Daily Archive : Monday December 17, 2012



    Fox Valley police reports
    A resident of the 38W200 block of Kristin Drive near Elgin reported that two diamond rings were stolen from her home, according to a Kane County sheriff's report. The rings were last seen Oct. 1; the theft was reported at 12:48 p.m. Thursday.


    Hazing charges filed in NIU frat death

    The leaders of a Northern Illinois University fraternity and 17 of its members are facing hazing charges related to the November death of a 19-year-old pledge from Palatine. David Bogenberger had more than five times the legal limit of alcohol in his system, toxicology results revealed, when was found unresponsive on Nov. 2 in the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity in DeKalb.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Tracy L. Krahn, 46, of the 10N900 block of Maple Street in Elgin, was charged with retail theft at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at Meijer, 855 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, according to a police report. Krahn, who worked at the store, is accused of taking a half-pound of raw shrimp and a package of hair dye.


    Roselle alters New Leaf plans to include commercial option

    In response to the weak demand for housing and office space, Roselle officials on Monday approved a measure that alters the second phase of plans for the $14 million New Leaf Development on Irving Park Road. "Because the market is not hot enough for mixed office and retail use, we are trying to add some flexibility in case, say, a 6,000 square-foot, free-standing restaurant would want to come,"...

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

    Barrington approves retail-office project

    After listening to the remarks of a skeptical public, the Barrington village board voted overwhelmingly Monday night in favor of a retail-office development at the southwest corner of Hough and Main streets. “What are our odds? The fact is it's moot. It doesn't really matter whether we're right or whether we're wrong. We're either right and it goes or we're wrong and it doesn't go,”...

    Lutheran Church Charities staff members, pictured from left, Tim Kurth of Wheaton, Dona Martin of Lake Barrington, Lynn Buhrke of Palatine, and Tim Hetzner of Palatine arrived in Newtown, Conn. Saturday with their Comfort Dogs Ministry. The dogs, from left, are Zippy, Ruthie, Chewie and Luther.

    Suburban hearts reach out to Connecticut

    As the nation reels from the horror of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., people in the suburbs are wondering how to best help families of the victims. While local families who lost children in the 2008 shooting at NIU say every word of condolence can provide some comfort, some people and organizations have sprung into action in other ways.


    Campton Hills tables vote on rehab center

    Campton Hills residents Monday continued to voice their opposition to a 96-bed substance abuse recovery and treatment center proposed for the village. Trustees did not take a vote on the Kiva Recovery Center, nor did they have time to review results from a community survey. The next time village leaders will consider the plan is on Jan. 8.

    Herbert Burgess

    Deliberations continue in sex assault case

    Jurors deliberated until late Monday night without deciding the fate of a Mount Prospect man charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy. The jury will resume deliberations Tuesday in the trial of Herbert Burgess, 58.

    Kirk Morris

    Gurnee settles lawsuit with trustee over memorial to troops

    Gurnee village board members Monday were asked to consider a lawsuit settlement with Trustee Kirk Morris' private foundation stemming from a plan to build a memorial to troops who died in Iraq and Afghanistan on public land.

    Mourners arrive for the funeral service for 6-year-old Jack Pinto, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012 in Newtown, Conn. Pinto was killed when a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Friday and opened fire, killing 26 people, including 20 children.

    Images: Day 4 from Newtown, Connecticut
    Three days after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, families, friends and mourners gathered Monday to say goodbye to two of the young boys who were killed Friday at the school, the first to be laid to rest. On Friday, a gunman allegedly killed his mother at their home and then opened fire inside the school, killing 26 people, including 20 children.


    Fire damages Palatine-area apartment

    Palatine firefighters were able to keep a fire Monday morning in an unincorporated apartment building contained to just one unit. Passers-by reported the blaze at 11:01 a.m. in a three-story, six-unit building in the 1200 block of Long Valley Drive. The fire, located in a first-floor unit, was under control by 11:17 a.m.


    Police search Harvard school after shell casing found

    Police searched Crosby Elementary in Harvard Monday morning after a custodian found a used shell casing from a bullet. Administrators were already planning a walk-through of the Harvard Community School District 50's buildings after the recent school shootings in Connecticut.

    This image provided by the family shows Grace McDonnell posing for a portrait in this family photo taken Aug. 18, 2012. Grace McDonnell was killed Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, when a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Conn., killing 26 children and adults at the school.

    A closer look at Connecticut victims

    At the very start of their lives, the schoolchildren are remembered for their love of horses, or for the games they couldn't get enough of, or for always saying grace at dinner. The adult victims found their life's work in sheltering little ones, teaching them, caring for them, treating them as their own. Here is a look at the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

    Richard Vanecko

    Outside judge sought in Daley nephew’s trial

    Cook County's chief judge asked the Illinois Supreme Court on Monday to appoint a judge from outside the county to preside over the involuntary manslaughter case of a nephew of former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, hours after a judge with ties to Daley recused himself.

    Donald Mischke

    Trial begins for driver accused of murder

    Lake County prosecutors said in court Monday that a Lisle man should be found guilty of first-degree murder because he drove through a stoplight while running from police after a robbery and killed a Grayslake woman two days before Christmas in 2010. However, defense attorneys for Donald Mischke said while the death of Elisha Clark was tragic, the 56-year-old Lisle man was not in the process of...

    Geneva Alderman Dawn Vogelsberg, Michael Bruno and Zachary Ploppert wait for city hall to open Monday to file their petitions for the April election. Vogelsberg is running or the 3rd Ward seat; Bruno and Ploppert, the 1st Ward seat.

    Eight running for Geneva school board

    Eight people have already filed to run for three seats on the Geneva school board. Monday was the first day in many towns and all townships, school districts and park districts too become a candidate for the April election.


    Dist. 33 board, teachers make final offers before possible strike

    It's no secret teachers and school board members in West Chicago Elementary District 33 remain far apart in contract talks that have ground to a halt after roughly 15 months at the bargaining table. But on Monday the size of the chasm, particularly over issues involving salary and benefits, became public for the first time when the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board published the details...

    A woman lays flowers at the site of a makeshift memorial for school shooting victims Sunday in the village of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Conn. A gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the town, killing 26 people, including 20 children before killing himself on Friday.

    Weekend in Review: Round Lake boy dies; Bears' hopes fade

    What you may have missed over the weekend: Bears lose to Packers; calls begin for Lovie Smith exit; Nativity installed in Arlington Heights; Round Lake boy remembered for constant smile; Boehner talks "fiscal cliff"; Kerry likely to replace Clinton as secretary of state; 3 charged in Waukegan slaying; St. Charles man charged after sending joke text; Obama attends memorial for Connecticut school...


    Dawn Patrol: Alderman Buske dies; Sikh community gathers in Palatine

    Rolling Meadows Alderman Larry Buske dies. Sikh community in Palatine praises anti-hate resolution. Elgin drunken driver gets 5 years. St. Charles man accused of falsely reporting a kidnapping by text message. It could be over for Bears, Lovie.

    Adam Belmont

    Ex-boyfriend denied bail in Woodridge woman’s slaying

    About a week after their relationship ended, Adam Belmont scaled his ex-girlfriend's apartment building and fatally stabbed her with a knife engraved to commemorate their anniversary, prosecutors said Monday. DuPage County Judge Alex McGimpsey denied bail for the 23-year-old tow truck driver, who is accused of killng Alyssa VanMeter, 25, inside her Forest Drive apartment in Woodridge late...

    Acting West Chicago Mayor Ruben Pineda, right, files paperwork Monday to run for mayor along with mayoral hopefuls Nicholas Dzierzanowski and Wayne Woodward. City Clerk Nancy Smith is pictured at left.

    Contested mayoral races abound in DuPage

    If you want to be elected a mayor or village president in DuPage County next spring, odds are you'll have to work for it. On the first day of filing Monday, contested mayoral races were shaping up in Bensenville, Bloomingdale, Lombard, Roselle, Warrenville, West Chicago, Winfield and possibly Villa Park.

    A hearse and family limousines for 6-year-old shooting victim Jack Pinto rolls past a flag at half-staff Monday as the funeral procession heads through the historic district in Newtown, Conn. A gunman opened fire on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the town, killing 26 people, including 20 children before killing himself.

    2 Connecticut shooting victims laid to rest

    The first two funerals for the 26 people killed in the Newtown, Connecticut, school massacre will be held today under rainy, gray skies. Six-year-olds Jack Pinto and Noah Pozner will be remembered and laid to rest. They died alongside 24 classmates and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14 after Adam Lanza, 20, stormed inside and sprayed hundreds of bullets with a Bushmaster AR-15...

    Ron Drake is the first mayoral candidate to present forms to Arlington Heights village clerk Rebecca Hume Monday morning at village hall.

    Mayoral candidates step up to file across the Northwest suburbs

    2013 could be called the year of the mayor -- in the Northwest suburbs at least, where fully 19 leaders will be elected in April. Filing opened Monday for most local government offices, amyors included, and will continue through Dec. 26. Here's a look at some of the first-day filers.

    Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, president pro tempore of the Senate, and a recipient of the Medal of Honor, died of respiratory complications Monday. He was 88.

    Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii dead at 88

    Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, the influential Democrat who broke racial barriers on Capitol Hill and played key roles in congressional investigations of the Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals, died Monday. He was 88.

    House Speaker John Boehner has offered to raise tax rates on household income above $1 million a year and lift the federal debt ceiling in exchange for containing entitlement program costs. While Obama wants higher rates for income above $250,000, Boehner’s offer marked movement because he has opposed increased rates for any income level.

    Dems signal Obama flexibility on spending in talks

    Republican House Speaker John Boehner is offering to let taxes rise on wealthy Americans' investment income and dividends as part of a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff," officials said Monday amid signs that President Barack Obama is ready to make a key concession of his own in urgent, high-level negotiations.


    Lisle, Wheaton police ramp up DUI patrols

    Police in Lisle and Wheaton on Monday launched holiday traffic-safety campaigns that will run through New Year's Eve. Both municipalities are targeting impaired drivers and seat belt violators as part of the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" effort headed up by the Illinois Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The campaign focuses on the hours...

    Authorities say Edward Brandt, 31, of Lake Forest, entered Excalibur Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas about 8:30 p.m. Dec. 14 and fired several gunshots toward the lobby concierge desk, striking and killing Jessica Kenny, 30. It’s believed to have been a murder-suicide.

    Lake Forest man responsible for murder-suicide in Vegas hotel lobby

    Authorities say a Lake Forest man was at the trigger of a gun in what's believed to have been a murder-suicide in a Las Vegas hotel lobby. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said Edward Brandt, 31, entered Excalibur Hotel and Casino about 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14, and he fired several gunshots toward the lobby concierge desk, striking and killing Jessica Kenny.


    Dist. 300 teachers to vote on contract Wednesday

    Carpentersville-based Community Unit District 300 teachers will vote Wednesday on a three-year contract union and district officials have been negotiating for almost a year. The LEAD 300 union held a one-day strike Dec. 4 that was called off when bargaining teams reached a tentative agreement that representatives of both sides have continued to fine tune in recent weeks. The school board is...


    Vernon Hills police checking seat belts

    Vernon Hills police will be increasing enforcement of the Illinois safety belt laws through Jan. 1 as part of a statewide grant.


    Services for former Lake Zurich officer

    Visitation for former Lake Zurich police officer Kristopher "Kris" Zak will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18 at the Ahlgrim Family Funeral Home, 415 S. Buesching Road, Lake Zurich.


    MHS board meeting:

    The Mundelein High School board will meet at 6:30 p.m. today to discuss student fees for the 2013-14 year, an agreement with the Mustang swim club and other business.


    I-90 ramp at Lee Street open after crash, fuel spill

    The Lee Street ramp onto the eastbound Jane Addams Tollway in Rosemont has reopened since a car crashed Monday morning into a guard rail while driving onto the interstate. Crews also finished cleaning up a fuel spill left after the crash by early afternoon.

    Mundelein trustee candidates Dawn Abernathy, left, and Holly Kim chat with mayor candidate Wally Frasier, right, outside the village hall early Monday morning as they wait for the doors to open to file their papers for the 2013 election. Abernathy arrived around 7 a.m. and kept warm under a blanket.

    Lake County mayoral candidates file to be on the ballot

    The first day of candidate filing for the April 2013 consolidated election revealed impending mayoral showdowns in several Lake County communities. Voters in Mundelein, Round Lake, Antioch, Fox Lake, Lake Zurich and Lakemoor are among those who will have to choose between multiple mayoral hopefuls when they enter polling places next spring.


    Rivers Casino donates $1.2 million to local charities

    Rivers Casino in Des Plaines awarded more than $1.2 million in funding for educational-based programs to 18 charitable organizations in Des Plaines and throughout the Chicago area in 2012, according to a recent company news release.

    Gregory Arthur Weiler II

    Bomb plot suspect from Elk Grove will get mental evaluation

    Prosecutors say an Elk Grove Village man accused of planing to attack dozens of churches with Molotov cocktails in northeastern Oklahoma will undergo a mental evaluation. Ottawa County Assistant District Attorney Becky Baird says it could take weeks for prosecutors to receive the report on Gregory Arthur Weiler II.

    A woman reacts while paying respects for shooting victims at a makeshift memorial at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Newtown, Conn.

    Suburban superintendents offer safety assurances

    Suburban superintendents offered condolences to the Connecticut victims and assurances of their districts' safety procedures through emails to parents and on websites. "I want to assure you that safety of our students is our top priority and that our schools have comprehensive crisis plans in place to guide us through a variety of emergency situations should the need arise," said Ed Rafferty,...

    Gov. Pat Quinn says he has reached out to top lawmakers and sponsors of a proposed assault weapons ban.

    Quinn pushes for assault weapons ban in Illinois

    Gov. Pat Quinn says the time for an assault weapons ban in Illinois is now. The Chicago Democrat says the shooting in Connecticut, particularly the loss of so many children, should appeal to people's consciences.


    Lawmakers: Don’t let shooting engulf gun talk

    Illinois lawmakers say it's inevitable that Friday's school shooting in Connecticut will have an impact on the concealed-carry gun law they must write. But several caution against allowing the tragedy to consume the debate.


    ‘Indiana Jones’ package mystery solved in Chicago

    The University of Chicago has determined the source of a mystery package that the school received addressed to movie hero Indiana Jones.

    Chief Steven Balinski

    Longtime Buffalo Grove police chief to retire

    After 36 years with the village, Buffalo Grove Police Chief Steven S. Balinski has announced he will retire on April 2. "As the chief of police, I have been both honored and privileged to serve this great community," said Balinski.

    Victor Rodriguez, and Danza Devocion Guadalupana, perform an indigenous Mexican Indian ritual dance in front of Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine in Des Plaines.

    Images: The Week In Pictures
    This edition of The Week in Pictures features Pearl Harbor survivors at an event in Waukegan, a Christmas walk in Geneva, a WWII fighter plane being pulled from the lake in Waukegan, and a seven-month-old gymnast in Naperville. And last, but certainly not least, a skateboarding cockatiel who was frozen and lost for several days in Glen Ellyn.


    Stevenson High student charged with selling drugs out of car

    A Stevenson High School senior is facing felony drug charges after a schoolmate's on-campus overdose, police said Monday. Matthew R. Sanders, 17, of the 0-100 block of Debill Court in Vernon Hills, had been selling drugs near campus from his car, Lincolnshire Police Chief Peter Kinsey said.

    Democrat Bob Getz, left, has conceded a Kane County Board race to Republican Douglas Scheflow. Scheflow beat Getz by 13 votes and a recount that Getz had last week didn’t work in his favor. He said Monday contesting it further would be cost prohibitive.

    Losing Kane candidate concedes District 22 race

    Bob Getz, who was hoping a discovery recount would have paved the way for a court challenge, has finally conceded the Kane County Board District 22 race to Douglas Scheflow, the Republican who beat him by 13 votes. His decision came Monday, days after the recount didn't go his way. "I've been advised it will cost me approximately $10,000 to proceed to the next step,"Getz wrote to Scheflow in his...

    Hundreds gathered Sunday for a fundraiser for Schaumburg firefighter Mike Solberg, who recently underwent surgery as part of his battle with brain cancer. Solberg is with his wife, Maureen, and their 21-month-old daughter, Emma.

    Community rallies around Schaumburg firefighter, family

    Hundreds of friends, family and fellow firefighters gathered at John Barleycorn in Schaumburg Sunday for a fundraiser to help Schaumburg firefighter Mike Solberg, who last month underwent brain cancer surgery. “From the moment this started, I was never alone,” Solberg said. “The moment the department knew about it, my family instantly expanded to 120.”

    Step 8: Attach a bow, ribbon or other accessories.

    Gift-wrapping expert says creativity, fun make for a perfect holiday package

    Presented with all the impressive bows and luxury wrapping paper that transform even a simple gift into something almost high-fashion, Lilly Grimm heads straight for the no-fuss packaging. Brown paper, in fact. No, it's not like she ran out of newspaper and string. The Burr Ridge woman prefers a natural canvas for the real artistry of a master gift-wrapper: unexpected accessories she recycles...

    Rob Dyer, left, a Marine Corps veteran, entrepreneur and creator of the nutritional drink RuckPack, takes notes on ideas from Lake Park High School marketing students Sam Cummings, Sara Bobek, Mauricio Cardona and Cassidy McGinn. The students pitched marketing ideas for RuckPack to Dyer for their semester-end project.

    Lake Park students pitch to ‘Shark Tank’ winner

    U.S. Marine Corps combat vet and entrepreneur Rob Dyer visited Lake Park High School in Roselle this month to hear marketing students' ideas for his nutritional drink, RuckPack. And Dyer knows a thing or two about successful marketing: he appeared last month on ABC's reality show "Shark Tank" and earned $150,000 for his product.

    A protestor holds a banner during a march to the National Rifle Association headquarters on Capitol Hill in Washington Monday. Curbing gun violence will be a top priority of President Barack Obama’s second term, aides say. but exactly what he’ll pursue and how quickly are still evolving.

    Poll: Majority of Americans favor stronger gun control

    A majority of Americans support stricter gun control laws, including a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips, according to a poll released today following the murder of 26 people, including 20 children, in Newton, Conn.

    Harper College Ethics Bowl team members from left, Coach John Garcia, Gil Morquecho of Buffalo Grove, Eli Longbottom of Barrington, and Matt Sandel and Caitlin Weres.

    Harper’s Ethics Bowl Team hits big time with berth in national contest

    The Harper College philosophy department showed it can play with the big boys, when its four-member Ethics Bowl Team earned a berth to the national collegiate competition. "To my knowledge, it's the first time a two-year college has qualified for the national contest," said Assistant Professor John Garcia.

    East Dundee Trustee Lael Miller was first in line Monday morning to file his paperwork for village president with Deputy Village Administrator Heather Maieritsch, who is also the acting village clerk. Waiting behind Miller is Kristi Selep who was dropping off paperwork for her husband, Dan, who is also running for trustee.

    Early interest waning in northern Fox Valley races

    Besides a trio of village president races and two for village trustee, there are no other contested races in the northern Fox Valley in the early going. Monday marked the first day of filing for the spring municipal elections.


    Stevenson High science team wins medals

    Stevenson High School's Science Olympiad team earned multiple medals at the Hinsdale South Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 8. The team from the Lincolnshire school captured first place in 10 events. Stevenson also had a top-three finisher in 18 of 23 events.

    Naperville officials expect Marquette Companies will take another stab at developing the Water Street property, just east of the city's municipal center.

    Naperville officials expect Water Street plan to resurface

    Naperville officials aren't likely to see any plans for a revised Water Street project in the immediate future, but some predict a new proposal will resurface before spring. City council members earlier this month rejected the most recent concept for the multiuse development that would include a hotel, rooftop restaurant, office and retail space and parking garage just east of city hall and near...

    A Washington GOP official says South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has chosen Rep. Tim Scott to replace Jim DeMint in the Senate.

    Rep. Tim Scott picked to replace DeMint in Senate

    South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley picked U.S. Rep. Tim Scott to be the state's next U.S. senator Monday, making him the only black Republican in Congress and the South's first black Republican senator since Reconstruction.

    A charter bus that was in an single-vehicle accident lies on its side in San Raimundo, near Bogota, Colombia, Monday. The accident resulted in the death of at least 26 passengers and another 15 wounded.

    Colombia bus crash kills 26

    A bus carrying visitors from a coffee fair has overturned in central Colombia, killing at least 26 people.


    Lack of snow setting records but storm in forecast

    Illinois is setting records for its lack of snow — but that could change soon. Weather experts say there is a new record as of Sunday for the latest measurable snowfall in Chicago. The previous record was in 1965, when snow didn't fall until Dec. 16 at O'Hare International Airport.

    Palestinian security officers march in support of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and to celebrate their successful bid to win U.N. statehood recognition in the West bank city of Bethlehem on Monday.

    Israel pushes on with east Jerusalem building plan

    Israel on Monday said it was pushing forward with plans to build hundreds of homes in a Jewish settlement of east Jerusalem, risking renewed tensions with the Palestinians and its Western allies over the contentious project.

    Demonstrators protest against the visit of Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki on Monday in Sidi Bouzid, south Tunisia, the birthplace of the country’s recent revolution. Marzouki arrived to mark the revolution’s second anniversary.

    Unrest marks Tunisia revolution anniversary event

    Protesters threw stones and tomatoes at Tunisian leaders on Monday at a ceremony to mark two years since the start of an uprising that changed regimes around the Arab world.


    Bangladesh probe: Fire sabotage, owner negligent

    A Bangladesh government committee investigating the garment factory fire that killed 112 people last month said in its findings Monday that the blaze was sabotage, probably by someone who worked there. But the panel said that no matter who set the fire, the owner of the factory also should be punished for the deaths because he neglected worker safety.


    Ohio adoptive father gets 60 years to life for rape

    A western Ohio judge has sentenced an adoptive father accused of raping three boys in his care to 60 years to life in prison.


    China says stabber affected by ‘doomsday rumors’

    Officials say a man who went into a school in central China and stabbed 23 children last week was "psychologically affected" by doomsday predictions.


    Mississippi state court building evacuated

    The Mississippi Supreme Court and Court of Appeals have been evacuated after a bomb threat. Courts spokeswoman Beverly Pettigrew Kraft says the clerk's office received a call with a threat about 9:12 a.m. Monday, and the Gartin Justice Building was evacuated.


    Illinois parents worry about kids after Conn. shooting

    Parents are sending their children off to school with a little more anxiety than normal. Friday's mass killing at a Connecticut elementary school had Chicagoan Melissa Tucker worrying about safety as she dropped off her 9-year-old child at Jahn Elementary Monday morning.


    Man held in alleged threats to L.A. schools

    Police have arrested a man for allegedly posting Facebook threats against Los Angeles elementary schools. Officer Venus Hall says weapons were confiscated when the man was arrested at his home Sunday afternoon by officers in the Northeast Division, an area covering east Hollywood to Glassell Park and Silverlake. He remains in the downtown jail.


    Gunman’s mother kept trials of home life hidden

    At the bar, everybody knew her name. Nancy Lanza was the one who, if she heard you were short on cash, regularly offered to pick up the tab at My Place. Two or three nights a week, Lanza — the mother of the gunman in Connecticut's horrific school massacre — came in for carryout salads and good humor. But while Lanza spoke proudly about her sons, friends say she held one card very...


    Suburban synagogue celebrates building renovation

    The Chabad and F.R.E.E. of Niles synagogue celebrated its long-awaited building renovation Sunday during the last day of Hanukkah. "Hanukkah is a holiday of miracles. To me this is a Hanukkah miracle,” said Rabbi Naftoly Hershkovich. For a quarter of a century, the address at 9401 Margail Ave., in an unincorporated area of Cook County near Des Plaines, has served two communities: the...


    Conant grad named AP scholar

    A recent Conant High School graduate is one of only two students in the state to win an award for outstanding achievements on Advanced Placement (AP) tests.

    The Chicago lakefront is a magnet for vagrant species, like this black-legged kittiwake, seen on Nov. 3.

    Rare sightings made 2012 a wild and wonderful year for birders

    Our Jeff Reiter says local birding stories have been piling up like twigs inside a wren house. November is always prime time for spotting rarities, but this year was ridiculous. Birds that seldom visit the Chicago area were popping up all over. Some are likely still in the area, offering potential for more thrills this winter.

    A boy walks in rubble at the scene of a car-bomb attack in al-Mouafaqiyah, a village inhabited by families from the Shabak ethnic group, near the city of Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday.

    Wave of bombings kills 25 across Iraq

    A wave of bombings across Iraq on Monday hit a number of targets, including residents of ethnically disputed areas, killing 25 people and wounding dozens. The attacks deepen fears that militants are seeking to reignite ethnic and sectarian violence in the country, where tensions remain high over areas contested between Iraq's central government and the Kurdish minority. Also, deadly violence...

    A mosaic of Hafez Al Assad is seen after being shot at by FSA soldiers after heavy clashes with government forces at a military academy besieged by the rebels in Tal Sheer, Syria, Sunday.

    Syrian vice president says army can’t win

    Syria's longtime vice president said the army cannot defeat the rebels fighting to topple the regime, the first admission by a top government official that a victory by President Bashar Assad is unlikely. In an interview with Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar published on Monday, Farouk al-Sharaa offered the unusually bleak public assessment of the civil war.


    10 families displaced by Ind. tornado get homes

    Saturday was an emotional, yet joyful day for Danielle Guthrie, when Habitat for Humanity handed her the keys to her new house in Henryville. Since the March 2 tornadoes, Guthrie and her young daughter stayed with her grandparents, and moving into her home before Christmas is a great gift.

    An Afghan policeman walks in rubble caused by a car bomb explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday. A car bomb exploded outside of a compound housing a U.S. military contractor in the Afghan capital Monday, blowing apart an exterior wall and wounding dozens inside, company representatives and police said.

    Car bomb at U.S. compound in Kabul kills 2 Afghans

    A car bomb outside a compound housing a U.S. military contractor in the Afghan capital killed at least two Afghan workers and wounded more than a dozen other people, company representatives and police said. In another part of the country, a landmine left over from the time of the Soviet invasion killed nine young girls, police said.


    Group looks to finish restoring N.W. Ind. theater

    Supporters are gearing up for their next phase in preserving the 1940s movie theater in a small northwestern Indiana town. A corps of volunteers helps run the 184-seat Fowler Theatre and staff its concession stand as movies are shown on weekend nights.


    Rock blasting set on drought-plagued Miss. River

    Barge traffic along a key stretch of the Mississippi River is about to be restricted as crews prepare to begin blasting large rock formations that have threatened shipping on the drought-plagued waterway.


    Ill. rings up $1M from video gambling in Nov.

    Illinois and local cities and towns are starting to cash in on new video gambling terminals. The Southern Illinoisan reports that the state took in nearly $1 million in additional income in November from more than 1,400 video terminals.


    Chicago police trying to ID bones found in river

    Chicago authorities say they'll have to use DNA testing to identify remains found inside a car pulled from the Chicago River. Police say the car pulled from the river over the weekend belonged to a Lincolnwood man who disappeared in 2001.

    North Koreans pay respect in front of a mosaic of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on the eve of his first death anniversary in Pyongyang, North Korea, Sunday.

    N. Korea displays Kim Jong Il a year after death

    North Korea unveiled the embalmed body of Kim Jong Il, still in his trademark khaki jumpsuit, on the anniversary of his death Monday as mourning mixed with pride over a recent satellite launch that was a long-held goal of the late authoritarian leader.

    Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi has revealed he is engaged to a woman almost 50 years his junior, and says that “finally I feel less alone.”

    Court fines woman in Berlusconi ‘bunga bunga’ case

    A Milan court fined a Moroccan woman at the center of Silvio Berlusconi's sex-for-hire scandal (euro) 500 ($650) on Monday for failing to appear as a witness twice at the former premier's trial. It ordered her to testify in January. Karima el-Mahroug, also known as Ruby, is the last witness to be called in the sensational trial that accuses Berlusconi of having paid for sex with el-Mahroug when...

    Narcy Novack, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is to be sentenced Monday at federal court in White Plains, N.Y., for her part in the murder of her millionaire husband and his mother in 2009. She faces decades, if not life, in prison.

    Sentencing Monday for Fla. woman in family killings

    A woman from Florida, convicted of orchestrating the fatal beatings of her millionaire husband and his mother, is hoping she'll get out of prison some day — some day in the distant future. Narcy Novack of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and her brother, Cristobal Veliz of Brooklyn, N.Y., were to be sentenced Monday morning in federal court in White Plains, N.Y.

    This graphic provide by NASA shows the projected paths into the moon by spacecraft Ebb and Flow. The twin craft on Monday is expected to slam into a lunar mountain near the north pole after nearly a year in orbit.

    Twin NASA spacecraft to plunge into lunar mountain

    Ebb and Flow chased each other around the moon for nearly a year, peering into the interior. With dwindling fuel supplies, the twin NASA spacecraft are ready for a dramatic finish. On Monday, they will plunge — seconds apart — into a mountain near the moon's north pole.


    Gunman shoots 1 in Texas movie theater parking lot

    Sheriff's officials say a man opened fire in a San Antonio movie theater parking lot, wounding one person before an officer shot him inside the theater. Bexar County sheriff's spokesman Louis Antu says the incident started about 9:30 p.m. Sunday when the man fired shots inside a nearby restaurant.

    Orange County Sheriff deputies patrol at Fashion Island mall in Newport Beach Saturday after witnesses reported multiple shots being fired in one of the parking lots.

    Man fires some 50 shots at Calif. mall parking lot

    A man who fired about 50 shots in the parking lot of a crowded Southern California shopping mall, sending shoppers sprinting for safety, was cooperative when officers took him into custody, authorities said Sunday.

    Topeka police investigate at the scene of a shooting outside a grocery store in Topeka, Kan., Sunday. Two Kansas police officers were shot outside the store on Sunday while responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle and died later at a hospital, authorities said.

    2 Kansas officers fatally shot outside market

    Two police officers were fatally shot outside a grocery store in Topeka while responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle, and the suspected gunman is still on the run, authorities said. Topeka Police Chief Ronald Miller called the Sunday evening shootings of Cpl. David Gogian and Officer Jeff Atherly "unspeakable." He said Gogian, 50, and Atherly, 29, were both shot in the head by a gunman...

    A train tank car dangles from a crane as it is pulled up from the crash site on a small bridge on the Mantua Creek last Tuesday in Paulsboro, N.J.

    Last car removed from derailed N.J. train

    Workers have removed the final tanker car that was part of a freight train that derailed more than two weeks ago in southern New Jersey. Recovery efforts are now focused on repairing a swivel-style bridge over Mantua Creek in Paulsboro where the accident occurred.


    Texas student tracking chip suit back in court

    The family of a 15-year-old student fighting the use of tracking badges in her San Antonio high school is asking a federal court to keep her on campus.

    Anthony J. Rich

    Sugar Grove businessman who helped revolutionize Wall Street dies

    Anthony “AJ” Rich harbored a love for electronics from the time he he discovered the radio when he was 10 years old and until the day he died, just shy of his 96th birthday. Rich, of Sugar Grove, died Dec. 12 after a lifetime of rapid technological advancements. His company helped revolutionize Wall Street by developing a system to give traders more information at their terminals.


    This Sept. 27, 2012 file photo shows New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey reacting to fans as he celebrates his 20th victory of the season after the Mets 6-5 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a baseball game at Citi Field in New York. A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press that Dickey and the Blue Jays have agreed on a new contract, clearing the way for the New York Mets to trade the Cy Young winner to Toronto. The 38-year-old knuckleballer must pass a physical before he joins the Blue Jays. The Mets would get prized catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud as the centerpiece of the multiplayer swap.

    Blue Jays getting better by the day

    After making a flurry of moves earlier in the off-season, the Blue Jays were already positioned to win the AL East next season. But after trading for NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey on Monday, Daily Herald baseball writer Scot Gregor wouldn't be surprised if Toronto wins the World Series.

    Former Kaneland High School and NIU football player P.J. Fleck is the new head football coach at Western Michigan University. Fleck was the receivers coach for the Tampa Bay Bucs.

    Western Michigan makes Fleck youngest head coach

    Western Michigan has hired 32-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant P.J. Fleck, making him the youngest coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The school confirmed the hire Monday and said it was would introduce Fleck, who excelled as a player at Kaneland High School and later Northern Illinois, at a news conference Tuesday in Kalamazoo, Mich.

    Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith watches the action against the Green Bay Packers in the second half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. The Packers won 21-13 to clinch the NFC North division title.

    Bears fans not as dumb as Urlacher thinks

    The quiet chorus has become a jet engine roaring for change in Lake Forest, and even those eternally late to the party now realize the Bears need a new head coach Yet Brian Urlacher pleads for another year of Lovie Smith, probably because Urlacher needs Smith to keep him around. "Lovie is the head coach of this football team and hopefully will be for a long time,” Urlacher said.


    Western Michigan makes Fleck youngest head coach

    Western Michigan has hired 32-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant P.J. Fleck, making him the youngest coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision, and fans of the former star at Kaneland High School and Northern Illinois University can follow the news conference via a live video feed at wmubroncos.com, which will also provide reports via Twitter as well as a live chat.


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


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


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


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

    The Bulls’ Jimmy Butler gets to an offensive rebound in front of the Grizzlies’ Wayne Ellington (3) and Marreese Speights (5).

    Grizzlies hold down Bulls in a big way

    The Bulls lost a defensive slugfest at Memphis 80-71 on Monday. But this was one of those nights when a 9-point lead feels like 19. After a good start, the Bulls had nowhere to turn against the Grizzlies aggressive defense.


    NU makes a statement in win over Texas State

    Northwestern countered an apparent emphatic closing statement by Texas State with an overwhelming response of it's own on Monday night.Dave Sobolewski scored 18 points, including a 3-pointer with 1:45 left to give the Wildcats the lead for good, and Northwestern closed the game on a 12-0 run to defeat the visiting Bobcats 74-68.


    Naperville Central gets the message

    Andy Nussbaum's team need some verbal encouragement, but the Redhawks did deliver a 41-28 victory over Glenbard North in DuPage Valley Conference play.

    Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) is sacked by Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, left, in the second half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. At right is Packers linebacker Dezman Moses. The Packers won 21-13 to clinch the NFC North division title.

    Lovie Smith: Bears’ failures combination of things

    Coach Lovie Smith declined to assign individual blame for some huge negative offensive plays that were turning points in Sunday's 21-13 loss to the Packers.

    Vernon Hills’ Sydney Smith drives in for a layup during Saturday’s game against Antioch.

    Vernon Hills takes it to Lakes

    Vernon Hills' girls basketball team remained undefeated after earning a 56-41 victory over host Lakes on Monday in North Suburban Prairie action.


    Warren hangs on for a win

    Being "heart healthy" was the theme at Libertyville on Monday night as the girls basketball team hosted a "Red Out" in conjunction with its game against Warren. Proceeds of special red T-shirts and donations from fans were to go to the American Heart Association. Meanwhile, players from both teams wore red in honor of the event. There were red socks and red arm sleeves and red head bands. Coaches and managers wore red shirts and sweaters. Cheerleaders pinned paper hearts to their outfits. The only problem was, the game itself did no favors for the heart health of either head coach. A couple of stress tests may be in order after Warren somehow managed to pull out an ugly, and at times painstaking, 29-24 North Suburban Conference Lake Division victory almost in spite of itself. The Blue Devils rolled up more turnovers (24) than made baskets (10) and almost more turnovers than even shot attempts (26).


    Suns come from behind to beat Kings 101-90

    Shannon Brown scored 14 of his 22 points in the third quarter, Jared Dudley added 20 points and the Phoenix Suns pulled off another big rally to beat the Sacramento Kings 101-90 Monday night.

    Dawon Burrell of Lisle looks to pass around Haydn McNelis of Aurora Christian High School Monday night during boys basketball.

    Aurora Christian puts Lisle under pressure

    Aurora Christian got physical with Lisle, and it helped the Eagles put an end to a three-game losing skid. Aurora Christian forced Lisle into 19 turnovers during the Eagles' 62-54 nonconference victory on Monday night in Lisle.

    Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker (10) is tackled by New York Jets free safety LaRon Landry (30) in the third quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn.

    Locker’s TD run gives Titans 14-10 lead over Jets

    Jake Locker's 13-yard quarterback keeper around left end with 20 seconds left in the third quarter gave the Tennessee Titans a 14-10 lead over the New York Jets on Monday night. Chris Johnson set a franchise record with a 94-yard touchdown run in the first half for the Titans.


    Lake Park misses magic number

    The 140 club is an exclusive one when it comes to girls high school gymnastics. It's a number that perennial powers reach with regularity. It's one that other solid programs might only reach once or twice over several years. For many other teams, it's a number that's always been well out of reach.

    Prospect’s Adriane Falagario battles Wheaton North’s Mandy Traversa (25), during the York Community High School Girls Basketball Tournament. ¬ ¬

    Traversa not just a shooter anymore

    Mandy Traversa could shoot the ball from the first day she showed up at Wheaton North. Few 6-footers in the girls high school game have her touch. She's never scored quite like this, though. With an expanded offensive game, the Falcons senior is putting up huge numbers for one of the area's highest-scoring offenses.


    No. 12 Missouri beats SC State 102-51

    Missouri beat South Carolina State 102-51 on Monday night. Despite not playing for nine days, the Tigers scored 49 points in the first half, representing the team's best this season. Missouri had been shooting 39.6 percent in the opening half for the season before its 18-for-33 performance Monday.


    Nishibun commits to Guilford College

    Harper College standout Bree Nishibun has verbally committed to the women's soccer program at Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C.


    No. 21 UNLV beats UTEP 62-60

    Bryce DeJean-Jones scored 12 points and Anthony Marshall added 11 for No. 21 UNLV in a 62-60 victory over UTEP on Monday night.


    Thunder stay atop West, thump Spurs 107-93

    Serge Ibaka tied his career-best with 25 points and grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs 107-93 Monday night for their 11th straight win. The Thunder took control with a string of 11 straight points during the third quarter, punctuated by Nick Collison's putback that made it 71-56 with 4:27 remaining in the period.

    Chicago Bulls’ Jimmy Butler (21) gets an offensive rebound next to Memphis Grizzlies’ Wayne Ellington (3) and Marreese Speights (5) during first half of an NBA basketball game Monday night in Memphis, Tenn. The Bulls would go on to lose 80-71.

    Grizzlies overcome slow start to beat Bulls

    Mike Conley had 17 points, Zach Randolph added 10 points and 15 rebounds and the Memphis Grizzlies overcame a poor start to beat the Chicago Bulls 80-71 on Monday night.

    TJ Bindseil of St. Charles East swims the 200 IM during the Neuqua Valley boys swimming invitational Saturday.

    Tri-Cities boys swimming outlook

    Here's a team-by-team look at boys swimming the Tri-Cities area this winter.


    Bulls tipoff
    Boston Celtics at the United Center, 7 p.m.TV: Comcast SportsNetRadio: ESPN AM-1000Update: The Celtics (12-11) have dropped four straight on the road and just gave up more than 100 points twice in losses at Houston and San Antonio. Paul Pierce leads Boston with 19.7 ppg, followed by Kevin Garnett at 15.7 ppg. PG Rajon Rondo leads the league with 12.7 assists. The Bulls didn’t have Kirk Hinrich when they lost to the Celtics 101-95 at the UC on Nov. 12 as Rondo had 20 points and 10 assists.Next: New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, 6:30 p.m. Friday — Mike McGraw

    Alex Schabert

    Larkin’s Schabert to play in International Bowl

    Larkin senior Alex Schabert, a two-time Daily Herald all-area offensive lineman and three-time all-Upstate Eight Conference selection, has been selected to play in the FBU International Bowl in San Antonio, Tex., on Jan. 5. The FBU International Bowl is a new event that will feature 160 foootball athletes 19 and under as well as 25 coaches.

    Streamwood senior Jessica Cerda, left, covers Geneva’s Abby Novak last week in Geneva. Cerda goes into the Sabres’ game Wednesday night at Bartlett 17 points shy of 1,000 for her career.

    Bartlett-Streamwood game has meaning for both teams

    For the third straight year, the 2012-13 Upstate Eight Conference crossover girls basketball schedule did not have Elgin Area School District U-46 rivals Bartlett and Streamwood scheduled to play each other. But Hawks' coach Denise Sarna and Streamwood coach George Rosner, longtime friends and coaching rivals, were able to make room in their nonconference schedules for each other, and Wednesday night the Sabres will take the short trip down Illinois 59 to play the Hawks in Bartlett's gym. As nonconference games go, this one has some meaning for both teams.


    St. Benedict downs Elgin Academy

    St. Benedict 51, Elgin Academy 28: Susanna Cain had 12 points and Alysson Wittmeyer scored 8 for Elgin Academy (6-7) in a nonconference loss Monday.


    Crawford leads Clippers to 10th straight win

    Jamal Crawford scored 15 points and Chris Paul added 14 to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to their 10th straight win, 88-76 over the Detroit Pistons on Monday night. Blake Griffin had 15 points for Los Angeles, which had five players in double figures. Griffin had two breakaway dunks in the last 30 seconds, one on a pass banked off the backboard by Crawford.


    Lin leads Rockets’ rout in return to New York

    Jeremy Lin had 22 points and eight assists in his return to New York, leading the Houston Rockets to a 109-96 victory Monday night that ended the Knicks' 10-game home winning streak to open the season.


    A singularly satisfying win for Nix, Elk Grove

    Think that one lonely pin doesn't mean much in a three game bowling match? Think again, say the Elk Grove Grenadiers. Monday night at Arlington Lanes, the Grens edged Wheeling 2,605 pins to 2,604 to move into first place in the Mid-Suburban League. It all came down to the anchor bowler in the final frame, and Elk Grove senior anchor Abby Nix delivered in the clutch.

    Kellie Kuzmanic, left, makes a strong move under the basket as Maggie Hogen defends. The former Wheeling and Hersey standouts are now teammates and roommates at Cornell College.

    Hogen, Kuzmanic team p at Cornell College

    While they were in high school, Hersey's Maggie Hogen and Wheeling's Kellie Kuzmanic were rivals for four straight years on their respective girls varsity basketball teams. This season, their first in college, they are not only teammates but roommates as well. They are helping lead Cornell College (Iowa) to be receive votes in the D-III national women's basketball poll with an 9-0 record and 4-0 in the Midwest Conference.


    Davis scores 28, leads Magic to win

    Glen Davis scored 28 points and J.J. Redick had 18 points and seven assists as the Orlando Magic beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 102-93 on Monday night.


    Boeheim wins 900th; No. 3 Syracuse 72, Detroit 68

    Jim Boeheim became the third Division I men's coach to reach 900 wins as No. 3 Syracuse beat Detroit 72-68 on Monday night in the Gotham Classic. Boeheim, 68 and in his 37th year at his alma mater, is 900-304 and joined an elite fraternity. Mike Krzyzewski (936) and Bob Knight (902) are the only other men's Division I coaches to win that many games.


    No. 22 Notre Dame beats IPFW 74-62

    Pat Connaughton scored 18 points to lead No. 22 Notre Dame to a 74-62 victory over IPFW on Monday night. Connaughton more than doubled his 7.9 points-per-game average and had six rebounds and five assists.

    Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith watches the action during Sunday’s game at Soldier Field in Chicago.

    Playoffs possible if Bears can find answers

    There are more questions than answers for coach Lovie Smith and his slumping Bears as they head into the homestretch needing to win their final two games and get help from other teams to make the playoffs.

    In this Sept. 27, 2012, file photo, New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey delivers against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning of a baseball game at Citi Field in New York. Dickey and Mets general manager Sandy Alderson can agree on one thing _ they would prefer to have closure before opening day. The Cy Young Award winner can become a free agent after the 2013 season and says he won’t negotiate once it starts, so the Mets probably have to sign him to an extension or trade him to get the best return.

    It’s official: Dickey headed to Toronto

    R.A. Dickey and the Blue Jays agreed to a new contract Monday, clearing the way for the New York Mets to trade the NL Cy Young winner to a Toronto team that's spending a lot of money trying to join baseball's elite. A person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press the trade could be completed once the 38-year-old knuckleballer passes a physical.

    In this Oct. 27, 2012 file photo, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o (5) celebrates with teammate Stephon Tuitt (7) after an interception against Oklahoma in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla. Te’o and the Irish will play Alabama for the national championship, the highlight of this year’s 35 bowl games.

    No. 1 Notre Dame has underdog in its DNA

    The rankings say Notre Dame is No. 1 going into the BCS championship against Alabama. Plenty of folks aren't buying it, starting with the oddsmakers who currently have the Crimson Tide as about a touchdown favorite for the Jan. 7 meeting in Miami between two of college football's proudest programs. For the Fighting Irish, being an underdog is no big deal.

    Warren’s Sarahbeth Jones has wrapped up a standout cross country career at Augustana with a second straight most valuable runner honor.

    Jones again proves most valuable to Augustana

    Sarahbeth Jones didn't miss a beat from her junior season. The Augustana senior distance standout and Warren High school graduate has been named as the Vikings' "Most Valuable Runner" for the second straight year. She has been the No. 1 performer for veteran head coach Fred Whiteside's team in each of the past two seasons.

    In this Dec. 15, 2012, file photo, Marquette plays against Savannah State during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Milwaukee. As a chunk of the Big East, Marquette included, transforms itself into a mostly or even all-Catholic basketball league, the conference faces a choice: play up or play down its faith-based roots?

    Catholic conference offers challenge, opportunity

    As a chunk of the Big East transforms itself into a mostly or even all-Catholic basketball league, the conference faces a choice: play up or play down its faith-based roots? The conference's identity will likely lie with its core of Catholic-rooted schools. To be sure, going overboard with that identity could harm recruiting of non-Catholic students — both athletes and non-athletes — and limit expansion.

    Former Bartlett High School basketball star Jacki Gulczynski, shown here grabbing a rebound against Concordia, was named Big Ten Player of the Week after averageing 20 points and 12 rebounds in a pair of games last week.

    Big Ten honors for Bartlett’s Gulczynski

    After posting a pair of double-double performances, sophomore Jacki Gulczynski, a 6-1 forward from Bartlett High School, earned her first Big Ten Player of the Week honor, sharing the award with Aulani Sinclair of Indiana, conference officials announced Monday.

    Indiana forward Cody Zeller, right, shoots over Butler center Andrew Smith in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Indianapolis on Saturday. Butler defeated Indiana 88-86 in overtime. Indiana’s loss means Duke takes the top spot in the AP poll.

    Duke moves to No. 1 in AP poll after Indiana loss

    Duke is back in a familiar place — No. 1. The Blue Devils advanced one spot to replace Indiana at the top of The Associated Press' Top 25 on Monday, drawing closer to UCLA's record for most No. 1 rankings. Duke has reached No. 1 at least once in a record 16 seasons under coach Mike Krzyzewski, and has played more games as the No. 1 ranked team in 33 years under Coach K (209) than as an unranked team (141).


    Girls basketball/Top 20
    Undefeated Montini and Rolling Meadows held on to the top two spots in this week's Daily Herald girls basketball Top 20, with Wheaton Warrenville South taking over the No. 3 position.

    Ian Stewart his 5 home runs in 55 games last season for the Cubs before having surgery on his left wrist. Stewart and Cubs officials agreed to a one-year deal on Monday.

    Cubs agree to 1-year deal with Stewart

    While he spent much of the season on the injured list, the Cubs have agreed to a one-year contract with infielder Ian Stewart, team officials announced Monday.

    Northern Illinois football fans will get a chance to return to Soldier Field in 2016 when the Huskies host the Nebraska Cornhuskers in a game. NIU opened the 2012 season with an 18-17 loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes at Soldier Field, but the Huskies finished 12-1 and will play Florida State in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1.

    NIU-Nebraska to play at Soldier Field in 2016

    After hosting Wisconsin and Iowa at Soldier Field in recent years, Northern Illinois will return to the lakefront in 2016 to play the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the first of three football games between the teams, school officials announced Monday. The Huskies and Cornhuskers will play at Soldier Field on Sept. 24, 2016, and NIU will travel to Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb. for games on Sept. 2, 2017 and Sept. 14, 2019.


    Forward Schneider rejoins Chicago Wolves

    Forward Stefan Schneider has been reassigned from the ECHL's Kalamazoo Wings to the Chicago Wolves, in time to rejoin his former team for a School-Day game at 11 a.m. Wednesday. Schneider played 46 games for the Wolves last season.

    Here is the new logo for the eight-team National Women's Soccer League, which will begin play in spring 2013. The Chicago Red Stars will play in the NWSL.

    New look for women’s soccer league

    It will be called the National Women's Soccer League, and the U.S. Soccer Federation will help finance and direct the eight-team league, which will include the Chicago Red Stars franchise.The USSF unveil its new logo and the name of the league Saturday night as the women's national team wrapped up its season with a closing victory over China.The NWSL will start play next spring and replaces the Women's Professional Soccer league, which folded in May after three seasons. Its predecessor, Women's United Soccer Association, lasted only three seasons, from 2001-03.


    Mike North video: Newtown tragedy

    Mike North reflects on the Newtown school tragedy and knows no matter how tough the nuns were as disciplinarians when he was younger, they would have protected the students just like these teachers did. He wonders how they will all recover.

    Alshon Jeffery reacts after being called for pass interference during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game at Soldier Field.

    Rough day for Bears rookie Alshon Jeffery

    Bears rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, a big target at 6-feet-3 and 216 pounds, says he likes to play physical football. Sunday’s officials didn’t take a liking to his physicality, however.

    The Packers’ Casey Hayward intercepts a first half Jay Cutler pass, during Sunday’s game at Soldier Field in Chicago.

    McCarthy takes blame for botched lateral on punt

    Coach Mike McCarthy might have wanted to toss the fake punt play from his team’s playbook after the Packers’ 21-13, division-clinching win over the Bears at Soldier Field.

    San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) meet at midfield after their game in Foxborough, Mass., Monday. The 49ers won 41-34.

    49ers clinch playoff berth, 41-34 over Patriots

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The San Francisco 49ers earned a playoff berth by withstanding a stunning comeback by New England from a 28-point deficit to beat the Patriots 41-34 on Sunday night in the rain.Michael Crabtree took a short pass from Colin Kaepernick and sped around cornerback Kyle Arrington for a 38-yard touchdown with 6:25 to go, then David Akers made a 28-yard field goal to clinch it.San Francisco (10-3-1) owns at least a wild-card spot and plays at Seattle next week with a chance to win the NFC West. A loss would bring the division race down to the final weekend.Kaepernick threw for four touchdowns, two to Crabtree, who had 107 yards receiving. The defense rattled Tom Brady at times, but also yielded 443 yards passing.AFC East champion New England (10-4), which had won seven in a row, trailed 31-3 at one point and lost for the first time at home in December in 21 games. The Patriots also had won 21 in a row in the second half of the schedule before San Francisco somehow regrouped late in a game it seemingly had clinched long before.The 49ers appeared headed for an easy win in a sloppy game. They forced four turnovers, matching the number of giveaways New England had at home all season. But then the Niners began sleepwalking, and back came Brady and the Patriots on a 6-yard TD run by Danny Woodhead and a 1-yard dive by Brady. A 5-yard pass to Aaron Hernandez and Woodhead’s 1-yard run with 12:13 remaining tied it.San Francisco mounted a quick response. Rookie LaMichael James broke free for a 62-yard kickoff return. On the next snap — the third time the Niners would have a one-play TD drive — Crabtree took a pass on the left side, spun and headed into the end zone.New England turned over the ball on downs and Akers made his kick. Stephen Gostkowski added a 41-yarder for the Patriots with 38 seconds remaining, but they couldn’t recover the onside kick.


    The Arlington Crossings townhouses in Arlington Heights are in an area originally intended to be industrial, but the village is weighing a plan that would open up the land to more retail and residential developments.

    Arlington Heights approves redevelopment of former industrial land

    The Arlington Heights village board Monday approved a vision for redevelopment in the Hickory Kensington area of town, which could include a mix of residential and commercial uses in coming years. The area, bounded by Northwest Highway, Dryden Avenue, Miner Street and Belmont Avenue, originally was developed as industrial space, but it has seen some retail and residential revival in recent years with a new Walgreens, Mariano's Fresh Market and Arlington Crossing townhouses.

    Lisle-based Navistar International said Monday it has started shipping the first commercial trucks with EPA-compliant diesel engines built by Cummins Inc.

    Navistar begins shipping trucks with Cummins engines

    Navistar International said Monday it has shipped its first trucks equipped with EPA-compliant diesel engines built by Cummins Inc. ahead of schedule.

    U.S. stocks advanced, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to the highest level since October, as investors weighed prospects for a budget deal in Washington.

    Stocks move higher as budget talks progress

    Stocks rose on Wall Street as investors were encouraged by signs of progress in budget talks in Washington. Just two weeks remain before tax increases and government spending cuts take effect if no deal is reached.

    Tropicana is using vegetables for the first time in recent history with a new drink called “Farmstand” set to hit shelves next month.

    Tropicana uses the carrot to squeeze juice sales

    Tropicana wants more people to drink its juice, so it's extending a carrot — and a bushel of other vegetables. As sugar-conscious Americans continue to shy away from fruit juices, Tropicana is using vegetables for the first time in recent history with a new drink called "Farmstand" set to hit shelves next month.

    Starting at the end of January, Diet Pepsi will begin TV airing ads with the tag line “Love Every Sip,”

    Diet Pepsi plans new TV ads after sweetener tweak

    Diet Pepsi is sending a valentine to soda lovers, now that the soft drink's staying power has been improved with a new sweetener. Starting at the end of January, PepsiCo Inc. will begin TV ads with the tag line "Love Every Sip," along with the rollout of special edition silver cans featuring the blue-and-red Pepsi logo in a heart shape.

    Facebook founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, center, rings the Nasdaq opening bell from Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., May 18. Facebook revenue from mobile display advertising is rising.

    Report: Facebook leads Google in U.S. mobile-display ads

    Facebook Inc. will lead the mobile display-advertising market in the U.S. this year as total spending on ads for wireless devices rises 180 percent to more than $4 billion, EMarketer Inc. estimates.

    U.S. airlines collected $924 million in baggage fees in the third quarter, almost 3 percent more than in the same period last year.

    Airlines boost 3Q baggage fee collections

    Airlines are raking in more baggage fees. And some of the biggest gains were at Chicago-based United Continental.


    Arena, USA Swimming sign 8-year sponsorship deal

    Arena and USA Swimming have agreed to an eight-year deal in which the swimwear company will serve as exclusive sponsor of the U.S. national team and create new uniforms.

    Sprint, the country’s third-largest cellphone company, said Monday that it will buy out the portion of wireless network operator Clearwire that it doesn’t already own after raising its offer price to $2.2 billion.

    Sprint raises offer, to buy Clearwire for $2.2B

    Sprint, the country's third-largest cellphone company, said Monday that it will buy out the portion of wireless network operator Clearwire that it doesn't already own after raising its offer price to $2.2 billion. The deal would give Sprint control of a flailing affiliate, one it depends upon to provide high-speed "Sprint 4G" data services on some of its phones. It would increase Sprint's access to the airwaves, meaning it could boost data speeds in coming years. However, cell towers using Clearwire spectrum have poor range, meaning Sprint may struggle to provide broad coverage.

    People living in ZIP codes where tax filers report adjusted gross incomes of $200,000 or more — including Peoria — voted to return to the White House a man who wants to raise them.

    Peoria among richest ZIP codes backing Obama

    They're U.S. ZIP codes to be coveted. Just 140 exist, places where at least a quarter of tax filers report adjusted gross incomes of $200,000 or more. Representing a sliver of the nation's more than 40,000 ZIP codes, they're situated in Manhattan, suburban Philadelphia, Beverly Hills and even Peoria, Illinois. IRS data shows the greatest concentrations of those most likely to see higher tax rates live in places that voted to return to the White House a man who wants to raise them.

    Hennes & Mauritz AB, Europe’s second-largest clothing retailer, reported November sales that beat analysts’ estimates after a designer collection went on sale midway through the month.

    H&M November sales beat estimates after Margiela line

    Hennes & Mauritz AB, Europe's second-largest clothing retailer, reported November sales that beat analysts' estimates after a designer collection went on sale midway through the month. H&M total sales rose 7 percent last month, beating the average estimate in an SME Direkt survey for 5.7 percent growth, according to a statement from H&M today. Revenue slipped 1 percent in stores and operations open for at least a year, also beating an SME consensus for a 3.3 percent decline.


    A look at tax breaks that expired this year

    While much of Washington is consumed by the debate over tax cuts scheduled to expire next year, a big package of tax breaks already expired this year. Among the biggest, along with the cost to retroactively extend each one for 2012 and 2013.

    This publicity file photo released by Warner Bros., shows the character Gollum, voiced by Andy Serkis, in a scene from the fantasy adventure “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”

    ‘Hobbit’ tally of $84.8 million propels studios’ record

    "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," part one of a 3-D trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's novel, generated $84.8 million in weekend sales at U.S. and Canadian cinemas, propelling studios toward an annual record. The film from director Peter Jackson, Warner Bros.' New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. set a new weekend mark for a December opening, topping "I Am Legend," starring Will Smith, which had $77.2 million in sales in 2007.

    Shinzo Abe, Japan’s incoming prime minister and president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), speaks during a news conference at the party’s headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. LDP reclaimed power in a landslide victory three years after surrendering half a century of control.

    After landslide, Abe says Japan has difficult road

    TOKYO — After leading his conservative party to a landslide victory that will bring it back to power after a three-year hiatus, Shinzo Abe stressed Monday that the road ahead will not be easy as he tries to revive Japan’s sputtering economy and bolster its national security amid deteriorating relations with China.The Liberal Democratic Party, which led Japan for most of the post-World War II era until it was dumped in 2009, won 294 seats in the 480-seat lower house of parliament in Sunday’s nationwide elections, the party said.With the elections over, a vote among the members of parliament to install the new prime minister is expected on Dec. 26. Abe, who was prime minister for a year in 2006-2007, is almost certain of winning that vote because the LDP now holds the majority in the lower house.Abe, who would be Japan’s seventh prime minister in 6 1/2 years, will likely push for increased public works spending and lobby for stronger moves by the central bank to break Japan out of its deflationary trap.Stock prices soared Monday to their highest level since April, reflecting hopes in the business world that the LDP will be more effective in its economic policies than the outgoing Democrats were.Abe told a packed news conference Monday that Japan is facing a series of crises — from the weak economy to security issues to reconstruction after the tsunami disaster.“Our mission is to overcome these crises,” he said. He said his party’s victory was less a vote of confidence from voters and more a repudiation of the “mistaken leadership” of the Democrats.“The public will be scrutinizing us.”He said he would like to meet with President Barack Obama in late January or early February to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance.Chinese bloggers, meanwhile, reacted with scorn to the LDP’s victory, with many concentrating their fire on Abe, a China hawk. Chinese micro-blog sites Monday were full of anti-Abe comments, with some calling for a boycott of Japanese goods. The countries are embroiled in a territorial dispute over a cluster of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea controlled by Japan but also claimed by China and Taiwan. During the two-week campaign leading up to the election, Abe took a rather tough line toward China, promising to defend Japan’s “territory and beautiful ocean.”On Monday, Abe called for improved ties with Beijing while stressing the islands are an integral part of Japan’s territory and that there was “no room for talks” over their sovereignty.“As with many cases, issues arise with countries that share borders, and what is important is how each nation keeps these issues under control. I feel we need wisdom so that the political issues or problems do not extend to economic problems,” he said. “Although we are not in a situation where I can immediately visit China or have bilateral talks, first and foremost, we will persistently continue with our dialogue with China and hope to improve relations between the two countries,” he said.Outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced his resignation as party chief late Sunday, calling the election results “severe” and acknowledging his party failed to live up to the nation’s high expectations. His Democratic Party of Japan said it won only 57 seats. Among its casualties were eight Cabinet ministers — the most to lose in an election since World War II.Although the election was the first since the March 11, 2011, earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters, atomic energy — which the LDP conditionally supports — ended up being a side issue, though polls showed that about 80 percent of Japanese want to phase it out completely. The LDP will stick with its longtime partner New Komeito, backed by a large Buddhist organization, to form a coalition government, party officials said. Together, they now control 325 seats, securing a two-thirds majority that would make it easier for the government to pass legislation.

    President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met for a third time at the White House to discuss averting spending cuts and tax increases before a year- end deadline.

    Obama meets with Boehner as pressure builds for deal

    President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met for a third time at the White House to discuss averting spending cuts and tax increases before a year- end deadline. Boehner and Obama met for almost an hour late Sunday, with no public announcement of progress. In January, more than $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases, the so-called fiscal cliff, are scheduled to begin.

    Chinese women look at the display at a shopping mall in Beijing Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. Chinaís new Communist Party leaders are promising reforms aimed at reducing reliance on exports to drive growth and more spending if needed to prop up a shaky economic recovery.

    China to maintain prudent monetary policy in 2013

    China's new Communist Party leaders promised Sunday to be ready to spend more if needed to shore up a shaky economic recovery but gave no sign of plans for major changes. A statement quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency after an annual planning conference pledged more market-opening reforms in 2013.


    Marathon shuts Louisiana refinery unit after leak

    Marathon Petroleum Corp. shut a unit at its 460,000-barrel-a-day Garyville refinery in Louisiana after a leak discharged gas oil that may contain hydrogen sulphide gas, according to a government filing.A leak developed in one of the refinery’s operating units and was discovered at 5:55 p.m. local time Dec. 15, the filing with the U.S. National Response Center showed. The amount of gas released with the fuel was unknown, according to the filing.U.S. refineries must notify the National Response Center if they release hazardous substances in excess of reportable quantities, according to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, known as Superfund.


    Holiday season a good time to connect with advisers

    There is little most small businesses must do about health coverage this year other than plan; the big changes in the Affordable Care Act show up in 2014.But it's not too soon to meet with your health insurance rep, Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall says.


    Orinoco Fitness works out in Libertyville
    The owner of Orinoco Fitness in Libertyville opened and is the type of gym that the owner always wanted to work out in. An array of classes are now going on.

    Josh Karp

    Suburban entrepreneurs build new tribes

    Kukec's People feature the founder and partner of Kumbuya.com, a new web site that offers social media fans a chance to decide if they want advertising on their group sites.


    Hollywood hacker honed his skills for years

    A Florida man is scheduled to be sentenced Monday for hacking into email accounts belonging to Christina Aguilera, Mila Kunis and Scarlett Johansson.

    Apple Inc. shares dropped below $500, the first time since February, after the company was downgraded by Citigroup Inc. on concern that demand for the iPhone 5 model is slowing.

    Apples shares decline below $500 for first time since February

    Apple Inc. shares dropped below $500, the first time since February, after the company was downgraded by Citigroup Inc. on concern that demand for the iPhone 5 model is slowing.

    Toyota Motor Corp. is poised to take back the title of world’s biggest automaker for 2012, as Volkswagen AG fights General Motors Co. for second place heading into the final weeks.

    Toyota set to seize auto sales crown

    Toyota Motor Corp. is poised to take back the title of world's biggest automaker for 2012, as Volkswagen AG fights General Motors Co. for second place heading into the final weeks. The battle among the world's biggest carmakers comes as the industry is headed for a record year. Global 2012 sales will top 80 million cars and trucks for the first time.

    A woman walks by a world stock index display of a securities firm in Tokyo Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index jumped 1.6 percent to 9,891.15, its highest level since April, after the country’s Liberal Democratic Party swept back into power at weekend elections.

    Japan’s Nikkei 225 advances to highest since April

    Japanese shares gained, with the Nikkei 225 Stock Average heading to its highest close in eight months, after the Liberal Democratic Party reclaimed power in a landslide yesterday, lifting optimism for an economic recovery. Fast Retailing Co., Asia's biggest clothing retailer, gained 3.5 percent. Honda Motor Co., an automaker that counts North America as its biggest market, gained 1.3 percent after the yen weakened against the dollar.


    Japan’s Nikkei outperforms as opposition wins big

    Japanese shares outperformed all others Monday amid hopes that the new government will soon enact fresh stimulus measures. The country's Nikkei 225 index jumped 0.9 percent to close at 9,828.88, its highest level since April, after the country's Liberal Democratic Party swept back into power at weekend elections with a landslide victory.

Life & Entertainment

    Chicago’s film critics gave Jessica Chastain Best Actress of 2012 for her role as a CIA agent in Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty,” also named best film of the year.

    ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ tops with Chicago film critics

    The Chicago Film Critics Monday named "Zero Dark Thirty," Kathryn Bigelow's drama about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, top movie of 2012. The drama earned five awards, including director, editing, screenplay for Mark Boal, and actress for Jessica Chastain. "The Master" won four awards: supporting actor for Philip Seymour Hoffman, supporting actress for Amy Adams, cinematography and score.

    Sicilian-born chef Enrico Abbruscato learned the culinary craft from his father and shares Italian specialties with diners at La Tosca Ristorante in Villa Park.

    Chef du jour: Sicilian chef puts family recipes on the menu

    Chef Enrico Abbrustaco built a reputation working at restaurants in Italy, Switzerland and Germany. His success brought him to Chicago Italian restaurants such as The Hyatt Regency Hotel, Topo Gigio and Aqua Viva. Now cooking at La Tosca Ristorante and Pizzeria in Villa Park, his mission is not only to provide authentic high quality dishes but also to make diners feel they're at home, even if that means cooking off the menu.


    Branzino alla Licarda — Chilean Sea Bass in Lemon-Olive Oil Sauce
    Branzino alla Licarda: Chef Enrico Abbrustaco

    People often go to work sick out of a sense of loyalty.

    It doesn't pay to stay at work when you're sick

    It's enough to make you sick — co-workers who cough, sneeze and hack their way through the day while you try to fend off the swarm of germs. With the arrival of the cold and flu season, the concern over people coming to work when they're contagious has become so prevalent that workplace experts have assigned the circumstance its own jargon: "presenteeism." As opposed to "absenteeism," it refers to people who are present when they probably shouldn't be.

    You've found the perfect house, but don't slack off when it comes to hiring the right inspector.

    How to recognize a bad home inspector

    After the difficult task of house hunting, you've selected your next home. Congratulations! And while that's really great news, you now have a critical task before you — the home inspection. Without a home inspection, you will not know the true condition of the property you are purchasing. This can lead to some very expensive problems down the road.

    Jennifer Lopez has launched her “J. Lo’s Christmas Gift” drive, asking fans to donate to her three favorite charities (the Boys & Girls Club, the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and the American Red Cross). In exchange, she’ll give someone two tickets to the last show of her “Dance Again” world tour in Puerto Rico on Saturday.

    Lopez plays Santa for charity; talks about Rivera

    NEW YORK — Jennifer Lopez says she doesn’t look forward to getting gifts at Christmas — she looks forward to giving them.“I love going and shopping for Christmas presents for everybody and making gifts for people and seeing their faces light up and surprising them; that’s where I get my joy,” the entertainer said last week.It’s also why Lopez launched her “J. Lo’s Christmas Gift” drive, asking fans to donate to her three favorite charities (the Boys & Girls Club, the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and the American Red Cross). In exchange, she’ll give someone two tickets to the last show of her “Dance Again” world tour in Puerto Rico on Saturday; she’ll also pay airfare and hotel costs.“It’s just that kind of doing something nice for somebody, and they do something nice back and kind of paying it forward,” she said in a phone interview Friday from Australia, where she was performing.She’s promoting the contest, which ends Monday, on Twitter with the hashtag JLOSCHRISTMASGIFT. She got the idea to use social media to encourage her fans to give back since becoming more involved in platforms like Twitter and Facebook and seeing how much response she’s received when she’s had contests.“I thought, ‘What if every person I tweeted and asked for a follow donated a dollar?’ I have 13½ million followers (on Twitter),” she said. “We can collect a lot of money for these charities that I work with that are literally close to my heart.”Part of the reason Lopez chose the Red Cross is because of its relief work in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated parts of New York City, where Lopez is from. She hasn’t been back to New York since the October storm but her ex-husband, Marc Anthony, was affected.“My babies (4-year-old twins Max and Emme) had to go there and visit their dad shortly after, and it was like, kind of a scary proposition to send them because I didn’t know what it was going to be like,” she said. “He was saying how his house had a tree fall in his front yard, and he couldn’t stay there and there was no electricity. Just knowing how so many people were affected by it and when you really hear the stats of it ... there’s not enough you can do.”Lopez will be heading home for the holidays; Lopez said she feels blessed to have been able to stage her first world tour, particularly spending much of it with her family: “It’s just been an amazing year.”Lopez said the tour was a “life-changing experience,” but acknowledged it could also be grueling at times, with the constant travel. For that reason, she said she identified with Jenni Rivera, the Latin music superstar who was killed Dec. 8 in a plane crash. Rivera was traveling after a concert in Monterrey, Mexico. “I didn’t know her personally, but I knew of her. For me, just being on tour right now, you live the same type of life. You know what I mean? It’s traveling, it’s doing shows,” Lopez said. “She considered herself a businesswoman as well, besides an artist, and she had kids and I’m sure she was rushing home to get home to her kids at that time so she took the flight at 3 in the morning. So you go like, wow, it’s just like a wake-up call for everybody. It’s tragic. She was so young, so young, and she had five kids. It just wasn’t her time, it feels like.”

    Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, left, stands alongside second place Sports Personality of the Year 2012, British athlete Jessica Ennis, during the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 in London on Sunday.

    Kate Middleton attends U.K. sports awards show

    The pregnant Duchess of Cambridge made her first public appearance Sunday night since her hospitalization for acute morning sickness. Looking healthy and strong, the former Kate Middleton presented awards at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year prizes, which were broadcast throughout Britain.


    CRP blood test is not of use to everyone

    The C-reactive protein (CRP) blood test measures inflammation in the body. What does that have to do with heart disease? We now know that many heart attacks and strokes occur because cholesterol-rich plaques of atherosclerosis rupture. When that happens, blood clots form that can cut off the blood supply to part of the heart or brain. Many studies have shown that the CRP test does, indeed, help estimate a person's risk for heart disease. The question is whether the test should be used in everyone and how much additional information it gives.


    Physical therapy often effective in treating head tilt

    The 9-month-old boy had been diagnosed with torticollis or wry neck early in infancy and had already been checked by an orthopedic specialist who found no bony abnormalities or neck masses. His parents had been diligent, but their little guy's head tilt continued to be noticeable. Mom was interested in beginning a formal physical therapy program to help stretch the infant's tight neck muscles and improve his range of motion, and I agreed.


    HPV infections can reawaken at menopause

    Signs of the cancer-causing human papilloma virus in women near or at menopause may be a reawakened dormant infection, suggesting a risk for women who came of age in the "sexual revolution" in the 1960s and '70s. About 77 percent of the infections were detected in women who reported five or more sexual partners in their lifetime, according to a study in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.


    Chemo brain’s confusion may result from stress, not medicines

    "Chemo brain," a term describing the forgetfulness and cognitive fog that breast-cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy experience, may have more to do with the stress and fatigue caused by the disease, a study suggests.

    Maggots are creepy and slimy. But that slime is a remarkable healing balm, used by battlefield surgeons for centuries to close wounds. Now, researchers say they’ve figured out how the fly larvae suppress the immune system.

    How maggots help in healing wounds

    Yes, maggots are creepy, crawly, and slimy. But that slime is a remarkable healing balm, used by battlefield surgeons for centuries to close wounds. Now, researchers say they've figured out how the fly larvae work their magic: They suppress our immune system. Maggots are efficient consumers of dead tissue. They munch on rotting flesh, leaving healthy tissue practically unscathed.

    Although population aging, declining poverty and smaller family size have been the major forces changing the world’s health profile over the two decades, improvements in medicine and public health have also made a huge difference.

    Study sees longer lives, more disabilities

    The health of most of the planet's population is rapidly coming to resemble that of the United States, where death in childhood is rare, too much food is a bigger problem than too little, and life is long and often darkened by disability.High blood pressure is now the leading "risk factor" for disease around the world. Alcohol use is third. Low-back pain now causes more disability than childbirth complications or anemia.

    Regina Benjamin, Surgeon General of the United States has been speaking out on the need for African-American women to be more aware of the obesity epidemic.

    Black women step up efforts to battle obesity

    Nicole Ari Parker was motivated by frustration. For Star Jones, it was a matter of life or death. Toni Carey wanted a fresh start after a bad breakup. All three have launched individual campaigns that reflect an emerging priority for African-American women: finding creative ways to combat the obesity epidemic that threatens their longevity.

    At-home workouts with a good DVD can be just has successful as classes at the gym.

    Your health: Shape up with DVDs
    "For a hot body, push play," advises the December issue of Shape magazine. While getting fit isn't quite that easy, the magazine test-drove popular exercise DVDs to help readers make the most of at-home sweat sessions. Also, most Americans consume way too much salt, especially from prepared and processed foods. There are a variety of alternatives to use instead of the salt shaker.

    1960 Triumph TR3A

    Vernon Hills man gives his Triumph a royal overhaul

    Classic vehicle restorations often commence with the intent of bringing back some sentimental motoring memories, or because someone is finally able to build and drive their longtime dream car. Thanos Kourliouros of Vernon Hills embarked on his overhaul of this vintage 1960 Triumph TR3 for a much more practical reason: reliable transportation.



    Editorial: Time is short for Pearl Harbor survivors to tell stories

    Pearl Harbor survivors are an exclusive fraternity that shrinks with each passing year. While they are still with us, a Daily Herald editorial says, we need to ensure their stories are told — to students in classrooms, in tape-recorded interviews and in public ceremonies.


    The right-to-work dilemma

    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: Right-to-work laws do weaken unions. And de-unionization can lead to lower wages. But there is another factor at play: having a job in the first place. In right-to-work states, the average wage is about 10 percent lower. But in right-to-work states, unemployment also is about 10 percent lower.


    Christmas in Santa Monica

    Columnist Susan Estrich: I don't need to see a menorah in a public park to remember that I'm Jewish. And it's hard for me to see the hardship suffered by those who have to look elsewhere for a creche — or simply put one up in their own front yard.


    Change the way we draw legislative maps
    A letter to the editor: It is time to give the power back to the people and to take redistricting out of the hands of the legislative leaders. We need to reform the current system where too many state legislators owe their allegiance to legislative leaders who draw the maps.


    Break the cycle and elect new people
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: From the same "cut of the cloth" type of legislators being re-elected over and over, how should we believe and think this nation got to the economic and cultural level it is, over the past 50 to 75 years?


    Pension proposal is unconstitutional
    A letter to the editor: A teacher's pension is a result of a solemn promise between the employee and the employer (constitutionally, the State of Illinois). At every juncture teachers, as the employees, held up their end of the bargain:


    Why can’t park light display stay neutral?
    Letter to the editor: "From my perspective as a Christian," writes Kathryn Huber of Mt. Prospect, "Christmas is about celebrating Jesus's birth and spending time with my family. It is not about an activist group with a larger agenda threatening legal action to impose my beliefs on my neighbors who enjoy the park's display each year and don't celebrate Christmas."


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