Daily Archive : Wednesday December 5, 2012

News

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    Date set for ex-Cub Mark Grace in DUI trial

    A March 19 trial date has been set for former Cubs first baseman and television analyst Mark Grace in a DUI case. A Maricopa County grand jury indicted Grace in October on four felony counts of aggravated driving or actual physical control while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.

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    Bennie Starks

    Lake County prosecutors dropping battery charge in wrongful rape conviction

    Lake County prosecutors say they are dropping their pursuit of an aggravated battery charge against a man who was wrongfully convicted of murder and was recently released from prision. Lake County State's Attorney Mike Nerheim announced prosecutors will go before Circuit Judge John Phillips to request dismissal of the aggravated battery against Bennie Starks, who spent 20 years in prison. The...

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    Price Sowers, from GNP Energy, displays one of the LED lighting units similar to the ones that have been installed inside existing streetlight housings in Wood Dale. The new lights will save the city money in energy costs and release less carbon into the environment.

    Wood Dale light conversion to save money, help environment

    Wood Dale is spending more than $223,000 to convert all the city-owned streetlights from regular bulbs to LED lights, a change officials say will be easier on finances and the environment. As a result, officials expect a rebate of more than $86,000 from the Illinois Department of Commerce, plus a complete return on their investment in less than three years.

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    JOE LEWNARD/jlewnard@dailyherald.com Barbara Germain of the Countryside Garden Class of Barrington carries a Santa figure she said the Barrington Area Library rejected last month when she dropped it off for inclusion in a holiday display.

    Rejected Santa Claus leads to criticism of Barrington library

    For the second time this fall, volunteers are expressing disappointment with a decision and what they see as a lack of adequate communication on the part of the Barrington Area Library. This time, it's Barrington resident Barb Germain who's sore over the library's rejection, for reasons she feels remain unclear, of a $20 Santa Claus figure she bought for her garden club's annual display in the...

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    Man stabbed in Lake Zurich parking lot

    Police are asking for help in finding a young man who stabbed another early Wednesday outside a Lake Zurich McDonald's, authorities said. A 21-year-old man was stabbed twice in the abdomen in the McDonald's parking lot at 653 S. Rand Road at 1:53 a.m., according to a statement released by Lake Zurich police Cmdr. David Bradstreet.

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    Andres DeLeon of Baby’s Steak & Lemonade in Orland Park poses with a large supply of Hostess Twinkies at his restaurant on Wednesda. Baby’s Cheesesteak and Lemonade gave away the coveted treats at its locations in Orland Park and Country Club Hills along with 2,200 chocolate cupcakes.

    Suburban restaurant gives away 10,000 Twinkies

    Baby's Cheesesteak and Lemonade gave away the coveted treats Wednesday at its locations in Orland Park and Country Club Hills along with 2,200 chocolate cupcakes. The restaurant got the idea as a promotion after Hostess announced it was closing last month.

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    Lake Zurich officials Wednesday night discussed preliminary plans to close two firehouses and replace them with a new station to provide the affected area with the same coverage at less cost. One is the No. 4 station on Field Parkway in Deer Park owned by the Lake Zurich Rural Fire Protection District.

    Fire station shuffle broached in Lake Zurich

    Lake Zurich officials Wednesday night discussed a conceptual plan to close two firehouses and replace them with a new station to provide the affected area with the same coverage at less cost.

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    Elgin gives nod to new police, fire radio system

    Elgin plans to purchase a state-of-the-art, multimillion dollar police and fire radio system that would more than double the current, aging system's capacity, and would allow emergency responders to better communicate with their counterparts in other communities.

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    Elgin gives nod to new police, fire radio system

    Elgin plans to purchase a state-of-the-art, multimillion dollar police and fire radio system that would more than double the current, aging system's capacity, and would allow emergency responders to better communicate with their counterparts in other communities.

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    House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, accompanied by the House GOP leadership, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill Wednesday, following a closed-door GOP strategy session. From left are, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California, Boehner, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Washington Republican, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia.

    How Americans stand on ‘fiscal cliff’ issues

    Americans prefer letting tax cuts expire for the country's top earners, as President Barack Obama insists, while support has declined for cutting government services to curb budget deficits, a new Associated Press-GfK poll shows. Fewer than half the Republicans polled favor continuing the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy.

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    Brunch with Santa

    Breakfast with Santa will be served Saturday, Dec. 8 and 15 and Sunday, Dec. 9 and 16 at Lambs Farm, 14245 W Rockland Road, near Libertyville.

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    Hoffman Estates crash victim identified

    An 86-year-old Streamwood woman was killed early Wednesday morning in a head-on collision on Barrington Road in Hoffman Estates, authorities said. Helen Royce was taken to St. Alexius Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 5:13 a.m.

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    Ronald Post, 53, is scheduled to be executed Jan. 16, 2013, for the 1983 shooting death of a hotel desk clerk. Post is trying to stave off execution, arguing that because of his obesity, an attempt to put him to death would amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

    At 450 pounds, is he too heavy to be executed?

    At about 450 pounds, Ohio death row inmate Ronald Post is so fat that his executioners won't be able to find veins in his arms or legs for the lethal injection, and he might even break the death chamber gurney, his lawyers say. So he is arguing his execution would be cruel and thus unconstitutional.

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    United States Military Academy cadets stand in formation at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. Blake Page, a cadet quitting West Point less than six months before graduation, says he could no longer be part of a culture that promotes prayers and religious activities and disrespects nonreligious cadets.

    Cadet cites overt religion at West Point

    A cadet quitting West Point less than six months before graduation says he could no longer be part of a culture that promotes prayers and religious activities and disrespects nonreligious cadets.

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    Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi remove tents of opposition protesters outside the presidential palace in Cairo Wednesday. Supporters of Morsi and opponents clashed outside the presidential palace.

    Islamists battle opponents as Egypt crisis grows

    Egypt descended into political turmoil on Wednesday over the constitution drafted by Islamist allies of President Mohammed Morsi, and at least 211 people were wounded as supporters and opponents battled each other with firebombs, rocks and sticks outside the presidential palace.

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    Donne Trotter

    State senator accused of having gun in bag at O’Hare

    A veteran Illinois state senator was arrested Wednesday after trying to board a flight from Chicago to Washington with a gun and ammunition in a carry-on bag, authorities said. Sen. Donne Trotter, a Chicago Democrat who recently announced he would run to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in the U.S. House, was carrying an unloaded .25-caliber Beretta handgun and a magazine clip with six bullets when he...

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    Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin debated Oct. 11, and Biden dismissed a statement by Ryan by saying, “With all due respect, that’s a bunch of Malarkey.” Thatn sent look-ups of malarkey soaring on Merriam-webster.com.

    Capitalism and socialism wed as words of the year

    Thanks to the election, socialism and capitalism are forever wed as Merriam-Webster's most looked-up words of 2012. Traffic for the unlikely pair on the company's website about doubled this year from the year before as the health care debate heated up and discussion intensified.

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    John W. Edgell

    Former Antioch Rescue official turns himself in after missing court call

    A former Antioch Rescue Squad treasurer facing felony theft charges turned himself in to authorities Wednesday, a day after an arrest warrant was issued because he missed a court hearing. John W. Edgell 54, of the 40000 block of Deep Lake Road in Antioch, said he was told the wrong court date during a previous hearing. Officials agreed to drop the warrant, and Edgell was freed with a new Jan. 8...

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    John A. Cunningham

    Batavia man charged with beating woman, 80, at knife point

    A 49-year-old man with a long criminal history was being held on $75,000 bail after his weekend in arrest in Batavia for slapping an 80-year-old woman and threatening her with a knife. John A. Cunningham faces up to seven years in prison on felony charges of armed violence and aggravated battery to a person older than 60.

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    Emon Madison and other students from Centralia High School rally Wednesday at the state Capitol against efforts to close multiple state facilities in southern Illinois. The facilities that have lost state funding include the Murray Developmental Center in Centralia, Centralia Animal Disease Laboratory, Tamms Correctional Center, Illinois Youth Center in Murphysboro, Adult Transitional Center in Carbondale and Illinois State Police Forensics Lab in Carbondale.

    House allows state prison cuts to stand

    Gov. Pat Quinn won a contentious legislative battle over prison closures — along with ability to direct millions in state money toward child services — on Wednesday. Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, had proposed cutting $56 million from the state's budget and shutting down two prisons, two juvenile detention centers and three halfway houses, a plan a major union opposed and took to the...

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    Arlington Heights resident Walt Meder, who helped launch the Daily Herald’s “Hope for the Holidays” toy drive, said he’s not surprised by the outpouring of donations to help needy children.

    Hope for the Holidays raises $10,000 so far to help needy children

    The Daily Herald's "Hope for the Holidays" fundraising drive, sparked by 90-year-old Arlington Heights resident Walt Meder, has raised more than $10,000 so far from 183 donors to buy toys and gifts for children served by WINGS, an agency serving homeless and abused women in the suburbs and their children. Meder isn't surprised by the outpouring, saying, "People are pretty good if they just get...

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    Spokesman: Service restored after AT&T outage

    Service has been restored for AT&T customers throughout the Chicago metropolitan area after a U-Verse home phone, Internet and cable outage Wednesday afternoon, according to a company spokesman. The outage occurred around 2 p.m. and power was fully restored by 4 p.m., said spokesman Jim Kimberly.

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    Michael Cacini

    Arlington Heights man gets 23 years for running over cop

    Michael Cacini, 37, of Arlington Heights was sentenced to 23 years in prison for trying to run over a Chicago police officer during an early morning altercation along Chicago's Rush Street in 2010.

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    Fox Valley police reports
    Dennis W. Perry, 28, of Crystal Lake was arrested Tuesday at a store in the 300 block of South Randall Road and charged with retail theft, according to a police report. The store's security personnel detained Perry after he pushed a cart with $609 worth of merchandise past the cashier.

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    Uncontested race set for Barrington Township

    Barrington Township Republicans held a caucus Tuesday night to select candidates for what will be an uncontested election for the township's offices April 9. There was no Democratic caucus and there will be no Democratic candidates.

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    GOP, Dems slate Schaumburg Township candidates

    Both Republicans and Democrats slated candidates for the April 9 Schaumburg Township elections at caucuses Tuesday night, though only the Republicans slated a candidate for every elected office. The Republican slate is comprised largely of incumbents.

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    Elk Grove Republicans nominate slate of township candidates

    The Republican Organization of Elk Grove Township held a caucus on Tuesday night to nominate a slate of candidates for the April 9 consolidated election, officials said.

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    Prison time for Barrington man who solicited underage girl

    A 61-year-old Barrington man was sentenced to five years in prison this week, after admitting he sent a webcam to who he believed was an 11-year-old girl so she could forward him sexually explicit images of herself.

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    New deal with District 300 teachers will not cause tax increase

    Now that the one-day teachers strike in Community Unit District 300 is over, many parents have shifted from worrying about child care for their kids while school is out to worrying that the tentative labor agreement announced Tuesday will mean higher taxes. Word is, it won't. School board member Joe Stevens said nothing about the contract can force taxes up without a referendum, which the board...

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    Elizabeth Bako

    Grayslake woman pleads not guilty to theft of PTO funds

    A woman accused of stealing more than $10,000 from a Grayslake parent teacher organization pleaded not guilty to theft in Lake County Court on Wednesday. Elizabeth S. Bako, 41, of the 300 block of Woodland Drive in Grayslake, is charged with two counts of felony theft and two counts of using a debit card with intent to defraud.

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    Zachary Bingham

    Services set for Maple Park man killed by driver of stolen car

    Visitation and funeral services are set Monday and Tuesday for a 2012 Kaneland High School graduate who was killed when his car was hit head on by a Wisconsin woman driving a car reported stolen from Wheaton. Zachary Bingham, 18, of Maple Park, planned to pursue a career in the trades as a welder and was taking classes at Elgin Community College.

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    Gary Grouwinkel

    Veteran member leaving Mount Prospect park board

    Gary Grouwinkel, a veteran presence on the Mount Prospect Park District board, has decided not to run for a fourth term. "I've had my day," Grouwinkel said Wednesday.

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    Linda Fleming

    Palatine Twp. sees crowded field of GOP candidates

    Nearly 20 Republicans divided into three slates have filed to run for office in Palatine Township, with the widespread interest prompting a primary election on Feb. 26. Exactly who the winners will face in the general election remains unclear, however, with the Democrats declining to disclose their candidates until later.

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    Firefighters investigate the scene where a car crashed into Rosin Eyecare on Ogden Avenue in Naperville last Friday. Police say just a day earlier the same motorist crashed through a fence and into a back yard a block away.

    Cops: Driver crashes at 2 Naperville businesses in 2 days

    A woman who crashed a car into a Naperville eye care center last week had driven through a fence and into a yard a block away just one day earlier, police said Wednesday. Mary Hasselberger, 66, told authorities there was a problem with the brakes or acceleration on the two different cars she was driving, but investigators "didn't find any evidence to suggest that," Sgt. Lou Cammiso said.

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    Grayslake District 46 town meeting

    Grayslake Elementary District 46 board members plan to host a town meeting Tuesday, Dec. 11 that will include discussions about teacher contract negotiations. \

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    Tri-Cities police reports
    Robert D. Kaye, 22, of Bartlett, was charged Sunday with public urination, according to a St. Charles police report.

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    Yogurt giveaway for grand opening

    The new Red Mango store in the Deer Park Town Center, 20530 N. Rand Road, will host an all-day grand opening featuring free yogurt on Saturday, Dec. 8.

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    Otis Wilson at blood drive

    The Mundelein Fire Department will host its annual "Holiday Heroes" blood drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 at the fire station at 1000 N. Midlothian Road.

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    Matthew Porter

    Elmhurst man charged with dealing pot

    An Elmhurst man has been arrested on charges of dealing marijuana, police announced Wednesday. Matthew Porter, 22, of the 100 block of South Fairlane Avenue, faces one count each of delivery of cannabis and drug paraphernalia possession.

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    Century Walk visitors can now use their cellphones to learn more about 40 of Naperville’s Century Walk public art pieces.

    Naperville’s Century Walk audio tour gaining steam

    Is a certain bronzed crime fighter poised to unseat George Pradel as Naperville's most popular resident? A new technology installed at more than 40 Century Walk public art pieces in Naperville may soon be able to keep track.

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    Huntley Community Radio almost a reality ... on the radio

    Huntley Community Radio is a step closer to becoming a reality on your FM dial.Last week, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it hopes to start taking applications for low-power radio service — which includes HCR — by next October. "This is exciting," said Dorothy Litwin, who is in charge of HCR's programming development.

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    ICC says ComEd can delay rollout of smart meters

    The Illinois Commerce Commission has agreed to let ComEd delay the rollout of so-called smart meters. The ICC voted Wednesday to grant the company's request for a delay but will revisit the issue in April.

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    Cellphone scams increasing in Illinois

    The consumer advocacy group Citizens Utility Board says scams that add charges to customers' cell phone bills have almost doubled in Illinois the past year.

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    Prosecutors say Jeffrey Vogelsberg beat and tortured to death his autistic half-brother in the bathroom of this house in Mazomanie, Wis.

    Half-brother accused of killing autistic Wisconsin man

    When detectives found a 27-year-old autistic man's body buried in the woods months after he disappeared, they uncovered what investigators say was a horrific story of family violence. His half- brother, Jeffrey Vogelsberg, had repeatedly tortured and abused Graville, prosecutors say, and the beatings finally went too far.

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    Dist. 220 to appoint new board member Dec. 18

    Barrington Unit District 220 has received applications from 22 residents interested in filling the seat of former board of education member Nicholas Sauer through the April 9 election. The board is currently reviewing the applications and expects to vote on an appointment Dec. 18. Sauer resigned from the board in November after winning election to the Lake County Board.

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    Flood relief coming to some Mount Prospect neighborhoods

    Flood relief is on the way for some Mount Prospect residents. The village board this week approved a $2.5 million bond issue to finance public flood control projects that come in response to extensive and damaging flooding left behind by last summer's record rainstorms.

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    Bob Costas stirred up a hornet’s nest Sunday with a halftime commentary about Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher’s murdering his girlfriend (and the mother of his child), followed by his own suicide. “If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun,” Costas told a TV audience of more than 20 million, “he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”

    Did Costas overstep his bounds with gun comments?

    Clearly, Bob Costas stirred up a hornet's nest Sunday with a halftime commentary about Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher, who killed his girlfriend (and the mother of his child) before killing himself. On Twitter, someone posed this question: "Who put Costas on in the middle of a football game so he could spew his one sided beliefs?" Another tweeter sharply recommended Costas "stick to...

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    This artist rendering released by NASA shows the twin spacecraft Ebb and Flow orbiting the moon. The duo found evidence that the moon’s interior is more battered than previously thought and the crust is thinner than expected.

    Below surface, moon reveals a “shattered” history

    The moon took quite a beating in its early days, more than previously believed, scientists reported Wednesday. This surprising new view of the moon comes from detailed gravity mapping by twin NASA spacecraft.

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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, welcomes the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanjahu, in front of the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday for a joint dinner prior to intergovernmental talks on Thursday.

    Israel, Palestinians escalate settlement showdown

    Palestinians and Israelis hardened their positions Wednesday over a contentious new settlement push around Jerusalem, with Israel going full throttle on plans to develop the area and the Palestinians trying to block it through an appeal to the U.N. Security Council.

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    This July 19, 2011, image shows the International Space Station photographed by a member of Atlantis’ STS-135 crew during a fly around as the shuttle departed the station on the last space shuttle mission.

    Expert panel: NASA seems lost in space, needs goal

    NASA is adrift without a coherent vision for where it should be going, an independent panel of space, science and engineering experts says. But the report by the National Academy of Sciences doesn't blame the space agency.

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    People attend the U.N. climate talks conference in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday. The delegates are aiming to seal an interim pact by Friday on reducing Earth-warming greenhouse gas emissions.

    Clashes over financing threat UN climate talks

    The world's poorest nations on Wednesday called for significant financing to cope with the impacts of global warming, setting up a potential clash with rich countries that could slow progress on reaching a global climate pact by 2015.

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    District 207 appoints new board member

    Maine Township High School District 207 school board swore in Carla Owen as a new board member Monday. Owen, of Park Ridge, fills a vacancy created by the resignation of Joann Braam, who is moving out of district.

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    This latest plan failed to garner enough council support Tuesday to move forward in Naperville. Developers now must decide whether to scrap the plan altogether or start from scratch.

    Naperville Water Street project sunk for good this time?

    Naperville developers late Tuesday said the proposed Water Street project is likely dead after council members scrapped the plan entirely and punted it back to the city's Planning and Zoning Commission.

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    Lombard looks to drop vehicle stickers

    If the village of Lombard's 2013 budget passes without changes, residents no longer will have to buy vehicle stickers. The proposed $86.8 million budget eliminates vehicle stickers, which would have brought $541,200 in revenue to the village next year. Even with a half-million reduction in revenue, the budget remains balanced, as the village expects to bring in $91.4 million in 2013.

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    A one-ounce Double Eagle gold coin valued at $1,730 and Canadian gold coins worth $170 were recently deposited in Salvation Army kettles in Lake County. The bigger coin was donated in Grayslake and the others in Round Lake Beach and Gurnee.

    Donations of gold and silver coins arrive in kettles

    The longstanding tradition of anonymous giving of gold coins to the Salvation Army continues, as a one-ounce Double Eagle gold coin worth about $1,730 was dropped in a kettle at the Jewel in Grayslake, the Salvation Army reported. Two Canadian gold coins were deposited in other locations and a donor also dropped a wad of bills amounting to $1,000 in a kettle in Gurnee.

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    Democratic state Reps. Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook, left, and Barbara Flynn Currie of Chicago confer at the Illinois Capitol this summer as lawmakers considered how to tackle the state’s rising pension costs.

    Will new state pension plan find support?

    State Rep. Elaine Nekritz Wednesday introduced a new plan to cut the state's escalating pension costs as a starting point for further negotiations and showed concern for the ticking clock winding down on lawmakers' current terms.

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    A Jewish settler looks at the West bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim, from the E-1 area on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. An Israeli-Palestinian showdown over plans for new Jewish settlements around Jerusalem escalated on Wednesday: Israel pushed the most contentious of the projects further along in the planning pipeline, while the Palestinian president said he would seek U.N. Security Council help to block the construction.

    Abbas says new Israeli settlements ‘red line’

    RAMALLAH, West Bank — An Israeli-Palestinian showdown over plans for new Jewish settlements around Jerusalem escalated on Wednesday. Israel pushed the most contentious of the projects further along in the planning pipeline, and the Palestinian president said he would seek U.N. Security Council help to block the construction.

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    Officials: U.S. to blacklist a Syrian rebel group

    WASHINGTON — U.S. officials say the Obama administration is preparing to designate a Syrian rebel group with alleged ties to al-Qaida as a foreign terrorist organization. The step is aimed at blunting the influence of extremists within the Syrian opposition.

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    This image taken from the Iranian state TV’s Arabic-language channel Al-Alam shows what they purport to be an intact U.S. drone aircraft captured after it entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf. The U.S. Navy said all its unmanned aircraft in the region were “fully accounted for,” but a prominent lawmaker in Tehran said Wednesday Iran has material evidence to prove that it has captured an American unmanned aircraft.

    Official: Iran has evidence it captured U.S. drone

    TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has material evidence to prove that it has captured an American unmanned aircraft, a prominent lawmaker in Tehran said Wednesday, rejecting U.S. Navy statements that none of its drones in the region was missing.

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    Kennedy Center honoree Dave Brubeck was a pioneering jazz composer and pianist. He died Wednesday, Dec. 5 of heart failure, after being stricken while on his way to a cardiology appointment with his son. He would have turned 92 on Thursday.

    Jazz composer, pianist Dave Brubeck dies

    Jazz composer and pianist Dave Brubeck, whose pioneering style in pieces such as "Take Five" caught listeners' ears with exotic, challenging rhythms, has died. He was 91. Brubeck died Wednesday morning of heart failure after being stricken while on his way to a cardiology appointment with his son Darius, said his manager Russell Gloyd. Brubeck would have turned 92 on Thursday.

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    The 80-foot-tall Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is lit using 45,000 energy efficient LED lights in New York.

    LED lights v. regular holiday lights

    If you're interested in keeping down your electricity costs this year, you might try LED lights. In addition, LED lights last longer and are safer than traditional lights.

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    Not-guilty plea made in Indiana freezer body case

    KOKOMO, Ind. — A judge has entered a not-guilty plea for a central Indiana man charged with killing a homeless man whose decomposing body was found in an unplugged freezer.A Howard County judge also set a March trial date for 52-year-old Walter Logan of Kokomo during a hearing Wednesday. A court staffer says a public defender for Logan wasn’t immediately appointed.

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    Chinese language instructor Victor Mao, left, works on his laptop as Chris Ma looks on. The two men are involved in a Chinese language class taught over a 10-week period at Moundford Free Methodist Church in Decatur.

    Decatur church offers Mandarin lessons

    DECATUR — While the American presidential election was busy engaging in lots of intense China-bashing, a group of language students in Decatur were being sent home with some of the poetic thoughts of the late Mao Zedong, the first chairman of the Communist Party of China.

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    Wis. DNR to hold online chat about cougars
    MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin state wildlife officials are planning to hold an online chat about cougars.Department of Natural Resources carnivore ecologist Adrian Wydeven and assistant carnivore biologist Jane Wiedenhoeft will host the chat beginning at noon on Wednesday. Participants can join the chat by visiting the DNR’s website and searching for the phrase “ask the experts.”

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    Notre Dame’s plan to move road wins initial OK

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. — County officials have given initial approval to the University of Notre Dame’s proposal to move a busy road that crosses part of campus despite the safety concerns of some residents.The university’s proposal would move Douglas Road north through mostly vacant fields, with the new east-west four-lane road being aligning with an Indiana Toll Road entrance.

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    Man admits role in foiled, cat-related murder plot

    EAST ST. LOUIS — An Illinois man faces up to 20 years in federal prison now that he’s admitted his role in a foiled plot to abduct, extort and electrocute a wealthy man and to make it appear he’d been killed accidentally by his cat.Brett Nash of Pontoon Beach pleaded guilty Tuesday to a felony count of solicitation of a violent crime. Four other counts are to be dropped.

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    Police find malnourished calf in Wisconsin home

    BELOIT, Wis. — Police responding to a domestic disturbance call at a Beloit home made an unusual discovery.Officers say a malnourished calf was being kept in the basement of the house. A woman living at the residence called police Sunday and told them her husband had assaulted her. Police Capt. Vince Sciame says the husband was upset the calf was not being properly fed.

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    ISU hopes to have new president by next fall

    NORMAL — The chairman of Illinois State University’s board of trustees says his goal is to have a new ISU president on the job by next fall.Current ISU President Al Bowman announced his retirement Monday.

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    Wis. board calls for increase in college financial aid

    MADISON, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin System and other college groups are endorsing a commission finding that calls for increased college aid in the next state budget.

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    Ind. city to seek new way of discouraging coyotes

    GREENWOOD, Ind. — Leaders of a southern suburb of Indianapolis say they’ll look for other ways to discourage coyotes from roaming its neighborhoods after rejecting a proposed ban on feeding stray and wild animals.

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    Drugs in ex-sheriff’s cell were anti-depressants

    A former Illinois sheriff illegally hoarded antidepressants as he awaited resentencing in a drug and foiled murder-for-hire case, demonstrating his continued disregard for the law and underlining the need for a harsh sentence, a federal prosecutor said.

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    The parsonage at First United Methodist Church in West Dundee is the subject of debate. Preservationists want the historic building preserved. Others want it razed since there’s already a newer parsonage on site and the older one hasn’t been used for several years.

    West Dundee trying to settle church parsonage dispute

    After years of a stalemate between West Dundee and First United Methodist Church over the church's historic but decaying parsonage, the ice appears to be melting between the parties. West Dundee is ready to drop an emergency motion against the church that involves its parsonage if church leaders promise to fix the roof.

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    Metra’s Union Pacific North line delayed due to mechanical failure

    Mechanical problems are causing an hour delay on Metra's Union Pacific north line. The train broke down between Great Lakes and Lake Bluff, authorities said.

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    Hoffman Estates Cabela’s hosts traveling memorial wall

    The Illinois Fallen Heroes Traveling Memorial Wall will make a stop at the Hoffman Estates Cabela's on Saturday, Dec. 8. A ceremony honoring fallen service members will be held outside the store at 10 a.m.

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    Residents wash their clothes Wednesday amid the devastation left by Typhoon Bopha, in the village of Andap, New Bataan township, Compostela Valley in southern Philippines. Typhoon Bopha, one of the strongest typhoons to hit the Philippines this year, barreled across the country’s south on Tuesday, killing scores of people while triggering landslides, flooding and cutting off power in two entire provinces.

    Death toll from Philippine typhoon passes 280

    Stunned parents searching for missing children examined a row of mud-stained bodies covered with banana leaves while survivors dried their soaked belongings on roadsides Wednesday, a day after a powerful typhoon killed more than 280 people in the southern Philippines.

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    Suspect in fatal NYC subway push implicates self

    Authorities said a suspect has implicated himself in the death of a New York man who was pushed onto the tracks and photographed just before a train struck him — an image that set off an ethical debate after it appeared on the front page of the New York Post.

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    General view of buildings in Aleppo, Syria.

    Syrian civil war spills into Lebanon

    TRIPOLI, Lebanon — Gunmen loyal to opposite sides in neighboring Syria’s civil war battled on Wednesday in the streets of a northern Lebanese city where two days of fighting killed at least five people and wounded 45, officials said.

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    Egyptian Islamists call for rival rally at palace

    Egypt's most powerful Islamist party called on President Mohammed Morsi's supporters to rally Wednesday outside the presidential palace to counter a mass outpouring of anger by his opponents, setting up a potential clash between the two sides.

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    Community Unit District 300 teachers walked the picket line Tuesday morning outside district headquarters after the teachers union went on strike, but they'll be returning to the classrooms this morning after a deal was announced last night.

    Dawn Patrol: Dist. 300 classes resuming; maggots found in ear
    Class resumes in District 300; Lawsuit filed after maggots found in women's ear; Former Algonquin attorney gets 8.5 years; Text triggers Carpentersville man; Review of Maine West hazing ordered; Pension cost-shifting measure gaining steam; Urlacher out three to four games

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    Renovations at the Illinois Municipal League headquarters in Springfield are one area criticized by several suburban mayors, who also are calling for dismissing some top-level administrators.

    Suburban mayors accuse agency of mismanagement, nepotism

    The Illinois Municipal League was formed as a way for towns across the state to stand as one on legislative and other issues that affect them. Now, however, the group itself is divided, with several suburban mayors claiming mismanagement of the taxpayer-supported organization and calling for the jobs of agency leaders.

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    This undated file photo provided by the Anchorage Police Department shows Anchorage, Alaska, barista Samantha Koenig, 18. A man who died in an apparent suicide this week in an Alaska jail after confessing to a string of killings had sexually assaulted and strangled Koenig the day after he abducted her.

    FBI releases details in Alaska serial killer death

    A security video showing the abduction of an Alaska barista is unnerving on its own, but it only hints at the horror ahead for the 18-year-old woman. Samantha Koenig would soon be sexually assaulted and strangled after she was kidnapped from an Anchorage coffee stand, her body left in a shed for two weeks while her killer went on a cruise. After he returned, Israel Keyes photographed Koenig for a...

Sports

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

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

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

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

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

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    Northern Illinois coach Rod Carey talks to the media during an NCAA college football Orange Bowl press conference Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, in Hollywood, Fla. Northern Illinois takes on Florida State on Jan. 1, 2013 in Miami. Northern Illinois has promoted Carey from offensive coordinator afterDave Doeren left for North Carolina State.

    Seminoles plan to mob Lynch

    Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher already knows all he needs to about Northern Illinois. Stop quarterback Jordan Lynch and you can stop the Huskies. “You’re going to have to do it as a group,” Fisher said Wednesday at the press conference in Miami to introduce the coaches for the Orange Bowl. “We’re going to have to give a great team effort (because) the guy throws it, he can run it and he has weapons all around him.

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    It’s not official, but look for Jeff Keppinger to be playing third base for the White Sox next season.

    White Sox ‘sign’ Keppinger to play third base
    The White Sox have reportedly signed free-agent infielder Jeff Keppinger to a three-year, $12 million contract. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is the first to report the story, and Scot Gregor has more on Keppinger's career.

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    Sturm’s effort paces Wauconda victory

    Dani Sturm's double-double helped power Wauconda's girls basketball team to victory Wednesday night. Sturm scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, leading the visiting Bulldogs to a 44-29 win over Round Lake in North Suburban Prairie Division action.

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    Cary-Grove’s Dean Lee, center, drives on Carmel’s Chris Duff, left, and Matt Kelly on Wednesday night at Carmel.

    Swell finish for Gregoire, Cary-Grove

    Cary-Grove sophomore Jason Gregoire could barely balance a bag of ice on his throbbing right index finger as he emerged from the visitors' locker room at Carmel Catholic. Shaking a hand made the hero wince. Oh, how that swelled finger hurt. Not enough, however, that he couldn't calmly sink a pair of clutch free throws with 6.5 seconds left in overtime. Gregoire's first toss bounced three times before falling through the net and tying the score. Then after Carmel tried to ice him with a timeout, he swished home the second free throw. "I just followed through and stayed calm," Gregoire said. When Carmel's Billy Kirby couldn't get a 3-pointer from the corner to go at the buzzer, Cary-Grove had escaped with a 43-42 nonconference win Wednesday night. Kirby's fourth-quarter shooting, which included a 3, had helped the Corsairs erase a pair of five-point deficits.

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    Mooseheart’s Mangisto Deng maneuvers around Hinckley-Big Rock’s Nick Gentry under the hoop in the first quarter on Wednesday, December 5.

    Late Hinckley run dooms Mooseheart

    In fundamental respects, it had all the earmarks of a conventional weeknight boys basketball game. But there was far more at stake when Mooseheart traveled to Hinckley Wednesday night.

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    Aurora Christian turns up pressure

    Defense hasn't always been a strength for Aurora Christian in the early going of the 2012-13 girls basketball season, but you would never have guessed that watching them Wednesday night. The Eagles' full-court trap forced Chicago Christian into 10 first-quarter turnovers. They never allowed the Knights to score double digits in any quarter, holding them to 12-of-37 shooting from the field (32 percent) for the game and coasting to a comfortable 40-25 victory in Aurora.

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    Harper cruises past Judson JV

    The Harper College men's basketball team played the second half of a rare back-to-back Wednesday night at the Sports and Wellness Center in Palatine, and the Hawks were able to complete a sweep of NAIA JV competition. On Wednesday against the Judson University JV, Harper won 79-40. The previous night, against Olivet Nazarene, the Hawks (4-5) won 71-66.

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    Cubs close to signing Schierholtz, still looking for 3rd baseman

    Third basemen continue to go off the board at the winter meetings while the Cubs keep looking. The White Sox reportedly agreed to a three-year deal with Jeff Keppinger on Wednesday while the Arizona Diamondbacks signed Eric Chavez to a one-year contract.

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    Mooseheart's Mangisto Deng speeds up the court with Hinckley-Big Rock's Bernie Conley in pursuit during the last few minutes of the fourth quarter.

    Images: Mooseheart vs. Hinckley-Big Rock, boys basketball
    Mooseheart visited Hinckley-Big Rock for boys basketball action on Wednesday, Dec. 5. Sudanese student-athletes Mangisto Deng, Makur Puou and Akim Nyang participated in the game for Mooseheart.

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    Phillips, Warren get defensive against Mundelein

    Warren senior Alyssa Phillips didn't smile the entire night. Frankly, she wasn't feeling that well when her Blue Devils invaded Mundelein for the North Suburban Lake Division matchup. Of course, that didn't stop her from doing her job on Wednesday night. This 12th-grader finished 1 rebound (9) short of a double double (12 points) and added 3 blocks. Warren's defense held the home-standing Mustangs to single-digit scoring in all four quarters and posted a 40-23 decision.

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    Geneva already in midseason form

    Geneva senior Jenna Ginsberg didn't expect to spend part of her summer recruiting.

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    Naperville’s Brown still setting a good example

    Jim Brown wrote the book on bringing up better kids through football.

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    Conant’s Meicie Bennett competes on the floor exercise during Wednesday’s meet at Fremd.

    Fremd shows a winning hand

    First-year Fremd girls gymnastics head coach Elise Ference was dealt a bad hand before the season even started, losing one of her top all-around gymnasts, senior Shannon Lemajeur, for the season to an ACL injury. But Ference, a 2007 Palatine graduate, had the Vikings dealing in a much different way Wednesday night in a Mid-Suburban West dual meet. Junior Christine Jensen, sophomore Christine Radochonski and sophomore Sydney Plichta came up aces in leading the host Vikings to a 142.65-134.95 victory over Conant in Palatine.

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    Illinois-Chicago routs Roosevelt 81-43

    Hayden Humes had 21 points to lead Illinois-Chicago to its sixth straight victory, an 81-43 win over Roosevelt, on Wednesday night.

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    Young helps DePaul rally past Chicago State 74-64

    Brandon Young scored 21 points, and a renewed defensive effort in the second half allowed DePaul to overcome a 14-point deficit Wednesday and beat Chicago State 74-64.

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    Erinn Hellweg

    Harper’s Hellweg, Nishibun net All-American honors

    The awards keep piling up for the Harper College women's soccer and volleyball programs after their successful fall seasons. Last Friday the NJCAA announced the NJCAA Division III women's volleyball and soccer All-Amercians. Freshman volleyball standout Erinn Hellweg (Wauconda) was named first-team All-American, and sophomore Bree Nishibun (Fremd) was named to the first team women's soccer squad.

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    Sullivan paces Christian Liberty win

    Junior guard Megan Sullivan scored 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, to help lead Christian Liberty Academy to a 30-26 triumph at Morgan Park Academy on Wednesday.

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    Chicago Bulls' Carlos Boozer (5) is fouled by Cleveland Cavaliers' Anderson Varejao (17), of Brazil, during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, in Cleveland. The Bulls won 95-85. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

    Belinelli, Deng lead Bulls over Cavaliers 95-85

    Marco Belinelli scored a season-high 23 points, Luol Deng added 22 and the Chicago Bulls took control early on to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 95-85 on Wednesday night.

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    Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, here being tackled after taking off on a run, says his offensive line is “playing better.”

    Time for Bears’ offense to lead way

    Early expectations were that this year's Bears offense had the capability of lending a helping hand to a defense that has traditionally done most of the heavy lifting. That hasn't been the case so far this season, but the defense really could use some help now, with eight-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker Brian Urlacher siddelined with a hamstring injury.

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    Carmel’s Nickai Poyser, left, pressures Cary-Grove’s Steve Plazak.

    Images: Cary-Grove vs. Carmel, boys basketball
    The Carmel Corsairs hosted and lost in OT 43-42 to the Cary-Grove Trojans for boys basketball action on Wednesday, Dec. 5 in Mundelein.

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    Bartlett’s Alyssa Hernandez, center, battles Benet’s Kathleen Doyle, left, and Jenna Martin, right, during girls basketball action at Benet earlier this season.

    In Sarna’s eyes, Bartlett is making progress

    Denise Sarna will be the first to admit it's been a little different around the Bartlett gym this season for the Hawls' girls basketball program. Coming off a 32-2 season that culminated with a third-place finish at the Class 4A finals at Redbird Arena, Sarna knew this would be a rebuilding season. And it's not like she hasn't been there before. Despite th fact the veteran coach lived the luxury of a 98-25 record the past four years, not to mention the 30-5 state runner-up season of 2004-05, she's also been on the other end of the record in her career. Her Streamwood teams won 20 games in 5 years and her first Bartlett team was 1-27.

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    Glenbard West High School hosted Hinsdale South High School Wednesday night for boys basketball.

    Images: Hinsdale South vs. Glenbard West, boys basketball
    Glenbard West hosted Hinsdale South Wednesday night for boys basketball.

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    Outdoors notes with Mike Jackson

    Mike Jackson's weekly outdoor notes touch on a $10,000 fine for a former conversation officer, a deer with antlers that turned out to be a doe, and the latest fishing update.

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    Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema waits to take the field with his team before the Big Ten championship against Nebraska in Indianapolis. Bielema will be paid $3.2 million annually for six years at Arkansas, the school said Wednesday as it prepared to introduce its new football coach.

    Bielema excited for challenge of SEC at Arkansas

    Bret Bielema will be paid $3.2 million annually for six years at Arkansas, the school said Wednesday as it prepared to introduce its new football coach. Arkansas released its signed letter of agreement with Bielema, which includes another $700,000 in annual incentives. Arkansas will also pay its new coach's $1 million buyout to Wisconsin.

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    Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn, left, talks with a teammate Wednesday as they arrive at a memorial service for Kansas City Chiefs’ Jovan Belcher at the Landmark International Deliverance and Worship Center in Kansas City, Mo. Belcher shot his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, at their home Saturday morning before driving to Arrowhead Stadium and turning the gun on himself.

    Chiefs players pay respects to Belcher at service

    Several players for the Kansas City Chiefs attended a memorial service for teammate Jovan Belcher, who killed his girlfriend and then fatally shot himself in the head. Belcher killed 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins on Saturday at the home they shared in Kansas City with their 3-month-old daughter.

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    Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson escapes from Chicago Bears Nick Roach for extra yardage at Soldier Field Sunday.

    Defense will be behind 8-ball without Urlacher

    The Bears have the luxury of plugging in experienced strong-side linebacker Nick Roach at middle linebacker in place of injured Brian Urlacher and using veteran Geno Hayes at Roach's former spot. But they'll still miss Urlacher, an eight-time Pro Bowler and team leader.

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    Can someone stand up for Lake Michigan?

    Lake Michigan isn't immune to the problems associated with poaching and overharvest of its fish. But the state and country enforcement agencies aren't well positioned to do too much about the problem.

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    Former Astros pitcher and team broadcaster Jim Deshaies was hired to replace Bob Brenly in the Cubs broadcast booth.

    New Cubs broadcaster delivers wit & wisdom

    It was easy to tell that Jim Deshaies was a left-handed pitcher. Deshaies flashed some offbeat wit and wisdom Wednesday as he was introduced at Wrigley Field as the new analyst for Cubs TV broadcasts. He'll join Len Kasper in the booth.

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    Harvin out of practice again for Vikings

    One month after Percy Harvin severely sprained his left ankle, the Minnesota Vikings aren't much closer to having one of their most important players back on the field. Coach Leslie Frazier didn't rule out the possibility of Harvin missing the rest of the season. "It's hard to say," Frazier said when asked if he feared losing the dual-threat wide receiver and standout kickoff returner for the remainder of 2012.

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    Metea Valley starting from scratch

    Metea Valley's boys basketball team entered last season with high expectations and achieved them. Now the Mustangs join most teams in trying to get better every game. Gone are three-year starters like Milan Bojanic, Ryan Sullivan and last year's All-Area captain, Kenny Obendorf, who paced a 25-5 team that won a regional title in its second year of varsity play. Back are three-year guys Sean Davis, Vin Patel and Shiv Desai, who join returners such as guard Trayvond Taylor and 6-10 Hayden Barnard. The Mustangs came off a 1-3 start at the tough Hoops for Healing Tournament — losing to Proviso East, Oswego and Naperville Central and beating Oswego East — before a 2-point loss at Neuqua Valley and a 38-point blowout win over East Aurora.

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    NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman leaves the room Wednesday after speaking to reporters after an NHL Board of Governors meeting in New York. The league and the NHL Players' Association have cleared their schedules with progress being made in collective bargaining talks.

    NHL owners, players meet again to on labor issues

    Negotiations between hockey owners and players are going so well that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says he's "pleased with the process" — even if he has been left outside the latest rounds of discussions. Bettman declined to take any questions as he stood at an NHL podium in a Manhattan hotel, just one floor away from where talks resumed for a second straight day. A ray of hope that a season-saving deal could be made emerged late Tuesday night after about eight hours of bargaining.

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    University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban, left, poses Wednesday with Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly outside of the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York.

    For Kelly, Saban, no sleep until BCS championship game

    Brian Kelly and Nick Saban expect many restless nights between now and the BCS championship game on Jan. 7. Kelly and top-ranked Notre Dame play Saban and No. 2 Alabama in Miami. The coaches appeared together at a news conference on Wednesday at the Nasdaq stock exchange in Times Square. "And in keeping with the venue where we are, you have two blue chip stocks that are going to go against each other," Kelly said.

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    The San Francisco Giants’ Marco Scutaro hits an RBI single during the 10th inning of Game 4 the World Series against the Detroit Tigers in Detroit. Two people with knowledge of the negotiations said Tuesday that Scutaro is weighing a two-year contract offer from the Giants that includes a vesting option.

    Red Sox rev up with Victorino; Giants keep Scutaro

    Shane Victorino bolted for Boston, Marco Scutaro stayed with San Francisco, and the Miami Marlins shed more payroll in a late-night trade. It was another busy day at baseball's winter meetings, where it's easy to tell which teams are making major changes (the Red Sox), which ones want to remain intact (the champion Giants) — and which ones are saving their cash (the Marlins, of course) and the Yankees (come again?).

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    Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton sacks Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder at Soldier Field. The Bears face the Vikings Sunday.

    Struggling Ponder keeps upbeat, confident attitude

    Christian Ponder has 22 starts for Minnesota in his NFL career. Many of his peers have enjoyed far more success in a similar amount of time, but Ponder said Wednesday he's not comparing himself to other quarterbacks around his age. He said he hopes he doesn't need much longer to find his rhythm on the job.

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    Kent State head coach Darrell Hazell walks the sidelines during the Mid-American Conference championship game against Northern Illinois in Detroit. Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke hired the 48-year-old Kent State coach on Wednesday to lead the school dubbed as the Cradle of Quarterbacks out of mediocrity, back into national prominence and presumably back to a Rose Bowl.

    Purdue hires Kent State coach Darrell Hazell

    Darrell Hazell spent most of his coaching career telling others to "be great." Now he'll try to live up to that message at Purdue. Boilermakers athletic director Morgan Burke hired the 48-year-old Kent State coach on Wednesday to lead the school dubbed as the Cradle of Quarterbacks out of mediocrity, back into national prominence and presumably back to a Rose Bowl.

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    Mike North video: Score Las Vegas Sports Hall of Fame tour

    Mike North gives a tour of the newly opened Score Interactive Sports Exhibit at the Luxor in Las Vegas. From game worn jerseys of major sports stars to experiencing what it's like to be a pro athlete, the exhibit has it all.

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    Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher suffered an injury that could sideline him for the rest of the season in the loss to the Seahawks at Soldier Field.

    And now what for Brian Urlacher, Bears?

    The Bears' future, near and distant, became even more muddled Tuesday when Brian Urlacher was diagnosed with a Grade 2 hamstring strain. The possibility loomed that Dec. 16 would be Brian Urlacher's final home game with the Bears. Now the possibility looms that Sunday's was. Neither might be because Urlacher could play here again this season, perhaps in a playoff game at the end of his current contract. He also still might return to the Bears next season on a new deal.

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    Northwestern’s Jared Swopshire (12) and Mike Turner (10) combine to stop a drive to the basket by Baylor’s Isaiah Austin (21) in the second half Tuesday in Waco, Texas. Northwestern defeated Baylor 74-70.

    Northwestern holds on for 74-70 victory at Baylor

    Reggie Hearn had 17 points with 10 rebounds before fouling out and Northwestern snapped a two-game losing streak with a 74-70 win Tuesday night at Baylor, which was coming off a win at Kentucky. Hearn made two layups for the Wildcats when they opened the second half with an 11-1 run. Northwestern (7-2) barely hung on after building an 18-point lead.

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    Pacers center Roy Hibbert blocks the path to the basket for the Bulls’ Luol Deng, without a fouled called, during the final seconds of Tuesday night’s game at the United Center.

    Pacers block Deng, Bulls from late shot at win
    The Bulls have seen plenty of the defensive strategy that created so much controversy at the end of Tuesday's 80-76 loss to Indiana at the United Center. It used to be Derrick Rose absorbing the contact with no foul called. On Tuesday, it was Luol Deng.

Business

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    President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about the fiscal cliff at the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers, in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. The president warned Republicans not to create another fight over the nation’s debt ceiling, telling business leaders it’s “not a game that I will play.”

    Obama and Boehner discuss fiscal cliff by phone

    For the first time in days, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner spoke by phone Wednesday about the "fiscal cliff" that threatens to knock the economy into recession, raising the prospect of fresh negotiations to prevent tax increases and spending cuts set to kick in with the new year.

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    South Korean rapper PSY, who sings the popular “Gangnam Style,” greets Thai fans after a news conference in Bangkok, Thailand. As “Gangnam Style” gallops toward 1 billion views on YouTube, the first Asian pop artist to capture a massive global audience has gotten richer click by click.

    Cashing in on Gangnam Style’s YouTube fame

    As "Gangnam Style" gallops toward 1 billion views on YouTube, the first Asian pop artist to capture a massive global audience has gotten richer click by click. So too has his agent and his grandmother. But the money from music sales isn't flowing in from the rapper's homeland South Korea or elsewhere in Asia.

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    Citigroup’s Michael Corbat, who took over as chief executive officer less than two months ago, will cut more than 11,000 jobs and pull back from some emerging markets to drive down costs as revenue dries up at global banks.

    Citigroup to cut 11,000 jobs

    Citigroup said Wednesday that it will cut 11,000 jobs, a bold early move by new CEO Michael Corbat. The cuts amount to about 4 percent of Citi's workforce.

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    Walgreen cited generic drug introductions as the main factor behind its revenue drop in November.

    Key Walgreen revenue metric sinks in November

    A key revenue measurement for Deerfield-based Walgreen Co. came in lower than Wall Street expected once again last month, as the introduction of generic drugs continued to squeeze revenue for the nation's largest drugstore chain. But the company's shares climbed more than 4 percent Wednesday.

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    U.S. stocks advanced, following a two-day decline in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, amid optimism lawmakers will reach a budget agreement before the end of the year and after economic data topped estimates.

    Stocks gain on “cliff” hope, led by banks

    Stocks closed higher Wednesday, their first gain of the week, as bank shares rose and comments by President Barack Obama made investors optimistic that a quick deal could be made to avoid the "fiscal cliff."

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    ASSOCIATED PRESS Apple stock slid Wednesday, in part over concerns the iPad was losing market share in the tablet battle.

    Apple falls as Nokia wins China mobile deal

    Apple Inc. shares fell the most in more than a year amid concerns about Nokia Oyj getting a leg up in China and traders betting that a recent rally may have sputtered.

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    Starbucks, the world’s biggest coffee company, is planning to add at least 1,500 cafes in the U.S. over the next five years, which would boost the number of Starbucks cafes in the country by about 13 percent.

    Starbucks to open 1,500 more cafes in the US

    Another Starbucks may soon pop up around the corner, with the world's biggest coffee company planning to add at least 1,500 cafes in the U.S. over the next five years.

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    Another Starbucks may soon pop up around the corner, with the world’s biggest coffee company planning to add at least 1,500 cafes in the U.S. over the next five years. The plan would boost the number of Starbucks cafes in the country by about 13 percent. It is set to be announced at the company’s investor day in New York on Wednesday.

    Starbucks to open another 1,500 cafes in the U.S.

    Another Starbucks may soon pop up around the corner, with the world's biggest coffee company planning to add at least 1,500 cafes in the U.S. over the next five years. The plan would boost the number of Starbucks cafes in the country by about 13 percent. It is set to be announced at the company's investor day in New York on Wednesday.

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    A panel of outside experts said Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 that NASA is adrift without a coherent vision for where it should be going. The report by the National Academy of Sciences doesn’t blame the space agency. It faults the president, Congress and the nation.

    Panel: NASA seems lost in space, needs goal

    NASA is adrift without a coherent vision for where it should be going, an independent panel of space, science and engineering experts says. But the report by the National Academy of Sciences doesn't blame the space agency. It faults the president, Congress and the nation for not giving NASA clear direction.

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    U.S. workers were more productive this summer than initially thought, while costing their companies less. The Labor Department said Wednesday that productivity grew at an annual rate of 2.9 percent from July through September. That’s the fastest pace in two years and higher than the initial estimate of 1.9 percent.

    U.S. productivity grows at faster 2.9% rate

    U.S. workers were more productive this summer than initially thought, while costing their companies less. The Labor Department said Wednesday that productivity grew at an annual rate of 2.9 percent from July through September. That's the fastest pace in two years and higher than the initial estimate of 1.9 percent. Labor costs dropped at a rate of 1.9 percent, more than the 0.1 percent dip initially estimated.

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    U.S. service companies grew at a slightly faster pace in November because sales and new orders rose, a good sign for the economy. The Institute for Supply Management says its index of nonmanufacturing activity rose to 54.7 from 54.2 in October. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. November’s figure is above the 12-month average of 54.4.

    Growth of U.S. service firms accelerated last month

    U.S. service companies grew at a slightly faster pace in November because sales and new orders rose, a good sign for the economy. The Institute for Supply Management says its index of non-manufacturing activity rose to 54.7 from 54.2 in October. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. November's figure is above the 12-month average of 54.4.

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    Big miner buys pair of energy companies for $9B

    Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold says it is buying oil companies Plains Exploration & Production and McMoRan Exploration for about $9 billion.

  •  
    Port workers return to work at the Port of Long Beach Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. Work resumed at the Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors after settlement of a strike that crippled the nation’s busiest container port complex for more than a week.

    LA ports reopening after crippling strike

    Work resumed Wednesday at the nation's busiest port complex after a crippling strike was settled, ending an eight-day walk-off that affected thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in cargo. Gates at the Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors reopened, and dockworkers were ready to resume loading and unloading ships that had been stuck for days, Los Angeles port spokesman Phillip Sanfield said.

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    Survey: Sandy slows hiring in November to 118K

    A private survey shows that U.S. businesses added fewer workers in November, mostly because Superstorm Sandy shut down factories, retail stores, and other companies. Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that employers added 118,000 jobs last month. That's below October's total of 157,000, which was revised lower.

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    Orders to U.S. factories rose modestly in October, helped by a big gain in demand for equipment that reflects business investment plans. Factory orders edged up 0.8 percent in October, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

    U.S. factory orders up 0.8 percent in October

    Orders to U.S. factories rose modestly in October, helped by a big gain in demand for equipment that reflects business investment plans. Factory orders edged up 0.8 percent in October, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That compared to September when orders had jumped 4.5 percent.

  •  

    EEOC lawsuit alleges woman fired over disability

    A federal lawsuit contends a Chicago-area woman was wrongfully fired from her job because she has a prosthetic leg.The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing a staffing company called Staffmark Investment and its client, Sony Electronics. The lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. EEOC officials say Staffmark hired Dorothy Shanks to inspect Sony televisions at a facility in Romeoville. The EEOC says Shanks did the job with no difficulty, but Staffmark removed her on her second day, saying she’d be put in a position that allowed her to sit. Federal investigators say she was never put on another job, despite repeated calls asking for work.An attorney for Staffmark declined to comment on the lawsuit. A Sony Electronics executive says it lacks merit.

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    Oil up slightly as optimism over U.S. budget optimism

    The price of oil inched up closer to $89 a barrel on Wednesday on expectations U.S. political leaders will reach a budget deal before a year-end deadline and growing confidence that the Chinese government would introduce new stimulus measures to strengthen the world's second-largest economy.

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    Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer, is reviewing options for its slow-growing U.S. venture, Fresh & Easy. The company also announced Wednesday that the chief executive of Fresh & Easy, Tim Mason, is leaving.

    Tesco reviewing slow-growing US operation

    Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, said Wednesday it is reviewing options for its slow-growing U.S. venture Fresh & Easy. Tesco launched the venture in 2007, and now has 200 stores in California, Arizona and Nevada. But the business has not done as well as hoped. The company said it had recently received several approaches from potential buyers or partners in Fresh & Easy, whose chief executive, Tim Mason, will be leaving.

  •  
    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to a journalist Wednesday during an exclusive interview with The Associated Press. Ban has hinted that he would not favor an asylum deal for Syrian President Bashir Assad as a way to end the country’s civil war.

    UN chief blames rich for global warming problem

    Rich countries are to blame for climate change and should take the lead in forging a global climate pact by 2015, a deadline that "must be met," the head of the United Nations said Wednesday. On the sidelines of international climate talks in Qatar, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it was "only fair and reasonable that the developed world should bear most of the responsibility" in fighting the gradual warming of the planet.

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    A man Tuesday inspects inside a food bank full of cardboard boxes with more than 70 tons of foods to distribute to people left needy by Spain’s critical economic crisis, in Pamplona, northern Spain. The number of people officially registered as unemployed in Spain has edged up toward 5 million as the country’s recession shows few signs of abating and its struggling banks await crucial bailout cash, Spain’s Labor Ministry said Tuesday.

    Eurozone retail sales slump in October

    Retail sales across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro slumped far more than anticipated in October, largely due to a huge drop in Germany, in a development that will put more pressure on the European Central Bank to cut borrowing rates soon. Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said Wednesday that eurozone retail sales fell 1.2 percent in October from the previous month, double September's decline and substantially more than the 0.2 percent drop expected in the markets

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    Chinese stimulus hopes give markets a boost

    Chinese stocks led the way Wednesday as investors grew more confident that policymakers in the world's second-largest economy would back another batch of stimulus measures. The catalyst to the optimism across the markets was a Chinese government pledge to maintain policies intended to strengthen the economy and an expression of willingness to "fine tune" them and make them more effective.

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    EU imposes $1.9 billion fine on screen producers

    The European Union on Wednesday imposed its biggest ever cartel fine of almost $1.96 billion on seven companies for fixing the market of television and computer monitor tubes. The EU's Commission ruled that, for a decade ending in 2006, the companies — including Philips, LG Electronics and Panasonic — artificially set prices, shared markets and restricted their output at the expense of the consumer.

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    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta listens during a news conference at the Pentagon in Washington. House Republicans’ “fiscal cliff” counteroffer to President Barack Obama hints at billions in dollars of defense cuts on top of the $500 billion that the White House and Congress backed last year.

    Fiscal cliff offers hint at more defense cuts

    House Republicans' "fiscal cliff" counteroffer to President Barack Obama hints at billions of dollars in military cuts on top of the nearly $500 billion that the White House and Congress backed last year, and even the fiercest defense hawks acknowledge that the Pentagon faces another financial hit.

Life & Entertainment

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    See thousands of colorful holiday lights and bright holiday scenes at Brookfield Zoo’s annual “Holiday Magic” light show.

    Weekend picks: Experience 'Holiday Magic' at Brookfield Zoo

    See thousands of twinkling lights and holiday scenes, plus laser shows, ice-carving and more during Brookfield Zoo's annual nighttime “Holiday Magic” event this weekend. For celebrity cake-baking advice, head to the Genesee Friday for Buddy Valastro Live: The Cake Boss — Homemade for the Holidays Tour. Pick up some gifts at the Holiday Market at the Mayslake Peabody Estate. Don't miss Johnny Mathis in concert Saturday at the Akoo.

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    Dierks Bentley, second from left, and from left, Neil Perry, Kimberly Perry and Reid Perry, of The Band Perry, perform at the Grammy Nominations Concert Live! at Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday night in Nashville.

    Six artists tie for top Grammy nominee

    The Grammy Awards celebrated the diversity of music as six different artists tied for top nominee — Kanye West, Jay-Z, Frank Ocean, Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons and fun. Auerbach received five nominations as a member of the Keys and also is up for producer of the year, earning a spot with the others at the top of the list as the Grammy's prime-time television special came to his hometown Wednesday night.

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    Sweet potatoes and Yukon gold go into Sara Mouton's Southwestern Latkes. She starts the potato patties in a fry pan and finishes them in the oven.

    Sara Mouton lightens up, spices up Hanukkah latkes

    Sara Moulton devised a latke recipe in the hope that all of us might enjoy our latkes and live to tell about it. Her redesign employs both sweet potatoes and the more traditional white potatoes, significantly reducing the amount of oil required to cook these bad boys. She also substitutes Greek yogurt for sour cream.

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    People who say chocolate chip cookies don't belong on a holiday cookie platter have never tried these Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies.

    Holidays the perfect time to try 'best ever' cookies

    These are crispy oat and chocolate chip cookies, not your traditional Toll House cookies. They spread as they bake; when hot out of the oven, they are moist and gooey-good. After cooling on a wire rack, they get crispy and are perfect with a hot beverage or a cold glass of milk. But the best part is they are perfect to give away.

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    People who say chocolate chip cookies don't belong on a holiday cookie platter have never tried these Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies.

    ‘Best Ever’ Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

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    Start a family tradition by making gilded chocolate-dipped Hanukkah pretzels.

    Gilded Chocolate-Dipped Hanukkah Pretzels
    Gilded Chocolate-Dipped Hanukkah Pretzel

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    Oscar and Tony Award-winning actress Julie Andrews said that a botched operation to remove noncancerous throat nodules in 1997 hasn’t gotten better. It has permanently limited her vocal range and her ability to hold notes.

    Julie Andrews enjoys rediscovering her new voice

    It may take a big spoonful of sugar to make this go down: Julie Andrews says that her four-octave voice is not coming back. The Oscar and Tony Award-winning actress said in a recent interview that a botched operation to remove noncancerous throat nodules in 1997 hasn't gotten better. It has permanently limited her range and her ability to hold notes. "The operation that I had left me without a voice and without a certain piece of my vocal chords," Andrews said.

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    Is it possible to find a deal on wine?

    Finding a deal on wine is a bit like finding a deal on an apartment: Whether you're in the market for a subway-accessible studio or a fancier townhouse, bargains are in the eye of the beholder, and they correlate to how much you're willing to spend. Because there's a wine producer to meet every need and taste — from Trader Joe's "Two-Buck Chuck" to the priciest Dom Perignon — finding a deal on a great bottle can be tricky. We're looking for everyday, flavorful table wines that don't cost much more than $15.

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    Oprah Winfrey has announced that she has chosen “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie” by Ayana Mathis for her book club.

    Oprah Winfrey picks debut novel for book club

    Add another book for possible holiday gifts: Oprah Winfrey's latest "2.0" selection. Winfrey announced Wednesday that she has chosen a debut novel for her book club, "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie," by Ayana Mathis.

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    Taylor Swift is one of many artists performing at the Grammy Nominations Concert airing Wednesday night.

    Grammy nominations up for grabs

    It's a brutal year to be in the Grammy nominations handicapping game. Sure, there are a few safe bets. Mumford & Sons and Frank Ocean are expected to take a share of nominations when they're announced Wednesday night on national television during "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!" in Nashville. And popular songs by Gotye, fun., Taylor Swift and Carly Rae Jepsen may land those artists on the list as well, though Jepsen harbors some doubt her omnipresent song "Call Me Maybe" will net a nod.

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    Frankie Muniz says he was hospitalized last week after suffering a “mini stroke.”

    Frankie Muniz tweets that he had a ‘mini stroke’

    Actor Frankie Muniz says he was hospitalized last week after suffering a "mini stroke." The former star of "Malcolm in the Middle" wrote on Twitter Tuesday that he was treated Friday for a "mini stroke," which he describes as "not fun at all."

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    Don Mauer's picks for cookbook gifting

    Cookbooks can be this year's gift-giving solution for everyone on your list. Don Mauer runs down his favorites from the past year and shares a lower-fat guacamole recipe.

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    Sports commentator Bob Costas’ “Sunday Night Football” halftime commentary supporting gun control sparked a Fox News Channel debate Monday on whether NBC should fire him.

    Bob Costas doesn’t back down from gun comments

    Bob Costas isn't backing down from his halftime comments on gun violence, but he wishes he had more time. The NBC sportscaster gave interviews Tuesday to Dan Patrick and Lawrence O'Donnell about his Sunday-night halftime commentary following Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher's murder of his girlfriend and subsequent suicide. Both interviews were longer than the commentary itself.

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    Actress Reese Witherspoon, Oscar winner and mother of three, will receive the March of Dimes Grace Kelly Award at its Celebration of Babies luncheon Friday.

    Reese Witherspoon honored by March of Dimes

    New mom Reese Witherspoon is being honored by March of Dimes for being a model celebrity parent. The 36-year-old Oscar winner and mother of three will receive the organization's Grace Kelly Award at its Celebration of Babies event Friday at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The award recognizes celebrity parents committed to healthy pregnancies and families.

  •  
    Cook of the Week Adele Knickels sees baking as a way to make new memories and keep older memories alive

    Baking a way to make, share memories

    Adele Knickels remembers fondly why as a child she enjoyed baking alongside her mother and sisters. “At a young age, it was the eating,” she said. “Everyone in our family had a sweet tooth. We were always happy to have fresh cookies to eat.” The Barrington resident still enjoys baking but now friends, family and co-workers enjoy the fruits of her labor.

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    Cookies, like these festive sugar cookies, will be available at the 30th annual Cookie Walk at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva.

    Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing
    stories for 12/5

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    Italian Lemon Knots
    Italian Lemon Knotsi: Adele Knickles

  •  
    Wu-Block, “Wu-Block”

    Wu-Block produces solid 1st album

    Wu-Tang Clan and D-Block are two of the most respected groups within the hip-hop realm. Now, some of the members from the clans have joined forces to produce an album under the name Wu-Block, spearheaded by rappers Ghostface Killah and Sheek Louch. Their collaborative effort results in a solid piece of work on the 16-track album, which also features Jadakiss, Method Man, Styles P, Raekwon and Inspectah Deck.

  •  
    “The Man Who Turned Both Cheeks” by Gillian Royes

    Bartender Shad Myers returns in new crime drama

    Bartender Shad Myers doesn't just listen to the troubles that tourists and locals bring into his thatch-roofed bar — he sets out to fix them himself, no matter the risk. The troubles that find Shad in Gillian Royes' novel "The Man Who Turned Both Cheeks" seem better suited to pastors and law enforcement authorities. Since Shad is only an "unofficial sheriff," as he thinks of himself, Royes is freed from the police procedural formulas that can weigh down some mystery novels.

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    The Hunan Chicken is just one of many authentic Chinese dishes on the menu at Yu’s Mandarin in Schaumburg.

    Authentic menu draws crowds to Yu’s Mandarin

    Yu's Mandarin has been pleasing diners in the Northwest suburbs for nearly 20 years. The Schaumburg restaurant insists on using fresh, wild-caught seafood and prime cuts of meat, so where a whole, salt and pepper lobster might seem a dubious choice at some Chinese restaurants, here it's a viable tempter.

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    The waffle bananas Foster graces the Pinstripes brunch buffet on Sunday. Not pictured: Santa.

    Eating out: Brunch with Santa at Pinstripes

    See Santa and fill your belly all in one stop from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at Pinstripes in South Barrington, Oak Brook and Northbrook. The buffet includes gourmet waffles, made-to-order omelets, carved prime rib, smoked salmon, a kids corner, a full dessert bar and more.

  •  
    Chipotle-infused yogurt makes a perky dipping sauce for baked latkes.

    Southwestern Latkes with Chipotle Yogurt
    Southwestern Latkes

  •  
    Start a Hanukkah tradition by making chocolate-dipped pretzels decorated with edible gold.

    Edible gifts show off Hannukah’s delicious side

    Whereas Christmas is celebrated on one day, Hanukkah stretches over eight. As a result, the gifts tend to be smaller. Treats and other food gifts are particularly popular during the Jewish festival of lights. Favorite Hanukkah treats include chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil, as well as cookies in the shapes of menorahs and dreidels often decorated in blue, white, silver or gold, common colors for the holiday.

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    Anise Biscotti
    Almond Biscotti: Adele Knickles

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    Half-the-Fat Guacamole
    Half-the-Fat Guacamole: Don Mauer

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    Creamy frosting and color sprinkles give Adele Knickels’s fudgy brownies over-the-top holiday appeal.

    Fudgy Brownies
    Fudgy Brownies: Adele Knickles

Discuss

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    Editorial: Marking AMBER’s 10 years of success

    AMBER alerts have been used in Illinois for 10 years and are credited with bringing 41 abducted children home safely. It's a program that deserves the public's support, a Daily Herald edidtorial says.

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    President Obama’s dangerous overreach

    Columnist Michael Gerson: President Obama, prone to overestimate his own capacity at communication, is now on the verge of serious overreach in two areas.

  •  

    Editorial ignored working people
    A letter to the editor: In regards to your Our View entitled "Thanksgiving's essence and evolution" I think the newspaper misses the point about the argument of shopping on Thanksgiving Day

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    Candidates should work, not fight
    A Gurnee letter to the editor: I wonder how many voters during the recent election campaigns were disgusted or confused by political candidates telling us they were "fighting for us."

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    Officials deserve praise for cutting pay
    A Lake Bluff letter to the editor: The majority of the Shields Township Board deserves praise for approving substantial reductions in salaries for elected officials and following through on their campaign promises of four years ago.

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    Secession is not the answer
    ARolling Meadows letter to the editor: If a particular state were to secede, that state's Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid payments would end. Also disappearing would be funds for highways and other infrastructure, along with federal education grants. Any U.S. military facilities in that state would close.

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    Prepare yourself for more economic pain
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: We have swapped our birthright as a land of opportunity, with people who dream big then work their tails off to make it a reality, for freebies. Our national anthem has become gimme, gimme, gimme.

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    D300 concerned more about bottom line
    A Carpentersville letter to the editor: From the look of it, District 300 cares more about saving money rather than providing a healthy learning environment for their students.

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    D303 superintendent contract ridiculous
    An Elburn letter to the editor: Once again the St. Charles school board is tossing around money like they have unlimited funds. We will be footing the annual cost of the superintendent's premiums for his term life insurance twice what his base salary is — $225,000.

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    How has America slipped beneath waves?
    A Sleepy Hollow letter to the editor: I read with amusement Mr. Grens' letter, "America we knew slips beneath waves." I was wondering what alternate reality there exits where a Republican falls on his sword for a Democratic administration?

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    In four years, he can’t come back
    A Wood Dale letter to the editor: Regarding the recent presidential election, as Americans, we must look for a "silver lining" in every obstacle we face. Just try to remember, in four more long years, he can't come back.

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    U.S., stop nosing in others’ business
    A Bloomingdale letter to the editor: Many of our Republican leaning talking heads claim our country is an entitlement state. And to some extent we are, but they need to quit lumping in Social Security with welfare programs. Us seniors paid for our Social Security throughout our working lives. If our government squandered that money away on other things that is not our fault.

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    Sleep Out heightens homeless awareness
    A Glen Ellyn letter to the editor: Thank you to the 1,500 wonderful people who on Nov. 3 made a statement about homelessness by sleeping out in tents, boxes and cars to raise awareness of the growing problem of homeless families during Sleep Out Saturday.

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    Campus correctness and the closing of the American mind

    Columnist George Will: Liberals are most concentrated and untrammeled on campuses, so look there for evidence of what, given the opportunity, they would do to America.

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    Rice just a surrogate for attacks on Obama

    Columnist Richard Cohen: The attack on Susan Rice is so disproportionate to what she is accused of having done -- just what was it, exactly? -- that you have to conclude that there is something more at work.

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