Daily Archive : Saturday July 5, 2014


    A car struck a house on the 1000 block of Cypress Lane in Elk Grove Village early Saturday morning. Residents of the home were not injured, but two of the four people who were in the car suffered serious injuries, police said.

    Four injured when car hits Elk Grove house

    Four people were injured in a hit-and-run accident early Saturday that damaged a house on the 1000 block of Cypress Lane of Elk Grove Village, police said in a news release. Officers located the vehicle, a 2000 Toyota Corolla, a few blocks away on the 200 block of Washington Square.

    The north entrance of Garden Fresh Market in Buffalo Grove is boarded up Saturday after a driver crashed her SUV through a revolving glass door.

    Woman crashes SUV into Buffalo Grove store

    A 56-year-old woman drove her SUV through an entrance of a Buffalo Grove grocery store Friday, police said. Luckily, no one was injured inside the Garden Fresh Market, Sgt. Scott Eisenmenger said.

    Ofelia Nasir of Burbank eats ribs during the first Hispanic Day at Ribfest in Naperville.

    Ribfest’s first Hispanic Day draws thousands

    Leonor Castro and Pedro Sanchez swayed in rhythm to a Brazilian jazz tune, oblivious to the fact that they were the only ones dancing while thousands of others were busy chowing down ribs. The couple were in the Chicago area on vacation all the way from Costa Rica, and said they were thrilled to attend the inaugural Hispanic Day on Saturday at Naperville’s Ribfest.


    Six horses, one goat die in barn fire near Wauconda

    Six horses and one goat died in a fire that swept through a barn near Wauconda and caused the collapse of the building early Saturday, authorities said. The owner managed to save one horse, according to the Wauconda Fire District.


    Fire causes $275,000 in damage to Long Grove home

    A fire caused about $275,000 in damage to a Long Grove home on the 5400 block of Tall Oaks Drive over the Fourth of July, authorities said Saturday. The blaze left no one injured, according to a new release.

    Associated Press Israeli soldiers and armor gather Saturday near the Israel and Gaza Strip border.

    Palestinian teen burned to death, autopsy shows

    Riots erupted in east Jerusalem Friday as thousands of Palestinians massed for the boy’s burial.Near the town of Qalansawe, protesters also pulled over a car driven by an Israeli Jew on Saturday, pulled him out and set the vehicle on fire, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said. The driver was not injured.

    Friends of the community form a circle in front of burned row houses, and pray for people who were affected the fire Saturday.

    Philadelphia fire kills 4 kids, destroys 8 houses

    Jeff Boone told The Philadelphia Inquirer that he saw a couch on fire on the porch of a house about five doors down from his residence and heard children screaming.The flames spread across porches so fast, he said, that “it looked like someone had a flamethrower and just shot it all across.”


    Elgin officials: Despite glitch, July 4 celebration a success

    By all accounts, Elgin’s Fourth of July celebration was a success despite a last-minute relocation of the fireworks. The concert and fireworks combo event at Festival Park, sponsored by Grand Victoria Casino in conjunction with the city, was attended by thousands of people, Elgin Mayor David Kaptain said.

    Sean Stegall

    Elgin city manager a finalist for Iowa job

    Elgin City Manager Sean Stegall is among four finalists for the job of city manager in Des Moines, Iowa. Stegall, 41, said he was tapped for the job by a recruiting firm. “Recruiters are constantly calling, pitching jobs,” he said. “Des Moines happened to be one that was kind of special.”

    Kane County Audubon Society member Terry Murray of Aurora, center, uses a scope to scan Nelson Lake with Phil Doncheck of Rockford, left, and Theresa LeCompte, right, of Aurora, during a bird walk at Dick Young Forest Preserve in Batavia on Saturday. Murray leads walks on the first Saturday of every month starting at 8 a.m.

    Kane County Audubon Society holds bird walk in Batavia

    Terry Murray of Aurora and the Kane County Audubon Society led avian enthusiasts for a hike around Nelson Lake at the Dick Young Forest Preserve in Batavia on Saturday morning.

    Louis Zamperini

    Notable deaths last week

    This week’s notable deaths included the architect of the New York Mets’ most recent World Series championship team and a billionaire banking heir who funded conservative causes.

    Marge Edwards of the Dundee Township Historical Society talks about the Underground Railroad and local citizens who helped slaves escape to freedom at The Depot Museum on Saturday.

    Underground Railroad opens speaker series in E. Dundee

    The Depot Museum in East Dundee launched its Depot Market Historical Speaker Series Saturday with the Underground Railroad and local citizens who were involved in helping slaves escape to freedom as the topic.

    Pick your St. Charles headache: Cliff McIlvaine’s decades-long ‘remodeling’ project, shown above; the almost-vacant Charlestowne Mall; or the idled First Avenue redevelopment project.

    Pick your favorite St. Charles headache

    Dave Heun asks readers to identify -- and discuss -- which of St. Charles' big three "headaches" will first be relieved. Is it a man's decades-old remodeling project, the nearly vacant Charlestown Mall or the idled First Avenue redevelopment project?

    An injured painted turtle recuperates at Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn. Cable ties and screws are used to help heal its broken shell.

    Fast cars make this a tough time for slow turtles

    This is a tough time for pregnant turtles. It’s the season when they leave their watery homes in search of higher and drier nesting sites to lay their eggs. Unfortunately, their paths often lead them to cross busy roads — and the combination of slow-moving turtles and fast-moving vehicles doesn’t always turn out well.

    Oswaldo Rosales, 12, of Mundelein wears a cap from the police department Saturday during the third day of Mundelein Community Days.

    Mundelein Days drawing big crowds

    Mike Flynn, assistant village administrator, said attendance at Mundelein Days has been good. On the Fourth of July, he estimated 3,000-4,000 people were present at the festival while the fireworks program commenced within sight of the festival grounds. “We’ve had great crowds,” Flynn said. “This is our third day; the first two days were just terrific. You...

    Tony Borcia

    Quinn signs boating rules inspired by Libertyville boy’s death

    Gov. Pat Quinn has approved several laws aimed at increasing boater safety on a holiday weekend that many Illinois residents are spending on lakes and rivers.

    Nancy Rish has been in prison for 27 years.

    Woman seeks clemency in buried-alive case

    It was a heinous crime: a Kankakee businessman seized from his home, buried alive in a box and left to suffocate when a breathing tube failed before a ransom could be paid. Now, one of two people imprisoned in the 1987 killing of Stephen Small is making a bid for freedom.


    Four confirmed dead in Florida boat collision

    Relatives of a female victim found her body in the water on Saturday, Jorge Pino, a public information officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.Investigators located the body of another person later Saturday morning.

    Ukraine’s newly appointed Minister of Defense, Valery Heletey, speaks to the media Saturday in the city of Slovyansk, Donetsk Region, eastern Ukraine.

    Ukraine claims victory in rebel stronghold

    Andrei Purgin of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic told The Associated Press that rebels were evacuating, but claimed the army’s campaign had left the city “in ruins.”The capture of Slovyansk represented the government’s biggest victory since it abandoned a shaky cease-fire this week.

    Ville Parviainen and Janette Oksman from Vantaa, Finland go on Saturday to win the Wife Carrying World Championships, held in Sonkajarvi, Finland.

    Finnish couple wins quirky ‘wife carrying’ race

    The rules stipulate that the woman must be over 17 years of age and weigh at least 108 pounds. Despite the event’s name couples don’t have to be married, and organizers say male contestants could “borrow a neighbor’s wife” if they didn’t have a female companion.

    Vehicles navigate a flooded Highway 64 Friday as wind from Hurricane Arthur pushes water over the road anear Nags Head, N.C.,

    Only road onto N.C. island reopening after Arthur

    Permanent residents of Hatteras Island began returning Saturday. Employees of businesses that need to get ready to accommodate arriving tourists were also being allowed onto the island that had been closed to arrivals since early Thursday.


    Performer drapes, lights firecrackers on body

    John Fletcher says that over 16 years he has set off 600,000 firecrackers attached to his body. His ribs have been fractured 17 times and once Fletcher says he was knocked unconscious.

    In this file photo taken on Jan. 5, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarchate, Vladimir leads services during the Christmas Eve mass in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra church in Kiev, Ukraine. The head of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church under the Moscow patriarchate died on Saturday, July 5, the patriarchate announced on its website. Vladimir, 78, ascended to the leadership of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church following the schism, during which its previous head was defrocked. Vladimir suffered from internal bleeding and had been treated at a clinic in Kiev, Interfax reported.

    Head of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church dies at 78

    The head of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church has died at 78 after leading it for more than two decades. The church announced online that Metropolitan Volodymyr, who has been credited with stabilizing the church during the tumultuous post-Soviet period, died Saturday “after a long illness.”


    Strong earthquake hits off western Indonesia

    A strong earthquake has hit off the coast of western Indonesia, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude-6.0 quake hit Saturday, July 5, at a depth of 19 miles.

    The mother of 15-year-old Tariq Abu Khdeir, a U.S. citizen who goes to school in Tampa, Fla., shows an undated photo of him on a digital photo album at their home in Jerusalem, Saturday, July 5. Tariq was beaten and arrested by the Israeli police Friday during clashes sparked by the murder his cousin Mohammed Abu Khdeir on Thursday. Israeli police spokeswoman, said that Tariq had resisted arrest and attacked police officers. Tariq’s father said he witnessed his son’s arrest and insisted the boy was not involved in the violence.

    Clashes spread after Palestinian boy’s funeral

    Clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters have spread following the funeral of an Arab teenager who Palestinians say was killed by Israeli extremists in a revenge attack.

    Flames rise from oil tankers after an attack claimed by Taliban militants on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Saturday, July 5. An Afghan security official says at least 400 fuel tankers caught fire late Friday night in a parking lot in the outskirts of Kabul.

    Fuel tanker trucks burn outside Afghan capital

    Attackers set fire to hundreds of fuel tanker trucks in a parking lot on the outskirts of the Afghan capital, witnesses said Saturday, July 5, prompting angry drivers to block a major highway to demand reimbursement for their losses.

    An Indian nurse Marina Jose, who was among 46 nurses stranded in territory held by Islamic extremists in Iraq, stands with her son and daughter and speaks to reporters upon arrival at the airport in Kochi, India, Saturday, July 5. The nurses who had been holed up for more than a week in Tikrit, returned home to southern India on Saturday aboard a special flight, officials said.

    Indian nurses stranded in Iraq return home

    More than 40 Indian nurses stranded in territory held by Islamic extremists in Iraq on Saturday, July 5, returned home to southern India aboard a special flight, officials said.


    Police capture suspect in rest stop killing

    Authorities say they’ve captured an Illinois man suspected in the deaths of a co-worker and a woman at an interstate rest stop. Authorities say the man was arrested Friday, July 4, in Wisconsin after a 25-minute chase.


    Customs at O’Hare snags $700,000 in undeclared jewelry

    Customs officers seized a cache of jewelry from an alleged smuggler worth nearly $700,000 at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency announced the seizure Friday, July 4, noting the American citizen who failed to declare the items now faces a penalty of up to the jewelry’s domestic value.

    George Thorogood and The Destroyers will play the Ribfest Main Stage at 8:30 p.m. Sunday. The concert comes with $15 festival admission.

    6 questions with George Thorogood

    Known for classic rock radio staples like “Move It On Over” and “Bad to the Bone,” bluesy rock 'n' rollers George Thorogood and The Destroyers are celebrating their 40th anniversary with a national tour that includes a stop Sunday at Naperville's Ribfest. Thorogood recently talked with the Daily Herald about his signature guitar style.

    John Manfredi of Hoffman Estates stands next to his home mailbox with the Sears Centre Arena, across the tollway, in the background. Manfredi and his neighbors say long-running car racing events in the Sears Centre parking lot are too noisy.

    Neighbors decry car-racing noise at Sears Centre

    Nearly every weekend from May to October, Hoffman Estates resident John Manfredi and his neighbors endure the whine of high-performance engines and screech of tires racing around the Sears Centre parking lot. The village likes the $50,000 to $70,000 per summer made from these events. But for Manfredi and his neighbors, it's just too loud.

    Wheaton College objects to filling out a form authorizing a third party to provide contraception coverage to employees. A Supreme Court decision allows the school to simply write a letter stating the objections, and experts say that could embolden other religious nonprofits to file objections.

    Where the Wheaton College ruling could lead

    Legal experts say the temporary Supreme Court decision involving Wheaton College is likely to embolden religious groups and lead to a new wave of lawsuits about contraception coverage.



    Bandits fall 4-3 to Racers

    Jessica Garcia’s 8th inning RBI single turned out to be the game winner Saturday night as the Racers took game three of the series, 4-3. Akron’s win was their first of the series and snapped the Bandits four game winning streak.


    Boomers win in 12 innings

    The host Schaumburg Boomers walked off with 12-inning win over the Normal CornBelters by a 2-1 final on Saturday night.


    Bird, Langhorne lead Storm past Sky, 80-73

    Sue Bird scored eight straight points late in the fourth quarter to help the Seattle Storm beat the Chicago Sky 80-73 on Saturday night. Jessica Breland scored 20 points for the Sky (8-10). Sylvia Fowles had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Epiphanny Prince added 16.


    Another wasted effort for White Sox’s Quintana

    Jose Quintana delivered another sparkling start for the White Sox Saturday, pitching 7.2 scoreless innings against Seattle. Once again, the hard-luck Quintana had nothing to show for his efforts.

    White Sox relief pitcher Ronald Belisario kicks the dirt after giving up a single to the Mariners’ Michael Saunders in the 14th inning Saturday. Saunders later scored the winning run on a double by Brad Miller.

    Still an opening for White Sox’ closing act

    The White Sox have not had a bona fide closer all season, and it cost them during Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Mariners in 14 innings. Zach Putnam was the Sox' latest reliever to blow a save in the ninth inning.

    The Bulls are still waiting for a decision from New York Knicks’ free agent Carmelo Anthony, right.

    NBA waiting on decisions by James, Anthony

    The Bulls were still waiting for that big firecracker to explode. As of Saturday evening, there was no real news on Carmelo Anthony's free agent decision. Some reports say he's staying in New York. Others said the Lakers have made a serious move. Others suggest it's still a three-way battle with those teams and the Bulls.

    Will Julian Green could be one of the many new players to lead the United States to the World Cup in 2018.

    Attention shifts to 2018 U.S. soccer team

    Hank Steinbrecher has been to many World Cups and enjoyed every one of them, but he doesn’t regret skipping this one. The Glen Ellyn native got to witness America embrace the World Cup, leaving us with a big question: What's next? Orrin Schwarz tries to answer that question as the attention shifts to the 2018 team.

    Shortstop Addison Russell is the newest piece of the Cubs’ puzzle, and, by all accounts, a pretty special one.

    Big trade brings Cubs closer to winning

    Odd as it may feel if you’re a Cubs fan desperate for something to watch and stunned that a productive month has led to another selloff, the Cubs under Theo Epstein are closer to winning today than they were a few days ago.

    Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Villanueva was forced to start Saturday’s game against the Washington Nationals after the team traded Jeff Samardzija, the scheduled starter. The Cubs lost 13-0.

    Cubs pitchers pounded in 13-0 loss to Nationals

    Chicago Cubs manager Rick Renteria didn’t even wait for the question to be asked. His team had been routed by the Washington Nationals just hours after trading two pitchers — including Saturday’s scheduled starter — and he knew what was coming. “(The trade) had nothing to do with any of the things that happened today, we spit out a bad ballgame,” he said.

    Jason Hammel

    Cubs had trade in mind when Hammel was pulled

    Cubs president Theo Epstein said pitcher Jason Hammel was well within his rights to voice displeasure about coming out of Friday's win at Washington after Hammel threw 92 pitches by the seventh inning. Later that night, Epstein traded Hammel and pitcher Jeff Samardzija to Oakland.

    Despite pitcher Jose Quintana’s strong start in Saturday’s game against Seattle, the White Sox still lost to the Mariners 3-2 in 14 innings.

    Mariners rally for 3-2 victory over White Sox

    Brad Miller hit an RBI double in the 14th inning, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 on Saturday for their fifth win in the last six games. Chicago managed only four hits while wasting another strong start by Jose Quintana, who struck out 10 in 7 2-3 innings.

    Netherlands’ Arjen Robben celebrates with Dirk Kuyt after the Netherlands defeated Costa Rica 4-3 in a penalty shootout after a 0-0 tie during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, Saturday, July 5, 2014.

    Netherlands beats Costa Rica in penalty shootout

    Tim Krul came on as a substitute in the final minute of extra time and then saved two penalties in a 4-3 shootout victory over Costa Rica on Saturday, giving the Netherlands a spot in the World Cup semifinals. The Newcastle goalkeeper saved spot kicks from Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz and Michael Umana after the match had finished 0-0. The Dutch team will next face Argentina in the semifinals on Wednesday in Sao Paulo.

    Vasek Pospisil, right, and Jack Sock kiss their trophies after defeating Bob and Mike Bryan in the men’s doubles final Saturday at Wimbledon.

    Newcomers win men’s doubles at Wimbledon

    American Jack Sock and Canadian Vasek Pospisil could have trouble improving on their first tournament as a doubles team. Sock and Pospisil defeated Americans Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in the Wimbledon doubles final on Saturday.

    Argentina’s Jose Maria Basanta, left, is challenged by Belgium’s Eden Hazard during their World Cup quarterfinal soccer Saturday at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil.

    Argentina ousts Belgium, reaches World Cup semis

    Gonzalo Higuain’s first goal of this World Cup sent Argentina into the semifinals on Saturday with a 1-0 win over a disappointing Belgium. Argentina, which hadn’t advanced past the World Cup quarterfinals since 1990, controlled the match after Higuain’s eighth-minute goal, more due to disciplined defending than sparkling attack. Belgium lacked the creativity to find a way past Argentina’s disciplined defense.

    Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic holds up the trophy after winning the women’s singles final against Eugenie Bouchard of Canada at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Saturday July 5.

    Kvitova tops Bouchard for Wimbledon title

    Petra Kvitova won her second Wimbledon title in four years and denied Canada its first Grand Slam tennis singles crown by defeating Eugenie Bouchard in straight sets Saturday in the women’s championship match. The sixth-seeded Czech slammed an ace on her first serve of the match and hit 28 winners while overpowering the 13th-seeded Bouchard 6-3, 6-0 on Centre Court at the All England Club. Kvitova, 24, won the first set in 32 minutes against the 20-year-old Bouchard, the first Canadian to reach a Grand Slam singles final. Kvitova then won the first seven points of the second set and never let Bouchard back into the match.

    Sprinter Marcel Kittel kisses the trophy after winning the first stage and the overall leader’s yellow jersey Saturday in the Tour de France, which started in Leeds and finished in Harrogate, England.

    Kittel wins 1st stage of Tour de France

    Marcel Kittel of Germany won the first stage of the Tour de France for a second straight year after a late crash brought down British rival Mark Cavendish in the presence of royals on Saturday. Kittel, who earned four Tour stages last year, won the 118-mile run in mainly bucolic Yorkshire countryside from Leeds to Harrogate.


    With trade, Cubs’ Epstein sees light at end of tunnel

    You've heard it before: The Cubs get to July, trade pitchers for prospects and then lose a lot of games in the second half. However, team president Theo Epstein said Saturday he believes there is light at the end of the tunnel, even in the wake of the trade of pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland for prospects.

    Nigeria’s goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama fails to gather a cross from which France’s Paul Pogba scored the opening goal during the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between France and Nigeria at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, June 30, 2014.

    Facebook’s score: 1 billion World Cup interactions

    Facebook has passed the 1 billion mark in World Cup interactions. No other single event has generated this much activity on Facebook in the history of the social media site.


    A freight train that derailed near Alberton in western Montana, sending three cars carrying aircraft components down a steep embankment and into the Clark Fork River on Thursday.

    Boeing technicians in Montana to review derailment

    Boeing Co. has sent technicians to the site of a train derailment that dumped six 737 fuselages and other aircraft components into a Montana river as they were being transported to a Washington state assembly plant.

    A Gunnison sage grouse with tail feathers fanned near Gunnison, Colo.

    Senate majority could rest on the sage grouse

    Rachel Carson warned in 1962 of the bird’s possible demise in “Silent Spring,” her classic environmental book.Three environmental groups sued to force the federal government to protect the bird after the government declined to list it as endangered in 2005. In a 2010 settlement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to decide on listing by September 2015.

    Specialist Peter Elkins is reflected in one of his screens at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Over the past five years, U.S. stocks have easily outpaced stocks in Europe, Japan and Hong Kong.

    5 reasons U.S. economy outpacing rest of world

    Five full years after a devastating recession officially ended, the economy is finally showing the vigor that Americans have long awaited.

    Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist campaigning in Orlando, Fla.

    Winds shifting toward opening trade with Cuba

    Nationwide, the share of Cuban registered voters who identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party has doubled in the past decade, from 22 percent to 44 percent, according to the Pew Research Center. Less than half of Cuban voters now affiliate with the Republican Party, down from 64 percent over the same time period.

    An Argentine supporter has stuffed-toy World Cup mascots attached to his sunglasses before the group F World Cup soccer match between Nigeria and Argentina at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Wednesday, June 25, 2014.

    World Cup breaks Super Bowl record on Twitter

    Nervous Brazilian soccer fans took to Twitter to breathe a collective sigh of relief as the final, tension-filled moments of a penalty shootout against Chile broke an all-time record for online buzz during a live event.

    In this March 25, 2014 photo provided by Pacers.com, Indiana Pacers basketball players C.J. Watson, left, George Hill, center, and Lavoy Allen, at right back to camera, wear Google glasses during practice at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Google Glass is slowly becoming more common in sports as teams and broadcasters try to bring fans closer to the action.

    Google Glass taking fans closer to the action

    Google Glass is slowly becoming more common in sports as teams and broadcasters try to bring fans closer to the action. The Philadelphia Eagles are going to test the Internet-connected eyewear for in-game use, and a company with a key application for the technology says it has secured a new round of financing that will help roll out its Glass program to sports, entertainment and other fields.

    This file image provided by Aereo shows a streaming broadcast of Bob the Builder on the New York PBS station, WNET 13. Just because Aereo’s business model has been shot down by the Supreme Court, that doesn’t mean customers’ desire for a better TV experience has gone away.

    Aereo case leaves cord cutters with costlier options

    For cord cutters who want to ditch their cable service, watching broadcast TV on a computer or tablet is still possible even if Aereo Inc. disappears. Companies like TiVo and SiliconDust USA make products that work with TV antennas to turn live programs into digital bits and bytes.

    Drawing on a cache of leaked documents and months of forensic work, two reports about the private Italian firm Hacking Team expose a global network of malicious software implants operated by police and spy agencies in dozens of countries.

    Eyes on you: Experts reveal police hacking methods

    Law enforcement agencies across the globe are taking a page out of the hacker’s handbook, using targets’ own phones and computers to spy on them with methods traditionally associated with cybercriminals. “This in many ways is the police surveillance of the now and the future,” said Morgan Marquis-Boire, a security researcher with Citizen Lab.

    Google is expanding Android as an underlying software foundation as it ramps up against Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and others to be a digital gatekeeper to consumers. The more that Google can connect devices, vehicles and other items with its software, the more likely it is that consumers will stick with the company for all their needs.

    Google pushes for Android everywhere as mobile spreads

    Google Inc. is on a mission to make its Android mobile software ubiquitous. The Web-search giant is expanding Android as an underlying software foundation as it ramps up against Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and others to be a digital gatekeeper to consumers. The more that Google can connect devices, vehicles and other items with its software, the more likely it is that consumers will stick with the company for all their needs.

    Bitcoin and other digital currencies will get more attention from the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after prodding from a congressional watchdog.

    Bitcoin to get more attention from U.S. consumer bureauc

    Bitcoin and other digital currencies will get more attention from the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after prodding from a congressional watchdog.

    In this June 25, 2014, file photo, a man looks at the Samsung Gear Live, an Android Wear smartwatch, on the demo floor at Google I/O 2014 in San Francisco. With Android Wear, software developers won’t have to rewrite apps every time a new watch from Samsung, Sony or another manufacturer comes out. And collectively, there might be enough smartwatch users to lure developers. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

    Review: Android Wear is about simplifying future

    In its first iteration, Google’s Android Wear software for computerized wristwatches isn’t so much about innovation as it is an effort at simplification. The new software should help rein in a marketplace of confusion and encourage app developers to extend smartwatch functionality, the way they have made smartphones even smarter.

    Samsung’s Gear Live smartwatch will cost you $199.

    Review: Evolutionary advances in new smartwatches

    NEW YORK — New Android wristwatches from Samsung and LG make a few evolutionary advances, though I won’t be rushing out to buy either.Samsung’s Gear Live and LG’s G Watch are good products and will appeal to those who like to be among the first to own new gadgets.The watches serve as pedometers and let you catch up on email, texts and Facebook notifications while your phone is in your pocket or charging in the bedroom. Even with the phone in your hand, you can check messages on the watch and keep playing video on the phone.Both smartwatches try to keep things simple through voice commands rather than touch. They use Google’s Android Wear system, which I reviewed earlier.Android Wear has a lot of potential but still lacks the functionality of even last year’s smartwatches. Your ability to reply is limited, and there’s not much you can do yet without a companion phone nearby.The companion phone must run Android 4.3 or later, which covers about a quarter of the Android devices in use. It doesn’t have to be a Samsung or LG phone. Visit http://g.co/WearCheck from your phone to check compatibility. Don’t even bother if you have an iPhone.Even with its release of the Gear Live, Samsung will continue to sell the Gear 2 line of smartwatches, so I’ll start there.Samsung’s Gear 2 ($299, released in April):I find the Gear 2 most useful for its fitness features. The watch counts the steps you take each day. It estimates distance and calories burned and measures heart rate on your runs, hikes and bike rides. The features are rather basic, so active users might prefer a gadget dedicated to a specific task, such as measuring distance and pace using GPS. But the Gear 2 does offer a good introduction to newcomers.Shots from the watch’s 2-megapixel camera are mediocre, but that beats missing the shot entirely because your better camera is in your pocket or handbag. If you don’t need the camera, you can save $100 with the Gear 2 Neo, which has similar features otherwise. Both have speakerphones for making phone calls.The Gear 2 line doesn’t use Android Wear, but a fledging system called Tizen. Samsung says that helps extend battery life to two or three days, instead of the single day on the original, Android-based Galaxy Gear. Unlike the Android Wear watches, the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo both require a Samsung phone.Samsung’s Gear Live ($199, starts shipping next week):Out of the box, the Gear Live looks much like the Gear 2. But once you turn it on, it stays on. The watch face doesn’t go dark as the one on the Gear 2 does after inactivity.Unfortunately, the promised battery life is back down to a single day, though actual performance varied depending on use. The best I got was a day and a half on a full charge. In the worst case, about half the charge was gone in just five hours.The Gear Live doesn’t have as many fitness features. You can count steps and measure heart rate, but you can’t measure distance or calories with built-in apps.In addition, there’s no camera or speakerphone. To make calls, you need a Bluetooth headset paired to your phone.Because the Gear Live and the G Watch both use Android Wear, they have similar functionality. You control both mostly by voice. There aren’t many icons or buttons on the screen, as you’d find on previous smartwatches.You do have to get used to swiping left (for more information) or right (to dismiss a notification). But otherwise, the interface is clean and simple. One thing I wish for: a central place to view notifications, including ones I’ve dismissed.LG’s G Watch ($229, started shipping Thursday):

    In the next few months, AT&T Inc. will test a service that verifies MasterCard transactions by using a phone’s whereabouts — as long as it has customers’ permission.

    AT&T joins MasterCard battling fraud with phone location

    Banks and card networks like Visa and MasterCard are working with wireless carriers to cut down on fraudulent transactions by tying purchases to the location of a shopper’s smartphone. In the next few months, AT&T Inc. will test a service that verifies transactions by using a phone’s whereabouts — as long as it has customers’ permission.

    Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz speaks at the company's annual shareholders meeting, in Seattle, Wash. Schultz is collaborating on a book about veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism, and Sacrifice” will be published by Alfred A. Knopf on Nov. 4.

    Starbucks chair co-writing book on military vets

    Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz is collaborating on a book about veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism, and Sacrifice” will be released by Alfred A. Knopf on Nov. 4.

    Uruguay’s Luis Suarez bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder during the group D World Cup soccer match between Italy and Uruguay at the Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, Tuesday, June 24, 2014.

    World Cup hits online streaming record, buzz soars

    Moments after Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez sunk his teeth into an opposing Italian player during Tuesday’s World Cup match-up, brands were using the incident to market burgers on Twitter. More than 300 million tweets have been sent about the World Cup so far, and Google has logged over 1.1 billion searches related to the world’s most popular sporting event.

Life & Entertainment

    Golden sage complements the pink Calibrachoa in this container garden.

    Easy-to-grow herbs are beautiful and delicious

    For beginning gardeners, herbs are a perfect introduction to gardening. They are easy to grow, whether you begin with small plants or seeds. They need little special care and are generally resistant to the pests and diseases that target more temperamental plants.


    Tips for stress-free flying with little kids

    Pack distractions. Bring your own food. Make friends with your seat neighbors. Flying with children can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be a nightmare. There are a few tricks you can learn to head trouble off at the pass.

    Guy Trilby (director Jason Bateman) enters a kids’ spelling bee in the comedy “Bad Words,” coming Tuesday to DVD.

    DVD previews: ‘Bad Words,’ ‘Le Week-End’

    Lovable everyman Jason Bateman plays despicable misanthrope Guy Trilby, which might explain why, despite Guy’s over-the-top flaws, he’s still worth watching in "Bad Words," coming Tuesday to DVD.

    New fabrics, furniture and rugs shrug off the elements, making outdoor living as colorful and comfortable as, well, the great outdoors.

    Better chemistry takes us back to nature

    Q. We have a small, underused patio outside our bedroom. This is the first time I’ve ever lived in a house, because I grew up in apartments, and I need advice on how to “furnish” this space.

    Comedian Paul Reiser (“Mad About You”) returns to Zanies in Rosemont.

    Weekend picks: Fests, bands and Paul Reiser

    “Mad About You” comedian Paul Reiser returns this Saturday to do standup comedy at Zanies in Rosemont. Catch Smash Mouth amid the rides and carnival games at the Northwest Fourth-Fest Saturday night at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates. The Mount Prospect Lions Club hosts its annual Village Festival in Melas Park this weekend. The Eyes to the Skies Festival promises a carnival, fireworks and its famous array of colorful hot air balloons.

    “Glee” star Chris Colfer appears at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville to sign his book “The Land of Stories 3: A Grimm Conclusion.”

    Book notes: Meet Chris Colfer at local book signings

    Actor, singer, producer and best-selling author Chris Colfer signs copies of his newest children's book, "The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning," at 7 p.m. Friday, July 11, at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville and noon Saturday, July 12, at Barnes and Noble in Skokie.

    Adler Planetarium’s Young Explorers Mondays is a weekly series of hands-on activities that promote creativity, fun and scientific investigation for 2- to 6- year-olds.

    On the road: Adler Planetarium inspires Young Explorers

    Adler Planetarium just launched Young Explorers Mondays, a weekly series of hands-on activities that promote creativity, fun and scientific investigation for the 2- to 6-year-old set. The 34th Annual Blissfest Folk & Roots Music Festival offers lots of live entertainment, culture, art and community in picturesque rural northern Michigan.

    This birch tray is called Garden Party. Sveinbjorg Hallgrimsdottir’s folk-art-style woodblock prints of berries, birds, branches and ravens are printed on birch trays, pillows and blankets.

    Icelandic design branches out

    Being a small, sparsely populated island nudged up against the edge of the Arctic Circle hasn’t stopped Iceland from nurturing a rich and varied design industry.


    The standard sales contract has grown

    Q. We plan to sell our home in 2015 to move to a retirement community. I have a good agent we will use. She gave us a sample sales contract to look over — many, many pages compared to when we bought the home in 1998.

    Spiral staircases became popular in England in the 1870s.

    Spiral staircase a step to save floor space

    Your house might have extra room you have never seen before. In fact, you might be sitting under the solution to your space problem right now.

    Eco-wise dining: The contemporary Surf City outdoor dining set constructed of aluminum frames and recycled plastic slats.

    Recycled plastic furniture is a stylish, sustainable

    Furniture designers have worked hard to satisfy consumers’ appetites for elegant outdoor pieces that go beyond the garden bench. Now, the industry is responding to the environmentally conscious desire to maintain stunning designs in sustainable outdoor furniture.


    Two unorthodox ways to pay off a mortgage early

    Some schemes for paying off a mortgage early, such as biweeklies and bimonthlies, are offered by lenders while others are entirely within the control of the borrower. This article is about two schemes of the second type that keep popping up in my mailbox.



    The Soapbox

    Daily Herald editors give their opinions on stories from the week's news, including a bridge's new name, a proposed housing tower and a freakish accident.


    Thanks for donations in ALS battle
    A letter to the editor: Most people live their lives in harmony, but for the thousands of people in the United States who are living with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, the body breaks down one part at a time. The breakdown often begins with the extremities. Next, a person with ALS may lose his voice, and as time goes on breathing becomes compromised. Perhaps worst of all, in most cases, the brain is not affected. And because there is no cure, ALS is fatal.


    How well did board listen on charter school plan?
    A Bartlett letter to the editor: The U-46 board can reach a partnership with collaboration and move the project forward, with choice for at-risk children in Elgin, or put a barrier up that leads to another step, which involves the Illinois State Board of Education. The right decision was very apparent at this meeting.


    Americans lulled to sleep by scandal
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: The sad effect of a scandal-du-jour is anesthetic. The American public has been droned to sleep. Take the month of June: a vet is scheduled for a medical appointment — after his death.


    St. Charles, put out the ‘for sale’ sign
    A St. Charles letter to the editor: Geneva has their crown jewel in 3rd Street. Well planned, well thought out and very profitable. St. Charles has a crown jewel in its river front. Yet as you walk on the east side of the river from Main Street you find two of the most lucrative and picturesque properties are both city buildings right on the river.


    Tennis courts cheaper to keep up than golf courses
    A Libertyville letter to the editor: George Peternel in his June 30 opinion wrote, “Revenue surpluses generated by golf course operations have been used to subsidize tennis courts and pools, saving taxpayers tens of thousands each year.” He cannot be serious! No specific municipal golf courses are mentioned and no specific costs of building and maintaining golf courses versus tennis courts and pools is given.


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