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Daily Archive : Wednesday October 31, 2012

News

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    Streamwood High School physical science teacher Greg Reiva talks about the solar powered greenhouse in his classroom. The school received an $8,000 grant from the Illinois Green Energy Community Foundation to install five solar panels on the school.

    Streamwood High touts benefits of solar panels

    In the two months since five solar panels were installed at Streamwood High School, the school has produced enough energy to power 11 houses for one day, offset enough carbon to save the equivalent of six trees and saved the school about $35 in electricity costs. “There is nothing more important than the issue of alternative energy to our society,” said teacher Greg Reiva.

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    Police officials investigate the crash at Route 12 and Hartigan Road in Fox Lake early Wednesday evening.

    Ingleside man dies in Route 12 crash in Fox Lake

    Fox Lake police say a driver died Wednesday afternooon after crossing into the opposite lanes of Route 12 and striking a traffic signal pole. Authorities said the cause of the crash is not yet known.

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    Justin Plackowska of Naperville quickly found success in tae kwon do, his instructor said. Justin was found murdered Tuesday.

    Naperville mom expected in bond court today

    A Naperville mother was charged late Wednesday with the murders of her 7-year-old son and a 5-year-old girl, who were found stabbed dozens of times, authorities said. Elzbieta Plackowska was charged with first-degree murder and is expected to appear in DuPage County bond court Thursday morning, state's attorney spokesman Paul Darrah said.

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    John Gulino

    Social worker accused of attacking special ed student

    Authorities say a social worker has been charged after making unwanted physical contact with a student at a Special Education District of Lake County building. Lake County sheriff’s police said Gulino attacked a 19-year-old student, rubbing her shoulders, grabbing and squeezing a hip and massaging himself against her body.

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    U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, shown before his stroke in January, stands with Republican Rep. Bob Dold, at left.

    Sen. Kirk joins the campaign trail via video

    U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, recovering at home in Highland Park from a stroke, joins the campaign trail in a video on behalf of his successor in the 10th Congressional District, Republican Rep. Bob Dold. The video, put to music, is depicted as one stop in Dold's “working together” John McCain-style bus tour.

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    What a Geneva teacher would make under union, board proposals

    What would a first-year teacher make under the contracts proposed by the Geneva Education Association and the Geneva school board? We attempt to get to the bottom of it.

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    A worker uses a backhoe to move sand near a boardwalk that was destroyed by superstorm Sandy in Atlantic City, N.J., Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses.

    New York struggles back 2 days after killer storm

    Flights resumed, but slowly. The New York Stock Exchange got back to business, but on generator power. And with the subways still down, great numbers of people walked across the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan in a reverse of the exodus of 9/11.

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    Police: Three arrested in Waukegan gang-related shooting

    Three known and self-proclaimed gang members have been arrested in connection with a shooting in Waukegan, authorities said.

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    8 arrested in mailed pot bust in Cary

    A narcotics probe in which someone mailed $13,600 worth of marijuana to a Cary address, resulted in eight arrests Friday, police said. According to police, the package originated in California, traveled across the country through the United States Postal Service and arrived at a Cary home in the 700 block of Laurel Lane.

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    President Barack Obama is greeted by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie upon his arrival at Atlantic City International Airport Wednesday. Obama traveled to region to take an aerial tour of the Atlantic Coast in New Jersey in areas damaged by superstorm Sandy.

    Obama tours storm damage, Romney mutes rhetoric

    President Barack Obama soberly toured the destruction wrought by superstorm Sandy on Wednesday in the company of New Jersey's Republican governor and assured victims "we will not quit" until cleanup and recovery are complete. Six days before their hard-fought election, rival Mitt Romney muted criticism of Obama as he barnstormed battleground Florida.

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    Clark Weaver

    Police: St. Charles man busted with $50,000 in pot

    A 20-year-old St. Charles man recently was arrested with what police say was more than $50,000 worth of marijuana, mushrooms, and other drugs, authorities said. Clark Weaver faces up to 15 years in prison and is due in court Thursday.

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    A Jeep Cherokee that suspected smugglers were attempting to drive over the U.S.-Mexico border fence got stuck at the top of a makeshift ramp early Wednesday near Yuma, Ariz.

    Smugglers’ SUV gets stuck atop Calif. border fence

    Suspected smugglers who tried to use ramps to drive an SUV over a 14-foot-tall border fence had to abandon their plan when the Jeep became stuck on top of the barrier, authorities said Wednesday.

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    Gregory Nelson

    District 8 challenger critical of ‘I want’ county spending

    Republican Greg Nelson of Montgomery is challenging Democrat Jesse Vazquez, also of Montgomery, for the Kane County Board District 8 seat.

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    People shop for food piled into shopping carts Wednesday in Brooklyn. People in the coastal corridor battered by superstorm Sandy took the first cautious steps Wednesday to reclaim routines upended by the disaster, even as rescuers combed neighborhoods strewn with debris and scarred by floods and fire.

    As blackouts linger, Northeasterners try to adjust

    Millions of families tried to adjust to life without modern conveniences Wednesday, two full days after Superstorm Sandy ripped through the Northeast and blacked out some of the nation's most densely populated cities and suburbs.

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    A runway at the Teterboro Airport is flooded in the wake of superstorm Sandy on Tuesday in New Jersey.

    Northeast travel slowly resumes

    In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, travel in the Northeast creaked back into motion on Wednesday. Two of the three major airports in the New York area re-opened with limited flights, but most Northeast rail service remained suspended.

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    Jesse Vazquez

    District 8’s Vazquez talks roads, budgeting

    "It's been fun," Jesse Vazquez says when asked why he wants another term on the Kane County Board. The fun has included budget battles between the board and elected officials; lawsuits against the board by the circuit court clerk; and several years of debate over the adoption of an ethics ordinance. "The first four years were very interesting," the Democrat from Montgomery said.

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    Sex offenders spend trick-or-treat hours at sheriff’s office

    Cook County Sheriff's police will keep close tabs on the whereabouts of nearly 90 registered sex offenders on Halloween. They've been sent notices telling them to report to the county's Maywood or Ford Heights offices between 3 and 8 p.m., the main trick-or-treat hours.

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    Indian-American businessman and CEO Shalli Kumar speaks in his Carol Stream office about the SuperPAC he and other businessmen started to support Republican Congressman Joe Walsh against Democrat Tammy Duckworth in the 8th Congressional District.

    New Indian SuperPAC jumps into Duckworth-Walsh race

    The formation of a new Indian American SuperPAC supporting Congressman Joe Walsh's campaign against Democrat Tammy Duckworth illustrates the political division within the Asian community in the 8th Congressional District.

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    The Arlington Heights Police Department.

    Arlington Heights police hiring five new officers

    The Arlington Heights Police Department is hiring five new officers, and will be fully staffed in 2013 after years of unfilled vacancies kept the force below its authorized level of sworn officers. "We had every department just cut, cut, cut where ever possible," said Mayor Arlene Mulder. "We're still being very cautious, but we want to make certain that we are providing the public safety that...

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    A thank-you message was posted earlier this month at the Central Lake YMCA in Vernon Hills after its Oct. 31 closing was announced. A tentative agreement for the Vernon Hills Park District to operate the facility has been reached. YMCA officials announced Wednesday the Waukegan facility will remain open through the end of the year.

    Waukegan YMCA to stay open through end of the year

    A pot luck lunch Wednesday coordinated by members for staff at the Northern Lake YMCA in Waukegan turned out to be more of a celebration than goodbye with news that the Y's board of directors decided to keep the facility open through the end of the year. An agreement in principle was announced Monday in which the Vernon Hills Park District will assume operations of the Central Lake YMCA in Vernon...

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    Oakton College receives $60,000 from Rivers Casino

    Oakton Community College has received a $60,000 donation from Rivers Casino in Des Plaines to support the college's new Science and Health Careers Center under construction at its Des Plaines campus. The donation is part of $500,000 the casino recently awarded 16 organizations throughout Des Plaines and the Chicago area.

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    Republican Arie Friedman of Highland Park, left, opposes Democrat Julie Morrison of Deerfield in the 29th Senate District.

    Friedman, Morrison differ on how to boost economy

    Republican Arie Friedman of Highland Park and Democrat Julie Morrison of Deerfield have different ideas on how to boost Illinois' economy if elected to the state senate. Friedman and Morrison are on Tuesday's ballot to represent the 29th Senate District.

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    A New York Air National Guard helicopter flies above the George Washington Bridge towards Manhattan, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012 in New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, and local officials took the flight over the city, Nassau and Westchester counties to get an assessment of damages from superstorm Sandy.

    Images: Aerial views of Hurricane Sandy’s destruction
    Aerial views of the damage left behind by Hurricane Sandy show the massive amount of destruction and offer an idea of how long it will take to get the area back normal.

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    Blake Durbin

    Kansas man convicted of stalking, choking woman in Elgin

    A 45-year-old Kansas man is convicted of stalking and choking his girlfriend, who moved to Elgin in the summer to escape his abuse. Blake Durbin will be sentenced Dec. 19 and faces up to 14 years in prison.

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    Brad O’Halloran

    O’Halloran expected to be named Metra chairman

    After months of torturous behind the scenes negotiations, Metra is finally expected to pick a chairman Friday — south suburbanite Brad O'Halloran. But don't hold your breath.

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    Dave Skeberdis, 57, of Aurora, removes items from his home, which housed 478 birds — 120 of them dead — as well as piles of garbage and bird feces three feet deep. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals now is pushing the city of Aurora to press criminal charges against Skeberdis for cruelty to animals.

    PETA wants charges against Aurora bird hoarder

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, is pushing the city of Aurora to press charges against the man who hoarded 478 birds — 120 of them dead — in his townhouse, saying he needs court-mandated mental health treatment. PETA sent a letter Wednesday requesting criminal charges be filed against Dave Skeberdis. "We are pushing for Skeberdis to be charged under Illinois...

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    Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle dropped plans for a new 5-cent per bullet tax on ammunition bought in the county.

    Preckwinkle shoots down ammo tax plan

    Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is dropping her plan to impose a 5-cent tax on every bullet purchased in the county. Preckwinkle intends to push forward with a $25 tax on guns sold in the county, but will also commit $2 million to programs for violence prevention, intervention and reduction.

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    Car fire damages Bartlett home

    No one was injured when a car caught fire Tuesday night in an attached garage in Bartlett. Authorities estimated $120,000 in damage and said the house is uninhabitable. The cause is under investigation.

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    Route 43 lane closure

    Route 43 (Waukegan Road) will be restricted to one lane in each direction north of Deerfield Road in Deerfield for utility work for three weekdays beginning Thursday, Nov. 1.

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    Early voting ends Saturday

    Early voting ends Saturday, Nov. 3. Designated voting sites are open throughout Lake County from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

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    Seniors invited to breakfast

    Senior citizens are invited to join the Carl Sandburg Middle School Student Council for a senior breakfast on Friday, Nov. 9.

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    Parents will play key role in helping Naperville classmates cope with grief

    Many young Naperville students may be facing their first encounters with grief, following the Tuesday night slayings of two children who attended Brookdale and Scott elementary schools in Naperville. Experts say it's important for parents to pay even greater attention to their children's fears and concerns and to be as honest as possible in dealing with their questions.

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    Marilyn Lemak

    A look at Naperville’s familial crimes

    Murder is far from an everyday occurrence in Naperville, a suburb known more for its trends than its violence. But in the last two decades, the city has seen some of the area's most gruesome familial crimes, from Marilyn Lemak's 1999 murder of her three children to the Hanson family quadruple murders in 2005.

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    Ashley Jaski, 1, of Chicago, is dressed as a pink pig at the Halloween Bash hosted Wednesday by the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.

    Monsters, superheroes invade Woodfield Mall for Halloween Bash

    Dozens of kids donned their spookiest, funniest and cutest Halloween costumes Wednesday morning for the sixth annual Club Kidfield Halloween Bash at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg. Grammy-nominated singer Dave Rudolf performed a Halloween-themed show and mall merchants were on hand with games and activities.

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    Walter L. Cook, Chief Executive Officer, Mt. Prospect Park District

    Mount Prospect Park District leader retiring

    Walter Cook, who's served as CEO of the Mount Prospect Park District for nearly 30 years, has announced that he will retire on March 29, 2013. Cook said he believes the time is right from him to leave the district and pursue other career options.

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    Joann Braam

    District 207 board member Braam resigns

    Joann Braam today announced she is resigning from the Maine Township High School District 207 school board because she will be moving out of the district. "Joann Braam was model board member who truly looked out for the best interests of District 207," Superintendent Dr. Ken Wallace said.

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    Diane Shapiro

    Court clerk candidates quarrel over campaign contributions

    Diane Shapiro, Republican candidate for Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County criticized Democratic incumbent Dorothy Brown for accepting campaign contributions from subordinates and from vendors doing business with the clerk's office, whose 2,100 employees are responsible for keeping records for Cook County's unified court system which ranks among the largest in the world.

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    Barrington teachers vote “overwhelmingly” to authorize strike

    Citing an unwillingness by the Barrington Unit District 220 school board to offer a fair agreement after eight months of bargaining, teachers Tuesday voted "overwhelmingly" to authorize a strike. Board of education officials cautioned that no strike is imminent, however, saying they're optimistic the district will avoid what would be its first teachers work stoppage in more than 30 years.

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    Arlington Heights and Buffalo Grove firefighters will try to beat the Chicago Wheelchair Bulls when they play Nov. 10.

    Suburban firefighters taking on Chicago Wheelchair Bulls for charity

    Firefighters from Buffalo Grove and Arlington Heights will take on the Chicago Wheelchair Bulls next month in a game meant to raise money for the team and awareness of its cause in the Northwest suburbs. All funds raised will go to help Wheelchair Bulls, made up of players from Chicago and the suburbs.

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    Rosemary Holland of Elgin takes a look at the 2006 Festival of Trees display at the Gail Borden Public Library. The exhibit, which moved from its former location at the Elgin Police Department, features trees sponsored by local businesses to benefit the Ecker Center for Mental Health.

    Elgin as tourist destination, thriving center for nonprofits

    The Home for the Holidays kick-off event will bring together all two dozen participating nonprofits for an expo where they will have the chance to advertise their organizations, holiday events and volunteer opportunities. A holiday craft show will feature area vendors with entertainment, horse-drawn carriage rides and photos with Santa also part of the event, held from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 3 at the...

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    Experts at the University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic are treating an injured golden eagle that appears to have lost its way.

    University of Illinois treating injured golden eagle

    Experts at the University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic are treating an injured golden eagle that appears to have lost its way. The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports the bird was rescued last week near Sadorus , about 10 miles south of Champaign. The eagle has a broken bone in its left wing.

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    A dance troupe featuring five young women with Down syndrome — Kelly Neville, Rachel Giagnorio, Julia Smarto, Michelle Anderson and Allie Ravin-Hansen — came together at Center Stage Dance Studio in Bloomingdale and will perform in Special Talents America.

    ‘Everyone can dance and everyone deserves the chance to try’
    Dancing to "Wannabe," the five young women will perform as the Spice Girls. Ranging in age from 17 to 21, they have been dancing together at Center Stage Dance Studio in Bloomingdale for several years. Some of their mothers met through the National Association for Down Syndrome when their children were infants and additional friendships were formed through the West Suburban Parent Support Group...

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    Michael Betka

    ‘I can get my whole body moving’
    Michael Betka will perform a high-energy dancing and precision light-saber routine. He has always enjoyed music and plays the drums and keyboard and once took Suzuki piano lessons. "I like dancing mostly," he said. "I like it because I can be creative, not just with my feet but with the light stick, too. I can get my whole body moving."

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    Mia Strayer

    ‘Music has changed my life’
    When Patricia Strayer gave her teenage daughter, Mia, a Christmas harp music CD seven years ago, she didn't know the gift would change her daughter's life. But it has. Mia learned to play the harp despite having cerebral palsy and being visually impaired, and now performs.

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    Kari Kinnett

    ‘I don’t know what I would do if it was not for music’
    "I don't know what I would do if it was not for music!" 22-year-old Kari Kinnett says. "I don't know how else to express my feelings, my emotions, what I am going through." Kinnett was born prematurely at 25 weeks in Guam, where her parents were both serving in the military. As a result, she was born with retinopathy of prematurity and is totally blind. She also has autism and is a savant.

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    Christine Honeywell of Vernon Hills will be one of 14 performers Monday night at the Special Talents America competition at Naperville’s North Central College.

    ‘Christine could sing before she could talk’
    A recent graduate of Libertyville High School, Christine Honeywell has been singing since she was a young child. As a toddler, she watched Disney movies and quickly memorized every song. "She really has a talent in music," said her father, JP Honeywell. "It comes naturally for her." Her mom, Kathy, added, "It might sound like a joke, but it's not: Christine could sing before she could talk."

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    Emily and Erika Cretens

    ‘There is a healing power about music’
    Twins Emily and Erika Cretens of Michigan have been singing in choruses and together nearly all their lives, using their voices to help nonprofit groups. A charity performance turned into the opportunity to sing at the Green Bay Packers game.

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    Cory Bollettino

    ‘Music expresses what is in your heart’
    Visually impaired since birth and totally blind since he was 9, Cory Bollettino has loved music since he was a toddler, tapping on the patio door and kitchen cabinets, keeping the beat as he sang his favorite songs. By the time he was 7, teachers had noted his beautiful voice and asked him to sing Andrea Bocelli's "Time to Say Goodbye" during a Mother's Day performance at the Northwest Special...

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    Breanna Bogucki

    ‘Music has given meaning to her life’
    Music has always touched Breanna, now a freshman at Cary Grove High School. "Ever since she was an infant, music is the one thing she has connected with," her mother, Mary Ellen Bogucki, said. "It made a difference for her. It made her happy and was very calming for her."

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    Alec Hurtubise

    ‘Music has been all the world to me’
    The 17-year-old Zionsville Community High School student from central Indiana has been singing since he was a toddler. By the time Alec was 8, his uncle invited him to sing with the Cowboy Church Band. Alec really liked the sound of the banjo so his uncle began to teach him to play. Now he brings his own style of music to Special Talents America.

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    Got a ghost? It’s worth investigating

    Paranormal researcher Cindy Heinen of Harvard won't say she believes in ghosts. What she will say, though, is that she's had plenty of weird experiences that she can't quite explain. Heinen, the director-elect of the Society for Anomalous Studies, taught a class called "Investigating Ghosts and Hauntings" with fellow society members Saturday at McHenry County College.

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    Don Schlomann

    D303 viewing ELL program as part of ‘education cliff’

    St. Charles Unit District 303 school board members recently debated the status of ELL education in the district. It turns out that if Spanish isn't your first language, kids are integrated with English speakers and do better than their Spanish-speaking peers in the short term.

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    Board’s latest offer detailed; timing of strike notice criticized

    Geneva school board President Mark Grosso has accused Geneva teachers of wanting to go out on strike and shut down the schools, instead of working in good faith to settle a new contract.

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    The Suburbs This Weekend: Pizza, pom poms, small soldiers and Gilbert

    Pizza, pom poms, small soldiers and Gilbert Gottfried are among those selected by Richard Battin and Sean Stangland for The Suburbs This Weekend.

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    Mundelein helping residents, businesses go green

    Mundelein has launched a Green Practices webpage as an instructional guide for its residents and businesses. Mundelein's partnership with the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County provides residents extensive opportunities to recycle, reuse, and incorporate behaviors beneficial to the environment and themselves.

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    Dist. 204 eyes early tuition for move-ins

    Indian Prairie Unit District 204 board members are considering charging student tuition for families who opt to send their children to district schools before they move there. The board tabled the matter this week, but the proposed policy would be used when families' moving schedules don't coincide with the start of the school year.

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    Political ads gear up for final push of campaign

    he campaign ad war has intensified and expanded in the last week of the presidential contest, with President Barack Obama, Republican challenger Mitt Romney and allied independent groups making their final, full-throated advertising pitches to voters in the major battlegrounds.

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    Morning commuters walk and bicycle across New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, two days after superstorm Sandy. On the Brooklyn Bridge, closed earlier because of high winds, joggers and bikers made their way across the span before sunrise. Car traffic on the bridge was busy, and slowed as it neared Manhattan.

    A slowed, darkened NYC begins to stir to life

    Two days after superstorm Sandy brought New York to a standstill, residents itching to get back to work and their old lives noticed small signs that the city might be getting back to — well, not quite normal. Morning rush-hour traffic appeared thicker than on an ordinary day as people started to return to work in a New York without functioning subways.

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    Tina Curl of Lake Luzerne, N.Y., reacts as media witnesses describe the last moments of Donald Moeller, the man convicted of killing her 9-year-old daughter, after Moeller’s execution at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls. Moeller, 60, kidnapped, raped and stabbed Becky O’Connell to death in 1990.

    Mother: Execution brings relief, not closure

    Tina Curl was so eager to see her 9-year-old daughter's killer executed Tuesday night that she couldn't even take her seat in the witness room. "I was right up to the glass," she told The Associated Press after the execution. "I wanted to see it up close."

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    An Obama supporter holds up a 2012 shirt supporting President Barack Obama at a campaign rally at Adams City High School in Commerce City, Colo., Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012.

    Obama to resume campaigning on Thursday

    President Barack Obama plans to return to the campaign trail on Thursday with stops in Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado, in his first campaign events since before a massive storm throttled the East Coast.

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    San Francisco Giants fans cheer as the team buses arrive outside of AT&T Park in San Francisco, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012. The Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers to win baseball’s World Series.

    Champion SF Giants to be celebrated on Halloween

    Orange-and-black clad hordes will flood the streets of San Francisco for a Halloween Day ticker-tape parade celebrating the 2012 World Series champion Giants.

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    Physical therapist assistant Suzanne Finucane, right, helps Zac Vawter as he practices walking with an experimental “bionic” leg at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

    Man with ‘bionic’ leg to climb Chicago skyscraper

    Zac Vawter considers himself a test pilot. After losing his right leg in a motorcycle accident, the 31-year-old software engineer signed up to become a research subject, helping to test a trailblazing prosthetic leg that's controlled by his thoughts.

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    A state-by-state look at the East Coast superstorm

    The massive storm that started out as Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast and morphed into a huge and problematic system, killing at least 55 people in the United States. Power outages now stand at more than 6.5 million homes and businesses, down from a peak of 8.5 million. Here’s a snapshot of what is happening, state by state.CONNECTICUT

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    Dawn patrol: O’Hare delays, animal hoarding, report cards

    Two children found dead in Naperville home. Man stabs woman to death then kills self in North Aurora. Fights force extra policing in Naperville. Changes recommended for Lake County jail. 91 animals found in McHenry County home. Hampshire man likely had marijuana in system during crash. Bulls open season against Kings. Sox sign Peavy to two-year extension.

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    Lincoln Park Zoo is trying to learn more about bats in the Chicago area and is asking the public for help. There are eight known bat species in Illinois, but there is no precise tally for Chicago.

    Lincoln Park Zoo asking for help tracking bats
    Lincoln Park Zoo is trying to learn more about bats in the Chicago area and is asking the public for help. There are eight known bat species in Illinois, but there is no precise tally for Chicago.

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    Wild turkeys forage for food in Rockford.

    Weather ideal for wild turkeys

    Two young turkeys slowly worked their way to the ever-busy corner of Spring Creek and Alpine roads during a recent morning's rush hour. They paid the oncoming traffic no attention as they foraged for food a few feet away from the scores of passing cars near the grounds of the Christian Science Church. Across the street, high on a hill, a flock of at least eight more turkeys lumbered across the...

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    Testimony to continue Wednesday in Sheley trial

    Testimony is expected to continue in the second murder trial of a man accused in a 2008 killing spree that left eight people dead in two states.

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    U.S. attorney’s office to monitor Chicago-area vote

    The U.S. Attorney for Illinois' northern district plans to monitor voting in Chicago and its suburbs next week.Acting U.S. Attorney Gary Shapiro announced the plans Tuesday. His office is reminding citizens it's a crime to intimidate or bribe voters, to alter vote tallies, stuff ballot boxes or mark ballots for voters without their input.

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    Officials tout Indiana’s alcohol amnesty law

    Indiana officials are visiting college campuses to remind students of a new law encouraging people to seek medical help for those who are dangerously intoxicated.

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    Power restored to 11,000 in central Wisconsin

    WAUSAU, Wis. — Wisconsin Public Service Corp. says it’s restored power to the 11,000 customers who lost service.The widespread power interruption in the Wausau area last night was apparently caused by a substation failure. WAOW-TV reports the utility company doesn’t know why the substation failed.

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    Obama in Wisconsin Thursday

    President Obama's campaign says he'll make a stop in Wisconsin on Thursday. The president is to make remarks on the tarmac at Austin Straubel International Airport near Green Bay.

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    Overnight standoff in suburban Milwaukee

    Tactical officers in a Milwaukee suburb have spent a long night outside the home of a man who allegedly violated domestic abuse bail conditions.

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    Prospect Heights family donate Chicago’s holiday tree

    A Prospect Heights family is donating this year’s official Chicago Christmas tree.City officials say the Theiszman family’s 64-foot Colorado spruce will be the focus of the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 20 in Daley Plaza. The family will light the tree with Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The ceremony will include Santa Claus and the cast of the Goodman Theatre’s “The Christmas Carol.”

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    Carol Wicks, the learning resource center director at Fearn Elementary School in North Aurora, prepares to record students reading captions to go with a slideshow on ecosystems. A student subgroup at the school made enough progress in reading and mathematics scores that the school was deemed to have made “adequate yearly progress.”

    North Aurora elementary school passes — district peers do not

    Fearn Elementary School in North Aurora bounced back to the "pass" side of the school report cards, once again the only school in West Aurora District 129 to do so. Bell-Graham Elementary School in St. Charles joined that district's list of schools that failed to make "adequate yearly progress."

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    Teacher Rick Feffer goes over a problem with sixth-grader Brisa Robles in strategic math class at Benjamin Middle School in West Chicago. The school is part of one district among only six in the Daily Herald’s DuPage County coverage area to make adequate yearly progress under No Child Left Behind this year.

    6 of 30 DuPage districts passing No Child Left Behind standards

    Out of 30 DuPage County school districts, only six smaller, relatively affluent DuPage districts remain ahead of the curve of No Child Left Behind standards, according to the annual state report card data released today. The 2012 report card data measure student achievement on standardized testing.

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    District 214 students new to the U.S. study at the Newcomer Center in Arlington Heights, where they take Mario Perez's social science class, among others. Students stay at the Center for one or two semesters before moving to their regular high school.

    School report cards: Hispanic 'achievement gap'

    Northwest suburban Hispanic high school students are doing better on standardized tests than their downstate counterparts, but the gap between Latino students and others is too great. "If a huge portion of our population doesn't succeed, our country doesn't succeed," said a school counselor.

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    Juniors Karla Jaime and Laura Oliveri get help from biology teacher Sheilagh DeLorenzo in explaining their experiment results for a presentation in class at Huntley High School. Students submerged eggs in different liquids a few days prior and reported their findings to classmates.

    School report cards: Huntley posts big gains in science

    It's not an exact science, but educators in Huntley Unit District 158 say more challenging coursework, continued adjustments to the curriculum and high expectations of all students helped high school juniors again raise the bar in a statewide science assessment. The number of Huntley High School juniors who met or exceeded state standards in science jumped 8.1 percentage points.

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    A scheduling snafu in the candidate filing period for the April 2013 election will have thousands of local government offices across the state open on Christmas Eve this year unless the legislature intervenes.

    Taxpayers to cover big OT costs for Dec. 24 election filing snafu

    What’s worse than a lump of coal in your stocking? Perhaps working Christmas Eve at an otherwise closed local government office all because of a quirk in the state’s election law that could cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. “It’s a big concern because of the cost of keeping these places open, especially places where they’re already cutting...

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    Majority of DuPage districts fail to meet federal standards

    Out of 30 school districts in the Daily Herald's DuPage County coverage area, 24 failed to make adequate yearly progress in 2012 as defined by the No Child Left Behind act. In many “failing” districts, officials say AYP has risen to an almost unattainable level. “All districts in the state will fail to meet state targets at some point when the target is 100 percent,” said...

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    Accelerated physics students Connor Perlin of Kildeer, left, Hayley Wineberg of Buffalo Grove and Joey Traynor of Long Grove conduct an experiment in the hallway at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. Stevenson again swept the five academic categories on the annual state report card among 92 suburban high school districts examined by the Daily Herald.

    School report cards: Stevenson leads suburban schools

    Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire again has swept the five academic categories among high schools, according to state report card data from 92 suburban school districts examined by the Daily Herald. For the second consecutive year, Stevenson led in composite scores, reading, math, science and ACT college entrance exam results.

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    Constance Collins

    Round Lake High fails food inspections

    Round Lake High School's food service operation has failed three of five Lake County Health Department inspections since April, documents show. “We are concerned about the health and safety of our children,” Round Lake Area Unit District 116 Superintendent Constance Collins told the Daily Herald.

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    Beginning in 2014, students statewide will begin taking new standardized tests that will ask them to demonstrate how they solved a problem, instead of just providing the answer. The approach is a key piece of the “Common Core” standards initiative adopted by Illinois and 47 other states.

    Tough new ‘Common Core’ tests designed to better prepare students

    State education officials say the current method of testing students isn't properly measuring their progress, but they're hoping the implementation of a new set of internationally benchmarked learning standards in English and math will change that. The so-called "Common Core" standards have been adopted by Illinois and 47 other states in an attempt to better prepare students for higher education...

Sports

  •  
    Bulls forward Carlos Boozer knocks the ball out of the hands of Sacramento Kings forward Jason Thompson during the first half Wednesday night.

    Bulls beat Kings in opening at United Center

    Joakim Noah scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and the Bulls got off to a good start without Derrick Rose, beating the Kings in the season opener. Incumbent forward Carlos Boozer scored 18 points and made a variety of important plays down the stretch as the Bulls.

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    Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, right, talks to center Joakim Noah Wednesday during a break in the first half against the Sacramento Kings at the United Center.

    Noah notches double-double, leads Bulls past Kings 93-87

    Joakim Noah scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and the Bulls got off to a good start without Derrick Rose, beating the Sacramento Kings 93-87 Wednesday night in the season opener at the United Center. Richard Hamilton added 19 points, while Carlos Boozer chipped in with 18 points and eight rebounds.

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    Fire midfielder Alvaro Fernandez, left, and Houston Dynamo midfielder Ricardo Clark battle for the ball during the first half Wednesday night.

    Fire’s playoff stay a short one, lose 2-1 to Houston

    Wednesday night was a lesson in playoff soccer for the Chicago Fire. In its first playoff appearance since 2009, the Fire was knocked out after just one game, losing 2-1 to the Houston Dynamo at Toyota Park. And after going 1-3-1 in its final five regular-season games, the Fire couldn't regain any momentum. "We gave up a goal, things happen," Fire coach Frank Klopas said.

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    The Bulls’ Taj Gibson signed a four-year contract extension worth a reported $38 million with incentives.

    Gibson, Bulls beat the clock

    While the Bulls battled the Kings, the deadline for Taj Gibson to sign a contract extension drew closer. It didn't seem likely the two sides would reach an agreement before 11 p.m., but then Gibson made a surprise announcement in the locker room.

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    Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau directs his team during the second half the season opener Wednesday night at the United Center.

    Thibodeau’s ways could be put to the test

    An intriguing question as the Bulls' season begins is what would the players' relationship with Tom Thibodeau become if they struggled without Derrick Rose. This is the head coach's third season here and not much has gone wrong until the playoffs. Thibodeau is so good but so dictatorial and so successful but so demanding. This style of coaching can wear on players but is tolerable in good times. Bad times not so much, as players who play for Scott Skiles and Doug Collins can tell you.

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    Houston Rockets guard James Harden drives to the basket against Detroit Pistons center Greg Monroe Wednesday during the first half in Detroit.

    Harden brilliant, Rockets beat Pistons 105-96

    James Harden agreed to a big new contract extension — and he certainly looked worth it in his first game with the Houston Rockets. Harden had 37 points and 12 assists in a stirring debut for his new team, and Carlos Delfino made four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to lift the Rockets to a 105-96 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

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    San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan goes to the basket against New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Roger Mason Jr., right, Wednesday during the second half in New Orleans. The Spurs won 95-99.

    Duncan leads Spurs past Davis, Hornets 99-95

    Anthony Davis fit right in. Tim Duncan and the wily San Antonio Spurs were celebrating at the end. Duncan scored 24 points, Tony Parker hit a huge 3-pointer, and the Spurs opened the season with a 99-95 victory over the New Orleans Hornets in Davis' pro debut Wednesday night.

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    Benet shows ESCC pride

    As a first-time champion of the East Suburban Catholic Conference, certain responsibilities fell on Benet's football team. Most important was winning its opening playoff game last week.

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    Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell (17) throws as he is rushed by Alabama linebacker Xzavier Dickson (47) and linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) Saturday during the first half at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

    Dominant defense is way of life at Alabama, LSU

    BATON ROUGE, La. — When Eric Reid arrived at LSU, the older players made one thing clear:He was expected to contribute right away on defense. There was to be no drop-off from the guys who came before him.Now, he passes it on.“We tell the freshmen the exact same thing,” said Reid, a junior safety and one of the leaders of the Tigers’ defense. “We don’t want them to use youth as an excuse. You come to practice, practice hard and get the job done.”The same could be said of top-ranked Alabama.After last season, the Crimson Tide had six players off its national championship defense — considered one of the best in college football history — selected in the NFL draft. Three of them went in the first round. Another was taken early in the second.For most programs, that sort of exodus would have led to a major rebuilding job. Not at Alabama (8-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference), which again leads the nation in all four of the major defensive categories, seemingly just as dominant as it was with players such as Mark Barron, Dont’a Hightower and Dre Kirkpatrick.“I’m not really surprised,” said one of the replacements, linebacker C.J. Mosley. “Great players left last year, but we had players that could fill their roles. So far, we’re getting the job done. It’s all about communication because we’ve got the athletes and we’ve got the players who can play with anybody in the nation.”Defense isn’t just a vital part of the game for these two schools. It’s who they are.It’s why they seem to meet every year with so much on the line.This year is no exception. Alabama will travel to Baton Rouge on Saturday night for what is essentially a playoff game in the national championship race. The winner will have the inside track to a spot in the SEC title game, which has become a routine conduit to the BCS finale.Despite plenty of inconsistency on offense, LSU (7-1, 3-1) is right in the thick of things again largely because of its defense. While not quite as dominant statistically as Alabama, the Tigers are certainly in the same ballpark, ranking in the top 10 nationally in points allowed, total yards, rushing yards and passing yards. “It’s a tradition that was established long before we got here,” said LSU linebacker Kevin Minter, the team’s leading tackler. “It’s fundamental here. It’s what we do. We play hard-nosed, hit-you-in-the-mouth defense. Both teams do.”Like Alabama, LSU lost a number of top defensive players off last year’s unit, which carried the Tigers all the way to the national championship game before they lost to the Crimson Tide 21-0. Cornerback Morris Claiborne and defensive tackle Michael Brockers were both selected in the first round of the NFL draft, while safety Brandon Taylor went in the third. Then, the Tigers lost perhaps their most dominant player on either side of the line, cornerback and Heisman finalist Tyrann Mathieu. The Honey Badger was reportedly kicked off the team for several failed drug tests, and he’s spending the year away from the field, trying to get his life in order.Despite those heavy losses, especially in the secondary, there hasn’t been much of a slide. LSU ranks fourth in the nation, allowing just 148.5 yards per game through the air. Tharold Simon and freshman Jalen Mills have filled those big shoes at cornerback, each coming up with a pair of interceptions. LSU ranks eighth nationally with 13 picks as team.“Their secondary still looks good,” Alabama receiver Kenny Bell said. “They still have a good defense. I feel like this is going to be the one of the best defenses we’ve gone against all year. We’ve just got to keep working hard ... and get better so we can be able to execute against this defense. Because, you know, they are good. Their front four is very good and their secondary is real good.”

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    Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, right, drives to the net past Indiana Pacers forward Roy Hibbert, center, and Pacers guard Gerald Green, left, Wednesday during first half in Toronto.

    Pacers’ Hill hits winner in closing seconds to beat Raptors

    George Hill scored the go-ahead basket with two seconds left, completing the Indiana Pacers' rally for a 90-88 season-opening win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night. David West scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, and Paul George had 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Pacers, who trailed 84-74 with just under six minutes left. Roy Hibbert added 14 points for Indiana.

  •  
    A St. Charles North supporter waits for the start of the girls race last Saturday. Both the North Stars girls and boys teams qualified for state.

    Hollis completes uphill climb to state

    When runners from around Illinois toe the starting line Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria for the state cross country meet, it will be the culmination of months of hard work this season in addition to countless hours of off-season work. That feeling of reaching your goal will be an especially sweet emotion for Batavia senior Trevor Hollis.

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    Rick West/rwest@dailyherald.com Geneva's Jess Wicinski, left, and Maddie Courter go up for a block against St. Charles East during Tuesday's sectional semifinals at Larkin High School in Elgin.

    Geneva, Glenbard West hoping for history

    No matter who wins Thursday night's Class 4A Larkin sectional championship between No. 1 seed Glenbard West and No. 2 Geneva, you can't blame either school for celebrating a little extra long.

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    A cross country photo finish 20 years in the making

    Sometimes you've got to wonder about the grand design of things ...

  •  
    Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall helps his team get within field-goal range while being pursued by Carolina Panthers defensive back Josh Norman during Sunday’s game at Soldier Field.

    Bears’ Cutler saving his best for last

    Quarterback Jay Cutler and the Bears' offense have struggled to find a rhythm for most of the season, but the later a game gets, the better they've played.Cutler has a whopping lead when it comes to fourth-quarter passer rating. He's at 132.0, and Peyton Manning is next at 119.6 followed by Aaron Rodgers at 110.6. No one else is within 25 points of Cutler."Jay's one of those guys where he has that clutch' gene," wide receiver Brandon Marshall said. "You hear guys talking about it; some believe in it, some don't. But Jay has it."

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    Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall is tackled by Carolina Panthers linebackers Thomas Davis (58) and Luke Kuechly (59) Sunday after a reception during the second half.

    Cutler: Marshall easy to work with these days

    Brandon Marshall caught 206 passes for 2,590 yards in his last two seasons with Jay Cutler in Denver.Cutler says his go-to guy is a different player now — and a better one."He's married now," Cutler said. "He understands the game better. He's got his life in order. He's fun to be around."The 28-year-old Marshall has shown a maturity on and off the field that wasn't evident back in his Denver days. "He's a different receiver," Cutler said. "I would say better. He understands the game a lot better, he takes care of his body. He's there every single day getting better.

  •  
    The Metro Suburban Conference rescinded its invitation to have West Chicago join the league after West Chicago tried to join the Upstate Eight.

    Metro Suburban rescinds invitation to West Chicago

    After West Chicago High School's decision to pursue an opportunity to possibly join the Upstate Eight Conference, the Metro Suburban Conference is rescinding its month-old invitation for the Wildcats to join its seven-team league.

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    Judson hopes to bounce back from tough season

    It's a season of opportunity for the Judson University men's basketball team. The Eagles return one starter from last year's unit that went 10-21. And that means opportunities to make an impact are in abundance. "We're mixing some older players with newer players," first-year Judson coach Joel Cotton says. "We have a lot of new faces that will see time and we have some seniors that will play bigger roles and will need to step in and get used to being counted on a little more."

  •  
    Sean Harrington

    Harrington ready to tackle challenge at media table

    For the better part of his basketball career, Sean Harrington was reported on, reviewed and analyzed by the media. Now Harrington will become one of us. Harrington, the former Elgin High School and University of Illinois standout is, for the first time in his career, leaving the court and the bench for another seat at courtside, the one occupied by the Big Ten Network. He will call his first game as a BTN color analyst on Nov. 12 when Central Michigan plays at Iowa.

  •  
    Notre Dame coach Mike Brey is counting on Jack Cooley, pictured, to lead a squad that returns all five starters and adds 6-10 Michigan State transfer Garrick Sherman and freshmen forwards Cameron Biedscheid and Zach Auguste.

    Jack Cooley provides leadership for experienced Irish

    Notre Dame coach Mike Brey can't believe how Jack Cooley has blossomed into a leader for the Fighting Irish, especially after wondering whether the 6-9, 245-pound forward would ever get serious about basketball. "He's going to be better than I ever imagined as a leader. He's already been better than we thought as a player," Brey said.

  •  
    Notre Dame defensive lineman Louis Nix III seems to always find himself in the middle of things, whether itÌs on the field clogging things up along the line for the Fighting Irish defense or videotaping the latest YouTube segment of his “Chocolate News” that gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at the team.

    Notre Dame nose guard Nix always at the center of things

    Notre Dame nose guard Louis Nix III always seems to find himself at the center of the action. Whether it's clogging things up along the defensive line for the Fighting Irish or off the field videotaping his latest YouTube segment "Chocolate News" that gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at the team, Nix seems to be in the thick of things. "I don't like to be in the center of things. I just so happen to be in the center of things," Nix said.

  •  
    Jacksonville Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny tackles Green Bay Packers running back Alex Green Sunday. The Packers have a much needed bye week after they face Arizona.

    Get through game vs. Arizona, and Packers can rest

    The Green Bay Packers can read a schedule as well as anyone else. Get through Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals, and the Packers have a bye. A week to park themselves on the couch and prop up their bum ankles, aching feet and sore hamstrings — of which there are plenty. Seven days to recuperate and recharge for the final stretch of the regular season. Just don't let coach Mike McCarthy catch them peeking at the calendar.

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    Detroit Lions wide receiver Titus Young celebrates his touchdown with fans Sunday during the first half against the Seattle Seahawks in Detroit.

    Lions WR Titus Young isn’t flying under radar now

    Titus Young has moved up the Detroit Lions' depth chart. And on scouting reports. Young has 15 receptions for 181 yards and two touchdowns in the last two games — surpassing his production from the first five games combined — by taking advantage of the attention Calvin Johnson gets and increased opportunities he's getting without Nate Burleson in the lineup. The second-year pro has been under the radar for much of his short career, but he isn't anymore.

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    Vikings struggling anew to air the ball out

    For the Minnesota Vikings to maintain their winning record in the second half of the season, the passing game must improve. As built as they are around the exploits of running back Adrian Peterson, the ball simply has to move farther and more often through the air than it has in October.

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    Manning says right thumb sore but OK

    Peyton Manning's right thumbnail was covered with white tape and put under a media microscope upon his return to the football field Wednesday. The tape didn't wrap all the way around his thumb, leaving him able to grip the football like normal, and teammates said his throws and hand-offs at practice were unaffected by his injury in his first action since smacking his throwing hand on a defender's helmet Sunday night.

  •  
    Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak is hoping the Titans’ banged up offensive line gets some help from tackle Michael Roos against the Bears this Sunday.

    Titans’ banged-up line could get help from Roos

    Left tackle Michael Roos is practicing again and definitely wants back on the field Sunday. The shape the Tennessee offensive line is in, the Titans certainly need him Sunday with the Bears visiting. Four of the five starting offensive linemen are on the injury report as the Titans (3-5) prepare to host Chicago (6-1). Left guard Steve Hutchinson is the only lineman not listed with center Fernando Velasco recovering from a concussion and right guard Leroy Harris and right tackle David Stewart both having hurt their right knees in last week's loss to Indianapolis.

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    Texas A&M running back Ben Malena tries to get around Auburn defensive back Demetruce McNeal Saturday during the first half in Auburn, Ala. Texas A&M defeated Auburn 63-21.

    SEC expansion gives conference new look

    The Southeastern Conference's first expansion since 1991 has added not only new travel and experiences for newcomers Texas A&M and Missouri, but also the rest of the league. The new look of the SEC isn't limited to the changes in its geography, though, as the Aggies have remained one of the top offenses in the country, shaking up things in a league long known for defense.

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    Nets-Knicks opener in Brooklyn postponed

    The Knicks-Nets game that was scheduled for Thursday night at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn has been postponed at Mayor Michael Bloomberg's request after damage from Hurricane Sandy. Though the NBA had said Tuesday night the game would go on as planned, Bloomberg asked the league that it be called off.

  •  
    Lauren Anderson and Meghan Falconer, front, are making the most of their season without a true home pool on the Mundelein girls swimming team.

    Home is wherever Mundelein’s swimming

    Mundelein's girls swimming team of this fall will be remembered as vagabonds. With the school's pool under renovation, the Mustangs traveled to all of their dual meets and Saturday will compete in the North Suburban Conference meet at Vernon Hills. They have practice once a week, on Tuesdays, at Vernon Hills, and have all other practices at the YMCA's Camp Duncan, located along Highway 12 in Ingleside. The team's divers do all of their practicing at Vernon Hills. They also have morning dry-land training at school three days a week.

  •  
    Prospect senior Quentin Shaffer, here all alone on his way to a Mid-Suburban League championship, is poised for a big finish in this weekend’s boys cross country state meet.

    Prospect’s Shaffer sees a big finish in front of him

    A small figure came rolling into view, around the last corner and down the home stretch, 100 meters of green stretched out in front of him. The kid with the trademark headband and glasses was closing in on another impressive victory at the Schaumburg sectional. It was business as usual for Prospect senior Quentin Shaffer, who has emerged as one of the favorites heading into Saturdays Class 3A cross country state meet at Detweiller Park in Peoria.

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    St. Edward graduate Troy Gudino will add some depth to the Elgin Community College men’s team this season.

    Elgin CC inexperienced but deep

    Elgin Community College's men's basketball team is faced with a challenge — no returning starters. Or is it really even a challenge? Coach Reed Nosbisch doesn't think so given his roster is filled with plenty of interchangeable depth.

  •  
    Tom Sermanni was hired Tuesday to replace Pia Sundhage, who led the Americans to back-to-back Olympic gold medals and their first World Cup final in 12 years. Sermanni has spent the last eight years as Australia’s coach, taking the Matildas to the quarterfinals of the last two Women’s World Cups.

    US women can expect subtle changes under Sermanni

    Tom Sermanni doesn't come with a guitar. And forget about bursting into song when he meets the U.S. women's soccer team for the first time, as predecessor Pia Sundhage famously did. "I can't do that one bit," the Americans' new coach said, smiling. "I can come up with some good one-liners and clichés, but players don't tend to appreciate them as much."

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    Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez throws Saturday against Michigan in Lincoln, Neb. Nebraska beat Michigan 23-9.

    Huskers’ Martinez might need title to rank with Nebraska greats

    Nebraska's Taylor Martinez is set to break 2001 Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch's school career total-offense record Saturday against Michigan State. Only a junior, Martinez could finish his career as one of college football's most prolific quarterbacks ever. But can he be judged as one of the Cornhuskers' all-time great quarterbacks if he doesn't win a championship of some kind?

  •  
    In this Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 photo provided by Mark Cobb via The State Journal-Register, a photo of a cougar caught on a motion-sensitive trail camera is seen near Jacksonville, Ill. Cobb, of Sherman, Ill., captured the image in Morgan County and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources confirmed the authenticity of the photo Monday afternoon. The State Journal-Register reports that it's only the fourth confirmed sighting of a cougar since the cats were driven from Illinois in the 1870s.

    Another cougar sighting in Illinois

    This week's outdoors notebook with Mike Jackson features a report of a cougar sighting in Illinois, and a dramatic mountain rescue of hikers attacked by bees near Phoenix, Arzona. One hiker died from a fall during the attack.

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    Les Mandlestein with a 5-pound smallmouth bass on a recent trip to the Menominee River near Crivitz, Wis., guided by Mike Mladenik.

    A smallmouth adventure worth shouting about

    A trip to the Menominee River guided by Mike Mladenik turns out to be cause from some colorful language from Vernon Hills angler Les Mandlestein as Mike Jackson and friends tangled with bunches of 5-pound smallmouth bass.

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    Mike North video: Top Ten Athletes who need to learn how to invest

    Tasty Trade studios talk a little about Halloween and watch some of Mike North's Halloween video. They also talk the top 10 athletes who should watch Tasty Trade to learn how to invest.

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    Scouting report: Bulls vs. Kings

    The Kings come into the season with low expectations, but they have some intriguing players in PF DeMarcus Cousins, second-year PG Isaiah Thomas, former rookie of the year Tyreke Evans and rookie forward Thomas Robinson.

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    St. Francis not impressed with sectional victory

    St. Francis was not at its best on Tuesday night yet stayed alive in Class 3A sectional girls volleyball play. The Spartans, however, may want to be at their best in Thursday’s final.

Business

  •  

    Netflix stock soars on news of Carl Icahn’s stake

    Netflix's slumping stock price and weakening financial performance has finally attracted an opportunistic and sometimes nettlesome investor in Carl Icahn.

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    Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Yoda are seen in “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.” A decade since George Lucas said “Star Wars” was finished on the big screen, a new trilogy under new ownership is destined for theaters after The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday it was buying Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4.05 billion.

    Disney unlikely to change ‘Star Wars’ brand

    Naysayers would have you believe Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm can only mean one thing: Bambi and Mickey Mouse are sure to appear in future "Star Wars" movies taking up lightsabers against the dark side of the Force.Not so, say experts.

  •  
    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, center, gives a thumbs up after ringing in the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday.

    US stocks mixed after historic 2-day close

    Investors were nervous that a flood of orders after two days of pent-up demand from customers might lead to volatile trading. But stocks closed mixed on Wednesday in their first session since Hurricane Sandy forced a historic two-day shutdown of trading.

  •  
    Alese Campbell, the leader of the GLMV Chamber of Commerce, is out after just two years on the job.

    Alese Campbell quits top GLMV chamber post

    Alese Campbell, the executive director of the GLMV Chamber of Commerce, is out after just two years on the job. Campbell is leaving the business group to join Shaw Media as the general manager of the company's Lake County office, she told chamber members in an email Wednesday.

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    South Carolina’s Revenue Department says Social Security numbers, credit card information and information from businesses may have been compromised when about 3.6 million tax returns from as far back as 1998 were hacked recently.

    Experts: S.C. hacking largest vs. state tax agency

    About 3.6 million tax returns from as far back as 1998 were hacked in South Carolina in what experts say is the largest cyber-attack against a state tax agency in the nation.

  •  
    Cups bearing the Google logo are displayed at Google France offices. Publishers in France, Germany and Italy want their governments to impose a “news tax” on Google to save them from extinction, demanding a law that would charge the search engine small payments in exchange for links to stories.

    Europe takes on Google, looks to Brazil with hope

    European news organizations bleeding money and readers are trying to avoid extinction by asking governments in France, Germany and Italy to step in and charge Google for links to stories the Internet search giant has always gotten for free.

  •  
    GM said it earned $1.48 billion from July through September, down from $1.73 billion a year earlier, as European pretax losses widened and North American profits fell.

    GM cuts European jobs, shares spike

    Shares of General Motors surged Wednesday after the company announced big job cuts in Europe and reported third-quarter earnings that were far better than Wall Street expected.

  •  
    The site of the former Circuit City on Route 31 in Carpentersville will soon be home to Big Lots, which is opening next Thursday.

    Big Lots opening four suburban stores

    November will be a big month for discount retailer Big Lots as it opens stores in Carpentersville, Elgin, Streamwood and Naperville. It will open in the former Circuit City store in Spring Hill Market Place on Route 31 in Carpentersville. A soft opening is scheduled for Nov. 8, while the grand opening will be held on Nov. 16. The Elgin store will be at 202 S. Randall Road, the Streamwood one will be at 1080 S. Barrington Road and the Naperville one is setting up at 2781 Aurora Ave. — all in pre-existing spaces that Big Lots renovated to suit its needs.

  •  

    Asian markets gain in face of U.S. superstorm

    Asian markets gained Wednesday after Wall Street stayed closed for a second day as a hurricane ravaged the East Coast of the United States.Oil edged up in Asian trading but stayed below $86 a barrel as investors waited for U.S. employment data that are expected to show little improvement.

  •  

    Money men: Who are top 5 donors to Romney?

    Republicans hit the jackpot with casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Worth an estimated $25 billion, Adelson has donated $44.2 million so far to aid Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and organizations supporting Romney this election.Other top donors giving millions of dollars to aid Romney's campaign include a trio of Texas money moguls and the head of a South Florida-based energy conglomerate.

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    Wall Street Journal remains No. 1 U.S. newspaper

    U.S. newspaper circulation was almost unchanged in the six months that ended in September as publications continued to make gains in digital editions, according to data from a media industry group.Average daily circulation for print and digital editions combined fell 0.2 percent for the 613 newspapers included in the semiannual study by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Sunday circulation for the 528 newspapers in Tuesday's report increased 0.6 percent.

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    Unemployment rates fall in 95 pct. of U.S. cities

    Unemployment rates fell in nearly all large U.S. cities in September from August, a sign that recent jobs gains have been widespread. The Labor Department said Tuesday that rates declined in 355 of the 372 metro areas, the most since April. The report also shows that nearly half of cities now have unemployment rates below 7 percent.And the number of areas with unemployment rates above 10 percent dropped to 35. That's down from 84 a year ago. Rates rose in September in only 11 cities and were unchanged in six.

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    Donors with dollars: Top 5 fundraisers for Obama

    Chicago is President Barack Obama's kind of town when it comes to top-dollar campaign donations. Windy City media baron Fred Eychaner was a leading Obama donor during the 2008 campaign and has raised more money for the president's re-election campaign this election season than any other Democratic donor.

  •  
    Workers clear debris outside the Consolidated Edison power sub-station on 14th Street. After a gigantic wall of water defied elaborate planning and swamped underground electrical equipment at a Consolidated Edison substation in Manhattan’s East Village, about 250,000 lower Manhattan customers were left without power.

    ConEd prepped for big storm, got even bigger one

    Blame a very high tide driven by a full moon, the worst storm surge in nearly 200 years, and the placement of underground electrical equipment in flood-prone areas for the most extensive storm-related power outage in New York City's history. It's like what happened at the Fukushima nuclear complex in Japan last year — without the radiation. At a Consolidated Edison substation in Manhattan's East Village, a gigantic wall of water defied elaborate planning and expectations, swamped underground electrical equipment, and left about 250,000 lower Manhattan customers without power.

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    A tanker truck passes in the background as two gas stations on the same street show different prices Tuesday in Houston.

    Oil price rises on superstorm threat to supplies

    Oil prices rose Wednesday after a fierce storm caused havoc across the northeastern U.S. and was threatening to inflict more damage inland.Concerns about oil supplies pushed benchmark crude for December delivery up 78 cents to $86.46 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 14 cents to finish at $85.68 a barrel in New York.

  •  
    The New York Stock Exchange, empty of traders Monday and Tuesday, is set to reopen today.

    East begins to stir after 2 days of hunkering down

    Wednesday is the new Monday for thousands of workers and schoolchildren as the East Coast begins coming back to life after superstorm Sandy.New York is still largely paralyzed, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg planned to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

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    Superstorm Sandy grounded more than 18,000 flights across the Northeast and the globe, and it will take days before travel gets back to normal.

    Sandy shuts down Northeast air travel

    Superstorm Sandy grounded more than 18,000 flights across the Northeast and the globe, and it will take days before travel gets back to normal.According to the flight-tracking service FlightAware, more than 7,000 flights were canceled on Tuesday alone. Delays rippled across the U.S., affecting travelers in cities from San Francisco to Atlanta. Some passengers attempting to fly out of Europe and Asia also were stuck.

Life & Entertainment

  •  
    The Wallflowers — Rami Jaffee, left, Jakob Dylan, Greg Richling, Jack Irons and Stuart Mathis perform at the Park West Friday. a new album this month titled, “Glad All Over.” (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP Images)

    Weekend picks: The Wallflowers headline the Park West

    See The Wallflowers up close tonight at the intimate Park West in Chicago. They're touring on the heels of their latest album, “Glad All Over.” Lovers of modern country music shouldn't miss the Katie Armiger Trio Friday at the College of Lake County's Lumber Center for the Performing Arts in Grayslake. “Food Network” chef and author Ina Garten signs copies of her new “Barefoot Contessa" book at Barnes and Noble — Old Orchard at noon Friday.

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    Jackson Finken works on a piece of music with his Beethoven's Buddies teacher Beth Bauer at his side. The program, operated by the Community School of the Arts at Wheaton College, teaches music to children with disabilities.

    Teacher has key to open world of music to children with disabilities

    Deb Finken of Lombard was skeptical when her husband suggested piano lessons for their son, Jackson. Then 5 years old, Jackson had trouble sitting still for more than a few minutes and rarely spoke in complete sentences. Pretty typical for a child with autism. But when they learned about the Beethoven's Buddies program at Wheaton College's Community School of the Arts, they saw a way to get music into Jackson's life.

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    Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus elephant Kelly Ann, left, wearing a witch hat, and two other Asian elephants eat fall vegetables as part of their arrival Wednesday at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont. The circus will perform there Thursday through Nov. 11.

    Circus elephants get in on the Halloween fun

    Even the circus animals got into the Halloween spirit Wednesday as Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus kicked off their month of shows in the Chicago area with its elephants celebrating the spooky holiday. Students from Uno Charter School in Rogers Park watched as three elephants strutted their stuff, snacked on fall vegetables and smashed pumpkins with their feet as part of circus' arrival for a 10-day stay in Rosemont.

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    Actor Brad Pitt has donated $100,000 to help the Human Rights Campaign raise money for its efforts to support same-sex marriage initiatives in several states.

    Brad Pitt donates $100K for gay marriage effort

    Brad Pitt has agreed to donate $100,000 to help the Human Rights Campaign raise money for its efforts to support same-sex marriage initiatives in several states. The nation's largest gay rights group announced Wednesday that Pitt agreed to match contributions from the group's members up to $100,000.

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    Haunted houses claim Civil War spirits and an evil madame who was no lady

    Surveys suggest that more than half of all Americans believe in ghosts and haunted houses. In fact, some believe that the ghosts of several Civil War soldiers haunt the Gettysburg Battlefield and several buildings there in Pennsylvania.

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    What parents should know about parent-teacher conferences

    For some parents, the childhood memory of parent-teacher conferences brings to mind teachers calling parents on the carpet for the student's academic shortfalls. "I remember getting that nervous stomach feeling when my parents would go talk to my teacher," said Kristi Thompson of Libertyville, mother of kindergartner Ryan Thompson. In a few weeks, Kristi will be attending her first parent- teacher conference.

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    Cate Costello, 4, of Geneva, takes off her wig so it won't slow her down during the goodie-filled plastic egg hunt at Geneva Park District's Halloween Hayday at the Persinger Recreation Center on Saturday, October 27. Her costume is Merida from the Brave cartoon movie.

    Trick-or-treat hours in the suburbs

    To help ensure a safe and fun Halloween, communities have established official hours for trick-or-treating activities. Here are the official trick-or-treating hours today in the suburbs.

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    Country-Style Chopped Sirloin with Old Fashion Onion Mushroom Gravy is easy to make at home. The recipe can be doubled or tripled to fit the size of your family.

    Culinary memories revisited with grandmother’s sirloin

    Kitchen Scoop's Alicia Ross has reworked a favorite childhood recipe to match her scaled-down family. Instead of country-style chopped sirloin for a crowd for a Sunday dinner, she offers a quick recipe for a weeknight dinner for two.

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    Neil Young’s “Psychedelic Pill”

    Craggy Neil Young takes his time on ‘Pill’

    Neil Young is in a nostalgic mood on "Psychedelic Pill," a triumphant if somewhat meandering release with his band, Crazy Horse. The opening track, the 27-minute "Driftin' Back," sets the tone, as a reflective Young sings about turning back the clock and revisiting his past.

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    Host Jimmy Fallon, who taped “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” in New York Monday without an audience, invited the audience back Tuesday.

    In NYC, the show goes on, even if sans audience

    Like David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon had hosted his show Monday in New York without an audience, but he happily welcomed audience members back on Tuesday. "First off, thanks to our great audience for making it out to the show tonight," Fallon began his monologue Tuesday. "I'm so glad you're here, because last night's audience was the worst." As the city took account of the damage wrought by the storm, the aftermath of Sandy continued to cause the cancellations of film premieres, film and TV production and even that most unshakable performer: Bruce Springsteen.

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    Full of pumpkin, this is the perfect chili for cool fall evenings. Plus, this bright orange gourd is packed with disease-fighting nutrients.

    Pumpkin adds color, flavor to chili

    Pumpkins are more than just for Halloween decorations. They are also edible, delicious and nutritious. When fresh pumpkin is not available, canned pumpkin can be a convenient alternative, saving lots of preparation time. When you see canned pumpkin puree in the grocery store, think beyond the traditional pie and explore more ways of adding this healthful gourd into your diet.

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    Jenni “JWoww” Farley, a cast member in the reality series “Jersey Shore,” left, appeared with host Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” Tuesday and talked about the damage done to Seaside Heights, N.J., which was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.

    ’Jersey Shore’ cast sends support to Sandy victims

    The town that for millions made "Jersey Shore" synonymous with Snooki and fist-pumping was among the hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy — and its famous summer residents sent their prayers to those affected. "Sandy destroyed Seaside — our second home," Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi told MTV News in a statement. "It's devastating to see our boardwalk and favorite spots ruined. My prayers go out to everyone affected by the storm."

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    “In the Kitchen with David” by Dave Venable

    Cheesy Cheeseburger Casserole
    Cheesy Cheeseburger Casserole

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    Full of pumpkin, this is the perfect chili for cool fall evenings.

    Pumpkin Chicken Chili
    Pumpkin Chicken Chili

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    Chesapeake oyster farmers are jockeying for bragging rights about whose section of the Maryland bay produces the tastiest oysters and hope to build a following among chefs and diners.

    Oyster aquaculture: Savor the terroir, mer-roir?, of a farmed oyster

    The Chesapeake has long been known for its oysters, though primarily for its dwindling wild population. But watermen now are being encouraged to farm oysters along its banks instead of harvesting them wild. And producers in Maryland already are jockeying for bragging rights about whose section produces the tastiest oysters.

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    Fried sage loves fat, making it perfect partners for butter and parmesan in this hearty penne dish.

    Fried Sage and Parmesan Penne
    1 pound penne pasta1 egg2 tablespoons all-purpose flourSalt and ground black pepper12 large fresh sage leaves4 tablespoons butter1/3 cup pine nuts1 cup grated parmesan cheeseBring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Reserve ¼ cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta, return it to the pot, cover and set aside.Meanwhile, in a small bowl, lightly beat the egg. Place the flour in a second bowl, then mix a bit of salt and pepper into it.One at a time, dunk each sage leaf first in the egg, then in then in the flour. Shake off any excess flour, then set aside.In a small skillet over medium-high, melt the butter. When it just starts to bubble, add the sage leaves and fry for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add the pine nuts to the skillet and toast in the butter that remains in the pan for 1 minute.Drizzle the butter and pine nuts over the cooked pasta. Sprinkle in the parmesan and use tongs to toss until melted. While tossing, drizzle in just enough of the reserved pasta cooking water to create a thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper.Divide between serving plates, then top each portion with fried sage leaves.Serves four.Nutrition values per serving: 730 calories, 28 g fat (12 g saturated), 90 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 31 g protein, 95 mg cholesterol, 650 mg sodium.J.M. Hirsch, The Associated Press

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    Fried sage loves fat, making it perfect partners for butter and parmesan in this hearty penne dish.

    Off the beaten aisle: How to use fresh sage

    While we think of all manner of uses for other herbs in all seasons, we tend to pigeonhole sage as a Thanksgiving herb suited mostly for stuffing and turkey. But the richly peppery-rosemary flavor of fresh sage can more than earn its keep all year.

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    “In the Kitchen with David” by Dave Venable

    Cheesy Cheeseburger Casserole
    Cheesy Cheeseburger Casserole

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    “In the Kitchen with David” by David Venable

    QVC’s Dave Venable: Cheesy comfort in new cookbook

    QVC host Dave Venable has no problem getting cheesy, on air or in his cookbook. "Forgive me for getting a little `cheesy' here, but that's just what this one-dish wonder is all about: cheese," Venable writes in his just-released cookbook, "In the Kitchen with David."

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    Ask the Nutritionist: Decifering food package labels

    Karen Collins with the American Institute for Cancer Research discusses labels on the front of food packaging and weight gain during pregnancy.

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    Brad Paisley, left, and Carrie Underwood will host their fifth Country Music Association Awards show in Nashville, Tenn.

    Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley ready for 5th CMA Awards

    Spend a lot of time with a guy over five years and you get to know him pretty well. In the time Carrie Underwood has spent co-hosting the Country Music Association Awards with Brad Paisley, she's learned there's nothing fake about the man with the white hat. "He's not a different person in front of the camera and a whole different person away from the cameras," Underwood said in a recent interview.

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    ‘Community,’ White House sitcom in new NBC lineup

    NBC is making room for "Community" on its midseason schedule, along with a new comedy set in the White House and a dating series produced by former "Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria. "Community," which saw its return delayed this season, will air at 7 p.m. Thursdays starting Feb. 7. The Joel McHale comedy will be followed by "Parks and Recreation," which moves to a new 7:30 p.m. time slot starting Jan. 17.

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    Ying Stoller combines fennel and pumpkin into ravioli that she serves with freekeh- and sesame-coated Korean barbecued catfish.

    Judges take their turn with the secret ingredients
    Some of the judges decided to put their creativity and stills to the test by cooking with the secret ingredients. Did our experts do any better than the contestants? You decide.

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    Tom T. Hall accepts the Icon Award at the 60th Annual BMI Country Awards on Tuesday in Nashville.

    Country legend Tom T. Hall honored as BMI Icon

    Tom T. Hall is a bit of a loner, so he found the red carpet at the BMI Country Awards a little overwhelming Tuesday night. Truth is the newest BMI Icon is a homebody. "I'm missing the second episode of a two-part Gunsmoke' tonight," Hall joked. "That was bad. But I was very proud of the fact I could get back in my tux. I don't think I've had it on in 12 years." The performing rights organization honored the 76-year-old Country Music Hall of Fame member with a wide-ranging tribute.

  •  
    Country-Style Chopped Sirloin with Old-Fashion Onion Mushroom Gravy is easy to make at home. The recipe can be doubled or tripled to fit the size of your family.

    Country-Style Chopped Sirloin With Old-Fashioned Onion Mushroom Gravy
    1 large egg1/3 cup quick oats (oatmeal)1 cup onion, finely chopped, divided¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste8 ounces ground sirloin (90 percent lean)1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided 1 cup button mushrooms, finely chopped3 tablespoons all-purpose flour1 cup (about) warm waterIn a large bowl, combine the egg, oats, 2 tablespoons onion, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and mix well. Crumble the ground beef over the egg mixture. Using your hands, mix well (see note). Form into 2 patties about 3 inches wide and ¾ inch thick.Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a regular (not nonstick) skillet over medium-high. Add patties and cook about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove to a plate.In the same skillet, add the remaining onion and mushrooms. Cook until onions are tender and mushrooms have released their water, about 3 minutes. Scrape onto plate with beef patties. Reduce heat to medium-low and add 1-3 teaspoons oil, enough to cover the bottom of the skillet in a thin pool. Sprinkle the flour over the oil and stir well, forming a thick paste. Continue to cook the paste until it turns a medium brown and all the bits and pieces of the beef are incorporated in the paste. Slowly and carefully add the water, stirring constantly to form the gravy. Once the gravy comes to a low boil and begins to thicken, add the beef patties and the veggies back into the skillet. Turn the heat to low and spoon the gravy over the meat. Simmer 5-15 minutes, until ready to serve. Add a few more tablespoons water if gravy becomes too thick. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve.Serves two.Cook’s note: Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat.Nutrition values per serving: 432 calories, 17.5 g fat (5 g saturated), 25 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 42 g protein, 194 mg cholesterol, 406 mg sodium.

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    Seared pork chops sit on a bed of roasted kale; a sherry-infused blueberry sauce dresses the plate.

    Seared Pork Chops with Sherry Blueberry Sauce over Roasted Kale
    Seared Pork Chops with Sherry Blueberry Sauce: Mario Portanova

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    Ying Stoller combines fennel and pumpkin into ravioli that she serves with freekeh- and sesame-coated Korean barbecued catfish.

    Sesame Catfish with Pumpkin Fennel Ravioli
    Sesame Catfist with Pumplin Pennel Ravioli: Ying Stoller

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    Ground beef gets mixed with sauteed peppers, Chianti and American cheese before hitting the grill. Served with cumin-infused ketchup, it makes a hearty and lean burger.

    Buffaloaf Chili Cheeseburger
    Buffaloaf Chili Cheeseburger: Don Mauer

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    Ground beef gets mixed with sauteed peppers, Chianti and American cheese before hitting the grill. Served with cumin-infused ketchup, it makes a hearty and lean burger.

    Buffaloaf Chili Cheeseburger
    :Don Mauer

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    Katie Bloomfield slow-cooked a tri-tip roast to make tacos and serves them with a side of chocolate-sauced plantains.

    Shredded Beef Tacos and Chocolate Sauce Plantains
    :Katie Bloomfield

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    Michael Lalagos

    Catching up with the 2011 contestants

    A year after the inuagural Cook of the Week Challenge, Daily Herald Food Editor Deborah Pankey caught with a few of 2011's contestants. She asked about new favorite foods, culinary adventures over the last year as well as their opinions of this year's challenge ingredients.

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    Chuck Federici’s Nested Salsa Chicken Legs with Cilantro Pesto and Spaghetti Squash Tots

    Cook of the Week Challenge countdown

    How are our Cook of the Week Challenge finaliists holding up just hours before the competition? Food Editor Deborah Pankey chatted with Terri Edmunds, Chuck Federici, Michael Pennisi and Louann Zundel to find out how they're preparing for the Nov. 1 live cookoff.

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    Hearty gnocchi comes dressed with a vodka-spiked sauce at DiBenedetto Trattoria in Hoffman Estates.

    Casual Italian done right at DiBenedetto Trattoria

    After putting in time in Italian restaurants around the suburbs and Chicago, Vittorio Di Benedetto is leading the team at the Hoffman Estates eatery that bears his name. There's an old-world, almost 80s feel, to the main dining room at this Hoffman Estates strip mall eatery: hardwood floors, deep navy table cloths, a half wall topped by black and white photographs of famous Italians. A recent Saturday night visit found DiBenedetto Trattoria filled with a more mature suburban crowd that delighted in the attention to detail and the generous portions.

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    Kindness can have impact beyond expectations

    Not long ago, I received a facebook friend request from a former classmate followed by this message: “Hi Becky, it’s Son from Mrs. Hamilton’s fourth grade. Wonder if you remember me?” His name didn’t ring any bells, so though I was embarrassed, I admitted that I didn’t remember him. I asked him for more details, and what he shared in his reply stunned me.

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    It’s no joke — PUNS list key to state services

    The No. 1 piece of advice for parents just finding out their child has a disability: Get on the PUNS list, the statewide database tracking the need for services. It is also the list parents need to be on to receive services from the state for their developmentally disabled child/adult.

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    Kids stick with you
    The funny thing about your own children is that they are always with you, even when they aren’t. I’ve decided that is a good thing. All parents know the joy of having a moment to ourselves.

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    For some parents, teacher conferences are bound to raise anxiety levels, especially if the words “weak executive function” are spoken.

    Help your child develop ‘executive function’

    A child with a well-developed executive function can manage tasks like writing a paper or completing homework on time without much difficulty. She has the ability to control her impulses so that she stays focused and attains her goal. Naturally, a well-developed executive function is an important factor in academic success.

  •  
    An aspiring writer (Preston Tate Jr.) changes the life of a doughnut shop owner (Richard Cotovsky) in Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co.'s production of Tracy Letts' “Superior Donuts,” directed by Matt Miller.

    'Superior Donuts' gives Hanover Park native a taste for stage

    Preston Tate Jr. has been acting professionally since high school, mostly in TV commercials and short independent films. But his role in Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co.'s remount of Tracy Letts' "Superior Donuts" was his first time on stage as a professional actor. It was a step he knew he had to take. “My manager and I are working on venturing out to California,” Tate says. “He told me that the top casting director pays attention to theater credits.”

Discuss

  •  

    Sorry, dealer’s all out of race cards

    Columnist Kathleen Parker: Predictable as rain, the race card has surfaced just in time to stir up electoral passions, justify outcomes and explain away inconvenient truths. Just days from Election Day, the zeitgeist belched up one of its least attractive — and least defensible — memes.

  •  

    Romney endorsement too narrow
    A Geneva letter to the editor: You have based your presidential endorsement on one focus — jobs. And although this is a very important issue, it is not the only important consideration in this election. We feel you, as a news media entity, have not examined the whole picture, only a portion. Many people's lives and livelihoods are at stake in this election — not just the unemployed.

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    Foreclosures deserved mention
    A Bloomingdale letter to the editor: With the Daily Herald's endorsement of Romney comes the invitation to readers to cover any points the Daily Herald may have missed as rationale for endorsing Romney, so here goes.

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    Confounded by Romney nod
    A Geneva letter to the editor: The Daily Herald's endorsement of Mitt Romney for President is disappointing, shortsighted, and surprisingly seems sold on the snake oil the Republican Party continues to peddle.

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    Disagrees with Romney endorsement
    A Geneva letter to the editor: I must respond to the reasons and logic, or lack thereof, in your endorsement of Mitt Romney. There are so many fallacies in your logic, I will not be able to address them all. I must admit that the endorsement almost sounds like a FOX or GOP talking point memo.

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    Endorsement is off-base, offensive
    A Hawthorn Woods letter to the editor: I find your selection of Romney as our best bet for success in the next four years to be offensive and totally out of step with reality.

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    Support for Romney violates principles
    A Libertyville letter to the editor: By endorsing Romney, you have gone against your own principles. While he is not a bad man, he carries some bad baggage — the extremist groups who are going all out to support him.

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    Endorsement left out much
    A Lake Villa letter to the editor: In today's news coverage it is increasingly difficult to discern whether what is said is the truth or fiction or a combination of both. Your endorsement of Mitt Romney left out much in the coverage of both candidates.

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    Voters will draw same conclusion
    A Wauconda letter to the editor: Obama was moving us to socialism. I am glad that as responsible journalistic body, you recognized this.

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    Editorial missed important points
    A Lake Villa letter to the editor: Your editorial endorsement failed to consider Improvements in our economy over the past four years. Your editorial failed to discuss foreign affairs/international relations.

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    Surprised, pleased by endorsement
    A Fox Lake letter to the editor: I'm surprised of your endorsement of Romney. Your paper has not always been, at least to me friendly toward Romney. I do support your endorsement of Romney.

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    A well-documented assessment
    A Kildeer letter to the editor: Your endorsement of Mitt Romney is noteworthy and your eloquent rationale for doing so is very nicely captured in "Our View."

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    Romney will top the predictions
    A Long Grove letter to the editor: May the success of his election bring in six new Republican state representatives so that Mike Madigan is finally swept out. There is still hope for the overly taxed people of Illinois.

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    Give Obama new term, workable Congress
    A Barrington Hills letter to the editor: Our president does have concern for the majority as well as the poor and the well-to-do. Barack Obama deserves a Congress ready to put America first and their own agenda last so we can continue to rebuild our nation.

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    Right choice but for different reasons
    A Mundelein letter to the editor: I agree with your endorsement of Mitt Romney, but I get there on a different track.

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    Endorsement ignored paper’s reporting
    A Kildeer letter to the editor: You have not given President Obama enough credit for all he has accomplished under the circumstances he inherited. Do you read your own paper?

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    Herald got it right this time around
    A Barrington letter to the editor: President Obama's lack of experience and the company he kept should have been enough not to have endorsed him in 2008. Better late than never for the Daily Herald to make a more educated choice this time.

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    Newspaper took responsible position
    A Grayslake letter to the editor: I have been a frequent critic of the Daily Herald, but I must compliment the paper on its courageous decision to endorse Mitt Romney for president this election after endorsing Barack Obama for the last election.

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    Romney campaign is based on lies
    A North Barrington letter to the editor: I was astounded to read your endorsement of Mitt Romney. To pick someone who has continually lied and changed his tune to the American people is an outrage. Even today, he is still lying about the Jeep plants closing down even when the plants came out today and are on record stating that they are not closing any plants and in fact they are adding 800 jobs.

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    Follow courageous decision with action
    A Gurnee letter to the editor: It takes courage to "stand down" against an onslaught of public opinion for our current president and one whom Chicago papers label as "native son."

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    Families deserve better than Mussman
    Letter to the editor: "If a legislator cannot show people what they have accomplished in their term in office, why should they deserve another term?" asks Mike Baker, of the Schaumburg Autism Society. "Families need a legislator with commitment, ability and a plan to pass legislation."

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    Wolfe is what 9th district needs
    Letter to the editor: David Lewis urges voters in the 9th congressional district to get behind Tim Wolfe. "Once elected, Tim Wolfe will work to change the Washington status quo," Lewis writes. "Tim will be sharply focused on supporting the business community which will ultimately result in the creation of desperately needed private sector jobs."

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    Nekritz plan just kicks can down the road
    Letter to the editor: Gov. Quinn is backing pension reform that would shift the cost of teacher pensions to local school districts, which Jennifer Zukerman of Northbrook says is like "kicking the proverbial can down the road." Instead, we need cost-cutting reform and fairness, like what Jonathan Greenberg supports, she writes.

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    Price of not treating ash trees too great
    Letter to the editor: Christine Sacks argues that Arlington Hts.' plan for ash trees is seriously insufficient. "This issue impacts the welfare of every village resident," she writes. "The loss of these trees will be a costly mistake that will take 20 years to correct until replacement trees fully mature."

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    214 board acts in kids’ best interests
    Letter to the editor: "Thanks to the District 214 school board for passing the physical education waiver for marching band students and dropping the information processing requirement," writes Tina Kapinos writes. "Unlike the many teachers present at the recent meeting, board members realized that one-size-fits-all solutions are not in students' best interests."

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    Romney won’t get mess dealt to Obama
    A Naperville letter to the editor: Your tepid endorsement of Gov, Romney seems to stem from a lingering concern for his variable stands on issues concerning our nation and the world. You assume that he will take the moderate stand that he has taken in the past few weeks. No guarantees there.

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    Can’t believe you’ve fallen for Romney
    A Roselle letter to the editor: The Romney/Ryan campaign has been the most blatantly dishonest campaign in American history. He had one set of beliefs to get nominated and another since.

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    Endorsement stands on principles
    A Naperville letter to the editor: So glad to see a media outlet supporting Romney and stating the true facts for Americans to hear. I am tired of the biased media outlets, and commend you for standing strong for your principles.

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    Liked logic behind Romney selection
    An Addison letter to the editor: I was very pleased with your endorsement of Mitt Romney but even more so your logic for your selection. You gave plus and minus for both candidates before making your choice.

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    Backing Romney belies philosophy
    A Glen Ellyn letter to the editor: I am very surprised and disappointed with your endorsement of Mitt Romney. You emphasize fixing the economy, and yet you endorse a person who has changed his position so many times that we have no idea how he would fix the economy other than not to raise taxes.

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    Paper fooled by Romney flip-flops
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: I totally disagree with your endorsement of Mitt Romney for president. As a female voter I do not wish to revert to the past as a female with no rights.

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    Obama policies have put us in reverse
    A Lisle letter to the editor: As president, Barack Obama is a disgrace to the progressive movement which has propelled this nation to greatness. He is recreating the identical conditions in America which drove our ancestors to leave their homelands and to come to America.

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    Mitt endorsement less than ringing
    A Glen Ellyn letter to the editor: I totally agree with your final conclusion to endorse the Romney/Ryan ticket but not your seeming lack of enthusiasm for it. Also, the depth of your assessment is, in my opinion, inadequate.

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    Romney will face our financial ‘mess’
    A Carol Stream letter to the editor: Your thoughtful view on the presidential candidate endorsement showed that Mitt Romney is qualified to be our next president. His experience both in the political arena and in private business is needed in Washington.

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    Support for Romney ‘shallow’
    A Geneva letter to the editor: The Daily Herald was right to support Obama four years ago. You just didn’t have enough courage to stick with your convictions.

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    Benghazi is reason enough
    An Elgin letter to the editor: The actions and inactions of President Obama with respect to the Benghazi incident constitutes a dereliction of duty to which he is sworn and a malfeasance in the office of the President.

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    Romney would set back women’s rights
    An Aurora letter to the editor: If Romney becomes president, women's right will be set back 50 years and the entire public school system in America will be privatized, leading do a new form of segregation and hearkening us back to the 1860s. Women of America, beware!

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    Will never vote Republican again
    A Cary letter to the editor: I am an independent who will never vote Republican again because they are the party that gave us George W. Bush — the worst President ever.

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    Obama gave us plenty of change
    An Elgin letter to the editor: Here's why I will not vote for President Obama this time. He promised us hope and change. He has done nothing to give us hope. But, he has given us a lot of change.

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    Romney changes his stripes for votes
    An Elgin letter to the editor: I agree that both candidates are good and decent men. But I won't be voting for Romney. And, no, I won't cancel my subscription, since I think the Herald really is a good newspaper. But, I will certainly be much more wary of the editorial board's endorsements in the future.

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    Romney was right choice
    A Hampshire letter to the editor: In such a politically divisive time, well said. I agree with your endorsement of Mitt Romney.

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    Romney speaks with forked tongue
    An Elgin letter to the editor: I find it is disingenuous for Romney to continually mesmerize Americans to think if corporations and CEOs can have their way, America is best served. Anyone who has studied wealth, salaries and savings from the last 50 years knows the disparaging gap between the rich and middle class poor. Romney for me speaks with a forked-tongue.

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    Party politics stymies progress
    A Carpentersville letter to the editor: I believe Barack Obama will bring our economy back on track. It did not get into the mess it's been in overnight. No one can remedy it until the problem of venomous partisan politics is solved. Then — and only then — will the American People really be served.

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    Romney endorsement didn’t go far enough
    A Sugar Grove letter to the editor: While I totally agree with your argument that led you to your endorsement of Mitt Romney in your Sunday edition on Oct. 28, I would like to add to your decision.

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    Romney doesn’t offer best hope
    A Batavia letter to the editor: The Daily Herald's endorsement of Mitt Romney is factually incomplete and intellectually imprecise. I commend your attempt to present a balanced opinion. However, your logic is self-contradictory.

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    Which version of Mitt will we get?
    A Lake in the Hills letter to the editor: Romney and the rest of the GOP are so desperate to make their brand of conservatism relevant that they will say anything and everything to attract the large bloc of independent voters.

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    Beaubien a voice of independence
    A Barrington letter to the editor: Dee Beaubien's opponent complains that American citizens who are Democrats are supporting Dee Beaubien. Well, given a choice between Beaubien, as a middle of the road candidate, and the extremism of Beaubien's opponent, most of the people we talk to find Beaubien's independence to be a welcome fresh breeze.

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    Gillam for Kane County Board
    A West Dundee letter to the editor: I have known Rebecca Gillam as an elected official representing the residents of West Dundee. During her tenure on the village board she has demonstrated that she is willing to take the time to understand all sides of each issue presented to her. She will make a good Kane County Board member.

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    Yensen responsive to McHenry voters
    A Bull Valley letter to the editor: We urge voters in McHenry County's District 5 to join us in voting for Paula Yensen. When MCDOT informed us about the proposed rehabilitation of Fleming Road, we contacted Paula, who promptly returned emails and phone calls, listened to our concerns, and supported our request for a repair of Fleming estimated to cost $750,000 instead of the up to $6 million rehabilitation that MCDOT had proposed.

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    Dalton has shown leadership in church
    An Elgin letter to the editor: Kane County judge candidate John Dalton also is a a deacon at his Elgin church who rarely misses Sunday worship. In that capacity he serves about 15 families, ministering to them when needed. John also was elected by the congregation to represent us on the Church Council as an at-large member. He is a valuable member of this group, and his wise counsel is important in guiding the church.

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    Vote Republican to restore state, nation
    A St. Charles letter to the editor: I hope independent minded voters will join me in supporting federal, state and local Republican candidates who, if elected, will help restore strength and stability to our great nation and renew the promise of America for our children and grandchildren.

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    Amendment bad for Illinois
    A Batavia letter to the editor: The proposed amendment to add Section 5.1 to Article XIII of the Illinois Constitution is wrought with legal jargon that defied clarity. Even the explanation section seemed confusing and deliberately vague.It is ambiguous, confusing, difficult to understand and complex. What does it really mean?

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    Obama did reach out to Republicans
    A Glendale Heights letter to the editor: On every point, you are wrong to endorse Mitt Romney. First you say Republicans in Congress "contributed mightily" to polarization in Washington, but you place more blame on President Obama. This is not only wishy-washy, like Romney himself, it's factually wrong.

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    Welcome show of nonpartisanship
    A Naperville letter to the editor: Although we disagree with your endorsement of Mitt Romney in your Sunday, Oct. 28 edition, we appreciate your thoughtful presentation of the reasons behind it.

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    Look at president’s disastrous record
    A Rolling Meadows letter to the editor: U.S. national debt has increased by 32 percent, failed banks have increased by 17 percent, poverty rate has increased by 9 percent, recipients of unemployment benefits has increased by 22 percent, recipients of food stamps has increased by 35 percent, federal employment has increased by 2 percent. Obama’s health care plan will require the hiring of 60,000 people at the IRS to audit businesses and individuals in order to ascertain the penalties required to be paid for noncompliance.

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    Romney can undo the losses we’ve felt
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: I agree with your endorsement of Mitt Romney for president. Because of Democratic philosophy and policies, my family has suffered greatly due to government involvement in creating poor health care, loss of home equity and the lack of good full-time jobs.

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    Herald made the courageous choice
    A Palatine letter to the editor: As someone who chose the candidate for “hope and change” in 2008, it has been devastating to see that what I supported instead was a larger and more controlling government, causing even greater damage to our economy, health care system and energy policies.

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    Agrees Romney should be elected
    A Rolling Meadows letter to the editor: You pretty much hit the nail on the head with your piece endorsing Mitt Romney for president.

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    Strong leadership is what we need
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: I think leadership and a workable plan to fix our country’s problems in all areas are more important attributes to look for in a man who will lead our country for the coming years.

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    Romney the right recommendation
    A Hoffman Estates letter to the editor: I read your article about Mitt, and you are right!

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    Romney will be a job creator
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: Mitt Romney will bring us to the America we once knew. We have to be strong and willing to change in order to address the issues at hand. President Obama is a weak leader.

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    Herald got it right with Romney
    A Palatine letter to the editor: Truly, I hope all your subscribers and readers follow your thinking. My wife and I have, already voting early for Romney and Paul Ryan, two people who will reverse our beloved country’s rush down a financial and cultural hole that our kids and grandkids don’t deserve.

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    Don’t let decline of the U.S. begin
    A Des Plaines letter to the editor: As the Daily Herald endorsement aptly states, businesses create jobs, not government. In a future century, authors will pen “The Rise and Fall of the United States of America.” On Nov. 6, I will do my small part to delay the creation of that literary work. Mitt Romney for president.

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    Romney will encourage business expansion
    An Elk Grove Village letter to the editor: This calm, straight forward endorsement might actually stand a chance of influencing an 'undecided voter' more then yet another scolding from cable TV political entertainer. I particularly related to your comparison of one candidate who trusted government too much verse the other who trusted it too little.

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    Subscription can restart now
    A Palatine letter to the editor: Four years ago today, the Daily Herald endorsed Barack Obama for president; at the same time I canceled my subscription. Today the Hearld endorsed Mitt Romney for president; I am reordering my subscription.

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    Obama needs time to undo Bush damage
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: While I appreciate your measured tone and slight lack of enthusiasm while endorsing Mitt Romney for president, I am disappointed in that endorsement. Just because he had throwaway line at the end of a debate, that government doesn’t create jobs, it doesn’t mitigate the other times he stated his plan to create them.

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    Endorsement has no rational basis
    An Elk Grove Village letter to the editor: You suggest that your endorsement is based on Romney’s experience in business. OK — if by business you mean mastering the art of financial manipulation and speculation. Romney and Bain Capital never really built anything useful or meaningful — no new products or services or processes.

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    Which Mitt would show up at White House?
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: What a disappointment when I opened the Sunday paper to read that you chose to endorse Mitt Romney. By your own statement, you have admitted that President Obama has made significant achievements — getting rid of Osama bin Laden and ending the Iraq War are among those significant accomplishments. He did this in spite of Republican obstructionism.

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    Obama’s not the obstructionist one
    A Palatine letter to the editor: The evidence is there: The GOP using the debt ceiling as leverage to force the president into deep cuts with no revenue? Is that a balanced approach the president should have agreed to? Record filibusters on issues and judicial appointments by Republicans?

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    GOP policies will worsen income gaps
    A Streamwood letter to the editor: This country in coming years will be like a South American country with two classes, rich and poor. This will only accelerate under Romney and the Republicans.

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    Truth about Romney was concealed
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: The Daily Herald’s complicity in shrouding Romney’s predatory business practices and concealing from your readers the reality of his troublesome term as governor is shameful and embarrassing. I suspect that many of your readers do not know about Romney’s true history.

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    Romney’s record as governor dismal
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: When Romney decided not to run for re-election in 2006, his approval rating in Massachusetts was 34 percent which is what it continues to be to this day. As governor and as CEO of Bain Capital, Romney has a very questionable resume in job creation.

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    Romney’s plans would damage America
    A Des Plaines letter to the editor: Mitt Romney wants to privatize my Social Security and voucherize my Medicare, reverse Roe v. Wade, and legislate laws against equality for the LGBT population, yet because of his stance on business, you endorse him.

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    Definition of a moderate all wrong
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: You state in your closing statement, this is “moderate Republican Mitt Romney” working together for the common good. How you can see it that way, I do not understand. All of the sacrifice to bring the budget in balance must come from the spending side. And, somehow, you decry class warfare?

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    Obama not at fault for partisanship
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: The Republicans’ Tea Party has done absolutely nothing to work with President Obama, and as stated by Mitch McConnell their goal from the beginning was to make him a “one-term” president.

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    Daily Herald is so out of touch
    A Winfield letter to the editor: On your endorsement for Mitt Romney, maybe you should read the endorsement of President Barack Obama by the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune and the Salt Lake Tribune. You are so out of touch.

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