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Daily Archive : Saturday December 29, 2012

News

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    Firefighter Gus Tsoulos, left, gets a plaque from Fire Chief Donald R. Gould Jr.

    Prospect Heights department names firefighter of the year

    Prospect Heights firefighter Gus Tsoulos was named firefighter of the year by his peers and members of the fire command unit at the Prospect Heights Fire District's annual holiday awards dinner. "His primary responsibility is serving from the east side fire station, which draws nearly 1,000 calls per year," said Deputy Fire Chief Timothy Jones. "He's a good fireman, who is well liked and...

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    Commuters wait on the platform Friday as a train passes through the 40th St-Lowry St Station, where a man was killed after being pushed onto the subway tracks, in the Queens section of New York.

    Woman charged with murder in subway shoving to undergo psych examination

    A woman accused of pushing a man to his death in front of a subway train was charged Saturday with murder as a hate crime and was ordered to undergo a psychiatric examination. Police arrested Erica Menendez on Saturday after a passer-by on a street noticed she resembled the woman seen in a surveillance video.

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    Hailey Kenny, one of five Crystal Lake moms who spearheaded the Miracles for Moose Foundation, points to photos of 18-year-old Anthony “Moose” Mustari, of Crystal Lake, who is battling a rare form of leukemia. A benefit hockey game was held Saturday at Leafs Ice Centre in West Dundee to raise funds for the Mustari family.

    Hockey fundraiser benefits Crystal Lake 'superfan'

    When Anthony Mustari was a student at Prairie Ridge High School in Crystal Lake, he never failed to support his school, always cheering at games of football, basketball, baseball and more. About 40 classmates and friends attended a "Miracles for Moose" hockey game benefit Saturday morning at Leafs Ice Centre in West Dundee.

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    Evelyn Mosena, 3, of Carol Stream, gets her face painted Saturday at the Carol Stream Park District’s Teenie Weenie New Year’s Eve Ball.

    Carol Stream kids make noise for early New Year

    New Year's Eve always comes early for kids. On Saturday, kids ages one to five got to experience new year's festivities a full two-and-a-half days early during the Carol Stream Park District's Teenie Weenie New Year's Eve Ball at Smikus Recreation Center. "They don't seem to care" about the earlier date and time, said Suzanne Waghorne, recreation coordinator. "And it's fun to count down to noon."

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    Crows fly on the Illinois State University Quad at dusk Thursday, in Normal, Ill. Thousands of crows have been roosting on the quad.

    ISU’s pesky crows not scared by phony snakes, owls

    Illinois State University has tried just about everything, but has not been able to stop thousands of crows from roosting on the quad this winter.West Nile Virus took a heavy toll on the birds in 2001. Since then, however, they've bounced back, causing a nuisance.

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    Chicago-bound United jet slips off runway

    A regional jet has skidded into a snow bank at an upstate New York airport and become stuck, temporarily stranding passengers.

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    Jiroemon Kimura poses for a photograph in Kyotango City, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan, in this handout photograph provided to the media.

    Japanese man, 115, becomes oldest man in recorded history

    Jiroemon Kimura, a 115-year-old Japanese man born when Queen Victoria still reigned over the British Empire, became the oldest man in recorded history Friday, according to record keepers.

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    Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez , left, talks Saturday with Venezuela’s Vice President Nicolas Maduro, center, as Venezuelan Attorney General Cilia Flores watches at the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana.

    Venezuela VP visits ailing Chavez

    Vice President Nicholas Maduro is the highest ranking Venezuelan official to visit Chavez since the surgery.

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    School officials skeptical of pension reform plan

    The devil is in the details for Northwest suburban school officials who met Saturday with Rep. David Harris to talk about shifting some pension costs from the state to the schools. School officials questioned how much they will have to pay, how they will get the money, and whether the Legislature will keep pushing more costs on them in future years.

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    Susan Clements and her mother, Judy, celebrate the 20th anniversary of Susan’s liver transplant Saturday in Elk Grove Village.

    Party marks milestone for Elk Grove Village woman

    Susan Clements and her family and friends celebrated a miracle Saturday--the 20th anniversary of when the Elk Grove Village woman received a liver transplant. "The odds of my living were not good," said Clements, who listed some of her health issues that made finding a match and preventing rejection challenging.

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    A young Indian girl leads a protest march Saturday while holding torches as they mourn the death of a gang rape victim in New Delhi, India. Indian police charged six men with murder on Saturday, adding to accusations that they beat and gang-raped the woman on a New Delhi bus nearly two weeks ago in a case that shocked the country.

    India reacts to rape victim’s death

    The protesters, many of whom wore black tape across their mouths and held candles, were not allowed to march on the central boulevard, called India Gate, as they did last week. Police boxed them into a tiny street in the heart of the city where they sat on the ground chanting slogans and singing songs.

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    Indian men and women lie down on the ground Saturday mimicking dead bodies as they mourn the death of a gang rape victim in New Delhi, India.

    Ten reasons India has a rape problem

    In recent years, New Delhi has earned the title of "rape capital" of India, with more than 560 cases of rape reported in the city, but violence against Indian women is widespread and has deep roots.

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    Shmuel Fortman Hapartzy, the Cain and Abel School for Prophets founder and teacher, speaks to students in Tel Aviv, Israel.

    Now you, too. can become a prophet

    Anyone looking in the curriculum for "Parting the Sea 101" or "How to Predict the Future" or even "Principles of Proclaiming A Jeremiad" will be disappointed. Instead, students learn about the meaning of dreams, the classification of angels, the mysteries of the holy spirit.

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    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov,right, and U.N. envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, center, shake hands Saturday as they meet in Moscow.

    Russia: Assad won’t go

    Russia's foreign minister said Saturday that Syrian President Bashar Assad has no intention of stepping down and it would be impossible to try to persuade him otherwise.

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    A Yemeni boy sits with his family while they pray Friday in Sanaa, Yemen. Since the beginning of the revolution, the Friday prayer has been held on 60 Street near Sanaa University, drawing thousands of people.

    Suspected drone attack kills three al-Qaida terrorists

    Three al-Qaida militants were killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike in southern Yemen, Yemeni security officials said, the fourth such attack this week and a sign attacks from unmanned aircraft are on the upswing in the country.

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    A Pakistani woman grieves after losing her son in a blast, at a local hospital Saturday in Karachi, Pakistan. The blast that ripped through the bus set the vehicle on fire and reduced it to little more than a charred skeleton, killing six people and leaving scores injured.

    Taliban blamed in killing of 21 Pakistani policemen

    Twenty-one tribal policemen believed to have been kidnapped by the Taliban were found shot dead in Pakistan's troubled northwest tribal region early Sunday, government officials said.

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    Spain’s Rafael Nadal wipes his face as he plays Serbia’s Novak Djokovic during their men’s final match in the French Open tennis tournament. Nadal will miss the Australian Open because of a stomach virus.

    Experts: Flu season could be severe

    WASHINGTON —Flu season in the United States is having its earliest start in nearly a decade and health officials say this season could be a bad one.Although flu is always unpredictable, the early nature of the cases and the predominant type circulating this year could make this a severe flu season, said officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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    A person walks in a snowfall Saturday at Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Buffalo, N.Y.

    Week’s second storm milder for some

    Snow from a mild but widespread winter storm began falling Saturday over most of the Northeast and the upper Ohio River Valley, the second in less than a week for the regions.Forecasters expected the heaviest snowfall of up to 8 inches in southern New England.

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    NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity takes a pit stop, at a shallow depression called “Yellowknife Bay.”

    Road trip on tap for NASA’s Mars rover

    Since captivating the world with its acrobatic landing, the Mars rover Curiosity has fallen into a rhythm: Drive, snap pictures, zap at boulders, scoop up dirt. Repeat.Topping its to-do list in the new year: Set off toward a Martian mountain — a trek that will take up a good chunk of the year.

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    Ex-President George H.W. Bush delivers the keynote speech before receiving an honorary Doctor of Public Administration degree at Suffolk University in Boston.

    Former President Bush moved out of intensive care

    HOUSTON — Former President George H.W. Bush's condition continued to improve Saturday, prompting doctors to move him out of intensive care, a spokesman said.

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    U.S. Army Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf points to row of photos of Kuwait’s Ahmadi Sea Island Terminal on fire after a U.S. attack on the facility.

    Notable deaths last week

    Truth is, retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf didn’t care much for his popular “Stormin’ Norman” nickname.

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    The first draft of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which was presented to his full cabinet on July 22, 1862, is displayed at the Library of Congress in Washington.

    Watch Nights mark Emancipation Proclamation 150th anniversary

    The official document bears Lincoln's signature and the United States seal, setting it apart from copies and drafts. It will make a rare public appearance from Sunday to Tuesday — New Year's Day — for thousands of visitors to mark its anniversary.

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    N. Barrington trustee says contentment reduced candidates

    Despite the return of controversial retail development plans for the 108-acre Dimucci property nearby, at least one North Barrington trustee interprets the general lack of candidate interest in the April 9 village board election as contentment among residents. "On the face of it, it's disappointing, but things have been on an even keel," said Trustee E. Peter Boland, who's been on and off the...

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    Rescuers work Saturday at the site of a plane crash at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow.

    4 dead in Moscow airliner crash

    A passenger airliner careered off the runway at Russia's third-busiest airport while landing on Saturday, broke into pieces and caught fire, killing at least four people. Officials said there were eight people aboard the Tu-204 belonging to Russian airline Red Wings that was flying back from the Czech Republic without passengers to its home at Vnukovo Airport.

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    James Bartusek, a senior at Geneva High School, won first place in a jazz competition at Buddy Guy’s in Chicago.

    Looking back on a year of Tri-City news

    Dave Heun ...

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    This NASA photo shows a color self-portrait of the Mars rover Curiosity. It is set to drive toward a Martian mountain in mid-February after drilling into a rock.

    Road trip on tap for NASA’s Mars rover in new year

    NASA's newest Mars rover is gearing up for a road trip. But first, it has to drill into a rock. Curiosity's first priority in the new year is to test out its drill. The car-size rover landed in a crater near the Martian equator over the summer to great fanfare. Since then, it has been taking it slow.

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    Steven Bridges, left, receives a wedding ring from Michael Snell, early Saturday, Dec. 29, at city hall in Portland, Maine. Same-sex couples in Maine are now legally allowed to marry under a new law that went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday.

    Maine greets gay marriage with midnight weddings

    The first couples to seek a wedding under Maine's voter-approved law allowing same-sex marriage have exchanged vows.The law went into effect Saturday a minute after midnight. Portland, the largest city in the state, held special hours to accommodate couples who didn't want to wait to get married.

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    Dawn Nguyen is escorted into the Federal Building, Friday, Dec. 28, in Rochester, N.Y., and charged in connection with the guns used in the Christmas Eve ambush slaying of two volunteer firefighters responding to a house fire in Webster, N.Y.

    Woman charged in New York firefighter slayings

    On Friday, state and federal authorities charged the woman who bought the guns used when William Spengler ambush firefighters lured to a blaze he set at his house in upstate Webster. Dawn Nguyen, 24, was charged with lying on a form that said she would be the owner of the guns she bought for Spengler. The charges involve the semiautomatic rifle and the 12-gauge shotgun that Spengler had with him...

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    Vultures pick at visitors’ cars in Florida Everglades

    Visitors to parts of Everglades National Park are getting tarps and bungee cords to make their vehicles less delectable to vultures.Migrating vultures have developed a habit of ripping off windshield wipers, sunroof seals, and other rubber and vinyl vehicle parts. Visitors to the park's Homestead and Flamingo entrances are loaned "anti-vulture kits" to protect their vehicles.

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    People walk by the remains of a market burned in an overnight fire in the Haitian capital’s Market District in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Saturday, Dec. 29. The market is one of several that have burned over the past year.

    State Dept. strengthens Haiti travel warning

    The State Department has issued a revised Haiti travel advisory, warning Americans planning to travel to the Caribbean island nation about robbery, lawlessness, infectious disease and poor medical facilities. "U.S. citizens have been victims of violent crime, including murder and kidnapping, predominantly in the Port-au-Prince area. No one is safe from kidnapping, regardless of occupation,...

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    DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin discusses his vision for the coming year.

    Cronin: Consolidation, roads top issues for 2013

    DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin outlines his goals for the coming year, including trying to get state law changed to allow for the consolidation of several taxing bodies in the county. He also wants to work with other counties to get more money for public transit in the suburbs.

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    Governor bid unlikely for Cronin

    DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin talks about the race for Illinois governor.

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    Judge Manuel Barbosa of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Illinois, retired Friday after 14 years on the bench.

    Pioneer Hispanic federal judge from Elgin retires

    Federal Judge Manuel Barbosa likes to say that one of the best things that happened to him during his 14-year judgeship was getting to shake the hand that shook the hand of Abraham Lincoln. Barbosa, 65, of Elgin was the first Hispanic bankruptcy judge to serve in the Northern District of Illinois, retired Friday from his post in Rockford.

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    Mohammed Morsi addresses the newly convened upper house of parliament in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Dec. 29. Egypt’s Islamist president warned against any unrest that could harm the drive to repair the country’s battered economy in his first address before the newly convened upper house of parliament, urging the opposition to work with his government.

    Egypt’s Mursi says unity imperative for stability and economy

    Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi called on the opposition to work alongside the government to stabilize the country and revive the economy, saying all must take stock of the nation's needs and renounce violence. The Islamist president, in a speech before the parliament's upper house, said it is time for the country to restart production and realize the goals of the uprising that toppled Hosni...

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    South Bend seeks new use for hall of fame building

    South Bend officials are looking to find a new occupant for a prime piece of downtown real estate that will go vacant after the College Football Hall of Fame closes its doors on Sunday. The National Football Foundation announced three years ago it was moving the hall to Atlanta after failing to draw the crowds expected when it moved the facility from Ohio to South Bend in 1995.

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    Waukegan Y to close Monday

    Lake County Family YMCA will close its two branch facilities in Vernon Hills and Waukegan on Monday, Dec. 31, due to financial difficulties. While the Vernon Hills branch will remain open as the Lakeside Fitness Center owned and operated by the Vernon Hills Park District, the Waukegan one was unable to find a savior.

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    Mrs. Claus reads “‘Twas the Night before Christmas” to children at Hesed House in Aurora while Santa looks on. Also known as Ted and Marianne Wilkinson, the couple have been playing Santa and Mrs. Claus in the Aurora area for 24 years.

    Santa and Mrs. Claus pack their suits for move to Tennessee

    Children know this is the real Santa because of the magic key he wears around his neck. That's to visit homes where there's no chimney to go down. Or maybe they know this red-suited man is for real because of the kindness and love that radiate from him and Mrs. Claus. "I do this because I love kids," says Ted Wilkinson of Yorkville.

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    It took Brian and Kelly Bielski of Roselle much longer than anticipated to adopt their son Mason, now 4, from a Russian orphanage in 2011 because of political and legal entanglements that have only gotten worse in recent days.

    Suburban families say Russian adoption ban adds to complicated process

    Russian President Vladimir Putin's signing of a law banning Americans from adopting Russian children is the latest roadblock for many suburban families. In recent years, the process has been made tougher for American couples looking to adopt from the former communist country. "When you're dealing with a foreign country like that, you've got to be prepared for anything," said Brian Bielski of...

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    The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has approved a permit to develop a construction and demolition debris recycling facility in Round Lake Park.

    State permit granted for material recycling facility in Round Lake Park

    The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has approved a permit for Groot Industries to build a construction and demolition material recyling faciliy on Porter Drive north of Route 120 in Round Lake Park. The facility could be open by summer. Groot also intends to pursue approval for a waste transfer station nearby. Local residents have opposed both.

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    Jeanne Schultz Angel, executive director of the Lombard Historical Society, examines a map depicting northern Illinois sites on the Underground Railroad.

    Lombard historic site celebrates Emancipation Proclamation’s 150th anniversary

    On New Year's Day, the document that helped free slaves during the Civil War turns 150. The Lombard Historical Society's Sheldon Peck Homestead will open from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday to mark the Emancipation Proclamation's milestone anniversary. "We thought we'd be a leader in the commemoration," said Jeanne Schultz Angel, executive director of the Lombard Historical Society.

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    A member of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees wears a protest message on his shirt while rallying against new pension rules at the Illinois state Capitol in Springfield.

    The numbers behind the upcoming state pension debate

    Complicated by political forces, perceptions of unfairness and an Illinois Constitution that seems to prohibit reducing workers' benefits, solving the state pension is like the hardest math problem in the textbook. Here are some of the numbers you'll hear as state lawmakers convene next week to try to address the problem.

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    Brad Krueger of Alma Center, Wis., holds his neighbors’ chicken, Cluck Cluck, on Friday. The chicken, which the neighbors kept as a pet, is being credited for saving that family from an early-morning fire Thursday by waking the couple with its vocal clucking.

    Wisconsin couple says pet chicken alerted them to blaze

    A Wisconsin couple says clucks, not fire trucks, helped them escape a blaze at their home. Dennis Murawska, 59, said a pet chicken named Cluck Cluck woke his wife Susan Cotey, 52, with loud clucking from its cage in the basement two floors below about 6:15 a.m. Thursday. "The chicken gets quite vocal when she gets excited," he said.

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    Christopher Shukin

    Glen Ellyn residents unnerved by man’s arrests, behavior

    A DuPage County judge set tighter bond conditions for a Glen Ellyn man Friday after neighbors unnerved by the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., raised concerns about his growing arrest record and unusual behavior. Christopher Shukin, 22, has been arrested 10 times since November 2011 on a variety of charges, from walking around naked to window peeping and grabbing a 4-year-old child he didn't...

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    Work continues on the construction of a new domed gym at Edna High School in Edna, Texas. The hurricane dome, a structure being built in part with money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, can be used to house first responders or residents evacuated during a storm.

    Texas builds ‘hurricane domes’ for double-duty

    Most of the time, the windowless building with the dome-shaped roof will be a typical gymnasium filled with cheering fans watching basketball and volleyball games. But come hurricane season, the structure that resembles a miniature version of the famed Astrodome will double as a hurricane shelter, part of an ambitious storm-defense system that is taking shape along hundreds of miles of the Texas...

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    Rabbi Mendel Shemtov has been running the Chabad of Elgin & Hoffman Estates since the summer.

    Rabbi wants to reach out to every Jew in Elgin and beyond

    Rabbi Mendel Shemtov says his goal is to meet every Jew in Elgin. Perhaps surprisingly, there's an estimated 2,000 Jews who live within a 15-mile radius of the new Chabad of Elgin & Hoffman Estates at 30W509 Shoe Factory Road. "Everyone says they're the only ones," he said, "but we tend to find more and more every day."

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    Stripes of light turn a shady resting area into what looks like a frog parking lot at Ferson Creek Park in St. Charles.

    Images: Daily Herald- Pictures of 2012
    The best of images from Daily Herald staff photographers in 2012. From colorful features to intense high school sports, these images paint a portrait of life in the suburbs of Chicago in the year 2012.

Sports

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    Bulls guard Richard Hamilton returned to the lineup Saturday night, finishing with 9 points in the victory over the Wizards.

    Bulls get well in win over Wizards

    After getting blown out in back-to-back games, the Bulls were sort of given a free pass at redemption. First, a challenging game at Indiana was snowed out. Next on the schedule was a visit from the Washington Wizards, who own the league’s worst record. The Bulls won 87-77, but it wasn’t as easy as it sounds.

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    Bulls’ Thibodeau says play well, get minutes

    Tom Thibodeau was asked before Saturday's game against Washington what he can do to keep Marco Belinelli playing well in a reserve role. Nothing, really. “I think that’s a cop out, ‘Oh, I need more minutes,’” Thibodeau said. “Play well with the minutes you get. That’s how you get more minutes."

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

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

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

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    Benet rebounds against H-F

    Benet 71, Homewood-Flossmoor 55:The Redwings (13-3) advanced to the fifth-place game at the Proviso West Holiday Tournament behind 23 points from Sean O’Mara. Eddie Eshoo scored 17 points and Pat McInerney added 12 points for Benet, which plays Bogan at 1 p.m. Monday.St. Francis 44, Glenbard West 41:The Spartans (10-2) claimed third place at the Glenbard West Holiday Classic while withstanding a 17-7 fourth-quarter run by the host Hilltoppers (8-4). Jason Pisarski, who led St. Francis with 13 points, hit 4 of 6 fourth-quarter free throws. Andrew Kimball added 10 points. The Hilltoppers’ Corey Davis led all scorers with 18 points.Timothy Christian 51, West Chicago 37:Timothy Christian’s duo of Connor VanderBrug and Danny Leach struck again with 22 and 18 points, respectively, to gain fifth place at Glenbard West. The Trojans improved to 5-10. West Chicago (3-10) got 11 points from Mike Zajac and 10 from Jimmy Rizzo.Fenton 51, Hubbard 46:Greg Wagner’s 11 points led a balanced Bison attack in the seventh-place Glenbard West finish for Fenton (3-10).Wheaton North 50, Sandburg 42:Matt Biegalski scored 18 points as the Falcons (5-5) closed play at the Hinsdale South Holiday Tournament with a win over the Eagles.Immaculate Conception 57, St. Edward 51:Immaculate Conception (12-3) won the title of the IC/Westmont Tournament in Westmont, repeating as winner of the two-year-old tourney. Demetrius Carr scored a game-high 17 points with 14 rebounds and the Knights clinched the win with a 21-8 fourth-quarter advantage. Sean Sutton scored 14 points and Antony Taylor 13 for IC. Davontae Elam scored 14 to lead St. Edward (13-3).

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    Metea Valley claims Oswego East crown

    Lori Obendorf scored a career-high 28 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and played all 32 minutes to power No. 17 Metea Valley past Oswego East 59-53 in the championship game of the Oswego East Holiday Classic.

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    Furious finish favors Fremd

    If anyone deserves a break, it’s Fremd’s girls basketball team.Despite playing 11 games in the last 15 days, the Vikings hardly gave a break to any of their opponents.Fremd capped the busy schedule on Saturday by finishing fifth in an elite Christmas tournament hosted by Montini High School in Lombard.After jumping out to a 15-6 lead, then rallying from a 25-21 deficit, Fremd got past Romeoville 40-39 to improve its record to 15-4 heading into the 2013 portion of its schedule.Saturday’s game in Lombard went back and forth until junior Hannah Labarge hit a 3-pointer that gave the Vikes a 34-31 lead.“It was not a thing of perfection, but we gutted one out on the last day,” said Fremd coach Dave Yates. “Romeoville (13-3) is a very good team and we knew we would get a serious challenge from them. They are well coached and a senior laden group who play very well together.”Senior guard Ashley McConnell led the Vikings (16-4) with 14 points while classmate Bernie Williams added 12. “We made the plays when we needed and played some very solid defense down the stretch,” Yates added. “I thought Erica Simios and Shannon Wittel did a nice job on Kiera Currie (a Bolingbrook transfer who had 33 points in an earlier game in the tournament). “Williams scored 8 of the game’s first 10 points.“Bernie gave us a huge lift to start the game,” said Yates, who was without two starters (ankle injuries to Haley Gorecki and Marilyn Lortz). “I am very proud of this group. To go 3-1 in a tournament that is easily the best in the state is an accomplishment. To do it without two starters says even more. We are excited for some time off and a chance to get back to full strength.It was Fremd’s first appearance in the Montini Tournament.“We were very excited to be a part of a tournament of this caliber.” Yates said. “The atmosphere was unbelievable, the crowds were awesome, and the games were phenomenal. We feel like we were tested every day by teams that we don’t typically play. Coach (Jason) Nichols has done a wonderful job.”Palatine 43, Lake Forest 40: Despite losing it leading scorer Nia Pappas (ankle), Palatine (16-4) went 4-1 to take second place in the Blue devil Classic at Warren High School.Senior McKenzie Wiedemann (17 points, 6 steals, 1 assist) led the Pirates while Monica Masini added 7 with 12 rebounds. Juniors Erin Mayer and Morgan Radtke each added 6 points.“The girls played well, “ said Pirates assistant coach Bill LePage. “We just had a few too many turnovers, but everything else was good. Wew’ve still got a lot of stuff to work on. We are a good team but we could become a great team if we tie up the loose ends. We hope we can do that in the new year.”Christian Liberty 56, Aldron Hebron 43: The Chargers (11-3) took first place (2-1 record) in the Alden Hebron Holiday Classic Tournament due to tournament rules (least defensive points allowed).Despite suffering a bruised nose, junior guard Megan Sullivan (3 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocked shots) led the Chargers with a career-high 26 points (two 3-pointers and 12-of-15 free throws).Sophomore guard Jessica Moriarty (4 assists, 5 rebounds) added 19 points and hit all three 3-pointers that she attempted. Also scoring for the Chargers were junior center Shelbi Hernadez (8 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks) and sophomore guard Jenn West (3).Barrington 51, Mother McAuley 50: Senior Alexa Resch (16 points, 7 rebounds), Megan Talbot (9 points, 10 rebounds), Angie Kirchoff (7 points, 5 assists) and Maddie Bartz (7 points) were top scorers for Barrington (12-6) which took home fifth place in the prestigious Dundee-Crown Charger Classic.“I was very proud of the kids’ play throughout the tournament,” said Barrington coach Babbi Barreiro. “To go 3-1 and lose to Evanston (15-0 at the time) by 4, we did a lot of good things.”Barreiro knows her team has a lot of work to do.

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    Neuqua Valley lays claim to E. Aurora title

    Neuqua Valley boys basketball coach Todd Sutton had called Pleasure Ridge Park the most talented team the Wildcats will face all year. What does that make Neuqua Valley? If nothing else, Saturday’s 67-55 victory over the Kentucky team made Neuqua champion of the 47th annual East Aurora Holiday Tournament, going 4-0 in its debut there and improving to 14-0.

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    Larkin’s Kendale McCullum (10) goes head-to-head with Elgin’s Arie Williams during the championship game of the Elgin Holiday Tournament Saturday night at Chesbrough Field House. Larkin won 60-51.

    Elgin tourney champ Larkin all smiles

    Larkin starters Quentin Ruff, Quantice Hunter, Kendale McCullum and Drew Jones made the slow, triumphant walk up the basketball court, trailing fellow starter Brayden Royse as he headed to the free throw line with 16 seconds left in the 38th Annual Elgin Holiday Tournament Saturday night, each flashing a wider smile than the last. With the title securely in hand after 4 victories in four days, the excited, exhausted Royals finally let their guard down and encouraged their fans to raise the Chesbrough Field House roof in celebration of Larkin’s 60-51 victory over rival Elgin, the defending tournament champion. The victory was the ninth in a row for the streaking Royals (14-2), who won the Elgin Tournament for the first time in school history.

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    Montini’s Sara Ross shoots against Rolling Meadows in the championship game of Montini’s holiday tournament in Lombard on Saturday.

    Montini measures up against Rolling Meadows

    Hardened by its only loss, Montini earned its biggest win of the year. Plodding along offensively for two-plus quarters — much like against Peoria Richwoods one week prior — the No. 2 Broncos roared back from 10 down in the third quarter to knock off previously unbeaten No. 1 Rolling Meadows 52-43 in Saturday’s championship game of the Montini Christmas Tournament in front of a near-capacity crowd in Lombard.

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    Maine S. denies Naperville C. title at Dundee-Crown

    When Naperville Central’s Jamie Cuny nailed a 3-pointer from the left corner with 10 seconds remaining in the third quarter to give the Redhawks an 11-point lead that capped a 17-5 quarter, it only seemed inevitable that the Redhawks were about to capture their first Dundee-Crown Charger Classic girls basketball championship since they won back-to-back titles with Candace Parker in 2002-03. If anything, the Maine South looked dead in the water after it shot with a lid on its basket, going 2 for 11 in the third quarter with its first points in the second half coming with 1:40 remaining on a basket by Regan Carmichael. However, the lid made its way over to Naperville Central’s end and when Maine South threw in a trap as well midway through the fourth, all bets were off as the Hawks used a 15-4 fourth quarter to force overtime. In the extra session, Carmichael continued her onslaughtm scoring 15 of her career-high 27 points bridging the fourth and overtime to seal a 54-43 comeback win to as the Hawks claimed the D-C championship in their first appearance in the tourney Saturday night in Carpentersville.

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    Picture this: Wauconda wins at Marengo

    Celebratory photo opportunities have been rare for the Wauconda boys basketball team. But the Bulldogs are determined to change the way people picture their program in Lake County. That determination was evident Saturday night when they faced Sycamore in the championship game of the 63rd annual E.C. Nichols Tournament. And answering every challenge gave Wauconda players and coaches the chance to joyfully pose for plenty of photos with the title plaque after a gritty 53-48 victory at Homer “Bill” Barry Gymnasium. “My mom just showed me the other night in the program that the last time we won this tournament was 1978,” said Wauconda senior Austin Swenson. “I was just shocked.”

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    LZ finishes with Pekin win

    Lake Zurich 61, Hersey 50: Brad Kruse canned three 3s and finished with a game-high 13 points to lead the Bears past the Huskies in Pekin tournament play.Josh Repplinger had 11 points and Jack O’Neill made a pair of 3s for Lake Zurich, which finished 2-2 in the tournament and improved to 6-9 overall.Hersey, which finished 1-3 in the tourney, was led by Alex Sutrinaitis and Mike Fuerst with 9 points apiece.“We’ve done a lot of things well lately but have not been able to validate it with the win, and today we were able to do that against a good, hard-nosed, well-coached team,” said Lake Zurich coach Billy Pitcher. “I think this was a breakthrough win for our team heading into the second half of the season.”Prospect 49, Vernon Hills 33: At Wheeling, the Knights extended a 21-20 halftime advantage to 37-26 by the end of the third quarter to take the consolation third-place game in the Hardwood Classic.Welby Malczewski and Devin O’Hara scored 13 and 10 points, respectively, for Prospect.Vernon Hills (7-9, 1-3) received a game-high 16 points from Stephen Curry.Streamwood 64, Libertyville 51: At Wheeling, Jack Deichl posted his season-best point total for the second straight day, but the Wildcats ended the Hardwood Classic with their third loss in four games.Deichl and Jack Lipp each scored 20 points for Libertyville (2-12, 1-3), which led 13-12 after one quarter but got outscored in each of the last three quarters.

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    Antioch falls short at Lisle

    Junior guard Paige Gallimore made a pair of 3-pointers and scored 20 points, but Antioch came up a point short in a tournament-ending loss to Walther Lutheran 46-45 on Saturday at Lisle’s Cage Classic.Gallimore also had 6 rebounds and earned a spot on the all-tournament team.Senior guard Megan Borries had 11 points and junior forward Alexandra Fracek gathered 8 rebounds and had 4 assists for the Sequoits, who had three shots from the paint in the game’s final moments but couldn’t get one to go down. Antioch (12-6 overall) finished 2-2 in the tourney.Stevenson 43, Lake Zurich 32: At Loyola, sophomore Sophia Way scored a career-high 19 points, as the Patriots snapped a three-game losing streak, defeating their conference rival in the teams’ Suburban Holiday Showcase finale.Stevenson (10-7, 2-2) also got 9 points from Alex Elzinga.Sara Stefaniu had 11 points for Lake Zurich, while Sara Gazdacka and Abby Pirron each scored 8.Warren 46, Grayslake Central 35: At Warren, all-tournament selection Alyssa Phillips had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the host Blue Devils, who trailed 9-6 after one quarter but were up 18-14 at halftime and 28-21 after three.Freshman Kylie Nedelka added 11 points and 3 assists for Warren (9-7, 3-2 tourney)Grayslake Central (9-7, 3-2) got 15 points from Carson Sparkman and 11 from Morgan Dahlstrom.Palatine 43, Lake Forest 40: At Warren, the Pirates completed a 4-1 showing in the Blue Classic, as McKenzie Wiedemann had 17 points and 6 steals.Lake Forest was led by Annie Keller’s 16 points and 10 rebounds.Niles North 57, Deerfield 47: At Warren, the victorious Vikings received double-digit points from Kienya Jones (16), Taylor Louis (14) and Shelley-Rae Moody (14). Louis also grabbed 11 rebounds.Deerfield’s Haley Greer and Margot Sylvan scored 12 and 11 points, respectively.

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    Preparation pays for Northridge Prep

    Just win, baby. Usually, that’s the only assignment there is in sports. But on Saturday night, the Northridge Prep boys basketball team had to also win the numbers game. The Knights had to make sure that the scoreboard not only had them ahead, but that it also never showed Grant with more than 67 points. Check. Check. With a 65-52 victory over the host Bulldogs in the final game of the 7th annual Grant Holiday Tournament, Northridge Prep won the five-day round-robin tournament championship with a 4-1 record. Had Grant scored 67 or more points on the Knights, then Grayslake North would have taken the tournament title instead, even if the Knights had beaten Grant. Because Northridge Prep, Grayslake North and McHenry all finished the tournament with 4-1 records and lost only to each other, the championship was decided on the first tiebreaker: points allowed.

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    Notre Dame claims Hardwood title

    Notre Dame found a way to deal with Niles North’s pressure defense and came away with a 54-52 victory Saturday in the championship game of the Wheeling Wildcat Hardwood Classic.

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    St. Charles North wins finale at Charger Classic

    St. Charles North 60, Johnsburg 50: The North Stars (5-12) ended play at Dundee-Crown’s Charger Classic on a good note led by Ashley Davern’s 21 points and 15 from Alex Silverman.

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    Simeon tops West Aurora for Pontiac title

    Considering their first-ever boys basketball matchup was prominently featured in a recent nationally aired documentary, it was only fitting West Aurora and Simeon met in the championship game of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament Saturday night.

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    Geneva finishes 5th at East Aurora

    After four days and a 2-2 record at the 47th annual East Aurora Boys Basketball Holiday Tournament, Geneva coach Phil Ralston got just what he wanted.

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    Aurora Christian jumps on Kaneland early

    As two-time football state champions, jumping out to a 2-touchdown lead is nothing new for Cory Windle, Ryan McQuade, Ryan Suttle and company. It’s not quite as common place on the basketball court, yet there was the trio of Eagles in the middle of Aurora Christian’s 14-0 lead against Kaneland Saturday night in the third-place game of the 50th annual Plano Christmas Classic.

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    Harvest Christian takes Hebron tourney

    The Harvest Christian boys basketball team may have turned a corner Saturday.The Lions won twice at the Alden-Hebron tournament on Saturday and with those wins claimed the first tournament championship in program history.Harvest (8-5) defeated Keith School 72-36 and Christian Liberty 52-35 to claim the title as well as its fifth and sixth wins in a row.John Vislisel had 17 points and Kyle Fritz added 15 in the win over Keith. Vislisel and Matt Borst each had 14 points in the victory over Christian Liberty.IC 57, St. Edward 51: St. Edward beat Immaculate Conception for the championship of the Westminster Christian Thanksgiving tournament and Saturday night the Knights turned the tables on the Green Wave in the IC/Westmont tournament title game at Westmont. Devontae Elam had 14 points to lead the Green Wave (13-3), while Antonio Domel and Danny Favela added 10 each.Streamwood 64, Libertyville 51: Streamwood used a massive 34-19 rebounding advantage as well as 16 points and 6 rebounds from Jacob Siewert to win for the second day in a row at the Wheeling Hardwood Classic. Joel Lightbourne added 14 points and 9 rebounds for the Sabres (5-9), while Trevious Normal had 9 points and 6 rebounds and Zach Harris contributed 8 points and 9 rebounds.South Elgin 68, Elk Grove 64: Darius Wells exploded for 32 points as the Storm (5-11) finished 3-2 at the Jacobs tournament. Wells scored 16 of his points in the fourth quarter, including hitting 4 3-pointers, as the Storm put up 25 points in the final 8 minutes to erase a 48-43 Elk Grove lead going into the final quarter. Matt McClure added 11 points and Ryne Lundy scored 6 of his 10 in the fourth quarter.Rockford Christian 50, Burlington Central 45: Moter Deng had 16 points and Bryce Warner added 9 points and 13 rebounds for Central (5-9) at the Plano Christmas Classic.Zion-Benton 57, Cary-Grove 46: Matt Motzel scored 12 points and Dan Lee added 9 for Cary-Grove (8-6) at the Jacobs tournament.Glenbard North 63, Dundee-Crown 51: Brandon Rodriguez scored 22 points and JT Beasley added 13 but Dundee-Crown (9-3) fell behind 32-24 at halftime and couldn’t come back in the fifth place game at the Elgin tournament.Woodstock 53, Westminster Christian 42: Will Woodhouse and Colin Brandon each had 10 points for Westminster (6-9) at the Marengo tournament. Sam Carani added 9 points for the Warriors.John Radtke contributed to this report

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    Woolf leads Leyden past Willowbrook

    Leyden’s boys basketball team made it look easy during pool play at the Glenbard West Holiday Classic. The Eagles claimed the title the hard way. Rallying from a double-digit first-quarter deficit, Leyden flipped the switch en route to a 67-53 victory over West Suburban Gold Conference rival Willowbrook in the tournament championship game Saturday in Glen Ellyn.

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    Rolling Meadows’ Jackie Kemph shoots against Montini defender Malayna Johnson, left, in the championship game of the Montini holiday tournament in Lombard Saturday.

    Images: Montini vs. Rolling Meadows, girls basketball
    The Montini High School girls basketball team faced the Rolling Meadows High School girls in the championship game of the Montini holiday tournament Saturday, December 29th, in Lombard.

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    Glenbrook South grounds Wheaton North

    There were plenty long faces and even some tears Saturday night, but the Wheaton North girls basketball team did have a pretty impressive four days of tourney action and coach Dave Eaton expects his players to continue to grow. Looking to win its own Bill Neibch Falcon Classic for the first time since 1990, Wheaton North fell to top-seeded Glenbrook South 59-40 to settle for second place.

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    Whitaker, Bartlett topple Jacobs

    Bartlett had the perfect run-stopper in Lance Whitaker when it faced the hosts for the Class A consolation championship of the Jacobs Boys Holiday Basketball Classic on Saturday afternoon in Algonquin. The Hawks experienced an all-too-familiar scenario as a 13-point lead turned into a 3-point deficit to the Golden Eagles in less than eight minutes in the second half. Then the UIC-bound Whitaker took matters into his own hands. The 6-foot-4 senior had a hand in all of Bartlett’s points in a 15-4 spurt as it recovered for a 59-52 victory and a 4-1 finish in the tournament at the Eagles Nest.

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    Loyola beats DePaul for first time since 1989

    Schaumburg High School alum Cully Payne scored 24 points to lead Loyola to a 69-61 victory over crosstown rival DePaul on Saturday. Christian Thomas added 12 points and 10 rebounds for Loyola (9-3) in the Ramblers' first victory over DePaul since 1989, and only the second for Loyola on DePaul's home court in 21 meetings.

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    Smith gives Vernon Hills a big lift

    Brie Bahlmann scored a career-high 15 points, Sydney Smith added 14, and Vernon Hills went an amazing 20 of 20 from the foul line in a 50-47 win, its second over Cary-Grove in three days at Mundelein to clinch the tournament championship.

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    Huntley’s Taylor Stone, right, tries to dribble around Conant’s Sidney O’Keefe during Saturday’s game at Mundelein.

    Bartlett tips Maine West; Hampshire wins Lisle consolation title

    Had you told Bartlett girls basketball coach Denise Sarna a week ago her team would come out of the 30th annual Charger Classic at Dundee-Crown 2-2, she probably would have said OK. And even though the Hawks would have liked another win or two, the defending Charger Classic champs did get out of D-C 2-2 and above .500 for the season after a come-from-behind 57-46 win over Maine West on Saturday.

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    Soul falls 18-10 on road

    The Chicago Soul was looking for its third consecutive victory, but after failing to capitalize on opportunities, the squad dropped an 18-10 decision to the Wichita Wings at the Hartman Arena.

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    Naperville Central battles past St. Viator

    The third place game of the 35th Annual Hardwood Classic between Naperville Central and St. Viator at Wheeling on Saturday night was a hard-fought and physical contest from the opening tip to the final horn. Forty-five fouls were called in the game, and at times it felt like the whistle could have been blown three or four times on one play. Naperville Central was able to endure the physical test and come away with a 61-54 victory.

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    Cohn’s free throws lift York to Tosh title

    York guard David Cohn admitted that, with 27 seconds left and the Dukes trailing Conant 29-28, “I was shaking going to the free throw line.” Cohn received a friendly bounce on the first attempt, then also made the second. Moments later he deflected D’Angelo McBride’s pass out of bounds with 4.6 left. The Cougars’ Joey Ranallo inbounded the ball to Mark Monti, who passed back to Ranallo. The junior guard put up a lefthanded layup that was slightly tipped by the Dukes’ Stanley Roberts. The shot fell off the rim, denying Conant a chance to win its fifth Jack Tosh Holiday Classic tournament victory Saturday night in Elmhurst. Instead, York broke a 32-year tournament drought in winning 30-29.

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    Elgin wing Arie Williams (10) passes to a teammate against Larkin during boys championship basketball game of the 38th Annual Elgin Boys Holiday Basketball Tournament Saturday, December 29, 2012 in Elgin.

    Images: Elgin vs. Larkin, boys basketball
    The Elgin High School boys basketball team faced the Larkin High School boys in the championship game of the 38th Annual Elgin Boys Holiday Basketball Tournament Saturday, December 29th, in Elgin.

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    Crystal Lake Central wins Jacobs tournament

    Crystal Lake South coach Matt LePage said it best. "It was a bad situation," LePage said. "We didn't play well and Central played very well. We didn't match up with them very well. They were the better team. That is a reality." LePage's remarks came after District 155 rival Crystal Lake Central crushed the Gators 65-43 in the championship game of the Jacobs Boys Holiday Basketball Classic in Algonquin Saturday night.

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    Morgan Park’s collective effort stops Stevenson

    One big thing that Stevenson didn't want to happen in its semifinal contest with Morgan Park in the 52nd annual Proviso West Holiday Tournament on Saturday night was to let the Mustangs get going and get going early. The Patriots' worst fears were realized. Morgan Park used a 21-0 run Friday night to secure its quarterfinal win over Bogan, and the Mustangs used a similar spurt to pull ahead early against Stevenson. A 20-6 deficit after the opening quarter proved to be too much for Stevenson to overcome as the Patriots never got the margin below 9 points. The Mustangs cruised from there, rolling to an impressive 67-52 win over the Patriots. Morgan Park will face defending tournament champion Proviso East in the championship game at p.m. Monday while Stevenson, playing in its first Proviso West tournament, will face Oswego in the third-place game at 2:30 p.m. Monday.

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    Wolves fall to Heat 3-2

    The Chicago Wolves tied the score at 2-2 halfway through the third period, but the Abbotsford Heat bagged the game-winning goal 24 seconds later to earn a 3-2 victory over the Wolves on Saturday night at the Allstate Arena.

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    Warren suffers setbacks at Pontiac

    Warren dropped a morning semifinal contest to West Aurora and an evening game to Curie to finish fourth in tournament play at Pontiac.

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    St. Joseph fends off St. Charles East’s rally

    It has often been said that coaches learn more about their teams during defeats than any other time. St. Charles East basketball coach Patrick Woods learned more about his team during the Saints' 49-46 loss to St. Joseph (9-5) in the seventh-place semifinal contest at Saturday's Proviso West Holiday Tournament.

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    Payne’s 29 leads St. Charles North to 5th

    PONTIAC — Tom Poulin could barely contain his enthusiasm after his St. Charles North boys basketball team defeated Bloomington for fifth place at the original holiday tournament Saturday evening. "I have never been more proud of a group in a long time," Poulin said after Quinten Payne pumped in 29 points to lead the North Stars past Bloomington 61-49 at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament.

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    Batavia forward Zach Strittmatter (34) goes to the hoop past 34 Las Vegas Centennial’s Devin Prado, 32, during the third place basketball game of the 38th Annual Elgin Boys Holiday Basketball Tournament Saturday, December 29, 2012 in Elgin.

    Batavia takes 3rd at Elgin tourney

    The Batavia boys basketball team wanted to attack the basket Saturday night against Las Vegas Centennial. Batavia was able to do just that against the athletic Centennial and get to the rim or kick the ball out for 3-pointers. Batavia hit nine 3-pointers as it beat Centennial, 75-65, in the third-place game of the 38th annual Elgin Holiday Tourament.

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    Marco Belinelli came off the bench to score 17 points and lead the Bulls to an 87-77 victory over the Washington Wizards on Saturday night.

    Belinelli scores 17 in Bulls' win over Wizards

    Marco Belinelli came off the bench to score 17 points and lead the Bulls to an 87-77 victory over the Washington Wizards on Saturday night.

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    Texas' David Ash (14) looks to pass to Johnathan Gray (32) during the first quarter of the Alamo Bowl NCAA football game against Oregon State, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

    Ash, Texas rally to stun No. 15 Oregon State

    David Ash threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, the last a 36-yard strike to Marquise Goodwin with 2:24 left, to give Texas a 31-27 comeback victory over No. 15 Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl on Saturday night.

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    Clarke makes his mark as Loyola prevails

    It took over four quarters for Loyola's James Clarke to find his rhythm. But when the Ramblers junior did, he helped deliver his team to a 54-51 overtime victory over Deerfield in the fifth-place game at the Wheeling Hardwood Classic on Saturday.

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    A winning lesson for Lake Park against Maine West

    Winning is a learning experience, and learning to win can be painful. Two boys varsity basketball teams in learning mode are Lake Park and Maine West, who met Saturday night for the consolation bracket title in the Wildcat Hardwood Classic at Wheeling. Maine West learned that a lead is hard to hold onto, especially after holding it exclusively for nearly three quarters. Lake Park learned that getting down is not the end of the world, and perseverance is a beautiful thing as the Lancers rallied for a 56-44 win and some momentum heading into the second half of the season.

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    Bruno’s the cure for Willowbrook against Elk Grove

    Angela Bruno says she would like to study in the medical field. The senior point guard sure produced a cure for her Willowbrook girls basketball team in the fourth quarter of Saturday's fifth-place game of the Bill Neibch Falcon Classic at Wheaton North High School. Bruno scored 11 of her game-high 16 points in the final eight minutes, including 6-of-6 free throws and a driving layup that gave the Warriors the lead for good at 35-33 over Elk Grove. Willowbrook, which trailed by as many as 9 points in the third quarter, allowed the Grens only 2 points in the final 5:50 and won pulling away 45-35.

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    Lots of questions, still no answers in the NHL labor fight.

    Lots of questions, but still no answers in the NHL labor fight. The league and the players' association spent much of Saturday talking to each other via conference call. The conversations were strictly for the purpose of sharing information regarding the new contract offer the NHL made to the union late Thursday.

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    Barrington passes up Lakes at Jacobs

    With the clock winding down in a tie game in the fourth quarter, nearly everyone in the gym thought Brad Zaumseil would take the final shot as the senior point guard single-handedly willed the Broncos back from a 9-point second half deficit. Instead, Zaumseil entered the ball into the high-post to Zach Bart, who quickly found Scott Nelson cutting backdoor for a layup and a foul with five seconds left. Nelson converted the ensuing free throw and a 3 attempt by Lakes' Troy Swindle at the buzzer glanced off the rim, giving Barrington a 62-59 victory in the third-place game of the Jacobs Holiday Basketball Classic.

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    Batavia guard Jake Pollack (3) knocks a rebound from the hands of Las Vegas Centennial’s Austin Turley, 24, during the third place basketball game of the 38th Annual Elgin Boys Holiday Basketball Tournament Saturday, December 29, 2012 in Elgin.

    Images: Batavia vs. Las Vegas Centennial, boys basketball
    The Batavia High School boys basketball team faced the Las Vegas Centennial High School boys in the thrid place game of the 38th Annual Elgin Boys Holiday Basketball Tournament Saturday, December 29th, in Elgin.

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    Arizona State running back Marion Grice (1) celebrates his 39-yard touchdown run against Navy during the second half of the Fight Hunger Bowl NCAA college football game in San Francisco, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Arizona St. beats Navy 62-28 in Fight Hunger Bowl

    Taylor Kelly threw four touchdown passes and ran for a fifth score to lead Arizona State to its first bowl win in seven years, a 62-28 victory over Navy in the Fight Hunger Bowl on Saturday.

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    Syracuse running back Prince-Tyson Gulley (23) scores a touchdown, leaving West Virginia defenders in his wake during the third quarter of the Pinstripe Bowl NCAA college football game at Yankee Stadium in New York, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012. Sryacuse won 38-14. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

    Syracuse plows through WVU and snow, 38-14

    Prince-Tyson Gulley ran for 217 yards and had three touchdowns, Syracuse scored twice on safeties and the Orange bid a snow-covered farewell to the Big East with a 38-14 victory over West Virginia in the Pinstripe Bowl on Saturday.

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    St. Charles East wins consolation title

    As disappointed as St. Charles East was at how it started the Bill Neibch Holiday Tournament at Wheaton North this week, the Saints were just as pleased with how they ended it. Amanda Hilton scored 21 points and Carly Pottle added 17, a one-two punch that was too much for Downers Grove North in a 55-46 Saints win that earned St. Charles East the tournament's consolation championship.

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    Adam Podlesh struggled early this season but has been more consistent in the last six games.

    Bears’ Podlesh gives problems the boot

    When he fell into an uncharacteristic slump this season, Bears punter Adam Podlesh went back to basics and got some needed help from assistant special teams coach Kevin O'Dea. Now he's rediscovered the form that allowed to set a franchise record for net punting average last season.

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    Illinois guard D.J. Richardson, left, shoots against Auburn forward Allen Payne Saturday during the first half at the United Center.

    Abrams scores 29 as Illinois beats Auburn 81-79

    Tracy Abrams scored a career-high 29 points and No. 12 Illinois beat Auburn 81-79 on Saturday. The Illini (13-1) saw an 11-point lead shrink to one in the closing minutes but they prevailed after falling to Missouri in the Braggin' Rights game a week earlier — their first loss under coach John Groce.

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    Glassmann’s big game lifts Fremd past Carmel

    An inspired performance from junior Riley Glassmann helped Fremd close out play at the Wildcat Hardwood Classic with a well-deserved victory. The 6-foot-4 guard scored 25 points as the Vikings defeated Carmel 47-35 Saturday in the tourney finale for both teams. Fremd finished with 2 wins and 2 tough losses overall in their second year of participation at Wheeling, while Carmel — led by Chris Duff's 12 points — went 1-3. The Corsairs took the court Saturday less than 24 hours after a draining double-overtime defeat to Deerfield on Friday.

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    UMass holds off Huskies 64-59

    Maxie Esho scored 14 points as Massachusetts held off Northern Illinois 64-59 Saturday for its fifth straight victory.

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    Perfect finish to first half for Libertyville

    With the year coming to an end and winter settling in, Libertyville wrestling is really beginning to heat up. Following its terrific performance at the high-profile Dvorak Invite last weekend, the Wildcats (12-1-0) proved to be a most difficult holiday host Saturday afternoon, defeating a trio of opponents to finish the first half of their season on a high note while setting themselves up for a strong second half.

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    Huntley’s Sam Andrews, left, grabs a rebound in front of Conant’s Dee Dee Durr and Sarah Mazurek during Saturday’s game at Mundelein.

    Images: Mundelein girls basketball tournament
    Images from the girls basketball game between Huntley and Conant at the Mundelein tournament on Saturday, Dec. 29.

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    Bears head coach Lovie Smith knows that a keeping job in the NFL depends on getting to the playoffs.

    Lovie Smith, Bears playing a high-stakes game

    Lovie Smith has led the Bears to 83 victories during his nine years as head coach. But if they don't defeat the Lions today and make it to the postseason, none of that may be enough for Smith to keep his job.

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    Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner takes a break during the second half against Miami in Miami. The Florida State star defensive end is a married college student, already going on three years of wedded bliss. He’s a German-born all-American. He ended the regular season with 13 sacks, second-most in the nation.

    FSU’s Werner ready for Orange Bowl challenge

    Bjoern Werner is rare. The Florida State star defensive end is a married college student, already going on three years of wedded bliss. He's a German-born All-American. He ended the regular season with 13 sacks, second-most in the nation. Werner and the Seminoles face Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl on Tuesday night, and it's widely believed that this will be his last college game.

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    Rice linebacker Cameron Nwosu (57) celebrates with safety Paul Porras (24) and defensive end Dylan Klare (96) Saturday after the Armed Forces Bowl against Air Force in Fort Worth, Texas. Rice won 33-14.

    Air Force losses Armed Forces Bowl, 33-14 to Rice

    Kale Pearson gave the Air Force offense a quick boost in the Armed Forces Bowl, leading the Falcons to two touchdowns in less than 4 minutes. Only problem was that is all they got. "We really struggled. We had a good second quarter," Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said. "But there's no way you win this game playing well in one quarter."

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    Pearson leads Toledo past Illinois-Chicago 74-55

    Rian Pearson recorded his first double-double of the season with 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Toledo pulled away to beat Illinois-Chicago 74-55 Saturday in a nonconference matchup. Reese Holliday added 16 points, and Nathan Boothe finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and a career-high four blocks for Toledo (4-6).

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    Texas Tech’s Derreck Edwards (19) flips into the end zone for a touchdown ahead of Minnesota’s Antonio Johnson (11) during the first quarter of the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston.

    Texas Tech rallies to beat Minnesota 34-31

    HOUSTON — D.J. Johnson returned an interception 39 yards and Ryan Bustin made a 28-yard field goal as time expired to give Texas Tech a 34-31 comeback victory over Minnesota on Friday night in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.Seth Doege found Eric Ward on a short pass, and he outran a defender for a 35-yard scoring play to pull the Red Raiders even at 31 with just more than a minute remaining. Michael Carter intercepted two of Doege’s passes in the fourth quarter before the tying score, but Minnesota couldn’t convert either of the turnovers into points.The Red Raiders (8-5) got their third straight bowl win to wrap up a month that began with coach Tommy Tuberville’s abrupt departure for the job at Cincinnati. Texas Tech has hired Kliff Kingsbury to replace him, but interim coach Chris Thomsen led the team against Minnesota (6-7). Kingsbury was at the game, watching from a suite.Doege threw for 271 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score in front of a crowd that included 1977 Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell and former Tech coach Spike Dykes. Philip Nelson threw for 138 yards and two scores for the Gophers, who were in a bowl game for the first time since 2009. The Red Raiders returned to a bowl after having their 18-season bowl streak snapped last year. A 1-yard touchdown pass from Nelson to Drew Goodger gave Minnesota a 31-24 lead early in the fourth quarter. Texas Tech led 24-17 at halftime, but couldn’t do anything offensively in the second half until the last couple of minutes. It was an ugly game for the Red Raiders, who had 13 penalties for 135 yards and lost the tight end Jace Amaro when he was ejected for throwing a punch. Jakeem Grant ran for what was initially ruled a touchdown for Tech late in the third quarter. Amaro threw a punch at Derrick Wells in the end zone on the play and was ejected. After the penalty, the play was reviewed and overturned. Doege threw an incomplete pass before Tech made a 32-yard field goal. But the Red Raiders had a false start penalty on the play and had to kick again and this time the Gophers blocked it. Nelson threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Devin Crawford-Tufts, who was left uncovered in the end zone, to tie it at 24 early in the third quarter. Donnell Kirkwood scored on a 3-yard run to leave Minnesota up 17-14 early in the second quarter. Texas Tech had a first-and-goal at the Minnesota 2 after a pass-interference call on the Gophers. But Texas Tech had to settle for a field goal after a rush for a 3-yard loss and two penalties. Minnesota’s next drive started out well before turning ugly. The Gophers had made two first downs before Gray was sacked for a loss of seven yards. Kirkwood ran for 17 yards on the next play, but Minnesota received two 15-yard penalties on the play, one for a personal foul on lineman Zac Epping, to make it second-and-42. Epping received a second personal foul penalty on the next play to bring up third-and-49. Christian Eldred shanked the punt, giving Texas Tech the ball at the Minnesota 42. The Red Raiders capitalized on their great field position when Doege spun away from a defender in the backfield and leaped over another Gopher near the goal line on a 4-yard touchdown run. Tech converted a fourth-and-6 play on that drive, and led 24-17 at halftime. Minnesota’s Rodrick Williams Jr. scored on a 2-yard run to give the Gophers a 10-7 lead in the first quarter. Doege lost his helmet on a 5-yard scramble on Tech’s next drive and had to go out for one play. He was replaced by Michael Brewer, who found Derreck Edwards for a 13-yard touchdown pass to give the Red Raiders a 14-10 lead. Minnesota’s Troy Stoudermire returned the opening kickoff 26 yards to break the NCAA record for career kickoff return yards. He finished the game with 111 yards to push his total to 3,615.The Gophers ended that drive with a 41-yard field goal to make it 3-0.

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    Loyola hands Patriots another loss

    Stevenson’s girls basketball team is on another streak.And this one isn’t good.The Patriots hosted Loyola Academy in a Suburban Holiday Showcase game Friday night and came up on the short end of a 34-28 decision.Stevenson, which opened the season by losing its first four games before winning nine in a row, has lost three straight. The Patriots (9-7, 1-2 tournament) led 14-6 after the first quarter but got shut out 8-0 in the second.They got back within four points in the final minute, but Loyola knocked down some free throws to ice it.“It’s the same old thing,” Stevenson coach Tom Dineen said. “We didn’t defend the 3 very well and too many careless turnovers. We’re not going to beat good teams defending like that.”Sophia Way and Alex Elzinga paced the Patriots with 8 points apiece. Stevenson plays Lake Zurich at 1:30 p.m. today at Loyola.Grayslake Central 33, Deerfield 31: At Warren, the Rams overcame a 22-20 deficit after three quarters to pull out the win.Morgan Dahlstrom had 9 points and 8 rebounds for Grayslake Central (9-6), which improved to 3-1 in the tournament. Carson Sparkman had 7 points and 4 steals for the Rams, who play host Warren at 4:30 p.m. to wrap up the tournament.

Business

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    Pakistani fans receive Muhammad Shahid Nazir, center, who sings “One Pound Fish,” upon his arrival from London Thursday at Lahore airport in Pakistan.

    Whale of a tale: Pakistani fishmonger now pop star

    "Come on ladies, come on ladies, one pound fish! Have a, have a look, one pound fish!" sings Nazir, as he points to his wares behind him. "Very, very good, one pound fish! Very, very cheap, one pound fish!"

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    Gas prices are displayed, right, as a customer fills his truck with fuel Tuesday at a gas station in Princeton, Ill.

    Long-awaited pollution trial ready to start

    Nearly a decade after it was first brought, a lawsuit accusing two oil giants of widespread groundwater contamination in New Hampshire is expected to present jurors with the most complex and time-consuming trial in state history.The products liability case against ExxonMobil and Citgo will be tried beginning in mid-January in a federal courtroom.

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    All-metal Lustron home for sale in Fort Wayne

    With the exception of the bathroom, the house retains most of its original characteristics. Listed at $71,900, it has a large yard and oversized garage, which Noll said helps explains the cost difference with a similar Lustron on Webster Street that sold recently after being listed at $22,900.

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    High prices, slow speeds for U.S. Internet users

    Editor’s note: Excerpted from “Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age.”Terry Huval is a large, friendly man with a lilting Southern accent who plays Cajun fiddle tunes in his spare time. He is also the director of utilities in Lafayette, La. “Our job is making sure we listen to our citizens,” he says.In recent years, the citizens of Lafayette have been asking for speedier Internet access.In 2004, the Lafayette utilities system decided to provide a fiber-to-the-home service. The new network, called LUS Fiber, would give everyone in Lafayette a very fast Internet connection, enabling them to lower their electricity costs by monitoring and adjusting their usage.Push-back from the local telephone company, BellSouth Corp., and the local cable company, Cox Communications Inc., was immediate. They tried to get laws passed to stop the network, sued the city, even forced the town to hold a referendum on the project — in which the people voted 62 percent in favor. Finally, in February 2007, after five civil lawsuits, the Louisiana Supreme Court voted, 7-0, to allow the network.From 2007 to mid-2011, people living in Lafayette saved $5.7 million on telecommunications services.Since Lafayette went down this path, other communities have followed. According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a group that advocates for municipal fiber networks, these community-owned networks are generally faster, more reliable and cheaper than those of the private carriers, and provide better customer service.It’s not free. Fiber connection costs $1,200 to $2,000 a house. It can take two to three years for revenue from any given customer to offset the upfront investment. But then the fiber lasts for decades. Municipal networks are seeing more than half of households adopt the service. And scores of communities are discovering that the networks bring new jobs.Since the city utility in Chattanooga, Tenn., began offering fiber-to-the-home, some businesses in Knoxville — a hundred miles to the northeast — have been adding jobs in Chattanooga. Yet when the utility tried in 2011 to expand its fiber services to towns outside Chattanooga, the area’s private carriers initiated a lobbying assault and defeated a bill in the state legislature that would have allowed the expansion.Also in 2011, six Time Warner Inc. lobbyists persuaded the North Carolina legislature to pass a “level playing field” bill making it impossible for cities in that state to create their own high-speed Internet access networks. Time Warner, which reported $26 billion in revenue in 2010, donated more than $6.3 million to North Carolina politicians over four years. Eighteen other states have laws that make it extremely difficult or impossible for cities to provide this service to their residents.Still, other experiments are under way. In 2009, when Google announced it would conduct a fiber-to-the-home pilot project, more than 1,100 communities applied. The Kansas City area, the winner, is now enjoying the launch of a fiber network — the fastest and most reliable way to access the Internet.Internet access, like electricity, is crucial to the economic and social health of the country. Electricity, however, is provided by largely reliable, taxpayer-supported entities, and no one seems to think the country would be better off if a purely private, wholly deregulated operator were in charge. Such a company might decide to provide service only in New York, Washington and other big cities, at very high rates for those who could afford it, and refuse to serve small towns and less- successful areas.

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    Contrary to many stereotypes, the Amish actually use a lot of technology. I’ve seen Amish ride in cars, use power tools, and fire up a 600 horsepower Rolls-Royce generator. But the Amish won’t use just any technology that is developed. And they don’t allow technologies to be used by anybody whenever they want. They have developed a complex set of unwritten rules that guide their daily decisions.

    New technology is making us more like the Amish

    Tthere are a lot of us who are beginning to adopt some practices that are pretty close to the Amish. No, I'm not talking about the Amish belief in adult baptism or the importance of farming in daily life. I'm talking about the decisions the Amish make about technology. More and more of us have begun to think about the impact that technology has on our relationships with others and we've begun to alter our practices.

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    The exterior of the new Burberry flagship store, which opened in November 2012 on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Burberry has been known for generations for its signature check pattern and trenchcoat. But it’s been chief executive officer, Angela Ahrendts, and chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey, who have pushed the brand’s digital, and now mobile, boundaries.

    Classic fashion brand Burberry goes digital

    Angela Ahrendts may be CEO of Burberry, but one of her favorite accessories is an Apple iPhone5 that she's used to oversee a mobile makeover at the 150-year-old company best known for trenchcoats and tartan plaids. "This is the biggest flagship store in the world," Ahrendts says, holding up her iPhone during an interview in Chicago where Burberry just last month opened a new store.

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    People crowd inside the government registrar’s office to get their land registered, in Hoskote 19 miles from Bangalore in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. For years, Karnataka’s land records were a quagmire of disputed, forged documents maintained by thousands of tyrannical bureaucrats who demanded bribes to do their jobs. In 2002, there were hopes that this was about to change.

    Indian land program shows tech’s limits

    Bhoomi, a program that digitized Karnataka's 20 million handwritten land records, was hailed as a landmark use of computers to cut through bureaucracy and corruption. But a decade later, Karnataka remains plagued by land disputes that merely migrated from paper to the database, and even the program's creator says it could take 30 more years to sort it all out.

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    Computer scientist Avi Rubin says health care “is an industry with the least regard ... and respect for IT security of any I’ve seen, and they have some of the most personal and sensitive information of anyone.”

    ‘Gaping security holes’ expose health systems’ data, researchers say

    A yearlong examination of cybersecurity by The Washington Post has found that health care is among the most vulnerable industries in the country, in part because it lags behind in addressing known problems. "I have never seen an industry with more gaping security holes," said Avi Rubin, a computer scientist and technical director of the Information Security Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

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    James Kao, chief executive officer and founder of Green Citizen, at a Green Citizen recycling facility in Burlingame, Calif. Green Citizen collects and disposes old electronics in the San Francisco Bay area, tracking everything to ensure the gadgets are recycled back into raw material, or refurbished and resold.

    Post-Christmas recycling saves older iPods to TVs from dump

    After two decades in the software business with companies such as Oracle Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co., James Kao grew disillusioned by the waste created when people ditched the latest technology dreamed up by his industry.Angered that old computers, televisions and other gadgets from U.S. consumers were ending up in landfills in China, Africa and other parts of the world, Kao decided to do something. He started Green Citizen, a company that collects and disposes old electronics in the San Francisco Bay area, tracking everything to ensure the gadgets are recycled back into raw material, or refurbished and resold.The holiday gift-giving season will bring a fresh crop of electronic waste to Green Citizen, part of the 2.4 million tons seen each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As consumers buy new gadgets from Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. and trash their old wares, Kao, Green Citizen’s chief executive officer, expects his company to see a 30 percent rise in waste from November to February.“The holiday period is the biggest buying time for most consumer electronics and it absolutely results in more e- waste,” said Barbara Kyle, national coordinator of the Electronics TakeBack Coalition, an electronics-recycling advocacy group. “Our ferocious appetite for the newest gadget is absolutely contributing to increased amounts of e-waste and holiday buying is a huge driver.”Avoiding landfillsGreen Citizen’s end-to-end approach is unique, said Kyle. As both the collector and monitor that ensures waste doesn’t end up in dumpsites, Kao’s company only partners with certified recycling companies that can prove material isn’t shipped overseas or put in landfills.Kao and his team expect to collect about 700,000 pounds (317,500 kilograms) this holiday season. Waste Management Inc., the biggest U.S. trash hauler, also said it expects a rise in electronic waste.“When it comes to recycling, it’s an afterthought,” Kao, 55, who has also founded two software companies, said in an interview. “All the energy is going to how do we get the next revenue, from the new best gadget, and there is never a thought in to how to get it back.”In addition to helping the environment, Green Citizen is also profitable, said Kao, without disclosing the company’s earnings. The company expects about $2.5 million in revenue this year, and double the next. He wants to expand to Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.Contaminating villagesThe inspiration to start Green Citizen came while Kao was taking time off after selling Managize, a supply-chain management software company, in 2000. Up late one night watching television, he saw a documentary that showed dump sites in China, Africa and the Philippines overflowing with old computers, televisions and other electronics from the U.S. and Europe. Components containing toxic elements such as lead and mercury were cast into rivers and landfills.“It was contaminating whole villages,” Kao said.He spent two years educating himself, traveling to meet with companies and government officials. Limited awareness and lack of convenience keep the general public from doing more, Kao said, while poor accountability and oversight make it difficult to ensure enterprises do their part.Green Citizen hauls disposed devices to a large warehouse in Burlingame, California, a few miles south of San Francisco’s airport. Technicians determine whether a gadget can be fixed and resold. Repaired devices are put up for sale on Internet marketplace EBay Inc. Kao said about 21 percent of electronics Green Citizen handles can be refurbished, generating about half its revenue.Breakdown factoryAn old security X-ray machine from a consulate in San Francisco has been among the stranger items collected, along with computers, TVs, printers, phones and other gadgets, Kao said.

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    A Facebook User Operations Safety Team worker looks at reviews at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Curating your facebook news feed, and other practices that can help personalize a user’s facebook activity can be burdensome process, but the result: Less tabloid magazine, more personal messages and cute pictures from people who are actually your friends.

    Review: Making Facebook a warmer, smaller space

    On Facebook, I'm connected to a lot of people who are not my friends. Over the years, as my Facebook friend list grows, it's made me increasingly uncomfortable that I seem to know so much about people that I don't actually know. So as the new year approached, I took a four-week break — a "Facebook Fast" — from the world's biggest online social network. But after eight years on the network, I can't quit. Like it or not, Facebook is an important part of my life.

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    Facebook’s pokey chat app

    It's pretty brassy to call your sexting app Poke. That was my first reaction to the news last week that Facebook had launched a clone of Snapchat, the trendy smartphone app that lets you send photos and videos that self-destruct after a few seconds.

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    FCC eases U.S. licensing rules for Internet access on airliners

    The U.S. Federal Communications Commission today moved to ease licensing requirements for in-flight Internet services. “These new rules will help airlines and broadband providers offer high-speed Internet to passengers,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who has pushed the Federal Aviation Administration to relax its restrictions on in-flight use of electronic devices including Apple Inc.’s iPad, said in an e- mailed statement.

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    Employees hold a new full size Apple iPad 4th generation, left, next to new Apple iPad mini at the Apple store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

    The 8 best technologies of 2012

    2012 wasn't a breakthrough year for tech. We didn't get an innovative new category-bursting device — the Apple TV remains a pipe dream and Microsoft's Surface was, for me, a dud. But this was a year for improvement: Everything good got much, much better. That's the theme you'll notice below, in my list of the best technologies of 2012.

Life & Entertainment

  •  
    Zack Compton and Derek Moser of Junk Remedy in Lake Zurich remove a cabinet from a home remodeling job.

    Removal company finds value in ‘junk’

    If one of your New Year's resolutions is to clean out your garage, basement, parents' house or the junk-filled foreclosure property you just purchased, Nick Degiulio and Corey Heidkamp of Lake Zurich-based Junk Remedy might be the answer.

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    Combinations of hot colors such as reds, yellow and oranges create vivid and exciting displays.

    Winter a good time to plan out garden

    Winter is a good time for garden planning. Consult your notes on seed and plant purchases, past garden successes and failures as well as garden maps as you begin to plan garden improvements for the coming year.

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    Sarah Ranes, of Safety Harbor, prepares to throw a tennis ball to her dog Strider on a dog friendly beach at Fort DeSoto Park in St. Petersburg, Fla.

    Florida a vacation paradise for dogs

    With miles of sandy beaches, endless winter sunshine and a laid-back vibe, there's no reason to leave your four-legged friend behind when you vacation in Florida. From lodging that offers special pet beds, to beaches with off-leash play, to theme parks with nearby kennels, many places around the state accommodate visitors with pets. Many Florida state parks also allow leashed dogs.

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    Jessa Balote rehearses during a class at Ballet Manila. Balote, who used to tag along with her family as they collect garbage at a nearby dumpsite, is a scholar at Ballet Manila's dance program.

    Unlikely ballerina emerges from a Manila slum

    The ghetto called Aroma reeks of putrefying trash collected by its residents for recycling. Half-naked children with grimy faces play on muddy dirt roads lined by crumbling shanties of tarpaulin walls, cracked tin roofs and communal toilets. From this Manila slum of garbage collectors emerged an unlikely Cinderella: ballerina Jessa Balote who at the age of 10 was plucked out of her grubby life by a ballet school to prepare her for a life onstage.

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    Cross-country skiers outside the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vt. The lodge is owned by the famous singing family from “The Sound of Music.”

    Family-owned resorts provide guests with personal touch

    Big, family-owned resorts are still in vogue in Europe, particularly in the mountains of Germany and Austria, where some hotels have been passed down through the generations. But in the U.S., while there are still plenty of small resorts, B&Bs and inns run by families, many larger resorts that were founded by families have been sold to or taken over by corporate entities.

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    Comedian Hannibal Buress plays weekend engagements at Zanies locations in St. Charles, Rosemont and Chicago.

    Weekend picks: Hannibal Buress brings the funny to Zanies

    Award-winning comedian and writer Hannibal Buress returns to the area for performances at three Zanies locations: Rosemont on Saturday, St. Charles on Sunday and Chicago on Monday. Yearning for a concert tonight? Check out The BoDeans at the Rialto in Joliet, Styx at the Genesee in Waukegan or Dot Dot Dot at Ballydoyle in Downers Grove. See thousands of twinkling lights and holiday scenes at Brookfield Zoo's annual Holiday Magic lights festival.

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    “Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality” by Jacob Tomsky

    New book promises keys to hotel industry kingdom

    Room upgrades. Free movies. Late checkouts. Jacob Tomsky promises readers the keys to the hotel industry kingdom in his tell-all book, "Heads in Beds." The one-time philosophy major has spent more than a decade working in the industry and, like room service, he delivers the goods.

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    Galaxy pillow covers feature images from the Hubble telescope.

    Stylish items with a spacey vibe

    Stars, moons and planets have long been inspiration for designers. For aficionados and anyone who appreciates the artistry to be found in astronomy, there is a galaxy of beautiful items for the home.

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    Retirees must prioritize between debt-free estate and spendable funds

    Q. I will retire shortly at 65 and still owe $67,000 at 6 percent on my mortgage. My house is worth $250,000 and I have savings of $300,000. Should I pay off the mortgage, let things ride, or is there another option?

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    When should an association board be bonded?

    Q. I live in a self-managed, 75-unit association. Should the board members be bonded?

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    Many issues of joint ownership involve cousins

    Q. Four people were deeded a 1920 log cabin in another state several years ago. This cabin has been either quitclaim deeded or left through inheritance to four generations of family.

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    A New Year’s cake baked and decorated by Laura Jofre’s daughter.

    Planning a kid-friendly New Year’s Eve

    How do you make a New Year's party that the whole family can enjoy? For years, I barely acknowledged New Year's Eve to my three kids so they wouldn't know they were missing anything. I either went to some flashy grown-up event or skipped it and went to bed. In the morning, I explained about the date change. Last year, though, our family attended a party at a friend's, and it was genuinely heartwarming. I began to think it was worth making an effort to mark the holiday, together, at home.

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    Sarah Goldschadt’s Plush Penguin made of felt, whose template can be used to make several paper crafts.

    Craft ideas can spark kids’ creativity

    It's inevitable during the holiday season: Kids get bored. But the doldrums are just the thing for unleashing children's creativity. Give them a few ideas and supplies, and step out of the way. Here are some creative ideas offered by three crafts authors.

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    Ryan Murphy, left, Gwyneth Paltrow and Michael Kors attend the God’s Love We Deliver 2012 Golden Heart Awards in New York. For the last 20 years, Kors has been involved with God’s Love We Deliver, an organization that delivers more than 1 million meals per year to housebound people suffering from illness.

    Fashion designers sew up special causes

    Fashion designers sometimes get to wear their hearts on their sleeves, making their personal connection to charitable causes part of their public lives. Sometimes the choices of charities seem obvious, such as the recent effort by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue magazine to raise $1.7 million in relief aid for those affected by Superstorm Sandy, which happened in their backyard. Others are driven by more intimate reasons.

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    Space heater may reduce electricity costs

    Q. I have an electric furnace that keeps the house warm, but I can't keep up with the bills. I was thinking of buying a space heater, but I don't know if that will save me any money if I have to keep it on all the time. Do you have any suggestions or recommendation?

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    George and John’s living room is cozy, but the dining room is downright tiny.

    Home makeover blends modern, traditional

    George loves the traditional look of stained glass, old stonework and thick wooden trim. John, on the other hand, is modern through and through. About the only thing these two agreed on was that the original light hardwood floor had to be darkened.

Discuss

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    Hostess execs just don’t get it
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: Someone help me figure out who is more ignorant here, then help me put 18,500 Americans back to work, baking American products to be consumed by Americans. First, let’s blame the Teamsters baking union. Let’s blame them for fighting for the right to employ workers at a livable wage so they in turn can feed and house their families.

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    Post-shooting focus: Mental illness
    A Maple Park letter to the editor: With the recent rash of shooting sprees, everyone’s attention has immediately turned to gun control. Attempting to control violent, senseless killings by enacting more gun laws is like trying to prevent drunken driving by controlling the sale of cars. Anyone who makes detailed plans to gun down a group of defenseless strangers obviously has a mental illness. This should be our focus.

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    How we got to this pension crisis
    A Des Plaines letter to the editor: If teachers are punished for the errors of the government, what quality of educators do you think Illinois will attract to teach our youth? Do you think teachers deserve, for their many years of public service, an opportunity for a dignified retirement?

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    Parker right about single parenting
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: I think columnist Kathleen Parker’s research and conclusion that single parenting contributes to economic hardships is spot on. Thanks for reporting this so clearly.

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    Work for patch in Alternative Minimum Tax
    An Antioch letter to the editor: I encourage all retirees and non-retirees that will possibly have the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) increase your tax burden for 2012 to write to your federal officials.

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