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The Empress Casino gambling boat makes its way down the Des Plaines River in 1993. (John Smierciak, Chicago Tribune / June 21, 2012)

Winners and losers: Chicago-area casinos 20 years later

The first suburban Chicago casino opened 20 years ago this month, bringing with it hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in taxes, but also … Read more ›

A lifeguard watches over swimmers at 63rd Street Beach in Chicago on Tuesday. State guidelines say where lifeguards are required, there must be a minimum of one per 100 bathers or 2,000 square feet of water surface area. ( Armando L. Sanchez, Chicago Tribune / June 17, 2012 )

Lifeguard on duty: Swim at your own risk

Lifeguards at Pioneer Park pool in Arlington Heights always have to be on alert — for swimmers in trouble, but also for the lifeguard certification … Read more ›

2012_Midwest_League_All-Star_Game

Fans could see the next Pujols or Maddux as Cougars host Midwest All-Star Game Tuesday

Time will tell if fans will be watching future Major League impact players such as Albert Pujols or Greg Maddux play Tuesday, June 19 in … Read more ›

A cougar at Wildlife Prairie State Park near Peoria. (E. Jason Wambsgans/ Chicago Tribune / June 14, 2012)

Study: Cougars again spreading across Midwest

Cougars are again spreading across the Midwest a century after the generally reclusive predators were hunted to near extinction in much of the region, according … Read more ›

Former Lake County prosecutor faces disciplinary board in drug case

His drug-dealing roommate loved baking “marijuana pastries,” a former Lake County prosecutor testified Wednesday, so when the roommate offered him some chemically enhanced batter, he … Read more ›

State Senator Suzi Schmidt. (Lake County Sheriff's police / June 12, 2012)

Neighbors say state senator harassing them for more than year

Neighbors of state Sen. Suzi Schmidt claim the lawmaker has been harassing them for more than a year, including a confrontation with their 7-year-old son, … Read more ›

Stevenson's Patrick O'Connell, left, fires a pass to Tom Imus at the USF shootout in Joliet. (Jeff Vorva/Tribune)

Area sophomore basketball teams get a summer workout at USF shootout

The first tipoff was at 8 a.m., and 13 hours later a champion was crowned. And in the middle was nonstop basketball featuring several TribLocal-area … Read more ›

State Senator Suzi Schmidt. (Lake County Sheriff's police / June 12, 2012)

State Sen. Suzi Schmidt arrested in stalking case

State Sen. Suzi Schmidt was arrested by Lake County Sheriff’s deputies this afternoon on a misdemeanor warrant alleging that she damaged her neighbor’s property and … Read more ›

Oak Park players run off the field after beating Grant in the state semifinals. (Jeff Vorva/Tribune)

Arrogance ‘in a good way’ helps Oak Park win first state baseball title since ’81

Oak Park River Forest High School’s baseball team needed a seventh-inning single from Mike Brennan to score Jack Picchiotti to set off a wild celebration … Read more ›

Five area softball teams bring home state trophies and two win titles

Glenbard South and Marist High School each won Illinois High School Association softball championships Saturday in East Peoria while Bartlett claimed second and Providence Catholic … Read more ›