Daily Archive : Sunday March 19, 2017

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    Correction: Flint Water story

    Correction: Flint Water story

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    FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 31, 2016, file photo an Iranian farm worker harvests saffron flowers just outside the city of Torbat Heydariyeh, Iran. University of Vermont researchers have been raising the exotic spice now grown primarily in Iran and are encouraging growers to tap into what they hope will be a cash crop. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)

    Saffron growers look to get a foothold in the US

    Some U.S. farmers have visions of producing saffron, the world's most valuable spice

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    Big box stores gird for battle with Wisconsin cities

    A battle pitting big-box retail giants including Menards and Wal-Mart against Wisconsin towns and cities is headed to the Legislature

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    If the idea of chasing credit card rewards as a pastime doesn’t appeal to you, using just one credit card is a reasonable choice.

    The benefits of using just one credit card (and how to choose it)

    If the idea of chasing credit card rewards as a pastime doesn’t appeal to you, using just one credit card is a reasonable choice. Here are the benefits of carrying only one card, and how to choose it wisely.

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    Finding new people, especially for a small business, is a long process. A new study shows that companies only offer invites for an initial conversation to 17 percent of all candidates.

    Study: You need 86 applicants to hire that one right person

    Finding the right employee is not easy and a new study proves why. According to research by recruiting software service Lever, a typical small business employing fewer than 200 people needs to go through an average of 86 applications to find that one right person for the job.

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    In the short term, getting help from parents with a cellphone bill or car payment might take the pressure off as your post-college life takes shape. But you won’t get the chance to build crucial budgeting and accountability muscles.

    Pros, cons of accepting money from your parents post-college

    Q: My parents helped me pay for college, but now I’m out on my own and they’re still supporting me. Should I keep accepting money from them?

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    If you can successfully argue that your house isn’t worth as much as the government says it is, you can save a bundle of money on your property taxes.

    How to appeal your property tax assessment, save money

    Forget about keeping up with the Joneses. This time of year you want your house to be as crummy as possible. Why? Because it’s property tax assessment time, which means it’s also assessment appeal time. And if you can successfully argue that your house isn’t worth as much as the government says it is, you can save a bundle of money on your property taxes.

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    The pitch is tempting: Use your refund as a down payment to replace your old, unreliable car — regardless of how bad (or nonexistent) your credit may be. Unfortunately, you may be replacing one junker with another, and not for long.

    Beware of predators who want a piece of your tax refund

    People who don’t have much money during the rest of the year can become big targets during tax refund season. For those living paycheck to paycheck, tax refunds — which average around $3,000 — may be the largest chunk of unobligated cash they see all year. Retailers hope to get some of that money, but so do debt collectors, buy-here-pay-here car lots and purveyors of interest-free loans that come with fat fees. People flush with cash need to proceed with caution.

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    President Donald Trump speaks at the American Center of Mobility, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in Ypsilanti Township, Mich.

    Tips for defusing heated political debates in the workplace

    Remember the good old days when you could log onto Facebook or have a conversation at the office water cooler without engaging in a political debate? There have been any number of reports lately about these debates creeping into the workplace and proving to be a major distraction and a drag on employee productivity.

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    “Buddy punching” — clocking out a work friend at the end of the day when he left earlier — is common. It may sound like a goofy teen pastime, but here are a few professional reasons to be bothered by it.

    Why you shouldn’t clock out for a colleague

    “Buddy punching” — clocking out a work friend at the end of the day when he left earlier — is common. It may sound like a goofy teen pastime, but here are a few professional reasons to be bothered by it.

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    Though a new study shows that more companies are paying women who go on parental leave, the percentage of employers offering workers 100 percent of their regular pay during leave has actually dropped,

    Cushy parental leave policies don’t tell America’s story

    Many companies have been noisily publicizing their cushy parental leave policies in recent years, telling the world they’re bestowing workers with an increasingly generous length of time to take off and bond with their newborns. But while the headlines may be making a splash, the more generous policies aren’t making much of a dent in the overall numbers.

Life & Entertainment

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    Julia, a new autistic character, debuts on the 47th Season of "Sesame Street" on April 10 on both PBS and HBO.

    A Muppet with autism to be welcomed soon on 'Sesame Street'

    Folks on Sesame Street have a way of making everyone feel accepted, and that certainly goes for Julia, a Muppet youngster with blazing red hair, bright green eyes -- and autism.

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    The frilled dragon will be part of Brookfield Zoo's “Dinos & Dragons” exhibit, which runs from May 6 through Sept. 17.

    9 new things to check out this spring in the city, suburbs

    Brookfield Zoo's “Dinos & Dragons,” a new Great America Joker ride and the local premiere of “Aladdin” are among the attractions opening this spring in Chicago and the suburbs.

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    "Beauty and the Beast" earned $170 million in its first weekend.

    'Beauty and the Beast' roars with monstrous $170M debut

    Disney's live-action "Beauty" was a beast at the box office, where it opened with an estimated $170 million in North American ticket sales, setting a new high mark for family movies.

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    Fittest Loser contestant James DeBouver, who served in the Army, builds strength with trainer Steve Amsden.

    Fittest Loser contestants learn how to work out

    Working out the wrong way can cause imbalances and even injuries. So Push Fitness owner Josh Steckler and his trainers are careful to tailor the workouts to the needs of the four Fittest Loser contestants.

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    Kim Laper, left, and Andrea Blake of Team Elk Strong from the Elk Grove Park District. Every member except for one came down with sickness but Kim and Andrea found time to hit up the gym.

    At Work teams not afraid to try new things

    From spin classes to kickboxing, no one can stop the Fittest Loser At Work teams from exercising to drop the pounds.

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    Correspondent Dave Gathman of Elgin, middle, gets some cooking tips from members of the Food Revolution Club at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. Gathman is finding the dietary changes in Fittest Loser particularly challenging.

    Turning a lifestyle upside-down

    Correspondent Dave Gathman has found the nutritional part of the Fittest Loser program a high mountain to climb.

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    Dennis Gonio of Algonquin and team Emkay of Itasca work out at Push Fitness boot camp.

    Sweating at boot camp

    Push Fitness in Schaumburg hosted a boot camp for members of the Fittest Loser At Work Challenge.

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    The Chicago Tattoo Arts Convention returns to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont Friday through Sunday, March 17-19.

    Sunday picks: Body art abounds at Tattoo Arts convention in Rosemont

    Get a load of the body art on display at the 8th Annual Chicago Tattoo Arts Convention in Rosemont. More on this and other fun events.

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    Baumritter Factory was located in Vermont.

    Circa-1940 desk is Art Deco

    Q. This is a picture of a desk and chair that we inherited. On the bottom of the desk is a tag with the words “Baumritter — New York.” We also have the receipt that tells us it was purchased in October 1940.

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    Danny Rand (Finn Jones) struggles to adjust to a new reality back home in New York after training in the mystical world of K’un-Lun.

    ‘Iron Fist’ packs a punch that occasionally misses

    In Marvel/Netflix’s “Iron Fist,” if Danny Rand (Finn Jones) is distracted, by his own doing or by others, he loses his focus and the ability to channel the ultimate weapon. It’s kind of like the experience you’ll have watching “Iron Fist.” You want to enjoy it, but it’s with the controversy that has surrounded it since Jones was cast as Danny Rand.

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    This built-in cabinet solution for a shared bedroom offers two desks for homework and plenty of shelves for books and other items.

    Make order part of home aesthetic

    Junk is the enemy of beauty. If your spaces are crammed full of clutter, they will look awful. It won’t make a shred of difference that you’ve found perfect furniture or art that speaks to you. No guest will walk in and think: “Wow! This is a great room, and I want to be here.” In fact, quite the opposite will happen.

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    Our generation should build with better and time-tested materials to ensure our architecture outlives us, Joseph Pubillones says.

    Design remains steadfast during a home’s life cycle

    The lasting beauty of a house resides, in large part, in the expressiveness of its materials. The honesty of its textures and its natural imperfections are an authentic treasure that gets better with time.

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    Laura Dowling completes a holiday arrangement of peach and coral roses in a magnolia leaf vase in the Vermeil Room, before the launch of the White House Christmas season, with the Aaron Shikler portrait of first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the background.

    Floral diplomacy: Life as a White House floral designer

    Laura Dowling’s new photo book, “Floral Diplomacy at the White House” (Stichtung Kunstboek), gives a behind-the-scenes look at White House flower decorations, including the traditions, design concepts and logistics that go into them.“Flowers are so universal … that the messages they communicate track back to all kinds of cultures,” says Dowling, who was chief floral designer at the White House from 2009 to 2015. “Flowers should create excitement and energy, lifting the spirits of people in the room.”It was First Lady Jackie Kennedy who established the Office of the White House Florist, designating a professional to work with her to plan and create arrangements. Kennedy viewed floral design as an art form capable of telegraphing both image and meaning. She broke from a White House tradition of mostly stiff, formal arrangements in favor of natural-looking displays with an airy, informal look.Dowling was hired by first lady Michelle Obama, beating out two other finalists in a high-pressure competition: Each was given four hours to create three major floral arrangements: an Oval Office display, a Blue Room display, and a State Dinner display complete with linens, china and table arrangements.Her predecessor had held the post for more than 30 years. Her successor continues to design floral arrangements under the Trump administration.Dowling says her technique is to build a bouquet in levels, with a base of swirling greens to create a sense of movement. That’s followed by layers of overlapping greens and flowers “with trailing vines and dancing branches.”She oversaw about 2,000 events, from state dinners to holiday celebrations. Some of her favorite displays: A state dinner for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, and his wife, featured vivid fuchsias, purples and apple greens, inspired by the Indian peacock. A state dinner for German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her husband featured a scientific motif to honor Merkel’s academic achievements, as well as her favorite colors and a nod to her passion for cooking and baking.“Flowers can represent special themes,” Dowling writes: An environmental display, for instance, might feature natural containers and organic elements to promote conservation and sustainability.“Flowers also convey a symbolic message, exemplifying the essence of American style — friendly, accessible, warm, unexpected and fresh,” she writes.Some highlights from an interview Dowling gave to The Associated Press:Q. What was it like working with the First Lady?A. She seemed to know that flowers could be a powerful tool for making people feel welcome, and at that point she really wanted to open up the White House to all Americans. We talked about that … and the ability to work with these high-end flowers combined with more common, seasonally available ones, and how that tied to the way she was working with fashion. She was wearing J. Crew in addition to designer clothes at the time.Q. Did she have any favorite flowers or colors?A. Mrs. Obama always favored the brighter, more vivid shades. She would gravitate toward displays that made a bolder statement. And she really liked garden flowers like roses and hydrangeas, the pretty flowers that grow together in the garden.Q. Do the floral displays change a lot from one administration to the next?A. Yes. What’s so interesting about the White House is that there really are no rules or guidelines, and each administration sets its own tone. It’s a little like the White House chef, who caters to the unique tastes and preferences of each first family.

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    A hot glass bubble is the first step and foundation in glasswork, shown here at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston.

    Glassblowing’s gotten easier for amateurs to learn

    On a chilly winter morning here, two furnaces inside the Massachusetts College of Art and Design burn at upwards of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat is palpable as you enter the room, but it doesn’t seem to bother a group of students working nearby.

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    Urban dwellers are looking up for outdoor living inspiration. They’re installing rooftop decks, such as this one in Chicago, complete with kitchens, lounges, gardens and entertaining spaces.

    With rooftop decks, sky’s the limit for outdoor entertaining

    Backyards and balconies are great places to enjoy an al fresco meal or a sun bath, but to really elevate your outdoor lifestyle, consider going up. To the roof.

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    Should home inspectors disclose asbestos?

    Q. We have an asbestos problem that involves our home inspector. Before we bought our home, we explained to our inspector that we planned to remodel the interior. According to our contractor, acoustic ceilings are commonly known to contain asbestos, and this should have been pointed out by the inspector. Who should we believe?

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    Want to make your bartender happy? Don't ask for too many modifications on specialty cocktails and don't send back a half-finished drink.

    Nine things you're doing wrong in a cocktail bar

    Getting a drink at a good bar. It's one of life's pleasures. But there are right and wrong ways to go about it. Here are a few common missteps.

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    Eggplant lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of stroke and heart disease.

    Grow a rainbow of veggies for good health

    Gardeners are like kids in a candy store when local garden centers reopen in spring. What new perennials will we find to add drama to our gardens? This year offers a wealth of new cultivars to tickle our fancy.

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    Cyclamen plants offer a burst of color in the spring.

    Cyclamen plants flourish in the morning sun

    Most gardeners find it too difficult to force a cyclamen plant to bloom again the following season. Those willing to take the challenge should follow these suggestions:

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    Katie Ridder and Peter Pennoyer’s dramatic dining room at their house in Westchester, New York.

    Why the dining room is due for a revival

    For many overscheduled families, “dining” has been reduced in recent years to grabbing a plate of food at a kitchen island or on an ottoman in front of a screen. But there are signs that we are heading back to the dinner table, designers say.

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    Couples may be better off to keep exes in the past

    Q. The new man in my life has a friendship with an old lover from years ago. I went out with them and clearly saw she still has a thing for him and her husband is jealous.

Discuss

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    Endorsements: Owen, Lee, Coyle, Austriaco for Maine Township Dist. 207

    The Daily Herald endorses Carla Owen, Jin Lee, Linda Coyle and Aurora Austriaco for Maine Township High School District 207 school board,

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    Endorsements: Adachi, DeWaele, Gatbunton and Hollatz for Lake Park High School District 108

    The Daily Herald endorses Claire Adachi, Keri DeWaele, Janice Gatbunton and Thomas Hollatz for Lake Park High School District 108 school board.

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    Endorsements: Gaffney, McNally, Kristofer, Morris for St. Charles Unit District 303 school board

    The Daily Herald endorses James Gaffney, Edward McNally, Lara Kristofer and Denton Morris for St. Charles Unit District 303 school board.

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    Endorsements: Donahue, Piehl, Raczak, Taylor-Demming for Indian Prairie Unit District 204 Board of Education

    The Daily Herald endorses Laurie Donahue, Cathy Piehl, Michael Raczak and Susan Taylor-Demming for Indian Prairie Unit District 204 Board of Education.

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    Endorsements: Girke, Millette, Tyrrell for Campton Hills village board

    Endorsements: Girke, Millette, Tyrrell for Campton Hills village board

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    Upper from left Jonathan Baffico, Cathie Anest DeMoon, Jennifer Manski and lower from left Matthew Marra and Krysia W. Ressler are candidates for Oak Grove School District 68 in the 2017 election.

    Manski, Baffico, DeMoon and Marra for Oak Grove District 68

    The Daily Herald endorses Jennifer Manski, Jonathan Baffico, Cathie Anest DeMoon and Matthew Marra for the Oak Grove District 68 school board.

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    Endorsements: Barbier, Scalzo for Wheaton City Council

    The Daily Herald endorses Michael Barbier, Todd Scalzo for Wheaton City Council.

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    Endorsements: Andrew, Schnure, Smith for North Barrington board of trustees

    The Daily Herald endorses Jackie Andrew, John Schnure and Todd Smith for North Barrington board of trustees.

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    Upper from left, Vicki Chung, John Dyer, Eileen Kowalczyk and lower from left, Brian Maye, Gerald McCluskey and Gwynne Ryan are candidates for Mount Prospect Elementary District 57 school board

    Endorsements: Chung, Kowalczyk, Maye, McCluskey for Mount Prospect District 57 schools
    The Daily Herald endorses Vicki Chung, Eileen Kowalczyk, Brian Maye and Gerald McCluskey for Mount Prospect District 57 school board.

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    Endorse: Gordon, McGrory, Schilling, Vickers in Libertyville District 70

    The Daily Herald endorses Josh Gordon, Timothy McGrory and incumbents Wendy Schilling and Tom Vickers for election to the Libertyville Elementary District 70 board of education.

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    Retreat at Mar-a-Lago: Passing the baton to China
    Columnist Fareed Zakaria: After 75 years of American leadership on the world stage, we might be watching the beginning of a handover of power from the United States to China.

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    Morally despicable
    A Glenview letter to the editor: The relentless, merciless and gratuitous slaughter of rhinos and elephants in derelict countries like Zimbabwe, South Africa and Kenya continues.

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    Keep status quo of inclusion in District 211
    A Lindenhurst letter to the editor: Regarding the upcoming election in Palatine Township School District 211, I encourage my peers and neighbors to vote for the experienced and progressive slate of LeFevre, Klimkowicz and Yung.

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    Right values and ideas
    A Grayslake letter to the editor: I highly recommend Paul Schulz for school board, Warren Township High School District 121.

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    (No heading)
    Keep status quo of inclusion in District 211Regarding the upcoming election in Palatine Township School District 211, I encourage my peers and neighbors to vote for the experienced and progressive slate of LeFevre, Klimkowicz and Yung. Apparently, at stake is the stability of the schools’ “inclusiveness” policies as well as assuring they continue to have experienced folks on the board. Even though I live 30 miles away to the north, I wish to share concerns about this upcoming election that I feel District 211 residents should seriously consider:(1) Even though I and many others do not live in D211 boundaries, voters in D211 need to be aware that all area schools and their policies can impact the entire Chicago region. Area students and parents often have to visit other schools for extracurricular activities. I take comfort in knowing that me and/or my kids are visiting positive and inclusive public school environments managed by experienced board members.(2) A given school and its policies can positively or negatively affect the look and feel of the entire Chicagoland region. Folks considering moving to Illinois from another state very likely consider a prospective regions overall school culture and quality in their decision to relocate. Chicagoland is a culturally diverse area. For us to remain a viable economic base for jobs and growth, it’s critical that all area schools share the same positive “inclusive” environments.(3) Quality and stability of a school district keep property tax bills stable as well as protects your property values.Students deserve not only an inclusive environment to grow and learn, but a stable environment as well. Let’s keep experience and inclusiveness as the status quo: Vote LeFevre, Klimkowicz and Yung. in D211 on April 4th.Kevin DahnertLindenhurstRight values and ideasI highly recommend Paul Schulz for school board, Warren Township High School District 121. Paul is a longtime resident of Gurnee. He and his wife Bonni have been very involved in our community. Their four children graduated from Warren Township High School. Paul has volunteered countless hours supporting various community and school programs.Paul is a very accomplished business professional with experience in finance and budgeting. He believes in the value of a public education for our children and the positive economic benefits of a strong educational system. Paul is hardworking and is great at communicating and building relationships. He will work tirelessly on behalf of the citizens of Gurnee to ensure the long-term success of our community through strong education programs. As a parent and resident of the school district, Paul Schulz is the person with the values and ideas to represent our community on the school board.Bob RussellGrayslakeMorally despicableThe relentless, merciless and gratuitous slaughter of rhinos and elephants in derelict countries like Zimbabwe, South Africa and Kenya continues. These nations have many valiant defenders of wildlife, but they are outnumbered by corrupt and violently greedy criminals and even governmental officials. To make matters worse, brazen poachers recently slaughtered a rhino in a compassionate French zoo and malevolently “sawed off” its horns. This is proof that the international community has direly failed to safeguard these iconic species and to rightfully deter and punish their heinous killers. Mankind’s monstrous and lethal cruelty to the animal kingdom is perpetuating and intensifying in the most egregious manner imaginable. This is morally despicable.Brien ComerfordGlenview

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    New leadership is needed in Lisle
    ALislo the editor: I’ve lived in Lisle for over 38 years, raised my kids here and have been proud to call Lisle home. Not unlike other communities, our village has had its share of challenges.

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    DH missed boat in Dist. 200 endorsement
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: The District 200 Board recommendations by the Daily Herald staff lacked substance. The lack of effective fiscal management discipline by recent boards was not thoroughly evaluated.

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    An honest, hard- working candidate
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: We urge you to re-elect Todd Scalzo to the Wheaton City Council on April 4. Having served as mayors of Wheaton, we’ve seen the city in good times and challenging ones.

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    Leader who makes the tough decisions
    A South Elgin letter to the editor: I am a village trustee in South Elgin, and I am proud to support Steve Ward for re-election as village president of South Elgin.

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    Candidate is caring and compassionate
    A Pingree Grove letter to the editor: I am writing today in reference to Mr. Ray Eaton who is running for Rutland Township Trustee this April.

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    Today’s Opinion Page editorial cartoon
    Today’s Daily Herald Opinion page editorial cartoon

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