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Daily Archive : Wednesday February 6, 2013

News

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    Helen and Arthur Polich renewed their wedding vows Thursday along with three other couples at Victory Centre of Bartlett.

    Couples renew vows on Valentine’s Day at Victory Centre in Bartlett

    Victory Centre of Bartlett held a wedding vow renewal ceremony for Valentine’s Day officiated by Rev. Elder Dale. The ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Thursday was followed by love songs performed on the piano by musician John LaBourn and a slice of wedding cake for all those in attendance.

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    Rendering of the proposed Greenleaf townhouse project in Vernon Hills.

    Luxury rental community and townhouse plan could boost residential building in Vernon Hills

    Two plans of different size and scope could boost home building in Vernon Hills. The Oaks, a proposed luxury rental community on the former Kelly's Day Camp on Route 45, has received official approval for preliminary plans. Village officials also supported changes to the look of townhouses to be built on Greenleaf Avenue. The original development was approved in 2006 but was idle until another...

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    West Chicago District 33 school board spokesman Dave Barclay talks to about 60 parents Thursday during a special board meeting as he and Interim Superintendent Kathy Wolfe answer questions about a tentative contract with teachers reached early that morning.

    Financial challenges remain in Dist. 33 post-strike

    The teachers strike is over, a tentative contract has been reached and classes have resumed, but financial challenges in West Chicago District 33 remain, officials said Thursday night. “It took a long time to work through them, but we're glad we finally did,” school board spokesman Dave Barclay said. “Now we can look forward and get back to our mission of teaching our...

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    Daily Herald theater critic Barbara Vitello speaks during a Subscribers Total Access event before a performance of “Sunset Boulevard” Thursday at Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace.

    Daily Herald critic speaks to readers at Drury Lane
    On a blustery winter night, Daily Herald Subscriber Total Access members had art and music to keep them warm. A number of subscribers Thursday enjoyed Drury Lane Theatre’s production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Sunset Boulevard,” inspired by director Billy Wilder’s iconic 1950 film noir. Before the performance, subscribers chatted with Barbara Vitello, who reviews...

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    Naperville Unit District 203 Superintendent Dan Bridges was among 19 administrators and board members who attended a Chicago conference last year, costing taxpayers $17,183.58, the most of 92 suburban districts analyzed.

    Area schools spend $574,197 during weekend in city

    It cost suburban taxpayers $574,197.48 to send 735 school board members and district administrators back to the classroom. The price tag for a weekend-long conference last November includes rooms at downtown Chicago hotels and many free meals, but the heftiest portion of the tab comes from the nearly $300,000 spent on registration fees for seminars, workshops and classes.

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    Sandra Rogers

    Woman guilty of sledgehammer attack

    After only three hours of deliberations, a Lake County jury found Sandra Rogers guilty of attempting to murder her ex-husband with a sledgehammer in an early-morning attack almost a decade ago. Prosecutors said Rogers was the "angry, bitter and frustrated ex-wife" who used a red sledgehammer to repeatedly strike Rick Rogers on May 19, 2003, in the bedroom of his Lincolnshire home.

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    Former Congressman Joe Walsh of McHenry is considering starting a SuperPac.

    Walsh mulls SuperPAC to counterbalance Rove’s

    After being linked to them by his 8th District congressional opponent throughout his campaign for re-election, former Congressman Joe Walsh is now founding his own SuperPAC. “I’m filing the paperwork to form a super PAC to support freedom-loving conservative alternatives to @KarlRove on FOX,” Walsh tweeted Tuesday.

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    Ray Millington

    Grayslake District 46 board approves tentative deal for teachers

    Grayslake Elementary District 46 board members have approved a tentative agreement for a new contract for teachers who went on a three-day strike month.

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    Lakes Michigan, Huron hit lowest water level on record
    Two of the Great Lakes have hit their lowest water levels ever recorded, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday, capping more than a decade of below-normal rain and snowfall and higher temperatures that boost evaporation.Measurements taken last month show Lake Huron and Lake Michigan have reached their lowest ebb since record keeping began in 1918, and the lakes could set additional...

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    Judge dresses as a nun to aid in his deliberations

    A federal judge says he dressed as nun in his chambers before finding a defendant guilty of bank robbery. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly said he wore the nun costume to determine if Navahcia Edwards' defense argument that the May 2011 robbery of a Palos Heights bank was carried out by a white robber, not an black person like her, was plausible.

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    Inmates attack 3 Illinois prison staffers

    Two guards and a chaplain were injured Tuesday in an Illinois prison attack that union officials said involved up to 15 inmates, the latest in a series of violent incidents at the lockup and others in the state.The violence over the past month led to one death last week at Menard Correctional Center, where the most recent assaults also happened. Union officials say the disturbances stem from...

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    Gov. Pat Quinn

    Gov. Quinn to include ethics plan in State of the State speech
    Gov. Pat Quinn's annual State of the State address Wednesday will include a plan to boost anti-corruption efforts in Illinois with a proposal requiring lawmakers recuse themselves from taking a vote on legislation or other official action if there is a conflict of interest. Quinn's noon speech — which comes as Illinois has the worst pension problem in the country — will delve into...

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    Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, front, shakes hands with Illinois Senate President John Cullerton while Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, left, looks on. Quinn backed Cullerton's pension proposal in the speech, taking sides in an increasingly heated debate over the state's finances.

    Gov. Quinn backs Cullerton's pension plan

    Gov. Pat Quinn threw his influence squarely behind Senate President John Cullerton's plan to cut the state's pension costs, endorsing it over a competing proposal pushed by suburban Democratic Rep. Elaine Nekritz. "I urge all of you to be part of the solution," Quinn said. "And while refinements may come, Senate Bill 1 is the best vehicle to get the job done."

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    Rita Crundwell, former comptroller for Dixon, stole more than $53 million from the city. She faces up to 20 years in prison.

    Former Dixon comptroller seeks leniency

    An attorney for the former Dixon comptroller who stole a staggering $53 million in public funds is arguing for a lenient prison sentence, saying the woman has cooperated with investigators since her arrest and must endure "disrepute and shame" for the rest of her life.

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    Toni Skelley, of Decatur, holds the delicate wax crown adorned with tiny white, wax blossoms worn by her grandmother Pauline Bucher when she married in 1895.

    Collector restores wax wedding 'crown'

    It's hard to imagine what brides wore nearly 120 years ago, but Decatur sisters Toni Skelley and Martha McNamara were able to look into the past when they received a wedding headpiece their grandmother, Pauline Bucher, wore when she married in 1895. "Our mother had it when our grandma died, and then when our mother passed away, I got it," Skelley of the a delicate wax crown adorned with tiny...

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    Amtrak rider arrested with 7 pounds of marijuana
    Police were ready for a suspicious Amtrak passenger when he arrived at the La Crosse train station. Authorities in Portland, Ore., alerted local police that the 25-year-old Boscobel man was acting suspiciously and traveling to La Crosse. Police searched the man's bags with the help of a drug-sniffing dog. Officials say they found about $30,000 worth of marijuana in the man's bags.

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    3 hurt in crash near Long Grove

    Three people were injured in a car crash near Long Grove Wednesday morning, according to authorities. The Long Grove Fire Protection District responded to a call at 7:29 a.m. regarding a two vehicle accident with entrapment on Old McHenry Road, just north of Hillcrest Drive in unincorporated Lake County.

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    Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan.

    Lawmakers to get classified drone info

    President Barack Obama has directed the Justice Department to give Congress' intelligence committees access to classified legal advice providing the government's rationale for drone strikes against American citizens working with al-Qaida abroad, a senior administration official and Democratic lawmakers said Wednesday.

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    Elk Grove Village native Gregory Arthur Weiler II, shown entering the Ottawa County courthouse in Miami, Okla. will be tried in federal — not state — court on charges he plotted to firebomb churches, authorities announced Wednesday.

    Church bomb plot suspect charged in federal court

    An Elk Grove Village man charged with plotting to firebomb dozens of churches in northeastern Oklahoma with Molotov cocktails will be tried in federal — not state — court, authorities announced Wednesday.

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    Batavia officials are discussing ways to silence train horns as they pass through town on this spur line on the east side.

    Cost of silencing train horns in Batavia may be $3 million

    Silencing train horns in Batavia remains an expensive proposition, the Batavia city services committee learned Tuesday.

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    Former Des Plaines mayor Tony Arredia, left, 3rd Ward Alderman Matt Bogusz, center, and 6th Ward Alderman Mark Walsten, right, will be contending for the Des Plaines mayoral seat in the April 9 consolidated election.

    Des Plaines mayoral hopefuls split on merit of taxing districts

    Two of three Des Plaines mayoral hopefuls criticize previous city councils for doing a poor job with special taxing districts that are now in trouble due to the economic slump stalling development.

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    Purdue looks into possible 2nd typhoid fever case

    Health officials on Purdue University's main campus in West Lafayette possibly have a second case of typhoid fever. The Indiana State Department of Health has said a food handler at Purdue is believed to have contracted the disease while traveling abroad.

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    Herbert Burgess

    Mount Prospect man gets 24 years for sexual assault

    A Mount Prospect man convicted of sexually assaulting a then 15-year-old boy in August 2011 was sentenced to 24 years in prison today. Herbert Burgess, 58, must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

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    Robert Hatfield led the First Church of Lombard United Church of Christ for 24 years as pastor until his death Tuesday morning at age 60.

    Lombard pastor ‘had the courage’ to serve others

    Assisting those in need, following the St. Louis Cardinals and being a grandfather were among the passions of longtime First Church of Lombard Pastor Robert Hatfield, members of his congregation said Wednesday. Hatfield died Tuesday at age 60. "At our church, he was always about outreach, both to the local community and beyond," church moderator Rick Kelly said.

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    Quinn calls for $10 minimum wage

    Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, during his State of the State address Wednesday, proposed raising Illinois' minimum wage from $8.25 to $10 an hour, ethics reforms for lawmakers, legalized same-sex marriage, streamlined processes for military veterans applying for work licenses, and more.

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    Lawsuit seeks police overtime for phone use

    Does scanning emails and answering calls from bosses on your smartphone after hours constitute work that should be compensated? A lawsuit winding its way through federal court in Chicago says that it does.

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    Vickie Podruzek

    Woman gets eight years for dirty dish shooting

    A Downers Grove woman was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison for blasting her boyfriend with a shotgun -- a crime authorities said was sparked in part by a dirty dish. The shooting happened last February after 44-year-old Vickie Podruzek and her boyfriend quarreled about their relationship. Tensions mounted when the victim left out a dirty dish and then threw it when Podruzek put it on...

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    Metra and the BNSF Railway are reviewing how a train door remained open on a crowded rush-hour train Tuesday.

    Metra investigating open door on rush-hour train

    Commuters on a Naperville-bound express train Tuesday evening got a little too much fresh air when a door failed to close. A conductor closed the door after several minutes. Metra is investigating the incident.

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    Road projects topic of meeting:

    Two road improvement projects will be among the topics from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 11 at the Bull Creek-Bull's Brook Watershed Council meeting at the Libertyville Township hall, 359 Merrill Court, Libertyville.

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    Fire station events:

    Grayslake Fire Department's training facility at Station 1, 160 Hawley St., Grayslake, hosts a blood drive and pancake breakfast fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 9.

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    Art festival applications available:

    Mundelein Community Connection is looking for artists for the annual Mundelein Fine Arts Festival. It's set for Sept. 7 and 83 at Kracklauer Park.

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    Congressman Aaron Schock of Peoria participates in a rally during Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair in 2011. He’s being investigated by the House Ethics Committee.

    Committee will continue investigation into Schock

    The House Ethics Committee says it will continue an investigation into U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock over allegations the Illinois Republican sought donations of more than $5,000 per donor to a super political action committee.

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    Barrington Unit District 220 school board members and teachers reached a tentative agreement on a three-year teachers’ contract early Wednesday morning. Teachers could ratify the deal next week, and the school board could vote to approve Feb. 19.

    Dist. 220 board,teachers reach three-year deal

    The Barrington Unit District 220 board of education and teachers union have reached a tentative agreement on a three-year teachers' contract, avoiding a potential strike later this month, officials announced Wednesday. The agreement, formally announced in a joint statement on the district's website, barrington220.org, came after a negotiating session that began at 5 p.m. Tuesday and wrapped up...

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    Municipal trucks fill up with salt Wednesday in Portsmouth, N.H. as the Northeast prepares for a snowstorm.

    ‘Historic winter storm’ moves toward Northeast

    A "potential historic winter storm" may dump 2 feet of snow on Boston and eastern Massachusetts as it makes its way up the Atlantic coast, leaving 10 inches or more in New York City.

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    Palatine Library about to undergo major renovation

    Creating a video using green screen technology or converting a favorite vinyl record to a digital file are just a couple new services Palatine Public Library patrons will soon be able to access. The library is about to embark on a major renovation, its first to the main level since the building opened in 1993.

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    Tri-Cities police reports
    A Valentino "Rockstud" leopard-print calf-hair hobo purse, priced at $2,895, was stolen between 2 p.m. Jan. 26 and noon Jan. 30 from Jobella, 310 Campbell St., police said.

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    Teachers continued to walk picket lines Wednesday at Gary Elementary School in West Chicago, as negotiating teams for the union and school board returned to the bargaining table for the fifth time in nine days.

    Possible progress in District 33 contract talks

    There were signs of possible progress in contract talks Wednesday in West Chicago Elementary District 33 as teachers walked picket lines for the third consecutive day. The school board and teachers union returned to the bargaining table with a federal mediator at 1 p.m. and were meeting into the evening. Mary Catherine Kosmach, the union's chief negotiator, said both bargaining teams are "close"...

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    Wheaton write-in candidate sparks legal challenge

    It wasn't enough to have Wheaton's electoral board remove Frank Garcia's name from the spring ballot. Officials now are seeking a court order to prevent the city council candidate from pursuing a write-in campaign. They say the step is necessary because Garcia failed to prove he's lived in Wheaton long enough to legally qualify to serve on the council. But Garcia is refusing to abandon his bid...

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    Official urges feds to prosecute more gun cases

    Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey says the number of cases prosecuted by the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago has dropped from 129 in 1999 to 73 in 2011 to 40 in 2012. That's despite studies that have shown federal prosecutions effectively deter gun crimes.

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    U of I considers Chinese-funded institute

    The University of Illinois may open a new institute financed by the Chinese government and focused on Chinese language and culture. The Confucius Institute would be based at the Urbana-Champaign campus and paid for by $150,000 a year from the Chinese Ministry of Education.

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    Stomach virus prompts quarantine at jail

    What officials say is an outbreak of the "stomach flu" in the Cook County jail has prompted the sheriff to quarantine one of the jail's largest divisions. Sheriff Tom Dart says the bug causes diarrhea and vomiting and has hit the largest minimum security division in the Chicago facility that houses just under 700 inmates.

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    No Kane County court security strike; sides will meet again

    Kane County officials and court security officers, who have been working without a contract since late 2008, are exchanging proposals and will meet again on Feb. 19. The court security officers are on the job today although they have presented the county last week with a five-day notice to strike.

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    Former Schaumburg police officer Matthew Hudak leaves DuPage County Jail after posting bond Monday.

    Wife describes shock of Schaumburg officer's arrest

    Sara Hudak, wife of former Schaumburg undercover officer Matthew Hudak, said in an interview that she's certain her husband is innocent of charges of running a criminal drug enterprise. “The picture the prosecutor is painting is not my husband,” she said.

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    Asher Horcher

    High school senior drops off Wheeling board ballot

    Asher Horcher, the Northwest suburbs' youngest candidate for office on the April ballot has withdrawn from the race for the Wheeling Village Board, saying it is more important to the village that her father, Pat Horcher, be elected village president.

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    Grafton, Alton mayors headed to Washington

    Two mayors from southern Illinois say they're going to Washington next month to talk with lawmakers about the Mississippi River.The Telegraph in Alton reports Grafton Mayor Tom Thompson and Alton Mayor Tom Hoechst say they plan to talk about ecosystem restoration, sustainable economies and environmentally friendly flood plain development.

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    Our switch to Facebook commenting

    Today, we officially switch to using Facebook commenting on dailyherald.com. You’ll be able to more easily share your thoughts and opinions with your friends and family on Facebook. And you won’t have to remember a separate dailyherald.com login.

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    Honor Roll appointee Tim Storm (with plaque) with the Palatine Park District Board of Commissioners, from left, Jay Cozza Andy McPherson, Jennifer Rogers, Nick Sawyer and Sue Gould.

    Palatine Park District honors community’s volunteers

    The Palatine Park District honored its 20 volunteers of the year, along with two Honor Roll appointees and its former executive director, earlier this month at the annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon.

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    Stevenson High School officials are considering creating an app that would allow students and parents to access schedules, calendars and other information on smartphones and tablets.

    Stevenson High considering going mobile with an app

    Stevenson High School officials are considering creating an app that would allow students and parents to access schedules, calendars and other information on smart phones and tablets. Neighboring Libertyville and Vernon Hills high schools launched their first apps in December.

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    Cackling geese often go undetected when mingling with hundreds of Canada geese. They are a separate species and much smaller than Canadas.

    One bird in a flock may not be like the others

    When our Jeff Reiter started counting a flock of mallards, he discovered an impostor - a black duck - among the fowl. Experienced birders know to expect the unexpected, and Reiter says that's a smart approach if you want to see new birds. "There might be an uncommon species, or even a mega-rarity in our midst, but it takes a careful and patient observer to detect it."

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    The Boy Scouts of America’s national executive board has delayed a decision on whether to lift its long-standing ban on gay scouts and leaders.

    Boy Scouts delay decision on admitting gays

    Faced with intense pressure from two flanks, the Boy Scouts of America said Wednesday it needed more time for consultations before deciding whether to move away from its divisive policy of excluding gays as scouts or adult leaders. Possible changes in the policy — such as a proposal to allow sponsors of local troops to decide for themselves on gay membership — will not be voted on...

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    President Barack Obama waves as he walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. Obama is heading to Annapolis, Md., to attend a Democratic retreat.

    THE RESET: GOP, Dems hold soul-searching retreats

    Democrats and Republicans are trying to get their respective acts together — by holding retreats. President Barack Obama huddled with Senate Democrats Wednesday at an issues retreat in Annapolis, Md. House Republican leaders recently emerged from their own three-day retreat in Williamsburg, Va., introducing a new softer side while maintaining a hard line on slashing deficits and fighting...

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    Skid marks from the weekend’s fatal bus cash remain on the pavement as morning commuters drive along Highway 38 for the first time since the road was reopened, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 in Yucaipa, Calif.

    Calif. tour bus collision death toll rises

    The death toll has risen to eight in the violent collision between a tour bus and other vehicles on a two-lane highway in California over the weekend. The driver of a pickup truck struck by the bus, Fred Bailey Richardson, 72, of San Bernardino, died early Wednesday.

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    In this image made from video and provided by 13WMAZ TV, black smoke rises above a fiery crash on Interstate 16 near Montrose, Ga., about 40 miles southeast of Macon, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, after several vehicles collided, killing at least three people. The crash shut down a roughly seven-mile stretch of the highway, forcing cars to be detoured around the area.

    Authorities: 3 dead in fiery highway crash in Ga.

    Officials say a fiery pileup involving more than two dozen vehicles on a Georgia interstate has left at least three people dead and several others hurt.

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    Frail Mo. teen found chained in parents’ basement

    Authorities say they rescued a frail 17-year-old boy whom they found handcuffed to a pole in his parents' Kansas City, Mo., basement.

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    Arlington Heights police warn of scams

    Arlington Heights police warn of continued scams aimed at taking advantage of elderly residents. In one recent case, an 82-year-old man received a call from a subject claiming to be his grandson and saying he was arrested on charges of DUI in Orlando, Fla., and needed $1,420 wired for his bond.

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    Danni Allen of Wheeling uses swimming skills honed at Mundelein High School on NBC's The Biggest Loser.

    'Biggest Loser' contestant from Wheeling shines in latest episode

    Her athleticism is helping Wheeling's Danni Allen continue to excel on The Biggest Loser, the NBC weight-loss reality show that reached its halfway point this week with the Mundelein High School grad still in the hunt for the grand prize. As of Monday's episode, Allen had dropped 51 pounds from her starting weight of 258.

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    24-year-old Salaka Djicke reflects on the horror she endured during 10 months of Islamist rule in her hometown of Timbuktu, Mali, Wednesday Feb. 6, 2013. Salaka and her boyfriend continued seeing each other in secret, even after Shariah rule was imposed, risking death for a chance to love.

    Woman in Timbuktu punished for forbidden love

    The love story in this fabled desert outpost began over the phone, when he dialed the wrong number. It nearly ended with the couple's death at the hands of Islamic extremists who considered their romance "haram" — forbidden. What happened in between is a study in how al-Qaida-linked militants terrorized a population, whipping women and girls in northern Mali almost every day for not...

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    Alexian Brothers foundation members Suzanne Frey and Janice Selden are with gifts coming in for the baby shower for the new Alexian Brothers Women and Children’s Hospital in Hoffman Estates.

    Baby showers set for Alexian children’s hospital in Hoffman Estates

    After more than five years of planning, the new Alexian Brothers Women and Children's Hospital in Hoffman Estates is nearing completion, and members of the Alexian Brothers Foundation's Women's Board are throwing a pair of baby showers to welcome their new addition with amenities to make staying there more pleasant. "These are items that are not part of our operating budget," says Julie Baker,...

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    Oakbrook Terrace Historical Society board member Bob Shanahan shows the plan for how the Sears Roebuck Homart home originally looked when it was built in 1950-51 by the family of former city clerk Lorraine Fik.

    New Oakbrook Terrace Historical Society celebrates city’s past

    The Oakbrook Terrace Historical Society formed less than a year ago and has been making exiciting discoveries about the tiny city that was incorporated in 1958. The biggest find has been that the city-owned house where the historical society has been storing its artifacts recently was authenticated to be Sears Homart home, one of only six verified in the country. But the city has plans to tear...

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    Palestinian leader mistakes Morsi for Mubarak

    Awkward. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas mixed up the names of Egypt's democratically elected president and his ousted authoritarian predecessor when he tried to thank his hosts at an Islamic summit in Cairo on Wednesday.

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    John Brennan, now President Barack Obama’s nominee to be CIA director, withdrew from consideration for the job in 2008 amid criticism over the agency’s use of harsh interrogation techniques, like waterboarding, against terrorist suspects. This time, in 2013, he’s making it clear he strongly opposes such practices.

    Brennan, once stung by waterboarding, now opposes

    John Brennan, now President Barack Obama's nominee to be CIA director, sat quietly around a conference table at the agency's headquarters in Langley, Va., during briefings about the capture and waterboarding of a key al-Qaida operative. Brennan's silence may have cost him his first chance to lead the spy agency in 2008, and it is likely to come up again this week as Brennan faces his confirmation...

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    A demonstrator shouts near the ambulance carrying the body of opposition leader Chokri Belaid in Tunis. The Tunisian opposition leader critical of the Islamist-led government and violence by radical Muslims was shot to death Wednesday, the first political assassination in post-revolutionary Tunisia.

    Tunisian opposition leader killed amid tensions

    A Tunisian opposition leader critical of the Islamist-led government was gunned down as he left home Wednesday in the first assassination in post-revolutionary Tunisia, setting off anti-government riots that left downtown Tunis choked with tear gas and patrolled by a tank and armored cars.

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    French armored vehicles are seen heading toward the Niger border before making a left turn north in Gao, northern Mali, Wednesday Feb. 6, 2013.

    Hidden explosives found in Mali city

    Malian soldiers patrolling a city recently abandoned by Islamic insurgents uncovered a stash of industrial-strength explosives Wednesday. They found grenades at another site and a possible booby-trapped vehicle, underscoring the risk of urban terror-style attacks.

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    A rescue responder stands outside the law enforcement compound outside the scene of the nearly weeklong hostage standoff that ended on Monday, in Midland City, Ala. The young boy held hostage was rescued safely Monday by a tactical police unit. The gunman, Jimmy Lee Dykes, engaged in a firefight that left the captor dead, the FBI and officials said.

    FBI: Ala. captor rigged bunker, waged ‘firefight’

    As FBI and police negotiators sought for days to coax an Alabama man into freeing a kindergartner held hostage in an underground bunker, the captor was planning for violence, authorities say. He rigged the bunker with explosives, tried to reinforce it against any raid, and when SWAT agents stormed the shelter Monday to rescue the boy, Jimmy Lee Dykes engaged in a firefight that left the captor...

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    Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) CEO Sally Jewell. An administration official says President Obama has plans to announce the nomination of Jewell to secretary of Interior.

    AP: Obama taps REI exec for Interior

    President Barack Obama on Wednesday will nominate business executive and former engineer Sally Jewell to lead the Interior Department, an administration official said. Jewell is the president and chief executive officer at the outdoors company Recreational Equipment, Inc., known as REI, which sells clothing and gear for outdoor adventures with more than 100 stores across the country.

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    Bank robbed in Fox Lake

    Authorities are releasing few details about a robbery that occurred Tuesday afternoon at PNC Bank in Fox Lake.

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    Nephew of embezzler Crundwell buys her ranch
    A relative of former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell, who embezzled almost $53 million from the northern Illinois city, has purchased the quarter horse ranch she developed with the stolen funds.Brenda and Richard Humphrey Jr. purchased the property formerly owned by Crundwell for $1.13 million. Richard Humphrey said Tuesday he bought the 88-acre site to expand Humphreys Show Cattle. The couple...

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    Karl Rove to discuss ‘12 election at Ripon College
    Former Republican top aide Karl Rove is expected to discuss last year's elections during an upcoming speech at Ripon College. Rove used to serve as the top political aide to former President George W. Bush. He's also a regular contributor on the Fox News Channel.

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    SIxth-grade teacher Amy Wagner, along with other West Chicago School District 33 teachers, walk a picket line at Route 59 and Main Street.

    Dawn Patrol: West Chicago Dist. 33 talks go on; Naperville smart meter flap

    Still no deal in West Chicago District 33; Naperville residents upset over smart meter arrests; IDOT outlines Circle Interchange renovation plans; Oberweis' attempt to oust GOP chairman rejected; fallout continues in Schaumburg cop drug cases; Northwestern makes additional Wrigley commitment.

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    Bartlett might set up foreclosed building registry

    The Bartlett village board, meeting as a committee Tuesday, heard a proposal for a new ordinance that would give the village staff more support in dealing with vacant properties.

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    Clockwise from upper left, Norm Breyer, Joseph Farwell, Thomas Glasgow , Jim Tinaglia and Bert Rosenberg.

    Newcomer challenging incumbents for Arlington Heights village board

    Newcomer Jim Tinaglia is challenging incumbent trustees Joseph Farwell, Bert Rosenberg, Thomas Glasgow and Norm Breyer in the race for four at-large seats on the Arlington Heights Village Board. The candidates say major issues facing the village this election season include pension funding, business development and bringing a new police station to Arlington Heights.

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    Terrance O’Brien appears for a reduced bail hearing last week in Wheaton.

    Prosecutors say they were misled about ex-Schaumburg cop’s wife’s support

    Prosecutors sought to restore the $750,000 cash bond for the one ex-Schaumburg police officer not released from jail because his wife doesn't want him back. They argue Terrance O’Brien’s wife filed for divorce six days after his arrest on drug charges. "The court relied upon defendant’s representations that (O'Brien) has a house in Palatine and a supportive wife with him,”...

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    Crystal M. Zwarton

    Three people arrested, house condemned in Elgin

    Three people were arrested after they were found living with two children and several animals in a home, later condemned, that was teeming with animal feces, Elgin police announced Tuesday. Police said they are also looking for a man who is the owner of the animals.

Sports

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    Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly says this recruiting classes fills some big needs.

    Notre Dame signs 22, waiting for word on others

    Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly says he won't argue with analysts who call the recruiting class announced Wednesday his best, saying it reflects the progress the Irish have made in his three seasons at the school. He says the class also fills Notre Dame's biggest needs, adding running back Greg Bryant, four defensive backs and five offensive linemen.

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    Illinois adds key QB among new recruits

    llinois has landed a 20-player recruiting class that includes two four-star recruits. Among them is the player the Illini believe is their quarterback of the future. Quarterback Aaron Bailey is considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com and will likely replace Nathan Scheelhaase, who is entering his final season.

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    The Hawks’ Marian Hossa falls down after getting checked by the Coyotes’ Raffi Torres during the first period of Game 3 of thire first-round playoff series at the United Center.

    Will Hossa, Blackhawks see a ‘new’ Torres?

    Raffi Torres is trying to change his ways. Torres and Marian Hossa will be on the same ice Thursday night for the first time since last April when Torres sent the Blackhawks star to the hospital on a stretcher in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series. “At the end of the day I need to keep playing, this is what I want to do, and if I want to keep playing in this league I’m going to have to change my way," Torres said.

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

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

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

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    Fremd freshman Brianna Lewis, middle, is mobbed by teammates after she hit the game-winning shot in overtime to beat Rolling Meadows in the Mid-Suburban league championship game.

    Images: Fremd vs. Rolling Meadows, girls basketball
    The Rolling Meadows High School girls basketball team hosted and lost in OT to the Fremd High School girls in the MSL championship game on Wednesday, February 6th.

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    Fremd’s Haley Gorecki drives for a layup against Rolling Meadows defender Ashley Montanez during the Mid-Suburban league championship game Wednesday.

    Lewis’ long shot lifts Fremd past Rolling Meadows

    If you had to give a title to the 40th annual Mid-Suburban League girls basketball championship on Wednesday night, "Against All Odds" should fit script. Brianna Lewis, the smallest and only girl in the game who wasn't in high school a year ago, tossed in a 3-pointer from left of the key in overtime to give unranked Fremd a stunning 66-63 come-from-behind victory over host Rolling Meadows, the No. 3 ranked team in Class 4A.Ashley McConnell, a four-time veteran of the title match, appeared as if she was going to take the final shot in overtime.

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    Vernon Hills' Lauren Webb, right, drives on Zion-Benton's Krystal Walker during the NSC title game Wednesday night at Zion-Benton.

    Prairie pride: Super victory for Vernon Hills

    By edging Zion-Benton 51-50, Vernon Hills became the first Prairie Division team to win the NSC title game, which has been contested since 2001. "I think it's awesome for our division and also for our program to be the pioneers of this feat," said VH's Meri Bennett-Swanson, who scored 15 points on 7-of-14 shooting and collected 5 rebounds. "It's an amazing accomplishment."

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    Egekeze leads Huntley to another FVC Valley win

    Junior 6-foot-7 forward Amanze Egekeze says his surgically repaired knee loosens up as games progress, the timing of which worked out well for Huntley in Wednesday's 59-53 victory at Crystal Lake South. Egekeze blocked 4 shots, all in the second half, highlighted by his denial of a driving layup attempt by CL South leading scorer Austin Rogers with 22 seconds left. Rogers' shot could have trimmed Huntley's lead to 2 points. Instead, Egekeze swatted it from behind, grabbed the rebound, drew a foul and sank both super-bonus free throws to provide the final margin of victory in Huntley's 29th straight victory against a Fox Valley Conference Valley Division opponent.

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    St. Edward’s depth does in Marian Central

    St. Edward boys basketball coach P.J. White has two things most coaches would die to have on their teams: depth and balance. They're two significant pieces of success for the Green Wave this season and when White saw two key players have off nights in Elgin Wednesday night, there wasn't any worry. In the Green Wave's 60-48 Suburban Christian Gold Blue win over Marian Central (3-23, 2-6), Anotnio Domel, Danny Favela and John Butzow carried the slack. Butzow poured in a game-high 15 points while Favela scored 13 and led the team in rebounds with 9. As for Domel, he had 9 points and 4 assists as the three spearheaded the Green Wave's full-court defense, a major problem for Marian Central in the first half.

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    Hampshire outlasts South Elgin in OT

    Hampshire 58, South Elgin 53 (OT): Tyler Crater scored 27 points, including 6 of Hampshire’s 10 in the overtime, to lead the Whip-Purs to a nonconference win at South Elgin. Ryan Cork added 19 points for the Whip-Purs (19-4). Ryne Lundy led South Elgin (5-18) with 16 points and Matt McClure added 15.

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    Harper men handle Rock Valley

    Playing its third game in a seven-day span, the Harper College men's basktball team held on for a 83-64 win over conference foe Rock Valley College on Wednesday night at the Sports and Wellness Center in Palatine.

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    Lindsey Vonn will head home for surgery in Colorado next week after tearing two ligaments in her right knee and breaking a bone in her lower leg in a crash at the world championships.

    Vonn to have surgery in US next week after crash

    Lindsey Vonn will head home for surgery in Colorado next week after tearing two ligaments in her right knee and breaking a bone in her lower leg in a crash at the world championships.

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    DuPage County keglers getting on a roll

    It's crowded at the top as teams roll into this weekend's girls state bowling tournament.

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    Chad Beebe is one of three Aurora Christian football players going to Northern Illinois.

    Aurora Christian trio staying together at NIU

    It's not terribly often one school produces three Division I football players out of the same senior class.

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    Pau Gasol has torn plantar fascia on right foot

    Pau Gasol was diagnosed with a torn plantar fascia in his right foot Wednesday, indefinitely sidelining the 7-foot Spaniard at a key point in the Los Angeles Lakers' belated rally to get in playoff position.

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    Gary Harris scored 15 points while playing through a back ailment and Keith Appling added 14 points before leaving with an injury, leading Michigan State to a 61-50 victory over No. 18 Minnesota on Wednesday night.

    No. 12 Michigan State beats No. 18 Minnesota 61-50

    Gary Harris scored 15 points while playing through a back ailment and Keith Appling added 14 points before leaving with an injury, leading Michigan State to a 61-50 victory over No. 18 Minnesota on Wednesday night.

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    Western Illinois signs up Mid-Suburban League talent

    Bob Nielson turned heads with the way he turned Minnesota-Duluth into a Div. II power, enough so that Western Illinois hired him as their head football coach Dec. 19. Now Nielson, who went 100-26 in his 10 seasons as head coach including two national championships, is turning heads in the Chicagoland area as seniors Devin O'Hara (Prospect), Colin Olson (Prospect) and Josh Baldus (Palatine) all signed national letters of intent on Wednesday morning to play for the Leathernecks next season.

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    Third-quarter surge lifts Dundee-Crown

    It was a third quarter to remember for Dundee-Crown and a nightmarish quarter to forget for Prairie Ridge. Outscoring PR 20-3 in the third quarter, D-C rallied from a 13-point second quarter and eventually pulled out a 50-46 Fox Valley Conference Valley Division boys basketball win over the host Wolves in Crystal Lake Wednesday night.

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    Aurora Christian wins semifinal

    No. 1 seed Aurora Christian used a big second half to roll Reed-Custer 60-34 Wednesday night in the Class 2A Wilmington regional semifinal.

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    Mark Black/mblack@dailyherald.com ¬ Jabari Sandifer of Neuqua Valley takes a shot over Derek Coleman of Metea Valley during varsity boys basketball Thursday at Neuqua Valley.

    Neuqua Valley holding out for top spot

    Neuqua Valley's boys basketball team is zeroing in on a seventh conference title and first since 2010. Defending champion Metea Valley (15-8, 8-2) hopes 5-17 South Elgin — which Neuqua (22-2, 10-1 UEC Valley) beat 71-32 on Dec. 15 — can pull off the upset and the Mustangs can beat Waubonsie Valley and Bartlett to force a first-place tie.

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    Images from the Vernon Hills at Zion-Benton girls basketball game on Wednesday, Feb. 6 in Zion.

    Images: Zion-Benton vs. Vernon Hills, girls basketball
    The Vernon Hills Cougars and the Zion-Benton Zee-Bees played for the North Suburban Conference girls basketball championship on Wednesday, Feb. 6 in Zion.

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    Football / Lake County signees

    Wednesday was national letter of intent signing day. Below is a list of Lake County football players who have committed to play college football.Player High school Pos. CollegeJerry Bauer Lake Zurich OL/DL Washington U.Justin Bergeron Lakes WR/LB Winona StateDirell Clark Lakes RB Winona StateDillon Falotico Lakes OL DuPageErik Fuller Wauconda TE Minnesota StateAJ Goggin Lakes DL Air ForceJack Johnson Antioch DE/LB North CentralChris Kass Wauconda WR North CentralDavid Lowe Wauconda OL AugustanaSteven O’Block Carmel Catholic K McKendreeBlake Parsons Lakes LB Wisconsin-StoutAustin Piekarski Wauconda WR CarrollDrake Randall Vernon Hills OL/DL Missouri Science & TechnologyKody Schaar Lake Zurich RB Illinois BenedictineConnor Schrader Lake Zurich RB Northern MichiganAndrew Spencer Lakes WR/DB Winona StateDavid Starkey Wauconda LB ButlerJake Stauner Lake Zurich RB DrakeTy Summers Lakes OL/DL Wisconsin-OshkoshRyan Sweeney Warren DB Winona StateAustin Swenson Wauconda QB Rose HulmanRocky Triggiano Lake Zurich DL DrakeJohn Whitfield Warren CB Grand ViewDavonte Willcox Warren RB Winona State

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    Maddie Roglich of Hinsdale Central battles Erma Udota of Willowbrook.

    Images: Hinsdale Central vs. Willowbrook, girls basketball
    Willowbrook hosted Hinsdale Central Wednesday night for girls basketball.

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    Rick Splitt

    Palatine elevates Splitt to head coach

    Rick Splitt has been named football head coach at Palatine High School. Splitt, an assistant varsity coach for the last six years, will take over responsibilities from Tyler Donnelly, who recently stepped down after eight seasons at the helm.

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    Bulls center Joakim Noah has missed the past three games trying to get plantar fasciitis in his foot under control.

    Noah could be welcome return

    After spending Monday in Indiana, which now has a 14-game home winning streak, the Bulls moved on to Denver, which has won 13 of its last 15 contests and is 21-3 at the Pepsi Center this season. There is a chance he Bulls will have another injured player back in the lineup, though.

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    Stern sees HGH testing coming to NBA next year

    MINNEAPOLIS — Commissioner David Stern says he thinks the NBA is on track to begin testing its players for human growth hormone, perhaps as early as next season. Stern met with media in Minneapolis on Wednesday in advance of the game between the Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs. He says the league is watching developments in the NFL and Major League Baseball as those two leagues try to address testing for HGH. He says if both leagues get approval to test players, as he expects them to, the NBA will be right there behind them. Stern says “It’s not a commitment, not a promise” to have it in place for next season. But he complimented the players on their willingness to address drug testing and says “We’re well on our way.”

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    Stern says Seattle group has filed for relocation

    NBA Commissioner David Stern says the group that has reached agreement to purchase the Sacramento Kings has formally filed to relocate the franchise to Seattle. Stern spoke on Wednesday night in Minneapolis before the Timberwolves hosted San Antonio. He called the Seattle group, led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, “very strong,” and that the appropriate committees have been convened to look over the proposed sale of the Kings and the prospective move to Seattle. The deadline for teams to file for relocation is March 1. It’s been expected that the Hansen/Ballmer group would file to move the team to Seattle, but Stern’s comments were the first time that decision has been verified.

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    Green Packers all time leading receiver, Donald Driver, right, shares a laugh with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker during Drivers retirement ceremony Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. The governor had proclaimed the day Donald Driver day. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

    Packers WR Donald Driver calls it a career

    Donald Driver found a way to retire in style.On Wednesday, the popular Green Bay Packers wide receiver celebrated his 14-year career during an event at Lambeau Field with family, friends, a handful of teammates and 1,500 fans who filled the atrium and lined balconies to get a glimpse of him.

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    Jerry Bengston took advantage of a defensive mix-up to score the go-ahead goal in the 79th minute, and Honduras rallied to beat the United States 2-1 Wednesday in the opener of the final qualifying round for next year's World Cup.

    Honduras rallies to beat US 2-1 in WCup qualifier

    Jerry Bengston took advantage of a defensive mix-up to score the go-ahead goal in the 79th minute, and Honduras rallied to beat the United States 2-1 Wednesday in the opener of the final qualifying round for next year's World Cup.

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    Meet St. Charles East’s 2013 Hall of Fame class

    A pair of state champion female athletes from the 1990s; an all-state basketball player from the 1980s; and a 2-time all-conference football player from 1959 and 1960; are the 2013 inductees to the St. Charles East Athletic Hall of Fame.

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    Neuqua Valley’s Zoey Goralski (2) will play soccer at UCLA next year.

    Partnership benefits local soccer players

    The relationship between club sports and high school athletic programs does not have to be adversarial.

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    Cary-Grove’s Michael Cullen, right, battles Huntley’s Zach Stenger in the 113-pound championship match at the Fox Valley Conference finals recently. Cullen will take a 39-0 record into Friday’s class 3A Barrington sectional.

    For Cary-Grove’s Cullens, wrestling’s a family affair

    Being a freshman in high school is a big adjustment for any student.Being a freshman wrestling on the varsity? That only ramps up the heat even more. Just ask Cary-Grove sophomore standout Mike Cullen.“Being a freshman last year I remember going out there and having real bad anxiety,” he says. “I just wanted to go out there and be done with it and just get by each match. As a freshman, you aren’t as mature. It’s tough when you are wrestling kids who are older than you and more mature and tougher than you. I won two IKWF (kids) state titles. Nothing quite compares to the high school atmosphere. I was kind of a big dog in IKWF, but I got to high school and it was a different story. I didn’t do bad last year, but it was a lot tougher. I learned real quick I was no longer the top dog.”Age and confidence differences aside, Cullen handled himself quite well as a ninth-grader, finishing with a 44-4 mark, a Fox Valley Conference title and a trip to the state tournament.And the 113-pounder has picked up right where he left off. Cullen, now a two-time FVC champion, won his first regional title last week and brings a perfect 39-0 record into this weekend’s Class 3A Barrington sectional. He’s now 83-4 in his brief high school career.“Honestly, my technique is all the same, but I have a mental edge now,” says Cullen, whose younger twin brothers, John, and Sean, are on the team as well (both compete at 106 pounds; John Cullen also qualified for sectionals). “I’m not a freshman anymore. Being a sophomore, I have a little more of that mental edge on people. I’m a little more confident when I go out there. I’m not as nervous and anxious. Last year I felt like a freshman and an underdog a lot of the time. I would get super uptight. I wasn’t used to the high school wrestling experience. Now I feel more comfortable and when I feel more comfortable, I’m able to open up and be more offensive and work all my stuff.”Cary-Grove coach Ryan Ludwig has seen a transformation in Cullen this season.“Mike came in as a freshman as an extremely strong wrestler,” Ludwig said. “He’s really matured this year. His training always has been good. He’s a lot more focused now on and off the mat. He had a lot of big goals last year and got Downstate for the first time. That’s a big thing to get down there and wrestle in front of everybody. This year, he’s even more prepared for it.”Cullen also credits the extensive work he has put in over the years at clubs such as The Wrestling Factory and Overtime for helping prepare him to wrestle in high school.“I’ve trained with some of the best clubs,” he said. “I have to give both clubs a lot of credit for being able to come in as a freshman and do as well as I did.”Ludwig notes coaching a wrestler of Cullen’s experience and talent is a tad on the different side in terms of approach.“He came to us with a lot of experience,” the coach said. “He’s extremely impressive. It’s exciting and fun to have the opportunity to coach him. We’re always looking for the little things that can help him even further. The last two years we’ve been able to give him those things that have helped him get ready for what’s ahead in two weeks.”Cullen has been wrestling since the age of four and comes from a wrestling-centric family. In addition to his twin brothers being in the room with him, Cullen’s older brother, Brian, was a three-time state qualifier (finishing second at 103 pounds for Prairie Ridge in the 2010 Class 2A tournament) and is now wrestling at the University of Illinois. Cullen’s father, Michael, wrestled at Palatine High School and was a two-time state qualifier. “It’s fun being with my brothers,” Cullen says. “We get to spend more time together and at the same time we get to go at it in the room. We’re a tight family. It’s in our blood.”Ludwig loves the fact the three brothers are together in the training room, frequently working with each other.

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    NIU football signs 24 players from eight states

    DeKALB — Building on its second-straight Mid-American Conference championship and 2013 Orange Bowl berth, Northern Illinois Univeristy head coach Rod Carey added 24 future Huskies to his first football recruiting class Wednesday.“The success we had last season made a big impact on the quality of recruits we signed,” Carey said. “A lot of the class was completed before the Orange Bowl and we felt great about those kids no matter what. When you look at our later commitments, the talent level that they have, is right on par with what we’ve been getting. We feel good about that.”NIU’s signing day roster consists of 12 offensive players, 10 on the defensive side of the ball, one athlete and one specialist. The players come from eight states overall, with the largest group from Illinois (10), followed by seven from Wisconsin. The Huskies picked up two recruits from Ohio and one each from Indiana, Florida, Michigan, Georgia and Alabama.“It starts with Illinois and it’s never going to stray far from home,” Carey said of his recruiting philosophy. “This is our home state, this is where we get our guys and this is always where we’re going to get our guys. Wisconsin, with that state being so close to us, the ties we have there and the success we’ve enjoyed there historically, is always going to be a key place for us to recruit. “Reaching out to places like Indiana, Detroit, Alabama, and Florida, where we’ve had a lot of success in recent years, not only with Coach Doeren but with Coach Kill, it is important to keep those ties going.”While last year’s signing class was heavy on offensive and defensive linemen, this year’s class features more skill position players. On the offensive side of the ball, Northern Illinois added three wide receivers, three tight ends, two running backs and a quarterback. Two offensive linemen round out the signees on offense. The Huskie coaching staff shored up a position hit hard by graduation — defensive backs — by signing six DBs. Northern Illinois also added three linebackers and a defensive lineman. One signee, linebacker Sean Folliard of Prairie Ridge High School in Crystal Lake, is already enrolled at NIU and will participate in spring drills.“Overall, when you look at this class, it’s dominated by skill, which it should be,” Carey said. “The skill has power and speed and that’s what I love about it. Every guy that’s fast is powerful and every guy that’s powerful has good speed.”2013 NIU football recruits:Name, Pos., Hgt. Wgt., (High School) HometownJackson Abresch,db, 6-1 185, (Arrowhead) Hartland, Wis.Mycial Allen, s, 5-11 183, (King) Detroit, Mich.Chad Beebe, wr, 5-9 165, (Aurora Christian) Aurora, Ill.Joel Bouagnon, rb, 6-2 225, (Aurora Christian) Aurora, Ill.Josh Brebant, k, 6-0 195, (Copley) Akron, OhioTate Briggs, ol, 6-4 297, (Montini Catholic) Naperville, Ill.Nick Calhoun, ol, 6-5 308, (Lourdes Academy) Oshkosh, Wis.Nick Cieslak, qb, 6-3 170, (Kettle Moraine) Waukesha, Wis.Justin Corbett, s, 6-2 205, (Lincoln-Way East) Frankfort, Ill.Sean Folliard*, lb, 6-2 205, (Prairie Ridge) Crystal Lake, Ill.Jake Heckel, te, 6-4 235, (Waukesha West) Waukesha, Wis.Blake Holder, wr, 6-2 195, (Streamwood) Streamwood, Ill.Jordan Huff, rb, 5-11 205, (St. Paul’s Episcopal) Mobile, Ala.Robert Jones, lb, 6-0 210, (Monsignor Pace) Miami Gardens, Fla.William Lee, dl, 6-2 280, (Arsenal Tech) Indianapolis, Ind.Ben Maruska, ol, 6-5 290, (Fond Du Lac) Fond Du Lac, Wis.Brandon Mayes, s, 5-11 182, (Aurora Christian) Aurora, Ill.Zeb McLaurin, cb, 5-11 180, (St. Ignatius Prep) Chicago, Ill.Malik Mitchell, wr, 6-4 181, (Milton) Alpharetta, Ga.Jamaal Payton, lb, 6-0 210, (Proviso West) Bellwood, Ill.Draco Smith, cb, 5-9 185, (Mt. Carmel IL) Hammond, Ind.Ryan Stendler, te, 6-4 250, (Homestead) Mequon, Wis.Aregeros Turner, ath, 5-11 170, (Copley) Copley, OhioShane Wimann, te, 6-4 225, (Wisconsin Dells) Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

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    Bears announce season ticket price increases

    Chicago Bears season ticket holders will see an overall average increase of 4.2 percent in ticket prices next season, team officials announced Wednesday.

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    Joseph Seeberger, center, of Portage, Mich., and two friends hold a record-setting muskellunge caught in Antrim County. The muskie weighed 58 pounds, was 59 inches long and had a girth of 29 inches. The catch is now a modern day world record.

    Modern muskie record weighs in at 58 pounds

    The International Committee of the Modern Day Muskellunge World Record Program (MDMWRP) has announced the acceptance of a recent muskellunge catch as its world record. The capture of a 58-pound muskie by Joe Seeberger of Portage, Mich., on Oct. 13 from Lake Bellaire, Michigan has set a new modern standard for the world's muskie anglers.

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    Northwestern adds 19 in signing class

    Northwestern added a pair of highly ranked players to its offense Wednesday as part of its 2013 recruiting class. "We as a staff are confident we've signed a group of young men who are tremendous fits for our program athletically, academically and socially," coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "These 21 individuals are joining a program with a lot of momentum and I look forward to the contributions they'll make toward helping us achieve our goals in years to come."

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    Wheaton North’s Mandy Traversa (23) shoots over Jamie Cuny of Naperville Central recently. Wheaton North is the Chicago Sky Girls High School Basketball Team of the Week.

    Wheaton North Sky team of the week

    The Chicago Sky has named the Wheaton North 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. Wheaton North has shown it has what it takes to succeed on the court as well as in the Wheaton community. The Falcons have won the last five games of their season to bring their record to 19-6, which is the best record in school history. That record also has them in second place in the DuPage Valley Conference.

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    There’s something for everyone when Petros teaches about fishing

    Spence Petros' fishing classes are being offered again, and they present a wealth of information for any angler - from beginner to advanced, and even for radio show hosts.

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    Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) stops a shot on goal next to San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (19) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013.

    Blackhawks' Crawford overcomes rough start in 5-3 win

    The Blackhawks came back from deficits of 2-0 and 3-1 Tuesday night and beat San Jose 5-3 to improve to 8-0-2 on the season. With Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville going back to Crawford, his No. 1 goaltender, despite Ray Emery's 45-save effort at Calgary on Saturday, it was Crawford entrusted with beating the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion.

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    Mike North video: Hasselbeck on Flacco

    Mike North is stumped why Tim Hasselbeck from ESPN does not rate Joe Flacco as one the of the best quarterbacks in the game. He doesn't even have him in the top 10.

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    Will Bears quarterback Jay Cutler show enough improvement under new head coach Marc Trestman to finally become an elite quarterback in the NFL?

    Why can’t Bears solve QB dilemma?

    NFL teams find quality quarterbacks everywhere, yet the Bears have had so much trouble finding one. Marc Tresman and Jay Cutler have to prove this year that it isn't as difficult as it has been made out t be around here.

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    Fremd, Prospect net nonconference wins

    Fremd’s Riley Glassmann went for a game-high 19 points with 3 3-pointers as host Fremd earned a 55-44 victory over Downers Grove South in nonconference boys basketball on Tuesday.Sean Benka had 11 points, including a pair of 3s, for the Vikings (16-7), who won their second straight game.Prospect 64, Glenbrook South 52: The Knights had three players score in double figures — Bobby Frasco (16), Devin O’Hara (14) and Bobby Flahaven (11) — in a nonconference victory in Glenview.Mid-Suburban East leader Prospect (14-9) outscored the Titans 16-8 in the first period.Mike Houghton had 9 points for the Knights.

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    Arkansas' BJ Young (11) dunks during the second half an NCAA college basketball game against No. 2 Florida in Fayetteville, Ark., Tuesday Feb. 5, 2013. Arkansas won 80-69. (AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)

    Hot-shooting Arkansas downs No. 2 Florida 80-69

    BJ Young led three players in double figures with 13 points as Arkansas opened quickly and never let up in a shocking 80-69 victory over No. 2 Florida on Tuesday night.

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    Vijay Singh admitting that he used deer-antler spray has potentially put the PGA Tour in an awkward situation.

    PGA Tour can’t seem to buck distractions

    First Tiger Woods won at Torrey Pines. The Phil Mickelson rolled to a victory in Phoenix. It was the first time since 2009 that golf’s two biggest stars won in consecutive weeks. The trouble is, any discussion about golf these days goes beyond birdies and bogeys. Now it includes “bifurcation.”

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    Suspect in match fixing on wanted list

    Revelations that a Singapore-based crime syndicate has been involved in fixing soccer matches around the world has put extra pressure on authorities in the Southeast Asian city-state to take action against the alleged ringleader.

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    Russia sparing no expense

    One year before Russia hosts its first Winter Olympics, this Black Sea resort is a vast construction site sprawling for nearly 40 kilometers (25 miles) along the coast and 50 kilometers (30 miles) up into the mountains. After arriving at Sochi’s new airport, there’s no escape from the clang and clatter of the drilling, jackhammering and mixing of cement that drowns out the hum of the sea and the birdsong.For Russia and its leadership, the 2014 Sochi Games is not just a major sports event but a point of national pride.

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    Free throws the difference in Hampshire loss

    Free throws made the difference. Woodstock North led almost all the way, then survived a furious late rally to defeat Hampshire, 43-40, in Fox Valley Conference Fox Division girls basketball action in Hampshire Tuesday night. Down by 6, the Whip-Purs converted steals on consecutive possessions into 5 points to get within 1 on Jenny Dumoulin’s 3-pointer. After Woodstock answered with a free throw, Hampshire got to the line with a chance to tie but missed the first of the one-and-one. Samantha Ahr then added a free throw for the final margin.

Business

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    Ivy Tech-Northwest to train workers 50 and older
    Ivy Tech Community College in northwestern Indiana has been selected to be part of a national program that will assist adults age 50 and older to learn skills in health care, education and social services. Ivy Tech-Northwest is one of 17 colleges picked nationwide to take part in the Plus 50 Encore Completion Program sponsored by the American Association of Community Colleges. The school has campuses in Gary, Valparaiso, East Chicago and Michigan City.

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    Bob and Jan Cunningham, owners of G. Whiz, a long-time gift store at The Foundry in Barrington, are closing its doors.

    G. Whiz in Barrington to close

    G Whiz, a long-time gift store at The Foundry in Barrington is closing and the owners plan to retire in Arizona. They'll still own and operate two Pandora jewelry stores, one at Deer Park and another in Arizona.

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    This combination of file photos shows from left: Penny Pritzker, a long-time Obama ally and big-money fundraiser from Chicago; Tom Perez, the assistant U.S. attorney general for civil rights and former secretary of Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation; and John Berry, the current director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and a former senior official at the Interior Department. He is the highest ranking openly gay official in the government. The three have been speculated as potential replacements for cabinet positions in the Obama administration. Obama is said to be looking at women, Latinos and openly gay candidates for top slots at the departments of Commerce, Labor and Interior, and for his own White House budget office.

    Obama said close to choosing Pritzker for Commerce Secretary

    Penny Pritzker, whose family built the Hyatt Hotels Corp. chain, would replace acting commerce secretary Rebecca Blank, an economist who took over for John Bryson after he resigned last June for health reasons.

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    Victor Pena of Flag Enterprises steam-cleans a floor in a home in Massapequa, N.Y.

    Home Depot plans 14% more seasonal hiring

    Home Depot is adding workers to run cash registers and work in the garden and other departments this spring as Lowe's Cos. boosts seasonal hiring by 13 percent. Analysts estimate that Atlanta-based Home Depot, which has about 331,000 workers, will report a 10 percent rise in fiscal fourth-quarter sales, the biggest quarterly gain since 2007.

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    Visa’s fiscal 1Q net income jumps 25%

    The payments processing company is also expanding a program to buy back its stock, Visa said Wednesday.

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    A line of Boeing 787 jets are parked Tuesday at Paine Field in Everett, Wash.

    United cuts 787 from February schedule

    The airline says it has replaced its six 787s with other planes through the end of February. The 787s were grounded by the government last month.

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    Apparently trying an end-run around an unaccommodating Congress, the financially struggling U.S. Postal Service says it will stop delivering mail on Saturdays but continue to disburse packages six days a week.

    Postal Service to cut Saturday mail to trim costs

    Apparently trying an end-run around an unaccommodating Congress, the financially struggling U.S. Postal Service says it will stop delivering mail on Saturdays but continue to disburse packages six days a week. In an announcement scheduled for later Wednesday, the service is expected to say the Saturday mail cutback would begin in August and could save $2 billion annually.

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    Trader Brandon Barb, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday.

    Stocks little changed as earnings fail to inspire

    The Dow Jones industrial average rose 7.22 points to 13,986.52 on Wednesday, after trading slightly lower for most of the day. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 0.83 point to 1,512.12. The Nasdaq composite was three points lower at 3,168.48.

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    A U.S. mail carrier walks her route Wednesday in Santa Ana, Calif.

    Cutbacks aside, U.S. still among best mail service in world

    Researchers Alberto Chong, Rafael La Porta, Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes, and Andrei Shleifer sent letters to 10 fake addresses in 159 countries. The whole idea was to test government efficiency, by seeing how long it took to return the letters to the senders.

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    People walk by a branch of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in the City of London.

    RBS hit with $600 million LIBOR fine

    RBS joins Barclays of the U.K. and UBS of Switzerland to have been found to have rigged the London interbank offered rate, or LIBOR. This is the rate that banks use to lend money to each other and provides the basis for trillions of dollars in contracts around the world, including mortgages, bonds and consumer loans.

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    Self-storage facility coming to Wheaton

    A plan for a four-story, self-storage facility has cleared the Wheaton City Council despite opposition from the owner of a nearby Carol Stream shopping center. Northfield-based BRB Development LLC is set to develop the 80,772-square-foot indoor facility from the Lock Up chain on a long-vacant parking lot at the northwest corner of Main Street and Geneva Road next to the Main Street Marketplace shopping center. The unincorporated parcel also will be annexed into Wheaton.

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    WMS industries, Scientific Games sued over $1.5 billion sale

    WMS Industries Inc., the Waukegan-based maker of gaming and video-lottery machines, was sued by a shareholder over claims the company's proposed $1.5 billion acquisition by Scientific Games Corp. is unfair.The proposed deal is the product of an "opportunistic process" in which WMS directors "unreasonably" agreed to an unfair price, lawyers for WMS investor David Shaev said in a complaint made public today in Delaware Chancery Court. The complaint, which seeks to bar the transaction, also names Scientific Games as a defendant.

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    A line of Boeing 787 jets are parked nose-to-tail at Paine Field in Everett, Wash.

    NTSB: 787 Dreamliner batteries not necessarily unsafe

    The use of lithium ion batteries to power aircraft systems isn't necessarily unsafe despite a battery fire in one Boeing 787 Dreamliner and smoke in another, but manufacturers need to build in reliable safeguards, the nation's top aviation safety investigator said Wednesday. National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman said she doesn't want to "categorically" rule out the use of lithium ion batteries to power aircraft systems.

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    MFRI lands $27 million deal for Saudi Arabia airport

    MFRI Inc. said its Perma-Pipe Saudi Arabia subsidiary has received new orders exceeding $27 million for the first phase of the district cooling system expansion project at King Abdul-Aziz International airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

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    Survey: Employers likely to add Roth features to contribution plans i

    An increasing number of U.S. employers are planning to add Roth features to their defined contribution plans in 2013, according to a new survey by Lincolnshire-based Aon Hewitt, the global human resources solutions business of Aon plc.The findings come on the heels of new legislation that makes it easier for DC investors to convert balances within their savings plan into Roth accounts.

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    Celebrating the opening of the new Comcast Executive Briefing Center in Naperville are Jay Dirkmaat, regional vice president of Comcast Business Services; DuPage Co Board Chairman Dan Cronin; Bill Stemper, president of Comcast Business Services; Naperville Mayor George Pradel; John Crowley, regional senior vice president of Comcast; and Andrew Moyer, chief of staff, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

    Comcast opens new center in Naperville, expands fiber network

    Media and technology company Comcast opened a its new Executive Briefing Center in Naperville, which will focus on advancing the service it provides to Business Class customers nationally and in the Chicago area, as well as give more businesses access to high-speed data, cloud-based hosted voice, and other new services.

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    The EU set up two parliaments, one at headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, and the other in Strasbourg, France, so in a whirl of trunks, hundreds of European Union parliamentarians and their staff move across the continent for four days of meetings, at an annual cost of about $1.8 billion.

    Europe’s costly double parliament: a movable beast

    The EU set up two parliaments, one at headquarters in Brussels, the other in Strasbourg, as part of a complex diplomatic dance in which France and Germany, the chief architects of the European project, were eager to find an emblem for their postwar reconciliation. Critics say that such lofty symbolism is an absurd luxury at a time when austerity measures are threatening pensioners, slashing health budgets and causing unemployment to balloon.

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    The newest Monopoly token, a cat, will be passing Go soon. Voting on Facebook determined that the cat would replace the iron token.

    Monopoly fans vote to add cat, toss iron tokens

    Scottie dog has a new nemesis in Monopoly after fans voted in an online contest to add a cat token to the property trading game, replacing the iron, toy maker Hasbro Inc. announced Wednesday. The results were announced after the shoe, wheelbarrow and iron were neck and neck for elimination in the final hours of voting that sparked passionate efforts by fans to save their favorite tokens, and by businesses eager to capitalize on publicity surrounding pieces that represent their products.

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    Aussie court clears Google in deceptive ad case

    Australia's highest court on Wednesday threw out a ruling against Google Inc. that had found the Internet giant guilty of breaching trade law by hosting deceptive advertisements.The High Court's decision overturned a federal court ruling from April that Google had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct with four ads that appeared on its Google Australia website. The advertisers used the names of competitors as keywords to trigger their own ads appearing.

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    Rupert Murdoch: Chinese are still hacking the WSJ

    Wall Street Journal proprietor Rupert Murdoch says that Chinese hackers are still attacking his newspaper, suggesting the spying campaign against U.S. journalists unveiled last week is still live. In a brief message posted to Twitter, Murdoch said late Tuesday that "Chinese still hacking us, or were over weekend." The Journal is one of a series of news organizations that have revealed that they were hit by what have been described as China-based hackers.

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    EU summit to debate austerity budget, tough cuts

    Many European Union leaders will push for a tough austerity budget at their summit this week but the EU parliament insists it is ready to reject a deal which curtails common spending on growth and employment. On the eve of Thursday's summit, EU President Herman Van Rompuy said that `'for the first time ever - there will be a real terms cut compared to the current budget."

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    Oil steady in Asia after clawing back losses

    The price of oil was little changed Wednesday, underpinned by gradual improvement in the U.S and European economies. Benchmark crude for March delivery was up 5 cents to $96.69 a barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 47 cents to finish at $96.64 a barrel on Tuesday after a big fall the day before.

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    Year of the snake promises calmer HK market

    As the Year of the Snake slithers into sight, investors should take comfort that the reptile's traditionally negative effect on stock markets probably won't be so big this year, according to the astrological predictions of a Hong Kong brokerage.CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets released its annual "feng shui" index on Wednesday ahead of the Chinese lunar new year, which begins Feb. 10. The report is based on the signs of the Chinese zodiac and features lighthearted predictions for financial markets, property and celebrities. Feng shui is the Chinese practice of arranging objects and choosing dates to improve luck.

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    Japan’s Nikkei market standout with 3.8 pct surge

    Japan's Nikkei's was the stock market standout Wednesday, surging to its highest level since Sept. 2008 as the yen slid to a three-year low against the dollar on news the country's central bank governor will resign earlier than planned. The Nikkei surged 3.8 percent, or 416.83 points, to close at 11,463.75 as export shares soared on expectations of stronger sales thanks to the yen's slide against other major currencies. A lower currency should help make Japanese products more competitive in international markets and potentially get the Japanese economy going again.

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    Federal customs officials say bogus Super Bowl jerseys are among $3.4 million in counterfeit goods that have been seized from shipping hubs at two Ohio airports.

    Customs: Fake Super Bowl jerseys seized in Ohio

    CINCINNATI — Federal customs officials say bogus Super Bowl jerseys are among $3.4 million in counterfeit goods that have been seized from shipping hubs at two Ohio airports.U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said Tuesday the jerseys and other items were seized over the past nine days at the DHL hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and the UPS hub at Louisville International Airport. A Customs spokeswoman says most of the items were jerseys but the fake goods included other clothing and consumer electronics.Officers seized about 22,600 items with an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $2.9 million at the DHL hub. That’s what the goods would have cost if they’d been genuine.About 37,900 items valued at about $510,000 were confiscated at the UPS hub.

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    Walt Disney Co., the world’s largest entertainment company, posted first-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates as the interactive unit registered its first profit and new theme-park attractions drew more tourists.

    Disney profit beats estimates, interactive posts gain

    Walt Disney Co., the world's largest entertainment company, posted first-quarter earnings that beat analysts' estimates as the interactive unit registered its first profit and new theme-park attractions drew more tourists. Profit excluding items was 79 cents, Burbank, California- based Disney said yesterday in a statement, beating the 77-cent average of 26 analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales in the quarter ended Dec. 29 rose 5.2 percent to $11.3 billion, topping estimates of $11.2 billion.

Life & Entertainment

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    Comedian Maz Jobrani is set to play the Improv Comedy Showcase in Schaumburg.

    Weekend picks: Improv hosts Maz Jobrani

    Comedian Maz Jobrani puts his spin on life in the U.S. as an Iranian-American at the Improv Comedy Showcase in Schaumburg. There will be good old-fashioned winter fun at the 53rd Annual Chain O' Lakes Fishing Derby and Winter Festival this weekend in Antioch.See big trucks crunch smaller vehicles this weekend when Monster Jam returns to the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

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    The winsome Tiffany Topol, center, stars as the titular character in Writers' Theatre's engaging production of the Cy Coleman, Dorothy Fields and Neil Simon musical “Sweet Charity.”

    Reimagined score and winsome leading lady make 'Charity' sweet

    We first meet Tiffany Topol's Charity Hope Valentine kicking up her heels center stage at Writers' Theatre. And what an engaging introduction it is to director Michael Halberstam's exuberant, conscientiously acted revival of “Sweet Charity,” the 1960s musical about the misadventures of a dance hall hostess whose terrible taste in men usually leaves her all wet.

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    A rare 1865 baseball card of the Brooklyn Atlantics, discovered in a photo album bought at a yard sale in Baileyville, Maine.

    (No heading)
    1865 baseball card fetches $92K in Maine auctionAP Photo BX102BIDDEFORD, Maine (AP) — A rare 148-year-old baseball card discovered at a rural Maine yard sale has been auctioned for $92,000.Saco River Auction Co. in Biddeford held an auction Wednesday night that included a card depicting the Brooklyn Atlantics amateur baseball club. Troy Thibodeau, manager and auctioneer at Saco River Auction, said the card drew plenty of interest. Bidding started at $10,000 and quickly rose to the final $92,000, which included an 18-percent premium.The name of the buyer, who was at the auction house, was not released.The card isn’t the same as a modern-day baseball card, which became common in the 1880s. Rather, it’s an original photograph from 1865 mounted on a card, showing nine players and a manager. The Library of Congress said last month it was aware of only two copies of the photo. The other is in the institution’s collection. In its book “Baseball Americana,” the Library of Congress calls the item the first dated baseball card, handed out to supporters and opposing teams in a gesture of bravado from the brash Brooklynites, who were dominant and won their league championships in 1861, 1864 and 1865.A Maine man who doesn’t want to be publicly identified found the card inside an old photo album he bought while antique picking in the small town of Baileyville on the Canadian border. The man bought the photo album, old Coca-Cola bottles and a couple of oak chairs together in a single purchase for less than $100, Thibodeau said.It was impossible to predict what kind of price the card would fetch because of its rarity, he said, but he guessed before the auction that the winning bid would fall somewhere between $50,000 and $500,000. The priciest baseball card ever is a 1909 Honus Wagner card, which sold for $2.8 million in 2007. “We’re happy with it and the consigner is happy with it,” Thibodeau said.Tom Bartsch, editor of Sports Collectors Digest, said $92,000 is a good price for a pre-war card without a Hall of Famer’s picture.“There are very few artifacts around from the 1860s,” he said. “Baseball was near its infancy in that time.”Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions for Heritage Auctions, said there’s also only a small pool of buyers for such an esoteric item.Both said the story of the card’s discovery remarkable is a reminder to collectors of all kinds that a rare find can easily be missed among otherwise unremarkable items.“It’s what keeps those treasure hunters out there going,” Ivy said.

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    The Rolling Meadows High School show choir, Leading Ladies, will perform for “Glee” star Jane Lynch on Saturday at the Chicago Film Critic's Association Awards.

    Rolling Meadows' Leading Ladies to perform for 'Glee' star

    A group of singing students from Rolling Meadows High School will get to pay tribute to the real life Sue Sylvester from "Glee" this weekend. The show choir from Rolling Meadows, the "Leading Ladies," will serenade actress Jane Lynch with their own version of Beyonce's song "End of Time," complete with lyrics referencing the actress' tough-talking character on the popular high school singing show.

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    Josh Groban is releasing his sixth album, “All That Echoes,” which was produced by Rob Cavallo, best known for producing for Green Day.

    Josh Groban sings about love lost — again

    Josh Groban enjoyed singing sad songs about a breakup on his last album, 2010's Rick Rubin-produced "Illuminations." So when the singer started recording his latest album, which is about another breakup, he changed his approach. "I'm in a different place, different mindset and the same thing goes — but I wanted the record to feel more energetic, more dynamic, more positive, more rhythmic and uplifting," he said.

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    Cheryl Boyd of Spring Valley, Minn., eats calas cake at The Old Coffeepot Restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Calas can be tough to find these days, but they have a rich history that spans the great cuisines of New Orleans.

    Mardi Gras rice fritters

    A poor sister to the more glamorous and better known beignet, calas (ka-LAS) are made from leftover rice folded into a sweetened egg batter, then dropped into a fryer. Deep-fried sweet lusciousness. For more than a century, calas were a staple New Orleans street food, sold on Sunday mornings by Creole women carrying baskets of the fritters on their heads. But after World War II, say local chefs and culinary figures, calas largely left public life, most likely the victim of wartime rationing.

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    Barbara Walters looks forward to returning to ‘The View’

    arbara Walters isn't "scratching too much" from chickenpox, but she says she won't be back at "The View" for three more weeks. Walters phoned into the ABC talk show Wednesday. Calling from her home, she reported that she's weak but not in any pain.

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    Baked sesame shrimp toasts boast everything good about this dim sum favorite without the fat.

    Shrimp toasts with fried crunch without the fat

    It's in the spirit of Chinese New Year that I've reconfigured one of my favorite dim sum dishes — shrimp toasts. Not familiar with dim sum? Think of it as Chinese tapas, or small plates of food. Traditionally, shrimp toasts are made of chopped or ground shrimp seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions and rice wine. This mixture then is mounded onto little toasts and deep-fried.

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    Baked Sesame Shrimp Toasts

    Baked Sesame Shrimp Toasts
    Baked Sesame Shrimp Toast

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    Frugal living: Leftover ideas galore

    Sara Noel answers readers questions about using up frozen bananas, freezing pizza dough and what to do with under-cooked turkey.

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    Prosecutors have asked a judge to revoke Chris Brown’s probation, saying there is no credible evidence he completed his community service sentence for beating Rihanna.

    Prosecutors move to revoke Chris Brown’s probation

    Prosecutors have asked a judge to revoke Chris Brown's probation, saying there is no credible evidence he completed his community service sentence for beating Rihanna, and citing several other incidents that they say point to anger management issues.

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    “Touch & Go” by Lisa Gardner

    Lisa Gardner's 'Touch & Go' is a winner

    Lisa Gardner has delivered another tour de force with "Touch & Go," which exposes the raw nerves of a family imploding, and an investigator trying to escape her past. Justin Denbe and his wife return from a night out to find intruders in their home. They witness their daughter being attacked with a stun gun before they are attacked. The family is taken to a state-of-the-art penitentiary that Denbe's firm built but was never used.

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    Moelleux au Chocolat — Molten Chocolate Lava Cake
    :Leslie Abbey

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    Tim McGraw’s latest album, “Two Lanes of Freedom,” is his first with new label Big Machine Records.

    McGraw enters new phase in his music

    Tim McGraw is free. The country star has moved on from a troubling label, quit drinking and grown up a bit, and all that has given McGraw a new energy he says you can hear on his latest album, "Two Lanes of Freedom." "I think this record is definitely sort of a flag in the ground for me," McGraw said.

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    Music notes: Security Project comes to St. Charles

    Former members of Peter Gabriel's 1980s band will perform in St. Charles this weekend, and Lady Gaga, in the running to be crowned the new Queen of Pop, will play two nights in Chicago next week.

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    Leslie Abbey’s culinary curiosity started early and hasn’t waned. Today she revels in creating elaborate menus for family and friends.

    Culinary creativity started young

    As a teenager, Leslie Abbey dreamed of opening her own restaurant. Over the summer while her mother worked, she would plan a restaurant menu, invite friends over, be waitress and cook and serve them meals she prepared. While Leslie was proud of her creativity, her mom was not as thrilled. "She would come home from work and exclaim, 'You kids are eating us out of house and home! Where is all the food going?' "

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    Spinach Raspberry Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
    Spinach Raspberry Salad w/Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette:Leslie Abbey

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    Shrimp de Jonghe is the centerpiece of a the Valentine’s Day meal Leslie Abbey cooks up for her loved ones.

    Shrimp de Jonghe
    Shrimp de Jonghe :Leslie Abbey

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    Mexican Lasagna is one of the popular entrees at CiNe in downtown Hinsdale.

    Hinsdale taqueria offers unique Mexican experience

    CiNe is no ordinary taco stop. Set within the iconic Hinsdale Theater, this modern taqueria at 29 E. First St., has two-starred Michelin chef Yanitzin Sanchez (previously of Sabor Saveur) is in the kitchen ensuring the menu — on paper at least — is far from boring. Couple that with a showy setting CiNe offers a dining experience unlike anything Hinsdale has seen.

Discuss

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    Editorial: The evolution of the public’s forum

    A Daily Herald editorial says that the change at dailyherald.com to a different system for commenting aims to encourage a more thoughtful and constructive discourse, while reinforcing the important public forum newspapers have always provided.

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    The shell game of contraceptive funding

    Columnist Michael Gerson: It has been part of the American miracle to balance individual rights with institutional religious freedom — a difficult task for which the Obama administration shows little appetite. So now it falls to the courts.

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    Combat women and Congress’ wimps

    Columnist Kathleen Parker: Polling that shows Americans favor women in combat by 2-to-1 is evidence only of the power of misinformation. And, yes, indoctrination.

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    Courage of their convictions

    Columnist Richard Cohen: Imagine six former directors of the CIA talking with a distinguished filmmaker and confessing to the murder of two terrorism suspects, ordering the assassination of others, alleging a lack of real leadership by the president and stating to the camera and the entire world that the war in Afghanistan is an unconscionable botch — a bloody, daily slog without end or justification. This, of course, could never happen in the United States. It did, though, in Israel.

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    Retired teachers deserve better
    A Des Plaines letter to the editor: Many of my fellow retired colleagues and I are now in the autumn of our lives, and many elected officials and members of the citizenry think nothing of pulling the rug out from under us at this stage of our existence.

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    Some thoughts on guns, taxes, driver’s licenses
    A Streamwood letter to the editor: Giving driver's licenses to illegals is really dumb. What makes the governor think that the illegals will pay for car insurance?

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    Those who make rules profiting nicely
    An Elk Grove Village letter to the editor: The surrounding counties to D.C. in Virginia and Maryland are becoming some of the wealthiest in America. This would be encouraging if this area was industrialized and was producing something that contributed to our overall economy, but clearly it isn't and it doesn't.

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    Call out Obama on health care
    A Mundelein letter to the editor: A recent ABC-TV program on health care asked President Obama and some unnamed senators if they would be switching to the new universal health care law.

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    Don’t misquote Bible on homosexuality
    An Ingleside letter to the editor: In the "I don't to I do" column, a "theologian" was listed as one who supports gay marriage. Let's be very clear about this.

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    Hotel news welcome in Fox Lake, but ...
    A Fox Lake letter to the editor: For over a decade, elected officials and citizens have actively pursued a hotel developer that will work as a partner to geta good quality hotel in Fox Lake.

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    The reality of public pension plans
    A Lombard letter to the editor: Proponents of "defined contribution systems" of retirement plans do not know the realities of most Illinois public pension plans. When private businesses switched from "defined benefit" plans which guarantee retirees a certain income to "defined contribution" plans which require investments in 401(k) type systems, their employees were also part of the federally mandated Social Security System, a defined benefit system.

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    ‘State-run media’ reports on march
    A Lombard letter to the editor: I find it fascinating that The Associated Press in its Jan. 26 report referred to the participants of a march as "anti-abortion activists," "abortion opponents" and "anti-abortion demonstrators." Funny, as shown by the photograph that accompanied the article, I thought those that participated in the march referred to themselves as "pro-life."

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    Harrop column needlessly harsh
    A Naperville letter to the editor: In response to Froma Harrop's Jan. 24 editorial about computer genius Aaron Swartz's act of civil disobedience, I find Harrop's commentary to be exceptionally callous in light of his suicide.

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    We need to get back to the basics
    A Fox River Grove letter to thed editor: I read the Fence Post letter from Larry T. O'Neill dated Jan. 29 and I was surprised to hear what he had to say, exactly what I have been feeling. The tragedy in Sandy Hook goes way beyond guns and gun control laws. It is the steady deterioration of families as a whole. As a mother of three, my husband and I work very hard to keep our family strong and intact. It saddens me to think of all the awful events going on in the world today.

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    Nothing to do with anything
    A Wasco letter to the editor: I read with great interest your article about the Schaumburg Police Department, "Can officers' integrity ever be guaranteed?" Eric Peterson wrote about how high ethical standards is key and that integrity cannot be compromised when you are a police officer.

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