Daily Archive : Wednesday June 19, 2013


    The new entrance arch to North River Street in Batavia.

    Batavia’s River Street remodel progressing well

    The work along River Street in downtown Batavia has certainly paid dividends, according to columnist Dave Heun.


    Quinn, Ill. lawmakers plan pension talks into July

    Unable to overcome a stalemate on the state's $97 billion pension crisis, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and legislative leaders have agreed to form a bipartisan committee to hammer out a compromise and to reconvene the Legislature for another session in July.

    The former Opa! restaurant in Vernon Hills is one of many restaurants that have failed at Lakeview Parkway and Hawthorn Parkway. A developer now is pitching plans for a residential development on the site.

    Trustees: Housing plan too dense for Vernon Hills

    The building may look good and the would-be developer is held in high regard, but Vernon Hills trustees think 264 apartments is too many for a site overlooking one of the community's main attractions. While not dismissing the possibility of some type of residential development overlooking the lakes at Century Park, village leaders say the size of the project proposed by Seymour “Sy”...

    Professional women cyclists start on the third stage of a three-day, three-stage race at the 7th annual Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove.

    Tour of Elk Grove women’s race will be televised nationally

    For the first time since women started racing in the Alexian Brothers International Cycling Classic Tour of Elk Grove, the race will be nationally televised just as the men’s race is each year, Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson said. The 8th annual Tour takes place Aug. 2 through 4 on village streets. It features 16 professional and amateur races, including professional men’s and...

    Robert McNees

    Carol Stream library board hires attorney to review contract

    The Carol Stream Library board has hired a local attorney to evaluate its contract with a nursing home company that wants to build on the library-owned vacant Kuhn Road property. But some board members objected to the hiring of Robert McNees because of his connections with the board majority.


    Barrington Hills teen charged in fatal crash

    A Cook County judge set bail at $100,000 Wednesday for a Barrington teen charged with aggravated DUI causing death and great bodily harm following a March crash that killed a 61-year old Elgin man and injured two other people. The judge also ordered Karsten Eilertsen, 18, to surrender his passport and adhere to a 5 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew while the case is pending.

    Linda Lynch

    Aurora gym owner, office manager acquitted of forgery

    The owner of an Aurora gymnastics studio was found not guilty Wednesday of forging her son's coaching schedules prior to his 2005 trial on charges he sexually abused 14 female gymnasts. Also acquitted of felony forgery was Linda Lynch's co-defendant and former office manager, Andrea Arndt, who was accused of altering records to distance Lynch's son from one of his accusers.

    The first formal hearing for a permanent supportive housing facility proposed near downtown Palatine drew an overflow and passionate crowd at the plan commission meeting Tuesday.

    Palatine planners back apartments for disabled despite divided crowd

    The Palatine plan commission recommended rezoning land near downtown to accommodate apartments to support people with disabilities, despite a divided meeting. “There's little evidence to support neighbors' fears that supportive housing developments will reduce the price of surrounding properties over time,” a project manager said. “Let me know you respect my business,” a...


    Supportive housing plan passes hurdle; Palatine council next

    The Catherine Alice Gardens permanent supportive housing development got a boost from the Palatine Plan Commission, which — after more than five hours of debate and testimony — supported the property's required rezoning. The commission voted 7 to 1 at about 1:15 a.m. Wednesday to recommend preliminary approval for the planned development at 345 N. Eric Drive.


    Aurora boy seriously injured by hit-and-run driver

    Police are searching for the driver involved in a hit-and-run accident that seriously injured a 13-year-old Aurora boy Wednesday evening. The boy was walking south on Talma Street and crossing over Fifth Avenue around 5 p.m. when he was hit, according to a news release.

    Kevin Geary

    Trustee prods Kane to be business development hub

    If a business wants to relocate to Sugar Grove but the deal falls through, there is no one stepping in right away to refer that company to a comparable piece of land or vacant storefront in North Aurora or anywhere else in Kane County. “Each municipality is only interested in themselves,” Sugar Grove Trustee Kevin Geary said.

    This is an example of the damage wrought by flooding in the July 23, 2011, storm. Robert Zapfel spray-painted a sign to warn scavengers away from sewage-contaminated furniture he left alongside the road of his Mount Prospect residence on Emerson Street.

    Mt. Prospect OKs $1.75 million in flood-related sewer work

    In reaction to 2011 flooding, the Mount Prospect village board has awarded a sewer contract to Martam Construction of Elgin after it submitted a low bid of $1.75 million.“These projects are designed to correct a pretty significant deficiency in the existing sewers,” Public Works Director Sean Dorsey said.


    Body found in lake identified

    The Cook County medical examiner’s office has identified a body pulled from Lake Michigan as that of a University of Chicago student who went missing a week ago.


    Union workers will be paid overdue raises from state

    Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration will start paying overdue raises to unionized workers July 1 even though Illinois lawmakers didn’t approve extra funding, officials said Wednesday. Employees in six state agencies will get raises of at least 7.25 percent starting with the new fiscal year, according to an email sent to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees’ 35,000 members...


    Schaumburg fire causes $40,000 in damages

    A fire caused about $40,000 in damages at a Schaumburg home Wednesday afternoon, according to officials. Capt. Frank Chambers of the Schaumburg Fire Department said crews were called to a report of an attic fire at a home in the 700 block of East Weathersfield Way around 5 p.m.


    Des Plaines attorney back in court on 2-year-old contempt charge

    A case that started two years ago when a lawyer asked for a jury trial over his client’s fender bender returned to a Rolling Meadows courtroom Wednesday for arguments over whether a judge was right in locking up attorney Wayne Adams -- a former Des Plaines police sergeant and alderman -- for contempt of court.

    Randy Flowers

    Arlington Heights roommates get 12 years for armed robbery

    Arlington Heights roommates pleaded guilty Wednesday to robbing a Rolling Meadows gas station last year. In exchange for their guilty pleas to armed robbery, a Cook County judge sentenced Randy Flowers, 24, and Karl Watson, 36, each to 12 years in prison in exchange for their pleas to the class X felonies.


    Wheeling man charged with sexual assault

    A Cook County judge set bail at $350,000 for a Wheeling man who authorities say sexually assaulted an 11-year-old boy in 2011. Onetsed Ruiz, 24, has been charged wtih predatory criminal sexual assault, a class X felony punishable by a sentence of six to 30 years in prison.


    West Aurora Dist. 129 superintendent retiring next year

    The superintendent of West Aurora School District 129 is retiring at the end of the 2014 school year, according to a board of education announcement on the district website. Jim Rydland has been superintendent of District 129 since July 2005.

    Waldron Grove Alpacas in Campton Hills welcomed a new baby alpaca to the family Tuesday morning.

    Campton Hills farm hosts open house this weekend

    A baby alpaca was born Tuesday at Waldron Grove Alpacas in Campton Hills. Alpaca farm owners Susan and Ron Waldron will host an open house this weekend. They have open houses every year -- one in fall, one in spring. The farm house was built in 1875, and Susan uses alpaca fiber in clothing and tapestries.


    Downed power lines near Hanover Park causing Metra delays

    Metra trains are moving again after being halted due to downed power lines across the track near Hanover Park, according to a notice on the Metra website.

    State lawmakers are setting up another committee to study the state's pension problem.

    New pensions committee, same suburban players

    Many of the lawmakers named to a new committee to debate ways to cut the state's nearly $100 billion in pension debt are the same ones prominent in previous efforts, including Democratic state Rep. Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook, Democratic state Sen. Daniel Biss of Evanston, Republican state Rep. Darlene Senger of Naperville and Democratic state Sen. Linda Holmes of Aurora. Will this new panel...

    House Democrats called the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act a dangerous retread of a similarly tough enforcement measure that sparked mass protests around the country in 2006. Reading the bill, “You would think there are 11 million criminals in the United States,” said Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a Chicago Democrat.

    Compromise among senators eyed on border security

    After secretive talks, key senators expressed optimism Wednesday night that they were closing in on a bipartisan agreement to toughen the border security requirements in immigration legislation that also offers a path to citizenship to millions living in the country illegally.

    During a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Barack Obama defended U.S. Internet and phone surveillance programs as narrowly targeted efforts that have saved lives and thwarted at least 50 terror threats.

    Obama renews calls for nuclear reductions

    Appealing for a new citizen activism in the free world, President Barack Obama renewed his call Wednesday to reduce U.S. and Russian nuclear stockpiles and to confront climate change, a danger he called “the global threat of our time.”

    Alfredo Vidigaray

    Carpentersville molester sentenced to 30 years

    A Carpentersville man pleaded guilty Wednesday to having sexual contact with a child he knew, according to a news release from the Kane County state's attorney. Alfredo Vidigaray, 37, of the 100 block of San Juan Road was sentenced to 30 years in prison.


    MCC wins grant for information literacy project

    A $50,000 grant is helping McHenry County College figure out where the information literacy gaps are for high school students in the county. The money, awarded by the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarians Program, will help MCC gather research about how well students locate, evaluate and effectively use information — skills that have become increasingly important in the digital age when so much is...

    David L. Schaefer

    Gilberts teens face burglary, stolen firearms charges

    Two teens were arrested this week on felony charges of residential burglary in Gilberts and possession of stolen firearms, according to court records. David Schaefer, 18, and Matthew Dupasquier, 17, both of Gilberts, were being held at the Kane County jail.


    Wauconda hires firm for administrator search

    The Wauconda village board on Tuesday agreed to hire Voorhees Associates to search for a new village administrator. The firm will be paid $16,000 for the task. Current Village Administrator Zaida Torres will step down from that post, at the request of Mayor Frank Bart, once a replacement is found.


    Vernon Hills OKs memory care facility

    Vernon Hills officials have given informal approval to an assisted living/memory care facility proposed for a 7-acre site on Milwaukee Avenue between North and South Woodbine Circle. Dallas-based South Bay Partners wants to provide 67 private pay units in a one-story building on what is known as the County Mayo site.


    Downtown Palatine retailers to hold sidewalk sale

    Several retailers in downtown Palatine will hold a sidewalk sale starting Thursday, June 20, through Saturday, June 22. Hours vary by store but are generally 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to the Downtown Palatine Business Association.


    Warren-Newport bookmobile shelved for repairs

    As of today, Gurnee-based Warren-Newport Public Library District’s bookmobile will be in the shop for repairs. The work is expected to be completed by July 19. Mobile library service will continue, however, with a rented white cargo van that will make all scheduled bookmobile stops.

    Sharell M. Thomas

    Hanover Park teen gets probation for fake school bomb threat

    A Hanover Park teen pleaded guilty Wednesday to phoning in a false bomb threat to Hoffman Estates High School earlier this year. In exchange for the guilty plea, a Cook County judge sentenced 19-year-old Sharell M. Thomas to 24 months probation and ordered her to pay $649 in fines.

    Eugene Ornstead

    Ex-Chicago firefighter gets pension in prison

    A former Chicago firefighter who was convicted in the 1994 slaying of his wife has received more than $55,000 a year in pension payments from behind bars, according to a televised report. WFLD-TV reports there’s nothing illegal about the money — more than $840,000 in all — that Eugene Ornstead has collected over the years.

    Bonnie Kruse reacts as she views her family’s property that was in the path of the Black Forest Fire, Tuesday, June 18, 2013, in Colorado Springs, Colo. Of the six homes that Kruse and her family have in Black Forest, all but one was destroyed. The Black Forest Fire, the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history, has destroyed 502 homes and charred more than 22 square miles. It was 85 percent contained Tuesday.

    As fires rage, feds cut funding on prevention

    As the West battles one catastrophic wildfire after another, the federal government is spending less and less on its main program for preventing blazes in the first place. A combination of government austerity and the ballooning cost of battling the ruinous fires has taken a bite out of federal efforts to remove the dead trees and flammable underbrush that clog Western forests.

    Already known as a one of the healthiest counties in Illinois, DuPage County has been named one of “America’s 50 Healthiest Counties for Kids,” according to a new report.

    DuPage ranks among the healthiest counties for kids

    DuPage County has been named one of “America’s 50 Healthiest Counties for Kids,” according to a new set of rankings released by U.S. News and World Report. With a rank of No. 20 on the list, DuPage is the only Illinois county to make the list, which highlights communities that “are safe and child-friendly,” according to a statement from the DuPage County Health...

    Wayne Schnell

    Ex-chief pressured workers to file complaints against Island lake cop, memo shows

    Former Island Lake Police Chief Bill McCorkle coerced two department employees to file harassment complaints against a part-time officer who quit in 2010 but recently was reinstated, newly released reports show.

    Protesters burn a Sao Paulo state flag in front of City Hall in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Tuesday. Some of the biggest demonstrations since the end of Brazil’s 1964-85 dictatorship have broken out across this continent-sized country, uniting multitudes frustrated by poor transportation, health services, education and security despite a heavy tax burden.

    Brazil officials reverse subway, bus fare hike

    Leaders in Brazil’s two biggest cities said Wednesday that they have reversed an increase in bus and subway fares that ignited protests across the nation. However, many doubted the move would help abate the demonstrations that have moved well beyond the outrage over the fare hikes into communal cries against poor public services in Latin America’s biggest nation.

    Muhammad Naeem a representative of the Taliban speaks during a press conference at the official opening of their office in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, June 18, 2013. The Taliban and the U.S. announced Tuesday that they will hold talks on finding a political solution to ending nearly 12 years of war in Afghanistan, but on Wednesday Afghanistan’s president said Wednesday he will not pursue peace talks with the Taliban unless the United States steps out of the negotiations.

    U.S. tries saving Taliban talks after Karzai objects

    Afghanistan’s president said Wednesday he will not pursue peace talks with the Taliban unless the United States steps out of the negotiations, while also insisting the militant group stop its violent attacks on the ground after it claimed responsibility for a rocket attack that killed four Americans.


    Naperville increases funding to prevent sewer backups

    In response to the April 18 flooding, Naperville has allocated additional funds to reimburse residents for work aimed at preventing sewer backups, but some say the problem of overflowing sewers needs a broader solution. “The key is this is an avoidable problem, but the city has to solve it. The homeowners can't solve it,” resident Dale Bryson said. “Until you get more capacity,...

    The Village of Vernon Hills is launching a newly designed website at 5 p.m. Thursday. Officials say the new site will be easier for residents to navigate and learn about village happenings.

    Vernon Hills refreshes aging website

    Vernon Hills will roll out a newly designed website at 5 p.m. Thursday. Besides a visual facelift, the revamped site will be easier to use, provide new services and offer better access to forms and documents, officials say.


    Geneva parks seek input on master plan

    The Geneva Park District wants residents' opinions about what it should do as it starts making a new master plan. A community meeting seeking input will be held Tuesday.


    Memorial planned for cremated remains in St. Charles

    A nondenominational service and internment is planned Thursday at a St. Charles cemetery for the 40 unclaimed cremated remains found in a Kane County storage unit.


    Des Plaines drops residency clause for department heads

    The Des Plaines City Council Monday night voted 5-3 approving an ordinance to repeal a residency requirement that certain city employees, specifically the city’s seven department heads, must live in town.The residency requirement was adopted after a nonbinding, advisory referendum in 2001.


    Man again charged with sex trafficking

    A man who was the first person to be convicted in Illinois under the state’s new tough human trafficking laws is facing similar charges in Cook County for the same offense.

    Adolfo Gomez

    Father sentenced for binding kids outside Walmart

    A Northlake man was sentenced Wednesday to 30 months in prison for binding and blindfolding two of his children a year ago in a Walmart parking lot in eastern Kansas.

    Rousemary Vega, center, and two unidentified men occupy a classroom at the Jean de Lafayette Elementary School and protest the closing of the school Wednesday in Chicago.

    For some Chicago schools, it’s truly the last day

    Wednesday was the last day of class for more than two dozen Chicago public schools that are closing their doors for the last time. At Lafayette Elementary School on the city’s West Side, fifth-grader Amy Romero said goodbye to the only elementary school she’s ever attended.


    Bartlett toddler dies after fall into pool

    A 2-year-old Bartlett toddler has died after he fell into a backyard pool on June 14, officials said. The boy fell into the pool Friday afternoon, said Bartlett Police Sgt. Geoff Pretkelis.

    Awaan Woods

    Elgin burglary suspect applies to second-chance program

    A 17-year-old who is one of three charged in a smash and grab burglary at an Elgin cellphone store this spring is applying to be accepted into Kane County's Pretrial Diversion program. Awaan Woods has been released from jail after 41 days.


    District 203 studying drug testing for some students

    Naperville Unit District 203 is edging toward possible random drug testing for students who participate in extracurricular activities, but in a manner one board member described as “slow and thoughtful.” Administrators say they will spend the summer studying drug and alcohol policies in other districts in response to a coach's suggestion after some high school students were punished...

    Of the more than $1 million spent by 97 Batavia Unit District 101 employees using district-issued purchase cards last year, almost $25,000 was spent on food, according to district financial records.

    Why $25,000 in food on Batavia school charge cards?

    Batavia Unit District 101 purchase cards were used by employees 253 times last year to buy almost $25,000 worth of food and other goods totaling more than $1 million. District officials signed off on all the purchases and contend checks and balances are in place to make sure use of the 97 cards is justified, but one taxpayer disagrees. “They're not really being good stewards of the...


    Fox Valley police reports
    John C. Sells of Elgin was charged Tuesday with battery following a dispute at the Pace bus terminal in the 100 block of West Chicago Street, according to a police report.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Jeremiah N. Benjamin, 21, of Aurora, was charged with retail theft at 7:43 p.m. Tuesday at Kohl’s, 251 N. Randall Road, Batavia, according to a police report.


    Free concerts at Independence Grove run through Aug. 6

    The Lake County Forest Preserve District will host free outdoor concerts this summer at the Independence Grove preserve near Libertyville. Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. on all Tuesdays through Aug. 6.

    Lauren Fagel

    Mundelein High Principal Lauren Fagel quits, effective June 30

    Mundelein High School Principal Lauren Fagel has announced her resignation to pursue an unspecified job at another Lake County district, officials said. The move leaves Mundelein High without a principal less than three months before the start of the 2013-14 term.

    Des Plaines firefighters surround the fire station on River Road with sandbags after the April 17 storm. City officials said this week they won’t be getting any public assistance reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

    Des Plaines won’t get federal flooding aid

    Des Plaines will get zero dollars in public assistance reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the estimated $2 million in expenses incurred by the city in response to the April flooding, officials said this week. That’s because Cook County was the only one of 40 counties in Illinois that applied that didn't have enough expenses to qualify for federal money. “We are talking...


    Schaumburg to brighten up interchange bridges

    Schaumburg will soon reach out to the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority with a proposal to add and fund about $1 million in architectural features to the Meacham and Roselle Road interchange bridges to help them better adhere to the village's own appearance standards in commercial districts. Village officials plan to do this while the bridges are being rebuilt by the toll authority in 2014...

    Shaun Horan

    Ex-bookkeeper guilty of $291,000 theft

    An Aurora man on Wednesday admitted stealing nearly $300,000 from an Oak Brook company where he worked as a bookkeeper. Shaun Horan, 32, faces a maximum 15 years in prison but also could receive probation after pleading guilty to felony theft. Horan was a bookkeeper at Resource 1, an IT staffing and consulting firm in Oak Brook.

    More than 750 guests enjoy beer and wine tastings at Spring Valley Nature Center.

    Celebrate the solstice with wine benefit for Schaumburg Park Dist. Foundation

    Wineries, breweries and food vendors will once again fill Spring Valley Nature Center Saturday, June 22 in honor of the summer solstice. The Schaumburg Park Foundation’s Solstice Hop and Vine Fest will be held from 6-9 p.m., and “the evening features the area’s finest wines and brews on the prairie and supports the Schaumburg Park Foundation,” said Foundation Executive Vice President Pat Casler.

    Chris Marks and his son Matt Marks, 17, shave the meat used for gyros at the 2012 St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church’s annual Greek Fest in Palatine.

    Thousands expected at St. Nectarios Greek Fest in Palatine

    St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church in Palatine will hold its popular, three-day Greek Fest this weekend. Hours are 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, June 21, 3 to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 22, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, June 23.

    Erin Borggren, director, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, presents the June Veteran of the Month Award to Lisabeth Risley of Round Lake. A former Navy Corpsman, Risley serves as a volunteer for the Veterans Assistance of Lake County, where she coordinates the American Legion Family Assistance Grant.

    Round Lake Beach veteran honored for volunteer efforts

    Petty Officer 1st Class Lisabeth Ann Risley, U.S. Navy, retired, has been recognized by the Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs as a prominent veteran leader with over 30 years of service to her community, country and to fellow veterans as the Illinois Veteran of the Month for June 2013.

    Robert Roth

    Deal doesn’t include prison for police chief’s son

    The son of a Lake County police chief has until Friday to decide whether to accept a plea deal on drunken driving charges that would keep him out of prison. Robert Roth, 24, would spend a month in jail and five months on home confinement under the proposed plea deal.


    Maine West to host festival benefiting athletic programs

    The Maine West athletic boosters will host their third annual West Fest this Thursday, June 20, through Sunday, June 23, to benefit the school’s athletic programs. Entertainment attractions include carnival rides, a large petting zoo, dance music provided by the radio stations B96 and 103.5 KISS FM, a talent show and a craft show.

    George Zimmerman, left, attorney Don West, center, and jury consultant Robert Hirschhorn leave their table during a recess of Zimmerman’s trial in Seminole circuit court in Sanford, Fla., Tuesday, June 18, 2013. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder for the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

    Judge reads charge against Zimmerman to jurors

    A Florida judge read the formal charge against George Zimmerman on Wednesday to 40 potential jurors who could be selected to decide if the neighborhood watch volunteer committed murder when he shot an unarmed Trayvon Martin.

    This 1997 photo released by the National Transportation Safety Board shows reconstruction work on TWA Flight 800, which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off New York’s Long Island. Former NTSB investigators of the crash off are calling on the National Transportation Safety Board to re-examine the case. The retired investigators claim that findings were “falsified.”

    Former TWA Flight 800 investigators want new probe

    Former investigators are pushing to reopen the probe into the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 off the coast of New York, saying new evidence points to the often-discounted theory that a missile strike may have downed the jumbo jet. The New York-to-Paris flight crashed July 17, 1996, just minutes after the jetliner took off from John F. Kennedy Airport, killing all 230 people aboard.

    Shopper Kim Young of Vernon Hills enjoys the grand opening of The Fresh Market in Lincolnshire on Wednesday. The supermarket is the first in Lincolnshire’s 56-year history.

    After 56 years, Lincolnshire finally has its grocery store

    After years of waiting, Lincolnshire-area residents finally got the chance Wednesday morning to shop in a hometown grocery store. Fresh Market, the first grocery store in Lincolnshire’s 56-year history, opened its doors to the public Wednesday with special promotions and giveaways for its first customers.


    U-46 hopes to train more black, Latino parent leaders

    Elgin Area School District U-46 is looking for its next group of black and Latino parent leaders. The district has had more success in recruiting Latinos for its Hispanic Parent Leadership Institute than for the black equivalent. “The African-American community has just been so hard to reach out to,” said Karla Guzmán, parent/community outreach coordinator.

    Police investigate the scene of an accident on Arlington Heights Road in Arlington Heights just north of the Jane Addams Tollway (I-90) at about 1 a.m. Wednesday.

    One injured in overnight rollover crash in Arlington Heights

    Crews were still fixing a traffic light in Arlington Heights Wednesday morning after a man hit the electrical pole and flipped his car in an accident overnight. Arlington Heights police and fire responded to a one-vehicle crash on South Arlington Heights Road near the I-90 interchange around 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, said Police Captain Kenneth Galinksi.

    President Barack Obama waves as he arrives for a speech at Brandenburg Gate where he is to deliver a speech in Berlin Wednesday, June 19, 2013. Obama is on a two-day official visit to the German capital.

    Obama renews calls for nuclear reductions

    Appealing for a new citizen activism in the free world, President Barack Obama renewed his call Wednesday to reduce U.S. and Russian nuclear stockpiles and to confront climate change, a danger he called “the global threat of our time.” In a wide-ranging speech that enumerated a litany of challenges facing the world, Obama said he wanted to reignite the spirit that Berlin displayed when it fought...


    Body found in Yorkville home after 8 months

    An autopsy is expected to take place on the remains of a 27-year-old Yorkville man whose badly decomposed body was discovered this week in his home — likely months after he died. Police tell The (Aurora) Beacon-News that Justin Ludolph's body may have been in the home since at least October.

    Algonquin Commons is not currently selling mall gift cards, although many individual stores offer their own gift cards.

    Why you can't get a gift card at Algonquin Commons

    With endless amount of gifts to buy at this time of the year — teacher's gifts, Father's Day presents and graduation gifts — many hoping for one-stop shopping have been stopped in their tracks when they couldn't get the versatile present they planned on. They've walked into the guest services office over the past month or two at Algonquin Commons only to be greeted by a sign that...


    Meacham Road expansion on Rolling Meadows' August agenda

    The controversial widening of the rural portion of Meacham Road will be discussed in August, the Rolling Meadows City Council decided Tuesday.

    Washington Street between Hainesville and Cedar Lake roads will be widened to three lanes this summer. Construction scheduled to begin early next month also includes bike lanes, sidewalks, curb and gutters, and a new water main.

    ‘Long overdue’ Washington Street work to begin

    Construction is nearing to widen one of the last two-lane segments of Washington Street in Lake County. The 1-mile-long section from about Hainesville Road to Cedar Lake Road in Round Lake and Round Lake Park will be closed for three months later this summer. “It’s narrow, there are no sidewalks, there is no space for bikes — it’s definitely long overdue,” Round Lake Park Mayor Linda Lucassen...

    A search of a rural field in suburban Detroit has failed to turn up the remains of former Teamsters union leader Jimmy Hoffa, an FBI agent announced Wednesday as authorities ended the dig.

    FBI hunt for Hoffa’s remains turns up nothing

    A search of a rural field in suburban Detroit has failed to turn up the remains of former Teamsters union leader Jimmy Hoffa, an FBI agent announced Wednesday as authorities ended the dig. “I am very confident of our result here after two-days-plus of diligent effort,” said Robert Foley, head of the FBI in Detroit. “As of this point, we’ll be closing down the excavation operation.”

    A “Private Property No Trespassing” sign greets visitors Tuesday June 18, 2013, at this three-apartment building in Ashland, Ohio, which a neighbor says was home to at least one of the three suspects charged with enslaving a mentally disabled woman and her child.

    Ohio woman accuses 3 of holding her captive

    A woman told authorities she was held captive for more than a year by three people who forced her to do housework, raided her bank account and menaced her with snakes and pit bulls. But an attorney for one of the suspects and the alleged captor’s mother said the mentally impaired woman was given a place to stay because she and her young daughter had no home.

    Erdem Gunduz, right, stands silently on Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, early Tuesday, June 18, 2013. After weeks of confrontation with police, sometimes violent, Turkish protesters are using a new form of resistance: standing silently. The development started late Monday when a solitary man began standing in passive defiance against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s authority at Istanbul’s central Taksim Square. The square has been sealed off from mass protests since police cleared it over the weekend. The man has identified himself as Erdem Gunduz, a performance artist. His has sparked imitation by others and has provoked widespread comment on social media.

    Turkey’s ‘standing man’ to join ranks of icons?

    The image was stark: a silent, solitary figure standing in passive defiance to the Turkish prime minister’s demand for protesters to clear Taksim Square in central Istanbul.The challenge by performance artist Erdem Gunduz is catching on with other protesters in Turkey, encouraged by social media into imitating his gesture across the country.

    Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, says the Internal Revenue Service is about to pay $70 million in employee bonuses despite an Obama administration directive to cancel discretionary bonuses because of automatic spending cuts.

    Senator: IRS to pay $70M in employee bonuses

    The Internal Revenue Service is about to pay $70 million in employee bonuses despite an Obama administration directive to cancel discretionary bonuses because of automatic spending cuts enacted this year, according to GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa. The IRS said it is negotiating with the union over the matter but did not dispute Grassley’s claim that the bonuses are imminent.

    African Union peacekeepers take position outside the main U.N. compound, following an attack on it in Mogadishu, Somalia Wednesday, June 19, 2013. Al-Qaida-linked militants detonated multiple bomb blasts and engaged in ongoing battles with security forces in an attempt to breach the main U.N. compound in Mogadishu, officials said Wednesday.

    Al-Qaida-linked fighters attack UN base in Somalia

    Al-Qaida-linked militants detonated several bombs and breached the main U.N. compound in Somalia’s capital Wednesday, sparking gun battles that killed at least 12 people. A U.N. official said at least three foreigners were believed to be among the dead.


    Official pushes to make it easier to post bond

    A Cook County official is pushing to make it easier for non-violent offenders to post bond to stay out of the county jail. Commissioner John Fritchey says the largest single-site jail in the nation is on the verge of reaching capacity. He says if it does become overcrowded, it’s possible a federal judge would order construction of an expensive new jail at taxpayer expense.

    GardenWorks DuPage founder Tina Koral stands at garden plots two Daisy Girl Scout troops helped her plant at Village Green Park off Lambert Road in Glen Ellyn. The produce will go to clients of the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry who are unable to tend their own gardens.

    Glen Ellyn woman's GardenWorks helps needy families grow produce

    Tina Koral founded GardenWorks last year to provide families in need with raised-bed gardens and instructions on how to grow their own vegetables. This year with the help of two Girl Scout Daisy Troops, she has also planted two vegetable gardens on land provided by the Glen Ellyn Park District to provide produce to food pantry recipients unable to take care of a garden.

    Mike Ehrhardt of Schaumburg has mowed “Go Hawks” on a section of grass behind his Schaumburg home.

    Schaumburg man puts his blades to work for the Hawks

    Everyone who drives down a stretch of Plum Grove Road can see that Mike Ehrhardt is a Blackhawks fan. The 58-year-old Schaumburg Public Works Department employee recently started mowing the word “Go Hawks” into his backyard lawn. “People in the neighborhood seem to enjoy it, and I get a lot of beeps from passing cars,” Ehrhardt said. “I like to do it because it gets...

    A mother alpaca stays close to her newborn baby at Waldron Grove Alpacas in Campton Hills Tuesday. The baby was born Tuesday morning.

    Dawn Patrol: Palatine retriever found; Schaumburg armed robber sought

    Missing Palatine golden retriever returned home. Schaumburg police looking for strong-arm robber. Cary man charged in bank robberies. Des Plaines council denies Fountain Blue tent. Carpentersville plans for medical marijuana. Naperville offering $7.5 million to Freedom Plaza developer. Meacham Road in Rolling Meadows on August agenda.

    Longtime Parkside Apartments resident Wani Suliman, left, and his neighbors are upset that Glen Ellyn officials are considering a tax increment financing district that includes their homes and the possibility they could be displaced.

    Immigrants fear being forced out of Glen Ellyn homes

    Wani Suliman has lived in his Glen Ellyn apartment since the day he arrived in the United States. The Sudanese refugee has made his home at the Parkside Apartments on Roosevelt Road but was shocked when he got a letter from the village that said it was “reasonably expected” he and others in a proposed TIF district could be displaced. “When I received that notification, it was...

    Panos Calderaro, 10, of Arlington Heights takes a tour of the greenhouse with his mom Alex as part of the recognition event for Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization’s “Shining Stars” at Miner School in Arlington Heights.

    NSSEO honors people, businesses that aid its special education efforts

    During a reception last week, students gave tours of a greenhouse and sustainable vegetable garden in Arlington Heights that was created for special education students with help from individuals, businesses and local units of government. "It’s a huge asset to our students, to have this kind of collaboration,” said Maureen Daly.



    Chicago Sky scouting report

    The Sky looks to get back on the right side of the tracks against the worst team in the WNBA. The Shock boasts rookie point guard and former Notre Dame standout Skylar Diggins but is hurting without 6-foot-8 center Liz Cambage in the lineup. She’s out with an ankle injury and missed the first game in this series, a 92-71 Sky win on June 2.

    Fans pass a Boston Bruins banner through the stands before Wednesday’s Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden.

    Kane: We can’t afford to worry about Chara

    While 6-foot-9 Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara poses a big challenge, Patrick Kane said the Blackhawks needed to stop worrying about him and start playing to their strengths in Game 4 on Wednesday. “The way they’ve been playing in the playoffs it’s been (Jonathan) Toews’ line versus (David) Krejci’s line and a lot of the times Chara’s been out there too,” Kane said.

    Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook (7) celebrates his game-winning goal against the Boston Bruins with defenseman Duncan Keith (2) during Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday in Boston. Chicago won 6-5.

    Seabrook’s goal give Hawks a win they had to have

    In a game Bryan Bickell called the biggest game some of the Blackhawks' lives, it was Brent Seabrook scoring again in overtime to give the Hawks a wild 6-5 win over Boston in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night. The Final now returns to Chicago tied at 2-2.

    Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa looks for a pass Wednesday as Boston Bruins winger Jaromir Jagr defends in the first period of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.

    Coach Q still shuffling the deck

    Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville stayed with the same lines for nearly the entire regular season.Now in the playoffs he is back to playing mad scientist, mixing and matching lines at the drop of a hat.For Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday, Quenneville returned to what worked during the Western Conference finals against Los Angeles with a first line of Bryan Bickell, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

    Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa, here driving past Boston Bruins center David Krejci during Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals last Saturday, missed Game 3 on Monday due to an injury. He is expected to play in Game 4.

    Hawks stand by Hossa amid Amonte criticism

    While former Blackhawks player Tony Amonte, now a hockey analyst for TV and radio, openly questioned Marian Hossa’s toughness for missing Game 3 with an undisclosed injury, Hossa's teammates did not.“There’s no question in our locker room that if Hoss could go and he could be effective for us, that he would have," Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "If people want to criticize from the outside, it’s up to them. But there’s no doubt in our mind that Hoss is going to do everything in his power to get back in and help our team.”

    White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale reacts after giving up a single to Minnesota Twins’ Ryan Doumit during the fourth inning of a baseball game on Wednesday, June 19, 2013, in Minneapolis.

    Could Big Hurt revive hurtin’ offense?

    Another White Sox loss, this one a 7-4 decision to the Twins Wednesday night, brings another round of questions for general manager Rick Hahn. Given the lengthy lack of offensive production, is it time to give Frank Thomas a crack as hitting coach?

    Anthony Rizzo knocks the ball loose from St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina as he scores in the second inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, June 19, 2013, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

    Coming and going: DeJesus likely out a month

    The future of the Cubs, both short term and long term, is taking shape quickly. Manager Dale Sveum said center fielder David DeJesus likely will miss a month with his sprained right shoulder. The Cubs also continue to sign draft picks from this year.

    Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook (7) celebrates his game-winning goal against the Boston Bruins during the first overtime period in Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals, Chicago won 6-5 in overtime.

    Images: Blackhawks vs. Bruins, Game Four
    The Blackhawks needed 6 goals to beat the Boston Bruins in overtime of Game 4 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals Wednesday in Boston, winning 6-5.

    Colorado Rapids forward Edson Buddle, bottom, and Chicago Fire defender Austin Berry battle for the ball during the first half of an MLS soccer match Wednesday night.

    Berry’s goal lifts Fire to 2-1 victory

    Like his team this season, Austin Berry had a long way to go and a lot of making up to do.Berry made up for a nightmare start Wednesday night with a second-half goal that gave the Fire a 2-1 victory against Colorado at Toyota Park.The Fire remains unbeaten since acquiring Mike Magee and Bakary Soumare in late May, going 2-0-2 in MLS games plus 2 U.S. Open Cup victories.

    Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) celebrates his goal against the Bruins during Wednesday night’s game in Boston.

    Blackhawks beat Bruins 6-5 in OT, even series

    Brent Seabrook’s goal 9:51 into overtime lifted the Chicago Blackhawks to a wild 6-5 victory over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night and tied the Stanley Cup Finals through four games.

    The Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo is tagged by Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina — but he manages to knock the ball loose and score during Wednesday’s game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

    Cubs lose to Cardinals 4-1

    Yadier Molina hit his fifth home run and Jake Westbrook pitched seven innings of two-hit ball in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 4-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs 4-1 on Wednesday night. Westbrook (3-2) worked around trouble almost the entire night in his second start since coming off the disabled list with a sore elbow. He gave up no earned runs, striking out two and walking three. Edward Mujica pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 21st save in 21 attempts.

    Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Deunte Heath (54) reacts after giving up a two-run home run to Minnesota Twins’ Justin Morneau during the sixth inning Wednesday night in Minneapolis. The Sox lost 7-4.

    Morneau homers for Twins in 7-4 win over White Sox

    Justin Morneau homered for the first time in almost two months, a two-run shot that helped the Minnesota Twins to a 7-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.Morneau’s third homer of the season followed an RBI single by Josh Willingham in the sixth off Deunte Heath after White Sox ace Chris Sale’s night ended after five shaky innings.

    Colorado Rapids forward Edson Buddle, bottom, and Chicago Fire defender Austin Berry battle for the ball during Tuesday night’s game in Bridgeview.

    Magee, Berry lift Fire to 2-1 win over Rapids

    Mike Magee scored on a penalty kick, Austin Berry headed in the tiebreaker in the opening minutes of the second half, and the Chicago Fire beat the Colorado Rapids 2-1 on Wednesday night.Magee tied the score in the 23rd minute with his fifth goal in five matches — three in MLS play and two in the U.S. Open Cup. The goal was set up by Rapids defender Marvell Wynne’s hand ball in the penalty area. Magee converted with a right-footed kick that beat goalkeeper Clint Irwin to his left.


    Outdoors notes: Yellow perch on Lake Michigan

    Mike Jackson offers an update on the local fishing scene in this weekly edition of outdoors notes.


    In fishing, confidence comes in all shapes and sizes

    When Mike Jackson talks about whacky-worm action, he's not speaking about a specific product by a style of fishing setups. Confused? Mike clears it all up with some tips such as the Texas and Carolina jigs you may want to try.

    After playing in the U.S. Open, Tiger Woods was told by his doctors to rest his sore left elbow for three weeks. Woods expects to return in time to play in the British Open.

    Woods to rest elbow, skip AT&T National

    Tiger Woods’ sore left elbow will keep him out of competition until the British Open. Woods said Wednesday on his website that doctors found a strain in his left elbow and advised that he take a few weeks off for rest and treatment. That means he will miss the AT&T National next week at Congressional, where he is the defending champion.


    Mike North video: Hawks Fans Shouldn’t Panic

    Mike North is still confident the Chicago Blackhawks will win this series against the Boston Bruins. He thinks they are no stranger to winning on the road and believes the Hawks will even up the series 2-2 tonight.

    San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) and Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) collide during the Game 6 of the NBA Finals Tuesday night in Miami.

    James helps Heat stave off elimination in Game 6

    LeBron James led a title-saving charge, and now his crown will be on the line one more time in Game 7.James powered Miami to a frantic fourth-quarter rally and overtime escape as the Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs 103-100 on Tuesday night to extend the NBA Finals as far as they can go and keep their repeat chances alive.



    Ind. official: Lake flake material made at plant

    Indiana officials say a substance found floating on Lake Michigan that led to beach closures is made at a nearby plant shipped out on barges. Indiana Department of Environmental Management spokesman Dan Goldblatt told The Times of Munster on Tuesday that preliminary tests showed the substance is tricalcium orthophosphate, an anti-caking agent used as a food additive and in industrial applications.

    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference Wednesday, after the Fed said it will maintain the pace of its bond-buying program to keep long-term interest rates at record lows.

    Fed suggests it’s closer to slowing bond purchases

    In a move that could send interest rates higher, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke ended weeks of speculation Wednesday by saying the Federal Reserve will likely slow its bond-buying program this year and end it next year because the economy is strengthening.

    Cover of a book of bamboo matchsticks from Maixim's.

    Developers buy site of famed Chicago restaurant

    A group of developers have purchased the basement of a luxury condominium building from the city of Chicago that was once the site of a famed restaurant.Officials say the former home of Maxim's de Paris was purchased for $1.37 million by a group that wants to re-establish it as a gourmet restaurant.

    Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s news conference is on a television screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, when the Fed hinted it’s moving closer to slowing its bond-buying program, which is intended to keep long-term interest rates at record lows.

    Stocks slide as Fed says bond purchases could slow

    Financial markets shuddered Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it could start scaling back its huge bond-buying program later this year and end it by the middle of 2014. The Fed’s $85 billion in monthly bond purchases have been a boon for the U.S. economy the past four years.

    State Sen. Tom Cullerton is propsign an incentive package to keep Officemax’s headquarters in Naperville after its merger with Florida-based Office Depot.

    Cullerton seeks incentives to keep OfficeMax in state

    Illinois lawmakers will consider offering economic incentives to OfficeMax to keep the company’s headquarters in Naperville once the office supply company mergers with Office Depot later this summer.

    Porsche is the top performer in an annual survey of new vehicle quality.

    Porsche tops in annual survey of vehicle quality

    Porsche is the top performer in an annual survey of new vehicle quality. J.D. Power questioned more than 83,000 U.S. car owners about problems with their 2013 vehicles in the first 90 days of ownership.

    George Zimmer

    Men’s Wearhouse ousts founder and exec. chairman

    Men’s Wearhouse Inc. has dismissed its founder and executive chairman George Zimmer. In a terse release issued Wednesday, the company didn’t give a reason for the abrupt firing of Zimmer, who built Men’s Wearhouse from one small Texas store using a cigar box as a cash register to one of the nation’s largest specialty retailers in men’s clothing, with 1,143 locations.

    Illinois residents using mobile phones are wasting $1.4 billion a year by signing up for the wrong cellphone data plan, according to a consumer advocacy group's study released Tuesday.

    CUB: Illinois residents waste $1.4B on data plans

    Illinois residents using mobile phones are wasting $1.4 billion a year by signing up for the wrong cellphone data plan, according to a consumer advocacy group's study released Tuesday. In a news release, the Citizens Utility Board said that the analysis found that the difference between the amount of data paid for and the amount actually used added up to about $194 a year for smartphone users and about $30 a year on traditional wireless phones.


    LanzaTech, Siemens partner to reduce steel mill emissions

    Roselle-based LanzaTech has signed a ten-year cooperation agreement with Siemens Metals Technologies to develop and market integrated environmental solutions for the steel industry worldwide. The collaboration will utilize the fermentation technology developed by LanzaTech, transforming carbon-rich off-gases generated by the steel industry into low carbon bioethanol and other platform chemicals.


    Neovia Logistics to Acquire MIQ business

    Downers Grove-based Neovia Logistics announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the contract logistics division of MIQ Holdings Inc. Terms of the acquisition were not announced. MIQ Holdings provides warehouse management and fulfillment services, distribution solutions and other value-added logistics services through a network of nine facilities in the United States and Canada.


    Walmart to build at former Cicero racetrack site
    Town President Larry Dominick and officials of Arkansas-based Walmart formally closed an agreement to build a Walmart Super Center on the eastern half of the former Sportsman’s racetrack.


    1 in 12 Illinois bridges ‘structurally deficient’
    A transportation advocacy group says about 1 in 12 Illinois bridges are “structurally deficient” and need serious maintenance and rehabilitation or should be replaced entirely. Illinois fared far better than many other states, ranking 35th in the survey by the Transportation for America. The organization’s report says the state had more than 2,300 structurally deficient bridges in 2013.


    United 787 heading to Tokyo diverted to Seattle

    An indication of an oil filter problem prompted the crew of a Boeing 787 flying from Denver to Tokyo to divert to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Tuesday afternoon, a United Airlines spokeswoman said. Flight 139 landed normally and an airline maintenance team was inspecting it, United spokeswoman Mary Ryan said in an email statement.

    Visitors watch General Electric’s turbo fan “the GEnx engine, powering Boeing 787 Dremliner, during the 50th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport, north of Paris, Wednesday June 19, 2013.

    Air France-KLM orders 25 wide-body Airbus A350s

    Air France-KLM ordered 25 Airbus A350 jets on Wednesday, saying the wide-body plane that flew for the first time last week will be central to its plan catch up to Chicago-based Boeing’s popular 787 and 777 in the lucrative field of long-haul wide-body jets.

    A Boeing 787 sits in a paint hangar at the plant in Everett, Wash. South Carolina’s financial oversight board unanimously approved borrowing $120 million for Chicago-based Boeing Co.’s expansion plans in North Charleston.

    SC financial oversight board approves Boeing bonds
    COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina’s financial oversight board unanimously approved borrowing $120 million for Chicago-based Boeing Co.’s expansion plans in North Charleston. The Budget and Control Board’s vote Tuesday provided the framework for incentives the Legislature approved in April.

    Pro-Tech Roofing Co.'s Bille Marcum shows off his tickets to Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals — and his playoff beard.

    Des Plaines company transformed into Blackhawks shrine

    Eighteen months ago, vandals did $50,000 worth of damage to the Pro-Tech Roofing Company's office in Des Plaines. After repairing the smashed, spray-painted walls, the office was empty and white. So ProTech's Bille Marcum Jr. decided to add a little black and red. Today, the office is a shrine to the Blackhawks. “One picture led to a flag, which led to the bobbleheads. ... It just kind of branched off from there,” Marcum said.

Life & Entertainment

    Veterinarians say there are multiple health benefits to having your pet spayed or neutered.

    This simple pet procedure has health benefits

    According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 51.8 percent of households in Illinois owned pets in 2011. Spaying or neutering your pet is a way to help control pet overpopulation, as well as to prevent behavioral or medical problems from developing.

    Legendary folk and pop singer Gordon Lightfoot headlines the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan.

    Weekend picks: Gordon Lightfoot graces the Genesee

    Legendary folk/pop artist Gordon Lightfoot takes to the stage tonight at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan. Start lining up tonight to secure a spot for Weezer's free show Saturday in the Woodfield Mall parking lot. The Spin Doctors, Mike and Joe, the Freddy Jones Band, Libido Funk Circus and many others play The Arboretum's Summer Music Fest over two days at The Arboretum of South Barrington


    Molecular mixologists raising the bar on cocktails

    Bartender Tony Conigliaro's new beverage book is called “The Cocktail Lab,” and he's not speaking figuratively. Among the equipment at his London-based Drink Factory consulting business are a centrifuge (the better to filter macerated liquids), a cold smoker and smoke gun (for smoking garnishes as well as syrup ingredients), and a refractometer to measure exact alcohol levels.

    Retired U.N. investigator Gerry Lane (producer Brad Pitt) tries to protect his family from Zombie-geddon in the action thriller

    Tense zombie thriller abandons horror for blurry, PG-13-rated action

    Despite its quick pace and tension, “World War Z” seldom matches the raw drama of AMC's “Walking Dead” premiere episode or Zack Snyder's jaw-dropping “Dawn of the Dead” intro that whisks us from normalcy to Armageddon in eight scant minutes. This film will undoubtedly please genre fans not bothered by the absence of developed characters and political subtext of the George Romero variety.

    With Prince William and the former Kate Middleton expecting their first child in mid-July — and much of the world interested in the birth of a future monarch — officials at Clarence House have released some of the couple’s plans, although many details are still being kept private.

    Palace sheds some light on royal baby plans

    With Prince William and the former Kate Middleton expecting their first child in mid-July — and much of the world interested in the birth of a future monarch — the royals’ office has released some of the couple’s plans, although many details are still being kept private. Kate has made several public appearances recently but is expected to keep a low profile in the final weeks of her pregnancy. Here is the latest news about the infant who will, upon entering the world, be third in line for the British throne.

    Folk musician Gordon Lightfoot plays the Genesee Theatre on Friday, June 21.

    Lightfoot draws on long career for current tour

    Gordon Lightfoot seems to like to keep people guessing, including himself. “I don't like getting locked into the same show every night,” he said. So the Canadian folk musician has a setlist system he likens to a baseball team's pitching rotation — one fans will see in action when his “50 Years on the Carefree Highway Tour” comes to the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan Friday.

    Blake Shelton, left, and Danielle Bradbery celebrate after she won season-four of “The Voice” Tuesday.

    16-year-old says ‘Voice’ win ‘incredibly overwhelming’

    Danielle Bradbery has “The Voice” — and the microphone-holding trophy to match. The 16-year-old country singer said she was “overwhelmed with emotion” when she was crowned the winner of the NBC singing competition Tuesday. “I mean confetti and fireworks in the background and being handed this really heavy trophy. It was all so incredibly overwhelming,” Bradbery said of her crowning moment. “But I mean, I finished the song like they told me to. But yeah, it was scary.”

    Country singer Slim Whitman died Wednesday of heart failure in Florida. He was 90.

    Country singer Slim Whitman dies at age 90

    Country singer Slim Whitman, the high-pitched yodeler who sold millions of records through ever-present TV ads in the 1980s and 1990s and whose song saved the world in the film comedy “Mars Attacks!,” died Wednesday at a Florida hospital. He was 90. Whitman died of heart failure at Orange Park Medical Center, his son-in-law Roy Beagle said.

    LCC K-9 dogs Luther and Ruthie with bags packed and Boston bound.

    LCC comfort dogs travel to provide unconditional support

    The golden retrievers of Lutheran Church Charities’ K-9 Dog Ministry helped ease the pain in tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo., and Moore, Okla. At Newtown, Conn., the dogs helped bring peace to the community after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Addison-based LCC procured three flat-bottom boats in order to rescue people and their pets.

    Balsan bartender Michael Kennedy serves up a Moscow Thoroughbred, his twist on a Moscow Mule, at the Chicago restaurant.

    Culinary adventures: Chicago outing opens eyes to worldly cuisine, cocktails

    When you're with Penny Kazmier any outing can turn into a culinary adventure. Such was the case when she headed to the Waldorf Astoria's Balsan restaurant with a couple of friends. The group learned to create artisan cheese and meat selections and a gin-based cocktail that are perfect for summer entertaining.


    Selma Blair exits ‘Anger Management’

    Selma Blair is making a sudden exit from the Charlie Sheen sitcom “Anger Management.” In a statement Tuesday, producer Lionsgate says the actress won’t be returning to the FX comedy. The company says it wishes her “the very best” but has no further comment.

    Beatles tribute band American English will headline the first night of the Naper Nights Community Concert Series on Friday at Naper Settlement. The “History of Rock” concert series includes six nights of rock featuring tribute bands organizers say are the best in the Midwest.

    Naper Nights concerts salute 'History of Rock'

    The Naper Settlement is turning back time with its second annual Naper Nights Community Concert Series, launching this weekend to take listeners through the “History of Rock.” Beatles tribute band American English and Eagles tribute band Heartache Tonight will headline shows Friday and Saturday nights, respectively, as the settlement begins its celebration of summer and sound.

    Tea-flavored vodka mixes with lemonade and other juices for summery cocktail sipping.

    Fruits, herbs, booze infuse summertime’s iconic iced tea

    Iced tea is hot. Just look at restaurant menus and store shelves. Tea’s reputation as a healthful drink could be one reason fueling the uptick. Tea has less caffeine than coffee, has antioxidant benefits and, when prepared without sweeteners or milk, can be calorie free. Food Editor Deborah Pankey has pulled together a collection of iced tea beverages for cool summer sipping.

    Cucumber juice and tequila turn tea into a cocktail.

    Green Iced Tea
    Green Iced Tea

    Balsan bartender Michael Kennedy serves up a fun twist on the Moscow Mule at the Chicago restaurant.

    Moscow Thoroughbred aka Moscow Mule–Waldorf Style
    Moscow Thoroughbred

    Spiced Orange Lemonade

    Spiced Orange Lemonade
    Spiced Orange Lemonade


    Minty Lemon Balm Sun-Iced Tea
    Minty Lemon Balm Sun Iced Tea


    Moroccan Mint Tea
    Moroccan Mint Tea

    Tea-flavored vodka mixes with lemonade or other juices for summery cocktail sipping.

    Firefly Tea Breeze
    Firefly Tea Breeze


    Red Alert Iced Tea
    Red Alert Iced Tea

    Beef Wellington, with its traditional puff pastry, earns high marks at Stevens’ in Gurnee.

    Steak the standout at Stevens’ in Gurnee

    Light jazz music outside on the patio beckons diners into Stevens’ steakhouse in Gurnee.The staff is welcoming with an air of formality that is reflected in the food — think high-class entrees on a middle-class budget. The dining room specializes in steaks and seafood, with chicken and pasta for those who crave neither surf nor turf. And make sure to leave room for the exceptional Bundt cake to finish your meal.


    Microwaving water results in lousy tea

    Is there a difference between tea made with microwave heated water and tea made with kettle heated water? Most definitely. Slate's Food Explainer says a proper cup of black tea must be made with water that’s come to a rolling boil and a microwave just doesn't heat water evenly.


    Music notes: ’90s tribute bands hit Durty Nellie’s

    The 1990s are back at a special tribute-band show at Durty Nellie's in Palatine this weekend, and DuPage County rockers the Plain White T's kick off their summer tour with a show at the Lincoln Park Zoo.

    General Brendan Donovan (Donal Logue) talks with Detective Kevin Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones) in BBC America's "Copper."

    Characters face tough times as 'Copper' returns for second season

    When the first season of BBC America's "Copper" ended, the show's flawed hero, Detective Kevin Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones) was in a bad place. The conflicts continue when the second season returns Sunday.



    Editorial: Marriage equality still right for Illinois

    Though Illinois legislators so far have failed to approve marriage equality, it's still the right course for the state and should be approved in November.


    Some room for compromise between pension plans

    Guest Columnist Elliott Hartstein: The stalemate in Springfield between competing philosophies and positions on needed pension reform in the Senate and the House is simply not acceptable. There are indeed some ideas which could be utilized to move this process forward.


    Master of the muddle on Middle East

    Columnist Richard Cohen: I have written so many columns about the Syrian civil war they are like rings on a tree stump — a way of gauging Barack Obama’s steadfast inaction and what the cost has been.


    Store believed in immigrant’s potential
    I came to this country as a 17-year-old who didn’t speak English looking to start a new life. Even though I wasn’t able to speak the language, Walmart saw my potential and gave me a job.


    Origin theories must pass scientific method
    A Vernon Hills letter to the editor: The debate over whether science teachers or school districts should include alternatives to the theory of evolution as an exercise of academic freedom is misguided.


    Re-evaluate policies on women’s health
    A Hoffman Estates letter to the editor: After reading Berna Gingra’s letter (May 16) in support of Plan B, I thought about the steps our country has taken to prevent unwanted pregnancy. In the 1960s, the advent of the birth control pill was heralded as an answer to unplanned pregnancy. In the 1970s, the Supreme Court added legalized abortion because the pill was not enough. In addition hormonal injections and implants were made available.


    U-46 grade policy will cheat children
    A Bartlett letter to the editor: The recent proposed changes to the U-46 school grading system should make parents and teachers shudder. As proposed, 50 percent of the work, attendance and effort is a passing effort.


    Timing is everything for president
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: The national media has dropped the ball when it comes to covering our government’s actions/inactions over the past several years. I can’t help but wonder whether President Obama would have been re-elected had the IRS, AP, Fox News, Benghazi, Verizon and Prism scandals all come out last year.


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