Daily Archive : Wednesday November 27, 2013



    Roselle residents celebrate the season

    The euphony of holiday music filled the air as Tom Malouf entertained local children and adults Saturday at “Celebrate the Season” at the Roselle Public Library as part of holiday activities, including the traditional tree-lighting ceremony featuring Santa Claus and Mayor Gayle Smolinski. Yordanka Patkova of Roselle was all smiles while her daughter Anna, 2, danced to Malouf’s music. She said...

    Rivers Casino in Des Plaines is facing complaints of unfair labor practices by the UNITE HERE Local 1 union. Casino management denies the claim and says most of their workers do not want to join a union.

    Union alleges unfair labor practices at Des Plaines casino

    A service employees union has filed unfair labor practice complaints against Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, claiming casino management is trying to block workers from unionizing. Casino management denies the claims and says most workers do not want to join a union. “We take great pride in our team and respect the rights of our team members to choose,” spokesman Dennis Culloton said in...

    Sanjana Bendi of Palatine, a student at the University of Pittsburgh, is greeted with a bouquet by her father, Bose Bendi, mother Shanthi and brother Vijay after arriving at O'Hare International Airport.

    Thanksgiving means family reunions at O'Hare

    More than 1.4 million passengers are expected to pass through O'Hare over the Thanksgiving break with Wednesday being the busiest. But the numbers didn't mean anything to the families and friends waiting for that one special person. “Nineteen years ago we walked into the same airport with her ... she was not even able to walk,” said Bose Bendi, holding a bouquet of roses for his...

    Property owners in the Lake County section of Barrington Unit District 220 have been receiving property tax rebates for being overtaxed due to an assessment quirk benefiting their Cook County neighbors, but the rebates don't cover the full tax loss.

    Resident miss millions in quirky Dist. 220 tax rebates

    A quirky setup stemming from a long-running legal battle has Cook County property taxpayers in Barrington Unit District 220 paying rebates to their Lake County counterparts — but only if the Lake County homeowners sign up every year and pay one-third to a lawyer. “It's something that government, or whoever put this in, could take care of by writing rules correctly,” said Carl...


    US offering to destroy Syrian chemicals at sea

    The Obama administration is offering to destroy some of Syria’s deadliest chemical weapons in international waters aboard a nearly 700-foot, U.S. government-owned ship, U.S. officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday.


    Ex-Wheaton man killed by police in Colorado

    Colorado police shot and killed a former Wheaton man Sunday after Boulder police say he charged at them with two knives in his hand.


    Brazil under pressure after collapse at World Cup venue

    Part of the stadium that will host the 2014 World Cup opener collapsed Wednesday, killing two workers and aggravating already urgent concerns Brazil won't be ready for soccer's signature tournament. The accident at the Arena Corinthians, known locally as the Itaquerao, could hardly have come at a worse time — just a week ahead of the draw that will determine the tournament's schedule and...

    Popcorn, the National Thanksgiving Turkey, from Badger, Minn., stands on the North Portico at the White House in Washington, before being pardoned by President Barack Obama, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. This is the 66th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation by the President. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    Obama pardons turkeys as part of annual rite

    President Barack Obama spared two turkeys from the brine and the oven Wednesday, fulfilling the annual tradition of a presidential pardon for a couple of lucky birds ahead of Thanksgiving Day.

    Marianthi Thanopoulos, public information officer for the village, and her husband, Christo, hold son William, 3, after he helped flip the switch during Wednesday’s tree-lighting ceremony in Mount Prospect.

    Mt. Prospect flips the switch on Christmas tree

    The village of Mount Prospect held its tree-lighting ceremony on Wednesday night outside village hall. As part of the ceremony, the Madrigal Singers of Prospect High School performed, and the Lions Club served hot cocoa. A Christkindlmarket was held in the village hall community center before and after the tree lighting, offering people a chance to choose from a variety of creative gifts from...

    Julia Gartsman helps 11-year-old Joseph Zehnwirth make a candle Wednesday at Chanukah Family Funland in the Buffalo Grove Town Center in Buffalo Grove. Crafts, activities and entertainment continue through Sunday.

    Family event opens Hanukkah in Buffalo Grove

    Buffalo Grove’s annual celebration of Hanukkah, known as Chanukah Family Funland, got underway Wednesday in the village’s Town Center. The event, organized by the Suburban Alliance for Jewish Education, includes a carnival, live music, a Hanukkah Cafe and plenty of craft and gift items.


    $1 million winning ticket sold in Bloomingdale

    An area resident could be $1 million richer after a Bloomingdale store sold a winning lottery ticket for the Mega Millions game. Illinois Lottery officials on Wednesday announced the “quick pick” ticket was sold at Meijer, 130 South Gary Ave.

    Cleveland and Lisa Cox, talk to their attorney, as they turn themselves in to the Butler County jail in Hamilton, Ohio, on Nov. 15. Authorities say the couple returned their 9-year-old adopted son to the county after raising him since infancy. Both have been charged with abandoning the child.

    Documents: Adoptive parents didn’t tell boy they were giving him up

    A couple accused of abandoning the adopted 9-year-old son they raised from infancy didn’t tell him they were giving him to child welfare officials, according to documents filed by a prosecutor. Instead, the boy believed he was going to a hospital to be “fixed,” according to the documents.

    A rendering of Schaumburg’s planned 2,400-seat Performing Arts Center. The village still hopes to build it next to the Schaumburg Convention Center, but the project currently isn’t planned within the next five years. The village initially hoped to open it in 2006.

    2,400-seat performing arts center still in Schaumburg’s plans

    Schaumburg’s proposed 2,400-seat performing arts center next to the Renaissance Hotel and Schaumburg Convention Center remains very much a part of the village’s to-do list, nearly a decade after it was hoped construction would have begun. “It’s still part of the Schaumburg dream,” Mayor Al Larson said.

    The HSBC offices on Sanders Road in Prospect Heights were demolished after the company moved to Mettawa. A Texas company wants to build apartments on some of the land.

    Prospect Heights mayor excited about 350-unit apartment proposal

    Prospect Heights Mayor Nick Helmer is excited about a Texas company's proposal for 350 luxury apartments on the property where HSBC once stood west of Sanders Road and south of Palatine/Willow roads, but a few aldermen have reservations. “It is the largest, most exciting thing that has happened in Prospect Heights at least in the 28 years I've been here,” Helmer said.

    Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen, right, told members of the finance committee Wednesday that a last-minute budget deal with Coroner Rob Russell is only as strong as Russell’s word.

    Kane County likely to finish Lauzen’s first year with a surplus

    Kane County appears poised to finish the year with at least a $300,000 surplus, though some final expenses and revenues have yet to be accounted for. Sales and income taxes were up this fiscal year. And, despite some last-minute spending and haggling with the coroner eating into contingency funds, there is still some cash left over.

    Patricia Ewert, left, and Vernita Gray enter their living room for their wedding ceremony on Wednesday in Chicago.

    Same-sex couple’s wedding a first for Illinois

    In a short ceremony inside their Chicago apartment, two beaming brides made Illinois history Wednesday as they became the first gay couple to wed under the state’s new law legalizing same-sex marriage. The law approved last week doesn’t go into effect until June, but one of the women is terminally ill with cancer, so she and her partner of five years were granted an expedited marriage license by...

    Illinois legislative leaders reached agreement on a pension-cutting bill Wednesday and now have to try to sell it to the rank and file. A vote on the controversial measure could come Tuesday.

    Deal on cutting pension benefits now needs votes

    A bipartisan agreement among top state lawmakers to cut teachers’ and state workers’ pension benefits now has to be sold in a hurry to rank and file members ahead of a potential vote Tuesday. Suburban Senate Democrats in particular, who have expressed reservations about cutting retirees’ benefits, will have to be wooed as union leaders push back hard against the cuts. Meanwhile, some lawmakers...


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Megan R. Lathan, 19, of Aurora, was charged with retail theft at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Kohl’s, 251 N. Randall Road, according to a Batavia police report.


    Fox Valley police reports
    Craig Gallichio, 18, of East Dundee, and Ryan Saviano, 23, of West Dundee, were each charged with felony retail theft after police said they stole a total of $114 in shirts Saturday from the Kohl’s at Spring Hill Mall.

    Lisa Sterner, of Arlington Heights, charged in Allstate theft.

    Arlington Hts. woman charged in $597,000 Allstate theft

    An Arlington Heights woman charged with taking nearly $600,000 from her former employer, Allstate Insurance Co., is accused of spending the money on credit card payments, tattoos, bail for a family friend and child care for her grandchild, according to court records.


    Court rules student’s vulgar video is protected

    A student’s YouTube video degrading his Spanish teacher is protected speech but the boy is still delinquent for violating Wisconsin’s law against abusing computer communications, a state appeals court judge ruled Wednesday.


    Illinois hunters take fewer deer during first weekend

    Illinois hunters harvested about 21,400 fewer deer during the opening weekend of the firearm season this year. State Forest Wildlife Program Manager Paul Shelton says weather was a factor.


    Whitefish return to spawn in few Wisconsin rivers

    Lake Michigan whitefish have been spawning in northeastern Wisconsin rivers where they haven’t been seen in more than a century. The fish’s return has created a welcome mystery for scientists, who aren’t sure why they are migrating from Green Bay into rivers.


    Illini staff member on leave after gun charges

    A University of Illinois football staff member charged with pointing an unloaded handgun at a vehicle has been placed on leave.

    FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2013, file photo, shoppers enter a Best Buy in New York. Brick-and-mortar retailers like Wal-Mart and Best Buy for years have been contending with Amazonís ruthlessly low prices online. But this holiday season, theyíre fighting back harder than ever before, matching online prices, opening up on Thanksgiving Day earlier than ever and ramping up shipping options. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

    Battle for holiday shoppers heats up

    This holiday shopping season, it’s Amazon vs. everyone else. The online giant has attracted customers from big store chains like Wal-Mart and Best Buy with low prices and convenient shipping. Now, stores are fighting to get customers back during the busiest shopping period of the year.

    Rodney W. Boyette

    Three more robbery charges against Elgin man

    An Elgin man who was arrested Nov. 7 on charges he held up a Subway restaurant in Carpentersville has been charged with robberies in St. Charles, North Aurora and South Elgin, according to police and court records. Rodney W. Boyette, 50, was being held at the Kane County jail on $200,000 bail.


    Rosemont kicks off Skating in the Park on Friday

    With winter fast approaching, MB Financial Park is kicking off the holiday season with Skating in the Park on Friday, Nov. 29.The NHL-sized skating rink opens to the public for free ice skating at 11 a.m. Friday, followed by skating appearances from cherished holiday characters and horse-drawn sleigh rides throughout the afternoon and evening.


    Huntley offering temporary rides to Sun City seniors

    Huntley has inked a deal with a local cab company to temporarily offer rides to seniors living in both Rutland and Hampshire townships. In doing so, those accustomed to riding Grafton Township’s buses won’t see a break in service — Grafton leaders terminated the bus rides effective Friday and the cab service starts the following day.


    Schaumburg launches holiday shopping safety campaign

    The Schaumburg Police Department is launching a holiday shopping safety campaign to coincide with this weekend’s retail bonanza. Working closely with Schaumburg’s retail, commercial and restaurant businesses, the department aims to use social media, posters and public service announcements to prevent thefts related to the shopping season running from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

    Even though it will cost more for Batavia to pick up leaves in 2014, the city won’t increase the monthly charge for the service.

    Batavia budget tweaked, ready for vote Monday

    A bucket truck here, brush and leaf collection there: Batavia officials are putting the final adjustments on the proposed 2014 budget, which the city council will vote on Monday.

    Naperville residents and employees have collected items to be driven to Washington, Coal City and the Peoria area to help victims of the recent tornado. Among those packing trucks with items on Wednesday are, from left, Richard Kramer, owner of Paul Davis Restoration; Naperville City Councilman Dave Wentz; and Naperville Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis.

    Naperville donations headed to tornado victims

    Naperville residents pride themselves on their volunteer spirit and their generosity and giving ways were on display once again this past week. City officials and volunteers, Wednesday, boxed up and prepared four truckloads of donations to be distributed to victims of the Nov. 17 tornadoes that devastated central Illinois. The four trucks packed Wednesday are in addition to two trucks packed...

    FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, file photo, an American Airlines plane and a US Airways plane are parked at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington. A Federal bankruptcy judge is approving the settlement in the U.S. government's antitrust lawsuit against American Airlines and US Airways, clearing the airlines to complete their merger early December 2013. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

    Federal judge clears airline merger for takeoff

    A federal bankruptcy judge has cleared the way for American Airlines and US Airways to close their merger and create the world’s largest airline. The judge ruled Wednesday that this month’s settlement of an antitrust lawsuit filed by the federal government didn’t upset American’s bankruptcy-reorganization plan, which is built around the merger. He rejected a request by a...


    Glen Ellyn unveils reverse 911 system

    Glen Ellyn residents might be more prepared for a natural disaster or other emergency thanks to a new reverse 911 system. The village unveiled its emergency notification system this week and residents can start signing up online.


    26th annual Christmas cookie walk

    Calvary Christian Center will host its 26th annual Christmas cookie walk and craft fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 at the center 134 W. Monaville Road, Lake Villa.


    Holiday shuttle for veterans

    Gurnee Mills will offer a complimentary shuttle for Black Friday weekend shoppers traveling to and from the Great Lakes Naval Base.

    Seneca L. Davis

    Indictments in attack on man who police say was lured to watch Bears on TV

    Indictments have been handed up by a grand jury in a case authorities say involved three suspects who beat and robbed a man lured to watch a Bears game at a Round Lake Park house.


    Warren High food drive

    During the week of Nov. 18 to 22, members of Warren Township High School student council conducted a Thanksgiving canned food drive benefiting the Warren Township Food Pantry, school officials said in a news release.


    Cheer on the Lake Zurich Bears

    The Lake Zurich Quarterback Club invites high school football fans to join in cheering on the Lake Zurich High School Bears as they compete against Mt. Carmel High School for the Class 7A Championship title on Saturday, Nov. 30, at 4 p.m. at Northern Illinois University’s Huskie Stadium in DeKalb.


    Algonquin holding the line on tax levy

    Algonquin leaders are freezing the 2013 property tax levy and will only seek $5.4 million combined from both Kane and McHenry counties. Algonquin is able to do this, in part, thanks to the revenue generated from Randall Road shoppers, an official said.

    Raymond J. Kelly

    Waukegan man charged for racially offensive radio transmissions

    A 24-year-old Waukegan man, said to be an avid amateur radio operator, is accused of tampering with communications at the Lake County Jail. Raymond J. Kelly accessed the jail staff radio system and made racially offensive comments, police said. "We knew this was an intruder," said Lake County Sheriffs Police Sgt. Sara Balmes.


    Beer and a haircut on tap in Mount Prospect?

    Possible changes in the village liquor code led to a spirited discussion by the Mount Prospect village board Tuesday at its committee-of-the-whole meeting. Five key changes to Chapter 13 of the code are proposed, among them allowing customers to bring in a bottle of wine to a restaurant, enabling the serving of bottles of spirits at a banquet facility, and even making it possible for barbershops,...

    This photo of part of the HealthCare.gov website page featuring information about the SHOP Marketplace is photographed in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 The Obama administration is delaying yet another aspect of the health care law, putting off until next November the launch of an online portal to the health insurance marketplace for small businesses. The move was needed because repairs are still under way to the troubled HealthCare.gov website, which is the primary way for individuals to apply for insurance, and that has priority, federal officials said. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

    Health law business insurance site delayed 1 year

    The Obama administration is delaying yet another aspect of the health care law, putting off until next November the launch of an online portal to the health insurance marketplace for small businesses.

    Opera singer Kate Mangiameli, of Hawthorn Woods, sings with The Metropolitan Opera chorus in New York City.

    Once an opera soloist, Hawthorn Woods singer happy in chorus at the Met

    Opera soprano Kate Mangiameli was willing to trade the soloist spotlight for a more stable life. The 35-year-old Hawthorn Woods native and Lake Zurich High School alumna sings with The Metropolitan Opera in New York City, holding one of the coveted full-time chorus positions. “I get to sing every day at the greatest opera house in the country, and arguably, the world. And the greatest joy...

    Macy’s says it is closely monitoring the weather after recent forecasts predicted wind gusts up to 30 mph on Thanksgiving morning during the department store’s upcoming Thanksgiving Day Parade. Based on New York City guidelines, no giant balloons will be operated if the wind gusts exceed 34 mph.

    NYPD optimistic Macy's parade balloons will fly

    It looks like the iconic balloons of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will be allowed to take to the skies. NYPD Chief of Patrol James Hall says Thursday's weather forecast "looks very good." The characters that glide between Manhattan's skyscrapers can't lift off if sustained winds exceed 23 mph and gusts top 34 mph. That's because of city rules enacted after fierce winds in 1997 caused a Cat...

    The Festival of Lights continues through the end of December at Cosley Zoo in Wheaton.

    DuPage County festivities for holiday weekend

    While we’re counting our blessings today, we can thank our communities for giving us opportunities to share our traditions. Towns throughout DuPage County are bringing residents together this weekend — and throughout the holiday — with events that help us celebrate the season and each other. Here’s a quick look at some of the festivities planned for the weekend.


    Title company owners, lawyers among 9 charged in mortgage fraud cases

    The owners of a Downers Grove title company and two attorneys, one disbarred, are among nine people accused of fraudulently obtaining four home mortgage loans totaling more than $1 million.

    Naperville’s garden plots are one of the community’s many environmental efforts that supporters point to as they urge officials to apply for membership in the Cool Cities program.

    Naperville looking to join ‘Cool City’ program

    Naperville soon might be part of an effort to “solve global warming one city at a time” as staff members consider joining the Cool Cities program of the Sierra Club. Cool Cities are communities that sign local sustainability protection agreements committing them to take measurable steps toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions and engage in other environmentally friendly actions.

    Jose Rebollar-Vergara

    Man charged in Round Lake Beach slaying could get plea deal

    A Round Lake Park man will decide during the next month whether to accept a plea agreement and testify that a fellow gang member killed a Zion man outside of a liquor store in March.


    West Dundee woman gets $75,000 after dog attacked her, cat

    A West Dundee woman recently was awarded $75,000 in damages after a neighbor’s dog entered her home in July 2011, attacked her cat and bit her several times in the process. Kane County Judge James Murphy entered the judgment in favor of Judy Horton after the dog owners, Terry and Victoria Schuler, failed to appear in court at least twice.

    The Polar Express comes to life over three December weekends at Blackberry Farm in Aurora.

    Polar Express rolling at Blackberry Farm

    The Polar Express train is welcoming all aboard during the first three weekends in December at Blackberry Farm in Aurora for its annual Yuletide celebration amid thousands of glittering lights and festive activities


    Hotel hosting fundraiser for Hoffman Estates Shop with a Cop, Toys for Tots

    The Hilton Garden Inn in Hoffman Estates is hosting a “Girls Nite Out” from 6 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, to raise money for Toys for Tots and the village’s Shop with a Cop program. Attendees can bring a new toy to the hotel, 2425 N. Barrington Road, for free admission and a raffle ticket for door prizes at the event, which will feature silent auction items, complimentary appetizers, a cash...


    Warren High course selection nights set

    Parents and eighth grade students who will attend Warren Township High School next year are invited to attend the academic course selection nights scheduled for Dec. 3 and 4 at the O’Plaine campus, 500 N. O’Plaine Road, Gurnee. Parents and students are encouraged to attend and will have the opportunity to learn more about core course placement, beginning with a short presentation in the...


    Gold: Recognition could bring health department money
    Just a few years ago, the Kane County Health Department laid off half its employees and cut the department’s $13 million budget in half. Now, as of Nov. 19, it is the only county health department in Illinois to receive national accreditation. County officials celebrated the achievement Tuesday afternoon.

    A mother and child work together on a Hanukkah craft project during Hanukkah Happenings Sunday at Westfield Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills. Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, begins at sundown Wednesday.

    Some in Lake County start Hanukkah early

    This year, for the first time since the 19th century, the first day of Hanukkah converges with Thanksgiving. Already, though, some have begun to celebrate the unusual confluence of holidays. More than 600 children and other people participated in Hanukkah Happenings Sunday in Vernon Hills. And another public forum for kids comes Wednesday through Sunday with Chanukah Family Funland in the Buffalo...

    Tucson police investigate a home where two people were arrested Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, after three girls told authorities that they have been imprisoned for possibly the past two years, in Tucson, Ariz. Tucson police said the girls are siblings — ages 12, 13 and 17 — and their mother and stepfather have been arrested in a case that’s being investigated as alleged child abuse and imprisonment.

    3 girls say they were imprisoned in Arizona home

    Two people were arrested Tuesday after three girls told authorities that they have been imprisoned in an Arizona home for possibly the past two years. Tucson police said the girls are siblings — ages 12, 13 and 17 — and their mother and stepfather have been arrested in a case that’s being investigated as alleged child abuse and imprisonment.


    Hundreds evacuated after railcar leak in Ohio city

    A freight railroad spokesman says officials believe a derailment at a northern Ohio rail yard damaged a railcar that leaked flammable liquid, causing the evacuation of hundreds of nearby homes.

    A judge in Las Vegas rejected O.J. Simpson’s bid for a new trial on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, dashing the former football star’s bid for freedom based on the claim that his original lawyer botched his armed robbery and kidnapping trial in Las Vegas more than five years ago.

    OJ Simpson loses bid for new trial in Las Vegas

    O.J. Simpson faces at least four more years in prison after a judge rejected his bid for a new trial in his Las Vegas armed robbery and kidnapping conviction. “All grounds in the petition lack merit and, consequently, are denied,” Clark County District Judge Linda Marie Bell said in her ruling Tuesday.


    Suspect captured in deaths of Kansas mom, children

    A man has been arrested in the deaths of a southeast Kansas woman and her three young children, the Kansas Attorney General’s office said. The man, who has not been formally charged, was sought in the deaths of 29-year-old Cami Umbarger, of Parsons, and her three children, ages 9, 6, and 4.


    Timeline of legal events in OJ Simpson’s life

    A timeline of major legal developments involving O.J. Simpson.

    William Ryan Homes wants to revisit plans for the previously approved Savanah subdivision in Lakemoor. The initial plan, authorized by the village in 2006 but delayed since the economic downturn, called for 58 single-family homes on an area north of Route 120 and east of Darrell Road.

    Improved economy leads to reconsideration of idled Lakemoor subdivision plan

    A plan for new homes in Lakemoor, approved seven years ago but derailed by the economic downturn, is expected to resurface in a revised form. “With the market improving, we're planning on taking a fresh look at the previous plat that was approved for the subdivision,” said Nate Wynsma of William Ryan Homes.

    The Italian Senate has begun debating whether to kick Silvio Berlusconi out of Parliament following his tax fraud conviction.

    Berlusconi down but not out with Senate vote

    The Italian Senate was poised Wednesday to kick Silvio Berlusconi out of Parliament following his tax fraud conviction, but the three-time premier isn’t going quietly.

    Suthep Thaugsuban, a former deputy premier leading the protest movement, talks to anti-government protesters outside the Government complex in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013.

    Leader of Thai protests says he’s prepared to die for cause

    A few years ago, Suthep Thaugsuban was a suit-and-tie wearing deputy prime minister of Thailand and a senior executive of the country’s oldest political party. Now, the 64-year-old career politician is the mastermind of Thailand’s latest round of street protests and has vowed to topple Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra by taking over every government ministry.


    Mali’s coup leader escorted to court

    Malian soldiers took the military strongman who led last year’s coup from his home in the capital Wednesday to see a judge investigating allegations of killings by the junta leader, according to two officials briefed on the matter.

    The replica of a Chinese made fighter jet is silhouetted against the sun in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. China said Wednesday it had monitored two unarmed U.S. bombers that flew over the East China Sea in defiance of Beijing’s declaration it was exercising greater military control over the area.

    China says it monitored defiant U.S. bomber flights

    China acknowledged Wednesday it let two American B-52 bombers fly unhindered through its newly declared air defense zone in the East China Sea despite its earlier threat to take defensive measures against unidentified foreign aircraft. The U.S. flights, which tested the Chinese zone for the first time since it was declared over the weekend, raised questions about Beijing’s determination to...

    China’s Premier Li Keqiang gestures during joint statements with Romanian counterpart Victor Ponta at the government headquarters in Bucharest, Romania, Monday, Nov. 25, 2013.

    Problems pile up in Asia for U.S. policymakers

    While the Obama administration is making diplomatic progress on some of the Mideast’s thorniest security issues, problems are piling up in Asia, a region that President Barack Obama had wanted to play a bigger part in American foreign policy. Despite efforts to forge deeper ties with China, Beijing’s declaration of a maritime air defense zone has escalated its territorial dispute with U.S. ally...

    Latvia’s Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis resigned Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013, after accepting political responsibility for the collapse of a supermarket roof in the capital that killed 54 people.

    Latvian prime minister resigns in wake of tragedy

    Latvia’s prime minister resigned on Tuesday after accepting political responsibility for the collapse of a supermarket roof in the capital that killed 54 people. Valdis Dombrovskis’ decision means that his center-right government automatically falls. He was the longest serving prime minister in Latvia’s history.


    Pakistani party says it has revealed name of CIA station chief

    A political party opposed to U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan revealed what it said was the name of the top CIA spy in the country on Wednesday and called for him and the head of the agency to be tried for a recent missile strike

    Authorities in China’s capital have destroyed more than 500 open-air barbecues “to cut PM2.5” — the tiny particulate matter in the air that can enter deep into the lungs.

    Beijing destroys barbecue grills to cut pollution

    Beijing is waging a war against air pollution, one barbecue at a time. Authorities in the capital have destroyed more than 500 open-air barbecues “to cut PM2.5” — the tiny particulate matter in the air that can enter deep into the lungs. Citizens online ridiculed the exercise, suggesting authorities should focus on bigger sources of pollution.

    Travelers walk under a sign reading “Happy Thanksgiving” at LaGuardia Airport in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013. A winter storm system is threatening to disrupt the plans of travelers ahead of the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

    Experts offer Thanksgiving travel advice

    So you’re heading out of town for Thanksgiving. Be warned: You’re wading into a vast sea of people doing exactly the same thing, moving across the United States on one of the hugest travel weekends of all — with a lot of rough weather in the mix. Take some advice from people who know what they’re talking about when it comes to travel under intense conditions.

    Julie Kotalik of Batavia Enterprises Inc., left, watches Colleen Calhou of Batavia water cabbage plants with the help of Jennifer Echert holding the watering can at the ceremonial first planting of the first Batavia community garden. A Batavia alderman has suggested moving the garden, in hopes the land will return to producing property taxes — especially if it is developed.

    Batavia considering moving its community garden

    The Batavia Community Garden may want to look sooner than later for a new home, after a Batavia alderman suggested the site be returned to property-tax-producing status.


    Palatine Township Republicans endorse Rauner, Truax

    More than 100 voters turned out last week when the Palatine Township Republican Organization (PTRO) held an endorsement session for contested races across the state.For governor, Bruce Rauner was endorsed after receiving 65 percent of the vote. Dan Rutherford received 20 percent, Kirk Dillard 11 percent and Bill Brady 4 percent.


    Dawn Patrol: Holiday travelers take off; triple murder trial set

    Holiday travelers take off. Almost four years after triple murder, trial set. Wauconda considers moratorium on marijuana growing centers. Cook of the Week makes good on promise. Mt. Prospect rejects low water tower bid. NIU finishes perfect regular season. McCown returns to Minnesota, home of his first Bears win.

    Madhu Krishnamurthy

    Judson seeking submissions for faith-based film festival

    Judson University is now accepting film submissions for the 10th annual Imago Film Festival April 1-5 at the university’s Elgin campus. The Imago Film Festival showcases faith-based independent film emphasizing image and story.

    Pastor Tom Heren of Our Savior Lutheran Church holds service at Countryside Banquets in Washington, Ill., Sunday. About 70 members of the congregation left the service the previous Sunday to take shelter when the tornado ripped through the area.

    Damaged church still a beacon for the community

    Members of Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Washington, Ill., come together for prayer on Sunday in a banquet hall because their church was damaged by the tornado that devastated the area during service the previous Sunday.

    Many suburban residents have made the trip to Washington, Ill., over the last week to help clean up after a powerful tornado devastated parts of the community Nov. 16.

    Suburban volunteers bring help, smiles to Washington, Ill.

    People from the suburbs are making a difference in Washington as the town recovers from last week's EF-4 tornado. “We had all seen photos, but seeing it in person was kind of shocking,” said Ryan Lacerna, a 20-year-old from Des Plaines who traveled to Washington with some of his classmates at nearby Bradley University. “I just wanted to come and help them. It's a little scary...


    Quinn: Special session could end pension gridlock
    Gov. Pat Quinn says next week is another opportunity to tackle the state’s $100 billion pension crisis. Legislative leaders have been negotiating on a plan, which could come up next week if there’s a special session in Springfield. House Speaker Michael Madigan has told representatives to be ready for a one-day session next Tuesday. The Senate has tentatively set some days aside next week.


    GOP candidate has given own campaign $1.25M

    A Republican candidate for Illinois governor who reported income of $53 million last year has contributed more than $1 million to his own campaign, but an analysis Tuesday of recent elections shows deep pockets are far from an assurance of electoral success.



    Football Focus: State Finals
    In this edition of Football Focus, host Joe Aguilar breaks down the match-ups in the 2013 State Football Playoffs this Saturday in DeKalb.


    Wednesday’s wrestling scoreboard
    Here are the varsity boys wrestling results from Wednesday as reported to the Daily Herald.


    Wednesday’s girls bowling scoreboard
    Here are the varsity girls bowling results from Wednesday's events, as reported to the Daily Herald.


    Wednesday’s girls basketball scoreboard
    Here are the results from Wednesday's varsity girls basketball results as reported to the Daily Herald.


    Wednesday’s boys basketball scoreboard
    Here are the results from Wednesday's varsity boys basketball results as reported to the Daily Herald.


    Leyden tops AT, nets tourney title

    Junior Alondra Chavarria scored 20 points and grabbed 9 rebounds to lead Leyden to a 44-30 victory over Addison Trail, giving the Eagles the championship of the Addison Trail-Fenton tournament. Chavarria, freshman Autumn McGee (6 points, 5 rebounds) and freshman Artasia Gusman (7 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 steals) were named to the all-tourney team.


    Fremd tunes up by jolting Johnsburg

    Less than 30 seconds into Wednesday’s final-round game of the Lake Zurich Turkey Thriller girls basketball tournament, Johnsburg took a 2-0 lead over Fremd. Apparently, that didn’t sit too well with defending Mid-Suburban League champions. The Vikings answered with a 13-0 run and never looked back in a 76-37 victory over the Skyhawks.


    Schaumburg trio trips up St. Charles East

    St. Charles East’s basketball team ran into a Bermuda triangle in the form of Schaumburg’s Brendan Parker, Josh Rahn and Johnnie Flynn Wednesday night. The trio combined for 52 points and 22 rebounds during the Saxons’ 65-60 victory over the host Saints (1-1) in the second round of the 55th annual Ron Johnson Thanksgiving Tournament in St. Charles.

    St. Charles East’s Joe Ruffino picks up St. Charles North’s Kolbe O’Brien in the 106 pound match on Wednesday, November 27. O’Brien turned it around and took the match, the only win for the North Stars.

    St. Charles East nearly flawless against SCN

    The St. Charles East wrestling team was virtually assured of not losing to its city and league rival before the annual pre-Thanksgiving dual match even began. The Saints were assured 36 points due to St. Charles North not being able to field a contender at six weight classes. St. Charles East secured five pins and pair of decisions against a lone loss to dominate the Upstate Eight Conference River Division match 71-6 in St. Charles Wednesday night.

    Sean Moore of Lake Park keeps pressure on a defender during the Lake Park vs. Proviso West boys basketball game Wednesday.

    Lake Park surges by Proviso West

    For Lake Park it was a matter of attacking the gaps. And we’re not talking about football and offensive line gaps. This was all about gaps around the basket and establishing position while working the inside-outside game. Once the Lancers attacked the basket in the third quarter of Wednesday’s opening contest against Proviso West in the Chuck Mitchell Thanksgiving boys basketball tournament at Fenton, they surged to a lead they would never lose en route to a 63-60 victory over the Panthers in Bensenville.


    St. Charles North keeps its cool

    St. Charles North basketball coach Tom Poulin learned something invaluable about his team Wednesday night. He learned something about his team’s resiliency during the North Stars’ 64-53 victory over North Lawndale at the 55th annual Ron Johnson Thanksgiving Tournament. After North Lawndale (0-2) rallied to tie the game at 49-49 with 4:10 remaining on a pair of inside baskets by Keith Mack (17 points, 11 rebounds), the North Stars (2-0) kept their composure and answered back.


    Wins for Palatine, Hersey, Wheeling

    Palatine’s boys basketball team improved to 2-0 in its own Ed Molitor Thanksgiving Classic by topping Chicago Alcott 51-41 on Wednesday.


    Geneva rebounds, tops Lake Zurich

    What a difference a day makes. Geneva was shell-shocked Tuesday night after King overcame a 13-point deficit in the final three minutes to upset the defending Wildcat Turkey Classic champion Vikings 68-66. But, after suffering a spate of uncharacteristic turnovers and missed free throws down the stretch of that loss, the Vikes played with poise and resolve in the fourth quarter against Lake Zurich on Wednesday. Geneva sank 7 of 9 free throws, committed just one turnover and secured a 52-47 victory in the third round of the tournament in West Chicago.


    Down 13, Kaneland rallies to beat Batavia in OT

    For three-and-a-half quarters the story of Kaneland and Batavia’s season opener at the 38th annual Ken Peddy Classic was the sizzling shooting of Bulldogs sophomore Canaan Coffey in his varsity debut. Luckily for the Knights there were four minutes left for them to show they have some shooters, too. Senior Drew David drained three 3-pointers in the final 4:38, including one from the top of the key with 17 seconds to go to tie the game at 70 and force overtime. David opened the extra session with another jumper, then Tyler Carlson sank the Knights’ 10th 3-pointer of the game and they went on to an 81-74 come-from-behind win.

    Could Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer direct your fantasy football team to victory this week? John Dietz says it’s a good bet as Arizona faces an inviting defense in Philadelphia.

    Time to count our fantasy football blessings

    With Thanksgiving here, see what John is thankful for in his life, as well as in the world of fantasy football.


    Giving thanks for college achievers

    Let’s give thanks this week to a bunch of area graduates doing well in college ...

    Starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco throws for the Los Angeles Dodgers during the Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Oct. 15.

    Source: Twins agree to terms with Nolasco

    Right-hander Ricky Nolasco and the Twins agreed to terms on a free-agent contract Wednesday, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press. The person requested anonymity because the team does not plan to announce a deal until Nolasco passes a physical.


    Eastern loses to IPFW

    Steve Forbes scored a game-high 19 points with eight rebounds as IPFW posted a 71-65 victory over Eastern Illinois Wednesday night.


    No. 10 Wisconsin beats West Virginia 70-63

    Sam Dekker scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds Wednesday and No. 10 Wisconsin beat West Virginia 70-63 to remain unbeaten and win the Cancun Challenge championship.

    Fremd’s Matthew Ochoa drives the basket and is fouled by South Elgin’s Darius Wells during Wednesday’s game at Fenton High School in Bensenville.

    Fremd takes apart South Elgin

    Fremd 6-foot-4 senior Matt Ochoa gave coach Bob Widlowski exactly what he’d been asking for this week and a whole lot more in Wednesday’s 91-61 dismantling of South Elgin. In a battle of 2-0 teams at the 38th Annual Chuck Mitchell Thanksgiving Tournament at Fenton, Ochoa hauled down 18 rebounds — 8 more than his previous career high — to help his Vikings dominate the rebounding battle 45-15.


    Lipp, Libertyville nip Maine South

    Libertyville’s boys basketball team pulled out a close one Wednesday night. Jack Lipp scored 15 points, as the Wildcats edged Maine South 44-43 at Maine West. Joe Borcia chipped in 10 for Libertyville (2-0).


    Pereira keeps Naperville North undefeated

    As a sophomore in just her third varsity girls basketball game, Naperville North point guard Laurel Pereira can be expected to get better and better as the season goes on.


    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Byron 57, St. Edward 43: Cece Rapp had 12 points and Katie Swanson added 10 for St. Edward (2-2) in this loss at the Dakota tournament. The game was tied 21-21 at halftime but Byron, which made 8 3-pointers, pulled away in the second half.


    Grayslake Central pulls away against Buffalo Grove

    Experience pays. And Grayslake Central showed how Wednesday night in a 64-51 win over host Buffalo Grove on the third night of the Bison Classic. Last year’s varsity newcomers are this year’s seasoned vets for the Rams (2-1), and they clamped down on the Bison (1-1) defensively, especially taking away their 3-point game while patiently attacking for high-percentage looks in a 20-for-36 shooting performance.

    Luol Deng led the Bulls with 27 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, while hitting 11 of 17 shots from the field Wednesday against the Pistons in Detroit.

    Deng 'off the charts' for Bulls

    Luol Deng scored 27 points, Taj Gibson added 23 and the Bulls snapped their four-game losing streak with a 99-79 victory at Detroit. The Bulls won for the first time since losing Derrick Rose to another knee injury.


    Nice for Nelson; not so sweet for Mundelein

    Sam Nelson’s dad delivered a large box of frosted birthday cupcakes to his son to share with his Mundelein basketball teammates Wednesday night. Only a Mundelein victory would have made Sam’s day sweeter. The 5-foot-10 senior guard celebrated his 18th birthday by scoring 14 points in his first varsity start. “I’m glad I got to spend it playing basketball,” Nelson said after Uplift spoiled the Mustangs’ fun, winning 102-85 in an entertaining Mundelein Thanksgiving Tournament game.


    Big fourth quarter gives Wheaton North comeback win over York

    Wheaton North was just biding its time, waiting for the right moment to make its move. “I think we realized we needed to bring something else in order to win,” Falcons senior Emily Barry said after a huge fourth quarter led to a 61-60 comeback victory over the host Dukes at the York Thanksgiving Tournament on Wednesday. “I think we did the job. It was a great team effort, everyone across the board, all 19 of us did it.”


    Meadows matches its reputation in win over Lakes

    Lakes girls basketball coach Pete Schneider is very familiar with the Rolling Meadows girls basketball team. And he saw a familiar performance from the Mustangs on Wednesday night, when the nationally-ranked team secured a tie for the championship of the Lake Zurich Turkey Thriller Tournament. Ranked No. 2 in Illinois’ Class 4A, Meadows put together another electrifying performance in a 72-16 victory over the Eagles. As founder of the Northern Illinois Feeder Girls Basketball Association, Schneider goes way back with the Mustangs’ talented senior class.


    Boys basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    The St. Edward boys basketball team jumped out to a 32-17 halftime lead and cruised to a 66-34 win over Alden-Hebron Wednesday night at the Westminster Christian Thanksgiving tournament.

    Bulls forward Luol Deng shoots over the defense of Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Auburn Hills, Mich., Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013.

    Bulls pull away in 4th for win over Pistons

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Taj Gibson had a career-high 23 points and the Bulls pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Detroit Pistons 99-79 Wednesday night.The Pistons stayed close for most of the game, but managed only seven points in the first 10 minutes of the fourth quarter. That allowed Chicago to increase their lead to as many as 24 points as they ended a four-game losing streak.Luol Deng led the Bulls with 27 points. Rodney Stuckey finished with 25 off the bench for Detroit but no one else had more than 13. Josh Smith had 13 points and 11 rebounds and Andre Drummond had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Pistons.Neither team played much defense in the first half, with the Pistons shooting 58.5 percent to Chicago’s 52.4 percent. Stuckey and Gibson both had 15 points off the bench, and each team also had two starters in double figures by halftime.Detroit led 53-51 going into the third quarter, but six quick points from Joakim Noah helped Chicago put together a 18-8 that put them ahead 69-61 late in the period. The Bulls had three straight possessions with a chance to move the margin into double figures, but two misses on open jumpers and a fast-break turnover let the Pistons stay close.Stuckey finally ended Detroit’s drought with a pair of baskets, and the Pistons were within 69-65. The fight back was short-lived, though, and the Bulls had the advantage back to 76-68 by quarter’s end. The margin stayed in the high single figures for the early part of the fourth, but Detroit started to struggle when Mo Cheeks took Stuckey out of the game.It was 86-75 when Stuckey returned with five minutes left, and Kirk Hinrich immediately hit a three-point play to make it a 14-point game. Detroit went ten straight possessions without scoring before Gigi Datome’s jumper made it 99-77 with 1:31 to go. Datome finished with four points on his 26th birthday.


    Wolves drop third straight

    The Chicago Wolves could not stop Jason Zucker and Iowa, falling 3-1 to the Wild on Zucker’s 2-goal peformance at Allstate Arena in Rosemont.Chris Porter notched the lone goal for the Wolves (9-8-0-2), who dropped their third game in a row. Goaltender Jake Allen (8-4-2) made 19 stops and suffered the loss.


    Hoffman stuns Huntley

    Hoffman Estates senior Jordan Robinson had a stunned smile as he clutched the ball just after the buzzer sounded Wednesday night in the seventh annual Crystal Lake Central Coaches vs. Cancer Thanksgiving Tournament. Just seconds earlier, Huntley ran a three-quarter court inbound play to set up a wide-open layup that would have forced overtime. But the ball rimmed off into Robinson’s hands and Hoffman had its biggest victory in recent years with a 56-54 upset at the CL Central Fieldhouse.


    Lower weights key as Grant handles Warren

    It was a bit of a roller-coaster ride for visiting Grant as the Bulldogs took to the mat in their wrestling season opener Wednesday night at Warren. Starting at 126 pounds, Grant stormed ahead of the Blue Devils 25-0 right out of the gates after four bouts. Warren (2-1) bounced back strongly to quickly cut the lead to 25-15 with three straight wins in this North Suburban Conference crossover dual meet. But in the end it was the Bulldogs (1-0) who once again pulled away for a 49-21 victory over the Blue Devils by winning the final three matches in an 18-0 spurt.


    St. Viator adjusts in time to top Highland Park

    St. Viator boys basketball coach Mike Howland challenged two of his top players at intermission Wednesday night. Senior Ore Arogundade and junior Roosevelt Smart accepted the challenge and led the Lions to a 48-44 win over Highland Park in night three of the Joe Majkowski Thanksgiving Tournament inside Cahill Gymnasium.


    Schaumburg looks super on opening night

    Opening night was a smashing success for Schaumburg as the Saxons overpowered Upstate Eight Conference foes Streamwood and host Bartlett in a double-dual Wednesday evening. The two-victory night was a nice tune-up for the Saxons in advance of their date with top-rated Oak Park-River Forest (in 3A) and 1A’s top team, Dakota, this Friday at Central Suburban League power New Trier.


    Huntley claims Dundee-Crown title

    The beginning of the fourth quarter Wednesday night belonged to the Hononegah girls basketball. The final 3 minutes was all Huntley and that was good enough to beat the Indians, 45-38, to claim the Dundee-Crown Thanksgiving Tournament championship.


    Streamwood nips Jacobs

    Streamwood built up an 18-point lead on Jacobs before having to hang on in the end, 47-45, Wednesday night in a Dundee-Crown girls basketball Thanksgiving tournament game played at Huntley.


    North Central ready for second-round hurdle

    Every team hopes to play its best at the end of the year in the most important games, and despite going undefeated throughout the regular season the North Central football team may be playing at its peak.


    UIC trounces Wagner 94-76

    Kelsey Barlow sparked a second half run and finished with a career-high 38 points on Wednesday night to lead Illinois-Chicago to a 94-76 victory over Wagner for third place in the Gulf Coast Showcase.

    Minnesota forwards Joey King (24) and Maurice Walker (15) try to control a rebound while playing against Chaminade on Wednesday at the Maui Invitational.

    Minnesota beats Chaminade 83-68 in Maui

    Minnesota came to Hawaii looking to make a statement on a national stage. It needed a comeback against a Division II school Wednesday to avoid leaving the islands winless.


    Penn State DE gears up for Badgers

    C.J. Olaniyan is ready to take a run at stopping Wisconsin’s powerful rushing attack. Penn State’s 6-3, 244-pound defensive end is well aware that the Nittany Lions must control the running back tandem of Melvin Gordon and James White to stay in Saturday’s game against the 14th-ranked Badgers.

    Jozy Altidore set a U.S. men’s national team record by scoring a goal in five consecutive matches from June 2 to Aug. 14.

    Altidore, Wambach named athletes of year by U.S. soccer

    Jozy Altidore and Abby Wambach were honored as the men’s and women’s athletes of the year by U.S. soccer. The men’s Athlete of the Year honor is the first for Altidore. The women's honor is the sixth for Wambach.


    SIU falls to San Diego St.

    Johnny Dee struggled but made important shots down the stretch as San Diego edged Southern Illinois 59-56 on Wednesday for fifth place in the Gulf Coast Showcase.

    Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter takes a hit from Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun during the first half of last Saturday’s game in Evanston.

    Colter still a maybe for Illini game

    Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter’s status for Saturday’s game at Illinois is still up in the air after the injured senior couldn’t take to the practice field for a third day. Northwestern spokesman Scott Hammer said Wednesday that Colter dressed for the day’s practice but “didn’t really participate.”

    Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller has completed 68 percent of his passes and thrown 19 touchdowns against just four interceptions this season.

    Miller needed 598 passes to impress coach Meyer

    Urban Meyer believes Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller has a future as a pro. “I certainly get asked that question: Can Braxton Miller be an NFL quarterback?” he said. “Absolutely, he can. No doubt in my mind because he continues to develop.” Just not right away.

    Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun talks about his baseball suspension outside Miller Park Wednesday in Milwaukee.

    Remorseful Braun meets with test collector

    Ryan Braun ended his silence Wednesday, speaking to the media for the first time since accepting a season-ending, 65-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s anti-drug agreement. Braun was taking part in a holiday food drive at Miller Park and said he was “deeply remorseful” for his actions but declined to offer specific answers to most questions.

    Prospect's Kyle Beyak leads a fastbreak during the St. Viator Thanksgiving tournament Wednesday.

    Prospect quickly back on track

    It took about a quarter of basketball for Prospect's boys team to shake off the previous night's overtime loss against Highland Park, but once the Knights did so, there was no doubt and no looking back. The Knights (2-1) trailed Walther Christian Academy 24-21 after the first quarter Wednesday, but they put it all together in the second, outscoring the Broncos 27-4. The Knights were in control the rest of the way in an 88-62 victory in the Joe Majkowski Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament at St. Viator's Cahill Gym.


    George, Kirby lead Carmel victory

    Carmel seniors Jack George and Billy Kirby made sure history didn’t repeat itself in a rematch with Prairie Ridge in the seventh annual Crystal Lake Central Coaches vs. Cancer Thanksgiving Tournament. A year ago, the Wolves rallied from a double-digit deficit in the third quarter for a victory as Michael Bradshaw erupted for 38 points. On Wednesday afternoon, the Corsairs found themselves in a similar position at the CL Central Fieldhouse. This time Kirby contained Bradshaw and no one could stop the 6-foot-10 George as he had 28 points and 9 rebounds in Carmel’s 58-49 victory.

    Playoffs -Semifinal- Photos from the Marist at Naperville Central Class 8A playoff football game in Naperville on Saturday, Nov. 23.

    From disappointment to elation for Naperville Central

    It’s not often you can pinpoint a specific day — a specific time — when a dream is born. But it’s not often you come across a football team like Naperville Central. “It started with our 6 a.m. workouts,” said senior quarterback Jake Kolbe. “We’ve been adding it up and it’s been a year and five weeks since we started our off-season conditioning program, and it’s paid off. This is why you work so hard and why you don’t press the snooze button at five in the morning.” The payoff arrives when the Redhawks (10-3) face Loyola (12-1) in the Class 8A championship game at 7 p.m. Saturday at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. Naperville Central makes its fourth appearance in the final in search of a second title.


    Football: IHSA state finals schedule

    Here is the schedule for this weekend’s IHSA state championship football games at NIU’s Huskie Stadium in DeKalb


    Big changes as new-look Barrington tops Lakes

    Austin Madrzyk opened the festivities for Barrington with a 3-pointer, and the Broncos never looked back in posting a 56-51 win over Lakes in the third round of boys basketball tournament play Wednesday at Mundelein.

    Coach Marc Trestman grew up five minutes from Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, where the Bears meet the Vikings on Sunday. But he said he is “locked in to your day-to-day preparations,” not memories.

    Bears’ Trestman focuses on present

    Bears coach Marc Trestman says nostalgia won't get in the way of his preparation this week, even though he'll be going home to Minnesota and playing at the Metrodome, where he coached his first game as an NFL assistant in 1985.

    Warren’s Jovan Jokic (23) reaches for a rebound over Lake Forest Academy’s Dejon Brissett, left, and Daniel Joseph on Wednesday at Mundelein.

    Lake Forest Academy gets defensive against Warren

    Lake Forest Academy used a stifling box-and-one defense on Warren star guard Eric Gillespie and controlled the boards with its height to get a 53-43 victory over the Blue Devils in tournament play at Mundelein on Wednesday. The Caxys, who got double-figures out of four players, move to 3-0 on the season while Warren drops to 1-2.


    Rose, York outrun Rolling Meadows

    Last season, York’s boys basketball team found itself taking too much time to get into the flow of the game. But the Dukes vowed to change that this year. “We are really trying to come out fast this year,” said Charlie Rose, who had the Dukes running the court early and often. “We have a different mentality and we like to jump on storm early.” Rose and his mates did just that, bouncing out to a quick lead and getting past Rolling Meadows 56-40 Wednesday in the Ed Molitor Thanksgiving Classic on Wednesday in Palatine.

    Like Michael Moffatt pictured below, Anthony Thielk (22) is a three-year starter on a Batavia defense that is playing as well as any defense in the state according to Bulldogs coach Dennis Piron.

    Batavia’s Thielk, Moffatt looking for storybook ending

    Tuesday night at Batavia High was “Media Night” for reporters to gather the goods on the Class 6A state championship-bound Bulldogs football team. It also was about Batavia Youth Football. Batavia coach Dennis Piron anticipated that in the span of two hours some 300 kids would be scrambling through the Fine Arts Center hallway to meet and gather autographs from their varsity heroes.

    Stopping Vikings running back Adrian Peterson should be the sternest test yet for a Bears defense ranked last in the NFL against the rush.

    Will Vikings’ AP be too much for Bears’ defense?

    The Bears' NFL-worst run defense appears to be at a serious disadvantage this week against the Vikings and Adrian Peterson, who has already rushed for 997 yards.

    Former White sox slugger Jim Thome is pledging $100,000 toward tornado relief efforts in central Illinois. The White Sox, Indians, Twins and Phillies also are helping with the effort.

    Thome, Sox join forces for tornado relief

    Jim Thome, along with his wife Andrea and the Thome family, has committed $100,000 to help in the tornado relief efforts in central Illinois, where Thome was raised.


    Game video: Benet vs. Neuqua Valley
    Benet takes on Neuqua Valley Wednesday in boys basketball action. Follow the game here with video from High School Cube, then come back later for the replay and highlights.


    Game video: Schaumburg vs. St. Charles East
    Schaumburg takes on St. Charles East Wednesday in boys basketball action. Follow the game here with video from High School Cube, then come back later for the replay and highlights.


    Game video: Naperville North vs. Oswego East
    Naperville North takes on Oswego East Wednesday in boys basketball action. Follow the game here with video from High School Cube, then come back later for the replay and highlights.


    Game video: Prospect vs. Walther Christian
    Prospect takes on Walther Christian Wednesday in boys basketball action. Follow the game here with video from High School Cube, then come back later for the replay and highlights.


    Game video: Barrington vs. Lakes
    Barrington takes on Lakes Wednesday in boys basketball action. Follow the game here with video from High School Cube, then come back later for the replay and highlights.

    Bulls guard Derrick Rose is the face of Adidas, but now some industry experts say Adidas may need to rethink its NBA marketing campaign and find a viable replacement as Chicago’s superstar sits out a second NBA season due to injury.

    Rose’s injury could be blow to Adidas, too

    As he hobbled off the court again, Derrick Rose found himself in a familiar and painful spot. The folks at Adidas might be wincing, too. The sports apparel giant might have to find a backup plan after building its multimillion-dollar NBA marketing campaign around the Chicago Bulls’ superstar point guard, whose injured right knee will cost him the rest of the 2013-14 season.


    Vikings LB Erin Henderson arrested on DUI charge

    Minnesota Vikings middle linebacker Erin Henderson has returned to the team after a drunken-driving arrest a week ago. Coach Leslie Frazier said Henderson would practice Wednesday and play Sunday against Chicago. He will not start.


    Mike North video: Not a happy Thanksgiving for Chicago sports fans
    The Blackhawks are about the only thing Chicago sports fans can be thankful for this year.

    As the Cubs move forward with plans for a $500 million renovation at Wrigley Field over the next five years, owners are also seeking approval for plans to build a year-around plaza outside of Wrigley Field that would sell alcohol.

    Cubs seek alcohol sales at Wrigley plaza

    The Chicago Cubs hope to let patrons buy and drink alcohol outside of historic Wrigley Field, saying they want to create a town-square atmosphere in a plaza adjacent to the ballpark. The proposal, sponsored by Wrigleyville alderman Tom Tunney, is included in an ordinance that was introduced to Chicago’s City Council.


    Difficult time for Rose’s Bulls teammates, too

    This is a difficult time for Bulls fans, but probably tougher for the players, who talked often about how their hard work would pay off with Derrick Rose back on the floor. Now Rose will miss the season after surgery to repair cartilage in his right knee.

    Trading forward Luol Deng and getting a good player in return could be difficult with Deng’s expiring contract. Contending teams may not have the right fit in return, and other teams may be worried about not being able to re-sign him.

    Changes coming to Bulls, but when?

    Now that Derrick Rose is sidelined with another knee injury and the championship window for the current nucleus of players is essentially sealed shut, it’s clear what the Bulls need. When they'll get it remains in question. “We realize it’s difficult for our players to go through this,” general manager Gar Forman said in a phone interview Tuesday. “With that said, we believe in the makeup and character of this team."


    Tuesday’s girls gymnastics scoreboard
    Here are the varsity girls gymnastics results from Tuesday's events, as reported to the Daily Herald.


    Rice lifts Illini with game-winning layup

    Rayvonte Rice scored a career-high 25 points, including the winning layup with 27 seconds left to lead Illinois past UNLV 61-59 on Tuesday night in Las Vegas. Rice, a redshirt junior, also had a career high 10 rebounds to lead Illinois (6-0), which has not lost in its last 25 November games. UNLV had a chance to win, but Kevin Olekaibe’s desperation 3-pointer from the right corner rattled off the rim for the Rebels (2-3), who were held scoreless in the final 4:16.Khem Birch led the Rebels with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks. UNLV’s Roscoe Smith, the nation’s leading rebounder averaging 16.3 per game, had 13 boards.Trailing 39-29 at halftime, the Illini scored second half’s first 5 points and eventually took a 51-49 lead.


    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    South Elgin 80, Jacobs 42: The Storm (2-2) crushed the Golden Eagles (1-4) during Dundee-Crown Thanksgiving tournament play at South Elgin. Anna Tracy led the way with 14 points and Nadia Yang was right behind her with 13 points, including 3 3-pointers.


    On the busiest travel day of the year, family and friends watch for arrivals of loved ones, at Denver International Airport, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013. Denver's airport was busy Wednesday with holiday travelers but storms on the East Coast did not ripple out into the widespread meltdown that had been feared.

    Rain, snow hit East during the Thanksgiving rush

    A wet and blustery storm along the East Coast made driving hazardous and tangled up hundreds of flights Wednesday but didn't cause the all-out gridlock many Thanksgiving travelers had feared. Many travelers marveled at how orderly and anxiety-free the airports were during what is typically one of the busiest days of the year.


    Why holiday sales could ride on lower gas prices

    WASHINGTON — No one begs Santa Claus for cheaper gasoline. Yet falling gas prices are shaping up as an unexpected gift for drivers — and for people on their holiday shopping lists.The average price of gasoline has tumbled 49 cents from its peak this year to $3.29 a gallon, putting it on track for the lowest average since 2010, according to AAA. Because many Americans have had no pay raises, whatever money they’re saving on gas has freed up a bit more for other purchases.And history shows that when gas prices drop, consumers become more likely to splurge on dinners out. Impulse buys at the mall seem like less of a stretch. More people buy a gas-station gift card after fueling up.Many retail analysts have forecast a ho-hum sales gain of around 2 percent this year; others predict an increase of up to 3.9 percent. But steadily cheaper gas could send holiday sales shooting above 5.4 percent, analysts say.“Every little thing moves the needle at this point,” said Carl Riccadonna, senior U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank. “The benefit at this time of the year certainly helps retailers, since it is not spread evenly throughout the year.”Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Information Service, foresees the average price drifting down, as it typically does this time of year, to as low as $3.05 by year’s end.For retailers, the best-case scenario would be for the national average to breach $3 a gallon, a psychological barrier that could help accelerate spending.Cheaper gas could help build on the momentum of 2 million more Americans finding jobs this year. It might also help shore up consumers’ fragile confidence in an economic recovery that’s lumbered along for 4½ years.Riccadonna estimates that breaking $3 gas would lead the average shopper to spend $47 more over the holidays. That figure would translate into $15 billion worth of extra shopping — possibly the difference between lukewarm and red-hot sales growth.Prices briefly dipped below $3 in five states — Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas — before rising above that threshold again.Some service stations have been charging less than $3 around Tucson, Ariz., where Seth Nilson, a high school teacher, and his wife, Cristi, are enjoying more time at restaurants. Many consumers think of gas prices in 50-cent increments, said Britt Beemer, head of the consumer behavior consultant America’s Research Group. Based on his firm’s research, shoppers would spend more freely if gas settles below $3 or $2.50. They would likely step up purchases at grocery stores or spend $35 on a gift instead of the $25 they might have planned, Beemer said.“A 10-cent drop doesn’t really change the equation much,” Beemer said. Still, smaller declines in gas prices matter, too, even if they don’t register as clearly with consumers. Economists say lower prices disproportionately benefit lower- and middle-income consumers who must commute to work. Cheaper gas makes their trips more affordable and provides the equivalent of a tax refund that frees up spending money.Given the still-sluggish economic recovery, many shoppers are expected to tilt toward practical gifts, like gas station gift cards, said Pam Goodfellow of Prosper Insights & Analytics, who polled consumers for the National Retail Federation.Her survey found that the average gift card this year is expected to be worth $45.16, up from $43.75 a year ago — for a rough total of $1 billion more. Twelve percent of shoppers say they intend to buy gas station gift cards this year, compared with 9.3 percent in 2010.The potential economic boost comes at a low point for consumer confidence. Confidence was battered by the partial government shutdown and the troubled launch of President Barack Obama’s health care law, which led insurers to cancel coverage for millions.


    Ruling on hot sauce factory raises job worries

    A judge has ordered a plant that produces the popular Sriracha chili sauce to stop emitting annoying odors in a ruling that left some nearby residents worried about a possible loss of jobs at the factory.


    Caremark to buy Coram for $2.1 billion

    Drugstore chain operator CVS Caremark Corp. said Wednesday that it has agreed to buy the drug infusion business Coram LLC, a unit of Apria Healthcare Group Inc., for $2.1 billion.

    FILE - In this Aug. 21, 2012, file photo, the Hewlett-Packard Co. logo is seen outside the company's headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. Hewlett-Packard Co. reports quarterly financial results after the market closes on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

    Stocks climb after HP advances on earnings

    Technology companies lifted the stock market Wednesday, keeping major indexes at record levels.Hewlett-Packard surged, leading the gains for tech companies, after it posted a $1.4 billion profit for its latest quarter. The world’s second-largest maker of PCs also issued a strong profit forecast for its current quarter.Stocks also got a boost from some encouraging news about the U.S. economy.In a sign that workers are in less danger of being laid off, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 316,000, according to the U.S. Labor Department. In another bit of good news, consumer confidence rose in November, according to a private survey by the University of Michigan and financial data company Thomson Reuters.“Today’s economic news was generally favorable,” said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist for U.S. Bank Wealth Management. “In the absence of bad news, the path of least resistance for equities is up.”The stock market has surged this year on a combination of solid corporate earnings, a slowly recovering economy and easy-money policies from the Federal Reserve. The Fed is buying $85 billion in bonds every month to keep long-term interest rates low, making stocks more attractive than bonds for investors.On Wednesday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed four points, or 0.3 percent, to close at an all-time high of 1,807.23.The Dow Jones industrial average rose 24 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at its own record high of 16,097.33. The blue-chip index finished higher for a fifth straight day, its longest winning streak since March.The Nasdaq composite advanced 27 points, or 0.7 percent, to 4,044.75. The index closed above 4,000 for the first time in 13 years Tuesday.The S&P 500 has risen 26.7 percent this year, putting it on course for its best annual performance since 1998. Much of the gain has come because investors have been willing to pay more for a company’s stock in relation to its earnings.The price-earnings ratio for S&P 500 companies has climbed to 15.1 from 12.6 at the start of the year. But it is still below the average ratio of 16.5 for the last 20 years.“When times are good, you have to ask if it’s a sign that things are about to become bad,” said Art Steinmetz, President & Chief Investment Officer at Oppenheimer Funds. But Steinmetz feels reasonably hopeful that stock valuations “are not overstretched.”In other corporate news, Analog Devices fell $1.38, or 3 percent, to $48.54 after the chipmaker reported sales late Tuesday that missed Wall Street estimates. The Norwood, Mass., company expects a seasonal slowdown to hurt revenue during the holidays.Trading volumes were lower than average ahead of Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday, when financial markets will be closed. The New York Stock exchange and the Nasdaq will also close early on Friday.The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.74 percent, up from 2.71 percent on Tuesday.The price of oil dropped to its lowest level in six months as the U.S. government reported the 10th straight weekly increase in crude supplies. Oil dropped $1.38, or 2 percent, to $92.30 a barrel.Exxon Mobil and Chevron, both members of the 30-company Dow, declined. Exxon Mobil fell 47 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $93.80. Chevron fell 36 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $122.42.In other commodities trading, Gold fell $3.60, or 0.3 percent, to $1,237.80 an ounce.

    Jennifer Vanacora, owner of Eco Diva Clothing, plans special promotions for Small Business Saturday this weekend.

    Suburban retailers set for Small Business Saturday

    Small Business Saturday is this weekend, and local retailers and other small store owners are gearing up for special promotions to get consumers in the door and get a piece of the post-Thanksgiving shopping action.

    Downtown Elgin businesses are considering creating a special tax that would be paid by only themselves and then help themselves.

    Elgin downtown group might want tax of its own

    The Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin is looking into funding its operations by establishing a new special service area downtown. First, however, an existing downtown SSA that funds the Spring Street parking deck should be abolished, association officials say. “The people who would run (the association) are the people who are paying for it,” Grace Richard said.

    Shoppers illegally parking in spaces reserved for disabled motorists will be targeted by Illinois Secretary of State police beginning Friday.

    Attention Schaumburg shoppers: Watch where you park

    Shoppers illegally parking in spaces reserved for disabled motorists will be targeted by Illinois Secretary of State police beginning Friday. Secretary of State Jesse White says his police force will be checking for cheaters at Water Tower Place in Chicago, Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg and malls in Carbondale, Champaign, Peoria, Fairview Heights, Marion, Rockford and Springfield.

    Bruce Rauner

    GOP gov. candidate Rauner releases tax returns

    A Republican who’s running to become Illinois governor reported more than $53 million in income last year while disclosing he has ownership stakes in three professional sports franchises, including the Chicago Bulls.


    Quinn urges Ill. residents to donate to food banks

    Gov. Pat Quinn is calling on Illinois residents to help someone in need this Thanksgiving by giving time or money to a local food bank. The Chicago Democrat stopped by the Greater Chicago Food Depository on Tuesday to help volunteers prepare meals for families in need.

    Illinois officials are reminding drivers to be alert for deer on the roadways during what they say is the one of the most active periods of the year for wildlife.

    Illinois sees fewer deer-vehicle crashes in 2012

    Illinois officials are reminding drivers to be alert for deer on the roadways during what they say is the one of the most active periods of the year for wildlife. The Illinois Department of Transportation released figures Tuesday showing a decline in fatal crashes involving deer.

    Fashionistas of Chicago are getting together next month for a town hall meeting.

    Chicago to hold fashion industry town hall meeting
    Associated PressFashionistas of Chicago are getting together next month for a town hall meeting.The city of Chicago has announced it will host a Chicago Fashion Industry Town Hall on Dec. 10. Mayor Rahm Emanuel says in a statement that he wants to continue to build the industry in Chicago. Every year the city holds “Fashion Focus: Chicago’s Fashion Week.”The goal of the meeting is to help the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events plan future initiatives for the fashion industry in the city. Those who attend will get details on grant opportunities and upcoming networking events.Other topics will include business development, education and manufacturing.

    Gov. Pat Quinn

    Quinn: Best way to campaign is to do the job

    Pat Quinn says the best way to campaign for the 2014 election is to do his job. The Chicago Democrat wouldn’t say much Tuesday about the fact that potential Republican rival Bruce Rauner has put about $1.25 million of his own money into the four-way GOP primary.

Life & Entertainment

    Half-brothers Michael (Noah Marlowe) and Buddy (Will Blum) get to know each other in “Elf The Musical,” now playing at the Cadillac Palace Theatre through Sunday, Dec. 15.

    Musical 'Elf' big on cheer, but falls short of film

    After two seasonal stints on Broadway and a national tour last year, “Elf The Musical” is finally making its Chicago debut at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. But like many screen-to-stage shows created with recognizable titles, “Elf The Musical” has an inescapable manufactured feel about it.

    One Direction, “Midnight Memories”

    One Direction to the rescue with mom-friendly LP

    What’s the mother of the average American tween to do as the holidays approach? Miley has twerked her way out of the stocking, for sure. Justin Bieber invites too many questions. And most of the women of pop are exploring very adult themes that are rated at least PG-13. One Direction steps into that giant void just in time for Black Friday, providing nervous mothers with the perfect gift: “Midnight Memories.” The album is full of positive choruses and playful — not pornographic — takes on love and life. Smartly promoted around release, the third album from the British boy band is definitely mom bait.

    “12 Years A Slave” was nominated for a Spirit Award for best feature on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013. The Spirit Awards will take place Saturday, March 1, 2014.

    ‘12 Years a Slave’ leads Spirit Awards nominations

    The race to Oscar has officially begun, as the slavery exploration “12 Years a Slave” was nominated Tuesday for a leading seven Spirit Awards, which honor independent film. With six nominations, Alexander Payne’s black-and-white comedy “Nebraska” is also in the running. Other best-picture contenders include J.C. Chandor’s near-wordless shipwreck drama “All is Lost,” Noah Baumbach’s New York tale “Frances Ha” and the Coen brothers’ folk music story “Inside Llewyn Davis.”

    Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt and her “The Client List” co-star Brian Hallisay are the proud parents of a baby girl. Autumn James Hallisay was born Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013.

    Hewitt welcomes baby girl after quiet wedding

    Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt and her “The Client List” co-star Brian Hallisay are the proud parents of a baby girl. Autumn James Hallisay was born Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013.

    Chef Jeff Ansorge serves up lunch at the Salvation Army Eastside Corp Community Center in St. Paul, Minn. Ansorge, who used to command a staff of 17 at a posh downtown Minneapolis restaurant making nearly $80,000 a year, gave it all up to become the cook in charge of a Salvation Army soup kitchen where the meals are free.

    From kitchen star to Salvation Army chef

    Jeff Ansorge once commanded a staff of 17 and made around $80,000 a year as executive chef at a posh downtown Minneapolis restaurant where a 24-ounce dry aged Porterhouse steak goes for $48. But he gave it all up to become the head cook of a Salvation Army soup kitchen, where the meals are free. Now he brings his culinary skills to bear making salmon, ribs and stews for the poor and homeless who come to The Salvation Army Eastside Corps Community Center in St. Paul.

    Royal Caribbean is one of a number of companies in the travel industry participating in CyberMonday this year with a variety of online deals for holiday shoppers.

    Travel industry offering CyberMonday deals

    The travel industry is offering promotions large and small for CyberMonday. Some companies are participating for the first time, while others are embracing the online holiday sale in a bigger way than in the past. The hotel industry is offering a wide variety of online post-Thanksgiving sales, too. Anthony Melchiorri, host of TV's “Hotel Impossible,” says the holiday sales can be “a win-win for hotels and consumers.” Hotels push deals and “and consumers can save up to 65 percent.”

    Quinn Kelsey, right, plays Germont with Joseph Calleja as his son Alfredo, during the second act of the dress rehearsal of Lyric's production of “La Traviata” in Chicago. The opera runs through Dec. 20.

    Hawaiian baritone making his mark at Chicago's Lyric Opera

    There are baritones who sing opera, and then there are “Verdi baritones.” Quinn Kelsey has no doubts about which camp he is in. “I'm definitely a Verdi baritone,” Kelsey said. Fitting into that category requires a voice of a certain size and power, he said. His talents are currently on display at Chicago's Lyric Opera, where he is appearing as Giorgio Germont in a new production of “La Traviata.”

    Comedian Taylor Williamson of "America's Got Talent" comes to the Improv Comedy Showcase in Schaumburg this weekend.

    Weekend picks: Taylor Williamson brings comedy to Improv

    Comedian Taylor Williamson brings his standup to the Improv Comedy Showcase in Schaumburg this weekend, Mike & Joe play an evening of rock at Durty Nellie's in Palatine. Cadillac Ranch in Bartlett will teach you how to line dance Friday night. And legendary performer Elton John hits the Allstate Arena Saturday night.

    Joe Moninski’s apple- and cranberry-topped kale salad is festive for holiday entertaining.

    Kale Holiday Salad with Asian Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
    Kale Holiday Salad with Asian Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette: Joe Moninski

    Naima (Jennifer Hudson) must send her son Langston (Jacob Latimore) to live with her estranged parents in “Black Nativity.”

    ‘Black Nativity’ makes rough transition to screen

    A child is born, a family is healed and a sermon on forgiveness is delivered with sledgehammer subtlety in “Black Nativity,” a bold but clumsy attempt to bring Langston Hughes’ popular musical to life onscreen.

    Forget turkey sandwiches. Turn Thanksgiving leftovers into a hot, filling soup.

    Culinary adventures: Thanksgiving leftovers get new life in soup

    Don't want a turkey and cranberry sandwich again? Penny Kazmier pulls together a hot and tasty soup that starts with remnants of your Thanksgiving feast.

    Joe (Josh Brolin) prepares to conduct some severe interrogation techniques on a prison bureaucrat (Samuel L. Jackson) in Spike Lee's remake of “Oldboy.”

    'Oldboy' an apathetic, violent remake

    In terms of lurid sensationalism, Spike Lee's remake of Park Chan-wook's 2003 Korean thriller “Oldboy” delivers the goods with hammers to the head, knives to the back, and razors to the throat. Still, the remake comes off as a cold and depersonalized retelling of a wild and inventive revenge opus, minus the infamous live octopus-eating scene.

    Take a cue from the YouTube hit song “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” by Ylvis to decorate the Thanksgiving table with a fox theme or expand the motif to other woodland creatures for a tabletop menagerie.

    Foxy crafts for the Thanksgiving table

    Want to decorate a fun table for Thanksgiving? Take your cue from a playful song and incorporate a fox theme. Or expand the motif to other woodland creatures — an owl, squirrel, deer — for a tabletop menagerie. Foxes were a popular motif even before the Norwegian comedy team Ylvis’ lighthearted song “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” became a hit on YouTube this fall. Now, they are “the animal of the moment,” says quilter Amanda Woodruff of Mapleton, Utah, who blogs at A Crafty Fox.

    Donnie, who belongs to Gregg and Mary Lou Erikson of Wayne, is a ‘plus size girl.’

    Half of our pets are out of shape

    We strive to take care of ourselves, but when was the last time you objectively looked at your dog or cat to see if he or she was carrying around too much weight? A 2012 survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention found that 52.5 percent of dogs and 58.3 percent of cats in the United States are overweight or obese.

    A woman (Judi Dench) searching for her son, taken from her when she was a young mother, heads to America with a journalist (Steve Coogan) in “Philomena.”

    Dench delights as a mother seeking her son in 'Philomena'

    The cinematic recipe for “Philomena” seems tricky at best: Take a shocking and tragic tale — a true one, involving the Catholic Church, no less — and make it into a film that's part serious drama, part jaunty road-buddy movie, and part comedy. Such an unwieldy mix flirts with danger, but “Philomena” works, thanks to the quality of its ingredients — especially the sensitive and nuanced performances by the ever-superb Judi Dench and by Steve Coogan, who also co-wrote the script.

    Parents concerned about the safety of toys can consult the annual Trouble in Toyland report from the Vermont Public Interest Research Group.

    Toy recalls down, but hazards remain

    Toy recalls for excessive lead and other hazards are down this year, but consumer advocates warn that potential dangers to children remain on store shelves.



    Editorial: Local progress in lung cancer awareness

    A Daily Herald editorial says the Vernon Hills Park District board and the Chicago City Council both are taking positive steps to combat smoking and secondhand smoke during Lung Cancer Awareness Month .


    Talking turkey about Bleak Friday

    Columnist Kathleen Parker: Thanksgiving is a day of e pluribus unum. In George Washington’s proclamation of 1789, Thanksgiving was designated as a time of duty “to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.” How far we have drifted.


    Dogged journalism a blessing, not a curse

    Columnist Lee Hamilton: At a moment like this, we have to depend more than ever on the curiosity, skill and determination of good reporters to spur the kind of debate we should be having as our society tries to strike the right balance between security and freedom.


    It’s the future to fear

    Columnist Richard Cohen: For those who think that history is about the past, consider what’s before us today. Iran has agreed to an itsy-bitsy deal that will slow its march toward a possible nuclear weapons program, but Tehran will not, on the basis of its own history, take orders from the West. Israel, in the person of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has emitted an anguished howl that history’s most awful crime is about to be repeated. For both countries, the past is not behind them. It’s right around the corner.


    Obamacare benefiting insurance companies
    A Lincolnshire letter to the editor: Under Obamacare, the only ones benefiting are the insurance companies. They get to eliminate quality policies and get to replace them with garbage so that they can make more profit.


    Forests a better place for cell towers
    A Batavia letter to the editor: In the same article on the ComEd plan to put in high tension power lines and towers, ComEd states that the World Health Organization has never found a definitive link between exposure to electrical or magnetic fields and health problems such as cancer.


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