Daily Archive : Sunday August 12, 2012


    Carpentersville Trustee Doug Marks’ reaction to missing seven of his last 33 board meetings? “That’s life.”

    Two Carpentersville trustees missed 21% of board meetings

    Two of Carpentersville's trustees have missed more than 20 percent of village board meetings since the last election. "If you're not able to make it to the meetings, what good of a voice are you?" asks Trustee Brad McFeggan. But Village President Ed Ritter said, "If I thought that it was on purpose or that they were trying to duck their duties, I would be disappointed, but I don't think it's the...

    Evangelist Billy Graham, 93, has been admitted to a North Carolina hospital for an infection in his lungs.

    Spokesman: Billy Graham doing well at N.C. hospital

    Nurses report that evangelist Billy Graham had a restful night at the North Carolina hospital where he's being treated for bronchitis. Graham spokesman A. Larry Ross reported Graham was having breakfast Monday morning and is doing well.

    In this photo taken with a fisheye lens, pyrotechnics illuminate the sky above the Olympic Stadium during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. 13, 2012, in London.

    Olympics come to rocking end with a pop party

    With a little British pomp and a lot of British pop, London brought the curtain down on a glorious Olympic Games on Sunday in a spectacular, technicolor pageant of landmarks, lightshows and lots of fun. The closing ceremony offered a sensory blast including rock ‘n’ roll rickshaws, dustbin percussionists, an exploding yellow car and a marching band in red tunics and bearskin hats.

    Actors Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston have announced their engagement. The pair, who have been dating for a year, became engaged on Friday after Theroux popped the question on his birthday.

    Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux engaged

    Jennifer Aniston has announced plans to marry. The "Friends" actress is engaged to actor Justin Theroux. "Justin Theroux had an amazing birthday on Friday, receiving an extraordinary gift when his girlfriend, Jennifer Aniston, accepted his proposal of marriage," said Theroux's rep in a statement to People, which first reported the engagement.

    In this photo taken with a fisheye lens, pyrotechnics light up the sky above the Olympic Stadium during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London.

    Images from the 2012 London Olympics closing ceremony
    Images from the 2012 London Olympics closing ceremony on Sunday, August 12.


    Waukegan photo exhibit

    Jennifer Faulk's photography show, "Life Is In The Details", opens Saturday, Aug. 18, from 5 to 9 p.m., at Dandelion Gallery, 109 S. Genesee St., Waukegan.


    Pet CPR class in Streamwood Aug. 18

    Animal Hospital of Streamwood will hold its next Pet CPR and First Aid class from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, at the hospital, 904 E. Irving Park Road in Streamwood. Participants will receive valuable information, hands-on training and a first-aid kit.


    SHS discount cards available

    The new Stevenson High School Band and Color Guard Patriot savings cards, which offer discounts at dozens of area merchants, are on sale.


    Pig roast in Hawthorn Woods

    St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Hawthorn Woods will host its 22nd annual pig roast from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19.


    Dimucci hearing continued

    A scheduled public hearing on a proposed zoning change for the Dimucci property at Route 12 and Old McHenry Road has been continued to Wednesday, Aug. 29 at Concorde Banquets, 20922 N. Rand Road, Kildeer.

    Nancy Zorn of Warrenville, competing in the compound bow division, checks a score during the Illinois Target Archery Association’s annual Outdoor State Championship at Wheaton Rifle Club in West Chicago on Sunday.

    Archers take their best shots for state championship

    With the popularity of the book and film "The Hunger Games" and the recent exposure from the Olympic Games, interest in archery is soaring. And while only a modest crowd materialized for Sunday's Illinois Target Archery Association Outdoor State Championship at the Wheaton Rifle Club in West Chicago, participation in the event is up and those who attended expressed a desire to explore the sport.

    Skaters watch the best trick competition at a skateboard contest hosted Sunday by the Geneva Park District at the South Street skate park. Competitors were split into groups based on skill.

    Area skaters compete for glory in Geneva

    Marcell Purham started skateboarding in South Elgin about seven years ago to stay out of trouble. Those years of practice paid off Sunday for the 20-year-old, as he won two categories of the Geneva Park District's skateboard competition.

    Thousands gathered at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center over the weekend to be a part of annual Wizard World Chicago Comic Con. People could visit with comic book artists and buy all things that you would find in comics.

    Weekend of celebs, comics and costumes comes to a close in Rosemont

    Thousands of TV, movie and comic-book fans, many of them in costume, converged on the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center over the weekend for the annual Wizard World Chicago Comic Con.

    John Green watches his shot as Robert Soos, left, and David Wigdahl chase him during the second annual Polo for Pets Tailgate Charity Match Sunday at the Dahlwood Polo Farm in Elgin. The match raised money for the Animal House Shelter in Huntley.

    Polo for Pets raises money for Animal House Shelter

    There's no doubt Cindy Wigdahl is an animal lover. She has six dogs, seven cats and 19 horses. For years she has donated her time and energies to various shelters. On Sunday, she showed her love by hosting the second annual Polo for Pets Tailgate Charity Match in Elgin to raise funds for the Animal House Shelter in Huntley.


    Police: Boys approached by woman in Geneva

    Geneva police are searching for a middle-aged woman who approached two boys in downtown Geneva Saturday afternoon.


    Rolling Meadows Fire Department hosts clothing drive

    The Rolling Meadows Professional Firefighters Association has paired up with Elk Grove-based nonprofit, Heart of A Marine, to host a clothing drive for homeless veterans in the Northwest suburbs during the month of August.

    John Wise, partially disabled by nerve damage, is facing charges of shooting his wife in the head in a hospital, presumably as a mercy killing.

    Ohio hospital shooting: Mercy killing or murder?

    Ohio authorities investigating what may have been a mercy killing are faced with a dilemma.

    President Barack Obama walks to greet people waiting for him on the tarmac as he arrives at O’Hare International Airport on Air Force One Saturday.

    Axelrod: Ryan plan would lead to end of Medicare

    President Barack Obama's senior campaign adviser David Axelrod says the Medicare changes supported by Rep. Paul Ryan, the likely Republican vice presidential candidate, would put the popular health-care plan for the elderly in "a death spiral."

    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, left, listens to his vice presidential running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, as they campaign Sunday in High Point, N.C.

    Romney signals support for more Medicare choices

    Mitt Romney says that he and running mate Paul Ryan have talked about providing people more Medicare choices and making sure the program doesn't change for current seniors or those nearing retirement.

    United States’ LeBron James celebrates after the men’s gold medal basketball game at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. USA won 107-100.

    Images from the 2012 Summer Olympics on Sunday, August 12
    Images from the 2012 London Olympics on Sunday, August 12.

    This harness at the TOPS Veterinary Rehabilitation center in Grayslake is just one of the tools used to nurse Sadie back to health after the mother dog was shot in the head and back and left to die.

    Images: Adopted dog learns to walk again
    A mother dog shot in the back and head has been adopted by a woman determined to not only save the dog's life, but give her the therapy needed to walk again.


    Arlington Hts. woman killed in McHenry County crash

    A 68-year-old Arlington Heights woman was killed Saturday when the SUV she was driving collided with a pickup truck in northern McHenry County, authorities said.Sharon L. Ams was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which occurred about 11:58 a.m. on Route 12, a half mile east of Mackwood Drive, in Richmond Township, McHenry County Sheriff's police said.

    Raja Ram, 65, and others sit on a cot by a kerosene lantern in a riverside village called Kenwasia. The village, in the official files, has been given electricity, but only 30 homes out of 700 homes have electricity connections.

    India’s lack of electricity illustrates poverty gap

    Up to a third of India's population, close to 400 million people, are not connected to the national grid, leaving them cut off from the development, progress and opportunity that electricity represents.

    The proposed route of the Keystone XL pipeline expansion now largely skirts the environmentally sensitive Sand Hills region of Nebraska, but it still goes across the Niobrara River, pictured here, and other waterways.

    Like oil and water, Nebraskans divided over pipeline

    Nebraskans are divided over Keystone XL, a 1,700-mile steel pipeline that would carry heavy, low-quality crude from Canada's oil sands to refineries in Texas. At the heart of their battle is whether the pipeline would pose a threat to the massive Ogallala Aquifer — one of the world's largest underground sources of fresh water.

    Residents spend the night outside their homes Saturday after an earthquake in the city of Varzaqan in northwestern Iran.

    Iran earthquakes kill at least 250, injure over 2,000

    TEHRAN, Iran — Twin earthquakes in Iran have killed at least 250 people and injured over 2,000, Iranian state television said on Sunday, after thousands spent the night outdoors after their villages were leveled and homes damaged in the country’s northwest.


    Lake Villa Scout builds swingset, renovates playhouse

    A 14-year-old Boy Scout took it upon himself to construct a swing set at Savannah Springs Park in Lake Villa after asking the mayor what he could do for the community.

    Phillip Perlini left a high-ranking position in Glenview to become Grayslake’s new police chief.

    Grayslake’s new police chief: Let’s move on

    Phillip Perlini has started a new era at the Grayslake Police Department. As the new top cop, he replaces Matthew McCutcheon. Perlini, 51, is a longtime central Lake County resident and former Glenview deputy chief and possibly the only police chief in the state who's an emergency medical technician. "I've lived in the area for over 20 years and I've known the town. Obviously, I drive through the...

    Bob Hoff served as a firefighter in Chicago for more than three decades, eventually rising through the ranks until he was the man in charge. But after stepping down in February, he took a new job in fire service: deputy chief in Carol Stream.

    Former Chicago fire commissioner now deputy chief — in Carol Stream

    Bob Hoff stepped down as Chicago's fire commissioner in February, but soon after got a job offer to become deputy chief for the Carol Stream Fire Protection District. Hoff, 56, said in an interview with the Daily Herald that he still has fire in the belly, even though he's taken a job in a much smaller community with much less going on, and for less pay. "To come here and start — it's a...

    The National Park Service hopes to reopen the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington to the public by the end of August.

    Refilling the Lincoln Memorial pool, 'an American icon'

    The famous reflecting pool at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial has been empty since 2010, but its renovation is almost complete. Now that the repairs, which cost $34 million, are done, officials will debut an almost completely rebuilt and slightly redesigned pool — shallower, but more aesthetically pleasing, with a tinted bottom, sidewalks to replace the old dirt paths and subtle nighttime...


    Egyptian president turns palace into complaint center

    Under Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's presidential palace inspired awe and fear, much like the autocratic leader who lived large inside. But under President Mohamed Morsi, the old barricades have fallen. Nearly every day, Egyptians from all walks of life throng the main entrance of the imperial white building to make their feelings known.

    U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks at the National Clean Energy Summit at the Bellagio in Las Vegas on Aug. 7. On Aug. 2, Reid claimed that presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney has paid no taxes for 10 years. Republicans and the Romney campaign have challenged the claim, and Reid has not named his anonymous source or sources.

    Harry Reid's claims about Romney's taxes are highly suspect

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has generated a lot of controversy with his claim that Mitt Romney did not pay any taxes for 10 years. Here's a look at how credible Reid's assertion is.


    Government opens competition for new school grants

    Hoping to build on state-level reforms aimed at closing the education achievement gap, the Education Department opened its Race to the Top competition to school districts today, inviting the poorest districts across the country to vie for almost $400 million in grants.



    Cougars bang out 15 hits, belt Kernels

    The Kane County Cougars collected 15 hits en route to a 9-5 victory over the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Sunday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Trailing 2-0 in the third, the Cougars (60-59, 26-23) picked up their first run when Henry Moreno doubled and scored on Justin Trapp's single. Two innings later, the Cougars scored four times. Jack Lopez tied the game with a double that scored Moreno. Danny Mateo's double drove home David and Lopez to put the Cougars ahead by 2 runs. Alex Llanos's sacrifice fly scored Mateo.


    Big rally boosts Boomers

    The Schaumburg Boomers struck for 5 runs with two outs in the top of the ninth inning on 5 straight hits against Traverse City's closer to rally for a a 10-7 win on the road Sunday night and salvage a game in the series.

    Chicago White Sox’s Jordan Danks, right, celebrates his game-winning home run off Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Pat Neshek with Gordon Beckham during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 10, 2012, in Chicago. Chicago won 4-3.

    Danks sent down to make room for 13th pitcher

    The White Sox are going to expand the pitching staff to 13 before Monday night's game against Toronto. To clear a roster spot, Jordan Danks was optoned back to Class AAA Charlotte Sunday. Danks hit a walkoff home run in Friday night's 4-3 win over the A's.

    Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale puts his hand on Paul Konerko’s shoulder in the dugout after Konerko’s home run in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, in Chicago. The White Sox won 4-2.

    Tough to figure when Konerko will return

    Paul Konerko's mild concussion is currently the White Sox' biggest concern. That and, of course, the health of the entire pitching staff as a whole. In particular, the starting rotation. That's something I've covered before a number of times, and I suspect it will remain a concern of mine until we find ourselves in early October. In Konerko's case, however, there's just no certainty.


    Sprained ankle slows Paea’s bid at nose tackle

    Stephen Paea, who had moved past Matt Toeaina as the No. 1 nose tackle, believes he'll be out 1-2 weeks with a sprained ankle, which he suffered at the end of Saturday's practice. Paea, last year's second-round pick, came in healthy after off-season arthroscopic knee surgery, and he has been having an impressive camp. But, when he returns, he'll have to retake the spot from Toeaina.

    Brian Urlacher’s surgically repaired left knee has caused him to miss the last nine training camp practices.

    Bears’ Urlacher says he’ll be good to go

    Brian Urlacher didn't have a lot of definitive answers about his injured left knee when he finally spoke to the media Sunday afternoon. Still, the eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker says he'll be 100 percent by opening day.

    Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland poses for photographers with the championship trophy after the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament on the Ocean Course of the Kiawah Island Golf Resort in Kiawah Island, S.C., Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012.

    McIlroy wins PGA Championship by record 8 strokes

    Right down to his red shirt, Rory McIlroy looked every bit the part of golf's next star in another command performance at the PGA Championship. McIlroy validated his record-setting U.S. Open win last year by blowing away the field Sunday at Kiawah Island. One last birdie from 25 feet on the 18th hole gave him a 6-under 66 for an eight-shot victory, breaking the PGA Championship record for margin of victory that Jack Nicklaus set in 1980.

    Cincinnati closer Aroldis Chapman has struck out 106 hitters in 57 innings this season.

    100 mph? 103? Reds’ Chapman simply amazing

    Nobody in baseball does what he does better than Reds' closer Aroldis Chapman does what he does.

    White Sox’s A.J. Pierzynski (12) hits a two-run home run against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012.

    Sox’ Pierzynski brings it every day

    A.J. Pierzynski used his skill and his smarts to lift the White Sox to a 7-3 win over the Oakland A's Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field. Pierzynski hit a tie-breaking 2-run homer in the sixth inning and scored from first base ona groundout in the seventh.

    Brett Jackson is 3-for-20 with 12 strikeouts since being called up from Class AAA Iowa on Aug. 5.

    Vitters about to get more playing time

    Josh Vitters was in the on-deck circle Sunday, getting ready to pinch hit. But that's as close as he got, as the Cubs' 3-0 loss to the Reds ended before Vitters could get to the plate. The rookie third baseman has started only three of the eight games since his call-up from Class AAA Iowa. He has pinch hit in three games and not played at all in two others.

    Brooks Raley pitches against the Reds during the first inning of the Cubs’ 3-0 loss Sunday at Wrigley Field.

    Tough recognizing the Cubs these days

    Most of the Cubs' call-ups are guys I've seen at one point or another in spring training, but occasionally, a player will slip through the cracks like Brooks Raley. Prior to his debut in San Diego, if he had walked right up to me on the street, I would have had no idea who he was.

    Darwin Barney is unable to catch a flyball hit by Johnny Cueto during the seventh inning of the Cubs’ 3-0 loss to Cincinnati on Sunday at Wrigley Field.

    Cubs’ offense stuck in reverse

    When the Cubs lost three-fifths of their starting rotation to either trades or injury, most everybody had to figure pitching would be a problem the rest of the season. Figure again.


    Steady Daly captures St. Charles city golf championship

    Matt Daly switched to a stand-up putter this summer "just to address some neurological issues called the yips," the 2004 graduate of St. Charles East claims.Garrett Patten may be thinking about a similar switch now, considering his admitted "yips," or the inability to make short putts, cost him the St. Charles Men's City Golf Championship on Sunday at Pottawatomie Golf Course. Daly captured his first city crown with a steady performance to win the match-play format 4-3, up four holes with three left, over Patten, whose putter failed him on 3 critical short putts during the round.

    White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski hits a two-run home run Sunday against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning at U.S. Cellular Field.

    Sale strikes out 11 in Sox win

    Chris Sale struck out 11 in 6 2/3 innings, A.J. Pierzynski had a two-run home run in a five-run sixth inning and the White Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 7-3 on Sunday. Sale (14-3) reached double digits in strikeouts for the third time this season. He had 10 strikeouts through the first five innings, allowed two runs on solo homer and walked none.

    Darwin Barney of the Cubs is unable to catch a fly ball hit Sunday by Cincinnati Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto during the seventh inning at Wrigley Field.

    Cubs can’t solve Cueto, Cincinnati

    Johnny Cueto pitched three-hit ball for eight innings, Jay Bruce and Ryan Ludwick homered and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Cubs 3-0 Sunday. Cueto (15-6) moved into a tie with New York's R.A. Dickey for the NL lead in victories. He retired the Cubs in order in four of the first five innings.

    United States’ Kevin Durant celebrates after the men’s gold medal basketball game against Spain at the 2012 Summer Olympics Sunday in London. USA won 107-100.

    US wins gold, beats Spain 107-100 in men’s hoops

    The U.S. men's basketball team defended its title by fighting off another huge challenge from Spain, pulling away in the final minutes for a 107-100 victory Sunday that gave the Americans their second straight gold medal. And just like 2008, they had to work for this one.


    Big day for Block at Arlington Park

    It was a Block party for veteran trainer and owner Chris Block, who visited the winner's circle after each of the $100,000 Owners Stakes races Saturday at Arlington Park.


    Wise still good catch for White Sox

    With Paul Konerko on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion, the White Sox called up Dewayne Wise from Class AAA Charlotte to take his roster spot. Wise played with the Sox in 2008-09 and is best known for making a great catch to preserve Mark Buehrle's perfect game.


    Viewers react as they watch a television broadcast of the U.S. women’s soccer team taking on Japan in the gold medal match at the 2012 London Summer Olympics Thursday, at Nevada Smiths bar in New York.

    Social media proves a force in consuming Olympics

    The London Olympics may well be remembered as the event that drove home the power of social media — partly to the chagrin but mostly to the benefit of NBC, which controlled images of the games in the United States.

    Girls dresses appear on display at the Gucci children’s boutique on Fifth Avenue in New York. Gucci’s two-level children’s boutique, next door to its adult flagship, may have brass teddy bears on the walls and plush child-sized furniture, but the prices for the miniature looks are hardly child’s play.

    Rich toddlers draw fashion designers’ eyes

    Top fashion designers are pushing more expensive duds for the increasingly lucrative affluent toddler demographic. This fall, Oscar de la Renta, Dolce & Gabbana, and Marni launched collections for the pint-sized.

    Rolls of blank Social Security checks run through printers and are processed at the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Management Services facility in Philadelphia.

    Social Security surplus dwarfed by future deficit

    As millions of baby boomers flood Social Security with applications for benefits, the program's $2.7 trillion surplus is starting to look small.


    Work advice: Is her career being mommy-tracked?

    I have been an attorney in county government for the past five years, handling one type of litigation. I had practiced in that specialty for eight years, was the top attorney in that area and always received high praise for my work product and ethic. I went on maternity leave in January, returned mid-March and was "reassigned" to another department practicing an area of law in which I have zero experience.


    Japanese company tries ‘Englishization’

    Japanese billionaire Hiroshi Mikitani decided two years ago that the employees at his company, Rakuten Inc., should work almost entirely in English. The idea, he said, was a daring and drastic attempt to counter Japan's shrinking place in the world. "Japanese people think it's so difficult to speak English," Mikitani said. "But we need to break the shell."


    Tough choices for law schools amid jobs crisis

    As Angela Achen's graduation neared, she sought job advice from her professors and from practicing lawyers. Extend your studies another few years, they urged her, or volunteer for a nonprofit. Anything but look for a job. "The advice I got from all of them was don't even bother applying to law firms right now, because you're just wasting your time," said Achen, now 30. "They're not hiring."

    Cattle rancher Ron Gill looks over his herd as he checks his livestock’s grazing pasture in rural Wise County near Boyd, Texas. Gill has been cross breeding cattle with more drought tolerant breeds that can withstand heat and droughts better.

    Seeking hardier breeds for drought, climate change

    Across American agriculture, farmers and crop scientists have concluded that it's too late to fight climate change. They need to adapt to it with a new generation of hardier animals and plants specially engineered to survive, and even thrive, in intense heat, with little rain. "The single largest limitation for agriculture worldwide is drought," said Andrew Wood, a professor of plant physiology and molecular biology at Southern Illinois University.

    In recent years, for economic reasons, Niagara Falls has thrown open its doors to casino gambling, gay weddings and a tightrope walk that, until laws were relaxed, would have meant arrest. It even briefly considered taking in toxic wastewater from hydraulic fracturing. On the drawing board now is a plan to entice young people to move in by paying down their student loans.

    Niagara Falls takes broad approach to draw people

    In recent years, Niagara Falls has thrown open its doors to casino gambling, gay weddings and a tightrope walk that, until laws were relaxed, would have meant arrest. It even briefly considered taking in toxic wastewater from hydraulic fracturing. After the city's old strategy of industry over tourism flopped amid the decline of Rust Belt manufacturing and the disastrous Love Canal, a new economic plan appears to have emerged: Try anything.

    Chuck Akre, portfolio manager of the Akre Focus mutual fund. The fund has been the top performer in its mid-cap growth stock fund category over the past 12 months, due in part to strong gains for such consumer-oriented fund holdings as Visa Inc., Ross Stores Inc. and TJX Cos.

    Some consumer stocks thriving despite dour mood

    Shares of payment processor Visa have surged more than 60 percent the past 12 months, more than double the gain for the Standard & Poor's 500 index. Rival MasterCard is up more than 40 percent. Many retailers have been doing even better, with gains of more than 70 percent at Ross Stores, Dollar Tree and TJX Cos. Those stocks have one thing in common, besides their consumer orientation. Each is in the portfolio of Akre Focus, a mutual fund that's been one of the strongest recent performers in the mid-cap growth category.

    Margarita Briones holds bouquets of flowers at her flower shop Margarita Flowers, in Miami. In cities like Miami, New York, Houston and Los Angeles, a small but growing group of mostly immigrant and minority entrepreneurs are turning to microfinancing.

    Microloans meeting credit needs for entrepreneurs

    Do an Internet search for microcredit, and images of colorfully dressed women in Africa, South Asia and Central America pop up. But the international trend that began more than three decades ago in Bangladesh is increasingly finding a home in the United States. "You know this Buy Local' movement? There's starting to be this Lend Local' movement," says Premal Shaw, president of the nonprofit Kiva.

    Reverse mortgages represent an alluring proposition for seniors: Stay in your own home while the bank pays you either a lump sum or a stream of payments to help supplement your retirement income. But experts say you should take a look at a number of options before deciding if a reverse mortage is right for you.

    Key considerations in getting a reverse mortgage

    Reverse mortgages represent an alluring proposition for seniors: Stay in your own home while the bank pays you either a lump sum or a stream of payments to help supplement your retirement income. Types of reverse mortgages vary, but generally, a reverse mortgage allows homeowners age 62 or older to borrow against their home's equity.

    A pensioner shouts slogans during a protest against the Greek government’s planned pension cut, outside Labor Ministry in Athens. Resentful stereotypes are increasingly jumping from pub conversation and tabloid pages into the mainstream political discourse in Europe.

    Increasing stereotypes threaten European unity

    Maybe the problem is those southerners lolling in the Mediterranean sun who overspent and tax-dodged their way to ruin. Or maybe it's the northerners, rigid beyond reason, so gloomy in their own lives that they're determined to see the southerners suffer. "National resentments in Europe are rising to dramatic levels," said Vincent Forest, a London-based economist with the Economist Intelligence Unit. "By taking so much time in solving the economic crisis, the Europeans are creating a political and social crisis."

Life & Entertainment

    United States swimmer Michael Phelps speaks during a news conference at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

    Michael Phelps plunges into Golf Channel project

    Now that he's retired from swimming, Michael Phelps is ready to try a new stroke — golf. One week after ending his incomparable Olympic career with 22 medals, Phelps signed up as Hank Haney's latest pupil. He will be featured in "The Haney Project," which is shown on the Golf Channel, with hopes that golf that fill a competitive void.

    “The Bourne Legacy” and “The Campaign” teamed up to knock “The Dark Knight Rises” from its box office throne this weekend.

    Batman gets bumped from No. 1 box office spot

    "The Dark Knight Rises" has finally fallen out of first-place at the weekend box office. Jeremy Renner's action tale "The Bourne Legacy" took over as the No. 1 movie with a $40.3 million debut. And Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis' political comedy "The Campaign" opened at No. 2 with $27.4 million.

    Japanese avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama works at her studio, filled with wall-sized paintings throbbing with her repetitive dots, in Tokyo on Aug. 1. Kusama’s signature splash of dots has now arrived in the realm of fashion in a new collection from French luxury brand Louis Vuitton — bags, sunglasses, shoes and coats. The latest Kusama collection is showcased at its boutiques around the world, including New York, Paris, Tokyo and Singapore, sometimes with replica dolls of Kusama.

    Artist Yayoi Kusama paints life in polka dots

    Polka dots are Japanese avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama's lifelong inspiration, obsession and passion. And so they're everywhere — not only on canvases but on installations shaped like gnarled tentacles and oversized yellow pumpkins. As part of her retrospective on exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, they also sparkle as "firefly" light bulbs reflected on water and mirrors. "Polka dots are fabulous," she said.

    Three signs of outdated decor: mauve, paint color of yore; track lighting, overdone and tired; and wallpaper borders, which look like yesterday. Washington Post illustration by Alla Dreyvitser.

    The seven deadly sins of outdated decorating

    With the lingering recession, many remodeling and redecorating projects are on hold and we are living the "as-is" lifestyle. In the spirit of fun, we asked a few designers to come up with a list of the seven deadly sins of dated decorating and how to fix them. How many will you confess to?

    Although the highly addictive game Minecraft was not intended to be an educational tool, many parents and teachers are finding it useful. Second-grade teacher Joel Levin said he “brought it into my classroom because my 5-year-old daughter was having such an amazing experience with it.

    Can an addictive video game be an educational tool?

    Minecraft is an open-ended video game that lets players build virtual houses and communities with a few simple keystrokes. Since it officially launched last November, Minecraft's website has recorded more than 36 million registered users, with 6.8 million purchasing a copy to run on their own computers.


    Being alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely

    Over the last few years of researching cultural tropes about singleness, Michael Cobb often recalled the snide description of correspondence from the lovelorn in Nathanael West's 1933 novella, "Miss Lonelyhearts," about an "Aunt Agony"-style columnist who reads letter after letter about social isolation.

    “Mystic Landscape,” by Rosana Azar was one of dozens of U.S. artworks seized in November 2011 by Serbian authorities, who held them for eight months.

    Serbs hold up traveling art show at border

    The traveling exhibition "6 American Artists" was seized in November on the Serbian-Bulgarian-Romanian border, allegedly because it was improperly documented. The two men traveling with the art, artist David Suter and Washington-based gallery owner Victor Gaetan, were detained for three days, then released after paying a fine of more than $10,000. The 72 paintings and four sculptures were finally extricated July 27. "My one experience with Serbia will suffice for generations," gallery owner Victor Gaetan said.

    Poore Brother’s Habanero, from left, Route 11 Chips Chesapeake Crab, and Boulder Canyons Red Wine Vinegar, potato chips are shown in Concord, N.H.

    America: a patchwork of potato chip varieties

    You say potato, I say pot-ah-toe ... chip. Though thin and flat may be the national standard — and bestselling variety — of this ubiquitous snack, regional and sometimes hyper-local preferences for different calibers of crunch, thickness, seasonings and endless other elements have created a surprisingly diverse culinary patchwork of chip styles around the country. "People like the potato chip they grew up with," says Jim McCarthy, chief executive officer at the Rosslyn, Va.-based Snack Food Association.

    Street performers are part of the French themed “French Connection Day” on Sunday, Aug. 12, at Cantigny and the First Division Museum in Wheaton.

    Sunday picks: Feel French for a day at Cantigny

    Step into the world of French culture by way of French music, wine tasting, street performers and more at the French Connection Day at Cantigny Park in Wheaton. Today's the last day for the Flashback Weekend horror convention and Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, both in Rosemont. See some highflying art and get tips from the experts during the Eighth Annual Kite Festival at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe.

    Tampa is the host city of the Republican National Convention Aug. 27-30.

    RNC spotlight shines on Tampa

    In a twist of irony, many visitors to the upcoming Republican National Convention will travel between their hotels and the downtown event on a busy road named to honor President John F. Kennedy, a Democrat.The Tampa-JFK connection is just part of Florida's rich presidential history.

    Beach visitors enjoy Sunset Beach in St. Petersburg, Fla.

    Enjoying the free side of Tampa, St. Pete

    Whether you're in the Tampa Bay area for the Republican National Convention or there on a family vacation, you're probably aware of the usual tourist spots: the beach, Busch Gardens, the Florida Aquarium. While the region does boast some of America's most beautiful beaches, there are also some out-of-the-way spots that reveal a different side of this sunny state.

    Brookfield Zoo's “Xtreme Bugs” exhibit features more than 20 oversized animatronic bugs, including a praying mantis

    10 places to enjoy before summer slips away

    Summer may be winding down, but there's still time to get in some more good family fun. Whether you're looking to enjoy the weather at a street festival or the zoo or beat the heat at a water park or air-conditioned museum, you'll want to check out these 10 activities while you still can before the inevitable school bell rings.


    Disguising sales price is akin to mortgage fraud

    Q. We have been attempting to sell our house by owner for more than a year.Last weekend, a buyer approached us and told us he needed to write the contract for $30,000 less than the price we agreed on. He promised to pay us the additional $30,000 in a separate check at the closing.

    Pull-out faucets offer normal or spray-flow water settings.

    Ask the plumber: Pull-out kitchen faucets let you ‘go with the flow’

    Q. I'm planning to have a new kitchen faucet installed and I'm thinking about getting the new style, with the spray hose built right into the faucet spout. Other than style, what benefits will I get for spending the extra money?

    Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen has donated guitars and memorabilia for a new exhibit “Rick’s Picks: A Lifelong Affair with Guitars and Music” at the Burpee Museum of Natural History.

    New exhibit shows Rick Nielsen's favorite picks

    Rick Nielsen is back in Rockford and that's no Cheap Trick. To help raise funds for the Burpee Museum of Natural History, a childhood hangout, the lead guitarist for the rock band Cheap Trick has lent his guitars and other collectibles for a new exhibit: "Rick's Picks: A Lifelong Affair with Guitars and Music."


    Home repair: Ductwork insulation may help air conditioner’s efficiency

    Q. I have a question regarding air conditioning. Our cooling is done with the heat exchanger in the attic. Off the heat exchanger is an uninsulated manifold that allows for a lot of heat transfer in a hot attic. Would there be any downside to insulating the manifold exterior?



    Editorial: Suburban pride from Olympics to Ryder Cup

    A Daily Herald editorial boasts of the international reach of the suburbs, from the locals who performed at the Olympics to the hosts of the Tour of Elk Grove, the Arlington Million and the Ryder Cup.


    Warring over tax returns

    Columnist Eugene Robinson: They can't prove it's an untrue attack unless Romney does what conservative commentators and Republican insiders have been urging: release the tax returns, as Americans have expected of every presidential candidate


    Pension costs should be shared 50-50
    A Palatine letter to the editor: 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.


    D303 should fix weighted grades
    A St. Charles letter to the editor: The St. Charles school district course weighting system that underlies the determination of class rank discourages students from taking valuable non-honors courses that can be very important to career exploration and from taking a well-rounded curriculum that includes fine arts.


    Exclusion of gays not very Christian
    A St. Charles letter to the editor:On July 16 a special committee of the Boy Scouts of America voted to exclude gays from their organization. I challenge all Christian, followers of Christ, to drop any association whatsoever with the Boy Scouts of America.


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