Dawn Patrol: Vote on pension cuts? Motive in Lombard arson
House may vote on pension reform in August
House Speaker Michael Madigan is considering a vote on pension cuts for lawmakers and state workers when lawmakers return to Springfield for one day next month, according to labor leaders. The legislation, which has already been approved by the Illinois Senate, would not affect teachers. Lawmakers are planning to be in Springfield Aug. 17 to debate about Rep. Derrick Smith, who is facing bribery charges, but could also vote on the pension plan. Full story.
Prosecutors: Man started fatal fire after ex ignored texts
Todd Mandoline stood outside his ex-girlfriend's home while sending her text messages for hours Sunday before lighting her gas tank on fire, causing a blaze that eventually killed her, according to prosecutors. The 23-year-old Villa Park man is being held without bail on first-degree murder, aggravated arson and arson charges in connection with the fire that killed 24-year-old Paula Morgan and critically injured her 25-year-old friend. Full story.
Former administrator's lawsuit against District 15 moves forward
A lawsuit by a former assistant principal at Carl Sandburg Junior High School will move forward against Palatine Township Elementary District 15. The suit claims the assistant principal was fired for reporting to district authorities that her supervisor was drinking on the job, sexually harassing women at the school and not doing his job. A federal judge allowed the case to continue after a second motion to dismiss the case by the defendants. Full story.
Ikea stores become largest commercial solar power generators in state
Home furnishings retailer Ikea installed solar panels on two of its stores yesterday, which are now the No. 1 and No. 2 largest solar panel installations in Illinois. The stores are in Schaumburg and Bolingbrook, joining 25 other Ikeas across the country equipped with solar panels. The stores generate enough kilowatt hours per year together to power about 200 homes. An Ikea spokesman said the projects cost "millions of dollars" at each store. Full story.
Authorities: Man, 25, assaulted two ECC police officers
A 25-year-old who is not an Elgin Community College student is accused of assaulting and injuring two of the school's police officers during a disturbance on July 18. A school spokesman said staff members called police to the school's Visual & Performing Arts Center because they felt uncomfortable with the way the man was acting. The school said he became combative when they approached him. Full story.
Spotty showers will fall throughout the day, with a high temperature of 88 degrees this afternoon. It's 77 degrees right now as you head out the door, and will dip back to 74 degrees this evening. Full story.
No major problems to report early, and the overnight rain doesn't seem to have affected travel times, though wires are down at Oakton and Northwest Highway in Des Plaines. People are asked to avoid Fair Oaks Road between North Avenue and Army Trail Road in Carol Stream because of construction. Full story.
Dempster tosses water cooler as Cubs lose
Amid trade speculation and rumors of a done deal, a move by manager Dale Sveum in last night's game to pull Ryan Dempster might have been the tipping point of frustration. Dempster threw a water cooler in the dugout as the Cubs went on to lose 3-2 to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The possibility of Dempster being traded to the Braves remains on the table, but reports indicate Dempster would prefer to head to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Full story.
White Sox regain composure, credit Ventura
Despite losing three of four to the Red Sox and being swept by the Tigers last week, the White Sox remained cool by bouncing back to sweep the Minnesota Twins yesterday. Starter Jake Peavy says the club never lost confidence during the road trip as the team momentarily dropped into second place. "It's something that Robin, that's the demeanor, it's the silent kind of quiet confidence our leader has, and the rest of the team just falls in line with that and really has bought in," Peavy said. Full story.
Johnny Knox has a long way until recovery
Bears leading receiver over the past two years, Johnny Knox, was placed on the physically unable to perform list as he continues to recover from a brutal hit that injured his spine late last season. "I'm jogging," said Knox, who still hasn't regained much of the 30 pounds he lost from an already spindly frame. "I don't have that same burst that I used to have, but that's to be expected with this injury. But I'm jogging and moving around pretty good." Full story.
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