Daily Archive : Wednesday February 20, 2013


    The College of DuPage board of trustees has approved a $4 per credit hour tuition increase in part, officials say, to pay for higher employee salaries.

    COD blames higher salaries for tuition increase

    It will cost students more to attend the state's largest community college later this fall. The College of DuPage board of trustees voted 6-1 Thursday to increase tuition by $4, to a total of $140 per credit hour including fees, that the college's administration says accounts for the cost of salary increases for college employees in the next fiscal year.

    Buffalo Grove Fire Chief Terry Vavra reads a book to second-graders at Joyce Kilmer Elementary School in Buffalo Grove. Money from a memorial fund established in honor of 2-year-old Grant Wonders, who died in a fire Jan. 27, 1994, was used to buy the book.

    Fire safety books memorialize Buffalo Grove fire victim

    The Buffalo Grove Fire Department presented books on fire safety and equipment to Joyce Kilmer Elementary School, 655 Golfview Terrace in Buffalo Grove in the memory of 2-year-old Grant Wonders, who died in a house fire across the street 19 years ago.


    Contract, compromises approved in West Chicago Dist. 33

    West Chicago District 33 teachers and school board members ended a 16-month contract battle Thursday night when the agreement gained final approval. The contract addresses several sticking points with compromises and forms committees to address two other issues the sides struggled to agree on. While the board says the contract is fiscally responsible, the union says it could have been reached...


    Rosemont ice rink closes Sunday

    It's the last weekend to enjoy skating in Rosemont's ice rink located in the village's MB Financial Park, north of the Balmoral Avenue exit off the northbound Tri-State Tollway. The NHL-sized skating rink, built on the park's outdoor lawn area for winter months, will close Sunday, Feb. 24.


    Lake Villa Dist. 41 to hold kindergarten registration

    Lake Villa Elementary District 41 hosts kindergarten and new student registration for next school year on March 14 at its four school buildings.


    Carol Stream OKs contract with public works employees

    Public works employees in Carol Stream are due to receive salary increases over the course of three years, according to terms of an updated contract approved this week by the village board. The current collective bargaining agreement with Service Employees International Union Local 73, which represents the village's 26 public works employees, has been in effect since May 1, 2010 and is due to...

    The Algonquin village board is prepared to give final input on a proposed law that would allow video gambling, before taking a possible vote in March. Algonquin took six months to compile an analysis to see how video gambling impacted nearby communities.

    Algonquin releases video gambling study, could take vote in March

    After waiting six months to see how video gambling was going in other towns, Algonquin officials are poised to give final input on a proposed law in March that would allow it, before possibly taking a vote that same month. During the wait-and-see period, the village completed an analysis that looked at the impact video gambling was having in other municipalities.

    S.M. Davis, second from left, cups his hands around his mouth to better project his singing voice to the crowd below at the state Capitol in Springfield. Davis, from Lincoln, sang songs like “God bless America” and “The Star Spangled Banner” with members of his family from the second floor rotunda Wednesday. They were in Springfield as part of a protest against same-sex marriage organized by Carol Stream-based Illinois Marriage Institute.

    Suburban residents protest same-sex marriage

    Suburban residents joined hundreds of people who flocked to the Illinois Capitol Wednesday to oppose pending legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage. The display of opposition comes almost one week after the Illinois Senate voted to allow same-sex marriage in Illinois, and while same-sex marriage supporters in the House work to line up votes.

    Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow

    Retired judge testifies Peterson retrial hearing

    A retired judge unconnected with Drew Peterson's murder case has taken the stand as the former suburban police officer's lawyers seek to persuade a judge that Peterson deserves a new trial. Daniel Locallo spoke Wednesday on the second day of a hearing on the motion. It asks for a retrial on grounds the lead attorney at the initial trial, Joel Brodsky, offered Peterson substandard representation.

    David, left, and Conrad Foxx of Carpentersville would turn their civil union into a marriage should gay marriage become legal in Illinois.

    Proposed gay marriage law spells out transition from civil union

    If gay marriages become legal in Illinois, couples who already have civil unions will have a head start in the application process. According to the proposed law, couples who are part of a civil union can apply for a marriage license and have that marriage solemnized in a ceremony, with the normal marriage license fee waived. “I'm really happy there's no cost or red tape associated,”...

    Lou Lang

    Proposal: Extend income tax hike to pay for pensions

    State Rep. Lou Lang today proposed extending the state's 2011 income tax hike to pay for the state's massive pension debt. The Skokie Democrat's controversial plan makes him among the first state lawmakers to publicly call for extending the 2 percentage point tax increase.

    Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. arrives at the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington, Wednesday.

    Jesse Jackson Jr. pleads guilty in campaign scheme

    Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., holding back tears, entered a guilty plea Wednesday in federal court to criminal charges that he engaged in a scheme to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on personal items. He faces 46 to 57 months in prison, and a fine of $10,000 to $100,000, under a plea deal with prosecutors.


    Illinois fairgrounds community garden returns

    Those with green thumbs, and those who want them, are invited to participate in the Illinois State Fairground's fifth community garden this summer. The Illinois Department of Agriculture is inviting new and returning gardeners to a planning meeting March 5 at the department's auditorium on the fairgrounds in Springfield. Planting begins April 1, if the weather permits.


    Dixon: Continue state charges against Crundwell

    he city of Dixon wants the state to move forward with charges against former Comptroller Rita Crundwell. Crundwell was sentenced last week to more than 19 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to embezzling $53 million from the northern Illinois city.


    Grafton Twp. secures loan from separate office, will seek more money

    Grafton Township will borrow about $100,000 from Road Commissioner Jack Freund, a move that buys the township about a month to pay bills and to make the payroll. There had been around $8,000 in the township fund, which officials wasn't enough to handle those expenses. That's when Freund decided to step up.

    Investigating officer Hilton Botha, sits inside the court witness box during the Oscar Pistorius bail hearing at the magistrate court in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. Olympic athlete Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder for the Feb. 14 shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. The bail hearing continues.

    Police add more confusion to Oscar Pistorius case

    The prosecution case against Oscar Pistorius began to unravel Wednesday with revelations of a series of police blunders and the lead investigator's admission that authorities have no evidence challenging the double-amputee Olympian's claim he killed his girlfriend accidentally.

    Ellen Correll

    15 teachers’ jobs in jeopardy in Dist. 46

    Grayslake Elementary District 46 officials are contemplating job cuts in an effort to reduce what's expected to be a growing budget deficit. Average class sizes would go up to 25 students in kindergarten through second grade to 30 pupils in grades 3 through 8.


    Mundelein board candidates divided on video gambling

    The seven candidates running for seats on Mundelein's village board are split on the issue of video gambling in town. Two favor it, three oppose it and one doesn't have a strong opinion one way or the other.


    Metra issues apology for BNSF delays

    A statement was issued by the head of Metra Wednesday apologizing for recent delays on the BNSF line. Chief Executive Officer Alex Clifford said in the statement that Metra and BNSF are working to minimize delays and provide reliable service. "I recognize these delays were frustrating, and I apologize for the inconvenience you experienced," he said.


    State considers repealing class size limits for special ed

    With the aim of allowing local school districts more discretion to stretch tight budgets, the state board of education is proposing doing away with class size limits for special education students.


    Ruling says hiring violated Kane County policy

    Robert Sauceda was improperly hired to be the Kane County Animal Control Department billing manager because even temporary hires must be approved by the county board, according to the county's hiring freeze resolution. Without using Sauceda's name, that's the verdict by the Kane County state's attorney's office.

    Forrest Claypool

    Transit chiefs: Concealed carry recipe for disaster

    Transit agencies across the region say allowing riders to carry concealed weapons is dangerous. The CTA, Pace and Metra oppose changes in the law, currently under discussions in the General Assembly following a court order.

    Kevin C. Jones

    Man gets 15 years for Aurora outlet mall robbery

    A Chicago man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Tuesday for his role in a June robbery at the Chicago Premium Outlet mall in Aurora, according to a news release from the Kane County state's attorney's office. Kevin C. Jones, 36, of the 2200 block of South Springfield Avenue, pleaded guilty Nov. 1 to two counts of aggravated robbery.

    Linda Moore

    Moore can avoid jail by paying audit bill within 30 days

    A judge Thursday found Grafton Township Supervisor Linda Moore to be in contempt of court, but she can avoid jail time by paying an outstanding $10,000 audit bill. Moore has 30 days to pay the debt, but right now, there is only about $8,000 left in the township's checking account, she said.

    David Moore

    Husband of Grafton supervisor running for trustee as write-in

    David Moore, husband of Grafton Township Supervisor Linda Moore, will be a write-in candidate for the township's board of trustees. His goals are to lower the property tax levy and encourage civility among the township's elected officials. "People should be more polite in Grafton (Township)," he said.

    The parsonage at First United Methodist Church in West Dundee continues to be the subject of debate. West Dundee wants the historic building preserved, but the church would rather demolish it and build a parking lot in its place.

    W. Dundee still trying to save historic parsonage

    West Dundee has forwarded a proposed settlement to the attorney representing First United Methodist Church that reiterates the village's desire to save a historic, but crumbling parsonage. Thomas Sullivan, the church's attorney, says the settlement isn't much different from where the village has stood all along and that the church leadership still wants to raze the 164-year-old parsonage to...

    The addition of a new entry with restaurants at ground level and a 12-screen AMC theater above is considered a key aspect of a proposed renovation of the Westfield Hawthorn mall in Vernon Hills.

    Hawthorn mall improvements OK'd in Vernon Hills

    A planned $40 million to $50 million plan aimed at re-branding the Westfield Hawthorn mall as an entertainment destination has the informal approval of the Vernon Hills village board. A 12-screen AMC theater with reclining seats and a Dave & Busters arcade/restaurant would be part of the mix.

    Timothy Veit

    Retired Des Plaines police commander accused in $132,000 fraud

    A former Des Plaines police commander is charged with making false statements in federal reports that led to the department fraudulently receiving $132,893 in overtime reimbursements for drunken driving enforcement. Timothy Veit, 55, of Mount Prospect is facing a maximum of five years in prison if convicted of the felony charged filed today by the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago.

    Kristi Lafleur

    Tollway bows out of Illiana Expressway project

    It could be the name or it could be the pricetag, but the Illinois tollway is lukewarm about adopting the Illiana Expressway. Instead, it seems likely the state will try to find a corporate partner to build the Illinois-Indiana truck route.


    Crews use crane to rescue injured worker at Edward Hospital

    Naperville firefighters used a construction crane Wednesday morning to rescue a man who fell and injured himself while doing outside construction work on the top floor of Edward Hospital. The man, whose identity was not being released, was outside the fourth floor about 8 a.m. when he fell and needed treatment for nonlife-threatening injuries, Bureau Chief Kevin Lyne said. "He had a fall —...

    James E. Rozema

    Aurora man receives 4 years for 2012 Batavia offense

    A 57-year-old man who has spent time in prison for exposing himself in public was sentenced to four years in prison for a December 2012 incident in Batavia and failing to register as a sex offender. James E. Rozema, of Aurora, pleaded guilty Wednesday and can have his sentence halved for good behavior.


    Fox Valley police reports
    Daniel M. Scarbrough, 18, of the 100 block of Sioux Avenue in Carpentersville, was arrested this week and charged with two felony counts of theft after he stole his friend's iPhone, police said. The victim found the phone and Scarbrough after accessing its GPS tracking device from another phone, police said.

    Ashley Seay

    Investigators look at speed, weather in fatal crash

    Lake County Sheriff investigators say they are looking at speed and weather in trying to determine the cause of a single-vehicle crash that killed two teens in Antioch Township this week. Lake County Chief Deputy Coroner Orlando Portillo said Wednesday autopsies will not be done on Wittkamp and his passenger, Ashley Seay, 17, of Lindenhurst. Authorities said the teens were pronounced dead at the...

    Scientists fear the voracious Asian carp eventually could crowd out native species in the Great Lakes, endangering the region’s $7 billion fishing industry.

    Study: Asian carp DNA may not signal live fish

    Live Asian carp don't necessarily have to be present for their DNA to turn up in the environment, according to a government study released Wednesday that could intensify the debate over how to prevent the aggressive, hungry invaders from reaching the Great Lakes and other vulnerable waters.

    Robert Shilling

    Sister: Elgin man guilty of animal neglect is not a hoarder

    An Elgin man this week pleaded guilty to animal neglect, relinquished ownership of his seven dogs and was sentenced to 20 days in jail after authorities searched a rented Elgin home Jan. 31 and found filthy conditions. The sister of Robert Shilling, 38, said he is not a hoarder. Caring for the dogs - two adults and five puppies - became too much for him to handle and he wanted to take...

    Fox Lake police officer Russell Zander, the resource officer at Grant High School, had his hair shaved into a mohawk style Wednesday after more than 850 students and staffers signed pledges promising not to text while driving.

    With teens pledging not to text and drive, Grant High cop gets mohawk

    Making good on a promise to students and staffers, Grant High School police resource officer Russell Zander got his hair styled into a mohawk Wednesday morning and then had it dyed red — to match the school colors.

    Former Schaumburg tactical police officer Terrance O’Brien, pictured at court hearing Wednesday morning, was released later in the day after a judge rejected prosecutors’ bid to raise his bond.

    Last of accused Schaumburg cops released on bond

    A former Schaumburg police officer accused of skimming drugs from police seizures and using an informant to sell them on the street was released from jail Wednesday after a DuPage County judge rejected prosecutors' bid to raise his bond. The brother of Terrance O'Brien, 46, said he would post $30,000 cash so the former cop could get out of the DuPage County jail for the first time since his Jan.


    Bank robber gets five years for Algonquin heist

    A Round Lake Beach man was sentenced to more than five years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty last year to robbing an Algonquin bank. Mohammed Nusrath Ali Khan, 42, was ordered to repay the bank the $5,211 he stole during the robbery, as well.

    Daily Herald Film Critic Dann Gire discusses Oscar predictions with Cliff Higley, past president of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce, at a chamber lunch event on Wednesday.

    Gire talks Oscars with Arlington Heights Chamber

    With Hollywood's biggest night only a few days away, Daily Herald Film Critic Dann Gire shared some of his predictions Wednesday for who will take home the top honors with the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce. With a number of big-name films at the top of the pack, Gire predicted that the 2013 award show will be "the nuttiest shake up in years."


    Blackberry Township seeks more taxes for roadwork

    Blackberry Township is asking taxpayers to almost double the amount they pay its road district, in an April referendum. "People really truly have to realize that if they live on a road that they thinks is deteriorating now," they'll have to wait a long time for fix without the tax increase, highway commissioner Rodney Feece said.

    Buffalo Grove Fire Chief Terry Vavra reads a book to second graders at Joyce Kilmer Elementary School in Buffalo Grove. Money from a memorial fund established in honor of 2-year-old Grant Wonders, who died in a fire Jan. 27, 1994, was used to buy the book.

    Fire safety books memorialize Buffalo Grove fire victim

    The Buffalo Grove Fire Department presented books on fire safety and equipment to Joyce Kilmer Elementary School, 655 Golfview Terrace in Buffalo Grove Wednesday afternoon in the memory of 2-year-old Grant Wonders, who died in a house fire across the street 19 years ago.


    Dillard next governor hopeful to speak in Schaumburg

    Illinois state Sen. Kirk Dillard will be the next speaker at the Schaumburg Township Republican Organization's "Meet Your Next Governor" series at the group's monthly breakfast meeting Saturday. State Sen. Bill Brady, the GOP's 2010 gubernatorial nominee, spoke as part of the series last month. Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford will be the following speaker at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, March 23.


    Summer jobs available for youths

    Youths aged 14 to 18 (or 14-22 with an individualized education plan) can get a paid, part-time work experience over the summer through the Lake County Board's Summer Youth Employment Program.


    Round Lake area scholarships

    Scholarship applications are available for graduating senior students who live within the municipal limits of the Round Lake area and Hainesville.


    Amrich officially removed

    Island Lake Village Clerk Connie Mascillino on Wednesday said she has resubmitted the town's list of candidates for the April 9 election to the Lake County and McHenry County clerks without the name of mayoral candidate Charles Amrich.


    Mundelein High hosts concert

    Back from their recent wins in regional competitions, the three Mundelein High School show choirs will join the four concert choirs in a Winter Concert slated for Thursday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. in the MHS Auditorium.

    Taylor Bedrosian

    Police find marijuana during search of Antioch home

    An Antioch man faces drug charges after police found marijuana during a search of his home, authorities said Wednesday. Taylor Bedrosian, 21, of the 40000 block of Black Oak Avenue, could be sentenced to seven years in prison if he is convicted on possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver charges.

    Larnell Mace

    Zion father gets 22 years in baby's death

    A Zion man has been sentenced to more than 22 years in prison as part of a plea deal on charges he killed his 4-month-old daughter in 2008. Larnell Mace, 23, accepted the plea deal before Lake County Circuit Judge John Phillips. Mace entered an Alford plea, which means he acknowledges the prosecution could likely prove the charge.Mace faced nine counts of first-degree murder in the death of...

    Attorney General Eric Holder speaks about strategy to mitigate the theft of U.S. trade secrets Wednesday. The Obama administration is launching a new strategy to fight the growing theft of trade secrets following new evidence linking cyberstealing to China?s military.

    White House announces anti-theft trade strategy

    The Obama administration announced a broad new effort Wednesday to fight the growing theft of American trade secrets following fresh evidence linking cyberstealing to China's military. The plan includes a new diplomatic push to discourage intellectual property theft abroad along with better coordination at home to help U.S. companies protect themselves.

    Northbound Route 53 traffic will have somewhere to go if the Illinois tollway extends the road into Lake County.

    How much would you pay in tolls on Route 53 extension? Tollway wants to know

    The tollway is inching toward building a Route 53 extension. But how to pay for it remains a question. Are 20 cents a mile tolls palatable to drivers? And is 45 mph enough to satisfy the need for speed?

    Michael Delaney

    Wheaton man claims self-defense in neighbor’s slaying

    Michael Delaney doesn't deny stabbing a neighbor six times during a bizarre confrontation in June 2009 -- but the slaying wasn't premeditated, the defense insisted as his murder trial opened Wednesday. "Michael believed he was being attacked, and he believed he had to defend himself," Dupage County Assistant Public Defender Brian Jacobs told jurors, adding there's "no doubt" Delaney was the...

    Richard Pickard

    Bartlett man accused of stealing from Walgreens wants computers, cash returned

    A Bartlett man accused of stealing more than $100,000 in computer equipment from Walgreen Co. is asking to have two laptop computers, an iPhone and about $25,000 in cash returned to him. The lawyer for Richard Pickard, 46, of the 500 block of Versailles Lane, said the case is a "misinterpretation by police," and that Pickard will ultimately be found innocent.


    Past may have lead to death, lawyer says

    A Zion man accused of murdering his 4-month-old daughter had "a nightmarish existence" growing up that may provide a foundation for an insanity defense, his lawyer said Wednesday.The lawyer's comments came after Larnell Mace, 19, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges that could see him sentenced to life in prison.


    Man charged in infant’s murder 19-year-old told police he punched daughter

    Officials said Saturday a 19-year-old Zion man angry that his girlfriend had not given birth to a boy beat his 4-month-old daughter to death when she would not stop crying.Larnell Mace is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jasmine Mace and was ordered held on $2 million bond.


    Ex-student sues school, claiming racial offenses

    A black former student is suing because he contends his southern Illinois high school didn't protect him from racially motivated acts, which he says included being left a noose with his name on it.The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in Benton is on behalf of Roman Moore, who graduated from Harrisburg High School last May.


    Neo-Nazi gets 3 ½ years for threats against juror

    A federal judge has sentenced a white supremacist to 3 1/2 years in prison for soliciting violence against a juror. U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman sentenced William A. White on Wednesday to 42 months in prison. White ran an extremist website. He was accused of posting the address, phone number and other personal details about a jury foreman in the trial of another white supremacist, Matthew...

    The 12 Oaks Foundation will host its third annual Hoops for Hope 3-on-3 basketball tournament March 16 and 17 at Grayslake North High School. Teams of fourth-graders through adults will compete to support the foundation’s charitable activities.

    Hoops for Hope tournament is March 16-17 in Grayslake

    Just in time for March Madness, the 12 Oaks Foundation will host its Third Annual Hoops for Hope tournament March 16-17 at Grayslake North High School.


    Waukegan library Literacy Suite reopens after expansion project

    The Waukegan Public Library re-opened the North Shore Gas Literacy Suite on Tuesday, Jan. 22 after an expansion project which tripled the existing program and classroom space for family and adult education.


    South Elgin OKs housing for low-income, disabled

    A plan for a new housing development for low-income and disabled people was approved by the South Elgin village board, despite a petition against it signed by more than 900 residents and business owners. The board voted 5-1 on Tuesday night to grant a special use permit and approve a preliminary development plan for Water's Edge of South Elgin at 481 Center Street. Trustee Mike Kolodziej cast the...

    Elgin Parks and Recreation Department officials hope to set an attendance record at Elgin’s “Largest Family Fitness Class” on March 1. Pictured here is a recent Friday morning fitness class at The Centre.

    Elgin fitness class hopes to break record

    If you're hesitant about trying a group fitness class, March 1 might just be the perfect time to give it a shot while inconspicuously blending into the crowd. Officials hope that the "Largest Family Fitness Class" at The Centre of Elgin, the kickoff of the second annual "March Into Fitness" monthlong series of events in Elgin, wil break the current attendance record of 58 people in a class.


    Fort Wayne police shoot, kill robbery suspect

    Fort Wayne police say officers chasing a man suspected of robbing a pharmacy fatally shot the man after noticing he was armed.The Journal Gazette reports officers sent to the pharmacy about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday saw a man matching the description of the robbery suspect running from the store and ran after him.


    Hoffman Estates grants license to Alexian Brothers children’s hospital

    The Hoffman Estates village board granted a license to the new Alexian Brothers Women and Children's Hospital Monday night that could increase its state reimbursements for dedicating additional resources to personnel and training.

    Ray Kincaid, left, and William McLeod, right, are candidates in the 2013 race for Hoffman Estates mayor.

    Anonymous letter about police an issue in Hoffman Estates election

    An anonymous letter signed only from "Hoffman Estates Police Officers" caused election season tension when it was read aloud by Trustee Ray Kincaid at the Hoffman Estates village board meeting Monday night. Kincaid, who is running against Mayor William McLeod this spring, said the letter made him "very upset and concerned." McLeod said reading an anonymous letter aloud in public was "one of the...

    Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius stands inside the court as a police officer looks on during his bail hearing at the magistrate court in Pretoria, South Africa, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013.

    Police offer confused testimony in Pistorius case

    The detective leading the police investigation into Oscar Pistorius' fatal shooting of his girlfriend offered confusing testimony Wednesday, at one point agreeing with the athlete's defense that officers had no evidence challenging the runner's claim he accidentally killed her. However, the detective still poked holes in Pistorius' own account that he feared for his life and opened fire on...

    Cook County Sheriff's authorities said William Robinson, 81, returned home safely this morning after having gone missing from his Des Plaines area residence Tuesday afternoon.

    Missing Maine Township man returns home safely

    An 81-year-old Des Plaines area man reported missing Tuesday has returned home safely to his family, Cook County Sheriff's police announced this morning. The sheriff's office had earlier in the day issued a call for the public's help in locating William L. Robinson, who had been last seen Tuesday afternoon driving away from his Maine Township residence on a trip to a local grocery store.

    Robert Sauceda

    Kane County hire under scrutiny

    Kane County's newest hire has several county board members openly questioning Chairman Chris Lauzen's interpretation of the county's hiring freeze and willingness to put a political ally on the payroll -- Robert Sauceda as the new animal control billing manager. "I still have questions about the process," board member Mark Davoust said. "Under the hiring freeze it should still come before...

    Tustin Police Chief Scott Jordan takes questions about the gunman, Ali Syed, a suspect in a series of shootings during a news conference in Tustin, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. In less than an hour, Syed, an unemployed part-time student, shot and killed a woman in her home and two commuters during carjackings early Tuesday, shot up vehicles on a Southern California freeway and committed suicide as police closed in on him, authorities said.

    Details emerge on Calif. shooting rampage; 4 dead

    The morning commute was just getting under way on Orange County's network of freeways when Melvin Lee Edwards pulled up to a stop sign near a busy off-ramp. It was just after 5 a.m. Tuesday and Edwards, 69, was on his way to work when, police say, a fleeing murder suspect forced him out of his BMW at gunpoint, marched him across the street and shot him three times from behind as horrified...


    Gingrich: GOP failing to grasp new demographics
    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says President Barack Obama's campaign was "eight, maybe 10 years, ahead" of the Republican Party last year in understanding the rapidly changing face of the American electorate.


    Pentagon notifies Congress of likely furloughs

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Congress on Wednesday that if automatic government spending cuts kick in on March 1 he may be compelled to furlough the "vast majority" of the Defense Department's 800,000 civilian workers.

    Players of the Homs-based al-Wathbah club react after two mortars exploded next to a soccer stadium in central Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. Two mortars exploded killing one player and injuring several, Syria’s state-run news agency said.

    Mortars hit Damascus stadium, kill soccer player

    Syria's state-run news agency says two mortars have exploded inside a soccer stadium in central Damascus, killing one player and injuring several.

    U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, center, takes pictures with his camera after a meeting with Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez in Old Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. U.S. lawmakers met Tuesday with Cuba’s foreign minister and visited an American man whose detention and long sentence in Cuba has hampered efforts to improve ties between the countries.

    U.S. lawmakers meet with jailed American in Cuba

    U.S. lawmakers confirmed on Wednesday that they visited an American man whose detention and long sentence in Cuba has hampered efforts to improve ties between the countries, but they gave no details on his condition or what was said. The seven-member delegation led by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, also met with Cuban President Raul Castro and other senior officials.

    Popular pressure is mounting in the U.S. and Italy to keep California Cardinal Roger Mahony away from the conclave to elect the next pope because of his role shielding sexually abusive priests, a movement targeting one of the most prominent of a handful of compromised cardinals scheduled to vote next month.

    Conclave brings out cardinals’ dirty laundry

    Popular pressure is mounting in the U.S. and Italy to keep California Cardinal Roger Mahony away from the conclave to elect the next pope because of his role shielding sexually abusive priests, a movement targeting one of the most prominent of a handful of compromised cardinals scheduled to vote next month. Amid the outcry, Mahony has made clear he is coming.

    Matt Wallen, 23, an interim farm manager at Growing Together, Inc., Galesburgís latest nonprofit corporation and first large-scale urban farming effort, checks on the progress of plants at the non-profit’s facility.

    Galesburg nonprofit does urban farming

    Matt Wallen is 23 years old. That explains his wide-eyed enthusiasm, willingness to wear shorts while working outside in the beginning of February and — some might say — his seeming idealism. The soft-spoken Wallen explained his decision to take on the role of lead farmer in Galesburg's latest nonprofit corporation and first large-scale urban farming effort, Growing Together Inc., in...


    Commission won’t discipline Kenosha officer

    The Kenosha Police and Fire Commission has cleared an officer accused of violating use-of-force rules when using a stun gun during an altercation last year. A police report says Officer Brian Ruha responded to a call about six men who were about to fight. Ruha used his Taser within 15 seconds of approaching the men. An attorney for one of the suspects requested video of the incident and called...


    Dawn Patrol: Schaumburg cop in court today; 2 teens mourned

    Schools mourn students killed in Antioch crash. Former Schaumburg officer heads to court today. Dist. 220 approves three-year deal with teachers. Naperville police deal reached. Carol Stream park signs to remain. Chicago Marathon registration suspended. Schaumburg hires independent police consultants. Blackhawks tie record. Noah leads Bulls to victory.

    The DuPage County Forest Preserve District is planning to seek feedback about how residents use the forest preserves before updating its master plan.

    DuPage forest preserve considers new master plan

    In the two decades since it last adopted a master plan, the DuPage County Forest Preserve District has expanded its land holdings by more than 3,500 acres, closed two landfills, developed more than 55 miles of new multipurpose trails and constructed numerous recreation facilities and support buildings. Now officials are looking to update the master plan so the document can guide future decisions...

    Russell Disney of Palatine stands at the Third Municipal District Courthouse in Rolling Meadows. Charges against Disney were dismissed due to the involvement of former Schaumburg undercover police officers now accused of drug conspiracy.

    Dismissal of drug case tied to Schaumburg cops is a ‘second chance,’ Palatine man says

    A 23-year-old Palatine man, one of 18 people whose charges were dismissed because of involvement of three former undercover Schaumburg police officers accused of drug conspiracy, says he is taking advantage of the second chance. “Russell has been scared straight,” said defense attorney Kathryn Ross. “He realizes he got a second chance and is taking the opportunity to, as he...



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

    Schaumburg players celebrate their victory over Prospect in the Mid-Suburban League championship game at Prospect on Wednesday.

    Schaumburg doubles down at Prospect

    In pressure situations, experience is the best teacher. And they simply don't come as battled-tested as Kyle Bolger and Schaumburg's boys basketball team. It didn't matter how big Prospect's student section was, that the Knights had twice as many rebounds or that the Saxons appeared poised to win in regulation before a clutch 3-pointer from Bobby Frasco sent the 43rd Mid-Suburban League championship into overtime. What did matter was that a senior-laden Schaumburg squad put all of that in the rear view mirror. Behind a game-high 24 points from Bolger, the Saxons emerged with a 43-40 double overtime victory in front of a packed house at the Jean Walker Field House.

    Glenbard East teammates storm the floor after their win over West Aurora in double over time on Wednesday, February 20.

    Glenbard East beats West Aurora in second OT

    The DuPage Valley Conference boys basketball championship race came down to the very end, and then some. Not until Glenbard East's Tahron Harvey rose to deflect a shot just inside the 3-point arc by West Aurora's Spencer Thomas with two seconds left in double overtime could the Rams claim the outright title over the host Blackhawks, 76-75 on Wednesday. The title, initially denied when West Aurora guard Jontrel Walker capped a 20-point fourth quarter with a 33-foot, 3-point swish from the left sideline as regulation time expired, is the third in four seasons for Glenbard East (18-6, 13-1).


    Harper has high hope with super seven

    Junior college wrestling teams from around the country will gather at the Richard O. Jacobson Exhibition Center in Des Moines, Iowa, for the NJCAA championships this weekend. Opening-round bouts begin at 9 a.m. Friday, with championship bouts being held Saturday — and Harper College hopes to be among the teams still in the title hunt.


    Harper men, women both win

    The largest Harper basketball crowd of the season was treated to a rarity Wednesday as both Hawks programs came away with North Central Community College Conference victories. The women's team topped Triton 63-43, and the men's team prevailed 88-80 in Palatine.

    Wisconsin forward Mike Bruesewitz (31) is fouled as he shoots between Northwestern's Mike Turner (10) and James Montgomery III (15) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, in Evanston, Ill. Wisconsin won 69-41. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Northwestern falls to Wisconsin, 69-41

    Jared Berggren and Ben Brust each scored 12 points, and No. 19 Wisconsin shut down Northwestern 69-41 on Wednesday night for its fifth win in six games.

    Adam Rogers of Wheaton Warrenville South looks to pass around Jaylen Howze of Wheaton North during boys basketball, Wednesday.

    For WW South, victory is worth the wait

    It seemed like Michael Kramer stood at the free-throw line for an eternity. That was fine with the Wheaton Warrenville South senior basketball player. Kramer's 6-point play in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference-maker in a 43-37 DuPage Valley Conference victory for the host Tigers over Wheaton North in the third meeting between the cross-town rivals.


    Aurora Christian passes up St. Edward

    There is no deep mystery behind Aurora Christian's 6-game winning streak, punctuated by Wednesdays 78-66 victory over St. Edward in a Class 2A Westmont boys basketball regional semifinal. "We're passing the ball," Aurora Christian coach Pat McNamara explained. "We didn't do that early in the season. We're passing the ball better than we have all season the last 5 or 6 games. Guys are looking for each other and we do have shooters."

    Westminster Christian’s Colin Brandon drives for a no-look flip past Mooseheart’s Walli Sanni Wednesday in Elgin. His shot missed.

    Mooseheart charges past Westminster Christian

    When Westminster Christian last played Mooseheart on February 9, the Warriors trailed by 9 points after three quarters but just couldn't make the necessary shots needed to clip the Red Ramblers. Wednesday night's regional semifinal on their home floor was like Groundhog Day for the Warriors, who found themselves down 7 entering the fourth quarter. The only queston that remained was: would it be different this time? Would No. 3 seed Westminster be able to drain some clutch shots late and upset No. 2-seeded Mooseheart? After Will Woodhouse's floater cut the deficit to 5 with 5:16 to go, the feeling in the gym was that the Warriors just might this time. Instead, on th ensuing possession, Mooseheart's Mangisto Deng stuck a dagger 3-pointer from deep in the right wing with 4:20 left to make it an 8-point game, which helped fuel a game-ending 15-5 run as Westminster stayed cold and Makur Puou's 2-handed tomahawk slam 2 minutes later sealed a 45-30 Red Rambler win.

    Stevenson’s Jalen Brunson, left, celebrates with teammate Matthew Morrissey after the Patriots beat North Chicago in the NSC title game Wednesday night at Stevenson.

    Brunson ends Stevenson’s conference title wait

    Only the final buzzer could put an end to the Jalen Brunson buzz saw as Stevenson cut down North Chicago 73-58 in the North Suburban Conference championship game. Brunson finished with a game-high 32 points and canned 6 of his 7 attempts from 3-point range.

    Stevenson’s Alex Elzinga, right, will play basketball at West Point starting next season.

    Fortune smiles on true Patriots Elzinga, Moffat

    Last week, Stevenson's Alex Elzinga announced that she's Army-bound. She accepted an appointment to West Point in New York, where she will suit up for the United States Military Academy. Her teammate, Kari Moffat, has accepted a scholarship offer from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. That's right - two Patriots bound for the Patriot League.

    Jason Pisarski of St. Francis tries to block a shot by Wheaton Academy’s Collin Roy.

    Wheaton Academy avenges loss to St. Francis

    Brandon Ruggles didn't want to let go of the Wheaton Cup. Wheaton Academy's 6-foot-3 senior forward clutched the trophy symbolic with the cross-town clash against St. Francis much like he did the basketball Wednesday night. Ruggles provided a much-needed inside presence with a game-high 18 rebounds, while teammates Gordon Behr, Collin Roy and younger brother Josh Ruggles each added double-figure scoring totals during the Warriors' 63-54 Suburban Christian Conference Blue Division triumph over the Spartans (18-7, 5-5) before a frenzied Warrior Dome crowd in West Chicago.


    Harvest Christian falls to top seed

    The chalkboard before the game in the Harvest Christian locker room read "shock the world." Shockwaves weren't felt in parts of China and Europe, but at Wednesday's Class 1A boys basketball regional semifinal at Westminster Christian against top-seeded Hinckley-Big Rock, the Lions put together a groundbreaking performance that could have had some ground shaking in Elgin. A determined Harvest trailed by as many as 11 points in the second quarter but put together an 8-4 run in the last 4 minutes to make it a 7-point game at halftime. But that's as close as Harvest would get. The Lions, who threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Royals, but H-BR came away with a 44-33 win over the Lions to advance to Friday's regional championship game against No. 2 seed Mooseheart a 45-30 winner over Westminster in Wednesday's second semifinal.


    Wolves win in shootout

    The Chicago Wolves saw a 2-goal third-period lead evaporate, but they bounced back to close a four-game homestand with a 4-3 shootout win over the Abbotsford Heat at the Allstate Arena on Wednesday night.Darren Haydar netted 2 goals and Bill Sweatt scored in regulation. Haydar, Nathan Longpre and Michael Davies converted in the shootout, while Wolves goaltender Matt Climie stopped 3 of 4 Heat attempts in the shootout.Climie (13-13-2) had stopped 32 in regulation and overtime to pick up the win.

    Georgetown forward Aaron Bowen, front, and DePaul forward Peter Ryckbosch scramble for a loose ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, in Washington. Georgetown won 90-66. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Missed layups doom DePaul vs. No. 11 Georgetown

    Trying to end a 39-game losing streak to Top 25 teams, DePaul made a game of it for 14 minutes or so against No. 11 Georgetown. One glance at the play-by-play sheet shows why the threat ended there. "Missed layup by Robertson." ''Missed layup by Melvin." ''Missed layup by Young." ''Missed layup by Crockett." ''Missed tip-in by Melvin." ''Missed layup by Melvin."


    Milwaukee downs UIC 64-53

    Paris Gulley scored 17 points to lead Milwaukee to a 64-53 victory against Illinois-Chicago on Wednesday night.


    Thomas scores 19, No. 18 OSU rolls, 71-45

    Deshaun Thomas overcame a slow start to score 19 points and No. 18 Ohio State used a 16-0 second-half run to beat Minnesota 71-45 on Wednesday night.The teams came into the night in dire need of a Big Ten win.

    Wheaton Academy hosted St. Francis Wednesday night in West Chicago for boys basketball.

    Images: Wheaton Academy vs. St. Francis, boys basketball
    Wheaton Academy hosted St. Francis High School Wednesday night for boys basketball.

    Stevenson’s Matthew Morrissey, middle, battles for a rebound with North Chicago’s Jarrod Coleman, left, and Joseph Thomas .

    Images: North Chicago vs. Stevenson boys basketball
    The North Chicago Warhawks lost to the Stevenson Patriots in the NSC boys basketball championship game on Wednesday, Feb. 20 in Lincolnshire.

    Images from the Westminster Christian vs. Mooseheart boys Class 1A regional basketball game Wednesday, February 20, 2013 in Elgin.

    Images: Mooseheart vs. Westminster Christian, boys basketball
    Mooseheart won 45-30 over Westminster Christian in a class 1a regional game on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

    If everything goes well for Barrington senior Jack Strauss, he could score in four events at this weekend’s boys swimming state meet at New Trier.

    Strauss, Ujiye set winning tone for Barrington

    For a Barrington team with an opportunity to score a nice chunk of points in this weekend's boys swimming and diving state championship at New Trier, it's fitting that the effort is being led by the team's top two swimmers. Senior team co-captains Jack Strauss and Kyle Ujiye are poised to score points in their individual races, but the thrust all season for the Broncos has been how to score points collectively. And that's where Strauss and Ujiye figure so prominently.

    Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko watches batting practice during baseball spring training in Phoenix, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

    Konerko looking to bounce back from injuries

    Paul Konerko has long been one of the top first baseman in the American League. As he enters the final year of his contract with the White Sox, Konerko is hoping to stay healthy and put up big numbers.

    Jack Eichenberger, of West Chicago, reacts to his 50-yard freestyle time, during the DVC Swimming Conference Championship held at Naperville North High School.

    Barrowclift gets his chance at state

    As a freshman spectator at the boys state swimming meet years ago, St. Francis' Michael Barrowclift experienced the energy pouring from the stands. He laid out a future goal.

    Streamwood’s Deja Moore is a model of intensity Monday night against Cary-Grove in the Class 4A Rockford East sectional semifinals. The Sabres take on Huntley in the sectional title game Thursday night.

    Girls basketball/Scouting Fox Valley sectional finals

    Taking a look at the Class 4A Rockford East and Class 3A Genoa-Kingston girls basketball sectional championship games.


    Girls basketball / Libertyville sectional scouting

    Here's a look at Thursday's Class 4A Libertyville sectional title game between Fremd and Rolling Meadows.

    Derrick Rose did full-court scrimmaging Wednesday for the second time in three days. He put on a nice display of 3-point shooting at the end of practice, including several makes from beyond 25 feet, and walked off the court drenched with sweat. As usual, there was no actual news about his progress.

    No new news on Rose watch

    Derrick Rose did full-court scrimmaging Wednesday for the second time in three days. He put on a nice display of 3-point shooting at the end of practice, including several makes from beyond 25 feet, and walked off the court drenched with sweat. As usual, there was no actual news about his progress.

    Before heading to Chicago for Thurday's Bulls-Miami game, TNT analyst Steve Kerr gave his take on the triangle of legends, with Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James squaring off, in a way, last weekend.

    Steve Kerr weighs in on MJ-Kobe-LeBron debate
    Before heading to Chicago for Thurday's Bulls-Miami game, TNT analyst Steve Kerr gave his take on the triangle of legends, with Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James squaring off, in a way, last weekend.

    The Blackhawks’ Marian Hossa lies on the ice after being hit in the back of the head by Jannik Hansen of the Canucks on Tuesday night at the United Center.

    Canucks’ Hansen suspended one game for hit on Hossa

    The NHL suspended the Vancouver Canucks' Jannik Hansen for one game Wednesday for his hit against the Blackhawks' Marian Hossa in Tuesday's 4-3 Hawks shootout victory at the United Center. Early in the third period, Hansen reached up and hit Hossa on the back of the head with his forearm or elbow, putting Hossa out of the game.Hansen, who received a two-minute roughing penalty, will miss tonight's game at Dallas.

    Streamwood boys basketball coach Tim Jones will be retiring after this year.

    Family, basketball, golf all a love affair for Streamwood’s Jones

    Ask Tim Jones his priorities in life and today he might say family, basketball and golf. But tomorrow he might say basketball, golf and family, while yet another day it might be golf, family and basketball. But rest assured, it's going to be those three things. So closely intertwined with Jones for most of his life, let's just call it familybasketballgolf, or whatever order you might want to put them in. And don't think for a minute that will change a whole lot after Jones coaches his last Streamwood boys basketball game this season. Sure, he's retiring after 35 years as a physical education teacher in Elgin Area School District U-46, and there might be a few more Florida trips on the agenda than there are now, but Jones won't be going underground. His youngest son, Drew, will be a senior at Larkin next year and Jones plans to spend every minute of his last child's games in the stands cheering him on.


    Salmon study lacks local focus

    I keep wondering how the following information can help us find more salmon on Lake Michigan, especially when we don't have any streams for spawning fish?A new study recently published in the journal Current Biology by Oregon State University researchers indicates migrating salmon utilize the earth's magnetic field to navigate across thousands of miles of open ocean to locate their river of origin before journeying upstream to spawn.

    Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo will take some time away from the team this spring to represent Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic.

    International stage awaits Cubs’ Rizzo

    Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has gone from top prospect to international star in just one year's time. Rizzo went into spring training firmly entrenched as the Cubs starter. He also will play for Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic.


    North Central catches some breaks

    In a three-way tie for the final playoff spot in the CCIW women's basketball tournament, North Central was in a tough spot. Even with both North Park and Elmhurst playing on the final day of the regular season, there was only one situation in which the Cardinals would end up moving on.

    Alabama offensive lineman D.J. Fluker (76) is projected on some NFL mock draft boards to be a first-round pick for the Chicago Bears, who also have needs at tight end and defensive line.

    Bears take their wish list to NFL Combine

    Bears talent evaluators, including general manager Phil Emery and new head coach Marc Trestman, will be closely monitoring this year's excellent crop of offensive lineman when the NFL's Scouting Combine gets under way Thursday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The Bears are in need of a talent upgrade on the O-line but could also use help at tight end and linebacker.

    Lance Armstrong is facing a Wednesday deadline to decide whether he will meet with U.S. Anti-Doping Agency officials and talk with them under oath about what he knows about performance-enhancing drug use in cycling. The agency has said Armstrong's cooperation in its cleanup effort is the only path open to Armstrong if his lifetime ban from sports it to be reduced.

    Armstrong won't interview with U.S.ADA

    Lance Armstrong won't do a tell-all interview under oath with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to reveal everything he knows about the use of performance-enhancing drugs in cycling. U.S.ADA officials had told Armstrong he must speak with them if he wanted to reduce his lifetime ban from sports. Under their offer, Wednesday was the deadline for him to agree to the interview.

    The Chicago Golf Show will celebrate its 30th anniversary when it opens on Friday at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

    30th Chicago Golf Show opens Friday

    Len Ziehm previews the 30th Chicago Golf Show opening on Friday at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. And he offers up some other golf notes to keep you up to date on the local golf scene.


    Cabin fever got you down? Join the club

    The sweet smell of spring will soon be in the air - and this year, especially, it can't come soon enough.


    Prosecution: Error in ‘testosterone’ testimony

    The investigating officer in the Oscar Pistorius murder case made an error in his court testimony Wednesday when he identified a substance found in the athlete's bedroom as testosterone, the national prosecutor said.

    Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts answers questions concerning Wrigley Field before a spring-training workout last weekend.

    Cubs should put Wrigley threat back on table

    Tom Ricketts made a huge mistake not threatening to leave Wrigley Field when he bought the team, but with all the tactics currently deployed against him, Ricketts ought to start looking for suburban property.


    Mike North video: Goodell’s $20 Million bonus

    Mike North and Artie Clear discuss if and why Roger Goodell deserves such a huge bonus for being the NFL commissioner.

    Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa splits the defense of Vancouver Canucks’ Kevin Bieksa, Jason Garrison and goalie Cory Schneider to score his second goal in the second period .

    Images: Blackhawks vs. Canucks
    The Vancouver Canucks visited the United Center and fell in shootout to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night. With the win, the Blackhawks tied the NHL record for most consecutive games with a point to start a season .


    Mark Cerny, lead system architect for the Sony Playstation 4, describes the new video game console Wednesday in New York. This is Sony’s first new video game console in seven years, and it introduces new cloud and social-media features.

    Sony unveils next-generation PlayStation 4

    Sony is sharing the PlayStation 4 with the world. The Japanese electronics giant unveiled the new gaming system Wednesday, hyping the machine as a "supercharged PC" with the ability to effortlessly share interactive experiences, from instantly broadcasting videos of gaming action or virtually handing out health potions to friends online.

    The exterior of the new “The Biggest Loser Resort-Chicago,” which will open in May within the Eaglewood Resort & Spa in Itasca.

    ‘The Biggest Loser’ to open new resort in Itasca

    The long-running NBC weight loss competition show, "The Biggest Loser," will open a new resort in Itasca in May, the company, Fitness Ridge Worldwide, announced Wednesday. "The Biggest Loser Resort-Chicago" will be within the Eaglewood Resort and Spa, 1401 Nordic Road.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS U.S. stocks fell from five-year highs, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index its biggest decline since November, as minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting showed a debate over further stimulus action.

    Stocks drop following Fed doubts about stimulus

    The stock market posted its biggest loss this year on news that Federal Reserve officials suggested the central bank scale back its effort to keep borrowing costs low. Minutes from the Fed's January meeting seemed to catch investors by surprise.

    Joel Fox of Des Plaines, right, camps out Wednesday with family and friends in a tent city at the new Mount Prospect Chick-fil-A.

    Tent city outside Chick-fil-A in Mt. Prospect

    More than 80 people began camping out Wednesday morning in the parking lot of the Chick-fil-A that will open Thursday, Feb. 21, in Mount Prospect. They are out to secure their place among the first 100 customers, who will be awarded a free year's supply of Chick-fil-A.

    A customer buys gas at a McClure store in Marion, Ind., on Monday, Feb. 18, 2013. With gas prices at around $3.85 a gallon, and other costs rising, many Indiana families are struggling to pay bills.

    Why gas prices are hitting new highs

    The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline has jumped 45 cents in the past 31 days, according to AAA, the fastest run-up since 2005. Analysts differed widely on the causes of the increase. The price of crude oil, which makes up about two-thirds of the price of gasoline, remains extremely high by historical standards.

    Google co-founder Sergey Brin is seen wearing a “Google Glass” last September. The company said Wednesday it is giving a few more people a chance to pay $1,500 for a pair of the Internet-connected glasses that the company is touting as the next breakthrough in mobile computing.

    Google to sell Internet glasses to contest winners

    Google is giving more people a chance to pay $1,500 for a pair of the Internet-connected glasses that the company is touting as the next breakthrough in mobile computing. The product, dubbed "Google Glass," will be offered to those selected as part of a contest announced Wednesday.

    Bottles of cabernet sauvignon in protective steel cages, left, are ready to be loaded onto a boat in Charleston, S.C., Wednesday. Mira Winery of St. Helena, California, submerged four cases of wine in Charleston Harbor on Wednesday to see what effect the ocean has on aging the wine.

    Winery experiments with aging wine in ocean

    A small boat with four cases of California wine has left Charleston Harbor and will submerge the wine in the ocean for three months to age it. Napa Valley-based Mira Winer is experimenting to see how the motion, temperature and light in the ocean may affect the aging of the wine.

    Savannah Guthrie, left, is seen interviewing Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer on NBC News’ “Today” show Wednesday, as Mayer introduces the website’s redesign.

    Yahoo redesign aims to make site more inviting

    Yahoo is renovating the main entry into its website in an effort to get people to visit more frequently and stay longer. The new look debuted Wednesday in the U.S., although it could take a few more days before everyone starts to see it.


    Grounded Boeings costs LOT airline $50,000 a day

    Poland's government says that LOT Polish Airlines is losing $50,000 a day due to the grounding of its two Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes.LOT, a deeply indebted state-run airline, was the first European airline to get the Dreamliners. Deputy Treasury Minister Rafal Baniak put total losses due to the grounded planes Wednesday at 8 million zlotys ($2.5 million).

    This Jan. 17, 2013 photo shows the distorted main lithium-ion battery, left, and an undamaged auxiliary battery of the All Nippon Airways’ Boeing 787 ,

    Japan probe finds miswiring of Boeing 787 battery

    A probe into the overheating of a lithium ion battery in an All Nippon Airways Boeing 787 found it was improperly wired, Japan's Transport Ministry said Wednesday. The Transport Safety Board said in a report that the battery of the aircraft's auxiliary power unit was incorrectly connected to the main battery that overheated, although a protective valve would have prevented power from the APU from doing damage.

    Naperville-based Office Max has agreed to merge with Boca Raton, Fla-based Office Delpot.

    Office Depot to buy OfficeMax in stock deal
    Office Depot Inc. and OfficeMax have agreed to merge in an all-stock deal that would transform the $21.2 billion office supply retail sector.Boca Raton, Fla.-based Office Depot Inc. and Naperville-based OfficeMax say holders of OfficeMax shares will receive 2.69 shares of Office Depot for every OfficeMax share they own.

    Stanford University became the first school to raise $1 billion in a single year, according to an annual college fundraising report released Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, that shows that elite institutions continue to grab a disproportionate share of donor dollars.

    Stanford University is 1st college to raise $1B

    Stanford University has set a new record for college fundraising, becoming the first school to collect more than $1 billion in a single year, according to a report released Wednesday. For the eighth straight year, Stanford ranked first in the Council for Aid to Education's annual college fundraising survey, which shows that elite institutions continue to grab a disproportionate share of donor dollars.


    Navistar Defense gets $23 million deal to outfit Afghan forces

    Navistar Defense has received a $23 million order from the U.S. Army to retrofit 205 armored cabs onto Navistar Medium Tactical Vehicles currently designated for service with the Afghan National Security Forces.


    Academy honors Motorola mobile phone pioneer
    The National Academy of Engineering named Martin Cooper, leader of the Motorola team that developed the first mobile phone, as the recipient of the Charles Stark Draper Prize, the academy's top honor.


    KeHE to establish sales, marketing HQ in Colorado

    KeHE Distributors said it will establish its Natural Sales and Marketing Headquarters in Boulder, Colo.


    Lawsuit filed to block Addus HomeCare business sale
    A lawsuit has been filed to block Addus HomeCare's sale of its home health division to LHG Group.

    Unit 61398 of the People’s Liberation Army has been recruiting computer experts for at least a decade. It has made no secret of details of community life such as badminton matches and kindergarten, but its apparent purpose became clear only when a U.S. Internet security firm accused it of conducting a massive hacking campaign against North American targets.

    Portrait of accused China cyberspy unit emerges

    Unit 61398 of the People's Liberation Army has been recruiting computer experts for at least a decade. It has made no secret of details of community life such as badminton matches and kindergarten, but its apparent purpose became clear only when a U.S. Internet security firm accused it of conducting a massive hacking campaign against North American targets.

    People watch the electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Wednesday.

    World stocks up as takeover talk in U.S. drives Dow

    World stock markets picked up steam Wednesday, driven higher by reports that another big corporate takeover might be in the works in the U.S.A report that major office supply retailers Office Depot and OfficeMax are in talks to combine their businesses sent the Dow Jones industrial average to a near-record high Tuesday. That news came on top of an $11 billion tie-up between American Airlines and US Airways, announced earlier this month, that will create the world's biggest airline.

    Workers begin to validate returned ballots at the headquarters of the union for Boeing Co.’s engineers and technical workers, Tuesday in Tukwila, Wash.

    New Boeing contract splits engineers, tech workers

    Boeing Co.'s engineers have accepted a new four-year contract while technical workers rejected their offer and voted to authorize a future strike. The union representing both groups had recommended rejection of the contract because it would not provide pensions to new employees. They would have a 401k retirement plan instead. The union called that unacceptable, but the Chicago-based aerospace company said the change was important to its future.

    People reach out for fresh produce handouts from fruit and vegetable street market stall holders during a farmers’ protest outside the Ministry of Agriculture in Athens.

    Greece’s weakened workforce starts to crack

    Looking out across a room full of reporters gathered to welcome French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday, Greece's President Karolos Papoulias gave a stark warning about the state of the country after three harsh years of government spending cuts, joblessness and tax hikes. "We are faced with a societal explosion if any more pressure is put on society," he said.

    Associated Press In this April 21, 2010 image fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon.

    Feds, BP agree oil captured not part of penalties

    BP and the federal government have agreed that 34 million gallons of oil captured during the massive 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico can't count toward civil penalties the oil giant faces. The agreement is contained in a court filing Tuesday. It came in response to BP's argument that workers either burned the collected oil or shipped it to shore before it could enter the Gulf waters and that it shouldn't count in calculating the company's Clean Water Act penalties. The penalties will be in the billions of dollars.

    Bank of England governor-in-waiting Mark Carney

    BoE governor backed more stimulus for UK economy
    Top officials in the Bank of England expressed growing concern over Britain's economy and came closer to backing another monetary stimulus in a move that piled further pressure on the pound. Minutes of the last policy meeting of the Bank of England released Wednesday showed outgoing Gov. Mervyn King and two other members of the Monetary Policy Committee supported another cash infusion to revive Britain's ailing economy.

    An oil pump works at sunset in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain

    Oil price rises ahead of U.S. housing data

    The price of oil rose Wednesday ahead of the release of U.S. housing starts for January.Benchmark crude for April delivery was up 30 cents to $97.40 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The March contract expires Wednesday. It rose 80 cents to finish at $96.66 per barrel on the Nymex on Tuesday.

    In this Nov. 7, 2012 photo, U.S. and Chinese national flags are hung outside a hotel during the U.S. Presidential election event, organized by the U.S. embassy in Beijing. As public evidence mounts that the Chinese military is responsible for stealing massive amounts of U.S. government data and corporate trade secrets, the Obama administration is eyeing fines and other trade actions it may take .

    Commercial cyber spying offers rich payoff

    For state-backed cyber spies such as a Chinese military unit implicated by a U.S. security firm in a computer crime wave, hacking foreign companies can produce high-value secrets ranging from details on oil fields to advanced manufacturing technology. This week's report by Mandiant Inc. adds to mounting suspicion that Chinese military experts are helping state industry by stealing secrets from Western companies possibly worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The Chinese military has denied involvement in the attacks.

Life & Entertainment

    Adam Ferrara of TV's "Rescue Me" and "Top Gear" appears at The Improv Comedy Showcase in Schaumburg and at the Volo Auto Museum in Volo.

    Weekend picks: Need a laugh? Ferrara can help

    Fans of comedian Adam Ferrara can catch him this weekend at two locations: The Improv Comedy Showcase in Schaumburg and the Volo Auto Museum. See alt-rock veterans Soul Asylum in concert Friday at the Double Door in Chicago. The Legoland Discovery Center in Schaumburg stays open late tonight to host its “Merlin's Magic Wand Days” event, exclusively for children with special needs and their families.

    Comedian Conan O’Brien has been chosen by the White House Correspondents’ Association as the featured act for its annual dinner.

    Conan O’Brien to headline correspondents’ dinner

    Late night talk show host and comedian Conan O'Brien will be spending a late night with President Barack Obama. The White House Correspondents' Association has chosen O'Brien as the featured act for its annual dinner on April 27.


    Music notes: Soul Asylum coming to town

    A busy weekend in music includes Michael McDermott's return to the Montrose Room in Rosemont and a Christian-music tour making a stop in Hoffman Estates.

    Country star Dwight Yoakam will play the Paramount Theatre in Aurora.

    Dwight Yoakam headed to Paramount
    Country star Dwight Yoakam is set to perform at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora on Wednesday, April 10. Also Sherrie Austin, Tony Haselden and Will Rambeaux are set to perform as part of the Nashville Backstage Series: A Country Cabaret at the Raue Center for the Performing Arts in Cyrstal Lake on Friday, March 1.

    Pan-seared Spiced Pork Chops with Microwave Applesauce from “Try This at Home” by Richard Blais

    Pan-Seared Spiced Pork Chops with Microwave Applesauce
    Pan-Seared Spiced Pork Chops with Microwave Applesauce


    Frugal living: Get the most juice from your citrus fruits

    Sarah Noel shares readers' ideas on juicing citrus, cleaning pots and pans and getting stains out of clothes and upholstery. One reader says she uses a garlic press to squeeze sections of Key limes. This method yields much more juice than juicing by hand.

    Anne Hathaway was honored with the spotlight award at the 15th Annual Costume Designers Guild Awards Tuesday in Beverly Hills.

    Anne Hathaway honored by Costume Designers Guild

    Anne Hathaway was deemed best dressed — by people who dress her for work. The "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Dark Knight Rises" actress, who's nominated for the supporting actress Academy Award for her role in "Les Miserables," was honored Tuesday evening with the spotlight award at the 15th annual Costume Designers Guild Awards. The spotlight award honors actors and directors for their collaborations with costume designers.

    Robin Roberts, left, George Stephanopoulos, Josh Elliott, Sam Champion and Lara Spencer on the set of “Good Morning America” in New York. Five months after undergoing a bone-marrow transplant, Roberts is back on television in the morning.

    Robin Roberts returns to ‘Good Morning America’

    Five months after undergoing a bone marrow transplant, Robin Roberts is back on television in the morning. Roberts said Wednesday she'd been waiting 174 days "to say this, good morning America."

    Vanilla beans

    Homemade Vanilla Extract
    Homemade Vanilla Extract:Annie Overboe

    Using a building block approach to Oscar party canapes, guests can select from a buffet of ingredients — from bases and spreads to toppings and garnishes — to design snacks that suit their preferences.

    Oscar entertaining made easy? It’s formulaic!

    Canapes may sound stuffy, but they actually are the ultimate in ease when it comes to party food. Plus, they look great and can be combined in endless ways to suit any taste.So we created a simple formula for making canapes, dividing them into four components — bases, spreads, toppings and garnishes.


    Eating out: Victory lap at Outback

    It's race time again, and this year it pays to be team Newman at Outback Steakhouse. Every time NASCAR's Ryan Newman finishes in the top 10, stop by Outback for a free bloomin' onion the following Monday.

    New York strip steak at Fresh 1800 comes with a gratin-like potato cake and crisp green beans.

    Fresh 1800 scores with thoughtful, seasonal menu

    If you're hungry and in the Woodfield area, skip the stale mall options for the Fresh 1800 experience. The restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg offers a farm-focused menu of steaks as good as the well-known steakhouses, pasta that outshines the chains, and flatbread and salads on par with trendy eateries. All this in an urban oasis setting with no wait. This could be the town's best-kept dining secret.

    Stovetop Popcorn Many Ways, from top clockwise, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips and salted peanuts, melted chocolate, sweet and spicy barbecue rub, finely grated parmesan cheese, and truffle salt.

    Stovetop Popcorn Many Ways
    Stovetop Popcorn Many Ways

    Adding warm components, like Feta-Scallion Couscous Cakes, amplifies winter salads.

    On the Fridge: Quick-cooking couscous makes crunchy cakes
    Adding warm components amplifies winter salads. In this light main course, with little effort, quick-cooking couscous is turned into crunchy disks that top a simple preparation of greens

    “The Best of All Possible Worlds” by Karen Lord

    Lord brings Caribbean voice to science fiction

    Science fiction gets a Caribbean perspective in Barbados-based Karen Lord's "The Best of All Possible Worlds." The ambitious novel follows the plight of the male survivors of a superior human civilization, reduced to lonely refugees by the annihilation of their home planet. Lord imagines their new planet as an expanded Caribbean, a complicated population subtly divided by physical traits, lineage and language.

    Melted chocolate dresses up stovetop popcorn for an Oscar party and any special occasion.

    Dressing up popcorn for an Oscars viewing party

    Everyone loves popcorn and there is no other food that is so closely associated with movies. Microwave popcorn is a mere shadow of the original so Elizabeth Karmel suggests going back to the stovetop on Oscar night and flavoring popcorn with an array of wet or dry toppings.


    Party Canapes
    Party Canapes

    Fresh vanilla bunch

    Homemade vanilla extract adds intensity to home-baked treats

    Great vanilla extract holds the power to elevate ordinary food from boring to bold. After the holidays my pantry held a wide variety of liquor, while the vanilla extract bottles ran dry so I had an interesting idea: Put the alcohol to good use and make vanilla extract myself.



    Editorial: YMCA merger a sensible solution

    A Daily Herald editorial says a merger between Schaumburg's Campanelli YMCA and the Elgin-based Y organization is a sensible move for an organization that needs to focus its spending on programs for the least fortunate of us. But a merger should also allow for quick response to local needs.


    Love, alas, is all around us

    Columnist Richard Cohen: I say goodbye and they pucker up. No! This is reserved for love and by love I mean real love, not the silly xoxo stuff that clutters the Internet with false, saccharine intimacy and emotion.


    Washington’s serial abdication

    Columnist Michael Gerson: Washington has maneuvered itself into a position where doing nothing makes political sense for everyone, at least for the moment. But when all these politically rational decisions are added up, they still amount to an absurd, discrediting way to run a government.


    Hard to grasp school seminar outrage
    A Batavia letter to the editor: I read with interest, Jake Griffin's Feb. 13 Tax Watchdog column since he started out with Batavia Unit District 101 in which I am a resident and taxpayer. I was looking for the bomb to drop on our school board in that the subtitle of his article said "Taxpayer's burden for teachers to attend conference adds up."


    Forest preserve leader will be missed
    A Grayslake letter to the editor: Tom Hahn is a great guy. A gem. And, his retirement from the top spot at the Lake County Forest Preserves helps me to realize what "the perfect person at the perfect time" really meant to a burgeoning Lake County.


    Lost faith in candidate
    A Mundelein letter to the editor: We are very upset with our village trustee and have decided not to vote for him as mayor.


    Weakened marriage hurts women most
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: This debate is not about people's rights. It is about denigrating the sacred institution of marriage and its primary purpose of procreation. Marriage should be elevated in importance and not dumbed down.


    Marriage equality will foster stability
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: It is unfair and unjust to deny families and couples the legal protections and dignities they deserve based on sexual orientation, and I strongly support the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.


    Children an investment in our future
    A Hoffman Estates letter to the editor: Ms. Harrop argues that the declining fertility rate is a benefit. She is concerned about the environment. She supports investment in health care and provision for the elderly. Rather than seeing children as a significant part of the future, she sees them as an expense.


    Big pensions, high salaries are problem
    A Carpentersville letter to the editor: The problem with Illinois pensions is not lack of taxpayer contributions, it is out of control salaries and the pensions generated by those salaries.


    Support democracy, attend town meeting
    A Roselle letter to the editor: A deadline important to exercising your obligations and rights as citizens in DuPage and Cook counties is fast approaching and many people are unaware of it. The deadline is for agenda items for the annual township meetings.


    Don’t send us to the cornfield, Barack
    A Winfield letter to the editor: There's a famous Twilight Zone episode in which a spoiled 8-year-old with supernatural powers is allowed to do anything he desires. Should anyone attempt to guide Anthony away from his destructive behavior, he turns them into scarecrows and sends them to the cornfield.


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