Daily Archive : Thursday May 29, 2014


    Cal’s Angels 13-U softball team includes: first row, from left, coach Sydney Russel, Cate Poplar, Ally Suyak, Maddie Ebeling, Ali Cellini, Alana Macri, and coach Taylor Russel; and back row, coach Ramon Velazquez, Lu Latoria, Hannah Cozzi, coach Phil Latoria, Libby Zoppa, coach Chris Cellini, Maddy Stout, Gi Velazquez, and Janelle Ulaszek.

    Comeback victory for Cal’s Angels 13-U softball team

    Hours of teamwork and determination deliver a championship win for Cal's Angels at the Waukegan Memorial Day Softball Classic Tournament.


    Naperville investigating employee's discrimination claims

    The city of Naperville is investigating complaints lodged by a former employee who alleges discrimination and inappropriate comments toward women and minorities occurred within the city's human resources department. In a memo, the former employee outlines concerns with two supervisors in human resources who she says displayed “derogatory, degrading, demeaning and sometimes discriminatory...

    Jae Canetti, 12, of Fairfax, Virginia, cringes after incorrectly spelling “parseval” during the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday.

    5 memorable moments from the National Spelling Bee

    For the first time in 52 years, there are co-champs of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. But before there were two, there were many memorable moments -- even some that might make you cachinnate. (That means laugh loudly. Just ask Crystal Lake's Lucas Urbanski.) Here are five great moments from Thursday's action.

    Alan and Shelly Engelhardt (back row), Laura Engelhardt (middle), Amanda Engelhardt and Jeff Engelhardt (first row)

    Paramedic recalls Laura Engelhardt asking, 'Am I going to die?'

    Am I going to die?” 18-year-old Laura Engelhardt asked as paramedics rushed her by ambulance to the hospital following an attack on her family on April 17, 2009. “Not if I can help it,” answered Hoffman Estates firefighter/paramedic Steve Nusser, who treated the dying Conant senior who was stabbed. He testified in D'Andre Howard's trial on murder charges.

    Ansun Sujoe, 13, of Fort Worth, Texas, left, and Sriram Hathwar, 14, of Painted Post, N.Y., shake hands after being named co-champions of the National Spelling Bee on Thursday.

    Two spectacular spellers co-champs at Scripps bee

    For the first time in 52 years, two spellers were declared co-champions of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday. Sriram Hathwar of Painted Post, New York, and Ansun Sujoe of Fort Worth, Texas, shared the title after a riveting final-round duel in which they nearly exhausted the 25 designated championship words. After they spelled a dozen words correctly in a row, they both were named...


    Construction crews strike gas main in Cary

    A construction crew struck a gas main Thursday afternoon near the intersection of Route 14 and Spring Beach Way in Cary, officials said. Nicor Gas crews were scheduled to continue working to repair the line throughout the night on Thursday.

    Rebels in eastern Ukraine shot down a government military helicopter Thursday amid heavy fighting around the eastern city of Slovyansk, killing 12 soldiers including a general, Ukraine’s leader said.

    Rebels down helicopter; another big loss for Kiev

    In another devastating blow to Ukraine’s armed forces, rebels shot down a troop helicopter Thursday, killing at least 12 soldiers, including a general who had served in the Soviet army and was in charge of combat training. The loss underscored the challenge Ukrainian forces face in fighting a guerrilla-style insurgency that has proven to be an agile foe.

    Lobbyists and lawmakers gather along the “brass rail” outside the House chamber during Thursday’s session at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.

    House advances $1 billion capital bill

    After an exceptionally harsh winter that damaged roads and bridges across the state, the Illinois House advanced a plan to fund $1 billion in new transportation projects that could begin as early as this summer. The capital project would be paid for by money that’s still coming in from a prior capital plan and then by paying back the loan with revenue from retired bonds.

    House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio tells reporters Thursday that he isn’t quite ready to join other members of Congress who say Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki should resign in the wake of problems with the Veterans Affairs troubled health care system.

    Support falters as Shinseki fights for his job

    Support for embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki eroded quickly Thursday, especially among congressional Democrats facing tough re-election campaigns, even as Shinseki continued to fight for his job amid allegations of delayed medical care and misconduct at VA facilities nationwide.

    Patrick LeFevre gets a kiss from girlfriend Abby Hammer before the start of Aurora Central Catholic’s graduation ceremony at the school Thursday. She is a 2013 graduate of Rosary.

    Images: Aurora Central Catholic High School Graduation
    Aurora Central Catholic High School held its graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 29th, at the school in Aurora.

    Nicholas Sheley, left, speaks with defense attorney Jeremy Karlin during a break in his trial Wednesday in Rock Island. He was convicted of four murders on Thursday.

    Killer convicted of four more murders

    A man serving life sentences for two killings was convicted Thursday in the deaths of four others who were fatally beaten with a hammer in a northwest Illinois apartment.

    Members of the Class of 2014 file into the auditorium at Willow Creek Church in South Barrington on Thursday night for the Hoffman Estates High School graduation.

    Images: Hoffman Estates High School Graduation
    Hoffman Estates High School held its graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 29th, at Willow Creek Church in South Barrington.

    Vaughn Atkins

    S. Elgin man pleads not guilty in Lisle road rage case

    A South Elgin man pleaded not guilty Thursday to two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm from a March road rage incident. Vaughn Atkins, 42, is accused of pulling his vehicle alongside a driver who had cut him off on I-355 near Lisle and firing a shot from a handgun that hit the rear passenger door before speeding away, prosecutors said.

    A gypsy moth caterpillar eats leaves on a burr oak tree in Prospect Heights.

    State ag officials to spray for gypsy moths

    The Illinois Department of Agriculture is getting ready to begin spraying for gypsy months, an invasive species that can kill oak trees.


    State closes health centers, abandons patient records

    Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration closed three health facilities in 2012 but left behind tractors and a forklift, an unidentified medical specimen and boxes full of confidential patient and employee records, an audit released Thursday said.

    State Rep. Derrick Smith, center, waves as he enters federal court for the beginning of jury selection in his corruption trial Wednesday in Chicago. The Chicago Democrat has been charged with accepting a $7,000 bribe in exchange for using his influence to obtain a state grant for a day care center.

    FBI informant focus of Democrat’s bribery trial

    Opening statements Thursday at an Illinois lawmaker’s federal bribery trial focused on a campaign worker-turned-FBI informant, referred to in court only as Pete.

    Wasatch High School sophomore Shelby Baum, 16, points to yearbook proof, left, and her altered school yearbook photo, right.

    Utah students upset about altered yearbook pics

    A group of Utah high school students said they were surprised and upset to discover their school yearbook photos were digitally altered, with sleeves and higher necklines drawn on to cover bare skin. Several students at Wasatch High School in Heber City said their outfits were in line with the public school’s dress code, and they’ve worn them on campus many times.


    Legislators OK plan to erase juvenile arrests

    The legislature has advanced a plan that would erase some arrest records for children who weren’t charged or convicted of the alleged crime.

    David Bogenberger

    Judge rules against ex-frat members in hazing case

    A DeKalb County judge has rejected four former NIU fraternity members' claim that the state's hazing statute is unconstitutional. The four were charged after the death of Palatine native David Bogenberger in 2012.


    Seven hurt in Antioch collision

    Seven people were taken to local hospitals after a multivehicle crash Wednesday night in Antioch, authorities said Thursday.

    Somaly Mam, the Cambodian woman who has been honored internationally for her work against sexual slavery, resigned from the New York-based foundation she helped found after reports alleged that she had distorted aspects of her personal history.

    Cambodian sex slavery activist quits U.S. foundation

    A Cambodian woman internationally recognized for her work against sexual slavery has resigned from the foundation she helped create following reports that she distorted parts of her own history. Somaly Mam’s memoir, “The Road of Lost Innocence,” said she was abused and sold into prostitution as a child — one of several claims now being questioned

    Carly Rousso

    Rousso guilty of aggravated DUI in death of 5-year-old Highland Park girl

    A Highland Park teenager who was admittedly high when she ran over and killed a 5-year-old girl in 2012 faces up to 14 years in prison after a guilty verdict. it was Carly Rousso's words that prompted Lake County Judge James Booras to find her guilty. “To most of the public, that’s a cleaning agent,” Booras said about computer dust remover. “To the defendant,...

    ASSOCIATED PRESS A supporter of presidential candidate Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, Egypt’s former military chief, holds a national flag during a celebration at Tahrir Square in Cairo Thursday, when his landslide victory over a sole opponent was announced.

    Egypt: El-Sissi wins election by landslide

    Nearly a year after he ousted Egypt’s first freely elected president, former military chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi was elected president by a landslide of 92 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results released by his campaign Thursday. But questions over the authorities’ drive to boost turnout threatened to stain his victory. New details emerged of a frantic government...


    Small fire forces school evacuation

    B. J. Hooper Elementary School in Lindenhurst had to be evacuated for a short time Thursday morning because of a small fire in a bathroom, authorities said.

    James T. Keegan

    Streamwood chief to become St. Charles police chief

    St. Charles aldermen are expected to name James T. Keegan as the new police chief at their meeting Monday night. Keegan is currently the police chief in Streamwood.

    Marc Munaretto

    One Metra vacancy down (almost), one still open

    An Algonquin businessman is poised to sit on the Metra board while another spot representing northwest Cook County is still in play. McHenry County Chairwoman Tina Hill has selected former county board member Marc Munaretto to replace outgoing Metra Director Jack Schaffer. Meanwhile, Cook County Commissioner Tim Schneider is accepting applications for the position currently held by former...

    Brian Harris, superintendent of Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200, on Thursday was hired as the new superintendent for Barrington Unit District 220.

    Dist. 220 hires Wheaton Warrenville’s Harris as new leader

    The Barrington Unit School District 220 school board Thursday hired Brian Harris, current superintendent of Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200, as its new superintendent. Harris will replace Superintendent Tom Leonard, who in April announced plans to resign June 30 and take over as top administrator in the Eanes Independent School District in the suburbs of Austin, Texas.


    Property tax payment due:

    The first installment of Lake County property taxes is due Thursday, June 5 and the second installment is due Sept. 5.

    Mike Noland

    Voters will weigh in on millionaires’ taxes

    A plan to ask voters to weigh in on whether Illinois millionaires should pay more in income taxes is headed to Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk, and the governor says he’ll sign it into law. The question is advisory, and Republicans denounced it as a "stunt" to get Democrats to the polls.


    Free boat safety inspections:

    The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary wants to help boaters prepare for the boating season with free boat safety inspections and safety courses.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    A Mount Prospect couple in their 70s lost $2,550 May 12 after they received a phone call from a man claiming to be their grandson. He told them he had been arrested on charges of DUI and was in the Cook County Jail.

    This is a baby golden lion tamarin. Once thought to be extinct, tamarin are a success story because biologists have helped set aside land for them. Species of plants and animals are going extinct 1,000 faster than they did before humans, with the world on the verge of a sixth great extinction, a new study says.

    Study: Species disappearing far faster than before

    Species of plants and animals are becoming extinct at least 1,000 times faster than they did before humans arrived on the scene, and the world is on the brink of a sixth great extinction, a new study says. The study looks at past and present rates of extinction and finds a lower rate in the past than scientists had thought. Species are now disappearing from Earth about 10 times faster than...


    Barrington District 220 gives multiyear deals to administrators

    Eleven administrators in Barrington Unit School District 220 received multiyear performance-based contracts approved by the district’s board of education at their public meeting Thursday morning. Superintendent Tom Leonard said the 11 administrators, a group that includes school principals and high-ranking district personnel, have institutional knowledge that is valuable to the district.

    Long-awaited work is expected to begin in June to address flooding problems in the area around Carol Stream’s Armstrong Park.

    DuPage County approves contracts to spur Armstrong Park reservoir project

    A long-awaited project to reduce the threat of flooding near Carol Stream’s Armstrong Park could begin by as early as June. The DuPage County Board this week approved three contracts to clear the way for the $12.5 million project. “This area’s had just horrible flooding over the last five years and it’s been a long process,” county board member Jim Zay said.


    Council holds off on Ride in Kane funding decision

    The Elgin City Council postponed a decision on a request by the Ride in Kane program to more than double the city’s contribution to the program from 2012 levels to nearly $196,000 this year.


    Three Algonquin house fires under investigation

    Firefighters have responded to three Algonquin house fires in the past five days, the most recent of which was late Wednesday. Whether the fires are related remain under investigation, police said.

    Brian Harris is turning a new page this week. On Thursday, he resigned from his position as superintendent of Wheaton Warrenville District 200 to become the new leader of Barrington District 220 Friday.

    Dist. 200 superintendent’s separation agreement approved with 5-2 vote

    Brian Harris ended his 4-year tenure as superintendent of Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 Thursday with more than four years left on a five-year contract. He's leaving to become superintendent in Barrington. “I was not expecting, at least a month and a half ago, to be sitting here today having this conversation,” he told District 200 board members. “What happens...

    Anna Kane looks down from the “The Ledge” at Chicago’s Willis Tower. The see-through glass bays extend about four feet from the building, which was once called the Sears Tower.

    Cracks appear on ledge at Willis Tower

    Alejandro Garibay says he knows now he wasn’t in danger when the ledge he was sitting on high above downtown Chicago started to crack — but when he first heard what sounded like breaking ice, he thought he was going to die.

    Harry I. Joslin

    North Aurora man charged with child pornography

    A 28-year-old North Aurora man was charged Wednesday with 10 counts of child pornography possession. Harry I. Joslin was arrested after authorities searched his home, according to the attorney general's office. He was being held on $35,000 bail. He is next due in court June 5 and is the 60th person arrested since the Illinois Attorney General's Office launched an operation in August 2010 to root...


    Audit shows $12.3 million in Medicaid benefits to dead

    An auditor’s report released Thursday provided new details about the Illinois Medicaid program’s overpayment of $12.3 million for medical care for 2,850 people who were dead. One person who died in 1989 had payments of nearly $30,000 to providers for 816 dental, lab and hospital services from 2005 through 2013, state Auditor General William Holland’s report said.

    Elliot “Kip” Dodge, Maine West Distinguished Alumnus

    Maine West Distinguished Alumnus named

    Elliot “Kip” Dodge, a noted scientist and artist, has been named 2014 Maine West Distinguished Alumnus. Dodge, who graduated in 1962, has worked as an aerospace designer, engineer and manager for Jet Propulsion Laboratory/National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Mars missions, and as a painter has shown his works both regionally and internationally. He lives in Albuquerque,...

    Doug McConnell, shown here during his successful swim across the English Channel in 2011, is now focusing on another challenge: a lap around Manhattan Island, New York. McConnell’s is using the swim to raise money for the fight against ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

    Barrington swimmer plans lap around Manhattan

    A Barrington man who three years ago joined a small group of swimmers over 50 to successfully cross the English Channel is ready for his next challenge: a 28.5-mile lap around Manhattan Island, New York, to raise money for the fight against ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.


    Illinois Senate passes grant transparency proposal

    Illinois lawmakers have advanced a plan to make state grants more transparent as legislators investigate Gov. Pat Quinn’s mismanaged Chicago anti-violence program.


    School releases diplomas withheld over cap-tossing

    Administrators at a suburban high school have had a change of heart after withholding diplomas from an entire class because some students defied instructions not to toss their caps in the air at graduation.

    Alfreda Giedrojc

    Grandmother’s mental fitness at issue in murder case

    A doctor says a South suburban woman is unfit to stand trial for the death of her 6-month-old granddaughter. Alfreda Giedrojc is accused of using a sledgehammer and a knife to kill the baby.

    Elk Grove Village trustees participate in the “Pick-a-Pearl” contest with the help of Little Boots Foundation Director Jack Groat, far right, in promotion of the annual Little Boots Rodeo June 21-22.

    Big kids have fun promoting Little Boots Rodeo in Elk Grove Village

    The seventh annual Little Boots Rodeo in Elk Grove Village is meant for little kids, but the big kids don’t mind having some fun promoting it.

    Celebrating a soccer teammate's birthday, Gina Giancola ends up with frosting on her nose. Popular, fun and outgoing, Gina would have graduated from high school Sunday if she hadn't been a victim of depression at age 15.

    Remembering Gina inspires suicide-prevention efforts

    This should have been a time of graduation parties for Gina Giancola of Arlington Heights. Instead, her family and friends work on Gina's Gallop, a day of running events in the girl's memory to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention.


    Mountain biking might expand in Raceway Woods

    The relationship between the Kane County Forest Preserve District and a group of local mountain biking enthusiasts is so successful commissioners may give the group another 1.3 miles and 10 years to tool around in the Raceway Woods Forest Preserve near Carpentersville.

    Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science unveils a bronze statue of its namesake Thursday in North Chicago. The late-British scientist’s Photo 51 was crucial to the 1953 discovery of the structure of DNA.

    Rosalind Franklin University unveils bronze statue of its namesake

    Officials at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science unveiled a bronze statue of the school’s namesake on Thursday near the front entrance of the university on Green Bay Road in North Chicago.


    UW-Madison mulls changes to fraternity pledge week

    University of Wisconsin-Madison officials are debating pushing recruiting drives for fraternities and sororities to later in the fall semester or eliminating the drives entirely. One of the school’s largest fraternities told the Wisconsin State Journal that any changes could threaten the groups’ existence.

    A malfunctioning furnace triggered a fire Thursday morning that swept through a Downers Grove house. No injuries were reported.

    Fire sweeps through Downers Grove house

    No injuries were reported Thursday morning when fire swept through a large two-story house on the 4300 block of Downers Drive in Downers Grove. Authorities said the fire was triggered by a malfunctioning furnace.


    Fox Valley police reports
    Emil Sarudaru, 39, of Arlington Heights, was charged Wednesday with aggravated battery of an Elgin peace officer by punching him in the jaw twice, court records show.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    A backpack was stolen out of a locked locker between 10:45 p.m. May 21 and 1:30 a.m. May 22 at Millard Refrigerated Services, 2088 Geneva Drive, police said. The backpack contained an iPod Touch, an HTC1 cellphone, weightlifting gloves, white Beats headphones, and a “Traktor Bible” book, police said.

    The Fox River Country Day School grounds are on Dundee Avenue in Elgin.

    Elgin seeking more proposals for former school site

    The city of Elgin again will be seeking requests for proposals for the former Fox River Country Day School as it spends about $647,000 to replace the roofs of three buildings on the campus. The Elgin City Council approved both actions on Wednesday night.

    Fabian Torres

    15 years for 2011 Molotov cocktail attack at Algonquin grocery

    A Sleepy Hollow man was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to throwing a Molotov cocktail at a crowd of shoppers in August 2011 at an Algonquin grocery store. Fabian Torres, 27, once worked at Joe Caputo & Sons Fruit Market, where one person sustained minor injuries.

    Chicago Executive Airport board members say they’re moving forward with a study that will analyze the benefits and impacts of lengthening the airport’s longest runway from 5,000 to 7,000 feet. Proponents say a longer runway is needed to accommodate large corporate jets.

    Chicago Executive Airport board moving ahead with runway study

    A pair of Wheeling residents raised concerns Wednesday about jet noise coming from the Chicago Executive Airport runway as the board that oversees the facility’s operations said they are moving ahead with a study to determining its potential benefits and impacts. The board said last week that the study will examine adding 2,000 feet to the airport’s longest runway, lengthening it...

    A mother duck decided to lay her eggs in a pallet of paver block sand bags at the Home Depot in Gurnee. Employees have put up a sign to protect her and are feeding her until her ducklings hatch.

    Mother duck picks Gurnee home improvement store to start family

    A duck has laid its eggs in a pallet at Gurnee's Home Depot. Workers there are doing what they can to keep the duck and future ducklings safe in the garden center area. The plan is to transfer the babies to a nearby pond. The employees estimate it will be another two weeks before the ducklings hatch.

    Frank Geu

    Lawyer: Negotiations in Lake Villa-area shooting case not going well

    The attorney for a Lake Villa-area man accused of shooting a neighbor in the ribs last September said negotiations with prosecutors on a possible plea deal have not been going well. The attorney wants to reduce the felony charge Frank Geu now faces to a misdemeanor.


    Porter to address Schaumburg Township GOP May 31

    Illinois Republican National Committeeman Richard Porter will be the special guest speaker at the Schaumburg Township Republican Organization’s monthly breakfast meeting at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, May 31 at Chandler’s Chophouse, 401 N. Roselle Road in Schaumburg. Other speakers will be U.S. 8th Congressional District candidate Larry Kaifesh, 44th state House District candidate Ramiro...


    Hoffman Estates receives 2014 Emerald Award

    On May 15, the U.S. Green Building Council — Illinois recognized Hoffman Estates with its “Intent to Matter: Outstanding Small Organization” award for its significant strides in promoting green building development and cutting edge energy code programs.


    Schaumburg Farmers Market opens June 6

    Schaumburg’s Farmers Market will open for the season on Friday, June 6 and run every Friday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Oct. 31. The market is located at 190 S. Roselle Road, in the parking lot of the Trickster Gallery in Town Square.

    Steven Paska, 26, center, of Arlington, Va., asks his girlfriend of two years, Jessica Deegan, 27, to marry him as cherry blossom trees in peak bloom line the tidal basin with the Jefferson Memorial in the background in Washington. Deegan said yes to the surprise marriage proposal. When it comes to dating, Americans’ attitudes toward money and gender roles hew to the traditional and sometimes conflict.

    SF ISO ambitious charmer; SM seeks amusing looker

    In dating, money may be the biggest taboo. An Associated Press-WE tv poll finds that two-thirds of Americans think it’s tougher to talk money with your romantic partner than it is to talk sex. Three in 10 say sex is the harder conversation. And when people do lay out their thoughts on money and gender in the dating scene, all kinds of contradictions emerge.

    President Barack Obama speaks during the White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit. The president hosted the summit with representatives of professional sports leagues, coaches, parents, young athletes, researchers and others to call attention to the issue of youth sports concussions.

    Obama: Too little info about youth concussions

    President Barack Obama called Thursday for more robust research into youth concussions, saying there remains deep uncertainty over both the scope of the troubling issue and the long-term impacts on young people. “We want our kids participating in sports,” Obama said as he opened a day-long summit at the White House. “As parents though, we want to keep them safe and that means...


    Antioch officials ask community members to help design the village’s future

    Antioch residents have the opportunity to weigh in on the future of the village in a community vision survey during June. Village officials are making a survey available to residents as a way for the community to have an active role in guiding strategic planning.


    Fear, guilt break down a couple’s communication

    When a couple is working through issues, our Ken Potts says that sooner or later one will ask, "Why didn't you tell me." Sometimes, the ommission stems from a simple mistake that's easy to repair. But other times, it comes from fear, guilt or a push for power that hints at larger issues, Potts says.

    Gene Crume, president of Judson University, will be the featured speaker at the next Elgin Area Chamber “CEO Unplugged luncheon” June 4.

    ‘CEO Unplugged’ offers personal look at Judson leader

    Find out how Gene Crume, president of Judson University in Elgin, defines his leadership style by attending the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce popular series, "CEO Unplugged."

    The Dundee Township Rotary Club, with club president Erik Gullickson, right, recently awarded $28,500 in scholarships to 19 students. From left, Samuel Baker, Colin Stiefer, Thomas Rice, Francisco Nava, Trent Hanselmann, Jasmin Trujillo, Eric Faler, Carly Stallings, Nick Munson, Andrew Cassiere, Katelyn Aschacher, Erin Jameson, Samantha Hoyt, Kelly Grady, Libby Atchison, Megan Jameson, and Katherine Conomikes. Not pictured: Allison Nason and Vanessa Martinez.

    Dundee Township Rotary Club awards $28,500 student scholarships

    The Dundee Township Rotary Club recently awarded $28,500 in scholarships to 19 students attending Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville, Jacobs High School in Algonquin, and Westminster Christian School in Elgin.

    Staff Sgt. Angel M. Sanchez, a former drill sergeant at Fort Leonard Wood near Rolla, Mo., was accused Wednesday, May 28, 2014, of sexually assaulting several female soldiers during the past three years, including at least one while he was deployed in Afghanistan.

    Sergeant accused of sexually assaulting soldiers

    A former drill sergeant at a Missouri Army post is accused of sexually assaulting several female soldiers during the past three years, including at least one while he was deployed in Afghanistan.


    Weather to factor into Dist. 203 graduation evaluation

    With this year's seniors graduated from the two high schools in Naperville Unit District 203 a day later than expected, it's now time for officials to take a step back and examine how the commencement ceremonies went. “The role the weather plays in our assessment of how successful graduation was would be natural for us to consider,” Deputy Superintendent Kaine Osburn said Wednesday.

    Baby Cakes, a 6-year-old, female Chihuahua, weighs in at 11 pounds.

    A scratching dog may mean an infestation of fleas

    It's flea season. Make sure to treat your pet if he is scratching in order to keep him healthy.

    The wild geranium is a native Illinois wildflower of open woods and savannas.

    Wild geraniums herald the arrival of spring in Fox Valley woods

    Wild geranium is one of the highlights of the woodland flora right now, in full bloom in many forest preserves. It’s a distant cousin of the typical potted geraniums sold in garden stores.

    Downtown Libertyville, where some village officials have called for a moratorium on new liquor licenses and land uses that increase the need for parking until more spaces can be found.

    No ban on Libertyville eateries, liquor licenses

    Libertyville trustees rejected a proposed moratorium on liquor licenses and land uses that increase demand for parking downtown until more spaces can be found. “You need to let the free market decide how many restaurants are downtown,” Trustee Todd Gaines said.

    Setting the stage for upcoming restrictions on coal-fired power plants, the Obama administration is making a concerted effort to cast its energy policy as an economic success that is creating jobs, securing the nation against international upheavals and shifting energy use to cleaner sources.

    White House touts energy policies as rules loom

    Setting the stage for upcoming restrictions on coal-fired power plants, the Obama administration is making a concerted effort to cast its energy policy as an economic success that is creating jobs, securing the nation against international upheavals and shifting energy use to cleaner sources.

    Women rally against the U.S. drone strikes in Pakistani tribal areas in Peshawar, Pakistan. The secret targeted killing program that once was the mainstay of President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism effort appears to be winding down.

    CIA drone strike program in Pakistan winding down

    Just after midnight last Christmas, Pakistani officials say, two Hellfire missiles from a U.S. drone slammed into a house in Miramshah, Pakistan, killing four militants. It was an otherwise unremarkable episode in the sixth year of a relentless unmanned aerial campaign by the CIA. Unremarkable, except for this: There hasn’t been a drone strike reported in Pakistan in the months since.

    Australian navy ship Ocean Shield was fitted with a towed pinger locator to aid in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. Investigators searching for the missing Malaysian jet have concluded an area where acoustic signals were detected is not the final resting place of the plane after an unmanned submersible found no trace of it, the search coordinator said Thursday.

    Jet searchers rule out area where ‘pings’ heard

    Investigators searching for the missing Malaysian jet have concluded an area where acoustic signals were detected is not the final resting place of the plane after an unmanned submersible found no trace of it, the search coordinator said Thursday.

    Malaysia Airlines paid for family members of the missing passengers to stay at hotels in Malaysia and China while they waited for news of the plane. Families were also given logistical and financial assistance, as well as counseling and support. In early May, the assistance centers were shut down and family members were told to leave.

    What’s next in the stalled hunt for Flight 370?

    Thursday marked a bleak moment for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. For the first time since it disappeared March 8 with 239 people on board, no one is looking for it. Answers to the tragic mystery appear to be months away — at best. Here are details about where the search stands.

    Customers of all shapes and sizes sit at street cafes in central Cairo, Egypt. A new global analysis released Thursday May 29, 2014, found that the highest rates of obesity were found in the Middle East and North Africa.

    30 percent of world is now fat, no country immune

    Almost a third of the world is now fat, and no country has been able to curb obesity rates in the last three decades, according to a new global analysis. Researchers found more than 2 billion people worldwide are now overweight or obese. The highest rates were in the Middle East and North Africa. The U.S. has about 13 percent of the world’s fat population, a greater percentage than any...

    Jason Slowinski

    Lake Zurich village board to hold first meeting since SUV crash

    Lake Zurich’s elected officials plan to get caught up on business two weeks after a meeting was canceled by a sport utility vehicle crash that caused village hall to shut down. On May 19, a man driving the Jeep Commander lost control of the vehicle and struck an area outside the government building in downtown Lake Zurich.

    Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, listens to lawmakers argue state budget legislation while on the House floor during session at the Illinois State Capitol.

    Ill. Senate to take up budget as deadline nears

    The Illinois Senate is expected to advance a 2015 budget as the Legislature moves closer to adjourning its spring session. Lawmakers return to the Capitol on Thursday with the $37.5 billion budget and several other issues on their agenda.


    Chicago mayor offers gun store law, critics pounce

    Forced by court order to allow long-banned gun stores to open in Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday introduced an ordinance that is so strict and so dramatically limits where the stores can operate that critics say it is little more than a continuation of the city’s longtime ban.

    Air Canada’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet arrives at Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Enfield, Nova Scotia. The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday cleared Boeing Co.’s 787 to fly far over the ocean, up to 5 1/2 hours away from the nearest emergency landing site.

    FAA clears Boeing to fly 787 over distant oceans

    The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday cleared Boeing Co.’s 787 to fly far over the ocean, up to 5 1/2 hours away from the nearest emergency landing site. The move comes while another branch of the government — the National Transportation Safety Board — is still investigating the cause of a January 2013 battery fire aboard a 787 parked at the gate in Boston.


    South Shore plan lists $1.16 billion in upgrades

    A blueprint for expanding and improving the South Shore commuter rail line released Wednesday calls for $1.16 billion in new investments for a southward spur and station and track upgrades.


    Illinois House advances Cook County pension plan

    A plan to overhaul Cook County’s pension system by increasing county payments and reducing some benefits for employees cleared another hurdle. A House committee voted 6-4 late Wednesday to approve changes Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle says are necessary to keep the retirement system from dissolving in 20 years.


    Great Lakes states to fish for invasive species

    Several states from the Great Lakes region are teaming up to reduce invasive fish species that have grown in population in recent years. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has announced that it is joining state agencies from Indiana, Michigan and Minnesota to complete an “invasive fish surveillance exercise” in Calumet Harbor on Wednesday.

    A doe crosses Route 31 in Elgin. Female deer are on the move this time of year, experts say.

    Deer that hit van may have been startled off overpass

    Spring means deer -- both mature females and offspring -- are on the move and pose a hazard to drivers, an Elgin-based wildlife biologist says. A West Dundee mom and her four children avoided serious harm when a doe lept off an overpass and landed on their minivan this week, just one of thousands of collisions across the state each year.


    One injured in Aurora crash late Wednesday night

    Police are investigating a single-car rollover crash that took place at about 12:45 a.m. on 75th Street in Aurora. A 73-year-old Palos Park woman was driving westbound in her Cadillac when she hit the median at the curve at Rt. 34, crossed over the eastbound lanes and ended up in a ditch, Aurora Police spokesman Dan Ferrelli said.


    Autopsy shows Huntley man was shot in back

    An autopsy conducted Wednesday shows Robert Grundei was shot in the back; authorities say he was killed by his brother after the two fought over living arrangements at the family's Sun City Huntley home.

    Tyler Brett Caruso

    Caruso Memorial Concert set for Thursday in St. Charles

    The 12th annual Tyler Brett Caruso Memorial Concert, from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 29, will celebrate the life of Tyler Caruso, a St. Charles East High School student leader, musician, athlete, and community activist who died unexpectedly of cardiac arrest on July 14, 2002, at the age of 17.


    Dawn Patrol: Hawks win in double OT; Naperville man dies in I-55 crash

    Hawks win in double overtime. State budget not shaping up to Quinn’s plan. Naperville man dies in I-55 crash. Marmion coach released from hospital. Stabbing victim forgave killer, sister says. Murderer sorry for Mount Prospect crime. Former Des Plaines, Wheeling official dies.

    Fred Heid, the next superintendent of Community Unit District 300, smiles Wednesday after the school board approves his employment contract. Heid, 43, can’t take over as superintendent until the state verifies his credentials. He will work as chief executive officer while the district’s former superintendent, Ken Arndt, serves as interim superintendent.

    Dist. 300 to be temporarily run by two administrators

    Community Unit District 300 signed off on a new employment contract Wednesday for its incoming leader, Fred Heid, but he can’t start working as superintendent until the state certifies the Florida native’s credentials, officials said. Starting Monday, Heid will work as chief executive officer while Ken Arndt, the district’s former superintendent, will serve as interim...

    Girls from Trinity Oaks Christian Academy in Cary helped raise funds to equip the Schaumburg Police Department’s new K-9, Apollo, with a bulletproof vest.

    Cary students’ donation buys vest for Schaumburg K-9

    A group of second- and third-grade students were treated to a demonstration of the Schaumburg Police K-9 unit’s capabilities as a thank you from the department for a donation the children made Wednesday.

    The College of DuPage is renovating its Naperville Regional Center with an eye toward improving resources for students. The center is closed for work this summer and is expected to open in time for the spring 2015 term.

    COD’s Naperville center getting $4.3 million face-lift

    The College of DuPage plans to spend roughly $4.3 million to renovate its Naperville Regional Center with an eye toward bolstering its appearance and offering improved resources for students. The center at 1223 Rickert Drive will be closed during the remodeling, officials said, and is scheduled to reopen in time for the spring 2015 term.

    Toni Preckwinkle

    Cook County pension plan faces possible final vote

    State lawmakers Thursday set up a final vote over whether Cook County can cut its workers’ pension benefits and pay more into its retirement funds in an effort to save them from insolvency.


    Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo looks back after striking out against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/George Nikitin)

    Cubs’ offense continues to suffer

    The Cubs' 10-game road trip makes its final stop this weekend in Milwaukee. After losing two of three in San Francisco, the Cubs have the worst record in baseball, and most of it is because of a bad offense. Daily Herald Cubs writer Bruce Miles also has notes on Manny Ramirez and top prospect Kris Bryant.


    Rapshus, Lake Park stymie Geneva

    Lake Park senior pitcher Rhett Rapshus has been the tough-luck kid throughout much of the baseball season. However, the hard-throwing right-hander found himself on the other side of the ledger during Thursday’s Class 4A regional semifinal clash against Geneva. Rapshus (3-6), who will attend Black Hawk College next season, tossed a 2-hit complete game to lift the 12th-seeded Lancers (13-22) to a 4-3 victory over the fifth-seeded Vikings in Roselle.


    Boys tennis: Thursday, May 29 results
    Results of area high school boys tennis meets for Thursday, May 29.


    Softball: Thursday, May 29 results
    Results of area high school softball games for Thursday, May 29.


    Baseball: Thursday, May 29 results
    Results of area high school baseball games for Thursday, May 29.


    St. Viator outruns Glenbrook North

    St. Viator was expeditious in its 3-2 come-from-behind victory over host Glenbrook North on Thursday. Then Lions (22-14) managed just 2 hits for the game but rallied for a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh without a hit to advance.


    Softball / Lake County roundup

    The Stevenson and Zion-Benton softball teams split their two North Suburban Lake Division games this season. They met for the third time this season Thursday, and it was the ninth-seeded Zee-Bees who ousted the eighth-seeded Patriots with a 5-1 win in a Class 4A New Trier regional semifinal.


    Lake Forest edges LZ

    BaseballLake Forest 6, Lake Zurich 5: At Stevenson, the seventh-seeded Scouts scored 4 runs in the bottom of the sixth and turned a double play with the tying run at third to end the Class 4A regional semifinal.Lake Forest will take on Glenbrook South in the regional final at 10 a.m. Saturday.No. 10 Lake Zurich received 3-for-4 efforts from Nick Jones and Colton Wagner (2 RBI), both of whom doubled in their final high school game.Danny Krueger was 2-for-2 for the Bears.Lake Forest was led by Cole Digman, who doubled twice and finished 3-for-3 with 3 RBI. Mateo Hargitt homered and knocked in two for the Scouts.


    Burlington Central, Dundee-Crown notch regional wins

    Burlington Central 2, Wheaton Academy 0: Senior ace Danny Gerke blanked the Warriors on 3 hits as No. 2 Burlington Central (20-11) defeated No. 3 Wheaton Academy (16-14) in a Class 3A Hampshire regional semifinal on Thursday.

    Manu Ginobili scored 19 points and the San Antonio Spurs rolled to a 117-89 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night to take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals.

    Spurs rout Thunder to take 3-2 lead in West finals

    Tim Duncan had 22 points and 12 rebounds, Manu Ginobili scored 19 points and the San Antonio Spurs rolled to a 117-89 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night to take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals.

    Johnsburg runner Mike Pritts eludes the tag from Lakes catcher Joe Dahlke in the fourth inning during the Class 3A regional semifinal game at Grayslake Central on Thursday.

    Ridout pitches Johnsburg past Lakes

    As he walked toward the parking lot, Johnsburg pitcher Collin Ridout avoided a wipeout. He stopped and deftly hopped a fence in a single bound to grant an interview request. It might have been his second-best leap in his baseball cleats Thursday. And, in truth, the display of athleticism wasn’t surprising considering what the senior right-hander did on Grayslake Central’s diamond. Ridout struck out 10 Lakes batters, scattered 4 singles and fielded his position brilliantly, as the third-seeded Skyhawks won the Class 3A regional semifinal 3-0 to earn a berth in Saturday’s title game. Johnsburg (20-13) will play top-seeded Grayslake Central (25-10) at 11 a.m. Ridout outdueled fellow hard-throwing ace Chase Slota, as Lakes, which started the season 0-5, finished 19-13.

    Alan Fijalkowski of Buffalo Grove competes during Day 1 of the boys tennis state tournament on Thursday at Hoffman Estates.

    Buffalo Grove duo makes the grade

    After match point, you had to know something good had just happened when Peter Georgiades practically broke the 100-meter record with his mad dash into the building at Buffalo Grove. The Bison senior couldn’t wait to get inside to tell a teacher that both he and doubles partner Anton Levitin had just stunned favored Thomas Hanley/Wyatt Mayer of New Trier in three sets to earn a spot in today’s round of 16. It’s the first time a player or team from BG has advanced that deeply in the boys tennis state tournament since 2008.


    Aurora Christian qualifies 8 events for finals

    Aurora Christian’s girls track team set the bar high for the boys by winning the Class 1A girls state championship. Thursday the Eagles’ boys team put itself in position to follow suit.

    Patrick Kane is sandwiched between two in the third period of Game 5 Wednesday night at the United Center.

    Last two games in L.A. mean nothing

    Blackhawks broadcaster Troy Murray says Friday night's game between the Hawks and Kings will be a tight contest, but Games 3-4 shouldn't mean anything to Hawks right now.

    Anthony Santos of York gets ready to put the tag on Tyler Zunkel of Willowbrook during the Willowbrook at York baseball game Thursday.

    No perfect game, but good enough for Willowbrook

    Thoughts of a perfect game danced briefly through Jake Cady’s head, but the bulk of his attention remained on the scoreboard. “It crossed my mind a few times, but all I care about it the ‘W,’” he said. Cady got it done, pitching a 3-hitter with 8 strikeouts and no walks while leading Willowbrook’s baseball team to a 3-2 victory over York in Thursday’s Class 4A York regional semifinals in Elmhurst.

    Dominic Moore scored in the second period, Henrik Lundqvist bounced back from his worst performance in the playoffs and the New York Rangers beat the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 on Thursday night to advance to the Stanley Cup finals. The Rangers are in the championship round for the first time since winning it all in 1994.

    Rangers knock out Habs in 6, reach Cup finals

    Dominic Moore scored in the second period, Henrik Lundqvist bounced back from his worst performance in the playoffs and the New York Rangers beat the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 on Thursday night to advance to the Stanley Cup finals.The Rangers are in the championship round for the first time since winning it all in 1994

    John King of Marmion Academy returns the ball during the state boys tennis tournament at Hoffman Estates High School Thursday.

    St. Charles East’s Koenen starts strong at state

    Jasper Koenen got off to a flying state tennis tournament start Thursday as he dominated three opponents in the heat and sun to easily advance into Friday’s round of 16 where he meets Brendon Harris of Edwardsville at tourney host Hersey High School in Arlington Heights.

    Chris Jones of Wheaton Academy returns the ball during the state boys tennis meet at Hoffman Estates High School Thursday.

    Youngsters get taste of state

    For most of the DuPage County boys tennis players who advanced to this year’s state tournament, it was all about gaining experience for the future. An underclassmen-heavy group learned Thursday at various sites around the Northwest Suburbs it can succeed at the state tournament, but success is far from guaranteed.


    Neuqua Valley bunts way past Metea

    On a day when hits were scarce, not to mention runs, Neuqua Valley called for a bunt in a key situation. Then the Wildcats bunted again, and again and again.

    Jacobs starting pitcher Reilly Peltier against Cary-Grove Thursday in the Class 4A Crystal Lake South regional.

    Then, and now, Jacobs’ Peltier beats Cary-Grove

    Jacobs right-hander Reilly Peltier followed a plan hatched 362 miles away to limit Cary-Grove to 2 hits in Thursday’s 3-1 playoff victory in Crystal Lake. The hard-throwing senior was facing the Trojans for the second time this season. The first meeting took place on March 26 in downstate Marion during the teams’ respective spring break trips. Peltier wasn’t at full strength with his fastball in that first start of the season, but he still managed to hold the Trojans to 3 earned runs on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6 in 6 innings of a 7-6 win.

    John Danks will get the start Friday night as the White Sox open an interleague series with the San Diego Padres at U.S. Cellular Field.

    White Sox’ Danks’ working his way back

    John Danks is one of the most polite players in major-league baseball. The White Sox' starting pitcher is also a fierce competitor, and some recent adjustments have put Danks in a positive place.


    Boys track / State scouting, Northwest and Lake County

    Here's a look ahead to the boys track and field state meet, from the perspective of Class 2A and 3A schools from the Northwest suburban and Lake County.


    Troop pitches Marmion to 1st Class 4A regional win

    Marmion entered the Class 4A Downers Grove South regional Thursday in an offensive funk, scoring no runs in its previous three games. The Cadets didn’t exactly break out against Downers Grove North righty Brett Pryburn with just 4 singles and 2 runs in 7 innings. But with Alex Troop pitching, that was more than enough.

    Jacobs’ Josh Walker, center, competes in the 100-meter dash during the Gus Scott Track and Field Invitational at Naperville North earlier this season. Walker will compete in the event at the Class 3A state meet in Charleston this weekend.

    Burlington Central’s sites set on trophy

    The Burlington Central boys track team is doing some medal prospecting this weekend. The Rockets feel they have a chance to be in the hunt for the third-place trophy at the Class 2A state finals at O’Brien Stadium on the campus of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.


    Buffalo Grove eager for regional final test

    Buffalo Grove’s softball team has already played for a conference title this spring. Now the Mid-Suburban East champs will be playing for a Class 4A regional championship at Glenbrook South. And the No. 6-seeded Bison sees it a special opportunity. “I’m so excited to play on Saturday,” said Buffalo Grove junior pitcher Julia Camardo, who tossed a nifty 4-hitter to top No. 11 Deerfield 4-1. “Coach (Jamie) Paul said it is the first time in a long time that we are playing for a regional championship.”


    Semro, Cary-Grove topple Crystal Lake South

    During her four-year career playing varsity softball for Cary-Grove, Lisa Semro has spent her fair share of time as a leadoff hitter. That experience paid off for the Trojans on Thursday, even though Semro now bats in the No. 6 spot in the lineup. Semro led off both the second and fourth innings with singles and both times ended up scoring as the second-seeded Trojans defeated No. 3 seed Crystal Lake South 6-3 in the second semifinal of the Class 4A Cary-Grove regional.

    Elisha Hougland of Hampshire returns the ball during Day 1 of the boys tennis state tournament at Hoffman Estates High School on Thursday.

    Norasith, Hougland surviving in the backdraw

    South Elgin’s Andre Norasith and Hampshire’s Elisha Hougland provided a lession in resiliency on Thursday. Both fired back with three consecutive victories after opening-round losses on the first day of the boys tennis state tournament to earn a second day of competition.


    Glenbard North edges Glenbard West

    With the way the pitching was going in Thursday’s Class 4A baseball regional semifinal at St. Charles North between Glenbard West and Glenbard North, it would have been difficult not to believe the game would be decided by one play.

    Now that they made it through Game 5, Jonathan Toews (left), Marian Hossa and the rest of the Blackhawks will do everything they can Friday night to bring the Western Conference finals back to the United Center for a Game 7 on Sunday night.

    Blackhawks vow that they’re not finished yet

    Los Angeles had to realize this wasn’t going to be easy, especially when the defending champs have a leader with the experience, drive and big picture mentality of Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.

    Shelly Sterling reached an agreement Thursday night to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion, according to an individual with knowledge of the negotiations.

    Shelly Sterling agrees to sell Clippers for $2B

    Shelly Sterling reached an agreement Thursday night to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion, according to an individual with knowledge of the negotiations.The individual, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly, told The Associated Press that Ballmer and the Sterling Family Trust now have a binding agreement. The deal now must be presented to the NBA.Shelly Sterling negotiated the sale after her husband, Donald Sterling, made racist remarks that were made public. Donald Sterling must also approve the final agreement as a 50 percent owner.Ballmer beat out bids by Guggenheim Partners and a group including former NBA All-Star Grant Hill.It’s unclear if the deal will go through. The individual said that though Donald Sterling was not involved in the negotiations, “at the end of the day, he has to sign off on the final process. They’re not going to sell his 50 percent without him agreeing to it.”Donald Sterling’s attorney says that won’t happen. “Sterling is not selling the team,” said his attorney, Bobby Samini. “That’s his position. He’s not going to sell.”That’s despite a May 22 letter obtained by The Associated Press and written by another one of Sterling’s attorneys that says that “Donald T. Sterling authorizes Rochelle Sterling to negotiate with the National Basketball Association regarding all issues in connection with a sale of the Los Angeles Clippers team.” It includes the line “read and approved” and Donald Sterling’s signature.Samini said Sterling has had a change of heart primarily because of “the conduct of the NBA.” He said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s decision to ban Sterling for life and fine him $2.5 million as well as try to oust him as an owner was him acting as “judge, jury and executioner.”“They’re telling me he should stand back and let them take his team because his opinion on that particular day was not good, was not popular?” Samini said. “That his team should be stripped from him? It doesn’t make sense. He’s going to fight.”The person with knowledge of the deal said that any buyer would have to ensure the team remains in Los Angeles and be someone Shelly Sterling could work with if she decides to retain a small stake. An attorney representing Shelly Sterling declined to comment.Franchise sale prices have soared since the current collective bargaining agreement was ratified in 2011. The Milwaukee Bucks were just sold to New York investment firm executives Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens for about $550 million, an NBA record.Last year, Vivek Ranadive’s group acquired a 65 percent controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings at a total franchise valuation of more than $534 million, topping the previous record of $450 million that Joe Lacob and Peter Guber paid for the Golden State Warriors in 2010.The bid for the Clippers, purchased by Sterling in 1981 for a little more than $12 million, blew right past those.ng former NBA All-Star Grant Hill.


    Nutof, South Elgin roll over Wheaton North

    Ryan Nutof called his first-inning home run Thursday an “accident.” The South Elgin baseball team would like more of those kind of accidents. Nutof’s solo home run was all the senior needed on the mound, but his teammates added some more offense as the Storm beat Wheaton North, 10-0, in five innings in the Class 4A Hoffman Estates regional semifinals.

    Stevenson’s Benjamin Bush returns a shot during the boys tennis state tournament at Hoffman Estates High School on Thursday.

    Smooth sailing for VanDixhorn, Tsorotiotis and Stevenson tandem

    There was an air of inevitability about the first day of the boys tennis state tournament from almost the moment Ben VanDixhorn, Stefano Tsorotiotis and Colin Harvey and Andrew Komarov took the courts at three venues as they calmly dispatched three opponents to advance into Friday’s round of 16.While at Rolling Meadows on Thursday, Libertyville’s VanDixhorn (32-4) conceded just 10 games during his three matches, six coming at the hands of the terrific sophomore Mack Galvin (35-5) of Rolling Meadows during a 6-4, 6-2 decision which allowed the 3-4 seed to get home early for some much needed rest in anticipation of a 9 a.m. match with Noah Rosenblat (Deerfield) at tourney host Hersey in Arlington Heights. “I felt really good right from the start today, and my plan from the beginning was to get through as quickly as I could in order to get out of the sun and heat and begin to prepare for an important second day here,” said VanDixhorn. “It’s a little different for me than last year, when I came in as more of an unknown. This time around there’s a target on my back, but I feel like my training and our schedule has helped me both physically and mentally for three days of tennis.” The other half of the Cats’ one-two punch, Tsorotiotis (27-3) was equally dominant in action at Hoffman Estates High School. The freshman rolled over three foes and next meets Christian San Andres (Downers Grove South); Tsorotiotis eliminated him 6-1, 6-1 in the semifinals of the Pitchford 32 earlier this season.All of the front draw in singles will be played at Hersey on Friday, while the first round of doubles in the championship bracket are at Buffalo Grove, with the winners moving over to Hersey to join the rest of the field. Stevenson’s Harvey/Komarov (25-3) asserted themselves quickly Thursday morning at Elk Grove, with straight-set victories over Naperville Central, Normal University, and finally Belleville West to book their place opposite 9-16 seed Jonah Philion/Miles Blum of Oak Park-River Forest.“We were pushed a little during our first two matches, and that’s something we haven’t seen in our first two trips to the tournament,” said Komarov, who with Harvey was a state runner-up last spring. “But it felt to get out of here early.”Stevenson’s Adam Maryniuk/Matt Harvey (21-4) put in a terrific day’s work during their maiden state voyage as a tandem by sweeping all three of their matches in Palatine to set up a key Friday morning contest against 1-2 seed Lope Adelakun-Chase Hamilton (20-0) of Hinsdale Central. The Patriots’ perfect first day in doubles, coupled with two victories from Benjamin Bush in singles, helped the club hold onto eighth place at day’s end with 16 points, while the defending champions from Hinsdale Central and North Suburban Conference champ Lake Forest have 24 points apiece. New Trier is right there with 22 points, followed by Downers Grove South (20) and Highland Park and Glenbrook North (18 each).The news was very good for Lake County schools when play was completed late in the afternoon, as Kevin Hunt (Carmel, 23-4) and the doubles teams from Vernon Hills (David Dobrik/Nikita Lunkov) and Warren (Samuel Gudeman/John Westerberg) all responded to first-round defeats with a vengeance to win three straight in the backdraw to stay alive another day. After a heart-breaking three-set loss to Batavia (Adam Maris-Ryan Sterling) the Cougars reeled off a trio of two-set wins at Wheeling and next face Chicago Latin in an 8 a.m. matchup at Prospect High School with the hope of more success ahead.

    Brandon Saad scores in the first period during Game 5 of the Western Conference finals at the United Center on Wednesday night.

    Day to remember for Saad

    Brandon Saad has been one of the Blackhawks' best players in the Western Conference finals, but his virtuoso performance Wednesday night in Game 5 was on an entirely different level. Playing left wing on a line with Patrick Kane and Andrew Shaw, the 21-year old Saad steadily took the game over. “I feel that was one of the best games I ever played on one of the biggest stages,” Saad said Thursday.


    Hill, Warren find a friend in win at Palatine

    Warren pitcher Andrew Hill did not know what the pitcher’s best friend was. But the junior found out very quickly in his team’s 3-2 victory Thursday in the Palatine regional. Twice Hill found himself in a jam, and twice the Blue Devils defense came through, turning double plays, including one to end the tightly played game.


    So many college achievers, so little time

    We’re nearing the end of our school year and many local graduates are done with theirs. Here are some of their athletic accomplishments ...

    Whether it’s his health or his personal life, Rory McIlroy is not easily distracted when he’s on top of his game. McIlroy made two eagles and three birdies on the back nine at Muirfield Village — along with a double bogey — on his way to a 9-under 63 and a three-shot lead Thursday after the opening round of the Memorial.

    McIlroy keeps on rolling at Memorial

    Whether it’s his health or his personal life, Rory McIlroy is not easily distracted when he’s on top of his game.McIlroy made two eagles and three birdies on the back nine at Muirfield Village — along with a double bogey — on his way to a 9-under 63 and a three-shot lead Thursday after the opening round of the Memorial.A week ago, McIlroy began his week at Wentworth by announcing he and tennis star Caroline Wozniacki had broken off their engagement

    Zach Johnson, who earned the J.K. Wadley Trophy after winning the 2013 BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest in 2013, will have a chance to defend his title when the event returns in 2015.

    Conway Farms to host 2015 BMW Championship

    After earning the coveted “Tournament of the Year” Award in 2013 from the PGA Tour, Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest was rewarded Thursday when it was named as host of the 2015 BMW Championship. The 2013 BMW Championship, which raised more than $2.3 million for the Evans Scholars Foundation, attracted more than 130,000 spectators. Lake County officials also credit it with an economic impact of more than $30 million.

    Bob Chwedyk/bchwedyk@dailyherald.com

    Kristufek’s Arlington selections for Friday, May 30

    Daily Herald handicapper Joe Kristufek’s Arlington racing selections for: Friday, May 30

    Now back with the Los Angeles Galaxy, forward Landon Donovan is preparing to face the Chicago Fire on Sunday, just 10 days after being told he won’t be going to his fourth World Cup. The 32-year-old attacker had 2 goals and 1 assist in his last MLS contest.

    Will disappointed Donovan take it out on Fire?

    It’s tough enough to play Landon Donovan when he’s in a good mood. And Landon Donovan is definitely not a happy camper these days.

    St. Edward goalie Paige Dykstra, facing, in pink, is swarmed by teammates as they rush the field after their Class 1A supersectional win over Chicago Latin at Concordia University in River Forest on Tuesday. St. Edward will take on Manteno in a state semifinal at North Central College in Naperville on Friday at 7 p.m.

    St. Edward focused on Class 1A state championship

    They’re about as cornball a bunch as you’ll ever find wearing high school uniforms, and their coach will be the first to tell you that. He will also be the first to tell you they don’t practice very well, although he may use words to describe those practices that can’t be printed in a family newspaper. But he will also be the first to tell you that when they hit the field, they are all business. And one can’t argue with the results, because the St. Edward girls soccer team is in the IHSA Class 1A Final Four this weekend at North Central College in Naperville.


    Kristufek’s Arlington selections for Thursday, May 29

    Joe Kristufek selections for Thursday, May 29, racing at Arlington International.


    Mike North video: Former Sox players still making a difference
    As Mike North looks around the league at former White Sox players such as Mark Buehrle, AJ Pierzynski and Carlos Quentin, he wonders if the South Siders could be contending more with the first place Detroit Tigers if these players were still with the team.

    Blackhawks right wing Ben Smith scores in 3rd period during Game 5 of the Western Conference finals at the United Center on Wednesday night.

    Blackhawks still want to be king of the mountain

    The Stanley Cup champs showed up Wednesday night for the first time since the middle of Game 2 and announced to the Kings that winning that coveted fourth game in the Western Conference finals will be no easy task. “The pressure was all on them coming into this game,” Brandon Saad said. “It's only going to get worse from here for them. They don't want to come back to Chicago.”

    Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville directs his team during the second period of Game 5 Wednesday night at the United Center.

    Lineup tweak pays huge dividends

    Facing a 3-1 deficit against the Detroit Red Wings in the conference semifinals a year ago, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville made an eye-opening lineup switch with his defensemen that worked for the rest of the playoffs.After splitting longtime defense partners Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook mid-season, he reunited them before Game 5 at United Center and the Hawks won to get back in the series. Wednesday night at the UC, facing a 3-1 deficit against the Los Angeles Kings, he did it again — only in reverse.


    Priscilla Redmond, owner of Priscilla’s Express restaurant in Hanover Park, meets with Mayor Rodney Craig on Thursday.

    Hanover Park mayor touts new business, Education and Work Center in annual address

    In a village without a distinct downtown, Hanover Park Mayor Rodney Craig touted the economic growth along Barrington and Irivng Park roads in his look back at 2013. "We're on the right path," Craig told a gathering of business and community leaders Thursday.

    Southwest Airlines is being fined $200,000 for advertising a fare sale too good to be true. The U.S. Department of Transportation said Thursday that in TV ads last October the airline promised flights from Atlanta to New York, Chicago and Los Angeles for just $59 — but didn’t make any seats available at that price.

    Southwest fined $200,000 for $59 Chicago fare ads

    Southwest Airlines is being fined $200,000 for advertising a fare sale too good to be true. The U.S. Department of Transportation said Thursday that in TV ads last October the airline promised flights from Atlanta to New York, Chicago and Los Angeles for just $59 — but didn’t make any seats available at that price.

    Stocks rose modestly Thursday, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 index to another record high. Investors rallied behind a bidding war in the food industry as well as a somewhat positive report on the U.S. labor market.

    Deal news, jobless claims push stocks higher

    Another quiet day, another quiet record. Stocks rose modestly Thursday, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 index to another record high. Investors rallied behind a bidding war in the food industry as well as a somewhat positive report on the U.S. labor market.

    A North Lenoir, N.C. firefighter takes equipment back to the truck after a woman, pinned in her white vehicle, was rescued by the jaws of life, in Kinston, N.C., earlier this month. The economic and societal harm from motor vehicle crashes amounted to a whopping $871 billion in a single year, according to a study released Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    Report: Car, truck crashes cost whopping $871 billion

    The economic and societal harm from motor vehicle crashes amounted to a whopping $871 billion in a single year, according to a study released Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The study examined the economic toll of car and truck crashes in 2010, when 32,999 people were killed, 3.9 million injured and 24 million vehicles damaged. Those deaths and injuries were similar to other recent years.

    Ford issued two recalls, one affecting 915,000 Ford Escape vehicles from the model years 2008 through 2011.

    Ford recalls 1.1 million vehicles for steering problems

    Ford is recalling 1.1 million SUVs to fix problems that could result in the loss of power steering while driving. The company issued two recalls, one affecting 915,000 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner small SUVs and one affecting 196,000 Ford Explorer SUVs. The problems are slightly different, but both could result in a loss of electric power steering while driving, increasing the risk of a crash.

    A package of frozen Tyson Chicken Nuggets, left, and a package of Hillshire Farm sausage. Two days after poultry producer Pilgrim’s Pride made a $5.58 billion dollar bid for the maker of Ball Park hot dogs and Jimmy Dean sausages, Tyson Foods Co. Thursday sweetened the pot with a $6.2 billion offer.

    Tyson enters meat brawl with Hillshire bid

    Chicago-based Hillshire Brands is at the center of a barnyard brawl.News: Tyson Foods, the largest U.S. meat processor, on Thursday made a $6.2 billion offer for the maker Jimmy Dean sausages and Ball Park hot dogs, topping a bid made two days earlier by rival poultry producer Pilgrim’s Pride. Based in Greeley, Colorado, Pilgrim’s Pride is owned by Brazilian meat giant JBS. The takeover bids for Hillshire by the two major meat processors are being driven by the desirability of brand-name processed products like Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches.

    A video plays on a smartphone while the magazine is on the desk. You can see where the video plays over the orange area on the printed guide, while the photos of bottles and other images remain idle.

    DuPage County bureau offers augmented reality with new visitor’s guide

    Kukec's eBuzz column features the Oak Brook-based DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau giving new life to its visitor’s guide. In fact, it could change before your eyes, using augmented reality technology.

    The Chicago mtro region is among 12 in the country the Obama administration named Wednesday to receive special attention under a new federal program designed to help make them more attractive to manufacturing companies looking for a place to set up operations,

    Chicago area among 12 picked for manufacturing project

    The Chicago metro region is among 12 in the country the Obama administration named Wednesday to receive special attention under a new federal program designed to help make them more attractive to manufacturing companies looking for a place to set up operations, provide a boost to the U.S. manufacturing industry and create jobs.

    The Irwindale California City Council voted Wednesday to drop a public nuisance declaration and lawsuit against Huy Fong Foods, makers of Sriracha hot sauce.

    California city votes to end hot sauce dispute

    The fiery fight between the makers of a popular hot sauce and a small Southern California city is apparently over. The Irwindale City Council voted Wednesday night to drop a public nuisance declaration and lawsuit against Huy Fong Foods, makers of Sriracha hot sauce.

    Dish Network Corp. says it will become the largest company yet to accept payment in bitcoin.

    Dish to become largest company to accept bitcoin

    Dish Network Corp. says it will become the largest company yet to accept payment in bitcoin. The satellite TV company says it will begin accepting the digital coins through payment processor Coinbase by September.

    Google Inc. employees sit outside during lunch time at company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. In a groundbreaking disclosure, Google revealed Wednesday how very white and male its workforce is — just 2 percent of its 50,000 Googlers are black, 3 percent are Hispanic, and 30 percent are women.

    White and male, Google releases diversity data

    In a groundbreaking disclosure, Google revealed Wednesday how very white and male its workforce is — just 2 percent of its 50,000 Googlers are black, 3 percent are Hispanic, and 30 percent are women. The search giant said the transparency about its workforce is an important step toward change.

    The 2014 Chevrolet Impala was the only non-luxury car to earn the highest safety rating in new tests of high-tech crash prevention systems.

    8 vehicles earn top rating for collision warning

    The 2014 Chevrolet Impala was the only non-luxury car to earn the highest safety rating in new tests of high-tech crash prevention systems. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested cars equipped with collision warning and automatic braking systems. It gave a “superior” rating to cars that both warned the driver of a potential collision and applied the automatic brakes to significantly slow the cars.

Life & Entertainment

    Julia Collins, 31, of Wilmette, scored her 19th consecutive victory on “Jeopardy!” Thursday. She is now tied for second-place for most consecutive nontournament wins and the show’s winningest woman.

    Wilmette woman extends ‘Jeopardy!’ winning streak

    “Jeopardy!” champion Julia Collins is keeping her winning streak alive. The TV game show says Collins, 31, of Wilmette scored her 19th consecutive victory on Thursday’s contest. That puts her in a second-place tie for most consecutive nontournament wins. She shares the No. 2 spot with season 22 contestant David Madden. The top “Jeopardy!” player is Ken Jennings, who won 74 straight games in season 21 for a total of $2.5 million.

    LeVar Burton’s campaign to bring “Reading Rainbow” to the online masses is off to an impressive start. It reached its fundraising goal within hours of its launch on Wednesday on Kickstarter, according to the fundraising website.

    LeVar Burton makes a ‘Reading Rainbow’ plea

    LeVar Burton’s fundraising effort to bring “Reading Rainbow” to the online masses is a by-the-book success. The goal of raising $1 million by July 2 was reached within hours of the campaign’s launch Wednesday on Kickstarter, according to the website. More than 23,000 donors had pledged $1.1 million and counting. Burton was the host of “Reading Rainbow,” the children’s literacy program that aired on public TV through 2009.

    Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arrive at the world premiere of “Maleficent” at the El Capitan Theatre on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

    Man who rushed Pitt on probation for Grammy prank

    The man who was arrested after accosting Brad Pitt on a Hollywood red carpet is on probation for crashing the 2013 Grammy Awards. Court records show Vitalii Sediuk was ordered to remain on probation until June 2016 when he was sentenced last year for getting onstage and grabbing the microphone from Adele before she accepted an award.

    Louise (Amanda Seyfried), left, Foy (Neil Patrick Harris) and Albert (director/producer Seth MacFarlane) watch in awe as Anna (Charlize Theron) handles shootin' irons in “A Million Ways to Die in the West.”

    MacFarlane goes gunning for yuks in 'Million Ways to Die'

    It's not as hot as Mel Brooks' classic “Blazing Saddles.” Yet, Seth MacFarlane's loopy, self-conscious comedy “A Million Ways to Die in the West” guns down its fair share of genre clichés while outgrossing Brooks' once shockingly vulgar beans-at-the-campfire scene. If one joke falls flat, 999,999 more of them riddled with pratfalls, puns and sudden death will try to kill you with laughter.

    Angelina Jolie's “Maleficent” looks stunning, but hangs out with dull and boring characters in a live-action, 3-D spinoff.

    Jolie's 'Maleficent' a fun hero-villainess

    Now, 55 years after Walt Disney introduced a green-skinned Maleficent in the 1959 classic film “Sleeping Beauty,” the studio presents a live-action, 3-D Maleficent who's more superheroine than evil fairy. Think Maleficent by way of Lara Croft. “Maleficent” director Robert Stromberg and screenwriter Linda Woolverton return us to the fairy's youth to understand Angelina Jolie's character.

    A young woman (Emily Berman) contemplates her wedding day in the beguiling new musical “Days Like Today” running at Writers Theatre in Glencoe

    Imperfect relationships play out in Writers' delightful 'Days'

    For anyone passionate about musicals, who has observed with dismay stage adaptations of Hollywood hits (and misses), frothy relationship revues and jukebox shows cobbled together from a pop star's back catalog, “Days Like Today” is an utter delight. A wry, modern show about love in its various permutations, “Days Like Today” — in its world premiere at Writers Theatre — rejuvenated my faith in the future of the American musical.

    The handmade leather wrap bracelet that goes a few times around the wrist, decorated with small gemstones or silver beads, is a simple design that has been a top seller for Chan Luu.

    Chan Luu’s leather-wrap bracelet is widely copied

    The bracelet is ubiquitous: Small gemstones or silver beads are woven with thread between two lengths of leather cording, and the finished piece wraps around the wrist three to five times. The mixture of earthy and bling has made it a top seller for Chan Luu, who is credited among many jewelry artists with originating the design. It’s also made her handmade bracelets widely copied.

    Monks Lisa Tejero, left, Vin Kridakorn and Richard Howard gossip about the White Snake's identity as Fa Hai (Matt DeCaro), background, eavesdrops in director Mary Zimmerman's production of “The White Snake” at Goodman Theatre in Chicago.

    'White Snake' role brings Downers Grove native 'full circle'

    Vin Kridakorn took a leap of faith — and landed on two feet. With little experience and a lot of passion, the Downers Grove native moved to New York after college to see if he could turn his acting hobby into a career. He did it and has now returned to Chicago to star in Goodman Theatre's production of “The White Snake.” “It feels very full circle,” Kridakorn said.

    The 87-foot-6-inch tall face of the Crazy Horse mountain carving near Custer, S.D., remains slow going. But it will continue, even after the death of Ruth Ziolkowski, the widow of sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and president and chief executive of the memorial.

    After widow’s death, Crazy Horse still moving forward

    The death of Crazy Horse Memorial leader Ruth Ziolkowski triggers a succession plan that transfers leadership to three people focused on advancing three main components: the monumental mountain carving, an American Indian museum and an Indian university, its president said. The memorial is envisioned to show the legendary Oglala Lakota warrior astride a horse and pointing east in a carving that will be 641 feet long and 563 feet high — higher than the Washington Monument.

    A woman cranes her neck as she passes by some of photographer Andres Serrano’s portraits of homeless New Yorkers currently on display at the West 4th Street subway station in New York. Serrano chose to show his portraits in some of the very places his unassuming subjects often populate — a subway station, a park and a church.

    Serrano’s homeless photos pop up in NYC

    Best known for his provocative images, photographer Andres Serrano has turned his attention to putting a very public face on New York City’s skyrocketing homeless population. His stark portraits of individuals who live on the street appear in some of the very locations that his subjects often populate — a subway station, a park, a church. “Residents of New York” is his first public art project. It runs through June 15.

    Daffodil bulbs that have multiplied too much are probably too crowded to keep flowering well.

    How to help daffodils make more daffodils

    Now that daffodil bloom time has passed, some gardeners might be wondering where their flowers were. If some plants remained all leaves, with few or no flowers, why was that? It might be that overhanging trees have made the location too shady. But the more likely culprit is the plant’s age. As a daffodil bulb gets older, baby bulbs, called offsets, develop snuggled up against its side.


    Reel life: Meet 'Animals' cast, crew at indie film fest

    If you missed the Chicago-shot drama “Animals” — winner of the Audience Award at this month's Chicago Critics Film Festival at the Music Box Theatre — you can catch it at the Midwest Independent Film Festival, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, at the Century Centre, Chicago.

    Xavier (Romaine Duris) shares a laugh with an old French flame (Audrey Tautou) in the domestic romance “Chinese Puzzle.”

    'Chinese Puzzle' tries to tie up loose ends

    In Cédric Klapisch's French domestic romance “Chinese Puzzle” — the third entry in his “Auberge Espagnole” trilogy — Romain Duris reprises his role as Xavier, a successful novelist whose personal life has gone the opposite way of his professional one. But finale doesn't quite add up the way it should.


    Tell your kids you can monitor their texts

    My phone plan allows me to see the texts of my kids, 19, 17 and 14. I monitor their chat occasionally. I don’t let them know, and don’t plan on intervening unless something gets completely out of control. Selfishly I like to see chats from the oldest, who is away at school, giving me some assurance he’s alive! Thoughts?



    Editorial: The missing ingredient in budget debate -- trust

    The key problem facing Illinois lawmakers this week isn't fashioning a budget; it's creating a foundation of trust, a Daily Herald editorial says.


    Chicken plants and the immigration dilemma

    Columnist Byron York: Haley Barbour, former governor of Mississippi, former head of the Republican National Committee, now a political fixer and influential voice in GOP circles, says he first became seriously interested in immigration policy after Hurricane Katrina. Thousands of homes in Mississippi were destroyed, “down to the slab,” Barbour said at a recent conference on immigration hosted by National Journal in Washington. Construction workers were overwhelmed; many were homeless themselves. And then, almost out of nowhere, came help.


    The value of a push

    Columnist Ruben Navarrette: A little girl can break her daddy’s heart with one question. A few days ago, my 9-year-old daughter — noticing I was in a suit and not my usual, casual attire — asked me where I was going, and I told her. I had been invited to judge a high school debate competition. She asked what that was all about, and I told her it is where two teams square off and make well-constructed arguments, trying to convince a judge of their point of view. She asked, “Can girls do that?”


    Democracy, dialogue and a place for tolerance

    Columnist Jim Slusher: How, I wonder, do we call ourselves patriots if we do not tolerate, perhaps to some extent invite the contrary ideas of others?


    Seal the borders before any reforms
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: We are now involved in a great struggle, to once and for all, solve our nagging illegal immigration problem. This problem has many sides to it, but the most important one is border security, and workplace enforcement. Without these components any immigration plan is doomed to failure, as has happened in 1986.


    Motive was clear in Benghazi attack
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: A great deal of conversation is taking place about the tragedy at Benghazi. Cokie and Steven Roberts’ recent column downplayed the issue in Hillary Clinton’s favor. Let’s put it into a historical perspective.


    Call in the auditors on state spending
    A Streamwood letter to the editor: I wish the governor and legislators would tell us where all the money from taxes, the lottery and gambling goes. It’s supposed to go to the schools and roads, but neither is in good condition.


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