Daily Archive : Saturday December 22, 2012



    Chicago fire started by hot plate kills 2 children

    CHICAGO — Authorities say a fire started by a hot plate being used for heat killed two young children at a home on Chicago's South Side.The Chicago Tribune reported the children had been left home alone.A 2-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy sleeping in a back bedroom were killed. Two other children were rescued by an aunt who ran to the Englewood home when she saw the fire.

    Tow trucks travel west on 75th Street heading from a Downers Grove funeral home to a Lombard crematory Saturday during a procession honoring Alyssa Van Meter of Woodridge, who was slain last week.

    Slain Woodridge woman honored with tow truck procession

    A procession of more than 150 tow trucks made a fitting tribute to Alyssa Van Meter as they trekked from a Downers Grove funeral home to a Lombard crematory, honoring the Woodridge tow truck driver who her ex-boyfriend is accused of killing. "She deserves nothing less than this," said Jessica Baker, a fellow driver at O'Hare Towing. "Anyone who encounters this, I think will be touched."


    Woman who abandoned baby in Wheaton released

    An immigrant from Myanmar who left her son outside a Wheaton apartment building moments after his birth has been released from federal custody. Nunu Sung has been living in the Chicago area since mid-November. She pleaded guilty in October 2010 to obstructing justice for lying about her pregnancy. She was released in January, but was immediately taken into custody by immigration officials until a...


    Madigan earmarks $70 million for foreclosure help

    CHICAGO — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says her office is designating up to $70 million to help people and communities affected by the foreclosure crisis. The money comes from the state's portion of a national foreclosure settlement with mortgage companies over allegations of fraudulent practices.

    Colo eats some food Saturday as she celebrates her birthday.

    Oldest of zoo gorillas turns 56
    The Association of Zoos and Aquariums says the female western lowland gorilla named Colo is the oldest gorilla in any zoo. She was born at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in 1956.

    New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reacts after a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts in the fourth quarter in Foxborough, Mass. Brady has thrown at least one touchdown pass for the AFC East champs in 46 consecutive games. If he does it Sunday, he’ll match Johnny Unitas and move seven behind Drew Brees’ NFL record.

    Leagues poised to challenge N.J. over sports betting

    Four major professional sports leagues and the NCAA are poised to move forward with their legal battle over New Jersey’s plans to allow sports gambling. That comes after a judge on Friday rejected arguments that the leagues couldn’t prove they would be harmed if the state moves ahead with its plans to allow sports gambling.

    Parents leave a staging area after being reunited with their children following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman fatally shot 27 people, including 20 children.

    Predicting violence isn’t easy

    CHICAGO — It happened after Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Colo., and now Sandy Hook: People figure there surely were signs of impending violence. But experts say predicting who will be the next mass shooter is virtually impossible — partly because as commonplace as these calamities seem, they are relatively rare crimes.

    If you see a coyote, Wheaton officials suggest scaring it away by making noise, throwing things at it or spraying it with a garden hose.

    Coyote kills small dog in Wheaton

    Wheaton police are warning residents after a resident's dog was killed in a coyote attack Friday night. "Be out there with the animals, don't leave them in the backyard, especially if they have a small fence or no fence," said Lt. Tom Heidank. "If you do see one try to scare it away."

    Crosses bearing the names of the Newtown shooting victims are displayed Saturday in the Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Conn.

    Girl Scouts help with healing after shootings

    A monument to the lost girls is being planned, as is a major event in January, where the 3 million women and girls involved in Girl Scouts worldwide will remember the eight little Girl Scouts of Newtown.

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican, speaks Friday at a news conference about the fiscal cliff negotiations at the Capitol in Washington.

    Higher taxes, lower pay loom

    Social Security payroll taxes are set to increase on Jan. 1, so workers should immediately feel the squeeze of a 2 percent cut in their take-home pay. But as talks drag on over how to address other year-end tax increases, the Internal Revenue Service has delayed releasing income tax withholding tables for 2013.

    In this frame grab from a video provided by Andy Greenberg, a passenger aboard The Island Princess cruise ship, Monday, shows five Jamaicans who have been drifting on a small boat in the Caribbean for three weeks were rescued Monday by a cruise ship, authorities said. Two more fishermen on a separate boat were rescued Wednesday.

    Three-day trip becomes 3-week ordeal for Jamaicans

    It was supposed to be a three-day fishing trip at most. It turned into a three-week ordeal, drifting under an intense sun for hundreds of miles in the Caribbean in a small boat with a broken motor.

    An Egyptian woman casts her vote Saturday during the second round of a referendum, just south of Cairo, Egypt.

    Egypt’s disputed charter headed toward approval

    Saturday's voting in 17 of Egypt's 27 provinces was the second and final round of the referendum. Though the constitution is widely expected to pass, the key questions will be over turnout and the margin of victory. Preliminary results from the first round a week ago showed only 32 percent turnout and a relatively low edge of 56 percent for the "yes" vote.

    Six-year-old Juan Delgado and his sister Linda Marie Delgado, 18, both of Pingree Grove, get their picture taken with Olympic gymnast Jake Dalton on Saturday at Spring Hill Gymnastics in Elgin.

    Young gymnasts meet U.S. Olympian Jake Dalton in Elgin

    Eight-year-old Brady Taylor is such a fan of U.S. Olympic gymnast Jake Dalton that he attended both of Dalton's appearances in the suburbs. In the morning, Brady and his mother Kate Taylor of West Dundee went to the Illinois Gymnastics Institute in Westmont; in the afternoon, they were joined by Brady's dad, Brian, at Spring Hill Gymnastics in Elgin. "It's kind of a dream come true for him,"...

    Enid Vargas and her daughter, 13-year-old Wilenid, hold keys to their new home on the 200 block of Linn Court in North Aurora during a ceremony Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity held Saturday to dedicate the home.

    New home a hard-earned gift for Aurora family

    Enid Vargas and her 13-year-old daughter, Wilenid, became the smiling, excited and appreciative recipients of Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity's 49th home, a two-story townhouse on the 200 block of Linn Drive in North Aurora. "This is a blessing for me," said Vargas, who has been in the U.S. with her daughter for five years since moving from Puerto Rico.

    President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, former President Bill Clinton, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada stand Friday as the casket is brought in at the funeral service for the late Sen. Daniel Inouye at the Washington National Cathedral.

    Notable deaths last week

    A roundup and capsulation of national and international obituaries of note over the past week.


    Batavia bank robbed at gunpoint

    Local police and FBI officials are looking for an armed man who robbed a bank in Batavia on Saturday morning. The offender displayed a black semiautomatic handgun and an unknown amount of money was stolen. No injuries were reported, according to the release.

    Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, attended the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2012 in London last Sunday.

    Britain: Charges possible in royal prank call case

    Prosecutors are weighing whether to press charges over a royal hoax call that preceded a nurse's apparent suicide, police said Saturday.

    Rich Kostecke, a bird expert and associate director of conservation, research and planning at the Nature Conservancy in Texas, carries his sighting scope Monday during an annual 24-hour Christmastime ritual to count birds along the Texas Gulf Coast in Mad Island, Texas.

    Annual bird counts give scientists climate clues

    An initial report on the 24-hour count that began midnight Monday and ended midnight Tuesday included 233 different species — a drop of 11 from last year when 244 were counted on Mad Island. While the area likely still has one of the United States' most diverse bird populations, the species that were missing raise questions.

    This Asian toad, shown here Wednesday, was found inside a candlestick at a Cape Town South Africa store.

    Asian toad stowaway gets new home in South Africa

    South Africans are marveling at the endurance of a toad that got trapped in a cargo shipment from China to Cape Town after jumping into a porcelain candlestick that was made there. South African officials reportedly planned to put down the creature, fearing it would cause harm as an invasive species if it were let go in the wild.But the toad got a last-minute reprieve.

    Free Syrian Army fighters walk Saturday amid the ruins of a village situated a short distance from an area where fighting between rebels and government forces continues.

    Russia won’t host Assad family

    Russia's foreign minister says Moscow would welcome any country's offer of a safe haven to Syrian President Bashar Assad, but underlined that Moscow itself has no intention of giving him shelter if he steps down.

    A customer purchases a meal at a Burger King restaurant Saturday in Marseille-Provence airport, in Marignane, France.

    Burger King’s Whopper returns to France

    Burger King Worldwide opened a restaurant at Marseille airport on Saturday, returning to France thanks to an agreement with Autogrill, which operates restaurants at highway service stations.

    A World War II minesweeper has surfaced on the Mississippi River near St. Louis.

    Low-water rivers unveiling pieces of history

    Lack of rain has left many rivers at low levels unseen for decades, creating problems for river commerce and recreation and raising concerns about water supplies and hydropower if the drought persists into next year, as many fear.But for the curious, the receding water is offering an occasional treasure trove of history.

    People cross the tracks Friday as they wait for the train to move off as part of a newly inaugurated train service to Kano, Nigeria, in Lagos, Nigeria.

    Nigeria railroad project connects two major cities

    Nigeria has rebuilt and reopened railroad tracks connecting Lagos, its commercial heartbeat in the south, to Kano, its largest city in the north, in a $166 milllion project meant to revive the railway system of Africa's most populous country.

    People carry the casket Saturday of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province’s senior minister Bashir Bilour, who was killed in a suicide bombing.

    Bombing at political rally kills 9 in Pakistan

    A suicide bomber in Pakistan killed nine people including a provincial government official at a political rally held Saturday by a party that has opposed the Taliban, officials said.

    Photos showing victims in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School are imprinted on fake roses at a memorial Saturday in the Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Conn.

    Newtown inundated with gifts, donations

    The Postal Service reported a six-fold increase in mail in town and set up a unique post office box to handle it. The parcels come decorated with rainbows and hearts drawn by school children.

    Bartlett Village President Michael Airdo

    Mayors, village presidents name best activities, projects
    Heading into the new year, we asked Northwest suburban mayors and village presidents: What was the most important or biggest or best thing to happen in your community last year? Here are their answers.


    Hoffman Estates employee named ‘Code Enforcement Officer of the Year’

    A Hoffman Estates employee has been named the state's 2012 Code Enforcement Officer of the Year. Betty Melligan was given the honor by the Illinois Association of Code Enforcement during the association's quarterly meeting Dec. 5 at Elgin Community College.

    Barry Keith “Brick” Walls

    Community steps up to help family of late Palatine man

    Despite being faced with his own struggles, Barry Keith "Brick" Walls never hesitated to help another person in need. Now it's the community's turn. Walls died Dec. 8 after a fall, and a Palatine High School fundraiser to help pay for funeral expenses raised nearly $3,000.


    New details emerge a week after school massacre

    NEWTOWN, Conn. — He was the awkward kid who wore the same clothes to school every day.He rarely spoke and even gave a school presentation entirely by computer, never uttering a word.He liked tinkering with computers and other gadgets, and seemed to enjoy playing a violent video game, choosing a military-style assault rifle as one of his weapons.


    Crowd-funding draws donations for Sandy relief

    WASHINGTON — In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, some who lost their homes or businesses have turned to crowd-funding websites to elicit a faster and more direct response than they could expect from the government or traditional charities.

    President Barack Obama arrives with first lady Michelle Obama, top, and daughters Malia, top left, and Sasha, bottom right, at Honolulu Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, for the start of their holiday vacation, Saturday, Dec. 22.

    Obama and family arrive in Hawaii for Christmas

    KAILUA, Hawaii — President Barack Obama and his family have arrived in Honolulu to spend Christmas in Hawaii, where the president was born and raised.


    Federal government lists 2 ice seals as threatened

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Two types of ice seals joined polar bears Friday on the list of species threatened by the loss of sea ice, which scientists say reached record low levels this year due to climate warming.

    Marty Moylan

    Moylan backs Bogusz for Des Plaines mayor

    Outgoing Des Plaines Mayor Marty Moylan is backing 3rd Ward Alderman Matt Bogusz, who will be one of three candidates vying for the mayoral post in April. So far, two other hopefuls have filed candidate petitions for mayor: former Des Plaines mayor Tony Arredia, and 6th Ward Alderman Mark Walsten.

    Santa Claus poses for a photo with 3-month-old Katie Bahena of Bartlett at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.

    Go ahead, ask Santa: Kids share their lists

    As we inch closer to Christmas Day, children all over the suburbs are hoping their wish lists haven't fallen on deaf ears. In what has become an annual tradition, we went to the mall and gave kids a microphone to find out just what they'll be dreaming of on Christmas Eve. And as usual, the kids did not disappoint.


    Kane County wants revote on electric aggregation

    Unincorporated Kane County voters turned the lights out in March on a plan to give county officials the power to negotiate local electricity prices with companies other than ComEd. But county officials are hoping to recharge the idea with another referendum in April.

    Round Lake Beach Deputy Police Chief Richard Chiarello helps 9-year-old Haley Falcon, right, and her brother Andrew, 8, select DVDs during the Shop with a Cop program. Round Lake Park police hosted the event for the 17th consecutive year.

    Anonymous donor gives $10,000 to Round Lake Park’s Shop with a Cop program

    Lake County's original Shop with a Cop program received quite a financial boost this week. Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko said an anonymous donor sent a $10,000 cashier's check to be used by he program. "Look, who sends us $10,000? We're a struggling little agency," Flenko said.

    The proposed Water’s Edge of South Elgin would have 50 apartments split between low-income housing and income for people with disabilities, mental illness and special needs.

    South Elgin housing development faces opposition

    A proposed new housing development in South Elgin is stirring passions among residents, some of whom say the center of town is not an appropriate spot for housing for low-income and disabled people. "It doesn't seem like it's a logical place to put it. There are other locations better suited, " one opponent said.


    United Way of Elgin promotes payroll donations

    Making a $52 or even a $26 one-time charitable donation is too much for a lot families. But how much would you miss giving $1 or $2 per paycheck? That's the concept that United Way of Elgin has been promoting as part of its annual giving campaign.


    Three drivers hauling 3,000 toys travel nonstop to Newtown

    Peter Kasin of Grayslake, a board member of the Showmen's League of America, knew he wanted to do something for the kids in Newtown, Conn. So he made some calls, garnered 3,000 toys and, with two other drivers, drove 34 hours deliver some cuddly comfort.



    Bad energy drags down Bulls

    It would have been an impressive achievement for the Bulls to win road games on consecutive nights against two of the three best teams in the Eastern Conference. Instead, the Bulls hit a brick wall midway through the second quarter and were blown out in Atlanta 92-75 on Saturday. "I don't know what you attribute it to, it just didn't seem like we had it tonight," Kirk Hinrich told reporters after the game.


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


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


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


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


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


    Lakes nets tourney win at Jacobs

    Lakes’ boys basketball team made a successful debut in the Jacobs holiday tournament Saturday.Jake Kohler’s double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds led the Eagles to a 65-46 win over Hope Academy.Lakes (10-3) got all of its players into the game, as it won for the second time in as many days. Justin Bergeron also 13 points, and Direll Clark had 9.


    Carmel’s Kloss in the real deal

    'Twas three nights before Christmas, and guess who delivered? Cassidy Kloss, as in Santa Claus. "I get that a lot," Kloss said with a jolly laugh. Kloss showed up in a merry way for Carmel Catholic's girls basketball team in the fourth quarter Saturday night, scoring all 9 of her points to help rally the Corsairs to a 29-21 win over host Warren in the last of four games on Day 1 of the Blue Devil Classic.


    Kaneland, Aurora Christian win at Plano

    Kaneland 51, Sandwich 32: Tyler Carlson dropped in a game-high 19 points for the Knights, who evened their record at 4-4 with a win in the Plano Christmas Classic.


    Johnson, Montini rebound for title

    STERLING — Malayna Johnson and Montini made sure the taste of their first loss didn’t linger.Hours after an uninspiring game against Peoria Richwoods, the No. 1-ranked Broncos bounced back to beat No. 9 Fremd 53-35 Saturday in the final game of the Sterling Shootout.Montini, Richwoods and Fremd all finished 4-1 in the six-team round-robin event. The Broncos, by virtue of a free-throw percentage tiebreaker, won it for the second time in three years.More important was just leaving town with a win.“We definitely didn’t want to take two losses tonight,” Johnson said. “We weren’t ready to play this morning. I was excited to play that second game.”Johnson’s two games were like night and day, both literally and figuratively.In the 45-34 loss to Richwoods she scored just 5 points, unable to handle several post feeds.She seemed to have an extra spring against Fremd, though, scoring 21 points with 10 rebounds and blocked 7 shots. Fremd, undersized without 6-foot sophomore Haley Gorecki (ankle), had no match for the 6-foot-4 Johnson.“Malayna was awesome,” Montini coach Jason Nichols said. “She set the tone in that second game. The only person who can stop Malayna is Malayna. When she’s good, we’re tough to beat.”“We were going to see if she could beat us, and she did,” Fremd coach Dave Yates said. “We don’t have the size to match up with Montini’s small forward, let alone their post players.”Nichols thought the loss could be a blessing in disguise.Until Saturday his group had weathered some close calls; Montini (14-1) needed a furious rally to beat Wheaton Warrenville South, nearly blew a late lead against Geneva and also barely beat Walther Lutheran. They responded well to defeat.“We had been playing with fire a lot lately,” Nichols said, “and we got burned. It was a learning experience that we needed, and we bounced back.”Fremd (13-3) earlier Saturday beat Hononegah 40-39, rallying from down 8 with a little more than two minutes left to win on freshman Brianna Lewis’ free throw with a second left.But the Vikings, playing in their third game in 24 hours and seventh in 10 days, couldn’t muster a comeback against Montini.Ashley McConnell scored 16 of Fremd’s first 19 points in the first half, keeping her team close, but a 10-0 Montini run took the Broncos into the break up 32-21. It never got closer in the second half. Tournament MVP McConnell, coming off a personal-high 33 Friday, finished with 22.“We ran out of gas a little bit, and we’re missing our best player. There’s only so much Ashley could do,” Yates said. “That second quarter turned the game. We were hanging around, then they went on that little run and that gave them that comfort. Every shot for us was a tough shot. Credit their length. To beat a team that good, we have to be clicking on more than one cylinder.”A McConnell 3-pointer had Fremd within 13-12, but Kateri Stone answered with a 3 for Montini to touch off the 10-0 run capped off by a Johnson transition basket.Montini also got a big lift off the bench from sophomore Rainey Kuykendall, who scored all 8 of her points in the first half. Aggressive to the basket, on the ground for loose balls, she provided energy lacking against Richwoods.“Rainey is a kid who can look like an All-American at times. She needs to play like one,” Nichols said. “The talent, it’s in her.”Stone added 9 points and Kelsey Bogdan 8 for Montini. Hannah LaBarge scored 9 points and McConnell 8 for Fremd against Hononegah, a LaBarge 3 igniting the late rally. Yates, whose team is also at the 16-team Montini Tournament that starts Wednesday, relished the Vikings’ first trip to Sterling.“We want to see good teams, to see what we need to do to get better,” Yates said. “We saw the best team in Rockford, the best team in Peoria, Montini — and they’re different teams. I’m proud of my kids’ effort and their showing.”Follow Josh on Twitter @jwelge96


    Glenbard East finds offense in Hall

    The intensity was there on both sides all night long. Luckily for Glenbard East, JaRon Hall and his "instant offense" came out big time in the second half with the game on the line.


    St. Francis withstands ACC’s charge

    Offering two great coaches and two scrappy sides, St. Francis and Aurora Central Catholic boys basketball teams will invariably be there at the end.


    Boys basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Cary-Grove 46, Tilden 42: Dan Lee scored 14 points, Jason Gregiore added 12 and Matt Motzel had 11 to lead Cary-Grove (7-3) to a win in the opening round of the Jacobs Holiday Tournament.CL South 70, Johnsburg 60: The Gators erased a 1-point deficit after three quarters by putting up a 24-spot in the fourth quarter in this opening round game at Jacobs. Nick Geske struck for 28 points to lead Crystal Lake South (3-5), while Austin Rogers added 21 and Max Meitzler had 16.Newark 61, Burlington Central 49: Down just 30-28 at halftime, the Rockets couldn’t sustain things in the second half and had their 3-game winning streak snapped at the Plano Holiday Tournament. Moter Deng had 13 points and Ryan Ritchie added 10 for Central (3-8).


    Grayslake North gets a start on turning the page at Grant

    Grayslake North put together one of its best showings in the Grant tournament, rolling by the hosts 73-58 in a game that wasn't close beyond the first six minutes. The victory moves the Knights to 6-3 on the season while Grant drops to 5-7.


    Jacobs opens tourney with win

    If there was ever a right way for Jacobs to begin retiring coach Jim Hinkle's last holiday tournament, a 56-35 opening victory over Marian Central in the 13th annual Golden Eagles' tournament that was Hinkle's creation will more than certainly do the trick, as the Eagles look to win their tournament for the first time since 2008.


    Smith sets the tone in Lakes’ win

    Amanda Smith stepped up her game Saturday. The point guard led Lakes' girls basketball team to a 54-28 win over host Wauconda in North Suburban Prairie Division action. "Amanda stepped up big today and showed great leadership in directing our team," Eagles coach Pete Schneider said. "She knocked down her first 3 shots, but more importantly she helped organize and direct the team on the floor. We have struggled with some of the mental parts of the game and we needed some leadership, and Amanda provided that for us."


    Eventually, Waukegan takes it to Grayslake Central

    Grayslake Central's boys basketball team was in its comfort zone for awhile Saturday night. The Rams were on cruise control into the second quarter — but then host Waukegan changed things up in a hurry. And just like that, the Bulldogs rolled past Grayslake Central 78-57 in a nonconference game. "For 12 minutes we played some great basketball," Grayslake Central coach Brian Moe said. "After that, we had a group of kids that haven't played varsity basketball and forgot how to play varsity basketball in a hurry. "(Waukegan's) speed and quickness wore us out quickly, got us out of our comfort zone. Then they got a lead and built on it to the end."


    Elgin notches win over Huntley

    Eric Sedlack and Tanner Bednar showed why Elgin is capable of being more than just the Arie Williams show. Williams did score a game-high 22 points in Saturday night's nonconference boys basketball game at Huntley. But the career-highs of 19 points from Sedlack and 10 from Bednar helped the Maroons hold on for a 60-55 victory as they snapped a three-game losing streak.


    Patel shoots Elk Grove past Z-B

    Elk Grove senior guard Kishan Patel scored a game-high 27 points and made five 3s to help the Grenadiers in a 65-57 victory over Zion-Benton in the first round of Jacobs holiday tournament play in a noon game Saturday.Austin Amann finished with 17 points and Bryan Alcazar had 8 for Elk Grove (7-4), which is tied for first place in the Mid-Suburban East.Zion-Benton (9-3) suffered its second straight loss after falling Friday night to Mundelein in North Suburban Lake play. The Zee-Bees were led in scoring by Milik Yarbrough with 22 points.Barrington 52, Prairie Ridge 41: A balanced scoring effort helped the Broncos earn a victory in their evening opener at Jacobs on Saturday.Scott Nelson led the way for Barrington with a game-high 16 points, including a pair of 3s. Robby Vollman had 9, Zach Bart had 8 and Brad Zaumseil 6 for the Broncos (7-6), who managed to outscore the Wolves in each quarter.


    Radochonski, Fremd vault to title at NT

    There wasn't much Fremd's Christine Radochonski could do as her Yurchenko pike got away from her. She went straight forward, flying over the vaulting table on her first vault effort Saturday afternoon at the New Trier invite in Winnetka. Miraculously, Radochonski later recovered, producing an unbelievable second vault for a second-best 9.6 score. That was a key in helping Fremd take first place over host New Trier 145.025-144.825. Stevenson finished third (139.475).

    Missouri’s Alex Oriakhi, left, and Jabari Brown (32) watch along with Illinois’ Nnanna Egwu and Tracy Abrams, right, as the ball goes out of bounds during the first half in St. Louis. Missouri won 82-73.

    Missouri gets Braggin’ Rights over Illini 82-73

    Growing up in suburban St. Louis, Tyler Griffey hoped he could one day compete in the annual Braggin' Rights game between Missouri and Illinois. He turned down his home-state school for the Illini. Illinois had won nine consecutive games in the matchup when Griffey joined. But Saturday, the senior had to explain for the fourth consecutive year why his team didn't defeat the Tigers.


    St. Viator skates to Snowflake win

    With a 56-35 victory over Johnsburg on Wednesday nights, St. Viator's girls basketball team felt it was on the right track. The Lions kept the wheels spinning straight ahead when they raised the curtain for their own 30th annual Snowflake Tournament on Saturday night. Led by junior Erin Fabbri (14 points), sophomore Jessica Hohlweg (12) and senior Michelle Presslak (10), St. Viator rolled to a 54-19 victory over Northside College Prep in the Cahill Gymnasium.


    Wolves’ four-game winning streak ends

    The Chicago Wolves drew first blood but it was the Grand Rapids Griffins with the last laugh, shutting the door on the Wolves with a 2-1 overtime victory Saturday night at Van Andel Arena.

    Marmion’s Alex Theisen sinks a shot in the fourth quarter of the DeKalb tournament on Saturday, December 22.

    Marmion hangs on in double OT

    Being the youngest brother is typically a good recipe for oozing toughness — especially when your older brothers are as big as Jordan Glasgow's.

    Tyler Ciliak of Naperville Central swims in the 400 medley relay during the Naperville North College Events boys swimming invitational Saturday.

    Marmion wins invitational in final race

    There was a little bit under the Christmas tree for everyone at Saturday's Naperville North College Events Meet.

    Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng (9) drives to the basket against Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) in the second half Saturday in Atlanta. The Hawks won 92-75.

    Horford lifts Hawks to 92-75 win over Bulls

    Al Horford had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and every Atlanta starter scored in double figures as the Hawks routed the Chicago Bulls 92-75 on Saturday night to snap a two-game losing streak. Lou Williams added 16 points in his first start, and the Atlanta native led the way as the Hawks outscored the Bulls 61-33 in the second and third quarters combined.


    Miami (Ohio) beats Illinois-Chicago 82-70

    OXFORD, Ohio — Will Sullivan scored a career-high 16 points and Miami (Ohio) snapped a four-game losing streak to beat Illinois-Chicago 82-70 on Saturday.Will Felder and Jon Harris each finished with 14 points for the RedHawks (4-6), who sent Illinois-Chicago to its second straight lost after winning eight consecutive. Reggie Johnson had 12 points and Quinten Rollins had five steals.Miami used a 9-0 run early in the first half, capped by Geovonie McKnight’s jumper to give it a 20-9 lead. The RedHawks controlled the rest of the contest, and never trailed in the second half.Felder’s slam dunk gave Miami a 79-65 advantage with 1:40 remaining in the game. Illinois-Chicago pulled no closer than nine points the rest of the way.Gary Talton scored 15 points for the Flames (9-3). Daniel Barnes finished with 14 points, Joey Miller had 11 points, and Hayden Humes and Josh Crittled added 10 points apiece.


    Mason leads Drake past Eastern Illinois 74-56

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Micah Mason had 19 points and six assists and Drake continued its torrid 3-point shooting during a 74-56 victory over Eastern Illinois on Saturday.The Bulldogs (6-5), who came into the game ranked fifth in the country with 9.1 3-pointers per game, were 13 of 22 beyond the arc and shot 56 percent overall from the floor. They also hit 15 of 18 free throws.Drake also got 14 points from Ben Simons, 11 from Chris Hines and 10 from Seth VanDeest.Sherman Blanford had 18 points and seven rebounds for Eastern Illinois (3-10), which outrebounded Drake 25-19 but committed 19 turnovers. Morris Woods added 10 points for the Panthers.Drake trailed 26-24 before scoring nine straight points to close the first half. A 3-pointer and layup by Mason to start the second half extended the lead to 12 points, and the Bulldogs later added a 14-2 run to make it 61-41 with 9:42 remaining.


    Washington defeats Northern Illinois 67-57

    SEATTLE — C.J. Wilcox scored 22 points to lead Washington to a 67-57 win over Northern Illinois on Saturday afternoon.Wilcox topped the 20-point mark for the seventh time in eight games. Aziz N’Diaye added 13 points and 12 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season.Washington led 36-25 at halftime.Sophomore Abdel Nader came off the bench to lead Northern Illinois (2-9) with 18 points, while Keith Gray added 10.Troubled by inconsistent play during the nonconference portion of its schedule, Washington (8-4) has now won four straight games.Washington grabbed its largest lead — by 15 points — midway through the second half. But Northern Illinois refused to concede, and cut the deficit to eight with under 3 minutes to play. Nader was a key player in the comeback, scoring 13 of his points after halftime.Washington aided the comeback with sloppy play on the offensive end, committing eight turnovers. Guard Abdul Gaddy had three of those, but he also added 12 points and six assists.Despite shooting just 31.6 percent from the field for the game, Washington helped itself by going 12 of 24 from the free-throw line. Northern Illinois attempted just 11 free throws.Washington looked like it was going to run away with the game early, using a 13-2 run to put it ahead 23-12 with 7:28 left in the first half, but Northern Illinois stormed back to bring it within six points, 31-25. Washington scored the next six to go into halftime with a 36-25 advantage.Washington’s next game is Dec. 29 at Connecticut, while Northern Illinois returns home to face Massachusetts, also on Dec. 29.

    Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall and quarterback Jay Cutler on the bench as against Seahawks score near the end of regulation at Soldier Field.

    Too late for Bears to right the ship?

    There have been questions about the Bears' offense all season, but now they're being asked by members of the group, who are looking for answers as they head into the final two games of the season. "You sit there after the game and you feel horrible and you feel like, What could you have done differently and better?'" said offensive coordinator Mike Tice.


    Loyola overcomes St. Peter’s 54-49
    Associated Press JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Ben Averkamp scored 17 points, 13 from the foul line, to lead Loyola (IL) to a 54-49 victory over St. Peter’s Saturday.The Ramblers (8-3) won it at the foul line, where they had a huge advantage. Averkamp was a perfect 13 for 13 as St. Peter’s sank 23 of 31 foul shots. St. Peter’s (5-6) went 6 for 19 at the stripe.Both teams started sluggishly, with the Peacocks leading 17-16 at the break despite shooting 29.6 percent (8 for 27, 0 for 4 on treys). Loyola was even worse, making just 5 of 20 from the field and missing 5 of 6 3-pointers.Each team warmed up in the second half, but Loyola rode Averkamp and its foul shooting to the win.Joe Crisman led Loyola with 12 points on 5 for 5 shooting. Yvon Raymond was the lone Peacock in double figures with 17 points.

    DePaul guard Durrell McDonald, right, drives to the basket as Maryland-Baltimore County forward Chase Plummer guards during the second half in Rosemont Saturday. DePaul won 69-61.

    DePaul beats Maryland-Baltimore County 69-61

    DePaul coach Oliver Purnell was feeling the holiday spirit after DePaul's 69-61 win over visiting Maryland-Baltimore County Saturday. Asked what he wanted for Christmas, he smiled and said: "A win, and I got it." Cleveland Melvin scored 24 points and the Blue Demons (9-3) extended their winning streak to seven games.

    Temple’s Khalif Wyatt shoots against Syracuse’s Rakeem Christmas, left, and Michael Carter-Williams (1) during the first half in the Gotham Classic tournament at Madison Square Garden, Saturday in New York. Temple defeated Syracuse 83-79.

    Temple upsets No. 3 Syracuse 83-79

    NEW YORK — Khalif Wyatt had never been in Madison Square Garden let alone played there.The Philadelphia native left the building on Saturday after scoring a career-high 33 points and being the key to Temple beating No. 3 Syracuse 83-79 in the first Chevrolet Gotham Classic.“I always wanted to play here because all the great players had a chance to play here,” the 6-foot-4 senior said. “This was a chance for us to show everyone that Temple is a real program.”Anthony Lee had a career-high 21 points for the Owls (9-2), who were coming off a 10-point home loss to Canisius.“I don’t think we would have won today without the loss in the last game,” Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. “Our guys did a great job today. I wish it was worth more than one victory.”This is the fifth straight season Temple has beaten a top 10 team while being unranked.The latest win in that stretch game with the combination of Wyatt from the outside and Lee inside.“We wanted to go inside and out and that meant me going up strong and fighting for rebounds,” said Lee, who had nine rebounds, five offensive, and worked the baseline again and again against Syracuse’s vaunted zone. “That’s playing the Temple game.” Dunphy said Wyatt challenged himself after a poor game against Canisius.“He made some really good plays when we were struggling to score and had to stay in the game,” Dunphy said.The Orange led by two at halftime but never took a lead in the second half even though there were four ties, the last at 59-59 with 10:23 to play.C.J. Fair had a career-high 25 points for Syracuse (10-1), which had its 52-game regular-season nonconference winning streak snapped. Jim Boeheim remained at 900 wins, two behind Bob Knight for second place all-time among Division I men’s coaches. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski has 938 wins.Wyatt made all 15 of his free throw attempts and Lee was 11 of 14 as the Owls were 29 of 36 overall.Syracuse was 19 of 34 from the line including missing four in the final 6 minutes when it was mostly a one-possession game and point guard Michael Carter-Williams finished 7 of 15.“They made free throws, we didn’t,” Boeheim said. “You don’t like to say it comes down to that, but when you miss 15 free throws it’s tough to win any game.”Carter-Williams took the heat.“If I make free throws we win the game,” he said. Temple hit three 3-pointers in an 11-3 run that gave it the lead for good. Scootie Randall started the run with a 3 that broke the 59-all tie. He closed the run with another 3, his only points of the game.The 3-point line also hurt the Orange, who were 2 of 12 from behind the arc while Temple was 8 of 24. “It was one of those nights when it wouldn’t fall,” said Fair, whose only 3-point attempt of the game brought the Orange within 74-72 with 3:01 left but the Owls went 11 of 15 from the free throw line over the final 2:30. Temple’s last field goal was an offensive rebound by Quenton DeCosey with 5:41 left that gave the Owls a 72-66 lead. Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson had four points and 10 rebounds for the Owls. Brandon Triche had 17 points for Syracuse. Baye Moussa Keita added 12 and Carter-Williams, who leads the nation in assists at 10.7 per game, had 13 points and six assists. “Wyatt was able to create a lot of contact and that got him to the free throw line,” Carter-Williams said. “They didn’t play off me and I have to get used to that. We have to learn from this. It’s a long season.”Temple missed 10 of its first 12 shots in falling behind 19-10. The Owls, behind Wyatt who had 20 points in the first half, started hitting shots against the Orange’s zone defense and they made nine of their next 14 shots and tied the game at 35. Syracuse scored five straight points but Wyatt capped his big half with a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left and Temple was within 40-38 at halftime.

    Grayslake Central’s Morgan Dahlstrom, middle, draws contact while trying to drive in between Lake Forest’s Gabby Perino, left, and Annie Keller during Saturday’s game at Warren.

    Miller, Grayslake Central find winning identity

    Maddy Miller scored 11 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, hustled for 6 rebounds and dished out 2 assists in Grayslake Central's 47-29 win over Lake Forest in the opening game of Warren's Blue Devil Classic. The junior forward/guard shouldn't be confused with the Maddy Miller who was a starting guard on the Rams' sectional championship team two years ago.


    Benet opens tournament with cakewalk

    Benet has until Thursday to enjoy Saturday's 64-44 rout of Urban Prep West at the 52nd annual Proviso West Holiday Tournament in Hillside.

    Bartlett’s Lance Whitaker goes to hoop between Rockford Jefferson’s Robert Daniels and Montel Brown at the Jacobs Holiday Tournament on Saturday.

    Technical catapults Bartlett to win

    Technical fouls can change basketball games, especially late in games. Bartlett took advantage of a Rockford Jefferson technical with 3:25 remaining by scoring 4 points in 7 seconds to turn a 1-point deficit into a 3-point lead. The Hawks didn't trail again as they beat the J-Hawks, 53-49, in pool play action at the Jacobs Holiday Tournament Saturday.


    Zion-Benton stops Stevenson, takes command in NSC Lake

    It was a somber group of Stevenson players who exited the locker room Saturday afternoon. Determined to make amends for a 20-point loss to Zion-Benton on Nov. 29 and hopeful of extending their winning streak to 10 games, the Patriots outplayed the Zee-Bees in every facet of the game while fashioning a 21-16 halftime advantage. But while Zion righted its ship in the second half of the North Suburban Lake Division contest, Stevenson went adrift. The result was a 48-35 victory for the host Zee-Bees (11-2, 7-0), who now hold a 2-game division lead over the Patriots (9-5, 5-2).

    Images from the Marmion vs. Geneseo boys basketball game Saturday, December 22, 2012 in DeKalb.

    Images: Marmion Academy vs. Geneseo boys basketball
    Marmion Academy played Geneseo in a holiday tournament boys basketball game Saturday in DeKalb.

    Grayslake Central’s Savannah Mudd, left, and Lake Forest’s Brooke Green hit the floor for a loose ball during Saturday’s game at Warren.

    Images: Lake Forest vs. Grayslake Central girls basketball
    The Grayslake Central Rams played the Lake Forest Scouts in girls basketball action on Saturday, Dec. 22 at the Warren High School tournament in Gurnee.


    Willowbrook beats Glenbard East in defensive battle

    Saturday afternoon's 29-23 Willowbrook win over host Glenbard East in nonconference girls basketball didn't provide much for the highlight video of either team. But defense usually never does.

    Images from the Lake Park vs. Conant girls basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 22 in Hoffman Estates.

    Images: Conant vs. Lake Park girls basketball
    The Conant High School girls basketball team hosted the Lake Park High School girls on Saturday, Dec. 22 in Hoffman Estates.

    Conant’s Sidney O’Keefe puts up a breakaway layup with Lake Park defender Emily Duckhorn trailing the play on Saturday.

    Preparation pays as Conant tops Lake Park

    Conant girls basketball coach Dan Travers believes playing in the competitive Mid-Suburban West prepares his team for games outside the league. Our conference schedule prepares us for our nonconference games," he said. "We just have to come out and play Cougar basketball." Cougars basketball is always about defense. "Our main goal is defense," said Cougars sophomore guard Sidney O'Keeffe. "That's what we focus on the most." That focus sure surfaced in Saturday's nonconference game against visiting Lake Park. The Cougars limited the Lancers to 1 field goal in the first quarter and their offense took care of the rest en route to a 53-28 victory.

    Images from the Bartlett vs. Rockford Jefferson boys basketball game Saturday, December 22, 2012.

    Images: Bartlett vs. Rockford Jefferson boys basketball
    Bartlett played Rockford Jefferson in a boys basketball matchup Saturday at the Jacobs holiday tournament in Algonquin.


    Rolling Meadows looking forward to meeting holiday challenges

    And just like that, the first half of the boys swimming season is water under the bridge — with some choppy conditions coming up. The holiday break is hardly a vacation for those serious about the sport, as the time not spent in the classroom is channeled into extra practice sessions, and lots of conditioning-building yardage


    Westminster Christian routs Harvest

    Westminster Christian 62, Harvest Christian 21: Maddie Versluys had 17 points while McKaila Hays added 15 points and 4 rebounds to lead the Warriors (10-4, 6-0) to a Northeast Athletic Conference win. Westminster shot 56 percent from the field and made 10 of 13 from the free-throw line. Kylee Knox had 10 points to lead Harvest (2-7).


    South Elgin turns one over to Crystal Lake C.

    South Elgin boys basketball coach Chaz Taft just needed to look at the turnover statistic to find out why his team lost. Pressured by Crystal Lake Central's defense, South Elgin committed 19 turnovers in dropping a 74-55 decision to the Tigers in an opening round game of the 2012 Jacobs Boys Holiday Basketball Classic Saturday morning.


    Crater’s game-winner gives Hampshire 10th straight

    Hampshire's boys basketball team keeps finding ways to win. On Saturday, Tyler Crater drove the length of the floor and buried a floater with 3 seconds left as the Whip-Purs edged Chicago Vocational, 49-48, in the Chuck Dayton Tournament in DeKalb. Hampshire, 2-0 in the tournament, won its 10th straight overall after a season-opening loss to Rockford Lutheran.


    Naperville North takes fifth at tourney

    Zoe Swift poured in 22 points and Kayla Sharples added 13 as Naperville North (7-7) beat Providence 53-41 in Friday’s fifth-place game of the Naperville North/Benet Holiday Tournament.Waubonsie Valley 45, Lake Park 28:In a matchup of winless teams, the visiting Warriors (1-11, 1-5 Upstate Eight Valley) beat the Lancers in Roselle for their first win of the season.Hinsdale Central 54, Lyons Twp. 38:Gabrielle Rush tossed in 23 points for the No. 17 Red Devils (9-2, 6-0 West Suburban Silver) in LaGrange.Wheaton Academy 55, Chicago Christian 39:Abby Olson scored 10 points and Marissa Gagliano and Christina Garrison 9 apiece for the Warriors (2-9, 1-4 Suburban Christian Conference Gold).Timothy Christian 40, Westmont 27:Kelli LeGrand scored 9 points for the Trojans (7-6).


    St. Edward’s Madden stellar again

    St. Edward senior gymnast Abby Madden had another stellar night Friday.Competing with the Batavia team in a dual meet against the St. Charles co-op, Madden won the all-around with a 37.90 score.She finished first on the vault (9.5) and the floor (9.75) and second on the bars (9.5). She also scored a 9.15 on the beam.



    Google head of philanthropy Brown leaves to advise startups

    Google Inc.'s head of philanthropy, Shona Brown, is leaving after almost a decade at the company to advise nonprofits and startups. Brown will continue to serve as an informal adviser to Google.org, the philanthropy arm of the operator of the most popular search engine.

    Twitter Inc. and television-ratings provider Nielsen Holdings NV are forming a partnership to measure the amount of online discussion being generated by TV programs, the two companies said.

    Twitter joins with Nielsen to measure TV discussions online

    Twitter Inc. and television-ratings provider Nielsen Holdings NV are forming a partnership to measure the amount of online discussion being generated by TV programs, the two companies said. By tracking TV audiences, the company could provide networks and their advertisers valuable data about which shows are most discussed on the Web, according to Todd Juenger, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

    Guns are exempt from most of the consumer safety laws that improved the rest of American life. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which was established in 1972, is charged with looking over thousands of different kinds of products.

    We have the technology to make safer guns

    Research shows that it's possible to make safer firearms. There are a slew of sensible technologies that gunmakers could add to their products that might prevent hundreds or thousands of deaths per year. Why aren't gunmakers making safer guns? Because guns are exempt from most of the consumer safety laws that improved the rest of American life.


    Economists forecasting moderate 2013 growth

    Business economists believe the country will see modest growth in 2013 with strength coming from a further rebound in housing which will help offset weakness in business investment. In its latest survey of top forecasters, the National Association for Business Economics says it is looking for the economy to grow in 2013 by 2.1 percent after 2.2 percent growth in 2012.

    This undated publicity image released by Activision shows soldiers and terrorists battling in the streets of Yemen in a scene from the video game, “Call of Duty: Black Ops II.” Video-game violence has come under increased scrutiny after the killing of 26 people, including 20 children, in a Connecticut elementary school last week.

    Shooting renews argument over video-game violence

    In the days since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., a shell-shocked nation has looked for reasons. The list of culprits cited include easy access to guns, a strained mental-health system and the "culture of violence" — the entertainment industry's embrace of violence in movies, TV shows and, especially, video games.


    NY Times jumps into mini digital book market

    The New York Times is getting into the business of selling bite-sized digital books based on its reporters' work, giving it entree into a growing market for inexpensive "e-singles" that can be read in a couple of hours. The Times' first mini book will go on sale Monday.

    The Astell & Kern AK100 is a portable music player retailing for $699 and is capable of playing 24-bit, audiophile-quality digital music files.

    Review: High-resolution music player ups the audio ante

    The makers of a new portable music player are betting there are still some people out there who want even better quality. Astell & Kern's new portable music player, the AK100, boasts the ability to play music files with more than six times the information on your standard CD, and several times beyond that of a popular but lowly MP3 file. At $699, it's also nearly five times the price of an iPod Nano.

    Dan Russell-Pinson demonstrates his iPad app in his office at his home in Charlotte, N.C. Russell-Pinson, like many apps developers, is concerned that soon-to-be-issued federal rules intended to strengthen online privacy protection for children will cost him money and curb innovation in an industry that thrives on it.

    Software industry braces for new phone apps rules

    A cellphone game for kids about U.S. geography, "Stack the States," gets rave reviews from parents. Its creator, Dan Russell-Pinson, considered making the 99-cent app better by adding a feature to allow children to play online against one another. But with the Federal Trade Commission issuing more stringent online child privacy rules, he's not even pursuing the idea.

    An empty locker room is shown during the NHL labor lockout at the First Niagara Center, home of the Buffalo Sabres, in Buffalo, N.Y. The NHL lockout that’s already wiped out the first three months of the season is taking its toll on Buffalo businesses. And it’s no different in many of the NHL’s 29 other markets.

    NHL lockout has chilling effect on business

    Most everywhere Lou Billittier turns these days, the Buffalo restaurateur is reminded of the NHL lockout, and its impact on his blue-collar, sports-mad town where Dominik Hasek became a star and the French Connection is still revered. Billittier misses the familiar faces of Sabres players having their traditional game-day lunch at his restaurant, Chef's. "It's amazing the trickle-down effect," Billittier said, standing in his lobby, not far from Chef's "The French Connection" room, honoring the famed former Sabres line of Gilbert Perreault, Rene Robert and Rick Martin.


    Americans hacked don’t know Commerce Chamber left them all alone

    For years, fixing the software flaws that left Adobe Systems's customers prey to hackers simply wasn't a top company priority. Then, in 2009, what became known as the JBIG2 flaw created an existential crisis for the company. For the first time, hackers were found to be using a crack in the armor of Acrobat and Reader to infiltrate major corporations and Adobe had no available fix. "That was the big wake-up call," Brad Arkin, senior director of product security and privacy at the San Jose, Calif.-based company, said.

Life & Entertainment


    She doesn’t want ‘short-term boyfriends’ at holiday dinners

    Her niece, who is divorced, brings her boyfriend at the time to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. She is getting tired of meeting these guys only to find out her niece is no longer with them and/or they have hurt her. How does she gently tell her she no longer wants to meet or have these short-term boyfriends in her house?

    Joyce Lu of Albany, N.Y., scales a wall at The Edge Halfmoon indoor climbing center in Halfmoon, N.Y. The number of indoor climbing gyms has exploded in the past decade.

    Climbing shifts indoors, goes ropeless on boulders

    A giant faux boulder dominates the cavernous space inside suburban Albany's newest climbing gym, a whale of a rock with twentysomethings often clinging to its undersides, straining to mount the 16-foot-high lip through subtle balanced moves and brute strength. As often as not, climbers drop off the bumpy surfaces of the pale blue boulder. The design and weeknight crowd at The Edge reflect two big trends in climbing, toward indoor gyms and low-elevation challenges that don't require a safety rope.

    Architect Frank Lloyd Wright built a home for his son in Phoenix, Ariz. The city council is considering granting the house landmark designation to temporarily protect it from being torn down by the developer who currently owns it.

    Phoenix more than sun in the desert

    With cactus and strip malls obstructing the views at times, visitors could easily write Phoenix off as a place where water and culture are scarce. But this metropolis — which includes upscale Scottsdale and college town Tempe — is a nature lover's oasis with pristine peaks and the vast Sonoran desert. Here are five free ways to heat things up in Phoenix.

    An insider's look at how Lyndon Baines Johnson dealt with challenges is on display at the newly remodeled LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, where the old 1970s-style exhibits now use 21st century technology to put visitors in Johnson's shoes.

    LBJ library shows how presidency reverberates

    An insider's look at how President Lyndon Johnson dealt with the challenges of the Vietnam War and a domestic agenda are on display at the newly remodeled LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, where the old 1970s-style exhibits now use 21st century technology to put visitors in Johnson's shoes.

    Prince’s Lakes, Ind. resident Shari Koenes relaxes in her home after returning from Washington. Koenes was one of 78 volunteers who helped decorate the White House for Christmas. This was the second year she had been asked to work in areas such as the Oval Office and West Wing.

    Indiana woman helps decorate White House for holidays

    First lady Michelle Obama toured the private living quarters of the White House, inspecting this year's selection of holiday decorations. More than 70 volunteers, including Prince's Lakes resident Shari Koenes, worked hours decking the halls. Now they'd find out if their efforts were up to the standards of the first lady of the United States.

    A pillow transformation can instantly enhance the look of a room. Whether it’s your sofa or bed, it’s always nice to have the option of quickly altering the color scheme.

    Use scarves to add splash of color to pillows, decor

    I have been an avid collector of beautiful scarves for a long time. I love vintage but I’ve also been having good luck finding lovely new ones. Use them to transform a pillow and instantly enhance the look of a room.Whether it’s your sofa or bed, it’s always nice to have the option of quickly altering the color scheme of an area. This is especially true around the holidays when you might want certain colors in a room for a gathering, but you don’t necessarily want it to look that way all year. This is a great nondestructive project that will make your pillows look like beautifully wrapped gifts and then when you want a change, simply unpin your scarves from the pillow and start again.Gather: Ÿ Two square scarves. Chiffon looks great, and they can be mix and match — no need for two of the same. Ÿ Coordinating pillow baseŸ Vintage or handmade pin or broochCreate:Ÿ Find two scarves that fit around your pillow, one horizontally and one vertically, with extra room for tying a small knot or bow. Folding your scarf diagonally will make it longest.Ÿ Tie your scarves around your pillow so the knots are front and center.Ÿ Secure a vintage or handmade pin into the center of the pillow over the scarves. This will help keep them both in place. I used a big fabric floral pin with another rhinestone pin attached to the floral pin in the center to make the pillow special.You can easily make your own fabric floral pin by layering flower-shaped scraps of fabric together and topping them off with a decorative button. Simply sew the button to the top layer by hand, then down through the center of all the bottom layers, and then hot glue a pin back to the opposite side. I love the look of the raw layered fabric edges on the pin combined with the crisp silk chiffon scarves. This is also a great last-minute gift idea.Ÿ Dena Fishbein is the designer and artist behind many home, gift and paper products found at your favorite stores. Visit her blog at denadesigns.com.

    Santa Claus will be in the pool and on the pool's deck to meet with youngsters at the Swim With Santa event at the Elk Grove Pavilion Aquatic Center in Elk Grove Village.

    Weekend picks: Swim with Santa? You bet

    Santa Claus will take to the pool and pose for photos at the annual Swim With Santa event at the Elk Grove Pavilion Aquatic Center today. Don't miss the final performance today of the Joffrey Ballet's “The Nutcracker.” See thousands of twinkling lights and holiday scenes at Brookfield Zoo's annual Holiday Magic lights festival this weekend. Singer-songwriter Andrew Ripp plays a hometown show tonight at Durty Nellie's in Palatine.

    Beck Hansen wants you to think about the way music has changed over the last century and what that means about how human beings engage each other these days.

    Beck looks for new connection with 'Song Reader'

    Beck Hansen wants you to think about the way music has changed over the last century. Laboring over the intricate and ornate details of his new "Song Reader" sheet music project, he was struck by how social music used to be — something we've lost in the age of ear buds. Beck hopes the "Song Reader," which includes 20 songs annotated on sheet music, inspires some of us to pick up instruments and limber our vocal cords..

    “Two Graves” by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

    'Two Graves' is exceptional thriller

    The names Preston & Child on the cover of a book promise a unique reading experience unlike any other, and "Two Graves" delivers the high thrills one expects from the two masters. With "Two Graves," authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have delivered another exceptional book. The novel is the conclusion of a trilogy that started with "Fever Dream" and last year's "Cold Vengeance," though one could easily pick up this book and not feel lost.

    Gold-filled open-faced pocket watches can fetch a high price.

    A 23-jewel watch is popular with collectors

    Q. I traded for this watch 50-some years ago. It is 23-jewel, in excellent running condition and keeps perfect time. Could you please tell me something about it and how much it is worth?

    Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana star in “The Words,” coming out this week on DVD.

    DVD previews: ‘Words,’ ‘Looper’

    Coming out on DVD in the comiing week are "The Words," starring Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana, along with "Looper" with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis.

    Bing Crosby’s and his classic “White Christmas” tops the list of holiday songs for many people.

    What would make your Christmas playlist?

    There are plenty of people who loathe Christmas music or tire of it quickly, and it can be easy to see why: Every year brings fruitless attempts to introduce a new song into the canon or put a new spin on a holiday classic, and that can be a drag. But what about that perfect rendition of the holiday standard you otherwise hate? Or that Christmas song that has many great versions, but you can't decide which one is the best?

    New York pet columnist Sarah Zorn says her dog Rowdy enjoys his gingerbread holiday dog biscuits.

    Don't forget the holiday dinner for your dog

    The most prized holiday guests are those that eat with gusto, express their appreciation and lick their plates clean. So what if some of them eat off the floor, get a little sloppy and never help with the dishes? Plenty of people cook for their dogs year-round, but the holidays might be the easiest time because human menus can be so easily adapted to their needs, said Sarah Zorn, a New York pet columnist.

    Designer Zac Posen is the new featured judge on the upcoming season of “Project Runway.”

    Zac Posen filling hot seat on ‘Project Runway’

    Zac Posen is in on “Project Runway” — he’ll be the new featured judge, filling the chair Michael Kors sat in for the show’s first 10 seasons. “This was an amazing opportunity,” Posen said. “I hope I’m here to give a new perspective to the designers.”

    Virginia State Parks ranger Bob Flippen, right, at Virginia’s High Bridge Trail State Park leads a group of hikers on a First Day Hike in Va. The hike was one of 400 First Day Hikes held at state parks last Jan. 1.

    Free guided hikes Jan. 1 in all 50 states

    For more than 20 years, state park officials in Massachusetts have encouraged locals to get off the couch Jan. 1 and take a hike — nothing too strenuous, but a healthy way to start the new year. Last year, a group called America’s State Parks expanded the effort, called First Day Hikes, to all 50 states. The group hoped for 50 events but had no idea how many Americans would willingly skip New Year’s Eve revelry in order to get up early Jan. 1 and hit the woods. They ended up with 400 outings that drew 14,000 people, hiking a total of more than 30,000 miles.



    The Soapbox

    Daily Herald editors muse on the end of the world that didn't happen and the end of waning daylight hours -- which is happening -- among other topics.


    Perpetuating a culture of death
    A West Dundee letter to the editor: Even before the lifeless bodies of the Sandy Hook massacre could be removed from the classrooms, the predictable, illogical and emotional calls for gun control/elimination began echoing through the media from the usual sources.


    We should repeal Second Amendment
    A Libertyville letter to the editor: Now is the time to repeal the Second Amendment and write reasonable gun laws


    No where else are gun laws so lax
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: The National Rifle Association and its supporters like to say: “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” The fact is, though, that it is much harder to kill without a gun and so easy to kill large numbers very fast with semi- or fully automatic weapons.


    A Christmas plea for prayer
    A Huntley letter to the editor: Each year, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, it once again becomes a reminder that God has given us His Son, so that we can be saved.


    We must end our love affair with guns
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Concealed carry in Illinois — seriously? Chicago is already close to, if not at, the point of being the handgun murder capital of the U.S. Why are we wanting to put more guns on our streets and possibly into the hands of people who mean to harm others?


    Court ruling will help crime drop
    An Elk Grove Village letter to the editor: You will not have the Wild West. Forty nine other states do not have the Wild West. Most of the recent shootings have been in “gun free” zones like the theater massacre. An armed society is a polite society.


    God’s healing love needed at this time
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: I hope all, especially the nonbelievers among us, had the opportunity to listen to the poignant, moving, faith based eulogies from the various religious leaders of that community as well as President Obama’s reflection — and that they may take from it the love, peace and inspiration based on the love of God.


    We’ve waited too long for action
    A Rolling Meadows letter to the editor: These are the latest victims of our culture that glorifies violence, refuses to discuss gun control and ignores the problems of mental illness. How many more children and adults have to die before we get the message?


    Craft Illinois’ gun laws carefully
    A Park Ridge letter to the editor: Let’s rethink and retool when drafting this new state statute during these critical times of uncertainty. We are not just another Third World country.


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