Daily Archive : Friday November 9, 2012


    Vance Nwankwo

    Friends remember South Barrington man found in pond

    Friends on Friday were remembering Vance Nwankwo as a popular student, movie and music enthusiast and White Sox fan who enjoyed making people laugh. South Barrington police said a body found in a pond was positively identified as Nwankwo, 25, who authorities have been searching for since he went missing last week. “He always wanted to bring out the good in people," a friend said.


    DuPage brain-injury lawsuit settled for $5.1 million

    An Orland Park man whose brain-injury lawsuit hinged on medical research conducted on NFL players has settled the case in DuPage County for $5.1 million, his attorney said Friday. Willie Wakefield, 56, sued after a pile of lumber fell three stories from a forklift at a Chicago construction site and struck him in the head.

    Kim Kolze

    Parents to help find successor to retiring Lake Zurich High Principal Kim Kolze

    Lake Zurich Unit District 95 seeks parent volunteers to be part of an interview committee to help select the high school's next principal. Kim Kolze is retiring as Lake Zurich High's principal at the end of the 2012-13 academic year.


    Child dies in Waukegan basement fire

    A young girl died in a house basement fire in Waukegan on Friday morning, authorities said. Emergency crews responding after 11 a.m. to the burning building on the 1500 block of Jenkinson Court found heavy smoke and heat coming from basement, and bystanders reported that children were trapped in the basement.


    St. Charles woman charged with hosting teen party

    St. Charles police reported Friday they busted a large underage drinking party last weekend that resulted in social hosting charges against a 50-year-old woman. Authorities said at least 71 juveniles ranging in age from 14 to 18 attended the party Nov. 2 at a house in the 200 block of Persimmon Drive. Four of the juveniles were charged with possession/consumption of alcohol by a minor.

    There will be no school at Geneva High School and all other district schools on Monday. The teachers union announced Friday morning it would go out on strike Monday.

    Union president ‘encouraged’ by scheduled negotiation

    Geneva teachers say they'll walk out Monday after no agreement was reached with the school district following Thursday's negotiations. The school board president said the board is puzzled, because the two sides have reached "substantial agreement" on the first year of the contract. Another negotiation session is set for Sunday.

    Archie gets all of the attention as Brother Rob Robertson walks him through the hall one afternoon after class at St. Viator High School.

    Moving Picture: Archie at home in the halls of St. Viator

    Archie, a yellow lab, is considered part of the student body at St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights. "To have a dog living in a high school and be part of the community is not something you would see in a lot of places," says brother Rob Robertson, a counselor at the Catholic school where Archie roams the halls.

    Standing Friday at MacArthur Middle School in Prospect Heights for recognition of his service, Dutch DeGroot of Mount Prospect is an Army veterean of Vietnam and the Air Force in Desert Storm.

    Images: Friday Veterans Day Activities in the Suburbs
    Images of Veterans Day activities in the suburbs of Chicago on Friday, Nov. 9. Veterans of several wars accepted thanks for their service, and soldiers killed in battle were honored in Prospect Heights, Aurora, Vernon Hills, Libertyville, and Warrenville.

    Police direct cars to pumps while people stand in line with containers for gas on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Police were at gas stations to enforce a new gasoline rationing plan that lets motorists fill up every other day.

    Superstorm victims becoming frustrated with rationing, no power

    As drivers waited on police-monitored lines, thousands more in the region got their power back for the first time since Sandy came ashore 12 days ago. More than 420,000 customers were still without power in New Jersey and the New York City area.

    Raymond Cowell

    Former Arlington Heights priest dies in Bolivia

    A priest who got his start in Arlington Heights and went on to become a missionary in Bolivia has died. The Rev. Raymond Cowell, a Chicago native who served at Our Lady of the Wayside Parish in Arlington Heights in the 1950s, died Oct. 31 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia following an accident, according to the Archdiocese of Chicago. He was 82.

    The 323 American flags at Route 47 near Oak Creek Highway in Huntley, represent all of the Illinois soldiers who have been killed since Sept. 11, 2001. The display was put on in conjunction with the True Patriots Care Foundation, which is based in Carpentersville, Culver’s restaurant and Drendel’s Corner, both in Huntley.

    Solemn, silent Veterans Day commemoration to fallen Illinois soldiers

    Carpentersville-based True Patriots Care Foundation has installed hundreds of American flags on Route 47 near Oak Creek Highway in Huntley that represent the 323 Illinois soldiers killed since Sept. 11, 2001. On Veterans Day, a pair of Huntley eateries are also holding fundraisers to help send World War II veterans to the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

    Ian Ruiz shows off a card his kindergarten class made for vets during a Veterans Day program Friday at Johnson Elementary School in Warrenville.

    Warrenville school remembers ‘Papa Chief’

    A former Air Force corporal who served in Guam and would later become "Papa Chief" of the Warrenville Fire Protection District was saluted at his namesake school Friday during a Veterans Day assembly. Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 officials used the assembly to formally pay tribute to Clifford Johnson, 84, who died Oct. 1, presenting his family with a plaque, clock and bench that will be...

    Then-CIA Director-desigate Gen. David Petraeus testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.

    Admitting to affair, Petraeus resigns as CIA chief

    The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus has brought a sudden and unexpected end to the public career of a four-star general who led U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq and was thought to be a potential candidate for president. Petraeus admitted to an extramarital affair in tendering his resignation, which President Barack Obama accepted Friday.

    Kristian Hernandez

    Skokie man charged in fatal hit-and-run of Park Ridge man

    An emergency medical technician from Skokie has been charged in connection with a fatal hit-and-run accident that killed a Park Ridge man. Kristian Hernandez, 36, of the 8200 block of Knox Avenue, has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident resulting in death. Ronald Bougan's body was discovered Nov. 5.

    Associated Press/2011 Employees at Groupon pose in silhouette by the company logo in the lobby of the online coupon company’s Chicago offices.

    Groupon stock plunges to record low

    The shares tumbled 30 percent to $2.76 at the close in New York, for a market value of $1.81 billion. Last November, Groupon sold shares at $20 apiece in an initial public offering, valuing the discounter at about $12.7 billion.


    WHS presents ‘Anything Goes’

    Wauconda High School Theater presents the 1962 musical comedy "Anything Goes" on Thursday, Nov. 15 through Sunday, Nov. 17 in the school's auditorium at 7 p.m.


    New ensemble to play at LHS

    The newly formed North Suburban Wind Ensemble will perform its first concert Sunday, Nov. 11, at Libertyville High School.


    Holiday meal donations

    Give the gift of a holiday meal to a family in need. Your $30 donation to the Northern Illinois Food Bank provides a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, yams, vegetables, fruit and dessert — enough for a family of eight to enjoy a traditional holiday meal.


    Mundelein High food drive

    Mundelein High School's performance groups, including theater, choirs, bands and Orchesis, have teamed with National Honor Society members to collect what they hope will be record numbers of nonperishable goods as part of their "Food and Fine Arts" drive.

    Associated Press/Sept. 27, 2012 A container ship passes the Florida Power & Light Port Everglades Plant on its way to unload its cargo at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

    Economic growth was likely stronger in Q3

    Economists grew more optimistic Friday after seeing two September reports from the Commerce Department that weren't included in the government's initial estimate of growth, released Oct. 26.

    President Barack Obama has already shown that nobody else can deliver to the city what he can, when he brought world leaders to Chicago for the NATO summit. But he rarely visited Chicago during his first term, and Illinois was among the last states to get Race to Top education funds.

    Chicago hopes Obama’s re-election will pay off

    President Barack Obama may have been the biggest winner Tuesday, but for the next four years, at least, Chicago is going to be nobody's Second City. With Obama's last election behind him, Chicago residents hope he can help his hometown more now that he no longer has to worry about any talk of his ties to "Chicago-style politics" and the images of the backroom deals that phrase evokes, or how what...


    Quinn launches partnership for Illinois veterans

    A newly launched public-private partnership is designed to improve services for Illinois veterans, service members and their families.


    Woman accused of filing false liens against feds

    A Chicago woman has been indicted for filing false liens on properties of federal prosecutors, judges and agents, claiming each owed her brother $100 billion, authorities said.

    On Friday, Gov. Pat Quinn referred to pension reform as a “calling” and a “mission.”

    Quinn wants pension reform by Jan. 9

    Gov. Pat Quinn said Friday he's looking forward to fixing the state's pension mess by Jan. 9 with bipartisan cooperation and before a new legislature is sworn in. "Getting into this challenge took 70 years. In the next 70 days, we've got to work together in bipartisan cooperation, in a practical way, to solve a big problem that's afflicting our state budget," Quinn said.


    States get extra month for health exchange blueprints

    U.S. states were given one additional month to Dec. 14 to submit their plans for new health insurance marketplaces to the federal government, the Obama administration said.


    Illinois selects 8 managed care companies

    Eight managed care companies have been selected to coordinate the health care of an estimated 136,000 high-cost Illinois patients who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. In the Chicago area, the state selected Aetna Better Health, IlliniCare Health Plan, Meridian Health Plan of Illinois, HealthSpring of Illinois, Humana Health Plan and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Kane CountyŸ A touch screen stereo, a speaker box and four tires and rims were stolen from a car on the 1300 block of Union Street near Aurora between 8 p.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. Thursday, a total loss of $2,200, according to a sheriff’s report.


    Rare document thief sentenced to year in prison

    A man who helped a presidential memorabilia collector steal rare and valuable documents from historical archives nationwide has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison.


    JetBlue pilot who diverted flight freed, banned from flying

    Clayton Osbon, the JetBlue Airways Corp. pilot arrested in March after his erratic behavior led to the diversion of a flight, was freed from federal custody and forbidden to board or fly an aircraft.


    Fox Valley police reports
    Eddie Camarillo, 30, of the 2100 block of Valley Creek Drive in Elgin, was charged with residential burglary this week. A police report said Camarillo filled a large bag with items, but abandoned it because he couldn't get it through a partially opened window.

    U.S. Army veteran Phil Jelen, who served during the Vietnam War and is now a service officer for VFW Post 5151, talks to students at Saint Hubert Catholic School in Hoffman Estates during a Veterans Day ceremony Friday.

    Veterans honored at Northwest suburban schools

    Hundreds of people filled the gym at Saint Hubert Elementary School in Hoffman Estates Friday to celebrate and honor veterans. The program included patriotic music from the school band, speeches by some of the more than 70 veterans present, and a rememberance of those who died in action or are missing. "It's a feel-good day for everybody," Assistant Principal Marcia Larson said.


    Video gambling goes live in Bartlett

    Video gambling went live at two Bartlett businesses Friday. Five machines were installed at Bannerman's Sports Grill, 858 S. Route 59, and four machines were installed at Bracht's Place, 363 South Prospect Ave.


    Colorado police officer killed by friendly fire

    A police officer killed early Friday in the Denver suburb of Lakewood was shot by a fellow officer as several agencies responded to a report of shots fired in a residential area.

    A medical marijuana plant grows Wednesday at the Northwest Patient Resource Center medical marijuana dispensary, in Seattle.

    States await federal response to pot measure

    "Based on federal law, if it's still illegal under federal law, I can't imagine that 7-Eleven is ever going to sell it," Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said.

    Associated Press/Sept. 24, 2012 George P. Bush, right, stands with his uncle former President George W. Bush, left, during the Bush Center Warrior Open in Irving, Texas.

    Coming to Texas ballots: another Bush in 2014?

    Word of yet another Bush coming to Texas ballots was cheered by Republicans across the state, where party leaders are well aware that they will need Hispanic voters if they want to continue dominating politics here over the next two decades the way they did during the last two.


    Coal company to lay off 156 workers in Utah, Illinois

    Robert Murray, the company's chairman, CEO and founder, had backed Mitt Romney, who proposed rolling back some restrictions on power-plant emissions and positioned himself as a supporter of the coal industry.

    Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle

    Cook County OKs budget with new cigarette, gun taxes but lower sales tax

    The Cook County Board approved next year's nearly $3 billion budget Friday after passing a few last-minute amendments. The new budget calls for a $1 tax increase on cigarette packs, a $25 tax on gun purchases and a new tax on goods business owners purchase from outside the county. The county board also loosened the reins on how $140,000 earmarked for their own office supplies could be spent.

    Vance Nwankwo

    Divers searching for South Barrington man missing since Oct. 30

    South Barrington police said divers this morning started searching a pond for a 25-year-old man who has been missing since a cabdriver reportedly brought him home from a Halloween party Oct. 30. Authorities are focusing on a pond in the Spring Creek subdivision near Penny and Bartlett roads.

    Felipe Ocampo

    Streamwood man charged in 26-pound cocaine bust

    A Streamwood trucker accused of possessing about 26 pounds of cocaine was jailed Friday on $2 million bail. Felipe Ocampo, 56, of the 500 block of Lacy Avenue, appeared in DuPage County bond court on charges of drug possession, intent to deliver and unlawful use of a weapon.

    Ellen Correll

    Grayslake District 46, teachers union set to resume contract talks

    Grayslake Elementary District 46 officials and teachers union representatives plan to resume negotiations Monday for a new contract the educators are seeking. Final, best offers have been tendered for both sides.

    Mary and Bob Patterson of North Aurora are comforted by Brig. Gen. Brian Copes of the Indiana National Guard as they watch a video tribute to the Pattersons’ son and West Aurora High School alumni, Spc. Christopher Patterson, at West Aurora High School’s Veterans Day celebration on Friday. Patterson was killed Jan. 6 in Afghanistan.

    School remembers North Aurora soldier for his sacrifice

    One of their own was in the hearts of West Aurora High School students and staff Friday morning, at the school’s annual Veterans Day assembly. They paid special tribute to the late Army Spc. Christopher Patterson, Class of 2009, who was killed in Afghanistan in January while serving with the Indiana National Guard. Patterson was a music education major at Valparaiso University, and in the...


    DuPage Election Commission, public relations firm part ways

    Reverse Spin has spun its final news release for the DuPage County Election Commission. After handling media inquires for the commission for several years, the Wheaton-based public relations firm on Thursday notified the commission that it wasn't seeking renewal of its agreement with the agency.


    Veterans Day rally on Monday
    Fifth Third Bank will host a "day of appreciation" for area veterans, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, in the Great Hall of Union Station, downtown Chicago.


    District 94 facing tough contract talks with 2 unions

    Tensions are mounting in West Chicago High School District 94 where tough contract battles are taking shape between the school board and unions representing both support staff and teachers. A federal mediator already has been called to assist in talks between the board and the Support Staff Association that began in February and ground to a halt in September over issues related to pay and health...

    Brogan Raffert, 17, enters the court Monday in Akron, Ohio, to reschedule his sentencing after being convicted last week on 24 out of 25 counts for his involvement in the Craigslist murders.

    Teen sentenced to life in Craigslist murder plot

    AKRON, Ohio — A teenager was sentenced Friday to life in prison with no chance for parole for his role in a deadly plot to lure men desperate for work with phony Craigslist job offers.Judge Lynne Callahan sentenced 17-year-old Brogan Rafferty in Akron. He was convicted of aggravated murder and attempted murder in the deaths of three men and wounding of a fourth.

    A woman collects toy trucks Friday at the funeral of 2-year-old Maddox Derkosh at Saint Bernard Church in Mount Lebanon, Pa.

    Thousand of toy trucks donated to honor tot mauled at zoo

    PITTSBURGH — Toy construction trucks have been pouring into the funeral home handling arrangements for a 2-year-old boy who was fatally mauled when he fell into a wild dog exhibit at the Pittsburgh zoo.


    Trio of holiday shopping events to take place in Palatine

    With the holidays just around the corner, a trio of local shopping events over the next week in Palatine are offering treats for both the kitchen and under the tree.

    Students walk with David Brooks of Spring Valley Nature Center while he explains the physical environment that German immigrant farmers faced in 1880.

    Conant students experience farm life in the 1880s

    Life was hard in the 1880s. So 150 Conant High School students found out when they spent time working on the Volkening Farm, in a program that focuses on land use practices associated with life on a subsistence farm in Schaumburg Township. "The partnership between Conant and the Volkening Farm and Homestead has successfully provided students with a hands-on experience that helps their...


    Mt. Prospect on low-salt diet as it uses up carryover

    Salt will be a little cheaper for Mount Prospect this year. And this year, the village will be on a low-salt diet. This week, the village board agreed to purchase salt through the state's joint purchasing program at $52.74 per ton, lower than last year's price of $60.41 per ton.

    John G. Dalton

    Dalton looking forward to seat on the bench

    John G. Dalton of Elgin is the newest judge in Kane County. Voters picked the 51-year-old Democrat and Elgin Community College trustee Tuesday over Republican John Walters, a former Elgin city council member who was appointed to the bench earlier this year. Dalton had run for judge before but lost.

    Vance Nwankwo

    Divers searching for South Barrington man missing since Oct. 30

    South Barrington police said divers this morning started searching a pond for a 25-year-old man who has been missing since a cabdriver reportedly brought him home from a Halloween party Oct. 30. Authorities are focusing on a pond in the Spring Creek subdivision near Penny and Bartlett roads.

    Pastor Mark Drinnenberg will oversee Community Church of Round Lake’s 80th anniversary celebration on Sunday.

    Community Church of Round Lake celebrates ‘80 years old and brand new’

    As Community Church of Round Lake celebrates its 80th anniversary, Pastor Mark Drinnenberg and members are looking back on its history and toward the future. Church members will come together at 12:30 p.m. Sunday to celebrate the milestone anniversary with a potluck meal and displays that showcase the church's history.

    McHenry County College had the highest rate of growth in student head count and full-time-equivalent enrollment in the last five years of all community colleges in Illinois, officials said.

    McHenry County College leads in enrollment increase

    McHenry County College had the highest rate of growth in head count and full-time equivalent enrollment in the last five years among all community colleges in Illinois, officials said. The fall student head count is up 33.9 percent — from 5,374 students in fall 2008 to 7,914 students now. MCC leads the pack of community colleges that posted five-year gains. In the Chicago suburbs,

    Juan Chavez

    Carol Stream dad charged in credit card scheme

    A Carol Stream man took his 12-year-old son shopping with a credit card belonging to the boy's schoolteacher, prosecutors said Friday. Juan Chavez, 30, of the 100 block of Elk Trail, appeared in DuPage County bond court on charges of possessing a lost or mislaid credit card and contributing to the criminal delinquency of a child.

    The new Autumn Leaves of South Barrington facility for those suffering from memory loss will built to the same specifications as this existing facility in Vernon Hills.

    South Barrington facility for memory-loss patients approved

    South Barrington trustees Thursday gave conditional approval to the annexation of land and construction of an assisted living facility for people suffering from permanent and temporary memory loss. The new Autumn Leaves facility will join others in the Chicago area including ones in Vernon Hills, Orland Park and Crystal Lake as well as those about to open in Oswego and St. Charles.

    This product image released by Electronic Arts shows action from the video game “Medal of Honor: Warfighter.” Seven members of the secretive Navy SEAL Team 6, including one involved in the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, have been punished for allegedly divulging classified information to the maker of the game, senior Navy officials said Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012.

    Navy SEALs punished for consulting on video game

    WASHINGTON — Seven members of the secretive Navy SEAL Team 6, including one involved in the mission to get Osama bin Laden, have been punished for disclosing classified information, senior Navy officials said Thursday.Four other SEALs are under investigation for similar alleged violations, one official said.


    Toy trucks by the thousand honor mauled Pa. boy

    PITTSBURGH — Toy construction trucks are pouring into the funeral home handling arrangements for a 2-year-old boy who was fatally mauled when he fell into a wild dog exhibit at the Pittsburgh zoo.


    Israel minister: Iran slowed down enrichment push

    JERUSALEM — Israel’s defense minister has said that Iran has slowed the timetable for enriching enough uranium to build nuclear weapons, implying that Israel would have more time to decide whether to strike Iran’s enrichment facilities.“They essentially delayed their arrival at the red line by eight months,” Barak said. Ehud Barak said it was not clear why Iran stepped back.

    Tears run down the cheek of President Barack Obama as he speaks at his final campaign stop on the evening before the 2012 election, in the downtown Des Moines, Iowa. Barack Obama isn’t the only world leader unashamed or unable to avoid being seen crying in public.

    Changing times: Politicians’ tears more common now

    It seems out of place: The president of the United States breaking down in tears as he thanked campaign workers for their tireless work for his re-election. But Barack Obama isn't the only world leader unashamed to be seen crying in public — or simply unable to avoid it. Attitudes seem to have changed since the early 1970s, when an alleged crying incident during the presidential primary...

    This January 2012 photo provided by photographer Seth Casteel shows Duchess on the cover of his photo book ‘Underwater Dogs’ taken in Chicago.

    Photographer brings work home

    Since Decatur native Seth Casteel's underwater dog photography first went viral online in February, his life has essentially turned inside out.He went from just trying to make a living offering personal portraiture sessions of pets to a nationally renowned figure in the field of photography, watching as offers he never would have expected to receive rolled in. But never has he forgotten his...


    Carbon monoxide warning as colder weather sets in
    The Illinois Poison Center is warning people of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, especially as the weather gets colder. Among the most common sources of the odorless, toxic gas are malfunctioning heaters and furnaces.


    U of I trustees approve $15.5 million solar farm

    Trustees at the University of Illinois have approved a $15.5 million project to build a 20.5-acre solar farm to help power the Urbana-Champaign campus.


    Ill. sex offender doesn’t have to register in Ind.

    The state appeals court says a man who was convicted of sexual assault in another state isn't required to register as a sex offender in Indiana.The court ruling says that Indiana's requirement wasn't in effect in 1987 when 46-year-old Jerome Burton of Hammond was convicted in Illinois, and the state Supreme Court has ruled that the 1994 law can't be applied retroactively.


    UN says 11,000 Syrians flee in past 24 hours

    GENEVA — Senior U.N. officials say 11,000 Syrians have fled the country in the past 24 hours in what they call an unusual spike in the number of refugees. Panos Moumtzis, the U.N. refugee agency’s coordinator for the region, told reporters Friday in Geneva that 9,000 Syrians fled to Turkey, while 1,000 went into Jordan and 1,000 into Lebanon just in one day.


    Assad: There is no civil war in Syria

    BEIRUT — Syria’s president said in an interview broadcast Friday that his country is not in a state of civil war, and that he has no regrets about any decisions he has made since the uprising against him began nearly 20 months ago. Instead of civil war, Assad said, Syria is facing “terrorism through proxies,” referring to foreign backing of the rebellion against his regime.


    Senators mull tougher Iran sanctions

    Lawmakers are working on a set of new and unprecedented Iran sanctions that could prevent the Islamic republic from doing business with most of the world until it agrees to international constraints on its nuclear program, officials say.

    Former Naperville Police Chief David Dial, left, served as a consultant for three months to help new Chief Bob Marshall transition into the role.

    Retired Naperville police chief gets $50,000 for 3 months work

    Five days after retiring as Naperville police chief, David Dial quietly returned to the city payroll as a consultant to help the department he just left. He was paid about $47,000 in wages and benefits for three months before leaving for his new job at Aurora University, according to his contract, which was obtained this week by the Daily Herald through a Freedom of Information request.


    Barrington businesses coordinate Sandy relief effort

    Two Barrington businesses are teaming up for a communitywide effort to collect and ship needed items to those most adversely affected by Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey and New York.


    Work to bless, not impress, your holiday guests

    As the holidays close in on us, it's time to brush up on our skills to be hospitable hosts and hostesses, columnist Annettee Budzban says.


    Dawn Patrol: Geneva teachers to strike? Naperville bar investigated

    No word yet on Geneva teacher strike. Naperville bar under investigation, Pradel says. Santa Claus arrives at Woodfield. 'Healing Field' inspires visitors, honors veterans. ECC ace, 45, is school's No. 1 tennis player. Thunder's stars too much for Bulls.

    Ellen Correll

    Grayslake District 46 trying to shrink $1.2 million deficit

    Grayslake Elementary District 46 will continue studying the possibility of closing a school as part of an effort to save money. It was among a batch of ideas officials reviewed on how to save money or boost revenue. The district is grappling with a projected $1.2 million deficit for the 2012-13 budget.

    Island Lake voters rejected a plan to build a new municipal building Tuesday, but the question was only advisory and is not binding.

    In Island Lake, new debate over new village hall

    Island Lake residents trying to quash plans for a new village hall may have an unexpected ally. Trustee Chuck Cermak believes officials should reconsider the effort, now that 76 percent of voters opposed the proposal in an advisory question on Election Day. The overwhelming opposition "tells us what the people want," Cermak said Thursday.


    Talk with the Editor: Help us identify great teachers

    In this Talk with the Editor, John Lampinen announces the Daily Herald's new tribute to The Suburbs Top Teachers and solicits recommendations to be emailed to bestteachers@dailyherald.com. Suburban schools are filled with dedicated teachers who inspire our children to greatness, Lampinen says, and the paper wants to highlight as many of them as it can.

    The planned $18 million, 90,846-square-foot Carol Stream Park District recreation center still does not have an official name — but the park board could decide by Monday.

    Carol Stream still seeking name for rec center

    Carol Stream Park District officials have narrowed the list of potential names for the new recreation center to four. They're asking for the public's opinion on the names in an online survey available until 4 p.m. Friday. The results will be given to the park board of commissioners to assist in making a final decision, which is expected to occur at a meeting Monday.

    A butterfly rests on a flower at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe.

    Images: Photo Contest Finalists
    Each week you submit your favorite photo. We pick the best of the bunch and select 12 finlaists. Here are the finalists for the week of November 5th.

    Leo Kuefler, 95, was Naperville’s oldest veteran participating in the city’s Memorial Day parade last May. He served as a platoon sergeant in the Army during World War II.

    Poll Vault: Who in your family is a military veteran?

    As we salute our veterans this week, will you be saluting any in your own family? Did someone close to you serve in a war?



    What a rush: Williams, Lake Forest top Notre Dame

    Lake Forest junior Geno Quaid certainly could sympathize with the members of the Notre Dame offensive line. After all, Quaid had to go up against teammate Trent Williams all through summer workouts, so he knew just how the Dons linemen felt when they tried to block Williams on Friday night during the Class 6A quarterfinal game in Niles. "I know it wasn't easy," Quaid said of his battles with Williams over the summer. "(Trent) was so hard to try and block, and you could see it tonight that he made it hard on Notre Dame, too." Williams busted through the offensive line of the No. 14 seeded Dons for a school record 7 sacks to help lead No. 10 seed Lake Forest to an impressive 31-19 victory and a trip to the state semifinals for the first time in school history. Notre Dame completed its season with a 7-5 mark.


    Bradley defeats Eastern Illinois 76-53

    Tyshon Pickett had 23 points and eight rebounds and Will Egolf and Dyricus Simms-Edwards added 11 each as Bradley defeated Eastern Illinois 76-53 on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.


    Loyola beats Toledo 62-50

    Ben Averkamp scored 15 points and added nine rebounds Friday night for Loyola of Chicago and the Ramblers went on to defeat visiting Toledo 62-50 in the season opener for both squads.

    Brian Scott waves the checkered flag as he drives into Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series auto race Friday at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz.

    Scott wins NASCAR trucks race at Phoenix

    Brian Scott got the caution he wanted, racing off to his first NASCAR trucks win in three years. James Buescher got a bad break he didn't need, sending the series championship into what could be a wild finish next weekend.


    Paul scores 20 as Illinois tops Colgate 75-55

    John Groce wasn't too caught up in coaching his first game at Illinois, but his team took care of any concerns about getting that initial win by pulling away early in a 75-55 victory over Colgate in the season opener for both teams Friday. "It's his first win," said Illinois guard Brandon Paul, who had 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists. "Being our new coach, it's a great thing. He's not excited about this win. We're focusing on the next game. We're looking forward to getting better."

    Houston Texans tight end Owen Daniels celebrates a touchdown Sunday against the Buffalo Bills in Houston. Daniels was “very limited’ in practice with a back injury on Friday and could miss Sunday’s game against the Bears.

    Texans TE Owen Daniels “very limited” at practice

    Texans coach Gary Kubiak says tight end Owen Daniels was "very limited' in practice with a back injury on Friday and could miss Sunday's game in Chicago. Daniels, Houston's second-leading receiver, sat out practice on Wednesday and Thursday. Kubiak says he'll be a "game-time decision" when the Texans (7-1) play the Bears (7-1) on Sunday night. "He did some of the individual stuff early in practice, took a couple of reps, still very sore," Kubiak said.


    DePaul rolls past UC Riverside 91-59

    Brandon Young scored 20 points and Cleveland Melvin added 16 as DePaul opened its 90th season of basketball with a 91-59 victory over UC Riverside on Friday night. Playing a rare game at on-campus McGrath-Phillips Arena, the Blue Demons pulled away in the second half, as they turned a 10-point halftime lead into a 24-point advantage with 12:08 showing in the second.


    Nebraska-Omaha rolls past Northern Illinois 77-64

    CJ Carter scored 16 points, helping Nebraska-Omaha break open a close game in the second half and cruise past Northern Illinois 77-64 on Friday in the season opener for both teams.


    Chicago Wolves sunk by Admirals

    The Chicago Wolves opened this year's Amtrak Rivalry series against the Milwaukee Admirals on a sour note, dropping a 7-4 decision Friday night at the Bradley Center.

    McKenna Kelsay of St. Francis reacts during the class 3A state semifinal between St. Francis and Champaign Centennial in Bloomington-Normal Friday.

    Familiar sight delivers semifinal for St. Francis

    A Haggerty setting up a younger Haggerty sister at the state volleyball tournament. Haven't we seen this movie before? Maddie Haggerty's pass to McKenna Kelsay set up freshman Molly Haggerty's kill for match point, and St. Francis rode that sister act to a come-from-behind 21-25, 25-20, 26-24 win over Champaign Centennial in Friday's Class 3A semifinal at Redbird Arena.

    Michigan forward Glenn Robinson III, top, jumps for the ball over Slippery Rock forward Devin Taylor, bottom left, and center Luiz Santos (30) Friday during the second half at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.

    No. 5 Michigan routs Slippery Rock 100-62

    Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 25 points, surpassing 1,000 for his career in No. 5 Michigan's 100-62 win over Slippery Rock on Friday night. Trey Burke added 21 points for the Wolverines (1-0), and freshman Glenn Robinson III had 10 points and eight rebounds.

    Indiana’s Cody Zeller dunks against Bryant’s Vlad Kondratyev Friday during the second half in Bloomington, Ind. Indiana won 97-54.

    Zeller leads No. 1 Indiana past Bryant 97-54

    Cody Zeller and Christian Watford gave Bryant a rude welcome to big-time college basketball The 7-foot center had 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Watford added 15 points and 15 rebounds to lead No. 1 Indiana past the Bulldogs 97-54 on Friday night.

    Indiana Pacers' George Hill drives as Minnesota Timberwolves' Brandon Roy, right, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, in Minneapolis. Hill led all scorers with 29 points. The Timberwolves won 96-94. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

    Budinger’s layup lifts Wolves to win over Pacers

    MINNEAPOLIS — Chase Budinger converted a layup on a feed from Andrei Kirilenko with 0.8 seconds to go, lifting the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 96-94 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.Budinger scored 18 points while subbing for the injured Brandon Roy. Alexey Shved had 11 points and seven assists and Nikola Pekovic added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Timberwolves.Roy left the game at halftime with a sore right knee. The former three-time All-Star is attempting a comeback after chronic knee issues forced him to retire from Portland before last season.George Hill had 29 points, seven assists and five rebounds and David West had 19 points and 13 boards for the Pacers. Shved, a rookie from Russia, ran the pick-and-roll like a seasoned veteran against Indiana’s stout defense, creating scoring chances for himself and his teammates. His layup gave the Wolves a 78-69 lead with eight minutes to go in the game. But he also picked up his first American technical foul during a 7-0 run by the Pacers that pulled them within two points. West’s putback two minutes later tied it at 86. Shved followed with a tough drive and another layup off a steal from Kirilenko, and the Wolves used an 8-2 spurt to open a 94-88 lead with under a minute to play. But Hill converted a three-point play, then made a tying 3-pointer from the top of the arc with 3.8 seconds remaining. The inbounds pass came to Kirilenko, who looked frantically for an open teammate, then calmly took two dribbles and fed a cutting Budinger for the game winner, sending the Target Center crowd into a euphoric roar.Derrick Williams scored 15 points and Dante Cunningham had 11 for the Wolves, who at 4-1 are three games over .500 for the first time since they were 20-17 in 2006-07. Both teams are spending the early portion of this season trying to figure out how to play without star players.Kevin Love (broken hand) and Ricky Rubio (left knee) will miss at least the first month of the season. The Wolves also were missing JJ Barea with a sprained left foot and didn’t have Roy for the entire second half after his knee issues flared up.Roy scored six points on 3-of-5 shooting, but couldn’t answer the bell for the second half, a troublesome sign this early in the season.Roy sat out all of last season, but felt rejuvenated this summer after receiving an experimental treatment to try to address the lack of cartilage in both knees. In need of a veteran shooting guard who could get his own shot late in games, the Wolves signed him to a two-year deal. He played at least 21 minutes in each of the first four games this season, issuing no complaints.The Pacers have some serious injury problems of their own. They found out this week they are going to have to play without leading scorer Danny Granger for the next three months because of an issue with his left knee, dealing a big blow to a scrappy team that gave the Miami Heat all they could handle in the playoffs last season. They’ve struggled to replace his offense, only topping 90 points twice this season. NOTES: Pacers C Roy Hibbert had 10 points, but was on the bench most of the fourth with foul trouble. ... The Pacers are 0-3 on their current road trip. ... Barea will be evaluated again on Sunday.

    New Orleans Hornets power forward Anthony Davis (23) blocks a shot by Charlotte Bobcats power forward Bismack Biyombo in the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. The Hornets won 107-99. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

    Davis leads Hornets past Bobcats, 107-99

    NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis had 23 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks in his first game back after a concussion, and the New Orleans Hornets handed the Charlotte Bobcats their third straight loss, 107-99 on Friday night.Ryan Anderson hit five 3-pointers and finished with 25 points for New Orleans, which has won three of its first five games despite being without injured star guard Eric Gordon. Reserve Brian Roberts added 16 points and eight assists and Al-Farouq Aminu scored 14 points.Ben Gordon scored 34 points to keep Charlotte within single digits most of the way, but the Hornets withstood each Bobcats surge in holding the lead for all of the final three quarters.Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Davis’ former Kentucky teammate and the second overall draft pick, had 12 points and six rebounds for Charlotte. Ramon Sessions scored 13 and Kemba Walker finished with 11.One game after setting a franchise-low with 62 points in an ugly loss to Philadelphia, the Hornets shot nearly 52 percent (43 for 83) against Charlotte. New Orleans also turned the ball over only nine times after committing 24 turnovers against the Hornets.Davis came alive after getting tangled up with Charlotte big man Byron Mullens late in the second quarter, an altercation that sent teammates running to separate them and sent official Bill Kennedy somersaulting backward into the front row, where he landed in the lap of Dennis Lauscha, president of the Hornets and NFL’s Saints. (Both clubs are owned by Tom Benson, who was sitting next to Lauscha and narrowly avoided Kennedy.)Davis scored 18 following the feud on an array of driving layups, putbacks and even a smooth baseline jumper from about 10 feet.Davis’ best play might have been an off-balance fast-break layup he tossed in off the glass as he was being fouled before crashing to the floor under the basket. He then hit the free throw for a three-point play to give New Orleans a 70-58 lead late in the third quarter.Soon after, Anderson and rookie Darius Miller hit consecutive 3s to give New Orleans its largest lead at 76-62.Charlotte managed to trim its deficit to five when Mullens’ 3 over Davis made it 95-90 with four minutes remaining, but Aminu put back Davis’ miss and Roberts added a tough layup to help New Orleans hold on.New Orleans seized the early edge with an 8-0 run, highlighted by Jason Smith’s dunk after he’d hustled for two offensive rebounds. That spurt made it 30-21, and New Orleans kept the lead throughout the rest of the second quarter, though Gordon’s 19 first-half points on 8-of-12 shooting kept the margin in single digits until shortly after Davis’ altercation with Mullens.Davis then scored six straight points and Roger Mason Jr. added three free throws widen New Orleans’ lead to 59-47 before Walker’s layup cut it to 59-49 at halftime.NOTES: Charlotte was without starting C Brendan Haywood, who has been away from the club for a family matter, and Gerald Henderson, who has a sprained left foot. ... Bobcats C Bismack Biyombo had 13 rebounds. ... Hornets coach Monty Williams said before tip-off it was “unfortunate” the Los Angeles Lakers did not give coach Mike Brown more than five games before firing him earlier Friday. “Dwight (Howard) didn’t start practicing until late, Kobe (Bryant) hasn’t practiced in a long time and (Steve) Nash is out, and it takes time to put all that stuff together,” Williams said. “It’s unfortunate because Mike’s a really good coach and any time a guy loses a job, whether it be a player or a coach ... you’re reminded of how fragile the business is.”

    Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Knight (7) is fouled by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (9) during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

    Ibaka scores 25, Thunder beat Pistons 105-94

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Serge Ibaka scored a career-high 25 points, Kevin Durant chipped in a season-high 25 points and 13 rebounds, and the Oklahoma City Thunder broke in their new alternate jerseys by beating the winless Detroit Pistons 105-94 on Friday night.The Thunder scored nine straight points soon after Durant checked back into the game midway through the fourth quarter, stretching their lead to 93-77 after the three-time NBA scoring champion hit two free throws with 5:47 to play.Detroit never got closer than nine after that, falling to 0-6 on the season — one loss shy of matching the worst starts in franchise history in 1962 and 1980.First-round draft pick Andre Drummond led the Pistons with a career-high 22 points — 15 more than he had in any of his first five games. Tayshaun Prince contributed 16 points and Rodney Stuckey scored 15.The Pistons fell behind by 14 early in the second half but rallied back late in the third quarter by going to a lineup pairing Greg Monroe with Drummond, the ninth overall pick in this year’s draft.Coach Lawrence Frank said before the game that Detroit had been hesitant to use the two big men together because “you don’t take away one of your main cogs and put him in a position of weakness there” but that the Pistons would probably try out the lineup eventually.The debut was an immediate success, with Monroe setting up Drummond for easy baskets on back-to-back possessions to start a 9-0 run. After Prince’s 3-pointer, Monroe finished it off with a two-handed slam to get Detroit within 72-69 with 30 seconds left in the third.The Pistons couldn’t sustain it, though, as Oklahoma City inched away with Durant on the bench. He returned just before Drummond hit a free throw, and the Thunder scored the next nine points after that to take control for good.Kevin Martin added 16 points off the bench and Eric Maynor had 13, even getting a late call at the end of the game to replace struggling All-Star Russell Westbrook. Westbrook ended up with 10 points and six assists but continued to struggle with his shot. He is 20 for 62 (32 percent) in his last four games, the last three being Oklahoma City wins.Monroe followed his first career triple-double with 14 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.A year after trailing by 32 in the first half of a blowout in their only visit to Oklahoma City, the Pistons were able to keep it close by limiting Durant and Westbrook to slow starts. Westbrook missed his first six shots and didn’t score until converting a putback with 4:38 left before halftime during an 8-0 run that finally gave the Thunder a little bit of a cushion. Kendrick Perkins pushed the advantage to 44-35 after getting the ball, isolated on the left wing with 5 seconds left on the shot clock, and driving for a layup.Oklahoma City then started the second half on a 12-5 run, with Perkins’ bucket off an offensive rebound making it 61-47.NOTES: Thunder reserve Hasheem Thabeet sat out with a sprained left ankle. ... Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler, still in town after playing at the arena the night before, was presented with a personalized Oklahoma City alternate jersey during a first-quarter timeout. ... Martin, who started the season 14 for 22 (64 percent) on 3-pointers, was 2 for 9 from behind the arc. ... The Pistons finish a six-game road trip Saturday at Houston before a rematch against the Thunder on Monday in Detroit.

    Brooklyn Nets center Andray Blatche drives to the basket against Orlando Magic forward Andrew Nicholson Friday during the second half in Orlando, Fla. The Nets won 107-68.

    Big men dominate, Nets run past Magic 107-68

    Andray Blatche had 15 points, Brook Lopez added 14 points and 10 rebounds and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Orlando Magic 107-68 Friday night. Brooklyn never trailed while snapping a 10-game losing streak to Orlando that dated to 2009.

    Military personnel and volunteers wipe off condensation in an attempt to dry the damp court Friday before the start of the game between Ohio Sate and Marquette in the Carrier Classic aboard the USS Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, S.C. Officials called off the game because of the damp court.

    Condensation on court cancels Ohio State-Marquette game

    Ohio State coach Thad Matta was real eager for his fourth-ranked Buckeyes to take the court aboard the USS Yorktown. Even though the game was called off, he's certain his players learned plenty. The season-opening showcase between the Buckeyes and Marquette on the decommissioned vessel was canceled Friday night when officials, coaches and administrators believed continuing condensation made the makeshift court too dangerous to play.


    Minnesota has no trouble with American wins 72-36

    Austin Hollins scored 15 of his career-high 20 points in the first half as Minnesota jumped out to a big lead en route to a 72-36 win over American on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.Rodney Williams added 16 for the Gophers.


    Boys soccer/Top 20
    The final boys soccer Top 20 for the 2012 season.

    Fremd senior Breanna Anderson heads for victory in the 100-yard freestyle in the Mid-Suburban League meet. Expect the Vikings, Barrington and host Stevenson to excel in Saturday’s sectional meet hosted by the Patriots.

    Fremd, Barrington meet again at sectional

    After his team had won the Mid-Suburban League meet two weekends ago, ending Barrington's long reign as league champs, Fremd girls swimming coach Andrew Kittrell said he was looking forward to yet another big meet with the Fillies. "Our girls seem to swim really well when Barrington's in the water with us," he said. And that will be the case again Saturday at Stevenson, where the majority of the MSL teams get together in an effort to extend their seasons.


    Harper takes aim at national repeat

    The top-ranked Harper College men's cross-country team looks to defend its NJCAA Division III national championship Saturday in Delhi, NY. "It should be a good meet," said second-year Harper coach Jim Macnider. "They're looking forward to running the race." Region IV meet champion Troy Cunningham (Conant) has a legitimate chance of winning the race. The course record is just a shade over 27 minutes, a time Macnider thinks might be within reach for his top runner. "I don't see why Troy can't beat 27 minutes," Macnider said.


    Harper advances to fifth-place game

    The Harper College women's soccer team advanced to Sunday's fifth-place game of the NJCAA tournament by defeating eighth-ranked Anne Arundel 2-1 in double overtime Friday in Dryden, NY.


    Frazier, Penn State defeat St. Francis (Pa.) 65-58

    Tim Frazier scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half and Penn State defeated St. Francis (Pa.) 65-58 on Friday night in the season opener for both teams. D.J. Newbill, a transfer from Southern Mississippi, added 16 points for the Nittany Lions.

    Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings shoots against Washington Wizards guard A.J. Price Friday during the first half in Washington.

    Monta Ellis, Bucks drop Wizards to 0-4 with 101-91 win

    Even a 12-point head start against the Milwaukee Bucks was not nearly enough for the winless Washington Wizards. Monta Ellis scored 22 points, and the Bucks quickly erased an early deficit before pulling away with a 13-0 run bridging the third and fourth quarters to beat the Wizards 101-91 Friday night, when Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings and Washington's Bradley Beal were ejected in the final minute.


    Bucknell upsets Purdue 70-65 in season opener

    Cameron Ayers scored 18 points to help Bucknell pull the upset and beat Purdue 70-65 on Friday night in the season opener for both teams at the 2K Sports Classic. Mike Muscala had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Bryson Johnson added 14 points for the Bison. Donnie Hale scored 15 points and Byrd and Ronnie Johnson each added 12 for the Boilermakers.

    Michigan State center Derrick Nix and Connecticut forward Tyler Olander, back, watch the ball Saturday during their game on the Ramstein U.S. Air Force Base, in Ramstein, Germany.

    Spartans upset by UConn in Armed Forces Classic

    Shabazz Napier scored 25 points and Connecticut beat No. 14 Michigan State 66-62 Friday night in the Armed Forces Classic, Kevin Ollie's first game as the Huskies' head coach. UConn led most of the way and by as many as 16 points in the first half of the game, which was played in a hanger at the United States' Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

    This replica jersey honoring Patricia Babcock McGraw for earning the 1990 Miss Basketball title in Indiana was hung Friday night in the gymnasium of Culver Girls Academy in Culver, Ind. Babcock McGraw still hold the career scoring record for the boys and girls teams at Culver.

    Indiana high school honors Babcock McGraw

    Patricia Babcock McGraw, an award-winning sports writer and columnist for the Daily Herald, picked up another big honor Friday night in her hometown of Culver, Ind., when her former high school held a ceremony to pay tribute to her standout basketball career. Babcock McGraw was the 1990 Indiana Miss Basketball and the all-time scoring leader for Culver Girls Academy. Culver officials hung a replica jersey of Babcock in the school gym Friday night.

    Cary-Grove’s Zach Marszal (41) puts a block on Rockford Auburn’s Corey Jefferson (9) to give Cary-Grove’s Kaene Connington some running room during the first round of the Class 6A playoffs. Cary-Grove hosts Crystal Lake Centrak Saturday at 1 p.m. in the quarterfinal round.

    Experienced Cary-Grove ready for Crystal Lake Central

    Competing in a state quarterfinal represents new ground for one team, a return to familiar ground for the other. No. 1 seed Cary-Grove (11-0) will make its 10th quarterfinal appearance and seventh in the last nine seasons when the Trojans host No. 4 Crystal Lake Central (9-2) in a Class 6A matchup on Saturday at 1 p.m. CL Central has never delved this deeply into postseason play. In 12 previous playoff appearances, the Tigers advanced to the second round on just three occasions (1978, 2009, 2010) only to be knocked out each time.

    Besides making a team-best 93 tackles at middle linebacker, Joel Bouagnon has given Aurora Christian a big boost this season running the football.

    Scouting the Class 3A quarterfinal: Winnebago at Aurora Christian
    A preview of the Class 3A quarterfinal football game between Winnebago and host Aurora Christian

    Purdue quarterback Robert Marve walks off field Saturday following a Purdue turnover during the second half against Penn State in West Lafayette, Ind. Penn State defeated Purdue 34-9.

    Struggling Purdue, Iowa hook up in Iowa City

    Purdue is trying to win for its embattled coach. Iowa is vying to curb a tailspin that's threatening to keep it out of a bowl game. Neither the Boilermakers nor the Hawkeyes figured there would be so much at stake for a game that means so little in the Big Ten standings.

    Ohio State’s Amber Stokes shoots over Notre Dames’s Jewell Loyd Friday during the first half of the Carrier Classic onboard the USS Yorktown in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

    No. 7 Notre Dame tops Ohio St. at Carrier Classic

    Skylar Diggins may not have had the most points, but Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw knows why the Fighting Irish came out on top at the Carrier Classic. Natalie Achonwa had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 7 Notre Dame to a 57-51 victory over No. 19 Ohio State aboard the USS Yorktown outside of Charleston on Friday night.


    NHL talks on break; union holds internal meeting

    The NHL Players' Association has left the negotiating table to have internal discussions and hold a conference call with the union's executive board and negotiating committee to determine what step to take next in the hockey labor talks. Negotiations resumed Friday for a fourth straight day at the offices of the NHL's lawyers, and three sessions of talks were held.

    Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson is stopped by Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton (69) and veteran DE Julius Peppers Sunday.

    Bears benefiting from experience on defense

    Having players like Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman and Israel Idonije gives the Bears' defense a rare combination of talent to go along with extensive experience playing in the same system together.

    Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich has had some success from the 3-point range, but the Bulls have struggled all season to connect from long distance.

    Bulls struggling with 3-point shooting

    The Bulls put up a good fight against Oklahoma City without Derrick Rose. That's content for a moral victory until reminded the Bulls beat every Eastern Conference playoff team last season without Rose, including Boton twice. Something is missing in the Bulls' attack and the answer is far, far away.

    A report from USA Today says Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown has been fired after a 1-4 start.

    Lakers fire coach Mike Brown after 1-4 start

    Mike Brown followed an 11-time NBA champion coach with the Los Angeles Lakers, taking charge of a roster packed with aging talent and a franchise anticipating more titles. And after just 71 regular-season games, the Lakers decided Brown wasn't the man for a pressure-packed job. "The bottom line is that the team is not winning at the pace we expected this team to win, and we didn't see improvement," Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said.

    Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson celebrates Saturday after scoring the winning touchdown in the the third overtime period against Pittsburgh in South Bend. The Irish take on 2-7 Boston College Saturday.

    Irish not talking about history with Boston College

    There's plenty of football history to talk about at Notre Dame, an eight-time Associated Press national champion that is once again undefeated and trying to peek its way into the NCAA title discussion. One subject they try to stay away from: The rivalry with Boston College. The only other Catholic school playing in the FBS, Boston College has twice spoiled Notre Dame's unbeaten seasons and eliminated it from the national championship chase.

    Michigan head coach Brady Hoke, left, and quarterback Denard Robinson, right, call over the offense Saturday during a timeout in the third quarter against Minnesota, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, in Minneapolis. Hoke says he’s not giving daily updates on Denard Robinson. That leaves everyone — including Northwestern — waiting until Saturday to see if the quarterback is healthy enough to play.

    Michigan mum on Robinson’s status versus Northwestern

    Michigan coach Brady Hoke says he's not giving daily updates on Denard Robinson. That leaves everyone — including Northwestern — waiting until Saturday to see if the quarterback is healthy enough to play. Hoke said last week he fully expected Robinson to play at Minnesota only to leave him on the sideline because of an injured right elbow.


    Hoosiers ready for big game with Wisconsin

    Indiana is suddenly playing meaningful late-season games. The Hoosiers head into Saturday's home game against Wisconsin with, wait for it, title hopes and bowl possibilities on the table. School officials are expecting a big crowd, too, maybe the biggest all season. The crash-course lesson for the Hoosiers in how to deal with their biggest game in five years? Change nothing.

    Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini watches players warm up Tuesday during practice in Lincoln. The Huskers’ minus-1 turnover margin is last in the Big Ten and 106th in the nation. Of 14 other teams with the same or worse margin, only Oklahoma State has a winning record.

    No. 18 Nebraska out to limit mistakes vs Penn State

    Nebraska has been winning despite the error of its ways. The 18th-ranked Cornhuskers don't want to tempt fate Saturday against a Penn State team that hasn't lost a Big Ten road game this season. The Huskers (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) figure they need to play as clean a game as possible against the Nittany Lions (6-3, 4-1) to maintain the inside track to the Legends Division title.

    Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine sits on the bench at the end an NCAA West Regional semifinal college basketball game against Butler in Salt Lake City. Federal authorities have dropped their investigation into sexual abuse claims that cost Fine his job. After a probe spanning nearly a year, U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian said Friday there was no evidence to support claims that Fine had molested a boy in 2002 in a Pittsburgh hotel room.

    Ex-Syracuse coach Fine won’t face sex abuse charges

    Federal authorities have dropped their investigation into sexual abuse claims that cost a Syracuse University assistant basketball coach his job, threw a top-ranked team into turmoil and threatened the career of Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim. After a probe spanning nearly a year, U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian said Friday there was not enough evidence to support claims that Bernie Fine had molested a boy in 2002 in a Pittsburgh hotel room.

    Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, left, is sacked by Ohio State’s John Simon, center, and Nathan Williams Saturday during the third quarter in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 52-22.

    Illini try to end skid, Gophers try to sew up bowl

    On the visitor's sideline at Memorial Stadium Saturday, Minnesota will be living the life of a playoff team. With a win, the Gophers will be headed to a bowl for the first time since 2009. Illinois' aim will be much lower than the Gophers (5-4, 1-4 Big Ten). Any win will do for the Illini (2-7, 0-5), who have lost six straight, are well out of any bowl discussion and enduring a season of mistakes, bad penalties and blowout losses.

    White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski earned his first Silver Slugger Award for his hitting in 2012. Pierzynski hit a career-high 27 home runs in 135 games and he also set career bests in runs scored (68), slugging percentage (.501) and OPS (.827) and matched his season high with 77 RBI (also 2004).

    Pierzynski wins first Silver Slugger Award

    White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski won his first career American League Silver Slugger Award as Major League Baseball handed out its topping hitting awards for positions in each league. Pierzynski, 35, joins Carlton Fisk (1981, 1985 and 1988) as the only catchers in White Sox history to win the award.

    Bears defensive end Julius Peppers could step up and dazzle in Sunday night’s game against the Texans, according to Mike Spellman.

    Will Bears’ Peppers produce special prime-time show

    All this talk about Houston's J.J. Watt, though legit, has me thinking we're in for a special prime-time performance by Julius Peppers, Mike Spellman writes in this week's Spellman's Scorecard.

    Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid is on the hot seat with his team struggling this season to win games behind starting quarterback Michael Vick.

    Vick shouldn’t go blameless in Philadelphia

    Andy Reid and Michael Vick are both walking the green mile in Philadelphia. It seems Vick is secure as starting quarterback, but Mike North can't figure out why. Kobe Bryant isn't happy with the Los Angeles Lakers' early-season performance, and in that town the rumors are flying already.



    55,455 Britax car seats recalled

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says Britax, of Charlotte, N.C., has received reports of children biting and gagging on pieces of the HUGS pads connected to the seat's harness straps.

    Associated Press In this aerial photograph, restoration work continues Friday in Mantoloking, N.J. The storm surge from Sandy cut a path through the town from the Atlantic Ocean to the bayside.

    Weather extremes: Climate models predict dire future
    Climate scientists agree the Earth will be hotter by the end of the century, but their simulations don't agree on how much. Now a new study suggests the gloomier predictions may be closer to the mark.

    J.C. Penney Co. signage is displayed Friday outside of the company’s department store at the Queens Center Mall in the Queens borough of New York.

    J.C. Penney reports hefty 3Q loss

    Penney is starting to see some positive results from the makeover it began this fall of 700 of its 1,100 stores with sectioned-off shops inside each that feature different brands such as Levi's and Penney's new JCP line of casual clothes. The company said overall sales from the shops-within-stores are strong. But the continuing negative response to the company's everyday low pricing strategy has more than offset the boost.

    Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Friday.

    Beyond the ‘fiscal cliff,’ reasons for optimism
    Lawmakers almost certainly will work out a deal — perhaps messily, unsatisfyingly and with lots of theatrics, but a deal nonetheless. But what happens after that, and to the market in Obama's second term?

    Associated Press/Nov. 4, 2012 A United Airlines Boeing 787 takes off for its first scheduled commercial flight from Houston to Chicago.

    American Airlines moves closer to pilot contract

    AMR Corp., the parent of American Airlines, filed for Chapter 11 protection last November. It has reached labor agreements with all of its unions except for the pilots. The airline has about 7,500 active pilots.

    G.A.T. Guns, which was recently annexed into East Dundee, is expected to be the village’s No. 1 generator of non-property tax revenue. Officials say the money will more than make up for the loss of Walmart, which is planning to move less than two miles away to Carpentersville.

    Revenue from G.A.T. Guns expected to exceed Walmart’s

    East Dundee is going to be just fine if Walmart makes good on its promise to leave the village for neighboring Carpentersville, an East Dundee official said Friday.This week, the East Dundee approved an annexation agreement with G.A.T. Guns that brings the business and the money it generates into the village. And if things go as predicted, that money will more than make up for the $850,000 in non-property tax revenue that came from Walmart.

    A Communist Party delegate, standing in the background, watches as an usher, front right, puts his arm around another delegate Friday to pose for a photo near a restroom at the Great Hall of the People, where group discussions of the 18th Communist Party Congress is held in Beijing, China.

    Google’s services unable to reach much of China

    Google says its search engine and other Internet services have been cut off from much of China just as the country's ruling party picks new leaders.

    Robert Nelson II of Barclays, left, and Fady Tanios of Raven Securities work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday in New York.

    ‘Fiscal cliff’ pulls stocks downhill

    As they head into talks with Obama next week on the fiscal cliff, congressional leaders no doubt remember what can happen on Wall Street when investors are worried and watching Washington's every move.


    U of I trustees approve $15.5 million solar farm
    Trustees at the University of Illinois have approved a $15.5 million project to build a 20.5-acre solar farm to help power the Urbana-Champaign campus.

    House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, talks about the elections and the unfinished business of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington.

    Obama approaches ‘fiscal cliff’ days after victory

    President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, in separate remarks today, left open the possibility of agreement on preserving current tax rates while limiting tax breaks for top earners to raise revenue.


    IAG to cut 4,500 jobs in Iberia restructuring

    International Airlines Group warned on Friday that its Spanish carrier Iberia was "in a fight for survival" and unveiled a restructuring plan to cut 4,500 jobs as it reported a drop in third-quarter profit.

    China’s auto sales, consumer spending and factory output improved in October in a new sign of economic recovery as the Communist Party prepared to install a new generation of leaders. Growth in factory output accelerated to 9.6 percent over a year earlier from the previous month’s 9.2 percent, the government reported Friday.

    China’s factory output rises in sign of recovery

    China's auto sales, consumer spending and factory output improved in October in a new sign of economic recovery as the Communist Party prepared to install a new generation of leaders. This is welcome news for the ruling party, which is meeting in Beijing for a once-a-decade handover of power to younger leaders. Coming off the past year's steady declines in economic activity, a rebound might allow the new leaders to benefit from improving public sentiment.


    Fannie, Freddie expand aid to storm-hit homeowners

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are expanding their assistance to borrowers whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.

    U.S. wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles in September at the fastest pace in nine months and their sales jumped by the largest amount in 18 months, the Commerce Department announced Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. The increases point to stronger economic growth.

    U.S. wholesale stockpiles grew 1.1 pct. in September

    U.S. wholesale businesses increased their stockpiles in September at the fastest pace in nine months and their sales jumped by the largest amount in 18 months. The increases suggest the U.S. economy grew faster over the summer than first estimated.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, speaks with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, left, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti during a round table meeting at a EU Summit in Brussels. The worst of Europe’s financial crisis appears to be over.

    After 3 bumpy years, Europe turns corner on crisis

    The worst of Europe's financial crisis appears to be over. European leaders have taken steps to ease the panic that has plagued the region for three turbulent years. Financial markets are no longer in a state of emergency over Europe's high government debts and weak banks. And this gives politicians from the 17 countries that use the euro breathing room to fix their remaining problems.


    Chrysler to recall 919,000 SUVs to fix air bags

    Chrysler is recalling more than 919,000 older-model Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberty SUVs worldwide because the air bags can inflate while people are driving them.The recall affects Grand Cherokees from the 2002 through 2004 model years and Libertys from model years 2002 and 2003, according to documents posted Friday on the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.


    Manitex International nets record 3Q revenues

    Heavy equipment manufacturer Manitex International reported record third quarter revenues as increased demand offset the slowdown in the manufacturing sector.


    Federal Signal reports 10 percent 3Q increase in net sales

    Federal Signal Corporation today reported third quarter sales wer eup 10 percent based on increased sales and an increase in product prices.

    Wood Dale Mayor Nunzio Pulice said residents will see major changes coming to the city’s downtown district along Irving Park Road.

    Mayor: New look coming for downtown Wood Dale

    Wood Dale residents will start seeing major changes to the look of their city in the coming year, Mayor Nunzio Pulice said Thursday during his annual State of the City address. In a talk with roughly 40 city officials and Wood Dale Chamber of Commerce members, Pulice outlined changes coming to local businesses and roads that will dramatically alter the look of the community.


    Former Madoff employee pleads guilty in NY

    A former controller for imprisoned Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff has pleaded guilty to federal charges related to history's largest Ponzi scheme.The U.S. attorney in Manhattan says Irwin Lipkin of Paramus, N.J., entered the plea Thursday.


    Priceline negotiates $1.8 billion Kayak deal

    The Priceline Negotiator lives after all. The company has struck a deal to buy Kayak Software Corp. for $1.8 billion in a move to expand its online travel business.The cash-and-stock deal values Kayak at $40 a share, a 29 percent premium over its closing price Thursday. Shares of Kayak — which just went public in July — soared in after-hours trading.


    Mazda to produce Toyota-brand vehicles in Mexico

    Mazda Motor Corp. will make Toyota-brand subcompacts at its new plant in Mexico, allowing Japan's top automaker to strengthen its North American model lineup.Under the agreement announced Friday, Mazda will annually produce 50,000 subcompacts, based on the Mazda2 but under the Toyota brand by mid-2015. Toyota Motor Corp. will invest in equipment and other costs for the production increase, both sides said.


    MoneyGram agrees to settle scam charges

    MoneyGram says it has agreed to set up a $100 million compensation fund as part of a settlement of government accusations of fraud through money-transfer scams from 2003 to 2009. Under the terms of the deal with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the Department of Justice, MoneyGram International Inc. said Friday that it's also taken other steps to prevent more scams. These include adding more investigators and beefing up technology to detect fraud.


    World stocks sink on US fiscal cliff fears

    World stock markets struggled Friday despite encouraging Chinese economic figures as fears persisted over the so-called U.S. "fiscal cliff" that's seen as a big threat to the economic recovery. In early European trading, the FTSE 100 index of leading British companies was down 0.3 percent at 5,757.69 while Germany's DAX was 0.7 percent lower at 7,152.63. The CAC-40 in France slipped 0.1 percent to 3,404.89.

    Cars are submerged at the entrance to a parking garage in New York’s Financial District in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy. Alarming claims that hundreds of thousands of flood-damaged cars from Superstorm Sandy will inundate the used car market arenít backed up by insurance company claim data, The Associated Press has found. The dire predictions come mostly from companies that track vehicle title and repair histories and sell those reports.

    Claims about flood-damaged cars aren’t true

    In the days since Superstorm Sandy, an alarming prediction has flashed across the Internet: Hundreds of thousands of flood-damaged vehicles will inundate the nation's used-car market, and buyers might not be told which cars have been marred. Not true, according to insurance-claims data reviewed by The Associated Press. The actual number of affected vehicles is far smaller, and some of those cars will be repaired and kept by their owners.

    J.C. Penney Co. is reporting a bigger-than-expected loss and plummeting sales for the third quarter as its customers are still not buying its pricing plan that gets rid of hundreds of discounts.

    J.C. Penney reports hefty 3Q loss

    J.C. Penney Co. is reporting a bigger-than-expected loss and plummeting sales for the third quarter as its customers are still not buying its pricing plan that gets rid of hundreds of discounts.The department store chain says it lost 56 cents per share, or $123 million in the quarter ended Oct. 27. That compares with a loss of $143 million, or 67 cents per share in the year ago period.

    A pedestrian walks past the New York Stock Exchange The price of oil tumbled nearly 5 percent Wednesday, its biggest decline of the year, as traders shifted their focus back to the struggles of the global economy.

    Oil lingers near $85 despite China recovery signs

    Oil hung near $85 a barrel Friday in Asia as traders weighed ample supplies against signs of recovery in China's economy that could boost demand for fuel.Benchmark crude for December delivery was down 1 cent at $85.08 a barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract on Thursday rose 65 cents to close at $85.09 in New York.

    Associated Press The Walt Disney Co. said Thursday that its net income in the latest quarter rose 14 percent thanks to an uptick in revenue driven by higher consumer spending at its theme parks and on its cruise ships.

    Disney 4Q profit in line, revenue misses forecast

    The Walt Disney Co. said Thursday that its net income in the latest quarter rose 14 percent thanks to an uptick in revenue driven by higher consumer spending at its theme parks and on its cruise ships. The results for the quarter through September were in line with analyst expectations. But some concerns about the advertising environment emerged.

Life & Entertainment

    Katie Wichert’s “Kelly Joe Burger”: all-beef patty topped with cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, beer-marinaded bacon and drunken caramelized onions on toasted ciabatta.

    ‘Simple and hearty’ creation wins ECC burger contest

    A modern take on a sloppy joe takes the fourth Elgin Community College/Grand Victoria Casino Prime Burger Contest. Katie Wichert's Kelly Joe Burger topped an all-beef patty with cheddar and pepperjack cheeses, bacon marinated in beer and drunken caramelized onions on ciabatta bread. "I pretty much opened the cabinets to see what I could do," Wichert, 21, from West Chicago said.

    Actor, singer and producer David Hasselhoff appears in the Lifetime original movie, "The Christmas Consultant," airing Saturday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. on Lifetime.

    Hasselhoff hopes for retro ‘Knight Rider’ film

    David Hasselhoff still feels a connection with the younger generation, even though his popular TV series "Baywatch" has been off the air for more than a decade. To stay part of the conversation, Hasselhoff keeps busy and is always working. Hasselhoff talks about his various projects, his famous name and his hopes for a retro "Knight Rider" movie.

    Jack McBrayer doesn't know what the future brings after "30 Rock."

    Jack McBrayer prepares for life after ’30 Rock’

    LOS ANGELES — Jack McBrayer can see the end of “30 Rock” just up ahead.The Emmy-nominated actor best known as Kenneth the Page from the Emmy-winning show says the mood is getting sad on set as the final days of filming near. “Toward the end it’s going to start getting emotional,” he said, “and I’m going to start stealing stuff right and left.”Among the items he hopes to acquire? His blue NBC page uniform: “It’s pretty much just formed to my own skin like body paint at this point.” A star of the weekend’s top film “Wreck-It Ralph,” McBrayer said he’s eager to see what roles the future might hold.“I know how good I got it right now, so on the one hand, I’m like if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” he said. “But then you do always wonder, like, what if I would be the best serial killer in the world or something? So I’m open for anything. Like I said, old boy just wants to work.”

    The cast of “Firefly” — Nathan Fillion, left, executive producer Tim Minear, Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau, Sean Maher, Adam Baldwin and executive story editor Jose Molina — are reuniting for the 10-year anniversary of the series in the Science Channel Special, “Firefly: Browncoats Unite,” airing at 9 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11.

    ‘Firefly’ marks milestone in Science TV special

    For "Firefly" devotees, only one word can describe the prospect of seeing star Nathan Fillion, other cast members and creator Joss Whedon talk about making and missing their baby: "shiny." To mark the 10th anniversary of the Fox show's abbreviated 2002-03 run, the Science Channel is airing the hourlong "Firefly 10th Anniversary: Browncoats Unite" at 9 p.m. Sunday. The special will be preceded by a marathon showing of all the "Firefly" episodes starting at 6 a.m.

    Judi Dench, starring in “Skyfall” with Daniel Craig, has been the Bond matriarch: the strong-willed, no-nonsense mainstay of feminine authority in a movie franchise that has, more often than not, featured slightly more superficial womanly traits.

    As mom to Bond, Dench reflects on her 007 reign

    Nothing is so much of a boys' club as a James Bond movie. That is, except when Judi Dench is on screen. As MI6 head M, Dench has been the Bond matriarch: the strong-willed, no-nonsense mainstay of feminine authority in a movie franchise that has, more often than not, featured slightly more superficial womanly traits. "Skyfall" is Dench's seventh Bond film, and for a number of reasons, it's her most notable Bond film.

    The Northwest Festival Orchestra in rehearsal.

    Northwest Fest Orchestra takes on major Russian works

    The Northwest Festival Orchestra will present an "All Russian Spectacular!" at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18 at Harper College in the J Building Theater. Music Director Dr. Verne Schwager and the orchestra will perform Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" and "Prelude to Khovanshchina," and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with guest soloist Alexander Zintchenko.


    Election officials defend special voting for Usher

    ROSWELL, Ga. — Election officials in the Atlanta area are defending their decision to allow singer Usher to bypass long lines and cast his ballot on Election Day, infuriating voters who had to wait.Fulton County election officials tell WSB-TV that Usher Raymond IV was escorted to the front of the line to minimize distractions at his Roswell polling place. They said in a statement that poll manager Frank Padula was directed to move Usher through the process as quickly as possible.WSB reports that Usher took cellphone pictures of himself voting, then posted them on Twitter.Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausmann questioned the decision. Hausmann said she can think of only a few people who might deserve such treatment, such as people with disabilities, the elderly and voters with small children.

    Brooke Burke posted a video message on YouTube disclosing that she has thyroid cancer. She plans to have surgery to remove her thyroid.

    ‘Dancing’ co-host Brooke Burke has thyroid cancer

    NEW YORK — “Dancing With the Stars” co-host Brooke Burke says she has thyroid cancer.Burke posted a video message Thursday on YouTube disclosing her condition and her plans for surgery to remove her thyroid.The 41-year-old mother of four says a lump on her thyroid was found during a biopsy.She says in the video that the surgery has been scheduled, but she doesn’t specify when. She says it will leave “a nice big scar right here,” tracing a line across her throat.Although initially shocked by the diagnosis, Burke says she now feels strong and confident and her doctors are optimistic. She vows to make “a positive out of this negative thing.”Found in the front of the neck, the thyroid secretes several hormones that influence metabolism, growth and development.

    British actor Kenneth Branagh poses with his award after receiving a knighthood from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London Friday.

    Kenneth Branagh knighted by Queen Elizabeth II

    Kenneth Branagh, who has played royalty onstage and screen, has been made a real-life knight by Queen Elizabeth II. The British actor said he was pleased to be honored in the year of the queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.

    Miley Cyrus said she is not straying too far from her country roots on her latest album, but the new songs do have more of a hip-hop sound.

    Miley Cyrus focusing on music, upcoming marriage

    Miley Cyrus is working hard to finish her new album so she can take some time off to enjoy being engaged. The 19-year-old entertainer plans to marry "Hunger Games" star Liam Hemsworth. They announced their engagement in June but haven't revealed their wedding date. "I am married in my heart and my mind. I do everything that I would be if I had the paper, but I want to take the time to actually enjoy it," Cyrus said.

    “Transformers” director Michael Bay says 41-year-old actor Mark Wahlberg will star in the upcoming fourth “Transformers” film.

    Mark Wahlberg to star in next ‘Transformers’ movie

    Mark Wahlberg, roll out. "Transformers" director Michael Bay says the 41-year-old actor will star in the franchise's fourth film. Bay called Wahlberg the "perfect guy to re-invigorate the franchise and carry on the Transformers' legacy" in a post on his blog Thursday.

    Daniel Day-Lewis had to think about Lincoln not only as a towering historical figure, but also as a foreign statesman whose portrayal would be a sensitive matter for U.S. audiences that revere the president.

    Spielberg, Day-Lewis unite for epic 'Lincoln' tale

    The task of encapsulating the essence of Abraham Lincoln in a single film took Steven Spielberg roughly three times as long as it took the 16th president to win the Civil War, abolish slavery and put the country on the course to recovery. Creating such a historical epic may not compare to the colossal task of saving a bloodily divided nation. But by Hollywood standards, "Lincoln" is as monumental as it gets.


    What’s new on stage
    Chicago theater happenings this week include Profiles' revival of Will Kern's well-loved "Hellcab;" Ka-tet's production of the farcical "Fuddy Meers;" the Midwest premiere of "Potted Potter," the Harry Potter series sendup that promises to recount seven books in 70 minutes and the commedia dell-arte show, "Waiting for Pierrot," inspired by Beckett's classic play, "Waiting for Godot."


    Book notes: Have lunch with Jonathan Odell

    Jonathan Odell, author of "The Healing," discusses his book at a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, at Froggy's French Cafe in Highwood. The event is hosted by Lake Forest Bookstore.

    “Skylander Giants” is a lighthearted romp that parents and children can enjoy together.

    'Skylanders Giants' bigger in every way

    "Skylanders Giants" brought back memories from my childhood, turning my coffee table into a menagerie of birds, fish, lizards and more. For those who missed it last year: "Skylanders" comes with a "Portal of Power" that plugs into your game console. When you place a figurine on the portal, the character appears on your TV. The new edition adds 16 characters. Overall, "Giants" is a lighthearted romp that parents and children can enjoy together.

    One of two online comedy sketches features a Doctor Opera therapy session featuring Hansel (Adam Peacock) and Gretel (Aidy Bryant) talking through their various issues. The Lyric Opera of Chicago has teamed up with The Second City for a one-night-only performance of “The Second City Guide to the Opera” set for Saturday, Jan. 5.

    Local opera companies try singing out of the box

    Opera companies in the Chicago area are trying outreach initiatives to attract new audiences. They're doing so via programming for younger audiences, adding more musicals, collaborating with groups like Second City and staging events outside the opera house. “At the start of the 21st century for an opera company to be truly relevant, we have to do more than produce great opera in our opera house,” said Lyric Opera of Chicago's Anthony Freud.

    Maus Haus, “Light Noise”

    Chaos, calm meld nicely on Maus Haus EP

    San Francisco-based Maus Haus has winnowed itself down from seven band members to four, yet retains a collision of chaotic sound on the group's latest EP, "Light Noise."

    Rapper Kendrick Lamar made a splash with his major label release, debuting No. 2 on Billboard’s Top 200 behind Taylor Swift, and topped the rap charts with more than 241,000 copies sold.

    Kendrick Lamar makes splash with major label debut

    When Kendrick Lamar submitted the initial version of his new album, "good kid, m.A.A.d city," the rapper planned on heading back to the studio to record more songs for it. "When I brought it back to him, he said, You know what, you're done,'" Lamar recalled. It seems Dr. Dre made the right call.

    Calvin Harris, “18 Months”

    Calvin Harris shines on upbeat ‘18 Months’

    Calvin Harris' third album, "18 Months," plays like a greatest-hits record, and it is hard to shake the feeling that the electronic singer-DJ-producer is trying to sell us something that we already have.


    Agent exposed to risk if advising against home inspection

    Q. When our son bought his home, the Realtor convinced him that a home inspection was not needed. She told him that the owner was "Mr. Fix-it," who maintained the home in perfect condition. On this advice, my son signed an inspection waiver.

    Jeff Turner, left, and Daniel Clarkson race through all seven Harry Potter tomes in a mere 70 minutes for “Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Potter Experience — A Parody by Dan and Jeff,” heading to the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.

    ‘Potted Potter’ — complete with Quidditch — sweeps into Chicago

    To entertain Harry Potter fans waiting for the release of the sixth book, comedians Daniel Clarkson and Jeff Turner put on a 20-minute sketch about the boy wizard and his pals. "The response was amazing," Clarkson said. So the two created "Potter Potter" -- a show in which they perform all seven books in 70 minutes. And, muggles, it's coming to Chicago.

    Airing on Showtime, Oliver Stone’s “The Untold History of the United States” looks at world events in a different light. Here, Winston Churchill, Harry S. Truman and Joseph Stalin are seen at Potsdam.

    Oliver Stone delves into America’s ‘Untold History’

    Oliver Stone's "Untold History of the United States," premiering Monday, Nov. 12, on Showtime, is bound to antagonize and infuriate. The 10-part documentary series is also bound to enlighten and engage. Ultimately, the Academy Award-winning director wants it to spur people to think differently, to look at interpretations long taken for granted and consider if they are indeed facts.


    How to speed insurance reimbursement after disaster strikes

    Millions of insurance claims will be filed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, but savvy homeowners can take a few simple steps now to get their reimbursement as quickly as possible.

    The luxury townhouses in Lake in the Forest feature artful landscaping and the look of single-family homes.

    Luxury townhouses overlook forest preserve

    John and Carol Miller enjoy incredible views from their Lake in the Forest townhouse nestled next to 630 acres of lush forest preserve and sparkling lakes in the West Branch Forest Preserve. The beautiful setting and the home's spaciousness and quality construction attracted the couple to the community of 37 estate townhouses in Bartlett.


    Short-sale program offers help, and snares, for walking wounded

    Though there are still some snares and drawbacks for participants, one of the federal government's most important financial relief efforts for underwater homeowners started operation on Nov. 1. It's a new short-sale program that targets the walking wounded among borrowers emerging from the housing downturn.


    Super handyman: Tips for having a productive home office

    Working from home is fairly normal for a lot of us. If you have an office away from home, telecommuting is so easy that many people work from home at least once a week, even more so in bad weather. The key to success in this realm is having an organized work space. Here are some super tips to get you started.



    Editorial: Vernon Hills and a collaboration that saved services

    The village and park boards in Vernon Hills saw an opportunity to work together and the result should be a win for the community. That kind of governmental cooperation is needed more often, a Daily Herald editorial says.


    Status quo preserved

    Columnist George Will: This election was fought over two issues as old as the Republic, the proper scope and actual competence of government. The president persuaded — here the popular vote is the decisive datum — almost exactly half the voters. The argument continues. As Benjamin Disraeli said, "Finality is not the language of politics."


    Lack of civility stems from lack of morals
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: God's gift of conscience needs to be strengthened and nourished by the application of universal truths taught by the world's major religions rather than drowned out by the pursuit of pleasure, possessions and power.


    Some ideas to clean up campaigns
    An Antioch letter to the editor: We need, as citizen voters to ask our newly elected politicians to undertake to make a major overhaul to our campaign systems.


    Numbers askew in guest column
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: I would not dispute the intent of the article. However, the statistics cited seem to be awry. It was noted that the defense budget is "2 percent of GDP." Forbes in its July 25 edition offered that defense is currently 3.6 percent of GDP.


    Why are we paying people on leave?
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: Since 2007, more than 2,000 state employees have been placed on paid leave. Gov. Quinn, can you explain to the people of Illinois, those who pay taxes, why these people are being paid while not performing any work? Those of us who work and give most of our earnings to the government in the form of taxes to support those who do not work and get paid would like a simple explanation.


    Tax hikes needed with spending cuts
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: A fair budget would gradually increase taxes (mainly on those who can afford an increase) and eliminate unnecessary government spending (to include reductions in military spending). A fair budget would increase federal revenue and decrease federal spending, and in the end reduce the deficit (debt) as compared to GDP.


    Teach kids to be good drivers
    An Elgin letter to the editor: I encourage parents to be great teachers to their teen drivers. Inexperience is the leading factor for teen crashes. The more experience our teen drivers have, the better drivers they become. I lost my dad in a teen driving crash, and I don't want anyone to experience the kind of pain my family has endured.


    PACs could do some real good
    A Carpentersville letter to the editor: All the money corporations and individuals have made to these political action committees has turned these past few elections into travesties. Might they consider doing the same for a worthwhile cause like relief to the devastated people of the East Coast who have had their lives turned inside out by hurricane Sandy?


    Embrace diversity, bring us together
    An Elgin letter to the editor: Faith in a diverse people living in a democracy and voting together is something we all witnessed together in our election. I believe we are a great people for doing this.


    Mitt trickled down to the Mitthouse
    A Glen Ellyn letter to the editor: And day after day, throughout that great race, the pundits and pollsters put forward their case. "It's a neck and neck contest," their learned refrain, then Mitt's facile tongue seemed to ambush his brain.


    Thoughts on what sent wrong for GOP
    A Bensenville letter to the editor: Everybody is analyzing why and how the Republicans got creamed in the recent elections. Here is my take. 1. Latinos. Nobody is going to vote to deport a family member. It's that simple.


    Why would everyone work together now?
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: Well it is finally over, the president has been granted a second term, and no matter which side of the fray you were on, you have to breath a sigh of relief. I woke up Wednesday morning and immediately realized the TV ads were gone, I have referred to it as "noise polution."


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