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Daily Archive : Thursday October 31, 2013

News

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    You can keep your grisly costume and gory movies. For true Halloween frights, nothing beats a scary story from master storyteller Jim May in the Woodstock Opera House.

    Whether it's Halloween or life, stories provide the thrills

    You can keep your grisly costumes and gory movies. For true Halloween frights, nothing beats a scary story from master storyteller Jim May. “The fear is inside you. It's not on the screen,” May says. “There's nothing like your imagination.”

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    Chicago families sue over soot from petcoke piles

    Four southeast Chicago families have filed a lawsuit against several companies, contending black dust from piles of “petcoke” — a byproduct of the oil refinery process — is consistently blowing into their homes.

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    Photo courtesy David Hollander Eighth grade history students at Kennedy Jr. High School in Lisle are learning about their school's namesake in advance of the anniversary of his assassination in November. In an after-school meeting, these students are putting together artifacts and news articles for inclusion in a display case recalling Kennedy's assassination.

    Dist. 203 Kennedy students learn of JFK through his words

    Who was John Kennedy?Ask a middle schooler two generations removed from our 35th President, and you might assume answers to range from a president to an unfaithful husband to a man who died of an assassin’s bullet 50 years ago this November.

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    Michael Buhrman, a senior reactor operator at Dresden Nuclear Power Plant in Morris who was convicted in absentia of aggravated vehicular hijacking, is now in custody, DuPage County authorities confirm.

    DuPage carjacker who fled country now in custody

    A nuclear engineer who was believed to have escaped the country after being sentenced to 40 years in prison for carjacking is in the custody of federal authorities. In addition, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued an order prohibiting Buhrman from working at the Dresden Nuclear Power Plant in Morris .

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    The Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 school board chose Daniel E. Cates as its next superintendent, effective July 1, 2014. District 211’s associate superintendent for administrative services will replace Superintendent Nancy N. Robb, who will retire after 34 years in the district.

    District 211 selects Daniel Cates as next superintendent

    The Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 board decided to hire its next superintendent from within by choosing Daniel E. Cates as its next superintendent.

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    Streamwood school staff save man with CPR, AED

    Some staff members at a Streamwood school are being honored next Thursday for using CPR and an automated external defibrillator to save the life of a delivery man.

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    A traditional Mexican “Catrina” sits at Mexico’s National Autonomous University during Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico City Wednesday.

    Mexican Day of Dead ‘Skeleton Lady’ spreads look

    Mexico’s elegant and classy “Skeleton Lady” is getting new attention more than a century after she was born, inspiring some movie and rock stars in the U.S. to don Halloween costumes based on the macabre figure that has grown to symbolize the Day of the Dead.

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    Cary man gets five years in fraud scheme

    Federal authorities announced Thursday that a Cary business owner was sentenced to more than five years in prison for an international fraud scheme.

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    Cook forest preserve engineer charged in kickback plot

    A former Cook County Forest Preserve District engineer faces federal bribery charges for, prosecutors say, accepting $10,000 in kickbacks for work performed at two district facilities.

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    An Alaska Airlines plane takes off Monday from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The modernization of the U.S. air traffic control system, one of the government’s most ambitious and complex technology programs, is in trouble.

    Snags set back air traffic control system update

    After a decade of work and billions of dollars spent, the modernization of the U.S. air traffic control system is in trouble. The ambitious and complex technology program dubbed NextGen has encountered unforeseen difficulties at almost every turn.

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    Frank Geu

    Venetian Village man pleads not guilty to shooting neighbor in September

    A Venetian Village man accused of shooting a neighbor with a gun during a night of drinking in September pleaded not guilty in Lake County court early Thursday. Frank Geu, 44, of the 36000 block of N. Alice Drive, was charged with aggravated battery, aggravated discharge of a firearm, and two counts of reckless discharge of a firearm after shooting a neighbor on Sept. 14 in the neighbor's garage.

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    Four suburban men indicted in bank fraud scheme

    Four suburban men have been indicted on federal charges in relation to a fraud scheme involving the sales of 26 gas stations in four states, authorities said. A fifth defendant, the brother of one of the other men, was separately charged with alleged tax offenses that came to light through the bank fraud investigation.

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    Glen Ellyn exploring property tax to help pay for fire company

    Seeking to address the revenue shortfall at the Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Department, village officials are exploring multiple funding options, including the possibility of levying a property tax on residents is on the table.

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    Ask a question, and let our School Checker answer
    Where are the public schools better -- in the city or in the suburbs? It’s one of the questions you can explore with the Daily Herald School Checker. Pick a suburb, any suburb, and pull up the school test results. Then pick Chicago and pull up the school test results for it.What you find may just surprise you. That’s only one of the things you can do with the Daily Herald School Checker at...

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    An official at the global chemical weapons watchdog says Syria has completed destruction of critical equipment for producing chemical weapons and filling munitions with poison gas.

    Israel strikes Russian weapons shipment in Syria

    Israeli warplanes attacked a shipment of Russian missiles inside a Syrian government stronghold, officials said Thursday, a development that threatened to add another explosive layer to regional tensions from the Syrian civil war.

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    Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, left, is greeted by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce of California, center, and the committee’s ranking Democrat, Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

    Iraqi PM: Terror ‘found a second chance’ in Iraq

    Terrorists “found a second chance” to thrive in Iraq, the nation’s prime minister said Thursday in asking for new U.S. aid to beat back a bloody insurgency that has been fueled by the neighboring Syrian civil war and the departure of American troops from Iraq two years ago.

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    Momentum builds for gay marriage vote next week

    After months of energetic lobbying, both sides in the Illinois same-sex marriage debate are ready for a vote next week that supporters say would fulfill a pledge by the sponsor to bring the issue back to Springfield.

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    Elgin not in bad shape, Institute for Truth in Accounting says

    Like in many municipalities in Illinois, Elgin’s pension funds are underfunded, but the city’s finances are overall doing OK, says Sheila Weinberg, founder and CEO of the Institute for Truth in Accounting. The group examined Elgin’s audited comprehensive annual financial report dated Dec. 31, 2012.

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    Antioch man charged with sexual assault

    Police on Wednesday arrested an 18-year-old Antioch man on charges he sexually molested a girl in July 2012.

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    Kane chairman sticking to guns on vetting of coroner increase

    Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen reiterated Wednesday that a request for more money by Coroner Rob Russell won't be voted on until Lauzen, the auditor and finance director review the reasons behind it. Lauzen says it amounts to a 12 percent budget increase, at the last minute of the fiscal year.

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    Man involved in Des Plaines standoff guilty of gun possession

    A Des Plaines man involved in an armed standoff with police last September pleaded guilty unlawful possesison of a firearm by a felon this week in Skokie. In exchange for his guilty plea, Matthew Weber-Mixon, 29, was sentenced to three years in prison, court records show.

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    Huntley village officials are seeking a potential developer to rehab the historic Huntley mill.

    Not much developer interest in downtown building

    Friday is the deadline for potential developers to submit proposals for possibly revamping the historical downtown Huntley mill. The village last year bought the former mill at 11801 Main St. for $115,000 as part of an ongoing effort to give its downtown a face-lift.

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    Tommy Lindsey holds a maple leaf he found that is almost as big as he is in Mount Vernon, Wash.

    Washington boy finds giant maple leaf
    While playing in leaves, a 4-year-old Washington boy found a maple leaf almost as big as he is.

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    West Dundee officials are considering putting more money into one of their programs that helps homeowners replace trees destroyed by the emerald ash borer.

    Village might expand ash tree replacement program

    West Dundee officials will consider pumping more money into one of its tree programs designed to help residents replace ash trees destroyed by the emerald ash borer.

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    Palatine man charged with sexual assault

    A Cook County judge set bail at $100,000 Thursday for a Palatine man charged with predatory criminal sexual assault. Authorities say Cory M. Mucy, 19, sexually molested a 12-year-old girl several times during April 2013.

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    Class action lawsuit filed over stolen health data

    Two Kane County residents have filed a class action lawsuit against Advocate Health, arguing the hospital network was negligent in allowing a July break-in at a Park Ridge office in which laptop computers containing health and other information for 4 million people were stolen. The hospital group won't comment directly on the lawsuit, but said it's taken steps to prevent this from happening again.

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    Hoffman, Schaumburg Jaycees hosting pizza contest

    Anyone interested in tasting pizza from a variety of places in the Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg area are invited to attend a pizza contest Nov. 7 hosted by the Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg Jaycees.

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    Fox Valley police reports
    A 2003 Chrysler PT was found burning at 9:51 a.m. Sunday on the 14N400 block of McCornack Road near Elgin, according to a sheriff’s report. The owner, a Gilberts man, told police the vehicle had been stolen.

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    Tri-Cities police reports
    Someone broke down a door to a home on the 34W600 block of Colley Drive near St. Charles between noon and 4 p.m. Monday and caused $100 damage to a safe, according to a sheriff’s report.

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    People are rescued from a home’s rooftop in Austin, Texas, Thursday after heavy overnight rains brought flooding to the area. The National Weather Service said more than a foot of rain fell in Central Texas.

    Texas flooding kills 1, prompts dozens of rescues

    One man was killed as heavy rains across Central Texas swelled rivers and creeks and triggered flash flooding Thursday, prompting dozens of rescues across a region that’s been dealing with a long, punishing drought.

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    Calculus teacher Laura Oeffling leads her class at Warren Township High School's Almond Road campus in Gurnee for juniors and seniors. Warren improved its Prairie State Achievement Exam composite score on this year's state report card.

    Report cards show achievement gains at Lake County high schools

    Lake County high schools made upward strides in the past academic year — some significantly — in results from the state's annual standardized test given to juniors. Educators credit, among other things, students for taking more rigorous Advanced Placement classes. Schools showing marked progress include Antioch, Lakes, Grant, Warren high schools.

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    David Martin, a physical education student teacher at Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School in Elburn, works with a kindergartner on a “building words” exercise during a time when all students in the building concentrate on reading and writing. Such exercises helped the school make significant progress on standardized testing.

    How one Kane County school bucked the odds

    Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School Principal Laura Garland says there is no "magic solution" to improving students scores on state-mandated standardized tests. Just lots of hard work and attention paid to how individual students are doing, which is how Stewart School moved backin to the win column with its scores documented in the 2013 state report card.

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    Gabi McCleish, left, and Kennedy O'Connell work on reading assignments at Algonquin Road Elementary School in Fox River Grove. The school's third-graders are at the top of students in the Fox Valley area “meeting” or “exceeding” state standards in reading and mathematics.

    Report card shows huge dips, some gains across Fox Valley

    Despite a significant drop in test scores, administrators at Fox River Grove School District 3 are happy the tiny district's roughly 500 students are doing far better than the rest of the state on standardized tests. The two-school district, like many others throughout the Fox Valley, faired poorly in the Illinois Standards Achievement Test with its composite score dipping 15.9 percentage points...

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    Former South Barrington cop pleads guilty to several felonies

    A South Barrington officer pleaded guilty to official misconduct, forgery and possession of a controlled substance Wednesday in Chicago. In exchange for his guilty plea to the felonies, Keith Baker, 31, was sentenced to 24 months probation and ordered to pay more than $1,400 in fines.

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    3 suburbs among ‘10 best towns’ in Illinois

    Three Northwest suburbs scored very well on a recent ranking of the "Best Cities in Illinois" by Movoto Real Estate, as Mount Prospect, Arlington Heights and Palatine were among those named to the Top 10.

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    Billy Varner

    Officials identify one of the women found dead in Antioch apartment

    Lake County coroner officials have released the identity of one of the two women found dead in an Antioch apartment earlier this week. The 82-year-old victim was identified as Dorothy Varner. Assistant Coroner Orlando Portillo said Varner’s cause of death remains under investigation.

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    A car crashed into a building Thursday morning in Arlington Heights.

    Arlington Hts. lawyer describes car crash into his building

    John Biestek was walking toward his Arlington Heights law office's library Thursday morning when his assistant stopped him in the hallway for a short chat. A second later, the law library sounded like it blew up.

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    Andres Lopez

    Police: Naperville brawl suspect says cop uniform looked like costume

    Police say a man who hit a Naperville cop during a downtown street brawl had a convenient and timely excuse -- he thought the officer’s uniform was a Halloween costume. Authorities aren’t necessarily buying it, though. "This guy had been drinking and was fighting in the street," Sgt. Lou Cammiso said Thursday. "How much credibility do you lend to that statement?"

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    Chicago police to have $93 million in overtime

    Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says the department expects to spend $93 million on overtime this year. He said the overtime was due to the creation of Operation Impact, a program that floods Chicago’s 20 most violent crime zones with police.

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    Aurora’s Healing Field of Honor officially will open at 1 p.m. Sunday and will feature 2,013 flags. Christine and Bruce Darby stand with the two flags for their children, Nathanial and Allison, who are both serving in the U.S. Air Force, during a ceremony last month to preview the event.

    Aurora to salute veterans with ‘Healing Fields’

    The Healing Field of Honor will feature 2,013 flags when it opens Sunday in Aurora to honor members of our armed forces.

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    Lt. governor presents college success guide

    Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon has unveiled her plan to help Illinois colleges and universities reduce costs and raise their graduation rates.

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    Naperville band to honor town founder with ‘Captain Joe Naper March’

    The Naperville Municipal Band is continuing the trend of honoring the city’s founding father with a march to be played in Joseph Naper’s honor Sunday at the ensemble’s annual fall concert at 3 p.m. at Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave. “I got the fleeting idea that we would close the concert with the Joe Naper March,” Ron Keller, band director, said.

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    Belgian pleads not guilty to violating export law

    A 36-year-old Belgian businessman has pleaded not guilty to trying to ship products that could be used in nuclear-related programs from a Schaumburg company to Malaysia, via Belgium.

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    State property inventory lacks basics, audit shows

    The Illinois agency that keeps track of all taxpayer property has such a poor listing of it that it includes only one of the state’s nine universities and omits one-quarter of the Prairie State’s 130 parks, according to an audit released Thursday.

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    Accomplice in bat attack sentenced

    A 22-year prison sentence was handed the woman who was the getaway driver for a man who used a baseball bat to beat two women, including a Northern Ireland exchange student who suffered severe brain injuries.

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    Chicago completes upgrade of 911 call center

    Chicago officials say a renovation of the city’s 911 call center will improve service and make the whole operation cheaper to run.

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    City notes success with Chicago Cultural Plan

    The city of Chicago says it has addressed more than half of the initiatives outlined a year ago in its Chicago Cultural Plan. The plan calls for making arts a core subject at Chicago Public Schools, providing tax incentives for creative industry startups and developing a large-scale new festival and permanent festival grounds.

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    2 downstate jails allowing e-cigarettes

    Two county jails in southern Illinois are allowing inmates to use electronic cigarettes, and other counties are considering it. Jails often ban inmates from smoking cigarettes, but White County and Saline County are letting inmates use the nicotine-infused vapor inhalers.

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    HGTV star coming to Arlington Hts.

    Meg Caswell, host of HGTV’s “Meg’s Rooms,” will appear at the AT&T store, 585 E. Palatine Road, Arlington Heights, from noon-2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2.

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    Historic Barrington home open to public

    Barrington will host an open house at the historic, 115-year-old White House at 145 W. Main St. on Nov. 17-18. The village plans to turn the house into a community/cultural center by Barrington's Sesquicentennial in 2015.

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    Arlington Heights library collecting books for charity

    The Arlington Heights Memorial Library is collecting books for kids ages infant through 16 a;ll during November. Drop them off at the library by Dec. 1.

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    Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is urging parents to check state and local sex offender registries before embarking on trick-or-treating tonight.

    Madigan: Check sex offender list before trick or treating

    Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is reminding parents to check the state's sex offender registry before sending kids trick-or-treating tonight. Madigan also noted that many county and local law enforcement agencies also keep sex offender registries online. Authorities will be doing compliance checks all night throughout Illinois at the homes of registered sex offenders.

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    Arlington Heights students enjoy school garden harvest

    The garden club at Thomas Middle School in Arlington Heights held its first harvest celebration this month to serve and taste the foods they spent the year growing. The event highlighted healthy and sustainable food that is easy for families to grow themselves, said school officials.

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    Teacher, administrator data not ready until January

    One segment of information usually included in the state report cards — demographic and salary data of teachers and administrators — is not yet available. Standardized test scores, class size data, student demographics and financial details were released Thursday. But information about teachers and administrators may not be ready until January, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.

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    Wauconda officials are trying to salvage a relationship with an agency that provides drinking water to part of Lake County.

    Wauconda still hoping to join water group

    More than a month after Wauconda was spurned by an agency that provides drinking water to part of Lake County, village officials still are trying to salvage a relationship with the group. “I think it’s possible,” Trustee Linda Starkey told the Daily Herald in an email.

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    Q&A with marathon winner Megan McClowry
    Q&A with Megan McClowry, a nurse from Naperville now working in Uganda, who won the Haile Gebrselassie Marathon in Ethiopia.

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    Jason Dolan, center, of Inverness, poses for photos after winning first place in the 2013 Haile Gebreselassie Marathon Oct. 20 in southern Ethiopia. The marathon had two divisions: one for elite Ethiopian runners, and one for foreign runners called the International Mass Marathon. Dolan won in the latter division. Pictured from left to right are race namesake Gebrselassie, third place finisher Esayas Yayneshet, Dolan, second place winner Simon Newton from Great Britain, and Ethiopian marathoner Belay Welasha. Not pictured is Megan McClowry, of Naperville, who won the marathon’s women’s division.

    Suburban runners win Ethiopian marathon

    Ethiopian runners have frequently won the Chicago Marathon. Last weekend, two suburban Chicago runners won the Ethiopian marathon. Jason Doland, 43, an engineer from Inverness, and Megan McClowry, 25, a nurse from Naperville now working in Uganda, both took first place in the inaugural Haile Gebrselassie Marathon Oct. 20 in Hawassa, Ethiopia.

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    Water pumps at the Central Lake County Joint Action Water Agency facility in Lake Bluff.

    Lindenhurst on track for Lake Michigan water

    Another key step in bringing Lake Michigan water to Lindenhurst has been cleared and pending actions are on track to move the process from discussion to design. The village has officially agreed to allow Lake County to establish a special taxing district to raise up to $46 millon to extend lake water to Lindenhurst, Lake Villa unincorporated Grandwood Park and Fox Lake Hills possibly by the end...

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    Employees of the Washington Navy Yard line up to enter through a gate two days after a gunman killed twelve people and was killed himself inside.

    Changes pursued in U.S. security clearance system

    Federal officials say they are retooling aspects of the nation’s security clearance system, including the process of re-evaluating the behavior of employees and contractors who have access to sensitive information, according to testimony at a Senate hearing Thursday.

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    Va. AG office: Tech gunman bears burden

    The Virginia attorney general’s office says a state Supreme Court ruling reversing a negligence finding against the state in the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech supports its contention that the gunman bears the burden of the killings.

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    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford tells to the media to get off his property as he leaves his home in Toronto on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013.

    Toronto police say they have mayor drug video

    Toronto’s police chief said Thursday they have recovered a video deleted from a computer that appears to show Mayor Rob Ford smoking from a crack pipe. Police Chief Bill Blair said he was “disappointed” after viewing the video, but that there was nothing in the video that would provide grounds to press charges.

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    Andy Coulson arrives at The Old Bailey law court in London, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. Former News of the World national newspaper editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson went on trial Monday on charges relating to the hacking of phones and bribing officials while they were employed at the now closed tabloid paper.

    UK hacking prosecutor: Brooks, Coulson had affair

    In a blockbuster declaration at Britain’s phone hacking trial, a prosecutor said two of Rupert Murdoch’s senior tabloid executives — Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson — had an affair lasting at least six years. Prosecutor Andrew Edis made the disclosure Thursday during Coulson’s and Brooks’ trial on phone hacking and other charges, the first major criminal case to go to court in the hacking saga.

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    State Sen. Kwame Raoul, a Chicago Democrat, will discuss Illinois’ fiscal crisis during a Nov. 18 appearance at Elmhurst College.

    Raoul discusses state’s fiscal crisis at Elmhurst College

    Illinois State Sen. Kwame Raoul will discuss “Illinois’ Fiscal Crisis: Decades in the Making” on Nov. 18 as a part of Elmhurst College’s “Fixing Illinois: A Great State’s Problems and Promise” lecture series.

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    Mental health treatment ordered for McHenry County man

    A 24-year-old man will receive inpatient mental health treatment after he was found not guilty by reason of insanity in his mother’s stabbing death.

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    Inmate who escaped from jail in Decatur recaptured

    After a four-hour manhunt, authorities have recaptured an inmate who escaped from jail in Decatur just as he was to begin serving a prison sentence for aggravated battery.

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    Wis. firefighters hope to carry heroin antidote

    La Crosse firefighters could become one of the first groups of emergency responders in Wisconsin allowed to carry a lifesaving drug for heroin users.The department is asking the state for permission to administer Narcan, an antidote given for an opiate overdose.

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    Ex-Milwaukee police officer gets guns returned

    A Wisconsin judge has ordered nine guns returned to a former Milwaukee police officer on duty disability retirement for mental health issues.

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    Dist. 204 moves elementary report cards online

    Elementary parents in Indian Prairie Unit District 204 can view their students’ report cards online beginning at 4 p.m. Friday as the district uses an Internet-based system for the first time. The system already allows parents to view attendance, contact information and class assignments, so “the natural progression is for report cards as well,” said Kathy Pease, assistant superintendent for...

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    Steve Ludwig

    Algonquin official picked to lead state arborist group

    The Illinois Arborist Association has tapped Algonquin’s parks and forestry superintendent to help lead the nonprofit organization that instructs its members on proper tree care. Steve Ludwig, an Algonquin employee since 1995, was named president elect during the organization’s annual conference last week.

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    Report: Snowden gets tech support job in Russia

    A lawyer for former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden says his client has found a technical support job at a Russian website.

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    China, other Asians angry over embassy spy reports

    China and Southeast Asian governments demanded an explanation from the U.S. and its allies on Thursday following media reports that American and Australian embassies in the region were being used as hubs for Washington’s secret electronic data collection program.

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    The organizer of a Texas hunting club’s planned auction of a permit that will allow a hunter to bag an endangered black rhino in Africa is hoping it raises up to $1 million for rhino preservation.

    Texas club auctions right to hunt endangered rhino

    Plans to auction a rare permit that will allow a hunter to take down an endangered black rhino are drawing criticism from some conservationists, but the organizer says the fundraiser could bring in more than $1 million that would go toward protecting the species.

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    Advanced Placement biology students, from left, Shannon Gavin, Chloe Swindells, Will Hoppe and Desdemona Alvarez use iPads to study evolution at Rolling Meadows High School. Rolling Meadows is among high schools showing increases in the number of students who meet or exceed state testing standards.

    Despite hurdles, some Northwest suburban high schools trending upward

    They're not typically among the highest performers, but several Northwest suburban high schools -- Rolling Meadows, Bartlett, Schaumburg and Maine East among them -- have shown marked improvement on standardized testing, according to state report cards released Thursday. “Every student comes in with different strengths and talents and we're all about taking each student as far as they can...

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    Algebra 2 Trigonometry teacher Alison Nardini of Warren Township High School Almond Road Campus. Warren improved on the Prairie State Achievement Exam on state report card.

    School report cards: Why more suburban schools are labeled failing

    More than 600 schools statewide joined the ranks of those failing to meet standards, according to the released today by the Illinois State Board of Education. Nearly 600 schools made the grade, while 3,169 are deemed failures, according to the state. A change in the testing and grading of those tests is behind the decline.

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    Rain continuing throughout the day is expected to create a soggy and wet Halloween, forecasters are warning.

    Rain expected to linger throughout the day

    Isolated storms and rain are expected to wash out Halloween this year. Most areas have seen about a half inch of rain fall overnight, and another inch is expected to fall into this afternoon.

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    Dawn Patrol: Cook Challenge winner; state school report cards

    Elgin man wins Cook of the Week Challenge. School report cards go live. Aurora man found guilty of wife’s 1990 murder. Gogo to move headquarters from Itasca to Chicago. Oberweis edging closer to U.S. Senate run. 8 Antioch students return to class after pill scare. Red Sox win World Series. Bulls pick up options on Teague, Butler.

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    Elizabeth Torres and Teddy Ritchie read informational texts in their third-grade classroom at Longfellow Elementary in Wheaton. Longfellow saw one of the smallest decreases in DuPage County in students who meet or exceed testing standards, despite the state's move to increase the cutoff scores necessary to qualify as meeting or exceeding.

    Some DuPage schools keep more scores above new benchmarks

    For administrators at many of DuPage County's top-performing elementary schools, the release each year of state report card data usually brings an extra reason to celebrate during Halloween festivities. But this year's data offers a more complicated story, as higher cutoff scores mean fewer students met the mark to be classified as meeting or exceeding state standards. “What used to be a...

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    Connecticut State Police lead children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., following last December’s shooting.

    Elgin event was sparked by Newtown, Conn., shooting

    Last year’s tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn., sparked conversations across the country about violence prevention. One of those conversations resulted in “Elgin: Safe City — Peaceful City,” a community forum open to the public from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Judson University. The forum is organized by the Coalition of Elgin Religious Leaders.

Sports

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    Alex Buhrow Larkin

    2013 Elgin Sports Hall of Fame Foundation Scholarship Winners

    Presenting the 2013 Elgin Sports Hall of Fame Foundation scholarship winners.

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    From left, current Elgin Sports Hall of Fame Foundation president Ron Lange, treasurer Dave Covey, past president Mark Sharf, and scholarship committee member Gus Vaughan pose in from of the Elgin Sports Hall of Fame’s Wall of Fame at The Centre of Elgin. The foundation will hold its 34th annual induction ceremony and banquet Sunday night at The Centre.

    Elgin Sports Hall of Fame Foundation has made monumental strides

    The Elgin Sports Hall of Fame Foundation has come a long way in 34 years. The ESHOFF was born in 1980, an idea actually hatched in the late 1970s by former Elgin Courier-News sports editor Stan Shalett and former Elgin Country Club golf professional Terry Carlson. Having been a Shalett protege at that time, I clearly remember Stan and Terry talking about the idea, but I doubt either of them thought 34 years ago the ESHOFF would become what it has — an organization that has awarded over $353,000 in scholarship money to Elgin area student-athletes, as of Sunday night will have inducted 158 people into the Hall of Fame, and has awarded countless Outstanding Achievement Awards.

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    Wheaton North quarterback Clayton Thorson runs for a touchdown against Glenbrook North.

    Images: Glenbrook North at Wheaton North playoff football
    Wheaton North hosted Glenbrook North in the first round of the IHSA football playoffs on Friday in Wheaton.

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    Fremd's Jack Albrecht and the rest of his teammates start to celebrate their victory over Palatine earlier this season. Fremd will host Niles Notre Dame Friday in the first round of the Class 8A playoffs.

    IHSA playoffs: First-round matchups with days, times

    Here are the first-round pairings for the IHSA state football playoffs with dates and times as released by the IHSA on Monday.

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    Cubs put up sign to test effect on rooftop view

    The Chicago Cubs briefly installed a mock-up of a large advertising sign at Wrigley Field to test its effect on views into the stadium from surrounding rooftops that are home to private clubs. The rooftop owners quickly objected after Wednesday’s test run, renewing their promise to file a lawsuit if the 650-square-foot sign goes up as planned in right field as early as next year.

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    Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake sacks Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton in the end zone for a safety during overtime Thursday night.

    Dolphins beat Bengals on OT safety

    Cameron Wake sacked Andy Dalton for a safety with 6:38 left in overtime, and the Miami Dolphins beat the Cincinnati Bengals 22-20 on Thursday night. On third-and-10 from the 8, Dalton retreated to the goal line and was tackled by Wake coming up the middle for the third overtime safety in NFL history. The officials signaled safety, and the call was upheld following a replay review.

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    Bulls guard Derrick Rose warms up before Thursday’s game against the New York Knicks at United Center.

    Rose definitely a dramatic work in progress

    Thursday started with concern over Derrick Rose's sore neck. It ended in celebration after he hit the winning shot in the Bulls' victory over the Knicks. Don't be surprised if the superstar point guard has some more ups and downs left in him during the season.

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

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    Minnesota men’s coach Richard Pitino listens to a question during the Big Ten basketball media day Thursday in Rosemont. Last year, Pitino led Florida International to 18 wins.

    Collins, Pitino bring common threads to new job

    Given their bloodlines and new jobs, Minnesota’s Richard Pitino and Northwestern’s Chris Collins have quite a bit in common. Both are in their 30s. They’re the sons of well-known coaches, and they already seem to have a bond heading into their first season in the Big Ten.

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    Bulls guard Derrick Rose, right, talks with center Joakim Noah during Thursday’s first half at United Center.

    Rough night for Bulls ends in triumph

    Derrick Rose’s official return to the United Center could have easily ended as a tale of failure. But he shook off a tough shooting night and drain a one-handed pull-up with 5.7 seconds lft, giving the Bulls an 82-81 win over New York.

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    Sam Breen fights for yards for Marmion during the Cadets’ win over Aurora Christian this season. Marmion starts Class 6A playoff action Friday when it hosts Fenton.

    Balanced Marmion ready for Fenton

    Speak with Marmion coach Dan Thorpe throughout the football season and you hear a lot about pulling guards.

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    Aurora Central counting on ground game

    Within its game plan Aurora Central Catholic won’t fool anybody. The Chargers will run the football.

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    Legend Smith ran for 166 yads in Aurora Christian’s first meeting this year against IC Catholic Prep.

    Aurora Christian hoping to get healthy

    Representing a school that repeatedly stresses its appreciation for the Almighty, the Aurora Christian football team has had ample opportunity to do just that. “This team has prayed more than any other team I’ve had, just because they’ve faced more adversity than any other team I’ve had,” said Eagles coach Don Beebe. The adversity has been a wave of injuries that have shelved quarterback Austin Bray, lineman Jonah Walker, receivers Noah Hagerty, Brandon Walgren and Noah Roberts, tight end Jackson Carpenter, linebackers Trevor Hills and Dan Clapp and defensive back Chase Tomney.

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    Grant coach Kurt Rous has stepped down after leading the Bulldogs to the state playoffs in six of eight seasons.

    Without a grouse, Grant’s Rous heads for the house

    Grant's Kurt Rous is the latest head coach in Lake County to step down to spend more time with his family. He revealed his game plan this week to Grant athletic director Dick Knar. Rous, a 1988 graduate of Grant who’s coached and taught at his high school alma mater for nearly two decades, directed the Bulldogs’ football team for the last eight seasons.

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    Antioch standout running back Griffin Hill is one of nine children, which has helped him forge a winning identity with the Sequoits’ playoff-bound football team.

    For Antioch’s Hill, thinking big just comes naturally

    Thinking big just comes naturally for Antioch sophomore running back Griffin Hill. He's one of 9 children but has found plenty of ways to stand out. He's a starter on varsity and he's carrying a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

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    St. Patrick, Geneva could be in a shootout

    In 2012, after Geneva missed the playoffs after eight consecutive trips, Vikings coach Rob Wicinski held the equivalent of a three-day minicamp. “They could have said, ‘I’m done, this guy’s nuts,’” Wicinski said.

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    Kaneland’s experience concerns Hampshire

    If there is something like a good loss, perhaps Kaneland experienced one Week 8.

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    St. Charls East ready for challenge at Stevenson

    Look in the mirror. That’s all St. Charles East coach Mike Fields will ask of his team after Saturday’s Class 8A first-round playoff football game at No. 6 seed Stevenson (7-2). Look in the mirror and said they left it on the field.

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    Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah, left, reacts after Derrick Rose scored a basket as New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler is at right during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013.

    Images: Bulls vs. Heat
    Images from the Chicago Bulls' home season opener at the United Center in Chicago against the New York Knicks. The Bulls won 82-81.

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    Lakes levels up, claims 3A regional crown

    Lakes’ young volleyball kids played like veterans again Thursday night. Sophomore Megan Behrendt pounded 16 kills, freshman McKenna Lahr added 8 kills, and sophomore Maddie Demo dished out 20 assists, as the Eagles defeated Grayslake Central 26-24, 25-22 to capture the championship of the Class 3A Lakes regional.

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    Game video: Elk Grove vs. Lake Zurich
    Elk Grove takes on Lake Zurich Saturday in the first round of the Class 7A playoffs. Follow the game here with video from High School Cubs, then come back later for the replay and highlights.

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    Game video: Aurora Central Catholic vs. Chicago King
    Aurora Central Catholic takes on Chicago King Saturday in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs. Follow the game here with video from High School Cubs, then come back later for the replay and highlights.

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    Geneva comes from behind to beat Batavia

    The modern-day Hatfields and McCoys traveled to Addison Thursday night to engage in their fourth girls volleyball regional championship in the last six years.

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    Game video: Montini vs. Morgan Park
    Montini takes on Morgan Park Saturday in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs. Follow the game here with video from High School Cubs, then come back later for the replay and highlights.

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    Warren savors one tough regional repeat

    The celebration that mattered most went off flawlessly. And there standing in the middle of McHenry’s East Campus court with fellow senior captain Allyson Mitchell, without a wobble, was Warren setter Rachel Ziegler. She and Mitchell smiled, cradling the regional championship plaque as parents snapped pictures. “We have so much heart and we want it so bad this year,” Ziegler, the three-year varsity player, said after the Blue Devils outlasted the host school 31-29, 25-19 to win the Class 4A McHenry regional Thursday night. It was the second regional title in a row for Warren (24-13), which will play Huntley in Tuesday’s 6 p.m. sectional semifinal at Belvidere North.

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    Game video: Waubonsie Valley vs. Naperville North
    Waubonsie Valley takes on Naperville North Saturday in the first round of the Class 8A playoffs. Follow the game here with video from High School Cubs, then come back later for the replay and highlights.

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    Game video: Naperville North vs. Plainfield Central volleyball
    Naperville North takes on Plainfield Central Thursday night for the Class 4A regional championship at Yorkville. Follow the game here with video from High School Cube, then come back later for the replay and highlights. Game time is 6 p.m.

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    Game video: St. Charles East vs. Stevenson
    St. Charles East takes on Stevenson Saturday in the first round of the Class 8A playoffs. Follow the game here with video from High School Cubs, then come back later for the replay and highlights.

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    Sycamore denies Kaneland regional title

    Kaneland got the start it wanted Thursday night in the Class 3A Sandwich regional championship game. The finish was another story.

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    St. Charles East rallies late at York

    It wouldn’t be Halloween without a good scare. With her team trailing York 23-21 in the decisive third game, St. Charles East girls volleyball coach Jennie Kull admitted a few negative thoughts started to creep into her head right before she called a timeout to rally the troops.

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    Rourke Mullins and Micah Coffey connected for a touchdown in Batavia’s win last week over Elgin and will look to put many more points on the board in its playoff opener Friday against DeKalb.

    Batavia won’t overlook DeKalb

    Batavia’s football success makes it tempting to look ahead in the Class 6A playoff bracket. Bulldogs coach Dennis Piron made sure that doesn’t happen.

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    Christian Liberty makes 2A sectional semis

    Christian Liberty took a class hike into the Class 2A girls volleyball tournament this year.The Chargers proved they were the class of their regional. With Vivian Barclay and Cassie Swiderek leading the attack and getting their cues from setter Jenna Pavlik, the Chargers defeated Woodlands Academy 24-26, 25-20, 25-15 for the championship of the Willows Academy regional in Des Plaines.

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    Stevenson’s Alexa Bykowski celebrates with Khaila Donaldson and the rest of her teammates after they beat Buffalo Grove in two games for regional championship at Buffalo Grove on Thursday.

    Stevenson reaches win No. 30, stops Buffalo Grove

    When it comes to regional play, Stevenson’s Tim Crow knows how to get the best out of his Patriots. They captured their fourth straight title and ninth in 12 seasons under their veteran coach on Thursday night at the Buffalo Grove Class AA girls volleyball regional. With the 25-22, 25-18 triumph over No. 11-seeded and host Bison, No. 3 Stevenson (30-7) advances to the Conant sectional on Tuesday night to meet No. 2 Carmel (31-7) in the 7 p.m. semifinal.

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    Pain in the neck doesn’t get Rose down

    The Derrick Rose injury watch returned briefly on Thursday. Rose revealed at the morning shootaround he suffered a neck injury at some point during Tuesday’s loss to Miami. So for a few hours, his participation in the home opener against New York was in question.

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    Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose talk a play over in the Bulls’s Thursday night win over the New York Knicks at United Center.

    D-Rose hits game-winner in Bulls’ home opener

    Derrick Rose made a baseline floater with 5.7 seconds left to lift the Bulls to an 82-81 victory over the New York Knicks on Thursday night in his first home game since he injured his left knee 18 months ago. Rose had 18 points on 7-of-23 shooting and committed four turnovers. But there was no doubt who was getting the ball after Tyson Chandler went 1 for 2 at the line to give New York an 81-80 lead with 10.8 seconds remaining.

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    St. Charles North survives scare from Wheaton North

    On a night celebrated by many for strange and scary occurrences, St. Charles North received a scare of its own by a feisty Wheaton North team at the Class 4A South Elgin regional championship game. Fortunately for the No. 2 seeded North Stars, the nightmare amounted to merely a scary dream, and they defeated the upset-minded No. 7 Falcons to advance to the Geneva sectional on Tuesday against St. Charles East. The North Stars won 25-18, 24-26 and 26-24, but both teams found itself digging down deep.

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    Upset not in cards for Metea

    Metea Valley’s Ellie Petersen believes her Mustangs team is right up there with a potent Plainfield North squad, but she won’t get another chance to prove it.

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    Harvest Christian makes it 3 regionals in a row

    The Halloween party they called the Class 1A Harvest Christian regional girls volleyball championship Thursday night at the Mitchell Swaback Athletic Center in Elgin was more of a trick for No. 2 Westminster Christian, and a treat once again for the two-time defending regional champion and top-seeded hosts. The Warriors (21-12-3) came out of the gates strong, splitting the first 18 points with the Lions, giving Harvest all it could handle in the onset. But from that point on, after Harvest coach Kim Floyd and assistant Kevin Sauer called for time and gave the squad a little chin music, the hitting duo of senior Sydney Doby (who was under the weather) and freshman Mikayla Robinson seemed to answer the bell and remind Harvest of who it really is. Doby and Robinson dominated the front line for 19 kills in the Lions’ 25-11, 25-9 regional title win over their west side Elgin neighbors. Harvest (26-11), a three-time regional winner, will advance to play Newark Tuesday at 7 p.m. in a sectional semifinal hosted by the Lions. North Shore Country Day takes on St. Francis de Sales in the 6 p.m. semifinal.

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    Burlington Central celebrates after defeating Genoa-Kingston for the Class 3A Genoa volleyball regional title Thursday night.

    Burlington Central rolls to regional title

    If the Burlington Central girls volleyball team ends the season in the same place it did the last time it won a regional championship, the Rockets will be happy campers. Exhibiting dominance from start to finish, Central rolled to a 25-15, 25-14 win over host Genoa-Kingston Thursday nigh to claim the championship of the Class 3A G-K regional. The regional title is the Rockets’ first since they finished second in the Class 3A state finals in 2008. BC (26-11) will take on Lakes at 7 p.m. Tuesday in one semifinal of the Burlington Central sectional. Lakes defeated Grayslake Central 31-29, 25-19 Thursday to win the Lakes regional. Marian Central and Regina Dominican square off in Tuesday’s 6 p.m. semifinal at Rocket Hill.

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    Waubonsie Valley gets 30th win, regional championship

    Waubonsie Valley left Thursday night’s Class 4A Bolingbrook regional final with its first regional plaque since 2010 and a school-record 30th win and can thank one particular element of its game.

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    Caroline Jenkins, left, Meg DeMaar, right, and coach Peter Mastandrea of Glenbard West celebrate their win over Schaumburg in the Class 4A regional volleyball final in West Chicago on Thursday.

    Glenbard West knocks off Schaumburg

    Glenbard West coach Pete Mastandrea takes comfort in the fact that outside hitter Natalie Schilling is only a sophomore. Schilling provided the bulk of the offense needed for the No. 1-seeded Hilltoppers as she finished with 15 kills in a 25-21, 25-13 victory over eighth-seeded Schaumburg in Thursday’s Class 4A regional final at West Chicago. Glenbard West (34-3) advances to Tuesday’s sectional semifinal at Geneva where the Hilltoppers will face Geneva at 6 p.m. Schilling’s 15 kills were part of a 29-kill effort by the Hilltoppers.

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    Bulls stories, notes, photos and graphics

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    Lake Zurich gets it going, bounces Barrington

    Getting their offensive attack going was not an easy task for the top-seeded Lake Zurich girls volleyball team on a rainy Halloween night Thursday in Highland Park. But after struggling to a narrow 25-22 victory over No. 9 Barrington in the opening game, the Bears really got the job done in the second game as they posted a convincing 25-16 victory over the Fillies to win a Class 4A regional championship. Lake Zurich (33-4) advances to the Conant sectional semifinals Tuesday at 6 p.m. against No. 5 Glenbrook North, which eliminated No. 4 Libertyville.

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    Crystal Lake South breezes to regional crown

    Crystal Lake South’s girls volleyball team had absolutely no interest in playing a third game. After winning the first game 25-14, the Gators trailed rival Crystal Lake Central 19-8 in the second game and a third game seemed inevitable. But, keyed by a 12-2 run, top-seeded South rallied to win the second game 25-23 and the Class 4A Dundee-Crown regional championship over second-seeded Crystal Lake Central Thursday night in Carpentersville.

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    Huntley avenges last year with regional title

    After letting a late lead slip away, Huntley was determined not to let it happen again. The Red Raiders dominated DeKalb in Game 3 from start to finish, wrapping up a regional title with a 25-17, 24-26, 25-13 win. Emily Westermeyer led the way with 9 kills in the final of the Class 4A Jefferson regional Thursday night.

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    Bears at Packers? In a word: HUGE

    Coach Marc Trestman appreciates the significance of the Bears-Packers rivalry, but that's not the only reason Monday night's game is important to his team.

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    When Bears quarterback Josh McCown faced the Green Bay in 2011, he hadn't started an NFL game in four years. This time, he's had more preparation with the offensive system and he has better receivers at his disposal.

    McCown more prepared for Packers this time

    Bears quarterback Josh McCown is much more prepared to face the Packers at Lambeau Field Monday night than he was two years ago.

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    Football: Scouting Week 1 playoff, Lake County

    Here's a look at the Week 1 football playoff matchups for the teams of Lake County.

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    Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones spikes the ball after catching 1 of his 4 TD passes last week against the Jets.

    Bengals’ Jones a fantasy game-changer?

    Marvin Jones and Kenny Stills have been two of the hottest receivers in the NFL. See why John Dietz is concerned about their short-term fantasy value going forward.

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    Girls cross country: Sectional scouting, Northwest

    Here's a look at Saturday's girls cross country sectionals involving schools from the Mid-Suburban League plus St. Viator.

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    Dom Garza of Wheaton North runs the ball during the Glenbard North at Wheaton North football game Friday.

    Planting the seeds of playoff change

    The power of change is a funny thing. There it is, right in the palm of your hand. Only you can’t see it. This week’s Eyes on Five looks at the power of change sitting in a bunch of palms right now.

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    Jacobs’ Bret Mooney (5) stiff arms Dundee-Crown’s Zach Thelen to pick up extra yards last week at Jacobs. Jacobs hosts Conant in Class 7A and Dundee-Crown travels to Oak Park-River Forest in Clas 8A in first-round playoff games.

    Scouting first-round playoff games in the Fox Valley

    Scouting first-round playoff games in the Fox Valley.

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    Carmel players celebrate their Class 4A regional final win over Glenbrook South on Thursday in Mundelein.

    Indeed, Meade and Carmel swiftly advance

    Of the 25 kills registered by his Carmel team on Thursday night, Carmel coach David Pazely seemed most proud of the team-leading 6 kills from Morgan Meade. “It’s because Morgan stayed after practice to work on hitting the ball,’’ Pazely said. “And now, she’s helped bring us a regional crown.” Was it even a half and hour? That’s how fast the 31-game winner from Carmel put away Glenbrook South to win the regional championship at home. Carmel blitzed the Titans 25-13, 25-12 and now will head to the Conant sectional Tuesday night for a matchup against Stevenson.

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    Daniel Spaccapaniccia of Naperville Central moves in to tackle Adam Milsap of Naperville North, right, during football action on Friday at North Central College.

    Scouting this weekend’s DuPage County football games
    A roundup of first-round football playoff games for the DuPage County coverage area

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    Boys cross country: Sectional scouting, Northwest

    Here's a look at Saturday's boys cross country meets featuring teams from the Mid-Suburban League plus St. Viator, Maine West and Leyden.

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    Hersey’s Eddie Miklasz has made a habit of stretching defenses this season. Here Rolling Meadows’ Kevin Adair makes a shoestring tackle in a matchup of Mid-Suburban East co-champs.

    Aerial partnership helps Hersey soar into postseason

    The quarterback-receiver combination of Jack Warner-to-Eddie Miklasz has taken Hersey to new heights. The pair has combined 52 times this season for 945 yards and 12 touchdowns. And that air show has helped lead Hersey into the state playoffs for the first time since 2004. The Huskies meet Fenwick at 7 p.m. Friday at Elmhurst College in a Class 7A matchup.

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    Owner of Breeders’ Cup Sprint favorite has savoir-faire

    Pucks and ponies? It doesn't get much better than that. Plus Bears, baseball and more in Spellman's Scorecard.

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    Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin isn’t happy with how his stint as Corey Crawford’s backup has begun.

    Blackhawks’ Khabibulin knows he has to be better

    Nikolai Khabibulin wanted to make a better first impression. But three games into his second stint with the Blackhawks, the 40-year-old goalie is a hot topic for all the wrong reasons. Khabibulin is coming off two poor starts, the second of which saw him pulled from Tuesday’s 6-5 win over Ottawa just past the halfway point trailing 4-2. Only Jonathan Toews’ heroics, where he rallied the team with a natural hat trick, prevented Khabibulin from losing.

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    Hawks winger Patrick Kane isn’t celebrating his minus-9 rating on the ice.

    Kane’s plus-minus rating is ... what?!?

    The number jumps out at you from the Blackhawks’ statistics page. Patrick Kane is minus-9. “Sometimes you get the tough breaks and other times there are probably plays I could make to keep the puck out of our net,” Kane said. “It’s a number that obviously doesn’t look good, but at the same time it’s not something that’s going to change overnight."

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    Scouting Week 1 of the playoffs, Northwest

    Here's a look at the first round of the high school football playoff matchups featuring teams from the Mid-Suburban League.

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    Game video: Conant vs. Jacobs
    Conant takes on Jacobs Friday night in the first round of the Class 7A playoffs. Follow the game here with video from High School Cubs, then come back later for the replay and highlights.

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    Game video: Dundee-Crown vs. Oak Park-River Forest
    Dundee-Crown takes on Oak Park-River Forest Friday night in the first round of the Class 8A playoffs. Follow the game here with video from High School Cubs, then come back later for the replay and highlights.

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    Abby Madden of St. Edward competes on the floor exercise during the girls state gymnastics preliminaries at Palatine High School.

    Presenting the 2013 Elgin Sports Hall of Fame Outstanding Achievement Award winners

    Presenting the 2013 Elgin Sports Hall of Fame Foundation Outstanding Achievement Award winners.

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    Anton Kossakowski

    Presenting the 2013 Elgin Sports Hall of Fame inductees

    Presenting the 2013 inductees to the Elgin Sports Hall of Fame.

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    Game video: Hersey vs. Fenwick
    Hersey takes on Fenwick Friday night in the first round of the Class 7A playoffs. Follow the game here with video from High School Cubs, then come back later for the replay and highlights.

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    Game video: Schaumburg vs. Chicago Schurz
    Schaumburg takes on Chicago Schurz Friday night in the first round of the Class 7A playoffs. Follow the game here with video from High School Cubs, then come back later for the replay and highlights.

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    Game video: Neuqua Valley vs. O’Fallon
    Neuqua Valley takes on O'Fallon Friday night in the first round of the Class 8A playoffs. Follow the game here with video from High School Cubs, then come back later for the replay and highlights.

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    Game video: Fenton vs. Marmion
    Marmion takes on Fenton Friday night in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs. Follow the game here with video from High School Cubs, then come back later for the replay and highlights.

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    Why the Sox looked West for new hitting coach

    The White Sox announced the hiring of hitting coach Todd Steverson Thursday. Steverson wants Sox hitters to lay off bad pitches and have "selective aggressiveness."

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    Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein still hasn't hired a replacement for fired manager Dale Sveum, and there are other issues and hirings to settle with his team as well.

    Epstein’s plate loaded with plenty of issues

    Cubs president Theo Epstein has not been heard from since the end of September. Not only does Epstein still have to hire a field manager, he has a whole host of other issues on his plate, too.

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    Nebraska women’s basketball coach Connie Yori listens to a question during the Big Ten’s basketball media day on Thursday in Rosemont. The Cornhuskers return four starters this season.

    Nebraska favored to win Big Ten women’s title

    Nebraska was picked to win the Big Ten women’s basketball title this season, while Penn State guard Maggie Lucas was chosen Preseason Player of the Year in a vote by conference coaches and media.

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    Michigan State’s Travis Trice drives against Grand Valley State’s Ernijs Ansons during an exhibition game on Tuesday in East Lansing, Mich. The Spartans are the preseason pick to win the Big Ten.

    Michigan State picked to win Big Ten

    Michigan State was a unanimous pick to win the Big Ten conference, and guard Gary Harris was selected Preseason Player of the Year, making it a Spartans sweep in a vote by conference media. With four starters back from a team that went 27-9 and advanced to the round of 16, expectations are again soaring.

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    Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany talks with reporters during a news conference for basketball media day on Thursday in Rosemont.

    Delany says power conferences hope to stay in DI

    Giving the power conferences more autonomy in a restructured NCAA could help address the “existential threats” that plague college sports at their highest level, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said. The five conferences — the Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC and ACC — don’t want to leave the NCAA or even form their own division, Delany said Thursday. But they need the power to make decisions that directly affect the financial and educational well-being of their athletes.

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    Notre Dame running back Cam McDaniel scores a touchdown against Michigan State during the second half of the Sept. 21 game in South Bend, Ind. The 5-10, 207-pound junior from Coppell, Texas, was given the ball on 12 of the final 16 plays of the game.

    McDaniel has become the closer for Notre Dame

    Some know Notre Dame's Cam McDaniel as the hunky football player whose good looks sent a photo viral and had female hosts of NBC’s “Today” show swooning over him. Before that moment of celebrity, McDaniel was primarily known as the back coaches turn to when they are trying to ice a victory for the Fighting Irish.

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    Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell will try to make life difficult for No. 4 Ohio State on Saturday.

    Boilermakers coach ready to face Buckeyes

    Purdue coach Darrell Hazell speaks reverently about the six seasons he worked for coach Jim Tressel, the longest stop so far in his 27-year coaching odyssey, the players he coached and what he learned in Columbus, including the lesson of not getting too emotional about these sorts of games.

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    Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde runs between Iowa defenders John Lowdermilk, left, and Anthony Hitchens during the Oct. 19 game in Columbus, Ohio.

    Ohio State’s Hyde makes up for 3 lost games

    Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde was suspended for the first three games this season. But he could very well hit 1,000 yards rushing. He’s certainly making up for lost time.

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    Worker Jake Miskin of Boston, right, laughs with Lori Leduc, of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, as she buys a 2013 baseball World Series champions shirt at a shop near Fenway Park on Thursday.

    Resilient Red Sox lift Boston in wake of bombings

    For fans, players and political leaders who celebrated the Red Sox’s World Series title with cries of “Boston Strong,” the championship provided a jubilant finish to a season that was shadowed nearly from the start by the April bombings at the Boston Marathon. “We needed this,” said Mark Porcaro of Boston. “They were an easy team to get behind because they stood up for us when we needed them most.”

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    Emily Carroll

    Tri-Cities All-Area Girls Volleyball Team
    Introducing the Daily Herald's girls volleyball all-area team for the Tri-Cities.

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    From left, Wheeling’s Luis Herrera, Jose Garcia and Fabian Acosta celebrate a goal early this season. Garcia’s knack for generating goals has the Wildcats in Saturday’s Evanston sectional final.

    Wheeling’s Garcia, Maine West’s Herrera leave their mark

    Maine West's Nelson Herrera and Wheeling's Jose Garcia co-captain the Daily Herald's all-area boys soccer team, chosen from schools in the Mid-Suburban League plus St. Viator, Maine West, Leyden and Christian Liberty.

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    Dazzling dunk video by Streamwood’s Marcus Lewis

    Streamwood native Marcus Lewis, a 6-foot-4, 185-pound senior guard for Eastern Kentucky, gained a reputation as a high-flying dunk artist in high school when he won the Chicago High School Classic Dunk Contest. Now his artistry and power has received national attention via aYouTube video of EKU’s annual dunk contest to start the college basketball season. Check out three dunks that earned him perfect scores from several EKU judges in the team's annual contest.

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    Rachel Minarick of Waubonsie Valley hits the ball over as Mikaela Mosquera of St. Charles East goes up to block in girls volleyball action on Monday in Aurora.

    Multiple skills made Waubonsie’s Minarick so valuable

    With one of the state’s top setters on the roster, Waubonsie Valley opened the 2013 season with a 5-1 offense designed to allow Rachel Minarick to get her very talented hands on as many passes as possible.

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    Frank Yallop, the new head coach and director of soccer for the Chicago Fire, has won two MLS Cup titles in his coaching career.

    Chicago Fire puts Yallop in charge

    The Chicago Fire introduced Frank Yallop as its new coach and director of soccer operations on Thursday, replacing Frank Klopas and Javier Leon.

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    Lake Zurich’s Kristen Walding, right, celebrates with teammate Kiley McPeek after winning a point in a matchup against Carmel.

    Forward, fast, for Lake Zurich’s Walding

    It’s the final season of high school volleyball for Lake Zurich's Kristen Walding. And yet another year where she has crossed over the 1,000 mark in assists. Walding is the captain of the Daily Herald Lake County all-area team after leading the Bears to the North Suburban Conference championship and a 31-4 regular-season record.

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    Mickenzie Andrews

    Girls volleyball: Lake County all-area team

    Here's a look at the Daily Herald's all-area girls volleyball team, reflecting the efforts of teams in the North Suburban Conference plus Carmel Catholic, Grayslake Central and Grayslake North.

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    Antioch’s Iven Hernandez drives down the field in Class 3A sectional semifinal play against Grayslake Central on Wednesday at Grayslake North High School.

    Antioch’s Hernandez takes starring role

    Antioch's Iven Hernandez headed into Wednesday’s Class 2A sectional semifinal against Grayslake Central with a school record-tying 32 goals to go along with 12 assists. Named all-state, the junior forward is the captain of the Daily Herald Lake County all-area team.

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    Gavin Amburn

    Boys soccer: Lake County all-area team

    Here's a look at the Daily Herald's all-area boys soccer team, reflecting the efforts of teams in the North Suburban Conference plus Carmel Catholic, Grayslake Central and Grayslake North.

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    Larkin’s Olivia Kofie watches her spike go past Elgin’s Emma Sirridge and Nikki Zimmer earlier this season. Kofie is the honorary captain of the 2013 Daily Herald Fox Valley All-Area team.

    Larkin’s Kofie about much more than volleyball

    Larkin senior Olivia Kofie made many fans during her four-year varsity volleyball career, the most fervent of which are a group of five and six year olds living in an orphanage half a world away. Kofie traveled last December to Accra, Ghana, with her father, Moses Kofie. He emigrated from Ghana to Elgin in 1987, once Olivia’s grandfather had become financially stable enough in the Elgin area to send for him. Moses eventually studied and played soccer on scholarship at Judson College, now Judson University. That’s where he met Joy, Olivia’s mother. Moses Kofie returned to Ghana with Olivia as part of a 16-person, two-week mission through the Two Pennies Ministry, which is affiliated with the First Baptist Church of Elgin. The group included nurses, teachers, coaches and construction workers. They constructed a new church and held medical clinics for the orphans and area widowed mothers. Moses taught soccer lessons in the afternoon heat. Olivia, who will choose between nursing and business when she begins her studies on an athletic scholarship at Western Michigan next fall, assisted with the nursing aspect of the mission. She took temperatures and checked blood pressure. All the while she gravitated toward the children and vice versa.

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    Sydney Doby

    Girls volleyball/Fox Valley all-area team

    Presenting the 2013 Fox Valley all-area girls volleyball team.

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    Eduardo Arellano

    Boys soccer/Fox Valley all-area team

    Presenting the 2013 Fox Valley all-area boys soccer team.

  •  
    Streamwood’s Nestor Ascencio, center, is the honorary captain of the Daily Herald’s Fox Valley All-Area boys soccer team.

    Streamwood’s No. 10 — Ascencio — was truly a 10

    By the end of the year, Streamwood senior center midfielder Nestor Ascencio will rack up accolades reserved only for those in the high upper-crust of the prep soccer game. Ascencio, who helped lead the Sabres to their best season in program history at 15-3-3, already has earned all-Midwest, all-state and all-conference honors and is likely to pick up his second all-American award in as many seasons. But for Streamwood’s unquestioned leader, all of it ranks a distant second to what truly matters most to him. “What meant the most to me was being able to spend time with my brothers on the field,” said Ascencio, referring to his teammates. “All I tried to do was do my part and do what I had to do to make this team win whether that was giving out an assist or scoring a goal. All that mattered at the end of the day is that we came out with the win.” Ascencio’s top-shelf play this year has earned him an additional honor in the form of being named the honorary co-captain of the Daily Herald’s All-Area boys’ soccer team. Dundee-Crown senior Ben Stone, who helped lead his team to an undefeated regular season and a Fox Valley Conference Valley Division title, also was strongly considered for the prestigious honor.

  •  
    Taylor Krage (7) and her teammates had a lot to celebrate this year including a share of the Upstate Eight Conference River Division championship and three tournament titles.

    St. Charles North’s Krage delivers dream season

    When Taylor Krage — or any outside hitter — goes up for a big swing to put away a key point, she has a lot of information to process in a very short amount of time.

  •  
    Alex Guillen

    Boys soccer: Tri-Cities all-area team
    Introducing the Daily Herald's boys soccer all-area team for the Tri-Cities.

  •  
    Rick West/rwest@dailyherald.com St. Charles East's Kevin Heinrich is the Daily Herald Tri-Cities all-area captain.

    Happy return for Heinrich, St. Charles East

    St. Charles East coach Paul Jennison has a favorite cliché, “If you don’t concede a goal, you cannot lose.” While it might be common sense, what isn’t common is the defensive play of St. Charles East senior Kevin Heinrich.

  •  
    Meg DeMaar

    The DuPage County Girls Volleyball All-Area Team

    Introducing the Daily Herald's all-area girls volleyball team for DuPage County.

  •  
    Mike Catalano of Lake Park plays again Fenton.

    Lake Park’s Catalano committed to being the best

    Three years ago Mike Catalano was just getting used to making his away around the halls of his new school, Lake Park.

  •  
    With Claire Waliczek setting things up for Barrington this fall, the Fillies earned a Mid-Suburban League championship and advanced to a Class 4A regional final.

    Waliczek extends Barrington’s fine setting tradition

    With three setters being named Daily Herald all-area girls volleyball captains from 1999 to 2012, Barrington has built quite a tradition at that position. When she entered Barrington as a freshman, setter Claire Waliczek didn’t plan on joining those three Fillies — Victoria Zimmerman, Lexi Zimmerman and Nellie Spicer. “I’ve always been used to setters not getting a lot of recognition,” she said. “It’s the big hitters who get that. And I guess I never thought I was good enough. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d join them.” Dreams do come true. So do chances of playing at the Division I level. Waliczek will arrive on the Mercer College campus in Macon, Ga., to play volleyball late next summer as the 2013 Cook County Daily Herald all-area girls volleyball honorary captain.

  •  
    Angelo Amato

    The DuPage County Boys Soccer All-Area Team

    Introducing the Daily Herald's boys soccer all-area team for DuPage County.

  •  
    Oyinkan Akinola

    Girls volleyball: All-area team, Northwest

    Here's a look at the Daily Herald's all-area girls volleyball team, reflecting the efforts of Mid-Suburban League schools plus St. Viator, Maine West, Leyden and Christian Liberty.

  •  
    Albert Arabik

    Boys soccer: All-area team, Northwest

    Here's a look at the Daily Herald's all-area soccer team, reflecting the efforts of Mid-Suburban League schools plus St. Viator, Maine West, Leyden and Christian Liberty.

  •  
    Boys soccer and Girls volleyball All-Area Team Captains for the Northwest are Nelson Herrera of Maine West, Claire Waliczek of Barrington, and Jose Garcia of Wheeling.

    Images: Daily Herald Soccer and Volleyball Team Captains
    Images of Daily Herald All-Area Team Captains in boys soccer and girls volleyball.

Business

  •  
    Dallas, Texas-based Ziosk has updated its tabletop tablet where restaurant customers can order food, pay their bill and even get entertainment while waiting for their meal. Chili's restaurants around the suburbs now offer the upgraded tablet with a touch screen and more features.

    Interactive menu devices hit suburban restaurants

    Regular customers of Chili's in Naperville, Rosemont and other suburban locations likely have noticed a new, upgraded interactive menu on their table. Instead of using a stylus, customers now can use a 7-inch Android touch screen Ziosk tablet to order some food or drinks, pay for the bill with its credit card reader, or even play games or watch pay-on-demand content for 99-cents per visit. “This has been designed to be a server's assistant,” said Ziosk CEO Austen Mulinder.

  •  
    More than 47 million Americans who receive food stamps will see their benefits go down starting Friday, just as Congress has begun negotiations on further cuts to the program.

    Food stamp cuts kick in as Congress debates more

    More than 47 million Americans who receive food stamps will see their benefits go down starting Friday, just as Congress has begun negotiations on further cuts to the program.

  •  
    Government safety rules are changing to let airline passengers use most electronic devices from gate-to-gate.

    FAA eases rules on electronic devices on planes

    Airline passengers won’t have to “turn off all electronic devices” anymore — they’ll be able to read, work, play games, watch movies and listen to music from gate to gate under new guidelines from the Federal Aviation Administration. But they still can’t talk on their cellphones through the flight.

  •  
    U.S. stocks fell, giving the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index its first two-day slide in three weeks, on speculation the Federal Reserve will scale back stimulus in coming months as investors assessed earnings.

    No October jinx this time for the stock market

    October, with its history of big crashes on Wall Street, didn’t scare off investors this time. To the contrary, the stock market seemed unstoppable. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed at a record high seven times and ended the month up 4.5 percent. The market climbed even after October began with the 16-day government shutdown and the threat of a potentially calamitous U.S. default.

  •  
    Dominick’s will close unsold stores on Dec. 28.

    Unsold Dominick’s to close Dec. 28

    Dominick’s supermarkets will close Dec. 28 if individual stores haven’t been sold by then, the company said in a memo to employees Thursday.

  •  

    Legislation would require Decatur jobs in ADM deal

    New legislation would bring jobs to Decatur as a condition for Archer Daniels Midland Co. to receive state incentives it wants to keep its headquarters in Illinois. State Sen. Andy Manar introduced an amendment Thursday.

  •  
    Mia’s Cantina in Mount Prospect is an Entrepreneur’s Cafe success story.

    Mt. Prospect reaches out to local entrepreneurs

    Mount Prospect will relaunch its Entrepreneur’s Cafe series next month, giving residents a chance to learn the ins and outs of opening their own businesses. The first Entrepreneur's Cafe led to the establishment of a successful downtown restaurant. “We knew that there were people in town interested in starting a business but who were either intimidated or confused by the process,” said Dawn Fletcher Collins, executive director of the Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce.

  •  
    The environmental concerns of “old coal” technology is enough of a concern that the U.S. Department of Energy said in a report Thursday that the FutureGen power project in western Illinois should go forward.

    Federal report supports FutureGen in Illinois

    Although a final recommendation is still pending, the U.S. Department of Energy said in a report that the FutureGen power project in western Illinois should go forward. The agency released the final environmental study on Wednesday. It says the project, whose cost is now pegged at $1.65 billion, would help meet the country’s long-term goal of developing diverse energy sources and do it without significant environmental impacts.

  •  
    Kraft plans to remove artificial dyes from three macaroni and cheese varieties that come in kid-friendly shapes, but the change doesn’t affect Kraft’s plain elbow-shaped macaroni and cheese with “original flavor.”

    Kraft to remove artificial dyes from 3 products

    Kraft says it plans to remove artificial dyes from three macaroni and cheese varieties that come in kid-friendly shapes, a move that comes as people increasingly reach for foods they feel are natural. The change doesn’t affect Kraft’s plain elbow-shaped macaroni and cheese with “original flavor.”

  •  
    President Barack Obama’s soothing promise that Americans happy with their health insurance could simply keep it was doomed from the start and everyone familiar with the market seemed to recognize that except the president.

    Promises, promises: A big one that got away

    President Barack Obama’s soothing promise that Americans happy with their health insurance could simply keep it was doomed from the start, and everyone familiar with the market seemed to recognize that except the president. Even his aides said four years ago, early in the huge push for his health care law, that he wasn’t to be taken literally on that point. But he kept making the promise, literally and forcefully.

  •  
    In this photo from 1987, William C. Lowe, then a vice president at IBM, poses with two of the company’s newest Personal System/2 computers at their unveiling in New York City. Lowe, who led development of the first IBM personal computer, died on Oct. 19 in Lake Forest, Ill. He was 72.

    Lowe, father of IBM personal computer, dies at 72

    William C. Lowe, who was credited with fostering collaboration within the computer industry and led the team that developed IBM’s PC, died on Oct. 19 in Lake Forest, Ill., of a heart attack, his daughter Michelle Marshall said. He was 72.

  •  
    Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell for the second straight week and are at their lowest levels in four months.

    Average U.S. rate on 30-year mortgage at 4.10 pct.

    Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell for the second straight week and are at their lowest levels in four months. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan declined to 4.10 percent from 4.13 percent last week. The average on the 15-year fixed loan eased to 3.20 percent from 3.24 percent.

  •  
    Oak Brook-based McDonald’s says it will test selling a variety of packaged ground and whole-bean coffee at supermarkets and other retail outlets starting next year. The test will also include single-cup servings.

    McDonald’s to sell bagged coffee next year

    Fans of McDonald’s coffee will soon be able to brew a cup of it at home. The world’s biggest hamburger chain says it will test selling a variety of packaged ground and whole-bean coffee at supermarkets and other retail outlets starting next year. The test will also include single-cup servings.

  •  

    Lowe, father of IBM personal computer, dies at 72 in Lake Forest

    The former IBM executive credited with helping to bring personal computers to the masses has died in Lake Forest. William C. Lowe oversaw the birth of IBM’s first personal computer, which was introduced in retail stores in 1981. He died on Oct. 19 of a heart attack. He was 72.

  •  

    Indiana GE plant job cuts trimmed slightly

    Negotiations between GE and union officials have slightly reduced the number of job cuts being made at the company’s southern Indiana refrigerator factory.About 130 workers at the GE Appliances factory in Bloomington will no longer have jobs effective Friday, although that number is down from about 160 jobs the company announced in early September.

  •  
    The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 340,000, a sign that employers are laying off very few workers.

    Fewer Americans seek unemployment aid for 3rd week

    The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 340,000, a sign that employers are laying off very few workers. The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average rose 8,000 to 356,250, the highest since April. The 16-day partial government shutdown and backlogs in California due to computer upgrades inflated the average.

  •  
    Facebook Inc. will limit news feed advertisements that have driven revenue gains and said younger teens aren’t using its website as much as they used to.

    Facebook to limit news feed ads to win back teens

    Facebook Inc. will limit news feed advertisements that have driven revenue gains and said younger teens aren’t using its website as much as they used to. The world’s most popular social-networking service gave up most of its 18 percent stock increase in extended trading after Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman said on a conference call Wednesday that news feed promotions won’t rise significantly.

  •  

    Japan ends ban on Wisconsin poultry products

    apan has lifted a ban on Wisconsin poultry products that was instituted after birds in Jefferson County showed signs of exposure to avian flu. A routine inspection done four months ago found some birds had antibodies to low-pathogen avian influenza, indicating they could have been exposed to the disease.

  •  
    The “White House Down” flop added to earnings woes at Sony Corp. in the latest quarter, dragging the entertainment and electronics giant to a 19.3 billion yen ($196 million) loss.

    Red ink runs at Sony again, cuts profit forecast

    TOKYO — The “White House Down” flop added to earnings woes at Sony Corp. in the latest quarter, dragging the entertainment and electronics giant to a 19.3 billion yen ($196 million) loss.The action movie’s lackluster box office performance, especially compared with last year’s releases of “21 Jump Street” and “The Amazing Spider Man,” contributed to a 17.8 billion yen ($181 million) operating loss for Sony’s pictures division, the company said Thursday. Sales for the July-September quarter rose 10.6 percent from a year earlier to 1.78 trillion yen ($18.1 billion), thanks mainly to the favorable impact of the yen’s decline against the U.S. dollar. Adjusted for the 20 percent drop in the value of the yen, revenue fell 9 percent.The company’s sales of digital cameras and video cameras fell while its television, music and smartphone businesses improved. Sony slashed its profit forecast for the fiscal year ending in March to 30 billion yen from 50 billion yen, due to weak sales and strong price competition.Rival Panasonic, meanwhile, said its quarterly profit improved to 63.3 billion yen ($644 million) from a 698.6 billion yen loss the year before. Panasonic, like Sony, has benefited from weaker yen. While its domestic sales fell 4 percent, sales overseas climbed 11 percent. Total revenue of 1.88 trillion yen ($19.1 billion) was up 3 percent from a year earlier after taking a hit from the sale of Sanyo businesses carried out in the current fiscal year. Panasonic raised its sales forecast to 7.4 trillion yen ($75.3 billion) and doubled its profit forecast for the fiscal year to 100 billion yen ($1 billion).

  •  
    A man watches an electronic stock indicator in Tokyo.

    World stocks sink on fear Fed will trim stimulus

    Fears that the U.S. Federal Reserve bank will begin cutting its stimulus to the American economy sooner than expected spooked world markets on Thursday, driving shares down. The Fed’s announcement that it would maintain its $85 billion monthly bond purchasing scheme was widely expected, and cheered, by investors. But the bank’s economic outlook was rosier than anticipated and could indicate that it will begin to reduce those purchases — a process known as tapering — soon.

  •  
    Italy’s jobless rate rose more than forecast in September to an all-time high as companies failed to hire amid concerns about the persisting recession, the longest since World War II.

    Italy’s unemployment soars to record

    Italy’s jobless rate rose more than forecast in September to an all-time high as companies failed to hire amid concerns about the persisting recession, the longest since World War II. Unemployment increased to 12.5 percent from a revised 12.4 percent in August, the Rome-based national statistics office Istat said in a preliminary report today. The September rate, the highest since the data series began in the first quarter of 1977, was above the 12.3 percent median of ten estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

  •  
    On Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, law makers in New York City voted to raise the cigarette-buying age from 18 to 21.

    NYC moves closer to tobacco-buying age of 21

    Young New Yorkers who want to light up will soon have to wait for their 21st birthdays before they can buy a pack of smokes after lawmakers in the nation’s most populous city voted overwhelmingly to raise the tobacco-purchasing age from 18 to 21.

  •  
    Lufthansa reports quarterly earnings on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013.

    Lufthansa profits slide amid restructuring

    German airline Lufthansa says net profit for the first nine months of the year fell 65 percent, to 247 million euros ($340 million) from 697 million euros in the same period a year ago. The company said restructuring costs and one-time effects played a role in the profit decline. It said Thursday it was making progress in controlling costs and that its passenger business — which includes Lufthansa, local carrier Germanwings, Swiss, and Austrian Airlines — improved their contributions to earnings.

Life & Entertainment

  •  
    Kenny Rogers brings his 32nd annual “Christmas & Hits Through the Years” tour with special guest Linda Smith to North Central College’s Pfeiffer Hall in Naperville on Saturday, Dec. 21.

    Kenny Rogers brings Christmas tour to Naperville

    Country star Kenny Rogers returns to the Chicago area with his holiday show "Christmas & Hits Through the Years" with special guest Linda Smith at North Central College's Pfeiffer Hall in Naperville on Saturday, Dec. 21.

  •  
    The Fender Stratocaster a young Bob Dylan played at the historic 1965 Newport Folk Festival could bring as much as half a million dollars when it comes up for auction at Christie’s New York on Dec. 6. The festival marked the first time Dylan went electric, a defining moment that marked his move from acoustic folk to electric rock and roll, drawing boos from folk-music purists.

    AP: Dylan’s Newport guitar to be auctioned in NYC

    The sunburst Fender Stratocaster that a young Bob Dylan played at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival when he famously went electric, perhaps the most historic instrument in rock ’n’ roll, is coming up for auction, where it could bring as much as half a million dollars. Though now viewed as changing American music forever, Dylan’s three-song electric set at the Rhode Island festival that marked his move from acoustic folk to electric rock ’n’ roll was met by boos from folk purists in the crowd who viewed him as a traitor.

  •  
    Yoko Ono says she’s thankful that Paul McCartney appears to have gotten over his grudge against her.

    Yoko Ono: ‘Thankful’ for McCartney’s comments

    Yoko Ono says she’s thankful Paul McCartney appears to have gotten over his grudge against her. McCartney, in a recent Rolling Stone interview, said he’s getting along fine with the widow of John Lennon, his old songwriting partner. The bad feelings had gone back decades, to when the Beatles were falling apart and other group members resented the appearance of Lennon’s new girlfriend in the recording studio.

  •  
    Two of Marvin Gaye’s children, Nona and Frankie Gaye, countersued Robin Thicke and his collaborators on the hit song “Blurred Lines” on Wednesday in Los Angeles claiming the singers improperly copied their father’s hit “Got to Give It Up.”

    Marvin Gaye’s children sue over ‘Blurred Lines’

    Two of Marvin Gaye’s children have countersued Robin Thicke and his collaborators on the hit “Blurred Lines” for copyright infringement. The suit filed Wednesday in a Los Angeles federal court accuses Thicke and fellow singers Pharrell and T.I. of copying Gaye’s hit “Got to Give It Up.”

  •  
    Claire Danes has been tapped to host the 20th anniversary Nobel Peace Prize concert in December.

    Claire Danes to host Nobel Peace Prize concert

    Claire Danes has been tapped to host the 20th anniversary Nobel Peace Prize concert in December. The Emmy-winning “Homeland” actress will host the Dec. 11 event in Oslo, Norway.

  •  
    Summer Naomi Smart stars as the “practically perfect” nanny in Marriott Theatre's regional premiere of “Mary Poppins.”

    Smart dazzles in Marriott's regional premiere of 'Mary Poppins'

    A few years ago, reviewing the national tour of “Mary Poppins” in Chicago, I wondered how Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire might re-imagine the show in the round. I got my answer Wednesday at the opening of Gary Griffin's cannily calibrated, wonderfully sung regional premiere featuring the ideally cast Summer Naomi Smart as the titular nanny. With her crystalline voice and no-nonsense demeanor, Smart makes it difficult to imagine any other Chicago actress in the role.

  •  
    For a dinner-worthy French toast dish, take entire bread loaf, slice it horizontally into thick planks and stuff it with ham and cheese.

    Ham and cheese-stuffed French toast fits into fall menu

    Because French toast is such a perfect fall dinner — warm and comforting — I kept the fillings savory with ham, cheddar cheese and turkey. But if you’d rather go sweet, you could substitute jam, peanut butter, cream cheese, fresh berries, even chocolate chips.

  •  
    For a dinner-worthy French toast dish, take entire bread loaf, slice it horizontally into thick planks and stuff it with ham and cheese.

    Ham And Cheese Stuffed French Toast Loaf
    Ham and Cheese Stuffed French Toast Loaf

  •  

    ‘Man of Tai Chi’ packs flimsy plot

    If for some reason you find yourself in a theater watching the martial arts adventure “Man of Tai Chi” — say, you’re on the lam from the cops, hiding out at the multiplex and all 13 other titles are sold out — feel free to take a nap during the non-fight sequences. You won’t miss anything if you drift off, but it’ll be hard to do anyway. Most of the movie consists of loud, visually dynamic fights, between Beijing deliveryman Tiger Chen — played by Tiger Chen — and a parade of international pugilists of various combat styles. In between is the flimsiest tissue of a plot.

  •  
    Kevin Kline, left, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Michael Douglas play childhood buddies on the loose in Sin City in "Last Vegas."

    Steenburgen trumps quartet of aging stars in Sin City comedy

    Consider “Last Vegas” a terrestrial “Cocoon” meets “The Hangover” for the AARP demographic. It stars Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline and Freeman as childhood buddies reuniting as seniors for a fling in Sin City. Then, the luminous, funny, self-deprecating and appealingly self-confident Mary Steenburgen purloins the movie and shows how underserved the men’s characters are here.

  •  
    Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) uses his ability to time-travel so he can get with Mary (Rachel McAdams) in Richard Curtis' romantic fantasy "About Time."

    It’s ‘About Time’ a romantic fantasy like this came along

    Richard Curtis’ “About Time” presents us with a full-blown romance between a couple, half of whom just happens to be able to go into a dark, quiet place, squeeze his fists and presto! He winds up in what ever place and time he wishes to be. Although a bit chauvenistic, the fantasy “About Time” is not about time at all, but about what we choose to do with time that makes all the difference.

  •  
    Shia LaBeouf stars as "Charlie Countryman," except this scene doesn't have Dann's name and a running digital clock at the bottom of the frame.

    Stop defacing screeners for the press to review

    We already say nothing about how cable and network TV devalue the movies by using them as backdrops for animated promos and station logos fixed in the corners of the screens. Now, movie distributors want to force critics to review visually altered versions of films that the public will not see. Dann says this is unethical, plus injurious to the art form. And he will not be a party to that.

  •  
    Gyptian, “Sex, Love & Reggae”

    Gyptian brings the heat on 4th album

    After the Nicki Minaj-assisted 2010 hit, “Hold You,” reggae star Gyptian returns with his fourth album, which is a subtle blend of dancehall, soca and R&B rhythms. “Sex, Love & Reggae” is a creative and courageous step away from Gyptian’s previous albums, and it has the potential to introduce him to new fans.

  •  
    Ender (the charismatic Asa Butterfield) plays a futuristic game of paintball blitz as part of Battle School training in “Ender's Game.”

    Visually stunning 'Ender's Game' really an ethics lesson in da-skies

    The idea that humanity banks its entire future on a some spunky junior high kids to win a potential intergalactic war with alien crustaceans borders on the ludicrous. Yet, Gavin Hood's visually stunning 2-D translation of Orson Scott Card's book “Ender's Game” neatly pulls it off with aplomb, with an appealing break-out performance by Asa Butterfield.

  •  
    Add lots of veggies to boost nutritional value of pizza. Also, be sure to fill half your child’s plate with pizza, and the other half with veggies or salad.

    Easy revamps for healthier pizza night

    When I’m talking with parents, they’re almost ashamed to admit how often they rely on pizza for an easy family dinner. Want to know a secret? We have a pizza and movie night almost every Friday night, and I love it.

  •  
    Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), right, meets Lucian Carr (Dane Dehaan) at Columbia University in the fact-based drama “Kill Your Darlings.”

    Complicated 'Darlings' awash in delicious ambiguities

    The phrase “it's complicated” appears more than once in “Kill Your Darlings.” And you better like things complicated to fully appreciate this film, starring Daniel Radcliffe as a young Allen Ginsberg. Though based on historical fact, the film is awash in delicious and difficult ambiguities.

  •  
    Diana, Princess of Wales (Naomi Watts), tries to escape the paparazzi in “Diana.”

    Mediocre 'Diana' no royal romantic treat

    Let's start with the relatively good news: “Diana,” a new biopic about the last two years of Princess Diana's life, is not nearly as horrendous as some of the reviews in her homeland may have led you to believe. (“Car-crash cinema,” one British paper opined.) Now the bad news: It's just not very good despite having Naomi Watts as Diana.

  •  
    Jenny (Amy Poehler) runs into big trouble in Jimmy Hayward's animated time-travel tale “Free Birds.”

    'Free Birds' serves up helping of fun

    Finally, there's a movie vegetarian parents can enjoy with their impressionable offspring. The animated adventure “Free Birds” follows a couple of modern-day turkeys who travel back in time to the first Thanksgiving and try to alter history, thus saving their brethren for generations to come. With some help from the vocal gifts of Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler and, to a lesser extent, Owen Wilson, the comedy offers even poultry fans a few pleasures.

  •  
    Designs from Jean Paul Gaultier are part of his Brooklyn Museum exhibit, “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk.” This is the first international exhibition dedicated to the groundbreaking French couturier.

    Voila! Brooklyn backdrop suits Gaultier exhibit

    Jean Paul Gaultier can barely contain his enthusiasm to be in Brooklyn. Make that his enthusiasm for New York. And life, in general. He recently christened the Brooklyn Museum exhibit “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk.” Being that this is Gaultier, keep in mind that this is no static fashion exhibition with gowns behind glass.

  •  
    One step the McMeinses took after Olivia came to live with them was to restructure their retirement income so they could leave enough money to cover college tuition.

    Grandparents raising grandchildren on the rise

    The Illinois Department on Aging says the number of grandparents raising grandchildren has increased dramatically in the last 25 years. The U.S. Census Bureau found in 2012 that more than 275,000 grandparents are living with their grandchildren in Illinois.

Discuss

  •  

    Suburban transit needs bigger share

    The suburbs are being shortchanged on transit funding, a Daily Herald editorial says. The distribution of transit money across the region is so lopsided, and the unmet transit needs in the suburbs so large, that something needs to be done differently.

  •  

    School Checker expands your power on schools

    Columnist Jim Slusher: Information, it is said, is power, and in that vein, today we’re giving you a profound boost toward control of your local schools.

  •  

    A question of competence

    Columnist Richard Cohen: If Barack Obama has an image, it is of the infinitely cool, cerebral leader. The man can give a rousing speech, but he is, at heart, a planner and a plodder. Yet this same man has lately so mishandled both domestic and foreign policy that he is in mortal peril of altering his image.

  •  

    Barring gay marriage blocks religious freedom
    A Libertyville letter to the editor: There is no religious freedom when any citizens are forced by law to follow faiths other than their own in order to access any civil right

  •  

    Lawmakers not representing people
    A letter to the editor: Our representatives have voted to “kick the can” down the road, run up more debt and do nothing to reduce spending.

  •  

    Shivering in fright over meat industry
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: I am not scared of all the witches, zombies and assorted goblins wandering about on Halloween. What really scares me is the meat industry.

  •  

    Smooth drive, but worth the cost?
    A Bartlett letter to the editor: So, the new two-mile stretch of Lake Shore Drive cost $64 million or, calculated another way, $32 million per mile. Is it paved with gold? Good intentions? Union contracts?

  •  

    Collaboration helped bring about water ordinance
    A letter to the editor: Recently the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the Cook County Watershed Management Ordinance (WMO). It was adopted with an effective date of May 1, 2014

  •  

    Thanks for support of Lords Park Zoo
    An Elgin letter to the editor: The board of directors for the Friends of Lords Park Zoo wish to thank the numerous attendees and contributors to its Sept. 29 fundraiser, held at Imago’s in Elgin.

  •  

    When Dems should be Party of No
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: When it comes to Social Security, Democrats, including the president, U.S. senators, U.S. representatives and Democratic voters should become the Party of No.

  •  

    Fence painter should not be punished
    A Warrenville leter to the editor: I live on Riverside Avenue in Warrenville and walk my dog along Batavia Road every day. I always thank God for this beautiful fence painting along a drab line of fences.

  •  

    Losing the nation as we once knew it
    An Elgin letter to the editor: On Friday, Oct. 18, views from William G. Parrot of McHenry and Paula Coughlan of Elburn are both right on. The views are dittoed by myself and I hope many others from this area. Parrot’s letter on the barricades at the Washington memorials and other national parks across the country last week, keeping our veterans and families from seeing them was well said.

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