Daily Archive : Thursday January 24, 2013


    In this Aug. 6, 2012 file photo, 19-year-old Eric Dompierre, right, who has Down syndrome and is the kicker for the Ishpeming High School varsity football team, arrives on the field for the first day of practice at the Ishpeming Playgrounds in Ishpeming, Mich. Breaking new ground, the U.S. Education Department is telling schools Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, they must include students with disabilities in sports programs or provide equal alternative options. The directive, reminiscent of the Title IX expansion of athletic opportunities for women, could bring sweeping changes to school budgets and locker rooms for years to come.

    Schools directed to provide equal sports options

    Breaking new ground, the U.S. Education Department is telling schools they must include students with disabilities in sports programs or provide equal alternatives. The directive, reminiscent of the Title IX expansion of athletic opportunities for women, could bring sweeping changes to school budgets and locker rooms for years to come.

    JOE LEWNARD/jlewnard@dailyherald.com Hoffman Estates Mayor William McLeod speaks during an endorsement interview with the Daily Herald.

    McLeod, Kincaid have varying views on Hoffman Estates spending

    The two mayoral candidates for Hoffman Estates have varying views on the way the village spends money. Mayor William McLeod, who is seeking re-election for a fourth term, said he thinks the village's finances are stable and he hopes to keep them that way for the next four years. Ray Kincaid, who is currently a trustee on the village board, said the village needs to tighten up and take a closer...

    Tim Moriarty teaches an introductory computer programming class at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove. Waubonsee is participating in the Aurora Regional Pathways to Prosperity Project, an initiative launched Friday to develop better paths into careers in health care, manufacturing and information technology for area students.

    Aurora launches Pathways to Prosperity for workforce development

    Helping students build skills to fill job vacancies in health care, manufacturing and information technology is the focus of a workforce development program launched Friday in Aurora. The Aurora Regional Pathways to Prosperity Project aims to help students transition into career and technical education programs after high school by forming collaborations between schools and businesses. It's part...


    District 207 fires second Maine West coach

    After deliberating for more than three hours, the Maine Township High School District 207 school board Thursday night fired a second Maine West High School staff member, freshman soccer coach Emilio Rodriguez, for not doing enough to stop hazing at the school.

    Dancing in the IHSA sectionals last weekend is the Wheaton North High School dance squad, with Micheli Venckus, center, leading the way.

    Format for state dance championship raises eyebrows

    High school dance teams across the area are headed to the U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, for the first state championship in competitive dance sanctioned by the Illinois High School Association. But IHSA administrators have put their own spin on the sport. Instead of grouping different genres of dance into categories, the new competition debuted with an “open routine” format.


    U of I raises tuition by 1.7 percent

    Tuition for new in-state University of Illinois undergraduate students this fall will increase by 1.7 percent under a plan approved Thursday, marking the smallest tuition hike at the university in almost 20 years. When combined with coming increases in room and board and fees, though, the cost of a year of college for students living on campus will rise to almost $24,729 at the flagship campus in...

    In this May 23, 2011 courtroom sketch, David Coleman Headley is shown in federal court in Chicago.

    Mumbai plotter sentenced in Chicago to 35 years

    Minutes before an American was sentenced to 35 years in prison for helping plan a deadly attack on Mumbai, India, one of his victims tearfully pleaded for a harsh punishment despite the terrorist plotter's widespread cooperation with U.S. investigators following his arrest.

    Ivan G. Hernandez-Gonzalez

    McHenry Co. sheriff's office captures No. 8 fugitive

    The McHenry County sheriff's office said Thursday it has apprehended a 23-year-old Crystal Lake man who held the No. 8 spot on its Top 10 Fugitives List. Ivan G. Hernandez-Gonzalez, of the 600 block of Coventry Lane, was captured without incident Wednesday in Madison, Wis.


    Illinois will invest $9 million in 19 airports

    The state of Illinois will invest $9 million in infrastructure improvements at 19 airports. Gov. Pat Quinn announced the investment Wednesday. He says maintaining and improving the facilities is necessary to ensure the safety of airport workers and meet the needs of travelers.

    Governor Pat Quinn gives Erin Merryn of Schaumburg a hug holding Erin's Law which the governor just signed at Children's Advocacy Center in Schaumburg on Thursday.

    Gov. Quinn signs 'Erin's law' mandating abuse education

    Children from prekindergarten to grade 12 in Illinois will now be taught about sexual assault and abuse, thanks to a law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn Thursday. "Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, we all understand, especially at this time in our country's history, how important it is to make sure that our children are safe from sexual abuse," Quinn said.

    Fred Foreman

    Cameras approved for Lake County courtrooms

    Lake County judges will be able to open their courtrooms to cameras for the first time, after the Illinois Supreme Court gave its approval Thursday. "Our 15 circuit judges have expressed unanimous support for this pilot project," Lake County Chief Judge Fred Foreman said in a statement.

    Illinois GOP Chair Pat Brady of St. Charles has sent a letter to Republicans forming a committee to analyze the party's 2012 election losses.

    Brady committee to analyze GOP's 2012 election losses

    Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady is organizing a committee of the party faithful to analyze the GOP's significant 2012 election losses and plan for 2014. Republicans suffered big losses in the suburbs in November, falling in the three hottest congressional races to lose former U.S. Reps. Judy Biggert of Hinsdale, Joe Walsh of McHenry and Robert Dold of Kenilworth.

    IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR REHABILITATION INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO - U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), second from left, who participated in a clinical walking trial at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago following a massive stroke in January 2012, acknowledges the crowd of well-wishers as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, left, Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), center, and Dick Durbin (D-IL), right, walk with him up the Capitol building steps in Washington on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. Kirk hopes his recovery will serve as an inspiration to the millions of Americans recovering from stroke. (Paul Morigi / AP Images for Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)

    Kirk working on bipartisan gun control bill

    U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, newly returned to Congress after suffering a stroke, is becoming a central figure in the Senate's gun control debate. An aide in Kirk's office has confirmed that the Highland Park Republican is working with two Democrats to draft bipartisan gun control legislation. In the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings, the senators' bipartisan proposals could be the beginning...


    Carpentersville pizzeria damaged in fire

    A fire broke out Thursday morning at a Carpentersville pizzeria as employees prepared to open for the day, authorities said. Taylor Street Pizza, located at 7000 Huntley Road, reported the blaze about 9:45 a.m., Battalion Chief Kieran Stout said. It caused an estimated $80,000 in damage.

    Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is calling on the Republican Party to “recalibrate the compass of conservatism.”

    Jindal: GOP must stop being ‘stupid party’

    Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal called on the Republican Party to "stop being the stupid party" on Thursday as GOP leaders promised fundamental changes to help stave off future losses.


    Three arrested near Crystal Lake for sale of cannabis

    Three men near Crystal Lake were arrested and charged by McHenry County Sheriff officials for the production and sale of cannabis. Martin M. Dunn, 27, of the 7500 block of Hemlock Street in Crystal Lake; Joseph M. Munts, 26, of the 1000 block of Clay Street in Woodstock; and Angel De Jesus Marin, 26, of the 7500 block of Hemlock Street in Crystal Lake; were all charged with unlawful posession of...

    Capt. Sara Rodriguez, 26, of the 101st Airborne Division, carries a litter of sandbags during the Expert Field Medical Badge training at Fort Campbell, Ky. The Pentagon is lifting its ban on women serving in combat, opening hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after generations of limits on their service, defense officials said Wednesday.

    Women in combat: Good to go if they meet standards

    Women in the military must have the same opportunities as men to take on grueling and dangerous combat jobs, whether loading 50-pound artillery shells or joining commando raids to take out terrorists, defense leaders declared Thursday as they ordered a quarter-million positions open to service members regardless of gender.

    Jason Johns installs a new section of sewer for Gloria Voit.

    Wheeling woman’s decade of good deeds inspires

    Impressed by a Wheeling woman's work for ailing children through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a Schaumburg plumbing contractor decided to do a good deed of his own Wednesday and repair her collapsed sewer pipe for free. "She deserves something like that," said Vinay Rajput, owner of Mr. Rooter Plumbing. "We want to take care of her because she has done so much for others."

    Jimmy Stewart filibusters in a scene from the movie: “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” The Senate has more filibusters than ever these days. But you’d hardly know it by watching the chamber on C-SPAN. Filibusters are procedural delays now and seldom look like the exhausted talkathon waged by the devoted senator portrayed by Stewart in the film.

    Top senators reach deal to curb filibusters

    The Senate's senior Democrat and Republican reached agreement Thursday to impose modest limits on the filibuster, the delaying tactics that minority parties have long used to kill legislation. The deal would reduce — but not eliminate — the number of times opponents can use filibusters.

    Debbie Herrmann

    Island Lake mayor, clerk quit election boards, cite perceived conflict of interest

    Island Lake Village Clerk Connie Mascillino and Mayor Debbie Herrmann recused themselves from a pair of local election boards due to the perceived conflict of interest. The cases involve two political opponents facing possible removal from the April 9 ballot because of alleged electoral-law violations. Mascillino and Herrmann have been replaced on the boards by trustees Thea Morris and Shannon...

    Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Sen. John Kerry, President Barack Obama’s nominee to become secretary of state, gives a ‘thumbs-up’ as he arrives on Capitol Hill Thursday to testify in his confirmation hearing.

    Kerry tackles questions on Iran, Syria, Hagel

    Sen. John Kerry, President Barack Obama's nominee for secretary of state, collected pledges of support Thursday and testified at his confirmation hearing that U.S. foreign policy should be defined by a helping hand as well as military strength.

    The signs they are a-changing, as momentum to extend the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway east and build a ring road builds, with work to begin by the end of this year.

    Elgin-O’Hare work accelerating at last — with tolls

    A lot of changes are coming for the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway after the U.S. Department of Transportation Wednesday signed off on a final agreement that allows the Illinois tollway to extend the highway east to the airport and build a ring road connecting to the Tri-State and Jane Addams tollways. "This has been a long time coming," tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur said Thursday.

    Gilbane Building Co. will check out old tollway projects to make sure the agency was getting its money’s worth.

    New contractor hired to eyeball tollway construction after false start

    The tollway will spend $1 million on consultants to scrutinize past construction projects to learn from mistakes. Officials nixed an earlier contract with another firm after a potential conflict of interest surfaced.

    Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, left, and President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas meet during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in 2007. The Palestinian president will invite Israeli politicians to the West Bank to try to make sure peacemaking is on the new government’s agenda, a senior official said Thursday.

    Palestinian leader reaches out to Israel centrists

    The Palestinian president wants to meet with newly elected Israeli parliament members to lay out his views on peace, hoping a political surge of centrists will provide an opening to resume long-stalled negotiations on a Palestinian state, a senior aide said Thursday.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks at a banquet for rocket scientists in Pyongyang, North Korea, Dec. 21. North Korea’s top governing body warned Thursday the regime will conduct its third nuclear test in defiance of U.N. punishment, and made clear that its long-range rockets are designed to carry not only satellites but also warheads aimed at striking the United States.

    US: NKorea nuke test plan ‘provocative’

    North Korea's plan to conduct a third nuclear test is "needlessly provocative" and will only increase its isolation, the White House said Thursday, as the U.S. expanded its financial sanctions against the north Asian country. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said he's seen no outward sign that North Korea will follow through soon on its plan to conduct a test — following its underground...

    Aaron Schock

    Schock hints he’ll run for governor, slams Dillard

    Congressman Aaron Schock hasn't formally confirmed a bid for governor yet, but he's already come out swinging at the wide field of likely GOP primary candidates. "I've watched cycle after election cycle, Republican horses trot out on the track and show nothing," the Peoria Republican said in an indirect slam at state Sens. Kirk Dillard, of Hinsdale, and Bill Brady, of Bloomington, who made...


    Elgin teen gets probation for misdemeanor battery

    Chante Butler, 18, of Elgin pleaded guilty to an amended charge of misdemeanor battery Thursday and was sentenced to 18 months probation. In exchange for the sentence, the former Elgin High School student admitted striking the Elgin detective who was working at the school. Butler, whose attorney says suffers from bi-polar disorder, apologized for her actions and agreed to undergo mental health...


    Fundraiser Friday night for Elgin’s sister city

    A fundraiser will be held Friday night in the Heritage Ballroom of The Centre of Elgin to benefit Elgin's sister city, Cauquenes in Chile.

    Ryan Hukill

    More charges possible against Elgin man accused of burglarizing cop’s home

    More charges could be coming against Ryan Hukill, an Elgin man charged with burglarizing a police officer's home this month after the officer came home on dinner break and caught him, according to a police report and court documents. Authorities searched Hukill's home twice, recovering a TV and other items the authorities believe were taken in burglaries in June and November 2012, according to...

    Joseph L. Lopez Jr.

    Police seek ‘armed and dangerous’ Mount Prospect man

    Authorities are searching for a Mount Prospect man they consider to be armed and dangerous. Joseph L. Lopez Jr., 34, is suspected of severely beating a woman late Tuesday night inside a car in a parking lot in an unincorporated area near Palatine, Cook County sheriff's police said in a release.

    Linda Knotts

    7-year term in fatal Sugar Grove DUI

    A 48-year-old former Elburn woman was sentenced to seven years in prison Thursday after she pleaded guilty to aggravated DUI in the death of a 54-year-old Marengo man, William McKenzie, in March 2009. Linda Knotts, who now lives in Aurora, had cocaine in her system and was driving erratically before the head-on crash along Route 47 in Sugar Grove.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    A Des Plaines man was charged with disorderly conduct. Police reports said he pounded on the window of a woman's car, parked legally in front of his house while she waited for her son to get out of school, and threatened if she parked there again, he would "slash all of your tires. I pay taxes, you can't park in front of my house."


    Batavia schools running out of time to defer items on maintenance list

    Some items have been deferred while the Batavia school district tried to watch its spending during the recession and beyond, but the time is coming sooner rather than later when roofs will have to be replaced, lighting changed, and a host of other maintenance done, according to a report presented this week.

    The Inaugural Naperville Marathon and Half Marathon on Nov. 10 will be joining the Fox Valley Marathon among suburban distance running events this year. Race directors lowered the price of the Naperville races to $105 and $75 respectively before registration begins at 6 a.m. Monday in response to feedback from runners concerned about the cost of the event.

    Complaints spur Naperville marathon to slash fees

    Registration opens Monday morning for the Inaugural Naperville Marathon and Half Marathon, but with fees "significantly" lower than race directors originally planned. Runners can sign up for the $105 marathon and $75 half marathon beginning at 6 a.m. Monday at naperville26.com. "When we originally looked at preparations, we really wanted to bring everything we possibly could to this race," said...

    Sanu John and Shawn Kurian make up the beat-boxing duo iLLest Vocals. As the winners of the 2012 Suburban Chicago’s Got Talent competition, iLLest Vocals have a guaranteed audition time with NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”

    Suburban talent finalists prep for ‘AGT’ auditions

    Beatboxing duo Shawn Kurian and Sanu John of iLLest Vocals are getting ready to audition for "America's Got Talent." And the winners of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent will have plenty of local company since the national show has invited a number of finalists to audition as well. "It's great that we get to do it here in Chicago," Kurian said.


    State board of education raises testing standards

    The Illinois State Board of Education has made it tougher for students to be considered proficient on state tests. The board voted Thursday to raise the cut-off score for the Illinois Standards Achievement Test in English language arts and math. The change affects elementary and middle school students.


    State board asks for more school funding

    The Illinois State Board of Education wants lawmakers to increase funding for schools by $874 million next year. The board voted Thursday to recommend the 13.4 percent increase.


    Grandwood Park preschool:

    Grandwood Park Park District hosts a preschool open house/registration on Sunday, Feb. 24 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the park district community center at 36630 N. Hutchins Road, Gurnee.


    CLC spring enrollment:

    On the opening day of classes, enrollment in college-level courses for the 2013 Spring Semester was up 3.7 percent from last spring, College of Lake County President Jerry Weber reported to trustees during a board meeting this week.


    Avon Township seeks applicants:

    The Avon Township Board is accepting applications to fill a vacancy in the elected office of township clerk.


    Official: UI Labs could keep top minds in state

    A University of Illinois official working on a planned public-private research laboratory in Chicago says it could serve as a job creator for the region and a magnet to draw and keep the best and brightest in Illinois.


    MHS musicians honored:

    Several Mundelein High School musicians have earned honors for their performance skills, officials announced this week.

    Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen

    Chairman kills push for county board deputy

    Citing a desire to snuff out partisan bickering and divisiveness that recently popped up, Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen withdrew his plan to create a deputy chairman Thursday.

    University of Illinois Board of Trustees Chairman Christopher Kennedy, left, congratulates new board member Patrick Fitzgerald during a meeting Thursday at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

    Kennedy gets 5th term as chairman of U of I board

    Chicago businessman Christopher Kennedy has been elected to a fifth term as chairman of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. The board re-elected Kennedy on Thursday during a meeting in Chicago.

    New details are emerging about plans to turn the vacant Arlington Theaters facility in downtown Arlington Heights into Star Cinema Grill, a dine-in theater showing first-run films with dinner and drinks.

    Details emerging for new Arlington Heights movie theater

    Details of the new Arlington Heights movie theater and restaurant planned to open downtown later this year are starting to take shape. Star Cinema Theaters owner Omar Khan appeared before the village's liquor and plan commissions this week to discuss the proposed dine-in theater he hopes to open this summer.


    Fox Valley police reports
    Michael Wemken, 22, of Elgin, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana at 1:30 p.m. Sunday after someone who lives in the home called authorities to report he had drugs, according to a sheriff's report.

    You will have extra time to pay that painful $20 fine for skipping a toll payment.

    Tollway grants scofflaws more time, sticks to $20 fine

    Need time to pawn your silver or mortgage your house to pay tollway fines? You've got it. The agency is moving to extend payback times by 34 days.


    No injuries in West Dundee garage fire early Thursday

    No injuries were reported in a fire that broke out early Thursday in a detached residential garage in West Dundee, authorities said. The West Dundee Fire Department responded about 12:45 a.m. to the two-and-a-half car garage on the 400 block of Highland Avenue, Fire Chief Randy Freise said.

    Zachary Ramirez

    Naperville man guilty in speeding-for-sex case

    The waiting is the hardest part, according to rock singer Tom Petty, and apparently Zachary Ramirez just couldn't do it. The 21-year-old Naperville man — who told police he was driving 111 mph because he couldn't wait to have sex — pleaded guilty Thursday to reckless driving and marijuana possession.


    Barrington teachers declare impasse, strike possible Feb. 20

    The teachers union of Barrington Unit District 220 declared an impasse early Thursday in its federally mediated contract negotiations with the board of education. The declaration initiates the legal process to authorize a strike, which could occur Wednesday, Feb. 20 at the earliest.

    Coach Bobby Thigpen of the White Sox gives some ball tips to children at the Bulls/Sox Academy in Lisle.

    Sox coaches help kids at Lisle training center

    Chicago White Sox coaches Bobby Thigpen and Daryl Boston visited with aspiring players at the Bulls/Sox Academy in Lisle on Wednesday in advance of appearances this weekend at Sox Fest.


    McHenry County forum to explore courtroom cameras

    Officials at the 22nd Judicial Circuit in Woodstock will host a forum Feb. 1 to get opinions on whether the circuit should consider allowing cameras in courtrooms. In January 2012, the state's Supreme Court gave the OK on a trial basis; McHenry officials took a wait and see approach.

    Des Plaines mayoral candidate Mark Walsten

    Des Plaines mayoral candidate staying on ballot

    Des Plaines 6th Ward Alderman Mark Walsten will be able to run for mayor in April after all. The city's electoral board Thursday dismissed an objection against Walsten's candidacy after the resident who filed it, Carl Mauter-Hollenbeck, voluntarily rescinded the challenge. Walsten's name will appear on the April 9 ballot along with two others vying for the mayoral post.


    Batavia schools consider nepotism policy

    The Batavia school board is contemplating adding a policy on nepotism, including a provision that if any new employees are related to board members, that has to be disclosed publicly in the board's personnel report.

    Erik Spande

    Winfield candidates differ on how to fix roads

    A candidate in Winfield's village president race says increasing fees and resurrecting the town's long-dead vehicle sticker program could generate money for much-needed road repairs. But his opponent insists that additional fees and taxes aren't the answer.

    Carolyn Stedronsky

    Trial for Ingleside woman, son in fatal drug case pushed to March

    The trial date for two Ingleside family members accused of supplying drugs that killed a friend has been pushed back to March. Brian Stedronsky, 33, and his mother, Carolyn, 52, both of the 35000 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, will go to trial March 4 in front of Judge Daniel Shanes.

    Frank Bart

    Wauconda mayoral candidates differ on water bills, fees

    Wauconda mayoral candidate Frank Bart criticized the town's new water billing process during a candidate endorsement interview, calling the 20-percent penalty for late payments "almost userous.""They're already having problems (paying a bill)," Bart told the Daily Herald. "Why would I want to hit them for more?" Incumbent Mayor Mark Knigge defended the late fee and the billing process as a whole.


    Entries sought for Palatine’s Paint the Town Green parade, market

    Organizers of the 3rd Annual Paint the Town Green St. Patrick's Day celebration in Palatine are seeking entries for the Saturday, March 16 parade and Irish market in the village's downtown. Applications are due Thursday, Jan. 31 and space in the market is limited.


    TJ Maxx/Home Goods to open in vacant Palatine building

    A combined T.J. Maxx and Home Goods store will open this summer in the long-vacant Linens n Things space at Deer Grove Centre in Palatine, according to commercial real estate firm CBRE Group Inc. The retailer will lease the 50,000-square-foot space on Dundee Road for 10 years. The shopping center is anchored by a Target.


    Ice skating opens at Schaumburg parks

    Following this week's deep freeze, the Schaumburg Park District has opened the ice rink at Timbercrest Park, 120 W. Beech Dr. in Schaumburg, for skating. The rink will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The district also offers ice skating when conditions are favorable at Gray Farm Park, 163 N. Walnut Lane; Lance Creek Park at Summit...


    Westerners warned to leave Benghazi

    Britain, Germany and the Netherlands urged their citizens Thursday to immediately leave the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi in response to what was described as an imminent threat against Westerners.

    Mark “Uncle Millie” Millis, seen on the Outdoor Channel’s “Deer City, USA” is in Rosemont this weekend.

    Annual Chicago Outdoor Sports Show in Rosemont

    The Chicago Outdoor Sports Show is under way at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, marking more than 30 years of sports shows in Rosemont. This year it is joined by the Chicagoland Gun Show, Gun Safety & Education Symposium.

    Petty Officer 1st Class Russell Matthews, a Coast Guardsman who disappeared more than three months ago and showed up at his home over the weekend, is in military custody at Pearl Harbor after being released from the hospital.

    Hawaii Coast Guardsman held during investigation

    A Coast Guard rescue swimmer is being held at a Navy-run facility in Pearl Harbor while the military service investigates his three-month disappearance as it prepared to discharge him for illegally using marijuana.


    White House says Obama supports women in combat

    The White House says President Barack Obama supports the Pentagon's decision to lift the ban on women serving in combat.


    Democrats reintroduce assault weapons ban

    Congressional Democrats are reintroducing legislation to ban assault weapons, but the measure faces long odds even after last month's mass school shooting in Newtown, Conn.


    Los Angeles teacher suspected of molesting 20 kids

    A fourth-grade teacher who worked nearly 40 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District has been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing 20 students, a year after another veteran teacher accused of molesting nearly two dozen pupils brought national attention to the district and the problem of classroom sex abuse.

    Pieces of aluminum are shaped by this press in a factory run by Sapa Extrusions, which is headquartered in Rosemont.

    Local students win money for duck calls, aluminum

    High-schoolers (or at least their parents) constantly are on the prowl for college scholarships. Most involve lots of writing and little money. But to win a scholarship from a trade organization in Wauconda, all you have to do is is come up with a good aluminum extrusion design.

    This image provided by the Fontana Unified School District Police shows a Colt LE6940 semiautomatic rifle, one of 14 purchased by the Fontana Unified School District to help provide security for the school, in California. The weapons, which cost $1,000 each, are high-powered weapons that are accurate at longer range and can pierce body armor.

    Calif. school security gets high-powered rifles

    The semiautomatic rifles look like they belong in a war zone instead of a suburban public school, but officials in this Los Angeles-area city say the high-powered weapons now in the hands of school police could prevent a massacre.

    Two months after his wife and daughter were killed in a fire at the Bangladeshi garment factory, 55-year-old Ansar is scrambling to survive. Ansar has been unable to pay his rent for two months and fears that if he gets evicted and is forced to return to his home village in the impoverished north, he may never be compensated.

    Bangladesh fire victims’ families wait for money

    When fire ravaged a Bangladeshi garment factory, killing 112 workers, dozens of their families did not even have a body to bury because their loved ones' remains were burned beyond recognition. Two months later, the same families have yet to receive any of the compensation they were promised — not even their relatives' last paychecks.


    10 finalists named for international Booker prize
    American author Marilynne Robinson, Israel's Aharon Appelfeld and China's Yan Lianke are among 10 finalists for the Man Booker International Prize for fiction.


    Trial in India gang rape case begins in New Delhi

    The trial of five men charged with the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old student on a New Delhi bus began in a closed courtroom Thursday with opening arguments by the prosecution lawyers in a special fast-track court set up just weeks ago to handle sexual assault cases.

    Pat Brady

    Will gay marriage stance cost GOP chairman his job?

    Newly elected suburban state Sen. Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove is rounding up fellow Illinois Republican officials to try to oust the chair of the beleaguered party, Pat Brady of St. Charles, over Brady's support for legalizing same-sex marriage. “All of my time is now being spent responding to emails on social issues,” he said. “I don't think those are the most pressing issues...


    Syrian jets bomb rebel-held areas near Damascus

    Syrian warplanes bombed rebel-held areas near Damascus on Thursday as President Bashar Assad's troops battled opposition fighters for control of a strategic road that links the capital with the main airport.

    In this Dec. 12, 2012 image, North Korea’s Unha-3 rocket lifts off from the Sohae launching station. North Korea’s top governing body warned Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 that the regime will conduct its third nuclear test in defiance of U.N. punishment, and made clear that its long-range rockets are designed to carry not only satellites but also warheads aimed at striking the United States.

    N. Korea warns of nuke test, more rocket launches

    North Korea's top governing body warned Thursday that the regime will conduct its third nuclear test in defiance of U.N. punishment, and made clear that its long-range rockets are designed to carry not only satellites but also warheads aimed at striking the United States.


    Fire rekindles at Chicago warehouse

    Firefighters in Chicago are back at the scene of a massive warehouse fire on the city's South Side after flames rekindled. The fire originally broke out Tuesday night, leaving firefighters to battle the blaze in frigid temperatures that left the gutted structure caked in ice. More than 170 firefighters responded to the five-alarm fire, which authorities say was the city's largest in recent years.


    Liquidation of Crundwell’s assets nearly finished

    Authorities in northern Illinois say they're almost finished liquidating the assets of former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell. Crundwell is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 14. She's pleaded guilty to federal charges that accuse her of stealing $53 million from the city of Dixon over the last two decades.


    Former NW Ind. police officer gets 2 year sentence

    A former northwestern Indiana police officer has been sentenced to two years in prison for conspiring to buy and resell for profit machine guns and laser sights reserved for law enforcement or military officials.


    Outside jury will hear Wisconsin arson, homicide case

    A jury from outside Lafayette County will hear the case against an Argyle man accused of killing his children by setting his house on fire. Jury selection for Armin Wand's trial will be selected in Marathon County Feb. 22.


    Chicago woman wins veterans award

    Officials with the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs are honoring a Chicago woman who served in the U.S. Navy. State officials have named Meosha Thomas as the January's Veteran of the Month. It's an award that recognizes veterans who give back to their communities.

    State Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale

    GOP governor contenders mostly mum on Brady

    Should Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady should keep his party post after voicing support for same-sex marriage? The growing field of likely GOP gubernatorial primary bidders is largely silent on the issue. Only state Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, who described Pat Brady as a “gregarious and fearless leader,” said he agreed with Pat Brady that the party needs to be more open and...


    Dawn Patrol: Search for hit-and-run suspect; Bulls beat Pistons

    Search for hit-and-run suspect. Term limits off Arlington Hts. ballot. Elgin council moves to OK video gambling. Lombard man charged in drive-by shooting. Carol Stream considers alcohol sales at gas stations. Bulls defeat Pistons 85-82.

    Pat Brady

    Brady still thinking about a second term as chair

    In the wake of calls for his removal over statements supporting gay marriage, Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady reflects on the last few years at the helm of the state party and says he's not ruling a bid for another term. "I feel like we're in the process of taking a good hard look at where's the party's at," he says.

    John Davis, Jr. of South Elgin was one of just 115 seventh- and eighth-graders selected to play in the JuniorRank the All-American Academic Bowl this month. He was a long snapper and center. Athletes in the game must carry a 3.0 GPA or higher.

    South Elgin teen makes all-star football team

    Big hits, touchdown runs and long passes are the plays that usually dominate football commentary. But have you ever thought about what it takes to be a great long snapper? Fourteen-year-old John Davis Jr. has since he was a little boy, and it's that focus that's made him one of the best long snappers for his age group in the nation.


    Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane is lifted by Marian Hossa (81) as they celebrate Hossa's overtime goal against Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen on Thursday night. The Blackhawks won 3-2. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Hossa, Kane do it again for Blackhawks

    The Blackhawks' best players continue to be their best players. Marian Hossa's power-play goal in overtime Thursday night gave the Hawks a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Dallas Stars for their fourth straight victory to start the season. It was Hossa's fifth goal in four games and was set up by Patrick Kane, who has four straight multi-point games. The Hawks haven't won their first four games since 1972-73.

    Larkin's Kendale McCullum takes the ball to the hoop during a varsity basketball game at Batavia on Thursday night.

    Larkin handles Batavia again

    Following a loss on its home court to Geneva Saturday, Larkin coach Deryn Carter put his teams through some tough practices this week, filled with plenty of competition and high intensity. In other words, like any other week of practice. The Royals returned to their winning ways Thursday, putting five players in double figures and leading throughout a 69-56 victory on Senior Night at Batavia.

    Trumpeting the announcement of a new LPGA international golf event, The International Crown, were from left: pro golfer Stacy Lewis, pro golfer Yani Tseng, Rich Harvest Farms golf course owner Jerry Rich, LPGA commissioner Mike Whan, businessman William L. Jews, and pro golfers Azahara Munoz and Na Yeon Choi.

    World-class golfers returning to Rich Harvest Farms

    The Ladies PGA Tour is returning to Chicago — but it won't be until 2016. And then it will be for the staging of an extraordinary new team event, the International Crown. Mike Whan, the LPGA commissioner, announced Thursday the tournament will make its debut in Owings Mills, Md., in 2014, and the second staging will be in the summer of 2016 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. Jerry Rich, owner and designer of the Rich Harvest private facility that hosted the record-setting 2009 Solheim Cup matches, was a leader in making the new event happen.


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


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


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


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


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


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


    Fenwick bests Maine West

    Playing its third game in four days, Fenwick’s girls basketball team defeated visiting Maine West 71-59 in Oak Park on Thursday night.

    Conant’s Mark Monti drives past Palatine’s Roosevelt Smart in the first half of MSL West play Thursday at Palatine.

    Persistent Conant edges Palatine

    It’s been written before, and surely will be written again. Tom McCormack-led Conant squads consistently wear down their opponents, and Thursday night at Palatine was a textbook example. While the Cougars admittedly struggled offensively, their persistence and relentlessness led to a key road triumph as Conant rallied from a 3-point fourth quarter deficit in claiming a 40-37 Mid-Suburban West victory.


    Glassmann gets Fremd by Hoffman Estates

    Fremd junior forward Riley Glassmann scored a career-high 28 points in helping lead the Vikings to a 56-51 win over Hoffman Estates in Palatine on Thursday night. The win keeps Fremd (13-6, 5-2) atop the wild Mid-Suburban West — but only after quite a tussle with the Hawks.


    Willowbrook falls to Hinsdale South

    Toni Romiti, she’s worth the price of admission. “Seriously,” laughed her coach, Hinsdale South’s Jen Belmonte. “And we don’t even charge.” Romiti scored 30 points Thursday night in Darien, lighting No. 14 Willowbrook up for seven 3-pointers in the Hornets’ 52-46 win that temporarily denied the Warriors a share of the West Suburban Gold title.

    Geneva’s Connor Chapman splits a pair of Elgin defenders and puts up a shot during Thursday’s game in Elgin.

    Geneva plays copycat, turns back Elgin

    A quote often attributed to Pablo Picasso reads: “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” If true, Geneva boys basketball coach Phil Ralston ranks among the world’s great artists following his Vikings’ 49-38 victory over Elgin at Chesbrough Field House Thursday. Conceding he borrowed from York, which limited Elgin senior guard Arie Williams to 10 points in a 37-point victory in Elmhurst on Saturday, Ralston employed the same tactics to once again limit Elgin’s high scorer to 10 points.


    Mundelein leaves it all on the floor in victory

    The surprise, a mouthful of it, was sour. Fortunately for Sean O’Brien, victory always tastes sweet. Mundelein’s 6-foot-7 senior may have thrown up more than a missed shot at the end of the first half against visiting Lake Forest, but he and his teammates left their own gym with a good taste in their mouths after pulling out a 62-56 win in a North Suburban Conference Lake Division thriller Thursday night.


    Glenbard West at full strength

    With each day that passes by, Glenbard West’s boys basketball players become more comfortable with each other on the court.That’s bad news for opponents. The Hilltoppers, playing at full strength for one of the few times this season, wrapped up a season sweep of Lyons Twp. with a 65-49 West Suburban Silver Conference victory Thursday in Glen Ellyn.


    St. Charles East keeps shooting, topples Streamwood

    St. Charles East basketball coach Patrick Woods has a simple philosophical approach when it comes to outside shooting.


    Waubonsie Valley cuts it short against Bartlett

    Thursday night’s Upstate Eight Valley contest between Bartlett and Waubonsie Valley featured a pair of Division I talents in the Hawks’ Lance Whitaker and the Warriors’ Jared Brownbridge.


    Neuqua turns over a new leaf

    After a few too many turnovers early on, Neuqua Valley coach Todd Sutton did some math and didn’t like the numbers.

    Matthew Erickson, who recently celebrated his first birthday, will be “adopted” by the Elgin Community College men’s basketball team on Saturday. Matthew suffers from a rare form of brain cancer rarely found in infants.

    ECC team to give odds-beater Erickson a special day

    Matthew Donald Erickson has two siblings already, but he’ll gain 14 new big brothers when he is “adopted” by the Elgin Community College men’s basketball team in what promises to be a heartwarming gathering Saturday at 11 a.m. Such moments of joy are welcome for Huntley parents Ben and Sue Erickson, whose son has spent the first 13 months of his life battling a rare form of brain cancer rarely diagnosed in infants. Ben and Sue learned something wasn’t quite right shortly before Thanksgiving 2011. An ultrasound revealed Matthew would be born with hydrocephalus, an excess of cerebral fluid. The Ericksons’ third child was born on Dec. 11. Four days later he endured a procedure to relieve pressure on the brain caused by the fluid.


    Olson sets tone in Lakes’ victory

    Lakes senior Dayna Olson came out ready to play Thursday night. Olson scored 9 of her 13 points in the first four minutes of the game, as Lakes went on to defeat visiting North Chicago 58-47 in North Suburban Conference Prairie Division action. She accounted for 11 of the Eagles’ 15 points in the first quarter.

    Chicago Blackhawks' Patrick Kane is lifted by Marian Hossa (81), of Slovakia , as they celebrate Hossa's overtime goal against Dallas Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen, rear, of Finland, during an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, in Dallas. The Blackhawks won 3-2. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

    Hossa lifts Blackhawks over Stars 3-2 in OT
    Marian Hossa scored his NHL-leading fifth goal on a power play 1:41 into overtime to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 3-2 comeback victory over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.


    St. Charles North escapes East Aurora

    East Aurora had no choice but to gamble. Ryan Thomas and Quentin Payne made the Tomcats pay the piper. The St. Charles North duo, with the North Stars nursing a one-possession lead with 6.1 second remaining in the schools’ Upstate Eight Conference boys basketball crossover, had a flawless collaboration. Thomas hit Payne with a baseball-like pass, and the North Stars’ senior guard thundered home a two-handed dunk with two seconds remaining to accentuate the North Stars’ 55-50 victory Thursday night in St. Charles.


    Banner night for Vernon Hills’ Tran

    Alli Tran of Vernon Hills landed her Yurchenko pike vault for a season-best 9.7, giving her top honors on Thursday night in the North Suburban Conference girls gymnastics meet at Lake Forest.

    Palatine’s Chris Macahon tries to control the ball and keep it away from Conant’s D’Angelo McBride in the first half.

    Images: Palatine vs. Conant, boys basketball
    The Palatine High School boys basketball team hosted the Conant High School boys on Thursday, January 24th.

    Laura Dierking of Naperville Central puts up a shot over Allie Zappia of Wheaton Warrenville South during the Naperville Central at Wheaton Warrenville South girls basketball game Thursday.

    Another injury doesn’t change WW South’s results

    Wheaton Warrenville South's girls basketball team has had so many injuries this season, it left snakebit behind in December. By now the Tigers know how to adjust. WW South rallied from a 7-point deficit to remain undefeated in the conference with a 44-39 victory in Wheaton.


    Scouting MSL girls bowling

    Elk Grove is after a third straight championship in Mid-Suburban League girls bowling, but it won't be easy to top a tightly bunched field at Arlington Lanes on Saturday morning.

    Bulls center Joakim Noah (above), along with teammate Luol Deng, were selected as reserves for the Eastern Conference all-star team.

    Bulls land Noah, Deng on all-star team

    Two years ago, when the Bulls were on their way to a 62-20 record, they complained about getting no one besides Derrick Rose on the all-star team. Now that Rose is recovering from knee surgery and the Bulls have been downgraded to pleasant surprise, they get two all-stars -- Joakim Noah and Luol Deng.

    Guard Nate Robinson scored 9 straight fourth-quarter points Wednesday to spark the Bulls’ victory over Detroit.

    Bulls’ Robinson relishes role of sparkplug

    The Bulls got a great Nate Robinson on Wednesday against Detroit. Trailing Detroit by 11 points heading into the fourth quarter, Robinson scored 9 straight points, capped by a 3-pointer that made it 70-69 with still nine minutes remaining.

    Elgin’s Arie Williams dives for a loose ball against Geneva.

    Images: Geneva vs. Elgin, boys basketball
    The Geneva boys won 49-38 over the Elgin boys on Thursday, January 24th in boys basketball..


    St. Edward falls short vs. Bishop Mac

    A 3½-minute stretch in the first half Thursday night was costly to the St. Edward girls basketball team. Bishop McNamara took advantage of numerous Green Wave turnovers to go on a 15-0 run to break open a tie game. The Irish went on to beat St. Edward, 54-43, in nonconference play in Elgin.


    Westminster Christian rolls to 17th win

    Westminster Christian 58, Chicagoland Jewish 12: The Warriors tuned up for this weekend’s Northeastern Athletic Conference tournament with an easy nonconference win. Sophomore Emma Kovachevich went 3-for-6 from 3-point range and scored 12 points to lead Westminster, while freshman Maddie Versluys added 10 points and 3 steals. Savannah Dutcher had 10 rebounds and Liz Meschewski 3 steals for the Warriors (17-4), who play Mooseheart today in the opening round of the NAC tournament.


    Road win for Christian Liberty

    Led by Wesley Swiderik (19 points), Marcus Silva (12) and Aaron Cunningham (10), the Christian Liberty boys basketball team posted a 60-45 victory at Hiawatha on Thursday night.David Colbert had a pair of 3-pointers for the Chargers (5-15) while Swiderik had one.


    Scouting MSL girls gymnastics

    Here's a look at Friday's Mid-Suburban League girls gymnastics meet, hosted by Palatine.

    Logan Pause’s role for the Chicago Fire this season has not been determined by coach Frank Klopas.

    Klopas not saying what Pause’s role will be

    By now the Fire has gotten comfortable in Ave Maria, Fla., settling into a routine for the club’s first phase of preseason training.Though this phase is primarily used to work on the veterans’ fitness level and to evaluate trialists and draftees, there are some issues coach Frank Klopas and his assistants need to consider as they work toward the team’s March 3 season opener at defending MLS Cup champion L.A. Galaxy.1. Where does Logan Pause fit?Assuming the Fire didn’t trade for Jeff Larentowicz and Joel Lindpere so they could sit on the bench, and assuming that Klopas sticks with his preferred 4-4-2 formation, those two look like they’ll be the team’s new pairing at central midfield. Pavel Pardo’s retirement opened a spot for one of them. Where does that leave the 31-year-old Pause?“We felt that there was an area in the midfield that we needed to address,” Klopas said on a conference call Wednesday from Florida, being somewhat noncommittal, “and I think we brought some players in that have a lot of experience and have been very good players in this league and brought something different.”Maybe the best answer for now is to look back to when the Fire first signed Pardo. Klopas tried Pause at right back to keep his captain on the field. It’s not his natural spot, and surely he isn’t as athletic as incumbent Jalil Anibaba, but Pause did fine there.Klopas also tried Pause at an outside midfield spot, though he didn’t play as a true winger, often tucking into the middle to give the Fire a somewhat lopsided look.Klopas made it clear he’s happy with the three new veterans on the roster, including forward Maicon Santos with the midfield hub of Lindpere and Larentowicz.“It’s early, but they’ve come in and they’ve adapted and fit in really well with the group,” Klopas said. “They’re very focused and guys that we knew what we were getting. They’re very good players and leaders with their teams. ...”“I think the transition has been smooth and easy.”2. Does the team have enough scoring?With Chris Rolfe and Sherjill MacDonald likely to retain their starting roles and Dominic Oduro and Santos on the bench, the Fire looks good but not great at forward.Rolfe scored 8 goals in 22 games last year. MacDonald had 4 in 14 games. Their styles of play seem complementary, and it will help that they will have a full six weeks of preseason training to get to know each other and their teammates. Still, nobody expects the Fire to lead the league in scoring in 2013. Middle of the pack again seems about right.3. Who will replace Alvaro Fernandez?Fernandez will almost surely be loaned to a club in Qatar, leaving the left side of midfield open.“Obviously, we’re always going to be looking at different options,” Klopas said, “but I feel that within our group we have players who can play in different spots.”Klopas mentioned Alex, Rolfe and Wells Thompson as players who could play on the left side. He did not mention Pause.Follow Orrin on Twitter @Orrin_Schwarz

    Second baseman Gordon Beckham sees good things ahead for the White Sox in the coming season.

    White Sox’ Beckham ‘optimistic’ about 2013

    Expectations are low for the 2013 White Sox, who are projected to finish third in the AL Central behind the Tigers and Royals. Second baseman Gordon Beckham says the Sox can build off last season's surprising showing and make the final push into the playoffs this year.


    Legendary Dundee-Crown coach Curtright was one of a kind

    Holy Cheese and Crackers! Now there's one you don't hear every day. But according to Jim Rumsa, who would certainly know, that was Jerry Curtright's famous line when he didn't agree with a call or something else went haywire in a football or baseball game. Curtright, the legendary former Dundee-Crown multi-sport coach and math teacher, passed away last Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colo., at the age of 76. He is survived by three sons, Jay, Todd and Toby, and two daughters, Tracy Reinhard and Terry Truett. A memorial service will be held in Colorado Springs this Saturday.

    Glenbard West would be a perfect fit in the DuPage Valley Conference, but school officials say they have no interest in leaving the West Suburban Conference.

    West Suburban’s stability stands in way of wholesale change

    If one paragraph summed up the frustrating combination of fluidity and stagnation among area high school conferences, it arrived within a recent community announcement issued by Glenbard District 87. Regarding the potential move of Glenbard East from the DuPage Valley Conference to the Upstate Eight Conference, the release reads in part... "The DVC and Upstate Eight are Glenbard East's only viable options right now. The West Suburban Conference is not interested in expansion, and there are not enough interested schools to make creation of a new conference a viable alternative. The Metro Suburban is too small for a school the size of Glenbard East." Not much more needs to be said, but we'll give it a shot.


    Garza pleased to represent St. Charles East at state

    It would be nicer were his teammates bowling alongside him, but St. Charles East's Alex Garza is downstate.

    JOE LEWNARD/jlewnard@dailyherald.com Joakim Noah of the Bulls starts a fast break during Saturday's game against Memphis.

    Deng, Noah named to All-Star team

    Joakim Noah and Luol Deng were named to the NBA East All-Star team Wednesday. The Bulls have stayed in the thick of the race despite the absence of star point guard Derrick Rose.


    Warren spends some time talking it out

    Practice on Wednesday didn't include any practice at all for the Warren boys basketball team. At least not on the court. Instead, the Blue Devils spent some of their time watching film, and a lot of their time talking. The players were asked by the coaches to hold a "players only" meeting and talk out their issues. After all, a few issues surfaced during Warren's 63-31 breakdown at the hands of Stevenson on Tuesday. The Blue Devils, in suffering one of their worst losses in more than a decade, were shut out in the first quarter (16-0) and never appeared to be on the same page. They finished the game hitting just 25 percent of their shots. "We had bad practices leading up to that game, we had guys coming in late. I always say that if you fail to prepare, you're preparing to fail," Warren coach Ryan Webber said. "I told the guys that instead of us practicing, they needed to go sit down with each other and figure out what they wanted out of this season. They spent over an hour speaking with each other.

    Mourners enter the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis to pay their respects during the public visitation for former St. Louis Cardinals baseball player Stan Musial Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, in St. Louis. Musial, one of baseball's greatest hitters and a Hall of Famer with the Cardinals for more than two decades, died Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. He was 92. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    Big crowds turn out for Stan Musial visitation

    The entrance to the Cathedral Basilica looked more like that of a St. Louis Cardinals game on Thursday, just the way Stan Musial would have liked it.Thousands of fans turned out for Musial's public visitation at the ornate Roman Catholic church, many of them bundled up against the bitter cold in red Cardinals jackets.


    Lakes prepares for another chance against North Chicago

    With a division title still in play, Lakes is up against a crucial part of its schedule. The 15-6 Eagles are nipping at the heels of first-place North Chicago in the North Suburban Conference Prairie Division and could make the standings real interesting, pending their play over the next two weekends.


    Scouting MSL, FVC and ESCC wrestling

    Here's a look at what to expect from weekend conference championship wrestling meets in the Mid-Suburban, Fox Valley and East Suburban Catholic.

    Quarterback Scott Tolzien will be doing his best Joe Flacco imitation as he helps prepare the Niners’ defense for the Baltimore Ravens and Super Bowl XLVII.

    Tolzien thrilled by Super developments with Niners

    Fremd High School grad Scott Tolzien is living the dream. While he might not figure prominently in the outcome of Super Bowl XLVII, he certainly has played a big role in developing the kind of team that could win it all. And he's done it all humbly.

    The person Manti Te'o says was pretending to be his online girlfriend told the Notre Dame linebacker "I love you" in voicemails that were played during his interview with Katie Couric. Taped earlier this week and broadcast Thursday, the hour-long talk show featured three voicemails that Te'o claims were left for him last year.

    Voice of Te'o prankster? Couric plays voicemails

    The person Manti Te'o says was pretending to be his online girlfriend told the Notre Dame linebacker "I love you" in voicemails that were played during his interview with Katie Couric. Taped earlier this week and broadcast Thursday, the hour-long talk show featured three voicemails that Te'o claims were left for him last year.

    Don Levin's vision for the Chicago Wolves was to attract families to the game with affordable pricing and good hockey.His efforts have landed him a spot in the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame.

    Love for hockey led Wolves owner down Hall of Fame path

    Chicago Wolves chairman Don Levin will be inducted into the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame this weekend. Levin has carved out a winning legacy, with four championships in two leagues. Bruce Miles offers an indepth profile of Levin, and a closer look at how he has done it.


    Arizona sends Upton to Braves in 7-player deal

    Justin Upton is having a family reunion in Atlanta.Arizona traded its star right fielder to the Braves on Thursday in a seven-player deal that sent former All-Star infielder Martin Prado to the Diamondbacks.

    Allstate Arena has been home to the Chicago Wolves since the franchise began 19 years ago. The Wolves set their prices to attract families and youth groups interested in hockey.

    In crowded sports scene, Wolves make their mark

    While technically a minor-league hockey team, the Chicago Wolves have always marketed themselves as something a little better. They've also had to fight for recognition in a crowded Chicago sports scene.

    Former Columbus Crew midfielder Kirk Urso (15) will be honored next month in the Kirk Urso Memorial Match featuring the Crew and the University of North Carolina. The event will raise funds for a foundation that supports heart health research and programming. Urso, a native of Lombard, died last August from a congenital heart defect.

    Memorial soccer match to honor Lombard’s Urso

    Two of the teams that meant so much to the late Kirk Urso, 22-year-old soccer star from Lombard who died unexpectedly last August, will come together next month for a tribute game to raise charitable funds on his behalf.According to a report at thecrew.com, the rookie’s MLS club, The Columbus Crew, will play a preseason exhibition game Feb. 24, against the University of North Carolina, Urso’s college team.Money from the inaugural Kirk Urso Memorial Match will go toward the Crew Soccer Foundation’s Kirk Urso Memorial Fund, which supports heart health research and programming in memory of the Crew midfielder who died last August from a congenital heart defect.“When we announced the Kirk Urso Memorial Fund it was intended to honor Kirk’s legacy by funding research initiatives focused on congenital heart defects and sudden cardiac death in youth,” said Mark McCullers, Crew president and general manager. “The inaugural Urso Memorial Match provides a valuable opportunity to once again draw attention to this goal and garner support through the sport of soccer. Both the Crew and University of North Carolina are humbled to be involved with the match, and we look forward to raising awareness and driving proceeds for the Urso Fund.”Urso, a first-round draft pick, captained the team to the 2011 NCAA National Championship. “We at the University of North Carolina love Kirk and his family and hope to be involved for many years to come,” said NC coach Carlos Somoano. “UNC and the Columbus Crew were dear to Kirk and hopefully the teams he loved, through the game he loved, will raise dollars, awareness and intentions for the Memorial Fund.”The match will be played at Macpherson Stadium in Browns Summit, N.C.

    Tahron Harvey

    Basketball: Week 8 MVPs

    Glenbard East senior guard Tahron Harvey and Wheaton Warrenville South senior guard Sierra Bisso have earned Daily Herald MVP honors for their recent basketball performances. Harvey helped the Rams maintain sole possession of first place in the DuPage Valley Conference with a 26-point effort in a victory over West Aurora. Bisso scored 30 points and had a school-record 8 3s in a victory over Hillcrest.


    Mike North video: Kobe Bryant Is No Jordan

    Los Angeles Laker talk is all about Kobe and how hard he is working. Sure, he's a great player, but Mike North thinks he has to do better than 8/24 in a game and that he will never catch Michael Jordan.


    Apel paces BG win at Maine East

    The Buffalo Grove's boys basketball team posted a 64-56 victory over Maine East on Wednesday night in Park Ridge.While improving to 9-10, the Bison were led by Andrew Apel's game-high 17 points. Luke Potnick added 15 points for the visitors and Steve Soifer 12.


    Grayslake North notches 20th win

    Grayslake North's girls basketball team reached 20 wins for the second straight season Wednesday night. Kendall Detweiler scored 15 points, and Brittney Thibeaux added 12, as the host Knights defeated Antioch 49-30 in nonconference action.

    Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge, right, defends Indiana Pacers forward David West during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013.

    Aldridge has 27 and Blazers beat Pacers 100-80

    LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Indiana Pacers 100-80 on Wednesday night to snap a six-game losing streak.


    No. 16 Oregon beats Washington State 68-61

    E.J. Singler scored 19 points and No. 16 Oregon rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to beat Washington State 68-61 on Wednesday night.


    Members of the sandwich generation — caught between supporting elderly parents whose assets are nearly exhausted and adult children without jobs — might find some relief come tax time.

    Changing family dynamic may lead to tax relief

    Members of the sandwich generation — caught between supporting elderly parents whose assets are nearly exhausted and adult children without jobs — might find some relief come tax time. The bottom line is, who's a dependent? Your kindergarten-age son, your adult daughter, her grandparents, or maybe an elderly uncle or aunt? "There's a changing family dynamic because of the economy," said Bob Meighan, vice president of TurboTax, an online tax preparation service.

    The parent of United Airlines reported a $620 million quarterly loss on Thursday and about 600 job cuts as travelers stayed away following its problems earlier in the year with absorbing Continental.

    United Continental to cut 600 jobs, reports 4Q loss

    The parent of United Airlines reported a $620 million quarterly loss on Thursday as travelers stayed away following its problems earlier in the year with absorbing Continental.It posted a full-year loss of $723 million, too, almost wiping out its $840 million profit from 2011. The fourth-quarter loss worked out to $1.87 per share. Excluding special items the loss would have been 58 cents per share, matching expectations of analysts surveyed by FactSet.

    The new LG Ultra HD TV with an 84-inch screen won an award at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and is now being sold exclusively at Abt.

    LG's massive HD TV an 'ultra' experience, price tag

    A new 84-inch television, dubbed ultra high-definition with four times the pixels for a more realistic screen appearance, made its suburban debut Thursday. Now, if you have $20,000 to spare, you can buy it for your home. LG Electronics USA's engineers in Lincolnshire did the product testing and evaluations on the new TV, which will be sold for the first time in the area at Abt Electronics. “Those who are likely to buy this would be the first-adopters,” said LG spokesman John Taylor.


    Prominent Chicago businessman dies in California

    Barry Lind, a leading voice in the futures industry for many years and a fixture at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, has died after being hit by a car in Southern California, according to coroner's officials. He was 74. Lind was crossing a road in Rancho Mirage when he was struck Wednesday evening, the Riverside County sheriff-coroner's office said. He died of his injuries early Thursday.

    Netflix stock on Thursday enjoyed its best day since it went public more than a decade ago.

    Netflix stocks soars 41 pct after strong 4Q report

    Netflix's rollercoaster ride on Wall Street surged to new heights Thursday. The company's stock surged 42 percent, the stock's biggest single-day gain since Netflix went public more than a decade ago.

    Most U.S. stocks rose, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index briefly topping 1,500, as an unexpected drop in jobless claims and better-than-forecast earnings offset the worst slump for Apple Inc. in four years.

    Apple’s sales slowdown tugs Nasdaq index lower

    A sharp drop in Apple's stock pulled the Nasdaq down with it after the tech giant warned of weaker sales. Other stock-market indexes eked out slight gains. Apple sank $63.50 to $430.50.

    Apple shares plunged Thursday after the company reported quarterly results that point to growth slowing after five blowout years.

    Apple shares plunge as growth appears to stall

    Apple Inc. tumbled after reporting the slowest profit growth since 2003 and weakest sales increase in 14 quarters, as rising costs and accelerating competition make it harder to sustain revenue expansion.

    A White House official says President Barack Obama on Thursday will nominate Mary Jo White, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    Top white-collar crime prosecutor getting SEC job

    President Barack Obama will nominate Mary Jo White to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, tapping an attorney with broad experience in prosecuting white-collar crimes to lead an agency that has a central role in implementing Wall Street reform.

    Pope Benedict XVI leaves after his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican.

    Pope on social networking: the virtual is real

    Pope Benedict XVI put church leaders on notice Thursday, saying social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter aren't a virtual world they can ignore, but rather a very real world they must engage if they want to spread the faith to the next generation. The 85-year-old Benedict, who tweets in nine languages, used his annual message on social communications to stress the potential of social media for the church as it struggles to keep followers and attract new ones amid religious apathy, competition from other churches and scandals that have driven the faithful away.

    Target human resources team leader Shauna McClain, far left, signs hundreds of arriving job candidates at a Target job fair in Los Angeles.

    U.S. jobless claims drop to 5-year low of 330,000

    The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to the lowest level in five years, evidence that employers are cutting fewer jobs and may step up hiring. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly unemployment benefit applications dropped 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 330,000. That's the fewest since January 2008.

    The Borders building in Mount Prospect, pictured here right before the store closed in 2011, will soon be torn down to make way for smaller retail buildings. Village officials expect the demolition to be complete next month.

    Mount Prospect Borders building has date with wrecking ball

    The vacant Borders Books & Music building at the corner of Elmhurst and Rand roads in Mount Prospect will soon be demolished, village officials said. Community Development Director Bill Cooney expects the building to come down between now and early February. The site then probably will be redeveloped with multiple smaller buildings. "Right now that building kind of blocks the view of Randhurst Village," he said. "It will be nice to improve that vista."

    A blue “ecolabel” from the Marine Stewardship Council certifies that the Alaskan Pollack used in Oak Brook-based McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwiches come from suppliers with sustainable fishing practices.

    McDonald’s fish to carry ‘sustainable’ labeling

    McDonald's says it will be the first national restaurant chain to carry a label from a group that certifies sustainable fishing practices. The blue "ecolabel" from the Marine Stewardship Council certifies that the Alaskan Pollack used in Oak Brook-based McDonald's Filet-O-Fish sandwiches come from suppliers with sustainable fishing practices.


    U.S. rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.42 pct.

    Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose this week but remained near record lows, keeping home buying more affordable. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year fixed loan increased to 3.42 percent from 3.38 percent last week. That's still near the 3.31 percent rate reached in November, the lowest in records dating to 1971.

    A sign hangs at a branch of Burger King in central London, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. Burger King says it has stopped buying beef from an Irish supplier whose patties in Britain and Ireland were found to contain traces of horsemeat.

    Burger King drops U.K. supplier linked to horsemeat

    British and Irish burger fans could face a Whopper shortage. Burger King says it has stopped buying beef from an Irish meat processor whose patties were found to contain traces of horsemeat. The fast food chain said in a statement Thursday that it had dropped Silvercrest Foods as a supplier for its U.K. and Ireland restaurants as a "voluntary and precautionary measure."


    Oil prices get boost from China manufacturing

    Oil prices were higher Thursday, boosted by a survey showing that China's manufacturing is on the upswing. Benchmark oil for March delivery was up 35 cents to $95.58 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.


    US Airways 4Q profit doubles as planes are fuller

    US Airways' net income doubled in the fourth quarter and executives said the strong demand the airline is seeing is often a precursor to higher fares. Fuller planes made the difference in the last three months as revenue set a record.


    American to use Republic Airways for some flights

    American Airlines says it will use Republic Airways Holdings Inc. to operate regional flights using 76-seat planes. American said Thursday that it reached a 12-year deal with Republic. The agreement is subject to approval by American's federal bankruptcy court judge.

    Toyota President Akio Toyoda, third left, shakes hands with BMW AG chief executive Norbert Reithofer, third right, as their executives show signed documents during a signing ceremony to jointly develop next-generation batteries for green vehicles in Nagoya, central Japan, Thursday.

    Toyota, BMW working on new battery technology

    Toyota Motor Corp. and BMW Group are working together on next-generation batteries for green vehicles called "lithium-air" as their collaboration, first announced in late 2011, moves ahead in fuel cells, sports vehicles and other fields. But both sides said Thursday the partnership will not involve a capital alliance while spanning a wide range of technologies for green vehicles.

    Rosser Pryor, co-owner and President of Factory Automation Systems, right, looks over plans with John Ridgley, project manager, next to a high-performance industrial robot at the company’s Atlanta facility.

    Practically human: Can smart machines do your job?
    Art Liscano knows he's an endangered species in the job market: He's a meter reader in Fresno, Calif. For 26 years, he's driven from house to house, checking how much electricity Pacific Gas & Electric customers have used. But PG&E doesn't need many people like Liscano making rounds anymore. Every day, the utility replaces 1,200 old-fashioned meters with digital versions that can collect information without human help, generate more accurate power bills, even send an alert if the power goes out.


    Southwest’s 4Q profit slips on higher costs

    Southwest Airlines Co. says fourth-quarter earnings fell by nearly half on higher spending for fuel, labor and maintenance.

    Martin Ford

    Imagining a future when machines have all the jobs

    Martin Ford saw it everywhere, even in his own business. Smarter machines and better software were helping companies do more work with fewer people. His Silicon Valley software firm used to put its programs on disks and ship them to customers. The disks were made, packaged and delivered by human beings. Now Ford's customers can just download the software to their computers — no disks, no packaging, no delivery workers.

    A man looks at his cellphone at an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Thursday.

    Stocks gain on economic indicators, U.S. earnings

    Europe's stock markets were broadly higher Thursday amid signs the continent's services and manufacturing slump was easing. Shares creeped higher as investors welcomed surveys showing a smaller than forecast contraction in both manufacturing and services in the 17-country eurozone this month. That came after overnight data showing a pickup in China's factory production as well as strong tech earnings that spurred Wall Street to rally to a five-year high.

    Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea’s biggest automaker, reported a steeper profit drop than analysts estimated after the won appreciated more than any major currency, reducing the value of overseas sales. The stock fell.

    Hyundai Motor profit declines 5.5%; Shares extend fall

    Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's biggest automaker, reported a steeper profit drop than analysts estimated after the won appreciated more than any major currency, reducing the value of overseas sales. The stock fell.

    Exterior view of Amgen offices in Fremont, Calif.

    Amgen 4Q profit drops 16 pct. on higher spending

    Drugmaker Amgen Inc. on Wednesday posted a 16 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit, as higher costs for production, marketing, research and other items offset higher sales for many of its biologic medicines. The results fell a bit short of Wall Street expectations. The world's biggest biotech company, based in Thousand Oaks, Calif., said net income was $788 million, or $1.01 per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. That was down from $934 million, or $1.08 per share, a year earlier.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron

    Cameron: I don’t want a country called Europe

    Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron has slammed any moves to forge a United States of Europe. Cameron, who has shaken up Europe's political landscape by offering to let citizens vote on whether to leave the 27-nation European Union, says forcing countries into a single entity would be a "great mistake."

    Rosser Pryor, Co-owner and President of Factory Automation Systems, examines a new high-performance industrial robot at the company’s Atlanta facility. Pryor, who cut 40 of 100 workers since the recession, says while the company is making more money now and could hire ten people, it is holding back in favor of investing in automation and software.

    Manufacturers cutting white-collar jobs now, too

    Manufacturers have been using technology to cut blue-collar jobs for years. Now, they're targeting their white-collar workers, too. Factory Automation Systems makes machines that help companies cut, bundle and load products faster and cheaper than humans can. But it didn't realize how much technology could help its own business until the Great Recession hit.To save money, the Atlanta company cut nine workers doing administrative tasks, like booking flights, answering phones, managing employee benefits and ordering parts and supplies.

    Gay rights advocates are renewing their push for President Barack Obama to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against gay employees. The drive comes as Obama included an unexpected declaration of support for gay rights in the speech. \

    Gay rights groups seek order on employer bias

    Gay rights advocates are renewing their push for President Barack Obama to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against gay employees. The drive comes as Obama included an unexpected declaration of support for gay rights in his inaugural address Monday. Current federal law bans discrimination on the basis of sex, race and national origin but don't stop an employer from firing or refusing to hire a worker based on sexual orientation.

    Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., center right, stands with his family for a ceremonial photo with Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, center left, in the Rayburn Room of the Capitol after the new 113th Congress convened in Washington. The nationís sharp disagreements over taxes and spending are on a re-routed collision course, as Senate Democrats launch a plan that includes new taxes, and House Republicans vow to speed up their plan to balance the federal budget with spending cuts alone.

    Congress charts new collision course over deficit

    The nation's sharp disagreements over taxes and spending are on a re-routed collision course, as Senate Democrats launch a plan that includes new taxes and House Republicans vow to speed up their plan to balance the federal budget with spending cuts alone.The Republicans' new approach would require even deeper cuts in social programs than they pushed last year. Liberals denounced those earlier plans as severe and unfair, and they say the new version would be worse.

Life & Entertainment

    According to multiple reports, J.J. Abrams is set to direct the next installment of “Star Wars,” which Disney has said will be “Episode 7” and due out in 2015.

    J.J. Abrams to direct next 'Star Wars'

    Another universe of sci-fi fans has been put in the hands of J.J. Abrams. According to multiple trade reports, Abrams is set to direct the next installment of "Star Wars," which Disney has said will be "Episode 7" and due out in 2015.

    New York writer Brooke (Tracy Michelle Arnold, left) returns home with a memoir that will not sit well with her Republican Old Guard parents Lyman (Chelcie Ross, second from left) and Polly (Deanna Dunagan, right) in Jon Robin Baitz's “Other Desert Cities.” Goodman Theatre's highly entertaining Chicago area premiere also stars John Hoogenakker, second from right, as Brooke's brother Trip.

    Politics underpins domestic drama in Goodman's 'Other Desert Cities'

    Of the praise Goodman Theatre deserves for its Chicago-area premiere of Jon Robin Baitz's “Other Desert Cities,” much belongs to casting director Adam Belcuore. His decisions suggest not just a keen eye for talent — which in this production is considerable — but also a keen awareness of the power of vocal timbre to define character and relationships.


    Music notes: Morrissey concert postponed

    Morrissey concert dates scheduled for this upcoming weekend are postponed - but not cancelled – due to a band member's illness.

    The Joy Formidable, “Wolf's Law”

    Joy Formidable roars again on 'Wolf's Law'

    Two years after The Joy Formidable barreled to the fringe of the rock mainstream with the lush and brute “The Big Roar,” the Welsh trio returns with an even bigger and squalling encore. “Wolf's Law” is the arrival of a headliner. It's a deserved reward.

    Michael Buble, left, and Luisana Lopilato at the 38th Annual American Music Awards in Los Angeles. The 37-year-old Canadian singer and his 25-year-old Argentine actress-wife are expecting a baby.

    Michael Buble, wife expecting first child
    Michael Buble has something new to sing about: becoming a father. In an online video posted Thursday, a sonogram with the words "Mini Buble!!!" is shown. The 20-second video ends up with words: "We're having a baby Buble!!!!"

    Whether you make Cheesy Bacon Mac on the stove top or in a slow-cooker, it’s seriously delicious comfort food.

    Cheesy Bacon Mac
    Cheesy Bacon Mac


    Participation can be life-changing, for any of us

    Whether you have toddlers, school-age children, or teens, you know there is a lot of pent-up energy during the winter months. How do you channel that energy? Where do you go that will satisfy both their desire to have fun and your need for them to be in a safe, supportive environment? And while we are thinking about it, let's also make it convenient so that you could even get some time to yourself.


    Joe McGinniss has cancer, but feels ‘terrific’

    Author-journalist Joe McGinniss says he was diagnosed in May with advanced prostate cancer but is responding well to treatment and feels "terrific." The 70-year-old McGinniss is best known for controversial works such as "The Selling of the President" and "Fatal Vision."

    Whether you make Cheesy Bacon Mac on the stove top or in a slow-cooker, it’s seriously delicious comfort food.

    Move over Mom: Bacony mac and cheese serious comfort food

    Macaroni and cheese is a comfort food; it’s a food that makes you feel better, and something that will warm you up on a cold winter day and make you feel at home.


    If you feel boyfriend is asking too much stand up and say so

    Reader asks Carolyn whether her boyfriend's demand she give up her best friend is an OK thing to ask of a partner or is it a red flag that he's a controlling person.

    Billy Connolly, Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay and Pauline Collins star as residents in a musician's retirement home in Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut “Quartet.”

    Performances and Hoffman's direction buoy plot-challenged 'Quartet'

    Dustin Hoffman's impressive and modest directorial debut, "Quartet," stars Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins and Billy Connolly as residents of a British retirement home for professional musicians. Hoffman opts for an Altmanesque take on Harwood's script, letting the lovable, troubled characters (including Michael Gambon's bullying director) become the movie's center attraction.

    Action star Jason Statham stars as the title character in the crime thriller "Parker."

    ‘Parker’ packs perfunctory action, few surprises

    "Parker" plays like the bloodiest promotional video ever made for Palm Beach tourism. Stabbings, explosions and furniture-smashing brawls occur at some of the ritziest (and name-checked) locations within the sun-splashed, pastel-soaked slab of Florida opulence. The city is the setting for an elaborate, $50 million jewel heist as well as some revenge doled out with the usual machine-like efficiency by Jason Statham.

    Graphics designer/sommelier Madeline Puckette created this infographic to help people choose the kind of wine to drink.

    To find wines: Swirl, sniff, sip and pay attention

    The simplest way to get more enjoyment out of wine is to read the label, then smell and taste the wine and remember what both tell you. If you walk into a wine store or dine in a restaurant, the retailer or sommelier won't be able to help you much if all you can recall about the wine you enjoyed last week is that it was red.



    Editorial: Two lessons from a crisis of confidence

    A Daily Herald editorial emphasizes the importance of Schaumburg's internal investigation into the arrests of three detectives on drug charges and of its open communications with the community.


    Hispanic Republicans walk a fine line

    When you’re a Hispanic Republican, the immigration debate comes with both obstacles and opportunities. This is true with two lawmakers who are among the most important people to watch in the debate that is about to play out in Congress: Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. These rising superstars in the GOP need to find the sweet spot on immigration, where they could get something done without getting done in.First, there are the obstacles. The media will often play “gotcha” and try to trap Rubio and Cruz between reaching out to Latinos and toeing a party line on immigration that so far has repelled Latinos. Both the right and the left will view them with suspicion. Latinos will see them as trying to please Republicans, while Republicans will suspect that their true allegiance lies with other Latinos. Both sides will wait for them to disappoint, and they will immediately pounce when that happens. Just ask Rubio. Last year, when President Obama offered deferred action to undocumented students brought here by their parents, Rubio called it a good first step. A conservative radio talk show host in San Diego who is known for anti-immigrant rants declared: “That’s it, I’m done with Rubio.” But Rubio isn’t done with immigration. He plans to introduce a bill that gives illegal immigrants a path to legal status without citizenship — and perhaps offer the citizenship option to undocumented students. Still, for Hispanic Republicans, being targeted comes with the territory. And since they’ve been put on the defensive, it’s hard for them to find a nuanced and thoughtful approach to immigration.And there is the opportunity. At the moment, the newly sworn-in Cruz is doing what Rubio did in his first two years in the Senate — trying to keep immigration at arm’s length. It didn’t work for Rubio, and it won’t work for Cruz. The Republican Party is counting on both these leaders to help it mend fences with Latino voters, and that road goes right through the immigration debate. There is no detour. In a recent interview, Cruz told me that — for him and his family — the issue is personal. His father, Rafael, left Cuba before Fidel Castro came to power. “We need to remain a nation that doesn’t just welcome but that celebrates legal immigrants who come here seeking to pursue the American dream,” he said. “All across the state of Texas, I have told my father’s story thousands of times. My dad has been my hero my entire life. But what I find most extraordinary about his story is how commonplace it is. Every one of us — whether it’s us, or our parents, or our grandparents, or our great-grandparents — we all are the children of those who fled oppression seeking freedom. I think that’s the most fundamental DNA of what it means to be an American — to value freedom and opportunity above everything else.” For Cruz, step one is “securing the border,” but he thinks that both parties are too busy trying to demagogue the issue to get even this done. Still, he seems to understand the curious paradox of America — a country of immigrants that, truth be told, has often been hostile to newer immigrants. “Resistance to immigrants is not a new phenomenon,” Cruz said. “It’s been present in the United States, and present everywhere really, for centuries. You go back 100 years, and go to the New York City, and you’d see signs in restaurants that said: ‘No Irish and No Dogs.’ Then you had a big immigration wave from Ireland, and there was the same sense of fear that we sometimes see manifested here.”Indeed, it’s all about fear. We don’t just need new laws. We also need a new mindset. Americans can’t fix the immigration system until they overcome their fear of immigrants.


    More thoughts on Aaron Swartz

    Columnist Froma Harrop: The infantilizing culture of academia has led some university wards to expect leniency when they misbehave. In any case, Swartz wasn't playing with databases. He was trying to strip them of their economic value.


    Proudly confessing

    Columnist Kathleen Parker: Stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, his Olympic medal, ousted by the foundation he created and facing multiple lawsuits, Armstrong has fallen just about as far as one can. It seems enough.


    Leaders’ authority comes from our trust
    A Volo letter to the editor: On the occasion of this year's presidential inauguration, I am pleased that I live in a country whose people understand that sovereignty ultimately belongs to them, and that their leaders have been entrusted with authority over them.


    Loss of personal connections is the problem
    An Antioch letter to the editor: We have become a society that doesn't value personal connection.


    It’s all just play money to Congress
    A Des Plaines letter to the editor: So what is all the fuss about this debt ceiling, fiscal cliff and economic doomsday? As inept as this administration and Congress are in solving economic problems, there is an easy solution staring them right in their face. Raise the debt limit to $25 trillion — no, make it $30 trillion.


    Law-abiding gun owners shouldn’t be punished
    A Lake Zurich letter to the editor: Many people think changing the gun laws will solve all the problems, but it will not. They think getting rid of all the guns (weapons) will solve all their problems.


    ‘GOP’ starting to have another meaning
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: What happened to that party now when it is intent in splitting the nation and gaining the title of Greedy Opposition Party?


    Food, soda makers must change ways
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: Like McDonald’s, the soda industry profited heavily from the urbanization of the human species and is going to have to surrender its core market because of the consequences


    Stop indulging illegal immigrants
    An Elk Grove Village letter to the editor: So now we are gift wrapping a driver’s license for illegal immigrants. Not that this is the first time this question was asked, but doesn’t illegal still mean against the law?


    Making a difference at Glenbard West
    A Glenbard West letter to the editor: Once again the Glenbard West High School community came through. Because of the generosity of the people in the Glenbard West community all eight-five ELL (English Language Learners) received a brand new beautiful Glenbard West hooded sweatshirt for the seventh consecutive year.


    Time for action, not more debate
    A Wood Dale letter to the editor: Eugene Robinson's column on global warming, "Need for action on warming more evident than ever," is right on target. I urge Daily Herald readers to go to the Bill Moyers & Company website and watch the program that was presented on Jan. 4 in the Chicago area on the WTTW Prime channel.


    Best experience for West Chicago
    A West Chicago letter to the editor: I am writing to the Fence Post in support of our acting mayor, Ruben Pineda, and to urge your West Chicago readers to elect Ruben in April. Ruben has lived in West Chicago his whole life and graduated from West Chicago High School where he was a talented wrestler and football star.


    Ticket for parking on own driveway?
    An Elgin letter to the editor: We have lived in our house for 31 years. Just within the year we have found out that we cannot park on the approach of our driveway. We live on a cul-de-sac and our house has a single car garage with a single driveway which has to provide enough room for four cars to park in, as my husband, myself and our two daughters each have a car.


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


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