Daily Archive : Sunday February 17, 2013



    Ind. police probe child molester’s prison death

    NEW CASTLE, Ind. — Indiana State Police are investigating the death of a convicted child molester who was found unconscious at the bottom of a staircase at the state prison in New Castle.

    Associated Press/2011 For all the talk of Jesse Jackson Jr. aspiring to be a U.S. senator or mayor of the nation's third-largest city, his career wasn't ended by attempts to amass political power. Instead, it was the former congressman's desire for flashy items like a gold-plated Rolex watch and furs, and collectibles, such as Eddie Van Halen's guitar.

    Opulence the downfall of Jesse Jackson Jr.

    For all the talk of Jesse Jackson Jr. aspiring to be a U.S. senator or mayor of the nation's third-largest city, his career wasn't ended by attempts to amass political power. Instead, it was the former congressman's desire for flashy items — a gold-plated Rolex watch, furs and collectibles, such as Eddie Van Halen's guitar.“To go down for this, you just feel sad.” said Paul...


    Person found in burned vehicle in western Wis.

    Western Wisconsin sheriff's officials are investigating the death of a person whose remains were found in a burned vehicle. According to a Pierce County sheriff's department statement, someone reported finding a burned vehicle in the Town of Trenton, about five miles from Ellsworth, at 8:20 a.m. Saturday.


    Quinn urges eligible taxpayers to file for credit

    Gov. Pat Quinn wants taxpayers to take advantage of a newly expanded tax credit. The Illinois Earned Income Tax Credit provides low-income families with tax relief and an incentive to work. But the non-profit Center for Economic Progress estimates between 10 to 20 percent of eligible taxpayers didn't file for the credit last year.


    Rockford studying ways to convert rails to trails

    Rockford officials want to transform rarely used and abandoned railroad tracks into bicycle trails. The Rockford Register Star the northern Illinois city is spending $88,000 on a rail consolidation study. An engineering firm will take an inventory of all rail crossings and determine where obsolete crossings may be removed.


    Ind. man charged with felony after kicking cat

    FORT WAYNE, Ind. — A Fort Wayne man has been charged with animal cruelty after police say he repeatedly kicked a stray cat.Allen County prosecutors filed an animal cruelty charge Friday against 54-year-old Larry Knox. Knox couldn't be reached for comment Saturday because his phone number was unlisted.


    Hutchinson exits race for Jackson's seat

    Illinois state Sen. Toi Hutchinson has dropped out of the race for the U.S. House seat vacated by Jesse Jackson Jr.

    Carol Stream Fire Chief Rick Kolomay says a year old alliance with fire departments from Wheaton, West Chicago and Winfield is paying dividends in terms of cost savings and public safety.

    DuPage fire alliance 'seamless' after first year

    Nearly a year after its debut, an alliance of firefighting agencies in DuPage County is lauding improvements in its responses to emergencies and outlining more ways to share resources. "It used to be we had to assign people to everything they did,” West Chicago Chief Robert Hodge said. “Now, it's seamless."


    No injuries in Palatine house fire

    A Sunday morning house fire in Palatine was extinguished quickly and without any injuries, officials said.

    Republican Sens. John McCain, left, and Lindsey Graham confer at the start of a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the appointment Chuck Hagel to be the next Secretary of Defense on Feb. 14.

    GOP foe of Hagel’s nomination says let vote go on

    President Barack Obama’s pick to be defense secretary is unsuited to head the Pentagon, but Republican senators should stop stalling the nomination and allow a vote on Chuck Hagel, a leading opponent said Sunday. “No, I don’t believe he’s qualified,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. “But I don’t believe that we should hold up his nomination any further, because I think it’s (been) a reasonable...


    10th Annual ADAMS night:

    The 10th annual ADAMS (Automatic Defibrillators Allow More Survival) Night celebration, is set for Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Doubletree by Hilton, 510 East Route 83, Mundelein.

    President Barack Obama, seen here golfing back in 2011, surrounded himself with some high-caliber golf talent during a getaway weekend in Florida. He golfed with Tiger Woods on Sunday after getting some tips from famed instructor Butch Harmon a day earlier.

    Tiger Woods joins vacationing Obama for golf round

    That was a big-time ringer in President Barack Obama’s golfing group Sunday in Florida. Tiger Woods joined the president at the Floridian, a secluded yacht and golf club on the state’s Treasure Coast.

    Ashley Michelson, of Des Moines, Iowa, plays with Celestrail Otis, a Ragdoll cat, during “Purr-a-Pawlooza” Sunday at Harper College in Palatine. The event, also known as the 53rd annual Cat Fanciers’ Association Allbreed Cat Show, was hosted by the Lincoln State Cat Club.

    Cats rule, as usual, at Palatine show 1,000 people visit

    Cat fanciers were able to indulge their interests at “Purr-a-Pawlooza,” the Feline Expo and 53rd annual Cat Fanciers’ Association Allbreed Cat Show this weekend at Harper College in Palatine. The two-day expo, sponsored by the Lincoln State Cat Club, provided education about cats and raised funds for several cat-related charities. “We do more than just show cats here,” said show manager Marci...

    President Barack Obama’s top immigration adviser Cecilia Munoz is leading White House efforts to break through years of partisan gridlock and provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of people living illegally in the United States.

    Obama immigration aide seeks to finish journey

    Cecilia Munoz, President Barack Obama’s chief domestic policy adviser, keeps a framed letter from the late Democratic senator and immigration advocate Ted Kennedy in her West Wing office. “We didn’t complete the journey, but we’ll get there,” Kennedy wrote in 2007 following the collapse of bipartisan efforts to overhaul the nation’s fractured immigration system. It’s Munoz leading Obama’s effort...


    Woodland Intermediate show:

    Woodland Intermediate School students will perform Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” at 7 p.m. on Feb. 21 and 22 at the Intermediate School, 1115 N. Hunt Club Road, Gurnee.


    Board of Review members sought:

    The Board of Review is seeking alternate board members to assist with assessment appeal hearings from October 2013 through January 2014.


    Kane County crime down, child support collection up

    The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office is expected next month to complete its 2012 annual report, but some early figures are in and they are encouraging. Two trends so far: Prosecutions are down and child support payment collection is up.

    President Barack Obama speaks about immigration in Las Vegas on Jan. 29. The White House is circulating a draft immigration bill that would create a new visa for illegal immigrants living in the United States and allow them to become legal permanent residents within eight years, according to a report published online Saturday by USA Today.

    White House calls draft immigration plan a backup

    Republicans and Democrats alike on Sunday predicted President Barack Obama would fail if he pushed forward with his own effort to overhaul the nation’s immigration system and urged the administration to hold off while lawmakers work on a bipartisan measure.

    Guns are displayed on a table on display during the annual New York State Arms Collectors Association Albany Gun Show in Albany, N.Y., Jan. 26.

    Gun raffles stoke debate after Conn. shooting

    From car dealerships to political parties to hockey teams to yes, even police chiefs, gun giveaways are an attractive way to make money or draw in customers. But in the wake of the deadly shooting rampage in a Connecticut elementary school, such raffles are drawing criticism as the ease of obtaining firearms fuels gun-control debates nationwide.

    A priest displays a placard in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican as he follows Pope Benedict XVI reciting the Angelus prayer from the window of his apartments, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. Pope Benedict XVI blessed the faithful from his window overlooking St. Peter’s Square for the first time since announcing his resignation, cheered by an emotional crowd of tens of thousands of well-wishers from around the world.

    Pope blesses huge crowd in St. Peter’s Square

    His arms outstretched in a symbolic embrace, Pope Benedict XVI blessed tens of thousands of cheering people on Sunday in one of his last appearances as pontiff from his window overlooking St. Peter’s Square. Last week, 85-year-old Benedict shocked the world by announcing his resignation. He will step down on Feb. 28, planning to retreat to a life of prayer in a monastery behind the Vatican’s...

    Student Demarcus Miller listens to a teacher from behind a computer terminal in a GED preparation class in Buffalo, N.Y., Feb. 5. Adults who’ve begun working toward their GED are being urged to finish up this year, before the test for a high school equivalency diploma changes and they have to start all over.

    Students urged to finish GED; changes due

    Adults who’ve begun working toward their GED are being urged to finish up this year, before the test for a high school equivalency diploma changes and they have to start all over. GED Testing Service will introduce a new version of the test, given nationwide, on Jan. 1, 2014.

    Lisa Davis, 42, has been charged with first-degree murder.

    Westmont woman charged with stabbing husband to death

    A Westmont woman has been charged with murder in the slaying of her husband, the DuPage County State’s Attorney announced Sunday. Authorities say Lisa Davis, 42, fatally stabbed David Davis, 49, during an altercation Friday night.

    Katie LaMantia, teen librarian, and IT Department Technician Terry Nolan hook up computers in the teen center at the Schaumburg Township District Library.

    Suburban libraries go digital, add services

    Libraries across the suburbs have evolved in recent years to stay relevant in an increasingly digital age. Many have incorporated sophisticated new technology that allows users to create digital content. Area libraries have also diversified their programs and devoted more space and resource to teens, among other changes. The result? Near-record circulation levels for many libraries.

    @Caption redit: Associated Press The building of the city;s city sports arena is damaged in after a meteorite fell near Chelyabinsk, about 1500 kilometers (930 miles) east of Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013.

    Meteor-broken windows in Russian city being fixed

    Authorities in a Russian city say more than half of the acres of windows smashed in the city by an exploding meteor’s shock wave have been replaced.

    The Lake County Forest Preserve District recently announced that it has received a $1.9 million state grant for a trail underpass at Rollins Road near Grayslake.

    Rollins Road underpass will provide a key link in Lake County trail system

    The Lake County Forest Preserve District recently announced it has received a $1.9 million state grant for a trail underpass at Rollins Road near Grayslake. The tunnel will connect the Rollins Savanna and Fourth Lake Forest preserves and extend the Millennium Trail in the north-central part of the county.

    Associated Press This Feb. 20, 2004, file photo, shows a makeshift memorial at the former site of The Station nightclub, marking the one-year anniversary of a fire that killed 100 people at the club in West Warwick, R.I. Survivors and family members of the 100 people killed in a Rhode Island nightclub fire are observing the 10th anniversary of the blaze, which is Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, with a memorial service scheduled for Sunday. (

    Deadly RI nightclub fire remembered 10 years later

    Survivors and family members of the 100 people killed in a Rhode Island nightclub fire are observing the 10th anniversary of the blaze, which broke out when pyrotechnics for the rock band Great White ignited flammable packing foam that had been installed inside the club as soundproofing.

    This undated image provided by Hyla Merin shows 2nd Lt. Hyman Markel with his bride, Celia Markel. Markel was a rabbi’s son, brilliant at mathematics, the brave winner of a Purple Heart who died in 1945. Markel was killed on May 3, 1945, in Italy’s Po Valley while fighting German troops as an officer with the 88th Division of the 351st Infantry Regiment.

    Long-missing WWII Purple Heart to be awarded

    Hyla Merin grew up without a father and for a long time never knew why. Her mother never spoke about the Army officer who died before Hyla was born. But on Sunday, decades after he won it, Merin will receive her father’s Purple Heart, along with a Silver Star she never knew he’d won and a half-dozen other medals.


    Iran confiscates Buddha statues from shops

    Buddha statues have joined Barbie dolls and characters from “The Simpsons” TV cartoon as banned items in the conservative Muslim nation.


    Chicago joins with US Navy for science education

    Chicago and the U.S. Navy are teaming up to give students more opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math.Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the partnership between Chicago and the U.S. Department of the Navy will provide an intensive summer program for more than 1,000 students.


    Arlington Heights board to hear housing plan

    After nearly a year of research and analysis, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning will on Monday present its final plan and recommendations for what housing in the Northwest suburbs should look like in the future. The Arlington Heights Village Board will be the first of the five member suburbs of the Northwest Suburban Housing Collaborative to hear the recommendations.

    Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 teachers and students are so enthusiastic about the new one-to-one iPad program that the school board agreed Thursday to add up to 7,000 more students next year.

    Dist. 211 OKs iPad program expansion

    After reviewing the many positive impacts iPads are having on instructors and students, the Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 school board agreed Thursday to allow for the expansion of the district's one-on-one program, which put iPads in the hands of 1,500 students last fall. That means between 6,000 and 7,000 additional students will get their own iPads next school year.


    Good timing, communication prevent misunderstandings

    You need to talk. Your partner needs to sleep or work or pick up the kids. The talk could be a disaster, our Ken Potts warns, unless you signal that the talk is important and you both agree to talk when neither of you is distracted.


    Wisconsin's Sam Dekker celebrates a 3-point basket against Ohio State during the second half Sunday in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin beat Ohio State 71-49.

    No. 20 Wisconsin cruises past No. 13 Ohio St. 71-49

    Associated PressMADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin can be awfully good when it is making shots. Ohio State found that out Sunday.The 20th-ranked Badgers shot 53 percent from the field, their best performance of the season, to rout No. 13 Ohio State 71-49.“The guys got good looks, and they went down,” Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. “They didn't change anything. I'd like to say we did, that we found something.”It was a dramatic turnaround offensively for Wisconsin (18-8, 9-4 Big Ten) after Thursday, when the Badgers went scoreless over the final 5 minutes in regulation and then managed just four points in overtime while losing at Minnesota.The 39 first-half points tied their best opening period in Big Ten play this season and were only 10 fewer than the Badgers scored for the entire game at Ohio State in a Jan. 29 loss.Ohio State coach Thad Matta said it was just one of those games when the Badgers could do no wrong, perhaps best summed up in the second half when Wisconsin guard Traevon Jackson banked in an off-balance shot as the clock shot expired.Even so, Matta said he was at a loss to explain how poorly Ohio State (18-7, 8-5) played on defense.“We've seen the results if we're not going to play defensively. We're not a good basketball team,” Matta said. “If we're going to rely on trying to outscore people, that's not going to happen.”The win kept Wisconsin tied with Michigan for third in the conference, two games behind leaders Indiana and Michigan State. Ohio State dropped into fifth place.Wisconsin put Ohio State in a hole early and never let the Buckeyes climb out of it.The Badgers took control with an 18-0 run in the first half that lasted more than 7 minutes and put them up 24-6. At one point in the run, Matta called timeout and said he lost it with his players, asking in bewilderment what was going on.“The way we opened the game defensively, guys catch and shoot, we weren't even challenging shots,” Matta said.Things weren't much better on the offensive end. DeShaun Thomas led Ohio State with 18 points, though he needed 17 shots to do it and only got to the foul line once. Sam Thompson added 10 points but Aaron Craft was held to four on 2-of-9 shooting, and the team shot less than 38 percent from the field. That included 3 of 12 from 3-point range.Ohio State had only six assists and trailed by 17 points at halftime. That was its largest deficit at the break since March 22, 2007, when the Buckeyes trailed Tennessee by the same margin but went on to win 85-84.“This is on us,” Craft said. “Coaches can't get us ready to play. The responsibility is on us as individual players. We've got to go and bring teammates with us. We can't play like this in February. This is beginning-of-the-year mistakes and mental errors.”Wisconsin, by comparison, was a model of efficiency on offense. The Badgers had 16 assists on 29 field goals and were 7 of 19 from 3-point range.Ben Brust and Jared Berggren each scored 15 points to lead the Badgers, while Brust also had 11 rebounds. Sam Dekker came off the bench to score 13 for Wisconsin, and Jackson added 10.Wisconsin built its first 20-point lead at 34-14 on Dekker's 3-pointer with less than 4 minutes to go in the first half and led by as many as 26 in the second half.Berggren said the Badgers didn't do anything differently against the Buckeyes. He chalked up the offensive effort to a landslide effect — when a couple of guys started making shots early, it just spread across the team. It also helped that the Badgers took advantage of Ohio State playing them tight on defense, making hard cuts to the rim and then kicking the ball out to open 3-point shooters.“I think a big part is just knocking down shots,” Berggren said. “I think we got a lot of the same looks, but everything seems better when the ball goes in.”

    Chicago White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers talks to a coach during spring training baseball in Phoenix on Friday.

    Teammates, brass expect Tyler Flowers to bloom

    Tyler Flowers is the White Sox' new starting catcher, and he has to prove he can hit. In 273 career at-bats with the Sox, Flowers has struck out 107 times. “Based on the history we have with (Flowers), I think he'll be a quality everyday catcher in the big leagues,” Rick Hahn said after replacing Williams as GM in October.

    Welington Castillo has the inside track to be the Cubs' starting catcher this season.

    Well, looks like Welington (Castillo)

    The Cubs have turned their catching duties over to youngster Welington Castillo. But they will have a solid mentor for Castillo in veteran Dioner Navarro. “He's been helping me a lot,” Castillo told cubs.com. “He's a great guy. He told me, 'I'm here for you. Anything you want me to do, tell me. Anything you need to improve on, I'll help you, I'll let you know.'"

    Michael Jordan celebrates after the Bulls beat the Phoenix Suns 99-98 to win their third consecutive NBA title in Phoenix, June 20, 1993. Jordan scored 33 points and gained the record for the highest scoring average in finals history, 41.0.

    NBA all-stars celebrate Jordan's 50th birthday

    HOUSTON — Michael Jordan turned 50 on Sunday, giving this year's all-stars a chance to reflect on his illustrious career and how much he still means to the sport.In a weekend filled with the NBA's greatest players, Jordan was the topic no one could stop talking about. Though he hasn't played since the 2002-03 season, Jordan's influence still permeates the league and its players.“Every kid that wanted to play basketball, that could play, that couldn't play, you tried to emulate Michael Jordan,” Heat star Dwyane Wade said. “That's why there will never be another one of him.“He the first of his kind. Everything he did was groundbreaking. He did it with so much flare and so much pizazz that even today people are still trying to be like Mike.”Jordan won six titles and five MVP awards during a career spent mostly with the Bulls that began in 1984.Jordan was in Houston this weekend, and celebrated his birthday early with a private bash Friday at the Museum of Fine Arts with guests including LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard is so impressed with Jordan that he said he's like a real version of Superman. “Be Like Mike” was more than a marketing campaign. It was a dream for many of today's players.“He's amazing,” Howard said. “He's one of the reasons why we played basketball. He inspired us to do great things. I hear his voice sometimes on commercials, it makes you want to get out there and try to do something.”Jordan retired twice before finally leaving the game for good at 39. Some people wondered this weekend if he still could play in the NBA, despite reaching the age where he qualifies for an AARP card.Wade believes this day will be a time for Jordan to reflect on his storied career and appreciate his family and health.“Kind of look back at all the things he did, so many years ago in the NBA that still lives on today,” Wade said. “What he's been able to do to stay this relevant, in this role, the way he has, is phenomenal.”Though he isn't seen often, Jordan is never far from the game. He is close to a group of players through his Jordan Brand apparel and as the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. He ignited one of the debates of the weekend when he told NBA TV he would chose Bryant over James based on the number of championships each has won.“If you had to pick between the two, that would be a tough choice, but five beats one every time I look at it, and not that (James) won't get five, he may get more than that, but five is bigger than one,” Jordan said in the interview, which airs tonight. Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks counts Jordan as one of the most influential people in his decision to play basketball.“He changed the game, transcended the game,” Anthony said. “He changed the way people coached the game from a mental aspect. From a training aspect, how you approach that, he changed that. So for me as a kid to see that and see somebody go through that and succeed, that was motivation.”Jordan, who retired for the last time with more than 32,000 points, is perhaps known as much by the younger generation of stars for his namesake Nike shoe as for his basketball skills.“The imprint he's had on the league, he's an immortal,” Bryant said. “Everything that he's done from the business aspect to his professionalism to his work ethic to the global appeal of the game has been something that carries on for generations and generations.”Jordan didn't make himself available to the media during All-Star Weekend. James said this week that he wasn't too concerned with the TV remarks.


    Rampage rallies past Wolves

    The Chicago Wolves opened a 2-goal lead midway through the second period, but San Antonio rallied to claim a 5-4 shootout victory on Sunday at Allstate Arena. Stefan Schneieder, Nathan Longpre, Devin DiDiomete and Michael Davies scored for the Wolves, but San Antonio center Zach Hamill and right wing Jon Rheault notched the only goals in the shootout to lift the Rampage to the win.


    Hawks’ defenseman contributing on offense

    Brent Seabrook had a goal and assist in Sunday’s 3-2 victory over Los Angeles and Duncan Keith added 2 assists as the Blackhawks continue to get key contributions from their defensemen.

    Northwestern’s Dave Sobolewski left, and Alex Marcotullio sit on the bench during the second half against Illinois, Sunday. Illinois won 62-41.

    Illinois routs Northwestern 62-41

    Illinois avenged a 68-54 home loss to Northwestern on Jan. 17 with a 62-41 thumping Sunday and matched its total of Big Ten wins from last season. During their winning streak, the Illini have also beaten top-ranked Indiana, then-No. 18 Minnesota and Purdue.

    If Michael Jordan, even at 50, says he can do something on a basketball court, just expect that he could do it.

    Even now, there’s no reason to doubt Jordan

    It's time to look ahead now that Michael Jordan's 50th birthday celebration is history. It says here that His Airness will return to play in the NBA, defy Father Time and score 100 points in a game.

    Marian Hossa (81), Jonathan Toews (19) and Duncan Keith (2) congratulate goalie Ray Emery after the Blackhawks’ 3-2 victory Sunday over the Kings.

    Blackhawks closing in on hottest NHL start ever

    By defeating the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Sunday at the United Center, the Hawks have gained at least 1 point in 15 straight games to begin the season, leaving them one game shy of Anaheim’s NHL record of 16. But for the Blackhawks, it’s not how you start but how you finish. “What’s important to us is making the playoffs, and once we get there the real season starts,” Jonathan Toews said.

    Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery stops a shot from the Los Angeles Kings in the first period of Sunday’s 3-2 Hawks victory at the United Center.

    Emery stays hot for streaking Blackhawks

    The Blackhawks have had plenty of great goaltending this season, but starter Corey Crawford is out with a concussion, and while he recovers Ray Emery records victories. Is it unfair to even consider what might occur when Crawford returns? Of course, but no one said hockey is fair.

    Marquette’s Brooklyn Pumroy, left, chases Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins during the second half Sundayin Milwaukee. Notre Dame won 87-49.

    Diggins leads Notre Dame women over Marquette

    MILWAUKEE — When Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw was recruiting Skylar Diggins, she told the recruit that she could someday become the leading scoring in Irish history.Four years later, Diggins is closing in on making McGraw’s statement come true. Diggins scored 23 points and Natalie Achonwa added 17 points and 10 rebounds as No. 2 Notre Dame rolled to its 19th consecutive victory with an 87-49 rout of Marquette on Sunday.Diggins passed Katryna Gaither on the school’s all-time scoring list. She now has 2,131 points, trailing only current Irish assistant coach Beth (Morgan) Cunningham, who scored 2,322 points during her career.“You say that when you are recruiting someone hoping that it comes true,” McGraw said. “But with Skylar, she has been incredible right from the beginning. There was no learning curve. I’m not sure what I’m going to do without her next year.”Diggins’ defensive rebound with 13 minutes remaining in the first half also allowed her to become the first women’s basketball player in Notre Dame history with 2,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in her career.“I didn’t even know about it until they told me,” Diggins said. “”It is something I that is pretty cool. I can think about when I’m old and gray,”Diggins said she is excited to try and pass her assistant coach and said both records will mean more after she leaves Notre Dame.“All that matters is that we are winning,” she said.And winning the Irish (24-1, 12-0) are. The victory against Marquette was a school record 20 consecutive regular-season road win, including 16 straight in the conference. Notre Dame’s lone loss of the season was to No. 1 Baylor 71-63 on Dec. 5.McGraw said she is very pleased with the way her team is playing as the Irish head down the stretch of the season. The Irish were again without senior guard and co-captain Kaila Turner, who did not play for the third consecutive game due to a left elbow injury.“We are playing very well right now and are giving some of our younger players some experience,” she said. “We have some tough games left (against Syracuse and Connecticut) and we have to finish the season off strong.”The Irish led by 19 at halftime and put the game away early in the second half as Notre Dame scored the first 12 points of the half to grab a 46-15 lead when Diggins scored on a layup. Diggins was the key to the spurt as she scored six points, including a steal and breakway layup.In all, Notre Dame scored 21 unanswered points as the Irish scored the last nine points of the first half.Marquette could get no closer than 24 points the rest of the way as the Golden Eagles hit just 17 of 51 shots in the game and had 20 turnovers.Sarina Simmons scored 12 points and Arlesia Morse added 11 for Marquette (12-13, 4-8).Marquette coach Terri Mitchell said she knew her team had to be perfect to have a chance against powerful Notre Dame.“Obviously we didn’t do that,” she said. “We had a lot of great shots in the first half and we missed. Opportunities were there and we didn’t finish it.”Mitchell said she continues to be impressed with Diggins play.“All those awards she has, there’s a reason for that,” she said. “She had a very good game.”

    Louisville’s Antonia Slaughter, right, battles DePaul’s Megan Podkowa for a loose ball during the second half Sunday in Louisville, Ky. Louisville won 81-55.

    No. 10 Louisville women rout DePaul 81-55

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville sophomore Bria Smith is adjusting well to having the ball in her hands.Smith scored a career-high 21 points to spark an 81-55 win over DePaul for the No. 10 Cardinals on Sunday. She was 13 of 15 from the free throw line and her all-around performance included seven rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal. She had 10 points in the first 9:47 and 14 points and six rebounds in the first half.“I just always take what’s open,” Smith said. “If a person gives me the lane, I’m going to take it. If a person sucks in on me, I’ll try and kick it out to one of my teammates. I just do what comes with the flow of the game.”Louisville’s win avenged an 86-80 Jan. 5 loss at DePaul earlier this season. Following that game, Louisville coach Jeff Walz put the ball in Smith’s hands as his point guard, shifting Shoni Schimmel to the wing. Louisville’s only losses since have come at Connecticut and Notre Dame and Smith said she is growing more comfortable in her new role.“Playing basketball for me is an enjoyment,” Smith said of the transition. “If you throw me anywhere on the court, I’ll try and do my best at every position.”Smith entered Sunday shooting 58 percent on free throw attempts. Walz said Smith’s growing confidence is showing at the line. “It’s confidence and finally she is stepping up to the line more confident,” Walz said “She gets to the free throw line a lot for us so if she can continue to do that, then we are going to be in business.”Smith scored a previous season-high 18 in Louisville’s last outing, a 93-64 loss at No. 2 Notre Dame that snapped a six-game winning streak.“We tried to shake off the Notre Dame game because we knew that we didn’t go out there as focused as we were supposed to,” Smith said.Louisville forward Sara Hammond had 17 points and 13 rebounds, her fifth double-double of the season. She summed up her classmate’s game and importance to the team.“She played aggressive, she played hard. On both ends of the floor, too,” Hammond said. “She’s the most athletic person we have on our team and we really need her athleticism to aggravate the guards on defense.“And then offense, when she gets to driving the basketball, there’s no way you’re going to stop her. She’s too athletic and too fast.”The Cardinals (21-5, 9-3 Big East) held DePaul to season-low 25 percent shooting (16 of 65) and dominated inside with a 50-10 advantage on points in the paint.Chanise Jenkins led the Blue Demons (18-8, 7-5) with 16 points before fouling out with 5:11 remaining. Megan Podkowa had 14 points off the bench. Both were career highs.The Cardinals held DePaul to just 19 percent shooting in first 20 minutes (6 of 32) but could only muster a 29-23 lead at halftime.“I really felt good that we were only chasing six at halftime with a really hideous shooting percentage,” DePaul coach Doug Bruno said. “But then the game really got away from us.”Louisville came out hot in the second half as Shoni Schimmel sank a three to start the half. Schimmel later helped stretch the lead to 39-26 when she set up Antonita Slaughter’s layup with 17:52 remaining with a no-look pass.Podkowa’s jumper in the lane off an out-of-bounds play cut the Louisville lead to 50-38 with 13:52 left but DePaul would draw no closer.Hammond’s layup and free throw off an inbound capped an 8-0 run that put Louisville up 20 with 9:45 to play. The Cardinals pushed the lead to 77-47 with 2:14 left.DePaul missed its first nine 3-pointers and started 3 of 23 from the field before Jenkins’ triple with 4:42 left in the first half cut the Louisville lead to 23-14. It would be the only 3-pointer for Blue Demons in 14 first-half attempts. They finished 4 of 29 (14 percent) on shots from behind the arc.

    Iowa guard/forward Eric May (25) draws a foul as he steals the ball from Minnesota guard Andre Hollins (1) during the second half Sunday in Iowa City, Iowa.

    Iowa rolls past Minnesota 72-51

    IOWA CITY, Iowa — Devyn Marble and Aaron White each had 15 points as Iowa shrugged off an early 16-point deficit and rolled past Minnesota 72-51 on Sunday for its third straight win.Freshman Mike Gesell added 11 for the Hawkeyes (17-9, 6-7 Big Ten), who’ve rattled off three consecutive Big Ten victories for the first time in six years. Iowa outscored Minnesota 37-10 in a 20-minute stretch spanning the halves, pulling ahead 42-31 with 15:14 left. Eric May’s 3 with 8:50 left made it 53-37 Iowa, and a game that started off as a Minnesota rout became a Hawkeyes blowout. Austin Hollins had 14 points for the Gophers (18-8, 6-7), who’ve lost three of four and are now tied with Iowa in the league standings.

    In this Aug. 5, 2012, file photo, South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius starts in the men’s 400-meter semifinal during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Paralympic superstar Oscar Pistorius was charged Thursday with the murder of his girlfriend who was shot inside his home in South Africa, a stunning development in the life of a national hero known as the Blade Runner for his high-tech artificial legs.

    Agent cancels all future races for Oscar Pistorius

    Oscar Pistorius’ track career was put on hold indefinitely as his agent canceled all future races so the double-amputee Olympian can focus on defending himself against his murder charge. After visiting Pistorius at the police station he is being held at, agent Peet van Zyl said there is “no option but to cancel all future races that Oscar Pistorius had been contracted to compete in to allow Oscar to concentrate on the upcoming legal proceedings.”

    Danica Patrick stands by her car after qualifying for the NASCAR Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, in Daytona Beach, Fla. Patrick won the pole, becoming the first woman to secure the top spot for any Sprint Cup race.

    Danica Patrick the first woman to win pole in Sprint Cup race

    Danica Patrick has won the Daytona 500 pole, becoming the first woman to secure the top spot for any Sprint Cup race. It was the biggest achievement of her four-year NASCAR career. Patrick went out eighth in the qualifying session Sunday and covered the 2½-mile superspeedway in 45.817 seconds, averaging 196.434 mph. “Hopefully, there are good things to come,” Patrick said.

    Michael Jordan wowed and amazed beyond words, and it was so special that he was ours all those years as a Bull.

    Michael Jordan turns 50: Thanks for the memories

    In theory, it's just a number. But for many it's a crisis, signaling an inevitable, unavoidable look at the flip side. For Michael Jordan, turning 50 carries greater implications. It means losing a battle with the calendar — and this is not a man familiar with accepting defeat. He was an immortal with a red cape, leaping skyscrapers in a single bound. Yet, suddenly, the mirror offers no solace. The only Magic he sees is when he runs into his old Lakers pal.

    Bulls Michael Jordan jumps for joy, as the Bulls win their sixth championship against the Utah Jazz in Utah.

    Images: Look back Michael Jordan’s career
    Michael Jordan turns 50 today. He was an immortal with a red cape, leaping skyscrapers in a single bound. Here's a look back at images of his career.


    A sharply divided Congress isn’t likely to jump at President Barack Obama’s challenge for quick passage of a mortgage refinancing bill that supporters say could help millions of homeowners save big each year and boost the economy.

    Mortgage bill faces tough road in Congress

    A sharply divided Congress isn’t likely to jump at President Barack Obama’s challenge for quick passage of a mortgage refinancing bill that supporters say could help millions of homeowners save big each year and boost the economy. Obama praised the legislation in his State of the Union speech last week, saying the proposal would help more homeowners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac take advantage of low interest rates and refinance their loans.Even with mortgage rates near a 50-year low, Obama said, too many families that have never missed a payment and want to refinance are being turned down.

    In this Jan. 17, 2013 photo, clinical pharmacist Mary Eilers, prepares a compound at St. John's Hospital in Springfield. Experts looking at Illinois' job market say the best prospects for 2013 are likely in medical and manufacturing firms.

    Best Ill. job prospects in manufacturing, medical

    Illinois' widening medical industry and its old-standby, manufacturing, may be the best places to look for a job this year, although some of the positions will require increasing levels of education and training and many won't pay what they might have just a few years ago, experts said. Overall, 17 percent of Illinois employers plan to add staff during the first quarter of this year. “Job creation has been relatively strong in the last two years,” said John Challenger, CEO of the Chicago-based outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. Even so, Illinois is like the rest of the nation: still staggering back from the recession 2007-09. Statewide unemployment hasn't dropped below 8 percent since 2008.

    New White House Chief or Staff Denis McDonough, speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday, said President Barack Obama is concerned about the effect the automatic budget cuts, scheduled for next month, will have on America’s middle class.

    White House seeks ‘balanced way’ to budget fix

    President Barack Obama is concerned about the effect that looming, drastic across-the-board budget cuts will have on the middle class, his new chief of staff said Sunday. Congressional Republicans predicted the cuts would start as scheduled next month and blamed Obama not only for doing little to stop them but for the idea itself. The cuts, called the sequester, would drain $85 billion from the government’s budget over the coming seven months. Actual cuts may be around 13 percent for defense and 9 percent for other programs because lawmakers delayed their impact, requiring savings over a shorter period of time.

    A sign advertises HJ Heinz Co. ketchup at the top of the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Warren Buffettís Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Jorge Paulo Lemannís 3G Capital agreed to buy HJ Heinz Co. for about $23 billion, ending the independence of an iconic ketchup maker that traces its roots to the 1860s.

    World’s richest man loses $4 billion as Buffett buys Heinz

    The 100 wealthiest people on the planet added $380 million to their collective net worth after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index reached its highest level since October 2007 this week.


    Smart Spending: Outsource spring cleaning cheaply

    Spring cleaning can make a home feel like new, but let’s face it, it’s a pain. But it’s possible to outsource some of that work without being a millionaire. If you’re willing to spend a few bucks to save on the elbow grease, here are some options to consider.

    Chris and Natasha Ashton, owners of Petplan, a pet insurance company, pose for a portrait with their dogs, Montgomery, lower left, and Wellington, center, in Philadelphia. Marriage and other long-term relationships aren’t easy. And running a small business is no picnic. Putting the two things together can make life complicated for the happiest of life partners. Still, millions of people run businesses with their significant other every day. It’s not known how many couples own and run a business together, but the number runs into the millions.

    Couples find ways to build profits and happy homes

    NEW YORK — As Lauren Smith and Matt Hendrickson drive home together, all conversation about work must stop a few blocks from their house. The couple came up with the idea after starting a business together. “That’s our cutoff point, so when we go into the house, we can have a normal personal life,” Lauren says. Marriage and other long-term relationships aren’t easy. And running a small business is no picnic. Putting the two things together can make life complicated for the happiest of life partners. Still, millions of people run businesses with their significant other every day. It’s not known how many couples own and run a business together, but the number runs into the millions. The most recent Census count, in 2007, showed 1.4 million companies that were co-owned and equally operated by husbands and wives. That doesn’t include businesses owned by unmarried domestic partners or same-sex couples. The Census counted another 2.3 million companies owned by spouses but primarily operated by either the husband or the wife.There’s no formula for making a success out of a business that is owned by a couple — or for also keeping their home life happy. Many couples make disagreements part of their decision-making process. Some set their egos aside and listen to one another. And some, like Smith and Hendrickson, find that they need to take a break to keep working well together. Setting limitsSmith and Hendrickson started Ascendify, a San Francisco firm that helps companies add social media to their online job postings, in April 2012, less than a year after they were married. Matt brought 20 years of high-tech experience. Lauren had worked in advertising. Building a business together has its perks. Long hours working on a startup leaves little time for much else, the couple says. “It became an all-inclusive, all-encompassing mind-share. We ended up working on it nights and weekends,” Matt says. Besides their self-imposed curfew on the drive home, the couple schedules activities to keep the company from taking over.“We’ll have a date night here or there, or go on a hike,” Matt says. “If either of us talked about work on date night, we’d get in trouble with each other.”The business is doing well enough that they’ve been able to hire two employees and plan to take on a third. The couple believes that they’re succeeding because they have something in common: They’re both risk takers. “We have literally put our life savings into the business,” Matt says. “It was a really risky decision, but we both had an entrepreneurial mindset.”CompromisingNatasha and Chris Ashton have learned a big lesson from owning a business together: The only way to end an argument is to compromise.“We never reach an impasse,” says Natasha, co-CEO with her husband of PetPlan, a company that provides health insurance for pets. “One of us backs down and we make a joint decision.The Ashtons decided to start a pet health insurance business after their cat, Bodey, ran up $5,000 in vet bills. They had looked for insurance for her, and discovered it was relatively unknown in the U.S. while being very popular in Britain, where the couple comes from.“It became apparent to us what a tremendous opportunity it was,” Natasha says.They started the Philadelphia-based company after they got their MBAs in 2003. It wasn’t always smooth. There were heated debates, and the Ashtons found that they needed to work out their differences.“You can’t get held up or let emotions override your ability to make a decision,” Natasha says.At first, the Ashtons were both involved in virtually every aspect of PetPlan. As it grew — it now has 80 employees — they each took on distinct roles. Chris handles the financial and insurance end of the business, while Natasha focuses on marketing and public relations.


    4 tips for investors to ease growing tax bite

    This year’s tax-filing deadline is a couple months away, and many investors are beginning to review whether they made any rash moves with their portfolios to trigger potentially unnecessary tax bills. It’s a good instinct to follow, because it can become a teachable moment on how to become a tax-savvy investor.

    Construction continues on the Baha Mar resort on the beach on New Providence island, Bahamas. The project will add thousands of hotel rooms not far from the islands’ biggest resort, the Atlantis. Baha Mar has opened sales offices all over Asia to promote and presell hundreds of pricey condos, hoping to imprint new travel habits on a continent that’s traditionally spent beach vacations in Southeast Asia. It is also working with the Bahamian government to open more consular offices in China to issue visas.

    China plays by its own rules while going global

    All over the world, from Latin America to the South Pacific, a cash-flush China is funding projects that others won’t, seemingly less concerned by the conventional wisdom of credit ratings and institutions such as the World Bank. The Chinese money is breathing life into government infrastructure projects that otherwise might have died for lack of financing.

    Banks are competing fiercely for new credit card users — especially those with good credit. To entice new customers, several major banks are throwing in enough frequent flier miles for two free tickets anywhere in the U.S.

    Play your (credit) cards right for a free vacation

    A free vacation could be in the cards. Banks are competing fiercely for new credit card users — especially those with good credit. To entice new customers, several major banks are throwing in enough frequent flier miles for two free tickets anywhere in the U.S. Charge the groceries, a night out at a restaurant and the kids’ new spring outfits and you might even earn enough rewards to also get a free hotel or car rental.

    California wine country

    California wine may not pair with French cheese in talks

    Europeans and Americans, linked by shared cultures and centuries of history, are about to face off over some of the toughest issues that divide them: cheese, wine, foie gras and steak. Farm products will be a central part of negotiations aimed at creating a trade agreement between the U.S. and the 27-nation European Union, which was endorsed this week by President Barack Obama and his counterparts across the Atlantic.

    US Airways CEO and Chairman Doug Parker applauds the crew of flight 1549 in New York. Parker has no problem performing his own version of Gangnam Style before hundreds of employees. The CEO of US Airways even let a video of his dance get posted to YouTube. He’s tall, outspoken and a competitor. He’s also persistent. And that explains why he’s very close to being put in charge of the world’s largest airline, a product of the merger between American Airlines and US Airways.

    Persistent Parker nears top job at American

    Doug Parker has no problem donning rapper Psy’s light blue tuxedo for Halloween and performing his own version of Gangnam Style before hundreds of employees. The CEO of US Airways even let a video of his dance get posted to YouTube. He’s outspoken, confident, and persistent, and he is very close to being put in charge of the world’s largest airline.

    This undated photo provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission shows the Samsonite Dual-Wattage Travel Converter Kit. Samsonite has recalled the converter kits, used to make standard U.S. and Canadian appliances usable abroad, because they can overheat if a load in excess of 50 watts is applied to the converter while in the 50-watt setting. This poses a fire and burn hazard to consumers.

    Recalls this week: Converter kits, crossbows

    About 20,000 travel converter kits for U.S. and Canadian appliances were recalled this week because they can potentially overheat and start a fire. Crossbows that can fire unexpectedly and stuffed animals with flashlight wires that can cause lacerations were also recalled.Travel Converter KitsDETAILS: Samsonite dual-wattage travel converter kits used to make standard U.S. and Canadian appliances usable abroad. The kit includes one black converter to change 220-volt AC electricity to 110-volt AC, two adapter plugs with round prongs, two with flat prongs and one grounded adapter plug with three flat prongs. The converter has a red switch to adjust the wattage of the appliance from 50 to 1600 watts. The words “Dual-Wattage Converter” and “Do Not Use 50W on Hair Dryer” appear on the front of the converter. The Samsonite logo appears on each piece in the set. They were sold from Jan. 2011 through Dec. 2012.WHY: The converter can overheat if a load in excess of 50 watts is applied to the converter while in the 50-watt setting. This poses a fire and burn hazard to consumers.INCIDENTS: None reported.HOW MANY: About 20,000.FOR MORE: Call Samsonite at 800-382-7259, send email to recall (at) samsonite.com, or visit www.samsonite.com/recall crossbowsDETAILS: Middleton Siege Crossbows imported by The Bohning Co. The crossbows have model numbers 315, 330, 355, and 375. “The Siege” and the model numbers are printed in large lettering directly above the trigger mechanism. “Bohning/Middleton Crossbow,” “Patent pending” and serial number are engraved on opposite sides of the rear barrel of each crossbow. The serial number, 12-XXX, is unique for each crossbow. They were sold at sporting goods stores in Texas and Pennsylvania from June 2012 through Oct. 2012.WHY: The crossbow can fire unexpectedly when the auto-safety mechanism appears to be on and the trigger is pulled, posing an injury hazard to the user and bystanders. In addition, the crossbow limbs can crack or break under normal useINCIDENTS: None reported.HOW MANY: About 150.FOR MORE: Call The Bohning Company at 800-253-0136 or visit www.bohning.com and click Product Recall for more information.Stuffed animalsDETAILS: Beamerzzz stuffed animals with LED flashlight made by Purr-Fection by MJC Inc. The stuffed toys come with LED flashlights sewn into the left paw. The toys are 12 inches high and come in five animal types. The model number can be found on the hang tag on the left ear. Affected toys are marked with manufacturing code 111208-02 on the sewn in label located in the left rear portion of the toy. The recalled styles are: Baby Moose with model number 3127FS, Baby Butter Cream Bear with model number 1229FS, Baby Smoky Black Bear with model number 1231FS, Baby Deer with model number 3136FS, and Baby Derby Elephant with 1927FS. They were sold at Cabela’s stores and online at Cabelas.com from Sept. 2012 through Nov. 2012.WHY: LED flashlight wires can protrude through the stuffed toy, posing a laceration hazard.INCIDENTS: One incident was reported involving a consumer who noticed an exposed wire, but no injuries were reported.HOW MANY: About 7,200.FOR MORE: Call Purr-Fection by MJC at 800-359-0254 or visit www.purr-fection.com and click on the orange product recall tab at the top of the page for more information.Folding step stoolsDETAILS: Grey Task (asterisk) It 1-UP folding step stools made by Cramer LLC. The stools are plastic and have a 9.5 x 14.5 top step and feature two 11.5 inch legs that fold inward for storage. The top of the folding step stool is covered with black rubber treading imprinted with an asterisk symbol. “1-UP step” is printed on the product packaging. The Task (asterisk) It name is imprinted on the legs. They were sold from Jan. 2012 through Dec. 2012.

Life & Entertainment


    Brother’s no-shows seem passive-aggressive

    Q. My brother and sister-in-law have been critical of the fact that we are planners. If we invite them for a dinner party, then we generally send out an invitation, date, time, occasion and ask for an RSVP. We never hear back. We’ve called and left messages on the phone, texted, emailed, but they don’t let us know if they are coming.


    Be grateful, not angry during family discrepancies
    Q. I have a bizarre dilemma that needs a light touch in handling. My wife, my children and I are very close to my grandparents. We see them often, never missing birthdays, or holidays. They are generous with gifts but, recently, gifts have been replaced by checks (usually $100). No problems there.


    Pining away for a life that doesn’t exist

    Q. Sometimes I think I'd like someone to rescue me from my life — someone to make it so I don't have to work anymore, and I just sit back and not think about anything serious or responsible.


    Ideal Father’s Day turned out to not be so perfect

    Q. Last year, my father, father-in-law and I went on a fishing trip for Father's Day. It was the first year I was a father, and so I figured it'd be a good time to do something with the three of us.

    In this image taken on Jan. 28, 2013, roasted rosemary leg of goat is shown on a plate in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

    A rosemary goat that takes 10 minutes to make

    When is a recipe that takes many hours a fast and easy recipe? When it takes just 10 minutes of your time to prepare. Admittedly, this recipe for roasted goat isn't weeknight-friendly. But it is ideal for a weekend when you want a bold, richly flavored dinner that sports tons of slow-roasted deliciousness without needing to spend the day slaving in the kitchen.

    Country singer Mindy McCready died of an apparent suicide Sunday afternoon at her Arkansas home, according to the coroner's office.

    Country star Mindy McCready dies at 37

    Mindy McCready, who hit the top of the country charts before personal problems sidetracked her career, has died. She was 37.

    Twins Jamil, left, and Idries Abdur-Rahman are contestants in this season's “The Amazing Race,” which premieres at 7 tonight on CBS. The doctors, shown in the New Family Center at Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan, say they hope to dispel myths about African-Americans, Muslims and male OB-GYNs.

    Twin doctors from Lake County team up on “The Amazing Race”

    Twin brothers Idries and Jamil Abdur-Rahman already have blazed trails as African-Americans, Muslims and doctors. Beginning with their TV appearance Sunday as part of "The Amazing Race," the Lake County doctors aim to win over viewers and defeat their competition.

    Lee Bontecou's 1962 Untitled work is on loan as part of the Museum of Contemporary Art's exhibit Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949-1962.

    Sunday picks: MCA presents art of the Void

    See how mid-20th Century abstract artists visualized the world around them at the MCA's Painting the Void exhibit. Visit the Lincoln State Cat Club All Breed Cat Show at Harper College to tickle some whiskers Saturday and Sunday. Take the kids to the Lego Train Show at the DuPage County Historical Museum this weekend. Or catch some comedy as Heather McDonald lights up Zanies Saturday night.

    Hugh Bonneville portrays the patriarchal Lord Grantham in the series, “Downton Abbey.” The season three finale airs today on PBS.

    Hugh Bonneville presides on ‘Downton Abbey’ finale

    The third season of “Downton Abbey” ends this Sunday with a bang. Exactly what that bang is, we’re not going to say, in deference to the maybe half-dozen “Downton” fans who still don’t know the shocking truth.

    “Airtight,” by David Rosenfelt

    ‘Airtight’ a tale of family dynamics

    The brutal death of a judge opens “Airtight,” David Rosenfelt’s latest tale of mystery, family dynamics and paranoia. New Jersey police officer Luke Somers gets the case, and a suspect quickly becomes apparent. Somers and his partner arrive at the home of Steven Gallagher and find him holding a gun. Somers opens fire and kills him. Evidence shows that Gallagher killed the judge, so the case is closed.

    With the help of an adult, children get a chance to try out tools in the Tinkering Lab at the Chicago Children's Museum.

    Museum exhibit encourages do-it-yourself

    It's not just about producing — sometimes, the real learning can be found in the process. That's a lesson the Chicago Children's Museum is hoping to teach with its newest permanent exhibit, Tinkering Lab, which encourages visitors to design, experiment and create with tools, objects and other loose parts. Inspired by the recent do-it-yourself movement, the just-opened exhibit aims to cultivate the city's future tinkerers, hackers, makers, designers and inventors.

    A woman walks along the beach in Tulum, Mexico. Despite its proximity to Cancun and its fellow party neighbor Playa del Carmen, Tulum attracts a different spring break crowd to its turquoise waters and white sandy beaches.

    Tulum a mix of beach, nature and ruins

    The all-inclusive Cancun resorts are not known for topless women on the beach or Argentines with scraggly beards playing Gypsy music. But that’s the norm in Tulum, a Mexican seaside spot south of Cancun that attracts a mix of bohemians, well-pocketed New Age types and sun-seekers to its turquoise waters and white sandy beaches. Despite its proximity to Cancun and its fellow party neighbor Playa del Carmen, Tulum is not for the same spring break crowd.

    Preslee Rakes, left, her mother Tina Rakes, center, and Brad Cunningham, right, all from Kansas, feed seagulls during a visit to the South Beach area of Miami Beach, Fla.

    5 free things to see and do in Miami

    With its sizzling beaches and steamy night life, it’s no wonder Miami is a top vacation spot for snowbirds, spring breakers, international tourists and passengers heading out on cruises from Florida ports. Getting past sticker shock, though, can be difficult for anyone on a budget. To avoid draining your pocketbook, do as the locals do and enjoy Miami’s free attractions.

    The Elms mansion as seen through an opening in an iron fence, in Newport, R.I. Newly discovered photographs, documents and family histories have inspired the creation of a tour about servants at The Elms.

    A glimpse downstairs at America’s Downton Abbey

    If the Crawley family of “Downton Abbey” were American, they’d summer at Newport. The wild stateside success of the British period drama about post-Edwardian aristocrats and their live-in help has piqued interest in the life of servants in the Gilded Age mansions of the seaside city. The nation’s wealthiest families built Newport “cottages” in the 19th and early 20th centuries and would move their households here —servants, silver and all — from New York and elsewhere in the summer to enjoy the ocean breezes and society scene.

    Bruce Willis in a scene from the 1988 film, “Die Hard.”

    5 great Bruce Willis performances

    LOS ANGELES — By now it’s clear that nothing and no one can kill Bruce Willis, whose fifth film in the “Die Hard” franchise, the horribly titled “A Good Day to Die Hard,” opened last week. It is not his finest hour. At 57, he still wreaks havoc and looks great in a tight T-shirt but he doesn’t seem to be enjoying himself very much. Still, it’s a good opportunity to look back at five of the best performances in Willis’ eclectic, enduring career.

    “Under mount” sinks are usually locked in under the counter, so in most cases the countertop would be removed along with the sink.

    Small kitchen remodel can make a big change

    Q. We're planning to do a small kitchen remodel job by just changing our "drop-in"-style sink. Since we are not changing the counter or cabinets, can you give us any ideas on how we can make a big change by just replacing our present kitchen sink?

    See a free, laugh-filled performance art piece by La Ribot at the Chicago Cultural Center.

    On the road: Who needs a laugh?

    It's winter in Chicago and who couldn't use a laugh? Born in Spain and based in Switzerland, La Ribot is known for her unique performance art involving laughter, action and the onlooker. Her work, “Laughing Hole,” presents three performers shaken by peculiar laughter who continually throw themselves on a floor covered with cardboard. Also, Wabasha, Minn., the oldest city on the upper Mississippi River, is hosting its annual Grumpy Old Men Festival.


    New driveway needs proper stone base

    Q. This spring, I plan on making my driveway bigger to accommodate my new garage. I need to excavate some topsoil and put a base under it. My question is: What size stone should I use? I plan to let it sit about two full seasons before I pour concrete to allow for any settling. Is this enough time to allow for that?

    Betsy Burnham designed this room that contrasts icy blue walls and white accents with shades of charcoal gray and black to create winter-inspired style that looks good during any season.

    Let winter inspire your rooms

    It’s cold out there. In much of the country, now’s the time when home serves as a cozy refuge from the ice and snow. We light our fireplaces and wish for springtime.But what if we took the opposite approach, using the inspiration of frosty winter colors and shimmering, icy textures to create rooms that look gorgeous year-round?



    Editorial: Time for state House to join tide of history on rights

    A Daily Herald editorial says the House should follow the Senate's lead this week and advance the issue of same-sex marriage in Illinois.


    Pension fines only hurt taxpayers
    A Lake Zurich letter to the editor: Perhaps I’ve read the story incorrectly. The state Teachers’ Retirement System fined Schaumburg’s District 54 for feathering the nest egg of an assistant superintendent. District 54 is back suing the state for fines they levied for exceeding state guidelines.


    Frazier has right ideas, approach
    A Mundelein letter to the editor: Our village needs a proactive mayor to attract new business, but also working to help those already in our community to expand, and that man is Wally Frasier.


    Drones complaints miss the point
    A Deerfield letter to the editor: As a self-defined mainstream American, I find the recent concerns about killer drones, renditions and detentions specious, manipulative and absurd.


    GOP response needs a live audience
    A Rolling Meadows letter to the editor: Sen. Marco Rubio spoke to a TV camera in an empty room, where he (apparently) felt he could say anything he wanted, true or not, and the more political spin the better. His speech was almost entirely political, deceptive and dishonest.


    Abuse by clergy indefensible
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: I reassured my friends about this scandal: “That was years ago!” But as the film went on, the documents and actions uncovered became so recent, specific and high level (yes, that high) as to leave me very little wiggle room for a defense.


    Sheriff, his bullies should be punished
    A West Chicago letter to the editor: Kudos to DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin for looking into the situation that has occurred between Sheriff Zaruba and some of his officers and Susan Lakics. As a taxpayer living in unincorporated DuPage County for over 30 years I think that chairman Cronin and the county board should not only be looking to Zaruba’s department for payment of the $1 million-plus, but also go a step further and start an investigation into the charges made.


    Why forge ahead with Smart Meters?
    A Naperville letter to the editor: I am very concerned as to why Naperville’s City Council is continuing to forge ahead with the installation of Smart Meters when there are moratoriums across the country … as well in other countries … due to numerous concerns involving them.


    McHenry board protecting fiefdom
    A Lakewood letter to the editor: This past election, voters faced a significant referendum supported by State Rep. Jack Franks that would have greatly altered McHenry County by instituting an executive-style government. Billed by local politicians as a death sentence that would doom the county to an iron-fished dictatorship, the referendum was defeated.


    Don’t let mental health dialogue stop
    An Elgin letter to the editor: I would like to thank the Daily Herald for the Feb. 1 editorial that said, “Until the public has a better understanding of the signs and best treatment of mental illness — and erases the stigma attached to it — progress will lag.”


    Why all the violins? Elgin Symphony replies.

    After his first trip to see the symphony in, oh, about 50 years, DuPage/Fox Valley News Director Jim Davis discovers he has a bunch of lame questions. The Elgin Symphony Orchestra answers them.


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