Daily Archive : Thursday May 16, 2013



    Chicago Archdiocese ordains 10 priests, 3 from Northwest suburbs

    Francis Cardinal George ordained 10 priests Saturday at Holy Name Cathedral, including three from the Northwest suburbs and three who will serve at parishes in Lake County.

    Nonprofit Save-A-Vet wants to open a home for disabled vets and their service dogs in the former Bowes Retirement Center at 105 Gifford St.

    Disabled vets may find new home in Elgin

    A home for disabled veterans — including military, law enforcement and emergency responders — injured in the line of duty, as well as their service dogs, might be headed to Elgin. The home would be run by Save-A-Vet nonprofit organization in the former Bowes Retirement Center at 105 Gifford St., Mayor David Kaptain said.

    Tap House Grill is looking to take over the former Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant site in Des Plaines' Metropolitan Square. The city council will review the proposal June 3.

    New eatery on tap for Des Plaines' Metropolitan Square

    Tap House Grill is looking to take over the former Cheeseburger in Paradise site in Des Plaines' Metropolitan Square. The eatery already operates eight restaurants in the Chicago area. The proposal received a green light from the city's Economic Development Commission earlier this week and plans for the downtown location will be reviewed by the city council at its first meeting in June.


    Crash closes Rt. 31 in Crystal Lake for nearly an hour

    Crystal Lake police are investigating a one-car crash that closed down Route 31 for nearly an hour Thursday afternoon and caused Nicor and ComEd to check for possible utility damage. Police said the driver reported his brakes failed as he was traveling north on Route 31 just before 4:30 p.m., and he jumped from the car.


    Itasca parents still trying to save school programs

    It appears likely Itasca Elementary District 10 will begin classes next fall with fewer middle school programs. Nevertheless, parents in the district still hope to convince the school board to reverse a decision to eliminate seventh-grade Spanish, family and consumer science, and a media center director position at F.E. Peacock Middle School. “We feel pretty defeated, but there’s always hope,”...

    Faced with a trio of controversies, President Barack Obama is trying to halt a perception spreading among both White House opponents and allies that he has been passive and disengaged as unexpected developments consume his second term.

    Badgered: Obama acts, but Republicans unsatisfied

    President Barack Obama, seeking to regain his footing amid controversies hammering the White House, named a temporary chief for the scandal-marred Internal Revenue Service Thursday and pressed Congress to approve new security money to prevent another Benghazi-style terrorist attack.

    Rafael Cruz stands in the plant nursery where he works in Homestead, Fla. From Hidalgo, Mexico, he is hopeful immigration reform will allow him to travel to Mexico with his two children to introduce them to their grandparents, and see the home, store and coffee plantation he bought for his family with the money he has sent home since he started working in the U.S. in 1996.

    House immigration group reaches a deal

    A bipartisan band of House members working on a comprehensive immigration bill has reached an agreement in principle, lawmakers said Thursday, after talks dragged on for months and appeared stalled earlier in the day.

    Geneva lottery winner Ricardo Cerezo poses with a ceremonial check at the 7-Eleven at 2411 W. Sullivan Road in Aurora, where he purchased the winning ticket.

    Cookie jar yields jackpot for Geneva man

    A Geneva man who says he had a mountain of bills and was facing eviction is now a multimillionaire thanks to a lottery ticket he bought months ago in Aurora and only recently found in a cookie jar in his kitchen.

    Eric Stallworth Jr.

    Man charged in Aurora gang rap argues arrest was illegal

    One of three men charged in a gang rape of a drunk woman in Aurora is fighting to have his statements to police banned from court. The attorney for Eric Stallworth Jr., 22, argues he repeatedly asked to speak to his attorney and was denied a phone call before making a statement to police.


    College student killed while home on break

    A former West suburban high school track star, home after his first year in college, has died after being shot while sitting in the back seat of an automobile. Deshawn McCarty ran track and played football and basketball at Proviso East High School in Maywood. He was attending North Dakota State University on scholarship.

    Rosaleen Waters, left, with her niece and goddaughter, Kiera Shorey. Waters died Tuesday morning after she was struck by a car while riding her bicycle across Higgins Road near Route 53 on the Busse Woods Trail.

    Husband mourns Busse Woods bicyclist killed crossing Higgins Road

    An Elk Grove Village woman struck and killed by a car Tuesday while riding her bicycle on the Busse Woods trail was "the most experienced, careful rider out there," her husband said. Rosaleen Waters' death has her husband, Tony, calling for a renewed effort to build a pedestrian bridge over Higgins Road near the intersection where she was killed.


    Pension cost shift talks continue

    House Speaker Michael Madigan said he’ll be talking with school leaders over the next week about a plan to have suburban and downstate schools pay millions of dollars toward teachers’ pension costs.


    Marmion Academy sued over science experiment gone awry

    A Marmion Academy high school student has sued for injuries suffered during a May 2010 science experiment in which his body was coated with a protective compound and lit on fire. Zachary Bennett, 18, of Aurora, argues a science teacher was negligent when he changed an experiment to coating Bennett's entire body while standing up instead of just his hand. Bennett slipped on the wet floor while on...


    Memorial walk in Arlington Heights helps fight teen depression

    Hundreds are expected to gather in Arlington Heights on Sunday morning for the 2nd annual Gina Giancola Memorial 5K Walk/Run.The event supports a foundation Gina's family started to raise awareness about teenage depression. More than 400 people attended the walk last year.


    ‘Biochar’ company may bring plant to Kane Co.

    Kane County Board members learned the workings of how to turn organic waste into synthetic coal, an industry that may try to come to the county. Company representatives said the establishment of such a plant could generate more than 100 jobs. But the industry is still in its youth and officials want to make sure it doesn’t do more harm than good.

    Dr. Peter Pleotis

    Suburban doctor remembered as caring leader, excellent surgeon

    A portrait of Dr. Peter Pleotis still hangs in the doctors’ lounge at Northwest Community Hospital, some 14 years after he retired. The former obstetrician and gynecologist, who practiced 37 years at the hospital, left a standard that his colleagues still measure themselves against. Dr. Pleotis died Monday from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was 82.

    The Rev. Debra Davis signed up for a Cook County program, called CountyCare, when she left her job to deal with health problems and lost her health insurance. If Illinois lawmakers fail to pass the expansion of Medicaid under the nation’s health care law, Cook County’s program will be in jeopardy.

    Medicaid expansion debate ahead in Illinois House

    The Illinois House is gearing up to consider a key part of President Barack Obama’s health care law, an expansion of Medicaid that would provide coverage to low-income adults who don’t have children at home. House Democrats warn that failure to expand Medicaid would lead to unintended consequences. Republicans say they have concerns about future costs.

    FEMA employee Sally Stribling talks Thursday with flood victim Robert DeVincentis of Lisle in the newly opened FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in the Lisle Police Department. Officials say the center will remain open until residents and business owners no longer need it.

    FEMA’s Lisle recovery center to stay open as long as needed

    Dozens of home and business owners visited FEMA’S Disaster Recovery Center on Thursday during its first day of operation at the Lisle Police Department. Those affected by last month’s floods can get help to apply for federal assistance in the form of FEMA grants and low-interest loans to cover uninsured costs ranging from repairs to alternative housing. “We want to talk to people who are insured...


    Tenants group sues Chicago Housing Authority

    Longtime tenants are suing the Chicago Housing Authority, alleging it reneged on pledges to return them to their neighborhood after redevelopment.


    Selling embezzler’s assets wasn’t smooth, marshals say

    The U.S. Marshals Service finished selling the former Dixon comptroller’s belongings this month to raise restitution. Rita Crundwell is serving a federal prison sentence after pleading guilty to stealing more than $53 million from the city over two decades.


    8 indicted in ‘hotline’ heroin sales

    Seven men and one woman have been indicted for heroin trafficking on Chicago’s West Side that involved customer calls to a kind of drug-dealer hotline, authorities said.


    Chicago to renovate Navy Pier, build arena

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel is announcing a multi-million dollar renovation plan that includes remodeling Navy Pier and building a 10,000-seat basketball arena near McCormick Place that would be the home court of DePaul University’s basketball teams. In a news release on Thursday, Emanuel’s office says the first phase of a $278 million project to renovate Navy Pier will begin in the fall and will cost...


    Fox Valley police reports
    Fox blotter


    All veterans invited to Arlington Heights parade

    The Arlington Heights Memorial Day Parade is inviting all veterans, including those who serving in the most recent conflicts in the Middle East, to march in the 2013 parade for the first time. In 2012, all Vietnam veterans were invited to march in the parade, and this year organizers are extending the invitation to all veterans who have served in the past 25 years, said Greg Padovani, chairman of...

    A trucking company trailer landed on a car that was parked in front of a home Wednesday in Cleburne, Texas, after a powerful storm went through Wednesday night. Neighbors say the trailer was parked on the street and was rolled over onto the car.

    10 tornadoes whip through North Texas; 6 dead

    Ten tornadoes touched down in several small communities in North Texas overnight, leaving at least six people dead, dozens injured and hundreds homeless. Emergency responders were still searching for missing people Thursday afternoon. The National Weather Service gave a preliminary estimate of Wednesday night’s violent system, saying a tornado in Granbury had wind speeds between 166 mph and 200...

    Crushed autos sit amid the rubble of destroyed homes as emergency personnel continue search efforts to locate unaccounted for people in the Rancho Brazos neighborhood in Granbury, Texas, Thursday, May 16, 2013. A rash of tornadoes slammed into several small communities in North Texas overnight, leaving at least six people dead, dozens more injured and hundreds homeless.

    Images: Texas Tornados
    Ten tornadoes touched down in several small communities in North Texas overnight, leaving at least six people dead, dozens injured and hundreds homeless. Emergency responders were still searching for missing people Thursday afternoon.

    A plan in the Illinois Senate would let suburbs make some of their own rules about where people could carry a concealed weapon.

    Senate gun plan would let towns set limits

    Many individual suburbs would get the opportunity to decide where people could carry concealed guns under a plan approved by a Senate committee today. The proposal does not limit the kind of restrictions suburbs could impose, but they couldn't ban concealed carry completely. "If you get a community that is very restrictive it could trample on someone's second amendment rights," said Senate...


    Libertyville golf grand opening

    Studio 59, which specializes in short game instruction, is hosting a grand opening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 18 at the Libertyville golf course, 870 Country Club Drive.


    Federal flood assistance

    Grants, temporary housing, home repairs and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs are available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to Lake County residents and businesses affected by recent flooding.


    Authors discuss publishing in digital age

    Producing, Publishing and Writing a Book in the Digital Age is the topic of a free program at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 22 at the The Stevenson Center on Democracy 25200 N. St. Mary's Road, Mettawa


    Antioch Rescue Squad event

    Antioch Rescue Squad plans several activities to celebrate National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week, May 19 to 25.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Tri blotter


    Roselle surveying residents about services

    Roselle residents are being asked how much they value village services in an online survey that will continue through May 31 at www.roselle.il.us/survey. Data collected from the survey, along with additional feedback from residents during Town Hall meetings scheduled for this fall, will provide the village board with a springboard for dialogue about the future of service delivery in Roselle.


    Roselle staging mock prom accident

    The Roselle fire and police departments, in partnership with Lake Park High School, will conduct a mock "Prom Accident" assembly at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, at Lake Park High School West Campus, 500 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., to educate students about the dangers of driving distracted and/or driving under the influence of alcohol. Lake Park celebrates prom on May 25.

    Richard Rogers

    Longtime plan commissioner joins Mount Prospect board

    One of the first things Mount Prospect Mayor Arlene Juracek did after being sworn in to office earlier this month was appoint Richard Rogers to replace her as a trustee on the village board. He and Juracek have served together in local government before, when both were members of the village's planning and zoning commission.


    Go behind the scenes of ‘Star Trek’ at Warren Newport Library

    "Star Trek" fans are invited to enjoy a trivia-filled, free presentation, "The History of Star Trek: From Concept to Screen," at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Warren Newport Library in Gurnee.

    Jim Bailey

    Carol Stream library board gives president power to sell property

    The newly seated Carol Stream library board is giving its president the power to negotiate a sale — or lack of a sale — of its Kuhn Road property. It's the same authority the old board granted to its president that new board members objected to while campaigning for their seats.

    Residents of homes throughout Mount Prospect will be offering all kinds of items for sale this weekend during the 20th annual Mount Prospect Villagewide Garage Sale. The sale kicks off Friday and runs through Sunday.

    Community garage sale hits 20 years in Mount Prospect

    In the market for some baseball cards? How about some dining chairs, or a men's bicycle, or a children's basketball hoop? All of these items and many, many more will be for sale this weekend at the 20th annual Mount Prospect Villagewide Garage Sale, and at rock-bottom prices. The residents of more than 420 homes located all over town will be participating.

    Jereme Richmond

    Richmond pleads not guilty to harassing a witness charges

    A former standout high school basketball star from Lake County is back in jail after threatening his female probation officer who was scheduled to testify against him, authorities said. Jereme Richmond, 21, of the 2000 bock of Arthur Drive in Waukegan, pleaded not guilty to three counts of harassing a witness.

    President Barack Obama speaks under an umbrella held by a Marine as a light rain falls during a news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Thursday in the Rose Garden of the White House. Obama also addressed the controversy over IRS targeting specific organizations .

    Obama: No special prosecutor to investigate IRS

    President Barack Obama dismissed the idea of a special prosecutor to investigate the Internal Revenue Service Thursday, saying probes by Congress and the Justice Department should be able to figure out who was responsible for improperly targeting tea party groups when they applied for tax-exempt status.


    S. Elgin middle school hosting a 3K walk Saturday

    Kenyon Woods Middle School in South Elgin is hosting a 3K Care Walk on Saturday aimed at giving back to the community. Students picked a plan to build an all-inclusive playground at SEBA Park in South Elgin. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with a minimum $25 donation/pledge.


    Naperville driving range to be dedicated

    The driving range at Naperbrook Golf Course will be named the :"Glen Ekey Driving Range" on May 18 in honor of former Naperville Park District director Glen Ekey.


    Hoffman Estates public works, police host open houses this weekend

    Hoffman Estates will host open houses this weekend for two departments. Get a free tour of the public works facility and meet with crew members and supervisors from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 18, at the Susan H. Kenley-Rupnow Public Works Center, 2305 Pembroke Ave. The inaugural open house at the Hoffman Estates Police Department will take place on Sunday, May 19, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at...


    Obama: Congress must ‘fully fund’ embassy security

    President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to "fully fund" his administration's budget request for embassy security. The request comes as Obama seeks to get ahead of the controversy over his administration's response to the attack last September in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. Obama said he has been working with Democrats and Republicans. He says he needs congressional help to...


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    A male driver stole the cellphone from a woman driver during a traffic altercation, Des Plaines police reports said. The female driver rear-ended the male and continued driving. The male driver checked the damage to his vehicle, then resumed driving, catching up to the Lancer stopped at a red light. He sidwswiped the female's vehicle and, when the female victim got out of her car, grabbed her...

    Allegations of sexual assault in the military have triggered outrage from local commanders to Capitol Hill and the Oval Office. “We’re losing the confidence of the women who serve that we can solve this problem,” the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, said Wednesday.

    Obama calls meeting on military sex assault

    The nation's top defense leaders were summoned to the White House Thursday to talk about the military's escalating sexual assault crisis as the Pentagon's top general said women in uniform were losing confidence the problem will be solved.

    Defense attorney Kirk Nurmi addresses the jury during the sentencing phase of the Jodi Arias murder trial at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix. On Tuesday, Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott asked a judge for permission to withdraw from the case. The request was denied.

    Arias lawyers wanted to withdraw but were denied

    Attorneys for Jodi Arias asked to step down from the case after their client was convicted of first-degree murder, but a judge denied the request. Legal experts have said that Arias complicated efforts for her defense when she gave an interview minutes after her conviction saying that she preferred death over life in prison.


    $10 million bond set in Mother’s Day shooting

    The suspect in a Mother's Day parade shooting in New Orleans has made his first court appearances. Akein Scott, 19, faces 20 charges of attempted second-degree murder. He made two court appearances Thursday morning.

    The Grand fire releases a large plume of smoke as it burns more than 3,500 acres of wild lands near California’s Frazier Park on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. Cooler temperatures and lighter winds are helping hundreds of firefighters combat the blaze that has blackened rugged terrain in the Los Padres National Forest.

    Fire burns 3,500 acres in Calif. national forest

    Cooler temperatures and lighter winds gave hundreds of firefighters a slight reprieve Thursday with a 3,500-acre wildfire that has blackened rugged terrain in the Los Padres National Forest.


    Honesty about emotions can head off conflict at home

    Within a minute or two of when your wife, child, parent or husband gets home, you know exactly what type of day they've had, our Ken Potts says. All of us live in a variety of worlds — work, school, a team, church, home, etc. — each with its own stresses, strains, disappointments and satisfactions. That's life. That can also be trouble for our relationships, Potts says.

    O.J. Simpson removes his glasses as he testifies during an evidentiary hearing in Clark County District Court, Wednesday, May 15, 2013 in Las Vegas. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine to 33-year sentence as a result of his October 2008 conviction for armed robbery and kidnapping charges, is claiming he had such bad representation that his conviction should be reversed.

    O.J. Simpson tells story of fateful weekend

    O.J. Simpson, a former star athlete who once lived for the spotlight, was back on stage telling the grim story of the Las Vegas afternoon in 2007 that sent him to prison. No longer the glamorous celebrity in an expensive suit, Simpson wore a drab prison uniform during Wednesday's court appearance as he settled back in the witness chair and talked his heart out for five hours trying to convince a...

    Tom Zawistowki, founder of the nonprofit Ohio Liberty Coalition, one of the region’s largest groups affiliated with the national tea party movement, poses with a binder of documents he gave to the IRS, in Kent, Ohio.

    Tea Party groups call IRS process ‘nightmare’

    Anger over President Barack Obama's policies drove businessman Tom Zawistowski to file with the IRS nearly three years ago to create the Ohio Liberty Coalition. The group raised thousands of dollars to bus activists to rallies, run phone banks, and knock on doors. All the while, the group fought the IRS over its tax-exempt status. "They expected me to turn over the names of our members to the...

    A portion of a page of emails that the White House released Wednesday, May 15, 2013, that document how the Obama administration crafted its public talking points immediately following the Sept. 11, 2012, deadly attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.

    GOP demands more despite Benghazi email release

    The White House release of some 100 pages of emails and notes about the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, last year has failed to satisfy congressional Republicans, who are demanding more information. "Why not release all of the unclassified documents?" said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

    Ali Arar holds his one-year-old wounded son, Aqeel Ali, at the scene of a car-bomb attack in the Sadr City neighborhood in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, May 16, 2013. A car bomb explosion in a sprawling Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad has killed and wounded dozens of people, officials said.

    Car bombs, shooting in Iraq leave 17 dead

    Car bombs struck Shiite neighborhoods of the Iraqi capital and a northern city on Thursday, killing 16 people, while gunmen in Baghdad shot dead the brother of a Sunni lawmaker, officials said. The attacks followed a wave of bombings Wednesday that also struck in mainly in Shiite neighborhoods, killing 33 people and raising concerns over a return to the sectarian bloodshed in Iraq.

    A U.S. soldier arrives to the scene where a suicide car bomber attacked a NATO convoy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, killing at least 15 people including two American soldiers and four civilian contractors, officials said.

    Afghanistan: Bomb kills 15, including 2 Americans

    A suicide bomber rammed his car into a U.S. convoy in Kabul on Thursday, killing at least 15 people including two American soldiers and four civilian contractors, officials said. The brazen attack made May the deadliest month this year for coalition forces.

    The operators of Indiana’s largest wind farm are proposing changing the nighttime operations of the farm’s 300-plus wind turbines to protect endangered Indiana bats from being killed by the turbines’ spinning blades.

    Top Indiana wind farm drafts bat-protection plans

    he operators of Indiana's largest wind farm are proposing changing the nighttime operations of the farm's 300-plus wind turbines to protect endangered Indiana bats from being killed by the turbines' spinning blades. Two of the mouse-sized federally protected species have been found dead since 2009 near wind turbines at northwestern Indiana's Fowler Ridge Wind Farm — a discovery that meant...

    A customer receives her Powerball ticket Wednesday at a Baker's supermarket in Omaha, Neb.

    No Powerball winner, jackpot soars

    The winning numbers drawn Wednesday night: 2, 11, 26, 34, 41 and a Powerball of 32. The next drawing will be held Saturday.Wednesday's jackpot was considered the third largest in Powerball history and the seventh largest overall. A jackpot of $475 million ranks as the second largest for Powerball and third biggest overall.

    Ron Sandack

    State representative drops from GOP chairman race
    A candidate for the chairmanship of the Illinois Republican Party who supports gay marriage has pulled out of contention for the post. State Rep. Ron Sandack of Downers Grove told the Chicago Sun-Times he doesn't have the needed Republican Central Committee votes.

    Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville will be open seven days a week through October.

    Illinois historic sites extend hours for season
    Six Illinois historic sites are operating seven days a week for the convenience of tourists traveling in the spring and summer. Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville will be open seven days a week through October. Lewis and Clark in Hartford, the Lincoln-Herndon Law Office in Springfield and the Old State Capitol in Springfield will be open seven days a week through Labor Day.

    An agreement has been reached to restore and preserve one of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s best-known works. Unity Temple in the suburban Chicago community of Oak Park was completed in 1908. It was Wright’s first public building.

    Deal reached to restore Frank Lloyd Wright temple

    An agreement has been reached to restore and preserve one of architect Frank Lloyd Wright's best-known works. Unity Temple in the suburban Chicago community of Oak Park was completed in 1908. It was Wright's first public building.

    The city of Morrison in northwestern Illinois wants to have its downtown business district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    City of Morrison wants downtown historic district

    MORRISON — The city of Morrison in northwestern Illinois wants to have its downtown business district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


    Trust in God to answer your prayer requests

    We can show God that we trust him when we don't hastily abandon a prayer request. We must keep in mind faithful prayers will develop into faithful results, says columnist Annettee Budzban

    A medic helicopter landed on I-290 at Rt. 83 in Bensenville on Wednesday after a truck overturned on the exit ramp.

    Dawn Patrol: Coach charged in hazing; 18 virtual-school appeals

    Former Maine West coach charged in hazing. Virtual charter school firm must file 18 appeals. Carol Stream library president gets power. Arne Duncan visits U-46. Truck driver hurt after I-290 crash rollover. Elgin police honor the fallen. Young motorcycle driver dies in Elgin Twp. crash. Bulls fight right to the finish. Blackhawks beat Detroit 4-1 in series opener. Illini Caravan visits suburbs.


    Kane County has long list of flood projects after recent storm

    While major sections of unincorporated Kane County were under water in the recent floods, other sections that flooded for years were much drier than even in the big storms of 2007 and 2008. That's thanks to more than $3.6 million in flood mitigation work by the county over the last three years. But addressing the remaining problem areas is all about money. The county funds these projects through...

    Eduardo Lopez Soriano, a fifth-grader from Lakewood School in Carpentersville, is one of 12 winners of the 2013 National Scholastic All-Star Award, which goes to students who overcome obstacles by learning to read and turning their academic careers around. Eduardo vastly improved his reading ability, despite several significant challenges.

    Carpentersville boy beats obstacles to win award

    When teacher Kelly Uehlein nominated fifth-grade student Eduardo Lopez Soriano for a national reading award, she purposefully omitted the fact that he has a genetic condition called ectodermal dysplasia that inhibits his ability to speak. "I wanted him to be considered and recognized because of who he is, and his achievement," said Uehlein, who teaches bilingual fifth grade at Lakewood School in...

    Chick-fil-A seeks to build on Rand Road in Kildeer where the Muddy Paws shelter once stood.

    Chick-fil-A looks to build on Muddy Paws site, gets direction from Kildeer panel

    Concerns ranging from emergency vehicle access to landscaping are to be addressed by Chick-fil-A as the company seeks to build in Kildeer on the former Muddy Paws shelter site on Rand Road. Kildeer plan commission members made several requests of Chick-fil-A during a meeting Tuesday night and will address the proposal again on or before its next scheduled session June 11.

    For the next few weeks, suburban skunks are busy giving birth to new litters of little stinkers.

    Little stinkers usher in suburban skunk season

    A glimpse of a possible mountain lion in the suburbs merits headlines. Coyotes grab plenty of attention. But the animal causing a stink in the suburbs these days is the skunk. A decade ago, a rabies epidemic knocked down the skunk population, but “over the past two or three years or so, the skunk populations have been higher,” says Tim Preuss, wildlife biologist with the Lake County...

    Kennedy Khalimsky, 6, of Palatine and her mom, Edan Gelt, react to the bedroom makeover provided by the new Chicago-area chapter of Special Spaces National. Kennedy has been diagnosed with leukemia and is undergoing treatment.

    Palatine girl with leukemia gets bedroom makeover

    Kennedy Khalimsky's bedroom hasn't always brought her comfort. That's been the case since February 2012, at least, when the 6-year-old from Palatine was diagnosed with leukemia. Volunteers with Special Spaces hope that will change after transforming the room into a Victorian-era princess retreat. "Never, ever, could I have done that for her," her mother said.


    Biggest threat is Washington pols
    A Batavia letter to the editor: Reading the newspaper and seeing the news on television, it is becoming clearer to me that the biggest threat to our nation is, with a few exceptions, the do-nothing representatives and senators in Washington who are way more interested in pleasing lobbyists and special interest groups than their constituents.


    No surprises: tax bill goes up again
    No surprises: tax bill goes up againWell, the tax bills came and no surprises here. Once again in this down economy where property and home values are still downward, our Kane County taxes increased by $682.78.


    Employment picture is hardly rosy
    ASleepy Hollow letter to the editor: As unemployment fell to 7.5 percent in April, its lowest level since December, 2008, the pool of available workers remains substantial. There are still 11.7 million Americans looking for work with 4.4 million of them searching for six months or more. More troubling are the 6.1 million 15- to 24-year-old Americans who are neither employed or studying.

    The Wilkinson house at 124 N. Main St. is one stop on the Kiwanis Club of Lombard’s 10th annual house walk, “Over the Threshold — A Tour of Distinctive Lombard Homes.” The Victorian house was built in 1885.

    House walk spotlights old, new of Lombard architecture

    Two Victorian homes built in 1885, two large homes built in the last eight years and the Victorian Cottage Museum built in 1882 will be open for public tours Friday, May 17, as the Kiwanis Club of Lombard presents its 10th annual Lilac Time house walk, "Over the Threshold — A Tour of Distinctive Lombard Homes." The old and the new blend together in a small area, showing the architectural...


    Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney has continued to play Gold Glove defense, and he also has been able to pick up his offense of late.

    Cubs gaining confidence with each series win

    As long and as grinding as baseball seasons are, they go by pretty quickly. Believe it or not, the Cubs have reached the quarter pole of the 2013 season. They scored a small moral victory Wednesday night, moving percentage points out of last place and improving to 17-23. A year ago after 40 games, the Cubs were 15-25, having fallen 10 games under .500 for the first time in the season on the way to a 61-101 finish.

    The Red Wings’ Pavel Datsyuk, here controlling the puck past Michal Handzus, remains very much on the minds of the Blackhawks.

    Blackhawks know battle with Red Wings has just begun

    These are the Detroit Red Wings, and they’re not going to go away quietly. The Blackhawks know this from experience.If anything, Wednesday’s 4-1 win by the Hawks in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals will only serve as motivation for the Red Wings to come back with a better effort on Saturday in Game 2. That’s what the Hawks are expecting anyway.


    Thursday’s softball scoreboard
    High school results from Thursday's varsity girls softballl games, as reported to the Daily Herald.


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


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


    Thursday’s boys track scoreboard
    High school results from Thursday's varsity boys track meets, as reported to the Daily Herald.


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

    Schaumburg Boomer starter Chad Mozingo and his teammates arrive for their opening game in style as they get set to play the Windy City Thunderbolts on Thursday.

    Schaumburg Boomers start in style, get the victory

    The host Schaumburg Boomers scored 3 runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to seal a win in their season opener, a 6-2 victory over the Windy City ThunderBolts on Thursday night. The Boomers never trailed, scoring a run in each of the first two innings. Gerard Hall, who recorded the first hit and run in franchise history in last season's opener, collected the first hit and run of 2013 when he led off with a double in the first.


    St. Ignatius swarms Naperville Central at state quarterfinals

    Not many girls water polo teams in Illinois could treat Naperville Central like St. Ignatius did Thursday night in Lincolnshire.


    Grayslake North savors Fox title

    Grayslake North’s baseball team enjoyed a well-deserved day off Thursday. The Knights got to celebrate Wednesday after beating Woodstock North 15-5 to clinch their first Fox Valley Conference Fox Division championship. Grayslake North (17-7, 12-6) pounded out 16 hits, including three apiece by Matt Eney and Andrew Mikusa, each of whom scored 3 runs. Nick Carmody, JP Zalewski and Sammy Stanfel had 2 hits apiece for the Knights. Zalewski and Adam Gomski had 4 and 3 RBI, respectively. Stanfel and Kyle McBrien had doubles. Carl Russell (1-for-3) and McBrien (1-for-2) drove in a pair of runs each.


    Cougars split with Chiefs

    Kane Count Cougars game report:In the opener of a day-night doubleheader at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva, Gioskar Amaya drove home 3 runs with a bases-loaded double in the sixth inning, and the Kane County Cougars went on to blank the Peoria Chiefs 5-0 on Thursday afternoon. The Chiefs came back hand the Cougars (19-19) an 8-2 defeat in the second game


    Hersey, Buffalo Grove net MSL wins

    Tommy Pearson held visiting Palatine to 1 earned run over 5 innings as host Hersey came out on top against Palatine 9-4 on Thursday in the Mid-Suburban League third-place crossover game.Karl Taillon went 2-for-3 and drove in 3 runs from the No. 8 spot in Hersey's order. Brendan Starr and Quentin Jedd also had 2 hits for Hersey (12-18).Chris Macahon had a pair of hits and Neal Ori and Bill Stewart doubled for the Pirates (17-13-1).Buffalo Grove 3, Schaumburg 0: Starter Brian Kleczynski tossed 4 scoreless innings, and relievers Adam Kowalski (2 innings) and Ken Bartlet (1) followed suit as the Bison won the MSL crossover against the visiting Saxons.Sean Edgar went 2-for-3 for BG, and Matt Blankshain got 2 RBI for Buffalo Grove (10-16). Mike DiViesti scored twice and went 1-for-2 with a walk.Schaumburg starter Kyle Reinhart allowed 1 earned run in 41⁄3 innings for the Saxons. He and Joe Petritis both doubled for Schaumburg.Hoffman Estates 5, Wheeling 4: The visiting Hawks led 3-1 after the fourth inning, scored twice more in the fifth and were able to hang on despite a 2-run fifth from Wheeling and 1 run in the Wildcats' final at-bat.Nick Fraser doubled and Danny Alba earned the pitching victory for Hoffman Estates.Prospect 10, Conant 4: Tommy Flahaven doubled twice and A.J. Compton drove in 2 runs for visiting Prospect, which scored 7 runs in the first inning to provide a nice cushion for winning pitcher Allen Backes.

    Mundelein runner Will Farmer cheers as he crosses home base in the fifth inning during the North Suburban Conference championship game against visiting Wauconda on Thursday.

    Mundelein repeats as NSC champs

    There are plaques in the shape of baseballs, as well as the state of Illinois, plastered all over the press box at Mundelein. They commemorate just about everything: trips downstate, regional championships, conference championships and 20-win seasons. Now something new will be added to the press box, thanks to the events of Thursday afternoon. Surprisingly, the perennial power Mustangs had never before won baseball conference titles in back-to-back seasons. But they checked that off the list with their 5-1 win over visiting Wauconda in the North Suburban Conference title game.


    Lambert suits Wauconda in athletic director’s role

    Athletic directors never rest, and Andy Lambert can empathize. The new AD on the block has a starter kit at home. Jake is 2. Luke is 3 months. Andy and wife Meagan go through lots of diapers and ... “Lots of coffee,” Lambert joked. He didn’t need a caffeine boost Thursday night. Lambert was new-daddy pumped about being approved by Wauconda Unit School District 118 as the high school’s new athletic director. Sharply dressed in a pinstripe suit, Lambert is sharp, period.


    Efflandt returns in Cary-Grove win

    Cary-Grove 3, Lakes 1: Cary-Grove senior Lindsay Efflandt, injured by a line drive to the face on April 22, returned to the circle for the first time since then to pitch the final 3 innings of this nonconference win. Not only did she only face 9 batters with 4 strikeouts, she also drove in Sarah Leudo (3-for-3, HR) with an insurance run in the sixth inning. Amy Clemment also had an RBI for the Trojans (10-4) and Amanda DeGroote (2-0) started in the circle and earned the win, allowing 5 hits with 4 strikeouts and 3 walks.South Elgin 11, Elgin 10: In a matchup of Upstate Eight teams who will play each other next week in a Class 4A St. Charles North regional semifinal, JV call-up Rachel Ziemba pitched the final 4 innings, allowing 3 hits with 2 strikeouts and no walks as the Storm scored a run in the top of the ninth inning to prevail. Freshman Cassidy Westlund (2-for-4, 2 RBI) hit her first career home run and had a double for South Elgin (17-12, 11-7). Adding to the Storm’s 16-hit attack were Kara Rodriguez (4-for-5, HR, 2B, 4 RBI), Alyssa Buddle (2-for-5), Brittany Koss (2-for-5, 2 doubles, RBI), Sam Helton (2-for-4, RBI), Demi Queen (2B, RBI) and Paige Allen (2-for-4). Victoria Watt also had an RBI. For Elgin (12-14, 6-12), Anna Eckhol was 2-for-5 with a double, Jennah Perryman was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, Kelly Bremer went 3-for-4 with a double and 2 RBI, Monica Stockman drove in a run, Caroline Sobeski was 2-for-4 with a double and 3 RBI and losing pitcher Jessica Rago had a home run and 3 RBI.Jacobs 5, Woodstock North 0: Alyssa Lach was 3-for-4 with 2 doubles and a triple and Emily Borg had a double and 3 RBI for Jacobs (16-14) in this FVC crossover. Kelsey Peters allowed 4 hits with 4 strikeouts and 3 walks to earn the win for the Golden Eagles (16-14).CL South 2, Grayslake Central 0: Hailee Massie threw a 4-hitter with 12 strikeouts and 1 walk as the Gators won this FVC crossover. Sam McLean (2-for-4) had a home run for Crystal Lake South (14-9), while Jenica Terry was 3-for-3.St. Edward 10, Marian Central 1: Ashley Gradisher was 3-for-3 and Julie Larson went 2-for-4 with 3 RBI to lead the Green Wave to a Suburban Christian win. Ryann Scully had a triple and 3 RBI for St. Edward (13-12), which won its fourth straight. Lindsay Zdroik (8-6) was the winning pitcher, striking out 8 and walking 2 while allowing 3 hits in 4 innings.McHenry 12, Dundee-Crown 2: Casey Weeks’ 2-run home run and Mallory Shilf’s single were Dundee-Crown’s only hits in this FVC Valley loss. Lauren Girard was the losing pitcher for the Chargers (3-20, 0-11).St. Charles North 14, Streamwood 1: Brittany Delao was 2-for-3 with a double for Streamwood in the UEC River. Kaitlyn Hedger took the loss for the Sabres (5-20, 2-15).

    The Bulls’ Carlos Boozer (5) talks to teammates Jimmy Butler (21) and Nate Robinson (2) during a timeout in the second half of the Game 5 loss to the Heat.

    Mohammed hopes to be back with Bulls

    When some players hit free agency, they sit back and let their agent try to find them a new job. Nazr Mohammed plans to do it himself. Following Wednesday’s season-ending loss in Miami, Mohammed said he’ll call the Bulls himself and let them know he wants to come back.


    Richards rises to the sectional task at BG

    The teams and competitors at the Class 3A Buffalo Grove boys track and field sectional learned quickly Thursday night what the North Suburban Conference, and in particular Mundelein, has known for some time. There really isn’t anything Mustangs sophomore Bryce Richards can’t do on the track. Take, for example, the third heat of the 800-meter run. With one lap remaining, Richards took command, but looked to be losing his grip on the race with 100 meters left. Instead of folding and falling out of the pack like many underclassmen before him might have done, Richards stormed back into the lead and won it. His school-record time of 1:55.33 is among the 10 fastest in the state this spring and earned Richards his first trip downstate. But he was hardly done there.


    Baseball/Fox Valley roundup

    Metea Valley 4, Bartlett 2: The Hawks outhit visiting Metea Valley 6-4, but the Mustangs used a 4-run sixth inning to prevail in the UEC Valley. Colin Nowak doubled and drove in 2 runs for Bartlett (14-13, 13-12). Nowak (2-3) also absorbed the loss on the mound despite holding Metea Valley (15-14, 13-12) to 4 earned runs on 4 hits. He walked 2 and struck out 8 in 7 innings.South Elgin 18, East Aurora 2: The Storm collected 16 hits in this Upstate Eight River road win. Nick Binder smacked 3 doubles, drove in a run and scored twice, Ryan Stancl homered and drove in 3 runs and Joe Crivolio doubled and scored twice. Winning pitcher David Palmer (2-3) held the Tomcats scoreless on 3 hits over 4 innings to earn the win for South Elgin (15-14, 14-11).Elgin 5, St. Charles North 4: The Maroons tied this UEC River game on Ethan Henke’s 2-run single in the bottom of the seventh and won it on a bases-loaded walk in the eighth. Omar Valadez had 3 hits and Tanner Bednar and Nick Turner each notched 2 hits for Elgin (7-21, 6-19). Turner (1-5) pitched all 8 innings for his first win. He allowed 4 runs (2 earned) on 7 hits, walked 4 and struck out 4.

    Barrington’s Tess Bolger, left, celebrates her first-inning home run over the left field fence against Buffalo Grove in the MSL championship game at Buffalo Grove on Thursday.

    Barrington powers past Buffalo Grove in MSL title game

    The Barrington softball team hosts the Burlington Central Rockets today.The Fillies know something about rockets. They were hitting them all over the yard in Thursday’s 40th annual Mid-Suburban League championship at Buffalo Grove. With plenty of fans lined up down both foul lines, the Fillies gave the big crowd a display of power with a school-record 6 home runs en route to a 13-1 victory in six innings.


    Batavia battles to a share of UEC River title

    After a bizarre seventh inning that helped catapult the Batavia baseball team to a come-from-behind 4-3 win in 9 innings in Streamwood on Thursday, Bulldogs coach Matt Holm couldn’t have been more spot-on with the fact that there’s meaning to the phrase “Battling Bulldogs.”


    Valles, Maine West win CSL crossover

    Senior Ariel Valles struck out six as the winning pitcher in Maine West’s 8-5 victory at Maine South in the Central Suburban League softball crossover.


    If we knew what we know, would we know something else?

    Knowing what we know now, imagine if we could start the school year over again. Imagine knowing every school’s intentions for finding a happy conference home. No need for private conversations or bombshell decisions. Complete transparency from jump street. What would the area’s conference landscape look like?

    Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand celebrates following his game-winning goal against New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist during overtime in Game 1 of an NHL hockey playoffs Eastern Conference semifinal game in Boston, Thursday, May 16, 2013. The Bruins won 3-2. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

    Marchand lifts Bruins, 3-2 in overtime

    Brad Marchand scored with 4:20 left in the first overtime and the Boston Bruins beat the New York Rangers 3-2 in the first playoff game in 40 years between the Original Six teams.

    New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, right, goes up for a shot against Indiana Pacers' Paul George in the first half of Game 5 of an Eastern Conference semifinal in the NBA basketball playoffs, at Madison Square Garden in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    Anthony has 28, Knicks beat Pacers to stay alive

    Carmelo Anthony scored 28 points to help the New York Knicks stay alive in the Eastern Conference semifinals with an 85-75 victory over the Indiana Pacers in Game 5 on Thursday night.

    St. Edward winning pitcher Jacob Koehring greets teammates as they come off the field after defeating Aurora Christian 3-2 Thursday in the 2A regional game in Elgin.

    Homers put St. Edward in regional final

    The wind didn’t blow at gale force Thursday afternoon in Elgin. Perhaps 10-15 mph sustained. But the warm, southerly wind blew straight up the hill upon which Westminster Christian’s tony baseball diamond sits and straight out to left field, thereby creating a lifting effect that turned any flyball hit in that direction from ordinary to extraordinary. St. Edward hit 2 such flies: Jack Tierney’s first-inning, 2-run home run and Tighe Koehring’s solo shot to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning. Koehring’s home run gave No. 2 St. Edward a 3-2 lead it never relinquished in a Class 2A regional semifinal victory over No. 3 Aurora Christian.


    St. Charles East sweeps Larkin, stays in River race

    The baseball race in the Upstate Eight Conference River Division has been extended by a day.


    Kendziera, Costello sectional champs for Prospect

    Prospect’s boys track and field team took third place in the Niles West sectional Thursday, sending the 4 x 800-meter relay to state along with several individuals. Knights senior Dave Kendziera won the 110-meter high hurdles (14.27) and the 300 intermediates (37.52), and senior Pat Costello won the shot put with a throw of 55 feet, just ahead of the 54-10 runner-up effort from Dominick DiBenedetto of Deerfield.

    With an improvement on the injury front, coach Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls should be just fine next season.

    Now not the time for Bulls to tinker with roster

    For purposes of assessing the Bulls’ future, we’re going to assume Derrick Rose returns next season and is able to play somewhere near all-star form. All that patience from the past 12 months is going to pay off and the criticism he received for trying to be smart will be long forgotten. Beyond that, Bulls fans have every reason to feel optimistic.

    Wauconda shortstop Brandon Gibis waits to bat during the North Suburban Conference baseball championship game Thursday.

    Gibis, Wauconda baseball take winning to a new level

    What are the signs of a good team? Well, some good signs, for starters. The Wauconda baseball team put up two signs at its field in recent weeks, both of which signify, in their own ways, success and prosperity. The latest one is a biggie, and has become the team’s pride and joy. On Tuesday, the Bulldogs closed out their dominant run through the North Suburban Conference Prairie Division with a perfect 12-0 record, a feat that head coach Bill Sliker believes has never been done before in either the Prairie Division or the Lake Division. After defeating visiting Antioch 13-5 for that precious 12th win, the players were presented with a gift that perfectly captured the moment.


    Kozokar’s 9-goal effort lifts Mundelein past Barrington

    It was a banner day for Mundelein, and one player in particular stole the show Thursday night in the girls water polo state tournament. The Mustangs faced Barrington in the quarterfinals of the Elite Eight meet at Stevenson, and Mundelein rolled to an 11-5 victory behind a state tournament tying 9-goal performance by standout junior Karrie Kozokar. Mundelein (27-6) advanced to the semifinals Saturday at 9 a.m. against Lincoln-Way Central (29-5), which defeated Loyola 12-11 in the first game of the day. Barrington closed out its season with a 27-5 record in its fourth appearance at the state tourney.


    Kaneland repeats conference title

    Kaneland has decorated its left-field fence with softball decals featuring the names and numbers of its senior players. The Knights surely did it as a way to honor those seniors, though those big, oversized yellow softballs served a second purpose for Allyson O’Herron — target practice. The Kaneland shortstop, who was brilliant in the field all day, continued her hot hitting at the plate by lining a double off her name on that left-field fence in the Knights’ 4-0 victory over DeKalb.

    FILE - In this Jan. 5, 2006, file photo, former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle attends a driver's meeting for the Bodine Bobsled Challenge at the Olympic Center in Lake Placid, N.Y. Authorities in North Carolina said Thursday, May 16, 2013, that Trickle has died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 71. (AP Photo/Mark Goldman, File)

    Ex-NASCAR driver Dick Trickle dead at 71

    Authorities in North Carolina say former NASCAR driver Dick Trickle has died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 71.


    Malm takes back-to-back IPGA Match Play titles

    Curtis Malm won both player-of-the-year awards handed out by the Illinois PGA last year, and — judging by what happened in the first of the section’s four major championships of 2013 — there’s no reason to think he won’t pull off another sweep this season.Malm became the first player in 25 years to win back-to-back titles in the IPGA Match Play Championship when he defeated Doug Bauman 3 and 1 in Thursday’s title match at Kemper Lakes in Long Grove.In his fifth year as an assistant professional at St. Charles Country Club, Malm became the first repeat winner of the 62-year old tourney since Aurora’s Bob Ackerman triumphed in 1987 and 1988.

    Bulls guard Derrick Rose warms up before a playoff game against the Heat. Now he will wait until next season to warm up for a game in which he actually plays.

    Peer pressure never an issue for Bulls’ Rose

    The only thing Bulls' players did wrong this season was fail to apply the kind of peer pressure that might have shamed Derrick Rose into returning to play in games.


    Burlington Central downs Prairie Ridge

    Line drives are so overrated! Burlington Central didn’t hit many Thursday, but enough bouncers and rollers found holes to propel the Rockets to a 4-2 nonconference victory over Prairie Ridge on Rocket Hill. Dan Gerke went the distance on the mound, allowing just 6 hits. Leadoff man Mike Lee and No. 9 hitter Drew Wiss each had 2 hits for the Rockets (16-9).

    During the regular season, the Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane ranked fifth in the NHL with 55 points while receiving only eight penalty minutes, the lowest total among the league’s top 20 scorers. Kane is one of the three finalists for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, which the NHL awards to the player who has exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct, combined with a high standard of playing ability.

    Kane finalist for Lady Byng Trophy

    There’s some kind of irony in this: Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane has been named a finalist for an award for good behavior.Kane, who has had an assortment of off-ice issues since joining the Hawks in 2007, on Thursday was announced as one of the three finalists for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy given to the player who has exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct, combined with a high standard of playing ability.Kane is a finalist along with Matt Moulson of the Islanders and Martin St. Louis of Tampa Bay.

    Marcus Kruger celebrates after scoring a goal during the third period Wednesday of the Blackhawks’ 4-1 win over the Red Wings in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal at the United Center.

    Hawks’ Kruger embraces role as penalty killer

    Marcus Kruger’s stall is next to Jonathan Toews’ in the Blackhawks’ dressing room — and before every game the captain will lean over and give the kid some advice.“I sit next to Krugs in the locker room and every game I kind of get in his ear and just tell him shoot the puck or just go to the net and he’s going to get an ugly one,” Toews said.Kruger scored a goal in the Hawks’ 4-1 win against Detroit in Game 1, his second of the playoffs, putting him 2 up on the scoreless Toews.“Yesterday I told him the same thing: go to the net and get a dirty one,” Kruger said jokingly.It’s Kruger and Michael Frolik helping make the penalty kill a perfect 20-for-20 in the playoffs.

    Rolling Meadow’s Morgan Keller throws the discus on her way to a sectional victory last weekend in the York sectional.

    Keller, Oginni primed for big throws at state

    Rolling Meadows senior Morgan Keller and Hoffman Estates junior Banke Oginni are among the top qualifiers in the throws this weekend at the girls track and field state meet in Charleston.


    Harvest Christian’s Nelson makes 1A finals in 1,600

    Harvest Christian freshman Hannah Nelson qualified Thursday for the finals in the 1,600-meter run during the prelims at the Class 1A state track and field meet in Charleston. Nelson ran the race in 5:24.66, nearly five seconds better than her time at the Lisle sectional. Her time downstate Thursday was the 11th best of the 12 finals qualifiers. Nelson will run in the finals on Saturday.


    Pitch-count math can get pretty complex

    Keeping track of how many times a pitcher has delivered during a game can be a good thing to know, but it's awfully hard to enforce firm limits, simply because every pitcher is different.


    MLB hoping for large replay expansion in 2014

    Major League Baseball hopes to expand video review by umpires for the 2014 season and says all calls other than balls and strikes could be subject to instant replay.

    Exercise rider Jenn Patterson gallops Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness Stakes favorite Orb at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Thursday, May 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Garry Jones)

    Orb has gone from ordinary to extraordinary

    Growing up, Kentucky Derby winner Orb was just another horse who fit in with the crowd. After a few growing pains, the Kentucky Derby winnner will now try to win the Preakness Saturday, with an eye toward the Triple Crown.


    Scouting the MSL baseball championship game

    Rolling Meadows hosts Barrington in the Mid-Suburban League baseball championship game at 4:30 p.m. Friday.


    Two-time Saints MVP Jordan chooses Bradley

    St. Charles East senior Paige Jordan’s strength on the golf course is a long drive. Relatively speaking, she won’t require much more than a 5-wood to reach her next destination, Bradley University in Peoria.

    England’s David Beckham is retiring from soccer at the end of the season. The 38-year-old Beckham recently won a league title in a fourth country with Paris Saint-Germain. He has become a global superstar since starting his career at Manchester United.

    Beckham to retire from soccer at end of season

    David Beckham is retiring from soccer, ending a career in which he became a global superstar who transcended the sport. The 38-year-old Beckham, who recently won a league title in a fourth country with Paris Saint-Germain, said Thursday he will retire after the season. "I feel now is the right time to finish my career, playing at the highest level," the former England captain said in a statement.

    Northwestern running back Venric Mark heads for an 80-yard touchdown during the second half against Nebraska in Evanston.

    Big Ten announces 2014 conference football schedule

    The 2014 Big Ten conference football schedule features a whole slate of games in September, with the conference schedule kicking off with Penn State traveling to Rutgers on Sept. 13. The game will be the Scarlet Knights first Big Ten conference game. Illinois opens conference play at Nebraska on Sept. 27, and Northwestern travels to Penn State the same day.

    Huntley’s Tim McCloyn participates in the long jump during the Fox Valley Conference meet. The Red Raiders host a Class 3A sectional Friday night.

    Huntley primed for another big night

    Huntley boys track coach Jim Rolando has said his team's success this season has boiled down to teamwork. That theory is backed up by the Red Raiders winning both the McHenry County and Fox Valley Conference titles. Huntley looks to add to its string of success Friday at its own Class 3A sectional, where berths in next weekend's state finals in Charleston will be on the line.


    David Beckham’s statement on decision to retire

    Statement from David Beckham announcing his decision Thursday to retire from soccer.


    Mike North video: Andrew Wiggins, Best Phenom since LeBron James?

    Andrew Wiggins is being touted as the next LeBron James. Mike North wants to see him take Kansas to the final four in his first year, leave for the pros and in two years win MVP like Derrick Rose. Derrick Rose right now has to be considered the better phenom unless Wiggins can duplicate what Rose did.


    Lisle advances to regional final

    Lisle 7, IC Catholic Prep 4:The Lions (17-10) advanced to the Class 2A IC Catholic Prep regional final with a win over the host Knights at Redmond Park in Bensenville. Lisle faces Timothy Christian in the title game at noon Saturday. Kevin Coppin drove in 3 runs while Cliff Krause and Ryan Van Volkenburg had 2 hits apiece in support of complete-game winning pitcher Alex Ventrella. Cruz Ortega went 3-for-4 for IC Catholic Prep.Timothy Christian 5, Westmont 1:The fourth-seeded Trojans (8-14) advanced to the Class 2A IC Catholic Prep regional title game by upsetting top-seeded Westmont. Mike Wieringa pitched a 4-hitter for Timothy Christian, which scored twice in the second inning before adding insurance runs in the sixth and seventh inning.Benet 5, Marian Catholic 3:The Redwings (20-7, 11-4) wrapped up a share of the East Suburban Catholic Conference title by scoring all their runs in the fourth inning. Rallying from a 2-0 first-inning deficit, James Colletti launched a 2-run homer and Pat McInerney added a solo shot. Winning pitcher Chris Whelan allowed 1 hit in 5 innings of relief.Lake Park 3, Waubonsie Valley 2:The Lancers (24-7, 20-4) clinched a share of their first Upstate Eight Conference title since 1996 when Tom Spear’s sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth inning drove in Devin Rybacki with the game-winning run. Spear’s 2-run fifth-inning single tied the game for Lake Park, which received a complete-game effort from Eric Vatch. Tyler Hasper homered for Waubonsie Valley (15-14, 13-11).Naperville Central 11, West Chicago 1:Trailing 1-0 after three innings, the DuPage Valley Conference champion Redhawks (22-7, 17-4) exploded for 9 runs in the fifth inning and 2 runs in the sixth. Nick Thomas drove in 3 runs and Luke Daley added 2 hits and 2 RBI. Winning pitcher Cody Campbell allowed 3 hits and struck out five. Naperville North 5, Glenbard North 1:Winning pitcher Robert Leonard scattered 5 hits, struck out two, walked none and allowed no earned runs as the Huskies (16-11, 12-9) salvaged the third game of the DuPage Valley Conference series. Mark Khoury drove in 2 runs and John Sagen went 2-for-3. Ryan Storto had 2 hits for Glenbard North (17-11, 14-7).West Aurora 3, Glenbard East 2:Danny Ryan, Nick Vichio and Alex Gospodarek had 2 hits apiece for the Rams (11-22, 7-14) in their DuPage Valley Conference loss. Ridgewood 8, Glenbard South 5:After the Raiders (16-9, 12-5) sent the Metro Suburban Conference game to extra innings by scoring 4 runs in the bottom of the seventh, Ridgewood responded with the 3 go-ahead runs in the top of the eighth. Ethan Gasbarro went 2-for-4 with a homer and 3 RBI. Zach Smith added 2 hits.Bartlett 5, Metea Valley 2:Michael Mooney and Andy See drove in runs for the Mustangs (14-14, 12-12), who fell in the Upstate Eight Conference. St. Francis 8, Plano 1:Andrew Brundage went 2-for-2 with a triple, 3 runs scored and 3 RBI for the Spartans (16-11) in their nonconference victory. Alex Alcantara and Josh Croci also had 2 hits. Mike Kelly pitched 5 innings in earning the win on the mound.Willowbrook 4, Bolingbrook 1:Dom Battaglia, Kevin Johnson and Dom McDonnell each drove in a run in the Warriors’ nonconference victory. Dave Cericola struck out six and allowed 1 hit in 3 innings for Willowbrook (20-10).


    Stevenson finishes off NSC crown

    Brad Tiller slammed 7 kills, setter Jonah May added four, as Stevenson’s boys volleyball team wrapped up the North Suburban Conference championship Wednesday night with a 25-13, 25-18 win over Zion-Benton.Stevenson (30-4, 11-0) also got 3 kills apiece from Brett Lerner and Jack Cordes.Vernon Hills d. Lake Forest: Max Spiglanin’s 8 kills led the Cougars to a 25-16, 25-20 win in their North Suburban Conference finale.Tyler Small had 6 blocks and 2 kills for Vernon Hills (28-6, 10-1).

    Grant pitcher Caitlyn Moran winds up during the NSC championship game Wednesday at Zion-Benton.

    Grant’s NSC title effort covers the spectrum

    If they needed more convincing that their season was a fairy tale come true, Grant's softball players needed only to crane their necks. Look, up in the sky. "I was waiting for my catcher," Bulldogs pitcher Caitlyn Moran said. "And then I was like, Oh, look. There's a rainbow.' "It was great," Moran added. "It just added to everything." A rainbow, which included a definitive Grant red, appeared late in Wednesday's North Suburban Conference championship game in Zion, as the visiting Bulldogs were completing a thrilling, 3-2 win Zion-Benton.


    Littleton carries big bat for Grayslake North

    Grayslake North sophomore Sarah Littleton played big in the crosstown rivalry game. Littleton doubled twice and knocked in a run, as Grayslake North edged visiting Grayslake Central 7-5 in the teams' Fox Valley Conference Fox Division game Wednesday.


    Burton heats up in Mundelein win

    To get a spot on the Cal-Irvine men's volleyball team next year, Mundelein senior Blake Burton will have to be ready from the word "go." He might not get the kind of "warm-up time" he got on Wednesday in leading the Mustangs to a 19-25, 25-21, 25-20 come-from-behind North Suburban Conference victory over host Lake Zurich.


    Sherman Hospital on Randall Road is merging with Oak Brook-based Advocate Health Care, but is still moving forward with a lawsuit to block rival Centegra Heatlh System from building a new hospital in Huntley.

    Centegra focusing on Huntley hospital, not rivals’ merger

    The day after a state panel allowed Sherman Health and Advocate Health Care to merge, rival Centegra Health System, which fought to keep the move from coming to fruition, is moving on. Centegra, McHenry County’s largest employer, will instead turn its attention to the 128-bed hospital it intends to build in Huntley, a hospital executive said Wednesday.“Our focus is on Centegra Hospital-Huntley,” said Susan Milford, Centegra’s senior vice president of strategy and development. “We want to focus on what the needs in the community are for health care and so that’s what our focus is.”

    U.S. stocks fell, ending four days of records for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, amid disappointing economic data and after a Federal Reserve official said the central bank may slow the pace of stimulus as early as this summer.

    A late fade on Wall Street; Wal-Mart, Disney slump

    Signs of a slowing economy combined with comments from a Federal Reserve official helped pull the stock market down Thursday. The news on the U.S. economy gave investors little to get excited about. Applications for unemployment benefits rose last week and manufacturing slowed in the mid-Atlantic region.

    COURTESY OF SAMSUNG Samsung's new Ultra HD-TV that has an 85-inch screen and costs $40,000.

    Hackathon aims to solve traffic problems around region

    Typically, when you hear the term "hackathon," you picture computer geeks sitting in a large room, rifling through untold number of passwords or other avenues to break into secret websites or files during a competition. That's not exactly the case with the first Logistics Hackathon, an all-day technology-driven work session, on Saturday at the Merchandise Mart.

    This undated handout photo provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows a side crash of a 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander. A report released Thursday shows only two of 13 small SUVs are getting passing grades in front-end crash tests done by an insurance industry group.

    Only 2 of 13 small SUVs do well in crash tests

    Only two of 13 small SUVs performed well in front-end crash tests done by an insurance industry group, with several popular models faring poorly in the evaluations. Subaru's 2014 Forester was the only vehicle to get the top "good" rating in the results released Thursday.

    Hydraulic fracturing is a drilling procedure used to pry oil and gas from rock deep underground.

    ‘Fracking’ supporters say Illinois bill ready for vote

    Supporters of high-volume oil and gas drilling said Wednesday that they hope for a quick vote on a bill to regulate the practice in Illinois after reaching agreements on hiring and environmental concerns. The House bill — drafted with the help of industry and some environmental groups — was introduced in February with strong bipartisan support. But it became stalled over an amendment requiring energy companies to hire


    Woodridge’s Navitas receives $150K award from Energy Department

    Woodridge-based Navitas Systems LLC has received a Small Business Innovation Research award of $150,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy. It marks the first SBIR award competed for and received by Navitas, a small, woman-owned business, which provides energy-enabled system solutions and energy storage products for commercial, industrial and government agency customers.


    Deerfield’s United Stationers board declares dividend

    Deerfield-based United Stationers's board of directors declared a 14 cent per share dividend payable on July 15 to stockholders of record at the close of business on June 14. The board also approved and authorized the company to purchase an additional $100 million of its common stock.


    Des Plaines firm to provide technology for Gulf Coast facility

    Des Plaines-based UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, said it has been selected to provide technology for the world's largest on-purpose propylene production facility, located on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Ascend Performance Materials Operations LLC will use Honeywell's UOP C3 Oleflex process technology to convert propane to propylene, a key ingredient in the production of materials such as nylon, films and packaging.


    Lifeway Foods acquires Golden Guernsey plant

    Kefir cultured dairy products manufacturer Lifeway Foods, of Morton Grove, said it has acquired the Golden Guernsey dairy plant in Waukesha, Wis. for $7.4 million. The company said it abought the dairy plant to provide additional manufacturing capacity for its business.

    Jennifer Wilhoit of U. S. Express, left, talks with Devin Washington while others wait in line as 63 companies participate in a job fair at the Brainerd Crossroads in Chattanooga, Tenn.

    U.S. jobless claims jump to highest level in 6 weeks

    The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose 32,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 360,000, the most since late March. The jump came a week after applications had reached a five-year low. The less volatile four-week average rose just 1,250 to 339,250, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's a level consistent with modest job gains.

    Workers at the construction of a new apartment housing complex in Trenton, N.J.

    U.S. housing starts fell in April but permits surged

    U.S. builders broke ground on fewer homes in April, one month after topping the 1 million mark for the first time since 2008. But most of the decline was in apartment construction, which tends to vary sharply from month to month. And applications for new construction reached a five-year peak, evidence that the housing revival will be sustained.

    A plunge in the cost of gas drove down a measure of U.S. consumer prices last month by the most since December 2008. Excluding the drop in fuel costs, prices were largely unchanged.

    U.S. consumer prices fall 0.4 pct. on cheaper gas

    A plunge in the cost of gas drove down a measure of U.S. consumer prices last month by the most since December 2008. Excluding the drop in fuel costs, prices were largely unchanged. The consumer price index fell 0.4 percent in April from March, the Labor Department said Thursday. The main reason the index fell was that gas prices plunged 8.1 percent.

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. The expansion of H-1b visas is considered the first major victory for Zuckerbergís new non-profit lobbying organization, FWD.us, which receives financial backing from such big tech names as Bill Gates of Microsoft, Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn and Napster pioneer Sean Parker.

    Technology industry, labor spar on immigration

    To the U.S. technology industry, there's a dramatic shortfall in the number of Americans skilled in computer programming and engineering that is hampering business. To unions and some Democrats, it's more sinister: The push by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg to expand the number of visas for high-tech foreign workers is an attempt to dilute a lucrative job market with cheap, indentured labor.

    Associated Press Deere & Co. said on Wednesday that bad weather and weak economies will hinder sales growth this year for lawnmowers and construction equipment.

    Deere cuts 2013 sales growth guidance

    Deere & Co. said on Wednesday that bad weather and weak economies will hinder sales growth this year for lawnmowers and construction equipment. The company reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and maintained its full-year profit prediction. Sales of farm gear such as its big green John Deere tractors and combines are still strong and growing, the company said.

    House Agriculture Committee members, Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., left, speaks with Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., right, on Capitol Hill in Washington prior to the start of the committee’s hearing to consider proposals to the 2013 Farm Bill, including small cuts to the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program in an effort to appease conservatives who say the food aid has become too expensive. At center is unidentified aide.

    Deep divide in Congress over domestic food aid

    The House and Senate Agriculture Committees have laid the groundwork this week for reducing the size of the federal food stamp program, approving farm bills that would shrink the food aid and alter the way people qualify for it. The two chambers are far apart on how much the $80 billion-a-year program should be cut, however — reflecting a deep ideological and at times emotional divide on the role of government in helping the poor.

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s first quarter profit rose 1.1 percent as the world’s largest retailer struggled with a sales slump in its namesake business.

    Wal-Mart’s 1Q profit, sales disappoint

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s first quarter profit rose 1.1 percent as the world's largest retailer struggled with a sales slump in its namesake business. The company, based in Bentonville, Ark., blamed a payroll tax increase, delayed tax refunds and bad weather for the profit and sales results that missed Wall Street expectations. The company also offered a profit outlook that came below analysts' projections.

Life & Entertainment

    Candice Glover arrives at the “American Idol” finale Thursday at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live in Los Angeles.

    3rd time’s a charm: Glover wins ‘American Idol’

    Candice Glover was crowned the new “American Idol” on Thursday after defeating country singer Kree Harrison. The booming 23-year-old R&B vocalist from St. Helena Island, S.C., looked stunned when “Idol” host Ryan Seacrest announced she bested the soulful 22-year-old country singer Harrison from Woodville, Texas. “Three times,” exclaimed a weepy Glover, referencing the trio of times it took before she made it to the finals of the Fox singing competition.


    Sponsors help make Fittest Loser challenge a success

    It took time, money and lots of community effort to make th­e campaign a success. In the end, each of the Daily Herald’s 2013 Fittest Loser challenge sponsors carried their weight in gold. More than a dozen businesses donated their products and services or offered financial assistance to this year’s Fittest Loser challenge, a 12-week campaign for healthier living.

    The 2013 Fittest Loser contestants and their trainers gather on the stage at Victoria in the Park in Mount Prospect.

    Fittest Loser awards ceremony attracts a crowd

    They came. They saw. They witnessed a transformation. Roughly 400 people flocked to the Daily Herald’s 2013 Fittest Loser awards ceremony on May 1 to see how six people from the Chicago suburbs have conquered their battle with weight loss.

    Joshua Steckler, owner of Push Fitness, Schaumburg, introduces the Daily Herald’s Fittest Loser participant Melynda Findlay during the celebration at Victoria in the Park in Mount Prospect.

    Determined Fittest Loser participant turns life around

    On a recent day off from work, I accidentally walked 12 miles. You read that right: 12 miles. Accidentally. I had some errands to run; when I returned home, the weather was gorgeous and I couldn’t resist taking some laps around the neighborhood. The weird thing was that it felt almost effortless. I felt energized, not exhausted. It’s a far cry from where I started the Fittest Loser journey a little more than three months ago.


    Tips for camping with little ones

    Why wouldn’t kids love to camp? There’s mud. And bugs. And marshmallows. But there’s also fire. Which can make it a less-than-relaxing experience for parents of little ones. Here are some tips for making those first forays into nature a little less stressful for parents but still plenty of fun for kids.

    Lake Wingra, above left, is a great place to fish.

    Plenty of fun for the entire family in Madison, Wis.

    Madison is a lot of things: hipster town, college town and Wisconsin’s capital city. It also happens to be a great place to take the kids. Here are some of the best spots for families.


    Sensory Garden Playground to be tailored to kids with autism

    There is an innovative playground coming to the area that will assure that families with special needs always have a special place to play. The vision of the Sensory Garden Playground is to create a barrier-free and universally accessible play zone for all children including those with a disability and is planned especially for kids on the autism spectrum and those who have sensory processing issues.

    Try Cheddar, Chorizo and Chive Muffins with tomato soup or a salad.

    Move over Mom: Inspriation from across the pond

    Jerome Gabriel opens a cookbook by Sam Stern, a teen chef in Great Britain, and plays around with a muffin recipe in the cookbook.

    Ralph Covert, a resident of Glen Ellyn and the frontman for the popular children’s band Ralph’s World, debuts a new show on Channel 11 Friday. “Ralph’s World Time Machine Guitar” has him traveling through time thanks to his magic guitar.

    Ralph Covert show to air on WTTW

    This weekend, WTTW Channel 11 will debut the pilot episodes of "Time Machine Guitar" by children's musician Ralph Covert, of Glen Ellyn. The show targets preschool-aged children and their parents and features Covert and three puppet friends who travel through time thanks to his magic time machine guitar.

    “The Book of Mormon” earned acclaim from audiences and critics alike when it opened last December at Chicago's Bank of America Theatre.

    'Mormon' departs Chicago stage in October

    "The Book of Mormon," the audacious comic musical by the creators of "South Park," will leave Chicago after its Oct. 6 performances, producers announced Thursday. By then, the show will have played in Chicago for 43 weeks and 344 performances.

    Author Mike Wolf

    American Pickers star inspires kids to see treasure, not trash

    Yeah, most people would call that bottle “garbage,” but you call it a treasure. And in the new book “Kid Pickers” by Mike Wolfe (with Lily Sprengelmeyer), you’ll meet folks who would agree.


    You know the ABCs, but what about D?

    Since it’s finally starting to be warm and sunny in Chicago, I thought that this month is a good month to talk about our sunshine vitamin, vitamin D — nicknamed this because the sun activates its production in our skin. However, this hormone is now being coined as the new “wonder vitamin,” being almost more important to consume than calcium itself.

    Members of the band Phoenix, from left, Deck D’arcy, Laurent Brancowitz, Christian Mazzalai and Thomas Mars, pose in New York. Phoenix frontman Thomas Mars said their new album, “Bankrupt!,” was born out of the negative influences going on in the band after the unprecedented success of their Grammy-winning 2009 album, “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.”

    With 5th album, rockers Phoenix continue to rise

    Phoenix frontman and singer Thomas Mars says their new album “Bankrupt!” was born out of the negative influences going on in the band after the unprecedented success of their Grammy-winning 2009 album, “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.” “At that time, we started talking about success and not music,” Mars said. “I guess it was time to protect ourselves and focus on music again.”

    Ian Somerhalder, who plays Damon on “The Vampire Diaries,” says that he understands how passionate fans are about the show.

    ‘Vampire Diaries’ star understands fans’ passion

    "The Vampire Diaries" is known for its twists and turns, and one of its stars, Ian Somerhalder, says Thursday night's season finale won't be any different. "Elena's gonna make a big decision," teased the 34-year-old actor at CW's presentation of its programming for next season. He couldn't elaborate on what decision or decisions would be made.

    One Direction — Liam Payne, left, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson — has announced plans for an ambitious world tour in 2014. Plans call for the youthful chart-toppers to play major stadiums in Latin America, Britain and Ireland during the first leg of the mega-tour.

    Boy band One Direction: World tour next year

    Hit boy band One Direction has announced plans for an ambitious world tour in 2014. Plans call for the youthful chart-toppers to play major stadiums in Latin America, Britain and Ireland during the first leg of the mega-tour that begins in April. U.S. dates are expected to be announced later.

    Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine) receives assistance from Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) in J.J. Abrams' reboot sequel “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

    Subpar 'Trek' sequel goes where we've all gone before

    The promise of J.J. Abrams' 2009 "Star Trek" reboot goes mostly unfulfilled in his sequel, a noisy, crashy, super-slick 3-D experience that, through recycled dialogue, very familiar situations and ridiculous resurrections, goes where we've already gone before. If you like an emo Vulcan given to teary-eyed speeches and bouts of explosive rage, this just might be your cup of Romulan ale.


    USA network will debut first-ever sitcoms

    The USA television network is looking for laughs, and will premiere its first original situation comedies next winter. "Sirens" focuses on three emergency medical technicians from Chicago who are good at their jobs but with personal lives that leave something to be desired. Denis Leary, who starred in FX's "Rescue Me," wrote and produced the series, but is not on-screen.


    CW to air iHeartRadio Music Festival

    The CW network is bringing a popular radio music series to television and is going heavy on escapist fare in its new programming for next season. As part of a three-year deal, the iHeartRadio Music Festival will air exclusively on the network and stream on CWTV.com following the broadcasts, the CW said Thursday. Other iHeartRadio events, including a Jingle Ball holiday concert, are coming to CW as part of the agreement with Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.

    Left to right, Benjamin Anderson, 1, his mom, Becki, sister Lily, 4, and brother Justin, 3, make mud pies in the back yard of their Schaumburg home.

    Making mud into masterpieces

    One of my favorite things about warmer weather is being able to take the kids outside. One of my kids' favorite things about warmer weather is being able to play outside with water. And one of their favorite things to do with water is to make mud.


    Saving water can save you cash

    Water is a valuable resource, and in many parts of the country, drought conditions make it even more precious. Here are some tips to help you conserve more water around your home, and cut your utility costs at the same time.

    The ACLU is lobbying for the gay couple — Eric Stonestreet, right, as Cameron, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell — on “Modern Family” to get married. ACLU Action started a campaign to urge the show’s producers to script a wedding episode for Mitchell and Cameron, already fathers of an adopted child and one of three couples at the heart of the show.

    ACLU: Time for ‘Modern Family’ gay couple to wed

    The ACLU is lobbying for the gay couple on "Modern Family" to get married. ACLU Action started a campaign to urge the show's producers to write a wedding episode for Mitchell and Cameron, fathers of an adopted child and one of three couples at the heart of the show. The ACLU says it is appealing to the fictional family to draw more attention to the real issue as it awaits Supreme Court decisions on two important marriage equality cases.

    Actor Simon Helberg says viewers can expect a cliffhanger in the season finale of “The Big Bang Theory.”

    Expect cliffhanger from ‘Big Bang Theory’ finale

    Listening to actor Simon Helberg talk about "The Big Bang Theory," you'd think his show was actually a nerdy nighttime soap. The actor, who plays aerospace engineer Howard Wolowitz on the CBS sitcom, dropped a few hints about what to expect from Thursday night's season finale. "This time, the adventure is for Leonard," Helberg revealed, referring to the experimental physicist played by Johnny Galecki. "Howard finds Stephen Hawking's crew is sending out an expedition to the North Sea, and he gets Leonard a job, going on a boat for four months."

    Candice Glover, left, and Kree Harrison face off in “American Idol: The Final 2.” It’s a showdown between the 23-year-old R&B vocalist Glover of St. Helena Island, S.C., and the 22-year-old country crooner Harrison of Woodville, Texas.

    ‘Idol’ finale a dead heat

    Randy Jackson isn't sure which budding diva will take the crown on "American Idol." The veteran judge of the Fox talent competition declared Wednesday's final performance round at the Nokia Theatre a dead heat after finalists Kree Harrison and Candice Glover each performed three songs. "Dude, this is so close," beamed Jackson, who announced last week that he's leaving the panel after his 12th season. "Everybody go vote!"

    Phyllis Smith as Phyllis Vance, left, Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly Halpert, Jake Lacy as Pete, Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute and Ellie Kemper as Erin Hannon in the “Finale” episode for “The Office” on NBC.

    'The Office' shutting down after 8 years

    As "The Office" airs its series finale after eight years on NBC, the time feels right to salute the show that spawned it. We're talking, of course, about the BBC-produced, British version of "The Office," starring a previously unknown scamp named Ricky Gervais, who also served as its co-creator, -writer and -director.

    Chicago actor Michael Shannon plays real-life mob assassin Richard Kuklinski in the fact-based drama “The Iceman.”

    Chicago's Michael Shannon a cool standout in 'Iceman'

    In Ariel Vromen's fact-based crime drama "The Iceman," Chicago's Michael Shannon takes his straightforward role as a mob hitman and transforms it into a powerful, carefully balanced high wire act. Shannon portrays Richard Kuklinski as a modern-day Frankenstein's monster without the stitches, an unpredictably violent creature who operates on basic instinct to survive and protect his family.

    Sarah Polley, right, shoots a scene for her new documentary, “Stories We Tell.”

    Polley digs into family dirt in expertly drawn ‘Stories’

    Dann Gire reviews Sarah Polley's challenging new movie "Stories We Tell," a barrier-busting documentary that redefines the narrative experience in ways almost impossible to discern with a single screening. It's a mystery, a romance, a family drama, a comedy, a coming-of-age tale, a family history and a meta-delight to watch. Plus Dann responds to a reader's complaint that "Iron Man 3" defies logic.

    Trace Adkins, “Love Will...”

    Trace Adkins looks for spark on new album

    Trace Adkins works with five different producers on his 11th album, suggesting the country music veteran and reality TV star is searching for an infusion of fresh energy. And "Love Will ..." does find Adkins occasionally trying out new sounds. There's the soul-country vibe of "So What If I Do," which features a saxophone to play up the pop-crossover possibilities. And there's a duet with pop singer Colbie Caillat on "Watch The World End," a strange love song set during the apocalypse.



    Editorial: More of the same in gambling bill

    A Daily Herald editorial says that the latest in a long line of proposals to expand gambling is still too big and too vague.


    Why you should care about secret subpoena of AP

    Columnist Jim Slusher: The problem with things like the Justice Department's broad and secret subpoenas of press agencies isn't that they make reporters' jobs more difficult. The problem is that they make your job more difficult.


    Plan B pill an important option
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: This is in response to Kathleen Parker's column of May 6, "Plan B ruling is an affront to parenting." Sorry, Parker, but the affront to parenting is not the ruling allowing Plan B on the pharmacy shelves accessible to teenagers. The affront comes with the kids having sex — and unprotected sex at that.


    Responsible spending needed today, too
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: In 2012 it was encouraging in Arlington Heights to see the people watch the park district's fiscal habits and strike down the two attempts to pile on more debt and tax. Fisher Ames would have been proud.


    Benghazi will just impede Clinton’s run
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: For anyone old enough to remember Watergate, Benghazigate affirms that history repeats itself. The Obama administration's stonewalling of the American public confirms that "insanity is continuing the same mistakes assuming that the results will change." Jay Carney's proliferation of nervous words in response to angered reporters only adds to the suspicion.


    Average wage earner needs definition, too
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: In a recent letter (Depends on your definition of "rich," May 11), the writer claims to be "an average American paying about a 30 percent tax rate" and would like not to be among those considered "rich" in any new tax law proposed by President Obama.


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