Daily Archive : Tuesday December 4, 2012


    Holiday decorations at Dodson Place in downtown Geneva are always top-notch.

    Red Gate bridge to open Saturday

    Dave Heun discusses the Red Gate Bridge opening on Saturday in St. Charles. And speaking of St. Charles, Alec Baldwin was in town recently, and he really liked Kimmer's Ice Cream. Got any ideas about good restaurants for Christmas Eve dinner? Let Dave know!

    Zachary Bingham, 18, of Maple Park was killed Saturday in Campton Hills when a woman fleeing police in a stolen car hit him head on.

    Dawn Patrol: Dist. 300 to strike; West Chicago District 33 at impasse

    District 300 begins strike; Kaneland graduate remembered as caring, reliable friend; District 33 declares impasse; Huntley motorcyclist killed in crash; Gurnee police warn of car burglaries; Spa workers charged in prostitution; Deshaies joins Cubs broadcast team


    4 candidates interested in Arlington Heights library board

    There will be two open seats on the Arlington Heights Memorial Library board for the April 9 consolidated municipal election and four candidates have already picked up nominating packets.


    Lake County man pleads guilty to not reporting friend missing on Gages Lake

    A Lake County man pleaded guilty Tuesday to failing to report that a friend had disappeared and was later found drowned in Gages Lake while swimming in June. Eric Oomens, 46, of unincorporated Lake County near Grayslake, pleaded guilty to a single count of attempted obstruction of justice in front of Lake County Judge Raymond Collins.

    Joe McMahon

    14 arrested in pre-Thanksgiving DUI crackdown in Kane County

    The first "No Refusal" event held in Kane County on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving netted 14 DUI arrests and had a record number of agencies, 17, participating. State's Attorney Joe McMahon said one person refused a chemical test even after a warrant was issued and was charged with felony obstruction of justice.

    Elaine Nekritz

    Support builds for shifting costs to schools in new pension plan

    A new pension cost-cutting proposal to be unveiled Wednesday includes tentative backing from two suburban Republicans for the idea of having local school districts pay more for teachers' retirement benefits. The new plan from state Rep. Elaine Nekritz, a Northbrook Democrat, would require local school districts to begin picking up the state's share of teacher pension costs, an idea suburban...

    Lauren Brown

    Barrington Chamber of Commerce mourns death of marketing director

    Staff members at the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce are mourning the loss of their young marketing and communications director, Lauren Brown. Brown passed away Nov. 30 after a valiant fight against ovarian cancer. She was 29. "There's a hole in our hearts — and in this office," said Janet Meyer, chamber president and CEO.


    Family sues after Arlington Hts. woman infested by maggots at nursing home

    The family of an Arlington Heights woman is suing her former nursing home after doctors found and removed 57 maggots from her ear earlier this fall, lawyers said Tuesday. the suit seeks at least $50,000 in damages from the Lutheran Home for the Aged in Arlington Heights.

    As the assistant superintendent of the then Illinois Training School for Boys at St. Charles in 1963, Samuel Sublett Jr. once found himself staring down the barrel of a shotgun wielded by an escaped juvenile inmate. He survived the encounter and spent 40 years in the world of corrections. Sublett recently died at 84 in his St. Charles home.

    St. Charles ‘correctional giant’ dead at 84

    As the assistant superintendent of the then Illinois Training School for Boys at St. Charles in 1963, Samuel Sublett Jr. once found himself staring down the barrel of a shotgun wielded by an escaped juvenile inmate. He survived the encounter and spent 40 years in the world of corrections. Sublett recently died at the age of 84 in his St. Charles home.

    Nicholas A. Fontana

    Message from ex-girlfriend sends man into frenzy, police say

    A 41-year-old Carpentersville man has been arrested for his part in a bizarre Saturday night vandalism spree that police say was triggered by a text message from his ex-girlfriend. Police say that after Nicholas A. Fontana of the 900 block of Berkley Street read the message, he broke his big screen television and fish tank, among other items.


    Former Algonquin attorney gets 8½ years in murder-for-hire scheme

    A former Algonquin attorney is sentenced to 8.5 years in prison after pleading guilty in a murder-for-hire plot against his fiancee's ex-boyfriend. Jason Smiekel, 31, was arrested in August 2011 in Elgin, and his attorneys argued he suffered from anxiety that diminished his mental capacity.

    Community Unit District 300 teachers walk along Route 31 in West Dundee Tuesday morning after the teachers union went on strike.

    Deal reached in District 300; school resumes Wednesday

    A tentative agreement between Carpentersville-based Community Unit District 300 and its teachers ended a one-day strike that kept almost 21,000 students and close to 1,300 teachers out of classes Tuesday, according to district and union representatives. Details of the 3-year agreement were not released Tuesday night but both sides referred to the tentative deal as fair to teachers and responsible...


    Bartlett approves tax levy increase

    The Bartlett village board approved a $9.9 million property tax levy Tuesday for the 2012-13 fiscal year. The amount is a 6.3 percent increase from the 2011 extension, due primarily to the issuance of road bonds earlier this year.

    An artist’s rendering of the proposed retail-office development on the southwest corner of Hough and Main streets in downtown Barrington.

    Barrington planners review design of downtown project

    Barrington plan commissioners will continue their review of a proposed retail-office redevelopment at the heart of the village's downtown next Tuesday, Dec. 11. Commissioners held their first hearing on the project at the southwest corner of Hough and Main streets Tuesday night but continued it due to the amount of public comment.

    Authorities say Kenneth F. White II, 34, robbed a bank in Glenview on Monday, as well as five other Cook County banks since Oct. 26.

    FBI identifies bank robbery suspect

    Authorities have identified a man they believe robbed six banks in Cook County, the most recent one on Monday. According to bandittrackerchicago.com, a website operated by law enforcement agencies, Kenneth F. White II, 34, robbed the MB Financial Bank at 2200 N. Waukegan Road in Glenview on Monday. He is also suspected in heists in Arlington Heights and Rolling Meadows.

    Cambridge Lakes Charter School in Pingree Grove remained open during the strike that’s affecting the rest of Community Unit District 300.

    Cambridge Lakes Charter School remained open during strike

    While teachers in Community Unit District 300 continue to walk picket lines, classes will remain in session at Cambridge Lakes Charter School in Pingree Grove. The charter school belongs to District 300, but its 67 teachers are not in the striking LEAD 300 union.


    West Chicago schools among many dealing with labor discord

    Angry teachers in West Chicago Elementary District 33 will huddle following classes Wednesday to discuss their options after the school board declared an impasse in its long-running contract talks with the union. The board's declaration effectively sets a one-week deadline for each side to submit their final offers to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, which would then wait another...


    Crashed plane registered to Minnesota business

    A small plane that crashed in a Will County field Tuesday afternoon, killing the pilot, was registered to Bemidji Aviation Services in Minnesota.

    Tony Peraica

    Former county commissioner convicted of vandalism

    A judge has found a former Cook County commissioner guilty of a misdemeanor charge of destroying a campaign sign belonging to his opponent days before the 2010 election. At a hearing on Tuesday in Bridgeview, Cook County Judge Kerry Kennedy sentenced Tony Peraica to four months of court supervision.

    President Barack Obama, flanked by National Governors Association (NGA) Chairman, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, left, and NGA Vice Chair, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, meets with the NGA executive committee regarding the fiscal cliff Tuesday at the White House. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is at right.

    Obama: No Deal on ‘cliff’ without tax hike for rich

    President Barack Obama on Tuesday rejected a GOP proposal to collect new taxes from high earners by limiting their deductions and tax breaks, insisting that any deal to avert the year-end "fiscal cliff" must include an agreement to raise the top income tax rates.

    House Speaker John Boehner has taken plum committee assignments away from four conservative Republican lawmakers after they bucked party leaders on key votes.

    GOP leaders remove 4 from plum House committees

    House Speaker John Boehner's decision to take plum committee assignments away from four conservative Republican lawmakers after they bucked party leaders on key votes isn't going over well with conservative advocacy groups that viewed them as role models.

    Sen. John Kerry, left, listens as Sen. John McCain speaks during a news conference Monday to urge Senate approval of an international agreement for protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities.

    Republican opposition downs UN disability treaty

    Led by Republican opposition, the Senate on Tuesday rejected a United Nations treaty on the rights of the disabled that is modeled after the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act. With 38 Republicans casting "no" votes, the 61-38 vote fell five short of the two-thirds majority needed to ratify a treaty.

    Israeli police headquarters is seen in the E-1 construction site near the West bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem. On Monday, three European nations summoned their Israeli ambassadors to denounce Israel’s latest settlement construction push, deepening the rift between the Jewish state and European allies that has cracked open over the Palestinians’ successful U.N. statehood bid.

    Palestinians: settlement expansion means 1 state

    The Palestinians will ask the U.N. Security Council to call for an Israeli settlement freeze, President Mahmoud Abbas and his advisers decided Tuesday, as part of an escalating showdown over Israel's new plans to build thousands more homes on war-won land in and around Jerusalem.


    Mayors call for reform to police, fire pensions

    Pension reform was a hot topic in November's state legislative elections, with many winning candidates pledging to address the issue immediately. But according to some suburban mayors and managers, the kind of reform that legislators have in mind is all about getting only the state's financial house in order — barely touching on the public safety pensions that are taking a larger and larger...

    Special driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants would be marked “not valid for identification” to prevent use for buying guns or alcohol, boarding a plane or establishing other identification, supporters say.

    Illinois Senate approves immigrant driver’s licenses

    Undocumented immigrants are a step closer to being allowed to have drivers licenses after the Illinois Senate approved the proposal Tuesday. Senators voted 41-14 to approve, helped by support from top Republicans. "It tends to be a very emotional issue," said Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont, who voted "yes."

    Protesters carry national flags and chant anti Muslim Brotherhood slogans during a demonstration in front of the presidential palace in Cairo on Tuesday. The protest turned violent as tensions rise over Islamist President Mohammed Morsi’s seizure of nearly unrestricted powers and a draft constitution hurriedly adopted by his allies. The Arabic on the banner reads, “Down with the pharaoh president.”

    100,000 protest at Egypt’s presidential palace

    More than 100,000 Egyptians protested outside the presidential palace in Cairo on Tuesday, fueling tensions over Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi's seizure of nearly unrestricted powers and the adoption by his allies of a controversial draft constitution.


    Gold coin found in Salvation Army kettle in Naperville

    A gold South African Krugerrand valued at roughly $1,700 was dropped into a Salvation Army Red Kettle Nov. 30 at Casey's Foods at the corner of Washington Street and Gartner Road in Naperville, Salvation Army officials said Tuesday.

    Bartender Karolina Obrycka, right, with attorney Terry Ekl, was the victim of a beating by an off-duty Chicago police officer.

    Chicago asks judge to vacate landmark verdict

    The city of Chicago is asking a judge to erase a landmark verdict that found there exists a code of silence in the police department that leads officers to protect rogue colleagues — a legal move that critics say is calculated to deny others suing over alleged police abuse from citing the decision as a precedent. One aspect that makes the motion unusual is that beating victim Karolina...


    Arrest warrant issued for former Antioch Rescue Squad treasurer

    Already facing felony theft charges, the Antioch Rescue Squad's former treasure is now the target of an arrest warrant for failing to show up in court as required Tuesday. Unless he turns himself in, John W. Edgell will be arrested and held in Lake County jail on a $50,000 warrant, Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Kenneth Lorenz said.

    Maine West High School is located at 1755 South Wolf Road in Des Plaines.

    State’s attorney to conduct review of Maine West hazing allegations

    Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez has ordered a "complete top-to-bottom review" of the ongoing hazing scandal at Maine West High School, Alvarez spokeswoman Sally Daly said late Tuesday. Daly said prosecutors from the office's sex crimes division will initiate "a thorough, comprehensive review of the allegations that have been raised both recently and in years past about hazing incidents...

    Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, visits Singapore Sept. 13. Prince William and his wife Catherine are expecting their first child.

    Royal pregnancy highlights succession issues

    The first child of Prince William and his wife Kate will be born a king or a queen in waiting, under changes to succession rules designed to overturn centuries of tradition and give royal daughters the same rights as sons.

    Mark Hellner

    Third candidate joins Arlington Heights mayor’s race

    A third candidate has announced plans to run for Arlington Heights village president in April when longtime Mayor Arlene Mulder steps down after 20 years in office. Mark Hellner, an attorney who has lived in Arlington Heights for 16 years, said he decided to seek the top spot in the April 9 election after several people in the community encouraged him to run for office.


    Holiday event for dogs in Schaumburg

    Dress your pup in jingle bells and get ready for a great pup event this weekend! Schaumburg Park District's Jingle Paws is set for noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 at Meinecke Recreation Center, 220 E. Weathersfield Way in Schaumburg.

    State Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, right, and former Gov. Jim Edgar appeared together in 2010 during Dillard’s campaign for governor.

    Edgar likely would back Dillard if he runs for governor again

    Former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar said Tuesday that he'd likely back state Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale in the 2014 GOP primary for governor if Dillard runs again. Dillard, who narrowly lost the Republican nomination in 2010, has said he's strongly considering a run, but he's yet to formally announce.

    Child molester Thomas Hacker was convicted in 1989 and is serving concurrent 50-year prison terms.

    Lawsuit claims Boy Scouts failed to stop pedophile

    The Boy Scouts of America and Chicago-area scouting officials failed to protect children from a convicted pedophile, even though he had been banned from Scouting in Indiana, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Chicago. The suit was filed on behalf of an anonymous former Scout who said he was molested by scoutmaster Thomas Hacker in 1985. Hacker, now 75, was convicted in 1989 of molesting...


    Decorate a gingerbread house

    One Hope United will host Gingerbread Houses of Hope to benefit the agency's child abuse prevention programs and services from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7 at Millburn Elementary School, 18550 W. Millburn Road, Wadsworth.


    Holiday vacation activities

    Lake County Family YMCA has a way for parents to keep their grade school-aged children engaged in quality activities during the holiday vacation period.


    Retired teachers to meet

    The Lake County Retired Teachers Association will meet at noon on Dec. 11, at Lambs Farm restaurant at Route 176 and the Tri-State Tollway in Libertyville.

    Volunteer Alice Blayney holds a Senegal parrot Tuesday as the Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club begins adopting out almost 400 birds, many of which were recovered from the Aurora townhouse of David Skeberdis.

    Hundreds of Aurora man’s birds up for adoption

    A few hundred birds found crowded into an Aurora man's junk-filled home now are ready to be adopted into new homes. The Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club began adopting out about 400 birds Tuesday morning, the majority of them removed from 57-year-old David Skeberdis' Aurora townhouse in October. "Our main concern is finding the birds a good, healthy home to transition into," club President Barbara...

    A controversial Nativity scene could find a place in Arlington Heights’ holiday lights display at North School Park as early as this weekend, according to a leader of group fighting to make that happen. An application to allow the Nativity is before Arlington Heights Park District officials.

    Controversial Nativity scene coming to Arlington Heights this weekend?

    A Nativity scene could join Arlington Heights' holiday display as early as this weekend, according to the leader of a group that's complained about the religious tradition's absence from the showcase. "I'd be shocked if it went the other way," said Jim Finnegan of the Illinois Nativity Scene Committee. "It's clear to me we have this worked out, it's not about going to court or not anymore."

    To prevent abuse of prescriptions, a national data-sharing network will alert physicians and pharmacies when a patient has been given more than recommended dosages.

    Illinois joins network to track prescription drug use
    An Illinois medicine-monitoring program has joined a national data-sharing network to help prevent prescription drug abuse. The Department of Human Services will link its prescription monitoring program to a National Association of Boards of Pharmacy network.

    Anthony Nance

    Ed Schock files objection to Nance’s city council candidacy

    Anthony Nance is the only one out of 23 people running for Elgin City Council who will face objections to his candidacy. And he'll be facing two. Former Mayor Ed Schock and Elgin resident Nikki Scott filed objections to Nance's petition, saying Nance owes the city $8,391.91 in costs tied to a discrimination lawsuit he filed against the city in 2006 but lost. Elgin's electoral board will meet...

    Rita Crundwell, former comptroller for Dixon, pleaded guilty last month to stealing more than $53 million from the city over 20 years.

    Dixon budget rebounding after comptroller’s arrest

    The budget in Dixon is on the rebound after the city's comptroller was arrested for stealing more than $53 million in public money, the city's new finance director said. The city's operating budget is still $16.6 million short, but it has seen a $3 million rebound since comptroller Rita Crundwell was arrested in April.

    Tom Cross

    Cross opposes budget override to save prisons

    House GOP Leader Tom Cross said an override vote would be "purely symbolic." It wouldn't force Quinn to spend money on the prisons. It would simply restrict him from spending it elsewhere.

    Suzanne Branding

    Lake Zurich to host at least 600 Iron Girl Triathlon competitors

    At least 600 women are projected to compete in Lake Zurich's first Iron Girl Triathlon on Sunday, June 16, according to organizers. Village board members gave the event formal approval Monday evening. Mayor Suzanne Branding says provided both sides wind up satisfied, she hopes the Iron Girl becomes an annual village staple.

    Richard Tarulis

    Lisle Township may seek less tax money

    Lisle Township is planning to do something rare for a local governmental entity: Ask taxpayers for less money. The township board is scheduled to vote next week on a proposal to slash the property tax levy for one year, from roughly $2.3 million to $500,000.


    Just as it began, Beavers’ tax trial delayed

    The trial of an influential Chicago-area politician is being pushed back into next month. Jury selection was set to continue Tuesday in the tax evasion case against Cook County Commissioner William Beavers. But the judge delayed the entire trial until Jan. 31 because one defense attorney, Victor Henderson, is ill.


    Batavia proposes tax levy about the same as last year

    Batavia proposes to ask for slightly less in property taxes, and has adopted a budget that is higher than what it expects to spend by the end of this year.

    Commuters using the Roselle Metra Station can now access thousands of free books with their smartphone, tablet or e-reader using this QR code posted at the Friends of the Roselle Public Library kiosk.

    Roselle commuters can download free books on smartphones, tablets

    Commuters using the Roselle Metra Station can use their smart phones, tablets or eReaders to access thousands of free books, thanks to a new program offered through the Roselle Public Library.


    Buffalo Grove approves $61.4 million budget, small levy hike

    Buffalo Grove trustees this week approved the village's $61.4 million budget for 2013, an increase of $3.2 million — or 5.4-percent — over last year's plan that officials say is going primarily toward funding infrastructure improvements. Village Manager Dane Bragg noted that capital projects have increased $3.3 million under the new budget to 14 percent of its total.

    Groot Industries Inc., has delayed filing an application to locate and operate a waste transfer facility in Round Lake Park but expects at some point to proceed with the process for property at Route 120 and Porter Drive.

    Transfer station plan in Round Lake Park delayed, but not defunct

    Groot Industries didn't file an application to locate a waste transfer station in Round Lake Park as expected but the project isn't going away. The company didn't proceed because it felt it would be in the best interest to discuss potential concerns with various parties first. "We wanted to give a little more time to build consensus among the parties," said Devin Moose, director of Shaw...


    Fox Valley police reports
    Manish Mahi Islam, 19, of Huntley, was charged Friday with possession of marijuana, driving while license suspended, possession of a suspended driver's license, operation of an uninsured motor vehicle and failure to wear a seat belt, according to a police report.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Several packages, valued at $300, were damaged by someone while they were in a mailbox in the 35W400 block of Maple Avenue near St. Charles between 1:30 and 2 p.m. Nov. 26, according to a sheriff's report.


    Pedestrian critically injured in Wheaton accident

    A Carol Stream woman who was hit by a vehicle while crossing Geneva Road in Wheaton remained hospitalized Tuesday in critical condition, police said. Barbara Jean Meagher, 52, was struck about 3:30 p.m. Monday as she walked south across the 300 block of Geneva Road from the entrance to a Home Depot parking lot.

    Monica Utyro of Arlington Heights works on her Christmas arrangement in short sleeves on an unseasonably warm December this week. The temperature in front Utyro’s home on Vail Avenue was 67 degrees.

    70 degrees makes it tough to muster up Christmas spirit

    This week's warm temperatures are making it tough to get into the Christmas spirit. The 70-degree warmth prompted people to venture out in shorts and shirt sleeves instead of coats and hats — and makes it a bit easier to get those holiday lights up.

    Mayor David Kaptain talks with attendees following the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual state of the city breakfast Tuesday at Elgin Community College.

    Kaptain sees Elgin as regional leader, destination

    Elgin Mayor David Kaptain spoke to the business community Tuesday in an annual state of the city address. He said the city's future will be marked by a focus on becoming an international city, by providing for a rapidly aging senior population, by expanding rapid transit from the city to other destinations and by offering a one-stop shop connecting people to city and social services.

    Todd Sherlock calls this photo, taken in late October at Herrick Lake Forest Preserve, “Autumn Dance.” “I pushed the colors up a little,” he says, “but I tried to leave them pretty much as they were.”

    Wheaton photographer wins our monthly contest

    Todd Sherlock was out for a walk, just getting a little exercise, in late October at Herrick Lake Forest Preserve near Wheaton. He already had taken several pictures and was thinking of heading home when something in the lake caught his eye. "It was real windy and the algae was swirling and the leaves were blowing off the trees into the blue water," he says. So he took out his Canon SX210 and...

    Former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, co-chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill on Nov. 28, following a closed-door meeting with House Speaker John Boehner.

    Fiscal cliff: Highlights of White House, GOP budget plans

    The Obama administration and House Republicans have unveiled their opening offers in talks to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. Details are scant, but here's how the plans differ for now.

    This image taken from the Iranian state TV’s Arabic-language channel Al-Alam shows what they purport to be an intact ScanEagle drone aircraft put on display Tuesday. Iran claimed Tuesday it had captured a U.S. drone after it entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf.

    Iran claims US drone capture; Navy denies loss

    Iran claimed Tuesday it had taken another prize in a growing showdown with Washington over drone surveillance, displaying a purported U.S. unmanned aircraft it said was captured intact. The U.S. Navy, however, said none of its drones in the region was missing.

    Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. eased out with an $8 million payout provided by an influential GOP fundraiser, said he has left a conservative Tea Party group, FreedomWorks, because of an internal split over the group’s future direction.

    Tea Party group chief quits, cites internal split

    Eased out with an $8 million payout provided by an influential GOP fundraiser, former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey says he has left a conservative Tea Party group, FreedomWorks, because of an internal split over the group's future direction.

    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the opening of the high-level segment of the annual U.N. climate talks involving environment ministers and climate officials from nearly 200 countries in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday. Ban has urged governments to speed up slow-moving talks to forge a joint response to global warming and warned that climate change was an “existential challenge for the whole human race.”

    UN chief rejects warming doubts

    Pointing to the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy and other weather disasters this year, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told an international climate conference Tuesday that it was time to "prove wrong" those who still have doubts about global warming.

    A Syrian man runs for cover during heavy fighting between Free Syrian Army fighters and government forces Monday in Aleppo, Syria.

    Syria says 10 dead in mortar attack on school

    A mortar slammed into a ninth-grade classroom in the Damascus suburbs on Tuesday, killing nine students and a teacher, according to state media, as the civil war closed in on President Bashar Assad's seat of power.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Des Plaines police officers conducting a tobacco compliance check between 11:50 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. Nov. 23 arrested three individuals who had allowed an underage undercover agent to purchase tobacco products.


    Kane forest preserve increases levy for operations, lowers levy for debt

    In their final action, the outgoing Kane County Forest Preserve District commission approved a new tax levy Monday morning. While the overall levy is lower, the actual levy for operations will increase. It's that fact that had a couple commissioners voting against the levy while calling it a tax increase.


    Palatine proposes slightly smaller budget, tax levy in 2013

    Palatine is proposing a "hold the line" 2013 budget that neither dips into reserves nor restores programs and services that fell victim to the economic downturn. The village council expressed no concerns about next year's financial plan during a public hearing Monday night, applauding the relatively positive forecast. "My hat's off to the staff for all the work you've done," Councilman Jim Clegg...

    JOE LEWNARD/jlewnard@dailyherald.com Lois Arbanas of Arlington Heights celebrated her 105th birthday this weekend. A resident of The Moorings of Arlington Heights, Arbanas says the key to her longevity has been doing things in moderation.

    Arlington Heights woman celebrates 105th birthday

    The world was a very different place 105 years ago. Women couldn't vote, the U.S. hadn't been tested by either world war, TVs hadn't been invented and Lois Mary Arbanas had just been born. Arbanas, who celebrated her 105th birthday Dec. 1 has lived through the world changing many times over, but said her longevity doesn't seem that profound to her. "The years came on so gradually," she said.

    The transfer cases containing the remains of Army Capt. Drew E. Russell, right, and Army Spc. Ricardo Cerros Jr., arrive at Dover Air Force Base in 2011.

    AP: Report details deadly insider attack by Afghan allies

    It was a sneak attack, but not by the enemy they feared. U.S. Army Capts. Joshua Lawrence and Drew Russell were inside a small command post on an Afghan army base. An exploding grenade shattered the stillness. Before any of the Americans could defend themselves, Lawrence was dead from a bullet to the head, and Russell was dying, shot three times in the back. They were not killed by the Taliban,...

    Lyle Estes, right, of Danvers, joined Louis E. Davis American Legion Post 56 in Bloomington in 1957 and has been volunteering for duties ever since. On Jan. 1, he will officially retire from the Funeral Honor Guard, after participating in more than 1,140 ceremonies on the firing line. Estes served in the Army Air Corps/Air Force from 1947 to 1953.

    Longtime Legion member proud to serve with honor

    DANVERS — After getting into some minor scrapes with the law as a youth, Lyle Estes appeared before a judge who gave him two options: Go to jail or enlist in the military.For Estes, the decision was simple, and he proudly served in the Army Air Corps/Air Force from 1947 to 1953.But service to his country didn’t stop there.


    November in Illinois dry, cooler than normal

    Illinois’ state climatologist says November was abnormally cool and dry statewide.Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey says November’s average precipitation was 1.26 inches — or 2.21 inches below normal. That makes last month the 17th driest November since record-keeping began in 1895. Precipitation was almost 10 inches below normal from January through November.


    Flu season off to deadly start in Wisconsin

    MADISON, Wis. — State health officials say the flu season is off to an early and deadly start in Wisconsin. The Division of Public Health says four flu-related deaths have been reported and 26 people have been hospitalized. State epidemiologist Tom Haupt says in the last two to three flu seasons, no flu-related hospitalizations were reported before January.


    Defense wants Beason family murder trial moved

    LINCOLN — The lawyer for a central Illinois man accused of killing five members of a Beason family has asked a judge to move the trial to another county.


    Trucker probed in trooper’s death ordered off the road

    LITCHFIELD — The federal government has ordered a Georgia-licensed trucker whose tractor-trailer struck and killed an Illinois State Police trooper making a freeway traffic stop to stop commercial driving.


    Purdue to shut down construction inspection office

    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University plans to eliminate 22 jobs by shutting down its in-house construction inspection department.University officials estimate Purdue will save $75 million over five years by also making changes to its construction contract specifications.


    Driver charged in Wisconsin car surfing death
    SIREN, Wis. — A Minnesota man is charged with three felonies following a car surfing death in Wisconsin.


    New section of I-69 getting positive reviews

    SCOTLAND, Ind. — With the opening of I-69 in Greene County comes a new daily stop for truck driver Ed Miller.Five days a week, he pulls his 2011 Volvo semi into the parking lot at the CountryMark service station on Ind. 231, near the northernmost interstate exchange, to rest up.


    Indiana soldier wounded in war suffers new injury at home

    KOKOMO, Ind. — U.S. Army Specialist Anthony Walton remains in intensive care from a head injury sustained Sunday afternoon after he fell on concrete in his Kokomo driveway.Walton was airlifted Sunday to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, where he remains in a medically induced coma.


    Mental exam ordered for Illinois man in Oklahoma bomb plot

    MIAMI, Okla. — A judge has ordered a mental evaluation for an Illinois man accused of plotting to bomb dozens of churches in northeastern Oklahoma.


    Teen helps stricken girl at basketball game

    KOUTS, Ind. — The lessons he learned in his EMT class came in handy for Spencer Finney during a basketball game at Kouts High School.


    Energy comes in a variety of scientific forms

    "If energy can't be created or destroyed, how do we know it exists? "asked a student in Katherine Crawford's fifth-grade class at West Oak Middle school in Mundelein. Find out the answer with a little science lesson about how the many forms of energy actually work.

    Officials work the scene of derailed freight train tank cars on Friday in Paulsboro, N.J. Residents of Paulsboro were ordered to stay inside and schools were closed Monday after unsafe levels of the chemical vinyl chloride were found in the air near where the train derailed last week.

    Officials keeping residents in New Jersey town indoors

    fficials say residents of a southern New Jersey town should remain inside until further notice because levels of vinyl chloride remain high after a train derailment last week. A group of state, federal and local officials issued the last shelter-in-place order for Paulsboro at about 6 p.m. Monday and it's still in place Tuesday morning.


    Dog theft case ripples through New Mexico town

    The cases were often heartbreaking: Families coming home to find their dogs had vanished from inside houses, behind locked fences and outdoor kennels in rural communities east of Albuquerque. But with the recent arrest of a woman accused of stealing two pit bulls — then throwing them from her moving car as the dogs' owner gave chase — officials think they have confirmed longstanding...

    In this hospital surveillance photo released Monday by the Phoenix Police Department, a woman is seen with her 11-year-old daughter, a leukemia patient who had her arm amputated and a heart catheter inserted due to an infection. Authorities say the woman inexplicably took the girl from the hospital last week. Police say that if the catheter is left in too long it could lead to a deadly infection. The family’s identity is being withheld but they are calling the girl Emily.

    Sick girl sought after mom takes her from hospital

    Authorities are looking for an 11-year-old girl with leukemia and a heart catheter who they say could die in a matter of days if she isn't brought back to a hospital after her parents inexplicably took her out of the facility last week. Authorities say the girl, Emily, had been receiving chemotherapy at Phoenix Children's Hospital for about a month, Phoenix police Sgt. Steve Martos said Monday.

    This Earth Observatory image made on Monday, provided by NASA, shows Typhoon Bopha moving toward the Philippines. Typhoon Bopha slammed into the Davao region of the Philippines early Tuesday, killing at least seven people and forcing more than 50,000 to flee from inundated villages.

    33 dead in flood in typhoon-hit south Philippines

    A Philippine governor says at least 33 villagers and soldiers have drowned when torrents of water dumped by a powerful typhoon rushed down a mountain, engulfing the victims and bringing the death toll from the storm to about 40. Gov. Arturo Uy says rain from Typhoon Bopha accumulated atop a mountain and then burst down on Andap village in New Bataan town in Compostela Valley early Tuesday.


    Navy: No US drones missing after Iran claim

    Iran claimed Tuesday it had captured a U.S. drone after it entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf— even showing an image of a purportedly downed craft on state TV — but the U.S. Navy said all its unmanned aircraft in the region were "fully accounted for." The conflicting accounts still leave the possibility that the drone claimed by Iran, a Boeing-designed ScanEagle, could...

    Dogs and children played big roles in Ron Santo's life. Here he is with his grandson Sam and three dogs, from left: Hanna, Joker and Summer.

    Santo's widow backs diabetes-alert dogs 'Ron would have loved'

    On the second anniversary of Ron Santo's death Monday, the Cubs legend's widow says that she couldn't be more excited about “extending his legacy” by pushing a cause “Ron would have loved.” The Ron and Vicki Santo Diabetes-Alert Dog Foundation is in the final stages of becoming a nonprofit charity with a goal of helping people with diabetes buy alert dogs that could save...

    This is the exterior of the new Alexian Brothers Women and Children’s Hospital in Hoffman Estates. Construction on the hospital, which is slated to open in the spring, is well under way.

    A comfy children’s hospital coming to Hoffman Estates

    Jason and Dawn Crane couldn't be more pleased with the progress on the new Alexian Brothers Women and Children's Hospital in Hoffman Estates. Their son Spencer received treatment in Chicago for Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disorder affecting the nervous system. The Cranes hope expanded services in the new hospital will mean fewer suburban families go through their ordeal.


    New hospital at a glance
    Going on a tour of the Alexian Brothers new Women's and Children's Hospital, which is still under construction but is slated to open in the spring.


    Images from the Lake Zurich at Mundelein boys basketball game on Tuesday, Dec. 4.

    Images: Lake Zurich vs. Mundelein, boys basketball
    The Mundelein Mustangs hosted the Lake Zurich Bears for boys basketball action on Tuesday, Dec. 4 in Mundelein.

    Images from the Rolling Meadows vs Hersey girls basketball game on Tuesday, December 4th, in Arlington Heights.

    Images: Hersey vs. Rolling Meadows, girls basketball
    The Hersey High School girls basketball team hosted the Rolling Meadows High School girls Tuesday, December 4th, in Arlington Heights.


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


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


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


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


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

    Steve Lundy/slundy@dailyherald.com Mundelein's Cliff Dunigan drives in on Lake Zurich's Jack O'Neil during their game Tuesday night at Mundelein High School.

    This one adds up to a Mundelein win

    Jim Ackley was granted the night off as Mundelein honored him before the Mustangs' home game against Lake Zurich for his 50 years as the varsity boys basketball scorekeeper. The affable Ackley still had his courtside seat, as he was stationed at the end of the scorer's table. But it was probably a good thing he could just enjoy the game, for it was a scorer's nightmare. The Mustangs wore red T-shirts reading "Ackley 50" on the back during warm-ups. They then made sure they gave their longtime scorer a gift other than the plaque and framed No. 50 jersey he received during a ceremony following the sophomore game. Sean O'Brien had a double-double of 22 points and 13 rebounds, and Cliff Dunigan added a season-high 22 points and 7 boards, as Mundelein held off pesky Lake Zurich 74-65 in a frenetic North Suburban Lake Division contest Tuesday.


    West Aurora drops 2nd DVC game

    West Aurora got outscored 19-4 in the third quarter Tuesday at Wheaton North which proved to be the difference in a 74-62 loss.


    Aurora Central Catholic stays hot

    Aurora Central Catholic improved to 5-1 with a 66-60 win at Plainfield Central Tuesday night.


    Williams a trophy finalist

    During his career at Elmhurst College, Scottie Wiliams broke just about every record he could, and even though the season is over his accolades aren't yet finished.


    Believe it: Volk’s dream comes true in Maine West win

    Tony Volk had been dreaming of the moment for years. Ever since his teammate Matt Finnander made a game-winning shot at the buzzer in fifth grade, Volk had fantasized about making one of his own. On Tuesday night, Volk got his wish. The Maine West senior guard hit a running 3-pointer as time expired to stun Deerfield 54-53 in a Central Suburban North opener.

    Bears coach Lovie Smith and quarterback Jay Cutler head off the field after Sunday’s 23-17 overtime loss to the Seahawks at Soldier Field in Chicago. Against good teams the Bears are winless.

    Good Bears or bad Bears: Which team will show up?

    With the Bears having lost three of four games, it's difficult to figure out which team will show up vs. the Vikings on Sunday. It's just as difficult to figure out if the Vikings are a good team, which the Bears can't seem to beat, or a bad team, like those that coach Lovie Smith's squad has beat up on all season.

    Meghan Waldron of Wheaton Warrenville South, right, drives the ball around Shannon Ryan of Naperville Central in girls basketball action on Tuesday in Naperville.

    Waldron, WW South win in OT

    Meghan Waldron can affect games without taking shots. Her unselfishness is an admirable quality. But make no mistake, Wheaton Warrenville South wants the ball in her hands late. It was Tuesday. Waldron scored on her team's first four possessions of overtime and had 10 of the Tigers' 13 points in the extra session, carrying No. 4 WW South past No. 5 Naperville Central 64-59 in Naperville.


    St. Edward topples Marian Central

    The burgeoning St. Edward boys basketball team needed a half to get its legs loose before outrunning Marian Central for a 64-51 Suburban Christian Gold victory in Woodstock Tuesday. The balanced Green Wave turned a 3-point halftime lead into a 13-point victory by pressing, running the floor and sharing the basketball. The Wave notched 10 points off Hurricane turnovers in the backcourt and four players scored in double-digits as St. Edward improved to 8-1 overall, 1-1 in the SCC Gold.

    St. Charles East’s Hannah Nowling looks to shoot over a block by West Chicago’s Amanda Gosbeth in the second quarter on Tuesday, December 4.

    St. Charles E. tops W. Chicago

    When St. Charles East's girls basketball team is in need of a spark, it turns to Carly Pottle.


    Willowbrook falls in final second

    With nine-tenths of a second left, Willowbrook appeared to have secured its third win of the season. With the score tied 52-52, senior Adam Hill was fouled beyond the 3-point line by Plainfield South's Tyler Smith. Hill split the first two free throws and missed the third one on purpose to try and keep the Cougars from setting up one last play.


    Hot shooting lifts Glenbard West

    If nothing else Glenbard West could hang its hat on some pretty good shooting. The Hilltoppers (3-5, 1-2) made 65 percent of their field-goal attempts through the first three quarters of Tuesday's West Suburban Silver game, then hung on through a harrowing fourth quarter for a 48-47 victory against Oak Park.


    White Sox looking at a limited market for third baseman

    As free-agent Kevin Youkilis reportedly attracted interest from the Yankees and Indians Tuesday, the White Sox were still trying to figure out who will be playing third base in 2013.


    Way helps Steveson to 3rd straight win

    Sophia Way led the way, scoring 11 points, and Stevenson's girls basketball defeated Prospect 44-38 in a nonconference game Tuesday night.


    Close finish favors Wauconda

    Kodey Thomas had a game-high 23 points, 4 steals and 3 assists, and Wauconda's boys basketball team finally won a close one, 73-72 over visiting Grant in a North Suburban Prairie Division thriller Tuesday night.

    Larkin’s Quixmia Washington drives around Elgin’s Melanie Berg Tuesday at Larkin High School.

    Larkin springs surprise on Elgin

    Playing a rival can bring some extra motivation. Add to that the Larkin girls basketball team was still looking for its first win and you hope for a fast start. The Royals came out Tuesday night fired up and ran out to a 15-2 lead less than 5 minutes into the game against crosstown rival Elgin. Larkin never trailed, led by double figures for all but a couple of minutes in the final three quarters and earned a 53-47 victory, its first of the season.


    Cary-Grove comes back to stop Prairie Ridge

    Cary-Grove girls basketball coach Rod Saffert couldn't repeat what he said to his team at halftime. Whatever Saffert's pearls of wisdom were at intermission, the tactics worked. Holding a slim 24-21 lead at halftime, Cary-Grove grabbed control of the game in the third quarter, outscoring Prairie Ridge 18-3. The result was the Trojans cruising to a 47-29 win over the Wolves in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division action in Crystal Lake Tuesday night.

    Former Elgin High boys basketball coach Jim Harrington, above speaking to his 1997-98 Elite Eight team during a timeout, is the IBCA’s 2012 Buzzy O’Connor award recipient, recognizing his lifetime contributions to the game of basketball.

    Harrington: IBCA’s O’Connor award ‘humbling’

    Former Weber and Elgin High School boys basketball coach Jim Harrington called the honor he received this week "humbling." Harrington, 62, already a member of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, was named the 2012 Tom "Buzzy" O'Connor award recipient Monday. The IBCA's highest award recognizes individuals for lifetime contributions to Illinois basketball.


    Downers North defeats Glenbard South

    Downers Grove North's boys basketball team may be feeling under the weather but at least the Trojans didn't play sick on Tuesday. Despite struggling through a lack of rhythm and fluidity, Downers North still led wire-to-wire in a 62-53 nonconference victory over visiting Glenbard South.

    Dawon Burrell of Lisle brings one to the net during the Plano at Lisle boys basketball game Tuesday.

    Bench takes over for Lisle

    This is what bench depth looks like. Plano led 9-0 after two minutes, forcing turnovers the first three times Lisle had the basketball. Lisle coach Mark LaScala called time, sat four starters and, for Plano, the rest was history


    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Tied 18-18 at halftime, Streamwood’s girls basketball team edged away from St. Ignatius in the second half to come away with a 40-32 nonconference win Tuesday night in Streamwood.Hannah McGlone had 15 points and Jessica Cerda added 13 to lead the Sabres (7-1). Deja Moore also contributed 9 points for Streamwood.Neuqua Valley 47, Bartlett 32: The Hawks fell behind 25-11 at halftime and couldn’t recover in this Upstate Eight Valley loss to undefeated Neuqua. Elizabeth Arco and Alyssa Hernandez scored 10 points each to lead Bartlett (4-5, 1-1), Ally Giampapa added 8 points for the Hawks.Huntley 66, McHenry 31: Ali Andrews scored 20 points, while Sam Andrews and Haley Ream added 12 each to lead Huntley in the Red Raiders’ Fox Valley Conference Valley Division opener.St. Viator 62, St. Edward 35: Cece Rapp led the Green Wave (0-10) with 11 points in this nonconference loss. Clarissa Ramos added 7 points for St. Edward.Burlington Central 37, Rockford Christian 33: Shelby Holt scored 16 points and Alison Colby added 8 to lead the Rockets (5-1, 2-0) to a Big Northern East win.Westminster Christian 40, IMSA 32: Maddie Versluys scored 16 points, while McKaila Hays and Claire Speweik added 9 each to lead the Warriors (6-2, 2-0) to a Northeast Athletics Conference win. Versluys added 8 rebounds and 6 steals, while Liz Meschewski had 5 steals. Westminster went 13 of 15 at the free throw line, including 8 of 9 in the fourth quarter.Elgin Academy 45, Holy Trinity 7: Rachel Cain had 12 points and 11 rebounds and Alysson Wittmeyer added 9 points and 9 rebounds to lead the Hilltoppers (4-3) to a nonconference win.


    Warren shares the credit after topping Stevenson

    Selecting a hero from Warren's thrilling 55-52 North Suburban Conference victory over visiting Stevenson Tuesday night might not be as easy as it seems.


    Mooseheart routs Westminster

    Just hours after Mooseheart won a temporary restraining order against the IHSA concerning the eligibility of three boys basketball players from the Sudan, those three combined for 29 points in a 53-21 win over Westminster Christian in a nonconference game at Mooseheart.


    St. Charles N. edges Grayslake C.

    OK, all you North Stars can exhale. That first victory of the season is in the book.


    Pierro’s career-best effort paces Wheeling

    With sophomore guard Jeremy Stephani still on the bench nursing a ankle injury someone had to step up for Wheeling on Tuesday night as the Wildcats hosted Fenton. Junior guard Chris Pierro picked up the slack, scoring a career-high 29 points in Wheeling's 57-47 nonconference win over the Bison. The win gave Wheeling a 3-4 record, which means the Wildcats have already surpassed last year's win total.

    Illinois’ Brandon Paul shoots against Western Carolina’s Trey Sumler Tuesday during the first half in Champaign.

    No. 13 Illinois edges Western Carolina 72-64

    Brandon Paul scored 14 points and No. 13 Illinois earned a 72-64 win over Western Carolina on Tuesday. Western Carolina tied the game at 54-54 with 6:15 left. Illinois guard D.J. Richardson hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions for a 62-56 lead. Richardson finished with 13 points.

    Bulls forward Taj Gibson fouls Indiana Pacers center Ian Mahinmi Tuesday during the first half at the United Center.

    Boozer’s double-double not enough for Bulls

    Paul George scored 34 points to lead the Indiana Pacers to an 80-76 win over the Bulls on Tuesday night. George got off to a quick start with 10 points in the first quarter and shot 14 for 25 in the game. He pulled down nine rebounds for the Pacers, who closed a 3-1 road swing. Carlos Boozer notched his seventh double-double in nine games with 14 points and 10 boards for Chicago.


    Young Barrington team looks good against Palatine

    It's early, but a young Barrington girls gymnastics team is looking strong. Freshman Abby Hasanov and sophomore Jessica Lee gave host Barrington a powerful 1-2 punch on Tuesday in leading the Fillies to an impressive 141.1-133.4 Mid-Suburban West dual meet victory over Palatine. Hasanov continued her eye-opening start to the season by taking first in the all-around (36.95), adding a pair of first-place finishes on the vault (9.7) and bars (8.9), tying for first on the beam (9.5) and taking third on the floor (8.85).

    Images from the West Chicago vs. St. Charles East girls basketball game Tuesday, December 4, 2012.

    Images: West Chicago vs. St. Charles East, girls basketball
    West Chicago traveled to St. Charles East Tuesday night for a girls basketball matchup.


    Boys basketball: Top 20 rankings
    West Aurora, Neuqua Valley and Benet have the top three spots in the Daily Herald's most recent ranking of the top boys basketball teams in the area.

    Cierra Stanciel of Naperville Central, right, tries to keep possession of the ball as Kelly Langlas of Wheaton Warrenville South defends.

    Images: Wheaton Warrenville South vs. Naperville Central, girls basketball
    Naperville Central High School hosted and lost 64-59 to Wheaton Warrenville South Tuesday night for girls basketball.

    Wal Khat, from left, Mangisto Deng, Makur Puou and Akim Nyang are four Sudanese athletes at Mooseheart Child City and School. The latter three have been cleared to play basketball again after a judge granted a temporary restraining order. The IHSA had previously declared them ineligible.

    Mooseheart athletes from Sudan can play basketball

    Mooseheart officials are fighting an Illinois High School Association ban on three basketball players that are from Sudan and players on the school's basketball team. The IHSA has scheduled a hearing on Dec. 10 downstate for Mooseheart officials to plead their case. A Kane County judge Tuesday afternoon granted a temporary restraining order allowing the three to play games Tuesday and Wednesday until next week's hearing.

    Lisle High School hosted Plano High School Tuesday night for boys basketball.

    Images: Plano vs. Lisle, boys basketball
    Lisle High School hosted Plano High School Tuesday night for boys basketball.

    Mundelein basketball scorekeeper Jim Ackley is all smiles after being honored for 50 years of service before Tuesday night’s varsity boys basketball game against Lake Zurich.

    Mundelein’s still counting on Ackley this season

    Jim Ackley started as Mundelein's sophomore scorekeeper in 1961, the year the high school opened. He took over as the varsity scorekeeper the following season, and the former eighth-grade basketball coach at Carl Sandburg Junior High has been "keeping the book" ever since. Recent health challenges aside, Ackley intends to score the rest of the season for Mundelein before letting someone else take his seat at the scoring table.

    IceHogs defenseman Adam Clendening

    Clendening leading Rockford’s AHL surge

    Adam Clendening is hardly the sole reason why the Rockford IceHogs are in first place in the American Hockey League's Midwest Division, but he played a big role in them taking 6 out of possible 8 points last week.The 20-year-old rookie defenseman from Boston University is tied for second on the team in scoring with 16 points, including 3 power-play goals. He had 6 points last week and has five multi-point games this season."He's gotten better and better as the year's gone on," said Rockford general manager Mark Bernard. "He's only a 20-year-old kid playing in this league. He makes plays a lot of defensemen won't even attempt at this level.

    Bulls guard Derrick Rose is “a long ways” from returning to practice, but he’s progressing well, according to head coach Tom Thibodeau.

    Thibodeau: Rose a “long way” from practicing

    Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Derrick Rose is a long way from practicing with the team, but refused to get any more specific. "Who knows?" Thibodeau said at Tuesday's shootaround. "He's a long ways away from that, but he's doing well."

    Larkin’s Shawndrea Hill and Elgin’s Jess Ramirez fight for the ball.

    Images: Elgin vs. Larkin, girls basketball
    Cross-town rivals Elgin and Larkin squared off Tuesday night in a girls basketball matchup in Elgin.

    Hersey’s Morgan Harris, left, has her shot blocked by Rolling Meadows’ Jenny Vliet during Tuesday’s game.

    Kemph, Meadows too quick for Hersey

    As usual, the Rolling Meadows girls basketball team brought its fast game Tuesday night to the Ken Carter Gymnasium in Arlington Heights. And no one was faster than guard Jackie Kemph. The 5-foot-5 junior sped to the basket for multiple fastbreak layups and short bank shots — hitting 12 of 16 from the field — for a career-high 31 points as Meadows did nothing to harm its 72 points-per-game team scoring average. The Mustangs won their Mid-Suburban East opener 75-57 over Hersey, using a 16-4 second-quarter run to pull away for a 34-20 edge at intermission.


    Wisconsin rips Nebraska-Omaha 86-40

    Wisconsin guard Ben Brust scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Wisconsin over Nebraska-Omaha 86-40 on Tuesday night. Brust was one of five Badgers (6-3) in double figures. Ryan Evans had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, while Jared Berggren scored 13, Frank Kaminsky had 11 and Sam Dekker chipped in with 10.


    Andre Hollins helps No. 14 Minnesota beat SDSU 88-64

    Andre Hollins scored 20 of his 22 points before halftime, and No. 14 Minnesota breezed to an 88-64 victory on Tuesday over a South Dakota State team missing point guard Nate Wolters. Hollins swished his first six 3-point attempts and finished 8 for 9 from the field for the Gophers (9-1), who reached their highest ranking in the Associated Press poll this week in six years under coach Tubby Smith.


    NHL talks resume with owners, players meeting

    The only early details that emerged from the latest round of negotiations aimed at ending the NHL lockout were the names of those in attendance and that the sides took a break for dinner nearly six hours after they started talking Tuesday. A group of six owners and 18 NHL players — many more than were originally expected — gathered at a Manhattan hotel and tried to find some common ground as the search for a deal that would save the hockey season continued.


    Howard, Shved lead Timberwolves past 76ers 105-88

    Josh Howard had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 105-88 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday night. Alexey Shved hit four 3-pointers and scored 17 for the Timberwolves, who raced to a 23-point lead in the first half.


    Wizards beat Heat 105-101 for 2nd win of season

    The Washington Wizards can't beat many teams, but they beat the best: LeBron James and the Miami Heat. Perhaps inspired by the courtside presence of Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, the Wizards doubled their victory total this season with a 105-101 win over the Heat on Tuesday night, despite James' triple-double of 26 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

    Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema reacts Saturday after Wisconsin defeated Nebraska to win the Big Ten Conference championship in Indianapolis. Sources say Bielema has agreed to become the new coach at Arkansas.

    Bielema agrees to leave Wisconsin for Arkansas

    Bret Bielema is taking his brand of power football to Arkansas, leaving Wisconsin after seven seasons. Arkansas released a statement Tuesday night saying Bielema has agreed to a deal to take over the program reeling following the firing of former coach Bobby Petrino. A person familiar with the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information hasn't been released publicly, says the deal is for six years and $3.2 million annually.


    Marmol, Fujikawa give Cubs a couple of options

    The mantra coming out of Cubs camp at the winter meetings has been the Carlos Marmol is still the closer. It's become a question in recent days because of the impending signing of Japanese closer Kyuji Fujikawa. The Cubs also tried to trade Marmol to the Angels this fall, but the deal never happened because the Cubs had health concerns about the pitcher they were to get back: Dan Haren, who signed Tuesday with Washington.

    Mark Welsh/mwelsh@dailyherald.com Bears Brian Urlacher on defense suffered an injury that will sideline him for the rest of the season in the Bears loss to the Seahawks at Soldier Field in Chicago.

    Injured Urlacher expected to miss 3-4 games

    Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher is expected to miss at least the next three games and possibly the remainder of the regular season with a strained hamstring suffered in overtime during Sunday's loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

    Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik offered congratulations to Warren Township High School’s first state champion boys soccer team during a village board meeting Monday evening.

    Gurnee celebrates Warren High’s boys soccer champions

    Fire trucks, police cars and congratulations from the Gurnee village board were part of a formal recognition of Warren Township High School's first state champion boys soccer team. Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik greeted the team in front of the village board dais Monday night. "On behalf of the entire community and the village board and the village staff, we're very, very excited," she said.

    Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein runs for a first down against Oklahoma State. Once the front-runner for the award, Klein will face stiff competition from Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o when the Heisman is given out Saturday night in New York City.

    How K-State QB Klein became a Heisman Trophy finalist

    Collin Klein is the Heisman Trophy finalist who fits no mold. He was lightly recruited out of high school and ultimately chose to attend Kansas State, a program that had fallen on hard times. He was turned into a wide receiver, and then went back to being a quarterback, where he sat on the bench and bided his time.


    Notre Dame’s Diaco wins 2012 Broyles Award

    Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco has won the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach. Notre Dame's defense under Diaco has allowed the fewest touchdowns in the country this season and is sixth overall in total defense.

    Tiger Woods, right, and Rory McIlroy walking together during their 18-hole medal-match at the Lake Jinsha Golf Club in Zhengzhou, in central China’s Henan province. McIlroy was announced Tuesday as player of the year, and while the tour does not disclose the vote of its players, this was the equivalent of a tap-in.

    McIlroy voted PGA Tour player of the year

    Rory McIlroy sure didn't feel like the PGA Tour player of the year when he arrived at Kiawah Island for the final major of the year. He had missed three cuts, had not contended in a major and had only one win. The last two months changed everything. McIlroy was announced Tuesday as player of the year, and while the tour does not disclose the vote of its players, this was the equivalent of a tap-in.

    Northern Illinois team members Sean Progar and Tyrone Clark congratulate new head coach Rod Carey after the Huskies learned they will play in the Orange Bowl.

    Sorry ESPN, NIU still going Orange

    If ESPN and Kirk Herbstreit didn't know about NIU until two weeks ago, then shame on them for not doing their jobs. But the Huskies are in the Orange Bowl because they played by the same rules everyone else played by, and win or lose Barry Rozner plans on having a great time in Miami.

    Northern Illinois football players Zach Anderson and Sean Progar celebrate after hearing that NIU will play Florida State in the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day.

    Talking heads’ outrage better served on bigger issues than NIU

    College football provides much for ESPN's analysts to be outraged about. NIU going to the Orange Bowl should be pretty low on the list.

    College basketball coach Rick Majerus was always a great interview, and his life his life exactly the way he wanted, says Mike North.

    Majerus found a way to enjoy life his way

    Rick Majerus may have lived an unhealthy lifestyle, but Mike North contends Rick 's choices of coaching basketball and eating seemed to make him happy enough - and that can't be all bad. Also, Mike says the showdown between the North and the South is on again, and could be the most watched college game ever.

    Vernon Hills’ Lauren Webb, right, looks to pass around Grayslake Central’s Lauren Spalding and Maddy Miller Tuesday in Vernon Hills.

    Images: Daily Herald prep photos of the week
    The Prep Photos of the Week gallery includes the best high school sports pictures by Daily Herald photographers. This week's gallery features photos from basketball, wrestling and gymnastics.



    Northwest Community, Central DuPage named top hospitals

    Northwest Community Healthcare in Arlington Heights and Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield were among 92 hospitals nationwide name 2012 Top Hospitals by the Leapfrog Group. The two suburban hospitals' selection was based on the Leapfrog Group's annual hospital survey, which measures performance on patient safety and quality of care. The survey focuses on three critical areas of hospital care: how patients fare, resource use and management structures in place to prevent errors.

    Netflix on Tuesday signed a multiyear accord to carry Walt Disney Co. animated and live-action films, marking the first time a major studio has bypassed traditional cable-TV outlets.

    Netflix outbids pay-TV for Disney movies

    Netflix's video subscription service has trumped pay-TV channels and grabbed the rights to show Disney movies shortly after they finish their runs in theaters.


    Baxter to buy Swedish firm Gambro in $2.76B deal

    Drug and medical device maker Deerfield-based Baxter International plans to buy the privately held Swedish company Gambro AB for about $2.76 billion to broaden its dialysis product portfolio.

    U.S. banks earned more from July through September than in any other quarter over the past six years. The increase is further evidence that the industry is strengthening four years after the 2008 financial crisis.

    U.S. bank earnings up 6.6 pct., most in 6 years

    U.S. banks earned more from July through September than in any other quarter over the past six years. The increase is further evidence that the industry is strengthening four years after the 2008 financial crisis.

    U.S. stocks fell, sending the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 Index lower for a second straight day, after President Barack Obama held his ground about raising tax rates for the highest-income Americans.

    Stocks little changed as budget talks continue

    Stocks closed little changed Tuesday on Wall Street as budget talks continued in Washington.Investors are waiting on developments from Washington in the budget talks, which are aimed at avoiding the "fiscal cliff."

    FedEx employees who volunteer for the early retirement program will receive four weeks of pay for every year of service, capped at two full years of base pay.

    FedEx to offer buyouts with up to 2 years pay

    FedEx will be offering some employees up to two years pay to leave the company next year. The voluntary program is part of an effort by the second-biggest package delivery company to cut annual costs by $1.7 billion within three years.

    CEO Marissa Mayer has embarked on an aggressive strategy in an effort to turn Yahoo’s fortunes around.

    Yahoo buys more mobile expertise

    Yahoo has bought another Silicon Valley mobile startup as CEO Marissa Mayer tries to create more compelling products for smartphones and tablet computers.

    This 2010 photo provided by AquaBounty Technologies shows two same-age salmon, a genetically modified salmon, rear, and a non-genetically modified salmon, foreground. Salmon that’s genetically modified to grow twice as fast as normal could soon show up on your dinner plate — if the company that makes the fish can stay afloat.

    Fast-growing fish may never wind up on your plate

    Salmon that's genetically modified to grow twice as fast as normal could soon show up on your dinner plate. That is, if the company that makes the fish can stay afloat. After weathering safety concerns, Aquabounty was poised to become the world's first company to sell fish whose DNA has been altered to speed up growth. But the FDA has still not approved the fish, and Aquabounty is running out of money.


    Study: Drug coverage to vary under health law

    WASHINGTON — A new study says basic prescription drug coverage could vary dramatically from state to state under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.That’s because states get to set benefits for private health plans that will be offered starting in 2014 through new insurance exchanges.The study out Tuesday from the market analysis firm Avalere Health found that some states will require coverage of virtually all FDA-approved drugs, while others will only require coverage of about half of medications.Consumers will still have access to essential medications, but some may not have as much choice.Connecticut, Virginia and Arizona will be among the states with the most generous coverage, while California, Minnesota and North Carolina will be among states with the most limited.


    Darden Restaurants cites failed promotions for lower outlook

    Darden Restaurants Inc. is cutting its profit forecast for the year, with the owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster blaming failed promotions and negative publicity generated by its tests to limit health care costs for workers.

    Billionaire investor Carl Icahn said Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, he is giving up his bid to buy truck maker Oshkosh after less than 25 percent of the company’s shares were tendered before his offer expired.

    Icahn gives up bid for truck maker Oshkosh

    Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is giving up his bid to buy truck maker Oshkosh after less than 25 percent of the company's shares were tendered before his offer expired. Last week Icahn made it clear that he would walk away from his bid that valued the company at about $3 billion if the threshold wasn't met. The tender offer expired on Monday, with about 22 percent of the shares tendered.

    Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc., developer of The Woods of South Barrington, says its fiscal fourth-quarter net income soared, helped by a large income tax benefit and a 48 percent rise in revenue. The luxury homebuilder delivered more homes and its order backlog increased.

    Toll Brothers 4Q net income soars on tax benefit

    Toll Brothers says its fiscal fourth-quarter net income soared, helped by a large income tax benefit and a 48 percent rise in revenue. The luxury homebuilder delivered more homes and its order backlog increased.

    President Barack Obama, flanked by National Governors Association (NGA) Chairman, Delaware Gov. Jack Martell, and NGA Vice Chair, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, meets with the NGA executive committee regarding the fiscal cliff, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is at right.

    GOP ‘fiscal cliff’ plan echoes failed budget talks

    Republicans are proposing a "fiscal cliff" plan that revives ideas from failed budget talks with President Barack Obama last year, calling for raising the eligibility age for Medicare, lowering cost-of-living hikes for Social Security benefits and bringing in $800 billion in higher tax revenue. The counter to a White House plan relies more on politically sensitive spending cuts and would raise half the $1.6 trillion in revenue proposed by Obama.

    A measure of U.S. home prices rose 6.3 percent in October compared with a year ago, the largest yearly gain since July 2006. The jump adds to signs of a comeback in the once-battered housing market.

    U.S. home prices rise by most in 6 years, still down in IL

    A measure of U.S. home prices rose 6.3 percent in October compared with a year ago, the largest yearly gain since July 2006. The jump adds to signs of a comeback in the once-battered housing market. The five states where prices declined were: Illinois, Delaware, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Alabama.


    Oil falls below $89 on US manufacturing worries

    Worries about the U.S. economy following the release of a disappointing manufacturing report sent oil prices lower Tuesday. Benchmark crude for January delivery was down 21 cents to $88.88 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract finished up 18 cents at $89.09 a barrel on the Nymex on Monday.

    A month after the GOP’s presidential ticket lost an election, Paul Ryan, the party’s vice presidential nominee, finds himself comfortably back in his political wheelhouse on Capitol Hill and in the thick of a debate over how to avert automatic tax increases and spending cuts that many economists fear could cripple the economy if Congress doesn’t head them off by Jan. 1.

    Back to budgets, Ryan returns to comfortable topic

    Paul Ryan is getting his groove back. A month after the GOP's presidential ticket lost an election, the party's vice presidential nominee finds himself comfortably back in his political wheelhouse on Capitol Hill and in the thick of a debate over how to avert automatic tax increases and spending cuts that many economists fear could cripple the economy if Congress doesn't head them off by Jan. 1.

    Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan, right, talks with Cypriot Finance Minister and President of the EU rotating Council Vassos Chiarly Tuesday during the EU finance ministers meeting at the European Council building in Brussels.

    Germany, France at odds over EU banking supervisor

    Germany and France have set out sharply different visions of a new banking supervisor for Europe that they hope would better deal with future financial crises, complicating talks between the 27 European Union nations. The EU finance ministers hope to agree already on Tuesday on the set-up of the new supervisory body, which will be headed by the European Central Bank and will hold wide-ranging authority over banks.


    Struggling Nokia sells headquarters building

    Nokia Corp. plans to sell its head office near the Finnish capital to real estate investors for $220 million as the struggling cellphone maker continues to cut costs. CFO Timo Ihamuotila says the deal, to be concluded later this month, is in line with aims to shed non-core activities, adding that Nokia will continue to operate from the Espoo headquarters "on a long-term basis."


    Saudi group sells majority stake in NY’s Plaza

    The investment firm headed by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal says it has sold a majority stake in The Plaza Hotel in New York to a major Indian real estate conglomerate in a $575 million deal. Kingdom Holding Co. says it will retain 25 percent equity ownership in the landmark hotel, now controlled by a group led by Sahara India Pariwar. A statement Tuesday said Kingdom Holding made $32.9 million profit on the deal.

    Yamanashi Prefectural police investigators arrive Tuesday at Central Japan Expressway Co. to search the office in Otsuki, near Tokyo. Police were searching the offices Tuesday of the company operating an expressway tunnel where hundreds of concrete ceiling slabs collapsed onto moving vehicles below, killing nine people.

    Japan tunnel disaster shows aging of public works

    The deadly collapse last weekend of hundreds of concrete ceiling slabs in a tunnel outside Tokyo is raising calls for more spending on Japan's aging infrastructure, but the country might simply not have the money. Nine people were killed Sunday in the tunnel, a major link between the capital and central Japan that opened in 1977 at the peak of the country's postwar road construction boom. Police searched the tunnel operator's offices Tuesday, looking for evidence of negligence.


    Markets recover their poise as focus stays on U.S.

    Markets recovered their poise Tuesday despite concerns over the progress of budget talks in the U.S. and the state of the world's largest economy in the run-up to key jobs data at the end of the week. Those concerns weighed on Wall Street on Monday and much of the Asian session earlier but European markets have proven a bit perkier.

    Corinna Sabatacos, 34, sits on a bed in a FEMA-provided hotel room while she review pictures from Superstorm Sandy in New York. Sabatacos, who is pregnant and expecting a newborn in December, couldn’t return to her home in the Rockaways after damage from Superstorm Sandy.

    After Sandy, New York City pins housing hope on repairs

    Facing Superstorm Sandy's daunting toll of wreckage and displacement in the nation's largest city, officials have put much of their hopes and hundreds of millions of dollars into jump-starting repairs to make homes livable. Federal and city officials see the strategy — focusing on getting people back into their own homes, not temporary housing — as an innovative and nimble answer to the challenge of housing thousands of storm victims in a notoriously expensive and crowded area.

Life & Entertainment


    Money isn’t only factor in raising kids

    This couple came from underprivileged backgrounds, but now have amazing jobs. They'd love to start a family, but are terrified their kids would turn out to be the same kind of entitled brats they resented when they were students.

    Carlucci's after-dinner drink is flaming hot.

    Night life events: Carlucci's warms the heart and the belly

    After-dinner drinks don't get much hotter than Carlucci's signature flaming coffee. It's made with Bailey's and Grand Marnier, topped off with coffee and a caramelized cinnamon sugar rim and garnished with an orange slice.


    From the food editor: Candy canes, cookies and award-winning salmon

    Geneva pastry chef Alain Roby will attempt his third world record Saturday. He hopes to create a sugar cane that stretches 45 feet. Also, find out how you can try the winning recipe in the Daily Herald's Cook of the Week Challenge and raise money for the paper's new charitable campaign.

    Some of the romantic letters and drawings the late Peanuts creator Charles Schulz sent to a young woman 23 years his junior, who infatuated him. The love notes from 1970-1971 are being offered for sale at Sotheby’s in New York by the family of Tracey Claudius.

    Charles Schulz’ love letters going to auction

    The late "Peanuts" creator Charles Schulz was once so infatuated with a young woman 23 years his junior he sent her dozens of romantic letters and drawings of his beloved cartoon characters. Many of the themes of that correspondence made it into his daily comic strips at the time. Now those love notes from 1970-1971 are being offered for sale at Sotheby's in New York by the family of Tracey Claudius, who the auction house says is ill at her home near Philadelphia. It's estimated the notes will fetch $250,000 to $350,000

    Ke$ha, “Warrior”

    Ke$ha gets better on ‘Warrior’

    Don't hate me — but this new Ke$ha album is good. Kind of really good. "Warrior," the 25-year-old's sophomore release, is entertaining from top to bottom. Ke$ha — along with hitmaker Dr. Luke — has a knack for creating carefree and upbeat electro-pop songs that make you want to have a good time. It's pure fun.

    Fleetwood Mac, including John McVie, left, and Stevie Nicks, is heading back on the road with a 34-city U.S. tour kicking off April 3 in Columbus, Ohio.

    Fleetwood Mac readies tour and new music

    Fleetwood Mac is heading back on the road, and that means the top-selling group will release new music — sort of. On its 34-city North American tour, which stops at the United Center in Chicago on April 13, the band will perform two new songs, and it could mean a new album will follow. Or not. Despite the "great" sessions recording, Stevie Nicks says she's not sure where the band fits in today's music industry.

    Roddy Chong, of Schaumburg, leaps into the air while playing rock violin with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The TSO will do two shows this Saturday at the Allstate Arena.

    Schaumburg native rocks the violin in Trans-Siberian Orchestra

    When Roddy Chong plays violin, he's doesn't sit on a chair. He leaps into the air, runs across the stage, lunges forward, and flips his hair like he's playing in an '80s rock band. Chong, a Schaumburg native, considered one of the world's premier violinists, is pure energy onstage — a prerequisite for his job as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's rock violinist.

    Bob Costas’ “Sunday Night Football” halftime commentary supporting gun control sparked a Fox News Channel debate Monday on whether NBC should fire him. The NBC sportscaster, who frequently delivers commentary at halftime of the weekly NFL showcase, addressed the weekend’s murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher.

    Costas gun control commentary gets notice

    Bob Costas' "Sunday Night Football" halftime commentary supporting gun control sparked a Fox News Channel debate Monday on whether NBC should fire him and a Twitter storm involving Ted Nugent, Rosie O'Donnell, Herman Cain and many more. The NBC sportscaster, who frequently delivers commentary at halftime of the weekly NFL showcase, addressed the weekend's murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher.

    Fans can view the video for Gary Allan’s new single “Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)” on the country singer’s website beginning Tuesday. The player gives fans a chance to donate to the Red Cross. In return, donors get a free download of the song from Allan’s untitled new album due out next year.

    Allan giving away download with Sandy donation

    Fans can view the video for Gary Allan's new single "Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)" on his website beginning Tuesday on a special player. The player gives fans a chance to donate to the Red Cross. In return, donors get a free download of the song from Allan's untitled new album due out next year.

    Paprika puts a fresh take on classic lemon bars.

    Your spice rack can perk up holiday cookies

    This year, do you really want every cookie on your holiday platter to be a pillar of sweetness? Why not spice up your cookie selection? Just open your spice cabinet. Thyme, allspice, paprika and, yes, even fennel and black pepper, move into doughs usually ruled by cinnamon and nutmeg for some uniquely savory treats.

    Alicia Keys says the songwriting process was key to her latest album, “Girl on Fire.”

    Alicia Keys goes deeper for latest CD

    Alicia Keys will make you cry. Cry hard. That's what happened when a close friend listened to the song “Brand New Me,” a personal piano-tune from Keys' new album that she calls her “autobiography.” On it, she sings about being herself, even if others don't approve. In a wide-ranging interview, the singer-songwriter talks about her fifth album, her 2-year-old son and her short new haircut. "You start fresh and fly," she says, "and that's how I feel."


    Music notes: Sammy Llanas brings BoDeans style to solo show

    Sammy Llanas, whose twangy rasp was a key part of the sound of the BoDeans for years, is now pursuing a solo career, and he will make a stop this weekend in Rosemont.

    Mickey Mouse uses a paintbrush to fight a monster in “Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two.”

    ‘Epic Mickey 2’ builds a worse mousetrap

    While Mickey Mouse has been the face of The Walt Disney Co. for more than 80 years, I don't think he's anyone's favorite toon. And yet, here he is in "Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two," his second high-profile video game in three years. It's the continuation of designer Warren Spector's effort to rehabilitate the rodent — and given the drab, charmless result, it's a project I'm ready to give up on.

    British director Richard Jones’ surrealist take on Humperdinck’s classic 1893 opera “Hansel & Gretel” features angelic and chubby chefs in the beloved Act II dream pantomime. The Lyric Opera of Chicago co-production with Welsh National Opera returns for a nine-performance run from Friday, Dec. 7, through Saturday, Jan. 19.

    Best bets: Lyric stages surreal ‘Hansel & Gretel’

    The Lyric Opera of Chicago's surreal take on the classic 1893 Humperdinck opera "Hansel & Gretel" returns for a nine-performance run starting Friday, Dec. 7, at the Civic Opera House. If you’re seeking celebrity cake-baking advice, then don’t miss the Buddy Valastro Live: The Cake Boss — Homemade for the Holidays Tour at the Genesee Theatre. The late choreographer Ruth Page’s 1965 take on “The Nutcracker” is back again this weekend.

    Robin Cook’s “Nano”

    Cook’s latest thriller is one of his best

    Medical thriller writer Robin Cook, M.D., tackles nanotechnology in his latest book, "Nano." It is an excellent choice, because public interest is high in this young science that allows scientists to manipulate materials at the molecular level. As the protagonist, the author brings back Pia Grazdani. She has blossomed into a perfect protagonist for a thriller — gutsy and willing to take risks to get to the bottom of a mystery.

    Use freshly ground black pepper for these French-style shortbread cookies.

    Chocolate Pepper Sable

    Chocolate Black Pepper Shortbread

    Paprika puts a fresh take on the classic lemon bars.

    Lemon Paprika Bars

    Lemon Paprika Bars

    Fennel Cornmeal Wafers are delicate in both texture and sweetness. They would go great with a glass of dessert wine, or as an accompaniment to a cheese course.

    Fennel Cornmeal Wafers

    Fennel Cornmeal Wafers

    Dried cherries stand in for raisins in these drop cookies lovingly referred to as hermits.

    Cherry Allspice Hermits

    Allspice Hermits



    Editorial: Necessary discussion on preterm births

    Several hospitals and advocacy groups have made recommendations that warrant discussion as a good first step in the effort to help reduce premature births, a Daily Herald editorial says..


    Millionaires can afford tax increases
    A Barrington letter to the editor: Check your facts: The top 2 percent of our population has more wealth than the other 98 percent all together. Percentage statistics show over and over how the top earners' incomes have increased enormously when compared to the ordinary, hardworking people.


    Hats off to Army’s Green Berets
    A Buffalo Grove letter to the editor: In response to Sean Herling's letter in the Nov. 22 Fence Post, I think it's a very good idea, your recommendation to honor the different U.S. military services on a coin. But I don't believe that a Green Beret would represent the Marine Corps.


    Highest office is that of citizenship
    A Glen Ellyn letter to the editor: There are countries in the world where once you are born into a class that is where you will stay. That is not the case in America, no matter how hard politicians try to segment us.


    Paramount’s boffo Braodway act
    An Aurora letter to the editor: The Daily Herald's participation in the Paramount Art Centre's Greatest Hits from Broadway represents public service in its highest sense.


    GOP has little to learn from Catholics
    A Warrenville letter to the editor: In a recent column, Michael Gerson advised the Republican Party to embrace Catholic teachings: "a commitment to the common good and a particular concern for the poor and vulnerable." Apparently, he offered this advice to help the party win future elections.


    Speed bumps for all school zones
    An Elgin letter to the editor: Speed bumps should be installed in all school zones in the U.S. The cost for speed bumps is less expensive than paying for someone's life or injury.


    Obama won; now let’s move on
    A Carpentersville letter to the editor: Nearly a month has passed since the presidential election, and yet there has been a steady stream of sour grapes letters from Republicans either expressing astonishment that Obama won or outright contempt for the man.


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