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Daily Archive : Friday November 30, 2012

News

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    26 charged in Aurora prostitution sting

    Twenty-six people have been charged after a two-day prostitution sting this week in Aurora, authorities said Friday. Six people, five women and a man, were charged with prostitution Wednesday at an undisclosed Aurora address when an undercover officer responded to ads from unnamed Internet sites known for advertising sexual services. Nineteen men were charged Thursday with solicitation of a...

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    Hope for the Holidays: Can you give to help suburban children in need?
    Inspired by a generous reader, the Daily Herald's Hope for the Holidays campaign is raising funds to buy toys for children in need. To make a donation, send tax-deductible checks made out to WINGS — Daily Herald Hope for the Holidays, P.O. Box 280, Arlington Heights, IL 60006-0280. The deadline is Dec. 17.

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    The 14 players on the Hoffman Estates High School basketball team were investigated, and the players and parents met with the District 211 superintendent and Hoffman High principal over hazing allegations that the district learned about Friday, the district says.

    Hazing allegations involving Hoffman Estates team forces canceled game

    Officials in Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 canceled a basketball game as they investigated allegations of hazing involving the Hoffman Estates boys varsity team. District administrators learned of the hazing allegations Friday afternoon and "conducted an immediate and thorough investigation involving all team members and the coach," said Tom Petersen, the school district's...

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    A Hoffman Estates man was arrested around 5:10 p.m. Nov. 16 on Huntington Boulevard at Route 62 and charged with aggravated assault and unlawful use of a weapon after he reportedly pointed a replica air gun at a man in a convenience store lot at 1710 Algonquin Road. The victim thought the gun was a semiautomatic handgun and asked the store clerk to call police.

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    No one was injured Friday afternoon when a car crashed into Rosin Eyecare at 705 E. Ogden Ave., Naperville. Authorities said the vehicle went through an exterior wall and stopped about five feet into the lobby.

    No injuries after car crashes into Naperville eye care center

    No one was hurt when a car crashed into a Naperville eye care center Friday, firefighters said. The accident happened just before 1 p.m. at Rosin Eyecare, 705 E. Ogden Ave. Firefighters arrived within minutes to find a late-model Buick Sedan lodged in the lobby.

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    Associated Press/Nov. 2, 2011 A construction worker works at a site of a new housing unit in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa.

    Israel moves to build 3,000 new settlement homes

    In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland criticized the Israeli announcement. "These actions are counterproductive and make it harder to resume direct negotiations or achieve a two-state solution," she said.

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    Suburban churches can’t defend gay marriage ban

    A Cook County judge says two churches in Bensenville and Arlington Heights and the conservative Illinois Family Institute cannot intervene in a lawsuit over the state's ban on gay marriage. Two downstate county clerks received approval this summer to defend the law after Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez and Attorney General Lisa Madigan refused to do so, claiming the ban violates the...

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    Associated Press Law enforcement officers from various agencies prepare to sweep the Wold Physical Science Center Friday after a reported homicide at Casper College in Casper, Wyo.

    Campus murder-suicide happens during class

    A man wielding a sharp-edged weapon killed one person in a Casper neighborhood Friday before killing a male teacher and himself in front of students in a community college classroom, causing a campus-wide lockdown as authorities tried to piece together what happened.

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    Jack McCullough

    Sentencing delayed for man convicted of 1957 murder

    The sentencing of a man convicted in the 1957 murder of a 7-year-old Sycamore girl has been postponed because pre-sentencing reports failed to reach defense attorneys in time. Now Jack McCullough will be sentenced Dec. 10.

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    U.S. military guards walk within Camp Delta military-run prison, at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba. The White House is threatening that President Barack Obama would veto the defense bill unless Congress makes changes.

    Senate backs Kirk amendment to tighten sanctions on Iran

    Sens. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, and Mark Kirk, Ilinois Republican, who have shepherded sanctions bills through Congress, sponsored the latest package that also would close a major loophole — the ability of Iran to circumvent sanctions and barter oil for precious metals. Turkey has been bartering gold for oil.

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    Logan Krogman

    Charges: Aurora teen ‘accelerated rapidly’ before deadly crash

    A teen driver from Aurora "accelerated rapidly" before striking a house and killing one of his friends, according to a DuPage County indictment released Friday. Logan Krogman, 16, of the 800 block of Amli Court, was formally charged with reckless homicide and aggravated reckless driving in the Oct. 23 crash that killed 15-year-old Devin Meadows of Aurora.

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    Egyptians chant slogans Friday during a demonstration in Tahrir Square, Cairo.

    Egyptians protest after Islamist-dominated assembly OKs constitution
    Much like Egypt is at the moment, the charter is a fairly vague jumble of old and new, secular and Islamist, a sometimes contradictory set of ideas that remain open to interpretation and satisfy no one. Even as the articles were being voted on Friday night, changes were being scribbled in and punctuation altered.

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    Rene Cruz

    North Aurora man first Hispanic judge in 16th Circuit

    Rene Cruz, an Aurora attorney, has been selected as the newest associate judge for the 16th Judicial Circuit. Cruz starts Monday and takes over in divorce court for Robert Janes, who retired in October. Cruz is the first Hispanic judge in Kane County history.

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    Dist. 207 issues statement on hazing scandal

    Maine Township High School District 207 officials are trying to reassure parents, students and the community that the administration is being responsive as more details emerge in a growing hazing scandal at Maine West High School.

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    Associated Press Syrian children look through their car window Friday as they cross into Lebanon with their families at the border crossing, in Masnaa, eastern Lebanon.

    Lebanese fighters reported killed with Syrian rebels

    On Friday, Syrian soldiers fought rebels in and around the capital as Internet and most telephone lines were blacked out for a second day. But the intense battles around the country's international airport appeared to have calmed.

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    Associated Press/U.S. Marshal’s office Rick D. Snow.

    Indiana financier gets 50 years for swindling clients

    An Indiana financier and former chief executive of National Lampoon convicted of swindling investors out of about $200 million was sentenced Friday to 50 years in prison by a judge who told him his "deceit, greed and arrogance" had cost many of his victims their life savings and dreams of a comfortable retirement.

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    Associated Press/2008 Wind turbines from the Maple Ridge Wind Farm tower over a farm in Lowville, N.Y. The $400 million Maple Ridge wind project, the largest in New York state, brought money and jobs and a sense of prosperity to a place that had given up.

    Crews facing deadline on Indiana wind farm project

    Project manager Andy Melka said 75 of the electricity-generating turbines — each standing about 400 feet tall — have been completed and crews are working from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. only because the winds are calmer.

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    Reporters took a two-hour tour of the minimum-security Vienna Correctional Center in deep southern Illinois on Friday. Cameras were banned, however.

    Reporters get look inside Vienna prison

    An Illinois prison that had been slammed by a watchdog as overcrowded and squalid was opened to reporters Friday, and the warden said he was confident that previous shortcomings, which he didn't entirely discount, have been fixed.

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    William Beavers

    Beavers can say he repaid money if he testifies

    An influential Chicago politician can tell jurors he put cash back into his campaign coffers and amended his tax returns as part of his defense at his upcoming tax-evasion trial, but only if he takes the stand and speaks to jurors directly, a judge ruled Friday.

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    Pedro Terrazas

    Caretaker gets 50 years for sexually assaulting child

    A caretaker who was convicted of sexually assaulting a girl over the course of eight years was sentenced Friday to 50 years in prison. Pedro Terrazas, 36, of the 1100 block of Pleasant Place in Aurora, was found guilty by a Kane County jury in August of two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, five counts of criminal sexual assault, and five counts of aggravated criminal sexual...

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    Jacob Hagemann

    Bond lowered for 85-year-old Vernon Hills man accused of sexual assault

    Bail was lowered a second time Friday for an 85-year-old Vernon Hills man accused of abusing an underage girl nearly a decade ago. Jacob Hagemann, of the 300 block of Greenbriar Lane, can be released if he posts 10 percent of his $250,000 bail. His bail initially was $750,000.

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    A 24-hour McDonald’s, in Naperville.

    McDonald’s starved for ideas as Burger King lures diners

    "You've seen Burger King be very aggressive with new food offerings," said Janna Sampson, co-chief investment officer at Oakbrook Investments LLC in Lisle, which owns about 360,000 shares of McDonald's. Still, McDonald's has "the premier test kitchen in the business," which is probably "running full tilt trying to come up with new things," she said.

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    School briefly locked down in Lake Villa

    A Lake Villa elementary school was on lockdown for about an hour Friday when a suicidal man who lives nearby left his house, authorities said. Members of the Lake County sheriff's police were dispatched to the area near Olive Martin School, 24750 W. Dering Lane, at 11:24 a.m.

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    Raymond Adams

    Waukegan man arrested on drug charges

    A 37-year-old Waukegan man was arrested this week on multiple drug possession charges, authorities said Friday. Raymond Adams, 37, of the 2000 block of Williamsburg, was arrested Wednesday after members of the Waukegan Police Department's Gang Intelligence Unit executed a search warrant at his apartment and discovered 3 grams of crack cocaine, a scale, small bags and $216, authorities said.

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    The Rev. Jesse Jackson poses with sons Jesse Jr., left, and Jonathan at the Greensboro Coliseum, after he gave the commencement address and his sons graduated from North Carolina A&T in 1988.

    Son’s woes weigh heavily on Jesse Jackson

    At 71, the Rev. Jesse Jackson still keeps a hectic schedule and speaks extemporaneously on issues from voting rights to prisoners in Gambia. But the head of one of America's most prominent families struggles when addressing one thing: the son and political heir who abandoned his congressional seat last week because of mental health problems and two federal investigations.

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    Barrington church cookie walk Dec. 8

    It's that time of year again, when the ladies of Community Church of Barrington start to bake the thousands of cookes that will be available at the annual Cookie Walk Saturday, Dec. 8 at the church at 407 S. Grove Ave. in Barrington. Tickets will go on sale at 9 a.m. that day, with the Cookie Walk itself beginning at 10:30 a.m. and lasting until 12:30 p.m.

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    La Shawn Ford

    Too early for action on indicted lawmaker

    It's too early for the legislature to take any action over the indictment of a state representative on federal bank fraud charges, the Illinois House Republican leader said Friday. Chicago Democrat La Shawn Ford, meanwhile, made a plea for his colleagues to allow him to continue to serve. Ford was indicted Thursday, becoming the second member of the House to face federal charges this year.

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    ISU’s Hispanic graduation rate improves

    ISU is ranked 19th in the nation when it comes to Hispanic graduation in a recently released report by the non-profit group Education Trust. The group says ISU raised its Hispanic graduation rate by almost 19 percent from 2004 to 2010.

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    Gingerbread house decorating
    One Hope United will host "Gingerbread Houses of Hope" Dec. 7 to benefit the agency's child abuse prevention programs and services and child development centers.

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    Tinker, a miniature horse, rings a red bell for the Salvation Army outside a craft fair Nov. 17 in West Bend, Wis., with his owners, Carol and Joe Takacs.

    Mini horse rings bell for Salvation Army

    Tinker may be miniature — as in a miniature horse — but he's a big money raiser for the Salvation Army. He uses his mouth to hold and ring a red bell and also picks up with his mouth a "Thank You Merry Christmas" sign. He can also bow and give kisses. "A good kettle for a couple of hours brings in about $250, and for the same time period (Tinker and his owners) have been known to...

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    New Orleans firefighters David Nick, left, Bill Spiers, center, and Bruce Hurley, Sr. tour the Breezy Point section of Queens, N.Y., Wednesday. The New Orleans Fire Department is returning the help given to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina by firefighters and other emergency workers from New York.

    Deadly 2012 hurricane season ends

    "This was certainly one for the record books," Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, said.

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    Round Lake Hts. starts to plan future
    A workshop regarding a comprehensive plan for Round Lake Heights will be held from 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4 at Round Lake Middle School, 2000 Lotus Drive.

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    Sylvia Guerrero of Chicago wants authorities to release on bond her husband, Moises Torres, 64, and son Omar Torres, 31, who were rounded up during an immigration raid Thursday at an Elk Grove Village factory.

    Families want workers held in Elk Grove raid released

    Our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Mission is calling a press conference to denounce the raid that occurred in The Chicago Palette Company, located in Elk Grove Village, IL. We denounce that Homeland Security and the President Obama Administration arrested about 34 people on Thursday November 29, 2012. We are calling a press conference at the Homeland Security headquarters demanding them to release...

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    Defendant fights with Lake County deputies after guilty verdict

    A defendant in a drug case attacked a deputy and tried to escape from a Lake County courtroom but was captured before he could flee, authorities said Friday.

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    Police said this man robbed a TCF Bank inside the Jewel store at 922 N. Green Bay Road in Waukegan on Thursday.

    Police release images from Waukegan bank robbery

    Waukegan police released surveillance images Friday of a man they say robbed a bank inside a Jewel store a day earlier. Police said the man passed a note to a bank teller just before noon Thursday at the TCF Bank inside the Jewel at 922 N. Green Bay Road and left with about $1,000.

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    Feds propose fee on health insurers in new market

    The insurance industry said Friday the fees will increase costs, already expected to rise because the new policies in many cases will be more comprehensive than what is currently available in the individual market.

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    OSHA may take over some FAA oversight

    "The policy announced today with the FAA will not only enhance the health and safety of flight attendants by connecting them directly with OSHA, but will by extension improve the flying experience of millions of airline passengers," Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said.

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    Drugmaker Ranbaxy halts generic Lipitor production

    Problem-plagued Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc. has halted production of generic cholesterol drug Lipitor while it investigates how tiny glass particles got into the ingredients used for dozens of batches of the drug that were recalled in November. It was Ranbaxy's second recall of the drug, called atorvastatin, since August.

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    The state of our state parks
    The state of Illinois' state parks is the topic of the Lake County Audubon Society meeting at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Libertyville village hall, 118 W. Cook Ave.

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    Give blood, meet Otis Wilson
    The Mundelein Fire Department will host a blood drive Dec. 8, plus a chance to meet Otis Wilson and win Super Bowl tickets.

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    Palatine wins Governor’s Hometown Award

    The Village of Palatine is a recipient of one of the 2012 Illinois Governor's Hometown Awards for mobilizing volunteers at the Countryside Association for People with Disabilities. Clients were given opportunities through mobile work crews to volunteer at places that serve people with disabilities.

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    ComEd warns against utility scams

    ComEd is warning customers to be on alert for scam artists claiming to be a ComEd representative seeking payment. In the last few weeks, there has been an increase in reports of individuals calling customers claiming to be ComEd representatives and telling the customer their service will be disconnected unless payment is made.

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    Associated Press Bricks that once were a part of the facade lay on the ground Thursday in Dallas next to the apartment building where Lee Harvey Oswald once occupied one of the units.

    Apartment where Oswald lived being demolished

    The apartment, where Lee Harvey Oswald lived from November 1962 to March 1963 with his wife, Marina, and young daughter, is mentioned in the Warren Commission report, which investigated the president's death.

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    James Black, new Crystal Lake Police Chief

    Crystal Lake names new police chief

    The Crystal Lake Police Department has named a new police chief. James Black, currently the deupty police chief for the village of Downers Grove, will take the office effective Jan. 7, 2013. Black succeeds David Linder, who will retire after 32 years with the Crystal Lake Police Department.

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    Lombard condo fire injures one

    A Friday morning fire injured one person and caused roughly $100,000 damage to a first-floor condominium unit in Lombard, authorities said. The resident was hurt attempting to extinguish the fire, but refused transportation to a hospital after being treated at the scene in the 1300 block of South Lore Lane, according to the Lombard Fire Department.

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    Associated Press/Jan. 31, 1973 U.S. District Court Judge John Sirica in his office in Washington.

    Government releases once-secret Watergate files
    The files showed Judge John J. Sirica at times discussing the case with special prosecutors and justifying his attempts to learn new facts in the case. The documents stem from the prosecution of five defendants arrested during the June 1972 Watergate break-in and two men, E. Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy, who were charged as the burglary team's supervisors.

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    Jean McCue

    Garbage transfer application not filed as expected in Round Lake Park

    Although Groot Industries Inc. submitted documents stating it would file an official notice of intent Friday to seek approval for a garbage transfer station in Round Lake Park, the company didn't follow through, leaving it unclear whether the plan has been dropped or just delayed. "It's up to Groot what they do from here on out," Mayor Jean McCue said.

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    Mathew Martoma is surrounded by media as he leaves the federal courthouse Monday in New York.

    Insider trading suspect was model ethics student
    Federal prosecutors allege Mathew Martoma, a former hedge fund portfolio manager, persuaded a medical professor to reveal secret data from an Alzheimer's disease drug trial. They say that allowed Martoma to engineer a record-setting insider-trading scheme that reaped more than a quarter-billion dollars in illegal profits.

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    Daily Herald/2005 NCC junior Nicole Flinn, left, and Jon Visick, Assistant Biology Professor, lift a rotor into a Centrifuge in the Genetics & Microbiology lab at the Science Center in Naperville.

    High court to decide if human genes can be patented
    The Supreme Court announced Friday it will decide whether companies can patent human genes, a decision that could reshape medical research in the United States and the fight against diseases like breast and ovarian cancer.

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    Larry Keller

    West Dundee village president not seeking another term

    After 22 years of serving West Dundee — 15 of them as village president — Larry Keller says it's time to move on. Keller, 69, has annouced that will not seek another term in office once his time is up in April, because he's done his part and it's time for someone else to take over.

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    Chris Nelson

    Political newcomer running for West Dundee president

    Chris Nelson, a political newcomer, has announced his intention to run for village president in West Dundee, saying he has the chops and the background to lead the village into the future.

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    William Cruz

    Palatine man pleads guilty to kidnapping girlfriend’s son

    A 31-year-old Palatine man pleaded guilty to kidnapping Thursday in Rolling Meadows. Cook County Judge Kay Hanlon sentenced William Cruz to three years and six months in prison in exchange for his guilty play to abducint his girlfriend's son earlier this year, police said.

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    Tri-Cities police reports
    Tina J. St. Amanda of Carpentersville was charged with retail theft at 5:22 p.m. Thursday at Menards, 300 N. Randall Road, Batavia, according to a police report. She is accused of taking $73 in merchandise.

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    Armed standoff in Ingleside ends with arrest, police say

    One person was arrested Friday afternoon following an armed standoff in an Ingleside neighborhood, police said.

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    Naperville, St. Charles pharmacies hit by dial-a-drug robber

    Walgreens pharmacy workers in Naperville and St. Charles were robbed by telephone this week in two "strange" but apparently related cases, police said Friday. In both instances, victims received calls indicating they were being watched and would be harmed if they didn't turn over drugs. The employees then handed out bags of prescription pills through drive-up windows.

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    The issue of slots at Arlington Park hit another snag when the deadline passed for overriding Gov. Pat Quinn's veto of gambling expansion.

    Quinn gambling expansion plan veto stands

    Lawmakers can no longer override Gov. Pat Quinn's veto of a huge gambling expansion plan after a deadline expired Thursday. Instead, state Sen. Terry Link said supporters will continue to work on a new compromise plan with Quinn, pulling the governor back into the debate over whether Arlington Park can have 1,200 slot machines and Lake County, Chicago and three other locations can have casinos.

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    Fox Valley police reports
    Brandon A. Cannady, 28, of the 1100 block of Morton Avenue in Elgin, appeared in bond court Friday, on allegations that he had cocaine and drug-related items in his possession on Thursday, police said.

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    Ana M. Barajas

    Lisle woman charged in Naperville armed robberies

    A 22-year-old Lisle woman has been charged with aggravated robbery after police said she displayed a handgun in one robbery and one foiled robbery Thursday in Naperville. Ana M. Barajas, of the 4400 block of Blackhawk Lane, was being held on $75,000 bail Friday in DuPage County jail. Police said she was taken into custody outside her apartment and evidence of the crime was found inside.

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    Sharon Long double checks her Powerball numbers Wednesday as she stands in line in a convenience store in Baltimore. Long picked numbers that her sister asked her to play.

    Poll Vault: Do you play specific lottery numbers?

    Birthdays, anniversaries or "lucky" digits? How do you pick the numbers when you buy a lottery ticket? Or do you keep it simple with a Quick Pick?

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    Mass planned to honor Sacred Heart alumni

    Graduates of Sacred Heart of Mary High School in Rolling Meadows — the former all-girls Catholic school that closed 25 years ago — will be honored with a special mass at St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights early next year. The Feb. 10 mass will honor Sacred Heart graduates, and organizers are looking for alumni to get involved early to help plan.

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    A recycled newspaper Nativity from Vietnam at the Gifts of the World store in Schaumburg.

    Schaumburg shop has global array of artwork

    Schaumburg isn't just the place suburban Christmas shoppers flock to for big-ticket items on Black Friday, it's also the home of some hidden holiday treasures from all over the world. For the past 17 years, Gifts of the World at Christ Community Mennonite Church, 888 S. Roselle Road, has been helping support artists, craftspeople and their communities in more than 38 developing countries by...

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    A Wheeling man was arrested around 1:05 a.m. Nov. 14 after a traffic stop on Dundee Road at Betty Drive in Buffalo Grove and charged with felony manufacture/delivery of marijuana, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and speeding.

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    Surveillance footage captured an image of a man suspected of robbing a Fifth Third Bank in Oak Brook on Thursday.

    FBI probes Oak Brook, Buffalo Grove bank robberies

    Authorities are investigating the robbery of a bank in Oak Brook, police said Friday. The robber is also suspected of hitting a Buffalo Grove bank last week, according to the FBI. The more recent robbery happened about 5 p.m. Thursday at Fifth Third Bank, 1603 West 16th Street in Oak Brook. A man entered the bank, walked around for a bit and then approached a teller demanding money, police said...

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    Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 officials may ask voters this spring to approve funding to replace the Jefferson Early Childhood Center with a new facility.

    District 200 considering tax increase to replace early childhood center

    Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 officials are reviewing figures for a potential referendum question in April to finance a new Jefferson Early Childhood Center. The existing building, which serves the district's youngest learners, has remained largely untouched since it opened in 1958 at 130 N. Hazelton Ave., Wheaton. School board members have not yet determined the fate of Jefferson, but...

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    After he was accused of defrauding his law firm, Naperville attorney Bill Brestal resigned and demanded his name be taken off the company sign, according to one of his former partners. The firm obliged.

    Naperville attorney accused of fraud by ex-partners

    He's one of Naperville's most prominent attorneys, and one of its most charitable givers. But now Bill Brestal has been accused of fraud. The 71-year-old zoning lawyer — who negotiated the bulk of Naperville's landmark developments — has been hit with a $1 million lawsuit alleging years of financial impropriety at his former law practice. "It's unbelievable," he told the Daily Herald.

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    Missouri mechanic, his wife named Powerball winner

    A 52-year-old Missouri mechanic and his wife claimed their share Friday of the record $588 million Powerball jackpot. Lottery officials sent a statement Friday announcing that Mark and Cindy Hill, of Dearborn, held one of two winning tickets for the nation's biggest Powerball jackpot. The Hills will split the $588 million prize with whoever holds a winning ticket sold at a convenience store in...

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    A person familiar with the case says former International Monetary Fund leader, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and a New York City hotel maid who accused him of trying to rape her have reached an agreement to settle her lawsuit. The deal would end a legal saga that forced Strauss-Kahn’s resignation as head of the IMF and ended his French presidential ambitions in 2011.

    AP: Strauss-Kahn, NY hotel maid to settle

    Word of a settlement agreement between former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and a hotel maid who accused him of trying to rape her could bring an end to a saga that has tarnished Strauss-Kahn's reputation, ended his hopes for the French presidency and renewed a debate about the credibility of sexual assault accusers.

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    Tips from a great teacher
    xx

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    Pack the Gym celebrates Special Olympics, helping others

    For basketball fans interested in helping area families in need, it was a slam dunk. A standing-room crowd packed the Hubble Middle School gym this week in Warrenville to cheer on the Flying Tigers, Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200's Special Olympics basketball team, during their final home game of the season.

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    Two juveniles among those charged in Hoffman Estates armed robbery

    Four males - two juveniles and two 20-year-olds - were charged this week with an armed robbery police say they committed in September. A Cook County judge set binds ranging from $75,000 to $100,000 for Erick Estrada, 15; Martin Jacobo, 15, Jose J. Gonzalez, 20 and Tehron M. Sweet, 20. The teenagers were charged as adults in the class X felony

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    Glen Hansen lets a player piano fall in the driveway of a Schaumburg home as his helper, Mauro Pugo, looks on. The impact will help loosen glue joints making demolition easier. Hansen works for Art’s Junk Removal in Mount Prospect.

    Moving Picture: Junk is Mount Prospect man’s specialty

    Glen Hansen wants your junk. Working for Art's Junk Removal, a Mount Prospect business started by his father Art, Hansen spends his days desmantling, destroying and removing the junk stored in homes, condos, apartments and garages all over the northwest suburbs. The physically demanding task of moving thousands of pounds of junk each week takes its toll on Hansen, but he's learned over time how...

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    Ilva workers participate in a rally outside the Italian parliament, in Rome, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. Ilva, a steel plant in southern Italy at the center of an environmental scandal announced that it plans to close after police acting on prosecutors’ warrants sequestered recent steel products bound for the market.

    Italian government moves to keep steel plant open

    The Italian government is preparing measures aimed at avoiding the closure of a steel plant that is Europe's largest by capacity and has been the subject of a health scandal.

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    Ted E. Bear will take children on a festive march during the Mount Prospect Public Library’s Teddy Bear Walk on Saturday, one of three holiday events happening in the community this weekend.

    Trio of festive events on tap in Mt. Prospect

    Mount Prospect residents will have ample opportunity to get in the holiday spirit this weekend as three local agencies will be hosting festive activities.

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    Palestinian protesters attached a placard on a wall in front of Israeli soldiers, not seen, during a demonstration in the West Bank village of al-Masara near Bethlehem, marking the recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state by the United Nations, Friday Nov. 30, 2012. The United Nations General Assembly voted 138-9 with 41 countries abstaining to upgrade the Palestinian status at the world organization to a nonmember state.

    Palestinians euphoric over UN recognition

    RAMALLAH, West Bank — Euphoric Palestinians erupted in cheers, honked car horns and chanted “God is great” after the United Nations endorsed an independent state of Palestine, giving sweeping international backing to their demands for sovereignty over lands Israel occupied in 1967.

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    This photo made available by NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 shows a 68-mile-diameter crater, large indentation at center, in the north polar region of Mercury which has been shown to harbor water ice, thanks to measurements by the Messenger spacecraft. Scientists made the announcement Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012.

    NASA: Closest planet to sun, Mercury, harbors ice

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Just in time for Christmas, scientists have confirmed a vast amount of ice at the north pole — on Mercury, the closest planet to the sun.

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    Derailment sends chemical tank cars into NJ creek

    PAULSBORO, N.J. — People in three southern New Jersey towns were told Friday to stay inside after a freight train derailed and several tanker cars carrying hazardous materials toppled from a bridge and into a creek.Emergency management officials issued the advisory to residents of Paulsboro, West Deptford and East Greenwich Township as a precaution.

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    A letter dictated and signed by Napoleon in secret code that declares his intentions “to blow up the Kremlin” during his ill-fated Russian campaign is displayed for the media in Fontainebleau, outside Paris. The rare letter, written in unusually emotive language, sees Napoleon complain of harsh conditions and the shortcomings of his grand army. The letter goes on auction Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.

    Napoleon’s secret coded Kremlin letter on sale

    FONTAINEBLEAU, France — The single line of Napoleon’s secret code told Paris of his desperate, last order against the Russians: “At three o’clock in the morning, on the 22nd I am going to blow up the Kremlin.”

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    The Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, reclaims the presidency Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 after 12 years out of power, and President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto calls it a crowning moment of an effort to reform and modernize the party that ruled without interruption from 1929 to 2000.

    Old party returns to govern changed Mexico

    MEXICO CITY — The political party that ruled Mexico for seven straight decades is back, assuring Mexicans there’s no chance of a return to what some called “the perfect dictatorship” that was marked by a mixture of populist handouts, rigged votes and occasional bloodshed.

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    In this Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 photo, night falls on a Syrian rebel-controlled area as destroyed buildings, including Dar Al-Shifa hospital, are seen on Sa’ar street after airstrikes targeted the area last week, killing dozens in Aleppo, Syria.

    Syria: Airport road reopens but Internet still cut

    BEIRUT — Syrian rebels battled regime troops south of Damascus on Friday and Internet and most telephone lines were cut for a second day, but the government reopened the road to the capital’s airport in a sign the fighting could be calming, activists said.

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    Egyptian protesters chant anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans as they attend a rally in Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012.

    Protests erupt after new Egypt constitution passed

    CAIRO — Tens of thousands of protesters took the streets in Egypt denouncing President Mohammed Morsi and a draft constitution that his Islamist allies approved early Friday in a rushed, all-night session without the participation of liberals and Christians.

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    Pressuring GOP, Obama takes his fiscal plan to Pa.

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is taking his case for avoiding a potentially unsettling “fiscal cliff” to the Philadelphia suburbs, employing campaign-style tactics in hopes of mobilizing public support. The trip comes amid signs of impatience in the negotiations between Republican leaders and the White House.

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    Cook County residents saw higher property taxes despite city reduction

    Three years of property tax reductions in Elgin have added up to a $10 million cut to the city's revenues. But some residents are still seeing a higher charge from the city on their property tax bills this year. It all comes down to a homeowner exemption that Cook County applies differently than Kane County, meaning the east side residents don't see what Elgin City Council members have been...

  •  
    Tom Johnson, 7 Dover Court, Streamwood, won the Daily Herald's holiday lights contest in 2008.

    Holiday lights flashback: 2008 winner

    About 7,000 lights and a yard full of reindeer and candy canes helped Tom Johnson of Streamwood win the Daily Herald holiday lights contest in 2008. Johnson invested nearly 500 hours in building his display with artistry and detail. Do you have what it takes to win this year?

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    Lloyd Beckman, 68, turns a piece of wood on a lathe at his Sterling, home.

    Retirees share love of woodworking

    Lloyd Beckman and Tom Boerjan have much in common.Both are retirees with extra time on their hands. Both have the ability to take a simple piece of wood and transform it into something beautiful.Beckman, 68, of Sterling, and Boerjan, 59, of Rock Falls, were introduced by a mutual friend and became friends themselves through their shared passion for woodworking.

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    State police: Body found in southwestern Ill. home
    Illinois State Police are investigating the death of a 48-year-old man whose body they say was found in a home in the southwestern Illinois village of Washington Park.

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    Chicago police warn of holiday season pickpockets

    Holiday shoppers can be easy prey for pickpockets blending into crowds at stores, on sidewalks and inside packed public busses and trains.That's the warning from the Chicago Police Department, which has put out some safety tips for the holiday season.

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    Ill. drinking water supplier deals with low river

    The utility that supplies drinking water to more than 250,000 residents in southwestern Illinois is taking emergency measures due to the low level of the Mississippi River.

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    Grayslake Elementary District 46 teachers seeking a new contract rallied outside Park School Campus in Round Lake in October. District 46 and a union representing its teachers have yet to agree on a new contract. The teachers will strike Jan. 16 if a deal isn’t reached by then.

    New proposals, but no deal for teachers at Grayslake D46

    Grayslake Elementary District 46 and a union representing its teachers have altered contract proposals in an effort to avert a potential strike early next year. No deal was reached in a roughly four-hour bargaining session Wednesday night. Officials said no further contract talks are scheduled.

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    Dawn Patrol: Good Samaritan from Bartlett killed; progress in Dist. 300

    A Bartlett man was killed after coming to the aid of another driver on I-57. Talks in Dist. 300 made progress after negotiators met more than four hours Thursday night. And NIU has a big, big game tonight against Kent State.

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    Focus on the spiritual in your holiday preparations

    Celebrate with anticipation the birth of Jesus Christ, not merely the coming of Christmas Day, columnist Annettee Budzban says.

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    The sun sets over a dock during the summer in Conover, Wisconsin.

    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 26th.

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    Algonquin man guilty in murder plot had anxiety disorder, attorney says

    A former Algonguin attorney faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced next week after pleading guilty to plotting the murder of his girlfriend's ex-husband. Jason Smiekel handled the woman's divorce and his attorney argued in court this week that he suffered from an anxiety disorder that diminished his mental capacity.

Sports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Glenbard West wins on the road

    Glenbard West 51, Lyons Twp. 48:The visiting Hilltoppers (4-0, 1-0) scored a nice road win in the West Suburban Silver. Keith Hayes led the way with 17 points while Dikiria Washington added 15 points.Montini 57, IMSA 45:Montini (4-0) stayed unbeaten behind the second straight 17-point game from Matt Brachmann and Simmie Cobbs’ 16 points at Aurora Christian’s Burney Wilkey Classic.Lisle 54, Sandwich 50 (OT):Lisle (2-3) got a 5-second call and Lamont Ross hit a 3-pointer to send the game into overtime tied at 44. Ross’ steal and layup got the Lions rolling in overtime. Cody Monson scored a game-high 20 points and Ross added 12 for the Lions (2-3). Sandwich lost its season opener in the Interstate Eight Conference game.Hinsdale South 70, Willowbrook 69:Rallying from an 18-point third-quarter deficit, the Hornets (2-3, 1-0) won in the West Suburban Gold on a pair of late free throws by Larry Motuzis. Immaculate Conception 58, Marian Central 50: Demetrius Carr scored 15 points with 15 rebounds and Sean Sutton added 12 points as IC (4-2, 1-0) won its Suburban Christian Conference Gold Division opener over Marian Central (1-4, 0-1).

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    Images from the Naperville Central vs. Glenbard East basketball game in Lombard on Friday, November 29, 2012.

    Images: Naperville Central at Glenbard East boys basketball
    Glenbard East High School hosted Naperville Central Friday night for boys basketball.

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    Austin Pauga of Naperville Central, left, defends, as Greg Ludwig of Glenbard East looks for room to make a basket during boys basketball action Friday in Lombard.

    Glenbard East blows out Naperville Central

    Both sides surprised, one side happy.Glenbard East's boys basketball team opened DuPage Valley Conference play on a rousing note by blasting Naperville Central 59-41 Friday in Lombard.The game actually wasn't that close. Once the Rams (4-1, 1-0) slammed Naperville Central (3-2, 0-1) with a 29-2 run from the final two minutes of the first quarter to the final minute of the second, the outcome was never in doubt.

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    Kaneland improves to 5-0

    Aly O'Herron connected on four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 12 points as Kaneland rolled to a 56-27 Northern Illinois Big 12 East road victory over Morris.

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    Young, Hoffman Estates top Schaumburg

    The Hoffman Estates girls basketball team got off to a winning start in the Mid-Suburban West with a 57-45 victory over visiting Schaumburg. Seniors Destinee Young (19 points, 17 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals) and Becca Stoczynski (10 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 blocked shots, 2 steals) helped lead the way as Hoffman improved to 6-1 and 1-0.

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    Elk Grove works OT for victory

    Coming into this season, Elk Grove boys basketball coach Anthony Furman knew that his team's experience would help it in tight conference battles. It didn't take long for that hypothesis to be proved correct. The Grenadiers got terrific second-half performances from seniors Austin Amann, Kishan Patel and Brian Kelly, and that was just enough to get by Luke Potnick and Buffalo Grove 72-68 in overtime in the Mid-Suburban East opener for both teams.

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    W. Aurora silences WW South

    A game that started with bad omens turned into an utter nightmare for Wheaton Warrenville South Friday night in Aurora. Playing for the first time this basketball season, the WW South boys squad had a head-on collision with West Aurora in a disastrous first half.

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    Free throws lift St. Francis

    St. Francis only made 3 baskets in the entire second half Friday night. Instead, the Spartans (4-0) did most of their damage at the free-throw line, where they drained 27 second-half foul shots and fought off a late charge by Marmion during a 60-51 Suburban Christian Conference Blue Division basketball victory over the Cadets (1-5) in Aurora.

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    Westman, Naperville North race past Wheaton North

    It's not easy to keep up with Naperville North senior Derek Westman. "He's a monster, and today he stayed out of foul trouble. He's the heart of our team, he's the heart and soul," Huskies coach Jeff Powers said. "When he goes and does that it's hard because he's such a physical player, great rebounding, and he was under control today, which made him awful hard to guard." Friday night in Naperville, Westman and the Huskies raced past Wheaton North 62-41 in the teams' DuPage Valley Conference boys basketball opener.

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    Wheaton College loses in national semifinals

    The Wheaton College women's soccer team fell just short of returning to the NCAA Division III national championship match in a 2-1 loss to Emory University on Friday night in the NCAA Division III semifinal at Blossom Soccer Stadium in San Antonio.

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    Boys basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    St. Edward 59, Aurora Christian 54: Antonio Domel scored 21 points and Nick Duffy added 17 as the Green Wave (7-1, 1-0) won on the road in the Suburban Christian Conference. Adrian Ponce added 15 points for St. Edward.Westminster Christian 57, Kirkland 38: Will Woodhouse exploded for 25 points and Colin Brandon added 11 to lead the Warriors (3-2) to a nonconference win.Rockford Christian Life 70, Harvest Christian 52: John Vislisel had 13 points to lead the Lions (2-4, 1-1) in a Northeastern Athletic Conference loss.

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    Geneva’s Sami Pawlak puts up a shot over Batavia’s Hanah Frazier Friday at Geneva.

    Geneva ralies by Batavia

    Always a can't-miss game on the sports calendar, Batavia-Geneva is that much better when the teams are competitive.

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    Spalding pitches in as Grayslake Central prevails

    Lauren Spalding led three Grayslake Central players in double figures with 12 points, and the Rams wiped out a 2-point deficit after three quarters to earn a quality, 45-44 win over visiting Cary-Grove in a Fox Valley Conference crossover Friday night.

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    Winkler, St. Francis earn first victory

    Junior Abby Winkler lists herself at 5-foot-8, basically the same height as her starting teammates on the St. Francis girls basketball team.While that might mean the Spartans could be equally good at rebounding, it's become Winkler's thing.

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    Freshman rallies Neuqua Valley past Metea Valley

    Myia Starks may just be a freshman, but don't tell Niki Lazar she plays like one."She's not afraid," said the Neuqua Valley junior. "She keeps surprising me every game. It blows my mind."Starks scored 9 of her 14 points in the fourth quarter, Lazar herself hit two huge 3-pointers, and No. 3 Neuqua Valley stormed back from 9 down in the last eight minutes to beat No. 13 Metea Valley 60-53 on Friday in Naperville.

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    South Elgin knocks off Waubonsie Valley

    Trailing Waubonsie Valley by 4 points going into the fourth quarter, South Elgin’s girls basketball team used a 3-pointer from junior Sara Szalay, her only points of the game, to ignite a fourth-quarter run that ended with a 43-40 Storm win in Upstate Eight Valley play Friday night in Aurora.Kennede Miller led the balanced South Elgin scoring attack with 11 points. Anna Tracy added 10 for the Storm (4-2, 1-0) and Delaney Kelleher had 8.Huntley 50, CL Central 32: Sam Andrews had 24 points and 6 rebounds and Ali Anderews added 14 points and 7 rebounds as the Red Raiders (6-1) win this Fox Valley Conference crossover. Huntley led 32-13 at halftime.Johnsburg 48, Dundee-Crown 44: Lauren Lococo and Frankie Cavallaro had 11 points each to lead the Chargers (0-7) in an FVC crossover loss. Emily Michalski added 9 points for Dundee-Crown and Jillian Weichmann had 8.St. Charles East 52, Larkin 21: Quixmia Washington had 9 points to lead Larkin (0-6, 0-1) in the Upstate Eight River.Grayslake North 65, Jacobs 46: Jen Barnec’s 14 points led Jacobs (0-7) in an FVC crossover loss. Victoria Tamburrino had 8 points for the Golden Eagles.Kirkland 45, Harvest Christian 29: Morgan Lockwood and Kylee Knox had 8 points each for Harvest Christian (0-3).Elgin Academy 38, North Shore Country Day 27: Rachel Cain had 16 points and Kaitlyn Pearson added 10 to lead the Hilltoppers (3-3, 1-0) to an Independent School League win.Grayslake Central 45, Cary-Grove 44: Joslyn Nicholson had 22 points and Olivia Jakubicek added 9 but the Trojans (4-3) fell short in an FVC crossover.

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    Curry paces Vernon Hills victory

    Vernon Hills 64, Round Lake 53: Stephen Curry scored a game-high 23 points, including three 3-pointers, as the host Cougars won the North Suburban Prairie Division opener, snapping a three-game losing streak.TJ Flis added a season-high 16 points for Vernon Hills (3-3), and Dylan McNamara also hit his season-best point total, chipping in 12. McNamara and Nate Rathod (8 points) sank three and two 3s, respectively.Junior guard Karnell Wright scored 16 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, to lead Round Lake (0-5).

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    Progress, as Warren works out a win at LZ

    For a team that is supposedly a "work in progress," Warren is working pretty well. Most of the time. First-year coach Ryan Webber knows that change takes time. His system and philosophies are replacing an approach that was in place at Warren for nearly two decades with former head coach Chuck Ramsey. Webber expects mixed results for a while, and on Friday, he got them within the context of a single game. The Blue Devils were tough at times defensively at Lake Zurich, but sometimes their offense didn't look sharp. Yet, despite the inconsistencies, Warren picked up a 47-33 North Suburban Conference Lake Division victory and moved to 4-2 on the season.

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    Lakes’ Jake Kohler pulls in an offensive rebound against Wauconda defender Brandon McFarlin at Lakes on Friday.

    Winning is starting to grow on Kohler, Lakes

    The beard, dirty blond and thick, looked better than the dunk attempt. "I saw NBA players have them," said Jake Kohler, Lakes' rugged, 6-foot-4, 200-pound senior. "LeBron James and James Harden got those crazy ones that are growing out like to their knees. Everyone started telling me to grow mine out. I thought it would be pretty cool to have it for the season and put some intimidation in our opponents." Lakes would settle for the rebounding tenacity of Kohler, Justin Bergeron and Direll Clark growing on the rest of the team. Lakes' work on the boards, especially at the offensive end, helped key the Eagles' 55-38 win over visiting Wauconda in the teams' North Suburban Prairie Division opener Friday night. The 6-4 Bergeron produced a game-high 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, including 6 offensive. He did all of his damage in the first three quarters.

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    North Chicago charges past Grant

    Ryan Noda put forth his best defensive effort for Grant's boys basketball team, taking charges and forcing turnovers several times in the first half on Friday night. But it wasn't close to enough against North Chicago, whose quickness, depth and overall ability were more than Grant could handle in a 92-47 loss in a North Suburban Prairie Division opener in Fox Lake.

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    Geneva slows down Batavia

    With the way Phil Ralston and Jim Nazos stress defense, Geneva's 49-38 win over Batavia Friday could be a sign of the type of grind-it-out games to come as the long-time rivalry enters a new stage under the first-year Bulldog coach.

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    Glenbard N. beats W. Chicago in OT

    Glenbard North entered Friday's DuPage Valley Conference opener at West Chicago having a full roster for the first time this season.

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    Bartlett trips up Elgin

    The youth infusion might have its peaks and valleys at Bartlett, but one thing Hawks' coach Denise Sarna isn't shy about is sending her rookies messages, even if it comes 1 minute and 19 seconds out of the gate in a 51-34 Upstate Eight crossover girls basketball win over Elgin at Chesbrough Fieldhouse Friday night.

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    Palatine’s Carrissa Multon, Marissa Masini and Nia Pappas celebrate their victory over Fremd in the girls varsity basketball game at Fremd High School on Friday.

    Defense serves Palatine

    Palatine accomplished on Friday night what no Mid-Suburban League West girls basketball team had been able to do for more than two seasons. The visiting Pirates notched a win over three-time defending champion Fremd. The Pirates snapped the Vikes' 25-game winning streak in the West with a 37-27 victory highlighted by man-to-man defense which limited the hosts to 1 field goal and 4 free throws in the second half. Senior guard McKenzie Wiedemann (13 points), sophomore center Monica Masini (12 points) and senior guard Nia Pappas (9 points) led the scoring for the Pirates (7-1, 1-0) while the Vikings (5-2, 0-1) were paced by sophomore Haley Gorecki's 11 points and 11 rebounds.

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    Tolentino comes up big for Barrington

    Barrington's Raymond Tolentino wasn't the biggest guy on the court last night at Conant, but he certainly had the game's biggest basket. With 3.6 seconds remaining, after a timeout, the 5-foot-9 guard took an inbounds pass in the frontcourt, turned, and almost surprised to find himself virtually alone, zipped to the hoop for a layin at the buzzer, his 6th and 7th points in a 52-50 Mid-Suburban West-opening victory.

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    Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch scores on a 1-yard run Friday during the third quarter of the Mid-American Conference championship game against Kent State in Detroit.

    Northern Illinois wins MAC in double OT over Kent State

    Jordan Lynch and Northern Illinois won a MAC title game that lived up to the hype. Now the Huskies are lobbying for a chance to play on an even bigger stage. "I hope we get into a BCS game," Lynch said. "We showed the country what we can do tonight, and we play our best game every week." Lynch ran for three touchdowns to lead the Huskies past Kent State 44-37 in double overtime.

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    Hersey guts one out against Meadows

    Usually when a team looks up at the scoreboard at the final buzzer and sees 38,' it is going home with an offensively-challenged loss. But in the Mid-Suburban League, that's not always the case. On Friday night, Hersey (2-3, 1-0) muscled out a 38-32 home win against Rolling Meadows (0-3, 0-1) to open MSL East play. "Gutty is the way I would describe this game," said Hersey coach Steve Messer.

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    Barrington tips Conant in tight West matchup

    Barrington fired the first salvo in its bid to once again win a Mid-Suburban League wrestling championship with a heart-stopping finish in a 34-22 victory over Conant on Friday on the Broncos' home mats. A big senior night crowd saw a little bit of everything from two of the best teams in the conference to keep the advantage to just a scant 2 to 3 points all evening long until Barrington recorded three falls in the latter stages from its big men to slowly pull away.

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    Northern Illinois head coach Dave Doeren, center, holds the Mid-American Conference championship trophy Friday after defeating Kent State 44-37 in double overtime at Ford Field in Detroit.

    Images: Northern Illinois wins the MAC title
    Jordan Lynch ran for three touchdowns, including a 2-yarder in the second overtime, and Demetrius Stone's interception in the end zone gave No. 19 Northern Illinois a 44-37 victory over No. 18 Kent State in a stirring Mid-American Conference championship game Friday night. Northern Illinois (12-1) dominated for much of the night, but the Golden Flashes (11-2) tied it at 34 in the final minute of regulation.

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    Endgame favors Zion-Benton

    It was the best of comebacks for Zion-Benton. It was the most disappointing of finishes for Stevenson. This tale of two shots — the one that fell for the Zee-Bees with eight seconds remaining, and the one that failed to drop for the Patriots in the final second — ended with host Zion-Benton squeezing out a 56-55 win Friday night in the North Suburban Conference Lake Division opener for both teams. And it left Patriots fans trying like the dickens to figure out how it slipped away.

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    Palatine’s Josh Baldus, left, and Fremd’s Ben Carlson battle for the rebound in the first half Friday at Fremd.

    Fremd finds its way to win

    Once Fremd got back on course, there was no stopping the Vikings in their Mid-Suburban West boys basketball opener Friday against Palatine in the second half of a boys-girls doubleheader. The atmosphere was one befitting the crosstown rivalry. Fremd (3-2, 1-0) went on a 13-2 run to close out the first quarter, erasing an 8-3 deficit, and led 16-10 after the first quarter. The lead stayed between 4 and 12 points throughout the rest of the contest, and the Vikings prevailed 48-40. Ben Carlson scored 7 of his team-high 11 points in the first quarter, and Xavier Williams came off the bench to score 5 of his 9 points during that run, including a 3-pointer that got the Vikings going.

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    Carmel pulls away from Huntley

    Carmel's struggles were a matter of time in Friday night's nonconference boys basketball game at Huntley. It took more than six minutes for the Corsairs to score a point and nine to finally make a field goal. They needed more than 16 minutes to reach double-figure points and 32 minutes and 22 seconds to finally take a lead. Once they got the lead they never let it go in a 38-31 victory as they improved to 4-1 and showed why this may be the time to turn around the fortunes of a program which has struggled through 20 consecutive losing seasons.

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    Glenbard South’s Rickette keys MSC victory

    Glenbard South's Chaun Rickette is pretty much on his own with the analysis of his play Friday night. In the Raiders' Metro Suburban Conference opener with visiting Timothy Christian, the sophomore guard described his play as "terrible." But after his team-high 20 points powered the Raiders past the Trojans 61-46 for their first win, no one else would have chosen that adjective to describe him.

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    High note for Lake Forest

    The song blasting all night in the Lake Forest High School gym was "Under Pressure" by David Bowie. It was a theme the entire game as the host Scouts jumped early on Mundelein and never let up, winning the North Suburban Lake opener for both schools 69-61. A couple of statistics were telling to the game's outcome: Mundelein (2-4, 0-1) committed 25 fouls to 15 for Lake Forest. This led to a huge disparity in free throw shooting, as the Scouts made 21-of-31 while the Mustangs shot just 6-of-15.

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    Streamwood’s Deja Moore puts up a shot over St. Charles North’s Natalie Winkates after grabbing an offensive rebound during Friday’s game at Streamwood.

    Streamwood sprints by St. Charles North

    One of the strengths of Streamwood's girls basketball team this season is the ability to score in transition. The Sabres used that asset to its fullest Friday night, scoring 24 points as a direct result of transition in a 51-38 Upstate Eight River win over St. Charles North. "When we rebound we can run and when we run we're really tough," said Streamwood coach George Rosner. "We got some rebounds, we got some tips and steals, and the transition game got us going." Streamwood, which hadn't played in nine days, showed some of that rust at times but after breakiung out to a 7-0 lead, the Sabres (5-1, 1-0) never gave up the advantage.

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    Palatine’s Jordan Jarrett drives for the basket under pressure against Fremd.

    Images: Fremd vs. Palatine, boys basketball
    The Fremd High School Vikings boys basketball team hosted the Palatine High School Pirates Friday, November 30th, in Palatine.

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    At full strength, Prospect tops Wheeling

    Prospect won Friday night's home contest 65-24 against Wheeling thanks to a fantastic team effort, great defense and strong rebounding. The most spectacular stretch was the second quarter, when the Knights outscored the Wildcats 20-0. "It feels good to have our guys back," said Prospect coach John Camardella, noting that guard Devin O'Hara had been out for three weeks recovering from football season. "There was a time a couple weeks ago where we were practicing with nine guys. It felt tonight like we were back in the groove of things."

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    Pair of late goals sink Wolves

    Goaltending took center stage when the Chicago Wolves met the Milwaukee Admirals Friday night, but the Admirals rallied for two goals in the final 1:25 to send the Wolves to a 3-2 loss at the Bradley Center.

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    Grant takes command, wins dual with Warren

    It was a battle of the defending champions when Warren met Grant Friday night in Fox Lake. The defending North Suburban Lake Division champion Blue Devils did build a 14-4 early lead over the Prairie Division champion Bulldogs in a dual meet that started at 145 pounds. But that was the end of the line for Warren as Grant (3-0) rolled off 37 unanswered points with eight straight wins after that point before cruising to an impressive 41-21 divisional crossover victory.

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    Carlson’s putback gives Kaneland 1st win

    When Kaneland guard John Pruett went up under heavy pressure for a desperation 20-foot jump shot with his team trailing 31-30 and just a few seconds remaining in Friday night's conference opener against Morris, there was a good chance he might miss.

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    Palatine’s Carissa Moulton, Marissa Macini Nia Pappas celebrate their victory over Fremd.

    Images: Fremd vs. Palatine, girls basketball
    The Fremd High School Vikings girls basketball team hosted the Palatine High School Pirates Friday, November 30th, in Palatine.

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    Crystal Lake South hangs on against Hampshire

    In the end, Sara Mickow and Crystal Lake South held on. The Gators ran out to a big lead, withstood a spirited Hampshire comeback, then pulled away again for a hard-earned 46-41 victory in a Fox Valley Conference crossover girls basketball game in Hampshire Friday night. Mickow finished with 18 points and 18 rebounds for South.

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    St. Viator finishes off Wheaton Academy

    Wheaton Academy and St. Viator put their 4-0 boys basketball records on the line Friday night at Cahill Gymnasium in Arlington Heights. The Lions' Ore Arogundade, with some help from sophomore forward Jason Timmerhaus, thwarted the Warriors' bid to stay unbeaten by pulling away to a 70-51 nonconference victory.

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    Tim Duncan, left, and Tony Parker were two of four Spurs players who did not play in San Antonio’s game against Miami on Thursday night. They were all sent back to San Antonio by coach Gregg Popovich, who said the move was in his team’s best interest. NBA Commissioner David Stern called the decision “unacceptable,” apologizing to fans.

    Bulls’ Thibodeau not concerned with NBA fining Spurs

    This seems like an issue that will never apply to Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. San Antonio was fined $250,000 by the league for resting four key players during Thursday's game at Miami. Thibodeau did talk about the issue Friday at the Berto Center.

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    DeRozan scores 23 as Raptors top Suns to snap skid

    DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points, Amir Johnson added 16, and the Toronto Raptors beat the Phoenix Suns 101-97 to snap a six-game losing streak on Friday night.

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    Boston Celtics guard Jason Terry looks to shot against Portland Trail Blazers center Meyers Leonard Friday during the first quarter in Boston.

    Celtics cruise without Rondo, top Blazers 96-78

    Jeff Green scored 19 points, Jason Terry added 17 and the Boston Celtics cruised to a comfortable win without Rajon Rondo, topping the Portland Trail Blazers 96-78 on Friday night.

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    Knicks beat Wizards for 10th straight time

    Carmelo Anthony and JR Smith each scored 20 points, and the New York Knicks beat the Washington Wizards for the 10th straight time, 108-87 on Friday night.

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    Benson, Prospect clamp down on Wheeling

    Prospect forward Trisha Benson had a good night on the stat sheet Friday against visiting Wheeling, as evidenced by her 6 points and 6 rebounds. But it was more on the defensive end of the court — as usual — that the junior made her presence felt in a 62-39 Knights Mid-Suburban East victory.

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    Palatine, Hoffman Estates earn dual wins

    Palatine started its boys swimming season on a winning note in a 124-59 victory over visiting Rolling Meadows on Friday. Christian Kalfas won the 50-meter freestyle (26.81), the 100 free (59.20) and had a leg on Palatine's winning 200 medley relay.

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    Minnesota Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea, right, tries to drive around Milwaukee Bucks’ Brandon Jennings Friday during the first half in Minneapolis.

    Shved, Love lead Wolves over Bucks 95-85

    Alexey Shved scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and Kevin Love overcame a nasty stomach bug to collect 15 points and 14 rebounds in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 95-85 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.

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    Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook releases a shot over Utah Jazz guard Mo Williams Friday during the second quarter in Oklahoma City.

    Thunder hold off Jazz 104-96, sweep homestand

    Kevin Durant scored 25 points, Russell Westbrook made a two-pronged bid for his sixth career triple-double and the Oklahoma City Thunder finished off an impressive homestand by beating the Utah Jazz 106-94 on Friday night.

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    The Philadelphia 76ers’ Evan Turner drives past the Charlotte Bobcats’ Bismack Biyombo Friday during the second half in Charlotte, N.C. Philadelphia won 104-98.

    Turner scores 25 as 76ers over Bobcats 104-98

    Evan Turner scored 25 points, Jason Richardson hit four 3-pointers down the stretch and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Charlotte Bobcats 104-98 on Friday night for their third consecutive victory.

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    Nets topple Magic 98-86

    Joe Johnson had 22 points and the Brooklyn Nets earned their fifth straight victory, holding off the Orlando Magic 98-86 on Friday night. Gerald Wallace added 20 points, including five 3-pointers, as all five Nets starters reached double figures. They beat the Magic for the third time this season and wrap up their five-game road trip in Miami on Saturday.

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    Wauconda’s Kodey Thomas tries to turn the corner against Lakes defender Jake Kohler .

    Images: Wauconda vs. Lakes boys basketball
    The Lakes Eagles hosted the Wauconda Bulldogs for boys basketball action on Friday, Nov. 30 in Lake Villa.

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    Jason Richardson

    Sixers return to United Center

    Philadelphia visits the United Center on Saturday. It will be the first time the Bulls see the Sixers since the bitter ending in Game 6 of last season's first-round playoff series.

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    The Cubs declined to offer third baseman Ian Stewart a contract. The 27-year-old hit .201 with 5 homers in 55 games before going down in June with a left-wrist injury that required surgery in July.

    Cubs let third baseman Stewart become a free agent

    Third baseman Ian Stewart, who suffered through an injury-plagued and disappointing 2012 season, was the most prominent player not tendered a contract by the Cubs Friday. Those tendered contracts included pitchers Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija and James Russell and third baseman Luis Valbuena.

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    Starting pitcher Phil Humber, shown here after his perfect game against the Seattle Mariners, has been claimed by the Houston Astros. The White Sox declined to tender him a contract after Humber went 5-5 with a 6.44 ERA last season.

    Astros claim Sox pitcher Humber off waivers

    Phil Humber's up-and-down run with the White Sox ended Friday when he was claimed off waivers by the Houston Astros. The Sox also nontendered infielder Dan Johnson.

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    Streamwood’s Hannah McGlone gets a shot off under pressure from St. Charles North’s Alex Silverman in her face.

    Images: St. Charles North vs. Streamwood girls basketball
    St. Charles North visited Streamwood in a girls basketball matchup Friday night in Streamwood.

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    Field is set at McDonald’s Shootout

    A rematch between three-time defending Class 3A champion Montini and 2011-12 Class 4A champ Whitney Young headlines the lineup for the 23rd annual McDonald's Shootout announced today. The event is set for Jan. 18-21 at Willowbrook High School. Eight teams from DuPage County will be in action over the three-day event, including host Willowbrook. Whitney Young, which features Kentucky recruit Linnae Harper, will wrap up play against Montini on Jan. 21. Young beat Montini in last year's event.

  •  
    Batavia’s Erin Bayram and Hannah Frazier keep Geneva’s Kelly Gordon from getting a clean shot.

    Images: Batavia vs. Geneva girls basketball
    Batavia visited Geneva in a girls basketball matchup Friday night in Geneva.

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    Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch scrambles Friday during the first quarter of the Mid-American Conference championship against Kent State in Detroit.

    Huskies’ Lynch sets record for rushing by QB

    Jordan Lynch of Northern Illinois has set a single-season record for yards rushing by a quarterback. Lynch broke the major college mark set by Michigan's Denard Robinson in 2010.

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    A person familiar with the situation says the substance that caused Manny Ramirez to test positive for a banned substance last year was testosterone. The administrator of baseball’s drug program issued his annual report Friday. The document lists the substances that resulted in seven positive tests for performance-enhancing drugs that led to discipline.

    AP Source: Manny Ramirez positive test for testosterone

    The substance that caused Manny Ramirez to test positive for a banned substance last year was testosterone, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The administrator of baseball's drug program issued his annual report on Friday.

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    Barry Bonds, baseball’s all-time home run king, and Roger Clemens, its most decorated pitcher, likely will be shut out of the Hall of Fame when the vote is announced in January. An AP survey shows that Bonds and Clemens, as well as Sammy Sosa, don’t have enough votes to get into Cooperstown.

    AP survey: Bonds, Clemens likely miss in Hall vote

    Baseball's all-time home run king and the most decorated pitcher likely will be shut out of the Hall of Fame in January. A survey by The Associated Press shows that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, as well as slugger Sammy Sosa, don't have enough votes to get into Cooperstown. The trio failed to muster even 50 percent support among the 112 voters contacted by the AP — nearly one-fifth of those eligible to choose.

  •  
    Seattle Seahawks kick returner Leon Washington takes pride in owning a share of the NFL record for most career kickoff returns for a touchdown. No disrespect to Josh Cribbs, but Washington wants to own the record by himself.

    Seattle’s Leon Washington wants kickoff return record

    RENTON, Wash. — Leon Washington takes pride in owning a share of the NFL record for most career kickoff returns for a touchdown, especially considering the devastating broken leg he had to overcome before he could get there. No disrespect to Cleveland’s Josh Cribbs, but Washington wants to own the record himself. “That’s my goal. And to get it by a few so nobody can catch me,” Washington said. Washington pulled even with Cribbs last week when the Seahawks return specialist busted free for a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of Seattle’s 24-21 loss to Miami. It was his first kickoff return for a touchdown in nearly two calendar years since he took three back for touchdowns in his first season with the Seahawks in 2010. But that was before kickoffs were moved up to the 35-yard line and returns became less common. How much so? In the 2010 season, when Washington took two kickoffs back for touchdowns against San Diego and one later in the season against San Francisco, he had 57 total kickoff returns, the most of his career. Last year, that number dipped to 43. Through 11 games this season, Washington has brought the ball out of the end zone just 18 times. Yet for most of the season, Washington and Seattle special teams coach Brian Schneider have felt the return game was on the verge of a breakthrough. They just would have preferred it was part of a Seattle victory. “During the bye week we did a tremendous job of identifying what we do best and getting back to that,” Washington said. “ ... You look at the play, you get a hole that big something has to be happening right. It was good to see us go out and execute.”Despite his limited number of chances, Washington is third in the NFL, averaging 31.9 yards per kick return, which if it continues would be the highest return average of his career. He’s never topped the 27.5 he averaged in his second season with the New York Jets and the success this season could be another sign that Washington is fully back from the broken leg he suffered in 2009. Washington still remains grateful to Seattle coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider for making the trade that brought him to Seattle during the 2010 draft and gave him a second chance after his injury.“It’s special in the sense that seeing where I came from, four touchdowns with the Jets, four touchdowns with the Seahawks coming after a devastating broken leg. So it just goes to show the fortitude that you have to have to come back from that and also the opportunity that you have to have,” he said. “What Pete Carroll and John Schneider (did) trading to bring me over here and give me an opportunity was huge.” The Seahawks go to Chicago this week, but there won’t be a matchup of two of the most dynamic kick returners in football — Washington and the Bears’ Devin Hester — because Hester is out with a concussion. Washington, though, understands how important special teams could be in a game that’s of huge importance to both teams. Seattle is trying to hold on to the final wild card spot in the NFC, while the Bears are just one game ahead of Green Bay in the NFC Central. “That’s what it’s going to come down to, who can win the field position battle, who can give their offense better room to work with and who can give their defense a better field to work with,” Washington said. “Having a big special teams play could be huge for both sides.”

  •  
    Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson has thrown for 2,051 yards with 17 TD passes and 8 interceptions in 11 games.

    Seahawks rookie QB Wilson standing tall

    Seahawks third-round rookie quarterback Russell Wilson has exceeded expectations while leading his team to a 6-5 record and, although he's played better at home, the Bears are impressed with the overall play of the 5-foot-11 Wisconsin product.

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    Big Ten title game organizers expect empty seats

    Wisconsin and No. 14 Nebraska likely will play Saturday night's Big Ten title game in front of at least a few empty seats. A little more than 24 hours before kickoff, thousands of tickets remained unsold and local organizers and Big Ten officials were already saying they didn't anticipate selling all of them.

  •  
    San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich watches from the sideline Thursday during the second half against the Miami Heat in Miami. The NBA fined the Spurs $250,000 on Friday for sending four players home Thursday before their game against the Heat.

    NBA fines Spurs $250,000 for sending starters home

    The NBA fined the San Antonio Spurs $250,000 on Friday for sending four players home Thursday before their game Thursday night in Miami.Commissioner David Stern said in a statement that the Spurs “did a disservice to the league and our fans” when they didn’t bring Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili or Danny Green to Miami for the final game of their six-game road trip.“The result here is dictated by the totality of the facts in this case,” Stern said. “The Spurs decided to make four of their top players unavailable for an early-season game that was the team’s only regular-season visit to Miami. The team also did this without informing the Heat, the media, or the league office in a timely way.”Teams are required to report as soon as they know a player will not travel because of injury. The league’s statement said the Spurs were in violation of league policy reviewed with the board of governors in April 2010 against resting players in a manner “contrary to the best interests of the NBA.”After that meeting, Stern said owners had discussed the issue of sitting healthy players but that there was “no conclusion reached, other than a number of teams thought it should be at the sole discretion of the team, the coach, the general manager, and I think it’s fair to say I agree with that, unless that discretion is abused.”The Heat rallied late to beat the Spurs 105-100.

  •  
    Illinois coach John Groce gestures as Illinois’ Tyler Griffey scrambles for a ball with West Chester’s Tim Flecken during an exhibition game at Assembly Hall. The No. 22 Illini are off to an 8-0 start.

    Illinois off to hot start no one saw coming

    Last weekend, Illinois' surprising unbeaten start was 4.4 seconds away from running head-on into a wall. A season ago, Illinois probably would have cracked under that pressure. That team — essentially the same group of players — lost 12 of its last 14, missed the NCAA tournament and saw its coach fired. Not this time.

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    San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has the support of his head coach, Jim Harbaugh, but Mike North believes Alex Smith should start for the Niners.

    Harbaugh making a big mistake not playing Smith

    Mike North thinks San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh has been on a roll, but questions his decision to not start Alex Smith. North doesn't believe Colin Kaepernick can get them to the NFC championship game.

  •  
    This week’s edition of Sports Illustrated includes a photo of an AHL hockey game taken by Chicago Wolves team photographer Rich Dettman, who captured a dramatic shot of a puck flying straight at the camera. If you want to see the puck, pick up the cover with Andrew Luck. Got it?

    United they (don’t) stand in track brouhaha

    Fines, hirings, big feet and a little bit of hockey. All that and more in this week's Spellman's Scorecard.

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    The Atlanta Falcons moved to the brink of clinching a division championship. Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints wound up with egg on their faces. After racing to a 17-0 lead, the Falcons turned to their defense to make it stand up, picking off five of Brees' passes and ending his NFL-record touchdown streak in a 23-13 victory over the Saints on Thursday night.

    Falcons pick off Brees 5 times, beat Saints 23-13

    The Atlanta Falcons moved to the brink of clinching a division championship. Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints wound up with egg on their faces. After racing to a 17-0 lead, the Falcons turned to their defense to make it stand up, picking off five of Brees' passes and ending his NFL-record touchdown streak in a 23-13 victory over the Saints on Thursday night.

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    Louisville running back Jeremy Wright (28) dives over Rutgers defenders for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Piscataway, N.J., Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. Louisville won 20-17. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    Bridgewater leads Louisville to BCS

    Teddy Bridgewater came off the bench to throw two-second half touchdown passes, and John Wallace kicked a 29-yard field goal with 1:41 left to give Louisville a 20-17 victory against Rutgers on Thursday night in what was essentially the Big East championship game.

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    Rivera, Yanks agree to $10 million deal

    Mariano Rivera and the New York Yankees agreed Thursday to a $10 million, one-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

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    Notre Dame linebacker Manti Teo holds a sportsmanship award he received from the Awards and Recognition Association, Thursday Nov. 29, 2012, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

    Te’o not thinking about Heisman

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o says if he wins the Heisman Trophy it would be a victory for all defensive players.“It would definitely be a great step for all of us,” he said.Te’o would become just the second defensive player to capture the award, joining Michigan’s cornerback Charles Woodson, who won in 1997. But Woodson also played some at wide receiver and returned punts. Te’o would be the first player who played defense only to win the award and the eighth Notre Dame player to win.While being a defensive player makes winning the award a challenge, Te’o is the face of a defense that for much of the season carried the top-ranked Fighting Irish (12-0) and has Notre Dame on the brink of its first national championship since 1988.He also has been the team’s inspirational leader. Te’o had one of his best games of the season against Michigan State, just days after his girlfriend and grandmother died hours apart. He had 12 tackles, one for a loss, and broke up two passes in the win against Michigan State. A week later, on the day his girlfriend was buried, he had eight tackles and two interceptions against Michigan in a 13-6 win.He finished the regular season with 103 tackles and 7 interceptions — a school record for a linebacker. He said winning the Heisman would be an honor for his teammates as well.“Without my team, I wouldn’t be a Heisman candidate. If we weren’t 12-0, I wouldn’t be a Heisman candidate,” he said. He said he hasn’t spent much time thinking about the Heisman, though, saying his focus this week has been on resting and thinking about his remaining time at Notre Dame before he graduates next month.“All I’m thinking about is the time I have left here at school with my peers and my classmates. I’ll be gone all next week so today was my last week of school. It was just hard for me to know it’s come to an end, a beautiful end.”Te’o said this season is proof that God answers prayers.“If he didn’t answer prayers I wouldn’t be here,” he said. “I wouldn’t have came here. I definitely wouldn’t have come back for my senior year. I wouldn’t have done a lot of things I’ve done in the past. Because I pray and because he does answer prayers is the reason I’m standing here today.”Te’o was speaking at a news conference Thursday where he was presented with the Awards and Recognition Association’s Sportsmanship Award. He will be traveling the nation next week for various award shows. He is a finalist for the Maxwell (best all-around player), Bednarik (defensive player of the year), Butkus (top linebacker) and Lott (defensive player having the biggest impact) awards. Te’o said he has no idea what his schedule next week looks like.“I just go where I’m told,” he said.Te’o said he’ll watch the SEC championship game between No. 3 Georgia and No. 2 Alabama that will decide who will be Notre Dame’s opponent in the BCS title game, but won’t be rooting for either team. He said he’s just excited to see who the Irish will play.“I’ll enjoy it as a fan and as a future opponent,” Te’o said. “Just watching them and how they work and tendencies. My main thing is finding out who we’re going to play.”

Business

  •  
    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., far right, joined by the House Democratic leadership, meets with reporters Thursday just after discussions with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on the fiscal cliff negotiations.

    Some in Congress don’t fear the fiscal cliff

    A small and potentially influential group of lawmakers in both parties is emerging as fiscal-cliff skeptics, willing — and some even arguing — to take the dive. Their attitude may make striking a compromise a messy and drawn-out process.

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    President Barack Obama waves after speaking Friday at the Rodon Group, which manufactures over 95% of the parts for K’NEX Brands toys, in Hatfield, Pa. The visit comes as the White House continues a week of public outreach efforts, while also attempting to negotiate a deal with congressional leaders.

    Obama takes his fiscal plan on the road

    Presient Obama spoke at the Rodon Group manufacturing facility Friday, showcasing the company as an example of a business that depends on middle-class consumers during the holiday season. The company manufactures parts for K'NEX Brands, a construction toy company whose products include Tinkertoy, K'NEX Building Sets and Angry Birds Building Sets.

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    Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Uncertainty over whether U.S. leaders can resolve a critical budget deadlock and figures showing the eurozone’s unemployment rate at a record high capped any gains to be made in the markets Friday.

    Stocks little changed for week as investors wait on budget

    The main driver for markets this week has been the talks between the White House and Congress over the "fiscal cliff," a series of sharp government spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to start Jan. 1 unless an agreement is reached to cut the budget deficit. Economists say that those measures, if implemented, could push the U.S. economy back into a recession.

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    The proposed Water Street development in downtown Naperville has undergone several changes in response to concerns raised by some residents and council members.

    New look for Water Street plans in Naperville

    A proposed development that could change the face of downtown Naperville is undergoing some changes itself before its next date with the city council. "The single biggest change is the elimination of the apartment use," said Jeff Prosapio, director of the Marquette Companies. "It allowed us to accommodate the major issues that were being raised by the council."

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    Glen Ellyn frozen yogurt shop to hold grand opening
    Glen Ellyn's first self-serve frozen yogurt shop is opening and hosting a grand opening Saturday.

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    Americans cut back on spending in October and saw no growth in their income, reflecting disruptions from Superstorm Sandy. On Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, the Commerce Department said consumer spending dropped 0.2 percent in October. That’s down from an increase of 0.8 percent in September and the weakest showing since May. Income was flat in the month following a 0.4 percent rise in September.

    Sandy slowed U.S. consumer spending and pay in Oct.

    Americans cut back on spending last month while their income remained flat. The weakness in part reflected disruptions from Superstorm Sandy that could slow economic growth for the rest of the year. Work interruptions caused by the storm reduced wages and salaries in October by about $18 billion at an annual rate, the government said. The storm affected 24 states, with the most severe damage in New York and New Jersey.

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    Light bulb maker Osram cutting 4,700 jobs

    German industrial conglomerate Siemens AG's light bulb unit, Osram, says it is cutting 4,700 additional jobs in its drive to save costs and phase out older technologies.

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    J&J board picks CEO to replace retiring chairman

    Johnson & Johnson Chairman Bill Weldon will step down from that post in late December and the world's biggest maker of health products has picked new CEO Alex Gorsky to replace him.

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    Labor talks are resuming in an effort to end a strike that shut down most of the terminals at the nation’s busiest port complex, the Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors, officials say.

    Talk resuming in LA-Long Beach harbors strike

    Labor talks are resuming in an effort to end a strike that shut down most of the terminals at the nation's busiest port complex, the Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors, officials say. A strike launched by 70 clerical workers on Monday led to a massive backup on Thursday, after the strike expanded to shutter seven of eight Los Angeles terminals and three of six Long Beach terminals. Dockworkers from their union refused to cross their picket line.

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    World stocks edge up as US budget talks continue

    World stock markets eked out only marginal gains Friday as an immediate agreement among U.S. leaders to resolve a critical budget deadlock appeared unlikely.Britain's FTSE 100 was marginally higher at 5,871.62 Germany's DAX rose 0.1 percent to 7,411.37. France's CAC-40 gained 0.1 percent to 3,572.42.

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    Eurozone unemployment hits another record high

    Another month, another record unemployment rate for the economy of the 17 EU countries that use the euro.Figures released Friday from Eurostat, the European Union's statistics office, showed that the recession in the eurozone pushed unemployment in the region up to 11.7 percent in October.

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    Tajikistan blocks U.S.-funded news website

    Tajikistan has blocked a popular U.S.-funded news website, only days after barring access to social networking site Facebook for featuring content allegedly insulting to the Central Asian nation's president.

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    Oil pumps work in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain.

    Oil falls as traders and investors take profits

    Oil prices fell Friday after traders who believe crude prices may be too high unloaded their investments to lock in gains.

  •  
    Larry Boutilier, hardware manager, who has been with the Minot, N.D. Menards since 1996, looks over paperwork at the storey in Thursday. The home improvement retailer says it will hire workers from its home base in Wisconsin and fly them to North Dakota to staff a store in Minot, which is near the state’s booming oil patch and has more jobs than takers.

    Menard to fly Wis. workers in to staff ND store

    Home improvement retailer Menard Inc. says it will hire workers from its home base in Wisconsin and fly them to North Dakota to staff a store in Minot, which is near the state's booming oil patch and has more jobs than takers. The company said in a statement that it plans to hire 50 workers in Eau Claire, Wis., where it has its headquarters, and fly them weekly to Minot, which is also in the middle of an unprecedented building boom as it recovers from record flooding last year.

  •  
    Vending machine operators have long championed the use of $1 coins because they don’t jam the machines, cutting down on repair costs and lost sales. But most people don’t seem to like carrying them. In the past five years, the U.S. Mint has produced 2.4 billion Presidential $1 coins. Most are stored by the Federal Reserve, and production was suspended about a year ago.

    Congress looks at doing away with the $1 bill

    American consumers have shown about as much appetite for the $1 coin as kids do their spinach. They may not know what's best for them either. Congressional auditors say doing away with dollar bills entirely and replacing them with dollar coins could save taxpayers some $4.4 billion over the next 30 years.Vending machine operators have long championed the use of $1 coins because they don't jam the machines, cutting down on repair costs and lost sales.

  •  
    Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores’ fiscal third-quarter net income rose 29 percent as sales of appliances, mattresses and clothing climbed.

    Sears Hometown and Outlet 3Q net income rises

    Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores' fiscal third-quarter net income rose 29 percent as sales of appliances, mattresses and clothing climbed.The company, which was recently spun off from Sears Holdings Corp., earned $8.8 million, or 38 cents per share, for the period ended Oct. 27. That's up from $6.8 million, or 29 cents per share, a year earlier.Revenue increased 3 percent to $556.9 million from $539 million.

  •  
    Bangladeshi garment workers shout slogans as they participate in a protest to mourn the death of the victims of a fire in a garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

    Shoppers’ habits not changed by garment plant fire

    Before purchasing a shirt, shoppers will run their hands over the fabric, look at the price tag and wonder how it will hold up in the washing machine. Some might even ask if it makes them look fat. The one detail, however, that is rarely considered: What are the conditions like for the workers making the shirt?

Life & Entertainment

  •  

    Volunteer with the family
    These volunteer organizations welcome families who want to volunteer together.

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    It’s often a family affair at the various locations for Feed My Starving Children, which sends pre-packed meals to hungry children across the globe. Here at the Schaumburg location, home school mother Layna Owens of Elgin packs food with her daughter, Joah Owens, along with the Fox Valley Home Schoolers.

    Volunteering boosts family togetherness

    Need an antidote to hectic schedules that keep families from being close? Volunteer together. The simple act of doing a good thing for others gives parents and their children quality time together. Many not-for-profits offer opportunities for families to help out.

  •  
    "Dr Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical" runs through Dec. 16 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre.

    Musical ‘Grinch’ posed to become a holiday tradition

    "You write very good Seuss." The doctor himself — Theodor Geisel — reportedly offered that compliment to writer/lyricist Timothy Mason. Thus began the collaboration that led to "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical," said Matt August, director of the 2006 Broadway premiere and touring productions, including the Broadway in Chicago show opening Wednesday at the Cadillac Palace Theatre.

  •  
    Seth MacFarlane

    Seth MacFarlane surprises film students with Oscar contest

    Oscar host Seth MacFarlane is inviting college students to join him on stage at the Academy Awards. The "Family Guy" creator made a surprise appearance at UCLA to announce a contest sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and mtvU that will allow winning college students to appear on the Feb. 24 Oscar telecast.

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    Chuck Norris and pals amp up the action in “The Expendables 2.”

    ‘Expendables 2’ explodes on DVD

    Viewers know what they're in for when the most famous action stars of the 1980s — including Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris and Arnold Schwarzenegger — all team up in the same film. You expect aventure and great special effects rather than stellar acting and writing, and the "Expendables 2" delivers. It's now on DVD.

  •  
    DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg will accept their Oscar statuettes at the 4th annual Governors Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors at a private ceremony Saturday.

    Stuntman, documentarian among early Oscar honorees

    The honorary Oscar winners at the 4th annual Governors Awards include a stuntman who broke 56 bones during his performing career, a documentarian who has made movies for six decades, the founder of the American Film Institute and a philanthropist who has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for arts, education and health-related causes.

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    Moose Toys Fortune Cookie Maker.

    Good Housekeeping picks top toys for holidays

    Not all the testers for Good Housekeeping’s annual Best Toys list wear lab coats. Some are barely out of diapers. For its 2012 list, engineers reviewed hundreds of toys for safety and educational merits. But the true test comes from 140 kids, ages 3 to 13, who play with the top 135 new toys at the magazine’s product-testing laboratory in New York.

  •  
    Gabriel Aubry and Halle Berry have settled court issues that arose after a Thanksgiving Day fight at the actress’ home.

    Attorneys say Halle Berry, ex settle dispute

    Attorneys for Halle Berry and her ex-boyfriend have settled court issues that arose after a Thanksgiving Day fight at the actress' home. The fisticuffs involved Berry's ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry and her fiance, actor Olivier Martinez. Aubry was arrested after the fight, which left him with a black eye, a broken rib and other injuries.

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    Owner Mac Rietz of Tower Lakes welcomes patrons to his new club, Mac's on Slade in Palatine.

    Musician hits the right notes with new Palatine club

    Mac's on Slade is new bar in Palatine with a familiar face on the door. Mac Rietz, a favorite bartender from the now-razed The Office, opened his eponymous place in September. A musician in his own rights, Rietz welcomes local bands to set up Thursday, Friday and Saturday. A come-as-you-are vibe and good food have been attracting quite a crowd to this downtown spot.

  •  
    Brad Pitt’s current movie, “Killing Them Softly,” probably wouldn’t exist if not for Pitt.

    Nearing 50, a heightened perspective for Pitt

    The face is hardly wrinkled and the long blond locks appear unchanged, but Brad Pitt, who will turn 49 in December and who stars in "Killing Them Softly," out Friday, is increasingly preoccupied with the passage of time and the thought that his rarefied place in movies is fleeting. Pitt says he's now working as if an expiration date lurks. "I'm definitely past halfway," Pitt says. "I think about it very much as a father."

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    Theater events: Paramount sings ‘Happy Holidays’

    Paramount Theatre celebrates the holidays Broadway style with “Happy Holidays Broadway Style ... A Musical Revue” while About Face Theatre sends up a longtime star in the satiric "We Three Lizas" this week in Chicago-area theater.

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    “A Christmas Carol” runs through Dec. 29 at Goodman Theatre in Chicago.

    Classic ‘Christmas Carol’ anchors eclectic holiday theater offerings

    Considering the abundance of seasonal shows occupying suburban and Chicago stages this time of year, it's difficult to imagine a time when local theaters spent the holidays hibernating. That changed 35 years ago when Chicago's Goodman Theatre debuted "A Christmas Carol." Now that beloved production is joined by a host of others in the city and suburbs.

  •  
    “The Black Box” by Michael Connelly

    Harry Bosch returns in stellar ‘Black Box’

    Michael Connelly has been writing books featuring Los Angeles police Detective Harry Bosch for 20 years, and his 25th novel, "The Black Box," continues his streak of telling stellar crime stories. This time, the case holds a personal connection to Bosch. In 1992, during the L.A. riots, a woman's body was found shot in a dark alley. Was her murder related to the riots? Bosch never had a chance to find out, but he has time now.

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    How to deal with a neighbor’s messy yard

    Homeowners and sellers can pursue several strategies to get a neighbor to clean up a yard that has become an eyesore. One is to offer to pay for yard work. It may cost several hundred dollars, but raise your selling price by thousands.

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    Why are municipal building inspections not enough?

    Q. Your articles often recommend that home inspectors be hired to inspect new homes. If a home has just been inspected and approved by the building department, what's the point of hiring a private home inspector?

  •  

    What’s new on stage
    Among the holiday shows opening this week are National Pastime's "Hannukatz the Musical!" Commedia Beauregard's "A Klingon Christmas Carol" and "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical" along with Chicago Shakespeare Theater's "The School for Lies" inspired by Moliere's "The Misanthrope."

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    Bravo’s “Shahs of Sunset” follows a group of young Iranian-Americans living in L.A. Featured are Mercedes “MJ” Javid, left, Mike Shouhed, Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi, Asa Soltan Rahmati, Reza Farahan and new cast member Lilly Ghalichi.

    Bravo’s ‘Shahs of Sunset’ returns for season two

    Last season, Bravo viewers were introduced to a group of young Iranian-Americans — or Persians — in Los Angeles, men and women, Muslim and Jewish, straight and gay. On Sunday, Dec. 2, “Shahs of Sunset” is back for Season 2. “It’s going to be insane," says cast member Mike Shouhed. "People are going to love it.”

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    There are about 200 houses in the Hampshire Prairie neighborhood in Hampshire. Many have views of farm fields that border town.

    Hampshire Prairie offers small town atmosphere

    Residents of Hampshire Prairie hear sounds of country life from their neat, tree-lined subdivision in Hampshire. Michelle and Scott Johnston moved to the subdivision 11 years ago from an older part of town. "We hear roosters crowing and can still see a farm and corn field out back," Michelle Johnston said.

  •  

    Here are some tips for squeezing extra storage out of your home

    Most people would say they need more storage in their homes. Of course, sometimes just cleaning and editing items can give you more space. But many times, you could use even more space. Here are some semi-easy ways to create more space without having a garage sale.

Discuss

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    Editorial: The case against municipal primaries

    Primary elections for some municipal races are costly and winnow out relatively few candidates before the April 9 general election. It's time to get rid of the municipal primaries, a Daily Herald editorial says.

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    Who’s depressed now?

    Columnist Susan Estrich: Republican Party leaders are in one of the hastiest retreats I've seen since the 1980s. Is this the party that for the past four years has been insisting that all Americans — and not just those making less than $250,000 — deserve tax cuts lest economic growth be stymied?

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    A cliff of their own choosing

    Columnist George Will: Given liberals' fixation with the affluent paying their "fair share," it might seem peculiar that they are so vehemently against Paul Ryan's "premium support" proposal for Medicare. Their recoil is, however, essential to the liberal project.

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    It’s un-Christian to discriminate
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: I respect Mr. Finnegan's right to express his opinion and actually support his right to exhibit his beautiful Nativity set. I would, however, like him to ponder the following: How does it feel to have your rights violated?

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    It’s Congress’ job to compose bills
    A Hoffman Estates letter to the editor: The arrogance of the GOP is mind boggling. The president does not compose bills that the Republican Congress then passes. These legislators need to get off their rear ends and work with the rest of Congress to compose a bill that the president will sign!

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    License proposal good for all drivers
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: I urge members of the Illinois General Assembly and Secretary of State Jesse White to demonstrate leadership and courage and support Highway Safety and Mandatory Insurance for all in Illinois.

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    Teachers, don’t extort us
    A Pingree Grove letter to the editor: Bite the bullet, District 300 teachers. Share the sacrifice like everyone else. You may be special, but isn't everyone? The economy will recover any day now. When that happens we'll all be millionaires and can afford to pay you whatever you want. Until that time, please stop trying to extort the taxpayers.

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    Modernize Sleepy Hollow Road
    A Sleepy Hollow letter to the editor: I would argue that for the benefit of those in the community, the village should update the road to modern standards, including a bike lane to better facilitate those individuals in the community.

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    U-46 should have school uniforms
    An Elgin letter to the editor: Kids in school are dressing inappropriately. Schools should require students to wear uniforms in District U-46. This would save parents money by not having to by new clothes every year. It would help prevent the students from wearing gang colors.

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    At least we’ll still have Fox News
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: As a result of the declared re-election of BHO, the one positive take-away will be the continued top-rated success of the Fox News Channel and its exposure of the lies, arrogance and hypocrisy of the Anointed One and his minions, including the lap dogs in the Lame Stream Media.

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    Obama should read up on Gandhi
    Obama should read up on GandhiThese words came from the master of peace, Mahatma Gandhi’s, own mouth: “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.” Long story short, Gandhi saw firsthand the horror defenseless unarmed people invariably suffer. One can simply Google “Mahatma Gandi on gun control” (or similar) to do one’s own verification of this quote. Perhaps the Obama administration ought to take Gandhi’s suggestion at face value, or — barring that — at least come clean re. their Fast & Furious shenanigans (and exactly why was “executive privilege” invoked by Obama on this issue again? You know, from the “most transparent administration ever” and all that jazz?) that are a not-so-veiled attempt at discrediting 2nd Amendment supporters. JR VanneAurora

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    Stop spending for attacks on Palestine
    A Glendale Heights letter to the editor: Our government must stop sending our tax dollars to support Israeli terrorism against the 1.7 million civilians in Gaza. This is outrageous, unbelievable, immoral, heartless, unjustified state sponsored terror against an weaponless civilian population.

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    Some questions for retired teachers
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: Talking with retired teachers, even those who believe that Illinois needs to get its budget in order, they all say, "Don't touch my pension," In fact, don't touch anybody's pension — it might affect me. Most won't even consider giving up their 3 percent annual COLA.

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