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Daily Archive : Friday June 21, 2013

News

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    Firefighters stage in a residential area in South Fork, Colo., as they monitor a wildfire that burns west of town on Friday evening June 21, 2013. The town was evacuated and U.S. 160 that passes through it was closed.

    Firefighters keep guard over Colorado tourist town

    A massive wildfire that had been advancing ominously toward a tourist town in southwestern Colorado has grown to nearly 60 square miles. However, fire officials say the once fast-moving blaze has slowed. No structures have been lost and officials are optimistic that they can protect the town of South Fork.

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    Some of the businesses Virgil Pop has on his client list require he clean only outside windows, taking careful measures to not scratch the glass.

    Moving Picture: Window washer has a higher calling

    Virgil Pop of Prospect Heights has God-sized plans, but for now he's happy washing windows in the Northwest suburbs. Pop is supporting a wife and furthering his education with money he earns as a professional window washer, but his ultimate goal is to become a Navy chaplain.

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    Alex Clifford

    Metra CEO gets $442,000 payout to resign

    Metra officials Friday voted to give CEO Alex Clifford a $442,000 severance package and accept his resignation. Clifford's fate at the commuter rail agency had been the subject of closed-door meetings of the board this spring.

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    Impending thunderstorms caused organizers of Swedish Days in Geneva to put the festival on hold Friday afternoon until the weather cleared up. After about four hours, the fest reopened and crowds returned.

    Storm blows through ’burbs

    The summer of 2013 dawned feisty on Friday, drenching the opening days of well-planned festivals around the suburbs but blowing over in time to get things back on track. Two major festivals shut down and ran for cover Friday afternoon — Swedish Days in Geneva and the Long Grove Strawberry Fest — but were humming again Friday evening.

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    Edward Snowden in Hong Kong.

    Snowden charged with espionage, theft

    A one-page criminal complaint unsealed Friday in federal court in Alexandria, Va., says Edward Snowden engaged in unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information. Both are charges under the Espionage Act. Snowden also is charged with theft of government property. All three crimes carry a maximum 10-year...

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    Vincent Peterson

    Former employee charged with stealing cemetery vases

    A former cemetery employee from Bensenville has been charged with stealing and attempting to sell for scrap 24 bronze vases from graves in the Randhill Park/Shalom Memorial Park cemeteries in Arlington Heights. A Cook County judge set bail at $75,000 for Vincent Peterson, 24, who could face two to five years in prison if convicted. Probation is also available.

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    A resident looks over a house Friday that was damaged during a storm in Minnetonka, Minn. More severe weather was forecast for Minnesota for later Friday night and early Saturday.

    Line of storms brings wind, hail, tornadoes

    Several homes were damaged and an entire county was without power Friday after a fast-moving line of strong storms moved through northeast South Dakota, bringing several tornadoes and golf-ball-sized hail.

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    New outpatient center grand opening

    A new outpatient center will open in Glenview on June 25, part of the Northwestern Medicine family. The new Outpatient Center is part of Northwestern’s expansion plans in the northern suburbs, with other locations in Deerfield, Evanston, Libertyville, Grayslake and Highland Park.

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    A Bartlett man was arrested in Schaumburg and charged with criminal damage to property after a shot from a pellet gun shattered a glass door at a home on Cambia Drive near Wise Road around 9:45 p.m. June 8. Police reports said he was a passenger in a pickup truck that repeatedly drove past the victim’s home and that he admitted shooting at the house because he has issues with the residents.

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    The Los Burritos Mexicanos restaurant at 1015 E. St. Charles Road in Lombard is being sued by a Lombard woman who says she became ill after eating there. The restaurant has been closed for more than a week since state health officials confirmed E. coli cases among customers of the restaurant.

    Woman sues Lombard restaurant in E. coli probe

    A Lombard woman who says she got sick after eating at a local Mexican restaurant now at the center of an E. coli investigation has filed suit against the business. Elizabeth Bernardi is suing Los Burritos Mexicanos, 1015 E. St. Charles Road in Lombard, for unspecified damages after she says she consumed food contaminated with E. coli that caused severe gastrointestinal illness and required her...

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    Dist. 220 standouts to lead Barrington 4th parade

    Several accomplished District 220 students will join the grand marshal of the 2013 Barrington Fourth of July parade, Elaine Silets, in leading the 2013 parade.

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    Sister Jeanne Stickling shows off her favorite pottery piece. Stickling is a resident artist at Elgin Artspace Lofts in downtown Elgin, which will hold a grand opening and an open house Thursday.

    Elgin Artspace Lofts schedules grand opening

    Among the residents of Elgin Artspace Lofts are two Adrian Dominican sisters who’ve been friends for almost 60 years. Jeanne Stickling and Diane Weifenbach both said they’re looking forward to Thursday’s official grand opening of Artspace, which they’ve called home since last fall, when each moved into one of the building’s 55 affordable housing units.

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    Be part of a sea of Buffalo Grove faces.

    Put your face on our BG Facebook page!
    If you live, work, go to school or atend services in Buffalo Grove, we want your face, for our new Facebook page.

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    Kristinmaylee Serrano

    Mt. Prospect police looking for missing teen

    Mount Prospect police said Friday they are looking for a missing girl who ran away from home this week. Kristinmaylee Serrano, 17, has not been seen since leaving home on Wednesday. Police said she is an insulin-dependent diabetic and is believed to have a limited supply of insulin with her.

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    8th District GOP leadership conference June 29

    The 8th Congressional District Republican Leadership Conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 29 at Medinah Shriners, 550 N. Shriners Drive in Addison. Featured speakers will include Congressmen Peter Roskam, Randy Hultgren and Rodney Davis.

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    Lawsuit filed by bouncer 2011 St. Charles bar fight

    A bouncer at the Filling Station in St. Charles says he was kicked, beaten and strangled in November 2011 after he told two men to leave, and has filed a lawsuit seeking more than $50,000 damages. Jason Nord and Peter Currie, both 35 and from St. Charles, were originally charged with felonies but pleaded guilty to misdemeanors in spring 2012.

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    Police have searched in and around the home of New England Patriots’ Aaron Hernandez in a possible connection to the death of a semipro player whose body was found in a nearby industrial park.

    Family seeks answers in death near home of Patriots’ Hernandez

    Family members of the man found slain a mile from New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez’s house said Friday they are looking for answers about what happened the night he died. Police have searched in and around Hernandez’s sprawling home not far from where the Patriots practice. The Bristol County District Attorney has not released any information, other than saying the death...

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    Corky Miller

    Probation for man charged with fleeing Schaumburg police

    A Chicago man whose pending burglary charges were dismissed in February, pleaded guilty on Thursday to fleeing from Schaumburg police. The fleeing charge was related to a residential burglary charge which Cook County prosecutors dropped againt Corky Miller, 41. In exchange for his guilty plea to the class 4 fleeing felony, a judge sentenced Miller to 24 months probation and ordered him to pay...

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    Chicago man charged with soliciting murder in DuPage

    A Chicago man accused of soliciting the murder of his former business partner told an undercover police officer he wanted the killing to look like an accident, DuPage County authorities said Friday. Michael Pilney, 38, of the 1700 block of North Cleveland Avenue, was indicted this week on charges of solicitation of murder for hire and possession of cocaine and ecstasy.

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    Warrenville police investigating three home burglaries

    Warrenville police are investigating three daytime burglaries in the city’s Summerlakes and Thornwilde neighborhoods.

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    Round Lake Beach teen helps family escape fire

    A Round Lake Beach teen in the right place at the right time early Friday was able to alert neighbors their home was on fire, allowing them to escape safely before the situation intensified. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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    Crews will begin a monthlong project July 1 to remove and replace track at the Quincy Avenue crossing of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad in Naperville.

    Railroad work to smooth Naperville crossing

    The railroad crossing on Quincy Avenue in Naperville will be smoother for drivers once crews complete about a month of track removal and replacement beginning July 1. Four railroad tracks will be reduced to one where Quincy Aveune crosses a north/south spur of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway in an industrial park west of Ogden Avenue.

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    Karen Darch

    Barrington skeptical about fire district’s proposal

    Barrington officials Friday said they didn’t believe a proposal from the Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District to lease 18 firefighters for two years really addressed the village’s concerns over the long-term pension and disability costs for these employees. Such an arrangement would keep these firefighters village employees and such costs a village responsibility, Village President...

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    Gabriel Saenz

    Woodridge man indicted on child porn charges

    A 31-year-old Woodridge man has been indicted on child pornography charges, authorities said Friday. Gabriel E. Saenz, 31, of the 2400 block of Spring Street, is facing four felony counts of child pornography.

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    Tri-Cities police reports
    Cristina Hernandez, 19, of Aurora, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia at 7:41 a.m. Tuesday after a deputy went to assist her at Orchard and Jericho roads near Aurora because she ran out of gas, according to a sheriff’s report. The deputy smelled a marijuana smoke odor in the car and found two pipes, the report said.

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    An ambulance sits Friday in the parking lot of a Wal-mart in Greenville, N.C.

    Four shot at NC law firm, Wal-Mart; police wound suspect

    A man armed with a shotgun shot one person outside a North Carolina law firm Friday before darting across a busy street and wounding three others outside a Wal-Mart before officers subdued him, police said.

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    Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling is escorted Friday from the federal courthouse in Houston after being re-sentenced for his role in the energy giant’s collapse.

    Ex-Enron CEO Skilling resentenced to 14 years

    One of the country’s most notorious financial scandals came to a protracted legal conclusion Friday as ex-Enron Corp. CEO Jeffrey Skilling — already in prison for his role in the once-mighty energy giant’s collapse — was resentenced to 14 years as part of a court-ordered reduction and a separate agreement with prosecutors.

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    Westgate School music teacher Jerry Berger gets his head shaved for charity during an all-school assembly June 3 by principal Caz Badynee and Arlington Heights District 25 superintendent Sarah Jerome.

    Music teacher shaves head for cancer charity

    Westgate School music teacher Jerry Berger shaves his head for cancer during an all-school assembly June 3.r St. Baldrick's.

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    Firefighters arrive after a Jeep caught fire around noon Friday on eastbound Diehl Road at Davis Parkway in Warrenville.

    Fire destroys Jeep in Warrenville

    No one was injured when a 2012 Jeep started on fire and was destroyed by flames around noon Friday as it was parked near a Target store in Warrenville, authorities said. The driver left the Jeep because it was having mechanical problems and stepped away from the vehicle before it burst into flames, fire Lt. Al Thompson said.

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    Three teens charged in Gurnee auto burglaries

    Three teenagers are facing burglary charges after Gurnee police arrested them in connection with a string of auto break-ins. Police said they received a tip helping them link the teens to the burglaries.

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    Lake Zurich District 95 offers preschool screening

    Lake Zurich Unit District 95 will hold a preschool screening from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Thursday, July 18 for 3- and 4-year-old children for whom there may be concerns in the areas of gross or fine motor skills, speech-language, or conceptual development. In addition, a vision and hearing screening will be offered.

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    Grayslake pool honored for safety efforts

    Starfish Aquatics Institute awarded the village of Grayslake’s Esper A. Petersen Foundation Family Aquatic Center the prestigious Five Star Award following an unannounced performance audit of its lifeguards and management staff. “Very few aquatic facilities qualify to receive this honor,” said Leslie Donavan, president of Starfish.

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    Dist. 128 board to approve nonunion salaries

    The Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 board will meet Monday night to approve salaries and contracts for some non-unionized employees. Board members also will discuss the tentative budget for the 2013-14 term and review other issues.

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    Lake County hosts amateur radio “Field Day”

    The public is invited to learn about ham radio this weekend as Lake County Emergency Management and the Lake County Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES) participate in “Field Day,” a test of the Amateur Radio Emergency Services. More than 35,000 amateur radio operators across the country participated last year.

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    Man indicted in restroom video case at Elmhurst hospital

    A Franklin Park man has been indicted on charges he used a cellphone camera to videotape a woman in a restroom at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital. Salvador Perez, 49, of the 2500 block of Sonia Avenue, was arrested in May and formally indicted this week on a felony charge of unlawful videotaping.

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    There were minor injuries following an accident Friday morning involving two school buses that were transporting children from a Des Plaines Park District program.

    Two school buses collide in Des Plaines, minor injuries reported

    Two school buses carrying children from a Des Plaines Park District day camp bumped into each other Friday morning, causing minor injuries and damages, according to park district officials. Seven children were transported to multiple hospitals with injuries that paramedics characterized as minor.

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    Dramatic storm clouds moving into the northwest suburbs near Palatine Friday.

    Images: Friday’s storm
    Storms move through the Chicago suburbs early Friday afternoon bringing heavy rain, strong winds and lightning.

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    Geniah Phillips, 10, from left, Maya Lymas, 10, Genia Phillips, 5, and Raniya Freeney, 4, took part Wednesday in the free summer lunch program offered at Cornerstone Park in Elgin. The lunches are donated by the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

    Elgin summer lunch program includes play time

    Elgin's free summer lunch program for children younger than 18 includes games and other activities at “drop-in playgrounds” set up at five of the program's nine sites. This is the program's fourth year; last year, 12,901 free lunches were served throughout the summer, Elgin Parks and Recreation Director Randy Reopelle said.

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    Howard Lazarus

    Lazarus trial delayed pending mental health decision

    The trial of a Mundelein man authorities say tried to commit suicide-by-cop in the front lobby of the Vernon Hills Police Station has been pushed back to August while attorneys review whether Howard Lazarus belongs in Lake County's mental health court.

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    Kristina Kovarik

    Gurnee commitee to explore uses for land once pegged for memorial

    Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik has established an advisory committee to come up with possible public uses for village-owned land on Old Grand Avenue that once was planned as home to a memorial for troops who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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    Kane County Coroner Rob Russell, left, Brooks Ronzheimer, top, St. Charles Township Cemetery Superintendent Roger Ronzheimer, center, and St. Charles Township Supervisor John Anderson, with the list of names, put unclaimed cremains in their final resting place at North Cemetery in St. Charles Township.

    Unclaimed remains of 161 laid to rest in St. Charles Township

    In a ceremony lasting about 20 minutes, a crypt in St. Charles Township's North Cemetery became the final resting place for 161 people whose family either forgot or abandoned their ashes to the whims of the Kane County coroner's office or a local funeral home. “I never had any idea there were so many unclaimed people until we started asking,” St. Charles Township Supervisor John...

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    Robert Roth, 24, of Venetian Village

    Lake Villa chief’s son avoids prison, gets jail time, home monitoring

    The son of Lake Villa Police Chief Ron Roth was remanded to the Lake County jail early Friday after pleading guilty to a charge of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol stemming from a crash last year that injured his three passengers. Robert Roth must serve 30 days of periodic imprisonent in the county jail and spend five months on home detention.

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    Cadence Health is seeking permission from Winfield to construct a new Ronald McDonald House near Central DuPage Hospital.

    Winfield reviews plans for McDonald House

    Cadence Health is moving ahead with plans to bring a Ronald McDonald House to the Western suburbs. The health system has asked Winfield to approve a planned development so the house could be constructed across the street from Central DuPage Hospital. On Thursday night, the village board forwarded the request to the plan commission.

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    The annual Bud's Run 5K run/walk raises money to support the Sarcoma Foundation of America. It's organized in memory of longtime Glenbard North cross country and track coach Bud Swanson, who died of the disease.

    Bud's Run honors former Glenbard North coach

    Former Glenbard North girls' cross country and track coach Harold “Bud” Swanson helped shape high school — and for some, college — athletic careers, but he also taught his students off-the-track lessons they could hold onto forever. And so 10 years after Bud's death, his legacy lives on, with dozens of his former student-athletes coming back to do what he loved best:...

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    High wire performer Nik Wallenda walks across a wire as he practices Tuesday, June 18, 2013 in Sarasota, Fla. Wallenda, a seventh generation high-wire walker, will attempt to walk across the Grand Canyon on Sunday, June 23, 2013.

    Wallenda to cross gorge near Grand Canyon on wire

    Nik Wallenda, the Florida-based daredevil, acrobat and heir to the famed Flying Wallendas circus family, is afraid of only one thing. “I would say the only thing I fear is God,” said the 34-year-old. On Sunday, Wallenda will attempt to walk on a tightrope stretched across the Little Colorado River Gorge near the Grand Canyon.

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    People raise their hands in celebration during the summer solstice shortly after 4:52 a.m. at the prehistoric Stonehenge monument, near Salisbury, England, Friday, June 21, 2013. Following an annual all-night party, thousands of New Agers and neo-pagans danced and whooped in delight at the ancient stone circle Stonehenge, marking the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.

    Stonehenge gathering marks summer solstice

    Police say more than 20,000 celebrants have gathered at the famed Stonehenge monument to mark the summer solstice. The cloud cover Friday morning prevented bright sunshine at dawn of the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere but a joyous spirit prevailed.

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    Michelle Flores

    District 62 appoints two elementary principals

    The Des Plaines Elementary District 62 school board this week appointed two new principals for South and North elementary schools. Michelle Flores was named principal at South, and Howard Coleman was named North’s principal. Their first day is July 1.

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    Protesters gesture to riot police as they stand in front of a burning barricade during an anti-government protest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, June 20, 2013. More than half a million Brazilians poured into the streets of at least 80 Brazilian cities Thursday in demonstrations that saw violent clashes and renewed calls for an end to government corruption and demands for better public services.

    Brazil leaders to meet as protests, violence grow

    Brazil awoke Friday to city centers still smoldering after a night that shocked the nation: 1 million anti-government protesters took to the streets in scores of cities, with clusters battling police and destroying swaths of storefronts and government buildings. President Dilma Rousseff called an emergency meeting with top Cabinet members Friday, after a largely silent and much criticized...

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    Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., said Thursday, June 20, 2013, he’s been working with colleagues to craft immigration reform that’s gaining momentum in the Senate. He says the measure will secure the U.S. border to the south and create a “tough but fair” path to citizenship.

    Senate immigration bill bolstered by border deal

    Far-reaching immigration legislation offering the prize of U.S. citizenship to millions is swiftly gaining ground in the Senate following agreement between Republicans and Democrats on dramatic steps aimed at securing the border with Mexico. The deal to double Border Patrol agents and fencing along the Southwest border has won support from four Republican senators, including Illinois' Mark Kirk.

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    Cars and homes are submerged in floodwaters in High River, Alberta, Thursday, June 20, 2013. Calgary city officials say as many as 100,000 people could be forced from their homes due to heavy flooding in western Canada, while mudslides have forced the closure of the Trans-Canada Highway around the mountain resort towns of Banff and Canmore.

    Flooding may force 100,000 from west Canada homes

    Calgary’s mayor warned Friday that the worst of the flooding is yet to come after a significant portion of his city’s population spent the night pulling back to higher ground. Officials have estimated that as many as 100,000 could be out of their homes. Entire neighborhoods all along the Bow and Elbow rivers have been cleared of inhabitants as many downtown neighborhoods were ordered evacuated in...

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    George Zimmerman looks at information on a laptop during jury selection in his trial in Seminole circuit court in Sanford, Fla., Thursday, June 20, 2013. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder for the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

    Attorneys clear issues in Zimmerman trial

    Prosecutors in opening statements may say that George Zimmerman profiled Trayvon Martin but they may not say the Miami teen was racially profiled by the neighborhood watch volunteer. Judge Debra Nelson made that ruling Friday ahead of Monday’s expected opening statements in Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial.

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    Travis Wohlrab, a Vernon Hills High School graduate, is traveling to southern Africa for a two-year volunteer commitment with the Peace Corps.

    Vernon Hills man leaves family for two-year Peace Corps tour in Lesotho

    Travis Wohlrab will miss watching his favorite Chicago sports teams. He will miss burritos from his favorite restaurant. And, of course, he’ll miss family and friends. But Wohlrab left his Vernon Hills home June 5 and looked forward to traveling 8,500 miles to help people less fortunate for the next two years through the Peace Corps.

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    The White House says President Barack Obama plans to announce Friday his new choice to lead the FBI in James Comey, former President George W. Bush’s No. 2 at the Justice Department.

    Obama nominating Comey as FBI director

    President Barack Obama has chosen a former George W. Bush administration official best known for a dramatic hospital bedside standoff against a warrantless wiretapping program to head the FBI for the next decade. White House officials are hoping that James Comey’s bipartisan background and two decades of law enforcement experience will help him win Senate approval to replace outgoing FBI Director...

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    Obama to meet with privacy, civil liberties board

    President Barack Obama is holding his first meeting with a privacy and civil liberties board Friday as he seeks to make good on his pledge to have a public discussion about secretive government surveillance programs. Obama has said the little-known Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board will play a key role in that effort. The federal oversight board reviews anti-terror programs to ensure...

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    Summers past at Centennial Beach in Naperville.

    Warm weather arrives with first official day of summer

    Break out the sun screen and get ready to crank up the air conditioning because summer has finally arrived, meteorologists are saying. Bill Nelson, with the National Weather Service, said temperatures will reach the upper 80s or low 90s this afternoon, then remain and linger in that range until Wednesday of next week.

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    Preservation group restoring old Indiana lodge

    A nearly century-old lodge building in southwestern Indiana is being rescued from demolition with help from a historic preservation group.Indiana Landmarks says it’s working with money from the philanthropic, Indianapolis-based Efroymson Family Fund to purchase and restore the Odd Fellows Lodge in New Harmony, which had been foreclosed.

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    Filing: Gov doesn’t want challenge to surveillance

    Lawyers for a U.S. citizen charged with terrorism in Chicago said Friday in a filing that the government is purposely dodging questions about whether it used expanded secret surveillance programs against their client in a calculated bid to ensure the hotly debated practices can’t be challenged in the Supreme Court.

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    July sentencing in World War II veteran’s beating

    A July sentencing date is set for a Pekin man who has pleaded guilty to brutally beating a World War II veteran. The Pekin Daily Times reports that 19-year-old Charles Cheney will be sentenced on July 17. He faces up to 35 years in prison.

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    A male addax antelope calf is seen with his mother, Sara, 4, shortly after his birth at the Brookfield Zoo

    New, rare antelope born at Brookfield Zoo

    Brookfield Zoo has added one new antelope to its animal population and expects to have more over the next few weeks.The zoo said Thursday that the new addax antelope was born June 7. The new calf is a male and was born on exhibit so visitors could witness its first moments. He weighed 19 pounds.

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    Michel LíHour, left, director of Franceís Department of Underwater Archaeological Research, talks with colleague Olivia Hulot before diving .

    Griffin shipwreck not found, but explorers pressing on

    After nearly a week of searching the muddy Lake Michigan bottom, a research team has failed to find the wreckage of a 17th century ship — but leaders said Thursday they weren’t giving up. The mission to locate the Griffin, which was commanded by the French explorer Rene Robert Cavelier de la Salle and disappeared in 1679, was buoyed earlier this week as French underwater archaeologists inspected...

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    Helmut Stankevicius of Elmhurst is a former veteran of the U.S. Army’s 9th Division who honored the fallen Thursday during the opening ceremonies for The Wall That Heals, a traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial displayed in Bensenville’s Redmond Park.

    Dawn Patrol: Arlington Hts. car fire rescue; Aurora hit-and-run shock

    Brother of Aurora teen hurt in hit-and-run shocked. Man saved from burning car in Arlington Heights. 11 cases of E. coli outbreak from Lombard restaurant. Small fire at Northwest Community Hospital. Vietnam veterans wall replica in Bensenville.

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    A common snapping turtle suffered damage to its shell and jaw when it was hit by a car. It's in rehab with two other turtles at the Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn.

    Why turtles cross suburban roads (and get hurt)

    It's that time of year again when pregnant turtles leave their watery homes to look for higher and drier spots to lay their eggs. But their travels often take them across area roads and highways, putting themselves and sometimes motorists in danger. “When the females go up to nest, they are on a mission,” said Kevin Luby, of the Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn.

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    Dhitu Bhagwakar is owner of the Des Plaines Theatre, which is reopening Saturday after five months spent repairing a partial ceiling collapse.

    Des Plaines Theatre to reopen Saturday

    The historic Des Plaines Theatre is gearing up to reopen Saturday after nearly five months of inactivity due to a partial ceiling collapse near the stage area. Theater owner Dhitu Bhagwakar said he has bookings for shows all summer through November, but the theater still needs a lot of work. "I am looking into some investor or somebody who has interest in the community to be a partner," he said.

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    A dancer’s silhouette at Center for Ballroom and Dance in Deer Park on Saturday, June 8th.

    Images: Photo Contest Finalists
    Each week you submit your favorite photo. We pick the best of the bunch and select 12 finlaists. Here are the finalists for the week of June 17th.

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    Laural Fisher of Glen Ellyn swabs the inside of her cheek during a bone marrow drive in Glen Ellyn.

    Poll Vault: Are you registered as an organ or tissue donor?

    Are you on the national bone marrow registry? Have you signed the back of your driver’s license to signify you’re an organ donor? Do you give blood? Have you or anyone in your family benefitted from an anonymous donor?

Sports

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    Pride ace Osterman handcuffs Bandits

    Cat Osterman won her league-best fourth decision of the season, striking out 11 in a distance performance to spark the USSSA Pride to a 5-0 victory over the Chicago Bandits in the second of a four-game series in Rosemont on Friday night.

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    Chicago White Sox's Alejandro De Aza hits a two-run home run off Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Bruce Chen during the sixth inning of a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, June 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

    White Sox roll to 9-1 win over punchless Royals

    Hector Santiago shut down the Royals' punchless offense for a career-best eight innings, and the White Sox roughed up Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie in a 9-1 rout Friday night. Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run homer and Alejandro de Aza added a two-run shot for the White Sox, who snapped a three-game skid with their best offensive output in nearly two weeks.

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    Matt Garza leaves during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros in Chicago, June 21, 2013. Chicago won 3-1.

    Garza not thinking about trading places

    Matt Garza may well be traded by the Cubs in the coming weeks, but he and the team are enjoying his stay in recent days. Garza worked into the ninth inning Friday as he beat the Houston Astros 3-1 at Wrigley Field.

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    Patrick Sharp, here getting a hug from Patrick Kane and his teammates after scoring in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals, has 10 playoff goals to lead the Hawks into Game 5 against the Boston Bruins at the United Center on Saturday.

    Like Kane, Sharp's a big-game player for Hawks

    Patrick Kane lives for the big moments.But so does Patrick Sharp.The Blackhawks have two big-game players with the potential to make the difference in the pivotal Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday at the United Center. On a team filled with stars such as Kane, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, it's Sharp who flies under the radar. But he is just as important to the team as anyone.“I'm not sure what the people out there are saying, but in here as a group, as a team, we know how important he is,” rookie left winger Brandon Saad said. “He knows that we look up to him and how well he's playing."

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    Patrick Sharp fell as teammates rushed to greet him after his goal in Game 4.

    Awkward celebration nets Sharp air time

    Patrick Sharp's awkward goal celebration after he scored on a power play in Game 4 got plenty of traction in Canada. TSN, Canada's version of ESPN, had it No.1 in its top 10 of celebrations gone wrong. “It was a little embarrassing, but I was excited about it,” Sharp said.

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    Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford gets in some practice Friday in Chicago. The Blackhawks will host the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final series Saturday.

    Hawks show some love for Crawford’s glove

    If Corey Crawford has a weak glove hand, that’s news to him and the Blackhawks. “Last series it was my blocker,” Crawford joked on Friday. Added teammate Patrick Kane: “I tried today and he stopped me glove side. I’ve seen goals go in all different ways and I’ve seen him make saves all different ways. I like his chances against them." Even the Boston Bruins, who scored 5 goals to Crawford's glove side in Game 4, said that wasn't the game plan, as Tim Sassone explains in today's Blackhawks notebook.

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    Boomers fall in 12 innings

    The Schaumburg Boomers lost an extra-inning contest for the first time this season, falling 3-1 in 12 innings to the Lake Erie Crushers in the opener of a series Friday night before 4,636.

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    Bernhard Langer hits his second shot on the 18th fairway during the first round of the Encompass Championship golf tournament on Friday, June 21, 2013, in Glenview, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Langer stays hot, leads Champions Tour event

    A 3-hour, 28-minute rain delay disrupted the return of the Champions Tour to Chicago on Friday, but it didn’t interrupt the season-long duel of the circuit’s two top players. Bernhard Langer, the season money leader and No. 2 in the season-long battle for the coveted Charles Schwab Cup, posted a 5-under-par 67 at North Shore Country Club in Glenview to share the first-round lead of the Encompass Championship with Duffy Waldorf and Craig Stadler.

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    Cougars rally but still fall

    After falling behind early, the Kane County Cougars fought back to tie before dropping a 4-2 decision to the Quad Cities River Bandits at Modern Woodmen Park on Friday.

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    Kimberly Stevens, who won state championships at Hinsdale Central and Big Ten titles at Iowa in swimming, will take part in her fourth Swim Across America event to raise funds in the fight against cancer.

    Obstacles aplenty, but Evanston resident making quite a splash

    Former swim star Kimberly Stevens, who won championships at Hinsdale Central and the University of Iowa, is now competing to raise funds for cancer research. The 47-year-old cancer survivor shares her story with Patricia Babcock McGraw in today's Women's Watch column.

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    Bruins coach Claude Julien encourages center Tyler Seguin during the second period of Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Hawks on Wednesday in Boston.

    What makes Bruins coach Julien tick?

    Lucic, Bergeron, Chara, Rask ... by now even the most casual of Blackhawks fans are quite familiar with most of the big name and big-game players on the Boston Bruins.But what about the steady hand that has guided this team to within two victories of its second Stanley Cup in three seasons? What about coach Claude Julien?

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    Chicago Fire at Columbus CrewWhen: 7 p.m. at Crew StadiumTV: Channel 50Scouting the Fire: The Fire (4-7-3, 15 points) is undefeated in its last six matches, including a U.S. Open Cup defeat June 13 of the Crew. A victory here, however, would be a big help as the eighth-place Fire tries to catch the seventh-place Crew and climb toward a playoff spot. Mike Magee has scored once in each of his five appearances since joining the Fire in late May. He seems likely to play despite suffering a back injury Wednesday.Scouting the Crew: Columbus (5-5-5, 20 points) has been hit hard by injuries lately, but it had an impressive win last week against first-place Montreal. Jairo Arrieta is back from national-team duty, but he might sit while team scoring leader Dominic Oduro gets his spot up top. Goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum is one of the league’s most underrated at that position.Next: Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Toyota Park in U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals.— Orrin Schwarz

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    Chicago Cubs starter Matt Garza delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros in Chicago, Friday, June 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

    Garza pitches into 9th, Cubs beat Astros 3-1

    Matt Garza pitched into the ninth inning and Anthony Rizzo hit his first home run since May 18 to lead the Cubs over the Houston Astros 3-1 on Friday after a rain delay that lasted more than 3 hours.The subject of trade speculation, Garza (2-1) allowed four hits and struck out eight in eight-plus innings for his first win since beating Arizona on May 31

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    Chicago Sky scouting report

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    Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy (8) saw a lot of action in Game 3 (above) of the Stanley Cup Final, but only played a few minutes in Game 4 against the Boston Bruins.

    Hawks expect more ice time for Leddy

    For whatever reason, and the guesses are numerous, Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy was the odd man out Wednesday, taking just 4 shifts on the night for a total of 2:37 of ice time as coach Joel Quenneville opted to go with a five-man rotation on defense.“I’m not really sure,” Leddy said, when asked about his reduced ice time in Boston. “It could’ve been just how the game was going. But my focus isn’t on that, it’s more on just being ready.”

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    Blackhawks vice president and general manager Stan Bowman knows there will be some turnover with next year's roster but he's optimistic the team and keep some key players.

    One-on-one with the Blackhawks GM

    In a two-part interview, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman talks with Team Historian Bob Verdi about next year's potential roster changes, the players he's hoping to keep, and the challenges of the NHL salary-cap. Check out what he has to say about Bryan Bickell, Nick Leddy and Marcus Kruger, as well as Ray Emery, Michal Rozsival and Viktor Stalberg.

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    Miami Heat fans climb the sign stanchion outside American Airline Stadium while celebrating in Miami on Thursday June 20, 2013 after the Heat won the 2013 NBA Championship against the San Antonio Spurs. The Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 in Game 7 of the NBA finals to win their second straight title.

    Miami celebrates Heat victory, Spurs fans somber

    Miami Heat fans pumped fists jubilantly, uncorked champagne bottles and swarmed into the streets by the thousands to celebrate overnight after their team captured its second straight NBA title. The street celebration erupted in the closing seconds of the Heat's 95-88 win over the San Antonio Spurs. It was a winner-takes-all final game that brought fans streaming into the area around the Arena to exchange high-fives, blow whistles and scream themselves hoarse.

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    The Miami Heat’s LeBron James, left, holding the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy and his Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award after Game 7 of the NBA basketball championship game against the San Antonio Spurs, Friday, June 21, 2013, in Miami. The Miami Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 to win their second straight NBA championship. Former NBA player Bill Russell looks on.

    ReHeat: LeBron wouldn’t let Miami lose

    LeBron James will always remember his first championship. History will remember this one. A Game 6 comeback when it appeared to be over, then a stirring Game 7 victory over a proud opponent cemented a place with the NBA’s giants for this Miami team and its leader. “Last year when I was sitting up here with my first championship, I said it was the toughest thing I had ever done,” James said. “This year, I’ll tell last year he’s absolutely wrong. This was the toughest championship right here between the two.”

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    The cast of "The Sopranos" was as dominant in the ''90s as Michael Jordan's Bulls team, according to Mike North. From left: Tony Sirico, Steven Van Zandt, James Gandolfini, Michael Imperioli and Vicint Pastore. Gandolfini died Wednesday in Italy at age 51.

    ‘Sopranos’ had a lot in common with MJ’s Bulls

    When Mike North needs a sports break, "The Sopranos" make a great alternate watch. He compares James Gandolfini and "The Sopranos" cast to Michael Jordan and the Bulls: both brilliant and unstoppable.

Business

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    Specialist Christopher Carella watches his screens Thursday as he works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

    Stocks recover from 2-day plunge

    The gains were led by high-dividend stocks that investors favor when they want to play it safe. Makers of consumer staples, utilities, and health care companies rose the most of the 10 industries in the S&P 500 index. Only technology stocks fell.

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    United Airlines planes taxi at San Francisco International Airport.

    FAA moving toward easing electronic device use

    The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that a draft report by an advisory committee indicates its 28 members have reached a consensus that at least some of the current restrictions should be eased.

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    Streamwood repeals ban on video gambling devices

    After hearing from local business owners and reviewing what nearby municipalities have done, the Streamwood village board approved an ordinance Thursday lifting the village’s ban on video gaming devices. Streamwood has prohibited video gaming devices since 2004, but village officials decided to reconsider the ban after the neighboring communities of Bartlett, Hanover Park, Elgin and Hoffman Estates started to allow video gaming terminals.

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    Specialist John Parisi, right, works with traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. U.S. stocks rose in morning trading on Friday as traders regrouped following the biggest drop of the year.

    U.S. stocks open higher after 2-day plunge

    U.S. stocks rose in morning trading on Friday as traders regrouped following the biggest drop of the year. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 50 points, or 0.3 percent, to 14,809 after the first half-hour of trading Friday. The Dow plunged 560 points Wednesday through Thursday after the Federal Reserve said it could wind down its bond-buying program by the middle of next year.

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    AbbVie declares 40 cent per share dividend

    The board of directors of AbbVie Inc. declared a quarterly cash dividend of 40 cents per share, payable Aug. 15 to stockholders of record at the close of business on July 15.

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    Fortune Brands acquires WoodCrafters for $300 million

    Fortune Brands Home & Security said it has acquired WoodCrafters Home Products, a privately-owned manufacturer of bathroom vanities and vanity sink tops for $300 million.

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    Venture One buys buildings in Buffalo Grove, Naperville

    Venture One Real Estate, through its VK Industrial II acquisition fund, has closed on two industrial buildings in Buffalo Grove and Naperville totaling 158,189 square feet.

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    Doctors providing primary care in Illinois can get higher Medicaid reimbursement rates through the end of 2014.

    Primary care doctors in Illinois can get Medicaid rate boost

    Doctors providing primary care in Illinois can get higher Medicaid reimbursement rates through the end of 2014. Illinois officials are reminding doctors to sign up online for the higher rates, which are expected to increase by an average of 93 percent. If doctors sign up by June 30 they can get reimbursed at the higher rate retroactively to the beginning of this year.

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    An audit says more than 1 in 7 Illinois roads need to be repaired, four years after the state approved tax increases to pay for a $31 billion road construction program.

    Audit: Illinois roads worsen despite extra funding

    An audit says more than 1 in 7 Illinois roads need to be repaired, four years after the state approved tax increases to pay for a $31 billion road construction program. The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports 15 percent of Illinois roads needed to be repaired in 2012. That’s up from 10.8 percent in 2010.

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    Chicago hotels continue to enjoy near-record occupancy, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel says it’s a positive sign tourism is up in the nation’s third-largest city.

    Chicago hotels record near-record occupancy

    Chicago hotels continue to enjoy near-record occupancy, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel says it’s a positive sign tourism is up in the nation’s third-largest city. Emanuel and the tourism office Choose Chicago announced Thursday hotels reported 81.2 percent occupancy in May. That’s an 8.5 percent increase over May 2012.

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    Gogo, an Itasca-based provider of internet services on airlines, has raised $187 million from an initial public offering of 11 million shares.

    Gogo raises $187 million from IPO of 11 million shares
    Gogo, an Itasca-based provider of internet services on airlines, has raised $187 million from an initial public offering of 11 million shares. The offering was priced at $17 per share, at the high end of the projected $15 to $17 range. The underwriters may buy up to about 1.7 million additional shares to cover any excess demand.

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    At left, Anatoly Delm of Motorola Solutions demonstrates the Next Generation Patrol Car at the Motorola Solutions Innovation Showcase 2013. At right, David Bellows demonstrates how an Overhead RFID Reader would work in a retail store as it quickly knows what’s in a basket.

    Motorola Solutions touts its latest innovations

    A squad car that can speed up to 100 mph and still read license plates. A retailer that can get inventory and tell you where your item is in seconds. A touch screen concierge that helps shoppers find an item, buy it, get reviews, and offer live chat for advice. Such technology is coming soon, and Motorola Solutions Inc. is at the heart of it.

Life & Entertainment

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    Dave Siemiaszko of Wheeling listens to the judges' critique after auditioning for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent.

    First 15 of Top 30 ready to hit the stage

    Suburban Chicago's Got Talent is back and bigger than ever. There is a talented roster of 30 finalists versus 20 from last year for the summer-long talent competition presented by the Daily Herald, produced by the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre and sponsored by the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce. That means that two sets of 15 acts will each compete over two different nights (7 p.m. on Sundays, June 23 and July 7) at the Metropolis. The field will then be cut in half, with 15 acts moving on.

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    Local theater: ‘Jungle Book’ arrives
    Eclectic Theater brings its abridged Shakespeare to the Metropolis in Arlington Heights. Theatre-Hikes opens its season with "The Three Musketeers" and Goodman Theatre premiere's its long-awaited "The Jungle Book" this week in theater.

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    Associated Press File Photo Celebrity chef and TV personality Paula Deen appears on the “Today” show to discuss her diabetes in New York. Deen was a no-show Friday at the “Today” show, where she was scheduled to appear to answer questions about past use of racial slurs.

    Food Network won’t renew Paula Deen’s contract

    The Food Network said Friday it’s dumping Paula Deen, barely an hour after the celebrity cook posted a videotaped apology online begging forgiveness from fans and critics troubled by her admission to having used racial slurs in the past.

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    SH13F003HOMESTYLE June 3, 2013 -- Placing an area rug under a table reinforces the table's position as the focal point of the room and keeps it from feeling like it's floating in the space. (SHNS photo courtesy Nell Hill's)

    Area rugs define spaces in a large room

    I love all the hardwood floors in my historic home. But without area rugs to break up the great expanses of wood, the rooms would feel cold and empty. Area rugs don’t just lie around on the floor, collecting cat hair (maybe that’s only in my house?). They are a decorating essential that enables you to finish a room with finesse.

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    A set of three French haberdashery busts of heavy-duty plaster are from Added Oomph!, an accessories store in High Point, N.C.

    Heads up: The bust is making a comeback

    No matter where your gaze traveled at the recent High Point Furniture Market, it landed on a bust. Not the kind that comes in cup sizes, but the portraits sculpted since antiquity to memorialize the memorable or the wealthy.

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    Jenny Kendall of Palatine, who had high hopes for her “blank canvas” of a backyard, is one of two grand prize winners in the Daily Herald's Get Your Summer On contest. Her $10,000 package includes a design by RYCO Landscaping incorporating Belgard patio pavers, lighting from NorthWest Lighting and Accents, a patio set from Northwest Metalcraft and plantings from Lurvey Garden Center. Gordon Food Service and Binny's will provide party fixings.

    Summer outdoor makeover contest winners named

    Sometimes life doesn't turn out exactly as you plan it or you are so busy making ends meet, that you have no time or money left to indulge yourself. Those were recurring themes in the entries for our “Get Your Summer On” outdoor makeover contest. Our two grand prize winners illustrate both scenarios.

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    Linda Cardellini as Sylvia Rosen, left, and Jon Hamm as Don Draper in “Mad Men.”

    ‘Mad Men’ ends season with Draper at new low

    Breaking up is hard to do. That is, unless you’re “Mad Men,” which this season has been free-and-easy in its fragmentation. By now Peggy Olson and her radical beau are splitsville. So are Pete Campbell and wife Trudy, who caught him philandering one too many times. Twice-wed Roger Sterling, currently solo, saw his knotty relationship with his mom torn asunder with her death this season, and he’s alienated from his daughter and grandson. And don’t forget the latest romantic entanglement of Don Draper,

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    Celebrity chef and TV personality Paula Deen, seen here with co-host Al Roker last year, was a no-show on Friday’s “Today” show where she was scheduled to appear to answer questions about past use of racial slurs.

    Embattled Paula Deen a no-show on ‘Today’

    Celebrity cook Paula Deen was a no-show Friday at the “Today” show, where she was scheduled to appear to answer questions about past use of racial slurs. “Today” host Matt Lauer told viewers he had spoken with Deen the day before to arrange what NBC had promoted as an exclusive, live appearance.But shortly before the show went on the air Friday, Lauer said he was told by a Deen representative that she was pulling out.

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    A custom 1965 Dodge D200 truck stands near Malibu, Calif. Jonathan Ward, owner and head designer of Los Angeles-based custom automobile maker Icon, and his crew spent a year on the Dodge.

    Custom $280,000 pickup pilfers parts from Rolls

    Talk about pricing what the market will bear. How about $280,000 for an old Dodge pickup? Or $190,000 for a 1950s station wagon-cum-jalopy covered in rust? These are the kind of prices charged by Jonathan Ward, owner and head designer of Icon, a Los Angeles-based custom automobile maker.

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    ‘Jack’ slays giants on DVD

    Daily Herald Home Entertertainment Correspondent Jeff Tuckman this week reviews “Jack the Giant Slayer,” director Bryan Singer’s excellent fantasy film that mixes live action with CGI special effects, plus “The Beach Boys: Good Vibrations Tour” video, plus “TCM Greatest Legends: Gene Kelley” and “TCM Greatest Legends: John Wayne” and tops it off with “TCM Greatest Legends: Paul Newman.”

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    “World War Z,” starring Brad Pitt, is based on the 2006 sci-fi novel “World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War” by Max Brooks (son of Mel).

    Brad Pitt tries to build a better blockbuster

    Brad Pitt wanted to build a better blockbuster. During the years Hollywood shifted toward increasingly bigger spectacles, one of the movies' biggest stars largely stayed on the sidelines. But the zombie apocalypse “World War Z” is Pitt's bold, big-budget effort to enter the franchise fray. It's his attempt to engineer not just a disaster thrill ride but to make a thought-provoking action flick filled with geopolitical questions.

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    James Gandolfini died Wednesday, June 19, 2013 in Italy. He was 51.

    Friend: James Gandolfini died of heart attack

    An autopsy on James Gandolfini confirmed the “Sopranos” star died of a heart attack, with no evidence of substance abuse or foul play, a family friend said Friday.“There’s nothing out of the ordinary. It was a heart attack. It was a natural cause,” Michael Kobold told reporters.

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    Dee Dee (Mary-Margaret Roberts), Flo (Carrie Weis), Sally (Stephanie Herman) and Millie (Carol Rose) consult the Magic 8 Ball in Fox Valley Repertory’s “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?”

    Great songs make up for high jinks in Fox Valley’s ‘Fools’

    As someone who has giggled, swooned, whined and gossiped her way through many a “Girls’ Night In,” I can tell you “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” is every bit as fun, silly, fluffy, endearing and occasionally annoying as the real thing. The Fox Valley Repertory production is a romp through the ’60s featuring four friends who tackle the issues of love, marriage, fidelity and dating with a little help from tequila shots and sugar highs.

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    Marvel announced Thursday that Robert Downey Jr. will reprise his role as Iron Man/Tony Stark for both “The Avengers 2” and “The Avengers 3.”

    Downey Jr. signs on for 2 more ‘Avengers’ films

    Robert Downey Jr. has signed up for two more “Avengers” films. Marvel announced Thursday that the actor will reprise his role as Iron Man/Tony Stark for “The Avengers 2” and “The Avengers 3.”

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    Jack White, Kitty and Joe Jonas were among the winners of the O Music Awards wrapping up with performances in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville on Thursday.

    Jack White, Kitty, Joe Jonas win at O Music Awards

    Jack White, Kitty and Joe Jonas are among the winners of the O Music Awards. The off-kilter 24-hour awards show hosted by the MTV family of networks wrapped up Thursday night. White won the analog genius award.

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    Theater events
    Orocale Productions concludes its season with a revival of Clifford Odets "Waiting for Lefty;" Bailiwick Chicago Theater examines cultural identity in "Mahal;" Steppenwolf Theatre presents the Chicago area premiere of "Belleville" and Lance Baker reprises his award-winning role in Theater Wit's revival of "Thom Pain (based on nothing)" this week in Chicago area theater.

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    “Lexicon” by Max Barry

    'Lexicon' explores the power of words

    The power of words and the consequences of using them inappropriately are explored in fascinating ways in Max Barry's latest novel, “Lexicon.” A group of people known as “poets” can use specific words and phrases to compel and persuade another person to commit acts he or she normally wouldn't think of doing. “Lexicon” is a strange combination of romance, thriller and science fiction.

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    In honor of the Stanley Cup finals, Rosebud is mixing up a Blackhawks Berry Mojito at select restaurants.

    Night life events: Toast the Hawks at Rosebud

    Rosebud Restaurant’s slinging their Blackhawks tribute, the Blackhawks Berry Mojito; Greek Islands introduces a new line of drinks; Lombard Historical Society's Saucy Tales Pub Crawl.

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    Book notes: Weird Al signs his new children’s book at Anderson’s

    Singer, musician and author Weird Al Yankovic signs copies of his children's book "My New Teacher and Me!" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville. Purchase of Yankovic's book from Anderson's is required for a place in the book-signing line.

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    Maintain brick pavers for long-lasting great look

    Brick pavers are just wonderful. Whether you are doing a walkway, patio or even a driveway, if done correctly, they will look great for many years with little trouble. Even the problems that you might have are easy to fix. Here are solutions to those issues and how you easily can take care of them yourself:

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    Actor James Gandolfini, who died Wednesday, had a number of projects in the works.

    James Gandolfini leaves behind 2 completed films

    James Gandolfini left behind numerous projects in various states of development, including two films that have already completed production. The 51-year-old actor, who died Wednesday, had been busy, appearing in a flurry of late 2012 releases, including the Osama bin Laden hunt thriller “Zero Dark Thirty,” the stylish crime saga “Killing Them Softly” and the 1960s coming-of-age drama “Not Fade Away,” which reteamed him with “Sopranos” creator David Chase. Gandolfini continued to gravitate toward character actor roles, several of which will now be released posthumously.

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    The Orchards, a new townhouse development by M/I Homes in Lombard, features three, two-story floor plans in its Charlestown Series.

    New Lombard townhouse community opens model home

    Fresh designs, adaptable space and attractive pricing beckon buyers to The Orchards, a new townhouse community in Lombard. With wooded views and quiet cul-de-sacs, the development by M/I Homes showcases its Charlestown Series of three, two-story designs, including the Braeden model.

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    Gas company shortchanges customer safety

    Q. In one of your articles, you recommended calling the gas company for a free safety checkup of gas-burning fixtures such as furnaces, water heaters, and ranges. You said that this service is provided routinely by natural gas providers. When I called my gas company, they said that they no longer perform free diagnostic services and haven’t done so for several years. I also learned that they did not appreciate your article and were planning to bring this to your attention. Just thought you’d like to know.

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    Someone is watching home buyers

    You can call it Big Brother. You can call it high-tech snooping. But be aware: If you are applying for a mortgage in the coming weeks, you can be sure that your credit will be checked and rechecked — possibly monitored daily.

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    IRS streamlines calculations for the home-office deduction

    A new policy at the Internal Revenue Service will make it much easier for many taxpayers to take write-offs for the business use of their homes.

Discuss

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    Editorial: Suburban quality of life still healthy

    Amid gloomy reports, the suburban quality of life remains healthy, and that's reason to kick up our heels, a Daily Herald editorial says.

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    Cafe moving ahead over resident protest
    Letter to the editor: Christine Dolgopol criticizes the Wheeling Village Board for going ahead with a cafe that has both gaming and alcohol sales, despite neighbors protests.

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    Legislators: Time to back special needs families
    Letter to the editor: Mike Baker of Schaumburg tells state and federal lawmakers that the costs of supporting autistic people goes up exponentially as children grow into adults -- so the time to engage with them is now.

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    HEHS athletes deserve better
    Letter to the editor: Edward Stoczynski of Hoffman Estates criticizes the Hoffman Estates High School Atheltic Department for not giving student athletes their due. "Isn’t it time to make changes and show someone cares for their kids?" he writes.

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    Orchard trying to work with neighbors
    Letter to the editor: Cathy Richardson defends The Orchard's need for more parking at its Arlington Hts. church, and says the church is being cast in an unfair light. "It makes me sad when The Orchard is portrayed as the “villain” when we, as Good Neighbors, are trying to find a solution," she writes.

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