Daily Archive : Monday February 11, 2013


    Cristine De Clarin of Niles participates in a group dance during a One Billion Rising event to raise awareness about violence against women, sponsored by the Women and Gender Studies program at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines Thursday.

    Oakton, Maine West hold One Billion Rising events

    Maine West High School and Oakton Community College, both in Des Plaines, held events Thursday as part of the Valentine’s Day One Billion Rising global event to raise awareness about violence against women and girls.

    Veronica Lake

    More details out on District 116 restructuring

    More details have emerged on how Round Lake Area Unit District 116 intends to change how education is delivered to students in an attenpt to boost academic achievement. Some of the changes would shift decision-making from the district level to building principals.

    Illinois House Republican GOP leader Tom Cross was the only legislative leader to attend a “pension summit” in Burr Ridge Monday.

    No solution after Illinois pension summit

    Union leaders Monday used a “pension summit” in Burr Ridge to once again call on top Illinois lawmakers to negotiate with them over changes to teachers' and state workers' retirement benefits State lawmakers have been gridlocked on the issue for more than a year. “Our summit's purpose today was to move cooperatively toward an agreed pension funding solution,” read a...

    Michael Ward

    Cops: Honor student killed by Chicago gang members

    Two Chicago gang members charged Monday in the death of a 15-year-old honor student mistook her and her friends for members of a rival gang and attacked the group in retaliation for a shooting that injured one of the men over the summer, according to police. Hadiya Pendleton died after being shot in a park on Jan. 29. Michael Ward, 18, and Kenneth Williams, 20, were taken into custody late...


    St. Charles on verge of donating land to help injured veteran

    St. Charles is on track to donate two parcels of land that volunteers will use to build homes to assist local injured veterans.

    Urooj Khan, 46, of Chicago died from cyanide poisoning in July shortly before collecting $425,000 in winnings.

    Poisoned lotto winner’s brother says he’s the one who sought more tests

    The brother of a Chicago man poisoned with cyanide shortly after winning the lottery says he is the family member who asked authorities to reconsider the initial finding that his sibling had died of natural causes. Urooj Khan, 46, died July 20 as he was about to collect his $425,000 in Illinois State Lottery winnings.


    Arlington Heights cancels February vaccine clinic

    A change in federal funding has caused the village of Arlington Heights to cancel its monthly immunization clinic for February and put the whole program — which served more than 800 underinsured and uninsured children last year — in jeopardy.


    Harper’s partnership with high schools netting positive results

    In fall 2010, Harper College and its feeder high school districts formed an unprecedented partnership to shrink student success gaps and better prepare students for career and college readiness. More than halfway through the four-year pilot program, leaders believe they're onto something. "We think we have a model worth emulating," Harper President Ken Ender said of the Northwest Educational...

    The New Philharmonic orchestra will be performing an abbreviated three-concert schedule in 2013-14, college officials announced. It appeared the orchestra was in jeopardy of giving its final performance last month.

    New Philharmonic gets three-concert reprieve

    A 36-year-old professional orchestra that appeared to be playing its last note at the College of DuPage is getting an encore. College officials have agreed to give the New Philharmonic orchestra a 3-concert season in 2013-14 after receiving letters and emails from patrons upset that the 80-member ensemble might have given its final curtain call at a January concert. The orchestra had been...


    Police: Schaumburg man threatened woman with knife

    A Cook County judge set bail at $750,000 for a 22-year-old Schaumburg man charged with attempted first-degree murder. Marcos. A. Milan-Soto, also faces charges of unlawful restraint and aggravated domesetic battery in the attack which authorities say took place about 10:15 p.m. Friday in Schaumburg.


    Dist. 300 elementary teacher named Reading Educator of the Year

    A Perry Elementary School literacy teacher known for an ability to foster a passion for learning in her students was named an Illinois Reading Educator of the Year. Barbara Malinger will receive the award from the Illinois Reading Council at a ceremony in March but was recognized Monday night during the Community Unit District 300 board of education meeting.


    Geneva again puts education fund excess toward debt

    The Geneva school board, for the second year in a row, decided to use excess money in its education fund_ $4.99 million_ to instead pay debt. But even with that, the property tax levy for debt service will continue to increase.

    Joe Walsh

    Citing job loss, Walsh seeks child support change

    The child support issues that dogged former Congressman Joe Walsh throughout his failed bid for re-election resurfaced Monday. Jack Coladarci, attorney for Walsh's ex-wife, said that the McHenry Republican — citing current unemployment — is not complying with his support agreement. Walsh, however, said he has "no intention of stopping support."

    A new logo, banners, signs and advertising are among the tools that could be implemented as part of an effort to brand the village of Mundelein.

    Mundelein officals think a PR push could help the village

    They may not create the next Nike, Coca-Cola or Apple, but Mundelein officials are discussing developing a marketing strategy that will build the village's brand in the community and beyond.

    Later parts of the Arlington Downs project include expanding the former CoCo Key water park — adding 10,000 square feet — and reopening with a smaller hotel for families.

    Apartments, water park on the way at Arlington Downs

    After years of planning and preliminary work, officials said construction on phase one of the new Arlington Downs development in Arlington Heights will get started in a few weeks. The $250 million redevelopmnent of the former Sheraton hotel near Arlington Park includes apartments, a small hotel, a water park and dining and retail establishments.

    Pope Benedict XVI reads a document in Latin where he announces his resignation, during a meeting of Vatican cardinals at the Vatican Monday.

    Pope shows lifetime jobs aren’t always for life

    The world seems surprised that an 85-year-old globe-trotting pope who just started tweeting wants to resign, but should it be? Maybe what should be surprising is that more leaders his age do not, considering the toll aging takes on bodies and minds amid a culture of constant communication and change.


    Schaumburg police investigate death

    A man was found dead outside of his Schaumburg condo Monday afternoon, and police continue to investigate. A passerby discovered the man, 58, shortly after 3 p.m. lying unresponsive outside his home.

    President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill Jan. 24, 2012. He is scheduled to deliver this year’s address Tuesday.

    Obama to revive populist message in Tuesday speech

    Reviving his populist re-election message, President Barack Obama will press a politically-divided Congress on Tuesday to approve more tax increases and fewer spending cuts during a State of the Union address focused on stabilizing the middle class and repairing the still-wobbly economy.

    Medal of Honor recipient retired Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha is seen onstage Monday during the ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Romesha’s leadership during a daylong attack by hundreds of fighters on Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan led to award.

    Army veteran receiving Medal of Honor for Afghan fight

    A veteran who helped "defend the indefensible" at a vulnerable Army outpost in Afghanistan received the nation's highest award for military valor Monday at a tearful White House ceremony that also honored the eight men who did not survive a Taliban attack.

    Mark Crea, CEO of Feed My Starving Children, thanks students during a visit to Maria Luce’s third-grade class Monday at Oak Grove School in Green Oaks. The students made and sold more than 2,000 bookmarks and raised $700 for the organization.

    Third graders at Oak Grove School follow business plan to feed kids in Haiti

    A third-grade class at Oak Grove School in Green Oaks formed a company to raise funds for hungry children in Haiti. Their effort raised abouit $700 and earned a visit of thanks Monday from the CEO of Feed My Starving Children. "Kids provide a significant amount of the volunteering and support," CEO Mark Crea said. "It's kids feeding kids."

    Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri is considerd among the contenders to be the pope’s successor.

    Papal resignation opens door to many contenders

    Pope Benedict XVI's resignation opens the door to an array of possible successors, from the conservative cardinal of Milan to a contender from Ghana and several Latin Americans. But don't count on a radical change of course for the Catholic Church: Benedict appointed the majority of cardinals who will choose his successor from within their own ranks.

    Pope Benedict XVI delivers his message Monday during a meeting of cardinals at the Vatican. Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign Feb. 28 — the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.

    Suburban Catholics support pope’s decision, pray for the future

    Surprised more than sad, many suburban Catholics expressed admiration and understanding for Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign, and now look toward the church's future with a little uncertainty but mostly hope. "It must have been a tremendous sacrifice for the Holy Father. I'm grateful for everything he's done for us," said Bishop David J. Malloy, whose diocese covers an 11-county region...

    Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leaves Paul VI hall after attending a concert of the Asturias Principality Symphony Orchestra directed by Chilean conductor Maximiano Valdes. On Monday, the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI will resign on Feb. 28, 2013.

    Pope’s bombshell sends troubled church scrambling

    With a few words in Latin, Pope Benedict XVI did what no pope has done in more than half a millennium, stunning the world by announcing his resignation Monday and leaving the already troubled Catholic Church to replace the leader of its 1 billion followers by Easter.

    Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, left, comforts Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz Sunday after Diaz announced funeral plans for Riverside Police officer Michael Crain, who authorities say was killed by fired Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner.

    Fugitive ex-LA cop charged with murder of officer

    A fugitive ex-Los Angeles police officer was charged Monday with murdering a Riverside officer in a potential death penalty case, but hundreds of tips triggered by a $1 million reward failed to end the manhunt. Christopher Dorner was also charged with the attempted murder of another Riverside officer and two Los Angeles Police Department officers.

    Michael Sullivan

    Former Elgin cop cites bankruptcy in lawsuit over planted evidence

    A former Elgin police officer, who resigned in 2011 after he was accused of planting a cellphone on a robbery suspect, filed for bankcuptcy before being sued by the man who was wrongly jailed. Attorneys for the jailed man are now arguing in federal court that Michael Sullivan's assets should not be protected from the lawsuit.

    Bert Johnson takes a break while clearing snow from a bus stop bench outside the apartment complex where he lives in Portland, Maine, Sunday.

    The whopper of a storm didn’t rank high

    The snowstorm that walloped the Northeast with about 3 feet in some places didn't add up to being that bad, federal statistics say. Two National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration storm-rating measurements initially ranked Friday's snowstorm as 16th in Northeast history by one scale and 25th by another.


    Oakton students raise awareness about violence against women

    Oakton Community College students will join in the "One Billion Rising" global campaign to raise awareness about violence against women and girls this Valentine's Day. The college's Women's and Gender Studies Program is joining organizations from more than 160 countries worldwide to participate in the campaign calling for one billion men and women to raise awareness about violence against women.

    John Hutton

    Focus on school safety at Gurnee districts 56 and 50

    Safety and security are at the forefront at two Gurnee school districts this week. Nationally known school security expert Kenneth Trump was scheduled to examine buildings at Woodland Elementary District 50 on Monday and Tuesday. Trump will do a security audit at Gurnee Elementary District 56 on Wednesday and Thursday.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    David M.N. Gray II, 21, of Aurora was charged with obstruction of identification and trespass to land, at 7:51 p.m. Wednesday in the 1100 block of East Wilson Street, Batavia, according to a police report.


    Fewer Avon Township candidates

    Avon Township trustee candidate Annmarie Pryde recently withdrew her candidacy in the April 9 election.


    West Chicago police investigate car burglaries

    West Chicago police are warning residents about a spike in car burglaries in the past week. The burglaries primarily took place during late night and early morning hours in residential parts of downtown, generally between Washington and National Streets and Arbor Avenue and Route 59. All of the burglarized vehicles had been left unlocked, police said Monday.

    Cardinal Francis George

    Cardinal George preparing for papal conclave

    Cardinal Francis George of Chicago plans to attend his second papal conclave next month. George previously attended the conclave in 2005 that elected Pope Benedict XVI after Pope John Paul II died.

    The Upside Downers Quartet is one of several barbershop groups with members of the Chorus of DuPage that will deliver singing Valentines. John Oberlin (baritone), from left, Mark Johnson (bass), Jim Morrison (lead) and Bruce Rhoades (tenor) will knock on doors or sing in workplaces in tuxes with red bow ties.

    Chorus of DuPage quartets deliver singing valentines

    For an unforgettable gift that expresses "I love you," our Joan Broz suggests sending a singing valentine this year to give a gift more memorable than a heart-shaped box of candy "You see four guys coming in tuxes carrying a rose and people are amazed," said John Morrison, lead singer for one of the Chorus of DuPage quartets that delivers singing valentines.


    MHS singers win big

    Mundelein Lights, Mundelein High School's all-female show choir, was named Grand Champions at the Manteno Main Event Show Choir Invitational held Saturday, Feb. 9.


    Tax return help:

    On Thursdays, AARP volunteers prepare tax returns for seniors and those with low inomes at the Antioch Public Library District, 737 N. Main St. (Route 83).


    Hawthorn kindergarten registration:

    Children who turn 5 by Sept. 1, are eligible for Hawthorn District 73 kindergarten in the fall.


    Latin Kings’ 2nd in command gets 40 years

    A high-ranking leader of a Chicago street gang that has a nationwide presence has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for conspiracy and other charges involving murder and drug trafficking.

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy discuss gun violence at a news conference Monday in Chicago. During the news conference McCarthy, Emanuel and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said they will push for state legislation that increases the minimum sentences for those who violate the state’s gun laws.

    Mayor tells parents of slain teen about looming arrests

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he's talked to the parents of the 15-year-old girl who was shot to death last month to tell them about the two young men who were taken into custody over the weekend.

    Angel, a 2-year-old Toy Poodle from Houston, Texas, is groomed prior to competition during the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 in New York.

    Images: 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show
    Dachshunds, basenjis and Australian shepherds were just some of the dogs featured during the first day of the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York City.

    Former Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson and former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. applaud as President Barack Obama is introduced at a city Ford plant in 2010. Sandi Jackson resigned office last month, saying she couldn’t adequately represent her ward while dealing with “very painful health matters.” The former congressman resigned in November and has been under federal investigation.

    Emanuel names Sandi Jackson’s successor

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has named a former Illinois Department of Transportation worker to replace Sandi Jackson on the city council. Emanuel says Natashia Holmes' appointment as alderman of the 7th Ward represents a "break from the past" and a "fresh start."


    Two U.S. adoption agencies closing, citing woes abroad

    The lone U.S. adoption agency accredited in Kyrgyzstan is shutting down due to financial troubles, a sudden new setback for about 15 American families battling since 2008 to complete adoptions there. At the same time, an agency in Buffalo Grove that specializes in adoptions from Russia also is closing.


    Air Force Academy cadet from Tinley Park found dead

    Investigators are trying to determine the cause of death of an Air Force Academy cadet who was found dead on campus. Academy officials said cadet 4th class James Walsh of Tinley Park, Ill., died Saturday night.


    Water district projects to create 2,000 jobs

    A $250 million low-interest loan will allow the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago to improve public health, clean up area rivers and upgrade the region's water infrastructure. Gov. Pat Quinn says the projects financed through the Illinois Clean Water Initiative will create 2,000 construction-related jobs and support an additional 8,000 jobs.


    Kaneland write-in candidate couldn’t serve if elected

    A write-in candidate for the Kaneland school board would not be eligible to serve if elected because of residency restrictions, according to the state.

    Victor M. Alvarez

    DUI charges filed in N. Aurora crash Sunday that seriously injured 1

    A 35-year-old man is charged with DUI and aggravated reckless driving after crashing into a utlility pole Sunday in North Aurora, critically injuring his passenger, a 39-year-old West Chicago man. Victor M. Alvarez is due in court on Feb. 21 and has had at least one previous DUI conviction, records show.

    Rev. Emily Mellott of Calvary Episcopal Church in Lombard began dispensing ashes to commuters at Lombard's Metra station in 2010. She and others from her church will be at the platform from 6 to 8:45 a.m. on Ash Wednesday to continue the tradition.

    'Ashes to Go' idea expands internationally

    Episcopal church leaders across the suburbs, the nation, and even the world on Wednesday will help commuters at train stations mark the beginning of Lent with a visible symbol of human mortality — ashes, via a movement called Ashes to Go. "Churches in the Chicago area have made a real effort to invite other people to do this," said the Rev. Emily Mellott of Calvary Episcopal Church in...

    Jill Sevilla

    Prospect gymnast finds 'place that fits' despite challenges

    Jill Sevilla won't be competing for Prospect High School when the girls gymnastics state championships open Friday, but she's already a winner. Jill, who has Down syndrome, has been on the junior varsity team this season, and event competed in a match earlier in the year. “The girls that are less experienced pick an event to focus on, and Jill picked floor routine,” says her coach,...


    Early voting in primary election continues through Feb. 23

    Early voting for the Feb. 26 primary election began Monday and continues through Saturday, Feb. 23. In the Northwest suburbs, a Republican primary will take place in Palatine Township for the offices of supervisor, trustee, clerk and highway commissioner. In Elgin, a nonpartisan primary will whittle down a field of nine people running for a single 2-year council seat.


    Talk with the Editor: We're improving the video we offer

    In this Talk with the Editor, John Lampinen announces that the paper has launched an initiative to offer more video coverage and to improve the presentation of it too.


    Feds: Des Plaines woman arranged sham marriages for noncitizens

    A Des Plaines woman who runs an Arlington Heights-based immigration consulting business faces federal charges alleging she helped arrange at least four sham marriages to help clients evade immigration laws, authorities announced today. Teresita Zarrabian, 60, is charged with conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, marriage fraud, visa fraud and obstruction of justice in an indictment unsealed...

    Elzbieta Plackowska

    Naperville double-murder suspect must provide DNA

    Double-murder suspect Elzbieta Plackowska of Naperville has been ordered to provide hair and saliva samples for DNA comparison. Prosecutors want to test the samples against evidence found at the Naperville home where Plackowska's 7-year-old son and a 5-year-old girl left in her care were stabbed to death in October.

    Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica moments after being elected at the Vatican.

    Pope’s mission to revive faith clouded by scandal

    While taking the Vatican and world by surprise, Benedict XVI had laid the groundwork for the decision years ago, saying popes have the obligation to resign if they can't carry on. And to many, his decision was perfectly in keeping with a man who had dedicated his life to the church, showing his love for the institution and an acknowledgment that it needed new blood to confront the future.


    Des Plaines Chamber hosts document shredding event

    State Rep. Marty Moylan, a Des Plaines Democrat, and the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce and Industry will host a community document shredding and electronic recycling event from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 16, in the parking lot of Juno Lighting, 1300 S. Wolf Road, in Des Plaines.


    Hoffman Estates hosts transportation open house

    Hoffman Estates will host an open house to provide an overview of the village's Flexible Transit Service Operations Plan at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13 at village hall, 1900 Hassell Road. The plan includes recommendations for the implementation of flexible transit service options. It also examines existing transit services and users' travel patterns, needs and desires.

    Rich Johnson

    Political rifts re-emerge in Bensenville mayoral race

    Four years after a bitter Bensenville mayoral election resulted in the defeat of a 24-year incumbent, the political divisions in town appear to be just as strong. Village President Frank Soto says Bensenville has come a long way since he unseated John Geils. But his two challengers say that progress isn't coming fast enough.

    New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan speaks to the press Monday in his residence in New York. Dolan says he was as startled as the rest of the world about Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement that he will resign later this month due to failing health.

    NY Cardinal Dolan: Electing pope all new to him

    New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan says electing a new pope is all new to him since he's still learning what it means to be archbishop. At a news conference Monday, Dolan quipped he was "still writing thank-you notes from when I was made a cardinal" last year.

    Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing Monday at the end of a meeting of Vatican cardinals at the Vatican.

    Vatican: Benedict XVI too weary to remain pope

    The Vatican stressed on Monday that no specific medical condition prompted Benedict's decision to become the first pontiff to resign in 600 years. Still, Benedict said his advanced age means he no longer has the necessary mental and physical strength to lead the world's more than one billion Roman Catholics.


    Cardinal George: Pope’s resignation shows courage

    Cardinal Francis George says Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign at the end of the month shows "great courage." The 76-year-old cardinal is spiritual leader of the Archdiocese of Chicago, which serves more than 2 million Roman Catholics.


    Christian world surprised at Pope’s decision

    Pope Benedict XVI's decision to resign due to his frailty was met with shock, surprise and disbelief from staunchly Catholic Poland to London's Westminster Abbey. Warsaw Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz expressed surprise at the decision, but said it was dictated by the sense of responsibility for the leadership of the Church, which Benedict has held since 2005.

    President Barack Obama gestures Friday during an Armed Forces Farewell Ceremony to honor outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

    After speech, supporters to promote Obama agenda

    The White House and outside supporters of President Barack Obama are launching simultaneous social media, public outreach and fundraising campaigns tied to Tuesday's State of the Union address. The efforts will concentrate on key issues Obama will raise in his prime-time address to a joint session of Congress: jobs and the budget, gun control, immigration and climate change.

    A neighborhood near New Haven, Conn., is buried in snow Sunday in the aftermath of a storm that hit Connecticut and much of New England Friday and early Saturday morning.

    Northeast commuters hit roads after digging out

    As electricity returns and highways reopen, some Northeast residents tried to get back to their weekday routines Monday following the massive snowstorm that had millions digging out from New York to Maine. But the routine for other New Englanders was disrupted by school and workplace closings, and poor road conditions. For some there's also a new worry: the danger of roof collapses as rain and...

    Hardy Street in front of the University of Southern Mississippi campus is obstructed by debris blown by an apparent tornado Sunday in Hattiesburg, Miss.

    Homes wrecked, dozen hurt in Mississippi tornado

    Residents shaken by a tornado that mangled homes in Mississippi were waking up Monday to a day of removing trees, patching roofs and giving thanks for their survival. More than a dozen in the state were injured. Daylight also offered emergency management officials the chance to get a better handle on the damage that stretched across several counties.

    A volunteer prepares to move a horse to another pasture at the Danada Forest Preserve in Wheaton. DuPage Forest Preserve Commissioners are conducting their own investigation into claims that horses are poorly treated at Danada Equestrian Center in Wheaton.

    Weekend in Review: Maine West abuse, horse neglect investigation

    What you may have missed over the weekend: DCFS places former Maine West coaches on abuse registry; horse abuse investigated at Danada; Mumford & Sons win coveted Grammy Award; Blackhawks end road trip with shutout; 'Supercrocs' coming to Elgin; Joakim Noah may be in doubt for All-Star; Thibs preaches patience on Rose; and an Arlington Heights man develops app for fending off attackers.

    Chevrolet's 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel is one of multiple green cars on display at the Chicago Auto Show until Feb. 18.

    A look at the green cars at the Chicago Auto Show

    It's easy being green if you read our experts guide to alternate vehicles at the Chicago Auto Show. There are a lot of ways to save money on gas and save the planet, from diesel turbo charged vehicles to hybrids with tax credits to some luxurious electric cars. Thankfully, I've got Chicago Area Clean Cities Vice Chair John Walton to offer some analysis.

    Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon, left, looks on as Pope Benedict XVI is greeted by children at the airport in Silao, Mexico, his first to the country. Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday he would resign Feb. 28 because he is simply too old to carry on.

    Images: Pope Benedict XVI retires
    Pope Benedict XVI has announced that he will resign Feb. 28, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March. The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals Monday morning.


    Marriages should transform over time

    Our Ken Potts says healthy marriages are like the old Transformers toys. The basic building blocks of a marriage remain the same over a lifetime, he says, but they can be rearranged in our marriages in all sorts of new and exciting ways.


    Sewer explosion in Milwaukee causes power outage

    MILWAUKEE — An underground explosion in downtown Milwaukee knocked out power to hundreds of customers. Firefighters found thick, black smoke pouring from a manhole Sunday evening. The explosion littered the street with chunks of asphalt. About 550 We Energies customers lost power, which was restored by Monday morning.


    High winds buffet Indiana, toll road issues limits

    High winds buffeting much of Indiana have prompted officials to temporarily ban certain trucks from using the 157-mile Indiana Toll Road. All but far southern and southeastern Indiana remain under a wind advisory until 9 p.m. Monday because of high winds that could produce gusts of up to 50 mph.

    Children try to reason the shape of a block of wood hidden under a pie tin by rolling a marble against it Sunday at the Fermilab Family Open House in Batavia.

    Getting hands-on with science at Fermilab open house

    Thousands learned more about Fermilab and science during a family open house Sunday. The premier United States lab for particle physics research opens its doors annually to give families a chance to watch experiments and learn about them, talk to scientists and tour parts of the facility.


    Dawn Patrol: 1 hurt in N. Aurora crash; Mt. Prospect ex-trustee was 104

    One hurt in North Aurora crash; former Mount Prospect Trustee Theodore J. Wattenberg dies at 104; dance competition in Batavia; Hawks win again; images from the Grammy awards.

    Lana Brozik is an English/Language Arts teacher at Eastview Middle School in Bartlett. She is a national board certified teacher and also mentors young teachers in the district while supporting those trying for national board certification.

    Bartlett teacher Lana Brozik calls herself a lifelong learner

    Lana Brozik is a master teacher, a model educator and a lifelong learner. She teaches students English and language arts at Eastview Middle School in Bartlett but reaches beyond her eighth-graders to improve the quality of education districtwide. A ripple effect from Brozik's mentorship means she will continue to affect student learning long after she retires at the end of this year.



    Krueger gets call from softball Hall

    Anyone who has followed softball in the Mid-Suburban League the past few decades has seen some pretty impressive play. They've even seen a couple of Hall of Fame coaches in Elk Grove's Ken Grams and Barrington's Perry Peterson. Now they can say they've seen a Hall of Fame umpire. Hoffman Estates resident Dan Krueger was inducted into the Illinois Softball Coaches Association Umpire Hall of Fame on Sunday in Bloomington. In his 27 years behind the plate and on the bases, he has seen some of the top talent in Illinois while primarily working the MSL, North Suburban, Upstate Eight and DuPage Valley conferences.

    Rob Pomazak, St. Charles North football coach

    St. Charles North names Pomazak to succeed Gould

    The second head varsity football coach in St. Charles North history was officially introduced Monday. Rob Pomazak, formerly the defensive coordinator for Elk Grove, earned approval as physical education teacher and North Stars head football coach at Monday's meeting of the St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 Board of Education. Pomazak, 34, succeeds the retiring Mark Gould, the only head coach St. Charles North fielded since the varsity football program debuted in 2001. Gould earned a 63-56 record in his 12 seasons with eight straight playoff appearances between 2002-09.

    Barrington great Dan Wilson, here paying a visit to U.S. Cellular Field in the 2004 season, will be the keynote speaker in a baseball banquet organized by the Barrington High School baseball boosters.

    Wilson keynotes Barrington baseball banquet

    Former Major Leaguer Dan Wilson is coming back home on March 2 to serve as the keynote speaker for the Barrington High School Baseball Booster Club banquet at Concorde Banquets in Kildeer.


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


    Welter helps Buffalo Grove outscore Lake Zurich

    Buffalo Grove coach Steve Kolodziej had a message for freshman Maddie Welter at practice Saturday. "My coach told me whenever he put me in the game, he wanted me in there to score points," said Welter, who nine months ago was a student at Thomas Middle School in Arlington Heights. "So I kind of thought on that." Whatever she was thinking, it couldn't have worked out better for BG. Welter came off the bench to score a career-high 19 points and help No. 15 seeded Buffalo Grove claim a 59-52 victory over No. 19 Lake Zurich in Monday's play-in game of the Class 4A Fremd girls basketball regional.


    Zeitz does it all in West Aurora’s win

    Waubonsie Valley never did solve Abriya Zeitz on Monday night in Lemont. The West Aurora junior forward more or less personally closed out the Warriors' girls basketball season by scoring a game-high 16 points, grabbing 6 rebounds, stealing 4 passes and adding a trio of assists in the Blackhawks' 42-31 victory in a Class 4A Lemont regional quarterfinal.

    Elgin’s Anna Eckholm, left, bats the ball from Larkin’s Samantha Wahl, right, during a regional game at Streamwood High School on Monday night.

    Elgin hangs on to down Larkin

    Unlike Jacobs earlier in the evening, Elgin was able to come away with a third win over its U-46 rival Larkin, 47-42, in the nightcap of play-in games at the Class 4A Streamwood girls basketball regional Monday night, which gave the Maroons their first playoff win in 5 years and a date with No. 2 seed South Elgin tonight at 7:30 p.m.

    Natalie Winkates of St. Charles North goes for two points in action against Glenbard West during Class 4A regional quarterfinals at Wheaton Warrenville South on Monday.

    St. Charles North ousts Glenbard West

    If the IHSA ever decides to add a free-throw shooting contest to its state tournament, count Alex Silverman and St. Charles North ready. Silverman hit the go-ahead 3-pointer, then she and the rest of the No. 17 seed North Stars salted away the game by hitting 16 of 22 free throws in the fourth quarter to beat No. 16 Glenbard West 52-45 in Monday's first-round action of the Class 4A Wheaton Warrenville South regional.

    St. Charles East's Carly Pottle steals the ball from Lake Park's Emily Duckhorn Monday in St. Charles.

    Defense lifts St. Charles East over Lake Park

    A quality of a good basketball team is the ability to win when things aren't necessarily going your way. On a night where the 3-pointers weren't dropping with any regularity and shooting in general was a bit off, St. Charles East's girls basketball team kicked in another phase of its game during Monday's Class 4A regional tournament opener against Lake Park. Clinging to a 26-21 halftime advantage, the Saints (17-11) turned up their full-court defensive pressure and forced 14 third-quarter turnovers during a 23-13 surge that helped extend the lead to 49-34. From there, St. Charles East put the game away with 10 fourth-quarter free throws during their 67-49 victory over the Lancers (1-27).

    Dundee-Crown's Jordan Bartelt is all smiles as she high fives teammates at the end of a regional game against Jacobs at Streamwood High School on Monday night. Dundee-Crown won 61-45.

    Dundee-Crown tops rival Jacobs

    Play-in games for any type of team can be a pressure-cooker. Try it on for size when you bring in a District 300 rivalry into mix. Jacobs sought its third win against rival Dundee-Crown this season Monday night at the Class 4A Streamwood girls basketball regional and for the first 8 minutes, leading by as many as 9 while making 4 of its first 5 shots, the Golden Eagles looked as if they were on their way to completing that feat. But D-C flipped a switch and Jacobs went ice cold. The Chargers outscored the Golden Eagles 57-35 from the second quarter on in a 61-45 victory over Jacobs,

    Wheeling’s Deanna Kuzmanic drives in between Libertyville’s Olivia Mayer, left, and Becky Deichl during the Class 4A girls basketball regional play-in game Monday night at Wheeling.

    Libertyville surges past Wheeling

    Libertyville's girls basketball team sure picked the right time of the season for a lengthy winning streak. The string has reached six after Monday's Class 4A regional play-in game, as No. 13 seed Libertyville topped No. 17 Wheeling, the regional host, 52-47. Libertyville's Dana Kym pulled down 12 of her 14 rebounds in second half, including one with 30 seconds remaining after Wheeling attempted a 3-pointer. Kym was fouled on the play and made 2 free throws that gave Libertyville a 50-43 lead.


    Aurora Central wins regional opener

    Senior Lisa Rodriguez scored 20 points and Aurora Central Catholic's man defense held Clemente to 17 points through three quarters to defeat Clemente 45-29 in the opening round of the Class 3A St Joseph regional Monday night.


    St. Edward posts regional win

    Healthy at last, the St. Edward girls basketball team cruised to its most convincing win of the year in Monday's postseason opener in Lake Villa. No. 18 St. Edward took a 19-point lead after one quarter and held No. 15 Chicago Senn to 2 points in the third quarter of a 66-28 victory in a Class 3A Lakes regional play-in game.


    This time, Lake Forest meets Mundelein’s challenge

    Mundelein girls basketball coach Brian Evans knew his team faced a scary scenario similar to what the boys team just experienced Friday night. Evans watched as Libertyville avenged a 36-point loss against the Mustangs' boys. Now his 16th-seeded team was opening Class 4A regional play at home against an 18th-seeded Lake Forest team it beat by 28 points three weeks ago. But Lake Forest (8-21) avenged that loss and another early in the season by 2 points by holding on for 36-33 quarterfinal victory Monday night.

    Libertyville’s Dana Kym, left, and Olivia Mayer celebrate after beating Wheeling.

    Images: Libertyville vs. Wheeling, girls basketball
    The Libertyville Wildcats won 52-47 over the Wheeling Wildcats in Class 4A regional basketball action on Monday, Feb. 11 in Wheeling.


    Wauconda rolls in 3A playoff opener

    Wauconda 51, Noble Street Charter 26: Wauconda broke open a 4-point game at halftime with a 21-point third quarter to open Class 3A regional play at Ridgewood with a victory.Lauren Nee led the Bulldogs with 13 points and 9 steals. Teammate Dani Sturm added 12 points.Buffalo Grove 58, Lake Zurich 52: Despite 18 points from Sarah Stefaniu, Lake Zurich fell in its Class 4A regional opener at Fremd.Prairie Ridge 58, Grant 37: Grant dropped its Class 4A regional opener at Crystal Lake South.Conant 68, Round Lake 23: Alissa Wachal scored 10 points to lead Conant to a victory in its Class 4A regional opener at Wheeling.Highland Park 69, Waukegan 38: At Grayslake North, Highland Park got a victory in its Class 4A regional opener while Hoffman Estates dropped Deerfield 57-50.

    The St. Charles North bench reacts to a basket .

    Images: Glenbard West vs. St. Charles North, girls basketball
    Glenbard West lost 52-45 to St. Charles North Monday night for Class 4A regional quarterfinal girls basketball action.


    St. Bede ends Aurora Christian’s record-setting season

    A school record for wins, a first conference title and a first regional championship — there certainly were plenty of firsts this year for Aurora Christian's girls basketball program. The first sectional win? That will have to wait, but with 14 of 15 players returning next year, it might not have to wait for long. Aurora Christian nearly made more history Monday against St. Bede at the Class 2A Somonauk sectional, erasing a 9-point halftime deficit with one of its typical second-half surges. The Eagles came all the way back to take a brief lead in the fourth quarter. In the end St. Bede's 6-foot-3 post Morgan Dean proved too much to handle. Dean scored 15 straight points for her team spanning the late second quarter through nearly the entire fourth, helping the Lady Bruins (18-15) hold on for a 47-41 victory.

    St. Charles East’s Hannah Nowling and Lake Park’s Emily Duckhorn struggle for the ball.

    Images: Lake Park vs. St. Charles East, girls basketball
    St. Charles East won 67-49 over Lake Park in opening-round girls regional basketball action Monday night in St. Charles.

    Elgin’s Tamara Milosevic, center, takes a shot against Larkin.

    Images: Elgin vs. Larkin, girls basketball
    Cross-town rivals Elgin and Larkin met up in a girls regional first-round matchup Monday night in Streamwood. Elgin won 47-42.


    Westminster moves on to sectional final

    Providence St. Mel gave the Westminster Christian girls basketball team fits Monday night. But not for long. Trailing 7-4 with 2:17 to play in the first quarter, Westminster went on a 20-0 run and eventually rolled to a 58-25 win over St. Mel in the first semifinal of the Class1A Westminster Christian sectional. The Warriors (25-4), who lost in the sectional finals last year, will take on the winner of tonight's game between Morgan Park Academy and North Shore Country Day on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., with the winner advancing to the DeKalb supersectional next Monday.


    Burlington C. to play in McDonald’s Shootout

    The Burlington Central girls basketball team will take a step into the limelight next season, even of for just one day. Jim O'Boye, the promoter and organizer of the McDonald's Shootout at Willowbrook High School, confirmed Monday the Rockets have accepted an invitation to play in the 2014 event on Martin Luther King weekend.

    San Antonio Spurs guard Gary Neal (14) passes the ball past Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Even shorthanded, Spurs take down Bulls

    Kawhi Leonard had a career-high 26 points and Danny Green scored 18 on Monday night, helping the short-handed San Antonio Spurs beat the Bulls 103-89 without their three biggest stars.


    Girls basketball/Top 20
    Montini (29-1) is the No. 1 team in the final Daily Herald girls basketball Top 20 of the regular season. Neuqua Valley (24-3 and Wheaton Warrenville South (25-3) are the No. 2 and 3 teams respectively.

    Glenbard East will leave the DuPage Valley Conference for the Upstate Eight Conference, as voted Monday by its school board.

    Glenbard East to leave DVC

    Glenbard East cleared the final hurdle in its quest to leave the DuPage Valley Conference for the Upstate Eight Conference. Behind Monday's 6-1 vote by the Glenbard High School District 87 School Board in Glen Ellyn, Glenbard East will sever its 30-year ties with the powerhouse athletic league in hopes of finding a more competitive situation. Glenbard East is now free to join the UEC, although the vote did not adhere to a specific timeline.

    Mark Black/mblack@dailyherald.com ¬ Vernon Hills played Benet Academy Monday morning in girls basketball at Willowbrook High School in Villa Park.

    Scouting the DuPage County girls basketball sectionals

    Here's a look at the Class 3A and 4A girls basketball postseason, from the perspective of teams in DuPage County.

    Cubs manager Dale Sveum, left, and White Sox manager Robin Ventura chat before Game 2 of the city series last season at U.S. Cellular Field.

    Ventura looking for White Sox to bounce back

    Robin Ventura proved he could manage last season despite having no experience at any level. As he enters his second year in the White Sox' dugout, Ventura is familiar with his roster and can focus more on the game at hand.

    Cubs manager Dale Sveum is looking for his team to compete at a higher level this season.

    Sveum’s steady hand guides way for Cubs

    Dale Sveum is entering his second year as manager of the Cubs. Sveum steadily guided the Cubs through a disastrous 61-101 last year, but it's easy to see why team president Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer hired him: He speaks their language.

    Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford blocks a shot Sunday during his shutout against the Nashville Predators.

    A big high-five for Blackhawks

    The Blackhawks are 10-0-2 and have played only two games at the United Center. Looking to continue their crazy success, they return to home ice Tuesday night against Anaheim after a 4-0-2 road trip.


    Boys basketball: Top 20 rankings
    Benet, Neuqua Valley and Larkin have earned the top three spot in the Daily Herald's rankings of area boys basketball teams.

    From left, Dundee-Crown’s Lauren Lococo, Jillian Weichmann, and Stephanie Magsamen are all smiles after beating Jacobs.

    Images: Jacobs vs. Dundee-Crown, girls basketball
    Rivals Jacobs and Dundee-Crown met up in a girls regional first-round matchup Monday night in Streamwood. Dundee-Crown won 61-45.

    Unranked Illinois stunned top-ranked Indiana on an inbounds pass with less than a second left. The Illini then beat Minnesota in Minneapolis and received 26 points in the latest AP poll despite a 4-7 league record.

    Thrilling finishes, upsets fuel Big 10

    The Big Ten may well be the best league in the nation. It has certainly been one of the most fun to watch this season. The depth of the conference has led to dozens of high-profile matchups and the most entertaining season in recent memory. It's all whetted the appetite for what should be a fascinating stretch run. “There's a buzz. You stop at the grocery store or fill up your car with gas, everybody is talking about it.” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.


    Parker, Duncan, Ginobili out for Bulls game tonight

    Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili have been ruled out for the Bulls game tonight, leaving the Spurs without their three biggest stars.

    FILE - In this Nov. 11, 2012 file photo, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick throws a pass against the Dallas Cowboys in the first half of an NFL football game in Philadelphia. Vick, who was slated to earn $16 million next season, has agreed to a restructured deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. Vick, who was injured and inconsistent last season, eventually giving way to rookie Nick Foles, now has a three-year contract, and will compete with Foles to see who runs new coach Chip Kelly's offense this season. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

    Eagles, QB Vick agree to restructured deal

    Michael Vick took a significant pay cut to stay with the Philadelphia Eagles and compete for a starting job.

    St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter speaks about his future during a press conference Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, in St. Louis. Carpenter will be out for the foreseeable future due to a reoccurring injury. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    Carpenter hasn’t given up on pitching again

    St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter hasn't ruled out pitching again, including this year. If that seems remarkable, remember that it's Carpenter, whose sporadically brilliant career has included several comebacks from injury.


    Mike North video: Hot Blackhawks Are Back

    It looks like that #1 pick of Patrick Kane was a great decision. He is playing lights out for the Hawks and the team is in position to succeed with mostly home games left in the season.

    Among late comedian George Carlin’s legendary bits was a dissection of the differences between baseball and football.

    Focus turns to baseball, bringing Carlin to mind

    The transition from winter toward spring and football toward baseball is an annual reminder of the late George Carlin's humorously insightful comparison of the two sports. Nobody articulated more insightfully the differences between the men’s men and the boys of summer, between body counts and pitch counts, between football players playing injured and baseball players not always playing hurt.


    Maryse Gregoire

    Allstate's Gregoire works to help others

    Kukec's People features Buffalo Grove's Maryse Gregoire, who has worked for Allstate for 39 years and recently won the Outstanding Employee Volunteer of the Year award with her community work.

    The MS Carnival Triumph is seen departing New York harbor on her inaugural voyage in 1999. Carnival Cruise Lines said Sunday an engine room fire had disabled the cruise ship about 150 miles off the Yucatan Peninsula with 3,143 passengers and 1,086 crew members on board.

    Tug boats to reach disabled cruise ship Monday

    Passengers aboard a cruise vessel stranded in the Gulf of Mexico had limited access to bathrooms, food and hot coffee on Monday as they waited for two tugboats to arrive to tow them to Mexico, Carnival Cruise Lines said in a statement.

    A government study says 25 percent of consumers had an error in a credit report issued by a major agency.

    Study: 1 in 4 consumers had error in credit report

    One in four consumers found an error in a credit report issued by a major agency, according to a government study released Monday. The Federal Trade Commission study also said that 5 percent of the consumers identified errors in their reports that could lead to them paying more for mortgages, auto loans or other financial products.

    PepsiCo Inc. is set to roll out the new drink called Kickstart this month that has Mountain Dew flavor but is made with 5 percent juice and an extra jolt of caffeine and Vitamins B and C. The company is hoping to grow sales by reaching Mountain Dew fans at a new time of day: morning.

    Mountain Dew introduces a breakfast drink

    If you don't like coffee or tea, Mountain Dew has a new breakfast drink that might perk you up. PepsiCo Inc. is rolling out a new drink called Kickstart this month that has Mountain Dew flavor but is made with 5 percent juice and Vitamins B and C, along with an extra jolt of caffeine. Kickstart, which comes in flavors such as "energizing orange citrus" and "energizing fruit punch," could give the company a side-door into the fast-growing energy drink market without getting tangled in any of its controversies.

    U.S. stocks fell Monday after a six-week rally left the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index at its most expensive valuation since July 2011.

    Stock market drifts lower to start the week

    U.S. stocks drifted lower in thin trading Monday, pulling the Standard & Poor's 500 index back from a five-year high. The broad-market index edged up slightly last week, enough to put it at its highest level since November 2007

    John Forelli, a vice presicent at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, demonstrates a new in-room gambling system Monday. The casino says it is the first in the nation to offer this technology.

    New Jersey first to have betting by TV

    Guests at one New Jersey casino won't even have to get out of bed in order to place a bet. The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City said it will become the first casino in the United States to let guests gamble over hotel room TV sets, starting Feb. 18.

    Merger talks between American Airlines and US Airways have heated up again, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Monday.

    Report: AMR, US Airways boards to meet this week

    Directors of American Airlines and US Airways reportedly plan to meet Wednesday to consider a merger. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that negotiators were still considering the makeup of the combined company's board and an exact role for the CEO of American parent AMR Corp.

    Boeing conducted another test flight of a 787 Dreamliner on Monday, the second since the FAA grounded Boeing’s newest airliner in January.

    Boeing conducts 2nd 787 flight test

    Boeing conducted another 787 test flight on Monday as it tries to find out what caused battery problems that have knocked the plane out of airline service. The flight took off from Boeing Field in Seattle, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.

    A woman checks her phone Saturday outside Lincoln Center in New York City. The snow total in Central Park was 8.1 inches by 3 a.m.

    Social media keeps people together during blizzard

    The East Coast woke up under a blanket of snow this weekend and collectively documented the experience on the myriad social and mobile inventions of the past decade. Facebook, Twitter and other technologies make it increasingly difficult to stay isolated —even if you're stuck home alone. "The funny thing is that I actually checked my Instagram feed before I even looked out my own window," says Eric Witz, who lives in Medford, Mass.

    Findus Beef Lasagne photographed in a shop in Jarrow, England. Frozen-food company Findus recalled the beef lasagna meals earlier this week after French supplier Comigel raised concerns that the products didn’t “conform to specification.” The U.K. Food Standards Agency said the lasagnas were tested as part of an ongoing investigation into mislabeled meat.

    Romania: Slaughterhouses did not commit fraud

    Two Romanian plants believed to be the source of horse meat mislabeled as beef in supermarkets across Europe declared it properly and any fraud was committed somewhere else down the line, officials said Monday. Romania is scrambling to contain the damage from the fast-growing horse meat scandal — where the cheaper meat was substituted for beef in everything from burgers to frozen lasagna.


    SBA head Mills to leave Obama administration

    Karen Mills is leaving her post as head of the Small Business Administration, opening yet another Cabinet-rank job for President Barack Obama to fill at the start of his second term. Obama says Mills played a leading role supporting start-up businesses and entrepreneurs.


    Novo Nordisk shares tumble on drug review setback

    Shares of Novo Nordisk are sinking in premarket trading after the Danish drugmaker said U.S. regulators want more data before they can finish their review of two long-acting insulin drugs to treat diabetes. The company said Sunday the Food and Drug Administration requested information from a study that looks at cardiovascular health before it can finish reviewing Tresiba and Ryzodeg, which both use the insulin degludec.


    Oil dips slightly as Asia observes Lunar New Year

    The price of oil dipped slightly toward $95 a barrel on Monday as investors cut back on speculative positions and most Asian markets were closed for a holiday. By early afternoon in Europe, the benchmark oil contract for March delivery was down 30 cents to $95.42 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 11 cents on Friday.

    Farmers affiliated with the communist party drive their tractors through city center Saturday during a protest in the northern city of Thessaloniki Greece. Farmers complain that their production costs are too high, and want Greece’s conservative-led coalition government to reduce the price of fuel, scrap plans to increase taxation on agriculture and cut sales tax on their goods.

    Greece: Cuts keep budget on target, spur protests

    Greece's farmers launched a campaign of daily anti-austerity highway blockades Monday, as the conservative-led government insisted deep spending cuts were helping the crisis-hit country beat budget targets. Mostly in central and northern Greece, the hour-long roadblocks started at 2:00 p.m. (1200GMT), forcing motorists to take lengthy detours or wait the protests out.

    Slumping personal computer maker Dell announced Tuesday that it is bowing out of the stock market in a $24.4 billion buyout that represents the largest deal of its kind since the Great Recession dried up the financing for such risky maneuvers.

    Dell looks to calm shareholder concern over buyout

    Dell is trying to reassure shareholders about its proposed $24.4 billion acquisition by a group led by its founder, saying it considered a number of strategic options before agreeing to the deal. Dell Inc. laid out the advantages of the transaction in a regulatory filing Monday, three days after a major shareholder ridiculed the buyout as a rotten deal that undervalues the business.


    Markets steady with much of Asia shut for holidays

    Stock markets in Hong Kong, mainland China and Seoul were among those closed Monday for the Lunar New Year holiday. Japanese markets were also shut for a public holiday. European stocks were mostly higher in early trading. Britain's FTSE 100 rose nearly 0.1 percent to 6,269.23. Germany's DAX shed 0.2 percent to 7,638.18. France's CAC-40 added 0.2 percent to 3,655.13.


    LinkedIn more complicated, but potentially more effective

    LinkedIn may be more complicated, but it's potentially more effective according to a local business owner interviewed by Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall.


    Dubai’s A380 concourse in full operation

    Dubai's airport authorities say a purpose-build concourse for Airbus' A380 aircraft is fully open after weeks of phased-in operations. The aircraft is a double-decker that seats 525 people and is so large some airports have to be adjusted to accommodate it.

    Jim Novak

    Wheaton entrepreneur suggests to start planning, saving for college early
    The key to planning for college is to start saving early and know what you're doing. We talk to the owner of College Funding International in Wheaton.

Life & Entertainment

    Melynda Findlay

    Getting healthy a huge motivation, even if it means no grilled cheese

    The first time anyone asked me about taking part in the Daily Herald's Fittest Loser was last fall, and it was great timing. I had just been to a memorial service for a woman who'd died after a long illness. She wasn't all that much older than me, which obviously got me thinking about my own health and mortality.

    Introducing the 2013 Fittest Loser Challenge contestants: Joe Gundling, left, Mike Paulo, Greg Moehrlin, Megan McCarthy-Cook, Marianne Costales-Roman and Karen Castillo.

    Fittest Loser challenge starts for 6 Daily Herald readers

    The focus has shifted for six Daily Herald readers, from looking back on a lifelong struggle with weight to looking ahead to a new way of life. The 2013 Fittest Loser Challenge kicks off this month and today you'll meet the three men and three women who were chosen from more than a hundred applicants to compete in the 12-week weight-loss journey.

    Caroll Geiser, of Rochester, N.Y., grooms Eva, a 3-year-old Old English Sheep dog, during the 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Monday in New York.

    The dos and don'ts of Westminster Dog Show

    Scissors, blow dryers, bobby pins — they're as much a part of the Westminster Dog show as commands, crates and treats. What Westminster won't tolerate, though, are PEDs — performance-enhanced dogs. That means no tattooing a boxer's nose to make it more black, no braces for a pointer to straighten its teeth. "It goes against the spirit of showing dogs in their appropriate state," Westminster President Sean McCarthy said.

    Anthony Edwards plays Hank Galliston, a magazine publisher who descends into an historical mystery after his wife is kidnapped, in “Zero Hour,” premiering Thursday on ABC.

    A decade after ‘ER,’ Edwards back on TV

    A decade after Dr. Mark Greene hung up his white lab coat for good on "ER," Anthony Edwards is back as the star of a new television series, ABC's "Zero Hour," which premieres Thursday at 8 p.m. EST. The road back to series television took Edwards many miles to travel — literally thousands upon thousands.

    Craig Zadan, left, and Neil Meron, producers of the Academy Awards, said Monday that Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta Jones, Queen Latifah and Richard Gere will return to the stage where “Chicago” won best picture in 2003.

    Oscar producers promising ‘wow moments’

    Academy Awards producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have run out of rehearsal space. Dressing rooms, too. The award-winning production duo is planning the most performance-filled Oscar show ever. They promise a "wow moment" in each of its 13 acts, so the show demands a more dynamic stage and more dressing rooms and rehearsal time than previous Oscar productions.

    Mumford & Sons, from left, Ben Lovett, Ted Dwayne, Marcus Mumford and Country Winston Marshall accept the award for album of the year for “Babel” at the 55th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday.

    Grammy audience down, still 2nd highest since 1993

    While the Grammy Awards couldn't come close to the freakishly high ratings generated in 2012 because of Whitney Houston's death and Adele's smashing success, this year's show had the second-largest audience for the program since 1993. The Nielsen company said Monday that music's annual awards show was seen by 28.4 million people Sunday night on CBS.

    Pilot Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) saves an airliner from catastrophe despite being hung-over, drunk and coked-up in Robert Zemeckis’ bold drama “Flight.”

    Denzel Washington takes ‘Flight’ to DVD

    Denzel Washington, in one of this best performances in years, adds depth and tension to "Flight," a movie in which a plane crash is only one of the tragedies a pilot must overcome in his life.

    Sweet and meaty, swordfish lends itself to a variety of simple, basic preparations that let the fish shine.

    Versatile, healthful — and pricey; learn to treat swordfish right

    Swordfish is among the meatiest of all seafood. Its nutritional profile isn't all that different from sirloin, except it has something beef doesn't: more than a gram per serving of treasured, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. And thanks to smart fishery management, the stock of Atlantic swordfish so decimated in the 1990s has been rebuilt, to the point where it is considered an environmentally friendly dining choice. But it's not cheap.

    Pan-Seared Swordfish Steaks With Orange Piperade. Piperade is a Basque tomato and pepper stew.

    Pan-Seared Swordfish With Orange Piperade
    Pan-Seared Swordfish With Orange Piperade

    Panko-Stuffed Swordfish Roast is a dinner-party worthy entree.

    Panko-Stuffed Swordfish Roast
    Panko-Stuffed Swordfish Roast

    When you have small bits of swordfish left, make this salad with a citrus-infused parsley dressing.

    Swordfish Salad Tonnato With Cara Cara-Parsley Dressing
    Swordfish Salad Tonnato With Cara Cara-Parsley Dressing

    Glazed Swordfish ‘Chops’ With Shiso-Ginger Dressing and Tamago. Tamago is a very thin Japanese omelet.

    Glazed Swordfish ‘Chops’ With Shiso-Ginger Dressing and Tamago
    Glazed Swordfish 'Chops' With Shiso-Ginger Dressing and Tamago


    They may live longer, but baby boomers more sick

    Baby boomers have more chronic illness and disability than their parents even as modern medicine allows them to live longer, researchers found. Baby boomers, the 78 million Americans born from 1946 through 1964, engage in less physical activity, are more overweight and have higher rates of hypertension and high cholesterol, according to a study released in JAMA Internal Medicine.

    Training this year's Fittest Losers are Push Fitness personal trainers: Tony Figueroa, left, Steve Amsden, Joshua Steckler, Wade Merrill, Brodie Medlock, Tony Rinehart and Michelle Amsden.

    Trainers ready to get to work
    Meet our seven personal trainers working with this year's Fittest Loser contestants.

    Team Carol Stream is competing in the Fittest Loser Community Challenge.

    Fittest Loser contest adds Community Challenge

    The competition is off to a fierce start in the Fittest Loser Community Challenge, in which area park districts in teams of five compete with one another to lose the greatest percentage of weight in 12 weeks. The Community Challenge began just in time to put participants to the test on Super Bowl Sunday — a day known for its high-calorie snacking.

    Short intense workouts are becoming more popular in exercise routines.

    Short, intense workouts gain in popularity

    Julie Ennis did not look like she was having fun. As she pushed at the weight machines, it was clear from her grimaces and groans that her muscles were working a lot harder than they felt like working. Standing by with a clipboard and offering encouragement was Brandon Jonker, a personal trainer at Discover Strength in Minneapolis. Aided by Jonker's supportive patter, countdowns and the occasional helpful push, Ennis worked each weight until she appeared to reach the point that fitness authorities typically advise people to aim for: the point at which Ennis would feel that if she summoned all her strength, she couldn't possibly do one more rep.


    Establish safety rules for child home alone

    By the age of 11, some children can stay home alone safely for up to a few hours. Every child matures at a different rate, so it's not just age that matters in making your decision. To stay alone safely at home, your child must be mature enough to handle any potential emergency or stressful situation that may arise.

    There are new efforts to make hospital visits as least traumatic and stressful as possible for younger patients.

    Child life specialists minimize stress on kids undergoing treatment

    Jade Tukan is an inquisitive 2-year-old with bright eyes and a confident smile, but her life was terribly disrupted when she was given a diagnosis of a deadly cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, in January. As her family focused on her medical care, it was sometimes hard to remember that Jade still wanted to play, even while hooked up to a chemotherapy drip. That's where child life specialist Liz Anderson came in.


    Doctors’ workloads can jeopardize patients at risk

    Almost half of hospital doctors said they routinely see more patients than they can safely manage, leading in some cases to unneeded tests, medication errors and deaths, according to a survey by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Seven percent of 506 hospital-based physicians surveyed said their heavy workload likely led to a patient complication, and 5 percent reported it probably caused a death over the past year. The findings are published in a research letter released Monday by JAMA Internal Medicine.


    Flu affected by changing weather patterns

    Government epidemiologists insist that many things go into making a flu season nasty or mild, early or late. But a great deal of accumulating research points a feverish finger at long-term weather patterns influencing both the timing and severity of flu season.

    Eating foods that include a fat, protein and carb is a smart way to “combo snack.”

    Your health: Snack on these healthy tips
    Have you upgraded your snacks in the interest of more healthful eating? Try whole-grain snacks, such as whole-grain low-salt pretzels or tortilla chips and high-fiber, whole-grain cereals. Other options include breakfast foods or a "hi-low" combination, such as peanut butter with apple slices.

    Megan McCarthy-Cook

    Vital statistics
    Fittest Loser vital statistics - starting weight


    Gene shows who will have early hearing losses

    So, maybe there were a few loud concerts over the years. You've always loved big fireworks shows. And you don't always protect your ears when using the leaf blower. But you're just in your 40s or 50s, way too young for significant hearing loss. Still, conversations are getting harder to follow and you feel awkward asking people to keep repeating themselves. What's going on? Researchers at the University of South Florida's Global Center for Hearing & Speech Research have identified a gene — known as GRM7 — responsible for age-related hearing loss that is more severe and occurs earlier than expected.

    Small boxwood hedges can be used to outline more ornamental potager gardens.

    The potager garden grows food, flowers, herbs

    Romans were major gardeners in a time when most cultures were still hunting and gathering. But when the Roman Empire declined, much of Rome's agricultural development vanished. All that remained of it were ruins of villas in formerly conquered lands. The Roman home was a series of rooms that enclosed a central courtyard. Often this was divided into four equal spaces with a well or fountain at the center.


    Important for parents, caregivers to have immunizations

    Parental flu shot recommendations are not new and for quite a few years flu shots have been advised for all individuals 6 months of age and up. Flu hits the very young very hard, with infected children younger than 2 years of age facing higher rates of severe flu-related complications. Vaccination makes it less likely that parents will bring influenza home from work and other public gatherings, keeping infants healthier.

    1969 Pontiac GTO

    Affection for 1969 Pontiac GTO grew over time

    For some, this shared love of automobiles comes naturally, while others require a bit more time to rev up. Jerry Bertram's wife falls in the latter category when it comes to the Palatine couple's 1969 Pontiac GTO.



    Editorial: Yes to school shooting drills, no to mandate

    Drills that would prepare students for a possible school shooting are a good idea, but Gov. Pat Quinn's proposal to require them goes too far, a Daily Herald editorial says.


    Tough times for California bashers

    Columnist Froma Harrop: It must especially pain conservatives that sunnier economic news partly results from voters directly rejecting Republican politicians and their agenda.


    Four ladies from Burma

    Columnist Kathleen Parker: It takes courage to put one foot in front of the other, much less to become an activist in Burma, as Zin Mar Aung and her colleagues have done.


    House rule on review of bills is an outrage
    A Palatine letter to the editor: Assembly. The House Democrats, led by Speaker Mike Madigan, approved House Rules that limit transparency and fair consideration of important legislation. Bills can now be amended and offered for a vote with just one hour to review — one hour!


    Women in combat is long overdue
    A Springfield letter to the editor: My informed opinion is based on over 35 years in the military serving with men and women, deployed into combat zones with women and men, as well as working with countless men and women veterans. I have yet to see a bullet or a bomb or an enemy make a distinction based upon incidental geography or gender.


    Some state data illegal to give out
    A Springfield letter to the editor: Ledger makes public every state transaction that is allowable under the law. It’s not enough for the taxpayers to “hear” from government — they rightly want to see the proof.


    Our national security has to come first
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: When our country is being attacked by terrorists, being “ politically correct” sits way far back in the bus. We did not do enough and are continuing to pay for that!


    (No heading)
    End the nation’s overspending habitHelp! I’ve been transported to a make-believe America, and I need to get back to the real United States. In this fantasy-fueled nation our president has disbanded the jobs council he created despite 7.9 percent unemployment. Our “recovery” features a shrinking GDP. With domestic producers capable of harvesting our natural resources to the point of energy independence, regulations and restrictions force elevated gas prices. And then there’s the U.S. Senate, which has failed to pass a budget for four years but supports borrowing a third of the government’s annual expenditures. Beam me up, Scottie! Take me back to the America whose representatives reflect the actions and desires of the people. American banks are flush with cash as the people set aside savings rather than expose themselves to expanded debt. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has expanded our national debt by trillions of dollars and has no spending reduction plans in the works. Instead, his party members stand in front of microphones and proclaim, “we have no discretionary spending problems.” Really! My America, my neighbors, my friends and my family work hard every day and use “don’t spend what you don’t have, whittle down your debt” logic. Our representative to Congress, Peter Roskam, believes the same. He helped pass the “no budget, no pay” act that attempts to force our legislators to deal with our real financial problems and bring debt reduction into the spending game plan. Rep. Roskam offers common sense solutions. It’s time to cut up the credit card, pay the bills and support domestic financial growth. It’s a principle unknown in Washington, D.C., called “personal responsibility.” Bruce Sauer North Barrington Parker hits mark on combat womenI never thought I would agree with anything Kathleen Parker wrote. But I have been proven wrong; She is right — women do not belong in combat. Kathleen, your reasons were sound and your logic was true. Woman are equals to men when it comes to courage, skill, patriotism and dedication. They also excel in intelligence. But when it comes to brut strength or aggressive tendencies, we take a back seat to men. Equal pay for equal work — yes. Woman should not be striving to be equal in all avenues. We are different biologically, and as Kathleen wrote, “ ... that should be celebrated rather than rationalized as incorrect.” Lifting the ban on women in combat is wrong. I urge Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey to rethink this directive.Susan O’Neil Barrington Senate unwilling to deal with budgetThanks for a needed and well-written wake up call to our do-nothing (or do-little) Senate (Our View, Jan. 28). The House regularly sends budgets to the Senate, but Sen. Harry Reid refuses to bring them up for a vote. Yet the Senate proposes no alternative. Rep. Randy Hultgren’s bill will not solve the problem, but hopefully it will challenge the Senate to action. Most Americans agree that spending needs to be addressed, but for whatever reason, the administration and Senate seem unwilling to propose more than cosmetic reductions in spending. Louis Bowers Mount Prospect


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