Daily Archive : Monday December 2, 2013


    Chicago Bulls' Luol Deng (9), from Sudan, drives the baseline on Cleveland Cavaliers' Alonzo Gee in the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Saturday in Cleveland. Deng led the Bulls with 27 points in a 97-93 loss to the Cavaliers. Despite his strong play, Deng could be headed elsewhere as the coach staff weighs his worth to the team.

    Weekend in Review: Driver attacked; Deng done as Bull?

    What you may have missed over the weekend: DCFS urges reporting on hazing; Wheeling rape conviction thrown out; Streamwood man charged with trying to run over another driver with his car; Batavia celebrates in the streets after first state football title; paper airplane world record falls short; speed a factor in crash that killed actor Paul Walker; Hawks rack up their sixth win in a row; Bears...


    DuPage County’s primary races set for March

    The final day of filing for the March primary brought several surprises Monday, including news that Democrats in DuPage County will have a contested race to pick one of their county board nominees. Now that candidates for countywide, county board and forest preserve seats have filed their nominating petitions, it’s known that DuPage will have five contested primary races.


    Candidate filing ends for March primary

    The deadline to file petitions to run for state office came and went Monday with five incumbent suburban Republicans facing primary challengers for Illinois House. One Democrat faces a similar primary challenge.

    Rose Mactel, a teacher at Armstrong Elementary School in Schaumburg, pickets with protesters against pension reform Monday outside the office of State Representative Fred Crespo at 1410 W. Schaumburg Road in Streamwood.

    Big pension vote could be Tuesday, but big debate likely first

    Tuesday could be high noon for the highest-profile debate over Illinois' disastrous finances as lawmakers prepare for a possible vote on a plan to cut public workers' pension benefits. Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate are pushing their rank-and-file members to support the plan in spite of fierce opposition from employee unions. “I haven't made my mind up yet,”...


    Thieves steal dozens of bras from South Barrington Victoria’s Secret

    Thieves brazenly stole 72 bras valued at $3,690 from a Victoria’s Secret store in South Barrington last month, authorities said. South Barrington Police Chief Mike Deegan said the store chain is being targeted regionally. The items can quickly be fenced or sold through third parties at flea markets, he said.

    Rolling Meadows police and the FBI are searching for this man who they say robbed the Charter One bank at Kirchoff and East Frontage roads Monday morning. The man is believed to be the same robber who held up the bank in April, as well as two banks in Wood Dale earlier this year.

    Robbers get away after hitting Palatine, Rolling Meadows banks

    A man who robbed a Rolling Meadows bank Monday is believed to be the same person who robbed the same bank in April and two others in Wood Dale earlier this year, authorities say. A second robbery occurred later Monday at the Chase Bank at Euclid Avenue and Quentin Road in Palatine, bring police dogs and a helicopter out for a search.

    Chad E. Wahl

    Judge seals Mooseheart pedophile case file, closes court hearings

    A Kane County judge has made private the court file and proceedings of a man convicted of abusing boys at Mooseheart in the 1990s, while state officials are trying to have him committed as a sexually violent person. The attorney for Chad Wahl, 44, said state law allows mental health matters to be held in private. Wahl was sentenced to 21 years in prison for abusing six boys while he worked as a...


    Rematches in Kane, 4 of 6 McHenry board districts contested

    Filing came to a close Monday, resulting in contested races for Kane County Board, as well as sheriff and county clerk. In McHenry County, four of six county board races have contested primaries. Republicans are squaring off for sheriff, clerk and treasurer.


    Batavia puts moratorium on non-retail uses in commercial districts

    The Batavia City Council has put a six-month moratorium on considering businesses that don’t generate sales tax and want to locate in general commercial districts. Officials are worried about sales tax receipts declining if such uses as banks, gyms and dry cleaners occupy spots that were intended to be filled by stores.

    President Barack Obama’s new and improved health care website will face its next big test when a year-end enrollment crunch is expected to hit in a couple of weeks. Until now the main damage from technology woes has been to Obama’s poll ratings, but it will be average Americans feeling the consequences if HealthCare.gov chokes in coming weeks.

    Health website corrupting info

    The enrollment records for a significant portion of the Americans who have chosen health plans through the online federal insurance marketplace contain errors — generated by the computer system — that mean they might not get the coverage they’re expecting next month.


    Felon wants to run for county board

    The former head of Chicago’s streets and sanitation department who went to prison after being convicted of rigging city hiring has filed nominating petitions to replace a Cook County board commissioner who was recently convicted and sentenced to prison.


    Lawmakers consider tax incentives for ADM, others

    Lawmakers began considering a new set of tax incentives worth $92 million for Archer Daniels Midland Co., chemical distributor Univar and newly merged OfficeMax and Office Depot on Monday that includes a proposed satellite television tax.


    Lake party leaders wonder, where are all the candidates?

    The filing period for the March 2014 primary election in Lake County closed Monday with a whimper. Of the 12 major partisan races that were included in the filing period, only four have two or more candidates.


    Rematches shaping up in Kane County Board races

    Fall rematches are on tap for seats on Kane County Board Districts 19 and 23, the result of the same candidates filing for the March primary. But there are contested primaries for the 11th District county board seat being vacated by Mike Donahue.

    Cranes lift a derailed Metro North train car Monday in the Bronx borough of New York, when federal authorities began righting the cars as they investigated what caused a the commuter train rounding a riverside curve to derail.

    NTSB: Train going too fast at curve before wreck

    A commuter train that derailed over the weekend, killing four passengers, was hurtling at 82 mph as it entered a 30 mph curve, a federal investigator said Monday. But whether the wreck was the result of human error or mechanical trouble was unclear, he said.


    Lombard man arrested on child porn charges

    A Lombard man has been charged with six felony counts of child pornography, police say.

    Erick Raul Mota-Benitez

    I-55 crash victim identified as Crystal Lake man

    Friends are remembering a 28-year-old Crystal Lake man who died Sunday morning in a two-car crash on southbound I-55 near Darien.


    Numbers show homicides falling in Chicago

    Chicago police say there is a chance the city could end the year with the lowest number of homicides since 1965.

    Kevin James Knox

    Naperville police arrest 4 in Thanksgiving fight outside bar

    Naperville police said they arrested four people in a fight outside a downtown bar early Thursday morning during the waning hours of the “Black Wednesday” bar scene before Thanksgiving. “We’re not happy about fights downtown, but in some ways we prepare for them,” Naperville police Cmdr. Lou Cammiso said. “We handled it effectively. No injuries to citizens or officers and that’s always a...

    Ryan P. Marshall

    Spree burglar gets 13 years in prison

    Ryan P. Marshall, 28, of Elgin, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of residential burglary related to a May 2013 spree in Elgin, Streamwood, Schaumburg and Bartlett. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

    Marquies Edward James

    Chicago man charged with Naperville armed robbery

    A Chicago man has been charged with armed robbery after police said he stole a tablet computer from a Naperville man at gunpoint.

    Steve Patzer of St. Charles decorates his house with Christmas lights Monday, holding to a long-running tradition of having it ready for the return home of his three daughters.

    Getting ready for the holidays in St. Charles

    Steve Patzer of St. Charles prepares his house for the holidays, stringing lights on his roof to make it look just right for the 12 people who will be celebrating Christmas there this year. He started the tradition in 1998 to surprise his daughters when they came home from college. “I set the bar pretty high because now I have to repeat it every year,” he said.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Tri blotter


    Antioch man accused of 4th DUI

    An Antioch man was ordered held on $60,000 bond Monday following his fourth arrest on DUI charges. Ruben Juarez, who prosecutors said has eight prior convictions for driving without a license, was charged with aggravated DUI and aggravated driving while license revoked following his arrest on Saturday in Prospect Heights.

    Santiago Minjarez

    Rosemont man gets 15 years for child battery

    A Rosemont man pleaded guilty last month to aggravated battery of a toddler. In exchange for his guilty plea to the felony, Santiago Minjarez, 36, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. An order of protection again Minjarez remains in effect until November 2033, court records show.

    The Rev. Patrick Brennan, shown here speaking with parishioners at Holy Family Parish in Inverness after the dedication of a parish center bearing his name, died Saturday at 66. He’s being remembered as an inspirational leader and speaker who helped grow the church by more than 1,000 families.

    Ex-Holy Family pastor remembered as inspirational leader

    The Rev. Patrick Brennan led Holy Family Parish in Inverness for 15 years, growing the congregation by more than 1,000 families and leading a building campaign that tripled the size of the campus and included adding a parish school. Parishioners loved him so much that even after his second term as pastor was extended, they lobbied Cardinal Francis George for him to stay longer. Brennan died...

    Robert Theodore

    Track coach from Woodridge pleads guilty to sex abuse

    A former Life Time Fitness track trainer known for lavishing his athletes with expensive gifts and trips pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy, DuPage County officials said.

    Firefighters battle the Our Lady of the Angels fire on Dec. 1, 1958. The school, located in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, lost 92 children and three nuns to the blaze.

    Dozens gather to remember 1958 parish school fire

    About 150 people attended a special Mass in Chicago to mark the 55th anniversary of a West Side school fire that killed 95 people. The blaze at Our Lady of the Angels forced an almost immediate reform of school building and safety codes in Chicago and around the nation.


    Crews make rare dinosaur find

    Federal officials say Illinois paleontology crews working in southeastern Montana excavated the remains of a dinosaur rarely found in North America.

    Robert J. Holley, the new special agent in charge of the FBI’s Chicago division, noted about 25 percent of his agents already work violent-crime cases.

    FBI to look for ways to stem Chicago violence

    The new head of Chicago’s FBI office said Monday he’ll look for ways his agents can do more to help stem homicide rates and other violent crimes in the nation’s third-largest city, though he added it’s not yet clear what more the FBI can do that it’s not already doing.


    Lake County candidates list
    The filing period for the March 2014 primary election in Lake County closed Monday with a whimper. Of the 12 major partisan races that were included in the filing period, only four have two or more candidates.


    Route 21/137 intersection work:

    Work on the intersection of Milwaukee Avenue (Route 21) and Route 137 in Libertyville will move into high gear with night work scheduled for Tuesday.


    Retired teachers to meet:

    The Lake County Retired Teachers Association will meet at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at Lambs Farm restaurant, at Route 176 and I-94, near Libertyville, the organization said in a news release.

    Bill Johnston

    District 116 forum on possible Round Lake High School expansion

    Round Lake Area Unit District 116 will host a community forum Tuesday to include discussion on the possibility of a referendum to authorize borrowing for a high school expansion and renovation. It’ll run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Round Lake High School’s theater.

    U.S. stocks fell Monday, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index extending declines in the final hour of trading, amid data showed manufacturing unexpectedly climbed last month and reports on holiday retail sales.

    Stocks fall on disappointing Thanksgiving sales

    The final month of a stellar year for stocks began with a thud. All three major indexes closed lower Monday, the first day of trading in December.


    Meet Santa at MHS:

    The Mundelein High School vocal music department will host its annual Breakfast with Santa Craft & Gift Boutique on Saturday, Dec. 14, the school said in a news release.

    A state legislative committee has approved a deal that would save Arlington International Racecourse's summer season by renewing online gambling on horses.

    Lawmakers get Arlington legislation moving

    State lawmakers began moving legislation intended to prevent massive cuts to the Arlington International Racecourse season by allowing gamblers to keep playing the ponies online. Legislation approved by a House committee Monday has been agreed to by officials at Arlington and the rest of the horseracing industry. Previously, the sides had been divided in an argument that could have stalled a...

    Chris Stirn is the new executive director of the ADOPT pet shelter in Naperville.

    Naperville’s ADOPT picks new executive director

    Naperville-based Animals Deserving of Proper Treatment, or ADOPT, has selected Chris Stirn as its new executive director. Stirn has served in various roles at the no-kill animal shelter since May 2009. “I feel like next year is going to be a big year for us,” she said.


    Toys For Tots dinner in Schaumburg Dec. 12

    The Woodfield Area Children’s Organization will hold its 33rd annual Toys For Tots Holiday Celebration from 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12 at Chandler’s, 401 N. Roselle Road, Schaumburg, inside the Schaumburg Golf Club. Please bring an unwrapped toy as the U.S. Marines will be there to collect them.


    Learn about Harper College manufacturing career programs

    Harper College will hold an information session for its manufacturing career programs at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at the Wojcik Conference Center on the Palatine campus, Room W218, 1200 W. Algonquin Road.


    Vandals chop down 40-foot tree in Arlington Heights park

    Arlington Heights police say someone chopped down a 40-foot red cedar tree valued at $3,500 located within the Arlington Heights Park District’s Heritage Park, 506 W. Victoria Lane. The tree, which was left atop a sledding hill in the park, was cut down sometime between 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26 and noon Wednesday, Nov. 27.

    This undated file handout image provided by the U.S. Postal Service shows the Lady Liberty first class postage stamp first issued in 2011. The design released in 2011 was not based on the statue in New York Harbor, as intended, but on a replica outside the New York-New York casino hotel in Las Vegas.

    Artist suing over Statue of Liberty stamp mix-up

    An embarrassing mistake involving a Statue of Liberty stamp is coming back to haunt the U.S. Postal Service. The stamp was not based on the statue in New York Harbor, as intended, but on a replica outside the New York-New York casino hotel in Las Vegas. Now, the sculptor who made the Lady Liberty of the Las Vegas Strip is suing.

    Anderson Animal Shelter volunteer Randy Sandman of Elgin and his wife, Jan, visit with Rocky, a dog available for adoption. Randy enjoys working with Rocky and calls him “the perfect gentleman.” With the help of Jan, he was able to raise $550 for the South Elgin shelter.

    Elgin animal lovers raise funds for Anderson shelter

    Randy Sandman’s eyes light up when he talks about Rocky, a small, fluffy white dog with a sweet disposition and an underbite. And then there’s Susie, Sabrina, and Alfred ... and the list goes on. “There’s a lot of good dogs,” Sandman said of the pets available for adoption at Anderson Animal Shelter in South Elgin. “They just want someone to be with them for awhile.”


    Drive-thru worker shot by pellet gun at Arlington Heights restaurant

    An employee of an Arlington Heights restaurant suffered minor injuries Saturday night after being shot in the face by a pellet gun while working in the business’ drive-thru lane, police said. Another shot shattered a window on the south side of the restaurant.

    Schaumburg Township Library employees Amy Alessio with a book she wrote “Taking the High Ground” and Susan Miura with a book she wrote “Show Me A Sign” at the library on Tuesday, November 26, in Schaumburg.

    Schaumburg Township librarians publish young adult novels

    As teen librarians at Schaumburg Township District Library, Susan Miura and Amy Alessio know something about what kids read. Both have put that to work in novels of their own. Both novels are teen mysteries, and not surprisingly, each author drew from her own experiences to develop the characters and storyline.


    Illinois lawmakers scramble to digest pension bill

    Fresh off a holiday weekend, Illinois lawmakers scrambled Monday upon returning to Springfield to digest details of a complex plan to solve the state’s $100 billion pension crisis just a day before an expected vote. A growing chorus of conservatives made statements in opposition to the proposal they say is being rushed through. A draft of the 325-page legislation was distributed Sunday and Monday.


    Sen. Kirk says Illinois pension deal ‘falls short’

    U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk says a pension-reform deal under consideration in Springfield “falls short of finding the savings needed to solve Illinois’ fiscal crisis.” The senator says Illinois won’t get a federal bailout so “legislators must get this right.”


    Rutherford: pension plan won’t hold up in court

    Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford says he doesn’t support pension legislation that state lawmakers are set to consider this week. In a statement Monday, the Republican candidate for governor says he doesn’t believe the proposal will “withstand judicial review” if it’s approved by the Legislature.

    Amr Moussa, center, chairman of Egypt’s 50-member panel tasked with amending Egypt’s Islamist-drafted constitution, arranges the members for a group picture after finishing the final draft of a series of constitutional amendments at the Shoura Council in Cairo on Monday.

    Panel completes amending Egypt’s constitution

    A mostly liberal panel has completed amending Egypt’s constitution passed last year under now-ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, setting the stage for a national referendum seen as a key, but contentious step in the country’s transition.


    Operation North Pole a magical ride for very ill children

    Operation North Pole will once again share the magic of Christmas with 62 families who have a child or children suffering from life-threatening or terminal illnesses by taking them on a fanciful trip to the North Pole on Dec. 7.

    In this photo from 2000, the University of Illinois’ mascot Chief Illiniwek dances for the crowd at a women’s basketball game, in Champaign. The university retired Chief Illiniwek as a mascot in 2007. But the school kept the name of the Fighting Illini.

    California Arab sparks debate over ethnic mascots

    A California high school debates whether to keep its mascot, an Arab, but it also spurs the same set of questions: Is it possible to craft a mascot in the image of an ethnic group that doesn’t offend, or are schools better off scrapping the idea altogether? The debate comes as the more familiar Indian controversy has gained increased heat.


    Streamwood Women’s Club hosting gingerbread raffle

    The Streamwood Woman’s Club is holding a gingerbread raffle from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, at Panera, 971 W. Irving Park Rd. in Streamwood. Attendees can visit with Santa and help decorate cookies provided by Panera. Raffle tickets to win one of the decorated gingerbread houses are $1 each or $5 for six.

    Crews already have removed about 200 ash trees from public parkways in Mundelein.

    Outlook for Mundelein ash trees isn't good

    Crews already have removed about 200 ash trees from public parkways in Mundelein, a fraction of the number that will be removed in the years to come because of emerald ash borer infestation. “We are of the opinion that every ash tree will ultimately become infested,” Public Works Director Adam Boeche said.

    Confetti is released over the crowd for the grand finale of Insane Clown Posse’s headline performance on the final night of the Gathering of the Juggalos at Cave-In-Rock, Ill. Organizers of the outdoor festival featuring the rap-metal group say they’re relocating from their site in southern Illinois’ Hardin County.

    Southern Illinois rap-metal festival relocating

    Organizers of an outdoor festival featuring the rap-metal group Insane Clown Posse say they’re relocating from their site in Southern Illinois’ Hardin County. Jason Webber is a spokesman for Psychopathic Records Inc., which produces the Gathering of the Juggalos.


    Wisconsin assembly to take up exchange enrollment delay

    MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin state Assembly is scheduled on Wednesday to take up Gov. Scott Walker’s proposals delaying a health insurance enrollment deadline for nearly 100,000 people.


    Wisconsin DNR wants input on conifer management plans

    MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is seeking comments on new plans for managing conifer plantations on state properties.The DNR has proposed a variance to the master plans for the properties to control pests and diseases in the trees, remove hazardous trees and enhance the scenic beauty of the land for users.


    Man acquitted of killing unarmed man in Milwaukee

    MILWAUKEE — A jury has found a man not guilty of fatally shooting an unarmed man in Milwaukee, after he argued it was self-defense.The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the jury deliberated more than two days before acquitting Todd Hadley last month of reckless homicide and reckless endangering safety. He was released after 11 months in jail.


    Man sought in East St. Louis stabbing death

    EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — East St. Louis police are searching for a man suspected in the weekend stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend.Authorities say 25-year-old Michelle Rowling’s body was found Saturday night in her apartment.Police Chief Michael Floore says Rowling, a mother of two young children, had been repeatedly stabbed.


    Vandals spray-paint over part of South Bend mural

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A large mural that volunteers painted last summer on a bridge that’s an entryway to downtown South Bend has been defaced by vandals.


    Tarps to prevent mistaken landings at Gary airport

    GARY, Ind. — The Gary/Chicago International Airport is spending up to $80,000 to add blue tarps to its runway extension to prevent pilots from mistakenly trying to land there before the project is finished.The blue tarp will be placed over black sand spread on the runway and will be weighed down with sandbags.


    Floral image of late Indiana boy displayed at church

    TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — A portrait of a late western Indiana boy that’s made entirely from flowers has been displayed at an Indiana church before it’s added to a float for the New Year’s Day Rose Parade.The memorial floragraph portrait of Noah Worthington was displayed Sunday at Terre Haute’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


    Chicago vets: Make holidays safe for your pets

    The festive holiday season calls for safety precautions — for your pets as well as children and guests. The Chicago Veterinary Medical Association is urging pet owners to make their homes pet-friendly during the upcoming season.


    Trial ordered for woman accused in mine protest

    HURLEY, Wis. — A woman accused of stealing a camera from a mine worker in northern Wisconsin as she protested Gogebic Taconite’s mining plans is going to trial.Katie Kloth, of Weston, is charged with robbery by the use of force, theft and criminal damage to property after being arrested in connection with a violent protest at the mining site in Iron County.


    Wisconsin serial killer dies in South Dakota

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A Milwaukee man convicted of killing seven women over a 21-year period has died in South Dakota, where he was serving a life prison sentence.


    Police probe shooting death in Belleville

    BELLEVILLE — An autopsy is scheduled for a man who police say was shot to death in southwestern Illinois’ Belleville.Belleville police Lt. Matt Eiskant says 53-year-old John Fath died Saturday night at a St. Louis hospital shortly after being shot in his home.The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis is investigating.There was no word Monday on any arrests or charges.


    Oil storage tanks burn at southwestern Indiana well

    BUCKSKIN, Ind. — An oil well with three storage tanks exploded in southwestern Indiana, sending up a plume of black smoke that could be seen for miles.Authorities say no one was hurt in the fire on Sunday that happened in a rural area near the Gibson County community of Buckskin.


    Central Indiana town honors 3 killed in house fire

    NINEVEH, Ind. — A central Indiana man is remembering his wife as a hero for going back into their burning apartment to try and save the lives of their two young children.


    Vietnam Memorial hosts annual Christmas ceremony

    SPRINGFIELD — Officials are preparing for the Illinois Vietnam Veterans Memorial’s 26th annual ceremony for prisoners of war and service members who remain missing in action. The ceremony will be Dec. 7 in Springfield’s Oak Ridge Cemetery. There are 66 Illinoisans listed as MIA or POW in Southeast Asia.


    Brookport picks new interim mayor after car crash

    BROOKPORT, Ill. — Brookport’s city council selected an interim mayor during an emergency weekend meeting after the leader of the small, tornado-ravaged southern Illinois community was seriously hurt in a car wreck. City Council member Tom Souders will hold the interim mayor title until John Klaffer (KLAY’-fuhr) recovers.


    1 killed, others wounded in Gary shooting

    GARY, Ind. — Authorities in northwestern Indiana say one man has died after several people were shot outside a Gary house.The shooting happened early Monday on the city’s west side. WBBM-TV and WMAQ-TV report five other people were injured in the gunfire and that investigators marked numerous shell casings that were found along the street.


    Indiana man bags 300-pound buck, gets ‘back trouble’

    GREENSBURG, Ind. — A southeastern Indiana deer hunter who bagged a 21-point buck says he named his trophy “Back Trouble” because he strained his back dragging its 300-pound carcass out of the woods.


    Indiana state park deer hunts reach 20th year

    NASHVILLE, Ind. — A state wildlife official says the deer hunts that started in one of Indiana’s most-popular state parks 20 years ago has helped improve its ecosystem.The December 1993 deer hunt at Brown County State Park near Nashville was met with protesters carrying signs saying “Kill Hunger, Not Deer” and “Hunting, Sport of Cowards.”


    Deadline looms for 2014 election filing

    SPRINGFIELD — Candidates who want their names on the ballot during Illinois’ March primary election are running out of time to file their petitions.The deadline to submit paperwork for the primary is 5 p.m. on Monday.


    Dawn Patrol: Naperville armed robbery attempt; Bears lose ugly

    Dawn Patrol: Naperville cops probe attempted armed robbery. Police: Streamwood man tried to hit driver repeatedly with car. Paper plane world record falls short. Bears’ playoff hopes on life support after loss. Will Luol Deng be ex-Bull by season’s end?

    Naperville Central’s Chris Wenkel holds the team’s championship trophy after their victory over Loyola during the Class 8A football final in DeKalb Saturday.

    Prep football recap: Batavia, Naperville Central celebrate state titles

    Two out of four isn’t bad, right? While Montini and Lake Zurich came up short in their bids for state football championships on Saturday, Batavia and Naperville Central hoisted the heavy hardware, each winning IHSA state football titles at Northern Illinois University’s Huskie Stadium in DeKalb.

    South Elgin Lions Club member Allan Shelton sorts food intended for baskets for area families.

    Food donations trickling in slowly, South Elgin Lions Club says

    Every year, the South Elgin Lions Club collects food donations that feed about local 200 families over Christmas. This year donations are trickling in slowly. “It comes in spurts. Right now it’s very slow. There are three weeks to go before we start getting boxes to box up the food,” said Leo Snyder, chairman of the drive.

    Will drivers pay to drive on an extended Route 53, which now ends at the Lake County border?

    Save time or money on extended Route 53? You decide

    Do I want to pay $3.45 instead of 95 cents to travel from Arlington Heights to Libertyville 12 minutes faster? How about $2.95 rather than 95 cents to shave seven minutes off my commute? Or what about $1.20 for a savings of six minutes? Marni Pyke's brain hurts after completing the Illinois tollway’s online Route 53/120 project feasibility study.

    Gilbert Fonger, president and CEO of Marklund, talks about plans to build a $4 million addition in Bloomingdale. Behind is a portrait of Mark William Lund, for whom Marklund is named.

    Marklund expansion aimed at helping more kids with autism

    Marklund has plans to build a $4 million expansion of its Life Skills Academy in Bloomingdale. The addition will serve as many as 50 more children, ages 3 through 21, who have autism. “This is going to be a state-of-art school built for children with autism,” said Gilbert Fonger, president and CEO of Marklund. But some residents living near the campus oppose the project.

    Robert Bergman during his time as Illinois State Representative of the 54th District. Bergman died Friday at age 65.

    Ex-state Rep. Robert Bergman recalled as die-hard politician

    People close to him say that aside from his family, Robert Bergman's life was defined by an immense interest in politics and history. “He's always been a die-hard Republican his entire life,” said his daughter, Jessica Bergman. “He was just very committed to his family and committed to politics and righting wrongs and standing up for what he believed in." The former state...

    Cars from a Metro-North passenger train are scattered after the train derailed in the Bronx borough of New York Sunday.

    NYC train derailment kills 4, hurts more than 60

    A New York City commuter train rounding a riverside curve derailed Sunday, killing four people and injuring more than 60 in a crash that threw some riders from toppling cars and swiftly raised questions about whether excessive speed, mechanical problems or human error could have played a role.


    Portland Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews reacts after sinking a three-point shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday against the Indiana Pacers in Portland, Ore. Matthews scored 15 points as the Trail Blazers won 106-102.

    Blazers overcome Pacers 106-102

    LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 points and 10 rebounds and the Portland Trail Blazers defeated Indiana 106-102 Monday night, snapping the Pacers’ seven-game winning streak. Paul George had a career-high 43 points for Pacers (16-2), who own the NBA’s best record.

    St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko, left, scores past Los Angeles Kings goalie Ben Scrivens during the third period of an NHL hockey game Monday in Los Angeles.

    Toffoli lead Kings over Blues 3-2

    Rookie Tyler Toffoli scored two goals, Jarret Stoll also tallied and Ben Scrivens made 25 saves for the Los Angeles Kings in a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.


    Pelicans coach calls Bulls’ Thibodeau ‘slick dude’

    New Orleans coach Monty Williams told an entertaining story about Tom Thibodeau before Monday’s game. Both coaches joined Mike Krzyzewski’s staff on the U.S. National team this summer.

    Bulls forward Luol Deng shoots over Pelicans guards Eric Gordon, left, and Tyreke Evans. Deng finished with 37 points.

    Bulls sorely lacking late go-to guy

    A driving layin and 3-point play by Jrue Holiday with 2.6 seconds left gave New Orleans a 131-128 victory over the Bulls in triple overtime on Monday at the United Center. Luol Deng scored 37 points in 56 minutes to lead the Bulls.


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


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


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

    Seattle Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka, upper right, kicks a field goal as Seahawks’ Jon Ryan holds in the first half of an NFL football game Monday against the New Orleans Saints in Seattle.

    Seahawks clinch playoff spot with 34-7 win over Saints

    Russell Wilson threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns, and the Seattle Seahawks became the first team to clinch a spot in the NFC playoffs with a 34-7 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Monday night.

    New Orleans Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday (11) drives on Chicago Bulls power forward Taj Gibson, left, and Joakim Noah, right, during the third overtime period of an NBA basketball game Monday in Chicago. The Pelicans won 131-128 in triple overtime.

    Holiday lifts Pelicans to 3OT win over Bulls

    Jrue Holiday made a three-point play with 2.6 seconds remaining in the third overtime Monday night, giving the New Orleans Pelicans a 131-128 victory over the Chicago Bulls.

    Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has yet to practice but says he feels like he’s going to be back on the field soon. “I want to play. There’s no doubt about it,” Cutler says. “It’s just the trainers and the doctors and going through the scenario we have to go through.”

    Cutler eager to return for Bears

    Injured Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is anxious to return to the playing field, but he has yet to practice and appears doubtful for next Monday night's game against the Cowboys.


    Good start for Glenbard North

    It was a new experience all-around for the Glenbard North girls gymnastics team on Monday night in Naperville.

    Lisle’s Sarah Mogensen looks for room to shoot in action against Sandwich during girls basketball on Monday.

    Lisle traps Sandwich

    Lisle forward Sierra Birdsell said she feels for teams that have to deal with the Lions’ tough, trapping defense.

    Houston Rockets’ Aaron Brooks, left, goes to the basket as Utah Jazz’s Enes Kanter (0) defends in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game Monday in Salt Lake City.

    Williams lifts Jazz past Rockets 109-103

    Marvin Williams scored five points in the final two minutes, Gordon Hayward broke out of a shooting slump to score 29 points and the Utah Jazz earned their first back-to-back wins of the season with a 109-103 victory over the Houston Rockets on Monday night.

    Carmel’s Emily Casale, left, and Marian Central’s Ellen Koscielniak battle for a rebound on Monday night at Carmel Catholic High School.

    Casale, Svoboda take advantage as Carmel rolls

    One of the advantages of a one-sided basketball game is the chance for a coach to give playing time to players who might not see action in a close game. The outcome of Monday’s game in Mundelein essentially decided after the first quarter as unbeaten Carmel Catholic raced to a 22-3 lead over visiting Marian Central. So in the final quarter of this 74-35 romp, both sophomore Emily Casale and senior guard Alexa Svoboda saw extended playing time. Casale grabbed 5 rebounds in the final quarter alone. Svoboda showed off some good moves around the hoop and finished with 8 points.

    San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili, center, of Argentina, is pressured by Atlanta Hawks’ Cartier Martin, left, and Jeff Teague, right, as he drives to the basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday in San Antonio.

    Duncan’s jumper lifts Spurs over Hawks 102-100

    Tim Duncan made a jumper with 0.4 seconds left to lift the San Antonio Spurs to a 102-100 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night. Duncan finished with 23 points and 21 rebounds as San Antonio dominated the middle against the younger and more athletic Atlanta front court.


    No. 24 Gonzaga’s balance crushes Fairfield 82-42

    Haiden Palmer led four starters in double figures with 18 points as No. 24 Gonzaga coasted to an 82-42 win over Fairfield Monday night.


    White Sox bring back Flowers

    Even though he had a dismal season before having shoulder surgery on Sept. 5, catcher Tyler Flowers agreed to a one-year, $950,000 contract with the White Sox Monday night.


    Hersey goes for broke, pulls out key win

    Marissa Allen was afraid, in her words, that she had “broken the lanes.” The Hersey junior and her teammates were bowling against Elk Grove on lane Nos. 21 and 22 Monday night at Arlington Lanes in the season’s first Mid-Suburban League meet, and everything was going swimmingly — until the middle of the second game. That’s when an equipment malfunction caused a lengthy delay, right after Allen had thrown her ball. The Huskies and Grens were then relegated to complete their match on lanes 39 and 40 — at the far end of the alley, right next to the brick wall. But the relocation didn’t shake up Allen or her teammates in the least. “Some people find bowling in the far lane intimidating,” said the junior, “but it doesn’t bother me. Actually it takes away some of the distractions.” It all worked out for the best for Hersey as Allen fired a 219 in the final game, and along with Emma Wrenn’s 581 series, it gave the Huskies a big 9-0 win over the three-time defending conference champion Grenadiers.


    Blackhawks’ Keith better than ever

    Duncan Keith had a special season in 2009-10 when he won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Monday he thinks Keith is playing even better now.

    Montreal Canadiens center Alex Galchenyuk (27) celebrates with teammates Lars Eller (81) and Rene Bourque (17) after Galchenyuk scored during the third period of an NHL hockey game Monday in Montreal.

    Galchenyuk helps Canadiens top Devils 3-2

    Alex Galchenyuk scored midway through the third period to help the Montreal Canadiens beat the New Jersey Devils 3-2 on Monday night.

    Minnesota Wild’s Zach Parise, top, sends Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Mark Streit to the ice in the first period of an NHL hockey game Monday in St. Paul, Minn.

    Wild break deadlock in 3rd, beat Flyers 2-0

    Jason Pominville and Charlie Coyle scored 57 seconds apart early in the third period to break open a defensive standoff and lift the Minnesota Wild to a 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night. The teams had combined for only 28 shots when Pominville collected Mikko Koivu’s pass in the crease and pushed it past a helpless Ray Emery 3:52 into the third period.


    Mitchell, No. 12 S. Carolina whip NC Central 79-27

    Tiffany Mitchell scored 19 points to lead red-hot No. 12 South Carolina to a 79-27 win over North Carolina Central on Monday, giving coach Dawn Staley her 100th win early in her sixth season.


    Hampshire’s Gibas headed to Air Force

    Hampshire senior Mike Gibas gave a verbal commitment on Monday to play football at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. A 6-foot-3, 275-pound lineman who helped lead Hampshire to the playoffs for the first time since 2008, Gibas was a two-way starter at offensive guard and defensive tackle/end until a late-season injury limited him to offense only

    P.J. White, boys basketball coach and athletic director at St. Edward and an assistant football coach at Batavia, displays the state football championship medal from Saturday’s Class 6A title game, and the championship trophy the St. Edward boys basketball team won Saturday night at Westminster Christian.

    Just call it ‘PJ’s Excellent Adventure’

    It would have been completely understandable had PJ White found himself driving north when he should have been going south at any given time the past couple weeks. Above all, White has to be thankful Randall Road isn’t a tollway. White wears many hats of different colors and from Batavia’s run to the Class 6A state football championship Saturday at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb to his St. Edward boys basketball team winning the championship at the Westminster Christian Thanksgiving tournament a couple hours after the football game, can the movie “PJ’s Excellent Adventure” be far behind?

    Iowa State guard DeAndre Kane, right, passes around Auburn guard Dion Wade during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 99-70.

    No. 17 Iowa State pounds Auburn 99-70

    Dustin Hogue set career highs with 22 points and 16 rebounds, and 17th-ranked Iowa State pounded Auburn 99-70 on Monday night for its sixth straight win.

    Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec (31) of the Czech Republic makes a save as Winnipeg Jets center Olli Jokinen (12) of Finland defends and New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) skates toward the goal in the second period of their NHL hockey game Monday in New York.

    Jokinen scores 2 in 3rd, lifts Jets over Rangers

    Olli Jokinen broke a tie with 7:18 left in the third period and then netted an insurance goal moments later to lift the Winnipeg Jets to a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers and rookie goalie Cam Talbot on Monday night.

    Connecticut’s Shabazz Napier, left, and Ryan Boatright, right, react after Napier hits the game winning basket at the end an NCAA college basketball game Monday against Florida in Storrs, Conn. Connecticut won 65-64.

    No. 12 Connecticut beats No. 15 Florida 65-64

    Shabazz Napier hit a jumper from the free throw line as time expired to keep No. 12 Connecticut undefeated with a 65-64 victory over No. 15 Florida on Monday night.

    Orlando Magic shooting guard Arron Afflalo (4) drives past Washington Wizards forward Trevor Booker (35) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday in Washington.

    Ariza, Wall lead Wizards past Magic 98-80

    Trevor Ariza scored 24 points, John Wall had 16 points and 13 assists, and the Washington Wizards beat the Orlando Magic 98-80 on Monday night.

    Brandon Bollig appreciates the faith Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has in the fourth line, which came up big during the 6-1 circus road trip.

    Blackhawks’ fourth line puts it all together on trip

    The Blackhawks are back with 6 wins in seven games on their circus road trip and with their lines in perfect order thanks to a fourth line that can be counted on at both ends of the ice. The emergence of the fourth line of Marcus Kruger, Brandon Bollig and Ben Smith certainly was a highlight of the trip.

    Bears coach Marc Trestman had much to answer for Monday, the day after his team had many opportunities to get past the Vikings but failed to close the deal.

    Trestman’s faith in Bears’ offense questioned

    Bears coach Marc Trestman stuck to his guns regarding his decision to attempt a field goal on second down in overtime, a move that backfired and left some wondering why he didn't show more faith in an offense that has carried the team much of the season.

    Bears quarterback Josh McCown walks off the field after Sunday’s 23-20 overtime loss to the Vikings.

    Bears’ Trestman too smart to play dumb

    Marc Trestman's primary problem right now? An NFL rookie head coach whose primary credential is supposed to be intelligence isn't supposed to make game decisions that are perceived to be dumb ... especially when his team loses.

    Yes, this is a rebuilding year for the 6-6 Bears, who just might be fine next season with quarterback Jay Cutler on the field instead of the sideline.

    How Bears got to 6-6 drives panic

    Had they won three of the last four to get to 6-6, Bears fans would be excited about 2014, but because they’ve trended down, the sky seems to be falling. In fact, it is not.


    Grayslake Central’s Basierak raises the bar at Dubuque

    University of Dubuque sophomore Klaudia Basierak (Grayslake Central) has been named first-team All-Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in women’s volleyball for the second straight year. The Spartans outside hitter finished the season with a team high 366 kills, 1,234 attack attempts, 367 points, and 14 double-doubles (kills-digs).


    Hot shooting nets NJCAA honor for Harper’s Gaedele

    In the NJCAA Region IV Report released Monday, Harper sophomore Tyler Gaedele (Rolling Meadows) was named the Region IV, Div. III player of the week. The 6-foot-2 guard scored a season-high 24 points in a 101-87 home win over Elgin Community College last Tuesday.

    Hersey senior Kenny Mleko, who will play at Loyola next year, chips up during the Mid-Suburban League meet at Schaumburg Golf Club.

    Hersey’s Mleko lines up his future at Loyola

    The Loyola University men’s golf team did not have a player on its roster this fall from Illinois. That won’t be the case next season. In fact, the only one will be right from Arlington Heights. Hersey senior Kenny Mleko, a two-time Mid-Suburban League all-conference golfer, signed a letter of intent on Nov. 13 to play for the Ramblers.

    Batavia’s head coach Dennis Piron is in the middle of the celebratory scrum after Saturday’s 6A championship game in DeKalb.

    Looking back at Batavia’s unforgetable year

    DeKALB — Included among the thousands of Batavia fans at Northern Illinois’ Huskie Stadium for the Class 6A state championship Saturday were a number of the next generation of Bulldogs from Batavia’s youth football program. Batavia quarterback Micah Coffey remembered well what those little Bulldogs were thinking. Back in 2006 he was a fifth-grader at Memorial Stadium watching Batavia lose to Normal Community in the state championship game.


    Big East honor for DePaul’s Garrett

    After scoring his first double-double of the season, DePaul freshman Billy Garrett Jr. was named Big East Rookie of the Week. The talented freshman from Chicago averaging 10.7 points and 4.3 assists in three games last week.

    Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, here scoring one of three rushing touchdowns he had over Western Michigan, earned his eighth MAC player of the week honor.

    Another MAC honor for NIU’s Lynch

    Northern Illinois University quarterback Jordan Lynch earned a his eighth Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Week honor after leading NIU to a 33-14 victory over Western Michigan, league officials announced Monday.


    Huskie legend Jorgensen dies at 78

    DEKALB — A member of the NIU Athletics Hall of Fame, former men’s basketball head coach Tom Jorgensen, who was known for his high-scoring teams, died Friday in Aurora, Colo., at the age of 78.

    A source has told The Associated Press that Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian will take over at USC, one of the crown jewel programs in college football.

    Source: Sarkisian accepts USC job

    Washington’s Steve Sarkisian has accepted the Southern California coaching job, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. The person spoke Monday on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made by either school.

    Illinois head coach Tim Beckman, right, and Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald talk with each other before the game Saturday. Illinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas has confirmed that Beckman will return next season.

    Beckman will be back as Illinois coach in 2014

    Illinois has confirmed that football coach Tim Beckman will be back for a third season in 2014. The Illini finished 4-8 (1-7 Big Ten) in Beckman’s second season at Illinois and lost their finale 37-34 on Saturday to Northwestern.


    Bulls game day

    The Pelicans received some tough news on Sunday night. Chicago native Anthony Davis suffered a fracture in his left hand against New York and figures to be out a few weeks.

    Illinois guard Rayvonte Rice (24) goes up for a basket against IPFW’s Isaiah McCray during the first half at State Farm Center in Champaign.

    Illinois’ Rice Big Ten player of the week

    Illinois guard Rayvonte Rice is the Big Ten’s player of the week after averaging 21 points a game in a pair of wins. Rice also averaged eight rebounds and three steals a game in those victories over UNLV last Tuesday and Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne on Friday.


    Mike North video: Trestman’s judgment in question
    Bears head coach Marc Trestman needs to work on his judgment calls if he wants to be a successful head coach in the NFL.

    New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, left, talks with Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III after the game Sunday in Landover, Md.

    E. Manning-RGIII duel: Giants win 24-17

    LANDOVER, Md. — Eli Manning and Robert Griffin III put on quite the show in the first half. Then the two quarterbacks and their teams — both with not-ready-for-prime-time records — showed how they’ve become the bottom-feeders of the NFC East.Yet one team had to win, and it was the New York Giants who took advantage of the latest Washington Redskins special teams error to set up the go-ahead touchdown. Andre Brown had a pair of touchdown runs Sunday night, and Justin Tuck had four sacks — more than doubling his total from the season — as the Giants beat the Redskins 24-17 to stay on the fringes of the playoff race.The win keeps the Giants (5-7) two games behind division leaders Dallas and Philadelphia with four to play, while the Redskins (3-9) were eliminated from the postseason for the 17th time in 21 years and finished the season 0-5 in prime time. Safety Will Hill sewed up the victory when he wrestled the ball from Pierre Garcon after the receiver made a catch near midfield with 1:21 remaining as the Redskins were driving for a possible tying score. The turnover came two plays after a confusing moment in which Washington apparently thought it had a first down — the sideline down marker was at “1” — when it was actually third-and-1. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan vented at officials over the miscue.Manning and Griffin were a combined 26 for 29 for 250 yards at halftime — before the same troubles that have beset both teams resurfaced in droves. Manning had a high throw tipped for an interception in the third quarter, and he remains on course to have more interceptions than touchdown passes for the first time since his rookie season. Manning was also sacked three times, giving him a career-high of 31 for the season.But the Redskins could only convert Manning’s interception into a field goal — even though they got the ball at the New York 12. That gave Washington a 17-14 lead, which evaporated after a gaffe by the consensus worst special teams units in the league.Redskins long snapper Kyle Nelson sent a bouncing grounder back to punter Sav Rocca, leading to a blocked punt that was compounded by a holding penalty on Nelson that added 10 yards to the final spot. The Giants took over at the Washington 46 and then took the lead, needing only four plays and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on cornerback DeAngelo Hall to produce Brown’s 1-yard touchdown run that made the score 21-17 early in the fourth quarter.Josh Brown added an insurance 39-yard field goal with 2:32 remaining.Manning finished 22 for 28 passes for 235 yards, including a streak of 10 consecutive completions and a 22-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Myers in the second quarter. Griffin completed his first 12 passes, looking like the dynamic playmaker of 2012 as he found receivers from the pocket and used his speed to exploit the fringes of the Giants defense on option runs.But the Redskins offense went cold late for the second consecutive week, gaining only 95 yards in the second half.After going 16 for 17 for 149 yards in the first half, Griffin was 8 for 15 for 58 yards in the second for a final line of 24 for 32 for 207 yards and a season-high 88 yards rushing on 12 carries. He wasn’t sacked in the first half, but he went down five times in the second half. Tuck had four, after having only 2½ sacks coming into the game.The Redskins also scored a touchdown on their opening possession for the first time this season, using the no-huddle offense to go 73 yards. Tight end Fred Davis made his first catch since Week 2 along the way, and the drive ended with Alfred Morris’ 1-yard run.A 19-yard pass to Logan Paulsen gave the Redskins a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter, but the Giants started their comeback with something unusual for this season — a pair of long runs.


    Roundy's Supermarkets Inc. will buy 11 soon-to-be-closed Dominick's stores, including those in Buffalo Grove, Gurnee, Aurora and Park Ridge. The stores will be converted to Mariano's over one to two months.

    Dominick's to become Mariano's in Gurnee, Aurora, Buffalo Grove

    Eleven soon-to-be shuttered Dominick's grocery stores in the Chicago area — including in Gurnee, Buffalo Grove, Aurora and Park Ridge — will become Mariano's stores next year, officials announced Monday. The transaction is expected to close later this month, and the former Dominick's stores are expected to become Mariano's over the course of a few months.

    Palatine will move forward with a $12.8 million plan to renovate village hall, but the city council held off on moving a fire station to the site.

    Palatine puts brakes on adding fire station to village hall

    Palatine will move forward with plans for a $12.8 million renovation of village hall, but the village council Monday put the brakes on adding a fire station to the site.

    Packages are ready to ship move along a conveyor belt at the Amazon.com 1.2 million square foot fulfillment center, in Phoenix. Millions of shoppers are expected to click on items on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, as retailers rev up deals to grab online holiday shopping dollars on the first working day after the busy holiday weekend.

    Americans click for deals on Cyber Monday

    Millions of Americans were expected to shop with a few clicks of their computers or mobile devices Monday to take advantage of special discounts offered on the first working day after the long Thanksgiving weekend. Cyber Monday is projected to be the busiest day of the year for online shopping.

    An employee walks a wide isle at Amazon.com’s 1.2 million square foot fulfillment center, in Phoenix. Millions of shoppers are expected to click on items this holiday season, but few states will see any of the sales tax those purchases would normally generate.

    Supreme Court won’t stop NY’s Internet taxation

    On perhaps the busiest online shopping day of the year, the Supreme Court refused on Monday to wade into a dispute over New York state’s taxes on purchases on websites like Amazon.com. The move likely will prompt more states to attempt to collect taxes on Internet sales — and ignite a furious battle in Congress involving Internet sellers, brick-and-mortar stores and states hungry for extra tax revenue.

    In this May 8, 2013 photo, Service Employees International Union members rally in the capitol rotunda before a Senate hearing on pension legislation at the state Capitol in Springfield

    Unions target Senate Dems in pension reform battle

    Up against a determined effort to curtail state employees' retirement benefits, Illinois' unions are staging an all-out campaign to thwart approval of a breakthrough proposal to solve the state's $100 billion pension crisis, specifically targeting a small contingent of moderate Senate Democrats. Michael Carrigan, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO, said 25 “persuadable” lawmakers will be the subject of the most intense lobbying efforts. Carrigan declined to disclose names to The Associated Press.

    A proposed Tax Increment Financing district along the Busse Road and Elmhurst Road corridors in Elk Grove Village could help pay for aesthetic improvements, officials say. The improvements are need to keep the village’s industrial park competitive with newer parks in Will and Kane counties, according to officials.

    Elk Grove Village proposes TIF district for business park

    Elk Grove Village's business park is what Mayor Craig Johnson calls the “golden goose” for village coffers, providing 82 cents of every dollar the village collects in taxes. But it’s also home to aging buildings, streets and other infrastructure. That’s why Johnson and village officials say they’re proposing a Tax Increment Financing district for a portion of the business park that would help fund redevelopment efforts, in hopes of keeping the area an attractive place for businesses.

    Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos wants his company to deliver goods — in 30 minutes or less — using drones.

    Drone on: Novel uses for Amazon’s drone delivery

    Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos wants his company to deliver goods — in 30 minutes or less — using drones. While many regulatory hurdles stand in the way, it’s not hard to imagine how such a service might change our lives. Forget home delivery. With the so-called Prime Air unmanned aircraft project, Amazon can potentially deliver goods to customers who are camped out in the middle of a field.


    Gov’t diagnosis: HealthCare.gov on the mend

    Computer crashes should be giving way to insurance coverage — if the government’s diagnosis of its health care website is correct.The Health and Human Services Department released a progress report Sunday on its effort get the troubled HealthCare.gov website on the mend. Administration officials said the worst of the online glitches, bugs and delays may be over.

    In this Feb. 3, 2011, photo, the cockpit of Boeings’ new 787 Dreamliner is photographed in Houston. Pilots are becoming so reliant on the computer systems that do most of the flying in todayís airliners that on the rare occasions when something goes wrong, theyíre sometimes unprepared to take control, according to aviation safety experts and government and industry studies.

    Pilot use of automation eyed in air crashes

    Pilots are becoming so reliant on the computer systems that do most of the flying in today’s airliners that on the rare occasions when something goes wrong, they’re sometimes unprepared to take control, according to aviation safety experts and government and industry studies. Increasing automation has been a tremendous safety boon to aviation, contributing to historically low accident rates in the U.S. and many parts of the world.

    This June 22, 2010 file photo shows Frank DiPascali, center, the former finance chief for jailed financier Bernard Madoff, leaving court in New York after being released on $10 million bail.

    Madoff’s right-hand man ready to take the stand

    The way Frank DiPascali tells it, Bernard Madoff planted the seeds of deception for his $17 billion Ponzi scheme back in the 1970s, when his firm was in a small office at 110 Wall Street.Madoff “would very loudly proclaim” that he had made a killing on an investment in Europe, DiPascali recalled.

    Don Thorne, owner of Pillar to Post Professional Home Inspections in Naperville.

    Pillar to Post Professional Home Inspections launches in Naperville

    An interview with Don Thorne, owner of Pillar to Post Professional Home Inspections in Naperville.Q: Describe your business. What do you do? A: I am one of nearly 400 plus Pillar to Post franchised home inspectors in North America. Pillar To Post is North Americas largest home inspection company. My training, the reporting and our professionalism through the entire process is second to none. We are dedicated to helping real estate professionals help their clients. We get referred by the realtors, however, we provide objective information so the client can make informed decisions and ultimately gain peace of mind for one of their largest purchases. The inspections are a comprehensive evaluation of nearly 1,600 items inside and outside the home. After the inspection we generate a computerized report that can be generated on site if preferred by the client. The report is clear and concise. It includes an Executive Summary and color photos. Pillar To Post inspects on the roof (safety permitting), the attic, all the way down to crawl spaces and basements. At the end of the inspection we go through the highlights and I introduce a Pillar To Post Binder. I have been told by a realtor that this is one of the many ways this sets us apart from some of the other home inspectors. We offer three different home inspection packages for our clients. The three different packages are, plus, premium and prestige. The premium is the most popular choice. My current additional services offered are radon testing, termite testing, and mold testing.Q: What made you start your business? A: My cousin’s husband who lives in Indianapolis, Matt Lottes, started in 2004 and has become quite successful with the Pillar To Post franchise. They have been asking me to look into starting one in Illinois, because they thought with my background in coating sales I would be a natural. They made it through some tough times with Pillar To Post, which gave me confidence in the franchise system. Also, my father was going to try opening a business when I was young and he never did. If this endeavor works out maybe my sons will follow in my footsteps.Q: How has running the franchise gone so far?A: The start up with Pillar To Post has been wonderful. The education, training and processes that Pillar To Post has developed and improved for the franchisees over the years is incredible. But I would have to say the most difficult obstacle in starting this business from the ground up is the earning the respect of the realtors to give me the opportunity to be referred with confidence. Knowing that I am not a deal killer but that I work for the client and I will educate and inform their customers. Q: What do you enjoy most about operating your business?A: I really just started but I would have to say that the interaction, education and helping the clients is what I enjoy the most. Q: Is this what you pictured yourself doing when you were young? A: No, this is not what I pictured myself doing when I was young. In kindergarten I wanted to be a salesman like my dad, then I wanted to be a pro athlete. Now I just want to enjoy my own business and be with my family.Q: What keeps you up at night? A: Building my small business revenues, growing my client base and reducing my company’s risk and costs and of course my kids. Only kidding about my kids, they are good.Q: If you could give one tip to a rookie business owner, what would it be? A: Stay positive, be patient, make a plan and work the plan!Ÿ Every Monday we feature a small, local business. We want to hear about yours. Contact Kim Mikus at kmikus@dailyherald.com.

    Page Ehlman

    Child model from Mount Prospect now has agency of her own

    Kukec's People features John MacLeod of Kenilworth, who is heading up a new concept in 24/7 news broadcasting, an app that provides local news to your mobile device.


    2014 issues: Medical marijuana, ban the box, concealed carry

    Small Business Columnist Jim Kendall addresses hot 2014 issues: Medical marijuana, ban the box, concealed carry and bullying.

Life & Entertainment

    Grilled pears partner with walnuts and brie for a quesadilla that can be an appetizer or entree.

    Grilled Pear, Brie and Walnut Quesadilla
    Grilled Pear, Brie and Walnut Quesadillas

    Grilled pears partner with walnuts and brie for a quesadilla that can be an appetizer or entree.

    Eat right, live well: A perfect pear

    Pears are one of the oldest cultivated fruits and there are more than 3,000 varieties worldwide. But, is one pear equal to another pear? Yes, and no. Nutritionally, pears, like other fruits and vegetables, provide a good source of fiber. Yet pears are special, offering 6 grams of fiber per serving and ranking them as one of the highest sources of fiber from a fresh fruit.

    TNT’s “Mob City” stars Alexa Davalos.

    Alexa Davalos goes film noir in TNT’s ‘Mob City’

    Alexa Davalos has handled her share of rough-and-tumble action in movies including “The Chronicles of Riddick,” “The Mist” and “Clash of the Titans.” But in TNT’s new series “Mob City,” which debuts Wednesday, the actress takes on the sophisticated nuances of film noir, in which come-hither glances and snappy patter are as key as the gunfire. Davalos plays Jasmine Fontaine, a woman trying to keep her footing in a post-World War II Los Angeles that’s the dangerous turf of mobsters.

    Garth Brooks just released the 8-disc box set “Blame It All on My Roots.”

    Garth Brooks continues to look backward

    Garth Brooks offers fans a Christmas gift with a discount-priced box set that takes another look back rather than moving forward. “Blame It All on My Roots” is a massive, eight-disc package. Four CDs are devoted to the Oklahoman covering classic songs from country, rock, soul and acoustic singer-songwriters. Two CDs are a previously available greatest-hits double disc set and two DVDs present a recorded concert in Las Vegas and most of his old music videos. The covers lean heavy on songs nearly every listener will know, giving it a Garth-does-karaoke feel.

    2013 Fittest Loser contestant Joe Gundling and his girlfriend Jen run to keep in shape.

    Fittest Loser contestants still work at keeping weight off and staying fit

    It's been six months since the 2013 Fittest Loser contestants completed an intensive training regimen. How do they look today? We check in with them and kick off the 2014 competition with an invitation to apply. For the sixth year in a row, the Daily Herald and Push Fitness in Schaumburg will be looking for contestants who are willing to tackle and triumph over a 12-week workout and nutrition program to see who can lose the most weight, based on percentages, during a three-month period.

    Now that his three-year world tour for “The Wall” has finally come to an end, Roger Waters wants to set the record straight over criticism he’s received from Jewish groups regarding his use of the Star of David symbol in the show and his support for a cultural boycott of Israel.

    Rogers Waters defends use of religious symbolism

    Now that his three-year world tour for “The Wall” has finally come to an end, Roger Waters wants to set the record straight over criticism he’s received from Jewish groups regarding his use of the Star of David symbol in the show and his support for a cultural boycott of Israel. The 70-year old Pink Floyd co-founder says his intention was never to offend the Jewish people. “I worry about it every day. It’s a huge concern to me that I would be considered to be a bully,” Waters says.

    The dragon Smaug from Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy is debuting on the side of an Air New Zealand plane in Auckland, New Zealand. The image was unveiled to celebrate the premiere of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” which screens Monday in Los Angeles.

    New Zealand airline reveals image of Hobbit dragon

    New Zealand’s national airline unveiled a giant image Monday of the dragon Smaug on one of its planes to celebrate the premiere of the second movie in the Hobbit trilogy. Air New Zealand showed the 177-foot image that’s featured on both sides of a Boeing 777-300 aircraft. The plane is scheduled to fly to Los Angeles in time for the premiere of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” which screens Monday at the Dolby Theatre.

    Lady Gaga poses with her life-size doll during a news conference to promote her album “ARTPOP” in Tokyo Sunday.

    Lady Gaga unveils life-size dolls in her flamboyant likeness

    One-of-a-kind Lady Gaga has been replicated. The pop star unveiled life-size dolls in her likeness, dressed in her flamboyant costumes, at a Tokyo event Sunday. A person leaning against the silicon doll’s chest can hear Lady Gaga music and messages.


    Relieve postnasal drip with these simple treatments

    Q: The worst part of a cold for me is the postnasal drip that lasts for weeks. Can I do anything to stop it?


    Antibiotics help children with mycoplasma pneumonia

    According to experts in the American Academy of Pediatrics Red Book, the bacterial species Mycoplasma pneumoniae is a top cause of school-age and young adult pneumonia.

    Kids can track animals in the McDonald Woods and do art and science projects based on animal adaptations for winter at the Chicago Botanic Garden this winter.

    Winter camps offer lots of fun this season

    Looking for a way to keep your kids busy during winter break? Local camps can fill their days with activities that teach children about nature, art and science, keep them active and get them to spend a little time outdoors.

    Allison Janney made the move to TV comedy this fall with CBS' “Mom.”

    Allison Janney making the most of 'Mom'

    Allison Janney might be best known for her Emmy-winning run on the drama "The West Wing," but her comic chops are on vivid display Monday nights on CBS. She plays a loose-cannon recovering alcoholic -- attending AA meetings with her own daughter -- on the sitcom "Mom." “Comedy is what I love the best. I'm just drawn to it,” she said.

    The Zac Brown Band, has teamed up with Dave Grohl for their newest EP, “The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1.”

    Zac Brown Band teams up with Dave Grohl on new EP

    You never know who you’re going to meet while waiting in line at John Varvatos’ store in West Hollywood. When Zac Brown bumped into Dave Grohl while picking up some altered clothes for the Grammy Awards, he didn’t let the random meeting go to waste. They bonded over their love of analog recording gear, and their new friendship eventually resulted in Zac Brown Band’s newest release: “The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1.”

    Former Pennsylvania Senator and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum became CEO of EchoLight Studios, a Dallas-based Christian film company that produces and distributes what it calls faith-based family films. In the past few weeks he’s been promoting his first theatrical release, “The Christmas Candle,” featuring Scottish singer Susan Boyle.

    Rick Santorum steps out in new role as movie mogul

    Rick Santorum was glad-handing a friendly crowd at a cocktail reception the other night, seeking support just as he did for many grueling months on the 2012 campaign trail for the Republican presidential nomination. But this time he wasn’t looking to get on a ticket — well, not yet, anyway — but rather, to sell tickets. Movie tickets.


    Clearing the air on allergies and what to do about them

    There is a lot of conventional wisdom about allergies and how to handle them, and not all of it is right. Here are some common misconceptions, along with tips for preventing allergic reactions.


    Community teams to also join weight-loss challenge
    The Fittest Loser is not just for the lucky contestants who get chosen for the competition. For the second year, the Daily Herald is sponsoring the Fittest Loser Community Challenge. Working with local park districts and Alexian Brothers Health System, 30 teams of five participants will be eligible to enter the competition. Teams must work with local park districts to come up with fitness and weight-loss plans for their individual team or teams.

    Caffeine in your coffee may reduce your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, according to a recent study.

    Your health: Coffee as medicine?

    The next time you take a coffee break, you might want to consider a triple espresso. The extra caffeine may reduce your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, reports the Los Angeles Times. A study presented recently at the American Heart Assn.’s Scientific Sessions meeting offers new evidence that coffee boosts the function of small blood vessels in people who are already healthy.

    While gift registries, online and off, abound, along with old-fashioned list-making that you just turn over to mom or Santa, a couple of new websites are looking to bring back the surprise while also pleasing the picky.

    With no surprise, is the gift magic dead?

    While gift registries, online and off, abound, along with old-fashioned list-making that you just turn over to mom or Santa, a couple of new websites are looking to bring back the surprise while also pleasing the picky. With these websites, “You still get the thrill of surprise when you rip into the wrapping paper,” said Andrew Swick, co-founder of CheckedTwice.com.


    Union members rally in the capitol rotunda at Springfield last spring before a state Senate hearing on pension legislation. Lawmakers prepare to address today a breakthrough solution to the state’s $100 billion unfunded pension liability.

    Editorial: It’s not ‘Goldilocks,’ but pension deal deserves approval

    A Daily Herald editorial says the pension compromise reached in Springfield is not perfect, but moves the state in the right direction..


    Fulfilling one DREAM

    Columnist Ruben Navarrette: When you talk to DREAMers — those undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents — what you hear most often is that they just want to get on with their lives. These young people are in the legal version of a black hole. But unlike many of those who choose to come here illegally, they can’t find their way home. Because this is home.


    So many questions still unanswered
    A Libertyville letter to the editor: Some questions need further explanation in the Herald’s coverage of pension reform: The state is $1 billion short when it comes to pensions. Why does the “reform” need to save $160 billion? Will it be used to fund other state projects? Are retirees now funding the state?


    Court challenge will cost us all
    A Des Plaines letter to the editor:If the Illinois General Assembly passes a pension bill that is not constitutional, it will be settled in the courts. Working and retired people who are affected by this unconstitutional change will pay legal cost from money provided by us.


    Look elsewhere to solve state’s revenue problem
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: Illinois has a revenue problem, not a pension problem. Illinois corporate income taxes are going uncollected because the big ones have reorganized themselves as S corporations meant for small business owners, and the Caterpillars and the Boeings make pains to record sales outside the state to avoid paying taxes in Illinois.


    Lawmakers jumping to a vote too quickly
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: It appears that much hard work has been rewarded in the Illinois Way. King Madigan tells the elected subjects the end game, and the players craft a side show performance and dance. Who will be surprised when the new plan produces the old result?


    Take the time to study pension bill
    A Pingree Grove letter to the editor: No matter how you view the problem, whether it be legally, contractually, constitutionally, morally or ethically, the public employees are due what they worked and paid for — and were promised.


    Congress has role in keeping peace with Iran
    A Sycamore letter to the editor: After a decade-long dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, it is wonderful to hear that our administration’s diplomatic efforts to begin resolving this issue has born fruit. I know that it’s a first step toward a complete dismantling of Iran’s uranium enrichment efforts, but it must be seen as a vital breakthrough in this impasse.


    Obama has made deal with the devil
    A Palatine letter to the editor: Secretary of State John Kerry’s pronouncement that the newly inked nuclear pact with Iran “will make the world safer” is likely to prove as accurate as Woodrow Wilson’s declaration that “World War I was the war to end all wars.”


    Tollway speed limits too low to be safe
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: Interstate speed limits that are too low are dangerous, and the speed limits on suburban Chicago tollways fit this description. Transportation engineers advocate speed limits based on the 85th percentile method, the speed below which 85 percent of cars travel when not impeded by traffic or enforcement.


    Despite bad rollout, Obamacare is helpful
    A letter to the editor: There has been much criticism of the ACA, and rightfully so, especially because of the very poor rollout. However, the reality is that the U.S. has had a faulty health care system for several decades.


    Too much just to get health care up and running
    A letter to the editor: Did I hear right? $678 million dollars to install a website to help the uninsured, and it doesn’t work! Add to this the millions spent to develop Obamacare, plus the millions to administer it, plus the millions in profits the insurance have made on it, and the costs must be in the billions.


    Kerry establishes a dubious legacy
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: Congratulations, Secretary of State John Kerry, on closing the deal with Iran. You just may have secured your place in history as our very own Neville Chamberlin.


    Iran’s hate toward Israel is plain
    A Buffalo Grove letter to the editor: I do know that President Obama should have insisted that Iran’s supreme leader repudiate his hateful remarks recently that Israel was a rabid dog and that Israelis (meaning Jews) were “less than human.”


    Suburbs need a major sporting venue
    A Rolling Meadows letter to the editor: Let’s see if Arlington Park can become a first-class entertainment complex. A new ballpark for the Cubs, a new stadium for the Bears, perhaps a combination stadium for both.


    Special needs and natural disasters
    A Carpentersville letter to the editor: Your coverage of Typhoon Haiyan and the November tornadoes has been thorough, but you and numerous media outlets miss one aspect: How are people with special needs getting through natural disasters?


    A senior who doesn’t mind school taxes
    A Glendale Heights letter to the editor: I, too, am a senior living on a fixed income. I cannot help but reflect on when my four children were in school, and that, while I was paying taxes to the schools, so were many seniors at that time, whose children had long since finished their education. They were contributing to my children’s education long after it was necessary and thank God for that. If the whole burden had been placed on only those with school age children, we couldn’t have survived. Same goes for the present.


    Volunteerism should be in curriculum
    An Elgin letter to the editor: As a college student and a veteran, I look around to our neighborhoods and I am concerned about the teenagers’ involvement into our beloved community. I believe volunteer work should be incorporated into our high school direct agenda. This time should be more focused toward our freshmen and sophomore students, giving more time for the juniors and seniors to worry about ACTs, SATs and college applications.


    How is this a victory for family values?
    A West Chicago letter to the editor: Hey Springfield, since you have total disdain for moral principals and family structure and go outside your authority, why should my taxes go to this government that supports an immoral act of same-sex marriage?


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