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Daily Archive : Thursday December 6, 2012

News

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    Verne Schwager

    Soloists join Northwest Festival Orchestra for holiday concert

    The Northwest Festival Orchestra will hold its 2012 Gala Holiday Concert 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, in the auditorium of the Performing Arts Center at Harper College, 1200 Algonquin Road, Palatine. The program will feature the more than 55 members of the professional orchestra, under the baton of Verne Schwager.

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    “Pocahontas” is ready to set out on a new adventure, wearing a dress made from brown paper grocery and plastic shopping bags. Accessories include a belt made of felt and headband and earrings made with feathers from a school project. This outfit was designed by Sara Perlin, Lauren Rosenwinkel, Linda Yoon and Valentina Carrero, students at Fremd High School in Palatine. It is modeled by Valentina Carrero.

    SWANCC shows off trashy fashions

    The Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County's sixth Trashy Fashion Show provided lively entertainment for a crowd of 400 people, showcasing 39 outfits, representing the work of more than 50 designers.

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    Elmhurst College radio station celebrates 50th anniversary

    Elmhurst College's student-run radio station, WRSE-FM 88.7, will celebrate its 50th anniversary today with an open house and party. The festivities will include refreshments and live music beginning at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, in the Bluejays' Roost, located in the basement of the Frick Center, 190 Prospect Ave., Elmhurst. Admission is free but donations will benefit Relay for Life or scholarships...

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    Three ticketed in four-car crash on Rt. 53

    Among four drivers taken to Northwest Community Hospital after a four-vehicle pileup on Route 53 Thursday evening, three received citations for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. One of those drivers received a further citation for having no insurance, Illinois State Police said.

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    An experimental solar power installation was constructed in Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

    Tensions mount as UN climate talks near end

    U.N. climate talks are heading into the final stretch with a host of issues unresolved, including a standoff over how much money financially stressed rich countries can spare to help the developing world tackle global warming.

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    Stephen Orland

    State's attorney investigating Dist. 129 in abuse reporting case

    The Kane County State's Attorney's Office is investigating whether any criminal conduct occurred by West Aurora District 129 officials after they were told a former band director was found alone with a girl in a secluded band storage room in summer 2010, according to court documents. Stephen Orland of North Aurora, eventually pleaded guilty to having sexual relationships with two of his female...

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    Lombard passes budget, denies firefighter hiring

    Lombard trustees passed the village's 2013 budget without dissent Thursday night, but political divisions surfaced in split votes that narrowly passed a tax levy and blocked the hiring of a firefighter to bring the department closer to full authorized staffing. The hiring of one additional firefighter is included in the $86.8 million budget approved unanimously Thursday night, but it would need...

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    District 158 levy stays flat for second year in a row

    Officials in Consolidated School District 158 think keeping the property tax levy flat is the "right thing to do" for taxpayers this year. It's the second year in a row the district hasn't had to ask for more money, but not because costs haven't gone up. The amount the district is asking for to cover its operating expenses is increasing but the amount it is asking for to cover its debt payments...

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    Toni Preckwinkle

    Preckwinkle criticizes Emanuel on crime

    The president of the Cook County board has criticized Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy over the city's handling of violence in the city. She alleged Emanuel and McCarthy decided their approach to violence was, in her words, to "just arrest everybody."

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    White House press Secretary Jay Carney listens at left as Jason Furman, assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House Wednesday.

    Obama seeks to put personal touch on cliff talks

    President Barack Obama, trying to put a personal touch on "fiscal cliff" negotiations, visited a northern Virginia family's basement apartment Thursday to press his hard line on tax rate increases for the wealthy.

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    Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson and his wife gave $10 million to a “super” political committee supporting losing GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Adelson owns casinos in Las Vegas, Singapore and the Chinese territory of Macau.

    Final campaign reports: 2012 election nears record

    Final campaign finance tallies trickled out Thursday for a presidential race expected to be the most expensive in modern U.S. political history, showing last-minute contributions worth $33 million to political action committees backing Republican candidate Mitt Romney from a billionaire Las Vegas casino magnate and his wife who've been the election's biggest money couple.

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    Police and fire department officials were on the scene of an accident involving a car and a semitrailer Thursday morning on Route 72 at Big Timber Road near Gilberts. Police said the man driving the car was transported by helicopter to a hospital in Libertyville.

    26-year-old man airlifted from crash west of Gilberts

    A male driver was seriously injured Thursday morning in a crash on Route 72 near Big Timber Road in unincorporated Rutland Township. The 26-year-old man from Johnsburg was transported to a hospital by a medical helicopter, authorities said.

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    Driver in Libertyville crash identified

    Libertyville police and the Lake County coroner's office are investigating the crash Thursday of a pickup truck that came to rest in an elementary school playground minutes before kindergarten students would have been released for the day, officials said. Libertyville resident James Hall, 69, was found unresponsive in the truck. He was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center and pronounced dead...

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    Kay Hanlon

    Bar association honors Rolling Meadows judge

    Cook County Judge Kay Hanlon said she was "surprised" and "humbled" to learn that the Northwest Suburban Bar Association has named her 2012 judge of the year in the Third Municipal District.

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    Sen. Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican, announced Thursday he is resigning to take over at Heritage Foundation.

    Sen. DeMint resigning to head conservative group

    Republican U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, a tea party favorite known for bucking party leaders to back challenges to centrist veterans he didn't view as conservative enough, said Thursday he was resigning to take the helm of a conservative think tank.

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    Abraham Lincoln in 1864.

    Researcher finds rare Abraham Lincoln records

    Researchers have found records that Abraham Lincoln signed detailing his travel and expenses during his time as a member of Congress. One entry shows Lincoln collected about $2,000 in salary for January through August of 1848. He received an additional $1,300 for travel.

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    An Egyptian army tank is seen behind barbed wire securing the perimeter of the presidential palace while protesters on the other side chant anti President Mohammed Morsi slogans, in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. The Egyptian army deployed tanks and gave both supporters and opponents of Mohammed Morsi a deadline to leave the area outside the presidential palace Thursday following fierce street battles that left several people dead and hundreds injured.

    Egypt’s president offers nothing to defuse crisis

    The Egyptian army deployed tanks and gave both supporters and opponents of Mohammed Morsi a deadline to leave the area outside the presidential palace Thursday following fierce street battles that left five people dead and more than 600 injured in the worst outbreak of violence between the two sides since the Islamist leader's election.

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    Brian Stedronsky

    Ingleside man and his mother face drug-induced homicide charge

    A Ingleside man and his mother are in Lake County jail after being charged with drug-induced homicide in the death of a 30-year-old man in September, authorities said. Brian Stedronsky, 32, and Carolyn Stedronsky, 52, both of the 35000 Block of North Milwaukee Avenue, were picked up on warrants by Lake County Sheriff's deputies on Dec. 4, Lake County Sheriff's Sgt. Sara Balmes said Thursday.

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    Syrian citizens cross from the area that controlled by the Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, to an area controlled by the Free Syrian Army, at the only crossing point between the two groups, in Aleppo, Syria. Syria blasted NATO’s move to deploy Patriot missiles along its border with Turkey, calling the decision “provocative,” as the West took a major step toward a possible military role in the civil war.

    With war shifting, US, Russia talk Syria’s future

    Diplomatic efforts to end Syria's civil war moved forward Thursday with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joining Russia's foreign minister and the U.N. peace envoy to the Arab country for extraordinary three-way talks that suggested Washington and Moscow might finally unite behind a strategy as the Assad regime weakens.

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    Chicago Tribune to resume limited use of Journatic

    The Chicago Tribune has announced it will resume limited use of Journatic five months after the newspaper suspended use of the local news provider for plagiarism and fabricated material.

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    This undated image made available by NASA and photographed by the Expedition 28 crew aboard the International Space Station, shows the moon, at center with the limb of Earth near the bottom transitioning into the orange-colored troposphere, the lowest and most dense portion of the Earth’s atmosphere.

    To the moon? Firm hopes to sell $1.5 billion trips

    Attention wealthy nations and billionaires: A team of former NASA executives will fly you to the moon in an out-of-this-world commercial venture combining the wizardry of Apollo and the marketing of Apple. For a mere $1.5 billion.

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    Rene Gomez-Cezares

    Waukegan man pleads not guilty to drug charges

    A Waukegan man accused of trying to sell 5 pounds of crystal meth pleaded not guilty in Lake County criminal court early Thursday. Rene Gomez-Cezares is facing up to 60 years behind bars if found guilty of the felony charge when it goes to court. A second man, Jose Hernandez-Hernandez, failed to attend the arraignment hearing, prompting a $500,000 bench warrant to be issued for his arrest.

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    Teejana Perry

    Police: Batavia retirement home employee forged resident’s check

    A 19-year-old caretaker at a Batavia retirement facility is accused of stealing a check and forging a $1,000 payment to herself. Teejana S. Perry of Warrenville faces felony charges of exploitation of an elderly person after the victim's family noticed the missing money and called police.

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    Des Plaines prepares for Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration

    Des Plaines police will be closing Central Road at Des Plaines River Road to vehicular traffic starting at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, until 6 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, for the Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration at Maryville Academy. Central Road also will be closed at East River Road to westbound traffic. Central Road at Wolf Road will be closed to eastbound traffic.

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    Antonio Arceo-Lomeli

    Maple Park man gets 5 years for sexual abuse

    A 45-year-old Maple Park man has been sentenced to five years in prison for having a sexual relationship with a girl he knew. Antonio Arceo-Lomeli had sexual contact with the girl, who was younger than 13 at the time, between January 2011 and Febraury 2012. He can have his sentenced halved for good behavior and gets credit for 10 months spent in jail while his case was pending.

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    In this June 13 photo, a fisherman catches a smallmouth bass at Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River near Yankton, S.D. North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana, which in the past have brought suits to reduce water being released from dams to boost recreation, are once again battling battling downstream states facing a severe drought and low water levels that threaten commercial traffic along a 180-mile stretch of the Mississippi River between St. Louis and Cairo, Ill.

    Drought revives old water war among river states

    The water wars are raging again in America's heartland, where drought-stricken states are pleading for the increasingly scarce water of the Missouri River — to drink from their faucets, irrigate their crops and float the barges that carry billions of dollars of agricultural products to market.

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    The site of the closed Manor Restaurant in the Wing Park Shopping Center in Elgin is set to be demolished and become an auto glass repair shop.

    Auto glass repair shop coming to Elgin

    The portion of the Wing Park Shopping Center that used to house the now-closed Manor Restaurant in Elgin will be demolished to make way for a new automotive glass repair shop despite a residents' petition opposing the move.

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    Buffalo Grove to renegotiate tree-cutting bids

    The Buffalo Grove village board will renegotiate with bidders to remove the town's trees that are imperiled by emerald ash borer infestation after one bidder questioned the fairness of how the bids were compared. The board was about to award a $361,400 contract to Central Forestree LLC of Hoffman Estates when the issue arose.

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    DuPage Republicans, Democrats to face off in township races

    Now that the Democrats and Republicans have their list of candidates for various township positions throughout DuPage County, it appears the biggest contests will be in Naperville, Bloomingdale and Downers Grove townships.

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    The due diligence period for the Vernon Hills Park District to buy the Central Lake YMCA building has been extended.

    Vernon Hills Park District in homestretch of YMCA purchase

    The due dilligence date for the Vernon Hills Park District's pending purchase of the Central Lake YMCA has been extended as equipment leases, utility arrangments and other items are settled. Meanwhile, the district is making plans to replenish members and day care users, who have left since an announced closing by the YMCA. The facility has remained open as negotiations on the $2 million sale...

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    ‘Food for Fines’ at library in Lake Zurich

    Ela Area Public Library once again is offering its popular "Food for Fines" program through Dec. 30.

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    Lake County Board meets Tuesday

    The Lake County Board will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, to approve committee assignments and discuss other business.

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    Santa Paws benefits rescue group

    Our House of Hope K-9 Rescue is hosting Santa Paws from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 at Pet Supplies Plus, 2982 W. Route 60 in Mundelein.

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    Gurnee church seeks help for hurricane victims

    Gurnee Community Church is seeking items to send two men and a box truck full of supplies for Hurricane Sandy victims in Haddonfield, N.J. New Jersey. The truck will be in the church parking lot, 4555 Old Grand Road, Gurnee, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10 and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11 for donation drop off and loading.

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    Ali Akel

    DuPage man guilty of hate crime in beating at gas station

    A former Darien man has been convicted of a hate crime for the bizarre and apparently unprovoked attack on a man at a Woodridge gas station, authorities said Thursday. Ali Akel, 34, was charged June 20, 2011 after prosecutors said he hurled racial slurs at and spat on a black man waiting in line at a Mobil station, then threw the victim down and began punching him.

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    Man gets 18 years for Hoffman Estates robbery, home invasion

    A Maywood man who was on bond for robbery and attempted robbery at the time police say he committed a home invasion, pleaded guilty to the charges Thursday. Bobby Greene, 30, was sentenced to a total of 18 years in exchange for his guilty pleas to robbery, attempted robbery and home invasion.

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    Anthony Cechini

    Grand jury indicts Fox Lake man on reckless homicide charge

    A Lake County grand jury has indicted a Fox Lake man on reckless homicide and aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol charges in connection with an Oct. 1 crash that killed a passenger in his vehicle. Anthony Cechini, 23, of the 0 to 100 block of N. Lake Street, will appear before Lake County Judge Daniel Shanes on Dec. 20 for arraignment. He remains in Lake County jail in lieu of...

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    State Sen. Donne Trotter leaves the Cook County courthouse after posting bond Thursday in Chicago. Trotter was accused Wednesday of trying to board a flight at O’Hare with a gun and ammunition in a carry-on bag.

    State senator released on bond after O’Hare arrest

    State Sen. Donne Trotter, charged with trying to board a flight with a gun and ammunition in a carry-on bag, was released on bond Thursday. A Cook County judge set bail at $25,000 for Trotter, who recently announced he was running for Jesse Jackson's old seat in Congress. Trotter's defense attorney argued for reasonable bail, citing Trotter's decades of public service and 26-year marriage.

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    Chicago police to turn out at gang funerals

    Police in Chicago are taking their battle against gang violence to church and even the cemetery. "The police are going to treat gang funerals as a gang event and people will be, appropriately, checked and patted down," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

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    Lake Barrington man convicted of sex abuse

    A 20 year-old former University of Iowa student from Lake Barrington has been convicted of sexually abusing another student more than two years ago. Evan Pfeifer faces 10 years in prison when he's sentenced.

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    8 teens arrested with alcohol near Arlington Heights school

    Arlington Heights police arrested eight teens on alcohol-related charges last weekend after officers broke up a party behind an elementary school, officials said. Officers acting on an anonymous tip about 8:15 p.m. Dec. 1 found juveniles drinking in the park behind Westgate Elementary School, 500 S. Dwyer Ave., said Cmdr. Mike Hernandez.

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    Christopher Walker

    Fox Lake man faces drug charges following traffic stop

    A Fox Lake man is free on bond after being arrested with more than 300 Ecstasy pills, authorities said. Christopher Walker, 36, of the 0 to 100 block of Maude Avenue, has been charged with unlawful possession of controlled substance and unlawful delivery of a controlled substance following a Nov. 30 traffic stop in Lake Zurich, said Lake County Sheriff's Sgt. Sara Balmes.

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    Quinn says pension overhaul goal still realistic

    Gov. Pat Quinn is counting down the days until his self-imposed Jan. 9 deadline to overhaul Illinois' pension system, but he won't specify what his plans are to accomplish the task.

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    Former Palatine Councilman Warren Kostka’s has avoided fines and a possible demolition of his home on North Forest Avenue — for now. Kostka abided by a court order to clean up portions of the dilapidated structure, but still has more work ahead of him.

    Palatine officials happy with progress at Kostka property

    The years-long property dispute between a controversial former Palatine council member and the village appears headed to a resolution that doesn't include fines or a demolition order. Warren Kostka abided by Cook County Judge Margarita Kulys Hoffman's instructions to remove a tarp and boards from his house on the 100 block of North Forest Avenue, code violations village officials considered...

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    Wrongful death suit filed in Oak Brook crash

    The family of an Aurora man killed in a one-car rollover crash near Oak Brook has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the alleged driver. Samuel Sanchez Jr., 29, died Nov. 13 after being thrown from the front passenger seat of a 2006 Ford Mustang that veered off westbound I-88, slammed into a guardrail, and rolled over, according to the complaint.

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    Fox Valley police reports
    Gerardo Lopez, 18, of Elgin was arrested at about 7 p.m. Wednesday after a traffic stop at Division Street and Hilton Place after police got a tip that Lopez would have a firearm in the area of Gifford Park, according to a police report. Lopez was charged with possession of a firearm by a gang member, possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, possession of a firearm without a FOID...

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    Tri-Cities police reports
    Randy K. Brattin, 32, of Elburn was charged with driving under the influence, driving under the influence with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more, driving while license revoked and aggravated fleeing and eluding at 7:50 p.m. Nov. 30 near Bunker and Keslinger roads near Elburn, according to a sheriff's report.

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    Gary Parrish smokes marijuana in a glass pipe, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, just after midnight at the Space Needle in Seattle. Possession of marijuana became legal in Washington state at midnight, and several hundred people gathered at the Space Needle to smoke and celebrate the occasion, even though the new law does prohibit public use of marijuana.

    Smokers celebrate as Washington legalizes marijuana

    The crowds of happy people lighting joints under Seattle's Space Needle early Thursday morning with nary a police officer in sight bespoke the new reality: Marijuana is legal under Washington state law. Hundreds gathered at Seattle Center for a New Year's Eve-style countdown to 12 a.m., when the legalization measure passed by voters last month took effect. When the clock struck, they cheered and...

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    Juniors Stephanie Li, left, and Lily Barghi sort presents by family as Stevenson High School students deliver toys and gifts Wednesday for Catholic Charities’ Lake County Adopt-A-Family Christmas Gift Program to the gift warehouse in Waukegan.

    Thousands donate but need still exists for Christmas gift giving program

    More than 60 Stevenson High School students delivered, unloaded and helped organize toys and gifts at a warehouse Wednesday as part of Catholic Charities' Lake County Adopt-A-Family Christmas gift program. Despite the generosity of thousands, there is still an unmet need, according to coordinator Jim Wogan.

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    Retired Batavia High School band director John Heath, shown at an alumni concert at the high school, will lead this year’s Do-It-Yourself “Messiah,” a fundraiser for STAGE, at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre Sunday, Dec. 9.

    John Heath to lead Do-It-Yourself “Messiah” in Batavia

    When the folks at STAGE, the Batavia support group for theater in the schools, were looking to repeat the "Do It Yourself' Messiah" this year, they couldn't find the funding and considered canceling the event. Then Dan Ross of Allstate Insurance offered to help.

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    Performers in this year’s Tuba Christmas concerts will range in age from sixth-graders to senior citizens.

    Tuba Christmas concert booms in the season in Naperville

    Ah, the gentle sounds of Christmas in Naperville. Bells pealing softly through a veil of falling snow. Rosy-cheeked carolers gathering outside your front door. Eighty tubas thumping their way through "O, Come All Ye Faithful." Wait just a minute. Tubas? At Christmas? In the heart of downtown Naperville? What in the name of John Philip Sousa is going on here?

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Burglars stole two laptop computers, desktop computer, monitor, TV, and three designer watches out of the attached garage at a vacant home on the 1900 block of Spring Ridge Drive in Arlington Heights between Oct. 31 and Dec. 3. Value was estimated at $23,100.

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    In this Nov. 4 photo, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, right, emerges from the 103rd floor stairwell at Chicago’s Willis Tower during the RIC SkyRise Chicago event, a fundraiser for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where Kirk is a patient. A spokesperson for Kirk on Thursday said the Illinois senator would return to work in Washington on Jan. 3, 2013, a year after suffering a major stroke that required months of intense rehabilitation.

    Aides: US Sen. Mark Kirk to return to work Jan. 3

    U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk will return to work in Washington on Jan. 3, a year after suffering a major stroke that required months of intense rehabilitation.

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    DAILY HERALD Rep. Peter Roskam, the House GOP chief deputy whip, said House Republicans aren’t willing to raise tax rates because increasing them would hurt small businesses and job growth. They are still awaiting a serious proposal from Obama to cut spending, he said.

    Roskam: Obama support will wane without push for cuts
    Rep. Peter Roskam, a Wheaton Republican, predicted on Thursday that President Barack Obama will lose public support for increasing tax rates for the highest earners if he doesn't also propose spending cuts to achieve a budget deal with Congress.

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    Detailed Lego city scenes and working trains are sure to delight visitors of all ages at Cantigny Park in Wheaton.

    Lego train show chugs into Cantigny

    For some families, the holiday decorating just isn't complete until a model train is click-clacking its way around a miniature village. The Northern Illinois LEGO Train Club's show is just like that — but bigger and more intricate. The show, a holiday tradition for many families, returns to the park this weekend.

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    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gestures as she gives a speech: “Frontlines and Frontiers: Making Human Rights a Human Reality,” Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, at Dublin City University in Dublin, Ireland.

    Clinton, Russian official spar over human rights

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sparred over human rights and European security before meeting with UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to discuss cooperation in Syria.

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    Europeans interested in U.S. wind market

    Developers including Spain's Iberdrola SA, Electricite de France SA and Ireland's Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd., have filed official "indications of interest" for the first competitive lease auction for U.S. offshore wind farms, scheduled for next year.

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    Don’t put lights on aluminum trees, the Consumer Product Safety Commission warns. The lights can create a charge on the metal tree, which would electrocute someone.

    Safety first when it comes to holiday lights

    Roughly 12,500 people are treated for injuries sustained while hanging holiday lights or decorating Christmas trees, whether real or fake. Christmas trees are involved in about 300 fires annually, resulting in an average of more than $10 million in property loss and damage. To help keep your holiday safe, here are some tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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    The European Central Bank left rates unchanged at its meeting Thursday, and Mario Draghi gave little sign the bank was willing to add more stimulus. He said the bank had already done much to lower borrowing costs in heavily indebted countries that are struggling to grow.

    ECB cuts growth outlook for eurozone, holds rates

    The European Central Bank warned of another gloomy year for the 17 European Union countries that use the euro, cutting its forecast for economic growth in 2013 from plus 0.5 percent to minus 0.3 percent. Even so, the bank left rates unchanged at its meeting Thursday, and ECB head Mario Draghi gave little sign he was leaning toward any more cuts to stimulate growth.

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    Are you using the gifts God gave you?

    The Lord blesses each of us with unique gifts and talents, columnist Annettee Budzban says. Are you using yours or wasting them?

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    Find the Christmas present that escapes you in West Dundee

    Is the perfect holiday gift to give still eluding you? If so, maybe you should check out the Swell Gallery in downtown West Dundee. The gallery, located on the lower level at 123½ W. Main Street, is holding its fourth annual Holiday Arts, Crafts and Vintage Market all month. The event opens with an artists reception from 5 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 8.

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    Cargill to help Notre Dame program in Haiti

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Agribusiness company Cargill is expanding its partnership with the Notre Dame Haiti Program to try to eliminate lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis, in the Caribbean nation.

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    New date set for Beavers’ trial to resume

    A federal judge has set a new date for the delayed trial of an influential Chicago-area politician on tax charges. Cook County Commissioner William Beavers’ trial was supposed to get under way this week. But Judge James Zagel had agreed on Tuesday to delay it because one defense attorney, Victor Henderson, fell ill with bronchitis.

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    Several communities to share $21 million in grants

    WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois says several communities in the state will share more than $21 million in grant funding through three programs administered by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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    Officials warning utility customers about scam

    Illinois authorities are warning Chicago area residents about a scam in which people are impersonating utility employees in an attempt to get customers to pay them.In a news release, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the ICC say they’ve received complaints from people who say the “scam artists” are telling customers that their service will be cut off unless they pay them.

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    UW regents to consider raising nonresident cap

    MADISON — The regents of the University of Wisconsin System will be considering a proposal to admit a higher percentage of out-of-state students.The plan would raise the cap on nonresident undergraduate enrollment from 25 percent to 30 percent. A Board of Regents committee is scheduled to take up the issue Thursday, and the full board is set to vote on it Friday.

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    Judge allows electronic poker at Wisconsin casino

    MADISON, Wis. — A federal judge says the Ho-Chunk tribe can continue to offer electronic poker at its Madison casino.

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    $12M renovation planned for Chicago City Hall

    A $12 million renovation plan is in the works for Chicago’s century-old City Hall.Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office on Thursday announced a plan to rehab the building and reorganize the city office space by the end of 2013. Emanuel’s office says the plan will save the city $4 million each year, so the costs will be recouped in three years.

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    UWM arrest follows suspected drug overdose death

    MILWAUKEE — Prosecutors in Milwaukee County are weighing possible charges against a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee student following an apparent drug overdose death.

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    Employee accused of theft from East St. Louis housing authority

    EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A man working for East St. Louis’ housing authority is accused of stealing appliances from the agency.The Belleville News-Democrat reports that prosecutors in St. Clair County have charged 50-year-old Robert Blanchard of Washington Park with felony theft.

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    1 dead in school bus-car crash near Kankakee

    The driver of a car is dead after the vehicle crashed into the back of a school bus near Kankakee.Illinois State Police say the accident happened Thursday on Illinois Route 113 in Kankakee County, about 50 miles south of Chicago.

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    “The priority now is to push a vigorous debate about the undocumented people already here. We want to become citizens and not face the threat of deportation or be treated as second class,” said journalist and immigration reform activist Jose Antonio Vargas.

    Illegal immigration drops after decade-long rise

    New census data released Thursday affirm a clear and sustained drop in illegal immigration, ending more than a decade of increases. The number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. dropped to an estimated 11.1 million last year from a peak of 12 million in 2007, part of an overall waning of Hispanic immigration. For the first time since 1910, Hispanic immigration last year was topped by immigrants...

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    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brushed off international uproar over a planned new settlement project near Jerusalem, claiming Thursday that Israel will keep the area under any future peace deal in any case.

    Netanyahu: Israel will keep settlement corridor

    BERLIN — Israel’s prime minister brushed off international uproar over a planned new settlement project near Jerusalem, claiming Thursday that Israel will keep the area under any future peace deal in any case.

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    Jordan’s King Abdullah II has begun a brief visit to the West Bank in support of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ successful bid for U.N. recognition of a state of Palestine.

    Jordan king in West Bank to support Palestinians

    RAMALLAH, West Bank — Jordan’s King Abdullah II paid a rare visit to the West Bank on Thursday in a show of support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ successful bid for U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state.

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    The dealmakers who warn that a year-end plunge off the “fiscal cliff” would be disastrous don’t seem to be rushing to stop it. Why aren’t they panicking?

    How far over the ‘fiscal cliff’ could they go?

    The dealmakers who warn that a year-end plunge off the "fiscal cliff" would be disastrous don't seem to be rushing to stop it. Why aren't they panicking? For one thing, the Dec. 31 deadline is more flexible than it sounds. Like all skilled procrastinators, Washington negotiators know they can finagle more time if they need it.

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    Deficit panel’s Simpson hits political ‘stupidity’

    The co-chairman of President Barack Obama's deficit commission is assailing the politics of political brinkmanship surrounding the "fiscal cliff," saying Congress "put the chain on their own ankle."

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    Education reporter looking for stories

    For the last two years I have been profiling people in the community about once per week. I'm switching beats once again and my search for people who will let me tell their stories is narrowing.

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    Dawn Patrol: Man stabbed in Lake Zurich; ‘Hope’ raises $10,000

    Dawn Patrol: Man stabbed in Lake Zurich; Lake County prosecutors dropping battery charge for wrongfully convicted man; Arlington Heights man who ran over cop gets 23 years; District 300 deal won't raise taxes; Elgin committee OKs $11.7 million radio agreement; Naperville Century Walk gets audio; Hope for Holidays raises $10,000; Bulls win

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    Batavia disaster agency could come under fire department control

    A Batavia committee has recommended putting the city's Emergency Services and Disaster Agency under the control of the fire chief, after more than 30years as a stand-alone department.

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    Hersey High School student Alex Baratta shows some of the works of art he brought back from his volunteer work in Ghana and other travels.

    Arlington Heights teen helps others abroad, excels at home

    Alex Baratta could be Nike's trademark slogan personified. If the Hersey High School senior ever feels the weight of his full plate — juggling three varsity sports, a perfect GPA, service trips abroad and robotic competitions at home can be a challenge — the Arlington Heights teen tells himself to buckle down and "Just do it." And do it well. "Whenever I take something on, there's no...

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    Veterans treatment facility will open Friday

    The first residential treatment home for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and/or substance abuse problems will open this Friday in Aurora. The facility is located in the old Opportunity House, which was also a substance abuse treatment facility. It will house and help up to 15 veterans at a time. Kane County Board members praised the facility Wednesday.

Sports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Wheeling turns up the ‘D’ in second half against Jacobs

    After Jacobs hit 6 3-pointers in the second quarter to cut a 15-point deficit to 2 at intermission, Wheeling's girls basketball team knew it had to make a point on its homecourt Thursday night. So they decided to minimize the Golden Eagles' points. "After that first half, the girls knew they had to focus on defense," said Wheeling coach Julissa Hernandez. They sure did, limiting the Jacobs to just 2 field goals in the second half (none in the final quarter) en route to a 62-37 nonconference triumph.

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    O’Hara, Prospect handle Huskies

    Devin O'Hara admitted that it's taken him a few games for him to make the transition from football to basketball. The all-area quarterback sat out the first four games of the season to recover from a variety of injuries. On Thursday night at Hersey's Ken Carter Gymnasium, O'Hara showed why he could be a key part of a deep Prospect boys basketball team. O'Hara closed out the third quarter with 7 points to erase a 1-point deficit and along with some hot shooting from Nick Lazarz in the fourth quarter, it was enough for Prospect to run away from Hersey 52-32 in Mid-Suburban East play.

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    Wheaton Warrenville South wins with effort

    Wheaton Warrenville South's girls basketball team could use the week off it has coming. The Tigers seemed to be everywhere in Thursday's 57-20 DuPage Valley Conference victory against Naperville North in Wheaton, exerting plenty of energy despite the big margin. Including Tuesday's overtime victory against Naperville Central, the Tigers (7-2, 4-0) have had a busy few days.

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    Metea Valley puts new defense to work

    Since suffering a 7-point loss at Neuqua Valley on Nov. 30, Metea Valley's players and coaches have held many discussions. About their goals and aspirations. Starting games with more intensity. Being in less of a hurry offensively. Spreading around the points.

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    Montini cruises past Rosary

    No. 1 Montini made quick work of Rosary Thursday, shutting out the Royals 22-0 in the first quarter en route to a 57-24 Suburban Christian Conference win in Lombard.Malayna Johnson had 10 points, 10 rebounds and 8 blocks for the Broncos (8-0, 3-0), who have allowed 2 first-quarter points in three conference games. Emily Cochrane added 9 points, 3 assists and 2 steals, Sara Ross 7 points, 9 rebounds and 4 steals and Kateri Stone 7 points.Batavia 61, Waubonsie Valley 38:Liza Fruendt scored 22 points for the visiting Bulldogs (6-3), who jumped out to a 19-point first-half lead and coasted past the winless Warriors. Andrea Colin and Morgan Grastorf each scored 11 for Waubonsie (0-8).Glenbard South 67, Ridgewood 52:Jenna Brambora poured in 21 points, Stefi Bazigos 14 and the visiting Raiders (7-2, 3-0 Metro Suburban Conference) outscored Ridgewood 45-18 over the second and third quarters.

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    Batavia handles Waubonsie Valley

    Batavia 61, Waubonsie Valley 38: The Bulldogs improved their record to 6-3 on the season with a win over UEC crossover opponent Waubonsie Valley.

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    Kaneland’s Caroline Heimerdinger and Sycamore’s Julia Moll chase a loose ball that Heimerdinger poked away Thursday in Maple Park.

    Kaneland dodges bullet, escapes in OT

    The Kaneland girls basketball had its undefeated season literally on the line Thursday night in Northern Illinois Big XII East action in Maple Park.

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    Fremd’s Sean Benka drives around Hoffman’s Jimmy Ward in the third quarter Thursday at Hoffman Estates.

    Fremd finds its focus at Hoffman Estates

    Despite all that went on with the Hoffman Estates boys basketball program over the last week, it was Fremd that came out seemingly distracted Thursday night on the Hawks' court. Despite height and depth advantages, the Vikings couldn't leverage them through most of the first half against an aggressive Hoffman Estates team playing its first game in more than a week after three forfeits in the wake of a hazing incident. The young Hawks stayed with the taller Vikes on the boards, stayed with them defensively and forced the same number of first-half turnovers and shot the ball at a near-equal percentage for two quarters. Then Fremd went to work on defense in the second half and pulled away steadily for a 58-43 Mid-Suburban West win and a 2-0 division record (4-2 overall).

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    Amy Falson of Glenbard North works to get past Teaira Miller of Glenbard East during varsity girls basketball, Thursday in Lombard

    Glenbard North finds winning formula

    With 6-foot-3 senior center Katie Wisniewski and senior guard Amy Falson, Glenbard North has the ability for a strong inside-outside offensive attack.

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    NHL rejects players' offer to break labor impasse

    The NHL and the players' association are further apart than ever before. Union executive director Donald Fehr began the first of his two news conferences Thursday night by proclaiming he believed the sides had agreements on such issues as actual dollars, and then returned moments later to reveal the NHL rejected everything his side offered.

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    St. Charles East stuns Geneva in OT

    Paige Jordan looked up at the St. Charles East scoreboard in disbelief.

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    Naperville Central overcomes West Aurora

    As West Aurora continues to make strides with its girls basketball program, picking up a few pointers from a team like Naperville Central can be quite helpful. In Thursday's DuPage Valley Conference contest in Naperville, the Redhawks had occasional lapses on defense, a few troubling foul situations, but still managed to come away with a 60-52 triumph to improve to 8-1 overall and 2-1 in the DVC.

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    The Mundelein boys basketball team has four players headed for full college scholarships. From left are Sean O’Brien, Robert Knar, Cliff Dunigan and Chino Ebube.

    Mundelein’s Big Four focus on bright collegiate futures

    Grade school boys tend live in the moment. They'll talk about their favorite video games, or what they're going to trade for at lunch. Robert Knar, Sean O'Brien, Chino Ebube and Cliff Dunigan were a little bit different at that age. They liked to envision the future, and think more "big picture." "We'd go to the varsity basketball games right after our feeder games and we'd talk about getting taller and how we'd all be studs in high school," Knar laughed. "We talked about how we were all going to play in college someday." Now seniors at Mundelein, Knar, O'Brien, Ebube and Dunigan have made their hoops dreams a reality. They're a perfect 4-for-4. Last month, the longtime friends put pen to paper and signed their official NCAA letters of intent to play college basketball. Knar and O'Brien will be playing at Division I mid-major powers Northern Iowa and Southern Illinois, respectively. Ebube and Dunigan are going the Division II route. They both signed on at Missouri S&T. All four also got full scholarships, which makes their story all the more unique.

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    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Streamwood 56, Elgin 39: Deja Moore led four players in double figures with 15 points as Streamwood held off Elgin in the Upstate Eight River. Holly Foret, Jessica Cerda and Hannah McGlone added 10 points each for the Sabres (8-1, 3-0). Jess Ramirez and Kristin Tayag had 8 point each for Elgin (3-6, 0-3) and Anna Eckholm added 7.St. Charles North 62, Larkin 26: Quixmia Washington had 13 points to lead Larkin (1-8, 1-4) in the Upstate Eight River.Westminster Christian 65, Mooseheart 16: Liz Meschewski had 10 points and 6 rebounds and Emma Anderson added 9 points and 6 rebounds as the Warriors (7-2) rolled to a nonconference win. McKaila Hays and Savannah Dutcher added 8 points each for Westminster.Elgin Academy 49, Faith Lutheran 18: Alysson Wittmeyer scored 20 points and had 10 rebounds and Kaitlyn Pearson added 19 points to lead the Hilltoppers (5-3) to a nonconference win.

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    Barrington manages to finish off Schaumburg

    Barrington survived a defensive struggle Thursday night at Schaumburg to pull out a 46-43 Mid-Suburban League West win in boys basketball. Senior guard Brad Zaumseil scored 8 of his team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter as the Broncos (4-4, 2-0) held off numerous late charges by the Saxons (4-3, 1-1). Zaumseil also pulled down 6 rebounds and dished out 7 assists.

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    Palatine prevails at Conant

    Palatine used a decisive scoring edge in the first half and just enough free-throwing shooting down the stretch to earn its first Mid-Suburban West win of the year, a 45-41 decision Thursday at Conant.

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    Keilani Unga

    Mom, student, athlete, all in a day’s work

    Keilani Unga is back on the basketball court at BYU this fall. She feels a sense of stability perhaps greater than when she left Provo nearly three years ago. She is, yes, home. But that means so much beyond basketball.

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    Benet falls to Joliet Catholic

    Neither coaches could recall the last time Joliet Catholic beat Benet.With Nicole Ekhomu and Jasmine Lumpkin, this is a different Angels team.Freshman guard Ekhomu scored 25 points and Lumpkin, a junior transfer from Montini, had 19 points and 14 rebounds in Joliet Catholic's 61-51 win over Benet on Thursday in Joliet.

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    Alyssa Lach

    Jacobs’ Lach headed to Butler

    Jacobs softball coach Jeremy Bauer, a physical education teacher at the school, says it matters little which sport it is, Golden Eagles' junior Alyssa Lach wants one thing — to win. "It doesn't matter if it's floor hockey or what it is," Bauer said. "Her competititveness is where it starts. She wants to win." Lach, who burst onto the softball scene last spring in earning all-area honors, verbally committed over the weekend to accept a softball scholarship offer from Butler University in Indianapolis.

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    Fremd’s Jalon Roundy glides through Hoffman Estates’ defense.

    Images: Hoffman Estates vs. Fremd, boys basketball
    The Hoffman Estates High School boys basketball team hosted and lost 58-43 to the Fremd High School boys Thursday, December 6th.

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    Balanced effort works for Buffalo Grove

    Wheeling set out with a plan on Thursday night — to keep the ball out of Buffalo Grove senior guard Luke Potnick's hands as much as possible. The Wildcats executed this plan by trapping and double-teaming Potnick nearly every time he touched the ball. On a few instances the double team came before Potnick even caught the ball. The philosophy behind the strategy is one that reaches across all team sports: don't let the opponent's best player beat you. Potnick did not beat Wheeling. But Buffalo Grove did. The Bison used a balanced scoring attack that saw four players reach double figures in a 72-54 win.

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    Libertyville impresses with Alumni Night triumph

    The seventh annual Libertyville Wrestling Alumni Night provided quite a showcase for the Wildcats program Thursday night. Starting the dual meet at 170 pounds, three early pins helped stake Libertyville to a comfortable 25-0 lead before the Wildcats posted an impressive 52-9 North Suburban Conference Lake Division victory over Mundelein.

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    Improving Jacobs meets its match in McHenry

    Appointed as new coach for this season, there can be little doubt after only a few weeks the difference former St. Charles North assistant Gary Conrad is making with the Jacobs wrestling program. Last weekend the Golden Eagles won their first tournament but outdistancing 12 teams to win at the Tom DuBois Classic in Richmond-Burton. Earlier, the team had a very successful day at its own mega-duals. Thursday night the Golden Eagles had their biggest test of the season thus far against visiting McHenry, and the FVC Valley Division power Warriors left the cozy wrestling gym in Algonquin with a 40-24 victory as they improved to 10-0 in duals.

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    Bartlett hangs on to top South Elgin

    It may be a little too early in the season to call it a turnaround game, but the young Bartlett girls basketball team came of age just a little bit Thursday night. The Hawks got ahead, fell behind, then got ahead again and hung on for dear life at the end before coming away with a 53-50 Upstate Eight Valley win at South Elgin. "We showed some poise," said Hawks' coach Denise Sarna, who lost her top eight player to graduation from a 32-2 team that took third in Class 4A last season. "We haven't been in that situation. It was a good team effort and I'm proud of them."

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    Kaneland’s Allyson O’Herron gets to a loose ball ahead of Sycamore’s Bailey Gilbert.

    Images: Sycamore vs. Kaneland, girls basketball
    Sycamore lost in OT 44-37 to Kaneland Thursday night in a girls basketball matchup in Maple Park.

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    Amy Falson of Glenbard North works to get past Teaira Miller of Glenbard East.

    Images: Glenbard East vs. Glenbard North, girls basketball
    Glenbard East lost 36-22 to Glenbard North Thursday night in a girls basketball matchup.

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    St. Edward’s Danny Favela gets a shot past Harvest Christian’s Jake Adams at the Westminster Christian Warrior Thanksgiving Basketball classic in Elgin. St. Edward is off to an 8-1 start to the season.

    Balance a big key for surging St. Edward

    The early surprise of the boys basketball season has been surging St. Edward. The Green Wave defeated Marian Central in Woodstock Tuesday to improve to 8-1 overall, 1-0 in the Gold Division of the Suburban Christian Conference. The Wave won 11 games last season. St. Edward fans have reason to be excited about a team poised for success in both the near and long term. The 14-man squad has only two seniors: 6-foot-4 forward Adrian Ponce and 5-7 point guard Antonio Domel. Ponce was named MVP of the Westminster Christian Thanksgiving Tournament after leading the Green Wave in scoring. He averages 11.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, both team highs. Domel led the Fox Valley area in assists as a junior and is averaging 4.2 assists through 9 games.

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    Notre Dame defensive back Manti Te'o displays his trophies after being named the college defensive player of the year and the nation's college player of the year Thursday at the Home Depot College Football Awards in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

    Notre Dame's Te'o wins Maxwell Award

    Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o has won the Maxwell Award, given to the nation's most outstanding player. Te'o was presented with the award Thursday at the Home Depot College Football Awards show at Disney World. He beat out finalists and quarterbacks Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M and Collin Klein from Kansas State.

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    FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2012, file photo, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o waits for the snap during the second half of Notre Dame's 21-6 win over Boston College in a NCAA college football game in Boston. Te'o is a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson, File)

    For Te'o, Heisman qualities go beyond numbers

    If Manti Te'o's career at Notre Dame has seemed like something straight out of a Hollywood script, perhaps it is fitting the linebacker is cast as a underdog in the final two scenes of his collegiate career. First, he will try to become the first defense-only player to win the Heisman Trophy, going up against a couple of quarterbacks Saturday night in Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and Kansas State's Collin Klein. Next month, he will lead the Irish against Alabama.

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    Prairie Ridge’s Dylan Wisser, left, battles Dundee-Crown’s Jarrod Rapp, right, in their 182-pound match at Carpentersville Thursday night. Rapp won the match.

    Dundee-Crown scores win over Prairie Ridge

    On the mat Thursday night, Prairie Ridge outwrestled Dundee-Crown. Fortunately for the Chargers, the Wolves had to forfeit five weight classes, giving up 30 points, as D-C won the Fox Valley Conference meet, 42-27, in Carpentersville. "We've got four guys out of the starting lineup right now, so we're fine taking that," Chargers coach Bob Skillman said of the victory. "At this point, we're just getting guys experience and get them out on the mat."

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    No end in sight for college achievers

    Late fall, and the mailbag is bursting with college achievements...

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    Mundelein’s Connor Black swims the butterfly leg of the 200-yard medley relay during Thursday’s meet between Mundelein at Warren Thursday. Black has signed a national letter of intent with Stanford University.

    Mundelein’s Black is back for elusive state title pursuit

    Connor Black has one simple goal for his senior season, his fourth year as a Mundelein swimmer. Make that, two goals. Win the state championship in both his events: the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly. "Connor definitely has a good shot to be a double state champion," said Rahul Sethna, who has been the Mundelein boys swimming head coach for a combined 10 years over two stints, most recently since 2009. He has been coaching for a total of 19 years.

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    Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez speaks Thursday at a news conference in Madison. Alvarez announced that he will coach the team in this year’s Rose Bowl NCAA college football game, replacing former football coach Bret Bielema who took a job as head coach at Arkansas.

    Wisconsin turns to former coach for the Rose Bowl

    Wisconsin is going retro for the Rose Bowl. Left without a coach when Bret Bielema bolted for Arkansas, the Badgers asked former coach and current athletic director Barry Alvarez to lead them when they face No. 8 Stanford on New Year's Day. "We wouldn't want anyone else but coach Alvarez to coach us in this game," linebacker Mike Taylor said Thursday.

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    Cubs bring back Stewart, set to introduce Fujikawa

    The Cubs will introduce relief pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa to the media Friday. The Japanese closer and the Cubs have agreed on a two-year contract that will guarantee him $9.5 million. The Cubs also re-signed third baseman Ian Stewart, whom they did not tender a contract to last week.

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    Marco Belinelli is pressured by Cleveland’s Daniel Gibson on Wednesday. Belinelli scored a season-high 23 points and hit 7 of 15 field goals.

    Can Bulls expect more big games from Belinelli?

    The Bulls have a little bit of a chicken-and-egg dilemma with Marco Belinelli.Did he play well against Cleveland on Wednesday because he got the ball more often, or he did he get the ball more often because he played well?As recently as Tuesday’s loss to Indiana, one had to wonder (or tweet, in this case) if Belinelli’s teammates had faith in him, because he touched the ball so infrequently. Even when he stood wide open at the 3-point line, teammates would often send the ball to the other side of the court.After Belinelli produced a season-high 23 points in the 95-85 win at Cleveland, both he and coach Tom Thibodeau made reference to that general topic.“He’s been playing well,” Thibodeau told reporters after the game.Not everyone would agree with that statement, but Thibodeau likes to stay publicly positive with his players, so whatever.“He got extended minutes. That’s about the biggest difference,” the coach continued. “I thought he played hard. He scored in different ways. He got to the free-throw line, he posted up, catch-and-shoot. Then I thought his teammates were searching him out, too, which is playing smart.”Aha, searching him out, as opposed to seeing and ignoring. It’s tough to blame the Bulls players, though. They’ve seen the same thing as the fans during games — Belinelli has often looked lost, timid or just not very good this season.He was excellent against Cleveland, however. He shot well from the outside, went to the basket a few times and annoyed Chicago native Jeremy Pargo to the point where Jannero’s brother threw the ball in Belinelli’s face.“It was good tonight,” Belinelli said after the game, according to csnchicago.com. “(My teammates) were ready to find me, so that was good. Just continuing this way, it’s important for us to play together like tonight, run on fastbreaks, try to score each basket and play good defense.”The Bulls took Thursday off, their only break in a stretch of four games in five nights. The next question is whether Belinelli can do this again Friday against Detroit.Needless to say for a guy averaging 6.2 points, consistency hasn’t been a strong suit. Before Wednesday, Belinelli had scored in double digits three times. In the three games after those double-figure outbursts, he scored a grand total of 9 points. That’s 3 per game.In the past, Belinelli has played well more than once every three weeks. Last year with New Orleans, he had a stretch of scoring in double-figures in 20 of 22 games. He produced back-to-back 20-point outings a couple of times.So it’s possible Belinelli will have more good nights while filling in for the injured Rip Hamilton. He’ll most likely start off Friday against Detroit’s Kyle Singler, the former Duke star who played in Spain last year and is now starting for the Pistons.“Even in the beginning of the year, he’s somebody who works really hard on his game and never got discouraged,” Joakim Noah said of Belinelli. “As somebody who’s passionate about the game, I’m happy that it’s paying off for him.”Noah meets beast on boards:One minor highlight of Wednesday’s win at Cleveland was Joakim Noah earning a slight edge in the center matchup against Anderson Varejao, the league’s top rebounder by a wide margin.Varejao hit his average, finishing with 15 boards and 11 points, but Noah did slightly better with 15 rebounds, 13 points and 5 assists. Coach Tom Thibodeau couldn’t say enough good things about Varejao, while Noah had mixed feelings.“Do I like playing against him? No,” Noah said, according to csnchicago.com. “I don’t like playing against him. Every time the ball goes up, he’s always going to the glass. He never takes a play off. He’s just a hard-playing dude. Good dude, too. I really respect him on and off the court. His brother (Sandro, who played at West Virginia) is a friend of mine. Brazilians are usually pretty cool people.”Deng enjoys bench view:

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    Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is sacked by Nick Roach during the Bears’ Week 3 victory at Soldier Field.

    Bears’ Roach, Hayden will be in spotlight vs. Vikings

    The Bears will miss eight-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, but they have confidence in Nick Roach, who will move over from his strong-side spot to fill in. It's also likely that veteran cornerback Kelvin Hayden will replace injured Tim Jennings on Sunday vs. the Vikings.

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    Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, whose blind-side block on an interception ended the season of Bears offensive lineman Lance Louis with a knee injury two weeks ago, is not concerned that the Bears may try to retaliate.

    Vikings’ Allen expects no payback for Louis hit

    Vikings defensive end Jared Allen says he isn't worried about retaliation from the Bears Sunday, two weeks after he ended guard Lance Louis' season with a blind-side block that drew a $20,000 fine from the league. "They had a chance to retaliate during the game," said Allen, who did not have a reputation for dirty play before the hit that resulted in Louis suffering a torn ACL in his left knee.

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    3 Huskies, 2 NU players earn All-Academic spots

    In a season of firsts for the Northern Illinois football team, three Huskie football players were named to the Capital One Academic All-America football team.Two Northwestern players also were named Academic All-Americans as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

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    Carmel’s Barr raises the bar

    There's something very different about Carmel forward Cullen Barr this season. He looks the same, for the most part. But his game has changed. It's done a 180, in fact. "He's undergone a complete transformation," Carmel coach Tim Bowen said. "Cullen has changed his entire mindset and the way he plays the game."

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    Like no one else, Sherrill shares the history of wrestling in Illinois

    Just in time for the holidays for the wrestling fan is Rob Sherrill's new book, "Tales From the Mat: Illinois High School Wrestling at 75." The 500-page book is filled with more than 200 photos. stories, facts and figures about the sport's start in Chicago high schools through all 75 state tournaments held by the IHSA. It retails at $37.95.

  •  
    New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman listens to a question Thursday as he talks with reporters during the Rule 5 draft at the baseball winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn.

    Hamilton, Greinke remain on market after meetings

    As teams headed home from the winter meetings Thursday, the biggest free agents were still on the market. The availability of slugger Josh Hamilton and pitcher Zack Greinke held up decisions on other signings and possible trades involving on Rangers star Michael Young and the Mets' Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey. The Yankees, quiet thus far, were pursuing former Boston star Kevin Youkilis and also met with the agent for Mark Reynolds.

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    White Sox pick up utility infielder Sanchez

    In need of a utility infielder, the White Sox addressed the void on Thursday by selecting Angel Sanchez from the Los Angeles Angels' organization in the major-league phase of the Rule 5 draft.

  •  
    Lance Whitaker

    Basketball: Week 2 MVPs

    Junior forward Brittney Thibeaux of Grayslake North and senior guard Lance Whitaker of Bartlett have earned MVP honors from the Daily Herald for their recent basketball performances.

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    Mike North video: Celebs at the Score Luxor Grand Opening

    Watch some of the celebs attending the Score Interactive Sports exhibit at the Luxor including Mike Tyson, Warren Moon, Marcus Allen and former Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman.

  •  
    Philadelphia Eagles running back Bryce Brown has been impressive the last two weeks with 4 touchdowns and averaging 8.1 yards per carry. He also has lost three fumbles, however, which could affect his playing time.

    Will Eagles’ Brown fumble his big opportunity?

    Since LeSean McCoy has been lost due to a concussion, Eagles RB Bryce Brown has burst onto the scene the last two weeks. He looks to be a superstar in the making, but the rookie better learn to hang onto the ball, as John Dietz explains in this week's Fantasy Football column.

  •  
    Former Houston Astros pitcher and broadcaster Jim Deshaies was named to the Chicago Cubs television team on December 3, 2012.

    Deshaies looks like good fit for Cubs’ TV booth

    If the Cubs' new TV game analyst was going to come out of left field, why not Alfonso Soriano? Regardless, Jim Deshaies sounds like he'll do just fine anyway.

  •  
    The Bulls’ Marco Belinelli is pressured by Cleveland’s Daniel Gibson in the first quarter Wednesday night in Cleveland. Belinelli finished with 23 points in the Bulls’ 95-85 victory.

    Belinelli leads Bulls past Cavaliers
    Marco Belinelli had a hot hand and Luol Deng sat out in the first quarter for the first time this season. Those were a couple surprising twists in the Bulsl' 95-85 win at Cleveland on Wednesday.

Business

  •  

    Capital One moves suburban workers to Chicago

    Capital One, which has offices in Rolling Meadows, plans to move workers to downtown Chicago.

  •  
    A lawyer for software company founder John McAfee says he has been denied political asylum in Guatemala, paving the way for his deportation to Belize.

    McAfee hospitalized after being denied asylum

    Software company founder John McAfee was hospitalized Thursday after being denied political asylum in Guatemala and his lawyers said they were making a last-ditch effort to keep him from being flown back to Belize for questioning about the killing of a fellow American expatriate.

  •  
    Douglas Whitley, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, speaks at the Daily Herald Business Ledger Newsmakers Forum: Business Outlook 2013.

    Don’t expect much more in 2013, business experts say

    If you're hoping for the economic boom to start in 2013, you'll be deeply disappointed, according to a panel of business experts at the Daily Herald Business Ledger Newsmakers Forum: Business Outlook 2013. "We're in a plow horse economy," First American Bank First Vice President Elizabeth Pierson said. "It's making slow and guarded advances, but it's still moving."

  •  
    U.S. stocks rose for a second day as Apple rebounded from its biggest drop in four years and investors weighed prospects for a budget deal in Washington.

    Stocks edge up as investors keep eye on Washington

    Apple and other technology companies led the stock market up for the second day in a row Thursday. The gains came a day after Apple took its worst fall in four years.

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    Stocks edge up as investors keep eye on Washington

    Apple and other technology companies led the stock market up for the second day in a row Thursday. The gains came a day after Apple took its worst fall in four years.

  •  
    It’s possible T-Mobile will sell a cellular version of the iPad, as the three national carriers do.

    T-Mobile USA to get Apple devices soon

    T-Mobile will likely start carrying the iPhone next year after its parent company, Deutsche Telekom, said it has reached a new deal with Apple.

  •  
    After establishing itself in China’s biggest cities in recent years, Yum Brands Inc. is focusing on populating the country’s less urbanized regions.

    KFC, Pizza Hut expanding to China’s smaller cities

    The owner of KFC and Pizza Hut is bringing its fast-food menus to new parts of China, with plans to set up shop in smaller cities throughout the country.

  •  

    Palatine approves Walmart’s request to sell beer and wine

    Palatine this week approved Walmart's request to sell packaged beer and wine at the retail giant's store at 1555 N. Rand Road near Dundee Road. Sales will be permitted between the hours of 9 a.m. and midnight, seven days a week.

  •  

    Santa goes digital courtesy of Motorola

    Kukec's eBuzz column features Motorola Mobility's first effort to make Santa more digital for kids. Here's your chance to text Santa or chat live with him.

  •  
    Apple CEO Tim Cook said Thursday the company will spend $100 million in 2013 to move production of one of its existing lines of Mac computers to the U.S. from China.

    Apple to produce line of Macs in the U.S. next year

    Apple CEO Tim Cook says the company will produce one of its existing lines of Mac computers in the United States next year.

  •  
    Starbucks bowed to mounting pressure over its tax affairs in Britain and revealed Thursday Dec. 6, 2012 that it would pay about $16 million in each of the next two years.

    Starbucks promises to pay more UK tax

    Starbucks bowed to mounting pressure over its tax affairs in Britain and revealed Thursday that it would pay about $16 million in each of the next two years. Having been slammed by the country's lawmakers of "immorally" avoiding tax, Starbucks' U.K. managing director Kris Engskov said the firm had agreed to pay more than required by law.

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    Small business lending picked up in October

    Small business owners borrowed more in October, a sign that they might be getting more confident about hiring.

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    Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages ticked up this week just slightly above their record lows, keeping home-buying and refinancing attractive to consumers. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan ticked up to 3.34 percent, above last week’s rate of 3.32 percent. Two weeks ago, the rate dipped to 3.31 percent, the lowest on records dating to 1971.

    Rate on US 30-year mortgage ticks up to 3.34 pct.

    Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages ticked up this week just slightly above their record lows, keeping home-buying and refinancing attractive to consumers. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan ticked up to 3.34 percent, above last week's rate of 3.32 percent. Two weeks ago, the rate dipped to 3.31 percent, the lowest on records dating to 1971.

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    Job seekers wait to speak to recruiters during a job fair in San Jose, California, earlier this week.

    U.S. unemployment aid applications drop

    The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid fell sharply last week as a temporary spike caused by Superstorm Sandy has faded. Weekly applications have fallen back to a level consistent with modest hiring.

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    A protester wearing a sign reading “unemployed” shouts slogans during a metalworkers protest in front of the Duomo gothic cathedral, in Milan, Italy, Wednesday.

    Italian bonds decline as government threatened

    Italian bonds fell for a second day as former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's political party threatened to stop supporting the government, risking the disintegration of the parliamentary coalition.

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    Cloud services struggle with ROI proof

    Cloud-based services revenue in two years is expected to comprise nearly twice its current share of provider revenue, even as providers believe that showing evidence of cost savings is the biggest barrier to cloud adoption.

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    Christmas decorations and U.S. flags are displayed outside of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Wednesday.

    Euro stocks rise on U.S. optimism

    :European stocks rose to an 18-month high on optimism U.S. lawmakers will reach a budget deal. Italian bonds retreated for a second day after support dwindled for Prime Minister Mario Monti's government.

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    H&R Block 2Q loss narrows as revenue rises

    H&R Block's fiscal second-quarter loss narrowed, helped by cost-cutting efforts. Revenue climbed mostly because of a strong tax season in Australia.

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    A stack of twenty one once ounce gold coins is displayed during an auction in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Wednesday.

    Gold predicted to decline in 2013

    BNP Paribas SA lowered its 2013 gold price forecast to $1,865 an ounce from $1,900 an ounce.

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    George Osborne, U.K. chancellor of the exchequer, left, reacts with Danny Alexander, U.K. chief secretary to the treasury, as they leave the HM Treasury building for the Houses of Parliament in London, U.K., Wednesday. Osborne faces the prospect of breaching his self-imposed budget rules as an economy struggling to escape recession drives debt higher and erodes his political capital.

    Bank of England: no change in base rate, stimulus

    The Bank of England has left its base interest rate unchanged and has not authorized any additional stimulus measures.

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    Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange,

    U.S. stocks little changed before jobs report

    U.S. stock-index futures were little changed before a report on initial jobless claims and interest- rate announcements in the euro area.

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    Inventories, budget talks hurt oil prices

    Oil traded near its lowest price in a week in New York as inventories of fuels such as heating oil rose by the most since July and U.S. lawmakers struggled to reach agreement on a budget plan.

Life & Entertainment

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    Broadway veteran Tony Yazbeck stars as Don Lockwood, a silent film star making the transition to "talkies" in Drury Lane Theatre Oak Brook's "Singin' in the Rain."

    'Singin' in the Rain' a splash at Drury Lane

    One thing about "Singin' in the Rain," it has great source material. As for the stage version, while sluggish in spots, Drury Lane Theatre's production of "Singin' in the Rain" based on the 1952 film, boasts some terrific production numbers and a truly engaging performance from Matthew Crowle in the Donald O'Connor role of Cosmo.

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    Britain’s Prince William stands next to his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge as she leaves the King Edward VII hospital in London Thursday.

    Pregnant Kate discharged from London hospital

    The Duchess of Cambridge left a London hospital Thursday after being treated for acute morning sickness related to her pregnancy.

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    New drama, returning comedy scheduled for CBS

    CBS is giving a special platform to a new cop drama that it will premiere in February. The drama, "Golden Boy," features Theo James as the youngest police commissioner in New York City, examining what he needs to do to get the opportunity.

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    Stephen Baldwin

    Actor Stephen Baldwin charged in NY tax case

    Actor Stephen Baldwin has been charged with failing to file New York state income taxes for three years. Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe says Baldwin owes more than $350,000 in taxes and penalties. He says Baldwin was arraigned Thursday on a charge of repeated failure to file tax returns.

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    Hayley Atwell, left, and Rufus Sewell in the Sundance Channel original miniseries “Restless.”

    Sundance Channel shifts focus with ‘Restless’ miniseries

    Sundance Channel, best known for its documentaries and other unscripted fare, is about to present a deliciously suspenseful spy thriller that signals a new initiative for the network: more drama. "Restless," a two-part miniseries that begins Friday at 8 p.m., would be an attention-getter if for no other reason than its blue-chip cast. But there is more to recommend "Restless" than its fine troupe of actors.

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    MTV says “Jersey Shore” stars Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Jenni “JWOWW” Farley and comedian Jeff Dye will host the network’s live New Year’s Eve special, “MTV’s Club NYE 2013,” from Times Square.

    Snooki, JWOWW to host MTV’s New Year’s Eve show

    New York's Times Square is getting a little bit Jersey for New Year's Eve. MTV says "Jersey Shore" stars Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Jenni "JWOWW" Farley and comedian Jeff Dye will host the network's live New Year's Eve special from Times Square.

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    Local theater: Holidays with a ‘Twist’

    Vex Theatre delivers a new "Twist-a-Carol," Secondy City brings holiday cheer to the Paramount Theatre and Mary-Arrchie offers an alternative to seasonal fare this week in Chicago-area theater.

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    Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody plays a Time magazine photographer who chronicles a devastating famine in World War II China in the historical epic “Back to 1942.”

    Too many strikes against bleak ‘1942’

    There's something liberating about Sung-hee Jo's South Korean fantasy-romance-thriller "A Werewolf Boy" in how it mashes together disjunctive genres and manages to pull it all off with amazing sincerity and aplomb. Dann reviews the strange film, along with the Chinese historical saga "Back to 1942."

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    What’s new in theater
    This week's Chicago area theater happenings include Goodman Theatre's new play showcase, "New Stages Amplified" and the arrival of the national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical "The Book of Mormon."

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    Idea of farm living raises some serious issues

    My husband and I are looking to move out to the country and grow our food, have chickens, and a few other livestock once we learn what we're doing. He's excited and has started planning things. He also has a job where he is away for three or more months at a time.That would leave me to take care of anything he brings into this equation.

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    Stacie (Jessica Biel), Lewis (Noah Lomax) enjoy a nice moment with former soccer superstar George (Gerard Butler) in the romantic sports comedy "Playing for Keeps."

    Butler, Biel can't save misogynistic sports rom-comedy

    Gabriele Muccino's "Playing For Keeps" (originally called "Playing the Field") wants to be a misty-eyed father/son reunion story, and a sensitive romance, and a thrilling sports drama reaffirming that losers can become winners if they're lucky enough to have a hunky coach with a Scottish accent. But this soccer film spends most of its time comically offsides and dramatically out of bounds.

Discuss

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    Editorial: Pension solution must address the issue of control

    A Daily Herald editorial says we won't have true pension reform in Illinois, at any level, until the issue of local control is addresssed.

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    Keeping excellence in the equation of school coverage

    Columnist Jim Slusher: Great things are going on in suburban schools every day. It's always been a hallmark of the Daily Herald's commitment to our communities that we weave them into the routine of our coverage.

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    We’re like slaves to our government
    A Hoffman Estates letter to the editor: This was once a nation of individualism with strong minds and bodies. It has now become a nation of old, weak and lazy people. Their mantra is “What’s in it for me?”

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    Dogs have no place on school grounds
    An Algonquin letter to the editor: Each and every day as I patiently way for my daughter to be dismissed from school, I've witnessed where dogs have jumped and licked students. However, I've noticed that the school officials do not enforce their policies because the dogs are on a leash. Therefore, dogs should not be allowed on school properties in Algonquin even if they're on a leash.

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    Out-of-towners getting more tickets?
    A Elk Grove Village letter to the editor: If I go to local police departments and try to find out just what percentage of stops result in tickets for drivers who live outside the area, I'm sure I would run into a brick wall.

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    Homeowners can’t afford to fund schools
    A Palatine letter to the editor: There has to be a better way of paying for education. We can no longer afford to support our local school districts and their outrageous pension program (67 percent of my last tax bill). And the senior citizens exemption program is inadequate and antiquated.

  •  

    Dickens experience a victory of sorts
    A Carpentersville letter to the editor: I'd like to thank the village of West Dundee and the volunteers who made Dickens in Dundee a warm, welcome and fun experience for both me and my aunt.

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    Library should carry mature-rated games
    An Elgin letter to the editor: As an adult gamer, I find myself puzzled and annoyed by the lack of mature-rated games to borrow from Gail Borden Public Library.

  •  

    Is this how to build our economic future?
    A Glen Ellyn letter to the editor: Regarding the Caterpillar, Inc. strike settlement this summer, Douglas Oberhelman, Chairman and CEO of Caterpillar, said he must drive a hard bargain against union workers in order to be "market competitive" throughout the world. This settlement became corporate welfare because Caterpillar workers were so lowly paid they qualified for food stamps and were forced to use this program to feed their families.

  •  
    Bob Farquhar

    Support the troops, not the nukes
    A Villa Park letter to the editor: The U.S. is projected to spend $640 billion over the next decade on nuclear weapons and programs suited for Cold War scenarios that are no longer plausible.

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