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updated: 8/11/2014 5:54 AM

Dawn Patrol: Crash victim identified; Bears' Bennett returns

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Crystal Lake man killed in Lake in the Hills crash

Authorities yesterday identified Justin Blanco of Crystal Lake as the motorcyclist who died early Saturday after a crash in Lake in the Hills. Blanco, 25, was thrown from his 2004 Suzuki motorcycle about 3:40 a.m. after rear-ending a 1998 Mercedes while heading east on Rakow Road near Pingree Road, Lake in the Hills police said. Full story.

Naperville triathlon draws first-timers and veteran competitors

First-time triathletes mingled freely with more experienced competitors yesterday during the Orbea Naperville Sprint Triathlon at Centennial Beach. Race Director Bill Burke, of Louisiana-based Premier Event Management, said the event, now in its 14th year, is the perfect entry-level triathlon for anyone looking to get into the sport. Full story.

McHenry prosecutor up for anti-DUI honor

A McHenry County prosecutor, Assistant State's Attorney David Metnick has been nominated for the 2014 Heroes Award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving for his efforts to hold criminals accountable for driving drunk. Over the past year, Metnick has won convictions and prison sentences in several high-profile DUI cases. Full story.

Musical parade a highlight of Gurnee Days

The annual Gurnee Days Parade featured more than 80 entries yesterday, including local marching bands and country and rock 'n' roll-themed floats, the Nuclear Reaction Drumline and characters from Six Flags Great America. "It's pretty big with quite a few new participants," said parade coordinator Amanda LeFevers. "I'm excited. This year's theme is 'A Lil' Bit of Country and A Lil' Bit of Rock and Roll'." Full story.


Cloudy and wet with a high of only 72 degrees this afternoon. Temperatures are expected to be about 67 degrees when you head out the door this morning. Lows tonight should be around 63 degrees. Full story.


Construction continues on Quentin Road between west IL Route 22 and Ensell Road near Hawthorn Woods. People should seek alternate routes. Full traffic.

Bears lift suspension; Bennett returns to practice

Bears tight end Martellus Bennett is back at training camp after serving a team-mandated six-day suspension for body-slamming rookie Kyle Fuller during practice last week, and he participated in yesterday's 3 p.m. practice. "We have a way we cooperate and a way we work, and he understands that," Head Coach Marc Trestman said after Sunday's practice. "He understands it fully. He knows what's expected of him. He's had time to think about it. I think he's really done a good job with the time he's had off, and we're happy to have him back." Full story.

Latest auto racing tragedy impossible to comprehend

Daily Herald sports writer Mike Imrem writes in his column about the tragic death of Kevin Ward Jr. after being struck by Tony Stewart's car during a race late Saturday night: "Of all the ways that the sport endangers people -- drivers in crashes, fans from car parts flying into the crowd, pit crews being sideswiped -- the latest might be the most difficult to comprehend." Full column.

Quietly, Gillaspie making some noise for Sox

White Sox radio host Chris Rongey writes in his column about how third baseman Conor Gillaspie has remained off the radar despite putting up historic hitting numbers. "Given the fine starts by (Jose) Abreu and Adam Eaton, it's natural that this would happen since Gillaspie had an underwhelming and inconsistent debut season with the White Sox in 2013. It's also easy to forget him because he's as unassuming as any Sox player that has been around in years." Full column. Cubs' front office steps on the accelerator

Cubs TV play-by-play announcer Len Kasper writes in his column about the recent significant roster moves made by the Cubs' front office since the Fourth of July and what it means for the team going forward. "While the talent-compiling process went at a rather slow and steady pace, it feels like the Cubs have suddenly shifted from second to fifth gear in a snap of their fingers. That's how this game can work. You have to know when to be patient and when to strike, and it is clear this front office is pressing the accelerator as it looks ahead to 2015." Full column.

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