Daily Archive : Friday December 13, 2013

News

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    Humane society offers discounted spay/neutering

    PACT Human Society in Bloomingdale has teamed up with area veterinarians to offer low-cost spay/neuter surgeries for families in need.

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    Carlos Brown

    Three charged in Downers Grove Radio Shack armed robbery

    Bond was set at $1 million Friday morning for each of three men charged in a Wednesday armed robbery of a Downers Grove Radio Shack. Carlos Brown, 20, of Downers Grove; BL Jones, 19, of Chicago; and Brandon Jones, 19, of Woodridge are each charged with two counts of armed robbery with a firearm and are in custody at the DuPage County jail.

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    Brian and Angela Larsen stand in front of their Elburn home, which is in the running for a $50,000 prize on “The Great Christmas Light Fight,” which airs at 8 p.m. Monday.

    1 million lights in Elburn display that earned TV spot

    The Larsen Family of Elburn is one of 20 families competing in "The Great Christmas Light Fight," a new series on ABC. Brian Larsen, his family and friends had three weeks in October to set up an estimated 1 million lights. Their story will air between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Monday and the winners get a $50,000 prize.

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    Arlington Hts. streets shut down briefly for car fire

    Downtown Arlington Heights is momentarily shut down by a car fire in a parking garage.

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    Police Friday continue to investigate the Thursday night shooting scene on the 1900 block of Windham Court, in the background, in Arlington Heights.

    Arlington Hts. shooter had criminal past, cop expected to recover

    Arlington Heights Police Officer Michael McEvoy is in an induced coma and facing more surgeries as he recovers from a gunshot wound to the face suffered during a hostage situation Thursday night, but he is expected to recover fully, police say. The shooter, Eric Anderson,41, of Niles, had a long criminal record and was recently the subject of an order of protection from the woman he took...

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    Marco Mendoza, of Great Lakes Naval Station, looks through toys for his children during the Operation Homefront Illinois toy drive event Friday in Gurnee. The group supplied holiday toys to children of military personnel at Uno Chicago Grill.

    Operation Homefront Holiday Toy Drive

    Operation Homefront Illinois hosted its annual Holiday Toy Drive event on Friday at the Uno’s Chicago Grille in Gurnee. Free holiday toys were given to children of military families.

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    Blago's appeals hearing focuses on what's legal politics

    Judges considering an appeal by imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich spent much of oral arguments Friday focusing on one question: At what point does run-of-the-mill political horse-trading veer into corruption?

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    Dan Cronin

    DuPage group to review consolidation options

    DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin says he's going to work with other elected officials overseeing the election commission and the county clerk's office to find opportunities to consolidate functions to increase efficiency in both offices.

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    Garbage transfer station approved in Round Lake Park; appeal expected

    An application by Groot Industries to locate what would be Lake County's first garbage transfer station has been approved by Round Lake Park officials but an appeal of the decision is expected.

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    A worker rides a bicycle in front of the reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, just outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran.

    Iran halts expert-level nuke talks

    “Iran has ended the talks because of the addition of more individuals and companies to the sanctions list. It was against the path of agreements,” an official was quoted as saying.

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    French pastry chef shares secrets:

    French pastry chef Jacquy Pfeiffer reveals the secrets to making flawless éclairs, buttery croissants, and perfect macaroons as featured in his new cookbook, “The Art of French Pastry,” during a visit at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17, to the Vernon Area Public Library.

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    District 50 parent meeting:

    Woodland Elementary District 50 hosts its second Bilingual Parent Advisory Council meeting of the year at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 18, at the Woodland Elementary East School cafeteria, 17261 W. Gages Lake Road, Gages Lake.

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    Fox Lake holiday light recycling

    Fox Lake residents can recycle holiday lights in special containers available at the village hall and the police department.

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    SHS board may borrow $25 million

    The Stevenson High School board will meet Monday night to consider borrowing $25 million for campus improvements over the next three years.

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    Daily Herald File Photo A tragic commuter train crash that killed four people Dec. 1 in the Bronx is making the 2015 deadline to install a safety system unavoidable, Metra officials think.

    Metra to keep chugging toward crash-prevention program deadline

    Metra officials say they're worried about a funding shortfall to pay for Positive Train Control. The automatic braking system could have prevented two collisions on Metra's Rock Island Line and a fatal crash in New York City Dec. 1 experts think.

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    Carol Stream park district begins search for new director

    The official search for a new Carol Stream Park District executive director begins at Monday’s board of commissioners meeting, but the groundwork has been in place for some time. The park district is looking to fill its top administrative post after longtime director Arnie Biondo was named executive director of the DuPage County Forest Preserve District.

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    Highland Symphonic Orchestra cello player Katie Lund, right, plays seasonal favorites with fellow musicians Friday at Copeland Manor Elementary School in Libertyville. The group played at all four Libertyville District 70 elementary schools.

    Highland Symphonic Orchestra plays seasonal favorites

    Highland Middle School's Highland Symphonic Orchestra brought cheer to Libertyville elementary students as they played a selection of seasonal favorites on Friday.

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    Bartlett village tax levy to drop 5 percent

    The Bartlett village tax levy, approved recently by the village board, will drop 5 percent, or $500,000, to $9,390,955. The portion of the levy going to the general corporate fund and for police pensions fell 7.67 percent, while the portion going to debt service rose somewhat, Village Administrator Valerie Salmons said at a public hearing last month on the levy.

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    Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko says the delivery of a package of marijuana to the wrong house led authorities to seize about 100 pounds of the drug this week.

    Cops: Marijuana delivery to wrong Round Lake Park home leads to arrests

    Round Lake Park police say a chain of events that began with a package of marijuana delivered to the wrong address ultimately led them to 100 pounds of the drug and the arrests of four suspects who wanted to sell it.

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    Algonquin earns AAA rating from Standard & Poor’s

    A bond rating agency has given the village of Algonquin a AAA rating, the highest grade the company issues. It’s also a grade officials say will likely save more than $600,000 in interest payments. The rating, from Standard & Poor's, came earlier this month while Algonquin officials were refinancing a $7.7 million debt that stems from the expansion of its wastewater treatment plant on Wilbrandt...

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    Christmas musical on Sunday

    On Sunday, Dec. 15, the Chancel Choir of Christ Church, United Church of Christ in Des Plaines, will present a Christmas musical by Joel Raney. The musical, “A Thrill Of Hope,” celebrates the birth of Christ from the vantage points of Hope, Love, Peace and Joy.

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    The Hoffman Estates Redhawks lost the national title game at the Pop Warner National Competition on Friday, but were still thankful for the experience.

    Hoffman Estates Pop Warner team loses title game

    A group of youth football players from the Northwest suburbs didn’t achieve their dream of a national championship, but their coach said they still created memories for a lifetime. "It was a rough one,” said Coach Greg Kirkwood. “Obviously we are disappointed, but other than that after it set it a little bit I’m beyond proud of my kids and my coaching staff and the parents...

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    Mt. Prospect trees worth every penny

    Arborists in Mount Prospect have some good news to share - that in spite of substantial challenges caused by storms and tree diseases/insects, a recently published report by Urban Forestry LLC revealed that Mount Prospect’s publicly owned trees are providing a return of $2.29 in benefits for each dollar spent on their care.

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    The West Dundee village board will conduct its Monday meeting at Spring Hill Mall as part of an initiative to get to know their neighbors and residents. During the meeting, the mall’s general manager is expected to announce recent mall improvements.

    W. Dundee holding board meeting at Spring Hill Mall

    If you happen to be doing some last-minute Christmas shopping at Spring Hill Mall Monday night, you can also attend West Dundee's village board meeting, also being held at the mall. The mall meeting is part of the village’s ongoing efforts to get to know its neighborhoods and to make trustees more accessible to residents.

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    New Lake County system speeds fine, fee payments to municipalities

    The Lake County Circuit Clerk’s Office has a new program that speeds up the process to send fine and fee payments to municipalities.

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    Fox Valley police reports
    Lavell Cochran, 24, of Carpentersville, was charged with misdemeanor retail theft Dec. 7 after police said he stole $233 in merchandise from the Macy’s inside Spring Hill Mall in West Dundee.

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    Tri-Cities police reports
    Eric D. Rowell, 34, of St. Charles, was charged Dec. 6 with failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident and failing to provide information following a motor vehicle collision with a yield sign on North Second Street, according to a police report.

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    Matthew Stoecklein, 55, of Elgin was charged with the murder of John Poyer. Stoecklein was found dead Thursday at Cook County Jail. Sheriff’s police said he took his own life.

    Elgin murder suspect found dead in jail

    The Elgin man accused of killing his elderly neighbor Nov. 22 was found dead Thursday at the Cook County Jail. Matthew Stoecklein hanged himself, according to Cara Smith, chief of policy and communications for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. “We had no indication whatsoever that he was inclined (to do so),” Smith said. “There was nothing about this case that would have suggested it.”

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    Naturalist Jack Pomatto leads a group of Kane County Certified Naturalists on a birding class at Fermilab in Batavia. From left are graduates Kim Haag, Barb McKittrick and student Alan Roberston.

    Register now for Kane County Certified Naturalist program

    It's never too late to learn more about nature -- and yourself. Classes for the 2014 Kane County Certified Naturalist program begin in January, and include lectures and discussions on local ecology, and field trips to natural areas.

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    Sheriff: Suspect in Colorado school shooting dead

    A Colorado sheriff says a suspect in a Denver-area high school shooting has died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said Friday that the shooter was a student at Arapahoe High School in Centennial.

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    Inmates wash dishes in the Lake County jail's kitchen.

    New food vendor coming to Lake County jail

    The meals at the Lake County jail won't be mistaken for the steaks at Gibsons or the gastronomic deconstructions at Alinea, but Deputy Chief Douglas Larsson insists the cuisine is tasty. “It is quite good,” said Larsson, who helps oversee jail operations. “Many of us eat in house.” But change is inevitable in any successful professional kitchen — even one in a jail.

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    Karen Ayala

    DuPage health department promotes from within for new director

    An administrator with the DuPage County Health Department has been tapped to become the department's next executive director. Karen Ayala, who currently serves as director of public health services, will be promoted to the her new position on Monday.

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    Lance Cpl. Jordan Patrick gets an enthusiastic greeting from Grace McWayne first-grader Gavin Rosengren Friday morning at the school. The students collected more than 700 toys for the Toys for Tots program which will be distributed to children throughout Kane County. Patrick, from Oswego, is stationed in Twentynine Palms, Calif.

    Batavia elementary students collect record number of toys

    Students at Grace McWayne Elementary School in Batavia presented more than just the toys they collected to soldiers from the U.S. Marine Corps Friday morning. After singing their own version of the Marines' Hymn, they also presented them with letters of thanks as nearly every student in the building either shook a hand or high-fived the Marines.

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    Sushi chef and owner Edward Kim uses a torch to create a sushi roll at Sushi Kushi San3 in Vernon Hills. Kim moved from South Korea 14 years ago and opened this restaurant in 2009.

    Moving picture: Sushi chef puts together creative dishes

    Sushi chef Edward Kim works at Sushi Kushi San3 in Vernon Hills creating works of art with sushi. He aims to impress with his creations, but also wants to make sure his choices are good for you. “Sushi, for me, is that I want to eat healthy,” explained Kim. “You want to eat good meat, good sushi, good fish.”

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    Cindy Wolta, left, is Palatine Emergency Management Agency Volunteer of the Year. Tom Smith, middle, agency coordinator, recognized Linda Trilling, right, disaster services coordinator from HandsOn Suburban Chicago, for her support for the Palatine program.

    Palatine emergency group recognizes volunteers

    The Palatine Emergency Management Agency held its 9th annual Holiday Volunteer recognition party Tuesday, Dec. 10, at Durty Nellie’s in Palatine. Fifty volunteers attended the event and several volunteers were recognized for their contributions.

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    Municipalities within Kane County have the authority to develop their own requirements regarding medical marijuana businesses. Neither level of government will be able to outright ban the sale or growth of marijuana in their communities. But county officials signaled they might follow the example of nearby cities and villages that have restricted medical marijuana operations to small regions.

    Medical marijuana businesses may need 'special use' permit in Kane Co.

    Medical marijuana goes live in Illinois Jan. 1, but that's not stopping some county board members from saying they want nothing to do with either marijuana farms or distribution centers. “I'm a little disappointed that we're even discussing this. I feel like Nancy Reagan failed us,” board member Kurt Kojzarek said.

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    Catholic school fires gay teacher, drawing protest

    Administrators at a Roman Catholic high school suffered a sharp and swift backlash this week after firing a well-liked teacher who sought to marry his same-sex partner. Educators said they had no choice, but thousands have protested the move through Facebook groups and petitions demanding that Michael Griffin be rehired at Holy Ghost Preparatory School. Some alumni have pledged to withhold...

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    Secretary of State John Kerry says the United States will continue to seek the release of an American citizen missing in Iran. But at a news conference in Tel Aviv, he sidestepped questions about an Associated Press report saying the missing American, Robert Levinson, had been working in Iran for the CIA on an unapproved intelligence-gathering mission when he vanished nearly seven years ago.

    Kerry tight-lipped on missing American in Iran

    Secretary of State John Kerry says the United States will continue to seek the release of an American citizen missing in Iran. But at a news conference in Tel Aviv, he sidestepped questions about an Associated Press report saying the missing American, Robert Levinson, had been working in Iran for the CIA on an unapproved intelligence-gathering mission when he vanished nearly seven years ago.

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    Jordan Graham leaves the Federal Courthouse in Missoula, Mont., Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 after the first day of her murder trial. In a surprising end to her murder trial, Graham, 22, accepted a last-minute deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Cody Johnson, her husband of eight days, and admitted to pushing him off a cliff in Glacier National Park on July 7.

    Newlywed admits to pushing husband off cliff in murder trial

    After lying to family, friends and police about what happened to her new husband when he disappeared in July, a Montana woman finally came clean to a federal judge in a surprising end to her murder trial. Jordan Graham on Thursday accepted a last-minute deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Cody Johnson, her husband of eight days, and admitted to pushing...

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    College of DuPage's Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, which put on this production of “Love Song” in 2010, has announced it is canceling the rest of its season as it explores a more sustainable funding model.

    Curtain comes down on COD's Buffalo Theatre Ensemble — for now

    As the College of DuPage prepares to unveil its renovated McAninch Arts Center later this month, a staple of entertainment at the college for 27 years is shutting down the rest of its season. The Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, a professional theatre in residence at the college's Glen Ellyn campus since 1987, has canceled the last two shows of its season as it explores a more sustainable funding model...

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    Police officers try to control the crowd after they announced they would reopen the entrance to the Union Buildings to pay their respects to Nelson Mandela, in Pretoria, South Africa, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. Former South African President Nelson Mandela is on the third and final day of lying in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

    Hundreds storm police barrier to see Mandela body

    Several hundred mourners eager to pay their last respects to Nelson Mandela broke through police barriers and stormed up toward the Union Buildings shortly before the former South African President’s body was moved away. The government said earlier about 100,000 mourners turned out Friday, the third and final day of the lying in state but half of them had to be turned away.

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    Children walk past an abandoned hut near the area were former South African President Nelson Mandela was born in Mvezo, South Africa, Monday, Dec. 9, 2013. The home where Nelson Mandela grew up had mud walls, a grass roof, and a floor polished smooth with cow dung. That was in the 1920s. When people flood Mandela’s village on Sunday for the former president’s burial, they will be in a place that — except for a gleaming new highway and a strong cellphone network lags decades behind the developed world.

    Mandela burial will happen in simple village

    The rural home where Nelson Mandela grew up in the 1920s had mud walls, a grass thatched roof, and a floor polished smooth with cow dung. When throngs flood Mandela’s hometown on Sunday for his burial, they will visit a simple place steeped in old ways but which now has become the center of a massive state operation to honor the anti-apartheid leader.

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    Thamsanqa Jantjie gestures at his home during an interview with The Associated Press in Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Jantjie, the man accused of faking sign interpretation next to world leaders at Nelson Mandela’s memorial, told a local newspaper that he was hallucinating and hearing voices.

    S. Africa investigates sign interpreter

    The South African government said Friday it is aware of reports that the bogus sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial once faced a murder charge, and said he is being investigated.

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    Sales are brisk for Mega Millions tickets across the country as people dream of winning a $400 million jackpot.

    Sales brisk for Friday’s $400M Mega Millions game

    Sales are brisk for Mega Millions tickets across the country as people dream of winning a $400 million jackpot. Lottery officials in Virginia, the lead state for the Mega Millions game, say sales are expected to reach $104 million for Friday night’s drawing since the last drawing Tuesday. The Mega Millions organizers say the cash option on the $400 million would be $216 million.

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    People mill around the area where at least three people were stabbed Thursday night Dec. 12, 2013, in a parking area at Sports Authority Stadium Field at Mile High after the Denver Broncos’ game.

    Multiple people stabbed after Denver Broncos football game

    At least three people were stabbed in a parking lot at Sports Authority Stadium Field at Mile High after the Denver Broncos’ game Thursday night. Police spokesman Steve Warneke said three males were stabbed, and a fourth may have been stabbed, but that person left the scene.

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    North Korean subway commuters gather around a public newspaper stand on the train platform in Pyongyang, North Korea on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, to read the headlines about Jang Song Thaek, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle who was executed as a traitor.

    More purges may follow execution of Kim’s uncle

    The execution of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle brought a swift and violent end to a man long considered the country’s second-most powerful. But while Jang Song Thaek is now gone, the fallout from his bloody purge is not over. In a stunning reversal of the popular image of Jang as a mentor and father figure guiding young Kim Jong Un as he consolidated power, North Korea’s state-run media...

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    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, waves to spectators and participants of a military parade celebrating the 65th anniversary of the country’s founding in Pyongyang, North Korea as then Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission Jang Song Thaek, third from right, claps hands. North Korea on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 announced the execution of Kim Jong Un’s uncle, calling the leader’s former mentor a traitor who tried to overthrow the state.

    Uncle rose with N. Korean leader before brutal fall

    The execution of leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle marks the unprecedented fall from grace of one of the most powerful figures in North Korea and the most serious political upheaval in the country in decades. Jang Song Thaek rose from municipal bureaucrat to vice chairman of the National Defense Commission and member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party — posts that put...

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    The 2013-14 Northwest suburban Daily Herald Leadership Team members, front, from left: Kshama Shah, Conant High School; Marki Kaim, Elk Grove High School; Emily Hernandez, Buffalo Grove High School; Allison Oakes, Fremd; Nick Vucovich, Fremd. Back row, from left: Courtney Quigley, Barrington High School; Alicia Leja, St. Viator; Ian Fitzgerald, Rolling Meadows High School; Syed Matin, Maine East; Brian Loomis, Hersey.

    Today's Leadership Team, tomorrow's leaders
    It's been 12 years since the Daily Herald first introduced its annual Leadership Team — 12 years since we first put the spotlight on a group of high school students who lead extraordinary lives of service to others. This year's honorees represent some of the best examples of civic involvement in our communities. We're happy to introduce you to tomorrow's leaders.

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    The 10 members of the 2013-14 Daily Herald DuPage County Leadership Team meet at the College of DuPage for a group photo. Back row, from left: Katie Mann, Wheaton Academy; Alissa Whyte, Fenton High School; Silas Ferrao, Naperville Central; Austin Hansen, Naperville North; Maria McDaniel, Naperville North. Front row, from left: Mary Doro, Downers Grove North; Aeriel Euhus, Wheaton North; Meg Maloney, Glenbard West; Sienna Crosby, Glenbard North and Maggie O’Brien, Addison Trail.

    2013-2014 DuPage County Leadership Team
    Austin Hansen speaks for many teenage leaders when he says, "I don't pursue hollow objectives. I commit myself to the things I'm passionate about, and invest into these many organizations because, to me, they matter." Like Hansen, a Naperville North student named to the 2013-14 DuPage Leadership Team, the students honored this year have purpose, drive and dedication. Meet the members of the...

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    Meet the 2013-14 Lake County Leadership Team. Front row, from left: Sam Panitch, Adlai E. Stevenson High School; Allie Bujak, Libertyville High School and Annie Kotlarz, Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart. Middle row: Charlie Suhling, Warren Township High School; Faith Gazdzicki, Round Lake High School; Emily Prey, Libertyville High School; Paige Vaughn, Grayslake Central. Back row from left: Annalisa Roncone, Lakes Community High School; Shannon Pedersen, Grant High School and Rachel Jacoby, Vernon Hills High School.

    2013-2014 Lake County Leadership Team
    "Paige has learned at an early age that successful leaders set aside their own personal interests for the good of the group," writes Dustin Chierico, a teacher at Grayslake Central of his Leadership Team nominee, Paige Vaughn. Selflessness is a common thread among the winners of this year's Lake County Daily Herald Leadership Team, which celebrates the work of high school students who do an...

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    The 2013-14 Northwest suburban Daily Herald Leadership Team members, front, from left: Kshama Shah, Conant High School; Marki Kaim, Elk Grove High School; Emily Hernandez, Buffalo Grove High School; Allison Oakes, Wm. Fremd High School; Nick Vucovich, Wm. Fremd High School. Back row, from left: Courtney Quigley, Barrington High School; Alicia Leja, St. Viator; Ian Fitzgerald, Rolling Meadows High School; Syed Matin, Maine East; Brian Loomis, John Hersey High School.

    2013-2014 Northwest suburban Leadership Team
    The 10 winners in the 2013-14 Northwest suburban Leadership Team competition do many different things, but they share a common purpose of living for others. "Changing a community is the first step to changing the world and it cannot be done without the dedicated hearts of many," writes Emily Hernandez of Buffalo Grove High School, who is among the 36 students — both winners and honorable mentions...

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    Meet the Fox Valley 2013-14 Leadership Team. Seated, from left: Cara Birschbach, Geneva High School; Allison Rychtanek, Larkin High School (seated sideways); Abigail Gust, St. Charles North; Hannah Rice, Dundee-Crown; Sally Heyob, Central High School. Standing, from left: Jacob Schmidt, Marmion Academy; Kristen Hartlieb, Marian Central Catholic; Claire Roehri, Cary-Grove; Alanis Krantz, Rosary and Jared Cebulski, Aurora Central Catholic.

    2013-2014 Fox Valley Leadership Team
    The students named to the Daily Herald Leadership Team sometimes amaze even those who know them best. "I have never seen a student do what Sally did last year ... (she) organized an entire school and literally an entire community to hold a Relay For Life," writes Jonathan Young, a counselor at Central High School on behalf of his nominee, Sally Heyob. The 39 members of the 2013-14 Fox Valley...

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    Police and tactical officers responded to the scene of a hostage situation Thursday night in Arlington Heights. An officer was shot earlier by a 41-year-old man, and later listed in critical condition at the hospital.

    Dawn patrol: Cop shot; man charged after boy brings gun to school

    Arlington Heights cops shot in neck. Romeoville man charged after boy brings gun to Elgin school. 2-year-old girl reunited with Aurora cop who saved her life. Palatine woman charged with fraud. Former Fox Lake employees sue village. FBI looks for "Hooded Bandit."

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    Donna Allgood

    Thank you to our 2013-2014 Leadership Team judges
    We owe a big thank you to the dedicated educators who took on the daunting task of choosing this year's Daily Herald Leadership Team.

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    Jacki Alberts

    2013-2014 Lake County Leadership Team honorable mentions
    2013-2014 Lake County Leadership Team honorable mentions

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    Emily Adams

    2013-2014 Fox Valley Leadership Team honorable mentions
    2013-2014 Fox Valley Leadership Team honorable mentions

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    Adrian Abrams

    2013-2014 DuPage County Leadership Team honorable mentions
    2013-2014 DuPage County Leadership Team honorable mentions

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    Kristina Arns

    2013-2014 Northwest Suburban Leadership Team honorable mentions
    2013-2014 Northwest Suburban Leadership Team honorable mentions

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    Two years ago, lawmakers approved tax incentives to keep Sears Holdings Corp.’s headquarters at the Prairie Stone campus area in Hoffman Estates.

    The politics, money behind keeping HQs in suburbs

    Two years ago this month, state lawmakers finalized a package of state and local tax breaks for Hoffman Estates-based Sears Holdings Corp., answering the question about whether that company would flee Illinois but raising questions about how future requests would be handled. This week, the new Office Depot Inc. announced it would eventually leave the OfficeMax headquarters in Naperville for...

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    Kip Evans

    District 46 hikes employee card spending limit

    Grayslake Elementary District 46 board members have authorized a significant boost in the spending limit for procurement cards, which had been a source of debate in the past. Commonly known as p-cards, the program is a way for employees to pay for business-related expenses. Many governments issue what’s similar to a debit card to the employees, who often have varying spending limits.

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    A Ruby-throated Hummingbird sips nectar of a yellow hummingbird vine flower in a Wheeling backyard last summer.

    Images: Photo Contest Finalists
    Each week you submit your favorite photo. We pick the best of the bunch and select 12 finalists. Here are the finalists for the week of December 9th.

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    Streamwood driver killed when car strikes tree

    A Streamwood man was killed early Thursday when his car hit a tree in the Busse Woods Forest Preserve near Elk Grove Village, authorities said. The crash occurred at 3:24 a.m. on Higgins Road, just west of Arlington Heights Road, according to the Elk Grove Fire Department. The victim was identified as Olmos Anduray, 30, of Streamwood.

Sports

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    Rolling Meadows junior Joryn Meehan (second from right) and Rolling Meadows sophomore Andrew Erickson, right, drive their robot during the VEX Robotics Regional competition on Dec. 7, at Rolling Meadows High School.

    Team from WildStang VEX Robotic Tournament headed to state

    The winning alliance in the VEX Robotics Regional event on Dec. 7, at Rolling Meadows High School is comprised of two teams from Oconomowoc, Wis., and Niles North High School, Skokie. Two WildStang Robotics Teams advanced to the semifinals before being eliminated.

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

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

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    Mike Dunleavy, center, Taj Gibson (22) and Carlos Boozer (5) celebrate after Dunleavy’s shot gave the Bulls a victory over the host Bucks in Milwaukee on Friday night.

    Dunleavy puts this one in the bank for Bulls

    In what was about to go down as a typically frustrating Bulls loss, Mike Dunleavy banked in a 3-pointer with 5.8 seconds on the clock to give the Bulls a crazy 91-90 victory over the Bucks at the Bradley Center on Friday.

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    Aurora Christian football coach Don Beebe addresses his team after a playoff victory at Oregon.

    Beebe steps down at Aurora Christian

    Don Beebe is not motivated by money, fame or, even in a wildly successful decade as head football coach at Aurora Christian, by victories or championships.“What drives me is telling people about the kingdom of God,” he said Friday. A passion to more fully commit to that direction is what on Friday night led him to announce his resignation as the Eagles’ head football coach.

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    Schaumburg’s Mallory Gerber drives as Palatine’s Erin Mayer and Morgan Gallagher block her path in the first quarter of girls varsity basketball at Schaumburg on Friday.

    Buffalo Grove hands Prospect its first loss

    Buffalo Grove’s girls basketball team went above .500 for the first time in its win over St. Viator earlier in the week. The Bison made sure they stayed there on Friday night. Despite going up against one of the hottest teams in the area, BG received 13 points apiece from Maddy Callahan and Courtney Meyer and handed visiting Prospect its first loss, 47-44, in the Mid-Suburban East contest.

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    Schaumburg prevails at Conant

    Schaumburg earned the first dual-meet victory for boys swimming head coach Paul Desruisseaux in a 97-89 decision at Conant in a Mid-Suburban West matchup on Friday. Evan Wahlen and Michael Walsh provided a 1-2 finish in the 200-meter freestyle for the Saxons, and Matt Sigler and Adam Maslowski gave the team a lift with a 1-2 finish in diving.

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    Tim Weiss of Lake Park takes a shot over Chip Flanigan of Glenbard North during the Lake Park at Glenbard North boys basketball game Friday.

    Glenbard North gets edge with first DVC win over Lake Park

    It doesn't take DuPage Valley Conference ties to signal the beginning of a rivalry between Glenbard North and Lake Park. The rivalry already exists, especially among evenly-matched boys basketball programs. The teams played nip-and-tuck throughout Friday's DVC game in Carol Stream, but Glenbard North held on late for a 55-52 victory over the visiting Lancers.

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    Aurora Central stymies Guerin

    Aurora Central Catholic’s withering full court man-to-man defense stymied the Guerin Prep offense in a 45-30 Suburban Christian Conference Gold Division Friday night in Aurora.

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    Kaneland runs by Rochelle

    The beauty of basketball is that the style of play can change from game to game. A week ago, Kaneland opened its Northern Illinois Big XII Conference East season with a tough 41-38 loss at Sycamore in what Knights coach Brian Johnson called, “a physical battle against a rugged team." On Friday night, the Knights (3-2, 1-1) topped the 38-point mark before the end of the first half against Rochelle (2-4, 0-2). Kaneland repeatedly pushed the pace and turned the game into a “get it and go” style en route to an 83-63 victory over the visiting Hubs in Maple Park.

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    St. Charles East takes command of River

    Bonus points do not tell fibs at a wrestling dual meet. St. Charles East, the defending champion in the Upstate Eight Conference River Division, had but a 9-5 edge over Geneva Friday night in matches won. But the Saints outscored the Vikings 19-1 in bonus points as St. Charles East had few issues during its 46-16 victory.

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    Geneva shuts down St. Charles East

    When you get open as often as Geneva’s cutters were Friday night against St. Charles East, it’s nice to have a teammate like Sidney Santos holding the ball. Santos displayed her high basketball IQ all night, repeatedly finding open teammates under the basket. The senior finished with 10 assists to go with 14 points and 4 blocked shots, and Geneva got one high percentage shot after another in a convincing 60-38 victory over St. Charles East.

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    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Crystal Lake South 54, Woodstock North 36: It was a team effort that made Crystal Lake South (7-4) victorious while competing in the Northern Illinois Holiday Classic Friday at Richmond-Burton. Sara Mickow finished with 15 points, Chanel Fanter had 10 points, and Hailee Massie added 8 points for the Gators. Westminster Christian 59, Christian Life 53: The Warriors (9-1, 5-0) remained undefeated in Northeastern Athletic Conference competition and coach Ken Flickinger earned his 100th career win. Claire Speweik led the Warriors with 23 points and 12 rebounds. McKaila Hays scored 13 points, Maddie Versluys finished with 10 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals.Burlington Central 71, Genoa-Kingston 26: The Rockets (8-0, 2-0) continue to dominate the court, defeating Genoa-Kingston in the Big Northern East Division matchup. Shelby Holt led all scorers with 13 points. Alison Colby and Rebecca Gerke scored 11 points apiece, while Samantha Pryor had 10 points. Kayla Ross and Samantha Cruz added 8 points each for the Rockets.

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    Lakes muscles past Cary-Grove

    Lakes boys basketball coach Chris Snyder believes any road win is a good win. But the quality displayed on both ends throughout in the Eagles’ 51-45 nonconference win at Cary-Grove Friday night just might make this road victory a bit more special for Snyder’s group.

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    Wheaton Academy takes interim tag from Thornton

    Brad Thornton will gladly accept this kind of pressure.

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    Neuqua Valley puts up big numbers

    When you see that a high school basketball team has scored 79 points — as Neuqua Valley did in a 79-56 defeat of visiting East Aurora in Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division action on Friday night — the first assumption is that the offense must have been clicking on all cylinders.

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    With much fanfare, St. Viator tops Carmel

    It was difficult at times to judge what was the better entertainment value. Friday’s East Suburban Catholic Conference boys basketball clash in Mundelein between rivals St. Viator and Carmel featured plenty of exciting toe-to-toe action, not to mention some impressive aerial stunts from a hot Division I prospect. Not to be outdone by the game itself, which ended with visiting St. Viator pulling away for a 61-48 victory, the student sections from both schools put on a spirited and often amusing show from their seats. They were in one-upsmanship mode from start to finish.

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    Glenbard South turns the tables on Illiana Christian

    Glenbard South jumped all over Illiana Christian and maintained a comfortable lead from start to finish.

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    Whitney Young hands Huntley first loss

    The Huntley girls basketball team got a good lesson Friday night as Whitney Young’s tenacious defense held the Red Raiders to 3 points in the first quarter. The Dolphins went on to win 71-41 in the ChiTown Showdown in Chicago, handing Huntley its first loss of the season after 10 wins. It was a rematch of last year’s Class 4A third-place state game, which Young also won.

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    Augustin leaps right into the fray

    The Bulls needed some help after a rash of injuries, so they didn’t bother with an acclimation process for D.J. Augustin. The 6-foot point guard officially signed with the Bulls on Friday afternoon, then checked into the game late in the first quarter against the Bucks. “His shooting is something we really need,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said before the game. “The way teams have collapsed on us, we need somebody to hit an open shot.”

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    Winning is catching on for Ivanauskas, Barrington

    A couple of missed practices because of illness this week kept Barrington sophomore Rapolas Ivanauskas out of the starting lineup for the first time this season in Friday night’s Mid-Suburban West boys basketball game with visiting Hoffman Estates. But the 6-foot-8 Ivanauskas didn’t miss much with shooting that turned out to be contagious. His career-high 16 points led four Broncos in double figures in their 63-50 victory.

  •  
    Jenny Vliet

    Vliet joins Rolling Meadows’ 1,000 club

    When she was a freshman on the varsity four years ago, Jenny Vliet said her primary focus on the floor was to not make a mistake. Four years later, there is no mistaking Vliet’s ability as one of the top players in the state. During the Mustangs’ 60-24 win over Wheeling on Friday night, Vliet joined exclusive state company when she took a pass from Jackie Kemph with 5:56 left in the third quarter and scored on a fastbreak layup. It marked the 1,000th point of her career, placing Vliet in the same company as teammates Kemph and Alexis Glasgow, who reached the magic number exactly one week earlier.

  •  
    St. Charles East’s AJ Washington blocks a shot by Geneva’s Nate Navigato.

    St. Charles East survives Geneva’s charge

    St. Charles East’s wild 61-57 victory at Geneva Friday night had just about everything except for a buzzer-beater — an opportunity taken away from the Vikings when Nate Navigato was called for an offensive foul and his team behind by 2 points with 3.3 seconds remaining.

  •  

    Boys basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Montini 39, St. Edward 38: The Green Wave (9-1, 1-1) suffered their first loss of the season to Suburban Christian Blue Division opponent Montini. Nick Duffy led all scorers for St. Edward with 12 points. DaVontae Elam scored 7 points.Latin 62, Elgin Academy 19: The Hilltoppers (2-4) suffered a tough loss to Latin in Independent School League action Friday. Dietrich Robinson led Elgin Academy with 8 points and 7 rebounds.

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    NSC Lake wins for Stevenson, Warren

    Stevenson’s girls basketball team recovered from a 5-point deficit after one quarter to defeat Lake Zurich 39-31 in the Patriots’ home opener Friday night, and Warren topped Lake Forest 46-27.

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    Travlos, Kruse pace Lake Zurich

    Lake Zurich’s boys basketball team bolted to a 26-4 lead after one quarter and never looked back en route to a 79-48 nonconference win over host Johnsburg on Friday night.

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    Waubonsie puts faith in the screen

    First a messy offensive set. Then an attempted save of a rebound instead thrown straight to a Batavia player under his basket for a score and the lead. That’s when Waubonsie Valley coach Chaz Taft called time.

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    Defense does the trick for Metea

    The postgame talk focused on defense in the Metea Valley boys basketball team’s 57-48 victory at West Chicago on Friday night.

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    Naperville Central makes it 5 out of 6

    After what he saw in practice this past week, Naperville Central coach Pete Kramer knew his post players might just be ready for a breakout game, but he sometimes has to give them a little nudge.

  •  
    Kendale McCullum

    McCullum, Larkin put away St. Charles North

    Larkin boys basketball coach Deryn Carter has talked all season about how his team wins because of its unselfish attitude. While that may be true, on Friday night the Royals needed a difference-maker. And that’s what senior Kendale McCullum can be, and was. McCullum scored 20 of his game-high 23 points, including 11 straight at one point, in the second half and Larkin outscored the visiting North Stars 22-12 in the fourth quarter to win the Upstate Eight River matchup 69-54 before a sizable crowd in Elgin

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    Grayslake Central’s Alex Lennartz, right blocks the shot of Grayslake North’s Nate Dodge on Friday night at Grayslake North.

    Grayslake Central rises to the occasion

    The early slam dunk never came for Alex Lennartz and his Grayslake Central basketball teammates at Grayslake North. It never came late, either. In the waning seconds of the fourth quarter, the 6-foot-4 Lennartz received the ball in the lane with no defender near him and soared toward the basket. He settled for a layup. The Rams settled for a win. Grayslake Central blew a 9-point halftime lead but rallied back to defeat stubborn Grayslake North 53-43 Friday night in the Fox Valley Conference Fox Division opener for the District 127 rivals.

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    Naperville North’s Pereira hits game-winning 3 in final seconds

    For a young team learning how to win, a narrow victory can mean a lot. Sophomore Laurel Pereira hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 9.5 seconds to play to give Naperville North a 47-46 victory at the Naperville North/Benet Holiday Tournament in Naperville.

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    West romps to record, leads Towson past EIU, 49-39

    Terrance West ran for a record-setting 354 yards and five touchdowns on a snow-covered field and Towson overcame an early two-touchdown deficit to knock off Eastern Illinois Friday 49-39 in the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals.

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    Fremd’s growth spurt continues at Conant

    Long on defense, cool under pressure and strong around the basket. That all combines to make Fremd a formidable girls varsity basketball team, as the Vikings showed a game Conant team Friday in a 56-40 Mid-Suburban West win on the Cougars’ floor.

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    Bartlett’s Ryan DiCanio shoots past a block attempt by South Elgin’s Matt McClure in the first quarter on Friday in Bartlett.

    Bartlett clamps down on South Elgin

    The game plan was simple for the Bartlett boys basketball team: slow down the fiery offense of Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division rival South Elgin. The Storm entered Friday’s game at Bartlett scoring 79 points per game but defense won out for the Hawks, who held South Elgin to a season-low in points in a 68-50 win.

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    Chicago Bulls’ Mike Dunleavy, left, is fouled as he tries to drive past Milwaukee Bucks’ O.J. Mayo during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday in Milwaukee. Dunleavy would hit a late 3 pointer to propel the Bulls over the Bucks for the win.

    Dunleavy hits late 3, Bulls beat Bucks 91-90

    Mike Dunleavy hit a three-pointer with 5.8 seconds left and Joakim Noah came up with a block on the other end, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 91-90 comeback victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night. Trailing by two in the final seconds, Chicago came up with a tie-up on the defensive end and won the jump ball, allowing Dunleavy to hit a high-arching 3 for the lead.

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    Vernon Hills edges Grayslake Central

    It was almost a perfect game. Visiting Vernon Hills had splendid performances from Sydney Smith (25 points, 13 rebounds) and Kasey Firnbach (14 points). Grayslake Central countered with Morgan Dahlstrom (20 points), Carson Sparkman (18 points) and Lauren Spalding (16 points). And to top it all off, there was the comeback of injured Vernon Hills standout Lauren Webb. She showed no rust in her first game back. Until, that is, the talented senior was injured again. In better news, through some help from Central trainer Glen Gerdes, Webb was able to put her shoe back on before the game ended. Vernon Hills (7-1) opened up an 18-11 first quarter lead only to have the Rams come back at them. It went down to the final seconds. Firnbach dropped in the game-winner from 10 feet away as the Cougars edged the Rams 66-65.

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    Dundee-Crown nips Wauconda

    Dundee-Crown finally made the last run. A late 11-2 spurt put the Chargers ahead in a back-and-forth game, and they held on to down Wauconda, 47-46, in the opening round of the Northern Illinois Girls Holiday Classic at Woodstock High School Friday night.

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    Schaumburg’s Mallory Gerber pulls down a rebound in the first half.

    Images: Schaumburg vs. Palatine, girls basketball
    The Schaumburg High School girls basketball team hosted the Palatine High School girls on Friday, December 13, in Schaumburg.

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    Maine West looks sharp, tops Maine East

    Maine West rolled over an undermanned but spirited Maine East wrestling club Friday night in a Central Suburban League crosstown dual in the Demons’ historic fieldhouse. The visiting Warriors (5-2-0, 2-0-0) were fueled by a handful of forfeits and a trio of pins from Adeel Afshar, Kevin Mendoza and Joey Vogeny to record a 54-19 victory in advance of a trip to the 29th annual Wildcat Invite at Wheeling on Saturday. The field there features state power Sandburg, the reigning Class 3A state champion.

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    Butler leads Elgin past Streamwood

    Isaiah Butler felt like the Elgin boys basketball team “fell asleep” for about 3 minutes to finish the first quarter Friday night. Other than those 3 minutes, the Maroons were in control throughout. Elgin lost an 11-point lead in the first quarter before outscoring Streamwood by 14 in the second en route to a 73-58 Upstate Eight River Division victory in Streamwood.

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    Images from the South Elgin vs. Bartlett boys basketball game Friday, December 13, 2013.

    Images: South Elgin vs. Bartlett boys basketball
    Bartlett hosted South Elgin in a boys basketball matchup Friday, December 13 in Bartlett.

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    Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, right, is congratulated by head coach Nick Saban, left, as Jeff Purinton, football media relations director, watches after McCarron won the Maxwell Award during the College Football Awards show in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

    Saban, Alabama reach long-term agreement

    Alabama coach Nick Saban is staying put. The school announced on its Twitter account Friday night that the football coach has reached “a long-term agreement” to remain with the Crimson Tide.

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    Grayslake Central’s head coach Brian Moe, right, encourages his team.

    Images: Grayslake North vs. Grayslake Central boys basketball
    The Grayslake North Knights hosted the Grayslake Central Rams for boys basketball action on Friday, Dec. 13.

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    DePaul junior guard Megan Rogowski, who still holds 11 scoring records at Hersey High School, leads a balanced Blue Demons offense this season with 15 points per game.

    Sharp-shooting Rogowski leads DePaul's attack

    This is the Megan Rogowski everyone at Hersey High School remembers. The 5-foot-9 Rogowski came off the bench for the Blue Demons as a freshman and sophomore, but now she's starting at off-guard and putting the ball in the basket with the kind of success she had when she scored a school-record 2,365 points at Hersey, where she holds 11 school records.

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    Barrington senior Connor Kobida surges toward the final turn during his victory in the 100-yard breastroke Friday against visiting Fremd.

    In MSL West debut, advantage goes to Barrington

    The top two finishers from last year’s Mid-Suburban League boys swimming meet have plenty in common. Both teams have established, quality varsity swimmers. Both team have a whole lot of promising newcomers. Barrington had a slight edge in both categories on Friday night, as the Broncos earned a 106-80 victory over Fremd as the MSL began its series of divisional dual meet matchups.

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    Rodgers ruled out to start at QB for Packers

    While saying Aaron Rodgers feels ready to play, coach Mike McCarthy it was tough to break the news to him that he wouldn’t be taking snaps on Sunday. “Hey, it’s not the easiest thing to sit there and tell your franchise quarterback he can’t play in the game when he wants to play in the game,” McCarthy said after practice Friday. The Packers are a half game behind division co-leaders Detroit Lions and the Bears, both 7-6.

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    Geneva’s Pace Temple looks for room on the baseline with St. Charles East’s Dom Adduci defending.

    Images: St. Charles East vs. Geneva boys basketball
    Geneva hosted St. Charles East in a boys basketball matchup Friday, December 13 in Geneva.

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    Photos from the Lake Park at Glenbard North boys basketball game Friday, Dec. 13.

    Images: Lake Park vs. Glenbard North boys basketball
    Glenbard North hosted Lake Park Friday, Dec. 13 for boys basketball.

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    Stevenson, Warren meet expectations in tight matchup

    On paper, Friday night’s North Suburban Conference dual meet between host Stevenson and Warren was expected to be a pretty close one. And on the scoreboard as well, this annual showdown proved to be a very close one as the Patriots pulled out a thriller, 31-30. The NSC Lake matchup came down to the final match.

  •  
    Jim Corno of Comcast SportsNet Chicago

    Remembering a sports innovator, Jim Corno

    Jim Corno, the head of Comcast SportsNet who brought games into our living rooms for all to enjoy, had to satisfy the team owners and the fans, which is not always an easy task. Mike North pay tribute to the Chicago sports legend.

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    Hawks say Crawford could be skating soon

    Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville updated the status of all four of his goalies on Friday, and said Corey Crawford could be skating again soon. Tim Sassone has more in today's Blackhawks notebook.

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    Sidelined by an injury, Bryan Bickell hopes to be celebrating soon on the ice with his Blackhawks teammates.

    Bickell getting closer to returning

    Bryan Bickell wishes he were playing Saturday night in Toronto in front of family and friends, but first things first. That means getting healthy. Bickell returned to practice on Friday with the Blackhawks for the first time since he hurt his left knee on Nov. 18 at Colorado and is shooting for a quick return, perhaps on Friday against Vancouver at the United Center.

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    Heisman Trophy finalist Jameis Winston, center, a quarterback at Florida State, talks to reporters during an informal media availability, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    Winston says he knew he would ‘be vindicated’

    Jameis Winston and four of the other six Heisman finalists — Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Auburn’s Tre Mason and Boston College’s Andre Williams — met with reporters at a Midtown Manhattan hotel for short interviews Friday.

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    Lance Briggs will miss his seventh straight game Sunday because of a fractured shoulder, but he is expected to play against the Eagles at Philadelphia on Dec. 22.

    Much-needed Briggs should return against Eagles

    The return of seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs would provide a huge boost to a Bears defense in need of reinforcement. It won't happen this week, but coach Marc Trestman is optimistic Briggs will be back next week against the Eagles.

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    He played just one season with the Cubs in 2001, but Chicago native Ron Coomer will join the team’s radio broadcast booth this season as a color commentator.

    Coomer coming home to call Cubs games

    Chicago native Ron Coomer is coming home to join Pat Hughes in the WGN radio booth for Cubs games beginning in 2014. Coomer played for the Cubs in 2001 and was a go-to guy in the clubhouse for the media because of his engaging personality.

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    Game video: Stevenson vs. Lake Zurich
    Stevenson takes on Lake Zurich Friday in girls basketball action. Follow the action here with video from High School Cube, then come back later for the replay and highlights.

Business

  •  
    This computer drawing provided by Blue North Fisheries shows the new 191-foot commercial fishing boat design.

    New boat may mean safer fishing

    A $35 million, 190-foot vessel would enable fishermen to work behind the safety of the hull, rather than out on the deck amid the dangerous wind and waves. The ship, commissioned by Seattle-based Blue North Fisheries, represents the culmination of efforts to keep fishermen safe, said Chris Phillips, managing editor of Fishermen’s News, an industry publication.

  •  
    Trader Richard DeViccaro works Thursday on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. December is shaping up to be a poor month for the stock market. The Dow, S&P and Nasdaq are all down.

    Stocks mixed after 3-day downturn

    All three indexes fell for the week despite strong reports on employment, housing, and retail spending. Investors have been worried that the stronger the Fed thinks the economy is, the more likely it is to stop buying $85 billion per month in bonds. The purchases have been aimed at keeping interest rates low, which makes it cheaper to borrow.

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    Sriracha chili sauce is produced at the Huy Fong Foods factory in Irwindale, Calif. The Commerce Department reported Friday that high unemployment and weak wage increases have made it difficult for businesses to raise prices.

    Wholesale prices fall for third month on cheaper gas

    Excluding energy and food prices, so-called core wholesale prices increased 0.1 percent in November and 1.3 percent over the past 12 months.Both consumer and wholesale inflation have been running extremely low in the past year. High unemployment and weak wage increases have made it difficult for businesses to raise prices.

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    Illinois State Rep. Bill Mitchell, a Decatur Republican, argues legislation while on the House floor during a session this fall in Springfield.

    State representative wants Boeing plant in Decatur

    Illinois officials haven’t detailed the state’s bid for the factory, but they have called it a “compelling proposal.” Most states are crafting their proposals privately.

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    Associated Press/Nov. 25 Google’s Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside speaks during an interview in New York.

    Motorola CEO talks about global vision

    Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside, a Google veteran who took the helm in May 2012 with the Internet company’s takeover, sat down with The Associated Press to talk about Motorola, its products and its vision for making the Internet affordable and accessible to everyone.

  •  
    John DiVito

    Private health insurance exchange in Rosemont

    Rosemont-based Flexible Benefit Service Corp.’s private health insurance exchange launched last year to give small-business employees and the self-employed more health insurance options. Flexible’s InsureXSolutions aims to be one of the alternatives to the government’s HealthCare.gov web site where consumers can buy plans under the new federal law, said spokeswoman Maggie Perry.

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    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. listens at left as Senate Budget Committee Chair Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. answer questions on the budget, Thursday.

    House GOP conservatives help propel budget bill

    A sweeping vote by conservative Republicans controlling the House and President Barack Obama’s Democratic allies has sent a bipartisan budget agreement to the Senate, where it will encounter stronger but probably futile resistance from the GOP.

  •  
    The CTA is holding an online auction to part with 100 relics, ranging from a small section of a third rail to this 2200-series rail car built more than 40 years ago.

    Chicago Transit Authority auctioning memorabilia

    Attention, train fans. The Chicago Transit Authority is selling off signs, seats and even an old rail car to the highest bidder. The CTA is holding an online auction to part with 100 relics, ranging from a small section of a third rail to a 2200-series rail car built more than 40 years ago.

  •  
    Illinois hospitals are being recruited to join an effort focused on the quality of surgical care.

    Illinois partnership aims to make surgery safer

    Illinois hospitals are being recruited to join an effort focused on the quality of surgical care. The Illinois Surgical Quality Improvement Collaborative was announced Thursday. It's a three-year effort organized by the state chapters of the

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    NW Ind. commission OKs proposed Illiana Expressway

    A proposed 47-mile toll road that would link northwest Indiana and Chicago's south suburbs passed a key hurdle Thursday when a regional planning board voted in favor of it, clearing the way for it to be submitted for federal approval.

  •  
    Food supplies for fish and other organisms are declining in some areas of the Great Lakes, particularly Lakes Huron and Michigan, according to a newly released scientific report.

    Study: Food supplies drop in Lakes Huron, Michigan

    Food supplies for fish and other organisms are declining in some areas of the Great Lakes, particularly Lakes Huron and Michigan, according to a newly released scientific report. The study found evidence of drop-offs in phytoplankton — tiny plants essential to many food chains — since the late 1990s.

  •  
    Just because it's safe to use cellphones on a plane, it doesn't mean that passengers should call just to say hello.

    Agencies differ on allowing in-flight phone calls

    Just because it's safe to use cellphones on a plane, it doesn't mean that passengers should call just to say hello. That argument played out across Washington Thursday as one government agency moved a step closer to removing its prohibition of in-flight calls while another considered a new ban of its own.

  •  
    In this June 11, 1997 photo, Chicago Bulls Scottie Pippen, embraces an exhausted Michael Jordan following their 90-88 win in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz, in Salt Lake City.

    Michael Jordan shoes auctioned for $104,000

    An auction company says Michael Jordan's shoes from the famous flu game of the 1997 NBA finals have sold for more than $100,000. The shoes were owned by a Utah Jazz ball boy who befriended Jordan when the Chicago Bulls visited Salt Lake City. Jordan was playing with what he thought was the flu, but still led the Bulls to a key victory in the NBA Finals.

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    Negotiator: Machinists should vote on Boeing offer

    Shortly after local Machinist union leaders said they could not recommend what Boeing called its final counterproposal in negotiations to keep much of the work on a new 777X jet in the Puget Sound region, a national union negotiator said union members should get a chance to make the decision.

  •  
    Chicago-based Boeing announced Thursday that it is shifting hundreds of jobs to Alabama, Missouri and South Carolina as part of a restructuring of its U.S. research operations over the next two years.

    Boeing to shift research jobs to South, Midwest
    Chicago-based Boeing announced Thursday that it is shifting hundreds of jobs to Alabama, Missouri and South Carolina as part of a restructuring of its U.S. research operations over the next two years. The aerospace company said the reorganization will result in fewer research jobs in Washington state and California and is being undertaken to better meet the needs of its commercial airplane, military and space and security units.

  •  
    American Airlines, fresh out of bankruptcy and newly merged with US Airways, said Thursday that it will buy 90 new regional jets from Brazil’s Embraer S.A. and Canada’s Bombardier Inc. and use them to replace smaller, less fuel-efficient planes.

    American Airlines orders 90 regional jets
    American Airlines, fresh out of bankruptcy and newly merged with US Airways, said Thursday that it will buy 90 new regional jets from Brazil’s Embraer S.A. and Canada’s Bombardier Inc. and use them to replace smaller, less fuel-efficient planes.

  •  

    Coal plant owner says ash ponds operating safely

    An Illinois coal plant operator says it’s eager to address an environmental group’s claims that the company’s ash ponds pollute groundwater. Midwest Generation spokesman Douglas McFarland was responding to news that a federal bankruptcy judge lifted a stay on a lawsuit filed by the Environmental Law & Policy Center.

Life & Entertainment

  •  
    JOE LEWNARD/jlewnard@dailyherald.com ¬ The 70s rock band “Three Dog Night” plays at the Village Green as part of the Elk Grove Village Summer Concert Series Tuesday.

    Three Dog Night among new Arcada shows

    The Arcada Theatre in St. Charles takes music fans back to the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s with three just-announced shows on sale now. Among them is the return in March of Three Dog Night.

  •  
    Steve McQueen's historical drama "12 Years a Slave" Friday won 11 nominations from the Chicago Film Critics, including best picture, director, supporting actress (for Lupita Nyong'o), supporting actor (for Michael Fassbender, left) and actor (for Chiwetel Ejofor, right). Winners will be announced Monday night.

    ‘12 Years a Slave’ tops Chicago film critics nominees

    Steve McQueen’s historical drama “12 Years A Slave” leads the contenders for the 2013 Chicago Film Critics awards with 11 nominations, including best picture. Tying with seven nominations each are “Gravity,” Alfonso Cuaron’s visually stunning outer space thriller, and “Her,” Spike Jonze’s comic drama about a man developing a relationship with his computer. Winners will be announced Monday.

  •  
    Lili-Anne Brown performs in “A Season of Change: Holidays in the Sixties” at Davenports Piano Bar and Cabaret.

    Theater events
    A Red Orchid Theatre showcases two new works while The Magic Parlour and "Million Dollar Quartet add holiday performances, this week in Chicago theater.

  •  
    Beyoncé released her fifth self-titled album exclusively on iTunes early Friday.

    Beyoncé releases new iTunes-exclusive album

    Beyonce has announced and released an album on the same day. Beyonce released her fifth self-titled album exclusively on iTunes early Friday. The album features 14 songs and 17 videos.

  •  
    Billboard announced Friday that the Bruno Mars is the year’s top overall artist.

    Bruno Mars is Billboard’s top artist of 2013

    Miley Cyrus twerked her way to the top of the charts and Justin Timberlake returned to music after a seven-year hiatus, but another artist owned music in 2013: Bruno Mars. Billboard announced Friday that the pop crooner is the year’s top overall artist. “It’s flattering. It’s just an honor,” Mars said in an interview this week. “I’m proud to be a part of this whole team that I have.”

  •  
    Hang a wreath in the guest bedroom and decorate it seasonally so you’re continually working with the space. Don’t let your spare bedroom become just a place to dump storage items.

    Can you find the bed underneath all that clutter?

    It’s there, at the end of the hall, tauntingly filled with boxed ornaments, folded tablecloths and holiday-themed towels: The dreaded guest bedroom, holder of all things leftover and misplaced.

  •  
    "Disney's Prep & Landing" airs Monday, Dec. 16, on ABC.

    Deck the DVR with boughs of holly

    Holiday movies and specials are dominating your on-screen cable guide these days, and the next week brings us merry and bright reasons to set those DVRs. To get you started off right, NBC presents Frank Capra's classic “It's a Wonderful Life” at 7 p.m. Saturday.

  •  
    Angel Ayala, left, and Austin Seraphin touch a quartzite likeness of Ramesses II at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia. Ayala, 16 and blind since birth, touched ancient Egyptian artifacts at the University of Pennsylvania archaeology museum as part of a special tour for the blind and visually impaired. Seraphin is also blind and helped develop the tour.

    Pennsylvania museum tells blind visitors: Please touch!

    Angel Ayala has never been a big fan of museums. Blind since birth, the high school student says the exhibits are so sight-dependent that he can't enjoy them. But he's making an exception for the Penn Museum, an archaeology and anthropology center that offers touch tours for the blind and visually impaired. “When I touch things, it's my version of a sighted person's eyes. It tells me way more than a person describing it would ever,” Ayala said.

  •  
    “Where to Eat Around the World” spotlights food in 27 destinations, from the lunch canteens and taverns of Istanbul to barbecue in Texas. Many travelers are passionate about food, whether it’s enjoying that perfect meal on vacation or hunting down authentic local cuisine.

    Travel books: Food, inspiration and a new Frommer’s

    Whether you’re planning a trip in the new year and need some practical advice, or you’d like to give a coffee-table book filled with inspirational photos to someone on your Christmas list, there’s a travel-themed book for you. Here are a few recently published books to consider, including the relaunch of Frommer’s guidebooks.

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    Krista Agatielli, right, eats at Cambodian sandwich shop Num Pang, near New York’s Rockefeller Center.

    Go for the food: Braving the crowds at Rock Center

    Plenty of people brave Rockefeller Center’s holiday crowds to see the famous Christmas tree and take a spin on the ice. But nobody goes to Rock Center this time of year just for the food — unless they also crave long waits and overpriced menus designed for tourists. Fortunately, Manhattan’s food scene is dynamic enough that even amid the holiday madness, interesting dining options abound, from ethnic food to small plates to street carts, much of it reasonably priced.

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    The 1998 Wendouree Shiraz is a generous, seductive red that tastes of licorice, dark chocolate, earth and dried plums.

    Top wines, from $19 Italian to $1,000 Mouton Rothschild

    I sipped my way across three continents this year, tracking the latest wine and spirits trends and hunting for standouts among the predictable and the pretentious. My 10 most memorable wines, in no particular order, range from a Rhone classic to a reborn California label to a bargain white from a grape few have ever heard of. All signal what’s hot in today’s wine world — and where it’s going in 2014.

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    When director Peter Jackson released the first of his three “Hobbit” films last year, he trumpeted the film’s double-speed frame rate as a major innovation for moviemaking. With the release Friday of his “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” Jackson is being much quieter on the film’s 48 frames-per-second, with the hopes that the movie’s story won’t be overshadowed by technology.

    Peter Jackson stands by 48 frames-per-second

    Has Peter Jackson reflected on the massive chunk of his life that he’s devoted to Hobbits? “You’re not going to make me are you?” he winces. “It’s a long time. A long time.” The 52-year-old New Zealand director still has another movie to go, so he can be forgiven for not wanting to ponder too deeply the 16 years he’s already spent in the service of J.R.R. Tolkien. The latest installment, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” is his fifth Tolkien film (part two in the three-movie “Hobbit” prequel to the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy) and approximately hour 84 in the Middle-earth saga. That may be a slight overestimate, but in any case, it’s been a lot of Orcs.

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    Theater events: Laughs to be had at Janus fundraiser
    Janus Theater hosts a holiday show and fundraiser this weekend at the Elgin Public House. Hired to play Macy’s Santa, Kris Kringle tries to convince skeptical single mom Doris and her daughter Susan that he is the man himself in Improv Playhouse’s radio play adaptation of the 1948 film “Miracle on 34th Street.” All this and more in Chicago-area theater this week.

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    A burly, well-armed Santa Claus leads a group of heroic mythical heroes (think "The Avengers") to save the world in "Rise of the Guardians."

    Santa movies both naughty and nice

    We've all seen most of the popular Santa Claus movies such as “Miracle on 34th Street” and “Santa Claus — The Movie” in which St. Nicholas comes off as a generically sweet and generous fellow. His pop culture image is of a kind and gentle bearded saint who guzzles lots of Coca-Cola. Films offer some others. Here are some alternate views of the holiday icon. Some are naughty, and some are nice.

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    While keeping their menu fresh, Old Towne Pub has been catering to local crowds and sports fans for more than a decade.

    Burgers, beer and ballgames draw crowds to Geneva's Old Towne

    Looking for a place to watch the game with a big group? Old Towne Pub & Eatery in Geneva has been appealing to local fans since 2001 while upgrading to keep people coming back.

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    Carlos Santana is one of the 2013 recipients of Kennedy Center Honors.

    Carlos Santana finds his music reflecting who he is

    At 66, Carlos Santana has an uneasy relationship with the musical pedestal — the one that he at once covets, disdains and sometimes doubts he deserves. Most recently, he received Kennedy Center honors, rare for a Latino artist. “I represent a whole bunch of other people,” he says.

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    Spruce up your holiday foyer with festive paint

    Red is a really festive color and works well for maximum impact. You don’t need to be afraid of it, either, because the foyer area is not a place where you spend a lot of time. You essentially saturate yourself in color there and then move to the rest of the house.

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    Home inspector takes questionable position

    Q. My home is in escrow, and the deal is about to fall apart because of the buyers’ home inspector. The dispute involves four issues in the furnace closet. The inspector says he can be hired to make the repairs. He has put fear in the buyers, and they are about to cancel the deal. What do you think I should do?

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    Homes in Oak Crest, like this one on Dorothy Court, were built by several builders so there is a wide variety of styles.

    Waukegan’s Oak Crest in neighborhood spotlight

    After living in the midst of public traffic and congestion, Natalia Alvarez and her husband purchased a home six years ago in Oak Crest, a neighborhood in the northwest corner of Waukegan. “I like the country feel here. There’s a huge farm in back of us where we see horses and sheep, and at the corner, there are always ponies outside," she said.

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    Picking the perfect holiday tree

    It’s hard to believe we’re almost into 2014. But let’s make the most of this last month of the year. Most of us will celebrate the holidays with family, which usually means decorating the Christmas tree.

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    Periodic maintenance of your furnace and water heater can avoid major failures at the worst of possible times. ABC Plumbing-Heating-Cooling-Electric has been in business since 1948.

    Household dust and dirt can choke a furnace

    The heating season is in full swing with temperatures occasionally dipping well below freezing. The last thing anyone wants to experience is a furnace failure. Erik Schroll, manager of the heating, ventilation and cooling division of ABC Plumbing, said between 80 percent and 90 percent of furnace breakdowns are caused by dirt.

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    Online home value estimates can vary widely

    It’s fun to get on the Internet to see how much a property supposedly is worth, but the estimate can be misleading.

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    An unsettling time for real estate owners and investors

    For one of the least productive congressional sessions in modern history, the final word about tax reform last week was entirely in character: Nothing’s happening.

Discuss

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    A Dec. 18, 2012, file photo shows a memorial in Newtown, Conn., for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

    Editorial: Remain vigilant on school safety

    One year after the Sandy Hook shootings, A Daily Herald editorial says schools should re-examine their safety procedures.

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    Ryan Croft

    Message to teens about drugs is the wrong one

    Guest columnist Ryan Croft: The goal of getting every student not to use drugs is impossible. What isn’t impossible is to educate kids about harmful drugs to get them to understand what they’re putting into their bodies.

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    Show respect for animals in these temps
    A Glenview letter to the editor: Animals deserve to be helped and respected because they are our fellow sentient beings and creatures of God.

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    A measured approach to tollway speed limits
    A letter to the editor: As responsible leaders of the Illinois Tollway, we will continue to review speed limits in the context of current legislative authority granted to our agency, safety performance across our system, congestion history, roadway design and construction schedules, among other factors.

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    Respect the freedom to express our beliefs
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: In response to a Dec. 8 letter, I’d like to remind the writer that telling people not to say merry Christmas offends people who do say that. And that is OK unless he is offended. Let me remind him that we live in a country that has freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

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    Press is siding with Democrats
    A Palatine letter to the editor: Is the Herald for real? I know that they support all leftist programs and adore our most merciful benevolent president, but as far as finances, they have no clue. The Occupy Wall Street Democrats and the press keep placing blame on the Tea Party for the fiscal mess in Washington, D.C.

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    Charity after disasters should focus on home
    A Hoffman Estates letter to the editor: A tornado in Illinois. And how many foreign countries are here to help and bring in supplies? But we are the first to go where there is a disaster. But can we take care of our legal citizens? No!

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    Website violates privacy of transit riders
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: As a parent I want to make everyone aware of a website that violates people’s privacy. It lets the general public post photos of CTA riders. It’s called People of the CTA and also is connected to Facebook so people can comment on posts.

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    ‘Expert’ predictions on hurricanes way off
    A Arlington Heights letter to the editor: I wonder if anyone remembers when the “experts” (at nothing) predicted that due to the global warming of the oceans the United States would be subjected to 12 to 15 hurricanes this year, of which five or six would be catastrophic. And just how many did we have? Oh that’s right — none, nada, zilch.

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    Dad was visionary, helped with Ryall Y
    A St. Charles letter to the editor: Years ago, I wasn’t that much aware of my dad’s interest in civic affairs one way or the other as it pertained to being on the village board or similar positions. My mother accepted it. I let it go at that.

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    ‘Gridlock’ should be no surprise
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: President Obama continues to decry the “gridlock” that has, in his opinion, paralyzed our legislature’s ability to function. What he fails to accept is that such gridlock is perfectly normal under the political atmosphere that exists in our country today.

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