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Article updated: 7/22/2013 5:25 AM

Weekend in Review: Talent contestants get serious; Metra faces more strife

Ryan Cooper of Schaumburg plays guitar and sings during Suburban Chicago’s Got Talent competition Sunday night at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights. The summer long talent contest is presented by the Daily Herald and sponsored by the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce.

Ryan Cooper of Schaumburg plays guitar and sings during Suburban Chicago's Got Talent competition Sunday night at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights. The summer long talent contest is presented by the Daily Herald and sponsored by the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce.

 

Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

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Metra delays vote on investigation into misconduct allegations

It appears Metra won't be voting on a second investigation into allegations of misconduct Monday. The board was poised to hire former federal prosecutor Patrick Collins to clean house, but the damage control plan was derailed. Collins' star power would have given the beleaguered Metra board and its Chairman Brad O'Halloran some breathing room coping with fallout after a so-called golden parachute handed to ex-CEO Alex Clifford. The agency has been sharply criticized since the June 21 separation agreement was approved. Full story.

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Independence Grove reopens

Independence Grove Forest Preserve near Libertyville reopened Saturday after officials determined a bomb threat risk had passed and pronounced the area safe for public use. The beach, marina, picnic areas and trails reopened at 6:30 a.m., and regularly scheduled activities resumed at the Lake County Forest Preserve site on Route 137, which had been closed to the public for more than three days following a credible bomb threat the district received in the form of a letter earlier in the week. Full story.

Drive-ins -- convert to digital or close?

The suburbs' only two remaining outdoor theaters present both sides of a digital conversion dilemma all theaters have to face. The Cascade Drive-In in West Chicago converted this spring, while the McHenry Outdoor Theater is trying to raise money to convert. Cascade is staying in business for the foreseeable future; McHenry's future is less certain. Full story.

Downers Grove couple died of stab wounds

A Downers Grove couple found dead in their home Friday died from stab wounds, DuPage County Coroner Rich Jorgenson said Saturday after autopsies had been completed. Police have yet to release any additional details into the investigation other than the deaths of Thomas F. Smith, 41, and Jennifer M. Smith, 39, appear to be domestic-related. Full story.

Schaumburg man critical after crash

A 75-year-old Schaumburg man behind the wheel of a car that crashed Saturday morning was in critical condition at an area hospital, police said. Schaumburg Police Sgt. John Nebl said the unidentified Schaumburg man lost control of his vehicle while driving west on Algonquin Road shortly before 9:30 a.m. Saturday and clipped a curb, vaulting his vehicle into some trees. Full story.

Crowds flock to concert for troops

For some, the annual "Rockin' for the Troops" concert in Cantigny Park in Wheaton has a very special, personal meaning. For others, it's a chance to spend a relaxing day outdoors, with the added bonus of contributing to a good cause. The annual event held by Operation Support Our Troops -- America featured headliner country music star Ronnie Dunn of the duo Brooks & Dunn. Full story.

Charity run across the U.S. makes stop at home

St. Charles resident and Willow Creek pastor Steve Spear returned to his community and church this weekend as he completes the Illinois portion of his run across the country. Spear has been running a marathon or more a day since April to get to this point. He's had doubt along the way. "The days had piled up, and there seemed to be endless road," he said. But he's raising money to bring clean water to a village in Kenya. Full story.

Octogenarian suburban poet publishes first book

Celebrating the publication of her first book of poetry, 80-year-old Sleepy Hollow author Norma Hass relishes the controversy she creates by using a racy image on the cover. It's actually just a drawing of her head on a sketch of the nude body of Venus, but it still causes problems that other poets like Maya Angelou manage to avoid. Full story.

Local architect pits "Brother vs Brother"

At different points in his life, Oliver Aguilar was a goat farmer in the Philippines, a struggling artist in Naperville, an acclaimed photographer and a suburban home designer. These days, Aguilar is an HGTV reality show star. Aguilar, 45, now an architect and designer living in the West Loop, is cast in the new HGTV series, "Brother Vs. Brother," which premiered Sunday. Full story.

Tiny Volo's day of infamy

The little village of Volo usually doesn't get much attention, but actions taken there by a group of defiant women 100 years ago became front-page news. What the marauding crowd did to Minnie Richardson on the night of July 15, 1913, is hard to fathom, although the suspicion of infidelity said to have fueled the bold act is at the core of many sensational stories to this day. Full story.

Missing Elmhurst couple found safe

An elderly couple from Elmhurst who went missing Friday have been found safe downstate, police said Sunday. Vernon and Elaine Schweisthal, ages 89 and 85, were found about 11 a.m. in Bureau County, about 100 miles from their home, according to police. Full story.

Talent contest finalists push themselves

It's getting serious now. The top 16 finalists of the Suburban Chicago's Got Talent competition performed Sunday at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, Arlington Heights. Videos of all 16 performances will be available at dailyherald.com beginning on Tuesday, July 23. Visitors will have a chance to vote for their favorites online; the highest vote-getter will be included in the upcoming round of 10 finalists as the "fan favorite." The top 10 will perform at Metropolis on Aug. 4.

Full story.

World & Nation

Foul odor leads authorities to grisly find in Ohio. Full story.

GOP takes aim at NASA asteroid mission. Full story.

House GOP on health care: for repeal, not replace. Full story.

Company to inspect Texas coaster where woman fell. Full story.

Despite outcry, stand-ground law repeals unlikely. Full story.

Democrats' tax proposal sets stage for 2014 battle. Full story.

New law penalizes homeowners claiming extra breaks. Full story.

Joss Whedon talks 'Buffy,' 'Avengers' and 'SHIELD,' Full story. Comic Con images here.

'The Conjuring' lands on top of box office. Full story.

Channing Tatum thriller shooting in Chicago. Full story.

Sports

Mickelson's win entertaining because he earned it. Full story.

White Sox put it all together to stop Braves. Full story.

Cubs can't recover from rough start. Full story.

White Sox' Sale still excited about all-star experience. Full story.

For Bears, it's about playoffs. Full story.

A bit of a look into Bulls' future. Full story.

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