Daily Archive : Wednesday May 29, 2013



    Principals will be central to U-46 restructuring process

    Principals are central to their schools’ success, research shows. Elgin Area School District U-46 is following that model as it transforms 10 elementary schools deemed failing under federal guidelines. Seven principals will stick with their schools next year as the changes take hold while three new principals have been asked to turn around the struggling schools.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    A male robber stole a computer tablet out of a 12-year-old boy’s hands in the park near the Shrine to Guadalupe, 1150 N. River Road, Des Plaines, between noon and 12:15 p.m. May 18. Value was estimated at $499.

    David Beckmann

    Bond increased for Roselle man accused of sexually abusing peacock

    David Beckmann put his hands over his ears Wednesday as a prosecutor described how he allegedly confessed to fatally molesting his pet peacock, Phyl. "I don't want to hear it," he said. The 64-year-old Roselle man appeared in DuPage County court as prosecutors asked a judge to increase his bond and order a psychological evaluation.


    Senators want to target Chicago street gangs

    Illinois' two U.S. senators are urging the nominee for U.S. attorney in Chicago to not only fight public corruption but to also redouble the battle against street gangs. "I think it's completely within the capability of the United States government to crush a major urban gang," Sen. Mark Kirk said.

    President Barack Obama is greeted by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on the tarmac upon his arrival at O’Hare International Airport Wednesday.

    In Chicago, Obama says there’s work left to do

    President Barack Obama returned to his hometown of Chicago for the first time in more than three months to help raise money for U.S. House Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections and warn his supporters against complacency.

    As a budget deadline approaches in Springfield, some of House Speaker Michael Madigan’s plans are backed by Republicans.

    GOP, Madigan aligned on some of toughest state issues

    With scant days left to go before lawmakers are to adjourn their annual session, many top Republicans' views on the biggest issues facing Illinois have algined with their foil's, leaving the GOP's favored proposals on the state's pension crisis and gun laws in House Speaker Michael Madigan's hands.


    Trailer carrying hay bales hits overpass in Lake Zurich

    Lake Zurich Police are still cleaning up hay that scattered on Route-12 when a semitrailer hit an overpass on Wednesday afternoon.

    U.S. Ambassador and Representative to the Human Rights Council Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe speaks during the urgent debate on the situation in Syria at the 23rd session of the Human Rights Council at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday.

    Syria says Assad will remain president until 2014

    Syria's foreign minister laid out a hard line Wednesday, saying Bashar Assad will remain president at least until elections in 2014 and might seek another term, conditions that will make it difficult for the opposition to agree to U.N.-sponsored talks on ending the civil war.

    Baby No. 59, so named because of his incubator number in the hospital, rests in the incubator in a hospital in Pujiang county, in eastern China’s Zhejiang province. The mother of the Chinese newborn trapped in a sewer pipe in a stunning ordeal caught on video had raised the initial alarm and was present for the entire two-hour rescue but did not admit giving birth until confronted by police, reports said Wednesday.

    Mother of newborn in sewer was present for rescue

    The mother of the Chinese newborn trapped in a sewer pipe in a stunning ordeal caught on video had raised the initial alarm and was present for the entire two-hour rescue but did not admit giving birth until confronted by police, reports said Wednesday.


    Protesters arrested ahead of Obama visit

    The protesters chained themselves together in the middle of Michigan Avenue on Wednesday. They were protesting about immigration and deportations outside of a hotel where President Barack Obama was scheduled to attend a fundraising event.

    Dan Duffy

    Elections legislation spawns Lake County political battle

    A political dispute over the future of elections in Lake County has consumed top officials as its top Democrat favors turning voting control over to a new board and a bipartisan collection of other leaders are pushing back hard.

    James “Jim” E. Renz, pictured here with his wife Lois Ruth, died May 19 in Mt. Morris, Ill. The former Elgin resident established in 1961 what later was renamed Renz Addiction Counseling Center in Elgin.

    Renz Center’s founder remembered for helping others

    Elgin's Renz Addiction Counseling Center serves thousands of people through treatment and prevention programs, but when it started 52 years ago, it was a one-man operation in a small office on the second floor of a downtown building. It was the hard work and dedication of James "Jim" E. Renz, a pastor with a lifelong commitment to social welfare, that propelled the center to become one of the...

    Michael Moreno

    10-year sentence for DUI driver

    Convicted DUI driver Michael Moreno tearfully apologized Wednesday for killing a motorcyclist in Naperville, and begged forgiveness from the victim's family. "I have no one to blame but myself," the 33-year-old Plainfield man said before being sentenced to 10 years in prison.


    Libertyville first responders get boost:

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency, part of the Department of Homeland Security, has made a $17,793 investment to support and improve the capability of the Libertyville fire department to respond to fires and other types of emergencies.


    University Center info session:

    Northeastern Illinois University will host a June 12 informational session about programs available to students at the University Center of Lake County, including a new degree-completion program in Human Resource Development.


    District 128 test preparation:

    Teachers from Libertyville High School and Vernon Hills High School will sponsor a Snacks and Study event today at the Cook Memorial libraries in those two towns.


    Antioch District 34 board vacancy:

    Antioch Elementary District 34 is seeking candidates to fill a school board vacancy created by the resignation of Bryan Mueller.

    In a video on her website, Rep. Michele Bachmann said Wednesday she will not seek re-election, explaining the decision had nothing to do with concerns about being re-elected or with recent inquiries into her 2012 presidential campaign finances.

    Michele Bachmann to leave House after fourth term

    Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann announced Wednesday that her fourth term in Congress will be her last, choosing to leave on her own terms after a dismal 18 months in which her presidential bid collapsed and she barely managed to retain her House seat.


    UIC to insure student sex changes

    Starting this fall, the student health insurance plan at the University of Illinois-Chicago will cover sex-change surgery. University trustees agreed to allow the coverage at their regular meeting Wednesday in Chicago, but only after a relatively unusual discussion about whether the procedure could lead to taxpayer funding being used for a procedure some taxpayers don't approve of.


    Chicago man gets 35 years for strangling baby

    A Chicago man has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for strangling his 14-month-old son and dumping the boy's body in Lake Michigan. Cook County prosecutors say 33-year-old Donald Johnson pleaded guilty on Wednesday to first-degree murder.

    Steam rises from cooling towers at Exelon Generation’s nuclear plant in Byron, Ill.

    Exelon requests license renewals for nuclear plants

    Exelon Generation said Wednesday that it has applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for 20-year license extensions at its Byron and Braidwood generating stations, which would allow the plants to operate into the middle of the century.

    Daily Herald File Photo The CTA and Pace are joining forces on a new fare card system named Ventra.

    Seniors can expect new transit permits this fall

    The RTA is notifying seniors about changes to the reduced fare and ride-free programs. The CTA and Pace are switching over to a contactless card system dubbed Ventra later this year. As a result, new RTA permits for seniors that interact with the new system will be mailed this fall.

    Charles L. Minard

    Aurora man charged in heroin death of girlfriend

    A 41-year-old Aurora man faces felony drug-induced homicide charges after his girlfriend was found dead of a heroin overdose March 25 in a rented home in Aurora. Charles L. Minard tried to commit suicide after her death, but survived and now faces six to 30 years in prison if convicted of supplying w woman with a lethal drug dose, according to court records.


    Dist. 26 finance director accepts award, ends tenure in Cary

    When T. Ferrier joined Cary Elementary District 26 as its finance director in 2009, describing the district as financially troubled would be an understatement. The district was on the brink of state takeover because of its borrowing habits. But Ferrier accepted a prestigious financial reporting award on behalf of the district last week, a high note that will end her tenure in Cary. She will leave...


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Matthew L. Lorenz, 23, of Geneva, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of cannabis, and driving with just one headlight, at 12:33 a.m. Saturday in the 1500 block of Crissy Avenue, Batavia, according to a police report.

    Cliff McIlvaine, who was sued by the city of St. Charles in an effort to get him to finish a project he began in 1975, stands on a landing between his original home to the left and new, super-insulated addition on the right.

    St. Charles getting bids on work for decades-old home project

    Progress has been incremental in the nearly four weeks since a judge gave the city of St. Charles permission to fix code violations and finish parts of Cliff McIlvaine's decades-long home addition, but it could pick up soon. Crews have buried a power line in McIlvaine's backyard, the city has hired a contractor to complete a staircase and the city is getting bids for the roof.

    U.S. stocks fell, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average retreating from a record, amid concern that the Federal Reserve could begin to taper its debt-buying program as the economy continues to improve.

    Stocks fall; Dow average pulls back from a record

    Wall Street's recent passion for high-dividend stocks is fading. The stock market closed lower Wednesday, led by the same industry groups that had the biggest gains early in the year: rich dividend payers like power utilities and makers of consumer staples.

    Susan Ejma

    Dist. 59 appoints principal for Arlington Heights school

    The Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59 school board this week appointed Susan Ejma as principal of Juliette Low Elementary School in Arlington Heights effective July 1.


    Fox Valley police reports
    Ana Sandra Rivas Mora, 22, of Round Lake Beach, was charged with misdemeanor battery at 2 p.m. May 21 after an incident in the 12N300 block of Hilltop Road near Elgin in which she is accused of slapping another woman in the faces several times during an argument, according to a sheriff's report.

    In order to install a proposed trail into Meacham Grove Forest Preserve, the DuPage Forest Preserve District would have to acquire land from a homeowner along Foster Avenue in Roselle. So now district staff members are recommending state grant money for the project be spent elsewhere.

    Proposed Meacham Grove trail facing obstacles

    Plans for a new trail into the north side of Meacham Grove Forest Preserve are in jeopardy because of construction hurdles, including an unanswered question about whether residents in a neighboring Roselle subdivision support the project. The DuPage County Forest Preserve District was awarded a $450,000 state grant to build the trail to connect a limestone path in Meacham Grove to Foster Avenue,...

    Sam Yingling

    Youth heroin task force plan headed to Gov. Quinn’s desk

    A suburban lawmaker's proposal to create a task force to investigate the youth heroin epidemic in the suburbs and the rest of the state is headed to Gov. Pat Quinn's desk.


    Concealed-carry sponsor skeptical of deal with Senate

    The top gun-rights advocate in the Illinois House is skeptical that Senate Democrats will return with an agreeable compromise on the carrying of concealed weapons.


    Richmond man charged in shooting

    A Richmond man was charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm after a shooting at his home on Tuesday night, McHenry County Sheriff Officials said.

    Installing a new elevator at the Kane County Courthouse in Geneva is going to cost a lot more than Kane County officials had planned.

    Cost rising for new elevator for old Kane courthouse

    A new elevator for the Kane County Courthouse in Geneva may cost the county up to 31 percent more to build than expected, as the Geneva Fire Department is requiring enclosure of the stairwell in which it will be built, and installation of water standpipes.

    Rhett Taylor

    Grayslake approves senior facility for routes 45 and 120

    Grayslake officials have approved an assisted living and memory care complex that would rise near the southeast corner of routes 45 and 120. BMA Management Ltd., based in downstate Bradley, would operate the three-story facility.

    Kenneth Conley

    Inmate who escaped Chicago jail sentenced

    A former strip club worker who escaped from a high-rise federal jail in Chicago has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for a 2011 bank robbery.


    U of I restricts use of search firms

    University of Illinois trustees have approved a new policy that limits how often the school can hire outside search firms to help fill open jobs. Trustees voted Wednesday to allow search firms to help hire only a new president or someone for a senior position or coaching job.

    David Bogenberger

    4 plead not guilty to hazing in Palatine teen’s death at NIU

    Four members of a Northern Illinois University fraternity have pleaded not guilty to felony hazing charges in connection with a student’s death.


    Lawsuit filed to halt Chicago school closures

    A plan to close 50 schools and programs in Chicago met a new legal challenge Wednesday, with the filing of a lawsuit that claims some of the closure decisions violated a process set out in Illinois law.

    Kurt P. Hinterkopf

    West Chicago man charged with stealing from special rec group

    A former employee of the Western DuPage Special Recreation Association has been charged with stealing more than $8,000 from the organization, authorities said Wednesday. Kurt P. Hinterkopf, 33, of West Chicago, was arrested Tuesday and charged with one felony count of theft for not returning money from sponsored events and activities to the Carol Stream-based special needs organization, according...

    The Vernon Hills Dunkin’ Donuts store at Route 60 and Milwaukee Avenue will be the spot again this year for the Special Olympics fundraiser.

    Cops on rooftops Friday for Special Olympics fundraiser

    Look up. On Friday, May 31, police officers will decorate the rooftops of hundreds of Illinois Dunkin' Donuts, hoping you will donate to their Special Olympics fundraiser. "More than $1.3 million has been raised from this event over the last 10 years and we're hoping to set new records this year," said Eric Smith, Illinois Torch Run director and downstate Sherman, IL police chief.

    Bernardino Hernandez Jr.

    Elgin man guilty of 2008 attempted murder

    After a weeklong trial, a jury convicted a 25-year-old Elgin man of attempted murder in 2008. Bernardino Hernandez Jr. faces between 31 and 55 and 30 years in prison when his is sentenced July 16. He currently is serving a 20-year prison term for solicitation of murder charges that he pleaded guilty to in January 2012. He also has a felony weapons case pending in Kane County.

    Schaumburg Police Sgt. John Nebl explains to third and fourth graders at Dirksen Elementary School some of the latest technology in the new police SUV and squad car.

    Schaumburg police debut new squad cars at school

    Police cars of the future may not be cars at all. The SUV may soon become the standard patrol vehicle, Schaumburg Police Sgt. John Nebl said. The next generation of police vehicles was introduced Wednesday to the newest generation of Schaumburg residents — third and fourth graders at Dirksen Elementary School.


    Aurora police seek help in year-old investigation

    Police renewed their call for public assistance Wednesday in the case of a 23-year-old Aurora motorcyclist struck and killed a year ago by an unknown motorist. Aurora police said they are hoping the passage of time will spur someone to come forward with information about the other driver in the crash that killed 23-year-old Maxwell J. Torres of Aurora on May 11, 2012.

    Mundelein High School will continue to sell Coca-Cola products in vending machines.

    Mundelein High to stick with Coca-Cola beverages

    Mundelein High School teachers, students and sports fans will continue to enjoy Coca-Cola beverages under a newly approved exclusive deal with the soft-drink giant The five-year contract will net the school $5,000 annually, officials said. PepsiCo had offered to give the school $2,500 annually for the right to sell its drinks on campus, said Gary Lonquist, the school's chief business official.


    Des Plaines investigates harassment complaint against police officer

    Des Plaines has hired an outside firm to investigate a workers' compensation claim filed by a female community service officer saying she was sexually harassed by a police officer who has since retired, City Manager Mike Bartholomew confirmed. The complaint was filed with the Illinois Department of Labor and the city's human resources department roughly two weeks ago, Bartholomew said.


    Woman charged with DUI in fiery Elk Grove Village crash

    A woman injured after a fiery crash on Interstate 290 in Elk Grove Village early Wednesday morning has been charged with driving under the influence and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, authorities said. The driver, identified as Raegan Kotz, 31, of Burr Ridge, lost control of her minivan and hit a light pole near Biesterfield Road along westbound I-290 at about 1:40 a.m.,...


    Carpentersville cops on rooftops to benefit the Special Olympics

    For the 11th consecutive year, Carpentersville police will join hundreds of cops all over the state on 150 Dunkin' Donuts rooftops to support the Special Olympics in Illinois. Starting at 6 a.m. Friday, May 31, Carpentersville cops will man the roof at the Dunkin' Donuts at 2270 Randall Road to raise awareness and money for the Law Enforcement Torch Run, which supports the cause.

    Charles Amrich

    Controversial Island Lake annexation plan halted

    A controversial annexation and development proposal in Island Lake has been halted because of money owed by the developers, Mayor Charles Amrich said Wednesday. Clark Street Development didn't pay a $15,000 retainer for engineers and other personnel when it proposed the project to the previous village administration earlier this year, Amrich said.

    Todd Spaletto, Fremd High School 2013 Distinguished Graduate

    District 211 schools name distinguished alumni

    The honorees range from a firefighter and a musician to a lawyer and an outdoor product company's president. They were invited to the honors convocations at each of the schools and received a plaque from their alma maters. Conant High School does not have a distinguished alumnus program.

    This is the skeleton of a recently discovered dinosaur dubbed Aurornis xui that roamed China during the middle to late Jurassic period. A new study published in the journal Nature finds the discovery restores the fossil creature Archaeopteryx back to the “bird” branch of the evolutionary family tree.

    New study restores famed fossil to “bird” branch

    A raven-sized creature that lived about 150 million years ago is back on its perch, a new study says. Widely pegged as the earliest known bird, Archaeopteryx's status was called into question two years ago by Chinese scientists.

    Pakistani intelligence officials say a U.S. drone strike has killed Taliban No. 2 commander Waliur Rehman, commander of the Pakistani Taliban. The militant group denies he is dead.

    Top Pakistan militant said killed in U.S. strike

    A suspected U.S. drone strike killed the No. 2 commander of the Pakistani Taliban on Wednesday, Pakistani intelligence officials said, although the militant group denied he was killed. If confirmed, the death of Waliur Rehman would be a strong blow to the militant group responsible for hundreds of bombings and shootings across Pakistan.

    The Rev. Michael McPherson

    Hope Lutheran Church to say goodbye to longtime pastor

    On April 15, 1977, the Rev. Michael McPherson, his wife Nancy and their two daughters arrived in Buffalo Grove, from Oregon, Ill. In June, members of the congregation will say goodbye to their longtime pastor, who is retiring.

    National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb talks in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., May 7. As the 2013 Atlantic Hurricasn season begins, forecasters are asking which computer model at predicting storms is best.

    U.S. vs. European hurricane model: Which is better?

    When forecasters from the National Weather Service track a hurricane, they use models from several different supercomputers located around the world to create their predictions. Some of those models are more accurate than others.


    Lombard offers early retirement to save money

    Nine village of Lombard employees will have retired by the end of this week under an early retirement incentive the village is offering through the municipal employee pension system. Lombard is allowing some employees to retire early as a cost-saving measure during a one-year window ending March 15, 2014, Finance Director Tim Sexton said. Of the 40 veteran employees who are eligible, roughly half...

    Abdella Ahmad Tounisi

    Aurora teen pleads not guilty to terrorism charge

    An Aurora teenager has pleaded not guilty to charges he sought to join an al-Qaida-linked militant group fighting Bashar Assad's regime in Syria. Abdella Ahmad Tounisi's attorney entered the plea Wednesday at a federal court in Chicago. The 18-year-old Tounisi stood by her side in orange jail garb, his legs shackled.


    Storms could interrupt rush hour in the suburbs

    The suburbs could be in for another round of storms late this afternoon and into the evening. According to accuweather.com, there's a 66-percent chance of precipitation late this afternoon and into the night for the area. Scattered storms aren't expected to hit the area until after 5 p.m.


    Gambling expansion talks continue but time grows short

    With days to go, big disagreements over how to go forward with a casino in Chicago has put up big hurdles in front of large-scale gambling legislation that would also allow a casino in Lake County and slot machines at Arlington International Racecourse.


    Craft beer to flow Saturday at downtown Grayslake festival

    Suds will be flowing Saturday in downtown Grayslake during the inaugural Grayslake Craft Beer Festival.

    Glen Ellyn District 41 school board members listen to Superintendent Ann Riebock Tuesday during discussion of whether to reinstate a controversial book in eighth grade classrooms.

    District 41 debates reinstating banned book, parent notification

    Whether a banned book will return to the classrooms of Hadley Junior High School in Glen Ellyn is unclear, while District 41 school board members argue over the contents of a parent notification letter about controversial classroom texts. A district reconsideration committee has recommended “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” be reinstated as an independent reading option for eighth...


    Fate of charter appeal uncertain

    When Governor Pat Quinn signed a one-year moratorium on the establishment of new virtual charter schools into law, suburban administrators expected an end to the appeal process currently under way for one such school. But that may not be the case. Attorneys on one side argue the commission has a legal responsibility to complete the appeal while those on the other side say the commission no longer...

    Participants of the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon begin their race at the Everest base camp in the Khumbu region of the Nepal Himalayas, Wednesday, May 29, 2013. Nepal celebrated the 60th anniversary of the conquest of Mount Everest on Wednesday by honoring climbers who followed in the footsteps of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.

    Nepal marks 60th anniversary of Everest conquest

    Nepal celebrated the 60th anniversary of the conquest of Mount Everest on Wednesday by honoring climbers who followed in the footsteps of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Among them was Italian Reinhold Messner, the first climber to scale Everest without using bottled oxygen and the first person to climb all of the world's 14 highest peaks.


    Hoffman Estates hears proposal for Goodwill store, used car facility

    Used cars, clothes, furniture and more could soon be found at two new businesses in Hoffman Estates. The village board met as the planning, building and zoning committee to do a courtesy review Tuesday of proposals for an Enterprise used car sales facility at 2475 W. Higgins Road and a Goodwill donation and retail center in the Hoffman Village Shopping Center, near Mariano's.

    Yuichiro Miura, an 80-year-old Japanese mountaineer who became the oldest person to reach the top of Mount Everest last Thursday, says he almost died during his descent and does not plan another climb of the world’s highest peak, though he hopes to do plenty of skiing.

    80-year-old says he nearly died on Everest descent

    The 80-year-old Japanese mountaineer who last week became the oldest person to reach the top of Mount Everest says he almost died during his descent and does not plan another climb of the world's highest peak, though he hopes to do plenty of skiing.


    Look for God to send new opportunities for growth

    Watch for opportunities in your life. You never know when new gifts are discovered and big dreams are being set in motion from those small opportunities, says columnist Annettee Budzban.


    Des Plaines signs vandalized

    Taggers vandalized more than a dozen spots between 7 and 9:30 a.m. Monday in Des Plaines, police said.

    Pearl Gosnell walks to the center for criminal justice, Wednesday, May 29, 2013, in Philadelphia. Gosnell is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday for performing illegal, third-term abortion.

    Sentencing put off for Pa. abortion clinic workers

    Sentencing was postponed Wednesday for two women who pleaded guilty for their work at a corrupt, grimy Philadelphia abortion clinic whose owner was convicted of killing babies born alive.

    Defendant Joseph Weekely, right, and A&E producer Allison Howard, who was at the raid, sit in court before Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway at Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit. Weekley goes on trial Wednesday, May 29, 2013. He is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones, who died when Weekley’s gun fired as police, accompanied by a reality TV crew, raided a Detroit home in search of a murder suspect in May 2010.

    Detroit officer on trial in death of 7-year-old girl

    Police accompanied by a reality TV crew fired a stun grenade through a window as they raided a Detroit home in search of a murder suspect. A gunshot then went off inside, fatally striking a 7-year-old girl in the head while she slept on a couch. Now, three years later, Officer Joseph Weekley goes on trial in the death of Aiyana Stanley-Jones.

    Michael Fabian

    Police, prosecutors at odds over what video shows in assault case

    They say the video doesn't lie — but can it tell two different stories? That appears to be the case for a Naperville man accused of swerving his vehicle at a teenage demonstrator outside Aurora's Planned Parenthood clinic. Police and prosecutors drew different conclusions after watching surveillance footage of Michael Fabian passing by the teen in February while driving a GMC Yukon.

    Florena Carter of Hyattsville, Md., speaks about the murder of her son by her brother. Her father shot himself soon after her son’s death. Her horrifying family tragedy became one more private story in America’s plague of gun violence. That year, 9,146 other people nationwide lost their lives in shootings.

    U.S. gun debate overlooks daily violence

    Often lost in America's divisive gun control politics are the stories of people whose urban communities suffer the most from shootings every day. Although violent crime has been declining in the United States, it still far outstrips the rate of other developed countries. FBI figures show 8,583 people were killed by guns in 2011, the last year for which numbers were available. That is nearly 24...


    Firefighters gaining ground on California blazes

    California firefighters raced the weather Wednesday morning as they struggled to corral a wildfire that blackened nearly 3 square miles of forest in the mountains above Santa Barbara. The fire was 80 percent contained and new measuring reduced its estimated size slightly to 1,828 acres, said Andrew Madsen, a spokesman with the U.S Forest Service.


    Ariz. mother of 7 fights drug smuggling allegation

    A mother of seven from Arizona is jailed in Mexico on allegations that she tried to smuggle nearly 12 pounds of marijuana into the United States on a passenger bus — claims her family members say are false.


    U.S. Rep Bill Foster promoting STEM education bill
    Congressman Bill Foster is hosting a discussion in his northern Illinois district that is designed to promote legislation aimed at helping prepare students for careers in high-demand technical fields.The Democrat and other lawmakers introduced the measure last week in the U.S. House.


    Afghan officials say insurgents attack Red Cross

    Afghan officials say insurgents have attacked a guest house used by the International Committee of the Red Cross in the eastern city of Jalalabad.

    French State prosecutor Francois Molins during a news conference at the Court in Paris, Wednesday, May 29, 2013. Molins said that the young suspect accused of stabbing a French soldier Saturday May 25, identified only by his first name Alexandre, was captured on camera offering a Muslim prayer in a corner of a busy shopping mall 10 minutes before he went after the soldier with a knife in the La Defense financial and shopping district. The 22-year-old suspect was arrested outside Paris at the house of a friend, who has not been implicated.

    DNA, video led to arrest in French soldier attack

    Traces of DNA on an orange juice bottle and a surveillance video of a man praying in a mall led to the arrest Wednesday of a young suspect accused of stabbing a French soldier who was patrolling a crowded area just outside Paris, officials said.


    Couple prepares to be France’s 1st gay newlyweds

    A gay couple in the southern city of Montpellier is preparing to make history by tying the knot in France's first same-sex marriage.

    North Korean nurses say goodbye to representatives from foreign humanitarian agencies after a U.N. and North Korean government program to give vitamin supplements and deworming pills to children at a nursery school in Pyongyang, North Korea on Child Health Day. New international sanctions aimed at thwarting North Korea’s nuclear weapons program are having unintended consequences: halting money transfers by foreign humanitarian groups working to help those most in need and forcing some agencies to carry suitcases of cash in from outside.

    N. Korea sanctions squeeze cash for aid groups

    New international sanctions aimed at thwarting North Korea's nuclear weapons program are having unintended consequences: halting money transfers by foreign humanitarian groups working to help those most in need and forcing some agencies to carry suitcases of cash in from outside. At the same time, restrictions meant to sting the country's elite by crippling the import of luxury goods do not...


    Syrian opposition urges EU to send arms to rebels

    Syria's main Western-backed opposition bloc urged the European Union to quickly supply rebels fighting President Bashar Assad's forces with sophisticated weapons as activist groups inside the country accused the opposition leadership Wednesday of failing to fulfill its obligations to the Syrian people.


    Aurora woman aims to improve future vision in her hometown

    Vision isn't something Laura Martinez thought about much until her diabetic mother got sick. Martinez was a nursing major at Aurora University when her mother's diabetes flared, leading doctors to suggest she follow up with an eye doctor to make sure her vision was not affected. Helping her mother through this experience was the connecting factor for Martinez, bringing her interests in health...

    A fire burns at the site of a CSX freight train derailment, Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Rosedale, Md., where fire officials say the train crashed into a trash truck, causing an explosion that rattled homes at least a half-mile away and collapsed nearby buildings, setting them on fire.

    Feds investigate Md. train derailment, explosion

    Federal investigators planned to spend the coming days piecing together what caused a chemical-carrying CSX train to collide with a garbage truck, derail and explode at a rail crossing in suburban Baltimore. In the third serious derailment this month, a dozen or so rail cars — at least one carrying hazardous materials — went off the tracks around 2 p.m. Tuesday.

    Visitors to the Morton Arboretum check out the huge daddy long leg spider that is part of artist David Rogers’ Big Bugs exhibition in Lisle.

    Dawn Patrol: Ban on cellphones while driving closer; Blackhawks Game 7 tonight

    Governor to consider handheld cell phone ban. Blackhawks head into game 7. Jury: Stolberg accidentally killed Vernon Hills wife. Weinke found guilty in mother's death. Former Wheaton man gets 55 years for stabbing neighbor. Dist. 41 could close Pleviak school. Hoffman Estates man charged with attempting to kill mother.

    State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, a Northbrook Democrat said of the provision “It sounds preposterous. i don't know how you get that and a survivor's annuity. This is the first I've heard about this.”

    How a retired teacher's pension adds up to $400,000

    A provision so obscure it caught several of Illinois' top legislative pension experts by surprise allows survivors of some former public employees to take over their deceased spouses' pensions as well as receive survivor benefits. “It sounds preposterous,” said state Rep. Elaine Nekritz, a Northbrook Democrat. “I don't know how you get that and a survivor's annuity. This is the...

    John Dryden

    Batavia school board disciplines teacher after survey flap

    The Batavia school board Tuesday disciplined high school teacher John Dryden, saying he had “mischaracterized” the intentions of teachers and administrators when he advised students they had the right not to incriminate theselves, before administering a survey about risky behavior.


    Rolling Meadows might outlaw ‘light trespass’

    "Light trespass" could join offensive smells, materials, smoke and odors as outlawed nuisances in Rolling Meadows.

    “Running the Edge” authors Tim Catalano and Adam Goucher will attend Metea Valley High School’s first charity 5K, the Metea LIFE Run, at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 1, at the school in Aurora. The authors appeared at the school in April, discussing their book and encouraging students to set and strive for ambitious goals.

    First Metea 5K caps running, reading program

    A reading and running program at Metea Valley High School in Aurora will culminate this weekend with the school’s first 5K race for charity, the Metea LIFE Run. At least 200 people — the majority of them students — are expected to run the 5K. “I’m really excited about the energy and involvement level of the student body,” said Diane Tancredi, language arts department chairwoman.



    Boomers earn 5th straight win

    Schaumburg held off the host Rockford Aviators 9-8 on Tuesday, the Boomers’ fifth straight win. Rookie Seth Webster from Louisiana, who was signed Sunday, made his first professional start a winning one, He did not allow an earned run in 6 innings, scattering 3 hits.


    Boomers win fifth straight

    The Schaumburg Boomers matched a franchise record with their fifth consecutive victory, requiring 12 innings to rally past the visiting Frontier Greys 5-4 on Tuesday night.

    Matt Garza delivers a shaving cream pie to the face of catcher Dioner Navarro, who hit 3 home runs in the Cubs’ 9-3 win over the White Sox at Wrigley Field on Wednesday.

    For bat man Navarro, it’s easy as 1-2-3

    A switch-hitting journeyman, the 5-foot-9, 205-pound Dioner Navarro put on a memorable power display from both sides of the plate, hitting 3 home runs to spark the Cubs to a 9-3 victory over the White Sox at Wrigley Field.

    Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane (88) and Patrick Sharp (10) check a score board during the first period of Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Western Conference semifinals against the Detroit Red Wings in Chicago, Saturday, May 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Kane relishes playing on big stage

    The entire hockey world was watching the Blackhawks and Red Wings on Wednesday night in their Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals, which is just how Patrick Kane liked it.

    Steve Lundy/slundy@dailyherald.com Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith hits Detroit Red Wings center Henrik Zetterberg during game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday, May 29, at the United Center in Chicago.

    Game 7 fitting for these two Original 6 teams

    All rivalries should end like this, with a seventh and deciding game in the playoffs.With the Red Wings moving to the Eastern Conference next season with Columbus as part of the NHL's realignment, this is the last time the Blackhawks and Detroit can meet in the playoffs other than in the Stanley Cup Finals.

    Steve Lundy/slundy@dailyherald.com Veteran defenseman Brent Seabrook had his ice time cut in half by the time Game 4 rolled around, but he stepped up big to deliver the game-winning goal for the Blackhawks Wednesday night.

    For Seabrook, exhuastion turns to jubilation

    Brent Seabrook was absolutely exhausted after scoring his game-winning goal in Game 7. But it was a good kind of tired. "It was a pretty exhausting game," Seabrook said. "... But it's exciting. You don't get to do that too many times."


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


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


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


    River Bandits top Cougars 2-1

    The Quad Cities River Bandits snapped a scoreless tie with a pair of sixth-inning solo home runs and hung on for a 2-1 victory over the Kane County Cougars on Wednesday at Modern Woodmen Park.


    Grayslake Central still in the running

    The scoreboard said one thing. The Grayslake Central Rams certainly felt another. They were in the outfield Wednesday afternoon running sprints, moments after rolling over Lakeview 8-0 in the semifinals of the Class 3A baseball sectional that they are hosting at their own field. "It (the sprinting) got us kind of mad," Grayslake Central starting pitcher Kevin Peloza said. "We're like, We just won. We shut them out.' We're looking at the board and it's 8-0. We don't want to be running, especially in a playoff game."


    Elgin’s Williams signs with Barry

    Elgin boys basketball standout Arie Williams finalized his college plans Wednesday morning when the point guard signed with Division II Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla. The signing concluded a tumultuous college search for Williams, who originally gave a verbal commitment to Division II Tampa University on March 29.

    Chicago Blackhawks' Brent Seabrook, pinned to the wall, celebrates with his teammates after scoring in overtime in Game 7 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference semifinals against the Detroit Red Wings, Wednesday, May 29, 2013, in Chicago. The Blackhawks won 2-1. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Seabrook’s OT goal lifts Blackhawks past Red Wings

    Brent Seabrook sent a wrist shot past goalie Jimmy Howard's glove 3:35 into overtime to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Game 7 of their second-round playoff series on Wednesday night. The Blackhawks, who had the best record in the NHL regular season, rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to reach the Western Conference finals against the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.

    Julianne Rurka of Benet heads home while the Downers Grove North catcher reaches for the ball during the Class 4A Neuqua Valley sectional semifinals softball game Wednesday. She was safe.

    Benet errors help Downers Grove North win

    Apparently Downers Grove North does have more than Elaine Heflin after all. On a day where the area's most dominant pitcher was hit harder than she had been all season, her bats picked her up. Maddie Wojciak's homer sparked a 7-run fifth inning and No. 3 seed Downers Grove North rallied from a 4-run deficit to beat No. 2 Benet 14-6 in Wednesday's Class 4A Neuqua Valley sectional semifinal.

    Dundee-Crown’s Zach Girard, left, greets Garrett Ryan at home as Ryan scored during a sectional semifinal game at Huntley against Prairie Ridge on Wednesday night. The Chargers won 15-4.

    Underdog Dundee-Crown does it again

    The Dundee-Crown baseball team administered another round of shock treatment to the IHSA Class 4A playoff bracket Wednesday. An underdog once again, the surging Chargers (11-18) erupted for 10 first-inning runs and were never threatened in a 15-4 dismantling of league rival Prairie Ridge (25-11) in a Huntley sectional semifinal. "We love being the underdog," D-C junior Zach Girard said. "We like people doubting us. Then we come out and prove them wrong. And we're going to keep doing it." Winners of three straight for only the second time this season, the Chargers advance to Saturday's 11 a.m. sectional title game against the winner of today's semifinal between District 300 rival Jacobs (23-11) and Hononegah (23-8). It marks Dundee-Crown's first appearance in a sectional title game since former coach Fred Bencriscutto's 2007 squad qualified for the Class AA state finals.

    Anthony Sciarrino of St. Charles East congratulates his teammate Brian Sobieski after he scored a run during the baseball in sectional semifinals against Lake Park, Monday in St. Charles.

    St. Charles East’s Starai blanks Lake Park

    Lake Park sent its Brown University bound ace Christian Taugner to the mound in the Class 4A St. Charles East sectional semifinals Wednesday, but the Saints countered with a Star of their own. Matt Starai handcuffed the Lancers for the second time this season, tossing a 3-hit shutout aided by three double plays in a 6-0 victory over top-seeded Lake Park (27-11). No. 4 St. Charles East (25-11) will play the winner of Thursday's semifinal between Wheaton North and Bartlett for the sectional title at 11 a.m. Saturday.


    Marengo ends Rosary’s surprising run

    Rosary was looking to upend another softball team in the Class 3A postseason Wednesday afternoon in Rochelle. But Marengo senior Bethany Hart fanned 13 Royals, including the side in order twice, while walking none in the Indians' 6-1 victory over Rosary at the Rochelle sectional semifinal.


    Downers Grove North does something different

    Yes, this is the same Downers Grove North baseball team. It's the same team that won 16 of its first 19 games and lost eight of its last 11 to close the regular season. It's the same team that began that rough stretch by committing double-digit errors in a loss to cross-town rival Downers Grove South. It's the same team that avenged the loss in a major way on Wednesday. Downers North advanced to the Class 4A Neuqua Valley sectional final with an 8-0 victory over Downers South in Naperville. By knocking off the sectional's top seed, the fourth-seeded Trojans will face Thursday's winner between Neuqua Valley and Plainfield North.


    St. Francis outlasts Burlington Central in 9

    St. Francis designated hitter Jack Petrando knows to give credit where credit's due. Although the senior came away with the victory Wednesday in the Spartans' 2-1 Class 3A Sycamore sectional semifinal win in nine innings over Burlington Central, it was a win he knew really belonged to teammate Jason Sullivan, whose first seven innings kept the Spartans from going home with a season-ending loss.


    St. Francis falls in sectional semifinal

    It was known early in Wednesday's 9-7 Elmwood Park victory over St. Francis in a Class 3A Elmwood Park sectional semifinal that this wasn't going to be a game decided by one hit, one play or one inning with nothing else happening the rest of the softball game.

    Barrington’s Meredith Slott (5) and Gabby McLaurin (14) celebrate with teammates after the Fillies’ Class 3A supersectional win over St. Charles North at Barrington on Wednesday.

    Barrington tops St. Charles North’s run

    Lightning did not strike twice at Barrington on Wednesday night, and the host Fillies were glad it didn't. Dangerous weather had halted the Class 3A supersectional final one night earlier at 20 minutes, thus saving a struggling Barrington club which was fighting for its soccer lives against St. Charles North. But the hosts took advantage of much nicer playing conditions a day later, providing some scoring thunder all their own to defeat the North Stars 3-1. Barrington advances into Friday's Class 3A state tournament at North Central College. Next up for coach Ryan Stengren's team will be Hinsdale Central, which defeated Sandburg 2-0 in the Romeoville supersectional. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m., the second semifinal of the session in Naperville, following Buffalo Grove vs. Naperville North.

    Chicago White Sox's Alexei Ramirez steals second as Chicago Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney (15) is unable to handle a throw from catcher Dioner Navarro during the fifth inning of a interleague baseball game Wednesday, May 29, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    White Sox offense hardly a big hit

    The White Sox' offensive woes continued in Wednesday's 9-3 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field, and manager Robin Ventura says more lineup changes are "a possibility."

    Libertyville pitcher Nate Cote celebrates with his teammates after the Wildcats defeated Fremd 2-1 during the Glenbrook North sectional semifinal Wednesday.

    Cote of honor: Libertyville ousts Fremd

    After being named Libertyville's opening day starter, Nate Cote struggled during the regular season and found himself moved to the No. 3 role in the Wildcats' rotation. But Wednesday at the Class 4A Glenbrook North sectional semifinal in Northbrook, Cote looked like his old self, scattering 4 hits as Libertyville ousted Fremd 2-1. "This is easily the best game I pitched all year," said Cote, who struck out two while improving to 5-2. "I had some arm trouble early in the year. But I was able to come back today and help my team, thanks to some great defense behind me."


    Lake Zurich battles back, but New Trier moves on

    Lake Zurich wasn't about to go down without a fight. Finding themselves down to No. 2 New Trier 3-0 after just 1 inning at Wednesday's Class 4A Rolling Meadows sectional semifinal, the Bears clawed their way back into the game and finally tied things up in the top of the seventh. Unfortunately for Lake Zurich, the attempt to extend the season for coach Michaela Towne fell just short as the Trevians plated a run in the bottom of the seventh to win 4-3. New Trier meets Barrington for the sectional championship at 11 a.m. Saturday at Rolling Meadows. "She's the best," said the Bears' Carlee Parsons of Towne, who is stepping down as LZ's coach. "We wouldn't be where we are today without her." "Thanks to her," added teammate Maria Schroeder, "we had a great year."


    Bandy’s dandy as York stops Maine West

    When the state tournament started two weeks ago, York softball coach Drew McGuire said his team was clicking at the right time. Late Wednesday afternoon, sophomore Brook Bandy might have been clicking as well as she ever has. The Dukes' left-hander fired a 2-hitter and shut out No. 2-seeded Maine West 2-0 in the semifinal of the Class 4A Resurrection sectional. Bandy gave up a leadoff infield single to Maine West shortstop Holly Wengerski and then didn't give up another hit until Renee Pond bunted safely with one out in the top of the seventh inning.

    Chicago Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro tosses hit bat aside after hitting his third home run of the day.

    Images: White Sox at Cubs Wednesday
    Images of the Chicago Cubs vs. White Sox at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Wednesday. The Cubs won 9-3 behind three home runs frim catcher Dioner Navarro.


    Book it: This is a tough team to make

    Rounding third and heading home in this 2012-13 prep calendar year, let's salute a few student-athletes who excelled on both those fronts.

    Jason Schaal

    Cherry, Benz lead Glenbard North past S. Elgin

    The most talked about number prior to Wednesday's Class 4A St. Charles East sectional softball game between Glenbard North and South Elgin was 10. No, it wasn't the prediction on how many strikeouts Glenbard North senior Lindsey Cherry would have, although one who guessed that number would end up correct. It was more about the 10 runs the Panthers allowed in their two regional games — 4 to Wheaton North and 6 to Schaumburg in Saturday's championship game. Well, Cherry made sure that wasn't going to happen. And Sydney Benz did it again. What it all added up to was a 6-1 Glenbard North win and a second straight trip to the sectional finals for the Panthers, who fell 1-0 to Bartlett at Lake Park last year.

    Wauconda catcher Alex Kinnamon, left, gives kudos to pitcher Kayla Wedl after a good inning during Wednesday’s Class 3A sectional semifinal game against Antioch in Grayslake.

    Redmann, Wauconda top Antioch in 8

    Clearly, Wauconda senior Lexie Redmann was the defensive hero of the game when she positively stole a potential double off the bat of Antioch's Kaytee Keefe in the fifth inning of Wednesday's Class 3A sectional semifinal at Grayslake Central. "I told my mom I was going to make 50 diving catches,'' Redmann said. But when this game between NSC Prairie Division rivals went to extra innings, Redmann was still hitless at the plate. And that came as a surprise to Wauconda coach Tim Rennels. That's because he had called an optional hitting practice before the big game. "And Lexie was the only girl who took me up on it,'' Rennels said. "And she has some great swings in the cages. We both walked off happy." Since both teams had split a pair of games during the regular season, naturally this game went to the eighth inning knotted up at 2-2. And then the extra batting practice paid off. Redmann's fifth homer of the season opened up a 4-2 lead. Freshman Brooke Sefcik followed with another longball. Wauconda (22-12) will play for the sectional title come Saturday at Grayslake Central. The Bulldogs stopped Antioch 5-3 and in the meantime dodged a one-girl wrecking crew named Kaylene Ressler. In order, she singled, homered, singled and homered.

    FILE - This is a 2013 file photo showing Kyuji Fujikawa of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Cubs reliever Fujikawa will have Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right elbow and miss the rest of the season. Fujikawa pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings against Cincinnati on Sunday, May 26, 2013, before leaving with the injury. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

    Fujikawa needs Tommy John surgery

    After an MRI revealed a rupture of the UCL in Fujikawa's right elbow, the Cubs announced Wednesday that their Japanese import will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Kyuji Fujikawa had been placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday for the second time this sea

    Associated Press White Sox starter John Danks gave up a pair of homers to Dioner Navarro, right, during 4 innings of work Wednesday in the Cubs’ 9-3 victory at Wrigley Field.

    Beckham won’t be back for 2 weeks

    Injured second baseman Gordon Beckham is scheduled to resume his rehab assignment with Class AAA Charlotte Thursday, but he's not expected to to rejoin the White Sox until they return to U.S. Cellular Field on June 6.

    NASCAR drivers Danica Patrick, left, and Tony Stewart leave the garages at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., after tire testing at the track on Wednesday, May 29, 2013. (AP Photo/Pocono Record, Keith R. Stevenson)

    Patrick, Stenhouse make up following wreck

    Danica Patrick left the first racing rough patch with boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on the track.At home, the relationship is still smooth sailing.Patrick and Stenhouse escaped for some relaxation on a boat after their first dust-up on the track since the NASCAR rookies announced in January they were dating.


    O’Malley sets the standard for St. Viator

    It's been another outstanding season for the St. Viator boys lacrosse program. Last week, attackman Dan O'Malley was named first team all-state and thus became the first Lions player to be named an All-American. On Tuesday, the Lions erupted on Benet in the Class A quarterfinals, taking an 11-1 lead into halftime and winning handily, 14-5. The No. 4 seed Lions face No. 1 seed New Trier on Thursday in the state semifinals.

    FILE - In this Wednesday, May 15, 2013 file photo, Julie Hermann listens during a news conference where she was introduced as the new athletic director at Rutgers University, in Piscataway, N.J. 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. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

    Ex-player backs up allegations against Rutgers AD

    A former Tennessee volleyball player has written a post on her blog backing up her ex-teammates' accusations that embattled Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann abused them verbally and emotionally during her coaching tenure in the 1990s.

    FILE - In this April 5, 2013 file photo, New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella stands behind his bench during an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh. The Rangers have fired coach Tortorella, Wednesday, May 29, 2013, four days after New York was eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

    Rangers fire coach John Tortorella

    John Tortorella was defiant in stating that the New York Rangers didn't take a step back when they were knocked out of the Stanley Cup playoffs in the second round.General manager Glen Sather thought otherwise and fired the combative coach on Wednesday.

    Scott Boyd of Southhaven, Mich.,sits in shock after having been part of a group that found the body of former Grand Valley State University quarterback Cullen Finnerty in the Baldwin, Mich., area on Tuesday May 28, 2013 after he went missing while on a fishing trip over the weekend on Baldwin River. Authorities said no foul play was suspected. (AP Photo/Detroit Free Press, Ryan Garza) DETROIT NEWS OUT; NO SALES

    Sheriff: No immediate cause of death for ex-QB

    A cause of death was not determined Wednesday after an autopsy on the body of a Michigan man who played Division II football and was one of the most successful quarterbacks in college history.

    Serena Williams of the U.S. greets spectators after defeating Caroline Garcia of France in their second round match of the French Open tennis tournament, at Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Wednesday, May 29, 2013. Williams won in two sets 6-1, 6-2.(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

    Williams sisters pull out of French Open doubles

    Serena and Venus Williams have pulled out of doubles at the French Open before playing a match.The sisters were supposed to compete in that event at Roland Garros for the first time since 2010 after receiving a wild card from the tournament.

    Chicago Cubs' Dioner Navarro, right, watches his three-run home run along with Chicago White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers during the seventh inning of a interleague baseball game Wednesday, May 29, 2013, in Chicago. It was Navarro's third home run of the game. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Navarro hits 3 HRs, Cubs pound Sox 9-3

    Dioner Navarro hit three home runs in a game for the first time in his career, connecting from both sides of the plate at Wrigley Field on Wednesday and leading the Cubs over the White Sox 9-3.


    Boomers win third straight, 12-5

    The Schaumburg Boomers continued their home-field dominance Wednesday afternoon as they easily beat the Normal CornBelters, 12-5. The Boomers will look to complete the sweep and go for their fourth straight win when the two clubs meet Thursday night.

    University of Illinois trustees approved a contract extension and a raise for men's basketball coach John Groce, who led his team to the NCAA tournament in his first season in Champaign.

    U of I trustees OK extension, raise for Groce

    University trustees have signed off on a $200,000 annual raise and contract extension for Illinois basketball coach John Groce. Trustees also voted Wednesday to give Illinois-Chicago men's head coach Howard Moore a three-year contract extension, and they approved the naming-rights deal to change Assembly Hall in Champaign to the State Farm Center. Groce's salary will increase to $1.2 million a year. His contract now runs through April 2018.

    President of International wrestling federation Nenad Lalovic speaks to the media after the IOC presentation of wrestling as a candidate sports for the 2020 Olympics.

    Wrestling, baseball, softball on Olympic list

    Three months after being dropped from the 2020 Olympics, wrestling won a reprieve Wednesday and made the IOC shortlist for inclusion in the games.Also making the cut were squash and a combined baseball-softball bid. Eight sports were vying for a single opening on the lineup. Eliminated from contention were five sports — karate, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and the Chinese martial art of wushu.

    Los Angeles Kings right wing Justin Williams, right, celebrates his goal with Trevor Lewis as San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, left, looks away during the second period in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs, Tuesday, May 28, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    LA Kings advance, could face Hawks next

    Justin Williams scored two goals in the second period, and the L.A. Kings advanced with a 2-1 victory over San Jose on Tuesday night. If the Hawks win Wednesday, they will face the Kings.


    JOE LEWNARD/DAILY HERALD Owner/baker Donnalyn Vojta, left, and baker Amanda Martensen hold pies at Crust’em Sweets in Palatine.

    Palatine welcomes two new dessert spots

    Got a sweet tooth? You've got two more options in Palatine. Both Crust'em Sweets Pies and Tarts and Yumz Gourmet Frozen Yogurt recently opened in the village, both by owners who opted to leave the corporate world.

    This May 23 file photo shows the pre-market price for Facebook at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York.

    Nasdaq paying $10M to settle Facebook disruption

    Nasdaq has agreed to pay a $10 million penalty to settle federal civil charges after regulators said its systems and decisions disrupted Facebook's public stock offering last year. The Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday that the penalty is the largest ever imposed against an exchange.


    Illinois high-volume 'fracking' under way

    State records indicate that high-volume oil drilling already has begun in Illinois, where lawmakers and others are scrambling to pass a bill to establish regulations for a practice that has generated intense national debate as energy companies push into new territory. Carmi.-based Campbell Energy LLC submitted a well-completion report last year to the Department of Natural Resources voluntarily disclosing that it used 640,000 gallons of water during hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” of a well in White County.


    Exxon holders to vote on gay discrimination ban

    Exxon Mobil shareholders are voting on measures to explicitly ban discrimination against gays and to reduce production of greenhouse gas emissions. Exxon's annual meeting used to draw dozens of protesters from environmental and human-rights groups, but there was only a lone demonstrator outside as the meeting began Wednesday in an ornate symphony hall.

    Ending an environmental investigation that lasted nearly a decade, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has pleaded guilty to improperly disposing of pesticides, fertilizer and other hazardous products and will pay a fine of $81.6 million.

    Wal-Mart to pay $81.6M for illegal waste disposal

    Ending an environmental investigation that lasted nearly a decade, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has pleaded guilty to improperly disposing of pesticides, fertilizer and other hazardous products and will pay a fine of $81.6 million. The company entered the guilty plea in federal court in San Francisco Tuesday to misdemeanor counts of violating the Clean Water Act and a law regulating pesticides.

    America’s working mothers are now the primary breadwinners in a record 40 percent of households with children — a milestone in the changing face of modern families, up from just 11 percent in 1960.

    Mothers now top earners in 4 in 10 U.S. households

    America's working mothers are now the primary breadwinners in a record 40 percent of households with children — a milestone in the changing face of modern families, up from just 11 percent in 1960. The findings by the Pew Research Center, released Wednesday, highlight the growing influence of "breadwinner moms" who keep their families afloat financially. While most are headed by single mothers, a growing number are families with married mothers who bring in more income than their husbands.


    Sallie Mae plans to split into 2, names new CEO

    Sallie Mae plans to split into two separate, publicly traded companies. The student loan giant also named John Remondi as its CEO. Sallie Mae, formally named SLM Corp., said Wednesday that the two separate companies — an education loan management business and a consumer banking business — would help unlock value and boost its long-term growth potential.

    Postal carrier Nadine O’Brien, 52, who had both knees replaced six weeks ago, works out at Quincy Medical Group trying to rehab her knees to get back to her walking route with the postal service.

    Knee replacements help postal carrier

    Nadine O'Brien's dream job cost her two knees and three years of pain. Arthritis set in after 30 years of walking mail routes on uneven sidewalks and porch stairs. Still, that pain never stifled her smile or her good attitude as she delivered mail to her customers. She enjoys bringing them Christmas presents in December. She passes out post-holiday credit card bills as cheerfully as she can in January.


    DEA disagrees with firm’s meth-resistant claims

    The Drug Enforcement Administration says a suburban St. Louis pharmaceutical company is wrong for marketing its pseudoephedrine product to imply methamphetamine cannot be made with it. Westport Pharmaceuticals, however, is standing by its meth-resistant claims, insisting that it would be impractical to make the dangerous drug with its Zephrex-D even if small amounts of meth can be extracted from it.

    Smithfield Foods Inc. Cook’s brand ham sits on display at a supermarket in Princeton, Illinois. Chinese meat processor Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. has agreed to buy Smithfield Foods for approximately $4.72 billion.

    Chinas’s Shuanghui in $4.7B deal for Smithfield

    Chinese meat processor Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. has agreed to buy Smithfield Foods for approximately $4.72 billion.Shareholders of Smithfield, the world's biggest pork producer, will receive $34 per share under terms of the deal announced Wednesday. That is a 31 percent premium to the Smithfield, Va., company's closing stock price of $25.97 on Tuesday.


    Sprint says panel clears proposed sale to Softbank

    Sprint and Japan's Softbank say regulators haven't found any unresolved national security issues related to Softbank's proposed acquisition of Sprint. The companies say the Treasury Department's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has completed its investigation and that they've entered into a National Security Agreement with the U.S. government.


    Illinois hospital license fee may get new vote in House

    A bill to collect a new licensing fee from Illinois hospitals to improve patient safety may be on its way back to the House floor. Illinois Department of Public Health Deputy Director David Carvalho says some House lawmakers may not have understood that the Illinois Hospital Association supports the bill when they voted it down Sunday.


    Officials say Chicago suburb near bankruptcy

    Officials of the Chicago suburb of Dolton say the village is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. During an emergency meeting Tuesday, the village's Board of Board of trustees voted to borrow money from an account set up for development to pay its employees and bills.Newly installed Mayor Riley Rogers says the village's bank accounts are empty.

    Poland’s LOT airline said Wednesday its grounded Boeing 787 planes will resume flying on Saturday, four days earlier than planned.

    Poland’s Boeing 787s to resume flights on Saturday

    Poland's LOT airline said Wednesday its grounded Boeing 787 planes will resume flying on Saturday, four days earlier than planned. LOT is the third airline to resume flying the 787, after United Airlines and Japan's All Nippon Airways. The world's fleet of 50 Boeing 787s was grounded in January after batteries smoldered on two planes owned by two Japanese airlines.

    Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Buffalo Grove, speaks with reporters at the Illinois State Capitol Tuesday.

    House begins work on budget that avoids steep cuts

    The Democrat-controlled Legislature began piecing together a new state budget Tuesday that avoids the steep cuts of recent years and also gave final approval to a historic expansion of Medicaid, as Republicans accused their colleagues across the aisle of having "an insatiable appetite to spend money we don't have."

Life & Entertainment

    Country duo Montgomery Gentry is set to headline Chicago's Congress Theater on Friday, May 31.

    Weekend picks: It's a musical night in Chicago, suburbs

    Superstar country duo Montgomery Gentry (Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry) headline the Congress Theater in Chicago tonight. Danny Seraphine, co-founder and former drummer of the band Chicago, will perform with his current band, CTA (California Transit Authority), in a special tribute to Chicago at the Arcada in St. Charles. Roll with the Stones tonight at the United Center. Plus, Alkaline Trio plays Metro in Chicago tonight, too.

    Dan Savage's latest book, “American Savage,” was released on Tuesday, May 28.

    Sex-advice ace Dan Savage on the loose in new book

    It's been quite a run for Dan Savage. Between speaking gigs and the syndicated sex-advice column he writes from a desk that belonged to Ann Landers, he managed another book, “American Savage,” out now. Savage, 48, says he wanted to write the book because “you know, I'm kind of gay and kind of prominent and I've been slugging away at the marriage equality issue for a long time.” But the book is about more than that.

    Apple sauce and olive oil keep the fat in check in a rich, dark chocolate cake.

    Lean and lovin’ it: Surprising products make Prevention’s Eat Clean list

    Sometimes Don Mauer's time at the grocery store is limited, so he appreciates it when Prevention magazine publishes its Eat Clean awards, 100 delicoius products that contain no genetically modified ingredients, have no more than 10 grams of added sugar and less than 200 milligrams of sodium per serving.

    Talk show host Larry King will launch a new a political talk show beginning next month.

    Larry King to host a new political talk show

    Larry King will host a political talk show beginning next month. The new program, "Politics With Larry King," will air on the RT America network, a global, English-language channel based in Russia, the network announced Wednesday. No premiere date was specified.

    You'll need several napkins if you order the High Octane Burger from the Filling Station in downtown St. Charles.

    Filling Station a tried-and-true refueling stop in St. Charles

    Whether you want a burger and a beer or a salad and some appetizers, The Filling Station Pub and Grill in St. Charles should be on your map. The restaurant, which was formerly home to a gas station, has been a popular spot downtown for 25 years. And for good reason. The menu boasts a solid spate of food and drink choices for any appetite.


    Dining events: Countryside Saloon hosts Two Brothers beer dinner

    Two Brothers Brewery pays a visit to Countryside’s Saloon; Weber Grill’s kettles on wheels hit the road; Cacao Sweets and Treats is now open in Grayslake.

    “A Conspiracy of Faith” by Jussi Adler-Olsen

    ‘Conspiracy of Faith’ is chilling Nordic thriller

    A message in a bottle propels Detective Carl Morck and his team from Department Q, a special branch of the Copenhagen Police Department that examines cold-case crimes, into a bizarre case in Jussi Adler-Olsen's latest page-turning psychological thriller, "A Conspiracy of Faith." The bottle has been sitting on a shelf for years, and the message inside has withered due to sunlight. What can be deciphered is: Help.

    Toasted Mocha S’more, top, and Salted Oatmeal S’more

    Salted Oatmeal S’more


    Double Chocolate Grasshopper S’more

    Sesame Caramel S’more, front, and Toasted Mocha S’more

    Sesame Caramel S’more
    Sesame S'more

    Toasted Mocha S’more, top, and Salted Oatmeal S’more

    Toasted Mocha S’more
    Toasted Mocha S'more

    Salted Oatmeal S’mores start with oatmeal cookies, caramel, sea salt chocolate and, finish with, of course, a fire-toasted marshmallow.

    Jazz up summer s’mores

    Three simple ingredients — a marshmallow, a piece of chocolate and two graham crackers. The symbol of summer and campfire snacking.And there are so many possibilities for jazzing it up! Once you have a toasted marshmallow, you can sandwich it between all kinds of cookies, crackers and the like. Or you could swap out the basic chocolate for something a little more over-the-top, perhaps something with bacon or candied ginger embedded in it. And don’t overlook gourmet marshmallows, which come in some wonderful flavors.And don’t hesitate to jam other ingredients in there, too. Liven up your s’mores with:Ÿ Thin pretzel sticksŸ Dried fruit (such as dried cherries and pineapple)Ÿ Sweetened shredded coconutŸ Thinly sliced fresh strawberries or applesŸ Maraschino cherriesŸ Banana slicesŸ Thinly sliced brownie or cake (as an additional filling, not in place of the graham crackers)Ÿ Potato chipsAnd here are more ideas to get your creativity flowing.Ÿ Alison Ladman is a recipe developer for the AP. Follow her on Twitter @CrustAndCrumbCo

    Grilled cheese, in the literal sense, makes a luscious appetizer when Halloumi cheese partners with cherry tomatoes and watermelon.

    Avocados among the foods that do well over open fire

    Burgers, sausages and chicken breasts are in heavy rotation for summer cookouts. But that doesn't mean you can't shake things up a little every once in a while. When you think outside the meat case you see a whole other world of ingredients just waiting to be kissed by the flames. Like avocados and lemons and cheese.

    A grilled ham is a delicious and surprising way to feed a crowd.

    Spiced Grilled Ham with Citrus Glaze
    Spiced Grilled Ham with Citrus Glaze

    Grilled fruit adds dimension to summer sangria.

    Summer Sangria with Grilled Fruit
    Summer Sangria with Grilled Fruit

    Grilled flatbread can be topped with your favorite cheese or wrapped around slices of grilled steak and vegetables.

    Homemade Flatbread
    Homemade Flatbread

    Grilled avocado halves make a refreshing serving shell for grilled vegetable relish.

    Grilled Avocados with Vegetable Relish
    Grilled Avocados with Vegetable Relish

    Grilled lemon adds a savory sensation to watermelon lemonade.

    Fresh Lemonade with Grilled Lemons and Watermelon
    Fresh Lemonade with Grilled Lemons and Watermelon

    Charred Salmon Crudo With Grilled Avocado and Lemon Aioli showcases the flavors of the grill in a ceviche-style appetizer.

    Charred Salmon Crudo With Grilled Avocado and Lemon Aioli
    Charred Salmon Crudo with Grilled Avocado and Lemon Aioli

    Grilled cheese, in the literal sense, makes a luscious appetizer when Halloumi cheese partners with cherry tomatoes and watermelon.

    Grilled Halloumi with Watermelon and Basil-Mint Oil
    Grilled Halloumi

    Jalapeño Turkey-Black Bean Chili With Crisped Potatoes is a light and lively twist on potpie.

    Deconstructing potpie with crisped potatoes, spicy turkey filling

    Writer Stephanie Witt Sedgwick has updated the basic potpie before, using cabbage and white beans and giving it a sweet-potato-topped, curry-flavored twist. This version goes much further, to a deconstructed state: The filling is a chili-pepper-spiked turkey and black bean mix. It's fresh, lively and light.

    Jalapeño Turkey-Black Bean Chili with Crisped Potatoes is a fresh, lively and light meal.

    Jalapeño Turkey-Black Bean Chili With Crisped Potatoes
    Jalapeno Turkey-Black Bean Chili With Crisped Potatoes

    Apple sauce and olive oil keep the fat in check in a rich, dark chocolate cake.

    Don’s Dark Chocolate Cake
    Don's Special Dark Chocolate Cake


    Frugal living: Meatless meals and more veggies at dinner

    Frugal Living columnist Sara Noel shares ideas for making meatless meals and adding more raw vegetables to your family's diet.



    Editorial: ‘April surprise’ doesn’t ease long-term need

    A Daily Herald editorial emphasizes the need for lawmakers to control spending, despite an unexpected $1.3 billion increase in revenues in April.


    Surrogacy exposed

    Columnist Kathleen Parker: Human babies are not things; their mothers are not ovens. But bartering and selling babies-to-order sure make them seem that way. By turning the miracle of life into a profit-driven, state-regulated industry, the stork begins to resemble a vulture.

    Robert Berlin

    Fund preschools to reduce future crime

    Guest columnists Joseph McMahon and Robert Berin: Members of the General Assembly have a lot of difficult decisions to make in the upcoming weeks. In the home stretch of crafting the budget for next year, we ask lawmakers for their support and to seriously consider how preschool benefits our safety and our communities. We'd much rather see kids behind books now than behind bars later.


    Obama’s historical reference point
    A Vernon Hills letter to the editor: I saw a bumper sticker this morning that asked, “What would Nixon do?” Now we know.


    Support workers deserve pay raise
    A Libertyville letter to the editor: The Illinois Legislature will be voting on the 2014 budget by Friday in Springfield. This includes the Illinois Human Services budget.


    ‘Creationism’ is not scientific theory
    A Mundelein letter to the editor:In fact, creationism is useless for practical matters, because — to be blunt — it simply doesn’t work; evolutionary science does work.


    Speed limits are least of our worries
    A letter to the editor:Why on earth do we need to increase the speed limit in Illinois? Highways to 70 mph? No one pays any attention to speed limit signs as it is.


    Mayor: County must help homeowners
    Letter to the editor: Franklin Park Mayor Barrett Pedersen urges the Cook County Board to investigate skyrocketing real estate taxes for homeowners, and find some relief. "If the economy is truly to recover, we must stabilize our neighborhoods and protect our homeowners," he writes.


    Homes have more value than parking
    Letter to the editor: Jill Pellican objects to an Arlington Hts. church's plans to raze nearby homes to expand its parking. "Since there is already a great deal of parking available to the church wouldn’t it make more sense to sell the homes to families?: she asks.


    Raise wages to help the disabled
    A St. Charles letter to the editor: Clearbrook and Little City are leading partners in the creation of the Care Campaign, a unique collaboration of community-based human service agencies, families, caregivers and their unions. The average wage for a direct support worker in Illinois is now just $9.95/hour — well below the poverty level for a family of four! Such low wages lead to high employee turnover and the loss of relationships and continuity of services so valued by families and the direct care workers who depend on us.


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