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Monday, May 7, 2012

Sarge's Sports

American League
EASTWLPCTGBHOMEROADRSRADIFFSTRKL10POFF
Baltimore199.679-8-411-513197+34Won 58-253.6
Tampa Bay1910.655.513-36-7133121+12Lost 27-357.0
Toronto1613.5523.58-78-6138118+20Lost 26-440.9
NY Yankees1513.53647-68-7141129+12Won 15-552.2
Boston1116.4077.54-107-6144156-12Lost 54-619.0
CENTRALWLPCTGBHOMEROADRSRADIFFSTRKL10POFF
Cleveland1511.577-6-89-3117116+1Won 16-434.1
Detroit1413.5191.59-95-4115118-3Won 14-656.0
Chicago Sox1315.46435-98-6108107+1Lost 13-732.6
Kansas City918.3336.52-127-6104133-29Lost 16-411.3
Minnesota720.2598.53-84-1292151-59Lost 22-80.9
WESTWLPCTGBHOMEROADRSRADIFFSTRKL10POFF
Texas1810.643-8-510-514699+47Lost 14-690.9
Oakland1514.5173.56-79-797112-15Won 26-416.5
Seattle1317.43365-78-10116120-4Won 23-711.6
LA Angels1217.4146.59-83-9103108-5Won 26-423.3
National League
EASTWLPCTGBHOMEROADRSRADIFFSTRKL10POFF
Washington1810.643-12-46-69682+14Lost 14-651.1
Atlanta1811.621.58-510-6162135+27Won 36-455.4
NY Mets1513.536310-65-7106134-28Won 25-511.4
Miami1414.50046-58-9100104-4Won 67-315.1
Philadelphia1415.4834.55-59-10110109+1Won 15-544.5
CENTRALWLPCTGBHOMEROADRSRADIFFSTRKL10POFF
St. Louis1711.607-8-49-715290+62Won 16-485.1
Cincinnati1413.5192.58-66-7105100+5Won 16-436.7
Houston1315.46449-64-9132118+14Lost 17-322.2
Milwaukee1216.42956-66-10113142-29Lost 23-715.3
Pittsburgh1216.42956-66-1078104-26Lost 14-63.9
Chicago Cubs1117.39367-94-898120-22Won 15-57.9
WESTWLPCTGBHOMEROADRSRADIFFSTRKL10POFF
LA Dodgers1810.643-10-28-8115103+12Lost 15-563.1
San Francisco1414.50048-76-7108105+3Won 25-530.3
Arizona1415.4834.56-78-8123121+2Lost 25-539.9
Colorado1215.4445.58-104-5146153-7Lost 33-712.5
San Diego920.3109.57-132-794118-24Lost 34-65.9

Former Dixon comptroller pleads not guilty to taking $53M

Former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell, center, walks into Federal Court in Rockford on Monday with her attorneys, Paul Gaziano, left, and Kristin Carpenter. Crundwell is accused of stealing over 50 million dollars from the city of Dixon.The former financial officer of Dixon has pleaded not guilty to charges that she stole more than $53 million from the downstate community.

Rita Crundwell pleaded not guilty to wire fraud in a Rockford courtroom on Monday. She will be represented by public defenders.

Prosecutors contend Crundwell had been transferring Dixon's money to a secret account since at 1990 and using the money to create one of the nation's leading horse-breeding operations and buy luxury homes, cars and jewelry.

Crundwell and attorney, Paul Gaziano, refused to comment on the case.

Gold Coast Citibank got their money back after wild gunman left it behind stupid fuck

Chicago police were searching for a man who attempted to rob a Gold Coast bank but ended up leaving behind the bag containing the cash he had demanded, police said.

The bank robbery happened at 9:43 a.m. at the Citibank branch, 539 N. Michigan Avenue when a man walked into the bank holding a bag, police said. The man told a teller that he had a bomb in the bag and demanded that the teller stuff cash into the bag, police said.

But rather than taking the bag, the man left the bag behind with the cash, police said.

Investigators from the department's Bomb and Arson unit were called to the bank to respond to the threat because of the man's allegation that a bomb was inside the bag. As a result, a portion of Michigan Avenue was closed off as police investigate.

No one was injured in the bank robbery and police had no further details.

Few undecided as feelings run deep in Wisconsin recall

Gov. Scott Walker shakes hands with supporters after a speech alongside New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch late last month.
Al Trossen feels like a wanted man. The former Teamster voted for embattled Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in 2010 but isn't sure who to support in the state's historic recall election next month.

"There's so much bashing on both sides," the 71-year-old retired truck driver said. "How does a person know what to believe?"

A few days before a Democratic primary that will decide who will take on the Republican Walker, and four weeks until the general election, it's not easy to find undecided voters like Trossen. One recent poll put the percentage of undecided voters in the low single digits.

But that tiny group will be the focus of extraordinary attention now in a fiercely fought campaign that has become a national battle over worker rights. With the race a virtual toss-up, the rival forces — which include the national Democratic and Republican parties, powerful conservative interest groups and organized labor — must hone their closing arguments for people who so far have been unmoved by months of impassioned appeals.

"I don't think there's a huge persuadable universe out there in this campaign," Republican strategist Mark Graul said. With the undecided amounting to perhaps 2 to 4 percent, said Sachin Chheda, a Democratic strategist, "The challenge on both sides is to get people motivated to vote."

Most Wisconsin voters already love or hate Walker. Tens of thousands of protesters swarmed the Capitol for three weeks last year after he made his push to end most public employees bargaining rights to help address the state's budget problems. Recall organizers were easily able to gather nearly a million signatures supporting his removal, but Walker's supporters also flooded his campaign with more than $25 million.

The campaigns and special interests have spent about $40 million on a political blitz that has penetrated every household.

But voters who are still wavering include some who approved of Walker's cuts to state spending but who found his tactics too confrontational. They also include Democrats who sympathize with state workers but think Walker earned the right to serve his entire term. Some say they're still trying to figure out whether Wisconsin's economy is better or worse off with Walker.

"I want to find out the truth. Have we created more jobs?" said Trossen, among the voters interviewed between the southeastern Wisconsin city of Racine and the Madison-area community of Sun Prairie. Walker credits his conservative, business-friendly policies for helping reduce the state's unemployment rate to 6.8 percent, the lowest since 2008. However, federal reports also show Wisconsin lost more jobs in the past year than did any other state.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who lost to Walker by five percentage points in the 2010 election, is expected to win the chance in Tuesday's Democratic primary to face Walker in the June 5 general election. Polls show him leading former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, who has received heavy union backing; Secretary of State Doug La Follette; and state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout.

Sun Prairie resident Cathy Fleury, 50, voted for Barrett in 2010 but is torn over whether he would be an improvement over Walker. She dislikes Walker's tough tactics but says Democrats haven't offered any new ideas for the state's fiscal condition.

"If nothing changes, if nobody comes up with a new platform or any genuine new ideas to make a change, it'll be like a flip of a coin" on Election Day, she said.

Jim Morelli, 52, a safety representative at the Wisconsin utility We Energies, said he intends to listen to what the candidates say about creating jobs and improving the economy. Though he's inclined to let Walker finish his term, "I'm sure there's something they could say to change my mind," he said, referring to Walker's opponents.

The state elections board predicts a voter turnout of 30 percent to 35 percent, or between 1.3 million and 1.5 million people, for Tuesday's primary, which would be the highest for a partisan Wisconsin primary in 60 years. Turnout is also expected to be high in June, and the race now appears to be roughly even.

The candidates are relying on attack ads to sway or motivate voters. TV and Internet ads for Barrett and Falk accuse the governor of cutting funding for education and failing to create the 250,000 jobs he promised in the 2010 campaign. Ads on behalf of Walker portray Barrett as the mayor of a failing city with a poor economy and Falk as a poor fiscal manager.

Undecided voters interviewed stressed that party ties don't matter at this point.

Wendy Hanson of Marshal, about 20 miles northeast of Madison, voted for Walker in 2010 but later signed a recall petition against him. She said she was turned off by his "dictatorial" style, but neither is she impressed by what she sees as a lackluster crop of Democrats. She said no candidates have given her a reason to vote for them.

"The way this is right now it's going to be the way I feel on Election Day, unless something comes out of the box to sway me," the 50-year-old said. "I don't know what that would be."

City Wide shootings over the weekend

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -
Two people have been killed, and at least 15 other people -- one of them a 12-year-old girl -- have been wounded in shootings across the city since Friday afternoon.

About 1:26 a.m. Sunday, Devon Paramore, 33, of the 8600 block of West 87th Street, was shot in the back and right armpit in the 1300 block of 13th Street and later pronounced dead at John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County.

No one has been arrested in his slaying as of Sunday morning.

The other fatal shooting occurred at 9:09 p.m. on Friday in the city's Far South Side Pullman neighborhood, where police said they found an unresponsive 16-year-old boy on the sidewalk in the 121000 block of South Green Street.

Donnell Rankin, of the 21700 block of South Clyde Avenue in Sauk Village, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. A Saturday autopsy found Rankin died from a gunshot wound to the neck.

Police said the shooting was gang-related, and no arrests have been made as of Saturday night.

At least 15 other people have been wounded in shootings this weekend, including a 12-year-old girl.

The most recent non-fatal shooting occurred about 12:15 a.m. early Sunday when a 26-year-old man was seriously wounded in a drive-by in the 2900 block of West Polk Street.

Police said he was shot in both legs, the abdomen area and in one of his fingers.

Two minutes before that, a 27-year-old man was shot in the leg in the 5800 block of South Wolcott Ave.

About 11:15 p.m. Saturday, in the 7200 block of South Green Street. An 18-year-old man was riding a bike his when someone fired at him from a group of males, striking him in the right buttock, police said.

At 10:30 p.m. a 12-year-old girl was struck in the left foot by gunfire in the 500 block of North Springfield Avenue, police said. She was taken in good condition to Mount Sinai Hospital.

Also about 10:30 p.m., a 24-year-old man was shot in the back in the 300 block of South Campbell Ave. and managed to get to Mount Sinai Hospital without an ambulance, police said.

He was listed in "stable" condition early Sunday.

At 10:10 p.m., a man in his 20s was treated for a gunshot wound to the back at Mount Sinai Hospital, but is refusing to tell authorities where the shooting happened, police said. He is listed in good condition.

About 9:15 p.m. on Saturday in Far South Side Pullman neighborhood, man was shot in the leg in the 300 block of West 104th Place, police said, adding that paramedics took him in good condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

Two people walked into John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County wounded after a 3:20 p.m. shooting in the 3700 block of West Roosevelt Road, police said. A 42-year-old man shot in the right shoulder, and a 43-year-old woman shot in the left forearm were both listed in good condition.

At 1:15 a.m., a 26-year-old man was walking with some friends in the Wicker Park neighborhood when an unknown gunman approached him on foot and fired shots in the 1200 block of North Wolcott Avenue, police said.

The man was hit multiple times and taken in critical condition to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, police said, adding that the shooting was gang-related.

Fifteen minutes earlier, a 24-year-old was shot in the Far South Side Roseland neighborhood. The shooting occurred on the sidewalk in the 300 block of West 107th Street, police said, adding that the man suffered a gunshot wound to his lower left leg and was taken to Roseland Community Hospital.

On Friday at 10:37 p.m., a 26-year-old man was shot in the upper right thigh in the West Side Lawndale neighborhood, police said. The shooting took place in the 2100 block of South Washtenaw Avenue, and the man was taken in good condition to Mount Sinai Hospital, police said.

Earlier Friday, a 54-year-old woman and two men were wounded in separate shootings about a block apart on the South Side.

At 7 p.m., a 21-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy were standing outside during a party in the 7000 block of South Clyde Avenue when assailants approached on foot from the alley and opened fire, police said. The assailants then fled down the alley and entered a blue van.

The 17-year-old boy was in critical condition after suffering gunshot wounds to the chest and flank, police said. The 21-year-old man was shot in both legs and was in "stable" condition. Paramedics took the man and the boy to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

About 4:30 p.m., a 54-year-old woman was shot in the right hip at East 71st Street and South Chappel Avenue, police said. She was also taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Illinois Fugitives caught in Arizona

Nelson and Janet Hallahan

Acting on a tip, U.S. marshals in Arizona put an end to an Illinois couple's life on the lam, a dozen years after they fled punishment for running a Ponzi scheme that targeted friends, the elderly, and even family members, authorities said.

As fugitives, Nelson Grant Hallahan, 65, and wife Janet Hallahan, 54, lived in several states in the Southwest and had used a number of aliases, the Marshals Service said Sunday.

The two were arrested by deputy marshals Saturday afternoon in Tonopah, a desert community 50 miles west of Phoenix. Officials believe they hid in Arizona for the past couple years.

"The 12-year run from justice of the Hallahans, also known as the 'Mini Madoffs,' has come to an end," U.S. Marshal for Arizona David Gonzales said in a statement. "Their investment scams involving family, friends, and the elderly, ruined many lives."

The agency said it received a tip about their location after they were featured on "America's Most Wanted" the previous night.

The couple pleaded guilty in Illinois federal court to bank and mail fraud conspiracy charges and money laundering. They didn't show up for their sentencing and began life on the run.

While living in Peoria, the couple promised their victims significant returns on investments, the Marshal Service said. They were actually running a Ponzi scheme, repaying earlier investors with proceeds from new ones. They also defrauded investors by selling interests in a tanning salon they later sold without telling investors, the statement said.

The Marshal Service said the couple netted millions of dollars from victims, and maintained a lavish lifestyle, buying yachts, luxury vehicles, designer clothes and jewelry.

Teresa Allred, 63, said she and her husband went to dinner with the Hallahans several times and had considered them friends.

They gave the Hallahans $15,000 to buy more tanning beds for the salon. Allred, who lives with her husband just outside Peoria in Morton, Ill., said the Hallahans promised them a 10 percent interest rate on the investment.

Allred told The Associated Press Sunday night that they never saw the money again.

"When she (Janet) was borrowing money from us to buy tanning beds, she had already sold the tanning salon," she said.

"With friends like that, who needs enemies?" she said.

According to a profile on the AMW website, Nelson Hallahan was a successful life insurance salesman. Janet Hallahan was his assistant and secretary, and the couple married in 1988.

The Hallahans owed nearly $1.2 million to investors when they disappeared just days before they were to be sentenced in January 2000.

Matt Hershey, a supervisory deputy U.S. Marshal, said the Hallahans were living apart and were arrested without incident at separate homes.

"I'm just glad that they've been found," Allred said. "We may or may not see our money, but at least I feel like there's a little bit of restitution."

The missing mother and her kids were found safe

Chicago police are looking for these three missing persons: Maria Miranda and her two daughters, Victoria Ortega and Mariana Gomez (from left).

UPDATE: Chicago police have confirmed this morning that Maria Miranda and her two daughters were found safe in Arizona, but didn't immediately have details.

Chicago police are searching today for a 41-year-old woman and her two daughters, ages 19 and 1, who went missing last Tuesday from the city's Brighton Park neighborhood.

Maria Miranda has threatened to kill herself and her two daughters Victoria Ortega, 19 and Mariana Gomez, 1, police said, describing the three as "endangered missings."

The three were last seen May 1 on the 2800 block of West 38th Street on the Southwest Side, police said. The police did not have descriptions of the clothing worn by the three, but said they may possibly have a blue stroller and a black backpack, police said.

All are described as being Hispanic with olive complexions, brown eyes and black hair, police said. Miranda is 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs about 220 pounds, Ortega is 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds, and the toddler is about 3 feet tall and weighs 30 pounds, police said.

Anyone with information on the family's whereabouts should contact the Area Central Special Victims Unit at (312) 747-8380.

Marine Police save lives

Chicago police officers rescued nine people tonight from a boat that was in distress on the lakefront near Diversey Harbor, officials said.

Police Marine Unit officers responded to the area of a flare from a ship that was taking on water about a half mile east of Diversey Harbor at about 10:30 p.m., authorities said.

The nine people, all males and a dog, were taken to Belmont Harbor where they refused treatment, according to fire media information.

The U.S. Coast Guard was called to the scene to recover the boat that sank beneath the waters, officials said.