Daily Archive : Monday March 4, 2013

News

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    McKee House: The two-story limestone house and a neighboring administration building were constructed in 1936 by the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps. Both structures were spared from the wrecking ball in 2006 but are in disrepair.

    DuPage forest preserve district’s historic sites

    Through the years, preservationists have convinced the DuPage County Forst Preserve to intervene in efforts to save a number of historic buildings, including the 1840s Baker House near Bartlett and the Ben Fuller House in Oak Brook. Here’s a look at those structures and what is being done with them.

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    Recovery center abandons Campton Hills site

    After Campton Hills trustees shot down the Kiva Recovery Center in January, the group vowed to take the 96-bed plan to Kane County for consideration. But officials now say they will look elsewhere for a site.

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    Jim Basile clears the snow off the sidewalk in downtown Lombard Tuesday.

    Storm cancels more than 1,000 flights at O’Hare, Midway

    It’s late, but it’s here. Snow is starting to fall at both O’Hare International Airport and the western suburbs, as what is expected to be the largest snowstorm of the year descends upon the Chicago area. The National Weather Service pushed back the start and end times of the winter storm advisory. Now, the advisory runs from 9 a.m. until midnight Wednesday. Meteorologists believe up to 10-inches...

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    New sensors will help snow, ice removal in Arlington Heights

    As a large winter storm moves through the area this week, Arlington Heights officials are looking forward to next year when they say a new road weather information system will make snow and ice removal more efficient. “Yes, you can tell what’s going on by looking outside, but we have 200 miles of streets and the village is 8 miles long,” said Mike Reynolds, maintenance...

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    Daily Herald starts April endorsements

    The Daily Herald has started endorsing candidates for the upcoming elections, beginning with races for village president and mayor in the suburbs.

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    “Biggest Loser” trainer Jillian Michaels, left, sits next to Wheeling's Danni Allen. Allen made it through the latest round of competition after spending two weeks at home working and working out on her own.

    Wheeling's 'Biggest Loser' still in competition

    Danni Allen of Wheeling tearfully reunited with her proud family in the suburbs for two weeks and continued to lose weight on Monday's episode of “The Biggest Loser,” an NBC weight-loss program. Allen, a graduate of Mundelein High School, looked like a beauty queen, according to Tim Gunn, the fashion consultant who helped her choose youthful but sophisticated clothing like gold skinny...

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    A new study released on Monday offers more compelling evidence that life expectancy for some U.S. women is actually falling. Some leading theories blame higher smoking rates and higher unemployment, but several experts said they simply don’t know.

    Study shows declining life span for some US women

    A new study offers more compelling evidence that life expectancy for some U.S. women is actually falling, a disturbing trend that experts can’t explain. The latest research found that women age 75 and younger are dying at higher rates than previous years in nearly half of the nation’s counties — many of them rural and in the South and West.

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    Joe Riddle of Aurora will be $78,000 in debt when he completes the graduate program in engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It's a situation facing more college students as Illinois' budget woes have led to higher tuition and less state aid at public universities.

    Students squeezed as Illinois college costs rise, aid drops

    The growing cost of college is one big way that suburban families shoulder the burden of Illinois' budget woes. Public university tuition is rising, state aid for students is down and funding for alternative paths to a college education is drying up. “Some students start school and are academically able to continue but are financially not able to continue,” Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon said.

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    Existing suburban casinos like Rivers Casino in Des Plaines fear that new gambling competition could eat into their revenues.

    Quinn vetoes plan that would have put slots at Arlington Park

    Gov. Pat Quinn today vetoed nearly 2-year-old legislation that would have allowed a casino in Lake County and 1,200 slot machines at Arlington Park. The move was widely expected, as Quinn had already vetoed a proposal that didn't go as far in expanding gambling. But a parliamentary abnormality early this year sent the legislation that lawmakers approved back in 2011 to the governor's desk.

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    An aircraft sits on the tarmac after making an emergency landing at Lambert St. Louis International Airport Monday in St. Louis. An official said the eight passengers aboard the small aircraft with landing gear troubles walked off the plane after it landed safely.

    Learjet makes safe emergency landing in St. Louis

    A Learjet with landing gear problems circled an airport outside St. Louis for about an hour and a half Monday before it was diverted to St. Louis-Lambert International Airport, where it safely made an emergency landing.

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    Laura Lopez, left, checks the blood pressure of Santos Aguilar at the Street Level Health Project in Oakland, Calif.

    Illinois nonprofits take lead on health overhaul

    Nonprofit groups and community organizations in Illinois aren't waiting for government officials to translate information about the nation's health overhaul into languages other than English. In Illinois, where nearly 1.2 million residents don't speak English well, the task of translating information about the health care overhaul has fallen, for now, to nonprofit groups and community...

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    Charles Hiscock was hired as the new principal of West Aurora High School March 4.

    West Aurora High gets a new principal

    West Aurora High School will have a new, permanent principal next school year, as the board hired Charles Hiscock Monday night. He will replace the school's two interim co-principals, who have supervised the school since the summer of 2011.

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    South Elgin High School on way to first-time accreditation

    The five traditional high schools in Elgin Area School District U-46 are all certified by the state board of education, meaning they meet minimum standards of instruction. But four out of the five are also accredited by a separate organization called AdvancED and South Elgin High School is on its way to the same designation. Superintendent José Torres explained to board members during their...

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    Palatine OKs plans for larger Ukrainian church

    Despite submitting a proposal that falls well short of the required number of parking spaces, the Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church in Palatine has the go-ahead to erect a new, larger building to accommodate its growing congregation. The Palatine village council Monday unanimously approved plans to replace the existing church at 755 S. Benton St., just north of Illinois...

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    Fox Valley police reports
    Kevin R. Walsh, 43, of the 0-99 block of Leadville Lane, Gilberts, was charged with driving under the influence and driving too fast for conditions after he crashed his car into a fence in the 39W500 block of Big Timber Road near Elgin at about 11:15 p.m. Feb. 21, according to a sheriff’s report.

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    Mark Beeson

    Island Lake candidates share visions of town’s future

    Even though Island Lake has been mired in political squabbling for years, the candidates running for seats on the village board have positive visions of the town’s future. One sees long-vacant storefronts filled with thriving businesses; another expects the town will become a community of friendly people, like its motto prescribes. A third envisions a town where police officers spend more time...

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    Des Plaines aldermen question lobbyist contracts

    Des Plaines aldermen Monday night requested more information from the staff on contracts with lobbyists hired to represent the city’s interests in Springfield. The city council postponed a decision on continuing a contract with McGuireWoods Consulting LLC.

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    Douglas Raul Williams

    Avon Twp. rival calls residency into question

    Avon Township board members are questioning whether a colleague has a primary residence in Chicago and has been improperly receiving more than one homeowner’s exemption for property tax purposes. Trustee Douglas Raul Williams was the subject of Monday night’s special board session. Supervisor Lisa Rusch, who faces Williams in the April 9 election, raised several questions and voiced...

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    Mundelein High School sophomore found

    A sophomore soccer player from Mundelein High School who had been missing since Sunday night was found Monday evening by the Chicago Police Department.

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    Jonathan Feryance

    Wauconda Unit Dist. 118 candidates share their innovative ideas

    Corporate sponsorships, an expanded foreign language program and TV blackouts are among the unique ideas the candidates for seats on the Wauconda Unit District 118 school board said they’d like to pursue. Five people are running for four seats on the school board.

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    3 convicted in murder conspiracy, fake ID ring

    The operators of a Chicago fake ID market and a contract killer who worked with them have been found guilty of racketeering, conspiracy to murder, money laundering and harboring aliens. A federal jury on Monday found Julio and Manuel Leija-Sanchez and Gerardo Salazar-Rodriguez guilty. They face in life prison when sentenced.

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    George N. Oliver

    Aurora man charged with sex assault

    An Aurora man was charged Saturday with predatory criminal sexual assault after molesting a 12-year-old girl in Chicago, authorities said.

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    President Barack Obama speaks to members of the media at the start of a Cabinet meeting at the White House Monday. From left are, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the president and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

    Republicans unveil government funding measure

    Republicans controlling the House moved Monday to ease a crunch in Pentagon readiness while limiting the pain felt by such agencies as the FBI and the Border Patrol from the across-the-board spending cuts that are just starting to take effect. The effort is part of a huge spending measure that would fund day-to-day federal operations through September — and head off a potential government...

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    State Sen. Daniel Biss of Evanston, top left, Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross of Oswego, bottom, and Rep. Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook, right, are behind one of several pension-reforming plans in Springfield.

    More pension proposals create less consensus

    The growing number of proposals to cut pension costs offers lawmakers a buffet of ideas for addressing Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension debt, but each new plan that's hatched also could make consensus hard to find. Here's a snapshot of the competing plans.

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    Fernando Zavala

    Elgin man pleads guilty to 9 armed robberies

    A 39-year-old Elgin man faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to a series of armed robberies from August 2011 through June 2012 in Elgin, Aurora and East Dundee. Fernando Zavala entered a cold plea and will be sentenced April 10, according to court records. He had no previous criminal record and most of the places he hit were payday loan type stores.

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    Current Glenbard South High School Principal Terri Hanrahan will become the school district’s teaching and learning coordinator and Title I facilitator this summer. Her replacement is expected to be chosen by April.

    Glenbard S. High principal gets promotion to district post

    Glenbard South High School Principal Terri Hanrahan is being promoted to a position in the school district offices as the new coordinator of teaching and learning for all four district schools. The school board approved Hanrahan’s appointment Monday. “For me it’s a terrific move because ultimately my career goal is to become an assistant superintendent,” Hanrahan said. “It gives me experience in...

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    Huntley High School basketball players show off their hardware during a pep assembly Monday. The Red Raiders finished fourth in the state basketball tournament last weekend.

    Huntley students recognize girls basketball team

    The Huntley girls basketball team was feted during a pep rally at the school Monday afternoon.

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    President Barack Obama announces at the White House Monday he will nominate, from left, MIT physics professor Ernest Moniz for Energy secretary, Gina McCarthy to head the EPA; and Walmart Foundation President Sylvia Mathews Burwell to head the Budget Office.

    Obama nominates 3 to Cabinet-level posts

    President Barack Obama signaled his willingness to tackle climate change with his pick of Gina McCarthy to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, one of three major appointments he announced Monday.

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    Lake Michigan water update:

    A public meeting regarding a Lake Michigan water update will be held from 5 to 7 p m. Tuesday, March 5, at the Lehmann Mansion, 485 N. Milwaukee Ave., Lake Villa.

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    Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, of Brazil, center, is followed by compatriot Cardinal Geraldo Majella Agnelo, left, as they arrive for a meeting at the Vatican Monday. Cardinals from around the world have gathered inside the Vatican for their first round of meetings before the conclave to elect the next pope.

    U.S. cardinals seek answers on Vatican dysfunction

    Cardinals said Monday they wanted to be briefed about the true state of Vatican dysfunction before they elect the next pope, evidence that the scandal over leaked papal documents is casting a shadow over the conclave and setting up one of the most unpredictable papal elections in recent times.

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    1110NYPD seeks suspect in death of expectant parents AP Photo NYR102, NYR101, NYJM118, NYR105, NYR104, NYR103

    Associated PressNEW YORK (AP) — Police have identified a suspect being sought in the hit-and-run deaths of a pregnant woman and her husband whose baby died on Monday, a day after the Brooklyn car crash.

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    Dawn Patrol: Elgin murder victim mourned; more snow coming
    Elgin murder victim mourned. Another storm slated to hit the suburbs starting tonight. Elgin man killed in Barrington Hills pileup. Zion teens charged in infant son's death. Blackhawks' streak now up to 22.

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    An unidentified Elgin police officer enters a townhouse on Saturday while investigating the murder of 33-year-old Lisa Koziol-Ellis.

    Weekend in Review: Elgin woman slain; fatal motorcycle crash

    What you may have missed over the weekend: Elgin woman found murdered in her home; 2 die in car vs. motorcycle crash; state budget pinch hits home in suburbs; suburban fire departments face tighter budgets; Des Plaines man charged with abusing girls; Elgin man dies in Barrington Hill crash; Blackhawks stretch streak to 22; and Bulls lose in Indiana.

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    Nonprofit PTA, for-profit rival PTO Today settle lawsuit

    The nonprofit National Parent Teacher Association — better known as the PTA — and a for-profit rival have settled a deceptive practices lawsuit, the organizations announced in a joint statement Monday. The iconic, 116-year-old PTA had accused the newer PTO Today of engaging in false advertising, trademark infringement and other deceptive practices in a bid to siphon members away from the older...

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    Oprah Winfrey has awarded hundreds of grants to organizations that support education and the empowerment of women, children, and families worldwide. She will speak at Harvard University’s afternoon commencement exercises on May 30.

    Oprah to speak at Harvard commencement

    Oprah Winfrey has been selected as one of the principal speakers at Harvard University’s commencement, the Ivy League school announced Monday. The talk show host and media entrepreneur will speak at the afternoon exercises at Harvard’s 362nd commencement scheduled for May 30.

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    Kathy Hewell

    Dist. 303 low-income families to pay more for all-day kindergarten?

    Free won’t be free in St. Charles District 303 if one school board member has her way with all-day kindergarten fees. Kathy Hewell believes parents/students are only invested in their education if they actually pay something for it. So the low-income families district staff want to enroll in full-day kindergarten may pay up to $350. But it won’t happen without a fight.

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    Ron Evans, Primate Center Team Leader at the zoo in Cincinnati, plays with a baby gorilla named Gladys the way a mother Western Lowland Gorilla would with her young. The baby gorilla was born Jan. 29 at a Texas zoo to a first-time mother who wouldn’t care for her.

    Grunting Ohio zoo workers act as moms to gorilla

    Some zoo workers in Cincinnati are going ape over a baby gorilla. They are wearing all-black outfits, grunting affectionately, and generally imitating mother gorillas to help the month-old baby adjust to a new home and get ready for a surrogate mother.

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    Daily Herald File Photo Extending Route 53 north would ease congestion, supporters say. A survey aims to find out how much drivers would pay to use it.

    Route 53 consultants’ contract draws criticism

    The tollway finalizes a $4 million contract with consultants to fine-tune the design and nail down the cost of an environmentally friendly Route 53 extension. But not everyone's happy about it as one critic lashes out against possible tolls on the existing section of Route 53.

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    A federal lawsuit alleges DuPage County discriminated against Kerry Vinkler when it fired her from her former job as the director of Dupage Animal Care and Control.

    Former animal control director files suit against DuPage

    The former director of DuPage Animal Care and Control has filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against DuPage County claiming she was fired for taking medical leave. Kerry Vinkler said in October she felt “betrayed” after being let go from her $89,473-a-year job overseeing the Wheaton animal shelter. The Hickory Hills resident was terminated on Oct. 19 after spending about two weeks out of the...

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    Library trades foods for fines

    During the entire month of March, the Waukegan Public Library is taking $1 off overdue fines for each nonperishable item patrons donate to a local food pantry.

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    Lisa Koziol-Ellis

    Coroner: Elgin woman died of multiple stab wounds

    Lisa Koziol-Ellis, the 33-year-old woman killed over the weekend in her Elgin townhouse, died of multiple stab wounds, Kane County Coroner Rob Russell said Monday afternoon. Meanwhile, one of Koziol-Ellis’ friends can’t understand how someone who brought happiness to so many people, was taken away so suddenly.

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    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel shares a laugh with Barrington mayor Karen Darch during press conference with suburban mayors last year advocating for pension reform. Itasca mayor Jefff Pruyn is on the left, and Addison mayor Larry Hartwig is on the right.

    Suburban officials brace for another possible budget fight

    Gov. Pat Quinn is set to deliver his budget plans to lawmakers Wednesday, and local officials will be listening. Harsh financial troubles for the state occasionally spawn proposals that could take money from local government to help patch up the holes.

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    Developers have released the names of more than 120 stores planned for the Fashion Outlets of Chicago, a 550,000-square-foot, upscale outlet mall in Rosemont. The mall is expected to open Aug. 1.

    Rosemont’s upscale outlet mall to open Aug. 1

    Luxury retailers, including Barneys, Tory Burch, Prada and Halston, and other top brands are coming soon to Rosemont’s outlet mall opening Aug. 1. The developers of Fashion Outlets of Chicago Monday released the names of more than 120 stores that will be housed in the 530,000-square-foot, two-story, enclosed mall just south of the Balmoral Avenue exit off the Tri-State Tollway.

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    Quinn, Emanuel mark Pulaski Day at ceremony

    Illinois’ top leaders gathered in Chicago’s Polish neighborhood for Pulaski Day. The holiday honors Casimir Pulaski, a cavalry officer born in Poland who fought in the Revolutionary War. The Chicago area is home to one of the largest concentrations of people of Polish descent outside of Poland.

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    Jonathon Napiorkowski of Gurnee, a junior at Illinois State University, photographs Anna Templin, a junior from Hagerstown, Ind., by a large snow sculpture of Batman that has been drawing a large following on the ISU quadrangle in Normal.

    ISU art student sculpts Batman out of snow

    An Illinois State University student has sculpted a snowy version of Batman. Art major Anthony LaGiglia said he used a plastic dining hall knife to make his creation.

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    Logan Ponce performs as Chief Illiniwek during halftime of a football game against Purdue on Nov. 11, 2006. Six years after the chief’s last appearance, a University of Illinois student group has put an item on a campus election ballot trying to garner support for making Chief Illiniwek the official symbol of the campus.

    Nonbinding vote planned on Chief Illiniwek

    It’s been six years since Chief Illiniwek last danced at the University of Illinois. But a student group has put an item on a campus election ballot trying to garner student support for making the American Indian mascot the official symbol of the campus.

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    Michael Reid

    Hampshire board candidates disagree on developer fees

    When it comes to spurring development in Hampshire, the five candidates running for three spots on its village board, have different views on whether reducing or eliminating developer fees is the way to goDuring a recent Daily Herald endorsement interview session, challenger Connie Von Keudell said she favored reducing or waiving those fees in the case of a development like Hampshire Grove.

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    Part of a 68-car freight train derailed in Elk Grove Village early Monday, closing nearby Elmhurst Road for much of the day. No injuries were reported and officials said there were no hazardous materials leaks.

    Freight train derails in Elk Grove Village, closes Elmhurst Road

    Crews are working to clear rail cars after a freight train derailed in Elk Grove Village early Monday morning, closing a portion of Elmhurst Road but causing no injuries or significant rail delays, according to authorities. Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis said two locomotives and five cars from a 68-car freight train derailed about 2:47 a.m. There was no indication of a hazardous materials...

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    Mundelein automated horns silenced

    The automated train horns that have been operating at seven Mundelein crossings since 2001 have been silenced, officials announced.

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    Round Lake Beach man convicted of 8th DUI

    A Round Lake Beach man faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced Friday after being convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol for the eighth time. Tim Morrow, 43, of the 1400 block of Hainesville Road, has been charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol 12 times since 1987, Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Ben Dillon said. Four of the charges were...

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    Amrich electoral board meeting

    A three-member electoral board will convene Thursday in Island Lake to consider a renewed effort to prevent Charles Amrich from running for mayor.

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    Vernon Area library remodeling:

    The Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire will close for a $1.3 million remodeling project starting today. Patrons will have continued access to books, DVDs, games and other materials at the former library building, also called the annex building, on Indian Creek Road.

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    Tri-Cities police reports
    Andrew L. Patton, 18, of Batavia, was charged with illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor at 11:02 p.m. Saturday in the 1100 block of Larkspur Lane, according to a police report.

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    Write-ins join Schaumburg Township race

    Three write-in candidates have filed for Schaumburg Township offices in the April 9 election. Rezwanul Haque will challenge incumbent Mary Wroblewski for township supervisor, Nafees Rehman will challenge incumbent Timothy Heneghan for clerk, and Moe Patel will seek a trustee seat against a Republican slate that consists of incumbents Robert Vinnedge, Jeffery Mytych, Diane Dunham and newcomer...

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    Schaumburg offers Citizen Police Academy

    The Schaumburg Police Academy is accepting applications through Wednesday, March 13 for the 33rd session of its Citizen Police Academy this spring. Anybody 18 years old and older who lives or works in Schaumburg is eligible to apply. Classes are held at the police station at 1000 W. Schaumburg Road from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday evenings from March 20 through May 22.

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    Harper bonds get Aaa rating:

    Moody’s Investor Service has assigned its top Aaa rating to Harper College’s $4.9 million general obligation limited bonds, Series 2013, issued this week for campus wide capital projects.

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    Bar Louie’s new location in Geneva Commons will have its grand opening Sunday, March 10. The space was previously occupied by Red Star Tavern.

    Bar Louie to open Sunday in Geneva

    It might be part of a chain, but when Bar Louie opens in Geneva this weekend, patrons may feel like they’ve stepped into their own local bar and restaurant. General manager Josh Dry says people who’ve never visited a Bar Louie before will be met with welcoming employees, a rustic interior and a warm atmosphere.

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    White House press secretary Jay Carney speaks during his daily news briefing at the White House Monday.

    White House chides N. Korea for Rodman visit

    The White House says North Korea’s government should be focused on the well-being of its citizens, not on “celebrity sporting events” to entertain the country’s elite.

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    Bartlett village board meeting canceled

    The Bartlett village board meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5, at village hall, 228 S. Main St., has been canceled due to a winter weather advisory. The Bartlett Depot Museum, 100 W. Railroad Ave., will also be closed all day Tuesday.

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    Casey Anthony is protected from the media by her attorney Cheney Mason as she arrives at the United States Courthouse for a bankruptcy hearing Monday in Tampa, Fla. Anthony has not been seen in public since being acquitted in 2011 of murdering her two-year-old daughter Caylee.

    Casey Anthony comes out of seclusion for meeting

    After 19 months of seclusion, Casey Anthony emerged into the public spotlight once again on Monday for a meeting with creditors in her bankruptcy case. Dressed all in black, Anthony arrived at the federal courthouse in Tampa with her attorney, Cheney Mason, several hours early for the bankruptcy meeting. The pair was mobbed by photographers as they made a short walk to the courthouse.

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    Why do our fingers and toes get wrinkly in the bathtub? A student in Cindy Bumbales’ first-grade class at Lincoln Prairie Elementary School in Crystal Lake wanted to know.

    Protein layer called keratin makes wet fingers wrinkle

    Why do our fingers and toes get wrinkly in the bathtub? A student in Cindy Bumbales' first-grade class at Lincoln Prairie Elementary School in Crystal Lake wanted to know.

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    Danni Allen of Wheeling works with Tim Gunn, celebrity fashion consultant, on Monday's episode of “The Biggest Loser.”

    Wheeling 'Biggest Loser' contestant shows off new look

    Danni Allen gets a makeover and shows off the suburbs in Monday's episode of "The Biggest Loser." “I think my favorite part is showing to my friends and family the new, stronger person I have become,” the 26-year-old Wheeling resident said. “I show it on the outside, but it's a balance of inside and out. I was never known as pretty. I was the athletic one who would power...

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    Rob Gorman

    Candidates: East Dundee poorly explained auto auction proposal

    Two of the three newcomers running for a spot on the East Dundee village board, said officials should have done a better job of explaining an auto auction business proposal to the public. Village President Jerald Bartels has said the village did all that was legally required to notify the public about the proposal. But challengers Dan Selep and Kirstin Wood said it wasn't enough. “I think...

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    The Baker House, located along North Avenue east of West Chicago, is one of the historic buildings on land owned by the DuPage Forest Preserve District.

    DuPage forest preserve looks to clarify building policy

    A recent decision to halt the demolition of a landmark building has DuPage County Forest Preserve commissioners revisiting the way the district treats historic structures.

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    Victor Salinas

    Prosecutors: Zion boy had been previously abused before fatal beating

    The mother of a 5-month-old Zion boy who was murdered last week has told authorities the child had been abused more than once before the latest attack, prosecutors said Monday. Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Ken LaRue said Aurora Escamilla, 19, the mother of Ayden Salinas, admitted to police the abuse of her baby had been going on for the last couple of months. The baby's father is...

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    Jose Ramirez-Alcantar

    Police: West Chicago man caught sexually assaulting woman

    West Chicago police caught a man in the act of raping a woman while responding to a 911 call at her home, prosecutors said Monday. Jose Ramirez-Alcantar, 60, appeared in DuPage County bond court on one count of criminal sexual assualt. His bail was set at $200,000.

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    North Central College President Troy Hammond says he's had a lot of fun in his first two months on campus, meeting people and learning his way around.

    New NCC president's days are packed, but he'd have it no other way

    After two months at the helm, North Central College President Troy Hammond says he's gotten his feet wet and then some. Hammond met with the Daily Herald Friday to talk about his first 60 days in office, including his goal to meet 1,000 alumni before his first board meeting and his children's love of the ice cream buffet in Kaufman Dining Hall.

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    Christian Sanford playing a trombone solo at the Cooper School jazz band practice for the next competition.

    ‘We’re like a family’ Buffalo Grove school’s jazz band thrives on camaraderie, competition

    For the eighth time in 10 years, the jazz band from Cooper Middle School in Buffalo Grove won the junior high division at Jazz in the Meadows. Jazz band leader Cindy Severino, who grew up in Wheeling and attended Holmes Middle School, is a product of the music program at Wheeling Township Elementary District 21. Competition "motivates the kids to work really, really hard,” she said. “Traveling to...

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    Before and after shots of Chicago Wolves player Nathan Longpre.

    Wolves player sheds locks for a worthy cause

    One month ago, Chicago Wolves forward Nathan Longpre made a pledge: if he could raise $750 in support of Chicago Wolves Charities by the end of February, he would shave off his long locks.

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    Michael Jordan

    Jordan files for paternity lawsuit to be dismissed

    Michael Jordan has asked a Georgia court to dismiss a lawsuit filed against him by a woman who says the NBA hall of famer is the father of her 16-year-old on.Jordan’s lawyer John Mayoue said in the document filed Monday in Fulton County Superior Court that the six-time NBA champion is not the father of Pamela Y. Smith’s son. Jordan accused her of making false claims against him.The NBA’s...

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    Elgin Downtown Madness returns

    Elgin-area restaurants begin their own version of March Madness.

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    North Aurora to discuss developer fees

    The North Aurora village board is expected to discuss developers' fees at its meeting tonight.

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    The week of observance commemorates the signing of the first U.S. weights-and-measures law by President John Adams in 1799.

    Week meant to honor those who weigh, measure goods

    Illinois' Department of Agriculture is asking consumers to give certain governmental employees some truly weighty appreciation. It is National Weights and Measures Week, honoring the workers who essentially make sure consumers get what they pay for.Such employees use highly-accurate equipment to inspect scales at supermarkets, warehouses, packing plants, feed mills, shipping companies and...

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    A “sale” sign with the form of Germany’s capital Berlin is fixed amid graffiti on the East Side Gallery section of the former Berlin Wall in Berlin on Monday After massive protest, an investor suspended the removal of a section of the historic stretch of the Berlin Wall known as the East Side Gallery to provide access to a riverside plot where luxury condominiums are being built.

    Removal of Berlin Wall section put on hold

    After facing protests, a real estate developer has put on hold until at least mid-March plans to remove a piece of one of the few remaining sections of the Berlin Wall, and the city’s mayor said Monday that he would try to ensure the structure is preserved. On Friday, hundreds of angry protesters prevented construction workers from removing all but a tiny piece of the East Side Gallery wall to...

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    Calif. woman dies after nurse refuses to do CPR

    A central California retirement home is defending one of its nurses who refused pleas by a 911 operator to perform CPR on an elderly woman who later died, saying the nurse was following policy. “Is there anybody that’s willing to help this lady and not let her die,” dispatcher Tracey Halvorson says on a 911 tape released by the Bakersfield Fire Department aired by several media outlets on Sunday.

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    A Muslim Brotherhood supporter stands in front of a banner with partial translation of Arabic writing that reads, “what did the Egyptians do in order to arrest them? freedom for the honorable men,” during an ongoing protest in front of the UAE embassy in January in Cairo, Egypt. On Monday 94 people went on trial in the United Arab Emirates on charges of trying to overthrow the government, the latest in a growing crackdown in the Gulf nation against perceived political or security threats inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings.

    Trial starts in UAE for 94 charged in coup plot

    Ninety-four people in the United Arab Emirates pleaded not guilty to charges of trying to overthrow the government on Monday, with several telling the court that they had been beaten and feared for their life while in custody, relatives told The Associated Press.

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    This citizen journalism image provided by Coordination Committee in Kafr Susa, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows people tearing down a huge poster of President Bashar Assad and hitting it with their shoes in Raqqa, Syria, Monday.

    Syrian rebels capture most of northern city

    Syrian rebels pushed government troops from most of the northern city of Raqqa Monday, and then scores of cheering protesters tore up a poster of President Bashar Assad and toppled a bronze statue of his late father and predecessor, activists said.

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    U.S. secretary of state John Kerry adjusts his translation headset as Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal speaks Monday during a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. From Saudi Arabia, Kerry heads into the homestretch of his lengthy first official trip abroad, traveling next to the United Arab Emirates and then Qatar before returning to Washington on Wednesday.

    U.S., Saudi present united front on Syria, Iran

    The United States and Saudi Arabia on Monday presented a united front to Iran and Syria. They warned Syrian President Bashar Assad that they will boost support to rebels fighting to oust him unless he steps down and put Iran’s leadership on notice that time is running out for a diplomatic resolution to concerns about its nuclear program.

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    Demolition experts watch as the home of Jeff Bush, 37, is destroyed Sunday in Seffner, Fla. The 20-foot-wide opening of the sinkhole was almost covered by the house, and rescuers said there were no signs of life since the hole opened Thursday night.

    House, debris over Florida sinkhole to be removed

    Authorities hope to get a better look at a sinkhole that swallowed a man in his Florida home once demolition crews knock down the remaining walls of the house Monday and begin clearing away the debris. The remainder of the house and its contents will be dragged toward the street so crews can recover items inside and keep debris from falling into the hole, Hillsborough County spokesman Willie Puz...

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    Dustin Nilsen, Antioch's director of community development, explains how a federal brownfield grant will be used to identify and assess properties for potential environmental issues. Antioch hopes the assessment will be the first step toward redevelopment of the sites.

    Antioch to use federal grant to study blighted properties

    Antioch will use a $200,000 federal grant to identify and assess properties near the downtown for potential environmental issues. The assessment, expected to take about two years, is considered ground work for the redevelopment of underused and blighted properties.

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    Planned express bus service along I-90 will use Pace's Northwest Transportation Center in Schaumburg as a connector point.

    Suburban bus agency setting a faster Pace

    We say Pace bus and you say - yawn? Get over it. The sububan bus agency is reinventing itself with express buses along I-90 and a joint fare card with the CTA that will allow for seamless travel between the two systems. 2013 is the year where "everything changes," CEO T.J. Ross says. “The key to all this is that it's doable,” Ross said, pointing out that discussions on the STAR Line...

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    Roycealee Wood, Lake County regional superintendent of schools, voices her concern about the new GED: “I would say I’m very concerned. Going to all computers — boom — like that would be even a bigger problem than the cost. The computer part really bothers me.”

    Some fear new, high-tech GED a problem for low-income test takers

    Suburban education officials are worried looming federal changes to GED testing will leave those less fortunate with one less path to joining the workforce. The test will become computerized in 2014, and the price to take the exam will more than double. Plus, you need a credit card and an email address. "It’s going to be people with the least resources who are going to be left out," Josh...

  •  
    Maine West in Des Plaines is one of the three Maine Township High School District 207 schools that will be conducting focus groups this month with a consultant hired to address hazing and bullying.

    How to change a culture of hazing in schools

    Changing a culture of hazing in schools takes more than the mere adoption of anti-bullying policies. It requires making the school environment not just physically, but emotionally safer, according to a consultant hired by Maine Township High School District 207 in the wake of a hazing scandal. "We’ve got to rely on the character and the ethics of our children. Policies don’t go into...

Sports

  •  
    Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery made 45 saves as the Hawks earned a 3-2 shootout win at Calgary on Feb. 2.

    Our Top 5 Blackhawks moments this season

    With the NHL season at the halfway point, here’s a look at the Top 5 moments for the record-setting Chicago Blackhawks this season:

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    Derrick Rose sat on the bench during the Bulls’ loss to Indiana on Sunday, and guard Jimmy Butler said it helped having him close by.

    Lots of unresloved issues for Bulls

    The popular notion that Indiana is the greatest threat to Miami in the Eastern Conference took a hit Sunday, when the shorthanded Bulls took the Pacers to the wire before losing 97-92. If the Bulls get everyone back for the playoffs, they should be the top threat. It’s not that simple, though.

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    Warriors top Raptors 125-118 to snap 4-game skid

    David Lee had 29 points and 11 rebounds to back Andrew Bogut’s strong return, and the Golden State Warriors snapped a four-game losing streak by outlasting the Toronto Raptors 125-118 on Monday night.

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    Kings beat Predators 5-1 with Carter’s hat trick

    Jeff Carter completed his fifth career hat trick with two goals in a 19-second span of the third period, and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Nashville Predators 5-1 on Monday night despite taking only 16 shots on net.

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    Blazers rout the Bobcats 122-105

    LaMarcus Aldridge had 23 points and 14 rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers handed the Charlotte Bobcats their seventh straight loss with a 122-105 victory on Monday night.

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    Anaheim Ducks’ Francois Beauchemin (23) battles Phoenix Coyotes’ Raffi Torres (37) for the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, March 4, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz.

    Coyotes edge Ducks in shootout, 5-4

    Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored in the fifth round of the shootout and Mike Smith stopped Bobby Ryan to help the Phoenix Coyotes beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-4 on Monday night.

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    Ellis, Bucks beat Jazz 109-108 in overtime

    Monta Ellis scored 34 points, Brandon Jennings added 20 points and 17 assists, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Utah Jazz 109-108 in overtime Monday night. Milwaukee won its fourth consecutive game after dropping three in a row following the All-Star break.

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    Afflalo leads Magic past Hornets 105-102

    Arron Afflalo scored five of his game-high 26 points in the final 38 seconds, and the Orlando Magic snapped a three-game skid with a 105-102 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Monday night.

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    No. 24 Syracuse women top No. 13 Louisville 68-57

    Freshman Brittney Sykes and senior Kayla Alexander each scored 16 points and No. 24 Syracuse snapped a late-season swoon, beating 13th-ranked Louisville 68-57 on Monday night.

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    Nuggets beat short-handed Hawks 104-88

    Corey Brewer scored 22 points and Ty Lawson had 18 in the Denver Nuggets’ 104-88 win over the depleted Atlanta Hawks on Monday night. The Nuggets won their 11th straight game at the Pepsi Center and matched Miami’s NBA-best 26-3 home record.

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    Boys basketball: Scouting Mundelein vs. Stevenson

    Preview of Wednesday's sectional semifinal at Waukegan: Mundelein vs. Stevenson

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    Laura Stoecker/lstoecker@dailyherald.com St. Charles North's Quinten Payne dunks a shot over Larkin's Derrick Streety in the third quarter of the Class 4A regional championship game on Friday, March 1.

    Saying goodbye to seniors never an easy job

    Win and advance. Lose and go home. Those are the basics when describing the annual Illinois High School Association’s boys basketball tournament. However, it doesn’t tell the entire story. In fact, it’s an oversimplification that barely scratches the surface.

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    West Aurora takes aim at No. 1 Oswego

    West Aurora won its 38th regional title, 45-37 over Geneva at Wheaton Warrenville South. For a chance to compete for a 20th sectional title the Blackhawks have to somehow contain the one-two punch of Oswego senior guards Miles Simelton and Elliott McGaughy. The former scored 25 points, the latter 17 in the Panthers’ 72-59 victory over No. 8 seed Bolingbrook at Batavia, Oswego’s first regional title since 2010. The Panthers won a 3A sectional in 2010 and were the 3A champions in 2009. “It’s going to be a tough one,” said West Aurora coach Gordie Kerkman. “Obviously, Oswego’s got a heck of a ballclub.” The 6-foot-1 Simelton, with scholarship offers from Chicago State, Miami (Ohio), Cal-Davis, Loyola, Wofford, Lehigh and Wright State, averages 18.7 points, 3.7 assists and 2 steals, and has hit 79 3-pointers. McGaughy’s at 17.8 points and leads Oswego with 5.5 rebounds, 2.9 steals.

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    Malkin fuels rally, Penguins top Lightning 4-3

    Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin scored less than 2 minutes apart in the third period and the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied past the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Monday night.

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    Miami Heat’s LeBron James dunks in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday, March 4, 2013, in Minneapolis.

    Wade, James lead Heat to record 15th straight win

    Dwyane Wade had 32 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, LeBron James shrugged off a sore left knee to score 20 points and grab 10 rebounds, and the Miami Heat earned their franchise-record 15th straight victory with a 97-81 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.

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    Kadri leads Leafs past Devils 4-2

    Nazem Kadri continued his points streak Monday with a goal and an assist in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 4-2 victory over the struggling New Jersey Devils.

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    Diggins leads No. 2 ND women past UConn in 3 OTs

    Skylar Diggins scored 29 points and sparked a decisive run in the third overtime as No. 2 Notre Dame beat third-ranked Connecticut 96-87 Monday night to win Big East regular-season title outright for the second straight year.

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    Griner 50 points, No. 1 Baylor 90-68 over K-State

    Brittney Griner scored a Big 12 single-game record 50 points in her final regular-season game at Baylor — including her first dunk at home since she was a freshman — to lead the top-ranked Lady Bears to a 90-68 victory over Kansas State on Monday night.

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    No. 8 Louisville wears down Cincinnati, 67-51

    Russ Smith scored 18 points and No. 8 Louisville gave Rick Pitino his 300th victory with the Cardinals by beating Cincinnati 67-51 on Monday night. Pitino, who earned his 650th career win earlier this season against South Florida, picked up this milestone against Cincinnati counterpart Mick Cronin, a former Cardinals assistant in 2002 and 20’03.

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    No. 4 Kansas beats Texas Tech 79-42

    Jeff Withey scored 22 points and every senior had a big night at their last home game, leading No. 4 Kansas past Texas Tech 79-42 at Allen Fieldhouse on Monday night.

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    Larkin’s Quantice Hunter, left, and Kendale McCullum celebrate the Royals’ win over St. Charles North in the Class 4A South Elgin regional championship game on Friday. Larkin is scheduled to play Rockford Jefferson on Tuesday night in the DeKalb sectional semifinals.

    Carter just wants Larkin to be itself

    Seniors will be scarce when Larkin faces Rockford Jefferson in a Class 4A DeKalb boys basketball sectional semifinal Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. Of the 10 players leading Larkin (23-5) in minutes played, four are seniors and only two — all UEC River guards Quantice Hunter and Quentin Ruff — are starters. Coach Deryn Carter regularly starts three juniors: all-UEC River guard Kendale McCullum and forwards Drew Jones (6-foot-6) and Brayden Royse (6-5).

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    Neibch leaving Larkin for Waubonsie Valley

    Larkin High School athletic director Chris Neibch will be leaving Elgin’s west side school after three years in that position. Neibch confirmed Monday he has been hired as the new athletic director at Waubonsie Valley. He was approved by the District 204 board of education last week and will replace the retiring Mike Rogowski.

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    Scouting area boys basketball sectional semifinals
    Previews of sectional semifinal boys basketball games for the DuPage County coverage area.

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    Knicks rally to beat Cavaliers 102-97

    Amare Stoudemire scored 22 points, J.R. Smith added 18 and the New York Knicks overcame a 22-point deficit without All-Star Carmelo Anthony to beat the Cavaliers 102-97 on Monday night, ending a 10-game losing streak in Cleveland.

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    Glenbard West’s Charlie Kummerer competes on still rings during Friday’s boys gymnastics meet at Conant High School in Hoffman Estates.

    Scouting DuPage County boys gymnastics

    Here's a look at the boys gymnastics season from the perspective of teams in DuPage County.

  •  
    Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander warms up Friday in an exhibition game. The Tigers are clearly the AL Central's most talented team on paper, Scot Gregor says, and Verlander is widely thought to be the best starting pitcher in the game.

    AL Central: Tigers look tough, but who's the closer?

    The Detroit Tigers are big favorites to win their third straight AL Central title this season, thanks to the skills of players like Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander. But the Tigers could be in big trouble if rookie Bruce Rondon continues flaming out in the closer's role.

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    Milwaukee Brewers third baseman and former Cub Aramis Ramirez breaks his bat in an exhibition game last Thursday. Ramirez sprained his left knee Saturday when sliding into second, and the Brewers must be relieved the injury wasn't worse.

    NL Central: Ramirez ailing; new hope for Prior?

    The Milwaukee Brewers are breathing a sigh of relief over a knee injury suffered by former Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez. There is more news about ex-Cubs as we take a look around the National League Central.

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    Chicago Blackhawks’ Brent Seabrook (7) celebrates with teammates after scoring his game-winning goal during the overtime of an NHL hockey game against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Chicago, Friday, March 1, 2013. The Blackhawks won 4-3.

    Plenty for Hawks fans to roar about

    The Blackhawks were focused on a good start, but nobody could have predicted this.The Hawks are still without a loss in regulation (19-0-3), own a nine-game winning streak and, perhaps most impressive, a 17-point lead on both Detroit and St. Louis in the Central Division.If the Hawks get at least 1 point Tuesday against Minnesota, they would own the second-longest point streak in NHL history at 29 games dating back to last season.The only team left ahead of them would be the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers, who went 35 games without a loss.This is certainly rare air in which the Hawks find themselves. And every team is gunning for them.“We know now every time we step on the ice the other teams really, really want to beat us, and that’s good for us to have that challenge,” defenseman Johnny Oduya said. “We know we’ve got to be at our best and if we’re not we’re going to lose. Just keeping that short notice and staying in the moment is important.”Wednesday’s game against Colorado at the United Center marks the official halfway point of the season, which has been filled with drama and late goals for the Hawks, who show no signs of letting up.“We still have yet to play our best 60 minutes so I think that’s pretty fun too, knowing that we have that ahead of us,” winger Patrick Kane said.“Getting key contributions from a lot of players has helped,” defenseman Duncan Keith said. “When you have that depth everything is easier. It’s a group effort and a team effort.”Most valuable player:Since goalies Corey Crawford (10-0-3) and Ray Emery (9-0-0) cancel themselves out because of their superior play, who else but Kane?Kane has points in 18 of the Hawks’ 22 games, including a team-leading 11 goals, but it’s defensively where he has made his most noticeable improvement.Kane is a plus-10, which ties him for best mark on the team, and is second on the Hawks with 23 takeaways.“I think I’ve gotten better at it over the years just by watching guys like (Marian) Hossa, Johnny (Toews) and even (Pavel) Datsyuk,” said Kane. “I think it’s something guys pride themselves on, looking at the stat sheet after the game and seeing the takeaways column. It can be good for our offense too.”Most underrated player:On a team with Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson often gets overlooked.But Hjalmarsson is plus-8 and is tied with Seabrook for the team lead in blocked shots with 53. Hjalmarsson and partner Oduya have played so well it has allowed coach Joel Quenneville to cut back on the minutes of Keith and Seabrook.“I think we have three really good D-pairings here this year,”Hjalmarsson said. “We can pretty much put any of the three pairs out there. I think all of us in the back have been contributing to the team and have played real solid so far.”Best performance:Emery’s 45-save game in Calgary on Feb. 2 stands by itself.Emery saved the Hawks on a night they should have lost, but thanks to him and a late goal in regulation by Hossa, they won 3-2 in a shootout.“That was criminal,” Quenneville said of Emery’s effort. “We should all be wearing masks after that.”Q tips:With a condensed schedule thank to a short 48-game season, managing days off has been a key to the Hawks’ success.Quenneville has always been good at this, but this season he has taken his knowledge and understanding of what the players need to a new level.Best game:The game in Detroit on Sunday was played at a playoff-like pace and featured a bit of everything, from great goaltending by Crawford and Jimmy Howard to the drama of Kane’s late power-play goal that made it 1-1.

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    Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, left, reacts to a call during the second half of his team’s victory against Brooklyn in Chicago on Saturday, March 2, 2013.

    Best of Bulls’ Thibodeau also the worst

    Tom Thibodeau should be Coach of the Year again, but the man who gets such an incredible effort from his team every night also won’t acknowledge that players might be hurt or need rest before the playoffs.

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    Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) is congratulated by left wing Bryan Bickell (29) and center Jonathan Toews (19) after defeating the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in a shootout on Sunday. The Hawks will try to extend their point streak to 29 games when they take on Minnesota.

    Too late to jump on Hawks’ the bandwagon?

    The Blackhawks are rescuing local sports fans from having to resort to watching the World Baseball Classic, so it's "All aboard!" the bandwagon.

  •  
    Chicago Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano hits a home run during the second inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Cleveland Indians Monday, March 4, 2013, in Mesa, Ariz.

    Cubs lose 13-5 to Indians

    Carlos Carrasco pitched three innings after being hit in the side of the head by a comebacker in the first, Mark Reynolds and Nick Swisher each homered to help the Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago Cubs 13-5 Monday.

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    Chicago White Sox’s Dewayne Wise, right, is welcomed home by Paul Konerko (14) and Adam Dunn after they score on Wise’s three-run home run in the fourth inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, March 4, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz.

    White Sox’s Danks solid in 1st outing since May

    John Danks gave up a run in two-plus innings in his first outing since May, Dewayne Wise hit a three-run homer and the Chicago White Sox beat the San Francisco Giants 6-2 on Monday.

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    Burlington Central sophomore Alison Colby (42) puts up a shot against Hampshire in regional play this season. The Rockets, coming off a 27-5 season that ended with a supersectional loss to eventual Class 3A state runner-up Vernon Hills, have accepted an invitation to play in the prestigious Charger Classic Christmas Tournament at Dundee-Crown next season.

    Burlington Central accepts invite to Dundee-Crown Christmas tournament

    Recognition often times comes by way of success, and the Burlington Central girls basketball program has learned that for the second time in the past couple weeks. Coming off a 27-5 season and a Class 3A supersectional appearance, the Rockets on Monday accepted an invitation to join the 16-team field at the prestigious Charger Classic Christmas Tournament at Dundee-Crown. Central will replace nine-time tournament champion Fenwick, which informed Dundee-Crown recently that it will not return in 2013.

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    Tiger Woods tees off on the fourth tee during the final round of the Honda Classic golf tournament on Sunday, March 3, 2013, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Retired golfer Jack Nicklaus says he thinks Woods can break his record, but he better get to it.

    Nicklaus: Tiger ‘better get going’ on major chase

    Jack Nicklaus maintains that records are made to be broken, including his gold standard of 18 professional majors. “I still think he can do it,” Nicklaus said. “But that said, he has still got to do it. He hasn’t won one in five years. He had better get with it if he’s going to.”

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    Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco speaks at a news conference at the team’s practice facility in Owings Mills, Md., Monday, March 4, 2013. Flacco agreed to a contract that will make him the richest quarterback in NFL history after leading the Ravens to a Super Bowl XLVII victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

    Ravens QB Flacco signs NFL’s richest contract

    Joe Flacco signed his new contract with the Baltimore Ravens Monday worth $120.6 million over six years. He will receive a $29 million signing bonus, $52 million in guaranteed money and $51 million over the first two years of the deal. “I know that this isn’t going to hold up for that long, but that’s not a priority of mine to be the highest-paid guy," Flacco said.

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    Lakes’ John Androus, at right with Grayslake North’s Brandon Schroth during regional play in 2009, was named the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s defensive player of the year.

    Lakes’ Androus nets conference’s defensive honor at Luther

    John Androus left Lakes High School as its all-time leading scorer. But the 6-foot-5 forward has shown he can do a little more than just play offense. Now a junior at Luther College, Androus was named the 2012-2013 Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men’s basketball defensive player of the year. Androus averaged 8.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1 steal.

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    Gonzaga head coach Mark Few has something to shout about with the Zags being ranked No. 1 in men’s college basketball for the first time in school history.

    Gonzaga earns first No. 1 ranking in basketball

    Gonzaga University is college basketball’s top-ranked team for the first time. The Bulldogs (29-2) received 51 of the 65 first-place votes to take the No. 1 ranking in The Associated Press poll. Indiana University (25-4), which fell to second after losing last week, received seven first-place votes from a national panel of media members, followed by third-ranked Duke (25-4) with five.

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    Rolling Meadows High School girls basketball captains Jackie Kemph, Alexis Glasgow and Jenny Vliet hold the Class 4A runner up trophy during a school celebration for the team Monday morning. The team is returning nearly all of its players next year, giving hope for another run for the state title.

    Rolling Meadows High welcomes home girls basketball squad

    The fighting spirit and tenacity of the Rolling Meadows High School girls basketball team was cheered when its members returned to school Monday morning, celebrating a historic drive for the state title that was thwarted Saturday only by a single, well-timed basket by Marian Catholic. “This is a part of history!” school athletic director Jim Voyles told the assembly. “You’re living the moment!”

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    Mike North video: McMichael running for mayor

    Mike North talks from experience about how it's tough to change people's perception of who they think you are. Steve McMichael will be running for mayor of Romeoville, but his biggest foe is who he used to be.

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    Rozner: McIlroy should have finished his round
    NHL realignment traveled under the radar last week here in Chicago, with the focus entirely on the Blackhawks’ remarkable start.That point streak to begin the season extended to 22 games with another wild finish Sunday in Detroit in what might have been the game of the year in the NHL this season.The pace was breathtaking for the final 30 minutes as the two longtime rivals fought for every inch of ice and every loose puck.And it is criminal to think that Gary Bettman is going to take the Red Wings away from the Hawks if realignment is passed, giving them the opportunity to play only twice a season.Detroit will go to the Northeast Division and get Original Six foes Boston, Toronto and Montreal, while the Hawks will go stay in the Central with — wait for it now — Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg.Yecch.One very good feature of the new playoff format would have divisional playoffs again, something that used to be a phenomenal part of the old postseason format.But one of the reasons it was so great in the ’80s was the incredible rivalries, like Hawks-Stars, Hawks-Blues, Hawks-Leafs and Hawks-Wings. Any No. 4 could seemingly beat any No. 1 in given year, and the games were ferocious.I don’t know about you, but the Hawks against any of these teams — except maybe St. Louis — doesn’t do much for me.It’s a shame that an Original Six franchise like Chicago doesn’t get more consideration.The detailsWhile the Hawks’ streak is staggering, and Patrick Kane will get all the attention for the game-tying and shootout goals, it’s defense, goaltending and the small, hustle plays that win games, and the play of the game Sunday was Viktor Stalberg’s steal and pass that set up Kane.Incredible.Rory McIlroyThe world’s top-ranked golfer has gone from golden boy to having a serious image problem in the time it took to quit his round Friday.Rory McIlroy was suffering a 7-over beating through eight holes and instead of gutting it out he walked off the course in the middle of his ninth hole, telling reporters in the parking lot that it was nothing physical and that he was “not in a good place mentally.”An hour later, his management company issued a statement saying he left because of a sore wisdom tooth, which was a weak attempt to make quitting sound better.He was eating during the round and seemed fine, and tweeted a picture the night before while he was out eating and drinking with his family, saying he was having a great time.The 23-year-old McIlroy is going through a lot right now, the biggest issue being a new ball and equipment. There’s the expectations of living up to his ranking and the $200 million Nike contract, not to mention a high-profile, public relationship and a swing that looks out of sorts.He can’t find his draw and he’s missing right when he’s trying to hit it left. Simply put, he’s not flushing the ball, which is a shocking sight for a player who has been so consistent with such a beautiful swing.McIlroy has a lot to deal with and instead of working through it, he’s throwing clubs and Friday he just gave up.There’s no doubt McIlroy will get it back together but walking away isn’t going to get it done — or win him many fans.Luke GuthrieU of I product and Quincy native Luke Guthrie — who was wearing Cubs colors Sunday — didn’t win the Honda, but the 23-year-old announced his presence on the Tour with authority. The guy is built like a pro boxer and has soft hands and virtually no weaknesses. Should be fun to watch going forward.The quoteJack Nicklaus to NBC Sunday: “I always felt like it’s your talent that plays, not the golf clubs.”Best tweetFrom @TheFakeESPN: “Pope Benedict and Mark Sanchez now share something in common. They both do nothing on Sundays.”And finally ...

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    West Aurora mascot logo

    West Aurora takes seriously how it honors Black Hawk

    Using Native American images and names to denote a school mascot or athletic team is a highly sensitive issue. West Aurora, whose teams are known as the Blackhawks, is wisely doing its part to increase integrity in the use of its namesake. As part of a process begun in the fall of 2011 and implemented this school year, an accurate depiction of Black Hawk — not technically a chief but certainly a legendary leader of the Sauk and Fox people in Illinois and Wisconsin of the late 18th and early 19th centuries — has been installed as the symbol of West Aurora.

Business

  •  
    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he's “not really concerned” about sequestration.

    Christie says he's 'not really concerned' about sequestration
    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he's “not really concerned” about sequestration and has no details yet on the potential for the stalemate to block Hurricane Sandy relief.Christie, a first-term Republican seeking re-election, spoke to reporters today at a press conference in Jersey City.

  •  
    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told the Senate Banking Committee on Feb. 26 that “this additional near- term burden on the recovery is significant.”

    Q&A: Automatic spending cuts start with few initial effects

    Across-the-board spending cuts to U.S. defense and domestic programs, known as sequestration, took effect on March 1. It will be a few weeks before the full effects are felt by federal agencies, defense contractors and the public. This gives negotiators more time to strike a deal. Here are questions and answers about the cuts and the status of budget talks in Washington.

  •  
    Stocks rose, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average to its highest level since 2007, as speculation the Federal Reserve will continue stimulus measures overshadowed concern over spending cuts and China’s economy.

    Stocks grind higher, pushing Dow toward record

    Investors brushed off early jitters about a potential slowdown in China and pushed the Dow to its highest close of the year. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 38.16 points, or 0.3 percent, to 14,127.82. The index is a fraction of a percentage point away from its record close of 14,164, reached on Oct. 9, 2007.

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    Companies plan more than 1,200 layoffs in coming months

    The suburbs could see more than 500 workers lose their jobs in the coming months as manufacturers and other companies close and eliminate workers, according to documents filed by the state on Monday.

  •  
    In early morning light a protester walks alongside the East Side Gallery named section of the former Berlin Wall in Berlin, Monday, March.

    Removal of Berlin Wall section put on hold

    A real estate developer has put on hold until at least mid-March plans to remove part of one of the few remaining sections of the Berlin Wall. On Friday, hundreds of angry protesters prevented construction workers from removing all but a tiny piece of the 22-meter (72-foot) section of the East Side Gallery wall to make way for an access path for a luxury housing project. Several thousand demonstrators protested against the construction plans on Sunday.

  •  
    Ray Conner, who runs Boeing Co.’s commercial airplane unit, described the process to analysts on Monday.

    Boeing ready to move on 787 fix, if FAA approves

    Boeing says it is ready to move quickly to get its 787s fixed and back in the air if it gets federal approval for a fix for the batteries that have grounded the planes.Boeing submitted a plan to the Federal Aviation Administration on Feb. 22. Now it needs the FAA to approve its plan and ultimately to certify the design. The FAA has said it expects its experts to recommend this week whether to accept Boeing’s plan.

  •  
    Warren Buffett isn’t holding his cards close to his chest about buying the Chicago Tribune. “No thanks says” the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.

    Buffett: ‘No thanks’ on buying Tribune papers

    Warren Buffett has been buying newspapers recently but says he’s not interested in the big papers owned by Tribune Co.Buffett spoke about his recent interest in the newspaper business on CNBC Monday. His Berkshire Hathaway will own 28 daily newspapers in small and mid-sized cities once its acquisition of the Tulsa World is complete. When asked if he wants to buy a batch of papers that includes the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, he says, “No thanks.”

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    Kim Dotcom

    Kim Dotcom seeks CFO for file-sharing site ahead of share sale

    Kim Dotcom, the businessman accused of the biggest U.S. copyright infringement, is seeking a chief financial officer for his new venture Mega ahead of a potential initial public offering. The venture, started a year after his Megaupload.com file- sharing site was shut down, is seeking a New Zealand-based CFO, Dotcom said on Twitter Inc.’s website, linking to an advertisement. The site has “aggressive growth plans” and will pursue an IPO within 18 months, according to the job posting on the Trade Me Ltd. website.

  •  
    Tesla Motors Inc., the maker of electric vehicles led by billionaire Elon Musk, said it’s delaying the company’s annual report after finding an error related to accounting for capital expenditures.

    Tesla delays filing annual report on non-cash items mistake

    Tesla Motors Inc., the maker of electric vehicles led by billionaire Elon Musk, said it’s delaying the company’s annual report after finding an error related to accounting for capital expenditures.“A probable error in the presentation of certain non-cash items relating to capital expenditures” on consolidated statements of cash flow was identified in the final review of a Form 10-K scheduled to be completed March 1, the Palo Alto, California-based company said today in a regulatory filing.

  •  
    Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says U.S. airports, including Los Angeles International and O’Hare International in Chicago, are already experiencing delays as a result of automatic federal spending cuts.

    Gov’t: Budget cuts already causing airport delays

    Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says U.S. airports, including Los Angeles International and O’Hare International in Chicago, are already experiencing delays as a result of automatic federal spending cuts.Both of those big-city airports routinely suffer delays. Napolitano said Monday that delays will become worse. The Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection agencies, which are part of the Homeland Security Department, are sending furlough notices and have cut overtime for employees.

  •  

    Wealthy gay couples seen paying more taxes if unions legal

    Top-earning gay couples who married in states where the law permits it may soon be paying more in income taxes as the U.S. Supreme Court considers the legality of same-sex unions. Right now, couples’ finances are often complicated by the division between federal and state law: They’re able to handle their finances and tax-filing jointly under their state’s law while the federal government -- which doesn’t recognize the marriages -- treats them as though they are single.

  •  
    Smartphones will overtake so-called feature phones in worldwide shipments for the first time this year, lifted by more affordable models and surging demand for Internet-connected mobile devices overseas.

    Smartphones to overtake feature phones for first time

    Smartphones will overtake so-called feature phones in worldwide shipments for the first time this year, lifted by more affordable models and surging demand for Internet-connected mobile devices overseas, IDC said. Manufacturers will ship 918.6 million smartphones in 2013, representing 50.1 percent of the industry’s total, the research firm said today in a report.

  •  

    Mattel said to plan $500 million bond offering to refinance debt

    Mattel Inc. plans to raise $500 million with bonds as the world’s biggest toymaker prepares to refinance outstanding obligations. The company intends to sell equal $250 million portions of five- and 10-year securities, according to a person familiar with the offering. Proceeds will be used to repay debt, including its $350 million of 5.625 percent securities due this month, the El Segundo, California-based company said today in a regulatory filing.

  •  
    Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde, right, waves to Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras, left, and French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici during a meeting of eurogroup finance ministers in Brussels on Monday.

    EU finance ministers discuss Cyprus bailout

    European finance ministers are meeting Monday to discuss how to fund a long-delayed bailout for Cyprus amid demands from creditor nations that the cash-strapped island must commit to tougher conditions. Finance ministers from the 17-strong group of European Union countries that use the euro will ask Cyprus to push ahead with a major privatization program and strengthen its implementation of anti-money-laundering and tax evasion laws, diplomats said ahead of the meeting in Brussels.

  •  
    Ron Hanik, owner of A+ Pet Massage & Swimming in Wood dale working with Sparkie.

    Pet massage business relieves stress, pain in canines
    A Wood dale business makes pets feel better providing massage therapy services for canines. The company also provides swimming and hydrotherapy services for dogs.

  •  

    Innovative financing helps theater owners meet digital needs

    Faced with a need for substantial financing to purchase new digital projection equipment or likely close the doors, two iconic hometown movie theaters took very different paths to the needed money. Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall takes a look.

  •  
    Audrey Sim

    Algonquin dentist all smiles with book, activities

    Kukec's People features dentist Audrey Sim of All Smiles By Dr. Audrey in Algonquin has has written a chapter in a newly published book, which hit the bestseller list on Amazon.

  •  

    Tax bills for rich families approach 30-year high

    The poor rich. With Washington gridlocked again over whether to raise their taxes, it turns out wealthy families already are paying some of their biggest federal tax bills in decades even as the rest of the population continues to pay at historically low rates. President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress say the wealthy must pay their fair share if the federal government is ever going to fix its finances and reduce the budget deficit to a manageable level. A new analysis, however, shows that average tax bills for high-income families rarely have been higher since the Congressional Budget Office began tracking the data in 1979. Middle- and low-income families aren't paying as much as they used to.

  •  
    Annual median pay for stonemasons is about $45,400; for plumbers between $28,300 to $82,300; and about $39,500 for equipment operators, it said.

    Skilled labor jobs offer employment opportunities

    The weak job market is prompting many young adults to pursue careers as skilled laborers — jobs that pay well and don't need a four-year degree.There's a steady market for plumbers, and the work can be lucrative, John David McElhaney of McElhaney Plumbing and Hardware in Hattiesburg told The Hattiesburg American. "We're busy non-stop," he said. "It's physically demanding, but it's a fairly easy trade to get into. There a lot of different aspects of plumbing — new construction plumbing, service repair, drain cleaning, septic systems and things like that." The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that between 2010 and 2020, jobs for stonemasons will grow 40 percent, those for plumbers by 26 percent and for construction equipment operator jobs by 23 percent. Annual median pay for stonemasons is about $45,400; for plumbers between $28,300 to $82,300; and about $39,500 for equipment operators, it said.

  •  

    Oil falls as US government cuts spending

    The price of oil fell Monday after political leaders in Washington failed to stave off automatic cuts in government spending that could hurt the U.S. economy. Benchmark oil for April delivery was down 34 cents to $90.34 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.37 to close at $90.68 a barrel on the Nymex on Friday, its lowest close this year. Automatic government spending cuts of roughly $85 billion kicked in on Friday after President Barack Obama and Congress failed to meet a deadline for striking a deal to avert or soften the reductions. Negotiations on Sunday ended in a bitter impasse, and what happens next is anyone's guess.

  •  
    President Barack Obama talks to reporters in the White House briefing room in Washington after his meeting with congressional leaders about the automatic spending cuts.

    Economists were opposed to automatic spending cuts

    Most business economists opposed the automatic spending cuts that took effect Friday night amid the gridlock between President Obama and Congress, but they overwhelmingly support efforts to reduce the deficit over the next 10 years, according to a survey released Monday. The survey of 196 members of the National Association for Business Economics, taken from Jan. 21 to Feb. 13, gave some support to both sides in the U.S. government budget debate.Republicans' views won some support, as 56 percent of the economists said deficit reduction should be achieved "only" or "mostly" with spending cuts. More than half, or 58 percent, said the cuts should be focused on entitlement programs, such as Social Security and Medicare.

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    GM aims to protect birds at Renaissance Center

    General Motors Co. is encouraging employees at downtown Detroit's Renaissance Center to douse their office lights at night to prevent bird deaths. The Detroit News reports (http://bit.ly/ZVsCcu ) the effort at the automaker's headquarters has led to an honor by the Michigan Audubon Society. Migratory birds pass through Detroit, and birds can crash into lit buildings at night or circle them until they're exhausted. Sue Kelsey, GM's biodiversity manager, says the move is a precaution by the company.

  •  
    Billionaire investor Warren Buffett says stock prices have gotten a boost from low interest rates caused by the Federal Reserve's stimulus efforts.

    Buffett: Low interest rates have boosted stocks

    Billionaire investor Warren Buffett says stock prices have gotten a boost from low interest rates caused by the Federal Reserve's stimulus efforts. The chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. addressed a variety of topics during an interview on CNBC on Monday. He says there's no question that stock prices are higher than they would be otherwise, because interest rates are essentially zero.

Life & Entertainment

  •  
    Angiel Tran makes fruity cereal milk using Fruity Pebbles cereal at the Milk Bar kitchen in New York. Cereal is going out of the box. Milk, ice cream, muffin mix and more are being infused with the flavor of the classic childhood treat.

    Cereal flavors increasingly moving out of the box

    Snap, crackle, what? Chefs have been using cereal for a while as crusts and coatings on savory items. What's new is that cereals are being used in a more whimsical sense, even calling out the brand name for an added sense of playfulness.

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    The contestants ramp up their efforts during the Saturday morning 45-minute boot-camp workout at Push Fitness.

    Boot camps kick workouts into high gear

    The Fittest Loser contestants are vying for the big prize — being named 2013 Fittest Loser. It's a competition and there will be only one “winner.” But at Push Fitness every Saturday, it's hard to tell the six contestants are competing against one another. By all appearances they get along rather well ... even if they are wearing boxing gloves. Welcome to boot camp, Fittest Loser style!

  •  
    The FBI has released its files on a trio of investigations the agency conducted on behalf of Whitney Houston.

    FBI releases its records on Whitney Houston

    The FBI has released its files on a trio of investigations the agency conducted on behalf of Whitney Houston. The records released Monday show the agency conducted one investigation into an alleged extortion attempt in 1992, but agents and prosecutors determined no crime occurred.

  •  
    Model Heidi Klum has been added to “America’s Got Talent” as its fourth judge.

    Heidi Klum new judge on ‘America’s Got Talent’

    NBC says Heidi Klum has been added to “America’s Got Talent” as its fourth judge. The network announced Monday that the supermodel will join fellow incoming judge Mel B this summer for the talent competition’s eighth season.

  •  

    David Copperfield’s plane makes unscheduled Peoria stop

    A private plane carrying magician David Copperfield made an unscheduled stop in Illinois after it made a “frightening” sound en route from Las Vegas to New York. Peoria International Airport officials say Copperfield’s plane landed there after it began experiencing problems around 1:45 a.m. Monday.

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    The McArdle dining room shows the type of country store antiques the couple buys and sells.

    Dealers say antiques are a sensible decorating option

    The quilt above the family room fireplace answers the show-stopping question: What do you put in that huge focal point under the vaulted ceiling? If you're Debbie McArdle, the answer is a red, white and blue quilt in a star pattern, hung on a custom frame. Yes, she and husband Jim are patriotic. And the nation's colors — translated to muted red, oatmeal and cobalt blue — work well with the country store antiques in their 1970s Dutch colonial style home.

  •  
    Improper form for a dead lift.

    Dead lifts can be a total body workout, if done correctly

    When it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, there aren't too many exercises that can beat the dead lift. This total-body exercise demands strength, power, cardiovascular efficiency, and postural control. Learn to do dead lifts the correct way to get the most out of them when you exercise.

  •  
    Pallbearers carry Van Cliburn’s coffin into Broadway Baptist Church for a funeral service in Fort Worth, Texas on Sunday.

    Van Cliburn remembered as gifted pianist

    Legendary pianist Van Cliburn was remembered Sunday as a gifted musician who transcended the boundaries of politics and art by easing tensions during the Cold War and introducing classical music to millions. About 1,400 people attended a memorial service for Cliburn, who died Wednesday at 78 after fighting bone cancer.

  •  
    Emergency personnel work at the scene of a multivehicle wreck on Interstate 65, Saturday, north of Sonora, Ky. Kentucky State Police say six people are dead in two crashes that happened near the same location in central Kentucky on Interstate 65.

    Kellie Pickler drummer among injured in Ky. crash

    The drummer for country music star Kellie Pickler was in serious condition Sunday as one of five people hospitalized in two crashes that happened within minutes at the same spot on Interstate 65 in central Kentucky and killed six.

  •  
    Doing simple exercises while sitting in a chair can help improve your posture and fend off back pain.

    Your health: Back track

    Most of us get back pain at some point in our lives. It may be due to a sports-related injury, an accident, or a congenital condition such as scoliosis. General physical fitness and a healthy weight are important. But one surprisingly simple strategy can go a long way: Paying attention to your posture.

  •  
    Kurt Ott, 48, works out with his children, from left, Callie, 8, Tessa, 5, and Rhys, 18 months. The former Ironman triathlete, who hasn’t raced in years because he has been busy raising his three kids, is now getting ready for a triathlon in April.

    Take it slow and build stamina when returning to exercise

    Family commitments, work obligations, health issues — there are many reasons top athletes and everyday exercisers take breaks. Whatever your game is, if you’ve been out of it for a while, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before you start pounding the pavement.

  •  

    Study finds role of genetics in autism

    In families that have children with autism, nearly half the risk of getting the brain disorder comes from inheriting an accumulation of common genetic variations from the parents, a new study shows. The research, published in the journal Molecular Autism, showed that in families with only one child with autism, about 40 percent of the risk for the disorder is inherited. In families with two or more children with autism, about 60 percent of the risk is inherited.

  •  
    With “My Fair Lady,” Clive Davis' goal is to bring Broadway back to the days when its songs topped the charts, something that hasn't been the case for the Great White Way in some time.

    At 80, no break planned for music exec Clive Davis

    When Clive Davis announced his latest project — a Broadway revival of “My Fair Lady” next year — it seemed to mark a step away from the music mogul's laserlike focus of making hits — and hitmakers. But with “My Fair Lady,” his goal is to bring Broadway back to the days when its songs topped the charts. It's a lofty goal — but it's one that wouldn't surprise many if reached by Davis, even at 80.

  •  
    Monday’s episode of ABC Family’s TV series “Switched at Birth,” starring Karla Gutierrez, left, and Ashley Shimizu, will mostly be silent. When news of the school’s closing spreads, the students of Carlton School for the Deaf stage a protest.

    ‘Switched at Birth’ goes silent to make a point

    “Until hearing people walk a day in our shoes, they will never understand,” says a guidance counselor at a high school for deaf students in “Switched at Birth.” Such insights are a staple of the ABC Family drama, which puts deaf characters, played by deaf or hard-of-hearing actors, at the center of the action. But Monday’s episode takes it a bold step further: Save for a few spoken words, the episode is silent.

  •  

    Status report for the Fittest Loser contestants
    Fittest Loser vital statistics - Week 4

  •  

    Medications offer multiple ways to treat asthma

    Some people with asthma have only occasional, mild symptoms. Others have nearly constant symptoms with severe, life-threatening flare-ups. Asthma medicines fall into two general categories: controllers and relievers. Controllers are medicines taken regularly (usually every day) to reduce the likelihood of asthma attacks.

  •  

    Some treatments effective in relieving persistent tinnitus

    As baby boomers continue to age, hearing loss and its “sister” condition tinnitus, or “ringing in the ears” are becoming more prevalent. Partly due to occupational hazards where workers are subjected to constant loud noise, or years of “binge” listening to loud music, tinnitus affects almost everyone at least occasionally. But for some people, tinnitus is a persistent condition that can make day-to-day life miserable.

  •  

    Baby boomers on ‘collision course’ with heart disease

    According to National Institutes of Health figures, at least one in three Americans will develop cardiovascular problems. For male baby boomers in particular, the heart attack risk past age 50 can be high. Even so, research suggests that baby boomers don’t take cardiovascular disease as seriously as they should.

  •  
    A new study has found that pacifiers often are contaminated with germs that can make a child sick.

    Pacifiers contaminated with germs, bacteria, mold

    Whether you call them pacifiers, binkies or soothers, parents call them lifesavers for comforting a fussy baby. But a new study by Oklahoma State University scientists shows they also harbor germs that can make a child sick, perhaps chronically so. In all, 40 different species of bacteria were isolated from the 10 pacifiers tested.

  •  

    New vaccines offer hope against deadly cancers

    For more than 20 years, medical scientists have been chasing the possibility of preventing the comeback of a variety of cancers by developing a vast number of experimental vaccines. Vaccine clinical trials are under way for pancreatic cancer, malignant melanoma and breast cancer, to name a few. Some vaccines have proved promising; others have forced scientists back to the lab.

  •  
    Eric Lawhead, left, and Erin Chapa of Addison's Club Fit Five test their strength by holding a plank.

    Teams fight to overcome weight-loss plateaus

    Four weeks after the initial weigh-in, the Fittest Loser Community Challenge teams report that the healthy changes they have been introducing to their lifestyle are finally becoming healthy habits. However, team members described feeling frustrated this week as they stepped on the scale and did not see the results they were expecting.

  •  

    Eating vegetables instead of meat lowers heart risk

    Vegetarians were 32 percent less likely to be hospitalized or die from heart disease than people who ate meat and fish, scientists at England’s Oxford University reported. The researchers followed almost 45,000 adults, one-third of them vegetarians, for an average of 11½ years and accounted for factors such as their age, whether they smoked, alcohol consumption, physical activity, education and socio-economic background.

  •  
    Students listen during an assembly on the first day of school at a temporary high school in a converted store in Joplin, Mo., nearly three months after an EF-5 tornado destroyed six schools and damaged four others along with killing 160 people and devastating a third of the city.

    No clear answers in treating traumatized kids

    Shootings and other traumatic events involving children are not rare events, but there’s a startling lack of scientific evidence on the best ways to help young survivors and witnesses heal, a government-funded analysis found. School-based counseling treatments showed the most promise, but there’s no hard proof that anxiety drugs or other medication work and far more research is needed to provide solid answers, say the authors who reviewed 25 studies.

  •  
    That's me, working out with a weighted bar during the Fittest Loser boot camp at Push Fitness.

    She's surviving demanding boot camp

    There was a time not very long ago when I thought going for a stroll every few days constituted proper exercise. HA! I was so deluded. I now work out seven days a week. I work out three days with my trainer, Josh, at Push Fitness. I hit the treadmill — either at home or at the Mount Prospect Park District — three days per week. And on the seventh day, there's Push Fitness boot camp.

  •  

    'One and done' 1932 Ford 3-window coupe

    Auto enthusiasts can be a fickle bunch at times, always tweaking and modifying their special ride, or trading it away to begin a new project. Rarely do you come across a builder who hasn't changed his rolling creation in nearly three decades. One such contented owner is Jack Moon, who assembled his 1932 Ford three-window coupe in 1984 and has left it alone ever since.

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