Daily Archive : Friday March 1, 2013

News

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    The West Suburban Humane Society in Downers Grove has about 350 volunteers like Cathy Butler, walking Jake, a dog up for adoption.

    West Suburban Humane Society plans ‘Paint Your Pet’ fundraiser

    The West Suburban Humane Society's mission was simpler when it began more than 40 years ago as a way to reconnect lost pets and their loving owners. But over the years, it became clear there was more work to do: Stray pets needed homes as well. Volunteers began working with animal control officers to locate the owners of pets that had been picked up, and eventually began sheltering those they...

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    Jeremy Bush, center with hand on head, is embraced Friday by family and friends outside his home at 420 Faithway Drive in Seffner, Fla.

    Rescuers end effort to find body in Fla. sinkhole

    The effort to find the body of a Florida man who was swallowed by sinkhole under his Florida home was called off Saturday while crews tried to learn how far the underground cavity reaches and whether more homes are at risk.

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    Jim Butz of Schaumburg and Consul Graham Paul hold a champagne toast after Paul presented Butz with the Legion of Honor medal at the Consulate General of France in Chicago on Friday.

    Schaumburg WW II vet awarded Legion of Honor

    Schaumburg resident Jim Butz on Friday received the greatest honor France can bestow for his service toward its liberation in World War II. French Consul Graham Paul pinned the rare Legion of Honor medal first established by Napoleon Bonaparte on the lapel of the 88-year-old veteran of D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge. Paul said Butz's receiving of the medal also honored all those American...

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    Stephen Brown

    Four charged in Schaumburg break-ins

    Schaumburg police on Friday announced the arrests of four suspects charged in connection with separate cases of burglary and theft. In the first case, a neighbor reported that two teens climbed a fence and went into a home on the 900 block of Cardiff Court. In the second case, a resident on Cabot Lane reported two people were trying to break into vehicles.

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    Intruder shoots dog in North Aurora

    A family dog who approached an intruder during a home invasion was shot Friday afternoon in North Aurora, authorities said. Residents of a duplex on the 200 block of Laurel Drive told police they heard a knock at their door, but before they could open it, two intruders kicked the door open and displayed a gun.

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    Pope Benedict XVI leaves after celebrating his final general audience in St. Peter's Square Wednesday at the Vatican. Cardinals will begin meeting Monday to set the date for the conclave to elect the next pope.

    Poll Vault: What changes would you like the next pope to make?

    Benedict XVI's retirement sets the stage for a new pontiff who could dramatically alter the face of Catholicism. Or not. What are your hopes for the next pope? Would you prefer someone younger or perhaps someone from a non-European country? Do you wish for a huge shift like allowing priests to marry?

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    The Illinois House Friday voted to make it illegal to talk on a handheld cellphone while driving. The proposal now goes to the state Senate. Supporters argued reducing distractions for drivers could prevent wrecks and deaths behind the wheel.

    Illinois House: Ban cellphones while driving

    The Illinois House Friday voted to make it illegal to talk on a handheld cellphone while driving. The proposal now goes to the state Senate. Supporters argued reducing distractions for drivers could prevent wrecks and deaths behind the wheel.

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    Terrance O’Brien

    Another suit filed in Schaumburg police scandal

    A former Schaumburg man on Friday filed suit against the village of Schaumburg and two ex-police officers, claiming the cops threatened and harassed him and his family. It’s the third federal lawsuit filed against the former Schaumburg officers since they were arrested themselves on drug conspiracy charges in January.

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    Police officer Jeff Strack smiles at children changing classrooms Thursday at Jordan Elementary School in Jordan, Minn.

    Minnesota town’s solution: Set police up in schools

    In Jordan, south of Minneapolis, officials looking at school security after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut decided the police would set up satellite offices in public schools. Officers will conduct some of their daily work from the schools, including taking calls and filling out paperwork, while still going out into the community to patrol or respond to emergencies.

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    Fire shuts down Naperville restaurant

    A kitchen fire shut down a Naperville restaurant during dinner service Friday night, authorities said. Firefighting crews responded to Traverso's restaurant, located at 2523 Plainfield Naperville Road, at 6:51 p.m. The fire was extinguished within a few minutes, according to the Naperville Fire Department.

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    Mark Shaw

    GOP committeemen suggest Lake Forest lawyer as replacement for Brady

    One of the seven Republican state central committeemen who signed a letter last week calling for a special meeting to consider ousting party Chair Pat Brady is being strongly considered to replace him. Tenth District Committeeman Mark Shaw of Lake Forest is being suggested as an interim chairman if Brady, a St. Charles resident, is removed over his support for same-sex marriage.

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    Columbia College career fair March 21

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

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    Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano briefs reporters Monday at the White House in Washington.

    Homeland Security released more than 2,000 immigrants

    The Homeland Security Department released from its jails more than 2,000 illegal immigrants facing deportation in recent weeks due to looming budget cuts and planned to release 3,000 more during March, The Associated Press has learned.

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    Wheeling students ace Real World Design Challenge

    A talented team of students from Wheeling High School have won the Illinois state-level Real World Design Challenge with their design for an unmanned aircraft system. The team will now travel to Washington, D.C., for the national competition in April.

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    No injuries in Carpentersville fire

    A fire that broke out Friday afternoon in a single-family home in Carpentersville was contained to a second-floor bedroom, authorities said. The fire started about 2:20 p.m. at 1503 Plymouth Circle and was out about 10 minutes after fire fighting crews arrived, according to Battalion Chief Kieran Stout of the Carpentersville Fire Department.

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    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Springfield Democrat, speaks about the impact of the government sequestration budget cuts on the state’s leading research universities and hospitals during a news conference Friday in Chicago.

    Durbin, other leaders frustrated with federal budget troubles

    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said Friday he’s as frustrated as most Americans with the repeated “doomsday scenario” involving the federal budget. Appearing with hospital researchers in Chicago on the day that $85 billion in automatic spending cuts were to take effect, the Senate’s No. 2 Democratic leader joined an effort by both political parties to blame each other for the problem.

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    Tammy Duckworth

    Democrats meet with seniors over federal cuts

    Democratic Reps. Bill Foster, Jan Schakowsky and Tammy Duckworth met with seniors in Des Plaines Friday to talk about protecting Medicare and Social Security, as well as federal budget cuts known as the sequester.

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    Lake County transportation department turns 100

    The Lake County Division of Transportation will celebrate 100 years of service this year.

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    Sensient Technologies moving part of headquarters to Hoffman Estates

    Sensient Technologies, an international manufacturer of colors, fragrances and flavors for food and other products, is moving part of its headquarters to Hoffman Estates. Gary Skoog, the village’s director of economic development, said the Milwaukee-based company plans to open its fragrance and flavor headquarters at 5515 Sedge Blvd. this fall.

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    West Chicago District 94 hires new superintendent

    The superintendent of a Wisconsin school district is returning to Illinois to take the reins of West Chicago High School District 94, officials announced Friday. Douglas Domeracki starts July 1 and succeeds retiring Superintendent Lalo Ponce, who led District 94 for four years.

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    Lazaro Lopez

    Suburbs boast top school principals in state

    Three of the four top school principals in Illinois for 2013 are from the North and Northwest suburbs, the Illinois Principals Association announced Friday. They are: Kim Zinman, principal of Joyce Kilmer School in Wheeling Township Elementary District 21; Lazaro Lopez, principal of Wheeling High School, Northwest Suburban High School District 214 and Jean Aucutt, assistant principal of Vernon...

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    President Barack Obama speaks to reporters Friday.

    Obama issues pardons to 17 for minor offenses

    President Barack Obama on Friday issued pardons for 17 people, largely for minor offenses.Those receiving pardons came from 13 states and had been sentenced for crimes that included falsely altering a money order, unauthorized acquisition of food stamps, drug violations, and possession of an unregistered firearm.

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    President Barack Obama speaks to the media Friday in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, D.C.

    Beam me up, Yoda: Obama flubs geek speak

    Even if he did bar his office — the oval one — President Obama said he wouldn’t do a “Jedi mind-meld” with Congress’ top two Republicans to persuade them “to do what’s right.” Yoda-quoting nerds, Beltway insiders and even Hollywood heroes were instantly abuzz. The presidential mishmash of sci-fi references went viral, turning off geeks who had considered Obama one of their own.

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    Rocky Reed

    Mount Prospect man faces new fraud charges

    A Mount Prospect man on bond on charges he bilked a 93-year-old woman out of $1,200 after failing to repair her front porch as promised, faces new home repair fraud charges. Palatine police charged Rocky Reed, with bilking a Palatine man out of $480 after they pretended to repair a chimney authorities say was not in need of repair. A Cook County judge set bail at $300,000 on the bond violation...

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    Principals of the year named:

    Jean Aucutt of Vernon Hills High School has been named assistant principal of the year for 2013-14 by the Horace Mann insurance company and the Illinois Principals Association.

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    Lake County warrants sweep:

    A two-week police operation in Lake County led to 42 arrests on outstanding warrants, sheriff’s police announced Friday.

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    Kevin Carew

    Business manager accused of stealing from Rosary High School

    An Aurora man has been accused of stealing $45,000 from Rosary High School in 2012, when he was its business manager.

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    Charles Amrich, left, and Debbie Herrmann

    Island Lake clerk won’t submit Amrich’s name as candidate

    Four days after Island Lake mayoral hopeful Charles Amrich filed paperwork to get back on the April 9 ballot, Village Clerk Connie Mascillino on Friday said she hasn’t resubmitted his name to election officials and has no plans to do so. Mascillino said her decision is based on advice of the village attorney. Amrich is irate. Lake County Clerk Willard Helander said she was stunned by the...

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    Barrington area hospice agency changing its name

    Barrington-based Hospice and Palliative Care of Northeastern Illinois is changing its name to JourneyCare, effective Monday, March 4. The 30-year-old community-based nonprofit agency is making the change based on research that revealed the name was long and generic and that there was confusion as to the agency’s name.

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    The photo provided by amateur Illinois bee spotter Johanna James-Heinz, shows a rusty-patched bumblebee, on Aug. 14, 2008, in Peoria. It is one of four types of bumblebees researchers say is in trouble.

    Honeybee colony leaving city for the farm

    A colony of troublesome honeybees will settle into new digs in northeastern Pennsylvania after being removed Friday from a back alley in Duryea, where the queen and thousands of her loyal subjects had taken up residence in an old tree several years ago.

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    Longtime Lord’s Park Zoo bison Pokey, left, was joined this week by two new bison, Becky, middle, and Drew, who were donated by Brookfield Zoo. The newcomers have acclimated themselves well to their new home, Elgin Parks Superintendent Jim Bell said.

    Elgin zoo gets two new bison

    There are three bison again at Lords Park Zoo in Elgin. Drew and Becky — both 13-year-old females — arrived Thursday morning from Brookfield Zoo, which donated the bison. They joined longtime resident Pokey, a 21-year-old female. "They seemed calm and relaxed, and seemed to enjoy their new facility,” Elgin Parks Superintendent Jim Bell said. “So far, cross my fingers, everything is looking pretty...

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    Pareshkumar Desai

    Authorities believe Des Plaines man assaulted more victims

    Cook County sheriff’s officials said Friday they’re looking to find additional victims of a man suspected of sexually abusing young girls. Pareshkumar Desai, 50, of Des Plaines was charged Feb. 20 with seven counts of predatory criminal sexual assault, two counts of criminal sexual assault and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

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    Crespo named to state audit commission

    State Rep. Fred Crespo has been appointed to the Legislative Audit Commission, which reviews all audits conducted by the State Auditor General and holds public hearings on all major audits of state agencies to review problems, assess stewardship of public funds and make recommendations to the General Assembly and agency management.

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    Adrianna Gomez of Addison checks out photos in “Conflict Zone,” a multimedia exhibit of images and video from the front lines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park in Wheaton. “The exhibit is about Iraq and Afghanistan and that supports our mission of telling a continuing story of the First Division experience,” said Jaron Keener, exhibit specialist. The exhibit, which runs until April 14, has 59 photos taken by award-winning photojournalists who were embedded with units post-9/11.

    ‘Conflict Zone’
    Conflict Zone, a multimedia exhibit of images and video from the front lines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan captured by some of the world's leading combat photographers and journalist, runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 1 to April 15 in the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park in Wheaton.

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    St. Charles schools eye $354,000 in security upgrades

    In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings, St. Charles Unit District 303 officials have re-evaluated school security and found more than $300,000 of needed upgrades. More cameras, better door locks and panic buttons are all on the wish list.

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    D50 dual language meeting:

    Woodland Elementary District 50 will host a dual language meeting for parents at 6 p.m., March 6, at Woodland Primary School, 17366 W. Gages Lake Road, Gages Lake.

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    Decomposed bodies of 2 women found in home

    Authorities say they’ve found the badly decomposed bodies of two women in a home near Glenview, but their deaths have been ruled accidental.

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    Judge sends ex-lawyer to prison for 8 years

    A former Chicago lawyer and Elmhurst resident who participated in what authorities have called the largest tax fraud in history has been sentenced in New York to eight years in prison.

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    The Geneva Underground Playhouse produced the first North American theatrical version of “K-PAX.” The nonprofit theater is closing, having run out of money.

    Nonprofit Geneva theater to close

    The Geneva Underground Playhouse has closed because it could not raise enough money to continue, operators of the nonprofit theater announced. "Unfortunately, we’re unable to see a path to making the theater financially viable on a reasonable time scale,” said the group's president, Erci Prebys. The 50-seat theater had 16 main-stage shows, and 11 shows produced by other organizations.

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    Paul R. Duke

    Schaumburg man sentenced for soliciting child

    A Schaumburg man pleaded guilty to indecent solicition of a child and was sentenced to four years in prison. Police say Paul R. Duke, 77, approached the 9-year-old in a Schaumburg park and offered her money to perform a sex act.

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    Michael Swanson

    Arrests made in summer gas station robbery

    Michael Swanson, 19, of the 100 block of Wilshire Drive in Wheeling, and Irvin Vaysburg, 19, of the 1000 block of Sheridan Road in Buffalo Grove, were charged Thursday with armed robbery after warrants were obtained for their arrest, according to the Lake County sheriff’s office. The armed robbery occurred July 2, 2012, at the Speedway gas station at 1010 Milwaukee Ave. near Deerfield.

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    Fox Valley police reports
    Police are investigating a report of shots fired around 3 a.m. Sunday that reportedly took place during a party at a residence on Algonquin Drive. Police found 10 spent shell casings and a handgun magazine nearby.

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    Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says higher cigarette taxes will help lower smoking rates, including by discouraging people from starting.

    Cigarettes now $1 more per pack in Cook County

    Taxes on cigarettes sold in Cook County have gone up by $1 a pack. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle says the tax, which took effect Friday, is expected to generate more than $25 million annually for the Cook County Health and Hospitals System. Chicago is now the second-most expensive place in the nation to buy cigarettes, behind New York City.

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    Urooj Khan, 46, died shortly before he was to collect his lottery winnings.

    Autopsy reveals little about lottery winner’s death

    An autopsy on the exhumed body of a Chicago lottery winner poisoned with cyanide yielded no significant new clues about his death, the Cook County medical examiner said Friday. No remaining cyanide was found in samples of Urooj Khan’s body tissue, likely because cyanide breaks down over time, and there was nothing notable from tests on his stomach contents, Stephen Cina told reporters.

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    Rose Gilbert at the Pacific Palisades High School in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

    Teacher retires at 94
    Rose Gilbert has been educating kids in Los Angeles for the past 63 years.

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    All Nippon Airways’ Boeing 787 “the Dreamliner” passenger jets park on the tarmac at Haneda airport in Tokyo. Though Dreamliners remain grounded, Boeing is selling smaller jetliners.

    Boeing wins Air China orders

    Air China Ltd., the nation’s biggest carrier by market value, agreed to buy two Boeing Co. 747-8 aircraft in the planemaker’s first sale of the models this year. Air China also will purchase one wide-body 777-300 plane, 20 single-aisle 737-800 jets and eight 777 freighters, according to a statement. The planes have a combined catalog value of $4.8 billion.

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    This undated photo submitted into evidence by Assistant Federal Defender Julia L. Gatto shows Gilberto Valle with his daughter.

    Agent: Cop lamented cannibalism interest

    A New York City police officer told investigators after his arrest that his fascination with the idea of cannibalism set him on a downward spiral that was wrecking his personal life, an FBI agent testified Friday.

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    An engineer surveys in front of a home where sinkhole opened up on Friday, March 1, 2013, in Seffner, Fla. A man screamed for help and disappeared as a large sinkhole opened under the bedroom of the house, his brother said Friday. The brother told rescue crews he heard a loud crash near midnight Thursday, then heard his brother screaming. The brother called police and frantically tried to help. An arriving deputy pulled him from the still-collapsing house. There’s been no contact with the man since then, and neighbors on both sides of the home have been evacuated.

    Florida man swallowed by sinkhole

    A man was missing early Friday after a large sinkhole opened under the bedroom of a house near Tampa and his brother says the man screamed for help before he disappeared. The 36-year-old man’s brother told rescue crews he heard a loud crash around 11 p.m. Thursday, then heard his brother screaming for help. “When he got there, there was no bedroom left,” Hillsborough County Fire Rescue...

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    A 23-year-old Calumet City woman was arrested around 8 p.m. Feb. 18 at Gilly Hicks in Woodfield Mall and charged with retail theft after she reportedly took 21 pairs of underwear.

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    Guilty plea in 2010 North Aurora drunk hit and run death

    A 33-year-old Aurora man faces four to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated DUI and failure to report an accident that resulted in a death. Lee R. Patterson III was accused of striking Doreen Cardenas of Cicero and injuring her friend in October 2010 in North Aurora. Patterson will be sentenced on May 9.

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    “I still love it,” Krantz says about taking an old piece apart and making it work again. “It really is tedious work, if you do it right, but I think most people appreciate it.”

    Moving Picture: Time-tested skills behind longevity of repair shops

    Time is of the essence for Keith Krantz, owner of American Clock & Watch Repair in Elgin and St. Charles, as his work days are filled with fixing his customer's grandfather clocks and watches. After learning the craft from his father, Herb, who opened the shop in 1954, Krantz started working with his father. Although he explored other occupations in college, his career path was already forged.

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    Teens charged with burlgary in Elgin

    Two teenagers were arrested early Thursday morning in Elgin and charged with burglary after they took items from unlocked cars, police said.Esteban Perez, 17, and Marco Morales, 18, both residents of the 1900 block of South Street in Elgin, were each charged with six counts of burglary, a class 2 felony, and were being held Friday at the Elgin Police Department, police said in a news release.

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    West Chicago High School support staffers declare impasse

    The union representing support staff employees at West Chicago High School District 94 declared an impasse in contract negotiations with the school board Thursday night, accusing the board of threatening to outsource maintenance and custodial jobs, a union representative said Friday. Monica Piszczek, spokeswoman for the Support Staff Association, said Friday the school board “released plans that...

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    Wauconda board candidates criticize water bills; opponents support changes

    Three of Wauconda’s trustee candidates are upset about recent changes to the town’s billing process for water service, particularly the switch to monthly statements and increased late fees. Their opponents in the April 9 election support the changes to the bills.

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    Geneva battled Hinsdale Central during Thursday's regional action at Wheaton Warrenville South. You can watch such playoff games live with streaming video you'll see on our websites.

    Our high school sports coverage expands with live streams

    We're happy to announce that the Daily Herald has signed an agreement with HighSchoolCube to use its digital engine to expand our video coverage of prep sports and other high school events in the suburbs — just in time for the boys basketball playoffs that kicked off this week.

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    IRS says spending cuts shouldn’t delay tax refunds

    Here’s a bright spot amid the doom and gloom of the government’s automatic spending cuts: They shouldn’t delay tax refunds. Any furloughs at the Internal Revenue Service will be delayed until summer, after the tax filing season ends.

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    Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, at center with red skull cap, officially takes over the vacant See as camerlengo, chamberlain, before sealing Pope Benedict XVI’s apartment, after Benedict left the Vatican Thursday. Benedict XVI became the first pope in 600 years to resign Thursday, ending an eight-year pontificate shaped by struggles to move the church past sex abuse scandals and to reawaken Christianity in an indifferent world.

    Vatican takes first steps running pope-less church

    The Catholic Church awoke Friday with no leader following the resignation of Benedict XVI, who pledged obedience to his successor and described himself as “simply a pilgrim” starting the final journey of his life. Now begins a period known as the “sede vacante” or “vacant see” — the transition between the end of one papacy and the start of another.

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    Ammar Harris, a self-described pimp, was arrested Thursday in Los Angeles, ending a manhunt that began after a vehicle-to-vehicle shooting and spectacular, fiery crash that killed three people on the Las Vegas Strip a week ago, police said.

    Vegas fugitive arrested at Los Angeles apartment

    A weeklong multi-state manhunt for the suspected gunman in a Las Vegas Strip shooting and crash that killed three people ended when he surrendered in Los Angeles while apparently going about life as usual. Ammar Harris, 26, a self-described pimp, was jailed pending an extradition hearing Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

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    Ed Sychta, left, receives a proclamation from Vernon Hills Mayor Roger Byrne at a recent board meeting honoring his years of service to the Vernon Hills Seniors Organization.

    Long time Vernon Hills senior group president honored

    Vernon Hills resident Edward Sychta recently was honored by village officials for his long service to the Vernon Hills Seniors Organization.

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    Man convicted in 2010 killing in East St. Louis

    BELLEVILLE, Ill. — A man faces up to 60 years in prison now that he has been convicted him of first-degree murder in the 2010 shooting death of a teenager in East St. Louis.A St. Clair County jury deliberated an hour and a half Thursday before finding 23-year-old Trenton Jefferson guilty. Sentencing is scheduled for April 17.

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    Downstate man faces sentencing in sex attacks on 2 toddlers

    EDWARDSVILLE — Prosecutors plan to seek a life prison term for a man facing sentencing on convictions related to sexual attacks on two toddlers in southwestern Illinois. Thirty-year-old Michael Burgund of Alton is to be sentenced Friday in Madison County. That’s where a jury convicted him in December of six counts of predatory criminal sexual assault.

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    Indiana tornado survivor makes recovery

    A southern Indiana woman is making progress with her recovery a year after losing parts of both her legs when a tornado destroyed her house.

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    New prosecutor sought on ex-cop’s battery claims

    MARION, Ill. — A southern Illinois state’s attorney is requesting that a special prosecutor be brought in to review a former police officer’s claims of being punched by the police chief.Williamson County State’s Attorney Chuck Garnati asked a court Thursday to appoint an outside prosecutor in the alleged battery last month by Johnston City Police Chief Vernon Campbell.

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    Secret investigation into Walker aides closes

    A secret investigation into Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s former aides and associates closed last week without any charges being filed against Walker. Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm announced Friday that the so-called John Doe investigation into illegal campaign activity ended on Feb. 20.

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    Officials to discuss poisoned lotto winner autopsy

    A medical examiner is expected to announce results Friday of an autopsy on the exhumed remains of a Chicago man poisoned with cyanide after winning the lottery.

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    Indiana man indicted on drug trafficking charges

    The brother of a former NFL player has been indicted on drug trafficking and money laundering charges stemming from one of Allen County’s largest drug busts to date.

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    S. California wildfire is 30 percent contained

    A wildfire that damaged a house and left nearly 2,000 Southern California residents without power was 30 percent contained Friday as firefighters battled to surround it before winds kicked up. The 200-acre blaze erupted Thursday afternoon in the Santa Ana River bottom and spread to the Jurupa Valley neighborhood of Riverside County.

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    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pauses while speaking about the death of Mustafa Akarsu, a U.S. Embassy guard who was killed on Kerry’s first day as secretary by a suicide bomber attack at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, during a memorial at the embassy on Friday, March 1, 2013. Ankara is the fifth leg of Kerry’s first official overseas trip, a nine-day dash through Europe and the Middle East.

    Official: Kerry to rap Turkey PM for remark about Zionism

    A senior American official said Friday that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will take Turkey’s prime minister to task for “particularly offensive” comments he made this week equating Zionism with a crime against humanity.

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    Charlie Hyde, past president of the Algonquin Club of Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, displays his plate of food — which includes muskrat meat — while moving through the buffet line at the annual Muskrat Dinner at the Monroe Boat Club in Monroe, Mich. Hyde and his fellow history buffs chatted about local lore and heard from a speaker about the War of 1812, but the star of the show was the sherry-soaked rodent, boiled to perfection and plated.

    Local history buffs munch on muskrat in Michigan

    Most of the menu read like a typical buffet, with soup, salad, turkey, pork and potatoes. But the first offering at the annual Muskrat Dinner in Michigan was distinctive: a pot of the rodent’s meat mixed with creamed corn. “Most beginners are a little hesitant to dive in, especially when they see the carcass laid out on the plate,” said Ralph Naveaux.

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    S. Africa: Officers in dragged man case suspended

    South Africa’s police chief announced Friday that eight officers allegedly involved in the death of a man who was bound and then dragged by a police vehicle have been suspended and that the local police commander has been removed from his post.

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    A Syrian child, injured by heavy bombing from military warplanes, in the town of Hanano in Aleppo, Syria, Friday, March 1, 2013. Syrian government forces fought fierce clashes with rebels attacking a police academy near the northern city of Aleppo on Friday, while the bodies of 10 men most of them shot in the head were found dumped along the side of a road outside Damascus, activists said.

    Heavy fighting over police academy in north Syria

    Syrian government forces fought fierce clashes with rebels attacking a police academy near the northern city of Aleppo on Friday, while the bodies of 10 men — most of them shot in the head — were found dumped along the side of a road outside Damascus, activists said. Russia, meanwhile, sharply criticized a decision by Western powers to boost their support for Syrian opposition forces.

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    Former Pakistan president sets mid-March return

    Pakistan’s former President Pervez Musharraf says he will return home from self-imposed exile this month to run in parliamentary elections despite facing arrest warrants in connection with the slaying of an ex-prime minister. Musharrraf has not followed through on previous pledges to return to Pakistan.

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    Even if Oscar Pistorius is acquitted of murder, firearms and legal experts in South Africa believe that, by his own account, the star violated basic gun-handling regulations by shooting into a closed door without knowing who was behind it, exposing himself to the lesser but still serious charge of culpable homicide.

    Pistorius bought, collected guns in Olympic year

    An official at a South African gun collectors’ club where Oscar Pistorius was a member says he steadily became an avid collector of firearms in his Olympic year. He says Pistorius bought a collection of pistols and shotguns, all American manufactured, his favorite.

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    Owner: Dog may have been poisoned at Westminster

    A dog owner says she thinks there’s a chance her prized pet was deliberately poisoned while competing at the Westminster Kennel Club show, causing it to die several days later. “It is in the realm of possibility,” Lynette Blue told The Associated Press on Thursday.

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    Zumba fitness instructor Alexis Wright turns toward attorney Sarah Churchill, left, during her arraignment in Portland, Maine on 109 counts including prostitution, violation of privacy and tax evasion for allegedly providing sex for money at her Kennebunk fitness studio and office. In the trial of her business partner, Mark Strong Sr., the jury watched a video Thursday showing a sexual encounter between Wright and a man who left cash on her massage table. Strong is charged with 13 counts that relate to promoting prostitution. He contends he had an affair with Wright and helped her launch her Pura Vida dance studio in Kennebunk, Maine, but his lawyer has said he was unaware of any paid sex.

    Video shows paid sex act by Maine Zumba teacher

    Prosecutors have shown jurors videos demonstrating that an insurance agent was familiar with paid sex acts involving his mistress, but a defense lawyer said it doesn’t prove that the man promoted prostitution. The jury in the trial of Mark Strong Sr. watched a 45-minute video Thursday showing a sexual encounter between Zumba fitness instructor Alexis Wright and a man who left $250 cash on her...

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    Former NBA star Dennis Rodman speaks to the media Friday at the airport in Pyongyang, before he leaves North Korea. Rodman hung out with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un during his improbable journey to Pyongyang, watching the Harlem Globetrotters with the leader and later drinking and dining on sushi with him.

    Leaving North Korea, Rodman calls Kims ‘great leaders’

    Ending his unexpected round of basketball diplomacy in North Korea on Friday, ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman called leader Kim Jong Un an “awesome guy” and said his father and grandfather were “great leaders.” Rodman, the highest-profile American to meet Kim since he inherited power from father Kim Jong Il in 2011, watched a basketball game with the authoritarian leader Thursday and later drank and...

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    Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, right, is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md. The Army private charged in the largest leak of classified material in U.S. history said Thursday he sent the material to WikiLeaks to enlighten the public about American foreign and military policy.

    Army private says he leaked secrets to spark war debate

    FORT MEADE, Md. — After almost three years in custody, the Army private accused in the biggest leak of classified material in U.S. history said he did it because he wanted the public to know how the American military was fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with little regard for human life.

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    The Obama administration wants the Supreme Court to overturn California’s gay marriage ban, outlining a broad legal argument that could ultimately be applied to other state prohibitions. The administration’s friend-of-the-court brief unequivocally calls on the justices to strike down California’s Proposition 8 ballot measure. But it stops short of the soaring rhetoric on marriage equality from President Barack Obama’s inaugural address.

    Obama urges justices to overturn gay marriage ban

    The Obama administration wants the Supreme Court to overturn California’s gay marriage ban, outlining a broad legal argument that could ultimately be applied to other state prohibitions across the country. The administration’s friend-of-the-court brief, filed Thursday evening, unequivocally calls on the justices to strike down California’s Proposition 8 ballot measure, although it stops short of...

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    Illinois lottery calls for responsible gambling

    March is National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, and the Illinois Lottery is joining in the activities to mark the occasion. It’s teaming up with the National Council on Problem Gambling. They say their objective is to raise awareness about those who gamble too much.The Illinois Lottery is known for catchy commercials intended to get people to play the lottery.

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    Child care center settles pregnancy bias case

    An Illinois child care center has agreed to pay $31,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination case brought by the federal government.The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged that Adventures in Learning discriminated against a pregnant worker at one of its sites, refusing to allow her to work after her fourth month of pregnancy.

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    Lawmakers propose making no-call list permanent

    MADISON, Wis. — Registration on Wisconsin’s no-call list designed to block telemarketers would not need to be renewed every two years as proposed under a bill Republican lawmakers are preparing to introduce.

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    Wisconsin PSC to offer session on procedures

    MADISON, Wis. — State utility regulators are planning a free seminar to help attorneys and the public understand their procedures.

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    $30 Wisconsin scratch-off lottery ticket likely

    MADISON, Wis. — State revenue officials say sales of $30 scratch-off lottery tickets are doing well in other states, so why not add it in Wisconsin?

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    Feds seek last victims of discriminatory lending

    Federal authorities are looking for more than 400 African-Americans and Latinos in Indiana who might be eligible to collect part of a $335 million settlement between Countrywide Financial Corp. and the Justice Department. U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett in Indianapolis said victims of discriminatory lending practices by Countrywide from 2004 to 2008 have only until March 29 to contact the settlement...

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    Ex-Indiana SOS White given 2 weeks to file papers

    A judge has set a March 15 deadline for the attorney for former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White to file papers explaining why he deserves a new trial on vote fraud and theft charges. Hamilton Superior Court Judge Steven Nation set the deadline this week for attorney Andrea Ciobanu to file White’s petition for post-conviction relief petition. Nation also scheduled a June 4 hearing on the...

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    Norfolk Southern ordered to pay fired worker $438,000

    A federal agency has ordered Norfolk Southern Railway Co. to rehire an Indiana employee fired in 2010 and pay him nearly $438,000 in damages. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said the Fort Wayne-based crane operator was fired in August 2010 after Norfolk Southern “determined he had made false statements” about an on-the-job eye injury he had suffered.

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    Diabetic Indiana trucker cleared of drunken driving

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Prosecutors have dropped a drunken driving charge against a diabetic trucker who insisted his erratic driving wasn’t caused by alcohol but an emergency medical condition.

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    Purdue University to freeze tuition for 2 years

    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University is freezing its tuition costs for the next two years in response to the nation’s lingering weak economy.

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    7 Illinois employment offices closing Friday

    The Illinois Department of Employment Security is closing seven offices across the state.

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    Dawn Patrol: Dist. 15 bus union fight goes public; girls, boys basketball

    Palatine Dist. 15, bus union contract strife goes public. Watch boys basketball playoff games live at dailyherald.com. Rolling Meadows girls leave for first state basketball tournament. Pension cuts fail badly during test votes in Illinois House. Woodstock man convicted of first-degree murder. Blackhawks' streak grows to 20. Glen Ellyn Dist. 41 releases teacher contract details.

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    Consultant: Schaumburg PD cooperating with study

    A professional review of the Schaumburg Police Department in the wake of three officers' arrests on drug conspiracy charges is off to a flying start, though it's still too early to report its findings, the consultant in charge said Thursday. “We've been involved for eight days and our team has made great progress,” said Arnette Heintze, CEO of Hillard Heintze. “We're gathering a...

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    The Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation is in negotiations with First American Bank to buy the 57-acre campus of the former Fox River Country Day School off Route 25 and north of Interstate 90.

    Former Elgin school might become nature preserve

    A wildlife foundation wants to purchase the former Fox River Country Day School in Elgin, and plans to donate part of the land to the city of Elgin and the Kane County Forest Preserve District. Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation CEO Charles Potter said the foundation is in negotiations with First American Bank for the purchase of the 57-acre campus off Route 25, north of Interstate 90. The school...

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    The DuPage County Airport in West Chicago could see its tower closed if cuts triggered by the sequester occur.

    Sequester could trigger control tower cuts

    Automatic budget cuts in Washington could mean close calls at suburban airports, flight delays for travelers and postponing a new O'Hare International Airport runway, aviation experts warn. The anticipated furloughs of the majority of the FAA's nearly 47,000 employees, including air traffic controllers, could kick in this April. “My biggest issue is that closing the tower would be a safety...

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    Jeffrey Clark, left, and Casey Urlacher

    Protecting rural character, financial management keys for Mettawa mayor hopefuls

    Political newcomer Casey Urlacher and incumbent village Trustee Jeffrey Clark are squaring off for the mayoral seat in tiny Mettawa. Both favor hiring a village manager and establishing a municipal facility. Preserving the character of the village is also a top goal for each, who say they do not favor further retail development.

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    Connor Solum goes slalom skiing in Princeton, WIisconsin on the Fourth of July weekend.

    Images: Photo Contest Finalists
    Each week you submit your favorite photo. We pick the best of the bunch and select 12 finlaists. Here are the finalists for the week of February 25th.

Sports

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    Montini never considered losing

    Montini’s four kids quietly sat and stared ahead in front of the media room, red-faced but not crying. This was a stunned sadness. The closer you are to the holy grail, the higher the expectations, the bigger the hurt

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    Libertyville boys soccer coach Andy Bitta is proving to be the perfect complement to Vernon Hills girls basketball head coach Paul Brettner.

    Bitta's a perfect fit with Brettner, Vernon Hills

    When Rachel Blanton decided to take a coaching job at Metea Valley after last season, Vernon Hills girls basketball coach Paul Brettner knew exactly who to turn to. Andy Bitta. OK, so the Bitta name over the years has been associated with soccer success much more than basketball, but Brettner knew Bitta's history as a basketball player and coach, the two knew each other well and it was a natural fit.

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    Rolling Meadows’ Jackie Kemph is hugged by her teammates at the end of the Class 4A state semifinals after beating Huntley in Normal on Friday.

    Rolling Meadows marches on against Huntley

    Rolling Meadows' girls basketball team defeated Huntley 61-44 in the Class 4A girls basketball state semfinals Friday to earn a spot in Saturday's championship game.

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    Vernon Hills Meri Bennett-Swanson jumps for joy with the rest of her teammates after their overtime win against Montini in the class 3A semifinal game Friday in Normal.

    Vernon Hills stuns Montini in Class 3A semifinal

    The Vernon Hills girls basketball team shocked the Illinois girls basketball world here Friday afternoon with a stunning 48-45 overtime upset of top-ranked and three-time defending Class 3A state champion Montini at Redbird Arena.

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    Larkin's Jack McCracken, Quantice Hunter, Quentin Ruff and teammates embrace after their win over St. Charles North in the Class 4A regional championship game on Friday, March 1.

    Larkin nails down regional crown

    Larkin's Royals donned a regional crown Friday after a seven-year wait.St. Charles North established an early lead in the Class 4A South Elgin boys basketball regional title game, but the Royals soon found their shooting rhythm, grabbed the momentum and turned a 2-point halftime lead into a 75-64 victory. The regional title is Larkin's first since the 2005-06 season.

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    Friday’s girls track scoreboard
    High school results from Friday's varsity girls track meets, as reported to the Daily Herald.

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

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

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

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    Hall, Glenbard East subdue Conant

    On most of his bus rides to away games, Glenbard East’s JaRon Hall spends his time joking around with his teammates. But on this Friday, on the way to Hoffman Estates for a Class 4A regional title game, Hall was unusually quiet. “I just wanted to come to the game prepared,” he explained. “I didn’t want it to be our last game of the year.” On the floor, Hall was not quiet but was very prepared, tying a career high with 24 points. He also made sure it was not the last game of the season for the Rams as the junior led his team past Conant 50-42. Glenbard East (20-5), which won its third regional title in the past four years, will meet Proviso East at the Schaumburg sectional semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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    Montini game plan nearly delivers upset

    Montini was right on schedule. “We wanted to get the game within 10 points by the six-minute mark of the fourth quarter, no matter how it happened,” Broncos coach Brian Opoka said. “We knew it was going to get ugly, and we knew we were going to have to take some lumps. We knew being down 16 was rough.” The eighth-seeded Broncos lulled No. 1 Orr into its trap and then threw a scare into the Spartans before falling 59-48 Friday night at the Class 3A Glenbard South regional.

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    St. Francis going back to sectional

    It was a coaches’ showcase and a defensive grinder, a Suburban Catholic Conference Blue Division battle at the Class 3A IMSA regional final in Aurora. In the end St. Francis had a tad more than Aurora Central Catholic.

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    Geneva's Chris Parrilli (30) drives and scores against West Aurora during Friday's regional final in Wheaton.

    West Aurora shuts down Geneva

    Geneva's chase defense has been known to take the opponent's leading scorer and make him a nonfactor, and Pace Temple and Chris Parrilli were on the job Friday night at the Class 4A Wheaton Warrenville South regional championship against West Aurora's Jontrel Walker. While the Vikings did hold Walker to 7 points, the junior guard chipped in 4 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocked shots and 3 rebounds. He assisted on baskets by Spencer Thomas and a dunk by Josh McAuley that helped West Aurora finally break free from the feisty Vikings late in the fourth quarter, and the Blackhawks did the rest of their damage at the free-throw line making their final 9 attempts for a 45-37 victory.

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    Benet's Sean O'Mara drives to the basket during regional action in Lisle.

    Home cooking: Benet wins big

    For years Benet's boys basketball team longed to host a playoff regional. Now you know why. Playing like not even Jordan's Bulls could come into their house and win, the Redwings stormed to their third regional title in four years with Friday's 62-36 victory over Naperville Central in Lisle.

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    Jacobs coach Jim Hinkle reacts near the end of the game against Dundee-Crown in the Class 4A Jacobs regional Wednesday.

    To put it simply, thank you Coach Hinkle

    Every night before supper, a then 14-year-old Jim Hinkle had one job: to field 100-straight groundballs without an error before he could eat back in Canton, Mo. One night while hitting grounders to him, Hinkle’s father asked a young “Hink” what he would be doing in 10 years. “Well, I’ll be playing pro baseball,” Hinkle told his father, who after two more grounders, asked, “what’s your second choice?” Hinkle responded: “Well, I’d like to coach. I’d like to coach.”

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    Brent Seabrook, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring his game-winning goal during the overtime Friday at teh United Center.

    Hawks' amazing streak hits 21

    Stop if you've heard this before. “It wasn't our best game, but we found a way to win,” Viktor Stalberg said after the Blackhawks did it again Friday night, extending their record streak to 21 games without a loss in regulation to start the season with a 4-3 win in over Columbus in overtime.

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    Lakes celebrates its Class 3A regional championship over Wauconda at Vernon Hills on Friday.

    Lakes manages to take Wauconda's best shot

    Lakes used its physical and tenacious brand of basketball to win the way it has all season and spoil a near-triple-double by Wauconda's Devon King. The second-seeded Eagles put on a defensive show in outlasting the No. 7 Bulldogs 49-35 in the Class 3A regional final at Vernon Hills.

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    Jabari Sandifer of Neuqua Valley gets lifted up by the fans after they beat Waubonsie Valley 69-61 in Class 4A boys basketball regional finals at Oswego East on Friday.

    Neuqua gets it done

    The seniors on Neuqua Valley finally got that elusive regional championship Friday night.But not before having to survive one final special night from Waubonsie Valley senior Jared Brownridge.The Wildcats prevailed 69-61 in the regional final at Oswego East and will now take on Benet Academy at the Bolingbrook Sectional next Wednesday.

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    York upends Bartlett in OT

    Bartlett senior Lance Whitaker won the battle of Division-I recruits but York senior David Cohn won the war in the Class 4A York regional boys basketball title game Friday night. Whitaker, an Illinois-Chicago recruit, had a game-high 31 points and 12 rebounds for the No. 7 Hawks but Cohn, a Colorado State recruit, tallied 21 points including 7 points in overtime to guide the No. 2 Dukes to a 59-57 win.

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    Defensive stand lifts Mundelein

    High-octane offense is the calling card for Mundelein boys basketball. But the Mustangs’ grit and determination on defense led to an historic moment for their program in Friday night’s Class 4A regional championship game at Lake Zurich. Shutting out fourth-seed and North Suburban Lake rival Lake Forest in the final 2:22 gave No. 5 Mundelein the opportunity to come back and claim a third straight regional title for the first time with a 59-56 victory.

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    Carmel wins first regional since 1991

    Carmel players were not even a twinkle in their parents’ eye the last time the Corsair’s boys basketball team won a regional.It was 1991 when Carmel had won its last regional until Friday night’s 55-50 win over Ridgewood in the Class 3A regional title game in Norrindge. The Corsairs advance to the semifinals of the Antioch semifinal and will face Lakes on Wednesday.

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    St. Viator saves its best for last at Warren

    After scoring just 11 points through three quarters, Ore Arogundade started finding the basket. He scored 9 of the first 11 points of the fourth quarter. His game-high 22-point effort, including the 11 fourth-quarter points, were a huge part of a crushing 22-4 burst from Viator that wrapped up a 65-53 win over the Blue Devils. St. Viator (20-8) won its third regional title in four years and will make the trip to the Class 4A Waukegan sectional semifinals Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. against second seeded Zion-Benton, a 61-46 winner over No. 7 seed Fremd.

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    Stevenson fires at will, rolls past Waukegan

    How do you defend against a team with as many weapons as Stevenson? Waukegan found out the hard way in Friday’s 4A regional championship game at Prospect that points can come from anyone in Stevenson’s lineup. The top-seeded Patriots (25-4) kept their winning streak (15 games) and season alive with a 76-49 victory over No. 8 Waukegan. By having four players score in double figures, they advance to face No. 5 seed Mundelein on Tuesday in the Waukegan sectional.

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    Larkin’s Quantice Hunter and Kendale McCullum celebrate.

    Images: Larkin vs. St. Charles North, boys basketball
    Larkin won 75-64 over St. Charles North Friday night in Class 4A boys basketball South Elgin regional final action.

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    Schaumburg falls to OPRF in OT

    It’s probably asking a lot of a basketball team to have to play an extra session for the third time in its last four games. It’s probably asking a lot of team to try to match up with an opponent that can field a lineup with three guys measuring 6-foot-8 or better. And it’s probably asking a lot of a team to try to keep the game close, let alone maintain a lead, when its leading scorer gets helped off the court after injuring a leg diving over the opponent’s bench to try to steal a ball. All told, it was too was too much to overcome Friday night for Schaumburg in a 32-30 overtime loss to tall, talented Oak Park-River Forest in the finals of the Glenbard North Class 4A regional.

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    Comeback against Z-B too tall an order for Fremd

    There were plenty of similarities between Fremd’s win over Palatine in the regional semifinal and Friday’s Class 4A Deerfield regional final against Zion-Benton, as the Vikings spotted their opponent big leads in both contests. Unfortunately for No. 7 Fremd, the big difference against No. 2 Zion-Benton was that they couldn’t quite climb all the way back, and in the fourth quarter, the Zee-Bees enforced their will and dealt the Vikings a 61-46 defeat.

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    Shooting woes sink Hampshire

    Sometimes the shots just don’t fall, and it’s about as simple as that. With Hampshire leading Sycamore 34-26 in the final of the Class 3A Burlington Central regional, somebody abruptly put a lid on the basket at which Hampshire was shooting. The Spartans reeled off 15 straight points as the Whip-Purs missed 7 consecutive shots. From that point early in the third quarter, Hampshire scored just 10 more points the rest of the game as Sycamore held on for a 51-44 win.

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    Crystal Lake Central turns away Jacobs

    The Jacobs boys basketball team made its run early in the fourth quarter Friday night. The Golden Eagles just didn’t have enough to get over the top and past Crystal Lake Central. Jacobs got within 55-50 with 4:28 remaining but failed to score over the next three minutes as the Tigers went on to a 65-58 victory in the Class 4A Jacobs regional final.

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    Chicago Blackhawks' Brent Seabrook celebrates his game-winning goal scored on Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason during the overtime of an NHL hockey game in Chicago, Friday, March 1, 2013. The Blackhawks won 4-3. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Blackhawks extend streak to 21 games

    Brent Seabrook scored on a 2-on-1 break at 3:23 of overtime and the Blackhawks extended their NHL-record, season-opening point streak to 21 games with a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night.

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    Wheaton loses in tournament opener

    Making its first appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament since 2007, the Wheaton women’s basketball team fell at No. 2-ranked Hope 64-37 on Friday night. Wheaton finishes the season with a record of 22-6, its first 20-win season since the 2006-07 season.

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    Climie’s shutout keys Wolves

    For the second time in a week, Matt Climie earned a shutout to lead the Chicago Wolves to a 2-0 victory Friday night over the Texas Stars at Cedar Park Center.

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    Benet’s Pat McInerney grabs a rebound.

    Images: Naperville Central vs. Benet Academy, boys basketball
    Naperville Central fell to Benet Academy in Class 4A Benet boys basketball regional final action at Benet Friday night.

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    Bears put franchise tag on Melton

    The Bears have placed a franchise tag on Pro Bowl defensive tackle Henry Melton.

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    Timothy’s Scheidt wins Class 3A 3-point contest

    Brittany Scheidt won’t play basketball in college, but she has one last great high school memory on a college floor. The Timothy Christian senior made eight 3-pointers to win the Class 3A 3-point Showdown on Friday in between the two 3A semifinals at Redbird Arena.

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    Quincy Notre Dame breezes into 3A title game

    Quincy Notre Dame watched one favorite in Montini go down Friday, then wasted no time making sure there wouldn’t be another. The two-time defending Class 2A champions jumped out to a 24-5 lead on Morton after a quarter in Friday’s second Class 3A state semifinal and coasted to a 67-51 win at Redbird Arena.

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    West Aurora’s Spencer Thomas and his teammates celebrate with fans.

    Images: Geneva vs. West Aurora, boys basketball
    Geneva lost to West Aurora Friday night in Class 4A boys basketball regional final action.

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    Crawford’s injury remains a mystery

    Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville didn’t provide much help Friday when it came to clearing up Corey Crawford’s upper body injury that forced him to leave Thursday’s game at St. Louis after the first period.

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    Rolling Meadows’ Jackie Kemph is hugged by Jenny Vliet at the end of the game.

    Images: Huntley vs. Rolling Meadows, girls basketball
    Rolling Meadows won 61-44 over Huntley in an IHSA Class 4A girls state basketball semifinal on Friday, Mar. 1 at Redbird Arena in Normal.

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    Jabari Sandifer of Neuqua Valley gets a lift from fans after the game.

    Images: Neuqua Valley vs. Waubonsie Valley, boys basketball
    Neuqua Valley won 69-61 over Waubonsie Valley Friday night in Class 4A boys basketball Oswego East regional final action.

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    FILE - In this Jan. 18, 1998, file photo, Andy Gabel, foreground, skates to first place during the men's 1,000-meter short track speedskating Olympic trials in Lake Placid, N.Y. U.S. Speedskating began an investigation Friday, March 1, 2013, into the report of a female skater accusing former Olympian and organization president Andy Gabel of sexual abuse in the 1990s. (AP Photo/Nancie Battaglia, File)

    Chicago speedskater implicated in sexual abuse allegations

    U.S. Speedskating began an investigation Friday into the report of a female skater accusing former Olympian and organization president Andy Gabel of sexual abuse in the 1990s.

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    The Bulls’ Joakim Noah slams down a pair of points Thursday against the Sixers at the United Center. Noah is the only NBA player to record 23 points, 21 boards, 11 blocks and shoot at least 65 percent from the field (he was 8-for-12) since blocked shots became an official stat in 1973-74.

    Noah soars into rare territory
    What Joakim Noah did against Philadelphia on Thursday was impressive. He produced the fifth game of at least 20 points, 20 rebounds and 10 blocked shots in the NBA during the past 25 years; the first since Shawn Bradley in 1998.He is the only player to record 23 points, 21 boards, 11 blocks and shoot at least 65 percent from the field (he was 8 for 12) since blocked shots became an official stat in 1973-74.

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    FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2013 file photo, Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson celebrates after stripping the ball from San Francisco 49ers' Michael Crabtree during the second half of the NFL football NFC Championship game in Atlanta. The Falcons have released running back Michael Turner, defensive end John Abraham and Robinson. The moves were announced Friday, March 1, 2013, by a team that came up just short of the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

    Falcons release 3 key players to help salary cap

    The Atlanta Falcons started their youth movement Friday by ditching three key players from the most successful era in franchise history.The Falcons released running back Michael Turner, defensive end John Abraham and cornerback Dunta Robinson, moves that were not unexpected given their age (all in their 30s) and hefty salaries.

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    Frustrated McIlroy walks off course at Honda

    Whether his pain was mental or dental, Rory McIlroy walked off the course in the middle of his round Friday at the Honda Classic and invited even more scrutiny of golf’s No. 1 player.

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    FILE - In this Feb. 3, 2013, file phot, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) looks to throw a pass during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game against the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans. A person with knowledge of the deal tells The Associated Press that Flacco has agreed on a new contract with the Ravens. The person spoke on condition of anonymity on Friday, March 1, 2013, because the agreement has not officially been announced. Terms of the deal were not immediately available. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, FIle)

    Flacco agrees to Ravens deal

    Joe Flacco is staying in Baltimore.The Super Bowl MVP quarterback agreed Friday to a new contact with the Ravens, two people with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.Terms were not immediately available, but Flacco was expected to get a long-term contract close to the $20 million average salary Drew Brees earns with New Orleans.The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not officially been announced.Fox Sports first reported the new deal.Flacco played out his rookie contract last season for $6.76 million and led Baltimore to the NFL championship. The 28-year-old Flacco is the only quarterback to win a postseason game in each of his first five pro seasons. He had a spectacular playoffs and Super Bowl this year, throwing for 11 touchdowns with no interceptions. He also holds the record for playoff road wins with six.Before the Super Bowl, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti expressed confidence that Flacco would be the Ravens’ quarterback of the future. “We’ve never lost a great, great franchise player from the beginning,” Bisciotti said. “I’m just very comfortable that it will get done.” On Friday, it did.Flacco was a first-round draft pick in 2008 out of Delaware and one of the most consistent postseason winners in NFL history.Flacco said after the Super Bowl victory over San Francisco that he expected to be back in Baltimore. He made sure of that Friday, coincidentally hours after the franchise tag figures for 2013 became known.Had Flacco been franchised, he would have earned at least $14.896 million this season.

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    Reds sign ex-Cub Prior to minor league contract

    SURPRISE, Ariz. — Pitcher Mark Prior has joined the Cincinnati Reds in his latest comeback bid.The Reds signed the 32-year-old righty to a minor league contract. This is the fourth straight spring that the oft-injured pitcher has tried to make it back to the majors.Prior pitched for Boston in Triple-A last season, making 19 relief appearances with a 3.96 ERA.The move reunites Prior and Reds manager Dusty Baker. They were together with the Chicago Cubs several years ago, and Prior was an All-Star in 2003 when the team came close to reaching the World Series.Baker said Friday that he’s kept up with Prior since their days in Chicago.

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    Chicago White Sox's Marcus Semien (83) is greeted at home by Hector Gimenez after hitting a 3-run home run off Cleveland Indians relief pitcher David Huff in the sixth inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game Friday, March 1, 2013, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

    Chris Sale has good 1st outing for Sox

    Chris Sale struck out three over 2 1-3 scoreless innings in his spring training debut Friday as the White Sox lost to the Cleveland Indians 9-7.

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    Samardzija pitches 3 in Cubs’ loss to D-backs

    Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija pitched out of enough trouble to get through three innings with the lead in Chicago’s 6-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday.

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    Adam Dunn, right, belted 41 home runs and drove in 96 runs to lead the White Sox, and he paced the American League with 105 walks. But Dunn also topped the major leagues with 222 strikeouts, a franchise record, and he disappeared over the final month of the season when the White Sox blew a 3-game lead with 15 to play and missed the playoffs.

    Dunn hopes he’s done with comeback kudogs

    White Sox designated hitter/first baseman Adam Dunn put up some familiar power numbers (41 home runs, 96 RBI) last season while winning AL Comeback Player of the Year honors. But Dunn also led the majors with 222 strikeouts and is striving to be more aggressive at the plate.

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    Vernon Hills' Sydney Smith celebrates with teammates.

    Images: Vernon Hills vs. Montini, girls basketball
    Vernon Hills stunned Montini 48-45 in OT in an IHSA Class 3A girls state basketball semifinal on Friday, Mar. 1 at Redbird Arena in Normal. The win snapped Montini's 26-game state tournament winning streak.

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    NIU head coach Rod Carey and the Huskies will open the season at Iowa and play four of their first five games on the road next fall.

    Northern Illinois announces football schedule

    Coming off the most successful season in school history, three-straight years with 11 wins or more and back-to-back Mid-American Conference Championships, Northern Illinois will face one of its most challenging schedules in recent years when it opens the 2013 season. The Huskies’ schedule will take them on the road for four of their first five games next fall. With just five home games at Huskie Stadium, where NIU has won 21 straight games, NIU will be tested early before finishing with a MAC West midweek run in November featuring consecutive contests against Ball State, Toledo and Western Michigan.

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    Cameroon's Yazid Atouba, right, who was selected in the MLS SuperDraft, has signed with the Chicago Fire, team officials announced Friday.

    Fire signs draft pick from Cameroon

    The Chicago Fire has signed MLS SuperDraft pick Yazid Atouba, a 20-year-old, left-footed midfielder from Cameroon, team officials announced Friday.

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    ESPN 1000 drops Teinowitz from afternoon show

    After 12 years as a co-host at WMVP 1000-AM, Harry Teinowitz was dropped from the ESPN Radio station’s lineup after Thursday’s broadcast.Robert Feder of Time Out Chicago reports that Thursday was Teinowitz’s final show with Carmen DeFalco and John Jurkovic, and listeners were not told ahead of time. Neither was Teinowitz, who was told after he got off the air, according to Feder. Here is a link to Feder’s report.

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    Michael Jordan

    Jordan targeted in paternity suit

    An Atlanta woman has filed a lawsuit saying basketball Hall of Famer and Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan is the father of her teenage son.

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    Another ratings record for Blackhawks

    As the Blackhawks continue to add to their record streak on the ice, the broadcast coverage of the team continues to set records for its coverage as well.Thursday night the Blackhawks (17-0-3) delivered the team’s highest regular-season rating ever — a 7.54 household rating for its live coverage of the 3-0 road win over the St. Louis Blues.

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    Purdue coach Sharon Versyp, left, and her women's basketball team celebrate year after defeating Nebraska 74-70 in double overtime for the women's Big Ten tournament title in Indianapolis a year ago. The tournament comes to the Sears Centre Arena next week.

    Big Ten women’s tourney set to rock Sears Centre

    Get ready for the Big Ten women's basketball conference tournament, which is being hosted by the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

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    The Chicago Rush will return to AFL action on March 23 at Allstate Arena against the Iowa Barnstormers to open their 18-game season.

    Rush to kickoff AFL season March 23 at Allstate

    Courtesy of a signature on the dotted line by new owner David Staral Jr. a little over three weeks before their March 23 home opener, the Chicago Rush finally has a deal to play its 2013 home games at the Allstate Arena.

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    Driver Danica Patrick created more buzz for NASCAR in the days leading up to the Daytona 500 than the race did itself.

    Spellman’s Scorecard: NASCAR squandered golden opportunity

    The Daytona 500 not living up to the hyp. That and thoughts on Boo Weekley,Stan Bowman, the seventh inning stretch and much more in this week's Spellman's Scorecard.

  •  
    He led Clemson to three straight NCAA tournament bids, but DePaul head coach Oliver Purnell is 30-59 overall since he was hired in 2010, and just 6-45 in the Big East.

    Where is DePaul basketball headed?

    Mike North hopes DePaul athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto can revive the men’s basketball program with the new Catholic Seven conference, but he has his doubts. She has been successful in other sports and was awarded an extension on her contract, but she has failed to deliver with the biggest revenue-producing sport.

  •  
    Derrick Rose laughs during a workout before an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, in Chicago. Rose remains out while recovering from a knee injury.

    Collins understands why Bulls are being patient

    Philadelphia coach Doug Collins battled a few knee injuries in his career and he understands why Derrick Rose is being patient in his recovery from ACL surgery. “Maybe sometimes I tried to come back too soon and it set me back,” Collins said before facing the Bulls on Thursday.

  •  

    Western Illinois holds on to beat UMKC 53-50

    Michael Ochereobia scored 14 points and Western Illinois stayed in contention for a share of the Summit League title by rallying past UMKC 53-50 on Thursday night.Ceola Clark added 13 points and six assists for the Leathernecks (20-7, 12-3), who can tie South Dakota State atop the conference by beating South Dakota on Saturday. SDSU finished its regular season Thursday with a win over Nebraska-Omaha.UMKC opened the game on a 22-5 run and led by as many as 18 in the first half, but Western Illinois came all the way back, taking their first lead, 50-48, on Ochereobia’s three-point play with 3:47 left. UMKC’s Kirk Korver made a jumper before Clark hit two free throws for the final margin.The Kangaroos (7-23, 4-11) lost their fourth straight. Estan Tyler scored 17 points, but he also had nine turnovers and missed a game-tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds.

Business

  •  
    President Barack Obama speaks to reporters in the White House briefing room in Washington, Friday, March 1, 2013, following after meeting with congressional leaders regarding the automatic spending cuts.

    Obama signs order to begin spending cuts

    President Barack Obama has signed an order authorizing the government to begin cutting $85 billion from federal accounts, officially enacting across-the-board reductions that he opposed but failed to avert.

  •  
    Associated Press/Dec. 13, 2011 FedEx workers unload packages at the FedEx hub at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles.

    Woman sues FedEx over marijuana delivery

    A Massachusetts woman has sued FedEx, claiming the company mistakenly sent her a package containing seven pounds of marijuana, then gave her address to the intended recipients, who later showed up at her door.

  •  
    Associated Press/May 6, 2012 Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

    45% profit not good enough for Buffett

    Warren Buffett says Berkshire finished 2012 with nearly $47 billion on hand, so he does have plenty to work with even if he insists on keeping about $20 billion around in case of emergencies.

  •  
    Associated Press/April 27, 2006 Horse meat found in meat balls has been a headache for Ikea. Meanwhile, many animal humane groups and public officials are outraged at the idea of resuming domestic horse slaughter, including New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

    New Mexico company: Feds may allow horse slaughter

    Federal officials have indicated they might soon grant the inspection needed to start processing horse meat at a southeastern New Mexico slaughterhouse. But the Obama administration threw a new twist in a more than yearlong debate over how best to humanely deal with a rising number of abused and neglected horses with a statement urging Congress to reinstate a ban on equine slaughter.

  •  
    Gordon Charlop, right, works Thursday on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

    Stocks close higher despite looming budget cuts

    All three indexes ended higher for the week: The Dow rose 0.6 percent, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq each rose about 0.2 percent. The Dow came within 15 points of its record close of 14,164 on Thursday before sliding back and ending the day lower.Oil and gas companies fell Friday as the price of crude sank to its lowest level of the year.

  •  
    A cut-away version of a Chrysler eight-speed automatic transmission sits on display Thursday at the Chrysler Group transmission plant in Kokomo, Ind. Chrysler Group LLC will invest about $374 million and add 1,250 jobs at Indiana factories to boost output of eight-and nine-speed transmissions.

    Auto sales speed ahead in February

    New car and truck sales were up 4 percent in February as rising home construction and cheap financing kept the U.S. auto recovery on track. While the pace of growth is slowing, industry analysts expect more gains in the coming months.

  •  
    Karen Williams, who battled Facebook over the right to view her deceased son Loren’s Facebook page, has been urging lawmakers for years to do something to prevent others from losing photos, messages and other memories that otherwise could be accessed at the click of a mouse. This year the Oregon Legislature took up the cause, only to be turned back by pressure from the tech industry, which says they must abide by a 1986 federal law that prevents them from sharing such information.

    In death, Facebook photos could fade away forever

    A grieving Oregon mother who battled Facebook for full access to her deceased son’s account has been pushing for years for something that would prevent others from losing photos, messages and other memories — as she did. “Everybody’s going to face this kind of a situation at some point in their lives,” says Karen Williams, whose 22-year-old son died in a 2005 motorcycle accident. Lobbyists agree the Stored Communications Act is woefully out of date but say that until it’s changed, laws passed at the state level could be unconstitutional.

  •  
    Attendees arrive at the Apple Inc. shareholders meeting Wednesday at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

    Apple shareholder drops lawsuit on preferred stock

    Lawyers for hedge fund manager David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital notified U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan that they no longer plan to pursue the lawsuit in a letter sent Thursday.

  •  

    Initial public offerings next week
    Associated PressNEW YORK — The following is a list of initial public offerings planned for the coming week. Sources include Renaissance Capital, Greenwich, CT and SEC filings.Week of March 4Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc. - Milwaukee, 11.5 million shares, priced $27 to $29, managed by Citigroup, Goldman Scahs, and BofA Merrill Lynch. Proposed NYSE symbol APAM. Business: Equities-focused investment manager with $74 billion under management.Professional Diversity Network Inc. - Chicago, 1.8 million shares, priced $10 to $12, managed by Aegis Capital. Proposed Nasdaq symbol IPDN. Business: Provides online networking and job postings for 2 million minorities in the U.S.

  •  
    These “before” (above) and “after” (below) images of the corner of Prospect Avenue and Wille Street illustrate the streetscape improvements being considered as part of an ongoing study of downtown Mount Prospect.

    Online survey asks Mt. Prospect residents about downtown

    Mount Prospect is asking residents for their ideas about the future of the downtown area, by hosting several "open house" meetings and by posting a survey online.

  •  
    The shopping center is being renamed Meadows Marketplace.

    Residents get glimpse at new Rolling Meadows grocery

    Residents got their first glimpse at the new grocery store that will occupy the long vacant Dominick’s in downtown Rolling Meadows on Thursday and most said they were happy with what they saw. “(Uncle Joe's is) a real neighborhood grocery store, we want to see our customers every day and be on a first-name basis with them," owner Louis Ruffalo said.

  •  
    The Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off Friday from launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

    SpaceX working to fix capsule’s thrusters

    SpaceX founder Elon Musk said three of the four sets of thrusters on the company’s unmanned Dragon capsule did not immediately kick in, delaying the release of the solar panels. Dragon’s twin solar wings swung open two hours later than planned as SpaceX worked to bring up the idled thrusters and keep the capsule on track for a planned Saturday arrival at the space station.

  •  

    Keg sales start at Lombard's Rock Bottom

    Rock Bottom Brewery in Lombard offered kegs for sale for the first time Thursday night, joining the 36 other Rock Bottom locations across the country in selling kegs of house-brewed beer. The restaurant and microbrewery had been the only Rock Bottom location unable to sell kegs from its opening in August 2006 until January, when the Lombard village board amended its liquor license.

  •  
    McDonald’s is getting rid of its Chicken Selects and Fruit & Walnut Salad and is considering the removal of Angus burgers. The changeup comes as the world’s biggest hamburger chain plans to step up the number of limited-time menu items in the year ahead.

    McDonald’s getting rid of items from menu

    McDonald’s is getting rid of its Chicken Selects and Fruit & Walnut Salad and is considering the removal of Angus burgers. The changeup comes as the world’s biggest hamburger chain plans to step up the number of limited-time menu items in the year ahead. Most recently, the chain introduced its “Fish McBites” and plans to introduce “McWrap” chicken sandwiches in three flavors later this year.

  •  
    Industry analysts expect February’s sales to be up about 7 percent from a year earlier as pent-up demand and cheap financing kept the U.S. auto sales recovery powering along. Volkswagen reported its best February since 1973.

    Chrysler, VW, GM report sales growth in February

    Tax increases. Rising gas prices. Political dysfunction in Washington. None of that kept Americans away from auto dealer showrooms in February as General Motors, Ford and other automakers posted strong sales gains. Industry analysts expect last month’s sales to be up about 7 percent from a year earlier as pent-up demand and cheap financing kept the U.S. auto sales recovery powering along.

  •  

    Stocks waver on Wall Street as cuts loom

    Stocks turned mixed Friday, erasing an early loss, after a report showed a rise in U.S. manufacturing activity.

  •  
    Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier is convinced nearly everyone, from patients to long-term investors, wants the world’s third-largest drugmaker to take big risks. One of Merck’s biggest gambles is the tens of millions it’s pouring into an experimental treatment for a new type of Alzheimer’s drug.

    CEO: Risks key for Merck to succeed, help patients

    Merck & Co. CEO Kenneth C. Frazier is convinced nearly everyone, from patients to long-term investors, wants the world’s third-largest drugmaker to take big risks. So Merck is plunging ahead in one of medicine’s toughest challenges — finding a drug to slow Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a particularly risky strategy because scientists are still unraveling exactly what drives Alzheimer’s.

  •  
    U.S. consumers increased spending modestly in January but cut back on major purchases that signal confidence in the economy.

    U.S. consumer spending up 0.2 percent in January

    U.S. consumers increased spending modestly in January but cut back on major purchases that signal confidence in the economy. The decline in spending on goods suggests higher tax rates that kicked in on Jan. 1 may have made consumers more cautious. The gain was driven by an increase in spending on services, partly reflecting higher heating bills. Spending on durable goods, such as cars and appliances, fell. Spending on non-durable goods, such as clothing, was essentially flat.

  •  
    The Commerce Department says construction spending in the U.S. fell 2.1 percent in January compared with December, the largest drop in 18 months.

    U.S. construction spending down 2.1 percent

    Spending on U.S. construction projects fell in January by the largest amount in 18 months as home construction stalled and spending on government projects fell to the lowest level in more than six years. The dip was viewed as a temporary setback with construction expected to keep moving higher this year.

  •  
    U.S. manufacturing expanded in February at the fastest pace since June 2011, buoyed by increases in new orders and production. The third straight month of growth suggests factories may help the economy this year after slumping through most of 2012.

    U.S. factories see best growth since June 2011

    U.S. manufacturing expanded in February at the fastest pace since June 2011, buoyed by increases in new orders and production. The third straight month of growth suggests factories may help the economy this year after slumping through most of 2012.

  •  

    Jim Beam dips into white whiskey

    The world’s top bourbon producer is dipping into moonshining’s colorful past to create its own white whiskey.Beam Inc.’s newest spirit is called Jacob’s Ghost in honor of Jacob Beam, founding distiller of its flagship Jim Beam brand. Jacob’s Ghost resembles the concoction that flowed from the pioneer’s still in the 1790s or from a moonshiner’s still today.But this is no run-of-the-mill, backwoods hooch.Jacob’s Ghost is an 80-proof whiskey aged at least one year in a charred, white oak barrel.The aging adds flavors from the wood that’s missing in unaged whiskeys and moonshines.Beam, based in Deerfield, is tapping into a white whiskey category that amounts to a drop in the bucket compared to bourbon. But white whiskey is finding a niche, thanks to craft distillers.

  •  
    Paul O’Connor, left, listens as Orsom “Butch” Huntley, 63, a shipyard employee for three decades, talks with The Associated Press at Mojo’s BBQ Restaurant outside the Main Gate of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine. Huntley said he is already living paycheck to paycheck while caring for his terminally ill wife and is now are preparing to lose the equivalent of a month’s pay because of Congressí inability to resolve another budget stalemate.

    Workers anxious as cuts set to take effect

    They don’t care which side caused Washington’s latest crisis. Five hundred miles from Capitol Hill, the men and women of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard are worrying about paying rent, searching for new jobs and caring for sick loved ones. Almost the entire workforce, a community of more than 5,000 along the Maine and New Hampshire seacoast, is preparing to lose the equivalent of a month’s pay because of Congress’ inability to resolve another budget stalemate.

  •  

    Eurozone jobless hits another record

    Unemployment across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro has risen to a record 11.9 percent but inflation has fallen to its lowest level in two and a half years, official figures showed Friday. Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, said nearly 19 million people are unemployed in the eurozone following an increase of around 200,000 in January. That took the rate up from January’s 11.8 percent, the previous record.

  •  

    China’s manufacturing growth falls to 5-month low

    China’s manufacturing grew at its weakest rate in five months in February as demand faltered and factories shut down for the Lunar New Year holiday, two surveys showed Friday. An industry group, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, said its purchasing managers index declined to 50.1, down 0.3 points from January, on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show an expansion in activity.

  •  
    Margaret Fiester, operations manager at the Society for Human Resource Management, is no shrinking violet, but she says working for her former boss, who subjected her to abusive tirades, was a nightmare. She doesn’t have to worry about the tirades anymore, but she hears lots of similar stories in her current job, where she often fields questions about the growing issue of workplace bullying.

    Growing push to halt workplace bullying

    On-the-job bullying can take many forms, from a supervisor’s verbal abuse and threats to cruel comments or relentless teasing by a co-worker. And it could become the next major battleground in employment law as a growing number of states consider legislation that would let workers sue for harassment that causes physical or emotional harm.

  •  
    A man uses the NFC payment Visa system at the Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest mobile phone trade show, in Barcelona, Spain.

    Companies struggle to popularize mobile money

    Mobile money may seem like a hot concept, but consumers aren’t warming to it. At the world’s largest cellphone trade show, here in Barcelona this week, the 70,000 attendees are encouraged to use their cellphones —instead their keycards— to get past the turnstiles at the door. But very few people took the chance to do that. The process of setting up the phone to act as a keycard proved too much of a hassle.

  •  
    Groupon, the struggling online deals company, said Thursday after the market closed that it ousted Andrew Mason as CEO and will look for a new chief.

    Groupon fires CEO, still faces underlying problems

    Now that Groupon has gotten rid of its quirky founder and CEO, the chief question is whether the company’s underlying online deals business is promising enough to reverse its falling stock price, declining revenue growth and waning consumer interest. In a refreshingly candid memo to staff, Groupon CEO Andrew Mason admitted he “failed at this part of the journey” and said the company’s employees “deserve the outside world to give you a second chance.”

  •  

    Global stocks slip as US budget impasse looms

    Global stocks mostly fell Friday as investors grew wary over the prospect of impending spending cuts by the U.S. government. Some $85 billion in cuts are due to take effect today as part of a previous budget agreement between the White House and Congress. The planned “sequester” could hit U.S. growth if no deal is reached to avoid it. The International Monetary Fund has estimated that it could shave around 0.5 percentage point off U.S. growth this year.

  •  
    Chasers Sports Bar & Grill, which has operated in Niles for more than 20 years, is expanding to replace the vacated Yogi's Pizza in Lake Zurich.

    Chasers to replace Yogi's in Lake Zurich

    When the spring youth sports seasons get started in Lake Zurich, there should be a new place to gather after a softball or soccer game. Chasers Sports Bar & Grill is replacing the former Yogi's Pizza at 830 S. Rand Road. Chasers has operated a location in Niles for more than two decades and decided the time is right to expand to the north. “It's a family-operated establishment,” Helen Montanile said.

Life & Entertainment

  •  
    Children’s entertainer Raffi will perform in concert at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora Sunday, May 19.

    Raffi to play Paramount in Aurora

    Canadian children's musician Raffi is set to perform his new concert "Raffi #belugagrads Concert" at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 19.

  •  
    Rick Springfield will perform July 6 at Naperville’s Ribfest celebration.

    Rick Springfield to headline night at Ribfest

    Rick Springfield, who has sold more than 25 million albums and had 17 Top 40 hits, will headline the Naperville Exchange Club’s Ribfest celebration July 6 on the Navistar stage. Springfield won a 1981 Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal for his No. 1 hit single “Jessie’s Girl.” His other hits include “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “An Affair of the Heart,” “I’ve Done Everything for You,” “Love Somebody” and “Human Touch.”

  •  
    The Gateway Arch, the nation’s tallest man-made monument, signifies the gateway to the West.

    Fun and family-friendly St. Louis

    St. Louis so often -- and so unfairly -- gets the short stick in the tourism world. Famous for its hot, sticky summers, this city five hours southwest of Chicago, is a reasonable road trip destination that has plenty to offer families in search of a fun and affordable vacation.

  •  
    Bonnie Franklin, left, MacKenzie Phillips, Valerie Bertinelli and Pat Harrington of the 1970s television sitcom “One Day at a Time” here reminisced in 2008 on the NBC “Today” show. Franklin died Friday, March 1, at her home due to complications from pancreatic cancer, family members said. She was 69.

    Bonnie Franklin, ‘One Day at a Time’ star, dies

    Bonnie Franklin, the pert, redheaded actress whom millions came to identify with for her role as divorced mom Ann Romano on the long-running sitcom “One Day at a Time,” has died. She died Friday at her home due to complications from pancreatic cancer, family members said. She was 69. Her family had announced she was diagnosed with cancer in September. Franklin was a veteran stage and television performer before “One Day At a Time” made her a star.

  •  

    How you can afford a family vacation

    The economy has made life tough for almost everyone lately. But just because the economy is struggling is no reason to give up your family holiday. It just means it’s time to get creative. Here are six creative ways to save money on a family vacation.

  •  
    A Mickey pool makes it all the more fun to relax poolside.

    Learn the lingo before casting off on a Disney cruise

    Cruising is one of the fastest-growing family vacation markets and, while nearly all cruise lines are adding kid-friendly entertainment and dining options, some are adding family suites and nearly all have some kind of kid-focused activities onboard, no cruise line does it as well as Disney Cruise Lines.

  •  

    1 dead in shooting outside rapper’s bus in Philly

    A driver opened fire on a crowd of people surrounding the tour bus of rapper French Montana after a concert in Philadelphia, killing one person and injuring another, according to police. The shooting happened around 11:30 p.m. Thursday as the entourage had arrived at a hotel near Penn’s Landing after the rapper had headlined a sold-out show at the Theatre of Living Arts.

  •  

    Toby Keith’s bassist killed in Okla. car crash

    Authorities say the bassist for country music star Toby Keith has been killed in a two-car crash in Oklahoma. The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office says 54-year-old Carl “Chuck” Goff Jr. was killed in the crash Wednesday night in rural Cleveland County, about 35 miles south of Oklahoma City.

  •  
    First lady Michelle Obama appeared on screen during the Oscars Sunday, while actor Jack Nicholson presented the award for best picture.

    First lady not surprised by reaction to Oscars

    Michelle Obama says it was “absolutely not surprising” to her that her satellite appearance at the Academy Awards ceremony provoked a national conversation about whether it was appropriate, after some conservative critics accused her of selfishly crashing the event in an attempt to upstage it. She attributed the chatter to a culture shift that has spawned legions of bloggers, tweeters and others who talk about anything and everything all the time.

  •  
    Tori Spelling, left, Jennie Garth and Diablo Cody are shown in a scene from “90210.” The CW network announced Thursday that the show will wrap in May after five seasons.

    TV series ‘90210’ to end 5-year run in May

    The countdown is under way for the end of the TV series “90210.” The CW network announced Thursday that the show will wrap in May after five seasons. That means it will have half the run of its inspiration, “Beverly Hills, 90210,” which aired on Fox from 1990 to 2000.

  •  
    Rocker Bret Michaels, left, and former Chicago Bulls player Dennis Rodman join other stars in NBC's “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice,” which debuts Sunday, March 3,

    'Apprentice' all-stars ready to compete for a cause

    It was just another morning in midtown: Dennis Rodman in a jacket with tails and jeans, Donald Trump in a conservative suit, Marilu Henner and Lisa Rinna in elegant dresses, shivering in an open-air double-decker bus wending through Manhattan. Tourists stop, point and snap photos as Poison frontman Bret Michaels smiles. Trump had just announced the 14 participants of NBC's “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice,” which debuts Sunday, March 3.

  •  
    Middle-aged mother Becky Foster (Patricia Finn-Morris) faces temptation in Steel Beam Theatre's "Becky's New Car."

    Steel Beam's 'Becky's New Car' is a fun ride

    Should she or shouldn't she commit adultery? That's the key question the title character in “Becky's New Car” asks as she polls the women of the audience. The fact that the leading lady gets to interact with the audience (known in theater parlance as “breaking the fourth wall”) is just one of the delights of Steven Dietz's Seattle-set 2008 comedy now playing at Steel Beam Theatre in St. Charles.

  •  
    Billie Joe Armstrong and the rest of Green Day play March 28 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

    March Music Madness: Fans score with local shows

    March madness doesn't just mean basketball. Music fans, too, have much to celebrate this month. Green Day kicks off a major tour in Rosemont. Rihanna rocks the United Center. Branford Marsalis plays a jazz concert in Naperville. And some of the greatest musical theater treats light up stages from Aurora to Lincolnshire. We've rounded up our own Sweet Sixteen of great concerts and theater productions sure to score points with fans.

  •  
    Catch a game and then stick around for some live music at McGruder’s Irish Pub in Elgin.

    McGruder’s in Elgin a sports bar with a splash of Irish

    Since opening in July, McGruder’s Irish Pub in Elgin has earned a loyal following of locals. A sports bar with a splash of Irish, the spot offers affordable food and drinks so you can catch a game then stick around for some live music. The bar area was packed when we were there on a Friday night with 20- to 60-something drinkers enjoying pints and shots. McGruder’s brings in lots of regulars who come in once a week or more.

  •  
    “Blossom” by Amanda Brecker

    Brecker blossoms on King-Taylor tribute

    This collection ("Blossom") of James Taylor and Carole King songs marks Amanda Brecker’s U.S. recording debut, but the singer has a rich musical pedigree. Her background gives her the confidence to perform classic songs like “So Far Away,” “Something in the Way He Moves” and “Sweet Baby James” in a relaxed, respectful manner — with a few jazzy embellishments.

  •  

    Music notes: Dot Dot Dot the antidote to winter blahs

    Suburban pop band Dot Dot Dot brings its infectious live act to Palatine Friday, and Libertyville native Ike Reilly begins a series of shows with his band at Schuba's.

  •  

    Local theater: ‘Fiddler’ at Paramount
    Paramount Theatre's closes its season with "Fiddler on the Roof," Court Theatre reimagines "Proof" and American Theater Company extends "columbinus" this week in theater.

  •  
    Sun rooms and morning rooms are cozy spaces off the kitchen where homeowners enjoy much natural light.

    Builders fulfill desires with specialty rooms

    Have you ever dreamed of having a whole room dedicated to your favorite pastime, sport or other leisure activity? Custom homebuilders often receive requests from their clients for a specialty room where they can indulge in their passions.

  •  

    What’s new in theaters
    Michael Montenegro's darkly comic puppet and masks solo piece; The Hypocrites' streamlined "Coriolanus;" a commercial remount of Theo Ubique's "Smokey Joe's Cafe" and Strawdog's graphi novel inspired "Kill Shakespeare" are among this week's Chicago area theater openings.

Discuss

  •  

    Editorial: Red-light scandal a reminder on all public contracts

    As a scandal involving Chicago's red-light camera program makes news, suburban officials must ensure their own towns' business deals are above board, a Daily Herald editorial says.

  •  

    Hail Armageddon

    Columnist Charles Krauthammer: “The worst-case scenario for us,” a leading anti-budget-cuts lobbyist told The Washington Post, “is the sequester hits and nothing bad really happens.” Think about that. Worst case? That a government drowning in debt should cut back by 2.2 percent — and the country survives.

  •  

    A power to act on warming

    Columnist Eugene Robinson: The test of President Obama’s seriousness about addressing climate change is not his pending decision on the much-debated Keystone XL pipeline. It’s whether he effectively consigns coal-fired power plants — one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions — to the ashcan of history.

  •  

    The Olympics of joy

    Columnist Michael Gerson: Special Olympics programs in 170 countries are calling attention to the uncounted. The most recent World Games took place in Asia, where it can be hazardous to be a female child, much less a disabled one. In many places, Special Olympics has become a front-line human rights organization.

  •  

    Justice misses mark on voters’ rights
    A Buffalo Grove letter to the editor: Thank you, Justice Antonin Scalia. We always could depend on you to defend, in no uncertain terms, the strict validity of the Constitution of the United States.

  •  

    A better example needed from Lohan
    A Hoffman Estates letter to the editor: Who needs her service announcements and her visits to schools to inspire children? Perhaps she should just take a good look in the mirror and inspire herself to do the right things in life.

  •  

    Change the rules on lawmakers’ pay
    An Elk Grove Village letter to the editor: We need an organized grass-roots effort to get a statewide referendum on the ballot to bring these salaries in line and eliminate pensions for lawmakers. It would require a lot of work, and it would have to remain nonpartisan.

  •  

    Paternity kits a sad commentary
    A Hoffman Estates letter to the editor: And are the guys getting their jollies so indifferent to the children they produce that they have to be trapped into fulfilling their responsibilities by bed mates taking them to court with DNA proof of paternity? I guess so.

  •  

    Don’t mess with the Second Amendment
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: The Second Amendment is an American issue. It is a hands-off issue — don’t tread on the American people.

  •  

    No need for defense pay cuts
    A Wilmette letter to the editor: With the sequestration date here, the pundits are making dire predictions for the Department of Defense rollback — perhaps a temporary 20 percent pay cut for DOD employees The enforced cutback should instead be looked at with delight.

  •  

    CLC trustee serves because she cares
    A Lake County letter to the editor: Individuals like Barbara Oilschlager serve on community college boards because they believe they can and do make a difference in someone’s life.

  •  

    Bulletproof council chambers ridiculous
    An Elgin letter to the editor: I object to the Elgin City Council’s recent decision to spend taxpayer money to make the council chamber dais bulletproof. Not even Chicago’s council chamber is bullet proof, nor do our children in the public schools have bullet proof protection.

  •  

    GOP blaming all but themselves
    GOP blaming all but themselvesThe GOP, otherwise known as the RepublicaNO Party, has blamed everyone but themselves for the upcoming recession (after March 1st). Since they insist on allowing deep cuts to the federal government, without any consideration of revenue increases on the wealthy, or closing of tax loop holes for the wealthy, they have thought of ordinary people as the 47 percent, as takers not givers, or as moochers. They should realize that this is a democracy. Those “poor working” people vote. The RepublicaNO Party will soon be as powerful, and as obsolete as the Whig Party of the 1850s. They have obstructed the will of the middle and working classes for decades. They will have a difficult time electing anyone to office, especially to national office, after March 1. These are the facts, if the NO Party continues to turn its back on “We The People.”Jim ChevalierElgin

  •  

    Time for wealthy to pay fair share
    A St. Charles letter to the editor: Tax increases and/or elimination of tax loop holes are essential in an effort to reduce the deficit. It has to be a balanced effort of reducing spending and increasing revenues (taxes).

  •  

    Red light cameras don’t serve people
    An Addison letter to the editor: Red light cameras aren’t installed for our protection, but rather as a cheap source of revenue for our government. Since the red light cameras have been installed, more accidents have occurred because people don’t want to risk receiving a ticket and end up braking at the last moment.

  •  

    Libraries, don’t forsake printed word
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: I found rather depressing the Feb. 17 Daily Herald story about visits to libraries being up 33 percent in 10 years, despite the fact that the popularity of digital alternatives is exploding.

  •  

    Why pay billions for foreign oil?
    An Elmhurst letter to the editor: Every poll contends that Obama is the chief culprit in preventing Americans from getting reasonable oil prices.

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