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    Small equipment issues pose big threats on rails

    Freight trains carrying hazardous materials are part of the landscape in towns such as Barrington. But leaks and spills from tank cars add up to a significant amount of hazmat being released into the environment.

    Dec 21, 2014 7:35 AM

    Thousands of gallons of pollution are released across the region from train cars every year. The causes in most cases are preventable, from human error to loose screws. While shippers, manufacturers and railroads shift blame, affected towns just want it to stop. “The regulators need to get serious about what they’re doing,” Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner said.


    Alert came minutes too late for ambushed NYC cops

    A man tapes an American flag to a doorway as part of a makeshift memorial Sunday for the two police officers who were shot there Saturday in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in New York. Ismaaiyl Brinsley, who vowed online to shoot two “pigs” in retaliation for the police chokehold death of Eric Garner, ambushed two New York City officers in a patrol car Saturday and fatally shot them in broad daylight before running to a subway station and killing himself, authorities said.

    Dec 21, 2014 12:07 PM

    Just minutes before a wanted poster for Ismaaiyl Brinsley arrived in the NYPD’s Real Time Crime Center, he ambushed two officers in their patrol car in broad daylight, fatally shooting them before killing himself inside a subway station. Brinsley, 28, wrote on an Instagram account before Saturday’s shootings: “I’m putting wings on pigs today. They take 1 of ours, let’s take 2 of theirs." He used the hashtags Shootthepolice RIPErivGardner (sic) RIPMikeBrown...


    Palatine Marine returns home, feted at former school

    Cpl. Steven Kwiatkowski was out to breakfast with his mother, Ann, right, when he was greeted by members of the Warriors Watch Riders motorcycle club, which escorted the Marine and his family to Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, where an assembly was being held in his honor.

    Dec 20, 2014 8:43 PM

    Phil and Ann Kwiatkowski got one of the best Christmas presents parents with a child in the military can receive. Their oldest son Stephen ended his four-year hitch in the U.S. Marine Corps after two tours in Afghanistan and is back home in Palatine. "It's the only gift any of us need," Phil Kwiatkowski said. Stephen was feted at his alma mater, Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights.


    DuPage County inmates’ families given a holiday party

    Carla Perry plays with her 2-year-old grandson, Jeremiah Perry, while her daughter volunteers at a holiday party for the children of DuPage County inmates.

    Dec 20, 2014 7:53 PM

    Hundreds of kids whose parents will spend the holidays in DuPage County jail were treated to a party Saturday at a Carol Stream church, where they took home donated toys and a "little light," organizers said. "Their children won’t miss an opportunity to experience love, and that’s what it really is — it’s all about the love of somebody giving back," said Carla Perry, whose daughter volunteered at the festivities.


    Minorities now the new majority in schools statewide

    A freshman class at Elgin High School reflects the school’s diversity: About 80 percent of its students are minorities.

    Dec 21, 2014 7:00 AM

    There are more minority students in Illinois than their white counterparts, and more than 50 percent of students now come from low-income families. Suburban educators are adjusting to the demographic shift. Of the change and the challenge, Glenbard High School District 87 Superintendent David Larson said, “This is what’s happening in America. It’s exciting. It’s energizing, and it’s important to embrace.”

    Life & Entertainment

    Sunday picks: Frozemont welcomes all skaters

    Bring your skates — or rent some onsite — at the outdoor Frozemont ice rink in Rosemont.

    Dec 21, 2014 7:00 AM

    Step onto the ice at the NHL-sized outdoor Frozemont ice rink at MB Financial Park at Rosemont. Skating is free! The Von Heidecke's Chicago Festival Ballet teams up again with the New Philharmonic Orchestra for performances of the Tchaikovsky seasonal classic “The Nutcracker” at the McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn.

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      North Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hack

      Read Article Updated Dec 20, 2014 1:43 PM

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      Editorial: The holiday season for those who grieve

      Read Article Updated Dec 21, 2014 5:01 AM

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