Daily Archive : Thursday July 17, 2014

News

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    Grayslake may extend farther south to Mundelein's border if village board members vote to annex 33 acres for a Saia Inc. trucking terminal southwest of Peterson and Midlothian roads. This is looking south from Saia's site toward Mundelein's water tower.

    Trucking terminal planned on Grayslake's south side

    Plans for a trucking terminal near the Lake County Fairgrounds have gained tentative Grayslake village board approval. Saia Inc.'s terminal would be used by semi-trailers to collect and deliver freight in the Chicago area, company spokeswoman Jeannie S. Jump said.

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    DCFS: Dead Prospect Hts. infant’s father abused boy

    The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has found evidence that the father of a 1-month-old girl found dead in a Prospect Heights home abused her young relative, a spokeswoman said Thursday. The agency launched an investigation into claims of abuse in May, about a month before the baby was born. A separate probe into her death is still pending.

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    Madde Klinkey, 15, of Wasco, and her horse, Coco, compete in jumping Thursday morning at the Kane County Fair in St. Charles. She is a member of the A Bit More 4-H Club. Coco’s full name is Shimmy Shimmy Coco Pop.

    4-H’er at Kane County Fair learns responsibility, discipline from horse shows

    Fifteen-year-old Madde Klinkey, of Wasco, shows her horse at the Kane County Fair every year. But what goes on behind the scenes before judging begins at 8:30 a.m.? “The responsibility is good for me,” she said.

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    People inspect the crash site of a passenger plane near the village of Hrabove, Ukraine, Thursday. Ukraine said a passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down Thursday as it flew over the country, and both the government and the pro-Russia separatists fighting in the region denied any responsibility for downing the plane.

    Ukraine: Pro-Russia rebels downed Malaysian plane

    Ukraine accused pro-Russian separatists of shooting down a Malaysian jetliner with 298 people aboard Thursday, sharply escalating the crisis and threatening to draw both East and West deeper into the conflict. The rebels denied downing the aircraft. American intelligence authorities believe a surface-to-air missile brought the plane down.

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    Carnival rides are just one of the attractions at Sacred Heart’s annual Germanfest, which opened Thursday in Lombard. The festival runs through Sunday in the parking lot of the church, 114 S. Elizabeth St.

    Germanfest kicks off at Lombard’s Sacred Heart Church

    Sacred Heart’s 47th annual Germanfest kicked off Thursday evening with carnival rides, performances by two cover bands and, of course, lots of Bavarian-style food. The festival runs through Sunday in the parking lot of the church, one block of West of the Metra train station in Lombard at 114 S. Elizabeth St.

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    Glen Ellyn moves to annex part of country club

    Despite some residents’ concerns, the Glen Ellyn village board has approved an agreement to annex portions of the Glen Oak Country Club. The plan would bring additional tax revenues to the village and a new water system to the country club, located roughly between Hill Avenue and Interstate 355. Some neighbors living near Glen Ellyn said they fear the agreement could lead the village to...

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    ComEd crews were working to fix an electric pole at Central Road and Emerson Street that was damaged during a two-vehicle crash in Mount Prospect on Thursday. Two people were hurt in the crash, which also left about 400 people without power for five hours.

    Power back after Mt. Prospect crash that injured 2

    Central Road reopened and power was restored on Thursday night about five hours after an accident in Mount Prospect that sent two people to the hospital and broke a ComEd pole.

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    Smoke from flares rises in the sky in Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, when Israel launched a large-scale ground offensive, escalating a 10-day military operation to try to destroy Hamas’ weapons arsenal, rocket firing abilities and tunnels under the Palestinian territory’s border with Israel. It was the first major Israeli ground offensive in Gaza in just over five years.

    Israel invades Gaza after Hamas rejects truce

    The heavy thud of tank shells, often just seconds apart, echoed across the Gaza Strip early Friday as thousands of Israeli soldiers launched a ground invasion, escalating a 10-day campaign of heavy air bombardments to try to destroy Hamas’ rocket-firing abilities and the tunnels militants use to infiltrate Israel.

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    This is the Buk M2 missile system, seen at a military show in Zhukovsky, Russia, outside Moscow, in 2010. There are several models of Buk Missile Systems used by multiple countries, including both the Russian and Ukrainian government military.

    U.S. believes missile took down jet in Ukraine

    American intelligence authorities believe a surface-to-air missile took down a passenger jet in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, a U.S. official said, but the Obama administration was still scrambling to confirm who launched the strike and whether there were American citizens killed in the crash. Vice President Joe Biden said the incident was “not an accident” and described the Malaysia...

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    Elgin Police Lt. Colin Fleury briefs emergency responders Thursday in the parking lot of Wal-Mart on Randall and Bowes roads before a training exercise at nearby Otter Creek Elementary School.

    Elgin conducts shooter training at school

    Despite the preparation and the jovial atmosphere preceding Thursday’s live training at Otter Creek Elementary School in Elgin, it all ended up feeling surprisingly realistic, said Emily Muller, a member of Spotlight Youth Theater in Cary. “You don’t have to act as much as you think you would. The emotions are very real.” The four-hour training was the largest ever...

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    Woodstock man charged in Mt. Prospect theft

    A 51-year-old Woodstock man has been arrested and charged by Mount Prospect police with felony theft by deception $10,000-$100,000 and felony forgery.

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    A woman reacts after hearing about the Malaysia Airlines passenger plane crashing in eastern Ukraine at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, Friday. On March 8, another Malaysia Airlines jetliner vanished about an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, spawning an international mystery that remains unsolved.

    For Malaysia Airlines, disaster strikes twice

    Two Boeing 777s. Two incredibly rare aviation disasters. And one airline. News: In what appears to be a mind-boggling coincidence, Malaysia is reeling from the second tragedy to hit its national airline in less than five months.

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    AnnMarie VanRooij, on her way into O’Hare International Airport, says she’s not worried about flying to Amsterdam the same day a Malaysia Airlines jetliner crashed in the Ukraine.

    O’Hare passengers undeterred by Ukraine crash

    Passengers at O'Hare International Airport were somber at news of the downed Malaysia Airlines jetliner, but were undeterred in their plans to fly internationally."It will be fine," Jim Novak said of the flight he was about to board to Poland.

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    Elgin cabdriver Aaron Dunbar put personal safety aside when he picked up the man accused of escaping from Elgin Mental Health Center security officials en route to a court hearing in Lake County.

    How Elgin cabbie helped capture mental health center escapee

    Elgin cabdriver Aaron Dunbar made a split-second decision to pick up the man hailing his cab -- a man now accused of fleeing Elgin Mental Health officials and prompting an 8-hour manhunt. “People were scared in the area,” he said. “I might as well try to do something. Anybody in the same position, I’m pretty sure, would react in the same way -- attempt to do something...

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    Taylor Dayne will perform at Schaumburg’s Septemberfest from 8:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30 on the village’s municipal grounds on Schaumburg Court.

    ‘80s star Taylor Dayne plays Septemberfest

    Late ‘80s and early ‘90s pop star Taylor Dayne will be the third and final headline act at Schaumburg’s Septemberfest during Labor Day weekend. Dayne will perform on the Miller Lite Music Stage from 8:30 to 10 p.m. on the first night of the festival — Saturday, Aug. 30.

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    Deputy Attorney General James Cole, the Justice Department’s No. 2 official, said an investigation of the Internal Revenue Service has been broadened to include the disappearance of emails from the computer of Lois Lerner, who formerly headed the IRS division that deals with tax-exempt organizations.

    Republicans criticize handling of IRS inquiry

    Republicans chastised the Justice Department on Thursday for failing to share information with Congress about its investigation into the targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service. Lawmakers called anew for a special prosecutor to look into the matter.

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    Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, says it’s not acceptable to change U.S. policy to speed Central American kids home faster from the border without court hearings.

    Prospects fade for resolution on border crisis

    Prospects for action on the nation’s border crisis faded Thursday as lawmakers traded accusations rather than solutions, raising chances that Congress will head out for its summer recess without doing anything about the tens of thousands of migrant children streaming into South Texas.

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    Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Agent Kevin Oaks speaks to reporters at the new intake facility built to help alleviate overcrowding at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s McAllen Station in McAllen, Texas, Thursday.

    Official: Fewer kids detained recently at border

    The U.S. Border Patrol has detained fewer unaccompanied children entering South Texas illegally in the past 10 days, agency officials said Thursday. In recent months, the Border Patrol’s facilities in South Texas have been overwhelmed by a surge in the number of children entering the country without their parents. More than 57,000 children have been arrested since October, more than double...

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    Hanover Park seeking donations for military dog tribute

    Hanover Park hopes to raise $25,000 to install a life-size tribute to military dogs at the village's veterans memorial. While the town has collected only about 10 percent of the necessary donations, officials are optimistic the village will meet its goal. "We're on the move," Mayor Rodney Craig said.

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    Abigail Villalpando

    2 years in prison for final person in 2013 hammer murder of Aurora teen

    An Aurora man was sentenced to two years in prison Thursday after admitting to his role in the murder of Abigail Villalpando, 18, in Aurora in early 2013. Enrique Prado, 20, was present when Juan Garnica beat and killed Villalpando with a hammer and helped dispose of her body. Prado got a lighter sentence because he agreed to testify against Garnica, who pleaded guilty and got 30 years in prison.

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    Mt. Prospect police warn of spike in home burglaries

    After about a dozen home burglaries in the past month, Mount Prospect police are asking residents to take steps to keep their homes and possessions safe.

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    General Motors CEO Mary Barra testified before a Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing on Thursday that examined accountability and corporate culture in wake of the GM recalls.

    Senators call on GM CEO to fire top lawyer
    Lawmakers on Thursday demanded General Motors fire its chief lawyer and open its compensation plan to more potential victims as a Senate subcommittee delved deeper into GM’s mishandling of the recall of small cars with defective ignition switches.

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    Free senior fair:

    A free senior fair will run from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 23, at the Village of Round Lake Beach Cultural & Civic Center, off Hook Drive west of Route 83.

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    Mundelein meet and greet:

    Mundelein-area residents are invited to meet the new superintendents of Mundelein High School District 120 and Mundelein Elementary 75 at an informal Meet and Greet on Tuesday, Aug. 5.

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    Electronics collection:

    The village of Lindenhurst and the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County host an electronics recycling collection event from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the village hall/public works garage, 2301 E. Sand Lake Road.

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    CLC offering registration help:

    College of Lake County will host a special event for recent high school graduates and their families Aug. 6.

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    Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner announces his job growth and tax reform plans at Quality Float Works in Schaumburg Thursday.

    Rauner wants freeze on local property taxes

    Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner announced details of his job growth and tax reform plan at a Schaumburg business Thursday, including a proposal to require voter approval before any local government can raise its property tax. Rauner outlined his plan to phase out the income tax increase over four years, reform business taxes and fees, phase in an increase of the minimum...

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    The U.S. Geological Survey updated its earthquake risk map for the first time since 2008, taking into account research from the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami off the Japanese coast and the surprise 2011 Virginia temblor.

    Risk of earthquake increased for one-third of U.S.

    A new federal earthquake map dials up the shaking hazard just a bit for about one-third of the United States and lowers it for one-tenth. The U.S. Geological Survey on Thursday updated its national seismic hazard maps for the first time since 2008, taking into account research from the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami off the Japanese coast and the surprise 2011 Virginia temblor.

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    Elgin man charged with multiple drug sales

    A 33-year-old Elgin man was ordered held on $500,000 bond Thursday on charges he sold cocaine to an undercover police officer and confidential informant on five separate occasions. Ina Spates could face up to 30 years in prison if he's convicted of the charges.

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    ASSOCIATED PRESS/NASA Astronaut Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. stands beside a U.S. flag deployed on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969. Aldrin and fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong were the first men to walk on the lunar surface.

    Celebrate 45 years since man’s first steps on moon

    Now’s the time to get moonstruck. News: Forty-five years ago Sunday, Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on another world. Armstrong’s “one small step ... one giant leap” on the dusty lunar surface July 20, 1969, still stirs hearts. You can join the celebration, without needing to travel to the launch site at...

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    Arlington Heights man sentenced to probation for molesting girl

    An Arlington Heights man convicted last month of sexually molesting an 11-year-old girl in 2012 was sentenced Thursday to 30 months probation. Cook County Judge Thomas Fecarotta also ordered Orlando Monte, 47, to participate in sex offender counseling and to have no contact with anyone under age 18. Fecarotta also ordered Monte to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

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    Maricela Arciga

    Aurora woman found guilty in 2010 murder-for-hire

    A Kane County jury Thursday convicted an Aurora woman of trying to hire a hitman to kill her boyfriend. Attorneys for Maricela Arciga, 27, argue she wanted her boyfriend gone, but got cold feet after giving an undercover agent $200 of $2,000 and was pressured into going forward. She faces up to 60 years in prison and has been held at the Kane County jail on $750,000 bail since her arrest in...

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    One man was seriously injured and two other people were hurt Thursday in a crash at Warrenville Road and Mill Street in Warrenville.

    Three hurt, one seriously, in Warrenville crash

    Three people were hurt, including one man who was seriously injured and had to be extricated from his vehicle by Warrenville firefighters, following a Thursday afternoon crash at Warrenville Road and Mill Street, authorities said. Police Cpl. Carl Abraham said the two-car crash likely was caused by a driver confused by the lack of traffic signals, which were off because of a power outage.

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    Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival begins Sunday

    The weeklong Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival will launch 7 p.m. Sunday, July 20, at Star Cinema Grill, 53 S. Evergreen Ave., Arlington Heights, with the Illinois premiere of “Coherence.”

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    Kevin G. Dutton

    Highland Park chiropractor pleads not guilty to sex assault

    A Highland Park chiropractor accused of sexually assaulting a female patient pleaded not guilty in Lake County court Thursday. Kevin G. Dutton, 38, of Chicago, faces up to 15 years in prison if found guilty of assaulting the patient during a chiropractic treatment.

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    One man was killed and another airlifted to a hospital following a crash at route 47 and Route 20 in Pingree Grove.

    20-year-old killed in Pingree Grove crash

    One man was killed and another airlifted to a hospital following a crash on Route 20 near Route 47 early Thursday in Pingree Grove. Ian Halasik, 20, was pronounced dead at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin following the 12:15 a.m. crash, police said. Pingree Grove police and the Kane County Accident Reconstruction Team are looking for potential witnesses.

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    Des Plaines man gets probation in New Year’s Eve attack

    A Des Plaines man pleaded guilty to an amended charge Wednesday in Skokie, court records show. John H. Reardon pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery and was sentenced to 12 months probation and ordered to pay $549 in fines. court records show.

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    District 41 to host tech listening sessions

    Glen Ellyn Elementary District 41 is inviting residents to three discussions about proposed changes to its technology policy.

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    Terry Moran Softball Tournament Saturday in Rolling Meadows

    The 19th Terry Moran Softball Tournament will be held all day Saturday, July 19, at Kimball Hill Park, 3251 Campbell St., Rolling Meadows.

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    Nick Helmer

    Prospect Heights mayor defends workshop style

    Despite one of his aldermen calling it "the worst idea ever," Prospect Heights Mayor Nick Helmer says he's sticking to his decision to conduct the city council's workshop meetings in a less formal seating arrangement.

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    “Shrek, The Musical” now playing in Buffalo Grove

    The Buffalo Grove Park District’s theater company, Big Deal Productions, will perform its summer musical, “Shrek The Musical,” this weekend and next as the opening show in the new state-of-the-art theater inside the Buffalo Grove Community Arts Center.

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    Fox Valley police reports
    Joseph P. Liss, 24, of Elgin, was charged Wednesday with theft, according to court records. He is accused of taking a Gucci brand wristwatch from the owner June 27. The watch is valued at more than $500. His bail was set at $30,000 in Kane County bond court, and his next court date is July 23.

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    Tri-Cities police reports
    Someone cut spark plug wires and brake lines on a 1997 Dodge Dakota on the 6N200 block of Willow Drive near St. Charles between 5 p.m. Sunday and 8 a.m. Monday, according to a sheriff’s report.

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    Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band will return to Cantigny Park Saturday for the ninth annual Rockin' for the Troops concert to benefit Operation Support Out Troops — America,

    Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band to perform Rockin' for the Troops in Wheaton

    Actor, director and musician Gary Sinise will return with his 12-piece Lt. Dan Band on Saturday, July 19, to Cantigny Park in Wheaton for the ninth annual Rockin' for the Troops concert. The annual concert is designed to thank veterans for their service and raise money for Operation Support Our Troops — America based in Lisle and Naperville.

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    Former Addison commodities clerk sentenced in fraud

    A former clerk at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange was sentenced to eight months in prison for a commodities fraud scheme that netted her more than $200,000. Nicole M. Graziano, 33, of Addison, was convicted after a four-day bench trial in March of manipulating trading to her benefit and the detriment of clients where she worked. She was also fined $212,000, according to court records.

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    Aspiring medical marijuana growers are making deals in cities across Illinois as they prepare to compete for a limited number of cultivation permits.

    Medical marijuana operation looks toward Normal

    Aspiring medical marijuana growers are making deals in cities across Illinois as they prepare to compete for a limited number of cultivation permits.

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    George Tapia

    Lake County men plead guilty to burglary spree in Lake Villa, Ingleside

    Two men accused of several residential burglaries in Ingleside and Lake Villa pleaded guilty in Lake County court this week. George Tapia, 25, of Round Lake Heights, was sentenced to six years in prison, and Daniel Ortiz, was sentenced to two years in prison.

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    Beer lovers can sample from more than 200 beers and hard ciders from breweries across the United States during the second annual Naperville Ale Fest.

    Microbrews get big exposure at Naperville Ale Fest

    The Naperville Ale Fest organizers expect 5,000 craft brew connoisseurs to visit the more than 100 beer tents Saturday atl Naper Settlement. “If you haven’t liked any beers here, you’re not trying hard enough,” organizer Josh Seago says.

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    Bartlett Police Chief Kent Williams

    Bartlett police want hearing officer to decide parking ticket, code violation cases

    If you want to challenge a Bartlett parking ticket, you could end up in front of a hearing officer instead of a Cook County judge. Police want the village appointee to handle those cases and other minor offenses. The move would help alleviate the caseload on Cook County courts, officials say. "It's better for the whole system," Police Chief Kent Williams said.

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    Authorities remove bodies from the Johnson Family Mortuary in east Fort Worth, Texas.

    No trauma on 8 decaying bodies at abandoned mortuary
    No signs of trauma or foul play were found on eight decaying bodies discovered at an abandoned funeral home in Fort Worth, Texas, officials said.Seven of the eight bodies found Tuesday at the Johnson Family Mortuary were in advanced stages of decomposition, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office said Wednesday. Authorities have said the business, owned by twin brothers Dondre and...

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    Kush is heading back home after spending time in quarantine following an attack on its central Florida owners that prompted a 911 call.

    Couple bringing crazed cat home after calling 911
    A cat is heading back home after spending time in quarantine following an attack on its central Florida owners that prompted a 911 call. Police says the Russian blue cat named Kush went berserk inside a DeLand home July 5, scratching owners Teresa and James Gregory on their arms and legs. The couple retreated to a bedroom and called 911.

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    Twins are born 12 hours apart on different days
    The Muldowney twins will share plenty of things in life, but the same birthday isn’t one of them. Tammy Muldowney gave birth to her first child, daughter Kennedy Clare, at around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo.

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    Trooper pleads guilty in theft from dying motorist

    A Connecticut state trooper has pleaded guilty to charges he stole cash and jewelry from a dying accident victim. The Connecticut Post reports 45-year-old Aaron Huntsman entered a guilty plea Wednesday to charges of larceny and tampering with evidence under the Alford Doctrine. That means he does not agree with the state’s case, but concedes there is enough evidence to secure his...

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    Latrez Cummings, left, stands with his attorney Robert Slameka in a Detroit court.

    Judge tells young Detroit man he needed a beating

    A judge has sentenced a young man to six months in jail for a mob attack on a Detroit-area motorist after telling the 19-year-old that his father should have “beat the hell” out of him to discourage him from committing crimes.

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    The aide New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has picked to be his next chief of staff is set to be the fifth person from his administration to appear before lawmakers investigating politically motivated traffic jams.

    5th Christie aide to be questioned on traffic jams
    The aide New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has picked to be his next chief of staff is set to be the fifth person from his administration to appear before lawmakers investigating politically motivated traffic jams. The aide, Regina Egea, is scheduled to appear Thursday before a joint legislative committee.

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    The tombstone display outside of the Wauconda Fire Department on Route 176 is intended to bring awareness to the Illinois Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 30.

    Traveling tombstones target drug abuse in suburbs

    If it were October, perhaps the 100 tombstones that transformed the Wauconda Fire Department yard into a mock cemetery would not look so unusual. The display is intended to bring awareness to the upcoming Illinois Overdose Awareness Day. A sign in the display says someone dies from a preventable drug overdose every 14 minutes.

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    Chicago City Council to be without a Cullerton

    For 111 of the last 143 years a Cullerton has served in the Chicago City Council. The Chicago Sun-Times reports Alderman Tim Cullerton has told colleagues he won’t run for re-election, nor will a family member replace him.

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    Indiana county to make money off of bad drivers

    A northwest Indiana county has agreed to sell court records to a data-mining company that plans to supply them to insurers who will use them to raise rates for bad drivers.

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    Paxton: If car can’t be driven it may be junk

    PAXTON — There may be a fine line between a potentially classic car that needs some work and a heap that needs to be hauled away. But in one Illinois town, the legal difference is now clear.

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    Local funeral homes offer pet cremation, burials
    Funeral homes in the St. Louis suburbs have announced they will begin offering services for pets. The (Alton) Telegraph is reporting that funeral homes in Alton and Bethalto both say they’re starting to offer families several options as to how to commemorate their beloved animals.

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    Ill. lawmakers debating investigation’s next steps

    Illinois lawmakers are set to continue debating how to proceed with their investigation of Gov. Pat Quinn’s now-defunct anti-violence program. The bipartisan Legislative Audit Commission is meeting Thursday in Chicago.

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    Feds sending more agents to fight Chicago violence

    Federal officials are sending seven more agents to Chicago to help fight violence in the city. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokesman Tom Ahern says that means there will now be 52 agents in Chicago. He says the agency wanted “to bring more resources to Chicago to combat some of the gun violence.”

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    Several Chicago ‘L’ riders robbed by armed men

    Chicago police say two armed men robbed several passengers on an “L” train to the Loop from Midway International Airport. Police spokesman Veejay Zala says the robberies occurred Wednesday afternoon as the Orange Line train traveled between the Halsted Street and Roosevelt Road stations southwest of the Loop. The men, who haven’t been arrested, took a variety of items from...

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    Quinn signs bill putting restrictions on CTA, RTA
    Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation barring members of major transit agencies from holding other government offices. The measure was sponsored by Democratic state Rep. Jack Franks of Marengo and Sen. Martin Sandoval of Cicero. It passed unanimously from both houses of the Legislature this spring.

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    Train passengers will face delays on Amtrak’s busy St. Louis to Chicago route as it undergoes upgrades this summer and fall.

    Track work causes delays from St. Louis to Chicago

    Train passengers will face delays on Amtrak’s busy St. Louis to Chicago route as it undergoes upgrades this summer and fall. The State Journal-Register reports that $1.5 billion worth of updates are expected to cause train delays of up to an hour. Track and signal work will allow trains to travel at up to 110 mph between St. Louis and Joliet by the end of 2015.

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    Motorists on the Illinois Tollway might one day be able to use a smartphone app to pay tolls automatically while driving. That’s one of the technologies the agency wants to play with at a test site it plans to set up on a section of the Tri-State Tollway.

    Illinois Tollway to test new tolling technology

    Motorists on the Illinois Tollway might one day be able to use a smartphone app to pay tolls automatically while driving. That’s one of the technologies the agency wants to play with at a test site it plans to set up on a section of the Tri-State Tollway.

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    Waste Management garbage trucks come and go from the Settlers Hill landfill in Geneva. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency says the state’s municipal landfills have a combined life expectancy of 21 years.

    EPA: Illinois has 21 years of landfill capacity

    The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency says the state’s municipal landfills have a combined life expectancy of 21 years. The agency released its annual report on landfill capacity on Wednesday, based on 2013 statistics. It says 42 landfills reported receiving more than 45 million cubic yards of waste and had more than 947 million cubic yards of capacity remaining.

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    Josh King, 11, mixes sugar and butter during a Harper College summer culinary class. His cookies will wrap up a lunch for homeless families Thursday.

    Kids in Harper class cook for homeless families

    Harper College teacher Pieranna Fanella handed her students a special assignment: prepare fresh dishes for homeless families at Journeys-The Road Home in Palatine. By Wednesday afternoon, kids in the summer course filled four shelves in a walk-in refrigerator. "I'm really proud of them," their beaming teacher said.

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    Rhett Taylor

    Grayslake police to cover Hainesville 6 more years

    Grayslake trustees have approved their end of a deal to provide police coverage to a neighboring town until August 2021. Village board members Tuesday voted for the six-year contract extension with Hainesville. "If our neighbors are safer, Grayslake is safer,” Grayslake Mayor Rhett Taylor said.

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    Dawn Patrol: Escapee charged; Mt. Prospect OKs center expansion

    Escapee from mental health center caught. Mount Prospect shopping center expansion approved. Social media convention goes awry. Kids play one sport these days. Aurora police: 2 men in custody after being on the run. Aurora man convicted 7th time for burglary. Toews, Kane a dynamic duo.

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    The 15th annual Wheaton Band Festival runs Friday and Saturday, July 18-19, in Memorial Park. Performers include the Nite Hawks and Swing Low Sweet Cadillac.

    Wheaton orchestrates 15th annual band festival

    The 15th annual Wheaton Band Fest, a free music program, showcases five bands in Wheaton’s Memorial Park in performances Friday and Saturday, July 18 and 19.

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    Courtesy Illinois State Toll Highway Authority A new test site on the Tri-State Tollway will give the latest technology and equipment a dry run in real-life conditions.

    Test could pave way to paying tolls with smartphone

    This is only a test. That's what the Illinois tollway wants drivers to understand when new overhead gantries go up this year near the Touhy Toll Plaza. The test site will let the agency try out cameras and technology such as talking transponders.

Sports

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    Third baseman Kris Bryant, who was promoted to Triple A with the Iowa Cubs, says he’s focused on the present and not worried about whether he’ll be called up to play at Wrigley in September.

    Cubs prospects Bryant, Baez focus on the present

    Marty Pevey, manager of the Class AAA Iowa Cubs, understands the task at hand with top prospects Javier Baez and Kris Bryant. “My job is to not mess them up — just let them play and let them do their thing,” he said. Of course, there are still a few things to work on, but Joe Aguilar caught up with the Cubs draft picks and their Iowa teammates to talk about their progress.

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    Batavia shortstop Sean Townsend tags out Chrystal Lake’s Cam Geisser in a rundown between third base and home in the championship of the St. Charles East regional.

    Siesennop pitches CL South past Batavia

    With Batavia hoping to see a few more fastballs Thursday in the championship game of the St. Charles East regional in the IHSBCA summer state tournament, Crystal Lake South starter Timmy Siesennop had other ideas.

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    Boomers rally for 7-6 win over Rockford

    The Schaumburg Boomers overcame a 5-run deficit to notch a 7-6 victory over the host Rockford Aviators in the second-half opener Thursday night.

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    Cougars win 3-0 in 10 innings

    The Kane County Cougars snapped a scoreless tie with 3 runs in the 10th inning en route to a 3-0 triumph over the Lansing Lugnuts in Midwest League action at Cooley Law School Stadium in Lansing on Thursday night.

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    Nazareth surpasses Willowbrook

    As the innings clicked by, so did Willowbrook’s missed opportunities. Nazareth’s baseball team ultimately took advantage by pulling away to Thursday’s 7-2 victory over the Warriors at the Fenwick regional final in the IHSBCA summer state tournament in River Forest.

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    Cavaiani’s clutch hit propels Prospect

    Jake Cavaiani delivered Prospect into the summer league baseball state finals Thursday. Cavaiani hit a bases-loaded single to left in the bottom the eighth to score Ryan Molini, helping lift the Knights past St. Viator 7-6 in the sectional final at Lake Park in Roselle.

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    Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, left, and Patrick Kane talk with John McDonough and Rocky Wirtz after their news conference Wednesday at the United Center.

    Spellman’s Scorecard: Hawks’ party of five second to none

    From top to bottom, the Blackhawks got it going on as Wednesday's press conference proved.

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    Ozzie Guillen could be a better manager the second time around in Chicago, but Mike North doesn’t believe he’ll ever get the chance to prove it.

    Don’t expect Ozzie Guillen to get his wish

    While Ozzie Guillen expressed interest in returning to the Chicago White Sox some day, Mike North thinks the chances for that happening are pretty slim.

  •  
    Ray Knoll of Naperville won the 84th Illinois State Amateur championship in a four-hole playoff Thursday at Catigny in Wheaton.

    Knoll outlasts Hardy in 4-hole playoff

    The reign of college players continued in the 84th Illinois State Amateur on Thursday — but this time it took a four-hole playoff to decide the champion. Deer Park’s Chadd Slutzky, a 36-year old financial trader, took a 2-shot lead into the 36-hole finale of the tournament at Cantigny, in Wheaton.

  •  
    White Sox starting pitcher John Danks, talking to catcher Tyler Flowers, could be an attractive commodity for a team looking for a left-hander.

    Three most likely White Sox candidates to be dealt

    As the White Sox prepare to open the second half of the season Friday night vs. the Houston Astros, beat writer Scot Gregor says second baseman Gordon Beckham, starting pitcher John Danks and outfielder Dayan Viciedo are all trade candidates as the July 31 nonwaiver deadline approaches.

  •  
    Cubs prospect Javier Baez, right, is greeted by third base coach Omar Malave, left, after hitting a two-run home run for the Worlds in the sixth inning of the All-Star Futures baseball game against the United States, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    Cubs will play big role in NL Central

    Believe it or not, the Cubs will be a factor in the Natrional League Central race in the unofficial second half of the season. No, they won't win it, but they do have many games left against the other four teams, who are bunched coming out of the all-star break.

  •  

    Slumping Sky falls to Fever 82-64

    Tamika Catchings scored 25 points, and Briann January added 14 as the Indiana Fever sent the Chicago Sky to their sixth straight loss, 82-64 on Thursday night.Indiana (11-12) took control with an early 17-2 run. The Fever trailed by four with 21.5 seconds left in the first period, but Krystal Thomas hit a jumper, and Layshia Clarendon made a buzzer-beating reverse layup to tie it 21-21. Allie Quigley had 17 points to lead Chicago (8-13), which has dropped 13 of 16. Sylvia Fowels had 15 points — all in the first half — and 11 rebounds.

  •  

    Sox giving former Yankee pitcher Wang a tryout

    In their continuing pursuit to find a right-handed starting pitcher at a bargain basement price, the White Sox signed Chien-Ming Wang and assigned the former Yankees ace to Class AAA Charlotte.

  •  

    Sky’s Delle Donne to miss All-Star game

    The Sky’s Elena Delle Donne will miss the WNBA All-Star game while she’s treated for Lyme disease.The team announced Wednesday that Washington Mystics player Ivory Latta will replace Delle Donne for the Eastern Conference. The game will be Saturday in Phoenix.Delle Donne was the 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year. She’s been sidelined to be treated for a flare up of Lyme disease since last month.

  •  
    Former Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer (5) will play for the Los Angeles Lakers next season, according to several reports.

    Report: Boozer to join L.A. Lakers

    Carlos Boozer has landed with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to multiple reports. The Bulls used the amnesty provision on the burly power forward Tuesday. By using the amnesty rule, the Bulls released Boozer and are still liable for his $16.8 million salary this season, but it won’t count toward the salary cap or luxury tax.

  •  

    Illini add former Maryland assistant Brattan

    Illinois has hired former Maryland offensive line coach Tom Brattan to fill the same role for the Illini.Brattan replaces A.J. Ricker who left earlier this month to coach the offensive line at Missouri.

  •  
    Tiger Woods watches his shot off the 2nd tee Thursday during the first round of the British Open at the Royal Liverpool golf club.

    McIlroy and Woods deliver at British Open

    Rory McIlroy had everything go his way Thursday in the British Open. A lovely summer day in England with abundant sunshine and minimal wind allowed him to attack Royal Liverpool. He made half his six birdies on the par 5s and kept bogeys off his card. And on the day Tiger Woods made a promising return, McIlroy took the lead with a 6-under 66, his best score in nearly two years at a major.

  •  

    Kristufek’s Arlington selections for July 18

    Joe Kristufek's selections for July 18 racing at Arlington International.

  •  
    Stephen Johns

    Johns hoping to make impact at Hawks camp

    If there can actually be a veteran at Blackhawks Prospects Camp, defenseman Stephen Johns would have to be considered one, what with this being his fifth time around.

  •  
    Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, talks to Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez, wearing the best climber’s dotted jersey, as they wait Thursday with France’s Romain Bardet, wearing the best young rider’s white jersey, for the start of the twelfth stage of the Tour de France.

    Nibali defends yellow jersey on 12th stage of Tour

    BOURG-EN-BRESSE, France — Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali has a firm grip on the yellow jersey as the 12th stage of the Tour de France gets underway.Nibali holds a lead of 2 minutes, 23 seconds over Australian rider Richie Porte and 2:47 over Spaniard Alejandro Valverde heading into Thursday’s 185.5-kilometer (115.5-mile) trek from Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Etienne in southeastern France — a mostly flat route which favors sprinters.American rider Andrew Talansky did not take the start line Thursday after pulling out in the morning. He rode for several hours with excruciating back pain in Wednesday’s 11th stage, where he finished in last place.Nibali is looking to become the first Italian rider to win the showcase race since the late Marco Pantani in 1998.

  •  

    Mike North video: Second half baseball preview
    It’s good we have some individuals to watch in baseball like the White Sox’ Chris Sale and Jose Abreu and the Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro, but Mike North doesn’t think their respective teams have very good futures.

  •  
    New Orleans Saints Saintsation Kriste Lewis performs at the NFL football team’s training facility in Metairie, La.

    Mother of 2 makes NFL cheerleading squad at age 40
    She hadn’t done splits and high kicks since her cheerleading days in high school, but 40-year-old dance instructor Kriste Lewis set a lofty goal — to try out for the New Orleans Saints cheerleading squad, known as the Saintsations.Faced with competition from women most of whom were half her age, Lewis never thought she’d make the team — and then, she did. “I wanted to set a goal for myself, and the audition was a specific date that required specific training, so my goal was just to make it to the audition,”

Business

  •  
    Arthur J. Gallagher and Rolling Meadows are working out a deal that will bring the company back to this building.

    Gallagher could get $30 million for Rolling Meadows move

    Insurance broker Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. will get up to $30 million from a tax increment financing district that lasts 15 years rather than the standard 23, but other details of the company's planned move back to Rolling Meadows remain under negotiation.

  •  
    With federal transportation funding about to run dry, President Barack Obama is taking new steps to boost the flow of private dollars into public works projects.

    Obama pushes transportation money at closed bridge

    President Barack Obama announced a new program Thursday to attract more private money to help pay to build new roads and bridges as he criticized Congress for refusing to approve a more lasting source of funding. The new program is designed to encourage collaboration between state and local governments and private-sector investors, expand the market for public-private partnerships and make greater use of federal credit programs.

  •  
    UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s campus in Minnetonka, Minn., is seen here. The nation’s largest health insurer expects to play a much bigger role in the health care overhaul next year, as the federal law shifts from raising giant questions for the sector to offering growth opportunities.

    Largest U.S. insurer’s move signals industry shift

    The nation’s largest health insurer expects to play a much bigger role in the health care overhaul next year, as the federal law shifts from raising giant questions for the sector to offering growth opportunities. UnitedHealth Group said Thursday that it will participate in as many as 24 of the law’s individual health insurance exchanges in 2015, up from only four this year.

  •  
    Stocks finished sharply lower Thursday as investors worried about an escalation of tensions between Russia and the West following the downing of a passenger plane in eastern Ukraine.

    Jet downing, weak earnings rattle stock market

    The downing of a passenger plane flying over Ukraine rattled U.S. financial markets Thursday, deepening a slide set off by a batch of disappointing company earnings and a weak home construction report. All three major stock indexes ended lower for the first time in a week, but remained near record highs and positive for the year.

  •  
    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said layoffs announced Thursday were needed for the company to “become more agile and move faster.”

    Microsoft CEO pivots sharply with 18,000 job cut

    Microsoft announced the biggest layoffs in its 39-year history Thursday, outlining plans to cut 18,000 jobs in a move that marked the CEO’s sharpest pivot yet away from his predecessor’s drive for the company to make its own devices.

  •  
    Former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.

    Justice Dept: Missing emails now part of IRS probe

    A Justice Department investigation into the Internal Revenue Service is expanding to include an inquiry into the disappearance of emails from a former senior IRS official. Deputy Attorney General James Cole is updating Congress on Thursday about the department’s investigation into whether the agency targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

  •  

    Hong Kong Aviation to purchase $7.7 billion of Airbus aircraft

    Hong Kong Aviation Capital Co., the lessor whose shareholders include China’ HNA Group, signed an order for 70 Airbus Group NV single-aisle planes worth $7.7 billion in list prices amid a travel boom across Asia.

  •  
    UnitedHealth Group says its second-quarter earnings slipped 2 percent on a rise in taxes and other expenses, but the nation’s largest health insurer still trumped analyst expectations.

    UnitedHealth’s second quarter profit slips 2 percent

    UnitedHealth Group says its second-quarter earnings slipped 2 percent on a rise in taxes and other expenses, but the nation’s largest health insurer still trumped analyst expectations.

  •  
    The share of young adults living with parents or other family members in the U.S. continues to grow in the aftermath of the most severe recession in the post- World War II era.

    Recession sparked increase in multigenerational living

    The share of young adults living with parents or other family members in the U.S. continues to grow in the aftermath of the most severe recession in the post- World War II era. A record 57 million Americans, or 18.1 percent of the population, lived in a multigenerational household in 2012, a report released today by the Pew Research Center in Washington showed. Almost one in four 25- to 34-year-olds had such living arrangements, and young men in particular were more likely to reside with their families.

  •  
    A 75,000-square-foot building that includes a restaurant, sports bar and hotel at the corner of Higgins and Mannheim roads in Rosemont has been sold at auction for $8 million.

    Development efforts continue at Rosemont intersection

    Some economic development efforts are underway while others have stalled near a key intersection in Rosemont. Here's an update on what's happening at three key locations within a newly established tax increment financing district.

Life & Entertainment

  •  
    Merry wives Lydia Berger Gray, left, and Patrice Egleston turn the tables on the rascal Sir John Falstaff (Brian McCartney) in First Folio Theatre's production of William Shakespeare's “The Merry Wives of Windsor.”

    Top-notch cast delights in First Folio's 'Merry Wives'

    How entertaining is First Folio Theatre's production of William Shakespeare's “The Merry Wives of Windsor”? So entertaining that intermittent opening night showers couldn't dislodge audience members from their soggy seats on the grounds of the Mayslake Peabody Estate, home to First Folio's annual summer Shakespeare production for the last 17 years.

  •  
    Liz (Kiele Sanchez) and husband Shane (Zach Gilford) try to survive the night in “The Purge: Anarchy.”

    Violence trumps all in clumsy ‘Purge: Anarchy’

    “The Purge: Anarchy” takes place in 2023, one year after “The Purge,” a violent thriller that imagined an America so beset by crime that the government has instituted an annual holiday from law and order. Over the course of 12 therapeutic hours, “purgers” are allowed to rape, murder and pillage with impunity. The sequel takes the idea further, positing the ritualized violence as a manifestation of class warfares. But some of the have-nots are fighting back, including a young couple played by Zach Gilford and Kiele Sanchez of Carol Stream.

  •  
    Actress Elaine Stritch died Thursday at her home in Birmingham, Mich. She was 89.

    Elaine Stritch, brash stage legend, dies at 89

    Elaine Stritch, the brash theater performer whose gravelly, gin-laced voice and impeccable comic timing made her a Broadway legend, has died. She was 89. Although Stritch appeared in movies and on television, garnering three Emmys and finding new fans as Alec Baldwin's unforgiving mother on “30 Rock,” she was best known for her stage work, particularly in her candid one-woman memoir, “Elaine Stritch: At Liberty,” and in the Stephen Sondheim musical “Company.”

  •  
    A plan by Annie (Cameron Diaz, left) and Jay (Jason Segel) to spice up their marriage goes awry in “Sex Tape.”

    'Sex Tape' far from a screwball comedy classic

    A married couple's attempt to reawaken their love life goes badly awry in "Sex Tape," a raunchy tale trapped in a PG plot. Even the always-game Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal can't save this tired romp, a low point in a line of sex comedies since Judd Apatow's landmark film “The 40-Year-Old Virgin.”

  •  
    Gary Sinise and the LT. Dan Band will headline Saturday’s Rockin’ for the Troops event at Cantigny Park in Wheaton. The group has played hundreds of shows both in the U.S. and abroad to support American soldiers and veterans.

    Sinise returns to headline Rockin’ for the Troops at Cantigny

    When actor and musician Gary Sinise was deciding what to name his touring USO band, he turned to what many consider his most iconic character: Lt. Dan Taylor from the 1994 film “Forrest Gump.” “Lt. Dan at the end of the movie is standing up and moving on with his life,” said Sinise. “And I think many of the veterans I’ve worked with can relate to that-putting their combat experience behind them and moving forward.” Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band will headline the 13th annual Rockin’ for the Troops event Saturday, July 19, in Cantigny Park.

  •  
    Windlifter the helicopter (Wes Studi) takes over as boss of the rescue team in “Planes: Fire & Rescue.”

    Visually splendid 'Planes' sequel takes dramatic dive

    It takes two-thirds into the leisurely paced “Planes: Fire & Rescue” for Walt Disney's animated comedy to catch a narrative tail wind and soar into a visually explosive parody of Irwin Allen disaster movies. (Mostly “Fire!” and “The Poseidon Adventure.”) But before we get to the good stuff, “Planes” does a lot of gliding on conventions and clichés without an engine to push it up and onward.

  •  
    Director/cowriter Zach Braff said that his Kickstarter campaign to fund his movie “Wish I Was Here” forced him to honor 47,000 promises.

    5 questions with actor/director Zach Braff

    Dann interviews Zach Braff about his second film “Wish I Was Here,” kickstarted by 47,000 contributors. “You have to do right by 47,000 people instead of just one person,” Braff said. “Plus, you've got to fulfill 47,000 individual promises. One person gets a free screening in Chicago. Another person you said you'd propose their wedding for them. It's an extraordinary amount of work to do.”

  •  
    Doing a visual album has paid off for Beyonce: She’s the leading nominee at the MTV Video Music Awards.

    Beyonce leads MTV Video Music Awards with 8 nods

    Doing a visual album has paid off for Beyonce: She’s the leading nominee at the MTV Video Music Awards. MTV announced Thursday that Beyonce is up for eight moonman trophies, including video of the year for “Drunk in Love.” Pharrell is the only male nominated for the top prize. Along with Beyonce, his “Happy” will compete with Azalea’s “Fancy,” Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” and Sia’s “Chandelier” for video of the year.

  •  
    Want a win a blue ribbon at the local fair? Keep ingredients from competing with each other. Annie Overboe’s Blue Ribbon Cookies are one example of a winning recipe.

    Blue Ribbon Fair Cookies
    Practice Annie Overboe's Blue Ribbon Fair Cookies before you create your own winning recipe.

  •  
    Want a win a blue ribbon at the local fair? Keep ingredients from competing with each other. Annie Overboe's Blue Ribbon Cookies are one example of a winning recipe.

    Baking secrets: Don't overcomplicate competition cookies

    What does it take to win that elusive blue ribbon? What makes one entry catch the judges' eye and tantalizes their taste buds? Today's recipe for Blue Ribbon Fair Cookies provides a great opportunity to learn a few of the secrets.

  •  
    First lady Michelle Obama hugs Janelle Monae, a Grammy Award-nominated singer after delivering remarks at the Grammy Museum’s Jane Ortner Education Award Luncheon in Los Angeles Wednesday, July, 16, 2014. The first lady says every arts organization in the country should embrace the mission of the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, which focuses on education.

    First lady salutes Grammy Museum, music teachers

    Michelle Obama says every arts organization in the country should embrace the mission of the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, which focuses on education. Six million American children attend schools with no art or music classes, she said Wednesday at the museum’s inaugural Jane Ortner Education Award Luncheon. “Arts are a way to channel ... pain and frustration into something meaningful and productive and beautiful, and every human being needs that, particularly our kids,” she said.

  •  
    Bebel Gilberto, daughter of bossa nova giant Joao Gilberto, will perform at the fourth annual Brasil Summerfest in New York. Nearly 20 acts representing a cross section of Brazilian popular music will play at venues across the city.

    Brazilian music invades New York

    The Brazilians are coming. Over nine days starting on July 17, some 20 acts representing a cross section of Brazilian popular music will descend upon New York playing at venues across the city for the fourth annual Brasil Summerfest. The ensuing party may do little to avenge the country’s spectacular World Cup flameout, but at the very least it will serve to show that Brazil has more than just soccer: They still have their samba.

  •  
    Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert ribbed New York Mayor Bill de Blasio about his planned trip to Italy during a possible commuter rail strike.

    Colbert ribs NY mayor about planned Italy trip

    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has taken a ribbing from Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert about his planned trip to Italy during a possible commuter rail strike.

  •  
    Andy Samberg wants ousted “Saturday Night Live” cast members to know there is life after the comedy show. Noël Wells and John Milhiser and Books Wheelan have all been let go from the sketch comedy series. Talking to journalists Wednesday Samberg said, “If you were hired ... there’s something good going on with you so whether or not the timings right doesn’t mean you’re not gonna go on to great things.”

    Samberg has advice for anyone fired from ‘SNL’

    Andy Samberg wants ousted “Saturday Night Live” cast members to know there is life after the comedy show: “If you were hired ... there’s something good going on with you.”

  •  
    Matt Sandusky, the adopted son of former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, airing on OWN on Thursday, July 17.

    Jerry Sandusky son discusses alleged sexual abuse with Oprah

    An adopted son of convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky is providing details of the alleged sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of his father. Matt Sandusky, who was initially a foster child of the Sanduskys, tells Oprah Winfrey in a TV show airing Thursday night that his overnight visits with the family as a child were good “except for one part, bedtime.”

  •  
    John McEnroe and his son Kevin. The son of the former tennis great and actress Tatum O’Neal has been charged with drug possession.

    McEnroe’s son charged with drug possession

    The son of former tennis great John McEnroe and actress Tatum O’Neal has been charged with drug possession.

  •  

    'Last Sentence' should be inspiring, not dry

    Jan Troell's lackluster black-and-white drama “The Last Sentence” tells the true story of a great and strong-principled Swedish newspaper man who campaigned against the rising Nazis while his countrymen and political leaders followed a disastrous policy of appeasement.

  •  
    A Jewish dad (Mandy Patinkin) has a heart-to-heart with his immature son (Zach Braff) in “Wish I Was Here.”

    'Wish I Was Here' never reaches high potential

    The good will, sincerity and insightfulness that marked Zach Braff's 2004 smart directorial debut “Garden State” come up short in his long-awaited follow-up, “Wish I Was Here,” a generically broad and vaguely life-affirming film that constantly veers into sitcom territory even as Braff struggles to steer it to a higher level.

  •  
    Everyone should have a designated “launching pad,” professional organizers say, where everything that goes in and out of the house is kept. Students who spend 20 minutes searching for something, don’t have much energy left for getting things done, says Leslie Josel, an organizer and coach from New York who specializes in helping disorganized students.

    Back-to-school help from professional organizers

    Success in school often depends on how well a student manages to organize everything from demanding schoolwork to a dizzying array of after-school activities to technological distractions. That’s a lot to ask of a child, or even of busy parents. For those with disposable income, a new breed of experts is stepping in to help: professional organizers for kids.

  •  
    Red-rooted pigweedis often eaten as a “summer spinach.”

    Tricks for bringing up summer spinach

    Popeye ain’t the only bloke who’s gotta have spinach. Some gardeners also crave it, freshly picked. This isn’t spinach season, though. Spinach is sensitive to cycles of night and day, and summer’s short nights induce the plants to send up flower stalks, set seed and then die, instead of growing the succulent, broad leaves they do in spring and fall. Hot weather also plays a role in inducing flower stalks.

  •  
    Recent surges in the use of e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco raised questions about those products on pets. The greatest danger is the trash, if dogs find discarded tobacco or nicotine cartridges from e-cigarettes.

    Secondhand smoke as harmful to pets as people

    Ten years ago, Shirley Worthington rushed Tigger to the vet when the dog’s mouth started bleeding. When she was told he had cancer, she knew to blame her heavy smoking, an addiction she couldn’t kick until after her pet died. Secondhand smoke can cause lung and nasal cancer in dogs, malignant lymphoma in cats and allergy and respiratory problems in both animals, according to studies done at Tufts University’s School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts, Colorado State University and other schools.

  •  
    The opening scene in Richard Linklater's drama “Boyhood” is young Mason (Ellar Coltrane) at age 6.

    'Boyhood' a different kind of cinematic epic

    If you approach Richard Linklater's bold cinematic experiment “Boyhood” with the proper frame of mind, you will walk out of it having experienced an epic journey, one every bit as rich and moving as the entire “Harry Potter” series, except in one installment and without the wizards, goblins, ghosts and fire-breathing dragons. “Boyhood” has a dragon or two, but they are of the human variety.

  •  
    Co-Creator/Executive Producer Tim Kring, with actors Anne Heche, and Jason Isaacs of “Dig.”

    Producer says filming in Jerusalem ‘exhilarating’

    “Dig” will arrive this fall on USA as a six-episode thriller set in Jerusalem, starring Jason Isaacs as an FBI agent and Anne Heche as head of the local FBI office. The pilot episode was filmed on location, an experience that executive producer Tim Kring called “absolutely exhilarating.” But recent real-world turmoil has raised serious questions about whether “Dig” filming can return to Jerusalem.

  •  
    “Days of Rage,” by Brad Taylor

    ‘Days of Rage’ is fast-paced thriller

    The world of Special Ops seems to be a new trend in publishing, but author Brad Taylor, a former Delta Force operative, knows how to unveil the behind-the-scenes action.

  •  
    Katherine Heigl stars on the new NBC fall series “State of Affairs,” playing a CIA attache who informs the president on high-level incidents around the world.

    Katherine Heigl returns to TV with new NBC series

    Katherine Heigl is returning to television, with her mother in tow. She stars on the new fall series “State of Affairs,” playing a CIA attache. Heigl’s mother, Nancy, is serving as an executive producer on the NBC series debuting in November.

  •  
    Kate Walsh stars in the upcoming NBC sitcom “Bad Judge.”

    Kate Walsh is ready for good times as ‘Bad Judge’

    Played by Kate Walsh on the upcoming NBC sitcom “Bad Judge,” Judge Rebecca Wright is a clear break from the cool, polished Dr. Addison Montgomery she played for eight seasons on “Grey’s Anatomy” and its spinoff, “Private Practice.”

Discuss

  •  
    Riverside Plaza development in Algonquin was one of several throughout the suburbs that had to adapt to changing market conditions in order to survive.

    Editorial: Keep an open mind about building changes

    A Daily Herald editorial suggests that when a housing project that was interrupted by implosion of the market six years ago comes back online, one should be open to the idea that it probably will have a different look.

  •  

    Display pages keep art in the joy of newspaper reading

    Columnist Jim Slusher: What caught my attention was the headline for Wednesday's Food section: SIPPING AWAY ... SUMMER DAYS ... and the pleasant, break-a-few-rules design.

  •  

    It’s who they are, not what they say

    Columnist Catherine Rampell: Talons drawn, the media have descended upon Chelsea Clinton. Again. This time the attacks are over how much money she makes — for her network television fluff pieces and well-attended gigs on the lecture circuit — despite her stick-thin resume.

  •  

    Hobby Lobby decision is about respecting rights
    A Wauconda letter to the editor: I was very pleased to see the “In God we Trust” advertisement in this paper on July 4th sponsored by Hobby Lobby.

  •  

    We need true patriots running government
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: Ever wonder why regardless of who is president we continue the same anti-American policies that chip away at our civil liberties, wealth and freedom? Take for example Bush the younger. Among other things, he promised us no wars, no nation building, smaller government and a strong economy. None of these things ever happened.

  •  

    Professional help needed for bullies, too
    A Streamwood letter to the editor: As a child in the 1960s, I was constantly and viciously bullied in grade school, middle school, early high school, and at church. There was some sexual molestation. When I sought help from adults, I was only told that bullies are cowards and that I needed to handle my own problems.

  •  

    Everyone should get a pass like the IRS
    A Northbrook letter to the editor: Dear IRS Commissioner Koskinen, I noted in your recent testimony provided during congressional hearings that you were questioned about missing emails involving Lois Lerner who is currently under suspicion for having directed the targeting of political groups opposed to the Obama administration.

  •  

    Good U-46 decision on charter school
    A South Elgin letter to the editor: This letter is in response to Richard Francke’s letter of July 5. Mr. Francke, along with me and other taxpayers in the U-46 district, are always concerned how our tax dollars are being spent, but I am confused as to why he opposes the decision of the U-46 Charter School Evaluation Committee.

  •  

    New type of immigration cycle
    A Bloomingdale letter to the editor: A reader from Bartlett on July 11 voiced his opinion that we should be mindful that Americans are mostly the product of immigrants and we therefore should freely grant that same privilege to present day immigrants if they meet the criteria of experience, job skills and embrace English as their new lingua franca.

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