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Daily Archive : Thursday December 13, 2012

News

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    Tefera Beyene appeals to the person whose vehicle struck his son, Mikias Tibebu, to come forward. At left is Schaumburg police Sgt. John Nebl.

    Father pleads for driver who killed son to come forward

    The family of Mikias Tibebu is offering $10,000 to anyone who comes forward with information leading to an arrest related to the hit and run accident that killed their son early Saturday morning. "Our heart is broken, our family is devastated," said Tibebu's father, Tefera T. Beyene, at a news conference held Thursday afternoon at the Schaumburg police station.

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    Randy Hopp

    Elgin man banned from library wants to remain on its board

    He faces felony charges of attacking his parents and he's banned from using the library, but Gail Borden Public Library Board Trustee Randy Hopp says he plans to run for re-election in April. Hopp said he's "the only voice and vote that people can rely on," while calling the library director an "absolute dictator."

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    The Arlington Heights Fire Department responded to an early morning fire Thursday at the Hancock Square building on the 200 block of North Dunton Avenue. A 36-year-old female resident died in the fire, authorities said.

    Victim of Arlington Heights fire identified

    Fire broke out in a downtown Arlington Heights apartment building early Thursday morning, killing one resident, injuring rescuers and forcing other tenants to temporarily evacuate. The victim was identified by the Cook County medical examiner's office as Iesha Bailey, 36. The fire started shortly before 4 a.m. on the fourth floor of the Hancock Square apartment building on the 200 block of North...

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    Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos

    Clergyman takes closer look at 'It's a Wonderful Life'

    When the Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos was asked to write a book about finding God in the movie "It's a Wonderful Life," he didn't hesitate. It is, after all, his favorite flick of all time. He found that, like the movie's protagonist, it is common for everyone to question the value of having been born. But when we feel like a failure, the back story of IAWL just might prompt us to press the pause...

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    A vacant 7½-acre property on Kuhn Road in Carol Stream is being offered for sale for $1.8 million by the Carol Stream Public Library. The site was purchased in 2003 with intentions of building a new library there.

    Carol Stream Library puts Kuhn Road site on market

    If you're looking to purchase vacant land in Carol Stream and have $1.8 million, make your offer to the Carol Stream Public Library. The 7½-acre property at 2N540 Kuhn Road — once earmarked for a new library — is now officially on the market, following the library board's 6-1 decision last month to sell the property.

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    Drew Peterson

    Drew Peterson’s lawyers bash lead trial attorney

    Lawyers working to overturn Drew Peterson's murder conviction accused his former defense attorney Thursday of blowing the case through legal errors and "a smorgasbord of ethical violations."

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    Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, left, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, rear, appear during a June news conference in Chicago. Emanuel has made it clear he was ready to face off with the gun lobby.

    Chicago poised for another fight over guns

    Facing a climbing homicide rate, Chicago is poised for another fight over handguns — just two years after the last one. When the U.S. Supreme Court nullified the city's 28-year-old handgun ban in 2010, Chicago responded by passing one of the nation's toughest handgun ordinances. And city officials sounded ready Thursday for another battle after a federal appeals court tossed out Illinois'...

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    Woman hit by train at Naperville station

    Naperville police said a woman was taken to Edward Hospital in critical condition after she was struck by a Metra train Thursday.

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    West Chicago teachers threatening to strike

    Teachers in West Chicago Elementary District 33 filed an intent to strike notice Thursday that could have faculty members walking picket lines as early as Jan. 7. Union leaders said the district's 284 teachers voted overwhelmingly Wednesday night to authorize the possible job action.

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    Nathanel Wendel, 12, and little sister Olivia, 8, of Wheaton haul their freshly cut Christmas tree to their car from the Marmion Abbey Farms in Aurora in November 2011.

    Poll Vault: Is your Christmas tree real or artificial?

    Is plastic fantastic? Or do you "pine" for a real Christmas tree? Tell us which type is in your home.

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    Dist. 211 approves 3 percent increase in tax levy

    Despite hearing comments from more than a dozen disgruntled taxpayers, the Palatine-Schaumburg District 211 board unanimously approved a 3 percent increase in the tax levy Thursday.

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    Helicopter helps locate suicidal person in Old Mill Creek

    Lake Villa police, with the assistance of the Lake County sheriff's office and a helicopter, located a suicidal subject Thursday night after a 24-hour search.

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    Khaled el-Masri claims the CIA tortured him at a prison in Afghanistan.

    European court condemns CIA in landmark ruling

    A European court issued a landmark ruling Thursday that condemned the CIA's "extraordinary renditions" programs and bolstered those who say they were illegally kidnapped and tortured as part of an overzealous war on terrorism.

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    Kurdish members of the FSA are seen on a tank stolen from the Syrian Army in Fafeen village, north of Aleppo province, Syria, Wednesday.

    Russia positions itself for fall of Syrian regime

    Syria's most powerful ally and protector, Russia, began positioning itself Thursday for the fall of President Bashar Assad, saying for the first time that rebels might overthrow him and preparing to evacuate thousands of Russian citizens from the country.

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    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, second from left, accompanied by fellow Senate Democratic leaders, on Thursday discusses stalled fiscal cliff negotiations and other unfinished business in the Senate. From left are, Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois, Reid, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, and Sen. Charles Schumer of New York.

    Night talks: Obama, Boehner meet on ‘fiscal cliff’

    Face to face with time running short, President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner negotiated at the White House Thursday night in what aides called "frank" talks aimed at breaking a stubborn deadlock and steering the nation away from an economy-threatening "fiscal cliff."

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    Marita and Geoff Kovarik, of Mundelein, and their children, Colin and Crystal, thank CARSTAR after they received a car Thursday in Mundelein as part of its 2nd Annual Recycled Rides Program. The Kovarik family were the recipients this year by the company that gives away a rebuilt car to a needy family for the holidays. $PHOTOCREDIT_ON$Gilbert R. Boucher II/gboucher@dailyherald.com $PHOTOCREDIT_OFF$

    Mundelein family receives new car as a gift

    A Mundelein family received a car as a gift from Carstar, part of a national program called Recycled Rides. It’s the second straight year the business donated a car to a needy Lake County resident. A green bow adorned the car when it was given to the Kovariks at Carstar. When the family saw the car for the first time, Marita Kovarik got down on one knee. “God is good,” she said.

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    U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration as President Barack Obama’s next secretary of state, saying a battle over her confirmation would disrupt the administration’s second-term agenda.

    Embattled, Rice bows out of running

    Susan Rice, the embattled U.N. ambassador, abruptly withdrew from consideration to be the next secretary of state on Thursday after a bitter, weekslong standoff with Republican senators who declared they would fight to defeat her nomination. The reluctant announcement makes Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry the likely choice to be the nation's next top diplomat when Hillary Rodham Clinton departs...

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    Candle starts fire in St. Charles

    A knocked-over candle started a fire at a home on the 1900 block of Jeanette Avenue in St. Charles Thursday, authorities said. No one was injured, and the fire was out in five minutes. Damage is estimated at $5,000, and the home remains habitable, according to the St. Charles Fire Department.

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    Car hits bus carrying children in Rolling Meadows

    The Rolling Meadows Fire Department reported an accident involving a bus and car near the Willow Bend School. Firefighters said a car struck the side of the bus, which was transporting children at the time. No one on the bus was injured.

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    Four vehicles involved in Long Grove crash

    Long Grove firefighters said they responded to a four-vehicle crash on Old Route 53 between Old McHenry Road and Schaeffer Road. According to the Long Grove department, one person was taken to a hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries, two people were released on their own power and one person left the scene.

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    Herbert Burgess

    Jailhouse informant: Defendant threatened accuser

    The trial of Herbert Burgess on charges he molested a 15-year-old boy last year in Burgess' Mount Prospect apartment continues in Rolling Meadows.

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    A kitchen sink is all that remains of the home that used to sit on this lot in Union Beach N.J., ssen here on Wednesday.

    Senate turns to Sandy aid bill Monday

    The Senate will be turning its attention to a $60.4 billion disaster aid package for Superstorm Sandy victims next week while President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner try to avert the "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax increases.

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    In this photo released by the New York State Police, Tanner Ruane is seen. Court documents in a New Mexico district court say inmate Dana Martin told investigators he persuaded a man he met in prison and the man's nephew to kill Justin Bieber, Bieber's bodyguard and two others not connected to the pop star. Martin told investigators that Ruane and Mark Staake headed east, planning to be near a Bieber concert scheduled in New York City. They missed a turn and crossed into Canada from Vermont. Staake was arrested on an outstanding warrant. Ruane was arrested later. The two men face multiple charges stemming for the alleged plot.(AP Photo/ New York State Police)

    Prisoner plotted to kill Justin Bieber

    An imprisoned man whose infatuation with Justin Bieber included a tattoo of the pop star on his leg has told investigators in New Mexico he hatched a plot to kill the singer, according to documents recently filed in a New Mexico court.

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    Traffic moves through the construction zone at the Route 47 and Interstate 90 interchange in Huntley. Nearly 1,000 residents from the neighboring Sun City subdivision have asked the Illinois Tollway Authority to put up a sound barrier between Sun City and the tollway. Residents are upset about traffic noise and say it has disrupted their quality of living.

    Sun City residents making noise about tollway noise

    The traffic from the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway's Huntley portion is so loud, that Amelia Felinski, who lives in nearby Sun City, has started popping sleeping pills so the steady roar from its truck traffic doesn't interrupt her slumber. The Illinois Tollway Authority says Sun City does not qualify for a sound barrier to block noise from Interstate 90.

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    South Korean navy sailors carry debris from a rocket launched by North Korea, in the Yellow Sea, off Gunsan, South Korea, on Wednesday. The debris is believed to be a fuel container of the first stage rocket.

    N. Korea still years away from credible missiles

    After 14 years of painstaking labor, North Korea finally has a rocket that can put a satellite in orbit. But that doesn't mean the reclusive country is close to having an intercontinental ballistic missile. Experts say Pyongyang is years from even having a shot at developing reliable missiles that could bombard the American mainland and other distant targets.

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    Jessica Leach

    Elgin murder, arson suspect wants police statements tossed

    The defense attorney for an Elgin woman accused of stabbing and killing a 61-year-old man last December and setting his apartment on fire to cover up his murder wants a judge to throw out her arrest and videotaped statements she made to police. Jessica Leach, 29, of the 0-99 block of Poplar Creek, faces charges of first-degree murder, robbery, aggravated arson and concealment of homicide in the...

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    A poster with Arabic that reads, “Your constitution is invalid,” is seen in Cairo Thursday. Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists have been plastering posters across much of the country urging Egyptians to vote “yes” on this weekend’s constitutional referendum.

    Egypt vote means fateful choice for nation

    Two days before a constitutional referendum it considered boycotting, Egypt's secular opposition finally launched its "no" campaign Thursday with newspaper and TV ads detailing the argument against the charter drafted by Islamist supporters of President Mohammed Morsi.

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    Scammer admits to $500 million fraud

    Officials said 63-year-old Michael Kelly's guilty plea partially resolves one of the largest investment fraud cases in Chicago federal court. Kelly was sentenced Thursday to the maximum term of five years in prison. He still faces more charges.

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    Drew Peterson

    Peterson, Vaughn prosecutions cost $500,000

    The high-profile murder trials of Drew Peterson and Christopher Vaughn cost Will County at least $500,000 to prosecute, and there are still bills left to pay.

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    Quinn releases new pension video

    The video released Thursday features a group of elementary school children listening to a pension presentation. The children become increasingly bored before deciding they need a lobbyist to represent them.

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    Kerin Ramirez

    DuPage judge allows evidence in Harper wrestler’s home invasion trial

    When Kerin Ramirez goes to trial for invading an off-duty police officer's home, a DuPage County jury will learn the former Harper College wrestler was drunk when he entered the house and was shot during the confrontation that followed. Prosecutors had asked DuPage Judge George Bakalis to bar the defense from mentioning either detail during the trial. But Bakalis on Thursday denied the request.

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    Study: Many unknowns, but shale formation could mean jobs

    The New Albany Shale formation in southern Illinois could produce anywhere from a few thousand jobs to more than 40,000 jobs, but too little is known about the formation to be sure, according to a study paid for by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. The study, conducted by an Illinois State University economist, was released Thursday.

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    Daily Herald file photo Numerous homes in Posen including this one on South California Avenue are being bought up by the Illinois tollway, despite residents’ protests.

    Tollway faces hurdles for expressway extension, interchange

    The tollway's latest budget includes millions for the Elgin O'Hare Expressway and a new interchange at I-57 and the Tri-State. But hurdles remain including a $300 million gap for the expressway and upset homeowners in the path of the interchange.

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    Fox Valley police reports
    A juvenile client of a youth residential program in Elgin was arrested Tuesday and charged with battery after a fight with anther client, who went to the emergency room seeking treatment for his injuries, police reports said.

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    Man who fell into smokestack identified

    An aspiring comedian was attempting to take a photograph from atop the historic InterContinental Hotel when he fell 22 feet down the building's smokestack and later died, authorities said Thursday. It took rescue crews four hours to pull Nicholas Wieme, 23, a Pipestone, Minn., native who had been living in Chicago, from the angled portion of the smokestack where he was wedged.

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    Skate with Santa in Hoffman Estates

    The Hoffman Estates Park District is hosting a free Skate with Santa event from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16 at the Triphahn Center, 1685 W. Higgins Road in Hoffman Estates. Santa and Mr. Claus will be skating, along with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and others. Cookies and hot chocolate will be provided for everyone.

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    Nativity for Arlington Hts. park formally approved

    The Arlington Heights Park District on Thursday officially approved a permit for a nativity scene to be added to the village's holiday lights display in North School Park.

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    Nick Nicholas, who co-founded the Alpha Baking company and grew it to be one of the largest bakeries in Chicago, died Sunday. He was 83.

    Bakery founder, businessman Nick Nicholas dies at 83
    Nick Nicholas, who co-founded one of Chicago's largest bakeries and was known for his devotion to Holy Family Catholic Church in Inverness, died Sunday. He was 83.

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    Waukegan Y holiday event:

    The community is invited to celebrate the holiday season at a free family-oriented program of music and dance from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, at Northern Lake YMCA, 2000 Western Ave., Waukegan.

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    Donor drops four $5,000 checks in Naperville Salvation Army kettles

    An anonymous donor has deposited four checks of $5,000 each in Salvation Army red kettles during the past two weeks in Naperville. The donor, who officials say wishes to remain anonymous, made his donations Nov. 29 and Dec. 4 in two separate kettles.

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    Open house with Santa at Cuneo:

    An open house with Santa will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14 at the Cuneo Mansion, 1350 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hill. Cost is $5 per person, children under 3 free.

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    D50 jazz band to perform:

    Woodland Middle School Jazz Band members will travel to Vernon Hills for a special performance at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 in the dining court of Westfield Hawthorn Mall, 122 Hawthorn Center.

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    Tri-Cities police reports
    Ryan D. Courtney, 27, of the 6N600 block of Brookhaven Lane, St. Charles, and William D. Signore, 23, of the 39W600 block of Carl Sandburg Road, Campton Hills, were charged with disorderly conduct at 11:30 p.m. Saturday in the 200 block of West Main Street, according to a St. Charles police report. An officer reported seeing both men kick at a car after an altercation.

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    Kevin Gordon

    More negotiating expected before Grayslake District 46 teachers’ strike date

    Grayslake Elementary District 46 officials and the teachers union expect another bargaining session will occur before instructors are scheduled to strike Jan. 16, if a new contract isn't in place by then. While both sides agree on the contract length, they remain apart on compensation.

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    Aurora man convicted of groping woman on plane

    An Aurora man was convicted Thursday of sexually groping the inner thigh of a Chicago-area woman while they were seated next to each other aboard an airplane flying from Las Vegas to Chicago. Srinvasa S. Erramilli, 45, was found guilty of felony abusive sexual contact by a federal jury following a three-day trial in U.S. District Court. The software consultant was convicted twice previously of...

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    Roselle alters apartment plans after resident concerns

    A proposed apartment development at the southwest corner of Hattendorf Avenue and Prospect Street has won approval from the Roselle village board. But the vote came only after several changes were made to the plan in response to concerns about parking and aesthetics.

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    This is the view Thursday looking northeast on Busse Road just south of Algonquin Road where MWRD is lining a sewer in Mount Prospect to prevent future problems.

    Busse Road sewer in Mt. Prospect under repair again

    After closing Busse Road just south of Algonquin Road in Mount Prospect for a couple of weeks last April for an emergency repair of a collapsed sewer, work crews once again have closed some lanes since Monday for follow-up repairs.

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    State Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago speaks with reporters last month at the State Capitol in Springfield. He and State Sen. Heather Steans say they are within “striking distance” of having enough votes to approve gay marriage in Illinois.

    Illinois lawmakers say they're close to gay marriage approval

    State Sen. Heather Steans and State Rep. Greg Harris said Thursday they believe the passage of gay marriage legislation is within "striking distance" come January. "People have seen the President coming out and supporting gay marriage," Steans said. "I think folks heard that."

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    The squad car Lombard Deputy Chief Pat Rollins used to rush European golfer Rory McIlroy to the last day of the Ryder Cup on time can be sold in an online auction once its replacement arrives. The 2005 Crown Victoria is likely to be auctioned on eBay.com and could be available as soon as mid-January.

    Lombard plans to sell ‘Rory McIlroy car’ on eBay

    The unmarked Lombard police car used to rush European golfer Rory McIlroy to his game-changing performance on the final day of the Ryder Cup in Medinah is heading to the auction block. "Since it's drawing so much attention," Village Manager David Hulseberg said in October, "we figure we have nothing to lose by putting it out there for any European or anyone who would like to buy the car and do...

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    Cary-Grove High School students and Interact Club members Patrick Kelly, 18, Peyton Taylor, 16, Rita O’Connell, 18, and Christine Sweinberg, 17, bag presents Thursday to be loaded on a Chicago Public Schools truck bound for the Richard J. Daley Academy in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.

    Cary-Grove students collect $20,000 in gifts for kids

    Cary-Grove High School students and Interact Club members sent a truckload of presents to students in Chicago. The students collected roughly 800 gifts worth about $20,000 that came from letters students at the Richard J. Daley Academy in the Back of the Yards neighborhood sent to Santa.

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Burglars stole a speaker and tool boxes out of a vehicle in a driveway on the 300 block of Surrey Road in Wheeling between 2:45 and 2:58 a.m. Dec. 10. They also stole an aluminum dolly and a white BMX bike from the carport, and ransacked a Chevrolet Cobalt and Hyundai Accent in the same driveway. A car alarm woke the male owner, reports said.

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    David Hatyina

    Boy’s family files suit in Petite Lake boat crash

    The family of a 10-year-old Libertyville boy killed in a boating mishap on the Chain O' Lakes this summer has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against a Bartlett man and woman who were in the boat that struck the victim. The lawsuit filed Thursday in Lake County circuit court by Margaret Borcia, the mother of Antonio "Tony" Borcia, contends David Hatyina, 50, of Bartlett, was intoxicated and on...

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    Third year of lower property taxes proposed for Elgin

    Elgin is planning no new taxes and a decrease in its property tax levy request for next year, officials said. This would be the third year in a row Elgin residents see a decrease in the city portion of their property tax bills if the city council adopts the tax levy on Friday as expected.

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    ASSOCIATED PRESS Just over half of the Americans surveyed say President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats are more on their side in the debate over taxes and government spending than House Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans, according to a Bloomberg National Poll conducted Dec. 7-10. Seen here, Obama meets with House Speaker Boehner at the White House on Nov. 16.

    Public backs Obama tax-rate hike tied to cuts

    A majority of Americans say President Barack Obama is right to demand that tax-rate increases for the highest earners be a precondition for a budget deal that cuts U.S. entitlement programs, a Bloomberg National Poll shows.

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    Dist. 15 board settles on 3% levy increase

    Palatine Township Elementary District 15 this week passed a 2012 property tax levy officials hope won't dig deeper into taxpayers' pockets. The $117.5 million levy represents a 3 percent increase from last year.

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    Robert McBride

    ECC increases property tax levy by 3 percent

    Residents living within the Elgin Community College District 509 boundaries will see a property tax increase based on the college's 2012 levy. Trustees approved a $55 million request to cover the college's operating budget, which represents a 3 percent increase over last year's levy.

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    Drainage problem to get $65,000 fix at Lake Community High School

    Antioch-Lake Villa Area High School District 117 has approved $65,000 for emergency repairs of a drain tile that is leaking under the gym. There has been a slight bowing of some of the flooring -- not enough to close the gym or warrant repairs -- but the district wanted to get out front before it escalates into a situation like it had a few years ago.

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    Tell God about your deepest desires this season

    Have you pondered your desires this special season? We all have them. Have you waited so long that they are laying dormant in your heart? God is waiting for us to come to him with those special dreams and desires, columnist Annettee Budzban says.

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    Counselors and advisors help students learn the ropes

    Have you ever traveled to a foreign country where you don't speak the language? The entire experience can be disorienting. For some students, going to college is equally foreign. When traveling, it's always prudent to consult a map to make sure you reach your destination. It's no different in college. Taking advantage of the counseling and advising services available at Waubonsee and other...

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    Doves are released after a giant statue of former President Nelson Mandela was unveiled on Naval Hill in Bloemfontein, South Africa, Thursday, Dec 13, 2012, by President Jacob Zuma, front right, ahead of the ruling African National Congress’s elective conference. Mandela, who has been hospitalized since the weekend, is recovering from a lung infection.

    S. Africa president: Nelson Mandela ‘recuperating’

    BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa — South African President Jacob Zuma on Thursday honored anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, who has been hospitalized since the weekend to recover from a lung infection.Zuma unveiled a statue of Mandela in the city of Bloemfontein, also called Mangaung, which next week hosts the ruling African National Congress party’s convention.

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    A section of the 290-foot shipwreck Aurora is exposed on Dec. 11, 2012 in Grand Haven, Mich. due to low water levels in the Grand River. The Aurora is in the Grand River, which flows into Lake Michigan nearby.

    Lower Great Lakes levels reveal another wreck

    LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — There’s been another report of a shipwreck uncovered off Michigan because of lower Great Lakes water levels.

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    Police: Ind. man used Facebook to exploit girl

    FORT WAYNE, Ind. — A Fort Wayne man is in jail after police say he persuaded a 12-year-old female Facebook friend to send him partly nude photos.Raymond L. Ybarra Jr. was being held at the Allen County Jail on $72,500 bond Thursday following his arrest on charges including child exploitation and child solicitation.

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    Indiana man arrested for pulling down pants in court

    GARY, Ind. — A Gary man was arrested after authorities say he pulled down his pants during a court hearing.Nineteen-year-old Maurice Donelson was being held in the Gary city lockup on $500 bond Thursday following his arrest on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and resisting law enforcement.

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    Coroner: Highway worker’s death accidental

    EDWARDSVILLE — A coroner in southwestern Illinois has ruled that the death of a 62-year-old highway worker was accidental.Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn says Dennis Goebel of Dorsey died of asphyxia Oct. 3 when he was accidentally backed over by a Fort Russell Township dump truck. Nobody saw the accident, but his co-workers found him under the truck. Goebel died at the scene.

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    2 suspects in custody in SIU dorm robbery

    CARBONDALE — Authorities in Carbondale say they have two suspects in custody in connection with an armed robbery at a Southern Illinois University residence hall.

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    Indy firm to clean up tainted Terre Haute site

    TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The cleanup of a contaminated former industrial site in western Indiana is expected to begin following years of study.

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    Food hub aims to connect growers, consumers

    TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Surrounded by green grass and fields of golden grain, many Wabash Valley residents remain trapped in a “food desert.”A coalition of private and public sector entities hope to change that through innovative programming, including the establishment of a Wabash Valley Food Hub, connecting local growers to consumers.

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    Officials in Indiana county repeal smoking ban

    FRANKLIN, Ind. — Officials in a central Indiana county have repealed a local smoking ban less than a month before it was scheduled to go into effect.The Johnson County commissioners voted unanimously this week to repeal the countywide ban, which had been slated to begin Jan. 5.The ban would have prohibited smoking in all bars, restaurants, businesses, hotels and private clubs.

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    Downstate judge rejects bid to revive cigarette lawsuit

    An Illinois judge has refused to reopen a class-action lawsuit that produced a $10.1 billion verdict against cigarette-maker Philip Morris, handing the plaintiffs their latest setback in legal action now more than a decade old.

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    Indiana defends punitive damages law

    INDIANAPOLIS — State attorneys are defending Indiana’s punitive damages limit against a man who won a $150,000 jury award against a Roman Catholic priest he alleged sexually abused him when he was 17. Lawyers for the attorney general’s office asked the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday to set aside a Marion County judge’s decision that ruled the law violated the state constitution.

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    Wisconsin’s Kohl to give farewell remarks to Senate

    MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl is preparing to give his final speech from the Senate floor. The retiring Democrat is scheduled to deliver farewell remarks Thursday at 10 a.m. Central. CSPAN2 will carry his speech live.Kohl took office in 1989 for his first of four terms. The 77-year-old is stepping down after his current term is up Jan. 2.

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    An inquest heard that nurse Jacintha Saldanha was found hanging by the neck from a wardrobe door at her room at the hospital. Australian radio hosts managed to impersonate Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles and received confidential information about the Duchess of Cambridge’s medical condition, in a hoax phone call to the King Edward VII hospital where the pregnant Duchess was staying and which was broadcast on-air.

    Inquest: Nurse in British royal hoax found hanging

    A nurse duped by a hoax call from Australian DJs about the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge was found hanging in her room and left three notes, a coroner's inquest was told Thursday.

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    Algonquin’s Gaslight Park Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary has won a 2012 Conservation and Native Landscaping Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Chicago Wilderness.

    High honors for Algonquin bird and butterfly sanctuary

    Algonquin's Gaslight Park Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary has won a 2012 Conservation and Native Landscaping Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Chicago Wilderness. The award, which was announced last week, recognizes sites that excel in their use of native landscaping, ecosystem restoration and protection, and conservation design.

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    Martin Crossley, 37, of Lombard was arrested Monday in connection with a string of suburban bank robberies, according to the FBI.

    Dawn Patrol: Arrest in bank robberies, confession in 30 car break-ins

    Lombard man charged for bank robbery. Lake Zurich provides rebates for Mariano's project. Des Plaines man implicates himself in several vehicle breakins. Kane County Children's Advocacy Center gets new leader. Durbin chairs first hearing on school to prison pipeline. $18k raised in Hope for the Holidays drive. Bulls beat 76ers. Packers won't have Woodson back for Bears game.

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    Libertyville voters will be asked whether they would be willing to pay increased property taxes to convert the Brainerd building in Libertyville into a community center.

    Libertyville leaders want details in Brainerd referendum

    Libertyville officials agree voters should have their say in an advisory referendum to convert the former Libertyville high school into a community center but want the question to be crystal clear. "I would support having clarity on the ballot. I think the voice of the people is what should guide us in this financial commitment," Trustee Donna Johnson said.

Sports

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    Andy Dalton threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score, an opportunistic defense forced five turnovers and Cincinnati beat the Philadelphia Eagles 34-13 on Thursday night. The Bengals (8-6) took a half-game lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6) for the last playoff spot in the AFC. But their game at Pittsburgh next week is far more important in the standings than this one.

    Bengals beat Eagles 34-13

    Andy Dalton threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score, an opportunistic defense forced five turnovers and Cincinnati beat the Philadelphia Eagles 34-13 on Thursday night. The Bengals (8-6) took a half-game lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6) for the last playoff spot in the AFC. But their game at Pittsburgh next week is far more important in the standings than this one.

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    NIU bowl history
    NIU bowl history

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    Team effort boosts Wolves over Hamilton

    Left wing Darren Archibald delivered the game's first 2 goals and the Chicago Wolves held on for a 4-3 victory over Hamilton on Thursday night at the Allstate Arena.

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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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    Naperville North sees improvement despite defeat

    Naperville North saw the good in Thursday’s 45-32 loss to DeKalb in their Naperville North/Benet Holiday Tournament opener.“I’m happy, though, because the last time we played them we lost by over 20 (51-30 on Nov. 23) and it felt like a blowout,” Huskies coach Jacquie Discipio said. “Today was a competitive game. We got better. We made them work for all their points, which was our goal. We were competitive, which was a great way to start the tournament.”The Huskies fell to 4-6 on the season.“Every loss hurts, but this I feel was a good loss,” Discipio said. “We were competitive, we got better, we stuck to our plan, I saw some good stuff. We’ll still be ready to go the rest of the tournament.”The Huskies also might have found another go-to player offensively, 5-foot-11 junior Morganne Freeman, who scored 9 points, 7 of them in the first half to keep the game close.“Morganne played the best game of the season for her so far,” Discipio said. “She has great post moves, and I think she’s starting to feel comfortable doing them. It’s interesting that she played another really good post and she finally felt that competitive edge to bring that out tonight. She did a great job. She really sparked us offensively, especially in the first half because we couldn’t find any other way to score.”“I was more confident with my moves and I was taking more shots this game too, and they were just falling,” Freeman said of her varsity-best scoring total. Sophomore Kayla Sharples notched a double-double, scoring 10 points to go with 11 rebounds and 3 steals. Senior guard Zoe Swift overcame early foul trouble to add 8 points.DeKalb (11-1) took a 17-9 lead after the first quarter, 26-15 at halftime as the Huskies leaned on Freeman.“We let them score 17 points in the first quarter and we don’t want to get down by that much,” Freeman said. “We did better the second half. If we would have played the first half like we did the second half we would have won, I think.”“We are good when we are in our transition ball, when we’re pushing the ball up,” Discipio said. “When we have to set up a half-court set, we seem to struggle when we have set plays. So anytime that slows down, and when we take Zoe out everything’s a little bit slower, we have to run half-court sets. So we were having difficulty scoring. “They’re big, though. I think our girls were a little intimidated by that too. They play really good defense, they get in the passing lanes. I think they’re known for that.”DeKalb coach Chris Davenport noticed Swift’s absence.“Obviously, when she’s off the floor it hurts them, because she’s so quick,” he said.The Barbs went up by as many as 16 points in the fourth quarter before the Huskies trimmed the margin to 10. They couldn’t get any closer, however. Madelyn Johnson, a 6-1 sophomore, led DeKalb with 15 points.

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    Cuny leads Naperville Central past Oswego

    Jamie Cuny scored 18 points, and No. 5 Naperville Central cruised past Oswego 64-36 on Thursday at the Oswego Holiday Classic.Cierra Stanciel added 12 points and Shannon Ryan 10 for the Redhawks (11-1), who advanced to Saturday’s 6 p.m. championship game against unbeaten Neuqua Valley. Jordan Campbell scored 12 points for Oswego (7-5).West Aurora 49, Glenbard North 27:Abriya Zeitz had 12 points and 6 steals, Taylor Jacobsen 10 points, 9 rebounds and 5 steals and the visiting Blackhawks outscored the Panthers 25-6 in the second half. Amy Falson scored 9 points for Glenbard North (4-6, 2-1 DuPage Valley Conference).

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    Elk Grove tops Mundelein; Barrington falls to VH

    Elk Grove's girls basketball team moved to two games over .500 when it posted a 41-22 victory over visiting Mundelein on Thursday night, but Barrington dropped a 39-36 decision to Vernon Hills.

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    West Aurora rolls by Glenbard North

    West Aurora 49, Glenbard North 27: The Blackhawks outscored Glenbard North 25-6 in the second half on their way to victory Thursday. Taylor Jacobsen just missed a double-double with 10 points and 9 rebounds, plus 5 steals. Erin Jacobsen had 5 points, 6 assists and 6 steals.

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    WW South overcomes injuries, Benet

    Meghan Waldron is determined to not let Maggie Dansdill down. A week after losing her running mate to a season-ending knee injury, Waldron and No. 4 Wheaton Warrenville South churned out a workmanlike 41-39 win over No. 14 Benet on Thursday at the Benet/Naperville North Tournament in Lisle.

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    Round Lake rolls to victory

    Justice Clark scored a game-high 14 points, and Morgin Evins added 13, as Round Lake's girls basketball team defeated host Northtown Academy 63-18 Thursday night for its first win of the season.

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    St. Charles North’s Quinten Payne shoots and scores from the outside against Batavia during Thursday’s game at Batavia.

    St. Charles North slows Batavia

    Fans at the St. Charles North-Batavia game Thursday night wondering what happened to the first-half offense weren't alone. "The first half I looked up at the clock and was like, wow, there's a minute to go and it was 10 to 15 or whatever," St. Charles North senior Quinten Payne said. "Both of us were playing good defense. Everyone weren't hitting easy shots and they were missing free throws."

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    Neuqua Valley’s Jabari Sandifer is fouled by Bartlett’s Lance Whitaker Thursday in Bartlett.

    Bartlett has no answer for Neuqua Valley

    Neuqua Valley boys basketball coach Todd Sutton joked after the Wildcats' 63-44 Upstate Eight Valley win in Bartlett Thursday night that he was a little disappointed with the fact his team allowed 40-plus points for only the fifth time this year. It seems the kind of wins against East Aurora and Lake Park last week, where both were held to 38 points, are becoming a standard. "This one's a little upsetting," Sutton cracked. "We didn't keep it in the thirties."

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    Lakes forward Direll Clark goes up for a shot Thursday at North Chicago.

    North Chicago putting priority on more than Prairie

    North Chicago netted a 78-61 win over visiting Lakes on Thursday night, but the Warhawks are setting their sights on more than just a divisional championship.

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    Metea halts St. Charles East’s rally

    Despite his team leading by as many as 11 points midway through the fourth quarter, Metea Valley basketball coach Bob Vozza didn't have that comfortable feeling heading down the stretch against St. Charles East Thursday night.

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    Wauconda’s Austin Swenson will calculate his college decision mainly based on the quality of the school’s engineering program.

    Varsity vigor, engineering excellence the norm for Wauconda’s Swenson

    Wauconda's Austin Swenson is nearly finished with a four-year high school varsity sports career, but his collegiate future, hopefully balancing football and engineering, is only starting to take shape.

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    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Willows Academy 42, Harvest Christian 34: Kylee Knox had 14 points and Carol Kauffman added 9 points and 6 rebounds for Harvest Christian (2-5) in this nonconference loss. Morgan Lockwood added 5 points and 8 rebounds for the Lions.Rosary 59, Larkin 26: Quixmia Washington had 13 points to lead Larkin (1-12) in this loss at the Oswego tournament.Guerin Prep 41, St. Edward 22: Rena Ranallo returned to the St. Edward lineup after for the first time this season after an ankle injury and had 8 points in limited minutes in this Suburban Christian loss. Cece Rapp had 6 points and 11 rebounds for the Green Wave (0-12, 0-4).

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    Fremd’s Sydney Sek fouls Conant’s Lexi Zades (15) during Thursday night’s MSL West game in Palatine.

    Fremd meets Conant’s challenge

    Bernie Williams was impressed by the scrappiness and determination of the Conant girls basketball team on Thursday night. "They never stop believing," said the Fremd senior forward. But the Vikings believe they can contend for a fourth straight Mid-Suburban West crown, and that's exactly what they showed in the final 12 minutes. A 3-pointer by Cougars sophomore Lexi Zades gave Conant its first lead of the game, 22-20, with 5:35 left in the third quarter. But Williams, who battled inside for a game-high 12 points, answered with a layup off an assist from Ashley McConnell (10 points) and the Vikings went on a 14-4 tear before finishing with a 44-34 West victory.

  •  
    Northern Illinois University SID Emeritus Mike Korcek calls the Huskies' upcoming Orange Bowl appearance against Florida State “the most significant event in the school's athletic history.”

    For a sense of NIU perspective, just talk to Korcek

    Mike Korcek visited the Orange Bowl in 1986 as the Northern Illinois sports information director, but he asserts that the upcoming contest against Florida State is the most significant achievement in Huskies sports history.

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    Lake Park dumps South Elgin

    Lake Park boys basketball coach Josh Virostko let his team know how he felt about its finishing ability during a timeout with 3:03 remaining Thursday night. The Lancers had let a 21-point lead dwindle to 11 at the time. After a sloppy turnover following the timeout that led to two South Elgin free throws, Lake Park stepped up defensively and allowed just 1 field goal in the final 3 minutes to come away with a 60-45 Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division victory over the Storm in South Elgin.

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    Crystal Lake S. handles Dundee-Crown

    Even 30 minutes after Neil Crawford had earned a hard-fought pin of Dundee-Crown's Jim Justrowski at 126 pounds, the Crystal Lake South senior was still dripping sweat from the exhaustive match. Crawford's exhilarating pin with 47 seconds left in the match put the finishing touches on South's 47-22 Fox Valley Conference win over Dundee-Crown in Crystal Lake Thursday night. "All the hard practices and conditioning paid off tonight," said Crawford. "It was a very intense match. We both were very aggressive and it was a very hard-fought match. We both wrestled with the same temperament. I was glad to get the win and help the team win."

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    Larkin junior Kendale McCullum delivers a pass during the Royals’ 76-73 double overtime win over Elgin Wednesday night. Larkin travels to Waynesville, Mo. this weekend to play in the Route 66 Shootout.

    Larkin jacked up for Route 66 Shootout

    Surging Larkin hopes to show off in the Show Me state this weekend. Less than 24 hours after the Royals defeated rival Elgin 76-73 in a double overtime thriller to win their third straight game, they boarded busses after school Thursday for the eight-hour ride to the Route 66 Shootout in Waynesville, Mo. The inaugural event is organized by Waynesville coach Chris Pilz, the former head coach at Missouri-St. Louis when Larkin coach Deryn Carter was an assistant coach. Knowing Larkin was supposed to be an improved team, Pilz extended the invitation to his former staffer. The shootout covers all travel costs.

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    Cary-Grove pins its way past Huntley

    Cary-Grove's wrestling team silenced visiting Huntley Thursday night with its firepower. The Trojans (6-2) went on a pin frenzy under the spotlight before a big home crowd, recording 8 falls in 14 bouts, including the first three of the night to roll over the Red Raiders 50-15 in a Fox Valley Conference dual in Cary.Jeramey Dermont (285), John Cullen (106) and Michael Cullen (113) needed just under 4 minutes to pin their opponents, before Logan Hanselmann rebounded from a late 5-1 deficit to pin Ricky Vigil at 5:21 to send the Red Raiders into a freefall from which they would never recover.

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    Vernon Hills senior goalie Cody Christie is kissed by his mother, Annie Christie-Patrick, after signing his letter of intent to play lacrosse for Florida Southern College. Christie is the first Division II lacrosse player to come out of Vernon Hills.

    Vernon Hills’ Christie, unconventionally, extends his lacrosse career

    Vernon Hills' Cody Christie didn't give up on his dream of playing lacrosse, and he'll be joining Florida Southern with a chance to do just that.

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    Images from the St. Charles North vs. Batavia boys basketball game Thursday, December 13, 2012.

    Images: St. Charles North vs. Batavia, boys basketball
    St. Charles North took on Batavia in a boys basketball matchup Thursday night in Batavia.

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    Barrington’sKyle Ujiye heads for a victory in the 100-yard butterfly last season in the MSL championship meet at Barrington.

    Boys swimming: Northwest update

    Here's an update on the boys swimming programs this season in the Mid-Suburban League.

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    Neuqua Valley’s Jabari Sandifer is fouled by Bartlett’s Lance Whitaker .

    Images: Neuqua Valley vs. Bartlett, boys basketball
    Neuqua Valley won 63-44 over Bartlett in a boys basketball matchup Thursday night.

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    With the Angels signing Josh Hamilton to go along with likes of Albert Pujols and Mike Trout, the power in baseball is shifting to California.

    Baseball’s power shifts to the West Coast

    Spellman's scorecard talks about California being the golden state for baseball, the joy and pain of Barry Alvarez's return to the sideline, the Hawks, the Bears and much, much more.

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    Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah (13) dunks the ball as Philadelphia 76ers’ Jrue Holiday (11) watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

    Can Bulls do anything to ease Noah’s workload
    The Bulls don't have the cap room to do much in the way of adding players. And they can survive injuries to starting guards Kirk Hinrich and Richard Hamilton. But what can they do to decrease Joakim Noah's workload? In the last four games, Noah has averaged 43.5 minutes per game, while backup center Nazr Mohammed played just over a minute total.

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    Briggs calls Packers’ Finley ‘an idiot’ after hearing comments about Urlacher

    Bears linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs responded on Wednesday to Packers tight end Jermichael Finley, who earlier in the week said the Chciago defense might be better off without Urlacher.

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    Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall and quarterback Jay Cutler on the bench as the Seattle Seahawks score near the end of regulation at Soldier Field earlier this month.

    Bears looking to increase level of fun on offense

    The Bears' offense has struggled to find an identity and the end zone in recent weeks,much as they have in the past five meetings with the Packers, this week's opponent. The Bears have lost five straight games to Green Bay and seven of the last eight.

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    Mid-meet adjustment favors Buffalo Grove

    Swimmers missed Thursday's boys swimming meet at Olympic Pool in Arlington Heights for a variety of reasons — illness, injury, even coach's decision. That didn't lessen the intensity as the remaining Buffalo Grove and Hersey swimmers and divers battled it out in a matchup of two teams harboring hopes of winning the Mid-Suburban East Divisional title at season's end. The defending divisional champion Bison ended up taking a big step toward that goal with a 100-86 victory.

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    Is DePaul ready to jump the Big East ship? With the conference losing several key football and basketball powers to recent realignments, published reports say the university and six other Catholic schools are exploring their options, which could include forming their own league.

    Source: DePaul to cut from Big East

    The Big East is headed for another break up. This time, the seven prominent basketball schools that don't play FBS football are planning to break away from the ever-changing conference. The divorce is expected to be complicated, maybe even contentious, with millions of dollars and possibly the future of the league at stake.

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    Briggs calls Packers’ Finley ‘an idiot’ after hearing comments about Urlacher

    Bears linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs responded on Wednesday to Packers tight end Jermichael Finley, who earlier in the week said the Chciago defense might be better off without Urlacher.

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    IHSA releases postseason assignments

    Little to nothing has changed in the way the IHSA has assigned teams to the Class 4A girls basketball postseason. All Fox Valley area teams are assigned to two different sectional complexes — one at Bartlett and one at Rockford East — that feed into the Dundee-Crown supersectional. Bartlett's sectional complex has 21 teams, including Geneva, St. Charles East, Wheaton North and Wheaton Warrenville South. Elk Grove, Schaumburg, St. Charles East and WW South are the regional hosts. The Rockford East sectional is set up in pre-determined regionals per IHSA guidelines.

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    NHL labor talks wrap up with still no progress

    Two days of talks between the NHL, the players' association, and federal mediators still haven't provided any answers how to end the lockout.

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    The Boston Red Sox have agreed to terms with right-hander and former Cub Ryan Dempster on a two-year contract worth $26.5 million, two people familiar with the negotiations said Thursday.

    Sources: Ex-Cub Dempster, Red Sox agree at $26.5M

    The Boston Red Sox have agreed to terms with right-hander and former Cub Ryan Dempster on a two-year contract worth $26.5 million, two people familiar with the negotiations said Thursday.

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    Mark Black/mblack@dailyherald.com Retired National Hockey League great Jeremy Roenick answers questions from fans before signing copies of his new book "J.R. My Life as the Most Outspoken, Fearless, and Hard-Hitting Man in Hockey" at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville.

    Roenick’s book delivers hard-hitting stories

    There was never any doubt where Jeremy Roenick stood on a topic. He was both bold and brash when he came to the Blackhawks in 1989, and when was traded in a contract dispute in 1996. In his new book, "J.R., My Life as the Most Outspoken, Fearless and Hard-Hitting Man in Hockey," Roenick talks about the hard-hitting style he perfected under coach Mike Smith. Tim Sassone has more on the book and his interview with Roenick at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville.

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    Daily Herald file photo Aurora Christain coach Don Beebe will have a book signing Saturday for his new book “Six Rings from Nowhere.”

    Beebe’s new book a ‘remarkable story’

    It's a safe bet few professional football careers were ever launched like this: "I was standing on a ladder one day ..."

  •  
    Could Neuqua Valley wind up in the same conference as Naperville North?

    Maybe it’s time to think big about conference makeup

    It's nothing unique, but definitely not normal. Maybe not a hot mess, but nowhere near clean. It's the indefinably fluid state of the DuPage Valley Conference and Upstate Eight Conference. And for all the action we've seen the last few months, you ain't seen nothing yet. Over the next two months in this space we'll examine different aspects of the conference changes in DuPage County and portions of Kane and Cook counties. Despite evolving into a topic worthy of book writing, the focus will remain on the critical issues moving forward.

  •  
    Ryan Webber

    Ring strikes a pregame chord for Warren’s Webber

    Warren coach Ryan Webber's source of inspiration is hard to miss. Before every game, he slips a gold ring on his finger that is adorned with a very large black stone. By wearing the ring, he keeps his father-in-law Jim Arthur near.

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    Tom Watson, the new Ryder Cup golf captain for Team USA, hopes to end two decades of losing in Europe.

    Tom Watson returns as 2014 Ryder Cup captain

    The Americans are bringing back Tom Watson as their Ryder Cup captain with hopes of ending two decades of losing in Europe. Watson, however, faces a tall order as the Americans have lost seven of the last nine Ryder Cups and have not won away from home since 1993, when Watson was the captain at The Belfry in England. The eight-time major champion will be 65 when the 2014 Ryder Cup is played at Gleneagles in Scotland, making him the oldest captain in Ryder Cup history. "I was waiting for about 20 years to get the call," Watson said with that familiar gap-tooth grin. "I loved it the first time. I'm a great fan of the Ryder Cup. It's a great honor to be able to do it again."

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    Josh Hamilton, who led the Texas Rangers to two World Series appearances, has agreed to a 5-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels worth $125 million.

    Hamilton signs with Angels for $125 million

    FORT WORTH, Texas — Josh Hamilton left the Texas Rangers on Thursday and agreed to a $125 million, five-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels.Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said the slugging free-agent outfielder had reached the deal with the AL West rival Angels. Two people familiar with the talks disclosed the amount and length of the contract, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement was not yet final.Hamilton's $25 million average salary matches Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard for the second-highest in baseball, trailing only Alex Rodriguez's $27.5 million average with the New York Yankees.

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    New Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke, left, shakes hands with co-owner Magic Johnson during a news conference announcing his $147 million, six-year contract Tuesday.

    New Dodgers owners acting like the Yankees

    The new owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers are taking their cue from the free-spending late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, and fans in both cities may get the bill. The Dodgers introduced Zack Greinke earlier this week after making him the highest-paid right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball history with a six-year contract the Los Angeles Times said is worth $147 million. Come opening day, the Dodgers likely will have the highest major league payroll ever, topping the Yankees' $209.1 million mark from 2008.

  •  

    Mike North video: DePaul misses again

    Mike North is disappointed Jabari Parker will not attend DePaul University. The school needs a big push and getting Parker would have brought back some of glory days like they had with Mark Aguirre.

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    Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall, here making a catch against Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, says Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers is personal.

    Nice to see Bears’ Marshall gets Packers rivalry

    Brandon Marshall, just 13 games into his stay in Chicago, sounds as sincere in his dislike for the Packers as life-long Bears fans are.

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    DePaul defeats Arizona State 78-61

    Brandon Young scored 18 points and had nine assists in leading DePaul to its fifth consecutive win, a 78-61 decision Wednesday over Arizona State. Carrick Felix had 12 points and six rebounds for the Sun Devils (8-2), which had won four straight and were 8-1 for only the fourth time in 38 years.

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    Burlington Central rolls over Harvard

    Burlington Central 61, Harvard 17: Kayla Ross scored 16 points to lead the Rockets (8-1, 3-0) to an easy Big Northern East win on the road. Samantha Pryor added 12 points for BC, Alison Colby had 11 and Shelby Holt and Becca Gerke added 8 each.

Business

  •  
    JOE LEWNARD/jlewnard@dailyherald.com Gymnastics coach Ileana Albu works with pupils during a session at Midwest Elite Gymnastics Academy in South Barrington. The academy will be moving to Elgin in January.

    Gymnastics academy is heading back to Elgin

    Midwest Elite Gymnastics Academy is moving back to Elgin, where the business started almost six years ago. The gymnastics academy, known as "Mega," will move from its current location in the former Circuit City in South Barrington to 410 Airport Road in Elgin. A grand opening is planned Feb. 1.

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    Naperville parnters with Verde Energy on energy storage solutions
    The city of Naperville is partnering with Verde Energy USA on a clean energy efficiency demonstration project.

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    UPS packaging engineer Preeti Agrawal tests a packed box using a drop impact tester that simulates a box traveling through the small parcel system at the UPS Package Design and Testing Lab in Addison.

    UPS design lab puts boxes to the smash test

    It looks like a torture chamber for cardboard and bubble wrap. At a lab in Addison, in Chicago's suburbs, UPS Inc. tests new packaging designs by dropping, shaking and smashing boxes with brutal-looking equipment. The point is to see what type of packaging can withstand the trip from supplier to customer, protecting the delicate products inside.

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    Ultrapawn.com debuts for online pawning

    The popularity of cable TV shows "Pawn Stars," "Cajun Pawn Stars" and others, is changing the image of the pawning industry. And so is the Internet. George Souri and his father, Michel Souri, this week launched Ultrapawn.com, an online retail pawning business that says it offers competitive loans and a system to insure valuables when they're shipped to them for appraisals.

  •  
    The new Google Maps application is demonstrated in New York on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012. The world’s most popular online mapping system returned late Wednesday with the release of the Google Maps iPhone app. The release comes nearly three months after Apple Inc. replaced Google Maps as the device’s built-in navigation system and inserted its own map software into the latest version of its mobile operating system.

    Google Maps back on iPhone with new mobile app

    Google Maps has found its way back to the iPhone. The world's most popular online mapping system returned late Wednesday with the release of the Google Maps iPhone app. The release comes nearly three months after Apple Inc. replaced Google Maps as the device's built-in navigation system and inserted its own map software into the latest version of its mobile operating system.

  •  
    U.S. stocks retreated, snapping a six-day advance in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as the standoff in federal budget negotiations overshadowed a decline in jobless claims and a rebound in retail sales.

    Stocks lower as investors watch Washington

    Stocks sank most of the day Thursday after more signs of tension emerged in federal budget talks. They recovered some of the loss after a late report that President Barack Obama and the House speaker would meet.

  •  
    Norman Joseph Woodland and a partner submitted a patent in 1949 for the first bar code. The patent was issued in 1952.

    Bar code’s co-inventor N. Joseph Woodland dies, 91

    Norman Joseph Woodland, the co-inventor of the bar code that labels nearly every product in stores and has boosted productivity in nearly every sector of commerce worldwide, has died. He was 91.

  •  
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for an EU summit in Brussels Thursday. Member nations agreed on the foundation of a fully-fledged banking union and Greece’s euro partners approved billions of euros in bailout loans that will prevent the nation from going bankrupt.

    Europe takes step toward more stable banks

    The European Union has taken its big first step toward keeping busted banks from costing taxpayers billions and dragging down government finances.

  •  
    Participants listen to the speech of Hamdoun Toure, secretary-general of international telecommunication union, ITU, seen on screens, at the 11th day of the World Conference on International Telecommunication in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. A U.N. conference weighing possible Internet rules shifted into high-stakes showdowns on Thursday after advancing a proposal for greater government oversight. The proposal was a blow to U.S.-led efforts to keep new regulations from touching the Net.

    U.S. warns of treaty snub over Internet rules

    The chief American delegate at a U.N. conference weighing possible Internet rules says the U.S. may snub the final document over proposals interpreted as giving governments greater oversight over the Web. Ambassador Terry Kramer says references that governments have a right to control the Internet are unacceptable.

  •  
    Airports may be less crowded this travel season. AAA is predicting most of us will drive at least 50 miles during the holidays versus flying in a plane.

    Christmas, New Year’s travel busiest in 6 years

    This Christmas travel season could be the busiest in six years, with AAA predicting that 93.3 million Americans will hit the road. That's 1.6 percent more than last year and just 400,000 people shy of the 2006 record. More cars will crowd the highways than ever before. AAA says a record 84.4 million people will drive at least 50 miles between Dec. 22 and Jan. 1.

  •  
    Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, that the average rate on the 30-year loan dipped to 3.32 percent. That’s below last week’s rate of 3.34 percent. And it’s just above the 3.31 percent, the lowest rate on records dating to 1971.

    Rate on U.S. 30-year mortgage dips to 3.32 pct.

    Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week near record lows, providing more incentive for Americans to buy homes and refinance. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan dipped to 3.32 percent. That's below last week's rate of 3.34 percent. And it's just above the 3.31 percent, the lowest rate on records dating to 1971.

  •  

    Sprint to pay $2.1B for the rest of Clearwire

    Sprint Nextel has offered to buy out the minority shareholders of Clearwire for $2.1 billion in a deal that would give it total control of the flailing company and also more space on the airwaves for data services. Sprint said in a regulatory filing Thursday that it's offering $2.90 per share for the 49 percent of the wireless network operator that it doesn't already own. Clearwire's board hasn't approved the sale, but said it's in discussions with Sprint.

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    Dispute raises doubt for China stocks in U.S. market

    A mounting dispute between Washington and Beijing over access to records of Chinese companies with U.S.-traded shares might force major corporate names such as oil giant PetroChina and search engine Baidu to withdraw from American stock exchanges.

  •  
    The 2014 GMC Sierra debuts in Pontiac, Mich., Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012. General Motors unveiled a new versions of its top-selling Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra on Thursday Dec. 13, 2012. The 2014 models will go on sale by early spring or late summer. The models roll into a market where truck sales are growing after a five-year slump.

    GM gives its pickups a much-needed makeover

    General Motors is giving its big pickups a much-needed makeover. The company is unveiling new versions of its top-selling Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra on Thursday. The 2014 models will go on sale by early spring or late summer. The timing is good. The models roll into a market where truck sales are growing after a five-year slump. And GM's current trucks are looking dated, hurting sales.

  •  
    The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply for a fourth straight week, a sign that the job market may be improving. The Labor Department said Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, that weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 29,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 343,000, the lowest in two months. It is the second-lowest total this year.

    Weekly U.S. jobless aid applications drop to 343K

    The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply for a fourth straight week, a sign that the job market may be improving. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 29,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 343,000, the lowest in two months. It is the second-lowest total this year.

  •  

    U.S. retail sales rose 0.3 percent in November

    Americans spent more on autos, electronics and building supplies in November, and shopped more frequently online. The data suggests the economy is rebounding from disruptions caused by Superstorm Sandy. The Commerce Department says retail sales rose 0.3 percent in November, offsetting a 0.3 percent decline in October. When excluding gas station sales, retail sales increased 0.8 percent. The drop in gas station sales reflected lower prices.

  •  
    Greece’s euro partners agreed Thursday to hand over the next disbursement of the country’s bailout loans that will prevent it from going bankrupt and potentially trigger more turmoil in financial markets.

    Euro ministers back next Greece bailout payment

    Greece's euro partners agreed Thursday to hand over the next disbursement of the country's bailout loans that will prevent it from going bankrupt and potentially trigger more turmoil in financial markets. The decision by the finance ministers of the 17 EU countries that use the euro caps an often-tortuous period, when Greece tried to convince its creditors that it was holding up its end of the bailout bargain.

  •  
    Software company founder John McAfee is photographed in an immigration detention center in Guatemala City, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012.

    McAfee in Miami after deportation from Guatemala

    Anti-virus software founder John McAfee is holed up in a Miami hotel after weeks of evading Belizean authorities who want to question him in a homicide. Shortly after McAfee arrived Wednesday evening on a flight from Guatemala, he announced on his website that he had alighted in the city's swank South Beach neighborhood.

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    Airlines’ profits will improve to $8.4 billion in 2013, mainly reflecting cost cuts and restructuring measures taken to compensate for stalling economic growth, the global industry’s trade group forecast Thursday.

    Airlines: 2013 profits to rise thanks to cost cuts

    Airlines' profits will improve to $8.4 billion in 2013, mainly reflecting cost cuts and restructuring measures taken to compensate for stalling economic growth, the global industry's trade group forecast Thursday.

  •  
    American Airlines is changing the way it charges you to fly. American will charge $68 or $88 more per round trip for economy-class passengers who want a ticket that lets them check baggage or change the reservation later without getting hit by another fee.

    American Airlines rolls out new fare structure

    American Airlines is changing the way it charges you to fly. American will charge $68 or $88 more per round trip for economy-class passengers who want a ticket that lets them check baggage or change the reservation later without getting hit by another fee.

  •  
    Joe Allbritton, founder of Allbrittion Communications who became one of Washington’s most influential men by building media and banking empires, died at the age of 87, on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, at a hospital in Houston, where he lived.

    Joe Allbritton, 87, DC media, banking giant dies

    Joe L. Allbritton, who became one of Washington's most influential men through a media conglomerate of newspapers and television stations and a financial empire that once included Riggs Bank, died Wednesday. He was 87. He was suffering from heart ailments and died at a hospital in Houston, where he lived, said Frederick J. Ryan Jr., president of Arlington, Va.-based Allbritton Communications Co.

  •  
    U.S. home repossessions rose to a nine-month high in November, even as the number of homes starting on the path to foreclosure declined to the lowest level in six years.

    Bank repossessions hit 9-month high in November

    U.S. home repossessions rose to a nine-month high in November, even as the number of homes starting on the path to foreclosure declined to the lowest level in six years. Banks completed foreclosure on 59,134 homes last month, an increase of 11 percent from October and up 5 percent from November last year, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

  •  
    While the looming fiscal cliff dominates political conversation in Washington, some Republicans and business groups see signs of a “regulatory cliff” they say could be just as damaging to the economy. In recent weeks, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed rules to scale back mercury emission limits for new power plants and deal with runoff from logging roads.

    Election over, Obama administration unleashes new rules

    While the "fiscal cliff" of looming tax increases and spending cuts dominates political conversation in Washington, some Republicans and business groups see signs of a "regulatory cliff" that they say could be just as damaging to the economy. For months, federal agencies and the White House have sidetracked dozens of major regulations that cover everything from power plant pollution to workplace safety to a crackdown on Wall Street.

  •  
    Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, speaks during a news conference following a Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012. The Federal Reserve said it will buy $45 billion a month of Treasury securities starting in January, expanding its asset-purchase program, and for the first time linked the outlook for its main interest rate to unemployment and inflation.

    Bernanke wields new tools as Fed enters unmapped ground

    Chairman Ben S. Bernanke moved the Federal Reserve further into uncharted policy territory in combating joblessness by tying the bank's interest-rate outlook to unemployment and inflation, while committing to an even faster expansion of the central bank's balance sheet. The actions on the eve of the Fed's centenary year underscore Bernanke's hallmark commitment to experimentation and forceful action.

  •  
    Google says it has reached an agreement over copyright issues with a group of French-language Belgian newspapers, ending a six-year dispute.

    Google, Belgian papers reach accord on copyright

    Google says it has reached an agreement over copyright issues with a group of French-language Belgian newspapers, ending a six-year dispute. In a joint statement Thursday, Google and groups representing the papers and authors announced they had reached agreements to end legal proceedings and instead build business partnerships.

Life & Entertainment

  •  
    Daisy (Laura Linney) accompanies her cousin President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Bill Murray) on a drive in the historical drama “Hyde Park on Hudson.”

    Bill Murray the highlight of 'Hyde Park'

    The highlight of Roger Michell's misguided historical drama "Hyde Park on Hudson" is the unlikely but inspired casting of Chicago's Bill Murray as President Franklin Roosevelt, who, as we discover, maintained a carnal relationship with a distant cousin, Daisy (played by Laura Linney) while executing his duties as commander-in-chief. Dann reviews "Hyde Park" and shares Reel Life film notes.

  •  

    It’s not the neighbor’s fault the floor creaks

    My boyfriend and I recently began renting a condo. Our neighbor upstairs has very squeaky floors. She's not always barefoot nor is she a light stepper.While I understand no one can be quiet all the time, I have been up listening to her walk through her room since 5:45 a.m. I began counting 118 times she crossed the room. In an hour.

  •  
    Martin Short, left, with cast member Fred Armisen on the set of “Saturday Night Live,” in New York. Short will guest host on the popular late-night program along with musical guest Paul McCartney.

    Short hosting ‘SNL,’ McCartney is musical guest

    "Saturday Night Live" is welcoming two prominent up-and-comers to this week's show. Guest hosting the special Christmas edition will be a brilliant Canadian-born comic, Martin Short. The musical guest? Breakout singer-songwriter Paul McCartney. "I think he's from Europe," Short ventured, tongue-in-cheek, at the mention of McCartney's name. "People say he's got potential!"

  •  
    Daniel Day-Lewis, center rear, plays Abraham Lincoln, in Steven Spielberg's film, “Lincoln.” The Civil War epic received seven Golden Globe nominations Thursday.

    'Lincoln' leads Golden Globes with 7 nominations

    Steven Spielberg's Civil War epic "Lincoln" led the Golden Globes Wednesday with seven nominations, among them best drama, best director for Spielberg and acting honors for Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones. Tied for second-place with five nominations each, including best drama are the Iran hostage-crisis thriller "Argo" and the slave-turned-bounty-hunter tale "Django Unchained."

  •  
    Singer Morgan James’ first solo album, “Morgan James Live: A Celebration of Nina Simone,” captures James live at the New York jazz club Dizzy’s paying tribute to Nina Simone.

    Morgan James shows old soul on Nina Simone tribute

    Covering the music of the late Nina Simone seemed like a natural choice for Morgan James. From an early age, the Broadway actress says she's had an old soul that felt a connection to the legendary singer. Her first solo album, "Morgan James Live: A Celebration of Nina Simone," captures James live at the New York jazz club Dizzy's paying tribute to Simone. Now that album is out of the way, James is turning her attention to another soul project, "Motown: The Musical."

  •  
    The Game, “Jesus Piece”

    The Game comes strong with ‘Jesus Piece’

    The Game returns with a heavy dose of guest appearances on his fifth offering, including Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Jamie Foxx and 2 Chainz. But like his last album, "The R.E.D. Album," he isn't outshined by any of the features on "Jesus Piece." With his hoarse delivery, Game's words are full of bravado, his topics are concise and his rhymes are easy to digest on these well-produced tracks.

  •  
    Indian musician Ravi Shankar, the sitar virtuoso who became a hippie musical icon of the 1960s after hobnobbing with the Beatles and who introduced traditional Indian ragas to Western audiences over an eight-decade career, died Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012. He was 92.

    Indian community celebrates Shankar’s legacy

    As both the local Indian community and music lovers around the world mourn the death of Ravi Shankar, the iconic master of the sitar is being remembered as the "godfather" of Indian classical music and an ambassador who built cultural bridges worldwide. "What he did for Indian arts in the world is probably unmatched," said Anuradha Behari, who lives in Burr Ridge and helps organize the annual Eyes on India Arts Festival.

  •  
    Breanna Bogucki, a freshman at Cary-Grove High School, has autism. She won the Special Talents America contest last month by singing a Taylor Swift song.

    Cary-Grove freshman has autism — and a gift for music

    No one could have predicted that Breanna Bogucki, a Cary-Grove High School freshman, would one day dazzle live audiences and impress tough critics with her singing. Breanna, who has autism, last month won the Special Talents America. "Breanna immediately hit me like, 'Oh my God, this girl has a fantastic voice.' Not only that, her pitch is excellent," judge Jim Peterik said.

  •  

    Night life: Tapping into Belgium
    New Belgium Brewery in Lisle takes over the Bavarian Lodge Friday, Dec. 14, featuring nine drafts on tap and two cask-conditioned ales.

Discuss

  •  

    Editorial: Illinois’ leadership on quit-smoking programs

    A Daily Herald editorial notes that while much remains to be done on the health-care front to help smokers give up the habit, Illinois can take pride in remaining out front of other states on the effort.

  •  

    Seeking sanity in definition of news judgment

    Columnist Jim Slusher: I have grown, over time, to be very skeptical about what is considered obvious in the way of judgment calls and to try to maintain some humility in assessing the work and judgments of others. "Judge not, lest ye be judged," says the Good Book, after all. But it's not fear I'm operating on so much as the recognition of what a moving target being right is.

  •  

    Why we’re near the cliff

    Columnist George Will: If you have worked hard for five decades, made pots of money and now want to squander it all in Las Vegas on wine, women and baccarat, go ahead. If, however, you harbor the anti-social desire to bequeath your wealth to your children, this would be an excellent month to die.

  •  

    Driver’s license law makes no sense
    A Lake Bluff letter to the editor: As a conservative Republican, being labeled a racist is in the cards if I dare express negative thoughts against illegal immigrants and those who support giving benefits to them. I therefore cringed when it was announced that Illinois may soon become the fifth most populous state to grant driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.

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    Building inspector did great work
    A Hawthorn Woods letter to the editor: I want to take a moment say that Dan Thake, the Hawthorn Woods Building Department's code enforcement officer, was professional, pleasant and accommodating.

  •  

    Bible condemns homosexuality
    A Grayslake letter to the editor: In the letter entitled "It's un-Christian to discriminate," Louis S. Guagenti seems to express two opinions.

  •  

    Separate Christmas from the secular
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: The current secular "holiday" is probably best called a "winter holiday" and has nothing to do with Christmas. It is a celebration of selling, of winter, or whatever. Not Christmas.

  •  

    Obama budget is specific, sensible
    A Palatine letter to the editor: Note how often the word "unspecified" is used in the Republican proposal. What "tax breaks" would they eliminate? The only ones that could save $80 billion per year are the deductions for home mortgage interest, charitable contributions and employer-sponsored health insurance.

  •  

    Driver’s license proposal unfair
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: The proposal would just make it easier for illegals who might want to do us harm easier to succeed.Anyone who thinks 250,000 illegals will suddenly pop up and buy auto insurance and be good citizens is dreaming.

  •  

    Surrender freedom with a whimper
    A Winfield letter to the editor: The media makes a great fuss over America now approaching a fiscal cliff or they speak of the horrific consequences to the nation if it goes over it. Yet the sad truth is that the cliff has already be reached — on Nov. 6 — and the Republic did indeed go over it.

  •  

    Can we agree this is election mandate?
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: A few things I took from the last election. 1. The American majority wants Medicare and Social Security to continue in its current form.

  •  

    Appeasing illegal act won’t solve problem
    A Carol Stream letter to the editor: OK, we are passing a law to allow Illegals to get a driver's license but the question is what's the motivation to get one.

  •  

    Had enough with code of silence
    A Wasco letter to the editor: How many stories have we heard were crimes have been covered up by police departments, state's attorney's offices, school districts and churches? I have lost count. How many more will we hear before the people given this kind of power get it? You won't be able to hide anymore. We're not going to take it anymore.

  •  

    Meningitis outbreak not Tea Party’s fault
    A St. Charles letter to the editor: The Tea Party is fighting for fiscal responsibility. That is it. How can that make these Tea Party folks responsible for the poor and possible dangerous product - the drug that cause an outbreak of meningitis - made by a workforce that is not responsible enough to turn out a good product?

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