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    Around this time of the year, things start to take on a renewed energy. In spite of what the economists and policymakers may say, the life of most Americans is centered around school in some form or fashion. It is the natural order of things, the children grow up, have their own children and…

      Instinctively, most of us head for the shady side of the block when taking a walk. Hess Drive in Highland and Jay Street in Griffith both have a wonderful canopy of leaves to walk or ride a bicycle under. We avoid streets with no shade, especially in the searing heat of August.

        Cable TV channel CNN has been running a documentary series looking back at The Seventies, which sort of reminded me of the nostalgia that we had in the 1970s for the 1950s. Invariably these series always appeal to those of us that lived through that time period, and in this case I am guilty …

          It's the time of year when many of us realize that we don’t have as much vacation time left as we thought. A long trip is out of the question, the kids are restless - and so are the adults. Disney World is out of the question. So where do you go for a day or two?

            Being born at the tail end of the baby boom, I don’t have much memory when it comes to relatives who served in World War II. I had an uncle who spent time in the Pacific during the war, but so far as I have been able to find, he didn’t see any combat.

              There is an old saying that life happens when you are busy planning for something else. This last week-and-a-half is a case study in that, at least for me. I had planned to continue my usual foray into local academic history competitions and to lend a hand where I could with We the People, b…

              Three women killed in a weekend shooting at a short-term rental home in an upscale Los Angeles neighborhood have been identified, while police continued to search for suspects. Four other people were wounded, two critically, when gunfire erupted around 2:30 a.m. Saturday at the property in the Beverly Crest area. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office on Sunday identified those killed as: Iyana Hutton, 33, of Chicago; Nenah Davis, 29, of Bolingbrook, Illinois; and Destiny Sims, 26, of Buckeye, Arizona. Investigators are trying to determine if there was a party at the rental home or what type of gathering was occurring at the time off the shooting.

              A bill sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker would lift restrictions on Illinois residents who can’t change their names because of past crimes. Supporters say the legislation would especially help people who are transgender or have been victims of human trafficking. Under current law, there’s a lifetime ban on name changes for people who have been convicted of identity theft or are on state registries for certain crimes. Others convicted of crimes can face a 10-year waiting period to change a name. A judge would make the final decision on a name change with input from a local prosecutor under a bill that has cleared the General Assembly.

              Authorities say one of the twin Ohio boys who became the center of a statewide AMBER Alert that garnered nationwide attention last month has died. Columbus police said the approximately six-month-old boy was reported not breathing shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday and was pronounced dead less than an hour later at a hospital. The boy and his brother had been in an idling car taken Dec. 20 as their mother was picking up an order at a restaurant. One child was found hours later in a parking lot near Dayton International Airport. The other boy was found on the evening of Dec. 22 in an abandoned car in Indianapolis.

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