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Daily Archive : Tuesday May 28, 2013

News

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    Oklahoma City tornado survivor Frank Kozak, left, talks about the experience while his son Steve sits at his side back at home in Schaumburg Tuesday. Frank's wife Char also survived the tornado and is recovering.

    Schaumburg tornado survivors cherish strangers' help

    Schaumburg Village Trustee Frank Kozak and his wife Char survived beneath the weight of a fallen hot water tank as the rest of their relatives' Oklahoma City home — and their own new SUV in the garage — was torn away by last week's tornado.Yet all Kozak remembers — all he'll ever choose to remember — are the brightest examples of the outreach and compassion of the human...

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    Watch Downers Grove North graduation live Friday

    Watch a live broadcast of Downers Grove North High School's graduation this Friday at 7 p.m.

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    Russell Lissau/rlissau@dailyherald.com Lake Villa Elementary District 41 Superintendent John Van Pelt talks about the proposal to close Pleviak School as board members listen.

    Close Pleviak School, Dist. 41 superintendent says

    J.J. Pleviak Elementary School could be closed in 2014 as a way to save Lake Villa Elementary District 41 nearly $1.2 million, Superintendent John Van Pelt revealed Tuesday.

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Thieves stole a 2007 Mazda CX7 between May 14 and 22 out of a visitor lot at an apartment complex on the 900 block of Ridge Square in Elk Grove Village. Value was estimated at $20,000.

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    Ronald Stolberg is relatively emotionless after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the 2011 death of his wife, Rachel Stolberg, in the courtroom of Judge Mark Levitt in Lake County on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Waukegan.

    Stolberg guilty of manslaughter in Vernon Hills slaying

    A jury ruled Tuesday that Ronald Stolberg, 49, was guilty of involuntary manslaughter for the death of his wife, Rachel, 54, in 2011. He was found not guilty of first degree murder by a jury late Tuesday night.

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    Carol Stream officer faces DUI charge in May 5 crash

    An off-duty Carol Stream police sergeant has been charged with driving under the influence in connection with a May 5 traffic accident in Hanover Park in which he and two others were injured, authorities said Tuesday. Bryan R. Pece, 43, formally was charged Friday with one misdemeanor count of DUI, according to Paul Darrah, a spokesman with the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office.

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    Some baseball fans seek shelter during a downpour in the third inning of an interleague baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Area flash flood watch continues

    A flash flood watch remains in effect until noon today with showers and thunderstorms expected early in the morning, according to the National Weather Service. AccuWeather.com reports dangerous thunderstorms will develop across the Plains from Texas to the Dakotas. Violent storms could even reach as far east as Ohio and the Midwest.

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    Batavia superintendent explains discipline in letter

    Statement from the Batavia school district about the discipline the board imposed Tuesday on teacher John Dryden.

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    Justin Bieber

    Bieber investigated for reckless driving

    At about 8 p.m. Monday, Bieber allegedly drove his white Ferrari at freeway speeds in what is a 25 mph zone, Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

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    Suburban schools wouldn’t see cuts in state funding for buses under a budget plan being pushed in the state Capitol.

    State lawmakers looking to spare schools’ bus money

    Suburban schools wouldn’t see cuts to the state money that helps pay for their buses under a budget plan that lawmakers started driving through the Capitol this morning.

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    Michael Delaney

    Former Wheaton man gets 55 years for neighbor’s stabbing murder

    For four years, Janet Scalzo lived with the fear her son’s killer would escape responsibility and return to a life of crime. On Tuesday, the Wheaton mother could finally put that notion to rest after Michael Delaney was sentenced to 55 years in prison. “I’m thrilled,” Scalzo said. “My biggest fear was that he was going to somehow snake out of this and do it again.”

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    Lee R. Patterson III

    Sentencing begins for fatal DUI in North Aurora

    An emotional sentencing hearing began Tuesday for a 33-year-old man who sideswiped a couple in North Aurora in 2010. Lee R. Patterson III, of Aurora, pleaded guilty earlier this year to being drunk when he hit and killed Doreen Cardenas, 27, of Cicero, and injuring her boyfriend. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

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    In this still image taken from video from Saturday, rescue workers cut away parts of a sewage pipe where a newborn baby was trapped in Pujiang in east China’s Zhejiang province.

    Rescuers save a newborn from sewer pipe in China

    A newborn’s cries from a public restroom in a residential building in eastern China led a tenant to a startling discovery: a baby boy trapped in a sewage pipe beneath a squat toilet. Firefighters, unable to pull the baby out, ended up sawing away an L-shaped section of the pipe and carrying it to a hospital, where it was delicately pried apart to save the infant.

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    Sen. John McCain, center, accompanied by Mouaz Moustafa, right, visits rebels in Syria Monday. McCain, who slipped into the country for a surprise visit, favors providing arms to rebel forces in Syria.

    McCain pushes for greater U.S. help to Syrian rebels

    Sen. John McCain on Tuesday praised the “brave fighters” battling the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad and renewed his call for the Obama administration to move aggressively militarily to aid the opposition.

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    Robert J. Granger

    Police: Hoffman Estates man tried to kill mother

    A Hoffman Estates man is facing up to 30 years in prison if convicted on charges that he tried to kill his 65-year-old mother over the weekend, authorities said. Robert J. Granger, 32, of the 600 block Hillcrest Boulevard, is charged with attempted murder and aggravated domestic battery following his arrest early Sunday morning at his residence.

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    Medicaid expansion heads to Illinois governor

    Illinois lawmakers have approved a historic expansion of Medicaid to cover low-income adults without children. The key part of President Barack Obama's health care law heads to Gov. Pat Quinn, who is in favor of it. Quinn says it'll help transform Illinois' health care. The Senate approved the plan 39-20 Tuesday.

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    President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie walk along the boardwalk during their visit to Point Pleasant, N.J., Tuesday.

    Obama and Christie praise govt response to storm

    President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie promoted the Jersey Shore’s summer tourism economy Tuesday while praising the federal government’s role in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, reprising their beach-buddy routine in a display of mutual assistance with potential political dividends.

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    Willard Helander

    State moves to take election oversight from Lake County clerk

    A lengthy list of proposed election rules emerged Tuesday that would take supervision of voting away from Lake County Clerk Willard Helander and create a new board to do the same job.

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    Milton Township officials clash over 16.2 percent pay raises

    Whether 16.2 percent pay raises given last month to six employees in the Milton Township assessor’s office represent a higher workload or a sweetheart deal depends on who you ask. Assessor Bob Earl, who is stepping down at the end of the year, insists the pay raises largely were the result of his decision to increase the number of hours the employees are working each week. But Township Supervisor...

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    Jaime Garcia, executive director of Centro de Informacion, leads Sen. Dick Durbin on a tour prior to Durbin talking about comprehensive immigration reform to community leaders Tuesday in Elgin.

    Durbin discusses immigration reform

    Comprehensive immigration reform has a good chance of moving forward and reaching the desk of President Barack Obama by early fall, despite several attempts that failed in the last decade, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said Tuesday in Elgin. Durbin outlined the provisions of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, approved May 21 by the Senate Judiciary Committee, to...

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    Anti-hazing plan passes in state Senate

    A suburban lawmaker’s proposal that grew out of hazing scandals in the suburbs passed the Illinois Senate unanimously Tuesday.

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    File photo It’ll be up to Gov. Pat Quinn to decide whether Illinois drivers are allowed to talk on handheld cellphones while driving.

    Lawmakers: No handheld phones while driving

    Gov. Pat Quinn will get the final decision on whether people should be allowed to talk on handheld cellphones while driving. The first ticket for talking on a handheld phone while driving would be a $75 fine. Using a hands-free device would remain legal. The Illinois House approved the measure today and sent it to the governor.

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    Legal trouble for contractor approved by District 214

    Northwest Suburban High School District 214 has approved a contract for more than $90,000 worth of work with a local contractor who is facing felony charges of theft of government property and mail fraud.

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    Wayne Weinke Jr.

    Weinke convicted in mother’s death in Arlington Heights

    A murder trial nearly seven years in the making came to a conclusion Tuesday when Cook County Judge William Lacy found Wayne Weinke Jr., 57, guilty of first-degree murder in the 2006 death of his mother, Gloria Weinke, 77. There’s nothing happy about any of this. There’s no joy in this,” said Gloria Weinke’s daughter, Gail Deadwyler. “The man who murdered my mother...

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    Melvin C. Ramsey

    Wanted teen jumps from roof onto car to avoid Elgin police

    An 18-year-old wanted on several warrants jumped from a roof and damaged a car during a footchase Saturday, Elgin police said. Melvin C. Ramsey, 18, of Elgin, was being held on $103,000 bail. He was wanted for eluding Elgin police on two separate vehicle chases earlier in May and also had warrants in Kane County and Barrington.

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    Lamb’s Farm hosts Father’s Day brunch:

    Looking for a unique way to show your appreciation on Father’s Day? Visit Lambs Farm for brunch at the Magnolia Café and Bakery.

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    Grayslake attacking emerald ash borer:

    Grayslake has started its attack on the emerald ash borer. Crews on May 22 began using a preventive treatment for the insect on public ash trees throughout the village.

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    Park chat in Vernon Hills:

    The Vernon Hills Park District staff is reaching out to residents in the district’s neighborhood parks this summer with staff and park board commissioners available to chat with resident on selected evening throughout the summer. The season’s first “park chat” is from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 4 at Torrey Pines Park, 520 Torrey Pines Way, Vernon Hills.

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    Island Lake commission to meet privately:

    Island Lake’s fire and police commission will meet behind closed doors Tuesday, June 11, to discuss unspecified personnel issues, according to an agenda for the session.

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    Cary leaves police chief oversight with administrator

    The Cary village board has decided the future police chief will continue to report directly to the village manager, much to the dismay of three trustees.

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    The fire-damaged exterior of Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas cruise ship is seen while docked in Freeport, Grand Bahama island, Monday. Royal Caribbean said the fire occurred early Monday while on route from Baltimore to the Bahamas on the mooring area of deck 3 and was quickly extinguished. All 2,224 guests and 796 crew were safe and accounted for.

    Passengers returning to U.S. after cruise ship fire

    Passengers whose cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas was cut short by an onboard fire began arriving back in Baltimore on charter flights from the Bahamas on Tuesday afternoon, with many praising the response of the company and crew.

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    Man dead in freight train accident in Geneva

    Police have noit yet identified the man who was struck and killed by a freight train in Geneva Tuesday morning.

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    Harper College, Elgin Community College and workNet plan to open an extension site at the former Norbert Pools in the Hanover Square shopping center.

    Harper, ECC eye Hanover Park for extension site

    Given Hanover Park's location on the very edge of three community college districts, officials are planning an extension site in the village with Harper College, Elgin Community College and workNet. The hope is to increase access and expose Hanover Park's extensive immigrant population to higher education.

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    Tri-Cities police reports
    Jason Michael Point, 39, of DeKalb, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of cannabis, driving while his license was suspended, revoked or canceled and speeding, at 4:01 p.m. May 21 in the 200 block of Crissey Avenue, according to a police report

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    Illinois Senate panel advances stricter gun-carry bill

    The Illinois Senate Executive Committee is approving a Democratic plan to allow the public possession of firearms. Majority Democrats on the committee drove the 10-6 vote in favor of the bill by Sen. Kwame Raoul. Raoul said he doesn't know how many votes he has on the floor or when he'll call it. The legislation doesn't include a provision that overrides all local ordinances on firearms —...

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    Jeremy Hammond, a self-described anarchist and “hacktivist” formerly from Glendale Heights, pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges he illegally accessed computer systems of law enforcement agencies and government contractors.

    Ex-Glendale Heights resident pleads guilty in hacking case

    A self-described anarchist and “hacktivist” formerly from Glendale Heights pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges he illegally accessed computer systems of law enforcement agencies and government contractors.

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    Fox Valley Habitat plans 5 new homes in Aurora

    Five new Habitat for Humanity houses planned for Solfisburg Avenue and Beckwith Street in Aurora are set to replace a wooded area behind Cowherd Middle School and make homeownership possible for five more families. The homes will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood, said Alderman Scheketa Hart-Burns, whose ward includes the intersection where Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity is seeking city...

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    Jonathan Watkins, 29, of Chicago, holds his 6-month-old daughter Jonylah Watkins. A judge in Chicago On Tuesday denied bail for Koman Willis, 33, of Chicago, who was charged with first-degree murder in the March 11, 2013, shooting an killing of Jonylah.

    No bail for Chicago man accused of killing baby

    A judge denied bail Tuesday for a Chicago man accused of shooting and killing a 6-month-old baby girl while targeting her father whom he suspected had stolen a video game console.

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    Friends and Blackberry Creek Elementary School students Payton Micka, 8, left, and Kailey Davison, 10, both of Elburn, collected school supplies, clothes and other items to send to tornado victims in Oklahoma.

    Blackberry Creek students sending donations to Moore, Okla.

    Blackberry Creek Elementary School students Payton Micka, 8, and Kaily Davison, 10, knew they wanted to help when they heard about the destruction wrought by the EF5 tornado that tore through the Oklahoma City area last week. Their efforts have materialized into boxes of school supplies and clothing for the victims.

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    Six DUI arrests in Wheeling during Memorial Day campaign

    The Wheeling Police Department made six impaired driving arrests and two other significant arrests during the recent Memorial Day holiday enforcement campaign, the department said in a news release. In addition, 57 safety belt citations and 60 other citations were written.

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    Adam Jones

    Hoffman Estates man charged in sexual assault of Palatine woman

    A 39-year-old Hoffman Estates man faces a criminal sexual assault charge alleging he fondled a 23-year-old Palatine woman who had passed out on his couch Saturday. Prosecutors say Adam L. Jones admitted he took advantage of the woman because “he had a pretty girl passed out on his couch."

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    Elaine Nekritz

    Pension cuts could save local schools from cost shift, lawmakers say

    Two suburban lawmakers say legislation approved by the Illinois House cuts teachers’ retirement benefits so drastically that a plan to have local schools pay for pensions might not cost the districts anything.

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    Elephants are among the animals that are part of Piccadilly Circus. Controversy has dogged the circus, which has shows at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake on Wednesday and Thursday.

    Controversy follows Piccadilly Circus circus into fairgrounds in Grayslake

    Piccadilly Circus begins a two-day run at the Lake County County Fairgrounds in Grayslake on Wednesday, but not without controversy trailing it. Piccadilly received an official warning from the U.S. Department of Agriculture after a zebra died. Animal-rights groups also have been critical of Piccadilly. However, the circus contends it is inspected frequently and treats animals well.

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    The pileated woodpecker, scarce in DuPage, makes a big impression on those lucky enough to see one. This male was photographed recently at the Morton Arboretum.

    Sweet surprises keep birding fun and interesting

    In his first column, back in 2004, Jeff Reiter had the "Gumption" to say that birding is like a box of chocolates. It wasn't the most original thing to say, perhaps, but it still applies. April proved it, for Reiter and for lots of other eager watchers who worked around the rain and flooding. Nothing keeps birders inside during spring migration.

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    Associated Press President Barack Obama tours the Plaza Towers addition in Moore, Okla., beside Moore Mayor Glenn Lewis. In his 20 years as mayor of the Oklahoma City suburb, Lewis has already rebuilt his town twice, grappling with the aftermath of tornadoes so enormous the probability they strike is barely 2 percent. Yet Moore has been slammed by EF5 tornadoes, the largest on the rating scale, twice.

    Mayor of Oklahoma town familiar with tornadoes

    In his nearly 20 years as mayor of Moore, Okla., Glenn Lewis has already rebuilt his town twice, grappling with the aftermath of tornadoes so enormous the probability they strike is barely 2 percent. Yet Moore has been slammed by EF5 tornadoes — the largest on the rating scale — twice. “We know how to do this, because unfortunately, we’ve done it before,” Lewis said.

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    Sybrina Fulton, the mother shooting victim Trayvon Martin, sits with her attorney Benjamin Crump, during a pretrial hearing for George Zimmerman, the accused shooter of Trayvon Martin, Tuesday, May 28, 2013 in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder for the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin. He was not in court for the hearing.

    Judge limits texts, photos in Trayvon Martin case

    Attorneys won’t be able to mention Trayvon Martin’s drug use, suspension from school and past fighting during opening statements in the trial for the neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot the teen, a judge ruled Tuesday.

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    The blotter

    BartlettŸ Thieves stole 15 feet of copper piping out of a vacant home on the 400 block of Nicole Drive May 21. Value was estimated at $1,000.Elk Grove Village

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    QE2 asteroid to fly by Earth from safe distance

    An asteroid more than 1½ miles long will zoom past Earth this week from a far-off distance. The big rock called Asteroid 1998 QE2 will make its closest approach Friday. It will keep a safe distance of 3.6 million miles, or 15 times the distance between Earth and the moon. You won't be able to see it without a powerful telescope.

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    Rescue workers form a human chain as they begin to remove a woman who reaches out from a smashed pickup truck that fell into the Skagit River after the collapse of the Interstate 5 bridge Thursday, May 23, 2013, in Mount Vernon, Wash.

    Wash. bridge collapse survivor says she can’t swim

    A woman who survived the bridge collapse in Washington state says she doesn't know how to swim. Sally Sligh says her husband pulled her out of the water and kept her calm after their pickup truck fell into the Skagit River last Thursday when the Interstate 5 bridge collapsed.

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    Winds could fan Calif. fire that threatens cabins

    Fire crews watched the winds Tuesday as they struggled to corral a wildfire that sent thousands of campers fleeing the mountains above Santa Barbara and threatened dozens of cabins. The wind-driven blaze had nearly doubled in size since it erupted Monday afternoon, carving its way through 2.8 square miles of tinder-dry chaparral, oak and pine.

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    Officials: Gunman in Texas rampage was Marine

    A man suspected in a West Texas shooting rampage that left one woman dead and five others wounded was a Marine who was wanted for questioning in a slaying in North Carolina, officials said Monday.

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    Less than six months after a gunman killed 26 people inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., a comedy benefit event, “Stand up for Newtown,” is scheduled to be held at Edmond Town Hall in Newtown on June 7, 2013. Tommy Koenig is one of five comics set to perform at the show.

    Is Newtown ready to laugh? Comedy benefit organizers hope so

    In comedy, timing is everything. Less than six months after a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six educators inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, Treehouse Comedy Productions plans to put on a show at the Edmond Town Hall in Newtown, Conn., to benefit those affected by the massacre. The event, "Stand up for Newtown," will be held June 7.

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    Curtis Thomas with his girlfriend, Christine Szukalla, taken in September 2010.

    Mt. Prospect store to donate part of proceeds to brain cancer group

    Owners of Capannari's Ice Cream in Mount Prospect hold multiple fundraisers throughout the year, but an event coming up on Sunday truly comes from the heart. Capannari's will donate 10 percent of its proceeds from 6-10 p.m. to raise money for Harley Helping Hands, an organization that helps adults living with brain cancer. A donation basket also will be available for more contributions.

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    South Korean former sex slaves Kim Bok-dong, right, and Kil Won-ok, left, attend a meeting in Osaka, western Japan. More than 70 years ago, at age 14, Kim Bok-dong was ordered to work by Koreaís Japanese occupiers. She was told she was going to a military uniform factory, but ended up at a Japanese-military-run brothel in southern China.

    Japan’s sex slave legacy remains open wound

    The issue of Japan's use of Korean, Chinese and Southeast Asian women and girls as sex slaves — euphemistically called "comfort women" — continues to alienate Tokyo from its neighbors nearly 70 years after the war's end. It is a wound that was made fresh this month when the co-head of an emerging nationalistic party, Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, said "comfort women" had been necessary...

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    Court won’t hear challenge to copyright board

    The Supreme Court won't hear a challenge to the authority of the board that sets royalty rates for musical works.

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    Court stays out of Planned Parenthood funding case

    The Supreme Court will not disturb a lower court ruling that blocks Indiana's effort to strip Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood because the organization performs abortions among its medical services.

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    Trial opens over firing of pregnant Ohio teacher

    A trial was getting under way Tuesday in a Catholic school teacher's lawsuit alleging the Archdiocese of Cincinnati violated anti-discrimination laws by firing her after she became pregnant through artificial insemination.

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    Ryan, a “gender variant” fourth grader, talks with friends during recess at her suburban Chicago school in early May.

    ‘Boy or Girl?’ Gender a new challenge for schools

    From the time they are born, we put our boys in blue beanies and our girls in pink ones. It's a societal norm, an expectation even, that you just are what you are born — a boy or a girl.From early on, we divide toys and activities by very distinct gender lines, with superheroes and trucks and muck on one side and princesses and dolls and all things frilly on the other.

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    This neon Corona beer sign could be yours if you stop by Lamplighter Inn June 5 and help support the Palatine Township Senior Center at the “Beers to You!” beer tasting fundraiser. For information, visit ptscc.org

    Beer tasting fundraiser aids Palatine Twp. Senior Center

    "Beers to You!" beer tasting fundraiser will be from 5:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, at the Lamplighter Inn, 60 N Bothwell St., Palatine.

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    Dawn Patrol: Memorial Day events; Hawks force Game 7

    Thousands salute fallen veterans at Arlington Heights parade; fire ravages shuttered plant nursery in Libertyville; Hanover Park man had 0.324 BAC in Streamwood crash; truck with 38,000 pounds of trail mix crashes in Elmhurst; Blackhawks force Game 7 against Detroit; Cubs' Samardzija shuts out White Sox

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    U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Highland Park, right, who has served in the U.S. Navy Reserves, hugs Paul Benson, 89, of Prospect Heights, who served in World War II, Monday during Arlington Heights’ Fallen Heroes Memorial Day Ceremony.

    Weekend in Review: Hawks win Game 6; gambling deal close?
    What you may have missed over the weekend: Suburbs honor veterans, fallen; Hawks force Game 7; state lawmakers still working on to-do list; Arlington Hts. twins healthy after liver transplants; casino tax could change gambling deal's fate; trailer carrying 38,000 pounds of trail mix crashes in Elmhurst; Cubs beat Sox; McDonald's is overhauling menu; and Fighting Irish looking at plan B after QB...

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    Summer meals programs to serve suburban kids

    As school is winding down for students across the region, summer meal programs are gearing up. The Northern Illinois Food Bank announced more than two dozen sites across six counties that will be open to all students whether they're affiliated with the hosting organization or not. The goal of the program is to fill the gap for students who get free or reduced lunch from their schools during the...

Sports

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    Cubs starter Edwin Jackson had things going his way Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. And then the skies opened.

    Cubs' Jackson can't shake big cloud over his head

    When it rains, it pours. And this year, it's been coming down in buckets all over Edwin Jackson. The Cubs right-hander came out dealing Tuesday night against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. Then the rains came and didn't stop.

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    Captain Jonathan Toews, far right, and the Blackhawks hope to be celebrating again Wednesday night after their Game 7 against Detroit.

    Blackhawks’ Toews hopes for last laugh vs. Detroit

    In a series that has been so even for six games, Tim Sassone says it comes down to this: the Hawks have been in Game 7 mode since they faced a must-win situation in Game 5, but this is a true Game 7 that will decide who advances to the West finals and who goes home for the summer. And Hawks captain Jonathan Toews says he's counting on the home crowd to provide a big lift to carry them into the next round.

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

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

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

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

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    Rough start dooms Montini

    Montini could’ve used a mulligan Tuesday.

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    St. Charles North’s Jack Harbaugh prepares to lift teammate Jake Hamilton (12) into the air as Kevin Beach rolls on the floor as the North Stars celebrate their sectional championship over Lake Park at Bartlett on Tuesday.

    Senior lead St. Charles North to state

    Experience can take a team far in the postseason. For St. Charles North’s 12 seniors, it has helped pave the way to a sectional title.

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    Burke, Waubonsie Valley leave their mark

    Waubonsie Valley found retribution in Charleston.

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    Chris Sale, who had missed his previous start with shoulder tendinitis, said he felt strong after working 3 innings before rain washed out the rest of Tuesday night’s game.

    Rain not such a bad deal for Sale, White Sox

    The White Sox' interleague game against the rival Cubs was postponed Tuesday night with the Sox trailing 2-0 in the third inning. Chris Sale was back on the mound for the White Sox after missing his last start with a sore shoulder. Sale said he felt good after the abbreviated outing.

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    Connor Conzelman of Jacobs makes a leaping catch in left field against Cary-Grove earlier this season.

    Baseball: Scouting Fox Valley sectionals

    Scouting the Class 3A and Class 4A baseball sectionals in the Fox Valley.

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    Downers Grove South defeats Neuqua Valley

    There’s no mystery to the Downers Grove South volleyball team’s success this year. The Mustangs are just playing their game and not worrying about the other side of the net. On Tuesday the Mustangs (27-10) rebounded from a first-set loss and defeated Neuqua Valley 24-26, 25-21, 25-22 to win the Proviso West sectional and move on to the Elite Eight at the state tournament Friday at Hoffman Estates.

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    Cougars beaten by River Bandits

    The Kane County Cougars fell to the Quad Cities River Bandits 7-5 in a game shortened by rain to 5½ innings Tuesday night at Modern Woodmen Park.

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    Miami Heat's Mario Chalmers has his shot blocked by Indiana Pacers' Paul George (24) during the second half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

    Pacers get even with Miami after 99-92 victory

    Roy Hibbert had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Lance Stephenson added 20 points, and the Indiana Pacers charged back late to beat the Miami Heat 99-92 on Tuesday night and tie the Eastern Conference finals at 2-2.

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    It’s no picnic for Vernon Hills as Deerfield advances

    Practicing at the beach this week is probably out of the question. But Deerfield outside hitter John Harlan might try to convince his coach of the merits anyway. He and fellow outside hitter Zach Hara jump out of the gym when they throw down kills, which they did over and over again Tuesday in leading Deerfield to a 25-22, 25-19 sweep over Vernon Hills in the championship game of the Antioch sectional.

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    St. Charles East’s Alex Latoria is welcomed at home plate after hitting a home run in the sixth inning of the Saints’ Class 4A sectional semifinal win over Bartlett on Tuesday in St. Charles.

    St. Charles East rolls past Bartlett

    Postseason mojo. Bartlett softball coach Jim Wolfsmith knows all about it, and he says St. Charles East has it. “They’ve got the same kind of mojo we had last year at this time,” said Wolfsmith, who guided his team to an appearance in the Class 4A state championship game last season. It would be hard to argue with Wolfsmith after St. Charles East took down Bartlett 11-2 Tuesday in the first semifinal of the Saints’ Class 4A sectional. SCE made it look easy by playing solid defense, getting time and productive hitting, and another strong pitching performance from junior Haley Beno. The No. 1 seed Saints (28-4) will seek their first sectional title since 1994 and just the second in program history at 11 a.m. Saturday when they take on the winner of today’s game between No. 2 Glenbard North and No. 7 South Elgin.

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    Vernon Hills’ Izzy Cirone (2) high-fives Jen Claussen after scoring against Northside Prep during Tuesday’s Class 3A sectional semifinal game in Grayslake.

    Claussen, Vernon Hills cruise into sectional final

    The Vernon Hills softball team kept rolling right along Tuesday afternoon as the Cougars met Northside Prep in the Class 3A Grayslake Central sectional. The Cougars used a combination of some great pitching by senior Jen Claussen and some timely hitting to capture a 4-0 semifinal victory over the Mustangs. Vernon Hills advances to the sectional championship game at 11 a.m. Saturday against the winner of Wednesday’s scheduled Antioch-Wauconda game.

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    Barrington’s Jenna Szczesny kicks a first-half goal against St. Charles North Tuesday in the supersectional game in Barrington, before it was delayed by lightning.

    St. Charles North, Barrington halted by weather

    There were two decidedly different sets of fireworks at Barrington on Tuesday night.

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    Blackhawks ready to deal with dicey ice situation

    It’s that time of year again, when talk turns to the ice surface at the United Center and, well, you can’t always get what you want. “It’s the same for both teams,” defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson said.x

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    FILE - In this May 29, 2008 file photo, Denver Broncos backup quarterback Cullen Finnerty stretches at the team's headquarters in Denver. Authorities are searching for Cullen Finnerty, a quarterback who led Grand Valley State to three Division II national football championships, after he failed to return from fishing near his northern Michigan cabin. The Lake County, Mich., sheriff's department says the search continued Monday evening, May 27, 2013 for the 30-year-old Finnerty, who didn't return Sunday night, May 26, 2013. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

    Former college champ QB found dead in Michigan

    One of the winningest quarterbacks in college football history was found dead in the woods of northern Michigan Tuesday night, days after disappearing while out fishing near his family’s cottage.

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    Naperville North won’t be denied

    With sophomore midfielder Claire Hilburger suffering a broken leg and being carted off the field on a stretcher at the 13:50 mark of the first half, Naperville North girls soccer coach Steve Goletz wasn’t quite sure how his Huskies would respond.

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    Barrington’s Morgan Olszewski celebrates as she scores a run against Fremd during the Rolling Meadows sectional semifinal Tuesday.

    Barrington’s run continues

    Barrington’s home-run hitting parade continued in its semifinal game of the Rolling Meadows Class 4A softball sectional on Tuesday. And so did the top-seeded Fillies’ run through the state tournament with a 5-1 triumph over their Mid-Suburban West rival Fremd. With a solo home run by Loren Krzysko and a 2-run blast by Krista Moore, the Fillies came to within 1 homer of tying Antioch and O’Fallon high schools, which entered the season with the IHSA state single-season record of 51.

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    Buffalo Grove makes winning statement

    Kelli Zickert and her backline mates set Buffalo Grove on a winning course Tuesday night in Glenview, as the Bison netted an impressive 2-0 victory over Loyola in the Class 3A Glenbrook South supersectional. The Bison advance into the last four of the state tournament against top-ranked Naperville North (20-0-2), which defeated Collinsville 2-0 Tuesday night at Normal Community High School. Buffalo Grove and Naperville North meet in a state semifinal at 5 p.m. Friday at North Central College in Naperville.

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    News on injured pitcher Vizcaino not good

    Cubs pitching prospect Arodys Vizcaino has suffered a setback in his recovery from last year's Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Vizcaino underwent a debridement of the elbow to clean out a calcium buildup.

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    Jones finds things tougher in second season

    White Sox relief pitcher Nate Jones was a huge surprise as a rookie last season, going 8-0 with a 2.39 ERA. This year, Jones is off to a slow start (1-4, 7.04 ERA) and in danger of being demoted to the minors.

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    A pair of baseball fans huddle under an umbrella as they chose to brave the downpour during the third inning of an interleague baseball game between the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Cubs-Sox rained out in 3rd inning
    The game between the Cubs and White Sox was rained out Tuesday night.It was stopped in the bottom of the third inning with the Cubs ahead 2-0 at U.S. Cellular Field.No makeup date was announced.

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    Warren channels its energy into convincing victory

    Three Warren hitters into Tuesday’s Class 4A sectional semifinal game in Crystal Lake, the Blue Devils already had a pair of homers and an infield single. Evidently nerves about playing in the Prairie Ridge sectional didn’t matter to Warren, because the Blue Devils batted around in the first inning. It paid off with 5 quick runs. Warren (26-5) will play for a sectional crown this weekend after an impressive 8-2 win over McHenry on Tuesday.

  •  
    Jane Trzaska of Glenbard South slides into home plate ahead of the ball in the first inning during action against Evergreen Park in Class 3A sectional semifinal softball on Tuesday in La Grange.

    Just a bump in Glenbard South’s road

    Glenbard South pitcher Stephanie Chitkowski knew she had to settle down after a pair of illegal pitches led to an Evergreen Park run in the first inning.

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    Chicago Blackhawks center Michael Frolik (67), of the Czech Republic, scores a penalty shot goal against the Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) during the third period in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs in Detroit, Monday, May 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

    Hawks’ Frolik makes history with penalty-shot goal

    With his beautiful backhand penalty shot high into the net past Jimmy Howard midway through the third period on Monday night, Michael Frolik provided one of the most memorable moments thus far in the playoffs for Blackhawks fans.

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    Downers Grove South overcomes Wheaton Warrenville South

    Ron Havelka has been here many times before. But few times, if ever, with a team quite like this. Havelka’s No. 9 seed Downers Grove South Mustangs — a team starting three freshmen and playing just two seniors — are back in a sectional final after holding off No. 13 Wheaton Warrenville South 3-2 at Tuesday’s Class 4A Neuqua Valley sectional.

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    FILE- In this Oct. 13, 2012, file photo, Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson (5) looks down as coach Brian Kelly looks over his play card during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Stanford in South Bend, Ind. Golson's high school coach says he believes the quarterback will learn from being suspended by Notre Dame for the fall semester. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

    Kelly: 3 QBs will get chance to start for Irish

    Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly says the suspension of starting quarterback Everett Golson for the fall semester means a three-man competition heading into practices in August.

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    Murray says Game 7 means high-level intensity

    Blackhawks broadcaster Troy Murray explains what a Game 7 is like."You’re going to have so many different emotional swings coming into the game. It’s a fun time of year but at the same time there’s a lot of pressure.Whichever team dials that emotion in the right direction has a good chance of winning."

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    Wheaton Academy picks Froedden

    Wheaton Academy offered its new boys basketball coach everything he sought in a program, including the chance to lead it. Athletic director Andrew Tink on Tuesday announced the hiring of Pete Froedden as the Warriors’ new varsity coach. Froedden had been a five-year assistant coach at his alma mater, Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., where as point guard from 1987-91 he scored 1,053 points.

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    The Chicago Fire acquired Mike Magee on Friday night in a trade with the L.A. Galaxy, and he hopes to play in Wednesday’s U.S. Cup contest.

    Fire poised to hit reset button

    With two-thirds of the Major League Soccer season to play, the Chicago Fire is starting over. And they have two important pieces in Bakary Soumare and Mike Magee to lead the charge.

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    Julie Hermann, hired to clean up Rutgers’ scandal-scarred athletic program, quit as Tennessee’s women’s volleyball coach 16 years ago after her players submitted a letter complaining she ruled through humiliation, fear and emotional abuse, The Star-Ledger reported Saturday, May 25, 2013, on its website.

    Rutgers stands by new AD despite abuse allegations

    Rutgers is standing by its incoming athletic director despite allegations she humiliated and verbally abused players during her coaching days, with the embattled president of the prominent university saying he is looking forward to her first day on the job. It's the latest in a series of difficulties for the school, which lost its previous men's basketball coach and chief athletic executive to an abuse scandal, and then had to acknowledge its new men's coach had not graduated from Rutgers after it previously said he did.

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    Former Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka will have his No. 89 retired by the Bears next December. He’ll be the 14th player honored by the franchise by having his jersey retired.

    Ditka still the face of Da Bears

    Mike North is happy to see the Chicago Bears and Mike Ditka have finally reconciled their differences and made nice. Retiring his number is overdue, but it doesn't matter now. It's going to happen and North says it has made the Bears organization whole again.

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    Batavia’s Lexi Slome, right, and Geneva’s Annie Waldoch battle for control of the ball during sectional semifinal play at Hoffman Estates on Tuesday night.

    Images: Daily Herald prep photos of the week
    The Prep Photos of the Week gallery includes the best high school sports pictures by Daily Herald photographers. This week's gallery features photos from track, baseball, softball, volleyball, soccer and tennis.

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    Tim Sassone’s three stars

    1. Michal Handzus, Hawks Scored the goal 51 seconds into the third period that tied the game and turned everything around.2. Jonathan Toews, Hawks Two assists and plenty of hard work from the captain.3. Bryan Bickell, Hawks Had a big goal in the comeback, his fifth of the playoffs, to go with 2 hits.

Business

  •  

    European leaders sound the alarm on youth unemployment

    PARIS — European leaders sounded the alarm on youth unemployment Tuesday and called for more help for businesses to help solve the problem that has left nearly one in four young people in Europe without a job.At a conference in Paris Tuesday, French, Italian and German ministers warned that if high youth unemployment is not addressed, young people will lose faith in their governments and the European Union. “We now have to rescue an entire generation of people who are scared,” said Enrico Giovannini, Italy’s labor minister. “We have the best ever educated generation in this continent, and we are putting them on hold.”European countries have seen their unemployment rates skyrocket, first fueled by the global recession and then by the continent’s debt crisis. The unemployment rate for the EU’s 27 member countries is now 10.9 percent. Young people have fared much worse: their unemployment rate in the EU is 23.5 percent. In Greece and Spain, youth unemployment is over 50 percent. By comparison, it is 16.1 percent in the U.S.EU countries have struggled to tackle the problem. Budget cuts imposed to control outsized deficits — which have cut have thousands of public-sector jobs and left little money for economic stimulus or employment programs — have only exacerbated youth unemployment. Many countries with the worst unemployment problems, like Greece, Spain and Italy, are implementing labor market reforms that should eventually spur growth and create more jobs by making it easier for companies to hire and fire people — but they will take a long time to yield results.The EU has already set aside funds, including 6 billion euros ($7.8 billion) for its “Youth Guarantee” — a commitment to getting every young person in the EU into a job, an internship or training within four months of their becoming unemployed. Another 16 billion euros in European structural funds are also available for youth employment projects.But to tap the funds, countries need to come up with projects — and they have been slow to do so. The French and German labor and finance ministers met Tuesday to come up with a plan to bring more urgency to the subject. In a joint editorial published in French and German newspapers Tuesday, they warned that “elevated unemployment that (young people) are enduring is a social, economic and political threat.”Few details have come out of the meeting, however, and much of the plan seems to be a repackaging of old promises. A statement following it said a full plan should be unveiled and adopted at the European Summit at the end of June.At the conference in the morning, the minsters also said that one of the major components of their plan has to be ensuring that small businesses have everything they need to grow — and hire.Small and medium-sized businesses, which employ the vast majority of young people, have complained that since the global economic meltdown in 2008, gaining access to loans has become increasingly difficult.The minsters said that they are working on establishing a special credit line for these small businesses from the European Investment Bank, which will have a 70 billion euro lending capacity this year.Increasing the lending capacity of the EIB has been seen as an important way to help restart growth in Europe. But Werner Hoyer, EIB president, joked Tuesday that his bank is the biggest — but also the least-known — bank in Europe. He warned the money can do no good if businesses don’t know to ask for it. Hoyer also noted that more needed to be done to bring down the high interest rates charged to companies in struggling countries. A business in northern Italy, just a few miles from the Austrian border, would pay two-and-a-half times the interest rate as one just over the frontier, he said. That kind of gap is unsustainable and weighs on the ability of businesses in the countries where jobs are needed most to compete.

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    The U.S. housing market is benefiting from solid job gains and near-record low mortgage rates. Sales of new homes rose in April to nearly a five-year high.

    Economic gains boost US confidence to 5-year high

    Home prices are surging, job growth is strengthening and stocks are setting record highs. All of which explains why Americans are more hopeful about the economy than at any other point in five years.

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    Premier Healthcare Alliance resigns with Sysmex America
    Medical diagnostic testing equipment and information systems technology provider Sysmex America said it has been awarded three new contracts from the national group purchasing organization Premier health care alliance in the categories of hematology (both Premier and Ascend) and urinalysis (Premier).

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    Illinois House approves ‘puppy lemon’ law

    The House has approved a plan adding more protections for Illinois consumers who buy a dog or cat at a pet store and find out the pet is gravely ill. House members voted 67-49 Monday. The Senate approved the measure known as a "puppy lemon law" earlier this month. But House changes will require Senate concurrence.

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    Customers who use their Link/EBT cards at the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market this summer can get an additional $20 in Link tokens per week through a new “Link double couponing” program funded by a donation by BMO Harris Bank.

    Extra bonus for Link/EBT customers at Elgin farmers market

    People who receive state assistance will be eligible to get up to $20 extra per week when they shop at the Downtown Elgin Harvest Market this summer. Customers who swipe their Link/EBT cards at the Elgin market's information booth can get an additional $20 in Link tokens per week thanks to a donation by BMO Harris Bank.

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    Rep. Kevin Brady, a Republican from Texas, left to right, and Rep. Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, listen as Rep. Devin Nunes, a Republican from California, left, questions witnesses during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing May 17. The scandal at the Internal Revenue Service is the “latest example of a culture of cover-ups” at the agency and in the Obama administration, Dave Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said.

    Tax overhaul: Looking to IRS scandal for momentum

    The storm engulfing the Internal Revenue Service could provide a boost for lawmakers who want to simplify U.S. tax laws — a code that is so complicated most Americans buy commercial software to help them or simply hire someone else to do it all.

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    Enterprise to acquire IGO CarSharing business

    Enterprise Holdings said Tuesday that it’s acquiring the business of IGO CarSharing, a nonprofit car-sharing program based in Chicago.The acquisition represents further expansion of traditional car-rental companies into the car-sharing business. The move follows rival Avis Budget Group Inc.’s acquisition of car-sharing service Zipcar Inc. for $491.2 million, which expanded its offerings to include car-sharing.

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    Rosemont Mayor Bradley Stephens is asking for state money to help renovate the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.

    Stephens asks for state money for convention center

    Rosemont Mayor Bradley Stephens Tuesday asked the state for $210 million in state taxes over 30 years to renovate the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. “The convention center on the inside needs some upgrading,” Stephens said. “The ceiling heights are low. We need to raise those ceiling heights to be able to attract some of these shows that are now going to these pretty convention centers in Indianapolis and in Cleveland and in Jacksonville, Fla.”

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    Stocks surged in early trading following a three-day weekend after U.S. home prices rose the most in seven years and consumer confidence reached a five-year high.

    Stocks jump after home prices, confidence surge

    Stocks surged Tuesday after U.S. home prices rose the most in seven years and consumer confidence reached a five-year high. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed as much as 210 points during morning trading as traders returned from the Memorial Day holiday.

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    U.S. home prices rise 10.9 pct., most since 2006

    U.S. home prices jumped 10.9 percent in March compared with a year ago, the most since April 2006. A growing number of buyers are bidding on a tight supply of homes, driving prices higher and helping the housing market recover.

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    Flexera opens two offices to meet demand in China

    Flexera Software said it is opening two new offices in Beijing and Hong Kong to address growing demand for its products in China.

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    U.S. consumer confidence rises in May to 5-year high

    Americans' confidence in the economy jumped in May to a five-year high, lifted by a better outlook for hiring, rising home prices and more optimism about business conditions. The increase suggests consumers may keep boosting economic growth this year. The Conference Board, a New York-based private research group, said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose in May to 76.2. That's up from a reading of 69.0 in April and the highest since February 2008.

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    Corn climbs to three-week high on slow planting; soy, wheat rise

    Corn for delivery after the U.S. harvest rose to the highest in more than three weeks before a government report today that may show wet weather slowed planting in the Midwest. Soybeans and wheat also gained.Parts of Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and South Dakota had as much as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of rain during the past three days, causing flooding and delaying planting, Commodity Weather Group LLC said in a report. Fields from Missouri to Michigan may receive another 3 inches beginning May 30. Seventy-one percent of corn and 24 percent of soybeans were planted in the main U.S. growing areas as of May 19, trailing the five-year average, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said last week.“Excessive rain has become a major concern,” Joseph Vaclavik, the president of Standard Grain Inc. in Chicago, said in a report to clients today. “Traders are already weighing the possibility of significant acreage loss as a result of the wet- weather patterns.”Corn futures for December delivery rose 2.6 percent to $5.505 a bushel at 9:51 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after reaching $5.5425, the highest for that contract since May 3. A close at that price would mark the biggest gain since April 29. Corn futures for delivery in July increased 1.8 percent to $6.69.Soybean futures for July delivery, the most-active contract by open interest, climbed 2.5 percent to $15.1375 a bushel in Chicago. November soybean futures rose 2.1 percent to $12.7425.Markets in the U.S. were closed yesterday for a public holiday.Corn planting is expected to rise to 85 percent to 90 percent completed as of May 26, compared with 90 percent on average the past five years, Vaclavik said in the report. Soybean sowing may rise to 45 percent completed.The USDA estimated May 10 that the corn harvest will rise to a record 359.17 million metric tons this year, as farmers plant the most acres since 1936 and fields recover from last year’s drought. Soybean output may be 92.26 million tons, also the highest ever. Crops planted after mid-May in Iowa may be at risk of yield losses, according to Iowa State University data.Wheat futures for July delivery gained 0.3 percent to $6.9925 a bushel on the CBOT.

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    Krugman feud with Reinhart-Rogoff escalates as austerity debated

    Nobel laureate Paul Krugman refused to back down in a dispute with Harvard University economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff over a 2010 paper they wrote that’s been used to justify austerity in the U.S. and Europe.Reinhart and Rogoff, in a May 25 letter posted on Reinhart’s website, accused Krugman of “spectacularly uncivil behavior” for asserting in an article published in the New York Review of Books that they had withheld data from their research. A day later, Krugman said the two have done little to dispel what he called a misconception generated by their paper — that economies falter when debt levels exceed 90 percent of gross domestic product.“If the authors ever made an effort to correct this misconception, or indeed if they have ever even acknowledged that it’s a misconception, it was done very quietly,” Krugman wrote in the May 26 article on The New York Times website. “I’m sorry, but the failure to clear up this misconception has done a great deal of harm.”The Harvard economists acknowledged on April 17 that they had inadvertently left some data out of their calculations in the study, in response to a paper questioning their methods released on April 15 by researchers from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Still, the error didn’t change the basic findings of their research, the Harvard economists said.“Growth in a Time of Debt” concluded that countries with public debt greater than 90 percent of GDP suffered measurably slower economic growth. It has been cited by U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn in defense of their arguments against high budget deficits.Reinhart and Rogoff, in their letter to Krugman, criticized him for asserting that the U.S. and U.K. have the “costless option” of engaging in an open-ended fiscal expansion.The Harvard economists said while they hadn’t advocated austerity in the immediate wake of the subprime crisis that began in 2007, “waiting 10 to 15 more years to deal with a festering problem is an invitation for decay, if not necessarily an outright debt crisis.”Krugman’s assertions constituted “sloppy neglect on your part to check the facts before charging us with a serious academic ethical infraction,” Reinhart and Rogoff wrote.The data he said they refused to share has been on the Internet “for those doing research who care to look,” they wrote. “So to accuse us of not sharing our data is an unfounded attack on our academic and personal integrity.”Krugman, a Princeton University economist, countered that they have continued to blur the distinction between growth that tends to be slower in countries with debt of more than 90 percent of GDP and growth that’s sharply lower when debt reaches that threshold.“Austerity-minded policymakers, of course, seized on the latter claim,” he wrote.The economists’ debate is playing out from Washington to Brussels as lawmakers and leaders clash over the need to rein in budget deficits without choking growth.As much as $85 billion of spending cuts this year started on March 1 after Congress and President Barack Obama failed to agree on a deal to postpone the reductions or come up with a like amount of deficit reduction.In the U.K., Prime Minister David Cameron says austerity will have to continue well beyond 2015 as the budget deficit has fallen by less than a third instead of the half the Conservative-led government projected when it took office three years ago. The International Monetary Fund, which had backed his handling of the economy, urged Britain last month to ease its budget-cutting drive with growth only now starting to show signs of revival.

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    Mclaren forecasts Asia sales to double this year on China demand

    McLaren Automotive Ltd., maker of the P1 supercar that costs about $1 million, forecast sales in Asia will more than double this year on demand from China.While overall deliveries will be little changed this year, Asia’s portion of the global total will jump to 25 percent from 10 percent in 2012, Mirko Bordiga, Asia Pacific regional director of the Woking, U.K.-based carmaker, said in an interview in Tokyo yesterday. McLaren plans to sell 1,400 units worldwide in 2013, he said.McLaren, which began selling road cars in 2011, plans to open its first four dealerships in China this year and add four more by the first half of 2014. Luxury car sales in China will probably surpass those in the U.S. as soon as 2016, according to McKinsey & Co. estimates.“This year, we will finally see sales from China,” said Bordiga, who was in Tokyo to introduce the P1 in Japan. “We are waiting for the official documents to start the company.”The Chinese government, as part of a campaign against extravagant spending, is considering imposing a 20 percent consumption tax on ultra-luxury vehicles that cost more 1.7 million yuan ($278,000), the Nanfang Daily reported last week. The story cited an official from a German luxury automaker it didn’t identify.Potential additional taxes on luxury vehicles would likely only affect McLaren Chinese sales in the short term, according to Bordiga.Japanese Demand“We will have to wait and see if and how they will apply the regulation, and then decide what to do,” said Bordiga. “It won’t have a big impact in the long term.”Ultra-luxury cars from manufacturers such as Ferrari SpA and Volkswagen AG’s Lamborghini would be most affected by such a policy, Haitong International Securities Co. analyst Liang Yonghuo wrote in a note yesterday. Total 2013 sales of such vehicles in China are expected to be 4,000 to 5,000 units, according to Liang’s estimates.In Japan, where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda are using monetary stimulus and fiscal spending in an attempt to revive the world’s third-largest economy, Bordiga said he expected rising demand.“We expect sales will pick up,” said Bordiga. “We have been lucky that Abenomics is starting to have some positive effect.”

  •  

    Gold falls on speculation Fed may slow stimulus on U.S. growth

    Gold futures declined for a second session on speculation that the Federal Reserve may scale back monetary stimulus as the U.S. economy strengthens, curbing demand for the precious metal as a protection of wealth.Confidence among U.S. consumers climbed in May to the highest level in more than five years, according to a New York- based private research group. In the 12 months through March, home prices rose by the most in seven years, a separate report showed. Holdings in global exchange-traded products backed by gold are set for a fifth straight monthly drop.“Good U.S. data continues to weigh on gold,” Thomas Capalbo, a precious-metals broker with Newedge Group, said in a telephone interview in New York. “Also, the withdrawals from ETFs show that the momentum buyers remain bearish.”Gold futures for August delivery slipped 0.5 percent to $1,380.80 an ounce at 11:02 a.m. on the Comex in New York, extending the month’s loss to 6.2 percent. Prices fell 0.4 percent on May 24.Trading was more than double the average in the past 100 days for this time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Comex floor was shut yesterday for a national holiday, and yesterday’s electronic transactions will be booked with today’s trades for settlement purposes.Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said May 22 that the central bank may slow its $85 billion of monthly debt purchases if the economy shows sustained signs of improvement.Silver futures for July delivery dropped 1.3 percent to $22.20 an ounce in New York.

  •  

    Videology completes $60 million financing to accelerate growth of global media management platform

    NEW YORK — Videology, the leading video technology platform powering the shift from television to the Internet for advertisers, agencies and media companies, announced today that it has completed a $60 million Series D financing round led by Catalyst Investors.  Current investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Valhalla Partners, and Comcast Ventures also participated, along with new investor Pinnacle Ventures.Since its founding in 2007, Videology’s platform has been adopted by leading agencies and media companies around the world.  Today the company operates in 12 countries and runs advertising campaigns for approximately 900 brands globally each year, resulting in a three-year CAGR of 190%.  Proceeds from the round will be used to further develop its technology to synthesize the power of TV marketing across the fast-growing Internet-enabled landscape including PC, mobile, connected TV, and other emerging technologies.“The greatest opportunity for growth is driven by the continued convergence of television with the Internet and mobile devices. Our technology bridges the traditional and digital worlds through a unified platform, enhancing the effectiveness of both,” said Scott Ferber, Chairman and CEO of Videology. “We will also continue to build on our advanced technology platform with the addition of next-generation tools for media, mobile, and multichannel video distributors, further connecting the ecosystem.”The world of advertising is increasingly complex for media buyers and sellers as traditional TV and cross-device digital media collide. Videology’s technology platform, built on the company’s deep foundations and history in math and optimization, offers agencies and advertisers features and specifications that are typical to the TV market, while enabling advanced targeting, optimization, and cost savings.“Fundamental shifts are under way as consumers are increasingly viewing video on their laptops, tablets and smartphones-and advertisers are shifting their spending to follow them,” said Ryan McNally, co-founder and Partner of Catalyst Investors, a New York-based growth equity fund focused on technology enabled services. “We were attracted to Videology because its technology powers this shift and because we thought that we could add value as the company further accelerates its growth.”“We are amazed with the team at Videology’s ability to execute and deliver great results for advertisers and their agencies by bridging traditional and digital media,” said David Horowitz, Partner at Comcast Ventures, which reinvested in Videology with this round. “We are confident that with additional capital and resources, Videology will continue to lead the industry in providing addressable advertising solutions for brand-centric advertisers.”“Their proven management team, consistent growth trajectory, innovative product road map and insight into the future direction of the market continue to make Videology stand out in the ad technology arena,” said Art Marks, Managing General Partner, Valhalla Partners. “We can see Videology becoming the underlying technology that drives and supports a new world order in media planning and inventory management, much the way Salesforce has transformed the way companies think about customer relationship management.”

  •  

    Cotton climbs on signs of increasing demand; orange juice rises

    Cotton futures rose, snapping the longest slump in eight months, on signs of increasing demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s top exporter. Orange juice also advanced.In the week to May 16, export sales of upland cotton jumped 37 percent from a week earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. This month, U.S. consumer confidence rose to the highest in more than five years, a Conference Board report showed today.“The sales have been very good,” John Flanagan, the president of Flanagan Trading in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, said in a telephone interview. “There’s also some confidence that we’ll sell all the cotton that we want to sell.”Cotton for July delivery rose 0.3 percent to 81.75 cents a pound at 10:37 a.m. on ICE Futures U.S. in New York. The price dropped in the previous five sessions, the longest slump since mid-September.Orange-juice futures for July delivery climbed 1.2 percent to $1.4905 a pound. Through May 24, the price gained 26 percent this year.

  •  

    Dollar climbs as U.S. reports bolster bets Fed will slow buying

    The dollar strengthened versus the yen and the euro as U.S. reports showed consumer confidence reached the highest level since 2008 and home values climbed, bolstering bets the Federal Reserve will slow its bond buying.Japan’s currency slid against all of its 16 major peers after an adviser to Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the nation’s central bank can add to its unprecedented stimulus if necessary to support economic revival. South Africa’s rand tumbled to a four-year low after data showed the economy slowed more than analysts estimated in the first quarter.“At a time when the rest of the world’s economies are on shaky ground, U.S. economic data continues to surprise to the upside, making the dollar extremely attractive to global investors,” Kathy Lien, managing director of foreign exchange at BK Asset Management, an investment advisory firm in New York, wrote in a client note. “As U.S. economic data continues to improve, expectations for tapering asset purchases by the Fed will continue to build.”The dollar appreciated 1.5 percent to 102.42 yen at 10:54 a.m. New York time. It reached 103.74 on May 22, the strongest level since October 2008. The greenback rose 0.6 percent against the euro to $1.2857. The Japanese currency slid 0.9 percent to 131.77 per euro. Markets in the U.S. and U.K. were closed yesterday for public holidays.

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    Record cash sent to balanced funds as individuals buy stocks

    Investors are pumping record amounts of money into U.S. balanced funds, whose freedom to buy stocks and bonds made them barometers for gains in the biggest bull markets of the past half century.Managers led by Capital Research & Management Co. and Invesco Ltd. received $35.2 billion from January to April, the most in any four months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and the Washington-based Investment Company Institute. Assets in the funds increased 3.6 percent, compared with 1.2 percent for those that only buy equities.While valuations and trading volume show individuals burned in the financial crisis have been slow to join the record- breaking rally in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, the growth of funds that now balance more than $1 trillion of stocks and bonds shows the reluctance is easing. Deposits with hybrid funds reached records in February 1994, when the S&P 500 was in the middle of a 417 percent gain, and in April 2004 amid a 101 percent rally.“It shows the early stages of the healing process and reduction in this still pervasive negative psychology about the stock market,” Michael Holland, chairman of New York-based Holland & Co., which oversees $4 billion, said in a May 22 phone interview. “We’re four years into a bull market and levels of stock ownership remain very, very low.”The Holland Balanced Fund has beaten 96 percent of its peers in 2013 and 70 percent in the last five years, according to Bloomberg data. He has about 30 percent of the funds in investments other than equities, mostly short-dated Treasuries, and favors large-cap companies in the stock market. Among the top holdings are Home Depot Inc., Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and 3M Co., which have outperformed the S&P 500 by at least 3.1 percentage points this year.The S&P 500 fell 1.1 percent to 1,649.60 in its first weekly decline since April 19 as Chinese manufacturing contracted and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said policymakers could “step down” the pace of asset purchases if the labor market improves. The equity benchmark climbed 1.2 percent to 1,669.23 at 11 a.m. New York time today.Declines came as a report on Chinese manufacturing trailed economists’ forecasts, sending the Topix Index down 6.9 percent on May 23, the worst drop since the 2011 Fukushima disaster. The S&P 500 slumped four of the last five days.Even with the decline, 461 of the 500 companies in the benchmark U.S. gauge trade above their 200-day moving average are up for the year. The S&P 500 has risen 144 percent since bottoming in March 2009 during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.Among the biggest managers in hybrid strategies, Los Angeles-based Capital Research’s American Balanced Fund, with 70 percent in equities and about 29 percent in bonds, saw assets increase 11 percent to $61.9 billion this year, compared with an 8.9 percent increase in the same period last year. The fund’s top three equity holdings are Home Depot, Chevron Corp. and Berkshire Hathaway.Invesco V.I. Equity & Income Fund’s assets rose 17 percent to $1.1 billion. The Atlanta-based fund has 65 percent in stocks and about 28 percent in bonds, and owns JPMorgan Chase & Co. and eBay Inc., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.U.S. mutual funds that own equities and bonds have returned about 8.8 percent on average in 2013, compared with the S&P 500’s 16 percent gain and a loss of 1 percent for 10-year Treasuries, according to Bloomberg data on mutual funds with an average allocation of 62 percent to equities and 25 percent to bonds.With the S&P 500 posting its best return for the first four months of the year since 1998, balanced funds have added more than twice the $16.5 billion U.S. equity funds received, data from ICI and Bloomberg show.

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    Nike Inc. is cutting ties with the Livestrong cancer charity founded by Armstrong. The move by the sports company is the latest fallout in the doping scandal surrounding the former cyclist, who now admits he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France seven times.

    Nike cuts ties to Livestrong

    Nike, which helped build Lance Armstrong's Livestrong cancer charity into a global brand and introduced its familiar yellow wristband, is cutting ties with the foundation in the latest fallout from the former cyclist's doping scandal.

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    Abe’s adviser tells South Korea to cope with yen not blame Japan

    Koichi Hamada, an economic adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, told South Korea to adjust its own monetary policies if officials are concerned at the effects of a yen weakened by unprecedented easing.“Each country can take care of itself through its own monetary policy,” Hamada, 77, said in an interview in Tokyo yesterday. South Korean officials “shouldn’t blame the Japanese central bank, they should demand the Korean central bank have a proper monetary policy,” he said.South Korean exporters such as Hyundai Motor Co. stand to lose ground to Japanese rivals because of the yen’s 20 percent slide against the dollar in the past six months. The currency’s decline is adding to the risk of deteriorating relations between the nations, after South Korean Finance Minister Hyun Oh Seok said last month that the weak yen is a bigger economic risk than North Korean threats.“South Korea is the country most concerned by the actions taken by Japan, and that’s because their exports are seen as relatively close substitutes,” said Lee Hardman, a currency strategist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in London. “South Korea could also attempt the same measures” to weaken their currency, he said.The yen traded at 102.09 per dollar as of 7:08 p.m. in Tokyo yesterday. The won has strengthened about 20 percent against the Japanese currency in the past six months.Minutes released yesterday from a Bank of Korea meeting on May 9, showed policymakers’ concerns that the yen’s depreciation will hinder the nation’s economic recovery. One board member said the economy was likely to underperform for a considerable period because of weakness in the yen and the global economy and geopolitical risk. At that meeting, the central bank cut the benchmark rate to 2.5 percent from 2.75 percent.“The Korean central bank can undo some of the negative effects from Japan’s monetary expansion,” Hamada said.The Bank of Japan in April pledged to double bond buying in an attempt to secure 2 percent inflation and drag the world’s third-biggest economy out of a 15-year deflationary malaise. Board member Ryuzo Miyao said yesterday that the central bank has taken all necessary steps for now.Governor Haruhiko Kuroda “should continue to trust in his judgment and ease further” if needed, said Hamada, 77, who was tapped by Abe last year to advise on monetary policy. A stock slump in Japan was “a natural correction” and so-called Abenomics is working “as well or better than expected,” Hamada said.The Topix Index of stocks rose 1.2 percent yesterday after plunging 6.9 percent on May 23, the biggest decline since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The gauge is up 36 percent this year. Japan’s economy grew the most in a year last quarter and the yen fell past 100 against the dollar this month, boosting Japanese exporters such as Mazda Motor Corp.In March, Hamada endorsed a yen level of 98 to 100 per dollar even as he said he was scolded by the government for similar remarks that risked friction with Group of 20 nations.“A level of 100 may restore the competitive conditions of Japanese industry,” Hamada said in an interview over a continental breakfast with black coffee at a central Tokyo hotel yesterday, before an appearance on Bloomberg TV. “I think it is not out of the question” for the currency to weaken further, he said.Kuroda on May 26 backed “bullish” views on asset markets and said that the nation could cope with rising interest rates. The central bank chief added that Japan is expected to return to a moderate recovery path around the middle of the year, backed by global demand and a pickup in the global economy.Gross domestic product in the quarter ended March rose an annualized 3.5 percent, with private consumption, making up 60 percent of GDP, contributing 2.3 percentage points to the jump. The nation’s resurgence is still constrained by limited business spending.

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    U.S. Banking system upgraded to stable by Moody’s as risks fall

    Moody’s Investors Service upgraded its view of the U.S. banking system to “stable” from “negative,” citing an improved operating environment and less risk from a weak economy.Lenders have built capital and reduced costs from bad credit, Moody’s said in a statement today.“Sustained GDP growth and improving employment conditions will help banks protect their now-stronger balance sheets,” Sean Jones, co-author of the report, said in the statement.

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    Bank of Japan seen failing to tame volatility as sale slumps

    Expectations for the widest bond price swings in more than four years and the weakest demand at an auction in nine months added to signs of waning debt market confidence in Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.Implied volatility of Japan’s 10-year note futures, a measure of expected moves used to price options, climbed to 6.71 percent last week, the highest since November 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A sale of 20-year debt yesterday drew the lowest demand since August 2012. Expected price fluctuations for U.S. Treasury futures rose to 7.01 percent from 3.61 percent on April 30, showing that volatility in Japanese and U.S. bonds were about the same for the first time since November 2008.“Confidence in the BOJ’s monetary policy is starting to be shaken,” said Toru Suehiro, a market economist in Tokyo at Mizuho Securities Co., one of the 24 primary dealers obliged to bid at government debt auctions. “Doubt is the biggest enemy for monetary policy.”Japan’s benchmark 10-year yield jumped to 1 percent last week, a one-year high, even after the BOJ doubled bond purchases in April to end 15 years of deflation in the world’s third- largest economy. While Kuroda indicated this week that the financial system can weather an increase in yields if it occurs alongside an economic recovery, mortgage and corporate borrowing rates have started climbing as consumer prices continue to fall.Ten-year Japanese government bond yields jumped 7 1/2 basis points yesterday to 0.905 percent. They stood at 0.55 percent on April 3, the day before the central bank unveiled a plan to buy more than 7 trillion yen ($69 billion) of bonds every month, about half the amount that Japan plans to sell in the market in the fiscal year started April. The policy aims to double cash in the economy in two years.BOJ policy board member Ryuzo Miyao said yesterday that the central bank’s debt purchases will “strongly support” growth by keeping interest rates lower even when improved economic prospects put upward pressure on borrowing costs.So far, policymakers are getting the opposite results. As JGB yields climbed, the benchmark lending rate for large corporations, known as the prime rate, rose 10 basis points from its record low to 1.25 percent on May 10, according to Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd. Rates for 35-year home loans inched higher to 1.81 percent this month from an all-time low of 1.8 percent in April, data from the Japan Housing Finance Agency show.Elsewhere in Japan’s credit markets, Asahi Glass Co. sold 20 billion yen of 10-year, 1.005 percent bonds, according to a statement yesterday from Nomura Holdings Inc. The Tokyo-based company offered similar-maturity debt in 2009 that paid 1.943 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Japan’s corporate notes have handed investors a 0.33 percent loss this month, poised for the worst performance since June 2011, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch data. That compared with a 1.33 percent decline for the nation’s sovereign debt, and a 0.72 percent loss for company bonds worldwide.Five-year credit default swaps to insure Japan’s sovereign notes rose to 74 basis points on May 27, the highest since April 3, according to data provider CMA, which is owned by McGraw-Hill Cos. and compiles prices quoted by dealers in the privately negotiated market. An increase in the contracts signals worsening perceptions of creditworthiness.The Markit iTraxx Japan index, comprised of default swaps for 50 companies, rose to 93 basis points, the highest since April 22, CMA data show. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.The yen fell 1 percent to 102.01 per dollar at 3:15 p.m. in Tokyo yesterday. It has tumbled 12 percent this year, the most among the 10 developed-market currencies tracked by the Bloomberg Correlation Weighted Indexes.

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    Allstate outlook raised to stable by S&P on plan to retire debt

    Allstate Corp., the largest publicly traded U.S. auto and home insurer, had its outlook raised to stable from negative by Standard & Poor’s after the company announced plans to retire debt.“We view the combination of Allstate’s capital plans and continued improvement in its risk profile as a demonstration that capital adequacy will continue to support the rating level,” S&P said today in a statement about the Northbrook, Illinois-based insurer.

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    Teamsters seek toehold at American Airlines

    The Teamsters union said Tuesday that it filed a petition with federal labor officials for an election to toss out the Transport Workers Union.By law, the Teamsters need the support of at least half the American Airlines mechanics to force an election. Union officials declined to say how many signatures they got. There are more than 10,000 mechanics at American.The Teamsters are also trying to replace the machinists’ union at US Airways, which has announced plans to merge with American.

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    Federal indictment filed in $6B money-laundering case

    NEW YORK — The founder of a Latin America-based currency system and six other people were indicted in the United States in a $6 billion money-laundering scheme, authorities said.Federal prosecutors in Manhattan were expected to announce the charges on Tuesday afternoon.Arthur Budovsky is the founder of Liberty Reserve, a currency system long favored by cybercrime scammers. He was arrested in Spain on Friday. There also were arrests in Costa Rica and New York.Authorities say the network processed at least 55 million illegal transactions worldwide. They call the international money-laundering case the largest ever.Concern had been building on underground Internet forums since Liberty Reserve, a currency system long favored by scammers, went offline last week. In a statement, Costa Rica police confirmed that Budovsky had been arrested in Spain on money laundering charges and that several premises linked to his company had been raided.A notice pasted across Liberty Reserve’s website said the domain “has been seized by the United States Global Illicit Financial Team.”Liberty Reserve’s demise is likely to send a sharp shock across the Internet.Aditya Sood, a computer science doctoral candidate at Michigan State University who has studied the underground economy, said called it one the most popular currencies for cybercriminals.Liberty Reserve operates as a no-questions-asked alternative to the global banking system, with little more than a valid email needed to open an account and start moving money across borders.“You don’t need to provide your full details, or personal information, or things like that,” Sood said in a telephone interview. “There’s no way to trace an account. That’s the beauty of the system.”People using Liberty Reserve rely in part on offshore currency centers, generally set up in places beyond the reach of U.S. or European law enforcement, which broker transactions moving cash in and out of the mainstream financial system. Like other cybercurrencies, Liberty Reserve has many legitimate users, but the promise of untraceable transactions has long made it attractive to scammers.Sood said that despite prominent disclaimers warning against money laundering, the way Liberty Reserve was set up meant that currency centers typically had little in the way of serious oversight.“Cybercriminals don’t provide their real credentials,” Sood said, leaving brokers in the dark about who was sending what where.“They have no idea where the money is coming from or where the money is going,” he said. “That’s how they designed the model.”Liberty Reserve appears to have played an important role in laundering the proceeds from the recent theft of some $45 million from two Middle Eastern banks, according to legal documents made public by U.S. authorities earlier this month.The complaint against one of the Dominican Republic gang members allegedly involved in the theft states that thousands of dollars’ worth of stolen cash was deposited into two Liberty Reserve accounts via currency centers based in Siberia and Singapore.The Costa Rica police statement said that they raided three homes and five businesses linked to Liberty Reserve and seized papers and digital documents that will be turned over to U.S. authorities.Budovsky, who became a Costa Rican national after giving up his U.S. citizenship, has been in trouble before, the statement added, explaining that he was sentenced in 2007 to five years’ probation after pleading guilty in a New York court to charges he operated an illegal financial services business similar to Liberty Reserve.Sood said there might be a short term drop in cybercrime activity as scammers who used to rely on Liberty Reserve readjusted their finances, but he cautioned that new forms of cybercurrency would soon take its place.“Even if one system is taken down, we can’t expect that there will be no more systems,” he said.

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    Kellogg reaches settlement over Mini-Wheats claim

    NEW YORK — Kellogg has agreed to pay $4 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over the marketing claims it made for Frosted Mini-Wheats.The company, which also makes Frosted Flakes, Eggo waffles and Pop Tarts, was sued for saying that the cereal improved children’s attentiveness, memory and other cognitive functions.Kellogg says in a statement that the ad campaign in question ran about four years ago and that it has since adjusted its messaging to incorporate guidelines set by the Federal Trade Commission. The company, based in Battle Creek, Mich., also noted that is “has a long history of responsible advertising.”On its website, Kellogg now says that Frosted Mini-Wheats are full of fiber and that they “fill you up first thing and help keep you focused all morning.”If approved by the court, the law firm representing consumers says the settlement will result in cash refunds for up to three boxes of cereal purchased during the time of the advertising in question. People may seek reimbursement of up to $5 per box, with a maximum of $15 per customer, according to the settlement.Kellogg Co. said customers can visit www.cerealsettlement.com to submit a claim for a refund. The claims are for boxes of Frosted Mini-Wheats purchased from Jan. 28, 2009 to Oct. 1, 2009.

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    Li tells Germany China targets 7 percent growth for decade

    BERLIN -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told German business leaders this week that his country is confronted by “huge challenges” as it seeks 7 percent annual growth this decade, down from more than 10 percent in the previous 10 years.China needs growth of about 7 percent to double per capita gross domestic product by 2020 from the level in 2010, Li said Monday in Berlin after meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel during his first trip abroad as premier. Expansion is cooling from the pace that propelled the nation to become the world’s second-biggest economy.Li, who succeeded Wen Jiabao as premier in March, is signaling the limits of leaders’ tolerance for slower growth as Europe’s debt crisis curbs shipments abroad, manufacturing weakens and a government anti-extravagance campaign restrains restaurant and retail sales. The comments came days after President Xi Jinping said China won’t sacrifice the environment to ensure short-term expansion and policy makers outlined plans for a bigger role for the private sector.“I don’t think it’s a change of policy stance, but I do feel that in the past several months we’ve started to hear more and more signals from the central government that they want to tolerate lower growth,” said Zhang Zhiwei, chief China economist at Nomura Holdings in Hong Kong.Monday’s comments at a Germany-China business forum compare with Li’s remarks at a March 17 press conference that China must average 7.5 percent growth through 2020. State-media transcripts that day said Li gave a 7 percent figure.Other recent documents from Chinese leaders have referred to 7 percent average growth through 2020, and Li’s comments lend support to that goal as “there might be some confusion” over the March remarks, Zhang said.Moody’s Investors Service may “get worried” if China’s economic growth slows rapidly, Tom Byrne, the head of the sovereign risk group in Asia at the ratings service, said at a forum in Beijing today. Moody’s China rating is currently Aa3.“If we thought the economy was going to slow very rapidly from 7.5 percent to 7 percent to 6.5 percent, maybe we wouldn’t wait until it comes to 6 percent to see whether there are pressures on our rating,” Byrne said.Li said that the Chinese government will move forward with market-driven reforms to generate stable growth after the economy unexpectedly slowed in the first quarter. Industrialization and urbanization give “huge” potential for expansion during the rest of the decade, Li said.“For a very big economy, this is not easy,” Li said. “But we have the conditions.”China’s manufacturing is contracting in May for the first time in seven months, to 49.6, according to a purchasing managers’ index from HSBC Holdings and Markit Economics.Li visited Germany seeking to ease trade tensions with Europe and establish stronger links. The new premier said open markets require China to engage more with other nations, pledging to grant foreign investors equal treatment and protect intellectual property.

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    Home prices increase in March by most in seven years

    WASHINGTON — Home prices rose in the 12 months through March by the most in seven years as the recovery in residential real estate gained momentum.The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values increased 10.9 percent from March 2012, the biggest 12-month gain since April 2006, after advancing 9.4 percent in February, a report showed Tuesday in New York. The median projection of 30 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 10.2 percent advance.Property values may keep climbing as cheaper borrowing costs and gains in confidence lure buyers while the number of houses on the market remains near the lowest level in a decade. Rising prices are shoring up household finances, which could give a lift to sales at retailers and help builders.“We have a continued gradual recovery,” said Brian Jones, a senior U.S. economist for Societe Generale in New York, who projected a 10.6 percent increase, the highest forecast in the Bloomberg survey. “The data is solid.”Bloomberg survey estimates ranged from increases of 9.3 percent to 10.6 percent. The S&P/Case-Shiller index is based on a three-month average, which means the March data were influenced by transactions in January and February.February’s reading was revised from a previously reported 9.3 percent gain.Tuesday’s report also included quarterly figures for the market nationally. Prices covering all of the U.S. climbed 10.2 percent in the first quarter from the same period in 2012, compared with a 7.3 percent gain in the quarter ended December.Home prices adjusted for seasonal variations increased 1.1 percent in March, compared with a 1.3 gain in February. The Bloomberg survey median called for a 1 percent rise.Los Angeles, Seattle, Charlotte, N.C., Portland, Ore., and Tampa, Fla., showed their biggest month-to-month gains in more than seven years.The year-over-year gauge, which includes records going back to 2001, provides a better indication of price trends, the group has said.All 20 cities in the index showed an increase in year-over- year prices, led by gains of 22.5 percent in Phoenix and 22.2 percent in San Francisco. The smallest gain was in New York, which showed a 2.6 percent advance.The Case-Shiller index follows other reports this month that show continued strength in residential real estate. Sales of new homes climbed in April to an annual pace of 454,000, an increase of 2.3 percent from March and the second-highest level in almost five years, the Commerce Department reported last week. The median selling price jumped 14.9 percent from a year earlier to a record $271,600.Purchases of previously owned homes also climbed, to a 4.97 million pace, the highest level in more than three years, according to the National Association of Realtors. The median price rose 11 percent, the fifth consecutive month that property values advanced more than 10 percent year over year.“Other housing market data reported in recent weeks confirm these strong trends,” David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P index committee, said in a statement. “At the same time, the larger than usual share of multifamily housing, a large number of homes still in some stage of foreclosure and buying- to-rent by investors suggest that the housing recovery is not complete.”The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.59 percent in the week ended May 23, down from 3.78 percent a year earlier, according for data from Freddie Mac. The rate reached a record low of 3.31 percent in November.The housing recovery is giving consumers more confidence to spend, said Laura Alber, president and chief executive officer of Williams-Sonoma. The San Francisco-based company reported an 8.6 percent increase in net revenue in the three months ended May 5.

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    Israeli shares gain most in three months as interest rates cut

    Israel’s shares advanced the most in more than three months after the central bank cut interest rates for a second time in two weeks and as companies reported higher quarterly profits.The benchmark TA-25 Index rose 1.3 percent to 1,241.17 at the close today, the highest level since April 2. Foodmaker Strauss Group Ltd. jumped 4.6 percent, leading the gains in Tel Aviv, after it said quarterly profit almost doubled. Israel Discount Bank Ltd., the country’s third-largest bank, surged 3.3 percent.The Bank of Israel, led by Governor Stanley Fischer, yesterday cut the base lending rate by a quarter point to 1.25 percent, the lowest in more than three years. Gazit-Globe Ltd. said quarterly profit jumped 34 percent and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd. reported a 12 percent increase in profit as bad loan provisions dropped amid an improvement in the nation’s business credit quality.“There’s a positive momentum in the market following the rate cut and the positive earning reports in the morning,” Zach Herzog, head of international sales at Psagot Investment House Ltd. in Tel Aviv, said today by phone. “Together with the strong European markets and positive U.S. futures it’s giving investors confidence.”The MSCI Europe Index gained 1.3 percent and the Standard and Poors’ 500 Index futures climbed 0.8 percent today. The central bank said yesterday the rate cut is intended to narrow gaps with rates in major economies and “weaken the forces” driving the Israeli currency’s advance. Exports make up about 40 percent of Israel’s economy and are hurt by a stronger shekel, which has surged 3.8 percent in the past six months.Gazit-Globe Ltd., a real estate company, advanced 2.8 percent to 51.19 shekels, the highest level in more than five years. Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd., the country’s fourth-largest bank, gained 2.3 percent, the most since Jan. 31, to 38.35 shekels.

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    Spain’s 10-year bonds climb for second day as stocks advance

    Spanish 10-year government bonds rose for a second day as global stocks advanced, underpinning investor demand for higher-yielding assets.Germany’s 10-year bund rates increased to a 10-week high as European stocks rose for a second day, damping demand for the euro area’s safest assets. Italy sold 2.5 billion euros ($3.23 billion) of zero-coupon notes maturing in 2014 at a record-low yield. Dutch 10-year government bond yields climbed to the highest level in two months as the Netherlands auctioned 2.32 billion euros of the securities at a debt sale.“The rise in Spanish bonds fits into the hunt-for-yield environment,” said Rainer Guntermann, a rates strategist at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “The yield-spread compression between peripherals and bunds should continue. Funding progress looks a little more favorable for Italy than Spain.”Spain’s 10-year bond yields dropped six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to 4.27 percent at 3:06 p.m. London time. The 5.4 percent bond maturing in January 2023 rose 0.525, or 5.25 euros per 1,000-euro face amount, to 108.79.The yield difference, or spread, between Spanish 10-year yields and their German equivalents narrowed nine basis points to 278 basis points.Nonresident holdings of Spanish bonds rose to 38.4 percent in April from 37.2 percent in March, according to a report on the Treasury’s website today. Domestic banks’ holdings declined to 30.6 percent from 32.9 percent.The European Commission will decide tomorrow whether to grant Spain until 2016 to bring its deficit back within the European Union limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product. Its verdict is due as data this week including mortgage lending, gross domestic product and inflation may underline that the construction slump that triggered the nation’s economic crisis in 2008 is far from over.Italy sold zero-coupon notes maturing in December 2014 at a record-low yield of 1.113 percent, down from 1.167 percent at the previous auction on April 24. Investors bid for 1.57 times the amount allotted, compared with 1.66 times last month.The Rome-based Treasury also sold 987 million euros of inflation-linked bonds due in 2018 at 1.83 percent.Italy’s 10-year bond yield dropped four basis points to 4.01 percent.Yields on benchmark German 10-year bunds rose three basis points to 1.49 percent, the most since March 14. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index of shares rose for a second day, gaining 1.6 percent, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 1.4 percent.Spain’s government bonds handed investors a loss of 1.1 percent this month through yesterday, according to indexes compiled by Bloomberg and the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies. German securities dropped 1.2 percent and Italian bonds declined 0.3 percent.

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    AstraZeneca to pay about $260M for Omthera Pharma

    British drugmaker AstraZeneca PLC plans to spend about $260 million on Omthera Pharmaceuticals Inc., a specialty drug developer with only 14 employees but has a potential treatment for patients who have high levels of fats called triglycerides in their blood.AstraZeneca said Tuesday it will pay $12.70 for each share of Omthera, which priced an initial public offering last month at $8 per share. The offered price represents an 87 percent premium to its closing price Friday of $6.77. The price of Omthera shares nearly doubled, climbing $6.48 to $13.25, in Tuesday morning trading.AstraZeneca said the deal totals about $323 million when counting Omthera’s cash balances. Omthera shareholders also could receive additional payments totaling about $120 million if the potential treatment called Epanova reaches development milestones. Those contingent value rights add up to about $4.70 per shareOmthera, based in Princeton, N.J., has completed late-stage testing on Epanova, a fish oil-based treatment. It plans to submit the drug, which is a coated, soft gelatin capsule, to U.S. regulators for approval by the middle of this year.Its shares closed at $7.43 on April 11, the stock’s first day of trading, and had remained below the IPO price until Tuesday morning.Omthera also said Tuesday its first quarter loss narrowed to $7.3 million, or $3.08 per share, in the quarter that ended March 31. That counts preferred dividend payments and compares to a loss of about $10.1 million, or $6.18 per share, in last year’s quarter. The company said its research and development expenses fell to $357,000 compared to about $8 million due to the completion of late-stage research on Epanova.The drug developer listed no revenue in a brief statement on the quarter. AstraZeneca said last month that its first-quarter profit fell 31 percent as generic competition for bipolar medication Seroquel IR, high blood pressure drug Atacand and cholesterol drug Crestor drove revenue down.U.S.-traded shares of AstraZeneca rose $1.03, or 2 percent, to $53.20 in morning trading Tuesday.

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    Tesla motors rises past $100 for first time

    Tesla Motors Inc., the electric-car maker led by Elon Musk, rose past $100 a share for the first time as it prepares to announce an expansion of its charger network for its vehicles this week.Tesla gained 5.4 percent to $102.32 at 9:35 a.m. New York time after increasing as much as 6 percent to $102.95. The shares have almost tripled this year through May 24, compared with a 16 percent increase for the Russell 1000 Index.Chief Executive Officer Musk said May 20 the announcement of the expansion of its so-called supercharger network was being pushed back to this week after the Palo Alto, California-based company repaid a U.S. loan. Tesla became the first recipient of a U.S. Energy Department loan to pay its debt.Tesla last year began installing solar-powered supercharger stations on major U.S. highways to allow for rapid recharging and extended driving range for the battery-powered Model S. The luxury car, with a $69,900 base price, is rated by the U.S. as traveling as far as 265 miles (426 kilometers) per charge.Musk has said the company will enlarge that network of chargers, most of which are currently in California, that allow a car to be repowered in about 30 minutes.

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    Appeal over $16 billion in savings bonds rejected by supreme court

    The U.S. Supreme Court refused to question the federal government’s custody of more than $16 billion in unredeemed, decades-old U.S. Savings Bonds, turning down an appeal by five states.The justices today left intact a federal appeals court decision that said the states couldn’t use their unclaimed- property laws to take custody of the savings bonds. The three- judge panel said states can’t interfere with the contract between the federal government and the bondholders.Montana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Missouri and Pennsylvania pressed the lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury, joined by North Carolina and New Jersey at earlier stages in the case. The seven states sought custody of $1.6 billion in bonds owned by people whose last known address was in one of those states.The states say the U.S. government holds 40 million savings bonds that no longer earn interest. Some date back as far as 1941, when they were issued to raise money for World War II.The case is Montana v. Department of the Treasury, 12-926.

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    Natural gas declines on forecasts for below-normal temperatures

    Natural gas futures fell in New York as forecasts for below-normal Midwest temperatures early next month signaled reduced demand.Natural gas declined as much as 2.5 percent after Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland forecast mild weather for the Midwest in the first two weeks of June. Temperatures will fall as low as 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Celsius) in Chicago on June 4, 6 degrees below normal, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.“We get three to five days of hot weather, then everything shifts to normal to below-normal temperatures,” said Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker with Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. “The middle part of the month is going to be like that, and that’s why gas prices are under pressure.”Futures for June delivery declined 8.7 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $4.15 per million British thermal units as of 9:24 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures trading was 75 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day.The June contract expires today. The more actively traded July gas contract slid 8.6 cents, or 2 percent, to $4.198.Natural gas storage levels grew by 89 billion cubic feet to 2.053 trillion in the seven days ended May 17, the Energy Information Administration reported last week. A deficit to the five-year average narrowed for a third consecutive week, dropping to 3.9 percent from 4.1 percent.

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    Ibovespa advances as rising commodities prices bolster usiminas

    The Ibovespa advanced the most in a week as higher commodity prices boosted the outlook for raw- material exporters amid signs that growth is picking up in the U.S., Brazil’s second-biggest trading partner.Meatpacker Marfrig Alimentos SA was the best performer on the gauge as JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised it to the equivalent of hold. Steel-maker Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA followed metals higher. All 10 industry groups on the MSCI Brazil Index climbed.The Ibovespa rose 0.9 percent to 56,891.22 at 10:32 a.m. in Sao Paulo. Sixty-three of the 71 stocks on the gauge advanced. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI index of 24 raw materials added 1.3 percent, increasing for the first time in five days, as a report showed U.S. home prices rose by the most in seven years in the 12 months ending in March. The real gained 0.1 percent to 2.0553 per dollar.“We’re seeing good news in the U.S.,” Pedro Galdi, chief strategist at Sao Paulo-based brokerage SLW Corretora, said in a phone interview. “Commodities are rising, and all this pushes the Ibovespa higher.”The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values increased 10.9 percent from March 2012, the biggest 12-month gain since April 2006, after advancing 9.4 percent in February, according to data released today in New York. The median projection of 30 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 10.2 percent advance.Marfrig added 3 percent to 8.22 reais. Usiminas, as Usinas de Minas Gerais is also known, gained 1.8 percent to 9.57 reais.

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    Watchdog: Most timber exported from Ghana illegal

    ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast — Environmental watchdog group Global Witness says new documents on logging permits in Ghana indicate most timber exported from the country “carries a high risk of being illegal,” exposing purchasers to possible jail time under a new European Union regulation.The permit lists obtained in February and published Tuesday cover more than 15,000 square kilometers, or nearly 15 percent of the country’s land mass. A review by Global Witness revealed that permits for more than 12,000 square kilometers were not covered by the country’s 1998 Timber Resources Management Act. A new EU regulation that went into effect in March holds importers responsible for ensuring timber has been legally sourced. Violators face jail time of up to two years. Officials at Ghana’s Forestry Commission were not available to comment Tuesday.

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    Saudi oil giant reports record production in 2012

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant says production reached record level last year as global demand surged and international sanctions sharply trimmed output from rival Iran.Gulf Arab states have stepped up crude production to compensate for Iranian exports, which have dropped as major customers such as India and China face pressures from the West to trim their purchases from Tehran. Sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program have targeted Tehran’s critical oil exports.The Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known as Aramco, said Tuesday that oil production rose to 3.479 billion barrels in 2012, compared with 3.310 billion barrels in 2011. A statement on the Aramco website says it was the highest production in the company’s history.It says exports reached 2.521 billion barrels last year, up from 2.421 billion barrels in 2011.

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    Green Bay officials put sober-server plan on hold

    GREEN BAY, Wis. — Green Bay city officials are pulling back for now on a plan to prohibit bartenders from drinking on the job.A Press-Gazette Media report says the plan was originally suggested by police as a way to make downtown safer and more welcoming.But bartenders and tavern owners objected that it would interfere with the tradition of bartenders and customers drinking together.Green Bay Alderman Mark Steuer is the chairman of the City Council Protection & Welfare Committee. He initially proposed following up on the police recommendation until he heard resistance from fellow aldermen and bartenders.Steuer says he won’t pursue the matter for now, although he says the issue could be revisited.John Steeno of the Brown County Tavern League said the proposal smacks of excessive government regulation.

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    Lafley’s CEO encore at P&G puts rock star legacy at risk

    In an interview after agreeing to return as Procter & Gamble Co.’s chief executive officer, A.G. Lafley made clear he hadn’t been seeking the job.“The board went through their usual thorough and comprehensive review of alternatives, and one way or another, they concluded that I was the best option for right now, and they asked me,” Lafley said on May 23 after P&G announced he was replacing his hand-picked successor, Bob McDonald. “I wasn’t sitting at home waiting for the board to call.”Taking the post holds risks for the 65-year-old executive. Since stepping aside almost four years ago, he has retained a rock star reputation as one of America’s most lionized corporate chieftains. Now his legacy will rest on whether he can turn around P&G, an iconic company that brought the world Tide and Pampers and yet has failed to adapt to changing circumstances.Lafley’s second stint recalls the successful comebacks of former leaders from Steve Jobs to Starbucks Corp.’s Howard Schultz. Yet for every Apple Inc. or Starbucks, there’s a Dell Inc. or Yahoo Inc., where Michael Dell and Jerry Yang respectively failed to reverse sagging fortunes.Lafley’s challenges are manifold. In established markets, Cincinnati-based P&G has lost customers in such key categories as detergents. The beauty business, which last year generated 24 percent of sales, is ailing as competitors such as L’Oreal SA seize share in emerging markets. Once known for inventing new categories, P&G hasn’t had a $1 billion hit since re-imagining the household mop with the Swiffer a decade ago. Meanwhile, promising executives left under McDonald, making it harder for Lafley to groom a successor at a company that has traditionally promoted its own.He also will have to put P&G on a firmer financial footing. Besides continuing McDonald’s cost-cutting program, Lafley may need to consider spinning off smaller brands to raise money, said Matt McCormick, who helps manage $9.1 billion at Cincinnati-based Bahl & Gaynor Inc., including P&G shares.“This is not going to be easy,” McCormick said in a telephone interview. “Everybody has high expectations, and it’s up to A.G. Lafley to deliver.”For the last nine months, McDonald, 59, had been monitored closely by the board. He bought himself time as he implemented a $10 billion cost-cutting plan and made progress through the second half of 2012. Backers on the board advised him not to get distracted by critics and to instead put his head down and deliver stronger numbers, said a person familiar with the situation who didn’t want to be named because the conversation was private. Board support evaporated, however, after sales gains for the first three months of this year came in at the bottom end of the company’s forecasts, said another person.By then, some P&G executives were expressing doubts about McDonald’s ability to turn around the company, according to a third person. McDonald’s mantra -- “living a life driven by purpose is more meaningful and rewarding than meandering through life without direction. My life’s purpose is to improve lives” -- seemed more like a sermon than sales pitch employees could use to push toothpaste, skin creams and detergents. It was a departure from Lafley’s focus on the consumer as king.Originally, McDonald — a methodical, detail-oriented West Point alum — was seen as an operations guy who could steer a cautious course through a treacherous world. Yet by the time he became CEO, the U.S. was in recession, and P&G was selling BMWs when cash-tight consumers were looking for Kias. McDonald introduced lower-priced products to woo back customers defecting to cheaper generic brands. And he continued P&G’s march into emerging markets, vowing to grow the global customer count by 25 percent, to 5 billion, by 2015.

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    Financial puts at two-year low on forecasts for profits

    Options traders are paying the least in more than two years to hedge against declines in U.S. financial shares, reassured by analysts who say they will report the biggest profit since 2007 this year.Puts protecting against a 10 percent decline in the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund cost 4.12 points more than calls betting on a 10 percent increase, according to three-month options data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the lowest since November 2010. Banks and brokerages in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rallied 20 percent this year.The recovering U.S. economy spurred by a third round of Federal Reserve stimulus and the improving housing market are helping the stocks. Almost 79 percent of S&P 500 financial firms have posted profit that beat projections this quarter, and analysts estimate the companies’ earnings will rise 8.4 percent in 2013, data compiled by Bloomberg show.“We have a huge housing recovery, and there’s still room to run,” Leo Kelly, a Baltimore-based managing director and partner at HighTower, said in an interview in New York. He manages $750 million including bank stocks. “Add to that the risks to the sector that investors saw earlier have been alleviated by global central-bank action.”Sales of previously owned U.S. homes climbed in April to the highest level in more than three years, while new homes rose to the second-highest level since 2008, reports showed last week. The Fed pledged to continue its bond-purchase program.The S&P 500 Financials Index’s rally this year, the biggest after health care stocks, compares with a 16 percent advance for the broader stocks gauge. Financial firms in the S&P 500 reached their highest level since October 2008 on May 21. Still, they trade at 13.3 times earnings forecast in the next year, 11 percent less than the S&P 500, data compiled by Bloomberg show.Analysts estimate the companies, from lenders JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. to insurers such as MetLife Inc., will earn $20 a share excluding some items this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That would be the most since $24.03 in 2007.“The outlook for the industry is quite good and earnings are likely to go up,” Richard Bove, a bank analyst with Rafferty Capital Markets LLC, said in a May 24 phone interview. “The economy is going to do well in the second half of this year and that means more mortgages, more auto loans, more commercial loans, more credit-card loans. It makes a lot of sense for the XLF to be up, and it’s likely to go higher,” he said, referring to the financial ETF’s ticker symbol.JPMorgan, BerkshireJPMorgan, the largest U.S. lender and the biggest company in the ETF with an 8.5 percent weighting, said on April 12 first-quarter profit climbed 33 percent to a record. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the second-largest weighting in the fund, posted earnings that rose 51 percent on May 3.Low interest rates and the threat of stiffer regulation are making financial stocks unattractive, according to Peter Sorrentino, who helps manage about $14.7 billion at Huntington Asset Advisors in Cincinnati.The Fed has kept its main interest rate in a range of zero to 0.25 percent since December 2008. Net interest margin, a measure of lending profitability, dropped to about 3.1 percent in the first quarter, the lowest level since 2008, according to St. Louis Fed data on U.S. banks with average assets greater than $15 billion.“Our view is that economic growth is anemic, and we just don’t see that much in the way of loan demand while net interest margin continues to be compressed under this Fed policy,” Sorrentino said in a May 24 phone interview. “There’s a lot more regulation coming down with Dodd-Frank and we tend not to want to get into situations that have gone political like that, so we’re kind of eschewing the banks as a whole.”

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    Europe’s apprentice system shrinking

    Andreas Spindler was well-served by Austria’s apprentice program, from which he graduated a decade ago. The skills he gained kept him employed steadily as a sous-chef in Vienna’s finest eateries, including Cafe Central, the coffee house once favored by Sigmund Freud.So when he saw a young apprentice throwing fresh lettuce hearts into the garbage and then defying orders to step aside and be shown how a salad is made, Spindler realized something had gone wrong.“There used to be a code of honor between apprentices and employers,” said Spindler, 31, exhaling a cloud of smoke into the sunshine along the city’s Ringstrasse road. “Apprentices used to receive knowledge from employers. Now they’re just a cheap workforce.”Austria’s apprentice system, still a gateway to work for about 40 percent of the Alpine republic’s labor force, has fallen into disrepair. Fewer of the nation’s youth are entering the program, which places 15-year-olds in companies for three to four years in lieu of school to learn such trade skills as carpentry, electrical wiring and bread baking. At the same time, the youth population itself has been declining since 2007, reducing the potential apprentice pool.More and more young people who do choose to pursue trades are struggling to meet standards. Almost one in five who completed apprenticeships flunked the March exam to qualify in their fields, the highest failure rate in 42 years. Rather than training a new generation of workers, companies are passing over apprentices and opting for older people with more experience.No Qualifications“We have no jobs any more for people with no qualifications,” said Johannes Kopf, the managing director of Austria’s Public Employment Service, or AMS, which helps young apprentices find companies. “Twenty years ago, it was enough for a warehouse worker to be strong. Today, they need to know how information technology functions and manage inventory.”The decline reflects emerging fissures in the compact between Austrian labor, business and schools. The legacy of the apprentice system is one reason why this nation of 8.4 million has the European Union’s lowest jobless rate, at 4.7 percent on average this year, and one of the highest qualities of life in the world.The number of apprentices has fallen by 35 percent since 1980, when there were about 194,000 of them. Austrian companies had 125,228 apprentices last year, 34,000 of whom were starting the program, according to Austria’s Chamber of Commerce.Medieval GuildsIn Germany too, the number of apprentices has fallen to a seven-year low; the number of unfilled apprenticeships rose to 33,275 last year, according to an Education and Research Ministry report. The country needs to bring in unemployed youth from elsewhere in Europe to fill the posts, Labor Minister Ursula von der Leyen said in an ARD television interview May 26.The issue of youth unemployment brought German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and his French counterpart, Pierre Moscovici, to Paris today to discuss bringing cheaper credit to small businesses that want to hire young workers in southern Europe, where apprenticeships aren’t a gateway to employment.The apprenticeship system is a relic of medieval guilds, in which master craftsmen passed trade knowledge to apprentices under contract. It’s helped give Austria Europe’s lowest youth unemployment rate, with Germany, 7.6 percent in March. That compares with almost 24 percent across the EU and more than 50 percent in crisis-hit countries such as Greece and Spain, according to EU statistics.Those who fail the post-apprentice exam and thus don’t qualify for guilds do less well. The unemployment rate for Austrian unskilled workers, such as dishwashers, is 22 percent.Door Frames

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    Robert Mueller, chairman and CEO of Roselle-based RIM Logistics

    RIM's Mueller comes full circle with award

    Robert J. Mueller of South Barrington was part of the Emery Air Freight team in the 1970s when it won a presidential award. Now more than 40 years later, his own company, Roselle-based RIM Logistics won the same E Award, given by the President of the United States for exporting service excellence. It dates to World War II when “e pennants” were presented to companies in recognition of production excellence.

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    Lawmakers debate Medicaid expansion in Springfield

    Illinois lawmakers are debating a key part of President Barack Obama's health care law. House members began floor discussion Monday on a complex plan that would, among other things, expand Medicaid to cover low-income adults who don't have children at home. The Senate has approved the expansion and Gov. Pat Quinn is in favor.

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    Sponsor: Gambling expansion bill being tweaked

    The sponsor of a proposal authorizing new casinos across Illinois says the bill is undergoing various tweaks before fellow lawmakers can vote on it. The plan is expected to come in committee Tuesday Democratic Rep. Robert Rita says the tax rates for new and existing facilities are still being worked out. He says he is also working with Gov. Pat Quinn's office and stakeholders on the bill's provision banning campaign contributions from the industry.

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    Leggy Bird Designs, which started as an architectural and interior design studio, now operates a shop in downtown Libertyville.

    Design firm growing in Libertyville

    Leggy Bird Designs, which started as an architectural and interior design studio, now operates a shop in downtown Libertyville.Four women own the eclectic store.

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    This is the site of a new hotel/office development at the northwest corner of Higgins and River roads in Rosemont.

    Rosemont to build new hotel, offices

    Rosemont is gearing up for another redevelopment project this summer that will add to the village's existing 5,562 hotel rooms. A 155-room Hampton Suites hotel and a five-story office building are coming to the northwest corner of River and Higgins roads. "It's the only undeveloped piece of property over there," Rosemont Mayor Bradley Stephens said Friday. "This has been a long time coming."

Life & Entertainment

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    “Zero Hour” by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown

    ‘Zero Hour’ exciting addition to NUMA Files series

    Clive Cussler and Graham Brown have delivered a nonstop action thriller with “Zero Hour,” the latest in the NUMA Files series. Kurt Austin attends a lecture in Sydney and soon finds himself immersed in another life-and-death struggle to save the world. A boat crashes just outside the Sydney Opera House. Kurt rescues one of the passengers, and before the man dies, he gives Kurt sheets of paper and a word: Tartarus.

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    “Chopped” judge Maneet Chauhan talks about the dishes created by three culinary students at the Technology Center of DuPage before announcing the local winner of The Cutting Edge Tour.

    From the Food Editor: Catching up with 'Chopped' judge Maneet Chauhan

    When chef Maneet Chauhan's tour bus rolled into Chicago earlier this month it was a bit of a homecoming for her. Chauhan led the kitchen at the Windy City's much-lauded Vermillion for years before heading east to duplicate the restaurant's Indian and Latin American fusion cuisine in the Big Apple. We chat with Chauhan about her new book, her new restaurant and her future in television and radio.

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    Australian country music star Keith Urban has set a release date of Sept. 10 for his new album, “Fuse.”

    Keith Urban works on new album as he waits on ‘Idol’

    Keith Urban is no different than the rest of us: He has no idea what’s going on with “American Idol.” “I have no official information of anything,” the 45-year-old country singer-guitarist said. “I’m pretty much in the same boat as everybody else here with the rumors that have been floating around. I don’t know anything more about what’s happening next season. It was like this before I signed on ... so it’s not unusual for the ‘Idol’ folks to be in this place of figuring out what they want to do, then they always pull it together.”

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    Make sisters take responsibility for their feud

    Her sisters can't seem to stand each other and have been feuding their whole lives. She's stuck in the middle and doesn't know what to do. Carolyn Hax says fighting siblings need to take responsibility for their own actions.

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    Darlene Pawlukowsky, originally from Mount Prospect, is among the 10 bakers vying for the grand prize on CBS’ “The American Baking Competition.”

    Cooks of the Week: Local bakers compete in TV reality series

    When "The American Baking Competition" premiers on CBS on Wednesday, May 29, suburbanites are likely to recognize some faces. Darlene Pawlukowsky, a Mount Prospect native and Prospect High School graduate, and Brian Emmett, a Glenbard East High School grad now living in Itasca, are among the 10 amateur bakers vying for a $250,000 grand prize in the elmination-style reality show.

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    Detective Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman) consults with his former partner Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) in AMC's “The Killing,” returning for a third season on June 2.

    Against the odds, AMC's 'Killing' survives for season three

    Against all odds, “The Killing” lives. This AMC whodunit, which solved a tangled murder case — Who killed Rosie Larsen? — during two often gripping, sometimes exasperating seasons, then was canceled last July for low ratings, will rise from the dead for a welcome third season on June 2. With this new lease on life, it's preserving one of TV's most delicious acting duos — co-stars Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman.

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    Quick Puff Pastry
    Quick Puff Pastry: Brian Emmett

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    Brian Emmett of Itasca makes his own pastry for his apple strudel.

    Apple Strudel
    Apple Strudel: Brian Emmett

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    Brian Emmett displays his Italian Stromboli pastry in his Itasca kitchen.

    Brian’s Stromboli
    My Stromboli: Brian Emmett

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    Darlene Pawlukowsky’s caramel-filled chocolate cookies are a favorite among family and friends.

    Chocolate Caramel Delights
    Chocolate Caramel Delights: Darlene Miske Pawlukowsky

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    Shrimp Pasta Primavera
    Shrimp Pasta Primavera: Darlene Miske Pawlukowsky

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    “Cirque Sephira,” billed as the “World's First Spiritual Cirque,” is one of the attractions of the Whole Life Expo, which comes to the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center in Schaumburg this weekend.

    Best bets: 'Cirque Sephira' amazes at Whole Life Expo

    The Whole Life Expo returns with 175 vendors, 80 lectures and workshops and events like “Cirque Sephira” this weekend at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel. WNBA basketball is back with the Chicago Sky returning this weekend to take on the Connecticut Sun at Allstate Arena. The 14th annual Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine Fine Arts Festival features arts, dance, music and more Saturday at Bowen Park in Waukegan.

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    Hibiscus flowers are available in just about any color.

    Create a tropical getaway in your own back yard

    Just because we live in the Midwest doesn't mean we can't enjoy a taste of the tropics for at least part of the year. Many tropical plants grow very well in containers and are adaptable to a wide range of light conditions. And, unlike some of their northerly relatives, they can take all the heat and humidity our Midwest summers have to offer.

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    Lauren Russ in Chicago reads letters that she wrote home as a child from sleepaway camp begging her parents to come and get her. While many children enjoy attending overnight camp, Russ is one of a number of adults who look back on the experience with less-than-fond memories of feeling homesick and lonely.

    Not everyone loved sleepaway camp

    When the school year ends a few weeks from now, millions of kids will head off to sleepaway camp for a summer filled with color wars, kayaking and bunk life. Most will have a great time, some will make friends for life, and many will look back on the experience fondly. But amid these happy campers is another group of veterans who recall sleepaway camp quite differently. These were the kids who cried every day and sent letters home begging to be picked up. They were lonesome, miserable, bullied; hated the bugs, hated the pool.

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    Jazz drummer Paul Wertico has seven Grammy Awards. He traces his passion for music back to his days at Cary-Grove High School.

    Suburban ‘inspired madman’ marches to beat of his own drum

    Nobody suspected that Cary native Paul Wertico would grow up to become an international musician who would tour with the Pat Metheny Group from 1983 to 2001, win a kazillion music awards and become an assistant professor of jazz at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Not bad for a guy who had to teach himself to play the drums and never earned a college degree.

Discuss

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    Editorial: Ban handheld cellphones for drivers

    A proposed ban on handheld cellphone use while driving is a good step in the ongoing battle against distracted driving and should be the law in Illinois, a Daily Herald editorial says.

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    The egg on Heritage’s face

    Columnist Ruben Navarrette: What's the point of building bridges between Latinos and the Republican Party if one of the nation's leading conservative think tanks is going to blow them up?

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    Twice the travel time? Reduce the tolls
    A Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Since it now takes twice as long to get to Rockford, we should pay only half tolls. Bet we get no vote on this either!

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    No justification for Internet tax
    A Buffalo Grove letter to the editor: Internet sales have provided work and income for thousands of individuals who would not necessarily find employment. And now the heavy hand of government wants to step in and inhibit those businesses.

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    Nation’s gun laws lack common sense
    A Buffalo Grove letter to the editor: There are folks in the community and groups being formed clamoring for more gun laws, common sense gun laws. It's estimated that there are around 20,000 local, state and federal firearm laws. Which ones are we going to get rid of? I'm having a hard time finding common sense in 20,000.

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