Daily Archive : Friday November 15, 2013



    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Prospect Heights police reported a large number of cellphone thefts in recent days, two of them occurring at a McDonald's restaurant.


    Metra train hits, kills pedestrian near Palatine

    A Metra train headed to Crystal Lake from Chicago struck and killed a pedestrian near Palatine Friday evening.

    Anthony J. Oplinger

    Police: Wood Dale man pulled BB gun on barber over haircut

    A Wood Dale man faces assault charges after threatening his barber with a BB gun over what he claimed was a lousy haircut, authorities said Friday. The confrontation happened Tuesday at the Barber Lounge, 453 West Irving Park Road in Bensenville. “I’ve been cutting hair for 10 years and I’ve never seen anything like that before — not even close,” Shop owner Carlos Dighero said.


    Naperville picks new deputy police chief

    Naperville police has a new deputy chief


    No injuries in Elgin basement fire

    Fire erupted in the basement of a two-story house in Elgin Friday evening, authorities said. Elgin firefighters were called to the 1000 block of Adams Street just after 5 p.m., according to Battalion Chief Bryan McMahan. By that time, McMahan said, the fire was mostly out. “It was one of those that was raging by itself and ran out of oxygen.”

    No injuries were reported Friday in a fire that forced a Lombard family from their home on the 200 block of Main Street.

    No injuries in Lombard house fire

    A Lombard family and their pet dog escaped unharmed Friday afternoon when a fire started in the kitchen of their home on the 200 block of North Main Street and then spread to another room, authorities said.

    Chicago firefighters tried to contain a four-alarm strip mall fire at Peterson Road and Lincoln Avenue on Chicago’s North Side Friday afternoon.

    Huge Chicago fire destroys Rogers Park strip mall

    A strip mall was engulfed in flames Friday afternoon in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. ABC 7 Chicago reports the four-alarm fire was reported to have started around 4 p.m. Friday afternoon at the northeast corner of the intersection at Peterson Road and Lincoln Avenue.

    Chicago Bears linebacker Khaseem Greene, right, gets a knuckles bump from Brandon Hurst of Chick-fil-A Inc. while practice squad tight end Fendi Onobun gets a knuckles bump from a Chick-fil-A cow while signing autographs outside of the new Vernon Hills restaurant Friday.

    Vernon Hills Chick-fil-A welcomes Bears’ Khaseem Greene

    The grand opening of the new Vernon Hills Chick-fil-A restaurant that has already brought a promotion that featured people camping out for free food added a little star power on Friday.

    Dressed in a black Batman costume, his fists clenched as he took on foe after foe around San Francisco, a 5-year-old boy who has battled leukemia for years fulfilled his wish Friday to be his favorite superhero. In the process, Miles Scott became a darling of social media and attracted thousands of fans around the country, including the White House.

    5-year-old California boy a smash hit as 'Batkid'

    Dressed in a black Batman costume, his fists clenched as he took on foe after foe around San Francisco, a 5-year-old boy who has battled leukemia for years fulfilled his wish Friday to be his favorite superhero. In the process, Miles Scott became a darling of social media and attracted thousands of fans around the country, including the White House..

    Tammy Duckworth

    3 suburban Democrats sign on to House health law change

    Three suburban congressional Democrats voted for a Republican bill to permit the sale of individual health coverage that falls short of requirements of the federal health care law. "The Affordable Care Act does many good things, but I’m disappointed in the administration’s implementation because it leaves my neighbors with a lot of uncertainty,” Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates wrote.


    Metra erases 9 percent cap on raises

    Metra directors have lifted a 9 percent annual salary cap for non-union employees, some of whom already were approved for pay increases of up to 33 percent.

    Hundreds of typhoon survivors wait for the first evacuation flight of the day at the airport in Tacloban, central Philippines, Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced by Typhoon Haiyan, which tore across several islands in the eastern Philippines on Nov. 8.

    Images: Haiyan Devastation
    Images of the destruction in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.Days after the storm struck the central Philippines, many of the dead were still lying along roads as survivors searched for bodies buried under the rubble.

    Bill Wood

    Gilberts, Elgin officers recognized for saving lives

    Eight Fox Valley area police officers are being commended for their efforts in helping save people’s lives.


    Cellphones for soldiers:

    59th District state Rep. Carol Sente will sponsor a Cellphones for Soldiers Drive to connect servicemen and women with their families.


    Kowal to speak at historical society meet:

    Connie Kowal will be the featured speaker at the Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, at the Cook Park Library, 413 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville.


    Hawthorn Woods collecting toys:

    The holidays will soon be here and Hawthorn Woods officials ask that you consider donating a new toy to children in need.

    Metra planners hope wind-measuring devices will reduce storm delays.

    UP Line commuters promised a break from wind delays

    Metra is moving to install wind detectors along three of its Union Pacific lines. Devices on the BNSF Line have helped speed trains on their way by sending instant weather updates to railroad dispatchers with the freight railroad.


    Brown stepping down Jan. 1

    Diana Brown, director of the St. Charles library since 1978, is retiring. She will be replaced by the current director of the Morton Grove Public Library.


    Naperville cops investigate report of armed robbery

    Two brothers walking home from a Naperville restaurant were robbed at gunpoint this week, police said Friday. Authorities are looking for any information about the 9:45 p.m. Wednesday holdup in the area of Fort Hill Drive and Three Farms Avenue.

    This photo display at a press conference at the San Bernardino County Sheriffís Department headquarters in San Bernadino, Calif., shows Joseph and Summer McStay, and their children Gianni and Joseph Mateo, who disappeared in 2010 from their San Diego home.

    Bodies unearthed in desert believed to be missing family

    Four skeletons found in shallow graves in the Southern California desert are believed those of a San Diego County family that vanished three years ago, police said Friday, resolving one mystery and raising a host of new questions about what happened to the seemingly happy couple and their two young sons.

    The JPMorgan Chase & Co. logo is displayed at their headquarters in New York.

    JPMorgan Chase reaches $4.5B settlement with investors

    JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Friday it has reached a $4.5 billion settlement with investors over mortgage-backed securities.The settlement covers 21 major institutional investors.

    Stella Loredo, left, and her son, Jeydon Loredo, a South Texas transgender teenager who grew up female but now identifies himself as a male.

    Transgender Texas student’s tuxedo photo banned

    Jeydon Loredo, a South Texas transgender teenager, wants to be remembered in his high school yearbook wearing clothing that he says reflects his identity. But the 18-year-old, who grew up female but now identifies as male, and his mother say that his school district is refusing to allow a picture of Jeydon in a tuxedo to appear in the yearbook because it violates “community standards.”

    Former Los Angeles teacher Mark Berndt, 62, pleads no contest Friday during his change-of-plea hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court.

    Teacher guilty of lewd acts on dozens of students

    Mark Berndt entered the legal equivalent of guilty pleas to 23 counts of committing lewd acts on children. Under a plea deal, the former teacher at Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles was immediately sentenced to 25 years in prison.

    Brian Townsend

    New Schaumburg police chief to be named Monday

    The end of an especially painful year for the Schaumburg Police Department will be heralded by the announcement Monday of a new permanent police chief to lead the force into 2014 and beyond. The top candidate among 83 applicants from throughout the region and country will likely start on Monday, Dec. 30, Schaumburg Village Manager Brian Townsend said.

    Don McLean rides South Dakota’s float Friday in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.

    Macy’s moves Joan Jett off S. Dakota float

    Macy’s is moving rocker Joan Jett and her band off the South Dakota tourism float in its Thanksgiving Day parade after ranchers complained about having a vegetarian and animal rights advocate representing their state.

    Patrick Kehoe

    Services for Milton Twp. Trustee Patrick Kehoe on Saturday

    Friends and family will gather Saturday morning to remember former Milton Township Trustee Patrick Kehoe. A recently elected trustee, Kehoe, of Wheaton died suddenly Sunday while traveling to Springfield for the 106th Annual Township Officials of Illinois Education Conference with Trustees Marty Keller and Yadav Nathwani. He was 66.

    Naperville police said Friday they are seeking an arrest warrant for a suspect in the theft of this 2-month-old Havanese puppy named Casper from the Naperville Petland store on Nov. 8.

    Naperville police seeking warrant for suspected puppy thief

    Naperville police are seeking an arrest warrant for a suspect in the recent cases of puppies stolen from Petland stores, authorities said Friday. Sgt. Lou Cammiso said police have identified a suspect in the theft of a white 2-month old Havanese puppy named Casper, who was taken from the store at 720 S. Route 59 on Nov. 8.

    Vice President Joe Biden listens Thursday during a naturalization ceremony at the Martin Luther King Jr., Center for Non Violent Social Change in Atlanta. More than 100 people took the oath to become U.S. citizens at the ceremony.

    Obama announces more immigration rule changes

    The latest order gives U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials the power to “parole in place” immigrant spouses, children and parents of current U.S. service members, reservists and veterans. The change means that those immigrants can apply to legally live in the United States.


    High court to hear case of police sued over chase

    The justices said Friday they will review an appeals court ruling allowing a civil lawsuit by the driver’s daughter to proceed against six West Memphis, Ark., police officers. They fatally shot driver Donald Rickard and passenger Kelly Allen in a chaotic scene on a Memphis street.

    Thousands of Albanians gather to celebrate the announcement made by Prime Minsiter Edi Rama that he turned down a request by the Untied States to host an operation to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons.

    Albania refuses to accept Syria’s chemical weapons

    Albania had been considered the strongest hope, and few diplomats expected the NATO country of 2.8 million people to reject what Prime Minister Edi Rama said had been a direct request from the U.S.But the plan was unpopular in Albania, and young protesters had camped outside Rama’s office to oppose it, fearing it would be a health and environmental hazard.

    A protester holds up spent ammunition Friday in Tripoli, Libya after militiamen attacked peaceful protesters demanding the disbanding of the country’s rampant armed groups.

    Militias attack Libyan protesters, killing 22

    When they neared the building, militiamen in civilian clothes and military uniforms came out of the headquarters, opening fire at the protesters with automatic weapons, RPGs and anti-aircraft guns. Protesters ran from gunfire while carrying others covered in blood.


    Schaumburg library hires deputy director

    The Schaumburg Township District Library has hired Monica Harris, formerly of the Oak Park Public Library, to be its new deputy director. Harris was presented with the Library Journal Mover and Shaker award for being an innovator in 2010 and was recognized as a Fellow of the Inaugural Association Leadership Academy in March of this year.


    Arlington Hts. Park District wins budget award

    The Arlington Heights Park District has been awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association for its 2012 Budget.

    Associated Press/provided by The Daily Show Two Chicago-style deep-dish pizzas that were sent to comedian Jon Stewart accompanied by a note saying: Jon, Deep Dish With Dead Fish. Love, Rahm.

    Chicago mayor, comic Stewart engage in deep-dish diss

    Chicago’s mayor has delivered a message to comedian Jon Stewart: Don’t diss the deep dish.

    Maine West students line up along Wolf Road and pass bags of food down the half-mile long human chain.

    ‘Cans Across Des Plaines’ collects 7,000 items

    For the fifth consecutive year, Maine West High School students and staff assembled a half-mile long human chain Friday to help stock a Des Plaines food pantry at the Des Plaines Self-Help Closet at Algonquin and Wolf roads.

    Mario Aliano, owner of Aliano’s Ristorante in Batavia, is offering free meals to senior citizens from noon to 3 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. He said it’s his way of saying thanks to the community that has supported the restaurant for the nearly two years it’s been open.

    Batavia eatery serving free Thanksgiving dinner to seniors

    Aliano's wants to say "thank you" to the Batavia community, so it is serving a free Thanksgiving meal to senior citizens from noon to 3 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. "What better thing to do than to help out the community?" manager Ashlee DiDonato said.

    Jeremy Hammond.

    Ex-Glendale Heights 'Hacktivist' gets 10-year sentence

    An unrepentant self-described “hacktivist” was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for illegally accessing computer systems of law enforcement agencies and government contractors.Before hearing his sentence, Jeremy Hammond, formerly of Glendale Heights, told a Manhattan federal judge that his goal was to expose injustices by the private intelligence industry when he joined forces...

    Condoleezza Rice

    Former secretary of state to speak at 2014 World Leaders Forum

    Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be the keynote speaker at Judson University’s fourth annual World Leaders Forum March 19, the university announced Friday. Rice, the first black woman to serve as secretary of state, will speak about global leadership at a community event on the university’s Elgin campus and at a VIP reception later that night in Chicago.


    Residents tied up in Hoffman Ests. home invasion

    Residents were tied up in a Hoffman Estates home invasion Wednesday morning, police said.A man armed with a handgun entered an unlocked house on the 1900 block of Chelmsford Place around 10:13 a.m. and demanded money, police reports said.

    Jeremy A. Betancourt

    Some restrictions lifted against teen charged in fatal Gurnee street racing crash

    An Antioch Township teen awaiting trial on charges related to an illegal street race that killed a 16-year-old girl will no longer be required to attend weekly court hearings. A Lake County judge on Friday lifted the requirement for Jeremy Betancourt, 17, to allow him to go to school in Wheeling. Betancourt also was granted a request to attend a weekly church service in Salem, Wis.

    Peter Roskam

    Roskam cleared in Taiwan trip investigation

    The U.S. House Ethics Committee Friday closed the investigation into Rep. Peter Roskam’s 2011 trip to Taiwan after months of review without recommending disciplinary actions.


    Batavia house fire blamed on wood-burning stove

    A wood-burning stove is being blamed for a fire on the 700 block of Lathem street in Batavia. The stove was in the basement of the single-story, wood-frame house. Officials are still investigating, but believe the flue might have been improperly installed, leading to a situation where materials around the stove, including the flooring, ignited, according to Deputy Chief Randy Banker.

    National University of Health Sciences in Lombard.

    Naturopaths meeting in Lombard, want to be licensed by state

    Illinois naturopaths, health care providers who focus on natural healing methods, are having their first convention in Lombard starting Saturday as the group continues to ask state officials to license and regulate them. But state doctors are pushing back hard, questioning the medical skills of the group.

    Raymond Christe of Crystal Lake, left, and Larry Kozak of Algonquin make the inaugural ride on their CalypSol Trimaran on the lake of Crystal Lake.

    Navigating green on the Illinois and Mississippi rivers

    Building a boat and taking it on a voyage is a dream few will realize. But two Fox Valley engineers are already making it happen with their two-passenger solar-powered canoe, dubbed CalypSol.

    Phil Georgia

    Round Lake District 116 gets upbeat restructuring report

    Changes made by Round Lake Area Unit District 116 to help boost student academic achievement are receiving an early thumbs-up from administrators.

    Security video shows the suspect in Thursday’s robbery of the Community Trust Credit Union in Gurnee as he jumps on the counter.

    Gurnee police release images of man accused in credit union robbery

    Gurnee police have released images they hope will provide leads to a man accused of robbing a credit union. Cmdr. Willie Meyer said the bandit, who implied he possessed a gun, wore a ski mask pulled over his face. The suspect was described as a black man in his 30s, believed to be 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 160 to 180 pounds.

    Harold Schwind of Roselle has worked the “chain gang” at the Chicago Bears games for the last 38 years.

    Moving Picture: Roselle man works NFL ‘chain gang’

    Harold Schwind of Roselle has lived a good portion of his life on the sidelines of football games. The former high school referee now heads up a crew running the "chain gang" for Bears homes games. There's more to the job than most people think, but he keeps up with the hectic pace and he's enjoyed rubbing elbows with some of the NFL's best players over the years.

    House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013. Speaking about the Affordable Care Act, Boehner insisted it was time to “scrap this law once and for all.”

    House OKs coverage plans short of Obamacare rules

    Brushing aside a White House veto threat, the Republican-controlled House voted Friday to let insurance companies sell individual health coverage to all comers, even if it falls short of the required standards in “Obamacare.” In all, 39 Democrats broke ranks and supported the legislation, a total that underscored the political importance of a controversial issue likely to be front and center in...

    Soprano Susan Dennis

    Northwest Festival Orchestra to celebrate Verdi, Wagner birthdays

    In 1813, two composers were born, one in Germany, the other in Italy, who would transform opera and remain titans of the form 200 years later. The bicentennial is sparking performances of the works of Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner around the world this year, including in the Northwest suburbs. The Northwest Festival Orchestra is planning a concert Sunday, Nov. 24, at Harper College to...

    Wheaton College seeks to fulfill its mission of preparing students to serve as global citizens who “build the church and benefit society worldwide,” President Philip Graham Ryken says.

    Wheaton College students need to understand people, cultures of the world

    Wheaton College President Philip Graham Ryken says to fulfill its mission, the school's graduates need to understand the people and cultures of the world.

    Doug Domeracki Inside District 94

    Students, staff share why they like life at West Chicago high school

    Douglas Domeracki, superintendent of Community High School District 94 in West Chicago, recently asked staff what parents should be proud of in their teens' education.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    An iPhone 5C and a Flip video recorder were stolen out of a locker during the boys basketball team practice between 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday at Geneva High School, 416 McKinley Ave., according to a police report.

    A lone leaf provides an interesting image of the changing seasons.

    Tips for capturing different images of the changing seasons

    A single leaf hanging on the tip of a tree branch can provide a different viewpoint on the change of seasons for area photographers as fall morphs into winter.


    Geneva east bank riverside housing to stay single-family for now

    Geneva will change its Downtown/Station Area Master Plan to reflect single-family housing on the east bank of the Fox River, at residents' request.

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford makes his way to the council chamber in Toronto on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. Toronto’s City Council voted overwhelming to strip Mayor Rob Ford of some of his powers in the latest attempt to box in the brash leader who has rebuffed huge pressure to resign over his drinking and drug habits and erratic behavior. Ford vowed to fight it in court. Council passed the motion 39-3.

    Toronto council strips Mayor Rob Ford of powers

    Toronto’s City Council voted overwhelmingly Friday to strip Mayor Rob Ford of some of his powers, trying to box in the brash leader who has rebuffed huge pressure to resign over his drinking and drug habits and erratic behavior. An unusually subdued Ford vowed to fight the motion in court while also saying he understood why the council was taking the measures. “If I would have had a mayor...

    Prosecutors on Friday charged a suburban Detroit homeowner with second-degree murder in the death of a 19-year-old Renisha McBride, who was shot in the face on his porch.

    Homeowner charged in deadly Mich. porch shooting

    Prosecutors on Friday charged a suburban Detroit homeowner with second-degree murder in the death of a 19-year-old woman who was shot in the face on his porch.


    Hagel cites “troubling lapses” among nuke forces

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is commenting publicly for the first time on what he calls “troubling lapses” of professionalism within the ranks of U.S. nuclear forces.

    Like many, a Glen Ellyn family that had its health care plan cancelled under the Affordable Care Act has had a hard time finding new options on Healthcare.gov. It's not clear whether the family will be helped by Obama's announcement that insurers can continue to offer existing plans. “Quite frankly, it's very scary,” Danice McGrath said. “We're responsible for three little people plus ourselves.”

    Glen Ellyn mom frustrated after health insurance cancellation notice

    Like many, a Glen Ellyn family that had its health care plan cancelled under the Affordable Care Act has had a hard time finding new options on Healthcare.gov. It's not clear whether the family will be helped by Obama's announcement that insurers can continue to offer existing plans. “Quite frankly, it's very scary,” Danice McGrath said. “We're responsible for three little...

    Lisa Spakowski, who started a dog rescue more than 12 years ago, could be fined up to $750 by the city of Wood Dale for having more dogs in her house than the city allows.

    Wood Dale woman caring for sick dogs may have to put 2 to sleep

    A Wood Dale woman who started a pet rescue for sick and often elderly dogs is being taken to court for keeping more than three dogs at her home. If Lisa Spakowski loses the case next week, she fears she could be forced to euthanize two of her dogs. “It’s a nightmare having to think about killing dogs that trust me — dogs that feel safe here,” she said.

    Smith's Garage in Herrin Illinois, in front of which six men were shot and killed in connection with the Herrin massacre.

    Illinois cemetery search finds 1922 massacre victims

    Researchers believe their excavation of a southern Illinois cemetery has located the likely remains of people killed during a violent 1922 labor strike at a nearby coal mine. The Herrin City Cemetery search headed by Eastern Illinois University geologist Steven Di Naso and author Scott Doody found four coffins this week matching the description of those used for victims of the Herrin Massacre,


    Barrington Holiday Wine Walk is Saturday afternoon

    The merchants in downtown Barrington will host a Holiday Wine Walk from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23. The event kicks off the holiday shopping season by introducing shoppers and visitors to the unique shops and restaurants in Barrington. More than 30 shops and restaurants are participating. The Holiday Wine Walk will offer free wine tastings and other tasty treats at each of the merchant stops.

    Delmer “Dusty” Powell

    Lake County mourns death of tough but fair road manager

    Lake County officials are mourning the death of Delmer 'Dusty' Powell. Twenty of his 27-year tenure with the county was in the division of transporation, where he programmed and worked out agreements for highway projects. "Dusty has his fingerprints all over Lake County and we're all the better for it," said County Administrator Barry Burton.


    Naperville looks to decrease property taxes

    Naperville plans to continue a three-year trend of lowering property taxes, with the average homeowner expected to owe the city about $12 less next year. The city council will hold a public hearing on the proposed tax levy during a meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the municipal center, 400 S. Eagle St. If the levy is approved, homeowners would see a decrease in the city portion of their property bill...


    Roselle, Hanover Park OK boundary pact along Gary Avenue

    Roselle and Hanover Park have approved to a new boundary agreement outlining each village’s claim to annex unincorporated land between the towns. The pact makes Gary Avenue Gary the dividing line for the next 20 years, with Roselle getting land east of Gary. Land to the west can be claimed by Hanover Park

    China will loosen its decades-old one-child policy and abolish a much-criticized labor camp system, its ruling Communist Party said Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. The official Xinhua News Agency said the party announced the changes in a policy document following a key, four-day meeting of party leaders that ended Tuesday in Beijing.

    China to ease 1-child policy, abolish labor camps

    China will loosen family planning rules that limit many couples to a single child in the first substantial change to the unpopular policy in nearly three decades, as leaders seek to address a rapidly aging population. Under the change, families in which at least one parent was an only child would be allowed to have a second child themselves. The ruling Communist Party also said late Friday the...


    A timeline of China’s family-planning policy

    Key events in the history of China’s family planning policy.

    Naperville businessman Bert Miller announces his candidacy for the 11th Congressional District at his Phoenix Closures Inc. manufacturing facility.

    GOP hopeful in 11th district defends supporting Obama, Blago

    As owner of Naperville's Phoenix Closures, Republican businessman Bert Miller took a turn last decade as chairman of the powerful Illinois Manufacturers Association and has given campaign donations to mostly Republicans, including Jim Oberweis and former House Speaker Dennis Hastert. But his primary opponents have seized on two gifts to Democrats: $1,000 to then Democratic Senate candidate Barack...

    A Typhoon Haiyan survivor bathes in the ruins of his home in Guiuan, Philippines on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, hit the country’s eastern seaboard Nov. 8, leaving a wide swath of destruction.

    In Philippines, battered town gets busy rebuilding

    A week after the typhoon struck the Philippines, there is immense need, much of it untouched by an aid effort that is struggling. But amid the desperation, a spirit of resilience was clearly evident Friday as the residents of Guiuan and other battered towns started rebuilding their lives — with or without help from their government or a foreign aid groups.

    A young girl stares over the kitchen table with a reflective surface waiting to strike at any moment.

    Images: Photo Contest Finalists
    Each week you submit your favorite photo. We pick the best of the bunch and select 12 finalists. Here are the finalists for the week of November 11.

    Elgin Public Works employee Chris Becker takes advantage of decent weather Thursday to clean up leaves in the city.

    Crews clear streets of tons of leaves

    Elgin Public Works employee Chris Becker proves that even when you have the biggest, baddest machinery at your disposal, you still need a simple rake to clean up leaves. Crews were on Elgin's southeast side Thursday morning continuing the monster task of removing all the leaves from city streets.

    The lackluster showing for President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul could foreshadow trouble for the embattled program. The plan relies on younger, healthier Americans, who are in less need of health care, to signup to cover the costs of expanding coverage to those with serious problems.

    Lack of younger enrollees threatens exchanges

    Among the concerns surrounding the rollout of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul was that too few young, healthy people would sign up — a problem that could undermine the financial viability of the federal law. The insurance industry has increasing cause for concern as early enrollment reports suggest a trend that could cause insurance premiums and deductibles to rise sharply next...

    Rosie Cruz, an immigrant from the Philippines, prays during a mass held to honor the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, in Carson, Calif. Philippine overseas workers, cut off from home after a super-typhoon killed more than 2,000 people, are coming together to pray, swap information and launch aid drives.

    Filipinos abroad seek news, rally aid after Haiyan

    They gather in California churches, in Hong Kong shopping malls, at prayer vigils in Bahrain and on hastily launched Facebook pages. Philippine overseas workers, cut off from home after a super-typhoon killed thousands, are coming together to pray, swap information and launch aid drives.


    Western suburbs hit by quake after quarry blast, USGS says

    Scientists of the U.S. Geological Survey say it’s likely it was an earthquake that shook the western suburbs after a blast at a quarry.

    Copeland Manor School fifth-graders Kate Barry, left, and Margaret Stephenson participate in a science program called Kids in Chemistry on Thursday in Libertyville.

    Copeland Manor students get chemistry lesson

    What do you get when you mix baking soda with citric acid and water? A pretty cool class. Copeland Manor fifth grade students got a chance to learn about chemistry Thursday by mixing chemicals to create various substances during a science program called Kids in Chemistry at the Libertyville school.


    Dawn Patrol: Missing Island Lake pension funds; PlayStation 4

    Island Lake police pension fund is underfunded. The DuPage County Health Department reviews alerts after Legionnaires' disease found. Suburbanites line up for PS4. Naperville Park District buys land for indoor activity center. Schaumburg crimes trackable online. Fox Lake man sentenced for murder. Hawks win again. Rose ready to play tonight.


    Elk Grove Village golf course closer to video gambling

    The publicly owned Fox Run Golf Links in Elk Grove Village is a step closer to getting video gambling machines. On Thursday night, the Elk Grove Park District board voted 5-0 to approve a three-year contract with Gold Rush Amusements to be the district’s video gambling vendor.


    Palatine-Schaumburg Dist. 211 proposes increasing tax levy 1.2%

    The Palatine-Schaumburg District 211 school board voted 5-2 to approve the proposed 2013 property tax levy after hearing disgruntled residents speak out against it for a second time Thursday. You’re supposed to think critically what the administration is asking and think about everybody in the community,” said Vicky Wilson of Palatine.

    Charleen Carlsen

    Could special tax be answer to Rutland’s bus woes?

    Even though the Rutland Township board refused to make a decision on financing bus service for its senior and disabled residents, Township Supervisor Margaret Sanders isn’t giving up just yet. At the same time, officials from Huntley and the Sun City subdivision have no interest in starting their own bus system, but in Sun City’s case, officials are figuring out how to help the 130 Rutland...


    Wheaton Warrenville District 200 to seek levy increase

    The average homeowner in Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 likely will see a roughly $90 increase in the largest portion of their next real estate tax bill in June. District 200 officials said Wednesday they will seek a 4.81 percent, or $6 million, property tax levy increase, although they expect the actual increase to be much closer to the consumer price index of 1.7 percent.

    Derrick Rose models the jersey design he and the rest of the Bulls will wear for their Christmas game against the Nets.

    Poll Vault: What do you think of the Bulls' Christmas jerseys?

    The Bulls and nine other teams are sporting sleeved jerseys on Christmas. NIU and NU have sported or will sport jerseys honoring military heroes. And remember the horrible uniforms the Bears wore on Halloween 1994?


    Elgin’s 2014 budget includes 3-percent staff raises

    Three-percent employee raises and a small property tax decrease are projected within Elgin’s general fund budget for 2014.


    Hannah Hartnett of IC Catholic Prep reacts after winning a point against Deer Creek-Mackinaw in Class 2A state girls volleyball action on Friday in Normal.

    Amazing comeback puts IC Catholic in state title match

    IC Catholic girls volleyball coach Jean Field has seen her share of comebacks in 39 years of coaching at the Elmhurst school. But even Field admitted she had never seen a team come from behind in a setting like Friday's the way her Knights did. Down 17-6 in the first set to defending state champion Deer Creek-Mackinaw in the Class 2A state semifinals at Redbird Arena, IC put together a comeback for the ages in the 40th state tournament.

    The Benet bench reacts after beating Crystal Lake South in Class 4A state girls volleyball semifinals on Friday in Normal.

    Benet a win away from three-peat

    The three-peat is one win away for the Benet girls volleyball team. Withstanding an early Crystal Lake South lead, the Redwings stormed back to score a 25-22, 25-18 win over Crystal Lake South Friday night in the Class 4A semifinals at Redbird Arena. Benet (36-5) goes for its third straight state championship at 9 p.m. Saturday against Mother McAuley, the seventh-ranked team in the country.


    Kmiec gets North Central started

    Going into this season, North Central College men’s basketball coach Todd Raridon said the Cardinals needed big contributions offensively from senior Vince Kmiec.

    Toronto Raptors forward Tyler Hansbrough, center, battles for the loose ball against Chicago Bulls’ Taj Gibson, left, and Kirk Hinrich, right, during first-half NBA basketball game action in Toronto, Friday, Nov. 15, 2013.

    With Rose sitting out, Bulls defense sinks Raptors

    The Bulls decided to play it cautious with Derrick Rose's sore hamstring. With their star on the bench, the Bulls turned in one of those patented Tom Thibodeau defensive efforts and won at Toronto 96-80.


    Streaking Wolves win fourth straight

    The Chicago Wolves ended their circus road trip with their fourth straight victory, capturing a 4-3 decision over the Milwaukee Admirals on Friday night in Amtrak Rivalry action at the Bradley Center.Chris Porter, Dmitrij Jaskin, Pat Cannone, and Corey Locke all notched goals for the Wolves (8-6-0-1), as goaltender Jake Allen (8-3-1) made 23 saves.

    Laney Malloy of St. Francis reacts after winning a point over Breese Central in Class 3A state girls volleyball action on Friday in Normal.

    St. Francis ‘Breeses’ into Class 3A title match

    In dominant fashion, the St. Francis girls volleyball team rolled to a 25-20, 25-10 win over Breese Central here Friday night in a Class 3A state semifinal match that took just 37 minutes to complete. The defending state champion Spartans (38-3) will play LaSalle-Peru (35-3) for the state championship at 6 p.m. Saturday at Redbird Arena. St. Francis will be seeking its 10th state title under 38th year coach Peg Kopec, the winningest volleyball coach in IHSA history.

    Players on the Benet bench react.

    Images: Crystal Lake South vs. Benet State 4a Volleyball
    Images of Class 4A state semifinal girls volleyball- Crystal Lake South vs. Benet Academy at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University. Benet advanced to Saturday's title game with a 25-22, 25-18 victory.

    St. Francis players react to their 2-0 win over Breese Central.

    Images: St. Francis vs. Breese Central State 3a Volleyball
    Images of Class 3A state semifinal girls volleyball- St. Francis vs. Breese Central at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University. St. Francis won 25-20, 25-10 to advance to Saturday's title game.

    Toronto Raptors forward Amir Johnson, back, guards against Chicago Bulls forward Joakim Noah, front, during first-half NBA basketball game action in Toronto, Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

    Bulls rout Raptors 96-80 for 1st road win

    Luol Deng had 19 points, Joakim Noah scored 18 and the Bulls overcame the absence of Derrick Rose to beat the Toronto Raptors 96-80 on Friday night for their first road win of the season. Deng and Noah also had nine rebounds apiece as Chicago earned its third consecutive win.

    Kris Versteeg was a minus-9 in 18 games with Florida this season. Panthers GM Dale Tallon said Versteeg’s play has been “inconsistent” but the Hawks looked past that when they traded for him Thursday.

    Hawks looks past Versteeg’s ACL injury

    Kris Versteeg’s health is not an issue, insists Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman.Versteeg suffered a torn ACL in his knee last March 12 and is close to 100 percent recovered.“He’s been playing this year and is ready to go,” Bowman said.


    Ratliff hopes he can rush to the rescue

    The Bears and injured defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff both hope he can return to the field soon and help a defense that needs reinforcement up front.

    Chris Conte and his fellow defensive backs will focus their attention on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco on Sunday at Soldier Field.

    Flacco tough test for Conte, secondary

    Safety Chris Conte finally made a positive impact last week against the Lions after a disappointing first half, and he hopes to build on that performance Sunday against the Ravens and quarterback Joe Flacco, who will test the Bears secondary.

    Northwestern’s Maggie Lyon was honored as the Big Ten freshman of the year last season.

    This Lyon ready to roar for Wildcats

    Northwestern sophomore guard Maggie Lyon is ready to help the Wildcats win a Big Ten title after winning Big Ten freshman of the year honors last season.

    Mundelein’s Jenn Kordik, here winning the 200-yard individual medley during a dual meet against Libertyville, will be among the top competitors in Saturday’s sectional meet at Vernon Hills.

    Sectional tests for Lake County’s best

    It’s about time. And being in the right place, which is ahead of everyone else, as girls swimmers look to either win events or hit the qualifying times at today’s 16 sectional meets around the state. Those who do will head to next weekend’s state meet at New Trier. The bulk of the teams from Lake County will be at Vernon Hills for a 9 a.m. start for diving and a 1 p.m. start for swimming. Stevenson continues driving toward its goal of a top-three state trophy at the Barrington sectional.

    Barrington defensive standout Colin Castagna has been making a difference for the Class 8A state quarterfinalist Broncos all season long.

    Plenty of upside to Barrington’s Castagna

    Colin Castagna would rather be down than up. A year ago, Castagna played outside linebacker in Barrington’s 3-4 defensive scheme. But this year the Broncos switched to a 4-3 and Castagna moved to defensive end. It is a switch that the Barrington senior has embraced.

    Here’s a look at the uniform that Northwestern will wear Saturday against Michigan to help raise support for Wounded Warrior Project. While some critics suggest the uniforms look like blood stains on a flag, a Northwestern spokesman said it’s a “distressed pattern on both the stars and stripes that was inspired by the appearance of a flag that has flown proudly over a long period of time” and apologized “for any misinterpretation.”

    NU, Michigan look to stop slides

    The idea that Northwestern and Michigan would be meeting in a marquee football game vanished long ago, their lofty expectations buried under a pile of losses.Instead, the Wildcats host the Wolverines on Saturday in a matchup between struggling teams that were aiming high not too long ago.

    Illinois wil try to slow down Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller (5) when the two teams meet Saturday in Champaign. The third-ranked Buckeyes are heavy favorites in the game.

    Buckeyes’ Meyer not looking past Illini

    If Illinois was hoping No. 3 Ohio State might look past them this week, Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer has some bad news. Ohio State, he said, is focused on Saturday, even if the opposition hasn’t won a Big Ten game in more than two years.

    Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (1) and Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving wait for a Bulls free throw attempt during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, in Chicago. The Bulls won 96-81. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Thibodeau rules Rose out for tonight

    Derrick Rose has been ruled out for the Bulls’ game at Toronto due to a sore right hamstring.Coach Tom Thibodeau says Rose will be re-evaluated Saturday before the Bulls host Indiana.

    Associated Press/2001 file Former Cubs player Ron Coomer could be in the mix of candidates seeking to fill the radio analyst job.

    Otto, not Wood, in mix for Cubs radio job

    The Cubs and WGN radio still are in the early stages of their search for an analyst to replace Keith Moreland. Dave Otto, a graduate of Elk Grove High School, is in the mix, but Kerry Wood is not. Onetime Cub Ron Coomer also could get consideration.

    Former Florida Panthers right wing Kris Versteeg will wear No. 23 for the Blackhawks. Versteeg, who left the Hawks after their 2010 championship, is expected to help the penalty killing unit.

    Shocked Versteeg excited to rejoin Blackhawks

    Kris Versteeg couldn’t get back to Chicago fast enough. “I had about 30 minutes of sleep last night,” Versteeg said after arriving in time to make the 11:30 a.m. practice. “You’re just excited and really trying to process everything that’s going on.

    Barrington’s Mekenna Scheitlin accepts her medal for winning the 100-yard freestyle in the Mid-Suburban League meet two weekends ago.

    Tick tock: Time to race the clock at sectional meets

    Saturday's sectional meets will feature plenty of great racing, including the urgent battle to better qualifying standards for next week's state championships.

    Batavia’s Rouke Mullins takes the ball away from Rolling Meadows’ Matt Campbell for an interception in the second quarter of the second round of the Class 6A playoffs at Rolling Meadows last Saturday.

    Scouting this weekend’s Tri-Cities football games
    Previewing the Class 6A quarterfinal between Lake Forest and Batavia and the Class 3A quarterfinal between Seneca and Aurora Christian.


    Illini lose top point guard to Louisville

    According to multiple reports, 6-foot-1 point guard Quentin Snider from Ballard, Ky., has reneged on his pledge to play for the Fighting Illini and signed a letter of intent with Louisville.

    IC Catholic players react to a point.

    Images:IC Catholic Prep vs. Deer Creek-Mackinaw State 2a Volleyball
    Images of Class 2A state semifinal girls volleyball- IC Catholic Prep vs. Deer Creek-Mackinaw at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University. IC Catholic Prep won 25-22, 25-17 advancing to Saturday's title game.


    Sez here that Bears should retire Peanut’s number

    What if the Bears found a way to retire one more jersey number and the three guys they had to choose from to receive that honor were Brian Urlacher, Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs? Whom should they select?

    White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko may decide to play another season in Chicago, and the club says it is keeping its options open for him in a limited role.

    Playing favorites not a good move for White Sox

    Playing favorites by keeping Paul Konerko and letting Mark Buerhle a few years ago, and then letting A.J. Pierzynski go elsewhere did not produce good results for the Chicago White Sox last season.


    Stanford pulls away from Northwestern, 71-58

    STANFORD, Calif. — Josh Huestis scored 13 of his team-high 18 points in the second half to help Stanford beat Northwestern 71-58 on Thursday night.Chasson Randle, who scored a combined 51 points in Stanford’s first two games, was held to 14 as the Cardinal (2-1) improved to 6-2 against the Wildcats (1-1).Anthony Brown added 12 points for Stanford.JerShon Cobb scored 17 points for the Wildcats. Drew Crawford, the active scoring leader in the Big 10, added 15 points.Huestis hit a 3-pointer with just over a minute left and Stanford took a 29-27 edge into the intermission.Stanford, which gave up 112 points in a loss to BYU Monday, looked to be in synch against the Wildcats, who beat Eastern Illinois 72-55 Saturday.Northwestern made seven of its first 27 shots (26 percent) in the second half.

    Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (1) and Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving wait for a Bulls free throw attempt during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, in Chicago. The Bulls won 96-81. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    If Rose can’t go for Bulls, Hinrich’s ready

    Kirk Hinrich started 60 games in place of Derrick Rose last season, so he'll be prepared if Rose is held out of Friday's game in Toronto. Also, Rose shared his thoughts on Jabari Parker's college performance for Duke.



    Forbes publishing company explores sale

    The New York-based publisher of Forbes magazine and Forbes.com hired Deutsche Bank AG to examine a sale after receiving interest from potential buyers, according to a memo sent to employees by Chief Executive Officer Mike Perlis. The announcement follows years of dwindling profits as the founding Forbes family, a pioneer in business journalism, tried to stabilize its fortune by selling a stake in 2006, raising money through asset sales including its Manhattan headquarters building, and moving aggressively into digital publishing.

    John McNulty works with client Dan Steinman of Chicago Friday at Synergy Fitness to rehab a rotator cuff injury.

    The man (and machine) behind Cutler’s recovery

    John McNulty, CEO of Synergy Fitness in Libertyville, gained national attention for helping speed up Bears quarterback Jay Cutler's recovery from a serious groin injury with the use of the ARPwave system. The machine uses electrical currents to stimulate recovery.

    The McDonald’s restaurant in Libertyville on Milwakee Ave.

    Build your own burger at McDonald’s?

    McDonald’s clearly understands the attraction of customization, particularly for those in their 20s and 30s. As for the “build-your-own burger” test, the company says it’s too soon to tell whether the concept would be rolled out nationally. But a similar test took place in Romeoville, last month.

    Specialist Peter Elkins, left, and trader Michael Smyth work Tuesday on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

    Stocks push through latest record highs

    “It’s bland, it’s vanilla, but it’s sweet,” said John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Fund Management. Despite the surge, stock prices remain reasonable compared with earnings, Manley said. Stock valuations are “not cheap, but they’re not prohibitive,” he said.

    Donald Crabtree, a Tennessee Valley Authority project manager from Stevenson, Ala., leads a media tour around the old Bowling Green, Ky. power plant on Power St., which was torn down to allow for TVA expansion.

    TVA to close 8 coal-powered plants

    The Tennessee Valley Authority’s board has voted to close six coal-powered units in Alabama and replace two others in Kentucky with a natural gas plant.

    Associated Press/July 26, 2013 A motorist fills up with gasoline containing ethanol in Des Moines.

    EPA proposes reducing biofuel mandate

    EPA officials said they were still committed to alternative fuels as part of a comprehensive energy strategy. If the EPA stuck to the volumes mandated by law, the amount of biofuel required would generate more ethanol than many engines can safely handle, officials said.

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a meeting Friday at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China.

    China promises market opening in reform plan

    The report “included sweeping reforms on almost all fronts, in some cases more than expected before the meeting,” said UBS economist Tao Wang. “Of course, the implications for the economy and for the market depend crucially on the implementation.”


    $10M grant to UofI to develop data management software

    The National Science Foundation has given the University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications more than $10 million to develop software to manage vast amounts of un-curated digital scientific data.

    McDonald's wants to be a bigger player in the global coffee business. The world's biggest hamburger chain on Thursday highlighted beverages as one of its key growth opportunities at a daylong presentation for investors.

    McDonald's eyes bigger share of coffee market

    McDonald's wants to be a bigger player in the global coffee business. The world's biggest hamburger chain on Thursday highlighted beverages as one of its key growth opportunities at a daylong presentation for investors. Oak Brook-based McDonald's CEO Don Thompson noted that coffee is one of the fastest growing categories in its global drinks business and said that the company has less than its “fair share” of the market.

    Jos. A. Bank withdrew its $2.3 billion offer to buy rival Men's Wearhouse. Shares of Men's Wearhouse dropped almost 7 percent in premarket trading Friday.

    Jos A Bank drops $2.3B bid for Men's Wearhouse

    Jos. A. Bank withdrew its $2.3 billion offer to buy rival Men's Wearhouse. Shares of Men's Wearhouse dropped almost 7 percent in premarket trading Friday. Jos. A. Bank made an unsolicited offer of $48 per share for Men's Wearhouse Inc. in September. Men's Wearhouse rejected the bid in October, calling it “opportunistic” and “inadequate.”

    Comcast Corp. plans to start selling movies and TV shows from its set-top box before the end of the year.

    Comcast to sell films, shows via set-top box

    Comcast Corp. plans to start selling movies and TV shows from its set-top box before the end of the year. That's according to a person familiar with the matter. The nation's largest cable TV provider already rents movies and TV shows. By selling content through set-top boxes, it will expand a market that remains a small fraction of home entertainment spending in the U.S.

    Andrea Rockers Wright, Walmart.com senior buyer for merchandise, center, shows clothing during a line review at the Walmart.com office in San Bruno, Calif. Wal-Mart has embraced a Silicon Valley startup feel with its San Bruno offices. That ís a stark difference to the company's rambling brick headquarters with its frayed carpets and Seventies-style paneling.

    Retailers take on Silicon Valley

    Software engineers wearing jeans and flip flops test the latest smartphone apps. Walls and windows double as whiteboards where ideas are jotted down. And a mini basketball net is in the center of it all. At first glance, this workplace resembles any Silicon Valley startup. There's just one exception: Target's trademark red bulls-eye at the entrance.

    McDonald's says it's testing a “Fast Forward Drive-Thru” that lets customers drive to a third stop if their orders aren't ready.

    McDonald's adding window to speed up drive-thru

    Oak Brook-based McDonald's has an idea for speeding up service at the drive-thru: add another window. Under the current set up, customers place their orders, then drive up to a window where they pick up their food. The fast-food chain says it's testing a “Fast Forward Drive-Thru” that lets customers drive to a third stop if their orders aren't ready.

    A federal judge handed Google Inc. a victory in a long-running legal battle on Thursday, tossing out a lawsuit claiming the Internet giant was violating copyright laws by scanning books without the writers' permission to create the world's largest digital library.

    Suit challenging Google's digital library tossed

    A federal judge handed Google Inc. a victory in a long-running legal battle on Thursday, tossing out a lawsuit claiming the Internet giant was violating copyright laws by scanning books without the writers' permission to create the world's largest digital library.

    Gov. Jay Inslee speaks to reporters in Olympia, Wash. after Boeing machinists rejected an eight-year contract proposal Wednesday.

    Boeing may move 777X out of Washington state

    Chicago-based Boeing’s history in the Pacific Northwest dates back more than a century, when William Boeing purchased a Seattle shipyard that would become his first airplane factory. In recent years, however, those ties have been fraying, first with the company shifting its headquarters to Chicago, then with the development of a new production line in South Carolina.

    This undated family photo provided by Shonn Hild shows landscape company owner Shonn Hild of Sullivan, in a family snapshot with his wife, Christy, and two children, 2-year-old Beckett and 7-month-old Harper. Hild recently received notice from his insurance company that the health policy covering him and his two children would be canceled.

    Largest Illinois insurer reacts to Obama’s shift

    With President Barack Obama shifting course Thursday to allow insurers to renew health plans they planned to cancel, Illinois regulators and the state’s largest health insurance company found the ball in their court. Obama announced he would give insurers the option to keep offering consumers plans that would otherwise be canceled because they fall short of coverage requirements under the nation’s health overhaul.

    New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, left, and Gov. Chris Christie, right, listen to United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek at Newark Liberty International Airport, in Newark, N.J., Thursday.

    United Airlines to serve Atlantic City Airport

    Chicago-based United Airlines will soon offer non-stop flights to Atlantic City International Airport, a move that New Jersey officials hope will boost the falling fortunes of the seaside gambling resort. United Chairman Jeff Smisek was joined Thursday by Gov. Chris Christie and New Jersey’s Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney at Newark Liberty International Airport to announce the airline would begin non-stop daily service to Atlantic City from its hubs in Chicago and Houston.

    A leaked prospectus from the proposed Illinois buyer of a huge research forest owned by North Carolina State University appears to undercut public claims the company would conserve the land.

    Papers undercut conservation claims at NCSU forest

    RALEIGH, N.C. — A leaked prospectus from the proposed Illinois buyer of a huge research forest owned by North Carolina State University appears to undercut public claims the company would conserve the land.The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Thursday that the proposal aimed at potential investors includes plans to clear most of the nearly 80,000-acre Hofmann Forest near Jacksonville for a golf course community, commercial development and farmland. The document touts the fertility of the “virgin organic soil” for agriculture once the trees are gone.University officials have said they approved the $150 million offer from Illinois agri-businessman Jerry Walker specifically because of assurances his company would preserve the forest. The land sits in three sensitive watersheds and is home to a large population of black bears and rare Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes, among other species.Officials with N.C. State University’s endowment board, a private foundation, signed an agreement last month to sell the property to Walker’s company, Hofmann Forest LLC. The deal is set to close within 180 days of that agreement.Opponents of the sale have long contended that a buyer could develop the property and cut down much of the forest. Five of them filed suit in Wake Superior Court in September to block the sale, saying that such changes could damage important animal habitat and the water quality in three watersheds.“This document confirms our absolute worst nightmares about what would be done to the forest,” said NCSU forestry professor Fred Cubbage, a plaintiff in the lawsuit. “The development and farming it describes would be an unmitigated disaster for the environment, for the populations of animals and for the water quality in that whole area, which already is fragile.”The opponents obtained the prospectus Wednesday, a day after a judge declined to temporarily block the sale after questioning whether there was any specific proof that the buyer intended to develop Hofmann.The private N.C. State Natural Resources Foundation gifted the forest to the university endowment in 1977. University officials have repeatedly said that Hofmann Forest LLC was chosen because of its intention to preserve the working forest and to continue to allow faculty and students to perform research there.The prospectus does not include the date it was created, but the text suggests it was after the company was chosen to be the buyer. The opening statement reads: “Hofmann Forest LLC is a privately held entity selected to steward the Hofmann Forest for future generations.”The prospectus specifically touts the extraordinary value of the forest’s “virgin organic soil” for farming if the trees were removed, along with plans for 2 million square feet of commercial space and more than 10,500 homes.“With today’s global grain shortage, the type of virgin organic soil found in the Hofmann Forest is at a premium,” it says. “After reserving roughly 9,000 acres for development, the Forest would theoretically have 70,000 acres to convert to agricultural uses. Due to numerous mitigating factors, such as wetland areas, one could conceivably convert 50,000 to 60,000 acres to agricultural land.”N.C. State officials said Thursday they had been unaware of the prospectus.“This is the first N.C. State has seen or heard of this document and it includes information that is not contained in the sales agreement,” said university spokesman Brad Bohlander. “We are contacting the buyer to determine when the document was prepared, its accuracy and whether it reflects the buyer’s current views regarding potential use of the land.”

Life & Entertainment

    Tricia Ortolano taps a beer at The Town Bar & Grill in Aurora.

    Craft beers, sports on tap at The Town Bar & Grill

    The Town Bar & Grill in Aurora, whose owners previously ran the Last Call Sports Bar and Grill in Naperville, stays hopping all week long with game and trivia nights, food and drink specials and sports on TV.

    The third floor of this modern Victorian contains a bedroom suite and a loft/office area.

    Listing of the week

    Life in this modern Victorian home, set on an acre and a half in Hawthorn Woods’ Estates of Indian Creek subdivision, couldn’t be better. There is plenty of space, both inside and outside, for family fun and the entertaining of guests.

    Identical twins Kristen Maurer, left, and Kelly McCarthy. The 34-year-old sisters from Crown Point, Ind., have shared a lot in their lives so when Kelly was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, she urged Kristen to get tested, too. Kristen also was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now the twins are sharing a medical rarity: Kristen donated skin and fat tissue for Kelly's breast reconstruction surgery.

    Identical twins share breast cancer, rare surgery at Chicago hospital

    Identical twins Kelly McCarthy and Kristen Maurer have shared a lot in their lives so when one was diagnosed with breast cancer, she urged the other to get tested, too. “You just do everything together, don't you,” the doctor told Maurer before delivering the bad news that she, too, had the disease. Now the 34-year-old twins from Crown Point, Ind., are sharing a medical rarity: Maurer donated skin and fat tissue for McCarthy's breast reconstruction.

    Boys are slightly more likely to be born premature than girls, and they tend to fare worse, too, says a new report on the health of the world’s newborns.

    Boys a bit more likely than girls to be born early

    Boys are slightly more likely to be born premature than girls, and they tend to fare worse, too, says a new report on the health of the world’s newborns. “This is a double whammy for boys,” said Dr. Joy Lawn of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who led the team of researchers. “It’s a pattern that happens all over the world.”


    Home inspector delivers report too late for sale

    Q. I recently purchased a home and hired a home inspector while there was still time to negotiate with the seller. But the inspector took four days to prepare the inspection report, and by that time the negotiation period under contract had expired. Shouldn’t the home inspector refund the money that I paid him?


    Tax benefits imperiled — again

    Haven’t we seen this movie before? On Capitol Hill for the second year in a row, key federal tax assistance for homeowners is heading for expiration within weeks. And there’s no sign that Congress plans — or has the minimal political will — to do anything about it.

    A book wall can be part of a kids’ homework hub that can include a reading nook, too.

    Home office gathering dust? Consider other options

    The home office, it seems, is going the way of the fax machine. Interior designers say families are finding more inventive uses for their homes’ extra little rooms — optimistically called “bonus rooms” by real estate agents. With the spread of wireless Internet and portables devices such as tablets, it’s common now to send spreadsheets and emails from any room in the house, not to mention the nearest coffee shop.

    Apples move along a conveyor line at the King Orchards production warehouse in Central Lake, Mich. This year’s Michigan apple crop is expected to be 10 times as plentiful as last year’s.

    Michigan growers trying to get apples to doze off

    This year’s Michigan apple crop is expected to be 10 times as plentiful as last year’s puny output. While the big bounce-back is welcomed in the nation’s third-largest apple-producing state, the bounty presents its own challenges: How do growers, packers and processors maximize storage to avoid flooding stores with the fruit? The answer lies in getting the apples to go to sleep — and stay that way.

    Singer Taylor Swift performs on the runway during the 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Wednesday in New York.

    Swift shares catwalk with Victoria’s Secret Angels

    The Victoria’s Secret Angels worked their magic on the catwalk Wednesday, weaving between chart-toppers Taylor Swift and Fall Out Boy, and some fancy sets and stage tricks, yet somehow keeping the spotlight mostly on themselves. The elaborate wings, shiny sequins and strategic flashes of skin certainly helped. Swift donned a Union Jack costume and a sparkly silver mini-dress, but she never put on the lingerie that makes this annual fashion show so famous.

    The centuries-old church Notre Dame Basilica is part of the free walking tours in Montreal.

    5 free things to do in Montreal

    It’s a taste of French culture in North America: Montreal. The city on the St. Lawrence River in Quebec offers walks down centuries-old streets lined with elegant architecture and historic sites. Best of all, many of the city’s best attractions can be experienced for free, from Old Montreal to Mount Royal Park to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

    Rob Fenton, from left, John Hoogenakker and Patrick Clear play three Dublin men yearning for what they can’t have in the Writers Theatre production of Conor McPherson’s “Port Authority,” directed by recent Jeff Award-winner William Brown. At the performance reviewed in this article, understudy John Gray performed in Hoogenakker’s place.

    ‘Port Authority’ examines love, regret through the eyes of Dublin men

    Director William Brown knew what he was doing when he cast Writers Theatre’s Midwest premiere of “Port Authority,” Conor McPherson’s 2001 meditation on love and regret as expressed by three generations of Irish men. Patrick Clear, Rob Fenton and John Gray aren’t just good actors. They’re first-rate storytellers.


    Theater events: Comedian Steve Byrne plays Schaumburg

    Steve Byrne brings his stand-up comedy to Chicago Improv in Schaumburg; Drury Lane Theatre presents its annual "A Christmas Carol" play with music; and newcomer Red Theater chronicles the final days of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas this week in Chicago-area theater.

    “Portal 2” and its predecessor are considered to be two of the finest achievements in video game history.

    The best games of a generation

    A new generation of console video gaming begins this week when Sony unleashes the PlayStation 4 in stores on Friday. Not to be outdone, Microsoft launches the Xbox One a week later on Nov. 22. But what are the best games of the incredible generation about to end?

    Boxer Mike Tyson talks about his troubled past in HBO’s “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth.”

    Mike Tyson faces off against his past in HBO’s ‘Undisputed Truth’

    In HBO's “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth,” the heavyweight champ doesn't shy away from uglier topics such as biting off opponent Evander Holyfield’s ear. “I don’t want this to be a redeeming story," he says. "I’m just a human being .... There were so many demons to get rid of."

    Dara Cameron portrays the little girl Marie in Marriott Theatre’s revival of Marc Robin’s musical theater version of “The Nutcracker.”

    ‘The Nutcracker,’ in all its variations, dances into the holiday season

    There are a lot of prized roles in the “The Nutcracker,” whether it’s Tchaikovsky’s 1892 ballet version or more recent stage adaptations of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 fairy tale that crowd Chicago and suburban theaters during the holidays. There’s the mysterious toy inventor Drosselmeyer, the Sugar Plum Fairy, the “Mouse King.” But the full story is centered around its heroine, who is sometimes known as Clara, Marie and even Masha. Here's a look at some differences in those shows.


    Tips for fixing those doorknob dings

    One of the most common drywall repairs is the standard doorknob patch-up. Heck, most of us might even be guilty of it. Oops! Well, it’s not very hard to fix, as long as it’s just a small dent or hole.


    Millions to gain access to free credit scores

    The company that pioneered credit scoring will now let banks provide their customers with a complimentary copy of their FICO figure.


    Bird watchers hike near Nelson Lake/Dick Young Forest Preserve in Batavia.

    Editorial: Actions must align with forest preserve mission

    Kane County forest officials should ensure their actions align with the district's mission, a Daily Herald editorial says.

    Shannon Downey

    Helping overweight kids get healthy

    Guest columnist Shannon Downey: We know that childhood obesity often leads to a myriad of health problems — diabetes, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, to name a few — yet health care professionals and school administrators are loath to discuss the subject with youth who are currently overweight.


    Give workers a break; don’t shop on holiday
    A Palatine letter to the editor: I say we boycott retailers on Thanksgiving and take back the holiday so we can spend quality family time together. If the registers don’t ring and the lots are empty, retailers will stop going down this ridiculous path next year.


    This type of skunk is found everywhere
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: The misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance of this latter species of skunk is costing all of us a lot more on a daily basis than Palatine’s critters ever will.


    Don’t leave out teaching teens the trades
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Perhaps we can get out of the mindset that every student should be pushed into a college track. We all know that not every student should go to college, and that it is not necessarily a bad thing. How about spending that money on more training for jobs in the trades like carpentry, plumbing, auto mechanics and electrical careers? There are plenty of jobs available for tool and die makers, or for people who can fix things.


    God absent from same-sex marriages
    A Carol Stream letter to the editor: In all the furor over legislation concerning same sex marriage there is one important factor that has been largely overlooked. Marriage was not created by the mandate of any government or legislature. It was instituted by God.


    Is Tea Party motto: ‘Do as I say?’
    An Elgin letter to the editor: There are four basic needs that we all require to have a chance for a good life. They are food, shelter, education and health care, yet the Republican Party has an issue with 40 million additional people having what they have, private health insurance.


    Government, take a stand on smoking
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: Smoking is disgusting, and many people share this opinion. It is especially disgusting when someone is not old enough by law to buy or smoke cigarettes, but they do so anyway.


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