Daily Archive : Thursday May 30, 2013



    Safety check planned in Hanover Park

    Illinois State Police and the Hanover Park Police Department will conduct a joint roadside safety check in Hanover Park on the evening Friday, June 8. Officers working the detail will watch for drivers who are under the influence, transporting open alcoholic beverages, operating unsafe vehicles and driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license.

    Courtesy Buffalo Grove Park District This is one of the signs being put up by the Buffalo Grove Park District to discourage inappropriate adult behavior at sporting events.

    Adult park behavior targeted in Buffalo Grove

    The Buffalo Grove Park District last week began posting signs near athletic fields as part of an effort to curb inappropriate adult behavior during youth sports games. “I didn’t realize how prevalent this problem was until my son played soccer, and then I eventually became a volunteer coach,” said Buffalo Grove Park District marketing manager Mike Terson.

    This is a sketch of what Fashion Outlets of Chicago in Rosemont will look like when it opens.

    Job fair set for Rosemont’s upscale mall

    The Fashion Outlets of Chicago mall in Rosemont, set to open Aug. 1, will host a job fair Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. The 530,000-square-foot property, located off Balmoral Avenue, will be home to more than 130 retailers that will employ 2,000 people.

    Vern Jones of Signaram in Barrington updates a banner Friday morning outside Barrington MIddle School Station Campus reflecting their pride in Pranav Sivakumar in the national spelling bee.

    Calm Tower Lakes teen finishes second in National Spelling Bee

    Competing in his third National Spelling Bee, 13-year-old Pranav Sivakumar of Tower Lakes said he was no longer nervous. It showed. Pranav took second place in the in the 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee, finishing second to Arvind Mahankali, 13, of New York. Both Pranav and Arvind rarely appeared flustered onstage, but Pranav was tripped up by "cyanophycean," the word for a blue-green alga.

    ABC 7’s Chopper 7 caught this rainbow over O’Hare International Airport Friday afternoon.

    More heavy rainfall expected; flood watch in suburbs

    Thunderstorms are starting to hit the suburbs. The National Weather Service says "several rounds of heavy rainfall" is possible through Saturday. It calls for as many as 2 to 3 inches of rainfall in the next couple of days. The weather service also has expanded its flash flood watch through Saturday evening. The counties of Cook, Lake, McHenry, Kane and Will are included.

    Elgin Police Sgt. Rick Santiago questions a suspect Thursday during a drug sweep.

    Elgin police arrest 22 in drug sweep

    The ringleader of a heroin-dealing crew based in Elgin's Poplar Creek neighborhood was arrested Thursday during a police drug sweep that targeted about 65 people in Elgin, ranging from first-time offenders to career criminals, police said. Elgin police, in cooperation with FBI, Kane County sheriff's deputies and U.S. Immigrations Customs and Enforcement officers, arrested 22 individuals.

    Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, front, shakes hands with Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, right, while Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, left, looks on. The top Democrats are so far at an impasse over pension legislation.

    State Senate rejects sweeping public pension cuts

    The Illinois Senate rejected a sweeping package of public employee pension cuts Thursday, possibly leaving lawmakers without a path forward on the state's biggest financial pressure and almost no time to find one. "It is showtime right now," said Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont. A majority disagreed.

    Willard Helander

    Lake County election change sent to Quinn

    A proposal that would take election supervision away from Lake County Clerk Willard Helander and give it to a new five-member board was approved by Illinois House Thursday and sent to Gov. Pat Quinn for final review.

    Amr Ahmad Daoud

    Burglary suspect arrested in Villa Park

    Based on surveillance video, a 21-year-old homeless man has been charged in connection with two burglaries that occurred this week in Villa Park.

    A wall cloud forms near Purcell, Okla., Thursday. At least two tornadoes touched down in that state and another hit Arkansas as a powerful storm system moved through the Midwest.

    Tornado touches down in Tulsa area

    At least three tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma, including one in Tulsa, and two more hit Arkansas on Thursday as a powerful storm system moved through the middle of the country. At least nine people were injured.


    House passes bill to regulate use of drones

    A proposal that would regulate the use of drones by law enforcement agencies in Illinois has cleared the House. House members voted 105-12 on Thursday. It has to go back to the Senate after some House changes.


    Strip club settlement cash to help build shelter

    The city of Chicago will spend $1.8 million from a legal settlement with a strip club to help build a shelter for victims of domestic violence. The new shelter is set to open in June 2014 and will serve as many as 100 families in its first year.


    House gives boost to third Chicago-area airport

    The legislation approved Thursday allows the Illinois Department of Transportation to enter into a public-private partnership to develop the South Suburban Airport in Peotone.

    Oprah Winfrey speaks during Harvard University’s commencement ceremonies Thursday in Cambridge, Mass.

    Winfrey to Harvard grads: Learn from your failures

    Oprah Winfrey has told graduating students at Harvard University to expect failure at some point in their lives, but she said how they deal with hard times will ultimately define their success. Winfrey delivered the address Thursday at Harvard's 362nd commencement.

    A Chinese woman and a nurse look at the baby who was rescued after being trapped in a sewage pipe moments after his birth, as he sleeps in an incubator at a hospital in Pujiang county in east China’s Zhejiang province. The newborn has been released from the hospital into the care of his grandparents.

    Chinese baby rescued from sewer released to family

    A Chinese newborn who was rescued from a sewer pipe has been released to his family and his mother is unlikely to face criminal charges because authorities concluded he fell into the toilet after his birth accidentally, local officials and media reports said.

    Individuals arrested and charged May 30, 2013 as part of an Elgin drug sweep. Michael Alexander.

    Images: Elgin Police Drug Sweep
    Images of 21 of the 22 individuals that Elgin Police charged on Thursday as part of an ongoing drug sweep initiative. Daily Herald staff attended some of the suspect apprehensions. More arrests are planned in coming days as authorities target a list of 80.

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Police said threatening letters containing traces of the poison ricin were opened Friday, May 24, 2013 at New York City’s mail sorting facility and Sunday, May 26, in Washington at the headquarters of the nonprofit started by Bloomberg, Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Both were addressed to Bloomberg and contained threats referencing the debate on gun laws.

    NYC police: Notes to Obama, mayor had gun threats

    A suspicious letter mailed to the White House was similar to two threatening, poison-laced letters on the gun law debate sent to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, one of the nation's most potent gun-control advocates, officials said Thursday.

    Sami Samir Hassoun

    Would-be Chicago backpack bomber gets 23 years

    Sami Samir Hassoun was sentenced Thursday to 23 years in prison for placing a backpack he believed contained a powerful bomb along a bustling city street near Wrigley Field. In imposing the sentence, the judge invoked the specter of the Boston Marathon, saying had Hassoun's bomb been real, it would have made Boston look like a minor incident by comparison.


    House OKs bill to regulate ‘fracking’

    The Illinois House overwhelmingly approved a plan Thursday that would regulate high-volume oil and gas drilling in the state, hoping to kick-start an industry that proponents say could bring thousands of jobs to economically struggling southern Illinois. The measure passed 108-9 and headed to the Senate, where it was expected to pass.


    Compromise reached on concealed carry

    An Illinois state senator key to gun control negotiations says a concealed-carry compromise has been reached between the Senate and the House. Sen. Kwame Raoul of Chicago said Thursday that fellow Democratic state Sen. Gary Forby of Benton will sponsor legislation that will be presented Friday.

    Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, mother of the two Boston bombing suspects, speaks during a meeting of the Tsarnaevs with the AP in Makhachkala, regional capital of Dagestan, Russia, Thursday. Authorities accuse Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was slain in a shootout with police, and his younger brother Dzhokhar of organizing the attacks, which killed three.

    Boston bombing suspect is walking, mother says

    The remaining suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings has recovered enough to walk and assured his parents in a phone conversation that he and his slain brother were innocent, their mother said Thursday. Meanwhile, the father of a Chechen immigrant killed in Florida while being interrogated by the FBI about his ties to the slain brother maintained the U.S. agents killed his son "execution-style."

    Longtime West Chicago resident Tom Marziani is being remembered for his contributions to the community as a developer and volunteer.

    Tom Marziani devoted his life to West Chicago

    Tom Marziani believed anything could be made better, including his longtime hometown of West Chicago. So over a career that spanned decades, Marziani brought innovative ideas to several companies before turning his attention to development and spearheading a list of construction projects throughout West Chicago. "He did just about everything," Mayor Ruben Pineda said.

    Ohio State president E. Gordon Gee told a university committee last December that Notre Dame wasn’t invited to join the Big Ten because they’re not good partners while also jokingly saying that “those damn Catholics” can’t be trusted.

    OSU head jabs Notre Dame, Catholics

    The president of Ohio State University said Notre Dame was never invited to join the Big Ten conference because the university's priests are not good partners, joking that "those damn Catholics" can't be trusted, according to a recording of a meeting he attended late last year.

    Jeanine Jenkins

    Palatine grandmother convicted of DUI

    A Rolling Meadows jury deliberated less than two hours before finding 53-year-old Jeanine Jenkins of Palatine guilty of driving under the influence when she picked up her 1-year-old granddaughter from a day care center and drove away after striking a parked car.

    President Barack Obama is preparing to nominate former Bush administration official James Comey to head the FBI, people familiar with the decision said.

    Obama’s likely pick to head FBI widely praised

    Republicans said Thursday they see no major obstacles to Senate confirmation of James Comey, the former deputy attorney general in the Bush administration who is expected to be nominated by President Barack Obama as the next FBI director.


    Arlington Heights man faces new sex abuse charges

    An Arlington Heights man already accused of sexually abusing three teenage girls faces new charges related to one of his accusers. Police arrested Damien Deanda, 41, Wednesday and charged him with aggravated criminal sexual abuse. A Cook County judge ordered Deanda held without bond.

    The Rev. Andrew Greeley, an outspoken Roman Catholic priest, best-selling author and longtime Chicago newspaper columnist who even criticized the hierarchy of his own church over the child sex abuse scandal, died Wednesday. He was 85.

    Best-selling Chicago author, outspoken Rev. Greeley dies

    The Rev. Andrew Greeley, an outspoken Roman Catholic priest, best-selling author and longtime Chicago newspaper columnist who even criticized the hierarchy of his own church over the child sex abuse scandal, has died. He was 85. His longtime publicist, June Rosner, said Greeley died Wednesday night at his Chicago home.


    Gurnee pool ready:

    Hunt Club Park Aquatic Complex will open daily starting Saturday if the weather cooperates, officials announced.


    District 50 PTA scholarships:

    Woodland Elementary District 50's Parent Teacher Association has announced the winners of the PTA scholarships: Jessica Hamrick, Katie Nordentoft and Micaela Osuji.


    Streamwood police launch monthly beat meetings

    Streamwood residents can now meet one-on-one with the police officers who patrol the area they live in. The police department launched a new beat meeting program earlier this month and Commander Randy Hart said so far, the department has received positive feedback. "We were pleasantly surprised. They were very well-attended," he said.


    Vernon Hills tobacco checks:

    A third and final round of underage tobacco checks of 15 license holders yielded no violations, Vernon Hills police recently reported.


    French Market to open in Vernon Hills:

    The French Market opens Saturday at the Vernon Hills Metra station on Route 45.


    Demolition ahead for abandoned Hoffman Estates barn, silo

    Hoffman Estates residents tired of seeing the dilapidated old barn and silo on the north side of Shoe Factory Road will be pleased to hear the structures are being demolished within the next two to three weeks. Peter Gugliotta, the village's director of planning, said the abandoned structures often are described as an "eyesore" by residents.

    Dan Rutherford

    Rutherford to announce gubernatorial bid this weekend

    State Treasurer Dan Rutherford says he'll announce this weekend that he's seeking the Republican nomination for Illinois governor. He told The Associated Press on Thursday that he'll make it official Sunday.

    The Congress Plaza Hotel strike ranks among the longest in the U.S., lasting about four years less than a strike in California that is believed by experts to be the longest in American history.

    Congress Plaza Hotel workers end 10-year strike

    Striking hotel workers who became a familiar sight on Chicago's famed Michigan Avenue as they picketed — for 10 years — are ending one of the longest strikes in American history, their union said Thursday. The union offered "unconditionally" to halt the strike, which began at the Congress Plaza Hotel in June 2003 over disputes involving wage cuts and other issues.

    Wauconda Police Chief Douglas Larsson

    Wauconda officials looking at new noise rules after complaints

    In an an effort to balance the financial interests of bar owners with noise-related concerns from some residents, Wauconda officials are developing new rules to limit the volume of late-night entertainment in town.

    Rolling Meadows Mayor Roland Meyer, second from right, looks at a copy of The Herald in 1969, with, from left, City Manager Gary Machunze, Herald Editor Edward Murnane and Publisher Stuart R. Paddock Jr., far right.

    Roland Meyer, early Rolling Meadows mayor, dies
    Roland Meyer, Rolling Meadows' longest-serving mayor, died earlier this spring. Meyer was mayor from 1967-1979

    Kim Presbrey

    Lawsuit filed in plane crash that killed Aurora lawyer

    The widow of Aurora attorney Kim Presbrey, who died in May 2012 after his plane lost power and crashed through the roof of a Florida supermarket nearly two months earlier, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. She's arguing the SeaWind 3000 had a faulty design and fuel tanks that were prone to clogging.


    Hanover Park mayor still doing “back flips” over ranking

    It's been a few months, but Hanover Park Mayor Rodney Craig says he's still doing back flips — figuratively speaking, of course — over the village's spot on a national real estate research firm's list of the safest towns in the country.

    An anonymous donor is funding the $95,000 cost to landscape Spalding Point in Glen Ellyn, and also add a veterans memorial that will complement an existing plaque dedicated to Civil War veterans in 1934.

    Revitalized park to honor Glen Ellyn veterans

    A Glen Ellyn park originally used as a space to honor those who've died in military service will return to that purpose as a part of a $95,000 landscaping and memorial plan made possible by an anonymous donor. Spalding Point, the parcel of land directly west of Memorial Field that extends to the corner of Crescent and Park boulevards, will be undergoing a beautification project this fall that...


    Registration still open for Children’s Advocacy Center 5K

    The Children's Advocacy Center in Hoffman Estates is still looking for people to participate in its 6th Annual Champions for Children 5K Walk at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 9, at the center, 640 Illinois Blvd. U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth is the honorary chairwoman for the event, which will feature children's activities like face painting and balloon artistry, along with music and food.

    The fire-damaged blockhouse at Naper Settlement’s Fort Payne will likely be demolished and replaced with stockade fencing. Naper Settlement officials are unsure if and when it would be replaced.

    Fort Payne blockhouse likely to be demolished at Naper Settlement

    Naper Settlement's Fort Payne could be without one of its pillar blockhouses for quite some time. Spokeswoman Donna DeFalco said Thursday that the blockhouse, damaged in a fire earlier this month, likely will be demolished. A decision has not been made regarding whether the structure will be rebuilt.

    Thomas Poynton

    Iron Girl Triathlon wants 3-year agreement with Lake Zurich

    Lake Zurich is in line to host triathlons for three consecutive years that are part of a national series. Trustees at a meeting Monday night will be asked to approve an agreement with the Iron Girl Triathlon. The first Iron Girl will be in and around Paulus Park on Saturday, June 16.


    Kiwanis of Streamwood, Clare Oaks hosting shopping fair, bake sale for needy children

    The Kiwanis Club of Streamwood and the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis are hosting a shopping fair and bake sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, at the Clare Oakes Retirement Community, 825 Carillon Drive in Bartlett. Vendors will be selling jewelry, cosmetics, kitchen ware, handbags and home goods.


    Prison for Chicago man arrested on drug charges following I-290 traffic stop

    A Cook County judge sentenced a Chicago man to three years in prison Wednesday in exchange for his guilty plea to delivery of a controlled substance. Benjamin Robles, 26, was driving eastbound on I-290 last October when Illinois State Police stopped him for traffic violations and detected a strong odor of cannabis coming from the car.

    iLLest Vocals, featuring Sanu John of Skokie and Shawn Kurian of Wheeling, perform last August as one of the five finalists of Suburban Chicago’s Got Talent. The duo won the contest last year.

    Get ready for Suburban Chicago’s Got Talent auditions

    Auditions for the second Suburban Chicago's Got Talent start next week. So if you haven't signed up — but still want a chance to test your talent — now's the time to jump in. And we've got tips to help you get started.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Kelly M. Muehling, 25, of St. Charles, was charged with urinating in public, at 2:03 a.m. May 19 in the 0-99 block of North Third Street, according to a police report.


    Fox Valley police reports
    Michael Harrison, 51, of Carpentersville, was charged Tuesday with felony retail theft, according to a police reports. Harrison stole two boxed watches valued at less than $300 from the East Dundee Walmart, police said.


    Elgin trail bridge repair on track for summer finish

    A bicycle-and-pedestrian bridge on the Fox River Trail near Poplar Creek should be back in use before the end of the summer A footing was washed out in 2008.

    Daily Herald File Photo Suburbanites protested CN’s takeover of the EJ&E Railroad in 2008 but the federal government approved the merger — with some expensive conditions.

    Feds press CN, IDOT on overpass issue

    Federal regulators extend a deadline for CN to pay for grade separations in Aurora and Lynwood. Sen. Dick Durbin calls the decision a victory in that it still requires the railroad to pony up about $68 million. The ruling stems from a 2008 merger between CN and the EJ&E Railway.

    Francisco Gil-Cardenas

    Charges dropped in $216,000 money laundering arrest in Aurora

    Kane County prosecutors have dismissed money laundering charges against two men arrested in February and more than $200,000 hidden in a propane tank was seized from their hotel room in Aurora. Authorities still want the money forfeited to the state, but Marco A. Castaneda-Chavez, 37, of Montgomery, and Francisco J. Gil-Cardenas, 59, of Crete, are now free. Chavez's attorney says men should have...

    Carl A. Sand Jr.

    Fox Lake man pleads guilty in child porn case

    A 75-year-old Fox Lake man has pleaded guilty to aggravated possession of child pornography charges, authorities said Thursday. Carl A. Sand Jr., of the 0-100 block of Rand Avenue, was sentenced to 30 months' probation and 200 hours of public service.

    Joyce Chen hugs her daughter Kathryn, 10, as they pose for photographs in San Francisco Wednesday. A new poll finds that one in five unmarried women would consider having a child on their own, and more than a third would consider adopting solo, just one indication of Americaís changing family structures.

    Poll: 2 in 5 women would consider solo parenthood

    An Associated Press-WE tv poll of people under 50 found that more than 2 in 5 unmarried women without children — or 42 percent — would consider having a child on their own without a partner, including more than a third, or 37 percent, who would consider adopting solo.

    Susan Blaese rehearses the combined orchestra Thursday morning.

    District 23 bids farewell to longtime orchestra leader

    Prospect Heights Elementary District 23 is hosting a farewell concert Friday honoring Susan Blaese, the 33-year orchestra director who is retiring. "She took the average middle school program and turned it into a state-recognized program," MacArthur Principal Steven Lee said. In addition to the combined performance of the “1812 Overture,” former students, retired faculty, colleagues...

    Colin Powell

    Colin Powell, Mark Burnett headline Leadership Summit

    Former U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell and Emmy Award-winning television producer Mark Burnett will headline this year's Global Leadership Summit Aug. 8 and 9 at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington.


    Investigation continues for Long Grove fire

    Officials at the Long Grove Fire Protection District are ruling a bedroom fire Tuesday in unincorporated Arlington Heights an accident and are exploring a possible electrical cause, Michael Schmitt, the district's fire marshal and lead investigator, said Thursday.

    U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Highland Park Republican at right, and colleague Tim Johnson, a South Dakota Democrat, center, speak with Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki after a Military Construction, Veteran Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C. Both Kirk and Johnson returned to the Senate after having strokes.

    Kirk describes himself as 'broken,' but with a new voice

    Back on the job for five months following a stroke in January 2012, Mark Kirk, junior senator from Illinois, leads an existence on Capitol Hill far from the fast-paced first year after his 2010 election. In turn, his image has changed from a politician with a carefully polished exterior to one publicly embracing the debilitating stroke that changed many of the most basic aspects of everyday life,...

    Associated Press File Photo, 2011 Taliban No. 2 commander Waliur Rehman. Pakistani intelligence officials say the Pakistani Taliban’s deputy leader was buried hours after he was killed in a U.S. drone strike.

    Intel officials: Pakistan Taliban No. 2 is buried

    The Pakistani Taliban withdrew their offer of peace talks Thursday, following the death of the group's deputy leader in an American drone attack, a spokesman for the insurgent group said. The news is a blow to the incoming government of Nawaz Sharif, elected partly on promises to bring about peace after years of deadly attacks by militants against civilians and security forces.

    A police van allegedly carrying 22-year-old Michael Adebowale, a suspect in the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby, heads toward the Westminster Magistrates Court in central London, Thursday, May 30, 2013. Adebowale was charged late Wednesday by counterterrorism officers and will appear in court on Thursday, police said. He is one of two main suspects in the killing of Rigby, 25, who was struck by a car and stabbed to death last week near his barracks in southeast London’s Woolwich district.

    Man accused of killing UK soldier appears in court

    A prime suspect in the slaying last week of a British soldier sat handcuffed in court Thursday, given permission not to stand up before a judge because of wounds suffered when he was gunned down by police.

    Caitlin Weese

    10th anniversary marks final ‘Walk 5K for Caitlin’

    The 10th anniversary "Walk 5K for Caitlin" event will be the last as family members wrap up a decade of fundraising in memory of Caitlin Weese. The former Larkin High School student was killed in 2003 when a drunken driver swerved into her car just a week before her graduation. Since 2004, her family has organized the walk to raise money for an annual scholarship and contribute to the Alliance...

    Libertyville officials are considering the redevelopment of the Aldridge Business Center, 809 E. Park Ave., in what is described as one of the few speculative industrial projects proposed in the metropolitan area.

    Speculative project would result in upgrades to aging industrial area in Libertyville

    The proposed redevelopment of an aging industrial area along Route 176 in Libertyville would involve the eventual construction of two sprawling warehouse/distribution centers. While still pending, one of the proposed conditions for approval would be continuous vibration monitoring during demolition of one of the existing buildings.

    After centuries of lacking a French word for the sloppy Gallic export “to French kiss,” a verb has finally been given its rightful place in the French dictionary. “Galocher”, to kiss with tongues, is among new entries added to the “Petit Robert” 2014 edition, which hits the shops Thursday.

    "French kiss” finally enters French dictionary

    For centuries, there's been no official French word for the sloppy Gallic export "to French kiss" — though that certainly hasn't stopped any citizen from doing so. Now the oversight has been rectified. The one-word verb "galocher" — to kiss with tongues — is among new entries added to the "Petit Robert" 2014 French dictionary, which hit the shops Thursday.

    Grafton Township Supervisor James Kearns is leading several changes in the township that was known for its infighting, multiple lawsuits and rocky finances.

    Grafton Twp. turns over a new leaf

    Grafton Township, marred for years in lawsuits, infighting and rocky finances, appears to be on the brink of a resurrection. Not only has the new board approved a preliminary balanced budget of nearly $1.27 million that cuts no services, but it also paid several bills from the prior administration and hired a township attorney.

    Fred Borchert of Batavia has helped foster a large colony of purple martins along the Riverwalk in Batavia.

    Batavia birder cares for purple martin colony

    Batavia's purple martins have Fred Borchert to thank for their clean, well-maintained birdhouses along the Riverwalk. Borchert, 72, has been a fan of purple martins most of his life. “They all have personalities,” he said, including one male that tries to peck him on the back of his head.

    Syrian President Bashar Assad has been quoted by a Lebanese TV as saying the first shipment of Russian air defense missiles has arrived in his country. Al-Manar TV, owned by the militant Hezbollah group, is to air an exclusive interview with Assad later Thursday, May 30, 2013.

    Syrian regime says it has Russian missiles

    Syrian President Bashar Assad said the regime has received the first shipment of sophisticated Russian anti-aircraft missiles, while the main Western-backed opposition group announced Thursday that it will not participate in peace talks — a double blow to international efforts to end the country's devastating civil war.

    Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, charged with slaughtering 16 villagers during one of the worst atrocities of the Afghanistan war, has agreed to plead guilty in a deal to avoid the death penalty, his attorney told The Associated Press on Wednesday May 29, 2013.

    AP Exclusive: Soldier to admit Afghan massacre

    Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was "crazed" and "broken" when he slipped away from his remote Afghanistan outpost and attacked mud-walled compounds in two slumbering villages nearby. Next week, Bales will recount what happened next — the slaughter of 16 villagers. He'll give specific details in open court as he pleads guilty to the massacre to avoid being put to death.

    Insurgents suspected of being from the Haqqani network are presented to the media at the intelligence agents of Security (NDS) headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, May, 30, 2013. Afghan intelligence agents captured six militants with suicide vests and heavy weaponry who were planning a major attack in Kabul, an official said Thursday. A seventh alleged plotter was killed in the raid on a hideout in the capital.

    Afghans claim 6 arrested in Kabul attack plot

    Afghan intelligence agents captured six militants with suicide vests and heavy weaponry who were planning a major attack in Kabul, an official said Thursday. A seventh alleged plotter was killed in the raid on a hideout in the capital. The raid came hours after militants hit a guest house used by the International Committee of the Red Cross on Wednesday night.

    U.S. senators Mark Kirk, a Highland Park Republican at right, and Tim Johnson, a South Dakota Democrat, center, speak with Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki after a Military Construction, Veteran Affairs, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C. Both Kirk and Johnson returned to the Senate after having strokes.

    Images: Senator Mark Kirk at work in D.C. following his stroke.
    Following a stroke in January 2012, Mark Kirk, junior senator from Illinois, leads an existence on Capitol Hill far from the fast-paced first year after his 2010 election. His image has changed from a politician with a carefully polished exterior to one publicly embracing the debilitating stroke that changed many of the most basic aspects of everyday life.

    Defenseman Brent Seabrook put the Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals with his OT goal against Detroit in Game 7 Wednesday night at the United Center.

    Dawn Patrol: Driver gets 10 years for fatal DUI crash; Hawks advance

    10-year sentence for drunken driver. Richmond man charged in shooting. Cops are taking to the rooftops to raise money. Political strife in Lake County. Seabrook's OT goal wins series for Hawks. The Sox keep struggling at the plate. And Cubs reliever Kyuji Fujikawa will have season-ending surgery.


    Dundee Days Music Festival to debut this weekend

    Get ready to rock out. The Dundee Days Music Festival will debut in Max Freeman Memorial Park, along North Street in East Dundee, on Friday and Saturday, May 31 - June 1. It is being organized by the Odd Fellows Century Lodge 492 of Carpentersville.


    Schaumburg creates Youth Chorus to accompany orchestra

    After 24 successful years, the Schaumburg Youth Orchestra will be joined this fall by a newly created Youth Chorus. Schaumburg trustees this week approved the new program that will accommodate an estimated 80 vocalists between the ages of 8 and 18. The Youth Chorus is expected to perform both independently as well as in accompaniment to the long-established Youth Orchestra.

    This 85-inch Samsung TV screen with four times the clarity of a regular high-definition TV has a picture that is startling — and a $40,000 price tag to match.

    $40,000 could buy small house, new Mercedes or this TV

    This 85-inch TV's picture is eye-popping. The $40,000 price tag is jaw-dropping. But someone will buy it. “It's startling when you look at the quality of the picture,” Abt says, noting the local store is one of only a few in the nation offering this revolutionary TV. “We do intend to sell them. We love introducing new products. That's part of who we are … Our store's an...


    Celebrating the milestone of college graduation

    No matter how old you are, completing your college degree and receiving your diploma is one milestone that you will never forget. Hours upon hours, weeks upon weeks, months upon months, and, occasionally, years upon years of hard work go into a student earning a degree. The ceremony is rightfully full of pomp and circumstance.



    White Sox’ Gillaspie likes idea of joining brother

    The White Sox already have one brother act with John and Jordan Danks. Down the road, maybe current Wichita State star Casey Gillaspie will join brother Conor on the Sox' roster.

    Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook argues a ruling by an official calling off a goal by Niklas Hjalmarsson in the third period of Game 7 Thursday at the United Center.

    NHL rewards ref who took away Hawks’ goal

    The goal that wasn't a goal from Game 7 continued to be talked about Thursday as the NHL was rewarding Stephen Walkom, the referee who made the controversial call, by promoting him to the next round. Tim Sassone has that and more in today's Blackhawks notebook.


    Boomers fall 9-3 to Normal

    The Normal CornBelters scored 5 runs in the first inning and never looked back Thursday night on their way to a 9-3 victory over the host Schaumburg Boomers.


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

    Wauconda’s Joe Lovelle is congratulated by teammates after scoring the first run in Class 3A sectional semifinal play Thursday against Richmond-Burton at Grayslake Central. Wauconda won 9-1.

    Wauconda thunders past Richmond-Burton

    In the grand scheme of things, an hour delay for a lightning sighting was no big deal. After all, the Wauconda baseball team had already been waiting and waiting and waiting for years, if not decades, for the chance to play in a sectional championship game. So the Bulldogs weren't thrown off by having to sit inside Grayslake Central High School on Thursday afternoon for what seemed like, in comparison, a blink of an eye, to wait out some bad weather. In fact, the extra time only seemed to sharpen the Bulldogs' focus even more. Wauconda jumped all over Richmond-Burton in the semifinals of the Grayslake Central Class 3A sectional. The Bulldogs went from sitting to hitting, and hitting a lot. They scored 4 runs on 6 hits over the first two innings alone and rolled up 14 hits overall en route to a 9-1 victory.

    White Sox left fielder Dayan Viciedo can’t come up with a ball off the bat of the Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo in the fourth inning Thursday at Wrigley Field. Rizzo raced to a triple on the play.

    White Sox have the toughest time with Cubs

    The White Sox took another one on the chin against the Cubs Thursday afternoon, this time an 8-3 loss at Wrigley Field. The Sox lost three straight interleague games vs. their North Side rivals this week while being outscored 24-6.

    The Chicago Slaughter meet up and listen to what offensive coordinator Pat Pistorio has planned for practice before the team’s last home game. The Slaughter host the Green Bay Blizzard on Friday at 7:35 p.m. at Sears Centre Arena.

    Chicago Slaughter fighting for a possible playoff birth

    The Chicago Slaughter of the Indoor Football League are in a three-way race for the playoffs with only two games left in the season. Their last two games are both against the Green Bay Blizzard, the first at home and the second in Green Bay. The Slaughter hope to establish their run game and contain the Blizzard's barrage of trick plays.


    Nothing small about this Jacobs win

    Small ball led to the biggest win in Jacobs baseball history Thursday. Trailing Hononegah by a run in the bottom of the eighth inning of a Class 4A Huntley sectional semifinal, the Golden Eagles turned a walk and four straight bunts into a 2-run rally and a 3-2 victory. No. 9 hitter Matt Hickey — whose consecutive errors at shortstop in the top of the eighth led to Hononegah's go-ahead run — redeemed himself with a walk-off bunt single, scoring Aaron Meciej from third base as the Jacobs dugout emptied in celebration.

    Miami Heat forward LeBron James drives between Indiana Pacers guard D.J. Augustin (14) and forward Paul George (24) during the second half of Game 5 in the NBA playoffs Eastern Conference finals Thursday in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

    James scores 30, Heat take Game 5

    There will be no win-or-else Game 6 in the Eastern Conference finals for the Miami Heat this season. LeBron James saw to that, and now the reigning champions are one victory from a third straight trip to the NBA Finals.James finished with 30 points, eight rebounds and six assists, Udonis Haslem made his last eight shots on the way to a 16-point night, and the Heat used a dominant third quarter to turn things around and beat the Indiana Pacers 90-79 in Game 5 on Thursday.Mario Chalmers scored 12 points and Dwyane Wade added 10 for the Heat, who lead the series 3-2 and will look to close it out at Indiana on Saturday night. The Heat ousted the Pacers in six games in a second-round matchup last season.Paul George had 27 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers, who got 22 points from Roy Hibbert and 17 from David West. The Pacers led by as many as seven at one point, but had no answer for the Heat in the third, getting outscored 30-13 in the period, including 21-6 in the final 7 minutes.James and Haslem combined for 26 points in the third, and were simply too much. Haslem’s first shot of the night hit the side of the backboard. He didn’t miss again, going 8 for 8 and sealing it with a jumper with 1:51 left — 12 seconds before drawing an offensive foul against Lance Stephenson, the sixth for the Pacers’ guard, who finished with just four points.A year ago, the Heat lost Game 5 of the East finals to Boston, and needed a 45-point game from James in Game 6 just to extend their season.Not this time.The Finals — and a date with San Antonio — is now one win away.As if this one needed any more buildup, there was plenty of news long before tipoff.The NBA announced in the morning that it fined James, West and Lance Stephenson $5,000 apiece for flopping in Game 4, along with upgrading a foul that West committed against Wade in the fourth quarter of that game to a flagrant-1. Then Hibbert and West, speaking after Indiana’s morning practice, said they have to protect their knees when Shane Battier is in the game for Miami, though neither flatly accused the Heat forward of dirty play.And all that happened more than eight hours prior to game time.Things didn’t exactly calm down once the ball went into the air.Indiana was blown out in Game 5 of a tied-up series at Miami last season, never holding the lead and losing by 32 points. This one took a much different tone from the outset, with the Pacers running out to a 15-9 lead that could have been worse for Miami given that West and Hibbert combined to miss three easy layups in the opening minutes.George and Hibbert combined for all of Indiana’s 23 points in the first quarter. Indiana’s lead was four after the first quarter, and when the second began, the reminders that these teams simply do not like each other started coming fast and furious.Chris Andersen and Tyler Hansbrough needed to be separated early in the second, and both got technicals after Andersen appeared to hit Hansbrough twice, first with a shoulder and then with a two-hand shove. Andersen also picked up a flagrant-1 for his efforts, things cooled off a bit for the rest of the half, and Indiana went into the break up 44-40.The Pacers then scored the first basket of the third.After that, all Heat. Or more specifically, all James and Haslem, who put together a burst that the defending champions desperately needed.“It’s the playoffs,” Wade said. “Shane Battier said this is when you feel alive, when your back’s against the wall. ... You’ve got to go out there and play. This is what we prepared for all season.”If nothing else, that season won’t end this week, not after what the Heat did in the third quarter.


    Mazzie steps down at Lake Park

    As much as he valued his time in the dugout, the pull home was too great for Tom Mazzie. Lake Park's softball coach is stepping down after five seasons as varsity coach of the Lancers. Mazzie's reasoning was simple. The time away from his family was too taxing. Mazzie and his wife, Michelle, who live in Naperville, have two children — Estella, 7, and 5-year-old Everett. Everett was diagnosed with autism as a young toddler.

    Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, top right, high-fives his teammates after their overtime win in Game 7 on Wednesday at the United Center.

    Spellman's Scorecard: It's all about the Blackhawks

    Hawks, Hawks and more Hawks in this week's Spellman's Scorecard.

    Cubs starting pitcher Travis Wood celebrates at home plate with Luis Valbuena after hitting a grand slam off White Sox starter Jake Peavy in the fourth inning Thursday at Wrigley Field.

    Wood, Cubs complete ‘slam’ of White Sox

    If Major League Baseball ever decides to foist the DH on the National League, Cubs pitchers might lead the fight against it. Travis Wood singled and hit a grand slam in Thursday's 8-3 win over the White Sox. Cubs pitchers are setting records these days.

    South Elgin junior Paige Allen will be one of the top returning pitchers in the Fox Valley area next season.

    Taking a look back, and ahead, at Fox Valley softball

    I had a softball player on one of my summer teams for a few years — Lauren Ott was her name — and every time something out of the ordinary would happen in a game she'd say, "That's weird." Which was exactly my thought when the last out was made at the sectional semifinal between Glenbard North and South Elgin in St. Charles Wednesday. That Storm loss brought to a close the 2013 softball season for the 14 schools we cover from the Fox Valley bureau and, well, as Lauren always put it, that's weird. It's the first time since 2006 our little corner of the world didn't have a team advance to at least the sectional final round of the state tournament series.

    Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Travis Wood delivers during the first inning of an interleague baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Thursday, May 30, 2013, in Chicago.

    Images: White Sox at Cubs Thursday
    Images of the Chicago Cubs vs. White Sox at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The Cubs won 8-3, sweeping the three games the two teams have played thus far this season.


    Cubs can feel Blackhawks buzz

    The Blackhawks' victory Wednesday night had the Cubs all abuzz Thursday. Several attended the Hawks game, and they said they'd like to feel the same excitement on the North Side as what's happening on the West Side.


    Taking a last look at this year’s college achievers

    One last time before we break for summer, let's celebrate the achievements of some local collegiates ...

    Wheaton North starting pitcher Doug Hayes comes off the mound at the end of the sixth inning against Bartlett Thursday in the St. Charles East sectional game. He won the game 4-1.

    Wheaton North heads to sectional final

    Wheaton North first baseman Tom Colletti was unaware that Bartlett pitching had allowed no runs on 5 hits in the postseason. The only thing Colletti was aware of was he had to get the ball to the right side in the third inning with the wind blowing in and two men on. Colletti helped put a snag in that impressive Bartlett pitching run when he smashed a two-out double to right field that knocked in 2 runs and capped a 4-run inning in No. 3 Wheaton North's 4-1 win over No. 7 Bartlett in a Class 4A St. Charles East sectional semifinal on Thursday.

    Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford makes a save 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.

    Blackhawks’ next goal: Dethrone Kings

    If you thought the Red Wings were a challenge for the Blackhawks, well, here come the Los Angeles Kings. The defending Stanley Cup champions have a big and mobile defense, they're fast, they hit all over the ice, they're deep at center with Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Jarret Stoll and Trevor Lewis and they have an elite goaltender in Jonathan Quick, the reigning Conn Smyth Trophy winner. Tim Sassone breaks down the challenge, and why he believes the Hawks will take the series.

    Palatine High School product Joe Walsh had put together a terrific season at Oakton Community College and was pitching deep in the NJCAA postseason when a line drive fractured his skull and left him with a concussion. He’s recovering and intends to keep playing.

    Walsh bouncing back after scary mound moment

    Joe Walsh produced an unforgettable baseball season for Oakton College. But the former Palatine High School star has no recollection of how it ended May 12. The NJCAA Region IV Player of the Year had put together impressive numbers at the plate and on the mound. And Walsh needed just six more outs to preserve a 1-run lead in Region IV Division II Sectional Tournament title game at Black Hawk College in Moline. Walsh would not find himself mobbed by teammates and coaches celebrating a big victory, however. Instead, Walsh would be surrounded by a group of people genuinely concerned for his health and welfare.

    Glenbard North’s Jered Cortez won an individual state wrestling championship in February.

    There’s plenty to remember, and not just the weather

    With the school year nearly over, it seems like only yesterday we were watching games in bitterly cold wintry weather. Oh...wait. That was yesterday. Bad spring weather jokes aside, and without further delay, the Daily Herald tradition continues of chronologically presenting the top 10 moments of the school year in DuPage County boys athletics. Next week Josh Welge will do the same for girls athletics.

    Grant Andler

    Boys volleyball: Northwest all-area team

    Introducing the Daily Herald's boys volleyball all-area team for the Northwest region.

    Brennan Harrington, right, helped raise expectations through his stellar senior year as St. Viator’s setter.

    Harrington re-sets the bar at St. Viator

    St. Viator boys volleyball coach Chris Boylan gave setter Brennan Harrington one of the best compliments you can give a high school athlete. "Brennan," said Boylan, "has helped change the culture of our program. "He's just a class athlete. I respect everything he's about and am extremely proud of the way he has represented himself, his teammates, his family, his school and the community." Boylan and the senior's teammates had a lot to be happy about in 2013, as the Lions roared to their best season ever with a 24-8 overall mark. Harrington was a big part of the success in earning team captaincy honors for the Northwest all-area team.

    Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford makes a save on Detroit Red Wings center Cory Emmerton during Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals between the Hawks and the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday, May 29, at the United Center in Chicago.

    Crawford proves capable of saving Blackhawks

    Corey Crawford doesn't have to match the play of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, but he does have to maintain his strong play in the conference finals if the Blackhawks want another shot at the Cup.


    Girls soccer: Scouting the Class 3A state finals

    Here's a look at this weekend's Class 3A girls soccer state semifinals, from the perspective of Mid-Suburban League participants Buffalo Grove and Barrington.

    Before he left the Blackhawks and jumped to the WHA, Bobby Hull was sought by L.A. Kings owner Jack Kent Cooke to boost attendance for his hockey franchise.

    Wilt-for-Hull deal would have made history

    When the Los Angeles Kings storm the United Center for Saturday afternoon's Western Conference Final opener against the Blackhawks, there will not be an abundance of history to draw on between the two franchises. However, if one man's fantasy had become fact, we would still recall the deal of deals in professional sports: Bobby Hull to the L.A. Kings in exchange for Wilt Chamberlain to the Chicago Bulls. Really. Blackhawks Team Historian Bob Verdi has the details in this report.

    The Bulls Nazr Mohammed came on strong in the postseason, and he hopes the team will ask him back for another year.

    Mohammed hoping for more time with Bulls
    Veteran center Nazr Mohammed wants to come back for a second season with the Bulls, even though he sat on the bench for much of his first year playing in his hometown.

    Cubs pitcher Travis Wood, right, celebrates Thursday at home plate with Luis Valbuena after hitting a grand slam off White Sox starting pitcher Jake Peavy during the fourth inning at Wrigley Field. The Cubs’ Darwin Barney and Welington Castillo also scored on the homer.

    Cubs pitcher Wood hits grand slam in 8-3 win over Sox

    Cubs pitcher Travis Wood hit a fourth-inning grand slam off Jake Peavy and allowed two runs in six innings to lead the way in an 8-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Wrigley Field on Thursday. Nate Schierholtz and Luis Valbuena each hit their sixth home runs of the year in an 11-hit effort by the Cubs offense, keying a fourth straight win overall and third consecutive convincing victory over their crosstown rivals.


    Mike North video: Spurs vs. Heat

    Mike North expects the Hawks to pull off the victory tonight even though the pressure to win at home in a game seven series is high. They are getting it done now and are playing like we thought they would. Go hawks.


    Fehlman Memorial all-star rosters set

    The rosters are set for the Tenth Annual Fehlman Memorial Senior All-Star Softball Game, scheduled for Monday, June 10, at Judson University. Game time is 6:30 p.m. Admission is free. The game, which features seniors from 20 high schools around the Fox Valley area, is named in memory of Dave Fehlman and his son, Robbie. Dave Fehlman is a past president of the Fox Valley Renegades, the original host of the event, and a longtime supporter of youth softball in the area. Dave's daughter, Lissa, is a past Daily Herald all-area softball captain who played at Evansville University and is now a doctor in Colorado. Dave Fehlman passed away late in the summer of 2007.

    Chicago Sky's Epiphanny Prince (10) smiles as she celebrates a win over the Phoenix Mercury with rookie Elena Delle Donne (11) and veteran Sylvia Fowles (34). The Sky defeated the Mercury and rookie center Brittney Griner 102-80.

    Will Sky crack the playoffs in Year 8?

    As the Chicago Sky prepares for its home opener on Friday against the Connecticut Sun at Allstate Arena, Patricia Babcock McGraw uses this early edition of Women's Watch to assess the strengths and needs of the Sky roster with the help of head coach and general manager Pokey Chatman.

    Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick makes a save Tuesday against the San Jose Sharks during the third period in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals in Los Angeles.

    Kings keep rolling down a bumpier playoff road

    The Los Angeles Kings' road toward a second straight Stanley Cup title has been longer, steeper and a whole lot bumpier than last season's journey. The champs are still right on course at the halfway point of the trip. After rocketing through the first two postseason rounds in just nine games last season, the Kings have needed 13 strenuous games to reach their second straight Western Conference finals this spring.

    Steve Lundy/slundy@dailyherald.com The Blackhawks mob Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook after his overtime winning goal 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.

    For Hawks, historic cardiac comeback

    Brent Seabrook's shot deflected off defenseman Niklas Kronwall's skate and past Red Wings' goalie Jimmy Howard give the Hawks a 2-1 win and a series win. "I don't think I've scored a bigger goal than that," he said. "With the Game 7 mentality, in overtime, against Detroit, it was pretty special."

    Steve Lundy/slundy@dailyherald.com Jonathan Toews high-fives his teammates after their overtime win during Game 7 over the Detriot Red Wings.

    Seabrook saves Blackhawks, ref from themselves

    The Blackhawks completed one of the great comebacks in NHL history Wednesday night, and saved a referee from infamy in the process.

    University of Washington golfer Chris Williams is currently ranked as the world's No. 1 amateur golfer. He'll be taking part in the NCAA championships in Atlanta, as will Mike Small's Illini golf team.

    U.S. Open qualifiers ready for next round

    St. Louis was the host for the Senior PGA Championship, and it’ll also be the place of choice for the Chicago golfers who survived local qualifying for the 113th U.S. Open, to be played later this month at Merion in Ardmore, Pa. Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis will have a 42-player field for a 36-hole elimination on Monday, and golf columnist Len Ziehm takes a look at some of the local competitors.

    The Blackhawks mob Brent Seabrook after his overtime game-winning goal.

    Images: Blackhawks vs. Red Wings, Game Seven
    The Blackhawks won 2-1 over the Detroit Red Wings in game seven of their playoff series at the United Center on Wedensday, clinching a series victory. The Blackhawks advance to play the Los Angeles Kings beginning Saturday afternoon.



    Assets of Illinois tuition savings plans top $5 billion

    Two Illinois college tuition investment programs have seen their assets grow substantially in the past two years.State Treasurer Dan Rutherford announced Wednesday the plans' assets have grown from $3.7 billion to more than $5 billion. Rutherford says he's been working to restore faith in the programs, which offer tax advantages to families saving for college.

    The U.S. economy grew at a modest 2.4 percent annual rate from January through March, slightly slower than initially estimated. Consumer spending was stronger than first thought, but businesses restocked more slowly and state and local government spending cuts were deeper.

    Stocks rise as lackluster reports ease Fed concern

    The stock market rose Thursday after a pair of lackluster economic reports raised expectations that the Federal Reserve will continue to boost the economy with its stimulus program. Unemployment claims rose and an initial estimate of first-quarter economic growth was revised slightly lower.

    Pedestrians pass a Chicago Sun-Times newspaper box in Chicago. The company laid off nearly its entire photography staff on Thursday.

    Sun-Times photographer talks about being laid off

    Sun-Times Media, parent of the Chicago Sun Times and several suburban newspapers, eliminated 20 to 30 photographers from its staff. After a one-minute speech, the photographers were led out the door. "How am I going to afford kids, everything else?" said Michael Smart, a staff photographer since 1998 at the Elgin Courier-News, a Sun-Times Media Group newspaper. "I'll just make do. I'll figure it out."

    Marvin Augustin of Intuit web design, left, helps James Harvey of James Harvey Photography in Elgin, at Google's event Wednesday to help local businesses get a functional website up and running for free.

    Google helps suburban business owners get web ready

    Allison Thurman didn't know what to expect when she walked into a website workshop billed as a totally free event in Schaumburg. She came armed with a list of questions. Turns out, she got her answers, and even received advice on how to update and improve the website for her business, Art By Allison, in Batavia. “They were very patient and very accommodating,” said Thurman, an interior decorator and artist. “I'm glad I came.”

    PAUL VALADE/pvalade@dailyherald.com, 2009 Fox Lake building inspector Frank Urbina, left.

    Urbina not reappointed building commissioner in Fox Lake

    Fox Lake building commissioner Frank Urbina, a key figure in shuttering the Mineola Hotel, was not reappointed to his job due to a "difference of opinion," the village's new mayor said. However, Urbina said Thursday "I excelled at my job", and he called the move to let him go "political in nature."

    Janet Meyer

    Barrington chamber president Meyer to retire

    Janet Meyer, president and CEO of the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce, said Thursday she plans to retire in June. Meyer has been with the BACC for more than 13 years. “I leave the Barrington chamber with mixed feelings, of course,” Meyer said. “While retirement looks inviting, it's hard to leave such a thriving organization, one that I've really poured my heart into."

    Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gives his presentation at the launch of Microsoft Windows 8 in New York in this Oct. 25, 2012, file photo. Microsoft is retooling the latest version of its Windows operating system to address complaints.

    Microsoft aims to simplify with Windows 8.1

    Microsoft is trying to fix what it got wrong with its radical makeover of Windows. It's making the operating system easier to navigate and enabling users to set up the software so it starts in a more familiar format designed for personal computers.

    There are about 600 versions of Adele’s Oscar-winning song “Skyfall” on the Spotify subscription streaming service. But there’s no Adele. In the meantime, copycat artists fill the void, racking up royalty revenue and users of music services such as Spotify and Rhapsody are getting annoyed.

    Cover songs: Homage or irksome marketing ploy?

    There are about 600 versions of Adele's Oscar-winning song "Skyfall" on the Spotify subscription streaming service. But there's no Adele. In the meantime, copycat artists fill the void, racking up royalty revenue and users of music services such as Spotify and Rhapsody are getting annoyed.

    Honda introduces its FIT EV Electric Vehicle Concept car at the Los Angeles auto show in November 2010. Auto companies in the U.S. are lowering lease prices for electric cars as they try to jump-start slow sales in a competitive market.

    Cheap leases offered to spur electric car sales

    Auto companies are hoping lower lease prices can put a charge into sluggish sales of electric cars. Honda announced Thursday that it's slashing the monthly lease cost of its tiny Fit EV by one third, following similar moves by other automakers.


    Mortgage rates in the u.S. Climb to the highest levels in a year

    U.S. mortgage rates rose to their highest levels in a year as reports showed the housing market and economy strengthening, signaling to bond investors that the Federal Reserve may reduce efforts to push down borrowing costs. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage jumped to 3.81 percent in the week ended today, from 3.59 percent, McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac said in a statement. The average 15- year rate increased to 2.98 percent from 2.77 percent.

    Many consumers who buy their own health insurance could get a cancellation notice this fall because their current policies don’t meet basic standards under President Barack Obama’s health care law. They’ll have to find replacement plans, state regulators say.

    Like your health care policy? You may be losing it

    Many people who buy their own health insurance could get surprises in the mail this fall: cancellation notices because their current policies aren't up to the basic standards of President Barack Obama's health care law. They, and some small businesses, will have to find replacement plans — and that has some state insurance officials worried about consumer confusion.

    David Petraeus

    Petraeus gets job with investment firm KKR

    Investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. has appointed retired Army general David Petraeus, who resigned as CIA director last year after an extramarital affair, as chairman of its newly created KKR Global Institute. Petraeus served as CIA director from September 2011 until last November, when the affair with a biographer triggered his resignation.

    Sales of bank-owned homes have plunged to a five-year low, the latest evidence that the nation's foreclosure woes are easing as the U.S. housing market recovery gains momentum.

    Sales of bank-owned homes hit 5-year low in 1Q

    Sales of bank-owned homes have plunged to a five-year low, the latest evidence that the nation's foreclosure woes are easing as the U.S. housing market recovery gains momentum. For the January-March quarter, sales of bank-owned homes fell 16 percent from the previous three months and were down 23 percent versus the first quarter of 2012, foreclosure tracker RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

    Satellite TV operator Dish Network has raised its bid for Clearwire Corp., valuing the wireless network operator at $6.9 billion, in an attempt to outbid Sprint Nextel Corp. two days before Clearwire shareholders are meeting to vote on a deal.

    Dish tops Sprint’s bid for Clearwire ahead of vote

    Satellite TV operator Dish Network has raised its bid for Clearwire Corp., valuing the wireless network operator at $6.9 billion, in an attempt to outbid Sprint Nextel Corp. two days before Clearwire shareholders are meeting to vote on a deal.

    Plates of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) in CDC’s healthcare-associated infections laboratory.

    Decontaminating patients cuts hospital infections

    Infections in U.S. hospitals kill tens of thousands of people each year, and many institutions fight back by screening new patients to see if they carry a dangerous germ, and isolating those who do. But a big study suggests a far more effective approach: Decontaminating every patient in intensive care. Washing everyone with antiseptic wipes and giving them antibiotic nose ointment reduced bloodstream infections dramatically in the study at more than 40 U.S. hospitals.

    Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, speaks to lawmakers during a Senate Executive Committee hearing at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield .

    Senators expected to discuss pension plans

    State senators are poised to take up proposals dealing with Illinois' unprecedented pension debt. Three smaller pension bills are awaiting floor consideration. They deal with retirement age, salary caps and cost-of-living increases. Senate President John Cullerton says his Democratic caucus will discuss the plans and a strategy on Thursday.

    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. The idea for Crust’em Sweets, located at 117 N. Northwest Highway opposite Community Park, was born last summer when attorneys Donnalyn and John Vojta had a craving for pie.

Life & Entertainment

    Julian Assange, center, is the subject of Academy Award winner Alex Gibney's new documentary feature, “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks,” a Focus World release.

    'We Steal Secrets' a juicy look at WikiLeaks

    Prolific documentary-maker Alex Gibney delivers a gripping account of the wins and losses of hard-charging idealism on the front lines of the information wars in "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks." Exhaustively researched and balanced in its view of the controversial key player, the film slips in ahead of DreamWorks' dramatic take on the exploits of Julian Assange, "The Fifth Estate," which is currently shooting.

    Four professional magicians (Dave Franco, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher and Woody Harrelson) get involved in a Robin Hood-like conspiracy of revenge in “Now You See Me.”

    Gimmicky 'Now You See Me' needs better tricks

    Every frame in Louis Leterrier's "Now You See Me," a mystery thriller about four professional magicians, is a study in visual momentum as rushing, swishing, swooping, looping camera lenses keep our eyes constantly engaged, distracting us from the movie's deficit characters, digital sleight-of-hand tricks and frequent sleight-of-brain plotting. The ploy, like the movie itself, almost works.

    “Blaze of Glory” by Marshall Chapman

    Marshall Chapman runs hot, cold on ‘Blaze of Glory’

    An opening duet cooks to a Bo Diddley beat. Next comes a searing Rolling Stones-style rocker, and then Marshall Chapman does a slow burn on Hoagy Carmichael's "Nearness of You." After that, Marshall Chapman loses steam on new album "Blaze of Glory."


    Give new furniture an antique makeover

    Many people love antiques, but they can be costly. If you aren't a purist and are willing to "fake it," here are some easy ways to make new furniture look old.


    How to avoid paying for costly surveys, foreclosure listings and appraisals

    Savvy homeowners and buyers often can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in real-estate-related fees, provided they know where to look for the free information that realty pros use on a daily basis.


    Are kickbacks making a comeback?

    WASHINGTON — A settlement between the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and a Texas homebuilder is drawing renewed attention to a controversial issue that was prominent during the years preceding the housing bubble: kickbacks in home real estate transactions. Is your realty broker or builder getting an extra piece of the action through side deals with lenders or title agencies — all at your expense through higher charges?

    Danny Seraphine and his new band, California Transit Authority, will perform in St. Charles on Friday. Seraphine is the co-founder and former drummer of the classic-rock band Chicago.

    Ex-Chicago drummer brings new band to St. Charles

    Danny Seraphine, cofounder and former drummer of the classic rock band Chicago, will return "home" this weekend when he performs in St. Charles with his new band, CTA (Carlifornia Transit Authority). Seraphine has played rock ’n’ roll for a long time, but he says one thing about it has not gotten old. “It probably sounds corny, but it’s the connection with the audience,” Seraphine said. “That’s one of the most magical things about this job.”

    “Wrote a Song for Everyone” by John Fogerty

    Fogerty’s latest a tribute and duets album

    For certain Boomers, listening to the songs on John Fogerty's "Wrote a Song For Everyone" will be like reacquainting with old friends, their wisdom and vitality still exhilarating after all these years. For post-Boomers, the album can serve as an introduction to the kind of meaty, foursquare guitar rock that has largely disappeared from the pop charts.

    Joel McHale, here at a pub in Belfast, Ireland, will be hosting the series “The Getaway” on the new Esquire Network.

    G4 to relaunch as Esquire Network in September

    The geek-flavored G4 channel will become the Esquire Network in September. NBCUniversal on Wednesday announced the rebranded channel's Sept. 23 launch date. The channel is the namesake of Esquire magazine and is aiming to draw a similar audience of upscale males.

    A Los Angeles judge finalized Courteney Cox and David Arquette’s divorce on Tuesday. The pair were married in 1999 and announced they were separating in 2010.

    Courteney Cox and David Arquette finalize divorce

    Court records show Courteney Cox and David Arquette have finalized their divorce. A Los Angeles judge approved the couple's breakup Tuesday after nearly 14 years of marriage. Details of their divorce settlement are confidential.

    Neil Patrick Harris will be back to host the Emmys on Sept. 22.

    Neil Patrick Harris returning to host Emmycast

    CBS says Neil Patrick Harris is hosting the Emmys again. It's the second go-round for the TV, film and stage star. He last did the honors at the "Prime Time Emmy Awards" in 2009.

    Jessica Deahr, who grew up in Arlington Heights, starting dancing for fun as a child. Now, she's the artistic director of Chicago Dance Crash.

    Suburban choreographer didn't expect a career in dance

    Choreographer and Arlington Heights native Jessica Deahr let history inspire her latest show for Chicago Dance Crash. "I came up with the idea because it was going to be at the Biograph, the whole historical aspect of that theater," Deahr explains. "It was where John Dillinger was shot. So I wanted to create a show that fit that era, set in a club that is kind of a speakeasy." The result is "The Cotton Mouth Club."


    Night life: All kinds of specials at Bandito Barney’s

    Enjoy the vibe of five different outdoor bars in one stop at Bandito Barney's Beach Club and Bordello. With its massive outdoor beer gardens — from a sports bar to a quaint pond setting — you can enjoy daily drink specials.

    Would a good breakfast have changed Dann's view of “Star Trek Into Darkness”?

    Dann defends his review of 'Star Trek'

    A reader accuses Dann of being cranky in his review of "Star Trek Into Darkness." The reader can hardly believe he only gave it two stars while giving "Fast and Furious 6" a half-star more. Dann also explains why he won't be a party to "acceptable" disrespect to the cinematic art form by reviewing DVDs and streaming screeners that have been visually altered from their original versions.

    Jesse and Celine (Ethan Hawke, left, and Julie Delpy) face issues in their relationship while on vacation in Greece in “Before Midnight.”

    Hawke, Delpy make welcome return in 'Before Midnight'

    Fans of Jesse and Celine (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) were left hanging, wondering what came next for the hugely appealing duo after the insanely romantic final scene in "Before Sunset" nine years ago. Well, we finally have the answer — and it was worth the wait. "Before Midnight," the third movie in the Richard Linklater series that began with the 1995 "Before Sunrise," is not only as good as the first two, it's arguably better.

    A would-be space ranger (Jaden Smith) takes a knee to contemplate how he can save himself and his injured father in M. Night Shyamalan's "After Earth."

    Shyamalan's 'Earth' another science-fiction thriller short on science

    "After Earth" is science-fiction, but it doesn't offer much science in a fiction that can't decide if it should be a sweet, fantastic children's tale or a violent, R-rated alien invasion opus. Will Smith and son Jaden have worked together before as father and son in "Pursuit of Happyness." Their real-life relationship pays off here in the quiet moments between spectacular action sequences.

    The Rolling Stones get things rolling at the United Center in Chicago this weekend.

    Music notes: Stones ready to rock the United Center
    It's a big classic-rock weekend, as members of the band Chicago perform in St. Charles and the legendary Rolling Stones rock two shows at the United Center in Chicago.



    Editorial: A chance to nurture political voices of teens

    A Daily Herald editorial praises a bill allowing some 17-year-olds to vote in primaries and calls on adults to engage young people in the political process.


    Mr. President, meet Mr. Holder

    Columnist Michael Gerson: Eric Holder's signature is not ideology; it is incompetence. He has spent five years learning from mistakes. It has been an expensive education.


    Celebrity news light on nutrition, but has a place

    Columnist Jim Slusher: What's it like to be young, glamorous, wealthy and constantly on public display? Not all that different from being middle aged, frumpy and constantly struggling to pay the mortgage, as it turns out.


    The richness of learning

    Columnist Richard Cohen: President Jones, members of the faculty, assorted notables, proud parents and financially indebted graduates. I come before you on this auspicious day to say something about the degree you have just been awarded. You have been told it is not worth the papyrus it is printed on. I am here to tell you it is worth a fortune.


    Warming occurs naturally, data show
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: You must remember that a planet that is between 4.5 billion and 5 billion years old has undergone much warming and cooling in its history, and since man has only occupied the planet for a little more than 200,000 years, much of this occurred before man was even here.


    End tax breaks for Tea Party donations
    A Prostpect Heights letter to the editor: I don’t understand why donations to Tea Party causes should be considered tax free. Being a (gasp, shudder) liberal Democrat, I make donations to Democratic candidates, the Democratic National Committee and other Democratic Party organizations, and I have always been informed by them that they are not tax deductible.


    Cellphone law would make state a nanny
    Question: What do Julie Andrews, Juliet Mills, Fran Drescher and the Democrat-led Illinois state government all have in common? Answer: They’ve all played the role of nanny.Now the Democrat-led Illinois state government wants to ban the use of cellphones when driving. Does the government really think that the citizens of Illinois are that inherently stupid that we don’t know when we can and when we shouldn’t use a cellphone when we drive? If Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn signs the proposed bill into law then I guess the answer would be “yes.”Whether he signs it or not, the fact that the bill made it this far means it’s time for a change in leadership in Illinois and to get the state off our backs and out of our everyday activities. Your citizens are not stupid, Springfield, You’re just trying to make them that way.Mike GobaLombard


    Remember teachers who protect children
    A St. Charles letter to the editor: Anyone watching the media coverage of the devastation and emergency relief efforts saw the overwhelming theme stated by the residents and first responders of the extreme measures the teachers took to protect the children at the two elementary schools and day care center, some sacrificing their own lives.


    Scandals may erode gun-control support
    A Palatine letter to the editor: President Obama's administration has given strength to those who oppose gun control because they fear their government. The IRS scandal, the Justice Department's attack on the press, and the failure of our federal security agencies to share information about the Boston bombers are individually issues of concern, but collectively these indicate a government that is, perhaps not to be trusted.


    Congress ought to be ashamed of itself
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: For all the good and bad our government does I'm sorry to say we are losing what this country stands for. I'm beginning to think Congress is un-American and that they should all be fired.


    Hey, let’s reconsider our science lessons
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: I'm writing in support of your reader who suggested that alternatives to evolution should be taught in our science classes. I couldn't agree more! I'd also humbly request that my belief that the earth is flat gets equal time as all those "globist" theories.


    Use BMI testing to teach children
    A letter to the editor: Preventive measures that drive awareness and education have much greater success than measures like sin taxes that punish people for their choices. It is this awareness and education we need.


    Money, not safety, behind shorter ‘yellow’ times
    A Mundelein letter to the editor: Since the shortening of Chicago city yellow-light times, there has been much public outcry over the fact that many think three seconds is too short.


    Back worker-centered immigration reform
    A Waukegan letter to the editor: When worker-centered comprehensive immigration reform becomes a reality, three things will happen for millions of aspiring Americans seeking to work here legally and earn citizenship rights.


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