Daily Archive : Friday March 15, 2013


    John T. Magee Middle School in Round Lake will host a clothing giveaway during parent-teacher conferences Thursday. A student, pictured, is helping sort clothes at the school’s last event in October.

    Magee Middle School to host clothing giveaway

    John T. Magee Middle School in Round Lake will host a clothing giveaway during parent-teacher conferences from 12:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The school is at 500 N. Cedar Lake Road in Round Lake.


    Scheduling of Lombard budget workshop causes controversy

    Lombard village trustees are scheduled to hold a workshop at 6 p.m. Thursday about a politically divisive idea related to the village budget. A plan to have each of the board's six committees provide year-round oversight of the budget has divided the board along political lines since Trustee Peter Breen proposed it in December.

    President Barack Obama turns to reporters Wednesday as he leaves the Capitol. Obama is pushing Congress to authorize more federally funded research into clean energy technologies that can wean automobiles off oil.

    Obama wants research to wean vehicles off oil

    President Barack Obama is pushing Congress to authorize more federally funded research into clean energy technologies that can wean automobiles off oil. Obama proposed the idea of an energy security trust last month in his State of the Union address, but he was putting a price tag on the idea during a trip Friday to the Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago — $2 billion over 10 years.


    Illinois person got organ transplant from donor with rabies

    A person in northeastern Illinois is receiving precautionary treatment after getting an organ transplanted from a donor who died of rabies, state health officials say.

    Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady of St. Charles continues to face heat over his support of same-sex marriage.

    Email: Brady ouster only one vote short

    Illinois Republican officials were just one vote shy of ousting state Chairman Pat Brady of St. Charles before a meeting was called off last weekend, an email from one of them says.


    Boy survives being struck by train in Barrington

    An 11-year-old boy was hospitalized after being struck by a Metra train Friday evening in Barrington. Police said a preliminary investigation indicated that the boy was crossing the tracks at Route 59 north of Lake-Cook Road when he was struck by an eastbound commuter train.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    A Chevrolet Savannah containing $40,000 worth of construction equipment was stolen sometime between 6:30 p.m. and 6:53 p.m. Wednesday from the 6N700 block of Tuscola Avenue near St. Charles, according to a sheriff report.

    Paul Neff, 57, of the 19000 block of West Lake View Avenue near Mundelein, slashed his ex-girlfriend in the throat and face with a 6-inch butcher-style knife, Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran said, then killed himself as police surrounded him.

    Police: Lake County woman killed by ex-boyfriend

    A Lake County woman who obtained an order of protection this week against her ex-boyfriend was killed by him before he took his own life, authorities said. Diane Kephart, 61, was attacked by Paul Neff of Mundelein in the driveway of her parents' Antioch Township home, police said. "This is a very tragic day," Sheriff Mark Curran said.

    President Barack Obama greets employees and scientists as he gets ready to speak at Argonne National Laboratory on Friday.

    At Argonne, Obama warns federal cuts will hurt research

    The impact of the federal sequester heavily influenced President Barack Obama's speech to scientists at Argonne National Laboratory Friday afternoon, as he painted a bleak picture of American research being outpaced if funding dries up. "In a time where every month you've got to replace your smartphone, imagine what that means when China, Germany and Japan are pumping up basic research and we're...

    An African Spur Thigh Tortoise, the third largest in the world.

    Images: Chicagoland Family Pet Expo
    Images of Tower Show Productions' 21st Annual Chicagoland Family Pet Expo at Arlington Park Racecourse on Friday night. The show runs through the weekend.

    U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, from left, with his wife, Jane, daughter Sally, and son Will, stands after announcing that he will run for the U.S. Senate, in Lebanon, Ohio. Portman is now supporting gay marriage and says his reversal on the issue began when he learned his son Will is gay.

    Gay marriage: Senator’s shift, GOP soul-searching

    A Republican senator's embrace of gay marriage is the latest sign of soul-searching in a party struggling to adapt in a society whose demographics — and views on emotional issues — are changing fast.

    Katrina R. Sedlock

    False rape claim hindered Elgin murder investigation, police say

    Elgin police, investigating a 2-week-old murder, say they wasted valuable time and resources looking into a report of a nearby sexual assault that turned out to be false. A Larkin High School senior who lives on the same block as murder victim Lisa Koziol-Ellis made the false report to cover up the fact she lost a dog she was watching, police said.

    Michael Moreno

    DuPage judge hears closing arguments in fatal DUI trial

    A DuPage County judge said he will issue a verdict March 27 for a man accused of causing a fatal, drug-related crash in Naperville. Michael Moreno, 32, of Plainfield, is charged with aggravated DUI, aggravated reckless driving and leaving the scene of the June 13, 2012, crash that killed 63-year-old Gerald Puglise of Lombard.

    William Beavers

    Ex-casino worker testifies Beavers lost nearly $500,00 on slots

    A powerful Chicago politician who earns just a five-figure salary gambled away nearly $500,000 playing slot machines over three years at a single casino, according to records entered into evidence by prosecutors Friday at the Democrat's tax-evasion trial.

    Former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney pauses while speaking Friday at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md.

    Romney: Sorry he's not president, will help GOP

    Republican Mitt Romney told conservative activists Friday that he's sorry he's not their president but promised to work alongside them to help strengthen the Republican Party. "Each of us in our own way will have to step up and meet our responsibility," Romney told a crowded ballroom at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a three-day political summit in suburban Washington.ma.

    Mike Evans

    Naperville chamber writes letter to council some call ‘scathing’

    Questions about who has naming rights for the proposed Water Street development in downtown Naperville appeared to be put to rest following last week's city council meeting. But now a tersely worded letter to the council from the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce has brought the debate back to life and may be creating a rift between the two groups.

    Thomas Armstrong

    Elgin candidates discuss city’s spending

    The thirteen candidates in the race for four, 4-year seats on the Elgin City Council have different views on how the city spends money, ranging from giving it a thumbs-up to decrying its choices.

    Steve Husak

    Husak, Skibbe named to interim posts in Buffalo Grove

    With the coming retirements of Police Chief Steve Balinski and Public Works Director Greg Boysen, Buffalo Grove Village Manager Dane Bragg has named Steve Husak and Mike Skibbe as interims. "This is an excellent opportunity to provide internal talent with the chance to step up and take the reins of their departments," Bragg said in a news release.


    Barrington band invited to London New Year’s parade

    The great grandson of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill will visit Barrington High School at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 19 to present a formal invitation to the school's marching band to participate in London's New Year's Day Parade & Festival on Jan. 1, 2014. Councilor Duncan Sandys is not only a direct descendant of Churchill but a former Lord Mayor of London.

    The graphic novel “Persepolis” tells the story of a young woman growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.

    Chicago Public Schools denies it banned book

    Chicago schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett sent a letter to principals Friday clarifying that the district is not banning the book "Persepolis." The letter came after the teachers union and others said CPS had banned it. "Persepolis" tells the story of a young woman growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.


    Cook County judge ordered to take medication

    DuPage County judge has ordered a Cook County colleague recently found not guilty by reason of insanity on a misdemeanor battery charge to keep up her psychiatric treatment. Judge Cynthia Brim faced a stay in an Illinois psychiatric hospital had she been found guilty of shoving a Cook County sheriff's deputy.

    Top from left, Sophia Chen-de Vries, Wendy Farley and Sandra Ficke-Bradford, and bottom from left, Christopher Geier, Penny Kazmier and Jerry Keaton.

    D220 hopefuls debate balance of programs, budget

    Balancing Barrington Unit District 220's offering of unique educational programs along with its budget is a responsibility for which all six candidates for four positions on the school board have different philosophies. The four women and two men from throughout the Barrington area shared their ideas Friday before an interested crowd at a forum sponsored by the district's PTO President's Council.

    The outside installation during the unveiling Friday of 'Big Air Package' by artist Christo at the industrial memorial Gasometer in Oberhausen, Germany.

    Christo fills former natural gas tank in Germany

    Artist Christo has unveiled his latest spectacular creation: a balloonlike installation that fills the inside of a former natural gas storage tank in Germany's industrial Ruhr region.

    Truman Anderson gets help from his dad, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Scott Anderson, as he rings the bell Great Lakes’ Fourth of July celebration in 2011. $PHOTOCREDIT_ON$JOE LEWNARD/jlewnard@ dailyherald.com $PHOTOCREDIT_OFF$

    Great Lakes cancels Fourth of July fest

    Citing mandatory federal budget cuts from what's known as the sequester, Great Lakes Naval Station has canceled its Fourth of July celebration. Officials at the base, nestled between Lake Bluff and North Chicago, announced the decision Friday.

    Looming federal budget cuts mean overnight shifts could be eliminated at 72 control facilities, including airports such as Midway, which sees an average of 50 overnight flights.

    Air traffic tower closures will strip safety net

    The planned shutdown of up to 238 air traffic control towers across the country under federal budget cuts will strip away an extra layer of safety during takeoffs and landings, leaving pilots to manage the most critical stages of flight on their own. All pilots are trained to land without help by communicating among themselves on a common radio frequency. But airport directors and pilots say...

    Roselle is expected to cancel its Fourth of July fireworks show after a fundraising campaign came up short.

    Roselle likely to cancel July 4 fireworks

    Efforts to bring Fourth of July fireworks back to Roselle fizzled Friday when the town's "Get a Bang for Your Buck" campaign failed to reach a $15,000 fundraising goal. Still, Mayor Gayle Smolinksi said a proposed fireworks show won't officially be canceled until after the village board reviews the campaign results during its Monday night meeting.


    Fox Valley police reports
    Fox blotter

    The South Philadelphia home featured in the 1979 movie “Rocky II.”

    Yo! Rocky’s house in South Philly is for sale

    The home in South Philadelphia was featured in the 1979 movie "Rocky II." In the sequel to the Oscar-winning smash, the fictional boxer played by Sylvester Stallone buys the house after he loses a bout to Apollo Creed but gains fame.


    Waukegan poetry reading:

    The Waukegan Park District Cultural Arts Division celebrates National Poetry Month by hosting an open mic poetry reading on April 14 at 6 p.m. at the Schornick Theatre, 39 Jack Benny Drive, Waukegan.


    Wienermobile in Vernon Hills:

    The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile vehicle will be in Vernon Hills from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at the Mariano's store, 1720 N. Milwaukee Ave.


    East meets west in Vietnam presentation:

    Vietnam veteran Gary Polk will give a presentation on his recent trip to Vietnam through the East Meets West Foundation at 10 a.m. Saturday at the American Legion hall, 51 Lions Drive, Lake Zurich.


    Veterans court honorees:

    The first two graduates of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court Veterans Assistance Court were rewarded during an elaborate ceremony Friday at the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan.

    Last March 15, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich departs his Chicago home for Littleton, Colo., to begin his 14-year prison sentence on corruption charges.

    Wife says Blagojevich teaching history in prison

    Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich is spending his time in federal prison teaching Civil War history and learning to play the guitar, while his attorneys work on an appeal, his wife said on Friday, the first anniversary of the beginning of his 14-year term for corruption. "All that we have been left with is a aching hole in our lives," Patti Blagojevich also said in a Facebook post.

    Six-month-old Jonylah Watkins was shot while her father changed her diaper in a parked car.

    Father of slain baby released from hospital

    A Chicago man wounded in a shooting that killed his 6-month-old daughter has left a hospital where he was recovering. A short time after he was released Thursday, Jonathan Watkins went to a Chicago police station to talk with detectives about the shooting.

    A $25 tax on gun purchases in Cook County is scheduled to go into effect April 1.

    Gun dealers sue over new Cook County tax

    A group of Chicago-are gun shops and gun owners is suing in an attempt to stop a new $25 tax on gun purchases in Cook County. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim the new tax violates the right to bear arms. The tax goes into effect April 1 and is projected to bring in $600,000 this year.


    Batavia 4th-Ward hopefuls talk priorities

    Veteran Alderman Jim Volk and Batavia MainStreet volunteer Jamie Saam seek election to the 4th Ward seat in Batavia.

    New York State Police investigate a car Friday involved in a fatal carjacking on Verplank Road, Clay, N.Y.

    Woman killed, child raped in carjacking

    n upstate New York man previously charged with having child pornography cut an electronic monitoring device off his ankle before carjacking a woman, fatally stabbing her and raping her 10-year-old daughter, authorities said.


    Expenditures, revenues up in proposed Bartlett budget

    Revenues and expenditures are projected to go up in Bartlett's 2013-14 proposed budget, which village officials say is balanced without the use of money from the general fund balance. Operating expenditures are up by 6.4 percent, to about $39.5 million, while revenues are increasing by about 10.6 percent, to $52.1 million.

    Associated Press/Nov. 16, 2006 A worker cleans an entrance to the Los Angeles Times building in Los Angeles. Federal authorities allege that Matthew Keys provided hackers with login information to access the Tribune Company’s computer system in December 2010.

    Journalist’s lawyer: Prank doesn’t merit prison

    A lawyer for a Reuters editor accused of conspiring with hackers to deface a Los Angeles Times story says the journalist didn't commit the crimes he's accused of.


    Small plane crashes at Fort Lauderdale parking lot

    A small plane crashed Friday afternoon into a parking lot near a South Florida airport.

    A man carries a young girl who was rescued after a tornado hit Joplin, Mo. In 2011 the United States saw one of the busiest tornado seasons in generations: Nearly 1,700 tornadoes that killed 553 people.

    Could global warming change tornado season, too?

    as the traditional tornado season nears, scientists have been pondering a simple question: Will there be more or fewer twisters as global warming increases? There is no easy answer. Lately, tornado activity in America has been Jekyll-and-Hyde weird, and scientists are unsure if climate change has played a role in recent erratic patterns.

    Robert Giurato

    Flooding, downtown vitality top issues in Des Plaines 1st Ward race

    Flooding and the vitality of Metropolitan Square and downtown businesses are among the top issues facing residents of Des Plaines' 1st Ward, say the three candidates running to represent it. Incumbent 1st Ward Alderwoman Patricia Haugeberg, newcomer candidate Robert Giurato, and Des Plaines Public Library board trustee Steven Mokry are vying for the seat on April 9.


    Gilberts: Keep our students at Gilberts School

    Village of Gilberts officials and members of the Gilberts Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization are taking an early stand against potential boundary changes affecting their elementary school. Community Unit District 300 officials announced in January they would be considering boundary changes that would take effect as early as the 2014-15 academic year.

    Associated Press/Jan. 31, 2013 Rep. Bette Grande testifies before the House Human Services Committee in Bismarck, N.D. Grande, a Republican from Fargo, introduced abortion bills that will now go to the governor.

    North Dakota passes earliest abortion limit

    House Bill 1456 would make it a felony for a doctor to perform a nonemergency abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as five or six weeks.

    John Gault

    Glen Ellyn man charged with neglect in mom’s death

    Margaret Gault, 88, died in January from an infection that developed as she spent several weeks lying on the floor of her Glen Ellyn home, authorities say. Now her 64-year-old son is facing criminal charges in connection with her death.

    Christopher Culp

    Grayslake substitute teacher charged with harassing board member

    Authorities say they have arrested a man who was a Grayslake Elementary District 46 substitute teacher when he made a threatening telephone call to a board member during a three-day strike in January. Christopher Culp, 43, of Round Lake, was charged with disorderly conduct/telephone harassment, Grayslake police said Friday.

    Associated Press/March 7, 2013 North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, uses binoculars to look at the South’s territory from an observation post at the military unit on Jangjae islet, located in the southernmost part of North Korea’s border with South Korea.

    Pentagon to expand west coast missile defense

    The Pentagon announced Friday it will spend $1 billion to add 14 interceptors to a West Coast-based missile defense system, responding to what it called faster-than-anticipated North Korean progress on nuclear weapons and missiles.In announcing the decision, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he is determined to ensure protection of the U.S. homeland and stay ahead of the North Korean missile...


    Homeless man charged with 27 counts of burglary in storage unit thefts

    A homeless man with a last known address in Bartlett has been charged with 27 counts of burglary for stealing from storage units in unincorporated DuPage County near Hanover Park, DuPage County Sheriff officials announced Friday.


    Lisa Stone pleads not guilty to violating order of protection

    Former Buffalo Grove Trustee Lisa Stone pleaded not guilty Friday to three counts of violating an order of protection filed against her by family members. Stone is due back in court on March 21.

    Wilbur Sobota

    Guilty plea in Villa Park restaurant robbery

    A Maywood man faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to robbing a Villa Park restaurant of $81. Wilbur Sobota, 30, pleaded guilty in DuPage County court Tuesday to one count of aggravated robbery, according to court records.

    Members of the Palatine Township Elementary District 15 transportation department are livid they'll soon receive layoff notices, calling the action premature and based on inaccurate information. The board Wednesday voted 4 to 0, with three members abstaining, to move forward with a reduction in force, or "RIF," of the roughly 200 bus drivers and aides.

    District 15 bus drivers fuming over “premature” layoff notices

    Members of the Palatine Township Elementary District 15 transportation department are livid they'll soon receive layoff notices, calling the action premature and based on inaccurate information. The board Wednesday voted 4 to 0, with three members abstaining, to move forward with a reduction in force, or "RIF," of the roughly 200 bus drivers and aides.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Two Chicago men were arrested around 1 p.m. March 8 on the 1100 block of Lake Street in Hanover Park and charged with battery, aggravated assault, and disorderly conduct.

    Michael Luciano

    New sentencing hearing for Aurora man who killed two

    A 40-year-old Aurora man, who was sentenced to madatory life in prison for two gang-related murders her committed when he was 17, will receive a new sentencing hearing. An appellate court panel recently vacated the mandatory life term for Michael Luciano.


    Woman injured when car hits tree in Palatine

    A 34-year-old Palatine woman was injured Friday morning when her vehicle swerved off the road and into a tree. Police Cmdr. Mike Seebacher said the driver was alert and talking and undergoing a series of tests at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge because of the seriousness of the impact and the possibility of internal injuries.

    Chicago area participants in the Honeywell Leadership Challenge included Skyler Streff, Glenview; Patrick Grady, Mundelein; Rohan Shah, Aurora; Stephanie Lee, Schaumburg; Marina Yu, Naperville; Rachel Smith, Downers Grove; Daniel McGarry, Streamwood; and Andy Yates, South Barrington.

    11 local students get space training in Alabama

    Eleven high school students from the North and West suburbs were among 227 students from 30 countries to participate recently in the weeklong Honeywell Leadership Challenge Academy at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. Several of the students answered questions about their experiencesl.

    No charges have been filed in connection with a Thursday crash in which a minivan went through the wall of a Carol Stream house.

    Cause of Carol Stream crash still unknown

    Carol Stream police on Friday said they haven't yet determined what caused a woman to drive her minivan off a residential street and into the side of a house. The crash occurred about 3:40 p.m. Thursday when the motorist, a 39-year-old Carol Stream resident, was driving her 2002 Chrysler minivan south on Bluff Street. Police said the vehicle crossed through the intersection of Bluff and Hiawatha...

    Alina Duran of Stevens Institute competes in the women’s weight throw during the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships at North Central College in Naperville.

    Track teams run, jump, celebrate at D-III championships in Naperville

    Collegiate track athletes from across the nation invaded downtown Naperville during the NCAA Division III Indoor Track Championships, bringing with them their bright running shoes, matching team warm-ups and desire to win. The combination of about 470 athletes participating in 15 events over two days, and 2,000 cheering fans created an intense environment for the meet held March 8 and 9 at North...


    Lake County panel considering changes to tax-appeal process

    A proposal to limit how Lake County property owners can appeal their tax assessments is gaining opposition ahead of a planned vote Monday. The Lake County board of review is set to discuss a procedural change that would only allow property owners to represent themselves or hire a lawyer during the appeals process.

    Rick West/Daily Herald, March 2012 Last year in mid-March temperatures hovered around 80 degrees when 5-year-old Adrien Schavone of North Aurora readies his swing while playing baseball with his dad at Island Park in Geneva.

    Last year 80 degrees, this year 30

    Last year at this time we were golfing, grilling burgers on the patio and spring cleaning when temperatures soared past 80 degrees. This year we are not so lucky as snow is in the forecast this weekend. "And it doesn't get a whole lot better after that. For the next week to 10 days, we will have to put spring temperatures on hold," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Tom Kines said.

    Brian Dianis

    Algonquin candidates differ on video gambling

    The four men running for three seats on the Algonquin village board are divided on whether to allow video gambling in the village.

    Charles Amrich is an Island Lake election candidate.

    Election preparation continues despite candidate challenges

    Election officials are keeping watch for possible court orders in Island Lake and Roselle, where objections to candidates on the ballot are dragging out, but in the meantime, they say election preparations are continuing as usual. "As far as we're concerned, we're going forward with the ballot as it is, unless we receive notice from the court," said Joseph Sobecki, assistant executive director of...

    Ron Drake, left, and Thomas Hayes, center, and Mark Hellner, right, are running for mayor of Arlington Heights.

    Arlington Heights mayoral candidates split on Metropolis funding

    Continuing to fund the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre as it struggles financially has been a somewhat controversial choice for the village of Arlington Heights, and mayoral candidate Ron Drake says he would want to know when the Centre can expect to be self-sufficient. Arlington Heights took over Metropolis in 2005 and continues to help fund it with an annual subsidy of about $150,000.

    Auctioneers Henry Aldridge & Son say an instrument unearthed in 2006 has undergone rigorous testing and has proved to be the violin that was played by the bandmaster of the Titanic as the oceanliner sank. The auction house said has spent the past seven years and thousands of pounds determining the water-stained violin’s origins, consulting numerous experts including government forensic scientists and Oxford University.

    Auction house: We found Titanic violin

    The violin played by the bandmaster of the Titanic as the oceanliner sank has been unearthed, a British auction house said Friday. Survivors of the Titanic have said they remember the band, led by Wallace Hartley, playing on deck even as passengers boarded lifeboats after the ship hit an iceberg. Hartley's violin was believed lost in the 1912 disaster, but auctioneers say an instrument unearthed...


    Politician’s rise highlights NYC parade dispute

    She's a leading candidate to be New York's next mayor. She's already one of its top Irish-American officials. Christine Quinn is also a lesbian and proud of it. And that's why the City Council speaker won't be marching in Saturday's St. Patrick's Day Parade, an event so entrenched in New York tradition that it's older than the United States.

    Casey Fury, a shipyard worker who set fire to rags aboard a nuclear submarine because he wanted to go home, was sentenced to a little more than 17 years in federal prison Friday for the blaze that transformed the vessel into a fiery furnace, injured seven people and caused $450 million in damage.

    Worker who set fire to sub sentenced to 17 years

    A shipyard worker who set fire to rags aboard a nuclear submarine because he wanted to go home was sentenced to a little more than 17 years in federal prison Friday for the blaze that transformed the vessel into a fiery furnace, injured seven people and caused $450 million in damage.

    Debbie Bowman, who served 12 years in the Army, works the front desk at the Allied Veterans Center in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday, March 14, 2013. Bowman has been living at the shelter for homeless veterans since August. She says she lived in her car for a year before that. The center may be forced to shut down because its main source of funding was Allied Veterans of the World, which has had its leaders arrested and assets seized in an illegal gambling investigation.

    Fla. gambling arrests may close veterans shelter

    A former Army cook who fell on hard times, Debbie Bowman has been living at the Allied Veterans Center, a shelter for homeless veterans, since August. But before she can get back on her feet, the shelter may be forced to close its doors. The center was almost entirely funded by the Allied Veterans of the World, the charity at the center of an illegal gambling investigation that's resulted in some...

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. gestures as he speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., Friday, March 15, 2013.

    McConnell vows to repeal Obama health care law

    Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is vowing to repeal President Barack Obama's sweeping health care law. McConnell spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference next to a tower of 20,000 pages of health care rules and regulations. He calls it a "monument to liberalism" and says Republicans will not back down from the fight.

    Buttons used to register votes are seen on the desk of a member of the House of Delegates before a session in Annapolis, Md., Friday, March 15, 2013. It’s been eight years since Maryland executed a convicted killer, and that could be the last time if the General Assembly, as expected, gives final passage on Friday to a bill to abolish capital punishment.

    Md. poised to be 18th state to ban death penalty

    It's been eight years since Maryland executed a convicted killer, but that could be the last time if the General Assembly, as expected, gives final passage this week to a bill to abolish capital punishment. Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, has been pushing for the change since his first year in office. Now the Democratic-controlled legislature seems poised to make Maryland the 18th state in the...

    A protester holds a poster with partial Arabic that reads, “rescue us,” during the candlelit vigil, marking the second anniversary of the Syrian revolution, in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, March 14, 2013.

    Syrian rebel chief: ‘We will not give up’
    The chief of Syria's main, Western-backed rebel group marked the second anniversary of the uprising against President Bashar Assad by pledging on Friday to continue fighting until the "criminal" regime is gone. Gen. Salim Idris, the head of the Supreme Military Council, called on Syrian soldiers to join the rebels in a "fight for freedom and democracy" and said that his Free Syrian Army fighters...

    Pope Francis prepares to greet cardinals at the Vatican, Friday, March 15, 2013.

    Vatican lashes out at anti-clerical campaign against pope

    The Vatican lashed out at what it called a "defamatory" and "anti-clerical left-wing" campaign to discredit Pope Francis over his actions during Argentina's 1976-1983 military junta, saying no credible accusation had ever stuck against the new pope. While the former Jorge Mario Bergoglio, like most other Argentines, failed to openly confront the murderous dictatorship, human rights activists...

    Volunteer Constanza Lascumbres, top right, teaches reading to Nicole Farias, 9, at the Virgin of Caacupe church in a shantytown in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At Villa 21-24, a slum so dangerous that most outsiders wouldn’t dare go in, Jorge Mario Bergoglio often showed up unannounced over the course of more than 20 years. For many at the slum’s Caacupe Virgin of the Miracles Church, it’s nothing short of a miracle that the same man is now the pope.

    Argentines celebrate Francis as their ‘slum pope’

    For more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide, he's Pope Francis. For Argentina's poorest citizens, crowded in "misery villages" throughout the capital, he's proudly known as one of their own, a true "slum pope." Villa 21-24 is a slum so dangerous that most outsiders don't dare enter, but residents say Jorge Mario Bergoglio often showed up unannounced to share laughs and sips of mate, the...

    Michael Duran, a plaintiff in a sex abuse settlement with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, holds up pictures of himself when he was a child during a news conference to announce details of a nearly $10 million settlement of their lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Thursday, March 14, 2013. The U.S. church’s challenges include recovering from the clergy sexual abuse scandal, which has resulted in the bankruptcies of prominent archdioceses and cost the Church in America an estimated $3 billion in legal settlements.

    U.S. clergy sex victims want change from new pope

    The election of a new pope could help heal the wounds left by a Roman Catholic sex abuse crisis that has savaged the church's reputation worldwide. For alleged victims, much depends on whether Pope Francis disciplines the priests and the hierarchy that protected them.

    Francisco Jalics at unknown location in Germany. The Jesuit priest kidnapped in 1976 by Argentina’s military junta when the new pope was the leader of that country’s Jesuits says he has reconciled with him. Pope Francis was criticized at the time for the kidnapping of two priests, who were working in the slums. Jalics said he met Bergoglio years later and talked about the matter before celebrating Mass together with a hug.

    Priest kidnapped by junta: Reconciled with pope

    A Jesuit priest whose kidnapping by the Argentine military junta decades ago led to strong criticism of the newly elected pope said Friday that he and the pontiff have reconciled. The Rev. Francisco Jalics said in a statement that he had talked with the Rev. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who was named Pope Francis on Wednesday, long after the 1976 kidnapping of himself and fellow slum priest Orlando...

    Just hours after he was elected the first non-European pope in history, Pope Francis sent a letter to Rome’s chief Rabbi Riccardo di Segni, saying he hoped to “contribute to the progress that relations between Jews and Catholics” have seen since the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council.

    Pope Francis reaches out to Jews

    Like his predecessor, Pope Francis reached out to Rome's Jewish community at the very start of his pontificate, pledging to continue to strengthen the increasingly close ties between Catholics and Jews. Just hours after he was elected, Francis sent a letter to Rome's chief rabbi.

    Ohio Senator Rob Portman now supports gay marriage and says his reversal on the issue began when he learned one of his sons is gay.

    GOP Sen. Portman of Ohio now supports gay marriage

    Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman is now supporting gay marriage and says his reversal on the issue began when he learned one of his sons is gay. Ohio's junior senator disclosed his change of heart in interviews with several Ohio newspapers and CNN.


    Boys & Girls Club celebrates 20 years in Elgin

    The Boys & Girls Club of Elgin celebrated its 20th anniversary with an open house on Thursday night that also recognized Taylor Unsen, 17, of Elgin, the recipient of the club's "youth of the year" award.


    Quinn: Plans moving to relieve expressway tie-ups

    Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says plans are moving forward to improve traffic flow at Chicago's notoriously congested Circle Interchange. The interchange connects the Kennedy, Dan Ryan and Eisenhower expressways west of Chicago's downtown business district. With more than 400,000 vehicles passing through each day, Quinn's office says it's the most congested interchange in the nation.


    .22-caliber bullet found on Illinois school bus

    BELLEVILLE, Ill. — Officials in a southern Illinois school district say a .22-caliber bullet has been found on a school bus.The same type of bullet was also found in February in the hallway of the school in Belleville.Louis Obernuefemann is superintendent of Belle Valley School District 119.


    Police plan extra St. Patrick’s Day enforcement

    Police across Illinois will be stepping up efforts to catch drunk drivers over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend.In a news release Thursday, spokesmen for the Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police said hundreds of local law enforcement agencies will be on patrol.


    Crews dump 300-plus Christmas trees into Rend Lake

    BENTON, Ill. — Discarded Christmas trees now are at the bottom of southern Illinois’ Rend Lake, and conservationists hope the fish enjoy the gift.


    Cicero detective accused of transmitting HIV

    A suburban Chicago police detective has been charged with criminally transmitting HIV, which is a felony.Cook County sheriff’s deputies arrested Cicero Police Detective John W. Savage of LaGrange Park on Thursday at police headquarters. He was later released without posting bond after an appearance in Cook County Circuit Court in Maywood.


    Rare baby goat born at Bloomington zoo

    BLOOMINGTON — There’s a new baby goat at the Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington.


    Dawn Patrol: Minivan hits house; Illini vs. Indiana today

    Minivan collides into Carol Stream home; mom sues furniture manufacturer over son's death; U-46 candidates debate charter schools; Sandra Rogers sentenced for attempted murder; man sentenced in connection with 2008 Aurora murder; College of Lake County fires illegal immigrant on staff; is Northwestern's Carmody on the way out? Hawks end losing streak.

    I took this photo at the geodesic dome of the Missouri Botanic Garden in St. Louis. Tropical plants and butterfly exhibits fill the domes space. These orchids look like creatures from outer space.

    Images: Photo Contest Finalists
    Each week you submit your favorite photo. We pick the best of the bunch and select 12 finlaists. Here are the finalists for the week of March 11th.

    The first handheld mobile phone was developed by Motorola in the 1970s. Users dubbed it “the brick.”

    Poll Vault: When did you get your first mobile phone?

    If you were one of the people who got their first cellphone in the 1970s, it might have been Motorola's "brick." When did you get your first one? When did you switch to a cellphone, if you ever did?


    Aldermanic candidates differ on St. Charles Mall site

    Candidates for St. Charles city council offered contrasting views of what should happen to the old St. Charles Mall property at forum Thursday night. Candidates differed on whether any residential development would be appropriate at the site.


    Illinois players react Friday during the final seconds of their loss to Indiana in the Big Ten men's basketball tournament at the United Center.

    Indiana brushes aside scrappy Illini 80-64

    Despite all the obstacles in their path, the Illini scrapped and clawed and actually kept things competitive much of the game, getting to within 8 points late in the second half before Indiana turned it up a notch down the stretch en route to an 80-64 victory in front of a Hoosier-laden crowd at the United Center.

    Alex Dumoulin of the Elgin Community College women’s basketball team looks for an opening as the team practices for their upcoming bid in the national tournament in East Peoria.

    ECC thinking big for nationals

    The Elgin Community College women's basketball team is in the NJCAA Division II national finals for the first time in program history. But don't think for a minute the 13th-seeded Spartans are simply content to be making the trip Downstate to East Peoria. This group on Spartan Drive means business.


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


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


    Friday’s girls water polo scoreboard
    High school results from Friday's varsity girls water polo matches, as reported to the Daily Herald.


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


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


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


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


    Glenbard East, Glenbard West content with draw

    The season opener for both the Glenbard East and Glenbard West girls soccer teams, which resulted in a 2-2 tie Friday night at Memorial Field in Glen Ellyn, started at about 6:15 p.m.

    Stevenson’s Jalen Brunson lets out a shout as his team closes in on a victory over Edwardsville during the Class 4A boys basketball state semifinals at Carver Arena in Peoria on Friday.

    Stevenson topples Edwardsville

    Stevenson and sophomore guard Jalen Brunson weren't intimidated by Illinois high school basketball's biggest stage, producing a 60-49 victory over Edwardsville in the Class 4A state semifinals Friday in Peoria. The Patriots earned the program's first state championship game appearance and will meet Duke-bound standout Jabari Parker and Simeon for the title at 8:15 p.m. Saturday.


    Wheaton grinds out another win

    A boys high school gymnastics team does not typically compete in three meets in as many nights.

    Wheaton North’s Zach Gordon anchors a winning 4 x 200 meter win, during the DuPage Valley Conference boys track meet.

    For Wheaton North, it’s all good

    Wheaton North senior Zach Gordon said Falcons coach Don Helberg's message entering Friday's DuPage Valley Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships was simple.

    Maya Neal of Neuqua Valley in the 55 meter hurdles during the Upstate Eight Conference indoor track meet at Batavia High School Friday.

    Neuqua Valley edges St. Charles E. for UEC crown

    Savannah Carson and Maya Neal were a formidable force Friday night in Batavia. At the Upstate Eight Conference girls indoor track and field championship, Neuqua Valley was nursing a 1-point lead over St. Charles East heading into the 200-meter dash. Carson, the Neuqua Valley defending state champion in the long jump, had already established a new league record in the event by eclipsing 19 feet.

    Iowa's Roy Devyn Marble and Michigan State's Travis Trice (20) go after a loose ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big Ten tournament Friday, March 15, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    No. 8 Michigan State beats Iowa at B10 tournament

    Adreian Payne had 18 points and 10 rebounds, leading No. 8 Michigan State to a rugged 59-56 victory over Iowa in the Big Ten quarterfinals on Friday night.

    Puerto Rico shortstop Mike Aviles throws to first to attempt a double play as United States' Giancarlo Stanton (27) slides into second during the seventh inning of the second-round elimination game of the World Baseball Classic, Friday, March 15, 2013, in Miami. United States' Ben Zobrist was safe at first and Stanton out at second base and Puerto Rico defeated the U.S. 4-3. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

    Figueroa helps Puerto Rico oust US from WBC, 4-3

    Once again, the United States could only watch as an opposing pitcher celebrated at the World Baseball Classic.This time it was 38-year-old right-hander Nelson Figueroa, who became the pride of Puerto Rico on Friday night when he led his team into the semifinals and eliminated the Americans, 4-3.


    Parker, Simeon advance to Class 4A finale

    It was a case of too much Jabari Parker, Kendrick Nunn and Kendall Pollard for Proviso East to handle. The Pirates stayed close to Simeon in the first Class 4A boys basketball state semifinal on Friday at Carver Arena in Peoria, but ultimately Simeon's talented trio made the difference in a 68-56 victory. The Duke-bound Parker finished with a game-high 20 points and 15 rebounds, while Pollard had 15 points and Nunn had 14.

    Wisconsin’s Ben Brust (1) celebrates with a teammate during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big Ten tournament against MichiganFriday, March 15, 2013, in Chicago. Wisconsin won 68-59.

    Mundelein native Brust, Badgers get job done

    Behind lights-out shooting from Traevon Jackson and former Mundelein standout Ben Brust, Wisconsin shot 60 percent from the field in the second half and stormed back from a 20-17 halftime deficit to beat Michigan 68-59 and advance to Saturday's semifinals where they'll take on top-seeded Indiana .


    Glenbrook South rallies past Palatine

    Palatine’s girls water polo team led 9-7 after three quarters but fell 12-10 to Glenbrook South in nonconference play Friday in Glenview.Rachel Chumbook had 8 of Palatine’s goals as well as 3 steals, and Kim Butler made 12 saves in goal for the Pirates.Ÿ In nonconference play, Conant came up short against host Libertyville 14-7.


    Wolves can’t hang on

    Chicago Wolves game report:


    Stevenson boys basketball advances to Class 4A title game
    Stevenson boys basketball beat Edwardsville 60-49 Friday night and advances to the 4A championship game Saturday night where it will face powerhouse Simeon.


    Elk Grove drives for home-opening victory on the road

    With its own grass field unplayable due to sloppy conditions, Elk Grove took to the road Friday for a nonconference game against Dundee-Crown. It was well worth the drive to the field turf surface at Buffalo Grove as the Grenadiers earned a 4-0 victory in their season opener.

    Chicago Orr’s Louis Adams rises to block the shot of Cahokia’s Vincent Jackson Jr. during Cahokia’s Class 3A state semifinal victory Friday in Peoria.

    Morgan Park, Cahokia to meet for 3A crown

    The Class 3A boys basketball state championship game will feature Cahokia and Morgan Park after both won their state semifinal games Friday at Carver Arena in Peoria.

    Kayla Kightlinger of Wheaton Warrenville South runs the 3200 during the DuPage Valley Conference girls indoor track meet at North Central College Thursday.

    West Aurora edges WW South at DVC meet

    Few rivalries in the DuPage Valley Conference have crystallized with such drama in recent years as much as the one between Wheaton Warrenville South and West Aurora in girls track and field.

    Javier Baez, right, celebrates his walk off 2-run home run against Japan during the bottom the ninth inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game in Mesa, Ariz. Friday, March 15, 2013.

    Injuries holding some Cubs back

    The Cubs have been beset by a run of injuries of late, some more nagging than others. Center-field prospect Albert Almora, who is likely to play for the Kane County Cougars, is likely out until May after suffering a broken bone in his hand.

    Chicago Cubs' Welington Castillo, center, is greeted at home plate by Javier Baez (70) and Luis Valbuena, right, after his two-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game, Monday, March 11, 2013, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Unraveling Cubs logjam at 3B no easy task
    With time running out in spring training, the Cubs' third-base picture still is a fuzzy one. On the bright side, Ian Stewart has resumed hitting, and he hopes he can be ready in time for Opening Day after being slowed by a quad injury.


    Renowned author returns to Harper

    Celebrated author T.C. Boyle has been more than a casual visitor to Harper College. He's taught on campus, stepping in to take over literature classes on his two most recent visits.

    Chicago Cubs' Javier Baez watches his walk off two-run home run against Japan during the bottom the ninth inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game in Mesa, Ariz. Friday, March 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Baez hits 2 HRs, Cubs beat Japan 7-5

    Javier Baez hit homered twice, including a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth that gave the Cubs a 7-5 win over Japan on Friday.

    Chicago White Sox's Dayan Viciedo watches his grand slam off Chicago Cubs pitcher Hector Rondon in the fourth inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game Friday, March 15, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

    Dayan Viciedo helps Sox club Cubs, 15-3

    Dayan Viciedo hit a grand slam and a two-run double, Dewayne Wise and Jordan Danks also homered, and Gavin Floyd allowed one run over 5 and a third innings in the White Sox's 15-3 victory over the Cubs on Friday.

    Indiana's Victor Oladipo finishes off a 360-degree dunk in the second half of Friday's Big Ten Tournament game against Illinois.

    This time, Hoosiers slam Illini

    Illinois has already secured a spot in the NCAA Tournament, but the loss to Indiana Friday proved once again how wildly inconsistent the Illini can be.

    Wisconsin player and Mundelein native Ben Brust celebrates with a teammate during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big Ten tournament against MichiganFriday, March 15, 2013, in Chicago. Wisconsin won 68-59. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Mundelein native leads Wisconsin past Michigan

    Mundelein native Ben Brust scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half and No. 22 Wisconsin knocked off the sixth-ranked Wolverines 68-59 in the second round of the Big Ten tournament on Friday.

    Jimmy Hayes, right, of the Blackhawks battles for the puck in Columbus on Thursday night. Hayes played 16 minutes on a line with Dave Bolland and Patrick Kane.

    Hayes shows Hawks big upside to his game

    Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville likes what he sees from Jimmy Hayes, who skated almost 16 minutes with Dave Bolland and Patrick Kane on the second line Thursday and was plus-1 with 2 shots on goal."He brings us a presence," Quenneville said. "He's got some size to him (6-feet-6, 221 pounds) and he's been producing at a real good rate in the minors. He gets to the net well and has a real nice set of hands at the net."

    Purdue forward Drey Mingo, right, earned Most Outstanding Player honors at last week's Big Ten women's basketball tournament. Mingo, who wears hearing aids, also directs a foundation that assists children with hearing loss.

    Purdue’s Mingo knows how to pay it forward

    Purdue senior Drey Mingo stole the show in the championship game against Michigan State at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. She scored a game-high 24 points and hit 10 of her 11 field goal attempts in the Boilermakers' 62-47 victory. She's also making a huge impact off the court by helping and inspiriing others, as Patricia Babcock McGraw explains in this edition of Women's Watch.

    New Fire midfielder Jeff Larentowicz, left, was a Fire nemesis when he played at New England. He later won the MLS Cup with Colorado before joining the Fire this season.

    Fire’s Larentowicz meets pressure head-on

    Jeff Larentowicz is in kind of a tough spot. He's one of the new guys on the Chicago Fire, a guy many of the Fire faithful still want to hate from his time torturing the Fire when he played for the New England Revolution. But he was successful in New England and Colorado, and now he hopes to bring those winning ways to the Fire.

    Bears linebacker Nick Roach, here battling Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, has signed with the Oakland Raiders.

    Bears lose linebacker Roach to Raiders

    The Bears' defense, which was No. 5 in the NFL last season in yards allowed, lost a key component on Friday when unrestricted free agent linebacker Nick Roach signed with the Oakland Raiders.

    Bieterman talks to the team captains before a game between Fremd and Conant high schools.

    Moving Picture: IHSA referee wants to blend into game

    IHSA referee Rick Bieterman has spent the past 40 years trying to blend into the background. He'll tell you that on those nights when he's doing a really, really good job, you probably won't even know he's there. "Good officials are the ones that are not remembered," says the Elmhurst man who has spent the past four decades officiating basketball, football and baseball across the region. "The game is for the kids, the game is not for the referees."

    Kim Yu-na of South Korea performs during the ladies short program at the World Figure Skating Championships Thursday, March 14, 2013, in London, Ontario. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

    Memorable skates put Kim, Davis-White in control

    LONDON, Ontario — There are some programs skaters forget as soon as the season is over. There are some they’ll remember with fondness, maybe even cherish. And then there are those so special they will continue to bring chills for years to come. “Those,” Meryl Davis said, “are the programs we strive for.”She and Charlie White have another to add to their list. Kim Yu-na might, too. While Davis and White took a big step toward their second title at the World Figure Skating Championships with a short dance that was as exquisite as it was entertaining, Kim showed that she remains the one to beat, even after two years away. Davis and White upstaged Olympic champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir on Thursday night — in the Canadians’ backyard, no less — and their record performance gives them a 3.25 lead going into Saturday’s free dance. Kim’s victory in the short program was well off the record she set in Vancouver, but she, too, has a lead of three-plus points over defending world champion Carolina Kostner and Kanako Murakami of Japan.“Because I’ve skated for so long in the past, the skating itself is not that much different,” Kim said through a translator. “However, how I think of skating in general, how I feel before a competition and how I worry about a competition is definitely different because I don’t feel the pressure as much. After winning the Olympics, I felt I had accomplished it all. I had accomplished my dream.”“Now I don’t focus on the results only,” she added. “I really do enjoy skating itself.”Their free dance at the 2009 world championships was the first program to give Davis and White that “tingle.” The work and effort they’d been putting in for months was suddenly transformed into pure joy, and they could see the euphoria they felt when they came off the ice reflected in the audience.“It was a feeling we’d never really realized before,” Davis said. “But certainly we’ve been chasing it ever since.” That their rivalry with Virtue and Moir took off right about then is no coincidence. Training partners and good friends, the Americans and Canadians have been trading titles since Vancouver. Virtue-Moir took the Olympic gold along with the world titles in 2010 and 2012. Davis and White won the 2011 world title — the first for a U.S. dance team — and have had a stranglehold on the Grand Prix Final title.But the Americans have taken the quality of their skating up another notch this year, and the Canadians haven’t kept pace. “We feel different than we felt two years ago. In a good way,” White said. “Our confidence is as high as it’s ever been.”Every second of Davis and White’s program was filled with a special touch. When they began their polka, they did a series of cute hops that had fans tapping their own feet. But it was their unison that made the program sparkle. They were as synchronized as a Swiss watch, every moment done in perfect harmony. Their twizzles — traveling spins — were so spot on, it was as if they were linked with an invisible cord. And when they did their no-touch circular step sequence, you could swear you were seeing shadows. “It was one of those dream skates,” White said. It would have been tough for the Canadians to top, anyway, but they lost whatever chance they had when Virtue lurched to the side during their twizzles. They were nearly a half-turn apart at one point, an error so obvious even the dozens of family and friends visible throughout the arena in their bright yellow T-shirts had to have winced. “We find ourselves in a bit of a hole,” Moir said. “But the competition isn’t over yet.”It isn’t in the women’s event, either, though it sure felt like it. Comebacks in figure skating are notoriously harsh, and not even an Olympic gold medal can protect against gravity, injuries and the pace of progress. For every Evgeni Plushenko or Gordeeva and Grinkov, there are dozens more failures.

    Gracie Gold of the United States performs during the ladies short program at the World Figure Skating Championships Thursday, March 14, 2013, in London, Ontario. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

    Gold, Wagner give U.S. figure skating team a shot at Socchi

    LONDON, Ontario — Gracie Gold knows what she wants.This is the U.S. runner-up's first trip to worlds, and the Elk Grove Village-based skater can't help but be a bit starstruck at sharing a crowded locker room with Olympic champion Kim Yu-na and Mao Asada. "I watched them in 2008, 2009 and 2010, leading up to the Olympics," the 17-year-old said. "They were kind of idolized, so to be sitting next to them is still a little bit intimidating." Kim in particular."She was my idol," Gold admitted. "I'm kind of waiting to ask for a picture." She'll have plenty of chances if she continues to skate like she did Thursday.

    Left tackle Jermon Bushrod listens to a question after Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery announced the signing of Bushrod during an NFL football news conference, Wednesday, March 13, 2013, in Lake Forest, Ill. The Bears addressed a huge hole on the offensive line by agreeing to a five-year contract Bushrod and filled another need by signing versatile tight end Martellus Bennett on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Mascot for Cubs would be just fine

    Every other team has a mascot, so why not the Cubs? But there is one caveat: give the Cub a little edge. That and Bears and Blackhawks talk in this week's Scorecard.

    Bears head coach Marc Trestman has added some more pieces to the team's offensive puzzle, but will that be enough to help Jay Cutler boost his QB ranking from 17th overall?

    If Bears struggle, don’t give Cutler all the blame

    It seems expectations are high for the 2013 Bears season, but if things don't go well, can you only blame a 17th-rated quarterback like Jay Cutler for their failure? Mike North doesn't think so.


    This screenshot courtesy of Groupon.com shows the Groupon.com site.

    Groupon gains as Legg Mason’s Miller sees opportunity

    Groupon Inc. gained the most in two weeks after Legg Mason Capital Management Chairman Bill Miller said the largest daily-deal website has a "tremendous" opportunity for growth.The shares rose 6.1 percent to $5.39 at the close in New York, for the biggest gain since March 4.


    NY court: Group can sue over soap chemical

    Environmental activists can try to prove a chemical found in some soaps is potentially dangerous and the Food and Drug Administration is failing to regulate it, a federal appeals court said Friday.

    Associated Press/Jan. 8, 2013 North Korean students surf the internet at computer terminals inside a computer lab at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang, North Korea during a tour by executive chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt. On Friday, North Korea blamed South Korea and the United States for cyberattacks that temporarily shut down government websites this week.

    Carnegie Mellon, NSA seek high school hackers

    Bored with classes? Carnegie Mellon University and one of the government's top spy agencies want to interest high school students in a game of computer hacking. Their goal with "Toaster Wars" is to cultivate the nation's next generation of cyber warriors in offensive and defensive strategies.

    Associated Press/Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2006 Specialists and traders work the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange in 2006, just before the closing bell, as the Dow Jones industrial average surges past its all-time trading high of 11,750.28, taking yet another step in its recovery from seven years of market turmoil.

    Dow hits a record — what now?

    It's impossible to predict how the Dow, that popular barometer of the stock market, will zig and zag from here. The only thing certain about the market is that there will be more peaks and valleys ahead, and that's about as specific as a fortune cookie. But we can look at the previous times the Dow burst through a record, and measure how long it kept rising and why it eventually stopped — ending the bull market. And what does history show?

    Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner rubs his eye Friday during a news conference in Tokyo.

    Boeing CEO got 20% pay hike before 787’s grounding

    Boeing Co. Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney's compensation climbed 20 percent to $27.5 million last year, before the planemaker's marquee 787 Dreamliner was grounded by overheating batteries.

    Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Friday.

    Stocks close lower, ending Dow’s 10-day rally

    The S&P 500 closed just five points below its all-time closing high of 1,565, reached in October 2007. On Thursday, the Dow closed out a 10-day winning streak, its longest since November 1996.

    Workers assemble passenger cars Friday at the new Toyota plant in Karawang, West Java, Indonesia. Toyota officially opened their second manufacturing plant in the country to increase their total production capacity to more than 200,000 cars a year by 2014.

    Toyota recalls 209,000 FJ Cruisers

    Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 209,000 FJ Cruiser SUVs because their front seatbelt retractors could fall off.FJ Cruisers from the 2007 through 2013 model years are included in the recall.


    Federal Signal back on track

    For the quarter ended Dec. 31, Federal Signal's profit amounted to 8 cents per share. A year ago, it lost $15.2 million, or 25 cents per share, in the same quarter.

    Keith Chval

    Suburban computer forensics team sifts through scams

    Kukec's eBuzz column features Daniel Bellich, a former FBI agent, and Keith Chval, a former assistant attorney general, who co-founded Claredon Hills-based Protek International, which specializes in computer forensics. Chval and Bellich do high-tech computer investigations to search for data, and when absolutely necessary, combine that with some old-fashioned, low-tech Dumpster diving.

    A Goodyear worker wearing a tee shirt reading “Goodyear, thug bosses” stands near burning tires, as police officers form a line during a demonstration against layoffs, at the Goodyear headquarters in Rueil Malmaison, west of Paris. Tensions — and even confrontation — between unions and management have long been the norm in France.

    France mulls law to let strikers ransack offices

    With its long vacations, short hours and myriad workers' rights, France has a reputation for being a hard place to do business. Now add this to the mix: A law working its way through parliament would grant amnesty to workers who have ransacked their company's offices or threatened their bosses during a labor dispute.

    FA strong increase in auto output boosted U.S. factory production last month, the latest sign that manufacturing is helping drive economic growth after lagging for much of 2012, according to reports from the Federal Reserve, Friday, March 15, 2013.

    Strong auto output boosts U.S. factory production

    A strong increase in auto output boosted U.S. factory production last month, the latest sign that manufacturing is helping drive economic growth after lagging for much of 2012. The biggest gain was in autos and auto parts, where production increased 3.6 percent after falling 4.9 percent in January. Car sales have risen steadily this year after reaching a five year high in 2012.


    U.S. stocks open lower, threatening long rally

    U.S. stocks opened lower Friday, threatening to end the longest winning streak for the Dow Jones industrial average in nearly 17 years. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 43 points, or 0.3, to 14,496 in the first hour and half of trading. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell four points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,559. The Nasdaq composite index fell 10 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,248.

    Wilson Mountain in the Cumberland Forest, a state-owned research area used by the University of Tennessee. The university wants to allow hydraulic fracturing drilling on the property to fund research into the environmental impacts of the drilling.

    University proposes fracking on its own land

    The University of Tennessee wants to allow hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas on a state-owned tract of rolling woodland, raising the hackles of environmentalists who question its stated goal of raising funds to research the environmental impact of such drilling. The university is requesting permission from the state to allow an outside company to drill on about 8,000 acres of mature woodlands — all while performing research on the effects on water quality, air quality and ground impacts.

    Carnival Corp., the world’s largest cruise line, has suffered through a series of high-profile mishaps. Yet passengers continue to book vacations thanks to discounts, albeit at a slower pace. The company offered more sales to help attract passengers after an engine fire last month crippled the Carnival Triumph. This week, two more of its ships had mechanical problems, including the Carnival Legend, shown here in 2002.

    Carnival returns to profit; travelers fear mishaps

    The world's largest cruise line has suffered through a series of high-profile mishaps. Yet passengers continue to book vacations thanks to discounts, albeit at a slower pace. The company offered more sales to help attract passengers after an engine fire last month crippled the Carnival Triumph, leaving 4,200 people stranded for five days without working toilets or power. This week, two more of its ships had mechanical problems, ruining the vacations of thousands of more travelers.

    Ina Drew, former chief investment officer with JPMorgan Chase & Co., told the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that executives under her watch failed to control risks out of the London office and that kept her from preventing last year’s $6.2 billion trading loss.

    Ex-JPMorgan exec says her oversight was undermined

    A former top executive for JPMorgan Chase is blaming last year's $6.2 billion trading loss on other executives at the firm, telling a Senate panel Friday that they undermined her oversight at the firm. Ina Drew, the firm's former chief investment officer overseeing trading strategy, told the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that executives under her watch failed to control risks out of the London office and that kept her from preventing the losses.


    Gas spike drives U.S. consumer prices up 0.7 percent

    A spike in gas prices drove a measure of U.S. consumer costs up in February by the most in more than three years. But outside the gain in fuel costs, inflation was mostly modest. The consumer price index increased a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent last month from January, the Labor Department said Friday. It was the biggest monthly rise in the index since June 2009.


    Arlington Heights, chamber discussing small business partnership

    Arlington Heights is discussing a new partnership with the chamber of commerce to focus on keeping and bringing more small businesses to the village, but officials are still working out the exact details of the program and how much it would cost.


    Futures mixed with S&P 500 nearing new high

    U.S. stock futures are mixed ahead of the release of the latest data on industrial production and consumer prices. Two major U.S. indexes are in position to test record highs. Dow Jones industrial futures are down 6 points to 14,446. The broader S&P futures have lost a point to hit 1,555. Nasdaq futures are up 1.25 points to 2,801.25.

    Carnival Cruise Lines says another of its ships has experienced problems and is heading back to the Port of Tampa. Late Thursday the company said “a technical issue” affecting the sailing speed of the Legend forced the cancellation of a stop at Grand Cayman Islands. The Carnival Dream experienced problems with an onboard generator while docked in St. Maarten and the company announced Thursday that passengers would be flown home.

    Another Carnival ship experiences problems

    For the second time this week, Carnival Cruise Lines says one of its ships has experienced problems during a cruise. Late Thursday, the company said "a technical issue" affecting the sailing speed of the Carnival Legend forced the cancellation of a stop at Grand Cayman Islands.

    A North Korean student surfs the Internet at a computer terminal inside a computer lab at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang, North Korea during a tour by Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt. North Korea on Friday blamed South Korea and the United States for cyberattacks that temporarily shut down websites this week at a time of elevated tensions over the North’s nuclear ambitions. Experts, however, indicated it could take months to determine what happened and one analyst suggested more likely culprits: hackers in China.

    North Korea accuses U.S., South Korea of cyberattacks

    North Korea on Friday blamed South Korea and the United States for cyberattacks that temporarily shut down websites this week at a time of elevated tensions over the North's nuclear ambitions. Experts, however, indicated it could take months to determine what happened and one analyst suggested hackers in China were a more likely culprit.

    Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Ray Conner speaks Friday during a news conference in Tokyo. Boeing executives said commercial flights of its grounded 787 jets will resume “within weeks, not months” with a third of safety tests already completed. They said Friday they had not pinpointed the causes of the two battery problems that resulted in the global grounding of the technologically advanced Dreamliner planes.

    Boeing: Commercial 787 flights to restart in weeks

    Boeing said Friday it sees commercial flights of its grounded 787 jets resuming "within weeks" even though it has not pinpointed the cause of battery overheating. Boeing Co. Chief Project Engineer Michael Sinnett outlined a fix centered on a new design for the lithium-ion battery system that has layers of safeguards to prevent overheating and measures to contain malfunctions.

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks Friday during a news conference on Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP at his official residence in Tokyo. Abe announced Friday that Japan will join talks on a Pacific trade pact that would oblige the country to open up sheltered industries including farming, long a bastion of protectionism.

    Japan to join talks on Pacific trade pact

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Friday that Japan will join talks on a Pacific trade pact that would oblige the country to open up sheltered industries including farming, long a bastion of protectionism. The decision to seek participation in the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, raised protests from farmers, who are a traditional bastion of support for Abe's Liberal Democratic Party.


    Markets await U.S. data as S&P closes in on high

    Markets struggled to make gains Friday after another solid week that's sent many of the world's major stock indexes to multi-year highs. U.S. stock markets have been at the forefront of the global advance, with the Dow Jones index recording a series of highs during a ten-day winning streak and the broader S&P 500 on the cusp of its own historic peak.


    Italy’s ENI sells Africa gas stake to China

    Italian oil producer ENI says it has sold a 20 percent stake in a gas field in Mozambique in southern Africa to China's biggest state-owned energy company for $4.2 billion. The sale announced Thursday to PetroChina Ltd. adds to a string of foreign acquisitions by Chinese mining and energy companies as they try to become global competitors.

    Students march under the snow Thursday during protest in Pamplona, Spain, against austerity measures on state schools.

    Europe eases the austerity whip — a little

    Three and a half years into its government-debt crisis, there are signs that Europe is adopting a gentler approach toward austerity. Political leaders aren't backing away aggressively from budget cuts and higher taxes, but they are increasingly trying to temper these policies, which have stifled growth and made it harder for many countries to bring their deficits under control.

Life & Entertainment

    Shades of gray are growing in appeal, creating chic, sophisticated spaces.

    Comforting colors put homeowners in a good mood

    Today's "in" colors are happy colors. Emerald green steps into the spotlight as the color of the year while other jewel tones also reign. Today's colors reflect an attitude of "let's start feeling good about things," said Laura O'Connor of Laura O'Connor Design, Carpentersville.


    What’s new in theaters
    This week in theater: Red Theater presents a new take on "Hamlet;" BoHo Theatre revives the courtroom drama "Hauptmann" and The Side Project presents the world premiere of "Elsewhere," a drama about loss and grief set in 1969 Chicago and suburbs.

    “Today” show co-host Matt Lauer told advertisers Thursday that he wants to get the show back to being the most-watched and least talked about show on morning television, and he expects to do it.

    Matt Lauer predicts NBC’s ‘Today’ will be back on top

    Matt Lauer told advertisers Thursday that he wants to get the "Today" show back to being the most watched and least talked about morning show on television, and that he expects to do it. The beleaguered morning show host made his pitch at an unfortunately-timed NBC News sales event. "Today" is at low ebb in the ratings and a flurry of media reports has been speculating that Lauer is more of a sinker than a sail.

    Grilled oysters Rockefeller made Weber Grill's new founder's menu. It's made with a creamy spinach, applewood smoked bacon and Pernod.

    Dining events: Weber Grill's new menu honors its founder

    Weber Grill introduces a new dinner menu that tips its cap to the restaurant's founder, George Stephen. With an emphasis on Midwestern ingredients, it includes dishes such as the grilled pasture-raised lamb chops with rosemary scalloped potatoes and dried cherry and caramelized onion compote.

    Ethan Simpson got into the St. Patrick's Day spirit last year as he rode in the Bauer's Brauhaus car during the Palatine parade.

    Enjoy St. Patrick's Day all weekend long in the suburbs, city

    There's something about St. Patrick's Day that puts everyone in a mighty good mood. And the best part is, you don't have to be Irish to celebrate — whether by taking in a suburban parade, enjoying "Flanagan's Wake" or just watching the Chicago River dyed green. Here's a sampling of what's going on this weekend for St. Patrick's Day.

    Jim Carrey plays his darkest character to date in an out-and-out comedy as a newcomer magician in “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.”

    Carrey gets serious about career, grandparenthood

    While receiving press in a Las Vegas hotel room, Jim Carrey was wearing large sunglasses and a sparking gold patchwork blazer. "This is my Vegas camouflage," he joked. He was in Sin City promoting "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone," opening Friday. The Vegas-set comedy is about a burned-out old-school magician (Steve Carell) threatened by a newcomer (Carrey) who'll literally risk his life to wow audiences and attain fame.

    Jason Crabb, “Love is Stronger”

    Jason Crabb is impressive on 2nd album

    Grammy-winning Christian singer Jason Crabb impressively drives home the theme of how genuine love can be even if there's heartache and grief on his sophomore album, "Love Is Stronger."

    Josh Duhamel will be hosting the “26th Annual Kids Choice Awards” on Nickelodeon.

    Josh Duhamel ready for the slime hosting Nickelodeon awards show

    Josh Duhamel, who went from daytime drama to prime-time stardom in NBC's "Las Vegas" to feature films — such as his current role opposite Julianne Hough in the movie version of Nicholas Sparks' "Safe Haven" — would like fans to know that he's more than just a tall, handsome leading man. f you haven't seen Duhamel's silly side before, just tune into the "26th Annual Kids Choice Awards," airing Saturday, March 23, on Nickelodeon.

    “Music From The Motion Picture ‘Spring Breakers’”

    Skrillex’s ‘Spring Breakers’ is nice soundtrack

    Grammy-winning electronic music specialist Skrillex brings his ear and oversight to Hollywood for the "Spring Breakers" movie soundtrack, enlisting some top-notch talent to deliver everything from dubstep to beat-heavy bass rap.

    Biffy Clyro, “Opposites”

    Biffy Clyro keeps on rocking, even on 6th album

    Biffy Clyro is going to have a busy few months. They return to the airwaves after three years with their sixth album, "Opposites," head on tour with rock giants Muse and play both weekends at the Coachella music festival. Luckily the Scottish trio's new album rocks.


    How long should home components last?

    Just about everything in a home eventually will need to be repaired or replaced. Savvy owners budget accordingly. Homewyse.com is a relatively new website that provides free estimates of the average cost of hundreds of typical housing-related projects, based largely on a homeowner's ZIP code.


    Equity growth signals a transition back to ‘normal’

    Home equity is back! And it's growing fast: According to the latest data from the Federal Reserve, Americans' net equity holdings in their houses jumped by nearly half a trillion dollars during the last three months of 2012, and have increased by $1.7 trillion since the spring of 2011.


    Local theater: Celebrating ‘Flanagan’s Wake’
    Metropolis Performing Arts Centre celebrates St. Patrick's Day with "Flanagan's Wale;" Broadway in Chicago's "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" motors into town for a brief run and Goodman Theatre hosts its annual Latino Theatre Festival this week in Chicago area theater.


    Buyers should attend their home inspection

    Q. Our agent says it's not important for us to attend the home inspection, that we should just wait for the report. But we're uncomfortable with that advice. There are so many things we want to ask the inspector. What do you recommend?

    Following the expert advice of several interior designers, this cubicle at a Thornton, Colo., business was styled using a bold fabric on the cubicle wall and black-and-white contact paper on an upper cabinet and various accessories.

    Bring personality to your home away from home

    We focus so much energy turning a house into a home, we sometimes forget to aim our decorating genius in another notable direction: the office cubicle. Home often expresses who we are, but skip on over to the office cubicle — or, for that matter, an office with actual walls — and it can be a different story.

    Algonquin and Glencoe native Christy Faber appears in the national tour of “Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical” at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago.

    Over-the-top costumes all in a day’s work for suburban star

    Christy Faber never dreamed that one day she would get to appear onstage dressed up as Elvis Presley — or as a sparkly super-size pink paintbrush. But nothing seems to faze Faber, who grew up in Algonquin and Glencoe, in terms of over-the-top costuming now that she's touring in the 2011 Broadway show "Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical." The show plays the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.


    Make your shower head sparkle with these easy tips

    It's common that minerals can settle in the small holes of the average shower head, and this can cause it to spray, well, all over the place. Although you can replace your shower head, it's a lot cheaper and not that hard to just clean it. Here's how.



    Endorsements: Daniels, Larson, Welk in Round Lake Area Unit District 116
    The Daily Herald endorses Kevin Daniels, Margaret Larson and Ann Welk for the Round Lake Area Unit District 116 Board of Education.


    Endorsements: Burt, Griseta, Mumford for Fox Lake village board
    The Daily Herald endorses Valerie Griseta, Kevin Burt and Jon Mumford for Fox Lake village board.


    Endorsements: Smith, Noland Napolitano for U-46 school board
    The Daily Herald endorses Donna Smith, Vernonica Noland and Frank Napolitano for the Elgin Area School District U-46 board.


    Endorsements: Christophersen, Gottermeyer, Norkus, Yee for Emmons Dist. 33
    The Daily Herald endorses Laurie Christophersen, Bruce Gottermeyer, Paula Norkus and Benny Yee for Emmons Elementary District 33 Board of Education.


    Endorsements: Ollayos, Jones, Causey, Daley for ECC board
    The Daily Herald endorses Clare Ollayos, Rise Jones, Angela Causey and Nadia Daley for the Elgin Community College board.


    Endorsements: Carlin, Hamilton for College of DuPage board
    The Daily Herald endoses David Carlin and Katharine Hamilton for College of DuPage board of trustees.


    Endorsements: Davis, Hassler, Taglia for Villa Park village board
    The Daily Herald endorses John Davis, Gregory Hassler and Robert Taglia for Villa Park village board.


    The silliness of demographic panic

    Columnist Froma Harrop: Scaremongering over demographics is a divide-and-conquer strategy: Convince younger workers that they are paying for plush programs sure to collapse by the time they get old, and they'll bring them down. Here's a counterargument: These programs reassure parents bearing the considerable expense of raising children that they won't be destitute if they can't save enough for their old age.


    More gun laws is not the answer
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: The "eyewash" legislation proposed banning assault-style weapons is just that — eyewash. Rather than address the social issues, the policing issues, the systemic issues, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Cook County Board choose to enact more laws and regulations but ignore a system that is flawed with inept and corrupt representatives, poor communications and inadequate policing.


    Sequestration will harm local economy
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: More than 50,000 Illinois residents are currently employed by the federal government. In fact, there are only 15 percent of federal employees who work in the D.C. area.


    Constitutional principles ignored
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: So President Obama wants to use drones to kill U.S. citizens in this country who are on his "hit list." I guess due process and all other Constitutional protections are only for his pals. Well then, forget assault rifles — where can I get some surface-to-air missiles?


    Irony of Kirk opposing Hagel
    A letter to the editor: It was interesting to me how active Sen. Mark Kirk was in opposing the nomination of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.


    Frasier has good ideas for Mundelein
    A Mundelein letter to the editor: As a resident of Mundelein for the past 25 years, Wally Frasier's answer to my questions about downtown was what got my vote for mayor


    When will Obama stop the politics?
    A Libertyville letter to the editor: It was announced that the Obama administration has conveniently found $60 million to provide assistance to the Syrian opposition forces, conversely "ICE" just released illegal immigrants being held for deportation due to the lack of funds due to the pending sequester.


    How to keep Lake Zurich functioning
    A Lake Zurich letter to the editor:The evaluation of candidates I've seen seems to be based on their individual credentials. Often little thought is given to social skills. Can they work together, can they compromise.


    Only one vote if you love St. Charles
    An Elburn letter to the editor: I instead endorse Ray Rogina because I am convinced, after reviewing the other candidates for this office, attending forums, doing candidate research, and knowing him as I do for the past 35 years or so, that he will do what is right — and what is best — for the people of St. Charles.


    Fighting Keystone and other threats
    An Elgin letter to the editor: I am writing for the next generations: the kids and their kids. I went to Washington D.C. Climate rally Feb. 17 with three other gals, all of us are about 60, Reports say between 40,000 and 50,000 attended, and 132 environmental organizations supported it.


    Naperville ain’t broke, don’t fix
    A Naperville letter to the editor: Maybe it is time we who have lived in Naperville all our lives speak up. When I was growing up and attending Ellsworth School, the population of Naperville was 5,280. We have witnessed the growth over the past 60 years from a small farming town to a high tech city with a population of over 142,000. With that growth changes have come, mostly for the best.


    Quality recreation for Lombard
    A Lombard letter to the editor: I was glad to hear that Dave Kundrot is seeking re-election to a full six-year term on the Lombard Park District Board of Commissioners. As a dedicated resident of Lombard, Dave has a vested interest in the community.


    Educated mother and a Muslim
    A Plainfield letter to the editor: As we celebrate the Women's History Month I am reminded of how I have an excellent role model in my mother. On Sept. 23 2011, tragedy hit my family. My father suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage resulting from a weak brain artery at age 47.


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