Daily Archive : Saturday January 26, 2013



    Break for country clubs means higher taxes for everyone else

    A recent appellate court decision will mean a huge tax break for local country clubs unless state lawmakers act to change the law. Kane County Supervisor of Assessment Mark Armstrong received support to push to change the law. Kane County's country clubs are in line to shave up to 93 percent off their property taxes, which other taxpayers will take on. "The court effectively created a country...

    The St. Viator High School cheerleading team performed at the IHSA competitive cheerleading sectionals held Saturday at Rolling Meadows High School.

    Suburban cheerleading squads move on to state finals

    The Illinois High School Association cheerleading sectionals took place Saturday at Rolling Meadows High School. Among the top scorers were Neuqua Valley High School, James B. Conant High School, Vernon Hills High School and Buffalo Grove High School. "The kids worked really hard, and I have an outstanding coaching staff," said Buffalo Grove coach Jeffrey Siegal.


    Gunmen kill 9 police, villagers in Philippines

    MANILA, Philippines — Gunmen hiding in a sugarcane field ambushed a truckload of policemen and village guards who had helped secure a village dance festival, killing nine and wounding two others Sunday in the central Philippines, officials said.

    In this Sunday, April 15, 2012 file image made from KRT video, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un applauds before giving his first public speech during a massive celebration marking the 100th birthday of national founder Kim Il Sung at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea’s state news agency says leader Kim Jong Un has vowed at a meeting of top security and foreign officials to take “substantial and high-profile important state measures.”, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013.

    North Korean leader vows strong action

    SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un convened top security and foreign affairs officials and ordered them to take “substantial and high-profile important state measures,” state media said Sunday, indicating that he plans to push forward with a threat to explode a nuclear device in defiance of the United Nations.

    Mike Rawaillot guides his pack Saturday as the Morton Arboretum sponsors its annual “Husky Heroes” event in Lisle. Hundreds attend the event each year to watch dog sledding demonstrations and learn about Siberian huskies.

    Arboretum visitors learn about huskies at annual dog sledding event

    Hundreds who visited the Morton Arboretum on Saturday in Lisle left a little smarter — or at least with increased knowledge about huskies. The first day of the annual Husky Heroes event offered plenty of opportunities for suburban residents to learn about Siberian huskies by watching them pull sledders and talking with Adopt A Husky volunteers.

    In this July 7, 2011 file photo, Casey Anthony smiles before the start of her sentencing hearing in Orlando, Fla. Casey Anthony has filed for bankruptcy in Florida, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, claiming about $1,100 in assets and $792,000 in liabilities.

    Casey Anthony files for bankruptcy in Florida

    TAMPA, Fla. — Casey Anthony filed for bankruptcy in Florida on Friday, claiming about $1,100 in assets and $792,000 in liabilities.Court records show that Anthony, who was acquitted of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in 2011, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in federal court in Tampa.

    Tim Anliker of Chicago volleys with Jacek Wisniewski of Naperville on Saturday during the annual table tennis tournament sponsored by the Naperville Park District and the Naperville Table Tennis Club.

    Naperville table tennis tourney draws local, international players

    Small orange balls pinged and ponged as players from the western suburbs and as far away as South America competed Saturday in the annual Naperville Table Tennis Tournament. The finals of the master's age division pitted a local versus an international, as John Brandt of Naperville faced Nestor Prato of Venezuela for the championship. "The final tends to get a little more intense," said Samantha...

    Matthew Erickson, 1, of Huntley, gives fellow Spartan basketball team members high-fives after his “adoption” by the Elgin Community College mens basketball team on Saturday. Holding Matthew is Vytas Jaras of Lake in the Hills, Justin Fields of Chicago is left, and Brandon Tyson of Joliet is on the right. Matthew, the son of South Elgin assistant baseball coach Ben Erickson, is fighting brain cancer. The team was able to “adopt” Matthew through the “Friends of Jaclyn” program.

    ECC team ‘adopts’ child with brain cancer

    ECC basketball team ³adopts² a kid who has had a serious illness since birth. Matthew Erickson, son of South Elgin assistant baseball coach and former Larkin and Judson star Ben, who has had a serious illness since birth (hundreds of thousands spent on the kid's treatment) will be "adopted" by the ECC basketball team. It is "adopting" the kid as a part of the "Friends of Jaclyn" program.

    Katherine Sleder shovels her driveway Friday outside her home in Traverse City, Mich. “It’s like we’re getting all our winter in one week,” said Sleder. Snow accumulation is below normal across the Upper Midwest for the second consecutive winter. It’s picked up over the past week as temperatures have fallen dramatically.

    Spotty Midwestern snow a mixed bag for businesses

    Just a week ago, things looked dire for Sarah and Tim Long, owners of Timbers Resort in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Snow is their winter lifeblood, drawing outdoor sports enthusiasts from far and wide, yet the ground was bare. Then came a desperately needed arctic blast. Suddenly the drifts were thigh-deep — and snowmobilers were flocking to the mom-and-pop operation's cottages on the...


    Friar accused of abuse in 2 states kills himself

    A Franciscan friar accused of sexually abusing students at Catholic high schools in Ohio and Pennsylvania killed himself at a western Pennsylvania monastery, police said Saturday.

    The picturesque Rich Harvest Farms was site of the 2009 Solheim Cup. The course has been picked to host a new LPGA event in 2016.

    Sugar Grove dreaming big after landing new LPGA event

    Sugar Grove area officials said the securing of a new Ladies PGA event in 2016 is a steppingstone toward making Rich Harvest Farms an international golf destination. "We're starting to grow, so the exposure is the biggest thing. It means the world for our existing businesses and possible future businesses," Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels said.

    Matthew Smith of the Norge Ski club launches himself off the ramp during the 108th annual Norge International Ski Jumping Tournament Saturday at the Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove. The junior competition and junior national championship qualifier K70 was Saturday. The K70 U.S. Cup Five Hills Tournament and the Long-Standing Competition are today.

    Big crowd for first day of Norge ski jump

    Eighteen-year-old ski jumper Lucas Gasienica has been living in Utah for the last eight years but says there's nothing like being back home at Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove. Lucas was among 47 jumpers of all ages who on Saturday took part in the first day of the 108th annual Norge Ski Jump Tournament, which featured a junior competition and a junior national championship qualifier.

    Palatine parent and businesswoman Lisa Szczupaj spearheaded opposition to Palatine Township School District 15’s proposed late start/early dismissal options at a Communication Forum Saturday morning at Walter R. Sundling Junior High School.

    District 15 parents push early dismissal on Fridays

    Palatine Township Elementary School District 15 officials quietly withstood a barrage of emotionally charged criticism and inquiries from parents unhappy about a controversial late start/early release provision in the 2013-14 teachers contract. "Don't just shout out comments! ... Please try to keep it dignified, reasonable and calm," the superintendent said at one point.

    Michael Drysch, center, a 50-year-old computer technician from McHenry, celebrates after making a half-court shot to win $75,000 and a hug from LeBron James during the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Miami Heat and the Detroit Pistons Friday in Miami.

    McHenry man talks about winning $75,000 with half-court basket

    An unlikely half-court hook shot, a bear hug from Miami Heat star LeBron James and a $75,000 prize are the newest additions to the list of Michael Drysch's sweepstakes winnings. "I turned around after I made that miraculous shot and had him come and congratulate me with kind of a big bear hug," Drysch said Saturday in a phone interview.


    Indiana court throws out shoe-cam video arrest

    INDIANAPOLIS — A court has thrown out the conviction of a Fort Wayne man who used a camera hidden in his shoe to take video images under teenage girls’ skirts at an Indianapolis shopping mall.

    In this Monday, Oct. 25, 2010 photo, U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, speaks to reporters following a rally in support of three Iowa Supreme Court justices who are up for retention votes in the November election, in Des Moines, Iowa. Harkin says he will not seek re-election in 2014, The Associated Press reports Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013.

    Harkin won’t seek 6th Senate term

    CUMMING, Iowa — U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin said Saturday he will not seek a sixth term in 2014, a decision that eases some of the burden the national Republican Party faces in retaking the Senate.Harkin, chairman of an influential Senate committee, announced his decision during an interview with The Associated Press, and said the move could surprise some.


    Once GOP stronghold, West veers into Dems’ column

    DENVER — A political generation ago, the West signaled the nation’s rightward swing, from the emergence of Ronald Reagan to the success of tax-limitation ballot measures in California and Colorado. Now, however, the fabled expanse of deserts, jagged peaks, and emerald coastlines is trending in a different direction.The West has become largely Democratic terrain.

    Bangladeshi firefighters and volunteers work to douse a fire at a two-storied garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday, Jan.26, 2013. The fire killed at least six female workers and injured another five, police and fire officials said. The latest fire occurred more than two months after a deadly fire killed 112 workers in another factory near the capital city, raising questions about the safety measures in Bangladesh garment industry.

    Garment factory fire kills 7 in Bangladesh

    A fire swept through a two-story garment factory in Bangladesh's capital Saturday, killing at least seven female workers and injuring another five, police and fire officials said.

    In this Jan. 22, 2013, file photo, Treasury Secretary-nominee, current White House Chief of Staff, Jack Lew, right, talks with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, on Capitol Hill in Washington. As the Senate prepares to begin debating new gun control measures, some of President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats are poised to frustrate his efforts to enact the most sweeping limits on weapons in decades. All eyes are on a core group of these Democrats, including Sens. Baucus, Mark Begich of Alaska and Mark Pryor of Arkansas, who are up for re-election in 2014.

    Democrats may stand in Obama’s way on gun measures

    As the Senate prepares to begin debating new gun control measures, some of President Barack Obama's fellow Democrats are poised to frustrate his efforts to enact the most sweeping limits on weapons in decades.

    People listen to a speaker Saturday during a rally against gun violence near the Washington Monument.

    Thousands march for gun control in Washington

    Thousands of people, many holding signs with names of gun violence victims and messages such as "Ban Assault Weapons Now," joined a rally for gun control on Saturday, marching from the Capitol to the Washington Monument.


    Rain, ice predicted for Sunday

    Hazardous weather, including freezing rain and ice accumulation, is in the Chicago-area forecast for Sunday.

    Angry relatives and residents rampaged through an Egyptian port city Saturday in rioting that killed at least 27 people after a judge sentenced nearly two dozen soccer fans to death for involvement in deadly violence after a game last year.

    27 die in Egypt riot after soccer violence verdict

    Angry relatives and residents rampaged through an Egyptian port city Saturday in rioting that killed at least 27 people after a judge sentenced nearly two dozen soccer fans to death for involvement in deadly violence after a game last year.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Thieves stole 1,200 computer parts valued at $35,000 out of a shipment sent to Hong Kong by a company at 1401 Howard St. in Elk Grove Village on Nov. 1.


    French forces take airport, bridge in Gao, Mali

    SEVARE, Mali — French forces took control of the airport and a key bridge in the radical Islamist stronghold of Gao under the cover of darkness early Saturday, marking a significant inroad into the heart of territory held by the al-Qaida-linked extremists.


    Iraqi insurgents try to harness opposition rage

    BAGHDAD — Iraqi insurgents are trying to capitalize on the rage of anti-government protesters and the instability caused by rising civil unrest, complicating the government's efforts to stamp out a resurgent al-Qaida and other militants.


    2 soccer players among 27 dead in Egypt port city

    CAIRO — The director of hospitals in Egypt's Mediterranean city of Port Said says two soccer players are among the 27 people killed in riots there.Violence erupted in Port Said after a judge sentenced 21 people to death in connection with a Feb. 1 soccer melee that killed 74 fans of the Cairo-based Al-Ahly team.


    Dolphin dies amid NY canal's industrial pollution

    NEW YORK — Marine experts say a dolphin seen shaking black gunk from its snout after wandering into a polluted canal in New York may well have been ill before it lost its way and died.


    Hackers take over sentencing commission website

    WASHINGTON — The hacker-activist group Anonymous says it hijacked the website of the U.S. Sentencing Commission to avenge the death of Aaron Swartz, an Internet activist who committed suicide.


    Newtown residents to join gun control march in DC

    Residents from Newtown, Conn., are joining a march on Washington for gun control on Saturday with parents, pastors, survivors of gun violence and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.


    Former NBA player Etan Thomas to talk fatherhood

    CHICAGO — Former NBA player Etan Thomas has been touring the U.S. talking about the importance of being a responsible parent.On Saturday, Thomas is in Chicago to participate in a panel discussion on ways fathers, uncles brothers and grandfathers to increase their presences in the lives of their children.


    Coyotes chasing pet dogs break door of house

    A pack of coyotes chasing after a suburban Chicago man's dogs leapt over a fence and raced up to the home, but didn't stop there.

    Hanover Park should find different community uses for empty retail areas like this one, advises a report focusing particularly on the Irving Park Road corridor.

    Hanover Park gets advice on revamping Irving Park Road corridor

    Hanover Park officials are welcoming a recent Urban Land Institute Chicago report with recommendations for revitalizing the two-mile stretch of Irving Park Road between Astor Avenue and Wise Road. "Now, we need to figure out how to navigate through these recommendations," Hanover Park Mayor Rodney Craig said.

    Soloist Robert Orth, far left, performs with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and Elgin Choral Union.

    Troubled times for suburban orchestras

    Suburban orchestras, including the venerable Elgin Symphony Orchestra and DuPage County's New Philharmonic, are facing financial and logistical woes amounting to slightly different variations on the same theme. "Orchestras are not immune to the pressures affecting all industries," said Judith Kurnick, of the League of American Orchestras, which represents 800 ensembles nationwide.

    The 80-member New Philharmonic orchestra is in jeopardy of being eliminated after 36 years at the McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage.

    Future uncertain for 36-year-old COD orchestra

    A professional orchestra that's been playing for 36 years at the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage could play for the last time Saturday night, while college officials decide if the group will still perform when renovations to the center are complete. The college has canceled the orchestra's remaining three concerts in February and March, and sent letters to the orchestra's general...


    Elgin Symphony asks skeptical city council for money

    Elgin Symphony Orchestra would like to get $150,000 from the city of Elgin.


    Wizards guard John Wall (2) puts up a shot against Bulls center Joakim Noah, front, during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, in Washington. The Wizards won 86-73.

    After strong start, Bulls fizzle

    After starting the season with a 4-28 record, Washington got point guard John Wall back from a knee injury and has now won seven of its last 10 games. The Wizards stayed strong while the Bulls faded in the third quarter of an 86-73 loss at the Verizon Center on Friday.

    Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford stops a shot against Columbus Blue Jackets’ Ryan Johansen in the third period of an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013. Chicago won 3-2.

    Blackhawks remain perfect thanks to Crawford

    Corey Crawford did what good goaltenders are supposed to do Saturday night. He bailed out his teammates when they weren't at their best. With Crawford making 24 saves, the Blackhawks held off Columbus 3-2 at Nationwide Arena to raise their record to 5-0 to start the season.


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


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


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


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


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


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


    Thomas, Williams fill it up for West Aurora

    Seniors Spencer Thomas and Matt Williams usually fill their roles with defense, rebounding and hustle plays for West Aurora. On Saturday night, their roles were to fill the stat sheet with more points than usually anticipated when the Blackhawks faced St. Joseph in the 16th Annual National Guard High School Hoops Showdown at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. Thomas scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half and Williams provided a big early boost with 9 of his 10 points in the second quarter as the Blackhawks (16-3) produced a solid 56-47 victory over the Chargers (12-10).


    UIC tops cold Wright State 55-49

    Gary Talton scored a game-high 18 points to lead Illinois-Chicago to a 55-49 victory over ice-cold Wright State Saturday night in Horizon League play. The Flames (13-8, 4-4) took a 26-14 halftime lead, then withstood Wright State (14-7, 5-3) in the second half.


    Limbrunner lifts Kaneland

    Kaneland 60, Sterling 33: The Knights pushed their winning streak to 6 games behind a solid 22-point performance from senior Matt Limbrunner, who connected on four 3-pointers.


    Benet up to the task in rematch

    The game may have been billed as a rematch, but for Benet's boys basketball team it went beyond seeing the same opponent. For the Redwings, Saturday's game against Naperville Central proved how much they've improved since November. Reversing a loss from two months ago, Benet claimed a 46-35 victory over Naperville Central in the second of three games at the 16th Annual National Guard High School Hoops Showdown at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.


    Aurora Central rallies from 11 down

    Aurora Central Catholic mounted a furious second half run, rallying from an 11-point deficit to edge Guerin Prep 51-50 in Suburban Christian Blue action. The host Chargers (11-11, 2-7) were led by senior co-captains Alex DeCreane with 19 and Lisa Rodriguez with 11. Both hit pressure free throws late in the 4th quarter to stave off Guerin's comeback attempt. ACC avenged a 55-54 loss to Guerin on Dec. 7.


    Trent’s big night not enough for Willowbrook

    Despite senior guard Yash Trent nearly registering a quadruple-double, Willowbrook lost 79-69 to Morton in the West Suburban Gold.

    McKenna Merges of Geneva on the bars during the Upstate Eight gymnastics meet at Lake Park East Saturday.

    St. Charles ends Geneva’s 2-year run

    St. Charles co-op gymnast Sidney Copeland spent last year's Upstate Eight Conference Meet watching from the sidelines after undergoing a mid-season operation on her right knee. The junior spent the waning moments of Saturday's UEC Meet at Lake Park with a bag of ice covering her left knee, but she was feeling much better.


    Wheaton College beats North Central in OT

    There were moments during Saturday night's 71-69 overtime win by Wheaton College over visiting North Central College that gave the impression that one team was going to take control of the game.


    Metea Valley rolls past Lake Park

    The quickness, depth and post height of Metea Valley's boys basketball team is hard for many teams to handle, period. One lacking two of its top three scorers, as Lake Park was Saturday, is in a hard spot.


    Lake County roundup

    Brittney Thibeaux scored a career-high 28 points, and Grayslake North's girls basketball team defeated host Woodstock 71-52 Saturday night for its school-record-tying 21st win.


    Elk Grove zings Zion-Benton

    After giving state-ranked Rolling Meadows one of its toughest tests of the season on Friday night, Elk Grove's girls basketball team had plenty in reserve on Saturday afternoon. The Grenadiers recovered from a first-quarter 12-8 deficit and limited visiting Zion-Benton to 2 points in the second quarter to gain a 17-14 edge at half before pulling away to a 46-39 nonconference triumph.


    Northwest roundup

    Fremd 35, Carmel 30: The visiting Vikings didn’t do much scoring, but they made that part of the game even harder on their opponents in nonconference play in Mundelein.Fremd junior Riley Glassmann was the only player to reach double figures with 10 points, and junior forward Matt Ochoa had 8 for the Vikings (14-6).Center Jack George led Carmel with 9 points.Grant 46, Rolling Meadows 44: Senior forward Adam Pavlakis and junior forward Matt Dolan had 10 points apiece, but the visiting Mustangs (5-13) came up a bucket short in nonconference play against Grant.“We’re doing a lot of things right, and we’re seeing improvement,” said Rolling Meadows coach Kevin Katovich. “We just need to catch a break.”Mike Burns scored 13 points, hitting three 3-pointers, to lead Grant (10-12).


    Lake County roundup

    Lakes’ boys basketball team got the best of its crosstown rival for the second time this season.Justin Bergeron led all scorers with 16 points, as the Eagles rolled to 64-29 win over Antioch in North Suburban Prairie Division play.Troy Swindle and Tra’Mone Hudson added 9 and 8 points, respectively, for Lakes (16-6, 8-1).Tyler Innis scored 14 points for Antioch (2-18, 0-8).Zion-Benton 57, Lake Forest 56: Evan Boudreaux scored 17 points for the Scouts, who fell to 13-5 and 4-4 in the North Suburban Lake Division.Zion-Benton improved to 16-5 and 6-3.Grant 46, Rolling Meadows 44: Mike Burns scored 13 points, hitting three 3-pointers, as the host Bulldogs pulled out the nonconference win.Grant (10-12) received 8 points apiece from Keion Miller, Ryan Noda and Steve Dunning.Fremd 35, Carmel 30: Jack George scored 9 points for the host Corsairs in the nonconference game.Carmel (8-11) trailed 17-11 at halftime and 31-22 after three.


    Lake Zurich takes charge against Libertyville

    In Saturday's defensive battle between Lake Zurich and Libertyville, it seemed only fitting that victory was sealed with a charge taken. Down 7 points in the final minute, the host Wildcats were in desperate need of a few quick scores. But the Lake Zurich defense didn't give an inch. The Bears turned Libertyville away again and again. And when senior guard Ryan Roach drew a charge on yet another Libertyville attempt at the basket, it put the Bears in charge once and for all. Lake Zurich hit 7 straight free throws, including 3 by Roach, to close out a 55-45 North Suburban Conference Lake Division victory over Libertyville.


    Free throws, turnovers cost Batavia

    If Oswego East shoots free throws the rest of the season like it did Saturday afternoon, the Wolves' 0-7 start will be long forgotten. The Wolves sank 25 of 28 free throws to sink Batavia 58-53 in the opening game of the annual Ernie Kivisto Hoopfest at East Aurora High School.


    Hilton, St. Charles East light up Batavia

    Apparently, St. Charles East's girls basketball team didn't take its 74-49 loss to Batavia earlier this month too kindly. Just 18 days later, the Saints (13-11, 8-3) made a remarkable 38-point improvement in their position following a 79-66 Upstate Eight Conference River Division triumph over the Bulldogs (15-9, 6-4) Saturday night in St. Charles.

    Colton Wegner of Glenbard North,top, and Jake Lueck of Glenbard East take part in a 170 pound match during the DuPage Valley Conference wrestling meet in Carol Stream Saturday.

    15 in a row for Glenbard North

    Johnny Gosinski etched his name among DuPage Valley Conference immortals Saturday in Carol Stream. Johnny Gosinski etched his name among DuPage Valley Conference immortals Saturday in Carol Stream. When the Glenbard North 132-pound wrestler put the finishing touches on his 7-1 victory in the championship match over West Chicago junior Robert Svestka, Gosinski became the sixth athlete in league history to become a four-time league champion. As a team, the conference should consider permanently retiring its championship trophy after the host Panthers extended their remarkable streak of consecutive titles to 15.


    Wow: Warren wins as Mustangs’ Knar returns

    The loudest ovation in Warren's gym soon gave way to a louder one, complete with the hero being mobbed after the buzzer by his teammates. Sorry, Robert Knar. Aarias Austin stole the heroics Saturday night. Austin's pullup 3-pointer to beat the buzzer gave Warren a 63-60 win over Mundelein in a North Suburban Conference Lake Division thriller, spoiling the shocking season debut of Knar. While Mundelein (12-9, 5-3) saw its four-game winning streak snapped, the win was the perfect pick-me-up for Warren (12-9, 4-5), which four nights earlier suffered an embarrassing, 32-point loss to Stevenson.


    Larkin blows past St. Charles North

    sThough St. Charles North led Larkin by a point after one quarter, the North Stars were playing with fire and they knew it. Saturday night's Upstate Eight River boys basketball contest in Elgin was played at the up-and-down pace Larkin prefers right from the outset. Soon came the inevitable. The Royals pressured St. Charles North into 7 second-quarter turnovers and forced 8 more in the third to pull away for a 76-56 victory. Larkin (18-3, 8-2) outscored St. Charles North (11-8, 4-4) in the middle two quarters, 46-28.


    VH’s Swanson strikes a winning exit

    All Eric Swanson wanted was to finish his senior season the right way. Mission accomplished. The Vernon Hills senior ended his final frame, and his high school bowling career, with a strike in the boys bowling state tournament Saturday at St. Clair Lanes in downstate O'Fallon. Swanson posted a 20th-place finish with a 12-game total of 2,593 for a 216 average.

    John Dodson, left, fights Demetrious Johnson during the UFC flyweight championship on FOX 6 at United Center in Chicago, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013.

    Johnson defends title at UFC Chicago

    Demetrious Johnson successfully defended his flyweight title at UFC Chicago, unanimously outpointing John Dodson in front of a capacity crowd Saturday night at the United Center. Dodson, fighting at 125 pounds, landed left hands twice in the second round, sending Johnson to the ground. In the third round, Johnson had a takedown and landed a knee to get back in the fight. Johnson was warned after two illegal knees, a low blow in the first round and an illegal knee in the fourth round.


    Stevenson efficiently wins at Prospect

    For running such a high-paced, high-scoring attack, Stevenson's boys basketball team does an excellent job of taking care of the ball. Prospect left a lot to be desired in that department, and that's ultimately what let them down in Saturday night's nonconference game at Jean Walker Fieldhouse. The Patriots and Knights both shot exceptionally well, but Stevenson forced Prospect into 18 turnovers and committed just 2 of their own on their way to a 75-58 victory.


    North Chicago rises up against Vernon Hills

    Even the distractions that come with senior night and the final home game of the season couldn't derail the rolling train that is the North Chicago boys basketball team. Still, Warhawks coach Gerald Coleman was still concerned. "There can be a lot of distractions with the final home game and senior night," Coleman said. "But I was glad that we got a chance for all the seniors to play, and play at a high level." The usual starting five that includes three Division I recruits in Kurt Hall, JayQuan McCloud, and JaVairius Amos-Mays took a back seat to the Warhawk seniors Saturday night in a North Suburban Prairie Division contest with Vernon Hills. The reserves didn't miss a beat. The senior five put the game in good hands for the Warhawks with an 18-7 lead after one quarter and North Chicago cruised to an 86-51 win over the Cougars.


    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    sThe Westminster Christian girls basketball team is clearly ready for another deep run into the Class 1A postseason. The Warriors rolled through the competition at the Northeastern Athletic Conference Tournament, beating Christian Liberty 46-25 in the semifinals on Saturday and then downing Alden-Hebron 47-28 in the championship game of the league meeting, which was played at Luther North in Chicago.

    Eric Curia of Naperville North High School swims to a new Mustang Swim and Dive Invite record with a 4:48.11 time in the 500 yard freestyle event at Metea Valley High School.

    Tired Curia wins for Naperville North

    Naperville North's Eric Curia is officially ready for the postseason. Curia, who qualified for state last year in both the 500 freestyle and the 200 freestyle, won the 500 and swam on the winning 400 freestyle relay team at Saturday's Metea Valley's Mustang Invite. "My strategy for in-season racing is to get as tired as possible, and being this tired and winning today means I'm ready for my taper," said Curia, who will play water polo at the U.S. Air Force Academy next year. "In the 500 I just try to go out fast and hang on to the end. My goals are to break 4:30 at state and finish in the top six." Curia's time for the 500 on Saturday was 4:48.11.


    Bartlett turns back South Elgin

    sBartlett had been in the same position before. The Hawks built up an early double-digit lead only to see it slip away, and once again Bartlett was able to pull away in the end as the Hawks defeated visiting rival South Elgin 48-36 in Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division boys basketball action on Saturday night at Bartlett.


    Elgin beats Streamwood to snap losing streak

    The one consistent thing the Elgin boys basketball team did during its four-game losing streak was play pretty good defense. That didn't change Saturday evening. The result did. The Maroons broke their losing streak with a 51-37 Upstate Eight River Division victory over host Streamwood.


    Glenbard North’s win a decade in the making

    Inside the Glenbard North girls locker room coach John Chamberlain had written 2005 on the board, which signified the last time the Panthers had beaten Naperville Central.

    Cary-Grove’s Michael Cullen is pulled down to the mat by Huntley’s Zach Stenger in the 113-pound championship match at the Fox Valley Conference finals on Saturday. Cullen took the win.

    Cullen still unbeaten; Cary-Grove 2nd in FVC

    It was clear going into Saturday's Fox Valley Conference finals that Crystal Lake Central's five-year reign as the league wrestling champion was over. The question was, would Cary-Grove's navy and white or McHenry's black and orange be the new colors of FVC wrestling royalty. McHenry's lead wasn't safe up only 10 points after Friday's prelims but sending 13 of 14 into the semifinals to Cary-Grove's 10 didn't seem to make the Warriors nervous. The Trojans closed in early with first place wins in 2 of the first 3 matches and watched three wrestlers earn titles, but McHenry grew stronger in the heavier classes and garnered 3 first-place winners, 3 second-place winners and 4 third-place medals to grab the overall championship over Cary-Grove, 261.50-210.

    Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews, right, slips the puck past against Columbus Blue Jackets’ Steve Mason in the third period of an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013. Chicago won 3-2.

    Blackhawks tie franchise record with 5-0 start

    Jonathan Toews scored the game-winner early in the third period and Corey Crawford had 24 saves to help Chicago match the best start in franchise history with a 3-2 victory Saturday night over the Columbus Blue Jackets, running the Blackhawks' record to 5-0-0.


    Conant takes flight in own invite

    A strong showing from Conant in the flighted boys swimming invitational hosted by the Cougars on Saturday led to a convincing victory. Conant won the A, B and C levels and placed second in the F level to win the six-team meet with 284 points, ahead of Maine South (237.5) and Mundelein (184.50). Downers Grove North (177) was fourth, followed by Jacobs co-op (120) and Huntley (81).


    Quick-starting Notre Dame handles St. Viator

    A highly anticipated contest between St.Viator and Notre Dame at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates on Saturday didn't have the finish Lion fans were hoping for. The Dons bolted out of the gate, running up a 14-2 lead with 2:45 left in the first quarter and forcing St.Viator to play catch-up all night in an East Suburban Catholic Conference matchup that tipped off three games in the National Guard High School Hoops Showdown. Notre Dame never trailed and tamed the Lions 64-48. Notre Dame stays a game back of the lead in the conference race at 5-1 (and 18-2 overall), while the Lions fell to 14-5 and 4-2.

    Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer, right, drives to the basket against Washington Wizards forward Kevin Seraphin (13) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, in Washington.

    Bulls play like muggles in loss to Wizards

    Emeka Okafor had 15 points and 16 rebounds, helping the surging Washington Wizards beat the Chicago Bulls 86-73 on Saturday night. John Wall and Nene each scored 16 points for Washington, which has won consecutive games for the second time this season. The Wizards have won five straight at home for the first time in five years, and seven of 10 overall.

    Frank Thomas, who retired following the 2008 season with a career .301 batting average, 2,468 hits, 521 home runs and 1,704 RBI, is eligible for the Hall of Fame next year.

    Frank Thomas says he should be first-ballot Hall-of-Famer

    Former White Sox star Frank Thonmas says he has the numbers to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer next year. This year, Thomas said he's not surprised Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa fell way short of HOF induction on their first try.

    White Sox GM Rick Hahn, left, and former GM Ken Williams, survey the activity at spring training last year.

    Hahn’s style might be to allow players to develop

    At SoxFest this weekend, new general manager Rick Hahn offered two clues to his operating style. First, Hahn isn't going to make roster moves "just because it looks good." Second, Hahn said he's more than willing to make moves during the season to fill obvious holes.


    International Crown a great response to Solheim

    Jerry Rich and the Solheim Cup, along with 120,000 fans who came out to witness the biennial women's professional golf event in 2009, made an impressive and lasting impression. And, as Mike Spellman explains, the new International Crown competition coming in 2016 to the Sugar Grove course could leave an even bigger one.


    Burlington Central nails down conference title

    Burlington Central girls basketball coach Mark Smith took his team to see DePaul's women, the team Smith's daughter Kelsey plays for, take on Providence last weekend as a team bonder for the Rockets. "They just let it fly," said Smith of Doug Bruno's Blue Demons. "Our girls were like, hey coach ...' So we decided if they've got an open shot, let them take it." Rocket freshman Shelby Holt had a bunch of open shots in Saturday's first quarter at Richmond-Burton. She took them. And made them. Holt, who was sick and did not play against Richmond in BC's 22-point win Dec. 18, hit an uncanny five 3-pointers in the first quarter on 7 attempts, on her way to six 3s for the day and a game-high 21 points as BC took down Richmond 56-34 to claim the outright championship of the Big Northern East, Central's first conference title since 2006-07. It's also the first conference crown for Smith, the veteran coach who is in his first year at Central.

    Northwestern’s Reggie Hearn argues a call during the first half of his team’s loss on Saturday.

    Northwestern falters vs. lowly Nebraska

    LINCOLN, Neb. — It’s been a strange two weeks for the Northwestern basketball program.After getting blasted by 20 points in a home game against Iowa on Jan. 13, the Wildcats went to Champaign four days later and dominated in a 68-54 victory over the Illini.Then after suffering a loss to No. 2 Indiana on Jan. 20, coach Bill Carmody’s squad upset 12th-ranked Minnesota 55-48 on Wednesday.The up-and-down season didn’t figure to take a nosedive Saturday when NU traveled to play a Nebraska team that was just 1-6 in the conference, but that’s exactly what happened in an embarassing 64-49 setback.“I don’t think it had to do with us not coming ready to play or not taking Nebraska seriously,” said Dave Sobolewski, who matched his season high with 21 points. “We knew what Nebraska was capable of — good team, a lot of good players, balanced team, balanced scoring. We came out knowing that if we didn’t come to play, that they could beat us. If a couple shots had fallen in the first half, it could have been a different story.”The setback dropped Northwestern to 12-9 and 3-5 in conference with a trip to second-ranked Michigan on tap Wednesday.The Cornhuskers (11-10, 2-6) won for the first time in four conference home games and posted their largest margin of victory of the season.Dylan Talley scored 20 points and had eight rebounds and two steals for the Huskers. Brandon Ubel added 14 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocked shots.The win was timely for a Nebraska team that visits No. 12 Minnesota on Tuesday before facing No. 14 Ohio State at home next Saturday.“The fact Northwestern went to Illinois and won and then beat Minnesota, that’s a quality win for us,” said Cornhuskers coach Tim Miles. “And it maybe shows our guys that if we do it right and hang in there, we can do this.”Ray Gallegos put the Huskers up 52-37 after he took Ubel’s pass off a steal and drove the length of the court for a dunk. Talley’s jump shot and layup stretched it to 16 points.The teams scuffled through the first half, with Nebraska shooting 37 percent and Northwestern 32 percent from the field.Nebraska, not bothered when the Wildcats went to a 1-3-1 zone, warmed up to 54 percent in the second half and finished at 45 percent. Northwestern stayed cold and ended the game at 32 percent. The Wildcats’ only worse shooting performance this season was 29 percent in a 20-point loss to Iowa.

    The Maine South High School dance team hold up their first place trophy in the 3A division at the Competitive Dance State Finals on Saturday in Bloomington.

    Images: IHSA State Dance Finals
    The final round of the IHSA Competitive Dance competition took place in Bloomington on Saturday, January 26th. School performing were Naperville Central, Lake Park, Waubonsie Valley, Libertyville, St. Viator, Downers Grove North, Fremd, Mundelein, Fenton, Downers Grove South, St. Charles North, Lakes, Warren, Grayslake North, Neuqua Valley, Jacobs, South Elgin, Rolling Meadows, Batavia, Buffalo Grove, Vernon Hills, Maine South, Crystal Lake South, Crystal Lake Central, Naperville North and Larkin.

    Libertyville’s Steve Polakowski makes a move on Grant’s Troy Parent on his way to a win at 120 pounds in the North Suburban Conference championship at Stevenson on Saturday.

    Libertyville prevails in NSC battle with Grant

    Once again it was a two-team race Saturday as defending champion Grant and archrival Libertyville battled it out for the North Suburban Conference wrestling championship. The Bulldogs held a slim 9-point advantage over Libertyville heading into the second day of the 57th annual league meet, held at Stevenson. But the Wildcats turned the tables in the semifinal round to win 223.5 to 211.5 over Grant. The victory marked the fourth NSC crown in five years for Libertyville, and its 19th overall. It looks like No. 20 is a strong possibility next year, with the abundance of young talent on the Wildcats roster.


    Duff struts her stuff, and Elk Grove earns MSL three-peat

    Make it three in a row for Elk Grove. The Grenadiers, led by a strong performance from junior Kayleigh Duff, held off a late charge from Hoffman Estates Saturday at Arlington Lanes to claim its third consecutive Mid-Suburban League girls bowling championship. Duff fired games of 230 and 225 and excelled with a 671 series in the morning session and a 601 in the afternoon. Hoffman's Sarah Wille won the MSL individual title. The junior was in first place from Day 1 of the conference season and rolled four games over 200 (234, 223, 212, 211) Saturday to nail down the crown.


    Harper claims second-place invitational finish

    Eight of the nation's best non-scholarship community college wrestling programs, including No. 8-ranked Ridgewater College and No. 9 Nassau Community College, converged on the Sports and Wellness Center at Harper College on Saturday for the NJCAA non-scholarship Invite. The occasion marked the first time Harper has hosted the event. The Hawks entered Saturday hoping to prove this year's team could compete with the nation's elite. "Our goals were to come in here and win this thing," said Harper coach Dan Loprieno. And the Hawks came close, but ultimately left the day with as many questions as answers. Rochester Community College took the top spot (128 points). The Hawks were second, 6 points behind.


    Hersey adds to milestone weekend

    On Friday night at the Carter Gymnasium, retiring Hersey girls athletic Patti Kennedy was honored for her 19 years running the program. It was in Kennedy's fifth year when she hired a former Rolling Meadows High School standout guard to run the Hersey girls basketball program. In an appropriate twist, that former Mustang who also swam and played softball, Mary Fendley, won her 300th game on the very same night of Kennedy's celebration. Less than 16 hours later, Fendley made it 301 as the Huskies trounced visiting Glenbrook North 47-8 on Saturday afternoon.

    Barrington’s Coord Wiseman wins the 145-pound final match against Prospect’s Brian Maigler at the Mid-Suburban League championships at Fremd on Saturday.

    Barrington’s win speaks volumes

    It didn't take long for Barrington to dial in — and then turn it up — late in the morning Saturday. That's when the Broncos buckled up their red and black seatbelts and went on a wonderful ride through the second round of the Mid-Suburban League wrestling tournament. They finished up ahead of challengers Conant and Schaumburg at Fremd to win a third straight conference title. The Broncos, who began the day 4 points behind Conant, opened up a 31-point advantage heading into the medal round. Barrington ended up with 11 wrestlers on the podium, including five in the top spot as the Broncos finished 64.5 points better than Conant. The Cougars edged rival Schaumburg 180.50-180 to claim second place.


    It’s offical: Cubs sign Villanueva

    The Cubs on Saturday made official their deal with right-handed pitcher Carlos Villanueva to a two-year, $10 million deal. The veteran has pitched in the big leagues with Milwaukee and Toronto. He's likely to be a swing man for the Cubs.

    Trey Zeigler scored a season-high 18 points and Pittsburgh crushed DePaul 93-55 on Saturday night for its fourth straight victory. Lamar Patterson added 15 points, Steven Adams added nine points and a season-high 14 rebounds for the Panthers (17-4, 5-3 Big East), who climbed into a tie for third in the muddled Big East after dominating the reeling Blue Demons.

    DePaul crushed by Pittsburgh 93-55

    Trey Zeigler scored a season-high 18 points and Pittsburgh crushed DePaul 93-55 on Saturday night for its fourth straight victory. Lamar Patterson added 15 points, Steven Adams added nine points and a season-high 14 rebounds for the Panthers (17-4, 5-3 Big East), who climbed into a tie for third in the muddled Big East after dominating the reeling Blue Demons.


    Howard, McCallum lead Detroit to 75-63 triumph
    Juwan Howard Jr. and Ray McCallum each scored 17 points on Saturday, leading Detroit to a 75-63 victory over Loyola of Chicago.Howard connected on 8 of 10 shots from the floor, allowing Detroit (13-8, 5-3 Horizon) to shoot 50 percent from the floor.

    The hearse carrying Stan Musial stops in front of his statue outside of Busch Stadium for a wreath-laying ceremony after his funeral Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013.

    Stan Musial remembered during funeral Mass

    Stan Musial was remembered as a Hall of Famer on and off the field during a 2-hour funeral Mass.Broadcaster Bob Costas, his voice cracking at times, pointed out during Saturday's lengthy tribute that in 92 years of life, Musial never let anyone down.


    No. 14 Ohio State beats Penn State 65-51

    Sam Thompson scored 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting, and No. 14 Ohio State took advantage of cold-shooting Penn State in a 65-51 victory Saturday. Deshaun Thomas added 11 points, well below his Big Ten-leading average of 20.5. Thompson picked up the slack against the Nittany Lions, who went 11-plus minutes of the first half without a field goal.

    Nebraska's Brandon Ubel (13) shoots over Northwestern's Mike Turner (10) during the first half of their NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/The Journal-Star, Matt Ryerson) LOCAL TV OUT; KOLN-TV OUT; KGIN-TV OUT; KLKN-TV OUT

    Talley leads Nebraska past Northwestern 64-49

    Dylan Talley scored 20 points and Ray Gallegos broke out of his 3-point shooting slump in the second half to lead Nebraska to a 64-49 victory over Northwestern on Saturday.


    N. Illinois sets record low in 42-25 loss

    Northern Illinois broke its own NCAA Division I record for futility, scoring just four points in the first half of a 42-25 loss to Eastern Michigan on Saturday.

    Hersey High School performs at the IHSA competitive cheerleading sectionals in Rolling Meadows on Saturday.

    Images: IHSA competitive cheerleading sectionals
    IHSA competitive cheerleading sectionals took place Saturday at Rolling Meadows High School.

    Michael Drysch, center, a 50-year-old computer technician from McHenry, Ill., celebrates after making a half-court shot to win $75,000 and a hug from LeBron James, during the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Miami Heat and the Detroit Pistons, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, in Miami. As part of a contest sponsored by James' foundation, Drysch hit a one-handed hook shot from midcourt between periods in the game. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

    McHenry man wins $75,000 on NBA half court shot

    A 50-year-old computer technician from McHenry made a half-court shot to win $75,000 and a hug from LeBron James. As part of a contest sponsored by James' foundation, Michael Drysch hit a hook shot from midcourt between periods of Friday's game between the Miami Heat and Detroit Pistons.


    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Nell Wentling scored 16 points to lead the South Elgin girls basketball team to a 56-39 Upstate Eight Valley road win at Lake Park Friday night.Savanah Uveges and Kara Rodriguez each had 10 points in the win for the Storm (14-10, 5-5).Westminster Christian 52, Mooseheart 4: The Warriors held Mooseheart scoreless through three quarters in the first round of the Northeast Athletic Conference tournament. Emma Anderson had 10 points and 11 rebounds for Westminster (18-4), which will play Christian Liberty today in the semifinals. Maddie Versluys added 8 points for the Warriors.Alden-Hebron 52, Harvest Christian 36: Kylee Knox had 14 points and 8 rebounds to lead Harvest (3-19) at the NAC Tournament. The Lions will take on Luther North in the consolation bracket today.


    Marist tops Carmel

    Marist 42, Carmel 32: Cullen Barr scored a game-high 16 points for the visiting Corsairs, who fell to 8-10 and 1-4 in the East Suburban Catholic Conference.Jack George had 7 points for Carmel.


    A Google worker rides a bike at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

    How Google keeps its workers happy

    Google monitors its employees' well-being to a degree that can seem absurd to those who work outside Mountain View. And if there's any sign that joy among Googlers is on the wane, it's the Google HR department's mission to figure out why and how to fix it. The company's swank perks — free gourmet food, on-site laundry, Wi-Fi commuting shuttles — are legendary in the corporate world, and they've driven a culture of ever-increasing luxuries for tech workers.


    SnapTax app promises quick tax filing

    Taxes in 10 minutes? That's the promise of SnapTax, an app from Intuit that lets users take a smartphone photo of their W-2 and fill in the paperwork from there. It's an enticing promise for those with the simplest tax needs, but there are a few things to note before deciding you can use this tool to put off your taxes until the night of April 14.


    Venture investments declined in 2012

    A new study shows that funding for business startups declined in 2012, the first time that's happened in three years, as venture capitalists spent less money on fewer deals. Capital-intense sectors like clean technology and life sciences were among the hardest hit, according to the MoneyTree study released Friday. It was conducted by PriceWaterHouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, based on data from Thomson Reuters.


    Google fielding more legal demands for user data

    Google says it is fielding more legal demands from governments around the world seeking to learn more about the people using its Internet search engine, email and other services. The latest snapshot of law enforcement agencies' efforts to extract personal information from Google emerged in a Wednesday report from the company. Governments presented Google with 21,389 requests for information on 33,634 of its users during the last six months of 2012.

    Machines can do more and more human work. They don’t just replace human brawn the way older machines did; increasingly, they substitute machine power for human brainpower.

    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.


    How Google’s Jeff Dean became the Chuck Norris of the Internet

    "The speed of light in a vacuum used to be about 35 mph. Then Jeff Dean spent a weekend optimizing physics." — Jeff Dean Facts Jeff Dean facts aren't, well, true. But the fact that someone went to the trouble to make up Chuck Norris-esque exploits about Dean is remarkable. That's because Jeff Dean is a software engineer, and software engineers are not like Chuck Norris.

    Indicted Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has launched a new file-sharing website in a defiant move against the U.S. prosecutors who accuse him of facilitating massive online piracy. The colorful entrepreneur unveiled the “Mega” site ahead of a lavish gala and news conference planned at his New Zealand mansion on Sunday night.

    Review: Mega sharing service lacks versatility

    New Zealand entrepreneur Kim Dotcom — still wanted by U.S. authorities on allegations of copyright infringement — launched a new online service this week for storing and sharing files. The new Mega service promises user privacy and a generous 50 gigabytes of free storage space — officially for documents and other files you own or are authorized to share.What Mega doesn't promise is a good experience. Instead, it feels like a work in progress.


    Apple trailing China’s Coolpad shows need for cheap iPhone

    Apple Inc. is being outsold in China, the world's largest handset market, by a company less than 1 percent its size, highlighting how the lack of low-cost products limits the iPhone-maker in emerging nations. China Wireless Technologies Ltd. is one of four domestic suppliers outselling Apple in China with smartphones tailored to the budget of the nation's budding middle class. Its Coolpad 8060 retails for 619 yuan — or just under $100 — less than 20 percent the price of the cheapest iPhone.

    Movie patrons wait for the showing of "Hotel Transylvania" inside the theater on Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota on its last day of operation, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. The Army and Air Force Exchange Service theater serving airmen and their families is one of 60 across the globe that's closing because it's too expensive to switch from 35 millimeter film prints to an all-digital projection format. (AP Photo/Dirk Lammers)

    Digital age prompting closure of base theaters

    Sixty movie theaters around the globe run by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service are shutting down amid the industry's conversion to digital projection. It's just not cost effective for the exchange service to invest the $120,000 per theater needed to convert from 35 millimeter film to the new format at the theaters that are being closed, said spokesman Judd Anstey. Sixty theaters will make the upgrade.

Life & Entertainment

    Start with a creamy tufted sofa featuring nailhead trim. Add a pair of tall winged-back chairs covered in rich tones. Finish off with accessories that rev up or soften your color statement, as you see fit.

    Five hottest decorating looks for 2013

    One of the hottest trend-makers to watch is Holly Blalock, a visionary who has the uncanny ability to mix color, pattern and texture in a way that makes interior design not only accessible, but fun. We caught up with Blalock, who is the vice president of merchandise and marketing for furniture makers CR Laine, and asked her to share the hottest trends in home interior design for 2013.

    American Grands XVIII returns with three shows on Saturday, Jan. 26, at Elgin Community College.

    Weekend picks: Behold the American Grands in Elgin

    See the spectacle of music performed by pianists on 12 grand pianos when American Grands XVIII plays Saturday at the Elgin Community College Arts Center. Navy Pier's annual Snow Days returns this weekend with snow-sculpting competitions among 15 professional teams from the U.S. and around the world. The World Flyweight Championship is on the line with UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Dodson at the United Center.

    From left, actresses Ellen Page, Brit Marling, director Zal Batmanglij and actor Alexander Skarsgard, from the film “The East” pose for a portrait during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 in Park City, Utah.

    Sundance stars sound off on gun violence in film

    The Sundance Film Festival isn't home to many shoot-em-up movies, but action-oriented actors at the festival are facing questions about Hollywood's role in American gun violence. Guy Pearce, Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgard are among those who say Hollywood shares in the blame. "There are films that use guns flippantly, then there are films that use guns in a way that would make you never want to look at a gun ever again — because of the effect that it's had on the other people in the story at the time," Pearce says.

    “Oddly Normal” by John Schwartz (Gotham Books, 2012) $26, 290 pages

    ‘Oddly Normal’ tells of family trying to help struggling son

    In retrospect, John Schwartz realized that there was plenty of warning before his son, Joe, overdosed on pills. Joe was born in early 1996 and became a smiley child with a flair for drama and a love of feather boas, fabulous fashion dolls and "shiny baubles." At age 3, he asked to dress as a disco "yady" for Halloween, and the Schwartzes began to wonder if their toddler was gay.

    It’s good to have vegetables on hand to offer your children when they need a snack, or want seconds at dinner.

    Supersizing this generation? How to skip this trend

    As I flipped through TV channels last night, I landed on the Biggest Loser and was excited but disheartened to see this season with kids. Excited because it is so desperately needed but disheartened all the same because it is so desperately needed — one in every six kids in the United States is obese. It's the No. 1 reason parents call me for help.


    Shipwreck found in sands on remote Ga. island

    The odd skeleton of wooden beams barely poked above the sands, exposed just enough by wind and tides for a beachcomber to report the curious find. Fred Boyles, National Park Service superintendent on Georgia's Cumberland Island, says the buried beams could have easily been overlooked as ordinary flotsam washed ashore on the beach. But archaeologists called to the remote Atlantic coastal island spent days unnearthing an astonishing find: an old wooden shipwreck held together with wooden pegs, its backstory lost in time.


    Pearl Jam announces July concert at Wrigley Field

    Pearl Jam will play a summer concert this year at Chicago's Wrigley Field. The Eddie Vedder-fronted band will play July 19 at the city's historic baseball park.

    Literary agent Sterling Lord speaks during an interview in his New York office. Lord is now 92-years-old and still keeps regular hours, at the bright, downtown offices of Sterling Lord Literistic Inc. His clients have ranged from ack Kerouac and Ken Kesey to the creators of the Berenstain Bears. He has lunched with Jackie Kennedy, played tennis with Katherine Graham and had the will to say no to Lyndon Johnson when the president was seeking help to get a book deal.

    A memoir by Kerouac’s agent, Sterling Lord

    Literary agent Sterling Lord is now 92-years-old and still keeps regular hours, at the bright, downtown offices of Sterling Lord Literistic Inc. His clients have ranged from ack Kerouac and Ken Kesey to the creators of the Berenstain Bears. He has lunched with Jackie Kennedy, played tennis with Katherine Graham and had the will to say no to Lyndon Johnson when the president was seeking help to get a book deal.

    Dustin Hoffman went behind the camera for “Quartet,” starring Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins as aging British opera divas at a retirement home for musicians who put aside past differences for a reunion concert.

    Dustin Hoffman does divas in directing debut ‘Quartet’

    At least Dustin Hoffman is honest when asked why it took him so long to make his directing debut. "I don't know," Hoffman said. The 75-year-old Hoffman went behind the camera for "Quartet," starring Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins as aging British opera divas at a retirement home for musicians who put aside past differences for a reunion concert.

    “Cover of Snow” by Jenny Milchman

    ‘Cover of Snow’ asks hard questions

    Jenny Milchman’s debut novel, “Cover of Snow,” intimately examines the life of a woman who is in grief and pain, doubt and shock, following the death of her husband. Nora Hamilton woke up after a wonderful night of passion and reconciliation to find an empty bed. She discovers her husband, Brendan, hanging from a rope. From all outward appearances, he was happy, and Nora doesn’t believe he took his own life.

    Mirror Lake Inn is decked out with holiday lights in Lake Placid, N.Y. The inn was founded in the 1920s as Mir-a-Lac, was renamed Mirror Lake Inn in 1933 and has been owned by Ed and Lisa Weibrecht since 1976.

    Lake Placid's Mirror Lake Inn an Adirondack jewel

    When Lise Luckie and her husband, Len, need to flee the hustle and bustle of their advertising business in Montreal, they make a beeline for the Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid, N.Y.. "It's so welcoming," Luckie said. "Every time we walk in, it's like they haven't seen us in five years." That's saying a lot, because the Luckies have stayed at the inn more than 90 times since the early 1980s.

    Vampire Mavis (voiced by Selena Gomez) shares a “zing” with Jonathan (Andy Samberg) while Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) watches in “Hotel Transylvania.”

    DVD previews: ‘Hotel Transylvania,’ ‘Seven Psychopaths’

    Movies coming out this week on DVD include the animated "Hotel Transylvania,' and "Seven Psychopaths" with its violent dark humor.


    Long-distance amateurs need help selling property

    Q: I recently inherited over five acres in another state. It has a house (needs a new roof) and business potential as it is as the intersection of two highways. Realtors are more than 20 miles away so I'm not sure they would be moved to put a lot of effort into showing it.


    Five things to know about extra loan payments

    This is a good time to pay down your mortgage. One of the vexing features of the post-crisis financial system is the dearth of riskless investments paying a decent return. The rates on federal government securities and insured certificates of deposit (CDs) are not much greater than zero.


    Fines are ‘reasonable’ when in line with others

    Q. The board of our association is in the process of updating our rules. One of our proposed changes would increase the fine of someone who parks in a handicapped space without the required state permit (plate or hangtag) to $250.

    A model wears a creation for Emporio Armani men’s Fall-Winter 2013-14 collection unveiled in Milan, Italy.

    Emporio Armani offers youthful winter wardrobe

    The Emporio Armani menswear collection for next winter is upbeat. More than for the young, the second line collection is in itself young. The boyish models looked happy and relaxed as they sauntered down the runway in a beige caban, or a velvet dinner jacket over a pair of the latest Armani pants, slim-fitting and cropped at the ankle.

    A cozy winter scene at Gabberts in the Galleria in Edina, Minn. Give your house a new look for the new year.

    Put some sparkle into your house during the dark months

    You don't have to undertake a major makeover to give your decor a big boost, according to interior designers. Fresh colors and a few new or repurposed accessories can go a long way toward perking up winter-weary rooms.


    Low wiring to the garage can be dangerous

    Q. The sale of my home recently fell through because the home inspector's report stated, "the electric service to the garage was too low." No other explanation came with the report.

    Dr. Rodney L. Page, professor of oncology and director of the CSU Flint Animal Cancer Center, with a golden retriever named Winston at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, Colo. The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study will be the largest and longest study of dogs ever conducted.

    Golden retrievers key to lifetime dog cancer study

    When Jay Mesinger heard about a study seeking golden retrievers to help fight canine cancer, he immediately signed up 2-year-old Louie. He and his wife know firsthand the toll of canine cancer: Louie is their fourth golden retriever. The first three died of cancer. For Louie and 2,999 other purebred goldens, it will be the study of a lifetime. Their lives — usually a 10- to 14-year span — will be tracked for genetic, nutritional and environmental risks to help scientists and veterinarians find ways to prevent canine cancer.

    John Carroll of Ryland Builders in a near-complete model home in the Talamore development in Huntley.

    Ryland kicks work off at four new communities

    Ryland Homes soon will conduct grand openings of new model homes in four communities during a four-week period. One of those new communities — Andare at Talamore in Huntley — is an active-adult community within a much larger Ryland master planned community. Builder Profile featuring John Carroll of Ryland Homes.

    Lilac shrubs will not bloom in the spring if they are pruned over the winter.

    Winter a good time to prune dormant trees, shrubs

    It may be cold outside, but there still are garden tasks to do. Winter is a good time to prune trees and shrubs while they are dormant.



    Small acts help solve big problems
    A Round Lake letter to the editor: There are no quick fixes to the challenges that Illinois faces, but however great those challenges may be, I am inspired and motivated by the amazing generosity and selflessness I saw on last Saturday's National Day of Service.


    Allergy keeps him from getting flu shot
    An Elk Grove Village letter to the editor: You stated in your recent editorial that I could be a "hero" if I had a flu shot. Are you implying that I am not doing my part if I do not get the shot? I cannot get the injection because I am allergic to chicken and eggs.


    Guns don’t shoot by themeselves
    A Rolling Meadows letter to the editor: Since the beginning of time, no club, stone ax, spear, arrow, sword, musket, revolver, handgun, rifle, shotgun, or assault weapon has ever activated itself to kill.


    Gay-rights movement goes too far
    A letter to the editor: The rub comes when they try to publicly and vigorously promote a lifestyle that is contrary to an institution called "marriage," traditionally between a man and woman that is in keeping with Mother Nature and has sustained families and population growth for thousands of years.


    Illinois marriage law ignores civil rights
    A Skokie letter to the editor: In my classroom, one of the things mentioned as a power of the state was the power to create new laws regarding marriage. One of my students then said to me, "You told us that the civil rights movement made it illegal to make different laws for different kinds of people. You said that, Separate but equal' was unconstitutional."


    Illegal immigrants should not drive
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: Let's face it, illegal aliens are law breakers and should be treated as such: no driving privileges, no free education, no free food stamps and no free medical treatment.


    Why the annual exemption applications?
    A Hoffman Estates letter to the editor: I just completed my annual Cook County 2012 Senior Citizen Exemption Application, and I don't understand why state legislators revised the law requiring this be filed annually. I always thought the old saying "you ain't getting any younger" was true, but maybe Springfield knows something else.


    Warrenville man a difference-maker
    A Naperville letter to the editor: I am writing this letter in support of Tom Linford, candidate for Alderman in Ward 4, Warrenville. Over the past 25 years, Tom has resided in Warrenville and has put in many hours of work in the community. He is one of the most dedicated people I know and cares deeply for the citizens in Warrenville.


    Elgin readers’ support much appreciated
    An Elgin letter to the editor: Thank you, friends of literacy; your support of the Community of Readers program has brought the "sweet serenity of books" to children of Elgin Area School District U-46. Our mission over the last 10 years was to promote individual and family reading by providing home reading materials for families who may not have the resources to do so themselves.


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