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Daily Archive : Wednesday April 17, 2013

News

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    Two students were killed in April 2010 making a left turn in to the northern entrance for Waubonsee Community College's Sugar Grove campus. Wednesday, the college's trustees continued their work to getting a traffic signal installed at the intersection, and hope to see one before the end of 2013.

    Progress continues on getting stoplight where Waubonsee students died in 2010

    Waubonsee Community College continued progress Wednesday on getting a traffic light installed where two students were killed in a crash three years ago this week.

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    The remains of the the West Fertilizer Co. plant smolder in the rain on Thursday, April 18, 2013, in West, Texas. A massive explosion at the plant killed as many as 15 people and injured more than 160, officials said overnight.

    Rescuers search ruins of Texas fertilizer plant

    Rescue workers searched the smoldering ruins of a fertilizer plant Thursday for survivors of a monstrous explosion that leveled homes and businesses in every direction across the Texas prairie. As many as 15 people were feared dead and more than 160 others injured. Daybreak revealed a breathtaking band of destruction extending outward from the West Fertilizer Co. The thunderous blast shook the...

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    Gurnee resident Sue Tebbetts was among the volunteers filling sandbags on Wednesday in preparation for any Des Plaines River flooding as heavy rains are expected to continue Thursday.

    Flood plans in place along Fox, Des Plaines rivers, Chain O' Lakes

    Amid the rain that fell during a heavy thunderstorm Wednesday, the stress was clear on the face of people filling sandbags at Fox Lake's street department. "It's going to be pretty bad," Police Chief Mike Behan said as he prepared a sandbag. "Let's hope (the rain) stops." But the time for hoping has passed for officials along the Des Plaines and Fox rivers, and the Chain O' Lakes who shifted to...

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    The Illinois House approved legalizing medical marijuana Wednesday.

    Illinois House OKs medical marijuana

    State lawmakers took a big first step toward legalizing medical marijuana today, moving legislation through the Illinois House that had declined to approve it for years.

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    Xiubin Mei

    Defendant testifies in 2011 meat cleaver attack

    Former cook Xiubin Mei testified late Wednesday that he raised a meat cleaver to his boss during a disagreement at an Elk Grove Village restaurant because he was scared of him and wanted the man to stop punching him.

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    Howard R. Lazarus of Mundelein is seen in this picture from the police video holding a firearm inside the Vernon Hills Police Department on April 3. Police later said the weapon was a realistic-looking fake.

    Vernon Hills police release tapes of shooting at station

    Vernon Hills late Tuesday released tapes of a shooting April 3 in the lobby of the police station in which Howard Lazarus of Mundelein man was wounded after displaying a realistic-looking but fake handgun. Police Chief Mark Fleischhauer said the tapes were released because the unidentified officer has been cleared in the shooting by an independent review and has returned to duty.

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    Kerin Ramirez

    Wood Dale cop testifies about shooting intruder

    A Wood Dale police sergeant on Wednesday described how he shot an intruder in his home after being unable to fend off the suspect during a knockdown, drag-out fight. "He was a much better fighter than I was," the officer testified.

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    Michael Buhrman

    Nuclear engineer guilty of Woodridge ‘thrill’ carjacking

    A senior reactor operator at a nuclear power plant who is believed to have fled the country was found guilty Wednesday of an armed carjacking of a woman's car in the parking lot of a Woodridge store. A jury found Michael Buhrman, 32, of Coal City, guilty of aggravated vehicular hijacking with a firearm. He was not present for the verdict, which took a DuPage County jury 45 minutes to reach.

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    A pedestrian makes his way to the Pace bus station between rain showers Wednesday morning in downtown Elgin.

    Storms, plenty of rain expected to continue overnight

    Showers and thunderstorms — and possibly hail — are expected to continue overnight, with some areas seeing as many as 4 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service. "We're already seeing the leading edge move in," meteorologist Ed Fenelon said Wednesday morning. "There's a good flow of gulf moisture heading northward, which is causing the trend."

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    A Prince George's County, Md. firefighter dressed in a protective suit walks out of a government mail screening facility in Hyattsville, Md., Wednesday, April 17, 2013. Police swept across the U.S. Capitol complex to chase a flurry of reports of suspicious packages and envelopes Wednesday after preliminary tests indicated poisonous ricin in two letters sent to President Barack Obama and a Mississippi senator.

    Mississippi man accused in ricin letters case

    A Mississippi man was arrested Wednesday, accused of sending letters to President Barack Obama and a senator that tested positive for poisonous ricin and set the nation's capital on edge a day after the Boston Marathon bombings. Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, was arrested at 5:15 p.m. at his apartment in Corinth, near the Tennessee state line about 100 miles east of Memphis, the FBI said.

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    The Carol Stream Library board has accepted the latest offer from a nursing home company to purchase library-owned property on Kuhn Road.

    Carol Stream library, nursing home agree on property price

    Officials from the Carol Stream Public Library and a nursing home company have agreed on a purchase price for the library's vacant 7.5-acre property, though a final deal hasn't been struck. Board President Mike Wade said Wednesday the library has accepted the company's latest offer to purchase the land for $1,350,000 — which is more than the company's initial offer of $1,225,000.

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    Investigators comb through the post finish line area of the Boston Marathon at Boylston Street, two days after two bombs exploded just before the finish line, Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Boston.

    Boston official: Video of potential suspect in bombings

    Police and reporters converged on the federal courthouse in Boston on Wednesday amid conflicting reports of whether a suspect was in custody in the marathon bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 170.

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    2nd man arrested in attack on bat-wielding merchant

    A second suspect has been arrested in the shooting of a Chicago shop owner whose resistance with a baseball bat was captured by security cameras. Keith Owens of Richfield, Minn., was charged Wednesday with attempted murder and armed robbery in the attack at the convenience store on the city's North Side.

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    State Rep. Mike Bost, a Murphysboro Republican, vehemently argues gun legislation while on the House floor Wednesday in Springfield.

    House erupts over ‘may issue’ gun bill

    Anyone who doubts the division in Illinois over gun control need look no further than the state House on Wednesday, where a pro-gun Republican — goaded by a Democrat — lost his temper during a debate over whether the state should adopt a concealed carry law similar to New York's.

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    Lightning likely cause in multiple Lake County fires

    Multiple fires that crews from the Countryside Fire Protection District responded to on Wednesday afternoon may have been caused by lightning, according to officials. The fire that caused the most damage occurred around 12:24 p.m. on the 26700 block of Long Meadow Circle in Mundelein. Upon arrival, crews found the roof of a single family, one-story home on fire.

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    Pallbearers escort the casket of U.S. diplomat Anne Smedinghoff out of St. Luke Catholic Church in River Forest on Wednesday.

    Funeral held for diplomat killed in Afghanistan

    Family and friends packed a River Forest church Wednesday for Anne Smedinghoff's funeral, remembering the young diplomat as a brave, selfless woman who wouldn't let fear stop her from trying to make a difference in faraway places.

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    Pat Quinn

    Road program focuses on maintenance, congestion relief

    Gov. Pat Quinn's latest six-year, $12.62 billion transportation construction program is big on maintaining existing roads while short on new significant projects in the metropolitan region. Among the spending highlights are $475 million to fix the congested Circle Interchange in Chicago and $72 million to buy land for the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway extension, which is being built by the Illinois...

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    Ricin: A bioterror agent with few real victims

    Ever since the anthrax and terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the poison ricin has at times been lumped in with other bioterrorism agents because it comes from a relatively common plant and seems easy to make. But the reality is that ricin has created far more scares than victims and is more a targeted poison — an assassin's tool — than something to attack lots of people.

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    Naperville City Council members Tuesday approved a rebate of up to $7.5 million of sales and hotel tax revenues to the downtown Water Street District.

    Naperville approves $7.5 million in Water Street incentives

    The final piece of downtown Naperville's Water Street puzzle was pushed into place late Tuesday as council members agreed to rebate as much as $7.5 to the developer during the next 20 years. Marquette Companies officials walked into Tuesday night's meeting asking for a rebate of as much as 75 percent of the sales tax revenue generated from the $85 million development but, through negotiation,...

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    The RTA hopes consultants can resolve discontent over how the CTA, Pace and Metra are funded.

    Can $382,000 for consultants heal regional transit rifts?

    Can $300,000-plus buy peace and love among rival transit agencies? RTA officials are banking on a consultants' report to resolve funding disputes in a logical way, but if a divided vote amongst board directors is any indication, the answer is no.

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    U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk

    Kirk meets with families of Sandy Hook victims

    Both Illinois senators voted yes on a series of gun control measures in the U.S. Senate Wednesday after meeting with the families of children killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting.

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    Environmental round table:

    State Rep. Sam Yingling will host an Earth Day Roundtable at 6 p.m. Monday, April 22, at the Byron Colby Barn, 1560 Jones Point Road in the Prairie Crossing community of Grayslake.

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    John Melaniphy

    Wheeling hires Arlington Hts. development coordinator

    John Melaniphy, the business and development coordinator for Arlington Heights, is resigning to take a job as director of economic development in Wheeling. Melaniphy said that his decision was based on pay, a department head position and the departure of longtime Mayor Arlene Mulder. "Mayor Mulder's strong leadership was one of the factors that originally attracted me to the village," Melaniphy...

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    Outgoing Mount Prospect Mayor Irvana Wilks.

    Mount Prospect leaders laud Wilks at final board meeting

    Mount Prospect village trustees honored outgoing Mayor Irvana Wilks for her more than two decades of public service Tuesday at her final village board meeting. Trustees passed a resolution calling Wilks "a respected community leader" and "a woman of many hats."

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    Karen McConnaughay

    Group protests campaign finance decision

    Suburban activists and lawmakers demonstrated against the controversial Citizens United campaign finance decision at the Illinois Capitol Wednesday. The U.S. Supreme Court decision led to the creation of large campaign-donating organizations known as SuperPACs. The group is pushing for a state resolution opposing the decision, but it wouldn't carry the weight of law.

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    Vicky Smith

    McHenry County residents not all happy about talks of extension

    McHenry County College trustees Barbara Walters and Carol Larson were voted out of office last week. Three days later, officials called a special meeting, the agenda for which included extending college President Vicky Smith's contract through 2015. Community members have called foul, saying this is not a decision outgoing board members should make. Trustees delayed the vote at Tuesday night's...

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    President Barack Obama arrives to participate in a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House on Wednesday in Washington, about measures to reduce gun violence. With Obama is former Rep. Gabby Giffords, left, and Mark Barden, the father of Newtown shooting victim Daniel.

    Obama lambasts Senate gun vote as ‘shameful day’

    A visibly infuriated President Barack Obama surrounded himself with tear-stained parents of Connecticut school shooting victims Wednesday after the Senate voted down a measure designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and declared it a "pretty shameful day for Washington."

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    Vice President Joe Biden watches at left as Sen. Mark Kirk, second from left, accompanied by Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, second form right, and Senate Majority whip Dick Durbin, right, walks the steps to the Senate door of the Capitol building on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 3, 2013. Manchin also said that Kirk, who voted Wednesday for in favor of expanded background checks on gun buyers, held steadfast to closing all loopholes at gun shows, a point of contention among some other Republicans.

    Kirk ‘disappointed’ in Senate vote on background checks

    While the Senate voted down background check legislation Wednesday, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, tells the Daily Herald how he and lunch buddy Mark Kirk, a Highland Park Republican, came to work together on the issue and try to find a bipartisan solution.

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    Elgin Catholic high school settles lawsuit stemming from stairwell fall

    A West Dundee woman has settled a lawsuit against St. Edward Central Catholic High School in Elgin and the Rockford Diocese seeking damages from a fall over a staircase railing in 2006. Terms of the settlement weren't released and the attorney for Alyssa DiGilio declined to comment. An attorney for the diocese and school said they were not at fault but settled to help her pay for medical bills.

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    Daily Herald File Photo RTA officials are dubious about the influx of permits issued for individuals with disabilities to ride the CTA, Pace and Metra for free.

    Is lack of scrutiny causing ride-free permit scams?

    It's just a coincidence that the minute the state stopped paying to verify people claiming their disabilities qualified them for free rides on transit - the number of folks applying shot up, right? The RTA is suspicious but it's hard to prove.

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    Wheaton College will be able to rent out its baseball field in Carol Stream to other colleges, village officials said this week.

    Wheaton College allowed to rent field to other colleges

    Wheaton College will be allowed to rent out a field its baseball team uses in Carol Stream to other college teams, village officials said. The affirmation from the village board this week comes as college officials sought clarification of a March 2012 village ordinance that granted approvals for the college's $3 million field upgrade project.

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    The Carpentersville Village Board is considering whether to lift its ban on bee keeping, which involves honeybees.

    Carpentersville considers its beekeeping ban

    Honeybees could be buzzing in Carpentersville one day, if the board legalizes beekeeping for people who'd like to do it as a hobby in their own backyards. Tuesday night the board discussed the issue then directed the planning and zoning commission to hammer out the potential new legislation. The board would vote on it at a later date, probably within a month, Village President Ed Ritter said.

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    Carol Sente

    House says OK to 17-year-olds voting in primaries

    For the first time in Illinois, some 17-year-olds would be allowed to vote in primary elections under a plan approved by the state House. The proposal from state Rep. Carol Sente, a Vernon Hills Democrat, says a 17-year-old could vote on primary day in the spring if he or she will turn 18 by the November election.

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    Dispose of expired, unused prescription, OTC drugs

    Among local towns participating in the Saturday, April 27, National Prescription Take-Back Initiative are Arlington Heights and Buffalo Grove.

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    The funeral Mass for Anne Smedinghoff, the young U.S. diplomat killed while delivering textbooks in southern Afghanistan, will be held Wednesday morning at St. Luke Church in River Forest.

    Mourners line up for diplomat’s funeral

    Several hundred mourners are filing into a church in River Forest for the funeral of a young U.S. diplomat killed while delivering textbooks in southern Afghanistan. The funeral Mass for Anne Smedinghoff is being held Wednesday morning at St. Luke Church in River Forest.

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    Aurora man sentenced to 18 years for armed robbery

    An Aurora man was sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to robbing an Aurora business at knife point last year, according to a news release from the Kane County State's Attorney's Office.

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    Learn about fracking at Arlington Heights program

    The League of Women Voters of Arlington Heights — Mount Prospect — Buffalo Grove will honor Earth Day with a program on environmental issues in Illinois on Thursday, April 18. Cindy Skrukrud, clean water advocate for the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club, will discuss how to ensure fracking in Illinois is developed with public input and explain why regulations and financial...

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    Retired cop accidentally shoots own leg at Des Plaines school

    A retired Chicago police officer visiting his grandson's Boy Scout troop meeting at a Des Plaines school accidentally dropped a loaded gun and shot himself in the leg Monday night, a Des Plaines police official said Wednesday. No one else was injured, police said.

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    Wheeling’s “Biggest Loser” winner Danni Allen lost 121 pounds on the NBC television reality show. Allen will sing at “Advocate Condell Rocks the Cure” benefit.

    Danni Allen to sing at Libertyville cancer care benefit concert

    Besides a determination to get healthy and lose weight, Wheeling resident Danni Alen can carry a tune. The winning contestant on NBC's "The Biggest Loser" television show will sing lead on a several songs Saturday at a benefit concert at the Fuel Room in Libertyville.

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    Cook County may lower vehicle transfer fees

    Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle proposed lowering transfer fees on vehicle sales between county residents Wednesday. The proposal calls for the tax to drop to $90 for vehicles 9 years or older; $175 for vehicles between 4 and 8 years old; and $225 for vehicles 3 years old or newer. A $25 transfer tax will still apply to transfers between immediate family members.

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    Fox Valley police reports
    Lauren Banks, 20, of Chicago, was charged with theft Tuesday, after police said she took two phony credit cards to a Carpentersville bank and tried to withdraw money from both, according to a police report. Police said Banks successfully withdrew $500 from one credit card, but the teller became suspicious after Banks tried to do it with a second credit card.

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    Tri-Cities police reports
    Someone put two large, long scratches into the side of a 2007 Infiniti G35 on the 1100 block of Hinckley Street near Aurora between 11 a.m. and 8:46 p.m. April 10, according to a sheriff's report.

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    Activity filled day in Antioch:

    Saturday, April 27, will be busy in Antioch with a number of planned activities. From 9 a.m. until noon, the village's Arbor Day celebration returns with the focus on revitalizing the entry beds and tree rings and removing trash at Centennial Park, 601 Anita Ave.

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    Native plant sale scheduled:

    More than 70 varieties plants will be available for purchase at the Lake County Forest Preserve District's 16th annual native plant sale.

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    Palatine arrested in Mt. Prospect cell phone thefts

    A Palatine man was charged with felony retail theft after he used his keys as a vendor employee to steal cell phones, Mount Prospect police said. According to police reports, Ricardo J. Rivera, 30, of the 400 block of North Hicks Road, was an employee with Mosaic, a vendor that sets up displays of new release movies and video games in various Walmart stores.

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    Toni Preckwinkle

    Cook County OKs program to boost transit-oriented development

    Cook County soon will offer federal loan guarantees for economic development projects that feature transportation and job growth opportunities. The county board voted Wednesday to participate in the U.S. Housing and Urban Development program.County officials are still determining how the loans will be issued, but the $30 million available has to be allocated by February 2014.

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    The intersection of Buffalo Grove and Lake-Cook roads is the most dangerous intersection in Buffalo Grove when it comes to crashes, according to data presented this week by Buffalo Grove police. Police say 31 crashes occurred there last year, a figure they hope to lessen with driver education and increased enforcement of traffic and safety laws.

    Lake-Cook, Buffalo Grove most dangerous intersection in village

    There's change at the top when it comes to Buffalo Grove's most dangerous intersections. According to accident data provided to village leaders this week by police, the most dangerous intersection in the village last year was at Lake-Cook and Buffalo Grove roads, where 31 crashes occurred.

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    Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Wednesday that he is heading to Illinois to recruit businesses to relocate to Texas

    Quinn, Illinois GOP dismiss Texas governor’s recruiting

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry is bringing his state's economic road show to Illinois next week, pitching low income taxes and a strong economy to businesses used to hearing bad news about their own state's pension troubles and high unemployment. But Gov. Pat Quinn and even the head of Illinois' Republican Party say that, under the circumstances, Perry isn't exactly welcome.

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    Dan Lipinski

    Lipinski named to panel on freight transportation

    Illinois Congressman Dan Lipinski will take part in an effort in Congress to improve the country's freight transportation network. The panel will begin work April 24 on its six-month review and produce recommendations for making the system more efficient.

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    A lawsuit alleges the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority has used taxpayer money to build and renovate U.S. Cellular Field and to build the Bacardi at the Park restaurant next door, but the White Sox organization has kept most of the revenue.

    Lawsuit names White Sox owner, former governor

    The former head of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority filed a lawsuit Monday against White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf and former Gov. Jim Thompson, claiming they conspired to fire her two years ago to stop her reforms at the public agency.

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    7 sentenced in Chicago credit card scam

    The Illinois attorney general's office says seven people have been sentenced after pleading guilty to illegally obtaining personal banking information of visitors to Chicago-area restaurants and other tourist attractions.

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    Slash, far right, is set to be one of the headlining acts during Naperville’s Ribfest.

    Slash to perform at Ribfest

    Slash, the former lead guitarist of Guns N' Roses, is slated to perform during Naperville's Ribfest.

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    Investigators comb through the post finish line area of the Boston Marathon at Boylston Street, two days after two bombs exploded just before the finish line, Wednesday.

    Conflicting reports of arrest in Boston bombings

    Police and reporters converged on the federal courthouse in a jittery Boston on Wednesday amid reports of a breakthrough in the investigation of the marathon bombings and conflicting information on whether a suspect was in custody.

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    Sara Tompkins, left, and Jeff Marschke, students at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville, plant hostas during a previous Earth Day event along First Street by the Fox River in downtown West Dundee. This Sunday, Cub Scout Pack 36 of West Dundee will lead cleanup efforts by the river.

    Boy Scouts lead Earth Day cleanups in Dundee

    Area Boy Scouts and volunteers of the Dundee Township Open Space restoration group will team up this weekend to groom an overgrown oak tree grove at the corner of Sleepy Hollow and Huntley roads in West Dundee.

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    Diana O'Kelly

    O'Kelly won't quit county post despite township win

    Veteran Lake County Board member Diana O'Kelly on Wednesday said she won't resign that post once she's sworn in as Fremont Township's supervisor in May. The Mundelein-area Republican said she'll finish her two-year county term and let voters choose her successor. Letting voters elect her successor is "the fairest thing," she said. She promised not to accept a salary for the remainder of her...

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    Warrenville officials are considering whether to create a tax increment financing district to promote redevelopment in a central part of the city, including a stretch of Butterfield Road.

    Warrenville: No condemnations in proposed TIF district

    Warrenville officials are trying assure property owners in a proposed tax increment financing district that the city won't force them to sell their homes and businesses. Eminent domain, said Mayor David Brummel "is not a tool that we intend to use."

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    Analysis of suburban school districts shows there’s no significant financial benefit for teachers who have retirement contributions paid for them by the district versus teachers who cover those costs themselves.

    Does it matter if districts cover teacher contributions?

    Illinois teachers are supposed to put 9.4 percent of their salaries toward their pensions. Yet teachers in at least 27 suburban school districts have some or all of their retirement contributions paid on their behalf by the district. But it's not as nefarious as it sounds. Those districts are among about 600 school districts or education cooperatives across the state that provide a similar...

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    Wheaton police looking for pair who approached boy

    Wheaton police are trying to locate two people who offered candy to a young male on Tuesday afternoon.

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Vandals did $1,500 damage at St. Emily School in Mount Prospect. They punctured the top part of a playground slide platform and broke a 6-foot by 3-foot window at the school, 1400 E. Central Road, between March 28 and April 8.

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    Cast members rehearse “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” at Marmion Academy in Aurora. The show opens Friday, April 19, and runs through Sunday, April 21.

    Generations come together in Marmion’s ‘Joseph

    The past, present and future come together in Marmion Academy's spring musical, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." The cast includes Marmion alumni as well as future and current students.

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    Visitors check out student artwork at the 13th annual Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival at Kaneland High School. This year’s festival is set for Sunday, April 21.

    Kaneland arts festival celebrates creativity

    When the Kaneland Community Fine Arts Festival opens its doors on Sunday, April 21, at Kaneland High School in Maple Park, visitors will be invited to look, touch, hear, see, smell, taste, and participate fully in an amazing choice of arts experiences. Admission is free, and the event runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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    Benedictine, Morton offer joint nursing degree

    Benedictine University and Morton College have announced the details of a new bachelor of science in nursing 3+1 program open to Morton students and alumni who have earned an associate of applied science degree in nursing.

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    Naperville store plans run, T-shirt sale for Boston victims

    Moved by the tragedy at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, runners will take to the streets Monday evening in Naperville for a 5K in solidarity with the victims of the bombings. Naperville Running Co. expects 200 participants to show togetherness in the running community a week after the 117th Boston Marathon ended with three people dead and more than 170 injured. "People area going to wear...

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    Adult Volunteer of the Year recipient Harold Sterling accepts his award during the Schaumburg Volunteer of the Year awards luncheon.

    Schaumburg honors volunteers of the year

    Schaumburg Tuesday recognized the non-salaried lifeblood of the community at its Volunteer of the Year Awards Luncheon. "Volunteers make Schaumburg work," Mayor Al Larson said. "They are the heart and soul of our community." Harold Sterling got the adult award, Isha Jog the youth award and Sons and Daughters of Italy in America the organization award.

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    District 95 accepting preschool program applications

    Lake Zurich Unit District 95 is accepting applications for its new tuition-based preschool, Little Leaders, through May 1.

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    Schaumburg expects to lower property tax again

    Schaumburg's proposed 2013-14 balanced budget projects lowering the village's property tax levy another 1 percent at the end of the year while maintaining the village's roads and existing services. Since the unpopular 2009 decision to impose Schaumburg's first property tax, village officials have managed to reduce it by some degree every year as the economy and other sources of revenue have...

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    Does your attitude stink, or is it appealing?

    In today's culture we spend a lot of money on perfumes, colognes, and deodorants to cover up our bad odors, but how much attention do we give to the scent coming from within? columnist Annettee Budzban asks.

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    Glen Ellyn, Lombard approve new wastewater cost split

    Glen Ellyn and Lombard have come to a new agreement about how to pay for improvements to the wastewater management infrastructure the villages share, updating a 15-year-old contract that governs the Glenbard Wastewater Authority. The agreement forms a compromise between two possible methods of splitting the costs of capital improvements to wastewater facilities and benefits both villages...

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    Since the Islamic extremist rebels of al-Shabab have been pushed out of almost all of Somalia’s cities and towns, life has begun to return to normal, including elopements which al-Shabab under its strict interpretation of Islamic Shariah law had declared illegal and punishable by whipping or even death by stoning.

    As Islamic radicals retreat, young Somalis elope

    Since the Islamic extremist rebels of al-Shabab have been pushed out of almost all of Somalia's cities and towns, life has begun to return to normal. Under its strict interpretation of Islamic Shariah law, al-Shabab had declared eloping illegal, punishable by whipping or even death by stoning. Now that the harsh rule has been replaced by a more tolerant form of Islam, elopement once again is...

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    People are seen outside the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 17, 2013, after being evacuated following reports of suspicious packages discovered on Capitol Hill. Capitol police are investigating the discovery of at least two suspicious envelopes in Senate office buildings across the street from the Capitol.

    FBI: Early test shows ricin in Obama letter

    Letters sent to President Barack Obama and a Mississippi senator that tested positive for poisonous ricin are related and both are postmarked Memphis, Tenn., the FBI said Wednesday. A senator said police have a suspect in mind. Several other reports of suspicious mail to government officials were being checked.

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    Appeals court to hear challenge to gay therapy ban

    A federal appeals court is to hear arguments Wednesday on whether a first-of-its-kind law that prohibits licensed mental health professionals in California from offering therapies aimed at making gay and lesbian teenagers straight violates the civil rights of practitioners and parents.

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    In this 2008 photo, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visits the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility. Technicians upgrading Iran’s main uranium enrichment facility have tripled partial or full installations of high-tech machines that could be used in a nuclear weapons program to more than 600 since starting their work three months ago, according to diplomats.

    Diplomats: Iran ups nuclear technology

    Technicians upgrading Iran's main uranium enrichment facility have tripled their installations of high-tech machines that could be used in a nuclear weapons program to more than 600 in the last three months, diplomats said Wednesday. They say the machines are not yet producing enriched uranium and some may be only partially installed. Still the move is the latest sign that 10 years of diplomatic...

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    A tower at Cantigny Park is set to welcome chimney swifts. The birds originally nested in hollow trees, then turned to chimneys and factory smokestacks as land was developed.

    Cantigny hopes to attract chimney swifts this spring with new tower

    April is a time of rising anticipation for local birders, who know the best of spring migration is just ahead. Our Jeff Reiter enjoys the colorful pageant as much as anybody, but this year he's looking forward to seeing one particular species. Not a flashy one either, just a little sooty gray bird that most people never notice.

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    Harper live stream test
    This is a test of the Haper, Dailyl Herald, Reboot Illinois live stream event

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    Wife of ex-judge arrested in slain Texas DA case

    North Texas authorities have arrested the wife of a former justice of the peace who was charged with making a terroristic threat in connection with the shooting deaths of a district attorney and his wife. Kim Lene Williams was arrested early Wednesday.

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    Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s coffin is carried by pallbearers out from St Paul’s Cathedral, following the ceremonial funeral service in London, Wednesday, April 17, 2013. Thatcher, who died, at the age of 87 on April 8, has been accorded a ceremonial funeral with military honors, one step down from a state funeral. Thatcher was elected Prime Minister on May 4, 1979 and she resigned on Nov. 28, 1990, after eleven years in office.

    Britain’s Iron Lady laid to rest with full pomp

    Margaret Thatcher, Britain's Iron Lady, was laid to rest Wednesday with a level of pomp and protest reflecting her status as a commanding, polarizing political figure. Queen Elizabeth II, prime ministers and dignitaries from 170 countries were among the mourners at St. Paul's Cathedral.

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    BBB says Boston attack can bring out charity scams

    The Better Business Bureau is warning that phony charity solicitors are already at work in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.Steve Bernas is president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois. He says people are vulnerable to scammers in the wake of tragedies because they want to do something to help.

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    Program to expand Internet access in Chicago

    More than a million Chicago residents will be eligible for low-cost Internet service through a program aimed at expanding digital access to underserved areas. Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday that Chicago will be a pilot city for the national EveryoneOn campaign. The program provides low-cost Internet access and training to residents in neighborhoods where the median annual income is $35,000...

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    Wisconsin marathons react after Boston explosions

    Marathon organizers in West Bend, Green Bay, Milwaukee and Medford said Tuesday they are considering stepping up security or already plan to do so in light of the deadly Boston Marathon explosions. The Adenaline Marathon on the Eisenbahn Trail in West Bend is set for Sunday, less than a week after bombs went off in a crowd at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding more than 170.

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    Ind. judge rejects venue change in 1979 killing

    A western Indiana judge has rejected a change of venue for a man charged in the 1979 slaying of a 20-year-old woman and the attempted killing of her young son. Richard L. Boswell Jr.'s defense attorneys had argued that pretrial publicity and a recent mistrial in the case would make it difficult to find an impartial Vigo County jury.

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    This image from a Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security joint bulletin issued to law enforcement and obtained by The Associated Press, shows the remains of a black backpack that the FBI says contained one of the bombs that exploded during the Boston Marathon.

    Pressure cooker bombs used in past by militants

    Homemade bombs built from pressure cookers, a version of which was used in the Boston Marathon bombings, have been a frequent weapon of militants in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. Al-Qaida's branch in Yemen once published an online manual on how to make one, urging "lone jihadis" to act on their own to carry out attacks.

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    Jesse Owens’ family weighs in on school closings

    A daughter of Olympics track and field legend Jesse Owens is objecting to plans by the Chicago Board of Education to close a school named for him.Jesse Owens Community Academy is one of 54 schools that may be closed. Gloria Owens Hemphill, the eldest of Owens’ three daughters, said Tuesday at a hearing that her father believed everyone was a champion.

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    Don Gill and Craig Wiemer, both of Palatine, light candles as members of the HIP (Hoffman Estates, Inverness and Palatine) Athletic Association held a memorial run/vigil on the track at the old Palatine High School for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

    Dawn Patrol: Runners gather in Palatine; sandbagging in Gurnee

    Runners gather in Palatine in honor of Boston. Local event and race organizers talk security. Tom Hayes: Boston experience lesson for Arlington Heights. Gurnee seeks sandbagging help today. Trial begins without missing nuclear engineer. Des Plaines officers suspended in grant scheme. Naperville approves using tax revenue to pay pension debt. Geneva OKs budget after questions. White Sox hitters...

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    Schaumburg is working on a document to present to IDOT outlining plans for a ramp off Meacham Road onto the westbound Jane Addams Tollway.

    Schaumburg works on details for Meacham Road ramp

    Scahumburg trustees on Tuesday discussed a proposed memorandum of understanding between the village and state tollway authority intended to bring a Meacham Road offramp from the Jane Addams Tollway to fruition by 2016. A Roselle Road interchange is also mentioned. “It's the heart of our regional center and our desire to build a downtown for the Northwest suburbs,” Mayor Al Larson said.

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    Comfort dogs sent by Addison-based Lutheran Church Charities surround Newtown High School counselor Deidre Croce in January. She's holding Isaiah, then a 9-week-old puppy in training.

    Suburban Comfort Dogs head to Boston

    As they did earlier this year in Newtown, Conn., comfort dogs from the suburbs are making their way to Boston to help those affected by Monday's marathon bombings. “Dogs make people feel safe and help them process what they're going through,” Lutheran Church Charities President Tim Hetzner said. “They're wonderful listeners and keep what you say confidential. I call them our...

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    Hawthorn Woods resident Al Scaletta holds up his medallion from Monday’s Boston Marathon. He plans to run the Boston Marathon again next year.

    Suburban marathoners: ‘We keep running no matter what’

    Glen Ellyn Runners club member Lee Crumbaugh said Monday’s bombings have made him determined to be at the starting and finishing lines with his fellow runners in Boston next year. “We’re gonna go out of our way to go there next year as a way to kind of say, ‘This kind of thing can’t derail us, and Boston and the people who run (in the marathon) deserve...

Sports

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    Sabres beat Bruins 3-2 in shootout

    After Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres pulled out a comeback win over the Bruins, they had one last gesture to mark the significance of Boston's first pro game since the marathon bombings. Players from both teams gathered at center ice and raised their sticks in a salute to the city and fans who had shouted, "We are Boston" and "USA, USA," during the game.

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    Heat win 66th, top Magic 105-93

    MIAMI (AP) — Dwyane Wade successfully lobbied to play in Miami's regular-season finale, saying he wanted to get a little more work in before the playoffs begin this weekend.He looked more than ready for another postseason run.Wade scored 21 points and handed out 10 assists, Mike Miller added 21 points and the Miami Heat wrapped up the regular season with a 105-93 win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.Orlando finished with the NBA's worst record, 20-62.Miami (66-16) became the 14th team in NBA history to finish with a winning percentage over .800. The Heat have home-court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs and will open their quest for a second straight championship this weekend against the Milwaukee Bucks in an Eastern Conference first-round series."Awesome," Wade said. "It's great. It's a testament to the team being committed and being very consistent all year."The Heat were without LeBron James, who was away from the team for the day while tending to a personal matter and almost certainly would not have played even if he was in the arena anyway. Chris Bosh was in the first starting lineup the Heat submitted Wednesday, before the team changed course about 45 minutes before game time and decided to give him the night off as well."We still have time to get into this mentally," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.Juwan Howard scored 12 points in the 900th start of his career, while Rashard Lewis scored 16 points and Ray Allen scored 10 for Miami.The Heat finished 37-4 at home, and not long after putting together a 27-game winning streak — the second-longest run in NBA history — the defending champs head into the postseason having won a league-best eight in a row."Now we start the real thing," Wade said.Nik Vucevic had 20 points and 13 rebounds for Orlando. Only once have the Magic won fewer games in a season — their inaugural year, going 18-64 in 1989-90.The Heat surely won't mind not seeing Vucevic again until next fall. In three games against Miami this season, Vucevic — who arrived in Orlando as part of the Dwight Howard trade last summer — finished with 65 points and 63 rebounds, getting double-doubles in every outing."It's not a fluke," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. "He's done it on a consistent basis for us. And he's improved ... he's gotten better along the way."Tobias Harris scored 19, Beno Udrih scored 12, Andrew Nicholson scored 12, E'Twaun Moore had 11 and Maurice Harkless finished with 10 for the Magic.Wade has been sidelined for much of the past couple weeks while recovering from bone bruises around his right kneecap. He announced about an hour before the game that he would play, citing a need to improve his conditioning before Game 1 of the postseason.Without James and Bosh in the lineup, he was the clear go-to guy, and responded with 17 first-half points — his most since late February.Orlando, which has known for some time that its season was ending with the final whistle of this game, hardly seemed like a team eager to start its summer vacations. The Magic shot 57 percent in the first half, outplayed Miami for some stretches and went into intermission down just 55-47."I've asked a lot of these guys," Vaughn said.The Magic cut the lead to one point on a pair of occasions in the third, before the Heat closed the quarter on a 16-7 run. And that burst came after Wade checked out for the last time in his 10th regular season.Wade's final shot was a reverse layup, and he appeared to be limping slightly afterward. The Heat took no more chances, getting Wade out of the game at the next stoppage and having trainer Jay Sabol strap icepacks to each of his knees.Wade seemed fine, talking and laughing on the Heat bench not long afterward. And when the last horn went off, the playoffs — and a chance for another title — had finally arrived in Miami.

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    Center Brandon Saad, here battling Anaheim's Saku Koivu for the puck, is a serious contender for the Calder Trophy.

    Coach Q: Saad a clear Calder contender

    In a year when there are several rookies capable of winning the Calder Trophy, Brandon Saad stands out among them, at least in the eyes of his coach. "Definitely in the race, definitely in the mix," Joel Quenneville said. "You could say on top, but from watching him here I might be a little biased, but I'm being objective how good he is during games and how big a factor he is in how our team plays."

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    There’s plenty of blame to go around for why Derrick Rose’s comeback from knee surgery has turned into a big headache.

    Has Rose all but squandered fans' goodwill?

    If Derrick Rose doesn't play until next season, some might view it as a second strike against him in his relationship with Bulls fans. The Bulls' fan base was sympathetic after Rose's injury but some gradually veered toward curiosity and then toward criticism. More and more became more and more aggravated with his reluctance to give a game a go.

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    Bears general manager Phil Emery is not averse to trading down in the first round of the NFL draft if he can obtain extra draft picks in later rounds.

    Bears' Emery eyeing extra draft picks

    Again this year, Bears general manager Phil Emery will have several players targeted when the Bears are on the clock. The biggest difference this year might be that the Bears' G.M. is already looking to trade down and accumulate additional picks.

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    The Bulls’ Nazr Mohammed, right, and Carlos Boozer celebrate during the regular-season finale Wednesday at the United Center. Mohammed scored a season-high 17 points in just 22 minutes of action.

    Bulls' Mohammed makes his mark

    The Bulls probably never envisioned veteran center Nazr Mohammed being one of their most important players heading into the playoffs, but that's the way things are shaping up. While Joakim Noah's health remains a question mark, Mohammed scored a season-high 17 points as the Bulls finished the regular season with a 95-92 win over Washington.

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    Members of a Boston Fire Department honor guard hold flags during the singing of the national anthem at TD Garden in Boston, Wednesday, April 17, 2013, during a pregame ceremony in the aftermath of Monday's Boston Marathon bombings.

    Boston fans mourn, then cheer as sports return

    Emerging from a moment of silence with a deafening cheer, fans at Wednesday night's Bruins game paid tribute to the victims of this week's Boston Marathon bombing with a stirring national anthem and a thunderous chant of "U.S.A.!" The sold-out crowd at the first major sporting event in the city since Monday's attack lined up for metal-detecting wands and random car inspections to get into the TD Garden. Once inside, they watched a somber video with scenes from the race, ending with the words, "We are Boston, We are Strong."

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    Lopez, Blatche help Nets hold off Pistons, 103-99

    Brook Lopez scored 20 points and Andray Blatche added 15 as the playoff-bound Brooklyn Nets held off the Detroit Pistons 103-99 on Wednesday night.

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    Mavs beat Hornets, finish rough season with win

    Darren Collison scored 25 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 16 and the Dallas Mavericks finished their worst season in 13 years on a winning note, beating New Orleans 99-87 in its final game as the Hornets on Wednesday night. The Mavericks (41-41) avoided their first losing record since going 40-42 in 1999-2000 — also the last time they missed the playoffs.

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    The White Sox’ Tyler Flowers blasts a 3-run homer in the second inning Wednesday against the Blue Jays in Toronto.

    Flowers snaps slump after productive day off

    Mired in a 2-for-28 slump that included 14 strikeouts, Tyler Flowers sat out Tuesday's game against the Blue Jays but found time to work on his swing. In Wednesday's 7-0 win at Toronto, Flowers sparked the outcome with a 3-run homer in the second inning.

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    Washington Wizards forward Chris Sigleton, top, fouls Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Wednesday, April 17, 2013. The Bulls won 95-92.

    Coach Thibs not impressed by Bulls’ 3-1 edge over Nets this season

    While the Bulls got a tougher battle than expected with Washington on Wednesday, they still got the anticipated outcome — ending up in the No. 5 spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls will face the Brooklyn Nets and Game 1 is Saturday at the Barclay Center.

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    Wednesday’s girls soccer scoreboard
    High school results from Wednesday's varsity girls soccer games, as reported to the Daily Herald.

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    Wednesday’s girls water polo scoreboard
    High school results from Wednesday's varsity girls water polo matches, as reported to the Daily Herald.

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    Wednesday’s badminton scoreboard
    High school results from Wednesday's varsity girls badminton meets, as reported to the Daily Herald.

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    Wednesday’s boys volleyball scoreboard
    High school results from Wednesday's varsity boys volleyball games, as reported to the Daily Herald.

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    Wednesday’s boys water polo scoreboard
    High school results from Wednesday's varsity boys water polo meets, as reported to the Daily Herald.

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    Red Sox win 5th straight, 6-3 over Indians

    Converted closer Alfredo Aceves coasted through five innings, Mike Napoli and Daniel Nava drove in two runs apiece and the Red Sox, bonded by the tragedy in Boston, struck quickly against Justin Masterson and beat

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    Grizzlies end Jazz playoff hopes with 86-70 win

    Zach Randolph had 25 points and 19 rebounds and the Memphis Grizzlies ended Utah's playoff hopes with an 86-70 victory over the Jazz on Wednesday. The Grizzlies' victory means the Los Angeles Lakers are assured of making the playoffs even before their late game against the Houston Rockets.

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    Philadelphia gives Collins 105-95 win at Indiana

    On a night Jrue Holiday and Spencer Hawes played fewer than 10 minutes, Dorell Wright scored 23 points and Evan Turner added 16 to give coach Doug Collins one more win — perhaps his last win — as the Philadelphia 76ers coach, 105-95 in a meaningless season finale at Indiana.

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    Knicks win finale, Hawks get No. 6 seed in East

    Chris Copeland scored 33 points on a night that belonged to the benches, and the New York Knicks wrapped up their winningest season in 16 years by beating the Hawks 98-92 on Wednesday.

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    Burton makes certain for Mundelein

    Blake Burton and his Mundelein volleyball teammates refused to lose Wednesday night. Burton buried 15 kills and the Mustangs rallied past Warren 20-25, 25-23, 25-19 in a North Suburban Conference thriller.

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    Buffalo Grove goalie Callie Fasching attempts a save during Wednesday’s game at Wheeling.

    Wheeling edges Buffalo Grove

    Wheeling improved to 12-8 overall and 8-1 in Mid-Suburban East girls water polo by holding off visiting Buffalo Grove 7-4 on Wednesday.Kat Dobrowski and Theresa Godlewski both scored 3 goals for the Wildcats.Sarah Morosan scored twice for Buffalo Grove (9-10, 4-5).Wheeling remains tied for first place in the loss column with Hersey in the MSL East with Hersey.Ÿ In nonconference play, visiting Conant came up short 17-10 against Maine South, which is ranked No. 19 by illpolo.com.Angela Skittone had 5 goals and Carmen Rosas had 4 as the Cougars dropped to 9-13 overall.Ÿ In boys water polo, Elk Grove improved to 7-11 overall and 4-5 in the MSL East by topping host Rolling Meadows 20-7.

  •  
    Chicago Bulls center Nazr Mohammed, right, celebrates with forward Carlos Boozer after scoring a basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards in Chicago, Wednesday, April 17, 2013.

    Bulls beat Wizards to lock up No. 5 seed in East

    Carlos Boozer had 19 points and 15 rebounds to help the Chicago Bulls clinch the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference with a 95-92 win over the Washington Wizards in the regular-season finale Wednesday night.

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    Lakes’ Mason Solbrig hits one past Antioch’s Gio Winters, left, and Christian Peterson on Wednesday night at Lakes.

    Hard-hitting Lakes bounces Antioch

    Welcome to the Bounce Club, Richard Galat. Galat joins brothers Mason and Dalton Solbrig in this distinguished club.What is this club all about? It's for any Lakes volleyball player who manages a kill from the storied 10-foot line. It's a kill that goes straight down without a chance of being stopped by an opponent. "This is a big thing on our team," Galat said. "I had my first 10-foot-line kill. It's my first time in the Bounce Club. We were hitting balls out of the gym tonight." It was rivalry night in the Lakes gym Wednesday night. And to be truthful, despite all the heavy hitting by Eagles, stubborn Antioch did not let the Eagles make a mockery of this North Suburban Conference match. Lakes prevailed 25-22, 25-22.

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    Momentum works against Maine West

    Maine West had a strong beginning and a strong finish to each set in Wednesday's match against Niles North. Unfortunately for the Warriors, too many errors in the middle part of both games led to a Central Suburban North loss. The Vikings defeated visiting Maine West 25-20, 25-20 despite seeing the Warriors rally from way behind in both the first and second sets.

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    Rays beat Orioles 6-2 to end 4-game skid

    Kelly Johnson and Shelley Duncan homered, James Loney had three RBIs and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 Wednesday night to snap a four-game skid.

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    Bucks surge past Thunder 95-89 in finale

    Rookie John Henson scored a career-high 28 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, Brandon Jennings had 17 points and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 95-89 Wednesday night in a regular-season finale lacking any postseason implications.

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    Nuggets secure 3rd seed with 118-98 win over Suns

    The Denver Nuggets secured the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs by routing the Phoenix Suns 118-98 on Wednesday night behind 21 points from Wilson Chandler and 20 from Andre Iguodala.

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    Detwiler, Harper lead Nationals past Marlins 6-1

    Ross Detwiler departed with a lead for the third start in a row Wednesday night, and this time the bullpen held on as Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 6-1.

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    Conant grabs Mid-Suburban West lead

    So look who's atop the girls soccer table in the Mid-Suburban West. After drawing with division rival Barrington earlier in the week, Conant pulled 3 points clear of the Fillies in the standings after a 7-0 victory over Wheeling on Wednesday night during yet another dreadful evening of weather which seems to have become the norm this spring.

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    Davis, Francoeur lead Royals past Braves 1-0

    Wade Davis pitched five-hit ball for seven innings, Jeff Francoeur had a fourth-inning RBI single and the Kansas City Royals stopped Atlanta's 10-game spurt with a 1-0 victory Wednesday.

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    Burnett flirts with no-no, Bucs beat Cardinals 5-0

    A.J. Burnett took a no-hitter into the seventh inning nearly 12 years after throwing the only one of his career, pitching the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 5-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.

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    Bruce leads Reds to 1-0, 11-2 wins over Phillies<

    Jay Bruce hits a pair of bases-loaded singles that sent the Cincinnati Reds to a couple of wins on Wednesday, 1-0 over the Philadelphia Phillies in the conclusion of a suspended game and 11-2 in the later one. The Reds completed their first sweep of the Phillies since 1996.

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    Hafner pinch-hit HR in 8th, Yankees beat Arizona

    Travis Hafner had a pinch-hit homer in the eighth inning to make a winner of CC Sabathia, who settled down after a shaky start and helped the New York Yankees beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3 Wednesday night.

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    Warren’s Kristiyan Trukov returns a shot during his match against Stevenson’s Jeremy Bush on Tuesday.

    Marquette-bound Trukov measures up at Warren

    Warren's boys tennis program has produced bunches of terrific players, including All-Americans Dennis Nevolo and Denis Bogatov. But coach Greg Cohen thinks senior Kristiyan Trukov might the best Warren tennis player of them all.

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    Chicago White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers, right, celebrates his three-run home run with teammate Dayan Viciedo, left, during the second inning of a baseball game in Toronto on Wednesday April 17, 2013.

    Flowers hits 3-run homer as White Sox top Jays 7-0

    Tyler Flowers hit a three-run homer and Jose Quintana pitched 6 2-3 innings to lead the Chicago White Sox to a 7-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

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    San Jose Earthquakes defender Dan Gargan, left, and Portland Timbers forward Rodney Wallace battle for the ball during the first half of an MLS match in Portland, Ore.

    Fire player shortage linked to salary cap issues

    If the Chicago Fire is shorthanded this season, it's not just because it's been hurt by a rash of injuries.

  •  

    There’s more than just a name behind track meets

    Who are those guys? Nearly every weekend track athletes and their parents might wonder whose name heads the cover of the program they're holding. In nearly every occasion these folks are not household names, just normal people with passion.

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    April’s cruelty strikes Cubs again

    April indeed has been the cruelest month for the Cubs, given the cold and wet weather. Wednesday's game against the Rangers was postponed, and manager Dale Sveum said conditions make it hard for the team to get in all of its work.

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    Coach Q can’t wait for Classic at Soldier Field

    Joel Quenneville had a ball the last time the Blackhawks played outdoors at Wrigley Field on Jan. 1, 2009.Now he'll get a second chance to do it all over again.This time the venue will be Soldier Field on March 1, 2014, when the Hawks take on the Pittsburgh Penguins, but that won't make it any less enjoyable.

  •  
    Elgin resident Sue Gruner, left, was one second from the finish line Monday when the first bomb exploded at the Boston Marathon.

    Elgin resident Gruner happy to be safely home from Boston

    Being on the right side of the street instead of the left side on Monday may have saved Sue Gruner's life. Gruner, a west Elgin resident, was just getting ready to cross the finish line of her first Boston Marathon when the first bomb of the inexplicable terrorist attack went off. The time on the official clock when the first bomb exploded was 4:09.44. Gruner's official finishing time was 4:09.45. Back home on Wednesday, Gruner shared her experience and the emotions that came with it.

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    Metea Valley trying to build on 2012 success

    Metea Valley's baseball team set a pretty high bar last season. After reaching the Class 4A sectional final a year ago, the young program now has the expectations of more established programs.

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    Tucker likes what he sees in McClellin

    New defensive coordinator Mel Tucker has been impressed with what he's seen so far from last year's first-round draft pick, Shea McClellin. New special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis has some new options for Devin Hester. That and more in Bob Legere's Bears notebook.

  •  

    DePaul signs 6-5 guard from Oak Hill

    Six-foot-5 shooting guard R.J. Curington, an Indiana native who played at Oak Hill Academy, has signed to play basketball at DePaul next season, head coach Oliver Purnell announced Wednesday.

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    The Alabama Rig, also known as the umbrella rig, consists of five wires dispersing from a lead jig head, with swivels and up to five individual lures.

    Be careful — you may not be legally covered with umbrella rigs
    Umbrella rigs, also known as Alabama Rigs, are a relatively new innovation in bass fishing. But Illinois has stringent regulations about how this multiple-lure approach can be employed.

  •  
    Arie Williams

    Tampa rescinds offer to Elgin’s Williams

    The college recruitment of Elgin senior point guard Arie Williams is back to square one. The honorary captain of the 2012-13 Daily Herald all-area boys basketball team in the Fox Valley, a University of Tampa coach told Williams Monday that the scholarship offer he received from the Division II program during an official campus visit on March 29 was rescinded.

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    Bears can still use O-line help

    The addition of two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jermon Bushrod from the Saints and three-year starting guard Matt Slauson from the Jets moved the Bears two steps forward in their journey to improve one of the league's weakest offensive lines.

  •  
    Emmett Cleary during his Boston College career

    Cleary latest Eagle to soar on offensive line

    Arlington Heights native and St. Viator High School graduate Emmett Cleary chose to continue his education and his football career at Boston College in the hopes of becoming the latest in a long line of quality NFL offensive linemen.

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    IHSA clarifies transfer, international student rules

    The Illinois High School Association board of directors approved interpretations on a pair of bylaws for the 2013-2014 school year at its regularly scheduled meeting at the IHSA office in Bloomington on Tuesday. In January, IHSA member schools voted to approve all HYPERLINK "/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.ihsa.org/NewsMedia/Announcements/tabid/93/ID/203/IHSA-Schools-Approve-All-11-Proposals-on-Ballot.aspx"11 bylaws that were proposed by the membership, which will officially take effect on July 1.

  •  

    Montini making its mark

    Seeing a Montini team with a 5-0 record isn't a surprise — certainly not in football. But this spring the Broncos are putting up an impressive record in lacrosse. The Broncos improved to 5-0 with a hard-fought 5-4 overtime win against Marmion on Friday.

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    Cubs starter Matt Garza throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks last season at Wrigley Field.

    Garza scheduled to pitch for Cougars Friday

    Cubs pitcher Matt Garza is epected to pitch for the Kane County Cougars Friday at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark as part of his rehab with the Cubs. Garza is on the mend from a left lat muscle injury, suffered early in spring training. He likely will pitch only 2 innings as he builds up pitching stamina. It won't be the first time Garza has pitched in the Midwest League. A portion of Garza's first professional season in 2005 took place in the Midwest League when he pitched for Beloit, a Minnesota Twins affiliate at the time.

  •  
    Seton Hall's Aaron Cosby (1), a solid outside shooter, will transfer to play for Illini head coach John Groce. Cosby will sit out the upcoming season and have two years of eligibility remaining.

    2 transfers joining Illini basketball team
    Seton Hall guard Aaron Cosby and Illinois State forward Jon Ekey will transfer to Illinois following the completion of the spring semester, Illinois men's basketball coach John Groce announced Wednesday.

  •  

    Bulls announce ‘see red’ playoff campaign

    The Chicago Bulls have announced the official launch of "See Red," the team's 2013 playoff campaign, which asks Bulls fans to show their support by wearing red on all home playoff game days.

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    Illini broadcasts will shift to WSCR 670-AM
    Starting with the 2013 men's basketball season and the 2014 football season, WSCR radio will be the new Chicago affiliate of the Illini Sports Network, school officials announced Wednesday. The multi-year agreement encompasses the football and men's basketball programs, and Illinois director of athletics Mike Thomas said the Score, the CBS Radio-owned 670-AM station, will carry Illini basketball starting with the 2013-14 season and add Illini football in 2014.

  •  

    Mike North video: Boston Marathon Nightmare

    Mike North wonders how do you prevent terrorists from pulling off attacks like the bombing at the Boston Marathon. You can't ban everything. How will marathons in the future be affected? Unfortunately, which big events, especially sporting ones, will be next?

  •  
    Mike Imrem still doesn't believe there will be a World Series title for the Cubs, renovation or no renovation for Wrigley Field.

    There's just no hope for Ricketts' Cubs guarantee

    Tom Ricketts mentions "Cubs" and "World Series" in the same sentence. Sorry, but I just can't believe Ricketts on this one. I already must accept too many of life's mysterious treasures on faith, among them girls, golf and God. To add a Cubs championship to the list is asking too much.

  •  

    Small ball works for Barrington, too

    The area’s top home-run hitting softball team didn’t have a hit leave the park on Tuesday. But Barrington did leave the field with 13 hits and another win. Keenan Dolezal threw a 5-hitter as the Fillies posted an 8-1 victory over defending Mid-Suburban League East champion Elk Grove at the Fields of Dreams.

Business

  •  
    Twitter is introducing a feature that lets advertisers target ads based on words that appear in users’ tweets. Twitter said in a blog post Wednesday that users won’t see any difference in their use of Twitter and the change doesn’t mean ads will show up more frequently.

    Twitter introduces ads targeted at words in tweets

    NEW YORK — Twitter is introducing a feature that lets advertisers target ads based on words that appear in users’ tweets. Twitter said in a blog post this week that users won’t see any difference in their use of Twitter and the change doesn’t mean ads will show up more frequently. Rather, Twitter says this keyword targeting will bring its users ads that are more relevant to them. For example if someone writes a tweet about a band they like, they might see an ad about the band’s upcoming concert nearby. Twitter is privately held and doesn’t disclose revenue figures. Research firm eMarketer, however, expects the San Francisco company’s worldwide ad revenue to hit $583 million this year. Next year it is expected to grow to nearly $1 billion.

  •  
    U.S. stocks fell Wednesday, erasing the biggest rally in three months for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, amid disappointing results by companies from Bank of America Corp. to Textron Inc.

    Stocks fall on signs of slowing global economy

    As evidence of a slowing global economy grows, investors are showing some caution just one week after U.S. stocks hit an all-time high. Stocks fell after lackluster earnings from Bank of America and an apparent drop in demand for Apple's iPod and iPhone dragged financial and technology stocks lower.

  •  
    American Airlines promised to run a near-normal operation on Wednesday, and that would be just fine for the tens of thousands of passengers who were stranded by a mammoth technology meltdown at the nation’s third-biggest airline.

    American Airlines resumes most flights

    American Airlines resumed most flights Wednesday, a day after a massive technology failure forced the nation's third-largest carrier to ground all planes from coast to coast. But some lingering problems remained.

  •  
    Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, who helped write President Barack Obama’s health care law stunned administration officials Wednesday, saying he thinks it’s headed for a “train wreck.”

    Top Dem sees ‘train wreck’ for Obama health law

    A senior Democratic senator who helped write President Barack Obama's health care law stunned administration officials Wednesday, saying openly he thinks it's headed for a "train wreck." "I just see a huge train wreck coming down," said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montrana.

  •  
    Apple Inc. dropped below $400 for the first time since December 2011 after one of its audio-chip suppliers reported an inventory glut that suggests iPhone and iPad sales may fall short of analysts’ expectations.

    Apple stock falls to one-year low on supplier news

    Shares of Apple Inc. fell below $400 for the first time in a year and half on Wednesday, after a supplier hinted at a slowdown in iPhone and iPad production. The stock was down $21.89, or 5.1 percent, at $404.35 in early afternoon trading. Earlier in the day, it hit $398.11, the lowest level since Dec. 2011.

  •  

    Deal approved in Muslims' suit against McDonald's

    A judge on Wednesday finalized a $700,000 settlement between McDonald's Corp. and members of Michigan's Muslim community over claims a suburban Detroit restaurant falsely advertised its food as prepared according to Islamic law.

  •  

    Navistar names Allen Coo as management revamping continues

    Navistar International Corp. named Jack Allen its No. 2 executive as the truckmaker continues to revamp its management.Allen, 55, today was named executive vice president and chief operating officer, effective immediately, Navistar said in a statement.

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    Samsung’s Galaxy S4 phone will go on sale next week

    Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy S4 smartphone, the main challenger to Apple Inc.’s iPhone, will go on sale next week at U.S. carriers, including T-Mobile USA Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp.Seven U.S. carriers and seven retailers will be selling the Galaxy S4, Samsung said in a statement. T-Mobile aims to be first with the device, with an April 24 release date. Sprint will offer the phone on April 27, while AT&T Inc. plans to make it available on April 30. Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. carrier, said today that it hasn’t set a date yet.The Galaxy S4, unveiled last month at a lavish event in New York, represents the biggest threat to the iPhone’s lead in the U.S. market. The phone sports a larger screen, faster processor and higher-resolution camera, putting pressure on Apple to match those capabilities. The next version of the iPhone isn’t expected until later this year.The Samsung phone also provides an opportunity for carriers and stores to jockey for customers. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, plans to offer the device for $168 with a two-year contract from AT&T. Sprint will sell the Galaxy S4 to new customers for $149.99 with a contract, though existing subscribers will pay $249.99.T-Mobile, the fourth-largest U.S. carrier, is using the Galaxy S4 debut to spotlight its new installment-plan approach to selling smartphones. It will offer the phone for a down payment of $149.99, followed by monthly payments. Its offer -- part of its new Simple Choice strategy -- doesn’t require a long-term contract.

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    Abbott’s quarterly profit rose on nutritional product sales

    Libertyville Township-based Abbott Laboratories, the medical device and nutritional products maker that split off its drug unit on Jan. 1, said first-quarter profit rose 55 percent on higher sales of its baby formula and lower taxes.Profit from continuing operations increased to $544 million, or 34 cents a share, from $351 million, or 22 cents, a year earlier, the Abbott Park, Illinois-based company said in a statement. Earnings excluding one-time items of 42 cents a share beat by 1 cent the average of 16 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.Growth in Abbott’s core markets, drug-eluting stents and vascular technologies, remains a “work in progress,” said Danielle Antalffy, an analyst at Leerink Swann Research in New York, in a note to investors. Only sales of nutritional products significantly outperformed expectations, she said. Extension of the 2012 research and development tax credit provided the company with a $103 million favorable tax adjustment.“They did a better job controlling costs,” said Jason McGorman, an analyst at Bloomberg Industries. “Almost every medical device company will also benefit” from the extension of the R&D tax credit, which came in 2013 and covers all of last year, he said.Abbott rose 1.8 percent to $37.04 at 9:43 a.m. New York time. AbbVie Inc., the new North Chicago, -based drug company spun off from Abbott, declined 1.5 percent to $41.81.The company confirmed its 2013 forecast excluding one-time items of $1.98 to $2.04 a share estimated in January.Stent MarketAbbott may have lost some market share for the stents used to prop open closed heart arteries, Antalffy said. The company won U.S. regulatory approval for its novel Xience Xpedition drug-coated stent in January, setting the stage for future growth even as device markets decline worldwide.Sales increased 1.8 percent to $5.38 billion. The company introduced 19 new nutritional products during the quarter, driving global sales of that business up 9 percent.Abbott retained the original company’s medical devices, nutritional products, diagnostic tests and generic drugs. AbbVie, which will report earnings on April 26, retained the brand name drugs, including the best-selling Humira for rheumatoid arthritis.Wisconsin

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    The start of Illinois' growing season is near and state climate experts say soil moisture levels are near normal.

    Ill. soil moisture good a year after drought

    The start of Illinois' growing season is near and state climate experts say soil moisture levels are near normal. Jennie Atkins of the Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois said Tuesday that moisture levels were a little above normal for this time of year near the surface and just below normal a little deeper.

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    Officials in Vermilion County in eastern Illinois are considering changes in where wind turbines can be located.

    Officials hear about Ill. wind turbine concerns

    Officials in Vermilion County in eastern Illinois are considering changes in where wind turbines can be located. At a hearing Monday night in Potomac some people who live near turbines say they now live with annoying low-frequency noises. Ted Hartke lives in a wind-turbine field and says the noise now wakes him up in the middle of the night. Potomac is about 35 miles northeast of Champaign.

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    Lipinski named to panel on freight transportation

    Illinois Congressman Dan Lipinski will take part in an effort in Congress to improve the country's freight transportation network. The Democrat representing parts of Chicago and its southwest suburbs was named Tuesday to serve on a U.S. House panel that will examine the movement of goods on highways, rail lines, inland waterways, planes and through ports.

Life & Entertainment

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    Former Hinsdale resident Jay Chandrasekhar shows off his standup comedy skills at the Laugh Factory in Chicago Friday.

    Weekend picks: Need a laugh after all this rain?

    Sometimes laughter is the best medicine. Comedian, director and Hinsdale native Jay Chandrasekhar shows off his standup comedy skills at the Laugh Factory in Chicago.The Second City brings their brand of funny business on tour with “The Second City: Laughing Matters” at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan. See the Chicago Bliss take on the Los Angeles Temptation when the Legends Football League returns to the Sears Centre.

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    Aluminum wiring connections tend to come loose

    The condo that I'm buying has aluminum wiring. According to my home inspector this is a fire hazard. But he says that correcting the problem in the unit I'm buying doesn't eliminate the issue entirely because the adjoining condos also have aluminum wires, and a fire in one of those dwellings could spread to my unit as well. What he says makes sense, but I'm not sure what to do about it. What do you recommend?

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    How to choose the right summer camp for your kid
    For families with children, there are two catalog seasons. Come Oct. 1, the holiday catalogs start rolling in, just in case you haven't done your holiday shopping by that point and need some suggestions.

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    Mom mentors: It pays to learn from moms of all ages

    Before I became a mother, I had all kinds of opinions and ideas as to how I would parent my own children someday, as well as the results I could expect. For example, I knew I would never count to three to try to make my children obey: children should just obey the first time you tell them to do something.

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    The key to a smooth test day is preparation

    Don't wait until the last minute and pull an all-nighter cramming for a test. Get a good night's sleep. Eat a healthy breakfast. The standard advice for how to prepare for exams has become almost cliché for a reason. According to Colin Gruenwald, director of SAT and ACT programs for Kaplan Test Prep, it's all incredibly important. And parents play a major role in ensuring their kids are ready for test day when it comes to content prep and learning about the test itself.

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    Distillery Tahitian Vanilla Vodka

    Suburban companies create vanilla vodka

    Waukegan-based Nielsen-Massey has joined forces with North Shore Distillery, based in Lake Bluff, for a new spirit, Tahitian Vanilla Vodka. "When we infused Nielsen-Massey's amazing Tahitian vanilla beans into our vodka, we were impressed with the spirit's rich, multidimensional vanilla flavor and velvety texture," said Derek Kassebaum, master distiller.

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    Paul McCartney is adding his voice to Tony Bennett’s campaign against gun violence.

    Paul McCartney lends voice to anti-gun violence effort

    Paul McCartney is adding his voice to Tony Bennett's campaign against gun violence. The former Beatle recorded a voice message that's part of a text-to-call operation Wednesday for Bennett's Voices Against Violence campaign. McCartney and others are encouraging Americans to send a text, which will lead to the singer's message and connect the caller to their local Senate office after providing their ZIP code.

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    Mount Prospect native and past “American Idol” winner Lee DeWyze played the grand opening of Lincolnshire's Viper Alley in 2011. He performs at the venue again on Friday.

    Lee DeWyze boasts new album, new label and a return to Viper Alley

    Buoyed by a new single, a new label and a new album due out later this summer, Lee DeWyze can't help but hum with positivity. The former Mount Prospect native and Season 9 "American Idol" winner is in town Friday, April 19, for a sort of homecoming show at Lincolnshire's Viper Alley. “It's a beautiful venue, it's really great. It's going to be a fun show.”

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    Comedian Tracy Morgan will host the Billboard Music Awards show in Las Vegas.

    Tracy Morgan to host Billboard Music Awards

    Musicians beware: Tracy Morgan will host the Billboard Music Awards. Billboard announced Wednesday that the 44-year-old will host the awards show on May 19 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

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    Put safety first when installing stove in basement

    [No Paragraph Style]NewsQandA with bodyQ. We're considering the purchase of a pellet stove for the basement of our 20-year-old Vermont home. We've read a few archived articles from your column that raised questions regarding whether and/or how to insulate poured concrete walls. Our basement is totally dry, and we don't want to do anything that would compromise it.

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    This April 4, 2013 photo released by NBC shows Jimmy Fallon, host of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” in New York. Lorne Michaels, longtime producer of “Saturday Night Live” says NBC's “Tonight Show” is moving back to New York because it's the right place for Fallon, who will take over the hosting job next year.

    'SNL' producer: NY is best home for Fallon's 'Tonight'

    NBC's "Tonight Show" is moving back to New York because it's the right place for its next host, producer Lorne Michaels said Tuesday. Jimmy Fallon has "the energy of the city," said Michaels, who will produce "Tonight" when Fallon takes the show over from Jay Leno next year.

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    This Nov. 15, 2007 file photo shows Craig Zadan, left, and Neil Meron, producers of the film “Hairspray” at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film presented to actor John Travolta in Santa Barbara, Calif. Zadan and Meron will produce the Oscars again. The film academy announced Tuesday, April 17, 2013, that it has invited Zadan and Meron to return for the 2014 Academy Awards telecast.

    Oscar producers Zadan, Meron to return in 2014

    Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will produce the Oscars again. The film academy announced Tuesday that it has invited Zadan and Meron to return for the 2014 Academy Awards telecast, and the two producers said they're honored to come back.

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    Shelah (Cheryl Lynn Bruce) gets down on her knees in prayer in Steppenwolf Theatre Company's production of “Head of Passes” by ensemble member Tarell Alvin McCraney.

    Steppenwolf's 'Head of Passes' a deeply affecting drama

    “Head of Passes” comes on as a conventional African-American drama. At first, it could almost be a “Hallmark Hall of Fame” TV special featuring Cicely Tyson, with its playful, teasing, if sometimes pointed family dynamic. Even terminally white Steppenwolf trouper Tim Hopper, as the family physician, gets down with his bad self before the first act is over.

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    Spiced peaches brighten up chicken salad.

    Spring chicken: Salads the way to lighten up warm-weather meals

    As the weather warms and we shed our winter sweaters, so too must our food shed its winter layers. "Chicken is a good lean protein go-to all year long," says Lucy Danzinger, editor-in-chief at Self magazine and author of "The Drop10 Diet Cookbook" (Ballantine, 2013). And the way to dress chicken for spring is in salads.

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    White beans and carrots work with chicken for a light, spring dinner.

    Balsamic Chicken, White Bean and Carrot Salad
    Kosher salt2-3 medium carrots (6 ounces total), cut into ¼-inch thick matchsticks about 1½ inches long2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar2 tablespoons red wine vinegar2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives¼ teaspoon sugarFreshly ground black pepper6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil1 pound cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut or torn into bite-size pieces1¾ cups cooked or canned no-salt-added Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed2 large ribs celery (4 ounces total), cut into ¼-inch diceBring a small pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Prepare a medium bowl of ice water.Once the water comes to a boil, add the carrot matchsticks. Cook 1 minute, then drain and transfer to the ice-water bath to sit for 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry; place in a mixing bowl.In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic and red wine vinegars, mustard, chives and sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in the oil in a slow, steady stream to form an emulsified dressing. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed, then add the dressing to the carrots along with the chicken, beans and celery. Toss to coat and combine. Let the salad sit at room temperature for 15 minutes — or better yet, in the refrigerator for a day — to meld flavors.Bring to room temperature before serving.Serves seven to eight.Nutrition values per serving (assumes eight): 240 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated), 12 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 21 g protein, 50 mg cholesterol, 85 mg sodium.Stephanie Witt Sedgwick for The Washington Post

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    Spiced peaches brighten up chicken salad.

    Chicken Salad with Spiced Peaches
    Chicken Salad with Spiced Peaches

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    Apple, carrots and cilantro lighten this peanutty Thai Chicken Salad.

    Thai Chicken Salad
    Thai Chicken Salad

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    Southern barbecue sauce kicks up an Angus Burger at Confetti's in Gurnee.

    Confetti's in Gurnee gives diners American cuisine with a twist

    A walkway flanked by two towers of fire greets diners on the way into Confetti's in Gurnee. The restaurant first heated up the Lake County food scene in January, and the enthusiasm hasn't cooled since. The parking lot always seems full and our dinner reservation was met with a nearly packed dining room.

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    The music of the Beastie Boys will be re-created during a night of tribute bands at Durty Nellie's.

    Music notes: ’90s faves at Durty Nellie’s

    Attention, time travelers: Durty Nellie's in Palatine will be hosting three tribute bands this weekend that pay homage to music of the 1990s. Or head to Penny Road Pub in Barrington to hear rapper and in-demand hip-hop producer Jelly Roll.

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    A specialty seafood buffet is offered Friday evenings at the Indulge Show Kitchen Buffet.

    Dining events: Grand Victoria opens Indulge Show Kitchen Buffet

    Indulge Show Kitchen Buffet opens with a cooking demonstration for diners; Pinstripes' breaks out the patio furniture for outdoor dining; Retro Bistro's presents some new daily specials.

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    Steve Earle & The Dukes (& Duchesses), “The Low Highway”

    Steve Earle’s album finds reason for optimism

    On "The Low Highway," Steve Earle surveys the landscape, sings about a world of hurt and still musters optimism. Earle has been writing about the places he has been and how he fits in ever since his 1986 breakthrough debut, "Guitar Town." He crafted "Low Highway" as his road album, recorded with his crack stage band, and you can almost hear the tour bus tires sing.

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    Iron & Wine, “Ghost on Ghost”

    Iron & Wine’s latest another step forward

    Sam Beam, the South Carolina-born musician who releases music as Iron & Wine, first made his mark with sparsely arranged, mostly acoustic tunes. Listening to his fifth album "Ghost on Ghost," one could not be faulted for believing it to be the work of a completely different artist.

Discuss

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    Editorial: Save money, drop state’s No. 2 post

    A bill that would lead to the elimination of the state's lieutenant governor position is a smart one and hopefully will lead to more consolidation of offices, a Daily Herald editorial says.

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    Food aid programs need more flexibility

    Columnist Michael Gerson: For the last decade, aid reformers have asked: Why couldn't a portion of food aid be purchased regionally — in Africa, say, rather than the American Midwest — or given directly to individuals in vouchers so they can buy in (and strengthen) local agriculture markets? This has not, understandably, been popular with American agribusinesses, shipping companies and maritime unions. But Congress granted the George W. Bush administration limited flexibility to experiment with more direct forms of assistance.

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    Not trying to take away your rights
    A Glen Ellyn letter to the editor: I am getting sick and tired of the cries that the government is trying to take away your right to bear arms. Isn't there anyone out there with common sense who understands that the people who are advocating gun laws are only referring to assault weapons and high capacity ammo clips?

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    ‘You gotta wanna’ worked miracles
    A McHenry letter to the editor: Bob Riek was my wrestling coach in 1964 at Maine East High School. His favorite saying was, "Son, you gotta wanna." To a kid in need of a father figure at the time, I couldn't have asked for a better one. I was never a great wrestler, and when I'd look up for help, it would always be, "Son, you gotta wanna."

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    Liberal politicians will take your money
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: Start broadening your reading, starting with the financial newspapers (unless you're anti-business), to get a view of where this administration is taking us. Not a favorable picture. Please get your head out of the sand. Where have you been the past four years?

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    Will 2015 really be the Cubs’ year?
    A Hoffman Estates letter to the editor: As a longtime Cubs fan I appreciated Barry Rozner's March 31 column, "Familiar feelings dominate Opening Day." Like many other prognosticators, he seems to feel 2015 might be the first possibility for Cub success.

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