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  • Palatine Area Community Marching Band Now Forming May 30, 2014 7:40 AM
    Marching band forming for musicians from high school to adults.

  • Judge rules against ex-frat members in hazing case May 29, 2014 7:30 PM
    A DeKalb County judge has rejected four former NIU fraternity members' claim that the state's hazing statute is unconstitutional. The four were charged after the death of Palatine native David Bogenberger in 2012.

  • CLC Board approves faculty, custodial union contracts May 27, 2014 10:17 AM
    Concluding several months of negotiations, the College of Lake County board of trustees on May 20 approved four-year contracts with the College of Lake County Federation of Teachers, representing full-time faculty, and the CLC Staff Council, representing custodial employees.

  • Classic Car Show at Patty Turner Center May 23, 2014 3:26 PM
    The Patty Turner Center hosts their Annual Classic Car Show, 8:15 – 10:00 a.m., on Tuesday, May 27, 2014. Everyone is welcome to attend.

  • Artists Share Inspirations for (Bi)Cycle of Life Public Art Display May 21, 2014 4:44 PM
    Artists Share Inspirations for (Bi)Cycle of Life Public Art Display

  • Gov. Quinn to speak at Saturday’s NIU Law commencement May 20, 2014 6:48 PM
    Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn will speak at the NIU Law School commencement at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 24, as 99 students will receive their degrees at the NIU Convocation Center ceremony in DeKalb.

  • West Chicago Police Department Committed to Road Safety Education May 17, 2014 1:01 AM
    West Chicago Police Department Committed to Road Safety Education

  • Chief Keef Highland Park case delayed a month May 16, 2014 5:19 PM
    The court case against emerging rap star Chief Keef was continued to June 27. Keith Cozart, 18, of Northfield, is facing a charge of driving under the influence of drugs in Highland Park. He is free after posting 10 percent of his $3,000 bond.

  • Culver’s to support Honor Flight Network with Day of Giving May 20 May 16, 2014 2:25 PM
    As Memorial Day celebrations take place across the area later this month, the owners of more than 65 Chicago area and Northwest Indiana Culver’s restaurants will host a “Day of Giving” on Tuesday, May 20, and donate 10 percent of sales to Honor Flight organizations in Chicago, Lake County and McHenry County.

  • Ayusa kicks off search for American families to host exchange students May 15, 2014 9:16 PM
    Ayusa International is currently seeking volunteer U.S. host families in Illinois interested in hosting a foreign exchange student for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year.

  • Fine Line Arts Festival: first ever aluminum pour and more! May 15, 2014 5:14 PM
    The Fine Line Arts Festival kicks off with opening night on Friday, June 6, with dinner, live music by "Fight With Monsters," and Fine Line's first-ever aluminum pour! The festival (formerly known as Raku Day) has something for everyone. Come on Saturday June 7, from 9 am – 3 pm, and enjoy hands-on explorations of raku, copper etching, wet felting, art demos, live music, lunch, and more.

  • Become a 4-H Citizen Scientist, help improve the local environment May 13, 2014 3:47 PM
    The 4-H Citizen Scientist program provides junior and senior high youth opportunities to extend learning beyond current 4-H project work into the world of hands-on research. The next Citizen Scientist trainings closest to area residents will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 17 at College of Lake County in Grayslake; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 31 at Severson Dells Nature Center in Rockford.

    As Memorial Day celebrations will take place across the area later this month, the owners of more than 65 Chicago area and Northwest Indiana Culver’s restaurants will host a “Day of Giving” on Tuesday, May 20, and donate 10 percent of sales to Honor Flight organizations in Chicago, Lake County and McHenry County.

  • Blooming Fest to Combine Petals and Pedals May 12, 2014 5:14 PM
    14th Annual Downtown Garden Festival Features Plant Sale and Bicycle Activities Saturday, May 17, 2014 - 9:00 a.m - 3:00 p.m.

  • Artist Seeks Collections of All Sorts for Photographic Exhibit May 12, 2014 5:04 PM
    Danish Artist Marlene Klok Invites Community Participation

  • Calling all (Summer Day) Campers May 12, 2014 3:43 PM
    With approximately one month to go before Summer Day Camps get rolling, Deerfield Park District is spreading the word about which camps still have openings for participants.

  • Kraft’s profit rises as cost cuts offset sales dip May 2, 2014 8:06 AM
    Kraft reported a higher profit for its first quarter on Thursday as cost-cutting and one-time benefits helped offset a decline in revenue. The maker of Lunchables, Oscar Mayer and Velveeta partly attributed the lower revenue to the timing of Easter-related shipments, which were pushed into the second quarter this year instead of the first quarter.

  • Procrastinators can Celebrate! Scientists Say it’s in Your Genes Apr 14, 2014 1:08 PM
    If you’d rather put off until tomorrow what could be done today, blame your parents. Researchers have discovered there may be a genetic reason for these tendencies, genetically linking procrastination and impulsivity which suggests they can be inherited.

  • Breaking up is not so hard to do at Baxter to Safeway Apr 10, 2014 11:00 AM
    Companies are breaking up like never before. A record 28 U.S. spinoffs were announced in the first three months of the year, the most in one quarter since at least 2002, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Corporations from Deerfield-based Baxter International Inc. to Hertz Global Holdings Inc. are looking to narrow their focus and separate unrelated businesses with the hope that it will result in billions of dollars of added value. Occidental Petroleum Corp. and Safeway Inc. are also among companies breaking off parts, with spinoff stocks outperforming the broader market since 2009. Recent local spinoffs in the U.S. consumer industry include Northfield-based Kraft Foods Group Inc. separating from snack-maker Mondelez International Inc., Deerfield-based Fortune Brands Home & Security Inc. from the Beam Inc. bourbon business and clothing brand Lands’ End Inc. from Hoffman Estates-based retailer Sears Holdings Corp. Following decades of bulking up through acquisitions, executives and boards are reassessing the makeup of their businesses -- sometimes with a nudge from activist shareholders -- and finding that investors often favor simpler companies, said Oscar Gruss & Son Inc. The same forces may now be at work in Europe, which hasn’t yet joined in on the trend, say bankers from Deutsche Bank AG, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co. “We’ve seen a big upswing in spinoffs,” Joe Cornell, founding principal of Spin-Off Advisors LLC in Chicago, said in a phone interview. “The U.S. has been ahead of the curve as far as spinoffs, but this will probably be a bigger theme globally going forward. The kind of restructuring companies here have been doing is catching on.” $326 Billion Companies representing $326 billion of market value announced almost 30 U.S. spinoffs from Jan. 1 to March 31, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That’s almost double the quarterly average of 15 for the last three years. In Europe, there were nine spinoffs last quarter, close to that region’s average in the same period. The combined market value of the European companies selling units was the equivalent of about $104 billion. Part of the attraction of a spinoff -- as opposed to selling a business to a single buyer -- is that there are tax advantages for shareholders, said Henry Stewart, head of consumer investment banking for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Morgan Stanley, who sees spinoff activity picking up in Europe. “With equity capital markets strong, spinoffs and sub-IPOs have become a very attractive option for companies seeking to maximize the value of their assets,” Stewart said. Automatic Data Processing Inc., the payroll-and-benefits provider, said today it is planning a tax-free spinoff of its auto-dealer services unit. The shares climbed 2.4 percent to $77.71 at 9:41 New York time. Spinoffs have been particularly popular among U.S. health- care and consumer companies. Drugmaker Baxter said March 27 that it will use a spinoff to split into two pieces in 2015 -- one business focused on developing medicines and another that sells medical products to hospitals. Abbott Laboratories and Pfizer Inc. also spun off businesses in the last two years. Europe Lagging In Europe, none of the major health-care companies have announced spinoffs in the last decade, data compiled by Bloomberg show. “Most large-cap businesses have been focused on reorganizing their product portfolios,” said Cathrin Petty, co- head of health-care investment banking at JPMorgan for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. That’s a longer process for a more regulated industry such as health care, she said. “We will start to see pharmaceutical and med-tech companies look to sell non-core assets” once they’ve completed the reorganization, Petty said. Consumer Industry “This hasn’t been as extensive in Europe yet, although the trend is certainly growing,” said Scott Bell, global co-head of consumer and head of U.K. investment banking coverage and advisory at Deutsche Bank in London. Europe hasn’t yet embraced spinoffs to the extent the U.S. has because there are fewer European consumer conglomerates, according to Bell. Those companies “are quite streamlined already,” he said. “In addition, many are family-owned businesses, which may not feel as much pressure coming from potential activist shareholders.” Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management LP was the activist hedge fund behind the Fortune-Beam breakup. Nelson Peltz, of Trian Fund Management LP, is currently agitating for PepsiCo Inc. to separate its soda and chips businesses. Carl Icahn proposed EBay Inc. split off PayPal, though he backed away from that push last month. Activist Investors “You’ve got more and more activist investors who have either arbitrage or dealmaking backgrounds coming onto boards and they’re thinking outside the box,” Louis Meyer, a special situations analyst at Oscar Gruss in New York, said in a phone interview. “The big picture is, how do you create more value.” In the past five years, the Bloomberg U.S. Spin-Off Index advanced 228 percent, double the gains in both the Standard & Poor’s 500 and Russell 3000 indexes. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 78 percent during that period. Spinoffs and breakups have been embraced by investors because they prefer to own companies that they understand and that refrain from operating in too many different industries, Meyer said. When companies get too big and have disparate businesses, a slower-growing or less-profitable piece can drag down the market value of the whole company, he said. Simple Preference “Investors are definitely putting a premium on pure plays,” Meyer said. “They don’t want to have to figure out your company. People like a simple, easy story.” One long-speculated breakup candidate in Europe is Siemens AG, the continent’s largest engineering company, which gets 18 percent of its revenue from health care. The Munich-based company is exploring a sale of its microbiology unit as it reviews its business strategy, people familiar with the matter said last month, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. Investment banks have also been gauging private-equity interest in the larger diagnostics division even though the company hasn’t decided to sell it, according to people familiar with the matter. “There’s certainly some parts of Siemens where a breakup might be suitable,” Nick Heymann, an analyst with William Blair & Co. in New York, said in a phone interview. “We’ve seen really good success” in breakups by Siemens’s peers, such as Ingersoll Rand Plc. Leverage Argument Ingersoll-Rand, based in Swords, Ireland, spun off its North American lock-making business Allegion Plc last year after activist investor Peltz pushed for a breakup. Both stocks have since risen. Marc Langendorf, a spokesman for Siemens, declined to comment on whether the company has any plans for a breakup. Many European businesses remain heavily indebted, which may force them to trim their portfolios and spin off units, according to Enrique Quemada, chief executive officer of OnetoOne Corporate Finance, a Madrid-based investment bank specializing in mergers and acquisitions. “We are poised to see more and more asset sales or spinoffs down the road as they try to maximize value,” Quemada said in a phone interview. European drugmakers from Switzerland-based Novartis AG to Spain’s Zeltia SA are already considering asset sales or spinoffs. Novartis, after selling its diagnostics unit to Spain’s Grifols SA in January, is conducting a strategic review. The company is exploring options for its animal-health and vaccines businesses, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be named because the process is confidential. Sea Creatures Zeltia, which develops cancer drugs from sea creatures, is considering a spinoff of its biotechnology unit to list it on the Nasdaq Stock Market, people familiar with the matter said. Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc, the British maker of Nurofen painkillers and Durex condoms, said last year it will start a strategic review of its pharmaceutical unit following calls from analysts to exit the business. “We’ll likely continue to see more divestitures from European pharmaceutical companies in the near future,” said Anthony Hartley, managing director for health-care investment banking at UBS AG in London. “Many companies may consider potential spinoffs as they seek higher valuations for their non- pharma businesses as a way to enhance returns to shareholders.”

  • West Chicago Mayor Delivers 2014 State of the City Apr 10, 2014 4:41 PM
    Mayor Credits "Thoughtful Planning and Strategic Foresight" For City's Solid Financial Position in the 2014 State of the City Address

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