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Daily Archive : Sunday April 14, 2013
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Trick to keeping magic store open for 46 years may be fun
There's a trick to staying in business for 46 years selling exploding cigars, hand buzzers and magic routines. Learning a new trick or two through the decades is how PJ's Trick Shop in Arlington Heights has managed not to disappear.
Get rid of unwanted medicines Saturday in Vernon Hills
Area residents can rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs at a take back event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27 at the Vernon Hills police department, 740 Lakeview Parkway, Vernon Hills.
Palatine to consider housing for people with mental illness, disabilities
Motivated by the severe shortage of facilities and undeterred by resistance in two nearby suburbs, several organizations have banded together to propose a permanent supportive housing development in Palatine. Proponents see the development as a vital step to increasing the supportive housing stock and helping more residents begin their journeys toward recovery.
No suburban post offices open late for Tax Day
Suburban taxpayers who are waiting until the last minute to file their taxes Monday will have to drive to Chicago to find a post office open late. A U.S. Postal Service spokesman said the service will not be extending hours at any of its suburban post offices to accommodate last-minute filers.
Images: The Week in Pictures
This edition of The Week in Pictures features a lot of dancing, including line dancing, traditional Mexican dancing, and traditional Chinese dancing, a specail recreation track and field event, and a poetry slam.
As U.S. talks up diplomacy, N. Korea takes hard line
The United States and Japan opened the door Sunday to new nuclear talks with North Korea if the saber-rattling country lowered tensions and honored past agreements, even as it rejected South Korea's latest offer of dialogue as a "crafty trick."
Grayslake celebrates Abraham Lincoln’s legacy
The election may be over, but interest in politics remains high — even if it's the politics of 1858. A standing-room-only crowd gathered at the Grayslake Heritage Center & Museum Sunday to see Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas — or rather, actors George Buss and Timothy Connors — talk about their lives and their roles in history. The performances were part of "Abraham...
Close vote seen on background checks on gun buyers
A bipartisan Senate proposal to expand background checks for gun buyers gained the backing of one Republican and the potential support of a second Sunday as sponsors said the vote expected this week was too close to call.
Liquid nitrogen, explosions and Newton’s Laws at Fermilab show
About 600 people packed Fermilab's Wonders of Science show — which has been going strong for more than a quarter-century — to see an hour's worth of experiments focused on acceleration. Chemistry and physics teachers Lee Marek, Karl Craddock and Bill Grosser ran the show, wowing kids and adults alike with fire, explosions and tricks. This year's theme focused on how to get particles...
CASA looking for a few good men
Although about half of the children it serves are boys, only 20 percent of CASA Kane County's volunteers are male. The agency is out to change that this month with three recruiting sessions called "Looking for a Few Good Men." The first takes place Monday in Elgin.
Athletes with disabilities taste thrill of competition at DuPage track meet
Joan Camper said she's noticed big changes in her 20-year-old son, Grant, since he started participating in competitive track events more than 10 years ago."It gave him a huge boost in self-confidence," she said. Grant was one of abou"t 140 children and young adults with special needs who participated Sunday in the annual Western DuPage Special Recreation Association Track Meet in Naperville.
Woodland Wishes benefit
Woodland Educational Foundation's 5th annual benefit auction, Woodland Wishes, is 7 p.m. April 20, 2013 at the Hunt Club Community Center, 920 N. Hunt Club Road, Gurnee.
Learn about bullying April 24
The Lake County After School Coalition will focus on bullying during its annual meeting April 24.
Lincolnshire spring clean up
Waste Management will conduct a spring clean up in Lincolnshire on Saturday, April 27.
Some states dropping GED as test price spikes
Several dozen states are looking for an alternative to the GED high school equivalency test because of concerns that a new version coming out next year is more costly and will no longer be offered in a pencil and paper format.
Rubio says immigration deal needs tough terms
A bipartisan deal on immigration legislation would need tough enforcement and even stricter penalties for those who came to the United States illegally, a leading Republican at the center of negotiations said Sunday.
1 dead, 1 missing in avalanches east of Seattle
A woman who had been buried in five feet of snow has died, and one man was still missing Sunday morning after a pair of spring avalanches struck separate groups hiking in the mountains east of Seattle, authorities in Washington state said.
Making a bar to stay clean and sober
Some people don't understand the concept of a "sober bar" like The Other Side, a first-of-its-kind spot in the Midwest that's set to open April 27 in Crystal Lake. "They say, 'You're going to open a bar without booze? What's the point?'" said Chris Reed, 22, of Algonquin, president of the non-profit group behind the project, New Directions Addiction Recovery Services.
Investigators probe jet's crash into sea in Bali
Indonesian investigators on Sunday began working to determine what caused a new Lion Air passenger jet to miss a runway while landing on the resort island of Bali, crashing into the sea without causing any fatalities among the 108 on board. The National Transportation Safety Committee is examining the wreckage of the Boeing 737-800 that snapped in half before coming to a stop in shallow water...
Mexican president faces teachers’ revolt
Teachers marched by the thousands through the streets of the state capital, some masked and brandishing metal bars and sticks in an escalating showdown over education reform that's become a key test of President Enrique Pena Nieto's sweeping project to reform Mexico's most dysfunctional institutions. The fight is freezing progress on a national education reform that Pena Nieto hoped would build...
Japan, U.S. raise chance of new North Korea nuclear talks
The United States and Japan on Sunday offered new talks with North Korea to resolve the increasingly dangerous standoff over its nuclear and missile programs, but said the reclusive communist government first must lower tensions and honor previous agreements.
Hymnal that dates to 1640 could fetch $30M
A tiny hymnal from 1640 believed to be the first book ever printed in what is now the United States is going up for auction, and it could sell for as much as $30 million. Only 11 copies of the Bay Psalm Book survive in varying degrees of completeness. "It's a spectacular book, arguably one of the most important books in this nation's history," said the Rev. Nancy Taylor of Boston's Old South...
Kane County write-ins fought the good fight
Running as a write-in candidate is a notoriously uphill battle, but two such candidates in Kane County — despite not winning their races — stood out for racking up an impressive number of votes. Patricia Graceffa got 428 write-in votes in her bid for a seat on the Sugar Grove library board, while Bill DiFulvio got 232 votes in his effort to get re-elected to the South Elgin village...
Holocaust’s lessons applicable today
In November 1938, Ruth Stern got into a rented Volkswagen with the two members of the Gestapo she had bribed to save her husband. She had to beg them to take her along. They traveled for three hours at night, toward a concentration camp near central Germany, until the car couldn't make it any farther in the snow. The Gestapo wanted to turn back.
City, Cubs push $500 million Wrigley renovation
The Cubs and the City of Chicago say they have completed a $500 million pact to overhaul Wrigley Field. The agreement announced Sunday night includes $300 million in stadium renovations that will feature a large new outfield video screen. It allows the Cubs to play more night games and expands parking with 1,000 remote spaces.
Scott beats Cabrera in playoff at Augusta
Adam Scott became the first Australian to win the Masters, beating Angel Cabrera on the second hole of a playoff on a soggy Sunday at Augusta National.The Masters went to a sudden-death playoff for the second year in a row when Scott and Cabrera made matching birdies on the 72nd hole.
No doubt, there will be weeks like this for Sox
Swirling around the baseball cosmos are an infinite number of truths and axioms that define the game and, ideally, help us better understand it. The first two weeks of this White Sox season has already provided us one: It's a long season and things can change in a hurry. Well, that's two different truths that I've combined into one but they belong together.
Bulls just looking to get healthy
A few weeks ago, the Bulls and Miami played one of the most memorable regular season games in NBA history. Sunday's rematch wouldn't be the same, for several reasons. The Heat wanted to put on a good show for the home fans and rolled past the Bulls 105-93.
Kind of a bummer Cabrera didn’t win
By all accounts, Adam Scott is one of professional golf's terrific people. Too bad he won the Masters on Sunday. Nothing against Scott, but look at him next to Angel Cabrera and justice has to prefer the latter. Someone my age at least has to favor the older guy over the younger guy, the burly guy who seems to have body fat under his sweater over the guy with a flat belly under his tightfitting shirt and the guy who uses a conventional putter over the guy with one of those controversial long putters.
Orlando Magic at the Amway Center, 6 p.m.TV: WCIURadio: ESPN 1000-AMUpdate: Through Sunday’s action, Orlando trailed Charlotte by just 1 game in the race for the NBA’s worst record and most chances in the draft lottery. The Magic has gone 8-47 since Dec. 21. Orlando has been getting strong play from center Nikola Vucevic, along with two ex-Bucks — Tobias Harris and Beno Udrih. The Magic is 0-3 against the Bulls, but all three games were decided by 6 points or fewer.Next: Washington Wizards at the United Center, 7 p.m. Wednesday — Mike McGraw
Blackhawks not fazed by Blues
The St. Louis Blues again tried to intimidate the Blackhawks on Sunday, going after Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa physically early and engaging in scrum after scrum following whistles. But the Hawks mostly turned the other cheek in a tidy 2-0 victory.
Red Stars play to draw as new women’s league begins play
For the first game in a new league with an uncertain future, the Chicago Red Stars' 1-1 draw Sunday afternoon in Lisle against the Seattle Reign seemed appropriate.
New Cubs TV broadcast partner fits in nicely
While Len Kasper says its not fair to compare Jim Deshaies to former broadcast partner Bob Brenly, he also knows they have many qualities in common and both bring a unique perspective to the job.
Wild day just no good for Cubs
The Cubs were not charged with any errors in the box score Sunday, but they committed a litany of sins in a sloppy 10-7, 10-inning loss to the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field. Wild pitches, a balk, walks and blown saves all figured into the fun.
Giants outlast Cubs in extra innings
Edwin Jackson and Michael Bowden tied a major league record by combining to throw five wild pitches in an inning, and the San Francisco Giants got another big assist from a Cubs pitcher in a three-run 10th in Sunday’s 10-7 victory at Wrigley Field.The Cubs matched the record for wild pitches by a team in an inning during a four-run sixth that put San Francisco ahead 5-4, but the Giants had to rally again.Chicago led 7-6 before Hunter Pence’s solo homer off Shawn Camp (0-1) with two outs in the ninth.One-out singles by Hector Sanchez and Brandon Crawford put runners at the corners in the 10th. With Buster Posey batting, Camp was called for a balk as he stepped off the rubber, giving San Francisco an 8-7 lead. Posey followed with an RBI single and, one out later, Marco Scutaro added a run-scoring double.George Kontos (1-1) pitched a scoreless inning for the win, and Sergio Romo worked the 10th for his seventh save in eight chances.Starlin Castro and Nate Schierholtz hit two-run homers in the first off Tim Lincecum for a 4-1 lead.Jackson got in trouble in the sixth when he threw two wild pitches and Bowden added three more. The Cubs matched the mark set by the St. Louis Cardinals’ Rick Ankiel in the 2000 division series and by Bert Cunningham of Buffalo in a Players League game in 1890. Jackson and Bowden also combined to walk four in the inning, with Jackson walking Pence and Brandon Belt to start it. Gregor Blanco doubled in a run and Jackson allowed another run with his second wild pitch of the inning.Bowden came in when Nick Noonan pinch hit for pitcher Tim Lincecum and threw a wild pitch, then Noonan hit a two-run single for a 5-4 lead. Bowden threw two more wild pitches, walked Angel Pagan and got Marcio Scutaro to hit into an inning-ending double play.Blanco hit another RBI double in the seventh against Hector Rondon, and Alberto Gonzalez pulled the Cubs to 6-5 when he homered off Chad Gaudin in the bottom half. Chicago went ahead in the eighth when on Jeremy Affeldt’s bases-loaded walk to Luis Valbuena and Gonazalez’s sacrifice fly off Santiago Casilla.Lincecum, 1-0 after three starts, allowed four runs and six hits in five innings and his ERA rose to 5.63.Jackson gave up five runs — four earned — five hits and four walks in 5 1-3 innings. He’s walked nine in his last two starts.
BYU’s Ansah a freak of nature
BYU defensive end Ziggy Ansah was unheard of outside Provo, Utah, at the beginning of last season. Now he's considered a virtual lock to go in the first 10 picks of the first round, possibly as high as No. 2 overall. Not bad for a kid from Ghana who came to the U.S. hoping to be the next Lebron James.
Bulls can’t beat Heat this time
MIAMI — LeBron James scored 24 points, Dwyane Wade added 22 and the Miami Heat set a franchise record for home wins in a season, topping the Chicago Bulls 105-93 on Sunday.Mario Chalmers and Chris Andersen each scored 15 for Miami, which improved to 36-4 at home — topping the 35-6 mark by the 2004-05 Heat. Miami held Chicago without a 2-point basket for the first 16 minutes of the second half, with the Bulls relying almost exclusively on 3-pointers.Carlos Boozer finished with 16 points and 20 rebounds for the Bulls, who snapped Miami’s 27-game winning streak last month. Chicago finished with 29 field goals and 30 fouls, allowing the Heat to shoot a season-high 41 free throws.The loss keeps Chicago in the No. 6 spot in the Eastern Conference. Miami has wrapped up home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.Chris Bosh had 12 points, nine rebounds and four blocks for Miami, which also got 11 points from Mike Miller. Luol Deng led Chicago in scoring with 19, Kirk Hinrich and Nate Robinson scored 14 apiece and Jimmy Butler added 13 for the Bulls, who shot just 35 percent.Any Miami-Chicago game tends to be physical, and this was no exception. There were no fewer than six instances of Heat players ending up on the floor in the first 6 minutes alone, though Miami hardly seemed to be bothered by it all.Wade, still working his way back from bone bruises around his right knee, tipped the ball away to start a break that resulted in a 3-pointer by Chalmers to give Miami a 16-9 edge. And moments later, Bosh head-faked Boozer into the air, then drove past for a two-hand dunk and a quick nine-point lead.Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said before the game he would not play Bosh, Wade and James their usual big minutes, and wasn’t kidding, with each of Miami’s “Big Three” on the bench with 3:45 left in the opening quarter — something that hardly ever happens.James made his first seven shots, one of them a dunk off a bounce pass by Chalmers to give Miami a 46-31 lead midway through the second quarter. The dunk was with such force, Hinrich found himself flinching to get out of the ball’s way.The Bulls, still in a battle with Atlanta for the No. 5 seed in the East, bounced back fast. A 23-10 run to end the first half got Chicago within 56-54 at the break, and briefly took the lead when Jimmy Butler converted a four-point play to make it 61-60.It didn’t take long for Miami to regain control, with the lead at 86-77 entering the fourth.
Blackhawks shutout St. Louis in rough-and-tumble game
ST. LOUIS — Corey Crawford stopped 30 shots and the Chicago Blackhawks got goals from Bryan Bickell and Marian Hossa for a 2-0 win over St. Louis on Sunday, ending Blues goalie Brian Elliott’s shutout streak at three games.The Blackhawks lead the NHL with 68 points, and have won five in a row. They’re 3-1 against the Blues, all with Crawford in net.The Blues rarely tested Crawford until the third period and lost their second straight in front of a standing room crowd of 19,385 that had a healthy contingent of Blackhawks fans. St. Louis has seven games remaining, all but one at home.Bickell tapped in his own rebound on a rush early in the second period to end Elliott’s streak at 214 minutes. Hossa’s short-handed goal off a faceoff win by Jonathan Toews was the crusher early in the third, coming 17 seconds after Duncan Keith was whistled for cross-checking David Backes in front of the Chicago net.The Blues were 0 for 3 on the power play and have scored on just six of their last 72 power plays.Elliott shut out the Red Wings, Predators and Wild in succession on the road for a franchise record scoreless run of 189 minutes and 23 seconds, while bailing out an offense that produced just four goals in those games. It’s been an impressive return to form for a player who was benched early in the season and then sent on a two-week conditioning stint in the minors.Elliott set franchise records with nine shutouts and a shutout streak of 241 minutes and 33 seconds last season. This season’s streak ended on a rush that began when rookie Vladimir Tarasenko was dumped making a move in the Chicago zone. Bickell tapped a backhander off the post and then tucked in the rebound at 4:39 of the second for his third goal in five games and ninth overall.Hossa scored his 15th of the season at 6:34 of the third on a one-timer that beat Elliott on the glove side.The Blackhawks are 22-2-0 when scoring first and 23-1-2 leading after two periods.
Peavy strikes out 11 in Sox victory
CLEVELAND — Jake Peavy struck out 11 in seven innings, Paul Konerko homered and the Chicago White Sox broke a five-game losing streak, beating the Cleveland Indians 3-1 Sunday.The White Sox went into the game as the majors’ only winless team on the road. Chicago was swept three games in Washington before dropping the first two against the Indians. The White Sox avoided their first 0-6 start on the road since 1968.Peavy (2-1) gave up a home run to Michael Bourn on his first pitch of the game — a line drive that landed in Chicago’s bullpen — but held the Indians to five hits overall and didn’t walk a batter.Bourn left the game in the eighth with a cut on his right hand. First baseman Adam Dunn fielded Bourn’s slow grounder and tossed to pitcher Matt Thornton, who was covering on the play. Bourn made a headfirst into the bag for an infield hit, but Thornton stepped on his hand. Indians manager Terry Francona and a trainer examined Bourn, who was removed.Peavy retired 12 straight batters at one point and improved to 4-0 in five career starts against Cleveland.Addison Reed pitched the ninth for his fourth save, retiring Jason Giambi with a runner on to end the game.Konerko’s two-run homer ruined a solid effort from Brett Myers (0-2), who took a shutout into the sixth. Cleveland’s right-hander allowed 14 earned runs, including seven homers, in 10 1-3 innings in his first two appearances, but held the White Sox to four hits through five.After Jeff Keppinger reached on third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall’s error to begin the sixth, Alex Rios bounced into a double play. Dunn walked and Konerko hit a 3-1 pitch into the bleachers.Jason Giambi made his first appearance for the Indians, starting as the designated hitter and going hitless in four at-bats. He began the season on the disabled list with a strained back and was activated Friday.The Indians again played without second baseman Jason Kipnis (sore left elbow) and catcher Carlos Santana (bruised left thumb) in the starting lineup. Kipnis was also out on Saturday while Santana, who walked as a pinch-hitter in the ninth, had missed three straight games.The Indians are off Monday and begin a three-game series Tuesday against Boston at Progressive Field. Francona will face the Red Sox, the team he managed for eight seasons, for the first time since being replaced following the 2011 season when Boston collapsed down the stretch. Francona led the Red Sox to World Series titles in 2004 and 2007.
For Foley, Hawks gig still a dream job
Now in his 30th year as the voice of the Blackhawks, Pat Foley has enjoyed a remarkable journey in the National Hockey League, as Bob Verdi details in this profile of the veteran broadcaster.
Cougars doubleheader postponed in Wisconsin
GRAND CHUTE, Wis. Sunday's scheduled doubleheader between the Kane County Cougars and Wisconsin Timber Rattlers has been postponed because of inclement weather at Fox Cities Stadium. Both games will be made up as part of doubleheaders to take place in Kane County when the Timber Rattlers visit from June 14-16.
These three receivers could light up NFL
As usual, the University of Tennessee is well represented in the draft at the wide receiver position with a pair of first-round possibilities in Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson.
A quick look at the top wide receivers in this year's draft, which includes a pair each from Tennessee and West Virginia.
Bears could use grab wideout later in draft
Aside from Brandon Marshall, the Bears didn't get much production from their wide receivers last season, and with Johnny Knox gone and Devin Hester focusing on returning punts and kickoffs, there is a need for speed.
Softball: Top 20 rankings
Barrington (11-0), Benet (6-1) and Naperville Central (10-0) are the top three teams in this week's Daily Herald Top 20 rankings of area softball teams.
Safe is sexy; defensive stocks lead gains
For stock investors, safe is the new sexy. Health care companies like Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer are surging as investors buy stocks that give them what they used to get from bonds — a steady investment with a regular payout. Consumer staples stocks like Proctor & Gamble and utilities are also charging higher.
Likely tax cheats flock South, West
Worried the Internal Revenue Service might target you for an audit? You probably should be if you own a small business in one of the wealthy suburbs of Los Angeles. You might also be wary if you're a small-business owner in one of dozens of communities near San Francisco, Houston, Atlanta or the District of Columbia.
Exxon closes refinery in Joliet for maintenance
Exxon Mobil Corp. has shut the Joliet refinery in Illinois for "planned routine maintenance," according to spokeswoman Tricia Simpson. The closing, which includes all of its operating units, will be for "several weeks," Simpson said in a telephone interview.
Partnerships hard to maintain long-term
Each week, I hear from entrepreneurs who are struggling with “partnership” issues. They go into a business arrangement full of hope for a happy future, but the honeymoon can be short-lived. It is easy to forget that relationships take effort.According to some research, about 40 percent of partnerships work out. Some of the most common problems I hear about:Communication. There is no clear structure for working through issues, and no strategies for resolving conflict. A big issue is the use of email when corresponding, especially when problems escalate (which is the absolute worst time to rely on email).Lack of transparency or dishonesty. Information needs to be shared. Yet often partners withhold information from each other, which leads to trust issues.Differences over goals. Partners need to talk about what they hope to gain from the business and determine if their goals are similar.Poor or ambiguous business decisions. This includes ways of making financial decisions or methods for determining compensation.Ambiguous roles and responsibilities and performance metrics. For example, if one partner is not performing up to par, the other partner is not sure what to do about it.Differences in priorities. Both for the firm and for what they hope to accomplish.No exit strategies clearly defined. There are no clearly defined behaviors that would constitute a mandatory termination. It is important to do this in advance so those who leave will continue to speak positively about the firm.There are ways to avoid these problems. Here are some strategies:Research. Take a good look at potential partners before asking people to join. Know who you are dealing with. Interview them and people who have worked with them.Clearly define your vision. Make sure that people who join agree to the vision. Likewise, define the values for the firm and ensure that everyone is in alignment with the values.Define the parameters of the partnership at the beginning. Define the ways in which decisions can be made (and by whom). This can be a major source of conflict when one partner makes a decision she considers small, while the other is upset that he wasn’t consulted.Define the communication strategies. How will you discuss issues and resolve conflicts?Create a strategic business plan. This includes personal and corporate goals, timelines and strategies to meet the goals. Develop at least a three-year plan that describes the company’s mission, goals, target markets, etc. When defining goals, be sure to include personal goals because partners may vary in these goals. Define what success looks like to make sure the partners are aligned in expectations.Clearly define positions, tasks, duties and responsibilities. Use incentives to encourage higher performance, and make sure to measure performance. Make sure that all parties are valued, whether they are in sales or accounting or other roles.Bring in individuals with complimentary skills sets. Make sure they value what each other brings to the table.Make sure there are clear legal documents that support the partnership. Update as needed. Have clear, written partnership agreements.Find ways to nurture the relationships in the partnership. People have joined the team to share a sense of something enjoyable. Make sure it is. Build the team.Sometimes, business partnerships have to be dissolved and members must part ways. Much is written on how to handle the legal aspects of dissolving a business, yet less is written on the emotional aspects.Once again, having the conversation early on about what to do if one party wants to leave the firm is important. Make sure to discuss what each party will want from the remains of a partnership and put this in writing. If you have to break up the partnership, try meeting with the other party in person to discuss the terms.
Law could backfire for thousands on Medicaid
At a time when most states are preparing to expand their Medicaid programs in line with the new health-care law, tens of thousands of people in states with historically generous Medicaid coverage could soon be kicked off the rolls. In Wisconsin, officials want to to take advantage of the law to shift nearly 100,000 low-income people from the health insurance program for the poor into subsidized private plans.
Regulation fails to keep pace with bus rider surge
Bus transportation was the fastest-growing form of U.S. intercity travel last year, with scheduled departures up 7.5 percent, the most in four years, yet regulations are so outdated there's little to protect travelers stranded by late connections or caught outside of closed stations. Greyhound travelers recently were stranded outside a Des Moines terminal in -17 degree weather.
Vanguard exec: Don’t ditch bonds when rates rise
Tim Buckley may be today’s most influential fund industry leader, measured by his impact on how Americans’ retirement funds are invested. In January, he became chief investment officer at Vanguard, the largest mutual fund company ranked by assets. “I’ve been thinking the Vanguard way for all my 22 years here, and I espouse the same investment philosophy as anyone else in a leadership position here,” Buckley says.
Kool-Aid Man gets a new look — and a personality
Kool-Aid is unveiling a new look for its big red mascot Monday, as the powdered drink brand looks to refresh its image and tout a new liquid mix. The Kool-Aid Man, known for busting through walls and his "Oh yeah!" tagline, will now be computer-generated and take on the personality of a celebrity trying to show he's just a normal guy. In past ads, the character was played by an actor in foam costume and had little to say or do besides crashing through a wall with a big, smiley face.
Why was jobs report such a disaster?
This is a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad jobs report. The 88,000 net jobs added in March, if that or a similar figure holds up through revisions, is a tragedy: Nearly four years into the economic recovery, with the unemployment rate still close to 8 percent, the nation recorded a month in which too few jobs were added to keep up with the growing American workforce (that number is more like 125,000).
6 key considerations when applying for a mortgage
For most would-be homebuyers, making a run at homeownership is going to mean getting approved for a home loan. It’s a process that, at best, can be stressful and confusing. Borrowers can be better prepared by taking steps to study their options and learn what to expect from a lender. “It’s surprising to me that people tend to spend more time in pre-purchase research for a car than they do for a home mortgage,” says Chris George, president of home mortgage lender CMG Financial.
Blenders, baby-food makers fuel gadget sales
Not so long ago, small kitchen appliances were confined to a few main items such as toasters. Now, after a decade of kitchen-gadget makers adding high-tech features and with consumer spending recovering from the recession, chains are selling scores of specialty appliances from two-stage juicers and food dehydrators to high-tech teapots and baby-food making systems. Small kitchen-appliance purchases jumped 10 percent to $5.51 billion in 2012.
Online insurance brokers see windfall in Obamacare
Online insurance brokers see a potential windfall when the federal government doles out billions of dollars in subsidies to help Americans buy health insurance next year. And they want state regulators to help them capture it. The online brokers want millions of new insurance customers to use those subsidies to buy health coverage through their websites, rather than shopping exclusively on government-run exchanges.
Ford Focus grabs global sales crown
It’s official: The Ford Focus was the best-selling car in the world in 2012, according to R.L. Polk & Co.While the title comes with all sorts of caveats, the rise of the Focus nameplate says all kinds of things about the U.S. and Asian automotive industries, the importance of global manufacturing and how Thailand became the new Spain.
Laws, rumors have ammo flying off store shelves
Gun enthusiasts fearful of new weapon controls and alarmed by rumors of government hoarding are buying bullets practically by the bushel, making it hard for stores nationwide to keep shelves stocked and even putting a pinch on some local law enforcement departments.
Waistline index grows as emerging markets eat fast food
Fast food and expanding waistlines are not just an American health concern. Even as McDonald’s, Yum Brands and Domino’s Pizza work to placate anti-obesity advocates at home, they’re taking high-calorie offerings to other parts of the globe and hooking a new generation in emerging markets. Their target customers, often part of a rising middle class with a more sedentary lifestyle, are in turn putting on the pounds.
Five myths about taxes
Let's topple some tall tales about taxes before writing checks to — or getting checks from — the dreaded Internal Revenue Service.
Traction control powers down the engine
Occasionally when I make a left turn, just after starting my turn, there is a 100-percent loss of engine power. This is on dry pavement without any slipping of the tires occurring. I am 65 and don't do jack rabbit starts.
Life & Entertainment
Images: MTV Movie Awards
MTV's annual tribute to movies and their stars was jam packed with celebrities including Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Emma Watson and host Rebel Wilson.
‘Django’ stars, ‘Avengers’ win big at MTV Movie Awards
With a cast of superheroes and villains, "The Avengers" beat out its competitors to become the big winner at the MTV Movie Awards. The action romp won three awards Sunday, including the top prize, movie of the year. "What's the opposite of humbled? We're Biebered to be standing here," said "Avengers" writer-director Joss Whedon as he accepted the final golden popcorn trophy.
Jenna Bush Hager gives birth to 1st child
Former President George W. Bush has become a grandfather. His twin daughter Jenna Bush Hager gave birth to her first child, a daughter, on Saturday night in New York City.
NY woman charged with stalking Hugh Jackman
Radio station 1010 WINS says Hugh Jackman was working out in a gym Saturday morning in Manhattan's West Village neighborhood when a woman rushed in, crying and shouting that she loved him.
Exploring ballplayer Jackie Robinson’s Brooklyn
With the movie “42” bringing the Jackie Robinson story to a new generation, fans young and old may be inspired to visit some of the places in Brooklyn connected to the African-American athlete who integrated Major League Baseball when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. In Coney Island, a statue portrays Robinson and Pee Wee Reese, the white Dodger who stood by him in the face of racist taunts.
‘42’ opens on top this weekend
The Jackie Robinson biography "42" opened as the top weekend film at theaters in the U.S. and Canada, taking in $27 million for Legendary Pictures and distributor Time Warner Inc. The spoof "Scary Movie 5," was second in its debut, taking in $15 million for Weinstein Co.'s Dimension Films.
Keith Richards joins Clapton at Crossroads Festival
Eric Clapton's Crossroads festival has become the mecca for riff worshippers, so it was appropriate that guitar deity Keith Richards made a surprise appearance to perform with Clapton. The Rolling Stone received perhaps the most sustained standing ovation of the night as he joined his old pal toward the end of Crossroads, a two-night concert festival at Madison Square Garden that brought together a dazzling array of guitar masters.
Rebel Wilson prepares to open MTV Awards with a solo
Rebel Wilson sings, dances and summons laughs — and that's just in the opening moments of this weekend's MTV Movie Awards. The Australian actress is hosting the show, and she's set to start the ceremony by singing solo.
MTV Movie Awards 'opposite of the Oscars'
Who will win best kiss? Best fight? Best onscreen duo? Tune in Sunday for the 2013 MTV Movie Awards and find out. With Rebel Wilson playing host, and "Ted" up for seven awards, this is surely no Oscar telecast.
Joan Baez returns to past in Vietnam
At 72, Joan Baez is not short of events to anticipate: She has her mother's 100th birthday party, a tour of Australia and a new passion — painting — to explore. But the folk singer and social activist has spent a few days reliving her past, returning to Hanoi for the first time since December 1972, when American B-52s were raining bombs on it. Each night, Baez would scurry to the bunker underneath her government-run hotel, her peace mission to North Vietnam interrupted by the reality of war. With the blast waves making her night dress billow, she would tremble until dawn, sometimes singing, sometimes praying.
Sunday picks: Spend 'April in Paris' with Claudia Hommel
Cabaret singer Claudia Hommel presents “April in Paris,” a concert featuring both French and American songs, at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Wheaton Public Library. The internationally acclaimed percussion revue “Stomp” returns to Aurora's Paramount Theatre for two Sunday shows. Oscar winner William Friedkin appears Sunday night at the Muvico Theaters Rosemont 18 as part of the inaugural Chicago Critics Film Fest.
A reboot for the National Geographic Channel
Every day the National Geographic Channel faces the challenge of trying to build a successful network in the era of Honey Boo-Boo without damaging a National Geographic brand that has stood for quality since the magazine was first published in 1888. In its newest venture starting at 7 p.m. Sunday, narrator Rob Lowe takes a nostalgic three-day look at the 1980s called “The ’80s: The Decade That Made Us.”
Five spots you might have overlooked in Branson
With more theater seats than you’ll find on Broadway, the southern Missouri tourist town of Branson is all about the shows. You could spend every morning, afternoon and evening taking in shows in Branson, but there are other attractions that warrant your attention in this city of 10,000 that draws 8 million visitors a year. Here are five not to miss.
Swanky beach enclave seeks relief from bird stench
La Jolla's jagged coastline is strictly protected by environmental laws to ensure the San Diego community remains the kind of seaside jewel that has attracted swanky restaurants, top-flight hotels and some of the nation's rich and famous, including billionaire businessman Irwin Jacobs and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Tourists flock to the place. So do birds. Lots of birds. And with those birds comes lots of poop.
Atlantic City launches new tourism ads
Knowing their resort has a lot going for it — and a lot of challenges potentially holding it back — Atlantic City tourism officials commissioned a survey of potential vacationers. It found that 85 percent view the seaside gambling resort as "a great place for a quick, spontaneous getaway" and even more said it has a "variety of appealing activities."
Private school teaches well-off students to conserve
Students at Choate Rosemary Hall preparatory school consider the value of food scraps and the environmental impact of hair dryers. These are among the curricular wrinkles encountered by young scholars living and studying in a zero-energy building, the new Kohler Environmental Center.
On the road: Celebration honors U.S. Grant
he birthday of U.S. Grant, symbol of Union victory during the Civil War and our 18th president, in Galena, Ill. General and Mrs. Grant will welcome guests into their home, now known as the Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site, during the Grant Birthday Weekend commemoration. Also, if you’re one of those people who enjoy bacon with everything, you’ll want to get a taste of Baconfest Chicago.
Protective membrane prevents ice dams
Q. We have ahome that was built with no soffits. As a result, we experience occasional ice dams, but even more troubling is condensation in the attic that has led to water buildup and staining on the drop ceiling panels in our upstairs bedrooms.
The legal way to get your tenants to pay got natural gas
Q. I currently have leases with all 10 tenants in my building where I pay gas and they pay electricity. All the units have gas wall heaters. I recently realized that the large majority of the tenants left their heaters on during the day.
The new gold standard in furnishings
There was an unmistakable glow of gold tones emanating from so many showrooms in High Point, N.C., when the nation's top furniture makers and sellers gathered for another International Home Furnishings Market.
Illuminate storage spaces to make finding items easier
Even the most organized people can misplace things. That's because the places we put our stuff — closets, drawers, cabinets — usually are some of the darkest in the house. "If we cannot see it, we forget it, and we do not use it," says Isabella Guarjardo, a professional organizer.
Editorial: Do we fight over pensions? Or find solutions?
A Daily Herald editorial says that vested interests must come to grips with the reality that Illinois' public pension system must be reformed or those who are counting on the pensions could wake up one day and find they are not there.
Pass gun laws, but will they really help?
Columnist Kathleen Parker: The biggest obstacle to the Obama administration’s push for tighter gun control may be its own best argument: Newtown. This is because nothing proposed in the gun control debates would have prevented the mass killing of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and everybody knows it. At best, tighter gun laws will make us feel better.
Ousted mayor had many accomplishments
A Fox Lake letter to the editor: It was a roller coaster of emotions during election night. I had vested interest considering my dad is Fox Lake Mayor Ed Bender.
Thank you, voters, for showing faith
A Vernon Hills letter to the editor: Thank you to the people of Vernon Hills for coming out, either as early voters or on last Tuesday to the polls, to cast your vote in the municipal elections.
Many thanks for Fittest Loser contest
A Schaumburg letter to the editor: Having been an athlete in college 40 years ago, I knew what it was like to be in shape. But four decades and 50 extra pounds later I would find myself out of breath climbing up a set of stairs. After nine weeks into this challenge and with the help of the Schaumburg Park District and my trainer, Lee Collens, I have lost 32 pounds.
Tolerance must come from both sides
An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Opponents of the Bible, like Mr. Fanella, seldom tell us what they base their own beliefs and decisions on. Instead, they throw out loaded terms like bigot or intolerant. Based on what? Based on the fact that people who use the Bible as their source of truth do not believe the same things that they believe. Does that seem a little intolerant to you?
Put Middle East aid in perspective
A Prospect Heights letter to the editor: To direct public anger toward one group of people during tough times is wrong. We have to remember the past when hate was mongered toward other groups and learn faster.
Congress, why fret over Saturday mail?
An Elmhurst letter to the editor: It baffles me as to why the stoic old lame duck Congress would even consider involving themselves with a Saturday mail delivery issue. Having Saturday delivery is a waste of time and resources.
A sign church doing its job correctly
A Carol Stream letter to the editor: I was delighted to read the challenge to pastors from Paul O. Bischoff in his April 9 letter headlined "Same-sex marriage too hot for clergy?" Bischoff complained that it is rare for pastors of Protestant churches to preach on "hot," topics from the pulpit these days.
Need to get back to faith basic: holiness
A Lake in the Hills letter to the editor: In response to the ladies who believe their church is killing women ... really? I believe the call to holiness taught by our church has nurtured me as a woman and shown me ways to excel which I thought were impossible. Why do "feminists" always rate their success or failure based on a man's achievement? Why would female priests make your psyche feel better?
Don’t blame GOP for sequester
An Elgin letter to the editor: Tom Minnerick is a non-informed liberal. It was Obama's idea for the sequester and he could have stopped this at anytime. He got his tax raises so all he had to do was work with Congress for spending cuts.
How long can we survive this way?
A Geneva letter to the editor: Mr. Minnerick blames the right wing for the drastic cuts in spending due to the sequester. A little history: the sequester was agreed to by both parties should they not agree to cuts by a certain date. The parties could not agree and the sequester happened.
Baffled by Kirk’s gay marriage stance
I am bewildered by Senator Kirk's announcement in support of gay marriage. He said that, "life comes down to who you love and who loves you back — government has no place in the middle."
In a DuPage courtroom: murder trial coverage — with many restrictions
The first gavel-to-gavel trial coverage with still and video cameras occurs this week in a suburban courtroom. But the landmark experiment doesn't come without a host of rules and restrictions, says Jim Davis, news director for the DuPage and Fox Valley editions.