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Daily Archive : Saturday December 14, 2013

News

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    Zebra Technologies moving jobs from Vernon Hills to Lincolnshire

    The village of Lincolnshire has issued a news release confirming a report in Crain's Chicago Business that Zebra Technologies Corp. is consolidating offices in Vernon Hills and Lincolnshire at a new location in Lincolnshire “Zebra's move reinforces the company's commitment to Lincolnshire and is a testament that Lincolnshire is the place to do business in the Chicago region,”...

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    Arlington Heights Cmdr. Andrew Whowell gets a hug from Santa on Saturday as the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation's Operation Santa stops at the Arlington Heights Police Department to drop off gifts for Officer Michael McEvoy, who was shot Thursday in the line of duty.

    Shot Arlington Hts. officer's comrades rally to his aid

    The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation's 7th annual Operation Santa made a last-minute stop in its tribute tour to fallen officers, bringing gifts Saturday to the Arlington Heights police headquarters for the officer shot Thursday evening while responding to a hostage situation. “He has a long road ahead of him with his recovery, but he is expected to make a full recovery," said Cmdr.

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    An Amish buggy and horse travels down a road in Arthur, Ill., in Douglas County, which has the second highest percentage of Illinoisans without health insurance of all the counties in Illinois.

    Amish, immigrants boost number of Illinois' uninsured

    In Illinois, 1.8 million residents are uninsured, or 14 percent of the total population, according to Census Bureau estimates from 2012 and 2013. That's squarely in the middle of U.S. states, with Texas at the top of the list at 24 percent.

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    Youth members of the African National Congress dance, pray and sing songs honoring Nelson Mandela, at a nighttime vigil Saturday at the Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha, South Africa.

    Mandela makes final journey home

    The vehicle carrying Mandela’s casket, covered with a national flag, arrived at the family compound under cloudy skies at 4 p.m. It was accompanied by an enormous convoy of police, military and other vehicles, and a military helicopter hovered overhead.According to Xhosa tribal tradition, Mandela was honored as a leader by placing a skin on the coffin, replacing the flag.

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    Suburban Hispanics attend free concert, get health screenings in Hoffman Estates

    Getting a health screening might not sound like the best way to spend a Saturday afternoon, but families who did so at La Pachanga del Año — or “Party of the Year” — in Hoffman Estates this weekend were rewarded with prizes, family-friendly activities and a free concert featuring five Mexican music groups.

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    The Rev. Clarence Evans of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church in North Chicago asks people to remember the victims of a shooting that occurred on Dec. 14 last year at a Newtown, Conn., school. The Lake McHenry Chapter of Organizing for Action hosted a remembrance event Saturday in Waukegan.

    Suburban groups stage Newtown remembrances

    Groups throughout the suburbs gathered Saturday to remember the tragedy at a Newtown, Conn. school that occurred one year ago. On Dec. 14, 2012, 20 children and six adults were shot and killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School by a gunman, who invaded the building and later killed himself.

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    Four dead after car crashes while fleeing L.A. deputies

    After a high-speed chase, the driver ran a red light, hit another car and then struck a wall. The car landed upside down in the front yard of a home.

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    Chief surgeon found dead in Arizona fire

    Joyce Bonenberger, her husband, Dennis, and 11-year-old son Trevor were found in the Friday fire, Karen Kerr-Osman, Casa Grande Regional Medical Center spokeswoman, said in statement. The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said Dennis Brough, 50, and Joyce Bonenberger Brough, 51, owned the home.

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    Chinese warship, Navy cruiser nearly collide

    U.S. military officials say a Chinese warship nearly collided with an American Navy guided missile cruiser operating in international waters.U.S. Pacific Fleet says it happened Dec. 5 in the South China Sea, and that the USS Cowpens maneuvered to avoid the collision.

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    Power restored Saturday in downtown Aurora affects about 35 customers

    Power has been restored to downtown Aurora, the police department announced about 6 p.m. Saturday. The power went out in a section of downtown Aurora near Lake Street and Galena Boulevard about 2 a.m. Saturday morning, Aurora police had reported earlier. An underground cable failed and had to be replaced, police said. Approximately 30-35 customers were without power, ComEd told police.

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    Santacon participants wait Saturday outside a lower eastside N.Y. bar filled to capacity. Thousands of red-suited revelers spread out through the city’s bars and snowy streets amid criticism that the event has become too rowdy.

    Red-suited revelers hit bars for SantaCon

    This year’s SantaCon takes place in New York amid criticism that the event has become too rowdy. SantaCon participants were told to make charitable donations and encouraged to bring small gifts to bestow on one another and passers-by.

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    Reno man gets probation for golf course shooting

    While his house is located along the golf course, Dunn said, it was the first time it had been hit by a golf ball in the 10 years he has lived there. The house is positioned away from the flight path of golf balls, he said.

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    Police: Driver hid pot as Christmas presents

    Police say they found 20 pounds of weed vacuum-sealed inside large boxes wrapped as Christmas gifts.

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    Teacher disciplined for ‘Santa is white’ remark

    The incident happened the same week that Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly said on the air that both Santa Claus and Jesus were white. Her comments drew national attention and prompted a slew of heated comments on blogs and social media sites.

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    Local business owner Jim O’Malley lets out a cheer after a donor gave the final $10 needed for his group to stop riding Saturday during the Elk Grove Parks Foundation Spin-O-Thon at The Pavilion in Elk Grove Village.

    Elk Grove officials raise funds for park scholarships

    The Elk Grove Parks Foundation held a Spin-O-Thon Fundraiser from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at The Pavilion, 1000 Wellington Ave. in Elk Grove Village. Funds raised will go to the foundation’s scholarship program. Local officials took turns as celebrity riders, vying to attract donations.

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    Palatine man charged with resisting arrest in domestic disturbance

    A Palatine man faces two charges after he got into a domestic disturbance and tried to attack responding police officers, authorities said. Police said Andrew Castillo, 25, of the 800 block of Panorama Drive, was charged with two counts of domestic-related disorderly conduct and one count of resisting a police officer. Bond was set at $3,500 and at a hearing in the Rolling Meadows branch of Cook...

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    Wilfred E. Billey, a Navajo Code Talker.

    Notable deaths last week

    Eleanor Parker, who was nominated for Academy Awards three times; British author Colin Wilson, who gained fame with his first book, “The Outsider,” and Harry F. Rosenthal, a long-time Associated Press writer are among the deaths of note this past week.

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    Keynote speaker Jake Goebbert addresses the graduates Saturday during the Judson University fall commencement ceremony at Herrick Chapel on the Elgin campus. Goebbert is a Hampshire High School and Northwestern University graduate, and is an outfielder in the Oakland Athletics farm system.

    Elgin celebrates college grads this weekend

    Elgin Community College and Judson University both held commencement ceremonies over the weekend to send their graduates out into the world. ECC held their ceremony on Friday evening and Judson held two ceremonies Saturday honoring their graduates.

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    Dave Jennings of Geneva winds up for the throw before ducking behind his sled for cover Saturdayt during a snowball fight with members of the First Baptist Church at Fabyan Forest Preserve in Geneva.

    Snowstorm forces airlines to scrap Chicago flights

    While snow led to canceled airline flights and treacherous side streets Saturday, some Chicago area residents were taking delight in the chance to play. Members of First Baptist Church in Geneva parish, for example, put out an impromptu invite for a sledding get together on their Facebook page. About 30 children and adults showed up, some even bringing hot chocolate.

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    Richardson Knutson hands Elizabeth Rahuba gifts Saturday. Star Trek fans who are members of Klingon Assault Group, Klingon Armada International and the USS Chicago, held a Toys for Tots event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Walgreens in Naperville.

    Klingons invade Naperville — to help Toys for Tots

    Ah, the joys of a traditional Naperville Christmas. Santa. Elves. Reindeer. Klingons. Folks passing by the Walgreens on Amersale Drive on Saturday could have been excused if they were just a little confused about exactly what holiday we’re celebrating this month.

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    Victims’ son: Use social media against violence

    Garrard McClendon was a local television talk-show host in 2009 when he was told his elderly parents had been shot to death during a burglary of their home. Now an assistant professor of education at Chicago State University, he is calling on the city’s high-tech community to develop a social media program that can help reduce the Chicago area’s violence problem. He envisions an app where people...

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    Tossing cigarette butts added to state litter law

    Cigarette butts will be considered litter in Illinois beginning Jan. 1, but police in at least one city say enforcing the new law will be a challenge. Lawmakers added cigarette butts to anti-litter laws last spring and Gov. Pat Quinn signed the measure into law in August. First-time offenders could face a fine of up to $1,500 and a Class B misdemeanor. The second-offense penalty remains at $1,500...

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    A Mexican Christmas tree in the Touching on Traditions display at the Elgin Public Museum.

    At Elgin Museum exhibit, it's all about tradition

    The annual holiday exhibit, Touching on Traditions, has returned for its 28th year to the Elgin Public Museum, but its scope is timeless. This year, 18 countries or religious celebrations from around the world are featured. “We have people who come year after year, and have made it part of their holiday tradition,” says Sara Russell, education coordinator at the museum.

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    Chicago raid finds weapons, ammo inside candy box

    Officers raiding a southwest Chicago apartment have arrested a convicted murderer and seized an assault rifle, a bullet proof vest and rounds of ammunition hidden inside a candy box. Jose Negrete,57, was charged with unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. His bond was set at $200,000. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office announced the charges Saturday.

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    2 men charged in robbery at Loyola University

    Two men have been charged in an armed robbery at a Loyola University Chicago dining hall. Prosecutors say one of the suspects, 25-year-old Martell Howze, was an employee there. They say he instructed the other suspect, 31-year-old Rodrick Moore, how to evade security and find a safe.

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    Paul Ruby greets a guest at the 2008 Concert for Cure benefit for Parkinson’s research. Ruby said his foundation will be giving $100,000 to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

    Ruby Foundation raises money for Parkinson’s research

    The Paul Ruby Foundation is giving $100,000 to Northwestern Memorial Hospital to be used for Parkinson's research, columnist Dave Heun reports after talking with Ruby.

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    Three teens shot in Aurora, injuries not life threatening

    Aurora police say they are continuing to investigate the shooting of three teenage boys Friday night on the city’s west side. Police spokesman Dan Ferrelli said the Aurora boys — ages 13, 14 and 15 — were walking in the 1200 block of Colorado Avenue about 9 p.m. Friday, possibly with a group of other teenagers, when an occupant of a vehicle fired several shots at the teens.

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    A man looks at documents at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, after an attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

    CIA Benghazi team clash led to ‘stand down’ report

    The senior CIA officers in charge in Libya that day told Congress of a chaotic scramble to aid Ambassador Chris Stevens and others who were in the outpost when it was attacked by militants on the 11th anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.Those CIA leaders decided they and their security contractor team should wait before rushing from their annex into the violence roughly a mile away.

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    Abigail Bowgren, 5, of Geneva throws her arms around Ozzie the Cougar after decorating holiday cookies at the Kane County Cougars’ second annual holiday event at Fifth Third Ballpark in Geneva Saturday.

    Holiday Dynamic Duo: Ozzie Cougar and Santa Claus

    Children bent the ear of Santa Claus while sitting on his lap as he and sidekick Ozzie Cougar took note of what they wanted for Christmas this year at the Kane County Cougars’ second annual holiday event at Fifth Third Ballpark in Geneva on Saturday morning. Fans were asked to bring gently-used winter coats and outwear to add to their annual coat drive for the South Elgin Lions Club. For every...

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    DuPage County sheriff’s Deputy Fernando Sanchez helps Kaleb Vaughn, 8, of Hanover Park check his shopping list Saturday at Meijer in Bloomingdale. DuPage’s sheriff’s office, an officers union, chiefs of police association and departments from at least nine towns combined to brighten the holidays for 70 children.

    DuPage police help kids shop for the holidays

    About 100 DuPage County police cars with flashing lights and sirens followed Santa Claus into a parking lot Saturday morning at the Meijer store in Bloomingdale, but it’s not because he was in trouble. It was what’s commonly known as “Shop with a Cop,” with uniformed officers getting paired with children who were selected through local social-service agencies and townships.

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    People walk Monday at Princeton University in Princeton, N.J. The Ivy League school has begun vaccinating nearly 6,000 students to try to stop an outbreak of type B meningitis in an unusual federal government-endorsed administration of a drug not generally approved for use in the United States.

    Vaccine possible in California campus meningitis outbreak

    Before it might be approved for use at the Santa Barbara school, scientists will have to determine if Bexsero will work against the particular microbe detected in the four students there.Two other California universities reported meningitis illnesses this week. Neither has been linked to the Santa Barbara outbreak, according to the California Department of Public Health.

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    Retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaks Tuesday during the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto near Johannesburg.

    Desmond Tutu says he will attend Mandela funeral

    Retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu changed course Saturday night and announced plans to attend the funeral of anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela after all.

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    One of the largest jackpots in U.S. lottery history climbed even higher Saturday after no ticket matched all six numbers to win the $425 million top Mega Millions prize. With the Friday the 13th drawing failing to produce any winner lucky enough to claim the fifth-biggest jackpot ever, officials raised the amount to $550 million for Tuesday's drawing. That now ranks as the fourth-biggest.

    Mega Millions jackpot climbs as nobody wins $425M

    One of the largest jackpots in U.S. lottery history climbed even higher Saturday after no ticket matched all six numbers to win the $425 million top Mega Millions prize. With the Friday the 13th drawing failing to produce any winner lucky enough to claim the fifth-biggest jackpot ever, officials raised the amount to $550 million for Tuesday's drawing. That now ranks as the fourth-biggest.

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    House Budget Committee Chairman Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, speaking with Senate Budget Committee Chair Sen. Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat, on Capitol Hill in Washington at the start of a Congressional Budget Conference.

    Ryan emerges as bridge between parties

    The deal puts Rep. Ryan on the wrong side of several outside conservative groups, including Heritage Action and the Club for Growth, which rallied opposition to the bill and keep tabs on how lawmakers hew to their views.Two potential presidential rivals, GOP Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida, were quick to oppose the bill, saying its immediate effect is to increase government...

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    Google co-founder Sergey Brin

    Google cutting Android tool harms privacy, group says

    Devices running Android 4.4.2 won’t be able to access options to filter out access to information such as location and contacts, Peter Eckersley, technology projects director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, wrote in a blog post Dec. 12.

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    The Viking Line ferry M/S Amorella aground Saturday outside Mariehamn, Finland.

    Viking ferry limps to port after hitting rocks

    Passengers may stay on the ship overnight in Mariehamn, capital of the Aaland region, before boarding M/S Viking Grace to Turku or M/S Rosella to Stockholm, the company said.

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    Palestinian rescue members evacuate residents Saturday using a fishing boat following heavy rains in Gaza City.

    Thousands evacuated from flooded Gaza homes

    “Large swathes of northern Gaza are a disaster area with water as far as the eye can see,” Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the main U.N. aid agency for Gaza refugees, wrote in an email to reporters.The U.N. agency evacuated hundreds of families to U.N. facilities and distributed 5,000 liters of fuel to local pumping stations, he said.Housing Minister Yousef Jhariz, who headed the government’s...

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    Social Democratic Party volunteers count members’ votes Saturday in Berlin.

    Vote clears way for Merkel’s 3rd term

    The ballot of the Social Democrats’ nearly 475,000 members capped post-World War II Germany’s longest effort to form a government. It set the stage for Parliament to re-elect Angela Merkel on Tuesday — ending nearly three months of post-election political limbo in Europe’s biggest economy.

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    Court upholds firing of Drew Peterson's son from Oak Brook PD

    An appellate court has upheld the firing of Drew Peterson's son from the Oak Brook police force. In a ruling issued Thursday, the Illinois Second Appellate District agreed with a trial judge who determined police and fire commissioners in Oak Brook where Stephen Peterson worked as a police officer was justified in firing him after concluding he'd obstructed the investigation into the...

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    Parents stand along the tennis court fence hoping to see if their child is standing outside on the football field after a gunman was spotted inside Arapahoe High School on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, in Centennial, Colo. Authorities said the gunman shot two students and then turned the gun on himself.

    Police seek as motive in Colorado school shooting

    Investigators on Saturday were working to find out what motivated a teenage gunman to enter his suburban Denver high school armed with a shotgun looking for a specific teacher a day earlier. Quick-thinking students at Arapahoe High School on Friday alerted the targeted educator, who quickly left the building.

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    Thamsanqa Jantjie, right, interprets in sign language for President Barack Obama during his remarks at a memorial service at FNB Stadium in honor of Nelson Mandela in Soweto, near Johannesburg. The South African government says it is aware of reports that Jantjie faced a murder charge a decade ago, and says he is being investigated.

    Confusion, security risks at Nelson Mandela event

    In the hours before President Barack Obama arrived at a Johannesburg soccer stadium to honor Nelson Mandela, the White House staff was in the dark on critical details. Where would the president and first lady Michelle Obama sit? When was Obama supposed to speak? Who else would be on stage during the speech?

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    Twenty-six candles are lit by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama in honor of the Newtown shooting victims, in the Map Room of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, on the one year anniversary of the massacre.

    Bells toll in Newtown for school shooting victims

    Bells tolled 26 times to honor the children and educators killed one year ago in a shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School as local churches held memorial services and President Barack Obama observed a moment of silence.

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    New Illinois Veterans' Home administrator named

    A new administrator has been named for one of Illinois' four homes for aging veterans.

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    A shopping center employee struggles against strong winds and falling snow as a fast moving winter storm moves into the Midwest Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, in Springfield, Ill. A winter weather advisory extends from Missouri to western New York, according to the National Weather Service. Boston and most of southern New England may see 6 to 12 inches of snow while areas just north and east of the New York may get as much as 10 inches.

    Fast-moving snowstorm threatens northeastern US

    A fast-moving storm expected to drop a foot of snow or more in the Northeast over the weekend moved into the region Saturday as road crews went on high alert and airlines began canceling flights. Utilities, airports and local officials braced for power outages, flight delays and slick roads while shoppers headed out to stores to tackle gift lists during a shorter-than-normal holiday shopping...

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    Chicago Post Office sets Sunday package deliveries

    The U.S. Postal Service in Chicago plans to deliver packages on the two Sundays before Christmas to make sure packages arrive on time for the holiday.

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    Chicago train stations to get more public art

    Chicago transit officials are on the lookout for artists to create public works of art for three rail stations along the Blue Line.

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    Karen Kozenczak has coordinated public relations for the city of Des Plaines for 35 years, serving under seven mayors, and having seen the changes in technology that she says have made her job better. On Friday, the Des Plaines native retired from her long-held post.

    Des Plaines’ chief communicator retires after 35 years

    Karen Kozenczak has spent 35 years spreading the news about the city she was born and raised in. And after her last official day Friday as the city of Des Plaines’ director of media services, Kozenczak says she’s planning to spend her retirement there, too. “It’s the only town I’ve really lived in,” she said. “It’s a great town to grow up in, raise a family in, and grow old in. And that’s my...

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    Jim Gaffney

    Dist. 303 residents will pay more taxes in 2014

    The largest portion of the tax bill in St. Charles will increase in 2014 as District 303 school board members approved a levy increase of about $3 million. The average increase to the owner of a $300,000 home will be about $295. Board member Jim Gaffney was the only "no" vote. He voted against it because he doesn't think now is the time to raise property taxes.

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    National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander testifies on Capitol Hill Wednesday in Washington before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “Continued Oversight of U.S. Government Surveillance Authorities.”

    NSA has capacity for decoding private conversations

    Digital transmission and encryption have become almost universally available in the United States, and they are now standard throughout much of the world. Governments typically dictate what kind of encryption technology, if any, can be deployed by cellphone service providers. As a result, cellular communications in some nations, including China, feature weak encryption or none at all.

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    Psychic, paid nearly $1 million for ‘curse removal,’ arrested

    Bryan James was having a tough time. His finances weren’t in order. His emotional health wasn’t great. And his love life needed a boost.That’s when the 25-year-old Los Angeles man met Michelle Morgan, who worked in the San Fernando Valley at an office with a neon sign out front proclaiming “Psychic Readings.”

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    Eric Williamson of Naperville helps his son, Oslo, 4, around the outdoor ice skating rink Friday at the Nike Sports Complex in Naperville. With only one skater on the rink, there was plenty of room for the father and son to get comfortable on the ice. “We’re taking advantage of no people,” Williamson said.

    Smooth skating at outdoor rinks in Naperville

    It was, all things considered, the perfect day for Eric Williamson of Naperville to help his 4-year-old son, Oslo, navigate the outdoor ice rink Friday at Naperville Park District’s Nike Sports Complex.

Sports

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

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

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

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

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    Saturday’s boys swimming scoreboard
    Here are varsity boys swimming results from Saturday's meets, as reported to the Daily Herald.

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

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    Bears coach Marc Trestman has made it clear that Jay Cutler is his man at quarterback.

    Trestman has Super belief in Cutler

    Give him a chance and Marc Trestman will make it very clear that his quarterback was Jay Cutler, is Jay Cutler and will be Jay Cutler. It would surprising if GM Phil Emery couldn’t get a deal done with Cutler, who wants to stay and only needs to be reasonable to make it happen.

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    Illinois guard Rayvonte Rice, left, passes the ball on Oregon forward Elgin Cook (23) Saturday night in Portland. Oregon beat the Illini 71-64.

    Illinois falters in 71-64 loss to No. 15 Oregon

    Illinois gave Oregon its best shot and had an opportunity to knock the 15th-ranked Ducks from the ranks of the unbeaten Saturday night. The Fighting Illini led by nine points on a neutral court with 13 minutes to play before the Ducks rallied for a 71-64 victory before crowd of 10,043 at the Moda Center to improve to 9-0.

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    The Hawks’ Patrick Kane skates away as the Maple Leafs celebrate a goal by Peter Holland, right, during the second period Saturday night in Toronto.

    Hawks fall flat against Leafs

    The Blackhawks didn’t have much going Saturday night at Air Canada Centre. Not even a national television audience watching across Canada could light a fire under the Hawks, who let the Maple Leafs score 4 goals in the second period en route to a 7-3 victory.Patrick Kane scored both goals for the Hawks, who saw their three-game winning streak snapped. Kane’s goals were his 18th and 19th of the season.

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    Neuqua slows West Chicago

    Years from now West Chicago senior John Konchar will reminisce on the night he scored his 1,000th point. For now, both coaching staffs will ponder Neuqua Valley’s 31-7 third-quarter advantage that created an 86-64 Neuqua Valley victory on Saturday at Bishop Gymnasium in West Chicago.

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    Big win for Fremd over Marian Catholic

    Fremd girls basketball coach Dave Yates always says he wants to play in big events like Saturday’s Chitown Showdown to get “valuable big-game experience.” Not only did his Vikings get that at Chicago’s Whitney Young High School, they also got one of their biggest wins in school history, coming back from a 9-point deficit with under 2:40 left to stun the defending Class 4A state champs. Junior Haley Gorecki’s layup off a steal by sophomore Bryana Hopkins with 28 seconds remaining lifted the Vikings to a 63-62 victory over nationally-ranked Marian Catholic, the top-ranked team in Class 4A.

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    Bulls forward Carlos Boozer, right, controls the ball as Toronto Raptors forward Amir Johnson, center, and guard Kyle Lowry guard Saturday night at the United Center.

    Lowry, Valancius lead Raptors past Bulls, 99-77

    Kyle Lowry scored 16 points, Jonas Valancius added 15 points and 11 rebounds, and the Toronto Raptors beat the Chicago Bulls 99-77 Saturday night. DeMar DeRozan scored 15 and Amir Johnson added 14 points and eight rebounds to help the Raptors earn their second win in as many nights after dropping six of seven.

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    Geneva bounces Elgin

    Aggressive man-to-man defense and Elgin boys basketball have long been synonymous, but times change. With referees blowing whistles far more often this season due to the increased emphasis on hand checking and body contact, the Maroons allowed 58.6 points per game through their first seven outings, necessitating change. Elgin coach Mike Sitter has resorted to a 2-3 zone defense, the same scheme many coaches have opted to play by default, saying “Until we get better at man-to-man and get fundamentally sounder, we’ll have to play zone once in a while.” Elgin (3-6, 1-1 Upstate Eight River) first used the 2-3 zone Friday during a 73-58 win at Streamwood and stuck with the same scheme Saturday against visiting Geneva (7-2, 2-1), which prepared throughout the week to face Elgin’s man-to-man. The versatile Vikings adjusted on the fly, bombed away from 3-point range over Elgin’s 2-3 zone and built a healthy lead they never relinquished in an eventual 75-63 victory.

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    Head, Wauconda hit it big again

    Wauconda senior guard Dion Head posted a career-best point total last Saturday night. He did it again exactly one week later. Head poured in 33 points to go along with 5 rebounds, 5 steals and 4 assists, leading Wauconda to a 71-67 win over visiting Round Lake in a North Suburban Prairie Division contest. Head — who scored 25 points against Woodstock last Saturday — hit 13 shots from the floor, including two 3-pointers, and was 5 of 7 from the foul line.

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    Nee helps Wauconda win twice

    Lauren Nee led Wauconda’s girls basketball team to a pair of wins in the Northern Illinois Holiday Classic at Woodstock on Saturday. Nee’s 17 points, including three 3-pointers, and 7 steals helped Wauconda defeat Rockford Jefferson 63-27 in the Bulldogs’ second game of the day. Jessie Wood and Dani Sturm (6 rebounds) added 8 points apiece, while Anna Wisniewski contributed 7. Wauconda (4-4, 2-1 tourney) started the day by edging Woodstock 54-51 in the morning, as Nee scored a game-high 15 points.

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    Wolves can’t catch Rampage

    The Chicago Wolves rallied but came up short Saturday night, falling to the San Antonio Rampage 4-3 at the AT&T Center and ending their three-game road swing 1-2-0-0.Mark Mancari, Brent Regner and Sergey Andronov scored for the Wolves, and goaltender Matt Climie (2-5-0) kicked out 32 shots.

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    Taj Gibson (22) chases a loose ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors in Chicago on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. The Raptors won 99-77.

    Bulls blasted by 9-13 Raptors

    The Bulls tried playing with a new combination of missing players Saturday and the result was a pitiful 99-77 loss to the Toronto Raptors at the United Center. Luol Deng returned from a sore Achilles, but Kirk Hinrich sat out with a sore back.

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    Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas, left, of Lithuania, shoots over Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago on Saturday. The Raptors won 99-77.

    Deng returns, but Hinrich forced to sit

    Forward Luol Deng returned to the lineup Saturday after missing four games with a sore left Achilles, but the Bulls lost guard Kirk Hinrich. He missed his first game of the season with a sore back. Marquis Teague got the starting nod over newcomer D.J. Augustin.

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    Davidson nets 23 in St. Charles North’s win

    St. Charles North bounced back from a loss to Larkin by beating East Aurora 72-46 on Saturday.

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    St. Francis clips Aurora Christian in double OT

    John Harrell led Aurora Christian with 20 points and hit a 3-pointer at the end of regulation to force overtime, but it wasn’t enough in a 77-74 loss to St. Francis on Saturday in Aurora.

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    Boys basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Westminster Christian 57, Cornerstone Christian 38: The Warriors (5-3) were down 28-21 at halftime but played well the second half to defeat Cornerstone Christian Academy in nonconference action Saturday. Sam Carani led all scorers with 29 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. Brian McDonaugh finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Luther North 49, Harvest Christian 46: Harvest Christian Academy (3-4) suffered a Northeastern Athletic Conference loss to Luther North Saturday despite John Vislisel’s 19 points and 14 rebounds. Noah Fox and Jake Adams scored 9 points each and Brett Cramer added 7 points for the Lions.Metea Valley 93, South Elgin 74: Matthew Smith led all scorers with 30 points for South Elgin, including 4 3-pointers in this Upstate Eight Valley loss. Darius Wells finished with 16 points and Matt McClure had 14 points for the Storm (3-4, 1-2).Waubonsie Valley 51, Bartlett 49: Ryan DiCanio had 14 points for the Hawks (7-2, 1-2) during Upstate Eight Valley competition.

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    Wolves come up short against Stars

    The offense stalled and the Chicago Wolves fell to the Texas Stars 2-1 at Cedar Park Center on Friday night.Wolves defenseman Jani Hakanpaa scored in the third period and goaltender Jake Allen made 24 saves, but it was not enough to overcome the Stars power play and Texas netminder Jack Campbell.

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    North Chicago hangs on against Grant

    Scoring nearly 100 points was fun. And dunking the ball was, too. But in the postgame locker room on Saturday night, the North Chicago boys basketball team probably didn’t have much fun recounting the rest of its 98-81 North Suburban Conference Prairie Division win over host Grant. It wasn’t exactly the Warhawks’ most complete game. While they were rolling up the offense, which included 31 points from JayQuan McCloud and a couple of dunks and 22 points from Kurt Hall, they were letting Grant do the same thing. North Chicago dominated the first half and built a 17-point halftime lead, but Grant dug deep and matched North Chicago point-for-point in the second half and even outscored North Chicago in the fourth quarter by 8 points. And that was with the Warhawks’ starters playing most of the game.

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    Grant, St. Viator meet St. Ignatius’ challenge

    Robert Grant, St. Viator’s 6 foot-2 senior guard, was money in the bank on defense during Saturday night’s 74-48 win over St. Ignatius in Cahill Gymnasium as the Lions played in the fourth game of the East Suburban Catholic/Catholic League challenge. Grant pickpocketed the Wolfpack offense in the second quarter to break open a close game and turn it into a rout. “I’m the energy guy,” said Grant. “I just try to bring to the team what the team needs. During that second-quarter span, I took it upon myself to get us going.”

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    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Bartlett 53, Waubonsie Valley 32: The Hawks (6-5, 3-0) remain undefeated in the Upstate Eight Valley after beating the Warriors with the help of Elizabeth Arco and Ally Giampapa. Arco finished with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 5 steals, while Giampapa had 12 points and 3 assists. Kelly Harris scored 9 points and Kaitlin Brohan added 7 points for Bartlett.South Elgin 59, Metea Valley 57: South Elgin (5-4, 2-1) was led by Kennede Miller, scoring 19 points in this Upstate Eight Valley win. Savanah Uveges and Nadia Yang each scored 9 points, while Mackie Kelleher added 8 points in the Storm victory.Dundee-Crown 76, Rockford Jefferson 27: The Chargers were led by Allison Michalski with 12 points in this Northern Illinois Holiday Classic win. Francesca Scarpelli and Lauren Lococo each scored 11 points while Kagan Faulkner, Melissa Barker and Allison Petty each finished with 8 points for D-C. Dundee-Crown 59, Woodstock 44: Dundee-Crown (4-8) secured a spot in the Northern Illinois Holiday Classic semifinals with this win. The Chargers will play Crystal Lake South this Friday at 5:30 p.m. at McHenry. Allison Michalski had 20 points, Emily Michalski 14 points and Lauren Lococo scored 8 points in the win against Woodstock.“The ball went into the basket for us today,” said D-C coach Sarah Miller, whose team now has a 3-game winning streak. “Our defense is playing so much better and it’s nice to finish some games. It’s a big confidence boost for us.”Crystal Lake South 52, Marengo 31: In the first of two games for the day, Crystal Lake South defeated Marengo in the Northern Illinois Holiday Classic with the help of Rachel Rasmussen, who led all scorers with 22 points. Chanel Fanter had 17 points and 4 assists for the Gators.Crystal Lake South 77, Lakes 43: In their second Northern Illinois Holiday Classic game of the day, the Gators (9-4) scored early and often against Lakes and secured a spot in next Friday’s tournament semifinals against Dundee-Crown. The game will be played at McHenry at 5:30 p.m. Chanel Fanter finished with 24 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists to lead the Gators. Sara Mickow scored 12 points and pulled down 9 rebounds. Kianna Clark (4 assists, 4 rebounds) and Rachel Rasmussen scored 10 points apiece and Hailee Massie added 9 points for Crystal Lake South.Harvest Christian 59, Luther North 44: The Lions (3-2) were led by Kylee Knox, who scored a game-high 37 points, along with 9 rebounds and 2 steals. Alex Rayappa finished with 11 points and 4 rebounds, while Morgan Lockwood added 9 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals.Westminster Christian 58, IMSA 15: The Warriors (10-1, 6-0) were led by McKaila Hays with 19 points. Maddie Versluys finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Claire Speweik had 8 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals for Westminster. St. Edward 53, Walther Christian 27: The Green Wave (5-3) defeated Walther Christian in Suburban Christian crossover action Saturday. Madelyn Spagnola scored 17 points and Katie Swanson finished with 11 points and 9 rebounds. Clarissa Ramos scored 7 points. St. Edward is without 6-foot-3 center Cece Rapp for 6-8 weeks after she suffered an injury in an auto accident.

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    Larkin storms back to beat Batavia

    Kendale McCullum had to make an adjustment on the fly. The Larkin senior had repeatedly beat Batavia defenders off the ball in the fourth quarter as the Royals sought to put the exclamation point on a staggering rally against Batavia. McCullum beat his defender with dribble penetration one final time, transferring the ball to his off-hand and hitting a running floater with 62 seconds to play Saturday night in Batavia. It would be the last of 50 field goals between the Upstate Eight Conference River rivals, and the Royals’ Drew Jones capped his career-high effort of 24 points with 5.2 seconds to play at the free-throw line to ice the Royals’ 69-65 victory.

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    Boudreaux, Lake Forest top Lipp, Libertyville

    Lake Forest's Evan Boudreaux (39 points) and Libertyville's Jack Lipp (31) put on quite a performance as the Scouts edged the Wildcats 59-49 in a North Suburban Lake boys basketball game Saturday night.

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    Hinsdale Central knocks off Naperville Central

    Boys basketball teams often can’t spare the time for a 24-hour rule after games, so Hinsdale Central requires a mere 12 from its players. That attitude made a big difference in Saturday’s 67-54 home win over Naperville Central.

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    Nardini, Vernon Hills stay on target vs. Antioch

    Shooting 3-pointers — and making them — is getting to be routine for Robby Nardini and the Vernon Hills boys basketball team. Nardini dropped in three of them in the opening quarter on Saturday night. He finished with 4 and tied his career high with 27 points, which he first reached Wednesday against Lakes. “I just come out ready to play,” Nardini said. “I just keep shooting. If I feel good in warm-ups, I might want to shoot more. I do like the 3-ball. “My teammates are the ones setting me up with a lot of kick-outs for the open 3’s.” The Cougars collectively made 12 three-pointers, with Mike Mariella (12 points) canning four of them and Bo Manso (10 points) coming off the bench to hit a pair. Matt Weaver (9 points and 8 rebounds) and Sam Rattner dropped in the others as Vernon Hills shot past host Antioch 68-52 in a North Suburban Prairie Division game.

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    Huntley bounces back, beats Prairie Ridge

    When Prairie Ridge crept close Saturday night, the Huntley girls basketball team turned up the defense. The Red Raiders’ lead was down to 5 points after a basket from Maddie Drain less than 20 seconds into the fourth quarter. That was the last field goal Prairie Ridge would score. Huntley held the Wolves to just 2 free throws the rest of the game en route to a 49-35 Fox Valley Conference Valley Division victory.

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    Cary-Grove weathers rough start, tops Stevenson

    Cary-Grove did not surrender to the type of start that would have finished a lot of teams. The Trojans were just a minute and 53 seconds into their nonconference girls basketball game Saturday evening when coach Rod Saffert called timeout. All 9 points on the scoreboard belonged to host Stevenson. “Getting down by 9 kind of shocked us,” said C-G junior Katie Barker, “but it kind of motivated us to catch up.” And the Trojans eventually passed the Patriots and a key test. Barker overcame some cold stretches by heating up at crucial times en route to game-highs of 21 points and 16 rebounds in a 44-39 victory in Lincolnshire.

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    St. Charles East slams Streamwood

    What do you get when you combine a fast start with a second-half dunk contest? A convincing 84-52 victory for St. Charles East’s basketball team against visiting Streamwood (1-6, 0-3) Saturday night in St. Charles.

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    Amanze Egekeze

    Huntley notches big win over Boylan

    When Huntley needed a basket, there wasn’t much doubt who the Red Raiders would turn to. Amanze Egekeze made a floater in the lane with 3 seconds left to lift Huntley over Rockford Boylan, 57-55, in nonconference boys basketball action Saturday night. Egekeze drove the lane and lofted one from about 12 feet away that swished through. Boylan had a final chance to tie, but Egekeze intercepted the long inbounds pass to preserve the victory for Huntley (4-3).

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    Reams, Warren go deep against Mundelein

    Warren welcomed back injured star Adrian Deere (17 points) and jumped out early on home-standing Mundelein on Saturday night. The Blue Devils (4-4) never looked back in posting a 78-63 NSC Lake Division victory.

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    Toronto Maple Leafs’ Jerry D’Amigo, left, battles for the puck with Chicago Blackhawks’ Marian Hossa, back, as Niklas Hjalmarsson covers Saturday in Toronto. The Maple Leafs won 7-3.

    Maple Leafs cruise past Blackhawks 7-3

    Joffrey Lupul and Peter Holland each scored twice to help the Toronto Maple Leafs end a three-game losing streak with a 7-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday. Mason Raymond added four assists for the Leafs.

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    WW South survives tough week, Benet

    It wasn’t easy by any stretch, but Wheaton Warrenville South survived a tough week and now the Tigers are in position to take a shot at a repeat title of the Naperville North/Benet Academy holiday tourney.

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    Barrington takes second in relay meet

    Barrington placed second its division of the relay meet it hosted Saturday, while Prospect had the top team finish in the relay meet hosted by Rolling Meadows.

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    Fast start powers Zion-Benton against Lake Zurich

    A slow start did not prove to be a detriment for the tortoise in his famous race against the hare — but it sure turned out to be a deal-breaker for Lake Zurich on Saturday night. The Bears played nearly even with Zion-Benton in the second half, but their slow start was the determining factor in a 69-55 North Suburban Conference Lake Division loss in Zion.

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    Jake Springer of Neuqua Valley swims in the 500 freestyle relay during the Wildcat Relays boys swimming meet Saturday.

    A sign of things to come for Neuqua?

    Neuqua Valley’s boys swimming team may already be better than it was expected to be coming into the season. On Saturday the Wildcats, sparked by strong veteran nucleus and a sophomore class that bears watching, rallied from behind to edge archrival Waubonsie Valley and win the Wildcat Relays at West Chicago for the first time in three years. With a strong second half of the meet, Neuqua Valley won four events, three of the last four, while Waubonsie was the winner in five relays.

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    Heisman Trophy finalist Jameis Winston, 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 wins Heisman Trophy; NIU's Lynch third

    Jameis Winston left voters no choice but to give him the Heisman Trophy. The Florida State quarterback became the second straight freshmen to win the Heisman on Saturday night, earning college football's most prestigious individual award with a performance so spectacular and dominant that even a criminal investigation couldn't derail his candidacy. Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch finished third.

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    Diversity, winning suit Hersey

    Like it has been all season, the offensive balance of Hersey’s girls basketball team was clearly in operation Saturday afternoon at the Ken Carter Gymnasium. Playing their tenth game, the Huskies produced a fifth different player to lead the team in points. This time, it was Renee Poulos. The senior forward tossed in 13 points as the Huskies rolled to their ninth win against one loss with a 55-32 triumph over visiting Glenbrook South.

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    back Matt Forte carries against Oakland linebacker Nick Roach during a preseason game. Roach is having a solid season as the Raiders’ middle linebacker.

    After leaving Bears, Roach a leader in Oakland

    Ex-Bears and Northwestern linebacker Nick Roach is having a successful first season as the Raiders’ middle linebacker, as Michael Wilkening explains in his NFL Tracker column.

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    North Central falls 1 point short in national semifinal

    North Central coach John Thorne not only left Mount Union Stadium with a 41-40 loss in the Division III football semifinals, but he also will carry a regret with him about one of his calls late in the fourth quarter.

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    Barrington tops at Mudge/McMorrow

    Barrington had three champions and edged McHenry for top team honors in the 54th Annual Mudge/McMorrow wrestling tournament hosted by Prospect on Saturday.

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    Geneva takes title at Hinsdale Central

    Geneva sure didn’t look tired on Saturday morning. At least not during their routines. The Vikings, who got to bed late after competing in the DeKalb Invite on Friday and then had to meet at Geneva at 6:15 a.m. Saturday, outlclassed the field in Hinsdale Central’s Red Devil Invite, outscoring runner-up Downers Grove South by more than 10 points, 141.925 to 131.475, for the title.

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    Burlington Central girls basketball coach Mark Smith is hoping playing in the Dundee-Crown Christmas tournament and the McDonald’s Shootout helps his team come postseason time.

    Burlington Central about to embark on the big-time

    Any basketball coach worth their salt does his or her best to play the most competitive schedule possible, especially in those years when they know they have special talent. Around the Fox Valley, most girls basketball teams — heck, not most but all — don’t have the luxury of year-in and year-out top talent like, say, Corry Irvin does at Whitney Young. So when that special team or group comes along, increasing the competitiveness of the regular-season schedule is paramount to getting your team ready for what you hope is a long postseason run.

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    Jay Cutler will make his first start since Week 9 as the Bears are set to take on the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

    Bears offense a different animal now

    The Bears' offense is operating with a lot more horsepower since the last time Jay Cutler was behind the wheel, five weeks ago, when he suffered a high left ankle sprain against the Lions. Backup Josh McCown handled the ride with great effectiveness and it will be interesting to see if Cutler can keep things running smoothly.

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    Batavia’s Liza Fruendt shoots over a block by Naperville Central’s Lisa Tassi in the second quarter on Saturday, December 14.

    Batavia stays hot, tops Naperville Central

    With seven wins in eight tries to start the season, Batavia’s girls basketball team is primed for one of the best seasons in the program’s history. Coach Kevin Jensen is looking to see just how good this group can be. They certainly will find out quickly, and they got off to a good start Saturday in Oswego’s Hoops for the Troops Tournament.

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    Texas coach Mack Brown responds to a question during a Valero Alamo Bowl NCAA college football news conference, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, in San Antonio. Texas and Oregon will play Dec. 30. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

    Texas coach Mack Brown resigns

    Texas says coach Mack Brown has stepped down and that the Alamo Bowl against Oregon on Dec. 30 will be his last game with the Longhorns.The school announced the move Saturday.

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    Brandon Marshall (15) celebrates a touchdown catche with teammates Alshon Jeffery (17) and Josh McCown (12) during the Bears’ win over Green Bay on Nov. 4, 2013.

    Bears’ WRs excel at more than catching

    Sure, Bears wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall are putting up monster numbers this season, but they're also getting the job done as blockers in the running game.

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    Notre Dame center Garrick Sherman, left, and Indiana forward Noah Vonleh go to the floor for a loose ball in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

    Notre Dame holds off hard-charging Hoosiers 79-72

    Jerian Grant had 23 points and nine assists Saturday, and Pat Connaughton scored all 14 of his points in the second half to lead Notre Dame past Indiana 79-72 in the Crossroads Classic.The Fighting Irish (8-3) won for just the third time in five games, but never trailed the Hoosiers.

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    Dundee-Crown’s Jarrod Raap takes down opponent Dan Horist of Larkin just before pinning him during their 170-pound match Saturday at Dundee-Crown.

    Dundee-Crown’s Marshall marshalls another pair of pins

    Jeremy Marshall wants to spend as little time on the wrestling mat as possible. So, Marshall’s plan is to pin his opponent as quick as possible. The D-C senior 285-pounder accomplished his goals at Saturday’s Dundee-Crown Triangular in Carpentersville on Saturday. Marshall pinned Larkin’s Jerry Hernandez in 1:58 and took down Hersey’s Tyler Cooke in 2:26 to improve his season-record to 17-3.

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    Hersey’s Anne Johnson competes on vault during the Hersey Invitational in Arlington Heights on Saturday.

    Hersey savors sweet victory

    Expectations are rising for Hersey’s girls gymnastics team, and the Huskies offered a glimpse of their potential on Saturday at the Michael Meyer Memorial Candy Cane Invite. Sophomore Alysa Zurlo (35.575) and senior Anne Johnson (35.4) went 4-5 in the all-around in leading host Hersey to the title with 137.8 points at the 12-team invite in Arlington Heights. It was the Huskies’ first win at their own invite since 2002.

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    Wheeling edges Stevenson for second place

    The 29th Annual Wheeling Memorial Wrestling Invitational was a great opportunity for area individuals and teams to face some great competition Saturday in this powerful one-day meet. There wasn’t much drama in the team competition as perennial power Sandburg rolled to the championship of the nine-team meet with 222 points. But the battle for second place had plenty of intrigue, as the host Wildcats that held off a late-meet push by Stevenson to capture runner-up honors 143-127 over the Patriots.

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    Wisconsin' Ben Brust (1) drives between Eastern Kentucky's Corey Walden, left, and Marcus Lewis during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin won 86-61. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

    No. 4 Wisconsin beats Eastern Kentucky 86-61

    Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan isn’t ready to talk about this season’s team being special.But he couldn’t help but be impressed at least a little with what the fourth-ranked Badgers did in an 86-61 victory over Eastern Kentucky on Saturday.

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    Northern Illinois falls to UMass 80-64

    Cady Lalanne scored 16 points to lead No. 22 Massachusetts to an 80-54 victory over Northern Illinois on Saturday.Chaz Williams, coming off career highs of 32 points and 15 assists against Brigham Young on Dec. 7, had 12 points and six assists for the Minutemen (9-0), who are off to the program’s best start since the 1995-96 team started 26-0.

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    Batavia’s Mackenzie Foster falls to the ground during a pass around Naperville Central’s Emily Kraft in the third quarter on Saturday.

    Images: Naperville Central vs. Batavia girls basketball
    Naperville Central battled Batavia in a girls basketball matchup Saturday at the Oswego Holiday Tournament.

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    Arizona forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (23) is defended by Michigan guard Caris LeVert (23) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

    Michigan falls 72-70 to top-ranked Arizona

    Jon Horford did his best to protect the basket for Michigan, blocking four shots in a game the Wolverines led most of the way.In the end, top-ranked Arizona’s tireless rebounders were too much. Nick Johnson made six free throws over the final 25 seconds, and No. 1 Arizona held on for a 72-70 victory over Michigan on Saturday after rallying from an 11-point deficit in the second half.

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    Swimmers participate during the "King and Queen of the Sea" competition at the Copacabana beach, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013. The two-day-long contest took place where the marathon swimming event will be held during the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Water pollution has become a hot-button issue here with 70 percent of sewage in this city of 6 million flowing untreated into waterways and just 2 ½ years to go before the start of the games. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

    Thousands brave Rio’s dirty waters in swim races

    Thousands of amateur swimmers took to the brackish waters of Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach Saturday for an open-sea race that also brought out demonstrators calling for a thorough cleanup of the Olympic city’s chronically polluted waterways.

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    Blackhawks get goalie LaBarbera from Oilers

    The Blackhawks got deeper in goal on Saturday by acquiring Jason LaBarbera from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for future considerations. The 33-year-old LaBarbera was assigned to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.

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    Jordan, Wheaton North persevere for victory

    Junior and varsity newcomer Nick Jordan was a shining example of the Wheaton North boys basketball team’s comeback mentality Friday against Naperville North.

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    Bulls game day
    By Mike McGrawmcgraw@dailyherald.comBulls vs. Toronto Raptors at the United Center, 7 p.m. SaturdayTV/Radio: Comcast SportsNet/ESPN 1000-AMThe Bulls beat the Raptors in Toronto 96-80 on Nov. 15. That happened before Derrick Rose’s knee surgery, but Rose missed the game with a hamstring injury. SF DeMar DeRozan scored 37 points that night and leads the Raptors at 21.5 ppg. With Rudy Gay in Sacramento, PG Kyle Lowry is now the second-leading scorer at 14.6 ppg. Toronto beat Philadelphia at home on Friday 108-100.Next: Orlando Magic at the United Center, 7 p.m. Monday— Mike McGraw

Business

  •  
    RVs are lined up at the Green River Stables campground near Campbellsville, Ky., which has become a Christmas-season tradition.

    Campers help Amazon keep up with holiday rush

    Since 2010, Amazon has recruited campers for its distribution centers in Campbellsville, Ky., Coffeyville, Kan., and Fernley, Nevada — places with modest populations where the company has to cast a wider net to bring in enough temporary workers to fill its needs.The stints last about three months, and the hours on the job tend to grow longer as Christmas nears.

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    Many plans can be started within 30 days of buying your phone, TV, camera or other gadget. Some online outfits will cover gadgets starting a year or more after purchase. Waiting will also let you shop around to make sure you get the right coverage at a reasonable price. In many cases, you might conclude you don’t even need it.

    Tech Tips: Decline gadget protection at register)

    So, you’ve selected the gadgets to give your loved ones, and you’re at the checkout line. Suddenly you’re asked if you want an extended warranty or protection plan for a modest sum, and the line is piling up behind you. Do you opt for the foot-long receipt with terms and conditions that you’ll have to keep in a secure place? Even if such a plan is right for you, just say no.

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    You can expect to see the first privately owned driverless car tooling around the neighborhood in seven years, or 10 years, or “far off in the future.”

    Driverless cars en route — sometime

    You can expect to see the first privately owned driverless car tooling around the neighborhood in seven years, or 10 years, or “far off in the future.”The cars will become the popular mode for getting around in your lifetime, or your children’s lifetime, or before your grandchildren start walking. Different timelines, yes, but everyone who testified recently on Capitol Hill agreed on one point: The technology exists, and cars capable of driving themselves are in your future -- sometime.

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    Eight major technology companies, including Google, Facebook and Twitter, have joined forces to call for tighter controls on government surveillance, issuing an open letter Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 to President Barack Obama arguing for reforms in the way the U.S. snoops on people.

    Tech firms vie to protect personal data, profits

    Even as Silicon Valley speaks out against the U.S. government’s surveillance methods, technology companies are turning a handsome profit by mining personal data and peering into people’s online habits. The industry’s profit machine has become tarnished by revelations that the National Security Agency trolls deep into the everyday lives of Web surfers.

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    Twitter Inc. is testing redesigns of members’ profiles, one of several product updates aimed at keeping users engaged with the microblogging service, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The profile pages, which include postings, pictures and followers, may be redesigned to highlight more useful content.

    Twitter to test new profile pages to boost traffic

    Twitter Inc. is testing redesigns of members’ profiles, one of several product updates aimed at keeping users engaged with the microblogging service, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The profile pages, which include postings, pictures and followers, may be redesigned to highlight more useful content.

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    A coalition that includes Google, Apple, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft is pressuring President Barack Obama to curb the U.S. government surveillance programs that vacuum personal information off the Internet and threaten the technology industry’s financial livelihood.

    Big tech companies lash out at government snooping

    Silicon Valley is escalating pressure on President Barack Obama to curb the U.S. government surveillance programs that vacuum personal information off the Internet and threaten the technology industry’s financial livelihood. A coalition that includes Google, Apple, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft lashed out in an open letter printed this week in major newspapers and a new website reformgovernmentsurveillance.com.

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    As the public faces almost daily new details about the National Security Agency’s worldwide collection and manipulation of metadata, the U.S. Army is seeking computer specialists to help it develop programs that could collect, retrieve and display massive amounts of data.

    Techies, Uncle Sam wants you for the U.S. Army

    Can you provide a computerized system that automatically performs name comparisons and also can detect relationships with other names? Can you design a platform that accesses the news media from anywhere in the world, mines it for files of interest and then provides real-time operational data from it to multiple stakeholders? If so, the U.S. Army wants to hear from you.

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    Although hardcore users might find the software behind iPhones irksome because Apple limits how much you can customize it, the iPhone is an excellent choice for people simply needing a well-rounded phone. What makes iOS especially powerful: the thousands of apps available for it. Many leading apps come to iOS first or have more features for it.

    Gift Guide: Navigating maze of phone, plan choices

    So you’re ready to buy a new smartphone for your loved one. Which do you choose? Before you do anything, you have to decide whether to buy the phone outright or go the traditional route of buying a carrier-subsidized one with a two-year service contract. Next, you need to decide on an operating system. Here’s a guide to that.

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    The Cinetics CineMoco System is shown on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 in Decatur, Ga. The motorized dolly system can be programmed for video and time-lapse photography for controlled-motion shots.

    Gift Guide: Accessories to help shoot the best video

    I’ve had a lot of experience with accessories over the years in my work as a multimedia journalist for The Associated Press. My job entails shooting a blend of video and photos on assignment. Here’s a look at some of the best products I have found to add polish to video productions.

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    Tablets of all types are expected to rank among the top holiday gifts for children this year, but some experts and advocates question the educational or developmental benefits for youngsters.

    Gift guide: Picking a tablet for kids

    Tablet computers are expected to top many kids’ holiday lists, but parents need to do their homework first. Kids’ tablets range from educational toys that perform more like hand-hand gaming devices to Android tablets good for whole family. If you’re shopping for someone else’s child, keep in mind that some parents and experts oppose children using tablets entirely, and many believe that screen time should be limited.

Life & Entertainment

  •  
    Youngsters can come face-to-face with Santa Claus himself at the annual Holiday Magic celebration at Brookfield Zoo.

    Weekend picks: Brookfield Zoo lights up for Holiday Magic

    Animals, Santa and more than 1 million lights guide the holidays home at Brookfield Zoo's annual Holiday Magic celebration. Find another dose of Christmas magic at the Highland Park Winter Wonderland festival. And a jingle of pop rockers -- including the Jonas Brothers, Jason Derulo, Emblem3 and Avicii -- will gather at the 2013 Jingle Bash to usher in the holidays at the Allstate Arena.

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    A simple series of black and white pictures becomes an elegant holiday wreath when glued to a cardboard ring and embellished with a bit of faux holly. The holidays are a great time to pull out the old photos and reminisce, but there’s no need to huddle around a dusty album.

    Song lyrics, photos combine for holiday decor

    The holidays are a great time to pull out the old photos and reminisce, but there’s no need to huddle around a dusty album. There are a variety of ways to get them out in the open by making them part of your holiday decorations. Make a bold, modern statement by printing 4-inch-square photos, connecting them with small plastic clips in a grid shape and hanging it on the wall. A large square is striking, but the clips allow for endless possibilities.

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    Tonto (Johnny Depp, left) joins forces with John Reid (Armie Hammer), a lawman better known as “The Lone Ranger.”

    DVD previews: ‘Lone Ranger,’ ‘Percy Jackson’

    Starring Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp, "The Lone Ranger" reboot rides onto DVD Tuesday along with "Prisoners," "Elysium" and "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters."

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    Designer Elizabeth Mayhew transformed a cinder-block addition to her home into a guest room with all the amenities of a hotel suite.

    Guest bedroom becomes deluxe accommodations

    For the first time ever, my husband and I have a proper guest room. Even better, our new house has a designated “guest wing.” That, of course, makes it sound fancier than it is, when in reality it is a circa-1960s cinder-block addition.

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    Chicago’s New Year’s Day 5K Run & Walk returns for its 29th year at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1, at 1600 Stockton Drive at LaSalle Street, at the south end of Lincoln Park.

    On the road: Plan now for Chicago’s New Year’s 5K

    Start your resolution on New Year’s Day and greet 2014 without a headache when you join Chicago’s New Year’s Day 5K Run & Walk. The iconic event's course route is inspiring — north along the lakefront bike path to Diversey Harbor before returning to North Avenue. Redmoon Theater's 15th annual Winter Pageant is equal parts gadgetry, acrobats, puppetry and spectacle. And it's no parts "Christmas Carol," so you can get a break from all the Scrooges and Nutcrackers out there.

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    The history of this presidential Wheaton bottle is interesting but the value is modest.

    How valuable is this FDR bottle?

    Q. I have had the bottle in the enclosed photograph since my aunt passed away in 2001. The side of the bottle with the relief image of FDR is stamped January 30, 1832 Franklin Delano Roosevelt April 12, 1945.

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    After a televised live update of “The Sound of Music” aired on NBC recently, the hills of Vermont were alive with phones ringing at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vt. Three-quarters of a century after the singing family arrived from Austria, they’re still in demand at the 96-room chalet style inn they started.

    New musical renews interest in Von Trapps’ Vt. lodge

    Even if it’s good for business, NBC’s revival of “The Sound of Music” wasn’t one of the von Trapps’ favorite things. Three-quarters of a century after they arrived from Austria, and in the week since the televised version of the musical classic became a national topic of conversation, the singing family and the vacation lodge it runs in the hills of Vermont are in high demand. And yes, the family did watch the new musical.

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    Country singers Blake Shelton and his wife, Miranda Lambert, are both nominated for a Grammy award for best country solo performance.

    No Grammy competition in Shelton-Lambert household

    Blake Shelton likes his odds when it comes to this year’s Grammy Awards. Shelton’s “Mine Would Be You” and Miranda Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart” are both nominated for best country solo performance, doubling his chances of nabbing a golden gramophone in his home. “I hope one of us wins that thing because I want one in my house for sure,” Shelton said

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    Gift ideas for the do-it-yourselfers

    - I’m a tool guy and a handyman, so I have a pretty good insight into what handy guys and girls need. Here are some ideas that can be purchased online or at a local home or hardware store.

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    Federal consumer bureau persuaded bank to send deed

    Q. Like your recent reader, we also had a problem obtaining our Discharge of Mortgage. Filing a complaint with the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau finally yielded results with getting it recorded.

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    Reasonable rules can regulate holiday decorations

    Q. A trend is growing in our single-family homeowners association. Owners mark various holidays throughout the year by displaying inflatable decorations. Can the board limit this in any way?

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    What should be done with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

    There seems to be an almost universal consensus that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be phased out. The tough question is not how we phase out the agencies but how we replace the market support they now provide. Right now, there is no game plan for replacing them. We are just drifting, one more example of federal government dysfunction.

Discuss

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    Put more of burden for schools on young
    An Inverness letter to the editor: I believe many seniors cannot afford to remain residents when 70 percent to 80 percent of their real estate tax bills are funding the local school systems.

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    Attempts to speak directly with Duckworth fail
    A Bartlett letter to the editor: I read in the Daily Herald last February about Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth and sequestering and decided to contact her. On her website I located the phone number for her office in Washington. I spoke to her scheduler (Kesley) and was told to put my request in writing, which I did.

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    Lies or cruel jokes on health care?
    A Grayslake letter to the editor: Thank you, Mr. President.My health care policy that was canceled because you said it was inferior has been reinstated because your website doesn’t work.

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    Rauner is candidate who can fix Illinois
    A Mundelein letter to the editor: Illinois is in a dire situation right now. We need a governor to sort out the corruption, inefficiency, and stagnation in our current government

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    Why do we continue with foreign aid?
    A Naperville letter to the editor: I read and basically agree with Lee Hamilton’s article regarding the Congressional budget. However, I did find it interesting that he talks about increasing taxes and cuts in spending for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and dozens of other things that would be painful for the American public.

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    Dems bunch of old, rich white people
    A Carol Stream letter to the editor: Funny how the libs work sometimes, on one hand to change the subject of the Obamacare disaster they send out the SEIU and convince hamburger makers that they should picket for higher wages and a union.

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    Find a gun law criminals will obey
    A Big Rock letter to the editor: I’ve got some advice for Jerry Vigue. I fully understand your impatience regarding the implementation of what you call “reasonable gun laws.” However, I must disagree with you about your opinion that “owning a gun is a privilege.”

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    Obama ring-kissing reaches new high
    Obama ring-kissing reaches new highJust read Gene Lyons’ letter article in the Opinion section of the Sunday, Dec. 8 Daily Herald.I’ve heard about kissing rings but this brings this to a new high.Seems all the liberals are making excuses for this president. Let’s see, there are at least four scandals involving president Obama going on right now. The biggest scandal being Obamacare and yet liberals just love this guy. Seems to me, Obama lies like a rug.Bob GrensElgin

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