We're debuting a new Dawn Patrol column this week designed to help you conveniently get the top news you need to know as you head out the door. Each weekday by 6 a.m., we'll post our Dawn Patrol column summarizing key stories you may have missed overnight, as well as items breaking this morning -- along with a look at weather, traffic and sports. We'll update the column and keep it posted on our home page (look for it in the upper right-hand corner) through the midmorning hours to make it easier for you.
So, here's a quick look at the news you'll need as you walk out the door today.
The Cary Elementary District 26 school board and the teachers union reached a tentative agreement late Wednesday night, though details of the deal are not yet available. The parties have met almost 20 times since negotiations began in December. An impasse was declared in July with neither side willing to concede on issues regarding retirement benefits, length of the school day and insurance premiums. Full story.
New Great America Coaster
• Six Flags has announced plans to build a new "winged roller coaster" at Great America in Gurnee. X Flight riders will sit in pairs, suspended on either side of the track with their feet dangling, as they begin their climb up a 12-story plunge launching them into speeds of 55 mph through 3,000 feet of intense drops. Full story.
Pedestrian struck by Metra train in Rolling Meadows
A woman in her mid- to late 20s was struck and killed by a Union Pacific Northwest Line train last night near Rolling Meadows. Police continue to investigate the incident, which occurred between the Arlington Park and Palatine stations at about 9:35 p.m. Trains were delayed for more than an hour. Full story.
Turn that AC back on
Brace yourself. It's going to be be hot today. Expect temperatures to climb into the 90s with a healthy does of humidity. Tomorrow will be even hotter. Full forecast Accuweather also warns that the threat for severe storms across the Midwest is building. Full story.
Seniors no longer ride free
Starting today, the free ride is over for most of the state's senior citizens who use mass transit in the Chicago area. Of the 440,000 seniors using the Regional Transportation Authority's free-ride program, only about 80,000 still qualify under new rules. The move is expected to provide a boost of roughly $30 million annually by reinstating the reduced-fare program for most seniors. Full story.
16-year-old killed in Waukegan crash
Police are continuing to investigate what caused a single-vehicle crash in Waukegan yesterday that killed a 16-year-old North Chicago teen and injured a second male passenger. The 16-year-old was driving fast when he struck a tree, splitting the car in half, according to police. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash. Full story.
Stay of execution for Milwaukee Ave. trees?
Trees in the Independence Grove Forest Preserve along Milwaukee Avenue in Libertyville were scheduled to start coming down today in preparation for the widening of the road north of Route 137. But you may still see all the 2,100 trees around until after the holiday weekend. Why? Because the Lake County Forest Preserve District hasn't gotten a $944,000 check from IDOT to help pay for the culling. IDOT says it's working on it. Full story.
Congestion is starting to clear up on the area expressways as the rush hour comes and goes. An earlier accident in Lombard has been cleared up, as has an accident at Hawley and Gilmer in unincorporated Lake County near Wauconda. Full traffic.
Sox' winning streak snapped
A heartbreaking 7-6 loss snapped the White Sox' five-game winning streak as the team makes a push for the pennant with one month left in the season. Jake Peavy was stung for 6 runs in the first inning, but the Sox nearly clawed back after driving in two runs in the bottom of the ninth. With Paul Konerko on first and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Alex Rios struck out looking, ending the game. The Sox are now six games back in the race for the AL Central. Full story.
Cubs fall to Giants
The Cubs had their two game winning streak snapped in San Francisco yesterday, dropping their afternoon game to the Giants by a score of 4 to 0. Full story.
Bears on the bubble heading into final preseason game
As the Bears coaching staff prepares to trim their roster down to the final 53, tonight's final preseason game is far from meaningless for a number of potential Bears. Coach Lovie Smith said his staff have a good idea of who the final 53 will be, but minds can be changed. Tonight's 7 p.m. game vs. the Cleveland Browns will feature many of those on the bubble for most of the game. Full story.