Daily Archive : Sunday July 21, 2013


    Sanautica Hicks-Ross, 18, searches an abandoned home Sunday near where three bodies were found in East Cleveland, Ohio.

    Ohio man charged with murder after 3 bodies found

    An Ohio man possibly influenced by a serial killer was charged Monday with aggravated murder after three bodies wrapped in trash bags were found in suburban Cleveland. A call to police led authorities to a home and a standoff with the man, who was eventually taken into custody, East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said.

    Sheridan Archbold of Yorkville sings during the Suburban Chicago's Got Talent competition Sunday night at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.

    Talent contest finalists push themselves

    It's getting serious now. The top 16 finalists of the Suburban Chicago's Got Talent competition performed Sunday at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights. Music was the talent most on display Sunday, but it took a variety of forms.

    In this Thursday, July 18, 2013 photo, Arizona natives Trey Moore, left, dressed as Superman, and Ben Dickinson, dressed as He-Man, walk through the main exhibit hall at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

    Images: Crazy, colorful costumes at Comic-Con International
    Pictures of attendees of this weekend's Comic-Con International in San Diego and their crazy, colorful costumes.

    Jim Borcia, father or Tony Borcia, shakes hands with prosecutor Ari Fisz following Borcia's emotional testimony at the recent sentencing hearing for David Hatyina at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan. Gov. Pat Quinn is set to sign legislation inspired by Tony Borcia's death.

    Quinn will sign boating safety bill inspired by child's death

    Almost exactly a year after the boating death of Libertyville 10-year-old Tony Borcia, Gov. Pat Quinn plans to sign legislation Sunday that would take away some intoxicated boaters' licenses to drive cars. Borcia was killed when he was hit by a 29-foot speed boat driven by David Hatyina of Bartlett. “It's a very personal situation for my family,” Sen. Julie Morrison said.

    From left, Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark) and Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen) attend the "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" panel Saturday at Day 4 of Comic-Con International in San Diego. "Catching Fire" opens Nov. 22 in theaters.

    Images: Celebs meet fans at Comic-Con International
    "Hunger Games," Marvel movies, an "X-Files" reunion, Metallica and more: See pictures from all the fun this weekend at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

    Ryan Cooper of Schaumburg plays guitar and sings during Suburban Chicago’s Got Talent competition Sunday night at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights. The summer long talent contest is presented by the Daily Herald and sponsored by the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce.

    Images: 16 Suburban Chicago’s Got Talent finalists perform
    The next round of the Suburban Chicago's Got Talent top 16 performed Sunday at the Metropolis in Arlington Heights.

    It appears former assistant U.S. attorney Patrick Collins won’t be sweeping in to clean up Metra’s mess. Metra board of directors officials said Sunday the agency had abruptly canceled a Monday meeting where they were expected to vote on hiring Collins, the prosecutor who sent former Gov. George Ryan to prison.

    Latest spin on Metra fiasco — no Collins

    It appears Metra won't be voting on a second investigation into allegations of misconduct Monday. The board was poised to hire former federal prosecutor Patrick Collins to clean house, but the damage control plan was derailed.


    Durbin introducing bill to encourage gun tracing

    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is introducing legislation to encourage law enforcement to report guns recovered from violent crimes to a national database so they may be traced.

    This aerial photo shows the Texas Giant roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas where a woman fell to her death Saturday in Arlington, Texas. Investigators will try to determine if the woman fell from the ride after, some witnesses said, she wasn’t properly secured.

    Company to inspect Texas coaster where woman fell

    A German roller coaster maker is sending officials to a North Texas amusement park to inspect a ride after a woman fell to her death. A project manager for Gerstlauer Amusement Rides in Germany said the company will investigate what led to Friday’s fatal accident at Six Flags Over Texas.


    GOP takes aim at NASA asteroid mission

    President Barack Obama’s proposed asteroid-lassoing mission, a key piece of NASA’s plan for human spaceflight in the next decade, is trying to make it through the House of Representatives without getting blown to smithereens.

    A man demonstrates Saturday at the federal courthouse in Richmond, Va., part of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network nationwide rallies to press for federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman.

    Despite outcry, stand-ground law repeals unlikely

    Despite an outcry from civil rights groups, a call for close examination by President Barack Obama and even a 1960s-style sit-in at the Florida governor’s office, the jury’s verdict that George Zimmerman was justified in shooting unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin is unlikely to spur change to any of the nation’s stand-your-ground self-defense laws.


    Wheaton police seek armed robber

    Wheaton police are looking for a man who robbed a gas station at gunpoint Saturday night. At 10:33 p.m. Saturday an unidentified man entered the Mobil Gas Station at 1000 E. Roosevelt Road in Wheaton and pointed a black semiautomatic handgun at two employees and said "Give me all your money," according to a news release.


    Missing Elmhurst couple found safe

    An elderly couple from Elmhurst who went missing Friday has been found safe downstate, police said Sunday. Vernon and Elaine Schweisthal, ages 89 and 85, were found about 11 a.m. in Bureau County, about 100 miles from their home, according to police.


    Police: Downers Grove deaths stem from domestic incident

    Police weren’t releasing any new information Sunday about a Downers Grove couple found stabbed to death in their home Friday. The deaths of Thomas F. Smith, 41, and Jennifer M. Smith, 39, remain under investigation.

    The GOP-led House of Representatives, led by Speaker of the House John Boehner, seen here, has tried 38 times to eliminate, defund or scale back the administration’s health care reform law since Republicans took control of the chamber in January 2011.

    House GOP on health care: For repeal, not replace

    Three years after campaigning on a vow to “repeal and replace” President Barack Obama’s health care law, House Republicans have yet to advance an alternative for the system they have voted more than three dozen times to abolish in whole or in part.

    Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder gave his blessing to emergency manager Kevyn Orr’s decision to file for bankruptcy for Detroit.

    Michigan governor says bankruptcy the right choice

    It wasn’t easy making Detroit the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy protection, but it was the right decision, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said Sunday as he, the city’s mayor and its emergency manager made the television talk show rounds.

    DAILY HERALD Rep. David McSweeney, a Barrington Hills Republican opposes a graduated income tax system in Illinois, saying it would take more tax dollars from the highest earners and would further drive companies — and jobs — out of the state.

    Democrats’ tax proposal sets stage for 2014 battle

    Illinois lawmakers who approved a temporary income tax increase in 2011 knew it could lead them to a difficult decision: Allow the increase to roll back as scheduled next year and cut state spending by about $7 billion, or cast the politically risky vote to make the tax hike permanent. Now a third option has surfaced: a graduated or “progressive” tax.


    Ask assessment questions

    The Wauconda Township assessor’s office is offering to answer questions about the 2013 assessment notices, which will be mailed July 24.


    Wauconda board meets Tuesday

    The Wauconda village board will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at village hall, 101 N. Main St., as a committee of the whole. Trustees are set to discuss a hotel feasibility study, water and sewer rates and other issues.


    Social service funds available

    Applications for social service funds for 2013-14 are available at the Libertyville Township office, 359 Merrill Court, Libertyville.


    Lawsuit against Aurora hospital hits a snag

    Lawsuits often drag on for years before a resolution is reached. Such is the case for a negligence lawsuit filed by a then 78-year-old woman who was attacked by a mentally ill man armed with a butter knife at an Aurora hospital.


    Anti-bullying rally benefit in Gurnee

    An anti-bullying rally to benefit the Global Alopecia Mission will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday, July 22 at Jump America, 880 Lakeside Drive, Gurnee.

    Nearly all Northwest suburban ComEd customers who lost power after Friday’s storms downed power lines across the region had their electricity restored by late Sunday morning, officials said.

    Power restored for nearly all ComEd customers

    Power in the Northwest suburbs has been restored to all but one customer affected by Friday’s storms, a ComEd official said Sunday. An estimated 18,000 customers in the Arlington Heights and Mount Prospect area lost power in the wake of Friday night’s storm, during which downed trees and fallen branches disrupted electrical lines.

    The McHenry Outdoor Theater is trying to raise funds to cover the estimated $130,000 cost of a digital projection system in hopes of keeping the theater open.

    McHenry drive-in fights to stay alive; Cascade goes digital

    The suburbs' only two remaining outdoor theaters present both sides of a digital conversion dilemma all theaters have to face. The Cascade Drive-In in West Chicago converted this spring, while the McHenry Outdoor Theater is trying to raise money to convert. Cascade is staying in business for the foreseeable future; McHenry's future is less certain.

    Belgium’s King Philippe, right, kisses the hand of Queen Mathilde as they stand on the balcony of the royal palace in Brussels on Sunday, July 21, 2013. Philippe has taken the oath before parliament to become Belgium’s seventh king after his father Albert II abdicated as the head of this fractured nation. Earlier Sunday, the 79-year-old Albert signed away his rights as the kingdom’s largely ceremonial ruler at the royal palace in the presence of Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo, who holds the political power in this 183-year-old parliamentary democracy.

    Philippe becomes king of Belgium

    King Philippe I became Belgium’s seventh monarch on Sunday’s national day after his father Albert abdicated as the head of this fractured nation. After he took the oath at the parliament filled with representatives of the 6 million Dutch-speaking Flemings and 4.5 million Francophones, Philippe insisted `’the wealth of our nation and our institutions consists in turning our diversity into a...

    In this Saturday, July 20, 2013, photo, Patricia Dorsey of Cincinnati cries during a rally in downtown Cincinnati protesting the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Rallies across the nation urged changes to self-defense laws and for federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman, who was acquitted in Martin’s shooting death last week.

    Across US, people rally for ‘Justice for Trayvon’

    Crowds chanted “Justice! Justice!” as people rallied in dozens of U.S. cities, urging authorities to press federal civil rights charges against a former neighborhood watch leader found not guilty in the shooting death of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin.

    In this Sept. 12, 2008 file photo provided by the U.S. Marine Corps., Capt. Andrew D’Ambrogi, Marine Attack Squadron 211 pilot, prepares to land an AV-8B Harrier at Auxiliary Airfield II, a simulated amphibious assault ship flight deck on the Barry M. Goldwater Range in Yuma, Ariz. Two U.S. fighter jets have dropped four unarmed bombs in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park when a training exercise went wrong, Tuesday, July 16, 2013.

    US drops unarmed bombs on Great Barrier Reef

    Two American fighter jets dropped four unarmed bombs into Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park last week when a training exercise went wrong, the U.S. Navy said, angering environmentalists.

    Voters fill out their ballots for the Japanese parliament’s upper house election at a polling station in Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday, July 21, 2013. Japanese voters are set to hand Prime Minister Shinzo Abe control of both houses of Parliament, giving him a mandate to extend his overhaul of the world’s third-biggest economy.

    Media: Japan ruling bloc wins upper house election

    Japanese broadcasters projected that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition won a majority of seats in the upper house of parliament in elections Sunday, giving it control of both chambers for the first time in six years.

    Determined not to be like her “Nana,” who always worried about others' opinions, Norma Hass of Sleepy Hollow never shies away from speaking her mind and being herself. The 80-year-old author tackles plenty of controversial topics in her bawdy new poetry book, “Venus Winked.”

    Octogenarian Sleepy Hollow poet relishes book cover flap

    "There once was a poet quite sage, ... an octogenarian who didn't let age ... get in her way ... when she had something to say, ... you'll want to read every last page." Celebrating the publication of her first book of poetry, 80-year-old Sleepy Hollow author Norma Hass relishes the controversy she creates by using a racy image on the cover.


    Quinn OKs new rules for tethering dogs outdoors

    Gov. Pat Quinn has signed into law new rules for tethering a dog outside. Quinn says the legislation ensures dogs are treated humanely.

    Actor Channing Tatum arrives at the 85th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday Feb. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles.\

    Channing Tatum thriller filming in Chicago

    A pair of movies filming in Chicago this summer will bring stuntmen, low-flying helicopters and, most important for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, $51 million in local jobs and economic development. The filming of science fiction thriller “Jupiter Ascending” began this weekend.

    Janice Borla is one of the featured vocalists during the “Hot Jazz — 6 Cool Nites” concert series at Naperville's North Central College.

    '6 Cool Nites' jazz series opens in Naperville

    Any jazz enthusiast will tell you no two performances are the same. Janice Borla says that will definitely be the case when she joins Jay Clayton and Peter Eldridge for the annual “Hot Jazz — 6 Cool Nites” concert series that opens at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 21, at Naperville's North Central College.

    Architect and designer Oliver Aguilar, a former Naperville resident now living in Chicago, will star on the new HGTV series, “Brother Vs. Brother” which premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday.

    Local architect competes on HGTV's 'Brother Vs. Brother'

    At different points in his life, Oliver Aguilar was a goat farmer in the Philippines, a struggling artist in Naperville, an acclaimed photographer and a suburban home designer. These days, Aguilar is an HGTV star. Aguilar, 45, now an architect and designer living in the West Loop, is cast in the new HGTV series, "Brother Vs. Brother” which premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday.

    In this 1980s photo provided by the University of Tennessee, Tennessee women's basketball player Mary Ostrowski poses for a photo in Knoxville, Tenn. A relative says Ostrowski has died. She was 51. Ostrowski's sister, Beth Hundman, says Ostrowski died Friday night, July 19, 2013, in Bristol, Va. Hundman says her sister was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, in 2007, and she died from complications from the illness. (AP Photo/University of Tennessee)

    Notable deaths last week

    A daring Russian female pilot from WWII, a news wire sevices pioneer and prisoners of war from Vietnam and WWII are among the notable deaths from the past week.



    Giovenco, Boomers win 5-3

    Riding a strong performance from Mike Giovenco, the Schaumburg Boomers won a road series for the fourth time in the last five tries, posting a 5-3 victory Sunday over the Washington Wild Things.


    Series sweep for Bandits

    Nikki Nemitz started in the circle for the Chicago Bandits on Sunday and guided the team to a 9-5 victory to complete the series sweep for the first time this season. The win was Nemitz’s second of the season.

    Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano grounds out to drive in a run against the Colorado Rockies in the ninth inning of the Rockies’ 4-3 victory on Sunday.

    Cubs can’t recover from rough start

    DENVER — The Chicago Cubs are piling up the hits.Unfortunately for them, they’re not getting them when it counts most.The Cubs outhit Colorado 10-5, but another dismal performance with runners in scoring position cost them in a 4-3 loss to the Rockies on Sunday.Starlin Castro had four hits, matching a career high, and Anthony Rizzo homered for Chicago, which lost its first series in three weeks after winning Friday night.“We’re probably lucky to win one in this series scoring three runs in each game and going 1 for 25 with runners in scoring position,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “That’s what I said coming out of the break, we’ve got to get better with men in scoring position. Obviously we’re in the same boat.”Tyler Chatwood pitched six strong innings, Nolan Arenado hit a go-ahead single to help the Rockies win the three-game series.The Cubs can point to the fact they were 0 for 9 with runners on second and third Sunday.“We had guys on all day and we didn’t get that big hit,” Rizzo said. “From the first inning on we threatened, but hats off to them for making the pitches.”The Cubs didn’t need runners in scoring position when they finally got to Chatwood in the sixth. Rizzo started the inning by homering into the left-field bleachers for his 14th of the season.One out later, Nate Schierholtz and Junior Lake hit back-to-back singles and both advanced on Chatwood’s errant pickoff throw, leading to Schierholtz scoring on Darwin Barney’s sacrifice fly as Chicago tied it at 2.The Rockies came right back in their half with help from Lake.With two outs, Edwin Jackson walked Carlos Gonzalez and, after Gonzalez stole second, also walked Michael Cuddyer.Arenado followed with a single to shallow center that Lake fielded on the run. Gonzalez beat his errant throw home, which sailed over the head of catcher Welington Castillo. The ball bounced off the backstop and rolled into the Rockies dugout, allowing Cuddyer to score from third. Arenado also came home but the umpires sent him back to second, ruling the ball dead when it rolled into the dugout.“I knew it was going to be high. It went past Welly’s glove and it hit off the wall,” said Jackson, who was backing up the play. “It’s just one of those unfortunate plays. Junior Lake has a strong arm, it was a hard-hit ball to center field and I knew he was coming up gunning. I wasn’t able to stop the ball.”Jackson (6-11) settled down after a rough start to go seven innings, allowing five hits and four runs three earned. ”First inning I left a couple of balls up and they took advantage,” he said. “That inning right there ended up being a key factor. I was able to come back and make adjustments and get the ball down.”Jackson, whose three-game winning streak was snapped, struck out five and walked two, both in the sixth.Chicago nearly tied it in the ninth. Castro led off with a double and scored on a groundout by Alfonso Soriano. Colby Ransom pinch-hit for Schierholtz and sent Rex Brothers’ 3-2 fastball just foul down the left-field line.Ransom walked, but Brothers struck out Lake to end the game.The Cubs are scheduled to have Matt Garza open a four-game series in Arizona on Monday amid speculation he could be traded. Sveum said he isn’t bothered by the trade rumors.“All I know is he’s pitching tomorrow. If I get a phone call and something changes, that’s the way it is,” Sveum said. “It’s not something that consumes me.”The players said it hasn’t bothered the team.“He’s handled it really well,” Rizzo said of Garza. “Outside the noise in the media it’s a joke in here and having fun with it. He’s gone about his business the right way and he’ll be ready to throw strong for us tomorrow.”

    Phil Mickelson celebrates after his final putt on the 18th green with his caddie Jim Mackay during the final round Sunday of the British Open Golf Championship at Muirfield, Scotland.

    Mickelson’s win entertaining because he earned it

    Phil Mickelson had to conquer a diabolical golf course to win the British Open. This was so entertaining, the world's best players should have to play near-major quality venues and conditions like Muirfield every week to earn the millions of dollars they compete for on the PGA Tour.


    White Sox’ Sale still excited about all-star experience

    Who can blame Chris Sale if he’s still glowing a bit about his experience at the all-star game? After all, the kid came up big on the big stage in the Big Apple, tossing a pair of shutout innings to help propel the American League to a 3-0 victory.


    Cubs scouting report
    Cubs scouting report

    White Sox left fielder Casper Wells robs the Braves’ Reed Johnson of a would-be, game-tying home run in the eighth inning Sunday.

    White Sox put it all together to stop Braves

    It could’ve gotten ugly. But it didn’t. And for White Sox fans who have witnessed all kinds of bad this season, it had to come as a pleasant surprise as the Sox beat Atlanta 3-1 on Sunday.


    Vogelbach’s single in 10th lifts Cougars

    Dan Vogelbach’s bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 10th inning provided the Kane County Cougars with their second consecutive victory as they downed the Lansing Lugnuts 6-5 on Sunday at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.

    White Sox outfielder Alejandro De Aza scores in Sunday’s first inning against the Atlanta Braves at U.S. Cellular Field.

    Sox rob Braves of late homer, win 3-1

    Left fielder Casper Wells robbed Reed Johnson of a home run in Sunday’s eighth inning to help the White Sox beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 at U.S. Cellular Field. With the White Sox leading 3-1, Wells leaped up against the left-field wall to make a spectacular catch and rob Johnson of the game-tying homer. It was one of several great defensive plays by the White Sox.

    Phil Mickelson of the United States holds up the Claret Jug trophy Sunday after winning the British Open Golf Championship at Muirfield, Scotland.

    Mickelson wins British Open with career round

    Phil Mickelson is mystified no more by links golf. He has his name etched in a silver claret jug to prove it. Mickelson delivered his best closing round ever in a major Sunday — at the British Open, of all places — when he ran off four birdies over the last six holes for a 5-under 66 at Muirfield to win the third leg of the career Grand Slam.


    The success of so-called frontier stock markets, mainly in Asia and Africa, has attracted U.S. investors eager to find the next set of rapidly growing countries now that Brazil and other emerging markets have fallen into a slump.

    Far-flung frontier markets lure more investors

    Bulgaria, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan. An itinerary for a traveler with a flair for languages or a list of scenes for a spy thriller set during the Cold War? Neither. It turns out they are among the countries with the best-performing stock markets in the world this year.

    John Vitko picks strawberries in Warren, Vt., but he would like to grow hemp to feed his chickens. Vermont has passed a law allowing farmers to grow hemp used for everything from rope to clothing. But the law clashes with federal rules that ban cultivation of the plant that is a distant cousin of marijuana.

    Vt., 8 states allow hemp growth; fed law conflicts

    Some Vermont farmers want to plant hemp now that the state has a law setting up rules to grow the plant, a cousin of marijuana that’s more suitable for making sandals than getting high. But federal law forbids growing hemp without a permit, so farmers could be risking the farm if they decide to grow the plant that the Drug Enforcement Agency basically considers marijuana.

    Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, right, and state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr leave a news conference in Detroit Friday after addressing the city’s bankruptcy.

    Autos troubles, race at root of Detroit collapse

    Blue-collar workers poured into the cavernous auto plants of Detroit for generations, confident that a sturdy back and strong work ethic would bring them a house, a car and economic security. It was a place where the American dream came true. And it did often. But the good times would not last forever.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel talks with Air Force personnel at Joint Base Charleston near Charleston, S.C., July 17, the last day of a three-day trip to visit bases in the Carolinas and Florida. Hagel informed Penatagon employees that cost-cutting furloughs will continue.

    Pentagon chief can’t offer hope in budget cuts

    The audience gasped in surprise and gave a few low whistles as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel delivered the news that furloughs, which have forced a 20 percent pay cut on most of the military’s civilian workforce, probably will continue next year, and it might get worse.

    In this December 2012 photo provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, Ames Laboratory, materials scientist Ryan Ott, left, and research technician Ross Anderson examine an ingot of magnesium and rare-earth metals as part of a project to optimize the process to reclaim rare earths from scraps of rare-earth-containing magnets in Ames, Iowa.

    Gold rush-era discards could fuel cellphones, TVs

    Across the West, early miners digging for gold, silver and copper had no idea that one day something else very valuable would be buried in the piles of dirt and rocks they tossed aside. There’s a rush in the U.S. to find key components of cellphones, televisions, weapons systems, wind turbines, MRI machines and the regenerative brakes in hybrid cars, and old mine tailings piles just might be the answer.


    Work Advice: How to deal high calorie events at work

    Karla L. Miller writes an advice column on navigating the modern workplace. Each week she will answer one or two questions from readers.


    Career Coach: Enthusiasm is contagious
    When you are with enthusiastic people or you are enthusiastic, it can really affect your entire experience. Not only that, but it can also impact your career success and advancement. For example, many employers have told me that when they evaluate job applicants, they not only look at their skills and experiences, but they also look for those who demonstrate enthusiasm.

    On Wednesday, a federal judge issued a damning finding that Apple conspired with five major book publishers to fix the price of e-books. The ruling is a chronicle of these firms’ incredible stupidity.

    The dumbest thing Apple ever did

    The battle for the e-book market was, at its heart, a fight between Steve Jobs’ and Jeff Bezos’ differing business philosophies. Amazon was bent on keeping prices low, even at the cost of profits. Apple, as ever, wanted to make sure that it could make a bundle on e-books.


    Insperity-Intuit provide small-business hiring gauge

    Intuit, maker of financial and tax-preparation software, will release on July 30 its monthly small-business employment index, which measures hiring at companies with fewer than 20 workers. Insperity, which offers human-resource services such as payroll processing to small- and mid-sized enterprises, will report on Aug. 1 the average number of work-site employees paid per month by its customers.


    Social media tips for small businesses

    If your small business doesn’t have a social media presence, you may be missing out on building brand loyalty with your customers or attracting new ones. “Social media is where the eyeballs are and that’s where you want to be,” says Steve Strauss, a small business author. “You can build your brand and establish it.”

    A Saturn Vue plug-in hybrid vehicle, left, is shown with a Smartlet charging station at the Coulomb Technologies exhibit at the Plug-In 2008 conference on plug-in hybrid vehicles in San Jose, Calif.

    ChargePoint about to launch next-generation station
    ChargePoint is the largest operator of electric-vehicle charging stations, with some 12,000 publicly accessible chargers across 14 countries, including about 70 percent of all U.S. chargers. Right now, it’s a small market. But it won’t be for long if cars like the Tesla Model S and the suddenly resurgent Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf continue to catch on. That’s why it’s noteworthy that ChargePoint is about to launch its next-generation charging station.

    Josh Morton boxes bottles of his Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur at his production facility in Brooklyn. Morton has expanded his market by hiring a social media marketer who has connected him with clients via Twitter.

    Technology can provide a boost for small business

    Whether it’s a web-based tool like the invoice system, a software program, social media sites or mobile payment systems that allow them to take payments using a smartphone, small business owners are often slow to invest in, and use, technology. “They’re stymieing their growth,” says Ramon Ray, an author and editor at Smallbiztechnology.com, a media company that educates small businesses about technology.

    Frankie Morris, left, fills a costumer’s order at the Dunkin’ Donuts store, in Franklin, Tenn. Dunkin’ Donuts offers seniors who purchase a large or extra-large beverage a free doughnut, but you have to show your AARP card.

    Smart Spending: How to ferret out senior discounts

    NEW YORK — There’s a big silver lining to getting older: a bevy of discounts for you to enjoy, from free samples to discounts on car rentals. For many of these incentives, you don’t have to be anywhere near 65. In fact, some can be enjoyed starting at 50. Of course, to get the freebies or the 20 percent off, you’ll have to admit your age — and then most likely flash your ID, but it can be well worth it.“Every penny counts,” said Jodi Furman, author of a blog called Livefabuless.com, who said she’s seeing more discounts that start at age 50 than just a few years ago. “All you have to do is mention your age.”Here are some strategies and tips:Don’t be shy Many stores or restaurants don’t broadcast their discounts. Even on their websites, the offers can be hard to find. So just ask the manager what’s available. What’s the worst that can happen? And you may even get your ego stroked when the person at the cash register thinks you’re much younger than you are. “Today people are more comfortable with their age — and asking for discounts,” said Alison Jatlow Levy, a retail strategist at consulting firm Kurt Salmon. She also encourages shoppers to think broadly and look at every area, from spas to electronics. Join AARP and other groupsOnce you’re 50, you can sign up to be a member of AARP, which provides benefits like discounts and freebies to its members through affiliate partners. It costs $16 to be a member for the year, but less than that if you want a membership for several years. There are other organizations like the American Seniors Organization that offer benefits, too. Research onlineDiscounts keep changing, so you need to keep surfing the Web to make sure they’re current. The AARP.org website has a tab dedicated to discounts. It includes a grocery coupon center powered by Coupons.com and has links to such retailers like arts and crafts chain Michael’s, which offers a 20 percent savings every Tuesday for AARP members. It also has a section on free samples of top brands in food and beauty.Levy encourages consumers to check out different websites that focus on discounts for the 50 and over set. Among the largest: seniordiscounts.com, which features more than 250,000 local listings. Other sites include free4seniors.com, allseniordeals.com and sciddy.com, which lets you search discounts by your area code. Furman advises the 50-age group to try a free app called Larky.com, which currently works on Apple and Android products. The app offers automatic reminders of your membership perks and discounts when you need them.Be preparedMake sure to bring your ID and your AARP card when you go out. Business establishments will likely want to see proof that you are the age you say — especially if you look much younger than you are.The following are the types of discounts you can grab:Retailers A diverse group of stores offer discounts, though most offer them on a certain day of the week. For example, Bealls offers “50 & Fabulous” discount days every Tuesday. The 15 percent discounts are valid at its stores only and an ID is required. At Kohl’s, every Wednesday, shoppers age 60 and older can save an extra 15 percent. The discount is not available online.Gap Inc.’s Banana Republic chain offers 10 percent off every day for customers 65 and older. The discount can be combined with other coupons and discounts available throughout the year, according to Edie Kissko, a Gap spokeswoman.RestaurantsA vast array of eateries offer discounts, but most are limited to fast-food chains like IHOP and Dunkin’ Donuts.At Dunkin’ Donuts, you can order any large or extra-large beverage and get a free doughnut, but you have to show your AARP card.Travel and hotels

    Many analysts say we have hit a bottom for interest rates, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note has climbed to 2.5 percent from 1.6 percent at the start of May.

    What to expect from your bond mutual fund

    Many analysts say we have hit a bottom for interest rates, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note has climbed to 2.5 percent from 1.6 percent at the start of May. The rise in rates has led to losses for many bond mutual funds, and it’s something that investors need to get used to, says Rick Rieder. He is chief investment officer of fundamental fixed income portfolios at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager.

Life & Entertainment

    This May 4, 2012 file photo shows writer and director, Joss Whedon, from the film “The Avengers,” posing for a portrait in Beverly Hills, Calif. Whedon said Sunday at Comic-Con International that the storylines of Buffy and his other Vampire Slayer title Angel & Faith will intertwine in interesting ways when Season 10 begins its published run.

    Joss Whedon talks comics, 'Avengers,' 'SHIELD'

    Multihyphenate visionary Joss Whedon talked television on Friday, film on Saturday and rounded out the four-day geek extravaganza meeting with fans and talking with reporters Sunday at Comic-Con about a new season of his Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic book series, the possibility of a “Serenity” title, and the dual realities of the Marvel film and television worlds. "I'm a little busy," Whedon said.

    This film publicity image released by Warner Bros. shows the demonically possessed doll that opens James Wan's horror movie “The Conjuring,” which made more than $40 million in its first weekend of release.

    'The Conjuring' scares up $41.5 million to top box office

    The Warner Bros. haunted-house horror "The Conjuring" — based on a true story — debuted with $41.5 million in North American ticket sales, according to studio estimates Sunday. Starring Vera Farmiga, Lili Taylor, Patrick Wilson and Ron Livingston, “The Conjuring” unseated three-week box-office champ, “Despicable Me 2,” which dropped to second place with $25 million.

    Icona Pop — Caroline Hjelt, left, and Aino Jawo — is one of a new crop of girl groups currently on the music scene.

    Girl groups are making a comeback

    I'll tell want you want, what you really, really want: Girl groups. Even if you don't want them — they're back on the scene. A new batch of pop tarts are ready to dominate the charts and fill a void since best-selling groups like Destiny's Child, TLC and the Spice Girls aren't dropping songs as fast as music fans want them.


    Spencer in Oscar hunt again with ‘Fruitvale’

    Octavia Spencer almost passed on one of the most acclaimed movies of the year so far — “Fruitvale Station.” The film, released in select theaters last week and opening wide this weekend, tells the true story of Oscar Grant, an unarmed black man fatally shot by a white police officer in an Oakland, Calif., train station early on New Year’s Day, 2009.

    A hiker takes a photo on a rock formation known as The Wave in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona.

    Hikers put in their bid to do Arizona’s Wave

    Small wooden balls click rapidly in a whirling bingo basket, as 78 hikers wait to see if their numbers will roll out to win one of 10 permits to visit a rock formation known as The Wave. Some had been contemplating the hike for years. Only 20 people are allowed to visit The Wave each day, with 10 chosen in an online lottery four months in advance and the other 10 picked in this daily 9 a.m. lottery. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management limits access to protect The Wave’s delicate red sandstone formation and to prevent overcrowding at the designated wilderness site.

    The “80 at 80” exhibit features a replica of the Paul Bunyan head that was in the Museum of Science and Industry’s “World of Hardwoods” exhibit, which opened in the 1950s.

    MSI showcases artifacts from throughout its history

    The Museum of Science and Industry turned 80 this year, and it’s celebrating by sifting through its collection of 35,000 artifacts for the 80 items that best represents its history. Spanning two galleries, the “80 at 80” exhibit showcases inventions from the 1800s, displays from the museum’s opening in 1933 and today’s cutting-edge creations.

    The sun rises over the Isles of Shoals taken from Star Island in Rye, N.H. Since the English explorer Captain John Smith spotted the islands just under 400 years ago, the cluster of nine small islands, five in Maine, four in New Hampshire, have evolved from rough-and-tumble 17th century fishing outpost to posh Victorian-era vacation destination.

    History, science, scenery blend on Isles of Shoals

    Year-round residents are scarce, but the Isles of Shoals come alive in summer with a rich blend of history, science and scenic beauty that has long inspired artists and writers. Since the English explorer Captain John Smith spotted them just under 400 years ago, the cluster of nine small islands — five in Maine, four in New Hampshire — evolved from a rough-and-tumble 17th century fishing outpost to a posh Victorian-era vacation destination.

    There’s nothing like the Lumberjack World Championships in Hayward, Wis.

    On the road: Lumberjacks ready to compete

    Come for the thunder of chain saws and the sound of choppers at the 54th anniversary celebration of the Lumberjack World Championships in Hayward, Wis. The three-day event features men and women competing in logrolling, speed climbs, sawing, chopping and chain saw contests. There's also the 27th annual Mozart Festival held at the majestic 1889 opera house in Woodstock.


    Parenting the less-than-perfect child

    Parenting any child, even the perfect child, the “please and thank you,” honor student, doesn’t-need-every-new-Apple-product child, is the hardest job in the world. (Please don’t comment or send emails saying that parenting is joyous, the most rewarding thing you’ve ever done and the act that has defined your life. I agree, wholeheartedly. But none of that changes my assertion that being responsible for the growth and development of another person, oftentimes your flesh and blood, is inexplicably difficult.) But what is it like to parent the child who is born deaf or autistic, or without 10 fingers and 10 toes?

    Susan Rynn, the Hemingway Collection curator, displays a scrapbook made by Ernest Hemingway’s mother Grace Hall Hemingway, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

    Scrapbooks give peek inside Hemingway’s early life

    BOSTON — Long before Ernest Hemingway first wrote a story, his mother was busy writing about him.Grace Hall Hemingway started a series of scrapbooks documenting the childhood of the future Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winner by describing how the sun shone and robins sang on the day in July 1899 when he was born.Starting Sunday, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston will make the content of five Hemingway scrapbooks available online for the first time, giving fans and scholars the chance to follow the life of one of the 20th century’s literary greats from diapers to high school degree. Hemingway Collection curator Susan Wrynn said much of the content hasn’t been made available to the public before and only a few researchers have seen it in its entirety. The fragile leather-bound volumes have been kept in a dark vault for about four decades to keep them from falling apart. The release of these records from the archive, home to 90 percent of existing Hemingway manuscript materials, will come on what would have been the scribe’s 114th birthday. “I think it will be a very rich resource for people interested in learning about this period of his life,” Sean Hemingway, the author’s grandson, said in an interview with The Associated Press. “He had tremendous talent. It must have been there from the beginning. So I’m sure there are clues in there to that.”Pennsylvania State University professor Sandra Spanier, who is general editor of a project that will publish Hemingway’s letters in more than a dozen volumes, said the scrapbooks that the author’s mother created offer details of his daily life up until age 18 that aren’t anywhere else.“She almost made their lives into a story ... and I think that carries over into his life and his fiction,” she said.There’s a scribbling from when Hemingway wasn’t quite 3 years old that the future war correspondent and novelist — who later won a Pulitzer Prize for “The Old Man and the Sea” — told his mother depicted the roaring sea. Other early passages also hinted at the writer Hemingway would become.Before he was 4, Hemingway was trooping into the woods to go hunting with his father and “using long words” and making “sage remarks,” according to his mother, who enclosed photos of her son trout fishing and holding his own rifle.“Can cock my own gun,” one of her captions read.By the time Hemingway was 5, his mother noted that he was collecting war cartoons and had an appreciation for characters with courage.“He loves stories about Great Americans,” she wrote.The scrapbooks have a plethora of family photos from the Hemingway family’s home in Oak Park, Ill., and their vacation cottage on a lake in Northern Michigan, including shots of a bare-bottomed baby Hemingway playing in the water by a canoe. They include letters to Hemingway and others he wrote as a child, including a note of contrition in which he confessed to bad behavior in church.“My conduct tomorrow will be good,” 13-year-old Hemingway promised.The scrapbooks also contain childhood paintings and tell of Hemingway playing the cello, suiting up for a “lightweight” football squad and taking up boxing. During his junior year of high school, he was on his school’s prom committee and, according to a report card note from his Latin teacher, showed “improvement both in attitude and work.”As Hemingway matured, the scrapbooks showcased his earliest attempts at the craft that would come to define his professional life. Among them were a short story from his high school’s literary magazine, clippings from some of his first assignments as a high school newspaper reporter and a sonnet in which 16-year-old Hemingway seemed to poke fun at himself.“Nobody likes Ernest, that, is straight stuff,” he said, “and when he writes stories — we all cry `Enough.”’

    Comedian Dean Edwards brings the laughs to the Improv Comedy Showcase in Schaumburg.

    Sunday picks: Comedian Dean Edwards performs

    Comedian Dean Edwards certainly gets around. Catch Edwards live this weekend at The Improv Comedy Showcase, 5 Woodfield Road in Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg. Also, there are carnival rides, concerts and contests galore at Antioch's Taste of Summer Festival.

    Today’s cast-iron plumbing fixtures offer more deep, rich colors than ever before, along with new finishes that almost look three-dimensional.

    Cast-iron fixtures are strong, attractive and tested

    Q. My husband and I have been saving for years to build our dream home. We’re thinking of installing cast-iron plumbing fixtures for the sinks, tubs and shower base. What are your thoughts on cast-iron plumbing fixtures?

    Blue false indigo is a beautiful native to include in the landscape.

    Native plants are right at home in a Midwest landscape

    Choosing native plants when designing new gardens is becoming increasingly popular. Some of the benefits of using native plants include reduced use of chemicals, improvement of the soil, erosion and flood control, and increased habitat for birds and butterflies.

    A nickel-and-copper tub is the centerpiece of the master bath.

    A home inspired by its owners’ love of Africa

    Over the years, the Stillmans have built a collection of African sculptures, masks and other artwork, most of which they kept in boxes because they didn’t have much space for displaying it in their house. They finally decided to build a house where they could surround themselves with things that reminded them of their favorite destination.


    Decorative trees options for landscaped area

    Q. We need a small decorative tree for the center circle in our driveway. We have boxwood with roses between — then closer to the center, a circle of day lilies and then there is supposed to be a tree. We have tried redbuds, but it is too windy for them.


    Some stain-fighting products can be found in your kitchen

    Q. A few weeks ago, someone wrote to you about a stain in his toilet at the water line. He was having trouble finding a cleaner that would remove the stain. You suggested a product he could use. We have a similar problem. I assumed the product worked for him and would like to give it a try. Would you send me the name of the cleaner?


    Cooling fan problem causes overheating

    Q. Why is it that my car tends to overheat when I am stopped at a light but will begin to cool down as I am going down the road? I also don’t seem to have the problem when the air conditioning is on.


    George Zimmerman leaves court with his family after the verdict was announced July 13. (AP Photo)

    An editorial on Zimmerman: A tragedy, a trial and a nation’s anger

    A Daily Herald editorial reflects on the reaction to the verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman by saying too many Americans prejudged the case based on politics.


    Editor Gruff, pipelines and our Fox River series

    As recently as three decades ago, many people held a dim view of the Fox River. That's changed so dramatically it prompted a summer-long series of stories on the river's transformation, reports Jim Davis, DuPage/Fox Valley news director.


    Police responsive to cut-through traffic
    A Libertyville letter to the editor: I am frequently quick to criticize, so I should be quick to compliment as well. Our neighborhood has become more of a cut-through for speeding traffic with the construction on Milwaukee Avenue and Route 137. Out of concern for the many kids in the neighborhood, I contacted the village to see what could be done.


    Put pension blame where it belongs
    A Buffalo Grove letter to the editor: Many governors stopped funding the pensions when there was plenty of money and did patronage grants instead of fulfilling their obligations. The current officials are trying to fix the problem, but many have been in office long enough to have taken care of this before we reached this crisis.


    Chicago’s attractions better than a casino
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: A recent press report indicates that the city of Detroit is defaulting on its debt of $2 billion. The report also references the time Detroit casinos opened and promised to be the solution to the city’s financial problems. There is a lesson in this for Illinois lawmakers


    Key concerns about banning ‘assault’ guns
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: It is reasonable to assume that the gangbangers and other criminals within the state of Illinois, that seek to do evil, will certainly not apply for either the required FOID card, undergo the newly proposed 16 hours of training (the most of any state in the union — also not by coincidence to serve as a deterrent to law-abiding citizens who wish to protect themselves and family from society’s ills) or conduct a demographic study to see which surrounding areas allow “assault weapons.”


    Deceived about plans for land
    A Carpentersville letter to the editor: Every time there was a vote on increasing my property taxes so Kane County could purchase more land to preserve for open spaces I have voted in favor of this.


    Government really has gone too far
    A Batavia letter to the editor: What is clear from the reaction to the NSA leaks is that, when it comes to the size and scope of government, there is little difference between the political left and right. Representatives from both parties, instead of expressing dismay and anger at the NSA and the culture of governmental overreach that made its program possible, are directing their condemnation at Edward Snowden.


    Marriage still a secular institution
    A Batavia letter to the editor: David Smith’s July 29 letter misses several points. First, if you’re for families, why are you trying to define for everyone else what a family should be? What works for one may not necessarily work for others, or fall within someone else’s religious beliefs.


    No one should go to bed hungry
    A Naperville letter to the editor Hunger in America is alive — and thriving. Thanks to sustained high unemployment and underemployment and the methodical dismantling of the fragile social safety net, one in every six Americans goes to bed hungry.


    Trayvon coverage was despicable
    A Roselle letter to the editor: Why have we continually been shown a picture of Trayvon Martin at age 12, rather than what he actually looked like at the age of 17 when that horrible tragedy occurred.


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