Daily Archive : Wednesday January 30, 2013


    Two companies that had let Illinoisans bet on horses online even after the law allowing it expired have stopped.

    Online horse race wagering halted pending new legislation

    Two companies who had been offering unlicensed online wagering for Illinois horse racing gamblers have stopped, according to the Illinois Racing Board. The Daily Herald reported last month that the companies' licenses were invalid because a state law legalizing online gambling on races expired Jan. 1. "Xpressbet and TwinSpires both ceased and desisted," Mickey Ezzo, an Illinois Racing Board...


    Palatine’s Street Fest hopes to engage young adults

    To better engage the young adults who tend to congregate and hang out, this summer's Downtown Palatine Street Fest might have a second, smaller stage with a DJ playing dance music.


    Local roads, bridges, bike paths get state money

    Several projects to improve suburban streets, bridges and bike routes are getting funds from a state and federal program, Gov. Pat Quinn announced Wednesday.

    Former Gov. George Ryan arrives Wednesday at a halfway house in Chicago after serving five-plus years in federal prison on corruption charges. The 78-year-old Ryan now is at home in Kankakee.

    Former Gov. Ryan back home in Kankakee

    Former Gov. George Ryan was released from prison before dawn Wednesday, stopping only briefly at a halfway house before he was allowed to travel home to serve the rest of his sentence for corruption.

    Retailers across the state can now charge consumers who pay by credit card a fee of up to 4 percent, but a suburban lawmaker has penned a proposal that would prohibit the practice again.

    Bill would stop retailers from charging you more for using credit cards

    Retailers across the state can now charge consumers who pay by credit card a fee of up to 4 percent, but a suburban lawmaker has penned a proposal that would prohibit the practice again.

    On Tuesday, 3-year-old Madalynn Kerley, sister Melody, 4, and mother Michelle, all of Palatine, enjoyed the swing and 60-degree temperatures at North School Park in Arlington Heights. On Wednesday, snow and freezing rain moved in.

    Winter whiplash? Weather goes to extremes

    Residents in the Chicago area have been whiplashed by recent weather extremes. Workers strolled through downtown without coats Tuesday as temperatures soared into the mid-60s. But the deep freeze has set in this morning.

    Apolinar Serna-Jacob

    Hoffman Estates teen stabbed after comments on Facebook

    A argument sparked by comments on Facebook ended with a Hoffman Estates teen charged with attempted murder, authorities said Monday. The teen is being held on $2 million bond after stabbing his one-month-old child's mother multiple times Monday, according to police. Apolinar Serna-Jacob, 17, of the 600 block of Salem Drive, faces six to 30 years in prison if convicted.


    State police investigating whether drugs missing from Schaumburg PD

    Illinois State Police are investigating whether heroin linked to a teenager's fatal drug overdose went missing after being turned over to the Schaumburg Police Department last year. The teen's mom says she gave police 11 bags of heroin, sources say, but police logs show only nine in evidence.


    Probe: State prison hire lacked required experience

    The Illinois Department of Corrections filled a high-ranking prison administrator's position with a man whose education and experience fell far short of the agency's requirements, according to a state investigation released Wednesday. The report by the Illinois Executive Ethics Commission did not name the administrator or the prison where he works, but it indicated he had prior experience only in...

    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor answers a question at the Chicago Public Library on Wednesday. Sotomayor is on a tour promoting her new memoir, “My Beloved World.”

    Justice Sonia Sotomayor opens up in speech at library

    Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor gave a heartfelt talk Wednesday during a stop on her book tour, telling an overflow Chicago crowd she was honest and open when she wrote her new memoir, "My Beloved World." "Just talking about the data of my life wasn't going to touch people," she told an audience of 750 at the Chicago Public Library. "I wanted the world to see my world through my eyes."

    Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan has declined the invitation from a union coalition to attend a Feb. 11 pension summit.

    Madigan rebukes labor unions

    In a sharp response to claims that public employees' pension reform concerns have been overlooked, Illinois House Speaker Michael declined an invitation Wednesday to a labor unions summit aimed at discussing the crisis. The Chicago Democrat released a letter to labor leader Michael Carrigan of the "We are One Illinois" coalition that urged an "honest proposal" to fix the $96 billion problem.

    Richard Wojcik

    Priest who survived sinking of Andrea Doria dies at 89

    A Roman Catholic priest and teacher who survived the infamous 1956 sinking of the SS Andrea Doria has died, the Archdiocese of Chicago reported Wednesday. The Rev. Richard J. Wojcik, 89, taught at the University of St. Mary of the Lake and the Mundelein Seminary for parts of seven decades.

    Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois and former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords worked together in the U.S. House of Representatives before each underwent life-changing incidents in the last two years: Kirk suffered a stroke; Giffords was seriously injured in a shooting. Now their paths cross again as they take leadership roles in the effort to reduce gun violence. At left, Kirk sits for an interview. At right, Giffords testifies with her husband, Mark Kelly, before a Senate panel Wednesday.

    Kirk, Giffords see lives intersect, again, over gun control

    On Wednesday morning, as U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk was introducing bipartisan gun trafficking legislation, former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, issuing a halting plea to Congress to "be bold. Be courageous," on gun control. For the third time in as many Januaries, the lives of the two intersected.


    Two stabbed at Aurora apartment

    Two men were stabbed during a possible home invasion in Aurora Wednesday night, according to police. The victims include a 22-year-old and a 32-year-old.

    Hadiya Pendleton

    unshot victim ‘was doing everything right’

    A 15-year-old girl who had performed in President Barack Obama's inauguration festivities is the latest face on the ever-increasing homicide toll in the president's hometown, killed in a Chicago park as she talked with friends by a gunman who apparently was not even aiming at her. "She was a very active kid, doing dance, cheerleading, who felt like she could accomplish just about anything, a very...

    Here are some of the stolen tires that have been recovered.

    Arlington Hts. sting uncovers tire theft ring

    When Arlington Heights police took a report of stolen tires at a local car dealership last fall, they had no idea it would lead to a massive illegal business with stolen property from the whole region — but that's exactly what investigators uncovered last week. So far two men have been charged with theft after police recovered more than 1,100 tires and 200 rims in the backyard of a Chicago...

    Following a salute to Mount Prospect’s public service officers, an honor guard makes its way past the crowd at the 2002 Celestial Celebration.

    Mt. Prospect honors banquet to mark 20th year

    Mount Prospect's Celestial Celebration banquet, which takes place Friday, is in its 20th year. Former Mayor Gerald "Skip" Farley, who helped get the event going in the early 1990s, said he's glad to see it still going strong. "I haven't missed one yet."

    From left, Matthew Hudak, Terrance O’Brien and John Cichy.

    Three arrested Schaumburg officers resign

    Three undercover Schaumburg police officers arrested on drug conspiracy charges two weeks ago have resigned, village officials confirmed Wednesday."Based on the information obtained during the village's own investigation, we are pleased to accept their resignations," Village Manager Ken Fritz said in a statement Wednesday.


    Palatine delays restaurant’s business license hearing

    A hearing scheduled for Wednesday regarding the business license of a Palatine restaurant where authorities say illegal drug sales have taken place has been postponed until 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8.


    Important info for candidates
    The Daily Herald candidate questionnaires have gone out via email. If you’re running in the April 9 election and didn’t receive one — or if you’re having trouble with the email — please contact us as soon as possible at electionhelp@dailyherald.com or at (847) 427-4442.


    Police: Elgin men sold stolen jewelry, clothes

    Two 26-year-old Elgin men were arrested Monday and charged with felony burglary in relation to a vehicle burglary that took place Jan. 15, Elgin police said in a news release.


    Kane nears end of troubled CFO search

    Stopping just short of calling it sabotage, Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen said he's keeping his list of candidates for finance director closer to the vest following a restart of the process caused by "some people" persuading Lauzen's first choice to drop out of the running.

    Conventional wisdom says school gym classes make a big difference in kids’ weight. But a report in the Thursday’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine says gym classes often are not long, often or intense enough to make much difference.

    Sex to burn calories? Authors expose obesity myths

    Fact or fiction? Sex burns a lot of calories. Snacking or skipping breakfast is bad. School gym classes make a big difference in kids' weight. All are myths or at least presumptions that may not be true, say researchers who reviewed the science behind some widely held obesity beliefs and found it lacking.

    A Cary police squad car secures entry to the Cary-Grove High School campus Wednesday morning as a code red “lockdown” safety drill involving simulated gunshots took place.

    Cary-Grove says gunfire drill went smoothly

    A "lockdown" drill Wednesday at Cary-Grove High School that included simulated gun shots — an element that had drawn criticism from some parents — went smoothly, district officials said. "We couldn't have asked for our kids to be more engaged in it," said Jeff Puma, director of communications for Community High School District 155.


    Glen Ellyn Dist. 41 rolling out new language programs

    All first-graders and some kindergartners in Glen Ellyn District 41 will be learning how to speak Spanish starting next school year as part of a multiyear foreign language instruction rollout at district elementary schools. Under a plan approved unanimously this week by the school board, first grade students at the district's four elementary schools will receive Spanish instruction every day for...


    Round Lake Park to seek tax hike for police pensions

    Round Lake Park officials will ask voters to pay higher taxes to fund police pensions. If approved, the question on the April 9 consolidated election ballot would cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 an additional $90.58 in the first year.


    Clerk: Lobbyists active in Cook County

    Lobbyists were paid nearly $2.4 million in 2012 as they attempted to influence Cook County officials on the county's new land bank, driver's licenses for immigrants, the landfill moratorium and other issues, according to reports submitted to Clerk David Orr's website.

    Robert Sauceda

    Potential Kane Co. hire sparks calls of cronyism

    The potential hiring of a running mate has Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen facing the same accusations of cronyism he campaigned against. The county animal control dpeartment is in the final stages of creating a new billing manager position that may go to unsuccessful county board candidate Robert Sauceda. He and Lauzen ran with a pledge of "draining the swamp of cronyism."

    Nicholas Dzierzanowski

    W. Chicago mayoral hopefuls debate business growth

    All three West Chicago mayoral hopefuls say it's no secret the city has a poor reputation when it comes to recruiting and retaining business. The real secret, they told the Daily Herald editorial board, is how to reverse that image and help the city encourage business growth.

    Paid on Call rookie firefighter Kyle Schrems from Lincolnshire made his first ice rescue on fellow firefighter/paramedic Nick Otto from the Buffalo Grove Fire Department. Both braved the 30 degree temperature practicing their ice rescue drills at the retention pond located next to the Combined Area Fire Training Facility in Buffalo Grove on Wednesday.

    Firefighters practice ice rescues in Buffalo Grove
    With alternating warm and cold weather making walking on pond ice very dangerous, firefighters Wednesday practiced their ice rescue skills at a retention pond adjacent to the Combined Area Fire Training Facility in Buffalo Grove.

    Michael Bregy

    District 300 officials say population up 2 percent

    Community Unit District 300 has 20,856 students, a population that is up 2 percent in two years and ranks the Carpentersville-based district as the sixth largest in the state. Taking a page from the playbook of local, state and national leaders, Superintendent Michael Bregy gave a joint "state of the district" address this week, updating the community for the first time with such a speech. Bregy...


    Naperville police hunting for burglars

    Naperville police are searching for thieves who stole a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro early Monday morning from a garage on the 2600 block of Champion Road on the city's south side. Police said a noise from the garage woke the homeowner about 2:30 a.m., and when he looked outside he saw the car with its engine running in front of his house. When he went to the garage he found a man inside a second...


    Dist. 73 to hold kindergarten information meeting

    Parents of students who will be 5 years old by Sept. 1 are asked to attend the Hawthorn Kindergarten Parent Information Night at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31 at Hawthorn Middle School South, 600 N. Aspen Drive, Vernon Hills.

    Three Schaumburg police officers face drug conspiracy charges in DuPage County. They are, from left, Matthew Hudak, Terrance O'Brien and John Cichy.

    Accused Schaumburg cops want lower bond, will face cameras

    Three Schaumburg police officers charged with criminal drug conspiracy will face cameras when they go before a judge Thursday to ask for lower bonds. At a series of hearings Wednesday, DuPage County Judge Blanche Hill Fawell granted extended courtroom access to members of the media. Two of the officers, John Cichy and Terrance O'Brien, objected to the coverage, while a third, Matthew Hudak, did...

    This is an undated photo of the 29,000-ton Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria. The passenger ship was struck by the Swedish-American vessel off Nantucket Island, Ma., July 25, 1956. The surviving passengers and crew were rescued before the ship sank in the Atlantic. The steamship measures 697 feet in length and was built in 1953.

    Images: Sinking of the Andrea Doria
    Images of the sinking of the 29,000-ton Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria. Richard Wojcik, a Chicago-area priest and survivor of the infamous maritime disaster, has died.


    Meetings on Lake-Cook road work planned

    Lake-Cook Road construction update meetings will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31 with businesses and at 4:30 p.m. with residents at the Deerfield village hall, 850 Waukegan Road.


    Fundraiser Saturday in Barrington benefits 8-year-old girl

    A benefit to aid the fight against a rare disease afflicting an 8-year-old Barrington girl will be at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at McGonigal's Pub, 105 S. Cook St., Barrington.


    Millikin University president retires

    The president of Millikin University in Decatur has announced his retirement and says it's effective immediately. Harold Jeffcoat offered no reason other than saying it's a good time for him to step down.


    Campton Hills man gets probation in belt-beating

    A Campton Hills man accused in September 2011 of beating his daughter with a belt has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was sentenced to four years probation. Mathew Gumbel, 35, had faced a minimum six-year prison term if convicted of aggravated battery of a child.


    Harris drops bid for Jackson Jr.’s old seat

    Freshman state Sen. Napoleon Harris has dropped his bid for former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.'s seat and is putting his support behind former state Rep. Robin Kelly.


    Trustee, ex-police chief running for Villa Park mayor

    Both candidates for Villa Park village president were involved in an agreement last year that ended the tenure of former police Chief John Heidelmeier. Neither can discuss it. One of the candidates is Heidelmeier, who is running against Trustee Deborah Bullwinkel in the April 9 election. The candidates spelled out their plans for leading Villa Park into the future, including ideas about how to...

    Mark Hanson, curator of the Chanute Air Museum in Rantoul looks over a P-51H Mustang, which is currently being restored at the museum’s hangar.

    Rantoul air museum worth visit

    It's almost back to its glory, the yellow-painted classic fighter modeled on ones a World War II ace used to fly. The P-51H Mustang, restored in honor of Louisiana's Lt. Col. Claude Crenshaw, is "the belle of the ball" at the newly revived Chanute Air Museum in Rantoul, said curator Mark Hanson. The elegant and deadly 1945 model's restoration will be finished soon after years of work. Some minor...


    Earliest possible District 220 strike now Feb. 21

    Barrington Unit District 220's school board and teachers union have agreed to shift the timeline for their post-impasse contract negotiations by one day, pushing the earliest possible start of a teachers' strike out to Feb. 21. That also allows Wednesday night's scheduled negotiations to take place before the deadline for both sides to submit their last and final offers to the Illinois...

    Dave Skeberdis with one of his birds in October outside his Aurora townhouse.

    Aurora man wants bird hoarding charges dismissed

    Charges against a man accused of hoarding nearly 500 dead and living birds inside his Aurora home should be dismissed because the city didn't take the proper legal steps to remove the animals, according to his attorney. David Skeberdis, 58, was charged with misdemeanor animal hoarding in November after Aurora officials seized 478 birds — 120 of them dead — from his feces-ridden...


    Cops: Store clerk badly beaten in Aurora robbery

    A liquor store clerk was badly beaten during an armed robbery Tuesday evening on Aurora's northeast side, authorities said Wednesday. The 53-year-old clerk at Twin Liquors, 975 N. Farnsworth Ave., was found suffering from "obvious head trauma" by a customer who called 911 about 6:20 p.m., Aurora police said. The clerk's injuries were described as serious and the suspects escaped with an unknown...

    A hotel employee said the $20.15 in-room movie charge for a Fox Lake Elementary District 114 board member was for the movie “Ted.”

    District's tab for weekend in Chicago: $13,756

    Taxpayers in Fox Lake Elementary District 114 paid for movies, a limo ride and nearly $1,600 in parking fees that were part of a $13,756.20 tab racked up by school board members and administrators at a conference in Chicago nearly three months ago. “The days are filled, so it's not like we're going down there and goofing around,” said Superintendent John Donnellan. “Do I think...

    Cecil Smith

    Elgin deputy police chief offered Sanford, Fla., job

    Elgin Deputy Police Chief Cecil Smith has been offered the chief's job in Sanford, Fla., the city made infamous by the Trayvon Martin shooting. The offer Tuesday comes with an annual salary of $110,469, said Smith, 51, a 25-year-veteran of the Elgin department. "In an lot of ways it's not about the pay, it's about the opportunity to go out and show that I have 25 years of experience. I have an...

    Martin J. Moylan

    Moylan opens Des Plaines constituent service office

    State Rep. Marty Moylan, a Des Plaines Democrat representing the 55th House District, will conduct an open house Saturday, Feb. 9, inaugurating his new constituent service office at 24 S. Des Plaines River Road in Des Plaines. Constituents are invited to visit the office between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

    John Anderson

    Gurnee’s Warren Township High School continues superintendent hunt

    Warren Township High School is ready to move into a second phase in its hunt for a new superintendent. John Anderson, president of the Gurnee-based Warren District 121 board, provided a search update during a recent meeting.


    West Chicago teachers: Little choice but to strike Monday

    Teachers in West Chicago Elementary District 33 say they will go on strike Monday, Feb. 4, if they are unable to come to a contract agreement with the school board. "We are disappointed and disheartened that our professional negotiations have come down to this," the union's chief negotiator, Mary Catherine Kosmach, said in a written statement. "But for months we have had to deal with a school...

    Mark Ditka

    Mark Ditka pleads guilty to drug, alcohol charges

    The son of football Hall-of-Famer Mike Ditka pleaded guilty to drug and alcohol charges Lake County court Wednesday. Mark Ditka, 50, of Deerfield, will spend 24 months on probation after pleading guilty to single counts of driving under the influence of alcohol and possession of a controlled substance in front of Lake County Judge Mark Levitt.

    Sandra Rogers

    Sledgehammer attack trial kicks off with bloody testimony

    A Lincolnshire Police sergeant told a Lake County jury he saw "two bodies covered in blood" when he glanced into the master bedroom of a home on May 19, 2003. "There was blood all over the two bodies, on portions of the floor and the bed," Sgt. James Hanley said at the start of testimony Wednesday in the trial of 56-year-old Sandra Rogers of Mundelein.

    Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was seriously injured in the mass shooting that killed six people in Tucson, Ariz., two years ago, sits with her husband, Mark Kelly, Wednesday and speaks before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence.

    With halting voice, Giffords speaks out on guns

    She uttered just 80 halting words. But her presence was powerful. Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, shot in the head by a Tucson gunman in 2011, opened the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing on gun violence in dramatic fashion Wednesday.


    (No heading)

    The first Naperville North Cheerleading Invitational brought together cheer squads from North, Neuqua Valley and Metea Valley and 37 other teams from nearby and as far away as Bloomington.

    Naperville cheer competition helps local teams tune up for state finals

    The inaugural Naperville North Cheerleading Invitational brought together 40 teams — including several from Naperville and a number of squads now on their way to the state finals.


    Schaumburg Twp. Democrats appealing removal from ballot

    Four of the five Democrats seeking office in Schaumburg Township will appeal their removal from the April 9 ballot — despite having to pay individual filing fees well above what they expected to pay as a group. The candidates are challenging their removal over a procedural error.


    Simple sentiments of love sometimes mean the most

    Many people enjoy a tangible touch of love. It doesn't have to cost much either, says columnist Annettee Budzban. Sometimes just a simple expression of love touches the heart the most.


    Morning crash stalls traffic on Jane Addams tollway

    Traffic is moving again after an earlier accident closed several lanes on the eastbound Jane Addams Memorial Tollway near Elmhurst Road for a short time on Wednesday morning, authorities said. One woman was transported to a hospital after reporting dizziness and headache symptoms, but her injuries did not appear serious, according to police.

    President of Egypt Mohammed Morsi, addresses the media during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, unseen, after a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.

    Egypt’s Morsi: Comments about Jews taken out of context

    Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi is defending comments that he made in 2010 referring to Jews as "the descendants of apes and pigs," saying that they were taken out of context.


    Egypt opposition wants dialogue to end violence

    Egypt's liberal opposition leader called for a broad national dialogue with the Islamist government, all political factions and the powerful military on Wednesday, aimed at stopping the country's eruption of political violence that has left more than 60 dead the past week.

    A police officer inspects victims’ belongings after a fire at the Kiss nightclub in Santa Maria City, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2012. The blaze began at around 2:30 a.m. local time on Sunday, during a performance by Gurizada Fandangueira, a country music band that had made the use of pyrotechnics a trademark of their shows.

    Nightclub fire raises questions about Brazil’s safety laws

    Flammable and toxic foam soundproofing on the ceiling. Just one exit for a club that could hold hundreds of people. Not a ceiling water sprinkler system in sight. These are some of the main causes of the massive death toll in a nightclub fire in Brazil. And none broke any law, raising questions about safety regulations in a nation set to host the World Cup and Olympic Games.

    Stanwood Fred Elkus, 75, was arrested in the killing of Dr. Ronald Franklin Gilbert, 52, of Huntington Beach at the medical office in Orange County on Monday Jan. 28,2013.

    Suspect in Calif. urologist killing blamed surgery

    A retired barber who told neighbors he blamed prostate surgery for his ill health is scheduled in court for the first time Wednesday on charges he shot a California urologist to death in his exam room.

    William “Mo” Cowan, right, former chief of staff for Gov. Deval Patrick. On Wednesday, Jan. 30 2013, Patrick will appoint Cowan as interim senator to fill our the term for John Kerry.

    Mass. gov. picks ex-aide Cowan as interim senator

    Gov. Deval Patrick has named his former chief-of-staff William "Mo" Cowan to serve as interim U.S. senator for Massachusetts until a special election can be held this summer to fill the seat left vacant by John Kerry's confirmation as the nation's new secretary of state.

    Police, SWAT teams and negotiators were at a rural property where a man was believed to be holed up in a homemade bunker Wednesday, HAN 30, 2013 after fatally shooting the driver of a school bus and fleeing with a 6-year-old child passenger, authorities said. The man boarded the stopped school bus in the town of Midland City on Tuesday afternoon and shot the driver when he refused to let the child off the bus. The bus driver died.

    Standoff: Man shoots Ala. bus driver, takes child

    Police, SWAT teams and negotiators clustered at a rural property where a man was believed to be holed up in an underground shelter Wednesday after fatally shooting the driver of a school bus and fleeing with a 6-year-old child passenger, authorities said. The standoff went through the night after the man boarded the stopped school bus in the town of Midland City on Tuesday afternoon.

    The mission by French troops scored another success in its effort to dislodge the al-Qaida-linked militants from northern Mali, and freed from Islamic rule over the weekend, women started coming out wearing bright colors, makeup and jewels, after 10 month of black veils and sharia laws.

    French foreign minister: Troops to leave Mali soon

    France's foreign minister said Wednesday that French forces would depart Mali "quickly" following their success in taking control of the airport in Kidal, a key position in the last remaining urban stronghold of Islamist extremists in northern Mali.

    A heavy fog shrouds the tugboat Richard A. Baker on the Mississippi River on Tuesday Jan. 29, 2013, as a vehicle drives along Great River Road in downstate Godfrey. The fog, caused by warm air over the cold river, blew dangerously over spots on the River Road and parts of Illinois Route 143 in Alton, dropping roadway visibility to zero at times.

    1 dead as vast storm rakes South, Midwest

    A large storm system packing high winds, hail and several possible tornadoes tore across a wide swath of the South and Midwest on Wednesday, killing one person, blacking out power to thousands and damaging homes. The death was reported when a large tree blew down on a shed in Nashville, Tenn. In Arkansas, another person was reported injured by lightning in Arkansas during the storm's eastward...

    South Korea says it has successfully launched a satellite into orbit from its own soil for the first time. Wednesday’s high-stakes launch comes just weeks after archrival North Korea successfully launched its own satellite to the surprise of the world.

    South Korea launches rocket weeks after North Korea

    South Korea launched a satellite into space from its own soil for the first time Wednesday amid increased tensions after archrival North Korea accomplished a similar feat and was condemned by the United Nations. Science officials told cheering spectators minutes later that the rocket delivered an observational satellite into orbit.


    Dawn Patrol: Man wants hoarding charges dismissed; cuts at Abbott

    Parents are questioning whether Cary-Grove High School should simulate gunfire in a safety drill today. Aurora man wants hoarding charges dismissed. Attorneys dispute who swung the sledgehammer in attempted murder. Can Blackhawks move to 7-0 tonight?


    Durbin: Repay federal funds if Midway privatized

    Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin says the city of Chicago should repay any federal funds spent to update Midway International Airport if officials decide to sell or lease it.Durbin sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Tuesday urging him to carefully evaluate any airport privatization agreements.


    Illinois House resumes work Wednesday

    The Illinois House returns to work as the General Assembly gears up for a spring session that promises a continuing struggle over how to close a $96 billion funding gap in the state's public-employee pension system.


    Police agencies worry over ammunition supplies

    Concerns over potential gun control legislation may be having an impact on Illinois law enforcement agencies. WNIJ Radio reports that some northern Illinois police departments say supplies are tight, making it more difficult to buy ammunition for officers.


    Elk Grove Village braces for spring roadwork

    Elk Grove Village residents and visitors should brace for a busy construction season this spring as simultaneous village, county and state road projects will make driving around town a major headache, Mayor Craig Johnson warned Tuesday. “It will be a pain for three or four months getting around this village, but the pain is going to be well worth it because the benefits are going to be for...


    Kane County against cutting transit board benefits

    A Kane County Board committee rejected support for legislation that would strip compensation, pension and insurance benefits for RTA and other transit board appointees. RTA board members serve part-time. But so do Kane County Board members who receive the same kinds of benefits. "Some people can come to us and say, You're not a full-time employee, either,' " one...


    FDA warns company over unapproved flu remedy

    Federal regulators say a Florida company has been marketing an untested inhaled formula as a flu remedy in violation of drug safety regulations. The Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission issued a warning letter to Flu and Cold Defense LLC for making misleading, unproven claims about its GermBullet inhaler.


    The San Francisco 49ers start three first-round draft picks on their offensive line, including tackle Joe Staley (74) and guard Mike Iupati (77).

    49ers, Ravens invest more in O-Line than Bears

    Maybe the biggest difference between the Bears and this year's Super Bowl combatants is that the 49ers and Ravens have made a commitment to drafting offensive linemen early and often, while the Bears have not.


    And what a nice home it will be ...

    "Field of Dreams" was already taken. In St. Francis' case, a capital campaign titled "Bring it All Back Home" is more appropriate.

    The Bulls’ Nate Robinson reacts after scoring against the Bucks during the first half Wednesday night in Milwaukee. Robinson finished with 24 points in the Bulls’ victory.

    Robinson gets charged up in Bulls’ win

    The personal battle between Nate Robinson and Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings didn't end on Jan. 9. Robinson hit 9-of-11 shots from the field on Wednesday, finished with 24 points, Jimmy Butler saluted his college town by adding 18 and the Bulls rolled to an impressive 104-88 victory.

    Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford gets a pat on the helmet from Brandon Bollig after the Minnesota Wild won 3-2 in a shootout Wednesday night.

    Blackhawks' perfect start ends in shootout loss

    The Blackhawks' franchise record six-game winning streak to start the season came to an end Wednesday night, but they were able to leave the Xcel Energy Center with a point after a 3-2 loss to Minnesota in a shootout. “I thought we got better as the game went on,” Quenneville told reporters.


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


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


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


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


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

    Mariah Matesi of Glenbard North one the bars during the Glenbard North girls gymnastics regional Wednesday in Carol Stream.

    Glenbard North’s regional streak ends

    DeKalb/Sycamore co-op ended Glenbard North's bid for a seventh straight regional championship, outscoring the Panthers, 142.275 to 140.350 in Wednesday's Glenbard North regional.


    Burlington Central’s big comeback stuns Streamwood

    The freshman and sophomore group of girls playing on Burlington Central's varsity team this season have, and rightfully so, been given about as much recognition as any of their age in recent memory. But when the game was on the line at Streamwood Wednesday night it was a savvy senior who had ice in her veins. Camille Delacruz, an unsung her for the Rockets all season, calmly stepped to the free throw line with six seconds to play and swished two shots that iced the Rockets' 40-37 come-from-behind nonconference win in a battle between a conference champion and a conference contender that will ultimately serve both well as the postseason approaches.

    Palatine’s Abby Alden dismounts from the balance beam during Wednesday’s gymnastics regional at Palatine.

    Kuksuk, Alden lead Palatine to regional title

    Palatine seniors Nicole Kuksuk and Abby Alden were able to hit when it counted in Wednesday night's girls gymnastics regional hosted by the Pirates. Kuksuk tied for first on the beam (9.45) and Alden took third on beam (9.125) in helping Palatine nip Barrington 139.25-139.775 as the Pirates secured their 15th regional title.


    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Cary-Grove 61, Jacobs 19: Olivia Jakubicek had 17 points and Joslyn Nicholson 11 as Cary-Grove (18-6, 9-1) rolled to its ninth straight win in this Fox Valley Conference Valley Division game. Katie Barker and Morgan Lee added 8 points each for C-G. Payton Berg led Jacobs (2-20, 2-8) with 7 points.Huntley 59, Dundee-Crown 33: Sam Andrews had 25 points and Ali Andrews added 13 to lead Huntley (21-4, 10-1) in the FVC Valley. Lauren Lococo led Dundee-Crown (2-21, 0-10) with 9 points.CL South 51, McHenry 46: Carly Nolan scored 15 points and Rachel Rasmussen added 14 to lead the Gators (19-6, 7-3) to an FVC Valley win.Batavia 71, Larkin 43: Quixmia Washington’s 27 points led Larkin (3-22, 1-10) in the Upstate Eight River.Latin 64, Elgin Academy 21: Elizabeth Clements had 11 points for Elgin Academy in the Independent School League.


    Way’s way works for Stevenson

    Sophia Way scored a game-high 15 points, including a 3-pointer, and Stevenson's girls basketball team captured a 34-28 win over host Lake Zurich in North Suburban Lake Division action Tuesday night.

    Grayslake North’s Kendall Detweiler, right, pulls down a rebound over Hampshire’s Tricia Dumoulin on Wednesday night at Grayslake North.

    Grayslake North’s 3-point shooting sinks Hampshire

    Faster than you can say, "Jen, Becky, Nikki and Tricia Dumoulin," Grayslake North sophomore Emily Dugan was jacking up 3-pointers during a frenzied fourth quarter in a Fox Valley Fox Division basketball game. Hampshire coach Ed Haugens didn't have a problem with it. "A loss is a loss," Haugens said with a shrug after Dugan came off the bench to score a career-high 21 points on seven 3s in Grayslake North's 68-52 win over the visiting Whip-Purs on Wednesday night.


    Good memories for McInerney, O’Mara

    As Benet's boys basketball team took the court Saturday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, the scene felt eerily familiar for Pat McInerney and Sean O'Mara. But in a good way.


    St. John’s beats DePaul 79-74 in OT

    Freshman JaKarr Sampson scored six of his 13 points in overtime and St. John's extended its winning streak to five games with a 79-74 victory over DePaul on Wednesday night at Carnesecca Arena. D'Angelo Harrison, the Big East's second-leading scorer at 19.8 points, had 17 to lead the Red Storm (14-7, 6-3 Big East), whose winning streak is one game short of how many conference wins they had last season. St. John's has won the last eight games against DePaul.

    Rosary’s Mary Wentworth collides with Aurora Central Catholic’s Alex DeCraene as they reach for a rebound in the second quarter on Wednesday, January 30.

    Rosary finishes against Aurora Central Catholic

    New Rosary coach Jessie Wilcox got a chance to honor her first class of seniors Wednesday night in front of a packed gym against archrival Aurora Central Catholic. Maddy Hemmerich, Madison Richmond, Amy Seraphin, Karly Tate and Mary Wentworth plus senior manager Kianna Musaraca got to go out with a win, erasing an early 8-point Chargers lead for a 44-38 victory that clinched third place in the Suburban Catholic Conference.


    Australian runner banned from sport for 6 months

    MELBOURNE, Australia — Olympic and world championships relay medalist John Steffensen has been banned from competition for six months by Athletics Australia for bringing track and field into disrepute.An investigation by an independent tribunal last month rejected claims of racial vilification and discrimination made by Steffensen before the 2012 Olympics, when he missed a spot in the individual 400 meters and selectors opted instead for teenager Steve Solomon. Solomon qualified for the final. The 30-year-old Steffensen, born in Australia of African heritage, claimed racism was behind the selections and he’d been the subject of racial slurs by team officials during the 2008 Olympics. AA said it took a final statement from Steffensen on Wednesday before “unanimously determining that a six-month suspension was appropriate” and banning him from competition until Aug. 1.


    Loyola beats Milwaukee 76-65

    CHICAGO — Ben Averkamp scored 22 points and Jordan Hicks had a season-high 21, leading Loyola of Chicago to a 76-65 victory over Milwaukee on Wednesday night.Averkamp also had 12 rebounds and four assists for the Ramblers (13-8, 3-5 Horizon), who shot 53 percent from the field and outrebounded Milwaukee 35-25. Christian Thomas added 16 points.Jordan Aaron and Austin Arians each had 17 points for the Panthers (5-17, 1-7), who have lost four in a row and seven of their last eight games. Milwaukee is 0-12 on the road this season.Loyola pulled away with 20 straight points midway through the second half, turning a 44-42 deficit into a 62-44 lead with 6:52 remaining. Cully Payne and Devon Turk hit back-to-back 3-pointers during the run and Averkamp had eight points. The Panthers went scoreless for 8:27 during that stretch.

    Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw (65) scores on Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding as Blackhawks’ Bryan Bickell (29) pressures the goalie during the Chicago-Minnesota game Wednesday in St. Paul. The Wild handed the Blackhawks their first loss of the season.

    Wild hand Blackhawks first loss, 3-2

    Matt Cullen scored 90 seconds into the game and again in a shootout to lift the Minnesota Wild to a 3-2 victory over Chicago on Wednesday, handing the Blackhawks their first loss in seven games this season.


    Drake hands SIU fifth straight loss 61-56

    Chris Hines scored 12 points and Richard Carter hit a key 3-pointer in the final minute as Drake defeated Southern Illinois 61-56 Wednesday night. The Salukis(8-13, 1-9 Missouri Valley) overcame a 10-point second-half deficit and tied the game at 54-54 when Josh Swan hit 1 of 2 free throws with 1:33 remaining. But Carter followed with a 3 with 1:05 left and Drake (10-11, 4-6) hit 4 of 6 free throws the rest of the way to close the game on a 7-2 run.

    Mike Benefiel

    Benefiel comfortable at Elmhurst

    Mike Benefiel's collegiate career has been anything but dull. The highs and lows have stretched through six years and five schools. However, it appears that the former Montini star and four-time high school state champion has found his home at Elmhurst College.

    Images from the Aurora Central Catholic vs. Rosary girls basketball game Wednesday, January 30, 2013.

    Images: Aurora Central Catholic vs. Rosary, girls basketball
    Aurora Central Catholic played Rosary Wednesday night in a girls basketball matchup in Aurora.


    Butler shrugs off snub

    One dream ended quickly for Bulls forward Jimmy Butler. He was not in the "talent pool" released Wednesday for the rookie-sophomore game during all-star weekend. Butler shrugged off the snub before facing Milwaukee.


    NIU holds off Kent State 67-65

    Abdel Nader's go-ahead jumper with 5 seconds left sealed the deal for Northern Illinois, who held off Kent State 67-65 on Wednesday night. Northern Illinois (5-14, 3-4 MAC) led 63-54 with 2:28 remaining in the game, but the Golden Flashes used an 11-2 run capped off by Devareaux Manley's 3-pointer to tie it at 65 with 31 seconds left.

    Nate Robinson (2) puts up a shot against Milwaukee’s Ersan Ilyasova, left, during the Bulls’ win over the Bucks Wednesday night in Milwaukee. Robinson scored a total of 24 points during the game.

    Robinson scores 24 to lead Bulls past Bucks

    Nate Robinson scored 16 of his 24 points in the second quarter, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 104-88 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night. Jimmy Butler, a second-year pro from Marquette, had 18 points and five rebounds in a return to the arena where he played college basketball.

    Grayslake North’s Maggie Fish and Brittany Thibeaux, right, guard Hampshire’s Jen Dumoulin.

    Images: Hampshire vs. Grayslake North, girls basketball
    The Grayslake North Knights hosted the Hampshire Whip-Purs for girls basketball action on Wednesday, Jan. 30 in Grayslake.


    Groce: Illini trouble comes down to shooting
    Illinois basketball coach John Groce says analyzing what's gone wrong since his team's 12-0 start isn't complex or difficult. Groce on Wednesday said his team has stopped making shots. The Illini (15-6, 2-5 Big Ten) have just plain gone cold since that hot, shot-driven start.

    Villanova’s Darrun Hilliard hangs on the rim following a dunk against Notre Dame Wednesday night in South Bend. Notre Dame beat Villa Nova 65-60.

    Biedscheid leads Notre Dame past Villanova 65-60

    Notre Dame shut Villanova down from 3-point range, and then the Fighting Irish beat the Wildcats by making their own long-range shots. The Irish held Villanova to 3-of-11 shooting from 3-point range, while the Irish were 9 of 21. Freshman Cameron Biedscheid scored a season-high 18 points, including going 5 of 7 from 3-point range, to lead Notre Dame to the 65-60 victory Wednesday night.

    San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh watches his players during practice Wednesday in New Orleans. The 49ers will play the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday.

    Niners’ Harbaugh destined to be brash

    49ers coach Jim Harbaugh didn't seem to be brash when he was a Bears quarterback for seven seasons. But maybe we should have seen it coming.

    Northwestern guard Alex Marcotullio, right, reaches in on Michigan guard Nik Stauskas (11) during the Wolverines’ win Wednesday night in Ann Arbor.

    No. 1 Michigan rolls past Northwestern 68-46

    Trey Burke had 18 points and eight assists, and No. 1 Michigan was nearly flawless at the start Wednesday night en route to a 68-46 victory over Northwestern. The Wolverines made 10 of their first 11 shots and went the entire first half without a turnover. They didn't commit a foul, either, until the final minute of the half.


    Wrestling/Scouting Fox Valley area regionals

    Taking a look at Saturday's wrestling regionals involing teams from the Fox Valley.


    Ice-fishing world mourns loss of guide

    The ice fishing world lost one of the best Saturday. Jim Hudson hit the ice like he does every winter day, in search of that next big fish, when his snowmobile went through the ice on Lake Superior near Bayfield, Wis.

    Former Bulls player Dennis Rodman — one of basketball’s most outrageous personalities — has written a book for children. The Hall of Famer’s book, “Dennis The Wild Bull,” came out Wednesday, Jan. 30.

    Ex-Bull Rodman writes book for kids

    NEW YORK — Even Dennis Rodman laughs at the idea.“Kind of funny, huh?” he said.It’s true, though. One of basketball’s most outrageous personalities has written a book for kids.The Hall of Famer’s book, “Dennis The Wild Bull,” came out Wednesday and fans will immediately recognize Rodman’s influence. The large red bull on the cover has flowing red hair, two nose rings, a tattoo and red stubble under his chin.“They’ll see me, literally see me. They’ll say, `Wow, this is just like him,”’ Rodman said in a phone interview. And he deals with the same issues.Rodman, known as much for his wacky looks and lifestyle off the court as his considerable success on it, said the purpose of the book is simple.“More than anything, I just want little kids today just to understand, ain’t no matter what you do in life, be different, rich or poor man, guess what, it’s OK to be who you are pretty much and you’ll be accepted,” Rodman said. Rodman already wrote books about his personal life — the wild nights as a player, relationships with Madonna and Carmen Electra, and everything that allowed him to be famous long after he finished winning five championships with Detroit and Chicago.The author whose previous works include titles such as “Bad as I Wanna Be” and “I Should Be Dead by Now” chose a different audience this time. He said even now he is still recognized by children who never saw him play, and those are the ones he wanted to reach.“For a guy like me to be very eccentric, to even go to extremes to write a children’s book with all the wild things I do and make it believable was pretty much incredible,” Rodman said.Cowritten with Dustin Warburton, the book tells the story of Dennis, a bull who is captured away from his family and forced to live with other bulls in a rodeo. Though he looks nothing like them, they come to accept him and he becomes friends with them.“Once I got to know the other bulls, I liked them,” Rodman said. “I enjoyed their company and stuff like that, and they accepted me for who I am no matter how I look.”Dennis becomes so close with them that when he plots his escape to return to his family, he makes sure his new friends can come with him. Dennis originally was to escape alone until Rodman decided to change the ending.“That’s not really Dennis. Dennis thought it was so cool that these other bulls accepted him and he stayed loyal to them. He wanted to see his family but he wanted these other bulls to come along,” said Darren Prince, Rodman’s marketing agent. “Anybody that knows the real Dennis Rodman knows how loyal he is to anybody that he’s close with and Dennis didn’t like that part, so they tweaked it at the end.”Rodman, ordered to pay $500,000 in back child support to his ex-wife last month, acknowledges a couple of his children on the cover, where two little bulls are pictured in front of Dennis.The book is available on Rodman’s website, www.dennisrodman.com, and Amazon for $16. His website also has information regarding upcoming book signings in the New York area and Chicago.

    Dundee-Crown senior Raymond Griggel, above right in a match against Larkin’s Juan Davis last season, has overcome a series of injuries to return to the mat this season. He is a contender for the Class 3A Huntley regional championship Saturday at 220 pounds.

    Dundee-Crown’s Griggel turning around his bad luck

    If there was a category below bad luck, Dundee-Crown senior wrestler Raymond Griggel may very well qualify for membership. But he hopes that changes in the upcoming state series.


    Fire falls 2-1 in preseason soccer clash

    The Chicago Fire fell 2-1 to the Columbus Crew at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., on Wednesday. Yazid Atouba, a second-round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, scored his first goal in a Fire jersey in the 89th minute of the match.

    Next fall, the south end zone at Memorial Stadium in Champaign will have a new video display that will stand 36 feet tall by 96 feet wide. Other sound and video enhancements are planned throughout the stadium.

    Memorial Stadium to get massive video display

    While its football team continues the rebuilding process, Illinois athletic officials are also working on major improvements to Memorial Stadium next fall.Illini officials announced Wednesday that Daktronics has been hired to design, manufacture and install new video display and sound systems at University of Illinois' Memorial Stadium. The project includes a HD video display measuring 36 feet tall by 96 feet wide.

    A view of the San Clemente pier as the sun starts to come up in Southern California.

    No fishing, but lots of pier pressure on this trip

    A family-oriented trip to California didn't allow for any fishing, but that didn't stop Mike Jackson from taking notes on the nonstop action taking place at the San Clemente pier.

    Palatine’s McKenzie Wiedemann tries to get past Barrington’s Megan Talbot earlier this season. Palatine has been bamed the Chicago Sky Girls High Schooll Basketball Team of the Week.

    Palatine is Chicago Sky team of the week

    The Chicago Sky has named the Palatine High School varsity girls basketball team as this week's 2013 Chicago Sky Girls High School Basketball Team of the Week, presented by Under Armour. With a veteran team consisting of only one freshman, two sophomores and the rest juniors and seniors, the Pirates of coach Leslie Schock have shown they can succeed on and off the court.

    New Orleans police are in the middle of an unprecedented security challenge with an estimated 150,000 Super Bowl fans packing the city during the raucous annual buildup to Mardi Gras, when thousands of revelers flock to the historic French Quarter and its restaurants, bars and strip clubs.

    New Orleans’ challenge: Policing 2 huge parties

    New Orleans police are in the middle of an unprecedented security challenge with an estimated 150,000 Super Bowl fans packing the city during the raucous annual buildup to Mardi Gras, when thousands of revelers flock to the historic French Quarter and its restaurants, bars and strip clubs.


    Mike North video: Super Bowl Preview with Mike North and Artie Clear

    Will the latest accusation of illegal substances involving Ray Lewis affect his job prospects with ESPN? Mike and Artie Clear give their score and winner predictions for this weekend's game.


    Soane leads Glenbard West past Downers North

    Caitlin Soane scored 16 points, and the Hilltoppers (8-15, 3-8 West Suburban Silver) outscored the Trojans 14-6 in the fourth quarter to rally in Downers Grove. Sarah Costello scored 18 points and Peyton Winters 12 for Downers North.



    Illinois delays $500 million bond offer after rating downgrade

    Illinois postponed a $500 million offer of general-obligation bonds planned for today, citing unfavorable market conditions after Standard & Poor's cut its credit rating last week and threatened to drop the grade again.

    Boeing Co. said Wednesday that its top priority this year is fixing the battery problems that grounded its 787. The company made the pledge while reporting a fourth-quarter profit that topped Wall Street estimates, as rising profits from commercial jets offset a smaller profit from defense work.

    Boeing sticks to production plans, battery for 787

    Boeing is sticking with plans to speed up production of its 787 and sees no reason to change the lithium-ion battery design at the center of the troubled plane's problems, its CEO said Wednesday. Boeing's full-speed-ahead approach comes even as it became clear that airlines were replacing 787 batteries more often than Boeing had expected.

    Thorsten Heins, CEO of Research in Motion, introduces the BlackBerry 10, Wednesday in New York. The maker of the BlackBerry smartphone is promising a speedy browser, a superb typing experience and the ability to keep work and personal identities separate on the same phone, the fruit of a crucial, long-overdue makeover for the Canadian company.

    BlackBerry launches long-awaited comeback campaign

    After lengthy delays, Research In Motion Ltd. unveiled its first two phones with the new BlackBerry 10 system. The Q10 will have a physical keyboard, while the Z10 has only a touch-screen keyboard. RIM also announced a company name change to BlackBerry to maintain a single brand. It will have the ticker symbol "BBRY" on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Jan. 15. Facebook reported higher earnings than expected on Wednesday.

    Facebook results surpass expectations

    Facebook delivered fourth-quarter results above Wall Street's expectations Wednesday and said its mobile ad revenue — a closely watched figure — is growing. Facebook's stock increased 16 cents to $31.40 in after-hours trading after briefly dipping lower just after the release of the results.

    U.S. stocks fell, dragging benchmark indexes from five-year highs, as the Federal Reserve said it will maintain its program to buy securities after the economy unexpectedly shrank in the fourth quarter.

    Stocks drop as economy put brakes on stock rally

    A reminder that the U.S. economy still remains a long way from being fully healed after the Great Recession put the brakes on a January rally that has pushed stocks close to record levels. The Standard & Poor's 500 logged its biggest drop of the year.

    The cast of voting members on the Federal Reserve’s policy committee is changing this year, but their policies probably won’t be as Chairman Ben Bernanke, seen here, will likely retain a solid majority on the 12-member committee for his drive to keep interest rates low well into the future.

    Fed cites “pause” in growth, stands by stimulus

    The Federal Reserve says growth "paused" in recent months and reaffirmed its commitment to boost a sluggish U.S. economy by keeping borrowing cheap for the foreseeable future. The Fed stood behind aggressive steps it launched in December to try to reduce unemployment.

    Containers are unloaded from cargo ships at the Port of Los Angeles. The U.S. economy unexpectedly shrank from October through December, the first quarterly drop since 2009 and a reminder of the economy’s vulnerability as automatic cuts in government spending loom.

    US economy shows first shrinkage in 3½ years

    The U.S. economy unexpectedly shrank from October through December, the first quarterly drop since 2009 and a reminder of the economy's vulnerability as automatic cuts in government spending loom.


    Private job survey shows stronger job hiring

    A private survey shows U.S. businesses increased hiring in January compared with a revised December reading. Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that employers added 192,000 jobs in January. That is more than December's revised number of 185,000, which had initially been reported at 215,000.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., meets with reporters following a weekly Democratic strategy session, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013.

    GOP lawmakers see automatic cuts as leverage

    Driven by frustration over deficits and debt, Republican conservatives are pushing a politically risky move to permit painfully large automatic spending cuts to strike the Pentagon and domestic programs alike in an effort to force Democrats into making concessions on the budget. It's a remarkable turnabout from last year, when GOP leaders were among the loudest voices warning of dire consequences if the across-the-board cuts were allowed to take effect.

    Toyota is recalling 907,000 vehicles, mostly Corolla models, around the world for faulty air bags and another 385,000 Lexus IS luxury cars for defective wipers.

    Toyota recalls 1.29M vehicles for air bags, wipers

    Toyota is recalling more than one million cars around the world for faulty air bags and defective windshield wipers. The move comes just days after Toyota regained its spot as the world's No. 1 automaker. The company is now recalling 907,000 cars, mostly Corollas, as well as 385,000 Lexus IS luxury cars.


    Navitas completes acquisition of A123 Systems business

    WOODRIDGE — Navitas Systems LLC said it has finalized its acquisition of substantially all of the assets of A123 Systems’ former Ann Arbor, Mich.-based government business, including U.S. military contracts.Navitas Systems’ bid won the defense-related assets of A123 and was approved by the US Bankruptcy Court on Dec. 11, 2012. Navitas’ acquisition represents the final milestone in this transaction.“Beyond the laboratory, intellectual property assets and government contracts we formally gained today, we’re delighted that all of our offers to the eligible employees of the Ann Arbor, Michigan R&D facility were accepted,” said Alan ElShafei, chairman and founder of Navitas Systems. “This enables Navitas to keep intact all of the world-class scientists and engineers necessary to develop and commercialize Nanophosphate lithium ion battery chemistry and other advanced battery technologies being developed for critical military and government applications.”In addition to keeping the Ann Arbor R&D team intact, Navitas has also hired several key engineers from A123’s Livonia Automotive Group who were working on the productization of several government battery projects.“Part of the excitement of the Ann Arbor team is because their research and development work now has a direct outlet to exciting military and other governmental applications which the Navitas team in Woodridge Illinois is cultivating,” said Navitas Systems CEO Nancie ElShafei. “The second part of their excitement in accepting the Navitas offers stems from the leadership of Les Alexander, who will assume the role as General Manager of the newly titled organization, Navitas Advanced Solutions Group.”Alexander has deep experience in the lithium battery industry, and has been an integral part of the Ann Arbor R&D team since the days of T/J Technologies, a lithium battery technology firm which A123 Systems acquired in 2006.Lithium battery safety has been in the news of late, with the recent incidents involving new Boeing jet aircraft. “Our scientists and engineers know that high performance can’t come at the expense of safety,” Alan ElShafei said. “We have some exciting new initiatives on our technology road map in this area. Navitas Systems will continue tocommit and dedicate the resources needed in working with industry leaders to reinforce safety as the top priority.”In addition to Navitas Systems, Elgin-based Wanxiang America Corp. announced it as acquired substantially all of the nongovernment business assets of A123 Systems through a transaction that has been approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.


    Navman Wireless acquired by Danaher Corp.

    Fleet management solutions provider Navman Wireless said it has been acquired by Danaher Corp. a Fortune 250 science and technology company. Terms of the transaction were not announced.

    An artist’s rendering of Magnetrol International’s new headquarters in Aurora.

    Magnetrol to move headquarters to Aurora

    Magnetrol International said it plans to relocate its headquarters from Downers Grove to Aurora as the company accommodates the need for increased capacity.


    Grainger declares 80 cent quarterly dividend

    The board of directors of W.W. Grainger, Inc. declared a cash dividend of 80 cents per share payable on March 1 to shareholders of record on February 11.


    U.S. helps Fiat Q4 profit more than double

    Fiat SpA, the Italian automaker that controls Chrysler LLC, said Wednesday it had reduced its fourth-quarter losses in Europe last year, helping earnings more than double as North American sales continued to surge. The carmaker based in the northern Italian city of Turin posted net profit of (euro) 102 million ($138 million), up from (euro) 43 million in the same period last year as Fiat. Revenues were (euro) 21.8 billion.


    White House: Sandy to blame for lack of growth
    The White House says Superstorm Sandy is partially to blame for the unexpected contraction of the U.S. economy. Top White House economist Alan Krueger says the storm, which battered the East Coast, disrupted economic activity and destroyed $44 billion in fixed capital. Krueger also says federal defense spending shrank, in part because of uncertainty over automatic spending cuts that could have kicked in at the start of the year.

    Containers are unloaded from cargo ships at the Port of Los Angeles. Most economists agree that the snapshot of U.S. economic growth released Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2012, is going to look dismal.

    U.S. economy shrinks 0.1 pct., 1st time in 3½ years

    The U.S. economy unexpectedly shrank from October through December for the first time since 2009, hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles. The drop occurred despite stronger consumer spending and business investment.


    AbbVie’s first forecast higher than analysts’ estimates

    AbbVie Inc. forecast 2013 earnings higher than analysts' estimates, after sales surged for its arthritis treatment Humira, the world's second-best selling medicine, and its testosterone-boosting gel. AbbVie, giving its first forecast since breaking away from Abbott Laboratories on Jan. 1 as an independent company, projected earnings excluding one-time items of $3.03 to $3.13 a share.


    Midas wins dismissal of shareholder suit over TBC purchase

    Itasca-based Midas Inc., the operator of car service centers, won dismissal of a shareholder lawsuit over tire supplier TBC Corp.'s acquisition of the company.

    Marijuana plants ready to be harvested. Last fall, voters made Washington and Colorado the first states to pass laws legalizing the recreational use of marijuana and setting up systems of state-licensed growers, processors and retail stores where adults over 21 can walk in and buy up to an ounce of heavily taxed cannabis.

    Green thumb? Wash. state looks for pot consultant

    Wanted: A green thumb with extensive knowledge of the black, or at least gray, market. As Washington state tries to figure out how to regulate its newly legal marijuana, officials are hiring an adviser on all things weed: how it's best grown, dried, tested, labeled, packaged and cooked into brownies.Those angling for the job were expected to learn more Wednesday in Tacoma. The state Liquor Control Board, the agency charged with developing rules for the marijuana industry, reserved a convention center hall with a capacity of 275 people — plus an overflow room — for its bidding experts to take questions about the position and the hiring process.

    The Aeroscraft airship, a high-tech prototype airship, in a World War II-era hangar in Tustin, Calif.

    High-tech cargo airship being built in California

    The massive blimp-like aircraft flies but just barely, hovering only a dozen feet off a military hangar floor during flight testing south of Los Angeles. Still, the fact that the hulking Aeroscraft could fly for just a few minutes represents a step forward in aviation, according to the engineers who developed it. The Department of Defense and NASA have invested $35 million in the prototype because of its potential to one day carry more cargo than any other aircraft to disaster zones and forward military bases.


    Oil rises ahead of the release of US indicators

    Oil prices rose to near $98 a barrel on Wednesday ahead of the release of more U.S. economic indicators and the conclusion of a meeting of U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers.By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for March delivery was up 35 cents to $97.92 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

    The four new voting members on the Federal Reserve policy committee from top left, Esther George, James Bullard, Charles Evans, and Eric Rosengren.

    Fed's new voting lineup won't likely alter policy

    The cast of voting members on the Federal Reserve's policy committee is changing this year. Their policies probably won't be. Chairman Ben Bernanke will likely retain a solid majority on the 12-member committee for his drive to keep interest rates low well into the future despite critics who worry about the risks.As the committee meets for the first time this year, Bernanke and the six other members of the Fed's board in Washington will keep their votes. So will William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. All have permanent votes. But among the presidents of the 11 other Fed regional banks, four are losing votes and four are gaining them.

    The distorted main lithium-ion battery, left, and an undamaged auxiliary battery of the All Nippon Airways' Boeing 787 which made an emergency landing on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 at Takamatsu airport in Takamatsu, western Japan.

    U.S. regulator asks Boeing for full battery history

    U.S. regulators said Wednesday they asked Boeing Co. to provide a full operating history of lithium-ion batteries used in its grounded 787 Dreamliners after Japan's All Nippon Airways revealed it had repeatedly replaced the batteries even before overheating problems surfaced. National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said the agency made the request after recently becoming aware of battery problems at ANA that occurred before a Jan. 7 battery fire in a 787 parked at Boston's Logan International Airport. Boeing has already collected some of the information, he said.


    Chrysler profit jumps on higher sales

    Just three years out of bankruptcy, Chrysler posted a $1.7 billion profit in 2012 and said it expects to earn more than $2 billion this year. Improving U.S. auto sales — and better products at Chrysler — were the big reasons that last year's profit was nine times higher than the profit of $183 million in 2011. Chrysler's worldwide sales were up 18 percent to 2.2 million last year.

Life & Entertainment


    Mom’s New and Improved Cornpone Pie
    Mom's New and Improved Cornpone Pie

    "Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Foods, and Disease" by Dr. Robert Lustig

    Don Mauer digests “Fat Chance”

    "Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Foods, and Disease" by Dr. Robert Lustig, M.D. is not a how-to diet book with menu's, shopping lists and recipes. And, even though Dr. Lustig simplified his explanations to make it easier for non-medical readers, it's also not the easiest of reads. What Fat Chance has is solid, study-backed information about why there's a world-wide obesity epidemic.

    Talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw, left, interviews Ronaiah Tuiasosopo during taping for the “Dr. Phil Show” in Los Angeles. Tuiasosopo allegedly concocted the girlfriend hoax that ensnared Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o.

    Dr. Phil: Te’o was victim of girlfriend hoax

    Dr. Phil McGraw says Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who masterminded the dead girlfriend hoax involving Manti Te'o, told him the Notre Dame linebacker was not involved in the scheme and that he ended up falling "deeply, romantically" in love with the football player. McGraw spoke on the "Today" show Wednesday, previewing an interview he did with Tuiasosopo, a 22-year-old California man who created the fictional woman Te'o knew as Lennay Kekua.

    Associated Press file photo Jim Nabors is seen in character for his role of Gomer Pyle in this 1966 file photo. Jim Nabors and his partner, Stan Cadwallader, traveled from their Honolulu home to Seattle to be married Jan. 15, 2013.

    Actor Jim Nabors marries partner in Seattle

    Jim Nabors, the actor best known for playing Gomer Pyle on TV in the 1960s, has married his longtime male partner. Hawaii News Now reports Nabors, 82, and Stan Cadwallader, 64, traveled from their Honolulu home to Seattle to be married Jan. 15. Gay marriage became legal in Washington state last month.

    Turkey chili is perfect for game night or any night you crave the full flavor a big bowl of hearty chili.

    Turkey chili scores with Super Bowl fans

    For me, chili always screamed football food. When we used to have friends and family over to watch the big game, I would make batches of it and have it simmering for our guests. It's easy to customize each bowl with lots of toppings for every fan.


    ‘Entourage’ crew to make leap to big screen

    Vincent Chase and his entourage are jumping from the small screen to the big-screen. Warner Bros. confirmed Wednesday that a film version of HBO's hit series "Entourage" is in the works. Series creator Doug Ellin is writing and directing the film, which does not yet have a production start date or release date. The studio also has not finalized the cast.

    Tina Fey as Liz Lemon, left, and Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney from the series finale of “30 Rock,” airing Thursday on NBC.

    ‘30 Rock’ ending seven seasons of mirth

    You want resolution on the "30 Rock" finale? You're gonna get it. Sort of. At least, the sort befitting "30 Rock," with its loopy storytelling mixed with joy in spoofing the culture of TV. Closure, if that's what it is, comes in a two-minute postscript on this hour episode. But maybe you should just stop reading right now, you "30 Rock" purists who don't want to know what happens or might seem to happen, however wacked-out and ironic it may be.


    Brewers, musicians craft new collaborations

    Across the country, brewers have been making beers in collaboration with musicians or otherwise inspired by music, a phenomenon that sheds light on how rock, heavy metal and other styles have influenced the iconography and culture of craft beer.

    A scheduling hearing for a case alleging Lindsay Lohan lied to police, drove recklessly and obstructed officers from performing their duties is scheduled for Wednesday before a judge who has previously sentenced the actress to house arrest and jail time.

    Lindsay Lohan’s driving case returns to L.A. court

    A judge who has sentenced Lindsay Lohan to jail before will conduct her first hearing Wednesday on new misdemeanor charges of lying to authorities and reckless driving against the trouble-prone actress. Lohan has been ordered to appear before Judge Stephanie Sautner for the scheduling hearing, which is the first time the actress has been required to appear in court in nearly a year.

    MTV announced Tuesday that the pop singer Ke$ha will debut a documentary series, “Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life,” in April.

    Singer Ke$ha to debut MTV reality series in April

    "Jersey Shore" might have ended, but another partygoer is lending her wild life to MTV: Ke$ha. MTV announced late Tuesday that the pop singer will debut a documentary series, "Ke$ha: My Crazy Beautiful Life," in April.

    Actor-singer Justin Timberlake will perform at the Grammy Awards show on Feb. 10.

    Justin Timberlake to perform at Grammys

    Justin Timberlake will be rocking that suit and tie at the Grammy Awards. The Recording Academy announced Wednesday that Timberlake will perform at the Feb. 10 awards show in Los Angeles.

    Turkey chili is perfect for game night or any night you crave the bold flavors of hearty chili.

    Kitchen Scoop: Turkey chili scores with Super Bowl watchers
    Super Bowl of Chili: Kitchen Scoop

    John Malkovich stars in “The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer” at Symphony Center in Chicago.

    Best bets: Malkovich makes killer return to Chicago

    John Malkovich returns to Chicago in a chilling opera and theater hybrid drama called “The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer” at Symphony Center in Chicago. Rodeo and bull-riding greats like Neal McCoy are featured in the professional championship Bull Riders World Tour Finale VII this weekend at the Sears Centre. Plus, the globally celebrated Parsons Dance comes to NCC in Naperville Friday.

    Add Mini Corn Dog Muffins to your Super Bowl menu.

    Mini corn dog muffins score big on Super Sunday

    Somehow a little football game turned into a national holiday. At least it sure feels that way. Every TV ad, whether for furniture or Fritos, and grocery store flyer reminds us that the Super Bowl will be played on Sunday (Yes, it particularly stings for us Bears fans this year.) So assuming you'll be watching the Ravens take on the 49ers, whether by yourself or with a few friends, you'll need to get a menu whipped into shape.

    The signature burger at Wild Monk starts with an 8-ounce Angus patty and is adorned with marinated mushrooms, bacon, bourbon onions, aged cheddar and mixed greens.

    St. Charles gastro pub wild at heart

    St. Charles is home to several pubs, but the newest, Wild Monk, distinguishes itself from the rest with surprisingly eclectic food, a huge craft beer list and a downtown building that's almost new. Wild Monk doubles as a sports bar, complete with a dozen or so large flat-screen TVs. The surprise comes in with the kitchen's inventive menu that draws from wide-ranging culinary influences.

    “Feeling Mortal” by Kris Kristofferson

    Kris Kristofferson confronts mortality

    As the title "Feeling Mortal" implies, singer-songwriter and actor Kris Kristofferson confronts the consequences of aging in this album of stripped-to-the-bone acoustic songs. At 76, Kristofferson has grown into his ragged rasp of a voice, which fits with lyrics that deal with being "here today and gone tomorrow," as he sings in the title cut.

    “Insane City” by Dave Barry

    Dave Barry’s ‘Insane City’ is hysterical

    Humorist Dave Barry has produced his first solo adult novel in more than 10 years, and it's hysterical. In a story reminiscent of "The Hangover" films, Seth is marrying a woman who is drop-dead gorgeous, and his buddies have the ultimate bachelor party planned. The Groom Posse has wild ideas that involve strippers and alcohol while cavorting about Miami until a misadventure inside a cab starts them on a different path.


    Mo Rocca stirring things up on Cooking Channel

    Mo Rocca says he "really learned to write" when he worked on "Wishbone" in Dallas, a children's show on PBS about a Jack Russell terrier whose daydreams followed story lines of classic literature. Eight years ago he made the unlikely jump to food television and now hosts "My Grandmother's Ravioli" on cable's Cooking Channel.

    Tina Fey, left, and her husband Jeff Richmond at the “30 Rock” farewell wrap party in New York. Richmond is executive producer and the composer and arranger for the show.

    Final ‘30 Rock’ showcases its unsung music man

    "When stuff is coming to an end, people freak out and they act crazy," says Liz Lemon. Liz and all the characters of "30 Rock" are doing just that on the series finale (airing at 7 p.m. Thursday on NBC) as they produce one last installment of their show-within-that-show, "TGS," while anticipating life apart from one another. But Jeff Richmond wasn't freaking out, not even with the end (and a tight deadline) breathing down his neck: Just last Friday he was in a studio in midtown Manhattan, closeted with an eight-piece string ensemble, his baton raised, recording interludes of background music for that final episode.

    Come in from the cold to a classic French country dish updated in “The Mediterranean Slow Cooker” by Michele Scicolone.

    Pot au Feu — Beef and Vegetables
    Pot au Feu: Beef and Vegetables


    Stir it up: Winter stew with a French accent

    People who write slow cooker cookbooks, and who sell slow cookers, would have you believe they are four-season appliances. But anyone who uses a slow cooker knows in her (or his) heart that it is a cold weather appliance.



    Editorial: No need to arm school personnel

    Arming school personnel is not the answer to safety concerns in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, a Daily Herald editorial says.

    Scott Slonim, public defender

    Cameras and the rights of the accused

    Guest columnist Scott Slonim: At the end of the day, after trials have been broadcast on live television, where do the accused go to get their reputation back?


    Only God can help solve nation’s problems
    A Prospect Heights letter to the editor: The Bible speaks of the final days and what the people will be like; lovers of self, sexually immoral, greedy, arrogant, evil will be called good, and good called evil, etc. No one knows when the final judgment will come, but instead of being angry with the people like this, I am praying for them to wake up and realize the dead-end path they, and we, as a country are on.


    How state GOP furthered Obama’s ascent
    A Streamwood letter to the editor: The Illinois Republican Party should have been less focused on "purity" issues and ignored Peter Fitzgerald's quirks in 2004. Had they supported him for re-election, I believe that he would have defeated Obama, Obama would not have become a national figure,


    Age-based tests unfair to older drivers
    An Antioch letter to the editor: I didn't realize until recently that in Illinois you are required to take a road test to renew your driver's license starting at age 75. This is very upsetting to me.


    Thanks for support of holiday gift drive
    A Grayslake letter to the editor: I wanted to write to thank fellow Lake County residents who generously gave of their time and means to help impact thousands of hurting kids this Christmas


    Pro-choice must make voices heard
    An Algonquin letter to the editor: Medically safe, legal abortion has had a profound impact on American women and their families. The right to make childbearing decisions has enabled women to pursue educational and employment opportunities that were once unthinkable, but are now considered essential to our nation's economic well-being.


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