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Daily Archive : Thursday December 5, 2013

News

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    This art work by Sandra Holubow, titled Canyon, Collage, is part of an exhibit opening Thursday, Dec. 12, at Koehnline Museum in Des Plaines.

    Chicago artists on exhibit at Koehnline Museum

    Enjoy a fascinating side-by-side look at works by contemporary Chicago artists Sandra Holubow and Judith Roth, each of whom brings a unique perspective to capturing the Windy City, starting Thursday, Dec. 12, at Oakton’s Koehnline Museum of Art, 1600 E. Golf Road, Des Plaines. Both artists will attend a public reception on opening night from 5 to 8 p.m. The free exhibition Unforgettable Places,...

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    Dist. 70 holds fundraiser for tornado, typhoon victims

    Libertyville Elementary District 70 is holding a fundraiser, “Sheltering From the Storm,” to help downstate Illinois residents hurt by a recent tornado, as well as Filipinos left devastated by a recent typhoon. Coin collection buckets are set up until Dec. 13 at the five district schools and in the administration office, 1381 W. Lake St.

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    Angelo DiLiberti of South Elgin has campaigned for the anniversary of the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to become a national holiday, saying the attack inspired and unified the country.

    St. Charles honors South Elgin WWII vet inspired by Pearl Harbor attack

    South Elgin Resident Angelo DiLiberti was a young man listening to his favorite radio programs when news of the attack on Pearl Harbor hit the airwaves. Like many, he was called to serve in the Army. On Saturday, he will remember strength, not defeat. "I’m not one of those guys who remembers Pearl Harbor as a defeat. It was a disaster, but it inspired and unified all of us."

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    Authorities: Barrington woman on heroin when car crashed

    Authorities said Thursday that a Barrington woman was driving under the influence of heroin early Wednesday morning when she crashed her car into three parked vehicles on Chicago’s West Side.

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    8 Bartlett businesses cited for selling to minors

    Bartlett police recently completed compliance checks at businesses allowed to sell cigarettes or alcohol, and found good compliance on tobacco age rules but numerous lapses on alcohol rules.

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    Ex-Chicago police officer admits to fraud

    A former Chicago police lieutenant who quit the force last month after he was indicted on charges that he took part in a mortgage fraud scheme has pleaded guilty.

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    Former South African President Nelson Mandela, seen here in 2005, died Thursday. He was 95.

    Nelson Mandela, 20th-century colossus, dies

    Nelson Mandela, who became one of the world's most beloved statesmen and a colossus of the 20th century when he emerged from 27 years in prison to negotiate an end to white minority rule in South Africa, has died. He was 95.

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    Jackson Maloney, 3, of Rolling Meadows was first to greet Santa Thursday during the city’s tree-lighting event.

    A holly jolly time in Rolling Meadows

    Rolling Meadows ushered in the holiday season Thursday night with a visit from Santa Claus and the lighting of the official city tree. The event also served as a fundraiser for the Rolling Meadows Community Events Foundation, which supports and finances annual community events.

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    Mourners gather outside the home of former President Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa, where Mandela died Thursday after a long illness.

    South Africans mourn, celebrate Mandela

    As the news of Nelson Mandela’s death spread across South Africa, residents of the black township of Soweto gathered in the streets near the house where he once lived, singing and dancing to mourn his death and celebrate his colossal life.

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    Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, meets Zindzi Mandela, right, daughter of former South African President, Nelson Mandela, as they attend the Royal Film Performance of “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” in London on Thursday.

    Mandela daughters ask that film’s premiere go on

    Prince William and others attending the London premiere of a new film about Nelson Mandela were told of his death Thursday night as the closing credits rolled. The news broke during the premiere. Stopping the screening of “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” was discussed, but Mandela’s daughters asked that the film continue, a spokesman with the production said Thursday night.

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    South African President Nelson Mandela, left, and President Bill Clinton peer through the bars of prison cell No. 5, the cramped cell where Mandela was jailed for 18 years in his struggle against apartheid, on Robben Island, South Africa, in this March 27, 1998, file photo.

    Mandela, anti-apartheid icon, mourned world over

    In nearly seven decades spent fighting for freedom and equality, Nelson Mandela inspired and challenged the world to stand up for others. As word of Mandela’s death spread Thursday, current and former presidents, athletes and entertainers, and people around the world spoke out about the life and legacy of the former South African leader.

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    President Barack Obama, reacting to the death of Nelson Mandela, said Thursday the world has lost an influential, courageous and “profoundly good” man.

    Obama mourns death of icon Nelson Mandela

    Counting himself among the millions influenced by Nelson Mandela, President Barack Obama on Thursday mourned the death of the anti-apartheid icon with whom he shares the distinction of being his nation’s first black president.

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    Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus holds bank notes bearing the image of former President Nelson Mandela in Pretoria, South Africa, in this Nov. 6, 2012 file photo. Across South Africa Mandela’s face is a familiar sight, beaming from T-shirts, drink coasters and bank notes.

    What you might not have known about Nelson Mandela

    The world knows Nelson Mandela as a man who forever changed the course of modern history.But did you know about the role of rugby in his legacy? His musings on Valentine’s Day? The lessons he taught sympathetic prison guards during his time behind bars?

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    Rt. 31/120 choke point gets some first aid

    For anyone who’s fumed in traffic at the junction of Routes 31 and 120 in McHenry, relief is in sight. Gov. Pat Quinn’s office Thursday announced a $7.2 million contract with Woodstock-based Alliance Contractors to improve the congested intersection.

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    Heater starts Elburn fire

    An outdoor heating appliance being used during construction is to blame for starting a fire Thursday afternoon at a house in Elburn, authorities said. The fire broke out at 3:22 p.m. at a two-story single family home on the 200 block of East Nebraska Street.

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    Jose Abel Blanco-Ruiz

    Lake Zurich man charged with molestation

    Lake Zurich police say a village resident has been charged with molesting a child. Jose Abel Blanco-Ruiz, 51, of the 0-100 block of Fern Road, remained in the Lake County jail Thursday on 10 percent of a $500,000 bond.

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    The Palatine police color guard leads the Pledge of Allegiance in honor of Pat and Mac McCoy, who were recognized by village leaders this week for their founding of the Yellow Ribbon Support Group. During its 10 years, the organization sent more than 28,000 care packages to troops serving overseas.

    Palatine honors couple behind Yellow Ribbon Support Group

    The Palatine police and fire departments came out in force this week to join the village council in honoring Pat and Mac McCoy and their Yellow Ribbon Support Group. The couple decided this year to shut down Yellow Ribbon after a decade in which they sent more than 28,000 care packages U.S. troops serving overseas. The McCoys returned the thanks and gave the city a large photograph of their...

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    Anthony Cechini

    Fox Lake man sentenced to 6 years for fatal crash

    A Fox Lake man was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday for killing a close friend in a crash after an afternoon of drinking in October 2012. Anthony Cechini, 24, of the 0-100 block of Northlake Drive, was also sentenced to 364 days in prison by Lake County Judge Daniel Shanes for battering an ex-girlfriend while out on bail.

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    Four gold coins, valued at approximately $1,300 each, were dropped into a Salvation Army red kettle on Wednesday at a Walmart in Lake Zurich.

    4 gold coins worth $5,200 discovered in Lake Zurich kettle

    Four gold coins valued at $1,300 each were dropped into a Salvation Army kettle in Lake Zurich on Wednesday. “We don’t have any idea who made the donation,” Salvation Army spokesman Alyse Chadwick Chung said. “(It was) totally anonymous.” The coins were $50 U.S. pieces.

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    Eric Francke

    Lake County sheriff’s deputy found not guilty

    Lake County sheriff’s deputy Eric Francke has been found not guilty of destroying evidence that he hired a prostitute, a Lake County judge ruled Thursday. “We were positive that Eric never committed a crime in the first place,” defense attorney David Del Re said moments after the verdict. “We believe he deserves to have his job back immediately.”

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    South African rugby captain Francios Pienaar, right, receives the Rugby World Cup from South African President Nelson Mandela, who wears a South African rugby shirt, after they defeated New Zealand in the final June 24, 1995.

    Gracious and tough, Mandela was fun to cover

    The thing about Nelson Mandela was that he made the rest of us want to be almost as noble as he. Imprisoned for 27 years, the anti-apartheid leader who had declared at his 1964 trial that he was willing to die for his beliefs in human dignity and racial equality emerged from that experience not filled with hatred, but courtly, magnanimous, humble and good-humored.

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    Earnest Brown

    Bensenville-area man charged with child porn

    A Bensenville man has been charged with five counts of child pornography after a monthlong investigation by Carol Stream police.

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    Businesses concerned about inaction on incentives

    Illinois took a giant step toward fixing its biggest financial problem Thursday by putting a sweeping pension reform on the books, but legislators’ inaction on tax incentives aimed at keeping companies and creating new jobs has triggered fresh concerns about the state’s business climate.

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    Will America soon be seeing more scenes like this from Oct. 1, when the Linoln Memorial was closed to the public as a cost-cutting measure?

    Budget deal? Big obstacles, New Year’s deadline

    With hopes of a “grand bargain” long gone, congressional negotiators now are seeking a more modest deal before year-end to ease the automatic spending cuts that are squeezing both the Pentagon and domestic federal programs. But the going is getting rougher.

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    Thomas J. Chmura

    Monk accused of trying to abduct teens in Antioch takes plea deal

    A former monk accused of trying to lure teenage girls into his car in Antioch pleaded guilty to a single count of child abduction in Lake County court Thursday. Thomas Chmura, 57, will spend 24 months on probation. He also has been ordered to undergo sex offender treatment, and must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, officials said.

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    Alejandro Sanchez

    Physicians assistant acquitted of molestation charges

    A physician’s assistant who worked at the Vista Health Center in Palatine was acquitted Thursday of molesting a female patient during an October 2010 gynecological exam. Alejandro Sanchez, 51, declined to comment on Cook County Judge Kay Hanlon’s ruling, which concluded a three-day bench trial that began in October. “I can’t find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” Hanlon said.

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    W. Dundee embarks on vision for downtown development

    West Dundee leaders have taken a major step toward setting an agenda for downtown redevelopment, a move officials said has been discussed for years and that the village has made its No. 1 priority. “That has been one of the primary goals since I took office and I know it’s a goal the rest of the board shares in trying to create a plan for downtown development,” Village President Christopher...

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    Dog excercise area opens:

    Access to the Independence Grove Dog Exercise Area on Milwaukee Avenue north of Route 137 in Libertyville is complete and the site will reopen Friday.

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    Tia Holinger took first place with her “Courthouse Owls” in the “Art on Fire” fire hydrant painting contest in Geneva this summer. Holinger’s artwork is on the hydrant at Third and Fulton streets.

    Geneva ‘Art on Fire’ contest could repeat next year

    Geneva city leaders announced the three top winners in the "Art on Fire" hydrant contest, with Tia Holinger taking first place for her "Courthouse Owls" design at Third and Fulton streets. Mayor Kevin Burns wants to expand the program, noting there are more than 1,800 hydrants in Geneva alone.

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    Naperville questions drive-throughs for marijuana dispensaries

    Naperville is likely to restrict locations for marijuana cultivation centers and dispensing organizations that could open beginning Jan. 1 when medical use of marijuana becomes legal in Illinois. “I think we’re heading in the right direction trying to control this,” council member Doug Krause said.

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    Daily Herald File Photo Switching problems are creating an ugly commuter for Metra riders Thursday afternoon.

    Big delays for Metra riders at Union Station

    Commuters heading to Union Station for the Metra ride home to the suburbs should watch out for delays caused by switching problems.

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    CTA to upgrade trains from O’Hare, downtown

    The Chicago Transit Authority is planning a $492 million upgrade to a portion of the agency’s rail lines that could cut 10 minutes off the time to travel between O’Hare International Airport and the city’s downtown.

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    Couple to turn Disney’s Chicago home into museum

    A California couple have purchased the house where Walt Disney was born on the city’s Northwest Side and are making plans to turn it into a historical site and museum.

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    ‘Cannibal sandwiches’ sicken Wisconsin residents

    “Cannibal sandwiches,” an appetizer featuring raw, lean ground beef served on cocktail bread, may be a Wisconsin tradition, but they are not safe, health officials said, noting that more than a dozen people became ill after consuming them last holiday season.

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    River Trails schools explore new reading, tech programs

    Mount Prospect-based River Trails School District 26 has enacted a slew of new academic programs this school year, including a reading/English program more closely aligned with the state's new Common Core standards and a technology initiative that gives students access to Google Chromebooks.

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    Tri-Cities police reports
    August C. Watson, 20, of Batavia, was charged with driving under the influence after a single-vehicle rollover crash at 4:13 a.m. Monday on the 49W500 block of Main Street, east of Swan Road, near Elburn, according to a sheriff’s report.

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    Joe Horton

    Salvation Army bell-ringer charged with theft

    A Salvation Army bell-ringer is facing theft and identify theft charges after authorities said he pilfered more than $1,000 from his collection bucket in Naperville. “The very idea that someone would steal donations meant for the less fortunate is sickening,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin said in a written statement, “particularly given the fact that we are in the heart of the holiday...

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    Elgin Mayor David Kaptain gives his “state of the city” address Thursday morning to about 80 business owners and community leaders during the annual Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce event at Elgin Community College.

    Elgin mayor says city’s image best in 50 years

    The city of Elgin needs to create a handbook detailing all locally manufactured products, and Elgin businesses should hire more interns and participate in strengthening the education system. Those were among the key points Elgin Mayor David Kaptain made Thursday morning during his annual “state of the city” address.

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    Geneva electric department lineman Keith Benson hangs ornaments made by local children Thursday on the city’s Christmas tree in front of the old courthouse on Third Street. The tree was decorated in preparation for the annual Christmas Walk and House tour festivities Friday and Saturday.

    Geneva’s Christmas Tree gets decked out

    The Geneva electric department decorates the city tree before the annual Christmas Walk and House Tour festivities, which kick off Friday.

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    Jessica Barnes, principal of Twin Groves Middle School in Buffalo Grove, holds up the school’s Blue Ribbon School award during a celebration program Thursday. Twin Groves was one of three Northwest suburban schools to earn the prestigious honor this year.

    Twin Groves celebrates Blue Ribbon School award

    Representatives of Twin Groves Middle School in Buffalo Grove traveled to Washington, D.C. last month to accept its National Blue Ribbon award from the U.S. Department of Education. On Thursday, they shared the prestigious honor with the Twin Groves teachers, staff and students who helped make it possible.

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    Scott Asperheim of Duluth runs his snowblower to clear the sidewalk around his home from several feet of snow Thursday. “It’s insane,” said Asperheim. “We just moved in. It’s a great way to welcome us to the neighborhood.”

    Oil crews endure even when wind chill drops to -40

    The National Weather Service said a powerful winter storm that slammed much of the central and Western U.S. continued to intensify Thursday. The bitterly cold temperatures were widespread, blamed on the jet stream’s move southward, and the deep freeze was expected to linger at least through the weekend.

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    U.S. stocks declined a fifth day, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to a two-week low, after improving economic data boosted bets the Federal Reserve will curb its monthly bond purchases sooner than estimated.

    Stocks fall on Wall Street; Retailers slump

    The outlook for hiring is improving and the economy is growing at its fastest pace in more than a year, so what’s the bad news for the stock market? Stocks fell Thursday after the government reported that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest in nearly six years last week.

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    Woodland’s Shop with an Educator program

    Staff from Woodland Elementary East helped students shop for needy families Thursday at the Target store in Gurnee. The Shop with an Educator program is part of the Woodland Elementary District 50’s Holiday Food Drive.

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    German-themed holiday festival:

    Barrington’s first ChristKindlFest will be held from 3 p.m. to midnight, Friday; 10 a.m. to midnight, Saturday; and, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday downtown at the BMO Harris parking lot 201 South Grove St.

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    Gurnee police enforcement results:

    Gurnee police have released results from a recently concluded holiday enforcement period.

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    State receives feedback on Grayslake’s Prairie Crossing Charter School

    Compliments and concerns about Prairie Crossing Charter School in Graysake have been presented to a state agency that'll decide if it should continue after the current academic year.

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    Auditions for ‘Oliver’:

    An audition call for youth actors in third through eighth grades for the classic musical, “Oliver,” will be Wednesday, Dec. 18, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Improv Playhouse Theater, 735 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Libertyville.

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    Stevenson Winter Dance Concert:

    Nearly 50 Stevenson High School students from the Concert Dance class and the Melange and Repertory dance groups will perform at the 2013 Winter Dance Concert Friday through Sunday in the school’s Performing Arts Center.

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    The Fairhaven Shopping Center on Hawley Street in Mundelein is advertising space for rent.

    Mundelein developing grant program for downtown businesses

    Mundelein officials may create a grant program that would encourage merchants and other business owners to invest in the downtown area as a way to spur redevelopment.

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    Schaumburg Township GOP Christmas party Dec. 8

    The Schaumburg Township Republican Organization will host its annual Christmas party from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8 at Pop’s Pizza & Sports Bar, 817 E. Nerge Road in Roselle. The organization will celebrate with food, desserts, live music by Chuck Masny, a cash bar and a special visit from Santa Claus. They’ll also be accepting new, unwrapped toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots...

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    Affordable Care counselors join Good Shepherd

    Judith Linarez and Alejandra Pastranos have joined Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital as in-person counselors (IPC) for the Affordable Care Act. The positions were made possible by a grant from the McHenry County Department of Health. Both IPCs are fluent in Spanish and able to help patients and community members enroll in the marketplace and Medicaid expansion programs.

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    Fox Valley police reports
    Marisol Valtierra, 24, of Elgin, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia after a traffic stop at 11:57 p.m. Wednesday at North Gifford and Park streets near Elgin, according to a sheriff’s report.

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    Gov. Pat Quinn hands off a pen during the signing of the pension overhaul legislation bill Thursday in Chicago. Looking on from left are: state Rep. Mike Zalewski, a Riverside Democrat; Sen. Bill Brady, a Bloomington Republican; Senate GOP leader Sen. Christine Radogno of Lemont; Rep. Darlene Senger, a Naperville Republican; House GOP leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs and House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat.

    Quinn signs pension overhaul into law

    Gov. Pat Quinn has signed landmark legislation Thursday to reform Illinois’ massively-underfunded pension system, though the new law is certain to face threatened lawsuits by labor unions. The overhaul, approved by the General Assembly this week after years of delay and inaction, cuts benefits for most employees and retirees. It has a June 1 effective date, but could be delayed by the legal...

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    Buffalo Grove loosens liquor sales restrictions for gas stations

    Buffalo Grove officials this week loosened restrictions on alcohol sales from gas station mini marts, allowing those businesses to seek a newly created liquor license that would lift the current requirement that they store alcohol in a locked cooler. The ordinance limits sales to beer and wine only and prohibits tasting events and drive-thru window sales.

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    Barrington District 220 asks residents not to burn leaves

    On behalf of students and staff members with chronic respiratory conditions, Barrington Unit District 220 is reaching out to neighbors of its 12 school buildings this week to ask them to refrain from burning leaves.Though some of the villages within the school district, as well as unincorporated Lake County, don’t permit open leaf burning, for some neighborhoods this is a busy time of cleaning up...

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    Ex-owner of Chicago window factory gets 4 years

    The former owner and CEO of a Chicago factory where employees staged a high-profile sit-in in 2008 has been sentenced to four years in prison for stealing millions from his failing company.

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    Bill Earley cleans off his driveway in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013.

    Images: Wintry Weather Grips U.S.
    Images from a wintry storm pushing through the western half of the country with bitterly cold temperatures that prompted safety warnings for residents in the Rockies and threatened crops as far south as California. Meanwhile, snowfall totals could also approach 3 feet in northeastern Minnesota.

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    Gail Wise, of Park Ridge, owner of the first Mustang sold by Ford, background, is interviewed at the unveiling of the automaker’s new 2015 Ford Mustang in Dearborn, Mich., Thursday. Wise bought her car on April 15, 1964, two days before the official sales launch from a Ford dealership in Chicago.

    First Ford Mustang owner helps welcome new model

    Park Ridge resident Gail Wise didn’t know she was getting anything special when she drove away from a Chicago Ford dealership in the spring of 1964 in the first Mustang ever sold. Wise paid $3,347 for the car, happy to have a convertible. It wasn’t until she was on the road, with other drivers honking and flagging her down, that she realized what she had. “I felt like a movie star,” she said.

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    Pilot whales are stranded on a beach in a remote area of the western portion of Everglades National Park, Fla. Federal officials said some whales have died. The marine mammals are known to normally inhabit deep water.

    Officials: At least 20 whales in deeper water

    Wildlife officials prepared Thursday to use sound and other herding techniques to try to save pilot whales in danger of stranding as a glimmer of hope emerged for at least 20 of the animals spotted swimming in life-saving deeper water.

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    Police agents cordon off an area in the village of Hueypoxtla, Mexico. Mexican troops and federal police kept a nighttime vigil guarding a rural field where thieves abandoned a stolen shipment of highly radioactive cobalt-60, while officials began planning the delicate task of safely recovering the dangerous material.

    Mexico plans how to safely box up recovered cobalt

    Officials were engaged Thursday in the delicate task of recovering a stolen shipment of highly radioactive cobalt-60 abandoned in a rural field in central Mexico state. The material, which the International Atomic Energy Agency called “extremely dangerous,” was found removed from its protective container.

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    Curtis R. Thornton

    Elgin heroin operation ‘ringleader’ gets 8-year sentence

    A 30-year-old man, who Elgin police described as the "ringleader" of a heroin dealing operations after he and 21 other people were arrested in a drug sweep earlier this year, was sentenced to eight years in prison this week. Curtis R. Thornton pleaded guilty Wednesday to delivering heroin within 1,000 feet of a church. He faced up to 15 years in prison.

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    Levert Jones

    DuPage County judge sentences would-be jewelry thief to 8 years

    A Detroit man who was shot in the Oakbrook Center mall while trying to rob a jewelry store with a sledgehammer was sentenced Thursday to eight years in prison. Levert Jones, 25, was shot by a security guard in June after using a 4-pound sledgehammer to smash a glass display case at the mall’s C.D. Peacock store.

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    A suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden car Thursday at Yemen’s Defense Ministry, killing more than a dozen soldiers and wounding at least 40 in an attack underlining the persistent threat to the stability and security of the impoverished Arab nation, military and hospital officials said.

    Car bomb hits Yemen’s Defense Ministry, killing 18
    An attack on a hospital at Yemen’s Defense Ministry Thursday left at least 52 people dead, the country’s top security body said. A car bomb exploded at the hospital and armed men also attempted to storm the complex, according to the ministry. At least 167 people were also injured, and nine of those are in a critical condition.

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    Seleka soldiers race through Bangui, Central African Republic, Thursday, as gunfire and mortar rounds erupt in the town.

    U.N. OKs military action in Central African Republic

    The U.N. Security Council authorized increased military action by France and African troops in the Central African Republican to try to end near-anarchy amid an upsurge in Muslim-Christian violence, killings, torture and rapes. The council unanimously approved a French-sponsored resolution Thursday as a new wave of violence erupted in the landlocked country’s capital, Bangui, killing about 100...

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    Rolling Meadows getting temporary post office for holidays

    Rolling Meadows residents who miss their post office have gained a short reprieve for the holiday season. U.S. Postal Service employees will bring a truck to city hall, 3600 Kirchoff Road, for two Saturdays before Christmas to help residents who want to purchase postage and send letters and packages, city officials announced.

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    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin wants Metra to clarify when it will install Positive Train Control.

    Durbin: When will Metra add auto-braking system for trains?

    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin wants to know where Metra stands on Positive Train Control, an automatic braking system that might have prevented the deadly crash in New York last week. “Positive train control would have prevented two derailments on Metra trains in 2003 and 2005,” Durbin wrote in a Thursday letter, referring to two collisions on the Rock Island Line.

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    Fifteen-year-old Quinn Falk, left, questions Detective Matt Dean at the Geneva police station. They were taking part in Future Government Leaders program, in which Geneva High School students get a behind-the-scenes experience on the operations of local government.

    Upwardly mobile: Geneva high schoolers get a look at city government workings

    Nearly 30 Geneva High School students got a behind-the-scenes look at the how things happen in Geneva's government. Quinn Falk, 15, says,“I’m not sure, but this may be a path that I go down,” after spending part of the morning with the Geneva police officers.

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    Billy Varner

    Varner pleads not guilty in Antioch murder case

    A 54-year-old Antioch man accused of killing his wife and mother in the apartment the three shared pleaded not guilty to numerous counts of murder in Lake County court Thursday. Billy Varner remains held in jail without bond for using a machete to kill his wife, Peggy Henderson, 61, and later suffocating his 82-year-old mother, Dorothy Varner, authorities said.

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    Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will not face sex assault charges, a prosecutor announced Thursday.

    Seminoles QB Winston will not be charged in sex assault case

    A prosecutor says Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will not be charged in a sexual assault case. State Attorney Willie Meggs made the announcement Thursday. The 19-year-old Heisman Trophy candidate was accused of raping a female student in December last year, but Meggs says there is not enough evidence for anyone to be charged in the case.

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    Take steps to control the Christmas frenzy

    If it's the most wonderful time of the year, why are so many of us rushing around feeling stressed out and pressured to live up to holiday expectations?

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    Randy Link of Winfield says he calls his prizewinning picture “Trumpets on Parade.”

    Winfield photographer aims to turn photos into art

    Winfield resident Randy Link says he enjoys trying to turn his photographs into art. And with his picture of trumpets in a Winfield parade, our photo staff thinks he succeeded.

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    Spirit, an almost 1-year-old, male is seeking a forever home.

    Make time for playtime with your felines

    Our feline friends benefit from structured playtime and a constant need to be entertained. All that destructive behavior that occurs during the holiday season can easily be avoided or lessened if you make time to play with your cat on a daily basis.

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    Elizabeth S. Bako

    Authorities: Woman to pay restitution in Grayslake PTO theft

    A woman accused of stealing from the Frederick School PTO agreed to pay $10,000 to the organization in Lake County court Thursday. Elizabeth Bako, 42, signed the restitution agreement with the parent teacher organization prior to her trial beginning Jan. 6. Prosecutors said Bako is due back in court Dec. 19 to potentially settle with a plea agreement.

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    Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle

    Cook County president won't support felon candidates

    Cook County's board president Toni Preckwinkle says she won't support two felons running for the panel. Al Sanchez was the head of Chicago's streets and sanitation department and Isaac Carothers is an ex-alderman. Both are running for the board, even though they were convicted in corruption cases.

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    Artic chill on its way to suburbs; Tornado towns brace for snow, ice

    Accuweather.com is forecasting cold temperatures but no snow or ice over the next several days in the suburbs. Towns hit by tornadoes last month could see snow and ice over the next two days, though.

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    Aaron B. Stoen

    Man pleads not guilty in Waukegan fatal crash

    A Wisconsin man charged with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI for killing one pedestrian and injuring another in a Waukegan traffic accident hours after using heroin pleaded not guilty in Lake County court early Thursday. Aaron B. Stoen, 26, of Twin Lakes, remains held in the Lake County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail in connection with the Oct. 26 accident.

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    Several thousand activists kept up the demonstrations at the central square in the capital Kiev and besieged government meetings as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s ministerial council began its meeting on the other side of the river.

    Western envoys urge Kiev to respect huge protests

    Western diplomats urged Ukrainian authorities on Thursday to respect the massive protests gripping the country against the government’s decision to freeze ties with the EU and turn to Moscow instead.

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    Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, told reporters the new commission, made up of international lay and religious experts on sex abuse, would study current programs to protect children, better screen priests, train church personnel and suggest new initiatives.

    Pope forms commission to advise on sex abuse

    Pope Francis is assembling a panel of experts to advise him on sex abuse in the clergy — a task that will involve looking at how to protect children from pedophiles, how to better screen men for the priesthood and how to help victims who have already been harmed. But it remains unclear if the experts will take up one of the core issues: how to make bishops who shelter abusive priests accountable.

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    Review calls for better Illinois disaster response

    A review has found several shortfalls in Illinois’ readiness to respond to disasters and emergencies. The review concluded that there could be better coordination with local communities on things like identifying and pre-registering volunteer health professionals who could be called upon during an emergency.

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    If your house resembles this one in December, you definitely should enter our holiday lights contest.

    Can your holiday lights compete with these?

    If you think your holiday lights have what it takes, upload a photo of your display for our annual contest. You could win a snowblower.

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    Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, reacts as voting begins on the pension reform bill this week in Springfield.

    Dawn Patrol: Inside the pension deal; Palatine High sports legend dies

    Lawmakers talk about pension deal. Palatine High sports legend "Chic" Anderson dies. Controversial Des Plaines tent coming down. Kane County officials discuss morgue facility problems. Toy drive in need of donations. Naperville Central celebrates its state football title. Missing Gurnee woman committed suicide, authorities say. Konerko inks 1-year deal with Sox.

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    Elgin City Council votes to stop free leaf collection bags

    The Elgin City Council voted Wednesday to stop supplying free leaf collection bags to residents next year. Councilman Terry Gavin made the motion to end the free leaf bag program, which costs the city about $40,000 per year. Councilmembers Anna Moeller and John Steffen cast the only dissenting votes.

  •  
    This billboard that went up Wednesday in Chicago is based on a real married couple. Meant to sell an anti-snoring spray, it also sparks debates about diversity.

    Ad catches eye, but diversity event aims at heart

    A controversial billboard featuring a U.S. soldier hugging a woman wearing a niqab pops up Wednesday in the Chicago area. The real couple are married and selling an anti-snoring treatment, but the debate is exactly the sort of thing that will be addressed Friday at a ground-breaking diversity program in Lombard.

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    Keegan-Michael Key, left, star of the Comedy Central show “Key and Peele” with Jordan Peele, will be a guest speaker at a diversity conference Friday in Lombard.

    Comedy Central star headlines Lombard diversity event

    If you can laugh at yourself, you are more likely to accept the differences of others. That message is a theme of a diversity conference coming Friday to Lombard. Keegan-Michael Key, star of Comedy Central’s “Key and Peele” and an alum of Chicago’s Second City, is the headliner for the 2nd Annual Images and Perceptions Diversity Conference at The Carlisle.

  •  
    Mount Prospect teacher Linda Frahm receives a hug from a friend in 2012. Frahm is fighting cancer, and her colleagues at Lions Park Elementary School have organized a fundraiser for her that will include an appearance by writer-actress Bonnie Hunt.

    Actress to visit fundraiser for Mt. Prospect teacher

    Colleagues of Mount Prospect teacher Linda Frahm have organized a fundraiser to help defray some of the costs associated with Frahm's ongoing battle against cancer. The fundraiser will include an appearance by writer-actress Bonnie Hunt. “We all knew we had to do something to help out,” said Mary Hunt, Bonnie's sister and a teaching colleague of Frahm's.

  •  
    Santa handed out candy canes to children as the 15th annual Canadian Pacific Holiday Train stopped on Depot Road in Gurnee on Wednesday. Food and funds were collected to benefit the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

    Holiday Train rolls into Gurnee

    The 15th annual Canadian Pacific Holiday Train pierced the fog Wednesday and was greeted by about 1,000 people who gathered along Depot Road in Gurnee.

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    Ella Duda, director of the Little Wing program at the Glen Ellyn School of Rock, leads residents from Sunrise Senior Living and about 45 preschoolers in song Wednesday at Arbor View Elementary School in Glen Ellyn.

    Rock ‘n’ roll brings generations together in Glen Ellyn

    Rock ‘n’ roll helped bridge the gap between generations Wednesday in Glen Ellyn. Seniors from Sunrise Senior Living joined about 45 preschoolers at Arbor View Elementary School for a music program called “Little Wing,” presented by the Glen Ellyn School of Rock.

Sports

  •  
    Associated Press Bulls forward Carlos Boozer, left, looks for an opening against Miami Heat forward Shane Battier, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game at the United Center Thursday.

    Boozer leads Bulls to 107-87 win over Heat

    Carlos Boozer scored 27 points, and the Bulls beat LeBron James and the Miami Heat 107-87 on Thursday night.Luol Deng had 20 points, Taj Gibson chipped in with 19, and Joakim Noah added 17 points and 15 rebounds as the Bulls had no trouble knocking off the defending champions.Chicago took control early on and hung on down the stretch after watching a 25-point lead in the third quarter dwindle to 12 late in the game.It was an impressive showing by a team that had dropped six of seven and is once again trying to get by without the injured Derrick Rose.The Bulls shot 50 percent and were 10 for 19 on 3-pointers. They also outrebounded Miami 49-27.James scored 21 points for Miami, but the Heat shot a season low for the second straight game, converting 41.6 percent from the field.

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    Jaguars hand Texans 11th straight loss, 27-20

    Chad Henne threw two touchdown passes, Jordan Todman scored on some trickery and the Jacksonville Jaguars held on to beat the Houston Texans 27-20 on Thursday night.The Jaguars (4-9) won their third straight — their fourth victory in five games since a bye — and continued to show signs of progress under first-year coach Gus Bradley.They also won at home for the first time since Nov. 25, 2012, against Tennessee.Houston (2-11) extended its franchise-record losing streak to 11 games, a stunning stretch of futility that could lead the franchise to fire coach Gary Kubiak.Kubiak and the Texans looked as if they would end the streak after a quarterback change, but Geno Hayes intercepted Matt Schuab’s pass with 2:08 remaining to seal Jacksonville’s first series sweep since 2009.

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    David Baureis

    Football: Northwest all-area team

    Introducing the Daily Herald's all-area football teams chosen from teams in the Mid-Suburban League plus Maine West, St. Viator, Leyden and Christian Liberty.

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    Geneva scores perfect 10 by beating Batavia

    Austin Chaon and Nate Montgomery delivered in dramatic fashion Thursday night. After visiting Batavia had a major decision at 160 pounds to tie the schools’ Upstate Eight Conference River Division wrestling match, Shoen and Montgomery scored 9 straight points for the Vikings. The Montgomery 5-1 decision over the Bulldogs’ Noah Frazier — one of six Batavia wrestlers making his season debut after a championship football run — helped clinch the Vikings’ 28-24 victory in Geneva.

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

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

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

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

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

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    Benet hands Hinsdale Central its first loss

    While Benet used some great help defense to slow one of the top scorers in the area, it was a hot Redwings shooter who ended up making the difference Thursday night.

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    Naperville North edges Glenbard North in overtime

    After an exhaustive, all-around effort, Naperville North senior Morganne Freeman simply clutched the basketball for the final 4.1 seconds Thursday.

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    Collins gets career-best 38 as Maine West wins

    Maine West senior Brittany Collins hit the 1,591 mark for career points on Thursday. The Warriors guards hit Collins with pinpoint passes all night. The Saint Xavier recruit took advantage for a career-high 38 points, including a career-best half (23 in the first two quarters) to help lead the Warriors to a 68-58 victory over visiting Niles North in a Central Suburban North opener. The Warriors improved to 5-3 overall while Niles North is 3-3.

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    Meghan Waldron

    WW South settles down, roars past Wheaton North

    Meghan Waldron had seen enough, so she decided to do something about it.

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    South Elgin tops Waubonsie on McClure buzzer-beater

    The South Elgin boys basketball team went winless in 12 Upstate Eight Valley games last season under former coach Chaz Taft, but it took only one try for the Storm to break into the win column against Taft and his visiting Waubonsie Valley Warriors Thursday. Tied with 16 seconds to play, South Elgin emerged from a wild final sequence that featured a missed shot and a turnover by each team — all played without a stoppage — to win 74-72 at the buzzer on a putback by senior guard Matt McClure.

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    Resurrection gives Carmel its first loss

    Carmel Catholic’s girls basketball team saw its undefeated start to the season end Thursday night. Resurrection knocked off the visiting Corsairs 48-44 in nonconference action in Chicago.

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    Antioch guard Hamza Abdellatif throws the ball back to Antioch forward Matthew Powers against Johnsburg on Thursday at Antioch.

    Gofron helps Antioch get it going against Johnsburg

    Kyle Gofron’s first varsity dunk will have to wait. No worries. The Antioch sophomore guard showed enough of his other skills in his season debut Thursday night, providing a spark off the bench in helping the Sequoits surge past Johnsburg 51-41 in their home opener. Antioch (2-3) snapped a three-game losing streak. “He’s showing great potential, great skill,” said Antioch point guard A.J. Marsiglio, who scored a game-high 19 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, as he continued his strong start to the season. “He’s going to keep getting better. Expect a lot of good things out of him this year.”

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    Bartlett 5-0 after beating Elgin

    With Thanksgiving tournaments out of the way, Bartlett’s boys basketball team was able to play in front of the home crowd for the first time this season and the Hawks won in dominating fashion over Elgin, 72-56, in an Upstate Eight Conference crossover game Thursday night. The Hawks (5-0) were also able to get interim coach Phil Church the first win of his career due to a planned rest for head coach Jim Wolfsmith after oral surgery.

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    Elijah Robertson of Neuqua Valley takes one to the net during the Neuqua Valley at Metea Valley boys basketball game Thursday.

    Key stretch lifts Neuqua Valley past rival Metea Valley

    Neuqua Valley kicked off the Upstate Eight Valley portion of its season in convincing fashion at District 204 rival Metea Valley. The Wildcats surged ahead on the strength of an 18-0 run that started with 1:30 left in the second quarter and ended at the 2:37 mark of the third quarter. The Mustangs were held without a field goal for nearly eight minutes during that stretch, all leading to a 66-51 Neuqua Valley win Thursday night.

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    Crystal Lake South outwrestles Dundee-Crown

    It wasn’t easy. With four pins and a technical fall, Crystal Lake South had enough to produce a 41-30 win over Dundee-Crown in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division wrestling action in Carpentersville Thursday night.

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    St. Charles N. blitzes Streamwood with 23-0 run

    There are times when a 13-point halftime lead can be deceiving. Thursday night was one of those times for St. Charles North basketball coach Tom Poulin after watching his team walk off the court with a 33-20 halftime advantage over Streamwood (1-4).

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    Prospect stays perfect

    Prospect’s girls basketball team improved to 6-0 with 48-19 nonconference victory over visiting Highland Park on Thursday night at the Jean Walker Field House in Mt. Prospect.

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    Naperville Central shows it can hit the 3-pointer

    The Naperville Central girls basketball knows it’s not a big team and must rely on other strengths to succeed.

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    Girls bowling: Scouting Northwest

    Here's what to expect this season from the girls bowling teams of the Mid-Suburban League.

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    Larkin’s Derrick Streety moves the ball against St. Charles East Thursday night.

    Larkin downs St. Charles E. to stay unbeaten

    Larkin didn’t have much of an answer for St. Charles East senior Dom Adduci Thursday night, but one player rarely wins a basketball game, as the Saints found out. The host Royals continued to show the depth and balance they have in every game so far this young season, putting five players in double figures in an 82-65 win over SCE in the Upstate Eight Conference River Division boys basketball opener for both teams in Elgin.

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    Balanced Aurora Christian wins third straight

    Aurora Christian moved to 3-0 on the season with a 67-56 win over Montini on Thursday night at the Eagles’ third annual Burnie Wilkie tournament.

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    West Aurora wins DVC opener

    West Aurora opened DuPage Valley Conference play Thursday night with a 38-29 win over Glenbard East.

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    Prospect’s Nathanael Ginnodo celebrates after his 200-yard IM effort in last season’s MSL meet. He’ll be a key figure for a Knights team with high hopes this winter.

    Boys swimming: Scouting Northwest

    Here's what to expect in boys swimming this season from schools in the Mid-Suburban League plus St. Viator and Maine West.

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    Goalie Corey Crawford and the Blackhawks were upended late in the third period Thursday when the host Wild netted a pair of late goals to earn a victory.

    Another stirring Hawks comeback spoiled

    For the second game in a row, the Blackhawks wasted a nice comeback. Host Minnesota scored 2 goals in the final six minutes to steal a 4-3 win from the Hawks on Thursday night. It was the second loss in a row for the Hawks coming off their six-game winning streak.

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    Jay Cutler will not start Monday night against the Cowboys.

    Bears’ Cutler, Briggs remain out

    Bears QB Jay Cutler has already been ruled out for Monday night's game against the Cowboys, but his arm looked fine in a limited practice Thursday.

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    Associated Press Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) falls over backwards to stop a shot by the Minnesota Wild during the third period of an NHL hockey game in St. Paul, Minn., Thursday. The Wild beat the Blackhawks 4-3.

    Scandella gives Wild 4-3 win over Blackhawks

    Marco Scandella’s slap shot with 1:48 left, the defenseman’s first goal this season, lifted the Minnesota Wild to a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.Jonas Brodin scored on a power play with 5:39 remaining to tie the game for the Wild, who raised their home record to 12-3-2 and handed the Blackhawks their first loss in their past seven road games.With Charlie Coyle partially screening Corey Crawford at the edge of the crease, Brodin wound up and sent the puck ricocheting off Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya and past the goalie’s outstretched glove.Crawford made 19 saves.After nearly taking a 2-0 lead into the second intermission, the Wild suddenly trailed 3-2 after a forceful Blackhawks comeback. The first two of Chicago’s four shots on goal in the third period got past Minnesota goalie Josh Harding, first by Brandon Saad and then by Marian Hossa.Harding stopped 16 shots and improved to 7-3 in his career against the Blackhawks, who entered the night with an NHL-high 44 points. He’s 12-1 at home this season.The Wild went six consecutive games without a first-period goal until Matt Cooke snapped a shot past Crawford. Zach Parise’s score on a power play, the first by the Wild in seven games, in the second period gave the Wild a 2-0 lead they had until 16.6 seconds were left before the end of the middle period.Joakim Nordstrom deflected the puck behind him through the slot, where Jeremy Morin arrived to reach forward and guide the puck in one motion past Harding, who was coming off a 2-0 shutout of Philadelphia on Monday night. Morin and Nordstrom were both recalled on Wednesday from Rockford of the AHL.The goal brought a loud roar from the Blackhawks fans in the building and some energy the players clearly didn’t leave in the locker room during the second intermission. Just 43 seconds into the third period, Saad checked Ryan Suter off the puck as the Wild’s star defenseman tried to carry the puck out of his zone.Suter tripped, Saad took control with an unabated path to the net and quickly snapped a shot into the top right corner of the net to tie the game.Less than 6 minutes later, Nino Niederreiter was called for holding. With the Blackhawks holding a one-man advantage, Hossa got loose down low and sneaked a wrist shot over Harding’s shoulder for the lead.After their six-game winning streak on the road, the Blackhawks returned home on Tuesday and lost to Dallas 4-3.NOTES: Morin and Nordstrom were brought up for depth at forward. Andrew Shaw missed his first game due to an upper-body injury suffered on Tuesday night, and Michael Handzus missed his second straight game because of an illness. ... The Wild improved to 10-1-5 in one-goal games this season to match Chicago’s win total in those situations. Only Los Angeles, with 11, has more. .. Mikko Koivu, with 566 career games, passed Pierre-Marc Bouchard for second place on the Wild’s career list. Nick Schultz is first with 743.

  •  
    Prospect’s Chris Rivera takes command against Hoffman Estates’ Robert Alvarado on the way to victory at 120 pounds on Thursday at Hersey.

    Prospect, Hersey in tune

    Prospect and Hersey both tuned up for a key early season Mid-Suburban League divisional duals Friday by going 2-0 on Thursday. The Knights and Huskies both earned win against Hoffman Estates and Fremd on the mats at Ken Carter Gymnasium in Arlington Heights. The defending MSL East champion Knights first handled the Hawks 66-3, then continued their evening with a 56-15 triumph against the Vikings.

  •  
    Dick Butkus (left) and Gale Sayers holds up their jerseys during a driving rainstorm on Oct. 31, 1994, when the Bears retired both Hall of Famers numbers.

    Da timing a bit off for Da ceremony

    Here's a proposition for the Bears: How about finding a way to hold a jersey retirement ceremony in September?

  •  
    Photos from the Neuqua Valley at Metea Valley boys basketball game on Thursday, Dec. 5.

    Images: Neuqua Valley at Metea Valley boys basketball
    Metea Valley hosted Neuqua Valley Thursday, Dec. 5 for boys basketball.

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    Images from the Johnsburg vs. Antioch boys basketball game on Thursday, Dec. 5.

    Images: Antioch vs. Johnsburg boys basketball
    The Antioch Sequoits hosted the Johnsburg Skyhawks for boys basketball action on Thursday, Dec. 5.

  •  

    Heat’s James in disbelief when Rose injured knee again

    Miami might be the Bulls' biggest rival right now, but Heat star LeBron James expressed sorry about Derrick Rose's latest knee injury. James said he was watching on TV when it happened.

  •  
    John Dietz was likely the only fantasy football owner in the world who started Saints quarterback Luke McCown, right, last week. The error cost him a victory and probably a playoff spot.

    How does your league handle gaffes?

    See what happened to John last week in one of his leagues and why being a fantasy football commissioner is an utterly thankless job.

  •  

    Blackhawks game day

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    Boys bowling: Scouting Lake County

    Here's what to expect from the boys bowling teams of Lake County this season.

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    Girls bowling: Scouting Lake County

    Here's what to expect from the girls bowling teams of Lake County this season.

  •  
    Stevenson’s Alyssa Weisberg celebrates her performance on the balance beam during the state finals at Palatine last season.

    Girls gymnastics: Scouting Lake County

    Here's what to expect from the girls gymnastics teams of Lake County this season.

  •  

    Batavia receives hero’s welcome

    The longest serving mayor in Batavia history and a lifelong resident, Jeff Schielke has seen a lot of things happen in his town. He hadn’t seen this.

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    Batavia, Geneva raising money for tornado victims

    When the Batavia girls basketball team traveled down to Morton last weekend, they drove through Washington and saw the damage left behind by the recent tornado. The experience was so powerful to coach Kevin Jensen and his team that they have decided to take monetary donations during Friday’s girls/boys doubleheader at home against Geneva.

  •  
    Patrick Kunzer/pkunzer@dailyherald.com ¬ St. Charles co-op’s Sidney Copeland participates in the vault competition during a gymnastics meet at St. Charles Gymnastics Academy on Monday night.

    Tri-Cities girls gymnastics season preview

    Season outlook for Tri-Cities girls gymnastics teams.

  •  
    The Cubs’ new manager Rick Renteria jokes around before a press conference at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Thursday, Dec., 5, 2013. Renteria met with the media for the first time since he was hired last month, while recuperating in San Diego from hip surgery.

    Cubs’ Renteria understands his job

    New Cubs manager Rick Renteria met the Chicago media in person for the first time Thursday at Wrigley Field. He stressed the need for him and his new coaching staff to teach the Cubs' young players.

  •  
    Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray has run for 697 yards (4.9 average) this season and has scored 7 touchdowns.

    Ratliff could help Bears’ run D

    Bears tackle Jeremiah Ratliff says he's ready to increase his playing time this week against the Cowboys, the team that cut him after he played there eight seasons and went to four Pro Bowls. In his first game action in more than a year last week, Ratliff flashed the kind of talent a beleaguered Bears defense desperately needs.

  •  

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

  •  
    Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman looks on during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

    Cutler, Briggs out vs Cowboys

    Quarterback Jay Cutler and linebacker Lance Briggs will miss Monday night’s home game against Dallas.Coach Marc Trestman on Thursday said Cutler remains out with a high ankle sprain, while Briggs will not return from a shoulder fracture. Cutler practiced on a limited basis Thursday while Briggs went through conditioning work on the sidelines, but did not practice.

  •  
    Standing alongside tornado wreckage in Washington, Ill., on Wednesday, Bears kicker Robbie Gould, wearing the white hat, receives a baby outfit for his newborn son from Jan Briney, whose own grandson's house destroyed by the tornado.

    Bears visit tornado-ravaged town

    More than a dozen Chicago Bears headed to central Illinois to help with cleanup efforts in the tornado-ravaged community of Washington and meet with members of the community's high school football team. “We didn't know they were coming,” said Chris Friend, a senior linebacker at Washington High School. “They told us we inspired them. That was incredible to hear.”

  •  
    Senior Isaiah Lewis is part of a Michigan State defense that is ranked No. 1 in the country.

    Michigan St. safety gets another chance at title

    A penalty on Isaiah Lewis two seasons ago ended Michigan State's chances of going to the Rose Bowl. But Lewis has another chance for a trip to Pasadena when No. 10 Michigan State faces No. 2 Ohio State on Saturday in the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis.

  •  
    Dodgers pitcher Brian Wilson throws during Game 4 of the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves on Oct. 7.

    Source: Wilson, Dodgers agree on one-year deal

    Brian Wilson will be wearing Dodger Blue for another season. The free-agent reliever agreed to terms on a $10 million, one-year contract to stay with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations said Thursday.

  •  
    Milwaukee right fielder Norichika Aoki catches a ball hit by the St. Louis Cardinals’ David Freese.

    Brewers trade Aoki to Royals

    The Kansas City Royals acquired outfielder Norichika Aoki from Milwaukee to be their leadoff hitter Thursday, which also means the Brewers are likely to shift Ryan Braun to right field.

  •  
    Northern Illinois head coach Rod Carey watches his team play Eastern Michigan in the Oct. 26 game in DeKalb.

    Carey leads NIU to brink of another BCS bowl

    Rod Carey has a shot at a conference championship and a chance to crash the BCS party again as he winds up his first full season as Northern Illinois’ head coach. With Heisman Trophy candidate Jordan Lynch at quarterback, the 16th-ranked Huskies will try to remain unbeaten and capture their third straight Mid-American Conference championship when they meet Bowling Green in the title game in Detroit on Friday.

  •  
    Italian cyclist Danilo Di Luca tested positive for the blood booster EPO in April.

    Cyclist Di Luca banned for life for doping

    Former Giro d’Italia winner Danilo Di Luca was banned from cycling for life Thursday following a third doping offense, joining Lance Armstrong as one of the highest profile riders to be kicked out of the sport.

  •  
    The New England Patriots released quarterback Tim Tebow in the last cut before the season began this year.

    Italian league offers Tebow a 4-month contract

    Tim Tebow has been offered a four-month contract by the Italian federation for American football, and the Milano Seamen are hoping to sign the free agent quarterback.

  •  

    Jacobs has reason to be optimistic

    Jacobs girls’ bowling coach Jim Rood has plenty of reason to be optimistic this season. The Golden Eagles return numerous key components from last year’s team that went 58-23 overall and finished second in the Fox Valley Conference with a 47-16 mark.

  •  

    Elgin off to hot start on lanes

    What a difference a year makes. Elgin boys’ bowling coach Jon Miquelon doesn’t remember his team’s exact Upstate Eight Conference finish last year but said, “it wasn’t good.” Now it’s great. The Maroons are off to a perfect 15-0 start in UEC play after scoring wins over Bartlett, Larkin and St. Charles East. Elgin also won the U-46 invitational.

  •  
    Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, in his first public news conference since his latest knee injury, says he expects a full recovery and he wouldn't rule out returning this season.

    Rose: I’m not done. I’m never going to stop

    Derrick Rose met the media for the first time since having surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee. He vowed never to stop trying be the best player he can be, and also didn't rule out a return this season. “I’m not done,” Rose said when asked if he had a message for his fans. “I know He’s preparing me for something bigger. Of course right now you’re living in the moment and you don’t understand certain things.

  •  

    Wrestling: Scouting Lake County

    Here's a look a the upcoming wrestling season for North Suburban Conference schools plus Carmel, Grayslake Central and Grayslake North.

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    Prospect’s Maddie Larock works the uneven parallel bars during last year’s MSL meet at Palatine.

    Prospect stays in the moment, prepares for the future

    After a couple of near misses, the Prospect girls gymnastic team is looking to hit it big this season. In 2012, the Knights missed qualifying to the state meet by one spot, finishing .325 points behind Lake Forest for the last at-large qualifying spot. Last season the Knights found themselves in the same position, missing the state meet by two spots, this time finishing only .17 5 points behind Lake Forest. This year Prospect is hoping to break through and qualify for its first state meet. The Knights’ quest got a bit more challenging on Monday when top all-around gymnast Gianna Scala went down with a left knee injury. The initial x-ray showed that the bones are intact, and an MRI was scheduled for Thursday.

  •  
    Batavia’s Micah Coffey celebrates the Bulldogs’ Class 6A state championship.

    Batavia’s Coffey-Scaccia a combo that can’t be beat

    Batavia running back Anthony Scaccia and quarterback Micah Coffey are the honorary captains of the Daily Herald Tri-Cities 2013 All-Area Football Team

  •  
    Libertyville’s Minnesota-bound Steve Polakowski, left, wrestles Joliet West’s Jared Sims in the 120-pound semifinals at the 23rd annual Moore/Prettyman tournament at Barrington last Saturday.

    Eggert, Libertyville reaching new heights

    No matter which way you slice it going back over the decades, the current 2013-14 Libertyville team stacks up very well with some of the best Wildcats teams. This season also marks a major milestone for veteran coach Dale Eggert, who is about to become a member of an elite group of IHSA coaches as he approaches career win No. 500.

  •  
    Duke Bogicevic of Larkin, top, is a returning sectional qualifier.

    Wrestling: Scouting the Fox Valley

    Previewing the 2013-14 wrestling season in the Fox Valley.

  •  
    St. Charles East’s Austin Hrubec opened his season beating St. Charles North’s Ray Rushing.

    Tri-Cities wrestling preview
    Preview of the Tri-Cities area 2013-14 wrestling season.

  •  
    Sadarriss Patterson, top, competing at Batavia last season, is one key member for a Schaumburg team with high hopes this winter.

    Wrestling: Northwest season preview

    Here's a look at what to expect from the wrestling season for schools in the Mid-Suburban League plus Leyden, Maine West and St. Viator.

  •  
    Michael Castoro

    Football: Fox Valley all-area team

    Presenting the 2013 Fox Valley All-Area football team.

  •  
    Stevenson wide receiver/safety Matt Morrissey captains of the Daily Herald’s all-area football team for Lake County.

    One label for Stevenson’s Morrissey: Winner

    Stevenson senior receiver and safety Matt Morrissey doesn't believe in wearing stickers on his helmet, but here's one label that's unavoidable: he's the captain of the Daily Herald's all-area football team for Lake County.

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    Jacobs’ Bret Mooney is the honorary captain of the 2013 Daily Herald All-Area football team for the Fox Valley.

    Fantastic finishes trademark for Jacobs’ Mooney

    There are many reasons why Jacobs senior quarterback Bret Mooney will remain etched in the memory of local fans for years to come. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound signalcaller will be remembered for leading the Golden Eagles to a 7-3 record and their fourth-straight playoff appearance, adding to a school-record streak. People will recall how the 17-year-old guided Jacobs to its first undefeated, outright title in the Fox Valley Conference’s Valley Division. It was the second FVC title in program history overall, the first since 1979.

  •  
    Glenbard North’s Justin Jackson eyes the endzone on a 47-yard touchdown run.

    Glenbard North’s Jackson the smart pick

    Following one of the most dominant seasons in state history, Glenbard North's Justin Jackson is the Daily Herald DuPage County 2013 All-Area football captain. The absolute epitome of a “student athlete,” those who know him best stress that his athletic talent is matched only by his strength of character.

  •  
    Schaumburg quarterback Stacey Smith led a prolific offensive attack by scoring in every game he played this season and earned the Daily Herald’s selection as all-area team captain.

    Schaumburg’s Smith stands tall in senior season

    Schaumburg senior quarterback Stacey Smith combined explosive athleticism with first-rate leadership to help the Saxons to a most memorable season. He captains the Daily Herald's Northwest all-area team.

  •  
    Noah Allgood

    Football: Lake County all-area team

    Introducing the Daily Herald's all-area football team for Lake County.

  •  
    Brannon Barry

    Football: Tri-Cities all-area team

    Introducing the 2013 all-area football team for the Tri-Cities.

  •  
    Hayden Adams

    Football: DuPage County all-area team

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

  •  
    Batavia’s Micah Coffey and Anthony Scaccia are Daily Herald All-Area Team Captains in football.

    Images: Daily Herald All-Area Football Captains
    Images of Daily Herald All-Area football team captains for 2013 Justin Jackson, Anthony Scaccia, Micah Coffey, Bret Mooney, Stacey Smith, and Matt Morrissey

  •  

    Mike North Video: Illini, Wildcats would love to have Nebraska’s Bo Pelini
    Nebraska football fans want more wins from head coach Bo Pelini. Mike North says send him our way, nine wins sounds good to Northwestern or Illinois fans.

Business

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    Demonstrators rally for better wages outside a McDonalds in Chicago Thursday, when fast-food workers and labor organizers turned out in support of higher wages in cities across the country.

    Fast-food strikes return amid push for wage hikes

    Fast-food workers and labor organizers are marching, waving signs and chanting in cities across the country Thursday amid a push for higher wages. Organizers say employees planned to forgo work in 100 cities, with rallies set for another 100 cities. But it’s not clear what the actual turnout has been or how many of the participants are workers.

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    Douglas Whitley, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, speaks at the Newsmakers’ Forum at the Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills.

    Experts see challenges ahead for businesses, government

    Speakers at the second Daily Herald Business Ledger Newsmakers Forum in Palos Hills spoke on topics ranging from the recent passage of the state pension reform law to the new energy boom in the U.S.

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    Paul Valade/pvalade@dailyherald.com Employees of MC Sports in Lake Zurich were told the store will close in January.

    Lake Zurich MC Sports store to close

    MC Sports employees at the Lake Zurich store were told Sunday that their store will close in January. Shawn Jarzembowski, assistant store manager at the Lake Zurich store, said Thursday that the 14 employees had no idea that the retailer had plans to close.

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    Ford revealed the new 2015 Mustang on Thursday at events in New York, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Sydney, Barcelona and its hometown of Dearborn.

    At 50, new-look Mustang still has plenty of muscle

    The Ford Mustang is still galloping at 50. Ford Motor Co. on Thursday introduced the 2015 Mustang, a confident and aggressive riff on the iconic pony car that first made Americans swoon in the 1960s. The Mustang’s passionate fans are sure to love it, but Ford will have to wait and see if it’s enough to overtake rivals and win over international buyers.

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    Enzo & Lucia Ristorante & Café in Long Grove has reopened after a June 2 fire damaged the kitchen, forcing it to close. Months of cleanup and restoration work — mostly in the kitchen — led to the reopening late last month.

    Popular Long Grove eatery reopens after fire

    Enzo & Lucia Ristorante & Café in downtown Long Grove has reopened after a kitchen fire forced it to close its doors in June. The restaurant, which has been operating out of a historic, former Victorian-style home at 343 Old McHenry Road for 13 years, has seen brisk business since reopening late last month, its owner says.

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    Gov. Robert Bentley said Alabama will be among the states submitting a proposal next week to build Chicagoo-based Boeing’s new 777X aircraft, and the proposal will stress more than just the money the state is offering.

    Alabama looking to attract Boeing assembly plant
    Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said Alabama will be among the states submitting a proposal next week to build Chicagoo-based Boeing’s new 777X aircraft, and the proposal will stress more than just the money the state is offering. “We are a right-to-work state and that is vitally important,” Bentley told a county commissioners’ convention Wednesday in Birmingham.

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    How states fared on U.S. unemployment benefit claims
    The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits fell 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 298,000 last week, indicating of a healthier job market.Here are the states with the biggest increases in applications. No states reported substantial declines.

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    Charlotte putting together offer for Boeing

    Charlotte officials are putting together a bid for Boeing’s new plant to build its 777X jetliner. Former city aviation director Jerry Orr said Chicago-based Boeing has sent the city a request for a proposal for the plant, The Charlotte Observer reported. Officials say the next generation aircraft plant could create more than 8,000 jobs.

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    The home was last sold in 1955 and it hasn't been seen publicly since it was part of a Wright home walk in 1979.

    Wright home in River Forest listed for $2.4 million

    Frank Lloyd Wright's famed William Winslow House in suburban Chicago is on the market for the first time in nearly 60 years. The Chicago Sun Times that the River Forest house is listed for $2.4 million. The home was last sold in 1955 and it hasn't been seen publicly since it was part of a Wright home walk in 1979.

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    Creative industries led by Hollywood account for about $504 billion, or at least 3.2 percent of U.S. goods and services, the government said in its first official measure of how the arts and culture affect the economy.

    Report: Arts, culture add $500B to nation's GDP

    Creative industries led by Hollywood account for about $504 billion, or at least 3.2 percent of U.S. goods and services, the government said in its first official measure of how the arts and culture affect the economy. On Thursday, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts will release the first-ever estimates of the creative sector's contributions to U.S. gross domestic product based on 2011 data, the most recent figures available.

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    Railroads to offer health care to same-sex spouses

    A day after being sued by legally married, gay engineers, the nation’s largest freight rail carriers announced they will provide health care benefits to the same-sex spouses of their employees.

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    Obama to feds: Boost renewable power 20 percent

    Saying the government should lead by example, President Barack Obama is ordering the federal government to nearly triple its use of renewable sources for electricity by 2020.

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    A Venucia Viwa EV concept car at the company’s booth during the Guangzhou Auto Show in China’s southern city of Guangzhou.

    Nissan looks to no-frills China brand for revival

    His Chinese sedan was a disappointment. So when truck driver Xie Yanzhen needed to replace it, he turned to Venucia, a 2-year-old no-frills brand launched by Nissan and a Chinese partner. The Chinese-brand Chang’an “doesn’t work well,” said Xie, who was back at a Venucia dealership in this southern city with a friend. At about 80,000 yuan ($13,000), his Venucia D50 compact sedan cost a little more, but “the engine is pretty good.”

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    A Metro-North passenger train rolls towards the Spuyten Duyvil station in the Bronx borough of New York Wednesday near the site of a fatal derailment that disrupted service on the Hudson Line of the railroad Sunday.

    N.Y. train wreck could be case of highway hypnosis

    It’s sometimes called highway hypnosis or white-line fever, and it’s familiar to anyone who has driven long distances along a monotonous route. Drivers are lulled into a semi-trance state and reach their destination with little or no memory of parts of the trip. But what if it happened to an engineer at the controls of a speeding passenger train?

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    “SpongeBob SquarePants” and other Nickelodeon children’s programs will be dubbed into Mandarin and available to watch free online in China over the next 12 months in the latest deal to give a foreign entertainment company more access to China’s vast market.

    Sohu to stream Nickelodeon programs in China

    “SpongeBob SquarePants” and other Nickelodeon children’s programs will be dubbed into Mandarin and available to watch free online in China over the next 12 months in the latest deal to give a foreign entertainment company more access to China’s vast market.

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    Missouri Senate passes tax incentives for Boeing

    Missouri’s enticement package for a new Boeing assembly plant cleared its most daunting obstacle Wednesday as state senators passed a plan that could offer up to $1.7 billion of incentives over two decades. The Senate’s 23-8 vote in a special session sends the measure to the House, where final approval could come as soon as Friday. Then it will be up to Boeing to determine how Missouri’s offer stacks up.

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    In this July 2010 photo drilling rigs and workboats operate at the site of the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico. As of December BP is leading an industry-wide push to develop technology that can retrieve oil from formations that are so deep under the sea floor, and under such high pressure and temperature, that conventional equipment would melt or be crushed by the conditions.

    BP pushes technical limits to tap extreme fields

    BP’s strategy after the Deepwater Horizon tragedy: Go deeper.BP is leading an industry-wide push to develop technology that can retrieve oil from formations that are so deep under the sea floor, and under

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    Rhett Taylor

    Store that replaced Piggly Wiggly closes in Grayslake

    A grocery store on Center Street in Grayslake has closed after replacing a Piggly Wiggly store that operated for nearly 20 years in the same space. Farmer's Market Place owner Vicky Kouantas confirmed the closure to the Daily Herald in a brief interview. She said the store closed Nov. 27.

Life & Entertainment

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    Randolph Street Market’s 7th Annual Holiday Market offers gift possibilities that you cannot get anywhere else, plus activities for kids and gourmet food.

    On the road: Head to Branson for a gingerbread-style holiday

    Kimpton Hotels of Chicago are getting into the Christkindl spirit this year. Each of the chain’s three Loop hotels — Allegro, Monaco and Burnham — is within steps of Daley Plaza and the 18th Annual Christkindlmarket Chicago. Snag the special 15-20 percent off rates for stays through Christmas Eve. In addition, each hotel offers an evening hosted wine hour from 5-6 p.m. Atwood Café, located adjacent to Hotel Burnham and less than a block from the market, will offer complimentary mulled wine mug refills with purchase of an entree, too.

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    Daniel Souvigny, 13, of Hampshire is quite the musician. Although he’s the most impressive on piano playing ragtime, he’s also a skilled violin player, and plays guitar and drums.

    Hampshire teen gives new life to old music

    Ragtime music might conjure black-and-white images of a bygone era, but to 13-year-old Daniel Souvigny of Hampshire there’s nothing better in the world. Playing ragtime piano is all about improvising and making pieces your own, said Daniel, one of the best young ragtime performers in the country. “It feels like I finally break loose and improvise to my heart’s content. I can do anything in any point in time to any song in ragtime.”

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    Some 45,000 energy efficient LED lights adorn the 76-foot Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

    Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lights up

    With a flick of the switch, a 76-foot Norway Spruce officially became the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree after it was illuminated for the first time this holiday season in a ceremony that’s been held since 1933.

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    Claire Haran’s birthday falls near Christmas, so her mom, Cynthia, tries to do something special for the young girl every year. They had a tea-party-themed bash when she turned 4.

    Don’t combine kids’ birthdays and holidays, experts say

    Combining a birthday celebration with a winter holiday minimizes the specialness a child should celebrate on a birthday, Chicago-area psychologists and social workers say.

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    Nick Lowe recently released “Quality Street: a Seasonal Selection for All the Family.”

    Holiday album a first for English singer Nick Lowe

    Nick Lowe wasn’t exactly filled with the Christmas spirit when his American record company suggested he make his first holiday album. He’s no Scrooge. But for musicians in his native England, holiday albums aren’t the coolest thing to do. A song or two is nice, but an entire album? The disc, “Quality Street,” is a goes-down-easy blend of rockabilly, crooning, acoustic picking and gospel. Among the dozen songs, “Silent Night” is the only well-known carol, and it is given a Tex-Mex flavor.

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    Daniel Souvigny, 13, of Hampshire is quite the musician. Although he's the most impressive on piano playing ragtime, he's also a skilled violin player, and plays guitar and drums.

    Hampshire teen brings new life to old music

    Ragtime music might conjure black-and-white images of a bygone era, but to 13-year-old Daniel Souvigny of Hampshire there's nothing better in the world. “It feels like I finally break loose and improvise to my heart's content. I can do anything in any point in time to any song in ragtime.”

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    Inniskillin’s 2007 Vidal Gold, 2008 Riesling, 2008 Cabernet Franc, and Ice Storm’s Vault Reserve ice wines. Leaving grapes to freeze on the vine seems like a recipe for stone cold failure. But under the right conditions, the grapes that come in from the cold can produce delicious dessert wines that are a cool favorite for holiday pairings.

    Ice wines are a cool favorite for holiday menus

    Interest in ice wine is heating up as producers experiment with new grapes and new winemaking style. “The icewine category in Canada is continuing to evolve with new and innovative products entering the market each vintage,” says Franco Timpano, director of marketing for Inniskillin.

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    Movie trailers: Why do they have to ruin it?

    Dann also takes Hollywood trailers to task for ruining surprises in movies and for grossly mispresenting what some movies are. Plus, join Dann and film historian Raymond Benson as Dann & Raymond's Movie Club presents “It's a Wonderful Life: The Films of Jimmy Stewart” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.

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    Mark Mori’s documentary “Bettie Page Reveals All” tells the strange and courageous life story of a Tennessee girl who led the sexual revolution.

    Doc reveals almost all about alluring Bettie Page

    Dann Gire reviews Mark Mori’s documentary “Bettie Page Reveals All,” a solid piece of reporting that provides proof of the pin-up model’s iconic immortality through Madonna, Katy Perry and countless other performers who owe their style and sexual openness to the queen.

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    Steelworker Russell Baze (Christian Bale) goes into revenge mode during the final stretch of Scott Cooper’s “Out of the Furnace.”

    Terrific cast, camerawork fail to heat up revenge tale

    “Out of the Furnace,” Scott Cooper’s highly nuanced, atmospheric tale of personal revenge, is so impersonal, protracted and passionless that its cold on-screen executions barely keep people from ducking out for concessions. Cooper indulges himself with a style-burnished production with familiar characters inviting none of our empathy or concern in a plot unencumbered by depth or surprises.

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    Arlington Heights fifth grader Cody Bolithon, center, gets to sing, dance and lead Santa's sleigh in “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.”

    Young Arlington Heights actor front and center as 'Rudolph'

    Cody Bolithon is no stranger to being on stage — or playing key roles in musicals. But as the beloved title character in "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," the 10-year-old from Arlington Heights is tackling his biggest role yet.

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    Music notes: Catch Fulks at the Hideout
    Robbie Fulks, an acclaimed alt-country musician/songwriter from the suburbs, performs on Monday nights at the Hideout in Chicago. Queens of the Stone Age, an acclaimed hard-rock band, will headlne the "The Night We Stole Christmas" show next week at Allstate Arena in Rosemont. Los Angeles arena-rockers 30 Seconds to Mars are also on the bill.

Discuss

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    Dennis Hess shows a video recording of a person he believes stole from his farm stand in Litiz, Pa. Hess runs an unattended farm stand on the honor system. Customers pick out their produce, tally their bills and drop the money into a slot, making change from an unlocked cashbox. Even though he added a video camera a few years ago, he says there isn’t enough theft to undermine his trust in human nature.

    Editorial: Want better democracy? Try a little more trust

    A Daily Herald editorial says we'll all enjoy life and each other more if we show a little more trust.

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    Photo ethics now more important than ever

    Columnist Jim Slusher: Today, any middle schooler could modify a picture taken with a telephone to show a second baseman eating a baseball like an apple.

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    Why doesn’t Congress aim higher?

    Columnist Lee Hamilton: Congressional budget negotiators are moving to meet a Dec. 13 deadline to produce, well, something. For weeks, we’ve been told to keep expectations low.

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    Media lapdogs back disgrace in Washington
    A Wauconda letter to the editor: What is going on in Washington is desgraceful. Elected officials looking straight into the camera lying to the American people.

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    Do a better job at pointing out corruption
    A Grayslake letter to the editor: With all due respect, your Dec. 3 “Goldilocks” opinion of the Illinois pension deal is the perfect illustration of why Illinois is in such dire straits. Let’s start with the facts.

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    A gift for China in every shopping bag
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: In the frenzy of post Thanksgiving holiday shopping, maiming and injuring hundreds in the stampedes rushing to snatch something still unaffordable off the shelves, we achieve a momentary political detente with our largest Asian “partner.”

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    Cross country defines ‘teamwork’
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: A couple weekends ago, I had the privilege of watching the Glenbard West cross country team win state. This experience made me grateful that I chose to participate in high school athletics. I didn’t run in the meet, but when I watched the girls I couldn’t have been more proud.

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    Volunteers crucial to children’s museum
    A Naperville letter to the editor: Volunteers are one of our nation’s most valuable resources. Every day millions of caring people enrich their communities by helping to educate our children and prepare them for the future.

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    Government control at price of freedom
    A Pingree Grove letter to the editor: The devil is in the details of Obamacare. Not only will you be unable to keep your insurance policy and pay higher insurance premiums with higher deductibles for services you don’t need, you may lose your doctor.

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    Ask doctors about perils of Obamacare
    An Elgin letter to the editor: The Affordable Health Care Law is a disaster. It has become an American genocide. The senator from South Carolina called it the worst travesty since slavery in America.

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    Time to hire disabled in Elgin
    A Maple Park letter to the editor: The unfair treatment of the disabled in the workforce is a problem that must be addressed in Elgin. For much too long we have treated them as incapable and insufficient, and we must start treating them with the rights and respects afforded to the rest of us.

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    Deeper SNAP cuts are a bad idea
    A McHenry letter to the editor: More than 49 million Americans (16 million children) are food insecure. The average SNAP benefit is about $4.20/day. The U.S. House of Representatives (including Hultgren) wants even deeper cuts to SNAP. They say our food banks and pantries can make up the difference.

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