Daily Archive : Wednesday January 9, 2013


    Chloe Grace Moretz arrives at the People’s Choice Awards at the Nokia Theatre on Wednesday Jan. 9, 2013, in Los Angeles.

    Images: People’s Choice Awards
    Images from the 39th People's Choice Awards, honoring the best in popular culture for the year 2012. Ceremonies were hosted by acress Kaley Cuoco, and held at Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.Among the winners were the film "The Hunger Games", singers Katy Perry and Taylor Swift.

    At nearly $1,618 per person, Barrington Hills has the highest per capita property tax collection of any suburb.

    Which suburbs levy highest taxes per person?

    For each of its 4,209 residents, tony Barrington Hills collected nearly $1,618 in property taxes in 2010. On the other end of the spectrum, Prospect Heights collected a little more than $16 in property taxes for each of the city's 16,256 residents. Among 83 suburbs spread throughout six counties, Barrington Hills has the highest per capita property tax collection of any of the suburbs. Where does...

    The Elgin Symphony Orchestra plans to name a new music director in May. Longtime music director Robert Hanson, picture above, left in summer 2011.

    Elgin Symphony branching out, but with fewer concerts

    In an effort to control costs and maintain its viability, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra is planning to reduce its number of concert weekends while expanding its reach throughout the suburbs, starting with Batavia. "We are hoping to get more city support, more than moral support and the free rent we get here," ESO Interim CEO David Bearden said.

    Robert Ziecik

    Des Plaines, Bensenville residents compete on 'Millionaire'

    Robert Ziecik, an advertising manager from Des Plaines, and Sara Hoskins, a stay-at-home mom from Bensenville, are competing this week on "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire." Ziecik is a contestant on the episode airing 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, on WGN. He will continue his appearance as a holdover contestant on Friday's show. Immediately after he finishes, Hoskins will compete.


    No deal, but no strike date in West Chicago District 33

    No strike date has been set by teachers in West Chicago District 33 after more than four hours of negotiations between the teachers union and the school board broke off without an agreement Wednesday night. Both the union and the board said they made new offers in an attempt to compromise on health insurance, which both sides have identified as a major sticking point.

    Bill Spicer officiating a game at Christian Liberty Academy.

    Friends, colleagues leap to help suburban basketball referee

    A rare form of leukemia has taken Bill Spicer off the court for nearly a year, but student athletes whom he officiated and his peers in the prep sports world have not forgotten him. They are organizing a fundraiser Jan. 15 to help Spicer and his family meet his mounting medical bills not covered by insurance. "I am so gratified and lifted up by the outpouring of support for next week," he says.

    Frank Beelow

    Fremont Township’s Frank Beelow had a passion for farming

    Frank G. Beelow, the executive director of the Lake County Fair, is being remembered as a sweet, funny man with a passion for farming. Beelow, 78, a lifelong Fremont Township resident, died Monday.

    Proposed improvements to Armstrong Park in Carol Stream include renovations to Ray Nazillian Field in the park's northwest corner at an estimated cost of $190,000.

    $1 million in upgrades on tap for Carol Stream park

    Carol Stream Park District officials are planning roughly $1 million in improvements to recreational amenities at Armstrong Park, where a $5 million DuPage County stormwater management system will be built. Though improvements to the park have been planned as part of the district's voter-approved $37 million capital program, the plans have been put on hold awaiting design, permitting and other...

    Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, left, is handed an oversized gavel by Illinois Sen. Martin Sandoval, a Cicero Democrat, Wednesday during swearing ceremonies on the Senate floor at the Illinois State Capitol.

    New suburban lawmakers take seats in Springfield

    A new class of Illinois lawmakers including 15 new suburban members was sworn into office today, taking their seats to face about $9 billion in unpaid bills, a retirement system that's the worst funded in the country and a tax increase set to expire during their terms. Democrats start the new session with a 40-19 advantage over Republicans in the state Senate and a 71-47 majority in the House.

    The Cook County medical examiner said Monday that lottery winner Urooj Khan, 46, of Chicago was fatally poisoned with cyanide July 20, 2012.

    Documents show battle over lottery winner's estate

    Documents show the widow a Chicago lottery winner poisoned with cyanide has battled in court with several of his siblings over control of his estate, including his lottery winnings. Urooj Khan died suddenly in July just as the 46-year-old businessman was about to collect $425,000 in prize money.

    State Sen. Donne Trotter is one of three Illinois lawmakers facing criminal charges who were sworn in Wednesday in Springfield. Trotter, a Chicago Democrat, faces charges alleging he tried to board an airplane at O'Hare with a handgun.

    3 charged lawmakers take seats in newest state legislature

    As members of Illinois' newest General Assembly took the oath of office Wednesday, the state that's still struggling to rebuild its image after two consecutive governors went to prison set yet another precedent of sorts: three sitting lawmakers facing criminal charges.

    Jennifer Lawrence accepts the People's Choice award for favorite movie actress Wednesday in Los Angeles.

    'Hunger Games' big winner at People's Choice Awards

    “The Hunger Games” devoured the competition at the People's Choice Awards, emerging the top victor with five trophies. Katy Perry won three awards at the Wednesday night ceremony in Los Angeles, where fans select the winners in categories spanning music, movies and television.


    Multiple reports of BB-gun pellet vandalism in Des Plaines

    There has been a rash of vandalism with BB-gun pellets in Des Plaines recently, according to police reports. Two double-pane windows at Algonquin Junior High School, 767 E. Algonquin Road, were shattered by BB-gun pellets between 3 p.m. Dec. 31 and 7:30 a.m. Jan. 2, causing an estimated $500 in damages.

    Industry affiliate Shogo Kimura tries on a pair of Necomimi Brainwave Cat Ears at the Consumer Electronics Show Wednesday in Las Vegas. The headset is similar to a mood ring, but instead reads brainwaves to determine the user’s emotional state.

    ‘Smart’ potty or dumb idea? Wacky gadgets at CES

    From the iPotty for toddlers to the 1,600-pound mechanical spider and the host of glitch-ridden "smart" TVs, the International CES show is a forum for gadget makers to take big — and bizarre — chances. Many of the prototypes introduced at the annual gadget show over the years have failed in the marketplace. But the innovators who shop their wares here are fearless when it comes to...


    La Quebrada loses liquor license after fourth violation

    The Elgin Liquor Control Commission revoked the liquor license of La Quebrada Restaurant on Wednesday after finding that on Nov. 1 an 18-year-old woman had been given or sold liquor by an employee. This was the establisment's fourth liquor license-related violation in six years, officials said.

    Grayslake Elementary District 46 Superintendent Ellen Correll listens to public comments as board members hosted a town-hall meeting Wednesday night to focus on questions from parents and others related to a possible teachers strike.

    Grayslake Dist. 46 makes case in town hall as strike date looms

    Grayslake Elementary District 46 officials hosted a town-hall meeting Wednesday that provided information related to a possible teachers strike Jan. 16. About 60 parents and others attended the session at Grayslake Middle School. It was the second town hall meeting the district hosted that focused on the contract talks. District 46's latest offer is a two-year deal under which teachers would not...

    Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, seen here, is resigning and three other members of the president’s Cabinet are deciding to stay on amid concerns about diversity in Barack Obama’s inner circle.

    Obama Cabinet shuffle taking shape

    The composition of President Barack Obama's second term Cabinet became clearer Wednesday, with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis resigning and three other members of the president's team deciding to stay on amid concerns about diversity in Obama's inner circle.

    An Oberweis Dairy milk deliveryman makes his rounds in Batavia. On Jan. 4, someone stole milk, orange juice and water out of delivery coolers at 11 homes in Geneva.

    Thefts leave Geneva home-delivery milk customers dry

    Geneva police may be looking for a thief with a milk mustache. Eleven households reported that someone stole their home-delivered Oberweis-brand milk and other items early Friday morning.

    Vice President Joe Biden, with Attorney General Eric Holder at left, speaks during a meeting with victims’ groups and gun safety organizations in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington Wednesday.

    Biden pledges urgent Obama action on gun control

    Vice President Joe Biden vowed urgent action against gun violence in America Wednesday, pledging steps by the Obama administration that he said could "take thousands of people out of harm's way" and improve the safety of millions more.

    This image provided by Hasbro shows a poster encouraging people to vote for the thimble gamepiece. Makers of the classic game Monopoly want players to “take a chance” on a new token. In an effort to jazz up the board game, which debuted around 1935, Hasbro announced Wednesday it is holding a Facebook contest to eliminate one of the eight classic tokens and introduce a new one that will be decided on by a Facebook vote.

    Hasbro aims to jazz up Monopoly with new token

    The gig is almost up for one of the eight Monopoly tokens. Hasbro is holding a Facebook contest to eliminate one of the eight tokens that identify the players and introduce a new one. Possible new tokens include a cat, diamond ring, guitar, toy robot and helicopter

    Joe Walsh

    Walsh to hold statewide meetings before announcing plans

    Former Congressman Joe Walsh said today that he plans to travel around Illinois for the next several months, holding meetings with voters before announcing his political future. "There's a huge group of people that want to do something about the dire situation in the state," Walsh said.

    Robert R. Maday

    Maday guilty of escape, armed bank robbery

    Robert Maday, who broke out of custody and went on a 27-hour crime spree across the suburbs in 2009, was convicted on five federal charges Wednesday, including escape and bank robbery, and will most likely spend the rest of his life in prison. "He seemed to think, in his own mind, he was this legendary criminal," federal prosecutor Annie Kastanek said.


    Arlington Hts. village board going paperless

    The Arlington Hts. village board has approved going paperless, a move officials say will make village board meetings more transparent as well as environmentally-friendly.

    Rhoni Reuter

    New trial in slaying of ex-Bears player's girlfriend, baby?

    The defense attorney for Marni Yang, who was obsessed with former Chicago Bears safety Shaun Gayle and was convicted of killing a Deerfield woman and her unborn child in October 2007, argued in appellate court Wednesday that Yang's recorded statements to her friend that detailed the crime should not have been allowed as evidence. Yang is serving a life sentence for the murder of Rhoni Reuter, who...


    Fox Valley police reports
    Jessica N. Korth, 22, of the 900 block of Carriage Way in Elgin, was arrested and charged with two counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, police reports show. Korth delivered about $100 worth of methylenedioxypyrovalerone to an undercover police detective withtin 1,000 feet of a church at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 1000 block of Liberty Street, police said.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Someone siphoned 20 gallons of gasoline out of a vehicle in the 800 block of Spruce Lane overnight Monday, it was reported to Batavia police at 8:17 a.m. Tuesday.

    Jack Lew, current White House chief of staff, is President Barack Obama’s expected pick to lead the Treasury Department, with an announcement possible before the end of the week.

    Obama to tap budget expert Lew to lead Treasury

    President Barack Obama will nominate White House chief of staff Jack Lew to be his second-term Secretary of the Treasury, turning to one of Washington's most knowledgeable budget experts to manage prickly fiscal negotiations with Congress and steer the still-shaky national economy.

    Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, daughter of a Mexican union shop steward and a Nicaraguan assembly line worker, has submitted her resignation letter to President Barack Obama.

    Labor Secretary Solis resigns

    Labor Secretary Hilda Solis resigned her post on Wednesday, saying she plans to return to her native California. She is expected to run for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.In a message to colleagues, Solis said she made the decision to leave after discussing it with her family and close friends.

    Karli Casey

    Palatine woman gets 5 years for head-on collision

    A Palatine woman who admitted to huffing while driving, leading to a two-car accident that injured herself and four other people, pleaded guilty to aggravated driving while under the influence of an intoxicating compount Wednesday in Rolling Meadows.

    East Dundee Trustee Allen Skillicorn

    Village president says comments about auto auction have no value

    While East Dundee Trustee Allen Skillicorn says the results of a survey he mailed out shows most of its respondents don't want an auto auction business coming to town, Village President Jerald Bartels takes that claim with a grain of salt.


    Layoff threat looms for medical watchdogs

    The Illinois government agency that investigates complaints against doctors threatened to lay off investigators starting Tuesday and warned of yearlong delays in physician licensing because the legislature failed to bail out the medical unit.


    Free trees in January:

    Illinois residents can receive 10 free flowering trees by joining the Arbor Day Foundation during January.


    Elk Grove grad remains in critical condition after crash

    An Elk Grove High School graduate was in a post-surgical induced coma Wednesday evening, after she was struck by a car on the Quincy University campus Monday, according to friends. Shannon L. Peters, 19, of Elk Grove Village, a freshman at Quincy, sustained serious head injuries when a vehicle hit her at 6:30 p.m. Monday.


    New Kane judges bring work ethic, wide experience

    Two new associate judges recently were named for the 16th Judicial Circuit. Alice Tracy and Elizabeth Flood, who have served as Kane County assistant state's attorneys for more than 30 years combined, will be assigned to one of the branch court locations in either Aurora, Elgin or St. Charles by the end of the month.

    Joseph Spitalli

    Darien murder suspect tries to avoid court cameras

    Attorneys for a Darien man would rather he not appear in court for his own arraignment on murder charges because the media will be there with cameras rolling. DuPage County Judge Daniel Guerin could rule Friday whether suspect Joseph Spitalli can waive the appearance. If not, Spitalli's attorneys want him unshackled and allowed to wear street clothes.


    Libertyville road work delays:

    Motorists are cautioned that significant delays are expected Thursday as work continues on the intersection widening at Route 137 and Milwaukee Avenue in Libertyville.


    Island Lake board meets:

    The Island Lake village board will meet at 7:30 p.m. today at village hall, 3720 Greenleaf Ave., to discuss awarding a liquor license to a proposed new business in town and other issues.


    Small fire contained to Napervllle garage

    Naperville firefighters Wednesday were able to contain a small garage fire before it could spread into a two-story home on the 100 block of Stratford Court. Firefighters said they responded to a 911 call at 2:27 p.m. and were able to extinguish the fire in just a few minutes.

    Tony E. Johnson

    Machine gun stash gets Bartlett man 2 years in prison

    A Bartlett man accused of stockpiling machine guns without a Firearm Owner's Identification card was sentenced Wednesday to a two-year prison term. Tony Johnson, 45, was arrested in May after police found the guns, along with several large containers of bomb-making chemicals, at a building in Roselle, authorities said.


    Des Plaines electoral board hearing set

    The Des Plaines Electoral Board will meet at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 11, to hear objections to the nomination petitions of mayoral candidate Mark Walsten and aldermanic candidate Gregory Sarlo running in the April 9 consolidated election.

    A wild bald eagle perches in a tree above Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington, Ill., on Tuesday. Zookeepers believe the eagle has taken interest in the two flightless eagles housed at the exhibit.

    Wild eagle visits eagle pair at Bloomington zoo

    The pair of bald eagles that live at Miller Park Zoo have been getting visits from a wild eagle that's stopped by the Bloomington zoo several times. Zoo Superintendent Jay Tetzloff says the eagles have been "talking" back and forth. He says it's been exciting to watch a wild eagle so closely.


    Arlington Hts. police warn of scam

    Arlington Heights police are warning of a check scam that was unsuccessfully used in an attempt to fleece people responding to an and on Craigslist.

    Batavia Fire Department members tend to three “injured” students Wednesday during an emergency training exercise to simulate the collision of a vehicle with a school bus carrying students. The simulation was at Papermill Hill Drive and Barkei Drive near Rotolo Middle School and was a collaboration involving the police and fire departments, Tri-Com Central Dispatch and Southern Fox Valley & Central DuPage Emergency Medical Services System, as well as Batavia School District 101 and the Illinois Central Bus Co. The students taking part were eighth-graders from Rotolo who are taking a class in first aid.

    School bus crash simulation tests response time

    A simulated school bus crash was conducted in Batavia Wednesday to gauge response time and how various departments can handle a crisis situation.


    Geneva Twp. petition challenge delayed

    A hearing challenging the petitions of the lone candidate for Geneva Township clerk has been continued until 4 p.m. Thursday, due to a typographical error on the hearing notice sent to the candidate.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Burglars pried a rear door at Green With Envy Landscaping, 411 W. Colfax, Palatine, between Dec. 31 and Jan. 5 and stole a desktop computer, fax machine, battery charger, two chain saws, a toolbox with tools, impact wrench, hedge trimmers, adding machine, concrete saw and backpack blower. Value was estimated at $5,000.

    A new magazine and newspaper center is part of the $2.8 million renovations.

    Arlington Heights library renovations ahead of schedule

    Major interior renovations at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library are ahead of schedule and under budget, officials are reporting. The $2.8 million project will include new "marketplace" with a vending cafe and the most popular books on display; a new teen center; a remodeled computer assistance area; more small meeting rooms; and a "living room" with lounge seating and a fireplace, as well as...

    The Rev. Nathaniel Edmond, pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Elgin, left, speaks with the Rev. Clyde Brooks at last year's suburban celebration of the life, work and birthday of Martin Luther King.

    Annual suburban dinner celebrates legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

    The Illinois Commission on Diversity and Human Relations will host its annual suburban remembrance and celebration dinner honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 18 at the Stonegate Conference Center in Hoffman Estates. "Dr. King wanted so much for us not to focus on him as a name, but rather to focus on the needs of the community," said the Rev. Clyde Brooks, organizer of this...


    Jobs, traffic the top concerns in Algonquin survey

    The results of Algonquin's 2012 community confirmed what many people already knew — that the village needs more places to work and should work to improve its traffic flow on the major streets. But the inaugural survey also showed that most people are happy to call Algonquin home.


    Campton Hills rehab center appears to move forward

    After months of debate, public hearings and standing-room-only meetings, Campton Hills trustees appear headed toward approving a 96-bed substance abuse treatment facility at a former school site. “If they don't follow anything we agree to, we can rescind their special-use permit. That was always be the remedy,” said Village President Patsy Smith.

    Juana Rodriguez is one of three female welders among 200 at Elgin Sweeper. She and a female co-worker were trained through an Elgin Community College program.

    ECC program helped women become welders

    Juana Rodriguez and her classmate and now co-worker Luz Gonzalez, both of Elgin, finished a certification course at Elgin Community College in December 2011 with support from a program that offers basic skills support to vocational students. The women are two of only three female welders at Elgin Sweeper, which employs 200 welders. “They gave me the opportunity to learn more,”...

    NASA astronaut Shannon Walker speaks to students at St. Anne School in Barrington Wednesday.

    Astronaut urges Barrington students to aim for stars

    The space shuttle may be gone, but American children needn't give up their dreams of becoming astronauts. That was the message Shannon Walker of NASA shared Wednesday morning with students at St. Anne School in Barrington. She spent six months on the International Sspace Station in 2010. "NASA takes all kinds of people," she told them. "The most important thing is you have to do well in school.

    Tyler Hook handles a riffle while holding his 11-month old daughter Emma at Highsmith Guns in Greenfield, Ind. Hook, a U.S. Army veteran who just recently served in Southern Afghanistan and Kandahar, is a gun enthusiast. Highsmith Guns is seeing a rush on semi-automatic riffles with the AR-15 and AK-47 as the most popular.

    Violence plays role in shorter US life expectancy

    The United States suffers far more violent deaths than any other wealthy nation, due in part to the widespread possession of firearms and the practice of storing them at home in a place that is often unlocked, according to a report released Wednesday by two of the nation's leading health research institutions.


    Wauconda weighs impact of medical marijuana

    A proposal to legalize the medical use of marijuana in Illinois has stalled, but Wauconda officials and police Chief Douglas Larsson discussed the possible local impact of such a move during a meeting Tuesday night.


    Trustee hopeful Dawn Abernathy to stay on Mundelein ballot

    A Mundelein woman making her first bid for public office will be allowed to stay in the race for village trustee, a three-member electoral board has decided. Dawn Abernathy's candidate petition had been formally challenged by local resident Stephen Dee.


    St. Charles, fire district settle lawsuit

    The hate-hate relationship between the city of St. Charles and the Fox River & Countryside Fire/Rescue District fueled litigation over a service contract that has now reached a settlement. The fire district is coughing up about $18,000 in trade for the city dropping any ability to seek further litigation about past service contracts. Fire district trustees also face the first election in the...

    Hong Yang

    Woman charged with prostitution at Libertyville spa

    A Chicago woman has been charged with prostitution after offering a sex act to an undercover police officer at a Libertyville spa, authorities said Wednesday. Hong Yang, 41, of the 300 block of Cermak Road, was released from police custody after posting 10 percent of her $1,000 bond, Lake County Sheriff's Sgt. Sara Balmes said.


    Crash closes Rte. 53 between Dundee, Palatine roads Wednesday morning

    Southbound 53 is shut down by Illinois State Police following a 7-car crash between Palatine Road and Dundee Road.

    Meters may become a thing of the past in downtown Aurora if the city council adopts a new parking management plan.

    Aurora looking to eliminate downtown parking meters

    Meters are about to become a thing of the past in downtown Aurora as officials explore other ways to control parking. Aldermen who have expressed interest in removing meters from downtown streets on Tuesday discussed a parking management system that could be implemented instead. The system divides downtown into color-coded zones allowing free parking for 90 minutes or two, three, six or 10 hours.

    Injured passengers of the Seastreak Wall Street ferry are aided, in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. The ferry from Atlantic Highlands, N.J., banged into the mooring as it arrived at South Street in lower Manhattan during morning rush hour, injuring as many as 50 people, at least one critically, officials said.

    Ferry strikes NYC dock; at least 50 are injured

    A commuter ferry from New Jersey crashed into a dock in lower Manhattan during the Wednesday morning rush hour, injuring at least 50 people, at least two critically, officials and witnesses said. Passengers aboard the vessel, the Seastreak Wall Street, said scores of people who had been standing waiting to disembark were hurled to the deck by the impact.


    Police: Colo. shooting suspect planned massacre

    Witnesses presenting the most detailed portrait yet of last year's Aurora movie theater massacre are detailing sometimes paradoxical behavior by the man accused of the rampage.


    WWII soldier’s duffel bag returned 7 decades later

    A World War II veteran who served in France during the war has been reunited with his Army-issued duffel bag nearly seven decades after it went missing. Ninety-two-year-old William Kadar of Merrillville opened a carefully wrapped package Tuesday to find his drab green duffel bag inside. The folded up bag is still stenciled with his name and serial number.


    Indiana project to restore river habitat passes 10,000 acres

    INDIANAPOLIS — Officials say a program to restore riverfront habitats across Indiana now includes more than 10,000 acres of land.Indiana Department of Natural Resources Director Rob Carter said this week the Healthy Rivers Initiative surpassed that mark with the acquisition of land in four counties in western and southern Indiana.


    Wis. animal lovers plans memorial for dead wolves

    MADISON, Wis. — Animal lovers are planning a memorial for the wolves Wisconsin hunters killed this fall.


    Indiana woman accused of bilking local union

    RICHMOND, Ind. — An eastern Indiana woman is facing embezzlement charges for allegedly stealing more than $25,000 from an autoworkers union.


    School employee accused in theft gets 8 years

    EUREKA — A judge in central Illinois has handed down an eight-year prison sentence for a former employee who’s accused of stealing more than $1 million from the Roanoke-Benson school district


    Rockford plans Quidditch tourney for Potter fans

    ROCKFORD — Call up your best Seeker. Recruit your strongest Beaters. Quidditch is coming to Rockford this spring.Organizers say fans of the Harry Potter books will play in a Quidditch tournament April 26-27 on the soccer fields at Elliot Golf Course. At least 12 Midwest college teams are expected to compete in pool play followed by single elimination.


    2 southern Illinois teens accused of stealing mail

    BENTON — Authorities in two southern Illinois counties are trying to reconnect rural residents with mail they allege was stolen by two teenagers.Prosecutors in Franklin County have charged two 17-year-old girls with felony theft. The Associated Press routinely doesn’t name juveniles charged with crimes.


    Sad end in mysterious abandoned baby case
    ST. LOUIS — Police have found the body of a woman whose infant was abandoned at a St. Louis County apartment complex, and are now searching for whoever killed her.


    Quincy man jailed in connection with killing

    QUINCY — A Quincy man is jailed on $1 million bond after being charged in a shooting death in the Mississippi River city.The Quincy Herald-Whig reports 44-year-old Vincent Carter made his first court appearance this week on the Adams County murder charge, repeatedly telling a judge he didn’t understand the count or possible sentence.

    In this television image made from video recorded in the summer of 2012 provided by NHK and Discovery Channel, a giant squid swims in the deep sea off Chichi island, Japan.

    Giant squid captured on video in ocean depths

    After years of searching, scientists and broadcasters say they have captured video images of a giant squid in its natural habitat deep in the ocean for the first time. The nine-foot invertebrate was filmed from a manned submersible during one of 100 dives in the Pacific last summer. The Discovery Channel will air the footage Jan. 27.


    Man who rode horse while drunk gets time served

    BUNNELL, Fla. — A Florida man accused of riding his horse while intoxicated during a police chase has changed his plea and was sentenced to time served.

    What was supposed to be a thrilling ride down a Russian ski slope inside a giant inflatable ball has ended in tragedy when the zorb veered off course and sailed over a cliff, killing Denis Burakov and leaving another man badly injured.

    Zorb ride in Russian mountains proves deadly

    What was supposed to be a thrilling ride down a ski slope inside a giant inflatable ball ended in tragedy for the two Russian men inside. The transparent plastic ball — called a zorb — veered off course and sailed over a precipice in the rugged Caucasus Mountains of southern Russia. One man died and the other was badly injured. The terrifying ride was captured on video.

    The Obama administration gave the first explicit signal Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, that it might leave no troops in Afghanistan after December 2014, an option that defies the Pentagon’s view that thousands of troops may be needed to keep a lid on al-Qaida and to strengthen Afghan forces.

    U.S. may leave no troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014

    The Obama administration says it might leave no troops in Afghanistan after December 2014, an option that defies the Pentagon's view that thousands of troops may be needed to contain al-Qaida and to strengthen Afghan forces. "We wouldn't rule out any option," including zero troops, Ben Rhodes, a White House deputy national security adviser, said Tuesday.


    Squatter warmed up in crawl space of Washington home

    YELM, Wash. — A heating repairman had good news and bad news for Washington state homeowner Velma Kellen.The good news was he had fixed her heating ducts after she reported her furnace was failing to heat the house.The bad news: Someone was living in a crawl space under the home and had diverted the heat to keep warm.

    Bulent Yildirim, chairman of the Turkish Islamic aid group IHH, speaks with freed Syrian prisoners in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. Syrian rebels freed 48 Iranians held captive since August, Iranian state TV reported Wednesday, in part of what appeared to be the first major prisoner swap of the civil war. The deal, reportedly coordinated by the IHH, will also involve the release of more than 2,000 Syrians held by Bashar Assad’s regime, Turkey’s state-run agency Anadolu Agency reported.

    Iranians freed by Syrian rebels arrive in Damascus

    Syrian rebels on Wednesday freed 48 Iranians held captive since August in exchange for the release of more than 2,000 detainees in the first major prisoner swap of the country's civil war, officials said.

    The race for a 6-year term on the Sugar Grove Library board could have been contested, but one candidate’s petition packet was disqualified.

    Rejected Sugar Grove Library candidate considers recourse

    The Sugar Grove Library board election would have been contested, had the petition packet of one hopeful not been disqualified as being incomplete. Library supporter and library board critic Pat Graceffa turned in a petition packet Dec. 26, seeking the office. When library director Carol Dolin opened the envelope later, after the filing deadline had passed, she discovered it did not contain a...


    No injuries in Wheaton townhouse fire

    No injuries were reported in an early morning townhouse fire Wednesday in Wheaton, authorities said. Firefighters said they responded about 3 a.m. to the fire in a townhouse basement on the 1100 block of East Rhodes Court. The fire was brought under control within 15 minutes and residents were safely evacuated.

    Joe McMahon

    Kane County felony cases down 10 percent

    The number of felony cases charged in Kane County continues to decline. In 2012, prosecutors authorizied 2,620 felony cases, a drop of about 10 percent from 2011 and nearly one-third fewer than 2007. State’s Attorney Joe McMahon is pleased with the drop in crime, although he says it is difficult to put a finger on exactly what is causing the decline. “It’s a trend in the right...


    Dawn Patrol: Pension talk do-over; jury has robber’s escape case

    Aurora finance leaders support police bonuses; Elk Grove grad struck by car in Quincy; Pension talks reset with new lawmakers; convicted murderer blames ex-girlfriend; truck driver killed at Bensenville facility.

    Victims’ friends and relatives put up signs in the windows of the Brown’s Chicken and Pasta six months after the murders.

    Timeline of the Brown’s Chicken murder case
    Key dates in the Brown's Chicken murders.


    Lake County forest district considers bond issue

    The Lake County Forest Preserve District is considering the sale of $25 million in bonds for land acquisition and restoration projects. This is the fifth of six planned issues to eventually raise $185 million, the amount approved by county voters in 2008. Officials say $15 million will be used for land acquisition and $10 million for public improvements.


    Lake Park residents will vote on pool in April

    Amid applause from a group called People for a Pool, the Lake Park High School board of education passed two measures Tuesday in Roselle that will ask voters whether to raise taxes to build and maintain a pool at the East Campus. “The board is committed to a balanced budget,” said Superintendent Lynne Panega. “It's unfortunate we don't have the finances in-house. So we hare...


    Rolling Meadows seeks alderman

    Rolling Meadows Mayor Tom Rooney will accept applications until Jan. 15 from Ward 3 residents interested in serving as an alderman. The city needs a replacement for the late Larry Buske.


    Grayslake North's Kendall Detweiler, left, drives on Grayslake Central's Maddy Miller during their game Wednesday night at Grayslake North High School.

    Grayslake N. finishes Grayslake C.'s FVC Fox streak

    The streak ended the way Brittney Thibeaux hoped it would. "That's how I got into my rhythm," the Grayslake North forward said of her crucial, early-fourth-quarter steal, which saw her dribble three-quarters of the court before sinking a running layup, drawing a foul and completing a three-point play. The streak ended the way Grayslake Central hoped it would not — with a loss to its crosstown rival. Thibeaux scored 7 of her 13 points in the final quarter, Kendall Detweiler also tallied 13 points, including a clutch 3-pointer down the stretch, and Grayslake North defeated visiting Grayslake Central 46-36 Wednesday night, snapping the Rams' 29-game Fox Valley Conference Fox Division winning streak.

    Geneva's Dominque Brognia competes on the beam on Wednesday, January 9.

    St. Charles prevails on record night

    Take note Cook, DuPage and Lake counties, there are two exceptionally good girls gymnastics teams in Kane County this winter. In the highest scoring triangular meet in Tri-Cities history, St. Charles co-op defeated Geneva, 146.8 to 144.5.

    The Bulls’ Carlos Boozer battles the Bucks’ Monta Ellis for a loose ball.

    Jennings, Bucks ‘trash’ Bulls

    Milwaukee guard Brandon Jennings, saying he was inspired by some opposing trash-talk, scored 10 points in the final 7:34 of the second quarter, added 20 points in the third and finished with 35. The Bucks stunned the Bulls for the second time at the United Center this season, winning 104-96.

    Tyler Donnelly has resigned as Palatine's football head coach after a highly successful eight-year run.

    Palatine's Donnelly decides to stop coaching

    Citing stress-related heart issues and a desire to spend more time with his family, Tyler Donnelly has resigned after eight seasons as the football head coach at Palatine High School. Donnelly submitted his letter of resignation to Palatine athletic director Jerry Dobbs on Tuesday afternoon and met with his coaching staff that same day. Wednesday after school, he informed the players of his decision.


    Grizzlies beat Warriors 94-87 to complete 3-0 trip

    Zach Randolph had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Rudy Gay scored 18 points and the Memphis Grizzlies completed a 3-0 road trip with a 94-87 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.


    Clippers beat Mavs 99-93 for 13th home win in row

    Chris Paul had 19 points and 16 assists, and the Los Angeles Clippers held on to beat the Dallas Mavericks 99-93 on Wednesday night, extending their franchise-record home winning streak to 13 games.


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


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


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


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


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

    Rolling Meadows' Jackie Kemph stays a step ahead of Palatine's Morgan Radtke on a fastbreak during Wednesday's game.

    Meadows bounces back at Palatine

    Coming off its first loss in 17 games this season, Rolling Meadows showed on Wednesday night what it learned from its first setback. The Mustangs didn't panic despite scoring a season-low 17 points for one half against host Palatine. Trailing 18-17 at intermission, Meadows took care of business in the second half and came away with a 46-37 triumph in the mid-week Mid-Suburban League girls basketball crossover. Known for its stellar defense, coach Leslie Schock's Pirates didn't disappoint. They held the defending MSL champs, who average 72 points per game, to their fewest points for a victory this season.

    Bartlett’s Lance Whitaker (34) drives around West Chicago’s Mike Zajac to score his 1,000th career point Wednesday in Bartlett.

    Bartlett’s Whitaker joins 1,000 club

    Lance Whitaker wasn't in on the secret his teammates, coaches and parents kept from him, but he was long overdue for it. The UIC-bound guard was 20 points shy of eclipsing the 1,000 point milestone for his prep career heading into Wednesday night's game against West Chicago and Hawks' head coach Jim Wolfsmith, Whitaker's parents — whom Wolfsmith called days prior to notify — nor Whitaker's teammates said anything about it.For a minute, with only 5 points in the first half during Bartlett's 63-41 nonconference win, it looked as if Whitaker would have to wait until another night. But with 3:23 left in the fourth quarter in a game well-in-hand for the Hawks, Whitaker drove baseline left, spun away from the hoop into the lane, veered back inside and laid it off the glass for points 1,000 and 1,001 and the secret was out as he poured in 16 points in the second half for the achievement.

    Cody Monson of Lisle High School looks to pass around Immaculate Conception defenders, Wednesday night during boys varsity basketball at Lisle.

    IC blows out Lisle

    Lisle will not bring momentum into its biggest game of the boys basketball season. Immaculate Conception stormed into the Lions' den Wednesday and after a close first quarter won the nonconference game going away, 73-40.

    Denver Nuggets’ Andre Iguodala (9) dunks off an alley-oop during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday in Denver.

    Faried helps Nuggets rally past Magic 108-105

    Kenneth Faried scored 19 points and grabbed 19 rebounds to help the Denver Nuggets rally for a 108-105 win over the slumping Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.


    Bettman apologizes to players, fans

    The NHL board of governors unanimously approved the new collective bargaining agreement on Wednesday. Then it was time for Commissioner Gary Bettman and board chairman Jeremy Jacobs, who owns the Boston Bruins, to offer apologies to the players, fans and sponsors. "I know that an explanation or an apology will not erase the hard feelings that have built up over the past few months, but I owe you an apology nevertheless," he said.


    DuPage County teams had happy holidays

    There were very few lumps of coal distributed to local boys basketball teams this holiday season. Most all of them made Santa's "nice" list and were rewarded accordingly. Following is a roundup of some of the top performances.

    Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (9) blocks a shot by Minnesota Timberwolves forward Derrick Williams (7) in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. Oklahoma City won 106-84.

    Thunder avoid another letdown, pound Wolves 106-84

    Kevin Durant scored 26 points, Russell Westbrook added 23 and the Oklahoma City Thunder pulled away for a 106-84 victory Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, who were without All-Star forward Kevin Love and four other injured players.


    Rosary clamps down against ACC

    Rosary gave Aurora Central Catholic a lesson in how to close out a basketball game. The Royals' stifling defense was so intense in the fourth quarter that host ACC was unable to score from the field.


    Naperville teams ganging up on bullying

    We've experienced white-outs and black-outs and swimmers wearing pink bathing caps. The new year brings a Purple-Out.

    Utah Jazz’s Al Jefferson (25) shoots over Charlotte Bobcats’ Bismack Biyombo (0) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday. The Jazz won 112-102.

    Jefferson scores 26 as Jazz defeat Bobcats 112-102

    Al Jefferson had 26 points and eight rebounds, and the Utah Jazz posted a wire-to-wire 112-102 victory Wednesday night over the Charlotte Bobcats for their fourth win in five games.

    Illinois guard Joseph Bertrand (2) drives under pressure from Minnesota guard Joe Coleman (11) during their NCAA college basketball game Wednesday in Champaign, Ill.

    Minnesota topples Illinois 84-67

    Joe Coleman scored 29 points and Andre Hollins added 19 to help No. 8 Minnesota top Illinois Wednesday 84-67 and remain undefeated in the Big Ten.


    Fremd focuses on senior night, clinches West title

    Fremd set the tone early in its Mid-Suburban West girls gymnastics triangular meet on Wednesday night. The host Vikings looked impressive in their opening series on the vault, scoring a neat 37.65, and they continued their momentum on bars, hitting a 36.70. Fremd didn't look back cruising to the MSL West division title with 145.50 points in Palatine. Barrington took second with 141.65 points, followed by Hoffman Estates (118.95 points).

    Atlanta Hawks’ Josh Smith (5) blocks a shot by Cleveland Cavaliers’ Alonzo Gee (33) in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday in Cleveland. Smith led the Hawks with 17 points in a 99-83 loss to the Cavaliers.

    Irving scores 33 to lead Cavs past Hawks 99-83

    Kyrie Irving scored 18 of his 33 points in the third quarter and the injury-riddled Cavaliers beat the Atlanta Hawks 99-83 — Cleveland's largest margin of victory this season.

    Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) shoots as Philadelphia 76ers guard Damien Wilkins (8) tries to block during the second half of their NBA basketball game Wednesday in Toronto. The Raptors won 90-72.

    Johnson leads Raptors past slumping 76ers 90-72

    Amir Johnson had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Jose Calderon added 14 points and 11 assists, and the Toronto Raptors never trailed in a 90-72 victory over Philadelphia on Wednesday night, handing the slumping 76ers their fifth straight loss.

    Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett (5) pats guard Rajon Rondo (9) on the chest near the end of an NBA basketball game Wednesday against the Phoenix Suns in Boston. The Celtics won 87-79.

    Celtics rally for 87-79 win over Suns

    Jeff Green scored 14 points, rookie Jared Sullinger added 12 points and a career-best 16 rebounds, and the Boston Celtics recovered from a dreadful third quarter with a big rally to start the fourth and held off the slumping Phoenix Suns 87-79 on Wednesday night.

    Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) goes to the basket against New Orleans Hornets center Robin Lopez (15) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday in New Orleans. The Hornets won 88-79.

    Mason, Hornets beat Rockets, win 3rd straight

    Roger Mason scored 15 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter to rally the New Orleans Hornets to an 88-79 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.

    Rolling Meadows’ Jackie Kemph leads a fast break against Palatine.

    Images: Palatine vs. Rolling Meadows, girls basketball
    The Palatine High School girls basketball team hosted and lost 46-37 to the Rolling Meadows High School girls on Wednesday, January 9th, in Palatine.

    San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard (2) reaces around Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, right, during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday in San Antonio. San Antonio won 108-105.

    Parker scores 24 as Spurs beat slumping Lakers

    Tony Parker scored 24 points and the San Antonio Spurs handed the slumping Los Angeles Lakers their fifth straight loss with a 108-105 victory Wednesday night.

    Former Hersey star Megan Rogowski of DePaul will be sidelined with a broken hand, head coach Doug Bruno said Wednesday. Rogowski had hit 22 three-point baskets for the Blue Demons this season.

    Former Hersey star Rogowski breaks hand at DePaul

    DePaul sophomore guard Megan Rogowski, a former star at Hersey High School, will miss 4-6 weeks with a broken right hand, women's basketball coach Doug Bruno announced Wednesday. Rogowski, a native of Prospect Heights and former Daily Herald All-Area captain, injured her hand in DePaul's 86-80 win over Louisville on Saturday.


    Wichita State outlasts Southern Illinois

    Cleanthony Early scored 39 points to help No. 23 Wichita State beat Southern Illinois 82-76 on Wednesday night, two days after the Shockers jumped back into the poll.


    Valparaiso defeats Illinois-Chicago 75-70

    Ryan Broekhoff had 21 points and 10 rebounds as Valparaiso pulled away late for a 75-70 victory against Illinois-Chicago on Wednesday night.


    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Elgin Academy 33, Harvest Christian 27: Trennedy Kleczewski had 10 points and Kaitlyn Pearson added 8 as the Hilltoppers (8-8) won in the Elgin City Classic. Rachel Oostdyk had 9 points and Sarah Kott added 7 to lead Harvest (2-14).Westminster Christian 50, Larkin 23: McKaila Hays scored 16 points and had 4 steals and Claire Speweik added 13 points and 9 rebounds as the Warriors won in the Elgin City Classic. Maddie Versluys added 10 points and 11 rebounds for Westminster (12-4). Amber McGhee had 11 points and Quixmia Washingtona added 8 for Larkin (1-16),CL South 43, Jacobs 25: Sara Mickow had 16 points and 15 rebounds and Chanel Fanter added 10 points to lead the Gators (15-4, 3-1) to a Fox Valley Conference Valley Division victory, their eighth straight win. Victoria Tamburrino had 9 points and Payton Berg added 7 for Jacobs (1-16, 1-4).Woodstock North 32, Hampshire 23: Emma Benoit had 6 points and Nikki Dumoulin added 5 for Hampshire (6-11, 1-3), which had a 4-game winning streak snapped in this FVC Fox loss.


    Northern Illinois beats Miami (Ohio) 72-61

    Aksel Bolin came off the bench for 11 points and Northern Illinois snapped a five-game losing streak, beating Miami (Ohio) 72-61 Wednesday night in the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams.


    Green Bay beats Loyola of Chicago 58-45

    Jordan Fouse had 13 points, 11 rebounds and seven steals Wednesday night and Green Bay never trailed in beating Loyola of Chicago 58-45.


    Western Illinois defeats Greenville 95-48

    Terell Parks scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Western Illinois over Division III Greenville 95-48 Wednesday night, extending their winning streak to 10 games.

    Tony Monken is out as Vernon Hills’ football head coach in order to fully participate in his son Anthony’s senior year as a player.

    Monken opts out coaching, in favor of parenting

    Vernon Hills' Tony Monken is taking a step away from coaching football in order to be a full-time fan of senior-to-be son Anthony, who plays at Libertyville.

    Bucks head coach Jim Boylan talks to his team during the first half of their game against the Bulls at the United Center.

    Boylan says he’s a changed man

    Before coaching his second game with the Milwaukee Bucks, Jim Boylan reflected on his first head coaching job. He took over the Bulls from Scott Skiles on Dec. 27, 2007 and finished the season with a 24-32 record.

    Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer, center, reacts as he celebrates with center Joakim Noah (13) and guard Nate Robinson (2) after scoring during the first half of an NBA basketball game against Wednesday the Milwaukee Bucks in Chicago.

    Boylan moves to 2-0 as Bucks beat Bulls 104-96

    Brandon Jennings scored 20 of his 35 points in the third quarter and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Chicago Bulls 104-96 on Wednesday night for their second consecutive victory under interim coach Jim Boylan.


    Second-half surge lifts Cary-Grove over Dundee-Crown

    There's the time-honored speech coaches give players about never looking past the game at hand. But for 16 minutes Wednesday night in Carpentersville, Cary-Grove's girls basketball team sure did look like it was thinking more about Saturday's big Fox Valley Conference Valley Division matchup at Huntley than it was about the game at hand. Fortunately for the Trojans, games are 32 minutes and not 16. Cary-Grove overcame what might have been its worst first half of the season to eventually pull away from Dundee-Crown, winning 39-18 in a Valley game the host Chargers led 10-9 at halftime.

    Michigan guard Tim Hardaway Jr., (10) celebrates alongside forward Jon Horford in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Nebraska on Wednesday at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Michigan won 62-47.

    No. 2 Michigan tops Nebraska 62-47 to move to 16-0

    Second-ranked Michigan assured beat Nebraska 62-47 on Wednesday night. The Wolverines (16-0, 3-0 Big Ten) equaled their best start to a season. Only the 1985-86 team had started 16-0, and that was also the last Michigan team to be unbeaten heading into a game at Ohio State, according to STATS.


    Indiana State defeats Bradley 68-53

    Manny Arop and Justin Gant scored 13 points apiece to lead Indiana State to a 68-53 win over Bradley on Wednesday night.


    St. Viator’s six-game win streak snapped

    Chicago Latin's girls basketball team snapped St. Viator's six-game winning streak by defeating the Lions 52-44 in the second round of the Fenton Season's End tournament Wednesday in Bensenville.

    Images from the West Chicago vs. Bartlett boys basketball game Wednesday, January 9, 2013.

    Images: West Chicago vs. Bartlett, boys basketball
    The Bartlett boys basketball team hosted and won 63-41 over West Chicago in a matchup Wednesday night in Bartlett.


    Victory suits Karneevich, Buffalo Grove to a T

    Buffalo Grove reveled in its best performance of the year at Wednesday's Mid-Suburban League girls bowling meet. And they were led by a bowler who just took up the sport last season. And this same girl has only been in the U.S. for three short years. Bison sophomore Valeria Karneevich opened the final game with four strikes and didn't miss a mark enroute to a 220 as BG defeated Barrington 9-0.

    The Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews says there is work to be done to win back those NHL fans bitter over the lockout.

    Blackhawks’ Toews knows it’s time to mend fences

    Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was back with his teammates Wednesday in Chicago talking about how the players were going to try to make it up to those fans bitter about the last three months. "I think it's something you try to do every day no matter what," Toews said. "I don't think having a lockout changes anything. In a normal situation you should still take the time to spend talking with your fans and sign autographs on a daily basis."

    Lamont Ross of Lisle High School guards Demetrius Carr of Immaculate Conception High School.

    Images: Lisle vs. Immaculate Conception, boys absketball
    Lisle high school hosted Immaculate Conception high school Wednesday night for boys basketball.

    In this June 18, 2004, file photo, the Cubs’ Sammy Sosa tosses his helmet and shin guard after striking out. Sosa was on only 12.5 percent of the ballots cast for this year’s Hall of Fame.

    Always one Hall of a debate on who gets in, who doesn’t

    Not a single player will be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame this summer. No big deal. What really matters is how much fun the debates are.

    In this Dec. 26, 2009, photo, from left, brothers Phil, George, Gavin and Joe Maloof, owners of the Sacramento Kings, watch an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers in Sacramento, Calif. People with knowledge of the situation said Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, that investor Chris Hansen has contacted the Maloof family about buying the Kings.

    AP Sources: Investor seeking to buy Kings

    nvestor Chris Hansen has contacted the Maloof family about buying the Sacramento Kings, setting up the possibility of the NBA's return to Seattle. Hansen's interest was confirmed Wednesday by people with knowledge of the situation. They spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because no deal has been reached.

    Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from racing in a doping scandal, may still find some redemption. Armstrong’s only hope may come, not from an interview with Oprah Winfrey, but with total cooperation with the anti-doping and cycling authorities who say he was a serial cheat.

    Lance Armstrong’s U-turn just hot air?

    Lance Armstrong is finally ready to talk. And Oprah Winfrey is willing to listen. Armstrong's path to some sort of redemption, if there even is one, cannot lie in a televised and webcast chat with Winfrey, but in total cooperation with the anti-doping and cycling authorities who say he was a serial cheat. How, precisely, down to the very last detail, did Armstrong, his teammates, doctors, managers and others for years run what USADA described as "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen?"

    Former San Francisco Giants baseball player Barry Bonds, left, former pitcher Roger Clemens and former Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa didn’t get enough votes for entrance to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Sosa was far behind Bonds and Clemens.

    Sosa takes his ‘lumps’ in Hall voting

    That no one was elected Tuesday to the Baseball Hall of Fame came as no big surprise. However, voters drew a clear distinction between former Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. The results do not bode well for Sosa, writes Daily Herald Cubs writer Bruce Miles.

    Houston Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison has a history with Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who expects Dennison to land a head coaching job in the NFL.

    Cutler offers views on a few coaching candidates

    Jay Cutler spent three years in Denver under offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, one of 13 candidates to succeed Lovie Smith as the Bears' head coach. The Bears' quarterback had good things to say about Dennison, who is now the Houston Texans' offensive coordinator, when he appeared on The Waddle and Silvy Show Wednesday afternoon. Cutler also has had brief contact with two other candidates, Broncos offensive coordiantor Mike McCoy and Montreal Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman.


    NHL owners approve new labor deal; players to vote

    NHL owners have ratified the tentative labor deal. All that now remains is player approval to finally start the hockey season. The league's board of governors met Wednesday in a Manhattan hotel and voted on the agreement that was reached early Sunday on the 113th day of the NHL lockout.

    Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) hurts his right knee as he falls awkwardly while throwing an incomplete pass under pressure from Seattle Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith (53) Sunday during the first quarter.

    Doctor optimistic after operating on Griffin’s knee

    The doctor who performed the knee surgery on Robert Griffin III says it is "everybody's hope and belief" that the Washington Redskins quarterback will be ready for the 2013 season. Orthopedist James Andrews said Wednesday that Griffin "had a direct repair" of the lateral collateral ligament and "a re-do of his previous ACL reconstruction."

    Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa, left, and San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds smile during batting practice. Baseball Hall of Fame voters didn't elect any players to the hall of fame this year.

    Bonds, Clemens, Sosa fail to get into hall of fame

    Steroid-tainted stars Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa were denied entry to baseball's Hall of Fame, with voters failing to elect any candidates for only the second time in four decades. "Curt Schilling made a good point, everyone was guilty. Either you used PEDs, or you did nothing to stop their use," Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt said in an email to The Associated Press. "This generation got rich. Seems there was a price to pay."

    Roger Mundell Jr. bears cuts on his face at his home in Brookfield, Mass., after being attacked by a bobcat in his garage Sunday. The cat ran out of the garage and bit Mundell’s 15-year-old nephew on the arms and back before it was shot and killed.

    Massachusetts man surives bobcat attack in garage

    In this week's outdoors notebook, Mike Jackson offers a word of warning to prospective ice fishing enthusiasts, and shares a story about a Massachusetts man who survived an attack in his garage by a bobcat. Check out the photograph and the accompanying video report as well.


    ‘Poor man’s lobster’ makes for a rich family tradition

    Eelpout is far from the most glamorous fish, but in the Northwoods it serves an excellent purpose as families share in the bounty of dining upon whatever comes up through the ice.


    Mike North video: RG3’s big time injury

    Everything that could be wrong with RG3's knee has. Can he be a freak along with the Bulls' Derrick Rose and Adrian Peterson and come back from their injuries? We'll just have to wait and see.


    Fire releases its MLS regular-season schedule

    After returning to the playoffs in 2012, Chicago Fire will embark on its 16th season of Major League Soccer action with 16 of its 34 games to air on national television. The Fire, in conjunction with MLS and its broadcast partners, released its 2013 regular-season schedule on Tuesday.


    At full strength, Fremd edges BG

    The Buffalo Grove girls basketball team gave host Fremd a tough test from start to finish in Tuesday night’s Mid-Suburban League crossover.But when it was over, the Vikings had passed their first test of 2013 with a 61-53 victory.

    Barrington’s Megan Talbot, left, is closely guarded by Prospect’s Taylor Will during Tuesday’s game.

    Will, Prospect find a way

    At halftime, Prospect sophomore Taylor Will had a question for her coach, Ashley Graham. “She asked me if there was anything she could to do make her free throws (after going 1-of-6 in the first half),” Graham said. “And like any coach would say, I just told her it’s very mental, you’ve got to be locked in.” Sure enough, with 0.9 seconds left in Tuesday’s Mid-Suburban League girls basketball crossover at Barrington, Will locked up the 1-point win for the Knights. With — you guessed it — a free throw. After missing the first of two, Will sank the second to give the Knights a dramatic 40-39 come-from-behind victory. The 5-foot-10 sophomore scored 10 of her team’s 12 points in the final quarter and finished with a game-high 17 points.


    Willowbrook edges Hoffman Estates

    Senior forward Joe Biko scored a game-high 21 points, but Hoffman Estates came up 1 point shy against host Willowbrook on Tuesday in a 53-52 nonconference loss.



    Nobody hurt in ADM boiler explosion in Peoria

    PEORIA — Authorities are working to determine how much damage was done when a boiler exploded at an Archer Daniels Midland plant in Peoria, resulting in a gas leak and fire.Some residents in Peoria were awakened early Wednesday by a loud rumble followed by sirens. Authorities in Peoria County say ADM reported the boiler explosion at about 3:40 a.m. No injuries were reported.

    The days of most taxpayers sitting down with a pencil and a calculator to figure out their taxes are long gone. Almost 60 percent of filers will pay someone to prepare their tax returns this spring. An additional 30 percent will use commercial software.

    US tax code longer than Bible — without good news

    Too intimidated to fill out your tax return without help? Join the club. At nearly 4 million words, the U.S. tax law is so thick and complicated that businesses and individuals spend more than 6 billion hours a year complying with filing requirements, according to a report Wednesday by an independent government watchdog.

    Boeing’s newest aircraft, the Boeing 787, sits on the tarmac at Huntsville International Airport after a 3,600-mile flight from Dublin, in Huntsville, Ala. Boeing executives insisted Wednesday its 787 Dreamliner is safe.

    Boeing defends 787 reliability; shares rally

    Boeing said Wednesday it has "extreme confidence" in its 787 Dreamliner even as federal investigators try to determine the cause of a fire that has prompted new worries about the plane.

    Stocks advanced, snapping a two-day decline for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, amid investors’ optimism about fourth-quarter corporate earnings.

    Wall Street gains as earnings flow in; Boeing up

    Stocks rose on Wall Street Wednesday after U.S. corporate earnings reports got off to a good start. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 61.66 points to 13,390.51, its first gain of the week. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 3.87 points to 1,461.02, and the Nasdaq composite rose 14 to 3,105.81.

    Democrats say President Barack Obama should consider invoking a little-known constitutional provision that they say gives him the power to raise the debt ceiling without going through Congress.

    House Dems say president can raise debt ceiling

    House Democrats say President Barack Obama should consider invoking a little-known constitutional provision that they say gives him the power to raise the debt ceiling without going through Congress, where Republicans are demanding that a debt ceiling vote be linked to spending cuts.

    Facebook Inc., owner of the largest social-networking service, rose as much as 5.2 percent Wednesday amid optimism that the company will benefit from new advertising efforts to drive revenue. Seen above is founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

    Facebook to hold press event, stock passes $30

    Shares of Facebook are pushing above $30 for the first time since July after it sent out invitations to "come and see what we're building" Tuesday at its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.

    This photo released Wednesday by the Saco River Auction Co., in Biddeford, Maine, shows a rare 1865 baseball card of the Brooklyn Atlantics, discovered in a photo album bought at a yard sale in Baileyville, Maine, on the Canadian border. The auction house expects six-figure bids at its Feb. 6 auction.

    1865 baseball card found in Maine to be auctioned

    Six-figure bids are expected when an auction house sells a rare 148-year-old baseball card that was discovered at a yard sale in rural Maine, the auction house manager said Wednesday.

    American International Group Inc. said Tuesday its board of directors will weigh whether to take part in a shareholder lawsuit against the U.S. over the government’s $182 billion bailout of the insurer.

    AIG board weighs suing U.S. over bailout

    AIG is considering Wednesday whether the company should join a lawsuit against the government that spent $182 billion to save it from collapse. American International Group Inc. said its board of directors will weigh whether to take part in a shareholder lawsuit against the U.S. over the government's $182 billion bailout of the New York-based insurer.


    UN rings alarm over conditions of domestic workers

    At least 52.6 million people worldwide are employed as domestic workers, most of them women vulnerable to abuse and without adequate legal protection, the U.N. said Wednesday in its first snapshot of the often invisible workforce that cares for other people's families and households.


    Oil slips as U.S. crude and gasoline stockpiles grow

    The price of oil slipped to around $93 a barrel Wednesday as a report of rising U.S. crude supplies outweighed a forecast for higher demand this year from aluminum giant Alcoa.

    Visitors queue up to enter the new MGM Grand Macau casino resort in 2007. The Chinese arm of U.S. casino company MGM Resorts International won official approval for its new casino-resort in the world’s most lucrative gambling market, Macau.

    MGM China gets official OK for 2nd Macau casino

    The Chinese arm of U.S. casino company MGM Resorts International won official approval Wednesday for its new Macau casino-resort, putting it a step closer to catching up with rivals in the world's most lucrative gambling market. Revenues from the former Portuguese colony's three dozen casinos, which have been powered by visitors from mainland China, are about six times the amount earned on the Las Vegas Strip.


    Governors warn Congress over debt limit

    Governors are warning Congress that lingering uncertainty over raising the nation's debt limit could hinder their state budgets and job growth.


    Markets rise as Alcoa sees stronger demand

    World stock markets rose Wednesday after the fourth-quarter earnings season got off to a positive start in the U.S. with aluminum giant Alcoa forecasting higher demand for 2013. Demand for aluminum has been hurt by the weak global economy, but Alcoa predicted a 7 percent increase in demand this year, slightly better than the 6 percent increase in 2012.


    Business leaders warn David Cameron on EU

    In a letter published Wednesday in the Financial Times, Virgin Group's Richard Branson, London Stock Exchange head Chris Gibson-Smith and eight other business leaders are challenging David Cameron's plan to renegotiate the U.K.'s membership terms of the 27-country EU and put the matter to a referendum.


    Spanish banks meet unions to discuss huge layoffs

    epresentatives of two of Spain's biggest banks are meeting with labor unions to discuss massive layoffs, hours ahead of protests by bank workers in seven cities. Officials of Bankia, the nationalized lender which has received a bailout of $24 billion from the 17 European Union countries that use the euro, met unions Wednesday to negotiate shedding some 6,000 staff.

    Company executives look at thin-film solar panels developed by MiaSole Wednesday before a news conference held at the headquarters of Hanergy Group in Beijing, China. Hanergy Group, the Chinese company that bought MiaSole, a California producer of thin-film solar panels, said it can make a success of the emerging technology where others have suffered huge losses.

    Chinese buyer says solar firm MiaSole will expand

    The Chinese company that bought MiaSole, a California producer of thin-film solar panels, says it can make the emerging technology successful where others have suffered huge losses. Hanergy Group's strong finances will help MiaSole invest in research and ride out a downturn in the global solar market, while its links to customers in China and abroad will help build sales, chairman Li Hejun said Wednesday.

    Former New Mexico Bill Richardson stands Wednesday on a balcony at the Grand Peoples Study House overlooking Juche Tower in Pyongyang, North Korea. Richardson said Wednesday that his delegation is pressing North Korea to put a moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests and to allow more cellphones and an open Internet for its citizens.

    Richardson pressing North Korean test ban

    Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said Wednesday that his delegation is pressing North Korea to put a moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests and to allow more cell phones and an open Internet for its citizens. Richardson told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview in Pyongyang that the group is also asking for fair and humane treatment for an American citizen detained in North Korea.

Life & Entertainment


    Best plants for indoor blooms

    Q. Could you give me some suggestions for plants that will bloom indoors? I need something to brighten up the winter days ahead.

    John Heffron headlines Schaumburg?s Improv Comedy Showcase.

    Weekend picks: Improv hosts 'Last Comic Standing' winner

    Catch comedian John Heffron, winner of season two of NBC's “Last Comic Standing,” this weekend at the Improv Comedy Showcase in Schaumburg. If you want music, here are some choices: Folk/rock artist Emmylou Harris headlines the Genesee in Waukegan Friday. The Midtown Men (“Jersey Boys” alums) headline the Rialto in Joliet. And the ESO performs Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" in Schaumburg and Elgin.

    Bartender Dave Lacchei mixes a martini at Chill Martini & Wine Bar in Lake Villa.

    Lake Villa's Chill Martini Bar lives up to its name

    Martini bars might have a reputation as trendy and formal spots, but Chill Martini & Wine Bar, which opened in Lake Villa last February, shows you can enjoy great cocktails without feeling the need to dress up. Their relaxed and friendly servers will help you melt away your worries.

    Get a healthy dose of vitamin C with this warm dish of Chicken with Ginger, Broccoli and Grapefruit.

    Put vitamin C in your diet

    Got a sniffle? Grab for some vitamin C. But forget the supplements. Vitamin C is found in brightly hued plant products. Also an antioxidant, vitamin C helps our bodies ward off illness and infection. By getting vitamin C from whole foods as opposed to supplements we get the added health benefits from nutrients like fiber, folate and potassium.


    Night life events: Skinny pairings help with resolutions

    Gulliver's sports specials; RA's resolution keeper special; Grass Fed's final holiday flavors

    Quickly sauteed mushrooms create a nice topping for this succulent strip steak.

    Kitchen scoop: Steak for one a delicious dinner

    Alicia Ross says she's tired of feeling like she must eat blah food when she's home alone. What's wrong with sizzling up a steak every now and then? No special occasion is required to make her Steak for One.

    Quickly sauted mushrooms create a nice topping for this succulent strip steak.

    Steak for One
    Steak for One: Kitchen Scoop

    ONEHOPE Chardonnay is Mary Ross' wine of the week.

    Wines to watch in 2013

    Want a good value wine? Look to the imports, says Good Wine columnist Mary Ross. Ross outlines prices and other trends she sees for the wine world in 2013.

    "Girls Soundtrack Volume 1: Music From The HBO Original Series"

    ‘Girls’ soundtrack full of good songs

    Lena Dunham's "Girls" is a cult TV phenomenon, so it's only right that the soundtrack matches the quirkiness of the on-screen action.

    Beyoncé will sing the national anthem at President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony on Jan. 21.

    Beyoncé, Clarkson to perform at Obama inauguration

    Beyoncé will sing the national anthem at President Barack Obama's inauguration ceremony. The committee planning the Jan. 21 event also announced Wednesday that Kelly Clarkson will perform "My Country 'Tis of Thee" and James Taylor will sing "America the Beautiful" at the swearing-in ceremony on the Capitol's west front.

    Comedian/actor Larry Miller performs at the Copley Theatre in Aurora.

    Comedian Larry Miller cancels show

    Actor and comedian Larry Miller has canceled "An Evening With Larry Miller" on Jan. 12 at the Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake. The 58-year-old comedian is still recovering after suffering a near fatal head injury in the spring, according to People.com.

    Cyclist Lance Armstrong, who has been embroiled in a doping scandal that stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles and forced him to step down from his Livestrong Foundation, is scheduled to sit down with Oprah Winfrey in a 90-minute interview that will air Jan. 17 on OWN.

    Oprah to interview Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong has agreed to a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey where he will address allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career. According to a release posted on Oprah's website on Tuesday, it's the first interview with Armstrong since his athletic career crumbled under the weight of a massive report by USADA detailing allegations of drug use by the famous cyclist and teammates on his U.S. Postal Service teams.

    Kevin Bacon, front right, plays former FBI agent Ryan Hardy, who is called out of retirement to track down James Purefoy, fourth from left, as Joe Carroll, in the new psychological thriller “The Following” on Fox. The rest of the cast includes, from rear left, Nico Tortorella, Valorie Curry, Adan Canto, Natalie Zea, Kyle Catlett, Shawn Ashmore and Annie Parisse.

    Fox not toning down violence on serial killer drama

    ox's entertainment chief said Tuesday that the network did not change the content of "The Following," its upcoming drama about a serial killer, because of the Connecticut school shooting or other real-life acts of violence. The drama, featuring Kevin Bacon chasing a grisly killer who recruits murderous disciples, is simultaneously the most stomach-churning and most anticipated new dramas on television's docket.


    Fox planning HBO-like ‘big event’ series

    Fox is taking a page from HBO and scheduling some "big event" series. The network's entertainment chief, Kevin Reilly, said Tuesday that Fox wants to order some short series of around a dozen episodes or less, much like the cable network does. But don't call it a miniseries; the name seems to have a negative connotation in TV now.

    “Lincoln,” with Daniel Day-Lewis, leads the race for the British Academy Film Awards, with 10 nominations including best picture and best actor.

    ‘Lincoln’ captures 10 British Academy Film noms

    Historical biopic "Lincoln" leads the race for the British Academy Film Awards, with 10 nominations including best picture and best actor — but nothing for director Steven Spielberg. Epic musical "Les Miserables" and boy-meets-tiger saga "Life of Pi" received nine nominations each Wednesday for Britain's equivalent of the Oscars.

    Can French onion soup still be rich without its blanket of broiled cheese? A poached egg on top makes the answer a definitive ‘yes.’

    A lighter take on French onion soup, via Italy

    In her quest to slim down classic French onion soup Sara Moulton turned to Italy. She caramelized the onions in olive oil, rather than butter, swapped out the Gruyere in favor of Parmigiano-Reggiano (less fat and bigger flavor, so you can use less of it), and moved the croutons and cheese off the top to make room for a poached egg.


    Frugal living: Using leftover whipped cream and coffee grounds

    Don't want to waste the heavy cream you bought too much of, or the coffee grounds from your morning wake-up pot? Sara Noel shares ideas for these two common ingredients and tells readers how to eat guavas.

    Hugo’s Frog Bar and Fish House offers its specially priced Bookbinder soup through the end of January.

    Eating out: Hugo’s celebrates soup month with Bookbinder special

    Hugo's Frog Bar and Fish House in Naperville celebrates national soup month with its specialty of the house, Bookbinder soup. Now through Jan. 31, the soup costs $2 for a cup or $6 a bowl.

    “Blood Money” by James Grippando

    Jack Swyteck returns in 'Blood Money'

    James Grippando continues to deliver great legal suspense with his latest thriller, "Blood Money." His hero, Miami criminal defense attorney Jack Swyteck, has appeared in previous novels, but this case becomes his most personal. According to the general public and the media, Swyteck's client Sydney Bennett is guilty of murdering her 2-year-old daughter. Everyone but the court has already convicted her, and when the verdict is not guilty, hysteria ensues.


    Theater events: Steel Beam stages mystery drama ‘Deathtrap’

    A playwright struggles to come up with a hit in Steel Beam's "Deathtrap"; Marriott Theatre presents the world premiere of an Andrew Lloyd Webber revue "Now and Forever"; Paramount Theatre revives "The Music Man"; and the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre goes retro with "There's a Girl in My Soup" this week in suburban theater.

    Can French onion soup still be rich without its blanket of broiled cheese? A poached egg on top makes the answer a definitive ‘yes.’

    Italian-style Onion Soup Topped with a Poached Egg



    Editorial: Don’t lose momentum for compromise on pension reform

    A Daily Herald editorial says that while it's disappointing lawmakers couldn't reach agreement on a pension solution, they should keep the sense of urgency that finally brought some progress.


    Return of the real Obama

    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: The old Obama is back. He must not be underestimated. He has deftly leveraged his class-war-themed election victory (a) to secure a source of funding (albeit still small) for the bloated welfare state, (b) to carry out an admirably candid bit of income redistribution and (c) to fracture the one remaining institutional obstacle to the rest of his ideological agenda.


    The tarring of Chuck Hagel

    Columnist Richard Cohen: There is nothing nominee Churck Hagel has said about Israel that is not routinely said in the Israeli press on a daily basis. Trust me: By The Wall Street Journal's standards, Israeli media would be deeply anti-Semitic.


    NRA leaders still living in the 1940s
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Would the NRA's Wayne LaPierre's armed volunteers in the public schools all wear the same color shirts with NRA armbands? Does the shoe industry still make jack boots? No wonder he didn't take questions.


    Bring gun laws into modern times
    A Libertyville letter to the editor: I support the Second Amendment, But when the Second Amendment was drafted in 1791, the firearm in use was a single-shot musket.


    Lake County needs outpatient care
    A Hawthorn Woods letter to the editor: I am in opposition of opening another hospital in Lake County. The Affordable Care Act is pushing more and more health care services to the outpatient setting, taking away the need for more inpatient beds.


    Support equality
    A Lake Bluff letter to the editor: It is time for true equality in America.


    Assault on values drives culture of violence
    A Grayslake letter to the editor: Talk about timing! On Christmas Day, the ultimate day of peace and hope for 1.5 billion Christians, the Daily Herald featured its movie critic Dann Gire singing the praises of the unholy, sick and violent film "Django Unchained."


    Paranoia fuels conservatives
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: Conservatives rely on fear, bordering on paranoia, to support their cause. The goal is to demonize liberals and to win support by spreading nonsensical fears rather than to present a logical defense of the conservative philosophy.


    More support for our teams, please?
    A Buffalot Grove letter to the editor: Now that sports columnists Mike Imrem and Barry Rozner were granted their New Year's Eve wish, the firing of Lovie Smith, how long will it take for them to become unhappy with the soon-to-be-hired new coach and begin to demand his firing too?


    Time is now for change in gun laws
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: The Daily Herald stated, "It is hard politics that trumps the grief of the moment." Let's say it like it is. It is the susceptibility of politicians to bribery from NRA and others of their ilk that trumps more stringent gun control.


    Who needs any guns at all for protection?
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: If gun-free zones are working so well across the nation, I petition we strip all armed guards from banks, armored cars, courthouses, state houses, federal buildings, Congress, congressional leaders and politicians as a whole.


    Taxing services could solve woes
    A Naperville letter to the editor: I am a retired teacher with a vested interest in protecting the integrity of all publicly funded pensions. I am also extremely frustrated that there has been so little consideration of the real underlying problems our state faces:


    Allegations against Clinton inhumane
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: The recent allegation from the conservative right that Hillary Clinton trumped up an illness to avoid testifying before Congress about Benghazi is both inhumane and un-American. I suspect the stress involved in dealing emotionally with this national tragedy may have contributed to her current condition.


    Congress, reduce own entitlements
    A Huntley letter to the editor: To Congress and the president: Social Security is a fully funded benefit, run by the government. That is why the ill informed can technically call it an  entitlement.


    How can we expect respect for life?
    A Hampshire letter to the editor: My heart breaks for every parent who lost a child at Sandy Hill Elementary School. Now the names are coming out in the news, the photos, the stories. Do you feel the grip on your heart too? Unexplained loss, no reason, no way to understand — just an empty hole. How can the death of someone else's child hurt so much? Could there be anything worse?


    Hobby Lobby has a third option
    A Pingree Grove letter to the editor: In the Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012 business section it was reported the Supreme Court denied a petition by Hobby Lobby. The petition asked the court to block a provision of the health care law requiring Hobby Lobby to provide birth control and the morning after pill in violation of the owners' faith.


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