Daily Archive : Sunday April 7, 2013


    Upper from left, John Rabchuk and Raymond Rogina and lower from left, Jotham Stein and Jake Wyatt are candidates for St. Charles Mayor in the 2013 Election.

    New mayor for sure in St. Charles; maybe in Geneva, Sugar Grove

    St. Charles will have a new mayor after Tuesday's election. Geneva and Sugar Grove, maybe. The current leaders in Batavia, North Aurora and Elburn have no opposition.


    State’s attorney investigating robocall targeting Island Lake candidate

    The Lake County State's Attorney's office is investigating a robocall made Saturday to Island Lake residents about mayoral candidate Charles Amrich. The recording, from a man claiming to be an Island Lake police officer, has been disavowed by all four candidates running for election with Island Lake Mayor Debbie Herrmann — Amrich's opponent in Tuesday's election.

    A small fire caused a slight interruption in the proceedings Sunday morning at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. No one was injured in the fire, which occurred near a fireplace, and its cause appears accidental, authorities said.

    Small fire delays opening of Rivers Casino

    A small fire caused a slight interruption in the proceedings Sunday morning at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. No one was injured in the fire, which occurred near a fireplace, and its cause appears accidental, authorities said.

    As the debate in Palatine Township Elementary District 15 over whether to privatize school bus service continues to heat up -- and negotiations with the transportation union remain at a standstill -- the issue of safety has emerged alongside finances as paramount. But exactly how safely the transportation department operates is a big point of contention. The Daily Herald obtained records that provide some insight into the safety record.

    Records provide insight into Dist. 15 bus safety

    As the debate in Palatine Township Elementary District 15 over whether to privatize school bus service continues to heat up — and negotiations with the transportation union remain at a standstill — the issue of safety has emerged alongside finances as paramount. But exactly how safely the transportation department operates is a big point of contention. The Daily Herald obtained...

    Victor Aguilar-Abazan, 24, says he's grateful for a second chance after drug charges against him were dismissed in the wake of the arrests of three former Schaumburg undercover officers.

    Farflung fallout from Schaumburg cops' arrests

    Three months after three former Schaumburg undercover cops were charged with selling drugs, the toll includes four federal lawsuits and charges dismissed against at least 19 former defendants. While defense attorneys praised the decision to drop the charges, some officials worried about former defendants returning to the street.

    Anne Smedinghoff, 25, who grew up in suburban River Forest, was killed Saturday in southern Afghanistan, the first American diplomat to die on the job since last year's attack on the U.S. diplomatic installation in Benghazi, Libya. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Tom Smedinghoff)

    Dad says diplomat had passion for foreign affairs

    Anne Smedinghoff had a quiet ambition and displayed a love of global affairs from an early age, joining the U.S. Foreign Service straight out of college and volunteering for missions in perilous locations worldwide. So when the 25-year-old suburban Chicago woman was killed Saturday in southern Afghanistan, her family took solace in the fact that she died doing something she loved.


    River Forest woman killed in attack in Afghanistan

    A River Forest woman has been identified as one of six Americans killed in an attack in southern Afghanistan. Anne Smedinghoff, a foreign service officer with the U.S. State Department, died Saturday during a mission to donate books to students in southern Zabul province.

    Christopher Nelson, left, and Andy Yuscka , right, are candidates in the race for West Dundee Village President in the 2013 Election.

    Change at the top for some northern Fox Valley towns

    There are four contested village president races in the northern Fox Valley on Tuesday and in only one case - in East Dundee - is a sitting village president challenged. Meanwhile, the races in West Dundee, Cary and Lake in the Hills pit a current trustee against either a newcomer or a former trustee.

    West Chicago mayoral candidates are Nicholas Dzierzanowski, left, Ruben Pineda, center, and Wayne Woodward, right.

    DuPage mayoral races guarantee there will be some new faces

    There will be at least six new faces in the mayoral fraternity in DuPage County after voters go to the polls to cast ballots in Tuesday's municipal elections. There's four contested races without an incumbent running, as well as two such uncontested races.


    How will turnover of suburban mayors affect regional cooperation?

    Change is in the air in the Northwest suburbs as voters in several communities - including Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Des Plaines, South Barrington and Bartlett - will select a new mayor on Tuesday. What the infusion of new blood mean for the suburbs' ability to present a unified voice on regional issues?

    Maria Salazar, of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, was among the participants in Sunday’s panel discussion on immigration reform in Palatine.

    Palatine panel discusses immigration reform

    Immigration reform was the subject of a panel discussion organized by local Democrats Sunday at Palatine's Twin Lakes Recreation Area. "Currently, our immigraetion system, as broken as it is, is based on the concept of family reunification," said a panelist from the Social Action Justice Committee at North Shore Unitarian Church.


    Children’s museum fundraiser:

    Busy Brains Children's Museum hosts its 4th annual "Brain Builder 2013: Mingle at the Mansion" on Saturday, May 4, from 7 to 11 p.m., at Lehmann Mansion, 485 N. Milwaukee Ave., Lake Villa.


    MHS jazz event:

    The Mundelein High School Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band, directed by Keith Pitner, will provide an evening of jazz music, food, prizes and a silent auction Saturday, April 20, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the main gym.


    New operations head in D214
    Ted Birren, central maintenance supervisor for Northwest Suburban High School District 214, has been promoted to Director of Operations, and Kevin Liebe, the director of buildings and grounds at Warren Township High School in Gurnee, has been hired as assistant director of operations.


    Civil War program in Grayslake:

    Grayslake Heritage Center and Museum Executive Director Dave Oberg will present "The Brothers' War" at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 21.


    Teen drinking discussion:

    Lake Zurich School District 95 officials and the Ela Coalition Against Youth Substance Abuse will host a talk called "Teen Drinking: Responsibility and Consequences."

    Voters in communities throughout DuPage County on Tuesday will consider a variety of ballot questions, including two questions related to Butler Elementary District 53’s proposal to build a K-8 school on land that belongs to the village of Oak Brook.

    Several DuPage taxing bodies asking for more money

    Knowing they won't get another chance to ask voters for more money until next year, several government bodies in DuPage County are seeking approval for tax increases in Tuesday's election. A variety of ballot questions will be decided, from Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200's $17.6 million proposal to replace an aging preschool to a proposed sales-tax hike in Winfield.

    A South Korean army soldier uses his radio at Unification Bridge, which has been barricaded, near the border village of Panmunjom, that has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, today.

    SKorea: NKorea may be preparing to test missile

    A top South Korean national security official said Sunday that North Korea may be setting the stage for a missile test or another provocative act with its warning that it soon will be unable to guarantee diplomats' safety in Pyongyang. But he added that the North's clearest objective is to extract concessions from Washington and Seoul.


    Kane election complaint hotline in full effect for Tuesday

    When votersl go to the polls Tuesday to choose local leaders,the The Kane County State's Attorney's Office will be ready to respond to complaints about electioneering and other possible election law violations through its hotline from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.


    Investigation into fire that killed Sleepy Hollow man ongoing

    An investigation into the cause of a fire that killed a Sleepy Hollow man at his Carpentersville business Friday is ongoing. Carpentersville Public Safety Director Alan Popp said the police department is working with state authorities on the investigation. He expected a meeting with them Monday morning, after which he would be able to release more details on what caused the fire and, in turn, the...


    Teenager hospitalized after car crashes into house in Des Plaines

    One person was hospitalized after a car crashed into a house in Des Plaines on Friday night, police said.

    Elgin public works department employee Bill Rodriguez preps a ball diamond Monday morning in anticipation of a St. Edward Catholic High School baseball game later that day in Wing Park on Elgin’s northwest side.

    Images: The Week in Pictures
    This edition of The Week in Pictures features lots of fishermen in pursuit of trout on opening day, preparation of baseball and softball fields, disk golf, traditional golf and other warm weather outdoor activities.

    Mauro Paredes, of Paterson, N.J., waves a flag in Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J., Saturday during a rally of immigrants and immigration advocates. This was one of several demonstrations held across the nation under the “Time is Now” banner, being held to urge Congress to pass immigration reform.

    Schumer sees deal this week on immigration<

    A raucous public debate over the nation's flawed immigration system is set to begin in earnest this week as senators finalize a bipartisan bill to secure the border, allow tens of thousands of foreign workers into the country and grant eventual citizenship to the estimated 11 million people living here illegally.

    Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, center, signs legislation that includes new restrictions on weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., Thursday.

    Conn. gov faults gun lobbyists over restrictions

    Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy harshly criticized gun industry lobbyists on Sunday, saying they are doing too little to halt gun violence. Just three days after he signed into law new restrictions on weapons and large-capacity magazines, the governor compared Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, to clowns.

    Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, talks about gun legislation during the committee’s hearing on Capitol Hill last January. Senators could start debating Democratic-written gun legislation before week’s end.

    Dem, GOP senators work on background check deal

    Two influential senators, one from each party, are working on an agreement that could expand background checks on firearms sales to include gun shows and online transactions, Senate aides said Sunday. If completed, the effort could represent a major breakthrough in the efforts to restrict guns following last December's massacre of schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn.


    Pedestrian struck in Streamwood hit-and-run crash

    Streamwood police are investigating a hit-and-run crash involving a pedestrian Friday night. Police said that at 9:57 p.m., officers and firefighters responded to a call about a person who was struck by a vehicle in the 100 block of East Irving Park Road. Upon arrival, emergency personnel located the injured victim on the side of the roadway.

    Victor Aguilar-Abazan, 24, says he’s grateful for a second chance after drug charges against him were dismissed in the wake of the arrests of three former Schaumburg undercover officers.

    19 former defendants go free in the wake of cops’ arrests
    Drug cases against 19 defendants were dismissed after prosecutors learned of the involvement of three disgraced former Schaumburg undercover officers in their arrests. Here are details of those 19 cases.


    Rapper Ke$ha to perform at Illinois State Fair

    Popular rapper Ke$ha is the latest performer to be named to the Illinois State Fair entertainment line-up.The singer-songwriter whose debut album "Animal" had eight Top Ten hits is scheduled to perform Aug. 17. Fair organizers say the annual event now has a show to satisfy every musical taste.


    Barrington boy hit by train leaves hospital

    An 11-year-old boy who lost his foot when he was struck by a commuter train in Barrington has been released from a hospital about three weeks after the accident. Dominic Szymanski was hit by a Metra train while crossing the tracks in downtown Barrington on March 15. Police officers and a witness administered first aid until paramedics arrived.


    Wis. jailer arrested on tentative sex-abuse charge

    A Sauk County jailer has been arrested on tentative charges of child sexual abuse. A Baraboo News Republic report says the man has a bond hearing Monday. He was arrested Thursday, and police are recommending a felony charge of repeated sexual assault of the same child.


    Hackers target Israeli websites

    A weekend cyberattack campaign targeting Israeli government websites failed to cause serious disruption, officials said Sunday. The attacks followed warnings in the name of the group Anonymous that it was launching a massive hacking assault to protest Israeli policy toward the Palestinians.Yitzhak Ben Yisrael, of the government's National Cyber Bureau, said hackers had mostly failed to shut down...


    Kerry seeks speedy fix for Turkish-Israeli ties

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Turkish leaders Sunday to speedily restore full diplomatic relations with Israel, two American allies the U.S. sees as anchors of stability in a Middle East wracked by Syria's civil war, Arab Spring political upheavals and the potential threat posed by Iran's nuclear program.

    A South Korean soldier closes a military gate in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, Sunday

    SKorea: NKorea may be preparing to test missile

    A top South Korean national security official said Sunday that North Korea may be setting the stage for a missile test or another provocative act with its warning that it soon will be unable to guarantee diplomats' safety in Pyongyang. But he added that the North's clearest objective is to extract concessions from Washington and Seoul.


    District 25 reviews world language curriculum changes

    Arlington Heights Elementary School District 25 board members heard a review of its world language and bilingual education programs on Thursday night that reflected new teaching methods and increasing diversity in some of the district's schools.


    Parents learn from their parents’ mistakes, successes

    Our Ken Potts remembers the feeling when his dad told him he had to give up his favorite stuffed animal. So how did he handle it when his own son had a similar attachment to some homegrown vegetables?

    Donna Sizemore of Warrenville won first place in our March Photo Finish contest with this image of photographers at Mount Moran in Grand Teton National Park.

    Warrenville photographer splits from the crowd

    In the early morning quiet at Grand Teton National Park, all Donna Sizemore could hear was the click-click of camera shutters. After taking all the pictures she wanted, Sizemore stepped back and discovered an entirely different image: the silhouettes of all those photographers against the mountain. DuPage Photo Director Scott Sanders says Sizemore's decision to step back from the crowd "is what...


    Bulls guard Jimmy Butler shoots against Pistons forward Khris Middleton on Sunday night.

    Pistons end losing streak vs. Bulls
    Getting Joakim Noah and Marco Belinelli back in the lineup should have been good news for the Bulls. But there was also a departure Luol Deng sat out Sunday's game in Detroit with a sore hip. The Bulls lost 99-85, ending an 18-game win streak against the Pistons.

    In this photo provided by the Chicago Fire, Chicago Fire forward Daniel Paladini celebrates his goal against the New York Red Bulls during the first half of an MLS soccer match, Sunday, April 7, 2013, in Bridgeview, Ill. The Fire won 3-1. (AP Photo/Chicago Fire, Brian Kersey)

    Fire can breathe sigh of relief

    Its season-opening slump had made the Chicago Fire the butt of jokes and ridicule, so Sunday's 3-1 victory against the New York Red Bulls lifted a ton of pressure from those who work at Toyota Park. "I feel good because when you win a lot of things are solved," Fire coach Frank Klopas said.


    Felde in fine form for Schaumburg

    Schaumburg improved to 6-1 and 1-0 in the Mid-Suburban West as sophomore Shannon Felde (2-1) threw a 5-hitter with 12 strikeouts for a 6-1 win at Prospect.

    Blackhawks players including Patrick Kane, Brandon Saad, Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson surround Jonathan Toews, lower left, after Toews scored the go-ahead goal in the third period Sunday night.

    Blackhawks first in West to win playoff berth

    The Blackhawks became the first team in the Western Conference to clinch a spot in the playoffs Sunday night when they rallied in the third period with 3 late goals to beat the Nashville Predators 5-3 at the United Center.


    Blackhawks’ Shaw even provides some comic relief

    Andrew Shaw had a special game for he Blackhawks on Sunday night with a goal, an assist and 2 hits. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Shaw also supplied some comic relief in the first period by mixing it up with 6-7, 243-pound Nashville defenseman Hal Gill.


    White Sox’ eager to get back at the plate

    White Sox starter Jake Peavy is looking forward to pitching, and hitting, against the Nationals in Washington Tuesday night. Peavy said he prefers the National League style of play over the American League, which uses the designated hitter.

    Alex Rios has hit a home run in three straight games for the White Sox.

    Early, yes, but White Sox looking good so far

    What exactly do we know after one week of the White Sox' season?

    Detroit Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey, top, and Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) scramble for a loose ball in the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday in Auburn Hills, Mich.

    Pistons end 18-game losing streak to Bulls

    Brandon Knight scored 20 points Sunday night to help the Detroit Pistons snap an 18-game losing streak against the Chicago Bulls with a 99-85 victory Sunday night. The Bulls led by as many as 11 points in the first quarter, but Detroit gradually caught up and took the lead in the second after starting the period on a 12-4 run.

    Baseball returns to Wrigley Field on Monday for the Cubs’ home opener.

    Kasper: Something special about Wrigley Field

    From a purely selfish standpoint, Len Kasper is very excited for the Cubs to get moving on their plans to ensure the future of Wrigley Field, that most special of ballparks, for generations to come.

    Chicago Blackhawks players including Patrick Kane, Brandon Saad, Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson surround Jonathan Toews (lower left) after Toews scored the eventual game winner in the third period as the Hawks beat the Nashville Predators 5-3 in an NHL hockey game in Chicago on Sunday.

    Blackhawks clinch playoff spot with win over Preds

    Rookie Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews scored 55 seconds apart midway through the third period, and the Chicago Blackhawks rallied to beat the Nashville Predators 5-3 on Sunday night to become the first team to clinch a NHL playoff spot this season.

    Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts has played businessman hardball in negotiations to renovate Wrigley Field.

    Wrigley Field deal fine as long as fine print is too

    Each party has been looking out for its own best interests in the negotiations to renovate Wrigley Field. Could it be that "nobody's right if everybody's wrong?"

    Dayan Viciedo watches his walk-off home run in the 10th inning Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field.

    Viciedo powers White Sox to victory

    The White Sox leaned on the home run again Sunday, and it was Dayan Viciedo's solo blast with one out in the 10th inning that decided the outcome in a 4-3 win over the Mariners at U.S. Cellular Field. Adam Dunn and Alex Rios also went deep for the Sox.


    Softball: Top 20 rankings
    Barrington (7-0), Elk Grove (7-1) and Benet (4-1) occupy the top three spots in this week's Daily Herald Top 20 rankings of area softball teams.

    Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Hisanori Takahashi (47) throws in the eighth inning of baseball game against the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta. Sunday, April 7, 2013, in Atlanta. Atlanta won 5-1.

    Hudson pitches, hits Braves past Cubs, 5-1

    Tim Hudson pitched six-plus strong innings and added an RBI and Ramiro Pena hit a two-run single to help the Atlanta Braves beat the Chicago Cubs 5-1 on Sunday. Chicago ended a six-game road trip with four losses as it heads to Wrigley Field for the home opener against Milwaukee on Monday.

    Dayan Viciedo watches his walkoff home run in the 10th inning Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field. Viciedo’s shot gave the Sox a 4-3 win over Seattle.

    Viciedo homers in 10th to give Sox win over Mariners

    Dayan Viciedo hit a solo home run with one out in the 10th inning Sunday, lifting the Chicago White Sox over the Seattle Mariners 4-3. It was the first game-ending homer of his career. The White Sox improved to 26-5 against Seattle since 2010.

    Only 20, Blackhawks left winger Brandon Saad has shown a lot of poise on the ice, scoring eight goals and logging a +13 rating entering Sunday's contest.

    Saad’s maturity growing fast with Hawks teammates

    He likes to hide from the spotlight off the ice, but Brandon Saad is getting more and more recognition every day as a serious contender for the Calder Trophy. Blackhawks Team Historian Bob Verdi offers a inside perspective on Saad, the team's 20-year-old prodigy at left wing who has earned the handle of "Man-Child" for playing beyond his years.

    The Braves’ Justin Upton, top right, is doused by teammates as he crosses home plate after hitting a walk-off home run in the ninth inning against Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol. Two batters earlier, Justin’s brother B.J. had tied the game with a home run.

    This has to be it for Marmol as Cubs closer

    After Saturday night's loss at Atlanta, this has to be the end of Carlos Marmol as Cubs closer. Weekly baseball column by Matt Spiegel, who co-hosts "The McNeil & Spiegel Show" 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday on WSCR 670-AM.


    Conant wins Addison Trail meet convincingly

    Conant's come about as close as a team can come to qualifying for the state finals the past two seasons.


    An increasing number of television viewers are cutting the cord with cable or their dish and relying on Internet-based providers for their programming. Above, Netflix is premiering new “Arrested Development” episodes May 26.

    Broadcasters worry about ‘Zero TV’ homes

    Some people have had it with TV. They've had enough of the 100-plus channel universe. They don't like timing their lives around network show schedules. They're tired of $100-plus monthly bills. A growing number of them have stopped paying for cable and satellite TV service, and don't even use an antenna to get free signals over the air.

    What stocks do the pros like? They want stocks are cheap. That can be a $10 stock or a $100 stock — what matters is whether the stock price still has room to grow. They scrutinized cash flow and debt levels to get an idea of what a company is really worth. And they liked stocks that paid dividends, which are cash payouts that companies can give to shareholders each quarter.

    Hardwood to trading floor: Stocks go Final Four

    Since the stock market is a lot like the NCAA men's basketball tournament, packed as it is with upsets and long shots, we asked half a dozen experts to come up with their own Final Four of stocks. The answers varied widely, from natural gas and oil wells to Oreos and comfy shoes, but there were a few common themes.


    Where to beat the market: small-cap foreign funds

    An annual scorecard of mutual fund performance is in, and it's generating more of the negative headlines that fund managers have become accustomed to in recent years. The key finding: Two-thirds of managed U.S. stock funds failed to beat the market in 2012, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. For all their stock-picking skills, the vast majority of managers couldn't claim an edge over low-cost index funds and exchange-traded funds that seek to match the market.

    A worker assembles wooden toys at the Maple Landmark Woodcraft factory in Middlebury, Vt. Experts say family businesses are more resilient when times are tough because of relatives commitment, passion and knowledge of the business.

    Want a business that lasts? Start one with family

    Some family businesses are more resilient during downturns because of that focus on the long term as well as a commitment to their customers, and employees and careful spending, said Pramodita Sharma, a University of Vermont business school professor, and editor of the Family Business Review, a scholarly business journal.


    Free tax help is available if you look

    Free tax help is available, and it's not only for those in financial need. Some organizations offer free services regardless of how much you earn. AARP, the nonprofit organization that advocates for people over 50, has relaxed income requirements for who can receive free tax preparation assistance and also helps people of different ages.

    For nearly two decades, the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord have ruled the mid-sized car market. But now the dominance is starting to slip. as cars like the Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima and Kia Optima have cut into sales of the Camry and Accord by offering combinations of sleek designs, luxury-car features and better gas mileage.

    Camry battles spruced-up rivals in midsize market

    For nearly two decades, the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord have ruled the mid-sized car market. But now the dominance is starting to slip. Cars like the Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima and Kia Optima have cut into sales of the Camry and Accord by offering combinations of sleeker designs, luxury-car features and better gas mileage.

    The 2014 Toyota Highlander is presented at the New York International Auto Show, in New York's Javits Center.

    Toyota restyles Highlander SUV for 2014 as wagon-like hauler

    Toyota Motor Corp. is revamping the Highlander sport-utility vehicle, turning the car-based crossover into a more wagon-like model as the automaker seeks to keep its U.S. sales rising for a third consecutive year.The third-generation Highlander, unveiled recently, is lower, longer and wider than the model it replaces early next year, the company said. The three-row vehicle will be able to carry as many as eight people and comes with a four- or six-cylinder gasoline engine or a V-6 hybrid, Toyota said.The redesign gives the 2014 Highlander a “sleek and strong appearance” and a new six-speed transmission aids performance and fuel efficiency, said Bill Fay, group vice president of U.S. sales for the Toyota City, Japan-based company. Interior enhancements include stitched seats and a soft-touch dashboard.Toyota, the world's largest automaker, expects U.S. auto demand to reach 15.3 million cars and light trucks this year, about 5.5 percent more than in 2012. While the company plans to lead car sales for a 12th consecutive year with its Camry sedan, the current Highlander trails competing mid-size car-based crossovers including Ford Motor Co.'s Explorer and Edge models, and General Motors Co.'s Equinox.The new Highlander design is less conservative than past versions, said Alec Gutierrez, senior industry analyst for Kelley Blue Book. Even so, “the new redesign should help them to maintain their spot in the segment, but not enough to increase market share,” he said.Indiana builtThe company didn't immediately provide pricing for the new Highlander, which will be built solely at its Princeton, Indiana, plant. Sales of the model this year through February rose 21 percent to 18,141.Deliveries may reach 125,000 this year, Jim Lentz, head of Toyota's U.S. sales unit in Torrance, California, said in an interview yesterday. That's just a 3.3 percent increase from 2012. Highlander sales should expand to 135,000 in 2014, with a full year of availability for the new version, said Lentz.By comparison, Ford boosted Explorer sales 60 percent to 32,598 and Edge sales rose 2.4 percent to 19,297, according to Autodata Corp. Equinox deliveries increased 20 percent through February to 37,872.Camry outlookLentz, who on April 1 became Toyota's first American executive to lead all North American operations, also said yesterday at a Bank of America Corp. auto conference that the Camry sedan will remain the best-selling U.S. car this year.“We plan on selling over 400,000,” he said on a webcast of the conference. That total will keep Camry “the No. 1 selling car in America for the 12th consecutive year,” he said.Toyota also expects U.S. sales of Prius hybrid models to reach “about a quarter million” vehicles this year, Lentz said in a second interview. Sales at that level would be a record for the world's best-selling hybrid line, and 5.6 percent more than in 2012.Toyota's shares fell 0.6 percent to 4,870 yen as of 9:27 a.m. in Tokyo trading. They have gained 22 percent this year.

    Zayna Abdul, 34, an Abigail Michaels concierge, works at her desk in the the Mercedes House apartments, in New York. A brownstone overlooking Central Park is no longer enough for the well-to-do New Yorker on the hunt for an apartment. What the very wealthy want now is the ease of hotel living in their own apartment buildings.

    Hotel living is the norm at wealthy NYC apartments

    A penthouse with a view of Central Park is no longer enough for well-to-do New Yorkers. What they want now is five-star hotel amenities in their own apartments. That means room service delivered from world-renowned restaurants, a private health spa with trainers at the ready and, most importantly, a smiling concierge on call at all hours to accommodate every aspect of their lives.

    Failures to spot and anticipate safety flaws during certification of new aircraft have been linked to 70 percent of U.S. airline-crash deaths in the past 20 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

    Dreamliner flaws escaping FAA no surprise

    Failures to spot and anticipate safety flaws during certification of new aircraft have been linked to 70 percent of U.S. airline-crash deaths in the past 20 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Boeing Co.'s tests concluding the lithium-ion batteries in its 787 Dreamliner couldn't catch fire are renewing questions about whether complexity of new aircraft can outpace manufacturers' and regulators' ability to spot shortcomings during design and certification.

    Florida energy magnate William Koch arrives at Manhattan federal court, Wednesday, March 27, 2013, in New York. Koch alleges in a federal lawsuit that California businessman Eric Greenberg sold him $300,000 in vintage wine, some of it supposedly dated to 1805, that turned out to be phony.

    Fine whine? Billionaire cries foul in vintage sale

    As experts can testify, super sleuths in the wine business must study the cork, glass, sediment, wrapping, labels and how full a bottle of wine is to ascertain whether it's the real deal. And as two uber-wealthy wine collectors can tell you as they square off in federal court over some questionable bottles, even that sometimes is not enough.


    Work Advice: How to handle negative references

    Karla L. Miller writes an advice column on navigating the modern workplace. Each week she will answer one or two questions from readers.

Life & Entertainment

    Luke Bryan, left, and Blake Shelton have a little fun while co-hosting the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards Sunday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Bryan was named entertainer of the year.

    Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert win big at ACMs

    Everything went to script Sunday night at the Academy of Country Music Awards until the end — when Luke Bryan pulled off an amazing upset and won entertainer of the year.Bryan beat out some of country music's top stars, including two-time winner Taylor Swift and overall award leader Miranda Lambert, in an upset that few would have predicted. The 36-year-old Georgia native recently began headlining his first arena tour and was the co-host of this year's show.

    Lilly Pulitzer

    Fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer dies at 81

    Lilly Pulitzer, a Palm Beach socialite turned designer whose tropical print dresses became a sensation in the 1960s and later a fashion classic, died Sunday. She was 81. Pulitzer, who married into the famous newspaper family, got her start in fashion by spilling orange juice on her clothes. A rich housewife with time to spare and a husband who owned orange groves, she opened a juice stand in 1959, and asked her seamstress to make dresses in colorful prints that would camouflage fruit stains.

    Jan Riggenbach has written about gardening in the Midwest for nearly 40 years.

    Advice for Midwest gardeners available in new book

    After nearly 40 years of dispensing advice, columnist Jan Riggenbach has delievered on a promise to readers with a new book, "Your Midwest Garden: An Owner's Manual." Riggenbach's 2,000th column is schedueld to run in late April.

    Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen stars as Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the new NBC series “Hannibal.”

    A tasty turn by Mads Mikkelsen as ‘Hannibal’

    It's fair to say that Mads Mikkelsen dines out on his new starring role. He plays the title character in NBC's new grisly gourmet drama, "Hannibal," which focuses on Dr. Hannibal Lecter — scholar, connoisseur, cannibal — during an earlier, more nuanced time than was covered in the hit film "The Silence of the Lambs" and its sequel. No surprise: When Mikkelsen was offered the role, he hesitated to bite.


    Readers share advice that comes from experience

    Many years ago I went through a devastating divorce after a long marriage, and my former husband eventually remarried. One day I saw a snapshot of his new wife holding the hand of my precious 3-year-old granddaughter, my first grandchild, at a fair. They were smiling together, obviously having a great time. It went through me like a sword.

    Ralphie May brings the laughs to the Improv in Schaumburg this weekend.

    Sunday picks: It's May in April at the Improv

    You have one last chance to see May in April. Comedian Ralphie May, that is, when he performs at the Improv in Schaumburg Sunday. The Elgin Symphony Orchestra marks the season with the concert “Nature's Awakening” at the Hemmens in Elgin. Navy Pier honors the city's Greek American presence with a lively afternoon Sunday of dancing, music, wine tasting, Greek food, art exhibits and more.

    Jon Hamm as Don Draper and “Mad Men” returns for its sixth season Sunday on AMC with 13 new episodes. Series Creator Matthew Weiner says he plans one more season for the 1960s drama.

    Anxiety awaits in sixth season of ‘Mad Men’

    As "Mad Men" returns for what creator Matthew Weiner says is the penultimate season, he's asking viewers to embrace comfortable concepts: belief and trust. The viewers must believe that he knows what they will find satisfying for Don, Peggy, Pete and the other souls of "Mad Men," and trust in his vision as the AMC drama returns at 8 p.m. Sunday with a two-hour episode.

    “Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America’s Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941” by Lynne Olson

    Book tells of fight over WWII intervention

    Fewer Americans recall the passionate debate over our stance toward Nazi Germany during the first two years of World War II. That tumultuous time between the invasion of Poland and the attack on Pearl Harbor gave rise to a conflict at home that pitted isolationists against interventionists. Larger-than-life figures, from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to aviator Charles Lindbergh, were leading players in that ferocious battle in which the stakes couldn't have been higher. In "Those Angry Days," journalist-turned-historian Lynne Olson captures that period in a fast-moving, highly readable narrative punctuated by high drama.

    Take a Tastebud Food Tour of famous eateries and watering holes around the city of Chicago.

    On the road: Tastebuds on tour

    Combine eating, walking and history on a Tastebud Food Tour Chicago. You'll visit a half-dozen food tasting locations from specialty food shops and landmark hotels to one-of-a-kind ethnic eateries during a three-hour narrated peek into the city's food, history and architecture. Also train buffs can enjoy free admission on Saturdays in April to the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Ill.


    Packing on the pounds can be costly for travelers

    Did you hear about the weighty subject created by a small airline based in Samoa? Apparently Samoa Air figured out a way to get their pound of flesh. Literally. They've started charging travel fees by the pound — both body and baggage are figured into the cost of a ticket. This isn't new. Small commuter carriers often have strict weight-control policies.

    The beach and visitors to Deno’s Famous Wonder Wheel Amusement Park in New York’s Coney Island are seen from the park’s famous ride. Many of the seasonal businesses at Coney Island are still reeling from the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

    Coney Island hoping for rebound after Sandy

    At the beginning of each tourist season, the entrepreneurs who pitch the thrill rides, hot dogs, sideshows and souvenirs at gritty Coney Island gather along its famous boardwalk to pray for two things: good weather and large crowds. Never have they prayed harder than now. Five months after Superstorm Sandy's surge swamped New York City's most storied beach destination, many businesses are pinning their hopes on a strong season.

    Rebecca Levey, mother of 10-year-old twin girls, runs a tween video review site called KidzVuz.com and blogs about technology and educations issues.

    Monitoring your kids on Facebook? That’s so 2009.

    After Friendster came MySpace. By the time Facebook dominated social media, parents had joined the party, too. But the online scene has changed — dramatically, as it turns out — and these days even if you're friends with your own kids on Facebook, it doesn't mean you know what they're doing. Parents who want to keep up with the curve should stop thinking in terms of imposing time limits or banning social media services, which are stopgap measures. Experts say it's time to talk frankly to kids about privacy controls and remind them — again — how nothing in cyberspace every really goes away.


    Early tire pressure sensors beginning to fail

    Q. What is the deal with this low tire pressure light that keeps coming on in my car? It is so annoying and I can't seem to get it to stay off. The tire pressure seems fine. Help!


    Warm air can cause condensation in attic

    Q. I just noticed that the house attic roof (1-by-6 planks, not plywood) is covered with frost near where it meets the outside walls (facing north). Also, most of the attic roof on the north side of the main beam is wet, and in some cases dripping on the insulation and seeping through the ceiling in one room.


    Is a net zero energy home worth the cost?

    Q. We are planning our energy efficient dream home. We have heard about "net zero energy" designs. Are they as livable as regular efficient houses, do they look strange and how much do they cost?


    Battling with your association will likely get very expensive

    Q. After years of battling with my homeowners association, I am selling my condominium. I just received the "assessment letter" and it says I owe them more than $1,500, even though I am current with my dues.



    Our endorsements in Fox Valley political contests
    A summary of our Fox Valley endorsements in Tuesday's elections.

    Pat Hughes

    Put labor negotiations in public view
    Guest columnist Pat Hughes: When government officials sit down to negotiate contracts with the leaders of Illinois public sector unions, a critical third party in these discussions is intentionally omitted — Illinois taxpayers. In fact, taxpayers aren't even allowed to learn any details of the contracts until long after the contracts have become binding.


    An incitement to genocide

    Columnist Michael Gerson: Is such Iranian rhetoric a crime under the Genocide Convention of 1948 — to which Iran is a signatory — which forbids the "direct and public incitement to commit genocide"? The language of Iranian leaders is certainly direct and public. When forced to defend themselves, they often claim (unpersuasively) that their target is Zionists rather than Jews. But in the determination of genocidal intent, this doesn't matter. Genocide can be directed against any group — racial, ethnic, religious or national.


    Only solution is to ban guns
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Unless politicians repeal the Second Amendment and take all the guns out of the hands of 170 million households, there is no way to prevent guns from falling in the hands of people who pay no attention to laws.


    ‘Questionable example’ should be followed
    A letter to the editor: I was appalled to read Mr. Edward Peters' (a canon lawyer who is an adviser to the Holy See) comment regarding Pope Francis's washing the feet of women during the Holy Thursday Mass.


    Support law limiting charter schools
    A Grayslake letter to the editor: Illinois House Bill HB2660 seeks to stop funding charter schools from the same tax pool supporting corresponding district schools.


    Times are challenging; donate food
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Whether you give alms at your church or synagogue or through a local food pantry, I urge you to remember those in need during these challenging times. While few of us can offer housing, most of us can find something on the pantry shelf to share with those who need it.


    Higher taxes have become the American way
    A Prospect Heights letter to the editor: My real estates tax has risen from $5,000 per year to $7,900 in four years. How's that for correcting a deficit? It's too difficult for our respected politicians to find cuts in appropriate areas that would be less of a hardship on taxpayers.


    Lock ‘em up until they pass a budget
    A McHenry letter to the editor: We the people of the United States in order to preserve, protect and defend this great nation to ourselves and our posterity do hereby demand that U.S. House and U.S. Senate members, totally void any obsequious print or photo media fawning, be summarily sequestered without monetary or professional compensation in a Congressional conclave until such time as a permanently mandated balanced federal budget be secured and ratified.


    Impressed by Elgin’s new vibrancy
    Impressed by Elgin’s new vibrancyI recently attended an Elgin Symphony Orchestra performance “Time for Spring.” As a former subscriber I was looking forward to seeing the ESO for the first time since I moved from Elgin in 2005. The talent and passion of the ESO is as outstanding as I remember it being, and the Hemmens remains a great venue for this type of show. The excellence of the ESO was expected, and is not the point of my writing.One of the challenges of supporting the ESO years ago was the difficulty of making a nice evening out of attending a show, as the dining options in downtown Elgin were so limited. I’m pleased and amazed by the degree to which that has changed. Attending with a friend we arrived early, parked for free, and enjoyed a wonderful meal prior to the concert. We then chose to walk to the venue for a “Meet the Performers” event also being held downtown. I cannot express how amazed I was to find a place packed with people of all ages, with a band playing, and serving food after 10 p.m. We enjoyed a wonderful evening, stayed out way too late, enjoyed the brisk walk back to my car, and are actually looking forward to visiting downtown Elgin again.I extend my congratulations to all of those who played a role in supporting this evolution of Downtown Elgin. Vibrant downtowns are vital to a both a community’s self-image as well as their economic vitality. You can be assured that I’ll be telling others, and will be bringing many of them with the next time I visit.John McKevittRiverside


    Efforts on autism are appreciated
    A Carpentersville letter to the editor: As a 33-year-old woman with Asperger's syndrome, I personally appreciate Mike Baker's efforts for the Schaumburg Autism Society and for the state of Illinois.


    Don’t write off the Yankees
    Don’t write off the YankeesMarch 9’s sports section carried a wire story describing the plight of the New York Yankees as injuries to key players mount. White Sox and other American League teams are probably jumping for joy.However, Yankee haters had better beware.The Yankee Mystique is indeed alive and kicking, so, don’t write the Bronx Bombers off in 2013.As the Yanks battle a host of player injuries, I’m reminded of 1949 when the Yanks opened the season with a questionable manager and several key players including Joe DiMaggio out of the lineup for big chunks of the season.That questionable manager, Casey Stengel, orchestrated over 75 lineup changes with his unusual — for the time — platooning strategies. Despite DiMaggio, Tommy Henrich, Charley Keller and others missing parts or the whole year, the Yanks won the American League pennant and the World Series Dodgers, beginning a succession of pennants and World Series won under Stengel.Today’s Yankee Manager Joe Girardi isn’t as eccentric as Stengel, but he’s smart and inventive. As he waits for Granderson, Teixiera, Rodriguez, Sabbathia and Jeter to get healthy, he’s smart and inventive enough to get this club into the playoffs. Don’t bet against the Yankees this year.Dean DraniasAurora


    Good guy with gun can stop bad guy
    A West Chicago letter to the editor: All states but Illinois have provisions for their citizens to obtain permits to carry a concealed handgun. In Arizona, no permit is even required. Meanwhile, the Illinois legislature is fighting tooth and nail against court orders to allow permits. So what does the rest of the world know that Illinois does not? Here is a list:


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