Daily Archive : Wednesday July 31, 2013


    Steve Krotz, landscape maintenance supervisor, treats one of the ash trees at the Leisure Center with the insecticide Imidaclorprid.

    Des Plaines parks fights to save ash trees

    Across more than 50 parks and open green spaces, the Des Plaines Park District maintains over 3,500 trees. Approximately 20 percent of the population is a combination of green and white ash trees. Over the past several years, ash trees have been under attack from the emerald ash borer. The district is treating the trees, hoping to save them.

    Eduardo Chirinos, left, of Lake in the Hills, and Marco Linares of Elgin, received SMART scholarships from Elgin’s Computer Systems Institute to attend its eight-month computer networking training program. The coursework will prepare them to work in the computer and IT industry.

    Local students get IT training scholarships

    Two local students whose parents emigrated from South America were the recipients of this year’s scholarships from the Computer Systems Institute in Elgin. Marco Linares, 18, of Elgin, a graduate of Elgin High School, and Eduardo Chirinos, 19, of Lake in the Hills, a graduate of Crystal Lake South High School, got SMART scholarships for CSI’s eight-month program networking career program.


    Northwest suburbs participate in National Night Out

    More than a half-dozen Northwest suburbs held National Night Out celebrations Tuesday evening to build closer ties between public service personnel and the community. The biggest event in the area, and one which has won national recognition, is in Bartlett, where three days of events culminated with a picnic in the park.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Burglars between 7 a.m. July 27 and 8 a.m. July 28 opened a window on the east side of Cumberland Elementary School, 700 E. Golf Road, and stole four desktop computers valued at $4,000 out of the library. The offenders had used an extension cord to prop open a northeast side entry door. A witness saw four individuals walking toward the school around 1:55 a.m. July 28 but was unable to describe...


    Palatine man’s body found in trash compactor

    Palatine police are investigating the death of a man who fell into an trash compactor Tuesday evening, according to a news release.

    Community Unit District 300 is searching for a more permanent home for Oak Ridge, its alternative school.

    Dist. 300 board approves sale of Oak Ridge property

    Community Unit District 300 has a buyer for the current Oak Ridge School property but won’t move students to a new location until the summer of 2015. District 300 put the 7.2-acre Carpentersville property on the market in June and school board members approved the sale Monday to Children’s Home and Aid, a leading child and family service agency that has locations across the state. Now the...


    Man's body found on Bloomingdale Road

    Police are investigating the death of a man whose body was found in Bloomingdale Wednesday afternoon. Bloomingdale Deputy Chief Tim Roberts said police received a call from a passer-by at 2:42 p.m. reporting a man lying in the grass along Bloomingdale Road, just south of Woodcrest Court. Upon arrival, police found a deceased man in his early 50s.

    Members of the police and fire departments prepare to form a line to proceed past the casket at the conclusion of the wake for Wheeling police officer Shamekia Goodwin-Badger at Kolssak Funeral Home in Wheeling Wednesday.

    Wheeling police officer remembered as joyful, fearless

    Loved ones and law enforcement colleagues Wednesday remembered Wheeling police officer Shamekia Goodwin-Badger as a woman who was both a pillar of dedication and reliability and a source of kindness and joy all the time. “She loved to laugh,” Wheeling Police Sgt. Paul Hardt said during a memorial service for the 33-year-old officer and single mother.

    In this image taken from dashcam video provided by the City of Forney Police Department, a police officer speaks with George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer acquitted by a Florida jury of charges in the fatal shooting of a black teenager, after he was pulled over for speeding near Dallas on Sunday, July 28, 2013.

    Zimmerman stopped for speeding in Texas

    George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who was cleared of all charges in the Florida shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, was stopped for speeding on a highway near Dallas, officials said Wednesday. Forney police stopped Zimmerman on Sunday as he drove west on U.S. 80, about 20 miles east of Dallas. A police dashcam video released Wednesday shows an officer interacting...

    Residents of the Parkside Apartments in Glen Ellyn are relieved the village will exclude their homes from a proposed TIF district that may have led to the demolition of their complex.

    Glen Ellyn residents claim victory in fight to keep their homes

    Irving Ruiz has spent his entire life, all 20 years of it, as a resident of Glen Ellyn's Parkside Apartments. Now, he says, he can spend the next 20 years there, if he chooses, after village officials said they will remove the complex from the boundaries of a redevelopment plan that residents feared would lead to the demolition of their homes. “It's definitely great to know our leaders were...

    Driving range at Bittersweet Golf Club in Gurnee, where a management company is upbeat about its prospects.

    Management company upbeat about Gurnee golf course

    Gurnee officials have received an upbeat report from a management company operating Bittersweet Golf Club, which has been on the comeback trail since village taxpayers took responsibility for it in 2011. Several changes to the course have been made so it's not as difficult on players, according to Dirk Skelly, vice president of operations for GolfVisions Management Inc. GolfVisions was hired last...

    Sunstar Americas Inc.’s new 302,000-square-foot facility in Schaumburg is expected to bring 400 jobs to the village. The site sits north of the Jane Addams Tollway and east of Roselle Road.

    New Schaumburg plant to bring 400 jobs

    Schaumburg officials expect to approve an annexation agreement next month that will bring 400 new jobs to the village with the relocation of a prominent Japanese firm’s North American headquarters next to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament. Sunstar Americas Inc. plans to complete its 302,000-square foot headquarters and manufacturing facility sometime between November 2014 and February...

    Jamal Cook

    Elgin man gets fines, prison for firing gun in Schaumburg

    A 21-year-old Elgin man was sentenced to 18 months in prison Monday after pleading guilty to unlawful use of a weapon and reckless discharge of a firearm. Following an altercation outside a Schaumburg nightclub on April 20, police say Jamal Cook took a gun from a car and fired twice. No one was injured, police said.

    Savannah Kleiner, 18, of Lake in the Hills, reacts as she wins the crown of McHenry County Queen 2013 Wednesday night in Woodstock. Behind her are first runner-up Jessica Thuma, 21, of Woodstock, left, third runner-up Brooke Romero, 16, of Lake in the Hills, middle, and second runner-up Arlinda Fasliu, 18, of Woodstock.

    Queen crowned at McHenry County Fair

    Savannah Kleiner, 18, of Lake in the Hills, was crowned queen in the 64th annual pageant that helped open the McHenry County Fair Wednesday night in Woodstock.


    No injuries in Carpentersville basement fire

    A fire destroyed the basement of a single-family home in Carpentersville Wednesday, according to officials. Firefighters responded to reports of the fire at a home on the 100 block of Golfview Lane around 3:30 p.m., according to a battalion chief with the Carpentersville and Countryside Fire Department.

    From left, National Security Agency Deputy Director John C. Inglis; Robert Litt, general counsel in the Office of Director of National Intelligence; and Sean Joyce, deputy director of the FBI, testify on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

    With 3 ‘hops,’ NSA gets millions of phone records

    President Barack Obama’s national security team acknowledged for the first time Wednesday that, when investigating one suspected terrorist, it can read and store the phone records of millions of Americans.


    Wheaton woman dies of head injury after falling off horse

    A 54-year-old Wheaton woman died after she fell from a horse at a Kendall County farm and struck her head on a concrete lamppost footing, authorities said Wednesday. The accident happened about 7:30 p.m. Monday as Susan R. Kelly was riding at Judgement Farm, 3428 Roth Road near Oswego.


    Kane computer upgrade cost falls to $9 million

    Kane County officials are just a couple steps away from rerouting several million dollars in sales tax funds to pay for a massive computer upgrade for the judicial and public safety system. The project, once thought to cost in excess of $12 million, now appears to have a pricetag lining up at no more than $9 million.

    Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, center, discusses student loans on Capitol Hill in Washington Wednesday, when the House passed a bipartisan bill that would reduce the costs of borrowing for millions of students.

    House approves lower rates on student loans

    A bipartisan bill that would reduce the costs of borrowing for millions of students passed the House on Wednesday and was heading to President Barack Obama for his signature. The legislation links student loan interest rates to the financial markets, offering lower rates for most students now but higher ones down the line if the economy improves as expected.


    Quinn will approve medical marijuana

    Gov. Pat Quinn will sign legislation making the state the 20th in the U.S. to legalize medical marijuana. His remarks Thursday will focus on providing relief to the seriously ill, including veterans.

    Yancarlo Garcia

    Doctor: Homeless man declined after surgery for injury

    A critical care surgeon testified Wednesday that Richard Gibbons' liver and other organs began to deteriorate after a surgery Aug. 12, 2011, to stop internal bleeding after he was hit by a thrown fire extinguisher. Gibbons, a 61-year-old homeless man, died a few weeks later and Yancarlo Garcia, 24, of Chicago, is charged with first degree murder for tossing the extinguisher off the fifth floor of...


    Supervision for four in Streamwood shooting

    Four people pleaded guilty to reckless conduct after they fired a gun during a party in June at a Streamwood home. Defendants Peter M Kriescher, Jr., Jacalyn R. Dooley, Jaime L. Johnson and Teresa A. Kitchin each received one year's supervision, eight days of community service and fines in exchange for their guilty pleas.


    Water sports challenge set for Aug. 3 at Mundelein beach

    A water sports challenge tournament is set for Saturday, Aug. 3, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Diamond Lake Beach, 1016 Diamond Lake Road, Mundelein.


    Parents invited to build Libertyville playground

    Copeland Manor parents and former students, ages 18 and over, are welcome to help install a new section of playground on the evening of Aug. 9 and throughout the day on Aug. 10 at the elementary school, 801 S. Seventh St., Libertyville.


    West Nile virus found in Lake County

    Mosquito pools, or batches of the pests, sampled July 25 in Deerfield and July 26 in Lake Villa Township have tested positive for West Nile virus, Lake County Health Department officials announced Wednesday.


    Fairfield Road to one lane near Route 176

    On Thursday, Aug. 1, weather permitting, traffic on Fairfield Road north of Route 176 will be reduced to one lane to install a new storm sewer crossing.


    Holy Family fun fest Saturday in Des Plaines

    Presence Holy Family Medical Center is hosting its fifth annual Fun Fest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the hospital on 100 N. River Road in Des Plaines. Activities include free health screenings and assessments, children’s activities, and raffles.

    Frank Bart

    Wauconda village administrator Torres out

    Wauconda Village Administrator Zaida Torres has left that post, officials confirmed Wednesday, but the circumstances were not immediately clear. Torres also is out as the village’s finance director, officials said. She couldn’t be reached for comment.


    District 220 names two new administrators

    Barrington Unit District 220 has announced its new Hough Street School principal and district director of fiscal services for the coming school year. Jim Aalfs will succeed Lori Wilcox at Hough Street School and Cheryl Wadsworth replaces Tom Beerheide as District 220’s director of fiscal services.

    Emma Sidari, 11, of St. Charles will be attending an internship at Bolshoi Brazil this summer to study ballet.

    St. Charles girl to study with Bolshoi this summer

    When 11-year-old Emma Sidari of St. Charles returns to school this fall she will have plenty of material for her “What I did this summer" paper. Emma, who takes five hours of dance classes each day Monday through Thursday at State Street Dance Studio in Geneva, will be traveling for an internship with some 320 other students at the Bolshoi in Brazil. “I am both excited and nervous,” she said...

    Tyrone Crider

    RTA board member steps down under cloud

    An RTA director is resigning after messing up a charitable grant from the state of Illinois, according to court documents. The Rev. Tyrone Crider stepped down from the $25,000 a year position Wednesday saying he didn't want to be a distraction.

    Tiara M. Norris

    Lake in Hills woman accused of 5th DUI, 3rd in a month

    A 30-year-old Lake in the Hills woman was charged with her fifth DUI, with three of those arrests coming last month. The latest charge this week against Tiara M. Norris, of the 800 block of Peachtree Court, is a felony that could land her in prison for four to 15 years.


    Fox Valley police reports
    Denise L. Geimer, 52, of the 0-100 block of N. La Fox St., South Elgin, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault Saturday, according to a police report. Geimer is accused of moving toward three Elgin police officers and another victim while holding a knife, reports said.

    Jacob Kiferbaum

    Contractor sent to prison for shaking down Edward Hospital

    A building contractor who says a seductive but unsavory world of the rich and the powerful in Illinois led him astray was sentenced Wednesday to a more than two-year prison term, a last piece of unfinished business from the investigation of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Jacob Kiferbaum admitted he and others with links to Blagojevich threatened to deny state permission for Edward Hospital’s...

    Cambridge Lakes Charter School in Pingree Grove has been told by the state to make it clear that membership fees, which violate state law, are voluntary.

    State: Pingree Grove charter school must clarify fees

    State officials have told Pingree Grove charter school leaders to make clear the membership fees they outline in an agreement with parents are voluntary. If the fees were mandatory — like some parents have been led to believe — Cambridge Lakes Charter School would be violating state law. Northern Kane Educational Corp., which runs the Community Unit District 300 charter school,told...


    Ball State president: Intelligent design not science

    Creation science and intelligent design are religion and not appropriate content for science courses at a public university such as Ball State University because it violates academic integrity, the school’s president said in a letter Wednesday to faculty and staff.

    Eric Francke

    Lake County Sheriff's deputy pleads not guilty to obstruction of justice

    A Lake County sheriff's deputy pleaded not guilty Wednesday to destroying text messages that police say he made to a prostitute. Eric Francke, 33, of the 43000 block of Forest Drive in Antioch, faces up to three years in prison if found guilty of obstructing justice and destroying evidence in order to thwart his own prosecution.

    Davon Miller

    Probation for Maine Township man who burglarized neighbors

    A Cook County judge sentenced Davon Miller, of Maine Township, to 36 months probation in exchange for his guilty plea to burglarizing his neighbors' houses.


    Judge rejects request to keep 10 Chicago schools open

    A request by some parents of Chicago Public School students to keep open 10 elementary schools shuttered by the district has been rejected by a Cook County circuit court judge.


    Rice shipment with destructive beetle stopped

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials in Chicago say they’ve turned a rice shipment back to Pakistan because it contained a destructive beetle. Officials said in a Wednesday news release that the sea shipment of more than 1,000 bags of rice came into the Port of Chicago last week.


    Brady proposes reforms for Metra

    State Sen. Bill Brady is proposing legislation to replace the Metra board of directors and impose other reforms to the commuter rail agency. In a statement Wednesday, Brady says the Metra board has been “more involved in questionable personnel and political dealings than in fulfilling its real duties.”

    Visitors run for cover as heavy rain falls on July 26 at the Lake County Fair in Grayslake. The antique tractor parade, Midwest Truck and Tractor Pull, Battle of the Barns, and main stage bands were canceled due to weather.

    Official: Weather hurt Lake County Fair attendance

    Weather was cited as the reason for an 8.8 percent drop in attendance from last year at the Lake County Fair. "We feel we did all we could to put on the best fair possible. Beyond that, it's out of our control," said Sheri Vyfvinkel, the Lake County Fair Association's general manager.

    Corn is prepared in massive quantities last year at Coon Creek Country Days for the free all-you-can-eat corn boil.

    Coon Creek Country Days returns to Hampshire

    Coon Creek Country Days is back this year with four days of food, fireworks, a corn boil, a carnival, crafters and more. Running Thursday through Sunday, there will be plenty of opportunities to come out in support of the community. For the first time, festival organizer Maile Edmonson said she's trying out a corn eating contest because, "every festival needs an eating contest."


    Illinois lawmakers may miss first check Thursday

    Illinois’ 177 lawmakers won’t be getting paid as scheduled Thursday unless a court intervenes. The pay stoppage is Gov. Pat Quinn’s punishment for inaction on pension reform.


    Quinn says Madigan, Cullerton should vote, not sue

    Gov. Pat Quinn says if lawmakers don’t like his decision to halt their pay they should take a vote on pension reform instead of going to the courts.


    Repair work under way at governor’s mansion

    Renovations have started at the Illinois governor’s mansion, even though the 158-year-old home hasn’t been used much during the past two administrations.


    Tennis, retail planned for public housing site

    Part of a site that once was home to Chicago’s huge Robert Taylor public housing project may become the location of a tennis and retail complex. The Chicago Housing Authority voted for a proposal that would allow the sale of some of the land to XS Tennis. The CHA intends to submit the plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    Arlington Heights residents celebrate National Night Out.

    Rolling Meadows joins National Night Out program

    After a nearly five-year hiatus, Rolling Meadows will bring together the community and its law enforcement officials for the city’s National Night Out on Aug. 6. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the program nationwide.


    Zion man gets life in prison

    A Zion man has been sentenced to life in prison for a 2004 shooting that killed two North Chicago residents.


    3 hurt after Chicago water tank falls 100 feet

    Three people were hurt -- one critically -- after a century-old wooden water tank plummeted 10 stories off a Chicago apartment building, crashing to the ground below.

    These triplet calves were born last Friday in Footville, Wis.

    Rare triplet calves born on Wisconsin dairy farm

    Wisconsin dairy farmer Steve Case knew his pregnant cow had been acting strangely, but nothing prepared Case for the sight that greeted him when he responded to an urgent bellowing from his barn. The Holstein had given birth to a rare set of triplet calves.


    Green Bay council votes down saggy pants ban

    The Green Bay City Council has decided against imposing a ban on saggy pants, with some leaders saying such a rule would cast the city in a bad light.

    Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon announces her candidacy for state comptroller at a news conference Wednesday in Chicago.

    Simon to run for state comptroller

    Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon ended five months of uncertainty about her political future on Wednesday by launching her 2014 bid for Illinois state comptroller, likely setting her up for a tough race against one of the state’s most successful Republican officeholders. Simon, a Democrat, formally announced her plan during a campaign stop in downtown Chicago, where she vowed she would be “the most...


    District 118 planning for a $56.4 million budget

    Wauconda Unit District 118 officials are preparing a $56.4 million budget for the upcoming school year. The spending plan is about 2 percent greater than the $55.2 million budget for the 2013 fiscal year, which ended June 30. William Harkin, the district’s associate superintendent for business services, attributed the increase to teacher salary increases.

    Dustin S. Neal

    Man charged in Round Lake Beach shooting

    A 20-year-old Round Lake Beach man is held in Lake County jail after being charged with a Monday night shooting that wounded one man. Dustin S. Neal is held in lieu of $500,000 bail after being charged with aggravated battery with a firearm, authorities said Wednesday.

    Army Pfc. Bradley Manning

    Defense seeks merger of some Manning verdicts

    It is now up to a military judge to determine if Army Pfc. Bradley Manning will spend the rest of his life in prison even after being acquitted of the most serious charge against him for his release of thousands of documents to the website WikiLeaks. “We’re not celebrating,” defense attorney David Coombs said. “Ultimately, his sentence is all that really matters.”

    Bethenny Frankel

    TV host Bethenny Frankel is coming to Naperville

    Daytime TV's newest talk show host, Bethenny Frankel, will visit Anderson's Bookshop in downtown Naperville later this month to sign copies of her new book, “Skinnygirl Solutions.”

    Zimbabweans wait to cast their vote in Presidential and parliamentary elections in the Southern African Nation in Harare, Wednesday.

    Zimbabwe: Voting concludes, counting begins

    Voting concluded Wednesday in most of Zimbabwe’s polling stations in elections in which Robert Mugabe faced one of the biggest challenges to his 33-year grip on power. Bundled against the winter chill, thousands of voters stood patiently in long lines in the poor Harare township of Mbare and other areas.

    Prior to his election to pope, Francis worried conservative factions within the Catholic Church. And now he has spoken out both publicly and privately against such “restoratist groups,” which he accuses of being navel-gazing retrogrades out of touch with the evangelizing mission of the church in the 21st century.

    Analysis: Pope’s revolution; not all are pleased

    The Francis Revolution is underway. Not everyone is pleased. Four months into his papacy, he has called on young Catholics to take up spiritual arms to shake things up. He said women must have a greater role. And he has turned the Vatican upside down by merely uttering the word “gay” and saying: so what?

    Lilderries I. Thompson

    Two teens charged in Aurora taxi robbery

    Two Aurora teens were charged Wednesday in connection with the early morning robbery of a taxi driver on Aurora’s far northeast side, authorities said.

    This is a picture of an instructional card used by some dispatch centers in case of a sinking vehicle.

    Expert: 911 response could have been better in crash

    While Northwest Central Dispatch investigates the 911 call from Henry Laseke of Arlington Heights, who accidentally drove into a pond near his home and later died, a national expert who listened to the call said the dispatcher could have handled it differently. “The dispatcher should tell them that help is on the way, but only once or twice,” Gary Allen said. “Every word has to...

    In this May 16, 2013 file photo, O.J. Simpson listens during an evidentiary hearing in Clark County District Court, Thursday, May 16, 2013 in Las Vegas. O.J. Simpson won a small victory Wednesday, July 31, 2013, in his bid for freedom as Nevada granted him parole on some of his convictions in a 2008 kidnapping and armed robbery involving the holdup of two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas hotel room.

    O.J. Simpson wins small victory in bid for freedom

    O.J. Simpson won a small victory Wednesday in his bid for freedom as Nevada granted him parole on some of his 2008 convictions for kidnapping and armed robbery involving the holdup of two sports memorabilia dealers at a Las Vegas hotel room. Commissioners noted Simpson’s “positive institutional record” and his participation in programs addressing “behavior that led to incarceration.”


    Leaked docs give new insight into NSA’s searches

    Dozens of training slides published Wednesday divulge details about XKeyscore, one of a family of NSA programs that leaker Edward Snowden says has given America the ability to spy on “the vast majority of human communications.” Some of the slides appear to carry screenshots showing what analysts would see as they trawled the intercepted conversations, including sample search queries such as “Show...

    In this Sunday, July 28, 2013 file photo, supporters of Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi pray at Nasr City, where protesters have installed a camp and hold daily rallies, in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt’s army has held Morsi incommunicado at undisclosed locations since pushing him from power in a July 3 coup. Now, Egypt’s military-backed government has ordered the police to break up the sit-in protests by supporters of Morsi.

    Egypt: Police ordered to end pro-Morsi protests

    Egypt’s military-backed government has ordered the police to break up the sit-in protests by supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, saying they pose an “unacceptable threat” to national security. Information Minister Dorreya Sharaf el-Din said in a televised statement Wednesday that the police are to end the demonstrations “within the law and the constitution.”

    The Taste of Roselle returns this weekend to Main Street and brings with it carnival rides, live music and plenty of food options.

    Taste of Roselle features plenty of food, music

    The 31st annual Taste of Roselle begins Friday and runs through Sunday. Roselle will be hosting a delegation from its sister city, Bachnia, Poland, along with 22 food vendors from the community.

    State Rep. Michelle Mussman speaks to the crowd Monday night at the first Ramadan “Friendship Dinner” held by the Turkish American Federation of Midwest in Mount Prospect and by the Turkish Chamber of Commerce.

    Turkish group hosts community Ramadan dinner

    Community members came together in Mount Prospect for a Ramadan “Friendship Dinner” Monday night, held by two Turkish groups. The dinner was held to break the daily fast for those celebrating Ramadan and allow business leaders to discuss trade opportunities with Turkey and other central Asian countries.

    Our Savior Lutheran Church in Aurora will play host Sunday to the Hymn Festival.

    Hymn Festival takes center stage at Our Savior in Aurora

    Parish Manager Leah Morsch has been in the choir at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Aurora for about 10 years, but never has the church had a summer musical performance as large as this weekend’s Hymn Festival.

    In this image provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a photomicrograph of a fresh stool sample, which had been prepared using a 10% formalin solution, and stained with modified acid-fast stain, reveals the presence of four Cyclospora cayetanensis oocysts in the field of view.

    Investigators tracking source of stomach bug outbreak

    State and federal investigators are trying to figure out the source of a stomach bug that has sickened 372 people in 15 states, including four in Illinois, one of which was in Lake County. Iowa and Nebraska have linked some cases in their states to eating pre-packaged salad mix, but the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have said the mix is...

    Native seed ecologist Jim Keenan will present “Native Landscapes for Pennies ... Seed Propagation” at the Aug. 6 meeting of Lake-to-Prairie Chapter of Wild Ones.

    Learn how native seeds can add beauty at low cost

    “Native Landscapes for Pennies ... Seed Propagation” ... with Jim Keenan, native seed ecologist is the topic of the Lake-to-Prairie Chapter of Wild Ones meeting from 7 to 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6, at the Fremont Public Library, 1170 N. Midlothian Road, Mundelein.

    People wander the art tents during the annual David Adler Festival of the Arts. The 33rd annual event will be held this weekend in downtown Libertyville.

    33rd annual Festival of the Arts in Libertyville

    The David Adler Music and Arts Center is presenting its 33rd annual Festival of the Arts from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 4, in historic Cook Park on Milwaukee Avenue in downtown Libertyville.

    In this July 29, 2013 file photo, Secretary of State John Kerry is seen at the State Department in Washington. On his first visit to Pakistan as U.S. secretary of state, Kerry will meet Thursday with different players talking about the same, unresolved issues: the ongoing fight against extremism, U.S. drone attacks on Pakistani soil, the war in neighboring Afghanistan and a slate of economic problems facing Islamabad’s new government.

    Kerry in Pakistan to discuss drones, Afghanistan

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has arrived in Pakistan for meetings to ease tension over U.S. drone strikes, the war in neighboring Afghanistan and the fight against Islamic extremism. Kerry will work to soothe Islamabad’s opposition to U.S. drone strikes and urge Pakistani officials to coax the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table.

    In this picture taken July 25, 2013, Karamba Diaby, a German Social Democratic Party candidate talks with citizen Heidi Juergens during an election campaign in Halle, central Germany, Thursday, July 25, 2013. He was born in Senegal and moved to the former GDR to study at the University of Leipzig. Diaby, now 51, is campaigning for a Bundestag seat to become the country’s first black member of Parliament.

    Chemist hopes to be Germany’s first black lawmaker

    Karamba Diaby is intent on becoming the country’s first black member of Parliament. Nationwide just 81 — or about 4 percent — of the candidates running for the roughly 600-member parliament in the Sept. 22 election have an immigrant background. It is the highest number yet but still far behind countries such as France and Britain.

    In this July 17, 2013, file photo. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel talks with Air Force personnel at Joint Base Charleston near Charleston, S.C. A second, deeper round of automatic budget cuts is on its way, and it’s going to hit the Pentagon hard.

    Pentagon to bear brunt of upcoming budget cuts
    Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — A second, deeper round of automatic federal budget cuts is on its way, and it’s going to hit the Pentagon hard.

    This undated file photo provided by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff Department shows Michael Madison. Madison pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, in Cleveland.

    Man pleads not guilty to killing 3 Ohio women

    A man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to kidnapping and killing three women whose bodies were found wrapped in trash bags earlier this month. The judge continued his $6 million bond and said she would appoint two attorneys to represent him. A pretrial hearing was set for Tuesday morning.

    In this July 24, 2013 photograph, a meadow jumping mouse stands on the edge of a container while being released at Rollins Savanna in Grayslake, Ill. Scientists at Lincoln Park Zoo are raising meadow jumping mice and and releasing them into the wild in an effort to help restore dwindling Midwestern prairies. (AP Photo/Scott Eisen)

    Zoo mice become Lake County prairie pioneers

    To most people, mice are pests.But on a prairie, they are a source of life and vitality.Scientists at Lincoln Park Zoo are raising meadow jumping mice and releasing them into the wild of the Lake County Forest Preserve to help restore dwindling Midwestern prairies.Right now, biologists there say only 1 percent of historical prairie grasslands remain in Illinois.

    Charlann Schwann

    Funeral set for Charlann Schwan, former Lincolnshire trustee

    Former Lincolnshire Trustee Charlann Schwan is being remembered as a dedicated public servant and volunteer. Schwan, 70, of Ivanhoe, died unexpectedly July 24 on a trip to Moscow.

    Most of Clare Woods Academy’s desks and furniture have been moved into the new facility at the former St. John’s Lutheran School in downtown Wheaton. Eagle Scout candidate Robert Angiulo, of Troop 191 in Carol Stream, helped with the move over the weekend in preparation for the school’s opening Aug. 22.

    Clare Woods Academy moves from Bartlett to Wheaton

    A long-standing private Bartlett facility specializing in educating children and young adults with learning and developmental disabilities has relocated to downtown Wheaton. The Bartlett Learning Center’s Clare Woods Academy will open at the former St. John’s Lutheran Church School. “This was the best available site after looking at several, and we’re delighted to be here," Principal John...


    Cost of K-9 program a concern in Buffalo Grove

    Buffalo Grove may need to take a bite out of its 2014 budget to balance it. It may have to take some of its bark out as well, in the form of the K9 program. “The highest total cost program that we have right now is the K9 program,” Deputy Village Manager Jennifer Maltas told the village board.


    Two dead in Evanston smoke shop

    Police are on the scene of a death investigation at an Evanston tobacco shop in the 900 block of Davis Street, authorities are reporting. Officials are not releasing information about the investigation, but the Cook County medical examiners officer is reporting two brothers were found dead in the shop late Tuesday.


    Two injured in three-car pile up on Route 53 near Glen Ellyn

    Two people were injured in an early morning crash on Route 53 in unincorporated DuPage County near Glen Ellyn. The roadway was closed for about an hour while the crash was investigated.

    Scores of Illinois police pension fund board members will attend a regional conference in October in Lake Geneva, Wis.

    Why will our police pension boards be in Wisconsin?

    Readers's tips and suggestions have the Suburban Tax Watchdog looking into Illinois pension fund board members attending a conference in Lake Geneva, property tax battles in Lake County, and Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas' online warehouse of government agencies' financial data.

    In this July 9, 2013 file photo, the church in the town of San Damian Texoloc, Mexico stands near Popocatepetl volcano spewing ash and vapor. Mexico’s disaster prevention center says Popocatepetl has been active for at least 500,000 years. The biggest danger for those nearby are mudslides and swift-moving clouds of gas.

    Mexico keeps constant eye on Popocatepetl volcano

    MEXICO CITY — In a clean, hushed room in the south of Mexico City, cameras, computer screens and scrawling needles track the symptoms of a special patient, as they have every second of every day for the past two decades. The monitors indicate that “Don Goyo” is breathing normally, even as he spews hot rock, steam and ash.

    Abdul Jamil, 55, a suicide attack victim who suffers from injuries on his right leg and lost his left eye, is helped by his wife at his home, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, July 31, 2013. The U.N. mission in Afghanistan says the number of civilian casualties has spiked in the first half of this year as insurgents use the NATO drawdown to try to retake lost territory.

    UN reports spike in Afghan civilian casualties

    The United Nations said on Wednesday that civilian casualties in Afghanistan had dramatically increased by 23 percent in the first six months of the year and blamed the insurgency for the vast majority of the dead and wounded. Georgette Gagnon, the head of human rights for UNAMA, said the organization documented 1,319 civilian deaths and 2,533 wounded from January to June.

    Ezzedine Messaoudi examines on June 24, 2013 the crater left by the roadside bomb that injured his brother and killed several of his sheep earlier that month while the army was searching for jihadis hiding out in Tunisia’s Jebel Chaambi region near Algeria. Tunisia, the last, best hope for the Arab Spring, is under increasing threat of an Islamic insurgency.

    Jihadis threaten Tunisia’s Arab Spring transition

    KASSERINE, Tunisia — Assassins mounted on Vespas gun down two secular politicians. Roadside bombs cripple soldiers in the mountains. An ambush this week leaves eight soldiers dead — five with slit throats.


    Leahy, NSA clash over number of thwarted plots

    Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy and the Obama administration are clashing over how many terrorist plots might have been thwarted through the secret collection of Americans’ phone records since 2006. Leahy said a list of the relevant plots provided to Congress does not reflect dozens or, as he said, “let alone 54 as some have suggested.”

    In this June 27, 2006 file photo, reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, U.S. military guards walk within Camp Delta military-run prison, at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba. Al-Qaida’s leader claims that the terror network will spare no effort to free prisoners held at the US military-run detention center in Cuba.

    Al-Qaida: We will try to free Guantanamo inmates

    Al-Qaida’s leader says a prisoners’ hunger strike in Guantanamo Bay has revealed the “odious” face of America and claims that the terror network will spare no effort to free prisoners held at the US military-run detention center in Cuba. “The strike by our brothers in Guantanamo reveals the real odious and ugly face of America. We pledge God that we will spare no efforts to set them free,” he said

    Professional riders race through the streets during Stage 3 of the Tour of Elk Grove.

    Charitable African team to compete in Tour of Elk Grove

    The largest professional cycling event in the Midwest, the Tour of Elk Grove, kicks off Friday in Elk Grove Village with a growing field of national and international teams and riders. The South African team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will compete for the first time in the U.S., said Jeff Curtin, handling social media for the Tour. “They are real big into giving away bikes to the...

    Brother Valentino Bianco directs the unveiling of a historical exhibit at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village in March 2011.

    Designer set the ambience for Alexian hospitals

    One of the Alexian Brothers, who served more than 25 years at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village and held the longest continuing tenure of any brother in the hospital's history, died Monday. In the 1970s, he was awarded responsibility for the interior design for Alexian Brothers facilities across the nation. And he was responsible for developing artistic themes for the...

    Steve Augeri, former lead vocalist of Journey, and his current band will headline the Paul Ruby Foundation Concert for a Cure on Friday, Aug. 2.

    Paul Ruby Concert for a Cure moves to Arcada Theatre

    In years past, the Paul Ruby Foundation for Parkinson's Research Concert for a Cure has been held outdoors. This year, not wanting to risk bad weather, organizers decided to move it indoors. It will take place at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2 at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.

    After completing their school work, Emily Longo, Claire Cason, Holly Giglio, Keagan Cornier and Tara Charvat, Schaumburg High School Spanish students, enjoy some free time white water rafting down the Sarapiqui River.

    Students are able to immerse themselves in the culture

    Spanish students from Schaumburg High school had the chance to travel to Costa Rica to immerse themselves in the Hispanic culture. The students stayed with local families, visited a coffee plantation and did some white water rafting.

    Yow! A truck fully became engulfed in flames yesterday morning in the parking lot of the White Castle restaurant on the corner of North and Gary Avenues in Carol Stream. The truck driver had pulled into the lot after seeing a spark from the engine, and he got out safely.

    Dawn Patrol: New Metra resignation; Hoffman woman wins $1,000/week

    DuPage County appointee to Metra board the latest to resign. Hoffman Estates woman wins $1,000 a week for 20 years. One hurt in Arlington Heights crash. Batavia church's future uncertain. District 300 property tax concerns after Sears breaks. One charged in Palatine home invasion. Jake Peavy's gone.

    Dan Cronin

    DuPage consolidation plan awaits Quinn’s OK

    After touting consolidation as a way to save money and improve services, DuPage County officials soon will get the opportunity to prove it. Gov. Pat Quinn within the next two weeks is expected to sign a measure that will give DuPage the authority to eliminate as many as 13 local governmental entities, including fire protection, sanitary and mosquito abatement districts.

    KJ Richards proudly displays his Camp Wego sign for West Chicago Park District during the fifth annual WAYS Salute to the Olympics, held Tuesday at Carol Stream’s Red Hawk Park.

    DuPage Salute to Olympics all fun and games

    Some Chicagoans still may be bitter about losing the 2016 Summer Olympics bid to Rio de Janeiro, but kids in the West Chicago area voiced no complaints Tuesday when Wayne/Winfield Area Youth/Family Service, or WAYS, sponsored its fifth annual Salute to the Olympics.


    Tour of Elk Grove race schedule
    The Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove returns for its eighth year from Friday, Aug. 2, through Sunday, Aug. 4. The nationally- and internationally-acclaimed cycling event features a total of 12 professional and amateur races and a total prize purse of more than $66,000. Many of the top Midwest, national and international cyclists and teams will compete in races held on village streets. Eight...


    David DeJesus notches a 2-run single against the Milwaukee Brewers during the sixth inning Wednesday at Wrigley. The Cubs hold an option on DeJesus, who brings a lot of good things to the team. He has consistently good approaches at the plate. He plays good defense, and he sets a good example in the clubhouse.

    Despite trades, Cubs keeping core together

    Veteran players such as David DeJesus, Nate Schierholtz and Jeff Samardzija were still with the club Wednesday despite the trade rumors surrounding their names. The Cubs hold an option for DeJesus next year, and the subject of giving a contract extension to Samardzija is an ongoing topic.


    Edwardsville stops Elk Grove downstate

    Elk Grove suffered an 8-1 loss to Edwardsville in the first round of American Legion baseball state tournament play on Wednesday in downstate Trenton.


    Cubs got their trades done early, so now what?

    By now, you know the Cubs did not make a trade Wednesday, the deadline for nonwaiver deals in Major League Baseball. There were some interesting things I took away from a post-deadline confab with general manager Jed Hoyer. And now that the Cubs have held on to several key players, there are some questions about what’s going to happen and how many games the Cubs will win over the final two months of the season.

    Roosevelt Smart, here fading away for a jumper as Palatine plays Fremd, has enrolled at St. Viator and will join the Lions for the coming school year.

    Smart shifts gears, joins St. Viator

    Roosevelt Smart, one of the top guards in the area at Palatine High School the last two seasons, has enrolled at St. Viator and figures to join Lions standout Ore Arogundade in the backcourt for the coming school year.


    Boomers top Joliet 6-1

    The Schaumburg Boomers used a pair of homers to grab an early lead Wednesday night, and they did not look back in a 6-1 road victory over the Joliet Slammers for the fourth consecutive win.

    AS Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic (15) and MLS All-Stars forward Graham Zusi (8) battle for the ball Wednesday during the MLS All-Star soccer game in Kansas City, Kan.

    AS Roma routs best of MLS in All-Star game

    A raucous crowd packed into one of Major League Soccer’s glitzy new stadiums to watch a team comprised of its best players in an exhibition game on a picturesque late-summer night. All that was missing was the outcome fans desired.

    The White Sox’s Adam Dunn watches his RBI single off Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber during Wednesday night’s game in Cleveland. The Sox lost to the Indians 6-5 in the 10th inning.

    HR in 10th lifts Indians over Sox 6-5

    Carlos Santana’s leadoff home run in the 10th inning gave the Cleveland Indians their seventh straight win, a 6-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night. Santana hit a 3-2 pitch from Dylan Axelrod (3-7) into the right field seats for Cleveland’s ninth walkoff win of the season. The crowd of 22,258 roared when the ball reached the seats and Santana threw his helmet in the air as he reached home plate and was mobbed his teammates.

    While right fielder Alex Rios was not moved before the nonwaiver deadline, the White Sox still could work out a trade during August.

    No more White Sox trading, at least for now

    The White Sox didn't trade right fielder Alex Rios or any other player by Wednesday afternoon's nonwaiver deadline, but general manager Rick Hahn is happy with the three earlier deals he made and it's possible he can move Rios and other veterans in August.

    In this Feb. 25, 2010, file photo, New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez speaks at a news conference during baseball spring training at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla.†Major League Baseball has told the union which players it intends to suspend in its drug investigation and which ones will receive lengthier penalties for their roles in the Biogenesis case.

    Source: MLB threatening A-Rod with lifetime ban

    Major League Baseball is threatening to kick Alex Rodriguez out of the game for life unless the New York Yankees star agrees not to fight a lengthy suspension for his role in the sport’s latest drug scandal, according to a person familiar with the discussions. Whether Commissioner Bud Selig would actually issue a lifetime suspension was unclear and a permanent ban could be shortened by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz to about 200 games, the person said.


    A retro fishing tourney? Dream on

    How about a return to the days when fishing tournaments measured an angler's skill, instead of the ability to master technology?

    With his Chicago connections, starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija is an even better fit for the Cubs.

    Samardzija staying with Cubs a good thing

    The Cubs didn't trade Jeff Samardzija at Wednesday's deadline, which is good. There's something comfortable about a local baseball team having a local product who wears a Bob Probert jersey top to a Blackhawks game.

    Bears kick/punt returner Devin Hester, right, autographs for fans after NFL football training camp Wednesday, July 31, 2013, in Bourbonnais, Ill.

    Rookie LB Bostic will see lots of action

    When general manager Phil Emery drafted Jonathan Bostic in the second round three months ago, he was confident that the Florida linebacker could crack the starting lineup early in his career. With the calf injury to veteran starter D.J. Williams, Bostic will get his chance -- at lest for a while.

    Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, left, has some big options in the red zone with 6-foot-4 wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) and 6-6 tight end Martellus Bennett (83). He'll also have 6-3 WR Alshon Jeffery to target as well.

    Big day for Bears’ red zone offense

    Although Jay Cutler and the offense are in the early stages of learning a new scheme, they have shown the potential to create major mismatches for opponents with a big receiving crew that resembles a basketball front line.


    AFL playoffs start with Shock vs. Rush
    The Chicago Rush kick off the 2013 AFL playoffs Thursday night in Spokane, Washington against the Shock. The Rush finished the season with a record of 10-8, while the Shock finished at 14-4.


    Home run power rescues Cougars

    With the game tied 3-3 entering the bottom of the eighth, Jeimer Candelario ripped a two-run homer and Rock Shoulders followed with a solo blast to propel the Kane County Cougars to a 6-3 victory over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Wednesday afternoon at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva.

    Chicago Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson and his teammates haven’t put together a defensive shutout in nearly two months. Johnson spent July with the U.S. National Team but he’ll start Saturday’s game for the Fire.

    Fire defenders looking to up their game

    The Chicago Fire wouldn’t mind getting a little cleaner on defense, especially since it has been nearly two months since the team's last shutout. Orrin Schwarz has more in his Chicago Fire notebook.


    Mike North video: Manziel out of line

    Texas A&M quarterback and freshman Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel needs to start thinking before he acts. He was thrown out of a Texas frat party and it was all caught on tape. Mike North thinks he should steer clear of the rival school where he obviously is not welcome.Ÿ For more, see www.northtonorth.com . Listen to Mike on Foxsportsradio.com, XM channel 169, or your iHeart application Sat 6 p.m.-9 p.m. and Sun 9 p.m. to midnight. Look for Mike on WIND on Tuesday at 7:45 a.m. and on Fridays at 5:50 p.m. Listen to Mike’s podcasts at foxsportsradio.com/podcast/mikenorth.xml


    Who will be traded today?

    As the Wednesday trading deadline for baseball neared, the Cubs went out Tuesday and lost a day-night doubleheader to the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. Several players whose names have been mentioned in trade talks figured prominently in the day's and night's proceedings.


    Buehrle pitches Blue Jays to 5-0 win over A’s

    Mark Buehrle allowed five hits over seven innings, Jose Bautista and Emilio Bonifacio each homered and the Toronto Blue Jays ended Oakland’s winning streak at four with a 5-0 victory over the Athletics on Tuesday night.


    Julie Pryde, chief administrator to the Champaign Urbana Public Health District, stands near the entrance near the facility in Champaign.

    Two Illinois counties to see Medicaid surge

    More than 15,000 people could be added to the Medicaid ranks in Champaign County when the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, a state-high two-thirds increase under the government program, a new report predicts. That means more low-income people will have health coverage and more money will be available to pay hospitals and doctors for their care, county health advocates said.


    Law helps women, minorities get Illinois state business

    Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a new law to establish a loan program that will help minorities and women get state construction projects. Quinn signed the measure on Tuesday. He said small, minority-owned firms often don’t have the resources to bid on state construction projects. The bill was sponsored by Rep. William Davis of Homewood and Sen. Mattie Hunter of Chicago.

    Matthew Avery of Palatine won an 2012 International Automotive Media Award for his work on Classic Recollections, a weekly column in the Daily Herald.

    Daily Herald wins auto media award for Classic Recollections feature

    Classic Recollections, the Daily Herald's weekly feature on collector cars and their suburban owners, and writer Matthew Avery have earned a 2012 International Automotive Media Award. Avery, a professional photographer and freelance writer, has written Classic Recollections for the Daily Herald's Sunday Auto section since 2010.


    About 130 to lose jobs in Woodstock with printing company closing

    A printer in Woodstock is closing and putting about 130 people out of work. McHenry County Workforce Network Director Julie Courtney tells The Northwest Herald that D.B. Hess will stop operations later this week. Courtney says the Woodstock commercial and education material printer informed the city and county about the layoffs.

    This is an exterior view of Fashion Outlets of Chicago, which opens Thursday in Rosemont.

    Rosemont mall opening expected to draw big crowd

    Throngs of shoppers are expected to line up early before the opening of Rosemont's upscale outlet mall Thursday. Fashion Outlets of Chicago, a two-story, 530,000-square-foot mall located just south of the Balmoral Avenue off-ramp from the northbound Tri-State Tollway, will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, except Sundays when it closes at 7 p.m. It's the only outlet mall in the Northwest suburbs. It's the realization of a dream nearly 20 years in the making, Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens said.

    A federal judge has struck down a rule setting a cap on the fees that banks can charge merchants for handling debit card purchases, saying the Federal Reserve didn’t have the authority to set the limit in 2011.

    U.S. judge strikes Fed’s cap on debit ‘swipe’ fees

    A federal judge has struck down a rule setting a cap on the fees that banks can charge merchants for handling debit card purchases, saying the Federal Reserve didn’t have the authority to set the limit in 2011.

    In this May 18, 2012, file photo, Facebook founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, center, rings the Nasdaq opening bell from Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook’s stock finally passed its IPO price of $38 before the market opened Wednesday.

    Facebook passes $38 initial public offering price

    Facebook’s stock has passed its $38 IPO price for the first time since its rocky public debut last May, crossing a symbolic hurdle that has eluded it for more than a year.

    A television screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the rate decision by the Federal Reserve Wednesday. The Federal Reserve says the U.S. economy is growing modestly, a downgrade from its June assessment.

    Stocks log best month since January on Fed pledge

    After a day of stalled rallies, the stock market closed out July with its best monthly gain since January. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index ended the month 4.95 percent higher. That’s the biggest increase since January, when it rose 5.04 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average also had its best month since January.

    JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to pay $410 million on Tuesday to settle accusations by U.S. energy regulators that it manipulated electricity prices.

    JPMorgan owes $410M for price manipulation

    JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed to pay $410 million on Tuesday to settle accusations by U.S. energy regulators that it manipulated electricity prices. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said the bank used improper bidding strategies to squeeze excessive payments from the agencies that run the power grids in California and the Midwest. The improper conduct occurred between September 2010 and November 2012, FERC said.

    Groups of passengers wait at a United Airlines gate to board a flight in separate numbered lanes at O’Hare. For airlines, every minute that a plane sits at the gate makes it more likely that the flight will be late, hurting the carrier’s on-time rating and causing passengers to miss connecting flights. But the perfect boarding process remains elusive. Even an astrophysicist couldn’t figure it out.

    Perfect airline boarding process remains elusive

    After a series of calculations, astrophysicist Jason Steffen deduced that the best system for airlines to board a plane would be a combination of filling window seats first, then middle and aisle ones, while also spacing the boarding passengers two rows apart.There was just one problem — passengers would have to board in precise order. Good luck with that. “Well,” Steffen observes, “I understand why airline people aren’t calling me.”

    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke arrives to testify before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on July 18. The Federal Reserve issued a statement after its two-day policy meeting ended Wednesday, throttling back on its optimism over the nation’s economic recovery.

    Fed downgrades U.S. economic growth to modest

    The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the U.S. economy is growing only modestly, a downgrade from its June assessment. The Fed expects growth will pick up in the second half of the year, but the more cautious message may be a signal that it’s not ready to slow its bond purchases soon.

    Manufacturers, construction companies and other goods- producing industries increased payrolls by 22,000.

    Companies in U.S. added more workers in July than forecast

    Companies in the U.S. boosted payrolls in July by the most this year as employers grew more optimistic demand will pick up in the second half of the year. The 200,000 increase in employment was more than projected and followed a revised 198,000 gain in June that was higher than initially estimated, according to data today from the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey.

    Jeff Caldwell, 29, right, a chassis assembly line supervisor, checks a vehicle on the assembly line at the Chrysler Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit. The government says the U.S. economy grew at a much faster pace last year than previously estimated. The revised growth figures signal a more sustainable economic recovery and help explain why job growth has accelerated this year.

    Report shows U.S. economic growth stronger in 2012

    The government says the U.S. economy grew at a much faster pace last year than previously estimated. The revised growth figures signal a more sustainable economic recovery and help explain why job growth has accelerated this year. The economy expanded at a 2.8 percent annual rate in 2012, up from a previous estimate of 2.2 percent. Consumers and businesses spent more and governments cut back on their spending less.


    Fully-owned NBCUniversal boosts Comcast 2Q results

    The decision by Comcast Corp., the country’s largest cable company, to buy General Electric out of the NBCUniversal business looks like a smart one, as the media conglomerate posted strong results for the second quarter.


    Bayer Q2 profits jump on new drugs, lower charges

    German drug and chemicals company Bayer AG says net profit rose 75 percent in the second quarter thanks to lower one-time charges and strong sales of new products including anti-clotting drug Xarelto and cancer drug Stivarga. But falling earnings at its high-tech materials division led the company to say it would be harder to achieve its earnings goals for the year.


    St. Louis man pleads guilty to fraud
    St. Louis man pleads guilty to fraud A 52-year-old St. Louis man and former vice president of a company based in the Chicago area has pleaded guilty to a $3.9 million fraud scheme. Steven M. Brazile pleaded guilty Tuesday at federal court in Chicago to an invoicing scheme in which he obtained more than 100 company checks totaling millions of dollars.


    Chicago transit agency cracks down on absenteeism

    The agency running Chicago’s trains and buses says a crackdown on employee absenteeism has resulted in $10 million in savings since 2011. The Chicago Transit Authority says it has reduced the cost of unnecessary time off from $40 million two years ago to below $30 million a year by ensuring managers enforce work rules as set down in collective bargaining agreements.


    Tennis, retail planned for Chicago public housing site

    Part of a site that once was home to Chicago’s huge Robert Taylor public housing project may become the location of a tennis and retail complex. The Chicago Housing Authority voted for a proposal that would allow the sale of some of the land to XS Tennis. The CHA intends to submit the plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Life & Entertainment

    Chef Rodelio Aglibot serves curried cauliflower purée to guests at e+o restaurant in Mount Prospect.

    Curried Cauliflower Puree
    Curried Cauliflower

    Steely Dan — Walter Becker, left, and Donald Fagen — bring their “Mood Swings Tour 2013: 8 Miles to Pancake Day” concert to Ravinia Festival.

    Weekend picks: Steely Dan goes '8 Miles to Pancake Day' at Ravinia

    America's quirkiest jazz-rock icons, Steely Dan, return to Ravinia in Highland Park to perform their “Mood Swings Tour 2013: 8 Miles to Pancake Day” concert Friday. Award-winning comedian Al Madrigal (“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”) brings his standup routine to Zanies in St. Charles and Rosemont this weekend. Mr. Blotto, one of Chicago's longest-running and most durable bands, headlines Durty Nellie's in Palatine Friday.

    This Inverness house is located in a gated, maintenance-free community.

    Listing of the week

    This elegant five-bedroom stone, brick and stucco home is situated on a quiet cul-de-sac in the very desirable, gated community of Estates at Inverness Ridge.

    Brian Emmett of Itasca celebrated with his family when he won CBS' “The American Baking Competition.” Emmett competed against nine other bakers from around the country.

    Catching up with baking champ Brian Emmett of Itasca

    It's been just three weeks since Itasca dad Brian Emmett impressed the judges on CBS' “The American Baking Competition” with his miniature pastries and peanutty chiffon roll and was crowned Best Amateur Baker in the U.S. What was the biggest lesson Emmett learned on the show? “Taking the judges' criticism and growing," he said. "I went in a good baker and came out a more knowledgeable baker.”


    National Aquarium overhaul creates coral ecosystem

    The National Aquarium in Baltimore has overhauled what once was a drab, leaky, concrete tank of mostly sting rays, adding 1,000 animals and 3,000 hand-sculpted coral replicas to create a colorful and massive new centerpiece exhibit. The exhibit had always been popular but became dated, and it is now teeming with new life after the $12.5 million renovation. The tank now includes 65 different animal species, including a beloved 555-pound, three-legged green sea turtle named Calypso.


    Music notes: Jam with Mr. Blotto at Durty Nellie’s

    Mr. Blotto works its jam-band wonders this weekend at Durty Nellie's in Palatine, so stop by if you're in the mood for some danceable rock 'n' roll. The Steve Augeri Band will play at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles this weekend in a concert that will raise money for research into a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

    Soup is an easy way to use up summer vegetables like corn, summer squash, peppers and beans.

    Soupalooza: Farmers market bounty turns into hearty soup

    What do you do when you overbuy at the farmers market? When it's too hot to grill, M. Eileen Brown cranks up the A/C and heads into the kitchen to make soup. Her latest batch was a corn-based soup chock full of green beans, squash and peppers.

    Author J.K. Rowling has accepted a charitable donation from a law firm that revealed she wrote a crime novel under a pseudonym. The Harry Potter author says her crime-writing alter ego, Robert Galbraith, had respectable sales before being exposed in the Sunday Times as a pseudonym.

    Rowling accepts donation for identity revelation

    Author J.K. Rowling accepted an apology and a charitable donation Wednesday from a law firm that revealed she wrote a crime novel under a pseudonym. The “Harry Potter” author was exposed by a newspaper on July 14 as the author of “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” a thriller ostensibly written by former soldier and first-time novelist Robert Galbraith.

    Showtime’s president is hinting that a “Dexter” spinoff may be forthcoming.

    Showtime executive hints at ‘Dexter’ spinoff

    Showtime’s president is hinting that a “Dexter” spin-off may be forthcoming. David Nevins said Tuesday that Showtime has signed a two-year deal with Scott Buck, the executive producer of “Dexter.” The serial killer drama starring Michael C. Hall is in its eighth and final season.

    Actress Eileen Brennan, who is best known for playing Capt. Doreen Lewis in “Private Benjamin,” died Sunday in Burbank, Calif., after a battle with bladder cancer.

    Actress Eileen Brennan dies after fight with bladder cancer

    Eileen Brennan, who went from musical comedy on Broadway to wringing laughs out of memorable characters in such films as “Private Benjamin” and “Clue,” has died. She was 80. Brennan’s managers, Jessica Moresco and Al Onorato, said she died Sunday at home in Burbank after a battle with bladder cancer.

    The Melrose floor lamp lights up elongated midcentury curves with an updated matte brass base and a cream canvas drum shade.

    Metals glow in fall decor

    Never been a heavy metal fan? The new look of brass, copper, bronze and nickel in this fall’s decor might change your mind. The finishes are warm, without the kitschy clash of some previous go-rounds. You’ll see these softer, richer-looking metals — joining gold and silver on the decor stage — as accents on accessories, as furniture embellishment and as a brushed finish on textiles.


    Lean and lovin’ it: Taking a taste of Art Smith’s new cookbook

    In his new book “Art Smith’s Healthy Comfort" Smith shares his weight loss story and the recipes that helped him stay on his healthier path. Taking the bull by the horns he hired workout guru Aaron Ferguson and lost 120 pounds; no easy task for a man who owns five restaurants.

    Filet au poivre is one of the many fine cuts of beef at Vidalia Steakhouse in Schaumburg.

    Vidalia Steakhouse keeps value on the menu

    Chicago and the suburbs are well-stocked in the meatery department, but Vidalia Steakhouse fits nicely into the mix, especially given the prices are a bit more down to earth. The restaurant at 680 Mall Drive is the kind of place where kiddos are welcome, a fact that bodes well for its locale in Woodfield's shadow.

    Pork loin gets an herbed maple syrup rub before it hits the grill. Serve with grilled corn and scallions salad.

    Smoked Pork Loin with Corn Salad
    Pork Loin with Corn Salad


    Corn Cream Soup with Summer Vegetables
    Corn Cream Soup with Summer Vegetables: Soupalooza

    Roasted brussels sprouts and baked buttermilk-soaked chicken from “Art Smith’s Healthy Comfort: How America’s Favorite Celebrity Chef Got It Together, Lost Weight, and Reclaimed His Health!” form a healthy meal.

    Unfried Chicken with Roasted Brussels Sprouts
    Unfried Chicken with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

    Trixie Franklin, Cynthia Miller, Jenny Lee and Chummy Noakes from the PBS series “Call the Midwife.”

    PBS redefining its TV niche

    When Discovery, The Learning Channel, History, Bravo, A&E and similar networks emerged, there was a real fear it could lead to the death of PBS. Each specialized network would pick off a portion of PBS' audience for programs on science, nature, history and the arts. Founded as an alternative to commercial TV, PBS was losing what made it unique. Yet in the past few years, these cable networks discovered that it was much more profitable to create reality TV stars. PBS' path was cleared, and it is making the most of its new chance.

    Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros performing on day four of the 2013 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn. The band released its self-titled album on Tuesday, July 23.

    Long delay makes ‘Edward Sharpe ...’ worth the wait

    The new self-titled album from Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros is late. Way late. More than a year overdue. Frontman and producer Alex Ebert wouldn’t have it any other way. “I’m just glad we didn’t put it out all the way back then because so much developed since then,” Ebert said. Some of the 12 songs on the band’s third album, released last week, were recorded more than 18 months ago.

    Q-BBQ’s new summer menu includes eight extra-spicy dishes.

    Dining events: Summer menu a spicy hit

    Q-BBQ’s spicy summer menu a hit in LaGrange and Naperville; prasino’s newest location opens in Rosemont; Port Edward’s caviar and seafood dinner.

    “Bakersfield” by Vince Gill & Paul Franklin

    Gill, Franklin salute Bakersfield sound

    For those dismayed by contemporary country music’s lack of steel guitar and shuffle rhythms, “Bakersfield” is your antidote. With Vince Gill no longer competing for top radio hits, he turns his attention to one of the bedrock styles of the traditional American music that he loves. Recruiting Paul Franklin, Gill swaggers into the Telecaster-and-steel country sounds of Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, heroes to these two musicians and millions of others who revere brawny, succinctly poetic working-class music.

    Smurfette (Katy Perry), center, becomes involved in a mad plan to take over the world in the 3-D animated sequel "Smurfs 2."

    3-D ‘Smurfs’ sequel panders to its kid audience

    The 3-D “Smurfs 2” should appeal to undiscriminating young audiences. Director Raja Gosnell has built a career with cute-critter pics and other family fare, and his middlebrow track record remains unblemished with the Smurfs’ sequel. Beyond a few chuckle-worthy one-liners and some amusing visual comedy, there’s not much to engage adults, although the wee ones should be distracted enough.


    David Northern

    Editorial: Stop paying public officials to go quietly

    Why is it that taxpayers keep paying for public servants to go away quietly and stop doing their jobs, a Daily Herald editorial asks.


    Boehner set right tone on immigration

    Columnist Michael Gerson: The tone of the immigration debate has recently taken a sharp downward turn, which may not be a bad thing for immigration reform’s legislative prospects.


    Why governing has become so difficult

    Columnist Lee Hamilton: If you want to know why passing congressional legislation has gotten so difficult, here are two numbers to remember: 5 and 532.


    Wind turbines no friend to birds
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: Environmentalists tout wind turbines as an environmentally friendly way to generate electricity. Obviously, these lethal machines aren’t environmentally friendly to the large numbers of dead birds on the ground around them.


    Distractions, phony scandals poor excuse
    An Elgin letter to the letter: What is up with President Obama’s comment on July 23 about “distractions and phony scandals?” Killing of a border patrol guard and four good men in Benghazi, Libya, who gave their lives for this country are “distractions and phony scandals.” Our president doesn’t seem to think much of these brave Americans that he left them “go hang” with poor protection when under attack and no explanation of what happened.


    SHS complaints were in error
    A Mundelein letter to the editor: Last week, I wrote a letter to the editor condemning the “EARN Program” for incoming Stevenson High School freshmen.


    Beware of ‘canned’ news and its spin
    A Lombard letter to the editor: I hesitate to comment about U.S. news services (and while we’re at it, local “stringers”) especially those who have reinvented themselves over the years as “groups” such as AP, UPI, etc. and who in many cases find it difficult to distinguish between fact and politically correct opinion.


    Remove amendment from farm bill
    A Naperville letter to the editor: Recently, the House of Representatives narrowly passed the Federal Farm Bill. Sadly, Rep. Roskam voted “yes” on this bill, which included an amendment introduced by Rep. Steve King of Iowa. This amendment could potentially nullify dozens of state laws that are currently in place to protect animals, the environment, worker safety and food safety.


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