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Daily Archive : Thursday November 27, 2014

News

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    President Barack Obama shakes hands with a parton as he and his family distribute food at “Bread For The City” Wednesday in Washington, as part of an annual Thanksgiving tradition of participation in a service event.

    Full holiday menu for Obamas, plus 6 pies

    President Barack Obama spent a quiet Thanksgiving at the White House where the belly-stuffing menu featured all the holiday’s basics. He also continued a tradition of telephoning members of the armed forces to thank them for their service.

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    This undated photo from the U.S. Library of Congress shows the former Cathedral of St. John Episcopal Church in Providence, R.I. Diocese officials said slaves worshipped in the elevated pews at the back of the sanctuary, which were later removed. A proposal would convert the shuttered church into the nation’s only museum centered on the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

    Cathedral may become museum to the slave trade

    A plan to open what would be the nation’s only museum centered on the trans-Atlantic slave trade would focus on the Episcopal Church’s role in its history and the sometimes-buried legacy of slavery in northern states like Rhode Island. The museum at the shuttered Cathedral of St. John, a church where slaves once worshipped, would explore how the church benefited from the trade and...

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    P.D. James brought a new level of sophistication to the mystery genre, creating such enduring characters as the erudite but melancholy Scotland Yard sleuth Adam Dalgliesh and the resourceful private investigator Cordelia Gray.

    Novelist PD James dies at age 94

    Mystery writer P.D. James, who brought realistic modern characters to the classical British detective story, has died, her publisher said. She was 94. James’ books, many featuring sensitive sleuth Adam Dalgliesh, sold millions around the world, and most were just as popular when adapted for television.

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    Protestors drop to their knees and put their arms in the air during a rally for Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer, in Clayton, Mo., in this Aug. 12 file photo.

    For some, location of Brown’s hands irrelevant

    Witness accounts contained in thousands of pages of grand jury documents reviewed by The Associated Press show many variations about whether Michael Brown’s hands were actually raised — and if so, how high. To some, it doesn’t matters whether Brown’s hands literally were raised, because his death has come to symbolize a much bigger movement.

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    By almost all accounts, Michael Brown was engaged in some sort of physical struggle with Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson just moments before he was fatally shot. But witnesses sometimes related confused, changing, contradictory or simply physically impossible accounts of what they saw.

    Ferguson grand jury papers full of inconsistencies

    An Associated Press review of thousands of pages of grand jury documents in the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo., reveals numerous examples of statements made during the shooting investigation that were inconsistent, fabricated or provably wrong. For one, the autopsies ultimately showed Brown was not struck by any bullets in his back.

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    Javier Montes waits in line for a meal at the Padre Chava migrant shelter Wednesday in Tijuana, Mexico. Montes had lived most of his life in California before being deported in 2013.

    Obama’s action fuels worry about immigration scams

    Advocacy groups barely waited for President Barack Obama to finish speaking about sweeping changes to the U.S. immigration system to start warning about scams. “We hear horror stories about people getting taken advantage of horribly,” attorney Ginger Jacobs told several dozen people who watched the president’s speech at Alliance San Diego offices.

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    People watch a TV news program showing Kim Yo Jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s younger sister, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday. North Korea has revealed that Kim is a senior official in the ruling Workers’ Party, strengthening analysts’ views she is an increasingly important part of the family dynasty that runs the country.

    N. Korean leader’s sister named as senior official

    North Korea has revealed that leader Kim Jong Un’s younger sister is a senior official in the ruling Workers’ Party, strengthening analysts’ views that she is an increasingly important part of the family dynasty that runs the country.

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    An alleged serial pickpocket tries to evade a lashing by citizen vigilantes known as “rondas urbanas” in Cajamarca, Peru, in this May 12 file photo. After a dozen lashes, he confessed, and paid $60 to a woman whose cell phone he had allegedly stolen.

    In Peru, whip-cracking vigilantes serve up justice

    For all but the most serious crimes, justice is routinely administered in this area of Peru by vigilantes. In response to an eroding criminal justice system, self-appointed bands of vigilantes have taken on the work of police, prosecutors and judges. The rise of these citizen enforcers, who enjoy widespread support, is just one response in Latin America to the failure of police forces to offer...

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    A couple walks past a concrete barrier surrounding the foreign ministry in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday. Egypt’s interior minister warned Tuesday his forces will use deadly force to counter any assault against public facilities in a message coming just ahead of a planned protest by Islamists.

    Egypt braces for new Islamist protest

    Egyptians are bracing for potential violence ahead of a planned major protest Friday by Islamists calling for the toppling of the government and the defense of their religion, with security forces vowing to confront any unrest with “lethal force.”

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    Two men stand on a pedestrian overpass near the People’s Palace where a giant billboard featuring French President Francois Hollande and his Guinean counterpart, Alpha Conde, is displayed in Conakry, Guinea. Hollande on Friday will become the first non-African head of state to visit Guinea since the Ebola crisis began.

    Ebola aid dogged by coordination lags in Guinea

    Eight months into West Africa’s Ebola outbreak, aid efforts in Guinea still suffer from poor coordination, hampering deployments of international support to help quell a virus that has killed more than 1,200 people in the former French colony, officials and medical aid providers say.

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    Prafula Patel of Hoffman Estates and her family are first in line Thanksgiving Day to get 50 percent off merchandise at the Old Navy Store in Schaumburg.

    Waiting in the cold for deals in the suburbs

    Whether it was to score deals on flat-screen television sets, or get last-minute supplies for entertaining guests, suburban shoppers were at stores Thursday afternoon. But they had mixed feelings. "I hate shopping on Thanksgiving," Rich Arment of Mount Prospect said, as he purchased chairs. "I would honestly feel better off sitting on the floor if people could be home."

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    Afghan security forces inspect a British embassy vehicle which was targeted in a suicide attack in Kabul Thursday.

    Taliban attack rocks upscale Kabul district

    Taliban fighters staged an attack Thursday evening in an upscale district in the Afghan capital Kabul. Witnesses described multiple explosions and bursts of gunfire in the Wazir Akbar Khan district, which contains numerous foreign embassies and compounds housing international agencies and companies — as well as the homes of some senior Afghan government officials.

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    This undated image posted on a Jihadist militant Twitter page purports to show Sunni Muslim prisoners held by the Islamic State group at unknown place in Syria. The Islamic State group is employing a broad range of strategies to subdue the Sunni Muslim tribes in Syria and Iraq.

    Mosul residents: IS group cuts phones in Iraq city

    Militants from the Islamic State group blocked all mobile phone networks in the largest Iraqi city they control, Mosul, accusing informants in the city of tipping off coalition forces to their whereabouts, residents told The Associated Press on Thursday.

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    Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Ibrahim Naimi believes OPEC should put economic pressure on rival producers in the U.S., which need higher prices to break even.

    OPEC keeps oil output on hold despite low prices

    Reflecting its lessening oil clout, OPEC decided Thursday to keep its output target on hold and sit out falling crude prices that will likely spiral even lower as a result. Oil prices fell sharply on the news. Even though the decision was largely expected, it showed the once-powerful cartel is losing the power to push up markets to its own advantage.

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    Fire broke out early on Thanksgiving Day morning in a home on Crestwood Drive in Campton Hills. No one was home at the time of the fire.

    Fire damages Campton Hills house

    A fire extensively damaged a house on Crestwood Drive in Campton Hills Thursday morning.

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    Neile Litton receives a hug from Debbie Panico, both of Elgin, as she serves desserts at the sixth annual Elgin community dinner at First United Methodist Church in Elgin on Thanksgiving Day. Litton’s husband, Bill, passed away from cancer in July. The family has volunteered the last several years at the dinner. Chef Jeff Turner of Elgin, who oversees the dinner, honored Bill’s memory along with Neile, her daughters Hallie and Olivia at the start of the event. Neile was named the sous chef for the meal and given a Community Dinners apron.

    Another big turnout for annual Elgin community dinner

    For the first time in six years, Bill Litton was not volunteering at Jeff Turner’s annual Elgin community Thanksgiving dinner at First United Methodist Church. but those in attendance said his spirit was strong. Litton and his wife, Neile, along with their daughters Olivia and Hallie, have volunteered at the feast the last several years. But Bill lost his battle with kidney cancer in July.

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    Rishabh Saxena of Hoffman Estates is first in line Thanksgiving night and displays a golden ticket to get a discounted iPad and flatscreen TV at the HHGregg Appliances and Electronic Store in Schaumburg .

    Images: Thanksgiving Day in the Suburbs
    Images of Thanksgiving Day activities in the suburbs of Chicago. Early morning runs and a dinner for Navy recruits were highlights of the day.

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    Round Lake Beach Police Cmdr. Gary Lunn, right, and Officer Mike Barr pull turkeys out of a smoker at BBQ’d Productions in Third Lake as they prepare Thanksgiving dinners for area families Thursday.

    Round Lake Beach cops help to brighten Thanksgiving Day for needy

    Round Lake Beach police and other volunteers made Thanksgiving brighter for families in need by bringing fully cooked meals to their homes. Thursday’s turkeys, side dishes and desserts were prepared in the kitchen of former Round Lake Beach community service officer Kris Schoenberger’s BBQ’d Productions restaurant on Route 45 in Third Lake.

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    Runners were dressed for the holiday as they participate in the Long Grove Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning.

    Runners enjoy Long Grove Turkey Trot

    There were plenty of turkey hats and happy people taking part in the 6th Annual Long Grove Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning in the downtown area.

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    Beer and wine tasting benefit:

    The Round Lake Beach Cultural and Civic & Center Foundation presents its annual wine and beer tasting on Saturday, Dec. 6 at the civic center, on Hook Drive just west of Route 83 in Round Lake Beach.

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    Daily Herald among nominees for Hoffman Estates business of the year

    The Daily Herald is among the nominees for the Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Business of the Year award. The chamber will give the awards at its annual Celebration of Excellence awards dinner Jan. 29.

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    Retired Lake County teachers meet

    The Lake County Retired Teachers Association will meet at noon Tuesday, Dec. 9, at Lambs Farm restaurant at Route 176 and I-94 near Libertyville.

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    Warren High hosts autism event:

    Warren Township High School will host a Parent Café on Wednesday, Dec. 3, focusing on creating a plan for winter break for unique learners.

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    Dist. 220 seeks donations for Barrington-area family who lost house in fire

    Barrington Area Unit School District 220 is seeking clothing donations for a district family who lost most of their belongings in a house fire last week, according to the district’s Facebook page. The family is living in temporary housing and will be able to move back into their home in five to six months, according to the district.

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    Palatine Jaycees hold 57th annual tree sale

    The Palatine Jaycees will be hosting their 57th annual Christmas Tree Sale in the Palatine Park District Aquatic Center parking lot this holiday season to raise funds to help individuals and civic groups throughout the area. Shoppers can choose from a selection of Scotch pine, Blue Spruce, Balsam Fir, Douglas fir and Fraser Fir in a variety of sizes.

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    It’s been less than a month since the new 95th Street bridge opened between Naperville and Bolingbrook and nearby residents are noticing a trend of some drivers street racing and using the new stretch as a speedway, paying no attention to the 40 mph speed limit sign on the east side of the bridge.

    Naperville police watching for street racing on 95th

    It’s been less than a month since the new 95th Street bridge opened between Naperville and Bolingbrook and nearby residents are noticing a trend of some drivers street racing and using the new stretch as a speedway. “I’m concerned about the fact that if we don’t do something there to mitigate this newfound habit, then it will become a safety issue,” said Jim...

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    More than 100 recruits from the Great Lakes Naval Station celebrated Thanksgiving at the American Legion hall in Arlington Heights.

    Navy recruits celebrate Thanksgiving with veterans in Arlington Heights

    Some 105 recruits from the Great Lakes Naval Station near North Chicago celebrated Thanksgiving at American Legion Post No. 208 in Arlington Heights as part of an annual Adopt-A-Sailor program.

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    Suspect arrested after Elk Grove Village robbery

    A suspect remained in custody awaiting charges Thursday following a robbery at an Elk Grove Village sandwich shop, police said.

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    Tom Kuntz of Aurora nears the finish line in the 4-mile race at Thursday’s 18th annual The Fox and The Turkey Races in Batavia. Kuntz has participated in the last five races. The event is a fundraiser and all donated food and money is given to the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry for distribution.

    Thanksgiving Day run benefits Batavia food pantry

    The18th annual The Fox and The Turkey Races in downtown Batavia raised more than $10,000 for the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry.

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    Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is congratulated after his 6-yard touchdown reception during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014.

    Images: Bears vs. Lions
    Images of the Chicago Bears' Thanksgiving Day 34-17 loss to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit.

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    Woodland Elementary District 50 officials celebrated a statewide honor for three health teachers at a school board meeting Tuesday night in Gurnee. School board President Mark Vondracek, left, Superintendent Joy Swoboda, Woodland Middle School teachers Lenora Bedore, Christine Murray and Joanna Wolk and Principal Scott Snyder show the banner acknowledging the achievement.

    Woodland Elementary District 50 in Gurnee celebrates award-winning health teachers

    Three Woodland Elementary District 50 teachers were celebrated this week for a statewide award they received for improving the quality of health education.

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    Santa Claus waves at the crowd during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014, in New York.

    Images: Thanksgiving Day in the United States
    Images of Thanksgiving Day activities around the nation. Traditional parades and observances were highlights of the day.

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    Illustrating the perfect metaphor for life with three teenage boys, Ben, Ross and Will Constable are well-prepared to go zip-lining during the “best family vacation ever.”

    Things Constable family (with 3 teen boys!) are grateful for

    The Constable family has plenty of thanks to give every day, but this is the day some of those thanks go into a column, such as for "the maturity with which Ross explained that his CalArts dorm's swimming pool (yes, swimming pool) is clothing optional (yes, clothing optional)."

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    Shoppers storm the Toys R Us in Schaumburg last year as Black Friday officially started early on Thursday. You can expect expanded excitement for the holiday sales this year, too.

    The new Black Friday: Shopping kickoff has evolved, expanded

    Black Friday sales have been going on for weeks, and more suburban stores than ever will be open today, on Thanksgiving Day. So is Black Friday even a big deal anymore? It definitely is, both for those seeking great deals and those who just enjoy the romance of the holiday-shopping kickoff.

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    Pat Hollerbach, also known as “Grandma Pat,” is an 85-year-old classroom volunteer at John G. Conyers Learning Academy in Rolling Meadows. Here she helps Khamryne McDonald assemble a toy.

    Rolling Meadows preschool grateful for volunteer ‘Grandma Pat’

    Pat Hollerbach wears silly costumes, plays with toys and easily slides into the world of preschoolers. But its her nurturing that has students -- and the principal of a Rolling Meadows school-- calling the 85-year-old volunteer, "Grandma Pat." “She’s kind of the one that if they’re having a bad day or crying, they go and sit on Grandma Pat’s lap,” Peg Lasiewicki...

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    Holiday cards: to share or not to share

    For many people, the rules for posting personal news on Facebook, Pinterest and other social media are clear: Put a Good Face on Everything. But that rule doesn’t always extend to holiday cards.

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    The Veggie Feast platter with pita at Naf Naf Grill in Naperville.

    What, where to eat in suburbs on Black Friday

    Everyone knows you can't focus when your tummy is rumbling. Don't let hunger pangs sideline your shopping marathon. We tell you where to refuel so you can get the most out of your day.

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    FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2013 file photo, customers shop at a Target store in Colma, Calif. Experts say Thanksgiving weekend lives up to the hype of serving up the best bargains of the year from TVs to clothing. Shoppers, however, need to do their homework before joining the crowds at the mall or heading online for the official kickoff thatís increasingly creeping into the turkey feast. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

    How to make the most of Black Friday
    Holiday bargains are the main draw of Black Friday, but a lot goes into finding — and acquiring — the best deals. Here are some expert tips for helping you find the lowest prices and make the most of the experience:

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    Add tweets, posts to tools of the new Black Friday trade

    Shoppers loaded with print advertisements and seeking discounts on Black Friday can have extra tools at their disposal by reaching for their smartphones. Retail experts say Twitter and Facebook are the leading social media sites for businesses to keep their brands before customers or to interact with them.

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    What’s new at the suburban malls
    There's lots of new stores, restaurants and events at local malls to attract shoppers this Black Friday weekend.

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    Movies to see when the shopping’s done

    What are the best Christmas movies? That’s easy. The ones that actually pay attention to the reason for the season, not the ones with stories that merely use Christmas as a backdrop for horror tales and action comedies.

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    Why millennials prefer electronic gift cards

    With the holiday glut fast-approaching, you may want to think about avoiding plastic — gift cards that is. Just as giving actual bricks-and-mortar gifts gave way to gift cards, those cards are now giving way to their virtual versions.

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    This photo provided by Nordstrom shows a Moschino “Ice Cream” 3-D iPhone 5 case. For smartphone cases, Moschino has creative models turned out to resemble fast food french fries and a melting ice cream bar; other brands feature floral, ethnic or animal prints. A good gift for teenagers is one that is new and different that allows them to show who they are, says Gregg Andrews, Nordstrom’s fashion creative director. “They want things that are unique that expresses their individuality, and that they’re the first to have,” he said.

    Teen gifts: Ideas for hard-to-buy-for big kids

    They are finicky and fickle, and might be updating their wish lists as often as their Instagram accounts. Do you have any idea what to buy the teenagers on your holiday shopping list this year? The best bets, according to the experts: electronics — notably the smartphone, video game systems and “athleisure.” Don’t forget the standbys of cash and gift cards.

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    John Collins

    St. Charles community defined by a family’s contributions

    There is, perhaps, no family that's placed a larger stamp on St. Charles as a community than the Norris-Collins-Baker brood.

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    Laura Factly of Gilberts works with a Lakewood Elementary School student in Carpentersville. Factly received an award for her volunteer work at the school.

    Gilberts woman’s warmth ‘lights up’ children’s faces

    Laura Factly loves seeing the faces of young children “light up” when she walks into the room. It’s motivated her to volunteer for the past eight years at Lakewood Elementary School in Carpentersville, where she herself studied. Factly, 31, of Gilberts, recently received Carpentersville's 2014 Community Service Award for her efforts.

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    Cabbage Patch Kids are shown on display in Boston on Nov. 28, 1983. Coleco Industries was working hard to meet the unprecedented demand for the “adoptable” toys.

    Images: Christmas Toy Fads Through the Years
    Black Friday in recent years has signaled the start of the holiday shopping season. Take a peek back at these “must-have” items that have been featured at the top of wish lists, and are featured as part of a list at The Daily Beast website . From gaming systems to Tickle Me Elmo to Cabbage Patch Kids, there is no predicting what items will trend from year to year.

Sports

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    Philadelphia Eagles’ LeSean McCoy (25) celebrates in front of Dallas Cowboys’ Barry Church (42) as he sprints into the end zone for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014, in Arlington, Texas.

    Eagles romp over Cowboys

    ARLINGTON, Texas — LeSean McCoy is looking more like the NFL rushing champion of a year ago, and Mark Sanchez is getting more comfortable in Philadelphia’s offense.McCoy ran for 159 yards and a touchdown, Sanchez had his first scoring run in almost three years and the Eagles beat the Dallas Cowboys 33-10 in a Thanksgiving battle of NFC East co-leaders Thursday.The Eagles (9-3) opened with quick drives of 80 and 88 yards for touchdowns. They took sole possession of the division lead with four games remaining, including a rematch in less than three weeks.Tony Romo looked ragged in the first quick turnaround for his surgically repaired back as the Cowboys (8-4) lost their third straight home game.McCoy, who led the NFL with 1,604 yards last season, had his fourth 100-yard game in the past seven after going without one the first five weeks and secured his fourth 1,000-yard season since 2010.Although his deficit to Dallas’ DeMarco Murray in the rushing race is probably insurmountable, McCoy outgained Murray, who was held under 100 yards for just the second time this season. McCoy averaged 6.4 yards on 25 carries on the same field where he clinched the rushing title last December while the Eagles beat the Cowboys in a playoffs-or-bust finale.Murray finished with 73 yards and Dallas’ only touchdown on 20 carries, the last a 6-yard loss when he was dropped by Mychal Kendricks on fourth-and-1 early in the fourth quarter.Making his fourth start since Nick Foles was sidelined by a broken collarbone, Sanchez was 9 of 11 for 99 yards in the first quarter. That included a 27-yard scoring pass to Jordan Matthews when Sanchez hit the rookie in stride on a crossing route for a 14-0 lead. Sanchez finished 20 of 29 for 217 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions.The Cowboys looked a little sluggish following a kickoff that came about 90 hours after their dramatic 31-28 victory at the New York Giants on Sunday night.Murray had room to run at times but couldn’t break one longer than 9 yards. Romo had plenty of time to throw most of the day, but one time in the first half tossed a third-down pass to nobody in particular, giving the ball back to the Eagles when the Cowboys were having trouble stopping them.Playing on short rest for the first time since December back surgery and yet another injury on a sack against Washington last month, Romo looked skittish at times. The 34-year-old quarterback essentially sat down in the pocket with nobody in position to sack him on a third-down play after Jeremy Mincey recovered McCoy’s fumble at the Philadelphia 13 on the second play of the second half. The Cowboys had to settle for a field goal, and Philadelphia answered immediately on McCoy’s 38-yard scoring run, putting the Eagles up 30-10 on their third touchdown drive of at least 80 yards.Romo was sacked four times and finished 18 of 29 for 199 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns, snapping a streak of 38 games with at least one TD pass.McCoy had a 36-yard run on the opening drive that ended with Sanchez’s 2-yarder after faking the handoff to McCoy in the zone read. It was Sanchez’s first scoring run since Dec. 24, 2011, when he was the starter for the New York Jets. He kept the ball until he reached the sideline.

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    Illini improve to 5-0

    LAS VEGAS — Rayvonte Rice scored 21 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lead Illinois past Indiana State 88-62 on Thursday in the third round of the Las Vegas Invitational. Malcolm Hill scored 17 points with eight rebounds, while going 11 of 12 at the free-throw line for the Illini (5-0). Nnanna Egwu, Aaron Cosby and Kendrick Nunn each had 10 points for Illinois, which is 3-0 in the Invitational.The Illini, who never trailed, hit 8 of 9 of their first shots and jumped to a 30-8 advantage.Grant Prusator led Indiana State (3-2) off the bench with 17 points. Before Thursday, he only played two games this season with one field goal. Brenton Scott added 10 points for the Sycamores, who are 2-1 in the tourney.Indiana State got no closer than 19 points the rest of the first half and trailed 40-21 at intermission. By halftime, Illinois’ field-goal percentage fell to 38 percent, but the Illini still made 6 of 13 from 3-point range. Indiana State finished the half at 25 percent from the field.The Illinois lead grew to as many as 30 with 13:04 left in the game. The Sycamores cut it to 17 twice with just under 5 minutes left, but came no closer.

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    Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy deflects a pass intended for the Bears’ Matt Forte during the second half Sunday. The Bears ran the ball only eight times vs. 51 pass plays, and Forte had 5 carries for just 6 yards.

    Bears’ play-calling inexplicably puzzling again

    Once again the Bears' offense was horribly unbalanced, as coach Marc Trestman called just 8 running plays and 51 passes.

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    Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81), defended by Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller (23), makes a 25-yard reception for a touchdown during Thursday’s first half in Detroit.

    Bears’ playoff hopes fade with loss to Lions

    Consider the Bears’ playoff hopes about as vibrant as the local economy. An allegedly resurgent Bears defense that had held consecutive opponents to 13 points did not show up in a 34-17 loss to the Lions on Thanksgiving. And the offense made only a cameo appearance. After the Bears pulled within 24-17 midway through the third quarter, the Lions methodically drove 95 yards to a touchdown and a 31-17 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter.

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    Bears quarterback Jay Cutler walks back to the sideline during the second half of Thursday’s 34-17 loss to the Lions in Detroit.

    Imrem: Pride, integrity all that’s left for Bears

    The Bears' character, integrity and pride will be closely monitored from here as they play out the season. They don't exactly have a lot of credibility left in those areas.

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    Shaw provides needed spark for Blackhawks

    Andrew Shaw missed the first three games of the trip with an upper body injury, but was back in the lineup Wednesday in Colorado, and again provided just the spark the Hawks needed after a drubbing by the Canucks, scoring the middle goal in a 3-2 victory over the Avs.

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    After taking an early 14-3 lead, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and the offense sputtered the rest of the way in Thursday’s loss to the Lions at Detroit.

    Rozner: Thankfully, Bears’ season nearing end

    Once they fell behind, the Bears had no belief in their protection. There was no confidence that the quarterback could make a throw. There was no thought to going deep. That, in a nutshell, is your 2014 season.

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    Bears quarterback Jay Cutler looks towards the scoreboard during Thursday’s second half in Detroit.

    Bears Bites: Perfectly fowl day

    Mike Spellman: Which was ickier Thursday? The final three quarters of the Bears/Lions game, or that new Old Spice commercial?

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    This is a vintage trading card of Harold “Red” Grange, who played most of his pro football career with the Chicago Bears. Grange, the Wheaton legend known as the “Galloping Ghost,” made his pro debut on Thanksgiving Day in 1925.

    Bears fed Wheaton’s Grange in first Thanksgiving game

    After a 15-year absence, the Bears are playing a Thanksgiving game this season against the Lions in Detroit. It's been a long break, but the Bears have a rich Turkey Day history highlighted by legendary players like Red Grange, Johnny Lujack, Johnny Morris and Walter Payton.

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    Bears defensive end Jared Allen got in the Thanksgiving spirit early, teaming up his foundation with Procter & Gamble and Walmart to provide donations in Chicago for the Eddie Beard Homeless Veterans Housing Program at Walmart on Nov. 11.

    Imrem: Lots of reasons we should give thanks

    This has been a relatively thankless Chicago sports year but there are myriad random reasons for local fans to be thankful this Thanksgiving Day.

Business

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    Bubbles, little green army men and the Rubik’s Cube were inducted to the National Toy Hall of Fame this year. The toys enter the Rochester, N.Y., museum after being selected by a panel of expert judges from among a dozen finalists.

    Longevity, icon status get toys into hall of fame

    Before the holiday wish lists and mad buying rush each year comes a dose of nostalgia with the National Toy Hall of Fame's annual picks for enshrinement. This year, bubbles, little green army men and the Rubik's Cube took their place alongside past winners including Monopoly and Silly Putty. But is the road to such playtime immortality really all fun and games? According to the judges, well, yes.

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    National Toy Hall of Fame inductees over the years
    The inductees into the National Toy Hall of Fame:

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    Le Peep Cafe is one of the businesses in Mount Prospect participating in “Small Business Saturday.”

    Suburban businesses counter Black Friday with Small Business Saturday

    As the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear this weekend, locally owned businesses are urging suburban shoppers to think small. Saturday is "Small Business Saturday," which encourages shoppers to patronize Main Street stores and restaurants when buying gifts.

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    For holiday gift-giving, consider an external battery pack, which can give the extra jolt of juice needed to make it through the day.

    Great tech gifts for less than $100

    If you're looking for great technology gifts that are less than $100, you've got options this year. Some potential buys include the Amazon Fire TV Stick, the RAVPower RP-PB19 external battery/portable charger and the ThinkGeek: The Bag of Holding messenger bag.

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    Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the new Apple iPad Air 2. People tend to hold onto tablets longer than smartphones, so take time to weigh your options. A major consideration is what phone you or your gift recipient already has. Although it’s possible for Android owners to have Apple’s iPads, for instance, there are advantages to sticking within the same system. You often can buy apps just once and share them across both devices, and you don’t need to learn two different systems.

    Gift Guide: Lots of tablet choices, oh my!

    People tend to hold onto tablets longer than smartphones, so take time to weigh your options. A major consideration is what phone you or your gift recipient already has. Although it’s possible for Android owners to have Apple’s iPads, for instance, there are advantages to sticking within the same system. You often can buy apps just once and share them across both devices, and you don’t need to learn two different systems.

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    The Amazon Fire TV stick is a small stick that connects to the HDMI port on your HDTV for instant access to movies, TV shows, music, photos, apps, and games.

    Gift Guide: 3 ways to watch streaming video on TV

    For about $100, you can get a great streaming TV device to do that. Or for about a third of that, you can get a pretty good one. Content selection varies, but all offer such basics as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. After trying out 10 streaming devices, here are three recommendations and an honorable mention.

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    This Nov. 18, 2014 photo shows the Kodak Pixpro SL25 in Decatur, Ga. The Pixpro is a camera that connects wirelessly to the user’s smartphone and takes high-resolution photos and video while framing the image on the phone’s screen.

    Gift Guide: Help your selfie with some add-on gear

    Not all selfies are created equal. Some are blurry, are poorly framed or miss the action entirely because you might be scrubbing your thumb fishing for a virtual shutter button as the moment passes you by. For better selfies, consider some of these gadgets for yourself or your loved ones.

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    Experts say Thanksgiving weekend lives up to the hype of serving up the best bargains of the year from TVs to clothing. Shoppers, however, need to do their homework before joining the crowds at the mall or heading online for the official kickoff that’s increasingly creeping into the turkey feast.

    Thanksgiving Day is becoming the better day for shopping deals

    Brace yourself for the Black Friday shopping bonanza. While experts say Thanksgiving weekend still lives up to the hype of serving up the largest breadth of the season’s bargains from TVs to clothing, others say Thanksgiving Day is becoming the better day for deals.

Life & Entertainment

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    Here are some holiday host or hostess gifts that cost $25 to $75: Top row: Musketeer dish sets. Middle row, from left, French chicken roaster, Oyster subscription, swimmer speaker, Stubble & ëStache Beard Care Starter Kit. Bottom row: Cheese and crackers set.

    Finding that perfect hostess gift

    No one wants to show up to a party empty-handed. But when it comes to host or hostess gifts, creativity often gives way to dressing up a bottle of wine. Not this holiday season! We have gift ideas in a range of prices that will help your hosts keep the parties going all year long.

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    Characters duke it out in “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.”

    ‘Smash Bros.’ makes brutality adorable

    Every few years, Nintendo rounds up its most popular characters, like Mario, Donkey Kong and Pikachu, and has them beat the daylights out of each other. Only Nintendo could make bare-knuckle brawling cute. “Super Smash Bros. for Wii U” (Nintendo, $59.99) continues that bizarre balancing act between adorable and brutal. Like most fighting games, it’s a snooze to play alone but a delight to play with friends.

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    This book cover image released by Dial Books for Young Readers shows “Here Comes Santa Cat,” by Deborah Underwood, pictures by Claudia Rueda. There are jet pack mishaps and dead fish gifts for children as a wily but mute cat holding placards on sticks to communicate impersonates Santa Claus to ensure he gets a gift after a particularly naughty year.

    Gift guide: New holiday books for kids

    Looking to keep the kids entertained during long holiday car rides or dinners? Tell all your gift-buying elves to wrap up a book. Here is a look at this year's selection.

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    This undated image provided by Harbor Sweets shows the company’s ěChanukah Boxî of chocolates decorated with a menorah. Harbor Sweets, a small New England handcrafted chocolate company, created the box in response to demand among customers who wanted to give chocolates as a holiday gift while acknowledging friends and clients who don’t celebrate Christmas. It’s one of a number of examples of products originally conceived of as Christmas gifts that have been rethemed for Hanukkah.

    Oy vey, holidays! Does Hanukkah wannabe Christmas?

    Christmas has Elf on the Shelf. Now Hanukkah has Mensch on a Bench — not to mention Maccabee on the Mantel. Christmas has gingerbread houses; Manischewitz sells Chanukah House kits, using cookie dough with blue-and-white icing. These are just a few of the Hanukkah-themed products inspired by Christmas traditions and toys.

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    Here are some toys that were popular among young testers for The Washington Post. Clockwise from top left: Fingerprint Detective, Playmobil Secret Dragon Fort, Spirograph String Art, Pom Pals Owl Kit, K'Nex Hyperspeed Hangtime Roller Coaster Building Set.

    Kids test new toys for the holiday season

    Which toys do kids like? That's a question toymakers ask every year when coming up with new products. We think the best way to find the answer is to ask kids themselves. So we sent more than 100 of this year's top new toys to 10 Washington-area schools. Pens in hand, thinking caps — er, toy-testing caps — on, those kids tried them out and wrote down what they thought.

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    This undated photo provided by Heather Browne displays a selection of holiday CDs she has made over the years for friends and listeners of her blog. The resident of Colorado Springs, Colo., sees making a playlist to as a way to share interesting music and highlight her favorite songs.

    Sharing music: a personal gift made easy by tech

    Sharing music is a great way to connect with friends, and technology has made it easier than ever. Music lovers can create and share playlists in a variety of ways using today's tech.

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    “Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes” (Disney, for the PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, $74.99): The Walt Disney Co., meanwhile, has expanded its line of playable figurines by calling on the Avengers to assemble. The starter kit includes Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow, all starring in a goofy, kid-friendly adventure in Marvel’s Manhattan. Additional heroes like Spider-Man and Groot cost $15 apiece.

    Gift Guide: Dragons, aliens, heroes for the gamer

    Here are the hottest video games this holiday season to feed your gamer's machine. Be sure to find out which console your loved one owns, or there’s bound to be disappointment.

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    This CD cover image released by Motown Records shows “Motown Christmas,” a variety of familiar classic songs from “Silent Night” to “Joy to the World.” This 15-track offering, which was produced by Grammy-winning producer Aaron Lindsey, offers some impressively unique duets and solo performances from Smokey Robinson, Ne-Yo and Toni Braxton.

    Holiday albums from the Dukes of Hazard boys to ‘Downton Abbey’

    Whether you’re prepping a hearty, warm Thanksgiving meal or getting ready to shop until you drop on Black Friday, here’s a list of holidays albums reviews set to get you in the right mood, including first-ever full recording by John Schneider and Tom Wopat.

Discuss

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    How lobbyists make the system work for them

    Columnist Lee Hamilton: Because of its power to influence public affairs, the press has long been known as “the Fourth Estate.” But I think the media may have been displaced. These days, it’s lobbyists who seem to carry the most clout in Washington.

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    Students’ acceptance benefited 2 young athletes
    A Glen Ellyn letter to the editor: Glenbard West High School’s cheerleading and dance team this year made history. I would like to thank all the participants and coaches who included and incorporated students with disabilities in their routines.

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    Despite personal loss, much to be thankful for
    A Carpentersville letter to the editor: Though my family and I endured a big loss this year, we have a lot to be thankful for. Our mother, Ruth, passed away in March. My faith in the Lord has never been a bigger blessing.

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    New neighbor was a true lifesaver
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: I am so thankful for the kindness of strangers! The same day my son Brad took possession of his new home in Schaumburg, my handyman and longtime friend Jung Lee seriously injured himself while working there. Being alone in the house, Jung walked out into the court, blood pouring down both arms, looking for help.

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    Lesson learned through watching horse’s journey
    A Wheeling letter to the editor: This holiday season I’m thankful for Samson, the last chance mustang, who taught me that after years of unspeakable horror, even the most hateful and maladjusted can start anew.Samson was a wild horse who, after his capture, spent years with owners who schooled him with pain and punishment.

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    Community made a difference in trying time
    A Lake Zurich letter to the editor: I recently suffered two unexpected medical issues, which made life a little more complicated for a usually healthy wife/mom to a family of five. However, the response from our community and network of family and friends brought a silver lining.

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    Children can be the best teachers
    A Glen Ellyn letter to the editor: When I began volunteering, I expected to meet a few children and help them become better students. Every day that I leave tutoring, I realize Lwe Wah and the children at GECRC have made a tremendous impact on my life.

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    Having family around makes her feel fortunate
    A Glen Ellyn letter to the editor: Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to be healthy. Everyone needs to remember that good health is a privilege, and not something guaranteed.

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    Boosters help make high school years great
    A Glen Ellyn letter to the editor: Every day I leave my school, the castle on the hill, so thankful. At Glenbard West there are various sports and clubs. There is a place for everybody to fit in and be himself or herself. It wouldn’t be possible without our principal, sponsors and, most importantly, boosters.

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    Every day of being alive, well is a gift
    A Palatine letter to the editor: Listing everything I am thankful for would take up every page of this newspaper, so I will limit it to what I am most grateful for on my favorite holiday. I am grateful for every day that I am alive and well.

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    Getting an education is a privilege
    A Glen Ellyn letter to the editor: I am thankful to have grown up in a household that encourages learning, to have been in school since I was 4, to continue my education in college, and for all of the possibilities an education can create.

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    Extend our thankfulness beyond this season
    A Wheeling letter to the editor: It can be easy to get caught up in the trappings of the holidays and overlook what is really important. Remember that life is a gift and we all should be thankful each day for it.

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    Share with others if your needs are met
    An Addison letter to the editor: I have a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in, food on the table, money in the bank, a car to drive, family and friends, and I live in the United States where I have freedom of speech and worship. I know no needs, and to God I give thanks. Let us share our blessings with those who have not.

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    Parents, in-laws made sacrifices on her behalf
    A Rolling Meadows letter to the editor: This Thanksgiving I am especially thankful for the example set by our parents, for without their courage and unwavering determination, my family, as I know it, would not even exist.

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    Park district’s program has been a blessing
    A Glen Elllyn letter to the editor: Thank you, Wheaton Park District Leisure Center and Linda Dolan and her wonderful staff! Fourteen years ago I was widowed — and let me tell you what a blessing it was to have the Wheaton Leisure Center provide camaraderie.

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    Family lifts her up after a hard day
    A Glendale Heights letter to the editor: I’m thankful for my parents for making me who I am. They showed me how to be a good person and go for my dreams, and turned me into an ambitious young woman. They’ve been my coaches in life and pick me up when I’m down or need encouragement.

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    For 100 years, mother has stood strong
    A Wheeling letter to the editor: She knows there is nothing more important than peace after living through two world wars. Life was full of promise when she married our dad, a military hero in Eastern Poland. Then the greatest evil the world has known destroyed it all — the barbaric Soviet invasion.

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    Amid war and politics, everyday goodness also makes news

    Ferguson in flames. Hecklers who are getting what they want assaulting the president of the United States. Tension in Washington. Tension in Springfield. Thanksgiving Day is the day to remember and celebrate this everyday goodness. Our Someone To Be Thankful For stories running today on the front page and in Neighbor are an excellent place to start.

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