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Daily Archive : Friday January 4, 2013

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    Nazneen Hashmi

    Suburban elections see rise in Muslim candidates

    More Muslim candidates are running for elected office in the suburbs and a group called Project Mobilize is helping with training, networking, fundraising and resources to reach target demographics. "We wanted to be the vehicle to help those individuals gain leadership skills," group co-founder Reema Ahmad said. Running for office "gives friends and neighbors, and the public an opportunity to see...

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    Associated Press/1958 Singer Patti Page, who made “Tennessee Waltz” the third best-selling recording ever, has died. She was 85.

    Notable deaths last week

    A roundup and capsulation of deaths of note occurring over the past week.

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    Associated Press/2006 file photo Tourists climb Half Dome at Yosemite National Park, Calif.

    Hikers at Yosemite still limited

    The hike up the granite monolith Half Dome in Yosemite National Park is one of the most iconic in the nationwide system, but on Friday officials announced approval of a plan that permanently limits how many can do it.

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    New rules restrict sales of wild horses

    Sales of wild horses and burros will be restricted under new rules announced Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management after an investigation into the sale of more than 1,700 horses to a Colorado livestock hauler who supports the horse meat industry.

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    American Eagle pilot fails alcohol test, suspended

    Federal rules prohibit pilots from flying within eight hours of drinking alcohol or if they have a blood-alcohol level of 0.04 or higher, half the level allowed for motorists.

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    Sen. Michael Crapo, an Idaho Republican,looks down as he reads a statement outside Alexandria General District Court in Alexandria, Va., Friday.

    Idaho senator pleads guilty to DWI charge

    U.S. Sen. Michael Crapo pleaded guilty Friday to a charge of driving while intoxicated and then apologized for his actions and asked forgiveness from his constituents.

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    Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, center, holds hands Friday with her husband, Mark Kelly, while exiting Town Hall at Fairfield Hills Campus in Newtown, Conn. after meeting with Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra and other officials.

    Wounded ex-Rep. Giffords meets with Connecticut families

    Nearly two years after being critically wounded in a mass shooting, former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on Friday met with families of victims in last month's shooting that left 26 people dead inside a Connecticut elementary school.

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    A King County Sheriff’s Dept. helicopter flies Friday over rugged terrain near Mount Si in North Bend, Wash.

    Search for skydiver on hold

    Dozens of searchers on Friday failed to find a skydiver who's been missing since he jumped out of a helicopter at 6,500 feet in the Cascade foothills east of Seattle.

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    In this image provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Letha Mae Montemayor, is arrested Thursday on suspicion of child pornography charges.

    Woman arrested in decade-old child porn case

    A woman suspected of making and appearing in child porn photos a decade ago that have circulated widely in the years since was arrested hours after authorities released images of her taken from those shots, federal officials announced Friday.

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    Kirk Riley Levin.

    Body in Iowa house kidnap suspect’s mom

    A woman found dead in a western Iowa farmhouse during an investigation into the alleged abduction of another woman was the kidnapping suspect's mother, a prosecutor said Friday.

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    Associated Press This combo of two photos shows, at left, an Associated Press photo taken Jan. 3, 2013 of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi posing with female House members on Capitol Hill in Washington, and at right, a screen grab from Pelosi’s Flickr page of an altered photo of Pelosi with female House members on Capitol Hill in Washington. The group photo shows four House members, in the back row, who arrived too late to pose on the Capitol steps.

    Pelosi defends altered photo of congresswomen
    For House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the swearing-in of a record number of Democratic women was a historic moment worth a photograph. And, she decided, history needed a little digital help.

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    Associated Press Todd Thompson skis in front of the Gateway Arch on the Mississippi on New Year’s Day, Tuesday, in St. Louis.

    Army Corps tamps down barge worries on Mississippi

    Efforts taken to keep a crucial stretch of the drought-starved Mississippi River open to barge traffic should be sufficient to avert a shipping shutdown that the industry fears is imminent, Army Corps of Engineers and Coast Guard officials said Friday.

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    Three killed after plane hits Florida home

    The Flagler County Sheriff's Office said the plane hit a Palm Coast home just east of the Flagler County Airport around 2:20 p.m., several minutes after the pilot's call.Robert Ferrigno, who lives down the street, said he heard the crash from his home.

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    Indiana lawmaker wants Lord’s Prayer in schools

    A Republican state senator is pushing for Indiana's public school students to start the school day by reciting the Lord's Prayer amid what he calls an "attack" on religion in the schools.

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    The College of Lake County’s community gardens give local residents the chance to grow their own food and, in the process, reduce the energy consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions associated with buying trucked-in, store-bought produce.

    CLC embraced green initiatives in 2012

    Ending the year with many sustainability accomplishments, the College of Lake County has embraced green as more than a holiday color. The year's green accomplishments include new sustainable campus master plan, a new student-managed restaurant, a sustainable agriculture program and more.

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    State Bank of the Lakes hosts annual coin, gold appraisal at its five locations

    What are your coins and gold worth? State Bank of The Lakes will host its annual coin and gold appraisal during the months of February and March at each of its five locations. The appraisal is free, compliments of State Bank of The Lakes.

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    Kenneth Conley

    Escaped bank robber captured despite disguise

    Weeks after a pair of bank robbers made a daring escape from a downtown Chicago high-rise jail, police said Friday they captured the last of the two men but didn't notice him at first because he was disguised as an old man. Kenneth Conley was arrested in South suburban Palos Hills after a short foot chase. Palos Hills Deputy Chief James Boie said Conley was dressed like an old man, wearing a...

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    Lawyers say clients not to blame for NIU student’s death

    Defense attorneys say the leaders of a Northern Illinois University fraternity aren't responsible for the death of a student during an alleged hazing. Five officers of Pi Kappa Alpha appeared in DeKalb County court on Friday to face felony hazing charges in the November alcohol-related death of 19-year-old freshman David Bogenberger of Palatine.

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    Kiyoshi Kimura, president of Kiyomura Co. center top, walks with a bluefin tuna Saturday, heading to his Sushi Zanmai restaurant near Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo.

    Bluefin tuna sells for record $1.76 million
    Associated PressTOKYO — A Bluefin tuna has sold for a record $1.76 million at a Tokyo auction, nearly three times the previous high set last year.In the year’s first auction at Tokyo’s sprawling Tsukiji fish market, the 489-pound tuna caught off northeastern Japan sold for 155.4 million yen, said Ryoji Yagi, a market official.

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    Associated Press/March 30, 2010 The globe of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN, is illuminated outside Geneva, Switzerland.

    Collider’s hiatus sets stage for more powerful experiments

    For the next two months, the Large Hadron Collider will be smashing protons with lead ions, then undergo several weeks of testing before it shuts down.

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    Gov. Pat Quinn, right, and DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin talk to lawmakers Friday about pension reform.

    Quinn: Shifting pension costs to schools put off

    A controversial plan to have local schools pay for teachers' pensions will be put off for now, Gov. Pat Quinn said while meeting in DuPage County. "Not so long ago, I received a call from (Madigan) and he indicated he is willing to defer any discussion on the cost shift regarding pension reform until a later date," Quinn said. "We would still keep working on that issue."

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    A child uses a megaphone Friday to lead others in chanting Free Syrian Army slogans during a demonstration in the neighborhood of Bustan Al-Qasr, Aleppo, Syria.

    Syrian forces bombard rebel areas near capital

    Syria's 21-month conflict has turned into a bloody stalemate that the United Nations says has killed more than 60,000 people, and it warns the civil war could claim the lives of many more this year. International efforts to stop the fighting have failed so far, and although rebels have made gains in recent months, they still can't challenge Assad's hold on much of the country.

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    Miguel Caballero, owner of the Colombian company of the same name that makes stylish bulletproof clothing, tests a bulletproof child’s backpack and vest, during a demonstration Thursday for journalists, at his factory on the outskirts of Bogota, Colombia.

    Colombia firm now makes armored clothes for kids

    Products include child-sized armored vests, protective undershirts and backpacks with ballistic protection that can be used as shields.The products are designed for children ages 8-16 years old and cost $150-$600 depending on the complexity of their construction. Each piece weighs 2-4 pounds.

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    Protesters chant slogans Friday against Iraq’s Shiite-led government as they wave a representation of a Saddam Hussein-era national flag during a demonstration in Fallujah, Iraq.

    Iraq’s al-Sadr visits church site of 2010 attack

    Al-Sadr's visit took place at a time of rising sectarian tensions a year after the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. Al-Sadr grudgingly backed fellow Shiite al-Maliki following elections in 2010. But last year he joined Iraq's minority Sunni Arabs and Kurds in calling for al-Maliki to resign.

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    This photo, made available by Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, England shows Malala Yousufzai saying goodbye as she is discharged from the hospital Friday to continue her rehabilitation at her family’s temporary home in the area.

    Girl shot by Taliban leaves hospital

    LONDON — Three months after she was shot in the head for daring to say girls should be able to get an education, a 15-year-old Pakistani hugged her nurses and smiled as she walked out of a Birmingham hospital.

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    An elephant plays around with a Christmas tree Friday at the Berlin Zoo before eating it.

    Berlin elephants feast on tasty Christmas trees

    Elephants at the Berlin Zoo finally got a chance to tuck into their Christmas dinner: A feast of donated pine trees.

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    A leader of the ruling Congress party Bikram Singh Brahma, center, is escorted to a court Friday after allegations leading to his arrest on accusations he raped a woman. Footage on Indian television showed the extraordinary scene of local women surrounding Brahma, ripping off his shirt and repeatedly slapping him across the face.

    India rape victim’s friend recounts attack

    "I gave a tough fight to three of them. I punched them hard. But then two others hit me with an iron rod," he said. The woman tried to call the police using her mobile phone, but the men took it away from her, he said. They then took her to the rear seats of the bus and raped her.

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    Objections filed against Schaumburg Township Democrats

    A pair of objections were filed Thursday and Friday against the candidacies of all five Democrats seeking elected office in Schaumburg Township this spring. While one objection made the more common complaint that the candidates' statements of economic interest weren't properly filled out, the other charged that the candidates were slated by a new Democratic committeeman who hadn't been selected...

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    Mark Kirk

    Sen. Kirk to retire from Naval Reserve

    As he returns to the Senate, Mark Kirk, a naval reserve officer plans to "wind down his military career and retire," according to his spokesman, Lance Trover.

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    Daniel Guerrero participated with other West Chicago Elementary District 33 teachers union members on Nov. 2 who were reacting after the school board earlier declared an impasse in contract talks. The school board Friday said the two sides still are far apart.

    West Chicago Dist. 33 board: Little progress in talks

    Hours of negotiations Thursday and Friday failed to end a bitter contract dispute in West Chicago Elementary District 33. Though teachers legally could strike as early as Monday, students' schedules are expected to be normal at least through Thursday, officials said.

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    Objections filed in Gail Borden library race

    Objections have been filed against three candidates -- incumbment Randy Hopp, and newcomers Elizabeth Kruger and Carlos Betancourt -- who are running for seats on the Gail Borden Public Library District board in Elgin.

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    Wheeling candidacy objections withdrawn Friday

    Challenges filed against two Wheeling candidates by a fellow candidate were withdrawn Friday, a day before the scheduled hearing before the village's electoral board. Former Wheeling trustee and president Patrick Horcher — who's running for village president again — filed the challenges against the re-election bid of Trustee Ken Brady and current Trustee Dean Argiris' run for...

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    Elgin Octave organizes city council candidates forum

    How do you go about organizing an election forum with a whopping 22 candidates? If you're the Elgin Octave group, you send candidates running for Elgin City Council an online questionnaire asking people for "yes/no" answers, and to rate on a 1 to 5 scale whether they agree or disagree on a topic or statement. The forum is Jan. 12.

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    Mark Walsten

    Des Plaines mayoral, aldermanic candidates face objections

    Objections have been filed against Des Plaines mayoral candidate Mark Walsten and 5th Ward aldermanic candidate Gregory Sarlo. Hearing dates have not been set.

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    This combo of photos provided by the Tinley Park Police Department shows, from left: Jason Sutherlin, Cody Sutherlin, Dylan Sutherlin, Alex Struck and John Tucker. All five pleaded guilty to a May 19 mob attack in Tinley Park.

    Five plead guilty to mob attack at restaurant

    Five Indiana men were sentenced to between three years and six years in prison after pleading guilty to charges in connection with an attack on a group of diners at a Southwest suburban restaurant.

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    Bill Johnston

    District 116 plans to discuss referendum possibility

    Round Lake Area Unit District 116 board members Monday night plan to discuss the possibility of seeking voter permission to borrow money that mostly would go toward high school expansion. Bill Johnston, District 116's assistant superintendent of business and operations, said the school board must decide whether to pursue a referendum by Jan. 22, the deadline to get a measure on the April 9 ballot.

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    Aurora mayor wants bonues for cops after murder-free year

    The police officers who patrolled Aurora during the city's first murder-free year since 1946 may be getting a $500 bonus for their efforts. Mayor Tom Weisner proposed the bonus for all 289 sworn officers in the Aurora Police Department, saying they played the most critical role in preventing homicides in 2012. "Year after year, day after day, Aurora police officers have put themselves on the line...

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    Fox Valley police reports
    Fox blotter

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    Darrell E. Beck

    Former N. Aurora man convicted of assaulting child

    A former North Aurora man was convicted of sexually assaulting one of his own foster children, nearly nine months of being acquitted of sexual assault charges against another foster child. Darrell E. Beck, 46, now of the 3300 block of Boulder Ridge Drive in Champaign, was convicted of one count of predatory criminal sexual assault.

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    Donald Mischke

    Lisle man guilty of killing Grayslake’s Elisha Clark while fleeing police

    Lisle resident Donald Mischke was convicted of crashing into a Grayslake woman with his vehicle and killing her while fleeing police in Waukegan in 2010. Mischke, 56, who opted to have a judge decide his fate instead of a jury, was found guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated driving under the influence, aggravated fleeing and eluding police officers, burglary and retail theft. His trial in...

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    Two businesses — Regis Hair Salon and Kids Club — left Spring Hill Mall in West Dundee just before the new year. A third business, PacSun, is on its way out.

    Spring Hill Mall losing three businesses

    The new year has brought store vacancies at Spring Hill Mall in West Dundee. Two retailers left the mall just after Christmas, while a third is on its way out. Regis Hair Salon decided not to renew its lease, which expired on New Year's Eve. Kids' Club closed earlier this week and PacSun is holding a final sale in preparation for its own closure.

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    Performance at Byron Colby Barn:

    Wayward Sisters will perform "A Restless Heart: Music of Exiles, Émigrés, and Nomads" at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13 at the Byron Colby Barn in Grayslake.

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    New section of Cedar Lake Road open:

    A new segment of Cedar Lake Road has opened to traffic between Route 120 and Town Line Road in the Round Lake area. This new three-quarter mile long section connects with existing sections of Cedar Lake Road.

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    D24 school board vacancy:

    Millburn Elementary District 24 is seeking applicants to fill a vacant seat on the school board that had been held by Lisa Scanio, who resigned Dec. 19.

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    Pace settles lawsuit in Geneva man injured on bus

    Pace bus service has settled a lawsuit filed by Geneva Township Assessor Denise LaCure after she argued that husband's wheelchair broke free from a bus bracket system on October 2009, causing him to break his hip and later die of a stroke. David R. LaCure, former St. Charles police officer and part-time Sugar Grove firefighter, was 61 when he died on Feb. 7, 2010.

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    Iranian accused of nuclear smuggling deported

    U.S. immigration officials have deported an Iranian businessman found guilty of illegally shipping equipment to Iran that authorities said could be used in the country's nuclear program. Amirhossein Sairafi pleaded guilty in 2010 to conspiracy, money laundering and violating the 1995 Iran trade embargo.

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    Guilty plea in W. Dundee DUI chase that injured 3 cops

    A 39-year-old Chicago man has pleaded guilty to leading Carpentersville police on a drunken chase through East and West Dundee that ended after he was rear-ended by a cop car that sent his vehicle crashing into an utility pole and disabled an electrical transformer. Henry Benjamin III faces between six and 30 years in prison when sentenced Feb. 14 because he had four previous DUIs.

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    Erin Merryn

    Schaumburg woman’s legislation passed; schools told to act

    Though she faced skeptics, Erin Merryn's efforts have paid off. The Illinois Senate this week voted in favor of Erin's Law, which extends state-mandated sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention education from secondary schools to include elementary and middle schools. "I faced a lot of skeptics who didn't believe we could get this done, but I knew in my heart we would," the Schaumburg...

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    Oak Brook company wins injunction on birth control mandate

    A federal judge in Chicago has temporarily blocked the U.S. government from requiring a Oak Brook-based, for-profit company to provide its workers with health insurance that covers birth control. Judge Amy St. Eve granted a preliminary injunction Thursday to the Triune Health Group.

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    Rahm Emanuel

    Emanuel says state will legalize gay marriage, ban assault weapons

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he believes state lawmakers will legalize gay marriage and ban assault weapons — even if it's not during the current lame-duck session.

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    William Cellini

    Ex-power broker has 2 more weeks to begin sentence

    William Cellini was initially supposed to begin serving his one-year prison sentence Friday, but he was granted an extension until Jan. 22. Jurors found him guilty last year of trying to shake down the producer of "Million Dollar Baby" for a $1.5 million political contribution to then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich's campaign.

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    Richard Vanecko

    McHenry County judge chosen for Daley nephew’s case

    McHenry County Judge Maureen McIntyre will preside over the involuntary manslaughter case of a nephew of former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. McHenry County Chief Judge Michael Sullivan selected McIntyre on Friday. His decision came after the Illinois Supreme Court ruled the case should be heard by a judge outside Cook County.

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    Elizabeth Saint Victor winces as she gets a free flu shot from LPN Jean Buck courtesy of Baptist Healthcare in Memphis, Tenn., at the Central Library. Health officials say flu season is off to its earliest start in nearly 10 years _ and it could be a bad one. Officials said Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 that suspected flu cases have jumped in five southern states _ Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. An uptick in flu reports like this usually doesn't occur until after Christmas.

    Flu season comes early, hits hard in suburbs

    Flu patients are filling suburban emergency rooms much earlier and at a much faster rate this season, though local health officials aren't exactly sure why. Illinois is experiencing one of the greatest flu outbreaks in the nation. "Normally we see an average of 200 cases per season but it is only Jan. 3 and we already have seen more than 260 confirmed cases," said Edward Hospital's Mary Anderson.

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    A driver pays up at the Arlington Heights Road entrance to the Jane Addams Tollway.

    Illinois tollway revenue up in 2012, despite boycott threats

    You may have started 2012 determined to boycott the tollway after rates nearly doubled, but you just couldn't break the habit, new statistics reveal. Though transactions were down last year, they didn't dip as much as expected. And the agency still received a 42 percent boost in revenues, data shows. The percentage of decline for passenger vehicles was only 4 percent, dipping from 682 million...

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    Peyton Manning won a Super Bowl with Indianapolis in 2006. Now he’ll try to lead Denver to another championship.

    Poll Vault: Which team do you think will win the Super Bowl?

    A dozen NFL teams are about to begin their playoff tournament toward the Super Bowl. Who will win the final game? Share your pick and discuss in the comment section.

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    Ice fisherman not hurt after going in water at East Loon Lake

    A 60-year-old Gurnee man was not hurt after plunging into a lake while ice fishing in unincorporated Antioch Township, authorities said Friday. Antioch Fire Department Chief John Nixon said a resident in the 40700 block of Champaign Drive on East Loon Lake, just north of Grass Lake Road, summoned rescue personnel at 1:47 p.m. Thursday after seeing the man in water up to his neck. The ice was only...

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    FDA proposes sweeping new food safety rules

    The Food and Drug Administration on Friday proposed the most sweeping food safety rules in decades, requiring farmers and food companies to be more vigilant in the wake of deadly outbreaks in peanuts, cantaloupe and leafy greens. The long-overdue regulations are aimed at reducing the estimated 3,000 deaths a year from foodborne illness.

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    Malala Yousufzai says goodbye as she is discharged from the hospital to continue her rehabilitation at her family’s temporary home in the area. the teenage Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting girls’ education has been released from the hospital after impressing doctors with her strength. Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham officials said Friday 15-year-old Malala Yousufzai will be treated as an outpatient before being readmitted for further cranial reconstructive surgery at the end of the month or in early February.

    Pakistani girl shot by Taliban leaves UK hospital

    A 15-year-old Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting girls' education has been released from a Birmingham hospital to live with her family, doctors said Friday. Photographs released by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham showed Malala Yousufzai hugging nurses, waving and smiling shyly.

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    Signatures for incumbent nominating petitions challenged in Ela Township

    Signatures gathered by incumbents running as a slate for reelection in Ela Township are being challenged by an opposing slate of candidates. The Ela Reform Party claims many of the signatures for the Ela First Party are questionable and if removed, the Ela First Party would not have enough to be on ballot.

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    Charges reduced for one of three accused in 2012 Aurora rape

    Prosecutors have downgraded charges against one of three Aurora men accused of sexually assaulting an intoxicated 25-year-old Joliet woman in August 2012. Authorities had charged Shammrie Brown with felony criminal sexual assault, saying he did not have sex with the woman but failed to stop to other men involved. They are due in court on Jan. 18.

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    Dan Rebholz said his favorite tool is the chain saw, but he also uses a variety of hand drills with varying bits for detail work when carving ice. Rebholz has carved more than 15,000 pieces using 5 million tons of ice.

    Moving Picture: Wheaton man a world-class ice carver

    Dan Rebholz of Wheaton is a world-class ice carver, having created more than 15,000 pieces in his 27-year career. He's used 5,000,000 pounds of ice to do it, too. And despite all the fancy tools he used, he stills loves his chain saw the most."We've been asked to freeze anything from wedding rings to TV sets," Rebholz said of the projects he's made from the crystal clear ice blocks.

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    Kane County may raise taxes to help developmentally disabled

    The average Kane County resident may see a $55 hike in their property tax bill if county board members agree to a referendum that would create a new tax to benefit the developmentally disabled. Local social organizations renewed a lobbying effort they began a couple of months ago to create the new tax Thursday, and the idea made it past its first committee hurdle. The county has less than three...

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    Nicholas Marcogliese

    Man caught in Wheaton child sex sting gets jail time

    A man who said he was high on a synthetic drug when he tried to arrange sex with a 14-year-old girl was jailed Friday by a DuPage County judge. Nicholas Marcogliese, 33, of downstate Kincaid, pleaded guilty to indecent solicitation of a child.

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    Newly retired Rep. Barney Frank revealed on Friday that he would like to serve as a temporary successor to Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, the secretary of state nominee.

    Barney Frank on Senate seat: Put me in, governor

    Newly retired U.S. Rep. Barney Frank says he'd like to be the temporary successor to Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry. Frank confirmed to The Associated Press that he asked Gov. Deval Patrick earlier this week to appoint him as interim senator until a special election is held to fill Kerry's seat. Kerry has been nominated to be secretary of state.

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    Syrian warplanes bomb suburbs of the capital

    BEIRUT — Syrian ground and air forces bombarded rebel strongholds on the outskirts of Damascus and other areas around the country Friday while anti-government forces targeted a military post near the capital with a car bomb, activists said.

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    Woman arrested in decade-old LA child porn case

    LOS ANGELES — Authorities have arrested a woman who allegedly is seen molesting a girl in decade-old child porn photos made in Los Angeles.

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    Fifth grade students from Indian Grove and Euclid elementary schools meet for games and fun at River Trails Middle School in Mount Prospect. The event was part of a parent-led effort in the fall of 2010 to dispel bitter feelings left by the controversy over grade-level centers.

    River Trails District 26 board losing 4 board members

    The next school board election is still three months away, but one thing already is certain in River Trails Elementary District 26: The board will soon look a whole lot different. The terms of four board members come to an end this spring, and not one is running for re-election.

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    This 2001 photo shows Gerda Lerner, founder of University of Wisconsin-Madison’s graduate program in women’s history, with an image of her autobiography, Fireweed. Lerner, a founding member of the National Organization for Woman and a pioneer in the field of women’s history, has died at an assisted-living facility in Madison. She was 92.

    Women’s history pioneer Gerda Lerner dies at 92

    Gerda Lerner spent her 18th birthday in a Nazi prison, sharing a cell with two gentile women arrested for political work who shared their food with the Jewish teenager because jailers restricted rations for Jews. Lerner would say years later that the women taught her how to survive and how society can manipulate people. It was a lesson that the women's history pioneer, who died Wednesday at age...

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    Man accused of attacking captain on towboat

    ST. LOUIS — A towboat worker is facing federal charges that he choked his captain into unconsciousness as the vessel was traveling up the Mississippi River near St. Louis.

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    10-year sentence for abuse that nearly killed boy

    MADISON, Wis. — A Madison man has been sentenced to ten years in prison for physically abusing his former girlfriend’s 4-year-old son who suffered brain damage and nearly died.

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    Copper thieves suspected in home blast

    WORDEN, Ill. — Investigators say they might never know exactly what touched off an explosion that leveled a southwestern Illinois farmhouse, but they suspect copper thieves could be to blame.Nobody was hurt in the blast about 1 a.m. Thursday near Worden, a Madison County community about 45 miles northeast of St. Louis.

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    500 otters trapped so far in Illinois season

    At least 500 otters have been caught so far in Illinois’ first river otter trapping season since 1929.Bob Bluett of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says that total comes with the season less than half over. Illinois’ season began in November, and it closes statewide March 31.

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    Trial ordered for funeral director in drug case

    MARKESAN, Wis. — A mortician accused of dealing drugs at her family’s Markesan, Wis., funeral home will stand trial. Twenty-five-year-old Melissa Wachholz has pleaded not guilty to drug charges in Green Lake County Court, including maintaining a drug trafficking place. She’s waived her right to a preliminary hearing.

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    Geneva man withdraws from one of three races

    A Geneva man has withdrawn from one of three elections in April. Jay Moffat initially sought election to the Geneva school, library and park boards.

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    A mural depicting Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is being treated for “respiratory deficiency” after complications from a severe lung infection, his government said, pointing to a deepening crisis for the ailing 58-year-old president.

    Venezuela’s Chavez fighting severe lung infection

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is being treated for "respiratory deficiency" after complications from a severe lung infection, his government said, pointing to a deepening crisis for the ailing 58-year-old president.

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    Cantigny announces winner of tree decorating contest

    The Robert R. McCormick Museum at Cantigny Park announced that the Christmas tree decorated by Senior Home Sharing and displayed at the museum throughout the holiday season received the most votes in public balloting.

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    Parents must help their children set limits

    Our Ken Potts says helping our children set limits is one of the biggest, and most important, challenges of parenthood.

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    Chicago hotel to honor Northwestern’s win

    A downtown Chicago hotel will be lighting up the skies to honor the Northwestern Wildcats' win at the Gator Bowl. The InterContinental Chicago plans to light its hotel dome in purple and white lights through Sunday night.

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    Judge to rule in Wisconsin wolf hunt challenge

    A Madison judge is expected to rule on whether hunters can use dogs to go after wolves. A group of humane societies filed a lawsuit earlier this year alleging the Department of Natural Resources failed to place any real restrictions on how hunters can train and use dogs to hunt wolves.

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    A sign Thursday welcomes Sandy Hook Elementary school children on their first day of classes near the former Chalk School in Monroe, Conn.

    School offers fresh start for Sandy Hook kids

    Sarah Caron made her son his favorite pancakes for breakfast and walked the second-grader to the top of the driveway for the school bus. "I hugged him a lot longer than normal, until he said, `Mommy, please,"' she said. "And then he got on the bus, and he was OK."

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    Kane County prepares to revamp animal control yet again

    It only took about 10 minutes to undo months of work by the Kane County Animal Control Task Force Thursday. The county board's Public Health Committee voted to begin looking for a new animal control administrator. Only this time they aren't looking for a veterinarian to head the agency. That didn't go so well last time.

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    Dawn Patrol: Gay marriage, gun control stalled; Kirk climbs Capitol steps

    Same-sex marriage, gambling expansion and gun control all stalled in Springfield; Sen. Mark Kirk returns to Washington, D.C., after stroke; accuser speaks about Maine West hazing; Motorola Mobility's Libertyville complex for sale; grease fire damages Fox River Grove restaurant; race for three village board seats in Buffalo Grove may end up uncontested; Bears interested in Indianapolis Colts...

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    Bobby Miller, a junior at the University of Alabama, and his brother Jimmy, a freshman at the University of Notre Dame, will travel with the rest of their family from Lombard to Florida for Monday's BCS National Championship game between their schools.

    Lombard brothers 'play it cool' in rivalry over college football showdown

    The BCS National Championship between Alabama and Notre Dame has an easygoing, football-loving Lombard family split in half. Jim and Toni Miller have four kids, including a junior at the University of Alabama rooting for the Crimson Tide and a freshman at the University of Notre Dame pulling for the Fighting Irish. The brothers have developed what Notre Dame student Jimmy calls a "play-it-cool...

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    Sales of new cars and trucks rose 13 percent to 14.5 million in 2012. And if they climb much beyond that, they'll be closing in on a high set in 2005. Cheap loans, a host of new cars and greater confidence in the economy are drawing buyers into showrooms. Plus, Americans who hung on to aging cars during the recession are ready to trade them in.

    Why car sales are strong in the US
    It's not quite boom times for the U.S. auto industry. But it's getting there. Sales of new cars and trucks rose 13 percent to 14.5 million in 2012. Here's a roundup

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    Aquarium scene from the Pangani Forest Trail at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom.

    Images: Photo Contest Finalists
    Each week you submit your favorite photo. We pick the best of the bunch and select 12 finlaists. Here are the finalists for the week of December 31st.

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    Police: Man robs Buffalo Grove bank

    Buffalo Grove bank in the Dominick's at Lake-Cook Road and Arlington Heights Road is hit for an undisclosed amount

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    No injuries in fire at St. Charles company

    A fire at a St. Charles company Thursday afternoon is under investigation, according to a news release from the St. Charles Fire Department. Firefighters responded about 12:36 p.m. to a report that the ceiling was on fire at Pactiv Corp., 315 S. Kirk Road, the release said, where they found flames in the bar joists supporting the roof in the company's manufacturing area.

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    Des Plaines moves to disband joint 911 dispatch center

    The Des Plaines public works committee Thursday night agreed to recommend to the city council the establishment of a Des Plaines dispatch center and emergency telephone system board to handle 911 calls for Des Plaines and Park Ridge.The move would require a change in the city code, which will be on the council's agenda for Monday night.

Sports

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    Leyden’s Alondra Chavarria moves the ball.

    Images: Leyden vs Morton, girls basketball
    The Leyden High School girls basketball team hosted the Morton High School girls Friday, January 4th, in Northlake.

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    Kaneland handles Yorkville by 21

    The numbers favored Kaneland's boys basketball team on Friday in Maple Park.

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    FILE - This July 30, 2011 file photo shows Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid talking with the media after the morning session at NFL football training camp at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. Reid arrived in Kansas City on Friday, Jan. 4, 2012, and the Chiefs are close to making an official announcement that he will become their next coach. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz, File)

    Chiefs' Reid already at work assembling staff

    The Kansas City Chiefs were in shambles after the worst season in franchise history, and chairman Clark Hunt promised their devoted followers that better ways were ahead. That was on Monday. By Friday, he had delivered Andy Reid.

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    A person familiar with the negotiations says the Cleveland Browns are close to a deal with Oregon's Chip Kelly to become their next coach.

    Browns, Kelly to meet again for 2nd straight day

    A person familiar with the negotiations says the Cleveland Browns are close to a deal with Oregon's Chip Kelly to become their next coach. The Browns interviewed Kelly on Friday and the Ducks coach was supposed to meet with Philadelphia. However, a person familiar with the interviews says the Eagles are "heading in another direction" because Kelly is nearing a deal with Cleveland.

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    The New York Times is reporting Friday that Lance Armstrong — who has strongly denied the doping charges that led to him being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles — has told associates he is considering admitting he used performance-enhancing drugs.

    Report: Armstrong weighs admitting to doping

    The New York Times is reporting Friday that Lance Armstrong — who has strongly denied the doping charges that led to him being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles — has told associates he is considering admitting he used performance-enhancing drugs.

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    Richey, Soul notch first-ever shutout

    The Chicago Soul earned their first shutout in franchise history, defeating the Syracuse Silver Knights 11-0 on Friday night at the Sears Centre Arena. Jeff Richey recorded an impressive 45 saves to carry the squad to victory.

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

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

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

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

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    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    CL South 38, Prairie Ridge 34: Crystal Lake South was shut out in the first quarter and scored just 2 points in the third quarter, but had enough in the first and fourth to slip past PR in the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division. Sara Mickow scored 16 points and had 9 rebounds for the Gators (13-4, 2-1), who won their sixth straight. Carly Nolan added 10 rebounds.Alden-Hebron 36, Harvest Christian 25: Kylee Knox had 13 points and Rachel Oostdyk added 8 points and 6 rebounds for Harvest in the Northeast Athletic Conference. Sarah Kott also had 6 rebounds for the Lions (2-11, 1-3).

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    Harvest Christian continuing to make gains

    The seminal moment for Harvest Christian Academy's boys basketball team took place on Dec. 7, when the young Lions built a 15-point lead against Luther North only to cough it up and lose by a basket, dropping their record at the time to 1-3. One might conclude a lesson was learned that day based on how the Lions have roared since. Harvest Christian won its seventh straight game Friday under the watchful eye of first-year coach Jeff Boldog, a convincing 56-35 victory over Alden-Hebron in a Northeast Athletic Conference contest in Elgin.

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    Another extra special win for Willowbrook

    Willowbrook is growing quite accustomed to comebacks, and close calls. The 16th-ranked Warriors rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit Friday at Downers Grove South, watched the Mustangs hit a tying 3-pointer to force overtime, but never trailed in the extra session and won 54-50. Willowbrook (14-3, 6-0 West Suburban Gold) won its third straight game — two of them in overtime — and in all three the Warriors trailed at the half.

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    Grayslake North’s Shyanne Ludwick looks to pass after picking up a loose ball against Woodstock in Grayslake on Friday.

    Good fortune for Grayslake North

    Shyanne Ludwick couldn't wait to play a basketball game in 2013. After all, she and her Grayslake North teammates were stuck on 13 wins after losing the final game of the Northern Illinois Holiday Classic way back on Dec. 21. Who would feel lucky about that? "It feels good to be back," Ludwick said. "Too long of a break." Lucky Knights. Grayslake North scored 13 points in the opening quarter, got a game-high 13 points from Brittney Thibeaux, enjoyed a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter and held off visiting Woodstock 45-34 in a Fox Valley Fox Division battle Friday night.

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    Carlos Boozer scored 27 points and the Bulls dominated on the boards to become only the third visiting team to win in Miami this season, beating the Heat 96-89 Friday night.

    Boards, Boozer push Bulls past Heat 96-89

    Even when seated, the Chicago Bulls outrebounded the Miami Heat. Following one missed shot, the ball rolled between forward Carlos Boozer's legs as he fell on his backside, yet he still managed to scoop it up and feed a teammate for two more second-chance points for Chicago. Dominating on the glass and the hardwood, the Bulls became only the third visiting team to win in Miami this season, beating the Heat 96-89 Friday night.

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    R-B constructs victory over Round Lake

    They are building at Richmond-Burton. A brand new gym, that is. There's a gigantic addition being built to the school's old gym that is near completion. It will provide the Rockets with a state-of-the-art fieldhouse with plenty of seating for games as well as extra practice courts. Construction is due to be complete next month. The boys basketball team is hoping that it's on the verge of building something as well. It's been a rough start to the season for the young Rockets, who entered Friday's nonconference battle against visiting Round Lake with just one win in 13 games. But thanks to a decisive 63-45 victory over the Panthers in the old gym, which was separated from the new gym by a floor-to-ceiling white curtain, Richmond-Burton finally has something positive to build on.

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    Lisle travels for victory at Wilmington

    Lisle's boys basketball team visited Wilmington on Friday and defeated the host Wildcats 63-39 in the Interstate Eight Conference.

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    Benet charges back, wins at Notre Dame

    Benet's boys basketball team stunned a near-capacity gym Friday in Niles by rallying from a double-digit deficit for a 42-41 victory over Notre Dame in the Redwings' East Suburban Catholic Conference opener.

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    Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel ran for two touchdowns, threw for two more and had a Cotton Bowl-record 516 total yards as 10th-ranked Texas A&M wrapped up its first SEC season with a 41-13 win over No. 12 Oklahoma on Friday night.

    Manziel, Texas A&M beat Oklahoma 41-13 in Cotton Bowl

    Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel ran for two touchdowns, threw for two more and had a Cotton Bowl-record 516 total yards as 10th-ranked Texas A&M wrapped up its first SEC season with a 41-13 win over No. 12 Oklahoma on Friday night.

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    Kukec’s clutch bucket lifts Maine West in OT

    Maine West senior guard Tom Kukec usually is known for 3-point shooting. While Kukec had a huge 3-pointer Friday at Fenton that forced overtime, his biggest basket was a layup. That bucket with 25.6 seconds left was the game-winner in the Warriors' 46-43 victory in Bensenville after once trailing 19-3 midway through the second quarter.

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    Yashau Trent of Willowbrook puts up a shot over Downers Grove South’s Jordan Cannon in West Suburban Gold play Friday in Villa Park.

    Mara measures up for Downers Grove South

    Downers Grove South senior center Robert Mara has the type of profile that gets NCAA Division III coaches excited. The 6-foot-8 Mara boasts plenty of athleticism and ability to run the floor. But because he's in his first year as a starter, he showcases improved skills virtually every time out and makes it fun for the coaches to project his ceiling. With Todd Raridon, leader of top-ranked North Central College, among the D-III coaches in the house Friday night at Willowbrook, Mara stacked up 24 points, 15 rebounds and 4 blocks to pace the Mustangs to a 59-48 West Suburban Gold victory in Villa Park.

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    Waubonsie Valley savors the flavor of big win

    Success is always sweet, but Waubonsie Valley's 45-24 win Friday night in wrestling over host Neuqua Valley was perhaps a special variety — like Swiss imported chocolate sweet, judging by the reaction of the Warriors after the competition. And for good reason. It was the first varsity wrestling win for Waubonsie Valley against Neuqua Valley in school history.

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    Cary-Grove dominates Jacobs

    Being one of the key figures in Cary-Grove's second place finish in the Class 6A football playoffs, Trojans' senior Garrett Glueck is hoping to have that type of success on the wrestling mat as well. After a slow start, Glueck and the Trojans are starting to round into shape. With Glueck posting a pin over Jacobs' David Haire in the 152-pound match, the Trojans were able to cruise past the Golden Eagles 52-19 in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division action in Cary Friday night. Glueck, who pinned Haire in 1:37, was happy with his performance.

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    Geneva’s Colin Parsons wrestles South Elgin’s Ricardo De Anda at 132.

    Geneva seniors shine

    The Geneva seniors had impeccable timing in closing out their home careers on Friday night against South Elgin.

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    Plano catches Rosary in 4th quarter

    Some obvious instructions at halftime from Plano coach Mario Serra spelled doom for Rosary Friday night in Aurora. Plano junior Clarisa Martinez relayed that message after her team rallied from a 5-point halftime deficit to win 42-38.

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    Libertyville meets Warren’s challenge

    Winning the first two matches of the dual meet gave Warren's wrestling team hopes for an upset Friday night against Libertyville. But the Wildcats had revenge on their minds heading into this North Suburban Conference meet as they are aiming to take back the title from the defending NSC Lake Division champions. Starting at 132 pounds, the Blue Devils did build an early 6-0 lead, but Libertyville (12-1, 4-0) bounced back quickly in an impressive 42-15 victory in Gurnee.

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    Leyden’s Alondra Chavarria splits Morton defenders Amanda Kubicki and Tatiyanna Sanchez for a first-half basket at Leyden’s West campus on Friday.

    Slow start catches up to Leyden

    Less than 65 seconds into Friday's West Suburban Conference Gold game, Leyden's girls basketball team found itself trailing 8-0 visiting Morton. "That did make things tough," said Eagles senior guard Victoria Galizia, who will play for North Central College next season. "Right away, the momentum went into Morton's hands." The Mustangs increased the lead to 10-0 with 5:37 left in the first quarter and never looked back while recording a 50-34 triumph.

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    Burlington Central rolls over Marengo

    Burlington Central's offense looked a bit rusty coming out of Christmas break, but the defense looked plenty sharp. The Rockets forced 33 turnovers and held Marengo to 6 first-half points in posting a 46-21 win Friday night. Central knocked the rust off the offense in the second half as Alison Colby scored 10 of her game-high 14 points in the Big Northern East matchup in Burlington.

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    Grayslake North handles Hampshire

    After having a few weeks off from anything other than practice competition, the Grayslake North wrestling team has a busy few days. The Knights wrestle four times in three days and they have started the stretch well. Grayslake North earned a dual-meet victory for the second time in as many days Friday night, beating host Hampshire, 48-21, in a Fox Valley Conference Fox Division meet.

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    Images from the Willowbrook vs. Downers Grove South boys basketball game on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013.

    Images: Willowbrook vs. Downers Grove South, boys basketball
    The Willowbrook Warriors hosted the Downers Grove South Mustangs for boys basketball action on Friday in Villa Park.

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    Images from the Woodstock vs. Grayslake North girls basketball game on Friday, Jan. 4 in Grayslake.

    Images: Woodstock vs. Grayslake North, girls basketball
    The Grayslake North Knights hosted and won 45-34 over the Woodstock Blue Streaks for girls basketball action on Friday, Jan. 4 in Grayslake.

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    Roach’s approach suits LZ

    Sometimes, all it takes is one shot to fall, and all the rest seem to go down from there. For Lake Zurich senior Ryan Roach, when his first shot of the second half fell, it quickly led to good things for Lake Zurich. Roach had missed his first and only attempt in the first half against Johnsburg during the 22nd annual Milwaukee Bucks Prep Basketball Series at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee Friday afternoon. His first shot of the second half, though, was good, and it gave the Bears their first lead of the afternoon. They hung on from there to defeat the Skyhawks 46-38.

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    With the ink not even dry on the New York Jets’ dreadful season, Rex Ryan fled to the Bahamas only to be photographed lounging poolside at a resort hotel, book in hand, with an interesting tattoo gracing his right biceps. It showed his wife, Michelle, wearing an unmistakably green Jets jersey emblazoned with the unmistakable No. 6 of embattled quarterback Mark Sanchez. And nothing else.

    Caribbean storm: Rex Ryan has Mark Sanchez tattoo

    With the ink not even dry on the New York Jets' dreadful season, Rex Ryan fled to the Bahamas only to be photographed lounging poolside at a resort hotel, book in hand, with an interesting tattoo gracing his right biceps.

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    Along with teammate Johnny Jimenez, Kaneland cross country runner Victoria Clinton and the Aurora Christian football team, Marmion wrestler Angelo Silvestro brought home a state title in 2012.

    Taking a last look back at a memorable 2012

    Since the high school sports season has reached a temporary lull due to the holiday break, this is as good a time as any to take one final look back at the 2012 calendar year for our local athletic teams. It was quite a ride.

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    Neuqua Valley runs away with South Elgin

    There may not be a team in the suburbs quite like Neuqua Valley's girls basketball team, one that can make opposing squads look bad on a given day or night. When the Wildcats get their calling card going — the fullcourt trap — in all-out suffocation mode, they force teams like South Elgin to play hot potato with the basketball, as they did in Friday's Upstate Eight Valley matinee in South Elgin. And while the Wildcats (16-1, 6-0) shot 26 of 62 from the field in what wasn't their prettiest of offensive outputs, they managed to shut the Storm's door at halfcourt with 24 steals in their 63-25 win in a rough-and-tumble affair with few whistles while bodies flew everywhere.

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    Will the Packers’ Clay Matthews be roaring Saturday night when the Vikings invade Green Bay for a wild-card battle? Bob LeGere provides his prediction.

    Breaking down the NFL’s first-round games

    Teams fight all season for home-field advantage, but look for two road teams to spoil the fun this weekend and come away with victories in the first round of the NFL playoffs. Our NFL expert, Bob LeGere, breaks down the four games.

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    Charlie Beljan holds an umbrella as he waits his turn to tee off in the first round at the Tournament of Champions golf tournament on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, in Kapalua, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    PGA Tour season under way in rain and wind

    The PGA Tour's 2013 season has begun in a setting that hardly feels like paradise.Even before the first group could get through nine holes in the Tournament of Champions, play was suspended Friday because of wind so strong that balls were moving on the green.

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    FILE - This Aug. 14, 2012, file photo shows NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, left, and Bill Daly, deputy commissioner and chief legal officer, following collective bargaining talks in Toronto. The NHL is set to get back to the bargaining table Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, with the locked-out playersí association after a new contract offer from the league broke the ice between the fighting sides. "We delivered to the union a new, comprehensive proposal for a successor CBA," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement Friday, Dec. 28. "We are not prepared to discuss the details of our proposal at this time." (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young, File)

    Sides in NHL labor fight meet with mediator

    The NHL and the players' association met separately with a federal mediator throughout Friday morning and well into the afternoon with no sign that they would return to the bargaining table anytime soon.

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    The Notre Dame leprechaun mascot takes the field.

    BCS Championship: Tale of the tape between Irish, Tide

    Everything about the BCS championship between No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Alabama seems larger than life. Not only do these schools stand among the best ever in college football, they also lead the pack in celebrating that success and in investing for the future. If ever college football presented a heavyweight event it's the Fighting Irish against the Crimson Tide. So here, then, is a tale of the tape for Monday's marquee matchup in Miami.

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    Bears general manager Phil Emery smiles as he addresses the media this week.

    Spellman’s Scorecard: Bears GM knows of what he speaks

    In this week's Scorecard, Mike likes the decisiveness of Bears general manager Phil Emery. He also likes that the PGA Tour kicks off this weekend from Hawaii, but that's a different story. Read that and more in this week's Spellman's Scorecard.

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    Louisville head coach Charlie Strong of the Big East celebrates following a 33-23 win over No. 3 Florida of the SEC in the Sugar Bowl Wednesday. The SEC is 3-3 in bowl games so far this season.

    SEC loses ground in college bowl season

    The Southeastern Conference has had a disappointing college football bowl season, and Mike North doesn't like the excuses he's hearing from the SEC. The Louisville Cardinals beat the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl, and the Cardinals deserve some credit, North says. And he warns Bears fans not to expect a big name from the team's head coach search.

Business

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    Maine lobster catch up, value down

    Canadian lobstermen blocked truckloads of Maine's lobster from being delivered across the border to processing plants that create lobster products for supermarkets and restaurants, blaming Maine for low prices.

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    This screen grab provided by Target shows an advertisement from the company featuring a model interacting with baking products.

    Target ads blend fashion and groceries

    Target, with ad agency Mono in Minneapolis, created the tongue-in-cheek campaign that treats groceries and home products like fashion accessories in a photo shoot.

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    Associated Press/Oct. 17, 2011 Guests stand outside the new Spaceport America hangar in Upham, N.M.

    Spaceport wants protections from tourist lawsuits

    Legal experts say there is no way to know whether the so-called informed consent laws will offer any protection to spacecraft operators and suppliers in the event something goes wrong.

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    Dundee Automotive owner Randy Klemm, far right, looks on as excavators dig up the parking lot next to his shop to see what might be causing both parking lots to cave in.

    E. Dundee businessman, village negotiating reimbursement

    Randy Klemm, owner of Dundee Automotive, met this week with East Dundee officials to discuss whether he can be reimbursed for $150,000 in repairs to his parking lot and for the "tens of thousands" of dollars in lost business. He had claimed a broken water main was the source of the problem.

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    Stocks edged higher after a report showed that hiring held up in December, keeping the Dow on track for its best week in more than six months. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 16 points to 13,407 as of 1:22 p.m. EST Friday. It's up 3.6 percent for the week, putting it on track for its biggest weekly advance since June.

    Stocks gain, pushing the S&P 500 to 5-year high

    The Standard & Poor's 500 closed at its highest in five years Friday after a report showed that hiring held up in December, giving stocks an early lift. The S&P 500 finished up 7.10 points at 1,466.47, its highest close since December 2007. The jobs report failed to give stocks more of a boost because the number of jobs was exactly in line with analysts' forecasts, said JJ Kinahan, chief derivatives trader for TD Ameritrade.

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    A large construction vehicle carries remnants of the boardwalk Thursday in Seaside Heights, N.J., that was destroyed two months ago by Superstorm Sandy. Under intense pressure from angry Republicans, House Speaker John Boehner has agreed to a vote this week on aid for Superstorm Sandy recovery.

    Congress approves $9.7 billion in Sandy flood aid

    The new Congress has passed a $9.7 billion bill to help pay flood insurance claims to homeowners, renters and businesses damaged by Superstorm Sandy. The bill cleared the Senate following passage earlier Friday by the House. It replenishes the National Flood Insurance Program that was due to run out of money next week with some 115,000 Sandy-related claims as well as 5,000 from other floods unresolved.

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    U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs in December, a steady gain that shows hiring held up during the tense negotiations to resolve the fiscal cliff. The solid job growth wasn’t enough to push down the unemployment rate, which remained 7.8 percent last month, the Labor Department said Friday. The rate for November was revised up from an initially reported 7.7 percent.

    U.S. economy adds 155K jobs; rate remains 7.8%

    U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs in December, a steady gain that shows hiring held up during the tense negotiations to resolve the fiscal cliff. The solid job growth wasn't enough to push down the unemployment rate, which remained 7.8 percent last month, the Labor Department said Friday. The rate for November was revised up from an initially reported 7.7 percent. The government also said hiring was stronger in the previous month than first thought.

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    Actor Patrick Dempsey announced late Thursday that his company, Global Baristas LLC, made the winning bid for Tully’s Coffee.

    ‘McDreamy’ says he beat Starbucks for coffee chain

    "Grey's Anatomy" star Patrick Dempsey may be the real "McSteamy." The actor, who was dubbed "McDreamy" by fans of the hospital drama while his co-star was affectionately called "McSteamy," won a bankruptcy auction to buy Tully's Coffee, a small coffee chain based in Seattle. Among those Dempsey beat out is Tully's much bigger Seattle neighbor, Starbucks Corp., which wanted to convert the cafes to its own brand.

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    U.S. factory orders unchanged in November

    U.S. companies boosted their orders in November for manufactured goods that reflect investment plans even though total orders were unchanged for the month. Factory orders were flat in November, compared with October when orders had risen 0.8 percent, the Commerce Department said Friday. Durable goods, everything from autos to steel, rose 0.8 percent while nondurable goods fell 0.6 percent, reflecting falling petroleum prices.

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    Canadian economy created 40,000 jobs in December

    The Canadian economy created 40,000 full-time jobs in December, driving the unemployment rate to its lowest in four years, Statistics Canada said Friday.

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    U.S. service firms grow by most in 10 months

    A gauge of U.S. service firms' activity expanded in December by the most in nearly a year, driven by a jump in new orders and hiring. The Institute for Supply Management said Friday that its index of non-manufacturing activity rose to 56.1 in December from 54.7 in November. That's the highest level since February and above the 12-month average of 54.7. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

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    New search engine tailors its results for tablets

    Are tablet users looking for an alternative to Google and other search engines designed primarily for PCs? That's the hope that led to Friday's release of Izik, which is billed as the first search engine tailored especially for iPads and increasingly popular tablet computers running on Google's Android software.

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    Eli Lilly 2013 profit forecast tops expectations

    Eli Lilly and Co. forecasts its 2013 earnings will grow more than Wall Street expects even though the drugmaker will lose U.S. patent protection for two more key products in the new year. The Indianapolis company said Friday that it expects 2013 adjusted earnings of between $3.75 and $3.90 per share on $22.6 billion to $23.4 billion in revenue.

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    Stern Pinball hires new chief revenue officer

    Stern Pinball Inc., the world's leading maker of real pinball games, hired former Topps Trading Cards Vice President John Buscaglia as the new Chief Revenue Officer.

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    Gallagher acquires 2 firms

    Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. recently acquired Argus Benefits in Atlanta, Ga., and Gardner & White Corp. headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind.

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    AbbVie targets 2015 growth with focus on new specialty drugs

    AbbVie Inc., the drug unit that split from Libertyville Township-based Abbott Laboratories on Jan. 1, will seek treatments for unmet medical needs in a push to grow sales in 2015, the company's new chief financial officer said.

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    Selim A. Bassoul, Middleby Corp.’s chairman and CEO. Bassoul said the acquisition of Viking Range is his company’s first significant foray into the residential cooking equipment market. Most of the company’s emphasis to date has been on producing equipment for the commercial food-service and food-processing industries.

    Elgin’s Middleby has big plans for Viking Range

    Elgin-based Middleby Corp., the new owner of Viking Range, says it is on a fast track to increase the company’s market share and profit margins.The Greenwood Commonwealth reports that the plans were outlined this week by Selim A. Bassoul, Middleby Corp.’s chairman and CEO.Middleby paid $380 million for Greenwood-based Viking Range. Fred Carl Jr., Viking’s founder, will stay on as president and chief executive officer.Bassoul said the acquisition is his company’s first significant foray into the residential cooking equipment market. Most of the company’s emphasis to date has been on producing equipment for the commercial food-service and food-processing industries.Middleby, a publicly traded company, which has been on an aggressive acquisition track for more than a decade, had eyed Viking several years ago, Bassoul said, but the timing wasn’t right.“We were a lot smaller at the time. They were a lot bigger,” he said.Middleby had a twofold motivation for acquiring Viking now, Bassoul said. It was an opportunity to take over the leading brand in the residential luxury market of cooking equipment just as new housing starts, which are a major driver of that segment, are showing signs of rebounding.“I think the timing was perfect for us to jump on Viking at this time,” he said.According to Middleby, the high-end market for cooking equipment presently accounts for $1 billion in sales annually, with Viking enjoying a market share of about 20 percent. Viking’s earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation have been running 10 percent to 12 percent of sales.Bassoul said that even if housing construction doesn’t turn around in the United States, he expects Viking to grow its market share to 25 percent to 30.Bassoul said such profit improvement is aggressive but it can be done by reducing costs, incorporating some of Middleby’s commercial technologies into Viking equipment and putting more emphasis on international markets and the company’s refrigeration line.“I would not be surprised if I do not see the international markets of Viking within five years to be close to 20 percent,” Bassoul said. Presently, they represent about 5 percent of Viking’s revenue.

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    Indian activists protest against Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG outside their office in Mumbai, India. The case — involving Novartis AG’s cancer drug Glivec — pits aid groups that argue India plays a vital role as the pharmacy to the poor against drug companies that insist they need strong patents to make drug development profitable.

    Indian court to rule on generic drug industry

    From Africa's crowded AIDS clinics to the malarial jungles of Southeast Asia, the lives of millions of ill people in the developing world are hanging in the balance ahead of a legal ruling that will determine whether India's drug companies can continue to provide cheap versions of many life-saving medicines.

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    The Justice Department has reached a $1.4 billion settlement with Transocean Ltd., the owner of the drilling rig that sank after an explosion killed 11 workers and spawned the massive 2010 oil spill in the gulf. On Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, two people with knowledge of the negotiations say Switzerland-based Transocean would pay the money to resolve the department’s civil and criminal probe of the company’s role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

    Transocean’s $1.4B oil spill deal will help Gulf

    A $1.4 billion settlement between the Justice Department and Deepwater Horizon rig owner Transocean Ltd. will pump hundreds of millions of dollars into projects designed to help the Gulf Coast recover from the nation's largest offshore oil spill. Transocean, which owned the rig that sank after an explosion killed 11 workers and spawned the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico, agreed Thursday to pay $1 billion in civil penalties and $400 million in criminal penalties.

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    General Motors recalls 55,000 vehicles to fix shifter problem

    General Motors is recalling nearly 55,000 pickup trucks, SUVs and vans because they can roll away unexpectedly. The recall affects certain 2013 models of the Chevrolet Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe, Avalanche and Express. Also included are the GMC Sierra, Savana and Yukon as well as the Cadillac Escalade.

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    World markets stall ahead of US jobs data

    Japan's benchmark stock index soared on its first trading day of the new year Friday, as investors reacted to a weakening yen and Washington's temporary skirting of the so-called fiscal cliff. But other world markets stalled as enthusiasm faded over the last-minute budget deal reached in Washington to avoid steep, automatic tax increases and spending cuts that would have taken effect Tuesday.

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    Oil prices fall to near $92 a barrel

    Oil prices fell Friday as euphoria faded over a budget deal reached earlier this week by U.S. lawmakers and traders focused on signs of lackluster demand. Benchmark crude for February delivery fell 70 cents at late afternoon Bangkok time to $92.22 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 20 cents to $92.92 per barrel on the Nymex on Thursday.

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    Eurozone inflation holds steady at 2.2 percent

    Inflation across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro was unchanged at 2.2 percent in the year to December. Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, did not provide further details in its estimate released Friday. More information will be provided in a second estimate to be published later this month.

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    Two life rafts sit on the beach adjacent as the conical drilling unit Kulluk sits grounded Thursday 40 miles southwest of Kodiak City. The Kulluk grounded after many efforts by tug vessel crews and Coast Guard crews to move the vessel to safe harbor during a winter storm. Calls for federal scrutiny of Royal Dutch Shell PLC drilling operations in Arctic waters swelled Thursday with a request for a formal investigation by members of Congress.

    Congress members seek investigation of Shell barge

    Members of Congress are calling for an investigation of Royal Dutch Shell PLC's Arctic offshore drilling operations as salvagers develop plans to move a company drill ship off rocks near an Alaska island, where it ran aground in a fierce year end storm. "There is still a lot of work to do to bring a safe conclusion to this incident," Shell incident commander Sean Churchfield said.

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    China Friday joined a global crackdown on price-fixing by manufacturers of LCD screens used in computers and TVs, imposing multimillion-dollar fines on Koreaís Samsung and LG and four Taiwanese companies.

    China fines LG, Samsung in flat panel price case

    China fined South Korean and Taiwanese makers of LCD display screens $56 million on Friday for price-fixing, joining the United States and Europe in a crackdown on the industry. Suppliers have been hit by American and European regulators with penalties totaling more than $3 billion for colluding to push up slumping prices of display screens in 2001-06. U.S. courts have sentenced 12 executives to prison.

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    Greece’s Samaras to visit Germany next week

    The German government says Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Berlin next week. Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said Merkel will welcome Samaras to the chancellery on Tuesday.

Life & Entertainment

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    ‘Love’ comes too little too late from ‘real’ sibings

    Q. As the youngest of seven kids by a fair margin, and who didn't resemble anyone on either side of the family, I was always ostracized by my father, who made it very clear to everyone that I was not his. My siblings followed his lead and the only vaguely familial relationship I've had in the past 30 years was with my mother and my husband's family.

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    Heather Miller (Alexandra Daddario) is unaware Leatherface (Dan Yeager) is closing in behind her in “Texas Chainsaw 3-D.”

    'Chainsaw' a loving homage to '74 original

    Watching "Texas Chainsaw 3-D," the latest screen incarnation of the iconic chainsaw-wielding maniac Leatherface, the mind fairly reels. This purported direct sequel to Tobe Hooper's 1974 horror classic cheerfully ignores that director's own 1986 follow-up, the 1997 and 2003 remakes, the 2006 prequel and even its basic timeline. But aside from its being an obviously loving homage to the original, there isn't much to recommend this installment.

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    Jessica Chastain’s performance in “Zero Dark Thirty” has already earned her best actress nominations from the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild.

    Jessica Chastain: ‘I want to do it all’

    "I want to do everything!" Jessica Chastain is getting animated. Even though she's managed to pack more films into an 18-month period than would seem physically possible, she's not lacking energy. "I want to do it all. I think I have to calm down and be like: You don't have to do it all, right now. Hopefully, you'll be around for a few years." Sticking around is at this point assured for Chastain, who's currently starring in "Zero Dark Thirty" and who last year emerged as an actress of seemingly limitless range, with throwback beauty and the subtlety of a chameleon.

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    “Lincoln” earned a Writers Guild nomination for adapted screenplay.

    ‘Lincoln,’ ‘Argo’ earn Writers Guild nominations

    "Lincoln" and "Zero Dark Thirty" are adding to their front-runner status for Hollywood's awards season. The two dramas earned nominations from the Writers Guild on Friday for outstanding screen writing.

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    Telecast producers of the 85th Academy Awards say the show will feature a celebration of the 50th anniversary of James Bond. The most recent Bond film, “Skyfall,” has made more than $1 billion worldwide.

    James Bond’s 50th anniversary celebrated at Oscars

    Oscar won't be the only chiseled man in the spotlight at the 85th Academy Awards. Telecast producers say the show will also feature a celebration of Bond, James Bond. Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced Friday that the show will pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise.

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    Dem Leader Pelosi to appear on ‘30 Rock’ finale

    House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will appear on the series finale of NBC's "30 Rock."

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    Boyz II Men to begin new Vegas show at Mirage

    The R&B group Boyz II Men is headed to Las Vegas. The 1990s slow-jammers announced a headlining residency Thursday. They will perform weekend shows at the Terry Fator Theatre at The Mirage starting March 1.

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    Adele’s “21” was the highest-selling album in the U.S. for the second consecutive year, according to 2012 sales figures released by Nielsen SoundScan on Thursday.

    Adele’s 2011 holdover ‘21’ still tops in 2012

    Turns out Adele ruled 2012, too — and set a record while she was at it. The British singer's "21" was the highest-selling album in the U.S. for the second consecutive year, according to 2012 sales figures released by Nielsen SoundScan on Thursday. That's a first in the SoundScan era. Adele sold 4.4 million copies of the album in 2012 after selling 5.8 million in 2011.

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    Filmmaker George Lucas recently got engaged to investment firm president Mellody Hobson.

    ‘Star Wars’ creator George Lucas engaged

    "Star Wars" creator George Lucas is engaged. A spokeswoman for Lucasfilm Ltd. says the 68-year-old director is engaged to 43-year-old investment firm president Mellody Hobson. No other details were provided.

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    Grammy-nominated R&B singer Frank Ocean is facing a marijuana possession charge stemming from a traffic stop in which police say they found a small bag of marijuana on the 25-year-old Ocean.

    R&B singer Frank Ocean cited for pot possession

    Grammy-nominated R&B singer Frank Ocean is facing a marijuana possession charge after police say he was pulled over on New Year's Eve in California's Eastern Sierra Nevada for driving more than 90 mph in a 65 mph zone.

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    Pablo Picasso's “The Red Armchair” is part of a special Art Institute of Chicago exhibit celebrating the city's relationship to the famed Spanish artist.

    Shows, films, exhibits and more to look forward to in the year ahead

    Superman! Suburban spies! Special shows! We look ahead at entertainment options we're excited about in the coming year. We can't wait for "Picasso and Chicago” at The Art Institute starting in February, “Big Fish” at Chicago's Oriental Theatre in April, the new “igNIGHT” show this summer at Great America, Taylor Swift headlining Soldier Field in August and many more.

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    Carlucci’s chef Jonathan Harootunian’s new menu includes garganelli with duck, wild mushrooms, broccoli rapini and fig syrup.

    Eating out: Carlucci welcomes new chef, flavors

    Chef Jonathan Harootunian, who formerly cooked at the Michelin-starred Courtwright’s, offers new flavors for pizza, pasta and steak at Carlucci in Downers Grove. Yumz Gourmet Frozen Yogurt is now open in Warrenville's Cantera Commons. There's also an upcoming brewmaster dinner in Emmett's Brewing Company in Palatine.

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    Latin jazz musician Bobby Sanabria, who led the protest against the Recording Academy when it downsized from 109 to 78 categories in 2011, is nominated for best Latin jazz album — one of the awards that had been eliminated but returns at the awards show this year.

    Grammy nominee Bobby Sanabria feels like a winner

    Bobby Sanabria already feels like a winner. The Latin jazz musician, who led the protest against the Recording Academy when it downsized from 109 to 78 categories last year, is nominated for best Latin jazz album — one of the awards that had been eliminated but returns at the awards show this year. "We're very proud," Sanabria said. "It just places emphasis on the importance of this uniquely American art form."

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    Weird and wacky defined the year in wine and spirits

    From space rocks and robots to G-spots and breasts, wine and spirit makers and marketers did a lot of weird and wacky stuff to their products in 2012.

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    Giacomo Puccini’s “La Boheme,” as directed by Stefan Herheim and conducted by Elvind Gullberg Jensen of the Den Norske Opera & Ballet in 2012.

    ‘La Boheme’ transformed in 2012 stagings on DVD

    Two contemporary stagings of Puccini's "La Boheme" from 2012 have been released on DVD: director Stefan Herheim's re-imagining that opened in January at the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo (on Electric), and Damiano Michieletto's staging that premiered in July at the Salzburg Festival in Austria (on DG). Both are equally fascinating and frustrating.

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    Music notes: A Bee Gees tribute at the Metropolis

    Looking for some post-New Year's music? A couple of feel-good shows hit the suburbs this weekend — a Bee Gees tribute at the Metropolis in Arlington Heights and a wedding-reception-style night of party rock at Durty Nellie's in Palatine.

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    Book notes: Pulitzer winner Diamond speaks in Oak Park

    Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond discusses his new book, "The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies," at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at Oak Park's Unity Temple. A reception and book-signing follow at the Oak Park Public Library.

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    Arts agenda
    Arts agenda items for Friday, Jan. 4, 2012.

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    NBC's “The Voice” season 3 winner Cassadee Pope, left, celebrates with country singer Blake Shelton last month. Auditions for season five of “The Voice” are coming to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont on Saturday, Jan. 12, and Sunday, Jan. 13.

    'The Voice,' 'America's Got Talent' auditions set

    Auditions for two NBC shows come to the Chicago area, as "The Voice" hosts prospective stars at Rosemont's Donald E. Stephens Convention Center on Saturday, Jan. 12, and Sunday, Jan. 13, and auditions for "America's Got Talent" take place Saturday, Jan. 26, and Sunday, Jan. 27, at Chicago's McCormick Place.

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    Home equity values roar back in past year

    With all the depressing reports about the "fiscal cliff" and potential rollbacks in tax benefits for homeowners, you might have missed some of the positive trends under way for real estate. After hitting a low of $6.45 trillion in the final three months of 2011, Americans' combined home equity jumped nearly $1.3 trillion during the next nine months to $7.71 trillion — a 20 percent gain.

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    These two-story homes on Emerald Drive are typical of those found along winding streets of the Emerald Hills subdivision in Streamwood.

    Emerald Hills in Streamwood offers move-up homes

    A convenient location, affordable homes and friendly environment make Emerald Hills a desirable place for homebuyers to settle and raise their families. Bongi Homes Corp. constructed homes with 1,600 to 2,730 square feet in this Streamwood subdivision in the late 1990s.

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    Simple ways for parents to childproof their homes

    Childproofing your home is a way to protect your children, and yourself, from danger. Some of these things might be obvious, but other precautions could be things you hadn't considered — but should.

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    Nation’s housing market to continue strenghtening in 2013

    Home sales and prices are expected to keep rising in most areas in the year ahead, but mortgage rates are likely to climb, too. Housing markets in some parts of the country began showing new signs of life last spring, and all indications are many more markets will begin a full-fledged recovery in 2013 from the housing bust that began about six years ago.

Discuss

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    Sen. Mark Kirk, third from right, is hugged by Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker on Capitol Hill Thursday, after he walked up the steps to the Senate.

    Editorial: A day of inspiration on the Capitol steps

    Sen. Mark Kirk's careful ascent up the steps of the Capitol gave us an inspriational opportunity to see politicians not as objects of scorn but as people, a Daily Herald editorial says.

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    David Harris

    Why the pension cost shift and HB 6258 make sense

    Guest columnist David Harris: Two suburban lawmakers wrote differering opinions about a pension proposal for the reform group Reboot Illinois. Here, state Rep. Harris, an Arlington Heights Republican and co-sponsor of the legislation, calls for urgent action.

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    Darlene Senger

    Take care before shifting pension burden to property taxpayers

    Guest columnist Darlene Senger: Two suburban lawmakers wrote differering opinions about a pension proposal for the reform group Reboot Illinois. In this one, state Rep. Senger, a Naperville Republican, fears the legislation before the House will mean higher local taxes.

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    More clinics, no new hospital
    A Libertyville letter to the editor: Lake County does not need another hospital. Lake County needs more non-emergency clinics and primary care physicians.

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    Holidays don’t void church-state separation
    A Vernon Hills letter to the editor: I felt compelled to respond to Nathan Solak's Dec. 20 letter titled "What's so offensive about a Christmas tree?"

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    Sure, let’s put arm guards at school
    A Hawthorn Woods letter to the editor: Who needs more gun control laws or threats to the Second Amendment when we have the NRA loaded with practical solutions?

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    Municipalities need more flexibility
    A Chicago letter to the editor: Missing from the national conversation on "the fiscal cliff" is the other cliff: the one facing city governments. Estimates of infrastructure, pension and health care costs have risen to trillions.

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    Vote for ‘leaders’ who will lead
    A Bartlett letter to the editor: Often those who are in a technical position of leadership do not have the courage or willpower to deal with that which they were put into a position of authority.

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    Insure more drivers while reducing guns
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: The proposal to allow noncitizens to obtain a driver's license has no plan to enforce auto insurance compliance. One solution is to have the insurance companies issue a 3-by-3-inch sticker, dated and issued every six months, to be installed on the rear window visible to police.

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    Delay publication of assailants’ names
    A Cary letter to the editor: I don't own a gun, my choice. Being raised in a rural area, guns were second nature to me, I just decided when I started a family I didn't want guns in the house, Once again, my choice. With that being said, I firmly believe that games, not guns, foment the violence in our society.

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    Cost-of-living impact unconvincing
    A North Aurora letter to the editor: Your analysis of the COLA impact was unconvincing. First, the biggest risk to a retiree is inflation; that will eat away financial security faster than anything else. Second, the example you provided was not compelling. It showed that over 22 years the difference between the 3 percent COLA and real inflation rate was less than $5,000. By the way, where did you come up with an annual pension of $65,000 per year? You used an average, and this average is skewed by the higher amounts in the data set.

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    Only answer: Better raising of children
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: There has been a lot of talk lately about how we need to make stronger our gun control laws and eliminate access to assault weapons in order to cut down the terrible violence and slaughter we have been witnessing, as in Newtown, Conn. But those laws will not necessarily be the answer.

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    Creationism needs less critical thinking
    A Lisle letter to the editor: I'm writing in response to P.J. Bertrand's letter in the Dec. 25 paper, specifically the comment that creationism is "much easier to believe than evolution," which particularly struck me.

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    Paterno didn’t deserve ‘memoriam’
    A Naperville letter to the editor: Regarding your In Memoriam 2012 section in the Dec. 27 edition, can someone please explain why you would include Joe Paterno in that list? Do you understand the meaning of "memoriam?" It means to honor, to show respect to those that have passed.

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