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Daily Archive : Wednesday March 20, 2013

News

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    Round Lake-area man charged with sex assault

    A Round Lake-area man has been charged with criminal sexual assault by force and domestic battery after beating a woman over three days, authorities said. Ruben Sereno, 36, of the 24000 block of Orchard Drive, is also accused of spitting on and kicking the victim, Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Marc Bangser said Wednesday.

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    Bride needs to heed warning signs before getting married

    Columnist Carolyn Hax warns this clearly social bride that marrying into a controlling, introverted family may not be the best choice. She advises the woman to take in the whole scope of her life with this person, and decide whether she really wants everything she's about to sign up for.

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    Denise Barreto

    Lake in the Hills candidates talk business, transportation

    The four trustee and two mayoral candidates running in the village of Lake in the Hills discussed a variety of topics, including economic development and intersection improvements at Randall and Algonquin roads, during a forum Wednesday night. The Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Chamber of Commerce hosted the candidate night, which featured mayoral hopefuls Bill Dustin and Paul Mulcahy as well as...

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    Dan Cronin

    State Senate panel backs letting DuPage cut some governments

    DuPage County could get the power to shrink or dissolve 13 county governments and agencies under a plan approved by an Illinois Senate committee Wednesday.

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    Rob Komosa pushed for high schools to carry catastrophic accident insurance until his recent death.

    Senate panel: Schools must carry catastrophic accident insurance

    The Illinois Senate Wednesday started moving forward on an issue sought for years by former Rolling Meadows High School football player Rob Komosa, who died last weekend. A Senate panel approved legislation that would require public and private schools to carry catastrophic accident insurance to cover their student athletes.

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    Players scrimmage during a practice at Round Lake High School.

    Lawmakers reject football tackling limits

    State lawmakers today balked at a suburban official's plan to limit tackling at youth and high school football practices. State Rep. Carol Sente's plan to limit full-contact practice to twice per week tried to address a new focus on the long-term brain damage the repeated hits in football can cause.

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    A state licensed wildlife rehabilitator Anne Eddings pets a deer returning to her just after she released it into the wild from a stint of rehabilitation at the Eddingsí rural property near Herrick

    Herrick woman helps injured animals
    The trick with heeding the call of the wild is knowing which direction it's coming from. For six roughly year-old orphan whitetail deer suddenly given the opportunity recently to hightail it out of the loving arms of wildlife rehabilitator Anne Eddings, freedom's siren song was getting a bit scrambled. After all, this barn on Eddings' home in the country near Herrick had been their refuge for...

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    From left, Arthur Francis Cree, William Earl Morris, and Wakinyon Wakan McArthur. The three alleged members of a violent American Indian gang known for terrorizing people in the Upper Midwest were convicted Tuesday in what authorities called one of the largest gang cases to come out of Indian Country.

    Feds say Native Mob gang dented but work remains

    Federal prosecutors say they've weakened a violent American Indian gang known for terrorizing people in the Upper Midwest now that an alleged leader and two members have been convicted in one of the largest gang cases to come out of Indian Country. But investigators acknowledge their work isn't done in Minnesota or other states where the Native Mob is active, noting that the gang has been around...

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    Des Plaines aldermen question lobbyists for reports

    Des Plaines aldermen questioned the city's three lobbyists Monday night on the work they have done representing the city's interests in Springfield, and asked for frequent updates on the progress of proposed legislation, such as on gambling expansion and pension reform. The city has $110,000 budgeted for professional lobbying services in 2013. The city council extended contracts for two firms...

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    Authorities: No explosives found at Aurora University

    Aurora University officials canceled classes throughout the day and evening Wednesday after receiving more than one emailed bomb threat, but no explosive devices or suspicious items were found, authorities said. "They were just being extra cautious," Steve McFarland, vice resident for university communications, said about the bomb squad's decision to keep searching after Aurora police declared an...

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    Kevin Burns

    Spirited exchanges at Geneva candidates forum

    Things got spiritied Wednesday night at a forum for candidates for Geneva mayor, school board and alderman, especially when Mayor Kevin Burns and his opponent, Bob McQuillan, were handed the microphone.

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    Roselle forum addresses heroin ‘crisis’

    A group of DuPage County police departments sought to educate the public Wednesday night about the prevalence of heroin in the community and the danger it poses to anyone who tries it.

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    Darren Parochelli

    W. Dundee hopefuls discuss village’s battle with church

    When it comes to West Dundee continuing its legal battle against a church that has rebuffed repeated requests to fix its historic — but decaying — parsonage, Daniel Wilbrandt, who is running for village trustee, said Wednesday that it's time to end that fight. Wilbrandt made his comments during a candidate forum organized by the League of Women Voters of the Elgin Area.

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    Elgin picks recipients of Riverboat grants

    Elgin picked 10 agencies plus the Ride-in-Kane transportation program as this year's recipients of Riverboat grant money during a discussion that verged on becoming heated Wednesday night.

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    Lake Zurich Sonic closed after fire

    An off-duty firefighter's good eye likely saved a Lake Zurich fast food restaurant from extensive fire damage Wednesday afternoon, according to officials. Lake Zurich Fire Rescue Department Deputy Chief Don Golubski noticed flames coming from the exterior roofline of the Sonic at 205 S. Rand Road on his drive home from work, said Captain Robert Bachler. Golubski reported the fire via a radio in...

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    Johnny Borizov

    Judge to rule on hearsay in Darien triple-murder trial

    Two months before he and two family members were gunned down in their home, Jeffrey Kramer confided he was "worried about this Johnny coming in and shooting up the place," his father-in-law testified Wednesday. "He had real concern about the safety of his family -- you could see it in his face," William Svatos Jr. said. Next week, a DuPage County judge will decide whether Svatos can repeat that...

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    State Sen. John Cullerton

    Sweeping pension-cuts bill fails in state Senate; smaller teachers bill passes

    The Illinois Senate Wednesday approved a plan to cut working teachers' pensions while rejecting a more sweeping plan, sending mixed messages about where the debate over one of the state's biggest financial problems will go next. A plan by state Sen. Daniel Biss to cut the pensions of public employees including teachers and lawmakers was defeated 30-23.

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    Elgin residents displaced after basement fire

    The residents of an Elgin home that was the scene of a basement fire Wednesday morning have been displaced, according to officials. Elgin Fire Department Battalion Chief Bryan McMahan said the fire began around 10:07 a.m. on the 1000 block of Bellevue Avenue. He said the fire started in an electric panel in the basement, which ComEd had to disable and remove.

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    Incumbent Debbie Herrmann and challenger Charles Amrich discuss the issues in the village’s mayoral race during the Daily Herald’s candidate endorsement interview on Tuesday.

    Debbie Herrmann, Charles Amrich suggest ways to improve transparency at Island Lake village hall
    One of Island Lake's mayoral candidates thinks officials can improve government transparency by videotaping meetings, while the other believes creating a questionnaire for residents is a good way to go. Incumbent Debbie Herrmann and challenger Charles Amrich discussed transparency and other issues Tuesday in a joint endorsement interview at the Daily Herald's Libertyville office.

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    President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tour the Iron Dome Battery defense system at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv Wednesday.

    Obama, Netanyahu show solidarity on Iran

    Seeking a fresh start to a strained relationship, President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday demonstrated solidarity on the key issues that have stirred tensions between them.

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    Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, right, is hugged by Colorado Rep. Rhonda Fields after he signed gun control bills into law at the Capitol in Denver on Wednesday. Fields was a co-sponsor of bills on background checks and the size of ammunition magazines.

    Landmark gun bills signed in Colorado

    Colorado's governor signed bills Wednesday that place new restrictions on firearms, signaling a change for Democrats who have traditionally shied away from gun control in a state with a pioneer tradition of gun ownership and self-reliance. The legislation thrust Colorado into the national spotlight as a potential test of how far the country might be willing to go with new gun restrictions.

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    Colorado Department of Corrections Director Tom Clements was shot to death around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night March 19, 2013, when he answered his front door in Monument, north of Colorado Springs. Police are searching for the shooter.

    Colo. Corrections Dept. chief shot, killed at home

    The fatal shooting of Colorado's top prisons official when he answered the front door at his house highlights a troubling reality for the nation's judges, prosecutors and other legal officials: At a time when attacks on them are rising, it's difficult for them to remain secure, even when they are off duty.

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    Lynyrd Skynyrd will perform July 7 during Naperville’s Ribfest celebration.

    Skynyrd to perform at Naperville’s Ribfest

    Lynyrd Skynyrd will help close Naperville's Ribfest celebration this year with a concert July 7 at Knoch Park near downtown. Known for the classic "Sweet Home Alabama" and with album sales of more than 30 million worldwide, the band is enshrined in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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    Angela Causey

    ECC trustee candidates talk college’s future

    Trustees for the Elgin Community College board of trustees discussed a range of topics during a forum at the college Wednesday, including their ideas for the college's future. Nadia Daley and Art Sauceda, the two candidates running for a single 4-year board seat attended the midafternoon forum as did three out of the four people running for two, 6-year seats — Risé Jones, incumbent Clare...

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    Suburban counties dip in health rank, but still do well compared to state

    After three years being ranked tops out of 102 counties, Kendall dipped to seventh in a list released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Insitute. Kane County, which was ranked eighth last year, fell to 12th and other collar counties also declined but were still in the top 20 percent overall.

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    Rob Gorman

    E. Dundee candidates talk attendance, red light cameras

    At an East Dundee candidates forum held by the Elgin Area League of Women Voters Tuesday night, Lael Miller, who hopes to unseat Village President Jerald Bartels, called his opponent's attendance record into question. Miller also called Bartels out for being the only board member to vote against freezing the recent property tax levy.

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    Tony Arredia, left, and Matthew Bogusz , center, and Mark Walsten , right, are candidates in the race for Des Plaines Mayor in the 2013 Election.

    Des Plaines mayor hopefuls face off at chamber debate

    Des Plaines mayoral hopefuls debated the success of downtown redevelopment and other issues during a forum Wednesday hosted by the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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    District 41, Wheaton College at odds over 15-acre site

    Glen Ellyn Elementary School District 41 is eyeing a 15-acre piece of property for a new junior high school on the Glen Ellyn-Wheaton border. But the property is owned by Wheaton College, which says the land isn't for sale. As a result, District 41 officials have indicated they may pursue eminent domain proceedings to acquire the land.

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    Daily Herald File Photo Plans are afoot for a full interchange at Barrington Road and I-90.

    I-90, Barrington Road interchange takes step forward

    The Jane Addams Tollway and Barrington Road interchange is good only for drivers heading to or from Chicago. But the Illinois tollway and Hoffman Estates are moving toward building a full interchange with access to westbound I-90.

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    Arlington Heights officer in ICU, recovering

    An Arlington Heights police officer who crashed his squad car into a pole after suffering a medical event on Tuesday night is recovering, officials said Wednesday. The officer is still having tests done to figure out what happened, officials said.

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    Health lecture series:

    The Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce and Rosalind Franklin University and Health System have partnered to present the "Here's to Your Health" lecture series.

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    Public safety roundtable:

    State Rep. Sam Yingling will host a publis safety round-table from noon to 1 p.m. Monday, March 25 at his constituent office, 20 W. North St., Hainesville.

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    Stevenson High composting:

    Lincolnshire's Stevenson High School has launched a new composting program with Sodexo Education and Waste Management.

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    Naperville officials again scoff at high FOIA volumes

    Some would call it the cost of doing the peoples' business but for the second time in little over a year, Naperville officials are complaining about the high costs of replying to numerous Freedom of Information Act requests.

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    Jan Zobel, left, brings her dog, Max, to see Danielle Dicosola and her daughter, Riley, as Lake Zurich High School choir students leave Wednesday to travel to Italy. They’ll perform during Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

    Lake Zurich High School choir to perform in the Vatican, across Italy

    Just a week after a new pope was named to lead the Roman Catholic Church, the Lake Zurich High School choir is headed to Italy and a performance in Vatican City. The students will sing during a 5 p.m. Mass on Friday at St. Peter's Basillica, one of the holiest Catholic sites. More than 120 students are participating, accompanied by 12 adult chaperones and about 30 parents traveling on what...

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    House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Senate pressed ahead Wednesday on a huge, bipartisan spending bill aimed at keeping the government running through September and ruling out the chance of a government shutdown later this month.

    Senate vote: OK $85 billion cuts, avert shutdown

    The Senate approved legislation Wednesday to lock in $85 billion in widely decried spending cuts aimed at restraining soaring federal deficits — and to avoid a government shutdown just a week away. President Barack Obama's fellow Democrats rejected a call to reopen White House tours scrapped because of the tightened spending.

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    District 41 hopefuls share unique ideas

    Candidates for seats on the Lake Villa Elementary District 41 school board shared their unique ideas during recent interviews, including raising money through advertising, expanding kindergarten and jump-starting a local nonprofit foundation.

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    Fox Valley police reports
    A cabdriver was robbed at knife point of about $60 in cash at about 10 p.m. Saturday from a male customer he had picked up near downtown Elgin, police reports said.

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    Ted Lewis

    Bartlett park board candidates differ on park district’s performance

    The three candidates vying for two open seats on the Bartlett Park District board are divided when it comes to the district's overall performance. The incumbents say things are going pretty well. The challenger, however, said the park district needs to rein in spending.

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    Edwin Klemm

    Wheaton North teacher charged with sex abuse

    A longtime English teacher and former coach of the Wheaton North High School speech team had more than a dozen sexual encounters with a female student, including at school and at his home in St. Charles, prosecutors said. Edwin Klemm, 43, of the 1100 block of Howard Street, was jailed on $600,000 bail after being charged with 11 counts of criminal sexual assault. A teacher at Wheaton North for...

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    A 12-screen cinema is considered a key element of a proposed $40 million to $50 million renovation and expansion at Westfield Hawthorn mall in Vernon Hills.

    Plans for big Hawthorn overhaul moving forward

    It's still not quite complete, but Vernon Hills officials are as hopeful as they have been in years that a major expansion and renovation of the Westfield Hawthorn mall will proceed. The village board has approved five key elements that will allow for the expansion to include a Dave & Buster's restaurant and arcade and 12-screen theater.

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    Man charged with Rolling Meadows copper thefts

    A Cook County judge set bail at $50,000 for a Downers Grove man charged with unlawfully selling copper from a Rolling Meadows firm to an Aurora recycling company. Prosecutors say Peter Dang received more than $28,000 over the year during which he sold the material.

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    Daily Herald File Photo Plans are under way to transfer the former Fox River Country Day School into a nature preserve.

    Tollway expansion has fringe benefits for Elgin fen

    The marsh marigold and swamp thistle can breathe a sigh of relief as plans to preserve a valuable fen near Elgin got a boost from the Illinois tollway today.

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    District 44 candidates share views on technology

    SMART Boards, iPads and robotics programs are becoming as common in suburban schools as pencils, notebooks and calculators, but technology — and how much should be spent on it — can be a divisive topic in education. Six candidates running for four seats on the Lombard Elementary District 44 school board all say they value appropriate technology in the district's seven schools. But...

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    Tri-Cities police reports
    A burglar used a rock to smash the glass door to the Citgo gas station, 618 S. First St., Geneva, between midnight and 5:40 a.m. Friday, then stole a cash register drawer containing between $150 and $200, police said.

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    Ellen Correll

    Grayslake D46 to consider cutting teachers at meeting

    Grayslake Elementary District 46 board members at a meeting today are expected to vote on a proposed package of cuts that would include teacher layoffs. District 46 officials have been discussing ways to shrink a $1.8 million deficit projected for the 2013-14 academic year budget. The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at Prairieview School, 103 E. Belvidere Road in Hainesville.

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    DuPage County Forest Preserve commissioners have added a ban on online advertising to the district’s horse adoption policy.

    DuPage revises horse adoption policy

    Online advertising won't be an option for the DuPage County Forest Preserve District in its effort to find new homes for five horses from Danada Equestrian Center in Wheaton.

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    A home on Douglas directly behind the church.

    Neighbors unhappy about Arlington Hts. church expansion

    Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Hts. is planning to expand its parking lot to allow for 200 more cars, but to do this the church will need to demolish eight homes it owns in the neighborhood. Tenants in those homes, which are owned by the church, have been getting eviction notices in the past few weeks.

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    Marge Johnson of Prospect Heights holds letters showing she has been corresponding with a pen pal in Holland since 1938.

    Prospect Hts. woman's Dutch friend a pen pal for 75 years

    Marge Johnson of Prospect Heights picked Bep Snoek in Amsterdam as her pen pal in 1938, beginning a lifelong friendship that next month will have lasted 75 years. "It's just been so interesting learning about her life — and another culture," says Johnson, whose family members are planning to celebrate the occasion — calling it a Pen Pal Party — by bringing the two friends...

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    FILE - A U.S. Marine watches a statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled in Firdaus Square in downtown Baghdad on April 9, 2003 file photo.

    Images: Invasion of Iraq Tenth Anniversary
    Images from the Iraq War - Marking the tenth anniversary of the United States invasion of Iraq.Over 4,000 United States service members were killed in the conflict that also marked the end of the regime, and ultimate death, of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

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    Ryan Calo, assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Law, testifies on Capitol Hill before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to examine the future of drones in America, focusing on law enforcement and privacy considerations.

    Drones will require new privacy laws, Senate told

    Privacy laws urgently need to be updated to protect the public from information-gathering by the thousands of civilian drones expected to be flying in U.S. skies in the next decade or so, legal experts told a Senate panel Wednesday.

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    Arizona lawmakers have jumped in to the national debate over the rights of transgender people with a bill being debated Wednesday that would make it illegal for people to use public restrooms not associated with their birth gender.

    Transgender people force debate on bathroom use

    Arizona lawmakers have jumped in to the national debate over the rights of transgender people with a bill being debated Wednesday that would make it illegal for people to use public restrooms not associated with their birth gender. Advocates say the measure would be the toughest standard in the nation for transgender people and bathroom use.

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    Dave Carlin

    COD faculty members question campaign contributions to Chairman Carlin

    Faculty members at the College of DuPage are calling into question campaign contributions received by Board Chairman Dave Carlin from firms that have done business with the college. The Friends for Education COD Faculty Association political action committee, which is supporting two of Carlin's opponents in the upcoming election for COD board of trustees, are firing back at Carlin for statements...

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    Last March 20, it was about 60 degrees warmer

    On this date last year, it was 85 degrees outside. And 87 degrees the day after that. But as anyone who's walked outside knows, March 2012 and March 2013 are nothing alike. Today, the first day of spring, the mercury will only reach the mid 20s, with snow and below-zero wind chills. "This month has just been horrible," AccuWeather.com meteorologist Tom Kines said.

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    The Hoffman Estates High School Chocolate Co. team that took second place during the National High School Rube Goldberg Championship included, top left to right, Gregg Lugo, John Reeves, teacher Wayne Oras, Yazmin Nunez, Adam Long, and bottom, Sam Acosta, Ryan (a 7-year-old boy made an honorary team member two years ago), and Jessica Brooks.

    Hoffman High students build Rube Goldberg winner

    Students at Hoffman Estates High School took their dreams of building a miniature chocolate factory and turned them into a complex machine that has won awards at both the local and national level. "They were highly motivated and they were determined," faculty adviser Wayne Oras said.

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    Island Lake mayoral candidates discuss transparency avenues

    One of Island Lake's mayoral candidates thinks officials can improve government transparency by videotaping meetings, while the other believes creating a questionnaire for residents is a good way to go. Incumbent Debbie Herrmann and challenger Charles Amrich discussed transparency and other issues Tuesday in a joint endorsement interview at the Daily Herald's Libertyville office.

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    This is a pothole in the parking lot at Buffalo Grove Town Center at Lake-Cook Road and McHenry Road in Buffalo Grove on Wednesday, March 20.

    Buffalo Grove Town Center cited for potholes

    The potholes in the Buffalo Grove Town Center parking lot are so bad, the village of Buffalo Grove says, that the village has threatened the Center with housing court if the holes aren't fixed soon. "There are potholes throughout the rear drive, coming in off Lake-Cook," said Deputy Building Commissioner Brian Sheehan. "It's pretty bad."

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    Frank Flores

    COD candidate was fired for sexual harrassment claims

    A candidate for the College of DuPage board of trustees was fired as a COD employee in 2010 after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced, officials said Tuesday. Frank Flores, Jr. was employed as a temporary assistant aquatics manager from Aug. 18, 2010 to Dec. 2, 2010. Flores said Tuesday he was “dismissed unjustly after a cursory review of the facts.”

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    Shannon Hill

    Elgin teen charged with being high and causing 2012 fatal crash

    Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for an 18-year-old from Elgin involved in a fatal crash in September 2012. Shannon Hill is accused of being high on marijuana and going at least 40 mph over the speed limit when he crashed in Burlington Township, killing Lawrence Echols, 17, of Elgin, according to police and court records.

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    King Abdullah II of Jordan said in a wide-ranging interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday that in his view, President Bashar Assad was beyond rehabilitation and it was only a matter of time before his regime collapses. As President Barack Obama began a regional tour, which includes stops in Israel, the West Bank and Jordan, Abdullah says the visit is significant and opens a “window of opportunity” for restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

    Jordan king says Assad regime’s days numbered

    Jordan's king warned Wednesday that a jihadist state could emerge on his northern border in Syria with Islamic extremists trying to establish a foothold in the neighboring country. King Abdullah II told The Associated Press in an interview that in his view, Syrian President Bashar Assad was beyond rehabilitation and it was only a matter of time before his authoritarian regime collapses.

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    Tony Arredia

    Arredia relying on legacy to win back Des Plaines mayor's seat

    "I never thought I'd ever run again," said former Des Plaines mayor Tony Arredia. Yet, disappointed with the direction the city is headed, Arredia mounted a bid to reclaim the seat he lost in April 2009 to voter-imposed limits on having more than two consecutive terms. "It just seems that there's no direction there and I think a lot of it is a result of term limits," Arredia said.

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    Blue blubber jellyfish, Catostylus mosaicus

    Jellyfish can sense their world around them, even without eyes
    "How do jellyfish see and live without eyes?," asked a student in Amy Mueller's fourth grade class at Hoover Math and Science Academy in Schaumburg.

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    Spring hopes eternal?

    Well, we can dream can’t we? Spring officaially began 6:02 a.m. today with Vernal Equinox promises of inreasing daylight, warming temperatures, and the rebirth of flora and fauna.Suburban residents, however, woke to temperatures in the teens, and Accuweather was reporting 14 degrees in Elk Grove Village shortly after 9:30 today.

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    Director: Film on Egypt’s Jews cleared for showing
    The director of a documentary on Egypt's Jewish community says authorities have lifted a ban on showing the film in local cinemas.

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    Bolshoi ballet dancer Nikolai Tsiskaridze may be gaining the upper hand against General Director Anatoly Iksanov in the bizarre battle for control of the storied Bolshoi Theater that has gone into overdrive since the January acid attack on its chief choreographer.

    Battle for control over Bolshoi escalates

    The foes make a striking contrast — a bald, stolid general director versus an extravagant dancer with an opulent mane of dark hair. And the stakes could hardly be higher: control over the storied Bolshoi Theater in a battle that has gone into overdrive since the January acid attack on the chief choreographer that exposed rivalries reminiscent of the Hollywood movie "Black Swan."

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    Mass. sheriff defends Obama assassination joke
    A Republican sheriff in Massachusetts is defending a joke he told at a St. Patrick's Day breakfast in which Abraham Lincoln visits President Barack Obama in a dream and suggests he go to the theater.

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    Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford advanced Tuesday night to an April 2 GOP runoff for an open congressional seat in South Carolina’s vacant 1st District.

    Sanford advances in S.C. race, Colbert’s sister wins

    Mark Sanford says he believes in "a God of second chances," and now the former South Carolina governor has taken the first step toward reviving a political career that was derailed by an extramarital affair. Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of political satirist Stephen Colbert, always dreamed of a career in politics — and now she has a chance to realize that dream.

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    An American flag waves at half staff in the town of Hawthorne near the Hawthorne Army Depot on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, where seven Marines were killed and several others seriously injured in a training accident Monday night, about 150 miles southeast of Reno in Nevada’s high desert.

    Nevada town mourns Marines who died in explosion

    Hundreds of residents in a rural community steeped in military history turned out to mourn the loss of at least seven Marines as investigators arrived at an ammunition depot to try to determine how a mortar shell exploded at the Nevada base and sent shrapnel flying into troops during a training exercise.

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    People inspect a damaged car at the scene of a car-bomb attack in Zayona neighborhood of eastern Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, March 20, 2013. An al-Qaida-affiliated group in Iraq claimed responsibility for bloody attacks that killed dozens of people across the country on Tuesday, the eve of the 10th anniversary of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

    Al-Qaida in Iraq claims wave of attacks

    An al-Qaida-affiliated group in Iraq claimed responsibility on Wednesday for bloody attacks that killed dozens of people across the country a day earlier. In a statement posted on a militant website, the Islamic State of Iraq said the car bombs and other explosions came to avenge the executions and "massacres" of convicted Sunni inmates held in Iraqi prisons.

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    Wis. DNR to ask board to OK new falconry rules
    $PHOTOCREDIT_ON$Associated Press$PHOTOCREDIT_OFF$MADISON, Wis. — The state Natural Resources Board is poised to adopt new falconry rules.

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    Wisconsin Medicaid changes before budget committee

    Gov. Scott Walker's proposed changes to the state Medicaid program is scheduled to be discussed by the Legislature's budget committee. The Joint Finance Committee plans to take up Walker's Medicaid plan during a briefing Wednesday. The state Department of Health Services is one of five agencies scheduled to discuss the governor's budget.

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    Beavers trial enters homestretch

    Lawyers for a Cook County commissioner get their chance to mount a defense against charges the Chicago Democrat failed to report campaign cash used for gambling as income on his tax returns. One unanswered question heading proceedings in the tax-evasion trial Wednesday is whether William Beavers will take the stand as he vowed to do.

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    New trials ordered in slaying of 8-year-old boy

    A judge has ordered new trials for three men serving prison time for the killing of an 8-year-old Rockford boy. Winnebago County Chief Judge Joseph McGraw made the ruling Tuesday on the basis of jailhouse recordings of a key witness that appear to call into question the truth of his court testimony.

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    Fifth-graders, Izi Smith, Sam Davis and Kyle Wesbury discover how shocking static electricity can be during a recent visit by the Mobile Discovery Center, which travels in an 18-wheeler and recently visited Wheaton Christian Grammar School in Winfield to provide science demonstrations for students in its mobile classroom. The Mobile Discovery Center bus is sponsored by the National Science Center and the U.S. Army and offers presentations to demonstrate that studying science, technology and math can be fun. For a video of one of the demonstrations, check out dailyherald.com.

    Mobile Discovery Center visits Wheaton Christian

    The Mobile Discovery Center, which travels around in an 18-wheeler, recently visited Wheaton Christian Grammar School in Winfield to do science demonstrations for students in its mobile classroom.

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    Ashwin Jaiswal, a relative of Anandkumar Jaiswal, speaks during a news conference yesterday at Countryside Funeral Home in Bartlett. Streamwood Police announced an increase to $25,000 for the reward for information leading to a conviction. Anandkumar Jaiswal was stabbed to death during a robbery at a Thornton’s Gas Station in Streamwood over the weekend.

    Dawn Patrol: Reward raised in Streamwood murder; Naperville’s smart meter FOIAs

    $25,000 reward now offered in Streamwood murder. Naperville laments all the smart meter FOIAs. Dist. 300 leaders question charter school reps. Island Lake mayoral discussion actually cordial. Aurora talks cash registers, broadband contracts for RiverEdge Park. Winfield trustees say Meijer, Cosco interested in village. Arlington Hts. officer has medical event, hits pole. Danks looking iffy for the...

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    Upper from left, Philip Crusius, Denise Glasgow, and Richard Olejniczak, and bottom from left, David Page and Herb Ruterschmidt are candidates for Arlington Heights Elementary School District 25 Board in the 2013 Election.

    Dist. 25 candidates focus on programs, future at forum

    During a candidate forum on Tuesday night the five candidates competing for four seats on the Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 school board answered questions about how they would deal possible financial challenges if elected. Incumbents David Page, Denise Glasgow and Phil Crusius are facing challenges from newcomers Herb Ruterschmidt and Richard Olejniczak. Incumbent Kenneth Nielsen is...

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    Vacant house a total loss after fire in Gurnee

    A vacant single-family house in the 2007 of Belle Plaine Avenue in Gurnee caught fire at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and was almost completely destroyed. Fire was shooting through the roof when the Gurnee Fire Department responded.

Sports

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    Anaheim Ducks' Teemu Selanne, foreground, of Finland, scores against Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, March 20, 2013. The Ducks won 4-2. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Ducks rally past Hawks

    Ryan Getzlaf set up Bobby Ryan's tying goal and Teemu Selanne's tiebreaker 1:04 apart late in the third period, and the Anaheim Ducks rallied for a 4-2 victory over the Blackhawks on Wednesday night in a meeting of the NHL's top two teams.

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    Brian Urlacher against the Vikings.

    Images: Brian Urlacher Through The Years
    Images of Brian Urlacher. The beloved Chicago Bear has announced his retirement after a 13-season career, all of them with the Bears. Urlacher appeared in eight Pro Bowls.

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    Vernon Hills' Mike Heinz, right, spikes the ball past Glenbrook South's Pawel Rafalo on Wednesday night at Vernon Hills.

    Glenbrook South measures up at Vernon Hills

    Vernon Hills junior block Max Spiglanin had his normal night with 5 kills and a team-high 5 blocks. And his kill ended set one on Wednesday night at home as Vernon Hills (1-1) prevailed 25-19 against visiting Glenbrook South. But that was about the extent of the good news for the Cougars. Glenbrook South emerged with a 19-25, 25-20, 25-22 win in its first match of the season.

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    John Starks/jstarks@dailyherald.com ¬ Neuqua Valley's Andrew Geers is declared the winner of the 285 pound Class 3A match over Alex Fritz of Marmion Academy Friday in the IHSA semifinal wrestling match at Assembly Hall in Champaign.

    Wrestling, Purdue win Geers' heart

    Andrew Geers followed his heart. The Neuqua Valley senior interested the New Mexico State, Wyoming, Indiana State and Wisconsin football programs. As a wrestler, Central Michigan, American University, Nebraska, Ohio University and Purdue were after him. Wrestling won by decision.

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    Indiana's Yogi Ferrell tries to drive past Wisconsin's Ben Brust. President Barack Obama is picking Indiana to win the NCAA title.

    President Obama picks Indiana to win NCAA title
    President Barack Obama is picking Indiana to win the NCAA title. Obama chose the Hoosiers to go all the way in his 2013 NCAA bracket, which was revealed Wednesday on ESPN.

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    Unlike 2008, linebacker Brian Urlacher just didn’t have any leverage this time around when it came to contract talks.

    Urlacher great player but difficult to embrace

    Brian Urlacher made it easy to wrap your mind around him as a Bears linebacker but so much more difficult to wrap your arms around him as a guy. I expected to be emotional whenever the Bears parted ways with Brian Urlacher. Indifference reigned instead on Wednesday: If he had stayed, OK; when he left, OK.

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    The Ducks’ Teemu Selanne, foreground, scores against Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford during Anaheim’s 3-goal third period Wednesday night.

    Ducks rally late to top Blackhawks 4-2

    It’s been a long time since the Blackhawks played an important game, one so vital in the standings.Their showdown with Anaheim on Wednesday night at the Honda Center featured the two best teams in the Western Conference, clubs with a combined 6 losses in regulation in 59 games.The Ducks scored 3 goals in the final 5:27 to wipe out a 2-1 deficit and beat the Hawks 4-2 to pull within 3 points in the West standings.Ryan Getzlaf set up Bobby Ryan at 14:33, then Teemu Selanne 65 seconds later to stun Corey Crawford and the Hawks.“That was a tough game,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville told reporters. “We were five minutes away from the perfect road trip. I like the way we were playing up until that point. I commend the guys for how hard they played and competed, but that’s a good team over there.“I liked how we played every game on this trip (3-1), so we’ll try to be positive through this process.”Sheldon Souray scored into an empty net to seal the Ducks’ 13th straight victory at home.“They’ve had a great season,” Hawks winger Patrick Kane told Blackhawks TV. “They would probably have had a lot more attention if we hadn’t had the season we’re having.”The Hawks (24-3-3) led 2-1 after two periods with both teams without one of their best players.The Hawks were missing Marian Hossa, who sat out with an upper-body injury suffered Monday against Colorado. The Ducks were minus newly signed winger Corey Perry, who served the final game of his four-game suspension for an illegal hit on Minnesota’s Jason Zucker.Quenneville hopes to have Hossa back in the lineup for Monday’s game against Los Angeles at the United Center.The Ducks with their 22-3-4 record would be the talk of the NHL if not for the Hawks and what they’ve done since the start of the season.“They’ve had an amazing start to the season,” Quenneville said. “They’ve been picking up points almost every night and doing a lot of things right.”Jonathan Toews told Blackhawks TV the Hawks were hoping to prove they were the best team in the conference.“Both these teams are at the top of the standings and there’s a nice little padding in between these two teams and the rest of the pack,” Toews said.The Ducks broke on top with a goal by Peter Holland at 1:25, but Toews answered with a pretty short-handed goal at 3:52.Nick Leddy scored on a power play at 11:54 of the second period to put the Hawks ahead, but they couldn’t hold the lead.Brandon Bollig had a goal that would have made it 3-1 wiped out in the third period when it was ruled he made a distinct kicking motion with his skate.Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau told the Los Angeles Times how impressed he was with the Hawks, especially Kane.“Obviously something’s happened where he’s totally changed — not the way he plays, he’s always been a great player — but the consistency of his game,” Boudreau told the Times. “Every night he’s coming to play. He’s getting more like Jonathan Toews every day, who comes to play every night.”ŸFollow Tim’s hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone and check out his Between the Circles blog at dailyherald.com.

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

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

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    Wednesday’s boys volleyball scoreboard
    High school results from Wednesday's varsity boys volleyball games, as reported to the Daily Herald.

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    Wednesday’s boys water polo scoreboard
    High school results from Wednesday's varsity boys water polo meets, as reported to the Daily Herald.

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

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    La Salle guard Tyrone Garland (21) celebrates after defeating Boise State 80-71 in a first-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament, Wednesday, March 20, 2013, in Dayton, Ohio. Garland led La Salle with 22 points. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

    La Salle outshoot Boise St 80-71

    Tyrone Garland led La Salle's guard-driven offense with 22 points, and the Explorers wrapped up the NCAA tournament's First Four by getting the better of an old-fashioned shootout, beating Boise State 80-71 on Wednesday night.

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    Announcer Bill Dorn honors Benet Academy Head Coach Amy Van Eekeren for her 500th victory with a win over Oswego East at home, Wednesday. Three of her children Ally , 12, Tyler, 10 and Lexi, 4 spell out 500 with their shirts in the background.

    Benet’s Van Eekeren wins 500th

    Moments before Benet closed its two-game sweep of Oswego East, an announcement was made asking all fans to remain seated following the conclusion of the match.

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    Heat run streak to 24 with huge comeback vs. Cavs

    LeBron James scored 25 points as the Miami Heat overcame a 27-point deficit in the third quarter and won their 24th straight game, 98-95 over the short-handed Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night to extend the second-longest winning streak in NBA history.

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    Weather wreaking havoc on schedules

    On a couple occasions recently Lake Park softball coach Tom Mazzie wandered out to take a look at his field. It is anything but a sight for sore eyes. "There is literally a sheet of ice on our infield," Mazzie said. "It's not even worth going out and looking."

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    Hard-hitting attack spells victory for Warren

    Vuk Jakovljevic had more kills than letters in his last name Wednesday night. And Warren's volleyball team needed all them, as the Blue Devils rallied for an 18-25, 25-23, 25-20 win over host Highland Park in a nonconference match. Jakovljevic slammed 18 kills and added 3 blocks.

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    James Madison guard Charles Cooke (4) and forward Rayshawn Goins celebrate after they defeated LIU Brooklyn 68-55 in a first-round game of the NCAA college basketball tournament on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

    Davis again JMU’s MVP in 68-55 First Four win<

    A.J. Davis, who stepped in as a starter because leading scorer was suspended for a half, led the way for James Madison with 20 points as the Dukes beat LIU Brooklyn 68-55 on Wednesday night in the First Four.

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    Sarah Stern of St. Charles North,left, moves the ball while Taylor Stoner of Naperville North attempts to block during the St. Charles North at Naperville North girls water polo game Wednesday.

    Naperville North wakes up in time to beat St. Charles North

    Naperville North water polo star Taylor Bridgman described her team's firsthalf play Wednesday night against St. Charles North as "sleepy."

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    South Elgin drops opener
    South Elgin falls in two: The Storm (0-1) could not get the offense going as they fell in two straight games to visiting Glenbard North, 25-11 and 27-25 in nonconference action. Nate Marotta led the Storm with 7 kills while Jake Dinneen tallied 9 assists.

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    Don’t expect Dunn to play often in outfield

    Adam Dunn played left field for the White Sox in Wednesday's exhibition game against the Diamondbacks. Dunn is likely to play some left in interleague road games, but look for him to stick with designated hitter and first base.

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    ECC falls in NJCAA tourney opener

    A slow start doomed the Elgin Community College women's basketball team in a tournament-opening loss at the NJCAA Division II national finals in East Peoria on Wednesday. ECC dominated the final 23 minutes against St. Clair County Community College of Port Huron, Mich., but the 31-9 hole the Spartans dug for themselves through 17 minutes resulted in a 71-62 defeat, snapping a 13-game winning streak.

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    St. Francis’ Patrick Flood sends a shot from deep in the court toward Bartlett on Wednesday in Bartlett.

    Balanced attack helps St. Francis past Bartlett

    The St. Francis boys volleyball team feels it has a balanced offense, and in Game 2 against nonconference host Bartlett, the Spartans showed it. Jeff Jendryk led the Spartans with 8 of his game-high 9 kills in the first set, but five different players recorded a kill in the second as St. Francis defeated the Hawks 25-21, 25-15 on Wednesday. Jendryk also had a game-high 3 blocks.

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    John Danks will start the season on the disabled list, White Sox manager Robin Ventura announced Wednesday.

    Danks will start season on the DL

    In a move that comes as no surprise, White Sox manager Robin Ventura announced left-handed starter John Danks is going to open the season on the disabled list. In 4 Cactus League starts, Danks has a 16.36 ERA.

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    Bulls coach likes what he sees from Rose

    Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau says Derrick Rose has had several good practices, and he likes what he sees from his rehabbing superstar. And after going through practice at the Berto Center, Taj Gibson felt optimistic he'll be able to return from a left knee sprain against Portland on Thursday. He's been out since Feb. 24.

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    Sox have plenty of options at third

    Jeff Keppinger is going to be the White Sox' starting third baseman when the regular season opens on April 1. But Sox fans should appreciate Conor Gillaspie, who has locked up the backup job at third. Gillaspie takes pride in his strong work ethic and can't wait to play at U.S. Cellular Field.

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    The Chicago Bears and linebacker Brian Urlacher have halted contract negotiations, ending a 13-year career with the franchise.

    Bears, Urlacher part ways after 13 seasons

    The Bears will have to find a new face for their franchise after parting ways with eight-time Pro Bowl and future Hall of Fame middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. The Bears announced late Wednesday afternoon they were unable to reach accord on a contract with Urlacher for the 2013 season, which would have been his 14th with the team.

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    Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Villanueva delivers against the Texas Rangers in the fourth inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game, Sunday, March 17, 2013, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

    Cubs pitching depth will be tested early

    The Cubs enjoyed an off-day in their Cactus League schedule Wednesday. Their pitching depth is being tested already with the injuries to Matt Garza and Scott Baker. We also take a look at how the roster is shaping up with just over a week to go in spring training.

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    Chicago Fire forward Sherjill MacDonald (7) reacts after missing a pass against the Houston Dynamo during the second half of their MLS soccer playoff match, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, in Bridgeview, Ill. Houston won 2-1. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    What’s behind Fire’s scoring slump?

    Forward Sherjill MacDonald likes the Chicago Fire's chances of breaking out of its scoring drought Sunday.

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    St. Louis Rams head coach and co-chairman of the NFL competition committee Jeff Fisher, right, speaks as NFL Commission Roger Goodell, left, watches at the annual NFL football meetings at the Arizona Biltmore, Wednesday, March 20, 2013, in Phoenix. Fisher explained a new rule passed by NFL owners barring ball carriers from using the crown of their helmets to make forcible contact with a defender in the open field. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

    NFL passes helmet rule, ends tuck rule

    NFL owners passed a player safety rule Wednesday barring ball carriers from using the crown of their helmets to make forcible contact with a defender in the open field.

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    Cashman: ‘It’s a possibility’ Jeter misses opener

    Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says he doesn't know if injured captain Derek Jeter will be available to play for New York on opening day.

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    Villanova University President Rev. Peter Donohue, far left, Seton Hall University President A. Gabriel Esteban, second from left, Georgetown University President John DeGioia, third from left, St. Johns University President Donald Harrington, fourth from left, Creighton University President Rev. Timothy Lannon, fifth from left, Depaul University President Dennis Holtschneider, fifth from right, Providence University President Rev. Brian Shanley, fourth from right, Xavier University President Michael Graham, third from right, Butler University President Jim Danko, second from right, and Marquette University President Rev. Scott Pilarz, far right, assemble for a photo following a press conference on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 in New York. Big East athletic conference member schools gathered in New York to announce developments helping to shape the new basketball-focused conference. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    Butler, Creighton, Xavier join new Big East

    The breakaway basketball schools kept the Big East name and the conference tournament in Madison Square Garden. In return, they left behind tens of millions of dollars to the football members.

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    The Bulls are hoping forward Taj Gibson can return to action on Thursday.

    Bulls’ Gibson returning as Rose’s progress continues
    Taj Gibson often joins his buddies Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich in the locker room to watch the Bulls' game live on television. Now Gibson is hoping to return to the court Thursday when the Bulls host Portland. He's missed 10 games with a sprained left knee.

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    Trout season’s just around the corner

    If the air temperature is below 15 degrees, it must be spring, eh? Spring-schming, it's colder than a mortgage payment out there. But it also means the catchable trout season will be under way in two shakes of an icicle. Actually, the season starts April 6.

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    Big thrills the inexpensive way along the Keys

    You don't need a fat wallet to have a truly rich experience wading the flats along the Florida Keys.

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    Wisconsin guard Ben Brust from Mundelein High School helped the Badgers get to the Big Ten title game last weekend, and he'll lead them in their NCAA first-round match Friday against Mississippi.

    Lots of suburban and state talent in NCAA tourney

    Illinois has its share of basketball talent spread across the country for the start of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The suburbs can lay claim to some talented players as well, such as Mundelein's Ben Brust and Benet's Frank Kaminski at Wisconsin, Warren Township's Brandon Paul at Illinois, and Neuqua Valley's Dwayne Evans at Saint Louis. Here's a look at players who hail from our state, and a few head coaches with ties to the Land of Lincoln:

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    A team with a former Illinois head coach — Oklahoma's Lon Kruger, Kansas' Bill Self or Kansas State's Bruce Weber — is enticing if only to torment sensitive Fighting Illini fans.

    Some strategy for filling out NCAA bracket

    The impression is that parity reigns … at least 300 teams started the season with a chance to win the NCAA Tournament and 68 remained serious contenders as the tourney began Tuesday night. Still, resist the temptation to put on a blindfold and randomly pencil winners onto a bracket sheet until a champion emerges.

Business

  •  
    Asian carp, jolted by an electric current from a research boat, jump from the Illinois River near Havana.

    Asian carp spawning areas wider than expected

    Asian carp are reproducing in more places and under more varied conditions than experts had believed they could, yet another reason to worry about the greedy invader's potential to infest waterways and crowd out native species, scientists said Tuesday. Several varieties of carp imported from Asia have migrated steadily northward in the Mississippi River and its tributaries since escaping from Southern fish farms and sewage treatment ponds in the 1970s.

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    People use the ATMs outside of a closed branch of Laiki Bank in Cyprus Wednesday. Tuesday’s decisive rejection of the plan to take a slice of all deposits above $25,888 has left the country’s bailout in question. Without the bailout, the Cypriot banking sector would collapse, devastating the country’s economy and potentially causing it to leave the euro.

    Cypriot officials: Plan B drawn up to get bailout

    Searching for a way out of a crippling financial crisis, officials in Cyprus on Wednesday pursued a new bailout strategy that could include a loan from Russia in exchange for natural gas leases and selling off assets from its most troubled banks. Cyprus needs to come up with 5.8 billion euros ($7.5 billion) on its own in order to secure 10 billion euros in rescue loans from international creditors.

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    Air Force taps Cambium Networks for communications program

    The U.S. Air Force has selected Cambium Network's point-to-point 45600 High Capacity Line-of-Sight radio for its Theater Deployable Communications program of record.

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    This March 14 photo shows Oklahoma State playing Baylor in their Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, Mo. The neon-colored jerseys and camouflage-covered shorts debuted by six teams in their post-season conference championships ahead of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament weren’t well received in the press and social media.

    Camo, neon aren’t college basketball fan favorites

    The neon-colored jerseys and camouflage-covered shorts debuted by six teams in their postseason conference championships ahead of the NCAA men's basketball tournaments weren't well received in the press or social media, with critics particularly targeting UCLA, Kansas and Notre Dame because of the schools' tradition-rich athletic histories.

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    A television screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the decision of the Federal Reserve Wednesday to keep short-term rates at record lows at least until unemployment falls to 6.5 percent, as long as the inflation outlook remains mild.

    Stocks rise as Federal Reserve stands by stimulus

    Fear of a revived debt crisis in Europe faded from the stock market Wednesday, freeing the Dow Jones industrial average to touch an all-time high. After dipping Monday on concerns that Cyprus would become the latest European nation to stir fiscal chaos, the Dow posted its second straight day of gains.

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    Jim Peterson Jr. and his father, Jim Sr., leaders of Peterson Roofing Inc. in Mount Prospect, plan to give a free roof to a deserving Cook County resident.

    Mt. Prospect roofing company wants to give away a roof

    Peterson Roofing Inc., a family-owned business in Mount Prospect, is accepting nominations from the public for its No Roof Left Behind program, which will give a free roof to a deserving Cook County resident.

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    Depositors try to use automated teller machines while the bank’s computer networks are paralyzed at a subway station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday. Computer networks at two major South Korean banks and three top TV broadcasters went into shutdown mode en masse Wednesday.

    Experts suspect North behind SKorea computer crash

    Computer networks at major South Korean banks and top TV broadcasters crashed simultaneously Wednesday, paralyzing bank machines across the country and prompting speculation of a cyberattack by North Korea.

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    Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz speaks at the company’s annual shareholders meeting Wednesday in Seattle, Wash.

    Starbucks seeks to double loyalty card membership

    Starbucks is planning a big push behind its loyalty program, with plans to double membership by the end of the year. Starting in May, the world's biggest coffee company says members will be able to earn points when they buy bags of Starbucks coffee at supermarkets. Customers would have to go online and enter a code on the bag to get their point.

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    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke

    Fed stands by stimulus, sees stronger US economy

    The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the U.S. economy has strengthened after pausing late last year but still needs the Fed's extraordinary support to help lower high unemployment. In a statement after a two-day meeting, the Fed stood by its plan to keep short-term rates at record lows it will continue buying $85 billion a month in bonds indefinitely to keep long-term borrowing costs down.

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    Weber-Stephen Products names new CEO
    Thomas Koos has been named Chief Executive Officer of Weber-Stephen Products LLC, effective April 1.

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    Clare Oaks appoints new executive director

    Beth Welch has been named as new executive director for Clare Oaks, a continuing care retirement community in Bartlett.

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    Camping World, Good Sam see 2012 revenues hikes

    Camping World RV Sales and Good Sam Enterprises reported increases in its 2012 revenues.

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    Opening Day keynote selected for Assembly Show

    Daniel J. Meckstroth, vice president and chief economist at Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity & Innovation (MAPI), will be the opening day keynote speaker The 2013 Assembly Show, Oct. 28-30 at the Rosemont Convention Center.

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    AAR 3Q revenues down, but sales increase

    A decrease in AAR Corp.'s technology products segment led to a decline in third quarter fiscal year 2013 consolidated sales compared to same period last year, however the company saw gains in its other segments during the period.

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    Deutsche Bank takes $0.8 billion lawsuits charge

    Deutsche Bank has cut its 2012 profit figure because of new charges for possible costs from mortgage-related lawsuits in the U.S. The bank said Tuesday it would increase the amount set aside to pay such costs by (euro) 0.6 billion ($0.8 billion) to (euro) 2.4 billion.

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    The Audi A3 is among vehicles being recalled..

    Volkswagen Cchina recall may cost more than $600 million

    Volkswagen AG recalled a record number of vehicles in China to replace defective gearboxes that may result in the loss of acceleration, in a move that may cost Europe’s largest carmaker more than $600 million.The recall of 384,181 vehicles, conducted by Volkswagen and its joint ventures, include the Golf, Magotan, Sagitar and Audi A3, China’s quality inspector said on its website. While Volkswagen declined to comment on the financial toll, research firm LMC Automotive estimated the replacements will cost between 3,000 yuan ($483) to 10,000 yuan per vehicle.The move is a blow for Volkswagen, which counts China as its biggest market, as the company sets out to become the world’s largest automaker by 2018. The recall comes less than a week after state broadcaster China Central Television featured Volkswagen customers in China complaining about abnormal vibrations, loss of power and sudden acceleration in cars equipped with the company’s proprietary gearbox technology.“It’s always reputationally damaging to have to deal with an issue that plays out in the public’s eyes,” said Bill Russo, president of auto consultancy Synergistics Ltd. “Will they take a hit? Of course. The issue is how can they recover from that and how quickly can they recover.”21 ModelsThe company is recalling vehicles with the seven-speed variety of its direct-shift gearboxes, bearing the cost for replacing defective equipment and upgrading the software, it said in an e-mail statement. LMC estimates Volkswagen sold about 680,000 vehicles equipped with the potentially faulty DSG gearboxes.“There have been no injuries or accidents reported due to the DSG gearbox problem, as far as we know,” Volkswagen China spokesman Christoph Ludewig said.The recall covers 21 types of vehicles including versions of the Scirocco, Bora, Touran, Octavia, Passat vehicles produced as far back as 2008 and as recently as this month, according to the state inspector’s statement.For Volkswagen, which sold 4 of China’s top 10 selling cars last year, complaints about its gearbox system in China aren’t new. In May, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based carmaker agreed to extend the warranty for the transmission technology to 10 years, compared with the standard warranty of two years, to address consumer concerns.China’s quality inspector said it began investigating complaints related to faulty Volkswagen gearboxes in March 2012. Two months later, the company extended its warranty for the transmission system after several rounds of talks with the regulator, according to the statement.Safety ThreatA malfunction of electronics in the gearbox or inadequate pressure may result in the loss of power, presenting a safety threat, according to the regulator. Last May, Volkswagen spokesman Harthmuth Hoffmann said that the reported problems -- noise, vibrations and failure to start in hot and humid weather -- were “absolutely not a safety issue.”Volkswagen said today that although an electronic malfunction or a lack of oil pressure may result in a power interruption, steering and braking functions wouldn’t be affected. That means that even if the car loses power on the road, the driver would be able to safely stop the car, it said.China’s quality regulator said it interviewed more than 3,000 consumers, received more than 10,000 reports of faultiness, conducted 12 spot checks and held 7 hearings with automotive experts before concluding that the Volkswagen gearboxes were defective and posed a safety concern.New LawsThe move also comes after China introduced recall laws this year giving the watchdog broader powers to order investigations and impose fines on companies that fail to call back faulty products in a timely manner. The nation’s legislature approved plans last week to expand the authority of the food and drug regulator amid growing public discontent over quality and safety.

  •  
    State-owned China Telecom Corp. said Wednesday that profit fell 9.5 percent last year because it spent more to market the iPhone as it battled rivals for higher-paying customers.

    China Telecom profit falls 9.5 percent

    State-owned China Telecom Corp. said Wednesday that profit fell 9.5 percent last year because it spent more to market the iPhone as it battled rivals for higher-paying customers. China Telecom, which is also the world's biggest fixed-line phone operator by subscribers, rolled out service for the Apple Inc iPhone in the first half of last year, becoming the second Chinese carrier to offer the popular smartphone.

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    World stocks rise ahead of Fed statement

    World stock markets moved higher Wednesday as investors set aside their apprehension o

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    The price of oil rose Tuesday as energy markets set aside worries about a financial crisis in Cyprus after the release of strong U.S. housing data.

    Oil prices rise as U.S. housing improves

    The price of oil rose Tuesday as energy markets set aside worries about a financial crisis in Cyprus after the release of strong U.S. housing data.

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    American Realty makes $5.74B bid for Cole Credit

    American Realty Capital Properties Inc. is offering to buy another real estate investment trust, Cole Credit Property Trust III, in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $5.74 billion.

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    U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew speaks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during their meeting at the Zhongnanhai diplomatic compound in Beijing Wednesday.

    Treasury’s Lew stresses shared interest with China

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has stressed China's and America's shared interest in ensuring global economic growth in a meeting with new Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Lew met with Li inside Beijing's Zhongnanhai leadership compound on the second day of a visit marking a re-engagement between the sides. There had been a months-long pause in exchanges while President Barack Obama was re-elected and China completed a lengthy transition to a new generation of leaders.

  •  
    Geoff Webster

    UK: Senior editor at The Sun charged over payoffs

    The deputy editor at The Sun tabloid in Britain has been charged with authorizing thousands of dollars in illegal payoffs to government officials, prosecutors announced Wednesday. The charges against Geoff Webster are latest in a drumbeat of criminal charges against employees of Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

  •  
    Despite a busy week with the selection of a new pope, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts collectively had 11 percent fewer viewers than the week before — and a glance outside the window reveals the primary reason why.

    News ratings plummet with time change, longer days

    Despite a busy week with the selection of a new pope, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts collectively had 11 percent fewer viewers than the week before — and a glance outside the window reveals the primary reason why. The simple act of moving the clock ahead one hour for daylight saving time is costly for the broadcasts, since the hour that turns from darkness to light happens to be the hour in which they are shown in most of the country.

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    JPMorgan Chase has agreed to a deal that will return $546 million to former customers of trading firm MF Global Holdings Ltd., which collapsed in 2011 with $1.6 billion missing from its accounts.

    JPMorgan, MF Global trustee reach agreement

    JPMorgan Chase has agreed to a deal that will return $546 million to former customers of trading firm MF Global Holdings Ltd., which collapsed in 2011 with $1.6 billion missing from its accounts. MF Global failed in October after a calamitous bet on European debt spooked its investors, partners and clients. The bankruptcy was the eighth-largest in the U.S. and the largest on Wall Street since the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers.

  •  
    America’s lower-income workers have posted the biggest job gains since the deep 2007-09 recession — but few are bragging.

    Survey: Low-wage workers gloomy about future

    America's lower-income workers have posted the biggest job gains since the deep 2007-09 recession — but few are bragging. As a workforce sector, those earning $35,000 or less annually are generally pessimistic about their finances and career prospects. Many see themselves as worse off now than during the recession, a two-part Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey of workers and employers shows.

  •  
    U.S. Border Patrol agents patrol the border fence near Naco, Ariz. In the midst of a national conversation about immigration reform, where questions of border security figure heavily, the Obama administration switched from daily declarations that the border with Mexico is as secure as it’s ever been to warning of the increasingly dire implications of hacking $754 million from Customs and Border Protection among nearly $3 billion from the Department of Homeland Security in the remaining half of the fiscal year.

    GOP pillories administration’s sequester prep

    House Republicans are accusing the Obama administration of poorly preparing for the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts while at the same time scaring people about their potential impact. "Agency after agency acts surprised that a law signed by the president 19 months ago actually meant what it said," Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said Tuesday. Issa's committee conducted two hearings that touched on the impact of the budget cuts known as a "sequester" and the administration's preparation for them.

  •  
    The global airline industry has forecast a modest improvement in global net profits for 2013, crediting a backdrop of rising optimism about the world’s economy — particularly in the United States and Europe.

    Airlines raise 2013 profit outlook

    The global airline industry has forecast a modest improvement in global net profits for 2013, crediting a backdrop of rising optimism about the world's economy — particularly in the United States and Europe. The International Air Transport Association, whose 240 member airlines carry 84 percent of all passengers and cargo, upgraded its financial outlook Wednesday to expected profits of $10.6 billion this year, mainly based on more passengers and cargo handled.

  •  
    Popular travel sites are being told to pay Hawaii a $70 million penalty for skirting state general excise taxes over the past 10 years. A tax appeal court has ruled that online travel companies including Orbitz Worldwide Inc., Priceline.com Inc., Sabre Inc.’s Travelocity, and Expedia Inc., including its subsidiaries Hotels.com and Hotwire, have been selling hotel rooms online for years without paying the necessary taxes.

    Court tells travel sites to pay Hawaii $70 million

    Popular travel sites are being told to pay Hawaii a $70 million penalty for skirting state general excise taxes over the past 10 years. A tax appeal court has ruled that online travel companies including Orbitz Worldwide Inc., Priceline.com Inc., Sabre Inc.'s Travelocity, and Expedia Inc., including its subsidiaries Hotels.com and Hotwire, have been selling hotel rooms online for years without paying the necessary taxes.

Life & Entertainment

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    Asparagus and sweet onion add a touch of spring to deviled eggs.

    Emerald Asparagus and Sweet Onion Deviled Eggs
    Emerald Asparagus Sweet Onion Deviled Eggs

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    College of DuPage's McAninch Arts Center presents Canadian-based Scrap Arts Music and their high-energy percussion and dance show at Ramsey Auditorium in Fermilab's Wilson Hall in Batavia on Saturday, March 23.

    Weekend picks: ScrapArts Music stomps it out Saturday

    Industrial cast offs never sounded so good thanks to the Canadian percussion ensemble ScrapArts Music, which performs Saturday at Ramsey Auditorium in Fermilab's Wilson Hall. Bee Gees fans won't want to miss The Australian Bee Gees Show, a multimedia tribute concert at the Rosemont Theatre Friday. Superstar Rihanna headlines the United Center Friday, and pop star Aaron Carter makes a special stop at the River Rockhouse in St. Charles Friday.

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    Fresh, green soybeans, aka edamame, are full of fiber, phytochemicals and protein.

    Ask the Nutritionist: Edamame looks like a vegetable, has meat-like qualities

    Edamame are fresh (not dried) green soybeans. Although smaller than lima beans, they have a buttery, nutty flavor much like baby limas. Sometimes you can get them fresh in the grocery produce section, though usually it's easier to find them in frozen form, often with other frozen vegetables or in a natural foods section.

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    The Duke (James Newcomb) comforts Juliet (Celeste M. Cooper) before the impending execution of her fiancee in Robert Falls' 1970s New York-inspired take on Shakespeare's “Measure for Measure” at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.

    Risk pays off in Goodman's daring, disco-era 'Measure'

    Throbbing Donna Summer disco hits bookend director Robert Falls' provocative new Goodman Theatre production of William Shakespeare's “Measure for Measure,” which has been smartly reset to seedy New York City in the late 1970s. Admittedly, those who love traditional Elizabethan Shakespeare stagings will be aghast. Early on, Falls throws in simulated sex acts, nudity and drug use to fill Walt Spanger's stunningly realized garbage-strewn and graffitti-tagged set that buzzes with suggestive neon and florescent signs.

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    Smart enough to have a smart mouth?

    Some time ago, there was a comic strip called "Hi & Lois" — the story of a family of four: the Dad (Hi), Mom (Lois) and girl-boy twins (Dot and Ditto). In one strip, Ditto was running around the house playing cops and robbers, with lots of shooting sounds and the sounds of wounded bad guys. Lois was making dinner and said "Ditto, take that noise outside."

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    This Jan. 13 file photo shows Jay Leno, host of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” left, and Jimmy Fallon, host of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” backstage at the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. As Jay Leno lobs potshots at ratings-challenged NBC in his “Tonight Show” monologues, speculation is swirling the network is taking steps to replace the host with Jimmy Fallon next year and move the show from Burbank to New York.

    Jimmy Fallon to replace Jay Leno next year?

    LOS ANGELES — As Jay Leno lobs potshots at ratings-challenged NBC in his “Tonight” monologues, speculation is swirling the network is taking steps to replace the host with Jimmy Fallon next year and move the show from Burbank to New York.NBC confirmed Wednesday it’s creating a new studio for Fallon in New York, where he hosts “Late Night.” But the network did not comment on a report that the digs at its Rockefeller Plaza headquarters may become home to a transplanted, Fallon-hosted “Tonight.”The New York Times reported the plan in a Wednesday story, citing unidentified network executives. The Hollywood Reporter had a March 1 report about a Fallon-Leno switch, which was denied by the network.Looming over NBC is its messy, failed effort to replace Leno with Conan O’Brien, which ended in 2010 with Leno regaining “Tonight” and NBC losing O’Brien — who got a $45 million exit deal — to TBS. Leno’s current “Tonight” contract expires in September of 2014.That occurred under a different regime, before NBCUniversal was taken over by Philadelphia-based Comcast Corp., which has a reputation for discipline. While NBC dithered and backtracked on its “Tonight” succession plan involving O’Brien, Comcast is likely to be more decisive.“I don’t know if it’s possible to have a less orderly transition than Leno-O’Brien,” said analyst Brad Adgate of media-buying firm Horizon Media.Fallon contacted Leno in an effort to help smooth the potential switch, according to a Hollywood Reporter story Wednesday. The latest roiling of the late-night waters began in January when ABC moved “Jimmy Kimmel Live” back to 11:35 p.m. Eastern to offer direct competition to Leno and CBS’ David Letterman.With the potential for Kimmel, 45, to draw advertiser-favored young viewers away from Leno (62) and Letterman (65), it’s unsurprising that their networks might step up their succession planning.At 38, Fallon is the youngest of the pack.Leno, who took over “Tonight” from Johnny Carson in 1992, did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment. But he might be taking advantage of other ways to communicate — the “Tonight” stage and its audience of millions.Although late-night hosts are known for needling their network bosses on-air, the timing of Leno’s latest jabs at NBC seemed to make the network particularly uncomfortable. They reportedly asked him to stop; he hasn’t.“You know the whole legend of St. Patrick, right? St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland — and then they came to the United States and became NBC executives,” Leno joked on Monday’s show.On Tuesday, he played off a news report about a Serbian woman with a rare brain condition that causes her to see the world upside down: “Isn’t that crazy? It’s unbelievable. She sees everything upside down. In fact, she thinks NBC is at the top of the ratings.”Leno, who briefly moved to prime-time to make room for O’Brien, has proved himself a wily survivor. Despite the challenge from Kimmel, he and “Tonight” have remained top-rated so far.But if a change is destined, NBC could be eying next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as a premium launch pad for a revamped “Tonight,” analyst Adgate said.“If they’re going to do it, it makes sense to do it when NBC is dominating television for 17 days,” he said, and can heavily promote the “Tonight” switch. “They could have Fallon in Sochi, talking it up.”In the April issue of GQ magazine, “Late Night” producer Lorne Michaels (“Saturday Night Live”) said a transition to Fallon had “an inevitability to it,” adding that he was the closest to Carson that I’ve seen of this generation.”

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    Danni Allen and Haley Reinhart bring Wheeling fame
    Wheeling can now boast of having two reality TV stars, what with Danni Allen of The Biggest Loser and singer Haley Reinhart, who started her professional career on "American Idol."

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    Winemaker Jeff Morgan samples Solomon grapes in the Covenant Wines vineyard in Napa Valley, Calif.

    Kosher wine evolves from cheap to collectible

    The syrupy kosher wines of the past stemmed mainly from economics. Jewish immigrants to America needed wine, a crucial part of their religious traditions, but didn't have access to high-quality grapes. But in recent years, a number of producers have begun making classic red and white kosher wines.

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    Miss America pageant returning to Atlantic City

    The Miss America pageant will be broadcast from Atlantic City, N.J., on Sept. 15. Gov. Chris Christie announced the broadcast date Wednesday. The pageant will be held at the place where it began in 1921. The pageant is returning to Atlantic City after being held in Las Vegas the past six years.

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    Judy Annis of Elgin makes ravioli with her sister for holiday dinners. She says the cheese-filled pasta freezes well.

    Lorene’s Ravioli
    Lorene's Ravoili: Judy Annis

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    “180” by Palma Violets

    Much-hyped Palma Violets delivers on debut

    There were lots of whispers and mumbles about Palma Violets before the release of its debut album "180" in home country Great Britain, and quite rightly so. The quartet really is bringing something fresh to a somewhat stale chart with growling guitars and pounding drums, and there isn't anything quite like it kicking around at the moment.

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    Celebrate Passover with this succulent, savory braised lamb from “The New Jewish Table” by Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray.

    Stir it up: Passover lamb symbolizes Jews' escape from slavery

    Lamb has been eaten to celebrate spring since biblical times, and it is a traditional Easter dish. But what about lamb for Passover? Like most food questions concerning this culinarily complicated holiday, it's tricky.

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    Celebrate Passover with this succulent, savory braised lamb from “The New Jewish Table” by Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray.

    Braised Lamb Shanks
    Braised Lamb Shanks

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    Danni Allen's alma mater is proud to claim her as their own. She also graduated from Clemson University.

    'Biggest Loser' winner Danni Allen: Bikini vacation, maybe new career?

    Danni Allen returns to the Chicago suburbs on Friday with a $250,000 prize and a wealth of opportunities ahead of her but only one immediate goal -- a nice vacation in a warm climate, where she can show off her first bikini. "So many doors are open to me now," said the Wheeling winner of the latest season of "Biggest Loser," on NBC. "The money has bought me the gift of time. I will evaluate my life and see what new things I can try and find out what I really want to be."

  •  
    “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg

    Facebook exec urges women to ‘Lean In’

    Anyone who makes it to the first page of Sheryl Sandberg's new book, "Lean In," without hearing anything about it deserves a prize. Just in case you've missed the hype, Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook. The book, her first, grew out of a talk she gave in 2010 called, "Why we have too few women leaders." Sandberg's message is: Women have stopped making progress at the top of corporate America.

  •  
    “Anthems” by Anthrax

    Anthrax covers 1970s rock on new EP

    There's a revelation on Anthrax's "Anthems" EP: Rush's music is annoying, no matter who plays it. The speed metal kings, driven by drummer Charlie Benante's infatuation with early Neil Peart, chose Rush's "Anthem" as the inspiration for their eight-track EP in which they cover classic 1970s rock bands that influenced them. Suffice it to say the jarring stop-and-start timing and riffing of a Rush song doesn't work with the heaviest of heavy metal bands, either.

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    Elliott Dombrowski, 13, of Bolingbrook puts in some guitar practice at the School of Rock in Naperville.

    Spirit of rock empowers young musicians

    Aside from ongoing lessons for beginners and beyond in guitar, keyboards and percussion, School of Rock offers camps that focus on a particular genre or artist. Funk and Reggae, The Beatles, and Punk are a few of focuses taught over an abbreviated time; from a seven-hour Saturday to a full week ending in a performance.

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    Danish actor Mads Mikkelson plays Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the upcoming TV series, “Hannibal.” The series will premiere on April 4.

    NBC hopes spring shows will warm up ratings

    Last fall, downtrodden NBC entered the new season with brave but only modest aspirations. Then, juiced on audience-grabber "Sunday Night Football" and further boosted by robust singing competition "The Voice," the network vaulted to front-runner status, winning 13 of the season's first 15 weeks. With full recognition that football goes away each January, NBC's bosses prayed that the network's unanticipated surge, plus positive reception for its upcoming new shows, might propel it across the wintry void.

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    Household harmony can get a little ... loud

    We have several signs in our home with phrases and words that reflect our values around faith and family, except for the purely sarcastic sign in our laundry room that says, "Laundry: Loads and loads of fun."

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    Cheese ravioli with marinara sauce is just one of several fresh pasta and sauce pairings offered at Ravioli Oli in Oak Brook.

    Oak Brook's Ravioli Oli best of fresh and fast

    Made fresh, served fast. That's the motto at the year-old Ravioli Oli in Oak Brook. Pithy as that is, it doesn't begin to tell it's fresh story. And lumping it into the fast-casual genre doesn't do it justice. Yes, you walk up the aisle to the counter to order off a laminated menu or off the boards on the wall. And yes, the prices are reasonable, in fact, extremely so. It's the food that puts Raviolo Oli in a class by itself.

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    Spartan warrior Kratos battles a goat in "God of War: Ascension."

    Kratos is exhausted in latest ‘God of War’

    Kratos is angry. That's all you need to know about the motivation of the durable protagonist of Sony's "God of War" series. He's been rampaging across ancient Greece for five games now. A prequel to 2005's original "God," this new adventure begins with Kratos chained to a rock and tormented by Furies. Once he escapes, he resumes his bloodthirsty campaign against the capricious Greek deities.

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    Tortillas made from matzo cake meal serve as the base for a trio of vibrant fillings and toppings.

    Tortillas with Tomato-Mint Salsa and Guacamole
    Tortillas with Tomato-Mint Salsa

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    Plain matzo bread morphs into sweet Matzo Toffee Bar Crunch.

    Matzo Toffee Bar Crunch
    Matzo Toffee Crunch

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    Tortillas made from matzo cake meal serve as the base for a trio of vibrant fillings and toppings.

    Kosher chefs offer tips for learning to love matzo

    When it comes to matzo, Chicago chef Laura Frankel says hers is a love-hate relationship. "Matzo and I are frenemies," she says of the unleavened cracker-like bread traditionally eaten during Jewish Passover celebrations. "On one hand, matzo is a food you want to be proud of — it's part of who we are as Jews. But frankly, it usually tastes like cardboard."

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    Brian Vaughn and David Ivers play a multitude of odd Irish characters in “Stones in His Pockets” at Northlight Theatre in Skokie. The two are both artistic directors of the Utah Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City, Utah.

    Northlight's 'Stones' a wry, well-acted Irish comedy

    Brian Vaughn and David Ivers masterfully channel lots of odd Irish characters in "Stones in His Pockets" at Northlight Theatre in Skokie. This coproduction between Northlight and the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespearean Festival allows Chicago-area audiences to see why so many theater lovers make the trek to Cedar City in Southern Utah each summer and fall. In fact, I used to be one of them before I relocated to Chicago in 2003.

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