Daily Archive : Friday January 11, 2013



    Cary man accused of assaulting five children

    A 38-year-old Cary man was arrested on sexual abuse charges Friday for “committing numerous sexual acts” with victims he knew over the course of six months, police said. Michael S. Reck, of the 0-100 block of Wulff Street, was charged with two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault, seven counts of criminal sexual assault, and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse...

    Des Plaines alderman next week will discuss whether to give operators of the Des Plaines Theater another six months to address numerous code violations that, if not fixed, could force the historic facility to close.

    Aldermen to discuss Des Plaines Theatre code issues

    The Des Plaines city council next week will discuss code compliance issues at the Des Plaines Theatre that could threaten its continued operation. The city's building code committee last week recommended that the city council give the theater a six-month extension on its temporary occupancy permit so its operators could address problems such as its curtain not being fire resistant, the lack of a...


    Trustees want revamps on Elburn Station project

    Several Elburn trustees are looking for ways to get Elburn Station development talks going again, suggesting they could live with some rental apartments, but fewer than the developer wants.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Vandals in Hoffman Estates pulled a birch tree out of the ground on the parkway at Black Bear Park, 1484 Essex Drive, near Red Oak Drive and broke another birch tree in half on Essex Drive at White Oak Lane on an unknown date but reported Jan. 10. Damage was estimated at $300.

    Adan Ozuna

    Bensenville man accused of stealing car with girl inside

    A Bensenville man was charged Friday with stealing a running vehicle in which an 18-month old girl was seated in the back. Adan Ozuna, 34, of the 1000 block of Argyle Street, was charged with unlawful possession of a stolen motor vehicle and unlawful possession of a converted motor vehicle — both felonies. He also faces misdemeanor charges of endangering the life of a child and driving with...


    Suburban hospitals respond to flu

    In light of the burgeoning flu season, Centegra Health System hospitals in McHenry County are imposing a visitor restriction policy that forbids anyone under age 18 to visit patients. Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights is restricting anyone under the age of 12 from visiting patients.


    Durbin: Assault weapons ban must be part of gun reforms

    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said Friday reenacting a ban on assault weapons will be the line in the sand for him during the current gun control debate in Congress. Durbin said the ban must also pair with elimination of high-capacity magazines and universal background checks in any legislation he would support.

    Krisann Henderson

    Arlington Hts. caregiver gets four years for thefts

    An Arlington Heights caregiver was sentenced to four years in prison for stealing from her clients, authorities said Friday. Krisann Henderson, 44, admitted to taking $25,000 worth of jewelry from three mentally or physically impaired clients as she worked as a certified nurse assistant in their homes, authorities said.

    Linda Cottrell

    Ex-manager imprisoned for theft from Warrenville group home residents

    Residents of a Warrenville group home for the developmentally disabled were devastated when they learned house manager Linda Cottrell had been looting their bank accounts. On Friday, a DuPage County judge called the crimes “unconscionable” as she sentenced Cottrell to 40 months in prison. The 37-year-old Justice woman had pleaded guilty to financial exploitation of an disabled person.


    Former employee bequeaths $98,000 to Waukegan library

    Waukegan Public Library officials announced Friday the largest gift in the institution’s 116-year history: $98,000 from the estate of a longtime employee. Eleanor Moore, a circulation clerk who took a part-time job at the library after a 40-year teaching career at Waukegan Township High School, bequeathed the financial gift to the library in her trust.

    Vice President Joe Biden, second from left, with Attorney General Eric Holder, second from right, speaks Friday during a meeting with representatives from the video game industry in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington.

    Game makers defend violent content

    The gaming industry says that violent crime, particularly among the young, has fallen since the early 1990s while video games have increased in popularity.

    Joseph Spitalli

    DuPage judge: No street clothes in court for murder suspect

    A DuPage County judge has declined to make exceptions for a murder suspect who doesn’t want to be photographed at his arraignment. Attorneys for Joseph Spitalli had asked Judge Daniel Guerin to let their client waive the appearance next week after the news media was granted extended courtroom access.


    Tollway approves $125 million for work on Jane Addams

    The Illinois Tollway is approving five construction projects totaling $125 million for work on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway. The rebuilding and widening projects are scheduled to take place from 2013 through 2016. The work is part of the Tollway’s 15-year, $12 billion capital program.

    Barrington Hills Village President Robert Abboud

    Barrington Hills may host meeting on auto auction site

    Because East Dundee won’t hold a fifth hearing to discuss the merits of an auto auction business coming to town, neighboring Barrington Hills wants to host a town-hall meeting on the issue. East Dundee already held four hearings, but Barrington Hills Village President Robert Abboud says those hearings took place before it became known Insurance Auto Auctions had environmental issues in other...

    Crews work to clear away three damaged vehicles Friday along I-88 between Naperville Road and Yackley Avenue.

    All lanes reopened after I-88 crash

    The southernmost lane of eastbound I-88 was closed for more than three hours Friday afternoon following a late-morning crash involving three vehicles. Two trucks and a passenger vehicle were involved in the accident at 11:54 a.m. between Naperville Road and Yackley Avenue, according to Trooper Michele Kistulinec of the Illinois State Police.


    Fox Valley police reports
    Candis A. Johnson, 26, of the 0-99 block of Oxford Road in Carpentersville, was arrested Thursday and charged with endangering the health of a child and for contributing to the neglect of a child, which are both misdemeanors, police said.


    Wheeling crash victim identified

    The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office on Friday identified the victim of Wednesday night’s fatal crash in Wheeling as Christine Stamatis of Arlington Heights. Stamatis, 55, was pronounced dead at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge at 12:20 a.m. Thursday following the two-vehicle crash at Wheeling and Palatine roads.


    Cancer fundraiser Saturday at golf superstore in Schaumburg

    The public is invited to join Golf to End Cancer (G2EC) “Miracle Wellness Day” from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at the new PGA Tour Superstore, 1319 E. Golf Road, Schaumburg. “Golfers and nongolfers can expect a fun-filled afternoon of wellness tips, featured speakers, demonstrations, food, prizes and more,” said G2EC Executive Director Ed Woronicz.


    Garage burns in Crystal Lake

    Crystal Lake Fire Department officials said Friday a fully involved detached garage fire was extinguished Thursday soon after crews arrived on scene.


    Cannon found loaded with powder, ball
    New York City police say an 18th century cannon was found loaded with gun powder and a cannon ball during a routine cleaning at the Central Park Conservancy.

    Then-Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. right, and his wife, Sandi Jackson, applaud as President Barack Obama is introduced at the Ford assembly plant in Chicago. Sandi Jackson has resigned from the Chicago City Council. Her husband resigned from Congress in November.

    Sandi Jackson resigns from Chicago City Council

    The wife of former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. announced Friday that she was resigning from the Chicago City Council, saying she could not adequately represent her district while dealing with “very painful health matters.” Alderman Sandi Jackson, whose husband recently resigned from Congress while being treated for bipolar disorder and other medical issues, said in a letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel...

    The Social Security Administration’s main campus in Woodlawn, Md.

    Agency retracts reprimand to flatulent worker

    The reprimand letter, which runs four pages and is dated Dec. 10, charges the Social Security Administration employee with “conduct unbecoming a federal employee” and “creating a hostile work environment” because of the repeated gas passing.

    Taco Bell and Pizza Hut Express are shown in San Carlos, Calif.

    Taco Bell tests ‘$1 Cravings’ value menu

    Taco Bell’s tinkering with the value menu comes amid a broader reinvention for the chain, which delivered strong results in the past year with the help of menu introductions such as Doritos Locos Tacos and higher quality Cantina Bell burritos and bowls.

    Gov. Gary Herbert speaks Friday as Boeing celebrates the opening of a new manufacturing plant in West Jordan, Utah.

    Boeing to build tail part for 787 in Utah

    “The site we’ve chosen is an ideal location to add composite manufacturing capability focused on Boeing’s key business strategies,” said Ross Bogue, vice president and general manager of Boeing Fabrication.


    Pennsylvania taps British firm to run state lottery

    The decision puts Pennsylvania on track to become the third state, after Indiana and Illinois, to hire a private lottery manager.

    Sen. Dick Durbin shares a laugh with Elgin Community College President David Sam. Behind him is ECC Trustee Eleanor MacKinney.

    Durbin: ECC a model for student loan reform

    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said Friday many colleges are negligent when it comes to educating students about how to keep their loan debt at a minimum. But he praised a program at Elgin Community College that shares his vision for how financial aid offices should conduct business.


    Two Round Lake High student health clinic meetings set for next week

    Two public information sessions are set for the coming week regarding a proposed health center at Round Lake High School. The sessions will be 10 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, and 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Both meetings will be at the Round Lake Beach Cultural and Civic Center, 2007 N. Civic Center Way in the village. Parents, school employees and Round Lake Area Unit District 116 residents are...

    Pedro Medrano-Delapaz

    Addison man accused of having child porn

    A 23-year-old Addison man was being held on child pornography charges following an investigation by Carol Stream police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, officials said Friday.

    Colin McGroarty

    Cops watching Geneva school after Pledge flap

    A Kane County Sheriff’s deputy was stationed for the second day Friday at a Geneva school, in reaction to a parent’s protest of how children were saying the Pledge of Allegiance. But the parent being investigated says he is not a threat to children’s safety: “America, God and children are what is important to me,” said Colin McGroarty of Rockford.


    Power outage at Libertyville High:

    An overnight power outage forced Libertyville High School officials to cancel classes Friday, but power was restored in time for after-school activities to take place as scheduled, officials said.

    A downtown Naperville building that long has been deemed an eyesore has a date with the wrecking ball on Jan. 19.

    Naperville ‘eyesore’ has date with wrecking ball

    Two years ago, after he was sworn in for what he says will be his last term, Naperville Mayor George Pradel pledged the “eyesore” building at 420-440 S. Washington St. would be torn down before he left office. On Jan. 19, Pradel will make good on his promise: the building has a 7 a.m. date with the wrecking ball.

    Urooj Khan, 46, poses with a winning instant lottery ticket over the summer. He died July 20.

    Judge approves exhumation of lottery winner’s body

    A judge Friday granted prosecutors permission to exhume the body of a Chicago lottery winner who was fatally poisoned with cyanide just as he was about to collect his $425,000 payout. Urooj Khan’s sister said the thought of her brother’s body being unearthed and reexamined was disturbing — but that the procedure was essential. “It’s very hard,” a tearful Meraj Khan said. “I wanted my brother to...


    Sente hosts coffee stop:

    State Rep. Carol Sente will host a coffee shop stop from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12 at the Starbucks, 1665 N. Buffalo Grove Road in Buffalo Grove.


    Church hosts MLK Day event:

    Hearts the Same, a program to celebrate diversity and culture in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is scheduled for Jan. 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church of Libertyville, 219 W. Maple Ave.


    Self-defense class for women:

    The Mundelein Police Department is hosting a free class for women 18 and older who are interested in learning self-defense tactics.


    Des Plaines water main break causes road closure

    Des Plaines public works crews will be repairing a water main break on White Street near Oakton Street early Saturday. White Street will be closed from Oakton to Lincoln Avenue from 6 a.m. to about noon during the work. Motorists traveling in the area are advised to obey signage and drive cautiously.


    D50 science fair:

    Woodland Elementary District 50 will host the 2013 Science Fair Open House on Jan. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Middle School, 7000 Washington St., Gurnee.

    Citizens for Conservation will hold a presentation on “Skunks, Raccoons, Possums, Bats and Groundhogs” and how homeowners can learn to coexist with them at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Barrington Area Library.

    CFC presents program on living with local animals in Barrington

    Citizens for Conservation will hold a presentation on "Skunks, Raccoons, Possums, Bats and Groundhogs" and how homeowners can learn to coexist with them at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Barrington Area Library.

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel receives a flu shot Friday from Dr. Julie Morita, director of immunizations for the Chicago Department of Public Health, at a North Side clinic.

    Flu has caused 27 deaths in Illinois, and cases continue to climb

    Illinois is among the 24 states across the nation hardest hit by the flu, but vaccine is still available in most locations, health officials said Friday as they urged people to get their shots. Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said Friday that 368 people have been admitted to hospital intensive care units with the flu this season and 27 have died.


    Illinois hospitals fight flu with visitor limits

    Illinois hospitals are being asked to enforce restrictions on visitors because of the severe flu outbreak that’s increasing the risk of infection throughout the state.

    Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan called for a moratorium on executions in Pennsylvania at a rally on Oct. 11, 2003.

    Friday marks a decade since Ryan emptied death row

    It was 10 years ago that former Gov. George Ryan commuted the sentences of 167 Illinois death row inmates. At the time, Ryan said he had to act because Illinois’ capital system was “haunted by the demon of error.”

    Read any good page-turners lately? Let's hear about them.

    Poll Vault: What was the last great book you read?

    Michelle Holdway needs book suggestions. What have you read recently that you'd recommend? Spy novel? Love story? Nonfiction? Leave your comment!

    The Chicago Bliss football team, which wore lingerie during its first two seasons at the Sears Centre, is returning to the Hoffman Estates arena this spring with a different style of uniform. The team will play home games April 19 and May 10.

    Chicago Bliss, former lingerie football team, returning to Sears Centre

    After a two-year absence, the Chicago Bliss women’s football team - which previously played in lingerie - will be returning to the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates for two home games this spring. Tickets have already gone on sale for 9 p.m. games on Friday, April 19 and Friday, May 10.

    The sun rises over struggling drought and heat stressed corn in Pleasant Plains, Ill.

    Illinois drops to No. 4 in corn production

    Illinois corn production plunged 34 percent last year as a severe drought cost the state bragging rights as the country’s second-biggest grower of the grain, the federal government announced Friday.

    Associated Press/September 2012 A central Illinois corn farmer harvest his crops in Oreana.

    USDA report details crop losses to drought

    “I’ve yet to run into anyone around me that wasn’t ready for 2013 to come,” said Earl Williams, 62, a former Illinois Soybean Association president who farms 1,000 acres near Rockford.

    Elgin VFW Post 1307 is organizing a “Send Something to Landstuhl Night” on Jan. 30 to solicit donations to mail donated pillows to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

    Elgin VFW wants to donate pillows to vets

    VFW Post 1307 in Elgin is organizing a “Send Something to Landstuhl Night” on Jan. 30 to solicit donations to mail donated pillows to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, which cares for injured veterans.

    Mark Walsten

    New hearing set for Des Plaines candidates facing objections

    The Des Plaines electoral board determined Friday that any decision involving the validity of signatures on the candidate petitions of mayoral hopeful Mark Walsten and 5th Ward aldermanic challenger Gregory Sarlo will come only after the Cook County Clerk’s Office checks the names against its voter records. The objections primarily question whether the signatures on the petitions were of genuine...

    This citizen journalism image provided by Edlib News Network, ENN, which has been authenticated based on its contents, shows a damaged Syrian air force helicopter at Taftanaz air base that was captured by the rebels on Friday.

    Syrian rebels seize key air base

    The Taftanaz air base in Idlib province is the largest air base yet to be captured by the rebels. It is the biggest field in the north for helicopters the military uses both for strikes on rebels and for delivering supplies to government troops.

    Researchers at Salzburg’s Mozarteum museum announced Friday they have definitely identified the person in the picture as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

    Experts identify new Mozart portrait

    Researchers at Salzburg’s Mozarteum museum announced Friday that they have definitely identified the person in the picture as the musical genius Mozart.

    France’s President Francois Hollande delivers a speech Friday on the situation in Mali at the Elysee Palace in Paris.

    French troops enter Mali fighting

    French President Francois Hollande promised that France’s participation in the fighting would “last as long as necessary” to guarantee that the Malian government and army can maintain control of the former French colony in northwest Africa.


    Museums to share $15M in state money

    Public museums in Illinois, including several suburban venues, will share $15 million in state money for facility improvements and new exhibits. Gov. Pat Quinn announced the funding on Thursday. His office says it will create more than 370 jobs.


    Itasca men indicted on federal fraud charges

    The former president of a suburban information technology personnel outsourcing firm is facing federal fraud charges in connection with a billing scheme that defrauded a Chicago-based international law firm out of almost $5 million. Nicholas Demars, 57, of Itasca, was arrested Friday and indicted with former chief information officer at the law firm who was arrested in August.


    Race for Antioch trustee gets tighter with removal of one candidate

    Jeanine Bandemer of Antioch will not be on the ballot as a candidate for village trustee following a successful challenge of her nominating petitions. The village's electoral board unanimously agreed it was unclear, according to state law, which position she was running for. She does not plan to appeal, leaving four candidates for three trustee seats.

    President Barack Obama listens Friday as Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during their joint news conference in the East Room at the White House.

    Obama, Karzai agree to speed military transition

    President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Friday accelerating the transition to Afghan security control this spring would set the stage for further withdrawal of U.S. and other foreign forces.

    Stephanie Penick received this vanity chair for Christmas after hoping the big box contained a bridle with reins and a bit for the horse she was sure she was getting. Her story inspired readers to share their Christmas disappointments and drew a good laugh from her dad.

    Christmas memories include gifts of disappointment

    Our Stephanie Penick touched a nerve when she shared her story of the year she wanted a pony for Christmas but opened up a vanity chair instead. Readers couldn't wait to recount their Christmas disappointments.


    Police: Woman in crib allegedly batters officer

    A northwestern Indiana woman has been arrested after police say she struck an officer who discovered her curled up in a portable crib inside a mobile home.

    The emerald ash borer has made its way to Carpentersville, infecting several trees along Alexandria Lane on the west side of the village. Village leaders have received a grant to replace between 45 and 50 of the more diseased trees.

    Carpentersville wins grant to replace some ash trees

    Carpentersville has secured a grant for more than $14,000, one that will allow the village to buy trees to replace some of the worst ash trees that the emerald ash borer has destroyed in town. “We intend to use (the money) to plant trees throughout the village both in parkways, Carpenter Park, possibly other parks,” said Sean McGovern, assistant to the director of public works.

    Fremd High School band trumpet players Brian Jestice and Hannah Kuhl perform during halftime of the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla.

    Fremd bands perform at Disney, Outback Bowl

    Band students from William Fremd High School had the opportunity to perform in Florida during their winter break the last week of December. The Fremd “Florida Band” consisted of 115 freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors enrolled in the school's four symphonic bands. Band Director Matthew Moore and 11 parent chaperones accompanied the students on the trip.

    Ken Neumann, right, talks with board members during a meeting at the Lake County Haven in Libertyville. Neumann is the president of the board of directors for the women's shelter.

    Moving Picture: Cigar shop owner thanks community

    When Ken Neumann and his wife Julie started Cigars and More in Libertyville 14 years ago, he never dreamed he'd also be board president at the Lake County Haven women's shelter. “When I became involved with the Haven it gave me the opportunity to become a conduit,” Neumann said, “My customers find out about the Haven and give at our events. It's enriched my world because you...


    4 seek Sugar Grove Township supervisor post

    There will be a contested race for Sugar Grove Township supervisor in April. with four people seeking the post.

    James Abner of Elgin won a one-time payment of $380,000 with a Cash for Life ticket.

    Elgin man wins $380,000 in lottery

    Elgin resident James Abner won an instant lottery worth hundreds of thousands of dollars on Christmas morning. Abner scratched a Cash For Life instant ticket worth $500 a week for life, and opted for the one-time cash option of $380,000.

    Up, up and away! I was about to take a photo of this squirrel as it sat on my deck eating seeds when all of a sudden it decided to leap across to the other rail.

    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 Jan. 7. Think you have a picture that could be a contender in our contest?


    Judge delays arraignment in Colo. theater shooting

    A judge on Friday delayed the arraignment of the man charged with the Colorado theater shooting until March.A majority of the families of the victims objected to the delay.


    Objection filed against Arlington Heights term limits petition

    An objection has been filed to the petition calling for Arlington Heights to place a binding referendum on the April ballot that could impose term limits for elected village officials. The Arlington Heights Electoral Board will meet at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 14 to hear the objections and rule on the petition.

    The Kremlin on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 said that an adoption deal with the U.S. will remain valid until 2014 despite a new Russian law banning the practice, but no new adoptions will be permitted and only those already cleared by Russian courts before the ban will be allowed to complete.

    Russia-U.S. adoption ban Q&A

    MOSCOW — The Kremlin has decided to ban Americans from adopting Russian children, but a statement that its adoption deal with the U.S. will remain valid until 2014 has left the status of adoption efforts confusing. Here’s a look at the issues:THE LEGAL BASE

    Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who came to West Virginia as a young man from one of the world’s richest families to work on antipoverty programs and remained in the state to build a political legacy, announced Friday he will not seek a sixth term.

    W. Virginia Sen. Rockefeller won’t run in 2014

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. — U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who came to West Virginia as a young man from one of the world’s richest families to work on antipoverty programs and remained in the state to build a political legacy, announced Friday he will not seek a sixth term.

    This photo provided by the Indiana State Police shows Richard Wayne Landers, Jr. who authorities say was abducted from Indiana by his paternal grandparents in 1994 during custody proceedings. Authorities say a 24-year-old man with the same Social Security number and date of birth as Landers but living under a different name was located in October 2012 in Long Prairie, Minn. Police said his grandparents were also living under aliases nearby and confirmed his identity.

    Indiana boy abducted by grandparents in ‘94 found in Minnesota

    Authorities have identified a 24-year-old man recently discovered living in Minnesota under an assumed name nearly two decades after his grandparents abducted him from Indiana.


    Inspiration for ‘Ride for 3 Reasons’ dies of ALS

    One of the primary inspirations for Barrington resident Bob Lee's three legendary "Ride for 3 Reasons" cross-country bike rides lost his 12-year fight with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, just after Christmas. Bill Raymond, 74, died at his home in Huntington Beach, Calif. on Dec. 26.

    Miguel Cacucciolo

    Itasca man jailed on child porn charges

    An Itasca man accused of possessing child pornography was jailed Friday on $200,000 bail. Miguel Cacucciolo, 23, of the 400 block of Sunnyside Avenue, faces seven counts of aggravated child pornography possession and five counts of child pornography.

    The former Coultrap Elementary School housed students from Harrison Street Elementary during the 2008-09 school year, after Coultrap students moved to the new Williamsburg Elementary and Harrison Street was being renovated.

    Final forum on what to do with empty Geneva school?

    What may be the last community forum on the fate of the former Coultrap Elementary School in Geneva is set for 6 p.m. Monday at the school, 1113 Peyton St. Geneva school officials say they intend to give "updated information" about the building, and that the school board intends to decide its fate by the end of January. A task force recommended last year that the building be demolished.


    Saudi king grants women seats on advisory council

    The Saudi king on Friday granted women seats on the country's top advisory council for first time, a much-awaited step for women to get a toehold in Saudi Arabia's largely female-free political system.

    A unidentified woman cries while standing outside Taft Union High School after a shooting on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2012 in Taft, Calif.

    Student tells teacher: ‘I don’t want to shoot you’

    TAFT, Calif. — The 16-year-old boy had allegedly wounded the teenager he claimed had bullied him, fired two more rounds at students fleeing their first-period science class, then faced teacher Ryan Heber.“I don’t want to shoot you,” he told the popular teacher, who was trying to coax the teen into giving up the shotgun he still held.


    Texas Planned Parenthood tries to restore funds for women’s care

    Six Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Inc. affiliates are asking a state court judge to bar enforcement of regulations prohibiting them from getting government money to provide health care for low-income women.

    President Joe Biden, accompanied by Attorney General Eric Holder, meets with Sportsmen and Women and Wildlife Interest Groups and member of his cabinet, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. Biden is scheduled to meet with video game representatives Friday as the White House explores cultural factors that may contribute to violent behavior.

    Biden seeks video game industry input on guns

    Looking for broader remedies to gun violence, Vice President Joe Biden is reaching out to the video game industry for ideas as the White House seeks to assemble proposals in response to last month's massacre at a Connecticut elementary school. Biden is scheduled to meet with video game representatives Friday as the White House explores cultural factors that may contribute to violent behavior.

    The cruise ship Costa Concordia, leaning on its side, is framed by a church bell tower in the Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. Passengers who survived the terrifying grounding and capsizing of the Costa Concordia off Tuscany have come in for a rude shock as they mark the first anniversary of the disaster on Sunday. Ship owner Costa Crociere SpA sent several passengers a letter telling them they weren’t welcome at the official anniversary ceremonies on the island of Giglio where the hulking ship still rests. Costa says the day is focused on the families of the 32 people who died Jan. 13, 2012, not the 4,200 passengers and crew who survived.

    Survivors still suffering after Concordia disaster

    As if the nightmares, flashbacks and anxiety weren't enough, passengers who survived the terrifying capsizing of the Costa Concordia off Tuscany have come in for a rude shock as they mark the first anniversary of the disaster on Sunday: They've been told they aren't welcome at the weekend's commemorations.

    Shiites in a southwestern Pakistani city hit by a brutal terror attack refused to bury their dead Friday in protest, demanding that the government do something to protect them from what has become a barrage of bombings and shootings against the minority Muslim sect.

    Pakistani Shiites protest after bombings kill 120

    QUETTA, Pakistan — Shiites in a southwestern Pakistani city hit by a brutal terror attack refused to bury their dead Friday in protest, demanding that the government do something to protect them from what has become a barrage of bombings and shootings against the minority Muslim sect.


    France vows help after Mali Islamists take town

    BAMAKO, Mali — Radical Islamists held on to a city in central Mali Friday after sending the Malian military reeling in retreat. With the militants showing the capability to press even further into government-held territory, international aid organizations began evacuating staff from the narrow central belt of the country.


    Obama, Karzai meeting to discuss ending Afghan war

    WASHINGTON — Charting the course for a war’s end, President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai meet Friday at the White House to discuss the future of the U.S. role in Afghanistan and the 66,000 American troops in harm’s way.

    Cecil Smith

    Elgin deputy chief a finalist for chief in town of Trayvon Martin shooting

    Elgin police Deputy Chief Cecil Smith is among five finalists for the police chief's job in Sanford, Fla., a town that made national headlines after the shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin last February. Smith, 51, a 25-year-veteran of the Elgin department, said he will be flying to Florida on Sunday for a two-day interview process Tuesday and Wednesday that will include a community forum. Smith...


    Palestinians pitch tents in key West Bank area

    RAMALLAH, West Bank — Palestinian activists have erected tents at a disputed site between Jerusalem and the West Bank where Israel said it would build Jewish houses.The activists said in a statement Friday they wanted to build a village in the area known as E-1 in order to “establish facts on the ground.”

    This citizen journalism image shows anti-Syrian regime protesters carrying banners during a demonstration, in Kafr Nabil town, Idlib province, northern Syria, Friday, Jan. 11, 2013. Islamic militants seeking to topple President Bashar Assad took full control of a strategic northwestern air base Friday in a significant blow to government forces, seizing helicopters, tanks and multiple rocket launchers, activists said.

    Syrian rebels seize key air base, activists say

    BEIRUT — Islamic militants seeking to topple President Bashar Assad took full control of a strategic northwestern air base Friday in a significant blow to government forces, seizing helicopters, tanks and multiple rocket launchers, activists said.

    Lakhdar Brahimi, center, Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for Syria, with Mikhail Bogdanov, right, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and William Burns, left, Deputy Secretary of State of the United States meet to discuss a political solution to the crisis in Syria, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Jan. 11, 2013.

    UN envoy discusses Syria with U.S., Russia

    GENEVA — International envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is meeting with senior Russian and United States diplomats in an attempt to find a political solution to Syria’s conflict, which has claimed more than 60,000 lives.


    Livingston Co. trying to solve 1983 killings

    Investigators in central Illinois want the Livingston County Board to pay $20,000 so a crime lab can examine evidence in a 30-year-old double homicide.


    Police: 2 dead after crash that followed shooting

    Northern Indiana police say two men have been found dead in a crashed pickup truck following a police action shooting in Lafayette.


    Ky. boy recovering after dog bites off nose

    A western Kentucky boy is recovering after surgeons reattached his nose — which had been bitten off and swallowed by a dog.


    Cook Co. offers wallet marriage certificates

    Cook County couples can now carry proof of their marriages or civil unions virtually anywhere. Cook County Clerk David Orr's office is offering wallet-sized certificates for the same $15 fee of a standard document.


    Durbin attends hearing on gun violence

    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says the debate on gun control has been avoided for too long and the fatal shootings at a Connecticut school along with ongoing violence in Chicago only underscore that.


    Kane County spikes developmentally disabled tax referendum

    A Kane County committee Thursday killed an April referendum that could've created a new tax to fund services for local developmentally disabled residents. In a close vote, opponents said an advisory committee on such needs must complete its work and a solution must include funding for mental health and substance abuse services.


    Dawn Patrol: Dist. 33 deadline; Cary man’s good lottery timing

    West Chicago District 33 sets a contract talk deadline; Cary man wins lottery on the day he loses his job; Jewel-Osco sold; James Bond snubbed by Oscars; Arlington Heights woman killed in Wheeling crash; stolen car crashes, sending two runaway teens to the hospital.



    Loyola can’t hang on against Wright State

    Reggie Arceneaux hit the game-winning shot with 1:35 remaining and Wright State slipped by Loyola 62-61 Friday night. Arceneaux finished the night with a career-high 29 points, including the winning 3-point shot at the end of a 15-6 run. He was 6 of 10 from 3-point range.


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


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


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


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


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


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


    Thomas, Wauconda roll to victory

    Kodey Thomas scored 18 points, and Wauconda’s boys basketball team defeated host Antioch 47-21 in North Suburban Prairie Division action Friday night.


    Benet runs past Joliet Catholic

    It was obvious after only a few seconds that Joliet Catholic Academy had a clear game plan in mind when the Hilltoppers welcomed Benet for an East Suburban Catholic Conference clash on Friday night: take as much time off the clock as possible on each possession.


    St. Charles East stays tied for River lead

    St. Charles East 52, Larkin 32: Amanda Hilton paved the way for the Saints in Upstate Eight River Division play with 13 points while Laney Deckrow and Kyra Washington added 7 points each.


    Aurora Christian lets lead get away

    Walther Lutheran 66, Aurora Christian 58: Aurora Christian built a 34-27 halftime advantage, only to see the visiting Broncos storm back in the second half to claim the Suburban Christian Conference crossover victory.


    Glenbard North hangs tough against Wheaton North

    After missing shot after shot Friday, Glenbard North junior guard Justin Jackson saw his final inside attempt of the first half fall against Wheaton North.“Couldn’t buy a bucket, no,” the 6-foot-1 Jackson said. “A lot of things I was missing were little tip-ins, trying to shoot over a 7-footer (Andrew Zelis). I knew I wanted to play better.”Jackson wasn’t alone. But after a rough offensive first half, the rejuvenated Panthers found their scoring punch and held on for a 62-58 DuPage Valley Conference victory over Wheaton North in Carol Stream.In the first half the Panthers (7-6, 3-3) made just 9 of 40 shots with two 3-pointers in trailing 27-22. They made 12 of 24 with four 3-pointers in the second half, including a 23-point third quarter to take the lead for good.Chip Flanigan and Jackson had 14 and 11 points, respectively, in the second half.“We knew second half if we came out with energy and fed off our crowd we’d do better and we did,” said Jackson, who made 3 of 4 shots in after halftime with a 3 and three-point play.“I just felt like I was missing a lot of easy stuff. I was able to finish more at the rim. I’m happy with the way I played, but I’m more happy with the way we were resilient even though we were down.”Wheaton North (6-7, 1-5) led by as many as eight. The Panthers returned to a man-to-man defense to begin the second half and accelerated the tempo. They tied the game at 34 on Ryan Sturto’s 3 and went ahead 36-34 on Jackson free throws.“I felt the defenses we tried in the second half got our pace going more, which gets our guys going,” Glenbard North coach Joe Larson said. “We had some good looks first half. We just didn’t make them. Their (2-3) zone was giving us problems, but I thought we adjusted well second half and the guys played more aggressive.”The 6-5 Flanigan found seams in the lane and asserted himself, scoring seven of the team’s first nine second-half points. Behind 11 points from Jackson and Flanigan to start the fourth quarter, the Panthers pulled ahead 56-46 with 4:50 left.The Falcons closed to 61-58 on a 3 by Matt Biegalski with 35 seconds left but missed a driving shot and the Panthers got the ball out of bounds. Jackson added a free throw with 7.8 seconds left.“It was a little bit too little too late, but they kept battling,” Wheaton North coach Dave Brackmann said. “Throughout the game, we had way too many turnovers and gave up way too many offensive rebounds. It’s never easy to win on the road in the DVC, and we just had too many mistakes in the middle of that game and it ended up costing us.”


    Immaculate Conception downs St. Edward

    If Rounds 1 and 2 between St. Edward and Immaculate Conception were entertaining, Round 3 will make you drool for Round 4 on February 15. Just ask Knights’ coach T.J. Tyrrell, after his team secured a 64-58 Suburban Christian Blue boys basketball win in Elgin Friday night.


    Levesque returns but Glenbard West loses

    Glenbard West had to contend with Oak Park-River Forest’s considerable size advantage for much of Friday night’s West Suburban Silver showdown.That size proved to be the difference during the Hilltoppers’ 55-48 loss to the Huskies, the first-place team in the division coming into the game.Oak Park-River Forest’s zone defense, led by 6-foot-8 center Thomas Ross, 6-foot-7 forward Tacourrus Mattox and 6-foot-4 guard Alex Gustafson, bothered the Glenbard West offense most of the night, keeping the Huskies out of the lane for much of the game.“It wasn’t so much the scheme as it was (Oak Park-River Forest’s) size,” Glenbard West coach Tim Hoder said. “We had a hard time moving the ball against their zone because of their length, especially when they had the two big kids in there at the same time. We couldn’t move the ball quick enough through the gaps to attack.” The Hilltoppers (9-5, 2-2) did welcome back senior guard Jeff Levesque, who had been out the previous 13 games with a stress fracture. He finished with six points on the night.“I was real sore and am still a little rusty,” Levesque said. “It was very exciting to get out there. I was a little rusty in this game, but hopefully the next game will be better.”Glenbard West’s last lead of the night came early in the second quarter when Corey Davis’ drive and lay-in put the Hilltoppers up 9-8.The Huskies tried to put some distance between themselves and their opponent, applying a full-court press midway through the second quarter that forced three straight Hilltoppers turnovers, which resulted in six points and a 16-9 lead.Keith Hayes’ jumper with 1:55 to go in the first half cut the Huskies’ lead to two at 18-16, but Glenbard West got no closer the rest of the way.Erick Locke scored 8 of Oak Park-River Forest’s 15 third-quarter points, all on drives through the lane, while in the process giving his team some breathing room. His layup with 20 seconds left put the Huskies up 38-24 heading into the fourth quarter, their largest lead of the night. A pair of free throws by Davis at the 4:55 mark trimmed the Huskies’ lead to 42-35.The Hilltoppers also closed the gap to six twice in the final minute. Levesque cut the deficit to 49-43 on a driving layup that resulted in a foul and subsequent free throw.Nathan Marcus’ basket with 33.1 seconds left made the score 51-45.“I was pleased with everyone’s effort,” Hoder said. “I knew we’d be prepared for what they were going to do. It was just a question of if we could execute at the speed of the game and against their size.”


    West Aurora powers past West Chicago

    West Chicago could not keep up with the Thomas twins on Friday night in Aurora.


    Streamwood shakes off slow start, St. Charles North

    A 2-week layoff between games might have contributed to Streamwood’s slow start against St. Charles North Friday night. Whatever the case, the Sabres (15-4, 6-1) certainly made up for lost time. Trailing 12-10 after the opening quarter, Streamwood enjoyed a 40-15 run in the final 3 quarters during its 50-27 Upstate Eight Conference River Division girls basketball victory over the North Stars (5-14, 2-5) in St. Charles.


    Lisle loses first Interstate Eight game

    The Seneca Fighting Irish are just too sharp from the foul line to allow them a double-digit fourth-quarter lead. Lisle found out Friday.

    Elk Grove’s Austin Amann moves pass Prospect’s Bobby Frasco.

    Images: Elk Grove vs. Prospect, boys basketball
    The Elk Grove High School boys basketball team hosted and lost 60-59 to the Prospect High School boys Friday, January 11, in Elk Grove.


    Winning? It’s a slam-dunk for Clark, Lakes

    An official football visit planned to the University of Minnesota this weekend wasn’t the reason why Direll Clark was flashing one of his familiar smiles, which are wider than his tree-trunk thighs. Nor was it his first dunk of the season that had the Lakes senior so happy. Rather, it was ... “A win,” a smiley Clark said, “on top of (the dunk).” Clark did his part, and not just with his one-handed slam that showed off the 5-foot-11 athlete’s hops. He had 11 points, including a 3-pointer, and 7 rebounds in Lakes’ 63-50 victory over visiting Vernon Hills in a North Suburban Prairie Division contest Friday night.

    Mundelein’s Derek Parola, left, looks to pass around Stevenson’s Justin Berkson on Friday in Mundelein.

    Victories traveling with Stevenson

    Who needs homecourt advantage? Apparently the Stevenson boys basketball team doesn’t. The Patriots are 15 games into the season and, because of some scheduling glitches, have had only one home game so far. Yet they’re hardly complaining, because the bus rides and the hostile gyms seem to be bringing out the best in them. In a crowded Mundelein gym on Friday night, where a gigantic and feisty student section for the home team did its best to serve as a constant distraction, Stevenson kept its wits and its cool. The Patriots turned a 1-point deficit at halftime into an 11-point advantage by the end of the third quarter, thanks in large part to the hot shooting and swift decision-making of sophomore point guard Jalen Brunson. Brunson, and a string of made free throws in the fourth quarter by teammate Connor Cashaw, kept Mundelein at arm’s length for the rest of the game as Stevenson notched a 71-61 North Suburban Conference Lake Division victory.

    Geneva’s Pat McCaffrey maneuvers his way around a block by Batavia’s Jake Pollack in the fourth quarter on Friday, January 11.

    Batavia blows out Geneva

    Batavia held Geneva to 8 points in the second quarter, 8 points in the third and 8 points in the fourth Friday night, and as a result after a slow start in the first season for coach Jim Nazos the Bulldogs have their record all the way back to 8-8.


    Highland Park tips Maine West in OT

    Host Maine West took Highland Park to overtime before falling 45-41 on Friday in a Central Suburban North boys basketball game.The Warriors (9-7, 1-4) led 31-27 after the third quarter but managed only 5 points in the fourth quarter and another 5 in OT.Highland Park converted 14 of 22 foul shots, while Maine West was awarded just three trips to the line and made 2.Tom Kukec led the Warriors with 9 points, and Matt Finnander, Allante Bates and Anthony Dones had 8 apiece.


    Palatine wins at Barrington

    There’s a new mindset at Palatine and it’s sinking in nicely for the boys varsity basketball team. Keeping their poise under pressure, knocking down clutch shots, playing sticky defense and grabbing big rebounds are getting to be the norm for the Pirates, who held their ground Friday night at Barrington in a 61-55 Mid-Suburban West win.

    Naperville Central’s Nicky Lopez (3) collides with Naperville North’s Derek Westman (1), during boys basketball action at Naperville Central High School.

    Naperville Central trio stymies Naperville North

    Big-time players need to play big in the biggest games. It came in triplicate for Naperville Central’s boys basketball team on Friday. Nick Czarnowski, Nicky Lopez and Ryan Antony combined for 59 points in a 68-60 DuPage Valley Conference victory over visiting Naperville North as the Redhawks began to make up for being swept last season by their crosstown rival.


    St. Viator stays on roll with win over Carmel

    St. Viator wasted no time in setting the tone for the second half of the season. The Lions edged Glenbrook North 67-65 on Wednesday night, and they continued rolling in a winning direction Friday. Sophomore Mark Falotico scored a game-high 21 points and junior Ore Arogundade added 20 in helping St. Viator (11-3, 2-1) storm to a 77-53 East Suburban Catholic Conference victory over visiting Carmel at the Cahill Gymnasium Arlington Heights.


    Aurora Central holds off Marmion’s comeback

    It was a tale of one city, but a tale of two halves when Marmion Academy visited the steaming hot gymnasium at Aurora Central Catholic on Friday night for a Suburban Christian Blue clash. Aurora Central’s dominate half — the first — was enough to outlast Marmion’s colossal second half to secure a 63-60 victory after guard Shawn Soris knocked down 5 of 6 free throws in the final minute for the Chargers.


    Neuqua Valley picks up the pace

    Neuqua Valley can’t quite put a finger on its so-so starts. No matter. With the Wildcats it seems like only a matter of time before the next run. That was the case Friday, as No. 5 Neuqua outscored No. 12 Metea Valley 24-8 in the third quarter to erase a 2-point halftime deficit, and ran away with a 60-43 win in Aurora.


    Schaumburg turns that frown around vs. Fremd

    Most coaches would be thrilled to see their team shoot 8 of 12 in the first quarter and score 18 points. But the frown locked on Schaumburg coach Matt Walsh’s face suggested otherwise. In the team huddle, he pointed to the scoreboard and pleaded with his team to shore up its defense after host Fremd hit 7 of 10 shots and put up 16 points of their own. Consider that message received as Schaumburg allowed just 19 points the rest of the way in posting a 46-35 victory in Mid-Suburban West play. The win puts Schaumburg (9-7, 3-2) in a five-way tie for first place.


    Plazak’s bucket lifts Cary-Grove past Crystal Lake S.

    Right Plazak, right time. The final shot in a tied boys basketball game between Cary-Grove and Crystal Lake South wasn’t originally drawn up for senior Steve Plazak, but when the forward popped open on the perimeter with time running out, the shot was his to take. Plazak took a feed from Cary-Grove guard Matt Motzel and swished a 15-footer just inside the 3-point arc with 2.5 seconds left, and sophomore Jason Gregoire intercepted the ensuing CL South inbounds pass and ran out the clock to complete the Trojans’ 45-43 comeback victory in a Fox Valley Conference Valley Division thriller at Gator Alley Friday.


    Eight works great for Hersey

    Hersey used eight consecutive days of practice to catapult itself to an impressive 78-53 victory over Wheeling on Friday night in Arlington Heights. “We had not been playing this well at all,” said Hersey coach Steve Messer. “But we had eight days of practice. I think we were at the tipping point and I think we are learning how to win and play consistently.”


    Leach hits milestone in Timothy Christian triumph

    The Timothy Christian boys basketball team’s first league win of the season, a 55-29 home victory Friday night over Fenton, couldn’t have come at a better time.


    Highland Park tops Maine West

    Senior guard Lena Munzer scored 35 points to lead the Highland Park girls basketball team to a 49-39 victory over Maine West in the Central Suburban North contest. Junior Brittany Collins tossed home 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the Warriors (6-12, 3-3).


    Sycamore deals Burlington Central a loss

    Sycamore 59, Burlington Central 53: Moter Deng had 19 points for the Rockets (5-11) in this nonconference loss. Jacob Schutta and Ryan Ritchie added 8 points each for Burlington Central.


    Nazareth turns back St. Viator

    Nazareth was able to hold on 43-41 for a win over St. Viator as senior guard Kayla Freeman made 1 of 2 free throws with 17 seconds left and the Lions missed two shots from inside 14 feet in the final 8 seconds of the East Suburban Catholic Conference match.


    Rolling Meadows rises to the task vs. Buffalo Grove

    New year . . . new Mustangs? With all injured players back from assorted bruises, breaks and ailments, Rolling Meadows started a boys basketball game at full strength for the first time Friday at home against Mid-Suburban East rival Buffalo Grove. The answer as to how the team would mesh came midway through the first quarter when the Mustangs turned a 9-2 deficit into a 27-14 lead in a span of nearly eight minutes. The team, led by Matt Dolan (21 points), Brian Sabal (10) and returning point guard Austin Reed (10), maintained control of the game and started 2013 with a 63-56 victory.


    WW South can only slow down Glenbard East

    Despite Wheaton Warrenville South’s best efforts to zone out the Glenbard East offense, the Tigers couldn’t quite pull off the upset Friday night.


    Huntley outlasts Jacobs

    If the Huntley vs. Jacobs dual wrestling meet Friday night were an amusement park ride you can bet everyone on board would have gone back on — over and over again. On a night when a big Senior Night crowd saw just about everything, it was the visiting Red Raiders (14-1) who would prevail in this Fox Valley Conference match by a final score of 36-25 and deal the host Golden Eagles a second consecutive heart-breaking defeat.


    Quite simply, Grant’s getting better

    Grant’s boys basketball team is about to reach full strength health-wise for the first time in over a month with the return of Rayvon Jones. Jones has been out for the last three weeks, missing eight games with a concussion. But he’ll be in uniform on Saturday night as Grant hosts Lake Forest. Turns out the Bulldogs got back on track without him Friday. Grant broke a three game losing streak with a 63-41 victory over visiting Round Lake in a North Suburban Prairie Division game in Fox Lake.


    Atkinson sparks Glenbard South to victory

    Glenbard South spent three quarters of Friday night’s boys basketball game against Elmwood Park looking for what Mike Atkinson brought in the fourth.


    Warren flips the script, gets past Libertyville

    Everybody loves instant replay, right? Well, not Warren. Not when Friday night’s North Suburban Lake Division game at Libertyville started shaping up like Tuesday night’s division contest versus Lake Zurich. The Blue Devils allowed a 7-point lead to slip away in a 53-50 loss Tuesday night, and on Friday they squandered a 12-point advantage to trail 46-42 after three quarters. But in the fourth stanza, Warren increased the defensive pressure, senior guard Aarias Austin scored 14 of his game-high 24 points and the Blue Devils pulled away for a 66-59 victory over the Wildcats to snap a 3-game losing streak.


    Balanced Dundee-Crown handles McHenry

    NewsDundee-Crown demonstrated balanced scoring right from the outset: 7 players accounted for the Chargers’ first 14 points. D-C wound up with 6 players scoring between 6 and 13 points in defeating McHenry, 60-46, in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division boys basketball action in McHenry Friday night.


    Hernandez, Hampshire take charge

    Hampshire senior Shane Hernandez didn’t start to think only about himself, even though he seemed unstoppable with 11 points in the first quarter and 15 at halftime of Friday night’s Fox Valley Conference Fox Division boys basketball game at Grayslake Central. The 6-foot-6 Hernandez wasn’t bothered by scoring only 2 more points on free throws with 1:43 to play. Especially since the Whip-Purs had already been well on their way to a 62-44 victory and solid rebound from last Saturday’s 32-point loss to Crystal Lake Central.

    Elk Grove’s Austin Amann tries to dribble-drive around Prospect’s Bobby Frasco en route to the basket at Elk Grove.

    Prospect gets it right at Elk Grove

    Prospect’s Tommy Flahaven was probably the happiest Knight on the floor when the buzzer sounded. Flahaven, with :22 left in the game and Prospect nursing what would be the final score at 60-59, lost the ball out of bounds after the Knights had milked the clock since the 1:30 mark. That miscue gave the Grenadiers a last chance at winning the Mid-Suburban East showdown in Elk Grove. Two shots by the Grenadiers missed, though, and Flahaven gathered up the second of them as time expired.

    Geneva’s Sidney Santos knocks the ball upward and out of the grasp of Batavia’s Sami Villarreal in the first quarter on Friday, January 11.

    Geneva’s size too much for Batavia

    Due mostly to rotten luck, it took awhile for Geneva to establish its identity this season. The Vikings sure look like they know who they are now — and it is quite an imposing look. Using its superior strength inside, Geneva cooled off a hot Batavia team 56-46 Friday night in Batavia, outrebounding the Bulldogs by a staggering 51-30 margin.


    Boudreaux sparks Lake Forest past Lake Zurich

    Normally when a basketball player misses a month or more due to an ankle injury, the return is gradual. A 22-point, 7-rebound night is anything but gradual, but then, Lake Forest sophomore Evan Boudreaux isn’t exactly your average player. He missed the last month for the Scouts with a badly sprained ankle. But in his first game back, in a key North Suburban Conference road contest at Lake Zurich, Boudreaux looked like he hadn’t missed a minute. Boudreaux teamed with Yale-bound senior Sam Downey, who chipped in 21 points and 7 rebounds of his own, to down the Bears 59-44. The loss snapped Lake Zurich’s three-game winning streak.


    Glenbard South routs Illiana Christian

    Glenbard South’s defense held Illiana Christian to just 2 field goals and forced 37 turnovers in a 64-13 victory Friday in Glen Ellyn.

    Westminster Christian’s Colin Brandon (42) goes hard to the hoop as Harvest Christian’s Jon Vislisel tries to put the stop on during Friday night basketball action at Westminster Christian.

    Big runs propel Westminster over Harvest

    Two big runs made all the difference for the Westminster Christian boys basketball team Friday night. A 10-0 run stretching from the end of the first quarter and into the second and a 13-1 run to open the second half helped the Warriors to a 48-30 Northeast Athletic Conference victory over neighbor Harvest Christian. “They had those runs, and we expected those runs,” Lions coach Jeff Boldog said. “We just weren’t able to fully recover.”

    Naperville North’s Jelani McClain Jr., center, fights for possession.

    Images: Naperville Central vs. Naperville North, boys basketball
    Naperville Central hosted Naperville North Friday night for boys basketball.


    Conant clamps down against Hoffman Estates

    Conant guard Robert Hudson set the tone for the Cougars in Friday night’s 50-31 Mid-Suburban League West win over Hoffman Estates. Hudson scored 10 of his game-high 15 points in the first half, but the 6-foot-6 senior was more excited about visiting Conant’s effort on ‘D.’ “We came out with a new defensive committment tonight,” said Hudson. “We call it ‘blue and silver’ — it worked for us last year against Hoffman, and we put it back in this week.”


    Wagner’s big night fuels Huntley

    It almost seemed the further away Jake Wagner shot from the more effective he was. Connecting on a school record 9 3-pointers, Wagner scored a career-high 32 points in shooting Huntley past Prairie Ridge 76-51 in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division boys basketball action in Crystal Lake Friday night.

    Images from the Geneva vs. Batavia boys basketball game Friday, January 11, 2013.

    Images: Geneva vs. Batavia, boys basketball
    The Geneva and Batavia boys basketball teams squared off Friday night in Batavia.


    Prospect dials up a winner at Wheeling

    Before the final scores had been announced, there was Prospect boys swimming assistant coach Dan Gentry on the pool deck at Wheeling, texting some good news to Alfonso Lopez, the team’s head coach. He was out of state attending funeral services for a grandparent on Friday — all the more reason for Gentry to share the data: The Knights had cleared the first of three difficult steps toward an attempt to win the Mid-Suburban East crown by defeating Wheeling 99-86.

    New York Knicks' Tyson Chandler, right, battles for a rebound with Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

    Deng scores 33; Bulls 3-0 against Knicks

    Luol Deng scored a season-high 33 points in the Chicago third victory over New York this season, a 108-101 win Friday that sent the Knicks to their season-high third straight loss. Topping the 29 points he scored here last month, Deng shot 13 of 18 from the field and also led the defensive effort that contained Carmelo Anthony in the decisive first half of his return from a one-game suspension.

    Phoenix Coyotes' Gilbert Brule (8) tries to get control of the puck as Michael Frolik falls over him during the second period in Game 5 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series Saturday, April 21, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz.

    Bickell, Frolik hoping new season brings better results

    Depth is going to mean everything in this 48-game NHL season. Bryan Bickell and Michal Frolik are two players who must step up for the Blackhawks. “For sure, I wasn't very good last year and I know I can be better,” Frolik said. “I worked in the summer and tried to play some games in Czech. I think I'm in good shape and hopefully I can prove I can be better than last year.”

    Illinois’ Nnanna Egwu (32) pulls down a rebound against Minnesota during their NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, in Champaign, Ill. Minnesota won 84-67.

    Setback Saturday would put Illini behind 8-ball

    Illinois has lost 10 of its last 14 against the Wisconsin Badgers, who stubbornly stick to just the kind of low-scoring, methodical game that the Illini — averaging a solid 75.2 points a game — have managed to avoid this season. Wisconsin is averaging 70.6 a game, but that figure is dropping. The Badgers scored 47 on Nebraska and 60 on Penn State in their last two games, both wins. So will the Illini rebound today?

    Images from the Harvest Christian vs. Westminster Christian boys basketball game Friday, January 11, 2013.

    Images: Harvest Christian vs. Westminster Christian, boys basketball
    Harvest Christian visited Westminster Christian for a boys basketball matchup Friday night in Elgin.


    Libertyille tops Stevenson, homes in on Lake title

    Falling behind early at Stevenson was not much of an obstacle Friday night for state-ranked Libertyville in North Suburban Conference wrestling action. Beginning the dual meet at 285 pounds, the Patriots actually built a slim 7-6 lead after three matches. But it was all Wildcats after that point as Libertyville rolled to an impressive 47-12 NSC Lake Division victory over Stevenson (7-8, 2-3). The Wildcats (14-2, 5-0) are one step away from regaining the Lake Division crown outright from defending champion Warren if they can defeat Lake Zurich at home next Friday night.

    Images from the Geneva vs. Batavia girls basketball game Friday, January 11, 2013.

    Images: Geneva vs. Batavia, girls basketball
    The Geneva and Batavia girls basketball teams squared off Friday night in Batavia.

    Two days into his PGA Tour career, Russell Henley was on his way to breaking a record. Henley had another 7-under 63 on Friday in the Sony Open and wound up with a two-shot lead over fellow rookie Scott Langley among early starters in the second round. He was at 14-under 126, which breaks by two shots the 36-hole record at this tournament.

    Rookies rule at the Sony Open

    Two days into his PGA Tour career, Russell Henley was on his way to breaking a record. Henley had another 7-under 63 on Friday in the Sony Open and wound up with a two-shot lead over fellow rookie Scott Langley among early starters in the second round. He was at 14-under 126, which breaks by two shots the 36-hole record at this tournament.

    Goalie Corey Crawford said, “I feel like I kind of need to redeem myself a little bit,” referring to some shaky moments in the 2012 playoffs against the Phoenix Coyotes.

    Hawks’ Bickel raring to bond with teammates

    Bryan Bickell sees the Blackhawks as a Stanley Cup contender.“Definitely,” Bickell said. “We have a good squad. We have a great depth throughout our lines. I think our team, when we’re on our ‘A’ game, it’s going be hard to beat us. We just need to have a good start and go from there.”

    Midfielder Shannon Boxx, right, a former Notre Dame standout, will play for the Chicago Red Stars in the inaugural season of the National Women’s Soccer League.

    New women’s soccer league plans to get it right

    Women's Watch explores the relaunch of a women's professional soccer league in the United States, and talks with Chicago Red Stars head coach Rory Dames about the business model behind the new National Women's Soccer League.

    Chicago Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley smiles as he is introduced as the newest member of the team during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009 in Chicago. Bradley, formerly with the Texas Rangers, signed a three-year contract with the Cubs. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

    Ex-Cub Milton Bradley charged in LA with domestic abuse

    Former Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley has been charged with abusing his estranged wife and faces up to 13 years in jail if convicted, city prosecutors announced Friday.

    The San Francisco 49ers hope to do what they did to open the season when they defeated the Packers 30-22 in Green Bay. The two teams meet Saturday night in San Francisco for an NFC divisional playoff game.

    This NFL crystal ball a little road weary

    With 8 NFL teams still in the playoff mix, it appears that homefield advantage will rule this weekend. Our NFL expert, Bob LeGere, offers his analysis of the big games, along with a glimpse of the NFL players with local connections still in the NFL playoffs.

    Patrick Sharp skates during an informal NHL hockey workout at Johnny's Icehouse, Thursday. Mike Spellman says This season's shortened 48-game NHL schedule should provide fireworks.

    NHL's condensed regular season not a bad thing at all

    Sometimes a work stoppage has some hidden benefits, most prominently a shorter regular season. Spellman's Scorecard talks about that,along Phil Emery's coaching search, the Wolves, the Blackhawks and much much more.


    It’s official: Shafer takes over at Syracuse

    Scott Shafer was introduced Friday as the new coach at Syracuse, and he emotionally vowed to continue what Doug Marrone started four years ago.


    Elgin CC to host ISCC Tip-Off Classic

    The Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference men’s and women’s basketball season will kick off this weekend when the conference’s eight schools converge on the Elgin Community College Events Center for the league’s second annual Tip-Off Classic.

    After rejoining his Buffalo Sabres teammates on the ice for the first time in some nine months, goalie Ryan Miller had a few lingering frustrations to get off his chest regarding the NHL lockout.“The best thing to do is acknowledge that it was stupid,” Miller said Friday

    Sabres goalie calls NHL lockout waste of time

    After rejoining his Buffalo Sabres teammates on the ice for the first time in some nine months, goalie Ryan Miller had a few lingering frustrations to get off his chest regarding the NHL lockout.“The best thing to do is acknowledge that it was stupid,” Miller said Friday


    Cowboys hire Monte Kiffin to replace Rob Ryan

    The Dallas Cowboys hired former Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin as the replacement for Rob Ryan on Friday.

    Montreal Alouettes head coach Mark Trestman, here with quarterback Anthony Calvillo, has denied a report that he has been offered the Bears' head coaching job. NFL analyst Jimmy Johnson, who worked with Trestman at Miami, tweeted that Trestman will be getting the job in Chicago.

    Bears' coaching candidate denies report of hiring

    Montreal Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman has denied a rumor that he will become the Bears' next head coach. Bob LeGere has the latest on the Bears' search.

    The Seattle Seahawks are favored in their game this weekend with Atlanta, but Mike North likes the Falcons.

    Why ESPN owes Brent Musburger an apology

    Mike North is worried about the state of the media if people can no longer comment on a pretty woman in the stands of a game. He doesn't think Brent Musburger did any thing wrong, and Alabama beauty queen Katherine Webb doesn't seem to think so either. Also, Johnny Manziel from Texas A&M is living the high life and a lot of other young men would probably do the same thing if they were in his position.

    Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith has returned from the NHL lockout in top shape.

    Duncan Keith: Starting fast key in short season

    Duncan Keith never gets out of shape. The veteran Blackhawks defenseman is always fit and has returned from the lockout in top shape with one goal in mind: to improve and get stronger physically. “We’re just focused on staying in the moment and working as hard as we can,” Keith said. “We’re not only trying to stay in shape but get into improved shape, stronger physically. There’s a difference between staying in shape and trying to improve.”


    A postal worker leaves a Hostess Wonder grocery store in Santa Clara, Calif.

    Hostess to sell breads to Flower Foods for $390 million

    The deal with Flower Foods includes $360 million for the Wonder, Nature’s Pride, Butternut, Home Pride and Merita brands, along with the bakeries and depots. The sale of Beefsteak bread is being made in a separate deal for $30 million.

    Clubhouse rendering for the proposed Oaks of Vernon Hills luxury rental community.

    High-end rental community approved for former Kelly’s Day Camp in Vernon Hills

    A luxury rental community of 304 apartments and row houses has received the informal go ahead from the Vernon Hills village board. The Oaks of Vernon Hills would be built on property along Route 45 formerly occupied by Kelly's Day Camp and the Leikam Tap. Village officials in 2007 approved the property for office and warehouse use but the project never materialized.

    Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn speaks to reporters Wednesday on pension reform legislation.

    Fitch downgrades Illinois outlook to ‘negative’

    Illinois faces a possible downgrade by Fitch Ratings on $26.2 billion of general-obligation debt after lawmakers this week failed to repair the nation’s worst- funded state retirement system.Fitch today changed its outlook on the state to negative from stable. The company rates Illinois A, its sixth-highest grade. The state has unfunded retirement obligations of about $95 billion, according to the company.The outlook “reflects the ongoing inability of the state to address its large and growing unfunded pension liability,” Karen Krop, a Fitch analyst, wrote in a report released today.The state had the weakest pension system in the U.S., with 39 percent funding for five major groups of public employees, according to the Civic Federation, a Chicago-based nonprofit research group.“The burden of large unfunded pension liabilities and growing annual pension expenses is unsustainable,” Krop said.Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s also grade the state their sixth-highest level.

    Trader Kevin Coulter, right, works Thursday on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

    Stocks gain for second straight week

    Currently, analysts expect fourth quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies to grow at a rate of 3.3 percent, according to the latest data from S&P Capital IQ.

    Wells Fargo, the biggest U.S. mortgage lender, says it earned a record $4.9 billion in the fourth quarter, up 25 percent from the same period a year before. Revenue rose 7 percent, to $21.9 billion, beating the $21.3 billion expected by analysts polled by FactSet.

    Wells Fargo’s net rises, but mortgages slow

    Wells Fargo, the country’s biggest mortgage lender, reported a 25 percent increase in fourth-quarter earnings Friday, beating analysts’ expectations for both profit and revenue. Investors weren’t impressed, however, and worried that the bank’s mortgage business could be slowing.


    Merck warns docs to stop prescribing Tredaptive

    Drugmaker Merck & Co. is suspending its sale of the cholesterol drug Tredaptive after initial results from a study showed that it wasn’t effective and could raise the risk of some serious side effects.

    Shares of Best Buy Co. jumped on Friday after the electronics chain showed signs of starting to reverse declining sales during the critical holiday selling season, a better-than-expected result.

    Best Buy shares jump on holiday results

    Shares of Best Buy Co. jumped on Friday after the electronics chain showed signs of starting to reverse declining sales during the critical holiday selling season, a better-than-expected result. Shares rose 12 percent during midday trading. Best Buy has been facing tough competition from discounters and online retailers, as people browse electronics in stores and then go home to buy them more cheaply online, a practice known as “showrooming.”

    The Cookoo watch is modeled at the Consumer Electronics Show, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, in Las Vegas. The watch allows users to stay connected with their mobile devices alerting them of incoming calls, emails or text messages.

    Gadget Watch: Long-battery watch talks to iPhone

    “Smart” watches that talk to cellphones have been around for some time, but they’ve been hampered by their high battery drain — usually needing recharging every few days. At this week’s International CES electronics trade show in Las Vegas, a startup launched a smart watch, the Cookoo, that runs for a year on a standard button cell.

    The U.S. trade deficit expanded in November to its widest point in seven months, driven by a surge in imports that outpaced modest growth in exports.

    U.S. trade gap hit $48.7 billion in November

    The U.S. trade deficit expanded in November to its widest point in seven months, driven by a surge in imports that outpaced only modest growth in exports. The Commerce Department said Friday that the trade gap widened 15.8 percent to $48.7 billion in November from October. Imports grew 3.8 percent to $231.3 billion, led by gains in shipments of cellphones, including Apple’s new iPhone.

    Federal regulators say they are ordering a comprehensive review of the critical systems of Boeing’s 787s, the aircraft maker’s newest and most technologically advanced plane, after a fire and a fuel leak earlier this week.

    FAA to review of Boeing 787, but calls plane safe

    The Federal Aviation Administration is conducting a comprehensive review of the design, manufacture and assembly of the Boeing 787, even while government officials declared the plane safe despite recent incidents including a fire and a fuel leak earlier this week. "I believe this plane is safe and I would have absolutely no reservations about boarding one of these planes and taking a flight," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.


    Japan ANA reports 2 new problems with Boeing 787s

    Japan's All Nippon Airways has reported two new cases of problems with its Boeing 787 Dreamliners.ANA spokeswoman Ayumi Kunimatsu said Friday a very small amount of oil was discovered leaking from the left engine of a 787 flight from southern Japan's Miyazaki airport to Tokyo. The jet returned to Miyazaki, but after checks found no safety risk it flew to Tokyo.

    A man walks by the electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Friday.

    Japan’s Nikkei jumps on Abe’s stimulus package

    Japan's Nikkei stock index jumped Friday after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a massive spending package intended to breathe life into the country's moribund economy. But stock markets elsewhere were lackluster.

    Luis Cuevas changes the gas prices at the Shell station off California State Route 99. Forecasters say that ample oil supplies and weak U.S. gasoline demand will keep a lid on prices in 2013.

    Oil near $94 as China inflation picks up

    Oil prices edged up Friday but gains were contained by a rise in China's inflation that if sustained could limit measures to support growth.Benchmark oil for February delivery was up 3 cents to $93.85 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


    Apple CEO: China will be biggest market

    Apple expects China to overtake the United States as its biggest market, CEO Tim Cook told a Chinese government news agency."China is currently our second largest market. I believe it will become our first. I believe strongly that it will," the Xinhua News Agency quoted Cook as saying in an interview.

    A road construction goes on in Tokyo Friday.

    Beset by risks, Japan seeks boost from stimulus
    Japan's newly installed prime minister Shinzo Abe has delivered a 20 trillion yen ($224 billion) stimulus package of public works and other projects aimed at revitalizing the sagging economy and providing support for struggling manufacturers. Abe said the measures announced Friday are intended to spur a 2 percent rise in real economic growth and create some 600,000 jobs.

    President Barack Obama had a clear political edge in his fight with Republicans over the fiscal cliff, and used it to his advantage. In the upcoming battle over federal borrowing and spending, the leverage will be more evenly divided and the outcome less predictable.

    Q&A: Obama lacks clear edge in next fight with GOP

    President Barack Obama had a clear political edge in his fight with Republicans over the fiscal cliff, and used it to his advantage. In the upcoming battle over federal borrowing and spending, the leverage will be more evenly divided and the outcome less predictable.In the fiscal cliff fight, Obama wanted to block automatic New Year's Day tax increases on everyone but the country's highest earners.

    In 2006, Warner Brothers’s “Superman Returns,” with Brandon Routh, earned $200 million at the domestic box office.

    Warner wins legal victory for control of Superman

    Superman belongs to Warner Bros., according to the latest legal victory granting the film and television studio complete commercial control of the lucrative Superman franchise.A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit of Appeals unanimously ruled Thursday that the heirs of Superman's co-creator Jerome Siegel must abide by a 2001 letter written by the family's attorney accepting Warner Bros.' offer for their 50 percent share of Superman.

Life & Entertainment

    Jennifer Hudson plays Veronica Moore in the second season of “Smash.”

    ‘Smash’ season debut sneak peek begins Monday

    NBC is giving viewers a sneak peek at the new season of “Smash.” Starting next week, the first hour of the drama’s two-hour season debut can be seen online and in the air — where it will be screened on American Airlines flights.

    Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are ready to crack each other up at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday. The two multi-hyphenate talents offered a taste of their quick-witted banter during a conference call with reporters Wednesday, during which Fey promised, “We’re going to sing the whole show.”

    Expect 16 perspectives on stars at Golden Globes

    It’s a few days before the Golden Globes, and the Beverly Hilton International Ballroom is having a little work done. Crystal chandeliers are being hung from the ceiling, where they’ll illuminate stars including Jennifer Lopez, George Clooney, Dustin Hoffman and dozens more. By showtime at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, on NBC, the ballroom will be beautiful, and the producer and director say they’ll be ready for whatever the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards may bring.

    Ben Affleck accepts the award for best director for “Argo” at the 18th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards on Thursday in Santa Monica, Calif.

    Affleck, ‘Argo’ win big at Critics’ Choice Awards

    Hours after a surprise snub in Academy Award nominations, Ben Affleck won best director and his film "Argo" was named best picture at the Critics' Choice Movie Awards. Affleck, whose film was nominated for seven Oscars including best picture but not best director, accepted the award Thursday night at the Broadcast Film Critics Association's 18th annual awards in Los Angeles, joking as he took the trophy that he'd "like to thank the Academy."

    A person familiar with plans for Fox’s “The X Factor” says Britney Spears is out of the show. Spears was a mentor on the singing contest for one season, reportedly drawing a $15 million paycheck but failing to pull reviews to match.

    Source: Britney Spears out of ‘X Factor’

    Britney Spears is out of "The X Factor" after a season in which the pop star failed to deliver a ratings boost for the singing contest, a person familiar with the show's plans said Thursday. Creator Simon Cowell and fellow producers are discussing replacements for Spears and another panelist, record producer Antonio "L.A." Reid, said the person, who lacked authority to comment publicly and insisted on anonymity.

    Singer Rihanna makes an appearance on MTV's Total Request Live in New York in 2008.

    Barrington HS wins visit from Rihanna

    As an aspiring singer, Ashika Sachdev was excited to help her TV production class at Barrington High School with a video contest that would be judged by Rihanna. “For Rihanna to see me sing, and just (see) the video itself, it'd be a great experience,” she said. So it's an understatement to say the high school senior was ecstatic when she found out that her class had won the “Shine Bright Like A Diamond” student video contest — named after one of pop star's hit songs.

    “Jerusalem,” a cookbook by chefs Yotam Ottolenghi, left, and Sami Tamimi, traces their memories of a shared city, the Jewish west and the Arab east, together with the food — the commodity held in common in a city filled with division.

    Food the recipe for peace for London chefs

    "Jerusalem," a bestselling cookbook by New York-based chefs Yotam Ottolenghi, an Israeli, and Sami Tamimi, a Palestinian, is built on their memories of a shared city and its delicious food. "Regardless of all the trouble, food is always there," Tamimi said.

    Detective Joanna Padget Locasto (Meagan Good) uncovers dark secrets as she investigates the death of a wealthy socialite in NBC's "Deception."

    Murder mysteries and dark dramas abound on midseason TV

    A host of dark, mysterious dramas are set to make midseason debuts: Fox's Kevin-Bacon-catching-a-serial-killer series "The Following," NBC's Jekyll-and-Hyde-esque "Do No Harm," ABC's conspiracy thriller "Zero Hour" and organized crime show "Red Widow." Even CW gets in on the act with "Cult," about the dire consequences when fans get too obsessed with a creepy TV series.

    Lena Dunham in “Girls”

    TV series returning in early 2013
    Find out when your favorite TV series is returning in 2013.

    Fiamme in downtown Naperville creates oven-fired pizzas, like this one topped with fresh mozzarella, cherry tomato, prosciutto and arugula.

    Fiamme's Italian-style pizza having a go of it in deep-dish territory

    Fiamme is bringing authentic Italian-style, wood-fired pizzas to Naperville. The new eatery in the town's downtown dining district offers paper-thin pies with traditional toppings, but are they tasty enough to convert deep-dish disciples? Chicago-born restaurant reviewer Martin Cusack gave these pies a try.

    Returning judge Randy Jackson, left, joins with new judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban — as well as host Ryan Seacrest, center — when “American Idol” returns to Fox Wednesday, Jan. 16.

    New judges putting their own stamp on ‘American Idol’

    Thanks to several major changes in the judging panel, "American Idol" is being reborn. Again. Remaining judge Randy Jackson and host Ryan Seacrest will be joined by other music superstars — Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban — when the Fox talent competition starts its 12th season of twice-weekly airings Wednesday, Jan. 16.


    Easy ways to store your holiday decor

    Well, the holidays are mostly behind us and it's time to pack it all away for another year. Why is it that it seems to take up more space each time you pack it up? Here are some of our favorite tips to help you get everything repacked safely and in as small amount of space as possible.


    Having no gas service prevents proper home inspection

    Q. We sold our house several months ago, and the lady who bought it hired a home inspector. The gas service was turned off at the time of the inspection because the house had just been tented for termites. So the inspector did not test the furnace.


    Housewalk opens homes by Wright, contemporaries
    The eight private homes featured on the 39th annual Wright Plus Architectural Housewalk combine authentic restoration with modern livability. The housewalk showcases the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright and his contemporaries in the historic district of Oak Park.


    A deadline nears for former owners seeking foreclosure refunds

    A Jan. 18 deadline looms for about 2 million homeowners who lost their homes to foreclosure between the start of 2008 and the end of 2011. Five lenders could give each of those borrowers as much as $2,000.


    ‘Cliff’ deal is a bonus for homeownership, at least for now

    WASHINGTON — Although it wasn't a total win for homeowners and sellers, the patchwork legislation that emerged from the "fiscal cliff" fracas on Capitol Hill came pretty close. In fact, it even reached back and resuscitated two key tax benefits for housing that had expired more than a year ago.

    Homes in Klein Creek feature extensive exterior brickwork and a variety of architectural styles.

    Schools are a major draw for Klein Creek

    Twelve years ago, the excellent school district with award-winning Pleasant Hill School within walking distance attracted Mary and John Lamberts to the Klein Creek subdivision in Winfield. Joann Coghill, a school board member and co-owner of Keller Williams Premiere Properties, often sees firsthand the impact of the schools on real estate and enjoys talking about it.



    Editorial: Doing the right thing, no matter the cost

    A Daily Herald editorial asks, "When was the last time you did something even though it would hurt your bottom line because it was the right thing to do?"


    Editorial: Doing the right thing, no matter the cost

    A Daily Herald editorial asks, "When was the last time you did something even though it would hurt your bottom line because it was the right thing to do?"


    Changing channels

    No one forced me, but I finally decided it was time to discover what all the business was about Honey Boo Boo. Even though I’ve made reference to the show featuring a former beauty tot, now 7, and her family, I’d never actually watched a full episode. I still haven’t, but I watched enough to need a jaw adjustment. Alas, a few minutes with “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” confirms that even mindlessness has its limits. It gives me no pleasure to add to the ridicule of Honey, whose real name is Alana, or her family. That they have willingly participated in this spectacle — and, one hopes, are getting filthy rich in the process — is of little consolation. Far more offensive than the show is the fact of an audience. Obviously, people watch because it is so awful. You can’t believe it and so you keep tuning in. But is it right to watch? Only to the extent that it is acceptable to accompany strangers to the restroom. Such diversions are reminiscent of carnival sideshows of my childhood — the bearded lady (who perhaps suffered hormonal excesses) or the fat lady (whose rolls of adipose were spectacularly offensive and, for her, no doubt tragic). Responsible parents steered their children away not only to protect them but also because, we were taught, it wasn’t right to enjoy the misfortunes or disadvantages of others. No such lessons seem to prevail today. If we don’t revel in the hilarity of poor, uneducated people, neither do we protest their exploitation. Our silence conveys approval while ratings disprove objection. Culturally, we are all complicit in the decline of community values. Whereupon, we reluctantly praise free speech. I, too, argue — mostly with myself — that we tolerate the worst in defense of the best. We don’t need a First Amendment to protect the sublime or the popular, but to protect what is unpopular and, in collateral damage, the grotesque. Of course, such notions originally were aimed at unpopular political speech. The goal was to liberate ideas, which is not the same as exploring man’s basest instincts. One needn’t be a scholar to infer that our nation’s Founders were little interested in sharing the details of their ablutions or such bodily bloviations as are aired on so-called reality TV. Reality, after all, is what civilization attempts to mitigate. The Honey Boo Boo family proudly shares even that which Beano intends to prevent. During the episode I watched, one was privy to a family weigh-in on a scale deserving of pity, the labor pains of what appeared to be a teenager, and a smattering of remarks about various anatomical regions once quaintly referred to as “privates.” In urgent need of purification, I changed the channel and, lurching past my usual flat-line pursuits, landed in a documentary about Alexandria (ancient Egypt, not modern Virginia.) How do you spell relief? (Don’t ask Honey Boo Boo.) Hearing about a day 2,300 years ago, when knowledge was valued as much as gold, was like sinking into a warm bath. Alexander the Great, who had conquered much of the world by age 24, had learned early during his tutelage under Aristotle that knowledge is the greatest power and set about to make his city the aggregator of the world’s intellectual bounty. Alexandria’s library, ultimately destroyed by future hordes, was the largest on the planet — the World Wide Web of antiquity. Outdoor classrooms were as ubiquitous as Starbucks today. Undoubtedly, there were plenty who, unable to avail themselves of Alexander’s noble intentions, happily would have cradled a remote-control device that permitted them passive depravity. But what was striking is that the larger culture collectively aimed at something higher. Yes, as some are bound to note, there was blood in the streets. Alexandria through its history was home not only to some of mankind’s greatest intellectual achievements but also to some of the human race’s vilest expressions of violence.


    Hot enough for you?

    Columnist Eugene Robinson: All right, now can we talk about climate change? After a year when the lower 48 states suffered the warmest temperatures, and the second-craziest weather, since record-keeping began?


    A rallying cry to tame spending

    Columnist George Will: Republicans, whose divisions cause Democratic gloating, could use a balanced-budget amendment to divide Democrats who threw the remnants of their fiscal self-respect off the cliff.


    Building hope for collaboration in Israel

    Guest columnist Susan Drinan: As I stood in Israel recently for Nazareth Academic Institute's cornerstone ceremony, I felt hope that soon we as an institution might be away from the precipice as we expand into a new space. I have wondered many times if this college would really survive.


    Political ironies of the auto industry
    A Wauconda letter to the editor: Remember Biden’s mantra throughout the campaign? “Osama is dead and GM is alive.” What he didn’t say was alive for who.


    Don’t forget residents in unincorporated areas
    A Mundelein letter to the editor: Don’t forget about us. A reminder to voters and the mayor candidates.


    Respect life in all its forms
    A Glenview letter to the editor: In 2013, it’s morally and spiritually imperative for humanity to have more respect for life. We need to reduce wars, homicides, gun shootings, domestic violence, abortions, child abuse, animal abuse, slaughterhouses, hunting fields, fur farms and animal research labs.


    Will Hostess execs suffer like workers?
    A Streamwood letter to the editor: If prices of ingredients have gone up, then raise the price of the product itself. It happens every day. What sacrifices have been made by upper management? Has their salary reduced twice already in the past?


    Walsh’s message needs to be heard
    A Palatine letter to the editor: Too bad the Herald did not listen to what Joe Walsh had to say about the fiscal cliff and the state of our nation. We are almost $17 trillion in the hole, and President Obama and the Democrats do not care or are oblivious to this fact.


    It’s difficult to measure teacher dedication
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: For years the Daily Herald Editorial Board has been critical of teacher salaries, their work ethic, student results and pensions. So how can the Editorial Board be surprised when a number of online commentators launches a diatribe against teachers even in light of the heroics and murder of Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher Victoria Soto?


    Give news space to the compromisers
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: Why did the Daily Herald feel Joe Walsh’s return from his ignominious two-year term as congressman warranted a front-page article on Jan. 4? This is a man whose last official act in Congress was to vote to drive our nation over the fiscal cliff!


    Schakowsky’s statement was misleading
    A Palatine letter to the editor: I suspect Rep. Schakowsky made her statement just because it sounds good and makes people believe she is trying to protect Social Security from the mean old Republicans.


    Lively war of words between father, son
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Mr. Prescott Sr. has just as much right to free expression as anybody else. I am sure that regardless of the father's opinion he will always have his son's best interests at heart.


    Where has the shame gone?
    A Lake Zurich letter to the editor: There used to be a time when getting an unmarried woman pregnant was a scandalously disrupting event that negatively affected both parties involved and their respective families for years to come. Not so anymore.


    Letter misstated position on taxes
    A Mundelein letter to the editor: Greg Jacobs gets it wrong. His letter from Jan. 6 (Don't Raise Taxes in Mundelein) claims I want to raise taxes. Simply put, I do not.


    No protection for the taxpayer
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: The president of the Illinois Retired Teachers Assn. states, "There is a panicked attempt to strip teachers and other public workers of their constitutionally guaranteed pension benefits." Unfortunately, there is no constitutional guarantee that private sector taxpayers won't be robbed of their legitimately earned income in order to pay for public sector pensions improperly managed by the Illinois legislature.


    Hero takes back seat to a celebrity
    A Naperville letter to the editor: Regarding "In Memoriam 12-27-12." This is a real head scratcher. You have Whitney Houston more prominently featured than Neil Armstrong.


    Is this really equal treatment?
    A Wood Dale letter to the editor: Gays are asking to be given equal treatment. I have no problem with that. Then I read a Jan. 3 story in your paper about a couple of lesbians in Kansas who had a child together with donated sperm. After collecting over $6,000 in child support from the taxpayers, they now want child support from the donor.


    Armed school help, different outcome?
    A Villa Park leter to the editor: The national discourse of our mental health system, gun types, and clip sizes may give some of us a sense of accomplishment, but history instructs us there exists a true defense against bad guys with guns.


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