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Daily Archive : Friday August 23, 2013

News

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    Ground coverings are taken up as cleanup begins Tuesday following Naperville’s Last Fling. The four-day festival faced two bouts of weather-related snags.

    Last Fling cleanup follows mixed-bag weather weekend in Naperville

    Rotary Hill is being cleared and Jackson Avenue is getting back to normal in Naperville after a four-day Last Fling festival that saw at least two rounds of strong storms over Labor Day weekend.

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    Road work delays get special attention in Libertyville

    On Tuesday, a section of Route 21 (Milwaukee Avenue) near Libertyville will be closed intermittently in both directions for delivery and installation of a pedestrian tunnel. A dedicated website has been created and the village will be advertising to help businesses affected by the aggravating $23 million project, which is in its second year.

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    The 84-year-old Algonquin man driving this sport utility vehicle on Marengo Road near Huntley Thursday, was killed in a crash after his vehicle rear-ended a pickup truck, rolled over and hit a tree, police said. The truck's driver, a 70-year-old man from Huntley, was not injured. Autopsy and toxicology results are pending.

    Algonquin man dies from injuries in Thursday crash

    An Algonquin man involved in a two-vehicle crash near Huntley Thursday died of the injuries he sustained, authorities said Friday. Gerhard Von Dahlen, 84, of the 1300 block of Harrison Street, was pronounced dead at 12:35 p.m. Thursday at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin. Police say Von Dahlen's sport utility vehicle hit another vehicle in unincorporated Coral Township before it rolled over...

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    The official who oversaw the University of Illinois' bands program resigned after it emerged that he sold tens of thousands of dollars' worth of school instruments and put the money in personal bank accounts. Robert Rumbelow, who had been the school's director of bands since 2010, stepped down Thursday after writing a check to the school for $86,000. Rumbelow was expected to pay back another $1,600 on Friday that the school said he still owed, his lawyer Dan Jackson said.

    U of I band director quits amid investigation

    The official who oversaw the University of Illinois' bands program resigned after it emerged that he sold tens of thousands of dollars' worth of school instruments and put the money in personal bank accounts. Robert Rumbelow, who had been the school's director of bands since 2010, stepped down Thursday after writing a check to the school for $86,000.

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    Police probe man’s death in Arlington Heights

    Arlington Heights police were conducting a death investigation after a body was discovered at a home Friday afternoon, officials said. Police tape cordoned off a portion of Park Street near Phelps Avenue, and several squad cars were on scene from late Friday afternoon into the evening.

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    Island Lake hires part-time employee to oversee village hall computer services

    Island Lake officials on Thursday hired a part-time employee to oversee computer services at village hall. George Muligano, a longtime Island Lake resident with professional experience in the information-technology field, got a six-month contract for the job.

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    Marvin Schmidt turns 95 Saturday. He worked at Bluff City Cemetery in Elgin for 30 years, where he started the Avenue of the Flags tradition in 1968.

    Former Elgin cemetery superintendent turns 95

    If you’re looking for Marvin Schmidt on any given day, he is usually not hard to find. The Elgin resident, who celebrates his 95th birthday today, starts his day at Ray’s Family Restaurant in Elgin. Later he goes to Bluff City Cemetery, where he worked for 30 years, to visit the graves of his wife and grandson. Then he goes back to Ray’s for dinner. He is inviting "everyone" to his birthday party...

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    Carson City Animal Services’ leadership is changing amid outcry over Rollie, who was euthanized when his owner couldn’t pay $100 in fees.

    Leadership changes amid outcry over euthanized dog

    Owner Jeraldine Archuleta said she tried to retrieve Rollie from the shelter July 26 but was told she needed to pay $100 within 72 hours.Archuleta was unable to come up with the money in time, and the dog was euthanized.

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    Rosemont businesses donate school supplies, backpacks to students

    The CEOs of eight of the largest corporations and organizations in Rosemont this week donated funds to buy school supplies, filling more than 250 backpacks for children in kindergarten through eighth grades.

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    Possible pension fix could save $145 billion

    A bipartisan panel tasked with solving Illinois’ multibillion-dollar pension crisis is considering a framework that could save the state about $145 billion over 30 years, largely by ending automatic 3 percent cost-of-living increases for retirees.

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    Dianne York is photographed with San Diego Mayor Bob Filner in a conference room adjacent to the mayor’s office in San Diego. York first came forward to say that Filner put his hands on her buttocks while this photo was being taken following a meeting in his office.

    San Diego mayor agrees to resign

    The City Council voted 7-0 on a deal that ends a political stalemate after more than a dozen women publicly identified themselves as targets of unwanted advances, including touching, forcible kisses and lurid comments.

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    Personal data of 4 million Advocate patients stolen

    Four computers containing personal data for some 4 million Advocate Medical Group patients were stolen last month from one of the company’s Park Ridge administrative offices, hospital officials announced Friday.

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    Alex Clifford

    Clifford’s return unlikely when Metra picks interim chief

    Metra's calling a special meeting to likely discuss who will be the interim boss. Don't expect it to be former CEO Alex Clifford, however, several directors said, despite a push for his return to the scandal-plagued agency..

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    Bartlett police, paramedics scheduled to speak at heroin awareness event

    In response to growing alarm over the number of heroin-related deaths in DuPage County this year, a local youth ministry is hosting a forum to raise awareness 7 p.m. Sunday at Resurrection Catholic Church, 30 W 350 Army Trail Road in Wayne. “I think sometimes people ... they don’t picture (heroin) as something that would be in the suburbs or something an athlete would take or a straight-A student...

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    Fundraiser near Antioch:

    A charitable group called Children of Fallen Riders will hold a fundraiser and motorcycle ride Sunday at the Port of Blarney, 27843 W. Grass Lake Road, near Antioch.

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    Countryside fire district accredited:

    The Countryside Fire Protection District has received Accredited Agency status with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International for the fourth time.

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    Lyme disease support, awareness:

    A record number of cases of Lyme disease have been reported this year in Lake County and a local support group is available to offer advice and assistance. Visit www.lymesupportnetwork.org.

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    Harper budget decreases slightly after dip in enrollment

    Harper College trustees this week unanimously passed a balanced budget, but officials cautioned that state funding and pensions could impact the bottom line. Overall operational spending in fiscal year 2014 is budgeted to decrease slightly due to a dip in enrollment last year.

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    Atleson to run for county treasurer:

    Fremont Township Trustee Jeri Atleson has announced she’ll run for Lake County treasurer in 2014.

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    Mei Xiang, a giant female panda, rests at the National Zoo in Washington.

    Panda gives birth to third cub at National Zoo

    The zoo said Mei Xiang gave birth at 5:32 p.m. Friday, two hours after her water broke. Zoo officials said the panda team heard the cub vocalize and said Mei Xiang picked the cub up immediately and began cradling and caring for it.

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    Brazil’s Foreign Minister Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, left, speaks Thursday to the Congressional Commission of Foreign Relations in Brasilia, Brazil. De Aguiar Patriota said U.S. surveillance programs violate the sovereignty of countries whose emails and telephone calls have been targeted by the National Security Agency.

    NSA admits ‘rare’ willful surveillance violations

    Obama administration officials and intelligence overseers in Congress have described the FISA and Patriot Act violations as inadvertent. The NSA this week declassified a secret FISA court ruling from 2011 that revealed the agency had inadvertently scooped up, over a three-year period, as many as 56,000 emails of Americans not connected to terrorism.

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    Actress Gabrielle Union and Deputy Postmaster General Roland A. Stroman unveil of a U.S. Postal Service stamp Friday commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

    March on Washington stamp unveiled

    The stamp carries an oil-painted image of marchers carrying placards calling for jobs and equal rights, with the Washington Monument as a backdrop.

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    Lebanese men weep Friday outside the Islamic Hospital after hearing that a relative was killed in a car bomb attack, in the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon.

    Blasts kill 29, wound hundreds in Lebanon

    The two explosions went off about five minutes apart. The force of the blast at the Taqwa mosque propelled a car onto its roof. President Michel Suleiman cut short a visit abroad and returned to the country to follow the situation. He described the attacks as a “massacre” aimed at sowing strife among Lebanese.

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    NBC News’ Lew Wood

    Former ‘Today’ news anchor Lew Wood dies

    Lew Wood, who marched with Martin Luther King, covered John F. Kennedy’s assassination and was a news anchor for NBC’s “Today” show during a distinguished broadcast career that began with the dawn of television, has died at age 84.

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    Children invited to audition for CLC’s ‘Charlotte’s Web’

    Community members age 12 and up are invited to audition for the CLC children’s theatre production of “Charlotte’s Web” at 6:30 p.m. on either Aug. 27 or 28. Auditions will be held in the Studio Theatre of the James Lumber Center for the Performing Arts on the Grayslake campus, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake.

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    U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk’s anti-gang push in Chicago and Illinois isn’t his first.

    Kirk’s anti-gang push has suburban roots

    U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk’s push to try to curb street gang violence in Chicago have roots in similar efforts he made as a suburban congressman, representing a district where officials say more federal help could help them fight back.

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    Fox Valley police reports
    Joe W. Latrell, 17, of Elgin, was charged Thursday with disorderly conduct/making a false 911, a felony, after he pulled a fire alarm box in the gymnasium of a building in the 300 block of East Chicago Street knowing there was no fire, court records show.

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    Island Lake board rejects video gambling with 4-3 vote

    Island Lake residents who like to gamble will have to leave town if they want to try their luck at video poker. Officials on Thursday voted against allowing bars and other establishments to operate the controversial machines.

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    Eugene Jonsson

    Missing Arlington Heights man last seen near Yorkville

    An 84-year-old Arlington Heights man is missing after leaving home to go to a Palatine restaurant on Thursday evening. His car was spotted after midnight in Yorkville.

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    Proposed Liberty Station development near Libertyville’s Metra station.

    Transit-oriented community pitched in Libertyville

    M/I Homes has received a thumbs-up from Libertyville offiicals for a concept to build 80 townhouses near the downtown Metra commuter station. The so-called transit-oriented development would be the company's first project in Lake County.

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    Hajji Mohammad Naim, who was shot in the neck during an attack on his Afghan village by Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, listens during a news conference Friday after a sentencing hearing for Bales at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.

    Villagers unsatisfied by life sentence in Afghanistan massacre

    The U.S. soldier who massacred 16 Afghan civilians last year in one of the worst atrocities of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars was sentenced Friday to life in prison with no chance of parole — the most severe sentence possible, but one that left surviving victims and relatives of the dead deeply unsatisfied.

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    Kelly Hill, left, and Elisabeth Stonebreaker McCoy will host a grand opening for Integrity School of Dance in Elgin Sunday. The studio was formerly Gould Academy of Dance Arts, a longtime staple of Elgin’s artistic community. The two both taught there.

    More offerings at expanded Elgin dance studio

    Two veteran teachers of the former Gould Academy of Dance Arts in Elgin bought the business and are relaunching it under a new name and expanded mission.

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    Bonfire embers sparked Naperville house fire

    Embers from a grill that was used to create a bonfire apparently sparked an accidental blaze that caused roughly $100,000 damage to a Naperville house earlier this week, authorities said Friday.

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    Vans belonging to Mexican authorities arrive at the entrance of a ranch where a mass grave was found in Tlalmanalco, Mexico.

    Mexico police working through night at mass grave

    Seven corpses covered in lime and sand were found Thursday in a shallow grave on a ranch in Tlalmanalco east of the capital, a federal agent said. By evening, more backhoes were seen entering the property as excavators continued the search.

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    Dead fish float Thursday in Tijuca lake in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    Tons of fish die near Rio’s Olympic park

    RIO DE JANEIRO — About 10 tons of dead fish have been discovered in a Rio de Janeiro lake that sits next to the city’s future Olympic park.Environmental officials are investigating the fish kill. Biologists say it was likely caused by raw sewage making its way into the water, as has happened before.

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    These are snakes Beaumont, Texas police seized on Monday after several sightings. Among the snakes was this 12 to 13 foot Burmese python.

    Couple charged after 40 pythons found in motel

    BRANTFORD, Ontario — A Canadian couple has been charged with animal cruelty after 40 ball python snakes and five eggs were found in a motel room.The discovery is sure to stoke fear of snakes in Canada, where a python that escaped from a pet store strangled two young boys in New Brunswick earlier this month.

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    Grant teachers get 12 percent wage increase, 30 minutes added to school day

    Grant High School teachers will be paid an extra 12 percent over a new three-year contract. School leaders said the biggest increase comes in the second year of the agreement, when the school day will increase by 30 minutes. District leaders and teachers have approved the contract.

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    Two firefighters stand amid the rubble of a two-alarm garage fire in the 23000 block of Lakewood Lane near Lake Zurich Friday. No one was injured.

    No injuries in Lake Zurich-area garage fire

    No injuries were reported in a two-alarm garage fire in an unincorporated area near Lake Zurich early Friday morning, authorities said. The blaze, on the 23000 block of south Lakewood Lane, was called into firefighters about 4 a.m., Lake Zurich Fire Capt. Jeff Radtke said.

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    Eric Barth

    Repeat South Elgin DUI offender sentenced to prison

    Eric Barth was spared prison after a DUI crash in Hampshire injured an eldery couple. This time around, the 24-year-old from South Elgin got 2.5 years in prison for a Dec. 25, 2012, aggravated DUI arrest just months after he was released from boot camp. Barth pleaded guilty Friday; he faced three years behind bars.

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    A mosquito is tested for the West Nile virus at a lab.

    Mosquitoes in Buffalo Grove test positive for West Nile

    Mosquitoes collected from traps on both the north and south sides of Buffalo Grove have tested positive for West Nile virus, the village said Friday. “West Nile virus was confirmed in the mosquito population on Aug. 13 on both the Lake and Cook County sides of the village,” Village Manager Dane Bragg said in a news release.

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    Bob Gilliam

    Elgin building could be named after former councilman

    The Housing Authority of Elgin is considering naming a planned six-story building after longtime board member and former Elgin councilman Bob Gilliam. HAE Executive Director Damon Duncan said the board still needs to approve the naming, which was mentioned in passing during a board meeting earlier this week. “He's been behind us from day one, he supported us, he had faith in us, and...

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    Former Cook County assessor’s clerk charged with stealing tax refunds

    A former clerk in the Cook County Assessor's office is charged with theft and misconduct for what prosecutors said amounted to the theft of more than $100,000 over the course of four years. Dionne Cooper, 43, of Hazel Crest, is accused of submitting fraudulent tax refund applications and splitting the proceeds with an unnamed co-conspirator.

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    63-year-old woman attacked in car in Arlington Heights

    Arlington Heights police are continuing to investigate an attack on a 63-year-old woman who was sitting in her locked car in a business parking lot late Thursday. The woman and her red 2010 Toyota Corolla were reportedly approached by two men while parked on the 500 block of West Algonquin Road between 10:40 and 10:50 p.m. Thursday.

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    Frank Engel of Hampshire works on a windmill in his barn workshop.

    Moving picture: Hampshire farmer turns hobby for restoring windmills into a side business

    Frank Engel of Hampshire started fixing up old windmills for relatives, but it wasn't until he put one up for sale on his farm that his hobby turned into a regular side job. “Sold that windmill without a problem,” Engel said. A month or so later he did the same thing and the same thing happened. “Turns out there's quite a bit of interest in old windmills out here,” he said.

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    Naperville cops investigating several burglaries

    Naperville police are seeking the public’s help to solve several burglaries reported this month.

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    The wildfire outside Yosemite National Park — one of more than 50 major brush blazes burning across the western U.S. — more than tripled in size overnight and still threatens about 2,500 homes, hotels and camp buildings.

    Tourists, residents flee huge fire near Yosemite

    A Northern California wildfire raging out of control on Friday grew to more than three-times the size of the city of San Francisco as it spread inside the border of Yosemite National Park. Within the park the blaze is burning in a remote area around Lake Eleanor, and is not threatening Yosemite Valley. Yosemite remains open, but the wildfire has caused the closure of one of three entrances to the...

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Thieves removed a package delivered by Federal Express which contained an HP/Windows 8 tablet valued at $649.99 from an apartment common area in the 2200 block of South Goebbert Road, Arlington Heights. The package was left at the victim’s door at 11:48 a.m. Aug. 14.

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    Mayor Bob Filner, besieged by sexual harassment allegations, sat down to the negotiating table with a key bargaining chip: His refusal to resign. Now that a deal aimed at ending one of San Diego’s darkest periods of political turmoil has been reached, it’s up to the City Council to decide whether to cash in the chip.

    San Diego officials to weigh mayoral agreement

    Mayor Bob Filner, besieged by sexual harassment allegations, sat down to the negotiating table with a key bargaining chip: His refusal to resign. Now that a deal aimed at ending one of San Diego’s darkest periods of political turmoil has been reached, it’s up to the City Council to decide whether to cash in the chip.

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    Keith Williams, with Colorado Springs Heavy Rescue, walks away from a car that was submerged when flash floodwaters rushed over Voyager Parkway near Copper Center Parkway Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

    Colorado hit by torrential rain, hail

    The flood-damaged Colorado city of Manitou Springs has escaped the latest round of torrential rain without any significant flooding. The heaviest of the Thursday evening’s rain fell upstream from the Waldo Canyon and Black Forest fire burn areas. Some cars and drivers were stranded when flood waters rushed over roads. The system dumped so much hail in areas southwest of Denver snowplows were out...

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    A U.S. Forest Service firefighter moves away from a quickly moving section of the Rim Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013.

    Images: Western Wildfires
    Wildfires in Idaho, Oregon and California are raging over thousands of acres of land and have consumed scores of homes. Firefighters are working to contain the blazes, but many are still out of control.

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    A supporter of Egypt’s deposed autocrat Hosni Mubarak ululates Thursday in front of Tora prison where he is held in Cairo.

    Egypt security deploys as Morsi supporters rally

    Hundreds of supporters of Mohammed Morsi took to the streets Friday, holding scattered rallies across the city in a test of whether the ousted Egyptian president’s allies can keep up the pressure on the government despite the arrest of much of their senior leadership. Protesters rallied on smaller streets and outside neighborhood mosques, dodging major thoroughfares and squares where military and...

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    Twin explosions kill 27 in north Lebanese city

    Twin car bombs exploded outside mosques in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli Friday, killing at least 27 people, wounding over 350 and wreaking major destruction in the country’s second largest city, Lebanese Health Ministry officials said. Footage aired on local TV showed thick, black smoke billowing over the city and bodies scattered beside burning cars in scenes reminiscent of Lebanon’s...

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    Syrian refugees wait to receive a tent at Kawergost refugee camp in Irbil, 217 miles north of Baghdad, Iraq. Around 34,000 Syrians, the vast majority of them Kurds, have fled the region over a five-day stretch and crossed the border to the self-ruled Kurdish region of northern Iraq.

    UN: 1 million child refugees from Syrian war

    It’s shaping up to be a lost generation: The number of child refugees fleeing Syria’s violence has now topped the 1 million mark. The grim milestone announced Friday by U.N. officials means as many Syrian children have been uprooted from their homes or families as the number of children who live in Boston and Los Angeles combined, said Antonio Guterres, the head of the Office for the U.N. High...

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    A word of warning to those who write personal notes to Pope Francis: He might just call you back. Francis has charmed the masses with his informal style, simplicity and sense of humor — and a handful of strangers have gotten the treatment up close, receiving papal phone calls out of the blue after writing him or suffering some personal tragedy.

    If the pope calls, what should you say?

    A word of warning to those who write personal notes to Pope Francis: He might just call you back.

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    Koreas agree to reunions for first time in 3 years

    North and South Korea agreed Friday to allow reunions next month of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, the first such meetings in three years and the latest conciliatory gesture from the North after a spring that saw it threaten Seoul and Washington with missile strikes and nuclear war. One-hundred people from each country will be allowed to meet family members Sept. 25-30 at North...

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    U.S. Army, Pfc. Bradley Manning poses for a photo wearing a wig and lipstick. Manning emailed his military therapist the photo with a letter titled, “My problem,” in which he described his issues with gender identity and his hope that a military career would “get rid of it.”

    Bradley Manning wants to live as Chelsea Manning

    By asking to be known as a woman named Chelsea, Bradley Manning has created a host of possible challenges for the military as the soldier began serving a 35-year prison sentence for giving secrets to WikiLeaks. Manning’s gender-identity struggle — a sense of being a woman in a man’s body — was brought up by the defense at the court-martial. But the latest twist surprised many and confronted the...

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    Linwood “Lennie” Jarratt

    District 46: YouTube clip misrepresents administrator

    Grayslake Elementary District 46 officials say a YouTube video clip posted by a local activist attracting national attention unfairly portrays an administrator as not being concerned if a student doesn't give a correct math answer during her presentation about common core state standards.

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    This file image released by Tesla Motors shows a sketch of the Hyperloop capsule with passengers onboard. When billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk published fanciful plans to shoot capsules full of people at the speed of sound through a tube connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco, he asked the public to perfect his rough plans. From tinkerers to engineers, the race is on.

    'Hyperloop’ travel idea gains fans if not backers

    Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk urged the public to polish sketch plans he released last week for a “Hyperloop” that would shoot capsules full of people at the speed of sound through elevated tubes connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco. From tinkerers to engineers, the race is on. The goal is to get a “quick and dirty” sense of how much wind drag a capsule would...

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    President Barack Obama said the notion that the U.S. alone can end Syria’s bloody civil war is “overstated” and made clear he would seek international support before taking large-scale action.

    Obama: Syria attack a ‘big event of grave concern’

    President Barack Obama says a possible chemical weapons attack in Syria this week is a “big event of grave concern” that has hastened the timeframe for determining a U.S. response. However, Obama said the notion that the U.S. alone can end Syria’s bloody civil war is “overstated” and made clear he would seek international support before taking large-scale action.

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    Keith Johns

    Island Lake trustee questions $30,000 bill

    Plans for a new village hall in Island Lake sank after the April municipal election, so a newly received $30,000 bill for services related to the project has surprised some officials. Trustee Keith Johns, who leads a committee that oversees finance issues, questioned the bill from a consulting firm called Draper and Kramer during Thursday night’s board meeting.

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    Indian policemen Friday inspect the site where a 22-year-old woman was gang raped in Mahalaxmi area in Mumbai India. The young woman photojournalist was gang raped while her male colleague was tied up and beaten in India’s business hub of Mumbai, police said Friday. The case was reminiscent of the December gang rape and death of a young university student in the Indian capital that shocked the country.

    Gang rape of young photojournalist shocks Mumbai

    A young photojournalist was gang raped while her male colleague was tied up and beaten in an isolated, overgrown corner of India’s business hub of Mumbai, police said Friday. The case was reminiscent of the December gang rape and death of a young university student in the Indian capital that shocked the country. Police on Friday arrested a suspect in the attack who named and identified the other...

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    Workers stand on storage tanks at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant at Okuma in Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan. Deep beneath Fukushimaís crippled nuclear power station a vast underground reservoir of highly contaminated water that began spilling from the plant’s reactors during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami has been creeping slowly toward the sea.

    Radioactive groundwater under Fukushima nears sea

    Deep beneath Fukushima’s crippled nuclear power station a massive underground reservoir of contaminated water that began spilling from the plant’s reactors after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami has been creeping slowly toward the sea. Now, 2 1/2 years later, experts fear it is about to reach the Pacific and greatly worsen what is fast becoming a new crisis at Fukushima: the inability to contain...

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    Man, 50, charged in Chicago chain saw attack

    A 50-year-old Chicago man is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after authorities say he attacked his neighbor with a chain saw, nearly severing the man’s fingers. Anthony Metcalf is set to appear in bond court on Friday for the attack that took place shortly before 2 a.m. on Wednesday.

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    Man charged with death of Marion toddler

    MARION, Ill. — A southern Illinois man is being held on $1 million bond after he was charged with first-degree murder for the death of his girlfriend’s 23-month-old son.Twenty-five-year-old Kody S. Johnson is being held in the Williamson County jail and is set to appear in court on Sept. 9.It wasn’t clear if he had an attorney.

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    Lincoln, Hemingway focus of teachers’ conference

    SPRINGFIELD — Officials say a two-day conference in Springfield next month will provide teachers with new ideas for bringing history into the classroom. The Conference on Illinois History will be Sept. 26-27.

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    Analysis: Many insurance options under Wisconsin exchange

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — There will be multiple options across Wisconsin for purchasing insurance through the new marketplaces, or exchanges, required under the federal health care overhaul, an analysis released Thursday concluded.

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    Wisconsin teen gets life in fire that killed 3 nephews

    DARLINGTON, Wis. — Sharon Wand could barely finish a sentence without breaking down in sobs. The grieving Wisconsin mother was recalling how her three young sons considered their uncle a role model, someone who taught them how to count and ride a bicycle. Then she tearfully asked that uncle, her teenage brother-in-law, how he could kill those boys for $300.

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    84 percent of Wisconsin farmers return census

    MADISON, Wis. — State officials say there was a strong response from Wisconsin farmers who provided valuable census information. Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel says 84 percent of Wisconsin farmers completed and returned their census forms. That’s third best in the nation.

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    Waukesha youth football to play at Packers game

    GREEN BAY, Wis. — The halftime entertainment at the Packers preseason game will feature kids from the Waukesha Youth Football League.It’s part of the Packers’ recognition of USA Football Month. The teams will also be on the field during the national anthem. The Packers have donated more than 3,000 tickets to youth football leagues throughout Wisconsin for the team’s home preseason games.

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    Wisconsin warns Packers fans of road construction

    MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is warning Packers fans heading to Lambeau Field for Friday’s preseason game against Seattle to be aware of ongoing road construction.The DOT says fans should not encounter any significant traffic, but they should still allow extra time to make it to the game on time.

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    Illinois’ youth deer hunt set for Oct. 12-14

    SPRINGFIELD — Illinois’ youth will have three days in October to deer hunt with firearms.Illinois Department of Natural Resources officials said Thursday the hunt will be held Oct. 12-14 for youths who haven’t reached their 16th birthday by the first day of the hunt.

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    Deadly Southwestern Indiana rail crossing set for upgrade

    PRINCETON, Ind. — A southwestern Indiana rural railroad crossing is closer to receiving crossing arms and signals after the second deadly train-motor vehicle crash there in two years.

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    Military escort Saturday for 2 Indiana Marines

    NASHVILLE, Ind. — A military escort Saturday will carry the remains of two Marine Corps veterans from a central Indiana funeral home to a military cemetery in Madison.

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    Colorado man charged with sex assault of minor

    CHICAGO — A Colorado man is facing multiple sexual assault charges in Cook County.

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    Notre Dame to admit those in U.S. without permission

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame will begin allowing students living in the United States without legal permission to attend the school.

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    Southern Indiana city eyes improvement for its riverfront

    JASPER, Ind. — A southern Indiana city is eyeing improvements to its downtown area and riverfront that could include adding new restaurants and apartments.

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    3 northern Indiana teens convicted in accomplice’s death

    GOSHEN, Ind. — A jury has convicted three northern Indiana teenagers on murder charges stemming from their home invasion accomplice being fatally shot by a homeowner. The Elkhart County jury deliberated more than five hours before reaching the guilty verdicts late Thursday.

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    Village of Perry to unveil veterans memorial

    PERRY, Ill. — The village of Perry in western Illinois plans to unveil a new veterans’ memorial this weekend.The money for the memorial was left by late resident Floyd “Stub” Smith. The village will debut the memorial on Saturday at its annual Pioneer Days celebration.

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    Illinois schools to split $400 million in construction grants

    The state is handing out $400 million in grants to help school districts across Illinois construct new buildings and replace outdated energy systems.Gov. Pat Quinn announced the grants Thursday.He says the money is part of the Illinois Jobs Now capital construction program, a $31 billion effort aimed at improving infrastructure and creating jobs.

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    Lawsuit over missing Indiana student put on hold

    INDIANAPOLIS — The lawsuit filed by a missing Indiana University student’s parents against three men who were with her the night she was last seen is on hold until a judge decides whether to dismiss it.

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    Chicago to celebrate March on Washington stamp

    The U.S. Postal Service is set to unveil a new Forever stamp marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, and Chicago events are planned to celebrate.

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    Service honors 7 family members killed in crash

    MUNSTER, Ind. — Pictures of birthday parties and other family events flashed on screens at a northwestern Indiana church during funeral services for the seven family members killed in an Interstate 65 construction zone crash,

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    Bobbi Braico, a FISH Food Pantry volunteer from West Dundee, gets ready to deliver a cart filled with food to a needy family. This weekend’s “Go Fish” run will help raise much-needed funds for the Carpentersville pantry.

    5K run/walk to benefit FISH Food Pantry

    Diapers, baby wipes, pet food, and fruit and vegetables. This looks like a shopping list, but it is more of a wish list. Volunteers of Dundee Township’s FISH Food Pantry hope the needs will be met with the “Go Fish” Family Run and Walk at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in East Dundee.

  •  
    Nationals second baseman Anthony Rendon catches the Cubs’ Starlin Castro trying to steal second during the third inning of Thursday’s game at Wrigley Field. Washington won in 13 innings.

    Dawn Patrol: Fire in Lake Zurich; Charges in ‘Drano bomb’ case

    Power outage affects Streamwood businesses. $30,000 bill comes as a shock in Island Lake. Juveniles charged in North Aurora 'Drano bomb' case. Affleck will be next Batman. Musical version of "9 to 5" feels dated. Cubs lose in 13. Former Sox back in town with Rangers.

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    Sugar Grove American Legion fighting video gambling lawsuit

    American Legion Post 1271 in Sugar Grove wants a judge to dismiss a lawsuit from a company that says it has exclusive rights to video slot machines that were installed this year, saying when the contract was inked, it was with an unlicensed operator. Attorneys also argue the agreement was signed when video gambling was illegal in the village and is therefore void.

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    U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth leads a panel discussion Thursday at Carl Sandburg Junior High in Rolling Meadows on the importance of early science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

    Panelists underscore need for early STEM education

    One overarching theme emerged Thursday at a panel discussion on the importance of STEM-based curriculum: Start them young. U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a Hoffman Estates Democrat, and many of the 10 panelists gathered at Carl Sandburg Junior High in Rolling Meadows underscored the need to spark an early interest and the role STEM education will play in the country's future economic prosperity.

  •  
    Aishwarya Jois is among just a few girls in her computer-aided design class at the Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology housed at Bartlett High School.

    Gender gap persists in STEM education participation

    Jane Halloran doesn't hesitate when asked about her future career plans. The South Elgin teen has been certain she'll go into environmental engineering ever since her introduction to Project Lead the Way, a national curriculum preparing students for science, technology, engineering and math fields. She's in the minority, however. Both in the suburbs and nationally girls' participation in science...

  •  
    Elmhurst resident Gary Goldberg came to the Elmhurst Historical Museum last week to talk about how his 1960s garage-rock band, the Cave Dwellers, opened for The Beatles in 1965. Goldberg now admits that never happened.

    Elmhurst man admits lying about opening for Beatles

    This is the story of aging rock musician Gary Goldberg, The Beatles and a lie that, in the end, came to haunt him. Now, he says, he's finally ready to come clean. “It just gets in your head and you don’t think rationally,” he said. “You’re excited … but in reality it’s not quite the real story.”

  •  
    The Kathryn Bender Memorial Foundation will sponsor its annual fundraising 5K run/walk Saturday, Aug. 24, at Naperville North High School, 899 N. Mill St.

    Naperville 5K helps fund efforts to identify heart disorders

    Elizabeth Bender believes she can’t tell her sister’s story often enough. Every time she tells it, she just may be saving someone’s life. Her sister, Kathryn, was 17, a high school actress and dancer, trained and fit and waiting to perform with her Naperville North dance troupe when she collapsed backstage and died. Until her death, she, her family and even her doctors had no...

  •  
    A bird takes a morning dip in the surf at sunrise in Port Aransas, Texas on August 8th.

    Images: Photo Contest Finalists
    Each week you submit your favorite photo. We pick the best of the bunch and select 12 finlaists. Here are the finalists for the week of August 19th

  •  
    Special education teacher Pete Karamitos wears a bison head Wednesday to fire up students on the first day of classes at Buffalo Grove High School.

    Poll Vault: What do you remember about the first day of school?

    Schools across the suburbs are celebrating the return of students. Was there much of carnival atmosphere back in your day?

Sports

  •  
    Tackle Aaron Schubert, right, works in drills against defensive players on the first day of practice for the 2013 season.

    Buffalo Grove looking forward to big gains

    After winning their first game last season, Buffalo Grove suffered some injuries and failed to win in its final eight attempts. But a new season brings a whole new attitude. “We have talked a lot to our guys about the past history of this school and how successful it has been,” second-year coach Mike DiMatteo said. “We want our guys to be proud of the name on the front of their jersey.”

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    New South Elgin varsity football coach Pat Pistorio shows players how to break away from an opponent’s grip during practice.

    Pistorio era begins at South Elgin

    Change does not always arrive at a glacial pace.For instance, in early May Dale Schabert was still South Elgin’s head football coach and Jason Schaal was still its defensive coordinator. Less than four months later the team is prepping for its season opener under the direction of new head coach Patrik Pistorio, named to the position two weeks after Schabert stepped down in early July. Pistorio played high school football for Schabert at Larkin and, like his predecessor, is offensive-minded. He has also served as the offensive coordinator for the Chicago Slaughter of the Professional Indoor Football League since the team’s inception in 2007, in addition to coaching stops at Lake Forest College and Harper College.

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    St. Viator embracing tough challenge

    Brandon New gave St. Viator football something new last fall: the program’s first playoff berth in three seasons. Now the second-year coach would love to see the Lions build on that season and continue to be a major player in the East Suburban Catholic Conference. “It’s a tough conference,” said New, whose team was 5-3 last season before dropping its final two games, to St. Patrick and No. 2 seeded Lakes in the state playoffs. “Not a lot of people expected us to have that season after going 2-7 the year before,” New said. “So we want to continue that. You’ve got to have some luck, stay healthy and execute.”

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    York seeking redemption

    From the choppy start to the short-handed finish, misery seemed to follow York’s football team from whistle-to-whistle last season. A program that qualified for the playoffs in seven of the previous eight years suddenly found itself dealing with the shock of an 0-9 record in 2012. Watching all nine opponents reach the postseason wasn’t quite the way coach Steve Nye drew up his first season with the Dukes.

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    Willowbrook will be balanced

    From winless one year to the playoffs the next, Willowbrook’s football team opened a lot of eyes with its dramatic improvement last season. Opponents will want to keep their eyes on the Warriors again this season.

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    Wheaton Warrenville South quarterback Ryan Graham.

    WW South ready to rebound

    Make no mistake about it, last season was a humbling experience for Wheaton Warrenville South’s football team. Regardless of a brutally tough schedule and the suffering of tough defeats, there’s no denying the disappointment the Tigers felt in missing the playoffs for the first time since 2002.

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    Wheaton North head football coach Joe Wardynski prepares for the upcoming 2013 football season.

    Wheaton North has many weapons

    A quarterback headed to Northwestern and a receiver who averaged 18 yards a catch last season. It’s pretty clear how Wheaton North plans to move the football.

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    UEC Valley welcomes West Chicago

    It was one of the first days of football practice and West Chicago second-year head coach Bill Bicker was thinking.

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    Hinsdale South will be physical

    Talk about the little things. All that stood between Hinsdale South’s football team and an unbeaten regular season in 2012 were 13 points spread over three losses. The Hornets spent the offseason working on what might have been done differently to reverse those tiny margins.

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    Danny Schertz runs a drill during Naperville North football practice.

    Early schedule will tell a lot for Naperville N.

    Last season Naperville North ran the football nearly five times more than the Huskies threw it. With a dominant offensive line like that, who could blame them? A new season brings a new focus, primarily because of the new talent.

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    Head coach Tom Meaney watches his offense during the first day of football practice at Bartlett High School.

    Bartlett would like to maintain tradition

    The Bartlett football team is accustomed to qualifying for the playoffs, having done so 12 of the last 13 seasons. Despite the graduation loss of Aaron Everson — the durable running back who set the program’s all-time rushing mark last season, now playing at Ohio Dominican — and with just one starter returning on defense, Bartlett coach Tom Meaney nevertheless believes these Hawks are capable of maintaining the school’s postseason tradition.

  •  
    Naperville Central quarterback Jake Kolbe is headed to Illinois State after graduation.

    Naperville C. intent on returning to form

    Chalk up last season as an all-or-nothing dilemma for Naperville Central’s football team.

  •  
    Burlington Central senior Jenna Kurosky is a returning state qualifier.

    Girls golf: Scouting the Fox Valley

    Previewing the girls golf season in the Fox Valley.

  •  
    Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz can’t reach a triple hit by the Padres’ Logan Forsythe in the sixth inning Friday night in San Diego.

    Padres rally for 8-6 win over Cubs

    Will Venable had three hits and three RBIs, including a tiebreaking solo homer in the seventh inning, and the San Diego Padres rallied to beat the Chicago Cubs 8-6 on Friday night. Nate Schierholtz hit a three-run homer in Chicago’s six-run first inning, but that was all the scoring for the Cubs. Edwin Jackson allowed six runs, five earned, and 10 hits in six-plus innings. He is winless in his last four starts.

  •  
    Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) celebrates a touchdown run by running back Michael Bush during the second quarter of an NFL preseason football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Friday, Aug. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Bears dominate Raiders in all phases
    Any concern over quarterback Jay Cutler becoming overdependent on Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall should have been answered early in the Bears' victory Friday night. Even more important, the three rookies who could be in the starting lineup when the regular season begins on Sept. 8 all answered questions about their readiness.

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    Fresher Hester has bounce in his step

    Devin Hester doesn't believe he's a better kick-returner since the decision was made to relieve him of his wide receiver duties, but he does notice more spring in his step

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    Lake Zurich ready for more wear and tear

    Lake Zurich's football team expects to put plenty of wear and tear into its playing surface, as the perennial playoff qualifier has another promsing group of athletes ready to roll.

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    Friday’s girls golf scoreboard
    High school varsity results from Friday's girls golf meets, as reported to the Daily Herald.

  •  

    Friday’s boys golf scoreboard
    High school varsity results from Friday's boys golf meets, as reported to the Daily Herald.

  •  

    Sky stays grounded after securing playoff berth

    By defeating New York, the Sky not only won its fourth straight game and increased its lead in the Eastern Conference to 3½ games over Atlanta, but it also made history.

  •  
    The return of skilled players such as quarterback Danny Modelski, here tossing a passing during last year’s playoff game against New Trier, bodes well for Conant.

    Conant counting on playoff continuity

    Conant figures to be flying high again this year. The Cougars advanced to the second round of the state playoffs last fall before bowing out to Maine South in the second round. They will be seeking their third consecutive trip to the state playoffs and will have back one of the area’s top signal callers in Danny Modelski. Modelski, who is 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, has drawn interest from NCAA Division II and III colleges. And no wonder, since he threw for over 2,500 yards and 24 touchdowns last year.

  •  

    Costly error gives Bandits 3-2 win

    Thanks to scoring two runs one a throwing error in the bottom of the seventh Friday night, the Chicago Bandits pulled out a 3-2 win in Game 1 of the NPF Championship. The Bandits can clinch the title with a another win today over the USSSA Pride at The Ballpark at Rosemont. The two teams will meet at 4 p.m. in the best-of-three series.

  •  

    Fire overcomes distractions to beat Kansas City

    The Chicago Fire passed its stress test Friday night at Toyota Park.

  •  
    A.J. Pierzynski waves to the U.S. Cellular crowd as he receives a standing ovation from White Sox fans during the first inning Friday. “People here were always respectful and I've tried to give that back to them,” Pierzynski said.

    Pierzynski feels right at home in return to South Side

    A.J. Pierzynski was a wildly popular player for the White Sox from 2005-12, and the veteran catcher was warmly welcomed back to U.S. Cellular Field Friday night with his new team, the Texas Rangers.

  •  

    Fire shut out Sporting Kansas City 1-0

    Defender Hunter Jumper scored, Sean Johnson made four saves and the Chicago Fire beat Sporting Kansas City 1-0 on Friday night.The Fire’s win was their third in their past four matches and moved them to .500 (10-10-4) for the season with 34 points in the Eastern Conference.

  •  

    Sky top Liberty, 82-64, earn playoff berth

    Sylvia Fowles scored 14 points to lead the Sky to an 82-64 win over the New York Liberty on Friday night, clinching the Sky’s first playoff berth in the team’s eight-year history.

  •  
    Isablella Abbdula of Benet tees off during the 2013 Vern McGonagle Memorial boys and girls golf invitational at the Naperville Country Club.

    Scouting DuPage County girls golf

    Scouting DuPage County girls golf

  •  
    St. Charles East’s Darby Crane, above, and St. Charles North’s Jessica Grill, below, are two of the area’s top returning players.

    Newcomers could emerge early

    The status quo has been turned upside down for the local Class AA girls golf teams as the season commenced earlier this week. For the first time in recent memory, there are no returning state qualifiers in the fold this fall. But there are links to the past, particularly when it comes to rich bloodlines, for some area players.

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    Brian Hill/bhill@dailyherald.com Coach Mike Fields during the second day of football practice at St. Charles East High School Thursday in St. Charles.

    St. Charles East builds around strong nucleus

    Last season St. Charles East got where it wanted to be. Since then the Saints have worked to get closer to where they need to be.

  •  
    Stevenson’s Nikki Marquardt is standing tall, having committed to Eastern Michigan.

    All by herself, Stevenson’s Marquardt looms large

    The short game was so good. But Nikki Marquardt won’t try to be the next Stephanie Miller, the short superstar who won a pair of individual state championships for Stevenson before taking her golf clubs to the University of Illinois this year. Marquardt says if anyone asks, she’ll tell them she’s going to try to be “the next Nikki Marquardt.”

  •  
    Mundelein’s Courteney Fabbri pitches onto the green on No. 6 during the North Suburban Conference tournament last fall at Deerpath Golf Course in Lake Forest.

    Girls golf: Scouting Lake County

    Here's a look at the girls golf season ahead from the perspective of high school in Lake County.

  •  

    Grayslake Central opts for optimism

    Second-year Grayslake Central coach Ben Ault is confident his Rams have improved and learned from their struggles last year. A 2-7 record helped the returning players rededicate themselves, Ault said.

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    Grayslake North is thinking big

    Grayslake North keeps reaching new heights. As evidence, a two-story brick building is being built by the entrance to the football stadium. “Skyboxes,” Knights coach Steve Wood joked. The truth? A new weight room and girls locker room are being constructed. “It’s good for us because now we get (the girls’) other locker room,” Wood said. “Our locker room is jammed right now.”

  •  
    The prevalence of returning senior starters such as Sam Yoshino means Wheeling could make some noise this fall.

    Wheeling intends to turn it up

    There are lots of whispers coming from Wheeling right now. And if Wheeling were to make the playoffs this year, those whispers will turn into shouts. “It is all a bit premature,” cautions Wheeling coach Brent Pearlman, who is in his second year as the program’s head coach. “We are little dinged up. We haven’t seen the whole thing put together yet. That is part of the game. We just want to see what the picture looks like.” Wheeling has qualified for the playoffs just six times since the playoffs began in 1974. Pearlman, who took Prospect to the playoffs 10 times while winning three state titles, likes the dedication he has seen from his team thus far.

  •  
    Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) looks for an open receiver in the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)

    Patience will pay off this year

    There are so many good quarterbacks in the NFL these days that fantasy football analyst John Dietz says not to waste an early pick on the top names. See what else he things about this year's signal-callers and who he says can help your team the most in the middle rounds of your drafts.

  •  
    John Gemmel of Wheaton Academy plows through the line against IC Catholic Prep last season.

    Wheaton Academy has a veteran line

    Wheaton Academy’s football off-season saw plenty of change. Fortunately not with the big boys in the trenches.

  •  

    Putin bans rallies in Sochi near the 2014 Olympics

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree banning demonstrations and rallies for 2½ months in Sochi around the 2014 Winter Olympics. The Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the official government newspaper, published the presidential decree Friday.

  •  

    Waubonsie Valley’s O-line looks tough

    A great season begs the question — what to do for an encore?

  •  
    David DeJesus, center, talks with reporters Monday after he was traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Washington Nationals. Now he’s headed to the Tampa Bay Rays.

    DeJesus traded again

    From last place to the middle of a pennant race. It’s been a fast-moving week for David DeJesus. The playoff-contending Tampa Bay Rays acquired the veteran outfielder from Washington on Friday, just four days after the Nationals picked him up from the struggling Chicago Cubs.

  •  
    When the St. Louis Blues battle the Blackhawks and Patrick Kane on the Scottrade Center ice this season, the Blues don't want to see many Blackhawks fans in the stands. They've blocked single-game sales for Hawks tickets, following a "keep the red out" plan started by Nashville.

    Second NHL team trying to block out Hawks fans

    Blackhawks fans are paying a price for traveling so well to support their favorite NHL team. A second club has instituted a ticket policy to limit the number of Hawks fans in its building starting this season.

  •  
    Cleveland Indians catcher Yan Gomes, left, looks to throw the ball to first base to force out Los Angeles Angels' Chris Iannetta during the fourth inning of a baseball game on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Wild card race looking extra crowded this season

    Joe Maddon manages one of the best teams in baseball. And the Tampa Bay Rays could wind up going home after one game this postseason.Then again, winning just one game shouldn’t be too hard for the teams that survive the crowded wild card race. It’s getting there that’s going to be difficult in the second year of baseball’s new playoff format.

  •  
    FILE - In this July 21, 2013 file photo, Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun reacts after striking out after pinch hitting during the 11th inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins in Milwaukee. A former college classmate sued Braun, saying the Brewers slugger sought his help in fighting a failed drug test, balked on paying him and then disparaged him when asked why their friendship soured. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

    Brewers embrace Ryan Braun’s admission

    Brewers players are glad that Ryan Braun has acknowledged he took performance-enhancing substances that resulted in his 65-game suspension by Major League Baseball.His teammates think it’s a good step to explain when he used banned substances. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy calls it “was a good first step on the road to redemption.”

  •  
    Former New England Patriot football player Aaron Hernandez, listens to procedings in a court in Attleboro, Mass., Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013. Hernandez was indicted on first-degree murder and weapons charges in the death of a friend whose bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial park about a mile from the ex-player's home. (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

    Hernandez cousin pleads not guilty to contempt

    A cousin of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez pleaded not guilty Friday to a contempt charge for allegedly refusing to testify before the grand jury that indicted Hernandez in the murder of a friend.

  •  
    Tiger Woods waits to hit on the fairway of the third hole during the second round of The Barclays golf tournament Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, in Jersey City, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    Simpson the early leader at Liberty National

    Webb Simpson didn’t mind a long day of golf the way he was playing Friday at The Barclays.Simpson ran off six birdies in an eight-hole stretch to cap a 29-hole marathon at Liberty National that put him atop the leaderboard among the top half of the draw that finished the second round.

  •  
    Dillon O’Donoghue runs through drills during preseason practice at Mundelein.

    No doubting Mundelein’s effort and preparation

    After a whole lot of hard work, Mundelein's football program is looking forward to a chance to show how much it has accomplished. “Expectations have never been higher here,” coach George Kaider says. “There are a lot of people here looking at us and wanting to know, ‘What are going to be the fruits of our labor?’ ”

  •  
    Running back Keenon Davis is among the key returning players for defending West Suburban Gold champion Leyden.

    Leyden looking forward to more success

    Some key players graduated from last year’s undefeated West Suburban Gold championship squad, but veteran Leyden coach Tom Cerasani is hoping his inexperienced team can quickly come together. The former Schaumburg quarterback, an all-area selection in 1990, graduated two of his own all-area picks from a stingy defense last season. They were Javier Rhoades and and Adam Morrison, who were instrumental in the Eagles allowing just 12 points per game. Morrison finished with 80 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recovers, an interception and a sack. Rhoades, a two-way standout, finished with 45 tackles, 8 sacks and an interception return for a TD while also catching 10 passes for 290 yards and 2 TDs.

  •  
    Head coach Dan Cavanaugh, now in his 25th season, watches a tackling drill at Hampshire.

    Hampshire could make playoff bid

    In the opinion of 25th-year Hampshire coach Dan Cavanaugh, little stood between the 3-6 Whip-Purs of 2012 and playoff eligibility. “We were probably 2 or 3 plays away, legitimately, from being a playoff team last year,” said Cavanaugh, who coached Hampshire to a Class 2A state championship in 1995. “That last play of the game against Woodstock and that (season) opener against Burlington (Central). Those were the ones that really hurt us. But we felt like we made some huge strides last year. We’re going to be more competitive this year.”

  •  

    At Warren, everyone’s buying in

    A quarterback named Nickell stopped on a dime and threw a pass on the money. A penny for your thoughts, Warren coach Dave Mohapp. “Very intelligent kid,” Mohapp said of senior QB Andrew Nickell after a recent practice. “This kid almost aced the ACT. He’s got some natural leadership abilities. He knows how to handle kids and how to encourage them the right way, things like that.”

  •  
    Crystal Lake South’s Austin Rogers (10) moves past Huntley’s Tyler Schwartz on his way upfield last season.

    Crystal Lake South hoping for better start

    Crystal Lake South coach Chuck Ahsmann is hoping last season taught his football team a lesson about getting off to a good start. The Gators had to sweat out a playoff berth in 2012 after losing 3 of their first 4 games against good competition. They rallied to win 5 straight once Austin Rogers took over at quarterback and found his groove. With Rogers (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) back for his senior season behind a huge, veteran offensive line, the Gators aim to blaze a less-thrilling path to their area-best 13th consecutive playoff appearance.

  •  
    Quarterback Brock Krueger takes part during practice for Marmion Academy varsity football at the high school on Wednesday night.

    Marmion’s offense looks more explosive

    Marmion football coach Dan Thorpe composes one of the most colorful and informative preseason prognoses in the business. In his 2013 version, the prose fairly jumps off the page revealing Thorpe’s excitement for the season and describing his team’s pluses and minuses. The pluses appear to far outweigh the minuses.

  •  

    St. Francis happy to be back home

    This is a big year for St. Francis. Not just on the field but with the field.

  •  
    The Neuqua Valley football team warms up before the first day of practice.

    Neuqua Valley looks strong again

    Last season Neuqua Valley enjoyed its best football season ever. Coach Bill Ellinghaus sees little falloff.

  •  
    Barrington outside linebacker Colin Castagna prepares for opening day.

    Barrington’s raring to go

    Barrington is looking for a bounce. The Broncos, who were 3-6 last year, are hoping to reverse things and return to the playoffs. “We are like everyone when you have a setback,” Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said. “Last year was not a year we are accustomed to, but it certainly was not from lack of effort. We just didn’t make enough plays and we learned from that. Fortunately many of those guys are back this year.”

  •  
    Prospect’s Josh Johnson makes his chip shot on the fourth hole while competing against Barrington at Makray Memorial Golf Course last season.

    Naturally, Johnson and Powell have high hopes

    Prospect’s Josh Johnson and Barrington’s Brad Powell are two of the top golfers and athletes in Illinois. That’s why it was so frustrating to see mother nature interfere with their plans at the most important tournament of 2012.

  •  

    Boys golf: Northwest season preview

    Here's a look at the boys golf season from the perspective of teams in the Mid-Suburban League plus St. Viator, Maine West and Leyden.

  •  
    Horse racing analyst Brian W. Spencer is joining the team at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans.

    Fair Grounds hires Arlington analyst Spencer

    Brian W. Spencer, a handicapping expert at Arlington International Racecourse, has been hired as the new analyst at Fair Grounds racetrack in New Orleans.

  •  
    Glenbard North’s Juston Jackson is the reigning Gatorade Player of the Year in Illinois.

    Jackson, Glenbard North back for more

    If you were to start a high school team with one player, who would it be? Glenbard North may just have the guy.

  •  
    Quarterback Willie Wassmann runs through a drill during Fenton football practice in Bensenville.

    Fenton’s goal to start a new streak

    Fenton’s football team expected growing pains last season. This year the Bison expect something completely different.

  •  
    Coach George Kaider gets personally involved in Mundelein’s success in practice Tuesday at Mundelein.

    Mundelein’s doing much more than winging it

    There remains much work to do for a Mundelein squad that hasn’t won a football game since the final week of the 2010 season, but coach George Kaider is clearly proud. And pumped about Mundelein Football. “I think we’re ahead of schedule,” Kaider said. “I didn’t think we’d have ownership and year-round commitment yet. I thought it would be a four- or five- or six-year process.”

  •  

    New look at IC Catholic Prep

    This is somewhat of a new leaf for IC Catholic Prep. Starting with a new turf field at Plunkett Park, second-year head coach Bill Krefft has split from the split-back veer offense to more of a zone-blocking scheme.

  •  
    Veteran standouts such as Jackson Wrede will help as Prospect gets a generally young roster some varsity experience.

    Prospect resets with younger look

    Prospect has shown an amazing knack, in recent years, for developing quality quarterbacks. The Knights have had Miles Osei, Steve Dazzo, Sam Frasco, and most recently, Devin O’Hara, who is at Western Illinois. This year Prospect is reaching to the sophomore ranks, promoting Matt Drew to follow the path set by past gunslingers.

  •  
    Palatine gathers a midfield during preseason practice.

    A season of change for ‘young’ Palatine

    Palatine will need to deal with lots of changes this football season. First among them will be new head coach Rick Splitt. He’s taking over for Tyler Donnelly, who stepped down for health reasons. But even more difficult may be how to replace 19 starting spots from a Palatine team that won the Mid-Suburban West for a second straight year and advanced to the state quarterfinals.

  •  

    Metea Valley has beefed up

    When Metea Valley started playing varsity football in 2010 six players were listed on the roster at 200 pounds or more. No longer is that the case.

  •  

    Hinsdale Central will need to come of age

    Heading into this football season, just about everyone knows Hinsdale Central standouts Brian Allen and Ian Bunting.The Red Devils’ success, however, depends on other players becoming household names with opponents.

  •  

    Carmel opts to focus on bouncing back

    During a team lock-in this summer, the Carmel football team locked in on some important business. “That’s where we came up with our team motto for this year,” Carmel head coach Andy Bitto said. “It’s ‘redemption.’ I thought that was pretty good considering the issues we had last year.” Carmel was very “un-Carmel-like” last season. The 3-6 Corsairs trudged through their first losing season in 13 years and broke a string of 12 straight playoff appearances that included a state championship (2003) as well as two semifinal and three quarterfinal finishes. “Our guys are completely aware that last year was our first losing season in a long time,” Bitto said. “I think we all really want this season to start so that we can get that taste out of our mouths for good. When you’re a competitor, something like that is hard to swallow.”

  •  

    Full speed ahead for Bellecomo, Vernon Hills

    About seven years ago, loyal assistant coach Bill Bellecomo was elevated to associate head coach at Vernon Hills by then head football coach Tony Monken. When Monken announced at the end of last season that he was stepping down, Bellecomo was elevated again, this time by the administration, and to the position of head coach. Bellecomo hit the ground running in about as much time as it took to remove the word “associate” from his title. And the new Vernon Hills head coach hasn’t slowed down yet.

  •  
    Quarterbacks Parth Patel, left, and Casey Matthews drop back during drills at Burlington Central.

    Burlington Central lacks size but has depth

    If you’re a member of the Burlington Central varsity football team, chances are you’re going to see the field at some point this season. Third-year coach Rich Crabel has plenty of options as he and his staff try to determine which players will play which positions in which scenario, particularly the skill positions. The Rockets brought 32 players to their Saturday passing league this summer, not counting two centers.

  •  

    Downers Grove South has all the tools

    Mark Molinari may be entering his first season as Downers Grove South’s head football coach, but he’s more than familiar with the Mustangs’ program.

  •  

    Time is now for Downers Grove North

    A year ago Downers Grove North football coach John Wander said that if he could get 11 games out of his young team, then watch out next year. Well, next year is here.

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    Matt Dolan, here making an interception against Lake Forest in last fall’s Class 6A playoffs, is one of many battle-tested players back in action for Rolling Meadows.

    Rolling Meadows? Full speed ahead

    While the Milas touch might be gone, Rolling Meadows still thinks it can still mine some football gold. Jack Milas, who led the Mustangs last season by throwing 32 touchdowns while passing for over 2,700 yards, has taken his arm to Ball State. But Rolling Meadows coach Matt Mishler thinks quarterback Bobby Suchecki can be just as dominant this season.

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    Chalupny, Fuss earn Red Stars awards

    Chicago Red stars midfielder Lori Chalupny earned the soccer franchise’s Golden Boot and MVP awards, and German international Sonja Fuss captured Defender of the Year honors, club officials announced Friday.

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    Coach John Davis leads Westminster Christian’s first varsity team at practice in Elgin.

    Westminster Christian new kid on the block

    Athletics at Westminster Christian climb to a higher level this fall with the debut of the school’s varsity football team. Two years in the making, the Class 1A Warriors played a middle school schedule in 2011 and a junior varsity slate last year. Already a member of the Northeastern Athletic Conference in other sports, the addition of Westminster swells that league’s football ranks to 10 members. The Warriors will also play a junior varsity schedule.

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    Ryan Sargent nabs an interception during a Jacobs practice.

    Jacobs focusing on defense

    Offense wasn’t an issue for Jacobs last season. The Golden Eagles averaged 28.7 points and 388 yards per game. With returning weapons like all-area senior quarterback Bret Mooney, all-area receiver Hunter Williams and fleet-footed junior Josh Walker back to lead the offense, scoring points shouldn’t be a problem this season either. However, for the Golden Eagles to challenge for the title in the rugged Valley Division of the Fox Valley Conference, the defense must improve. In 2012, the Golden Eagles allowed averages of 27.6 points and an area-high 363 yards per game.

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    Nick Surges lines up a catch during practice at Benet.

    Benet would like to take next step

    Perhaps no football team in the state enjoyed a bigger one-year turnaround than Benet. From 1-8 in 2011 to 11-2 last year, the Redwings stunned many by claiming a share of the title in the brutal East Suburban Catholic Conference and advancing to the Class 7A semifinals. For all the success, Benet’s many returning players focused on one thing during the offseason. How can the program take the next step toward a state title?

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    The return of players such as all-conference wide receiver Chris Washington will only help Round Lake this fall.

    Changing times, new outlook for Round Lake

    The Jordan Era is beginning at Round Lake. No, not that Jordan. But Jordan Eder hopes to take the Panthers to new heights that even “His Airness” would appreciate. Considering that Round Lake has won only seven games in the last eight years and is coming off an 0-9 season, Eder knows he has a huge challenge in front of him. But his players make him optimistic that improvement will happen.

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    Expect top effort from senior-heavy Maine West

    Maine West football coach Chris Hare knows he doesn’t have to worry about his Warriors giving 100 percent this season. “Their work ethic is tremendous,” he said of his roster. “We have numerous players with experience coming back. We are very excited about our seniors. They are a strong group that are passionate about the game of football.”

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    St. Edward quarterback Bryan O’Neill throws a passes during practice.

    Expectations are high at St. Edward

    St. Edward football coach Mike Rolando knows what playoff teams look like. After all, he’s coached two of them since he revived the program in 2005. The Green Wave finished 6-4 in 2009 and 8-3 in 2010 and reached the playoffs both years, but Rolando said this team might be the best he has ever coached at the Elgin school.

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    Grant defensive back Joe Sadauskas celebrates his touchdown against Vernon Hills after returning to the sidelines at Grant last season. He’ll be a two-way player for the Bulldogs this fall.

    Outlook’s healthy for resilient Grant

    If someone could invent a vaccine that could keep the injury bug away, the Grant football team would probably insist on getting an extra strong dosage for this season. Being healthy is at the top of the priority list for 2013. The Bulldogs are coming off a 2012 campaign that was checkered with one serious injury after another. And to make matters worse, the injuries happened to some of the team’s most important players. And yet, somehow, all was not lost in Fox Lake. The Bulldogs still made the playoffs, for the third year in a row and the seventh time in eight years.

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    Addison Trail coach Paul Parpet Jr. oversees practice.

    Addison Trail a more skilled team

    A little older, a little wiser and a whole lot better. That’s the goal for Addison Trail’s football team.

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    New head coach Mark Orszula directs players at Streamwood High School football practice.

    Streamwood reloads under Orszula

    Whenever someone in the community asks new Streamwood football coach Mark Orszula how his team looks this fall, he offers a standard response. “I say come talk to me after Week 10 and I’ll give you an answer,” said Orszula, who coached Westmont for the past five years. “You truly just don’t know until you get out there in the first game.” Orszula said he likes what he’s seen thus far of Streamwood’s 50-player varsity through summer camp and August practices, though many positions battles continue to rage on.

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    Antioch intends to take full advantage of senior Alan Taylor’s skills but positioning him at multiple positions this season.

    Maturity means optimism for Antioch

    Sometimes, Brian Glashagel’s players finish his sentences for him. And he doesn’t mind that at all. Last season at this time, Glashagel got more of a deer-in-headlights look instead. “We were so young last season and we had so many new guys,” the Antioch head coach said. “We were so far behind where we are now at this point in the season. Now, I say something and the guys are all like, ‘Yeah, coach, we know.’ “I’m walking off the field feeling better right now (in August) than I did all of last season.” The 2012 season was a tough one at Antioch. The young and inexperienced Sequoits took their lumps and finished 3-6. It was their first losing season in five years and their first playoff miss since 2009.

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    Hoffman Estates Tylic Grace gives his best effort during football practice.

    New coach, new era at Hoffman Estates

    With a third head coach in the last three years, you might not expect much optimism heading into this season at Hoffman Estates. But with Mike Donatucci at the helm for the Hawks, it is a whole different story. “This group has really embraced learning,” Donatucci said. “From the start of practice in the beginning of summer to right now, they have come a long way. “I can’t complain about any effort, because it has always been there. Our coaching staff has come together and we are working very hard.”

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    Glenbard East head football coach John Walters monitors practice.

    Glenbard E. hopes to leave DVC on high note

    As Glenbard East embarks upon its final year in the DuPage Valley Conference, the Rams’ football team is hoping for a fond farewell.

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    Among the returners for Wauconda is Elliott Hill, right, in last year’s contest against Lakes as T. J. Edwards tries to fend him off.

    Don’t be alarmed if Wauconda turns back the clock

    Born in the mid- to late 1990s, most football players at Wauconda missed the “Back to the Future” trilogy of the mid- to late 1980s. “I’m sure some of them have seen those movies on late-night cable, though,” Wauconda coach Dave Mills said. For those who haven’t (spoiler alert), the theme involves time travel, which happens to be exactly what the Bulldogs want to do this season. They want it to be just like 1992 this fall. That was the last time Wauconda went to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. After last year’s berth in the playoffs, the Bulldogs are looking for a repeat performance. “Our motto this year is ‘Back to the Future,’” Mills said. “This team is trying to become only the second team in school history, after the ’91 and ’92 teams, to go to the playoffs in back-to-back years. “That line has fueled off-season workouts, camps and practices.”

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    After passing for 19 TDs and some 1,800 yards last season, quarterback T.J. Edwards is back for a promsing season year at Lakes.

    Looks like there’s more talent at Lakes

    Arguably the most talented senior class in Lakes football history graduated last spring. Star running back Direll Clark will no longer terrorize defenses with strong, punishing rushes all over the field. He’s playing at Winona State along with two of his Lakes classmates, standout wide receivers Justin Bergeron and Andrew Spencer. Six other players from that talented senior class are also playing football in college this fall. So what on Earth are the Eagles to do? How do they defend last year’s second straight North Suburban Conference Prairie Division title with so many holes?

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    Hersey linemen, from left Matt Lazarski, Joe Bellafiore, George Vladimirov, and Chris Collins, brace for their season opener.

    Hersey’s aiming high

    Hersey has been on a steady rise since Dragan Teonic took over the program three seasons ago. And with 19 seniors in the starting rotation, The Huskies look to truly break through this fall. “We got some guys coming back,” said Teonic, who has compiled an 11-16 record in the previous three seasons. “This is our first senior group that has been with us the whole time. It’s awesome. This group is committed and very serious.”

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    Seniors Ben Cruz (front) and Dante Bonds go through a drill called “ground pounder” as they shuffle their feet extremely fast, taking tiny steps as they weave in and out of cones during varsity football practice at Larkin High School.

    Larkin will have speed to burn

    Sleep on Larkin and the Royals are bound to pass you by. At high speed. With a healthy varsity roster of 45 players nearing 50 as preseason practice continues, the Royals possess the kind of speed in the offensive and defensive backfields and at wide receiver that makes opponents wary

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    Senior quarterback Ryan Sitter works out during the first day of fall football practice at Elgin High School.

    Rohde trying to instill confidence at Elgin

    Among the many tasks facing Elgin first-year football coach Kyle Rohde and his staff is a basic but important one: getting his players to believe they can win. Some programs experience success at the lower levels, but Elgin’s senior and junior classes took their lumps as sophomores because their best players were pulled up to the varsity. A case in point is senior quarterback Ryan Sitter, who has been playing varsity football since the beginning of his sophomore season.

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    Despite low numbers, core solid at Lisle

    Lisle has some good football players, tough, strong and driven. If only it had more of them.

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    Glenbard South quarterback Alex Jeske looks downfield during the second day of practice.

    Glenbard South has potential to score big

    Glenbard South’s football team scored at least 4 touchdowns in seven games last season. With the offensive skill the Raiders boast this year, 2012 might end up being the appetizer for a feast in 2013.

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    Coach Lou Sponsel works with his players at Fremd on the first day of official practice for the 2013 season.

    Singled-minded Fremd aiming to take flight

    Last year, with its starting quarterback out with an injury, Fremd needed a wing and a prayer to make the state playoffs. After installing the single wing on offense and coupling that with a few psalms, the Vikings rallied to win their two final games and qualify for the 8A playoffs before losing in the opening round to state runner-up Glenbard North. This year the players have already said their prayers, and the single wing has become a staple in the Fremd offense as the Vikings have their sights set even higher. “You are going to see the single-wing coming at you again,” Fremd coach Lou Sponsel said. “And multiple offenses, including a no-huddle spread.”

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    Senior standout Mike Bishoff leads what figures to be a strong Elk Grove defense this fall.

    Clearly, Elk Grove’s worth watching

    Last year was kind of a fog for Elk Grove coach Larry Calhoun, who took over the job as head coach just weeks before the season began. “The first year was such a blur,” Calhoun said. “But I have been with my staff for some time now and have people in the right places. The kids as well. Things are more comfortable now.” Calhoun and his squad cleared most of that fog away to win their first two games of the season last year. They went on to make the playoffs and finish 5-5 last season.

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    Brian Hill/bhill@dailyherald.com The players sit in on a prayer session during the first day of football practice at Aurora Christian High School Wednesday in Aurora.

    Aurora Christian reloads in bid for 3-peat

    Two-time defending Class 3A state champion Aurora Christian returns talent, experience and numbers. Its title defense hinges more on intangibles every championship team has, coach Don Beebe said. “We’ve got to find that chemistry and we’ve got to find that leadership,” Beebe said. “We’ve got to find that and until we do we won’t know if we can pull that thing off.” During the football team’s annual excursion to the Dickson Valley Camp and Retreat Center in Newark, the Eagles went a long way toward developing those facets. But it will be difficult to replace the qualities of graduates like quarterback Ryan McQuade and linebacker Brandon Mayes, who went to Northern Illinois University along with receiver Chad Beebe and back-linebacker Joel Bouagnon.

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    Conor Simpson, here dragging a Lake Zurich defender, figures to be among the key returners for Libertyville this fall.

    Libertyville’s back to expecting success

    The banner that hangs from Libertyville’s press box offers a reminder that it was 10 years ago that the Wildcats began the most magical run in their history. They finished as the Class 7A state runner-up in 2003, before winning it all the following year. After a downward spiral a few years after their run of glory, the Wildcats appear to have reestablished themselves. They have gone to the state playoffs in each of the last two seasons, after missing out in three of the previous four years. “That’s their expectation now,” coach Mike Jones said of his players. “We had a couple of years where it may not have been.”

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    Glenbard West head football coach Chad Hetlet leads the first day of practice.

    Glenbard West primed for repeat

    With a punishing ground game and a pummeling defense, Glenbard West’s football team displayed a textbook state championship formula last season. Repeating the feat means repeating the formula.

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    Christian Liberty pursues winning mix

    With several new faces on the roster, Christian Liberty Academy football coach Jim Calkins is unsure how the Chargers’ season will go. “We are working on chemistry,” he said. “It’s going to depend on how the new kids mesh into the team and understand the system.” Four players will certainly have a good understanding of Calkin’s system — returning players Aaron Cunningham (6-3, 265), Caleb Graham (5-11, 173), Alex Glynn (6-0, 170) and Gabe Grob (5-11, 165).

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    DuPage and Tri-Cities High School Football Season Preview

    In this edition of Football Focus, Joe Aguilar breaks down the 2013 football season in DuPage and Tri-Cities with Daily Herald sports reporters Dave Oberhelman and Kevin Schmit.

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    Coach Nate Eimer leads his team during West Aurora football practice Friday.

    West Aurora gears up for final DVC season

    West Aurora football coach Nate Eimer said there hasn’t been much talk about the Blackhawks heading back to the Upstate Eight Conference after this school year. They’re too busy preparing for the usual DuPage Valley Conference grind.

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    John Starks/jstarks@dailyherald.com St. Charles North lineman Chase Gianacakos during the first day of practice Wednesday at the school.

    New-look St. Charles North aims big

    It was big of Rob Pomazak to retain Jared McCall as offensive coordinator after Pomazak, Elk Grove’s former defensive coordinator, was hired in February to succeed retiring Hall of Famer Mark Gould as St. Charles North’s head football coach. “I’d be a fool not to have him on my staff,” Pomazak said. It was big of McCall, who had applied for the North Stars’ head spot, to shelve his disappointment and continue as a coordinator and assistant head coach. Unity and not divisiveness at the top of the food chain can only help team leadership. That’s important for a team that looks to have a big year in more ways than one.

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    Kyle Brown hauls in a catch during Geneva’s first day of football practice in LaFox Wednesday.

    Geneva looking to grow up fast

    Geneva coach Rob Wicinski needs data. He doesn’t have much on paper or film yet of a team where returning starters are sparse. Wicinski sited only defensive end Billy Douds as a returning starter on defense and the receiver tandem of Kyle Brown and Pace Temple plus offensive guard Quinn Einck and quarterback Daniel Santacaterina as returning offensive starters.

Business

  •  
    Trader Frederick Reimer works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

    Stock market closes higher; Microsoft surges

    Microsoft had its biggest gain in four years after CEO Steve Ballmer said he will retire. Ballmer took the helm of the software company from founder Bill Gates in 2000. The company has struggled to adapt as consumers switch from desktop computing to mobile devices

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    Facebook closes above $40 for 1st time

    The social network’s shares have gained 53 percent since July 24, when it reported strong growth in mobile ad revenue and a solid profit during its second quarter.

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    Kevin Clay, productivity center and training manager of Sandvik Coromant Co. in Schaumburg, shows a gear-cutting tool and a gear to U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a Hoffman Estates Democrat, following a discussion on manufacturing and its importance to the suburban region.

    Suburban manufacturers want to change image of industry

    More and better recruiting of potential future workers, smarter marketing plans and even legislative help to solve local traffic congestion were among the solutions presented Friday to help suburban manufacturers get the skilled labor and resources they need to move ahead. The ideas were part of a presentation involving suburban manufacturers, regional planners and U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth.

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    A MacBook Air from Apple, bottom center, a Vaio Pro 13 from Sony, top left, an Aspire S7 from Acer, center, and an XPS 12 from Dell, right. Best Buy is offering $100 off Apple iMacs and $20 off Beats headphones until Sept. 14.

    That student ID could save you much-needed cash

    Flashing the student ID card at stores and restaurants can get you major savings. But many of the deals are not advertised, so it never hurts to ask.

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    Americans cut back sharply in July on their purchases of new homes, a sign that higher mortgage rates may weigh on the housing recovery.

    U.S. new-home sales plunge as mortgage rates rise

    Americans cut back sharply in July on their purchases of new homes, a sign that higher mortgage rates may weigh on the housing recovery. The Commerce Department said Friday that new-home sales dropped 13.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 394,000. That’s the lowest pace in nine months. And it is down from an annual rate of 455,000 in June, which was revised sharply lower from a previously reported rate of 497,000.

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    Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who helped build Microsoft into a technology empire and then struggled to prevent it from crumbling under his own leadership, will retire within the next 12 months. The world’s biggest software company did not name a successor. Microsoft Corp.’s stock shot up 9 percent in premarket trading following the news.

    Microsoft says CEO Ballmer to retire in 12 months

    Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who took over the helm of the world’s largest software company from founder Bill Gates, will retire within the next 12 months. Microsoft Corp. did not name a successor. The company said it is forming a search committee, which will include Gates, and Ballmer will stay on until a replacement is found. Microsoft shares shot up 8 percent in morning trading following the news.

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    Jeep Grand Cherokee ceiling fires under investigation

    DETROIT — U.S. auto safety regulators are investigating complaints that the ceilings can catch fire in 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.The probe, announced Friday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, covers an estimated 146,000 of the popular sport utility vehicles.Three customers complained to the government that their ceilings caught fire near the passenger-side sun visor while they were driving, starting with a burning smell, then smoke and flames. In all three cases, customers lowered their windows to clear the smoke, but that increased the fire’s intensity, NHTSA said in documents posted on its website.In all three cases, the fires continued after the SUVs had been shut off, and flames had to be put out with fire extinguishers or by firefighters. The flames caused a sunroof to shatter in one instance, while in another, a burning sun visor fell to the passenger seat and spread the flames, NHTSA said. The safety agency said it had no reports of any injuries.After the fires were put out, all three SUVs had to be towed to a dealership for repairs.Investigators will decide if the problem is serious enough to cause a recall.In one of the complaints, a customer told NHTSA that he or she smelled smoke while driving a Grand Cherokee. The driver rolled down the windows, then saw white smoke on the right side of the SUV. “Then the passenger visor melted off the ceiling,” the customer wrote. That was followed by a fire in the hole near where the visor had been attached. “The fire dripped down onto the passenger seat and I called 911 and pulled over.”The customer said two men used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames, according to the complaint.Chrysler said its engineers are working with the government on the case. The company said no determination has been made about the cause and the investigation is in its early stages. “A vehicle fire is a complex event. Determining whether any two fires share a cause is a complicated analysis,” Chrysler said in a statement.The company said it will advise customers if they need to take any action, and those with concerns can consult with dealers or call Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403.

  •  
    Lexus International Executive Vice President Mark Templin poses Friday with a Lexus LF-CC concept car at a Lexus showroom in Tokyo. Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus is trying to shake off its stodgy image. So it’s opening a cafe. The special lounges, the first of which is opening next week in Tokyo’s fashionable Aoyama district, are designed to look more like a chic home than a standard showroom. In fact, only one vehicle can be displayed at a time.

    Toyota freshens Lexus image to woo young

    Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus is trying to shake off its stodgy image. So it’s opening a cafe. The special lounges, the first of which is opening next week in Tokyo’s fashionable Aoyama district, are designed to look more like a chic home than a standard showroom. In fact, only one vehicle can be displayed at a time. “This is about showing people the personality of the Lexus brand, and showing a more emotional part of Lexus,” Mark Templin, Executive Vice President of Lexus International, said Friday during a preview tour.

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    An investor looks at the stock price monitor Friday at a private securities company in Shanghai, China. Asian stock markets rose Friday after encouraging economic data from China and Europe raised hopes that a global economic recovery was under way.

    World stocks mixed ahead of US housing figures

    Asian stocks rebounded Friday on encouraging economic data from China and Europe, but markets elsewhere paused as traders waited for data on U.S. home sales. In early European trading, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent to 6,457.64. But Germany’s DAX was marginally lower at 8,392.54 and France’s CAC-40 fell 0.5 percent 4,039.60. Wall Street looked set to fall, with Dow Jones industrial futures down 0.2 percent at 14,917. S&P 500 futures lost 0.1 percent to 1,652.90.

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    An electronic display Thursday in Times Square displays news about the Nasdaq in New York. Nasdaq halted trading Thursday because of a technical problem, the latest glitch to affect the stock market.

    Nasdaq breakdown ramps pressure to take actions

    The latest high-tech disruption in the financial markets ratchets up the pressure on Nasdaq and other electronic exchanges to take steps to avoid future breakdowns and manage them better if they do occur. “Today’s interruption in trading, while resolved before the end of the day, was nonetheless serious and should reinforce our collective commitment to addressing technological vulnerabilities of exchanges and other market participants,” SEC Chairman Mary Jo White said.

Life & Entertainment

  •  
    JC Brooks performs with the Uptown Sound Sunday, Sept. 1, at North Coast Music Festival.

    JC Brooks, Kings of Class hot draws to North Coast

    My first glance at the North Coast Music Festival lineup left me unimpressed. There were bands I recognized the names of, but only a few I really knew well enough to go see. But perhaps the supporting players are the real highlights here.

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    In 2011, Linda Ronstadt accepts the Life Time Achievement award at the Latin Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award and Trustees Award ceremony in Las Vegas.

    Ronstadt tells AARP she has Parkinson’s

    Linda Ronstadt says she suffers from Parkinson’s disease, which has robbed her ability to sing. The 67-year-old music legend tells AARP Magazine, in an article posted online Friday, that she was diagnosed eight months ago and “can’t sing a note.”

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    ‘Epic’ animated tale now on DVD

    The Video Answer Man, Jeff Tuckman, surveys the current crop of home video releases, plus previews some of the coming attractions slated for release next week.

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    Actor/director Ben Affleck will don Batman’s cape and cowl in a film bringing Batman and Superman together.

    Ben Affleck and the Batman backlash

    Ben Affleck will be the next Batman: How ’bout them apples? Well, the Internet, which erupted Thursday night after Warner Bros. announced that Affleck will play the Caped Crusader for its Superman and Batman team-up movie, does not like them apples one bit. Jokes (many of them imagining a Batman from South Boston) flew on Twitter. Petitions with thousands of signatures were launched to urge Warner Bros. to rethink their decision.

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    Raquel Adorno

    Glendale Heights native designs alternative career

    After a neck injury ended Raquel Adorno's operatic career, the Glendale Heights native drew upon other artistic talents and her sewing skills to become the resident costume designer with Profiles Theatre, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

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    Ahi tuna is not your usual pub fare, but it's nicely done at McChesney's Pub & Grill at Prairie Landing Golf Club in West Chicago.

    McChesney's Pub a casual respite after a day on the links

    Even if you're not a golfer, a lunch trip to Prairie Landings Golf Club in West Chicago can be a hole-in-one. The newly renovated McChesney's Pub & Gril provides a comfortable setting and a filling meal at reasonable prices. The menu, including creative appetizers, salads, and hot and cold sandwiches, may not be huge, but the portions sure are.

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    See “Man of Steel” at the McHenry Outdoor Theater’s Super Hero Night.

    10 things to do before summer slips away

    Summer may not officially end until Sept. 22, but kids going back to school and the approach of Labor Day make it seem like fall is closing in. So before summer fully slips away, here are 10 ideas for savoring these last weeks of warm weather. Check out Super Hero Night at the McHenry Outdoor Theater, take a Theatre-Hike, enjoy a Last Fling and much more.

  •  
    Three fed-up secretaries played by Alexandra Palkovic, from left, Kelli Cramer and Susan Moniz, turn the tables on their sexist, corrupt boss (James Moye) in “9 to 5: The Musical” running through Oct. 13, at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire.

    Marriott’s hard-working ensemble makes ‘9 to 5’ palatable

    Watching “9 to 5: The Musical” at Lincolnshire’s Marriott Theatre is like eating chicken-fried steak from a fine china plate. The presentation is fine; the problem is the second-tier material.

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    An enamel-coated Dutch oven that can go from stovetop to oven can be a good investment.

    Frugal living: Stocking up on vegan ingredients

    Sara Noel shares advice and tips for frugal lving. She has some tips for a reader who asks about what's best to stock up on for easy vegan cooking. She suggests freezing fresh fruits, vegetables and whole meals.

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    Music notes: Happy Together Tour reunites Turtles, Three Dog Night
    Suburban pop-punk band the Plain White T's return to their old stomping grounds to play a show this weekend in Lisle.

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    Theater events: Second City brings laughs to Metropolis

    Metropolis Performing Arts Centre welcomes The Second City show "Happily Ever Laughter" and Fox Valley Repertory continues its season with a musical salute to Cole Porter, this week in suburban theater.

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    Houses in the White Eagle Club neighborhood straddle the border between Naperville and Aurora.

    Neighborhood profile looks at White Eagle Club

    Beautiful custom homes, million-dollar views and amenities galore await homebuyers at White Eagle Club, a premier golf course community in Naperville and Aurora. White Eagle Club opened in 1987 when it hosted the Parade of Homes, where the area's finest custom builders presented their houses for visitors to tour.

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    The renovated Bodie Island Lighthouse on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

    5 free things to do on Hatteras Island

    Hatteras Island along North Carolina’s Outer Banks is a fickle but alluring place. The island juts into the Atlantic, making it a bull’s-eye for high winds, waves and the occasional hurricane. Cautious vacationers listen to weather reports regularly to make sure they don’t need to evacuate ahead of an approaching storm. In August 2011, Hurricane Irene closed the only road across a bridge to the island, N.C. Highway 12, for weeks, and Superstorm Sandy did the same again last fall. Without the road, getting to and from the island requires two ferry rides — one from the mainland to Ocracoke Island, and a second one from Ocracoke to Hatteras. And yet the island’s appeals are irresistible — its beauty, its serenity, its calm.

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    Builder can’t dictate where buyer obtains financing

    Q. We are planning to purchase a home in a new tract. The builder’s sales representative is pressuring us to use the company’s own mortgage lender, but we think we can get better financing elsewhere. Can the builder refuse to sell to us if we choose a different bank?

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    Seeds for lettuces, mesclun mixes and other greens can be sowed again this month.

    Time to break out the cool-season crops

    Fall is on the way, meaning it’s time for cool-season crops. Seeds for lettuces, mesclun mixes and other greens that were sowed in early spring can be sowed again this month.

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    On housing, a chill is in the air

    WASHINGTON — Do you feel that hint of a chill starting to swirl through the housing market? The cooling is slight but it’s for real. Home prices are not rising as fast in most metropolitan areas as they did earlier this year and much of 2012.

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    Home inspector side-stepped my roof

    Q. When I bought my house, the home inspection report contained no roofing problems. Later, a roofing contractor said the shingles need to be replaced. The inspector says he only inspected the roof from the ground because of winter weather. Regardless of the weather, shouldn’t he have taken a closer look at the roof?

Discuss

  •  
    Studies consistently show that parental involvement in education is linked to higher student achievement.

    Editorial: Be a part of your child’s education

    Parents' responsibility for seeing that their child is educated doesn't end at the bus stop, a Daily Herald editorial says.

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    Steve Doner

    70 mph limit should apply to metro Chicago

    Guest columnist Steve Doner: IDOT and the county boards should stand aside and allow metro Chicago limits to revert to 70 mph. All the evidence indicates that there would be no negative impact on safety. In fact, the opposite is true.  Overall metro Chicago highway safety would be improved.

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    What you should know about Congress right now

    Columnist Lee Hamilton: Deeply unpopular and flagrantly unproductive, Congress is on its August recess right now. It won’t return until Sept. 9, after a five-week recess, leaving itself just a few days to settle issues like raising the debt ceiling and passing a federal budget. Here are some things you should know about where it stands at this stage of the game.

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    Common Core puts feds in control
    Common Core will control the curriculum of public schools, charter school, private schools, religious schools, Catholic schools and home schooling.

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    Driving deserves your full attention
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: I have instructed more than 245 driver safety classes, and it is good to see that the state is trying to do something about distracted driving by enacting a law against hand-held cellphone use while on the road. Unfortunately, it is not where the hands are but where the mind is that is the problem.

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    Youthful mistake can follow one for life
    An Elgin l;etter to the editor: I would like to comment on St. Viator alcohol testing. The testing will be done by an outside company. How will the test results be recorded, and sent back to the school? Email? Fax? Phone call? All of the electronic means of communication are monitored by your friendly government.

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