Daily Archive : Sunday February 24, 2013


    Ben Affleck, who directed, produced and acted in the film, accepts the award for best picture for “Argo” during the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday.

    Affleck's 'Argo' wins best-picture Oscar

    Ben Affleck's “Argo,” a film about a fake movie, has earned a very real prize: best picture at the Academy Awards. In share-the-wealth mode, Oscar voters spread Sunday's honors among a range of films, with “Argo” winning three trophies but “Life of Pi” leading with four.

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, from left, host Seth MacFarlane and Daniel Radcliffe perform during Sunday's Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

    Images: Inside the Oscars
    It's Hollywood's biggest night, and "Family Guy" creator Seth McFarlane takes on hosting duties to dole out the golden guys. It's a night that promises tearful thank-yous, shout outs, and a show chock-full of musical numbers. Oh, and all the stars of those films are hanging around.

    Actress Kristin Chenoweth arrives at the 85th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday in Los Angeles.

    Images: Oscar red carpet arrivals
    The silver screen's stars put their best fashion foot foward for Hollywood's biggest night.

    Daily Herald subscribers Bob and Patti Jostes of Arlington Heights talk with Daily Herald Film Critic Dann Gire during Sunday's Oscars event at the Hollywood Palms Cinema in Naperville.

    Gire: Voters rallied around Affleck

    In the end, Oscar voters rallied around Ben Affleck. That's how Daily Herald film critic Dann Gire interpreted the victory of Affleck's “Argo” in the Best Picture competition during Sunday's Oscars telecast. “There's been a tsunami of support for him because he didn't get a nomination for Best Director,” Gire said. “If the Oscar voters hadn't given 'Argo' this award,...

    Pat Brady

    Fundraiser postponed amid debate over Illinois GOP chairman’s future

    The beleaguered Illinois GOP chairman is postponing a high-profile fundraiser until a vote concerning his removal for supporting gay marriage is decided. The March 19 event, featuring Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus would have come 10 days after a special state central committee meeting that could result in Brady's ouster.

    Mary Ann G. McMorrow, the first woman to serve on the Illinois Supreme Court and its former chief justice, died Saturday. She was 83.

    First woman on Illinois Supreme Court dies

    Justice Mary Ann McMorrow, the first woman to serve on the Illinois Supreme Court, died Saturday. The Chicago native served 14 years on the state's highest court, including as its chief justice from 2002 to 2005. She was 83.


    Suburban nominees winless at Oscars

    Although several suburban talents were nominated for Oscars at Sunday night’s 85th annual Academy Awards, none of them took home the big prize.

    Gun-rights activist Dave Larson, of Bountiful, Utah, carries his AR-15 rifle and a sign which reads, “...From my cold, dead hands” during a “National Day of Resistance” rally at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday. Activists said they were were there to show their support for the U.S. Constitution and the 2nd Amendment.

    Lawmakers dispute records for private gun sales

    A dispute over whether to require record keeping for private gun sales is holding up a compromise between Republican and Democratic senators over expanding background checks for firearms transactions, one of President Barack Obama’s top gun control priorities, people familiar with the private talks said Sunday.

    Afghanistan presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi, speaking Sunday in Kabul, said all U.S. special forces must leave eastern Wardak province within two weeks because of allegations that Afghans working with them are torturing and abusing other Afghans.

    Afghanistan: U.S. special forces must leave province

    Afghanistan’s president on Sunday ordered all U.S. special forces to leave a strategically important eastern province within two weeks because of allegations that Afghans working with them are torturing and abusing other Afghans. The decision seems to have caught the coalition and U.S. Forces Afghanistan, a separate command, by surprise.

    Luke O’ Connor, 8, of Batavia gets a kiss from Zaney, a black throat monitor lizard during a presentation by Jim Galeno of Dave DiNaso’s Traveling World of Reptiles at the Batavia Public Library Saturday. Zaney uses his tongue to smell. The presentation was the finale of the Winter Reading Club.

    Images: The Week in Pictures
    This edition of The Week in Pictures features eagles on the Fox River, reptiles in the library, and weather all around.

    President Barack Obama and lawmakers in Congress are on the brink of yet another compromise-or-else deadline Friday.

    Why can’t Washington compromise? They’re too human

    WASHINGTON — Turns out politicians are people, too, only worse.Just ask pros who make their living in the trenches of everyday human drama such as divorce, family feuds or schoolyard scraps. They recognize in Washington’s bitter budget standoff a hint of human nature as they know it, but with the crazy pumped up to absurd levels.


    How Illinois would be affected
    Here are some examples of how the White House says automatic budget cuts could affect Illinois:

    House Speaker John Boehner accuses President Barack Obama of not being serious about cutting government spending during a Capitol Hill news conference in Washington on Dec. 13. Lawmakers and the president are on the brink of yet another compromise-or-else deadline Friday.

    All condemn pending budget cuts, spread blame

    The White House and Republicans kept up the unrelenting mudslinging Sunday over who's to blame for roundly condemned budget cuts set to take effect at week's end, with the administration detailing the potential fallout in each state and governors worrying about the mess.

    Tom Muehlfelder, left, and Amy Serafin, both of Fox Lake, exit the frigid water during the annual Fox Lake Polar Plunge Sunday at Lakefront Park. The funds raised will benefit Special Olympics Illinois Northeastern/Area 13, which serves athletes with physical and intellectual disabilities in Lake and McHenry counties.

    Party atmosphere at Fox Lake’s Polar Plunge for Special Olympics

    A carnival atmosphere prevailed at the Polar Plunge in Fox Lake Sunday, which raised more than $61,000 for Special Olympics. More than 450 plungers participated up from last year's 320 participants.

    Geneva High School graduate Raymond Allen Kaligian III died at his Houston home last week when fumes from a running car seeped into his bedroom as he slept. An accomplished athlete in high school, Kaligian was considered a rising star with Phillips 66 company.

    Tragic string of circumstances kill 2003 Geneva grad in Texas home

    The tragic set of circumstances that led to the death of Geneva High School grad Raymond Allen Kaligian III has left his family and friends reeling. The 28-year-old died Feb. 17 when the fumes from his new car — turned on accidentally — filled his bedroom through a vacuum tube that started in his garage, according to a family friend. Kaligian lived in Houston but his family will be...

    Palestinians take cover behind containers during clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Hebron, following the death of Arafat Jaradat, a Palestinian prisoner held in Israel jail, Sunday.

    Prisoner’s death stokes fears of third uprising

    The mysterious death of a 30-year-old Palestinian gas station attendant in Israeli custody stoked new West Bank clashes Sunday, along with Israeli fears of a third Palestinian uprising. A senior Palestinian official alleged that Arafat Jaradat was tortured by Israel's Shin Bet security service, citing an autopsy he said revealed bruising and two broken ribs.

    Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing during his last Angelus noon prayer, from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, Sunday.

    Pope gives final Sunday blessing before resigning

    Pope Benedict XVI bestowed his final Sunday blessing of his pontificate on a cheering crowd in St. Peter's Square, explaining that his waning years and energy made him better suited to the life of private prayer he soon will spend in a secluded monastery than as leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

    Designer Maddy Gustafson helps the shy Phoebe Welsh walk down the runway Sunday during the first student-run charity fashion show, “Hope’s In Style,” at the Garland’s Center for the Performing Arts in Barrington. The fashion show raised funds for a Guatemalan family living in a garbage dump in Guatemala City.

    Fashion show raises money for Guatemalen family

    Barrington High School students put on a fashion show Sunday to raise money to help a Guatemalan family currently living in a garbage dump in Guatemala City. A student, Courtney Quigley, organized the trip after meeting the family last year.

    Federal Defender Julie Gatto requests bail for her client, New York City Police Officer Gilberto Valle, right, in this Oct. 25, 2012, file courtroom drawing.

    Defense: NY cop a cannibal only in online fantasy

    Gilberto Valle's mind is full of sick thoughts — and he wants a jury to know it. The New York City police officer accused of kidnapping conspiracy admits to thinking about abducting, cooking and devouring young women. His own lawyer has shown prospective jurors a kinky staged photo of a woman trussed up in a roasting pan to test their tolerance for the officer's "weird proclivities."

    This is the Ohio home of an adoptive father who police say has admitted raping three boys in his care. The adoptive father will return to court Tuesday in Dayton to hear a judge sentence him for crimes that have all but ensured he will spend the rest of his life in prison.

    Rape of adopted Ohio kids unusual, haunting case

    An Ohio man will return to court in Dayton on Tuesday to be sentenced for guilty pleas to child rape and related charges in a haunting case that experts call unusual because the perpetrator was an adoptive father and the victims were three boys in his care. The pleas have all but ensured he will spend the rest of his life in prison.


    Carol Stream woman killed in Eisenhower crash

    A Carol Stream woman died and three other people were injured early Sunday morning when her car was struck by another vehicle while pulled over along the Eisenhower Expressway in Chicago, Illinois State Police said. Arquilla S. Jones, 29, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which occurred about 5:45 a.m. on the eastbound side of the Eisenhower near Kostner Avenue.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS Less than a week after a late-winter storm hit the Plain, another is coming, forecasters predicted Sunday. Above, plows try to clear the Shawnee Mission Parkway nears Kansas City on Thursday.

    New blizzard bearing down on Plains region

    A second major winter storm is bearing down on the central Plains, forcing cancellations and sending public works crews scrambling. The National Weather Service issued a blizzard watch from Sunday evening through late Monday for much of Kansas because of the storm system that's tracking across western Texas into Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.

    This photo provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department shows a black Range Rover SUV in Las Vegas that was found Saturday at an apartment complex east of the Las Vegas Strip. It has been impounded as evidence in connection with a shooting that sent a Maserati into a taxi that exploded, killing three people.

    Prime suspect named in Las Vegas shooting, crash

    A 26-year-old man was being sought Sunday as the prime suspect in a pre-dawn shooting on the Las Vegas Strip last week which led to a fiery crash that left three people dead and several others injured.


    More honors for Aurora officers who helped free wrongly convicted man

    Aurora Police Investigators John Munn and Darrell Moore recently were named Co-Employees of the Year for their work to free a man serving a 70-year prison term after being wrongly convicted of murder. "You took it upon yourselves to correct the situation and an innocent person was rightfully set free," Aurora Police Chief Greg Thomas told the investigators.

    Carl Pistorius, brother of Olympian athlete, Oscar Pistorius, arrives home Sunday, where his brother has been staying in Pretoria, South Africa, since being granted bail Friday for the Valentine’s Day shooting death of his girlfriend.

    Pistorius’ brother facing charge in traffic death

    The murder case involving Olympic star Oscar Pistorius took another unexpected turn Sunday with the news that his older brother, Carl, is himself facing charges for the death of a woman in a traffic accident.


    Lake Co. Forest Preserve offers golf lessons

    The Lake County Forest Preserve District will offer golf instructional programs this spring at the Countryside Golf Club and the ThunderHawk Golf Club. Group, individual and junior sessions are available.


    Mundelein High School board meets Tuesday

    The Mundelein High School District 120 board of education will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss standarized test scores, financial issues and other matters. Revisions for the 2013-14 calendar also could be discussed and approved at the meeting, which takes place at 1350 W. Hawley Street, Mundelein.


    Barrington offers Senior Law Enforcement Academy

    Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart and the Barrington Police Department are inviting village residents to attend the Senior Citizen Law Enforcement Academy this spring. Participants in the academy will learn how to protect themselves from crime, communicate with law enforcement, understand con games and scams, and the functions of the Cook County jail and courts.

    In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing during his last Angelus noon prayer, from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday. Benedict XVI gave his pontificate's final Sunday blessing from his studio window to the cheers of tens of thousands of people packing St. Peter's Square.

    Pope gives final Sunday blessing before resigning

    Pope Benedict XVI bestowed his final Sunday blessing of his pontificate on a cheering crowd in St. Peter's Square, explaining that his waning years and energy made him better suited to the life of private prayer he soon will spend in a secluded monastery than as leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

    Margaret Pennington

    Geneva schools' suit against ex-principal dismissed

    A Kane County judge has dismissed the Geneva school district's suit against a former principal, in which it accused her of illegally recording conversations with her supervisors.

    Larry Wegman

    Should Elgin fund the ESO? Candidates weigh in

    The nine candidates vying for a 2-year seat on the Elgin City Council have differing views about whether the city should give money to the Elgin Symphony Orchestra.

    Lombard Trustee Laura Fitzpatrick has spent more than 30 hours working to finish this painting of historic sites in Lombard by the late muralist Vern Milem. Her work has drawn criticism from Brian Diskin of Wheaton, a freelance cartoonist who teaches at the College of DuPage.

    Is Lombard mural criticism about art or politics?

    A Lombard trustee's work to finish an incomplete painting hung at village hall is drawing criticism from one area artist, but some are saying the critique is more political than artistic. Trustee Laura Fitzpatrick began working last month to complete a painting of historic buildings in Lombard by the late muralist Vern Milem.

    While launching an educational program in Kenya, Bartlett native Toni Maraviglia has made friends like her “osiepna,” the tribal word for “close friend,” Selecciah Ogada.

    'Much hope' as Bartlett native revamps schools in Kenya

    A Bartlett native who calls herself "a teacher at heart" has founded a unique venture that uses cell phones to teach children in Kenya. Toni Maraviglia's MPrep beat out more than 200 companies to earn a spot in the prestigious Unreasonable Institute.

    Sam Yagan, 35, is a 1995 graduate of the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora and CEO of Match.com.

    Match.com CEO: 'You have to be willing to fail'

    The man who co-founded the online dating site OKCupid and now serves as CEO of Match.com got his start at a high school better known for turning out scientists and mathematicians than experts in finding love connections. Sam Yagan, a 1995 graduate of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, will be speaking at 7:30 p.m. Monday in Chicago.


    Chicago Bulls guard Nate Robinson, front, goes to the basket next to Oklahoma City Thunder guard Thabo Sefolosha during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013.

    Bulls can’t buy a bucket in ugly loss to Thunder

    The Bulls spent most of Sunday night in Oklahoma City trying to think of a number, between 0 and 20, that would represent an acceptable field-goal percentage. They were below 20 percent for most of the first half, dipped again after a four-minute dry spell in the third quarter and, needless to say, were smashed by the Thunder 102-72.

    Andrew Shaw celebrates the only goal of the game Sunday night at the United Center. Shaw’s fourth goal of the season gave the Hawks a 1-0 victory.

    Hawks win 9th 1-goal game of young season

    If the Blackhawks have shown anything during their record streak, it’s that they can win the close ones. The Hawks’ 1-0 victory over pesky Columbus at the United Center on Sunday night ran their record in 1-goal games to 9-0-3.

    Blackhawks winger Brandon Saad skates towards the puck as Columbus Blue Jackets’ Adrian Aucoin defends during the third period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, in Chicago. Chicago won 1-0.

    Blackhawks keep the streak alive

    Corey Crawford made 28 saves and Andrew Shaw scored the only goal as the Blackhawks stretched their NHL-record, season-opening point streak to 18 games with a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday night.

    Chicago Blackhawks’ Michael Frolik (67) and Columbus Blue Jackets’ Derek Dorsett (15) compete for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, in Chicago.

    Rivalry with Detroit would take a hit if Wings head to East

    While Blackhawks fans consider Detroit to be the team's biggest rival, the Red Wings don't feel the same way. For Detroit, it's the Toronto Maple Leafs who will always be its biggest rival. The Red Wings will rejoin the Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference next season, according to a Hockey Night in Canada report by Elliotte Friedman, leaving the Western Conference and the Hawks behind.

    Starlin Castro will turn 23 on March 24, but he has already provided Cubs fans with many thrills and is signed through 2019.

    Castro, Cubs hungry for more

    The Cubs have a nice problem on their hands: three solid young shortstops. If all three pan out, two will have to move positions. But for now, Starlin Castro is the shortstop, and Javier Baez and Junior Lake will continue to develop in the minor leagues.

    Alexei Ramirez puts plenty of pressure on himselft to produce, which may be the cause of early batting woes in five straight seasons.

    Ramirez a slow starter, strong finisher

    As he enters his sixth year as the White Sox' starting shortstop, Alexei Ramirez is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2012. Ramirez batted .265 and hit 9 home runs, both career lows.

    Danica Patrick prepares to get in her car before the start of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday in Daytona Beach, Fla.

    Patrick made Daytona 500 must-see TV

    Danica Patrick made the Daytona 500 a must-see TV event and she didn't disappoint while racing against the men.


    Haydar scores late but Wolves fall 2-1

    Chicago Wolves captain Darren Haydar delivered a power-play goal with 29 seconds to play Sunday afternoon, but it couldn't prevent a 2-1 loss to the Rockford IceHogs in an Illinois Lottery Cup contest before 11,133 at Allstate Arena.

    Jimmie Johnson celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, in Daytona Beach, Fla.

    Johnson wins Daytona 500; Patrick fades to 8th

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A big first for Danica Patrick, but an even bigger second for Jimmie Johnson.Patrick made history out front at the Daytona 500, only to see five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson reclaim his spot at the top in the end.Johnson won his second Daytona 500 with a late push on Sunday, grabbing the spotlight from Patrick as she faded on the final lap. Patrick became the first woman in history to lead laps in “The Great American Race” and was running third on the last lap, but slipped to eighth in the late push for position. Her fall began when Dale Earnhardt Jr. made his move, but his last-ditch effort wasn’t enough to catch his Hendrick Motorsports teammate.There were several crashes during the day, none approaching the magnitude of the wreck that injured more than two dozen fans a day earlier in a second-tier race on the same track.Johnson, who raced past defending NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski on the final restart, had pulled out to a sizable lead and nobody could catch him. He wasn’t challenged over the final six laps and cruised and added another 500 title to go with his 2006 victory. This time crew chief Chad Knaus can enjoy it he was suspended by NASCAR for the first victory.Earnhardt Jr. settled for second as Hendrick drivers went 1-2 in the new Chevrolet SS. Mark Martin was third in a Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. Keselowski, who overcame two accidents earlier in the race, wound up fourth in the new Ford that Penske Racing is fielding this year. Patrick, the first woman to start from the pole at NASCAR’s top level, was clearly disappointed with her finish. But she admitted she wasn’t sure what move to make if she was going to try for the win. “You know I kept thinking about it the whole time,” she said. “You spend a lot of time thinking about what you’re going to when that opportunity.” Patrick became the first woman in history to lead laps in the 500 when she passed Michael Waltrip on a restart on Lap 90. She stayed on the point for two laps, then was shuffled back to third. Still, it was another groundbreaking moment for Patrick, who in 2005 as a rookie became the first woman to lead laps in the Indianapolis 500. Janet Guthrie was the first woman to lead laps at NASCAR’s top Cup Series, in 1977 at Ontario, where she led five laps under caution. The field was weakened by an early nine-car accident that knocked out race favorite Kevin Harvick and sentimental favorite Tony Stewart. Harvick had won two support races coming into the 500 to cement himself as the driver to beat, but the accident sent him home with a 42nd-place finish.Stewart, meanwhile, dropped to 0-for-15 in one of the few races the three-time NASCAR champion has never won. “If I didn’t tell you I was heartbroken and disappointed, I’d be lying to you,” Stewart said.That accident also took Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray, his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, and Kasey Kahne out of contention. The next accident, involving nine car,s came 105 laps later and brought a thankful end to Speedweeks for Carl Edwards. He was caught in his fifth accident since testing last month, and this wreck collected six other Ford drivers.The field suddenly had six Toyota drivers at the front as Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing drivers took control of the race. But JGR’s day blew up — literally — when the team was running 1-2-3 with Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch setting the pace. Kenseth went to pit road first with a transmission issue, and Busch was right behind him with a blown engine. Busch was already in street clothes watching as Hamlin led the field. “It’s a little devastating when you are running 1-2-3 like that,” Busch said.

    A Chicago Blackhawks fan got his wish granted Friday night as the Hawks beat the San Jose Sharks 2-1 at the United Center to set the NHL record with 17 games with at least one point.

    Hawks lift hockey hysteria to new heights

    So now the Blackhawks, who already effected one of the most dramatic revivals in professional sports history, have achieved the best regular or irregular season takeoff in National Hockey League annals. As Blackhawks Team Historian Bob Verdi writes in this report, hockey hysteria rarely has been more pronounced in this city, especially in the middle of February, and never has a team broken from the gate with such fury. Friday nights are becoming a favorite for fans at the United Center anyway, and Verdi examines the latest example played before 21,670 fans — the 197th consecutive sellout.


    Antioch takes 4th; Grant drops quarterfinal

    Antioch took fourth place in the Class 2A dual-team wrestling state tournament, and Grant dropped its quarterfinal matchup in Class 3A on Saturday in Bloomington.


    Produce clerk Charlie Gimmler of Palatine stocks apples and other produce at Mariano's in Palatine. Fresh produce is in high demand in the suburbs, so grocers pay special attention to it.

    Shoppers drive competition as new grocers expand in suburbs

    With Jewel in limbo pending a sale to an investor group, other major grocers are taking a lead in the Chicago suburbs, including Mariano's, Meijers, and others. The latest entry is Uncle Joe's Tuscan Market, set to open in Rolling Meadows. For now, consumers are the winners, with plenty of options for comparison shopping and specialty foods and services.

    Wayne County Clerk Glenda Young, second from right, assists a group of “lease hounds” from Texas as they pore over land records in search of mineral rights holders at the courthouse in Fairfield, Ill. The land rush is linked to a drilling method called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, that uses water, sand and chemicals to crack open shale to free oil and gas. State lawmakers and industry and agriculture environmentalists are negotiating a proposed bill that could establish the state's first fracking regulations,

    Industry, environmentalists mull 'fracking' rules

    Leases have been signed on tens of thousands of acres in southern Illinois. Studies have hinted at the potential economic payoff of drilling for oil and gas deposits deep underground. But so far, oil and gas companies have held off on high-volume hydraulic fracturing in Illinois because the state lacks ground rules for the industry.

    Mozilla is getting into phone operating systems, and 13 phone companies have committed to support the non-profit foundation as it develops an alternative to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

    Firefox phones coming this summer

    Mozilla, the non-profit foundation behind the popular Firefox Web browser, is getting into phones. But it's not stopping at Web browsers — it's launching a whole phone operating system.

    Wall Street is betting that the automatic sequestration spending cuts, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will take 0.6 of a percentage point of economic growth this year and cost 750,000 jobs, won’t be enough to derail the recovery.

    Wall Street holds its nerve as spending cuts near

    With barely a week to go before $85 billion in automatic government spending cuts kick in, Wall Street is holding its nerve. The Dow Jones industrial average has gained 6.8 percent since the start of the year as investors largely ignored the latest installment of Washington's budget drama.

    The average price for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps rose 20.32 cents a gallon in the past two weeks to $3.795 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.

    Gasoline rises to nationwide average of $3.795 a gallon

    The average price for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps rose 20.32 cents a gallon in the past two weeks to $3.795 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey Inc. The survey covers the period ended Feb. 22 and is based on information obtained at about 2,500 filling stations.

    This is Hewlett-Packard’s new Slate 7 that will have a 7-inch screen, making it similar in size to the Amazon Kindle Fire. It will cost $169 when it goes on sale in April in the U.S.

    HP to make $169 Android tablet, eschewing Windows

    Hewlett-Packard Co. is making a tablet computer that uses Google's Android operating system, steering clear of Microsoft's latest tablet-oriented version of Windows, the company said Sunday. The HP Slate 7 will have a 7-inch screen, making it similar in size to the Amazon Kindle Fire. It will cost $169 when it goes on sale in April in the U.S.


    As cuts loom, it never hurts to prepare

    Career Coach columnist Joyce E.A. Russell, an industrial and organizational psychologist, discussed workplace issues in a recent online forum. Here are some excerpts.


    Smucker cuts prices on Folgers, Dunkin’ coffees

    J.M. Smucker Co. is lowering the price for most of its packaged coffee products sold in the U.S. an average of 6 percent, as the price of unroasted coffee beans continues to drop.

    Associated Press Four giant airlines will soon control about 70 percent of the American market.

    The end of cheap airfare

    Time to shed a tear into your tiny plastic cups of tomato juice, because the merger between US Airways and American Airlines announced last week marks the end of the era of cheap domestic airfares. Thanks to Northwest's takeover by Delta, Continental's takeover by United, and AirTran's takeover by Southwest, and now this, four giant airlines will soon control about 70 percent of the American market.

    The IRS says its “Where's my refund?” website and smartphone app are being overwhelmed by eager taxpayers. The agency says its systems are only updated once a day, usually overnight, and the same information is available on the website, the IRS2go smartphone app and IRS toll-free phone lines.

    Dude, Where's my refund? IRS website overrun

    The Internal Revenue Service has a message for taxpayers eager to learn the status of their tax refund: Please don't check the IRS website every five minutes — once a day is enough. The IRS says its "Where's my refund?" website and smartphone app are being overwhelmed by eager taxpayers.


    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. 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.


    Work advice: The politics of giving at the office

    Editor’s note: Karla L. Miller writes an advice column on navigating the modern workplace. Each week she will answer one or two questions from readers.Q: Our company didn’t make sales quotas in 2011, so all 2012 bonuses and awards were frozen. Our department had stockpiled 12 $25 restaurant gift card awards before the freeze. Our director gave three cards to each of four team leaders (including me), to distribute as we want, saying that was “fairest.” The teams vary in size, so everyone on the smallest three-person team gets an award, while one-third of my 10 team members get one. The cards are to be publicly awarded at our monthly division “all-hands” meeting. How do I motivate my team when they see another team recognizing everyone regardless of performance? Even if I could afford to buy more cards, I’m not allowed to present them at the all-hands meeting. I thought of a team lunch, but I can’t afford it and can’t expense it. How do I handle this diplomatically?A: You know your team members; would most of them prefer to share a meager but guaranteed award or compete for an individual, less meager prize? If the former, see if you can combine the cards to treat everyone to a takeout lunch (creative spin for the meeting: “Because their contributions are greater than the sum of their quotas”).Otherwise, pick your top three sellers, and swallow your dismay about the equal-but-disproportionate prize distribution. If you seem bitter, your workers will be, too.Good news: Most workers aren’t truly motivated by free breadsticks. Most prefer a boss who regularly acknowledges their effort with praise, gratitude and lobbying on their behalf at review time. And maybe the occasional box of doughnuts.Q: I work in a small office within a larger department and am blessed with one of the kindest, most talented bosses one could hope for. He has endured more than his share of bureaucratic messes, and I’m concerned he is on the edge of burnout. Is it ever appropriate to try to cheer the boss up? How would you recommend doing so?A: Level with me: Are you sweet on your boss? If you’re harboring even the teeny-tiniest crush, back away now. The last thing he needs is a puppy-eyed underling or accusations that he’s engaging in a little quid pro quo with said underling.If you just don’t want to lose a good leader to burnout, support him by keeping things in your domain running smoothly so he can focus on the bigger picture. Beyond that, a funny card or gag gift might be appropriate. But it would probably be best if you and your co-workers all chipped in. Ÿ Karla L. Miller has written for and edited tax publications for 16 years, most recently for the accounting firm KPMG’s Washington National Tax office.

    Several websites, including HealthyWage.com, lets dieters bet their own money that they’ll meet a weight loss goal.

    Putting cash on the line to lose weight

    Kimberly Calliari paid $300, lost 51 pounds and won $1,200. That all happened after she signed up for two challenges on HealthyWage.com, a website that lets dieters bet their own money that they'll meet a weight loss goal. HealthyWage is one of several wagering websites that have launched in the past few years, including DietBet.com and Stickk.com. GymPact, a smartphone app, pushes people to go to the gym or get charged for it. All of the sites work differently, but have the same premise: get healthy or risk losing your cash.

    An Indian woman looks into a mirror as she tries out gold jewelry at a shop in Mumbai, India. The unquenchable appetite for gold coins, bars and jewelry has swelled India’s trade deficit and weakened its currency, making crucial imports such as fuel more expensive.

    Baubles to bars: India gold culture defies curbs

    Nowadays, India is by far the world's biggest buyer of gold, which despite its rising value, is an increasing drain on an economy that is growing too slowly to reduce widespread poverty. The unquenchable appetite for gold coins, bars and jewelry has swelled India's trade deficit and weakened its currency, making crucial imports such as fuel more expensive.

    If Penny Pritzker is chosen to serve as commerce secretary, she’ll bring a resume showing a full range of business experiences: success, failures, tax lawsuits and even squabbling among heirs over trust funds.

    What Pritzker would bring as commerce secretary

    If Penny Pritzker is chosen to serve as commerce secretary, she'll bring a resume showing a full range of business experiences: success, failures, tax lawsuits and even squabbling among heirs over trust funds. She's developed a Chicago skyscraper, run a luxury senior housing company and served as chairwoman for a credit reporting company.

Life & Entertainment

    Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston arrive at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday in Los Angeles.

    Stars step out in their Oscar night best

    Hollywood’s glitziest night is under way as Academy Awards nominees in their finest gowns and tuxes hit the red carpet for Sunday’s show, with nominees Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams and Charlize Theron among the more statuesque arrivals.

    Greek yogurt is taking over the dairy aisle, but will kids bite? The question is a critical one for General Mills, which is a dominant player in yogurt for kids, with about half the market. It's also important to Chobani, the leader in the Greek yogurt category, which is stepping up its courtship of kids and their parents.

    Greek yogurt popular with adults, but will kids bite?

    Greek yogurt is taking over the dairy aisle, but will kids bite? The question is a critical one for General Mills, which is a dominant player in yogurt for kids, with about half the market. It's also important to Chobani, the leader in the Greek yogurt category, which is stepping up its courtship of kids — and their parents.

    Carol Stream native Andy Arnett said the troll in “Snow White and the Huntsman” was one of the best visual effects he supervised as director of animation on the Oscar-nominated movie.

    Suburban Oscar ties to 'Snow White,' 'Lincoln' and more

    Glenbard North High School graduate Andy Arnett served as the director of animation on "Snow White and the Huntsman," up for the Visual Effects Oscar during the 85th Academy Awards. He's particularly proud of the monstrous troll that menaces star Kristen Stewart. "Everyone was really impressed with the troll. He looked fantastic!" Arnett said. T"he animators really knocked themselves out."

    Demonstrations by dog-sledding dogs are part of the fun at Brookfield Zoo's "FREEze Day" on Sunday, Feb. 24.

    Sunday picks: It's 'FREEze Day' at Brookfield Zoo

    Head to Brookfield Zoo for “FREEze Day,” where you can watch dogs and their owners from the Green Valley Dog Drivers group demonstrate dog sledding from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the zoo's west mall. Free admission, too! Bubble master Ben Jimenez brings “Ben's Bubble Show” to Harper College in Palatine. Musical theater veteran David Burnham performs “Mostly Broadway” at North Central College's Madden Theatre in Naperville.

    Emma Lloyd, right, and Sophia Cepeda, of Deerfield, practice tricks as they jump around at Xtreme Trampolines in Buffalo Grove. The entertainment center offers an active alternative for kids in the suburbs.

    Suburban parents finding ways to sneak in exercise

    More and more parents are getting savvy when it comes to sneaking nutritious food into their children's diet, but it won't matter much if they remain largely sedentary. Since few kids are bound to like — or stick to — a regimented fitness program, parents also are turning to more creative ways to get their heart rates' up.

    A letter written by Samuel Johnson and a copy of the dictionary he wrote, which was published in 1755, are kept beneath a stained glass plaque at Dr. Johnson's House, a small museum in the 300-year-old townhouse where he lived in London.

    Favorite books come alive in literature-rich London

    London is the kind of place where past and present, fiction and real-life swirl together in an ever-changing kaleidoscope. Which is why a fun way to explore the nooks and crannies of this sprawling city is to take a novel approach and look for places featured in your favorite books, or for the real-life hangouts of writers you admire. Your choices are as varied as the many authors linked to London.

    Marengo’s Festival of the Sugar Maples includes toasting with pure maple syrup.

    On the road: Sweet on syrup

    Learn all about how maple syrup is made and processed during the Festival of the Sugar Maples hosted by the McHenry County Conservation District. There's also the 23rd annual Trig's Klondike Days festival in Eagle River, Wis.

    The Baroda Founders Wine Cellar includes tours, showing wine aged in oak and steel barrels.

    Casual tastings along Michigan’s Lake Shore Wine Trail

    Looking for something to do to keep you warm while we're in the grip of winter? You might try taking a quick trip to Michigan's Lake Shore Wine Trail. Just about two hours from the suburbs, the trail contains more than a dozen wineries stretching along Lake Michigan from Union Pier to Saugatuck.


    Rarely driven cars still require regular oil changes

    Q. I have a 2006 Equinox with about 35,000 miles. I only drive about 4,000 to 5,000 miles a year and am wondering about oil changes. Should I still be changing the oil every three or four months -- even if I've only driven 1,200 to 1,500 miles? Or can I go longer like five or six months until I get closer to 3,000 miles?

    Ranch homes with an abundance of high ceilings, like this model at Fox Run in Plainfield, are popular with buyers today.

    What’s in and what’s out in today’s houses

    House-hunting can be so much fun and so overwhelming at the same time. If you are out looking for your next castle, it is wise to create a wish list of what you personally desire for your home, including the interiors. While viewing different houses, take a camera and a notepad to document how each compares to your list. In today's real-estate market, the features below are definitely on many homebuyers' wish lists.


    Powder room plagued by foul odor

    Q. The powder room on the first floor of my two-story house has a sewer smell (annoying and obvious, but not overwhelming). I had a plumber fix a plugged toilet in this powder room in early August. He used a "closet auger" (his term) and found the plug in the toilet fixture. (He had to go out only 2 to 3 feet to clear the clog.)

    The biggest advantage of a one-piece toilet is it can be much easier to clean.

    A multipart plumbing decision to make

    Q. We are finally having a new toilet installed and need to make a decision. Because of the lower fixture costs, my husband wants a "two-piece" toilet. But because of the nice look, I want to get a "one-piece" toilet. What are some other one-piece-toilet features that I may be overlooking so I can try to nicely convince him to change his mind?



    Editorial: The importance of trust in solving pension crisis

    A lawmaker's proposal to solve the pension crisis in part by extending the 2011 tax increase is not just about numbers. It's about trust, a Daily Herald editorial says.


    ‘Undedication’ of ex-Carol Stream mayor sign prompts blame game

    A story on whether to remove the name of former longtime Carol Stream Mayor Ross Ferraro from the Town Center sign prompts a backlash that leads to a round of blame the messenger, opines Jim Davis, news director for the DuPage and Fox Valley editons.


    No winners in this game

    Columnist Eugene Robinson: The standoff over the package of budget cuts known as "the sequester" is the dumbest, most self-defeating fight between President Obama and Republicans in Congress since ... let's see, since the last dumb, self-defeating fight less than two months ago.


    The sequester: a manufactured crisis

    [No Paragraph Style]NewsColumist George Will: Even during this desultory economic recovery, one industry thrives — the manufacture of synthetic hysteria. It is, however, inaccurate to accuse the Hysteric in Chief of crying "Wolf!" about spending cuts under the sequester. He is actually crying "Hamster!"


    Religious zealotry will backfire
    A Grayslake letter to the editor: Gay rights are the civil rights issues of our era.


    Lake Zurich cop kind, professional
    A Barrington letter to the editor: I am sorry to read of Lake Zurich Police Officer TeRonde's recent problems.


    Violence in media part of the problem
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Ban assault weapons from movies and prime time TV. As a result of the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting most reasonable people would approve.


    School districts’ raises cheat all taxpayers
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: We should pay teachers the benefits that we promised them, but we should not pay the increase in benefits to administrators or teachers who benefited from unreasonable practices. These excessive benefits are not only going to cost us as taxpayers, they are going to take benefits away from the men and women that are teaching our children today and who are going to teach our children in the future.


    New drink no way to start to your day
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: With a dose of caffeine, KickStart promoters want to persuade drinkers that their canned solution will meet energy needs for a productive morning. As a nutritionist, I urge clients to eat, not drink, their calories.


    Making Elgin more bike-friendly
    An Elgin letter to the editor: Last December, Elgin resident Jessica Bahena's letter, "More bike paths for Elgin's safety, health" was published. As someone who is interested in the point made by Ms. Bahena, I felt the need to respond and publicly thank her for expressing her concern and interest regarding the work being done to make Elgin a more pedestrian- and bike-friendly city.


    GOP a disgrace to democracy
    GOP a disgrace to democracyWith the March 1 deadline for sequestration approaching, John Boehner and his Tea Party supporters adjourned for a 10 day vacation. Don’t worry about high unemployment or the slipping economy. Just go home and blame it all on President Obama.Republicans refuse to act on anything Obama proposes. Block his cabinet nominees, ignore proposals on creating jobs, let infrastructure deteriorate further (25th in the world), forget about improving the electric grid (33rd in the world), delay immigration reform, cut education and R&D funding, object to limits on assault weapons and, of course, refuse to close tax loopholes for the rich and giant corporations.While the economy is going into a tail spin, GOP conservatives are expending their energy refusing equal pay for women, defunding planned-parenthood and attempting to repeal Obamacare (33 times so far). That’s an example of priorities only Rush Limbaugh and Fox News can support.Next, we’ll hear the Republicans want to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to make up for the massive debt caused by Bush’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and 3 tax breaks for the rich prior to Obama’s first term. The GOP wants middle-class Americans, who suffered through Bush’s Great Recession and, then, watched Wall Street fat cats make huge bonuses again (without a prosecution for fraud), to cough-up our lungs while they set on the hands.Boehner and the GOP are a disgrace to democracy.Tom MinnerickElgin


    Rise in gas prices is unsettling
    An Elmhurst letter to the editor: It disturbs me to drive to the local gasoline pump and watch the cost rise dramatically. Drivers are subject to Metra tax, (for Illinois statewide), federal tax and Chicago's own Daley tax which goes up proportionality.


    More proof Obama policies not working
    A Wood Dale letter to the editor: Well, the numbers are in. Payroll taxes went up and people had less income. Retail sales went down. Holy cow. What a shock! Who wudda thunk it? Here's concrete proof that the current administration's failed policies don't work.


    Horse care could improve at Danada
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: In October 2012, after almost three years as a volunteer, I left Danada Equestrian Center due to time constraints as a result of other horse commitments. In that time I experienced what I consider a decline in the care and health of the horses.


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