Daily Archive : Friday November 23, 2012


    Black Friday customers lined up to get in the Coach store last year at Chicago Premium Outlets in Aurora.

    Poll Vault: How early have you gone shopping on Black Friday?

    Across the suburbs this morning, your friends and neighbors will be queuing up in front of stores in search of great early-bird deals. The question is, will you be among them?

    Nicholas Bonilla drowned after he drove his car into Lake Miltmore in Lake Villa Township.

    Lindenhurst man, 18, drowns after SUV rolls into lake

    An 18-year-old Lindenhurst man drowned and another man was hospitalized after being pulled from an SUV that went into Lake Miltmore in Lake County early Friday morning. The driver, Nicholas Bonilla, 18, was trapped inside the vehicle and drowned, according to authorities.

    Investigators carry equipment into Shady Oaks Park Friday morning.

    Death of Streamwood woman, 20, not a homicide, police say

    Foul play is not suspected in the death of a 20-year-old Streamwood woman who had been missing 10 days before her body was discovered Thursday, according to Streamwood police. Determination of Rachel Morris' cause of death is awaiting the result of toxicology tests which could take weeks, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

    This tree decorated by Metropolitan Family Services is part of the Community Tree display this year.

    Community trees on display at Cantigny Park

    The Robert R. McCormick Museum at Cantigny Park in Wheaton invites the public to view a holiday attraction honoring Colonel McCormick's philanthropic legacy. Beginning Saturday, Nov. 24, the McCormick Museum will feature seven Community Trees, each decorated for Christmas by a different local nonprofit organization.

    Arlington Heights' Christmas lights were turned on Friday night, and Elisabeth Jaszka and Grace Kozurek, both 13, were right in the thick of things.

    Tree-lighting caps milestone year in Arlington Hts.

    After 125 years, Arlington Heights came full circle on Friday night. One year after the village launched the start of its quasquicentennial, or 125th anniversary of incorporation, the activities culminated exactly where they had started: at the community tree-lighting ceremony. "This is our final farewell to our 125th birthday," Mayor Arlene Mulder said. "We've had such wonderful events...


    New year bash for kids at Libertyville Sports Complex

    Kids in fifth through eighth grade are invited to an New Year's Eve all night party Dec. 31 at the Libertyville Sports Complex.


    South Sudan: Sudan aerial bombardment kills 7

    Sudan carried out aerial bombardments on the northern part of South Sudan in the last three days, killing seven people and wounding others, a South Sudanese official said Friday, accusing their northern neighbor of breaking an agreement between the two countries to end hostilities.


    Thai police fire tear gas to disperse protesters

    Police in Bangkok fired tear gas to disperse swarms of anti-government protesters who began gathering Saturday for a rally that was expected to be the biggest since Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra took office last year.


    1 of FBI’s 10 most wanted arrested in Mexico

    One of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives was arrested Thursday in Mexico and will be returned to Los Angeles to face charges of murder, kidnapping and rape, U.S. officials said.


    Lakemoor police officer found dead in his Carol Stream home

    A Lakemoor police officer was found dead in his Carol Stream home Wednesday, apparently due to natural causes, authorities said Friday. Tom Schaffer, 52, an 11-year patrol officer on the Lakemoor police force, was supposed to be at work at 7 a.m. Wednesday, but when he hadn't arrived a half-hour later, "we became concerned," Chief David Godlewski said. Lakemoor police contacted Carol Stream...

    Gas company workers Friday stand where a building once stood, which was leveled by an explosion in downtown Springfield, Mass.

    Gas blast levels Massachusetts buildings; at least 18 hurt

    A natural gas explosion in one of New England's biggest cities on Friday destroyed two buildings, including one housing a strip club, and damaged others beyond repair but didn't kill anyone, authorities said. Firefighters, police officers and gas company workers in the area because of an earlier gas leak and odor report were among more than a dozen people injured, authorities said.

    This publicity image shows Daniel Day-Lewis portraying Abraham Lincoln in the film “Lincoln.”

    Day-Lewis prepped for ‘Lincoln’ role in Illinois

    Leaving nothing to chance, two-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis' preparations to play Abraham Lincoln on film included secretly spending time on the former president's turf. Day-Lewis, along with historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and producer Kathleen Kennedy, came to Springfield in November 2010 to tour Lincoln sites, at times standing in the Old State Capitol's chamber and asking to be...


    Fire damages house in Glen Ellyn

    A fire at a single-family home in Glen Ellyn that began in a bedroom caused significant damage Friday, authorities said. Emergency crews who responded to the home on the 100 block of Park Boulevard at 4:48 p.m. found it full of smoke and discovered the origin of the fire in one of the bedrooms, according to the Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Company.

    Loretta Mroz

    Des Plaines woman ‘dedicated her life to Maryville’

    For more than 40 years, the Rev. John Smyth was the face of Maryville Academy in Des Plaines, but those who worked with him knew who his driving force was: Loretta Mroz, his longtime assistant. Mroz, who lived in Des Plaines, succumbed to lung cancer on Nov. 14. She was 79. "We were quite a team," Smyth said Friday. "She made it easy for me. She was the one who was organized and efficient."

    Sheila A. Schultz

    Palatine flight attendant arrested over gun at O’Hare

    An American Airlines flight attendant from Palatine was arrested Friday at O'Hare International Airport after security screeners discovered a gun in her carry-on luggage, authorities said. Sheila A. Schultz, 65, of the 1200 block of North Grove Avenue, was arrested about 9:30 a.m. Friday after screeners with the Transportation Security Administration discovered the gun in an X-ray machine during...


    Aggregation hearings in Hawthorn Woods

    Two public hearings have been scheduled for November 26 and 27 at 7 p.m. at the Hawthorn Woods village hall, 2 Lagoon Drive, on electric aggregation and the draft Plan of Operations and Governance.

    After bitter rival Hamas fought Israel to a draw in Gaza, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has no choice but to ignore strong U.S. objections and seek U.N. recognition of a state of Palestine next week. But even such recognition may not be enough for the Western-backed backed proponent of a peace deal with Israel to stay credible as a leader and counter the soaring popularity of Gaza’s Hamas militants.

    Abbas determined to seek UN nod for Palestine

    After bitter rival Hamas held its own in a fierce battle with Israel, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has no choice but to override U.S. objections and seek U.N. recognition of a state of Palestine next week, his aides said Friday.

    Speaker of the House John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, speaks to reporters after the House Republicans voted for their leadership for the next session of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington. He is flanked by Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican, left, and Rep. Lynn Jenkins, a Kansas Republican, right. Cantor is a key proponent of the STEM Act.

    House to consider limited GOP immigration bill

    House Republicans still smarting from their poor showing among Hispanics in the presidential election are planning a vote next week on immigration legislation that would both expand visas for foreign science and technology students and make it easier for those with green cards to bring their immediate families to the U.S.


    Gift drive for soldiers’ families
    Belmont Village Senior Living Communities is hosting its annual toy drive benefiting Operation Homefront, which provides emergency financial and other assistance to families of service members and wounded warriors. "Last season we were told by several wives that if it wasn't for the toys we donated, they wouldn't have had a Christmas for their kids," said Jeanne Hanson, senior executive director.


    North Barrington wins Lake County award

    North Barrington was named "Community of the Year" by the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission Nov. 8. "The village is being recognized for its ongoing efforts to reduce flooding and improve water quality in the village and the Flint Creek Watershed," the commission wrote in part.

    A previous year’s Arlington Heights Christmas tree in North School Park.

    Complaint filed after Arlington Hts. rejects Nativity scene

    The Arlington Heights Park District rejected a Nativity scene for its annual holiday display in North School Park because it never accepted private donations to the display, said park board President Maryfran Leno. The Thomas More Society has filed a complaint with the park district, saying that since Hanukkah dreidels are a part of the display, a Nativity should be allowed there, too.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Burglars pried open the back patio door and screen door lock at an apartment on the 900 block of Jefferson Square in Elk Grove Village between Nov. 5 and 13, and stole a 42-inch TV; video-game system and games; 10 DVDs; a safe containing jewelry, personal papers, money and baseball cards; two guitars, cables and microphones; and a bag with a laptop computer. Value was estimated at $27,030.


    Mingle with Kringle Dec. 2 in Mundelein

    The Mundelein Park District has arranged for Santa to share some special time with kids aged 1 to 8 at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at the Regent Center, 1200 Regent Drive, Mundelein.


    Crash claims life of Round Lake-area woman

    A 24-year-old woman died in a head-on collision in Round Lake on Wednesday, authorities said Friday. An autopsy conducted Friday found Araceli Villasenor died of "multiple traumatic internal injuries indicative of a car crash," said Lake County Coroner Artis Yancey. The crash occurred Wednesday evening when Villasenor's vehicle struck another vehicle near the intersection of Cedar Lake Road and...


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Tri blotter

    Bob Getz, left, and Douglas Scheflow

    Losing Kane board candidate planning a recount

    Although he ended up getting five more votes from absentee ballots, Bob Getz, who was running for a Kane County Board seat in the 22nd District, still lost the election, according to Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham. But Getz sees no reason to stop the momentum now and once the results are posted online next Tuesday, he intends to ask the county for an exploratory recount. "You can't just say,...


    ‘Break-A-Thon’ in Round Lake Beach benefits moms in crisis

    Yong's Tae Kwon Do Center, 2175 N. Route 83, Round Lake Beach has partnered with the village and Nicasa to establish a "Single Mother in Crisis" fund to help families in need this holiday season with a "Break a Thon" fundraiser from 6 to 8:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7.


    Police reports
    Francisco Rivera-Cabrera, 27, of the 600 block of Algona Avenue in Elgin, was arrested Nov. 17 on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, a St. Charles police report said. It indicates and officer on patrol observed Rivera-Cabrera driving near the area of the first block of East Main Street in St. Charles with no lights despite it being dark outside. The officer pulled Rivera-Cabrera over...

    Shawn M. Egan

    Huntley man charged with soliciting child

    A 34-year-old Huntley man was arrested Wedneday by Elgin police on charges he solicited and groomed a child over the Internet. Shawn M. Egan faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. He posted bond Thursday and is due in court next week.


    Carolers to sing at Millennium Park

    Caroling at Millennium Park starts tonight and continues on Fridays through Dec. 21. Singers will perform in front of the "Cloud Gate" statue, better known as the Bean.


    State cracks down on disabled parking violations

    Motorists tempted to illegally park in shopping mall spots reserved for the disabled will be the target of Illinois Secretary of State police this holiday season.The agency's seventh-annual disability parking sting started Friday at shopping malls statewide and will continue through the Christmas season.


    Conviction stemming from job interview upheld

    A DeKalb man walked into a job interview with aspirations of becoming an FBI agent. He walked out a suspect in a child pornography case and was eventually sentenced to 6½ years in prison.


    Man pleads guilty to fraudulent eBay sales

    A northwestern Illinois man has pleaded guilty to taking part in a scheme to purchase household goods online using stolen credit card information and then sell the items to buyers through his eBay account.


    Former governor’s son accused of DUI

    BRADLEY, Ill. — The son of former Gov. George Ryan has been arrested on charges of driving under the influence, authorities said.The (Kankakee) Daily Journal reports George Ryan Jr., of St. Anne, was arrested early Thursday morning. According to a police report, the 48-year-old was sleeping in the driver’s seat of his pickup truck.


    Wisconsin residents upset over shooting of rare white deer

    An out-of-town hunter broke an unspoken agreement by killing a rare white deer in Sauk County this week, angering residents who say the animals are so beautiful and rare that they need to be protected. There was nothing illegal about Saturday's shooting in Leland, about 15 miles northwest of Sauk City.

    Inventions like time and the various ways to measure it all came about when people needed to do something at a particular time.

    Keeping track of time started 4,000 years ago

    "Who decided to have a 12-hour clock? How did they choose 12?,"asked a student in Karen Bromley's third grade class at Prairie Trail School in Gurnee.


    Palatine’s Yellow Ribbon needs your Beanie Babies

    You probably never thought that riffling through your closets, attics and packed away boxes here at home could — in a small way — strengthen international relations. The Palatine-based Yellow Ribbon Support Group is asking people to take on the task in hopes of unearthing Beanie Babies for the care packages it's been assembling for nearly a decade.


    Naperville man’s health improving after motorcycle crash

    A Naperville man improved from critical to fair condition Friday after crashing his motorcycle Thanksgiving morning in DeKalb County. Paul L. Guinand, 64, was riding his 2002 Harley-Davidson on Route 30, west of University Road near Shabbona, when he lost control of his vehicle around 11:30 a.m. Thursday, DeKalb County sheriff's officials said.


    2 dead, 1 hurt in Illinois Thanksgiving shooting

    EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — Illinois State Police say a man apparently shot and killed his estranged wife and wounded his daughter on Thanksgiving Day in East St. Louis before killing himself.

    Kathey Wilk

    Human remains near Hampshire could be missing woman

    Hampshire police on Friday morning found skeletal remains in a heavily wooded area behind a home in the 1800 block of Cameron Drive and are working to determine it if is the body of a 52-year-old woman who lives down the street and was reported missing in May. Police say she had at least one previous suicide attempt and left a note.


    New Mexico woman dies when Florida dive boat capsizes

    A diver from New Mexico who died in a Thanksgiving Day boating accident was a manager at one of the nation's leading research laboratories who was in Florida for a holiday dive trip with her nephew, authorities said Friday.


    Congressman-elect writing Elizabeth Smart’s memoir

    Ten years after her kidnapping, Elizabeth Smart is telling her story. St. Martin's Press bought the rights to the Salt Lake City woman's memoir.


    US trucker nabbed with ammo in Mexico is freed

    A Dallas trucker detained for eight months in Mexico on accusations that he smuggled assault rifle ammunition is expected to return Friday to the United States.


    Hundreds of migrants stuck in southern Mexico

    Hundreds of migrants have been stuck for three days along railway tracks in southern Mexico because the freight train they usually ride toward the U.S. border caught fire.

    Congolese M23 rebel soldiers are seen on the road to Rushuru near Buhumba some 25 kilometers (16 miles) north of Goma, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012. Rebel spokesman Lt. Col. Vianney Kazarama vowed Thursday that the fighters would press forward toward seizing the strategic eastern town of Bukavu, which would mark the biggest gain in rebel territory in nearly a decade if it were to fall.

    Congo fires army chief after rebel seizure of Goma

    Congo's president has suspended the army's chief of staff, following the publication of a United Nations report which reveals that Gen. Gabriel Amisi oversaw a criminal network selling arms to rebels in the country's troubled east.

    In this image taken Friday from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, smoke rises from buildings due to government shelling in the Damascus suburb of Zabadani, Syria. At the same time, Syrian forces are raiding another neighborhood showing how fighting is spreading in Damascus, once a stronghold of President Bashar Assad.

    Bomb in Palestinian camp in Damascus kills 4

    A bomb blast in a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus killed four people and seriously wounded a member of a faction that has backed Syrian President Bashar Assad in the country's bitter civil war, activists said Friday. Syria's Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, lashed out at neighboring Turkey, which has sheltered anti-Assad fighters.

    Hamas supporters wave the movement’s flags during a pro-Hamas rally in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday, Nov 23, 2012.

    Gaza crowds surge at Israel border fence, 1 dead

    Israeli troops fired on Gazans surging toward Israel's border fence Friday, killing one person but leaving intact the fragile two-day-old cease-fire between Hamas and the Jewish state. The truce, which calls for an end to Gaza rocket fire on Israel and Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, came after eight days of cross-border fighting, the bloodiest between Israel and Hamas in four years.

    Protesters storm an office of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood Freedom and Justice party and set fires in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, Egypt, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. State TV says Morsi opponents also set fire to his party’s offices in the Suez Canal cities of Suez, Port Said and Ismailia.

    Clashes erupt across Egypt over Morsi's new powers

    Thousands of opponents of Egypt's Islamist president clashed with his supporters in cities across the country Friday, burning several offices of the Muslim Brotherhood, in the most violent and widespread protests since Mohammed Morsi came to power, sparked by his move to grant himself sweeping powers.

    The Indian Trails Public Library in Wheeling.

    Indian Trails ordered to file election reports

    The Illinois State Board of Elections has ordered the Indian Trails Library District and its supporters to document all the receipts and expenditures concerning the 2011 tax increase referendum. The 3 percent tax hike approved by voters in April 2011 has been under scrutiny over whether it used public funds to promote the referendum.

    A Powerball promotional check sits on the counter in the Casey’s General Store, in Bondurant, Iowa. The jackpot for Powerballís Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, drawing has climbed to $325 million, the fourth-largest in the game’s history.

    Powerball jackpot builds to $325M for Saturday

    Powerball players in Illinois were hoping to cash in on the whopping $325 million jackpot, the fourth-largest in the game's history.


    Parts of Minn., Wis. hit by up to 1 foot of snow

    Deep snow, strong wind and plummeting temperatures complicated travel on Black Friday in eastern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin, and the treacherous conditions could endure through the weekend


    Schaumburg preps for Holiday House Decorating Contest

    Just weeks after the Schaumburg Park District went looking for the scariest Halloween-decorated homes in the area, judges will soon be looking for more joyful trappings as the annual Holiday House Decorating Contest gets under way.

    In the 1860s, the Union Hotel in downtown Dunton, Ill., faced Myrtle Avenue. This picture was taken from what today is Dunton and Davis. The photograph was hand outlined and colored, giving it the look of a drawing.

    Arlington Hts. stories: Getting down to business

    From Arlington Heights' earliest days, it has always encouraged and supported its local businesses, Gerry Souter writes in his final essay for the village's quasquicentennial year. "With the growth of business and services came the explosion of new homes, churches, schools, banks and the infrastructure that held it all together," he writes.

    Workers have been busy setting up the displays on Mooseheart’s campus. Holiday Lights at Mooseheart opens Friday, Nov. 23 and runs nightly through Monday, Dec. 31.

    More lights and displays this year at Mooseheart Lights

    As Mooseheart prepares for its third annual Holiday Lights celebration, the question of "what's new" is easy to answer: Everything. The show features a giant light tunnel and custom-built light displays, larger-than-life holiday characters and mythical creatures, plus architectural lighting coordinated with music throughout the campus.


    Norway mass killer criticizes prison conditions

    Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik accused prison officers of trying to drive him to suicide in conditions he describes as "a mini Abu Ghraib." Breivik wrote a 27-page letter addressed to prison officials, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press on Friday.


    Mexico panel rejects Azerbaijan statue

    MEXICO CITY — A commission of experts says Mexico City’s government should remove a life-size statue of Azerbaijan’s former president that was recently erected on the city’s main boulevard.The bronze, Stalinesque statue of Geidar Aliyev was erected by the Azerbaijan embassy, which paid for the renovation of part of the city park where it sits.

    Shoppers look for bargains as they navigate Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg on Black Friday.

    Images: Black Friday shopping
    The holiday shopping season is off and running. Shoppers hit the malls and stores in the Chicago suburbs and around the country in search of bargains, with sales starting Thanksgiving night.


    Geneva tax watchdog applauds new teacher contract

    The TaxFACTS group is calling the new Geneva teacher contract a win for both the school district and the community. However, the group is still backing a push for a flat tax levy. It's a push complicated by the raises called for in the second year of the new deal for teachers.


    Sugar Grove library trustee resigns; longer hours considered

    Sugar Grove Public Library trustees are looking for a new board member to serve through the spring 2013 election after Trustee Julie Wilson tendered her resignation earlier this month because she is going back to college next year. Also, officials are surveying residents about whether to expand library hours.

    Longtime Carol Stream resident Jan Smith, organizer of the local Cool Cities Coalition chapter, said she was discouraged the village board voted to table a resolution in support of the organization’s 2015 environmental sustainability goals.

    Carol Stream slow to warm to Cool Cities concept

    A list of goals for environmental stewardship may have merit, Carol Stream officials say, but there may not be the money to pay for their implementation. Local environmentalist and longtime resident Jan Smith has been lobbying Village President Frank Saverino and trustees to adopt a resolution in support of the 2015 goals of the Illinois Cool Cities Coalition, an outgrowth of the Sierra Club...

    In The Neighborhood Deli has become a gathering place for many people to enjoy good food and good company. “What makes this place special is that it is a place where people can go see people they know and share a great sandwich. It´s like a big family dinner in here,” owner Jeff Turner says with a smile.

    Elgin's In the Neighborhood Deli owner gives back

    Elgin Deli owner Jeff Turner started by making great sandwiches and treating his customers well. But when the recession hit the Fox Valley area, he began to focus more on giving back. He and his employees now host several free community meals throughout the year for those who are less fortunate. "All I really do is orchestrate things," Turner says, "it is the community that gives the money, it's...

    Rodney Craig

    Five Hanover Park incumbents to unite in re-election bid

    The same group of Hanover Park residents who united four years ago to put the village on a new path will team once again in a re-election bid next April. Led by Mayor Rodney Craig, the Hanover Park Progress Party slate of incumbents also includes Clerk Eira Corral, Bill Cannon, Rick Roberts and Ed Zimel. "We're on the cusp of doing a lot of very good things," Craig said. "We all want to see the...


    Hawthorn Woods uses railroad funds for backup power

    Hawthorn Woods will use most of the remaining cash it received as a legal settlement involving the purchase of the EJ&E railroad to ensure officials have power to do their jobs in the event of a crisis. An amount not to exceed $43,000 will be used to buy and install generators at the village hall and adjoining police department/emergency operations center.

    photo feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, from left, Yekaterina Samutsevich, Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia. Russian prison officials say that Maria Alekhina, one of the jailed members of the punk band Pussy Riot has been moved into a solitary cell following tensions with inmates.

    Pussy Riot member moved to solitary cell

    One of the jailed members of the punk band Pussy Riot has been moved into a solitary cell following tensions with other inmates, Russian prison officials said Friday.

    It’s full speed ahead with holiday cheer when the Polar Express train makes its rounds during the first two December weekends at Blackberry Farm.

    Catch a ride on the Polar Express in Aurora

    The Polar Express train is welcoming all aboard during the first two weekends in December at Blackberry Farm for its annual Yuletide celebration amid thousands of glittering lights. "There will literally be thousands and thousands of twinkling lights, from the ticket window at the train depot to the trees along the walkways," said facility supervisor Sandy Smith. "It's a holiday spectacle; a true...


    Dawn patrol: Shoppers up all night, cold moves in

    Black Friday shoppers up all night; missing Streamwood woman found dead; two Lindenhurst men pulled from lake; violence forces basketball tournament out of Gurnee; fundraiser held for Arlington Heights soldier; DuPage forest preserves get $3.1 million in upgrades; Bears bench Jonathan Scott.

    With construction of a county stormwater management project planned at Armstrong Park in Carol Stream, the village is transferring a 16.38-acre parcel to the park district for the relocation of its recreational facilities.

    Carol Stream transfers 16 acres to park district

    Since the 1960s, the village of Carol Stream has owned a 16.38-acre parcel of land that separates the northern and southern portions of Armstrong Park owned by the Carol Stream Park District. But village officials say now is a good time to transfer the land to the park district so current recreational uses on the south side of the park that will be displaced by a $5 million county stormwater...

    A ribbon-cutting was held in 2006 at the Poplar Creek branch library when it was renamed to honor former Hanover Park Village President Sonya Crawshaw.

    Hanover Park library branch to undergo renovation

    For the first time since opening its doors in 1991, the Sonya Crawshaw Library branch in Hanover Park will undergo a renovation. The Poplar Creek Public Library District board recently hired PHN Architects of Aurora to come up with a design for the nearly 3,000-square-foot facility at 4300 Audrey Lane.

    Elgin Community College has been recognized nationally for its students demonstrating sustained improvement and accomplishments.

    ECC garners national recognition

    Elgin Community College was recognized as a leader in the national student completion movement by Achieving the Dream. The college, which is the only one in Illinois and one of 14 institutions nationwide designated as a 2012 Leader College, was recognized for demonstrating sustained improvement and accomplishments on key student achievement indicators, including student persistence and completion.

    The DuPage County Forest Preserve District agreed this week to temporarily provide 5 acres of land to Canadian National railroad at Pratt’s Wayne Woods Forest Preserve in Wayne, so the company can make railroad track improvements. In exchange, CN will provide the district $3.1 million in preserve facilities and land enhancements.

    DuPage forest, CN agreement means $3.1 million in improvements

    The DuPage County Forest Preserve District agreed this week to temporarily provide 5 acres of land to the Canadian National railroad at Pratt's Wayne Woods Forest Preserve in Wayne so the company can make track improvements and better connections. In exchange, CN will provide the district with facilities and land enhancements worth roughly $3.1 million.

    Fancy, an English Setter, sits on the end of the pier in Conover, Wisconsin with the sun setting in the background.

    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 19th


    Glassblowing open house in Mundelein

    The public is invited to visit local glass artist James R. Wilbat, featuring free glassblowing demonstrations in his Mundelein studio every weekend through Dec. 16.



    Proviso West comes back, tops Fremd for Fenton title

    Everything was going as planned for Fremd's boys basketball team and coach Bob Widlowski in Friday's championship game of the Fenton tournament against Proviso East. The Vikings led by 6 after the first quarter, by 12 at the half and by 9 after three quarters. "I thought we played really well for three quarters," Widlowski said. "Our guys controlled the pace of the game, we limited their dribble penetration and we did a very nice job on the defensive boards." Most of that changed dramatically in the fourth quarter, though, as Proviso East outscored the Vikings 32-13 in the period to claim a 63-53 victory.


    Friday’s girls basketball scoreboard
    Here are the results from Friday's varsity girls basketball results as reported to the Daily Herald.


    Friday’s boys basketball scoreboard
    Here are the results from Friday's varsity boys basketball results as reported to the Daily Herald.


    Borries buries 3-pointers as Antioch rolls

    Megan Borries was in the proverbial zone Friday. The Antioch senior scored a career-high 29 points, thanks in large part to sinking a career-best seven 3-pointers, as the Sequoits defeated Taft 64-48 in the Niles North tournament.


    Majkowski’s effort keys Wheeling victory

    After winning five of its last six games with a Cinderella run through the 2011-12 IHSA postseason, Wheeling's girls basketball team got quite used to winning. So it was understandable what senior Bree Majkowski said after the Wildcats notched victory No. 1 this season with a 53-33 victory over the host school of the Niles North "Somebody's Hero" Thanksgiving tournament in Skokie.

    St. Charles East’s David Mason and Dan Wilkerson sandwich St. Joseph’s Karriem Simmons as they fight for a rebound in the first quarter on Friday, November 23.

    St. Charles East stuns St. Joseph

    There will be a distinctive St. Charles flavor to tonight's championship game of the 54th annual Ron Johnson Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament at St. Charles East. Less than 2 hours after St. Charles North (3-0) rallied for a 53-48 victory over Downers Grove South to clinch a berth in the tourney finals, St. Charles East (3-0) staged an impressive second-half comeback of its own Friday night.


    Thomas, Wauconda shoot down R-B

    Kodey Thomas can thank his father, Vann, for his cool first name. "My dad saved me," Wauconda's 6-foot-3 senior forward said. "My mom (Laura) wanted to name me Edgar. ... I'm not a big fan (of the name Edgar)." On Friday night at Richmond-Burton, Wauconda could thank Kodey Thomas for his fourth-quarter cool. His 3-point play with 2:36 left was critical for the Bulldogs, who were in jeopardy of suffering a third straight tough loss. But when Richmond-Burton's Brian Wells couldn't get a tough 3-pointer from the right corner to go down, while he was being double-teamed, Wauconda had escaped with a 53-50 win in third-round action of the Johnsburg/Richmond-Burton tournament.

    Mundelein’s Sean O’Brien, back, and Thomas Gandolfi apply some tough defense against Waukegan’s Cornell Fort on Friday night at Mundelein.

    In the end, Mundelein misses out against Waukegan

    Leading by 1 point late in tournament play against Mundelein, Waukegan got a key rebound and then closed out a 65-63 victory with one last free throw with 0.7 seconds remaining. Waukegan moves to 3-1 on the season while Mundelein, which got a team-high 21 points from Cliff Dunigan, drops to 2-2.

    Rob Suntken of Naperville drives the ball during the Benet vs. Naperville Central game at the Hoops for Healing tournament in Oswego Friday.

    Lopez, Naperville Central beat Benet at the buzzer

    Nicky Lopez is developing a reputation for late-game heroics. The senior guard's off-balance buzzer-beating 3-pointer was the difference in Naperville Central's come-from-behind 57-54 overtime victory against Benet in the Hoops for Healing Tournament championship game Friday night at Oswego.

    Downers Grove South’s Jordan Cannon grabs a rebound in the third quarter on Friday, November 23.

    St. Charles N. holds off Downers S.

    With the game hanging in the balance, St. Charles North senior point guard Tony Neari stepped up and hit some crucial shots Friday night. Neari, who scored 7 of his team-high 15 points in the fourth quarter, sank a pair of free throws with 10.4 seconds remaining to help the North Stars (3-0) secure a hard-fought, 53-48 victory over Downers Grove South (1-2) in the 54th annual Ron Johnson Thanksgiving Tournament at St. Charles East.

    Aurora Christian captains Josh Kok, left, Brandon Mayes and Chad Beebe hold up the championship trophy after their win over Tolono Unity during Friday's Class 3A state championship game at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.

    Aurora Christian powers to 2nd straight state football title

    Aurora Christian held a slim 2-point lead over Tolono-Unity and barely had the ball in the third quarter. Friday's winds blasted Memorial Stadium at 30 miles per hour and made passes wobble. Eagles coach Don Beebe had an idea. "I just told our coaches, listen, we've got to make some adjustments here on offense or we're going to lose this football game." The Eagles won the line of scrimmage and the game, 42-12.


    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Bartlett 57, North Chicago 38: Ally Giampapa had 19 points to lead the Hawks (2-3) to a win at the Naperville Central/Benet tournament. Chantel Zasada added 9 points and Ashley Johnson had 8 for Bartlett.Quincy 67, Jacobs 47: Tori Tamburrino scored 11 points to lead Jacobs in its first game at the Quincy tournament. Nicole Cook added 10 points for the Golden Eagles, while Payton Berg and Allison Berndt had 9 points each.Metro 52, Jacobs 15: Tori Tamburrino led Jacobs with 6 points.East St. Louis 53, Jacobs 32: Payton Berg had 9 points to lead the Golden Eagles.


    Boys basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Cary-Grove 48, Woodstock 33: Michael Krich scored 18 points and Steve Plazak added 10 for Cary-Grove in this win at the Hoops for Healing tournament. Dean Lee added 9 points for the Trojans.Cary-Grove 62, Marian Central 53: The Trojans (3-1) made it a sweep for the day as Matt Motzel scored 15 points and Michael Krich added 14 at the Hoops for Healing Tournament. Tyler Szydlo had 12 points for Cary-Grove.Carbondale 66, Jacobs 51: Will Schwerdtmann scored 13 points to lead Jacobs at the Quincy tournament. Nick Ledinsky added 10 points for the Golden Eagles (0-2).CL South 66, Kaneland 56: Nick Geske scored 17 points and Austin Rogers added 12 to lead the Gators to a win at the Batavia tournament. Alex Bartusch and Max Meitzler each had 10 points for Crystal Lake South.


    St. Francis throttles Batavia

    The second game of the Ken Peddy Tournament did not resemble a typical basketball game.


    Growing pains for Grant at Johnsburg

    There figured to be some tough lessons for an inexperienced and junior-dominated Grant boys basketball team. But they won't be much tougher this season than what the Bulldogs experienced Friday night in the final round of pool play in the Richmond-Burton and Johnsburg tournament. With 22½ seconds to play they seemed to be on their way to playing for a championship with a 5-point lead. But Collin Ridout's 2 free throws with 2.1 seconds left capped host Johnsburg's stunning 49-48 comeback victory.


    Naperville Central stops Providence

    Victoria Trowbridge scored 7 of her 11 points in the fourth quarter, and No. 13 Naperville Central outscored Providence 17-3 over the final eight minutes for a 44-32 win at the Naperville Central/Benet Tip-Off Tournament Friday in Lisle.Shannon Ryan scored 12 points and Cierra Stanciel 7 for the Redhawks (5-0), who host Metea Valley today. In earlier action Friday Benet welcomed back Christen Prasse from an ankle injury and beat Metea 66-53.WW South 56, St. Charles East 40:Meghan Waldron poured in 24 points to pace the No. 2 Tigers at the Schaumburg Tournament. Melinda Franke and Maggie Dansdill each added 10 for WW South (3-2).Montini 46, Schaumburg 35:Kateri Stone and Malayna Johnson each scored 11 points, and No. 1 Montini (5-0) wrapped up a perfect finish at the Schaumburg Tournament.


    Neuqua Valley swarms Geneva

    Neuqua Valley is probably the last opponent a team wants to see right after losing its point guard.Geneva did Friday, and it wasn't pretty.With Michaela Loebel joining fellow starter Sami Pawlak sidelined on the bench, the No. 4 Vikings were overwhelmed by No. 5 Neuqua Valley 45-22 in an Upstate Eight Conference crossover game in Geneva.


    Dundee-Crown in Sycamore title game

    Dundee-Crown's Brandon Rodriquez worked at his job from midnight to 8 a.m. Friday to help many local shoppers take advantage of Black Friday sales, yet the senior guard still had plenty of gas left in the tank to lead the Chargers to a 54-33 victory over host Sycamore at the 50th Annual Leland G. Strombom Holiday Basketball Tournament Friday night. Rodriquez finished with 21 points and 5 rebounds and laughed off any idea that he was still tired from his early morning shift.

    The Clippers’ Blake Griffin gets a rebound in front of the Bulls’ Kirk Hinrich in a game last week.

    Bulls look for right mix at point guard
    With Kirk Hinrich having the worst offensive production of his 10 NBA seasons, coach Tom Thibodeau is forced to make tough decisions at point guard. Should he go with Hinrich's defense and sound decision-making or send in Nate Robinson, a more explosive scorer who also can be mistake-prone?

    Rutgers women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer built the foundation of her storied career Iowa from 1983-95.

    Maryland, Rutgers a boost for Big 10 women’s basketball

    In her weekly Women's Watch column, Patricia Babcock McGraw explores what the Big Ten's addition of Rutgers and Maryland to the conference means for Big Ten women's basketball.


    Bulls’ Butler has ‘done a good job’

    Maybe it's not a great sign that Jimmy Butler's minutes increase has happened during a three-game losing streak. But the second-year forward has been a bright spot since the start of preseason. He played a career-high 30 minutes on Wednesday against the Rockets.


    Chicago Wolves drop tough decision to Griffins

    Chicago Wolves game report:The Chicago Wolves came up on the short end of a seesaw battle, falling 4-3 to the Grand Rapids Griffins at Van Andel Arena on Friday night.Mark Matheson, Chris Tanev and Anton Rodin lit the lamp for the Wolves (8-6-2-0), who had been tied with the Griffins for first place in the Midwest Division of the American Hockey League when the night began.


    Jefferson steps up, lifts Waubonsie Valley past Palatine

    Waubonsie Valley senior center Bryan Jefferson knew what he had to do in the second half to help the Warriors beat tornament host Palatine on Friday night. Waubonsie Valley had struggled in the first half at the annual Ed Molitor Thanksgiving Tournament, but Jefferson's inspired second-half play helped the Warriors advance to Saturday's 5 p.m. championship game against York by topping the Pirates 54-44.


    This battle goes in favor of Northridge Prep

    Vernon Hills' boys basketball team had its shot at a trip to the "Battle of the Ridge" tournament championship game. But the Cougars' final 3-point shot attempt was off the mark on Friday night, which left Vernon Hills with a 35-34 loss to host Northridge Prep in Niles.


    Einloth, Grayslake North learning as they go

    Playing against teams as physically strong and athletic as Rockford Jefferson will only accelerate Aidan Einloth's maturation as a basketball player. Not that Grayslake North is rushing the 6-foot-3 freshman forward. Einloth grabbed a team-high 7 rebounds and scored 6 points in his first varsity start Friday night in third-round action of the Johnsburg/Richmond-Burton tournament at Richmond-Burton. Rockford Jefferson broke open a tight game in the third quarter en route to a 75-62 win over previously undefeated Grayslake North, advancing the J-Hawks to today's 7:30 p.m. championship game against Johnsburg at Johnsburg. Grayslake North (2-1) will play Grant (2-1) in the third-place game at 6 p.m.

    Barrington’s Brooke Gunderson, left, tries to steal the ball from Buffalo Grove’s Julie Jambrone during Friday’s game at BG.

    Barrington finds its range vs. Buffalo Grove

    Barrington veteran girls basketball coach Babbi Barreiro said her team's offense was "off" for a good part of its game Saturday against Buffalo Grove. But when it counted, the Fillies' free throw shooting was on. They made 7 of 9 in the final 44 seconds to secure a 49-45 triumph in the third-round game of the Bison Classic.

    St. Edward forward Adrian Ponce (22) slips through Westminster Christian’s Robert Kleczynski (33) and Colin Brandon (42) during the 6th Annual Warrior Thanksgiving Basketball Classic in Elgin Friday.

    Team effort for St. Edward

    St. Edward boys basketball coach P.J. White wanted to emphasize how much Friday night's victory was a team effort. Four players scored in double figures as the Green Wave beat host Westminster Christian, 60-46, to win Pool A and advance to the championship game of the 6th annual Warrior Thanksgiving Classic. "The kids played hard, for four quarters I think they played hard," White said. "If we can keep the inside-outside thing going, we'll be just fine."


    St. Viator remains calm in victory over Prospect

    In the midst of adversity, St. Viator coach Mike Howland thought his team, himself included, panicked at certain points of Wednesday's overtime win over Highland Park. The host Lions had plenty of reason to panic on Friday night at the Joe Majkowski Varsity Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament, missing their first 14 shots from the field and falling behind Prospect 19-5. But St. Viator kept its cool, crawled even by halftime and pulled away for a 63-54 victory to improve to 3-0 on the young season.


    Streamwood downs Bartlett

    Bartlett's boys basketball team was looking to stay perfect in two years of play at the Wheaton Academy Thanksgiving Tournament and take a step Friday toward defending its crown. While the Hawks (2-1) can still win the 6th annual tourney with a victory Saturday night against host Wheaton Academy, Streamwood (2-2) snapped Bartlett's bid for more perfection by knocking off the Hawks 57-47 Friday in West Chicago.


    Williams, Elgin kbnock off Grayslake Central

    All Elgin boys basketball coach Mike Sitter wants for Christmas is some more wins for his Maroons and "a video I can send to D-I schools," highlighting the play of all-purpose guard Arie Williams. The 5-foot-9 senior continued to serve notice Friday night that this will be a dynamic year for him and his Maroon teammates in a 64-47 win over gutsy but outgunned Grayslake Central at the Bison Class at Buffalo Grove.

    Aurora Christian’s Kimani Mobley and his teammates run off the field after shaking hands following their win over Tolono Unity during Friday’s Class 3A state championship game at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.

    Images: Aurora Christian v Tolono Unity, 3A football championship
    The Aurora Christian Eagles football team faced the Tolono Unity Rockets Friday in Champaign for the 3A state football title.


    Huntley storms back to beat Belvidere North

    Down by 10 to Belvidere North, 32-22 at halftime, Huntley boys basketball coach Marty Manning relayed a simple message to his team. "We were so bad on offense and defense, said Manning. "I basically told the team that we just need to play better on both ends of the court." The Red Raiders certainly responded to Manning's message in the second half in a positive way. Outscoring the stunned Thunder 43-14 during the final 16 minutes, the Red Raiders were able to post an impressive 65-46 win in second round play of the Coaches vs. Cancer Thanksgiving Tournament hosted by Crystal Lake Central Friday night.


    Geneva’s sizzling shooting sinks Lake Zurich

    It says something about the start Geneva is off to this year that after seeing his team shoot 69 percent from the field, win the rebounding battle, commit just 6 turnovers and beat Lake Zurich by 30 points Friday that coach Phil Ralston had to pause and think whether it was his team's best game.


    Marmion leads the way at Moore-Prettyman

    Marmion Academy got life at the Class 3A level off to the best possible start Friday afternoon at one of the biggest and best wrestling tournaments of the year. The Cadets sent nine competitors into Saturday's semifinals, and in doing so they also earned a commanding 33-point lead into the second day of the 22nd annual Moore-Prettyman Invitational in Barrington. The action resumes with wrestlebacks at 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by semifinals scheduled for 11:15 a.m. The host Broncos are chasing the tourney leaders with 111.5 overall points, with Libertyville next at 99.50, then Plainfield Central (95.50) and Crystal Lake South (78) rounding out the top five. Grant, Hinsdale Central, Joilet West, Wheaton North and Prospect comprise the rest of the first 10.


    Larkin’s depth sinks Round Lake

    Larkin doesn't figure to sink when it looks for a depth charge this season. The Royals exhibited their reserve strength on Friday afternoon in the third round of the Hoops for Healing Boys Basketball Thanksgiving Tournament. They improved to 3-0 as their top three players off the bench, Kendale McCullum, Brayden Royse and Taylor Boley, combined for 21 points and 11 rebounds in a 66-47 victory over Round Lake at Shipley Memorial Gymnasium in Woodstock.


    Harvest Christian nets 1st win for Boldog

    Even with his team up 2 points after the first quarter, Harvest Christian boys basketball coach Jeff Boldog huddled his group and gave them a verbal barrage of sorts after the Lions had turned it over 4 times and missed 11 of their first 13 shots. "I just really challenged them to step up and play the way that they can play," Boldog said. "We talk about five guys out on the floor working together doing their job. I just challenged each guy to do your job. You do your job and look at each other and do your job,' and they just took it to heart and went with it and it was good." His Lions were receptive, especially forward John Vislisel, who dropped 29 of his game-high 31 points from the second quarter on to help the Lions cruise past Faith Lutheran 68-30 in the 6th annual Warrior Thanksgiving Classic at Westminster Christian in Elgin Friday afternoon.

    Dimitri Taylor of Montini runs the ball during the Montini at Joliet Catholic Class 5A football semifinal action Saturday.

    Scouting the Class 5A football championship game

    Scouting Saturday's Class 5A football championship game between Montini and Morris.

    Lake Zurich’s Matt Moon and Glenbard West’s Scott Andrews yank on each other’s face masks as Andrews speeds down the boundary line towards the end zone in the third quarter on Saturday, Nov. 17.

    Scouting the Class 7A football championship game

    Scouting Saturday's Class 7A football championship game between Glenbard West and Lincoln-Way East.

    Glenbard North’s Justin Jackson catches a touchdown pass during Saturday’s class 8A football playoff semifinal against Loyola Academy.

    Scouting the Class 8A football championship game

    Scouting Saturday's Class 8A football championship game between Glenbard North and Mt. Carmel.

    Bears quarterback Jay Cutler must be evaluated by an independent neurologist before he can play for the Bears. Head coach Lovie Smith said Cutler was feeling good after a limited practice on Friday.

    Bears hopeful Cutler will be cleared to play

    An independent neurologist still must clear Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler before he can return to the playing field Sunday. He was listed as "questionable," Friday after practicing on a limited basis, and the Bears are hopeful he will start against the Minnesota Vikings.

    Southern California wide receiver Marqise Lee, left, will have to catch everything thrown his way from a freshman quarterback to give the Trojans a chance against No. 1 Notre Dame.

    Can a freshman QB bring down No. 1 Notre Dame?

    Not many young quarterbacks would even have the audacity to imagine making their first career starts under the circumstances surrounding Max Wittek at the Coliseum on Saturday night. The freshman is replacing Matt Barkley, an injured senior who has claimed most of the career passing records at Southern California. He's facing Notre Dame (11-0), a storied football power with a No. 1 ranking and the nation's most feared defense (7 p.m. Ch. 7 ABC).

    Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg will lead his troops into the Class 6A state championship game against Crete-Monee Saturday at 1 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.

    Scouting the Class 6A football championship game

    Both defenses will be under the gun from the opening snap when Cary-Grove (13-0) faces Crete-Monee (13-0) in the Class 6A state title game at Memorial Stadium in Champaign Saturday at 1 p.m. Though the styles differ, Cary-Grove's disciplined flex-bone option offense and Crete-Monee's explosive spread scheme bear a similar trait: massive production. The Trojans pound away on the ground, patiently grinding out yardage until the opponent misses a defensive assignment, leading to the big play. The Cary-Grove offense has gained 4,673 rushing yards, led by bruising fullback Kyle Norberg (198 carries, 2,213 yards, 25 TD), quarterback Quinn Baker (181-998-15), and wingback Ryan Mahoney (71-802-8), all seniors.

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin, right, runs against the Indianapolis Colts’ Antoine Bethea earlier this season. The Vikings will likely be without Harvin again this weekend because of his sprained left ankle.

    Ankle leaves Vikings WR Harvin doubtful for Bears

    The Minnesota Vikings will likely be without wide receiver Percy Harvin again this weekend because of his sprained left ankle. Harvin was listed as doubtful for the Sunday's game at Chicago.

    Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson celebrates after beating the Detroit Lions earlier this season. The last time the Vikings won a game at Soldier Field, Peterson rushed for 224 yards and 3 touchdowns.

    Vikings hope Peterson can carry them to win against Bears

    The last time the Minnesota Vikings won a game at Chicago, some rookie rushed for 224 yards and three touchdowns. His name was Adrian Peterson, and he'd love to do that against the Bears again. "It's a sound defense, but I feel like we can run the ball on them. We just have to be patient and keep pounding the rock and be balanced offensively," Peterson said Friday after practice.

    Northern Illinois Huskies quarterback Jordan Lynch is stopped on a run by Eastern Michigan Friday during the second quarter in Ypsilanti, Mich. The Huskies beat Eastern Michigan 49-7.

    No. 24 Northern Illinois rolls to 49-7 win against EMU

    Jordan Lynch ran for 114 yards and Akeem Daniels scored a career-best four touchdowns as No. 24 Northern Illinois won its 11th straight game, 49-7 against Eastern Michigan on a cold and snowy Saturday. Daniels scored on runs of 25 and 20 yards in the first half and finished with a career-high 112 yards on 12 carries to help the Huskies (11-1, 8-0) cap a perfect run through the Mid-American Conference.

    Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks had a lot of fun wearing a cape atthe NHL All-Star skills hockey competition in Ottawa, Ontario, last January. On Friday, the league canceled the 2013 game in Columbus.

    All-Star Game lost as NHL cancels more games

    NEW YORK — The NHL has called off all games through Dec. 14, plus the 2013 NHL All-Star Weekend scheduled for Jan. 26-27 in Columbus, Ohio. The league made the announcement Friday, the 69th day of the NHL's lockout of its players. A total of 422 regular-season games, more than 34 percent of the season, have now been lost.

    Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah tries to break a tackle by Iowa linebacker James Morris Friday during the first half in Iowa City. Nebraska beat the Hawkeyes 13-7.

    No. 17 Nebraska secures spot in Big Ten title game

    Winning five straight games mostly without him, didn't mean Nebraska doesn't need Rex Burkhead. On a cold and blustery afternoon with a spot in the Big Ten title game on the line, Burkhead proved why he's so valuable to the Huskers. Burkhead scored the go-ahead touchdown in his return from a knee injury and No. 17 Nebraska beat Iowa 13-7 on Friday to claim the Legends Division's berth in the championship game.

    Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald celebrates with Bo Cisek following a 23-20 win over Michigan State in East Lansing, Mich.

    Northwestern looks to secure quality bowl game

    In line for a quality bowl, Northwestern has its ticket out and ready to be punched. That would appear to be little more than a formality for the Wildcats with a home game against Illinois on Saturday, except they know better. They know all about their recent history against the Illini, and it's not good.


    Fire’s Berry to train with Europa champions

    Chicago Fire defender and reigning MLS Rookie of the Year Austin Berry will train with Spanish La Liga side and 2012 Europa League champions Atlético Madrid beginning Sunday through Dec. 9, Fire officials announced Friday.

    Fans play their vuvuzelas before a World Cup group match in Pretoria, South Africa, on June 13, 2010. A report now says the South African government spent more than $3 billion to host the tournament, including $1.1 billion on stadiums.

    South Africa’s World Cup bill: $3 billion

    South Africa spent more than $3 billion on the 2010 World Cup, and in return gained an "intangible legacy" from the first world soccer showpiece in Africa, the country's government said Friday in its final report on the tournament. In the "2010 FIFA World Cup Country Report," released nearly 2½ years after the event, South Africa's government said it spent $1.1 billion on building and upgrading stadiums alone.

    Something to be thankful for: former Cubs starter Chris Volstad was claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Royals.

    Spellman’s Scorecard: Not feeling too good about Vikings game

    It's a holiday edition of Spellman's Scorecard. A little bit of everything ... plus a little dessert.

    After a tough overtime loss to Ohio State last weekend, Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema expects his Badgers to regain some momentum when they play Penn State on Saturday. Running back Montee Ball needs one touchdown to break a tie for most scores by a major college player.

    Badgers roll into Penn State for finale

    Despite a tough overtime loss to Ohio State last weekend, Wisconsin running back Montee Ball and the Badgers have plenty to play for when they travel to Penn State on Saturday. They still have a shot at a Rose Bowl berth, and one more touchdown would give Ball 79 career scores, breaking a tie for the major college record set by Travis Prentice of Miami (Ohio) in 1999.

    Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, front, warms up beside fellow quarterback Devin Gardner before a game. Robinson could see action at tailback on Saturday as the Wolverines take on unbeaten Ohio State.

    Coaches bring new feel to Michigan-Ohio State game

    Just like Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes, Ohio State's Urban Meyer and Michigan's Brady Hoke are ultracompetitive Ohio natives who don't hide the fact that they can barely abide their chief rival. A chippiness has returned to this staid old annual showdown. Hoke refers to Ohio State as just "Ohio," which makes Buckeyes fans' blood boil. Meyer has taken a page from Hayes and refuses to utter the "M-word," instead calling it "That Team Up North."

    Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson and his Fighting Irish teammates are favored to beat Southern California on Saturday night and finsih their regular season unbeaten.

    Golden Domers will be smiling very soon

    The Notre Dame faithful will be smiling soon because Mike North believes their ship has finally come in and they will come out on top. When the NFL changed its decision in the Ed Reed case, the victory was shared by media, fans,and players alike. It's not often the NFL changes its mind. And Score! Be the Legend at the Luxor is open!


    Brady, high-scoring Patriots embarrass Jets

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Tom Brady and the New England Patriots put this game — and the New York Jets’ ugly season — away early.At least it was competitive for a quarter. By halftime, it was a big-time laugher.Brady threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score as the Patriots thoroughly embarrassed the Jets with a 35-point second quarter in a 49-19 victory Thursday night.After a scoreless opening quarter, the Patriots (8-3) went on a touchdown spree despite holding the ball for only 2:14 as they took advantage of several mistakes by Rex Ryan’s hapless Jets (4-7). Their 35 second-quarter points tied for the fourth-most in a quarter in NFL history. Fans were chanting for Tim Tebow to play before the second quarter of this Thanksgiving showdown was over, and booing as the team left the MetLife Stadium field at halftime. New England, which beat Indianapolis 59-24 on Sunday, scored four touchdowns in just over 6 minutes — including three in a jaw-dropping 52-second span — helping Bill Belichick become the eighth coach in NFL history with 200 career victories, including the playoffs. Julian Edelman returned a fumble for a touchdown and caught a 56-yard pass for a score before leaving with a head injury. Wes Welker and Shane Vereen had touchdown catches, Steve Gregory returned a fumble for a score, and Stevan Ridley ran for a touchdown.The Patriots improved to 19-0 in the second half of the season since 2010. They were 8-0 that year and last year, and are 3-0 this season after the midway point. Meanwhile, the Jets allowed their most points since giving up 52 to Miami in the 1995 season opener, and will likely have to win all of their remaining five games to even have an outside chance at the postseason.New England was without star tight end Rob Gronkowski, out a few weeks after breaking his left forearm in the win Sunday against Indianapolis. They didn’t need him — not with the Jets fumbling and bumbling around. Brady finished 18 of 28 for 323 yards before leaving with 2 minutes left in the game. He reached 3,000 yards passing for the 10th time, becoming one of six players to accomplish the feat. He also passed Dan Fouts for 10th place on the career passing list.Tight end Aaron Hernandez returned after missing three games with a sprained ankle and had two catches for 36 yards. New York’s Mark Sanchez was 26 of 36 for 301 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Tebow didn’t play at all — nursing sore ribs that made him questionable for the game — and stood on the sideline with a cap on throughout despite the occasional chants for him to get some snaps.It looked as though this one might be a close one as both teams missed opportunities to score in the opening quarter, including Stephen Gostkowski being wide left on a 39-yard field goal attempt. The Jets were hoping to boost their playoff hopes and keep some momentum going after a 27-13 victory at St. Louis last Sunday that snapped a three-game skid.But this one got ugly in a hurry.The Patriots jumped on a poor decision by Sanchez, who ruined a nice drive by keying in on Jeremy Kerley on second-and-6 from the 23. Gregory read the play the whole way for an easy interception.Brady then led the Patriots on a 15-play, 84-yard drive that was capped on Welker’s 3-yard touchdown catch on the first play of the second quarter.New England was helped by a questionable neutral- zone infraction by Muhammad Wilkerson on third-and-4 from the Jets 49, and a facemask penalty on Ellis Lankster on second-and-10 from the 32 that gave the Patriots the ball at the 9.The Jets made another costly mistake on their next possession when Shonn Greene fumbled on fourth-and-inches from the Patriots 31 and Gregory recovered. Brady threw a swing pass on first down to Vereen, who zipped down the left sideline untouched for an 83-yard touchdown that made it 14-0 with 9:43 remaining in the opening half.


    Demonstrators protest Wal-Mart in Boynton Beach, Fla., Friday, Nov 23, 2012. Wal-Mart employees and union supporters are taking part in today's nationwide demonstration for better pay and benefits A union-backed group called OUR Walmart, which includes former and current workers, was staging the demonstrations and walkouts at hundreds of stores on Black Friday, the day when retailers traditionally turn a profit for the year.

    Walmart protests fail to deter bargain-seeking crowds

    Wal-Mart workers and supporters marched in protest at stores nationwide Thursday and Friday, blasting the wages, benefits and treatment of employees at the world's largest retailer. The efforts seemed to do little to keep shoppers away though — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it was its best Black Friday ever.

    Shoppers look for bargains as they navigate Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg on Black Friday.

    Shoppers clear out suburban stores from the get-go

    Armed with newspaper ads, smart phones and game plans, Black Friday shoppers were on a mission at suburban stores early this morning. Did they get what they were after? "We really killed it," said Linda Haber of Woodstock. "I was shocked," said Steve Kenney, who works at Penney's in Yorktown Center. "Everything was gone 10 minutes after the store opened. They were polite, but everyone was working it."

    This is an Insurance Auto Auctions location in Houston. The company hopes to open a similar location in East Dundee, but a Barrington Hills-based group across the border characterizes the company as a junkyard and is fearful fluids leaking from its vehicles will contaminate local groundwater.

    Checking the claims in Barrington Hills group’s anti-auto auction flier

    The Northwest Suburban Citizens for Clean Water, a Barrington Hills-based group that's trying to keep an auto auction company from opening in neighboring East Dundee, mailed a flier out to 2,409 East Dundee residents that also urged them to fight against the proposal. The group, which has 324 members, is fearful fluids from the vehicles will leak into and contaminate groundwater in the surrounding area. We check on the flier's claims.

    Barges power their way up the Mississippi River in St. Louis. The Army Corps of Engineers on Friday began reducing the flow from a Missouri River reservoir, a move expected to worsen low-water conditions on the Mississippi River and potentially bring barge traffic to a halt within weeks.

    Corps cuts flow on Missouri River, hurts shipping

    The Army Corps of Engineers on Friday began reducing the flow from a Missouri River reservoir, a move expected to worsen low water conditions on the Mississippi River and potentially bring barge traffic to a halt within weeks. One result of this year's drought, the worst in decades, has been a big drop in water levels on both the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.


    Stocks soar on Black Friday; tech leads the way

    The stock market enjoyed some Black Friday cheer, rising sharply as shoppers braved the annual post-Thanksgiving rush. Major stock indexes closed one of their best weeks of the year. Traders were encouraged by positive economic news from Germany and China, two engines of global growth. Technology stocks soared after a few weeks of selling. And early reports from retailers suggested strong consumer spending.


    Oil prices climb on new Gaza-Israel fears

    Oil prices climbed Friday after Israeli troops fired on crowds in Gaza surging toward the border fence, killing one Palestinian and wounding 19. Benchmark crude for January delivery was up 71 cents to $88.09 a barrel at 1 p.m. EST on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

    Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk addresses the media at the end of a two-day EU summit in Brussels on Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. The Brussels summit has ended without an agreement on the 27-member union’s next seven-year budget.

    EU summit ends without budget deal

    A summit of the European Union's 27 national leaders, charged with agreeing on a long-term budget for the bloc, broke up Friday afternoon without being able to reach a deal. Coming just days after the 17 eurogroup finance ministers failed, yet again, to agree on the conditions for releasing badly needed bailout money for Greece, the failure of the two-day summit raises questions about how the bloc makes important decisions. In most cases, unanimity is required, meaning that each country wields veto power.

    A customer examines shelves of toys during Toys "R" Us' Black Friday sales event in Flint, Mich. on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012

    Earlier Black Friday kicks off shopping season

    This year's Black Friday shoppers were split into two distinct groups: those who wanted to fall into a turkey-induced slumber and those who'd rather shop. Stores typically open in the wee hours of the morning on the day after Thanksgiving that's called Black Friday because of retail folklore that it's when merchants turn a profit for the year. But after testing how shoppers would respond to earlier hours last year, stores such as Target and Toys R Us this year opened as early as Thanksgiving evening.

    The owners of Hamilton Lakes Business Park in Itasca are considering building high-end apartments on some of the roughly 3 million square feet of space available at the site.

    Itasca business park may build apartments

    The owners of Hamilton Lakes Business Park in Itasca are considering building high-end apartments on some of the roughly 3 million square feet of space available at the site. Hamilton Lakes partner Ron Lunt said the idea to build apartments was inspired by several factors, including the soft market for office development. "I just thought it was time to investigate the alternative, he said.


    Ranbaxy recalls generic Lipitor doses

    Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc. has recalled dozens of lots of its generic version of cholesterol drug Lipitor because some may contain tiny glass particles, the latest in a string of manufacturing deficiencies that once led U.S. regulators to bar imports of the Indian company's medicines.

    Downtown Lombard’s newest business, The Vino Cellar at 141 W. St. Charles Road, is scheduled to hold its grand opening from 3 to 10 p.m. Nov. 30.

    Traffic brings wine-tasting bar to downtown Lombard

    Looking for a location to open a wine-tasting bar, Cesar and Courtney Peña of Winfield found a spot in downtown Lombard partly as a result of traffic — both good and bad. Their shop, The Vino Cellar, will open next week. "We realized all the traffic and all the potential that downtown Lombard had," Cesar Peña said.

    This April 14, 2011 file photo shows Erskine Bowles, right, Alan Simpson, co-chairmen of the president's deficit reduction commission, talking to reporters outside the White House in Washington after their meeting with President Barack Obama.

    INFLUENCE GAME: Election over, campaign continues

    The election may be over, but a new campaign is being waged in the nation's capital as lobbyists, advocates and trade groups fight to shape the government's response to the looming fiscal cliff.It's a twist on the usual lobbying effort: Instead of digging for more tax dollars, they're trying to protect what they've got.The tactics are familiar to voters who were swamped with TV commercials, newspaper ads and mailers in the frenzied months before Election Day. But this time, the effort is directed at politicians, not so much the public.


    Man pleads no contest in burglary of Jobs' home

    A California man accused of breaking into Steve Jobs' house and stealing computers and the Apple Inc. co-founder's wallet has pleaded no contest to burglarizing homes across the San Francisco Bay area. Kariem McFarlin accepted a plea deal and was convicted Wednesday in Santa Clara County Superior Court on eight felony counts of residential burglary and one felony count of selling stolen property.

    People in line at the U.S. Postal Service Airport station in Los Angeles. Emboldened by rapid growth in e-commerce shipping, the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service is moving aggressively this holiday season to start a premium service for the Internet shopper seeking the instant gratification of a store purchase:

    Cash-strapped post office tests same-day delivery

    Emboldened by rapid growth in e-commerce shipping, the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service is moving aggressively this holiday season to start a premium service for the Internet shopper seeking the instant gratification of a store purchase: same-day package delivery. Teaming up with major retailers, the post office will begin the expedited service in San Francisco on Dec. 12 at a price similar to its competitors. If things run smoothly, the program will quickly expand next year to other big cities such as Boston, Chicago and New York. It follows similar efforts by eBay, Amazon.com, and most recently Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which charges a $10 flat rate for same-day delivery.


    Cash-strapped post office tests same-day delivery

    Emboldened by rapid growth in e-commerce shipping, the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service is moving aggressively this holiday season to start a premium service for the Internet shopper seeking the instant gratification of a store purchase: same-day package delivery. Teaming up with major retailers, the post office will begin the expedited service in San Francisco on Dec. 12 at a price similar to its competitors. If things run smoothly, the program will quickly expand next year to other big cities such as Boston, Chicago and New York. It follows similar efforts by eBay, Amazon.com, and most recently Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which charges a $10 flat rate for same-day delivery.


    U.S. stock futures tick higher on Black Friday

    U.S. stock futures are ticking higher on Black Friday, the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. Retail is a key chunk of the U.S. economy — consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of it. Shopping trends on Black Friday may signal consumers' appetite for spending over the next few weeks. November and December, which can account for as much as 40 percent of a retailer's annual revenue, are crucial for stores.

    Steam rises from the chimneys in the industrial area in Duisburg , Germany.

    Business confidence rises unexpectedly in Germany

    German business confidence rose unexpectedly in November after six straight declines, a closely-watched survey showed Friday, raising hopes that Europe's largest economy can continue to weather the financial crisis. Munich's Ifo institute said its key business climate figure rose to 101.4 points in November from 100 in October. Economists had been predicting a modest drop to 99.5. The increase in the headline index came on the back of increases in the measures about the present and the future.

    A man walks by a securities company in Tokyo Thursday World stock markets rose Thursday after a survey showed that China's manufacturing expanded for the first time in 13 months, rare good news for the struggling global economy. Japan's Nikkei 225 index jumped 1.6 percent to close at 9,366.80 - its highest finish since May 2 - as a recently weakened yen provided a vital boost to the export-heavy index.

    Markets subdued as Black Friday dawns in US

    Markets were subdued Friday as Wall Street readied to return following the Thanksgiving holiday and as the U.S. shopping season begins in earnest.The day after Thanksgiving is dubbed "Black Friday" because it is when U.S. retailers traditionally turn their first profit of the year as millions of Americans rush out to stores in search of gifts for Christmas and other seasonal holidays.A strong holiday shopping season will be used to help predict the momentum of the U.S. economy, the world's biggest. Anecdotal evidence and footfall figures over the coming days will be closely monitored.Markets were subdued Friday as Wall Street readied to return following the Thanksgiving holiday and as the U.S. shopping season begins in earnest.

    Clockwise from left, Laura Milman of Mount Prospect, her mom, Marge Grudzien of Niles, and her nieces Taylor and Natasha Tsinonis of Des Plaines go through the Black Friday ads in preparation for the big shopping day.

    While you snoozed, they shopped

    While you were sleeping, Laura Milman was shopping. The Mount Prospect mom is among thousands of suburban shoppers who consider Black Friday a competitive bargain hunt. There are different types of Black Friday shoppers, though, and some people think it's nuts to brave the crowds and lines to save money. "I love it. I have a blast," Milman said. "But it's definitely getting more competitive."

Life & Entertainment


    Night life: Drink in Santa’s Magic
    Santa’s on tap at Mickey Finn’s; Fizz night at L’Eiffel Bistrot; Topaz Cafe’s lounge drink specials

    Suraj Sharma goes on a wild adventure as Pi Patel in a scene from “Life of Pi.”

    ‘Pi’ a life-changing film for young actor

    The only thing more unlikely than a movie about a boy adrift on a ship with a Bengali tiger is the tale of the film's star. Teenager Suraj Sharma went along with his brother to an audition of "Life of Pi" purely as a favor, motivated by the promise of a free meal. "He said, 'Come with me because I don't want to go alone,'" Sharma recalled. "I said, 'Fine, as long as you buy me a sandwich afterwards.' That sandwich got me 'Pi.'"

    American film director, screenwriter and producer Oliver Stone has never been shy about ruffling feathers with his take on real-life events. His latest project, “The Untold History of the United States,” currently running on Showtime, explores the facts he feels were suppressed.

    Oliver Stone tackles modern history in new series

    Oliver Stone has never been shy about ruffling feathers with his take on real-life events. From "J.F.K" and "Nixon," to "Salvador" and "W," Stone has challenged the history taught in schoolbooks. His latest project, "The Untold History of the United States," a 10-part series on the premium Showtime network, explores more facts he feels were suppressed, with new takes on the atomic bombing of Japan, the Cold War and the fall of Communism.


    4th season of ‘Downton Abbey’ confirmed

    British television channel ITV has confirmed that hit drama "Downton Abbey" will return for a fourth season. Filming of eight new episodes for the award-winning period series will begin in southern England's Highclere Castle and London's Ealing Studios early next year.

    Grant Bowler plays Richard Burton, right, and Lindsay Lohan is Elizabeth Taylor in the Lifetime Original Movie, “Liz & Dick,” premiering Sunday.

    ‘Liz & Dick’ doesn’t do Taylor, Burton any favors

    The good news: If you thought "Liz & Dick" would be lame, you aren't wrong. The bad news: It falls short of being laughably, irresistibly bad. What a missed opportunity! Even so, "Liz & Dick" will probably pay off for Lifetime, at least. Despite warnings (like — listen up! — this one) that viewers not waste their time on this made-for-TV film, lots of them will fall prey to their curiosity and flock to "Liz & Dick."

    Ernest Hemingway filled his books with detailed descriptions of drinks downed by his characters.

    'Hemingway Cocktail Companion' explores author and his drinks

    For the better part of a century, a certain type of young person has learned to drink from the pages of Ernest Hemingway. Among them: Philip Greene, author of the new book "To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion." Whatever one feels about the literary legacy of Hemingway, one thing is indisputable: The man was detailed and exacting in which drinks his characters imbibe, and the choice of drink is always important.

    A Russian court has dismissed a lawsuit that sought millions of dollars in damages from Madonna for allegedly traumatizing minors by speaking up for gay rights during a concert in St. Petersburg.

    Lawsuit against Madonna dismissed in Russia

    A Russian court on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit that sought millions of dollars in damages from Madonna for allegedly traumatizing minors by speaking up for gay rights during a concert in St. Petersburg.

    Halle Berry’s ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry, right, was arrested for investigation of battery after he and the Oscar-winning actress’ current boyfriend got into a fight at her California home, police said Thursday.

    Halle Berry’s ex arrested after fight at her house

    Halle Berry's ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry was arrested for investigation of battery Thursday after he and the Oscar-winning actress's current boyfriend got into a fight at her Hollywood Hills home, police said.

    CeeLo Green, “CeeLo's Magic Moment”

    Albums busting out new holiday tunes

    Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And sound like it, too. Musical artists are hitting radios with their renditions of holiday classics, along with a few fresh songs.

    The Park at Rosemont opens its free public skating rink on Friday, Nov. 23.

    Winter means glad glidings at local skating rinks

    Despite the recent bout of warmer temps, we're heading into winter — prime outdoor skating weather. A number of local ice rinks have their own refrigeration systems and are now open for outdoor skating. Other rinks must wait for help from Mother Nature in freezing the ice. So if you've had your ice skates ready since July, or even if you've always just wanted to give skating a try, here is our guide to a number of local outdoor rinks.


    Tips for taming your utility closet

    Do you have a utility closet, drawer or room? If you keep it organized, it sure can be handy in the average home. But with all the stuff one collects in this area, it quickly can become a black hole.

    As part of its downtown redevelopment efforts, the city of Northlake developed Wolf Ridge Condominiums.

    Developer kicks in free parking for buyers at Wolf Ridge

    Wolf Ridge Condominiums, developed by the city of Northlake, has two decorated units featured in our model profile. Buyers seeking an immediate-occupancy residence now can lock in financing with a 5-percent down payment and receive two free parking spaces valued at $9,500 at Wolf Ridge.


    About real estate: Transferred military personnel can qualify for big tax break

    A little-known federal law allows many members of the armed services who are transferred to another state a chance to keep their income taxes to a minimum — or sometimes to avoid them altogether.


    FHA looks to tweak some mortgage requirements

    You may have seen headlines last week about the Federal Housing Administration needing a taxpayer "bailout" by the Treasury and wondered: Uh oh. Is the FHA heading down the fiscal drain like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have required billions in federal assistance just to stay in business?


    Heavy annual snowfall is bad for a flat roof

    Q. I bought a second home in the mountains to use as a ski lodge and summer getaway. It has a flat roof, so I asked my home inspector if that would be OK in snow country. He assured me it was more than capable of draining and holding the snow.


    What’s new in theaters
    Holiday productions dominate this week's Chicago area theater openings, including American Blues Theater's "It's a Wonderful Life: Live at the Biograph;" Mercury Theater's "The Christmas Schooner" and Theater Wit's "Santaland Diaries" among others.


    Local theater
    Metropolis, Williams Street Repertory and Drury Lane thaters get into the spirit with seasonal offerings, while the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts gets "naught" with the satiric "50 Shades! The Musical."

    Bradley Cooper attends the premiere of “Silver Linings Playbook,” to benefit the Tribeca Film Institute’s Tribeca Teaches Educational Programs at the Ziegfeld Theatre.

    Bradley Cooper: Sexiest Media Skeptic Alive?

    In a recent conversation — one that took place during the final days of his reign as People's Sexiest Man Alive — Cooper, 37, perked up considerably as he discussed his experience making "Playbook," his feelings about the Eagles and how weird it is to read headlines that say he's dating Rashida Jones. (He isn't. But, for the record, he says she's a "wonderful person.")

    Fresh design books: the best of 2012. From left, “Young House Love,” “Home by Novogratz” and “Barbara Barry: Around Beauty.”

    Interior Design Books: The Best of 2012

    Stylish coffee tables have a tall stack of fresh design books to display this season. After a lean few years in the interiors book category, an army of experts is bringing us the best of design in 2012. The list of authors includes West Coast rock-star decorators, style bloggers and TV design personalities.

    Bartender Diana Spence mixes up a martini at The Annex in Barrington.

    Classic cocktails, casual setting set Annex apart

    Barrington's Park Avenue Wine Bar was sleek, chic and, frankly, a little intimidating. And it wasn't just the poached octopus on the menu that made it seem that way. So when the stylish wine bar went out over the summer, owners replaced it with The Annex — a still-pretty, less-pricey cocktail lounge with a more casual and accessible vibe.



    Editorial: Shift tax focus to local elections

    Voters need to do their homework on local candidates' stances on taxes as much or more than they do with state and national candidates, a Daily Herald editorial says.


    The GOP’s listening problem

    Columnist Eugene Robinson: Step out of the echo chamber, Republicans. There's a big country out there, and it's trying to tell you something. For the sake of party and nation, try listening.


    We must be better stewards
    A Fox Lake letter to the editor: For the most part, the dust has settled after our recent elections. But that doesn't mean that there are no other important decisions remaining to be made.


    Change rules to make biking safer
    A Mundelein letter to the editor: Bicycles are a great form of transportation that allow people to go green and help save the earth from thousands of air pollutants, but recently, the number of bicycle accidents have skyrocketed.


    Government can give, also can take
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: David Werdegar, responding to my earlier Fence Post letter, points out that Article 1, Section 8, and the 16th Amendment of the constitution empowers Congress to collect taxes to pay the debts of the country.


    Let’s give marching band more respect
    A Glen Ellyn letter to the editor: High school marching band deserves more credit than it receives when it comes to its similarity to standard high school sports. Contrary to popular belief, marching band requires an immense amount of endurance and coordination in order for marchers to accurately play their music and simultaneously move to their precise locations all over the field.


    Time to adopt progressive tax
    An Elgin letter to the editor: Legislators could and should focus on closing tax loopholes, tax breaks and amending the constitution for a progressive income tax in this session. Illinois is one of seven states in our country that does not have a progressive income tax we still have a regressive flat rate tax on income; everyone pays the same rate.


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