Daily Archive : Thursday February 28, 2013


    Submitted by Jessica Guthrie Hoffman Estates resident Jessica Guthrie with her son Eli, who was born prematurely and stayed in a neonatal intensive care unit for five weeks. She founded Eli's Hope, a faith-based 501(c)(3), with her husband in 2011 to support families who face similar circumstances.

    Hoffman Estates support group sponsors Parents of Preemies day

    When Jessica Guthrie's son Eli was born 10 weeks early she was shocked and depressed. "It was like somebody had pulled the floor out from under us," she said. "You're kind of just going through it blindly." The Hoffman Estates couple launched Eli's Hope, a faith-based 501(c)(3), in November 2011 to help families who become regulars at a neonatal intensive care unit.


    Kilmer Elementary names new principal

    Wheeling Township Elementary District 21 has named Diana O’Donnell as the next principal at Kilmer Elementary School beginning in the 2013-2014 school year.


    Elgin wants to update its comprehensive plan

    Elgin plans to hire a Chicago-based urban planning consultant to update its eight-year old comprehensive plan in a process that will include Spanish-speaking residents. The city council’s committee of the whole recommended in a 5-1 vote on Wednesday night hiring Houseal Lavigne Associates for $150,000.

    Kimberly Smith

    Woodstock man who pimped out wife guilty of murder

    A 28-year-old Woodstock man was found guilty of first-degree degree murder in the May 2011 shooting death of a Prairie Grove man. McHenry prosecutors argued that Timothy S. Smith was pimping out his pregnant wife to make ends meet. Defense attorneys said Smith acted in self defense after an intoxicated Kurt Milliman, 48, threatened her.

    Democratic state Rep. Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook

    Pension cuts fail badly in test votes in Illinois House

    Illinois House Republicans refused to participate Thursday in test votes on sharp public pension cuts and Democrats rejected the proposals The political theater was another reminder of how difficult it will be for lawmakers to compromise on a way to cut the state's quickly escalating pension costs.

    I-PASS perks will continue for tollway employees until the foreseeable future.

    Tollway transponder perk continuing for now after ruling

    The free ride for tollway employees will continue as a result of a Illinois Labor Relations Board ruling that allows staff to keep commuting to work without paying tolls. About 75 percent of the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority’s 1,519 workers use company-issued transponders to pay for trips back and forth from work. The perk costs the agency $455,000 a year.


    Lake in the Hills man charged with stalking

    A Cook County judge set bail at $200,000 for a Lake in the Hills man charged with stalking a woman who has an order of protection against him. Bryant Smith, 47, has a criminal history dating back to 1982 and including five felony convictions.


    St. Charles mayoral candidates present plans for downtown

    Discussion about downtown St. Charles has focused on two things for the past several years: There is too much violence and drunken mayhem associated with a large influx of taverns, and there are too many vacant commercial, office and residential spaces for anyone to use the term “vibrant” when describing the downtown. The four St. Charles mayoral candidates laid out their visions for creating...


    Palatine Twp. District 15, bus union contract strife goes public

    The strife over Palatine Township Elementary District 15’s decision to explore outsourcing its busing system has spilled over to contract negotiations. The District Transportation Union this week posted a copy of the board of education’s initial proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement on its website and Facebook page, leading the district and board to issue a letter Thursday outlining...


    Inverness fire causes $500,000 damage

    Palatine Rural firefighters put out a blaze in Inverness

    Pope Benedict XVI leaves Thursday after greeting the faithful from the balcony window of the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the scenic town where he will spend his first post-Vatican days and made his last public blessing as pope.

    Now a ‘simple pilgrim,’ Benedict resigns papacy

    As bells tolled and the clock struck 8, the brass-studded wooden doors swung shut Thursday at this palace in the Italian hills, marking an end to Benedict XVI’s papacy and the start of his final journey as a “simple pilgrim.” Capping a day of tearful farewells that included an extraordinary pledge of obedience to his successor, Benedict entered history as the first pope in 600 years to resign.

    Bill Kurtis, left, and Walter Jacobson signed off as anchors after the 6 p.m. newscast Thursday at WBBM-TV Channel 2. The pair anchored the station’s top-rated 10 p.m. newscast from 1973 to 1982, and returned to the 6 p.m. slot in August 2010.

    Kurtis, Jacobson sign off — again — at Channel 2

    Local TV news legends Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobson signed off as anchors Thursday after returning to CBS 2 in Chicago a little more than two years ago, according to a news release from WBBM-TV Channel 2. Thursday’s newscast included a video tribute to the pair, as well as good wishes from CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley and “Anchorman” star Will Ferrell, the release said.

    Four people, including a state trooper, were injured Thursday morning in a multivehicle crash in Wheaton.

    State trooper, three others hurt in Wheaton crash

    A female Illinois State trooper was among four people injured Thursday morning in a multivehicle crash in Wheaton, authorities said. The crash occurred about 7:45 a.m. near the intersection of Gary Avenue and Geneva Road, according to Illinois State Police.


    Glen Ellyn District 41 releases first details of new teacher pact

    Teachers in Glen Ellyn Elementary District 41 could receive annual raises of more than 3 percent over a three-year period under terms of a new contract made public Thursday. All 265 teachers in the district will receive salary increases tied directly to the Consumer Price Index, and those who are rated “proficient” or “excellent” under the district’s teacher evaluation system will receive an...

    U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk

    Kirk’s bill joins Moylan’s to combat bullying, hazing

    For the second time in a week, a suburban lawmaker has introduced legislation to combat bullying and hazing in schools. U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Highland Park Republican, along with Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, Thursday announced the “Safe Schools Improvement Act,” which would require schools that recieve federal funding to adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying and...


    Again in state House, no agreement on assault weapons

    SPRINGFIELD — Chicago officials sparred Thursday with the National Rifle Association and more-conservative, downstate legislators over proposals being considered in the Illinois Legislature that would ban military-style assault weapons.


    Illinois Senate approves Medicaid expansion

    SPRINGFIELD — An expansion of Medicaid under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul is one step closer in Illinois.The state Senate passed the expansion 40-19 on Thursday. The bill now goes to the House.Nearly 2.8 million Illinois residents are currently covered by Medicaid, the government health program for the poor and disabled.

    President Barack Obama isn’t likely to order the automatic spending reductions until as late as possible on Friday — to allow for a deal of some sort to be made.

    Automatic cuts will have to wait until midnight

    The White House says automatic spending reductions set to kick in Friday will be put off until as close to midnight Friday night as possible. Call them the Cinderella cuts.


    3rd gas station robbery in Des Plaines

    Des Plaines Police are looking for a suspect in the second robbery in two weeks at the Riverview Shell gas station, 1605 S. River Road in two weeks. This is the third gas station robbery in Des Plaines this month.

    President Barack Obama speaks in Newport News, Va.

    Obama urges court to overturn gay marriage ban

    In the longer term, the administration urges the justices to subject laws that discriminate on sexual orientation to more rigorous review than usual, a standard that would imperil other state bans on same-sex marriage.

    Of the automatic spending cuts that will kick in today, Tea Party favorite Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, said “I think it’s a crazy idea. The only thing crazier than sequester is to walk away from the cuts that it guarantees.”

    Big spending cuts mark tea party success, and risk

    The pending $85 billion in federal spending cuts would seem like a tea partyer’s dream. Why, then, are tea party activists and other conservatives so wary on the eve of the big reductions, which Congress and the White House seem unable or unwilling to stop?

    Pam Fender

    What’s next for Grafton Twp. supervisor?

    Grafton Township’s Republican primary marked the beginning of the end of Supervisor Linda Moore’s tenure. “(I’ll) finish up the job, just whatever my duties require me to do,” Moore said. “It’ll be an interesting next term.”


    Kaneland free lunches increase 35 percent

    The number of students receiving free lunches in the Kaneland school district this year has increased dramatically. But much of the growth comes from the district participating in a pilot program, wherein students whose families receive TANF or SNAP benefits are automatically enrolled for free lunches.

    Elgin Community College student Sarah Stayner of West Dundee writes a thank-you note to one of her former instructors during the first Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day.

    ECC students get lesson in gratitude, engagement

    Elgin Community College was one of only three community colleges to participate in the global Student Engagement and Philanthropy Day Thursday, developed by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. The college offered a lunch session on philanthropy and a “thank you booth” where students could fill out cards and express their gratitude to family members, teachers, scholarship donors...


    Columbia College career fair:

    Columbia College of Missouri-Lake County hosts a career fair on Thursday, March 21, from 2 to 6 p.m. at the school at 1225 Tri-State Parkway, Suite 506 in Gurnee.

    Gregory Kuhs

    Mt. Prospect Park District hires new director
    The Mount Prospect Park District has hired a new executive director. Gregory Kuhs, currently the executive director of the Wood Dale Park District, will take over on March 30. He will replace outgoing CEO Walter Cook, who is retiring.


    HIV/AIDS awareness:

    The Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center will participate in the nationwide movement “Share Knowledge. Take Action” to raise awareness of the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS among women and girls.


    Expect Milwaukee Avenue delays:

    Motorists are being told to expect delays as emergency pothole patching will begin at about 7 a.m. Friday and continue to 3 p.m. on Milwaukee Avenue (Route 21) between Casey Road and Route 137 in the Libertyville area.


    Shipping support sought:

    Vernon Hills High School is seeking help to ship charitable packages to its sister school in Uganda.

    Jill Alfrejd

    Grayslake District 46 candidates offer ideas on next teacher contract talks

    Grayslake Elementary District 46 school board candidates are addressing how they would approach talks on a new contract for teachers, who went on strike over pay and benefits in January. Political newcomers Jill Alfrejd, Robert Roop, Steven Strack, James Weidman and Paul Sprenger are vying for four open board seats in the April 9 election.

    Roman Golash

    Dist. 211 board candidates outline priorities

    Unlike four years ago, when the Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 election was uncontested, the field is more crowded this time around. Five candidates, including the three board members who won election in 2009, will be on the ballot April 9 vying for three open seats.


    Sycamore boy, 11, killed in Kane County crash

    An 11-year-old Sycamore boy was killed in a traffic crash Wednesday in rural Virgil Township in Kane County. The crash occurred about 7:30 p.m. on Route 64, west of Peplow Road, Kane County Sheriff’s Lt. Pat Gengler said Thursday.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Cathodic Protection Management, 39W960 Midian Drive, Elburn, reported Feb. 22 that it had been defrauded of $20,280 worth of submersible pumps, when a client used what later proved to be a stolen credit card to buy them. The 28 pumps were purchased in two transactions, one in January and one in February, according to a sheriff’s report.


    Fox Valley police reports
    Adele A. Sorensen, 62, of Elgin, was charged with trespassing, at 5:02 p.m. Monday at Menards, 300 N. Randall Road, according to a police report.

    John W. Edgell

    Plea deal offered to Antioch Rescue Squad treasurer in theft case

    The former treasurer of the Antioch Rescue Squad has been offered a plea deal that would force him to pay more than $20,000 to the agency from which he’s accused of stealing money. John W. Edgell, 54, is considering whether to accept the deal offered by the Lake County prosecutors that would keep him out of jail on charges of theft of more than $500, defense attorney Cynthia Pruim-Haran said...


    DuPage provides ethics training to other agencies

    After encouraging 17 other government agencies to embrace DuPage County’s recently revised ethics policy, county leaders want to make sure those entities understand the ethics rules. So for the first time, representatives from county-appointed agencies this week participated in an annual ethics training seminar normally offered to county officials. About 65 people participated in the roughly...

    A local chapter of the Knights of Columbus recently donated $1,000 to the Bartlett Learning Center that will be put toward purchasing a new vehicle that can transport residents in a group home. Pictured, from left to right, are John Warwick, Knights of Columbus recording secretary; Linda Frye-Danner, Bartlett Learning Center development director; Elaina McCalmont, Bartlett Learning Center development administration assistant; and Skip Cordell, Knights of Columbus Council Warden.

    Donations help Bartlett group home buy new vehicle

    Residents of a suburban facility for men with developmental challenges are finding it easier to get to work and other activities these days thanks to some recent donations allowing the home to buy a new minivan. Before the purchase, the Bartlett Learning Center had been using an unreliable 1998 Toyota with more than 100,000 miles on it to transport residents in its Cuppertino group home for men

    Rick Lawrence

    Aurora candidates clash on development, finances

    The race for Aurora alderman-at-large pits incumbent Bob O’Connor against Ward 4 Alderman Rick Lawrence — two men who often cast opposite votes on issues of development and finances.


    Antioch man charged in attack during medical emergency

    A 42-year-old Antioch man has been charged with attacking police and medical services personnel during a medical emergency, authorities said Thursday. Anthony Clark, of the 200 block of Cedarwood Drive, was charged with several aggravated battery counts after allegedly hitting EMS and police officers during a rescue at his house about 3:30 a.m. on Feb. 25, authorities said.

    Cory Paytes

    Robber gets 14 years for Naperville pizzeria holdup

    A man who once served pizza will now serve time for robbing his former employer. Cory Paytes, 23, of Montgomery, was sentenced Thursday to 14 years in prison for the Jan. 16, 2012, robbery of a Papa John’s pizzeria in Naperville.

    Schaumburg's Robert Paul Schweikher-designed home off of Meacham Road, the only building in the village on the National Register of Historic Places.

    Schaumburg signs agreement on upkeep of historic Schweikher House

    Schaumburg village trustees this week approved a revised agreement with the Schweikher House Preservation Trust and resident Martyl Langsdorf outlining each party's responsibility for the upkeep of Schaumburg's only building on the National Register of Historic Places. The Schweikher House, at 645 S. Meacham Road, is named after its architect and first resident, the famous architect Robert Paul...


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    A 68-year-old Mount Prospect man is the third Mount Prospect resident to report a fraudulent contract with a snow removal company after he responded to an ad. He paid a representative $235 Nov. 27. As of Feb. 22, no one from the company has plowed his driveway. Two other residents responded to the same newspaper ad in November, and they have not seen a snowplow at their homes, either.

    Dr. Joe Lykken of Wheaton, is a particle physics theorist at Fermilab.

    Fermilab theorist: ‘God particle’ could end our universe

    Everybody was happy last year when news broke that scientists think they have found the "God particle," the Higgs boson, an building block of matter. But studying its properties, a Fermilab-based theorist says the little things may lead to the end of the universe. But don’t become apoplectic about the approaching apocalypse — it will happen billions of years from now, says Joe Lykken.

    Congress on Thursday sent President Barack Obama a bill that renews and expands the nation’s primary law on protecting women from domestic violence.

    Congress passes bill renewing anti-violence law

    The House on Thursday passed and sent to President Barack Obama a far-reaching extension of the Violence Against Women Act. The vote came after House Republican leaders, cognizant of divisions in their own ranks and the need to improve their faltering image among women voters, accepted a bill that cleared the Senate two weeks ago on a strong bipartisan vote.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and former NBA star Dennis Rodman watch North Korean and U.S. players in an exhibition basketball game at an arena in Pyongyang, North Korea, Thursday. Rodman arrived in Pyongyang on Monday with three members of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team to shoot an episode on North Korea for a new weekly HBO series.

    Rodman tells Kim Jong Un he has ‘friend for life’

    Ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman hung out Thursday with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un on the third day of his improbable journey with VICE to Pyongyang, watching the Harlem Globetrotters with the leader and later dining on sushi and drinking with him at his palace. “You have a friend for life,” Rodman told Kim before a crowd of thousands at a gymnasium where they sat side by side.

    First Lady Michelle Obama, left, and television personality Rachel Ray, talk to students from Northside and Eastside Elementary Schools in Clinton, Miss., during a stop for the "Let's Move!" initiative at the schools Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/The Clarion-Ledger, Rick Guy)

    First lady brings fitness initiative to Chicago classrooms

    Imagine students learning their ABCs while dancing, or memorizing multiplication tables while doing jumping jacks. Some schools are using both methods of instruction, and Michelle Obama, who visited Chicago schools Thursday, would like to see more of them use other creative ways to help students get the recommended hour of daily exercise.

    Alexander Georg

    Naperville man again unfit for trial in mom’s stabbing

    For the second time, a Naperville man accused of attacking his mother with a butcher knife has been found mentally unfit for trial. DuPage County Judge Kathryn Creswell made the finding Thursday based on recent psychological reports for Alexander Georg.

    Union members, supporters and labor leaders protest against Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn at the state fair in Springfield. On Thursday, Quinn’s office confirmed that the largest state employee union in Illinois and his administration have reached a tentative contract agreement. Negotiations between the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union and Quinn’s office have been contentious and union members had started preparing for a strike.

    AFSCME, Quinn’s office reach tentative agreement

    Members of Illinois’ largest state employee union and Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration have reached a tentative contract agreement. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said Thursday that a deal was reached after midnight. Quinn’s office confirmed the agreement. Details of the three-year contract weren’t made public.


    Disease of the pancreas could be fatal to your feline

    Feline Pancreatitis is a disease in veterinary medicine that has received attention recently due to increased awareness and more available diagnostic tools.


    Grayslake will join Libertyville in hearing process for local code violations hearings

    Libertyville and Grayslake are teaming up to share resources regarding out-of-court hearings on minor violations. Grayslake will be sending its case load to Libertyville's regularly scheduled monthly adjudication hearing for a fee of $130 per session.

    Educators say conditions are crowded at Jefferson Early Childhood Center in Wheaton and the space is outdated, necessitating teachers like Amy Norton to work with students in a hallway.

    District 200 voters must weigh cost of new school

    Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 is seeking voter approval this spring to borrow millions of dollars in taxt-backed loans to build a new Jefferson Early Childhood Center in Wheaton and demolish the existing structure. But one school board member says District 200 should hold off on any new construction at Jefferson or major spending to improve any of its aging facilities.


    Campton Township deer disease testing upsets some

    Campton Township recently gave permission to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to kill up to five deer near Corron Farm and test them from Chronic Wasting Disease. The study is part of a larger sampling of deer in a 25-mile area in the west suburbs, but some residents are upset about it and don't think it's needed

    Marco McMillian, 34, a candidate for mayor of Clarksdale, Miss., who was found dead on the Mississippi River levee Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 between Sherard and Rena Lara, Miss. Authorities say the case is being investigated as a homicide. McMillian had served as international executive director of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. His campaign said he may have been the first openly gay man to be a viable candidate for public office in Mississippi.

    Miss. town stunned by slaying of mayoral candidate

    Whatever his prospects for winning the coming mayoral election in his hometown of Clarksdale, Miss., Marco McMillian was considered by many to be a man on the rise. So word spread fast when his SUV was involved in a wreck this week, and he was nowhere to be found. The discovery of the openly gay candidate’s body near a Mississippi River levee Wednesday stunned residents. Authorities were...


    Obama nears deadline on gay marriage decision

    The next phase of President Barack Obama’s evolving position on gay marriage may come Thursday, the deadline for his administration to weigh in on a landmark Supreme Court case that could determine whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to wed.

    Republican angst over presidential election losses obscures the fact that many conservative ideals have prospered for decades.

    Republican losses obscure U.S. drift to right

    Republican angst over presidential election losses obscures the fact that many conservative ideals have prospered for decades. Conservative efforts have pushed the government rightward on taxes, spending and other policies, despite losses on some social fronts. One might say Republicans keep losing battles but winning wars.


    Arkansas Senate overrides veto of abortion bill

    The Arkansas Senate voted Thursday to override Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto of a bill banning most abortions starting in the 20th week of pregnancy.

    Santa Cruz police Sgt. Loran “Butch” Baker, left, and officer Elizabeth Butler were killed while responding to a sexual assault report Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 27, 2013 at the doorstep of a suspect who was chased down and killed half an hour later.

    Dad: Police shooting suspect’s anger, sex obsessions led to fall

    The man shot to death by Santa Cruz police after killing two detectives fought losing battles to control his rage and a Peeping Tom obsession, destructive urges that led to his failure in the Army and set him on a path toward the deadly final conflict, his father says.

    In their plumed helmets and striped uniforms, the Swiss Guards are one of the most beloved traditions of the Vatican — and on Thursday take a central role in the pope’s historic resignation. The bodyguards will stand at attention as the pope arrives by helicopter at his summer retreat in his last hours as pontiff. When they walk off duty, it will be one of the few visible signs that Benedict XVI is no longer pope.

    Swiss Guards in central role in papal retirement

    In their plumed helmets and striped uniforms, the Swiss Guards are one of the most beloved traditions of the Vatican — and on Thursday take a central role in the pope’s historic resignation. The bodyguards will stand at attention as the pope arrives by helicopter at his summer retreat in his last hours as pontiff. When they walk off duty, it will be one of the few visible signs that Benedict XVI...


    Man in noose attack made to write lynching essay

    An Alsip man who helped put a noose around the neck of an African-American teenager has been sentenced to probation and ordered to write an essay on the history of lynching in the United States.A Cook County judge also ordered 19-year-old Matthew Herrmann to read his paper to the victim of the attack and other community members at an event known as a “peace circle.”


    Trial set for downstate man accused of burning girlfriend

    WEST FRANKFORT — A southern Illinois man accused of dousing his girlfriend with chemicals and setting her on fire will go on trial in April.The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan says a Franklin County judge on Wednesday affirmed that 28-year-old Christopher Rollins’ trial will begin April 2.


    Livestrong Foundation president to speak in Chicago

    The president of a cancer charity founded by Lance Armstrong says the organization will persevere in the wake of the cyclist’s admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs. The Livestrong Foundation’s president, Doug Ulman, is scheduled to deliver what the organization describes as a “major ‘state of the Foundation’ speech” Thursday in Chicago.


    New Illinois National Guard leader takes over Saturday

    Brig. Gen. Daniel M. Krumrei will assume command of the Illinois National Guard during a ceremony on Saturday in Chatham.The National Guard says Krumrei will take over for U.S. Rep. William L. Enyart in a traditional change-of-command ceremony at Chatham High School.


    Packers Hall of Fame gets unique donation

    Two photos that contain 96 autographs of the Green Bay Packers 1996 championship team are now part of the team’s Hall of Fame.


    Jane Goodall to speak at Earth Day conference

    British primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at an Earth Day conference on April 15 in Madison.


    Wis. DNR asks anglers to report gill lice

    The state Department of Natural Resources wants trout anglers to report gill lice. The parasitic crustacean attaches to brook trout’s gills, making it hard for the fish to breathe and slowing growth and development.


    Dawn Patrol: 11 charged in drug conspiracy; Man wins $1 million

    Police arrest 11 men accused in DuPage heroin conspiracy. A Streamwood man wins $1 million. Duckworth will cut own pay if sequester happens. Addison man convicted of federal gun charge. No sign of foul play in Grayslake man’s death. Elgin man charged with molesting young girl. Tuesday’s dismal voter turnout wasted tax dollars, officials say. Former Des Plaines cop pleads not guilty.


    China says U.S.-based hackers target its websites

    China’s military said Thursday that overseas computer hackers targeted two of its websites an average of 144,000 times per month last year, with almost two-thirds of the attacks originating in the United States.

    In Algonquin, this car spinning in Tuesday's deep snow was a victim of the latest snowstorm.

    When a Class 3 Killstorm turns out to be ho-hum snow

    Is it just me, columnist Burt Constable asks, or do we obsess about the weather far more than we used to? Storm coverage reminds me of “The Simpsons” episode when TV anchorman Kent Brockman tells viewers a storm has been upgraded from “Winter Wonderland” to a “Class 3 Killstorm.”

    U.S. secretary of state John Kerry, second from left, talks to British Prime Minister William Hague, left, as Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi, third from left, and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, second from right, are seen Thursday during an international conference on Syria at Villa Madama, Rome. The United States is looking for more tangible ways to support Syria’s rebels and bolster a fledgling political movement that is struggling to deliver basic services after nearly two years of civil war, Kerry said Wednesday. In the background at left is British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

    U.S.: $60 million in new aid to Syria opposition

    The Obama administration said Thursday that it will provide the Syrian opposition with an additional $60 million in assistance and — in a significant policy shift — will for the first time provide nonlethal aid like food and medical supplies to rebels battling to oust President Bashar Assad. “We need to stand on the side of those who want to see a free Syria,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry...


    Syrian clashes reach 12th century Aleppo mosque

    Syrian rebels clashed Thursday with government forces around a historic 12th century mosque inside the walled old city of Aleppo, activists said. The rebels won new support from the Obama administration. The U.S. pledged an additional $60 million in assistance and — in a significant policy shift — will for the first time provide nonlethal aid like food and medical supplies.

    Connor McHugh, 13, of Wheaton encourages sprinters while helping the Special Olympics basketball and track teams at Hubble Middle School in Warrenville. During the fall, Connor serves as an assistant football coach at his school, St. Michael Parish School in Wheaton.

    No limits: Teen refuses to “take my circumstances”

    Connor McHugh, an eighth-grader at St. Michael Parish School in Wheaton, refuses to let the circumstances of his birth define him. Born with no arms and underdeveloped legs, Connor hasn't let it stop him from becoming a coach for his school's football team. In January, he received the Inspirational Athlete award at the 2013 Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards.

    Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, in this April 19, 2005, file photo. Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, who chose the name of Pope Benedict XVI, became the 265th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.

    Pope legacy: Teacher who returned to church roots

    On Monday, April 4, 2005, a priest walked up to the Renaissance palazzo housing the Vatican’s doctrine department and asked the doorman to call the official in charge: It was the first day of business after Pope John Paul II had died, and the cleric wanted to get back to work.


    Pending Kane County hiring freeze changes would screen new hires

    Suggested changes to Kane County's hiring freeze policy would specifically prevent, and perhaps punish, any future hiring using the same method that put a political ally of Chairman Chris Lauzen's on the payroll. County board members began a review of the hiring freeze following the hiring of Robert Sauceda as the billing manager for the animal control department without a vote.


    Mattress sale to benefit track team

    The Prospect High School boys and girls track and field teams will hold a mattress sale from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, March 2, to raise money for the track and field program.


    Elgin looks at giving grant money for private tree replacement

    Beginning next month, Elgin residents will most likely be eligible to be partially reimbursed by the city for the cost of replacing ash trees they lost to the Emerald Ash Borer in the last three years.


    Dist. 203 candidates weigh in on educator evaluations

    A majority of the 11 candidates vying for four open seats on the Naperville Unit District 203 support recent state law that changes how teachers’ and principals’ performance is measured.


    Harper approves $2 per credit hour tuition increase

    Consistent with a regional trend among community colleges, Harper College will ask its students to dig a little deeper into their pockets for the cost of a high education. The board of trustees last week unanimously approved increasing tuition by $2 per credit hour beginning in the summer 2013 term. For a full-time student taking 30 credit hours annually, that’s an additional $60 for a total of...


    Bulls center Joakim Noah blocks the shot of Philadelphia 76ers guard Nick Young (1) as Spencer Hawes (00) and Bulls' Carlos Boozer (5) watch during the second half of Thursday night's game. Noah recorded a triple double of 23 points, 21 rebounds and 11 blocked shots as the Bulls won 93-82.

    Noah's monster game sparks Bulls

    Joakim Noah piled up 23 points, 21 rebounds and 11 blocks, leading the Bulls to a 93-82 victory over the slumping 76ers. The blocks were a career-high, while this was the first 20-20-10 game, featuring blocks, in the NBA since Shawn Bradley had 22 points, 22 boards and 13 blocks in April, 1998.

    The Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews, right, is congratulated by Marian Hossa after Toews scored his second goal of the game against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night. The Blackhawks won 3-0.

    Blackhawks' record streak grows to 20 games

    Jonathan Toews scored 2 goals and Ray Emery came on in relief of injured starter Corey Crawford to share the shutout Thursday night as the Hawks extended their record streak to 20 games without a regulation loss to start the season in a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues.


    Thursday’s boys gymnastics scoreboard
    High school results from Thursday's varsity boys gymnastics meets, as reported to the Daily Herald.


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

    Rolling Meadows’ Jenny Vliet, left, and Jackie Kemph embrace after topping Evanston in Monday’s Niles West supersectional. The Mustangs face Huntley in a Class 4A state semifinal at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

    Rolling Meadows hopes to sizzle downstate

    The room number for Ryan Kirkorsky’s English classroom at Rolling Meadows High School begins with A1. How appropriate is that?Kirkorsky’s basketball team has certainly had an A (No). 1 season to this point. And the Mustangs would like nothing better than to be at the top of the heap on Saturday night when the Class 4A state tournament is concluded at Illinois State’s Redbird Arena in Normal. But to even get to that title game, the Mustangs (29-3) must get past Huntley (26-6) in Friday’s 6:30 p.m. semifinal. The second semifinal matches Whitney Young (26-4) and Marian Catholic (31-1), whose only loss is to Rolling Meadows (61-55) at the Montini tournament.

    St. Charles North's Jake Ludwig wrestles with St. Charles East's Ben Skoog and James McQuillan until a foul is called on the Saints in the third quarter of the Class 4A regional on Wednesday, February 27. St. Charles North will play Larkin Friday.

    Watch boys state games on dailyherald.com

    Boys basketball regional playoff action continues Friday with seven championship games, and we'll have all the action live-streamed on dailyherald.com.

    Prospect’s Devin O’Hara swipes the ball away from Waukegan’s Jerome Davis under the basket in the first half of Class 4A regional play Thursday at Prospect.

    Waukegan finds winning pace at Prospect

    For three quarters, Prospect and Waukegan played at a breakneck pace. The Knights were certainly in their comfort zone on their home floor, shooting over 50 percent up to that point. And the Bulldogs got their share of run-outs that led to several thunderous dunks. Inbounding the ball up 3 points to start the fourth, Waukegan switched things up by going to a spread offense and essentially running a delay game. The change threw off No. 9 Prospect, and Jordan Johnson and No. 8 Waukegan dissected the Knights’ half-court defense in the final quarter to earn a 67-60 victory in the Class 4A Prospect regional semifinal.


    Warren leaves winning imprint vs. Barrington

    Arthell Rosquist’s “D” — and even his surprising offense — helped make sixth-seeded Warren a 63-49 winner over No. 11 Barrington in a Class 4A regional semifinal in Gurnee on Thursday night. Aarias Austin and Adrian Deere scored 19 and 18 points, respectively, for Warren (17-11), whose speedy start was the key in earning the Blue Devils a berth in tonight’s 7:30 p.m. regional final on their home court against No. 3 St. Viator (19-8).

    Simmie Cobbs of Montini passes the ball during the Class 3A boys basketball regional semifinals against Nazareth, at Glenbard South in Glen Ellyn.

    Montini earns regional final berth

    Any other night Nazareth basketball coach John Bonk would be smiling wide knowing one of his former players and assistant coaches had delivered his school's first regional final appearance in 12 years.

    Geneva’s Nate Navigato scores over a Hinsdale Central defender during Thursday’s regional action at Wheaton Warrenville South.

    Geneva upsets Hinsdale Central

    A year ago the Vikings were poised to upset No. 3 seed Metea Valley in the regional semifinals only to see a string of missed free throws in the closing minutes cost them the win. Mike Trimble played in that game, and on Thursday night in the Class 4A Wheaton Warrenville South regional semifinals No. 12 seed Geneva was locked in another nail-biter with No. 5 Hinsdale Central. Trimble drew a foul with 3:27 left in the game and went to the line for a 1-and-1 with his team down 44-43. Trimble calmly made both, the 13th and final tie or lead change of a hard-fought 55-49 Geneva victory.

    Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya in 2-1 win over San Jose Sharks at the United Center on Friday, February 22, 2013.28

    Oduya a big plus for Hawks thus far

    Defenseman Johnny Oduya continues to be one of the Blackhawks’ most important players.Oduya, acquired at the trade deadline last season from Winnipeg for two draft picks, led all Hawks defensemen with a plus-10 rating prior to Thursday’s game at St. Louis to go with 7 assists.

    Anthony Rehayem of Naperville North pushes his way past Nicky Lopez of Naperville Central. This took place during the Naperville North vs. Naperville Central Class 4A Benet boys basketball regional semifinal game Thursady.

    Naperville Central needs overtime to oust Naperville North

    Ninety-six minutes of basketball couldn't decide cross-town supremacy between Naperville Central and Naperville North. It took that extra four on Thursday. Naperville Central pulled out the three-match with a 50-43 overtime win over the Huskies in the Class 4A Benet regional semifinals in Lisle.

    Montini's coach Jason Nichols celebrates his win over Hillcrest in the girls 4A basketball finals in Normal on Saturday.

    No doubting Nichols' success at Montini

    Jason Nichols had doubts. The thought of it sounds crazy watching him and his Montini team these days, but this is now and that was then. Then was May 2003. A month removed from being let go by Trinity, Nichols got a call from Don Riley about an opening at Montini.

    Bartlett’s Lance Whitaker, left, and Justin Busch walk off the court after their victory over Leyden in Thursday’s Class 4A York regional game in Elmhurst.

    Bartlett bounces Leyden

    A slow-paced, low-scoring game wasn’t exactly what Bartlett boys basketball coach Jim Wolfsmith was hoping for — but he’ll certainly take the final result. The No. 7 Hawks earned a spot in the Class 4A York regional title game after defeating the No. 10 Leyden Eagles 33-29 on Thursday night.

    The Jacobs boys basketball team hopes to extend the career of retiring coach Jim Hinkle tonight when the Golden Eagles face Crystal Lake Central in the Class 4A Jacobs regional final.

    Jacobs hopes to give Hinkle another win

    If the Class 4A DeKalb sectional has a team of destiny, its name is Jacobs. The Golden Eagles entered regional play on their home floor this week determined to send retiring, 71-year old coach Jim Hinkle off on a high note. Following Monday’s 43-25 win over Prairie Ridge in the regional play-in game, fortune smiled upon Jacobs, which gained an extra day of rest prior to a semifinal clash against rival Dundee-Crown, thanks to Tuesday’s snowstorm. Better rested, No. 3 Jacobs (18-14) upset No. 2 Dundee-Crown (19-6) by 5 points to gain a berth in today’s regional title game against top seed Crystal Lake Central (25-3) at 7:30 p.m.

    Huntley girls basketball coach Steve Raethz, right, has his team focused and ready to face Rolling Meadows in tonight’s 6:30 p.m. Class 4A state semifinal at Redbird Arena in Normal.

    Huntley taking it all in, and having a blast

    Haley Ream never figured on ending her Huntley girls basketball career playing in the state finals at Redbird Arena. The Red Raiders’ Andrews sisters, junior Sam and freshman Ali, may have figured on being here next year, but probably not this year. And Raiders’ head coach Steve Raethz? Well, he knows the experience could very well be a once in a lifetime thing. “You never know if you’ll get this opportunity,” Raethz said after his team’s 30-minute shootaround on Doug Collins Court Thursday afternoon. “It’s never a given and you have to make the most of it.”


    Duke falls to unranked Virginia

    Joe Harris scored a career-high 36 points and Virginia celebrated the 11-year anniversary of its last victory over a top 5 team by doing it again, beating No. 3 Duke 73-68 on Thursday night.


    Collectively, Conant outscores R-B

    Conant put together its best offensive performance at the right time Thursday night in Hoffman Estates. The Cougars, who were seeded 12th, had five different players score in double figures. They held off a furious charge by fifth-seeded Riverside-Brookfield to oust the Bulldogs 69-63 in the Class 4A regional semifinals. Conant (16-13) advances to the final Friday night against Glenbard East.

    Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) dunks past Philadelphia 76ers forward Lavoy Allen (50) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Noah’s triple-double too much for 76ers

    Joakim Noah had 23 points, 21 rebounds and a career-high 11 blocks for his third career triple-double and the Bulls ended a two-game losing streak with a 93-82 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday.

    Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford and Niklas Hjalmarsson try to smother a loose puck as St. Louis Blues’ David Perron, front left, and T.J. Oshie get in on the play during the first period.

    Images: Blackhawks vs. Blues
    Images of the Blackhawks vs. The St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. With the 3-0 win, the Blackhawks added to their record of the best start to a season in the history of the NHL -twenty games with a point, and yet to suffer a loss in regulation.

    Prospect’s Devin O’Hara gets double-teamed by Waukegan’s Tyrone Scafe and Quintin Davis under the basket in the first half.

    Images: Prospect vs. Waukegan, boys basketball
    The Prospect High School boys basketball team hosted and lost 67-60 to the Waukegan High School boys on Thursday, February 28th, in Mount Prospect.


    Glenbard East defeats Glenbard West

    These Glenbard East Rams, they have memories like elephants.Refusing to forget a one-point loss to Glenbard West the day before Thanksgiving at the District 87 boys basketball tournament, the Rams defeated the Hilltoppers 72-55 Thursday night in a Class 4A Hoffman Estates regional semifinal.

    Naperville North played Naperville Central Thursday night for Class 4A boys basketball regional semifinals at Benet Academy in Lisle

    Images: Naprville North vs. Naperville Central, boys basketball
    Naperville North lost 50-43 to Naperville Central at Benet Academy in Lisle Thursday night for Class 4A boys basketball regional semifinals.

    Chicago Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews, right, is congratulated by Marian Hossa, of Slovakia, after Toews scored his second goal of an NHL hockey game during the third period against the St. Louis Blues, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, in St. Louis. The Blackhawks won 3-0. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    Blackhawks extend points streak to 20 games

    Jonathan Toews scored twice, and Ray Emery and Corey Crawford combined on a shutout as the Chicago Blackhawks extended their NHL-record season-opening points streak to 20 games with a 3-0 win over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.


    Scouting Quincy Notre Dame vs. Morton

    Previewing the Class 3A semifinal between Quincy Notre Dame and Morton.


    Scouting Whitney Young vs. Marian Catholic

    Scouting the Class 4A semifinal between Whitney Young and Marian Catholic.

    Western Illinois’ Ceola Clark tries to split a double team last season in a game at Nebraska-Omaha.

    With gladness, Clark looks forward to Madness

    This time of year, Ceola Clark lets his mind take him back, back to the good old days when March Madness brought mostly happiness. The former Warren basketball star likes to reminisce with old teammates about the days of sectional championship battles at Waukegan, and of hopeful marches to the supersectional. These days, though, he's more concerned with helping Western Illinois get a taste of the collegiate brand of the Madness.


    Detweiler, Kohler advance in 3-point shootout

    Grayslake North junior Kendall Detweiler wasn’t worried about being in the first group of shooters here Thursday night for the IHSA’s Class 4A 3-point showdown at Redbird Arena. “I like going first,” Detweiler said. “You don’t have to worry about everyone else. I’d rather be nervous for their shots than mine.”Detweiler made 9 of her 15 shots as the sixth shooter in Class 4A, a total that held up through 26 more shooters and sent her into today’s finals. She will shoot against Rolling Meadows junior Alexis Glasgow (9), Bolingbrook senior Kamari Jordan (9) and Sandburg senior Rachel Ruzevich (11) today with the winner advancing to Saturday’s Queen of the Hill competition.

    Kateri Stone of Montini lines up her shot in action against Phillips in Class 3A supersectional action.

    Girls basketball/Scouting Montini vs. Vernon Hills

    Previewing the Class 3A state semifinal between Montini (31-1) and Vernon Hills (30-2).

    DANIEL WHITE/dwhite@dailyherald.com Huntley coach Steve Raethz encourages his players against Hoffman Estates during the 2007 season.

    ‘Hoffman West’ stepping to the forefront

    Getting to know athletes and coaches is one of the best aspects of covering a core group of schools for a significant length of time. And it’s always fun to see the people you first knew as athletes eventually make their way into teaching and coaching. That’s what made it pretty cool to cover Monday night’s Class 4A girls basketball supersectional game at Dundee-Crown when Huntley faced Wheaton Warrenville South.

    Bartlett’s Justin Blanchett misses a rebound grabbed by Leyden’s Jonny Woolf.

    Images: Bartlett vs. Leyden, boys basketball
    Bartlett won 33-29 over Leyden in a Class 4A regional boys basketball game Thursday night in Elmhurst.

    It’s smiles all around for Geneva as Nate Navigato heads to the free throw line with less than a minute left in the game.

    Images: Geneva vs. Hinsdale Central, boys basketball
    Geneva won 55-49 over Hinsdale Central in a Class 4A regional boys basketball game Thursday night in Wheaton.


    Crawford lifted after 1st period

    Goalie Corey Crawford, who just returned from an injury this week, has been removed after the first period against St. Louis.

    Montini played Nazareth Thursday night for Class 3A boys basketball regional semifinals at Glenbard South in Glen Ellyn.

    Images: Montini vs. Nazareth, boys basketball
    Montini took on Nazareth Thursday night at Glenbard South in Glen Ellyn for Class 3A regional semifinal boys basketball.

    Ohio State forward DeShaun Thomas (1) drives to the basket against Northwestern center Alex Olah during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Evanston, Ill., Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. Ohio State won 63-53. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Smith leads No. 16 Ohio State past Wildcats, 63-53

    Lenzelle Smith scored a season-high 24 points, Deshaun Thomas added 19 and No. 16 Ohio State used a late run to beat Northwestern 63-53 on Thursday night.


    Saraceno, Elgin CC win playoff opener

    Carly Saraceno felt her Elgin Community College women’s basketball teammates needed a lift 5 minutes into the second half Thursday night. Black Hawk College had cut what was an 11-point deficit to 5, 30-25. Saraceno answered by hitting a 3-pointer with 14:51 remaining to spark an 11-0 run as the Spartans opened a big lead and went on to a 59-42 victory in the quarterfinals of the Region IV Tournament. “I felt like I had to step up. I wasn’t making any shots,” Saraceno said. “It was kind of like a pickup, kind of kicked everyone in the butt. We shouldn’t be that close to them. It shouldn’t have been that close.”


    Class 3A, 4A Associated Press all-state teams released

    Introducing the girls basketball all-state teams for Classes 3A and 4A, from Associated Press.

    Rolling Meadows’ Jenny Vliet left and Jackie Kemph celebrate after beating Evanston in Class 4A Niles West super-sectional Monday night in Skokie.

    Girls basketball/Scouting Huntley vs. Rolling Meadows

    Previewing the Class 4A state semifinal between Huntley (26-6) and Rolling Meadows (29-3).

    Chicago White Sox's Alex Rios, right, congratulated by teammate Adam Dunn after hitting a grand slam against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/John Smierciak)

    Which Rios will show up?

    Alex Rios made some major changes with his batting stance last season and they paid off. The White Sox' right fielder established career highs in batting average (.304), home runs (25) and RBI (91). This season, Rios will try breaking the trend of one good season, one bad season.

    This is a 2013 photo of Scott Hairston of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. This image reflects the Cubs active roster as of Monday, Feb. 18, 2013. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

    Cubs to rotate Schierholtz, Hairston in right

    While the Cubs patiently await the arrival of phenom Jorge Soler, they'll try a right-field platoon this year involving Nate Schierholtz and Scott Hairston. The team has gone through and array of right fielders since Sammy Sosa was traded adfter the 2004 season.

    Veteran sports writer Tim Sassone of the Daily Herald will be inducted into the Northern Star Hall of Fame this weekend. Sassone worked for the Northern Illinois student newspaper in the late 1970s.

    Northern Star inducts Sassone into Hall

    The Northern Star Hall of Fame will welcome its newest inductees this weekend, and Daily Herald sports writer Tim Sassone will be honored along with six other members of the 2013 class at ceremonies on the Northern Illinois University campus in DeKalb. Sassone, who joined the Daily Herald in 1984, is the dean of Chicago hockey writers. He also has covered the World Series, the Ryder Cup and many other sporting events for the newspaper.

    FILE - In this Feb. 21, 2013, file photo, Illinois' D.J. Richardson (1) is guarded by Penn State D.J.Newbill during an NCAA college basketball game in Champaign, Ill. Since day one, Richardson's strengths have been hustle and defense and, while he's never become the big offensive force some thought he might be after his freshman season when he was named the Big Ten's Freshman of the Year, he's still Illinois' stopper. (AP Photo/Robert K. O'Daniell, File)

    Richardson quietly leading Illinois’ resurgence

    Defense is at the top of a long list of things — many of which don’t make the stat sheet — that have kept D.J. Richardson anchored in the Illinois lineup since the start of his freshman year.


    AP Source: NFL salary cap increases to $123 million

    An NFL Players Association official familiar with the league’s salary-cap negotiations tells The Associated Press the figure for the 2013 season will rise to $123 million from $120.6 million in 2012.


    Feldman solid, Cubs top Athletics

    In his first appearance for the Cubs after leaving Texas as a free agent, Scott Feldman gave up one run and two hits in two innings with two strikeouts and two walks.The Cubs hung on to top the Oakland Athletics 5-3 on Thursday.

    Chicago White Sox's Scott Snodgress warms up before the first inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

    Sox prospect Snodgrass solid in start

    White Sox prospect Scott Snodgress’ first trip to major league camp may be brief but it’s also been fruitful.Snodgress made his first and likely only start of the spring Thursday, throwing three solid innings in a 4-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

    Last year Vernon Hills and Montini battled for the Class 3A state title at Redbird Arena in Normal, and this time around the two teams will meet at noon Friday in the semifinal matchup. In the 4A matchup Friday night, two other suburban teams (Huntley and Rolling Meadows) will be making their first appearance.

    Follow the girls state basketball tourney action

    Redbird Arena at Illinois State University is the place to be this weekend for the IHSA Class 3A and Class 4A Girls Basketball State Finals on Friday and Saturday.And four area teams will be battling for trophies:Ÿ 3A semifinal: Vernon Hills Cougars (30-2) vs. Montini Lady Broncos (34-1) at noon Friday, followed by Morton vs. Quincy Notre Dame at 2 p.m.Ÿ 4A semifinal: Huntley Red Raiders (26-6) vs. Rolling Meadows Mustangs (29-3) at 6:30 p.m. Friday, followed by Whitney Young vs. Marian Catholic at 8:15 p.m.

    The Vernon Hills High School’s girls basketball team heads to the bus that will take them to the Class 3A girls state basketball tournament at Redbird Arena in Normal this weekend.

    Cougars head to IHSA girls basketball final four

    Vernon Hills High School’s varsity girl’s basketball team boarded buses Thursday for their trip to the final four in Redbird Arena this weekend. It marks the second year in a row the team will head to the campus of Illinois State University in Bloomington for a chance at a state title.

    Sami Kay, left, and Jackie Kemph lead the Rolling Meadows girls basketball team as they are sent off with a school rally and head to Bloomington for their first appearance in the state championship.

    Rolling Meadows girls leave for state basketball finals

    The Rolling Meadows High School girls basketball team left the suburbs early Thursday morning with a police escort as the athletes and coaches headed to Bloomington for the school’s first appearance at the state finals. “It was awesome. It’s good to know we have so much support,” said Jenny Vliet, junior forward and one of the team captains.


    Mike North video: Underwhelming White Sox

    White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn says he wants to have 17 pitchers. Mike North says just give us at least three good ones. He thinks the season looks bleak for a team who got rid of AJ Pierzynski.

    The Rolling Meadows girls basketball team celebrates after winning the sectional final on Feb. 21 in Libertyville. The team will play in the state tournament Friday night.

    Rolling Meadows riding high, thanks to girls basketball team

    The last time a Rolling Meadows High School sports team brought home a state trophy was 1995, before most current students had even been born. But this weekend, the Mustang girls basketball team will make its first trip to a state competition in school history. "This is truly like a dream come true for our kids, coaches, employees and our fans,” said Jim Voyles, girls athletic director at Rolling Meadows.

    Bulls point guard Derrick Rose has said he will not return until he’s “110 percent.” But is this the right way for him to look at things?

    Maybe Rose should reconsider his ‘110 percent’

    If doctors tell Derrick Rose he isn't in danger of reinjuring his knee, the Bulls shouldn't allow him to wait until he's "110 percent" before returning to games. As is said about most premier athletes, Rose is better at less than full health than most are at 100 percent. Justin Verlander at 85 percent is better than any replacement the Tigers could send to the mound.


    North Chicago eliminates Antioch

    North Chicago 78, Antioch 37: At North Chicago, the host Warhawks and top seed in the Antioch sectional, cruised in capturing the Class 3A regional semifinal.No. 16 Antioch ended its season with a 3-24 record.North Chicago will play in Friday’s 7:30 p.m. regional final against the winner of tonight’s game between No. 8 Prosser and No. 9 Northside Prep.


    Southern Illinois holds off Northern Iowa 63-57

    Desmar Jackson scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds, helping Southern Illinois to a 63-57 Senior Night victory over Northern Iowa on Wednesday.


    Creighton tops Bradley 80-62

    Doug McDermott had another big game at Carver Arena, scoring 32 points, and Creighton moved into a first-place tie in the Missouri Valley Conference with an 80-62 victory over Bradley on Wednesday night.


    Eastern Michigan stifles Northern Illinois 53-41

    Glenn Bryant and Derek Thompson scored 14 points apiece and Eastern Michigan’s defense stifled Northern Illinois for the second time this season, defeating the Huskies 53-41 Wednesday night.


    Employee Cliff McCloskey assembles an 2.0 liter ecoboost engines last Feb. 21 on the production line at the Ford Motor Co. Cleveland Engine Plant in Brook Park, Ohio.

    Ford to sell cars, trucks in Myanmar

    American brands PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, GE, Caterpillar and Danish brewer Carlsberg have all signed distribution deals in Myanmar, as rapid political and economic reforms transform the country from pariah state to investor darling.

    At the height of the poker fad, Las Vegas couldn’t get enough of poker rooms. Now some of those rooms are folding. Four casinos yanked their poker tables last year, including the Tropicana, and three other rooms closed shop in 2011.

    Las Vegas casinos folding on poker rooms

    Poker has never been a big moneymaker like slot machines or roulette. But when the game’s popularity soared during the 2000s, casinos were willing to forgo the extra dollars to get players inside their buildings. Now the calculus is shifting. In Sin City, epicenter of the poker craze, at least eight rooms have folded in the past two years. “I just think the allure of poker is lessening,” said William Thompson, author of the encyclopedia “Gambling in America” and professor of public administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., right, accompanied by Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, faces reporters on Capitol Hill Thursday to talk about the impending automatic spending cuts that would take effect Friday.

    Cuts imminent, Senate rejects stopgap efforts

    Squabbling away the hours, the Senate swatted aside last-ditch plans to block $85 billion in broad-based federal spending reductions Thursday as President Barack Obama and Republicans blamed each other for the latest outbreak of gridlock and the administration readied plans to put the cuts into effect.

    Eduardo Saverin, co-founder of Facebook Inc., speaks during a Wall Street Journal event in Singapore last Thursday.

    Facebook buying Atlas ad business from Microsoft

    Facebook is buying a set of online advertising tools called Atlas from Microsoft in a deal announced Thursday. Atlas is part of an online advertising service called aQuantive, which Microsoft Corp. bought for $6.3 billion in 2007.

    Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of Groupon, is seen on the day of his company’s IPO, Nov. 4, 2011, in New York. Groupon’s stock jumped nearly 50 percent in the opening minutes that day. But it has been a long downhill fall since then. Mason was fired Thursday.

    Struggling Groupon ousts CEO Andrew Mason

    Struggling online deals pioneer Groupon has ousted its quirky founder and CEO Andrew Mason amid worries that people are tiring of the myriad of online restaurant, spa and Botox deals that Groupon built its business on. Shares jumped following Thursday’s announcement, which had been anticipated for months.

    Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, left, accompanied by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, speaks to reporters before his first meeting as Treasury secretary Thursday.

    Lew becomes nation’s 76th Treasury secretary

    Jacob Lew was sworn in Thursday as the nation’s 76th Treasury secretary, one day before across-the-board government spending cuts kick in that could hold back the U.S. economy. Vice President Joe Biden led the brief ceremony at the Oval Office, with Lew’s wife and family and President Barack Obama looking on.

    Sears posted a smaller loss in the fourth quarter as it reduced its inventory and expenses while sales at its namesake stores rose slightly.

    Sears 4Q loss narrows as co. reduces expenses

    Sears narrowed its fiscal fourth quarter loss as it reduced expenses and improved sales a little at its namesake stores. The results offer a glimmer of hope for a troubled department store chain that still has a long way to go to turnaround its Sears and Kmart stores.

    U.S. stocks erased gains in the final minutes of trading as investors prepared for rebalancing of benchmark indexes and the Senate voted to keep $85 billion of spending cuts in place.

    Dow edges near record, then sputters; stocks down

    It came oh so close. The Dow Jones industrial average came within 15 points of its all-time high Thursday afternoon. But the momentum petered out, and the Dow and other indexes broke a two-day winning streak and closed lower.


    Google CFO: Will cling to cash for acquisitions

    Google’s chief financial officer says the company plans to cling to its steadily growing stash of cash to pay for potential acquisitions and other investments that could boost the Internet search leader’s profits.


    BP exec back on the stand in oil spill trial

    An internal BP probe of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico didn’t explore whether upper-level management had a role in causing the disaster because investigators didn’t have access to its partners’ employees and records, a BP executive testified Thursday at a trial designed to assign blame to the companies.

    The U.S. economy grew at a 0.1 percent annual rate from October through December, the weakest performance in nearly two years. But economists believe a steady housing rebound and solid spending by consumers and businesses are pushing growth higher in the current quarter.

    US economy barely grew in Q4, but rebound likely

    The weakest quarter for the U.S. economy in nearly two years may end up being a temporary lull. Economists think growth has begun to pick up on the strength of a sustained housing recovery and a better job market.The economy grew at an annual rate of just 0.1 percent from October from December, a government report Thursday showed.


    One woman’s escape from a hacked email account

    Kelly Brown, owner of Four Seasons Redesign in Sleepy Hollow, awoke Monday to find her Yahoo account for her business had been hacked. Her contact list was gone and so was much of her mail from that day. The culprit then masqueraded as “Kelly Brown,” used a couple of fake email addresses and dressed them up with her company logo. Very quickly the phishing emails were unleashed seeking $1,500 because she was supposedly in trouble in the Philippines.


    An exchange with a hacker phishing for money

    Kukec's eBuzz column features how a hacker stole the contact list of a Sleepy Hollow business and pretended to be that business owner in order to phish for $1,500.

    Wendy’s is standing by its outlook for the year as it pushes ahead with restaurant remodeling plans intended to boost its image.

    Wendy’s stands by outlook amid transformation push

    Wendy’s is standing by its outlook for the year as it pushes ahead with restaurant remodeling plans intended to boost its image. The company says about 20 percent of its U.S. locations will be remodeled by 2015. The new look, which includes comfortable seating areas and flat-screen TVs, is intended to have a more inviting feel and is part of the company’s goal of positioning itself on the higher end of the fast-food industry.

    Barnes & Noble Inc., the largest traditional U.S. bookseller, posted on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, a loss in the fiscal third quarter, hurt by weak sales during the all-important holiday quarter for its Nook e-book readers as well as at its bookstores.

    Barnes & Noble posts 3Q loss as Nook costs mount

    The digital business is weighing on Barnes & Noble Inc., the largest traditional U.S. bookseller. The company posted on Thursday a loss in the fiscal third quarter, hurt by weak sales during the all-important holiday quarter for its Nook e-book readers as well as at its bookstores. Nook revenue fell 26 percent, and the company has begun cutting costs at the unit due to the sharp decline.

    Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages moved closer to historic lows this week, a trend that has helped drive a rebound in home sales.

    U.S. rate on 30-year mortgage declines to 3.51 pct.

    Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages moved closer to historic lows this week, a trend that has helped drive a rebound in home sales. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage declined to 3.51 percent from 3.56 percent last week. That’s near the 3.31 percent rate reached in November, the lowest on records dating to 1971.

    The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell 22,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 344,000, evidence that the job market may be picking up.

    Weekly U.S. unemployment aid claims drop to 344K

    The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell 22,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 344,000, evidence that the job market may be picking up. The four-week average of applications dropped 6,750 to 355,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists were mildly encouraged by the decline.


    After 2 days of big gains, stocks turn mixed

    The stock market on Thursday plodded rather than soared, flicking between small ups and downs after two days of triple-digit gains. Big-name companies reported higher quarterly earnings, and the government reported that the jobless claims are falling and that the economy did better last year than first expected. But Washington’s budget battle cast a pall over the market, with spending cuts set to automatically kick in Friday and no sign that the two political parties might work out their differences beforehand.


    Penney’s shares plunge after 4Q massive loss

    Shares of J.C. Penney Co. plunged a day after the department-store chain reported massive losses and a nearly 30 percent drop in revenue in its fiscal fourth-quarter period.

    Trader Joe's operates 19 stores in Chicago and the suburbs, including this one in Algonquin. The groundbreaking for a Libertyville store is scheduled for April.

    Libertyville finally snares Trader Joe's store

    A long, anxious wait for Libertyville officials has ended with the announcement Wednesday that Trader Joe's will be coming to town. The California-based chain will be building on a vacant site at 1600 S. Milwaukee Ave., near the village's southern entry. “That is what people have asked me about for years,” Mayor Terry Weppler said. He added he's been asked about Trader Joe's more than any other issue since he was elected four years ago.


    Social services to be affected federal budget cuts

    Uncertainty abounds on what could happen in Illinois if lawmakers in Washington don’t do something to avert automatic budget cuts set to kick in on Friday.


    U.S. budget woes could hurt parks and historic sites

    Uncertainty abounds about what could happen in Illinois if federal lawmakers in Washington don’t do something to avert automatic budget cuts set to kick in on Friday. In Springfield, hours could be curtailed at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, affecting as many as 117,000 visitors a year at the 42-year-old national park. Last year it drew roughly 300,000.


    Higher education funding impearled by budget woes

    Federal officials say money for research, financial aid and work-study programs would be cut if automatic budget cuts set to kick in on Friday aren’t averted.


    Illinois Head Start program threatened by budget cuts

    Diana Rauner of Chicago’s Ounce of Prevention Fund says her nonprofit is trying to prepare for the automatic federal budget cuts set to kick in on Friday. The White House says the cuts could mean the elimination of Head Start and Early Head Start services for about 2,700 Illinois children. The programs help low-income children from birth to age 5 get ready to enter school. Rauner says her group, which serves 1,341 children, hasn’t received any guidance from the government as to how much its funding is likely to be reduced. Research has shown that kids who have access to Head Start services are better students and are more likely to stay in school and go on to be productive adults. Rauner says shortchanging Head Start could have long-term implications.


    Budget cuts may hurt Scott Air Force Base

    One of the hardest hit areas in Illinois by federal budget cuts could be Scott Air Force Base in southern Illinois.


    Federal courts in Chicago contemplates closing

    The federal court in Chicago is contemplating closing its doors one workday every week if lawmakers don’t avert automatic federal budget cuts set to take effect Friday.

    Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers his policy speech Thursday during a plenary session at the lower house of parliament in Tokyo. Abe vowed to push ahead with more aggressive monetary easing with the nomination Thursday of Asian Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda to head Japanís central bank.

    ADB president nominated to head Japan central bank

    Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe vowed to push ahead with more aggressive monetary easing as he Thursday nominated Haruhiko Kuroda to head the country’s central bank. The current Bank of Japan governor, Masaaki Shirakawa, will step down on March 19, three weeks before his term is due to end. The nomination of 68-year-old Kuroda, an Oxford-educated former vice minister of finance, was widely expected.

    Catching bluefin tuna, called ìhon-maguroî here, is a lucrative business. A single full-grown specimen can sell for 2 million yen, or $20,000, at Tokyo’s sprawling Tsukiji fish market. Japanese fishermen are vying with Korean, Taiwanese and Mexican fisherman for a piece of a $900 million wholesale market.

    Tuna collapse fears fail to curb Japan’s appetite

    It is the king of sushi, one of the most expensive fish in the world — and dwindling so rapidly that some fear it could vanish from restaurant menus within a generation. Yet there is little alarm in Japan, the country that consumes about 80 percent of the world’s bluefin tuna. “Nobody really knows the bad state bluefin tuna is in,” veteran sushi chef Kazuo Nagayama said.


    Caterpillar to cut 1,400 jobs at plant in Belgium

    Construction equipment maker Caterpillar says it will cut more than one in three jobs at its Belgian plant because of high labor costs and sluggish growth in its European market. Caterpillar Inc. says Thursday it plans to cut 1,400 of the 3,400 jobs at its Gosselies plant south of Brussels alongside other measures aimed at restoring the site’s competitiveness.

    Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner met with Japan’s transport minister and other officials in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday, Feb. 28 to explain his company’s proposal for resolving problems with the 787 Dreamliner’s lithium-ion batteries that have kept the aircraft grounded for over a month.

    Boeing reports 787 battery fix to Japan regulators

    Boeing CEO Ray Conner met with Japan’s transport minister and other officials in Tokyo on Thursday to explain his company’s proposal for resolving problems with the 787 Dreamliner’s lithium-ion batteries that have kept the aircraft grounded for over a month. “I just want to reiterate that the 787 is still the game-changing aircraft it is meant to be,” Conner told reporters between meetings in Tokyo.

    A man looks at his watch Thursday while walking in front of an electronic stock indicator in Tokyo. Asian stock markets rose Thursday as positive economic indicators and the nomination of a pro-stimulus Bank of Japan chief bolstered hopes for faster growth. The Nikkei 225 stock average closed at 11,559.36, up 2.7 percent.

    Asia stocks rise on growth hopes, BOJ pick

    Asian stock markets rose Thursday as positive economic indicators and the nomination of a pro-stimulus Bank of Japan chief bolstered hopes for faster growth. Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea’s Kospi ended 1.1 percent higher at 2,026.49, the highest close since Jan. 2, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 2 percent to 23,020.27. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.3 percent to 5,104.10. Stocks in mainland China, Singapore and Thailand also rose.

Life & Entertainment

    Ed Harris plays the commander of a non-nuclear Russian submarine in the Cold War drama "Phantom."

    'Phantom' an uneven yet fascinating film thriller

    "Phantom," Todd Robinson's intriguing thriller, dusts off an obscure chapter in Cold War-era brinkmanship, made all the more piquant by the fact that the participants were compatriots. For a generation raised on Cold War paranoia, it will take some adjusting to root for the bad guy, who, in the course of faithfully serving a country not our own, just might have saved the world.


    Expectant mom wants husband at doctor visits

    A woman is pregnant with her first child.She's asked her husband to go to her doctor’s appointments. Is it wrong of her to want her husband "to experience the whole pregnancy"?

    A troubled World War II vet (Joaquin Phoenix, left) is drawn to the controlling leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman) of a group called the Cause in “The Master.”

    Oscar nominees propel 'The Master'

    Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams were all nominated for Academy Awards for their terrific performances in "The Master." You can now see the film on DVD.

    “In Time” by The Mavericks

    The Mavericks gallop back onto the scene

    One of country music’s most enduring bands, the Mavericks return with “In Time,” their first new album in a decade. Their mix of Latin horns and rhythms, crisp telecaster leads and the Roy Orbison-like voice of Raul Malo remains as engaging as ever.

    Cast member Jason Sudeikis, left, and guest host Kevin Hart during rehearsals for “Saturday Night Live” in New York. Hart will host the show on Saturday, March 2, with musical guest Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

    With ‘SNL’ gig, Kevin Hart continues his rise

    Like most people who get the chance to host “Saturday Night Light,” Kevin Hart is excited to have the gig. Unlike most hosts, Hart is proving to be complicated. For starters, the 32-year-old comedian-actor doesn’t like making eye contact. When he writes his jokes, he has to do it in a “think tank” — alone, in his home. That’s why collaborating with the “SNL” cast and crew feels like a new process for Hart, who is hosting the NBC show this weekend.

    Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment company on Thursday launched a yearlong YouTube channel global online talent contest called “ The You Generation,” looking for talent in all areas including musicians, photographers, makeup artists, magicians and chefs, with auditions in a different category of talent every two weeks and a grand finale after one year.

    Simon Cowell launches online talent contest

    Simon Cowell has taken over television screens and radio airwaves around the world. Now he’s taking aim at the Internet. Cowell’s Syco Entertainment empire and YouTube announced Thursday that they are launching “The You Generation,” a global online talent contest that is seeking entries from people with “unconventional and original talents” — from musicians and photographers to makeup artists, magicians and chefs. Syco says the contest, which starts next month and is due to run for a year, will seek auditions in a different category of talent every two weeks.

    Jeff Chang (Justin Chon), center, gets a full haze treatment on the night of his 21st birthday in the ribald college comedy “21 and Over.”

    Inane ‘21 and Over’ like a bad hangover

    "21 and Over” is one of those gross-out, nocturnal comic odysseys where crazy stuff happens, culminating in a recognition of how special friends are. This movie knows its target audience and delivers the goods: projectile vomiting, perky coeds gone wild, toilet humor, a reported suicide attempt ... what? “21 and Over” kinda scratches the record shifting from inane stupidity to serious drama.

    Jack (Nicholas Hoult) climbs a mountain to save a princess in Bryan Singer's "Jack the Giant Slayer."

    'Jack the Giant Slayer' gives tale a CGI action makeover

    Action fans will not be disappointed by “Jack the Giant Slayer,” stuffed with battles, gross giant bodily functions (nasal discharge ingestion included), biting off people's heads, and recipes involving humans and flour tortilla shells. It's touché for Stanley Tucci, who underplays his stock villain with a snakelike slitheryness that makes him far more interesting than the bland good guys.

    Judge Padma Lakshmi, left, embraces “Top Chef: Seattle” winner Kristen Kish, center, while contestant Brooke Williamson looks on during the show’s finale that aired Wednesday.

    Behind the scenes of ‘Top Chef’ finale

    Kristen Kish made winning the “Top Chef: Seattle” finale look easy. In reality, preparing her five-course meal on the fly as the Bravo cooking competition’s judges and a crowd of diners spectated from the sidelines was a nonstop endeavor requiring several hours of preparation — and some phony silverware.The 28-year-old chef de cuisine at Boston restaurant Stir was crowned champion of the 10th season Wednesday and took home the $125,000 grand prize.

    Dale Robertson, an Oklahoma native who became a star of television and movie Westerns during the genre’s heyday, died Tuesday. He was 89.

    Actor Dale Robertson, star of Westerns, dies at 89

    Dale Robertson, an Oklahoma native who became a star of television and movie Westerns during the genre’s heyday, died Tuesday. He was 89. Robertson’s niece, Nancy Robertson, said her uncle died at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., following a brief illness.

    Set aside time daily to read together until he or she can do so alone.

    How to turn your kid into a regular reader

    With all the gizmos, gadgets and electronic media available these days, it can be tough for parents to get kids to sit down with good old-fashioned books. But regular reading, done for fun, is linked to better school performance and can expose kids to a world of knowledge. “There are so many exciting books out there for all ages. It's just a matter of finding what your child likes,” says David Borgenicht, author and father of two young children.


    Night life events: Caliendo’s hosts Friday fish frys

    Hit up the all-you-can-eat fish fry every Friday at Caliendo’s Restaurant and Bar and stay for the drinks: $5 Patron Silver shots and $3.50 Lienenkugal Seasonal pints. Celebrate the weekly holiday of Sunday Funday at Bikini Bottom Bar and Grill in West Dundee.

    A troubled teen (Mia Wasikowska) feels attracted to her mysterious uncle (Matthew Goode) in "Stoker."

    ‘Stoker’ is provocative, disturbing and powerful

    Dann reviews Chan-wook Park’s new thriller “Stoker,” comparing it to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic “Shadow of a Doubt,” except Park’s creepy tale is far more unhinged and blunt about suppressed sexual feelings — some not so suppressed following a violent act we get two versions of. Dann also entertains a reader’s opinion that computer generated characters will eventually replace actors soon.

    “Amok” by Atoms for Peace

    Yorke, Flea come together in supergroup debut

    Since it was first used to describe the rock band Cream in the 1960s, the term supergroup hasn’t always lived up to its moniker. So it makes you wonder why Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke teamed up with Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist Flea and others in Atoms for Peace. The nine-song “Amok” has an experimental groove, not much different from what you would expect from a Radiohead album.


    Book notes: Meet ‘In the Garden With Jane Austen’ author in Batavia
    Author Kim Wilson discusses her book "In the Garden With Jane Austen" at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Batavia Public Library. Wilson explores the role gardens played in the lives and loves of author Jane Austen and her characters.



    Editorial: Weary, unhappy, but ready for forced federal cuts

    We have no choice but to accept the cuts sequestration will bring. We expect our leaders will also be prepared to face what they may have coming from voters, a Daily Herald editorial says.


    Price-gouging in ‘free market’ medicine

    Columnist Froma Harrop: When folks pan the Affordable Care Act for being nearly 3,000 pages long, here’s a sensible response: It could have been done in a page and a half if it simply declared that Medicare would cover everyone.


    Trash haulers should close the lids
    A Fox Lake letter to the editor: I have experienced this myself, and in my driving around have noticed that wherever Waste Management is the garbage pickup provider, that their drivers never close the lids on the receptacles after they are dumped. Is it too difficult for them?


    Great Society started decline of families
    A Libertyville letter to the editor: One of the problems that I see facing the United States of America is the decline in the family unit.


    Unions, government both at fault
    A Palatine letter to the editor: Most Illinoisans who take the time to read what is happening in our state realize we are dealing with two sides that are greedy, manipulative and self-serving. The rug has been pulled out from every citizen in Illinois, not just the teachers.


    Marriage in realm of religion, not state
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: The Senate should not have wasted time approving gay marriage; instead, it should have abolished all state sanctioned “marriage” and replaced it with civil unions.


    Roskam, GOP must work with president
    A Rolling Meadows letter to the editor: I thought when you go to Congress and represent a district, you are supposed to represent the entire district. I would like to name one vote Peter Roskam has placed against party line.


    Did lawmakers forget amendments?
    A Lombard letter to the editor: Why are gun restrictions being placed on Americans when owning a firearm is part of the Second Amendment?


    Leaders must guard Second Amendment
    Leaders must guard Second AmendmentThe other day I was interrupted by a commercial with famous actors and actresses promoting more gun control. Actors and actresses supporting gun control seems very hypocritical to me. Most of these same people are using their acting skills to convince people that they are shooting someone and this is great entertainment. They make millions of dollars and they do not think their movies have any adverse affect on society. Who are they to tell us that more gun control is needed and is a good thing? Most of these celebrities also have body guards that carry guns to protect them from overly aggressive and potentially dangerous fans.The president is no different. He wants to take away guns from the law abiding citizens when he knows that law enforcement cannot keep the guns out of the criminals’ hands. As free people in the United States, we have the right to bear arms. It is part of our Constitutional rights, but what the government wants is to take away guns to make its citizens weaker and more dependent on them. In areas where the government has taken away guns, violent crime and murder went down for a time then exponentially shot up. Even though Chicago has a ban on handguns, most of the murders that occur there are caused by ... handguns.We need to stand up for the right to bear arms and be allowed to protect ourselves and our families from whoever might threaten our lives. This includes, as our Founding Fathers demonstrated, providing citizens the ability to protect ourselves, even from our own government. Therefore, it is important to elect members of Congress who will vote to protect the Second Amendment and the Constitution.Dan WachowskiNaperville


    GOP taking nation to brink yet again
    A Dundee letter to the editor: The U.S. is again being faced with the possibility of disasters to our economy because of radical Republican obstinance. They could not work out a compromise with the Democrats so they simply agreed to push the decision making process to a later point. The idea being that the cuts that would happen would be so horrific that no politician would let them happen.


    Why a need to abuse public employees?
    A St. Charles letter to the editor: I thought that Illinois had a pension problem, and as a pensioner, I considered what ways I could help our state overcome the problems we face. After researching this, however, I have come to believe that the pension crisis has been “manufactured” by people connected to Illinois’ politicians, or vice-versa, in order to avoid paying the money the state owes the police, firefighters, secretaries and teachers pension systems.


    Ryan is luckiest felon on earth
    A Wheatn letter to the editor: George Ryan is the luckiest felon on earth. His pro bono legal team has filed motion after motion in the last five and one-half years to appeal his conviction on numerous counts.


    Punish gang bangers, not gun owners
    A Bensenville letter to the editor: When it comes to drunken driving, we place blame on the driver, not the car or the alcohol. There aren’t any proposals to ban alcohol, no proposed new laws to make it more difficult for the rest of us to drive. The guilty are punished and the rest of us are left alone.


    Criminals over constituents
    A Naperville letter to the editor: On Feb. 21, the Daily Herald had a very interesting column by George Will on solitary confinement. In the article, Mr. Will references Illinois Senator Dick Durbin’s concern over the psychological consequences affecting inmates who must endure solitary confinement.


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