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Daily Archive : Sunday March 31, 2013
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Carol Stream Library board race grows increasingly bitter
Libraries are supposed to be quiet places, but in Carol Stream, the local library is ground zero for one of the most contentious elections this year in DuPage County. Voters will get to choose from 10 candidates — running on two slates — for five positions. The outcome will determine the direction the library takes for the 39,000 residents it serves.
Officials investigating human remains found in Woodridge
DuPage County officials are investigating human skeletal remains found by two children in Woodridge on Saturday. Officials have not yet identified if the remains belong to a man or woman, the age or cause of death, authorities said.
Suburban offices can be steppingstones to something bigger
As hopefuls for local offices shake hands and urge their neighbors to head to the polls in the waning days of their campaigns, the winners could be setting themselves up for future bids for higher office. If they do a good job. And if they want it. "Everybody's reasons for getting into politics are different," former Des Plaines mayor and current state Rep. Mary Moylan said.
For Elgin man, Monday marks his 60th Sox opener
A lifelong White Sox fan, Frank Gambro attended the 1953 home opener at Comiskey Park and saw his hero, Jungle Jim Rivera, score the only run in a 1-0 victory. Gambro hasn't missed an Opening Day on the South Side in the 60 years since. “It's like another holiday,” Adam Gambro says of the Opening Day ritual started 60 years ago by his grandfather and family patriarch, Frank Gambro.
Texas DA slain in his home; had armed himself
Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland took no chances after one of his assistant prosecutors was gunned down two months ago. McLelland said he carried a gun everywhere he went and took extra care when answering the door at his home. On Saturday, he and his wife were found shot to death in their rural home just outside the town of Forney, about 20 miles from Dallas.
Images: The Week in Pictures
This edition of The Week in Pictures features Easter Egg hunts, Good Friday and Easter images from around the suburbs. Families cope with house fires in West Chicago and St. Charles, icefishing in 50 degree weather in Wauconda, Indian TV/Bollywood film star visits Palatine and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient visits the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center.
High court poised to upend civil rights policies
Has the nation lived down its history of racism and should the law become colorblind? Addressing two pivotal legal issues, one on affirmative action and a second on voting rights, a divided Supreme Court is poised to answer those questions.
Rivals prepare for legal battle over abortion bans
Rival legal teams, well-financed and highly motivated, are girding for court battles over the coming months on laws enacted in Arkansas and North Dakota that would impose the nation's toughest bans on abortion. The laws represent an unprecedented frontal assault on the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a nationwide right to abortion.
Fox Valley egg hunt doesn’t go over easy for all
Westfield Fox Valley Mall in Aurora held its Easter Eggstravaganza Saturday, but the event didn't go over easy with some who attended. A number of disgruntled visitors posted at the mall's Facebook page that the event was something less than "eggscellent," some saying they waited for more than an hour in line and children were unable to collect as many eggs as promised.
Home uninhabitable after fire in St. Charles
A St. Charles home was left uninhabitable Sunday after fire swept through the three-story structure. Nobody was home at the time and no injuries were reported. The cause remains under investigation, but arson is not suspected.
Forgotten U.S. airship crash recalled 80 years later
History buffs will gather this week near the New Jersey coast to commemorate a major airship disaster. No, not the 1937 explosion of the Hindenburg at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station. But just four years earlier, a U.S. Navy airship seemingly jinxed from the start and later celebrated in song crashed only about 40 miles away, claiming more than twice as many lives.
Pope makes Easter pleas for world peace
Pope Francis marked Christianity's most joyous day with a passionate plea for world peace, celebrating his first Easter Sunday as pontiff in the enthusiastic company of more than 250,000 people who overflowed from St. Peter's Square.
Lake Michigan water open house
A public information open house meeting on the drinking water supply for the Grandwood Park, Fox Lake Hills, Lake Villa and Lindenhurst water systems will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 6 at the Lakes Community High School cafeteria, 1600 Eagle Way, Lake Villa. Residents can attend any time during those hours and learn about bringing Lake Michigan water to these communities.
Des Plaines begins downtown street improvements
Des Plaines will begin streetscape and roadway improvements Monday as part of the city's 2013 Capital Improvement Program in the area of Miner Street, from Graceland Avenue to Pearson Street. The project will include the installation of sidewalks, curb and gutter, pavers, trees, sod, irrigation, lighting, planters, seating walls, site furniture, signage and other street improvements.
Former senator joins Lake County Community Foundation board
Retired Democratic state Sen. Susan Garrett has been named to the board of Lake County Community Foundation, along with Marvin Bembry and C. Lawrence Connolly. The foundation's board is comprised of 16 directors representing the diversity and geographic scope of the county.
Study shows Shakespeare as ruthless businessman
Hoarder, moneylender, tax dodger — it's not how we usually think of William Shakespeare. But we should, according to a group of academics who say the Bard was a ruthless businessman who grew wealthy dealing in grain during a time of famine.
Round Lake Park announces ‘Street Sweep’ arrest
Round Lake Park police have announced another arrest stemming from a continuing investigation in cooperation with federal authorities focused on illegal drugs. Police say reputed street gang member Misael Vargas, 17, of 212 W. Fairfield Terrace in Round Lake Park, has been charged with several drug-related offenses.
Naperville church rings in Easter with real bell chimes
The 8 a.m. Easter Sunday Mass started off with a special sound at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Naperville — the chime of real church bells. The parish, the oldest established in DuPage County, has been without those unique tones since the mid-1970s, when it began using an electronic facsimile instead. "A beautiful sound for a beautiful holiday," one parishioner said.
Recycle electronics in Island Lake
Island Lake officials will host an electronics recycling event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 6 at village hall, 3720 Greenleaf Ave. Computer equipment, cables, blenders, vacuums and other items will be accepted. Televisions will not be taken.
Court upholds Aurora man’s child abduction conviction
A 64-year-old Aurora man has lost his bid to have a court overturn his conviction for trying to lure a child from a grocery store in 2009. An appellate court panel recently upheld the guilty verdict and three-year prison term for Stephen P. Sweigart for felony child abduction.
Suburban teachers try new assessment of kindergartners that emphasizes play
Ten suburban school districts are piloting a new assessment of kindergartners that asks teachers to monitor students and document their everyday activities. It's as much about kids' behavioral development as academics. "It's going to put kindergarten back where it should be," said Julie Kallenbach, director of early learner initiatives at Elgin Area School District U-46. "It's going to make us...
Campaigning in Pingree Grove gated community causes controversy
A Pingree Grove village board candidate was asked to leave a gated community while he was campaigning door-to-door last week. It turns out he should have been allowed to stay, the village attorney said.
A look at what’s in the new kindergarten assessment
A new assessment for kindergartners will not require them to fill in the bubbles on an answer sheet. Here's a look at what it is, where it came from, how it's used; and the design of the pilot program.
Seven running for Batavia school board
Only one incumbent is among the seven people seeking to fill four spots on the Batavia school board. Candidates talk about finance, class size, and money spent on conferences.
District 207 school board hopefuls discuss Maine West hazing
Maine Township High School District 207 school board hopefuls call for more education and ongoing training of staff, administration and students on recognizing and preventing hazing after recent scandals at Maine West High School in Des Plaines. Seven candidates are vying for four, four-year seats on the District 207 school board April 9.
New alliance working to solve issues with Bangs Lake channels
A group of Wauconda residents concerned about the quality and depth of the channels leading to Bangs Lake are working with local officials and other agencies to solve the problems. "We do recognize it's going to be an incremental job," resident Ken Siwieck said.
A bittersweet farewell as Mt. Prospect mayor retires
Mount Prospect Mayor Irvana Wilks will step down from the post after the upcoming election, ending a career of more than 25 years of service to the village. Wilks said she's confident the village has a bright future ahead of it, and she looks forward to devoting more time to her creative writing projects. "I think we've come really far, and during some extremely difficult economic times," she...
Louisville guard 'resting comfortably' after shocking injury
INDIANAPOLIS — A gruesome injury that left Louisville guard Kevin Ware with a broken leg plunged Lucas Oil Stadium into horrified silence, with coach Rick Pitino wiping away tears and shocked teammates openly weeping during Sunday's Midwest Regional final.Ware's right leg bent in such an awkward and frightening angle that CBS stopped showing replays shortly after the fall in the NCAA tournament matchup against Duke.Louisville, the top overall seed in the tourney, went more than 3 minutes without scoring after the injury but regained its composure to take a 35-32 halftime lead and went on to an 85-63 victory to earn a trip to the Final Four.Viewers who saw the injury on TV reacted on social networks and #KevinWare shot to one of the top worldwide trending topics on Twitter. Video of the injury was posted on YouTube CBS initially replayed it twice before changing course.With 6:33 left in the first half, Ware tried to contest a 3-pointer by Tyler Thornton. Ware's leg buckled when he landed, bending almost at a right angle.School officials said Ware was taken to Methodist Hospital with a broken lower right leg. Louisville spokesman Kenny Klein said hospital officials told the school that Ware was “resting comfortably” and that the pain was “under control.”Klein said a team of doctors was being assembled. He was uncertain whether that meant Ware would undergo surgery in Indianapolis.Ware was taken off the court on a stretcher.The injury happened right in front of Pitino and the Louisville bench, and several Cardinals were overcome with emotion. Louisville forward Wayne Blackshear fell to the floor, crying, and Chane Behanan looked as if he was going to be sick on the court, kneeling on his hands and feet. Peyton Siva sat a few feet away, a hand covering his mouth. Luke Hancock patted Ware's chest as doctors worked on the sophomore and Russ Smith — who is from New York City like Ware — walked away, pulling his jersey over his eyes. Someone finally pulled Behanan to his feet, but he doubled over and needed a few seconds to gather himself. As Ware was being loaded onto the stretcher, the Cardinals gathered at midcourt until Pitino called them over, saying that Ware wanted to talk to them before he left.In the immediate aftermath, those who had been watching the game on television took to social media to express their concern. Former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann, who famously sustained a broken leg during a Monday night football game against the New York Giants, tweeted that, “Watching Duke/ Louisville my heart goes out to Kevin Ware.”Ware, a sophomore from the Bronx, was instrumental in Louisville's victory over Oregon in the regional semifinals. He scored 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting in 25 minutes off the bench.
League upgrades Gibson’s foul on James to flagrant
The NBA office upgraded one of Taj Gibson’s fouls in Wednesday’s win over Miami to flagrant, according to multiple reports. It wasn’t the one in the fourth quarter that seemed to cause James’ retaliation against Carlos Boozer. The upgrade foul happened in the first quarter.
Bulls regroup, drop Pistons again
The Bulls had it tough having to play the day after squandering a late lead in Dallas, but had to regroup quickly. They fell behind 18-5 against struggling Detroit on Sunday at the United Center, but managed to rally in the fourth quarter for a 95-94 victory, their 18th straight against the Pistons.
Bulls rally to beat Pistons
Luol Deng scored 28 points, Jimmy Butler and Nate Robinson each added 16, and the Chicago Bulls beat Detroit 95-94 to extend their winning streak to 18 straight against the Pistons.Rodney Stuckey scored 25 points and Greg Monroe added 18 points for the Pistons, who have not beaten Chicago since Dec. 23, 2008. The Bulls rallied from a 13-point deficit to tie the score 78-all with 9:27 remaining on Butler’s dunk after a steal. Robinson then fed Deng for a layup for an 80-78 lead, Chicago’s first advantage since 1-0. Deng and Robinson each hit 3-pointers to extend the Bulls’ lead to 91-84. Stuckey’s layup cut Chicago’s lead to one with 1:27 left before Deng had a layup for a 94-91 lead. Charlie Villaneuva missed a 3 with 5.9 seconds left and Daequan Cook made a free throw. Stuckey made a 3 before the buzzer for the final margin.Chicago also rallied from 17-point deficits in each of its two previous games against Detroit this season. The Pistons last defeated the Bulls at the United Center on Feb. 24, 2006.Detroit shot 50 percent (36 for 72) from the field while the Bulls shot 40 percent (30 for 76). The Pistons jumped out to leads of 9-1 and 18-5, and led 24-20 after the first quarter. Cook hit a 3-pointer and a free throw with 15.5 seconds left before halftime to cut Detroit’s lead to 55-53. Stuckey made a running jumper with 2.8 seconds left to put the Pistons up four at the break.. Detroit shot 60 percent from the field in the first half, while the Bulls were at 43 percent. Stuckey led the Pistons with 16 points and Deng led Chicago with 12.Chicago also struggled with free throws, missing 13 of 40.Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson each added 11 points for the Bulls and Cook finished with 10. Villanueva had 14 and Jose Calderon added 11 for Detroit.Robinson and Pistons forward Kyle Singler each received technical fouls and Pistons guard Brandon Knight was called for a flagrant foul with 2:32 remaining in the first quarter after Knight was called for a travel and raised his arm, hitting Butler in the face. Robinson then appeared to push Knight, and Singler and other players joined the fray before the players were separated. Butler made both free throws to cut Detroit’s lead to 24-15. Joakim Noah and Marco Belinelli sat out for the Bulls. Noah has missed five straight games for plantar fasciitis in his right foot, and Belinelli has sat out four games with a strained abdominal muscle. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said both players are day to day. Noah had career highs of 30 points and 23 rebounds against Detroit on Dec. 7.Will Bynum (hand) and Jason Maxiell (eye) were out for the Pistons. Maxiell remained in Detroit to get his eye examined.Chicago went 7-7 in March.
Reasons to believe White Sox will be better in 2013
While the Detroit Tigers are the obvious class of the AL Central this season, beat writer Scot Gregor offers three reasons why the White Sox should be a bit better than they were last year. If all goes well, the Sox look like legitimate wild-card contenders.
It’s not all gloom and doom for Cubs
The Cubs begin Year 2 of their massive rebuilding job under Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer on Opening Day in Pittsburgh. Optimism figures to give way to realism before too long, but pitcher Jeff Samardzija said Sunday he likes what he sees going into the season.
Louisville beats Duke; Final Four next
INDIANAPOLIS — With tears in their eyes and Kevin Ware in their hearts, there was no way Louisville was losing this game.Russ Smith scored 23, Gorgui Dieng had 14 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks, and top-seeded Louisville put aside the shock from Ware’s gruesome leg injury to earn a second straight trip to the Final Four with an 85-63 victory over Duke on Sunday afternoon.As the final seconds ticked down, Chane Behanan put Ware’s jersey on and stood at the end of the Louisville bench, screaming. Cardinals fans chanted “Kevin Ware! Kevin Ware!” “We won this for him,” coach Rick Pitino said. “We were all choked up with emotion for him. We’ll get him back to normal. We’ve got great doctors, great trainers. We talked about it every timeout, `Get Kevin home.”’This was the first time Pitino and Mike Krzyzewski had met in the regional finals since that 1992 classic that ended with Christian Laettner’s improbable buzzer-beater, a game now considered one of the best in NCAA tournament history. This game will be remembered, too, but for a very different — and much more somber — reason. With 6:33 left in the first half, Ware, a sophomore who has played a key role in Louisville’s 14-game winning streak, jumped to try and block Tyler Thornton’s 3-point shot. When he landed, his right leg snapped midway between his ankle and knee, the bone skewing almost at a right angle. Ware dropped to the floor right in front of the Louisville bench and, almost in unison, his teammates turned away in horror. Thornton grimaced, putting his hand to his mouth as he turned around. The Cardinals struggled to put the horrific injury behind them, missing four of their next five shots along with two free throws after play resumed. They regrouped after a timeout, with Smith’s finger roll sparking a 12-6 run to finish the half that gave them a 35-32 lead. Smith picked up where he left off at the start of the second half, making all three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt to give Louisville a 38-32 lead, its largest of the game to that point.But just as he did against Michigan State, Duke star Seth Curry got hot after halftime, making two 3s in the first three minutes. Mason Plumlee dunked to tie the game at 42.That, however, was all Louisville needed. Clawing for every rebound, diving on the floor for loose balls and cranking the intensity up even higher on their ferocious defense, the Cardinals were not going to lose. And everyone, Duke included, knew it. Smith made a layup, Siva made a nice jumper at the top of the key and then followed with a layup. Just like that, the Cardinals were off on a 20-4 run that sealed the victory.
Michigan represents Big Ten in Final Four
ARLINGTON, Texas — Trey Burke and Michigan had the perfect response for everyone who said they were too young or not tough enough to make it all the way to Atlanta.The championship trophy for the South Region is headed back to Ann Arbor, while another fabulous group of young Wolverines is going to the Final Four.Led by Burke and sharp-shooting guard Nik Stauskas, one of three freshmen starters, Michigan controlled Florida from start to finish in a 79-59 win Sunday.“It means the world 20 years has passed and we haven’t been on that stage yet,” said Tim Hardaway Jr., the junior elder statesman in the starting lineup.The last time Michigan made it this far was the Fab Five era of the early 1990s, what until now had been considered the program’s glory years.Might be time to start rethinking that.Once they got ahead Sunday, the Wolverines (30-7) maintained a double-digit lead against the experienced Gators (29-8), who won the regular-season title in the Southeastern Conference, but lost in a regional final for the third straight year.“We’ve almost become numb to it now. Been here before,” Gators junior center Patric Young said. “I just really wish we were out there cutting the nets down.”Stauskas scored 22 points while making all six of his 3-pointers. Burke, the South Region’s most outstanding player, scored 15 points, and 6-foot-10 freshman Mitch McGary had 11 points and nine rebounds. When the game ended, Burke and several of his teammates went to the opposite side of the court toward Michigan fans behind press row with fingers raised. Fans were chanting, “It’s great to be a Michigan Wolverine!”And great to be young. “Seeing it all come together, I don’t what to say,” sixth-year Wolverines coach John Beilein said. “I’m a little bit speechless.”Michigan hadn’t reached the Final Four since consecutive finals appearances in 1992 and 1993, the freshman and sophomore seasons of the Fab Five Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Ray Jackson and Jimmy King.Webber was gone before that team’s 1994 regional final loss to Arkansas played in the now-demolished Reunion Arena in Dallas, and Howard followed him to the NBA after that.With four wins in this NCAA tourney, the Wolverines already have more tournament victories than their total from the end of the Fab Five era to this season. They had one win in 1998, and then didn’t even make the field again until 2009. Burke is from Columbus, Ohio, and grew up an Ohio State football fan while rooting for Duke basketball. The sophomore still knew of the Wolverines’ history and isn’t surprised to be back in the Final Four again so quickly after arriving in Ann Arbor.“I said it in the summer and the coaches kind of got on me saying we can be national championship contenders. But that was coming from my heart,” said Burke, surrounded by the sons of three former NBA players. “I knew once we put the talent with the toughness and execution, then I knew this team could be special. We’re coming together at the right time.”Despite being the only team to make regional finals each of the last three seasons, the Gators haven’t been to the Final Four since winning consecutive national titles in 2006 and 2007 for coach Billy Donovan.Kenny Boynton and Erik Murphy, the four-year seniors who came in not long after those titles, will leave without one of their own. They were part of the only Gators class to win consecutive outright SEC regular-season championships, but came up short in the biggest games. Florida is the first team to make it to three consecutive regional finals without winning at least one of them, according to STATS LLC. Wyoming lost in the round of eight from 1947-49, but that stretch ended two years before the NCAA tournament expanded to more than eight teams. “I feel more upset for Boynton, (Mike) Rosario and Murphy, who don’t get a chance and have come so close,” Donovan said. “This one, we didn’t play well enough or deserve to win.”
Sox’ Sale set for first opening-day start
Chris Sale is pumped up for his first opening-day start with the White Sox, which comes Monday against the Royals. The Sox struggled against Kansas City last season, so Sale is hoping to set a positive tone.
Cubs’ Lillibridge to start at second in place of injured Barney
The Cubs likely will announce that Gold Glove second baseman Darwin Barney is going on the disabled list because of a nasty gash to the knee, an injury he suffered Saturday in Houston. Former White Sox utility man Brent Lillibridge is likely to take over at second while Barney recovers.
Blackhawks smoke Wings 7-1
DETROIT — Brandon Saad had two goals and an assist and Dave Bolland scored twice in the Blackhawks’ 7-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.Jonathan Toews added a goal and two assists and Jeremy Morin and Nick Leddy, also scored for Chicago. Cory Crawford made 33 saves.Cory Emmerton scored Detroit’s goal. Jimmy Howard was pulled in favor of Jonas Gustavsson early in the second period. Gustavsson made nine saves.Chicago led 3-0 at the end of the first period after scoring on its first three shots in a 1:39 span in the game’s first four-and-a-half minutes.Morin, who was recalled from the minor leagues on Saturday, opened the scoring when he put one in from a goal-mouth scramble at 2:33. Saad capitalized on a breakaway off left wing to beat Howard, for his fifth goal of the season, 48 seconds later and Bolland was credited with his first goal of the game, at 4:12, when Detroit defenseman Jakub Kindl accidentally flipped the puck into his own net while trying to clear it from the crease.The Red Wings didn’t manage a shot until 7:15 into the game and Detroit defenseman Brian Lashoff hit the goal post with a little under two minutes left in the opening period.Toews and Saad scored eight seconds apart early in the second period for a 5-0 lead.Toews got his 17 goal, at 3:52. That sent Howard to the showers and Saad collected his sixth goal of the season at 4:00, on the first shot on Gustavsson.Bolland’s second goal of the game and seventh of the season came 7:55 into the third. Leddy got his sixth goal, with 3:39 left. Emmerton thwarted Crawford’s shutout bid with 33 seconds left.
Our baseball experts’ predictions for 2013
Our baseball experts (Cubs writer Bruce Miles, Sox writer Scot Gregor, columnists Mike Imrem and Barry Rozner, and sports writer Mike Spellman) offer their picks for the 2013 MLB season. Here are their lists for the American League divisions and playoffs, and the National League divisions and playoffs, and the World Series winner.
Spiegel takes a swing at the return of baseball
After a successful World Baseball Classic, Matt Spiegel is ready for more baseball, and he has plenty of targets to watch this spring on both sides of town. Check out which players will be under his gaze, and why.
Bedford Park indoor farm goes 'mega'
Farming in abandoned warehouses has become a hot trend in the Midwest — with varying degrees of success — as more entrepreneurs worldwide experiment with indoor growing systems in attempts to grow more food locally. Now one facility, FarmedHere LLC in Bedford Park is attempting to take indoor warehouse farming to the "mega farm" level, in a region of the country known more for its massive hog, corn and soybean farms than for crops of boutique greens.
Louisville Slugger rolls out new logo, harder bats
The familiar smell of hot dogs and freshly cut grass on Major League Baseball's Opening Day will be complemented by changes to the iconic Louisville Slugger bat, which is now made with firmer wood and stamped with a new logo. The 129-year-old manufacturer hopes the harder bat, which is less likely to splinter, and more modern logo will help the family-owned company stay relevant in the sporting good supply market and ahead of competitors in luring younger ballplayers to its products.
Tech firms bumping up perks to recruit, retain
Apple's ring-shaped, gleaming "Spaceship Headquarters" will include a world class auditorium and an orchard for engineers to wander. Google's new Bay View campus will feature walkways angled to force accidental encounters. Facebook, while putting final touches on a Disney-inspired campus including a Main Street with a B-B-Q shack, sushi house and bike shop, is already planning an even larger, more exciting new campus. More than ever before, Silicon Valley firms want their workers at work.
Rising dollar could hurt earnings in short term
The dollar is rising again. After a drop last autumn, the U.S. dollar has climbed 5 percent against other currencies over the past two months, reaching the highest level since August. The main reason is the U.S. economy. Although growth is still weak, the outlook for the U.S. is better than elsewhere in the developed world.
Marketing studies help craft health overhaul pitch
How do you convince millions of average Americans that one of the most complex and controversial programs devised by government may actually be a good deal for them? With the nation still split over President Barack Obama's health care law, the administration has turned to the science of mass marketing for help in understanding the lives of uninsured people, hoping to craft winning pitches for a surprisingly varied group in society.
Gypsies flock to bridal fair as parents negotiate
Love's not exactly for sale at the gypsy "bridal market," but in the litter-strewn parking lot that hosts the fair, amid blaring Gypsy pop and saucy flirtation, negotiations are churning quietly behind the scenes as families weigh their financial compatibility along with the merits of the prospective bride.
Washington, Colorado bars test limits of legal pot laws
Stonegate bar in Washinton is one of a tiny number of bars, cafes and private clubs catering to the stoner class in Washington and Colorado since voters last fall made them the first states to legalize marijuana for adults over 21. Both states bar the public use of marijuana — which typically would include bars and restaurants — and most bars are steering clear of allowing pot use at least until officials come up with rules for the new weed industry.
Ratings dip but ‘American Idol’ gets the ads
In the heyday of "American Idol," the notion that it could fall ratings victim to a zombie slugfest or standard crime drama would have been laughable. That was then. With Fox's singing contest shedding about 20 percent of its audience so far this season, but it is managing to hit the right notes with sponsors if not always with fickle viewers.
Is telecommuting a good option for you?
Ever since Marissa Mayer, chief executive of Yahoo, came out with her mandate regarding "returning to the office" (no more telecommuting) starting this summer, a huge debate has been restarted regarding the value of flexible work arrangements. As many have said, the timing seems odd since more and more firms have used telecommuting, and in fact, many of the companies rated among the best to work for by Fortune allow telecommuting for many of their employees.
Small business squabbles over paid sick time laws
There's a great divide among business owners over the issue of paid sick time. On one side are opponents who say paid sick time creates financial and administrative burdens for businesses that are struggling with a still recovering economy and uncertainty about health care costs and federal budget cuts. Others argue that it makes for a happier workplace and encourages employees to stay home instead of coming to work and infecting everyone around them.
Analysis of Obama’s campaign promises on health care
Health care was the defining political battle of President Barack Obama's first term, and — after the economy— it remains his most complicated policy challenge at home, central to his place in history. Fixing the system is a tall order as "Obamacare's" major coverage expansion takes effect this year and next. Here's a look at Obama's campaign promises -- and what he's doing and not doing to keep them.
Scooter ads face scrutiny from gov’t. doctors
TV ads show smiling seniors enjoying an "active" lifestyle on a motorized scooter, taking in the sites at the Grand Canyon, fishing on a pier and high-fiving their grandchildren at a baseball game. The commercials have driven the nearly $1 billion U.S. market for power wheelchairs and scooters. But the spots also have drawn scrutiny those who say they create the false impression that scooters are a convenient means of transportation rather than a medical necessity.
Complain if chemicals at work bother you
Q: Recently my department moved to a different work space, and I’ve been sitting in a cubicle two feet from a large-capacity printer. Almost immediately, I noticed the constant smell of toner and chemicals, which has given me daily headaches. I have never raised a fuss about anything at work and am generally a conflict-avoidant person. But breathing in chemicals 40 hours a week is not OK with me.The easy fix would be to move me (not possible at the moment) or the printer to another location. It’s not even my department’s printer. I’ve talked to people, trying to find a solution -- they don’t know where to move the printer, and, of course, others don’t want it next to their cubicles. The administrator agreed to turn off the printer temporarily. I’ve felt much better, but I have no idea what will happen next.To make matters worse, while the printer is off, people in the department assigned to that printer are now having to walk a bit farther to another one. They complain to people in my department and confront me about it. I stand my ground politely, but I’m flabbergasted as to why this is such a big deal. Any suggestions on how to respond?A: “I dearly regret the inconvenience I’ve caused you,” in your wheeziest Victorian-heroine-perishing-of-consumption voice.Your perambulation-averse co-workers may think the pain is all in your head. I don’t. Regarding indoor air quality, the federal agencies devoted to occupational health and safety have noted that office equipment can release chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, which may be irritating or even toxic, depending on concentration and length of exposure. The good news, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), is that the concentrations generally found in office work environments fall far below limits set for industrial exposure. Furthermore, a chemical’s odor doesn’t necessarily correlate to health risk.But it sounds as though you are sensitive to whatever concentration of chemicals the printer is emitting. So don’t back down. Direct your boss to information published by NIOSH and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, get checked by a doctor, and keep (politely) making a stink until this is resolved. You might want to try enlisting the gripers in your cause. When they confront you, say: “I’ve asked about moving me away or moving the printer closer to you, which would solve both our problems. But I’m being told that’s not possible. You’ll have to ask (whoever can get this fixed) about it.”With luck, the company will buy them a low-emission printer. Then, they can turn to griping about learning to use it.Ÿ Miller has written for and edited tax publications for 16 years, most recently for the accounting firm KPMG’s Washington National Tax office.
Life & Entertainment
‘G.I. Joe’ commands No. 1 at box office with $41M
“G.I. Joe: Retaliation,”the action film starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Bruce Willis and Channing Tatum as the gun-toting military toys brought to life, marched into the No. 1 position at the weekend box office, earning $41.2 million, according to studio estimates. “Retaliation” opened Wednesday at midnight, which helped bring its domestic total to $51.7 million.
On the road: Contemporary dance steps it up
Four leading Chicago contemporary dance companies, The Dance COLEctive, Hedwig Dances, Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre and Zephyr Dance, have formed a new partnership called FlySpace, which will perform a FlySpace Dance Series starting next weekend. Also, Starved Rock State Park will be hosting a special waterfall and canyon tour.
Past cheating episode is but a tree in the forest
Q. I cheated on my ex. I'm extremely ashamed of this part of my past. I understand now why I did it: to avoid facing a painful reality, and to avoid sharing my feelings with my ex because I was afraid of his reaction. I've grown immensely since then.
Sunday picks: See 'Wlly Wonka' on the big screen
Top off your Easter Sunday sugar rush with a special screening of the 1971 film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” There will be candy, a film costume contest and goody bags at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago. Spend a day with the animals at Brookfield Zoo today. Jaripeo de Oro features Latin acts like Los Rieleros del Norte and Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizarraga Sunday at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates.
Finding the right light
Choosing a lamp seems simple. But the number of decisions that go into it can be daunting. "People get confused about sizing, if the style is going to fit the room, if it's going to give off the right amount of light, all the different price points," says Zoe Feldman, a Washington interior designer. All those factors can add up to a stunning space — or one that's significantly lacking. "Without the proper lighting, the space is sort of dead," she says. We asked Feldman and others for their advice on the right lighting styles, shades and hanging heights to bring a room back to life. Though they disagreed on some things, there was at least one rule they all agreed on: To have your home ready for any kind of moment or mood, every light should be on a dimmer.
Notebaert exhibit offers food for thought
While consumers have become increasingly interested in where the food they eat comes from, tracing that path can be daunting. "Food: The Nature of Eating," at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, aims to help "There are some elements of food that we instinctively understand and this exhibit fills in the blanks," said Steve Sullivan, the museum's senior curator of urban ecology.
Charlotte Church back with new material, tour
n terms of chronological age, Charlotte Church — at just 27 — is probably too young for a comeback tour and album. But launching a second act can be tough when you charmed the world at 12. Now she's emerged from her basement studio in Wales — a hangout for local songwriters and musicians — with a wealth of new material she's releasing in the United States on CD.
Concerns grow along with Antarctica tourism
Across most of Earth, a tourist attraction that sees 35,000 visitors a year can safely be labeled sleepy. But when it's Antarctica, every footstep matters. Tourism is rebounding here five years after the financial crisis stifled what had been a burgeoning industry. And it's not just retirees watching penguins from the deck of a ship. Visitors are taking tours inland and even engaging in "adventure tourism" like skydiving and scuba diving under the ever-sunlit skies of a Southern Hemisphere summer.
Editorial: Wheeling should settle with special-needs development
The U.S. District Judge hearing the lawsuit over the village of Wheeling's rejection of Philhaven, an apartment building proposed for mentally ill and disabled residents, has, in so many words, told the village it is going to lose. The ruling has given Wheeling room to settle, and the village would be wise to use it.
Editorial: Liberty values candidacies, it does not block them
A Daily Herald editorial argues that it is time for the Illinois General Assembly to simplify the process of filing petitions to run for office and to enact safeguards that ensure that those with conflicts of interest are not put in position to judge challenges to those petitions.
Local primaries make case for less democracy
About that February primary. The weather was lousy, the turnout awful, the expense excessive. And many people didn't have anything to vote on. Why continue with such a system? wonders Jim Davis, news director for the DuPage and Fox Valley editions.
Hope springs with spring
Columnist Donna Brazile: Today I see the promise of the American "can-do" spirit that clung on during the long, hard years of the recession, bursting into bloom. I see a renewing of our national values, a resurgence of compassion for the poor, a reviving of our American dream; working together regardless of differences for our common good. I love spring. I love this spring especially. It's bringing hope reborn.
Polarized by faith
Columnist Michael Gerson: America is not a secularized country. But the relative decline of institutional religion has public consequences.
School candidate has shown commitment
A Hawthorn Woods letter to the editor: I would like to make you aware of the upcoming Lake Zurich School District 95 Board of Education election on April 9. Eileen Maloney is a worthy candidate for this position.
Mayor candidate is right for Mundelein
A Mundelein letter to the editor: I want to tell you why it is my hope that Wally Frasier will be elected as the next mayor of the Village of Mundelein.
GOP chair out of step with party
A Palatine letter to the editor: If the Republican Party ever needed a strong, unifying leader it is now — not someone who is speaking off the cuff. If anyone thinks this gay marriage issue is not on the minds of millions of citizens just ask your local representatives how many phone calls, emails, texts, tweets and letters they are getting.
Changing minds and words a bad mix
A Palatine letter to the editor: Columnist Donna Brazile is concerned with the developing changes in the Clinton family from 1992 to present ("The Clinton family's evolution on gay marriage," March 26). The manner in which Ms. Brazile words her piece prompted me to check several definitions of the word "evolve." I was surprised to see so many loosely scripted definitions of the word "evolve."
Leave Christianity out of gun argument
A Carol Stream letter to the editor: Mr. Teune's letter titled "Armed society not a Christian society" missed the mark on a number of bullet points. His opening premise is erroneous, stating that, "The Founding Fathers of our country designed the U.S. Constitution to form a strong central government."
A candidate for all of Wheaton
A Wheaton letter to the editor: We attended a coffee for Phil Suess recently, listened to Phil and his responses to the many questions that the guests had and was impressed by the knowledge of all the various aspects of the issues and concerns of the attendees.
How can we trust virtual school plan?
I have attended the board meetings at school District 159 in Aurora and District 101 in Batavia to hear representatives from K12 Inc. and the Virtual Charter School present their proposal to open a charter school in the Fox Valley. These representatives — including Eric Kohn, Virtual Charter School treasurer, and Tamara Carpenter, K12 Inc. VP of School Development — cannot seem to answer vital questions about finances, special education ELL students, student retention and grades that were sent to them in advance. It was apparent that both school boards and administrations had spent countless hours preparing these questions and researching the organizations, and taking this matter as seriously as they should. On the other hand, K12 and the Virtual Charter School were unprepared and uninformed.If they can’t prepare to defend their reasons why they should be allowed divert tax dollars from local schools to fund a virtual charter school, run by a for-profit organization in this area, then how can we believe that they can manage a school to educate our students?Howard MillerBatavia
Candidate won’t just stand around
A Fox River Grove letter to the editor: I am writing this letter in support of Tom Anderson for Fox River Grove Village Trustee. I have known Tom for many years as a fellow firefighter and as a friend. Tom is very personable and likes to do his "homework" before deciding on issues.
Educator should be St. Charles mayor
Educator should be St. Charles mayorMy wife Ann and I are endorsing Ray Rogina’s candidacy for mayor of St. Charles. As a former school administrator in St. Charles, I have known Ray during his entire teaching career. I sat across the table at times of contract negotiations as he was part of the team that represented the St. Charles Education Association. I found him to always be well prepared, articulate, visionary and fair.During professional conversations, Ray demonstrated keen listening skills and a straightforward manner when discussing sensitive and confidential matters. I believe his presence and engaging dynamics will permit this highly regarded educator to successfully relate to the residents and business community. These qualities will serve him well as the mayor of St. Charles.Robert A. GrahamAssistant superintendentSchool District 303 (retired)St. Charles