than a quarter, the Bears’ offensive linemen worked overtime — at least for a preseason opener. The starting front five all played into the second quarter, left guard Chris Spencer played the entire first half and left tackle J’Marcus Webb played into the fourth quarter. “Once you’re on the field, you really don’t take note of how long you’re in there,” Garza said. “You want to go out there and do a better job than we did. We’re not happy with what we did, and obviously we have to do better.”Webb’s extended playing time raised eyebrows and led to speculation that he was being punished by offensive coordinator Mike Tice for a false start penalty and for allowing a sack.“I don’t think it was a punishment,” Webb said. “I didn’t look at it that way. I’ve got to get better and, if he asks me to stay in, then I will. “It’s definitely a sign that we need to work on some things. I also need to work on understanding what we’re here to do and that is to be explosive.”Right guard Lance Louis, who also had a false start penalty, said he couldn’t tell if Tice was peeved by the O-line’s performance. “I don’t know. Just seeing him on the sideline, I couldn’t tell you if he was mad or not,” Louis said. “However long they want us to go, that’s what we do.”

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    Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro reacts after being called out on strikes Friday during the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field.

    Cubs rally in 8th, but fall to Reds 10-8

    Rookie Todd Frazier doubled twice and drove in four runs, Aroldis Chapman came out of the bullpen to stop an eighth-inning rally attempt and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Cubs 10-8 Friday to end their season-high losing streak at five games. After the Cubs closed to 9-8 with a pair of runs in the eighth, Chapman struck out Anthony Rizzo with a runner on third.

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    United States forward LeBron James, right, grabs a rebound as teammate Kobe Bryant blocks out Argentina’s Luis Scola Friday during the semifinals.

    US men beat Argentina 109-83 in Olympic basketball

    One more for the gold, and seemingly nothing that can prevent it. This U.S. men's Olympic basketball team might not slow down until it's standing at the center of the medals platform again. Kevin Durant scored 19 points, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony added 18 apiece, and the U.S. powered its way back to the gold-medal game by beating Argentina 109-83 on Friday night.

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    USA sprinters Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter celebrate their gold medal win Friday. Midway through Friday’s events, the Americans led China in total medals, 90 to 81, and golds, 40 to 37.

    US heading for win over China in both medals races

    With a surge of medals in track and field, the United States has sprinted ahead of China and is poised to finish atop the medals table at the London Olympics — maybe with the most golds ever collected by the Americans on foreign soil. Heading into the final weekend of competition, the U.S. led both the gold and overall medals races after trailing the Chinese most of the games. Midway through Friday's events, the Americans led China in total medals, 90 to 81, and golds, 40 to 37.

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    United States wrestler Jordan Burroughs celebrates Friday after beating Iran’s Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi in the freestyle gold medal match at 74-kg.

    US wrestler Burroughs comes through with a gold

    Wrestler Jordan Burroughs spent months boasting that all he could see was gold. It's not bragging anymore. The 24-year-old American backed up that talk at the London Games, beating Iran's Sadegh Saeed Goudarzi 1-0, 1-0 in men's freestyle 74-kilograms to give the U.S. its first wrestling gold medal in London.

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    Illinois quarterback Miles Osei (16), a former star at Prospect High School, is in a battle with sophomore quarterback Reilly O'Toole, a former Wheaton Warrenville South star, for the No. 2 QB role at Illinois.

    Prospect’s Osei drawing attention at Illini camp

    In a report for GateHouse News Service, John Supinie says former Prospect High School quarterback Miles Osei is making a big impression with first-year Illini coach Tim Beckman.

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    Gold medalist Evan Lysacek made his return official Friday and announced that he is entered for Skate America in October — his first competition since winning the gold medal in Vancouver in 2010.

    Olympic champ Lysacek makes return official

    Olympic figure skating champion Evan Lysacek's decision to return took all of an hour. In training for the past year, Lysacek made his return official Friday and announced that he is entered for Skate America in October — his first competition since winning the gold medal in Vancouver in 2010. The Naperville native will aim for a spot on the U.S. team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. "I'm locked and loaded, so to speak," Lysacek said. "Nothing's made me happier than training every single day."

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    Kirk Urso

    MLS postpones game so team can honor Urso

    Major League Soccer has postponed a Columbus Crew game Saturday so team members can attend services for Kirk Urso, the rookie midfielder from Lombard who died Sunday.A visitation for Urso, son of Michael and Sandy Urso, is scheduled for 2-9 p.m. today at Christ The King Church, 1501 S. Main St., in Lombard, and from 9-10:30 a.m. Saturday at the church. Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Church Interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery. Per the family's request, please omit flowers, and donations to the wishes of the family or the American Heart Association are appreciated.

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    White Sox scouting report
    White Sox vs. Oakland Athletics at U.S. Cellular FieldTV: Comcast SportsNet Friday; WGN Saturday; Comcast SportsNet/TBS SundayRadio: WSCR 670-AMPitching matchups: The White Sox’ Gavin Floyd (8-9) vs. Brandon McCarthy (6-3) Friday at 7:10 p.m.; Francisco Liriano (3-10) vs. Tommy Milone (9-9) Saturday at 6:10 p.m.; Chris Sale (13-3) vs. Jarrod Parker (7-6) Sunday at 1:10 p.m.At a glance: The White Sox were idle Thursday after losing two straight to the Royals, but they gained some ground in the AL Central and lead the second-place Tigers by a full game. Paul Konerko (mild concussion) will be re-evaluated before Friday night’s series opener. The Sox lost two of three at Oakland in late April. Floyd is 3-0 with a 2.39 ERA in his last 4 home starts. The A’s have erupted for 19 runs on 23 hits in their last two games and have the best record in the majors (23-9) since July 1.Next: Toronto Blue Jays, Monday-Thursday at Rogers Centre— Scot Gregor

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    New York Giants president and CEO John Mara believes New Jersey would never host another Super Bowl if it allowed legalized sports gambling.

    Is it time for sports wagering in Illinois?

    Sports wagering is being considered in the state of New Jerseys, and New York Giants president and CEO John Mara isn't happy about it. Mike North says Mara should realize that the NFL wouldn't be as strong of a league without legal or illegal gambling. It adds to the league's popularity, and TV, newspapers, tout sheets and sports radio all benefit. Mike North has some advice on the topic for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.

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    Golfer John Daly has been making some loud "fashion" statements with his attire each day at the PGA Championships.

    Spellman’s Scorecard: Some things you notice watching Olympics

    Other sports stories, notes, photos and graphics

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    John Starks/jstarks@dailyherald.com Brandon Marshall is sure to start the season at wide recevier for the Bears, but where does that leave Dane Sanzenbacher and Eric Weems? Their special teams contributions could be the deciding factor when it comes to final decisions on the 53-man roster.

    Competition for wide receiver, running back tightens

    Fourth-year running back Kahlil Bell is fighting for what limited playing time will be available behind Matt Forte and Michael Bush, and he’s got competition from Lorenzo Booker and Armando Allen. “Kahlil is having a great camp,” running backs coach Tim Spencer said. “Every year that I’ve been here he’s always had a great camp. He only had one situation where he (fumbled).

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    Alfonso Soriano right, celebrates with teammate Anthony Rizzo left, after hitting the game-winning 2-run homer Thursday against the Reds.The home run was Soriano’s 20th of the season. It marked the 11th straight year he has hit at least 20. He joined Albert Pujols and David Ortiz as the only sluggers to have 11 consecutive 20-plus-homer seasons, including 2012

    What can Castro do to snap out of his slump?

    It wasn’t much of a road trip for many of the Cubs’ hitters. But for shortstop Starlin Castro, it was particularly rough. Castro was 1-for-22 (.045) on the six-game swing to Los Angeles and San Diego.

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    Report says Dwight Howard to Lakers

    The Los Angeles Lakers have a deal in place to acquire Dwight Howard from Orlando in a four-team, eight-player trade also involving Denver and Philadelphia, and the NBA has scheduled a conference call Friday with the four general managers to finish the deal, according to multiple reports.Citing unidentified sources, ESPN first reported the deal was in place. The Los Angeles Times, citing unidentified NBA executives, later confirmed the trade. The Denver Post confirmed the Nuggets’ end of the deal, and Yahoo! Sports also confirmed the trade, both citing unidentified sources.A person with knowledge of the trade also confirmed the Denver portion of the deal to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details have not been officially announced.Philadelphia would get Andrew Bynum from Los Angeles and Jason Rchardson from Orlando, while Denver would get Andre Iguodala from the 76ers.Orlando would receive Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington from Denver, Nikola Vucevic and Moe Harkless from Philadelphia, and lottery protected first-round picks from each of the three teams.Howard had asked for a trade to Brooklyn, but Orlando failed to work out a deal with the Nets, opening the way for the Lakers to get the All-Star center.Howard averaged 20.6 points and 14.5 rebounds in 54 regular-season games for Orlando last season. In eight seasons with the Magic, he averaged 18.4 points and 13.0 rebounds.

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    Not quite Super start for Bears

    One meaningless exhibition game down, three to go for the Bears, who apparently knew days ago that Jay Cutler wouldn't play.

Business

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    J.C. Penney Co. is reporting a bigger-than-expected loss and plummeting sales, as its customers continue to be turned off by a new pricing plan that gets rid of hundreds of sales in favor of every day lower prices.

    Penney earnings down, stock up

    J.C. Penney Co. is reporting a bigger-than-expected loss and plummeting sales, as its customers continue to be turned off by a new pricing plan that gets rid of hundreds of sales in favor of every day lower prices.It also withdrew its profit guidance for the year.

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    Nurses association lauds Advocate Good Shepherd

    The Emergency Nurses Association has named Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital near Lake Barrington one of eight recipients of the second annual Lantern Award. "We are extremely proud of our Emergency Department staff," said Karen Lambert, president of Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital.

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    Woodfield not in Kuma’s Corner

    Hype over the possibility of Chicago eatery Kuma's Corner opening a location in Woodfield Mall was over before it really began Friday. "Dear everyone: No, we aren't opening a Kuma's at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg," the restaurant posted on its facebook page.

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    Limestone Coffee seeks loan for new place in Batavia

    Limestone Coffee and Tea may be resurrected in downtown Batavia. Its owners are asking the city for a microloan to buy equipment, for a new space on Wilson Street.

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    Elgin could be home to food co-op by next year

    A steering committee of about 10 people is working to start a cooperative grocery store in downtown Elgin by next summer. The goal is ambitious but members have reason to believe their enthusiasm can make it happen. Elgin already has a food co-op where people order their items ahead of time, but the committee's vision is to lease a building in downtown that will be completely dedicated as a grocery store with products like vitamins, organic body care products, pet foods and ecologically safe cleaning supplies in addition to groceries.

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    Jets take off and land as more than one million bees do their job at O’Hare.

    OK, you can make honey, but no buzzing the field

    O'Hare installed the nation's first on-airport beehive farm in 2011 on land that was previously undeveloped. The beehives are tended by ex-offenders, who get a second chance by learning job training skills through collecting and processing honey. The apiary produced 1,200 pounds of honey in 2011 and expanded to 50 beehives from 28 beehives this year, with more than one million bees. No word yet on their arrival and departure stats.

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    Stock market is ending the week on a sour note

    After months of worrying about Europe, now investors are getting concerned about Asia too. U.S. stocks moved lower Friday morning following unsettling reports out of China and elsewhere in Asia. China's export growth plunged, Singapore's economy shrank and South Korea's central bank issued pessimistic predictions. How China and other Asian countries fare is hugely important to both the U.S. and Europe. China, the world's second-largest economy, has managed to keep growing even throughout the world recession and its aftermath, propping up global markets while other countries sagged.

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    Weak Asia data shows growing toll from downturn

    A slew of gloomy economic reports from Asian nations show that Europe's debt crisis and the broader global downturn are taking a growing toll on the region even as governments respond with extra spending and lower lending rates. Hong Kong and Singapore, both Asian financial centers that are highly exposed to global trade, reported weak second quarter GDP Friday, the same day that figures from China showed its trade slowing more sharply than forecast in July.

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    Online accounts for Blizzard video games hacked

    The maker of video games such as "Diablo" and "World of Warcraft" is warning players that hackers have gained unauthorized access to some online accounts.

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    The government slashed its expectations for U.S. corn and soybean production for the second consecutive month Friday, predicting what could be the lowest average corn yield in more than 15 years as the worst drought in decades continued punishing key farm states.

    USDA cuts corn outlook as drought takes toll

    The government slashed its expectations for U.S. corn and soybean production for the second consecutive month Friday, predicting what could be the lowest average corn yield in more than 15 years as the worst drought in decades continued punishing key farm states. Nonetheless, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack insisted that U.S. farmers and ranchers remain resilient and that the country would continue to meet demand as the global leader in farm exports and food aid.

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    The average price of regular gasoline jumped in California from $3.86 a gallon on Tuesday to $3.94 on Thursday, according to the website GasBuddy.com.

    Higher gas prices expected after refinery fire

    Analysts expect West Coast gas prices to rise beyond $4 a gallon after a fire knocked out a key section of one of the nation's largest oil refineries. Meanwhile, the same U.S. Chemical Safety Board team that investigated the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was standing by with state and company inspectors waiting for structural and environmental tests to see if it was safe to enter the unit.

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    Traders work while wearing Manchester United jerseys on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, Aug. 10, 2012 in New York. Shares of soccer club Manchester United made their public debut Friday, edging up slightly as shareholders’ enthusiasm for the celebrated team was offset by worry about its debt load and financial performance.

    Manchester United edge up in IPO

    Shares of soccer club Manchester United made their public debut Friday, edging up slightly as shareholders' enthusiasm for the celebrated team was offset by worry about its debt load and financial performance. Its shares opened at $14.05 on the New York Stock Exchange, a nickel per share higher than they were priced at by the underwriters late Thursday. The shares trade under the MANU ticker symbol. The stock had been expected to be priced at between $16 and $20 per share.

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    DeVry 4Q profit plunges on weak enrollment

    Downers Grove-based DeVry Inc.’s fourth-quarter profit plunged as the for-profit education company struggled with lower enrollment, restructuring expenses and other charges. The company said Thursday that it earned $8.1 million, or 12 cents per share, for the quarter that ended June 30. That’s compared with $75.2 million, or $1.08 per share, in the same quarter of the prior year. After adjusting for charges, restructuring expensing and other items, it earned 47 cents per share versus $1.08 per share in the prior year. The company is one of many in the industry performing poorly amid a wave of changes. Enrollment grew at these schools during the recession as people looked to improve their ability to find a job. At the same time, scrutiny increased. A growing number of critics say for-profit schools are graduating students with too much debt and too few job opportunities. Many charge they aren’t ensuring that enough students graduate at all. Companies say the criticism has hurt enrollment but they are also feeling the effect of new federal regulations aimed at helping students find jobs and repay debt. Schools who fail to meet the rules risk losing federal money. Most for-profit education companies have stiffened enrollment guidelines as a result. DeVry has seen an extended downturn in enrollment. It said that its total enrollment sank more than 3 percent to 109,896 for its summer term. As a result of the enrollment decline, DeVry told investors last month that it would cut 570 jobs. It also warned that its fourth-quarter results would likely fall short of market expectations. In the April-June period, DeVry’s total revenue fell more than 7 percent to $505.9 million from $546.8 million. Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting the company to earn 46 cents per share on revenue of $508.4 million. “While we are disappointed with the results for this quarter and year, we are optimistic about mid- and long- term growth prospects in higher education and for DeVry,” CEO Daniel Hamburger said. “We are executing a plan to improve DeVry’s near-term performance. The most important elements of the plan are to align our cost structure with our enrollment levels and to regain enrollment growth in our high-quality academic programs.” The company earned $141.6 million, or $2.09 per share, for the year versus $330.4 million, or $4.68 per share, last year. It earned $3.22 per share versus $4.68 per share on an adjusted basis. Revenue fell 4 percent to $2.09 billion. DeVry owns DeVry University, Chamberlain College of Nursing, The Carrington Colleges Group and DeVry Medical International. DeVry’s stock fell 12 cents to $19.75 in after-hours trading on Thursday as many investors had already sold shares following the company’s warning of a fourth-quarterly shortfall. DeVry’s stock has lost roughly 63 percent of its value in the past year.

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    Ag Dept unveils new steps to stop food stamp fraud

    The Agriculture Department says it is going to impose tougher penalties on stores that violate food stamp rules and give states new tools to root out applicants who are ineligible for the benefit program that now covers about 1 out of every 7 Americans.

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    Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson credits the Schaumburg Renaissance and Convention Center making the city one of the top 50 meeting destinations in the country.

    Rosemont, Schaumburg among top 50 meeting sites

    Rosemont and Schaumburg have made a list of the top 50 meeting destinations in the U.S. — Schaumburg for the very first time. Rosemont was 33 on the list and Schaumburg 44. Chicago rounded out the top five, which also consisted of Orlando, Washington, Las Vegas and Miami.

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    People walk past an electronic stock indicator in Tokyo, Friday.

    World stocks fall as China trade growth slides

    World stock markets tumbled Friday as investors withdrew from riskier assets after China's trade suffered a steeper-than-expected slowdown.The figures, which come a day after China reported a slowdown in auto sales and factory output, underscored concerns that the world's No. 2 economy is succumbing to an economic downturn despite government efforts to stimulate growth.

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    Ethiopian Air to get Africa’s first Boeing 787

    Ethiopian Airlines next week takes delivery of Africa's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and the airline's chief executive says the plane will first be used on routes around the continent.

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    A container ship docks at a port in Xiamen, in southeastern China’s Fujian province. China’s trade growth plunged even more sharply than forecast in July in a new sign of global economic weakness.

    China trade decelerates in sign of global weakness

    China's trade and domestic demand have weakened even faster than expected, adding to pressure on Beijing for a more aggressive stimulus to boost the world's second-largest economy out of its worst slump since the 2008 crisis.Export growth in July plunged to just 1 percent from the previous month's 11.3 percent, well below forecasts of about 5 percent, data showed Friday.

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    Yahoo CEO mulling possible changes in strategy

    Recently hired Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer may scrap the Internet company's plan to reward its long-tormented shareholders with a multibillion-dollar payout later this year, underscoring the uncertainty accompanying new leadership.The unexpected twist disclosed in regulatory documents filed Thursday after the stock market closed caused Yahoo shares to drop more than 3 percent in extended trading.

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    Rail study planned for Fort Wayne-Chicago route

    A northeast Indiana group that supports a high-speed rail connection between Fort Wayne and Chicago says it has raised money for a feasibility study.

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    Gasoline averages $3.66, more costly than year ago

    For the first time since late April, the average price of gasoline is higher than it was a year ago. Drivers are now paying an average of $3.66 per gallon, a penny more than on this day last year. The last time gas that happened was April 23, according to auto club AAA. Gas is up 10 percent from July 1 and experts say pump prices could keep rising through Labor Day.

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    A television journalist reports from outside the Finance Ministry as civil servants protest, in Madrid, Friday

    How long can Spain take the financial heat?

    Imagine the interest rate on your mortgage going up and up until you can barely meet the monthly installments. How long do you hold on, scrimping and saving, before you throw in the towel?That is the dilemma facing Spain, whose Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is fighting to prevent his country becoming the latest — and biggest — victim of the economic crisis crippling the 17 countries that use the euro and ask for a full-blown government bailout.

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    The Justice Department said Thursday it won’t prosecute Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs or its employees in a financial fraud probe.

    Government won’t prosecute Goldman Sachs in probe

    The Justice Department said Thursday it won't prosecute Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs or its employees in a financial fraud probe. In a written statement, the department said it conducted an exhaustive investigation of allegations brought to light by a Senate panel investigating the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

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    Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray testifies on Capitol Hill in WashingtonThe government’s consumer lending watchdog proposed new rules Fridayaimed at protecting homeowners from unexpected costs and shoddy service by companies that collect their monthly mortgage payments.

    Consumer finance agency sets mortgage protections

    The government's consumer lending watchdog proposed new rules Friday aimed at protecting homeowners from unexpected costs and shoddy service by companies that collect their monthly mortgage payments.Mortgage servicing companies would be required to provide clear monthly billing statements, warn borrowers before interest rate hikes and actively help them avoid foreclosure under the proposal by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Life & Entertainment

  •  
    A great white shark breaches to grab a seal decoy on “Air Jaws.” The 25th annual Shark Week begins Sunday on Discovery Channel.

    Discovery seeks to keep shark week relevant

    On Sunday night, millions of viewers across the country will tune in to what has become an annual ritual of summer television, a combination of fear and morbid fascination: Discovery Channel's Shark Week. Cable television's longest-running and most popular series celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, proving yet again that Americans have a seemingly insatiable appetite for stories about the ocean's top predator.

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    Music notes: Kenny Wayne Shepherd plays Viper Alley

    Blues-guitar master Kenny Wayne Shepherd and rootsy singer-songwriter Sammy Llanas (formerly of the BoDeans) headline a double-bill at Viper Alley in Lincolnshire.

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    Book notes: ‘Bullied’ author discusses title at Skokie’s B&N

    Author Carrie Goldman discusses and signs copies of her book "Bullies: What Every Parent, Teacher and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear" on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at Barnes and Noble Old Orchard in Skokie.

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    Julie Jancius plays house with her daughter Ellie.

    Little-known syndrome nearly stole her 2-month-old daughter’s life

    Julie Jancius held her 2-month-old daughter's limp body as paramedics raced to her home. They revived her, but that night changed the Wheaton mother's life. Her daughter was diagnosed with Noonan Syndrome, which causes multiple major medical issues. Julie has started a foundation to help researchers find a cure, and provide support for families facing a similar diagnosis.

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    Julie O’Grady watches the 2012 Olympics with her daughter Molly and dog Bosco Thursday in her home in Palo Alto, Calif. If Bosco, Julie O’Grady’s Australian shepherd in Palo Alto, Calif., could speak, he’d likely be shrieking, “Get a grip woman!” His pained, pathetic pleas haven’t been enough to pry the tech industry public relations specialist away from the Olympics. Nearly eight in 10 Americans, have watched or followed the games either on television, online or via social networks, according to a survey done Aug. 2-5 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

    London Olympics lead to gold-medal procrastination

    Chores piling up. DVRs stuffed and groaning with unwatched favorites. Late, bleary strolls into the office. Welcome to the Great Olympic Time Suck, that unsung sport that has millions glued to coverage of the London Games rather than tending to real life.

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    Kiss, Motley Crue give to theater shooting victims

    Motley Crue and Kiss are donating money to support those affected by the Colorado movie theater shootings. The bands said at their concert in suburban Denver on Wednesday night that they would donate $100,000 to the Aurora Victim Relief Fund.

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    The Point Pleasant Beach Council in New Jersey unanimously voted against 495 Productions’ request to tape the “Jersey Shore” spinoff featuring Jenni “JWoww” Farley, left, and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi.

    2 N.J. towns turn down ‘Jersey Shore’ spinoff

    The Jersey shore town that tried to close its bars early and restricts overnight parking has said no to "Snooki & JWoww." The Point Pleasant Beach Council unanimously voted against 495 Productions' request to tape the "Jersey Shore" spinoff featuring Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Jennifer "JWoww" Farley.

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    Eminem, who battled an addiction to prescription drugs, thanked his fans at a New York concert Thursday for helping him get through dark times.

    Eminem to fans: Thanks for help in dark times

    Eminem, who battled an addiction to prescription drugs, thanked his fans at a New York concert for helping him get through dark times. The 39-year-old told hundreds Thursday night that he "wouldn't have gotten out of that dark place without y'all" before he performed the Grammy-winning song "Not Afraid."

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    “Black List” by Brad Thor

    ‘Black List’ is intense, but uneven

    Scot Harvath works as a counterterrorism operative — and he's very good at what he does. His methods are harsh, but they produce results. He's also used to being targeted by his enemies. Fans of author Brad Thor will be in familiar territory with the nonstop intensity of "Black List," but will be a bit surprised by the occasional lengthy back story of the characters that grinds the narrative to a halt.

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    “The Betrayal of the American Dream” by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele

    2-time Pulitzer winners tackle the economy

    The highly decorated investigative team of Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele return in their eighth book to their core topic, U.S. economic policy. But "The Betrayal of the American Dream" is no rerun. The avuncular pair, renowned for chillingly accurate, if uncomfortable, observations, have meticulously sharpened their analysis. "Betrayal" merits a careful read from anyone concerned about the nation's economic future.

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    Phillip Phillips says he wasn't that excited about performing the song "Home" when he won "American Idol" this year. But now, the 21-year-old says he's "starting to grow a connection" to the song.

    Debut single gives 'Idol' winner Olympic exposure

    Phillip Phillips says he wasn't that excited about performing his debut single, “Home,” when he won “American Idol” this year. That's because he didn't have any creative control over the tune. “I was trying to fight to get my song (I wrote) on there, but it just wasn't happening,” said Phillips. But now, the 21-year-old says he's “starting to grow a connection” to the song, thanks to its use in the 2012 Olympics and beyond.

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    Zach Galifianakis, left, and Will Ferrell play two North Carolina politicians competing in an increasingly nasty race in the film “The Campaign.”

    Comedians pair up for political comedy

    "The Campaign" is a broad comedy made from broad intentions: Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis simply wanted to make a movie together. They play two North Carolina politicians competing in an increasingly nasty Congressional race. In comedy, a Ferrell-Galifianakis ticket is a winner in a landslide.

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    Nick Gillard, left, stunt coordinator for the “Star Wars” prequels, poses with actor Samuel L. Jackson, who starred in the films. Gillard will be teaching lightsaber fighting moves at the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con in Rosemont.

    ‘Star Wars’ stunt guru to teach lightsaber moves at convention

    Ever wanted to learn how to do all the intricate lightsaber battle moves you saw in the "Star Wars" films? Nick Gillard, stunt coordinator for all three prequels, will teach lightsaber classes at the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con in Rosemont.

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    Repairing cane furniture is tricky, but fun

    We love a challenge, and renovating furniture is a real passion of ours. Caned pieces are a little tricky but can be repaired with a little knowledge and some practice. We've tried it and found it both challenging and fun!

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    Packing healthy foods can help teach your children to make food choices that are good for them.

    How to pack winning lunches, with your kids

    While schools try their best to provide nutritious lunches, packing and sending a lunch with your kid is the best bet to ensure they're eating healthy foods. Unfortunately, packing a healthy school lunch (that your kids will eat!), day in and day out, can be a real challenge AND exhausting for most of us.

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    ‘Kickback’ plan could land buyer in legal trouble

    Lenders often are wary when a buyer hopes to get cash from the seller after the transaction closes. And, of course, there's no easy way to guarantee that the seller would indeed give you the money he promised.

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    Mortgage debt relief may be extended in tax code

    Here's some encouraging news for financially stressed homeowners across the country: The Senate Finance Committee approved a bipartisan bill before heading home for summer recess that would extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act through 2013.

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    The Bainbridge model at Prairie Trail has a base price of $312,990.

    Bainbridge model home opens at Prairie Trail in Lake Villa

    Prairie Trail, a new community that sits amid picturesque ponds, mature trees and natural conservation areas in Lake Villa, presents a beautiful model home for visitors to tour. The community by Orleans Homes will feature 165 houses, including the Bainbridge model.

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    Poor drainage prevents inspection under the house
    Q. When we purchased our home, the termite inspector found plumbing leaks under the bathroom. But the home inspector did not inspect under the building because there was water on the ground, and he said this would be unsafe.

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    16th Street Theater's “Enfrascada” is the second local play to be remounted as part of the Best of Chicago series at Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.

    Metropolis brings city drama to the suburbs

    Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights has been entertaining suburbanites with musicals and comedies. Now, they're seeking to bring cutting-edge dramas from city theaters to the suburban stage with the Best in Chicago Series, dedicated to bringing hit shows from the city out to Arlington Heights immediately — or shortly after — the original run ends.

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    What’s new in theater
    Babes With Blades' latest swashbuckler "Susan Swayne and the Bewildered Bride" and Signal Ensemble's season opening "Princes of Waco" are among the Chicago area theater productions opening this week.

Discuss

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    Editorial: It’s not violence but common humanity that defines us

    A Daily Herald editorial says it's not acts of violence that define us as Americans but our reaction to them.

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    The case against re-election

    There are two ways to run against Barack Obama: stewardship or ideology. You can run against his record or you can run against his ideas. The stewardship case is pretty straightforward: the worst recovery in U.S. history, 42 consecutive months of 8-plus percent unemployment, declining economic growth — all achieved at a price of another $5 trillion of accumulated debt. The ideological case is also simple. Just play in toto (and therefore in context) Obama’s Roanoke riff telling small business owners: “You didn’t build that.” Real credit for your success belongs not to you — you think you did well because of your smarts and sweat? he asked mockingly — but to government that built the infrastructure without which you would have nothing. Play it. Then ask: Is that the governing philosophy you want for this nation? Mitt Romney’s preferred argument, however, is stewardship. Are you better off today than you were $5 trillion ago? Look at the wreckage around you. This presidency is a failure. I’m a successful businessman. I know how to fix things. Elect me, etc. etc. Easy peasy, but highly risky. If you run against Obama’s performance in contrast to your own competence, you stake your case on persona. Is that how you want to compete against an opponent who is not just more likable and immeasurably cooler, but spending millions to paint you as an unfeeling, out-of-touch, job-killing, private-equity plutocrat? The ideological case, on the other hand, is not just appealing to a center-right country with twice as many conservatives as liberals, it is also explanatory. It underpins the stewardship argument. Obama’s ideology — and the program that followed — explains the failure of these four years. What program? Obama laid it out boldly early in his presidency. The roots of the nation’s crisis, he declared, were systemic. Fundamental change was required. He had come to deliver it. Hence his signature legislation: First, the $831 billion stimulus that was going to “reinvest” in America and bring unemployment below 6 percent. We know about the unemployment. And the investment? Obama loves to cite great federal projects such as the Hoover Dam and the interstate highway system. Fine. Name one thing of any note created by Obama’s Niagara of borrowed money. A modernized electric grid? Ports dredged to receive the larger ships soon to traverse a widened Panama Canal? Nothing of the sort. Solyndra, anyone? Second, radical reform of health care that would reduce its ruinously accelerating cost: “Put simply,” he said, “our health care problem is our deficit problem” -- a financial hemorrhage drowning us in debt. Except that the CBO reports that Obamacare will cost $1.68 trillion of new spending in its first decade. To say nothing of the price of the uncertainty introduced by an impossibly complex remaking of one-sixth of the economy — discouraging hiring and expansion as trillions of investable private-sector dollars remain sidelined. The third part of Obama’s promised transformation was energy. His cap-and-trade federal takeover was rejected by his own Democratic Senate. So the war on fossil fuels has been conducted unilaterally by bureaucratic fiat. Regulations that will kill coal. A no-brainer pipeline (Keystone) rejected lest Canadian oil sands be burned. (China will burn them instead.) A drilling moratorium in the Gulf that a federal judge severely criticized as illegal. That was the program — now so unpopular that Obama barely mentions it. Obamacare got exactly two lines in this year’s State of the Union address. Seen any ads touting the stimulus? The drilling moratorium? Keystone? Ideas matter. The 2010 election, the most ideological since 1980, saw the voters resoundingly reject a Democratic Party that was relentlessly expanding the power, spending, scope and reach of government.

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    Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan

    Know the pitfalls of for-profit schools

    Guest columnist Lisa Madigan: In my office, we know many of the horror stories from students who have fallen victim to for-profit schools' deceptive and predatory practices.

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    Here's thought on the bridge project
    Letter to the editor: Robert F. Johnson has an idea: "Have the Palatine Township board save the expanded cost of the Briarwood Lane Bridge project by redesigning the replacement with no impact on the approaches and landscape," he writes.

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    Congress OKs oil industry giveaway
    A Lake Zurich letter to the editor: House Republicans in the U.S. Congress once again wasted the people's time by passing H.R. 6082, a blatant giveaway to oil companies that opens up previously protected lands to drilling, yet that does nothing to impact prices at the pump, much less contain any new safety or environmental protections

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    Dismal July jobs report nothing to crow about
    A Lake Bluff letter to the editor: The July jobs figure of 163,000 is irrational and deceptive given that this nation is having difficulty producing even enough jobs to keep up with its population growth.

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    No one’s forced to eat at Chick-fil-A
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: Mr. Cathy did not say that he does not like gay and lesbian people. He will serve them the same as he does everybody else.

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    Some solutions to high gas prices
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: Right now the balance of power is in the hands of environmentalists and the EPA. Lets get rid of boutique gasoline.

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    Pray for safety of all faith gatherings
    A Palatine letter to the editor: Let us do more than pray. Let us act toward one another in respect and good faith, living the teachings of compassion of the great religions.

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    Don’t fund schools with property taxes
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: Elderly property owners, such as myself, are being taxed beyond the capability of our limited retirement incomes and face the possibility of losing the homes we completely paid for decades ago.

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    Alter pension system to be sustainable
    An Elk Grove Village letter to the editor: It is time the pension system for all public employees, from the president on down, be changed to a defined contribution plan such as a 401(k).

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    Not the right time to build Town Center
    Letter to the editor: Steve Poland of Wheeling urges his trustees to reconsider the Town Center project, saying shopping centers all over the suburbs are already struggling. "We don't need more empty shopping centers and we don't need to strap ourselves with a $120 million debt," he writes.

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    Proud to know nurse who ran 314 miles
    Letter to the editor: Anne Romes of Schaumburg introduces us to nurse Julie Aistars, who ran 314 miles across Tennessee to raise money for a highly sophisticated scanning device at Northwest Community Hospital. "Julie is very dedicated to helping the cause for cancer patients and I'm very proud to know her," she writes.

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    Garbage pickup works, don’t fix it
    Letter to the editor: Edd Jarina of Rolling Meadows says a referendum on whether to privatize Rolling Meadows' garbage collection is a great idea -- and he's going to vote no. "This is Rolling Meadows not Chicago," he writes. "If it works don't fix it."

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    Other groups step up with loss of Y-Me
    Letter to the editor: Pam Reiss, executive director of the nonprofit Wellness Place in Palatine, says the closing of Y-Me is a blow to all cancer survivors. However, she writes, "it's important to assure the public that cancer programs and services are still readily available, and a phone call away."

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    Please explain change in homeowner exemption
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: We all expected our property tax bills this year to go up, particularly since the assessed values bear little or no relationship to the market values of the property, but can someone explain why the homeowner exemption was so low?

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    Romney’s statement driven by donation?
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Last week, Mitt Romney told Israel that he would move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Why would Romney make such a blunder?

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    Chick-fil-A fray comes down to money
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Only in the political spin zone did the Chick-fil-A hubbub become about the First Amendment. Initially the issue was the use of profits from the company to finance right-wing and hate organizations.

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    Remembering 1912 Olympian as a hero
    A Des Plaines letter to the editor: In 1912 there was a very strict code of amateurism which was evidently followed to the letter. Today the code is not in force.

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    Obamacare is a tax bonanza
    A Huntley letter to the editor: There are many articles being published on the benefits of Obamacare. But the new taxes imposed on taxpayers to support Obamacare are many.

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    Politicans to blame for pension problem
    A Cary letter to the editor: Our governor has appeared on the news promoting his aggressive plan to dismantle the state pension program under the guise of improving the education of our children. This is a totally misleading concept. The politicians of our state have dishonestly portrayed the problem. If our state legislators had fulfilled their constitutional responsibility, we would not be in this fix.

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    (No heading)
    Pray for safety of all faith gatheringsWe as leaders, lay and clergy, of diverse religious groups in the Northwest suburbs write in response to the senseless shooting at the Sikh temple in a Milwaukee suburb. We are heartsick that a gunman would shoot people innocently gathered in a house of worship. We grieve with families who lost loved ones, our hearts stand vigil by the injured and our prayers are with the community traumatized by this violence. We hope that with support and understanding the Sikhs of Milwaukee and other cities will find healing and real acceptance. This is not the first time churches, synagogues, mosques, gurdwaras, temples have been desecrated by violence bred of hatred. Houses of worship must be safe places where families and communities can gather freely to seek connection with the holy. This nation holds dear the idea that each faith must be free to practice unmolested, unharmed, as it does no harm but instead contributes to the common good. An attack on any faith is an attack on the practice of every faith. Our nation is great because it fosters freedom to worship. We call upon people of all faiths to take time to honor those slain and to pray that no one will again attack folks gathered in innocence. Let us pray that we may not fall into the violent brokenness that has devastated too many nations — that in houses of worship (and everywhere) we may gather in the spirit of community and acceptance that made this country great. Let us do more than pray. Let us act toward one another in respect and good faith, living the teachings of compassion of the great religions, and bringing our society back from descent into destruction and chaos and forward into acceptance and true democracy. We pray in different ways yet in one spirit. Rev. Hilary Landau KrivcheniaSenior ministerCountryside Church Unitarian Universalist in Palatine— with nine local leaders of faith traditions including Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Jews and Baha’isPension costs should be shared 50-50While Illinois politicians vacillate on the issue of public pension reform, the investment ratings firm Moody’s is proposing that pension funds lower their projection of future investment returns to 5.5 percent. Teachers’ Retirement System, the largest public pension plan in Illinois, assumes an annual investment return of 8.5 percent. A recent article by Pensions and Investing (pionline.com) on the Moody’s proposal states that this change would immediately increase Illinois’ actuarially calculated $83 billion pension shortfall to a whopping $135 billion. And who would be responsible for every penny of this shortfall? Why, the taxpayer would be of course, as the Democratic leadership in Illinois hides behind the claim that asking public employees to contribute more to their pensions is “unconstitutional,” a claim that is refuted by many. Illinois is not the only state with a constitutional clause regarding public pensions. The Arizona constitution mandates that public employees and taxpayers each share pension costs 50-50. However, in Illinois, using the Democratic leadership’s interpretation of Illinois’ constitution, the public employees’ fixed contribution to their pensions cannot be increased for current employees. And, any added pension enhancements, missed investment return targets, end-of-career pay bumps and various pension abuses are 100 percent the responsibility of the taxpayer to cover. Is this fair? I think not.

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