Daily Archive : Saturday December 15, 2012


    Law enforcement personnel work Tuesday at the scene of a shooting at the Clackamas Town Center mall in Clackamas, Ore. A gunman killed two people and wounded a third amid a holiday crowd estimated at 10,000 people.

    No rise in mass killings, but their impact is huge

    In what has become sickeningly familiar, gunmen opened fire on innocents in what should be the safest of places — first, at a shopping mall in Oregon, and then, unthinkably, at an elementary school in Connecticut. Once again there were scenes of chaos as rescuers and media descended on the scene. As this year of the gun lurches to a close, leaving a bloody wake, we are left to wonder: What...

    Jim Finnegan, director of the Illinois Nativity Scene Committee, speaks while standing in front of the Nativity scene added Saturday to the holiday lights displays at North School Park in Arlington Heights.

    Supporters celebrate Nativity at Arlington Heights park

    A majority Catholic crowd with at least one atheist gathered Saturday afternoon to mark the opening of the controversial Nativity scene now displayed at North School Park in Arlington Heights. "It's great to see the toys in the park, but what can be better than to see the baby Jesus to refresh why we celebrate Christmas," said Sue McPherrin of Arlington Heights.

    Argentina’s three-masted navy training tall ship ARA Libertad, which was seized on Oct. 2 as collateral for unpaid bonds dating from Argentina’s economic crisis a decade ago, sits docked at the port in Tema, outside Accra, in Ghana Friday.

    U.N. court orders Ghana to release of Argentine ship

    A United Nations court ordered the immediate release Saturday of an Argentine navy training ship and crew detained in Ghana two months ago at the request of an American hedge fund.


    Hagel, Kerry poised to assume Cabinet roles

    WASHINGTON — John F. Kerry and Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s likely picks to head his second-term national security cabinet, have much in common, including decorated service in Vietnam and opposition to the Iraq war.


    Police: Three elderly Mennonites attacked in home

    Three elderly Mennonites were tied up and assaulted with a stun gun by a home invader who raged against their faith and vandalized their Bible, authorities said.


    Oklahoma teen arrested in school shooting plot

    Hours before a gunman opened fire at a Connecticut elementary school, police in Oklahoma arrested a teenager for allegedly plotting to attack his high school and trying to recruit classmates to help him.


    Domino’s founder sues over health care law

    DETROIT — The founder of Domino’s Pizza is suing the federal government over mandatory contraception coverage in the health care law.Tom Monaghan, a devout Roman Catholic, says contraception isn’t health care but a “gravely immoral” practice. He filed a lawsuit Friday in federal court. It also lists as a plaintiff Domino’s Farms, a Michigan office park complex that Monaghan owns.

    House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, has proposed raising the top rate for earners making more than $1 million, a person familiar with the negotiations said.

    Boehner offers deal on fiscal cliff that includes tax hike, source says

    Signaling new movement in "fiscal cliff' talks, House Speaker John Boehner has proposed raising the top rate for earners making more than $1 million, a person familiar with the negotiations said. President Barack Obama, who wants higher top rates for households earning more than $250,000, has not accepted the offer, this person said.

    This 2005 photo provided by neighbor Barbara Frey and verified by Richard Novia, shows Adam Lanza.

    School adviser: Gunman a loner who felt no pain

    At Newtown High School, Adam Lanza had trouble relating to fellow students and teachers, but that was only part of his problem. He seemed not to feel physical or emotional pain in the same way as classmates.

    Noah Pozner

    'Always smiling': Portraits of Connecticut victims

    Most died at the very start of their young lives, tiny victims taken in a way not fit no matter one's age. Others found their life's work in sheltering these little ones, teaching them, caring for them, treating them as their own.

    Molly Delaney, left, holds her 11-year-old daughter, Milly Delaney, Saturday during a service in honor of the victims who died a day earlier when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

    Connecticut town mourns as police look for answers

    Investigators tried to figure out what led a bright but painfully awkward 20-year-old to slaughter 26 children and adults at a Connecticut elementary school, while townspeople sadly took down some of their Christmas decorations and struggled Saturday with how to go on.


    Three charged in Waukegan man’s shooting death

    Three Waukegan men have been charged with first degree murder after the intended victim of a robbery was shot and killed at his Waukegan apartment, authorities said Saturday. Steven Gee, 21, Anthony Brito, 20, and Armando Sanders, 19, are each facing the murder charge and $1 million bond after 46-year-old Randy Hardy was killed Thursday evening at an apartment complex on the 1600 block of Berwick...


    Shooter’s aunt in Crystal Lake: ‘We’re in total shock’

    The Connecticut school shooting hit one local family especially hard, as the shooter's aunt and cousins live in Crystal Lake. The aunt told the Northwest Herald her family is "shaken to the core" by Friday's tragedy, in which 28 people — including 20 children, six adults, the shooter, and his mother — were killed.

    Two people embrace following a service at the Congregation Adath Israel in Newtown, Conn., Saturday. Rabbi Shaul Praver said a six-year-old boy from the congregation was a school shooting victim and that he would be buried on Sunday.

    Day 2 images from Newtown, Conn. tragedy

    Authorities stand watch over a scene Saturday where a body lies covered with a sheet on Hwy 78 in Oxford, Ala.

    Alabama police kill suspects after separate shootings

    Police in Alabama killed two suspects Saturday following separate shooting incidents 75 miles apart that left three other people dead and several injured, including two officers.


    Democrats to have open primary for Jackson seat

    With one of the front-runners for former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s congressional seat facing felony gun charges, Chicago-area Democratic officials on Saturday failed to unite behind a single candidate.

    Alex Lancaster of Round Lake is pictured on vacation last summer.

    Round Lake boy remembered for his constant smile

    Alex Lancaster, 12, of Round Lake, a 6th grader at Big Hollow Middle School in Ingleside, died Wednesday after practicing a Batman stunt in his bedroom. Services are Sunday. "Not many young people have the gift of touching so many lives. Alex truly had the gift of character, love and perseverance," a school social worker wrote in a remembrance.

    Brian Espinosa of Abbott Middle School in Elgin prepares his team’s Lego creation during the FIRST Lego League 2012 “Super Seniors” event at Rotolo Middle School in Batavia Saturday.

    Lego robots rule the day in Batavia

    Robots may never take over the world but they definitely staked their claim to Batavia's Rotolo Middle School Saturday. More than 300 children, on 32 teams from across the region, brought their Lego robots to complete in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego LEAGUE Regional competition and attempt to earn a spot in next month's state finals in Arlington...

    A man dressed as a Mayan warrior delivers a life certificate for one million dollars, to be paid in case the world comes to an end to an unidentified couple, as they pose for a photo at the Xcaret theme park Saturday in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

    Mayas face Dec. 21 with ancestral calm

    Mexico's 800,000 Mayas are not the sinister, secretive, apocalypse-obsessed race they've been made out to be. In their heartland on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, Mayas continue their daily lives, industriously pedaling three-wheeled bikes laden with family members and animal fodder down table-flat roads.

    Japan’s main opposition Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe.

    Abe set for victory as Japanese vote in Parliamentary election

    Voters in Japan choose a new lower house of parliament Sunday in an election forecast to return Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party to power after a landslide loss in 2009.

    Skyler Chauff of the Buffalo Grove Gymnastics Center competes on the vault during the Hawaiian Pineapple Classic gymnastics meet, held at the Schaumburg Convention Center Saturday.

    Thousands compete in Schaumburg gymnastics event

    The Hawaiian Pineapple Invitational sponsored by the Buffalo Grove Gymnastics Center is taking place through Sunday, Dec. 16, drawing more than 2,000 male and female gymnasts and thousands more spectators to the Schaumburg Convention Center. Gymnastics clubs from around the Chicago area are competing at the event, which is in its sixth year.

    The new Red Gate Bridge provides an additional crossing over the Fox River just off Route 31 near St. Charles North High School.

    Red Gate bridge opens after years of waiting

    The long-awaited St. Charles Red Gate bridge opens to vehicular traffic Saturday. State and local officials applauded the bridge as needed relief to traffic congestion. The $30 million bridge has been No. 1 on the radar for the last several years, and talked about for 80 years.

    Robert Buchanan, seated, displays a card from Boy Scout Troop 43 of Batavia where he received his Eagle Scout rank. Clare Buchanan holds the 1933 Batavia Troop 3 charter, which has her grandfather’s name on it. Standing, from left, are Buchanan’s brother Willard Buchanan; Drew Cunningham, Life Scout and senior patrol leader of Troop 33, Redlands, Calif.; Eagle Scouts Nathan Price and Conor Frasher; and Shawn Price, Eagle Scout and Troop 33 scoutmaster.

    Eagle Scout reflects on his 1939 award

    Robert Buchanan earned his Eagle Scout designation in 1939 at Batavia Congregational Church. He went on to military service in World War II, getting wounded but surviving the landing in Normandy. Dave Heun catches up with Buchanan after he was recently honored in California, where he now lives.

    School officials canceled a Barrington High School dance Saturday night following talk that some students might bring a gun to the event.

    Threat cancels Barrington High School dance, ball game

    A gun threat fueled a decision by Barrington Unit District 220 officials to cancel a high school dance scheduled for Saturday evening. The school also canceled the varsity girls basketball game with Hoffman Estates High School. "We're not sure of the credibility of the information completely," Superintendent Tom Leonard said, but school officials decided to avoid any chance of trouble.

    Laura Stoecker/lstoecker@dailyherald.com David Kouri of Geneva joins fellow grads onstage for Judson University’s morning commencement ceremony in Elgin on Saturday, December 15. Kouri earned a Master of Arts degree in the School of Leadership & Business.

    Jusdon graduates told to focus on ‘now’

    It's never too late to further one's education, Thomas Nicoski of St. Charles says. The 63-year-old should know, since he graduated Saturday with a master's degree from Judson University in Elgin. Altogether, 103 students graduated from the evangelical Christian university with bachelor's degrees, and 45 students graduated with master's degrees.

    Trumpet players Jonathon Szabo and Natalie Stevens, French horn player Jenna Campbell, trombone players Joe VanBladel and Kirsten Eissman, and tuba player Ken Cervenka of the Palatine High School Brass Ensemble perform Saturday at the White House under the direction of conductor Raeleen Horn.

    Palatine brass ensemble plays at the White House

    The echo and acoustics of the White House grand foyer made a lasting impression on a group of Palatine High School musicians. Six members of the school's Brass Ensemble performed for two hours Saturday morning, serenading about 1,000 visitors. "There is a lot of echo in the room, so the brass sounded fantastic in that type of acoustical space," said Raeleen Horn, Palatine's director of bands.

    Indian musician Ravi Shankar laughs as he speaks during a concert in Bangalore, India.

    Notable deaths last week

    A roundup and capsulation of obituaries from the past week.

    Birmingham police arrive at the scene Saturday of a shooting at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham, Ala.

    Gunman wounds three at hospital

    A man opened fire early Saturday at a hospital in Alabama, wounding a police officer and two employees before being shot and killed by another officer, authorities said.

    Lt. J. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police is swarmed Saturday by reporters as he tries to leave after a news briefing in Newtown, Conn. The massacre of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary school elicited horror and soul-searching around the world even as it raised more basic questions about why the gunman would have been driven to such a crime and how he chose his victims.

    As Connecticut story unfolds, media struggle with facts

    The scope and senselessness of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting challenged journalists' ability to do much more than lend, or impose, their presence on the scene. Pressed with the awful urgency of the story, television, along with other media, fell prey to reporting "facts" that were often in conflict or wrong.

    An Egyptian woman casts her vote at polling center Saturday during a referendum on a disputed constitution.

    Egyptians take quarrel over charter to the polls

    Mohammed Ahmed, a retired army officer from Cairo, said bearded men he suspects of being Muslim Brotherhood members were whispering "vote yes" to men standing in line outside a polling center in Cairo's poor district of Arab el-Maadi.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton poses for photographs before a dinner earlier this year in Singapore. The State Department says Saturday, Dec. 15 Clinton, who skipped an overseas trip this past week because of a stomach virus, sustained a concussion after fainting.

    Secretary of state faints, sustains concussion

    The State Department says Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who skipped an overseas trip this past week because of a stomach virus, sustained a concussion after fainting. She's now recovering at home and being monitored by doctors.


    United, Continental pilots OK joint union contract

    Pilots at United Airlines are getting a new union contract that brings the airline closer to finalizing its merger with Continental. The vote gives the pilots a single union contract covering those who came from United and pilots who flew for Continental before the carriers merged in 2010 into United Continental Holdings Inc.


    White Christmas not out of question for Illinois

    It's been a warmer than usual holiday season so far in Illinois, but State Climatologist Jim Angel says a white Christmas is still a remote possibility.Illinois' snowiest Christmas on record was 1951. That's when Aurora had 31 inches on the ground after 12 straight days of snow.

    This photo taken Monday Aug. 6 shows former South African President Nelson Mandela when he met with US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, unseen, at his home in Qunu, South Africa.

    Nelson Mandela undergoes successful gallstone surgery
    South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela underwent a successful surgery to remove gallstones Saturday, the nation's presidency said, as the 94-year-old anti-apartheid icon is still recovering from a lung infection. "The procedure was successful and Madiba is recovering," presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said, using Mandela's clan name as many do in South Africa as a sign of affection.


    Connecticut principal died lunging at gunman, officials say

    Town officials in Connecticut say the principal who died in the rampage at an elementary school was killed while lunging at the gunman as she tried to overtake him. "It's so sad to lose somebody like her" and that residents are feeling "a deep sense of loss" over her death, Board of Education chairwoman Debbie Liedlien said.

    Kelly Whistler grins as she watches daughter Kayli get her hair cut by stylist Gina Coleman Friday at Blush Salon in Crystal Lake. Kayli, who has Trisomy 18, is donating her hair to Wigs for Kids.

    Cary girl gets haircut, sheds stigma at the same time

    By donating some of her hair to a good cause Friday, Kayli Whistler was also hoping to shed a certain label that has followed her throughout her young life. Kayli, 3, of Cary, has Trisomy 18, a chromosome disorder that resulted in a division error in chromosome 18. "We were told ... her life is worthless and her organs are worthless, so by doing this I want everyone to see her as a hero and a...

    Xiaochen Wang, far right, and Rong Rong are the first two students in the Elgin Community College Homestay program. They are from Shanxi Normal University in China and are staying with ECC’s Elizabeth Reyes, the director of ECC’s Intensive English Program, and her daughter, Tegan, and husband, Robert.

    ECC students from China are first for Homestay program

    Xiaochen Wang, 20, left China for the first time in August and traveled halfway around the world to come to Elgin Community College. She's far from home but not alone. Wang and Rong Rong, 21, are students at Shanxi Normal University in China and both came to ECC for the fall semester as the college's first exchange students in a new Homestay program. Their host mom, Elizabeth Reyes, hopes more...

    The automated train horn at the Allanson Road crossing in Mundelein is one of seven to be removed to reduce noise, village officials decided this week.

    Mundelein to retire automated train crossing horns

    Mundelein's original solution to train horn noise — the automated horn — will be retired and removed from crossings next month. "I think our action is based on the feeling of our public who want a quieter quiet zone," Assistant Village Manager Mike Flynn said. "Our residents are saying, Let's have a true quiet zone.'"

    Darrell Ware, 10, of Naperville is teams up with Naperville Deputy Chief John Gustin, who guides a shopping spree at a Naperville Target Store. The NFOP in conjunction with the City of Naperville’s youth services unit, selected several children to participate in a $150.00 shopping spree.

    Naperville youths get to shop with police officers

    Far too often, police say, their first interaction with local children comes during a time of risis. And far too few are the times officers help local children pick out a new pair of slippers for grandpa or a new toy for the family's new baby.



    Wolves notch third straight win

    Brett Sterling scored twice and Andrew Ebbett notched 3 points as the Chicago Wolves beat the Lake Erie Monsters 3-2 at Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday night. Goaltender Matt Climie (5-7-0) stopped 30 shots for the Wolves (12-9-2-1), who ran their winning streak to three games.

    Marquis Teague, right, drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets forward Gerald Wallace during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012. The Bulls won 83-82.

    Belinelli’s lay-in lays out Nets
    This is the sort of thing that doesn't happen very often in the final minute of a close NBA game, with both teams set up in the half-court. Bulls guard Marco Belinelli got the ball at the top of the key, accepted a pick from teammate Joakim Noah, turned the corner and saw nothing but an unguarded rim. His layup broke a tie with 22.1 seconds left and the Bulls beat Brooklyn 83-82 on Saturday at the United Center.


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


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


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


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


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


    St. Viator smoothly passes another road test

    You won't see too many boys basketball teams have as good a weekend as St. Viator just wrapped up. One night after winning at conference rival Marist, St. Viator notched an equally impressive road win in beating a tough Loyola squad 57-53 in the CCL/ESCC Challenge. "It's huge because we are just starting to figure out how good we can be," said St. Viator coach Mike Howland. "I thought we had gutsy efforts and we grinded out wins. That's really what playing on the road is all about."


    Naperville Central wins tournament title in final seconds

    Victoria Trowbridge leaned forward as she released, almost wishing the free throw in. Nothing but net. Naperville Central's senior endured a difficult night at the line, but washed it all away with a make with 2.9 seconds left to give the No. 5 Redhawks a 48-47 win over previously unbeaten No. 3 Neuqua Valley in Saturday's championship of the Oswego Holiday Classic.


    Geneva bounces back

    Naperville North/Benet Invitational: Sami Pawlak dropped in 11 points while Abby Novak followed with 10 as Geneva downed Naperville North 43-32.


    Willowbrook upends Marmion

    Willowbrook 61, Marmion 58: Marmion led by 4 points at halftime, but a 22-15 third quarter spurt carried the Warriors to a non-conference road victory. Jordan Glasgow contributed a team-high 15 points for the Cadets (3-7) with Kevin Kavanaugh and Matt Smith adding 9 points each.


    Meadows swims to second at Leyden

    Rolling Meadows’ Ryan Smith had the top finish in the 100-yard backstroke to help Rolling Meadows to a second-place finish in the seven-team Leyden Invitational in boys swimming on Saturday.Plainfield co-op won with 283 points, ahead of Meadows (186), West Chicago (174), Maine East (173) and Leyden (160).Jake Barson placed second in the 100 breast (1:04.63) and fourth in the 200 IM (2:18.4), and the Mustangs’ medley relay of Smith, Barson, Anthony Sarussi and Kuba Debkowski took third in 1:52.64.


    Divisonal wins for Palatine, RM: Fremd takes two at Sterling

    Palatine hiked its record to 2-1 in the Mid-Suburban West girls basketball standings with a 42-40 victory at Schaumburg on Saturday night. The Pirates (11-2), who led 35-25 after three quarters, were paced on offense by McKenzie Wiedemann (12 points, 5 assists), Nia Pappas (11 points, 2 assists) and Monica Masini (11 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists).


    Fruendt scores 32 in Batavia’s OT winner to take 3rd at Oswego

    [Siarra O'Neill nearly broke Batavia's heart twice. Liza Fruendt, though, got the last laugh. Fruendt's two free throws with 10.4 seconds left in overtime capped a career-high 32-point night, and No. 20 Batavia held on for a 69-68 win over Oswego in Saturday's third-place game of the Oswego Holiday Classic.


    Metea Valley gets fifth win in a row

    Metea Valley held a 49-48 lead with 10 seconds to go, but Waubonsie Valley held possession. Coming out of a timeout, the Warriors had three good looks at the basket after an inbounds play. Bryan Jefferson missed on a baseline jumper, Jared Brownbridge was unable to connect on the rebound tip-in and Matt Gialamas' short jumper in the lane was off target as the buzzer sounded, sealing Metea Valley's 49-48 victory.


    St. Charles E. outlasts Batavia despite star’s foul woes

    St. Charles East senior forward Kendall Stephens rode the bench most of Saturday's game at Batavia, saddled with foul trouble. That just meant other Saints came forth to pace a 58-52 Upstate Eight Conference River Division victory, dealing the host Bulldogs their sixth straight loss.


    Lakes, Grayslake North both pick up 2 victories

    Lakes' girls basketball team is moving on to the winners' bracket in the Northern Illinois Holiday Classic after wins over Crystal Lake Central and McHenry on Saturday. In its first game of the day at Woodstock, Lakes (8-5, 3-0) beat Crystal Lake Central 51-33 behind game-high scorer Terese McMahon's 17 points. Amanda Smith and Heather Hurlbut had 9 and 8 points, respectively, to help lead a balanced attack. Grayslake North, meanwhile, earned a pair of victories in Marengo tournament play.


    Curry helps VH rally past Grant

    Stephen Curry's strong senior season continued Saturday night. Vernon Hills' four-year varsity guard scored all 9 of his points in the fourth quarter, helping the Cougars rally for a 47-41 win over visiting Grant in North Suburban Prairie Division action. Vernon Hills sophomore guard Robby Nardini led all scorers with a season-high 16 points, which included a trio of 3-pointers.


    Larkin wins again in Missouri

    The Larkin boys basketball team capped a successful road trip Saturday with a 54-50 victory over Hazelwood Central (Mo.) at the Route 66 Shootout in Waynesville, Mo. The victory was the fifth straight for streaking Larkin (10-2), which defeated Republic (Mo.) 72-64 in Friday's opener.


    Mundelein’s on a mission

    Mundelein's boys basketball team has played the first month of the season without injured star Robert Knar. On Saturday night, the Mustangs played without Robert's dad. Mundelein coach Dick Knar missed his team's home game with rival Libertyville to attend to his ailing father in central Wisconsin. "I'm glad he went," said assistant coach Corey Knigge, who filled in for Knar. "He was not happy about having to leave the boys on a game night, but it was the right thing to do." Inspired by their coach, who gave an emotional pep talk via telephone before the game, the Mustangs went out and nearly cracked the century mark. They won 99-63 in a highly entertaining North Suburban Lake Division contest in which Mundelein's Sean O'Brien produced a triple-double and a total of seven players between the two sides scored in double figures.


    St. Charles North takes 2nd at Neuqua

    If the question is whether or not St. Charles North came ready to compete in Saturday's Neuqua Valley Invitational — the answer is an emphatic "yes."


    St. Charles North blows out Elgin

    Inside or out, Elgin had no answers for St. Charles North Saturday night in St. Charles. The North Stars nailed eight 3-point shots, and they were just as strong inside led by Quinten Payne showcasing his low-post moves as they overpowered the Maroons 44-25 on the glass and by an even larger margin on the scoreboard, 67-36.


    Patiently, Round Lake picks up first Prairie victory

    Keeping in control and showing patience helped lead Round Lake to its second straight victory. Karnell Wright figured into the outcome by scoring 11 of his game-high 16 points in the fourth quarter for the Panthers as Round Lake ran past visiting Antioch 47-35 in a North Suburban Prairie Division game in Round Lake on Saturday night. The Panthers picked up their first divisional victory and improved to 2-7 overall while the Sequoits dropped to 1-8, 0-4.

    Burlington Central’s Alison Colby and Crystal Lake South’s Sara Mickow battle for a rebound Saturday during the Northern Illinois Holiday Classic at Woodstock.

    Crystal Lake S. toughs out win over Burlington C.

    Sometimes, the winner is the team that can tough it out the best. Saturday, that team was Crystal Lake South. The Gators took control early, then held off a late Burlington Central comeback to win 42-39 in the Northern Illinois Girls Holiday Classic at Woodstock High School. The Gators, 3-0 in the tournament (10-4 overall) advance to the championship bracket next week at McHenry High School.


    Elk Grove teams up in victory

    The first four letters of Elk Grove's leading scorer on Saturday night spell "solo." But it was hardly a solo act that got the Grenadiers girls basketball team a hard-fought 32-27 victory over visiting Hersey. Junior Melissa Solorio, who scored a team-high 11 points, will be the first to tell you it was the Grens' team effort, especially on defense, that raised their record to 7-4 and 2-1 in the Mid-Suburban East. "We played with heart," Solorio said. "The main thing is that defense basically won the game for us."


    Lake Park edges Streamwood

    The baseball pass helped Lake Park to a 56-52 boys basketball victory at Streamwood Saturday. Leading by a point with 15 seconds to play, the Lancers inbounded the ball against Streamwood's full-court press. Rather than play it safe, 6-foot-3 junior Sean Moore went for the home run — a baseball pass that covered three quarters of the court. The gamble paid off. The pass landed in the hands of streaking sophomore guard Marcus McDaniel. He took 2 dribbles, went up hard and got fouled as his layup fell through the net. McDaniel converted his free throw for a 53-49 lead with 15 seconds left.


    Jacobs gets the best of Barrington

    Jacobs may want to consider going with a 70s retro theme for Saturday night boys basketball games. Retiring head coach Jim Hinkle showed he still has some slick moves as he danced all the way around his bench and back to his original sideline spot to express his displeasure with a third-quarter charging call on one of his players in the Golden Eagles' nonconference game with visiting Barrington. "Saturday Night Fever," the 70-year-old Hinkle said with a laugh of the classic 1977 movie. And the Golden Eagles' red-hot shooting earned them a trip to Buffalo Wild Wings as they hit Hinkle's age on the scoreboard in a victory for the first time this year with a 77-67 decision at the Eagles Nest in Algonquin.


    Competitive approach serves Buffalo Grove against Prospect

    Practices for Buffalo Grove's girls basketball team this week centered around one theme. "We put an emphasis on competing — we did drills and there were consequences for winning and losing," said senior forward Alyssa Mills. Bison coach Steve Kolodziej and assistant Tim Podulka must have had the right idea. The Bison competed as well as they have all season on Saturday against visiting Prospect. Turning in its top effort of the season, Buffalo Grove turned back the Knights 58-42 in the Mid-Suburban East contest. Senior guard Amanda Salzman scored a season-high 14 points with 6 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists while junior guard Kimberly Herzog reached double figures with 11 points as BG improved to 3-7 and 1-2 in the East.

    Eric Curia of Naperville North swims the 200 free during the Neuqua Valley boys swimming invitational Saturday.

    Waubonsie Valley takes third at Neuqua invite

    In a very competitive Neuqua Valley Invitational from second to seventh, Waubonsie Valley finished a solid third. Adam Stacklin won the 100 freestyle and third in the 200 freestyle, Michael McWhirter was second in the 50 freestyle and the Warriors won the 200 freestyle relay and were second in the 400 freestyle relay.

    Joakim Noah had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and helped force a key turnover Saturday night as the Chicago Bulls held off the Brooklyn Nets 83-82.

    Noah, Bulls hold off Nets 83-82

    Joakim Noah had 12 points and 10 rebounds, and helped force a key turnover Saturday night as the Chicago Bulls held off the Brooklyn Nets 83-82.


    Marmion wins 8th straight Block Relays

    You don't expect late-season crispness from boys swimmers in mid-December. This is the time of the year for heavy training and teams don't work on cleaning up little things like relay starts or exchanges much. Yet here was Marmion, in the final event of its own invitational, hitting its takeoffs sharply. The Cadets won that 400-yard freestyle relay handily over Lyons Township and claimed their eighth straight victory in the Randy Block Memorial Relays.


    St. Charles North wins 4th straight

    Home continues to be sweet for St. Charles North. The North Stars raced to a 12-2 lead in the first four minutes of their 59-36 win over Elgin on Saturday, improving to 4-0 this season at home with their fourth straight victory after an 0-8 start.


    Wheaton Warrenville co-op just misses being Best

    There literally is no room for error during the Illinois Best. Unlike regular gymnastics meets where a team is allowed to have five gymnasts compete on each event, tabulates the top four scores and disposes of the fifth one, during the Illinois Best a team designates a single all-arounder and a single gymnast to accompany the all-arounder on the four events. Yes, it can be stressful. Geneva handled the pressure particularly well and edged host Wheaton Warrenville co-op 70.175-70.125.


    Too much Yarbrough as Zion-Benton stops Warren

    When a guy can nail his 3-pointers, run the court and slam dunk on fastbreaks and swat away shots in the lane, he's a difficult force with which to contend. Milik Yarbrough is that type of player, as he proved again Saturday night. The 6-foot-6 junior forward did all that and more, leading Zion-Benton to a 53-44 victory at Warren in a North Suburban Lake Division game. It marked the fifth win in a row for the Zee-Bees (9-1, 5-0), who used an up-tempo offense and a stifling defense to thwart the Blue Devils (6-5, 2-3).

    Kanelands’s Zach Theis wrestles Geneva’s Jake Anderson at 285 pounds during the Kaneland wrestling quad at Saturday December 15, 2012. Anderson won the match.

    Kaneland knocks off old rival

    The fabled Western Sun Conference held a mini-reunion Saturday morning in Maple Park when the Geneva and Kaneland wrestling teams squared off during the Knights' annual quadrangular.

    Loyola's Matt O'Leary, right, battles Mississippi State's Trivante Bloodman, left, for a loose ball Saturday during the first half in Chicago. Loyola won 59-51.

    Loyola knocks off Mississippi State

    Loyola and Mississippi State honored their past, recognizing players from their 1963 teams that helped change race relations on the basketball court. Then the current Ramblers used their 3-point shooting to prevail against the Bulldogs. Devon Turk hit 5 of 7 3-pointers and scored a career-high 21 points as Loyola beat Mississippi State 59-51 Saturday night.

    Vernon Hills’ Meri Bennett-Swanson shoot over Antioch defender Alexandra Fracek on Saturday at Vernon Hills.

    Take a look: Smith, Vernon Hills still unbeaten

    A pair of eyes focused on Vernon Hills junior Sydney Smith on Saturday. Never mind those of Antioch defenders trying to defend the three-year varsity starter. "That (coach) was for Syd," Cougars junior forward Lauren Webb said of a Miami (Ohio) University coach who watched Smith and her teammates in a North Suburban Prairie Division showdown. Pressure to produce, Sydney? "I want to say no," Smith said. "But yes." A slow start by both Smith and the Cougars didn't prevent them from doing what they typically do: deliver in the clutch and win. Vernon Hills captured a 45-28 decision, pulling away in the fourth quarter on its home court to improve to 12-0 and 5-0 in the NSC Prairie, while snapping Antioch's five-game winning streak.

    Paul Michna/pmichna@dailyherald.com Justin Tardy of Naperville Central,top, and Taben Miller of Proviso West take part in a 182 lbs. match during the Hinsdale Central wrestling invitational Saturday.

    Naperville Central’s Roth sets the tone

    Having been to state a couple times already, Naperville Central 220-pounder Luke Roth has some pretty lofty goals this season. And after finishing atop the field at the 47th annual Rex Whitlach Invitational, Roth proved no goals are out of the question this year. The Redhawks star stayed unbeaten on the year after a thrilling 6-4 defeat of Hinsdale Central's Andrew Pyle in the title bout at 220 pounds Saturday evening in Hinsdale.


    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Streamwood 51, Lake Park 29: Sabres’ senior Jessica Cerda scored 19 points to lead her team to an Upstate Eight crossover win. Cerda now has 983 career points and will get her first shot at 1,000 Wednesday night at Bartlett. Hannah McGlone added 12 points for Streamwood (10-2) in Saturday’s win and Deja Moore had 8.Bartlett 39, East Aurora 29: The Hawks bolted out to a 14-0 lead after one quarter and then cruised to this Upstate Eight Valley win. Elizabeth Arco had 13 points and 5 rebounds for the Hawks (8-5, 4-1), who won their fourth straight and sixth in their last seven, while Alyssa Hernandez added 9 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. Ashley Johnson dished out 7 assists for Bartlett.Westminster Christian 48, Alden-Hebron 26: Maddie Versluys had 17 points and 15 rebounds as the Warriors rolled to a Northeast Athletic Conference win. McKaila Hays added 9 points and 4 steals for Westminster (9-3, 5-0) and Claire Speweik had 7 rebounds.Glenbard East 40, Larkin 24: Quixmia Washington scored 14 points to lead Larkin (1-12) at the Oswego tournament.

    Utah State’s Jeff Maning (17) celebrates Saturday after defeating Toledo 41-15 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

    Utah State routs Toledo 41-15 in Idaho Potato Bowl

    Kerwynn Williams ran for 235 yards and three touchdowns and No. 18 Utah State won a bowl game for the first time in nearly 20 years, beating Toledo 41-15 on Saturday in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. The victory capped the best season in Utah State history. The Aggies finished 11-2, won the Western Athletic Conference title outright and had their first bowl victory since 1993.


    Practice pays off for Bartlett

    Coming off a 19-point loss to Neuqua Valley Thursday night, Bartlett boys basketball coach Jim Wolfsmith put his team through an arduous practice session Friday in preparation for Saturday's game against East Aurora. "We had a pretty hard practice yesterday," said Wolfsmith. "We usually don't do that but we wanted to talk about some of the things that we didn't do well." The strategy paid dividends, as the Hawks (7-3, 4-1) overcame a sluggish start with a furious second-quarter rally and pulled away for a 63-46 Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division victory over the Tomcats (1-9, 0-5) in Bartlett.


    Grant earns Erb championship

    Grant held a slim 211-205 lead over Notre Dame after the 138-pound weight class before gradually pulling away the remainder of the final round. Carmel was the next highest finishing area team with a fifth-place score of 97 points followed by Buffalo Grove (89.5 points) in eighth, Wheeling (85 points) in ninth, and Wauconda (63.5) in 11th. Grant's road to the crown was led by 182-pound senior Tony Cashmore, who improved his perfect record to 14-0 with a 7-3 decision in the championship match.


    Deerfield delighted with superquad result at Barrington

    Battered, bruised and hobbled by a knee injured during his first match of the day, Libertyville's Austin Pettinato said he felt like an old man as he searched for an extra large bag of ice to ease his pain. But after sipping from the fountain of youth, and getting some much-needed recovery time between bouts, the Wildcats senior outlasted state ranked Coord Wiseman of Barrington in a superb match at 145 pounds to help drive his teammates to a 26-24 vitory Saturday afternoon at Barrington. The edgy 2-point victory gave the Wildcats a 1-1 record on the day, the same as Cary-Grove (7-3). Central Suburban League power Deerfield finished with the best record of the day at 2-1 following a 32-30 decision over the Broncos (9-3) in the final dual.


    Metea Valley earns first win against Waubonsie Valley

    The Metea Valley girls basketball team showed there are good starts to games and then there are great starts in its 50-27 win over host Waubonsie Valley, its first victory over the Warriors, on Saturday afternoon.


    Round 1 goes to Wheaton North

    Glenbard South would love a rematch with Wheaton North. The Falcons wouldn't mind defending Saturday's 49-37 nonconference girls basketball victory against the visiting Raiders. The teams could meet again in less than two weeks at Wheaton North's holiday tournament if both reach the semifinals.

    Notre Dame forward Jack Cooley, left, blocks the shot of Purdue guard Rapheal Davis Saturday during the second half in Indianapolis. Notre Dame defeated Purdue 81-68.

    Cooley leads No. 22 Irish over Purdue 81-68

    Notre Dame already knew it could defend. Now the Fighting Irish know they have the offense to match. Jack Cooley had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead No. 22 Notre Dame to its seventh straight victory, 81-68 over Purdue on Saturday in the Crossroads Classic. "Now our offense is catching up to where our defense was, and we're flowing really well," Cooley said.

    Butler guard Alex Barlow, center, is carried by forward Kameron Woods, left, and center Andrew Smith Saturday after Butler defeated No. 1 Indiana 88-86 in overtime in Indianapolis.

    Butler upsets No. 1 Indiana 88-86 in OT

    All Butler guard Alex Barlow saw Saturday was space and an opportunity to make a play. When Indiana's defenders failed to converge on the 5-foot-11 walk-on, Barlow kept right on going through the lane, drove to the basket and hit a spinning 6-foot jumper with 2.4 seconds left in overtime Saturday to give the Bulldogs another stunning upset — 88-86 over No. 1 Indiana in the Crossroads Classic.

    Palatine’s Abby Alden competes on the uneven parallel bars at the Palatine invitational on Saturday.

    With Scala and Larock, Prospect rolls at Palatine

    Prospect sophomore Maddie Larock was a big hit at the Palatine Invite on Saturday. Larock was solid from start to finish in leading Prospect to the title with a season high 142.125 points in the eight team field. Larock (37.575) and junior Gianna Scala (37.25) went 1-2 in the all-around setting the tone for Prospect and helping the Knights secure their first Palatine Invite title. Host Palatine was not to far off pace in taking second with 140.875 points, followed by Naperville North (130.275), York (130.20) and Glenbrook South (124.525).

    Green Bay Packers’ D.J. Smith (51) breaks up a pass intended for the Bears’ Kellen Davis (87) during the first half earlier this season in Green Bay, Wis.

    Brandon Marshall doing it all for Bears

    The Bears' reliance on Brandon Marshall in the passing game has produced a season unprecedented in franchise history for the big wide receiver. But the Bears' passing offense isn't any better than it was last season.


    Payne to hold skills clinic

    Former St. Edward boys basketball coach and current Elgin Community College athletic director Kent Payne will be conducting a basketball skills camp at the ECC Events Center on Wednesday, Jan. 2 from noon to 2 p.m.The clinic is designed for boys and girls ages 10 and older.The camp will include instruction in skill development, shooting mechanics, ballhandling and dribbling, making effective decisions, footwork and more.Cost of the clinic, payable at the door, is $30 and includes a complimentary skills DVD.For further information, contact Payne at (630) 251-0980.

    Vernon Hills’ Meri Bennett-Swanson shoot over Antioch defender Alexandra Facek in Vernon Hills on Saturday, December 15.

    Images: Antioch vs. Vernon Hills girls basketball
    The Vernon Hills Cougars hosted the Antioch Sequoits for girls basketball action on Saturday, December 15 in Vernon Hills.

    Images from the Burlington Central vs. Crystal Lake South girls basketball game Saturday, December 15, 2012.

    Images: Crystal Lake South vs. Burlington Central girls basketball
    Crystal Lake South took on Burlington Central in holidaygirls basketball tourney action at Woodstock Saturday.


    St. Edward’s Madden wins WWS all-around

    St. Edward senior gymnast Abby Madden had a welcome visitor Saturday at the Illinois Best Gymnastics Meet at Wheaton Warrenville South. Madden's older sister Jordyn, who graduated St. Edward last year, is home for her holiday break from Indiana University, was in attendance to cheer and encourage her sister on. Give both the Maddens an "A" for the day.

    Bears RB Matt Forte (22) tries to break away from Green Bay’s D.J. Smith when the teams met in September. Forte has averaged just 2.9 yards per carry since the Bears were 7-1.

    Bears better find way to reverse ugly trend

    The Bears and Packers have been streaking in opposite directions recently for a lot of different reasons. And the Bears have lost five straight meetings with their neighbors to the north. If they don't turn things around today, they'll allow the Packers to clinch the NFC North. "We haven't held up our end of the deal," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "You've got to win some football games to really get that done. We know what's at stake this week."


    UIC downs Eastern Michigan 74-48

    Daniel Barnes scored a career-high 30 points against his former team as Illinois-Chicago defeated Eastern Michigan 74-48 Saturday. Barnes, who played at Eastern Michigan in the 2008-09 season, hit 6 of 13 3-pointers and 10 of 18 shots overall from the field. I

    Arizona’s Terrance Miller comes down with a touchdown catch in the end zone in front of Nevada’s Bryson Keeton to tie the game in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter of New Mexico Bowl Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M. Arizona won 49-48.

    Arizona overcomes Nevada 49-48 in New Mexico Bowl

    Matt Scott threw two short touchdown passes in the final 42 seconds and college football's postseason started with a wild one when Arizona rallied past Nevada 49-48 Saturday in the New Mexico Bowl. Arizona (8-5) recovered an onside kick in the final minute, setting up Scott's 2-yard toss to Terrence Miller with 19 seconds left for the winning score.


    Penn State beats Delaware State 80-76 in overtime

    D.J. Newbill scored 22 points and Penn State survived Delaware State's second-half surge in an 80-76 overtime victory Saturday. Tyshawn Bell hit a contested 3-pointer to give the Hornets a three-point lead with 1:24 remaining in overtime.

    Ohio State’s Shannon Scott, right, fouls UNC-Asheville’s D.J. Cunningham, left, as Ohio State’s Trey McDonald looks on Saturday during the second half in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 90-72.

    No. 7 Buckeyes sprint to 90-72 win over Asheville

    Grammy-winning singer and pianist Bruce Hornsby sent a tweet to Ohio State coach Thad Matta on Friday night asking him to take it easy on his son, UNC Asheville guard Keith Hornsby. The Buckeyes obliged — Hornsby lit up the Buckeyes for a career-best 26 points — but Ohio State still had the last laugh.

    Iowa center Gabriel Olaseni dunks Saturday during the first half against Northern Iowain Des Moines, Iowa.

    Devyn Marble scores 30, Iowa beats Northern Iowa 80-73

    Devyn Marble scored a season-high 30 points as Iowa beat Northern Iowa 80-73 Saturday in the inaugural Big Four Classic. Freshman Mike Gesell added a career-best 23 points for the Hawkeyes (9-2), who have won four in a row after a brief two-game skid in late November.

    Free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton talks to the media Saturday during a news conference in Anaheim, Calif. Hamilton, formerly of the Texas Rangers, joined the Los Angeles Angels after signing a $125 million, five-year contract.

    Hamilton, Angels finalize $125M, 5-year deal

    Feeling "a little upset" that Texas didn't move quickly enough to re-sign him, free-agent outfielder Josh Hamilton donned a Los Angeles Angels jersey on Saturday after finalizing a $125 million, five-year contract that he called a new chapter in his life. "I started off with the Devil Rays and now I'm an Angel," said the five-time All-Star who was drafted by Tampa Bay before making his major league debut with Cincinnati in 2007.

    Big East commissioner Mike Aresco spent much of the past week talking with the seven nonfootball members in his league that have now decided to form a new basketball-only league.

    It’s official: DePaul leaving Big East with 6 others

    After a week of speculation, the breakup is now official: DePaul is joining six other Big East schools that don't play football and bolting the Big East Conference to pursue a new basketball league. The presidents of the seven schools (DePaul, Georgetwon, St. John's, Villanova, Marquette, Seton Hall and Providence) released their announcement Saturday, saying it was a unanimous vote.


    Facebook has the potential to become a solution to the world’s gifting woes, a way to quickly, easily, and thoughtfully make the people around you feel like you care.

    Facebook has revolutionized gift-giving on the web

    A startup called Karma launched a mobile app that I considered a breakthrough for gifting. The app alerted you to your friends' special occasions, recommended gifts they might like, took care of all the pesky gifting logistics, and, best of all, gave the giftee a sense of joy even before the thing arrived. Karma did a lot of this by plugging into the world's most-comprehensive repository of social relationships — Facebook.

    Apple customer Shayan Hooshmand, 11, uses PhotoBooth on a 21.5-inch iMac at an Apple store in Palo Alto, Calif.

    Apple’s skinnier iMac is a beautiful beast

    Desktop computers aren't the sexiest of product categories these days, but the all-in-one iMac largely defies the trend. Apple has continued to refine it inside and out, with a beautiful new slimmed-down design and a few new technological tricks as well. The iMac comes in two configurations, one with a 21.5-inch screen starting at $1,299, the other a 27-inch for $1,799. More than size and price set them apart.


    App reviews: Inkflow, 30/30

    There are plenty of apps out there meant to replace your handy pen and paper, and Inkflow is one of the better ones. A treat for visual thinkers, this app will read your finger or a stylus for smooth, responsive drawings. Sometimes when you get down to serious business, it helps to have your day scheduled down to the minute. 30/30, which works on the iPhone and iPad, is an update of the good old-fashioned kitchen timer.

    This undated image provided by Samsung shows the company’s Note II phone. Over the past few years, smartphones have gradually gotten bigger and tablet computers have gotten smaller. So it should come as no surprise that devices in between are starting to emerge. These devices, informally known as phablets, are better described as giant phones than baby tablets, as they can be used for phone calls. And for now, they are closer in size to regular phones, with screens running 5 inches or more diagonally.

    Review: Galaxy S III, Droid DNA decent, but not for size

    Over the past few years, smartphones have gradually gotten bigger and tablet computers have gotten smaller. So it should come as no surprise that devices in between are starting to emerge. These Android devices, informally known as phablets, are better described as giant phones than baby tablets, as they can be used for phone calls. And for now, they aren't much bigger than regular phones.

    Senate Privacy, Technology and the Law subcommittee Chairman Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, presides over the subcommittee’s hearing on “Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy,” on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Senate Judiciary Committee was expected Thursday to approve legislation that would close a legal loophole that allows so-called cyberstalking apps to operate secretly on a cellphone and transmit the user’s location information without a person’s knowledge.

    Senate legislation targets cyberstalking software

    WASHINGTON — For around $50, a jealous wife or husband can download software that can continuously track the whereabouts of a spouse better than any private detective. It’s frighteningly easy and effective in an age when nearly everyone carries a cellphone that can record every moment of a person’s physical movements. But it soon might be illegal. The Senate Judiciary Committee was expected Thursday to approve legislation that would close a legal loophole that allows so-called cyberstalking apps to operate secretly on a cellphone and transmit the user’s location information without a person’s knowledge. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, would update laws passed years before wireless technology revolutionized communications. Telephone companies currently are barred from disclosing to businesses the locations of people when they make a traditional phone call. But there’s no such prohibition when communicating over the Internet. If a mobile device sends an email, links to a website or launches an app, the precise location of the phone can be passed to advertisers, marketers and others without the user’s permission.The ambiguity has created a niche for companies like Retina Software, which makes ePhoneTracker and describes it as “stealth phone spy software.” “Suspect your spouse is cheating?” the company’s website says. “Don’t break the bank by hiring a private investigator.”An emailed statement from Retina Software said the program is for the lawful monitoring of a cellphone that the purchaser of the software owns and has a right to monitor. If there is evidence the customer doesn’t own the phone, the account is closed, the company said. The program is not intended or marketed for malicious purposes, the statement said.But Franken and supporters of his bill said there is no way to ensure the rules are followed. These programs can be installed in moments, perhaps while the cellphone’s actual owner is sleeping or in the shower. The apps operate invisibly to the cellphone’s user. They can silently record text messages, call logs, physical locations and visits to websites. All the information is relayed to an email address chosen by the installer.Victim’s advocacy groups said Franken’s bill is a common-sense step to curb stalking and domestic violence by weakening a tool that gives one person power over another.“It’s really, really troubling that an industry would see an opportunity to make money off of strengthening someone’s opportunity to control and threaten another individual,” said Karen Jarmoc, executive director of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.A domestic violence case in St. Louis County, Minn., helped persuade Franken to introduce his bill. A woman had entered a county building to meet with her advocate when she received a text message from her abuser asking her why she was there, according to congressional testimony delivered last year by the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Frightened, she and her advocate went to the local courthouse to file for a protective order. She got another text demanding to know why she was at the courthouse. They later determined her abuser was tracing her movements with an app that had been placed on her cellphone. The woman was not identified by name in the congressional testimony.Franken’s proposal would make companies subject to civil liability if they fail to secure permission before obtaining location information from a person’s cellphone and sharing it with anyone else. They also would be liable if they fail to tell a user no later than seven days after the service begins that the program is running on their phone. Companies would face a criminal penalty if they knowingly operate an app with the intent to facilitate stalking.

    A combine cuts durum near an oil well in Tioga, N.D. The worries about what drilling does to the air are both global and local, with scientists concerned about the effects on climate change as well as the possible health consequences from breathing smog, soot and other pollutants.

    Energy experts say drilling can be made cleaner

    In the Colorado mountains, a spike in air pollution has been linked to a boom in oil and gas drilling. On the plains of north Texas, there's a drilling boom, too, but some air pollution levels have declined. Opponents of drilling point to Colorado and say it's dangerous. Companies point to Texas and say drilling is safe. "It's like a vehicle. Some cars drip oil," said Russell Schnell, deputy director of the federal Earth System Research Laboratory. "You have wells that are absolutely tight. And you have other places where a valve gives out, and you have huge leaks."

    Moon Tae-hwa, a devout Christian and family counselor, uses a desktop computer to hunt down online pornography at his office in Seoul, South Korea. Moon is among the most successful members of the “Nuri Cops” (roughly “net cops”), a squad of nearly 800 volunteers who help government censors by patrolling the Internet for pornography in their spare time.

    South Korea’s porn fight ‘like shoveling in a blizzard’

    Moon Tae-Hwa stares at his computer, dizzy and nauseous from the hours of porn he's viewed online while his wife and children slept. He feels no shame — only a righteous sense of mission. "I feel like I'm cleaning up dirty things," the devout Christian and family counselor said. Moon is among the most successful members of the "Nuri Cops," a squad of nearly 800 volunteers who help government censors by patrolling the Internet for pornography in their spare time.

    People walk Tuesday past an Apple store in Sydney’s central business district in Australia. Australian police are warning the public that errors in Apple’s much-maligned mapping application are leading drivers headed to the southern city of Mildura to take a potentially “life-threatening” wrong turn into the middle of a remote state park.

    Bad Apple Maps directions lead to desert in Australia

    The city of Mildura is not at the end of a dirt road in the Australian bush, in tire-choking desert sand far from food and water. Unfortunately, Apple's much-maligned mapping application thinks it is. More than two months after Apple's CEO apologized for errors in its Maps service, Australian police say the app is "potentially life threatening" because of the bad directions it has given to the southern city. On Tuesday, a police official said Apple had "sort of half-fixed" the problem.


    Amazon starts selling Kindle E-books in China, joining Brazil

    Amazon.com Inc., the world's largest e-commerce company, has started selling E-books through its China site, a week after the company announced it was doing the same in Brazil. Users can download Kindle software for free from the China website onto their iPhone, iPad or Android devices, which allows them to read Kindle E-books on those devices, according to information on the website.


    Twitter adds photo tools to mobile app in challenge to Instagram

    Twitter unveiled tools to adjust the color, size and style of photos uploaded via applications for Apple iPhones and Android phones, as the social-media site adds features to compete with Facebook's Instagram. The photo filters, developed in partnership with software maker Aviary Inc., are part of an update to the mobile apps made available Monday, San Francisco-based Twitter said in a blog post.

Life & Entertainment

    Photo courtesy of Brad Barket/PictureGroup Comedian Chris Hardwick as seen on Comedy Central. Harwick appears at Zanies in Chicago and Rosemont.

    Saturday picks: Comic Chris Hardwick at Zanies
    You can catch comedian Chris Hardwick at Zanies in Rosemont Saturday, while Chris Kattan, formerly of "Saturday Night Live," will perform The Improv in Schaumburg. For the kids, there is the outdoor Lisle Candy Cane Hunt in Community Park.

    Karolyn Grimes, who played Jimmy Stewart’s daughter Zuzu Bailey in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” met fans and signed autographs at Hollywood Palms in Naperville.

    66 years later, ‘Zuzu’ still living a wonderful life

    For Karolyn Grimes, visiting Naperville in late December has become about as traditional as egg nog and mistletoe. Grimes — who most people know as Zuzu Bailey, the 6-year-old in the 1946 film "It's a Wonderful Life" who tells Jimmy Stewart (George Bailey), "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings" — made her 10th annual appearance Saturday at Naperville's Holiday Palms Cinemas to host a screening of the film with fans.

    Colin Farrell in the action thriller “Total Recall.”

    DVD previews
    DVDs released in the coming week include "Total Recall" with Colin Farrell and "Trouble with the Curve," starring Clint Eastwood.

    The Robert Todd Lincoln mansion Hildene in Manchester, Vt. The Georgian Revival home was built in 1905 by Robert Todd Lincoln, the only one of the president’s four children to survive to adulthood.

    Hildene tour opens door on Lincoln family life

    Abe Lincoln was born in a log cabin but his son built himself a mansion. Robert Todd Lincoln, the president's only child to survive to adulthood, built the Georgian Revival home, called Hildene, as a seasonal dream home for his wife Mary Harlan Lincoln and their children. But Hildene is no dusty museum. Located on 412 acres between two spectacular mountain ranges, the homestead offers a feeling of warmth, family and hospitality along with the history lessons.

    “Saul Steinberg: A Biography” by Deirdre Bair

    Bair writes bio of artist Saul Steinberg

    When New Yorker cartoonist Saul Steinberg was honored in 1974 by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the architect Philip Johnson puzzled out loud over how best to describe him. Although Steinberg was about to receive the gold medal for graphic art, wasn't he also a satirist, a painter, a humorist and an architect? Now author Deirdre Bair has taken stock of this wildly inventive and original artist in a 600-page volume that marks the first comprehensive biography of Steinberg since he died in 1999 at age 84.

    Realtor Jim Regan of RE/MAX Suburban believes the real estate market in the Northwest suburbs has bottomed and is on its way back up.

    Smaller inventory of homes is big factor in improved market

    Jim Regan has been selling homes in the Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Des Plaines area for 40 years, originally as the owner for National Sunrise Realty in Arlington Heights and, for the past decade, as an agent with RE/MAX Suburban in Mount Prospect.


    Many ways to structure fees when refinancing loan

    Q. In your column a reader said they were refinancing with no fees. Do you know what company is offering that deal? I owe about $31,000 and am at 7.125 percent with 13 years left on the mortgage. Refinance fees I have found are high. Would paying extra on the principal be a better option?

    For extra seating, especially during the holidays, interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn often incorporates benches that serve as decoration most of the time, but can be pulled out to accommodate guests when entertaining, as seen in this living room.

    How to maximize seating for holiday parties

    The joy of home entertaining at the holidays often comes with a challenge: How do you provide enough seating for a roomful of holiday revelers with just a sofa and a few chairs? Are there creative options besides resorting to folding chairs?


    Gather supplies, devise plan before emergency strikes

    Those of us not affected by superstorm Sandy eventually may be affected by other storms this fall or winter or in the years to come. You need to be prepared for when — not if — the lights go out. Here's what you should have on hand:

    “Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds,” by Jim Sterba.

    Lines drawn in battle over wildlife comeback

    Wildlife-related controversies have been springing up in towns throughout the country, pitting neighbor against neighbor, animal-rights activists against biologists and in some cases, even prompting death threats. In "Nature Wars," Jim Sterba lays out battle lines that emerged after populations of species that declined to near-extinction by the end of the 19th century came roaring back.

    An electric company worker changing ballasts and lamps on the “Welcome to Las Vegas,” sign in Las Vegas. Deals for round-trip airfare to Vegas along with inexpensive hotel packages are among the last-minute offers that travelers with flexible vacation schedules can find online.

    How to find amazing travel deals

    Jessie Purton won the frugal travelers' lottery. A bit of luck, some quick thinking and lots of flexibility landed her an amazing travel deal: a four-night Carnival cruise to Mexico plus two nights in a Miami hotel for just $275. Savvy travelers can find some incredible travel sales but they need to have fluid schedules and willingness to vacation at off-peak times. An understanding boss is helpful, too.

    Tom Cruise was a surprise choice to play the main character Jack Reacher in the upcoming film.

    The decision to cast Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher

    Tom Cruise? Really? That's the question that Lee Child, author of the popular Jack Reacher thriller novel series, has been fielding for the past year about the casting of Cruise in the lead role of "Jack Reacher," a film adaptation of Child's "One Shot" (2005), in which Reacher — an ex-military police officer who wanders the country righting wrongs — investigates five apparently random killings by a sniper.

    A cashmere wrap cardigan sweater and black sequin miniskirt makes a stylish statement for a party.

    There’s detective work to do for party dress codes

    The holidays are often a highly social season that provide a good reason to wear the things you might not often have the occasion to pull out of your closet: sequins, a fancy red dress, the sexy black one. But should you? Or will everyone else be wearing their cozy cashmere sweater and favorite riding boots? "People don't know how to dress anymore — it's anything goes, which is a huge problem," says Marie France Van Damme, a fashion designer and author.

    A a rib-knit crew neck, cuffs and hem sweater of soft, medium-weight cotton blend with an overall fair-isle-inspired pattern.

    Wear those seasonal sweaters in the right spirit

    The good, the bad, the kitschy. A "seasonal sweater" is one way to start a conversation at a holiday function. It's a look that can mean all sorts of things: sequins, bows, Fair Isle patterns, bunny rabbits and bird motifs, or even antlers. There's a fine line between a good seasonal sweater and a good one gone bad.

    Colin Farrell in the action thriller “Total Recall.”

    DVD previews: ‘Total Recall,’ ‘Trouble with the Curve’

    DVDs released in the coming week include "Total Recall" with Colin Farrell and "Trouble with the Curve," starring Clint Eastwood.


    Income tax filing requirements for condominium and community associations

    Condominium and other forms of community associations are entities that must account for their taxable income. Even if no tax is owed, there is still a filing requirement.


    Buyers usually prefer land contracts to lease-to-own deals

    Q. You have written articles about lease-to-own contracts, but never about land contracts, which I am told may work better.



    The Soapbox

    Want snow? So do some Daily Herald editors. See what else they have to say in this week's Soapbox.


    Republicans holding the nation hostage
    A Glenview letter to the editor: I'm not rich, but I am willing to sacrifice programs that I depend on to put our nation on sound fiscal footing. It's a travesty that Republican members of Congress think the wealthy are in need of special protection from any shared sacrifice.


    Medicare Part D a program that’s working
    A Chicago letter to the editor: Programs that work, provide thousands of jobs and save millions in taxpayer dollars should continue. We should urge our members of Congress to address the federal deficit without putting Medicare Part D under the knife.


    GOP likes isolation over compassion
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: I remember as a child while riding in the family car on the way to vacation spots, seeing an occasional road sign demanding the U.S. get out of the United Nations. Even as a child, I considered this attitude backwards and destructive of effective international relations.


    Is third term president’s real goal?
    A Mundelein letter to the editor: Obama's strategy is to blame the Republicans for the failure of both parties to come up with a budget. I believe he wants this country to "go over the cliff."


    Why do we fund church groups?
    A Pingree Grove letter to the editor: Our Illinois legislators are unconstitutionally appropriating and distributing to religious organizations tens of millions of our tax dollars every year. This is money that could be left in our pockets or used legally for some of our many fiscal problems and needs.


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