Daily Archive : Thursday June 12, 2014


    This is the state-of-the-art CVS Caremark Customer Center in Mount Prospect.

    CVS Caremark wins honor for Mt. Prospect project

    The new CVS Caremark Customer Center in Mount Prospect was one of six projects to be honored statewide with an Eddie Award for its impact on economic development. CVS Caremark is Mount Prospect’s biggest employer. “These are six examples of companies that are investing or re-investing in our state and creating jobs,” Doug Whitley, CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce,...

    If you’re driving into the city this weekend, find a route that doesn’t involve the Kennedy, officials advise.

    Taking Kennedy to Chicago will have you singing the blues

    Don't forget driving to Chicago on the Kennedy Expressway this weekend could mean hours in your car stuck in traffic. At least that's what IDOT officials predict with a major redo of the Ontario Street feeder ramp at the Kennedy under way.

    Dominique Hodrick

    Chicago man charged in shooting death of teacher

    A man charged in the shooting death of a 58-year old Chicago special education teacher on the city’s South Side last month admitted to authorities that he was aiming at a rival driving by when he opened fire, prosecutors alleged Thursday.


    In GOP upheaval, a front-runner - and disconte

    California Republican Kevin McCarthy secured a clear shot to becoming House majority leader on Thursday as his sole rival dropped his bid in a leadership fight that exposed deep fissures within the GOP.


    Motorcyclist hurt in head-on collision in Pingree Grove

    An 18-year-old Bartlett woman is being investigated for hit-and-run and driving under the influence after striking a motorcyclist head-on Thursday night in Pingree Grove. Police said the woman was speeding on Route 20 east of Route 47 and swerved into the wrong lane, hitting a man on a motorcycle around 7 p.m.

    The brasses perform as part of the Wheaton Municipal Band as they kick off their 2014 summer season at Memorial Park in Wheaton Thursday evening.

    Wheaton Municipal Band opens summer concert series

    By Jessica Cilella

    The Wheaton Municipal Band opened its summer concert season with a performance Thursday evening in Memorial Park.

    James Miller

    Park City man charged in Rosemont shooting

    Bail was set at $2 million for a Park City man accused of shooting at six people in a Rosemont parking garage. James Miller, 24 faces six counts of attempted murder and multiple counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm.

    Less than three years after pulling American forces out of Iraq, President Barack Obama is weighing a range of short-term military options, including airstrikes, to quell an al-Qaida inspired insurgency that has captured two Iraqi cities and threatened to press toward Baghdad.

    Obama: U.S. will send fresh help to beleaguered Iraq

    Less than three years after pulling American forces out of Iraq, President Barack Obama is weighing a range of short-term military options, including airstrikes, to quell an al-Qaida inspired insurgency that has captured two Iraqi cities and threatened to press toward Baghdad.

    Six-year-old Bailey Powell enjoys a SpongeBob frozen treat during the first day of the Libertyville Days Festival on Thursday. The event featured food, music, the carnival and the Miss Libertyville pageant.

    Libertyville Days kicks off on a great night

    Children ran around carrying stuffed animals and blowup toys while carnival music filled the air during the first day of the Libertyville Days festival on Thursday evening. “We have perfect weather for the weekend and we have very good bands,” said Art Kopp, a member of the Libertyville Days Festival Committee.

    Melissa Lech

    Prosecutors: Naperville man lied when he admitted hit-and-run

    Criminal charges have been dropped against a Naperville man who confessed to committing a 2008 hit-and-run crash that killed a Joliet woman. “This case cannot move forward against this defendant as it stands now,” Will County State’s Attorney spokesman Charles Pelkie said. “We cannot meet our burden of proof with the evidence that we have right now.”

    Courtesy of Milka Overton A crash where a CTA train zoomed onto an escalator at the O’Hare Station in March has national consequences in terms of safety checks.

    Transit regulators urge look at emergency braking systems

    Federal regulators are asking transit agencies across the nation to check their emergency braking systems at dead-end stations. This after a CTA Blue O'Hare Line train jumped the platform and crashed onto an escalator in March.

    Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner speaks at a news conference accompanied by his running mate, Evelyn Sanguinetti of Wheaton, on Thursday in Chicago. He revealed some proposals for cutting what he calls wasteful spending in Illinois.

    Rauner details cost-cutting ideas for Illinois

    Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner on Thursday laid out the first specific cost-cutting proposals of his candidacy, saying Illinois could save hundreds of millions of dollars, including by selling most of its airplanes, merging the comptroller’s and treasurer’s offices and reforming the agency that oversees state property and purchasing.


    Duckworth in Elk Grove Village Saturday

    Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth will be at the Elk Grove Village Public Library Saturday as part of a “Congress at Your Corner” appearance. The event will be a chance for residents of the 8th Congressional District to share their questions, comments and concerns with Duckworth, officials said.

    Eric Galarza Jr.

    Hernandez guilty in shooting death of 5-year-old

    A Cook County jury today declared Miguel Hernandez guilty of murder in the 2011 shooting death of a 5-year-old Elgin boy. The jury announced its verdict at the Rolling Meadows courthouse shortly after 11 a.m. Jurors went home late Wednesday evening after deliberating for six hours without reaching a verdict. They resumed deliberations this morning.

    Linda Collins, board president of the Elgin Theatre Company, doesn’t let her multiple sclerosis slow her down.

    Wheelchair no obstacle for suburban theater woman

    Linda Collins really wants — and needs — a new wheelchair-accessible van with hand controls, so she can regain the independence stripped by her multiple sclerosis. Collins, of Elk Grove Village, is the board president for the Elgin Theatre Company. And yet, the 53-year-old says that her unsuccessful attempt to win a nationwide contest for a new van reaffirmed that, no matter her...

    A fan reacts as she watches the game between Brazil and Croatia on a giant screen during the FIFA Fan Fest on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014.

    Images: World Cup Begins
    Images of the opening day for the World Cup in Brazil. Soccer fans in South America and around the world watched as the first tournament games were played. Protesters also made their presence known in Brazil. Thursday was a holiday in Sao Paulo in honor of the start of the tournament .


    Health Rocks day camp:

    The University of Illinois Extension office in Grayslake hosts a “Health Rocks Day Camp” for 5 to 7-year-olds on June 16, 17 and 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The office is at 100 S. Route 45.


    Hawthorn Woods farmers market:

    The Hawthorn Woods Farmers Market season kicks off Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Community Park, 42 Park View Lane.


    Antioch Pageants:
    The annual Miss, Junior Miss and Little Miss Antioch pageants will be held on Saturday, June 14, at 4 p.m. in the Antioch Community High School auditorium, 1133 Main St., Antioch.


    Antioch Arts and Crafts Faire:
    The Antioch Arts and Crafts Faire is Saturday, June 14, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, June 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Main and Orchard streets.


    Popular events combine for Barrington expo

    The Barrington High School gymnasium will be full Saturday with about 100 exhibitors, including restaurants, businesses and school district programs, for the inaugural Barrington BizEd Community Expo. The event is the largest collaboration between the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce and Barrington Area Unit School District 220.

    Carly Rousso walks into the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan before her trial in May.

    Highland Park ‘huffing’ case could land in state Supreme Court

    The Illinois Supreme Court could be tasked later this year with deciding whether the Highland Park woman found guilty of being high when she killed a little girl was properly charged in the case.


    Republican leaders offer reform agenda

    Republican legislative leaders pushed for Illinois to change how it draws political boundaries Thursday during a Chicago luncheon that also highlighted other political reform issues including term limits, scrutiny of campaign fundraising and so-called lame-duck sessions after an election.


    Increase seen in Illinois health plans for 2015

    Illinois officials say they’re seeing strong interest from insurance companies as they prepare for the second year of new coverage options under the nation’s new health care law.

    Volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 95 help clean up Salt Creek in Elk Grove Village last weekend. Organizers say volunteers removed some 72 cubic yards of garbage during the 20th annual cleanup effort.

    “Mountain of garbage” removed from Salt Creek

    Volunteers were knee-deep in Salt Creek last weekend in Elk Grove Village, collecting some 72 cubic yards of garbage from just over a milelong stretch of the waterway. It was the 20th such cleanup sponsored by the Salt Creek Watershed Network, a regional grass-roots group that promotes the improvement of the creek’s water quality and ecosystem.

    Jose Becerra

    Thirty years in plea deal in Aurora hammer murder case

    "Even if he served a trillion years, it is not enough," Ricky Villalpando said Thursday about Juan Garnica, after Garnica pleaded guilty to murdering Villalpando's sister, Abigail, in exchange for a 30-year prison sentence.

    Edgar Jimenez

    Man sentenced to nine years in prison on Elmhurst gun charge

    A Chicago man was sentenced to nine years in prison Thursday for illegally selling weapons in Elmhurst.Edgar Jimenez, 31, pleaded guilty Thursday to the unlawful sale or delivery of a firearm while prosecutors dropped a charge of being an armed habitual criminal.

    Illinois use satirical ads to encourage young adults to sign up for health insurance by a March 31 deadline under the national health care law. The state spent $37 per enrollee on television ads — one of the highest rates in the nation.

    Illinois health campaign among nation’s costliest

    President Barack Obama’s home state agreed to spend $33 million in federal money promoting his health care law, hiring a high-priced public relations firm for work that initially was mocked and spending far more per enrollee on television ads than any other large state.

    Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been recovering in Germany after five years as a Taliban captive, is returning to the United States on Friday, but he will not receive the promotion that would have been automatic had he still been held prisoner.

    Bergdahl scheduled to arrive in Texas on Friday

    Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has been recovering in Germany after five years as a Taliban captive, is returning to the United States on Friday, but he will not receive the promotion that would have been automatic had he still been held prisoner.

    The Kane County Recycling Program will collect and recycle items such as bikes, clothing, carpet, electronics and more 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the circuit clerk’s office, 540 S. Randall Road, St. Charles.

    Recycling event a ‘one-stop shop’ for unwanted items

    Local residents will get the chance to safely and efficiently dispose of their unwanted materials Saturday. From 8 a.m. to noon at the circuit clerk's office in St. Charles, Kane County Recycling Program attendants will collect and recycle items such as bikes, clothing, carpet, electronics and more.


    27 drug-trafficking suspects charged

    Federal and state prosecutors in Chicago have charged 27 people they allege operated a drug-trafficking ring on the city’s West Side. U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez announced a nearly yearlong investigation into the drug market resulted in federal charges against 14 people and state charges against 13.

    Kristen Walker, left, displays wedding documents as she holds Jennifer Price’s hand during their wedding ceremony Saturday in Madison, Wis. On Friday a federal judge struck down the state’s gay marriage ban.

    Clerks could face charges over gay marriage licenses

    Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen warned county clerks Thursday that prosecutors could charge them for issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, saying the state’s gay marriage ban remains in effect despite a federal judge’s ruling that it’s unconstitutional.

    Jon Daniel, 29, of Peoria makes a statement as the American Civil Liberties Union’s Harvey Grossman, left, and Roshni Shikari listen Thursday. The ACLU has filed a lawsuit on Daniel’s behalf against Peoria’s mayor and police chief.

    Peoria mayor sued over response to Twitter account

    A man whose home was raided in response to a parody Twitter account he set up in the name of Peoria’s mayor is suing the city, the mayor and the police chief, alleging authorities violated his constitutional rights to free speech.


    Miss Lake Villa pageant moves to new home at Lehmann Mansion for 2014

    The Miss Lake Villa pageant contestants will vie for the 2014 crown at the popular Lehmann Masion for the first time this year, officials said.

    Dan Rutherford

    Suit against Rutherford names Romney campaign

    An amended lawsuit from a former employee of Illinois’ treasurer now names Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign as a defendant.

    Jimmy Palmer

    West Chicago dad pleads guilty to aggravated assault

    A West Chicago man pleaded guilty Thursday to aggravated assault related to his Jan. 9 arrest for recklessly taking two juveniles off a school bus. Jimmy Palmer, 53, of Locust Avenue, pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault charge in exchange for prosecutors dropping charges of criminal trespass to a motor vehicle, reckless driving, endangering the health or life of a child, failure to give aide...

    Gov. Patrick Quinn, center, shakes hands with the Rev. Walter Turner on Thursday in Chicago, where he received the endorsement of several clergy and community leaders in his re-election bid. At left is prominent Chicago priest Michael Pfleger.

    Quinn wins endorsements from clergy

    Several clergy and community leaders in the Chicago area have endorsed Gov. Pat Quinn in a tight gubernatorial race. Among those throwing their support behind the Democrat at an event Thursday in Chicago were the Rev. Albert Tyson and Bishop Claude Porter.

    Former President George H.W. Bush, tethered to Mike Elliott, jumps from a helicopter Thursday on his 90th birthday in Kennebunkport, Maine

    Former President Bush, 90, makes parachute jump

    Former President George H.W. Bush celebrated his 90th birthday on Thursday by making a tandem parachute jump near his summer home in coastal Maine, fulfilling a goal he made five years ago after a similar jump even though he can no longer use his legs. Bush had to overcome the objections of his doctor, wife and the rest of the family before making the latest jump.


    FBI investigating Des Plaines-based charter school group

    A Des Plaines-based charter school management company is under federal investigation on allegations of “white-collar” crime, officials said this week. The FBI, U.S. Department of Education and the Federal Communications Commission is investigating Concept Schools, a nonprofit organization that operates 30 college-prep schools in seven states including Illinois, according to...

    Elgin Mayor David Kaptain and HOPE Executive Director Anne Houghtaling unveil the new ads during the HOPE Fair Housing launch party for the Elginstead ad campaign Thursday at Gail Borden Public. HOPE plans to infuse $678,000 into community development programs in Elgin, some targeting Latino and black neighborhoods that were especially affected by the foreclosure crisis.

    $678,000 to be used for development programs

    HOPE Fair Housing hosted a launch party Thursday in Elgin for the Elginstead ad campaign. The agency plans to infuse $678,000 into community development programs, some targeting Latino and black neighborhoods that were especially affected by the foreclosure crisis.

    American teens are smoking less, drinking less and fighting less. But they’re texting behind the wheel and spending a lot of time on video games and computers, according to the government’s latest study of worrisome behavior.

    CDC study: Teens are drinking less, texting more

    American teens are smoking less, drinking less and fighting less. But they’re texting behind the wheel and spending a lot of time on video games and computers, according to the government’s latest study of worrisome behavior.


    Fed Up! rally planned in Washington, D.C.

    Fed Up!, an opioid drug advocacy group with ties to the Chicago suburbs, invites the public to join their second annual rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 28. The group will be marching from the National Mall to the White House to demand more government involvement in the country’s opioid drug epidemic, which includes painkillers and heroin.

    US band members from Axel Ellis, left, Rhys Junas and Ryan Zurick.

    Youth rock band US keeps finding success after winning Annecto Music’s Battle of the Bands

    A trio of fifth and sixth graders is living their rock and roll dreams. After forming their rock band US just a year ago, the boys have won Annecto Music's Battle of the Bands and have a song available on iTunes. Their next stop is to open for Grammy-winning Bill Miller at the 97.1 KAXE Mississippi River Festival.

    Kane County Forest Preserve naturalist Josh Libman, far left, leads a group of first- and second-graders on a hike into the woods Thursday to learn how to build a natural fort at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve in St. Charles. Twenty kids attended the “Week in the Woods” camp at the preserve, studying different aspects of nature each day. So far, they’ve covered mammals, birds, insects and Thursday’s theme was “Humans in Nature.” Kids learned the importance of humans respecting the environment, what they can recycle and compost, making a craft from natural elements and building a nature fort for protection.

    Back to nature
    Nature camp in St. Charles


    Mount Prospect man pleads guilty to child sexual assault

    A Cook County judge sentenced a Mount prospect man to 20 years in prison in exchange for his guilty plea to sexually assaulting a four-year-old. Jorge Caporal, 30, also pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse.


    Three on Naperville council to turn down raises

    Naperville City Council members who spent months debating their salaries, pensions and health benefits will have another chance this week to make a statement about their compensation. Council members have until Friday to turn down an automatic raise that will bump their pay by roughly $295 a year beginning later this month. Three of them say they will take advantage of that option and reject the...

    An ammonia leak was detected Thursday near the O’Hare platform on the CTA Blue Line.

    CTA Blue Line service resumes after ammonia leak at O’Hare

    A broken pipe near the O’Hare CTA Blue Line station emitted an ammonia-like odor Thursday morning and led to the temporary shut down of train service to the Rosemont station for some three hours, officials said. A hazmat crew from the Chicago Fire Department responded to the platform of the O’Hare station after 9 a.m., where a nearby pipe was leaking liquid, authorities said.


    Elk Grove women charged with identity theft

    Two Elk Grove Village women were charged in Mount Prospect with felony identity theft after police used surveillance video, electronic payment records and telephone records to investigate. Candice M. Whitt, 32, and her mother, Nancy M. Dement, 54, both of the 2400 block of Landmeier Road, Elk Grove Village, were arrested around 12:20 p.m. May 20, police said.

    A 17-acre site at Sportsman’s Park near downtown Naperville has been cleared so lead contamination can be removed from the soil as part of a $2.9 million project. The park closed Monday and is expected to reopen in late fall.

    Sportsman’s Park closes as lead removal begins in Naperville

    Naperville-area residents who use Sportsman’s Park as the home base for their trapshooting hobby will be looking for new venues this summer. The park closed Monday so a project to remove lead contamination from the soil and add new trails can get started. “I’m excited to see the end result,” said Jay Spitz, a member of the Naperville Sportsman’s Club. “At...

    Jean Hastings Genster

    Harper nursing teacher was 'the one the students remember'

    Nearly every student who goes through Harper College’s nursing program remembers the Mrs. Hastings videos featuring a cranky, difficult patient who breaks nearly every rule in the book. Jean Hastings Genster, one of the college’s original nursing instructors, created the memorable role, and she played against type. Her legions of former students remember her as one of their favorite...


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Burglars stole a wallet valued at $30 between 9 p.m. June 2 and 6:30 a.m. June 3 out of a car in a driveway on the 400 block of West Memory in Mount Prospect. The wallet was found on the 400 block of North Eastwood. During the same time, burglars stole a wallet, cash and credit cards out of an unlocked car in a driveway on the 400 block of North Eastwood. Offenders used car keys in the vehicle to...

    Cheryl Quinn

    Elgin woman gets 5 years for $483,000 theft

    Cheryl Quinn used her former employer’s bank account information 82 times between August 2008 and June 2012 to pay for extravagant purchases on her personal credit card, DuPage County prosecutors said. During that time, they said, she stole $483,230 from the company. Quinn, 44, of 208 Brookside Drive in Elgin, was sentenced Thursday to five years in prison and ordered to pay back the money...


    Fox Valley police reports
    Termaine K. Roby, 20, of Elgin, was charged Wednesday with retail theft and criminal trespass to land after notice that entry is forbidden, according to court records. He is accused of taking a bottle of liquor, valued at less than $300, from Wal-Mart on the 1100 block of South Randall Road in Elgin.


    Friday deadline for Lincoln Day Dinner tickets

    The deadline to buy tickets for the Northwest Suburban Republican Lincoln Day Dinner, scheduled for Tuesday, June 17 at The Cotillion banquet hall in Palatine, is Friday. Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is the keynote speaker at the event, which is a fundraiser for local Republican township organizations.

    Iraqi army armored vehicle is seen burned on a street of the northern city of Mosul, Iraq, Thursday, June 12, 2014. The al-Qaida-inspired group that captured two key Sunni-dominated cities in Iraq this week vowed on Thursday to march on to Baghdad, raising fears about the Shiite-led government’s ability to slow the assault following the insurgents’ lightning gains.

    Iraq Sunni militant group vows to march on Baghdad

    Islamic militants who seized cities and towns vowed Thursday to march on Baghdad to settle old scores, joined by Saddam Hussein-era loyalists and other disaffected Sunnis capitalizing on the government's political paralysis over the biggest threat to Iraq's stability since the U.S. withdrawal.

    Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 Board of Education President Barbara Intihar, far left, discusses the district's search for a new superintendent Wednesday during a board of education meeting. Brian Harris vacated the position on May 29 to take over as superintendent of Barrington Unit District 220.

    Dist. 200 starts superintendent search, looks for public input

    The Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 board of education is seeking input from the public as the search for the district's next superintendent kicks into full gear. Comments about a "superintendent profile" available on the district's website that lays out the qualities the board is looking for in a superintendent can be sent to supsearch@cusd200.org. As of Wednesday, 15 resumes have been...


    No lease for Elgin Art Showcase without fire safety plans

    The Elgin City Council will not approve a new lease for the space occupied by the Elgin Art Showcase until the building's owner submits complete fire safety plans. That was the decision made Wednesday night at the council's committee of the whole meeting; members voted 8-1 to preliminarily approve — with that condition — the $43,000 per year lease for the space on the 8th floor of the...

    Brian Hill/bhill@dailyherald.comFour members of Team Illinois in the upcoming Special Olympics in New Jersey all attend Hoffman Estates High School. They are Vanessa Sandoval, 18 years old, from left, Matthew Sommerer, 17 years old, Nicholas Joseph, 20 years old, and Carina Valencia, 19 years old.

    Suburban Special Olympians going for gold at USA Games

    You won't see them interviewed by Bob Costas live from an NBC studio, catch highlights of their exploits on ESPN, or even find their results on your favorite sports sites online. But for thousands of athletes from across the country — some of them from the suburbs — years of training, dedication and effort will culminate starting this weekend when the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games...

    Mosaic artist Jim Bachor scrapes away cement to show a finished art piece in a filled pothole on a street in Chicago.

    Chicago man filling potholes — artfully

    The perfect pothole might not exist for many people — but for mosaic artist Jim Bachor, it’s one with a nice oval shape. Bachor began filling those potholes a little more than a year ago, after one in front of his house became a hassle. Bachor doesn’t just fill them with cement, though. He’s turned pothole-filling into a public art project — one with a sense of...


    Weekend of free family fun on tap in Aurora

    Six free, family-fun events encompassing a variety of tastes are on tap this weekend in Illinois’ second largest city. Festivities include the farmer's market, the Illinois Paddlesports Festival and Art in the Park.

    Ryan J. Horn

    Hawthorn Woods man pleads not guilty to indecent solicitation charges

    A Hawthorn Woods man accused of trying meet with a 14-year-old boy for sex pleaded not guilty to three counts of indecent solicitation of a child in Lake County court Thursday. Ryan Horn, 25, of the 0-100 block of Park View Lane, remains free from jail after posting the required 10 percent of his $100,000 bond.

    Nick Joseph, 20, will play soccer for Team Illinois in this month’s Special Olympics 2014 USA Games, which kick off Saturday in New Jersey. A seven-sport athlete, the Schaumburg resident says playing soccer is “very addicting.”

    Schaumburg Special Olympian a true team player

    Nick Joseph plays seven sports, but soccer is the one the 20-year-old from Schaumburg calls "very addicting." He's heading to New Jersey this week to play for Team Illinois' soccer squad in the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games.


    Video shows a ‘Best Day’ in Lake County

    Visit Lake County has launched a music video utilizing the song ‘Best Day of My Life" by American Authors to showcase a “best day” spent in Lake County.

    Route 59 is scheduled to be closed between North Aurora Road and Glacier Park Avenue/Meridian Parkway beginning 9 p.m. Friday and continuing until Sunday morning.

    Route 59 in Naperville closing for the weekend

    A stretch of Route 59 between North Aurora Road and Glacier Park Avenue in Naperville is scheduled to be closed in both directions this weekend. It is planned to begin at 9 p.m. Friday and last until Sunday morning so crews can install a box culvert to carry a creek under the often-congested state road.

    Alex Dmytrenko of Gurnee will swim for Team Illinois in the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games competition in New Jersey. Dmytrenko practices at FitNation in Gurnee.

    No words needed to see Gurnee swimmer’s passion for the sport

    Gurnee resident Alex Dmytrenko doesn't speak, but no words are necessary to understand his passion for swimming. That passion will take him to New Jersey this week, where he'll swim for Team Illinois in the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games.


    Understand your reasons before saying ‘I do’

    It's June and wedding season is upon us, our Ken Potts says. And while many couples are walking down the aisle this month, some may be getting married for the wrong reasons.

    Runner Brent Kampert, 28, of Crystal Lake will be competing in the Special Olympics USA Games June 14 to 21 in New Jersey. The 2005 Crystal Lake Central High School graduate has been involved in a number of Special Olympics sports for 16 years. He set a record at the 2013 Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games running 100 meters in 11 seconds.

    Crystal Lake Special Olympian runs ‘like lightning’

    After a three-year hiatus from Special Olympics, Brent Kampert’s comeback in the sport he loves — running — was “like lightning.” Kampert, 28, of Crystal Lake earned a spot in this month's Special Olympics 2014 USA Games with a record-setting performance in the 2013 Illinois Summer Games, running 100 meters in 11 seconds.

    Carina Valencia, 19, will represent Team Illinois in the upcoming Special Olympics 2014 USA Games in New Jersey as a member of the unified soccer squad. Because of her work with Special Olympics, Valencia said she has decided to become a special-education teacher.

    Special Olympics role leads to teaching passion for Hoffman Estates teen

    Hoffman Estates High School grad Carina Valencia started pitching in with after-school activities for special-needs students. That quickly grew into a presence on the Special Olympics soccer team, and now, on Team Illinois in the national games. "It's a life-changing experience for me," she said.

    Special Olympics gymnast Janna Blowers, 19, of Campton Hills practices her beam routine at Excel Gymnastics in Geneva. She will be competing in the 2014 USA Games in New Jersey next week. A gymnast since she was 5, Janna has made state finals the last nine years.

    After nine trips to state, gymnast ready for USA Games

    Janna Blowers’ passion for gymnastics started at the age of 5. After competing in Special Olympics for 11 years, the 19-year-old will be representing Illinois at the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games in New Jersey next week. “She is very excited,” said mother Betsy Blowers of Campton Hills. “This is going to be her one and only (time). In Illinois, you only get one...

    Jason Coy of Wildwood will represent Illinois on the volleyball team at the upcoming Special Olympics 2014 USA Games in New Jersey.

    Wildwood Special Olympian takes leadership role on volleyball team

    Jason Coy isn't boastful, but the Wildwood man has a room full of medals and trophies for his athletic exploits. He's out to earn more as a member of Illinois' volleyball team at the upcoming Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey. "He's kind of a coach on the court," said his coach, Amber Bodame.

    Jeff Osowski of Downers Grove will compete in the golf tournament at the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games next week in New Jersey.

    Downers Grove man perfect choice to represent Illinois at Special Olympics

    Jeff Osowski says he was "shocked" when he learned he had been selected for the golf team competing in next week's Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey. But those who know the Downers Grove man say he shouldn't be surprised because Jeff is not only a fine golfer, but an even better teammate.

    The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont could be in line to host a tobacco industry trade show, under legislation being considered by Gov. Pat Quinn.

    Rosemont convention center could get smoking ban exemption

    Rosemont's convention center could get a temporary exemption in the state smoking ban that would allow it to host a tobacco industry trade show next year. Organizers of the Tobacco Plus Convenience Expo, which has been held in Las Vegas for the past decade, are considering holding an additional show in summer 2015 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. “Tobacco is still legal, and...

    Vanessa Sandoval, 18, of Hoffman Estates, is heading to New Jersey this week to compete as a unified partner in soccer at the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games. She is one of four Team Illinois competitors from Hoffman Estates High School.

    Devotion to helping others leads Hoffman teen to Special Olympics

    Vanessa Sandoval was a freshman at Hoffman Estates High School when she became intrigued by the idea of giving back to the community. Vanessa soon discovered participating in the Special Olympics was her ticket to give back to those who needed it most.

    Last year, Special Olympics athlete Peter Hill of Lincolnshire traded softball for track and field. The move paid off, as Peter has earned a spot representing Illinois on the track in the upcoming Special Olympics 2014 USA Games.

    Switch to track and field pays off for Lincolshire Special Olympian

    Peter Hill has been competing in the Special Olympics since he was a young child living in Virginia. But last year, the 34-year-old Lincolnshire resident switched from softball to track and field. The move paid off, as Peter earned a spot representing Illinois in the upcoming Special Olympics 2014 USA Games, kicking off Saturday in New Jersey.

    Matthew Sommerer, 17, is one of four Hoffman Estates High School students who earned a spot on the Team Illinois soccer team that will compete this month at the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games in New Jersey. Matthew has been playing soccer since he was 8 years old.

    Teen’s passion for soccer culminates in trip to USA Games

    Like most Olympians, 17-year-old Matthew Sommerer has spent near a lifetime preparing to compete at the highest levels. In his case, that will be playing soccer for Team Illinois in the upcoming Special Olympics 2014 USA Games games in New Jersey. “I started to play when I was 8 years old,” the Hoffman Estates High School junior says.

    Karlee Darow of Palatine puts in some final practice this week with her trainer, Jason Domnanovich, before heading to New Jersey for the Special Olympics 2014 USA Games. Karlee, who has participated in gymnastics for a decade, has big goals for the national games.

    Palatine gymnast aiming high in Special Olympics USA Games

    When asked what she hopes to accomplish this weekend at the highest level competition in her 10-year athletic career, gymnast Karlee Darow of Palatine does not hesitate. “I want to try to do my best and make sure everyone does a great job too,” Karlee says.

    Juan Laverde

    For peer coach, unified soccer team an ‘eye-opening experience’

    Juan Laverde never gave much thought to the athletic aspirations of youngsters with intellectual disabilities. Then he got involved in some eye-opening programs at Neuqua Valley High School and in Special Olympics and discovered just how much some of those athletes have to offer.

    Wheeling is taking aim at vehicle idling, with a new program that encourages residents and businesses to turn off their vehicles when running them isn’t required. The program, which officials hope improves air quality, is mandatory for drivers of village-owned vehicles.

    Wheeling takes aim at idling vehicles

    Vehicle idling, considered detrimental to air quality, is under attack in Wheeling. The village board recently approved a program aimed at reducing idling. Compliance will be voluntary for residents and businesses, but mandatory for village vehicles.

    Founding fathers hammered out the first constitution in Philadelphia in 1787.

    Constitutional convention backers meet in Indiana

    About 100 lawmakers from 33 states are expected to gather at the Indiana Statehouse for discussions about how to call the first constitutional convention since the nation’s founding.The meetings dubbed the Mount Vernon Assembly are being held Thursday and Friday in Indianapolis following sessions last December at George Washington’s home in Virginia.


    Construction ahead for 2 Chicago Red Line stations

    Construction contracts have been awarded for work on two Chicago Transit Authority train stations on the busy Red Line on the city’s North and South sides.


    Illinois State tells students to head abroad

    Over the next five years Illinois State University hopes to double the number of its students who study abroad.


    Ill. woman’s blood alcohol content 4 times limit

    A 27-year-old Southern Illinois woman killed in a crash earlier this year had a blood alcohol content more than four times the legal limit.


    Lt. Gov. Simon calls for Mississippi action plan

    Illinois’ lieutenant governor is calling for a comprehensive approach to making the Mississippi River more sustainable. Sheila Simon is a Carbondale Democrat. She made the statements Wednesday alongside government and environmental leaders in Washington for the Big River Works forum dedicated to the future of the Mississippi.


    Illinois man gets class ring back 31 years later

    Just in time for his 30-year high school reunion next month, an Illinois man has something to share with his classmates about his decades-long search for his class ring.


    4 dead, 1 critical in Chicago single-vehicle crash

    Chicago police say four people are dead and a fifth is critically injured after a speeding car struck a concrete wall and narrowly avoided causing a propane explosion.

    One football fan sports eye shadow in the colors of Brazil’s flag ahead of the World Cup opening game, in Recife, Brazil.

    Will Brazil’s Cup spotlight burn too bright?

    Brazil’s day has finally arrived. The sun was rising Thursday on a tropical nation hosting its first World Cup in 64 years. Nearly half the world’s population, well over 3 billion spectators, is expected to watch soccer’s premier event. But just hours before play begins, it still isn’t clear which Brazil we’ll see. Will it be the irreverent nation known for its...

    2012 Superman celebration in Metropolis Illinois

    Yearly Superman festival begins in Metropolis

    A yearly festival honoring Superman is taking flight in the southern Illinois city that claims the Man of Steel as its favorite son. Metropolis’ Superman Celebration started Thursday and runs through Sunday.

    Black bears were once common in Illinois, but eliminated in the state by 1870. They will be protected under a new state law that takes effect in January.

    Caution urged after Illinois bear sightings

    A recent rash of bear sightings in northern Illinois has prompted some advice from state officials: No need to panic but take commonsense precautions. Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller says people should not approach a bear, and should help keep them from becoming accustomed to people.


    Doctor to evaluate 12-year-old charged in Wisconsin stabbing

    A 12-year-old girl accused of stabbing a friend in a quest to please a spooky fictional character will have a mental evaluation, while an attorney for a second girl also charged in the crime said Wednesday that he could raise the issue of competency later.

    Pope Francis has a message for the World Cup: Let football be a showcase for teamwork and solidarity, not an exhibition of racism and greed.

    Pope to World Cup: Overcome racism, greed in sport

    Pope Francis has a message for the World Cup: Let football be a showcase for teamwork and solidarity, not an exhibition of racism and greed.

    Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney feared he would be “a loser for life” if he failed to win the presidency, but he is trying to re-emerge as a force in Republican politics.

    Romney tries to re-emerge as force in GOP politics

    Once fearing he would be viewed as “a loser for life” if he failed to win the presidency, Mitt Romney is trying to re-emerge as a force in Republican politics. Romney has quietly sought kingmaker status in the GOP’s fight for the Senate majority this fall and its quest to retake the White House in 2016. The effort is fueling whispers about a third presidential run. But those...

    Lillian “Bonnie” D’Amico, poses for a photograph while holding a photo of her son Nicholas D’Amico in El Paso, Texas. Her son killed himself while waiting for a an appointment with a psychiatrist. Some Veterans Affairs facilities in Texas have among the longest wait-times in the nation for those trying to see a doctor for the first time, according to federal data released Monday.

    Long waits at the VA for mental health care

    For years, veterans have complained about maddening waits for mental health services at VA medical centers, and for years federal officials have responded by hiring more clinicians and expanding programs. This week, a devastating internal investigation that looked at wait times for all sorts of care across the VA system showed that the agency hasn’t solved the problem.

    After two overwhelming votes in two days, members of Congress say they are confident they can agree on a bill to improve veterans’ health care and send it to the president’s desk by the end of the month.

    Lawmakers push to approve unified veterans’ bill

    After two overwhelming votes in two days, members of Congress say they are confident they can agree on a bill to improve veterans’ health care and send it to the president’s desk by the end of the month. The Senate easily approved a bill Wednesday to help shorten wait times for thousands of military veterans seeking medical care, a day after the House unanimously adopted a similar...

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., center, joined at left by speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, arrives to meet reporters after a Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 10, 2014.

    For White House, little joy in Cantor’s defeat

    For years, the White House saw House Majority Leader Eric Cantor as a chief driver of Republicans’ staunch opposition to nearly all of President Barack Obama’s agenda. Now, Cantor’s stunning primary loss seems likely to make politics even more difficult for Obama. Rather than opening a pathway for the president, Cantor’s defeat could push Republicans more to the right...

    Political polarization in America has broken out of the voting booth. A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds Americans are divided by ideology and partisanship not only when they cast ballots, but also in choosing where to live, where to get their news and with whom to associate. And peaceful coexistence is increasingly difficult.

    In U.S., political split outgrows the voting booth

    Political polarization in America has broken out of the voting booth. A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds Americans are divided by ideology and partisanship not only when they cast ballots, but also in choosing where to live, where to get their news and with whom to associate. And peaceful coexistence is increasingly difficult.

    Naperville North High School student Taylor Kroma smiles with her father, Jeff Kroma, and orchestra teacher, Dana Green, after the Healing Hearts with Harmony benefit concert she hosted in May for Edward Hospital. The concert raised nearly $2,000 for the Edward Foundation.

    Musical tribute nets nearly $2,000 for Edward Hospital

    A Naperville teen’s tribute to the hospital that helped save her father’s life raised nearly $2,000 and brought 150 people together for a night of “Healing Hearts with Harmony.” “It was really exciting to be able to look out and see I put on this concert and I was able to bring all these people together,” said Taylor Kroma, who planned the benefit concert...

    Dave Brat, right, is congratulated by Johnny Wetlaufer after Brat defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary, Tuesday, June 10, 2014, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, P. Kevin Morley)

    Cantor vanquisher Brat shies from Tea Party label

    Dave Brat doesn't like being tagged a Tea Partyer, his dad says. “He doesn't like those labels,” said Paul Brat, who's been watching his son shoot to the top of American political news with his stunning primary defeat Tuesday of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. “He calls himself a Republican and runs on Republican principles.”

    AM General has been awarded a $90.5 million contract to restore and upgrade hundreds of Army National Guard Humvees at a northern Indiana factory

    AM General to update Humvees at Indiana factory
    AM General has been awarded a $90.5 million contract to restore and upgrade hundreds of Army National Guard Humvees at a northern Indiana factory The South Bend-based company says the contract will have it work on up to 760 Humvees in the factory where the vehicles were built for the U.S. military for many years.


    Chrysler plant operating again in Belvidere

    The assembly line at the Chrysler plant in Belvidere is up and running again after being shut down when an industrial accident at an area parts supplier halted deliveries.

    Jake Mayer, 11, of Barrington is finishing up a sequel to his successful first novel — at least when he’s not playing “Minecraft.”

    Barrington 5th-grader mines success with gamer novel

    Most students don’t see summer break as an opportunity to work on their next novel, but Jake Mayer of Barrington is not your average 11-year-old. Jake’s first book, “A Story of Friends, Enemies and Minecraft,” has sold more than 14,000 copies on Amazon.com. “It hasn’t changed Jake at all,” his mom Kris said. “It has always just surprised him that he...


    Jake Barrutia

    Baseball all-area team / Fox Valley

    Presenting the all-area baseball team for the Fox Valley.


    Looking back at another season filled with memorable moments

    This is it. This is my last column of the 2013-2014 school year. That might elicit a chorus of cheers from some readers but for me it means that another high school sports season has come and gone.

    Batavia’s Liza Fruendt hugs teammate Erin Bayram after she scored 51 points in a win over Geneva, one of the most memorable moments of the year.

    From A to Z, reviewing the best of the 2013-14 school year

    It seems like only 11 months ago we dived into high school athletic pursuits of the 2013-14 academic year. Passing for a brief summary and admittedly using a familiar crutch, here’s a review from A-Z.


    Cougars cruise past Chiefs

    Coverage of Kane County Cougars baseball:The Kane County Cougars downed the Peoria Chiefs 4-1 to complete a Midwest League series win over the Chiefs on Thursday night.

    White Sox starter Chris Sale kicks the dirt after Detroit Tigers’ Victor Martinez hit a solo home run during the fifth inning Thursday at U.S. Cellular Field.

    Sale solid, but Scherzer spectacular

    In a battle of premier starting pitchers, Detroit's Max Scherzer got the best of White Sox ace Chris Sale Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

    Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, seen here hitting a homer in Tuesday’s game in Pittsburgh, has the credentials to be on the National League All-Star team — but not the votes.

    The case for Anthony Rizzo, Cubs all-star

    It's the time of year when major-league baseball teams campaign for their players to make the All-Star Game. The Cubs have begun a low-key push for first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who is at or near the top in several offensive categories

    Associated Press Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) and Miami Heat guard Ray Allen (34) argue a call, during the first half in Game 4 of the NBA basketball finals against the San Antonio Spurs Thursday in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

    A long, painful night for LeBron and Heat

    The Heat trail this title series 3-1 now, having been embarrassed at home once again by the San Antonio Spurs, who took command from the outset and beat Miami 107-86 on Thursday night.

    South Elgin’s Ryan Nutof celebrates a leadoff double to start a sixth inning rally during the Storm’s 7-6 win over Evanston during the Class 4A supersectional game at Boomers Stadium in Schaumburg on Monday night.

    Baseball’s Final Four? Anything can happen

    Playoff baseball in the Land of Lincoln remains the least predictable of all IHSA tournaments due to the unforgiving nature of its single-elimination format. A couple of traditional state powers always seem to reach the Final Four in Joliet, but so do a couple of surprise teams that coalesce at the right time, this year being no exception.

    Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh Thursday.

    McCutchen stays hot, Pirates top Cubs

    Andrew McCutchen had two doubles and two RBIs to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-0 victory over the Cubs on Thursday night.


    Former St. Charles prep stars selected in MLB Draft

    Being a left-handed pitcher can have its advantages. If you want proof, just ask St. Charles’ Wes Benjamin and Zach Hirsch, who were among the 1,215 picks selected during the 3-day Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft that concluded Saturday.

    Dream Aaron

    Softball all-area team / Northwest

    Introducing the Daily Herald's Northwest softball all-area team.


    Barrington doubles up with Bob Frisk Paddock Cup, Trophy

    Barrington High School made a splashy debut when it joined the Mid-Suburban League in 1977-78. The Broncos’ boys sports program immediately won the Paddock Cup, the award that is symbolic of overall varsity sports excellence in the Mid-Suburban. Barrington waited until 1992-93 for its first Paddock Trophy, the award that recognizes varsity sports achievement in girls sports. The sports excellence has continued through the years at the District 220 school. The two prestigious traveling trophies make just one stop for 2013-14. Barrington is the official winner of both varsity sports awards, an accomplishment the school last achieved in 2006-07.


    Sox’ Nieto went from Class A to major-league backup

    Adrian Nieto was playing Class A ball last season, and he typically starts one game a week for the White Sox this year. All things considered, Nieto has made a smooth transition.


    Boomers collect pair of wins

    Justin Vasquez’s solo home run in the top of the ninth inning helped power the Schaumburg Boomers to a 1-0 win over the first-place Washington Wild Things in the completion of a suspended game Thursday night. The Boomers completed the sweep with a 4-3 victory in eight innings in the nightcap.

    Detroit Tigers starter Max Scherzer celebrates with fans after the Tigers defeated the White Sox 4-0 in Chicago Thursday.

    White Sox fall to Tigers 4-0

    Max Scherzer tossed a three-hitter in his first career complete game, and Victor Martinez hit his 16th homer to lead the Detroit Tigers a 4-0 win over the White Sox on Thursday night.

    Grayslake Central’s Russel Lundius pitches as Hampshire’s Michael Merchut sprints for second base.

    Class 3A baseball: Scouting Grayslake C. vs. Sacred Heart-Griffin

    Previewing the Class 3A state baseball semifinal between Grayslake Central and Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin.

    Warren’s Jana Wagner delivers to the plate against Barrington in the Class 4A Barrington supersectional Monday.

    Class 4A softball: Scouting Warren vs. Glenbard North

    Warren Blue Devils (26-9) vs. Glenbard North Panthers (30-5)What: IHSA Class 4A state softball semifinalWhen: 5:30 p.m. todayWhere: Eastside Centre, East PeoriaWarren’s road to East Peoria: In the Loyola regional, defeated Loyola (9-2) and Mundelein (11-3); in the Stevenson sectional, defeated New Trier (3-2 in 9 innings) and Lake Zurich (12-9); in the Barrington supersectional, defeated Barrington (3-1).Glenbard North’s road to East Peoria: In the Rolling Meadows regional, defeated Wheaton North (7-2) and Willowbrook (7-0); in the Bartlett sectional, defeated St. Charles North (10-4) and Conant (6-5); in the Rosemont Stadium supersectional, defeated Oak Park (4-0).Warren’s tournament history: The Blue Devils are making their second appearance downstate and are playing in their first semifinal. In 1980, the Blue Devils lost in the quarterfinals to Lockport (9-3).Glenbard North’s tournament history: The Panthers are making their third appearance downstate. In both 1996 and 2001, they finished third. In 1996, they defeated Chicago Washington (11-0) in the quarterfinals, lost to Moline (10-2) in the semifinals and defeated Chatham Glenwood (2-0) in the third-place game. In 2001, they defeated Fremd (2-0) in the quarterfinals, lost to Normal Community (2-0) in the semifinals and defeated Belleville West (1-0 in 10 innings) in the third-place game.Coaches: Bryan McNulty, Warren, 1st season; Josh Sanew, Glenbard North, 4th season.Today’s starters: Jana Wagner, Warren (14-3, 3.48 ERA); Cece Dopart, Glenbard North (26-4, 1.00 ERA) Scouting Warren: The Blue Devils have been a postseason surprise after finishing third in the North Suburban Lake Division with an 8-4 record behind Lake Zurich (10-2) and Libertyville (9-3). They lost two of their final five games during the regular season. Unlike like season, when center fielder Megan Sowa (Drake) led them to a sectional championship, the Blue Devils have won without a major star. “We’re just a scrappy team that has a bunch of above-average kids and play together pretty well,” first-year coach Bryan McNulty said. “It seems like when we win, it’s one kid that you didn’t expect that just comes up big. Every girl in our lineup has taken that turn to do that.” Offensively, senior left fielder Michelle Vasen leads the way. She’s enjoyed a breakout season with 60 hits (.469 batting average), which includes 14 doubles. She is the team’s only .400 hitter. The Blue Devils have also received timely production from Shannon McKeon (.331 BA, 11 2B), Megan Scott (.273 BA, 5 HR, 39 RBI), Sabrina Trevino (.246 BA, team-leading 6 HRs, 8 2B), Rachele Belletini (.352 BA), Jaz Bonke (.294 BA), Jodie Hurd (.237 BA, 4 HR), Amber Leneau (.324 BA, 5 2B) and Crystal Pennell (.265 BA, 6 2B). In the circle, Palm Beach Atlantic-bound Jana Wagner, the team’s three-year varsity ace, has shined in the state tournament, throwing 9 innings and yielding just 2 runs against New Trier and allowing only 1 run to Barrington in the supersectional. “We’ve become really close as a team, and we’ve built a special bond,” said Vasen, who was 3-for-4 with a double against Barrington. “We’ve definitely dug deep, and we’ve been leaving everything on the field, like our last game.”


    Once a Tiger, Baumgartner now a Scarlet Knight

    One of the nation’s oldest universities, Rutgers, looks forward to a fresh start. In July it joins the Big Ten Conference out of the Big East. In the middle of the transition is Sarah Baumgartner, and she’s having a blast

    Lindsey Gonzalez of Naperville Central makes it to third while Stephanie Campos of Glenbard North just misses the tag during DuPage Valley Conference play.

    Sanew, Glenbard North making a good impression

    Seven years ago Josh Sanew was heading out to coach a summer league baseball game when Glenbard North principal John Mensik asked if he’d like to interview for the head softball job. Then a Panthers sophomore baseball coach, Sanew expected the interview to take an hour. He felt dejected it ended in a quarter of that time. “I left there thinking, 15 minutes, I really messed this one up,” Sanew recalled.


    Referee's decisions in World Cup spotlight in Brazil's 3-1 victory

    Yuishi Nichimura ensured that refereeing standards at the World Cup will be a hotly debated topic from the opening match on Thursday.The Japanese official awarded Brazil a questionable penalty that Neymar converted in the 71st minute, giving the host nation 2-1 up in what turned into a 3-1 victory over Croatia.

    Petar Arbov

    Baseball all-area team / Northwest

    Introducing the Daily Herald's Northwest all-area team.

    Lake Zurich senior volleyball player Michael Savio.

    Images: Daily Herald All-Area Spring Honorary Team Captains
    Images of Daily Herald All-Area honorary team captains in baseball, softball, girls soccer, and boys volleyball for the Spring 2014 season.

    Anthony Santos

    Baseball all-area team / DuPage County

    Introducing the Daily Herald's baseball all-area team for DuPage County.

    Abbie Boswell

    Girls soccer all-area team / DuPage County

    Introducing the Daily Herald's girls soccer all-area team for DuPage County.

    Jamie O'Brien

    Softball all-area team / DuPage County

    Introducing the Daily Herald's softball all-area team for DuPage County.

    Alex Dickmann

    Boys volleyball all-area team / DuPage County

    Introducing the boys volleyball all-area team for DuPage County.

    Jeff Barton

    Baseball all-area team / Lake County

    Introducing the Daily Herald's all-area baseball team for Lake County.


    Police and World Cup protesters clash in Brazil

    Protesters and Brazilian police clashed in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and at least three other World Cup cities on Thursday ahead of the first match of soccer’s premier event.


    Kristufek’s Arlington selections for June 13

    Joe Kristufek's selections for racing at Arlington International for June 13.

    While the Chicago Bulls have a strong interest in forward Carmelo Anthony, it appears the Miami Heat also has a plan to convince Anthony to join them.

    Could Miami upset Bulls' plan to add Carmelo?

    Is it possible the Bulls' plan of pursuing Carmelo Anthony this summer will be copied by the Miami Heat? That's the buzz right now, so here's a look at whether such a plan is even possible.

    South Elgin’s Mallory Mecklenburg will be one of the participants in the 11th Annual Fehlman Memorial Senior All-Star Game, set for Monday night at Judson University.

    Fehlman Memorial event set for Monday

    The 11th Annual Fehlman Memorial Senior All-Star Game is set for Monday night at Judson University in Elgin. The event features some of the top senior softball players from high schools throughout the Fox Valley, and honors the memory of Dave Fehlman and his son, Robbie. Dave Fehlman was a longtime supporter of high school and youth softball in the Fox Valley area and a past president of the Fox Valley Renegades. He passed away in 2007. Dave’s son, Robbie, was killed in a tragic auto accident in Colorado in 2012.

    Sabrina Rabin steals one of her 28 bases this year and 89 in the past three seasons — she’s St. Charles North’s all-time leader.

    Rabin one of St. Charles North’s best both on, off field

    In his years coaching football, basketball and softball at St. Charles North, not to mention his lifetime of both playing and watching sports in St. Charles, few people have seen the top athletes come and go the last 20-plus years as North Stars softball coach Tom Poulin. He’s said goodbye to plenty of seniors in all those sports, the vast majority hardworking, talented kids that Poulin has loved coaching and will sincerely miss working with on the basketball court or softball field. It says something then with all those players that he’s seen Poulin’s reaction after Sabrina Rabin played her last softball game in a St. Charles North uniform last week at the Class 4A Bartlett sectional.

    Libertyville’s Evan Skoug captains the Daily Herald’s all-area baseball team for Lake County.

    Healthy finish, bright future for Libertyville’s Skoug

    Libertyville's Evan Skoug overcame some early health struggles to deliver the kind of season everyone expected of him - the kind that got him named to captain the Daily Herald's all-area baseball team for Lake County.

    Megan Baczewski

    Softball: Fox Valley All-Area team

    Presenting the 2014 Fox Valley all-area softball team.

    Chris Akers

    Boys volleyball all-area team / Lake County

    Introducing the Daily Herald's all-area boys volleyball team for Lake County.

    Senior standout Michael Savio helped put Lake Zurich on the volleyball map through a standout four-year career.

    At Lake Zurich, Savio met his match

    Four-year starter Michael Savio helped Lake Zurich have its best boys volleyball season ever. And for his most excellent season, Savio captains the Daily Herald all-area team for Lake County.

    Mikayla Abbeduto

    Girls soccer all-area team / Lake County

    Introducing the Daily Herald's all-area girls soccer team for Lake County.

    Carmel’s Jenny Behan prepares to take a rip during Class 4A regional play against Libertyville.

    Carmel’s Behan breaks through with 18-homer season

    Carmel's Jenny Behan delivered 18 homers, making a compelling case for herself as captain of the Daily Herald's softball all-area team for Lake County.

    Lake Zurich soccer player Meaghan Gelinas captains the Daily Herald’s girls soccer all-area team for Lake County.

    Great effort set Lake Zurich’s Gelinas apart

    Indefatigable and inspirational on the soccer field, Meaghan Gelinas, who was also a standout in cross country, is the captain of the Daily Herald Lake County All-Area team.

    Fox Valley all-area softball captain Crystal Lake South’s Sam McLean.

    Nothing crazy about Crystal Lake South’s McLean

    Crystal Lake South softball coach Scott Busam freely admits people thought he and assistant coach Mark Hardie were “crazy” in the spring of 2011. Sam McLean was not one of those.

    St. Edward senior Monica Ramirez, the honorary captain of the Daily Herald’s Fox Valley girls soccer all-area team, took this selfie with her class at the school’s baccalaureate ceremony. Ramirez was the salutatorian of the Class of 2014.

    St. Edward’s Ramirez defied the odds

    There was a time not so long ago when Monica Ramirez let being small get into her head. No more. At 5 feet, 1 inch tall and barely 100 pounds, Ramirez became one of the area’s premier girls soccer players. After fighting through injuries the last two seasons, she was finally healthy for the entire 2014 season. What that meant was bad news for St. Edward’s opponents.

    South Elgin’s Ryan Nutof holds the sectional plaque for teammates after South Elgin’s Schaumburg sectional championship win over Batavia.

    As expected, South Elgin’s Nutof turned into something special

    The South Elgin coaching staff realized before the 2013 season they had something special in pitcher Ryan Nutof. The rest of the baseball world found out soon thereafter.

    Cali Andrew

    Girls soccer all-area team / Fox Valley

    Presenting the 2014 Fox Valley all-area girls soccer team.


    Marmion’s Troop turns in dominating senior season

    Marmion fans spent much of the past few months cheering for senior Alex Troop, a left-handed pitcher who was nearly unhittable in leading the Cadets to another conference championship. Before that, Troop was leading the cheers, watching his classmates on the hard court playing a sport that he also used to excel at.


    Waldoch’s smarts match her skills

    The World Cup started Thursday in Brazil, and if you’re looking for an area girls soccer player who’d been counting the days until the tournament began, you’d want to start with Geneva’s Annie Waldoch. That’s not just an idle factoid either. Poll most rosters and there will be a devoted handful who keep track of the games beyond those they play. But if you want a link to the advanced way in which Waldoch played midfield or defense in her time in the Vikings program, her devotion to the world’s most popular sport would be a good starting point.

    Haley Beno

    Softball all-area team / Tri-Cities
    Introducing the Daily Herald's softball all-area team for the Tri-Cities area.

    Annie Waldoch, Geneva all-area soccer

    Girls soccer all-area team / Tri-Cities
    Introducing the Daily Herald's girls soccer all-area team for the Tri-Cities area.

    Brannon Barry

    Baseball all-area team / Tri-Cities
    Introducing the Daily Herald's baseball all-area team for the Tri-Cities area.

    Anthony Santos of York takes a swing at York.

    For York’s Santos, it’s good to be green

    From the moment Anthony Santos put on a York baseball uniform, he was hooked. Hooked not only on the sport or the team, but the entire school. For four years, Santos bled the Dukes’ signature Kelly Green.“They were four great years,” he said. “I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.” As for the Dukes, they’d have been lost without Santos up on varsity the last three years. This senior season in particular, the pitcher and first baseman put the team on his back and carried it to a share of the West Suburban Silver Conference title. Excellence he achieved on the mound, he matched at the plate. The combination made Santos one of the state’s elite two-way players, and has earned him selection as the 2014 Daily Herald DuPage County All-Area baseball captain.

    Downers Grove North’s Dale Ryndak tajes a swing during the Downers Grove North vs. West Chicago in Class 4A Neuqua Valley regional semifinal Tuesday.

    Downers North’s Ryndak back and better than ever

    After a sophomore season as good as anyone’s, Dale Ryndak had a beginning to her junior campaign in 2013 that was about as bad as anyone’s.

    Kristen Dodson, left, of Waubonsie Valley, left, gets in front of Lexi Cesario of Lincoln-Way North during the girls soccer Class 3A state third-place game at North Central College in Naperville Saturday.

    Waubonsie Valley’s Dodson was born to score goals

    It really shouldn’t come as a surprise that Waubonsie Valley senior Kristen Dodson led the Warriors to third place in Class 3A this spring. After all soccer runs in her family.

    Quin Krisik of Lake Park.

    Lake Park’s Krisik ready for anything

    The captain of The Daily Herald 2014 All-Area boys volleyball team is senior setter Quin Krisik of Lake Park, who led the Lancers to a fourth-place finish at state.

    Elli Ackermann

    Girls soccer all-area team / Northwest

    Introducing the Daily Herald's Northwest girls soccer all-area team.

    Barrington’s Jenna Szczesny gets ready for a corner kick during supersectional play against New Trier at Hersey.

    Barrington’s Szczesny springs forward

    Barrington's Jenna Szczesny followed the lead of a former teammate in earning Northwest all-area girls soccer team captain honors after finishing the spring with 30 goals in just 19 games.

    Nikita Bulauski

    Boys volleyball all-area team / Northwest

    Introducing the Daily Herald's Northwest boys volleyball all-area team.

    Prospect senior Grant Andler drew raves from both his own coach as well as those trying to slow down his ferocious hitting this spring.

    Prospect could certainly count on Andler

    The best testament to the extraordinary volleyball skills of Prospect senior Grant Andler this season came from opposing coaches. They made it very clear that Andler was the one guy they had to game-plan around, providing many reasons Andler has been selected to captain the Daily Herald's Northwest all-area team.


    Bloom goes out with a bang at Hoffman Estates

    Ethan Bloom was right on time as a standout baseball player at Hoffman Estates, where he leaves with most of the career hitting records after a standout senior season.


    Mike North video: Will Cutler play in 16 games?
    When Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler gets hurt, how well will our second-string quarterbacks do? Mike North thinks not as well as Jay McCown did last year.

    This is how the new two-sided scoreboard will look this fall above Northwestern’s court at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

    Northwestern unveils new scoreboards for arena

    Northwestern University athletics will add four high-definiton video scoreboard displays to Welsh-Ryan Arena for the 2014-15 school year.


    This undated photo provided by Twitter shows Chief Operating Officer Ali Rowghani. Twitter on Tuesday, June 12, 2014 announced that Rowghani has resigned from his post and won't be replaced as CEO Dick Costolo seeks more direct involvement with the company's engineering and product teams. (AP Photo/Twitter)

    Twitter COO Ali Rowghani resigns

    Twitter’s chief operating officer, Ali Rowghani, has resigned from his post and won’t be replaced as CEO Dick Costolo seeks more direct involvement with the company’s engineering and product teams. Rowghani joined Twitter in 2010 as chief financial officer and became COO two years later. Before that, he served as CFO at Pixar Animation Studios for nine years.


    Ford miscalculated fuel economy on 6 models

    Ford is lowering the fuel economy estimates for six models, including hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the Fusion sedan, after internal tests found errors in the way they were calculated.

    In this Dec. 5, 2013 file photo, Russell Girsh motions to his driller to turn the equipment on at an oil rig near Watford City, N.D. Oil and gas workers earned an average 11 percent more an hour in April than they did a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s more than five times the average gain across all industries.

    Pay raises go mainly to those in select industries

    If you hope to get a raise that finally feels like one, it helps to work in the right industry.Historically, at this stage in the economy’s recovery, pay would be rising in most sectors. But five years after the Great Recession officially ended, raises remain sharply uneven across industries and, as a whole, have barely kept up with prices. Overall pay has been rising about 2 percent a year, roughly equal to inflation.

    Dramatic changes in oil production around the globe are balancing each other out instead of wreaking havoc.

    Iraq violence threatens OPEC's precarious balance

    The upheaval in Iraq could throw the world's remarkably stable oil market out of balance, threatening a delicate equilibrium that has kept prices steady for much of the last four years. Iraqi oil production is at risk because of the outbreak of violence involving militant groups who seized two cities this week and have pledged to march on Baghdad.

    A combination of so-so economic news and violence in Iraq helped push the stock market sharply lower Thursday. Stocks fell from the start of trading on a government report that retail sales for May came in slightly lower than expected. A separate report on jobs was weak, too. A surge in oil prices as violence flared in Iraq also weighed on the market, and hammered airline stocks.

    Stocks fall on so-so economic news, Iraq turmoil

    NEW YORK — A combination of so-so economic news and violence in Iraq helped push the stock market sharply lower Thursday.Stocks fell from the start of trading on a government report that retail sales for May came in slightly lower than expected. A separate report on jobs was weak, too. A surge in oil prices as violence flared in Iraq also weighed on the market, and hammered airline stocks.For the Standard and Poor’s 500, it was the third down day in a row, a reversal of sorts from steady, if unremarkable, rises for much of the year. The index is heading for its first weekly loss in four weeks.Uri Landesman, president of hedge fund Platinum Partners, said the pullback wasn’t surprising. Investors had gotten too complacent about the S&P 500’s steady rise this year. The index is up 4.4 percent following a remarkable 30 percent increase in 2013.“It’s time for profit taking, taking risk off the table,” he said. “It’s very rare that markets move up in a straight line.”The Dow Jones industrial average fell 109.69 points, or 0.7 percent, to 16,734.19. The Nasdaq shed 34.30 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,297.63. The S&P 500 was down 13.78 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,930.11.In the retail report, the Commerce Department said U.S. sales rose 0.3 percent last month, helped by a surge in auto demand. That was the fourth straight month of gains, but shy of the 0.4 percent increase that economists expected.The Labor Department said that weekly applications for unemployment benefits rose 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 317,000.“The data today was a little unfulfilling,” said Lawrence Creatura, a portfolio manager at Federated Investors. Still, he is optimistic in the face of the selling because he believes the economy is generally strengthening. “We’re definitely not flinching. We’re holding our positions.”Energy stocks rose broadly after insurgents captured two cities in Iraq, raising the specter of disrupted global oil supplies. The price of oil rose $2.13, or 2 percent, to $106.53. Diamond Offshore Drilling climbed $1.89, or 4 percent, to $48.77, making it the second-biggest gainer in the S&P 500.Among the 10 sectors in the S&P 500, only energy and utility companies were up for day.A combination of higher oil prices and a warning by Lufthansa of smaller profits due to weaker passenger demand helped drive down airline stocks. Delta Air Lines fell $2.21, or 5 percent, to $38.50, the most in the S&P 500 index. United Continental dropped $2.66, or 6 percent, to $42.60.Among other stocks making big moves:— Lululemon Athletica fell $7.05, or 16 percent, to $37.25 after reporting that first-quarter profit tumbled 60 percent, stung by a one-time tax adjustment. The Canadian yoga-clothing company also lowered its full-year earnings forecast.— Restoration Hardware jumped $9.05, or 13 percent, to $80.40 after the furniture and housewares company reported stronger-than-expected results in its fiscal first quarter and raised its outlook for the year, topping Wall Street’s prediction.— Twitter rose $1.25, or 3.5 percent, to $36.79 after news that its chief operating officer, Ali Rowghani, had resigned. Rowghani was in charge of expanding Twitter’s user base, but this didn’t happen as quickly as investors had hoped.In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves in the opposite direction to its price, slipped to 2.60 percent from 2.64 percent on Wednesday.

    The Naperville Exchange Club is once again hosting the Naperville Ribfest with one new addition, an app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

    Apps to help you get the most out of summer

    Check out these news apps that are designed to help you get the most out of summer. One that will help you navigate the massive Naperville Ribfest this summer, and the other will help you to navigate available parking in Chicago.


    Oil jumps as Iraq violence raises supply fear

    The price of oil jumped Thursday as an insurgency in Iraq raised the risk of disruptions to supplies at a time when other major oil-producing countries are already pumping near capacity.The al-Qaida-inspired group that captured two key cities in Iraq earlier this week vowed Thursday to march on to Baghdad.


    Elk Grove’s Acme Industries acquires Elk Grove’s Bley LLC

    Elk Grove Village-based Acme Industries said Thursday it has acquired machining and fabrication company Bley LLC, also of Elk Grove Village.


    Investment firm buys stake in Addison’s DuAll Precision

    Michigan-based investment firm O2 Investment Partners has partnered with DuAll Precision founders Michael Butler and Stanley Boksa to acquire a majority interest in the Addison-based manufacturer of components for hydraulic cartridge valves.


    Green Courte Partners acquires Arizona property

    Private real estate equity firm Green Courte Partners, of Lake Forest, said it has acquired Mountain View Estates, a 170 site age-restricted land-lease community located in Mesa, Arizona. Terms of the acquisition were not announced.


    Caterpillar increases dividend 17 percent

    The board of directors of Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc. voted today to increase the quarterly cash dividend by 17 percent to 70 cents per share of common stock, payable August 20 to stockholders of record on July 21.


    Oak Brook’s A.M. Castle to supply materials for UT

    Oak Brook-based metal and plastic products manufacturer A. M. Castle & Co. has signed a long-term agreement to become a preferred supplier of United Technologies Corp.

    Shares of U.S. airlines have been flying high in 2014, but they’re lower after German carrier Lufthansa’s warning about smaller profits due to weaker passenger demand.

    U.S. airline stocks fall after Lufthansa warning

    Shares of U.S. airlines have been flying high in 2014, but they’re lower after German carrier Lufthansa’s warning about smaller profits due to weaker passenger demand. At midday Wednesday, shares of American Airlines Group Inc. were down $1, or 2.3 percent, to $42.66; United Continental Holdings Inc. fell $2.04, or 4.3 percent, to $45.72.


    U.S. opens investigation of air bag ruptures

    U.S. safety regulators are investigating whether 1.1 million vehicles from five automakers have air bags that could hurt people in a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it opened the probe Wednesday after getting six reports of air bags rupturing.

    Soon you may not have to fumble or fight for a power outlet to charge your phone at your neighborhood Starbucks.

    Starbucks to offer wireless charging pads

    Soon you may not have to fumble or fight for a power outlet to charge your phone at your neighborhood Starbucks. Starbucks and Duracell say they are rolling out Powermat wireless charging devices in stores in San Francisco.

    Ray Conner, center, vice chairman of The Boeing Company and president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and representatives of Boeing and five Japanese companies after signing a deal to manufacture key components for Boeing’s twin aisle 777X jets in Tokyo, Thursday.

    Boeing, 5 Japanese suppliers ink 777X deal

    Boeing inked a deal Thursday for five Japanese companies to manufacture key components for its twin aisle 777X jets but the contract doesn’t include making the wings, which were a source of delays for the 787 Dreamliner.

    Amazon is launching a music streaming service for its Prime members, adding yet another freebie to its popular free-shipping plan ahead of the expected unveiling of its first smartphone next week.

    Amazon launches music streaming for Prime members

    Amazon is launching a music streaming service for its Prime members, adding yet another freebie to its popular free-shipping plan ahead of the expected unveiling of its first smartphone next week. Starting today, Amazon.com Inc. will offer more than a million tracks for ad-free streaming and download to Kindle Fire tablets as well as to computers and the Amazon Music app for Apple and Android devices.

Life & Entertainment


    Car club calendar
    The Chicago suburbs are home to many car lovers and clubs devoted to models ranging from the Alfa Romeo to Volkswagen. The Daily Herald has compiled a list of monthly meetings and car shows.

    Jennifer Kowalski of Bolingbrook enjoys visiting Cafe N Play in Naperville with her daughter, Brenna.

    Cafes let youngsters play, parents connect

    On Friday afternoons, Jennifer Evers usually can be found sitting in her favorite cafe, plugging away on her laptop. With trendy seating, funky pendant lighting and a full espresso bar, the swanky suburban coffee shop allows the Naperville mom to easily indulge in some adult time away from her children. But the indoor playground, play town and toys indicate this is not your typical java joint. Evers, a blogger and social media consultant, is a regular at Café N Play in Naperville, where caregivers can enjoy free Wi-Fi, a variety of beverages and some socialization.

    Jesus (Brian Bohr, far right) leads the ensemble in song in “Godspell” at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. This updated and revised take on the 1971 Stephen Schwartz musical revue of Christian parables and upbeat pop songs makes its Chicago-area debut through Sunday, Aug. 10.

    Marriott’s ‘Godspell’ goes contemporary, losing hippie-era edge

    Groovy hippies have been replaced with pretty and peppy contemporary Christians in the Marriott Theatre's new updating of the 1971 Stephen Schwartz musical "Godspell" in Lincolnshire. The show could be described as one of the most entertaining Sunday school lesson you'll ever attend.

    Harrison Ford has been injured on the set of “Star Wars: Episode VI” and was taken to a hospital. Disney said the 71-year-old actor was being treated for an ankle injury that happened during filming Thursday.

    Harrison Ford injures ankle on set of ‘Star Wars’

    Harrison Ford has been injured on the set of “Star Wars: Episode VII” and has been taken to a hospital. Disney said the 71-year-old actor was being treated for an ankle injury that happened during filming Thursday. The “Star Wars” sequel is being filmed at Pinewood Studios outside of London.

    Ruby Dee, an acclaimed actor and civil rights activist whose versatile career spanned stage, radio television and film, has died at age 91, according to her daughter.

    Daughter: Actress Ruby Dee dead at 91

    Ruby Dee, an acclaimed actor and civil rights activist whose versatile career spanned stage, radio television and film, has died at age 91, according to her daughter. Nora Davis Day told The Associated Press on Thursday that her mother died at home at New Rochelle, New York, on Wednesday night.

    Comedian Dave Chappelle says he never quit his Comedy Central show. He’s just seven years late to work.

    Dave Chappelle: ‘I never quit. I’m 7 years late’

    Dave Chappelle says he never quit his Comedy Central show. He’s just seven years late to work. Chappelle appeared on “The Late Show With David Letterman” on Tuesday night, his first late-night appearance in more than six years. Chappelle has kept a mostly low-profile since abruptly exiting “Chappelle’s Show” in 2005.

    The band of “brothers” who make of Lifeline Theatre’s “Monstrous Regiment” includes: Katie McLean Hainsworth, front row left, and Sarah Price; Michaela Petro, middle row; and Melissa Engle, top row left; Mandy Walsh, top row center; and Kim Boler. Chris Hainsworth’s adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novel runs through July 20.

    Lifeline’s comic fantasy a ‘Monstrous’ delight

    A witty script by Glen Ellyn native Chris Hainsworth is one of the many delights of Lifeline Theatre's production of "Monstrous Regiment." The zealous, laugh-out-loud-funny world premiere is based on Terry Pratchett's 2003 novel, and may just spur audiences to take on the author's acclaimed Discworld series.

    Schmidt (Jonah Hill), left, and Jenko (Channing Tatum) flank their captain (Ice Cube) in the comedy sequel “22 Jump Street.”

    'Jump Street' sequel misfires a lot, but hits a few funny bones

    The flimsy plot in the sequel “22 Jump Street” barely connects the rest of the story as Jenko and Schmidt (reprised by Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill) lurch, run, punch and shoot their way through a series of familiar genre situations designed to ridicule as many stupid clichés as possible in an 110-minute period. Still, this comedy never works up to “Airplane” speed as a cliché critique.

    Nic (Brenton Thwaites) can’t figure out why he’s being kept captive in a secret government bunker in “The Signal.”

    ‘Signal’ a sci-fi thriller big on style, short on sense

    Imagine a full-blown art house science-fiction thriller photographed with such luminous, pristine symmetry that Stanley Kubrick would love it. Add to it a touch of a “Blair Witch Project” rip-off called “Catfish” (a trio of searchers regrets entering a weird house). Then attach a head-scratching third act that would give David Lynch a run for his comprehension. That would be “The Signal.”

    Stoick (Gerard Butler), left, and Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), right, reunite with Hiccup’s presumed-dead mother Valka (Cate Blanchett) in “How To Train Your Dragon 2.”

    ‘Dragon 2’ soars into matured territory

    You thought it was tricky to train a dragon? It’s even trickier to take a much-admired animated film and make a sequel that balances the competing needs of stretching the story in new directions but retaining the guiding spirit of the original enough to make fans happy. Good news, for "How to Train Your Dragon” fans: The latest film doesn’t play it safe, and that’s why it’s the rare sequel that doesn’t feel somewhat stale.

    A comic (Jenny Slate) becomes pregnant after a one-night stand in “Obvious Child.”

    ‘Obvious Child’ breeds Fertile grou­nd for reflection

    From the first words out of her filthy, brazenly irreverent mouth, the stand-up comedian Donna Stern (played by Jenny Slate) goes there. Working a room of Brooklyn hipsters, she doesn’t just work blue: She works teal, azure and shades of aquamarine that haven’t even been discovered on the light spectrum yet. And she keeps it up in a thoughtful if crass rom-com about getting pregnant, making decisions and growing up.


    Night life events: Wine for a penny at Karma
    Throughout June, order two entrees at Karma Asian Food and Wine in Mundelein and add a bottle of red or white wine to your meal for a penny. Test the waters this weekend at Thirsty Whale Bar. Catch Hi Fi Superstar starting at 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

    Josh (Jesse Eisenberg) plots to blow up a dam — and then must live with the consequences — in “Night Moves.”

    Powerful ‘Night Moves’ builds on sense of dread

    “Night Moves” isn’t so much a thriller as thriller-ish. That’s not to say that the movie — which centers on a plot by a group of environmental activists to blow up a hydroelectric dam — disappoints. It’s a richly engrossing drama, so long as you understand that it’s aiming for the head, not the gut.

    Super agent Shep Gordon confers with one of his first clients, Alice Cooper, in “Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon.”

    'Supermensch' a doc about colorful agent Shep Gordon

    Shep Gordon has to be a documentary maker's dream subject, one so colorful and astonishing no screenwriter could possibly create such an over-the-top character. He's like the real-life version of Woody Allen's “Zelig,” a bigger-than-life figure who magically pops up at all the right places at the right times to mingle with superstars, effortlessly win their trust and become their instant and lifelong show biz agent. “Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon” has the inside stuff on Gordon in Mike Myers' insightful, but too respectful, directorial debut.

    “The White House for Kids: A History of a Home, Office, and National Symbol” by Katherine L. House (2014, Chicago Review Press), $16.95, 139 pages.

    Kids book brings White House into view

    Your parents grumble a lot about politics. If you lived in the White House, you’d change those things your parents grumble about. And in the new book, “The White House for Kids” by Katherine L. House, you’ll see what it’s like at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Don’t pour whisky you don’t particularly like down the drain; pour it onto a smoky sauce for roasted potatoes.

    When a whiskey disappoints, fix it in the kitchen

    The fun part is selecting among the new offerings in the whisky aisle is finding those delicious gems that will become regular fixtures in your liquor cabinet. The not-so-fun part? You inevitably will stumble upon some losers. When you do find a clunker, it would be a shame to pour a bottle down the drain. So head to the kitchen instead.


    Bourbon-Peanut Barbecue Sauce
    2 cups bourbon3 tablespoons tomato paste⅓ cup natural peanut butter2 tablespoons soy sauce2 tablespoons sorghum syrup or honey2 teaspoons hot sauce (more or less, to taste)1 teaspoon ground cumin1 teaspoon garlic powder1 teaspoon onion powder1 teaspoon smoked paprika½ teaspoon ground dry ginger½ teaspoon mustard powderIn a medium saucepan over medium-high, whisk together the bourbon and tomato paste. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half and thickened, about 8 minutes. Whisk in the peanut butter, soy sauce, sorghum or honey, hot sauce, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, ginger and mustard powder. Return to a simmer and cook another 5 minutes. If a thinner sauce is desired, whisk in ⅓ cup water.Makes 2 cups.Nutrition values per ¼ cup: 220 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated), 9 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 3 g protein, 0 cholesterol, 120 mg sodium.Alison Ladman for The Associated Press

    Associated Press Don’t pour whisky you don’t particularly like down the drain; pour it onto a sauce for roasted potatoes.

    Smoky Scotch-Date Barbecue Roasted Potatoes
    SMOKY SCOTCH-DATE BARBECUE ROASTED POTATOES are a great way to use of whiskey you'd rather not drink.


    Reel life: Catch special 'Friday the 13th' screaming, er, screening

    In my hometown of downstate Charleston, the local Will Rogers Theater would often run a special bill of horror movies on Friday the 13th. So, I was pleasantly surprised to read that Naperville's Ogden 6 Theatre has revived that tradition by offering the classic horror film “Friday the 13th.”

    Lookout Studio is one of a number of attractions available for sightseeing at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon Railway carries 225,000 visitors a year to the South Rim from Williams, Ariz.

    Take the train to the Grand Canyon

    The drive to the Grand Canyon's South Rim is easy enough. But why take a car when you can ride a train, especially one like the Grand Canyon Railway? Traveling down the same tracks as the pre-automobile original, the Grand Canyon Railway is like a two-hour trip through history, a scenic, informative and entertaining ride from a historic Route 66 town to one of the world's greatest natural wonders.



    Editorial: Help on the horizon for water, flooding problems
    A Daily Herald editorial says regulators should move quickly to clear the way for communities to get access to $1 billion to fund flooding prevention projects.


    Simple blotter reporting is full of complexities

    Columnist Jim Slusher: Our top editors began a conversation this week that is likely to continue for a long time to come. And it’s one in which you may have a direct interest and, ultimately, some desire to influence.


    Governments hide, voters decide

    Columnists Steven and Cokie Roberts: Congress doesn’t do much these days, but here’s one bill that could command bipartisan support: a federal shield law protecting journalists against overzealous prosecutors. The urgency behind this measure increased sharply when the Supreme Court recently declined to take the case of James Risen, a New York Times reporter who is facing jail time for refusing to reveal the confidential sources he used in a book about the CIA.


    Keep McDonald’s museum at current site
    A Des Plaines letter to the editor: I recently read in the Daily Herald that a real estate firm was planning on building a bank (just what we need) on the southwest corner of Rand Road and Lee Street in Des Plaines. They are going to demolish an old hotel. I have no problem with that, but they also have informed our city politicians that they might have to demo the McDonald’s museum next door for a parking lot. Big problem.


    Bergdahl probe more GOP bluster
    An Elgin letter to the editor: Surprise, surprise ... another Republican Congressional investigation. Instead of passing legislation, the Tea Party-led GOP is planning to investigate the release of Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five Taliban captives held at Guantanamo.


    In divorce, dads should get the kids
    A Warrenville letter to the editor: Fathers need much more than a day of celebrating fatherhood in June. They need some major restructuring of the educational and legal system. They need, “change we can believe in.” They need, for example, automatic custody of children in cases of divorce.


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