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Daily Archive : Saturday June 1, 2013

News

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    Retiring Vernon Hills High School fine arts supervisor and orchestra director Frank Lestina talks with Marc and Lori Abel and their daughter, Rebekah, a 2000 graduate of the high school, after a concert honoring Lestina Saturday afternoon.

    Fond farewell for Vernon Hills High orchestra director

    The last few days have been an emotional affair for Frank Lestina, Vernon Hills High School’s longtime fine arts supervisor and orchestra director. “I had to stay off Facebook for one-and-a-half days because I just couldn’t cry all that much,” Lestina told an audience of about 350 parents, staff, students and former students who gathered Saturday afternoon at the high...

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    A sky lantern scene from Walt Disney's "Tangled."

    Pretty but dangerous lanterns banned

    The Illinois fire marshal's office has issued an official notice banning sky lanterns in the state. The pretty but hazardous devices are also sometimes called aerial luminaries.

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    Seth Quam delivers a Message to the Class of 2013, during the Glenbard East High School graduation.

    Images: Glenbard East High School Graduation
    Glenbard East High School held its commencement ceremony on Friday, May 31 at the school in Lombard.

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    Associated Press/2005 Said Amirov, the mayor of Makhachkala, in the southern Russian province of Dagestan. Russian security forces conducted a military-style operation to detain the powerful mayor on murder charges Saturday.

    Russian forces take Dagestan mayor into custody

    Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the Investigative Committee, Russia’s version of the FBI, said that Amirov was arrested on suspicion of ordering the killing in December 2011 of Arsen Gadzhibekov, a detective and supervisor for the committee in Dagestan. Ten other suspects were also arrested, including a nephew of Amirov’s.

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    A female Harbor seal pup rests on a mat Saturday in the Riverhead Foundation facility at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead, N.Y.

    Tiny harbor seal pup rescued on Long Island

    HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — A 3-day-old harbor seal pup has been rescued on New York’s Long Island and taken to a marine mammal hospital.The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation says it received several calls about a distressed seal pup Saturday morning.

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    Starbucks is getting competition for the caffeine kick from a variety of market sources.

    FDA set to clamp down on caffeine in food

    Researchers have said 400 milligrams of caffeine per day — roughly 4 to 5 cups of coffee — is generally safe for adults. There is no set level for children, although the American Academy of Pediatrics has discouraged any caffeine consumption for young people, citing concerns about “its effects on the developing neurologic and cardiovascular systems and the risk of physical dependence and...

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    Members of the Council of Great Lakes Governors discuss regional policies on trade and water quality Saturday on Mackinac Island, Mich.. From left: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

    Gov. Quinn open to Great Lakes-Mississippi split

    Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said Saturday that separating the Great Lakes and Mississippi River systems is the “ultimate solution” to prevent voracious Asian carp from overrunning the lakes, a potential step toward resolving a longstanding regional feud. Quinn said it would be a massive and costly undertaking to rework the Chicago canal project that linked the two giant watersheds a century ago.

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    This 1992 file photo shows the Rev. Andrew Greeley, an outspoken Roman Catholic priest, prolific best-selling novelist and Chicago newspaper columnist whose career spanned five decades. His longtime publicist said that Greeley’s funeral will be noon on Wednesday at Christ the King Church in the Beverly neighborhood. (

    Funeral arrangements set for Rev. Greeley

    Funeral arrangements have been announced for the Rev. Andrew Greeley, who died this past week at his Chicago home. His longtime publicist, June Rosner, says a wake will be held Tuesday from 3-8 p.m. at Christ the King Church, where Greeley spent his first years as a priest. Visitation will be Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., followed by a funeral Mass at noon at the church in the South Side neighborhood...

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    Kaneland High School's Class of 2013 graduates Saturday, June 1, at NIU in DeKalb.

    Images: Kaneland High School graduation
    Kaneland High School held its commencement ceremony for the Class of 2013 Friday, June 1, at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

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    A bald eagle flaps its wings to lift off from a spruce tree last week near Sand Lake in Anchorage, Alaska.

    Alaska mine project may be ground zero for next big environmental fight

    In an early environmental assessment, the EPA estimates the mine would probably cause the loss of between 54 and 89 miles of streams and between four and seven square miles of wetlands. Any accidents, the assessment continued, could result “in immediate, severe impacts on salmon and detrimental, long-term impacts on salmon habitat.”

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    A waste treatment plant is under construction behind a plastic fence on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation near Richland, Wash.

    Storied nuke plant becomes environmental wasteland

    For 42 years, tank AY-102 has stored some of the deadliest material at one of the most environmentally contaminated places in the country: the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. This complex along the Columbia River holds a storied place in American history. It was here that workers produced the plutonium for the atomic bomb dropped by the U.S. on Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945 — effectively ending the...

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Local police departments reports on tickets and arrests during their Memorial Day holiday traffic crackdowns.

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    Rhode Island State Rep. Frank Ferri poses Wednesday at the Statehouse in Providence, R.I.

    Statehouses thwart Catholic Church on gay marriage

    In early May, Rhode Island became the sixth and final New England state to allow gay couples to marry. The Democratic-dominated Legislature, led by an openly gay House speaker, overcame years of successful lobbying by the Catholic Church.

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    Turkish protesters clash with riot police near the former Ottoman palace, Dolmabahce, where Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan maintains an office in Istanbul, Turkey, late Saturday.

    Protesters swarm Istanbul square after clashes with police

    As the furious protests entered its second day, police fired tear gas and turned on water cannons at angry demonstrators, some of whom threw rocks and bottles on their march toward Taksim. In an area normally abuzz with tourists, stores were shuttered and protesters fled into luxury hotels for shelter. There were hundreds of arrests and injured.

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    Sydney Skubal, from left, Joshua Smith and Nicole Smith pose for a quick cell phone picture before the Huntley High School 2013 Commencement ceremonies Saturday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

    Images: Huntley High School graduation

    Huntley High School held its commencement ceremony Saturday, June 1, 2013 at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

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    Government shelling and airstrikes have destroyed homes in the Barzeh district of Damascus, Syria.

    Rockets from Syria hit Hezbollah stronghold in Lebanon

    Eighteen rockets and mortars rounds from Syria slammed into Lebanon on Saturday, the largest cross-border salvo to hit a Hezbollah stronghold since Syrian rebels threatened to retaliate for the Lebanese militant group’s armed support of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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    Images from the Elgin Academy graduation ceremony Saturday, June 1, 2013 in Elgin.

    Images: Elgin Academy graduation
    Elgin Academy held its commencement ceremony Saturday, June 1, 2013 in Elgin.

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    Marianna Johnson and her daughter, Ava Barton, 10, of Wheaton enjoy a ride on the “Sizzler” Saturday afternoon at the Taste of Wheaton. Food, rides, an art fair and performers were the highlights of the annual fest.

    Taste offers new twists in Wheaton

    Taste of Wheaton visitors found new twists and old favorites at the festival Saturday as they tried new carnival rides, listened to musical performers, made tie-dyed shirts and ate iced cupcakes or gluten-free corn dogs. Held in Memorial Park and on Hale and Liberty streets, the annual Taste of Wheaton gave residents like Marianna Johnson and her daughter, Ava Barton, a way to spend a cloudy...

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    Republican committeeman and lobbyist Jack Dorgan of Rosemont speaks with reporters after being elected as the Illinois Republican party’s chair Saturday, June 1, 2013, in Springfield.

    Jack Dorgan from Rosemont named Ill. GOP chairman

    Rosemont village trustee and statehouse lobbyist Jack Dorgan was named the Illinois Republican Party’s new chairman Friday. He steps in to succeed Pat Brady of St. Charles, who was pressured to step down because he lobbied lawmakers to approve same-sex marriage.

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    Andrew Greeley

    Notable deaths last week

    The Rev. Andrew Greeley was, it seems, always writing. At home on a typewriter, later on a computer, then on a plane with a laptop and even in his car dictating into a tape recorder as he drove.

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    The Glenbard South High School Class of 2013's graduation on May 31, 2013.

    Images: Glenbard South's graduation
    Images: Glenbard South High School's graduation at the Glen Ellyn school Friday, May 31.

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    France’s President Francois Hollande, right, and his Panamanian counterpart Ricardo Martinelli, left, gesture at the end of a meeting Friday, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris.

    Merkel tells Hollande reform the price of deficit waiver

    “We agreed to the commission’s giving France two more years to meet the deficit target of 3 percent coupled with the expectation — and the French president just confirmed that — that reforms are undertaken,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. “The two things go hand in hand.”

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    Team Black’s airplane takes off during SpeedFest III, in Stillwater, Okla. Researchers at Oklahoma State University are designing and building sleek, Kevlar-reinforced unmanned aircraft to fly into the nation’s worst storms.

    Reality catches up with sci-fi in storm drones

    Developers are seeking to get the same clearances as the military, where operators don’t have to see the aircraft at all times and can view data beamed via a satellite link.The machines — which weigh up to 50 pounds— are safely controlled by operators with a laptop or iPad.

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    Naperville Mayor George Pradel said the dragon statue in his front yard was removed early Saturday morning and thrown over a bridge toward the railroad tracks at Columbia Avenue and Plank Road. The dragon, called “Nighty-Knight” by artist Marilyn Dale, was auctioned in 2006 as part of a public art fundraiser for the Naperville United Way. “It was kind of personal for me,” Pradel said about the dragon, which carries a miniature statuette of the mayor himself in its left arm and a book called “Goodnight Naperville” in its right.

    Pradel's 'Mystical Dragon' statue stolen Saturday

    The “Mystical Dragon” statue in front of Naperville Mayor George Pradel's house played a vanishing act early Saturday morning when he says it was stolen from his lawn and thrown over a bridge toward railroad tracks. Pradel said his wife awoke him between 1:30 and 2 a.m. when she heard a commotion and noticed the dragon statue was gone. By the time Pradel came to the window, he said...

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    Geneva Middle School music teacher Jason Flaks will spend part of his summer at Yale University’s School of Music. He’ll be one of 50 music instructors from across the country chosen to participate in the university’s Summer Symposium.

    Off to Yale for Geneva music teacher

    Geneva Middle School music instructor Jason Flaks is spending part of his summer at Yale University, taking part in the school's Summer Symposium for exceptional music teachers, columnist Dave Heun says.

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    Raeleen Horn hugs her students during her final concert. She is retiring Friday after working for 33 years as a band director at Palatine High School.

    Longtime Palatine HS band director set to retire

    Longtime, award-winning Palatine High School band director Raeleen Horn is retiring after 33 years of teaching. “I’ll miss the students most, and making music with them,” Horn said as she choked back tears. “We have a pretty tight bond.”

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    A Lebanese army officer stands next to a damaged car as he asks journalists to step back, at the scene where a rocket struck a car exhibit, at the Mar Mikhael district south of Beirut, Lebanon, Sunday May 26, 2013. Rockets slammed Sunday into two Beirut neighborhoods that are strongholds of Lebanon's Hezbollah group, wounding at least 4 people, Lebanese security officials and media said.

    Rockets fired from Syria hit eastern Lebanon

    More than a dozen rockets and mortar rounds fired from Syria struck eastern Lebanon Saturday, security officials said, as tensions rise in the two countries' borderlands where Hezbollah militants are playing a bigger role in Syria's civil war. The Lebanese security officials said the Baalbek region was struck 16 times, igniting fires in fields but causing no casualties.

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    A firefighter watches a 1,400-acre wildfire northeast of Castaic, Calif., Friday May 31, 2013. Crews battling this wildfire in the mountains north of Los Angeles took advantage of cool morning weather Friday to make progress but scattered flames continued to climb hillsides. A flare-up prompted Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies to briefly evacuate about 25 homes along a canyon road in the Angeles National Forest Friday morning but residents were later allowed to return.

    New Mexico wildfires cause evacuations

    Fire crews are battling two wildfires in New Mexico that have scorched thousands of acres, spurred evacuation calls for dozens of homes and shut down a state highway. Officials said the fire in New Mexico's Santa Fe National Forest more than doubled in size by Friday night and was still totally uncontained. That prompted New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez to declare a state of emergency in San...

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    Yanira Maldonado, 42, accompanied by her husband, Gary, makes her way to a press conference at the Homewood Suites Hilton to talk with the media after arriving home, Friday, May 31, 2013 in Goodyear, Ariz. Maldonado was released from a prison on the outskirts of Nogales, Mexico late Thursday, May 30, 2013 after being jailed in Mexico on a drug-smuggling charge. She was released after court officials reviewed her case. Maldonado was arrested by the Mexican military last week after they found nearly 12 pounds (5.4 kilograms) of Marijuana under her seat on the commercial bus traveling from Mexico to Arizona.

    Ariz. mom not giving up on Mexico, despite arrest

    Yanira Maldonado spent her wedding anniversary in a Mexican jail. And now that she's free and a drug smuggling allegation has been dropped, the Arizona woman says she's not giving up on the country of her birth. "What happened to me can happen to anyone," she said Friday of her weeklong detention after Mexican authorities said they found marijuana under her bus seat.

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    Mellencamp mural stirs debate in small Ind. town

    Indiana rocker John Mellencamp likes to sing about the small town where he grew up, but some in his native Seymour aren't sure they want to see the singer's likeness on a building downtown.

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    Cream in Wisconsin puffs from Illinois co-op

    WEST ALLIS, Wis. — Wisconsin State Fair goers may be surprised to learn the main ingredient in a favorite fair treat no longer comes from the dairy state.

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    Ina Conrado, left, fixes Alex Guhde’s mortar board before the Barrington High School Graduation Friday at Willow Creek Church in South Barrington

    Images: Barrington High School Graduation
    Barrington High School held its commencement ceremony on May 31st at Willow Creek Church in South Barrington.

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    Katherine Rodgers, left, helps Emily Evangelist with her hat at the Glenbard West High School graduation at 6 p.m., May 31.

    Images: Glenbard West Graduation
    Glenbard West High School held its commencement ceremony on Friday, May 31 at the school.

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    Aaron Lawlor

    Lake County officials starting to plan for new election commission

    Now that the General Assembly has voted to remove election oversight from the Lake County clerk’s office and give the responsibility to a bipartisan commission, local officials must to figure out how to make it happen. “We will be looking to make the transition as seamless as possible and ensure Lake County voters receive the same exceptional election services,” county board Chairman Aaron Lawlor...

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    Huntley’s program to replace trees damaged by the emerald ash borer was so popular this year, it ran out of money.

    Huntley taking no more orders to replace ash trees

    Huntley’s ash tree replacement program has been so popular with residents this year that officials were forced to shut it down for the rest of 2013, due to a lack of funds.The village has been budgeting $20,000 for the program since 2009, but had to borrow $8,000 from its reserves this year, thanks to 185 orders.

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    A giant warehouse stores more than 4 million pounds of food at the new Willow Creek Care Center.

    Willow Creek unveils multi-faceted Care Center to help those in need

    Willow Creek Community Church unveiled its new $10 million Care Center Friday, located on its South Barrington campus, and the size and scope left visitors amazed. “After the recession hit in 2007 and 2008, we saw a more than 300 percent increase in the number of guests needing our services,” said the Rev. Bill Hybels, pastor and founder of Willow Creek.

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    Neighbors campaign against Arlington Hts. church expansion

    A group of Arlington Hts. neighbors will fight Orchard Evangelical Free Church’s plan to expand its parking lot and raze eight homes on Haddow Street. Dozens of residents are expected to attend a neighborhood meeting Wednesday at village hall. "I can’t imagine any answers they give are going to be acceptable other than dropping the project,” resident Mark Fuller said.

Sports

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    Marion Hossa is congratulated on his second-period goal during the Hawks' Game 1 victory over the Kings in the Western Conference finals at the United Center on Saturday.

    First things first: Hawks go up 1-0

    It was a crazy first period for the Blackhawks on Saturday. The Hawks trailed the Los Angeles Kings 1-0 despite outshooting them 17-2. And they were pleased. “We liked the way we played,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “It was kind of an injustice being down 1-0, but we exited the bench with a positive approach. We made them play in their zone."

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    Oklahoma starter Jonathan Gray (above) and Stanford's Mark Appel could turn into the next Justin Verlander or Josh Beckett. Matt Spiegel says it would be tough for the Cubs to pass up either one with the second pick of the MLB draft Thursday.

    Cubs should grab ace in the hole

    Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have spoken openly about their general philosophy at the top of an MLB draft many times. History tells them position players are a more dependable investment. But if there's a dominant starting pitcher available for the Cubs at No. 2 overall in Thursday's first round, they have to take him, says Matt Spiegel, co-host of "The McNeil & Spiegel Show" 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday on WSCR 670-AM.

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    Members of the Downers Grove South boys volleyball team lift their first-place trophy following their win over Lincoln Way North in the state championship at Hoffman Estates High School Saturday.

    Downers Grove South a surprise champion

    Lincoln-Way North attempted to make school history. But the Downers Grove South boys volleyball team never gave the Phoenix a chance Saturday evening at Hoffman Estates High School.

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    Kernels clobber Cougars

    Kane Count Cougars game report: After a 78-minute rain delay, the Cedar Rapids Kernels delivered their own offensive storm, clobbering the Kane County Cougars 15-2 on Saturday night at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva. Cougars starter Tayler Scott (2-2) struggled through 4 innings, allowing 7 runs on 7 hits.

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

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

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

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

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    June 1, 2013 - Peoria, IL - Kevin Coppin lets out a loud yell with teammates as the Lions celebrate their state champion status at the IHSA state baseball tournament Saturday evening. Lisle defeated Pleasant Plains 10-1 to win the Class 2A title. [Photo: PhotoNews/Clark Brooks]

    Lisle’s first to be first

    No one ever can say Lisle didn’t earn it. The Lions capped a remarkable baseball season Saturday night with a dominating 10-1 victory over Pleasant Plains in the Class 2A state title game in Peoria.

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    Bryan Bickell and Brandon Saad pressure King’s goalie Jonathan Quick in first period action in game 1 of the Western Conference finals between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings.

    Hawks beat Kings 2-1

    Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa scored in the second period, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 on Saturday in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals. Corey Crawford made 21 saves, and the Blackhawks generated just enough offense to improve to 7-1 at home in the playoffs. Game 2 is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sunday.

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    Tiger Woods looks over a putt on the eighth green during the third round of the Memorial golf tournament Saturday, June 1, 2013, in Dublin, Ohio.

    Woods has highest 9-hole score of career

    In the swirling, gusting winds at the Memorial Tournament, Tiger Woods posted his highest nine-hole score as a professional when he shot an 8-over 44 on the back nine during Saturday’s third round of the Memorial Tournament. “The conditions were tough and when I missed it cost me,” he said after completing a 7-over 79 that had him plummeting down the scoreboard at Muirfield Village, where he has won a record five times.

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    Chicago White Sox’s Hector Gimenez slides into home plate to score against the Oakland Athletics in the seventh inning of a baseball game on Saturday, June 1, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. Gimenez scored on a single by Chicago’s Alejandro De Aza.

    A’s edge White Sox on bases-loaded walk in 10th

    Hector Santiago walked Josh Reddick with the bases loaded and two outs in the 10th inning to force in the winning run and lift the Oakland Athletics over the Chicago White Sox 4-3 on Saturday. The A’s had 16 hits and failed to score after loading the bases with no outs in the ninth before scoring the game-winner off Santiago (1-4).

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    Colleen Zickert of Buffalo Grove, left, and Molly Pfeiffer of Barrington battle for possession during the girls soccer Class 3A third-place game in Naperville on Saturday.

    Barrington tops BG for third place

    It was the opponent both Barrington and Buffalo Grove had wanted to play on the last day of the girls soccer state tournament — one another. Unfortunately for both teams, it wasn’t for a state championship, but rather third place. Barrington defeated its Mid-Suburban League rival 2-0 in the third-place game on a stormy Saturday night in Naperville at North Central College. Though the two best teams in the MSL fell short in their bid to make some championship history, it in no way diminished what each side accomplished in a wildly successful 2013 season.

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    The Chicago Blackhawks celebrate after a goal against the Los Angeles Kings during the second period of Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals, Saturday, June 1, 2013, in Chicago.

    Setting pace early on was important

    Troy Murray says a quick up-tempo start helped set the tone in the Blackhawks' 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in the series opener of the Western Conference finals.

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    Dominic Randazzo, left, and Dan Raciak, both from Ingleside, who call themselves the Chicago Red Men, get pumped-up for game 1 of the Western Conference finals between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings.

    Bolland makes up for early gaffe

    It was easily Dave Bolland’s best shift of the game. At one end of the ice he was crushing Mike Richards with a hit that might be reviewed by the NHL. At the other end he was drawing a tripping penalty by Jeff Carter. It all happened in the last two minutes of the Blackhawks’ 2-1 win over the Kings in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.“The last few minutes we did our job and got the puck out of our end,” he said.

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    Blackhawks center Patrick Sharp (10) reacts after scoring a goal against Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) during the second period in Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference finals Saturday, June 1, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Sharp stays red hot

    One of the Blackhawks best players thus far in the postseason has been Patrick Sharp, who struck again in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals against the L.A. Kings, scoring the eighth goal of the playoffs, this was on a rebound of a Johnny Oduya blast midway through the second period to solve the puzzle that was Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and tie the game at 1-1.

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    Corey Crawford comes up with a big save in second-period action in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings.

    Blackhawks impressive in series-opening victory

    The Blackhawks played their best game in more than a month, and certainly since the playoffs began, as they defeated the Kings 2-1 in Game 1 of the conference finals. With the exception of failing to get pucks to the net when opportunities were there — which is pretty much a Hawks trademark — the NHL’s No. 1 seed really looked like it.

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    Brent Seabrook winds up for a slap shot on Jonathan Quick during the first period of Game 1 of the Western Conference finals. Quick made 34 saves in the Blackhawks’ 2-1 victory.

    Hawks solve Quick after dominating in first period

    The Blackhawks peppered Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick with 17 shots in the first period — nearly a shot per minute — and Quick stopped every one of them, all of this while his teammates mustered only 2 shots at the other end of the ice. Yet somehow, someway the first period ended with the Kings ahead 1-0.

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    Kevin Beach, left, of St. Charles North gets a playful shove from teammate Ryan Dal Degan after a point during the third-place game against Glenbrook South at Hoffman Estates High School Saturday.

    St. Charles North finishes 3rd in state

    Kevin Beach supplied the twin defining moments of the St. Charles North historic victory Saturday afternoon at Hoffman Estates High School.

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    Scenes from Game 1 of the Blackhawks-Kings playoff series Saturday, June 1.

    Images: Blackhawks vs. Kings, Game One
    The Chicagoa Blackhawks beat the Los Angeles Kings in game one of the NHL Western Conference finals 2 to 1, Saturday at the United Center in Chicago.

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    Wheaton North’s Jeff Harper, facing, gives a consoling hug to teammate and senior Cody Gregory after their Class 4A sectional championship loss to St. Charles East on Saturday, June 1.

    St. Charles East wins wild one over Wheaton North

    The day began with St. Charles East graduate and current Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Matt Reynolds throwing out the ceremonial first pitch from a mound he last stood upon in 2003. It ended with the Saints celebrating their first sectional baseball championship since 2004 after Saturday’s come-from-behind 5-3 victory over Wheaton North (27-9) in St. Charles.

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    A fan looks on during a rain delay before a baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Saturday, June 1, 2013.

    Cubs put Dolis on disabled list

    The Cubs made a couple more adjustments to their pitching staff Saturday. They placed reliever Rafael Dolis on the 15-day disabled list with what they termed a mild strain of the right forearm. To replace Dolis, the Cubs selected the contract of right-handed reliever Blake Parker from Class AAA Iowa. The Cubs also tweaked their starting rotation to give lefty Travis Wood a break.

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    Lake Zurich’s boys lacrosse team celebrates after beating Naperville Central 13-6 to capture the Lacrosse Cup at New Trier on Saturday.

    State title dream realized for hard-working LZ

    The dream came to fruition Saturday. “Our motto was, ‘Dream big. Work hard,’ ” Lake Zurich head boys lacrosse coach Chuck Vozas said. The Bears’ hard work paid off in a 13-6 win over Naperville Central in the B-Class state championship game at New Trier West, giving Lake Zurich its first Lacrosse Cup in the program’s 11 years of existence. David Finney’s 4 goals led the Bears’ attack.

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    Grayslake Central relief pitcher Eric Skutnick, center left, is mobbed by teammates after recording the last out in the seventh inning as the Rams edged Wauconda 6-4 in Class 3A sectional final play Saturday.

    Skutnick’s big finish helps Grayslake Central move on

    Grayslake Central senior Erik Skutnick was thrown into a situation he could hardly have envisioned just a year ago. The Rams’ 6-run lead had been quickly slashed to just 2 runs with one out in the top of the fifth inning by Wauconda. Now Skutnick, who had not pitched at all in high school before this season, was being asked to stop the uprising with the tying runs on base before a big crowd in a Class 3A sectional championship baseball game at Grayslake Central. But a lack of pitching experience didn’t diminish his confidence. Skutnick got out of that jam and then left the tying runs on base again in the seventh to preserve a 6-4 victory that gave the Rams (26-13) their second straight sectional title and fourth in their history on Saturday afternoon.

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    Serbia’s Novak Djokovic returns against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in their third round match at the French Open tennis tournament, at Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Saturday, June 1, 2013. Djokovic won in three sets.

    Nadal, Djokovic seem vulnerable at French Open

    For the third time in three matches this year in the French Open, Rafael Nadal hardly looked himself for a set. Unlike in the first two rounds, Nadal won his opening set Saturday, albeit barely. Hours later, the man Nadal beat in last year’s final and could meet in this year’s semifinals, No. 1 Novak Djokovic, seemed vulnerable, too. Walking to his changeover chair at 4-3 in the third set of a win against No. 26 Grigor Dimitrov, Djokovic stretched his right arm — the one he has used to win six Grand Slam titles — several times. Both men seem to be missing their Grand Slam from.

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    Belletini’s big effort helps Warren bounce Barbs

    Finally, a team brought in pitchers who could shut down the powerful Warren offense. The DeKalb Barbs have an abundance of quality pitching, which was evident after 3 innings of action in Saturday’s Class 4A sectional title game in Crystal Lake. At that point, the Blue Devils had one ringing single off the bat of cleanup hitter Sam Belletini, and that was it. DeKalb was up a run. The Barbs seemingly had figured out a way to shut down the Warren offense, except for the aforementioned Belletini. And in this case, it turned out to be a heck of an exception. She followed up a key DeKalb error in the fourth inning with a 2-run blast to left field and Warren (26-6) earned its first supersectional berth with a 6-1 win over DeKalb.

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    Wauconda’s Kayla Wedl delivers against Vernon Hills in Class 3A Grayslake Central sectional championship play Saturday. The Bulldogs won 2-0.

    One super Saturday for sectional champ Wauconda

    Wauconda senior Alex Kinnamon winced and shook her right hand after fouling a pitch off it. “(The ball) kind of hit right off my knuckles,” Kinnamon said. Kayla Wedl’s left hand shook throughout Saturday’s Class 3A sectional final at Grayslake Central, mainly between innings, the righty said. Her hand wasn’t hurting, however. “It was stressful,” said Wedl, Wauconda’s 5-foot-6 freshman pitcher and maybe the biggest reason for the Bulldogs’ turnaround this season. “I kept shaking. My hand kept shaking — my left one, not (the right) one.” Whew, for Wauconda. Wedl’s right hand was its steady self, as it has been all season, and when fellow freshman Brooke Sefcik squeezed the final out at third base, Wauconda’s girls shook with excitement. Wedl’s 2-hit shutout lifted the Bulldogs to a 2-0 win over North Suburban Conference Prairie Division rival Vernon Hills for their first sectional championship.

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    Jacob's hoists the championship plaque after its win over Dundee-Crown in the Class 4A sectional baseball championship game Saturday at Huntley High School.

    Just another step toward ultimate goal for Jacobs

    The Jacobs baseball players considered Saturday's 9-0 sectional championship victory the halfway point. For District 300 rival Dundee-Crown, it was the anticlimactic end of a magical postseason run. “Our outcome goals were to win a regional, then a sectional, then a supersectional, then state,” Jacobs senior catcher Greg Sidor said. “We've got two of them knocked off. Now we're trying for the next two. I don't know that I've completely wrapped my mind around that yet, but it seems pretty realistic right now.” Championship aspirations tend to become more realistic once a team draws within three victories of winning a state title as the surging Golden Eagles have. A program that never previously won 20 games or a regional title now has 25 wins and a shiny new sectional plaque to bookend the regional plaque it won last Saturday.

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    Jacobs pitcher Nick Ledinsky is greeted at the mound after pitching a complete game for the win during the Class 4A sectional baseball championship game between Jacobs and Dundee-Crown Saturday at Huntley High School.

    Jacobs blanks Dundee-Crown for 1st sectional title

    Jacobs baseball coach Jamie Murray had a lot of respect for the run Dundee-Crown was on leading up to the sectional championship game on Saturday. In beating Fox Valley Conference powerhouses Huntley and Prairie Ridge, Murray knew a hot Charger team could score runs at anytime, none more indicative than their 10-run first against PR on Wednesday. But by the same token, Murray didn't want his Golden Eagles losing sight of the way they had played up to this point either. Jacobs didn't, and rallied to put 4 runs across with two outs in the first innings and scored 4 more in the second en route to a 9-0 win over its District 300 rival for the Class 4A Huntley sectional championship.

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    Barrington’s Tess Bolger (23) is greeted at the plate by her teammates after hitting a leadoff home run against New Trier during the Rolling Meadows sectional final Saturday.

    Bolger takes the lead in Barrington victory

    Going up against one of the state’s elite pitchers, Barrington softball team was focused on Saturday. From the very first pitch. Leadoff batter Tess Bolger drove New Trier pitcher Allison Quigley’s offering to the left field corner for the first of 4 home runs — all in the first two innings — as the Fillies went on to post a 13-7 victory in the championship game of the Class 4A Rolling Meadows sectional. The Fillies (34-1) will face Warren (27-5) in their own Barrington supersectional Monday at 7 p.m. at the Fields of Dreams.

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    Comeback ’Cats: Neuqua Valley rallies to win again

    With this Neuqua Valley baseball team, comebacks are no big deal. With the wind howling out? Piece of cake. The Wildcats did it again, rallying from a 3-run deficit to beat Downers Grove North 12-4 and claim the Class 4A Neuqua Valley sectional championship Saturday in Naperville.

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    Taylor, Glenbard South on the money

    Hannah Taylor was waiting on the “money pitch” during her last at-bat in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Glenbard South senior third baseman waited in the batter’s box as Lemont’s Carly Jaworski threw a first pitch fastball that Taylor knocked up the middle for a single.The two-out hit drove in teammate Jane Trzaska from second, giving the defending state champion a 6-5 comeback victory and the Class 3A Nazareth sectional title. With the win the Raiders move on to Monday’s Nazareth supersectional where they will face Fenwick at 4:30 p.m.

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    Orton home run lifts Downers South past Downers North

    When the ball left Melissa Orton’s bat, she never expected it to clear the fence.Nothing Downers Grove South does these playoffs should surprise anymore.Orton hit a go-ahead 2-run home run off Downers Grove North ace Elaine Heflin with two outs in the sixth, Jessica Andree followed with another homer and the No. 9 seed Mustangs sprung another playoff upset, 3-2 in Saturday’s Class 4A Neuqua Valley sectional final.

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    Libertyville celebrates its 2-0 victory over Stevenson in the Class 4A sectional championship Saturday at Glenbrook North.

    Barton’s in the zone as Libertyville advances

    Although an official strike zone is from the letters to the knees and the width of the plate, pitchers know that they have to adjust to every umpire’s interpretation of it. Libertyville’s Jeff Barton did just that and was able to shackle Stevenson in the Class 4A sectional final at Glenbrook North in Northbrook. Barton struck out eight while scattering 2 hits, as Libertyville blanked North Suburban Conference rival Stevenson 2-0.

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    Radel, St. Francis get it done in sectional final

    With one swing of the bat St. Francis designated hitter Jake Radel did three things. The sophomore upheld Spartans coach Rich Janor’s confidence in starting him. He proved baseball is great for second chances. Most importantly Radel’s clutch basehit gave St. Francis a 1-0 victory Saturday to win the Class 3A Sycamore sectional over the host school.

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    St. Charles East shows off the sectional plaque it won by beating Glenbard North Saturday.

    St. Charles East wins 1st sectional since 1994

    Score one for speed over power, small ball trumping long ball. No. 2 seed Glenbard North ripped the ball all over the field — and over the fence — Saturday at the Class 4A St. Charles East sectional championship game. No. 1-seeded St. Charles East countered with just one extra-base hit. The Saints made it count, a 3-run double from Sarah Collalti to cap a 5-run fifth inning and turn a 5-2 deficit into a 7-6 victory.

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    Oakland Athletics first baseman Brandon Moss, left, digs up a low throw from shortstop Jed Lowrie to put out Chicago White Sox's Tyler Flowers (21) during the third inning of a baseball game on Friday, May 31, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Colon’s 5-hitter leads A’s past White Sox 3-0

    Bartolo Colon tossed a five-hitter a week after turning 40, and the Oakland Athletics beat the White Sox 3-0 on Friday night in a game that took only 2 hours, 14 minutes.

Business

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    The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington.

    IRS braces for scathing report

    In its report, the Treasury’s inspector general provides detailed estimates on hundreds of IRS conferences, but investigators couldn’t independently verify the total costs because the agency failed to keep records of all expenses, according to the aides.

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    Pages from a ruling by the Department of the Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau showing voluntary recommendations for labeling of wines, distilled spirits and malt liquor.

    Regulators OK nutritional labels on alcohol drinks
    The Treasury Department, which regulates alcohol, said this past week that beer, wine and spirits companies can use labels that include serving size, servings per container, calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat per serving. Such package labels have never before been approved.The labels are voluntary, so it will be up to beverage companies to decide whether to use them on their products.

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    Hams and other memorabilia are displayed Wednesday at a restaurant in Smithfield, Va.

    Home of famous Virginia hams ponders foreign buyout

    Pork produced here for more than 300 years became so popular that many places in the 1930s tried to pass off their ham as Smithfield ham, which led to branding each ham so customers knew it was authentic.

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    Global technology companies such as Samsung Electronics Co., Apple Inc. and Sony Corp. are poised to see surging sales in India as the country’s anemic tech manufacturing sector can’t fulfill booming demand for TVs and smartphones.

    Samsung to Sony wooing India as TV sales set to quadruple

    The world’s fastest-growing market for consumer electronics has few homegrown makers of flat-panel TVs and no producers of mobile phones or the semiconductors and displays used in the devices. Last year, the nation of 1.2 billion people spent $14.2 billion importing screens and smartphones, accounting for 90 percent of demand, government data show.

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    Americans talk, surf more than Europeans on cells

    A global wireless industry trade group says that although Americans pay more for their cell service than Europeans, they’re getting a lot more use out of their phones. The report by the GSM Association says that U.S. consumers talk five times as much as Europeans on their cellphones and use twice as much data.

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    Gilbert R. Boucher II/Daily Herald file photo Motorola Mobility is opening a Texas facility that will produce the Moto X, the first smartphone ever assembled in the United States.

    Texas plant to make first US-assembled Moto X smartphones

    Cellphone pioneer Motorola announced Wednesday that it's opening a Texas manufacturing facility that will create 2,000 jobs and produce its new flagship device, Moto X, the first smartphone ever assembled in the U.S. "It was a great facility in an ideal location," said Moss, who said it will be an easy trip for Motorola engineering teams based in Chicago and Silicon Valley, and is also close to the company's service and repair operations in Mexico.

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    Digital printing could revolutionize the way the yearbook business, Farhad Manjoo says.

    Here’s how to fix the school yearbook business
    You wouldn’t know it to look at the products, but the school yearbook business is kind of shady. There’s a good chance you and your kid’s school are paying way too much for yearbooks — sometimes thousands or tens of thousands a year too much.

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    Tel Aviv woos technology entrepreneurs with startup visas

    Tel Aviv is becoming a premier destination for technology companies, and government is working to attract more foreign entrepreneurs and reinforce the area's reputation as Silicon Wadi, an Arabic word used colloquially in Hebrew for valley. Economy and Commerce Minister Naftali Bennett has agreed to push for legislation to create the Startup Visa, allowing foreigners with creative muscle to establish residence in Tel Aviv.

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    In this undated photo provided by the National Farm Medicine Center is a sample from the Farm MAPPER database showing icons representing farm animals, chemicals, power sources and other dangers on an aerial view of a farm. The organization is working with farmers and firefighters in Wisconsin to develop digital maps that firefighters can use to avoid hazards when they respond to calls on farms.

    Wisconsin farmers, firefighters partner on hazards maps

    Without even thinking, Joe Ortner rattles off a list of items on his family's dairy farm that could kill you: 1,000 gallons of diesel, 500 gallons of gas, cleaning chemicals in the milking parlor, oil and lubricant for repair work and a 6-foot-deep manure pond in which you could drown. To help rescuers reach people quickly and safely, a handful of Wisconsin farmers — Ortner included — have been working with researchers and firefighters on an online program that maps farm hazards.

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    The Nikon D7100 is a 24-megapixel DSLR that can shoot high-definition video.

    Review: High-tech gifts to update the low-tech dad

    ATLANTA — Father’s Day gifts have morphed over the years. It used to be a tie, a golf hat or a jazz CD. But dads are more tech-savvy these days.There are plenty of new gadgets on the market to keep them busy, regardless of their interest or hobbies. The cool new products we’ve selected range in price from $10 to $1,600. There are music players for the shower, tools to help the budding guitarist and even a flask that doesn’t hold alcohol.We know what our fathers like. Here’s a guide to some tech gifts that may help them do what they like even better.Moxie ($200, Kohler Co.)Your dad is likely going to tilt his head to inspect this gadget, then laugh a bit at it, then love it. The Moxie is a waterproof, wireless speaker snookered into a specially designed showerhead and held in place by magnets. The showerhead mounts onto the common pipes found in most shower plumbing hardware, but similarities to a regular showerhead end there.One button turns it on. The speaker then plays music from your smartphone or tablet via a Bluetooth wireless connection. Sound quality is exceptional, and the build and look of the Moxie is top notch.Buy earplugs if you can’t stand Dad singing along.VivoTab Smart ($500, AsusTek Computer Inc.)If you want to spring for a new tablet computer for Dad, but think the iPad is too commonplace, you would do well to consider the VivoTab Smart from Asus. It offers a vivid, 10.1-inch display, plenty of social networking apps and the bonus of running the Windows 8 operating system for more demanding applications. This is the full version of Microsoft’s system, not the lightweight Windows RT that can run only apps specifically designed for it.I’m not totally in love with Windows 8 and its new interface for regular computing, but Windows 8 is slick for tablet use. The response in swiping from one application to the next is lightning fast and intuitive. There are plenty of free and paid apps for Windows 8, and the list is growing.The VivoTab Smart is light and well designed. It comes with a thin, wireless keyboard and a sleeve that doubles as a stand for the tablet. It has a powerful Intel processor and Bluetooth to keep Dad connected to the aforementioned Moxie, or similar wireless speakers.One of the best features is the camera. The tablet’s 8-megapixel camera boasts an impressive F/2.2 aperture lens for lowlight shooting. The sample images I took with it easily trumped my 8-megapixel smartphone photos.Toddy Smart Cloth ($10, Toddy Gear) and the Toddy Wedge ($15)All that texting and swiping can take its toll in the form of oily finger smudges on your tablet or smartphone. Here’s a better solution than cleaning it with a T-shirt: a microfiber cleaning cloth with colorful and customizable designs. A few quick circles wiped away all the smudges from several devices I dirtied up.The Toddy Wedge goes one step further in providing the same cleaning material wrapped around a beanbag-like wedge that also serves as a stand for your phone, e-reader or tablet. It’s a lot better than laying your device down flat on a desk and risking scratching up its back.Toddy will even customize the cloths with photos of the kids, the family or Kate Upton. I mean Mom, of course.Vox StompLab 2G ($90, Vox Amplification Ltd.) and the Korg Wi-Tune ($100, Korg)Many dads have a hearty guitar habit. Longing for the era of their favorite music, they sit around puttering at “Stairway to Heaven” with some Metallica licks thrown in for good measure. But Dad could and should sound better.

Life & Entertainment

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    Cast members of “All in the Family,” from left, Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, and Sally Struthers pose with their Emmys backstage at the 24th annual Emmy Awards in Hollywood, Ca., Sunday night, May 14, 1972. O'Connor and Stapleton won outstanding continued performance by an actor and actress in a leading role in a comedy series. Struthers tied in the category of outstanding performance by an actress in a supporting role in a comedy. Stapleton has died at the age of 90. John Putch said Saturday, June 1, 2013 that his mother died Friday, May 31, 2013 of natural causes at her New York City home surrounded by friends and family.

    'All in the Family' star Jean Stapleton dies

    Jean Stapleton, the stage-trained character actress who played Archie Bunker's far better half, the sweetly naive Edith, in TV's groundbreaking 1970s comedy “All in the Family,” has died. She was 90. “I wasn't a leading lady type,” she once told The Associated Press. “I knew where I belonged. And actually, I found character work much more interesting than leading ladies.”

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    In this Sunday, Aug. 9, 2009 file photo, Lou Reed performs at the Lollapalooza music festival, in Chicago. Lou Reed’s wife says the rock icon is recovering after a life-saving liver transplant, according to an interview published Saturday, June 1, 2013, in a British newspaper. Laurie Anderson told the Times of London that Reed ìwas dyingî before the operation in April at Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic.

    Wife: Lou Reed recovering after liver transplant

    Rock icon Lou Reed is recovering after a life-saving liver transplant in the U.S., according to an interview with his wife published Saturday in a British newspaper. aurie Anderson told the Times of London that Reed “was dying” before the operation several weeks ago at Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic. She said 71-year-old Reed isn’t back to full strength, but “he’s already working and doing t’ai chi.

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    Actress and artist Jane Seymour will be on hand for a showing of her work at the Wentworth Gallery in Schaumburg.

    Weekend picks: Meet Jane Seymour at Woodfield

    Meet actress and artist Jane Seymour when she presents her paintings at a free event at the Wentworth Gallery in Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg. The 14th annual Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine Fine Arts Festival features arts, crafts, dance, music and more Saturday at Bowen Park in Waukegan. If you're inspired to get fit, head to Grant Park for SELF's Workout in the Park, an all-day all-inclusive event at Butler Field.

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    Sun Parasol Garden Crimson by Suntory Flowers grows as a compact bedding plant.

    New blooms, veggies debuting for 2013

    Whoever believes there's nothing new under the sun hasn't seen the plants introduced for the 2013 gardening season. Think multicolored blooms, high-yield vegetables bred for containers and ornamental edibles packing still more nutrition as breeders try to anticipate consumer demand.

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    “Seduction” by M.J. Rose

    M.J. Rose returns with 'Seduction'

    "Seduction," M.J. Rose's follow-up to her acclaimed "The Book of Lost Fragrances," seduces the reader from the very first page. Rose creates an enticing thriller based on French writer Victor Hugo's reaction to the death of his 19-year-old daughter, Didine. Hugo initiates seances in the hope of contacting her. "Seduction" also focuses on the present day with the return of Jac L'Etoile, the mythologist from "The Book of Lost Fragrances."

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    “Wagner at the Met: Legendary Performances From The Metropolitan Opera” performed by various artists

    For Wagner’s 200th birthday, a 25-disc set

    Yes, there really was a golden age, and this was it. To mark the 200th anniversary of Richard Wagner’s birth on May 22, a 25-disc set taken from the archives of Saturday afternoon Metropolitan Opera broadcasts documents performances of nine of the composer’s 10 mature works. Take a listen to “Wagner at the Met: Legendary Performances From The Metropolitan Opera.”

  •  
    Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin has one point of contention with the new movie “After Earth”: “There was a lot of noise. In space, you don’t get that much noise.”

    Aldrin: ‘After Earth’ noisier than space really is

    While astronaut Buzz Aldrin enjoys movies about space, he doesn’t always think they get it right. A day after attending the New York premiere of the post-apocalyptic thriller, “After Earth,” he admits the film was a great family drama, but the space scenes were not realistic. His main point of contention: “There was a lot of noise. In space, you don’t get that much noise.”

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    Alisha Levine with a wavy beach-like hairstyle at Dream Dry salon in New York.

    Get the summer hair you want — until it’s hat time

    Looking out the office window, wearing a tight, slick bun to go with that skirt suit and heels, do you long for the other side — the one where your hair could be tousled, wavy and full from the humidity that comes from a day at the beach? Seems so tempting — until you think about that time you caught yourself in the rearview mirror after your last beach day.

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    “Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin” is now open at SeaWorld Orlando.

    Penguins chill out at new SeaWorld exhibit

    There comes a time in central Florida — usually around mid-August, when you step outside and it feels like you're wearing a wet blanket inside an oven nestled in a sauna — that you start to dream of cold places and cold weather. Now there's real-life summer heat relief in Florida, and it is cool. SeaWorld Orlando has opened its new exhibit "Antarctica — Empire of the Penguin" attraction with a ride, restaurants and 250 live penguins.

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    A narrow outdoor space was turned into a full-fledged living room by designer Brian Patrick Flynn in his own home. He added a pergola for shade and suspending outdoor pendant lights, increased privacy from neighbors with a planter wall, and created an indoor feeling with a U-shaped sectional and indoor-outdoor area rug.

    Big design tricks add style to a small outdoor space

    Design magazines and home decorating catalogs tend to feature sprawling backyards with big wooden decks and room for everything from decorative fountains to artificial ponds. But few of us have that much outdoor space. Still, with a few strategic choices, you can create something truly special out of even the smallest yard or porch, says Los Angeles-based designer Brian Patrick Flynn.

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    Melissa McCarthy stars in the comedy “Identity Thief.”

    DVD previews: 'Identity Thief'

    Coming out on DVD this week are the comedy "Identify Thief" with Melissa McCarthy and Bruce Willis in the action-packed thriller "A Good Day to Die Hard."

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    Crackdown on mortgage reinsurance may not benefit homeowners

    Tthe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced 0n April 4 it had taken "enforcement actions to end what the Bureau believes to be improper kickbacks paid by mortgage insurers to mortgage lenders in exchange for business." - CFPB is right that mortgage reinsurance arrangements are really kickbacks for the referral of business. But it is wrong in suggesting that eliminating them will reduce costs to borrowers.

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    Employers must provide workers’ compensation coverage

    Q. Our association is in the process of replacing its landscaping contractor. The contractor has numerous employees; however, the contractor does not have workers’ compensation insurance. He says he can’t afford the insurance and that he can get his employees to sign a waiver. Must an employer provide workers’ compensation insurance to its employees, and can employees sign a waiver so that the employer does not have to provide workers’ compensation insurance?

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    Seller should change price, not agents

    Q. I have been using the same agent for over a year to help sell my house, and the contract is up for renewal at the end of this month. I think that he has been doing every thing possible, including a couple of price reductions. We get lots of traffic but no offers. My question is, will changing agents really make a difference?

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    People living in the Midwest spend more on their outdoor living spaces, studies have found. This outdoor fireplace was made using paver blocks by Belgard Hardscapes.

    Paver bricks have advantages over decks, concrete patios

    National studies show that people of the Midwest spend more on outdoor living products than people in any other area of the country, said Mike Haumersen, outdoor living specialist with Belgard Hardscapes. Belgard is a leading manufacturer of paver stones and blocks, as well as outdoor elements made in a factory using those blocks and pavers — like fire pits, water features, outdoor kitchens and outdoor fireplaces — that are then installed by a homeowner's landscape design firm.

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    Art in the garden: Peppers have simple needs in garden

    Peppers are easy to grow. They only need warm weather, a sunny location, well-drained soil and an occasional application of fertilizer to yield a bountiful crop.

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    Hiring an interior designer

    Interior designers can be priceless if you find the perfect fit. They make a home more than pretty. Yes, the first thing that comes to mind when considering hiring an interior designer is that she or he will make your home harmonious, aesthetically pleasing, with just the right color combinations, the right window treatments and all the cosmetic to-go-withs that are part of designing the interior of a home.

Discuss

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    The Soapbox

    Daily Herald editors reflect on a range of topics, from a generous gift honoring veterans to two suburban leaders whose passing leaves their communities in mourning and in awe.

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    Demand improved civic education
    An Elmhurst letter to the editor: The reprimand of the Batavia teacher is a timely topic. Governor Quinn has on his desk HB 2428, which creates a Task Force on Civic Education. If signed, public hearings will be held throughout Illinois to analyze the current state of civic education and identify best practices to substantially increase civic literacy among youth.

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    Feeding geese causes problem
    A Round Lake Beach letter to the editor: I’m writing this as a concern about public safety and a nuisance.

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    When is it a crime to kill the unborn?
    A Naperville letter to the editor: America has truly become a schizophrenic society. On one hand, the man accused of kidnapping three women in Cleveland may be charged with a capital crime for causing the deaths of several unborn children. On the other hand, about a million unborn children are legally killed by abortion every year in the United States.

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    Nothing but the negative sports spin
    A Carpentersville letter to the editor: I just finished reading the sports pages of the Daily Herald. I have to say, your writers are the biggest bunch of gloomy Gus's I've ever had the misfortune to encounter — they can find the negative in any story.

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