Daily Archive : Wednesday November 13, 2013


    Rosemont will charge some property owners northwest of the Allstate Arena additional taxes to fund street paving, snow plowing and garbage pickup services.

    Rosemont to levy new tax on some property owners

    Anyone who owns an apartment building in a small neighborhood northwest of the Allstate Arena in Rosemont will be charged a new tax beginning next year to pay for street repaving, garbage collection and snow removal. Those property owners already pay the village of Rosemont property taxes, but their streets and alleys in the area have always been privately owned.


    Naperville park board buys site for activity center

    The Naperville Park District added to its list of properties Thursday night a 5.2-acre site at Quincy Avenue and Fort Hill Drive envisioned to be the future home of an indoor activity center. Park board members bought the land for $2 million as the first major step in a plan to build an indoor facility with amenities for basketball, walking, fitness and social gatherings by sometime in 2016. Park...

    Mario Casciaro

    Fox Lake man sentenced to 26 years in 2002 Johnsburg murder

    A judge sentenced Mario Casciaro, who was convicted of a 2002 Johnsburg murder, to 26 years in prison on Thursday. Casciaro, 30, of Fox Lake, faced up to 60 years for the murder of Brian Carrick, 17, whose body has not been found. The April trial was the third time prosecutors sought to hold Casciaro accountable for Carrick's death.

    Rosemont has acquired and plans to demolish a building west of Interstate 294 and south of Balmoral Avenue, with a eye toward potential retail development.

    Rosemont pursuing additional retail plans near its new mall

    Rosemont is pushing ahead with the acquisition and demolition of buildings in an small industrial area, with an eye toward future retail development there. The village has already or is in the process of buying and tearing down at least seven buildings south of Balmoral Avenue and west of Interstate 294.

    Chad E. Wahl

    Prosecutors want pedophile committed after release

    The attorney general's office wants a man who was convicted of sexually assaulting and abusing six boys at Mooseheart in the early 1990s committed as a sexually violent person to a state facility. Chad Wahl, now 44, was set to get out of prison on Friday, but has been transferred to a state detention center until a Nov. 26 probable cause hearing. Wahl was sentenced to 21 years in prison for his...


    Issue stand in path of cross-country at Settlers Hill

    A new legal hurdle has further stagnated progress on implementing the redevelopment of the former Settlers Hill landfill. The original contracts between Kane County, the forest preserve district and Waste Management on the operation of the landfill made little to no reference of who assumes liability for projects that occur on the site now that the landfill is closed. That issue must be worked...


    NIU inaugurates new president

    Northern Illinois University inaugurated Douglas Baker as its new president on Wednesday during a 90-minute ceremony at the Holmes Student Center of its DeKalb campus. Baker said he is honored to be entrusted with the responsibility of leading the university of 21,000 students. He said his top priority will be student career success.


    Guns found in Northern Illinois University dorm

    Bond has been set at $40,000 for a South suburban man arrested after police said they found guns and body armor in his Northern Illinois University dorm room.


    State lawmakers told to be ready for December session

    A top aide to House Speaker Michael Madigan told Illinois lawmakers Wednesday to be ready for a special session in Springfield in December, emailing them shortly after legislative leaders met to discuss solutions to the state’s $100 billion pension crisis.


    Ventra card readers malfunction

    Chicago Transit Authority officials say the agency had to hand out more than 15,000 free rides after 165 fare readers malfunctioned at 60 rail stations during Wednesday evening's rush hour.

    Naperville businessman Bert Miller announces his candidacy Wednesday in the Republican primary for the 11th Congressional District. His wife Deedee, left, and other supporters were on hand at the Phoenix Closures, Inc. manufacturing facility.

    Naperville businessman gets in Republican primary for Congress

    Bert Miller, a Naperville businessman, announces he's a candidate for the 11th Congressional District. He will announce his candidacy and explain nhow his focus on jobs and economic development will move the community forward.

    Typhoon Haiyan survivors pass by on a scooter as two U.S. Osprey aircraft fly over the ruins of Tacloban, central Philippines on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013.

    Rice, water distributed in typhoon-struck city

    Soldiers sat atop trucks distributing rice and water on Thursday in this typhoon-devastated city and chainsaw- wielding teams cut debris from blocked roads, small signs that a promised aid effort is beginning to pick up pace even as thousands flocked the airport, desperate to leave.


    Arlington Hts. board moves toward small tax hike

    Arlington Heights trustees have recommended a slight bump in the property tax levy for next year. At a committee-of-the-whole meeting Tuesday, the board, with one exception, approved a 1.84 percent increase in the levy. The cost to the average taxpayer for the village portion of the property tax bill would be $19 if the increase is given final approval, village officials said.

    Todd Park, the U.S. chief technology officer at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, right, speaks with Frank Baitman, the deputy assistant secretary for information technology at the Health and Human Services Department, center, as they and other technology officials arrive to testify before the House Oversight Committee about problems with the implementation of the Obamacare healthcare program, and specifically, the HealthCare.gov website, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday.

    Obama administration posts low health care signups

    Putting a statistic on disappointment, the Obama administration revealed Wednesday that fewer than 27,000 people signed up for private health insurance last month in the 36 states relying on a problem-filled federal website. States running their own enrollment systems did better, signing up more than 79,000, for a total enrollment of over 106,000.

    Trooper James Sauter of Vernon Hills was on duty in his state police squad car when his vehicle was struck by a semitrailer truck on southbound I-294 at Willow Road. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

    $125,000 bond for truck driver in crash that killed state trooper

    The truck driver who authorities say fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a state trooper’s car on the Tri-State Tollway in March is being held in lieu of $125,000 bond. The accident at 11 p.m. on March 28 killed 28-year-old James Sauter of Vernon Hills. Andrew B. Bokelman of Wisconsin was charged Wednesday morning with driving beyond a 14-hour duty limit, operating a commercial vehicle...

    EpiPens inject a fast-acting dose of epinephrine in cases of severe allergic reaction

    Obama signs Kirk-Durbin bill on epinephrine pens

    President Barack Obama signed a bipartisan bill on Wednesday that offers a financial incentive to states if schools stockpile epinephrine, considered the first-line treatment for people with severe allergies. The legislation was sponsored in the U.S. Senate by Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Dick Durbin. “This is something that will save children’s lives,” Obama said, adding that his daughter...

    David Koschman

    Koschman death case judge won’t unseal report

    A Cook County judge will not unseal a special prosecutor’s report on how investigators handled the case of a Mount Prospect man who died following an altercation with former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s nephew. Special Prosecutor Dan K. Webb’s 162-page report detailed his probe into the 2004 death of David Koschman, 21, and the actions of police and prosecutors investigating...


    Lake Co. sets up taxing district for Lake Michigan water

    A special taxing district to raise up to $46 million to bring Lake Michigan water to Lake Villa, Lindenhurst and unincorporated Fox Lake Hills and Grandwood Park officially was established this week by the Lake County Board. Special Service Area 16 is comprised of about 11,300 parcels and its establishment is considered a milestone in the years long project.

    Diane LeBlanc, 50, lost 40 pounds since joining “Heads Up,” a supervised weight-loss assistance program.

    Doctors are told to get serious about obesity

    Next time you go for a checkup, don’t be surprised if your doctor gets on your case about your weight. The medical profession has issued new guidelines for fighting the nation’s obesity epidemic, and they urge physicians to be a lot more aggressive about helping patients drop those extra pounds.

    Lori Bein

    Two local superintendents finalists for Dist. 25 top job

    Two area superintendents, Lori Bein from Roselle Elementary District 12 and Dane Delli from River Trails District 26, are finalists for the top job at Arlington Heights Elementary District 25. The school board is expected to announce its decision next week. “Whoever gets it is going to be very lucky because this is a really good job, a really good community and a really good school system,” said...


    Arlington Hts. library hosts health care enrollment sessions

    The Arlington Heights Memorial Library is holding information and enrollment sessions to help residents with the new Affordable Care Act. Representatives from the Campaign for Better Health Care will present an informational session on the new Affordable Care Act at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17 at the library.


    Streamwood accepting applications for citizen’s police academy

    The Streamwood Police Department is accepting applications for the Citizen’s Police Academy until Friday, Nov. 22. The academy will consist of 10 classes beginning Jan. 6. focused on topics such as crime scene preservation, neighborhood-based policing, traffic stops, special operations and domestic violence investigations.


    Absences down at Wheaton school after big spike

    Absences were down dramatically Wednesday at Edison Middle School in Wheaton, after a significant spike in student and staff illnesses led officials to cancel all before- and after-school activities for the rest of the week.


    Geneva inclined to approve solar-energy installation, contract

    Geneva aldermen are inclined to contract with a private company to buy solar-generated eletricity from panels installed on city land in an industrial park. The 25-year deal with Convergence Energy would generate enough electricity for 18 to 24 houses.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Someone stole a Lenova laptop computer, a cellphone charger, a purse, $35 and prescription medication out of a vehicle in the 200 block of South Batavia Avenue, it was reported to police at 11:21 a.m. Tuesday.

    Bundled for the cold, Carol Durietz of Vernon Hills waits in line near a heater Wednesday outside the new Chick-fil-A location in Vernon Hills. The first 100 customers waiting in line when the restaurant opens Thursday will receive a free meal a week for the next year.

    Fans brave cold night for free Chick-fil-A

    A group of 100 Chick-fil-A enthusiasts formed a tent city on a cold and blustery morning Wednesday outside the popular restaurant chain’s new location in Vernon Hills in anticipation of its grand opening Thursday — and a year’s worth of free meals. The first 100 customers at the new location Thursday will receive one Chick-fil-A meal per week for the next 12 months.

    Restaurant owner Betty Fraser poses at her Hollywood restaurant “Grub” Monday. The restaurant Grub has joined the services of an online food ordering company GrubHub, which takes about 15 percent of each order.

    Shift in ordering takeout a sweet and sour tale

    There’s been a shift in how restaurants satisfy their patrons’ taste buds. The consequences are both sweet and sour. Eat24, GrubHub, Seamless, Delivery.com and a growing list of smaller online ordering services have changed the way people order takeout and delivery. Instead of dialing a restaurant, hungry souls go online, or open a smartphone app, to order their next meal.


    Harper hosts “College for a Day” event

    Prospective adult students can get a glimpse into what life at Harper College would be like at the school’s first College for a Day event. Attendees can learn about transitioning to college, tour the campus and even sign up for two free sample classes or sit in on classes already in session.


    Fox Valley police reports
    Police closed the intersection at Routes 25 and 72 for three hours Wednesday morning after a dump truck filled with sand took the turn too fast on eastbound Route 72 and rolled over, Police Chief Terry Mee said. The driver, Jaime Verboonen-Talavera, 29, of Texas, was taken to Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin and treated for a minor head injury he sustained in the crash, Mee said.

    Quinton M. Humphries

    Another suspect charged in Chicago park shooting

    Police said Wednesday that 20-year-old Quinton M. Humphries of Chicago is charged with three counts of first-degree attempted murder, three counts of aggravated battery, and discharge of a firearm for the Sept. 19 shooting that left 13 injured.


    Schaumburg Park District holiday decorating contest

    Schaumburg Park District residents are invited to decorate their homes and showcase them in the annual Holiday House Decorating Contest. The first 10 houses entered will be judged on originality, arrangement, theme and overall design.

    Eleanor “Sis” Daley was Chicago’s first lady for more than 20 years. She died in 2003.

    Chicago might name cultural center after Daley’s mom

    An effort is under way to name the Chicago Cultural Center after late first lady Eleanor “Sis” Daley. Alderman Jim Balcer introduced legislation Wednesday at the request of the Daley family.


    Noise ordinance coming in Wauconda

    Wauconda trustees will vote on new noise regulations that establish rules for when loud, electronically amplified sounds can be transmitted when they next gather Nov. 19. The proposal was prompted by concerns about bands playing at local restaurants. The measure would limit sounds from construction work, too.

    Michael Seyller

    Disability pension hearing for East Dundee cop set

    Michael Seyller, an East Dundee police sergeant who has been stripped of his police powers for more than a year, will no longer be part of the force, pending a vote on his request to collect a disability pension next month, officials said. Seyller’s hearing has been set for 4:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at village hall.


    Naperville Park District set to buy activity center site

    HYPERLINK "http://www.napervilleparks.org/"Naperville Park District commissioners are poised to take the first step toward building an indoor activity center when they vote Thursday night on plans to buy a site for the proposed facility. The park board is expected to approve the $2 million purchase of a 5.2-acre vacant property at 1760 Quincy Ave. during its meeting at 7 p.m. in the municipal...

    Police are seen in an area near Brashear High School in PIttsburgh on Wednesday after three students were shot outside the Pittsburgh high school.

    3 shot outside Pittsburgh school; drug link probed

    Pittsburgh officials say two more people are in custody in a shooting that wounded three students outside a city high school, bringing the total to six who were brought in for questioning.

    From left, ball co-chairwoman Mary Ellen Beckmann, Elgin Mayor David Kaptain, ball co-chairwoman Linda O’Connor and Fideliter Club President Brenda Morrissy pose with a replica of the Elgin Tower Building. Sponsors for notable Elgin buildings are being sought as part of this year’s fundraiser.

    Charity ball marks 125th anniversary

    One of Elgin’s oldest and most prestigious charity balls is about to turn 125 years old. The annual Fideliter Club ball to be held on Saturday, Nov. 16, will not only mark a milestone in the group’s history, but will continue the tradition of a well-known community event that benefits needy children and women.

    Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel, who runs a Jewish student organization on the University of Illinois campus, holds a hot dog at a kosher concession stand he set up during a football game in Champaign.

    U of I hoops fans get taste of kosher dogs

    Aside from soft drinks, there isn’t much at your typical college basketball arena that qualifies as kosher. Not the nachos, and certainly not the hot dogs. But now the University of Illinois’s Chabad Jewish Center has opened its own stand this season and sells kosher dogs, candy and drinks at the State Farm Center.

    Rasmieh Yousef Odeh is accused of lying about her conviction for a deadly bombing in Israel when she immigrated to the United States.

    Woman pleads not guilty to immigration charge

    A South suburban woman accused of failing to tell U.S. immigration authorities about her role in a deadly bombing in Israel has pleaded not guilty in her first court appearance.

    Pope John Paul II

    Relic with vial of pope’s blood heading to Peoria

    A vial of Pope John Paul II’s blood will be on display in Peoria next week.The vial is encased in a gold Book of the Gospels and will be displayed Monday at St. Mary’s Cathedral.


    Mayor wants to update Chicago horse carriage law

    The mayor introduced the Horse Drawn Carriage Ordinance to the Chicago City Council on Wednesday. The new ordinance would update license requirements and increase fees.


    Chicago man charged in August shooting near church

    Cook County authorities charged a 20-year-old Chicago man with a fatal shooting that killed one person and injured four others near a church on the city’s North Side.

    Traffic backs up as a freight train travels the crossing at routes 83 and 137 in Grayslake. Village officials are urging residents to contact state and federal lawmakers for help in dealing with long traffic delays caused by train stoppages.

    Grayslake concerned about stopped freight trains blocking roads

    Citing safety concerns, Grayslake officials say they’ve had enough of frequent freight train stoppages that block traffic in the village, and they are encouraging residents to contact state and federal elected leaders for help. "These stoppages are causing significant delays in emergency response by the Grayslake Police Department and Fire Protection District,” Mayor Rhett Taylor said


    Mundelein HS band concert Nov. 21

    Mundelein High School’s instrumental music department will present its fall band concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, in the MHS Auditorium. The event will feature the Honors Wind Ensemble, Honors Symphonic Winds, Symphonic Band and the Concert Band.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Thieves stole a laptop computer from the dining room table and a men’s red mountain bike out of an unlocked shed between Oct. 16 and 18 at a home on the 1000 block of Eva Lane in Mount Prospect. Value was estimated at $1,150.


    Officials: 1,370 in Illinois selected health plans

    Federal officials say 1,370 Illinois residents submitted an application and selected a health plan as the troubled HealthCare.gov website limped its way through its first month.

    Mundelein High School officials are considering plans for a $21 million addition to the school building, its largest expansion in nearly two decades. The plan, to be funded partially through a state grant, calls for a three-story addition with space for 23 new classrooms.

    Mundelein High officials considering $21 million expansion

    Mundelein High School officials are developing plans for a new classroom wing in what would be the campus’ biggest expansion in nearly 20 years. Plans call for a three-story addition that would hold 23 classrooms and cost $21 million. A long-awaited state grant worth up to $8.3 million will pay for a big chunk of the project, District 120 Business Manager Andy Searle told the Daily Herald.

    Island Lake trustees will discuss new fishing regulations when they meet Thursday night at village hall, but a controversial plan to bar nonresidents from boat or ice fishing the village’s namesake lake won’t be included in the talks.

    Island Lake to consider revamped fishing rules proposal

    Island Lake officials on Thursday will consider revamped fishing regulations for the town’s namesake lake. The latest version of the proposal omits a residency requirement that caused a public uproar when it came up for discussion in October.

    Senior Jake Livingston plays a talking donkey in Batavia High School’s production of “Shrek the Musical,” which takes place this weekend.

    Batavia High School brings ‘Shrek’ to the stage

    This weekend, theatergoers can travel to a faraway kingdom filled with fairy tale characters when Batavia High School presents “Shrek the Musical.” Based on the 2001 animated film “Shrek,” the musical will be performed at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre.

    Colleen L. Bagley

    Police: Woman tried to illegally get prescription drugs in East Dundee

    A 38-year-old Elgin woman was tackled by police last week in an East Dundee Walmart after she tried to obtain prescription drugs illegally, police said. Colleen Bagley faces up to five years in prison after being charged with three felonies and was on probation at the time of her arrest, according to police and court records.

    Former Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd is expected to enter a federal courtroom in Dallas Wednesday to receive a possible life sentence for his role in a drug-distribution scheme.

    Former Bears receiver Hurd could get life on drug charge

    While NFL teammates and friends knew Sam Hurd as a hardworking wide receiver and married father, authorities say he was fashioning a separate identity as a wannabe drug kingpin with a focus on “high-end deals” and a need for large amounts of cocaine and marijuana. Two years later, Hurd will enter a federal courtroom with his future in tatters as he faces possibly spending the rest of his life in...

    This security camera image provided by the Chicago Transit Authority on Wednesday shows a woman with a two-foot-long alligator aboard a CTA Blue Line train early in the morning of Nov. 1 in Chicago. Authorities are searching for the woman, who they believe discarded the reptile at O’Hare International Airport.

    Images show woman on Chicago train with alligator

    After tracking down a small alligator skulking in a baggage claim area at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, authorities are now hunting for its traveling companion. The Chicago Transit Authority has released a series of images showing a woman who they believe rode to the airport on a CTA Blue Line train with the 2-foot-long gator in the early morning hours of Nov. 1.

    Prosecutors have filed a response to Rod Blagojevich’s corruption conviction appeal.

    Prosecutors respond to Blagojevich appeal

    Prosecutors have responded to Rod Blagojevich’s appeal of his corruption conviction, challenging the notion that the behavior that landed the disgraced former Illinois governor behind bars was run-of-the-mill political horse-trading.

    A Philippines rescue team wades into floodwaters to retrieve a body in the Typhoon Haiyan ravaged city of Tacloban, central Philippines on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013.

    Agony flows from unwatched threat: a wall of water

    Two days before the typhoon hit, officials rolled through this city with bullhorns, urging residents to get to higher ground or take refuge in evacuation centers. Warnings were broadcast on state television and radio.Some left. Some didn’t.

    The Polar Express will roll out of the Lisle Metra station for two runs on Dec. 8.

    Polar Express rides again from downtown Lisle

    The Polar Express will make two runs next month from Lisle to the North Pole, which some say looks suspiciously like Chicago. The first train will pull out of the Lisle Metra station at 9:45 a.m. and the second at 1:45 p.m. Dec. 8.


    Find something to give thanks for every day

    The Thanksgiving holiday is quickly approaching. The month of November is a great time for brushing up our skills to be thankful, says columnist Annettee Budzban.

    John Euwema

    Kane County judge appointed in DuPage judge stalking case

    A Kane County judge and former prosecutor was brought in Wednesday to oversee the case of a man accused of stalking a DuPage County judge. Judge John Barsanti, a former Kane County state’s attorney, will hear the case of 57-year-old John Euwema.

    St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina answers a question during a visit with Thompson Middle School sixth-grade social studies students Wednesday at the school. Rogina and City Administrator Mark Koenen joined a group of about 100 students to discuss guiding principles in government.

    Mayor, city administrator visit Thompson Middle School

    St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina visits Thompson Middle School Wednesday to discuss how government operates.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Burglars broke a small hole near the door lock on a front glass door between 8 p.m. Nov. 5 and 7 a.m. Nov. 6 at Algonquin Records, 532 E. Algonquin Road, Des Plaines, placed 200 records into a wood crate and exited through the front door. Value was estimated at $4,000.


    Air Force to look closer at nuclear commander candidates

    The Air Force will more carefully screen future candidates for nuclear commander positions as a result of the recent firing of the two-star general overseeing land-based nuclear missiles, the general in charge of the service said Wednesday.

    Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday that the House will not hold formal, compromise talks on the Senate-passed comprehensive immigration bill, a fresh signal from the Republican leadership that the issue is dead for the year.

    Boehner: No formal talks on immigration bill

    Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday that the House will not hold formal, compromise talks on the Senate-passed comprehensive immigration bill, a fresh signal from the Republican leadership that the issue is dead for the year.


    Hawaii governor to sign state’s gay marriage bill

    Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie is expected to sign a bill Wednesday legalizing gay marriage, expanding the state’s aloha spirit and positioning the islands for more newlywed tourists.

    Mayor Rob Ford’s refusal to resign has confounded Toronto’s city council, where many members agree that his erratic behavior has consumed Toronto’s politics and undermined efforts to tackle other challenges.

    Toronto mayor admits he has bought illegal drugs

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted during a heated City Council debate Wednesday that he had bought illegal drugs in the past two years, but he firmly refused to step down from his job even after nearly every councilor stood up to ask him to take a leave of absence. The mayor made the confession under direct questioning by a councilor who has introduced a motion that would ask Ford to take a leave...

    James “Whitey” Bulger, the 84-year-old former leader of the notorious Winter Hill Gang, was convicted in August after spending more than 16 years on the run.

    Prosecutor: Bulger is a sociopath, should get life

    A prosecutor called James “Whitey” Bulger a “little sociopath” Wednesday as he urged a judge to sentence the infamous South Boston gangster to life in prison, but Bulger himself declined to speak.

    Taking advantage of the memorable date of 11/12/13, bride Magdalena Hajdo of Des Plaines, second from left, and groom Michael Murdza, of Downers Grove, second from right, married Tuesday at the Rolling Meadows courthouse. Among the 20 family members witnessing them tie the knot were the bride’s sister, Maria Glaz, left, of Lake in the Hills, and best man Mark Warzecha, right, of Chicago.

    Suburban couples pick unforgettable 11/12/13 to wed

    Sequential dates figured prominently in the relationship of Charles Darcy and Victoria Rudnick, who met at a barbecue on 7/8/09 and wed at the Rolling Meadows courthouse on Tuesday -- 11/12/13. Other couples had a practical reason for picking the auspicious date, saying they'd never forget their anniversary.

    The model whose face appeared on the much-maligned Obama health care website says she felt intimidated by harsh public criticism of the program. The woman, who identified herself only as “Adriana” in an interview with ABC News, says she was never paid for appearing on the website’s home page.

    Healthcare website model felt bullied by critics

    The model whose face appeared on the much-maligned Obama health care website says she felt intimidated by harsh public criticism of the program.

    Ohio is moving forward with preparations for the execution of a condemned child killer Ronald Phillips after denying the man’s last-minute request to donate organs to his ailing mother and sister before he dies.

    Ohio to execute killer who sought to give organs

    Ohio is moving forward with preparations for the execution of a condemned child killer after denying the man’s last-minute request to donate organs to his ailing mother and sister before he dies.

    Carpentersville’s full-time firefighters are angry with the village about what they call cutbacks in staffing of fire stations and vehicles.

    Carpentersville fire union clashing with village over scheduling

    Carpentersville's full-time firefighters say cost-saving moves by the village spell slower response times that will jeopardize residents’ safety. And they’ve launched a campaign to warn the public of what they view as understaffing of the village’s three fire stations. The village administration, however, says firefighters have “buyer’s remorse” about their new...

    A 3-D rendering of Abraham Lincoln’s life mask, held at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The Smithsonian is launching a new 3D viewer online Wednesday Nov. 13, 2013 to give people a closer look at artifacts in their own homes.

    Smithsonian makes push in 3D imaging of artifacts

    With most of its 137 million objects kept behind the scenes or in a faraway museum, the Smithsonian Institution is launching a 3D scanning and printing initiative to make more of its massive collection accessible to schools, researchers and the public. Some of the first 3D scans include the Wright brothers’ first airplane and casts of President Abraham Lincoln’s face. Now the Smithsonian is...


    Michigan wolf hunt starts Friday, despite protests

    During a lifetime of hunting, John Haggard has targeted elk in Colorado, moose in Alaska and caribou in Canada. Now comes a new challenge closer to home: the gray wolf.

    The Glen Ellyn village board on Tuesday moved to address the Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Department's funding problems with a flat fee on residents' water bills.

    Glen Ellyn moves to fund fire company with water bill fee

    Bypassing a property tax increase on residents, the Glen Ellyn village board on Tuesday instead moved to address a revenue crunch at the Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Department with a flat fee on the village water bill. The fire company's revenue shortage has been on the horizon for some time, with the village moving to address it once and for all.


    Wheaton council likes vision of downtown plans

    A $64 million redevelopment plan, featuring festival streets, an improved French Market and a bevy of other improvements has gained the support of Wheaton officials who must now prioritize and find funding for the 129-page plan. The final draft of the Downtown Strategic Plan and Streetscape Plan was presented at Monday night's planning session, outlining a plan to keep the city's downtown...

    Jeh Johnson, President Barack Obama’s choice to become Homeland Security Secretary, left, talks with Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, before the start of the committee’s hearing Johnson’s nomination.

    Homeland Security nominee would focus on leadership vacancies

    President Barack Obama’s pick to be the Homeland Security secretary said he puts filling key leadership vacancies and improving morale at the sprawling bureaucracy before the department’s core counterterrorism mission.

    A Missouri appeals court overturned Ryan Ferguson’s murder and robbery convictions for the 2001 strangling and beating death of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt. The appeals panel said the prosecutor’s office had withheld evidence from defense attorneys and Ferguson did not receive a fair trial.

    Mo. man freed after murder conviction overturned

    After nearly a decade in prison, freedom did not come easy for Ryan Ferguson — not even in the final few hours after the Missouri attorney general decided to not retry him in the 2001 slaying of a newspaper sports editor.

    Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi, right, speaks from the defendant’s cage.

    Morsi: No stability in Egypt unless coup reversed

    Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi accused the military chief who deposed him of treason in a message from prison read by lawyers on Wednesday, saying the country cannot return to stability until the coup is reversed and those behind it are tried.

    Back from a week of nuclear talks in Geneva and tense consultations with nervous Middle East allies, Secretary of State John Kerry was to present the administration’s case to his ex-colleagues in the Senate on Nov. 13 and ask them to hold off on a package of new, tougher Iran sanctions under consideration.

    Obama seeks time from Congress for Iran diplomacy

    The Obama administration is pleading with Congress to allow more time for diplomacy with Iran, but faces sharp resistance from Republican and Democratic lawmakers determined to further squeeze the Iranian economy and wary of yielding any ground in nuclear negotiations.


    Hawaii to legalize gay marriage, making Illinois 16th

    When lawmakers voted this month to approve gay marriage in Illinois, the state was set to become the 15th in the nation to legalize same-sex weddings. Now Illinois may become the 16th state. Hawaii's governor is expected to sign legislation Wednesday legalizing gay marriage, while Gov. Pat Quinn has said he’ll sign Illinois' measure on Nov. 20.


    American jet returns to DFW after bird strike

    An American Airlines jet bound for Seattle safely returned to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport after a bird strike. American spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said Wednesday that nobody was hurt. Passengers were put on another plane and arrived Tuesday night at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

    Britain’s Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, but he still hasn’t started the job he was born to do.

    Charles ready for pension, still in line for job

    Prince Charles is readying the paperwork to claim his pension when he turns 65 on Thursday, but he still hasn’t started the job he was born to do. The eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II has been heir to the throne since his mother became monarch in 1952, when he was 3. He is the longest-waiting heir apparent in Britain’s history, overtaking Queen Victoria’s son, Edward VII, two years ago.

    British intelligence official Gareth Williams, 31, who worked for Britain’s secret eavesdropping service GCHQ but was attached to the country’s MI6 overseas spy agency when his naked and decomposing remains were found in 2010 at his central London apartment. British police said Wednesday that Williams likely died in an accident with no one else involved.

    Police: Spy in bag probably died by accident

    A spy whose naked, decomposing body was found inside a padlocked gym bag at his apartment likely died in an accident with no one else involved, British police said Wednesday — a tentative conclusion that is unlikely to calm conspiracy theories around the bizarre case.

    Robert Sauceda

    Kane picks animal control head after year of debate

    After a full year of intense debate and examination, Robert Sauceda is the new “interim” animal control director for Kane County. But the vote didn't come easy as major behind-the-scenes lobbying, including phone calls from gubernatorial candidate Kirk Dillard, was required to win over some votes. “I'm confident that Rob is going to continue his great performance,” county...

    Dr. Raymond Kawasaki talks Monday with William Bautista, center, and Gerardo Aguilar, right, about what they can expect in the coming days during a meeting Monday at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital near Lake Barrington. The teens traveled here from El Salvador to undergo heart procedures in hopes of changing their lives for the better.

    Salvadoran teens travel to burbs for heart surgeries

    A pair of teenage boys from El Salvador, who had never been out of Central America, arrived Monday at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital near Lake Barrington for cardiac procedures expected to change their lives. The boys are in the suburbs as part of a program that brings children from less fortunate countries to the U.S. for needed medical care.

    While the assessed value of her Crystal Lake house has decreased by $12,000 over the past two years, Barbara Rogers' property tax bill increased $900.

    Housing crash pushed bigger tax load onto seniors

    A property tax relief program intended to save Illinois senior citizens hundreds of dollars on their annual tax bills has had the opposite effect since property values began their steep nosedive since 2009. Because of the way the "senior freeze" is set up, the declining value of properties is actually making seniors pay more than ever before. “It's the law of unintended consequences,”...

    Linda Kozlowski holds Anna, the cat she adopted from DuPage Animal Control in 2007. Wanting to do something for the animals she couldn't take home, Kozlowski started crocheting blankets and started Comfort for Critters to provide handmade blankets for shelter animals.

    Glen Ellyn woman's nonprofit brings comfort to shelter animals

    Glen Ellyn resident Linda Kozlowski began making blankets for kittens in the DuPage Animal Control Shelter in 2007 and two years later Comfort for Critters formally organized as a nonprofit. Today, with the help of volunteers, Kozlowski ships more than 3,000 blankets a year to animal shelters in Illinois and surrounding states. The organization is in dire need of yarn and fleece to continue its...

    While events such as the Zurko Antiques and Flea Market fill the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake most weekends, the not-for profit organization that oversees the annual Lake County Fair wants to rebrand the facilities as a year-round destination.

    Lake County Fair Association looks to expand offerings

    The Lake County Fair Association has created a separate board to guide efforts to develop the facilities in Grayslake into a year-round destination. “In effect, we are rebranding this place,” said Sue Markgraf, vice president of the newly formed executive board.


    Arlington Heights eyes Hickory Kensington redevelopment

    Arlington Heights trustees moved one step closer to redeveloping the Hickory Kensington area. By a unanimous voice vote Tuesday, a committee of the entire village board recommended moving ahead with a tax increment financing district plan for the area.


    Dawn Patrol: Village to seek property tax; Wheaton students sick

    Long Grove to seek property tax. Hundreds of Wheaton students fall ill. CTA releases images of woman with alligator. Photos of JFK in Barrington made available. Rose listed as day-to-day. Pressure mounts on Bears' offense. New Cubs manager could assemble coaching staff quickly.


    Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, right, celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Ball State on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, in DeKalb, Ill. Northern Illinois won 48-27. (AP Photo/Jeff Haynes)

    Lynch leads No. 20 N. Illinois past Ball State

    Northern Illinois coach Rod Carey thinks Huskies quarterback Jordan Lynch deserves to be mentioned in Heisman Trophy talk. "If Jordan isn't in the conversation for the Heisman I don't know what people are watching, they were asleep," Carey said. Playing in front of a national television audience, Lynch threw two touchdown passes ran for two scores to help No. 20 Northern Illinois beat Ball State 48-27 on Wednesday night.


    Football Focus: Week 12 Preview
    In this preview video for Week 12 of Football Focus, host Joe Aguilar visits Naperville Central and the Redhawks who will face off against rival Neuqua Valley on Saturday night in the state playoff quarterfinals.

    Rachael Fara of Benet goes up for the ball against Joliet Catholic.

    Girls volleyball/state tournament preview

    Scouting this weekend's IHSA state girls volleyball tournament for Classes 2A, 3A and 4A.

    DePaul is hoping freshman guard Billy Garrett Jr. provides a spark on the court and a boost to the Demons’ recruiting ability in the Chicago area.

    Demons hope Garrett becomes hometown hero

    Prized freshman guard Billy Garrett Jr. had his pick of colleges coming out of Chicago's Morgan Park High School. Garrett chose DePaul, and the challenge now is leading a dismal program back to prominence. On Wednesday night, the prized recruit played his first game at the Allstate Arena with the Blue Demons in front of a scant crowd of 5,840.

    Zack Bowman runs back an interception in his only start of the season last month against the New York Giants. Bowman will start again Sunday against Baltimore in place of injured cornerback Charles Tillman.

    Bears’ depleted defense not making excuses

    Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker continues to plug in backups for injured starters, but neither he nor head coach Marc Trestman are making excuses for a situation that they consider part of the game. “You don’t make excuses about it,” coach Marc Trestman said. “(The backups) are here because they’re expected to play."

    Wheaton Warrenville South tennis player Keisha Clousing signed Wednesday to play at Clemson.

    Clousing’s training pays off

    Not all of us are so fortunate to go out on top. Keisha Clousing did.


    Wolves whip Wild for third straight win

    The Chicago Wolves won their third straight game, defeating the Iowa Wild 3-1 Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Arena.Corey Locke, Joel Edmundson and Ty Rattie scored for the Wolves (7-6-0-1) and Evan Oberg collected a pair of assists. Goaltender Jake Allen made 26 saves to down Iowa (6-6-0-0).


    Judson women win, but men fall

    Diamond Courts and Hailey Cnota each scored 16 points Wednesday night to lead the Judson University women’s basketball team to a 90-59 win over Moody Bible Institute.

    Illinois' Tracy Abrams (13) shoots a three-point basket during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday Nov. 13, 2013, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Darrell Hoemann)

    Illinois survives Valparaiso charge, wins 64-52

    After a scrappy, sometimes sloppy game against Valparaiso Wednesday, Illinois head coach John Groce sounded like a man whose team had just survived a crucial test. It had. The Illini (3-0) overcame 31.8 percent shooting, a much bigger opponent and a hard, late charge from the Crusaders for a 64-52 win.


    Blackhawks game day
    Blackhawks coverage

    Photo courtesy of Michael DeSalvo Michael DeSalvo has been coming up big again for the Buffalo Grove/Hersey/Wheeling Stampede this season.

    DeSalvo more than measures up for Stampede

    Michael DeSalvo is standing tall for the Stampede, a high school hockey team which draws players from Buffalo Grove, Hersey and Wheeling high schools. DeSalvo, 16, who lives in Arlington Heights, is a junior at Buffalo GroveHe stands 5-feet, 4 inches and only weighs 130 pounds — the second-smallest player on the team, but also one of its three fastest players.

    Antioch’s Sam Falco celebrates after a win during the Sequoits’ regional semifinal win over Grayslake Central.

    Antioch’s Falco can’t pass up Eastern Michigan

    Sam Falco, a 6-foot-4 volleyball standout at Antioch, has a collegiate future in store for herself at Eastern Michigan.

    Left to right, Ashley Montanez (University of Indianapolis), Jenny Vliet and Jackie Kemph (St. Louis) and Alexis Glasgow (Northwestern) are seated together during a college letter of intent signing ceremony at Rolling Meadows High School on Wednesday.

    Another signature moment at Rolling Meadows

    Last season, the Rolling Meadows girls basketball team had a signature season. On Wednesday night, four key members of the 2013 Class AA state runner-up team were writing their signatures on collegiate letters of intent. Seniors Alexis Glasgow (Northwestern), Jackie Kemph (St. Louis), Jenny Vliet (St. Louis) and Ashley Montanez (University of Indianapolis) made their verbal commitments official in a ceremony in the faculty lounge at the high school.


    Harper climbs the hill, repeats as national champs

    The Harper men's cross country team earned a third straight NJCAA championship over the weekend in Northfield, Mass.

    Derrick Rose, driving past Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving during Monday’s victory over the Cavaliers, did not practice Wednesday as he nurses a hamstring injury.

    Rose injury further stalling Bulls’ progress

    The Bulls got a rare three-day break between games this week, but their most important player wasn't able to help improve the team's chemistry. Derrick Rose skipped practice to rest a sore rigth hamstring. His status for Friday's game in Toronto is questionable.

    FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2013, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Los Angeles. Kershaw won the National League Cy Young Award, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

    Kershaw, Scherzer easily win Cy Young Awards

    Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers have won baseball’s Cy Young Awards. Kershaw won the prize as the National League’s best pitcher for the second time in three seasons after leading the majors with a 1.83 ERA. Scherzer took the AL honor after leading the majors with 21 wins. He received 28 of 30 first-place votes.

    Hawks defenseman Michal Rozsival practiced Wednesday after a scary moment on the bench during Sunday’s victory over Edmonton.

    At least Blackhawks’ Rozsival can smile now

    Late in Sunday’s game , a puck off the stick of the Oilers’ David Perron sailed toward the Blackhawks’ bench. No big deal, happens all the time in hockey. However, the next image is one many will never forget: defenseman Michal Rozsival falling backwards off the bench. To say it shook up Hawks coaches and players would be an understatement.

    FILE - In this Aug. 2, 2011, file photo, Chicago Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd watches teammates practice during NFL football training camp in Bourbonnais, Ill. Hurd was sentenced Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, to 15 years in prison for his role in starting a drug-distribution scheme while playing for the Bears, completing a steep downfall that ended his football career. Hurd, 28, received the punishment in a federal courtroom in Dallas after pleading guilty in April to one count of trying to buy and distribute large amounts of cocaine and marijuana. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

    Bears coach remembers Hurd as ‘great guy’

    Former Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd was sentenced to 15 yearsin prison on Wednesday for his role in a drug-dealing scheme. Bears special teams coach Joe DeCamilis, who coached Hurd with the Cowboys, said Hurd's arrest in 2011 shocked him and that he would help his former player if he could.

    Duke freshman Jabari Parker, right, is ready today to play in the NBA, according to Taj Gibson of the Bulls.

    Gibson big Jabari Parkker fan

    Bulls forward Taj Gibson didn't have a team playing in Tuesday's college doubleheader at the United Center. But he did offer a pick for the best player in the event.

    Cary-Grove’s Melissa Rose swims the 100-yard breaststroke at state preliminaries in Evanston last season. She will compete at the Barrington sectional on Saturday.

    Jacobs’ Sanchez working hard for state berth

    Jacobs junior Nicky Sanchez has taken the phrase “hitting the wall” to heart. Sanchez, a member of the Jacobs-Hampshire co-op girls swim team, has made working on her wall strategy one of her main objectives this season. Sanchez is hoping that intensified focus will pay off at Saturday’s St. Charles East sectional where berths in next weekend’s state finals at New Trier High School will be on the line. As of early in the week, Sanchez said she was tentatively slated to swim in the 50 and 100-meter freestyle races, as well as on the 200 medley and 400 relay teams at the sectional. Sanchez won the Fox Valley Conference title in the 100 in 55.23 and was second in the 50 at 25.43. The state cut in the 100 is 53.61, while the 50 standard is 24.68.


    Former Bears WR Hurd gets 15 years in drug case

    Former Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd has been sentenced to 15 years for his role in a drug-distribution scheme. Hurd received the punishment Wednesday in a federal courtroom in Dallas.He pleaded guilty in April to one count of trying to buy and distribute cocaine and marijuana, which carries a sentence of 10 years to life in prison.

    Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and quarterback Scott Tolzien look at a video board during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, in Green Bay, Wis. The Eagles won 27-13. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

    Fremd’s Tolzien to start for Pack Sunday

    Green Bay is getting former practice squad player and Fremd alum Scott Tolzien ready for Sunday’s game at the Giants. Tolzien played well in relief of Wallace considering the circumstances last week in a 27-13 loss to the Eagles. Coach Mike McCarthy has raved about Tolzien’s preparation. Now the former Wisconsin quarterback is about to make his first career NFL start.

    Aurora Christian quarterback Austin Bray, pictured earlier this season throwing a pass to wide receiver Brandon Walgren, completed 8 of 11 passes last week against Oregon for 238 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for a score.

    Aurora Christian getting healthy at right time

    With three more wins in the Class 3A playoffs, Aurora Christian will make history with a third straight state championship. The Eagles also would go down as one of the more unique state winners. After all, how many teams win a state title with 35-14, 48-6 and 49-0 losses in consecutive weeks heading into the playoffs?

    Wheaton North’s Matt Biegalski caught 14 passes last Saturday to help Wheaton North come back from a 25-point deficit.

    Biegalski steps up for Wheaton North

    Wheaton North receiver Matt Biegalski sure has good timing. As the Falcons found themselves trailing by 25 points early in last week’s second-round Class 7A football game against Fenwick, Biegalski decided to have the biggest game of his high school career.

    Nick Punto hit .255 this year for the Dodgers with two homers and 21 RBIs in 116 games.

    Punto agrees to $3 million, 1-year deal with Athletics

    Infielder Nick Punto agreed Wednesday to a $3 million, one-year contract with the Oakland Athletics following a little more than a season with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    Ohio State cornerback Doran Grant heads to the end zone in front of teammate C.J. Barnett after making an interception against Purdue during the Nov. 2 game in West Lafayette, Ind.

    Buckeyes unbeaten again, but are they better?

    Two teams, each 9-0. They play in the same league. They’re both highly ranked. Which is better? If you’re comparing the 2012 Ohio State Buckeyes and the current version, coach Urban Meyer has the answer.

    Penn State wrestlers celebrate with the trophy after winning the NCAA team championship last March in Des Moines, Iowa.

    Penn St. seeks 4th straight wrestling title

    Cael Sanderson left Iowa State for Penn State because he saw the Nittany Lions as a potential national powerhouse. Having long established them as the country’s premier program, Sanderson enters his fifth season in State College with a shot at history.

    Bulls guard Michael Jordan collapses in the arms of teammate Scottie Pippen, right, at the end of Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz in 1997, in Salt Lake City. Jordan, fighting flu-like symptoms, scored 38 points to help the Bulls win the game. Jordan gave his shoes to a ball boy, who is now putting them up for auction.

    Ball boy to sell Jordan’s ‘Flu Game’ shoes

    A former Utah Jazz ball boy is selling Michael Jordan’s shoes from his famous “Flu Game” during the 1997 NBA Finals. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Preston Truman kept the autographed shoes in a safe-deposit box at a Utah bank for 15 years. Grey Flannel Auctions says it will auction them online Nov. 18, and bidding begins at $5,000.

    Former Los Angeles Raiders tight end Todd Christensen, shown here during a preseason football game against the San Francisco 49ers in 1987, died from complications during liver transplant surgery. He was 57.

    Ex-Raiders TE Christensen dies at 57

    SALT LAKE CITY — Former Raiders tight end and five-time Pro Bowl selection Todd Christensen died from complications during liver transplant surgery. He was 57.Christensen’s son, Toby Christensen, said his father died Wednesday morning at Intermountain Medical Center near his home in Alpine, Utah.“I’ve been receiving hundreds of texts, Facebook postings and emails — from everybody with a story about my dad,” Toby Christensen said.After a stellar career at running back for BYU from 1974-77, Christensen was a second-round pick for the Dallas Cowboys in the 1978 NFL draft.He was waived by the Cowboys after breaking his foot in training camp but landed the next year with the Raiders, where he played for 10 seasons at tight end and won Super Bowls in 1981 and 1984.In 1983, he had 92 catches, setting the NFL record at the time for tight ends. He finished the season with 1,247 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns.He broke his own record three seasons later with 95 catches. He finished his pro career with 467 catches for 5,872 yards and 41 touchdowns. He surpassed 1,000 yards receiving in three different seasons.Christensen, at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, never fit the Raiders’ untamed mold. He was a thoughtful son of a professor, and even read his own poetry at a Super Bowl news conference. He later self-published three books of poetry.Christensen played on four Western Conference Championship teams for BYU, catching 152 passes for 1,568 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 1992.“He had great skill,” BYU football Hall of Fame coach LaVell Edwards told the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah. “He ran the ball well and he caught the ball extremely well. He had excellent ability in all areas and those are the things that stand out.”Christensen was a color commentator for the NFL on NBC from 1990-94, and did color commentary for ESPN and the now-defunct MountainWest Sports Network before handling Navy games for CBS Sports Network in the 2012 season.Christensen was a devout Mormon who didn’t drink, and his family believes his liver problems started 25 years ago after a “botched” gall bladder operation, his son told The Associated Press.A native of Pennsylvania, Christensen’s family moved to Eugene, Ore., when he was a child and he became a standout at Sheldon High School. He was later inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame.Christensen is survived by his wife and four sons. The family was making plans for a funeral as early as Saturday at a local Mormon Church ward house in Alpine.Ÿ AP Sports Writer Anne M. Peterson in Oregon contributed to this report.

    Ted Nolan, new head coach of the Buffalo Sabres, is interviewed by the media following a news conference Wednesday. (AP Photo/The Buffalo News, Charles Lewis)

    Sabres fire coach, GM; hire Nolan, LaFontaine

    Off to a 4-15-1 start, the worst in franchise history, the Buffalo Sabres fired coach Ron Rolston and hired former coach Ted Nolan to replace him. Sabres owner Terry Pegula also announced Wednesday that he fired general manager Darcy Regier and hired Pat LaFontaine as president of hockey operations.

    Northwestern head coach Chris Collins has signed two Chicago area players as part of his first recruiting class.

    Collins signs 4 to his first Northwestern class

    Northwestern has signed four players as part of men’s basketball coach Chris Collins’ first recruiting class. Forwards Vic Law and Gavin Skelly and guards Bryant McIntosh and Scottie Lindsey signed national letters of intent on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period.


    Some smallmouth anglers pull in some big catches

    Cold and snow you say? Well, that may not bother some die-hard smallmouth anglers determined to cash in on some very large smallies, as Mike Jackson reports in this week's outdoors notebook.


    Even strong angling opinions can change over the years

    Evinrude's E-Tec outboard motor is making a believer of one very brand-loyal angler. Mike Jackson explains in his weekly outdoors column.


    Mike North video: Alex Smith is 9-0
    Alex Smith, the former San Francisco QB, i playing well, while Colin Kaepernick looks just like any other running quarterback who has been figured out by the league.

    Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins drives to the basket during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Duke, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Wiggins’ surge helps No. 5 Kansas edge No. 4 Duke

    Andrew Wiggins soared toward the hoop as Jabari Parker made one more attempt to stop his fellow freshman star.No such luck. Wiggins owned the end of Parker’s impressive homecoming. Wiggins scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half, outplaying Parker down the stretch and helping No. 5 Kansas knock off fourth-ranked Duke 94-83 on Tuesday night.

    Did Paul Konerko wave his final goodbyes to the White Sox faithful this summer? General manager Rick Hahn says the team has a spot for him in 2014 if he wants it.

    Sox have a spot for Konerko if he wants it

    White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told reporters he met with Paul Konerko last week, and the longtime captain is welcome to return for the 2014 season.


    The meeting room is filled during a hearing at the Arizona Corporation Commission on Wednesday in Phoenix. The commission met to discuss rooftop solar power and to hear testimony from a series of residents who packed the room to express their opinions.

    Utility, solar company battle over rooftop panels

    Arizona is in the midst of what seems like an intense election-year campaign: millions of dollars in spending, a barrage of negative TV ads and large amounts of outside money. The issue, however, has nothing to do with taxes, a hot-button policy or anything on the ballot. It is about the future of rooftop solar power in a state known for its abundant sunshine and at a time when the industry is booming.

    U.S. stocks rose, sending benchmark indexes to records, as Macy’s Inc. led a rally among retailers and investors speculated the Federal Reserve’s Janet Yellen will continue the central bank’s stimulus policy as chairman.

    Indexes climb back to records after retail boost

    Macy’s gave the stock market some early holiday cheer. Stock indexes climbed back into record territory Wednesday after the department store chain gave an optimistic forecast for holiday sales. Macy’s surged 9 percent, leading strong gains among retailers including J.C. Penney, Nordstrom and Target.

    Google Inc.’s Motorola Mobility on Wednesday unit unveiled a lower-cost smartphone, seeking to jump-start sales by targeting consumers who can’t afford higher-end devices from bigger rivals.

    Motorola unveils budget smartphone, aimed at world

    Libertyville-based Motorola Mobility wants to equip the world with the latest smartphone technology at less than a third the typical price. The new Moto G phone starts at $179 in the U.S. without a contract requirement. That compares with $600 or more that people must pay for phones without traditional two-year service agreements.


    Boeing machinists voting on contract extension

    About 20,000 Boeing machinists in the Puget Sound area are voting Wednesday on an eight-year contract extension the company says it needs to assemble the new 777X in Washington state. Some members of International Association of Machinists District 751 have called for a no vote, protesting concessions Boeing Co. wants in pension and health benefits.

    An arbitrator has concluded that Starbucks must pay $2.76 billion to settle a dispute with Northfield-based Kraft over coffee distribution.

    Starbucks to pay $2.76 billion in coffee spat with Kraft

    An arbitrator has concluded that Starbucks must pay $2.76 billion to settle a dispute with Kraft over coffee distribution. The two consumer products companies had been locked in a fight for three years after Starbucks Corp. fired Kraft as its distributor of packaged coffee to grocery chains.


    Office Depot names CEO as OfficeMax merger proceeds

    Office Depot Inc. said Tuesday that Roland Smith will be the new CEO of the office supplies retailer as it combines with Naperville-based OfficeMax. Smith, 59, was most recently the CEO of Delhaize America, a subsidiary of Brussels-based Delhaize Group., which owns the Food Lion supermarket chain. Before that, he was CEO of fast-food chain The Wendy’s Co.

    This combination made from file photos shows Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, in Chicago on March 12, 2008, left, and 1 World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 5, 2013.

    Chicago mayor disagrees with Willis Tower ruling

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is making it clear he disagrees with the decision that the new World Trade Center in New York will replace Chicago’s Willis Tower as the nation’s tallest skyscraper.The Height Committee of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat made the announcement on Tuesday. They say the needle being built atop the World Trade Center is a permanent part of the building and not an antenna. They say it should be included when measuring the building’s height. And that makes it taller than the Willis Tower. But Emanuel says if something looks and acts like an antenna, “Then, guess what? It’s an antenna.”

    Beekeepers Ivan Acosta (L), Khalil Harris and intern Lynne Haynor tend to the bees at open house at the Green Youth Farm in the Greenbelt Forest Preserve in North Chicago.

    Registered beekeepers on the rise in Illinois
    The number of registered beekeepers in Illinois is on the rise. The Illinois Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that almost 700 beekeepers registered with the state for the first time in the past year. That brought the total number to more than 2,500 beekeepers managing more than 24,000 colonies.

Life & Entertainment

    Travelers at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport wait for ground transportation upon their arrival. During the 12-day Thanksgiving travel period in 2013, 25.1 million people are projected to fly, an increase of 1.5 percent from last year, according to Airlines for America.

    Tips for surviving the rigors of holiday travel

    There's not much good news for fliers this Thanksgiving. Airports will be packed, planes will have few — if any — empty seats and you might sit apart from a loved one, unless you pay extra. But don't fret, there are some things you can do — in some cases paying a little extra — to make your trip more pleasant, or to at least buffer the damage if something goes wrong.

    Sesame Kale Salad is a simple, healthy dish that could work into your Thanksgiving feast.

    Consider a robust kale salad with Thanksgiving

    When it comes to leafy green vegetables, kale has been king for a while. It boasts more vitamin C than an orange, more calcium than milk, and more iron per calorie than beef. Sara Moulton wanted to find a new way to prepare it. Inspired by a kale salad she ate recently at ABC Kitchen, one of her favorite restaurants in New York, she decided to give hers the Asian treatment, dressing it with soy, sesame oil and rice vinegar.

    Sony PlayStation 4’s on-screen user interface has been streamlined, with a horizontal bar of large icons for games and apps.

    Sony PlayStation 4 terrific, but not yet essential

    Video-game fans who reserved Sony’s PlayStation 4 several months ago won’t have any regrets when it goes on sale in North America on Friday: The PS4 is a terrific game machine that will feel familiar to PlayStation 3 owners while delivering the flashier eye candy you’d expect from gaming’s next generation. Microsoft die-hards will grouse about the PlayStation hype until Nov. 22, when the new Xbox One comes out. There’s no reason for envy: Most of the best PlayStation 4 games will be available on Microsoft’s new console as well. If you're a frequent game player who doesn’t feel an ironclad allegiance to either system — the PlayStation 4 is a good buy.

    Volcano rolls and other rolls come on color-coded plates at Sushi + Rotary Sushi Bar near Fox Valley Mall in Aurora.

    Aurora's Sushi + puts its own spin on creative cuisine

    The Aurora/Naperville area, no stranger to sushi bars, recently welcomed Sushi +, a chic newcomer that quickly has become a popular favorite among fans of the cuisine. Jason Chooi's new rotary sushi bar, on the perimeter of the Westfield Fox Valley mall, definitely merits attention. The restaurant showcases an ample selection of salads, specialty rolls, sashimi, nigiri and more in a unique fashion.

    Sesame Kale Salad is simple and healthy dish for any fall dinner, even Thanksgiving.

    Sesame Kale Salad
    1 small clove garlic, minced2½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil1½ tablespoons vegetable oil3 tablespoons rice vinegar2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce10 cups packed chopped kale leaves, thick stems removed2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)Kosher salt and ground black pepperIn a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, sesame oil, vegetable oil, vinegar and soy sauce. Add the kale and massage it with your hands for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it has become shiny and a little translucent and reduced in volume by one third to one half. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds, then season with salt and pepper. Toss well.Serves six.Nutrition values per serving: 130 calories, 8 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 12 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 0 sugar, 5 g protein, 0 cholesterol, 410 mg sodium.Sara Moulton for The Associated Press


    ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ film postponed until 2015

    The release of the big-screen adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey” has been postponed until 2015.

    Katy Perry will kick off the Nov. 24 American Music Awards with a performance of her new single “Unconditionally.”

    Katy Perry planning something special to open AMAs

    Katy Perry will open the American Music Awards Nov. 24 with her new single, “Unconditionally.” Her performance will be announced Wednesday, along with appearances by Jennifer Lopez in tribute to Celia Cruz and TLC.

    Singer Lady Gaga attends her ARTPOP album release and artRave event the Brooklyn Navy Yard on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013 in New York City.

    Too much? Lady Gaga saturates market

    There’s just one way to escape the blitz surrounding Lady Gaga’s new album: completely unplug from society. To kick off the release of her new album, “Artpop,” this week, the entertainer, never known for understatement, has been omnipresent.

    Actor Mark Wahlberg will appear in a new reality show, titled “Wahlburgers,” set in his family’s Boston restaurant. For the show, actor brothers Mark and Donnie Wahlberg head back to their hometown to join forces with older brother Paul in the hamburger venture. “Wahlburgers” premieres January 22.

    Wahlberg shoots down Kardashian comparison

    Mark Wahlberg says his family won’t be the new Kardashians. Wahlberg will appear in a new unscripted A&E series about family-owned restaurant Wahlburgers alongside his mother and brothers Donnie and Paul. But the actor and producer shoots down any comparison to that other famous set of reality TV siblings.

    This recipe for Brussels Sprout, Cauliflower and Shiitake Fusilli features De Cecco pasta, which won a gold medal at the 1893 World's Fair.

    Iconic products got their start at Chicago's Columbian Exposition

    From breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, many familiar brands debuted at Chicago's Columbian Exposition, which at its 120th anniversary retains its hold on our imagination. De Cecco, a premium Italian pasta company, recently held a luncheon to celebrate “Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World's Fair” at the Field Museum, an institution that itself sprang from the fair, held in what is now Chicago's Jackson Park. The company wants everyone to know it won a gold medal at the Fair — and hopefully convince them the quality has never wavered.

    As Acoustic Truth, suburban natives Ryan Knott and Sarah Lendy made a video of their song “Time” with the help of Hollywood director Michael Estrella.

    Acoustic Truth landed video deal at L.A. airport

    A flight delay turned out to be a good thing for Sarah Lendy and Ryan Knott. The country-pop duo, known as Acoustic Truth, had a chance meeting in the Los Angeles airport with video director Michael Estrella. He liked Lendy's vocals and Knott's guitar-playing so much that he offered to shoot a video with them for free. The result — filmed both in Huntley and Chicago — is drawing attention since it was posted last month on YouTube.

    Daily Herald Food Editor Deborah Pankey tastes entries in the Daily Herald’s Home Baking Challenge along with Baking Secrets columnist Annie Overboe and Gail Eisenberg of Gail’s Brownie’s in Buffalo Grove.

    Creative twists get suburban bakers into winner’s ciricle
    A little creativity went a long way for some suburban bakers who participated in the Daily Herald’s Home Baking Challenge. Bananas Foster Bread Pudding, Chai Pear Pecan Pie and white chocoate and dried cherry oatmeal cookies baked biscotti-style got Nick Brenkus of West Dundee, Pat Shepard of Batavia, and Nancy Smearman of Palatine, respectively, into the winner’s circle.

    Bob Chwedyk/bchwedyk@dailyherald.com Sam and Harry’s Pastry Chef Kathy Plucinski’s Chocolate Pot de Crème, made with marshmallow ice cream, toasted marshmallows, graham streusel, and dark chocolate cocoa.

    Dark Chocolate Pot de Crème
    2 sheets of gelatin (see note)8 ounces dark chocolate 1 quart heavy cream 2 ounces sugar 4 ounces egg yolks Marshmallows 7 sheets of gelatin (see note)4 egg whites 19 ounces sugar 2 ounces corn syrup Splash of water Graham cracker streusel 4 ounces cold butter, cubed 4 ounces sugar 8 ounces all-purpose flour 1 sleeve graham crackers, crushedFor the pot de crème: Place the gelatin in a shallow bowl of cold water. Set aside.Chop the chocolate and place in a bowl, set aside.Heat the cream over medium heat in a saucepan, stirring occasionally until scalding. Mix the sugar and egg yolks together and slowly mix into the warm cream. Stir constantly with a spatula until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.Drain water from the gelatin and add gelatin to the cream mixture. Immediately, pour over the chopped chocolate and stir until well combined and smooth. Pour into eight serving dishes and let set for at least 4 hours or overnight.For the marshmallows: Place the gelatin in a bowl of cold water. Let stand.In a small saucepan combine the sugar, a splash of water and the corn syrup. Place over medium heat and cook until the temperature reaches 257 degrees on a candy thermometer. Start mixing the egg whites in a stand mixer on low speed. While it is running, pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the egg white mixture. When the temperature of the egg white and sugar mixture drops to 212 degrees, add the strained gelatin. Continue to whip on medium speed for about 20 minutes.While it is whipping, take a 9-by-9 pan and coat in an equal mixture of cornstarch and powdered sugar. When the mixture is ready, pour into the pan and spread, sprinkle more of the cornstarch and powdered sugar mixture over the top. Let sit for at least 4-6 hours; overnight is best.For the cracker streusel: Mix all the ingredients in a mixer with a paddle on low speed until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Spread onto a lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown.To serve: Cut marshmallows into cubes and toss onto pot de crème. Garnish with graham cracker streusel. Serves eight.Cook’s notes: Look for gelatin sheets at bakery supply stores or online shops. Let it bloom in cold water and strain it before use.Chef Kathy Plucinski, Sam & Harry’s, Schaumburg

    William Beckett is set to perform at the Raue Center for the Arts in Crystal Lake.

    Weekend picks: William Beckett to rock the Raue

    William Beckett (formerly of The Academy Is ...) performs as part of the Raue Center for the Arts' musical session series. Richard Lewis, Larry David's best pal on "Curb Your Enthusiasm," brings his neurosis and humor to Zanies in Rosemont. "Defending the Caveman" comically spells out differences between men and women going all the way back to prehistoric times at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.


    Music notes: Classic America rocks the Arcada

    Classic pop-rock band America makes a stop in St. Charles to perform hits like "Horse With No Name," while thrash-metal pioneers Slayer perform in Chicago.


    It takes a good atlas to navigate the changing world of wine

    "The World Atlas of Wine,” recently published in its seventh edition is the essential rootstock of any true wine lover’s library.No one in the past 50 years has written about wine in the English language with more charm, grace and wit than eminent British wine writers Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson.

    Joseph Gordon Levitt, left, and Leonardo DiCaprio star in “Inception,” which is rated PG-13. Ohio State University and the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania surveyed gun violence in top-grossing movies, finding that it had more than tripled in PG-13 films since 1985.

    Study: PG-13 gun violence rivals that of R movies

    Gun violence in PG-13 rated movies has increased considerably in recent decades, to the point that it sometimes exceeds gun violence in even R-rated films, according to a study released Monday. Ohio State University and the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania surveyed gun violence in top-grossing movies, finding that the frequency of gun violence had more than tripled in PG-13 films since 1985.

    “End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy” is the latest book by James Swanson.

    Two JFK books to read: 'End of Days' and 'If Kennedy Lived'

    Questions remain and conspiracy theories abound 50 years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Author James Swanson takes readers on a minute-by-minute account of that fateful day in Dallas in “End of Days.” Author Jeff Greenfield imagines what would have happened if Kennedy hadn't died in his fascinating book “If Kennedy Lived.”

    Stephen Lazicki holds Santina, a 14-year-old macaw, at Lazicki’s Bird House and Rescue in South Kingstown, R.I. Lazicki must find a new location for the shelter by Dec. 30 because the current building is destined to be torn down.

    In need of a good home: 80 parrots

    Maybe 10 times a week, someone calls Steve Lazicki looking to get rid of a parrot. They’re too loud, too demanding and sometimes just too long-lived. Now, the shelter that Lazicki calls his orphanage may have to close its doors. The commercial building where Lazicki runs his Birdhouse and Rescue is slated for demolition because the owner plans to redevelop the area. Lazicki and the 80 strays in his care must be out by Dec. 30. With affordable space hard to come by, it isn’t easy to find enough room to accommodate dozens of the large, loud bird.

    Brussels sprout, Cauliflower and Shiitake Fusilli

    Brussels sprout, Cauliflower and Shiitake Fusilli
    1 pound spinach fusill8 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed12 ounces cauliflower florets (about 4 cups)¼ extra-virgin olive oil, divided4 medium shallots, finely chopped4 garlic cloves, minced7 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed1 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsleySalt and pepper to taste1/3 cup grated parmesan cheeseCook pasta and brussels sprouts according to pasta package direction, adding cauliflower during last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain, reserving ¼ cup pasta water.While pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; cook 15-30 seconds, stirring constantly, or until fragrant. Add mushrooms; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until browned. Remove from the heat. Return hot cooked pasta, brussels sprouts and cauliflower to pot; add reserved pasta water and mushroom mixture. Set aside 2 tablespoons parsley. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons oil and remaining parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and reserved parsley.Serves eight.De Cecco Pasta

    Sam and Harry's Pastry Chef Kathy Plucinski puts the finishing touches on her Dark Chocolate Pots de Crème, a creamy dessert accented with marshmallow ice cream, toasted marshmallows and graham cracker streusel.

    Chef du jour: Chocolate makes the world go round for this pastry chef

    As pastry chef for the past seven years at Sam and Harry's Steakhouse Schaumburg, Kathy Plucinski has enticed diners with many forms of this sweet ingredient, including the restaurant's signature dish, dark chocolate pots de crème. She recently had the opportunity to immerse herself in this decadent ingredient as one of 12 pastry chefs from across the country chosen to learn about chocolate at a chocolate factory in Switzerland.


    The Elk Grove Park District will decide on a vendor for video gambling machines to place in a bar on its golf course, pending Illinois Gaming Board approval.

    Editorial: Video gambling’s onslaught enters public venues

    A Daily Herald editorial laments the apparently unstoppable onslaught of video gambling, even into publicly owned and operated venues.


    CBS too quick to retract

    Columnist Ruben Navarrette: "60 Minutes" reporters and producers at the venerable CBS newsmagazine made mistakes in putting together a story about last year’s attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Libya — and the story has been retracted. But they also got a few things right, highlighting important information that raises serious questions about whether the attack could have been predicted and prevented.


    Christie’s Tea Party problem

    Columnist Richard Cohen: The day after Chris Christie, the cuddly moderate conservative, won a landslide re-election as the Republican governor of Democratic New Jersey, I took the Internet Express out to Iowa, surveying its various newspapers, blogs and such to see how he might do in the GOP caucuses, won last time by Rick Santorum, neither cuddly nor moderate. Superstorm Sandy put Christie on the map. The winter snows of Iowa could bury him.


    Use cameras at railroad crossings
    A Mundelein letter to the editor: Every day, I watch cars in back of me stop on the tracks simply because they followed the car in front of them.


    America as we know it is fading fast
    A Palatine letter to the editor: First take over health care, then we brainwash your children in school, followed by no criticism of the merciful supreme leader, or you will be labeled a racist. Where did America go?


    Stories in paper reflect the good among us
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Thank you very much for your issue of Nov. 7. The story about James Tao, an outstanding math student/genius at the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora, gives us much hope for the future of America.


    Gay marriage law a slippery slope
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: In this age of political correctness it seems we are being told to accept any behaviors people say they need to express themselves and show their love for a mate. But this can be a slippery slope, and we need to be careful, as guidelines for moral, ethical and acceptable behaviors are needed in a civilized society.


    Why ‘affordable’ health law isn’t
    A Sleepy Hollow letter to the editor: Are you wondering why the “Affordable” Care Act is turning out to be so unaffordable? Perhaps if you look at the recent “equality” regulations on mental health coverage you will begin to understand the federal government’s expansive role at your expense.


    Is Elgin-O’Hare really needed?
    An Itasca letter to the editor: As Governor Quinn, IDOT the Tollway and a host of dignitaries gathered to officially kick off the massive 12-year, $3.4 billion Elgin-O’Hare Western Access Project, the Prime Minister of Turkey and Japan and a host of dignitaries opened a railway tunnel underneath the Bosporus.


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