Daily Archive : Thursday March 21, 2013

News

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    Stillman Center’s Spreyer to receive award

    Mark Spreyer, naturalist at Stillman Nature Center in South Barrington, has been selected to receive a 2013 Environmental Preservation Award from Garfield Farm Museum in LaFox in recognition of his efforts to preserve and interpret the environment of northern Illinois. Spreyer will receive the award at the museum's 25th annual awards dinner and ceremony on Saturday, April 27, at the Dunham Woods...

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    Justin B. Brooks

    Probation, $34,000 fine in Elgin indoor pot growing case

    A 55-year-old Elgin man recently received three years probation and a $34,000 fine after pleading guilty to possession of between 50 and 200 marijuana plants. Justin B. Brooks was arrested in October 2012 on charges he was growing marijuana in his home. If he violates probation, he could still get up to seven years in prison.

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    Michael L. Jett

    12-year sentence in Batavia rape and domestic attack

    A Batavia man was sentenced to 12 years in prison after admitting to sexually assaulting a woman in 2012 and for committing a domestic attack in 2011. Michael Jett, 55, quietly pleaded guilty last week in Kane County. According to court documents, he held a woman captive and repeatedly raped her before driving her to an Aurora hospital in June 2012.

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    District 94 support staff ‘optimistic’ for contract

    Negotiating teams from the West Chicago High School District 94 school board and its support staff union are heading into a Saturday meeting with hopes of reaching a new contract. School board spokesman Tony Molinaro said the sides plan to focus on wages and health insurance — the two most significant sticking points in negotiations that began in February 2012. "We're hoping there will be...

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    State Sen. Daniel Biss of Evanston, top left, House Republican Leader Tom Cross of Oswego, bottom, and state Rep. Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook, right, back a pension plan that won House approval this week.

    Illinois House OK could be break in pension gridlock

    Supporters of big public employee pension cuts approved by the Illinois House Thursday say they've gotten past the hardest vote on the long-festering issue. "I think we're in a position to finalize preparation of a bill and move a bill from the House to the Senate that treats all aspects of the problem," Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan said in a rare speech from the House floor.

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    Wheaton officials plan to start next month a $2.5 million project to reduce flooding on North Main Street by channeling some of the water in Northside Park, pictured here.

    Wheaton flood relief project set to begin

    A roughly $2.5 million project to alleviate flooding on North Main Street in Wheaton finally will begin this spring after nearly a yearlong delay. The much-anticipated project originally was scheduled to begin in spring 2012, but delays in reaching agreements with area property owners stalled construction.

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    Illinois teen dies at home of ex-lawmaker's daughter
    Authorities are hoping lab tests help determine what killed a Belleville teenager found unresponsive at the southwestern Illinois home of a former congressman's daughter. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Shiloh police dispatched Sunday to the home of Gina Costello found 15-year-old Patrick Fiore unconscious. He died the next day at a St. Louis hospital.

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    Illinois House says no tanning for teens

    Just in time for spring break, the Illinois House approved a plan to prohibit minors under age 18 from using tanning beds Thursday afternoon.

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    More than 40 lakes, creeks and ponds are stocked with rainbow trout in anticipation of this season's fishing opener.

    Ill. trout fishing season opens next month

    SPRINGFIELD — More than 40 lakes, creeks and ponds are stocked with rainbow trout in anticipation of this season's fishing opener.Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller said Wednesday the 2013 trout fishing season will begin April 6. Miller says the department has stocked 42 waters across the state with more than 60,000 rainbow trout.

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    Former Green Bay Packers player Gilbert Brown is helping high school students stand up against bullying. Brown visited the high school in the Milwaukee suburb of Greendale Wednesday night where he talked about his own experiences growing up and being bullied. The former nose tackle says bullying about his weight had a life changing impact.

    Former Packers player sends anti-bullying message

    Former Green Bay Packers player Gilbert Brown is helping high school students stand up against bullying. Brown visited the high school in the Milwaukee suburb of Greendale Wednesday night where he talked about his own experiences growing up and being bullied. The former nose tackle says bullying about his weight had a life changing impact.

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    The Chicago Zoological Society says an Angolan colobus monkey was born at the suburban Chicago zoo on March 9 and now can be seen daily in the Tropic World: Africa exhibit.

    Brookfield Zoo announces birth of African monkey

    There's a new baby at the Brookfield Zoo. The Chicago Zoological Society says an Angolan colobus monkey was born at the suburban Chicago zoo on March 9 and now can be seen daily in the Tropic World: Africa exhibit.The species is known for its black body and face, long white hair hanging from its shoulders and a long black-and-white tail.

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    Jenny Perez

    Three Palatine residents dead after car crash near Sycamore

    Three Palatine residents -- a grandmother, daughter and grandson -- are dead after their car hit a truck while driving near Sycamore Thursday morning. The DeKalb County sheriff's office said the daughter, Jenny Perez, 19, was driving a 2000 Mitsubishi Galant north on Peace Road near Freed Road at 11:19 a.m. when her vehicle traveled into the oncoming lane of traffic for an unknown reason.

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    Rihanna accepts the award for soul R&B favorite female artist at the 38th Annual American Music Awards on Nov. 21, 2010 in Los Angeles.

    Rihanna eagerly awaited at Barrington High School

    Pop star Rihanna will make her promised visit to Barrington High School Friday afternoon, to congratulate the school on winning her "Shine Bright Like a Diamond" video contest. Rihanna's visit actually comes on the first day of spring break in Barrington Unit District 220, but 2,500 students from the district's middle schools and high school are expected to attend.

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    Louisville, which won the Big East earlier in the month, is the top seed in the NCAA men’s tournament.

    Poll Vault: Who’s in your Final Four?

    Your bracket might be semi-busted already, with No. 14 seed Harvard upsetting No. 3 New Mexico and a pair of No. 5 seeds out as well. Do you have the No. 1 seeds in your Final Four? How does your bracket look?

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    Dave Barry

    Candidates agree Bartlett library needs to stay relevant

    Three of the four candidates for Bartlett Public Library District board spoke at a candidates forum hosted by the Bartlett Woman's Club Thursday night. The candidates agreed the library needs to remain relevant in the community, keep up with residents' needs and stay fiscally responsible.

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    Dewey Pierotti

    Pierotti doesn't want to be forest preserve chief

    After spending months juggling dual roles as president of the DuPage County Forest Preserve Commission and interim executive director of the district, Dewey Pierotti is looking ahead to retirement. Pierotti, who plans to step down from the commission in November 2014, says he has no interest in becoming the district's top administrator, despite doing the job on an interim basis since the former...

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    District 214 fees will increase, then freeze

    Registration fees in Northwest Suburban High School District 214 will be going up each year for the next few years but will be frozen for the duration of a student's high school career. The proposal approved unanimously by the District 214 school board on Thursday night differs from one presented a few weeks ago that would have incrementally raised fees for all students each year over a number of...

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    Seniors losing tax benefit of assessment freeze

    Tax bills are spiking for thousands of senior citizens in Kane County thanks to another consequence of falling home values. The senior assessment freeze has lost all of its value for thousands of homeowners.

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    Upper from left, Adriana Armstrong and Rick Brogan, and lower from left, Marion Janiec and Thomas Keating are candidates for Streamwood Park District in the 2013 Election.

    Should married couple have two seats on same board?

    Marion Janiec is running for the Streamwood Park District board in April, the same board where her husband is already an elected commissioner. "I'm my own person," she said. "I am by no means an extension of my husband."

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    President Barack Obama pauses during his speech at the Jerusalem Convention Center in Jerusalem, Israel, Thursday, March 21, 2013. “The Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and justice must ... be recognized,” he said. “Put yourself in their shoes — look at the world through their eyes. It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of her own, and lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements of her parents every single day.”

    'Peace is possible,’ Obama insists in Middle East

    Insisting "peace is possible," President Barack Obama on Thursday prodded both Israelis and Palestinians to return to long-stalled negotiations with few, if any, pre-conditions, softening his earlier demands that Israel stop building settlements in disputed territory.

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    Crime bulletin sparks activity on Hanover Park’s Facebook page

    The brutal murder of a Streamwood gas station clerk has sparked a flurry of activity on the Hanover Park Police Department's new Facebook page. Hanover Park police, a few months into their social media initiative, posted a crime bulletin detailing the stabbing death of 24-year-old Anandkumar "Andy" Jaiswal that has garnered hundreds of likes, comments and shares.

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    Lombard schedules more discussion on budget oversight

    Lombard trustees aren't making any changes to the way they review the village's budget just yet, but a controversial proposal to begin year-round committee oversight of each department's spending is still on the table after a workshop Thursday night. Trustees will continue consideration of Trustee Peter Breen's budget oversight idea at another workshop scheduled for April 18. The idea calls for...

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    Tri-Cities police reports
    The Kane County Probation Department, 37W777 Route 38, St. Charles, reported that a $1,620 electronic home monitoring bracelet was damaged between 8:32 p.m. March 6 and 2:42 p.m. March 8 by a suspect who was transferred to the Illinois Department of Corrections, according to a sheriff's report. Officials discovered the damage after the bracelet was picked up from the former home of the...

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    Fox Valley police reports
    The Kane County Probation Department, 37W777 Route 38, St. Charles, reported that a $1,620 electronic home monitoring bracelet was damaged between 8:32 p.m. March 6 and 2:42 p.m. March 8 by a suspect who was transferred to the Illinois Department of Corrections, according to a sheriff's report. Officials discovered the damage after the bracelet was picked up from the former home of the...

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    Cook County Commissioner William Beavers talks to reporters Thursday in Chicago after he was convicted of tax evasion for not declaring campaign cash he gambled away on slot machines as income.

    Beavers found guilty of tax evasion

    An influential Chicago Democrat was convicted on Thursday of tax evasion for not declaring campaign cash he gambled away on slot machines as income. William Beavers slumped in his courtroom chair after the verdict. But post-verdict, standing in the federal courthouse lobby surrounded by TV cameras, the Cook County commissioner regained his trademark swagger — smiling and sounding defiant.

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    The home of Tom Clements, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, near Monument, Colo. Clements was shot and killed at the front door to the house Tuesday night.

    Man in Texas shootout ID’d as Colorado parolee

    A man who may be linked to the slaying of Colorado's state prison chief led authorities in Texas on a harrowing, 100-mph car chase Thursday that ended after he crashed into a semi and then opened fire before being shot down by his pursuers, authorities said.

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    Sen. John McCain is part of a bipartisan group of senators, dubbed the Gang of Eight, working on a comprehensive immigration bill that would put illegal immigrants on a 13-year path to citizenship.

    Senate Gang of 8 close on immigration deal

    A bipartisan group of senators neared agreement on a comprehensive immigration bill that would put illegal immigrants on a 13-year path to citizenship, officials with outside groups keeping up with the talks said Thursday.

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    Tom Weisner

    Weisner: Aurora ‘ready for prime time’

    With a new park and outdoor music venue soon to open, plans to remove parking meters downtown and expected development of new restaurants and an arts venue, Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner says the state's second-largest city is "ready for prime time." "Good ideas and good things are starting to blossom in Aurora," Weisner said. "We've made Aurora one of the safest communities of its size in the nation.

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    Sen. Mark Kirk

    Kirk, coalition reintroduces GPS privacy act

    U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is introducing legislation to require law enforcement officials to obtain a warrant before accessing smartphone GPS data.

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    Michael Bruno

    Geneva 1st Ward candidates discuss downtown

    Historic preservation's place in the 1st Ward in Geneva is one area where alderman candidates Zac Ploppert and Mike Bruno differ.

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    Darien couple killed in fiery Westmont crash

    Westmont police have identified two people killed in a crash early Thursday as Arlene Klima, 71, and Richard Klima, 60. The Darien couple were in a Jeep that hit a tree, rolled over and caught fire, authorities said.

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    Bartlett Woman’s Club hosts bunny luncheon

    The Bartlett Woman's Club is hosting a Bunny Luncheon at noon on Saturday, March 23, at the Bartlett Park District Community Center's Oak Room, 700 S. Bartlett Road. Cost is $7 per person. Children will receive a gift bag and a raffle ticket for a prize. There will be a clown, balloons, face painting, pizza, lemonade and cupcakes. No strollers are allowed and there is limited seating. For...

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    AARP utilities forum:

    AARP Illinois hosts an affordable utilities forum on Friday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Ramade Inn Waukegan, 200 N. Green Bay Road, Waukegan.

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    Computer donations needed:

    The United Way of Lake County needs donations of flat screen monitors, laptop power cord adapters, USB keyboards and mice form individuals or companies for its Computer Learn and Earn Initiative.

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    James Schultz

    Experience-heavy incumbents, political newcomer spar for three Vernon Hills trustee seats

    Four candidates are running for three seats on the Vernon Hills village board. Incumbents Thom Koch, Jr., Barbara Williams and James Schultz, who have more than a half century combined experience, are seeking a reelection and are challenged by political newcomer Ted Sindermann, a business owner.

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    This is one of the 55 air packs the Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District will replace.

    FEMA doles out grant money to Algonquin/LITH, Palatine

    Thanks to Uncle Sam, a pair of suburban fire protection districts can forge ahead with buying new equipment to make their jobs safer and more efficient. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will soon award $372,149 to the Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District and $10,450 to the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District.

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    Tinaglia endorses Hayes for Arlington Hts. mayor

    Jim Tinaglia, a candidate for Arlington Heights trustee announced on Thursday that he is endosing Tom Hayes for village president in next month's election.

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    Dist. 15 union says lone bid to outsource busing is costlier

    The Palatine Township Elementary District 15 transportation union — whose 200 members received layoff notices on Thursday — said the one private busing company to submit a second-round bid will be costlier than keeping operations in-house. Amy Kunz, who works with the union through the Illinois Education Association, said outsourcing with Durham will cost about $750,000 more over...

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    A bell is lifted into the tower Thursday at Naperville’s Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church near downtown. The church’s new bells will ring for the first time over Easter weekend.

    Ss. Peter and Paul’s new bells to peal at Easter

    There will be a new tone to the pealing of church bells over Easter weekend in downtown Naperville. For the first time in nearly 37 years, the chimes coming from Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church will be produced by the real thing and not an electronic facsimile.

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    Arlington Heights police charge man with trafficking teenage girl

    A Cook County judge set bail at $350,000 for a Loves Park man charged with prostituting and trafficking a 16-year-old girl. If convicted on the charges Kevn Chavers could face up to 30 years in prison.

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    George Efstathiou, a European Space Agency astrophysicist, in front of the most detailed map ever created of the cosmic microwave background acquired by ESA’s Planck space telescope. Efstathiou, who announced the Planck satellite mapping on Thursday, says the findings also offer new specificity of the universe’s composition.

    Universe ages 80M years; Big Bang gets clearer

    New results from looking at the split-second after the Big Bang indicate the universe is 80 million years older than previously thought, but core concepts in physics about the cosmos — how it began, what it's made of and where it's going — seem to be on the right track. "We've uncovered a fundamental truth of the universe," said George Efstathiou of the University of Cambridge.

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    State Rep. John Bradley, a Marion Democrat, is the sponsor of a bill that would regulate high-volume oil and gas drilling in Illinois.

    Fracking bill delayed over union-backed amendment

    The sponsor of a bill to regulate high-volume oil and gas drilling in Illinois said there still is time to pass the measure this spring, even though it was delayed in a House committee Thursday while industry and unions negotiate hiring requirements in a last-minute amendment.

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    Illinois Auditor General William Holland

    Illinois auditor pleads guilty to drunken driving

    Illinois Auditor General William Holland pleaded guilty to drunken driving Thursday, paid a fine and was sentenced to a year of court supervision. The popular, no-nonsense officeholder declined to speak to The Associated Press, but in a statement he asked for "the forgiveness of my family, friends and fellow citizens."

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    Maria Llanos, left, watches as her daughter Xochilt Fernandez hugs a fellow student Thursday at Lafayette Elementary in Chicago. Chicago Public Schools officials plan to close Lafayette and 53 other schools.

    54 schools in Chicago to close

    Chicago Public Schools officials said Thursday they plan to close 54 schools in an effort to address a $1 billion budget shortfall and improve a struggling educational system — a plan that drew the ire of parents and teachers. District CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel say the closures are necessary because too many CPS buildings are half-empty.

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    Mulder makes last visit to the White House as mayor

    With only a few weeks before someone new is elected to lead Arlington Heights for the first time in 20 years, retiring Village President Arlene Mulder is enjoying a series of lasts: her last Hearts of Gold dinner, her last budget approval process and this week, her last visit to the White House as a sitting mayor. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama hosted Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny at the...

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    Stephan C. Bolt

    Hate crime charge dropped stemming from St. Charles bar fight

    A 32-year-old man has pleaded guilty to reduced charges in a January 2013 fight outside a St. Charles bar in which authorities initially charged three people with a hate crime. Stephan C. Bolt, of St. Charles, received supervision for misdemeanor battery; two others are still charged with a felony hate crime and other offense for yelling slurs at two gay men.

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    Improv presents ‘The Gathering’:

    The Improv Playhouse in Libertyville is producing "The Gathering", a contemporary adaptation of the last hour of the Last Supper. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 22 and 23; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 24; and, 7:30 p.m. March 28, 29, at the Improv Playhouse Theatre, 735 N. Milwaukee Ave., in the Liberty Square center near the Libertyville Metra station.

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    Ela Township recycling event:

    The Ela Township Highway Department will host an electronics recycling event from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 23 at Knox Park, 1155 E. Route 22, Lake Zurich.

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    Road project expected to dampen sales tax revenue in Round lake Beach

    The sluggish recovery has hurt, but Round Lake Beach also are anticipating a drop in sales tax revenues as a result of the pending Rollins Gateway road improvement. The 18-month project in the midst of the village's commerical area is expected to result in a 20 percent or more drop in business in the corridor.

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    John Anderson

    Gurnee’s Warren District 121 board rejects superintendent finalists

    Warren Township High School District 121's board president says a search for a new superintendent has ended with the rejection of two finalists. The job opening had attracted about 30 candidates. A final decision about the superintendent situation is expected to be made at the board's April 9 meeting.

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    The Izaak Walton League of America’s Elgin chapter has donated 11 acres along Poplar Creek to Hanover Township.

    Izaak Walton League gives 11 acres to Hanover Township

    The Elgin chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America has gifted 11 acres along Poplar Creek to Hanover Township with the promise of furthering its conservation efforts. "This is a tremendous gift by the Izaak Walton League to the residents of Hanover Township, not just now, but for future generations," Supervisor Brian McGuire said.

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    Kevin Wallace

    Finance, business are Bartlett candidate’s forte

    Kevin Wallace said he decided early in his finance career that it is important to be open to opposing views and other people's ideas. "I learned from people who were my way or the highway' type of leadership," he said. "It was not very good for the retention of employees, it wasn't good for morale. I've seen that and I don't like it." That's just one quality the...

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    Barrington Middle student wins third spelling title

    For the third straight year, Barrington Middle School student Pranav Sivakumar won the Lake County Final spelling bee. Pranav, an eighth-grader at the school's Station Campus, won the competition at the College of Lake County on Wednesday.

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    Randy Looke

    Lake Zurich man sold RV he didn’t own on eBbay, police say

    A Lake Zurich man was arrested and charged with theft after police said he was paid for an eBay auction but didn't deliver a motorhome as promised.

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    A 28-year-old Mount Prospect woman was arrested at Carter children's clothing store, 12 Randhurst Village Drive, and charged with retail theft after employee Guerrero admitted stealing approximately $2,000 between July and Feb. 18, according to police reports. She hid the thefts by authorizing false returns or voided sales; her actions were discovered by a regional loss prevention manager,...

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    This file photo from June 18, 2012, shows Sister Simone Campbell, right, executive director of Network, a social justice lobby founded by nuns four decades ago. She said of Pope Francis, “It can make a big difference” to have a pope who knows about life in religious orders.

    Jesuit pope offers hope to some targeted US nuns

    The election of a Jesuit pope devoted to the poor and stressing a message of mercy rather than condemnation has brought a glimmer of hope to American nuns who have been the subject of a Vatican crackdown, according to interviews with several groups. The nuns were accused of having focused too much on social justice at the expense of other church issues such as abortion.

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    In this citizen journalism image taken on Wednesday, Syrian citizens search for dead bodies on the rubble of damaged buildings that were attacked by Syrian forces airstrikes in Aleppo. Syrian rebels captured one village and parts of others on the edge of the Golan Heights Thursday as fighting closed in on the strategic plateau that Israel captured from Syria in 1967 and later annexed, activists and officials said.

    Syria: Top Sunni preacher dies in suicide bombing

    A suicide bomber blew himself up during evening prayers inside a mosque in Damascus Friday, killing a top Sunni Muslim preacher and longtime supporter of President Bashar Assad, state TV reported. The death removes one of the few remaining pillars of support of the Alawite leader among the minority sect that has risen up against him.

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    Tom Armstrong

    Elgin candidates discuss funding for Elgin Symphony Orchestra

    Among the 13 candidates in the race for Elgin City Council, some believe the city should help out the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, while others believe that's not the city's job. In late January, the ESO asked the city council for a donation of $150,000 annually for the next three years.

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    No charges against ex-Sugar Grove Township supervisor

    Sugar Grove police say no criminal charges will be filed against the former Sugar Grove Township supervisor who had been accused of using township money for personal use.

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    Second lawsuit in 2007 pool drowning at St. Charles resort

    A Belvidere teen, who saw a relative drown at the Pheasant Run Resort in December 2007, has sued the resort and hotel for infliction of emotional distress. Meanwhile, a wrongful death lawsuit filed in 2009 is still working its way through the courts.

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    Ted Lonis is one of three candidates running in the Bartlett village president race this spring.

    Bartlett candidate ready to ‘fix’ village

    If something breaks, Ted Lonis wants to help repair it. "I'm sort of, by nature, a fix-it kind of person," he said. "Bartlett needs a few fixings, in my opinion." The 67-year-old finance credit manager is one of three candidates running for Bartlett village president this spring.

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    Carolyn Stedronsky

    Ingleside woman will testify against son in fatal drug case

    An Ingleside woman accused of supplying the drugs that killed a man pleaded guilty to a lesser crime in exchange for testifying against her son in the drug-induced homicide case. Carolyn Stedronsky, 52, of the 35000 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of unlawful possession of drugs. Her sentencing is delayed until after she testifies against her son, Brian.

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    Board cans booing ban

    RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — A New York town’s board members have decided it’s OK to boo at their meetings — but only if it’s done politely.The Riverhead board voted to ban booing earlier this month. But Newsday reports that the board voted 4-1 on Tuesday to strike the anti-boo rule from the books.

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    Report: Fargo should expect one of its worst floods

    Residents along the Red River in Fargo and neighboring Moorhead, Minn., should prepare for one of the top five floods in their history, the National Weather Service said Thursday.

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    U.S. imposes sanctions on extremist group in Mali

    The Obama administration has imposed sanctions on the Islamist extremist group that seized much of northern Mali last year and prompted a French military intervention.

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    Old computers are piled in a box as they are prepared for shipment to a recycler at Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County.

    Illinois recycles 39 million pounds of electronics

    Nearly 39 million pounds of old televisions, computers and other electronics have been recycled during the first year of a statewide ban on throwing away the materials in Illinois landfills. The ban is part of a law that took effect in 2008 requiring manufacturers to start recycling programs for discarded and unwanted electric products. A new phase of the law took effect Jan. 1, 2012, that...

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    Alissa Parker, left, and her husband, Robbie Parker, leave the firehouse staging after receiving word that their six-year-old daughter Emilie was one of the 20 children killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting in Newtown, Conn. Alissa Parker told ìCBS This Morningî in an interview that aired Thursday, March 21, 2013, that she wanted to meet with Adam Lanza’s father, Peter Lanza, to tell him “something” she needed to get out of her system.

    Parents of Newtown victim met with killer’s father

    The parents of one of the 20 first-graders killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre met with the gunman's father for more than an hour in an effort to bring some closure to the tragedy. Alissa Parker told "CBS This Morning" in an excerpt of an interview that aired Thursday the meeting was her idea. Her 6-year-old daughter, Emilie, died in December's shooting rampage.

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    Senate panel endorses Jewell for Interior chief

    The Senate Energy Committee has voted to move President Barack Obama's nomination of Sally Jewell to be Interior secretary to the Senate floor.

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    Buffalo Grove leaders laud outgoing police chief

    Monday night was a special one for retiring Buffalo Grove Police Chief Steve Balinski, starting with a reception attended by several of his contemporaries and ended with his heartfelt farewell.

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    Ribfest beer tent volunteers will have more time to serve cold brews this year since they will no longer be handling money and making change between pours.

    No more cash sales in Ribfest beer tents

    There are plenty of behind the scenes changes taking shape for this year's Naperville Exchange Club Ribfest, but organizers say the one that will be most apparent to guests is how they get their beer. Responding to last year's request by Mayor and Liquor Commissioner George Pradel, Ribfest Chairman Marty Walker said a new system has been implemented to substitute tickets for cash for all liquor...

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    The Midwest Regional Training Center, an off-campus training facility for local, state and federal first responders, would also include a tactical village with a helicopter pad. The center could appeal to rescuers from all over the suburbs.

    COD considers plans to build training center for first responders

    College of DuPage officials say the nearest comprehensive training center for emergency first responders is in Texas, so they're taking the lead in trying to bring one to Chicago's suburbs. The Midwest Regional Training Center is envisioned as an off-campus training facility for local, state and federal agencies, as well as an emergency operations locale for those groups to work together during a...

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    The American Academy of Pediatrics, the most influential U.S. pediatrician's group, has endorsed gay marriage, saying a stable relationship between parents regardless of sexual orientation contributes to a child's health and well-being.

    American Academy of Pediatrics backs gay marriage

    The nation's most influential pediatrician's group has endorsed gay marriage, saying a stable relationship between parents regardless of sexual orientation contributes to a child's health and well-being. The American Academy of Pediatrics' new policy, published online Thursday, cites research showing that the parents' sexual orientation has no effect on a child's development.

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    Masked supporters demonstrate with some thousands of supporters waving various PKK flags and images of jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, left, in southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir, Turkey, Thursday, March 21, 2013, as Ocalan called Thursday for an immediate cease-fire and for thousands of his fighters to withdraw from Turkish territory.

    Kurdish rebel leader calls for cease-fire

    The jailed Kurdish rebel leader called Thursday for an immediate cease-fire and for thousands of his fighters to withdraw from Turkish territory, a major step toward ending one of the world's bloodiest insurgencies.

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    During the NCAA basketball tourney, Drs. James H. Griffin, left, Jennifer A. Cerutti and Timothy J. Ross are offering a free pizza with every vasectomy at their Urology Ltd. clinic in Elgin.

    You want pizza, TV and basketball with that vasectomy?

    Need a heart-bypass, a new kidney or a 3-inch framing nail removed from your forehead, and you don't have the luxury of scheduling a surgery to meet your TV-watching desires. But an Elgin urology clinic offers men a surgery combo that includes a vasectomy, a pizza and time to watch the NCAA tourney. “We're starting to see an uptick,” says Dr. Timothy J. Roth, one of the...

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    A man comforts a woman after an explosion at the Jalozai refugee camp on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan, Thursday, March 21, 2013. A car packed with explosives blew up inside a refugee camp in northwestern Pakistan on Thursday as hundreds of people lined up to get food, killing and wounding dozens, police said.

    Car bomb at Pakistani refugee camp kills 13

    A car packed with explosives blew up inside a refugee camp in northwestern Pakistan on Thursday as hundreds of people lined up to get food, killing 13 and wounding 25, officials said.

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    Oklahoma teens fatally shot in Texas home invasion

    Two heavily armed teenage friends from Oklahoma drove hundreds of miles in a stolen pickup to a small town near Dallas where they were fatally shot during an apparent home invasion, a sheriff's official said Thursday.

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    The exterior of the old post office in Charleston.

    Effort on to save Charleston building

    The neoclassical building that housed the city's post office for many years has unique historic architecture that dates back to 1917, which the Charleston Historic Preservation Commission is working hard to make sure is protected. Elisa Roberts, commissioner with the CHPC, said the old Charleston post office, 320 Sixth St., has architectural and historical significance that is worth saving.

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    Wis. man accused of bigamy

    A Mosinee man is accused of bigamy after his wife of seven months told police he already was married. Forty-five-year-old Timothy Swinea is charged with three felonies — bigamy, bail jumping and making a false statement on a marriage license.

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    Indiana teacher who wrote threatening message on leave

    A northwestern Indiana teacher who wrote a threatening message on his classroom blackboard has been placed on administrative leave. The Lake Station School Board approved leave Wednesday for Edison High School business teacher Jeff Kincaid, who's taught business and coached for 28 years in Lake Station.

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    7 shot at Chicago nightclub during rap concert

    Police say seven people were shot and wounded at a Chicago nightclub when a fight broke out during a rap concert. Police spokesman John Mirabelli says three men pulled guns and began firing around 1:15 a.m. Thursday at Mr. G's Supper Club and Entertainment Center. Seven people were hit.

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    Closings, deliberations set for Beavers trial

    Closing arguments are set for a Cook County commissioner's federal tax-evasion trial in Chicago. Jurors will begin deliberating on a verdict after closings Thursday morning in William Beavers' case. The often-theatrical Sam Adam Jr. is delivering the closing for Beavers, and Carrie Hamilton for the government. Adam told the judge he'll need 90 minutes for his closing; Hamilton said she'd need an...

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    Ind. bus slaying victim had filed protective order

    A northern Indiana woman who was pulled off of a city bus and fatally shot along a busy street had recently filed for a protective order against the man police say killed her.

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    Works by artist Stan Meyer, who grew up in Batavia, will be featured in a solo show at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre. The opening reception is 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 31.

    Batavia native returns to exhibit art

    When nationally known artist Stan Meyer opens his show Thursday, March 21, at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre, his mother Elaine will be the one standing nearby, beaming with pride. "My mom was probably my earliest inspiration, as an artist," said Meyer, who grew up in Batavia but now lives in Colorado.

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    Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher directs the defense here, but he won’t be anymore, at least not for the Bears. Who will take his place at Soldier Field?

    Dawn Patrol: Pension bill progress? Grayslake Dist. 46 layoffs

    Dawn Patrol: Sweeping pension bill fails, smaller pension bill doesn't, yet. Grayslake District 46 to lay off teachers. Elgin gives grants despite dissenter. Roselle forum addresses heroin crisis. Judge to rule on hearsay in Darien triple-murder trial. No explosives found at Aurora University. Lake Zurich Sonic closed after fire. I-90, Barrington Road interchange takes step forward. Three goals...

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    Pending changes may result in less scrutiny of Kane Co. hires

    Pending changes to Kane County's hiring freeze revealed Wednesday would allow department directors more freedom to fill existing positions without county board approval. But the changes may also allow for less scrutiny of whom is hired to fill those positions.

Sports

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    Just a start for De La Cruz

    Addison Trail senior gymnast Aaron De La Cruz may have taken first place on parallel bars Thursday, but he found little to be pleased about his season-high 7.8.

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    Butler guard Rotnei Clarke (15) comes up with a loose ball against Bucknell guard Steven Kaspar (3) Thursday during the second half in Lexington, Ky. Butler advanced to the third round of the NCAA tournament with a 68-56 win.

    Smith's double-double leads Butler to 68-56 win

    Sorry, Bucknell. This year's Butler is still Butler. Andrew Smith had a double-double with a career-high 16 rebounds and 14 points, and Butler made 18 of 20 free throws down the stretch to hold off upset-minded Bucknell 68-56 in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday.

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    Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews leaves the Bulls’ Marco Belinelli in his wake on a drive to the basket Thursday night at the United Center.

    Another bad loss for struggling Bulls

    Getting both Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson back from injury was supposed to be good news. Not quite. After getting bombarded in the second and third quarters, a futile comeback fell short and the Bulls lost again 99-89 at the United Center. They’ve now dropped six of their last eight games. “We got smacked,” Joakim Noah said. “It’s tough, man. We’re not playing great right now. It’s disappointing.”

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    Thursday’s softball scoreboard
    High school results from Thursday's varsity girls softballl games, as reported to the Daily Herald.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Joe Perrelle

    Perrelle powers Carmel to state triumph in OT

    Senior Joe Perrelle led Carmel in goals this season, netting 40 in 40 games, along with 17 assists. No goal or assist for Perrelle was bigger than Thursday night at The Edge Ice Arena in Bensenville. Perrelle's wicked wrist shot, at the 8:39 mark in overtime, gave the Corsairs a 3-2 win over New Trier White for the White Division state championship.

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    No. 5 seed VCU routs Akron

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Troy Daniels had 23 points, Juvonte Reddic scored 21 and VCU routed Akron 88-42 on Thursday night in the most lopsided victory by a fifth-seeded team over a No. 12 in NCAA tournament history.The previous mark was set by Wyoming in a 35-point win over Howard in 1981 and matched by Tennessee against Long Beach State in 2007, according to STATS.The Rams (27-8) will play fourth-seeded Michigan on Saturday for a spot in the round of 16.Akron (26-7) was seriously short-handed, and it showed.In addition to playing without suspended point guard Alex Abreu, the Zips had other problems as well. Starting guard Brian Walsh and reserve center Pat Forsythe were limited by the flu, and reserve guard Deji Ibitayo wasn’t even in uniform because of back spasms.

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    Conant deals Palatine a setback

    Kazuki Morita had a game-high 4 goals and four other Conant players had 2 each as the Cougars handed host Palatine its first Mid-Suburban West loss of the season in boys water polo action Thursday with a 15-9 victory.

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    Palatine tops Prospect in three

    Palatine's Kyle Obernesser was 66-for-67 setting with 28 assists to help Palatine prevailed against visiting Prospect 19-25, 25-15, 25-18 in a Mid-Suburban League boys volleyball divisional crossover Thursday.

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    Hersey’s Katie Lindholm scores one of her 3 goals during Thursday’s game against Prospect at Olympic Pool in Arlington Heights.

    Sudden victory for Palatine

    Tied after four quarters of regulation and two overtime periods, Palatine finally claimed victory with a sudden-death goal at Conant in Mid-Suburban West girls water polo on Thursday. Rachel Chumbook finished with a game-high 10 goals to help the Pirates win 15-14.

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    Chicago Bulls guard Marco Belinelli, center, forward Luol Deng, left, and guard Kirk Hinrich react during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Chicago on Thursday, March 21, 2013. The Trail Blazers won 99-89.

    Bulls run out of gas against Blazers

    LaMarcus Aldridge scored 28 points, Damian Lillard added 24 and the Portland Trail Blazers completed a season sweep of the Chicago Bulls with a 99-89 victory on Thursday night at United Center.Portland improved to 10-25 on the road to take the season series with the Bulls for the first time since the 2008-09 season. The Blazers beat Chicago 102-94 on Nov. 18 in their other meeting this season.Joakim Noah had 18 points and Carlos Boozer added 16 points and 11 rebounds for Chicago, which shot 44 percent.J.J. Hickson grabbed 21 rebounds for Portland, which held a 45-41 rebounding advantage.Chicago led 21-20 after the first quarter, but Portland scored the first 14 points of the second quarter and outscored the Bulls 32-16 in the period to take a 52-37 lead at halftime. Aldridge led Portland with 16 points at the break and Lillard had 13.Portland extended its lead to 28 in the third quarter before the Bulls made a late charge, outscoring the Trail Blazers 36-19 in the final quarter. Jimmy Butler scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter to help Chicago get within 10 points with under 34 seconds left.The injury-plagued Bulls got Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson back. Hinrich started at point guard after missing seven games with a sore right foot. Gibson, a reserve, also returned after missing 10 games with a sprained MCL in his left knee.Hinrich struggled, shooting 1 of 7 from the field for two points. He scored his first points on a layup with under five minutes left in the third quarter. Gibson was 7 of 14 for 14 points.The Blazers shot 49 percent from the field and went 10 of 21 from 3-point range, led by Lillard’s four 3-pointers. Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews each hit three 3-pointers.Portland has beaten the Bulls in four straight meetings and won nine of its last 11 against Chicago. The Blazers had lost 14 of their last 16 road games before Thursday.The Bulls fell to 3-6 in March, while Portland improved to 6-5 this month.Aldridge grabbed eight rebounds to fall short of his sixth consecutive double-double. The Western Conference Player of the Week had averaged 26.8 points and 12.2 rebounds in his last five games.While the Bulls got Hinrich and Gibson back from injuries, Derrick Rose remains out. Rose said during Thursday’s shootaround that he isn’t sure when he’ll return from his knee injury. The former MVP point guard sounded like he might miss the entire season and said he’s experiencing some soreness in his surgically repaired left knee. He had ACL surgery in May. Rose said he hasn’t experienced any setbacks in his recovery.“Nothing has changed,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “Go day to day. He continues to get better.”

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    No. 12 seed Cal beats No. 5 seed UNLV

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Allen Crabbe had 19 points and nine rebounds, reserve Robert Thurman scored all 12 of his points on dunks and 12th-seeded California held off fifth-seeded UNLV 64-61 in the second round of the NCAA tournament Thursday.Buoyed by the crowd support of a strong contingent so close to Berkeley, the Golden Bears (21-11) held the Runnin’ Rebels (25-10) without a basket for more than 11 minutes in the second half. Cal turned a tie game into a nine-point lead during that stretch and withstood a late UNLV push for its first tournament win since 2010.The Rebels rallied to within a point in the final seconds before missed free throws and a costly inbounds pass sealed the loss.Bryce Dejean-Jones scored 15 points and Anthony Bennett shook off a poor start to finish with 15 points and 11 rebounds for UNLV, which beat Cal 76-75 in Berkeley on Dec. 9.

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    Mundelein blanks Warren

    Kaila Cancelli scored the game's only goal, as Mundelein's girls soccer team shut out visiting Warren 1-0 on Thursday night.

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    It’s a perfect match for Metcalf, Conant

    While playing the violin and competing in gymnastics seem so distant to most, for Conant's Brandon Metcalf they both seem so natural. Metcalf demonstrated that Thursday at the Conant triangular meet in Hoffman Estates. First Metcalf played an inspired version of the national anthem before the competition began. The senior then spun into form on still rings, winning the event with an 8.00. Metcalf's performances help propel the Cougars to a 143.20. Conant was able to best area power Buffalo Grove, which scored a 139.30, and Palatine, which finished with a 130.40.

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    Stern, St. Charles North sink St. Charles East

    One play summarized the one-sided St. Charles North girls water polo team victory over visiting St. Charles East on Thursday night. Lexy Kos' second goal of the half for St. Charles East gave the Saints seemingly a glimmer of hope when her shot found the desired location with less than 10 seconds remaining before halftime. But the North Stars' Sarah Stern had the ultimate response. The three-year senior member of the North Stars launched a shot from the mid-mark of the North Stars' pool — roughly 38 feet — and the arching shot eluded the Saints' keeper with a second remaining before the intermission. St. Charles North was in firm control during what proved-to-be a 17-4 verdict over the Saints at home.

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    Baseball and softball players from DuPage County to watch in the 2013 season.

    Images: Softball and Baseball Prep Trading Cards
    Images of Daily Herald baseball and softball virtual trading cards, previewing the spring high school sports season in the suburbs of Chicago.

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    St. Charles East’s Ian Salveson looks for an open teammate as St. Charles North’s John Pretet, front, plays defense during the Saints’ 10-9 win on Thursday night.

    St. Charles E. tips rival behind Phelps’ 7 goals

    St. Charles East's boys water polo team didn't talk trash during Thursday's cross-town battle with St. Charles North. But the Saints cleaned up at the most opportune time, as senior Mitch Phelps' rebound of a shot from teammate Max Schmitt that was initially turned away by North Stars goalie Collin Bawolek found the back of the net with 2:26 remaining in the fourth period.

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    Batavia lacrosse excited about joining IHSLA ranks

    Welcome to the big leagues. Well, soon enough. Scheduled for Wednesday at Geneva, Batavia's boys lacrosse match was canceled like most every other outdoor event this week.

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    Naperville North continues to roll

    For Naperville North it was a matter of adjusting to its environment.

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    Metea Valley stays close for a half

    A young, fired-up Metea Valley boys water polo squad started fast Thursday night and threw a scare into visiting Andrew.

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    Sean Dedmond of Glenbard West goes up for a spike during the Whitney Young at Glenbard West boys volleyball game Thursday.

    Glenbard West hungry for early victories

    The Glenbard West boys volleyball team invited visiting Whitney Young of Chicago to stay for a postgame meal after the Hilltoppers prevailed in two games, 26-24 and 25-16, Thursday night at Biester Gym.

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    South Elgin blanks East Aurora

    The South Elgin girls soccer team had five different players score goals Thursday night in a 5-0 Upstate Eight Valley win over East Aurora at Millennium Field.

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    Libertyville gymnast Mark Pickar competes on the pommel horse during Thursday’s meet against visiting Glenbrook North.

    Libertyville’s wild ride continues

    The early part of the boys gymnastics season has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for Libertyville. The host Wildcats continued their "up and down" trend Thursday night with a pretty solid performance on their senior night, but it was not quite enough to pull off a victory over Glenbrook North. The Spartans got the job done without their full lineup intact as they came away with a 128.2 to 122.4 nonconference victory over Libertyville (0-5) to remain undefeated at 4-0.

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    Michigan forward Mitch McGary (4) cheers on his teammates in the final minutes of their 71-56 win over South Dakota State in a second-round game of the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament Thursday, March 21, 2013, in Auburn Hills, Mich.

    Robinson, Michigan beat South Dakota State

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Glenn Robinson III scored 21 points and Mitch McGary added 13 points and nine rebounds, helping fourth-seeded Michigan overcome a rough night for Trey Burke in a 71-56 NCAA tournament win over 13th-seeded South Dakota State on Thursday night.Burke made only two field goals and left the game briefly in the second half after a hard fall under the basket. The star point guard came back after that, but he finished with only six points.Michigan (27-7) advanced anyway behind Robinson, McGary and Tim Hardaway Jr., who scored 21 points.South Dakota State (25-10) trailed by only four at halftime but couldn’t keep up. High-scoring guard Nate Wolters was held to only 10 points.Burke was held in single digits for the first time all season.Michigan faces either Virginia Commonwealth or Akron on Saturday in the next round.Michigan lost to another No. 13 seed, Ohio, in last year’s tournament. The Wolverines looked vulnerable again at halftime of this one. They led 30-26, but Burke hadn’t made a shot from the field.On this night, though, he had plenty of help. Robinson, the son of the former Purdue star with the same name, scored Michigan’s first 11 points of the second half, including three 3-pointers.Robinson put the Wolverines up 41-30 with a 3. He finished 8 of 9 from the field.Hardaway, another Michigan player with a familiar name, went 8 of 13 and made five 3-pointers.With 11:01 to play, Burke hit the ground with a thud while competing for a defensive rebound. He immediately grabbed his head, although it wasn’t clear if the main point of impact was his head, his back or perhaps his left arm.Burke was able to walk off the court but went down the tunnel toward the locker room. He returned to the game with 9:23 to go. Burke finished with seven assists, which helped offset his poor shooting.Michigan freshman Mitch McGary, making only his third start of the season, gave the Wolverines some added muscle inside. The 6-foot-10, 250-pound McGary added an exclamation mark late in the game when he stepped in front of a pass by Wolters, stole the ball and went all the way for a dunk to make it 65-52.Brayden Carlson had 20 points for the Jackrabbits, but only four after halftime.Burke is a national player of the year candidate, and Wolters is one of the country’s top scorers, but the much-anticipated matchup of talented point guards never really lived up to the hype.Burke scored only two points in the first half, and Wolters had only four.Carlson kept the Jackrabbits in the game, and Hardaway picked up the slack for the Wolverines with 12 first-half points, all on 3-pointers.

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    Louisville’s Luke Hancock (11) and Tim Henderson (15) celebrate during the second half of a second-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament against the North Carolina A&T Thursday, March 21, 2013, in Lexington, Ky.

    Top seed Louisville rolls to 79-48 rout of NC A&T

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — Pay attention, No. 1s. This is how it’s done. Russ Smith scored 23 points and set a Louisville NCAA tournament record with a career-high eight steals, and Peyton Siva had eight assists as the Cardinals demolished North Carolina A&T 79-48 on Thursday night. Louisville finished with a season-high 20 steals as it forced the Aggies into 27 turnovers. It was the 11th straight win for the Cardinals (30-5), and only their sixth victory ever at Rupp Arena. Of course, that’s because Louisville is usually facing Kentucky here, but the defending national champions are spectators these days after being bounced out of the first round of the NIT this week. Rick Pitino and his Big East champions will play the winner of Colorado State-Missouri on Saturday. No 16th seed has ever beaten a No. 1 and, unlike that Southern-Gonzaga squeaker that ended shortly before the Aggies and Cardinals tipped off, this one was never even a contest. Oh, the Cardinals let A&T (20-17) hang around for a few minutes, giving the small handful of Aggies fans enough time to take photos of the scoreboard while the margin was still respectable. (OK, it was 6-4. Considering the Aggies had never even won an NCAA tournament game until Tuesday night, it was as good as a lead.) Once Louisville stepped on the gas, however, this one was done.The Cardinals silenced whatever questions there might have been about them deserving the No. 1 overall seed with a performance as impressive as it was unrelenting. Louisville shot better than 57 percent, and the only players who didn’t score were the benchwarmers who came in at the end of the game. The Cardinals scored on oh, so sweet finger rolls and rim-rattling dunks. They scored on layups and knocked down short jumpers. They hit from 3-point range and converted three-point plays. And where to even begin with those guards. Siva and Smith are arguably the best tandem in the country and, if they continue playing like this, Louisville will have a good shot at improving on last year’s trip to the Final Four. With the game already out of hand, Siva and Smith combined for a 13-0 run that put Louisville up 67-37. Smith scored the first two baskets, Siva answered with two of his own and then Smith drilled a 3 from the corner. They finished it off with Siva scooping up a loose ball at halfcourt and dishing to Smith. In the first half, they may as well have been playing keep-away for as much as they let the Aggies have the ball. Gorgui Dieng blocked a jumper by Bruce Beckford, and Louisville got the rebound. Luke Hancock made a 3 at the other end, and North Carolina A&T didn’t even have time to set its offense before the Cardinals harassed Jeremy Underwood into a turnover. After a quick layup by Smith, the Aggies had the ball for just a couple of seconds before Siva snatched it away from Jean Louisme. Underwood quickly fouled Montrezl Harrell, who made the second of two shots. Siva let the Aggies get near halfcourt before pouncing again for another steal. Smith missed the layup, and the Aggies managed to hold onto the ball long enough to not only take a shot, but get a 3-pointer from Adrian Powell. Now, Louisville might make plenty of other teams look silly before the tournament is over. But the Aggies didn’t help themselves much, either. They were whistled for 10-second and shot-clock violations, and had to call a timeout because they were being smothered by Cardinals. They threw the ball away and took shots that had no prayer of going in.And that was just in the first 10 minutes of the game. By the second half, the A&T pep band broke into a rousing rendition of Tupac’s “Keep Ya Head Up.” Beckford led North Carolina A&T with 12 points.

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    Christian Liberty drops dome opener

    With no signs of the weather cooperating for outside action, Christian Liberty Academy may not play another softball game for a while. But at least the Chargers got one in on Thursday. They became the first area team to play this season, dropping a 16-3 decision in 5 innings to Regina at the Rosemont Indoor Dome, a sparkling new facility on the south end of town.

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    Lyons leads 6th-seed Arizona over Belmont

    SALT LAKE CITY — Mark Lyons scored 23 points and the sixth-seeded Arizona Wildcats rolled past No. 11 seed Belmont 81-64 Thursday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament.The Wildcats (26-7) used their huge size advantage to shut down the Bruins (26-7), who are 0-6 in tourney games.Arizona held a 44-18 edge on the boards, outscored Belmont 36-18 in the paint, blocked five shots and outshot the Bruins from 3-point range.The Wildcats made 9 of 17 3-pointers, including a critical one from Solomon Hill with 4:40 remaining to stop an 11-2 Belmont run, and shot 57 percent overall.Bruins guard Ian Clark entered shooting better than 46 percent from 3-point range but was 3 of 8 from beyond the arc. Kerron Johnson led Belmont with 22 points and Clark finished with 21.Kevin Parrom, Kaleb Tarczewski and Nick Johnson added 12 points each for Arizona.

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    The Fire’s Logan Pause, seen here in action last season, could make his 2013 debut Sunday against Chivas USA.

    Not exactly soccer weather for Fire practice

    The weather forecast for Sunday calls for temperatures in the mid-30s and a chance of snow — a great way to welcome a team from Los Angeles.

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    Sox’ De Aza, Rios back from World Baseball Classic

    Outfielders Alex Rios and Alejandro De Aza are back from the World Baseball Classic, and the duo sparked the White Sox' 8-3 Cactus League win over the Brewers Thursday.

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    White Sox relief pitcher Jesse Crain, suffering from a strained right adductor, could start the season on the disabled list.

    White Sox fortunate to have pitching depth

    One day after the White Sox announced starter John Danks (shoulder) would start the season on the disabled list, reliever Jesse Crain (adductor strain) said he faces a similiar fate. Do the Sox have the pitching depth to survive until Danks and Crain get healthy?

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    Larkin’s Marcos Hernandez (2) and Riley Sadlon (8) go up to block a shot by South Elgin’s Dan Gibadlo during Thursday’s game at Larkin in Elgin.

    South Elgin turns back Larkin

    Nate Marotta stepped to the service line after a go-ahead kill Thursday evening in the second game against Larkin. The South Elgin junior pounded back-to-back aces to spark a 6-0 run to take control of the second game. The Storm went on to beat District U-46 rival Larkin, 25-22, 25-17 in Elgin. "I started feeling the serve," Marotta said. "I started off a little slow, not too slow, but then after that you can start going full out, 110 percent." Marotta led South Elgin (1-1) with 9 kills and 3 aces as the Storm rebounded from Wednesday's season-opening loss.

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    South Elgin graduate Cortney Kumerow, who helped the Wisconsin-Whitewater women’s basketball team to a runner-up finish at the NCAA Division III national tournament, has been recognized by D3hoops.com.

    Kumerow garners national recognition

    South Elgin graduate and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater senior center Cortney Kumerow and Warhawks head coach Keri Carollo have been named to the D3hoops.com Central Region Team. Kumerow was a second team selection and Carollo was named Central Region Coach of the Year. Whitewater finished as DIII national runner-up last weekend.

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    Alex Dumoulin

    Elgin CC eliminated from JUCO nationals

    It was a bit of déjà vu for the Elgin Community College women's basketball team Thursday afternoon, although the final result took until the final seconds to decide. The Spartans got off to slow start for the second straight day before making a valiant second-half comeback that fell just short in the end as they lost to Lake Michigan College 58-56 in the consolation bracket of the NJCAA Division II national tournament in East Peoria. ECC, which was in the national finals for the first time, finished the season 26-8.

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    Len Kasper

    Cubs’ Kasper, Deshaies begin to develop TV dynamic

    Cubs TV voice Len Kasper welcomed new partner Jim Deshaies to the booth last weekend for a couple of Cactus League games. Daily Herald Cubs writer Bruce Miles caught up with Kasper in the booth in Mesa, and Len shared his thoughts about the new duo.

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    Oregon forward Carlos Emory celebrates during the second half of a second-round game against Oklahoma State in the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament in San Jose, Calif., Thursday, March 21, 2013. Oregon won 68-55.

    No. 12 seed Oregon knocks off Oklahoma St.

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — With their outside shots falling and their defense harassing Oklahoma State all afternoon, the Oregon Ducks played well above their disappointing seeding and into the next round of the NCAA tournament.Damyean Dotson scored 17 points and Arsalan Kazemi added 11 points and 17 rebounds to help 12th-seeded Oregon extend a run that began in the Pac-12 tournament by beating the fifth-seeded Cowboys 68-55 in the second round on Thursday.Dominic Artis scored 13 points and helped frustrate Oklahoma State star freshman Marcus Smart on the defensive end to give the Ducks (27-8) their first tournament win in six years.Oregon advanced to play fourth-seeded St Louis (27-6) on Saturday for a spot in the Midwest regional in Indianapolis next week. The Billikens beat New Mexico State 64-44.The selection committee raised some eyebrows when Oregon was given a 12 seed despite tying for second place in the Pac-12 in the regular season, winning the conference tournament and going 21-4 with Artis in the lineup.Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said before the game that the Ducks looked nothing like a 12 seed and that was proven true in their tournament opener with the way they shut down Smart and hit their outside shots. Oregon’s eight 3-pointers were their most since having nine in December against Houston Baptist.Smart came into the game with the hype of a top NBA prospect but was held to 14 points on 5 for 13 shooting a disappointing finish to a stellar season for the Cowboys (24-9).It was the Ducks’ freshmen backcourt that shined on this night with Dotson hitting three 3-pointers in the first half to help build the lead and Artis shining on both ends. Artis had four steals and hit a 3-pointer that gave the Ducks a 54-38 lead midway through the second half in his best performance since missing nine games with a foot injury during the conference season.His return late in the year helped pave the way to the Pac-12 tournament title for Oregon and has the Ducks playing their best at the most important time of year.Smart picked a bad time for one of his worst performances. He turned the ball over five times, missed four of eight free throws and was unable to exploit his decided size advantage against Artis and Johnathan Loyd on the offensive end.He didn’t get much help either outside of Markel Brown and Le’Bryan Nash.The Ducks had a decided crowd advantage for the game played on the West Coast with even former UCLA star Bill Walton decked out in a tie-dyed Oregon outfit.There was plenty to cheer about in the first half for the Oregon fans after a sloppy start to the game that featured 10 turnovers in the opening 9 minutes.Artis picked Smart twice to lead to fastbreak baskets for the Ducks. Kazemi’s slam on a putback gave Oregon a 19-12 lead as the Cowboys went nearly 6 minutes without scoring. Carlos Emory’s 3-pointer from the corner made it a double-digit game with just over a minute left and Kazemi beat the buzzer with a reverse off an airball by Dotson to give Oregon a 37-26 lead at the half.

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    Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk (13) shoots as Southern University’s Derick Beltran (2) defends in the first half during a second-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Salt Lake City, Thursday, March 21, 2013.

    No. 1 Gonzaga edges No. 16 Southern

    SALT LAKE CITY — A March Madness warm-up turned into a great escape for Gonzaga. The Zags got pushed to the limit by Southern on Thursday, pulling out a 64-58 victory in the closing minutes to avoid becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16 in the NCAA tournament.Kelly Olynyk led the Zags (32-2) with 21 points. They play No. 9 Wichita State on Saturday. But it was a pair of 3-pointers — one by Gary Bell Jr., the next by Kevin Pagnos — that staked the Bulldogs to a 62-58 lead only moments after the game was tied at 56 with 3:45 left. Derick Beltran had 21 points to lead Southern (23-10) and his 14-foot baseline jumper tied it at 56. But the Jaguars from the Southwestern Athletic Conference didn’t make another field goal.No. 1 seeds are now 113-0 against 16s.

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    Patrick Kane, right, played more than 25 minutes Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks, the longest stint of anyone on the Hawks. Ryan Getzlaf, center, led Anaheim's charge in the third period with two assists.

    Will Ducks take over first place from Hawks?

    By the time the Blackhawks play again on Monday against Los Angeles at the United Center, they could be out of first place in the Western Conference for the first time all season.The Hawks lead Anaheim by 3 points in the West standings following Wednesday's 4-2 loss at the Honda Center with the Ducks set to play a pair of home games against Detroit on Friday and Sunday.With 18 games to play in the shortened NHL season and a playoff spot all but assured thanks to their 24-3-3 record, winning the West and securing home ice throughout the conference playoffs should be the Hawks' main objective the rest of the way.

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    Marquette guard Vander Blue (13) scores the winning basket against Davidson forward Jake Cohen (15) in the final second of their second-round NCAA college basketball tournament game, Thursday, March 21, 2013, in Lexington, Ky. Marquette won 59-58.

    Marquette wins on last-second shot

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — Vander Blue’s layup with one second left capped Marquette’s rally from a nine-point deficit and gave the third-seeded Golden Eagles a 59-58 victory over Davidson Thursday in the NCAA tournament.Blue and Jamil Wilson made consecutive 3-pointers to bring Marquette within 58-57 with 11 seconds left. The Golden Eagles then caught a huge break when De’Mon Brooks’ long inbounds pass went out of bounds at midcourt with 5.5 seconds left, providing another opportunity.Blue took full advantage after getting Wilson’s inbounds pass, driving left and finding room for the winning basket. He then sealed Marquette’s improbable win by stealing Davidson’s last-ditch inbounds pass at midcourt to set off a celebration among players and Golden Eagles fans at Rupp Arena.Blue scored seven of Marquette’s final 11 points to finish with 16. Wilson added 14 points as the Golden Eagles (24-8) won for the fifth time in six games and advanced to face Butler in Saturday’s third-round game.The Bulldogs beat Bucknell, 68-56.Jake Cohen’s 20 points led Davidson (26-8), who seemed in control leading 49-40 with 6½ minutes left before Marquette rallied.

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    Maine West pitcher Ariel Valles is all smiles as she enters the dugout after pitching the sixth inning against Lane Tech in last season’s regionals.

    Maine West’s Valles pens a winning softball profile

    Ariel Valles wrote the finest postseason script in Maine West softball history last spring. She used her right arm to do it, pitching the Warriors to their first supersectional appearance. Too bad she can't write it for the school newspaper. Even though she is the editor and chief and sports editor of the Westerner, you won't find Valles authoring any stories on her own team.

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    Baseball/Top 20
    Naperville Central, Neuqua Valley and Downers Grove South are the top 3 teams in the first Daily Herald Top 20 rankings for area baseball teams.

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    Softball: Scouting Lake County

    Here's a look at the softball season ahead for North Suburban Conference teams plus Carmel Catholic, Grayslake North and Grayslake Central.

  •  
    Carmel’s Kathleen Felicelli tries to make the play as Lakes’ Megan Milewski slides into second base last season in Mundelein.

    Carmel’s Felicelli itching to give winter the boot

    Carmel's Kathleen Felicelli has been wearing a walking boot on her left foot. She'd love to kick it off and replace it with a basketball or tennis sneaker or — specifically at this time of the year — a softball cleat.

  •  
    Grant’s Brent Spohr swings into action last season against visiting West Chicago.

    Don’t be surprised if Grant makes some noise again

    The Grant baseball program has a new lease on life after last year's magical run downstate.

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    Baseball / Scouting Lake County

    Here's a look at the boys baseball season ahead for teams in the North Suburban Conference plus Carmel, Grayslake North and Grayslake Central.

  •  
    Elgin junior Jennah Perryman is back to lead the Maroons this season.

    Softball: Scouting the Fox Valley

    Scouting the 2013 softball season in the Fox Valley.

  •  
    Erica Maisto, right, is hugged by her sister Jordan after Erica set the Burlington Central career pitching wins record in 2008. At far left is their dad, Wade, an assistant coach then who has now taken over the program again that he was head coach of from 1984-1998.

    Maisto embraces changes in second go-round as a head coach

    A lot has changed since Wade Maisto "retired" as a head softball coach in 1998, including the jargon of today's student-athletes. Like moxie being replaced by swag. But don't think the "new" Burlington Central softball coach doesn't knows the game has changed.

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    Huntley’s Bryce Only (14) is all smiles after hitting a home run last season.

    Huntley hoping pitching precedent can repeat itself

    The Huntley baseball team is aiming for a big season with three Division-I hitters in the lineup, but the underlying question is whether the Red Raiders can adequately replace the five pitchers responsible for all 21 victories in 2012. Massive graduation losses to a pitching staff rarely correlate to success the following year. Unless you're Huntley, which bucked conventional wisdom in 2010 by excelling in that very situation.

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    St. Charles North’s Erik Nelson slides safely into home before Larkin catcher Niko Morado can tag him out during a game last season.

    Baseball: Scouting the Fox Valley

    Scouting the 2013 baseball season in the Fox Valley.

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    Softball: Top 20 rankings
    Benet, Barrington and Warren are the top 3 teams in the preseason Top 20 rankings of softball teams in the Daily Herald area.

  •  
    Shortstop Lexi Perez is coming off a junior season at St. Charles East that saw her win the Upstate Eight Conference River Division MVP.

    Tri-Cities softball preview

    A preview of the Tri-Cities area softball teams.

  •  
    Geneva’s Amanda Lulek, left, and Batavia’s Lindsay Spears are two returnees their respective teams are counting on this spring.

    Tri-Cities girls soccer season preview

    Here's what to expect from Tri-Cities area high school girls soccer teams this spring.

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    Kurt Barbeau is moving from the outfield to shortstop for St. Charles North.

    Tri-Cities baseball preview

    A preview of the Tri-Cities area baseball teams.

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    Scouting DuPage County softball
    Here's a look at what to expect from the high school softbal teams of DuPage County this spring.

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    Scouting DuPage County Baseball
    Here's a look at what to expect from the high school baseball teams of DuPage County this spring.

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    Softball: Scouting Northwest

    Here's a look at the softball season ahead for teams in the Mid-Suburban League plus Maine West, St. Viator, Leyden and Christian Liberty.

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    Baseball: Scouting Northwest

    Here's a look at the baseball season ahead for Mid-Suburban League teams plus Maine West, St. Viator, Leyden and Christian Liberty.

  •  
    Barrington catcher Ryan Lidge hugs teammate Chris Coco after a well-executed rundown led to a putout at the plate during the regional semifinals at Larkin last May.

    Leadership role wears nicely on Barrington’s Lidge

    Ryan Lidge is always one to put others before himself. Last season, when the varsity baseball team got their brand new pullovers, the team planned on wearing them to school shortly thereafter. But the Barrington senior was insistent that the team not sport their new gear until the freshmen team had received theirs and could also wear them. That attitude goes a long way in explaining why Lidge thrives at the most thankless and unforgiving position on a baseball field: catcher. Sure, it helps to have a rocket arm, but Lidge is behind the plate because he is about helping others succeed.

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    Wide receiver Reggie Gray and the Chicago Rush will open their 2013 Arena Football Season on Saturday against the Iowa Barnstormers at Allstate Arena.

    Rebuilt Rush setting sights on AFL playoffs

    A lot has changed for the Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League, but coach Bob McMillen believes his team has enough new and old talent to make a championship run after failing to make the playoffs last year for the first time in franchise history.

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    Memphis avoids late collapse against St. Mary’s

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Matthew Dellavedova’s 3-pointer from the right wing sailed long as time expired, allowing sixth-seeded Memphis to hold on for a 54-52 win over 11th-seeded Saint Mary’s on Thursday.The Tigers (31-4) led by 15 in the first half but nearly gave the game away in the final seconds. With Saint Mary’s (28-7) down five, Eividas Petrulis banked in a 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds to play. Memphis then lost the ball when Jordan Giusti deflected the inbound pass off Joe Jackson of the Tigers and out of bounds.Dellavedova, the career leader in scoring for the Gaels, was able to get a shot off from in front of his team’s bench, but it was well long, missing everything.

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    Saint Louis guard Mike McCall Jr. (11) shoots against New Mexico State guard Kevin Aronis (5) during the second half of a second-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament in San Jose, Calif., Thursday, March 21, 2013. Saint Louis won 64-44.

    Evans leads Saint Louis past New Mexico St. 64-44

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Saint Louis had no problem maneuvering around 7-foot-5 freshman Sim Bhullar and New Mexico State.Dwayne Evans scored 24 points, Cody Ellis added 12 points and the fourth-seeded Billikens overwhelmed the Aggies 64-44 in the second round of the NCAA tournament Thursday.Playing with a heavy heart since Rick Majerus died in December, Saint Louis reached another mark in March for its late coach. The Billikens (28-6) eclipsed the 1988-89 team’s school record of 27 victories.Evans shot 11 of 16 from the floor and finished a point shy of his career best to propel Saint Louis past Bhullar. The Billikens held Bhullar to four points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.Bandja Sy had 17 points and nine rebounds for the 13th-seeded Aggies (24-11), who shot a miserable 28 percent. Saint Louis shot 46 percent and forced 16 turnovers.The big man bothered the Billikens at first. The lumbering center stayed around the rim while his other four teammates chased five players around the perimeter. The unconventional defensed allowed Bhullar to save energy and protect the paint.Once Saint Louis solved the big man, it had no trouble on either end of the floor.The Billikens pushed the pace and often left Bhullar in the backcourt, especially when New Mexico State committed seven turnovers in the first nine minutes. Evans pulled up for several uncontested jumpers just inside the free throw line, scoring 16 points during a 29-14 run to open the game.Bhullar didn’t make his first shot until 3:49 left in the first half when he converted a short hook, and he didn’t register his first block until swatting Evans’ shot 2:37 into the second half. After New Mexico State showed a brief burst of offense to slice Saint Louis’ lead to nine, the Billikens again leaned on Evans to pull away. He converted a pair of difficult reverse layups, outsmarting Bhullar around the rim to lift Saint Louis ahead 37-23.The Aggies made their best run with Bhullar on the bench. Sy slammed an alley-hoop from Ross-Miller, and Evans added a 3-pointer to a cap an 8-0 run to come within six.The highlights for the Aggies ended there.Evans and Ellis — who wore a blue Mohawk-style strip across his hair — each made a 3-pointer during a 12-2 spurt for Saint Louis that put the game away. The Billikens led 49-34 with 9:30 remaining, and honored Majerus the best way they know: staying steady down the stretch to advance in the NCAA tournament.Players wore a patch on their jerseys — a ribbon with the word “Coach” — as they have since Majerus died of heart failure in December. He left the team before the season because of health concerns, and Jim Crews has taken over and led the Billikens to the A-10 regular season and conference crowns.The Billikens beat Memphis last year before losing in the round of 32 to Michigan State. They made their first opponent looked like a walkover, although that’s hardly been the case the past two months.The Aggies closed out year winning 18 of 20 games, including the Western Athletic Conference tournament title for the second straight season. New Mexico State also was a No. 13 seed last season, losing 79-66 in the first round to Indiana. The Aggies haven’t won a tournament game since beating Nebraska in the opening round in 1993.

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    Wichita State’s Carl Hall (22) shouts after scoring against Pittsburgh in the second half of a second-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Salt Lake City Thursday, March 21, 2013. Wichita State won 73-55.

    Armstead leads Wichita State past Pitt 73-55

    SALT LAKE CITY — Malcolm Armstead scored 22 points, Cleanthony Early added 21 and ninth-seeded Wichita State defeated eighth-seeded Pittsburgh 73-55 Thursday in the second round of the NCAA tournament.Freshman Steven Adams led Pitt (24-9) with 13 points and 11 rebounds.Call Hall added 11 points for the Shockers (27-8), who face the winner of the No. 1-ranked Gonzaga-Southern game.The Shockers forced Pitt into 15 turnovers and held the Panthers to 35 percent shooting, including 1 of 17 from 3-point range.Pitt’s leading scorer, Tray Woodall, missed his first four shots and finished with two points. He shot 1 of 12, including 0 of 5 from beyond the arc, with five turnovers.The Shockers scored 21 points off turnovers and took advantage at the free throw line, making 33 of 41 attempts.Wichita State led 26-21 at the break but nearly doubled its offensive output in the second half.Early’s layup and two free throws by Armstead pushed Wichita State’s lead to 30-21 early in the second half. Durand Johnson’s 3-pointer cut it to 30-26, and the Panthers were within 35-31 following a three-point play by James Robinson. Tekele Cotton answered with a 3-pointer to bump the Shockers’ lead to 38-31.Hall’s three-point play with under 12 minutes left gave the Shockers a 10-point lead, 41-31. Pitt pulled within six after four free throws but the Shockers went on a 6-0 run, fueled by a pair of steals, a dunk by Cotton and two more free throws by Early for a 47-35 advantage with 10:13 left.It was another early exit for the Panthers, who failed to make the field last year, and were knocked out by Butler in their second game in 2011.The teams were supposed to be mirror images of each other, and in many ways they were — going hard at rebounds, concentrating on defense and having difficulty finding the basket.With 12 minutes elapsed, Wichita State was shooting just 25 percent and the Panthers 29 percent.The ugly first half saw the teams combine for as many turnovers (15) as field goals.Woodall didn’t make a basket until 6 minutes remained in the half.The game was expected to be a defensive struggle, with Pitt allowing just 55.4 points and the Shockers known for dominating the glass with 38 rebounds a game.As expected, it was physical.When Pitt 7-footer Adams went in strong for a dunk in the first half, he was fouled hard by Early.Adams made both free throws with 9:19 left in the half for a 13-11 Pitt lead.Pitt’s Lamar Patterson was called for a flagrant foul late in the first half. Ron Baker made one of the two free throws, then Armstead scored after his own miss on the next possession to give the Shockers a 26-21 lead going into the break.

  •  
    Bulls point guard Derrick Rose told reporters Thursday that he still doesn't have a timetable on his return to NBA action.

    Rose remains patient about his NBA return

    Derrick Rose gave reporters another update on his recovery from a torn ACL at Thursday's shootaround, but, as usual, no concrete details were shared regarding a potential return date."It could be tomorrow and I could feel like I could play the next game," he said at the Berto Center. "Nobody knows but God."

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    Bears sign a tight end after Rodriguez arrest

    Just hours after Bears tight end/fullback Evan Rodriguez was arrested in Miami Beach, the team agreed to terms with a blocking tight end, Steve Maneri, on a two-year contract Thursday morning. The 6-7, 280-pound Maneri, who has appeared in 19 games with nine starts over two seasons (2011-12) with the Kansas City Chiefs after entering the NFL with the Houston Texans in 2010 as an undrafted free agent out of Temple University.

  •  
    Valparaiso guard LaVonte Dority (4) is defended by Michigan State guard Keith Appling (11) and Matt Costello (10) Thursday during the first half in Auburn Hills, Mich.

    3rd-seeded Michigan State beats No. 14 Valpo 65-54

    Derrick Nix had 23 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to help power third-seeded Michigan State past 14th-seeded Valparaiso 65-54 on Thursday. The Spartans went on a 26-5 run in the first half to take control.

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    How can Bears fill the Urlacher void?

    Where do the Bears go now that they've parted ways with eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher? The answers to their linebacker problems won't be found on the current roster, so Bob LeGere takes a hard look at the talent available in free agency and the draft.

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    North Central College baseball players ride their bus on their Spring Break road trip.

    Baseball teams game for a good trip

    Illinois baseball players are a hearty bunch. They have to be during the tumultuous March weather when there isn't much of a choice.

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    Despite Brandon Paul's presence, Mike Spellman isn't sure the Illini will advance very far in the NCAA tourney.

    Looking at the Big Dance from all the angles

    Are you ready for some Spero Dedes and Doug Gottlieb coming to you live from Salt Lake City!! Actually, I am. Doesn't matter who's announcing or who's playing ... it's the Big Dance. Let's get it on.

  •  
    Buffalo Grove native Mike Wilner competes on the still rings for the University of Illinois men's gymnastics team. He's ranked No. 1 in the event nationally and has his sights set on a national title.

    Buffalo Grove gymnast a lord of the rings for Illini, U.S.

    You know you're doing something right when former Olympians are wowed by a performance. That's been the case for Buffalo Grove native Mike Wilner, a University of Illinois gymnast who's ranked No. 1 nationally on still rings. The computer engineering major also will compete in this summer's 19th Maccabiah Games in Israel. "I could see him being a national champion, even this year," said Illini head coach Justin Spring.

  •  
    Patrick Myers tucks home the winning goal in BG/H/W’s state semifinal victory over Bartlett.

    Myers, BG/H/W Stampede primed for state title opportunity

    Patrick Myers will be on emotional overload when he steps on the ice Sunday at the United Center for the state championship game against Rockford, winners of 15 of the past 16 Combined Division titles. The 16-year-old sophomore from Hersey anchors the top offensive line for the co-op BG/H/W Stampede, which also features players from Buffalo Grove and Wheeling. He was second on the team in points in North Central Division play, only two behind linemate John Cappuccitti, and was the team's leading goal-scorer (33) in league play. Myers also scored the game-winning goal last Sunday, in overtime, in the Stampe's 3-2 semifinal win over Bartlett, pushing BG/H/W into its first-ever state championship game.

  •  
    Anaheim Ducks’ Peter Holland, center, celebrates his goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period.

    Images: Blackhawks vs. Ducks
    Images of the Blackhawks vs. Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The Blackhawks lost 4-2.

Business

  •  
    Bob Zimbal holds one of his minks near rows of cages at his fur farm in Sheboygan Falls, Wis.

    U.S. mink pelt prices skyrocket with demand in China

    A decade ago, fur rancher Bob Zimbal had about 34,000 mink at his three southeastern Wisconsin farms. He was in survival mode, struggling to compete with farmers producing cheaper pelts overseas. Then the recession hit and prices tumbled again. But Zimbal came through the hard times and prospered. These days he's got 54,000 breeding females, 26 miles worth of cages and an on-site feed plant that towers over the snow-covered fields along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

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    SuperValu Inc. has completed the sale of its Jewel-Osco chain as well as other stores. There are 178 area Jewel-Osco stores, including this one in Wheaton.

    SuperValu closes sale on Jewel, others

    SuperValu Inc. announced today it has completed the sale of its Itasca-based Jewel-Osco chain, as well as other other grocery stores and pharmacies, to AB Acquisition LLC, an affiliate of a Cerberus Capital Management-led investor consortium for a stock deal valued at $3.3 billion. The deal also included $100 million in cash and $3.2 billion in debt assumption. The operations of these stores will transfer overnight, the groups said.

  •  
    Jonathan Ruff

    Motorola survey finds you're viewing more video in different ways

    Libertyville-based Motorola Mobility's fourth annual Media Engagement Barometer said that consumers are watching more video on their smartphones, tablets and laptops and doing that in every room in the house, including the bathroom. And while consumers are recording more, they're watching less of that recorded video. Now consumers are asking for devices that sense what they want and automatically download it for them.

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    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, appears before the House Rules Committee to testify on his party’s budget proposal at the Capitol

    House passes GOP budget plan promising deep cuts

    Moving on two fronts, the Republican-controlled House on Thursday voted to keep the government running for the next six months while pushing through a tea-party flavored budget for next year that would shrink the government by another $4.6 trillion over the next decade. The spending authorization on its way to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature leaves in place $85 billion in spending cuts to the Pentagon and domestic programs.

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    Sears Holdings Corp. chairman Edward Lampert

    Sears sets Lampert’s salary as CEO at $1

    Sears Holding Corp. has signed a contract with Edward Lampert to keep him on as CEO of the company at a salary of $1 per year. A regulatory document filed Wednesday shows that the billionaire hedge fund manager will be paid an annual base salary of $1, but with the opportunity for a bonus of up to $2 million in cash or stock and up to $4.5 million in stock per year.

  •  
    Arlington Heights Mayor Arlene Mulder and David Trandel, partner in the project, sixth and seventh from left, participate in the groundbreaking Wednesday for a $250 million apartment, retail and commercial project known as Arlington Downs on Euclid Avenue just west of Arlington Park.

    Work begins on massive Arlington Downs project

    Arlington Heights officials celebrated the start of a new season with a groundbreaking Wednesday for Arlington Downs, the long-planned $250 million redevelopment project that finally got under way. "It's been a terrific journey. It's been challenging, but we've been blessed with terrific partners," said David Trandel, a partner in the project.

  •  
    U.S. stocks fell, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index approached a record high yesterday, as concern about Europe’s debt crisis overshadowed better-than- estimated American economic data.

    Weak Oracle sales, Cyprus fears weigh on US stocks

    Stocks closed lower on Wall Street Thursday after Oracle's weak sales results weighed down big U.S. technology companies. Traders also worried about Cyprus running out of time to avoid bankruptcy.

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    Power Home opens in Rosemont

    Power Home Remodeling Group, a national home remodeling company, Friday will unveil its new office in Rosemont that will bring about 200 jobs to the area, the company said Thursday.

  •  
    McDonald's new chicken McWrap sandwich wrap. The world's biggest hamburger chain says the new sandwich wrap will come in three varieties ó Chicken & Bacon, Sweet Chili Chicken and Chicken & Ranch.

    McDonald's adds chicken McWrap to core menu

    McDonald's is adding a permanent new offering to its menu: chicken McWraps. The world's biggest hamburger chain says the new sandwich wrap will come in three varieties — Chicken & Bacon, Sweet Chili Chicken and Chicken & Ranch. The company already offers similar wraps in other parts of the world, including Europe. The Oak Brook-based chain says the McWraps use the same type of flour tortillas and chicken as its snack wraps, which were introduced in 2006.

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    Founders Row row houses in Mount Prospect are directly across the street from the library. A new developer is finishing the project, which foundered on a slow economy.

    Mt. Prospect housing project rescued from foreclosure by new developer

    The promising Founders Row development on Emerson Street, which received zoning approval in 2005, ultimately foundered on the shoals of foreclosure. But it has new life, thanks to Igor Davydov, president of Glenview-based Compass Real Estate Services LLC, which purchased the development rights at auction. "This is a profitable enterprise for us," he said.

  •  
    Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week and remained near historic lows, a trend that has supported a recovery in housing.

    U.S. rate on 30-year mortgage declines to 3.54 pct.

    Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell this week and remained near historic lows, a trend that has supported a recovery in housing. Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year loan fell to 3.54 percent from 3.63 percent last week. That's near the 3.31 percent reached in November, which was the lowest on records dating to 1971.

  •  
    Job seekers wait to enter a career fair sponsored by National Career Fairs in Chicago in January, 2012. The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid barely changed last week, and the average over the past month fell to a fresh five-year low. The decline in layoffs is helping strengthen the job market.

    Average for U.S. jobless claims at fresh 5-year low

    The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid barely changed last week, and the average over the past month fell to a fresh five-year low. The decline in layoffs is helping strengthen the job market. Weekly unemployment benefit applications rose just 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 336,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Over the past four weeks, applications have dropped by 7,500 to 339,750. That's the lowest since February 2008, just three months into the recession.

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    Coca-Cola says it’s cutting 750 jobs in the U.S. as it continues to streamline its business.

    Coca-Cola to cut 750 jobs in U.S.

    Coca-Cola says it's cutting 750 jobs in the U.S. as it continues to streamline its business. The world's biggest beverage maker says the jobs cuts will be across the board and that affected individuals will be notified in coming weeks. The cuts represent roughly 1 percent of the company's workforce of 75,000 in North America.

  •  
    U.S. sales of previously occupied homes rose in February to the highest level in more than three years, further evidence of a sustained housing recovery that is benefiting the broader economy.

    U.S. homes sales highest in more than 3 years

    U.S. sales of previously occupied homes rose in February to the highest level in more than three years, further evidence of a sustained housing recovery that is benefiting the broader economy.The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that sales increased 0.8 percent in February from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million.

  •  
    Customers wait to withdraw money from an ATM outside a closed branch of CPB Bank, part of Cyprus Popular Bank Pcl, also known as Laiki Bank in Athens, Greece, on Thursday, March 21, 2013. Branches of Cypriot lenders in Greece will remain closed on March 21 and March 22 following a decision of the Central Bank of Cyprus, Greece’s Finance Ministry said in an emailed statement today.

    Cyprus has 4 days to find bailout solution

    Cyprus has four days to agree on a new plan to raise funds to avoid bankruptcy, with the European Central Bank warning Thursday it will pull the plug on the country's banks at the start of next week if no solution is found. Facing the ultimatum, the Cypriot government was racing to cement a new package that will please both Parliament and the country's potential international creditors.

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    Oil prices down as Cyprus uncertainty continues

    The price of oil fell Thursday as traders awaited a solution to a financial crisis in Cyprus that has raised fears of a destabilizing exit of the country from the euro.Benchmark oil for May delivery was down 54 cents to $92.96 per barrel at late afternoon Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract for April delivery gained 80 cents to settle at $92.96 a barrel on Wednesday.

  •  

    Mexico demands Sotheby’s halt auction of artifacts

    The Mexican government is demanding that the Sotheby's auction house halt the planned sale of 51 pre-Colombian Mexican artifacts, arguing they are protected national historical pieces.The National Institute of Anthropology and History says Mexico has sent a diplomatic note to the French government seeking assistance in heading off the sale scheduled in Paris for Friday and Saturday.

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    World markets stall as Cyprus woes continue

    World stock markets stalled Thursday as uncertainty mounted over whether Cyprus can stave off bankruptcy after the country's government rejected a plan to contribute to a bailout by seizing money from people's bank accounts.Cyprus needs to come up with $7.5 billion on its own in order to secure 10 billion euros in rescue loans from international creditors. Parliament on Tuesday rejected a proposal to fund part of the bailout by taxing bank deposits.

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    Workers from public transport unions demonstrate during a partial strike protest in Madrid, Wednesday.

    Spanish bond auction unaffected by Cyprus jitters

    Spain has paid lower interest rates in a bond auction that raised 4.5 billion euros ($5.8 billion), suggesting the financial crisis in Cyprus is not affecting other troubled eurozone nations. The Treasury said it sold 2.33 billion euros in 10-year bonds at an average interest rate of 4.89 percent, down from 4.92 percent at the last such auction Feb.7.

  •  
    During a crucial top level meeting of Cypriot leaders including from left to right, Presidential Advisor Constantinos Petrides, Labor Minister Harris Georgiades, Greens Party official Adonis Yiangou, Parliamentary Speaker and EDEK party leader Yiannakis Omirou, AKEL party chief Andros Kyprianou, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, ruling DISY party deputy leader Averof Neophytou, DIKO party boss Marios Garoyian, EVROKO party leader Demetris Syllouris, Cyprus Central Bank Governor Panicos Demetriades, and Central Bank Deputy Governor Spyros Stavrinakis during a crucial meeting to find an alternative plan to raise 5.8 billion euros to finance a bailout at the Presidential palace in Nicosia Wednesday,

    ECB guarantees Cyprus aid only through Monday

    The European Central Bank says it will keep emergency aid for Cyprus' troubled banks in place at least until Monday but will have to cut it off after that unless an international rescue program is drawn up.The ECB is keeping the Cypriot banks alive by allowing them to draw on emergency support from the local central bank. But the ECB has said it would cut that aid off if there is no bailout deal soon.

  •  
    Newly appointed Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda.

    Japan’s central bank chief vows to end deflation

    The newly installed governor of Japan's central bank said Thursday that he plans to do whatever he can to end deflation and break the economy out of the doldrums. After a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Haruhiko Kuroda told reporters he had reiterated his pledge to "do everything we can to get the economy out of deflation."

  •  
    Struggling drug company AstraZeneca PLC says it will cut some 2,300 jobs worldwide as part of a restructuring plan.

    AstraZeneca to cut 2,300 jobs

    Struggling drug company AstraZeneca PLC says it will cut some 2,300 jobs worldwide as part of a restructuring plan. The company said Thursday the cuts are in addition to a previously announced program cutting 1,600 positions related to research and development announced March 18 and the elimination of 1,150 positions announced last year.

  •  
    Liu Han

    Chinese company looking for missing tycoon

    A Chinese tycoon with ties to mining companies in the United States, Australia and Africa is missing and a newspaper says he has been detained by police. Sichuan Jinlu Group said Thursday it is looking for its chairman, Liu Han, and has been unable to contact him by phone. The newspaper Shanghai Securities News said Liu was detained by Beijing police in mid-March while on a business trip to the Chinese capital.

  •  
    YouTube says more than 1 billion people are now visiting its online video site each month to watch everything from zany clips of cute kittens to sobering scenes of social unrest around the world.

    YouTube now serving videos to 1 billion people

    YouTube says more than 1 billion people are now visiting its online video site each month to watch everything from zany clips of cute kittens to sobering scenes of social unrest around the world.The milestone was announced Wednesday at a splashy event in Santa Monica that was aimed at advertisers and featured performances from some of the website's biggest stars, such as the bands CDZA and Monsters Calling Home.

Life & Entertainment

  •  
    Rihanna accepts the award for soul R&B favorite female artist at the 38th Annual American Music Awards on Nov. 21, 2010 in Los Angeles.

    Live stream of Rihanna at Barrington High School
    Check back here Friday at 1:45 p.m. for a live streaming broadcast, powered by High School Cube, of pop star Rihanna visiting Barrington High School. As well, if you are lucky enough to be in Rihanna's audience, we'd like to see your photos. Email them to submit@dailyherald.com or tweet them @dailyherald.

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    Justin Adair, right, reprises his role in Theo Ubique’s remount of its hit production of “Smokey Joe’s Cafe — The Songs of Lieber and Stoller” running through May 26, at Chicago’s Royal George Theatre.

    ‘Smokey Joe’s Cafe’ moves to Royal George

    Woodridge native Justin Adair reprises his role in Theo Ubique's commercial remount of the Lieber-Stoller revue, "Smokey Joe's Cafe" at Chicago's Royal George Theatre.

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    Ben Affleck accepts the Oscar for best picture for “Argo.” The movie mentions New Zealand just once in passing, but the four-word reference is rankling Kiwis five months after it was released in the South Pacific nation. Even Parliament has expressed its dismay, passing a motion stating that director Ben Affleck “saw fit to mislead the world about what actually happened.”

    Passing reference in ‘Argo’ rankles New Zealand

    Thirteen minutes into the Oscar-winning movie "Argo," CIA agent Tony Mendez asks what happened to a group of Americans when the U.S. Embassy was stormed in Tehran. "The six of them went out a back exit," O'Donnell tells Mendez, played by Ben Affleck. "Brits turned them away. Kiwis turned them away. Canadians took them in." That's the only mention of New Zealand in "Argo," but it is still rankling Kiwis five months after the film was released.

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    1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1, Dave Otto, Bartlett

    Pony let out of the stable

    Like many auto enthusiasts, Dave Otto of Bartlett has always had his heart set on owning a Ford Mustang Boss 429. Given their red-hot collectability, he settled on what he deemed next best for him, and his wallet — a 1970 Mach 1.

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    Four friends (Selena Gomez, left, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine and Vanessa Hudgens) head to Florida after three pull off a drug-fueled robbery in “Spring Breakers.”

    'Spring Breakers' showcases some dangerous divas

    Harmony Korine seems to want it both ways with "Spring Breakers," about four bikini-clad, gun-toting college babes.He wants to satirize the debauchery of girls gone wild while simultaneously reveling in it. And he pulls it off.

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    Guy (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) shows cavegirl Eep, (voiced by Emma Stone) the way to a better life in

    Charm, creativity combine in caveman comedy 'Croods'

    "The Croods" is not your parents "Flintstones." That was a smart, sophisticated re-imagining of Jackie Gleason's classic TV series "The Honeymooners" as a caveman sitcom. "The Croods" appeals more to the younger "Ice Age" demographic that will thrill to the plethora of 3-D chases, exciting spectacle and rudimentary, juvenile sense of humor.

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    Some headlines have even suggested that the ultra-popular Justin Bieber is going through the famous meltdown Britney Spears and other teen stars have gone through.

    Good boy gone bad? Justin Bieber’s adult problems

    In just four years, Justin Bieber has gone from fielding innocuous questions about his haircut to denying that he's in desperate need of rehab. Bieber's grown up and into tabloid territory, with his recent troubles making some question whether he's just the latest teen star gone wild. In what could have been his worst week ever, the 19-year-old pop star struggled with his breathing and fainted backstage at a London show, was taken to a hospital and then was caught on camera clashing with a paparazzo. O

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    Finding your child’s voice

    Imagine having a child who struggles with verbal communication. Would you know if he or she were in pain? Could you comfort him or her if you didn't know what was causing the pain? Would you ever feel like you were able to fully connect with your child? So many families live through this on a daily basis because they have a child who either struggles with verbal communication or is completely nonverbal.

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    Super foods to the rescue

    There are a lot of foods out there with "super" qualities. Often these foods are high in antioxidants and phytochemicals and have added benefits including the ability to fight disease or decrease inflammation. No matter the possibility, there are certain foods that are just plain super for your kids that you should not be leaving the grocery store without. Let's take a closer look at the what, why, and how of some of these less familiar but equally awesome foods.

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    “Holy Spokes: A Biking Bible for Everyone” (Zest Books, 2013), by Rob Coppolillo, $14.99, 208 pages.

    ‘Holy Spokes’ will tell you all you need about bikes

    You're saving for a bike but you're not sure what kind you want. Would a mountain bike be best? Or do you need something lightweight? Maybe you're thinking retro or well, cheap. Whatever you're thinking, you'll find all kinds of advice in "Holy Spokes: A Biking Bible for Everyone" by Rob Coppolillo.

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    National Cherry Blossom Festival parade draws visitors from far and wide.

    See more than cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. this spring

    It seems like it's every American's required family vacation destination: Washington, D.C. Fortunately for the kids, there's plenty to see and do there. Fortunately for the parents, lots of those things are free. And, if you can swing a trip in the spring, you'll be treated to a feast for the eyes: the Cherry Blossom Festival.

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    Sounds of Simon, Garfunkel chosen for preservation

    A popular tune written after John F. Kennedy's assassination and Chubby Checker's 1960s dance hit "The Twist" will be among 25 recordings selected for preservation at the Library of Congress. On Thursday, the library is announcing its newest additions to the National Recording Registry.

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    Princeton University admissions officer Portia (Tina Fey) meets a schoolteacher named John (Paul Rudd) in Paul Weitz’s tepid comic drama “Admission.”

    Comedy not quite worth price of ‘Admission’

    "Admission" is agreeable entertainment, but lacks a brisk comic clip. Its leisurely pace seems more suitable for a straight drama. The film appears to be stuck between the two genres with Weitz's snapless direction highlighting tepid emotional moments over glib repartee and farcical shenanigans, which this forced and flaccid film cries out for. Especially with stars Tina Fey and Paul Rudd.

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    A recreated scene from “Star Wars” is part of Westmont native Cris Macht’s new documentary “The Force Within Us,” premiering at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.

    Local director brings a bit of ‘The Force’ home

    Dann reviews Sally Potter's new period domestic drama "Ginger & Rosa," plus hails the premiere of of Westmont native Cris Macht's "Star Wars" documentary "The Force Within Us," plus the frightening, Oscar-nominated best foreign film child-soldier drama "War Witch." Dann also supplies Reel Life film notes, including his upcoming program of Hollywood love tales at the St. Charles Library.

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    Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) witnesses an assault against the White House in Antoine Fuqua's action thriller “Olympus Has Fallen.”

    Patriotism, brute force and realistic detail create effective but flawed thriller

    Antoine Fuqua does a masterful job of orchestrating audience reactions in "Olympus Has Fallen" with a potent combination of patriotism, brute force and jingoistic speeches in times of crisis. "We are never stronger than when we're tested!" speaker of the House Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) says after North Korean terrorists overrun the White House, leaving Gerard Butler to save the day.

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    Pizza Pockets are a cinch to make at home and the fillings can be customized to please picky eaters.

    Pockets of deliciousness easy to prepare

    Between school, home work and sports, Jerome Gabriel doesn't always have a lot of time for dinner. Instead of pulling a pizza from the freezer he pulls together a homemade pizza pocket. He likes pepperoni, but you can fill these crescent dough turnovers with your favorite pizza toppings.

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    Pizza Pockets are a cinch to make at home and the fillings can be customized to please picky eaters.

    Pizza Pockets
    Pizza Pockets: Jerome Gabriel

Discuss

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    Endorsements: Buscemi, Engstrom, Peterson, Taylor for Benjamin Dist. 25 board
    The Daily Herald endorses Jack Buscemi, Vincent Engstrom, Dennis Peterson and Anna Taylor for Benjamin District 25 school board.

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    Endorsements: Bossier, Reyes, Quinn for Bensenville Dist. 2 school board
    The Daily Herald endorses Kathleen Bossier, Luis Ryes and Nancy Quinn for the Bensenville District 2 Board of Education.

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    Endorsement: Yes on Winfield sales tax increase for roads
    The Daily Herald recommends a YES vote on Winfield's request for a sales tax increase to use toward road repairs.

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    Endorsements: Dato, Feryance, McHugh, Weber for Wauconda Dist. 118 board
    The Daily Herald endorses Deby Dato, Jonathan Feryance, Carey McHugh and Thomas A. Weber Sr. for the Wauconda Unit Dist. 118 Board of Education.

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    Endorsements: LaMarca, Nowosielski, Wiedmeyer for Pingree Grove village board
    The Daily Herald endorses Steve Wiedmeyer, Ray LaMarca and Joseph Nowosielski for Pingree Grove village board.

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    Endorsements: Garkisch, Zyck for Arlington Heights library board
    The Daily Herald endorses Joan Brody Garkisch and Greg Zyck for the Arlington Heights Memorial Library board.

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    Endorsements: Blockinger, Pos and Schroetter for Gurnee Dist. 56 school board
    The Daily Herald endorses James Blockinger, Mark Pos and Lynn Schroetter for the Gurnee Elementary District 56 Board of Education.

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    Endorsements: Gould, Harrison, Pritzker, McAtee for Wheeling Dist. 21 schools
    The Daily Herald endorses Phil Pritzker, Arlen Gould, Bill Harrison and Debra McAtee for Wheeling Township Elementary District 21 Board of Education.

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    Endorsements: Bradford, Brown Dykstra, Ormond for West Aurora Unit District 129
    The Daily Herald endorses Mark Bradford, Valerie Brown Dykstra and Neal Ormond for West Aurora Unit District 129 school board.

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    Endorsements: Beck, Koka, Miller, Nemcek for River Trails Dist. 26 schools
    The Daily Herald endorses Kathleen Beck, Rathna Koka, Dan Miller and Julia Nemcek for the River Trails District 26 Board of Education.

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    Endorsement: Friend, Heim, Voltaggio, Weinstock in Glenbard District 87
    The Daily Herald endorses Robert Friend, Richard Heim, F. Thomas Voltaggio and Judith Weinstock for Glenbard High School District 87 school board.

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    Endorsements: Weidman, Roop, Alfrejd, Strack for Grayslake District 46 board
    The Daily Herald endorses Jill Alfrejd, Robert Roop Jr., Steven Strack and James Weidman for Grayslake Elementary District 46 school board.

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    Comforting words for young workers

    Columnist Froma Harrop: Many speak of Gen X and Gen Y as "lost generations" destined to "not live as well" as their parents. A new Urban Institute study finds that young people up to the age of 40 haven't accumulated as much wealth as their parents did at their age. The numbers may be right, but is the worry warranted?

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    The seeds of inspiration are all sizes

    Columnist Jim Slusher: A newspaper sometimes spotlights the small seeds, and they, like Christ's mustard seed, can stand with the biggest of stories. Such was the case with Rob Komosa.

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    Silent on rape no more

    Columnist Kathleen Parker: Especially offensive is the fact that hundreds of thousands of rape kits remain unprocessed. This meant that hundreds of thousands of victims, mostly women, were never taken seriously or given an opportunity for justice — and their rapists were free to rape again. Why is there no outrage?

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    No special favors for federal workers
    A Palatine letter to the editor: Government workers' complaining when they are being paid out of the pockets of their neighbors is reprehensible. Taxpayers are being forced to pay for government workers to have better retirements than we can have ourselves.

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    A civil solution to gay marriage
    A Palatine letter to the editor: The government by offering "marriage" interjects itself into religion by co-opting a religious sacrament and puts itself in direct conflict with established religions.

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    All citizens need equal protection
    A Palatine letter to the editor: This is in response to Karen Wagner's March 14 letter arguing that the Supreme Court should not overturn the Voting Rights Act because it perpetuates the right to vote for all Americans and that Justice Antonin Scalia was incorrect to say that the portion of the act under review is a "racial entitlement." I would suggest she needs to make her sales pitch to the Justice Department.

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    Be careful about changing appeals
    A Lake County letter to the editor: Lake County's assessment and appeals system is a model of accuracy, openness and fairness. With an increase in appeals from taxpayers feeling financial distress or seeking fair tax levels, officials are now pressured by lawyers to change the rules of the game — not to ensure consumer protections or enable appropriate regulation — but to limit competition.

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    Cut spending, then reform the tax code
    A Bartlett letter to the editor: Republicans want to reform our entire tax code so that it benefits hardworking taxpayers by making it simpler and fairer. President Obama wants to close a few loopholes in the tax code to fund more Washington spending.

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    More consistency needed in ticketing
    A Palatine letter to the editor: This is in response to Mayor Craig Johnson of Elk Grove Village. The mayor states that the reason for the red-light cameras is not revenue related but safety related. That is a fallacy.

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    Public needs to know public salaries
    A Rolling Meadows letter to the editor: Thank you to Jake Griffin for his Tax Watchdog articles, especially the one March 6 on the outrageous pensions District 211 teachers and administrators get. They can't be paid in future years.

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    St. Charles needs competent mayor
    St. Charles needs competent mayorSt. Charles certainly needs a competent executive as mayor.The city’s property tax rate is 28 percent higher than Geneva’s and 23 percent higher than Batavia’s.St. Charles’ per capita debt is 40 percent higher than Geneva’s and 109 percent higher than Batavia’s.The city budget shows red ink for years to come.The failed First Street Redevelopment Project is a mess even after the city has spent $31 million.Sixteen million dollars of Costco city sales taxes are paying for bonds that subsidized Costco’s purchase of land. The city is rebating sales tax funds back to five existing St. Charles companies. Citizens have been protesting for years to keep detrimental real estate developments from being approved.The people of St. Charles are most fortunate to have a mayoral candidate who is extremely competent and his name is Jake Wyatt. He is a retired army colonel who was awarded the Bronze Star for valor while serving in Vietnam. In the Persian Gulf War, Jake supervised 100 logistics experts and interfaced with 33 coalition nations to provide for the procurement and placement of $57 billion worth of supplies, equipment and services into the combat theater. General Schwarzkopf, who led the 670,000 man army, stated that the logistic effort was “herculean.”His most emotional and memorable military experience was in Vietnam when he helped to bring back American soldiers who had been held prisoner in the jungle.At Sears he was responsible for a $300 million budget and he saved Sears $150 million through cost cutting and cost avoidance.Because Jake cares about people, if elected, he will implement a “Mayor’s Open Door Policy” to hold bimonthly meetings one hour prior to city council meetings and have meetings on Monday mornings where citizens can freely express their concerns, ideas, and issues.Gene KalleySt. Charles

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    Why no common sense in D.C.?
    A St. Charles letter to the editor: The president's recent decision to stop all White House tours shows him to be petty and small. His own spokesman told the press that it was the White House's decision to stop these tours, even though the president himself stated that it was not.

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    Teachers maligned by headline
    An Aurora letter to the editor: I took great umbrage with Jake Griffin's Suburban Watchdog article with the subtitle "Taxpayers' burden for teachers to attend conference adds up" on Feb. 15 in the Daily Herald. As if there is not enough "teacher bashing," you absolutely lied when you used the word "teachers" in that subtitle. that conference had nothing to do with teachers, whom you so unfairly represented.

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    Dialysis center return welcome
    A Villa Park letter to the editor: As village president of Villa Park, it is my priority to ensure all of our residents live in a safe and healthy environment. Committing to this priority requires that our community has ample access to quality health care. Therefore, it is my pleasure to welcome back much-needed dialysis care to Villa Park.

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